Friday, May 30

A mother-son trip to Rock Star Tattoo

Payton has been asking about tattoos since he was about three years old. Matt and I both have tattoos and we've already come up with our policy on tattoos for our boys.

They may have one when
1) They can present an idea and design that means something to them.
2) They want the same design for more than 1 year.
3) They may NOT have any cartoon character or person's name other than a relative.

I guess we're trying to ensure mature tattoo making decisions. If that's possible. My parents outlawed all tattoos and therefore, as soon as I turned 18, I had one.

Today at school, one of Payton's classmates gave out temporary tattoos for their birthday. Payton, knowing that real tattoos hurt, has always been hesitant about even the temporary kind. When I picked him up, he gave it to me and said he didn't want it. Through a few questions I found out he thought it was "the hurting kind".

I decided the only way to solve this problem was to visit a real tattoo store. Right now. Before I forgot (I do that a lot). So, we went straight from school to Rock Star Tattoo, not far from our house. As we pulled in, he again asked if it was going to hurt. I promised I wouldn't let anyone hurt him and he FIRMLY took my hand and we entered the shop.

Thankfully, it was a very nice and clean store. There wasn't anything a five year old shouldn't see hanging on the walls and the man behind the counter seemed as "clean cut" as a tattoo artist can be. Cezar introduced himself and, inquisitively, asked if he could help us. I'm sure he was curious as to why I was bringing my five year old into the shop.

I explained our problem and he asked Payton if he'd like to see a tattoo machine. Payton said "yes" right away and Cezar laughed and took us to his tattoo room. He held the little machine in his hand and explained where the tube and needle went and how it plugged in. He showed Payton all the ink colors and then showed him a book of (thankfully, appropriate) tattoos that he had done.

When Payton was satisfied, Cezar, still laughing, asked if he'd like to see a tattoo being done. Payton, again, agreed. He kindly asked permission from the recipient in the next room and we went in to see her receiving a tattoo of a heart and star on her lower back. Payton asked a few questions about why it hurt and why she was bleeding, but didn't seem scared at all.

When Payton was again satisfied with the process, Cezar led us out of the room back to the lobby and handed Payton a business card. He said he should hold onto that until he was grownup and wanted to get a tattoo. We left the shop and Payton said he was VERY happy to know "sticker tattoos don't hurt" and he "can get a grownup tattoo when he's bigger".

Cezar was still laughing when we left the store. I'm sure our visit isn't the norm. When we got home, Payton wanted his sticker tattoo on after all.

Thursday, May 29

Playing Catch-Up

This week, we've been trying to get back into the routine of the week. I keep thinking it's earlier in the week, not Thursday night already. Three-day weekends always throw me off.

Tuesday we got home, spent time with Matt and settled in. About midnight, I realized that Wednesday Payton had to be at school at 8:15am. Ugh. We don't do well with mornings. But we all managed to be up by 7:40am, dressed and at school by 8:15am. Not too shabby.

Payton's class and the other 4-year-old class sang a few songs for the school chapel that all the students attend once a week. They did a great job and Maxwell loved dancing in the back row while the kids sang.

Afterwards, we had just enough time to make it to Payton's new school for next year. The building is completely gutted and being reworked, in addition to a new gymnasium being bulit at the end. He was very excited to see it and I think it gave him a sense of where he'll be.

Then, the fun began. I've been trying to wean Maxwell from breastfeeding for about a week. We've had some issues and it was just time. He was fine with it when we were at my parents, but when we got home and settled in to our normal routine, he wanted to nurse all the time. I was already five days into the weaning, so I didn't give it, but instead called my inlaws and asked if they could take the monster for the weekend. They gladly accepted and too him today (Thursday) through Sunday. I'm hoping he'll come back a changed baby with little interest in nursing. Pray for me. LOL

Tonight, I had my Forza class. Our instructor, Cliff, came around and did some critiques on everyone through our routines. I was the only one he didn't make some suggestions to and instead told me "You're doing great. Keep it up." That'll make any girl giddy!! It's become such a great time for me and I'm disappointed that I won't be able to continue it in the summer. I hope they offer it again in the Fall so that I can pick it up again. It's such a great change of pace from my typical workout.

