At Least I Have No Regrets

Posted in family fun, Sports on April 1st, 2011 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Spring break is over, and for me it flew by- and it was wonderful.  I had my concerns about being so tired and keeping 4 kids from getting bored and restless, and those fears mounted last week when I saw the weather forecast – 40s all week, scarce sunshine, and maybe even a little snow.  I was especially concerned that spring break would be my own personal forecast to what summer break will be like because hard as I try not to, I have times where I dread the summer a little bit.

For one thing, there is a wonderful Christian camp that we’ve been hearing about from a friend, and we’ve been trying to let our kids go for years now, but it hasn’t worked out for one reason or another.  This year, it seems that the dates will work, but the fees are a little steep, and the 45-minute trip to the camp x4 (there-back-there-back for two kids) might hurt the wallet a little bit with the price of gas the way it is.  Add to that a trip to Nashville Indiana with extended family – SO fun, but 8 more hours of driving, plus groceries and supplies to buy, plus 4 round-trips to South Bend Indiana, and I calculated my mileage from July 4-23 at 1388 – That’s one thousand eighty-eight miles in 20 days.  Factor in our van’s crummy gas mileage and all the pregnant lady bathroom stops, and OUCH.  But then I got to thinking about it, and I think I’d rather spend my July driving around the tri-state area than locked away in my air-conditioning with 4 rambunctious kiddos.  As I said, the trip to Nashville will be lots of fun, and most expenses have been paid thanks to a generous Christmas gift.  So what if I have to miss the 4th of July fireworks for one year (next year we do have to pick a different date though guys if you are reading this 🙂 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays!).  And the trips to South Bend mean that Grandma is taking the kids – so that means fun for them, and a break for us.  So what if it’s not all 4 kids gone at the same time anymore – that’s just one of the small trade-offs for having such a large (wonderful) family.  And I’m STOKED that the kids finally get to go to this camp – they are so excited too!  So what if we have to  leave Nashville at 5am just to drive the 4 hours to get Sammie there on time?  But the main reason for optimism for summer vacation was spring break – it was awesome, and it flew by.

For me, the month of March dragged on and on, and I think much of it had to do with my prenatal dr. appointment on the 31st.  I just could not wait.  Part of it was excitement – this stage of pregnancy is tough  in a different way than the rest of it because many of the changes are internal, and you have nothing to show for it.  I spend my time looking up sketches of what my baby might look like these days, but unless you count fatigue, nausea, moodiness, or tears, there aren’t any outward signs to get excited about – and no, leftover baggage from previous kids does not count as a “baby bump”.  Also, I’ve been extra worried about this pregnancy – I can’t put my finger on it, maybe it’s that stupid stat I heard somewhere that keeps sticking in my brain –  “1 out of 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage”.  This is my 5th pregnancy, so that panics me.  I wish I didn’t read the news so much.  Maybe the worry is because of how incredibly difficult this pregnancy has been on me (and my family) compared to the others.  Whatever it is, I’ve been especially panicked, but I’ve been building a great relationship with my new doctor – she is very understanding and so much more of a problem solver than my previous doctor.  But either way, spring break saw me at my prenatal, and everything looks great!  Baby is measuring at exactly 12 weeks, right where s(he) should be.  AND…  I got to see her (him) dance!!  The baby keeps sneaking us ultrasounds – I wasn’t scheduled for one, but the heartbeat couldn’t be detected (my understanding doctor warned me of this ahead of time, or I would have panicked.  Again.), so she took me into the ultrasound room.  There, we saw baby on the screen, and my little 2-inch miracle was dancing – I saw her legs moving and everything!  I keep thinking and saying “she” and “her”, but don’t place any bets – I’ve been known to be wrong about my children’s genders in the past –  before they’re born, of course, sheesh.

So I took the kids to the zoo on Monday of this spring break, and last night I’m still on cloud nine from seeing my baby dance, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I could not resist going back to the zoo on the last day of our season’s pass.  We aren’t going to renew because as much as I love the zoo, it feels like a waste to renew right before summer, especially when I’m pregnant and (probably?) won’t feel like going as much.  And I know I won’t be able to go after my surgery for a month or so…  So I took the kids to the zoo not once, but twice this spring break, and I didn’t even feel like I was going to keel over by the end of today, which means that my first trimester fatigue might be fading (afraid to get too excited).  I even  took an extra kid with me to the zoo both days, a gamble that paid off both times since we all had a blast – even if I was late getting Ellyn home today (that’s why I didn’t stop to chat Justj – I’ve been kicking myself ever since.  I really wanted to see your daughters!  But I was late, and you just don’t expect to run into a friend 60 miles from home so I was caught off-guard).

