Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Years Resolutions?

What are your goals for 2006?

Here are mine: They are small goals which I hope are easier for me to stick to. I think me keeping a daily food log will be the hardest goal below.

  • I bought an awesome Franklin planner at Costco. It came with a black binder and day to day pages for only $40.00. I plan to keep track of my work to do’s, my daily to dos and my food intake in this journal. I especially want to keep track of my food intake.
  • I hope to make dinner for our family at least 2x a week. This is during the weekday.
  • I want to start taking my lunch to work more often and take healthy lunches. I’ve gotten into the let’s go out to eat way of mind.
  • I want to workout at least 3 times a week. I workout about 2x a week now.

That’s all for me. I don’t like to make too many New Year’s resolutions. The fewer I have the easier it is to stick to them.

Oh and I have a secret I want to share with you, but I can't for a few more weeks. Anyone have a guess? :)

Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas Day - What a haul!

I updated Friday and Saturday entries below and backdated them. So don't forget to look below for more updates and read my story about the whistler on Friday. It was a riot!

My mom went nutso this year for Christmas. I don't know what her limit was for the each of us, but I can only imagine it had to be $200 or more. The tree was packed to the hilt - more than I've ever seen. It took us 2 hours to open all the gifts and we even had to have a potty break, and my brother Greg, his girlfriend Audrey and my mother had a smoke break in between opening gifts. Joey was overwhelmed with so many toys.

It started out - we slept in until 8:30am. We called mom to tell her we just woke up and she about had a cow. She thought we were up north and had 2 hours to drive down. We actually decided to come down to our house Friday night so we didn't have to deal with bad weather the next morning. Once she realized we were only 1/2 hour away, she calmed down.

We got to my parent's house and had breakfast. My dad went all out as usual - pancakes, sausage links, sausage patties, toast, muffins, juice, and more. Yum.

We decided afterwards that there was no doing dishes or cleaning the kitchen - it was time to unwrap gifts! I played Santa. Joey had such a ball opening all the gifts and most of them under the tree were for him. He got so many Thomas cars he has 53 different pieces for his Thomas collection. He got a big Thomas the train track, he got a thomas the train racer where four Thomas cars go down this track and race to the finish. He got a TON of Pajamas and yelled NO when all that was in the box was clothes and not toys. He was upset about that. He also got a TON of matchbox cars, a big wheels ride on bike and a few John Deere tractors and trucks.

At one point I kept telling him that he needed to open another gift. He didn't want to and decided to take his new Thomas trains and put them on the gift and used it as a road - see the photo to the left. He finally opened the gift after much prodding. I think he was just so overwhelmed.

Greg (my brother) and his gf got a new cephelon pots and pans set. I got that last year but he needed new pots and pans for his new house. Joe and I got them a bunch of Cephelon utensils (he got those for me last year) and a $100 Lowe's gift certificate so he can fix up his new home.

Dad got a lot of shirts from Joe and I and mom bought him a branch cutting chain saw. It's a chain saw on a huge stick so he can cut down tall branches.

I guess the funny story around this Christmas was that mom was cold with her own pajamas and decided to steal dad's pajama pants a few times this winter. Dad said the hell with that and went to Kohls and bought her about 10 different pajama pants/shirts outfits. He individually wrapped each one (badly I have to admit and mom teased him about it) and we gave them to her and she kept laughing. She never knew that he got those for her. The other funny thing was he said he was tempted to buy these pajamas that was a bunny suit with feet and ears. He threatened to go buy it after Christmas for her! She also got a gift certificate to her favorite yarn store and the shark cleaner.

I got a Ihome radio alarm clock for my Ipod, and an indoor/outdoor weather station and Joe and I got some cephelon cooking sheets, a cephelon roaster and a cephelon griddle and a bunch of other stuff. Joe got a gift certificate for ebay - which he already spent and a few other things. I came home Christmas night and ordered a 250 gig external hard drive for our computer since I've already filled up our 60 gig!!

After all the opening was done we got ready to go to the Dziekan families house (my dad's family) for Christmas.

It was nice to see everyone. I haven't seen some of the aunts and uncle's for a long time. My cousin Teresa lives in Wisconsin and I haven't seen her in about a year so it was great to see her too!

A special surprise was that Uncle Randy dressed up as Santa Claus and did an awesome job. Joey wasn't too sure about this guy but we got our picture taken anyhow. He got a set of the weebles from Santa.

After Santa left we opened gifts. Joey got a set of Geotrax - a different train set, from Aunt Jennifer and Uncle Gary and he loved it. We also saved a gift from our Christmas for him to open and it was a good thing we did because he was getting all ticked off that he only had opened the two. He doesn't really understand that the rest weren't for him.

The nice thing of the evening was all the adults did a gift exchange but they all picked a number. The first person picks a gift. The second person can steal their gift or pick a gift. By the time you get to close to the last person, you can steal anyone's gift you want. The only catch is one gift can only be stolen 3 times.