This weekend, since it's just Payton and Matt and me, we're going to do some garden work. Payton also really wants to do some letterboxing, so I think we'll work that in, as well as possibly plant our very first letterbox. I'm excited to spend so much time with just Payton. He has his first tball practice tomorrow (Friday) night. I'll post about how that goes tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 28

Weekend, Cont. (Sunday-Monday)

So...SUNDAY! We had the morning to do some finishing details on my parents yard and gardens. Man, do they look amazing. Most of the work was done by my brother, Loren, while I just manage the kids and run errands.

Sunday afternoon, my Uncle Don, who's be recently reunited with our family, came over for a BBQ. I did most of the food prep and let my brother do they grilling. Some of you know my phobia of raw meat. I overcame it. Amazingly well. I knew that I needed to get it done. I stared at the two pounds of raw beef in the containers for about 5 minutes before I decided I could do it. And I would do it. Just for my mom. I covered the counter in plastic wrap (yeah, it's that bad) and washed my hands about 20 times through the process, but I managed to measure, pattie, season and plate 12 hamburgers. Wow. I haven't done that since high school. Might not seem like much to you, but it was huge to me. I actually did a little dance after my first one I was so proud of myself.

So anyway, we ate the yummy burgers with corn, German potato salad (*drool*) and deviled eggs. Now, I'm not much of a deviled egg fan, but Payton is. I had no idea, but Maxwell is too. He got one bite from my mom and then disappeared. Three or four minutes later, I found him sitting at the food table pulling eggs off the tray and eating them. He has a new found love.

It was a really nice BBQ and my uncle stayed awhile with my parents, my oldest and youngest brother (one brother missing) and me and the boys. After my uncle left, I managed to twist my dad's arm ;) to go letterboxing with me and my boys. (You can read his blog First Sergeant listed in my sidebar on the left).

There is a really cool letterboxing series in Berea, Ohio that pertains to the "names" of the notes on the music scale. You, ra, me, fa, so, la, te, do? Well, the location for the boxing happens to be the same place my oldest brother and his wife got married, called the Music Mound. It's an old outdoor ampitheater built from nature's beauty. It was really cool to be back there and Payton learned all the names. It was a great hunt and we had a really fun time.

Across the street from the Music Mound is a small waterfall that we used the play around when we were kids. Of course, rules have changed and now we're not allowed to even climb down the slope to the river, but it was cool to show Payton where I used the play in the summers when I was young. Maxwell just liked the rushing sound of the water.

Finally, I got them home and to bed and then I took my parents' dog, Quinn, for a long walk/run. She only gets walked when I'm home so she was VERY excited when I put on my tennis shoes and pulled out the leash. We were out about 45 minutes and that was all she could take. I'm sure she's still recovering, being 11 years old now, she's not used to that.

Monday, we woke up and got ready for the annual Berea Memorial Day Parade. Nothing like what I've become accustomed to up here in Michigan, but it was a nice small town parade. I did find it ironic that the only three times the crowd clapped were 1) for the American Flag 2) the group of veterans and 3) for the horse who pooped in the middle of the road. Weird. I wonder how the all equate.
Monday afternoon, we just hung out with my parents mostly. We did go play Putt-Putt/Mini Golf with my baby brother, Damon, who Payton adores. We had a good time and manage to not get rained on. Maxwell was very happy just sitting in the stroller watching us hit tiny colored balls all over the place.
When we returned from that, I gladly accepted a pair of *nice* seats at the Indians game from my parents. They are season ticket holders and couldn't go, so I told them if they wanted to stay with the boys, I'd go. Turns out, they were fine with that. The game ended disappointingly in the 11th inning with a 6-3 win for the Chicago White Sox. There were fireworks after and then I went to Perkins with my friend for a late night snack. It's nice to be an adult once in awhile and not always a mom.
Tuesday morning, we left and made another uneventful trip back to Michigan. We've returned to life as normal early this morning, but that will be in tomorrow's blog. Ugh. I think I'll catch up by the end of the week...but that's only 2 days away. I feel like today is Monday.
Thanks for reading thus far. Sorry it's so long, but I just had such a great time and wanted to share all the details and pictures with you. XO

Tuesday, May 27

Oh, the weekend... (Friday-Saturday)

MAN, it's been a long time since I've been here. I've missed you all. I hope you missed me too. *kisses*

We're home. Finally home. Home SWEET home! And let me tell you, it's nice to be here. Matt had done quite a bit to get the house "ready" for us when we arrived. We came home to a fairly clean and organized place. It's always easier to unpack and get settled when I don't have clean up to do around it.

