Thursday, June 30, 2005

Be careful what you wish for: it is a silly little "joke" but it made me laugh so I had to share it.....

A man walks into a restaurant with an ostrich behind him, and as he sits,
the waitress comes over and asks for their order. The man says, "I'll
have a hamburger, fries and a coke," and turns to the ostrich. "What's
yours?" "I'll have the same," says the ostrich. A short time later the
waitress returns with the order. "That will be $6.40 please," and the man
reaches into his pocket and pulls out exact change for payment.

The next day, the man and the ostrich come again and the man says, "I'll have a hamburger, fries and a coke," and the ostrich says, "I'll have the same." Once again the man reaches into his pocket and pays with exact change. This becomes a routine until late one evening, the two enter again. "The usual?" asks the waitress. "No,this Friday night, so I will have a steak, baked potato and salad," says the man. "Same for me," says the ostrich. A short time later the waitress comes with the order and says, "That will be $12.62." Once again the man pulls exact change out of his pocket and places it on the table. The waitress can't hold back her curiosity any longer. "Excuse me, sir. How do you manage to always come up with the exact change out of your pocket every time?" "Well," says the man,"several years ago I was cleaning the attic and I found an old lamp. When I rubbed it a Genie appeared and offered me two wishes. My first wish was that if I
ever had to pay for anything, just put my hand in my pocket, and the right
amount of money would always be there." "That's brilliant!" says the waitress.
"Most people would wish for a million dollars or something, but you'll
always be as rich as you want for as long as you live!" "That's right! Whether it's a gallon of milk or a Porsche, the exact money is always there," says the man. The waitress asks, "One other thing, sir, what's with the ostrich?" The man replies, "My second wish was for a chick with long legs."
Mr. Picassohead

My pal Kas had a link to this site and I had a ball playing around with it. I can't wait for Emily to get to spend some time exploring and creating, it is right up her alley!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Our little princess is 3! Posted by Hello

Sophie's 3 year old picture featuring flowers fresh from Granny's garden! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Will's First Birthday!

OK, I will admit is was a bit lame, but as I headed out for nationals, I send the following email to our friends:

Please join us.....As we celebrate William's first birthday!

When: Tuesday, June 28, 2005 5:30 PM to dark
Where: Riverview Park Loveland, Ohio (directions below)

We will provide the meat (hotdogs and hamburgers) , and all paper products! Please bring a sidedish/snack/dessert to share and a 2 liter of softdrink/juice/etc. Per park policy, no alcohol is permitted in the park(OK teens, this message was for your parents not you!). We will serve dinner at 6:30 PM and have cake at 7:30 PM. Gifts optional, the gathering is a celebration of Will's first year and we think the best way to celebrate is surrounded by friends! Will's first year was quite a roller coaster ride, we are all just AMAZED we have made it to his first birthday!

There is playground equipment, large fields for playing (and if there are no games, also 2 baseball fields so I am sure someone will figure out how to get a wiffle ball game going), we will have cornhole and plenty of room for just hanging out with friends. You never know, we may even come up with a party game or two to play!

Please RSVP by email to or by calling us at 831-3165 and leaving a message so we can know if you will be attending or not. This will help with planning for food and cake!

Directions: Take I-275 to exit #52 (Loveland-Indian Hill). At the bottom of the exit ramp turn LEFT onto Loveland-Maderia Rd. At the first light that you can turn RIGHT at, TURN are now on Branch Hill Loveland Rd. Go 1/2 mile and you will see a small brown sign on the right hand side of the road that reads Miami Riverview Park and points LEFT....TURN LEFT (you are still on Branch-Hill Loveland Rd). Go 1 mile to the park entrance on the RIGHT hand side. The shelter is behind the playground.

We were THRILLED to have 45 people at the cookout to celebrate our little man's first birthday! The weather looked threatening in the afternoon (I even sent out the emergency "RAIN OR SHINE" email and had the kids straighten up the house just in case we had to relocate here)but turned into a WONDERFUL evening. There were ballgames on the baseball fields, but it didn't even seem like there was anyone there!

The kids had a BLAST and Will seemed to like the attention. He feel asleep before dinner, but woke up (with the help of his brother) in time for cake! Everyone brought food to share and it was great....of course I just LOVE brats on the grill!

It was so wonderful to see our friends and to just spend an evening enjoying each others company! We found out that our friend Melodie is having a BABY GIRL (her hubby wanted a boy, but we are THRILLED to find out that she is carrying a healthy baby girl!).

Jay arranged games for the kids to play...corn hole tournament, waterballoon toss and a baseball hitting contest. Jay was in his element surrounds by kids!

Monday, June 27, 2005

"I got my backbone back"

That was the message I called and left on the answering machine Tuesday night upon arriving in Chicago. Wouldn't make sense to anyone but my husband who when he called back simply asked "so who pissed you off?".

