Thursday, May 26, 2011

Super Kids

I was recently asked by fellow blogger, Kelly at I've Become My Mother to spread the word on a very important cause.  She is trying to help save the life of a 16 year old girl who has been diagnosed with Myelodysplasia or  MDS. 

Haley is in need of a bone marrow transplant, but unfortunately getting a bone marrow match has become a challenge.  There are no matches within Haley's family and the preliminary bone marrow data base search has been very discouraging.  There may only be one potential match and at this point there is no word if the potential donor is still interested, still available, or if he/she is an appropriate match after the high resolution tests that still need to be performed (a family expense).  Because time is critical, Haley's parents, family, and friends need to be proactive.  They need to get word out that Haley needs a bone marrow match.

Please take a moment to read how you can be a donor and save a life.  It's as easy as requesting a FREE kit from the world's largest bone marrow center, DKMS Americas.  Donors can request kits from around the country on their website They will receive their free kit within 3 business days.  Please request your kit today!  I did. 

Another request that I would like to put out there, is to send your thoughts, prayers, support and love to a family that I went to high school with.  Their son, Graham, is the same age as Monkey and is one brave little boy.  He was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) on February 22nd, 2011. He is currently being treated at St. Jude's Children's Hospital.  If you would like to purchase a t-shirt in support of Super Graham, send me a message at and I will be more than happy to place your order. (T-shirts are 50% cotton/50% polyester and come in sizes Youth XS - L and Adult S - 2XL.  $15 each.)

These amazing kids are already experiencing more challenges than most adults ever will. They need all the support we can give them.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Happiness

In case you were wondering, we named the puppies Leroy and Lucy.  Here is Monkey lapping up all the puppy love that she can.

For more Wordless Wednesdays, click here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Beautiful Mind

As I was driving through the small town where we take Monkey to daycare, I saw a couple of young boys on bicycles.  They were cruising up and down the sidewalks, sometimes veering into driveways and parking lots.  Sometimes, my mind starts with something as simple as seeing kids riding bikes and starts to wander, ending up thinking about life jackets.  Odd, right?  Well this is how it happens...

I wondered if kids ever put pop cans on their bike tires to get that dirt bike sound anymore. 

When we were kids we loved doing that.  I don't think I've seen (or heard) anyone do that in years. 

Or what about baseball cards?  Do kids still put those in the tire spokes to make the dirt bike sound?  Or for that matter, do they even still MAKE baseball cards?  I was never huge into collecting them, but I remember other kids trading them on the bus. 

And then my mind switched over to baseball.  We don't live in town so it's hard for me to say with complete conviction, but I can't recall the last time I saw kids just playing catch, either in their backyards or at the park.  Is it because they are too absorbed in their PS3, PSP, or Wii's?  Or could it be that they don't have time to just play anymore?  It seems if a kid is involved in any sporting activity, all their spare time goes to it.

I was talking to a friend the other day whose 10 year old son is wrestling.  He practices 3 days a week and has wrestling meets another 3 days a week.  That's right, he has ONE day off a week, which happens to be Sunday.  Now, he enjoys it and wants to do it, so I don't think it's necessarily wrong.  Actually I think it's good, it keeps him out of trouble and teaches him responsibility.  But it also kind of makes me sad that kids are so busy they can't just be kids.  They don't have the time in between school, sports, and family to play a pick-up game or run down to the nearest creek and look for crawdads.

Then of course, my mind switched over to the creek.  Memorial Day weekend for the past several years has been one spent down at the creek for us.  We, along with 15 or so friends, spend the weekend setting bank poles and trot lines and canoeing down the creek checking them for fish.  If the weather holds out, we are going to take Monkey with us for her first canoe ride and I'm so excited about it.  I hope she enjoys it just as much as her dad and I do.

We can't take her if her new life jacket isn't here yet.  I ordered one yesterday, a Super Soft Coast Guard approved life jacket.  She hated her life jacket last year, it was a bit bulky, so I'm hoping this one will be better.

And that's how you go from bicycles to life jackets all in less than five mintues.  I know, I'm an odd duck.  Huh, speaking of ducks, I wonder if our new puppies will be good bird dogs.... 

Monday, May 23, 2011


As I said last week, we couldn't go long without some puppy love in our house.  So we broke down and got not just one, but TWO puppies.  They aren't the little tiny furball pups like Hank and Dewey were when we first gome them, they are a bit older, but still all puppy no doubt.  Since they came from a local shelter, we don't know their exact birthdate, but they are estimating them at 16 weeks. 