Anyway, The boys and I left Friday morning instead of Friday afternoon because Payton decided he didn't want to go to school. Perfectly fine with me!! It meant that I could drive during the afternoon instead of later in the evening when everyone else was trying to travel. We had a good trip down. It really was calm and relaxed and no emergency bathroom trips on the side of the freeway! That's a good trip in my book.

Friday evening, we went to the Rib Cook Off in my hometown. Granted, not on my approved list of foods, but DANG were they good. If you ever get the chance to eat ribs from some place called Armadillo Ribs, do it!! I ate 4 bones worth and a few potato chips (the real kind) and called it quits. Good thing too...I had a weekend of non-approved foods ahead of me.

My brother, Loren, from Delaware was in town as well for the weekend, so we had a great time all together. I only get to see him about 4-5 times a year, so it was really nice. He had brought Payton's birthday present with him (so the birthday *wasn't* over last weekend afterall!). Payton opened the box to find a REALLY cool Radio Flyer Scooter. It has a wide base and two wheels on the front for better balance. We took it outside right away and he did pretty well with it. However, I think Maxwell likes it more. He screamed everytime I put it away.

That night, after the boys were in bed, Loren and my younger brother, Damon, and I went to see the new Indiana Jones movie. It was really funny. They did a good job of keeping Indy pretty true to his age. A good flick for sure.

Saturday, we all spent time helping my parents with their backyard and gardening areas. It's our yearly tradition for Mother's Day. Since they are approaching their seventies, it's a great help to them. Wouldn't you know though, as soon as I got ready to mow the backyard, the lawnmower was out of gas! So, by the time I get back and get it all filled and ready, I only mowed 3 lines and Maxwell woke from his nap. Well, everyone else was busy and the yard needed done... Thank goodness for my Ergo backpack. I loaded Max on my back and mowed the lawn for 45 minutes. Great workout!! I might even do it again sometime.

Well, I have more stories and the best of the weekend (with pictures) is to come. So tune in Wednesday for the good/cute stuff.

Thursday, May 22

And again...

I feel like we just got home from the birthday party in Ohio and now we're on our way back Friday afternoon. I feel like it hasn't stopped for weeks it seems.

Wednesday, Matt and I worked in the backyard cleaning up winter's mess from the trees. It looks great and I can't wait to have people over for outside playdates! I even climbed our huge tree and took down some dead branches. I felt like a kid again.

Thursday, I am hosting our weekly playgroup of 4 mommas and 8 kids. Luckily I had to go to the grocery store anyway, so we're having BLTs and Tortilla Soup. Hopefully it goes over well. After they leave, it's a mad dash to clean the house and pack up the boys' clothes and necessities for our holiday weekend in Ohio. At 6:30pm we have to leave the house to go to Forza class. Then home, bath, bed.

We'll leave on Friday to my parents' place. Matt has to work and is staying home. I think the boys and I, with my dad, will do some letterboxing and see the Memorial Day Parade in my home town. I'm anxious to be home for awhile. I have some old friends who will be home as well, so I hope to catch up with some of them.

We'll stay there until Tuesday and then come home and try to resume normal life for awhile. I'll try to update this blog throughout the weekend, but no guarantees. Have a GREAT holiday weekend and be sure to take time to remember those who have died to give us our freedoms.

Wednesday, May 21

Rockin' It!

I'm back and bad as ever, baby! I've hit my stride at the gym and today pushed myself extra hard. I'm on the cusp of a new weight goal that I'm dying to reach. I just keep reminding myself that I can do this and I will survive. And I will be FI-NE!!! when it's all said and done!


Tuesday, May 20


Do you think they really mean anything? I'm sure they do. I think they're probably our brain trying to work out issues that our conscious couldn't handle.

When I was a kid I had some weird, reoccurring dreams. Those ended in adolescence, and since I've had vivid dreams on an nightly basis almost. I almost always remember then and sometimes even journal them. But the last week has been crazy dreams. I think it's probably all the stress of being sick and trying to plan the birthday party for Payton. But even since the party on Saturday, my dreams have been out of control.

