Monday, July 30, 2012

Mystery and Intrigue

I am the keeper of the calendar. Yesterday when I looked to see what was coming up for the week in my handy dandy Cozi, I saw this...

Interesting...very, very interesting.

J NEVER plans anything as a surprise, never.  I can't tell you if he has even planned a date in the 16 years we have been together. Of course, I inquired a bit.  Just to see what he would give up.  Nada.

So, I think I will simply sit back and enjoy the mystery of it all - with bated breath, of course.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Like a Kid on Christmas Morning

I am as bad as the kids on Christmas morning.  I seem to have misplaced my patience.

My FF just came off of a 48 - our last one for a while.  I have been with the muppets for 48 hours.  The first day of the 48, my amazing firewife neighbor (whose FF is on the same shift as mine) needed my help.  Her babysitter was just not doing well with her three stooges and she did not need any more phone calls at work, given her job (and it was a crazy night at work for her).  So, I kinda stepped in and took over.  No big deal, but not the night I had planned.  Seven kids can be a bit draining, especially when there is some unnecessary drama going on.

Last night, my amazing firewife comrade in arms, made burgers and we fed the masses, while her hubby was on a boys' night.  I think it is good that we have each other, but still not the night that she had planned.

This morning, eight o'clock mass, with 4 muppets, alone for the fourth week in a row - and my hubby calls right in the middle of prayer - twice.  I think I have THE LOUDEST vibrating phone in the WORLD, btw. I quickly texted 'mass' to him.  He forgot it was Sunday.  UGH!

And now, we have been home for a few hours, I am still on duty.  Keeping the muppets quiet and outside. 

And all I want to do is wake him up.

So sad.  Ah well.  Back to my list of school supplies - 60 pencils, 14 glue sticks...another post for another day.

Have a great week.  Love up your kids and hug your firefighters.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - My Oldest's Room with Linky

You can learn so much about my oldest, just by looking at the top of his dresser.  The FF with the 2 on the helmet, just like daddy.  Daddy's Pit Pass and race credentials. The tire was from tire testing at the Mile. The picture of his 5th grade class at their completion ceremony. He is Daddy's boy through and through.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hurricanes have nothing on these girls

I have really tried to make all of the kids pull their weight around here.  The chore charts work beautifully.  It is part of being a family - everyone pitches in. Except when it comes to the girls' room.  That is simply a federal disaster area - EVERY BLOODY DAY.  My honey-bunny told me not to worry about it this weekend, he would take care of it.  "Take care of it" = send the boys in to "help" the girls clean their room.  Yeah, it got daddy's stamp of approval last night and I breathed a sigh of relief.

This is what started it all.
Can you even see the contact paper
I worked soooo hard to get the
wrinkles out of??
That changed with the sharp inhale that came about me when I sent D up to bring me all their headbands and ponytail holders. I made an oatmeal can covered in contact paper for barrettes and ponytail holders inside and headbands on the outside.  (Really a great idea - thank you Pinterest!)  She came back with 1 headband and 2 ponytail holders.  Now, that did not really cause the sharp inhale, that would occur once I went up to hunt for all of the hair thingys my girls suddenly did not have.

Bear found the only clean spot - under the bed.
Notice the book coming off D's bed.

Giovanni much more content to sleep on the edge of O's bed,
with D's there to catch him since there was SO
much JUNK on O's bed.
All of the "cleaning" my kids did the night before was more of a "stuff and hide everything in whatever container possible" expedition.  It took me four hours to undo their cleaning!

I am not exaggerating.  There was a nudists' beach of dolls that must have run wild 
last night - Strawberry Shortcake, Disney Princesses and Barbie and her commune all naked with their "stuff" EVERYWHERE.  Dirty underwear shoved in the dish drawer.  Dress up clothes stuffed into the foot locker for shoes, hats and boas.  I was gone so long cleaning, the dogs came up to join me.  The only clean spot for Bear was under O's bed.  The only reason that was clean is because D's bed is a trundle.  Gio managed to take his three legs up over all the junk spewed everywhere and took a spot in the disheveled mound o' stuffed animals - with random other toys and dirty clothes shoved in them to expedite the cleaning process. 