So here is the story. Before leaving for Chicago I was in tears, crying to my husband that since the accident 2 months early I feel like a completely different person, that I do everything I can to avoid confrontation and that I just want other people to take care of everything. This coming from someone who is always opnionated, outspoken and doesn't mind confrontation. I NEVER cry, it isn't me (well at least not until 2 months ago). It was as if I lost my backbone.

Upon arriving in Chicago and arriving at the hotel (that I had called an confirmed our reservation at the day before) we were told the hotel was OVERBOOKED and we didn't have a room. The manager told us they had made alternate arrangements for us and for us to go to this other hotel about 10 minutes away. I pressed him for details, but he wouldn't say anything, only that I would find out when I got to the other hotel and if I had any problems that he would do whatever it took to make it right.

I was STEAMING. I had gotten everyone out of the van, the little ones were crabby, when had sat in traffic around Chicago for hours and I was at the end of my rope. We went down the road, I was mumbling and ranting the whole way. When we got to the other hotel I explained that I was sent from TownePlace and the woman at the desk, Diane, cheerfully checked us in. She then commented that TownePlace was paying for one night of our stay and then tells me that I owe is over $400 for the other 3 nights. WAIT A MINUTE....the rate I was quoted when I booked my reservation was $89 a night, why was it so much? She answers their room rate is $129 a night! I tell her "no, I am only paying $89 a night, that was what I was promised". Surprisingly she AGREES and adjusts the rate. Then as we finish up and she hands me the keys, I asks about breakfast (TownePlace had a free breakfast) and she tells me breakfast is $9.95 PER PERSON! I just about lost it. Knowing she had no control over what was going on, I called TownePlace back and asked to talk to the manager, Ron Shelton.

The first 2 times I called Ron couldn't come to the phone. The third time I called I refused to hang up until he talked to me. When he got on the phone I asked him what he was planning to do to "make this right", since I hadn't planned on buying breakfast each day. His solution was for us to drive the 10 minutes to his hotel to eat. I told him it wouldn't work, that I wasn't dragging two toddlers and the other girls to his hotel and that he needed to provide and pay for our breakfast at the new hotel since he had sent us there. He hemmed and hawed for a few minutes and I then asked if I needed to call corporate because I would be happy to. He then said they would pay for it but I told him I would not hang up with him until he spoke with the manager at the new hotel. He did and it was taken care of.

As the other displaced families arrived I made sure they were aware that they needed to contact him to have him take care of thier room rate and breakfast (they were all charged the higher rate and not given breakfast). Ironically once the 5 families called and demanded the same deal, he didn't send ANYONE else to that property but to another hotel.

I still am not happy about the whole thing. The point of the trip was "TEAM" building and because my girls weren't with their teammates it didn't happen. The rooms didn't have the kitchen like we were supposed to, adding to my food bill. There was no fridge to keep our drinks cold. The rooms at the original hotel were nice, new, remodeled with new beds, spacious bathrooms and living space, ours was OLD with uncomfortable beds and had peeling wallpaper in the bathrooms. The hotel was noisy and unfortunately we were directly across for the icemachine that was LOUD. We were also 10 minutes further from the competition. Figures I have to drive a gas guzzler, doesn't it?

The only pluses...we had the pool to ourselves and the buffet breakfast with cooked to order omlets and waffles far surpassed the "cold" complimentary breakfast the other hotel offered.
American Girl Adventure
Wednesday, June 22 2005
Dinner seating at 5:15 PM

When we got into Chicago and FINALLY got settled into a hotel, I took a minute to call American Girl Place to see if they had any cancellation for dinner the following night. We had brunch reservations for Thursday, but after looking at the train schedule and knowing when we needed to be at the competition, I knew it just wasn't doable. The operator said the store was closed but that I should try to call the following morning as early as possible and plead my case with the employees at the cafe. So once I had Emily ready to go on stage Wed morning I called and asked the operator to connect me to the cafe. She was skeptical that I would get through to anyone since it was still so early and also doubted that they would change our reservation. Ironically, the woman at the cafe answered on the first ring and very little pleading was needed, she simply switched the reservation and said she would see us that evening.

Once Emily had completed 3 of her routines (Carousel, Gypsies, and Sugar and Spice)we stayed to awards. We were shocked when Sugar and Spice (the routine the instructor didn't want to bring ane we had brought just for fun) finished in the top 5 and qualified for the Quest for the Best on Saturday. The day was turning our perfect! We left the competition and headed back to the hotel to potty. We then went to the METRA station to catch the 2:33 PM train.