I even have woken feeling guilty about my dreams. Not that it's anything I control, but kinda was my behavior, wasn't it? or it wasn't? I'm not sure. In my dream last night, I cheated on Matt with a famous movie star (not sure which one). In my dream, Matt said he'd forgive me if I changed my ways. I woke feeling guilty, asked Matt about it and he told me "ONLY in your dreams". I can't blame him.

I just wonder what it means. Dreams carry so much value and meaning. Even in the bible days, dreams were a way for God to communicate with people. David was a great dream "reader". Interesting that dreams have always meant so much to people... wonder what all my dreams mean.

Monday, May 19

Momma Love

My mom and I are lucky to have each other. The relationship we have, although strained at times, has never been awful or even filled with angst. I've always looked up to her strength and dedication to that which she finds important; her faith, her friends and family, and her students.

She's a special ed teacher with so much insight. She understands her students' challenges and does all she can to help them succeed. Her compassion for them has been quite a model for me in my life. She tells me often, "You're such a thoughtful person. You're such a good friend.", but she's the one who's taught me how to be that way.

And I'm blessed that she sees me as more than a student to her teachings. I'm her teacher and her friend. I'm more open minded than she and I think that's been a blessing to her. As well as my sense of fashion has been a blessing to her wardrobe.

My mom tells me that I need to have a lil' girl (not going to happen) so that I can have the same connection between a daughter and mother. I'm glad that she feels so fondly about our relationship that she wants that for me. It really does say a lot, doesn't it?

She sent me an amazing gift for Mother's Day this year. It was a book of poetry from a mother to her daughter. While the poems and writings are great, the hand written notes by my mother mean so much more. She writes about what she dreamt for me, what she continues to dream for me and what she admires and sees in me. It will forever been one of my prize possessions. Long after my mother has left this Earth, I will have her thoughts and sentiments to read in that book.

I wish every girl could have the mother that I had growing up. She may not have been perfect and we may have been at odds at times, but she has helped make me the woman I am today. I wish every girl could have the mother that I have now.

Mom, I love you.

Sunday, May 18


FINALLY!! The birthday celebration that has been going on for almost one full month is over! O.V.E.R. OVER!!! I love celebrating birthdays, especially those of my kids, but man was I ready for this one to be done.

Payton's bday is in late April. We celebrated by taking him to Kalahari. Then we had a group birthday party with a few friends. But we had to hold off on his family birthday party because of Matt's work schedule. Saturday, we finally had his long awaited and long planned birthday party.

Since January, he's been telling me he wanted a Mario Brothers' birthday party. While the games are back, the accessories are not. I couldn't find much of anything for a Mario Party. Matt and I made up a few things, but we winged everything.

We arrived in Toledo at my in laws on Friday and got settled in and I left right away to go do the shopping required to feed and house 30-35 people. We had decided on pizza, bread sticks, a few snacks and "piranha plant salad". Basically, I took a spinach-strawberry salad and we put some painted paper tubes in the middle with printed piranha plants coming out of the tubes in the middle of the salad. Everyone seemed to enjoy the food seeing as we ran out of pizza and I had to make more salad.

We also had a "Yoshi Egg Hunt". I purchased some Easter eggs on clearance and we painted white dots on them. We stuffed them with candy and put them in the backyard for the kids to find. We were expecting 8-10 kids and ended up with only 5, but they were plenty happy with the extra eggs.

For the cake, I made 18 star cupcakes and Payton had asked for a chocolate cake also. I made a cute "1 UP mushroom" that we turned into a 5 UP mushroom. Not my best cake, but it came out cute and it was gone, so it must have tasted as good as it looked!

I had a great time planning the birthday party, as I always do, but I'm relieved to know that I don't have to start planning another one for 6 months! WHEW!

Also, Matt and I got strep throat last week and we've finally recovered from that. Maxwell had double ear infections, but he's feeling much better too. Tomorrow, we will resume our normal gym-school-work-clean lives until we head *back* to Ohio on Friday for the holiday weekend.

Tuesday, May 13


1: the quality or state of being proud: as a: inordinate self-esteem b: a reasonable or justifiable self-respect c: delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship

I have been proud of many things thus far in my life. My family roots and heritage, graduating from college, both my boys, and I'm sure many more accomplishments and things. But I'm not sure I've ever been so proud of someone else for doing something that I had so little do with. Until recently.