Drawers totally organized.
I was on a rampage.  Not only did the floor get cleaned, but the shelves were organized and I sorted the drawers o' toys.  Little People are back in the Little People drawer, food back in the food drawers, doll house people and furniture in their drawers.  The books were amazingly neat - I think that is where the problem originated.  Books got put away first, meaning they read every single book that was out and time got away from my crew.  When the end was drawing near, it was known that Daddy would be inspecting, hence the stuff in the nearest - bag, drawer and bucket.

And now the question is, will it last?  Silly mommy.  Four babies later.  You know the answer.

Little girl toys and WAY too many shoes -
can you believe that bottom shelf!!??

Dress up clothes BACK on hangers, tops of dressers found.

Books and big girl toys - there
are 2 crates of books and 4 bags.
Only bag out at a time and they
can mix and match as they go.  Every 6 weeks or
so I switch crates and bags of books.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Here We Are, Yet Again...


Here is another, where were you when...

Where were you when...

The Challenger exploded

The earthquake in San Francisco interrupted the World Series

The Wall came down

Desert Storm

Oklahoma City was scarred forever, on my mom's birthday

OJ walked



Dale Earnhardt

The Columbia ignited before our very eyes


And now...Aurora, Colorado 

I can tell you for each of these events - which tells you how much they impacted me, given the swiss cheese I have for a brain - where I was, what I was doing, who I was with.  And I am sure there are more on my list, this was just what came to me as I started to think about these monumental events.  You can figure out my age based on where I started my list. 

Please take a moment and say a prayer.  A prayer for those who lost their lives and those who loved them and are in such unimaginable pain.  For the amazing police, fire, medical and haz-mat personnel who made sure that everyone they could protect, were indeed safe.  For those who will never be able to walk into a movie theater again out of fear.  For the family of the one who cut so many lives short, I don't know how they will get through knowing this atrocity to humanity was caused by one of their own.  For our society, some people are becoming immune to these kind of events - to the point of LOUD complaints when sports radio hosts choose to put baseball on the back burner for a morning.  REALLY?? For healing...

PLEASE be sure to hug your kids and kiss your firefighters.  This could happen anywhere, at anytime.  Anyone of us could lose those we love to this kind of senseless tragedy.  At the Fair, at the ballgame, at a school, at the movies.  Say what you need to say and know that at anytime we may be called away for reasons only He can understand.

"If there's anything to take away from this tragedy it's the reminder that life is very fragile. Our time here is limited and it is precious. And what matters at the end of the day is not the small things, it's not the trivial things, which so often consume us and our daily lives, ultimately it is how we choose to treat one another and how we love one another..."

~President Obama

I could care less where you stand politically, what he said should hit home for every one of us and serve as a reminder.  There are no guarantees.  NONE.  

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Plans change

And you just have to adapt.  It is the mantra of every firefighter's spouse.  Especially while in the midst of a 48. Once in a while it is an unexpected moment Sometimes it is a good thing.  Like today.

I have an errand to run later today.  Someday I will decide if I am brave enough to share them or not.  For now, let it be an errand.  Anyway, after that, I was going to paint my bathroom.  I fussed about it earlier. I have the new shower curtain that I got UBBER cheap at Anna's Linens - my first time into the store.  I have the tile taped off, ready to go - which is the tedious part.  So why am I not partaking in just getting it done?  

Well, maybe because I am waiting for my FF to be home tomorrow so no one fights around the ladder while I am trying not to dump the paint all over my tub, because of insert whining kid issue here.  Totally practical reason, I grant you, but I am feeling much more frivolous. 

There was a deal I could not pass up on Craigslist for an amazing item I truly hae no space for.  It is the color I wanted.  It is in my size and it has barely been used, due to duplicate pieces.  And it was a price that you just couldn't ignore.  The story is a little sad.   Desperate times, desperate measures.  But I am in love and will bring joy back to its life.

