Archive for June, 2008

Too Much To Expect?

Posted in Kids on June 30th, 2008 and tagged , , , ,

This is going to have to be a very brief post…  We’ve been SO busy lately, and I would love to make a post or two about all the fun things we’ve done this weekend, but my 20-month-old is quickly approaching her terrible two’s and is constantly spilling things and needing attention; therefore, I cannot sit long enough these days to make any kind of worthwhile post.  My 8-year-old is off school for the summer, and started off as a really big help with her little sister, but since it’s almost July, her enthusiasm for helping around the house is waning.  Part of me feels badly expecting her to help out and babysit so I can get some rest and her father can catch up on work, but then I also feel somewhat irritated that we went to all these fun places all weekend, even spending extra money for her to be able to bring a friend along, with no chance for me to recooperate.  I can’t help but think maybe we overdid it this weekend…  How is she going to learn any appreciation when we’re constantly doing fun stuff and she doesn’t have to contribute (much) to the work load around the house?  On the other hand, being the youngest child when I was growing up, I was never expected to watch over a younger sibling, and I have no idea how much to expect from her – I don’t want to use her or take her for granted as a built-in-babysitter…

All I know is, it would be wonderful if I could catch a break around here and have a good week or maybe even a few days to rest before my body must endure the huge ordeal of giving birth – I’m not sleeping at night very much and today the Dr. confirmed my suspicions that the baby has dropped, leaving me feeling constant pain and pressure down below which is exhausting in itself…  Time to get off my rear end to make lunch, more later, I hope!

Doomsday – A Week Away?

Posted in Kids on June 26th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , ,

One week from today, I will be hitting a milestone – the big 3-0.  To say I am dreading it would be a huge understatement.  It’s not that I feel old – at times I do, but mostly I enjoy being older because in some ways, my early 20’s really sucked.  After working out the growing pains of my early 20’s and figuring out how and where to settle our family for the rest of our lives, my late 20’s went really well.  But there are a few things about turning 30 that have me feeling a little depressed lately…

This first thing is really not a big deal, just food for thought, really – I read an article about a year ago about fashion ettiquette, and apparently ettiquette says I can no longer wear my hair in pigtails.  They say 30 is too old for this.  I haven’t worn my hair in pigtails since I was about 6 years old, but it’s the principle of it now being inappropriate because I’m too old.  What if I wake up one day wanting to wear my hair in pigtails all of a sudden?  Not really a catastrophe, but again, it’s just the principle – something I CAN’T do…  Maybe I should wear my hair in pigtails ON my 30th birthday…

My biggest qualm about turning 30 is that I feel too old for a career.  Over the past year and especially in the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking about all the things I’ll never be nor do because it’s too late…  So I guess this is it – I am officially locked into the Mommy career path, sigh.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, some people thrive on it.  I’m just not one of them.  While I truly appreciate being able to stay home and watch my kids grow without having to take some low-paying horrible job, I will also greedily admit that sometimes it’s not enough.  Sometimes, I think about maybe taking a minimum wage job, just to be able to contribute, just to be able to have a logical conversation with adults during the day.  Most of my daily conversations now revolve around poop, Barney, Hannah Montana or what was stuffed into the toilet.  When a person is in their 20’s, I always figured that was the time for establishing one’s career path, but my 20’s are gone, so I guess this is it.  Some days, I’m ok with it.  Some days I don’t even have time to really think about it.  But other days, I think about how I want to do something much more productive and lucrative, make a mark on the world while having fun and feeling like a contributing citizen…  I know, there are lots of people (especially stay-at-home-moms!) who say that raising happy, healthy, successful children IS the most productive and rewarding job out there…  But that’s easier said than done.  First, I don’t yet know if my efforts will be fruitful – what if the kids don’t turn out so well?  And second, and I hate to say this, but I will anyway – some days it just doesn’t seem like enough…  I want to be creating something, doing something, making money – I lack that immediate sense of accomplishment in my life, and I am a person who thrives on immediate payoff for effort.  Third, there’s always the thought in the back of my head – what am I going to do with myself when the kids are grown and in school?  I will be in my mid-thirties at the youngest, and since I didn’t use my 20’s to develop career skills for myself, where will that leave me when my days are no longer filled with changing diapers, preparing meals, cleaning up spills and mishaps, and chasing after kids?  Lately I’ve been dwelling on all the careers I’ve let it get too late to pursue, but there’s also the terrifying thought  – suppose I actually had some free time for myself…  WHAT ON EARTH WOULD I WANT TO DO WITH IT?  I never have any free time, so I don’t even know what I would do if I got some, and that for some reason, is terrifying!

