Saturday, December 24, 2005

Prayer please

Short note to say that I hope each and every one of you have a wonderful holiday, whatever it is that you may celebrate. To our friends and family:

Merry Christmas and we love you!

On a sadder note, please keep my Uncle Emilio in your prayers. He is in Intensive Care after collapsing at home Friday night. He is a husband and father. They live in Chicago (the rest of our family and his family are all in Cincinnati) so we don't see them much anymore. But when I was younger and they still lived in Cincinnati, I spent a lot of time at my aunt and uncle's house in the summers when I was in jr. high and high school. My uncle doesn't really believe in anything as far as spirituality is concerned. And he's annoyed by religion overall as far as I remember from conversations in the past. So please pray that he finds something to believe in during all of this (his family too). I haven't heard anything since yesterday so I don't know if he's even conscious or not. It's all in God's hands now.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


I was tagged by Betsy and am trying to think of "Seven songs I'm listening to" lately. This is going to be a festive list because I've been listening to a lot of Christmas music lately.

So. My seven songs I'm listening to a lot lately, according to my "Top 25 Most Played" on my iPod:

1. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) - U2
2. Gabriel's Message - Sting
3. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen/We Three Kings - Barenaked Ladies with Sarah Maclachlan
4. O, Holy Night - Tracy Chapman
5. Jingle Bells - Bing Crosby
6. I Pray on Christmas - Harry Connick Jr.
7. He is Born, The Holy Child - The French Peas

Runners-up include:

1. Do They Know It's Christmas - Band Aid
2. Last Christmas - The 1980's cheeseball George Michael's verison, not this semi-ok remake version out now.
3. Mele Kalikimaka - The Blue Hawaiians
4. The Heat Miser/Snow Miser song - "The Year Without A Santa Claus"
5. Anything by Bing Crosby.

I tag anyone who has a good list to share - including Linda, Jodi, my brother (I know you read this) and anyone else who'd like to play.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

So tired (again)

It's been a weird few weeks. Not a lot of time online. I finished my Christmas kit and sent it in to RMH. Aside from that, I haven't been online much. I feel kind of cut off but I'm not sure what I can do to remedy that right now. We got to have dinner with one of my favorite people last week - Ailsa. Her family is fun and she is an good person, an honest person. And I've missed her. She and her family, Rusty and I and the boys, and our buddies Deedie and Ramsey and their boys all got together for dinner Friday night. We had a good time and it was nice to just sit and be with friends who love you. Deedie is another fabulous friend that I constantly wonder why she bothers with me. Deedie and I shared a house before Rusty and I got married and she has always been one of those people that I wish I could be - energetic and doesn't really give a crap about other people's opinions when it comes to how she lives her life and loves her friends and family. Deedie is one of a kind and I adore her.

Anyway, Christmas is hitting me a little hard. It's coming on fast. Apparently, it did a fly by last week and threw up in our family room then fled the scene. All that remains are random bins full of Christmas decorations, two fully decorated Christmas trees, mounds of tangled lights and two way over-stimulated children. Apparently, Christmas then went and threw up at a house not far from here. They have a yard full of Christmas, including six Santas on their roof. Yes... six. If you're local? It's the house on Good Luck Road. You can't miss it. I'll try to get some photos if possible.

So. What else is going on at our place? Well, Rusty and I got back on the renovation bandwagon. Since the travel for testing and showers and weddings is over we're trying to get this house finished for good. We started laying the flooring tonight. I also spent today painting and putting up baseboard, painting a patched hole, sanding new drywall, installing new hardware to the bathroom vanity and taking down old towel holders and hooks in the boys' bathroom to get ready to paint. Good lord I'm tired.

I have absolutely nothing interesting to say. But I felt like I'd been away too long. I'm going to try to get some good Christmas light photos (and by "good" I mean "really really bad") I'll post them if I get anything worth looking at. The theme for this year is "Are you blind or did you mean to make your house resemble the Vegas strip?" We'll see what happens, eh?

Also, we are making decisions for our family that will have a lot of impact on our not-so-distant future if things work out. Please keep us in your prayers.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Updating (Hi, Linda!)

Ok. So it's been brought to my attention that I haven't updated in a while. I've been busy. And annoyed. Not by the people asking me to update. But I'll get into that in a minute.

