Sunday, June 25, 2006

Blast from the past . . .

Wow. I got an email today from an old friend that I recently got back in touch with. She told me about a mutual friend's effort to get all of us back together by doing a site where we could post some old pictures. I have spent HOURS on this site today checking out old friends and reliving some very fond memories. You can check out the site here if you happen to be so inclined. Now I am anxiuos to dig out some old photos I have and post them as well. Here are a couple of gems of me from when I was MUCH younger. 20 years can seem so long ago and just like yesterday at the same time.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I wanna live in the dark . . .

I got home from work and behold . . . NO ELECTRICTY. A tree fell a street over and took the powerlines with it. Not only that, but it pulled the electrical lines "plum-outta" the back of my house leaving my house ungrounded. They had to turn off the power to the whole block. I took my kids to my mom's house to play, eat and swim. We are staying the night as we still don't have full power. Robert has some pics over at his blog if you would like to check them out.

Have mercy on me . . .

Massive storms haved rolled into our area with more thunder and vicious lightning. We have a tree in front of our house that has been loosing large limbs for the past couple of years since being hit by lightning. One limb demolished the back of our van last summer.

I just talked to Robert. He said the tree is waving like you wouldn't believe. I have had the Parks & Rec Department come out and look at it several times. They refuse to cut it down because it is a historical tree, and they say it is sound. Historical my butt, it's half dead and dangerous, and by the way how can a tree be historical anyway? I constantly clean debris from this dying tree of my lawn as large as me. (and that's big LOL) I even went so far as to send a certified letter to the Mayor about it saying that I have warned them on numerous occasions and if it falls on my house or property I am holding the city responsible (how's that for spunk AWB? *wink) Much talking . . . to no avail the tree still stands for now. Let's hope I can say that tomorrow.

However, my neighbors across the street weren't so lucky. Another tree fell on their house and demolished the roof and porch. Thankfully everyone was okay. My grandma always made sure that I enjoyed storms and was not fearful. She used to take us kids out on the porch during storms to watch. If this keeps happening I may rethink my philosophy on that! And by the way, another tree fell a block away and knocked out our POWER. This is beginning to not be funny.

Oh, woe is me . . .

Last night I was going to bed when I turned on a small dresser light to take me nightly pills and ZAP all the lights went out in the house. My hubby went outside to see if all the neighbors were out since we were in the throws of a fairly wicked storm and nope, only us. In fact, our renters had electricity, so he went to the basement to check the breaker box. The main breaker was tripped, so he went to flip it, and it was so hot he burnt his fingers. After a call to an electrician and an emergency visit at 1:00am we found out the we fried our entire panel. Not only that, but it couldn't be fixed until morning. Not only that, but it would be upwards of $900.

BooHooing ensued and I began freaking about the bill, the heat, and all the meat in my chest freezer. Thankfully Robert came up with the idea to call the neighbors and borrow their electricity for the fridge and freezer, so the meat is safe. I survived the hot night, the kids finally went to sleep and the electricity is now on.

They think that we hit by lightning, or a surge traveled the line until it so nicely picked my house to terrorize. Thankfully we didn't catch fire, and we are all safe. Our electronics faired well thanks to surge protectors but my wallet is feeling the heat.

**update** Robert just heard from the electrician that it was definitely lightning, so I guess we got lucky.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Well, what do ya know . . .

Now it's official. Tickets have been procured. We are on for Kenny Chesney at Deer Creek Music Center (I hate when they sell out to a corporation, I refuse to call it Verizon Wireless Center) for Labor Day weekend with Kenny. To quote Laura, " The only thing better than a KC show is going to the last show of the year!!!!" and I for one am completely stoked!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Follow the leader . . .

Coffee beat me to it with her post about her father. So much of what she said I could simply duplicate and post here. It seems as though we have similar experiences. Here's my dad's story I have been meaning to put it into words for some time, and I guess now is an appropriate time.

Gary Romine. My dad passed away 10 years ago this fall. He was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1994 and had a radical neck surgery. The lymph nodes on one side of his neck were removed along with a large tumor in his tonsil that wrapped around the jugular vein on the same side of the neck. He went through radiation as a precaution because they did biopsies on his lung and were certain that they got it all. Later that year he started fainting and had some MRIs. They attributed it to scar tissue and he resumed work and normal life. He began to eat well and began purchasing natural products such as deodorant and toothpaste to avoid cancer causing agents.

My dad changed during this time. He was given another chance and was a better person for it. He lived for his family and friends. He became even more involved in our church. He apologized for the things he did while we were growing up. You see, my dad was super strict. He made me tow the line. He was all about earning your way, respect and following rules. It was a difficult childhood, but I believe I am better for it. I believe I had values instilled in me that I hope I can pass to my children. Dad, however was not an easy husband to live with. There were times when I was a teenager that I questioned why my mom stayed. Now as an adult, a wife and a mother I understand. You love someone and you deal with what comes. That was yet another value I had instilled in me . .. you don't just quit and leave, you fight for your marriage and you fight for your happiness. I suppose it wasn't until I was older that I realized what a strong woman my mom was.