My aunt really wanted these 100 year old coins and so did everyone else. Everyone kept stealing them from everyone else. She finally got them and then my uncle stole them from her. My dad was the last one in the game to play, so he stole the coin from his brother and went up to my aunt, took her hand, put the coin in her hand and said, Merry Christmas. I love you. My dad didn't want a gift. He just wanted to get the coin for her for his sister. They hugged and my aunt had tears in her eyes.

Overall we had an awesome Christmas.

Joey has this unwrapping thing down!

Here's my new weatherstation!

My cousins Kelly, Beth and myself.

Santa, Joey and I.

Joey and I after seeing Santa.

Teresa and I. We are best cousins.

Joey with his new Geotrax set.

My dad and his sister Shirley hug after he gives her the coin.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Saturday - Christmas Eve

Saturday Joey woke up at 7:15. We called Joe’s dad and he said to come over for Christmas at about 10am. So off we went at 10 am and had a nice Christmas at his father’s house. Karen got Joey some nice gifts. He got the little people farm, a bunch of tractors, a snake flashlight (it opens it’s mouth, hisses and lights up), and some learning puzzles. Joe’s dad said his goal is to get Joey a tractor just like what they have one the farm for each birthday/Christmas type celebration. This time he got a Ford 8N tractor like his great grandfather had. I think that’s such a neat idea. This is Joey above at his dad's house - he's getting good at opening those gifts by himself!

We went back to Grandma’s house about noon and Joey was whipped. I think he’s not feeling well again this Christmas. He’s got a runny nose and a dry cough. I think that made him tired. He walked back to take a nap without us even asking him.

Off to Walmart Joe and I went – unwillingly. We knew it would be nuts. It wasn’t as bad as we thought. I wanted to get some cold eez and some airborne for Joey. It’s those medicines that are supposed to boost your immune system and make any cold you may get not last as long or be as strong. We also needed new video tapes for my video camera. We have four digital tapes for our video camera, but they are all full. Get this – I only have 1 gig left on my 60 gig hard drive on my pc, so we agreed for Christmas I was going to get a 250 gig external hard drive so I can download my movies to my computer and burn dvds. I’ve already done this once and it turned out great, but I just don’t have the space for it right now on my hard drive. So we needed to buy new tapes.

When we got back we went right to the Fisher’s house – Joe’s grandparents on his father’s side. We asked Grandma (Joe’s mom’s mother) to call when Joey woke up so we could come pick him up. We chatted for awhile. Joey slept over 3 hours. We went and picked up Joey and he was in a bad mood. He didn’t want to get dressed – I think he still wasn’t feeling good.

We got to the Fisher’s house and he wouldn’t stop coughing – even after we gave him cough syrup. I felt so bad but everyone wasn’t really concerned since it was a dry cough – it seemed like he had allergies, not a cold.

He played really well. He loved playing with those toys shown to the right - they are discovery toys and the kids love them. We couldn’t wait for them to finally open their gifts. Dinner was 2 hours behind and then we were all dying for them to just get to the gift opening part. Joey was so anxious that he was getting mad. You know how little kids are. I got a cute little ornament set from Michelle. Joey got a Thomas the train roundhouse from Michelle and some matchbox cars and a huge rig truck from Grandma. He was happy and all the kids kept playing with the Thomas roundhouse – like he had the best gift of them all. I got some cookbooks from grandma and a meatball maker that I need to try out.

Get this. I’m on a babies group for mothers who have babies born in early 2004. We have all known each other since we first found out we were preggo. We always do Secret Santa, even though we’ve never met. Michelle from Ohio got my name and sent me an Old Navy pull over.

Now Joe’s cousin Michelle and I are buds because her daughter is about 8 months older than Joey. I wore my new pull over Michelle from Ohio sent me. As I walk in I notice what Michelle, Joe’s cousin, is wearing. It’s the SAME exact pull over from Old Navy in red as Michelle – my secret santa from Ohio sent me. It was a riot. AND we were both wearing blue jeans – check out this photo. I guess Michelle’s all over the country must have been buying the red pull over from Old Navy. I thought that was so funny!!

Joey got tired quickly tonight. We came home to grandma and decided that since it was only supposed to rain tonight that we would just come home. We ALWAYS stay at Grandma’s house up north and then come down on Christmas morning, very early in the morning, to my parent’s house – which is about an hour and a half away. Well it’s supposed to snow tomorrow – yet again and we are NOT driving in it again this year – like the past two Christmas’s, so we decided to drive home in the rain.

Joey is getting super good at unwrapping gifts. I can’t believe how well he has it down. He has loved all the gifts he has gotten so far. Lots of cars and train stuff.

Today was we were leaving the Fisher’s he was very tired. We told him we were leaving and Joe was holding Joey. He looked at me and said bye mommy. Joe laughed and said, no, mommy is coming with us. So he wanted me to hold him. He looked at Joe and said, ‘Bye daddy’, and everyone laughed again. He’s so funny.

