Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sometimes life is better when you know the other person is just....there

Today is one of those days that I'd gladly throw back to the universe and ask for a do over.  Unfortunately life isn't that kind.  It seems as though the crud that kept Princess Bear (PB) out of school the beginning of this week has decided to make my life miserable.  Enter ear infection, sinus infection and the flu.  That in and of itself is enough to make me not like life but nowhere near touches it for today.  PB went back to school today as I mentioned.  Her first day since the tornado.  I've showed her some of the pictures of the tornadoes destruction and tried to make her aware of the scope of the disaster.  I'm not sure if a "normal" child can truly understand the situation but PB hasn't.  She learned that two of her school therapist had their homes leveled and one was injured but recovering well.  The school is collecting money and gift cards for them.  The bright light of the day was my baby getting out her piggy bank and a plastic bag.  She was ready to dump her whole bank in and take it in.  The child's heart is so amazing!  I assured PB that we would be sending some money in for them.  A family friend's father passed away today.  Now granted this man was rather old and had lived a wonderful life.  That said losing a loved one is never easy and her husband is battling cancer so I'm very worried about her state of mind. 

Then the clincher came in.  I asked a friend from college for his address.  I figure if I'm supposed to be resting that I might as well work on Christmas cards.  I asked Ron about our friend Mike.  Mike and I had an on and off romantic relationship for several years and then friendship for several more.  I'm so sad to say the last time I spoke to him was 11 years ago.  I was pregnant with PB and he was getting ready to get married.  I do remember the last conversation as clear as day.  Unfortunately his fiancee wasn't thrilled with us talking so I didn't call for awhile.  Then life happens as it so often does.  I had PB and the first few years of her life were chaotic to say the least.  Take normal baby chaos, single mom and then add special needs and you get the picture.  One of the things I've really been upset about lately is the contact I've lost with so many close friends I had.  I've been trying to find ways to remedy the situation.  Anyway I digress.  When PB was a few years old I decided to try to call Mikey and see how he was doing.  He number was disconnected.  At that time I didn't have a way to contact anyone to see if they had contact information for Mike.  So throughout the years whenever I thought of Mike there was always a little silent thought....prayer if you will, that he was happy, healthy and enjoying life.  He seemed so happy the last time we spoke so it seemed like a good bet.  Well, Ron sent me his snail mail address and let me know that Mike passed away over 10 years ago.  WHAT???????????  He passed away when PB was just a baby!!!   To say I'm in shock doesn't even begin to cover it.  My parents came home tonight and I told them.  My mom's face was just so shocked.  I understood Mike's fiancee not wanting someone from the past.  Can't say I agreed with it but I didn't want to make things tough for him.  I  wish now that I had done things differently.  How I'm not sure.  All evening I've been thinking back to different times and situations with Mikey and smiling and crying and crying and smiling.  All I know for sure is that the world was a much better place with Mikey in it. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Central Illinois Tornado

Things have been crazy here.  Princess Bear(PB) is sick....again and I have been dealing with a kidney stone.  Not fun but what can you do?  It was enough to warrant a small break from blogging.  I woke up feeling well enough yesterday that I was trying to decide what to blog about.  Life in general, Obamacare and a few other topics were running through my mind.  Instead Mother Nature decided to make a decision for me.  I live in Peoria Illinois.  Home of Catepillar World Headquarters.  Town that coined the "If it plays in Peoria" trend.  Home of Richard Pryor.  I actually was an extra in one of his movies when I was a kid.

Back to the topic at hand.  PB and I didn't go to church yesterday since we weren't feeling well.  My dad did make it and afterwards we tried figuring out where to get breakfast from.  We knew that there was going to be a string of thunderstorms and severe wind for the morning and most of the afternoon.  Yeah, that turned out to the the understatement of the year.  A f4 tornado ripped through Washington Illinois which is about 20 minutes from here and one of the places I've been trying to convince my family to move to.  Washington is a cool little town with an awesome town square and a great school district.  You can read or watch more about the tornado at the following sites:

