Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm so full of scalloped oysters that more photographs are the perfect thing for today. Plus, I think the tryptophan is kicking in. I'm feeling really drowsy.

As a random aside, I made my own gravy today and it actually worked. A first.


Like my new avatar? It's me peeling potatoes this morning. Declan was taking random photographs and I thought a picture of me on my blog peeling potatoes was totally appropriate since it is the room of the house where I spend the most time.

Some fall pictures from Colorado and other miscellaneous stuff.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Week of Pictures

I realize I have been totally remiss in posting links to pictures recently. OK, I haven't actually been remiss, I've actually been lazy about uploading, editing, titling, and posting pictures. With all of the School Drama this fall, pictures just fell by the wayside.

So this week I'm going to make up for that. Try and contain your excitement. It'll be hard, I know.

Basically, I'm exhausted from cooking a "Thanksgiving feast" for 100+ kindergartners today and posting pictures seems like an easy way out tonight. I don't think I can come up with anything clever to say about cooking for 100+ kindergartners except that:

1. It is clear my calling is not in the foodservice industry.
2. When you work all morning and get hungry enough, you will partake in the feast even though you SAW what was happening as the 100+ kindergartners "helped" with the food preparation. Basically, you just hope that the 350 degree oven does its job.
3. You can actually cook for 100+ kindergartners with just one stove and a microwave when you have to get creative because the cook decides she's not going to let you use the school oven. Except for the pies. She will let you put 5 pies in her oven, but she will neglect to tell you that it's a convection oven and the pie will cook in half the time, and no, don't worry about it, I'll watch that pie for you and take it out when it's ready. Or blackened. Whichever comes first (blackened). As an aside here, have I mentioned before about my theory that there is a certain type of person who works in the school foodservice system or drives the buses? One and the same. They all intimidate me.
4. It is annoying when parents who did not help prepare the food for the 100+ kindergartners show up and eat leaving nothing for the parents who were at school all morning preparing the food for the 100+ kindergartners. Seriously. Some of us were scraping food out of the bowls at the end to see if there was anything left. And they didn't pay. I had to come home and have a bowl of cereal.

So instead of writing any sort of post about cooking for 100+ kindergartners, I'm just going to let you look at pictures of our vacation in August. 'Bout time.

I think I miss summer.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Oh, the Irony

As I was pulling up to the grocery store today, I noticed a woman using the same reusable grocery bags from Whole Foods that I have. Way to go! Save the planet!

Then I noticed she was loading her groceries into a Hummer.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New Baby Alert!

No, not me. Thank goodness. Had I mentioned that my little sister was pregnant with her FIFTH baby? I know, I don't know how it is that we're related either.

Anyway, Caroline Lenore Myers joined our clan last night at about 10pm MST making a grand total of 8 grandkids for my parents now. I am Aunt Bobo for the 6th time!

Introducing Caroline Lenore!

Mom and Erin with Caroline. I need to note here that these pictures are courtesy of Erin's friend Laurie. Thank you, Laurie, for the pictures! Ashley and Laurie were both present for the birth! I say way to go, girls. I tend to not have a stomach for such things like, you know, birth.

Have I ever mentioned why all my nieces and nephews call me Aunt Bobo? It started back when Garvin wasn't even a year old--he's 10 now! I had this outfit that I LOVED. Remember those one piece romper-style thingys that had the big wide legs? It looked like you were wearing a big long dress until you moved and then people realized you were actually wearing pants. I can still picture it. Oh, how I loved that outfit. Such '90s fashion.

Eamonn, on the other hand, hated it. He called it The Clown Suit.

One time when Tara and Garvin were visiting Ohio, we were all at my Mom's. I recall sitting around on the floor and playing with Garvin and trying to get him to say "Natalie." I must have been wearing The Clown Suit, because Eamonn said, "He might as well call you Bobo the Clown. You've already got the outfit and the crazy hair, all you need are the floppy shoes and big red nose! Say it, Garvin! Bobo!" And say it Garvin did. From that day forward, I have been Aunt Bobo. I'm not sure any of the nieces and nephews know I have a real name.

So whatever happened to The Clown Suit? Alas, it's gone, probably a rag for some auto mechanic somewhere by this point. Or if I think happier thoughts, maybe someone with great taste found it at the thrift store and is wearing it while panhandling on the streets of Columbus this very second.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I Hate You, Germs

At the rate we're going, by Christmas break we'll be receiving a notice that Finn will have to repeat kindergarten because he has missed too much school.

He missed days 3 and 4 because he apparently was exposed to something THE VERY FIRST DAY of school and had a terrible cold that became a sinus infection and then had to go on antibiotics As an aside, the nurse said she had several kids come to her office THE FIRST DAY with strep throat. But I digress. Then Finn missed half a day not too long after that when I had to take him to Glenwood to see an ENT. Then there was the infamous week out of school for the food poisioning/teacher who wouldn't let him go to the bathroom incident.

Then last week he came home with a raging case of pink eye and missed Thursday and Friday.