Shortly after the beginning of 1996 my dad had another MRI. He was given the results to take to the doctor on Monday morning with him. Of course he opened them. IT said that he had a massive tumor at the base of his brain. What a way to find out. He was home, alone. I drove up shortly after he read this, and he collapsed in my arms telling me it was back.

He fought. He fought hard. The doctor's said there was nothing they could do. It was terminal and they couldn't do another round of radiation on the same area. Mom and dad began visiting clinics that specialized in experimental therapies to see if he could be accepted. One by one they denied him because he was too far gone. See, clinics such as this rely on good outcomes so that they can get their treatments approved. They need a high success rating. Dad would not be a good candidate for recovery so he could not participate. My parents decided that dad would go to Tijuana Mexico for alternative treatment. He received experimental and natural drug therapies. He was there for about 5 weeks. By this time he had a traecheotomy and a feeding tube. Dad was a fighter. I'm not so sure he believed that this treatment would cure him, but it definitely made the remainder of his life a bit better because his body was healthier and stronger. He did not simply waste away.

The tumor was growing through his throat and would cut off his airway. The doctors would go in, cut it back, but it would slowly grow back. Once the tumor began growing so quickly that they could not keep up with it, it had gone too far. Dad went into the hospital on a Wednesday morning. He was last aware of his surroundings on Friday evening. During this time he spoke with our pastor about his assurance that he would go to heaven. He didn't open his eyes again until about 2 minutes before he breathed his last breath. We didn't leave his side as a family. We were there from Wednesday to Sunday evening when he passed. That's how my family is . .. we are hospital sitters from way back.

It funny but I can remember every minute of those 5 days even 10 years later. They are embedded on my brain. It still seems so unreal to me, like I was living someone else's life even after all this time. I can remember the conversation the doctor had with us about not giving life sustaining electrolytes and basically making the decision to discontinue life support on Thursday morning. Even though dad had a living will that said he would not to sustain life above and beyond fluids, I still struggle with having to make that decision. You do feel as though you have caused death. I knew dad was fighter, but I knew dad wouldn't want to hang on for 3 more weeks with support simply to lay in a bed and waste away, but it still haunts me.

I gave the eulogy at dad's funeral. We buried him on a Wednesday. I still take my kids to the gravesite to visit grandpa Gary. I wish Robert had met him. They would've been close I think. I would've loved for dad to walk me down the isle, to hold his grandbabies, to see me grow up and become a wife and mom, to see me make a place for myself. I was 26 when he passed away, but I was still his little girl.

I love you daddy! Happy Father's Day.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

What a weekend . . .

Wow, I had quite a weekend. Nothing too exciting, but it was fun nonetheless. I spent most of the weekend with our awesome neighbors. You see, we own a duplex and out renters are wonderful people. They have 3 children that get along well with our 3 children. They are funny, witty, and smart people. They are very giving and are always willing to lend a hand. We are blessed that they came across our ad in the paper several years ago and chose to move in.

It was not however a relaxing weekend. I don't feel rested, and it's going to be a busy week at work. So, I'm off to bed soon . . .

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The newest Dynamic Duo . . .

We have a new dynamic duo in our home. My babies are growing up at an alarming rate. We now have . . . Pre-K boy and Underwear girl. They are fighting their enemies . . . whining and poopy pants.

All joking aside, I can't wait until I no longer have to buy diapers or pull-ups. I have been purchasing them since I was pregnant in 2002, but it does make me al ittle sad to see my little ones growing up.

Monday, June 05, 2006

It's official . . .

Anyone who reads Laura's blog (and you should cause it's quite entertaining) knows that she is a die hard Kenny Chesney fan. (okay, well she is a fan of TBWYH too) Not sure when it was mentioned that Coffee and One4JC should accompany her to a concert this summer, but I chimed in . . . I always invite myself to things that include music and fun. So, it's official we are going . . . as soon as we get tickets that is. I'm really excited. . . not only because it sounds like a blast, but because I get to leave Robert with the kids for once! *woohoo*

Anyhoo I have to get my butt in gear and learn some songs so I won't look foolish . . .

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Mommy's meltdown . . .

This weekend sucked. (Sorry mom, but that's how I feel) Friday night Robert left for the Indiana Democratic Convention. My mom and step-dad decided it was a great night to take all the grandkids to Chuck E. Cheese to celebrate school getting out. You see, my mom is weird, she LOVES Chuck E Cheese. They take the whole family there about 4 times a year. That means eight adults and ten grandkids. My kids were wild and worn out. They slept well Friday and I thought I was in for a great weekend.

