Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thankful Thursday

10 Things to be Thankful for-

1) Honey crisp apples
2) Strangers who offer help from 1/2way around the world. Thanks Cheryl (that is her real name!!)
3) Puppies who come through surgery with flying colors....just with a few less parts
4) Flexibility at work to take care of my family....and my pet
5) Surprise packages from sweet Aunts with "the biggest rice krispy treat you've ever seen, Daddy"
6) E-mail messages with crazy messages...what did we do without e-mail?
7) Weekends chock filled with time to do nothing!
8) Babysitters and dinner out with friends on a "school night"
9) Laughing...
10)Crisp fall weather and leaves that dance in the wind

What are you thankful for?

Monday, October 26, 2009

International Incident?

These are my parents.....taken last year with Coop at the pumpkin patch.


My parents are delightful....and I adore them. Truth be told, they are a bit technology challenged. And when my mother reads this post, she may be a tad miffed. Thankfully, she's the best mother in the universe and has a pretty good sense of humor, so I'm hoping that she'll find the comical in the story that follows and the fact that I'm posting it here.

They left for Turkey a few weeks ago and before they went, they reviewed my e-mail address about 12 times. Literally, I sent them an e-mail from my home account, told them the address, spelled the address and then verified receipt of a practice message that they sent to me. I figured there was no way that I'd hear from them while they were gone.

Imagine my surprise when a message popped into my inbox at work from a woman that I didn't know with a subject that said-

From Dad- we're ok, read on

So, I read on.

The message said-

Carolyn, we are fine but have lost a credit card and need to cancel the card. We cannot contact XXX (credit card company) by phone. For security I'll send the number in a next message and further security info in another message.

Clearly, from this I surmise that he wants me to manage cancelling his credit card for him. Only, that's not possible......for security reasons (but I'm pretty sure that this hasn't occurred to him).

The next message from him contains both the credit card number and the 3 digit security code.

The 3rd message contains the important detail that the credit card is actually my mothers and just in case I need it, also her social security number.

At this point I'm starting to wonder- is this a joke? Have Turkish terrorists somehow obtained access to someone named Nancy Schlatamer's (not her real name) e-mail account AND my parents credit card details and is this going to become an international incident??

And my dad's messages are coming to me fast and furiously.......

Please cancel (credit card company) Visa More in a next message.


Ok, so now he's using his that a sign that he's really ok? Or more mind games from the terrorists?

So I write back with some details (because we use the same credit card company and because I know he knows this, and that's why he wants me to call- because he thinks i've got some pull)-

pap- from outside the US, you're supposed to call collect.... xxx-xxx-xxxx can you do that? and tell them that you lost your card??
and in response to his next message (because he tells me that when he calls that number he gets a busy signal)

daddy- are you ok, do you need money? they won't let me cancel for you for security reasons. can you get someone at the hotel to help you make the international call?

About 6 e-mails later....during which I thank Nancy Schlatamer for her kindness, send my parents hugs & kisses, assure them that all will be ok, I find out that they were able to reach the international number to cancel the card AND I get this message-

Carolyn -
Your Dad has had 2 beers and has retired much relieved. It is 9:30 p.m. We're up at 6 am tomorrow & the bus leaves for Istanbul at 7:30 a.m. This is not a pace for the weak!

I'll give your parents your xoxo's in the morning.

Glad to help your folks!

Good afternoon/good night,
Nancy (not her real name)

Thank God to the person who got my father some beer- probably my sweet mother.
Poor woman (she's the one who needed the beer).
For them to somehow remember my WORK e-mail, which we didn't even practice on, you know that it must have been a total disaster and they were frantic.

It's not Thursday, but you can be sure that Nancy Schlatamer will be getting a huge shout out from me because I sure am thankful for her and the help that she offered to my parents who are 1/2way across the globe! I cannot wait to hear my mothers version of this story.

I'm SO thankful that my parents are ok and the news from Nancy was something completely manageable- they are healthy and safe and there are no shady characters in sight. Whew!!

You know, this incident reminds me of the time that my dad called the police to report that his car had been stolen from our they came to take a report and go through the normal drill for grand theft auto.

Only a few hours later, someone kindly pointed out that he had actually parked the car in the neighbors driveway.... Rut-roh!

I love you Dad!!!! So, so much!!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hair Conditioning

Last week before he got sick, Cooper and I were watching tv on the sofa and I happened to sniff his hair. It smelled wonderful. We had new shampoo and I figured that somehow it just smelled extra good on his baby fine hair.

So I said-

You know, your hair smells really good.

And he said-

Thanks, I put air conditioning on it in the bathroom.


Me: What do you mean? You used some conditioner in the bathtub?

Him: No- you know that stuff in the bathroom at school that goes pfist...and then smells really good?

Me: Are you talking about air freshener??

Him: Yeah, is that what it's called?

Me: (trying hard to hold it in) So, you put air freshener in your hair?

Him: Yeah, and see, it worked. (this in all seriousness)

Where does he get this stuff?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Not Swine!!

