the boys

the boys

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sixteen things I've done today

because I'm sure everyone is sitting around on this cold Sunday morning wondering what I am's a run down thus far.
  1. silently cursed the children for playing with Jeremy's alarm clock
  2. loudly cursed the alarm clock when it went off at 5 am
  3. laundry
  4. watched 10 minutes of 90210.  Poor Dylan.  He had it rough.
  5. sent a FB congrats to Jeremy's cousins on their new bundle of joy!!
  6. watched the last half of Knocked Up and considered being such....decided against it after the labor scene
  7. had a mimosa
  8. had some eggs Benedict and lobster bisque among other things at Granite City brunch with my hubby
  9. had another mimosa
  10. convinced my wonderful and giving husband to pump my gas in 20 degree weather
  11. bought some ice melt and threw in a new ice scraper for good measure
  12. scheduled a massage on a whim
  13. got my eyebrows waxed FINALLY
  14. cancelled my massage 10 minutes later after some Dave Ramsey reflection....not like I was following the plan anyway (see #7-9)
  15. tried on a sample of some $90 wrinkle creme
  16. had a nice long conversation with a great friend
Not bad.  It's only 1:00.  What to do next?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

They're Grrrrrreat!

We all mark the important milestones and achievements of our offspring with great pride.  Rolling over, sitting up, first steps, first day of school, all the way through graduations, marriages, and their own kids.  So it with great pride that I announce a first in this house.  A real milestone. 

Justin had a bowl of Frosted Flakes.  That's right folks.  Cereal.  Can I get a WHOO HOO?  I really wanted to take his picture.  His favorite part,  you might be asking?  Ok, you probably aren't asking, but I'm telling anyway.  It was slurping the soy milk from the spoon.  He was fascinated with it. 

It's not that he hasn't had dry cereal before...that in itself was a huge milestone about a year ago.  It was just the actual event of having a bowl of cereal with milk that nearly brought a tear to my eye.  Such a normal childhood experience and here he is 2 months shy of 4 years old and just now experiencing it.  After five trips to the ER with overnight hospital stays in his first year of life, food allergies pretty much ruled the roost in this house.  Slowly but surely we have added pretty much every food except for the dreaded rice.  He generally avoids dairy too. 

Anyway, a successful night of new food in the O'Brien household!  Grrrrreat!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Queen Mother Tells All

On a cozy December night a few days before Christmas, my little sis and I were treated to a day of cooking family recipes and an evening of family history from Grandma Dorothy...who just happens to be a Queen Mother in her Red Hatter's group (hence the title). I can't say it was a particularly calm night because we had more than our fair share of company. My niece and nephew were spending the night so we had four children ages 7 to 2. Much of their night consisted of "dance party" to fun and funky music in the play room. But upstairs, we were getting a family history lesson.

Here is what I learned:
My great-great grandma's name was Elsie Belle Kelsey. Yup, Elsie Kelsey. And I learned that she was nice. That might not seem like a revelation to most people, but if you knew her daughter you would be surprised. Elsie's daughter, Jeanette, was my great-grandmother. We all knew her as Grandma Net and she, my friends, was a crotchety old woman. God love her and may she rest in peace, but I'm telling ya she was one cranky woman! She couldn't have been more than 5 feet tall and she was NEVER without her headscarf. Honestly, I don't have a single memory of her without her headscarf or outside the house. She couldn't hear worth a darn in the first place and then to put a scarf over her ears....well, to each her own.

I also learned that Grandma Elsie's husband, my Grandpa Brenneman, was a womanizer. GASP! He left his wife, children, and grandchildren (including my Grandma Dorothy), in the late 1930's. But he didn't just leave. He took the mattress with him! Yup, that's right. He took the actual bed that he shared with his wife. And to top it off, the bed frame made a huge scrape down the stairs as he dragged it out of the house. So Grandma Elsie had a constant reminder of his departure every time she went up and down her own stairs! Grandma Elsie ran her farm with her children to survive, but they never did get running water.

Grandpa Brenneman didn't show up again until many years later (1955) on the night before my Grandma Dorothy's wedding. He didn't even know that she was getting married.

So that brings me to the second topic that we learned about that night. Grandma Dorothy's wedding. She and Papa Norm were married in December 1955 in the chapel of the Christian Church. Grandma wore a red skirt/suit and high heels. They only had two people in attendance, Papa Norm's friend and the friends girlfriend. Papa Norm is a bit of an introvert to put it mildly. Not only did he not want anyone to attend, but he wouldn't even let Grandma tell anyone that they were getting married. I am always grateful that he came to my wedding because I know how strongly he dislikes large groups of people. So I'm guessing I don't get my extreme need to be the center of attention from his side!!

The last little tidbit of information that we learned that night was that my Grandma Dorothy was born at the family farmhouse on a cold January day. Her family set her on the oven door to keep her warm and alive. Don't try that at home!

So that was our wonderful day with Grandma Dorothy. Cooking, crafts, family history lesson, and watching the kids have a dance party in the playroom.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Follow me?

Just playing around with my blog format this afternoon. I've worked my butt off all morning cleaning and doing odds and ends that I think I deserve some time to veg out and play on the computer.

I chose this new background because of my love of books! I want a whole library in my house...someday. Ahhhh, yes...someday.

And I'm messing around with some other formatting stuff. Here's what I need, or rather what I want, from my faithful blog followers. I want to try to get to 30 followers in the next 30 days. Figured might as well stick with the 30 theme of the blog and see how it goes.

So we'll see how it goes. Thanks in advance.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year

Hap, Hap, Happy New Year!! So many blog little time to put them on "paper." I'm always anxious to see what a new year will bring. Well anxious makes it seem bad. I'm excited actually. I think this will be a good year.

I can't set resolutions. They freak me out. Generally make me feel like a loser because I can't live up to them. I set my sights too high and can't succeed, thus the LOSER feeling.

I have about 150 things I would like to do better all which fall into standard categories of be a better mother, wife, woman, boss, friend, daughter, sister. Ahhhh the list goes on. Shall I? Nope. Stopping myself from that long list.

And now I'm getting anxious just thinking about it. Gotta change subjects. Oh crap. I can't. Now I'm stuck in the thoughts of all the things I need to do better. I never should have started down this track. I KNOW better :)

As I read back, I started this blog with being excited about the new year. Gotta get back to that.

Whew. That was a huge digression that was near catastrophic. Perhaps a New Year's Resolution could be to be less dramatic.....nah, we all know I couldn't follow through on that one either ;).

So, I ask myself: Self, what DO I think will go well for me in 2011? A lot. We are on the track to ol' Dave Ramsey's Debt Free plan despite a November/December spending spree. The boys are getting older and more fun by the minute, if not by the second! Jeremy is DONE, DONE, DONE with paramedic school! YIPPEE!! I have the most excellent group of people to work with who make our difficult work tolerable every day. That's a good start.

Ok. I redeemed myself from my own freak out.