I have a friend who is a name freak and while we have already picked out names for these two (one male, one female), I thought it would be fun to see what YOU would have named them.  So tell me, would you have gone with the two most popular dog names Max and Bella?  Or would you have chosen something a little more whimisical, like Hansel and Gretel? 

I'm not hung up on names all that much, but I will say the boy name we picked out isn't on the most popular list, but the girls is.  I kind of wish I would've looked at the list now before picking names.  It's not like we hang out at the dog park or anything, but I don't want my dog to have the same name as a bunch of other pups on the playground either.  When I call her name, I want HER to come running not six or seven other people's pets!  Oh well, we are happy with our picks... now tell me, what would you have chosen? 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

All Dogs Go To Heaven

Well it just hasn't been our year for dogs.  Tuesday night our beloved Hank was hit by a car.  That comes right on the heels of losing Dewey.  Almost exactly a year to the day actually. 

It's not easy explaining to a 2 year old that her best friend isn't coming back.  How exactly do you tell her that she can't kiss her buddy goodnight anymore?  Or that there won't be any more snuggles with him?  We debated on how to go about it and finally decided that we would just tell her the truth.  (Ironic that I mulled this exact thing over just a few weeks ago.) 

Yesterday, Monkey asked for Hank and I sat her down and told her that he was playing in the road and was hit by a car.  Her little lip started trembling and eyes filled with tears.  I didn't know if that was because she actually understood what I was saying, or if she could just tell I was being serious about something.  It's times like that when I wish I could crawl inside that head of hers.  I continued and told her that Hank wasn't going to be coming back, he went to doggie Heaven with Dewey.  BUT, Daddy was going to be bringing home two new puppies that she could play with. 

Yep, that's right.  We are suckers for puppies.  JC went to the local animal shelter and found two black labs that were in need of a home, so we snatched them up.  Obviously, we can't replace Hank, but maybe having some new puppy love in our house with help. 

It's hard to believe that we didn't even have Hank for a year yet, but he certainly found a spot in our hearts.  He went from a fluffy little fur ball to a large lean dog that loved to cuddle.   

 This fella will certainly be missed. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Fat Asses

It may have rained the entire time we were there, but we certainly enjoyed ourselves once again at the Fat Ass 5K!

For more Wordless Wednesdays, click here.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Why Having a Toddler is Like Being at a Frat Party

10. There are half-full, brightly-colored plastic cups on the floor in every room. Three are in the bathtub.

9. There’s always that one girl, bawling her eyes out in a corner.

8. It’s best not to assume that the person closest to you has any control over their digestive function.

7. You sneak off to the bathroom knowing that as soon as you sit down, someone’s going to start banging on the door.

6. Probably 80% of the stains on the furniture contain DNA.

5. You’ve got someone in your face at 3 a.m. looking for a drink.

4. There’s definitely going to be a fight.

3. You’re not sure whether anything you’re doing is right, you just hope it won’t get you arrested.

2. There are crumpled-up underpants everywhere.

1. You wake up wondering exactly how and when the person in bed with you got there.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thursday Thirteen

1. My birthday was yesterday.  Happy birthday to me!  I think my body was rejecting turning another year older since I was sick Monday and Tuesday.  I bounced back yesterday though and am feeling a lot better today.

2. We didn't really do anything to celebrate my birthday or JC's (his was Monday) since I was sick.  So we are going to celebrate this weekend.  Luckily, we have some pretty cool friends who scheduled their wedding at a perfect time to coincide with our birthdays.  That was surely their plan the whole time, right?

3. The Kitchen Witch giving away what looks to be an amazing book today, Looking Up: A Memoir of Sisters, Survival and Skokie.  Head on over to her blog to check out an excerpt of the book and to enter for a chance to win!

4. I want to eat this.  Now.  I don't care if it's only 10:00 am.  It looks divine. 

5. I'm going to suggest to my volleyball team that we eat at Flat Top before our game tonight, just because of the above recipe.  It's as close as I can get for the time being.

6. We got our garden planted over the weekend.  We put in 8 different varieties of tomatoes, green, yellow and red peppers, jalapenos, banana peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, turnips, radishes, cilantro, basil, and strawberries.  I would've liked to have put even more in, but we had to stop somewhere.  Are you growing anything this year? 