About mid-week this week, he was complaining of a sore throat. ARGH! And sure enough, last night he woke up with croup. Guess who was home with me today? I've got to do some serious voodoo this weekend and get him healthy because I have a spa day scheduled for Monday to finally use the certificate Marci gave me last December. I tried to use it last spring. But Finn was home sick that day. Coincidence? I think not. The germs are conspiring against me, I just know it.

If people can send notes to school saying, "Please don't bring nuts to school. My child has a severe nut allergy," can I send a note to school saying, "Please do not send your child to school sick. I know you are using school for childcare and you don't want to take a day off of work to stay home with him/her, but your child's sniffles can end up keeping my child home for a week. Please reconsider. And perhaps you could teach them about washing their hands as well?"

We did actually send a letter to parents in Declan's class when he was in kindergarten. No one gave a crap, quite frankly.

Is my annoyance showing?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Historian

We've been reading the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books which were favorites of mine "when I was a girl." When we read together, we always check to see when books were written.

Me: "Oh my gosh! This book was written back when Grandma was a girl!"

Declan: "So when was that?"

Me: "It was in the 40s."

Declan: "So Grandma was born in 18. . ."

Me: "Nineteen! Grandma was born in the 19s!"

Hysterical laughter from all parties in the room.

The Pharmacist

Finn: I think I need to take Ambien CR.

Me: Really? Why?

Finn: Because there are two layers. The first layer helps you fall asleep. The second helps you stay asleep. What do you think?

Me: I think you've taken enough medication to last you a lifetime. I also think you're watching too much TV.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank You, Veterans

This morning the boys' school held a Veteran's Day ceremony. Each child had the opportunity to make a candle for military service personnel in their family. The boys made candles for Skylar, Jeremiah and Rob.

Finn placing a candle for Jeremiah, who is on active duty with the Air Force and served in Iraq last winter and spring. Jeremiah is Eamonn and the boys' cousin.

Jeremiah's candle

Finn and his candle for Jeremiah

Declan placing candles for Skylar and Rob. Skylar just retired from 29 1/2 years in the Air Force (active duty and later reserves). Skylar is married to Eamonn's cousin, but he's "Uncle Skylar" to the boys. Rob served with the National Guard in Iraq from Sept. '06 - Oct.' 07. Rob is my cousin and the boys' cousin.

Declan with his candles.

Skylar's candle.

Rob's candle.

Jeremiah's candle.

I was surprised at how emotional I felt. Really, I've been this way since 9/11. I can no longer hear the National Anthem without tears coming to my eyes. On Sept. 12, 2001, we were here in Colorado at the opening ceremonies for the World Mountain Biking Championships. It was the first time I'd heard the Star Spangled Banner since the terrorist attacks the day before and I just stood there with tears streaming down my face and it's been like that pretty much ever since.

Today one little girl and her mother came up together to place a candle. Both were crying. A father? A husband? An uncle? A brother? A cousin? A sister? An aunt? A friend?

Several vets attended the ceremony as well. I went and thanked a Navy vet who had served in WWII and was there with his great grandchildren. Tears welled up in his eyes when I shook his hand. If you have never seen Band of Brothers, watch it. The most compelling parts are the interviews with the actual soliders who served. Sixty years, SIXTY YEARS, later, these gentlemen still get emotional when they talk about their time of service and the friends they lost. They talk about how when they came home, they couldn't talk about the war, even with their wives and children. But they were changed forever. And they were just in their late teens and early 20s. I can't even fathom it.

So to Skylar, Jeremiah, Rob and the countless others--thank you.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Because I am too mentally out of it to come up with a blog topic tonight. . .

. . .I stole this meme from Leeann instead.

Bold the things you’ve done and will admit to:

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (and got caught by my boss, I might add)
24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing (on a wall)
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar

72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous.
92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

I'm off to Denver tomorrow. And yes, my snow clothes are packed.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Eight Facts About Me

Mom on the Run tagged me for a meme: Eight Facts About Me. I love these things. Mostly because I get to go on and on about myself. As if I didn't do that all the time anyway. But this is now an official license to Go On and On About Myself Ad Nauseam.

Here are the rules:

1. Each player starts with eight random fact/habits about themselves.

2. People who are tagged need to write on their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.

3. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose people to get tagged and list their name.

4. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged and to read your blog.


Eight Facts About Me:

1. I am fairly certain I can consume more popcorn than anyone in the world. There are many things in my life I could sacrifce. Popcorn isn't one of them. I gave a PowerPoint presentation about it once.

2. I have a recurring nightmare that I have coral growing out of my feet. Under the coral, my feet are orange.

3. Lima beans make me want to retch. My sisters don't like them either. One time my mom put lima beans in her homemade vegetable soup. We didn't speak to her for days.