I’m sure the pregnancy is adding to some of the anxiety I’m feeling about hitting the big 3-0.  After all, I’m due, well, actually, scheduled to give birth only 5 days after I turn 30.  And like I said, most days I can look at my 4 beautiful children and think, wow, creating them is a lot to accomplish by the age of 30…  But what about the dark days when all 4 are acting up at the same time, and I just can’t feel pleasure nor reward in the career path I’ve chosen?  And most of all, what career is just going to suddenly pop out of the woodwork for me once the kids have grown and aren’t so needy?

Can’t I just turn 29 again?

Get Smart – Don’t Waste Time On The Love Guru

Posted in Movies on June 25th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The advice in the title of my blog post sounds obvious in retrospect.  Mike Myers‘ new movie The Love Guru did not look funny, nor did it look like a good movie…  But date night this week found us in a neighboring town whose movie theater has a card club – you earn points every time you see a movie and earn rewards with the points – free popcorn, drinks, candy, movie tickets.  We were lucky enough to have earned movie tickets the other day, and when we realized this would probably be one of the last movies we’d see without a newborn baby along, we decided to make it a double feature with our earned tickets.  We had gone to the theater to see Get Smart, the latest Steve Carell movie.  Since the times lined up well and we wouldn’t have much time to kill between the movies, we chose The Love Guru (regrettably) for our second movie.

Get Smart
There is one reason why I would want to see this movie after never having seen the ’60’s tv show: Steve Carell.  The guy is a good actor who is always fun to watch, so we couldn’t resist checking out his latest work.  It wasn’t the best example of Carell’s talent, but it was exactly what I was expecting, plus entertaining and amusing.  The fictional gadgetry was clever and the action was plentiful; there were also some funny jokes thrown in (Bill Murray‘s cameo is one of the best parts), and overall it was a good time.  Anne Hathaway was good as Agent 99, but it makes me wonder what the character was like in the tv show…  And I wonder what else I missed since I’ve never seen an episode of the tv version of Get Smart?  Maybe I’ll some across one someday, but for now, the movie wasn’t good enough to make it a priority.

And because I don’t want to waste any time talking about The Love Guru, I’m just going to copy and paste someone else’s review from imdb.com which I think sums up the movie perfectly:
R.I.P. Mike Myers Career
I saw this film last night in a advance screening. I can say without a doubt it is the worst movie I’ve ever seen in the theater. It is simply a terrible movie. For every joke that’s funny (which are few) there is about dozen that are not. Then there’s all the jokes we’ve seen in previous Myers films that aren’t so funny the 4th time around when they appear in this flick. Many moments in this film will having you looking around the theater wondering if anyone else finds this movie as stupid as you do.
That’s really the bottom line. This movie is stupid. Take every fear you’ve had watching the trailer, times it by 10 and you will get an idea of how bad this film is.
By the way, the hockey in this movie will leave any one who loves the game sick to there stomach. The hockey portrayal left me in tears. Its brutal ! The film is a HUGE slap in the face to hockey. Thanks Mike Myers !
On a positive note though, Justin Timberlake and Stephen Colbert are hilarious. The only time i enjoyed the movie at all was when they were on screen. I never thought in a million years I would leave a movie saying ” Thank God Justin Timberlake was is it.”
In short : this movie is terrible ! Don’t believe me ? Then throw your money away and see for yourself.