My KitchenAid Mixer!


You will find me full of flour.  I believe there will be some bars and cookies in my kids' futures.  I am going to try not to go hog wild and have all of that just laying around.  But I think about the winter months - which are always full of fresh baked bread and homemade pizza and smile.  I cannot wait for fall to come.  Can you tell I am not used to the 100 degree weather?

I am so excited.

UPDATE:  12:38pm CDT
I can totally make a double batch w/o making have the governor declare it a disaster area!

Banana cookies with PB frosting

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Date Night Link Up

Sunset Cruise on the Riverfront

Dinner downtown, almost like before the muppets.

It was an amazing recharging of our batteries.

Link up and give us a glimpse into your world.  Happy Wednesday!

Monday, July 16, 2012


I know budget cuts are everywhere - I am a teacher, married to a firefighter.  I get it . We need to trim the fat.  I get it.  The market crashed, the economy crashed.  The old norm is now a memory of the good old days.  It will be the chat at the Beer Fence, the remember when discussion, the material for retirement speeches.  The good old days.
I talk to my friends who are firewives in other parts of the country, the fire department is still seen as important pillars of the community - valued. 

Here, my husband has been sworn at repeatedly while snowblowing in his turnout gear - in front of our children by irate citizens who thinks he makes so much money - during a blizzard to make sure the rigs can get out safely when someone collapses with chest pains while shoveling said snow.  The department is constantly under fire for eating meals together.  They are publicly disparaged for grocery shopping and sitting in the bay on a nice day.  There is even a push among the public for 8 hour work days for FFs.  <eyeroll> I don't think the FFs I have come in contact with have hero complexes that are so often associated with being on the job.  Like any other field some are better than others at what they do.  Some are jerks and some are amazing.  Some have aspirations to crawl up the ladder, while others are content to be FFs forever and ever amen. But that is just life.  Show me a profession that does not see those discrepancies among drive and work ethic.

We have seen our fair share of the effects of the budgets - some in terms of staffing, some in the way of benefits and salaries.  Again, tightening the belt is just part of life.  We have had brown outs and companies taken out of service, but NOTHING like this.

Peace, healing and safe returns to the Detroit Fire Department.  Be sure to have each other's backs, it seems like no one else in the political arena will.  Be patient, but strong.  Continue to serve, but come home safe to your families.  Know that we are all thinking of you at this moment of true crisis.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Not Quite Wordless Wednesday

The kids had an idea - to make Daddy a welcome home sign after his 48 this weekend.  And D chimes is, "Yeah.  Let's help him enjoy his visit with us."  I thought it was a cute idea.  We made it happen, took pictures for Daddy's locker.

And then I thought about how profound a statement it was.

Daddy was just a visitor in our home.


So we had the sign waiting on the porch for Daddy when he got home and he was all smiles with the muppets.  They were so happy to see him and thrilled with their message. And then I think it sunk in.  It wasn't me nagging and complaining.  It was our kids adjusting to life without Daddy around.  It is a testament to the resiliency of children as well as a profound statement of the his absence was having on the kids.

Sometimes you say it best, when you say nothing at all.  I think he left with a little of a heavy heart for his shift the next day.  He has 2 more 48s this month and hopefully we'll be done for a bit. 

Please feel free to share the glimpses of your world by linking your Wordless Wednesdays with mine.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I have lots of them, some are 30 years, some are for today or this week.  Some are pie in the sky dreams.

Right now, I am focusing on the NOW.

Goals for today - AKA my FF's penitential Honey-do list -

  • Tupperware sorted - keep, store downstairs, donate, toss.
  • Clean the girls room.  There are still boxes.  I just can't look at their room anymore.  <sigh>  BUT, it is the only room I can't seem to get under control.  The boys have been amazing with their rooms, so life is good.  I really can't complain...much.
  • Hang the curtains.  I want to be able to step out into my living room in my pjs without being concerned about how much light the tank is giving off.
  • Finding my Willow Tree figurines.  I am missing them. They have been packed away for a YEAR!
  • Put on my bed skirt.  I don't want to look at my bed spring and all of the wall pictures I have stashed under my bed anymore.

