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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Funeral

Yesterday was my grandma's funeral. I am not big on funerals; partly because I don't like to show my emotions to anyone, really, and partly because I don't really like the whole funeral process. Of course I went, though, because I was supposed to. And because my dad had already volunteered me to read at the mass.

The only word I can use to describe the day is "comical". I know that this is not a word most would think of when describing a funeral, but, believe me, it's the most appropriate word. Yes, I am sad to see grandma go, but she was 93 and we all knew it was coming. While that does not make it any less sad, I think most had been grieving for the few weeks prior. So there were a few tears, but it was not an overwhelmingly sad day. And we all knew that grandma would want us to be happy because she was finally back with grandpa, and heck, that's all she has ever wanted for the last 9 years. So she's definitely happier now.

Back to the comical day. So first, my uncle's girlfriend announces that I really should go and rummage through grandma's basement because there is some really nice jewelry there. She then proceeds to show me the bracelets she "stole" (her word, not mine). Um....the woman is not even in the ground yet and she's already taking her jewelry? This is comical to me because it's just her. That's just what she does and doesn't see anything wrong with it.

Then, Kathie shows up. We all knew she would, as appearances are her top priority. So she is going down the line, hugging my uncle and cousins. She proceeds to pass right over me and hug each of my brothers. My older brother noticed as well and gives me this look like, "what just happened here?" She looks over a minute later and says, "Amy! I didn't recognize you; you look so good!" Ahh..nice to have you back, mom. I'd almost forgotten how complimentary you could be. Comical.

Another aspect I found quite comical is how we all sort of found out who our true friends are yesterday. You can always tell who they are in a situation like that. Because they come to support you. My dad mentioned a couple who did not come and he seemed a bit surprised. This couple had been best friends with my parents since high school. They knew my grandma well and didn't even bother to call or show up. Nice friends, huh?

Otherwise, the funeral served as a nice family reunion. Even though most live in the area, we still never see them, for one reason or another. I'm sure the old excuse of "I'm so busy" comes into play a lot, but it shouldn't. I think grandma would want us to make time to see our family. So this becomes one of my goals for 2009 - to visit with family members more often.

Thanks grandma for bringing these things into perspective. You've helped me more than you will ever know.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Remembering Grandma

My grandmother died yesterday morning. She was 93...it was expected. I'm actually surprised she held on this long. Unfortunately, my last memory of her was not great.

I went to see her at the hospital with my dad. She didn't look good at all. She was sitting in a chair next to the hospital bed with a tray full of uneaten food in front of her. She had completely stopped eating and it was obvious. We knew her memory was not good and that she had a habit of asking the same questions over and over again. We humored her anyway. But when she started talking about the wedding, that's when the discomfort set in for me and I knew she was getting worse.

It was a rainy Saturday evening. She asked about how the weather had been. Dad said it had been nice earlier. She said how nice it would be for the wedding. Both my dad and me were a little unsure of what she was talking about, but we kept on. Then she began asking about how we were getting to the wedding and where we were staying. She even went on to say that she didn't have anything to wear to the wedding and she couldn't believe she even came for the wedding. She also pointed out how excited she was to see my kids at the wedding. At this point, I knew she had lost it.

What wedding was she talking about, you ask? Well, we're not really sure. We do know that she wasn't talking about any recent wedding, that's for sure. My dad's guess was that she was probably remembering some other wedding that we all had to travel for. My cousin was married like 6 years ago and we all had to travel. Maybe that's what she was remembering.

She was a different woman back then. It's hard to believe that 6 years can age a person that much. But, I guess at that age, 6 years is like a lifetime. No one could believe that she was as old as she was. She got around great; no walker, sound mind, no health problems. Not your normal 80-something senior citizen. I remember always thinking how I wanted to be like that when I was old and gray.

But the woman I saw 2 weeks ago was not the lively woman still making tons of Christmas cookies each year, humming while she baked and cleaned. She's the one who first showed me the Golden Girls. Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE the Golden Girls. I still remember sitting in "grandpa's" chair, eating Snyder's cheese pretzels, while grandma sat on the couch. We watched the Golden Girls together every time I stayed overnight there. Grandpa couldn't hang that long like the girls. So we stayed up "late" and did our girl thing. I thought it was so neat that she actually wanted to stay up with me to watch TV. That's something Kathie never would have done....even if I had begged her (but I knew better than to do that).

No, the woman I saw 2 weeks ago was frail and had trouble swallowing water. It was very hard for me to see her like that and I almost wish I hadn't. I wish I could hang on to only those happy memories. But now, I have that 1 not so great memory barging in whenever I think happy grandma thoughts. I'm sure it made her feel better to see me before she took her final nap, though, so that makes it all worth it.