Last night, my best friend, Tiffany, had her official graduation from Wayne State University Law School. We've been best friends for four years now and I've watched her go through the journey and trials of the entire ordeal. I'm not sure that I could have done what she's done, especially giving birth and raising two children through the process of classes, studying and exams.

She's passed her bar, she had her commencement and will be sworn into the lawyer role officially next week. I'm so proud of the work she's put it, the drive and tenacity she's shown and the strength with which she's done it all.

Tiffany, baby, I'm proud of you. So very very very proud of you.
Thank you for allowing me to be part of your life and sharing your very special moments with me. I love you.

(Marissa, Tiffany & me)

Sunday, May 11

Happy Mother's Day to my favorite moms

No Love like a Mother's Love
by Jill Lemming

There is no love, like a mother's love
no stronger bond on earth
like the precious bond that comes from God
to a mother, when she gives birth.

A mother's love is forever strong,
never changing for all time
and when her children need her most,
a mother's love will shine.

God bless these special mothers,
God bless them every one
for all the tears and heartache,
and for the special work they've done.

When her days on earth are over,
a mother's love lives on
through many generations,
with God's blessings on each one.

Be thankful for our mothers,
for they love with a higher love
from the power God has given,
and the strength from up above.

I was just thinking about how my life has changed over the last five years since I first became a mom. You don't realize when you're contemplating children the REAL effect it will have on your life. Sure you can imagine and plan; but the real effect isn't there. It's impossible to really get the feel for it.

I had no idea my heart would swell so much. And even more with my second child. I didn't know I could love anyone as much I loved my first son. I know it's not right to say so, but there's a special place in my heart for my first child because he was just that; my first. My first child to love, my first birthing, my first sight of what I'd been waiting nine long months for. With my second, the joy was there and it was actually much more "enjoyable" (if you can use that word to describe birthing a child), but it was more expected.

I had no idea I would feel their love for me so young; from the first time they looked into my eyes. I remember the first time Payton said he loved me without any prompting. I look forward to that in the future with Max. I remember how my heart broke the first time Payton bled. I remember the first time someone hurt his feelings and how I wanted to beat that child for hurting my little boy. I'm sure there are many more of those moments to come...

The future is full of things I don't expect and can't plan. Being a mom has taught me that no matter how much I plan and try to prepare for things, I can't be full ready for everything. I do my best and that has to be good enough. I'm working on teaching my children that. We often say "practice makes better" around here. We can't all be perfect at everything. I just do my best to make sure that my children are as ready as they can be for whatever comes their way.

The journey of being a mother has changed me so much. I have reconnected with God. I realize how important it is to have something to believe in when you can't explain things. I have a strong passion for protecting our world, because I want my children to understand it's a gift and that we should care for it. I find joy in little things, like the tree and robin's nest in my previous blog entry. I love being a "stay-at-home" mom. I would miss so many little things if I couldn't be here all the time.

I'm fortunate to have such a great group of moms in my life. My own mother, who is my best friend, is a huge role model and guidance in my life. My mother-in-law is a great supporter of mine and my family. I don't know where I'd be without these two great ladies in my life.

Beyond that, I'm blessed with an amazing group of women who are mothers, but more importantly friends. My Thursday playgroup that's been together four years, "my girls" who get together for occasional drinks and nights of chatting until 3am, my online and real-life mom friends who keep me busy (and sane) with meet ups, support and adult conversation...and so many more.

Thank you, moms, for your love and support.
Thank you for your advice and shoulder to lean on.
Thank you for your many moments of laughter.
You know who you are, and you can't be replaced in my life.
I count on each of you.
Thank you.
Happy Mother's Day.
I hope you get the recognition you deserve.

Saturday, May 10

God's Great Outdoors

With Spring in full swing lately, I've been noticing all the beauty God's created around us. I don't understand how people can see things as beautiful as they are and think that they were created by a explosion. But that's a different blog.

Last week, a seemingly normal tree in our neighbor's yard bloomed into a gorgeous cotton-candy looking tree. It's so beautiful that I take a picture of it almost everyday. I'm not much of a pink person, but I want to get just the right picture of this tree so that I can make a print and put it on my windowsill in the winter to remind me of what's out there waiting to bloom.