In a nut shell, my goal for the day is to have my house done, instead of looking like we are still moving.  Yesterday, I swallowed my pride and put away my FF's Mt Everest of folded laundry.  I needed my bedroom back.  After 3 1/2 weeks of him digging through that tub of clothes, I figured enough was enough.  It was nearing the light switch - work clothes, included.Sometimes you have to pick your battles and enjoy the beautiful hardwood floors that have been freed.

Hug your kids.  Kiss your FFs.  Enjoy the day.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Difference Between a Firefighter and his Wife


Sirens and air brakes - both of us jump out of bed, because there are NEVER sirens around here (in my  whopping 5 weeks of experience).  And that my friends is where the similarities end.

After the truck circles several times, it is clear that the HEO and his boss are looking for something.  I am trying really hard not to go onto the front porch because I don't want them to think we are the house in need. But, hmmmm.

Then comes the paddy wagon (does my paddy heritage and summer time freckles allow me the carte blanche to use that term still??  Sorry random thought...).  And then the BLS vultures.

Firefighter: "Oh, probably just a man down call." Stumbles back to bed.  I think I heard snoring before he hit the pillow.

Me: Thoughts racing. "That's no good.  I hope they're okay."  Then the visions of wounded fugitives in the backyards - with weapons - start racing through my mind. "Wonder if I should let the dogs out."  Quick scan of all the windows, checking the gates.  "What if it was a sz, they'll be confused..."  Interrupted by the snore next to me.

Then I realize, my firefighter is home, there won't be anything that dramatic.  That drama will wait for tomorrow, when he is on shift. 

And now, now I am wide awake.

Up for the day, at 4:20AM.  My firefighter has the visions of sugarplums thing going on.

That my friends, is the difference between the firefighter and his wife.

Enjoy your day.

Hug your kids.  Kiss your firefighter.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

My Bathroom

I LOVE our new house, except for the bathroom.  I am trying to love the bathroom.  But it is little and it is tiled, has chrome built-ins over the sink and dated 50s colors.  The shower curtain was here when we moved in, I just changed out the liner until I could figure out what to do. It is "sufficient" as my grandmother called it.  What more do I need?  It has a tub with a shower, a toilet and a sink.  There you go.  I have a towel rack that can actual lie nearly flat to the wall.

So, I am turning my sour grapes into wine...or maybe I need some wine...anyway.  Back to the story at hand.

 I would like to replace the medicine cabinet, and actually I have one - new, in the box, in the garage.  But, My FF does not think it will fit.  I think I will pursue this later.  I thought that they were standard, but what do I know.  There are little flowers on it and there is one missing on lower right hand corner.  It SCREAMS at me every time I brush my teeth or wash my face.  Weird, yes, but none-the-less I see every time I am in the bathroom.

See, doesn't it just JUMP out at you as well??

So, back to my sour grapes into wine.  (Thinking I need a drink??) 

I started with something for the walls, trying to work with the colors at hand and  that helped.  I love these tin signs - think I found these at Hobby Lobby.  It kept my Parisian theme going throughout the first floor and tied in the turquoise tile, which suddenly did not look so dated.

As you leave the bathroom, there is a good reminder next to the door.  It also ties in the colors, as well.

Then I covered the dingy old switch plate, which I could have just as easily replaced.  But, work with what you have has been my motto lately and here you have it.  Some scrapbook paper and some Mod Podge and there you have it.  Again, tying in the colors of the tile.

The shower curtain is not my cup of tea, hence my search for a replacement.  I am trying to keep the colors and most of what I find are plastic cheesy curtains.  At that point I can just keep this one.  I have not found anything that I like in the world of Brick and Mortar, so as usual, I hit the cyber world.  I found one at Target and I think this maybe the one I go with. It has a little bit more of a grown-up feel to it and a bit of the Parisian flavor as well.  Thoughts?

