Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Crossing The Finish Line

I'm almost finished with my "100 Things About Me List." And it only took me 3 months.

Slow and steady wins the race.

Except when blogging. Because blogging isn't a race, so who am I kidding?

But it sounded so much better than say "lazy and procrastinating wins the race."

DRUM ROLL PLEASE......... "100 THINGS ABOUT ME" (91-100):

91. I am a natural redhead (but not as red as when I was younger-ish.)

92. I have freckles (but not as many as when I was younger-ish.)

93. I don't tan. I can burn really good but I don't tan. It's the Irish in me.

94. I am 5' 8" tall.

95. You couldn't drag my weight out of me even if you bribed me with 2 lbs. of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.

96. Well maybe you could.

97. But I would just lie to you anyway, so what's the point?

98. Except that I would have scammed you for 2 lbs. of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.

99. And I LOVE white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.

100. So, do you want to know how much I weigh? Show me the cookies and you've got yourself a deal!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

You're Never Too Old (At Least That's What Gets Me Through Day)

I babysat for three of my sister Jenn's children Saturday night. Her Nicholas is two and half years older than Beb and her Natalie is just nine weeks younger than Al. Her youngest, Thomas the Tank Engine, is 9 months old with a toothless grin that would melt even the coldest heart. He's so stinkin' cute!

Let's just say my ovaries hurt now.

And hurting ovaries at age 41, kind of painful......just sayin'.

"100 THINGS ABOUT ME" (81-90):

81. I never thought much about having children when Ray and I were first married. I was only 25 at the time and thought we had plenty of time for baby making. But time flies when you're having fun.

82. Nine years later, at age 34, I became a mother with the birth of our son Benjamin.

83. In cat years, that's really old.

84. Two years later, our daughter was born.

85. For those of you doing the math, I was 36 when Alexandria was born.

86. Our boy. Our girl. We were complete.

87. Until I was staring down the backside of 39. Can you say 'tick tock'?

88. So, after much discussion (and by discussion, I mean me relentlessly asking Ray if we could have another baby and him responding that we are too old - tell me something I don't know Cowboy), we finally realized that we didn't want to have any regrets if we didn't at least try for a few months. I prayed to God that if we were meant to have another baby, I would embrace that. If He had different plans for us, I would accept and embrace that also.

89. Two months after my 40th birthday, I became pregnant. Seeing those two little lines was so exciting! It was such a happy moment for our family.

90. In my 11th week of pregnancy, I had a miscarriage. The excitement and happiness of earlier weeks was replaced with the kind of pain and heartache that I thought would never end. But with God as the calm in our storm, the pain eventually did ease. And although we never got to hold our baby, look into his or her beautiful eyes or hear that beautiful cry, we are comforted by the knowledge that someday we will. Before becoming pregnant, I prayed to God that I would embrace another baby - and I did. I also prayed to God that I would accept His decision if He had other plans - and I have. For now.

But as we know, God has a sense of humor and can throw you a curve ball even if you didn't know you were up to bat! At age 41, I don't know if God will bless us with another baby. Sometimes, I pray that He does and other times I know I am CRAZY for even praying for such chaos that a newborn baby is sure to create. Hello? Poo poo diapers, bottles, spit-up, bath time, teething, drooling......

But on the other hand, poo poo diapers, bottles, spit-up, bath time, teething, drooling......

Thursday, September 17, 2009

$aving Dollar$

After dropping Beb off at school this morning, Al asked if we could see if there were any garage sales today. I told her yes, letting her believe she came up with this grand idea. Little did she know, I was already planning on hunting for garage sales before we even left the house. This way, she thinks Mommy agreed to do something super fun today, when all along I couldn't wait to find that perfect treasure.

Score one for Pajama Mama.

So later today, when I ask her to do the laundry, wash the dishes and scrub the toilets, I will have some ammunition to work with.

"But hon, Mommy took you to garages sales today and bought you a Beanie Baby, a Halloween coloring book, a plastic Hello Kitty watch and 2 Mardi Gras bead necklaces.....remember?"

Guilt. It's a beautiful thing.

Not that I would make my sweet 5 year old daughter do laundry or wash dishes because I bought her exactly seventy cents worth of fun at a garage sale.

But she loves to scrub toilets. And what else is she going to do when I'm watching "The View?"

"100 THINGS ABOUT ME" (61-80):

61. I love garage sales.

62. That bares repeating.

63. I. Love. Garage. Sales.

64. It's in my blood. When I was growing up, my Mom was the Queen of Garage Sales (a title that I'm pretty sure trumps the Miss America title.)

65. My Mom's garage sale smackdowns are legendary in the south suburbs.

66. She tells tales of stuffing a paper grocery sack until it was overflowing with summer clothes for my younger sister and paying just $1 for the ENTIRE bag of contents. Can you even imagine?

67. And don't get me started on all of the Barbie furniture and accessories that she managed to scope out for just pennies.

68. When it came to saving money, she was a woman with a mission.

69. She also was the Coupon Queen. Much like Queen of Garage Sales, she earned this title because of her knack of clipping coupons and buying $500 worth of groceries for like seventeen dollars and twenty-four cents. I kid you not.