So yes, I missed the Chicago Cubs opening day game taking my kids to the zoo, and I’m proud of it!  Nevermind that I was looking forward to that game for months.  Hubby recorded it for me, and I watched it as soon as I got home anyway.  And I’m telling you what, the Cubs did not play badly (except for Dempster – if I still cussed he would be on my you-know-what-list), but they lost.  But as I said, they did not play badly, so there is MUCH hope for the season – you can’t tell anything decisive on opening day.  Well, except for last year but we’ll leave that out of it.  But the best part is, I have no regrets.  I can’t imagine how I would have felt had I missed my last chance to take my kids to the zoo in order to watch a game where the Cubs lost.

Super decision on my part, and if this spring break was any kind of predictor for summer vacation, BRING IT ON!

OPENING DAY IS HERE!!!

Posted in Sports on April 5th, 2010 and tagged , , ,

GO CUBS!!!
GO CUBS!!!
GO CUBS!!!

Well, I just went to check my countdown timer on my blog site; it should say there are mere hours left until the Chicago Cubs open their 2010 season…  but I can’t find the countdown timer on my site.  And I can’t find it in the widgets section either.  Since I have two kids fighting and one crawling around on the dining room table, I think it will be quicker to just write a little post about the opening day of baseball – I don’t include last night since the Cubs didn’t play 🙂 – rather than try to fiddle around with the countdown widget.

So YAY!!  Baseball season is finally here, and the Cubs open against the Braves today at 3:10pm Chicago time – I have made arrangements to shirk my responsibilities of making dinner, and hopefully the kids will be good for the first hour of the game until my husband comes home from work.  I don’t expect to watch all of the games or even most of them, but I figured I deserved a bit of a break for opening day – hey, it’s been a LONG winter without baseball, as always!!

GO CUBS!!!
GO CUBS!!!
GO CUBS!!!

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(oh yeah, and GO Indians – just because they are an Ohio team who just happen to play the White Sux Sox today!!)

Almost Time…

Posted in Sports on March 18th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , ,

Well, baseball season is almost upon us finally, and I’m really starting to get the itch – not that I’ll be able to watch many games anyway since when we’re actually home to watch tv it’s dominated by Noggin and the Disney Channel…  but I can dream, right?

So the other day, I did a search on youtube.com for “Cubs baseball” so I could give my son an early taste of what he’ll hopefully enjoy watching with me all summer.  I found a gem of a song by Steve Goodman, a grammy-winning artist who passed away from leukemia at the age of 36.  Mr. Goodman was a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan his entire life, and sadly, his favorite team never made it to the playoffs during his lifetime.  They appeared in the World Series in 1945, 3 years before Goodman was born, and then they clinched the Eastern Division title for the National League in 1984 – securing a place in the post-season just 4 days after Steve Goodman passed away.

I always knew about Steve Goodman from the awesome song, “Go Cubs Go”, a song they play at Wrigley Field after every Cubs win.  I seem to remember hearing the song over the intercom at the end of a school day one year when I was growing up – principal must have been a Cubs fan…

But anyway, in addition to “Go Cubs Go”, Goodman penned and performed other musical works of art; some about the Cubs, some about Chicago, and some about neither.  Here is the one I found today and enjoyed, however bittersweet its title and message “A Dying Cubs Fan’s Last Request”.  I chose to post this version of it, rather than the one that shows Steve Goodman singing it on the rooftops of Wrigley – that’s just too sad.

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And just so that this post doesn’t end on a down note, here is the old favorite “Go Cubs Go” – let’s hope this is the year the Cubs make Steve Goodman proud!

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CUBS OPENING DAY – 17 DAYS, SOME ODD HOURS – GO CUBBIES!!!