Then, this afternoon, Payton came to me and said there were two blue eggs in our garden bed. I grabbed the camera and followed him outside and sure enough. Two little robin's eggs. I explained what they were and that we needed to try to find the nest and we found it quickly just next to the bed in a short pine tree. There were two more eggs in the nest but momma robin was no where to be seen. I placed the two eggs back in the nest and supported the side that seemed to have tipped where the eggs rolled out.

I hope the slacker mom comes back and sits on the eggs. If not, I'll have to explain the cruel world of negligence to my five-year old. Payton wants to check on them everyday. Hopefully we'll see momma in the tree soon!

Friday, May 9

Forza: The Japanese Sword Fighting Workout

I joined a new class at the Y last week. It's called "Forza". It's based on the Japanese style of sword fighting and is a continuous moving, but no-impact exercise. Forza in Italian means "strength". Not sure why they gave the class an Italian name, being JAPANESE sword fighting and all, but it works.

Forza was developed in the last ten years. It was recently shown on the Today Show.
Workout based on samurai sword training
Workout based on samurai sword training

It's a great workout and my while my instuctor, Cliff, is just getting started teaching this class, it's been a blast. I love the strength I feel in the workout and the concentration it requires. I can't be thinking about anything else other than the class. It clears my mind of the other crap going on in my mind and I leave feeling empowered and energized. I actually want to workout MORE after the class is over.

Watch out, people. Swordfighter, buttkicker Ellisa is on the loose!!

Wednesday, May 7

Better today!

I don't quite feel 100% yet, but I'm feeling better, that's for sure. I made it for dinner and tea last night and I'm so glad I did. I was also able to meet up with Tiffany to celebrate her official passing of the bar exam. I'm thrilled for her and couldn't be more proud!

Today is "weigh in Wednesday" for my small group of friends who are trying to get fit together. Imagine my surprise when I got on the scale this morning at a 4 lb. loss from Friday! WOW! I thought I'd gained all that weight this weekend, but it must have been the PMS. Whatever it was, I'll take it.

I'm still not feeling well enough to make it to the gym. This cold seems to have settled in my chest and now I'm coughing a bit. I hope it doesn't take hold and that I can shake it soon. Today I need to catch up on some cleaning and laundry. Payton has school and we'll just be hanging out this evening. I think I'll head to bed after Top Chef instead of staying up later. I need a few extra hours of sleep.

Tuesday, May 6


Why is it that I only get sick when I have something good going on??

Last night when I was going to bed, I could tell I was getting sick. I even told Matt "I'll be sick tomorrow." Sure enough, I woke up with a raw throat and a massive headache. Matt was kind enough to get me some Tylenol and let me sleep until 10am, but he had to work this morning so I couldn't sleep as much as I needed.

I was supposed to go to the zoo with Jennifer and Lorene and their kids today. It's such a beautiful day for it too. I'm really disappointed. Then tonight I'm supposed to meet some friends for dinner and a tea tasting at a new teahouse in the area. I'm not cancelling those plans yet. I'm hoping by 6pm I'm feeling better.

Payton just told me that since Max is down for a nap, if I wanted to lay down, he would read stories to me. That sounds like just what I need.

Monday, May 5

Back on the wagon!

Well, as of last week, I'd lost 15lbs since mid-January.

I've been really good at watching what I eat and charting it all on I love that site! It's so helpful and they have great tools for exercise and eating well. But this past weekend, we went to my inlaws. And it was Matt's Grandmother's 75th birthday. This family does very little low fat anything. Granted, I love to eat that way too, but it's hard to make smart choices. I did have veggies, no dip, hamburger without a bun, just a very tiny spoonful of cheesy potato casserole and some fruit. But dang. The guacamole. And chips. And pita. And hummus. then cake. oh the cake. oh. Did I mention they're Polish? Translate that to "drinkers". I had a BIG rum and diet coke. Then later that night I had an Amaretto Sour. I tried so hard to be hard...

But alas, when I stepped on the scale this morning, I'm up 2 lbs. I hoping that's all that shows from my weekend. I have made great smart choices all day today and I hope to continue through the week. It's just hard. When I'm PMSing I want things like fries and chocolate and beer.

Ahh!! BEER!! Remember my pledge to myself, and you, to go alcohol free for the month of April. I did succumb to one beer around the 20th of the month, but it was a light beer. Does that matter? Probably not. But I feel good about it!

