Tuesday, September 29, 2009

snips and snails and puppy dogs tails

My niece Dayna found out she's having another boy in January. Her baby boy, Evan will be turn "1" in January. I can see these 2 little boys being best buds. It will be like having twins.....Isn't she a pretty momma?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Fun Day at the Zoo

Yesterday I took a vacation day from work and Steph, Gray, Abby, Ivy and I headed for Chicago Lincoln Park Zoo. I packed a bag with some of their favorite snacks (it's a grandma thing). It was a perfect weather day with an overcast and very warm. There were signs of fall, with the trees starting to turn their rustic colors and falling leaves along our path, some of the leaves were huge. We didn't get to see our friend, Lee, the polar bear. The exhibit was closed, but Gray & Ivy posed for a picture.My camera is not the sharpest, but these are zebra's. Trust me, they did have black and white stripes.

See the BIG giraffe in the background? The ostrich didn't get in the picture. Abby is holding tight to her container of chips.

After lunch we let the 3 cousins run off some energy in the park area. Ivy thought she was as big as Gray & Abby.
Gray and Abby had a discussion over their rice K treat. They were so cute together. We ate lunch at their food court and I must say, for Zoo food, it's the best! Steph and I had a chicken, veggie panini. The kids had chicken strips with fries, but were more interested in the dessert.
Abby was trying to find Nemo in this HUGE fish tank....still holding tight to her chips.
Ivy, Abby & Gray in the African Rain Forest looking at a waterfall. They enjoyed hanging on to the netting.

This was in the Ape house......You ask, where are the monkeys? They are standing looking into the glass....Actually there were lots of apes and monkeys but the pictures I took didn't turn out so good. Luckily Steph took some good pictures with her camera.
A perfect day. No cares. 3 out of 6 grand kids to love on. I could actually go to the zoo on a weekly basis. Abby & Gray were best buds! And very well behaved! Steph will be posting much better pictures, I'm sure, so check out her blog.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Friday night around the chimenea

Last Friday evening after work was a nice, quiet time sitting with hubby around his new toy...the Chimenea. He was looking forward to this all week. We have lots of wood to burn and it really makes him happy to sit around a fire and relax. I sat with a blanket on my lap and our 2 doxie dogs. We talked about our week and just enjoyed one another's company. I looked up and even saw a few stars in the sky. It's the simple things in life that make us happy. That's him in the background burning tree stumps. We had a tree growing on our fence making it lean.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mice, mice everywhere!

You have probably heard my story about our mice problem, well I have a topper to tell you about. First of all, when we had cats years ago, we never had a mice problem. We had to get rid of the cats, due to allergies. We have a large field behind our house and our friendly little field mice love our house. They love to steal the dry dog food out of the bowl and hide it in places that are not normal. We have found mounds of dog food under sofa cushions, hubby's work boots and even under the clean clothes on top of the dryer. This dog food is not cheap! It can only be bought at a Pet Store. I can just picture these mice, sitting back with a toothpick in their mouths and laughing.
So, yesterday, hubby was in the garage working on a project when he yelled for me to come and look.......I could not believe my eyes....in the drawer of his Craftsman tall toolbox, which had the drawer pulled out, was a mommy mouse in a nest she had made and 4 or 5 babies were attached to her. She looked out at us with her beady eyes and just sat there. Hubby went to get a bucket and gloves to scoop them out of there but she decided to get outta dodge....She jumped about 4 feet to the ground with the babies attached and they ran behind some wood in our messy garage. I saw her peek her head out from behind the wood but we weren't able to catch her.
We did catch 3 inside the house this weekend with glue traps and we have poison packets from a pest control place under the house and in the attic. We do put the dog bowl up every night now because that's when they do their grazing and hiding food.
So, when I get in and out of my van in the garage, I run to the door until momma mouse and babies are caught. Help! The mice are taking over!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

We will miss you Mary

" All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go, I'm standin here outside your door, I hate to wake you up to say goodbye, but the dawn is breakin it's early morn, taxi's waitin he's blowin his horn, already I'm so lonesome I could die....So kiss me and smile for me, Tell me that you'll wait for me, Hold me like you'll never let me go, cause I'm leavin on a jet plane, Don't know when I'll be back again, Oh babe, I hate to go..............."
I grew up on Peter, Paul & Mary. My kids grew up listening to Peter, Paul & Mary. We play their music for our grand-children to listen to.
Mary passed away yesterday. We were fortunate to have seen them in concert several times. I can remember as a little girl singing their songs and especially, "Leaving on a Jet Plane". I loved their harmony. Their folk style was so rare and special. My hubby's favorite way to relax is listening to all of their hits while lying back in his lazy boy. I can hear my hubby right now, singing "Puff the Magic Dragon", "If I had a Hammer", "The Answer is Blowing in the Wind"......so many wonderful songs....Thanks Mary, we will miss you!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Ivy LaRue!