Shortly after breakfast the wind really started picking up. I mean it was really whipping around.  The sky got really dark and it actually reminded me of what the weather does right before the eye of a hurricane goes through. I'm not a big fan of hurricanes but at least there is usually some warning involved.  Tornadoes- not so much.  A few minutes after it got dark and super windy it started to storm and hail like nobodies business.  It had been so nice that we had all the doors open so my dad and I started scrambling to close things up.  There was rain flying in through all the screens.  I honestly can't say the last time I saw a storm like this.  A few minutes later the tornado sirens started going off so we headed for the basement.  I was so proud of PB who went into prepper kid mode and started gathering up led lights and lanterns, the battery operated radio and bottles of water to take downstairs with us.  She was so on top of it!  The basement was taking on tons of water but we only had to spend about 20 minutes downstairs.  It was scary but over very quickly.  I guess the news was spreading through the news quickly.  Two of my aunts in the Chicagoland area called to check in on us.  We were a bit worried because we couldn't get ahold of my sister or brother in law on their house phones or cells.  We finally heard from them and they were ok.  No power it it was restored until today but their house was fine.  Also no cell signal to make phone calls but they could text out.  I was also worried about my sister's sister in law.  She's the one who had her baby 8 weeks early.  He had just gotten released from NICU on Friday.  He was having some problems keeping his body temp up on Saturday and their house is in Washington Illinois.  I text her and finally heard back from her.  Their house was still standing and had no real damage.  They had no power and couldn't make any phone calls. She lived a block away from one of the subdivisions that had been decimated.  I was so relieved that they were fine.  Then news and pictures started rolling in on Facebook.  I have a few friends that have lost their homes.  My friend Susan's house was leveled but she's fine.  She's found 2 of her dogs but one is still missing.  Another friend is fine but her in-laws house was decimated.  They were in the crawlspace and had to wait to be dug out.  It took until 7pm for me to hear back from all of my friends that live in Washington.  Luckily everyone is fine.

You hear about tornadoes like this after Joplin and things like that.  Your heart breaks for the people involved but it is completely different when it's in your own backyard.  What has amazed me in the last day is how caring people and businesses can be.  A vet clinic near the worst hit areas opened last night and stayed open throughout the night providing emergency vet care and bordering for people who had lost their homes but saved their pets.  Schnucks a big grocery store chain here has offered to store the perishable food for people who are still without electricity.  Duracell was on site last night providing batteries and charging stations.  Many local restaurants provided free meals throughout the night for those displaced and the first responders.  It's been heartwarming to see how communities can come together.  Below is a slideshow of the damages that are all within a 1/2 hour of my house.  It is amazing how much damage can happen in just a few minutes.  So I'm going to wrap this up by asking you to say a prayer for all those who have been affected by this.  If you can make a donation of any kind I'm sure that Red Cross would appreciate it.

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Farm King Fans are awesome!!!

So today I've had one blog comment and an email from different Farm Kings fans cluing me in on happens with our favorite farming family.  Thanks so much Bonnie & Joan!  Y'all rock!!!

OK, lets do the easy one first.  Head on over to the Farm Kings Facebook page.  All kinds of new pictures up.  Lots from this weekends chainsaw carving event featuring Pete.  My daughter was very happy to see new Pete pics.  She wanted to know if she could start a count down until the start of season 3 yet.  Seeing as she's got no real sense of time yet I'm thinking no on that one!  Anyway, head on over and check out the pics! 
Then I got an email from Joan that included this LINK

Congratulations to Tim King and Maggie Steinheiser, who celebrated their wedding day on Saturday, November 2, 2013!  Their 2:30 wedding ceremony, located at Holy Sepulcher Church, was officiated by Reverend John B. Gizler III.
Tim and Maggie’s wedding reception took place at Succop Conservancy in Butler, with guests arriving at 4:00.  Formal introductions began with their parents and the bridal party dancing in to “I Like To Move It”, by Reel To Reel, while Tim and Maggie made their grand entrance, accompanied by their guests clapping and stomping, to the Jock Jams favorite, “Let’s Get Ready To Rumble”!
Immediately following their introduction, Maggie and Tim shared their first dance together as husband and wife, accompanied by ”I Cross My Heart”, by George Strait, which was followed by the cutting of the cake.  The chosen song for the cake cutting was “All I Want Is You”, by Tristan Prettyman.
It was a pleasure to work with my good friend and most awesome photographer, Bethany Boarts, owner of Wedding By Bethany, who, as always, expertly and graciously provided the lens work for the evening.  Steve Dalton, owner of Steven Dalton Photography, was also on hand to lend his creativity and expertise to the evening’s photos.
After dinner, which was prepared by the wonderful staff at Medure’s, Maggie shared a special dance with her dad, Terry, accompanied by ”Daddy, Dance With Me”, by Krystal Keith, followed by Tim and his mom, Lisa, dancing to “A Song For My Son”, by Mikki Viereck.
The bridal party then joined Maggie and Tim on the dance floor, accompanied by “Bust A Move”, by Young M.C., which kicked off open dancing for the evening.
It was wonderful to be included in Maggie and Tim’s wedding day!  Their evening concluded with all of their friends and family joining them on the dance floor, accompanied by their chosen song, “In This Life”, by Colin Raye.
Join me in wishing Tim and Maggie all the best in their new life together!