For those of you out there with nice digital slr cameras – take note – do NOT change the lenses of your camera without turning OFF the camera. If you fail to do this, you will get dust and grime on your sensor and spots on your images. This happened to me. We got a special blower and blew out the dust and that spot stayed on my images. I had to get a special sensor cleaner and what looks like a mini spatula with pads you wrap around it to scrape this piece of gunk off my sensor. Since I’ve done this my camera takes photos with no spots. The bad thing about doing this – you can blow apart your camera and totally damage it if you clean the sensor too hard. So please keep that in mind. Another thing I learned – NEVER touch those mirrors in your camera. If you have dust spots on your camera, use a special blower you can buy to blow them out. Never touch those mirrors. They are delicately balanced and any dust on them will not show up on your final image. Unfortunately I learned all these tips after I did all of the above. Fortunately my camera is still functioning well – I’m very lucky. Keep these in mind if you have a digital slr! No one ever told me these things! Thank goodness for friends who are in the photography hobby and know these things and shared them with me!

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2005

This week - Thursday and Friday and the whistling guy in the beater car

This week has been a busy one for sure. Wednesday night you saw we had a big celebration for Joey’s daycare.

I have to tell you about something funny that happened on Thursday on my way home from work. I was driving through Pontiac – and it’s not a very good town to be in really. It’s known for crime and such. I pulled up to a red light and to my left was this piece of crap car – an OLD thunderbird, and it was beat up, dinged up and falling apart. Ok, now imagine this – the car was pimped out. It was lowered to the ground so it looked like a low-rider and the tires were setup so they stuck out about 8 inches from the car. Who the hell pimps out a piece of crap ride anyhow? So this guy was first at the light in his lane and I was in the right lane with someone in front of me. The guy in front of me turned on a ‘no turn on red’ light and I got next to this car. I’m talking to Grandma on the phone and I hear whistling. This guy has the window down and is doing the cat call whistle at me. I have never had anyone so blatantly do that. He does it over and over. I finally look at him and he’s grinning ear to ear at me. I’m embarrassed (and flattered) and then the light turned green and we went our own ways. I was laughing so hard. I was cat called by this guy in a hunk of trash car. Hahahaha.

Thursday night Joey and I did our traditional going over my mother’s house so I could go to Weight Watchers. I weighed in and I’m 1.2 lbs over goal. She told me I did not have to pay this time since I weighed in the first of the month but I need to lose that by the first of January first weigh in. Boy am I nervous! I just haven’t been eating well since we got back from the cruise.

Friday we went up north to Grandma’s. We actually got our of work like an hour early and got the oil changed in my van and got an ornament from town for the Christmas exchange. The one I originally bought Darlene for Joe was not good so I got her a different one. I liked the ornament so much I turned around and went back in the store again and bought the only other one left for my mother. It’s a old fashioned santa, holding a candy cane shaped cane and has sheep on the coat. My mother loves yarns and sheep so I knew she would love it. It’s rare I ever find something tangible my mother actually likes!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Joey's winter outing

Joey and I went to his daycare's winter outing tonight at one of the local elementary schools. He was so good. He stayed on my lap for the whole 30 or so minute when all the kids sang, or danced or did the bells. He started to drink from a cup very well tonight. He was so proud of himself.

The other major achivement is he didn't get scared of Santa! Here he is a bit tired, but when he got down he went right up to Santa and smiled and talked to him. I'm so proud of my little guy. Joe was with us tonight too and said he really enjoyed himself.

Joe had an interview for a new position today. I hope he gets it because he's really interested in this.

Joey and I spent a lot of quality time together today - so I feel better :)

Here is another Geotrac's layout Joe built on Sunday for Joey :)

I weigh in again tomorrow for WW and I think I've gone over goal :( I'm not happy about that. I've been eating really bad and need to get a hold on things. Maybe this wakeup call will be what I need. Unfortunately, I think I'll have to pay again too :(

Joe's geotrac creation. Joey just loves his trains!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Grandma's funny incident

Yesterday I was talking to grandma. She said she heard a beeping and couldn't figure out what it was. Her first thought was it was my pager and I left it up north again. She went from room to room and she still heard the noise - even in the bathroom. She said it sounded like an english policeman's car siren.

She finally bent over and it got louder. She figured out her defibrillator was beeping (low batteries) and the whole time she thought it was my pager when it was the defibrillator in his chest. Hahahaha, that is a riot!

For those that don't know what a defibrillator is, it's an electronic device they surgically implant in your chest, by your heart and it will shock your heart if it stops beating. They normally put this in people's chests who have had a heart attack. When the batteries get low, they will do outpatient surgery to change them. That is what Grandma has to have done soon.

Can you just see Grandma walking from room to room wondering why my pager was going off? HAHAHA.

Sorry, I had to share!!

Work is going well. I've been so tired lately. I thought I was preggo but I took a test yesterday (though it's probably wayyy to early to tell) and it was negative. Who knows - maybe I'm just burning at both ends.

Christmas shopping is done. I need to ship a few things out.

I made dinner tonight and it turned out so crappy. I hate it when that happens.