One year ago a little Princess was born and her name is Ivy LaRue. I will never forget the early morning of Sept. 15, 2008.
It all started on the evening before when Steph called me to come over because her water broke and she was in labor. She chose to have a homebirth. I walk in her door after a 20 min. drive and there she was, standing at the island in the kitchen, all smiles, timing her contractions as she was finishing up the beer bread she made along with other munchies to snack on while at the Labor/Delivery party we were about to have. She had called her midwife, Lynda, who was on her way over. Oh, I forgot to mention that I drove through a storm and flooding to get to her house and ignored road closures, driving thru rivers. We were told to stay indoors and no one should be out driving. Well, nothing was going to stop this Mimi! I would have rented a boat if I had to. After Lynda arrived, driving thru the same flood, we started munching and visiting. Steph mentioned that she wanted to rent the movie "Baby Mama" while she finished laboring, so, I headed to Blockbuster. She even called ahead to see if they had it, so when I walked in, the clerk asked me who I was and I said my daughter is in labor and called to see if they could hold this movie. She was so excited and asked me Stephs name and pulled it up on the computer, since I didn't have a rental card. Well, Stephs mom-in-laws name came up and she said, that's good enough and told me to go. She didn't even ask for I.D. We did return it the next day, so she didn't have to pay a late fee.
When I got back with the movie, the boys, minus Gray were in bed all tucked in. We all headed downstairs to watch the movie. I will never forget, I sat beside Lynda, not knowing that this angel of a lady would forever change my mind about homebirth and educate me in the hours to come. Steph was across the room in a comfy chair and would get up during the movie every now and then to move back and forth while laboring, not an ouch or groan, just working through each contraction while laughing at this movie. When the movie was over, Steph said it was time to labor upstairs in her bedroom by herself. Lynda sat in a comfy chair at the bottom of the stairs with ears directed towards Steph's bedroom. I layed on the couch with Gray at my side across from Lynda. The whole house was quiet as a mouse. The peace that I felt was hard to describe. I was not nervous, scared or worried for my daughter who was upstairs about to deliver a baby with no medical team. I knew that God was with her and everything was under control. Of course she did have hubby with her in the room, praying and being a comfort when needed during the last hours of labor. Then all of a sudden, about 1:15 am. Steph, very elegantly yelled out, I think I'm ready, or something like that. Lynda lead the way up the stairs while I followed. By this time, Gray was fast asleep, or so we thought......(at one point during the night he was in his firetruck bed and wanted his laboring mom to climb in with him).......(he woke up right before the birth and Jeff quickly put him back to bed), so he almost witnessed his sister being born.
When we walked into the bedroom, Steph was swaying back and forth, bent at the waist holding on to the side of the bed. Within about 5 min. she decided that she wanted to kneel down at the foot of her bed on the floor, so she directed us to lay down the towels that were neatly stacked in preparation. We thought all along that she would give birth in her bed, as she did prepare it beforehand, but things changed. As she got on all fours, I was at the front and Jeff and Lynda were at the back. She felt the need to push and I will never forget kneeling there with my daughter, holding her shoulders and giving her the leverage to give birth. I was never so proud of her as I was at that moment. It is so hard to describe the love and closeness I felt. As Lynda directed her with each push and how to not arch her back and relax, out she came. Ivy was born. A dainty cry. Steph asking if she was for sure a girl. Lynda handed her through the front like a football and Steph was in Awe. Lynda asked Jeff if he wanted to cut the chord and he passed on it and she turned to me and asked if I wanted to cut the chord, and I didn't hesitate. I cut my grand-daughter's lifeline to her mommy. And I did it by flashlight and candles flickering in the background. After the birth, I scooped up all of the towels and Stephs clothes and put them in a bag, which I later did the laundry. The floor was clean, no signs of what had taken place. We watched Lynda weigh and measure Ivy and check her out. She checked Steph out and not too soon after, Steph was able to shower and crawl into her comfy bed with her bundle beside her.
Lynda and I went downstairs to let them get acquainted and rest. I watched and listened to Lynda at the table as she was cleaning the few instruments that were used and neatly wrapping and placing back in her bag as she told me stories of how she became a midwife. I remember having so much respect for this lady and felt so privileged to know her and to assist her in the birth of Ivy. She asked me if I wanted to see the placenta before wrapping it up. I was very hesitant and said NO...then....I thought, I will never have this chance again, so why not. I have always been a squeamish person, not being able to watch surgical procedures on t.v. but this was different. This was my grand-daughters home for 9 months and her lifeline to my daughter, something I could not pass up. So, I said, Yes, I want to see it. OMG....it was amazing. Lynda explained everything and what she was looking at and for and how it tells the story. I could actually see the tree of life and branches leading out everywhere as she pointed it all out. I had a crash course and felt so much knowledge. So, after this lesson, to which I was very grateful for, I left Lynda to finish up her midwife duties.
As the sun was rising, the boys would be waking up and one by one going in to see their new sister that was born in the next room while they slept. Comments were made, like "She is so cute", It was like Christmas morning. A child was born. Another miracle took place. All on a bedroom floor. No outbursts of yelling or screaming. Peace and quiet. God was there. It was perfect because school was cancelled due to the flooding, so the boys got to spend time with their new sister. A lot has happened since the birth one year ago. Our sweet, precious Lynda lost her battle with breast cancer and has gone on to her new home in Heaven. She is surrounded by babies who left this earth too early. She is cradling them in her arms, taking care of them until their parents get there. Thanks Lynda, you taught me so much and are so missed!
Happy Birthday sweet Ivy!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ivy's Birthday Celebration