The reception locale looks incredible on the website.  But please tell me that I'm not the only one who looked at the songs they used and did a little bit of mental math and then scratched their head.  I know what I was doing when these songs were released but just to refresh your memory here is the list and the songs release year.  Many of these songs had Maggie and Tim as little kids.  What the heck.  I'm pretty sure that at 3 or 6 I wasn't listening to pop radio.  I was trapped in the car with my mom getting down to the BeeGee's.  Admittedly some of the songs have been used in movies or are regular music at sporting events but this is beyond old school for the couple.  

I like to move it 1993 Maggie 4 Tim 7
Let’s Get ready to Rumble 1994 Maggie 5 Tim 8
I Cross My Heart 1992 Maggie 3 Tim 6
All I Want Is You 2008 Maggie 19 Tim 22
Daddy, Dance With Me Krystal Keith 2013 Maggie 24 Tim 27
A Song For My Son Mikki Viereck 1991 Maggie 2 Tim 5
Bust A Move Young M.C. 1989 Maggie infant Tim 3
In This Life Colin Raye 1992 Maggie 3 Tim 6

SO, what is up with the old school stuff kids?  Hopefully a good time was had by all!  Mazel Tov!  Live long and prosper!  Congrats!  Woot woot!  

Friday, November 8, 2013

I love Autumn!

Fall is by far my favorite season.  I think it always has been.  I love the beauty of leaves changing and Mother Nature readying herself for winter.  Hearing the geese honk as they fly overhead.  Smelling the leaves that someone is burning.  Today was another day of getting things around the house ready for fall.  Two weeks ago we put in most of the storm windows.  Today my dad and I mowed up and raked up the leaves.  Took down various yard decorations and put away stuff.  I always wonder how people with a bunch more land take care of everything.  It was a gorgeous day to be outside and I loved it.  I worked myself into a much deserved nap which was also nice (as long as I can sleep tonight!).  I dumped some of the mowed leaves directly into the garden.  Then I filled several plastic bags with mowed leaves.  I read that if you fill bags with leaves add some soil and water and lay it out that by the spring you'll have a pretty composted material to use in the garden. 

I also spend a lot of time on Pinterest today.  I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving.  We're staying here in town this year.  My dad always wants to go to Chicago to spend the day with his siblings (he's the oldest of 6).  Driving there and back in one day makes for a rough day.  Also with Thanksgiving so late this year there's a good chance of bad weather.  It is pretty rough on Princess Bear (PB) to sit and behave that long even with movies to keep her entertained. Even better yet is the fact that my sister is hosting it instead of us.  My job will be to cook or bake several dishes and then keep the kids entertained for the day.  I can completely hang with that.  So today on Pinterest I was looking up new recipes and craft ideas to do with the kids. 

I also supplement what PB is taught in school since I’m very sure that her education is lacking.  We started out doing chapters about animals because she is a complete animal nut.  It takes a whole lot of repetition for her to remember things but once she has it she doesn’t forget it.  Lately I’ve also been adding things like the history of Halloween.  I love all things Celtic so that chapter was fun for me to work on.  Tonight I started working on the history of the first Thanksgiving.  I’ve found a ton of stuff to share with her including crafts and worksheets.  Next up will be Christmas.  I think I’ll focus on Christmas customs from different countries.  She’s pretty familiar with the religious aspect of it so I don’t feel like I have to delve into that much more.  Also each year my sister and I pick a charity and discuss with the kids where we want to send money as Jesus’ birthday gift.  We always do Christmas Eve and my moms house.  Then on Christmas day my sister, brother in law and nephews come over for a Jesus birthday party.  We reheat leftovers from the night before and have a birthday cake for Jesus.  Hopefully it reminds the kids why they get a slew of gifts and that there is a much bigger reason for the hoopla. 