I miss you grandma. I hope you find true happiness where you are now. You will always be my Golden Girl.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

What a weekend

My Saturday morning began like many other Saturday mornings. Charlie woke us up at 7am telling us how incredibly hungry he is. (We have tried, on numerous occasions, to tell him that if he would simply eat dinner, he would not be so hungry in the morning. He does not like to listen to us, so he very rarely eats dinner.) So far, normal Saturday. I always fall for that alarm he sounds because, well, I'm a mom. The kid wants to eat. It's my responsibility to feed him. So I get up and get him some breakfast. Doug finally rolls out of bed like an hour and half later. I was extremely jealous (I know, I know...love is not supposed to be jealous, but come on! He gets to sleep in until 8:30? That is so not fair!), but I just let it go. So around 9, we decide to go wake up sleepy head (i.e. Elizabeth). She normally does sleep later than the rest of us, but that day, it was much later.

We went in and were having trouble getting her to get out of bed. She was limp and wasn't moving a whole lot. We managed to get her dressed, but she definitely wasn't herself. We called the doctor's office and they said to take her in (thank goodness for the after hours pediatric center). Doug took her in and I stayed with Charlie. He said at the dr. she turned blue in the face and they were about to take her to Hershey Med. Instead, they called Hershey and said it was her blood sugar. Her blood sugar was at 30. For those who are like me and didn't know the significance of that number, when it gets as low as 60, an ER trip is warranted. So hers was very low. After eating some food and drinking some milk, they got it back up to 130. Much better. Talk about scary!

They diagnosed her with ketotonic hypoglycemia. Apparently this is something small children can get where their blood sugar drops super low after not eating for a while. So now we have to monitor her blood sugar weekly to make sure it's within normal range. We haven't gotten full instructions yet, but I assume this will mean she will have to have more scheduled eating habits. The good news is that they grow out of it. I'm so glad this will not be something she has to deal with as a teenager or an adult. It doesn't sound like it's too big of a deal, thank goodness.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

MIR Sure Deodorant

Click here for a printable MIR form for Sure with Natural Extracts or Sure MAX Clinical Power deodorant.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Free Sample of Benefiber

Enjoy a free sample of Benefiber compliments of Walmart! Enjoy!

Ride the Potty Train

So we're unsuccessfully trying to potty train our 2 year old. This was so not my idea. After the pain and suffering that ensued while training my son, I wanted to wait until after she turned 3. But she had other plans.

She thinks it's fun to tell us she has to go, make us drop what we're doing to get her to the potty on time, just to have already gone in her pull-up. She also thinks it's fun to tell us she wants to wear "big girl underpants", but then go in them anyway (about which she really does not care). The bribery of M&Ms every time she goes #1 and a trip to Dairy Queen for a whole day of staying dry have lost their luster.

She will also only go on the potty if I can take her. This causes a few problems because Doug is our resident Stay At Home Dad. So for 40+ hours per week, she absolutely refuses to use the potty. The weekends are when she decides to cooperate because I'm there.

I am so ready to be done with potty training. I've even gone so far as to make up songs to make it fun for her. One of my favorites is "Ride the Potty Train" sung to the tune of "Come On Ride That Train". She now thinks that there is an actual train involved somehow.

And to get her to go #2 in the potty (which hasn't happened yet), I made up a song I call "There's a Party in the Potty", sung to the tune of Yo Gabba Gabba's "There's a Party in my Tummy". Thinking about it now, this could also be interchangeable with "There's a Poopy in the Potty". Same idea. Hasn't worked yet.

Am I doing something wrong? I decided this time to heed the warnings in all the books and articles, and let her decide when she's ready. She expressed to me she wanted to do this. This was her idea to begin going down this road. Granted, she was under 2 and probably didn't realize what she was really in for, but it's been like 9 months now and we have had almost no progression. We've even taken a couple weeks off. If she wanted to go, we let her, but otherwise, we were not pushing the issue. This has not helped.

A friend of mine (who does not yet have kids) took a class with a professor who wrote a book on how to potty train in 1 day. It involves feeding them salty snacks to make them drink a bunch and basically hanging out in the bathroom all day (I have not read it, but this is how it was described to me). I have to say, this is my second attempt at potty training and I really have my doubts about this method or any method that touts training is possible in 1 day. My son took a full year to train. My daughter is on month 9 with no end in sight. I'm just plain tired of this.

Has anyone tried this potty training in a day thing? Can someone tell me what I'm doing wrong here? Anyone? Beuller? Beuller?

Win Wall-E!