Parking at the station was confusing and it took a while to figure out how to get to the station, but once we got in, a kind local woman took pity on us and explained the whole train thing and how to catch the return train. Even I was surprised as the train rolled in with how massive it was. As we boarded the train, we were shocked to hear people calling our names. About 6 other families from the studio were on the train and were also heading to AG (although not for dinner).

The ride took a little over an hour. Tickets were $4.10 for Hannah and me. Em, Sophie and Will were free. Will slept the whole ride in (such a blessing!). Once we got off the train (double stroller, diaperbag, sling, and AG dolls in tow), a kindly METRA employee showed us how to get to the street and where we would need to go to buy return tickets (if you buy your tickets on the train when there is a ticket agent on duty there is a $2 surcharge per ticket!). The weather was gorgeous and the streets well shaded by the buildings (it reminded me of something I heard after the World Trade Centers fell, about the people finally seeing the sun, because the buildings blocked the light). We began the walk, little did I know that it was over 29 blocks away! (Translated into over 3 miles one way!). Sophie slept the whole way and luckily Will stayed in the stroller! My arm is still giving me so much trouble there was no way I could have carried him! Even with the shade it was hot and I had made the mistake of wearing sandals and a shirt. Well my fat thighs kept rubbing and I ended up with chapped/chaffed thighs! If I ever do it again I will wear capris and gym shoes!

It took us almost an hour to walk to the store. We became encourged the closer we got as we saw more and more AG bags! We got into the store and checked in at the cafe. We were assigned to table 13 (my lucky number!) and we spent the next 30 minutes shopping (seating for dinner began at 5:15 PM). The store was huge adn overwhelming, the girls just loved it! We were shocked to see that in the hair salon it was $10 to just put the dolls hair in a ponytail. (It became our joke the rest of the week as we styled the dolls hair in the hotel and would tell each other that the price was $50 or $70!).

When they seated us in the cafe, there were special chairs for the AG dolls and pretty striped hairties on the napkins for the dolls to wear. They brought out little cups and plates for the girls to feed the dolls with. Dinner began with cinnamon buns. They were sticky and gooey and heavenly! They brought us out pink lemonade to drink. They brought out an appetizer of veggies, hummus, stuffed potatoes and fruit kabobs! Emily had pasta for dinner, Sophie had pizza and Hannah and I both had the stuffed chicken breast. Dessert was chocolate mouse, a butterfly shaped sugar cookie and bite sized heart shaped cake. They sang Happy Birthday to Sophie. I thought the meal and dining experience was well worth the $18 per person. Will of course was free(he shared Sophie's pizza and all the appetizers!)! He was so well behaved during dinner, even the waiteresses said they didn't even know he was there!

Once we finished the girls picked out what they wanted to buy. We ended up with Marisol(Hannah bought with her babysitting money), Nellie (Emily's early birhtday present) and 2 t-shirts (one for Em and one for Sophie). The girls declared it the "best time ever!". We walked out of the store shortly after 7 PM and then went to teh DIsney Store because they were having a huge sale! Sophie got a stuffed Dory and Nemo and a Nemo plate. She was so excited. Will fell asleep in the stroller. We finished up and began walking back to the station. When we got to Michigan and Adams a clock showed the time as 8:01 PM. We had 29 minutes to make our train ...meaning get to the station, buy tickets and board! We starting RUNNING!

Through gasping breaths we commented that we were running the AMAZING RACE! Stroller, packages, toddlers and all we made it to the station with 8 minutes to spare. Will was very crabby the ride back and the train was PACKED! One of the commuters kept "flirting" with him to try to get him to helped a little!

Disembarking the train was scary, but we did it! We finally got back to the hotel around 10 PM!

Sophie was a bit disappointed that she didn't get a new doll, so she kept taking Nellie from Emily. We ended up going to Target and buying her a "pretend" AG doll named Chelsea. She LOVED it and thought it was cool her doll came with a puppy and Em's and Hannah's didn't! It is so nice when they are 3 and can't read! And of course Chelsea has had her fair shair of $50 hairdos!
Blame it on our forefathers

During our trip to Chicago I came to the following conclusion: It is our forefathers fault that there are 15 Jacobs running around at every baseball game and 26 Emilys at ever dance competition.

Now how did I come to this conclusion? Well, because of the COMPLETE LACK of creativity involved in naming cities. Had our forefathers been more creative, then we as parents would have felt inspired to look beyond Jennifer and Jason.

My foggy brain remembers the following cities close to my hometown that we passed on our journey Roselawn (IN), Lebanon (IN), Aurora (IL), Batavia (IL), Frankfort (IN), Dayton (IN).

The funniest thing was as we pulled off of I-88 to go to the dance competition and saw the sign pointing towards Batavia. Hannah comments "We just drove 7 hours to end up 5 miles from our starting point" (Batavia OH is only minutes from Eastgate where our journey began).