First, I have to answer the calls for photos of ex-boyfriend/current TV guy. I have debated posting his photo. To be perfectly honest, I don't want him showing up in my email box. Did I mention I broke up with him when I met my husband? Oh yeah. Must have left that part out. He's a very nice guy and I really do hope he's having a great life. He deserves it.

Ok, so moving on from DJ Boy. My annoyances this week:

1. Hot glue guns. I hate hot glue guns. Hate with the white-hot passion of a thousand suns. I hate the little gluey stringy pieces that linger all over the place. I hate burning my fingers. Despite all the hate, I pulled out my hot glue gun to make four ginormous wreathes for my mother-in-law's work Christmas banquet. I totally didn't mind helping out. I just hated the hot glue episodes.

2. Stupid customer service people. And by "stupid" I don't mean "you stupid so and so...". I mean stoo-oo-pid. As in, first telling me to go to their website to bring up a list of network providers but then telling me afterwards that though it is the correct website, and the very same website they themselves told me to use? The list of doctors I pulled from their website was wrong. And my favorite? "I can't tell you why it's wrong, but it's wrong". Can't tell me? Um, does that mean it's top secret info? I need clearance of some sort? Or are you just mentally deficient?

3. Therapists with ginormous egos. After finding out that the customer service person was all kinds of wrong (shocker) and that our list of network providers was fine, I finally had people to call for Liam's therapy. And you'd think that after the testing? Making phone calls would be easy. Oh no no no.

First, you have to actually reach someone. I left a total of 32 messages (my list is three pages long). Then I reached the first live person. For a practice which included one woman that was actually also recommended by a friend. That woman wasn't even offered as a possibility to us for Liam. But they had someone else. For reasons I won't go into, she is not going to work for us. The second live person I reached was a very nice guy who was going on a three month trip to teach somewhere. The third person? A total jackass that proceeded to tell me that Children's was wrong and Liam sounds like Aspergers to him. Which is odd because I really didn't go into detail on Liam's issues. Then this guy told me he's writing a book and how "stupid" many other therapists are. He finished by giving me the name of a woman who started an Asperger's support group in the area. Oooook, nice chatting with you... no, you know what, dude? Not really nice talking to you, you big jerk. You didn't shut up at all to listen to what I was asking. I'm a mom. With a kid with some issues that need to be resolved. Get some empathy you moron. I pity the kids that have to put up with trying to cram themselves into a room with you and that ego sucking out all the breathing air. Also? It's not really "chatting" when you do all the talking. I'm just saying.

Ok, so third live person I reached wasn't so bad. She still totally ignored the fact that we had an extensive assessment done and talked about all the testing we could do to figure out Liam's issues (Hello? Is this phone working? Why is no one paying attention to the fact that the testing has been done?).

So what have I learned from my phone calls? 1, many (though not all) therapists seem to think that if they didn't do the testing? The testing was done by a brain-damaged chimp and should be totally disregarded. And 2, for a city as big as Washington DC, and the fact that we live between DC and Annapolis? There are way too many offices not answering their phones. I now officially hate voicemail.

4. (the list of annoyances, remember?) I have to be careful how I write this because I totally love and adore my youngest child. He is sweet. He is cute. He is a wonderful, beautiful child. But he has an annoying thing going on. It started last week. He talks. Non-stop. Like, he could be standing there talking, you could put him in the bathroom, shut the door, come back ten minutes later and he's still talking. Yeah, that kind of talking. And he requires not only an answer to everything he says, but also eye contact at all times. Seriously. All the time. Even if I'm driving (he expects me to continuously look in the rear view mirror the second he says something... which is, basically, all the time.) Like I said, I love my son. But he is four years old and going through what I really hope is a phase. Though I guess it's our own fault. We spend the first year of our kids' lives trying to get them to talk. Then once they finally do, we want them to "just be quiet for one minute, ok?"

So, what have we learned here today? Well, for one thing, we learned that I need more sleep. I am a cranky woman. We learned that you have to be careful when calling random therapists for fear of smacking the phone against your head repeatedly after saying the same thing over and over to a group of people who are supposed to be concerned for your mental health. And we learned that I should totally not update my blog without having had at least one cup of coffee. So sorry about the bad attitude. But it happens, no?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Only a matter of time.