5 Minutes for Mom is giving away 3-Disc standard definition DVD Version of WALL•E, which includes the “DisneyFile” Digital Copy. Good luck!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Win an Epson Artisan 800 Printer

Win an Epson Artisan 800 Printer over at 5 Minutes for Mom! This printer looks awesome!

Sudz & Bubbles Giveaway!

5 Minutes for Mom is giving away a $50 gift certificate to Sudz and Bubbles! They have the cutest glycerin soaps for kids. Check it out!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Free Sample of Bear Naked Fruit & Nut Granola

Thanks to Free Snatcher, I found out about this free sample of Bear Naked Fruit & Nut Granola. Enjoy!

Win Through the Storm by Lynne Spears

Over at Reading with Monie, they are giving away the book Through the Storm by Lynne Spears. There are a bunch of ways to get extra entries, too! Good luck!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

To Hell in a Hand Basket

I'm losing my mind. Literally. My mind is slowly, but oh so surely, going to Hell in a hand basket. My poor husband must be going crazy. People must think I'm a total idiot. I seem like your stereotypical blond bimbo (without the big boobs...I still have trouble finding mine). But, really, I'm not. I used to be so on top of things. I could remember anything. But now...

I've had to fast for a few things in the past couple of weeks. The first time, I showed up and realized that I had forgotten to fast! How does one do that? So I had to go the next day and I put post it notes all around the house (on the toaster, on the OJ) to remind myself not to eat. How sad is that?

This morning, I was going for yet another test, and I'm so proud of myself because I'm right on time. 8am on a Saturday was not ideal for me, but I did it. As I sat in the parking lot, I wondered why there were no other cars there. Could it be that I beat the staff? Wow...I am good. I called Doug to tell him how weird it was and he looked the place up in the phone book (yes, we actually still use the phone book). When he started telling me that there were 3 locations, it dawned on me. I was at the wrong location. When I called the correct location to tell them I would be late, she tried not to laugh at me. But I just had to laugh at myself.

The other day, I forgot to put detergent into a load of laundry. I didn't realize it until the next day as I was standing at the bus stop in a pair of pants that was in that load. Um...that's kind of gross. I have, on one occasion or another, forgotten to wash my body in the shower. I washed my hair and face, but turned the shower off before washing the rest of myself. I didn't realize it until I was all dressed. Thank goodness that happened on a Saturday when I didn't have anything really going on.

Doug has to repeat things to me numerous times throughout the day because I forget that he has told me already. If I put something important away, I have to tell him where I put it because, undoubtedly, I will forget where I put it the next day.

What will be next, I wonder? I don't know, but I really hope it's nothing very big. I've already screwed up a couple things at work because of my brain malfunctions. I'm sure they won't put up with that very long.

I figured this would happen someday, but at 30? Am I the only one who has to send herself emails throughout the day reminding her of things she needs to do at home? Is that even normal? Well, what is normal, anyway?

I'll let you know when I remember.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Free Sample of Glad Storage Bags

Here's a free sample of Glad Storage Bags, compliments of WalMart.

Free Sample of Always Infinity

Get your free sample of Always Infinity from WalMart.

Free Sample of Stayfree/Carefree

Click here for your free sample of Stayfree & Carefree from WalMart.

Freebies and Samples

Found these on CouponGeek!

Free holiday ornament from Holidays at Home.

Free sample of Orville Redenbacher Lime & Salt Popcorn from WalMart.

Free sample of Huggies Diapers from WalMart.

Barnes & Noble Deal

Thanks to CouponGeek for this great deal!

10% off at Barnes & Noble good through 11/16/08 with this printable.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The American Voting Experience At It's Best

I had the most comical voting experience this morning. We get to the polling place, a Catholic church rectory, at 7am, kids in tow, and are waiting in line, which is wrapped out the door. OK, I expected there to be a line at opening with the "before work" crowd.

So we finally get inside and find out why the line has been moving so slowly. They have a table set up to the left where they have the books. So we're just standing in line and every so often they come to get more "M-Zs". Only a few people can fit in the M-Z line, so the rest have to stay in the A-L line until there is room. So, in addition to the 2 books, they have these 2 old ladies writing down every name in separate books. I don't know if this is normal, but it seemed like overkill to me.

Then they handed me a white plastic card to take with me to yet a third line, where we were to wait to go to one of the 5 voting stations, which were not covered at all. I know I've never voted before, but shouldn't there be some privacy? Anyway, so we were waiting in the third line, but then this lady starts "making another snake". She kept yelling at people because they were getting in the wrong snake. How on earth was anyone to know which "snake" to get into? What the heck was this lady talking about?