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Pox Watch:

I found out this morning that the kids were most likely exposed to chicken pox on Wednesday evening and Grant was exposed to them again today, so we are beginning our pox watch!

When Em was little I tried exposing her to chicken pox 5 times in a two month period and she never got them. Since Grant was born we have only known one other family with them (and yes I tried to expose both him and Emily with no luck!). Brett and Hannah had them when they were little, but none of the other kids have had them. I would really like them to get the natural immunity to them, but for some reason my kids seem to be a bit more resistant to them than most!

My only fear is I will unknowingly carry the virus to my dad who is undergoing chemo for the multiple myeloma. He is undergoing therapy for his stroke at the Drake Center and I try to go down and visit with him at least every other day, sometimes some of the kids go with me. I am going to have to be hypervigilant about watching the kids for signs of the pox in a couple of weeks. The last thing we need is for him to get shingles!

Does anyone know if I can immune carry them to my dad? Would I have to have shingles myself to give them to him? I probably just won't take the little kids down to the hospital until our risk of infection is over!
The need for space.....

My dear pal Kas has been posting a lot in her journal lately about "space" and "living arrangements" as she gets her home ready for her new son. It got me thinking about another question/statement people tend to make when they find out that you have more than the typical 2.3 children. "Boy you must have a HUGE house. How many bedrooms do you have?". I tend to like the look they get on their face when I now answer "THREE".

The boys have the largest bedroom since eventually there will be 5 of them in there. The girls bedroom is in the middle sizewise since there are only 3 of them. Mine and Jay's is the smallest, since it need only hold our king size bed and a couple dressers! We don't need space on the floor to play polly pocket or WWE wrestling figures or for our lego creations to sprawl.

It seems that the majority of the people I encounter equate bedrooms with space. They also seem to believe that all children NEED their own bedrooms. I do think that people sometimes need SPACE, a place they can go to be alone, but why should that mean their own bedroom??? can be a nook in the family room, a playroom, a craft room, an office, the basement, the front porch, a deck. Sure it is great to have a place so the kids things are strewn everywhere...but what do toys/things have to do with sleep?

I believe that most people woudln't "chose" to sleep alone. How often do you run into another mom who might say "My husband is out of town, I just can't sleep." So it is "normal" for a 30+ year old woman to not want to sleep alone, but we should shove babies and toddlers into their "own" space? Doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense now does it?

Our kids have always graduated from our bed into a room with a sibling, usually the same bed as a sibling. They like the closeness, they feel safe. I love sneaking into their rooms in the morning and seeing the tangle of bodies. The choice of when it happens has been their own, usually it is in the months following the arrivial of their newest sibling (they discover it is quieter in another room).

My children realize that their friends with only one or two siblings usually have their own bedrooms. The times we have talked about it, the kids always come up with more negatives than positives about having their own rooms. Could be that they are such social creatures, that they are just used to having to share bed(room)s, that they don't like the idea of being alone? You could argue that they don't say they want their own rooms because they know it won't happen, but I disagree. I KNOW I can't have that 1960's mustang convertible, but that doesn't mean I don't drool over everyone I see!

Brett bugs me at least once or twice a week with the question of whether Will is sleeping through the night yet. He asks this because he knows when the answer is finally "yes" it means his baby brother will join the other boys in their bedroom. Will will be "one of the boys" and not the "baby". Brett hasn't quite yet figured out that mommy will be holding onto her baby as long as she can!

OK so I jumped from "space" to the family bed and cosleeping. Don't know that there is really a point here. Just my musings and ramblings.....
A Day in Will's life......

As Will's first year is quickly drawing to a close (just over a week and counting...SNIFF!) I thought it would be neat if I wrote down what a typical baby day is like. Wish I had thought to do it each month of his first year, it would have made for a nice entry in his scrapbook (lol, poor Will, his scrapbook is so far behind)...anyhow....

6 AM: Will wakes up and nurses, usually for about 45 minutes or so. I know at first it is out of HUNGER as he gulps, but later is it more about comfort and spending some quiet time with mom. Since he sleeps right next to me, he never crys when he wakes up, he just crawls up closer to me for boob access! He usually falls back asleep before 7 AM and sleeps until...

8:30 AM: Will gets up for the morning. He usually eats breakfast almost immediately. Breakfast is usually dry cereal (cheerios, Kix), fresh fruit (melon, apple, peaches) and/or yogurt. Except for the yogurt, he feeds himself. He has learned to sign "more" to get more food. After breakfast Will crawls off to play. At somepoint, I will snag him and get him dressed for the day. His favorite plaything right now (besides his penis) is any BALL and he likes to watch BABY EINSTEIN DVDs. Midmorning he will sometimes have a bottle of yogurt juice or watered down cranberry juice or if he finds me sitting someplace (like on the computer), will crawl into my lap to nurse..