Hope you are doing well. Sorry if I haven't read your blog lately. I will get around to it. I've just been whipped in the evening. Tonight I got home. Joe got home late - at 7pm so I was rushing to get out of the door to go to Curves. Then I had to go to Kroger afterwards because I was out of water. Got home, started to make dinner. It was finally done at 9:30 and it sucked. My whole day is just gone anymore. I don't even feel like I spend enough time with my boy! Working full time and being a mom is hard work!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Our Christmas Saturday

Here's me and Joey just resting after he got up from his nap. Isn't he a cutie!?

Saturday was a good day. Our first task on the agenda was to go get new tires for my minivan. The tires are pretty worn and for some reason, the car shakes badly when it’s going slow. So we dropped the car off.

When we got home I wrapped Joey’s gifts from Grandma.

We put Joey down for a nap at 1pm. He wasn’t happy about it but we wanted him to go to bed so we could get over to Grandma Char’s early (Joe’s mom) and do Christmas at her house.

So while he was napping, we went to pick up the minivan. We got all new tires and I was hesitant to drive the van – wondering if it would still shake and guess what? IT NO LONGER SHAKES!!! This is so good. The whole van drives so much better. I especially need new tires because of the foot of snow we got recently. I’m so happy about new tires – isn’t that sad? LOL

After we got back Joey woke up. He only slept an hour but he slept in that morning so we thought he would be ok.

Off to Grandma Char’s for Christmas. We were wondering what Joey would do with all the presents. We showed him one gift and he took off running and crying before we even got any of it unwrapped. Then all he wanted to do was play with Grandma Char’s pool table. The heck with gifts!

Finally Joe’s mom showed Joey the new bank she got him. It’s a railroad crossing sign and when you put coins in it, it flashes. It’s really cool and Joey loves coins so he thought that was fun. The funny part is the bank is so big, we need to lift Joey up to put coins in it! He also liked the train she had running circles around her Christmas tree.

Finally I got a Thomas the Train gift and started to unwrap it and he realized there was Thomas under the gift wrap and got excited. It wasn’t until halfway through the unwrapping process that he kinda got the concept of tearing the gift wrap off the gift. He was so excited about the GeoTrax he got by Fisher Price. We got him two huge starter sets and a pack of ramps. You will have to look at the photo below to see the HUGE track layout that Joe made him. GeoTrax is so cool. I even played half the night with it!

Joey got a LOT of stuff for Christmas – which isn’t surprising because he is the only grandchild! He got a bunch of GeoTrax, a new sled, a magnetic wooden puzzle, some Thomas the Train cars, the Railroad Crossing Sign Bank, A sled, some Matchbox cars, a John Deere truck with trailer, a Thomas the Train ornament for the tree, a coloring pad that colors and disappears when it dries with Elmo on it (see below), and I’m sure a few other things I can’t remember.

I got a fleece blanket (the knotted ones) with fish on it, a turkey roaster oven, a toaster oven, a comforter for our bed, a lighthouse candle, and some kitchen potholders and towels with leaves on them.

Joe got some fun sports type things to do with Joey – like a 3 in one sports center thing where you can play basketball, darts and one other thing, a UofM fleece blanket, desktop golf game, and a set of crescent wrenches. I’m not sure what else he got.

We got Joe’s mom a 12 month calendar of Joey’s photos and she just loved it. In fact Joe was mad I didn’t get him one! Grandma got two bound books of Joey’s photos and loved that too.

The boys had a fun time playing with the Geotrax train all evening. Later that evening it was Grandma’s Christmas with Uncle Fred and family. They got off work late so they came over about 8 or 8:30. We had a redneck dinner – lol. Ham, Pizza, Chicken from KFC, coleslaw, and mashed potatoes. It was good though!

I got a $20 applebee’s gift card for Christmas and a pajama set. Joe got a nice pull over sweatshirt. We both got $50 from Grandma. Joey got a huge tonka truck for playing in the sand and a toy (below) where you put cars in it and they flip over and go all the way down the platform. That kept me amused all night.

Overall it was a good night. Joey showed off by counting to 5, and doing all of his animal noises. He’s is such a ham with crowds! Lately he loves just drinking water so we give him water in his sippy cups and he does well with this. In fact, we give him water when he goes to bed and he doesn’t pee through his diaper at night anymore. I think the watered down juice was a bit sweet and made him drink the entire cup – causing night time wetting.

It’s Sunday morning and Joe and MIL have been playing with the train tracks all morning – more than Joey. I tell you – those Geotrax are more fun for adults than the kids! Hehe.

Grandma enjoying the photo book we made her.

We got the dogs a gift too.

Me and my new roaster. It was heavy - hence the hunched over look.

Joey's new color with water elmo mats.

Joey finally understanding how to unwrap a gift.

One of the train layouts Joe made for Joey.

Another train layout Joe made for Joey.

The flip car toy Derek got Joey.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Let it snow Let it snow...I hate snow...

Yep - Winter storm warning - 5 - 8 inches of snow.

It started last night. I went in late to work because I had some things to get ready at home and wished I went in earlier. Half way into work the roads got really bad.