We got the call this morning- the strep test came back positive!! They called in an antibiotic and the Coop is on the mend!!

No flu!

I'm so relieved and SOO thankful.

And despite the fact that this weekend was full of cold, rain & ended up being fabulous- just the 3 of us.

To add some fun, each of us chose a movie to watch with Cooper...accompanied by ice cream.

While Jon was at homecoming on Friday night, Cooper and I watched the Wizard of Oz. I call that a classic, must-see flick. It's wholesome and iconic with a tiny bit of scary for good measure.

While I went to get the prescription filled and grab some groceries, Cooper and Jon watched Jurassic Park. He calls that a classic, must-see....with the same criteria mentioned above.

Interesting how we see things differently!
Cooper loved them both.

The rest of the weekend was spent laughing, snoozing, eating great food, making incredible lego creations, reading a tall stack of books and magazines and concentrating on making a sick little kid forget how bad he actually felt.

Hoping that Monday will bring a full recovery!

PS- Mom, if you happen to be reading...don't worry a bit!! We're all fine. I promise. Hope you guys are loving your trip. xoxoxo

Saturday, October 17, 2009

We've Been Boo'd!!

When we woke up today and it promised to be a repeat of the past two days- cold, rainy, sad & sick. It started out that way, but when Jon opened the door to run to get coffee there was something waiting on the front steps.

We were Boo'd!

I had no idea where it came from (although I have a few guesses), but it was exactly what Cooper needed. A little blessing from above!

The premise is that someone makes a treat bag for you, sneaks it onto your front porch and then runs away....then you have to put the sign in your window and do the same thing for 3 other kids. The sign goes up so that you aren't continuously "boo-ing" throughout the Halloween season.

You can see how sick he is in this picture, but he's smiling (sort of) and that's huge!


Once he read the note, he checked to see whether anyone was in view....


No luck!


The treats took his mind off of being sick and of not being able to go to Indian Guides (a casualty of being sick was having to bail on the Annual Father/Son Weekend). The thought of putting together some treats and surprising someone else? Well, that gives him something to look forward to when he's better.

I think I'm a fan of being boo'd!!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Swine Not?

Ughh. I'm so over the flu. The media and the hype...and the frenzy about swine.

Cooper woke up on Thursday with a 101.4 temperature so no school for him. I was hoping for a quick 24 hour bug.

Then he said that his throat hurt and I couldn't get his fever to break.
We headed to the doctor.

I'm a bit of a freak in general about all things flu. So along with not getting the flu shot, I'm also not a fan of the test that they do to prove if you have the flu. You know, the giant swab jammed into your brain and rolled around up there for 4 of the longest seconds ever??? I cannot imagine anything worse (well I can, but you get the idea).

I promised Cooper that I wouldn't let them give him the flu test- but I told him that he'd probably have to get his throat swabbed (also a violent test- but one I'm ok with because a positive result brings an actual cure).

I actually wasn't sure that I could pull it off- but I figured it was worth a try. Before we got to the doctor I talked to a bunch of people, all who relayed horror stories of friends of friends or media stories about healthy children who have died from the swine flu.

I. was. a wreck.

We get to the doctor and they were having a flu shot clinic. It was a complete disaster. Oddly, the office thought that it was a good idea to give flu shots to small children in a wide open cubby with 3 walls. The 4th wall opened into the hallway that runs beside the waiting room. Any guesses what the result was?

Complete and total bedlam.
Kid screaming bloody murder.

They took entire families into the cubby at 1 time....and lined them up for shots. Cooper's eyes were as big as saucers and he knows that I'm against the shot so there was a pretty good chance he wasn't getting one. Every other kid in the waiting room was petrified. Mothers were frantic trying to keep the peace.

When they called us for our appointment, we walked through the flu shot carnage to a room with a door.

He got the strep test.....and it came back negative. Rats.
Which based on his other symptoms meant that what he had was probably the flu. UGH.

She said that she wouldn't test (whew) him since there wasn't anything that they could do if it was the flu (great).

So, we went wait and to dose up on ibuprofen.
I went back to worrying.

He was so sad, and so pitiful....and so sick.
I'm sure the saga will continue.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

5 Ingredient Masterpiece!

I have a stack of magazines that I've never read. It's terrible, but such a treat when I have some free time to flip through and discover new things (even if they are from last years issues!).

Sweet Rachael, who does sometimes annoy me because she's always yelling on her talk show, has a feature in her magazine called Take 5. The recipes use only 5 ingredients. That's about as easy as it gets.

Last year she did one for French Onion Soup. It seemed simple and I had some swiss cheese that I needed to use, so this was perfect.

I swapped a loaf of crusty bread for the croutons and added 1 can of water because I couldn't figure out of it meant- 2 cans of broth AND the water or just the broth. I also went liberally on the salt and pepper.

French Onion Mosaic

It was yummy- the verdict from Jon was a thumbs up. Even Cooper was intrigued but opted instead for just bread and cheese.