Noon: Time for lunch. Will usually eats left overs from last nights dinner, so the meal can run the gammet from pizza to noodles and veggies. He also usually eats some kind of canned fruit/applesauce with lunch. Except for the applesauce, he feeds himself. He drinks water, cranberry juice or yogurt juice from his juicecup. After lunch, if weather permits, the girls usually take him for a walk often with a sidetrip to the park. Depending on how dirty he gets, he may get a bath when he gets home and puts on clean clothes. After the walk/bath he usually nurses for about 20 to 30 minutes and then goes down for his afternoon nap.

2:30-4:30: NAPTIME! If the day permits or if I am exhausted from being up the night before, I might even nap WITH Will! When he gets up from his nap, he usually has a snack...ricecakes are his favorite right now! When then pack up for our evening activities.

5 PM- 9 PM: This time of year, most days we are at the ballfields. We have games Mon, Wed, Fri and Saturdays (although Sat are mornings). He spends most of the time at the ballfields being held. Will LOVES being at the ballfields, although he has recently discovered the DIRT (which means another bath once he gets home). He usually is either holding a ball or a bat. On the nights we don't have baseball games, we usually walk down to park and play. The river is right next to the park and Will loves watching the kids throw rocks and seeing the ducks. He also LOVES the slides (and climbing up them the wrong way)He usually nurses at some point during the evening and may have a snack (crackers, ricecakes, whatever he can snag from one of his siblings).

9 PM: Dinner...Will eats whatever I make, although sometimes minus the meat. He LOVES noodles, rice, green beans, peas and corn. He feeds himself his dinner. Usually has water or yogurt juice from his juicecup. If he is dirty (from ballfields, park, dinner) one of the girls will give him a bath after he eats.

10 PM: Will plays with the other kids for a bit and around 10:30 will usually seek me out (crawl up in my lap) and DEMAND to nurse (this is quite vocal and invovles him pulling up my shirt and jabbering and signing "milk"). He usually nurses until about 11 PM. Depending on the night, he either nurses in the living room in the big chair or in bed. If I happen to still want to stay up, I go at this point and lay him in bed with Jay (he usually heads to bed by 10 PM). Obviously, if I am in bed, we usually just fall asleep with him still nursing.

Depending on if he is cutting teeth, battling a cold/has one of his odd fevers or had gotten ahold of red food dye during the day he will either sleep until about 5:30 or 6 AM or be up most of the night. Luckily if he is just needy, and wants to nurse, it isn't an issue, since he is right next to me and I can usually sleep some while he nurse. If he is overly fussy and needs to be up and out of bed, Jay will usually go out in the living room and sit with him and watch some movie on late night TV (the nice thing about a hubby who keeps an odd schedule and doesn't sleep!) One can NEVER predict which will happen!

He still has poopy diapers numerous times a day (sometimes I think this is because he is sensitive to a lot of food additives and of course corn just goes right through him), they are always soft, never hard/solid. We have not introduced cow's milk, as Em had a severe allergic reaction at 13 months, so I tend to avoid it until they are about 15 months old...but he tolerates yogurt and icecream, so I don't think it will be a problem!

He is right on the edge of being able to walk. We is so goofy. He can stand alone, but won't do it unless he is holding something (like a basketball or baseball bat). You would think holding a rather large object (compared to his tiny frame) would make it harder to stand! He only has days left to take his first step before his first birthday!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Comic Relief

Jay and I both agree that we think God send Cade to our family to provide comic relief. Not a day goes by that he doesn't make us laugh. Take this afternoon for instance. Cade was helping me make brownies....

Cade: God made trees to give us fruit and wood, right mom?
Me: Yes, and to help clean the air.
Cade: God made trees because he loves us right?
Me: Yes
Cade: God made everything right?
Me: Right
Cade: He made William right?
Me: Yes
Cade: And he made boys with weiners and girls without weiners. I don't know why he made girls with no weiners, he must have forgot.
Deadly Immunity:

Check out:

Since I tend to think "outside" what is considered to be the norm, I always get a kick out of it when I find something in the mainstream media that I actually agree with. Of course, then again, I always love a good conspiracy theory!

I strongly suspect my 7 year old, Jacob, has vaccine damage. Once I made the connection, not one more drop of vaccine entered ANY of my children.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Just another day.....