Today was the day of our work Christmas outing. I was on the Holiday committee and we organized it to be in the bowling ally owned by a co-worker. We left about 10am to go get the food for the party. The roads were still not that great.

After we got all the food we went to the lanes. Here are some photos of me. We all played 3 game of 9 pin no tap. What that means if you get 9 pins on the first frame, it's considered a strike. My first game I got a 206!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had the high score the first game out of 40 people!!!! Check me out!

The roads home were ok but I went slow because I knew it was bad. It had snowed all day long. When I got home I couldn't even get into the driveway. Our driveway is super steep so I couldn't drive up it. I asked the neighbor girl to watch Joey while I cleared out the driveway. We had about 8 inches of snow in the driveway. YUCK. Thank GOD for a snowblower!! It took me probably an hour to clear it all out. Can anyone say I HATE SNOW?!! Yeah, I hate Michigan. So why am I here - because we love our family - enough said!

Just a little update on Joey. He turns 2 on 1/8/06. He counts to 10 now, puts the missing pieces in puzzles and in those shape sorters, He knows some of his colors and he builds with blocks and builds ramps and tracks for his trains! I can't believe how much he's doing! Oh and he always tells us when he poops now! I hope we can get ready for potty training soon!

Oh and one more thing I'm excited about. Andrea - the owner of Scrapjazz - announced she is preggo!!!! How cool is that? I remember when I had Joey I told her she was next and she said no way! Congrats Andrea!!! :)

So check out my photos from today. I'm going to bed EARLY tonight.

Don't know if you can see, but my driveway goes straight up. It sucks.
We had a ton of snow.

Here's Joey. He has never really walked a lot in snow before.
It was up nearly to the top of his boots!

Shot from down the street.

Another photo from the other side of the street.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Which type of Santa's Reindeer are you?

Saw this on Carolyn's blog.

Ok, now if you see this, you have to take the quiz and post it on your blog! Come on - it's fun! ;)

You Are Dancer

Carefree and fun, you always find reasons to do a happy dance.

Why You're Naughty: That dark stint you had as Santa's private dancer.

Why You're Nice: You're friendly. Very friendly.

What wonderful people...and Back to work

Well, life will never be the same without Grandpa, but he touched our lives in such a positive way, that we have to be happy for the time spent with him, and celebrate the time we did have.

Grandpa's funeral was beautiful. The funeral home did everything, nothing was left out. Grandpa looked so peaceful - years younger in fact. There was a beautiful sewing that was part of the casket that had wildlife on it and a gun and fishing pole - he would have loved it. We got bass fish corners for the sides of the casket and he would have loved that too. I was grieving a lot during the viewing on Sunday. I held together pretty well on Sunday until the end where they did the gun saltute for Grandpa being a WWII veteran and then they played taps. I just lost it. I started to sob. Taps is such a sad sad song and it makes me cry every time I hear it.

The funeral home asked us to gather 25 photos and they would put them on a video to play over and over through the viewing. It was beautiful. We took all day on Thursday night to pick out our favorite photos and everyone loved the one I showed below of Grandpa by the fire. It was such a beautiful tribute to his life. I'm soooo glad I love photography because all of the recent photos were taken by me - there were none more recent. I was able to remember Grandpa interacting with his family and ourselves and share it with his friends and family. It was such a beautiful photo slide show - the funeral home did a great job of getting that for us.

Grandpa was such a wonderful individual. He had all sorts of people come to his funeral. The guy who fixed his tractors even came to give respects. He touched so many people wherever he went. Those who met him are so blessed.

I do have to say I have pretty amazing people at work that I work with. My friend Joleen was asked by my boss to find out the details of the funeral. I did not tell them Grandpa's name, where he was being buried or what funeral home Grandpa was at. Joleen looked at my website, then my blog and found Grandpa's name and then found out what funeral home he was at. Then they collected money and sent this gigantic white poinsetta to the funeral. I showed up at Grandpa's funeral on Sunday and could not believe that they found out where it was and sent the flowers. I was so touched. THEN my boss showed up. Now Grandma and Grandpa live an hour and a half away from where I work. My boss probably lives about 45 minutes away and he still came with his wife to support me. I swear I have the best boss. It was so nice to have support from work and it meant so much to me.

All of you have been so caring. I've gotten the nicest emails, comments and messages from all of my 'web' friends and family. You are so great and your support means so much to me. A lot of you were able to tell me stories of how you are able to relate and that gave me support and peace. Thank you!!

The neighbors of Grandma's are so caring. They pitched in and put together the get together after the funeral and reserved the hall and made all the food. They did everything. I swear, when something tragic happens, it's unbelievable how the community pitches in. What caring, awesome neighbors. Grandma didn't have to worry about anything. The neighbors brought over food every night - even the night of the funeral a neighbor brought over lasagna and salad. People are so caring!

Today we are back to work. We got 2 days of bereavement and decided it was best to go back. It was a busy day at work. Joey enjoyed going back to daycare and Joe was also busy at work today.