Uh huh. Ok, so I turned on the TV and switched over to the Fine Living Network (because, as I've told Linda many many times, I live a life of high glamour). And I'm watching this commercial for one of their newer shows in which people are given a chance to live out their dream occupation with the help of others already in the industry. For example, this DJ in Los Angeles who wants to get into the record industry and start producting at some point so they hook him up with some record industry professionals already running their own label. And hey, this DJ guy is quite a hottie... actually he looks strangely familiar... holy cow... I know that guy! Holy poo... I dated that guy (man. He stills looks adorable, too).

So I suppose it was bound to happen, I mean with all the reality shows out there we're very likely to see someone from our past pop up when we least expect it. But still. It's way weird.

(P.S. Yes, like the very honest and devoted wife I am, I told Rusty about the show. Then informed him that I was recording it.)

Digital scrapbooking.

Digital scrapbooking. Odd phenomenon. Basically, everything you see is fake. Meaning, it's not real paper and ribbon and embellishments. It's just a file (pretty darn realistic looking files... but a bunch of pixels nonetheless). Put the files together and it looks like a scan of a real layout. A lot of people print them out and put them into books. I like to make digital layouts as wallpaper for my computer, to send email cards to people, do fun church video screen graphics (that one is for you, Betsy) and "pretty up" basic photos before I email them. An advantage to digital scrapbooking is once you buy the supplies? You can use them over and over and over... if you find a paper you like? And you use it? You don't have to go buy more. You have it. You can print it out and use it in a real scrapbook.

So. Why am I telling you this? And why is there a giant CD posted? Because I have been asked to design some digital scrapbooking kits for a fabulous site called Rocky Mountain Hobbies. Their owner, Cindy, is very nice and every experience I've had with them as been great so I said "of course I'll do it!" I've done two kits so far, the "Back to School" kit and the "Autumn Holidays" kit. They're offered as downloads or on CD (hence the ginormous CDs, above and below). By the way, the CDs in the photos? Not scans or edited photos. Totally digital.

If you're at all interested in seeing what this stuff is, feel free to click and see my digital layouts:

"The Farm"

"Tom & Jerry - Halloween 2005"

"Autumn on Crosswick"

"Home" (this layout, as well as "Sean" and "Liam at Work" were done with elements from other sites which I did not design)

Friday, November 18, 2005

Leaves on Crosswick

So, they're back. The entire yard, front and back, is covered with leaves. Actually, that's not quite true. Wednesday, Sean and I went out and raked the front yard. Yesterday was leaf pick-up for our street but we've been out of town so much over the last month that raking the yard was the last thing on our minds. I ended up taking some pictures of the yard and the street because I honestly believe we may have more leaves than anyone else in Bowie.

Ok, so anyway, Sean and I go out with our rakes - me with my normal wooden handled, green pronged "grown-up" rake, and he with his super cool, purple plastic Little Tykes rake. Personally, I'd love a purple rake. But I digress. Sean and I started raking. Sean got tired and went inside. I got tired, but had to keep raking. That's just wrong. Sean came back out and saw that I had finished the little strip between our house and Grandma Mary's house* (see photo, bottom left). He decided that he was going to help and proceeded to pick up handfuls of leaves and walked them over to the leaf pile to drop them. Sorry to gush about my kid, but it was really cute. Unfortunately, "really cute" didn't last long and Sean decided raking and the whole leaf-thing really stunk and went back inside. Until? He heard the noise.

Oh. My. Goodness. The noise. THE noise. The one that lets you know that Robert is doing something (he's our neighbor on the other side of Grandma Mary). Robert has fun tool-type stuff. And we are really very jealous. He has a riding mower. And it has a leaf vacuum attachment. And he has the biggest leaf blower I've ever seen ever. Seriously? It looks like one of those big fans my grandma's church had in their bingo hall in the summer. Yeah, it's big. So, the noise started. Robert and his dad divided and conquered - one on the mower, one with the big ol' blower. There were leaves flying everywhere. At least eight or ten feet up in the air. They were aiming for a giant tarp that they dragged to the curb when it got almost too heavy to move. Sean came running out, saw the leaves flying and thought it was better than anything he'd seen on TV lately. He proceeded to sit down - right in the middle of the leaf pile - and watch, completely enthralled. I? Continued to rake.