So that is the story here.  Have a good one!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Random Musings

For anyone that knows me well you might be wondering why I'm blogging and not completely glued to the Bears vs Packers game.  We've had a rough day here and Princess Bear (PB) is one sick kid.  After a few hours at the Dr's office and a set of chest x-rays the official diagnosis is pneumonia.  So much for rest, lots of vitamin C and trying to stay the hell off antibiotics.  SO, while I do have the game on and the Bears are playing on helluva game, GO BEARS!, I'm also cuddling a sick kid.  She has her phases with liking or not liking football.  Thankfully, we're in a liking football phase!

 photo bears-packers-instinct_zpsaf4592da.jpg

In this house we bleed Cubbie and Bears blue depending on the time of year. One of my dads close friends is a die hard Packers fan so my dad & I love to razz him, especially when we best them. Every year when football season starts I have a bit of nostalgia and miss living near the city. There is absolutely nothing better than watching your team in their stadium. Now that said I also really love watching the Sunday pregame show because it doesn't get much hotter than Howie Long and the comfort of watching the game at home is nice. I've spent many a game freezing parts I didn't even know I had watching the Bears play. Soldier Field is right on Lake Michigan so depending on the weather its either cold and windy or freezing and windy!

  photo bears-packers_zps23c08be2.jpg 
 I love this pic!!! I really wish the Bears would have let Urlacher play for one more season. I always look at him and feel bad for his mom. The dude has a HUGE head, no neck and ginormous shoulders. Granted he didn't look like that as a baby but it his head was even the baby version of that he had to be awful to deliver. Ugh! Can you imagine????

Back to PB being sick and out of school I'm really not looking forward to dealing with her school. Things aren't any better at this school and in some ways they are even worse. The woman who answers the phone is such a snot that I wish I could reach through the phone and shake some niceness into her. Hopefully the antibiotic will kick in quickly. PB is allergic to 2 or the 3 major antibiotic categories so its always a scary thing to put her on antibiotics. Will the work? Will she have a reaction? Her allergies have tied the Dr's hands in a lot of ways and he did warn me that if she didn't respond quickly that they would have to put her on antibiotic injections so her body wouldn't build up too much of a tolerance to the drugs she can take. Unfortunately PB didn't not inherit my non-fear of needles. As I said, today was basically random musings. I'm too tired to think straight! Just chillin' and enjoying some football and praying that my baby girl gets better soon!

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Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween 2013

I admit it- I'm a Halloween freak.  I love the decorating, baking, costumes and all the hoopla involved with Halloween.  Princess Bear (PB) is a pretty big Halloween fan too.  We usually deck the house from lights with spider webs outside and the inside is all done up.  This year it just didn't happen.  Last week my dad was on his rolling layoff week so we'd planned on putting up the lights. Then PB got sick and was out of school all last week with a pretty nasty respiratory infection.  She is finally done with the round of steroids the Dr. put her on put is still doing breathing treatments every 4 hours.  She isn't anywhere not back to herself so I wasn't too sure how Halloween was going to pan out.  She usually goes trick or treating with my nephews.  My sister and bil take all three kids trick or treating while I pass out the treats at their house.  It was raining all day yesterday.  Actually torrential downpours for parts of it.  My mood wasn't improved by the fact that I was working on 2.5 hours of sleep.  I'd been up doing goody bags and decorating cupcakes for PB's class until the wee hours of the morning.