We got up on Saturday morning and needed to make a serious trip to Meijer for shopping. It is not often that I take all 3 kids shopping alone. In fact, hardly never. I should've bagged it Saturday because it was awful. Dustin was in rare form. His Fetal Alcohol Syndrome was in full alert status. He was impulsive, whiny, obsessive and argumentative. At one point I was ignoring a tantrum and walked away. Usually he follows me after he sees that it is not working, but this time was different. I non-chalantly turned around and he was gone. I freaked out. I went to the front door of the store and sat on the bench until he showed up. I was so angry, but showing him I was angry does nothing but fuel the fire, so I stood up, gave him the eye and he followed. We finished shopping and stood in line for about 15 minutes behind an amish family that had about 3 trillion coupons. FINALLY, we exited the store. I could almost hear and audible sigh of relief from the store as we left.

Robert came home about 3 hours later, and Dustin was still going strong. He wouldn't take redirection and was actually quite beligerent. I told him to go in his room while I was changing bed sheets upstairs. This is rare lately as he cannot be left unsupervised. A few seconds later I hear the phone ring and Robert asked if I called 911. I had no idea what he was talking about until I opened Dustin's bedroom door and saw the phone laying on his dresser. He was mad at me so he called 911 and hung up, our city has the capability to see where the call is originating from, so they called back. The operator informed Robert that if we could not expalin the call, they had to send out a car. I had all our neighbors gawking as 2 squad cars pulled up in front of the house to check us out. I asked one officer to give Dustin a talking to about calling 911 unneccessarily. He talked completely over his head talking about "wasting the resources and assets of at least two patrol cars . . . " The rest of the night was just as bad.

Sunday we decided to go to our neighborhood park and take some pictures. This park is a rose garden and has fabulous flowers, so off we went. Dustin was horrendous. McCartney and Harrison had to be bribed at every step. We dumped the camera into the new notebook computer and when we sat down to have asecond look at the 70 pictures we noticed they were GONE.

I had a meltdown.

A full fledged, FAS, whiny baby, can't be called nothing but a true BABY FIT. It was simply the last straw. I freaked out like a small child in a candy isle. After going to the car and crying, we simply went to the park side, let the kids play and then went back over to the rose garden and repeated all the pictures. I had my little hissy and now I am better. ** and by the way the pictures are fabulous **

I realized today that not only does Fetal Alcohol affect the child, and the other children in the home and their behavior, but it also affects mine. I have always heard it said that when you live with someone long enough you tend to develope their physical characteristics, well apparently I have lived with Dustin long enough to develope this portion of his disorder . . . or maybe I just need to freak out once in a while. . .

Thank God for my husband. Neither of us seem to freak out at the same time.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Getting caught up . . .

I just posted a few new pictures on our family site. Check it out if you get a few minutes. I might be prejudice, but I think my babies are beautiful!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Whoa . . or Look Mom no cords. . .

Whoa. I am now a part of the wonderful world of notebook owners. Robert finally talked me into it, and well. . . our old tower is not only antiquated but also dying a slow, painful death. I'm sure it will last for awhile so the kids can use it to play games over at or so I can use it while Robert is hogging the notebook.

You gotta love deferred financing!

The Windy City . . .

Yesterday I went to Chicago with about 100 5th graders. Dustin was not able to go to the class trip unless I accompanied him, for obvious reasons, so I signed up to be chaperone. I had Dustin and another boy to watch from the class. (Either the teacher thinks I'm great or she hates me because she gave me the kid that is worse than Dustin.)

What a day! We went to The Museum of Science and Industry, spent our lunch at Navy Pier, saw an Imax 3-D movie, and finally went to The Shedd Aquarium. We had a great time and Dustin was spectacular . . . that is until the ride home. Duing the ride he was cranky, not listening and super hyper, but I guess that was to be expected.

The only drawback to our day together was that I came down with a super-bad migraine during the Oceanarium dolphin show at Shedd's. It was one of those migraines that hits you like a ton of bricks. I spent most of our time at aquarium yacking. We got on the bus to head home and I took 2 tylenol with codeine and tried to snooze to no avail. In Chesterton we stopped for food and the teacher in charge announced that since we were running late we would get food and eat on the bus. ARGH! Any of you migraine sufferers? Food smells are *worst*. I forced myself to sleep and I got about 1 hour in.

All in all it was a good trip, puking and all. I was happy that I could share that with Dustin, he was terribly happy about the trip. We were about 4 minutes from the school, I was high as a kite on codeine and weak from puking and my dear sweet little Dustin says . . . "Hey mom! Do you remember when we went to Chicago?"