Yesterday was Ivy's 1st Birthday Celebration. She will turn 1 on Sept. 15. We had a top of the line party. Here are some pictures to show the fun that was had.
She had the most adorable tu tu outfit on and was carrying around her lovey (monkey).

Look at that cute tush!
She's looking at her special cupcake being such a little lady, not to be too messy.


My beautiful children, Steph & Nate, with their beautiful daughter's Ivy & Abby.
Party complete with Ivy's own Castle! There was a lot of jumping going on. The boys cried when it had to be taken down and returned. It was a BIG hit with everyone.
Jack was enjoying the party, laying back taking it all in....on great grandma's lap.
Abby enjoyed her cupcake. She was in dreamland.
Noah had his eye on the cupcake he would choose. Isn't he so handsome?
Carter lost another tooth and was so proud. Gray is looking over at the castle thinking he would be right back to jump, after inhaling his cupcake.
Uncle Nate is our overgrown kid. He had as much fun as the kids jumping around in the Castle.
An ending to a perfect party. Great weather, great food, special Birthday Girl!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

the road is long, but final destination is worth it

As many of you know from following my blog, I am always struggling with weight issues. I had a doctor appointment last week because I couldn't get my blood pressure meds refilled without a doctor visit. I am on 1 water pill per day for the high blood pressure. Well, this was one of the best doctor visits I've ever had with my lady doctor. She spent a lot of time with me asking questions about my eating habits and tried to dig deep into the issues I have with being an emotional eater. She really, sincerely wants to help me lose the weight to have a healthier life and not have the knee problems or diabetes in the years to come, which runs in the family. She wants me to lose it slow over the next 2 years and the goal she set for me is very realistic. She wants me to write down everything I eat for 6 weeks and come back to see her. She said I needed the accountability. I also have to keep track of my blood pressure daily. She wants me to exercise 3 times per week. I left there feeling like someone really does care about me and believes in me. Why can't I believe in me? Why is it so hard for me to do? I think I like myself enough to want to take care of myself. I have so much to live for. So, I have a journal started to write down everything I eat and I write down my blood pressure at different times of the day. I have to confess though, that I didn't write down the many pumpkin & apple cinnamon donuts I ate over the weekend. The scale will tell all, so I have some work ahead of me. No more donuts! I have even decided to try out the local Jazzercise class with my neighbor. I will try again! 6 weeks will be here before I know it.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day

Happy Labor Day! I do work hard for the money but I'm not as buff as she looks. I do appreciate what today stands for. I was invited to a big Labor Day party at a friends house, but not sure If I will go. Hubby wants to just relax and enjoy the quiet of the day. For once, we don't have plans. Have you ever had a dozen ideas in your head and can't decide on one of them? That's how my head feels. I want to be with family and friends today, but my body and mind are tired and need that quiet time. Working a full time job outside the home at my age is starting to wear on me. My weekends are spent, as everyone else's is, on trying to play catch up on housework and duties that you are too tired to do during the week. And now, with being a grand-parent, I would rather spend the time with the little geese waddling around at my feet. So, we will see how this day will unfold, as it is still early. I hope everyone enjoys the day and hope you have it off.

Friday, September 4, 2009


My great niece, Madigan and great nephew, Corbin on our trip this summer to the beach. When you are cooped up in a vehicle for 7 hours, you will resort to any kind of entertainment. I thought this was a perfect picture for today.....to celebrate a 3 day weekend. Happy Friday!