4. For good luck when I fly, I carry a piece of a blanket, called a silkie, in my pocket. It's not the original silkie I had when I was young--I tragically sucked that up in the vaccuum cleaner when I was in college. So I went to the fabric store and bought a whole roll of the silkie stuff and just snip off pieces as I need them when I fly. To my knowledge, I have never flown without it. One time when we were in England I thought I lost it. I thought I was going to have to stay in England indefinitely (which I wouldn't mind, actually). Then I found it and we were able to come home on schedule.

5. I have very curly hair. My sisters have totally straight hair. No one can believe we're related when they look at our hair. But I guess they could also be mystified by the fact that my sisters have thin thighs and I don't. Personally, I would rather have thin thighs and straight hair.

6. My favorite sitcom of all time is MASH. I could watch it endlessly. One day I dream of owning the entire series on DVD. My dad looks and acts like Alan Alda and even runs like him. He also runs like Dick van Dyke. He runs like a cross of Alan Alda and Dick van Dyke. I wonder if my sisters and I have told him this? I suspect we have.

7. I am a middle child. Totally.

8. When I was in college, I used to stay with people's kids when they went out of town. Once I had a job that was a week long. Then I had a week's break before going back for another week with the same kids. By the middle of the last week, I developed a nervous tic in my eye. I called my mom and told her I was never having kids and that I REALLY meant it. She laughed at me.

I could go on, but I'll stop per the meme's instructions.

I'm tagging: Ashley, Laurie, Kristie, and MARCI!!! Leeann, I'm leaving you alone because you just did one and I don't want to cause you meme stress.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

And so it begins. . .

I feel like maybe I should have ordered the boys' snowboots already.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

THERE you are!

First, thanks to everyone who signed the guestbook on yesterday's post (see below). It really is so much fun to see who all is out there stopping by and reading. I have tons of new blogs to visit!

Speaking of which, did anyone notice how Ashley and Laurie brazenly refused my request to identify themselves? The nerve! Ha ha! Those two ladies are my sister Erin's BFFs over yonder in Utah and I spent time with them a few weeks ago when I went to visit Erin. I had met Laurie before, but it was the first time I'd ever met Ashley. It's always important to know the kind of hooligans your little sister is keeping company with. Stop by and check out their blogs sometime!

And how about you, Maryanne, lurking down there in Texas! An interesting tidbit about Maryanne, who I used to work with in Ohio: we both had dogs with the same name. Can you get over that madness?

I also noticed a disturbing trend: As Tracy pointed out, I would have very few readers if it weren't for Kristie. I mean seriously. Are there, like, five people who visit my site who didn't find me from Kristie? I think those five people are from my family. And Maryanne, of course. But good grief, I hope Kristie never stops blogging or I'll have to shut down my site.

I loved seeing where people are from. Truly, it's all over the U.S. And if we throw my sisters-in-law in, we can hit the UK as well. I guess we could say I have readership in Mexico, too, because everyone I know seems to have moved or will be moving there shortly.

Thanks, everyone, for humoring me and signing in!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Steady as He Goes & a Question for the Rest of You

When we first met with Finn's new teacher, Eamonn was positive it would be a good move for Finn. I was more cautiously optimistic--afraid to be too excited after getting our hopes up several times with Finn's former teacher (did I mention Eamonn loves me for my positive attitude?).

All last week I wanted to write to you and say, "YAY! This is it! It's perfect!" But I didn't want to eat crow yet again.

But now, after a week and one day, I feel like I can say, "YAY! This is it! It's perfect!" Finn is like a different kid from the person he's been since about the second week of September. No complaints about not liking school. No crying. No timeouts (except for that hitting incident the first day).

And, truth be told, it's still early days yet. My Mom, who taught kindergarten for 30 years, reminded me that there will still be bumps in the road. But, I have a happy heart for the first time in a long time. Because I know Finn is going somewhere he not only doesn't hate, but actually enjoys each day, I have been able to settle down and get some work done. No, my house still isn't clean, but at least I'm making my deadlines and getting myself back on some sort of track.

I want to say a huge thank you to all of you who have posted or e-mailed with your support through all of this. It was a hard time. Certainly not as hard a time as when Finn was in treatment, but hard in a different way. I spent a lot of time feeling sick to my stomach, wandering aimlessly around the house and worrying. I'm an excellent worrier. But hearing from all of you was great and kept me going. Some of you even have sensory kids and sent tons of advice. Amanda--thank you for the sensory diet! You all have helped me more than you'll ever know.

So it was interesting to me to hear from all of you and I'd love to know more about where you are and how you came to find us. Of course, don't feel like you need to breech any Internet security like saying, "My name is Ann Smith and I live at 555 Park Lane in Oxford, Ohio. Come and get me cyberstalkers!" No, I certainly don't want you to reveal anything that would identify you. But, I would love to know general info like: My name is Natalie, I live in Colorado, and I found you because you commented on Pioneer Woman's site. . .or something like that. Or whatever you're comfortable with. I'm just so curious about all of you.

Or maybe I'm just nosy. I guess I should just call it what it is.

Let's set a record for the number of comments! Who are you? Where are you? How did you find me? I'm dying to know!