I actually managed to roll out of bed early enough this morning to go down and volunteer at Granny's Garden. I had ever intention of going down before today, but I kept getting up around 8 AM and knew it would be too hot by the time I got down there to do two hours of work. I quickly woke Hannah and Emily and we drove down to the garden. Granny wasn't there yet, but another, more seasoned volunteer got us started. There was this huge pile of mulch that had to be scooped into wheelbarrows and spread in the learning center area. Scooping up the mulch was too much for my still sore arm, so I most spread it with my feet once the girls got it dumped. I hope that our gardening time might help with Hannah's attitude, she was grumbling and complaining, saying she would pay the $40 fee for garden school (the fee is waved for volunteers) if I never made her come again. We spend the time talking about attitude and contributing and giving back. As we talked her mood seemed to improve. Eventually some of the kids that attend summer daycare at the school came out and Hannah loved that Granny let her "oversee" their work. I loved getting to talk with Granny, she seems to see things along the same lines that I do. The value of family, of being with your children, of respecting them. As we finished up with our time, she told the girls to gather bouquets of flowers to take home. She insisted I pick a bouquet also and I mentioned that I would take it down to my dad. She told me taht her mom had a stroke about 6 years ago and we shared some similiar experiences. I feel so blessed to have found this wonderful earthy caring soul! IF sending us home with boquets wasn't enough, she sent us home with a bunch of perrinnials, the girls plan to plant some here in the flowerbeds adn then surprise their grandma by planting some in her back garden (with dad in the hospital, her garden has been sadly neglected!).

We left the gardens and came home. Hannah and I both showered and then I ran her up to dance. After dropping her off, I went down to Drake to see my dad. I try to get down there as often as I can. When I walked into his room today he was in a wheelchair eating lunch. The only problem was he was feeding himself with his KNIFE! I am so grateful that I got ther before he managed to cut his tongue open (it has just healed from a deep cut he put in it while in ICU). We talked a bit and he told me that I had to have Thanksgiving dinner at my house this year because it would be too much work for mom...I agreed with him, the way one would with a child that they want to be quite. I brought down some pictures for the speech thearapist (Jenna) to use when working with him. I got a bit miffed when he said Cade and Jacob were two of the worst kids....he so mistakes their high enegy for being bad. In ways he reminds me of his dad (my grandfather) who always paced around after my brother and I making sure we didn't break anything. He equates good with quiet...and that is one thing my boys aren't! I ended up spending about 3 hours down there, it is so hard to leave him when he is awake...he looks at you with these big sad eyes! A HUGE storm rolled through and the sounds seemed to lull him to sleep, so I snuck out as the storm subsided.

I got home to see that I had missed a call from my friend Kas. I called her back and her husband, David, answered the phone. I was completely taken aback (he has never answered the phone in the 2 years I have been calling there)....He must have said "hello" 3 times before I asked for Kas. AMAZINGLY, she was AWAKE and we got to spend about an hour talking (such a privledge with busy babies and toddlers). She is so excited, they may be adopting a WONDERFUL neighboy, Darren. They are hoping that his grandfather (who has custody of him) might be willing to let them adopt him because he is having trouble controlling him. This is a sweet kid, who would thrive with a little more attention and less medication!I head this HAPPINESS in Kas voice today that I don't think I have heard before. I keep praying it will work out. Darren couldn't find a nicer family! We will have to plan an adoption shower when everything is finalized!!

The girls found out they got jobs as propmaasters in the local play. Em seemed quite relieved that she wouldn't have to sing on stage...Hannah seemed a bit disappointed. They went to the first meeting tonight, we will see how it goes once they get home.

Jacob has his first game in the end of the year coachpitch tournament tonight up at Tealtown at 8:30 PM. They get to play under the lights! Jay took him up to his game and Grant and Cade decided to tag along. Brett is busy watching some movie holding Will and Sophie is napping. I am enjoying the quiet!

Tomorrow we go back to Garden School. Can't wait to see what we do this week!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Eight is enough????????

Saturday when I was at the bank trying to straighten out a mistake with my checking account, the young woman (OK turns out she was only 3 years younger than me, but somehow not having children makes a woman LOOK so much younger!) who was helping me said something which made me respond with an answer that revealed I had 8 children. She was in utter shock and then started into the typical litany of questions I often old are they? many boys? girls? how old am I? Am I married to their day? Did I always want that many kids? and the BIG ONE....are you planning to have more?

Years ago, back on baby 4 or 5, I would always answer "If the Lord choses to send us more, I will embrace them with open arms." After my horrible pregnancy with Will and the resulting aftermath that left him in NICU on C-PAP my new mantra soon became "Eight is enough." and to myself would say I am tired, I worry about the energy I can give to each child I already have. Once the trauma of his birth passed, I revised my answer and would say "I don't think my body can handle another pregnancy, but if the Lord sees fit to send me a baby another way, I will gladly raise it."