HAHAHA – I especially like the part in the review, “I never thought in a million years I would leave a movie saying, Thank God Justin Timberlake was in it.”  So true…
At least we got in for free, though the movie was so bad, it was almost a waste of reward points!  But it was a short movie and any time together for husband and wife away from the kids is priceless by itself, so I can’t say it was a total waste – but seriously, don’t see it! 🙂 

The Mole Week #4

Posted in TV Shows on June 24th, 2008 and tagged , , , , ,

SPOILER ALERT!!! – The following is a summary of Monday, June 23rd’s episode of The Mole – it contains outcomes and spoilers.  Do not read any further if you don’t want to know about past Mole episodes.

6/23/08 – The focus tonight was on Clay and Victoria.  Since Victoria ended up getting eliminated, the episode’s emphasis on Clay put my mole-suspecting focus back on him.  That and his mole-y behavior.  Before the gold-brick-up-the-mountain challenge, Clay made sure to talk about how little money he wanted his team to earn.  He was so focused on getting up the mountain to win the exemption from the quiz that he specifically said that bringing bricks to earn money was not important.  That’s understandable, but then when they did get to the top of the mountain, and Clay already knew that his team had won the exemption, he was still making comments about how much money his team had won.  And his comments were about how the team won too much money for his liking.  Then, when it was discovered that the team had earned only one exemption and they had to decide which of the 3 got to use it, Clay both insisted to and bargained with his teammates in order to be able to use the exemption for himself.  That seems like something the mole would do in order to “prove” his or her “need” for the exemption – ie, throw others off his mole-y trail.

I hated how Nicole was Ahem-ing and blinking rapidly during the journal question activity at dinner, but then again, I hate many of the things she does.  I hadn’t really considered her for the mole until my husband brought up a very intriguing point – Take a look at Nicole’s name: NICOLE.  It’s very easy to change Nicole’s name to MOLE with a simple equation:  If you “add” the N to the I, it makes an M.  If you “add” the C to the O, it makes an O:  (N+I )(C+O) LE= MOLE
The show has been known for slipping in little clues like this in the past.  They will even highlight some of them in the finale once we find out who the mole is.  Now I am really starting to consider Nicole.  Her ultra-bitchy attitude could be a ploy for the cameras because she is the mole.  She was just the woman you love to hate, so as an audience member, you don’t want to think her awful personality if fake because you’re busy hating her.  But it’s just a thought for now; I will keep a close eye on her now, that’s for sure.  For tonight’s official guess, I’m going to have to go with Clay again.  Chris is still guessing Paul.  Though that Nicole hypothesis is a good one, I guess it wasn’t enough to convince him of Nicole’s role as the mole.  Until next week…

Last Chance

Posted in Kids on June 23rd, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , ,

This is probably one of the last posts I’m going to write about pregnancy.  As we get down to the end, there’s not much to report (I cannot physically do much TO report!), and I will definitely post pictures of the baby.  I started my weekly Dr. visits a few weeks ago, and today, finally we are starting to see some action.  The Dr. says my pregnancy is now officially full-term, and my body is preparing for birth.  At today’s Dr. visit, the baby was moving around lots while she was listening to his heartbeat, and it accelerated nicely while he moved.  The Dr. wants me to get induced the week before my due date because I have big babies (Taylor was only 7 lbs 2 oz, but the last 2 were 8 lbs 12 oz), but Dr. is off on Monday, so right now we’re looking at July 8 or 9.  I don’t have to decide until next Monday, but I think I’m going to go with the 8th since I’m so anxious – why wait if I don’t have to?  I have a few meetings scheduled that week, but I will have to miss them.  Besides, that’s a nice date for a birthday – 7/08/08 – since we have no hope of holding out til the 21st.  Our first 2 daughters were born on the 21st of their months, December and May, and then our third daughter was born a day early, on October 20…  sometimes I forget and celebrate her “month” birthdays on the 21st out of habit…  But baby Christopher will be no where near the 21st…  July 8th – that’s only 5 days after my birthday!  But I like the sound of it and can’t believe that it’s only 2 weeks away!  Time flies so fast, 2 weeks will pass in no time!  Good thing too because I get less sleep by the night.  I’m up going to the bathroom at least 3-4 times, and then I’ve been having trouble sleeping when I lay down again.  But since I don’t plan much during the day and my oldest daughter is out of school for the summer – she is a great big help with our youngest-for-now, I have been getting good naps for the most part.