Saturday, July 7, 2012


The windows can finally be opened - our highs will only be in the high 80s, which amazingly will probably feel a bit chilly.  The house has been cleaned - nearly from top to bottom.  I just need to dig out my dining room table of miscellaneous clutter. My house has been dusted, vacuumed, windows cleaned, beds made (all by 11am) and yet I am still a bit grumpy. It could be that O refused to get dressed because there was no skirt put out.  Or maybe because B vacuumed up one of the dogs tails - you know the k9 who I JUST got over his fear of the vacuum cleaner - after nearly FOUR years.  Maybe it was that N sprayed his brother in the face with Windex.  Perhaps it just the fact that it has been in the triple digits and I have had to deal with crabby, hot kids alone.  Or just being in the middle of a 48 and the hard part of that has come 12 hours earlier than usual.  I don't know.  Probably a combination of all of the above.

Personally, I am sick of cleaning.  This is the first summer all 4 kids have been home all summer. They used to go to a summer camp J started at his school at least a few days a week.  I never seem to get that break.  Some days I feel like Sisyphus - making it to the peak of the mountain after all that stress and strain just to watch it roll back and start all over again.  I never seem to get ahead, I always seem to be cleaning an area I just cleaned, straightened or scrubbed an hour earlier.  I have kept up with laundry, but it never ends.  I just don't think the world really wants 4 naked muppets running around, nor do they want N to NOT change his clothes so that I don't have to do laundry.

So, today, I am playing supervisor, foreman if you will.  My kids are working their way out of purgatory.  The girls are jumping in the bouncy house because they got their room done.  My boys are cleaning the glass in the photo frame divider and the glass in the end tables.

Me, I am working on making this house our home.  I am doing no more cleaning, instead I am focusing on the little details - my switch plates.  I have friends and family that our quite a distance away I would like to get pictures of the finished product to them. I'll start with the little things today, because I can.  I know it sounds silly, but it is cheap and easy an therapeutic. All while I eat junk food and watch The Kennedys mini-series I recorded the other day.  
My Kitchen

Here's what is already done...
Dining Room

For my bedroom - my favorite

The Girl's Room
Works in progress - the 2 on the left are for the stairwell
and the one on the right is to dress up my bathroom.

Friday, July 6, 2012


I love giveaways.  I will be excited for the day when my blog is big enough to catch the attention of the corporate world and they say, "Hey, give away our stuff to your awesome readers."  Instead, I live vicariously through my other bloggers and keep my fingers crossed that I might win some of these amazing items.  To date - nada.  But, you never know.  And, you can't win if you don't play, right?

So, today I am actually not trying for anything I want.  No stand mixer, no DSLR.  But instead something for N.  I have been fussin for weeks about the racing world, mainly because my FF has been sucked into it and left no forwarding address.  HOWEVER, that does not mean that it does not run in my veins.  I was nearly born at the Mile.  Spent much of my summers, from my childhood (4ish) until my child number 3 was born.  I planned my wedding around race schedules at 3 different race tracks.  Racing is simply part of life.  My oldest has now joined said ranks of racing fan-atics.  His room is all Nascar - not that I am happy with all the drivers represented, but it it not my room.  He has Daddy's credentials from the last few races.  Grandpa's crew got him a few extra hats.  And my firefighter even came home from tire testing this week with a tire for me to make into a nightstand for N.  So, if I were able to able to bring said racing "stuff" up to him, not that I am a fan of Danica, but that is a post for another day, it would thrill him.

Sound good to you??  Join in the fun.  Or wait, don't bother - you have NOOOOO chance of winning.  I am sure you can find SOMETHING more worthwhile to spend your time on...(which leaves more of an opportunity for ME to win.)

So possible booty to ask??

Specifics?  Check out The Divine Miss Mommy's Blog.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...