My Bad Day

Posted in Everyday Life on April 6th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’m taking yet another diversion from writing about my great weekend to write about a bad day I had today – I need to vent.  And yes, it involves Walmart – when don’t my bad days involve Walmart?!?  First, my husband’s business clients blew him off, yet again.  We were on the verge of a big business deal, but now the clients are stalling and  becoming difficult to get ahold of – not a good sign.  So I took the kids to Walmart to get them out of the house so my husband could have some peace when he called the clients – not that it mattered; they “weren’t home”.  Sigh.  So anyway, at Walmart, I discovered that they finally did it – raised the prices on diapers.  I knew it was just a matter of time; the diapers have been the same price since my almost 5-year-old was a baby.  So after absorbing the reality of the price increase on diapers (I have two kids in diapers!  Time to rush the potty training, I guess.), I go to check out, and I’m next in line, ready to put my stuff on the counter, and an employee says “I can help you on lane 6”.  So I went over to lane 6, but it turns out, the employee was wrong.  They wanted her to take over on lane 5 instead of open lane 6.  So I went back to lane 5, right where I had started, and now someone has gotten in the line with a SUPER-full cart in front of me.  Of course.  And I had hungry kids who now had to wait in a line with all that candy at eye level.  Have I mentioned that I hate Walmart?

Then I  get home and starting making dinner, and I have a crying baby underfoot – I don’t know why he always cries at home.  He’s the happiest little guy everywhere else, but when we’re at home, he only wants to be held, and I can’t hold him while I’m cooking, doing laundry, cleaning or blogging, so…  he cries a lot.  I  guess I can get rid of most of the toys that are starting to take over my living room since no one plays with them!  And all day I’ve been looking forward to a nice hot relaxing shower, so after dinner, I went to do just that.  But apparently running the dishwasher, giving the kids a bath and hand-washing a dinner pot drained the (new!) hot water heater, and my shower was lukewarm with a cold rinse at the end.  Of course it was.  I can only hope that my day turns around when the Cubs begin their season-opening game tonight – I’ve been looking forward to this for months,  so hopefully my bad day wasn’t a precursor to the tone of tonight’s game.  To quote Tom Hanks from A League of Their Own: “May our feet be swift, may our bats be mighty, may our balls be plentiful…”  GO CUBS!

Earlier this morning, we ruined our chances of sleeping in (since our oldest daughter is on spring break) by signing up to bring a pet to my second-oldest daughter’s school – we forgot about spring break when we signed up for pet day for first thing in the morning, oops – so adding to everything is the fact that I’m tired today also.  We let our little ones play at my daughter’s preschool; they had a blast, and we had fun watching them.  My husband read a book to the kids, and we brought the rats for pet day – and it was SO fun to see certain teachers pale and shriek with fright – hehe!

So I guess the day wasn’t all bad; it was just Walmart getting under my skin, AGAIN.  Oh, and get this – I saw the store manager (I’ll call him Mr. Palindrome, since his last name reads the same backward and forward) park in one of the handicapped spots right in front of the store.  To be fair, he does have a handicapped tag, but I know from my sources that the handicapped tag is not for him but rather his elderly mother whom he cares for.  But I still think he should only be able to park in the handicapped spots when she is with him, and I definitely don’t think he should take those spots away from his customers when he is perfectly able-bodied.  Well, just my opinion, the guy irritates me because of all his dirty price games he plays at the Walmart and the small businesses the store pushes out of the way.  Not that it’s a small business, but Kmart is the latest victim of Walmart in our town – it’s closing for good in May.  What a shame – and to think the Kmart in our town was opened as the test store to see if Kmart would work in small town America.  The test was successful, but that was decades ago, and times have changed – just like Walmart’s prices!

***UPDATE*** – The Cubs are on, and they’re winning – YAY!  Soriano opened the game with a home run on the first pitch of the game! How cool is that?  But, for some reason, the game is not on ESPN 2 like tvguide.com said.  My husband bought me mlb.com, but that seems to be broken at the moment – they’re showing video during the commercials and nothing during game play.  Not only that, my husband’s clients have called (but I guess that’s a good thing), leaving me with the two little ones at their crabbiest time of day.  So I have 2 screamers and no Cubs game.  At least they are winning (I think).  When I put the little ones to bed here pretty soon, I’m tempted to join them just so I can start over tomorrow – every attempt I make at relaxing tonight has just made things worse!