Curves was great tonight. I LOVE going there. I've been going a year and know the girls that are there in the evening now and we just hang out and talk and our workout flies by. They were very supportive once they found out about Grandpa and that was nice. I saw my buddy Amy who I haven't seen in a little while and Lynn who I haven't seen in awhile. It was great to catch up with them and Amy just lives around the block! I love the friends I've made since I've joined.

Tonight I decided to pull out the clippers I got at Walmart for $8.00 and try to cut Joey's hair. Actually Joe cut it and he was very very good. His hair looks so much better and we saved $$ on a haircut from the pros! Gotta love that.

Overall, I've been in a good mood. I can't let everything get me down. Like I said, Grandpa led a good life and I will miss him terribly. He wouldn't have wanted me to be down in the dumps and bring everyone else down. I am going to celebrate his life and think of him daily with good thoughts that make me smile. I know he's looking down on us daily and watching over Joey Jr. so that brings me comfort. I just hope he looks over Grandma and brings her peace.

Friday, December 9, 2005

Thank you! Thank you.

I have such good friends. Thank you all for your nice pm's or comments to my post last night. You are all so supportive and caring. I appreciate it so much - words can't express.

It was a hard night for us all. It was hard getting up in the morning and not having Grandpa yell (because he was hard of hearing) GOOD MORNING JOEY to Joey. Grandma had a little bit of a breakdown this morning and I gave her a big hug and let her cry. It's hard for all of us. Grandma is dealing with it by just keeping busy and trying to keep her mind off things. Joey hasn't really realized that Grandpa is not here, which is good for us because it would just make us more sad.

We don't know when the funeral is. Grandma is going to the funeral home with her son at 3pm. It's going to be a sad funeral. Grandpa was in the service and so the military will be there doing their tribute sounds for him. Whenever I hear that at a funeral, I totally lose it and I know I will when they play it.

My eyes have teared up so much they actually burn when I get tears now. It's so sad.

The neighbor next door brought a huge Chinese toss salad over last night. That was so sweet.

We had a HUGE snow storm last night and almost every school in the area is closed today. The neighbor came over and plowed out the driveway. Aunt Jean is bringing us dinner tonight. The support we've been getting from friends and family is amazing.

I love you all for being such good friends. It means so much to me in this sad part of my life. Thank you!!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2005

The worst day of my life – RIP Grandpa rest in heaven.

RIP Chester Kapa - 1923 - 12/8/2005. 82 years old.
Loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

**Warning, this is very long and very sad. I needed to use this blog to write out my feelings about what happened today.

Today already started out bad. I’ve been off work all week because Joey has had some viral infection. We took him to another doctor today to get another opinion and they also said it was viral and told me to keep him home until Monday. Another week off work. I swear they probably think I never work. It’s making me feel so bad. Last Monday I was off for vacation, Tuesday I called in sick, Wednesday I worked, Thursday I worked from home because I was sick and I went in on Friday. Monday I went in and I’ve been home since Tuesday.

Grandma called me today. I thought she was just calling me back because I had called her earlier to tell her about Joey. Her voice was cracking and she said ‘Briana’ and I knew something was wrong. She said Grandpa wouldn’t wake up this morning and she had to call an ambulance to come and get him. They took him to the local hospital, which air lifted him to Saginaw to a larger hospital.

She told me his heart sounded good and they had to give him a breathing tube to help him breathe but the rest of everything was ok. She was waiting for mom to come and get her so they could drive to Saginaw.

I called Joe who told me he was coming home and we were going up north. I packed. I called work and told them I would not be in tomorrow and told them Grandpa was in the hospital. I cleaned and made sure the cats had been fed and the fish had been fed. With as much as I’ve been off work lately, I bet they thought I was making up stuff about all this going on.

Joe got home and we did a few errands before we left. We quickly went to the post office, bank and then to daycare to drop off $50 tip to Dena and a Christmas card and then we went up north.

I tried to call Joe’s mom multiple times but figured she was in the hospital and had her phone off. We were going up to Saginaw to visit Grandpa.

The phone rang. Whoever was on the other line was not there. Not sure who the number was.

Joe and I drove along. We talked about this and that trying to keep our mind off things. We thought Grandpa was ok – after all Grandma said he was doing fine when they sent him to St. Mary’s.

A little past Frankenmuth we got a call. It was Joe’s mom. I answered and figured she was calling from the hospital about Grandpa. What I got was a chocked up, ‘Briana’ and sniffles and I knew Grandpa was gone. She told me that Grandpa had died. The rest was a blur. Joe was yelling at me, asking what was going on. I told him that Grandpa had passed. He pulled over two full lanes of the highway, abruptly stopped the car, and then started hysterically screaming and crying. I started to cry. Joey, who had been sleeping, woke up scared and crying. I tried to console both Joe and Joey. This went on about 15 minutes. I finally convinced Joe to let me drive. I was ok. I was numb. This really didn’t happen.

On the way up north I called Joe’s mom and she wasn’t there.