Wish me luck this week!! I'm trying to get back down to that 15 lbs loss.

Saturday, May 3

The furry ones have left the building

Back in December, friends of mine, Stacey & Tim, told us that they were moving to Las Vegas for Tim's job. He's a golf pro and golf is a year round thing there, not quite so seasonal like it is here, and they had a great opprotunity there. I couldn't blame them, but I was upset that they were leaving.

A few weeks later, I got a panicy text message from Stacey that no one could take care of their two "boys" (cats) while they were looking for a place to live and they couldn't take them with them yet. Some plans had fallen through and they were looking for some ideas on my part. My only idea? Bring them here!! Everyone here loves pets and I knew my boys would get along well enough with their cats, so it would be fine.

So mid-January, Tim & Stacey came by and dropped them off. It took Marble three days to really adjust, but Garner was right at home here. Slowly, they found their way around the house and made themselves comfy. They claimed the back of my loveseat as their own and we really fell in love with them; even if they did weird things like eat my plastic bags and drink water from the fish's bowl.

It didn't take long for Maxwell to realize they were living toys. He would chase them around the house calling "kieee-caaa" (read: kittie-cat). Garner, the spunkier of the two, loved the attention and would come down to the boys sometimes just to get hugs and kisses from them. Marble tended to mind his own business, but he could be pursuaded to let Maxwell lay on his big belly sometimes.

Their stay was extended a few times while Stacey & Tim found the *right* place, but that was no issue for us. Then a few weeks ago, Stacey messaged me to say they had found the house. I couldn't be happier for them!! But I knew my little guys would miss those kitties.

This past Saturday, I had to take them to the vet for their health certificates before they could fly to Vegas. When I loaded them in their carriers, Maxwell had a fit. He was so upset that I had locked the kitties away and then when I took them out to my car, it got worse. Good thing Matt was home to tend to Maxwell! He was so happy when I returned a few hours later with those furry guys!

Then Monday came. Their day of flight. I had their carriers out to make sure the paperwork was right and everything was proper before we left. Maxwell was curious and decided to test the carriers out.

Eventually, we had to get Maxwell out and load up the cats. Payton, being a mature "big boy" now, understood that they weren't coming back and gave them kisses and said goodbye. He knew all along that they were "Aunt Stacey" & "Uncle Tim" 's cats and they were going to have to leave. Unfortunately it wasn't so easy for Max. He gave them kisses and waved...but once I picked them up and took them out of the house...well, he wasn't happy. I'm surprised you didn't hear him screaming for the "kieee-caaa".

I think all memories of the furry visitors have faded from his mind. He hasn't asked for them or even really looked for them since I came home. But now, Matt and I miss them more than we thought we would. We're not running out and buying a cat (or a dog) but it sure was nice to have some company around here.

Friday, May 2

The birthday continues...

I have an amazing group of friends that meet with our five year old children (and any kids born after the five year olds) every Thursday. We've been meeting since the oldest were one year old. We've watched each others kids grow, change and mature. It's been a great experience for me and great for all the kids, but especially the moms!!

We always celebrate the kids birthdays together and yesterday was Payton's day. We had everyone over for lunch where the kids made English Muffin Pizzas and I made a great pasta and veggie dish for the moms. After lunch, the kids played, the moms had tea and eventually we had cake.

Payton, being so oblivious to gender specific things, picked a pink cake. (I love that he doesn't identify things as "boy" things or "girl" things. I don't want him to think he can't do something because it's too girlie OR that a girl can't do something because it's for boys.) So we had funfetti cake with strawberry frosting with sprinkles. He loved it.

Payton had really wanted to go bowling, so after everyone had their cake, we loaded up. He bowled an amazing 36, with bumpers of course. He was upset that Rose (and everyone else) beat him, but I promised we'd go back soon so he could practice and get better.

After bowling, everyone went home. We came back to our house and cleaned up a bit and then played and had dinner. Later we went to the Y and I had an amazing workout in a Japanese Swordfighting Class I've registered for. Came home, and everyone went to bed. Apparently somewhere along the line, I forgot to put the cake away. This is what I found this morning after I finished in the bathroom...

It's amazing how fast he climbed onto the table and start in on it!!