On Saturday, when I gave her that response, for the first time I was sad. I have been sad ever since, I suppose mourning the thought of not carrying another child. I know a lot of it has to do with Will's impending 1st birthday, just over 2 weeks away. Some of it has to do with feeling "too old" to carry another pregnancy (I know many of you would disagree that 36 is certainly not too old...sideways glance at my pal Kas). Honestly, there is nothing keeping me from getting pregnant again.....well other than the fact that my cycles haven't returned yet and Will is such an avid nurser. We aren't "careful" and Jay refuses to take any permanent measures...I suppose it could happen, but I just have the strongest feeling that it won't....does that make any sense?

Maybe it is having teens that makes me feel this way. Last night the girls went down to the local theater to try out for a play (well actually a musical, we didn't realize that, my girls aren't singers!) and I watched this adorable 17 year old boy fall all over my 13 year old daughter (she looks older than 13 but she quickly made sure he knew her age! It didn't seem to deter him!)...maybe just maybe that has added to me feeling "past my prime".

There is really no point to this entry...just my rambling....heck the last time I was this sappy about not being pregnant (my birthday in Nov 2003), those two little lines appeared on the stick not even 2 weeks that better not happen....I guess I should be careful what a lament over!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

You Are 50% Normal
(Somewhat Normal)

While some of your behavior is quite normal...
Other things you do are downright strange
You've got a little of your freak going on
But you mostly keep your weirdness to yourself

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Will at 11 months! My baby is growing up too quickly! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Granny's Garden School, Inc.
Summer in Granny's Garden

On the grounds of the Loveland Primary & Elementary School
550-600 Loveland-Madeira Road

The summer series is once a week for 8 weeks. The registration fee is $40 per family plus a $5 supply fee for each family member. Bring a friend special - If you are not planning to bring children, bring a friend and you will be charged the family rate.

There are two sessions to chose from, morning and evening. Wednesday morning 9-11 a.m., June 8th - July 27 or Thursday evening, 7-9 p.m., June 9th - July 28. Participants are welcome to pick a bouquet after each class.

The summer program is a family experience with parents and children working and learning together. Each class is a combination of gardening and craft experiences. Participants learn to press flowers, propagate mums, build garden structures and cook with herbs among other activities. Woodworking is almost as much a part of the summer program as gardening. The first thing we do is build garden boxes. We use these for lots of things including sitting on while weeding the gardens. The summer program is a great way to make new friends and spend time with old ones and make special memories with your children.

A variety of gardening and craft activities, including:
Planting a vegetable garden

How to grow annuals and perennials from seed
Exploring the nature trail and the creatures that live there
Planting a fall garden
Seed saving
Starting mums and other plants from cuttings (water - soil)
Planting a sunflower garden
Harvesting produce
Building a garden box

Garden photography
Pressing flowers
Drying flowers
Making a cutting jar
Glass painting
Flower arranging
Concrete leaf casting

Today was our first adventure in Granny's Garden. Hannah, Grant, Jacob, Cade, Sophie and I went down to the elementary school and met Granny and the other families and dove into the activities. We seperated zinnia seeds and planted them, planted sunflowers, cut and pressed flowers (using a phonebook) and cut our own boquets to take home. Everyone seemed to have a really good time, despite it being VERY HOT! We can't wait to go back next week. I snapped some pictures, still can't find the cable to hook the camera up to the computer, but when I do, I will share the pictures with everyone!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Beach Waterpark

We spent the better park of Sunday, a good portion of Monday and some of Tuesday at a local waterpark called THE BEACH.

William LOVES the water! He started splashing in it immediately. What amazed me most was that he actually left his sunhat on the ENTIRE time we were at the waterpark. He loves playing with those swishy squirty toys, he carries them around in his mouth. I took some pictures of him with a waterproof camera, I hope they turn out! And knock on wood, I have managed to have him in the sun for over 13 hours and HAVEN'T gotten him SUNBURNT! Unfortunately I can't say the same for Brett....he left putting sunblock on his back up to Grant,not a good can see one vertical and one horizontal line where Grant attempted to smear some on!

Sophie surprised me with how "brave" she was, getting in the water, putting her face in, playing in the kid play area. Such a change from the clingy child she was last year.

Cade is putting his face underwater this year and LOVES playing in the kid area. He even ventured into the wavepool, I couldn't believe it! He is usually the most cautious of the kids, reluctant to try new things. He has to wear goggles the entire time he is at the waterpark.

The little ones love SPLASH MOUNTAIN with its inner tube rapids, a water flume, a belly-flopping slide, and an oversized children's pool. Both Sophie and Cade call the inner tube rapids the "Little Miami"...or in Sophie's vocabulary the "MY" is HERS....when you ask her if she wants to go to the "Little Miami" she will so "go to MY ami, not your ami". She cracks me up!