Please send thoughts and prayers for our friend Cathy who is in the hospital after having a heart attack on Sunday.  We’re going to visit her tonight and hopefully she’ll be feeling well soon!

Windy City Classic

Posted in Sports on June 20th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , ,

Back in the days when it didn’t count, there was only one yearly face-off between the Chicago cross-town rivals, the Cubs and the White Sox.  It was called a number of things, but when I was younger, I remember it being referred to as the Windy City Classic.  No matter which side you cheer for, these games are important to every sports fan in Chicago.  I even remember cutting school one year to attend…

But now that there is something known as inter-league play, there are 6 of these games a year, and they do count.  Today was the opening game of one such series, and I am suffering through it.  One of the rare Cubs games I’ve actually gotten to watch on tv this year, it has to be broadcast by Sox announcers, even though the game is being played at Wrigley Field and the Cubs are the home team.  I cannot stand the Sox announcers.  Not only do they stink as announcers (I would be rich if I got paid for every time they’ve said “south-paw” – some diversity in your subject matter, guys, please?), but they are on their side.  So every time the White Sox make a play, even though the crowd is booing, the announcers get excited.  And I won’t even waste much time complaining about the shouts of “Put it on the Board!” I’m subjected to every time the Sox score runs.

There’s a lot at stake for this series – both teams are in first place in their respective divisions, even though it must be noted that the Cubs have a much better record – but I’m not really minding the errands I have to run that will take me away from today’s game.  Watching the Cubs lose to the Sox is one thing if that happens, but hearing these horrible announcers rub in every homerun or lucky play the Sox make is a new brand of torture of which I’m glad to be relieved!

Another Infamous List

Posted in Kids on June 20th, 2008 and tagged , , ,

I mentioned my infamous listing a few blog posts ago – I make lists of everything; including (rarely) lists of lists to make!

This list is for physical things, rather than everything that will change with the addition of a boy.  Obviously, things like potty-training, long car rides, and even every meal time will be different while taking a boy’s eating habits into consideration in our household full of girls.

Things That Will Change When We Add a Boy to Our Household

No need for baby-sized headbands or barrettes

Boys need only 1 pair of shoes.  Girls love shoes, so they need at the bare minimum, a pair of sandals, a pair of gym shoes, and a pair of dress shoes PER GIRL – our 20-month-old daughter already likes to try on shoes – just for fun!

Accessories like hats, socks, belts are all different between boys and girls things

Pillowcases, bedsheets, pillows, blankets

Hmm, so far I only have wardrobe changes listed…  I’m sure there will be a lot more differences and I will start another list so I can compare while I’m actually living with the differences every day!

Little Women

Posted in Theater, Travel on June 20th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , ,

We were privilaged to get to spend an evening without kids to take in a local community theater’s production of Little Women, the Musical.

I must be honest – the music in this musical is not my favorite.  It has nothing to do with how it was performed or who sang it; it just seemed to me to be words set to random music.  But I don’t know much about singing, music composition, or even good theater for that matter.  That being said, I will say that it’s definitely a production worth seeing.  The costumes and set were great, and the large cast of talented actors and singers seemed very cohesive and never crowded on the stage.  The play took me back into civil war times, and I do like to see stories from this time period played out live.  I was pleasantly surprised by a few of the characters’ performances since they were people I’ve worked with before so I thought I knew what to expect – but a few of their performances were much better than I even expected, and yes, two of those people read or are closely related to people who are regular readers of this blog 🙂