She called me back about 5 minutes later. I asked if I could help with anything. They said they were on their way back home. She told me that there were in the hospital and he went fast. They were all there with him and a nurse came in and told everyone to leave. They tried to revive him but after 4 heart surgeries, his heart could not make it and he passed away.

It was hard on the way to Grandma’s house. We tried to talk about it and needed to talk about it. We made a few jokes – like, ‘Can you imagine cleaning out the house now?’ because Grandpa was the biggest clutter collector on the earth. We got a good laugh about that. Overall though, we were very sad.

I think some of you may have read, Joe’s grandparents have raised him. Joe’s mom was in a bad relationship and so Grandpa and Grandma took care of Joe from an early age so Grandpa is almost like a dad. He taught Joe a lot of his math skills, how to hunt and just about everything. He was supportive like a father and took me in like a daughter.

When we pulled into the driveway it was really hard. Grandpa liked to feed the deer, and there was his truck, loaded with bread in the back, and Grandpa was no longer around to feed the deer.

Then when we walked in the house we were slapped with 100 things of Grandpa’s laying all over the house. Grandpa will never be back to wear them or use them. Joe started crying again when he got in the house, as did I.

Joe’s mom and Grandma came in shortly after we arrived. Hugs went around. Everyone is numb. We’ve all been crying but we are still numb that anything happened.

Grandma told me the whole story. She said she doesn't even think he was conscious at all today. It was so weird because yesterday they were all talking to him. Today he wasn't conscious at all. I think he was already gone this morning when Grandma tried to wake him up. His body was still functioning but he was gone. Grandma said his eyes were open at the hospital but he never moved them and never reacted to anyone talking to him.

The funeral home gave Uncle Fred a sheet of paper and it said they would do a photo collage as a movie for free with a minimum of 25 photos. We spent most of the evening pouring over photo albums and finding photos of Grandpa. I felt really honored. In photography class I took this photo of Grandpa in his chair warming his feet. He never knew that I was sitting there snapping the photo until I was done with the roll. That photo is my favorite of Grandpa, and everyone who saw it tonight at the house said they absolutely loved that photo of Grandpa. I was touched that I was the one who took it. I was able, as a photographer, to capture the real emotion of Grandpa that day, sitting, warming his toes.

There are a lot of thoughts going though my head. I’m most sad about the fact that I did a special project for Grandma and Grandpa for Christmas. I went to and made Grandma and Grandpa a special photo book. Grandpa’s was one of Joey’s first two years of life, month by month and I took all of the photos I could of Grandpa and put them in this book for him. I spent like 6 hours making it. I had to manually pick out 23 months of photos for this book. I had to write the captions, and spent hours of my time making it. I knew he would love it. Grandpa is so hard to buy for. He absolutely loves my scrapbooks and I knew he would love this. He loves Joey so much that I knew this would be perfect. I ordered it and he won’t even be around to enjoy it. I am so sad that I’m crying. It was the one gift I got for someone this year that I was so excited about giving, and he never got to see it. It upsets me so much.

The other thing we got for Grandpa this year was an electric blanket. I wanted so badly to give it to him early, because he is soooo cold in the evenings. This cold weather is so hard on him and I knew he could use it now, but I knew it was a Christmas gift and that I should wait. Now I’m kicking myself that I didn’t let him use it earlier. Now I don’t know what I’m going to do with an electric blanket. I’m so sad.

I’m most sad about the fact that I think Grandpa was the biggest fan of my scrapbook pages. I always scrapbook up north at Grandpa’s house and when I’m done with a scrapbook page, he always looks at it. He looks over the photos, always reads the journaling and then raves about how much he loves my pages. He gets excited every time I get one done. I almost feel like not scrapbooking now. I know everyone else loves my pages, but Grandpa was the one who really really told me how much he loved them. Now Grandpa is not around to enjoy them.

When we were coming up to the house today, Joey started to say ‘Papa, Papa’ because he loves Grandpa so much. Grandpa and him would sit for hours and play with trains or cars, or Grandpa would read to him. Grandpa was so patient – much more patient that I am. Now Grandpa isn’t here. I’m so sad. I wanted Joey to know who he was and remember him. One of the main reasons we had Joey so early in life was we wanted Grandpa and Grandma to know who their great-grandchildren were. Grandpa was such a big part of Joey’s life.

We all knew this was coming. Grandpa’s health has been deteriorating over the past few years, and mainly over the past few months. We’ve been going up north every weekend, because we wanted to spend as much time as we could with our grandparents while they were on this earth. I can say that I knew Grandpa knew I loved him and I knew he loved me. It’s just so hard to lose someone you love, even if you know it’s going to happen anyhow.

I needed to type all this out. I know the next few days will be very hard. We will be attending the funeral. I honestly can say I’ve been fortunate that I’ve never lost anyone this close to me before. Joe’s uncle passed away 2 years ago very young. Other than that, this is my first real experience with losing someone and I’m not sure how to handle my feelings of grief.