As the day went it it just got more chaotic.  I had to babysit Luke so my sister could make it to part of Tyler's Halloween party.  Luke is a good little kid.  He pushes it but knows when to stop.  Yesterday he evidently forgot where the stopping point is.  My sister got home and realized Luke was awake instead of napping.  I was getting ready to leave and she got a text from her sister in law who was 32 weeks pregnant.  Christine was having contractions and was dialated to a centimeter.  My sister wanted to go to the hospital if Christine wanted her there.  I called my dad and asked him if he could pick up PB from school if necessary. We hung out and I finally had to leave to get PB.  Right about then Christine said she didn't want company and the skies opened up with a crazy mad rainstorm.  They are doing all kinds of construction on 74 so I've been using the back country roads when getting to my sisters house.  I love these roads normally.  On a nice, sunny, dry day.  They aren't as frequently traveled and you can usually fly along them.  Yesterday I almost lost control of the car because there was so much water on the road.  My car went into a complete hydroplane slide.  I tried to correct but not over correct and damn near got hit by a car.  I'm not sure which would have been better: going down an embankment or getting hit head on.  I'm just very glad to be alive.

I got PB and her cough was still pretty bad.  My sister had said if it was raining she wasn't taking her kids out.  That made it easy to cancel that one.  Unfortunately PB's friend asked her to participate in her churches Halloween activities.  It took a little more talking to convince PB that wasn't a good idea.  Fortunately she's a good kid overall and I convinced her that she could have her fill of candy at home and dress up to pass out the candy to the trick or treaters.  She was thrilled and wanted to know if she could still wear make up.  She's  never allowed to wear make up unless it's Halloween or a recital.  I agreed and once again she was a happy kid. 

Around 4pm my sister called and needed me to come over and watch Luke.  Apparently he woke up from his nap sick.  The kid had a runny nose but was fine when I put him down.  WTF?  Her sister in law wanted her to pick up some items and bring them to the hospital.  At that point Christine was over 5cm and had an epidural.  There was no stopping this little guy from coming.  So I went back to my sisters on the same roads I'd almost bought it on a few hours earlier.  My brother in law was waiting to take Tyler trick or treating and trying to hold down the fort.  Luke wasn't too upset about not going out since his brother agreed to give him 1/2 his treats.  So Luke and I played on ipads and passed out candy.  That child is amazing at games.  His hand eye coordination is outstanding for a 3 year old!  It started pouring and I started wondering where Tyler and my bil were.  I was also getting nervous about driving home since the weather was getting worse and I can't see for s#&t at night. 

Since this is now over 24 hours later I obviously made it home.  Unscathed thankfully!  My parents had just turned out the lights since the weather on this side of the river was getting pretty nasty too.  PB was hanging out watching the Charlie Brown Halloween special and eating candy.  She said it had been the best Halloween ever.  OK.  I'll take that!!!

I was so ready to crash and got PB off to bed fairly early and was trying to turn in when my sister called saying that Christine had delivered and the baby was doing fairly well.  At 32 weeks he was 17" and 5 lbs.  Not bad at all for a baby who is 2 months early!  As of this morning he was even off oxygen.  He's a gorgeous tiny thing!  I stopped at the hospital for just a few minutes to drop off a few things for them.  I took a notebook so they could write down what was happening.  When you have a sick little one it can get overwhelming so it's nice to have a reference.  I also added a journal for Christine so she can give it to the baby when he's older.  I made a little sign that said Baby is _____ days old! and numbers so they can take his pic every day and see how much he's improving and getting big.  Tons of preemie onesies and hats and fuzzy socks for Christine.  I really didn't think they'd let me into NICU to see him but I'm sure glad I was able too.  PB has kind of adopted Christine and Craig as her aunt and uncle as well.  I don't know if it's because she is so close to her cousins so in her mind it makes sense that they aunt and uncle are hers or what.  Craig and Christine have always been wonderful to her so I'm sure that added to it.  PB was aware that Auntie Tine's baby was trying to come early so part of her bedtime prayers were to watch over Auntie Tine and her baby.  This morning when I told her the baby was born and doing alright she was still worried.  True to nature of being a child who has spent too much time in the hospital herself she started asking all kinds of questions like "does he have an IV?" "what kinds of tubes and tests does he need?".  So I was very glad to be able to tell her that I'd seen the baby and he looked great!

Here is a pic of PB in her costume and her Cinderella pumpkin.  Next time my parents buy her a mongo pumpkin they are cleaning it and carving it!   Just sayin'!  Hope y'all had a great Halloween!

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