70. She even taught classes at a local college about all the ways to save money from clipping coupons and published a smart monthly newsletter called "$aving Dollar$."

71. To this day, I sometimes still dream about the piles of Banquet dinner cartons and Campbell's soup labels, which were all saved for the valuable UPC codes to send in for rebates.

72. My Mom became an honest-to-goodness celebrity when she was invited to appear on the television show "AM Chicago," to share her adventures in money saving.

73. And as we all know, AM Chicago is now know as a little show called "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

74. I know.

75. So now I have no choice but to seek out those garage sale "gotta have it" deals.

76. I mean who can pass up a twenty-five cents coffee mug with "Foxy Mama" painted on it?

77. Not me. And I don't even drink coffee.

78. Even the clearance racks at K-Mart never know what hit 'em. I show no mercy on Halloween candy. Even if it is January.

79. What? Chocolate has a long shelf life.

80. And thanks to my Mom, I now know that a family of 6 can survive on $1.94 a week, if need be.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

First Love

The 11th season of Big Brother ended tonight. I am heartbroken. It ended all too soon. What will I do every Tuesday night at 8:00 and every Thursday and Sunday nights at 7:00? Why Big Brother? Why did it have to end? Was there someone else? I gave you everything Big Brother. We were together a long time and shared a lot over the years. I will truly miss our special time together.

Until next week when the new season of Survivor begins.

Anyhoo, with much anticipation, I give you more stuff about me.

"100 THINGS ABOUT ME" (51-60):

51. I have a serious problem. It's hard to admit but today I come clean.

52. My name is Valerie and I am a reality tv addict. Oh, the shame.

53. It all started about 9 years BK (before kids) when hubby and I were able to watch tv shows that didn't involve a yellow sponge named Bob or a backpack toting explorer.

54. Little did I know, back in 2000, I was about to begin a roller coaster relationship with a little showed called "Big Brother."

55. Strangers living in a house for 3 months, with no connection to the outside world, voting to evict houseguests out every week? And we can watch their every move?

56. What is this madness you speak of CBS?

57. What would be the harm in watching one episode? After 5 minutes, I was hooked. How could I not be? I tuned in every episode to see Jamie single handily bring back the lip gloss revolution, to see one legged Eddie hobble across the backyard screaming "Don't be a hater!" and to see Chicken George being, well, Chicken George. Big Brother and I were a match made in heaven.

58. As I watched throughout the next several seasons, I often wondered how I would do if I were rooming in the Big Brother house with the likes of Dr. Wil, Mike Boogy, Cowboy, Janel and Evil Dick.

59. I'm pretty I would be crying within the first hour. People can be so cruel in the Big Brother house.

60. Well, that AND seeing the pool in the backyard and remembering that I would probably be required to wear a swimsuit on national television at some point. This would send me running back into the house crying, begging Big Brother for only fully clothed HOH and VETO competitions. This would not go over well with the other guests because they're young and they don't have stretch marks. Then they all gang up on me because I am the old lady in the house who is cramping their style. Then the unspeakable happens. I am the first one evicted from the Big Brother house. Oh, the horror.

Makes me want to apply for next season.

Gotta love that reality tv drama.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

41-50....I'm too tired to come up with a more creative title.

"100 THINGS ABOUT ME" (41-50):

41. I am tired.

42. Very tired.

43. Beb was sick with a cold and cough combo (say that 10 times fast) last week and missed school on Friday. He then passed the torch to Al, who generously passed the torch to my hubby Ray and me.

44. Kids are generous like that.

45. Since I am not feeling my usually perky self, I plan on napping most of the day with Al while Beb is doing his thing at school.

46. So today will be pretty much like every other day.

47. Oh, it's a joke.

48. I don't take a nap every other day.

49. I nap EVERY day.

50. What? Like you don't. OK. You probably don't but don't act like you don't want to. Honesty, that's all I'm asking from you.

So, I'm off to rest.

And when you are out saving the world or whatever it is you are doing today, think of me napping all "snuggley" with Al.

Sweet dreams, y'all.

Yes, I am suddenly from Texas. That's how tired I am.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Chasing the Crown

Yes, one week has passed since my last post. Yes, I need to get more motivated at posting every day (or least every other day!) And yes, I bring you more exciting and useless facts about me.

"100 Things About Me" (31-40):

31. I entered my first pageant when I was a senior in high school.

32. According to "Toddlers and Tiaras," I was a late bloomer. Basically over the hill at age 18.

33. My first attempt at a pageant title was in the '80's at the Miss Illinois T.E.E.N. Pageant.

34. T.E.E.N. was an acronym for Teens Encouraging Excellence Nationally.

35. If by "excellence", they meant a 2.9 grade point average and star of the badminton team, then I was sure to win!

36. Sadly, that is so not what they meant by excellence (sadly, I was also not the star of the badminton team so much as a second string player but in my mind I WAS the star.)

37. I guess being in the honor society, president of student council, captain of the cheerleading squad and working weekends to help save the world was more what they had in mind.

38. Who knew?

39. The judges, that's who.

40. Needless to say, my name was not called out as a Top 15 finalist.

And on that downer down memory lane, I bid you all a great day!