Grandpa was 82. He lived a long life. The last few years of his life were hard, and he said often ‘Getting old is a bitch’. I really miss Grandpa but I’m comforted in the fact that I know he’s not suffering anymore. I know he was afraid of dying and I hope he’s in heaven and has met his father, who was murdered when he was a young child and they are talking about gambling – which his dad was really into.

I feel like my nose and head is full of pressure from choking back tears.

I really really miss Grandpa. I wish I could bring him back. Christmas this year will be different without him.

Grandpa – rest in peace. We all loved you very much and you will be missed. I hope to see you in heaven someday and show you my new scrapbook pages. Please watch over Joey and keep him safe. We love you!

Here are a few photos of Grandpa I dug up where he was playing with Joey. He was such a good Great-Grandpa.

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Our family photos and the Lions game - VOTE below.

This weekend on Saturday we went to Saginaw to get our family Christmas photos taken (see below). It went well until Joey had a MAJOR meltdown at the end. He was tired and he wanted to play with the train and then didn't and couldn't make up his mind. Joe had to carry him out of the store kicking and screaming. Yes - major meltdown. The photos turned out nice. I'm happy with them for the way Joey was acting anyhow. We went to Sears. It was $10 a sheet if you wanted it same day and I just got one each as 8x10. I asked about their copyright free cd and it was $299 if you didn't purchase at least $150 in print or $199 if you purchase $150 in prints! You have to be kidding me! Kiddie Kandids only wants $75 for 4 prints on the cd. I like how our photos turned out and the photographer was good. I just wish the ones of Joey with the trains were lighter. I had to lighten them up a lot and the blotches are my dirty scanner on the last one. I tried to clean it but I must not have done a good job.

On Sunday Joe got tickets to the Lions game - 50 yard line, only 4 rows up. Of course I ended up going to the game that everyone was rowdy. People were passing signs asking people to fire Millen, who is the president of the Detroit Lions. One guy took the sign and security wanted it. He ran through 5 rows in the stadium before they finally tackled him. They have been showing the 'Fire Millen' highlights on ESPN since Sunday and I just saw them tonight too! The first play was 80 yards rushing for the OPPOSITE team and it was downhill from there. At least the fans were amusing!

Today I was home with Joey - if you see below - he's got some type of viral infection that made his body break out in spot - mostly on his cheeks. Oh, but we got him weighed at the doctors and he's 30 lbs now!

Joey is doing so well now. He can count to 6. We are trying to teach him his colors. Sometimes he has it right on, and other times he just says any color he can think of. Melissa gave us this colors/shapes card game and we use those as flash cards to test him.

Tonight I mailed my 50 or so Christmas cards. I know I had to put about 4 different stacks of envelopes into the mailbox tonight. I love doing Christmas cards!

Monday night I was up late creating my special projects for Grandma and Grandpa and Joe's mom. I can't wait to show them what they are!

This weekend my mom says in Howell they have a train ride at the depot in town that is a Santa train and santa comes on and you get to go on the train for a ride. I think we will see if we can fit that into our schedule. It sounds like a blast!

I think that's about all that is going on for now. I hope Joey gets better soon!

Which one do you like best?

#1 (The Family 1)

#2 (The Family 2)

#3 (The Family 3)

#4 (Joey and Daddy)

#5 (Joey Christmas Ornaments)

#6 (Joey train looking)

#6 (Joey train playing)

What type of momma are you?

Yes, another one of these I found. Check out what type of mom I am! Yep, I'm all girl but not a pushover. Watch out world!! Briana's in the house! LOL

Girly Mama 2
You're a girl power mommy! You love to be girly,
but you're no pushover. Your kids are learning
that gender differences don't have to mean
gender inequality. You've taken back pink, and
you don't care who knows it!

What kind of a freaky mother are you?
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Christmas blog tag

If you are reading this - you're tagged! Put this on your blog. Carolyn tagged me!

Do you celebrate Christmas? Of course!
What are your favorite "holiday" colors? Red and green.
Favorite Christmas song? Christmas Sarejvo by Trans Siberian Orchestra
Favorite Christmas movie? The Christmas Story - You'll shoot your eye out kid
Favorite Christmas cartoon? Rudolph the red nose reindeer
Real tree or artificial? artificial! Real trees aren't worth the hassle or cost!
Special family traditions? No - just a lot of family parties.
Travel or stay home? Travel
Does Santa wrap presents? My mother and I do!
Do you do an advent calendar? no
Do you send Christmas cards? Store bought or handmade? Christmas
letter? Pictures? Christmas cards - store bought with a handmade Christmas newsletter and family photo.
What do you put in stockings? - little things, cars, candy, etc.
Typical holiday meal? I don't cook. Whatever others serve.
Are you done shopping yet? Have you started? Not done. Maybe 1/2 way?

Joey's sick again!

I haven't had time to post and will catch up later but Joey is sick - again. Some viral infection is what they are telling me. Look at his face. His arms and legs have a few small spots, but his face looks the worst. No fever, he's acting fine. He was a bit tired last night and took a 4 hour nap and then woke up freezing and shivering, but that is the only side effects he has has. I have no clue what it is.