So then it's finally my turn. I hand another worker my white plastic card, but I have to wait for another worker to take me to a voting station. It was painfully obvious that this old woman's first and only computerized experience was this polling system. She tried to explain it to me, but in the end, I had to figure it out myself.

To top this comedy off, they had everyone leaving out of the same small doorway we came in, which was where there was still an incoming line! There was another door on the other side of the room that would have been simply perfect as an exit, but they said that was where the priests' offices were and we weren't allowed in that area of the rectory. For 1 day every 4 years, they couldn't accommodate? Ridiculous!

Now, I've never voted before, so maybe this is the norm. But judging from the reactions of the other voters, I'd say probably not.

It only comes once every 4 years. This particular polling place is always the polling place for our area. They've had plenty of practice and time to prepare. And this is what they came up with?

Green Giant Just For One!

I bought these as part of a gas promotion at my grocery store a few weeks ago. I wasn't sure if I'd like them, but they were cheap enough and were going to earn me cents off gas, so I went for it (with a coupon and a sale, of course).

The idea behind the Green Giant Just For One! is that it is a single serving of veggies, so you don't have to make a whole bag of veggies that might not get eaten. That sounds good, right?

Holy cow, these things are so good! I had the broccoli & cheese flavor (and I see from the website that there is only 1 other flavor, which is corn in butter sauce). Each serving is in it's own plastic bowl, so you don't have to dirty any dishes. Only 2 minutes in the microwave and you have a yummy snack or side dish for yourself. My only complaint is that they are way too small, and maybe that is their point, portion control. But my thought is that it is a vegetable, so a bigger serving might not be a bad thing. I like to eat these for dinner, as a meal, but I have to eat 2 or more in order to feel satisfied. I understand this is not the point, but they are so good that I simply want to make them an entire meal! Maybe I should buy the bigger bags and add some chicken to make a yummy dinner.

Bottom line: Love this product, but need to find a way to make it a full meal.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Don't Forget to Vote!

I've never voted before, so I feel strange reminding others to vote. But I think this is an important election. If you can vote, you should. Regardless of who you vote for, get out there and exercise your right as an American!

OK, I'm off my soap box now...


I can't believe it.

My husband planned a surprise 30th birthday party for me. This is a huge deal for my husband. Not that I don't think he can do things like this, but we generally don't do things like this. (For instance, I received 2 birthday cards from him. One was all lovey dovey and the other one had 2 pigs sleeping in bed, under which he wrote, "Here's to the most boring couple in the world". LOL. ) Also, because he is horrible at keeping secrets. He just can't wait to tell people (i.e. me) things. Every Christmas, I know what I'm getting weeks before Christmas actually arrives. He just gets so excited when he knows he's done good.

This was also an unbelievable feat because both of the kid have known for weeks. A 5-year-old and a 2-year-old kept a secret for 3 weeks. It's totally possible that they slipped and said something that, to a normal person, would be a clue. However, my brain fuzziness prevents me from picking up on things like that right away.

I've never had a surprise party before. And I've always secretly wanted one. I think it's because I've never really been surprised by anything before. My life revolves around planning things, so it's normally really difficult to get one by me. But this was amazing! He had someone to get me out of the house all morning and there were actually people there. This surprises me because I don't have any real girlfriends, I have a very small family and they live pretty far from us, and while Doug's family is bigger and all live only about 30 minutes away, they act as though we live on another planet and it's so hard for them to "make it up". But there they all were! It was mostly Doug's family and friends, who I've come to be friends with as well. And my dad and brothers made it, which was really nice too. And the kids were occupied because there were other kids there, which was great!

I did, unknowingly, throw him a curve ball a couple weeks ago. Apparently he'd had this party planned for quite some time, but it was supposed to start at 4pm. So when I called him a few weeks ago to tell him not to make any plans on Nov. 1, he must have panicked. Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwod from "Who's Line Is It Anyway" were going to be in town but only for that one night. I bought him tickets as an early birthday gift for him. The show was to start at 8pm, so he had to call everyone and change the time! So we both planned surprises for each other on the same day. Too funny!

Then, after the show, we met up with our friends for drinks. We got home late and then were invited to our neighbor's house, who had a party as well. So we got to know our neighbors a bit and finally made it in around 2am (the kids were staying at grandma & grandpa's overnight). We had to get up sort of early because we had to go to the grocery store, pick up the kids, and take them to a birthday party. Holy cow...we did more this weekend than we've done in our entire 7 years of marriage! We were totally exhausted by last night, but were glad we did everything.

I guess it's back to our old, boring life again. I am hoping all the fun we had this weekend will remind us to get out and do more things.

What fun things did you do this weekend?