7.  I really loved this post on the Corn Corps yesterday talking about consumer choice when it comes to Meatless Mondays.  Tell me what your thoughts are on this.  I think you know where I stand.

8. This weekend is going to be a busy one.  Not only do we have a wedding, but I also have the Fat Ass 5K!  I've been looking forward to this since the day after last year's!  I don't think anything really beats running while eating junk food and drinking beer. 

9. Maybe the Warrior Dash will.  We'll see how that compares in 13 weeks!

10. We've finally had some hot sunny days that are perfect for planting.  I've talked to a few farmers that have finished with corn and are now working on beans.  What a relief after the endless rain and crummy weather we had for a while! 

11. Monkey had her checkup yesterday with the dentist and she did so amazingly well!  Normally, they just take a look in her mouth to make sure everything is going okay and then put flouride on her teeth.  She screams and cries the entire time.  This time was different.  I had her come back and watch the last 10 minutes of my cleaning and I think it made a world of difference!  She sat so calmly and let them do what they had to do, she did SO well, they were even able to do more than normal and cleaned and polished them!  Here's to hoping all appointments go that smoothly. 

12. Interested in getting an insider's look at pro-gun rights strategies for the coming year?  You should think about attending this year's Gun Rights Policy Conference in Chicago.  I went two years ago when they had it in Springfield and found it to be very informative.  I'm hoping to go again this year.

13. I'm going to leave you with this picture, because it makes me smile.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Barebackin

Monkey loves horses.  She finally had her first chance at riding bareback over the weekend, and she was not disappointed!

For more Wordless Wednesdays, click here.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Four Generations of Awesomness

I spent Mother's Day making my own breakfast, taking my daughter to the doctor to get treated for pink eye, working in the garden, and doing laundry.  Sounds like fun, no? 

I did take time out to relax a little though and met up with family for lunch.  Here are four generations of pretty cool ladies :)  

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thursday Thirteen

Today I give you thirteen completely random musings....

1. I love Thursdays.  Why?  Because of the obvious reason, I can see the weekend peaking at me around the corner.  And two, it's volleyball night!  I really enjoy spending time with my team, we have so much fun together.  Unfortunately, we have not had a game yet where it isn't either raining or freezing and tonight looks like it won't be any exception.  It's not right when I have to wear socks playing sand volleyball, not right at all. 

2. It's Cinco De Mayo!  I plan on celebrating by going out with my team to a Mexican restaurant after our game.  What about you?

3. Speaking of Cinco De Mayo.  I think I want to try this recipe, and very soon.

4. Monkey's 2nd birthday was almost two weeks ago and I realized that I haven't even set up an appointment for her 2 year pictures!  Luckily, I have a few friends who dabble in photography :)

5. Did you know this week is Children's Book Week?  Being an aggie, I found these books to be interesting. 

6. I was introduced to The Kitchen Witch today.  She guest-posted over on Taming Insanity and I cracked up.  Check it out: An Open Letter to the Mommy at the Playground.  I think I've found a new blog to follow.

7. Mother's Day is this weekend.  My mom is superb and deserves to have more than one day a year devoted to her.  Even if your mom is as awesome as mine.  You should probably still do something special for her. 

8. Planning for the 5K for the VA is still going strong!  We have a facebook page now too, check it out and invite all your friends please!

9. I'm reading Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner.  I haven't read a book of hers for a while and saw it while at Wal-Mart the other day, so I picked it up.  So far it's good.  What are you reading?

10. An update on the rabbits... we no longer have them.  We decided to let them loose after more research showed that they were old enough to survive without their mama.  That and the fact that Hank wanted to continue to "play" with them.  We haven't seen them since so I'm hoping that's a good sign.

11. Hank did find a new play toy.  I went out to my car the other day and next to it was a huge dead RAT.  Good boy Hank, good boy.

12. Is it just me, or is this summer jam-packed moreso than other summers?  I feel like there is something on our calendar every weekend until September. 

13. JC and I are planning on going on a 'date' tomorrow night.  We haven't been out just the two of us in a LONG time.  Any suggestions on what we should do?  I'm guessing it will consist of going out to eat and probably eating so much we just want to go home and put a movie in.  But his birthday is on Monday, so some sort of celebration should be in order!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Toon Tuesday

I thought this was fitting for today....