Easy, delish and perfect for a cool fall Sunday night!

In Search Of...

The perfect pumpkin.

It's very serious business.

And can require some top notch decision making skills- which at 7 means eeny meeny....

There are so many choices....


But only 1 rule-

You must carry it to the wagon yourself.

In the end....maybe 2 mediums are better than 1 large.


Mission accomplished!

Ever Heard of Composition?

The one issue with always being behind the camera? There is no proof that I'm actually in attendance at any given event.

Unless I pass it to someone else. Sometimes that can have fantastic results- and other times, not so much.

For instance, our trip to the pumpkin patch today. In my head I have 2 goals- pumpkins and some family shots. I haven't yet perfected the timer feature, so I rely on my sweet hubby to do the deed. And quite frankly, he's a bit composition challenged.

And these are but a few of the results.

Hello hair?????

I cropped this one.....which doesn't help because Cooper's not looking at the camera!

Good, now Cooper's looking but I'm clearly not paying attention. Have the words "say cheese" ever crossed his mind??

Ok, I'm good here....but what about the most important feature??? These are supposed to be family shots. Wait for the kid!!

Honestly, where is the focal point for this shot??

I give up!

Here are the only 2 that actually make the cut- sort of.



Oh well, at least I can prove I was there!

And we really did have fun- which is all that really matters in the end anyway.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Catch of the Day-

We went fishing on Sunday....actually, Cooper and Jon did. I went along for the ride and to try and capture the events of day using some of my newly learned photo skills.

That didn't go so well- so I reverted to my trusty habit of shooting in automatic.
Here's a glimpse into the catch of the day.

Cuaght One Modsaic
Thankfully, no animals were harmed in the making of these photos!

This is my favorite picture- although when I showed it to Cooper he said, "How will anyone know that's me??". Not to worry- I know it's you. Your little hands are waiting so patiently for a bite and they know exactly what to do. I love that.

reeling in

And when that patience pays off....this is what happens!

my fish

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A difference...

It's been a week since the boys found the whale- and it's been a week that we'll always remember. The whole thing was so surreal and then it got so much press and it was all we could talk about. It was exciting and it built so much confidence for Cooper- he took pictures to school, he had conversations with countless grown ups (and kids), he read articles in newspapers and on line, he was even asked for his autograph!
He signed the paper with so much care and took it so seriously- as if it were the most important thing that he'd ever done. And really, it just may be. At least for now.

And there is a reason that it happened.....I'm not sure exactly whether it was meant just for us or if there was some other greater good, but it will become a part of our history and it was so good for us. That whale made a difference.

It wasn't so good for the whale, and that part does make me sad. She's in her final resting place now- we went this weekend to see her. She's anchored to a deserted island that's used as a wildlife refuge. Lots has happened in a weeks time.

I didn't do a Thankful Thursday post- but I have a list a mile long. Topping the list is that I have hope. I am hopeful. Some people aren't, and the result of that is devastating.

I got a call this week about a man at work who took his own life. My team manages the process when someone who works for the company passes away. We've had some sad cases, of course- but this one has stayed with me. I didn't know him at all. I do know that he was single and had a dog. And his dog was with him. I can't get that dog out of my head. It made me realize that there are people who don't have hope. People who are so full of despair that they can't focus on the one thing that might happen tomorrow that would make it all better, or even just a little more bearable. That he was so sad and hopeless that he wasn't even able to think about his pet. The pet that needed him and depended on him and loved him.

The next day as I was driving home from an appointment I thought, "Wow, this is such a beautiful day". And then I remembered- there was someone who couldn't wait to see tomorrow. And I cried. For someone that I didn't know- but who made a difference in my life. And I am hopeful- because I always want to see tomorrow.

Yikes. That's heavy. But good and cathartic- and who doesn't need a good cry everyone once and a while.

Back to being thankful....

I'm learning. I'm thankful to a great group of picture taking girls who don't know a thing about what they're doing. And to a fabulous photographer who took us under her wing to teach us a few tricks (err, basics!!!)!

I'm figuring things out. Jon and I are taking stock of our lives, of our future and of what makes us tick. And it's exciting and scary and wonderful to dream about what could be. I love that he has crazy dreams and I love even more that they're the same as mine!!

I'm practical. I'm trying my hardest to create a routine that I can live by that will allow me some sanity. Somehow when little things are in order it makes the big things easier. Give me a white board and a marker and I can make things happen.

I'm loving my boys. We spent the weekend doing fun, wholesome family "stuff". The weather was awesome, the stress was non-existent and the result was bliss. I do love them so.

I'm trying. I'm trying to make a difference.
I hope it's working.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Front Page News!!

I might as well have won the lottery!!! Our sweet little kid is on the front page of the teeny town paper at the river.

Check him out-

You can also click here to see it in a more realistic size. Thanks Diana for getting this into a "forever savable" format for me since the link will expire with next weeks addition.

We're having a celebration tonight when he gets home- it's the perfect occasion for cake!!