But I’m not being biased…  I really was impressed.  A few of the new people – performers who haven’t done much or anything for this particular theater group – were surprisingly talented also, though I have to say at least one was not.  And I might even say that the beautiful wigs almost deserve a curtain call of their own…  but don’t let the wigs steal your thunder, cast, because you can expect standing ovations from your audiences throughout the run of the show, I think.  Overall, it was a nice evening out – the show part of the dinner and show anyway.  I was so disappointed in my lack of a good meal last night that I composed this little ditty:

RIP – Maywood Restaurant in Montpelier, Ohio

They sold the restaurant but kept the name,
The tables and chairs are all that’s the same.
The food quality’s gone,
Bob’s recipes too
It’s a shame that my dinner
Tasted like old shoe.

It was once premium food
But now it’s soured my mood.
Advice I would give:
Eat here if you dare
Since I traded gourmet
For mere Sysco fare.

The ditty tells the story – basically we had this awesome restaurant nearby with very high quality food that was always cooked by the chef-owner personally.  I understand that people have to retire, but it is almost a crime that they still use the same name for the restaurant.  I mean, with a food quality drop this severe, it’s their duty to warn people before they are tempted to eat there!  Too bad dinner didn’t work out, but if the theater keeps putting on shows like Little Women, it will be enough of a reason to drive across the county to see them.

The Happening

Posted in Movies on June 19th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

We went to see the newest M. Night Shyamalan movie last night – The Happening starring Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel.  It’s an end-of-the-world type movie, but what sets this one apart from the others is that neither the audience nor the characters in the movie know what is happening to the population and why.  People just start acting strange – it begins in parks, where crowds of people freeze in their tracks, and then they begin to slowly and methodically commit suicide.  It’s really creepy!  I especially liked how little gore and there was and how tame the violence was, especially by today’s standards and with all the death that was occuring in the movie.  Before we went, I had read some bad reviews about it, but I didn’t find it boring in the slightest as some of the reviews suggested.  It was a gripping, intense, and interesting movie, not to mention effectively eerie.  I don’t want to give too much away, so all I will say is that I was hoping for more of a resolve and explanation at the end, but since I’ve seen other M. Night Shyamalan movies, I was also expecting even less closure than we received.  He writes, directs, and produces his own movies; they are usually thought-provoking suspense films, often laced with twists – I recommend The Village, Unbreakable, and The Sixth Sense to try a few.  Overall, I would say it was a really good doomsday-TYPE movie.  Please don’t think it compares to the movie called Doomsday – one of the most awful I’ve ever seen.  But The Happening has an interesting premise, and it achieves fright without overdoing the gore, which is unusual for scary movies in this day and age.  My one problem with the movie is Mark Wahlberg’s acting – at times it’s just awful!  I don’t know why he was cast in this movie, but at least he doesn’t ruin it.  Zooey Deschanel is good – didn’t even see any glimpse of her character from Elf -and John Leguizamo has a strong performance as well.  It is 90 minutes well-spent!

About the Zoo…

Posted in Kids, Travel on June 19th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Oops, I forgot to mention a few things about the Potawatomi Zoo in South Bend, Indiana in my post the other day.  Even though it was small and not very well taken care of from an aesthetic point of view, we had some of the best animal encounters there – can’t believe I forgot to mention them.

First, they have a white tiger, and he was right up against the glass.  We could see his beautiful eyes and everything. 

The African lions at this zoo have a small exhibit (but didn’t seem to be unhappy in the slightest), which means we were able to see them pretty close up also.

The red pandas were very active and we got to see them climbing around.  This creature is so agile, he made climbing branches of trees look like he was climbing stair-steps.

They had a baby Amur Leopard who was born in Decemeber and had just been put on exhibit 2 days before our visit.  He was so cute and curious.  He climbed all the way up the cage wall and tried to get on the ceiling, then he had a little trouble getting down, but he was so excited when he did it, and mom scolded him a little bit – it was awesome to see that kind of interaction.

So overall, it was a great zoo experience.  A cute little zoo, even if it could use some touch-ups.