Jacob, Grant, Emily, Hannah and Brett have been hitting all the slides/rides. The park has been pretty empty (except for Sunday) so there have been no lines. It is so nice to have the place practically to yourself!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Altered Book Opportunity
Thursday June 2 7PM
Ridiman Home, Newport KY

Kas Ridiman has offered her home for anyone who would like to work on an altered book this Thursday (6-2) evening from 7 PM -10 PM (although people are welcome to leave earlier or hang out later). Please bring a snack to share, Kas will be providing beverages. Also, if you are so inclined, the hot tub is available for use, so bring a swimsuit and towel.

What to bring for working on your book: altered books (any hardback book you would like to alter), any stamps/stickers/craft items you would like to use or to share, adhesive, scissors, old magazines for cutting up, etc. There will be plenty of paper, paint and misc supplies available to be shared! There will also be The Angel Company Catalog available for looking through as they have some wonderful sets on sale this month (no pressure to buy, just the opportunity if you are so inclined!).

If you would like more info on altered books, check out this website:

If you would like to see The Angel Company catalog online, check out this website:

Contact Kas Ridiman at or Laura Riesenberg at with any questions.
Grant's 2nd half baseball schedule:

In Knothole, the kids play half of the season and then the teams are redistributed according to their record. Because we went 8-0 in the first half, we now play the toughest teams the remainder of the season. The boys automatically make it into the county tournament and if we finish in the top 3 in the division we can also play in the city tournament. It should be fun to see how we do!

Saturday June 4 vs. Batavia Cougars @ Batavia team drinks: Richey

Wednesday June 8 vs. NR Stingers @ Tealtown team drinks: Riesenberg

Saturday June 11 vs. Milford Storm @ Tealtown team drinks: Stegman

Monday June 13 vs. Tealtown Thunder @ Tealtown team drinks: Vance

Wednsday June 15 vs. Tealtown Scorpions @ Tealtown team drinks: Alldred

Saturday June 18 vs. Amelia Dodgers @ Tealtown team drinks: Gabriele

Wednesday June 22 vs. Amelia Red Sox @ Amelia team drinks: Hartman

Saturday June 25 BYE

Wednesday June 29 vs. CNE Swarm @ CNE team drinks: Hehemann

We need to know ASAP if/when any families will be vacationing in June.

We need to know ASAP if/when any families will be vacationing in July. The city tournament tournament starts July 5th and the county tournament starts July 9th. We can not enter these tournaments if we do not have enough players to field a team.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Wednesday, June 1, 2005;10 AM and 11 AM:
Park Program: Pond Exploring (all ages) + TEEN GET TOGETHER (see end of email)Woodland Mound Park

I wrote: Remember, my family plans to picnic and go the the water play area (frisbee golf for the teens) after the program! Please stay and play with us!

There is nothing like exploring the pond in the spring! Put on your play clothes and your boots/watershoes and join us as we explore one of the many ponds at Woodland Mound. Meet at the Seasongood Nature Center. The naturalist will present a short program, and then take us to muck up the pond. The program is FREE!

The following families are assigned to the following timeslot: 10 AM: Fetters, Bayes, Braswell11 AM: Riesenberg, Ridiman, Webel, Hensley, Leland, Ballman

According to the weather channel, it looks like a gorgeous day! We will picnic and hit the waterpark or the playground after our hike. Program held rain or shine!

Attention TEENS...any teen that would like to come and HANG OUT and PLAY at the park but doesn't want to attend the pond program, plan to meet us at NOON for lunch and then if you would like, the teens can go and play frisbee golf while the younger kids hit the water area and playground. Brett and Hannah would LOVE to have you join them!Teens attending: Brett and Hannah , Veronica, Christopher, and Anthony , Sarah, Mandy , and Braswells

The pond exploring trip ended up being even more exciting than usual! When we pulled into the park we noticed a local police cruiser (unusual since all you usally see are the park rangers) and then as we pulled up to the nature center we saw a state patrol car. Hannah and I both wondered what was going on. We quickly found out as we tried to exit our van...there was a "fugitive" in the woods. Initially we were told he was armed, but we soon learned he wasn't...that he had been involved in a burgarly and had fled on foot when his car was stopped. The helicopter was circling overhead and they had scent dogs on his trail. Needless to say, the pond program was delayed just a bit!

Once we got to start the program (the fugitive fled west of the park) we had a usual good time with our naturalist friend, Trina. The pond was unusually low (thanks to some construction) so the kids got QUITE MUDDY whiling mucking in the pond looking for critters. Will decided that the program was a nursingfest and nursed the entire hour we were attending. They had a great time. Once we finished exploring the pond, we hosed off, grabbed our lunch and headed to the wet play area for some fun......the teens went to play frisbee golf (and took Will with them) and everyone else played on the wet playground. Sophie and Cade had a BLAST! We ended up staying at the park until almost 3 PM.

Unfortunately Em was sick and stayed home.....hopefully she will be feeling better soon!