Now we move on to the part of the story involving pain and relief. The pain? I was stung by a Yellow-Jacket. Good times. Relief? I sent Sean in the house right before I realized that I was stung because I had just started raking over a hole in the ground that was the opening to a Yellow-Jackets' nest. I've never heard of bees or any sting-y things building a nest or hive underground. But my friend, Claudia, said they had one this summer too. It made sense, as earlier this summer Rusty was stung three or four times while mowing the lawn but we couldn't figure out where these things had come from so fast. Now we know (yay, us)**

After I finished finding the Hornet and "things-that-will-sting-you" spray and bombing the nest, I went back to raking. And more raking. I raked for a totel of almost three hours. But for the life of me I couldn't figure out why I finished around the same time as Robert and his dad, even though they had way cooler toys than I did. Then I noticed something. They weren't working on Robert's yard anymore. They had moved to the house next door to Robert, which belongs to a single mother with three little kids. The mom works full-time and trys to keep up with the yardwork when she can. Robert and his dad proceeded to clear her entire yard for her while she was at work. Did I mention Robert is a nice guy?

So, what's the point of this post? Well, first, we have a lot of leaves (see photos). Second, educational value in finding out that Yellow Jacket's can nest underground. Consider yourself educated. Third, I thought Robert and his dad did a very nice thing and someone, somewhere, should acknowledge it. That's pretty much it.

The photos are clockwise from top left: The view of the leaf-lined street from our driveway (the brown two-story is the house Robert cleared for the single mom), our backyard with the hammock and all the trees, Sean sitting in the leaves watching Robert while picking out some keepers, and a small part of our cleared front lawn.

*Grandma Mary isn't our grandma. I refer to her as "Grandma Mary" when speaking of her because she lives right next door to us. Her daughter and son-in-law and family live next door to her on the other side. Grandma Mary's grandaughter/next-door neighbor is also named Mary. And since "Really old Mary" just sounded rude, I decided on "Grandma" instead. Also? Robert (of "Gigantic leaf-blower" fame) is Grandma Mary's son-in-law/Little Mary's dad.

**Maybe if you're all lucky I'll be able to track down the email account of Rusty's epic battle with the hornet's nest in Cincinnati, complete with detailed description of his head-to-toe "battle armor". Hee. That's a funny one. There was a hockey stick involved. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 17, 2005


This? Is for Linda. And all the other women out there with impeccable taste:

People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Joke O' the Day

A woman gives birth to a set of twins and gives them up for adoption. One twin is adopted by a Middle Eastern family and named Ahmal. The other twin is adopted by a Latin American family and named Juan. Years later, Juan sends a photo to his birth mother. The mother is touched and says to her husband, "I wish I had a photo of my other son as well". Her husband says, "Why? If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal."

Ahahahahahahahahahaha....... that was a good one.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

We're back. And we have a diagnosis for Liam.

I apologize in advance because this is going to be old news to some of you by the time you read this.

So. We're back from Cincinnati (again). One baby has been born, gorgeous little Emerson Dawn. She is so adorable that it makes my ovaries hurt (must resist... urge... to have... another). Caitlin and Joel are married and the wedding chaos has settled. That leaves only one more event, and one that we are looking forward to with such anticipation it makes me teary just thinking about it. My younger sister, Lianne, is due with her first child on Thanksgiving. It is a girl. And her arrival is highly anticipated by everyone in the family, but no more so than by both her mommy and her daddy. Her daddy has already been playing with her for months now (Daddy pokes mommy's belly, baby kicks back. Repeat.). And Lianne is so perfectly suited to be a mother. She has the most nuturing personality but is also very down-to-earth. She also has a hysterically dry sense of humor that I'm sure will serve her well in the months ahead. I'm so looking forward to watching her as a mother and getting to see her start a new phase of her life with her little family.

Ok, so on to the technical stuff. Liam was officially diagnosed last Thursday. And there is good news. And then there is more good news. First, we have been told that Liam is not Autistic, nor is he dealing with any of the 200+ disorders that fall within the Autistic Spectrum. That in itself is a huge relief. Huge. During the assessment, Liam had a session with a child psychologist. Initially, they needed to test Liam's I.Q. to see what was his ability to learn. Some children have more ability and it's just blocked by something. Other children have less abilility to learn on their own and that's one reason why they're being assessed. The average child Liam's age has an I.Q. of 80 - 105, with the higher end of that range indicating a "bright" kid. So our "even more good news"? Liam's I.Q. tested at 126. The developmental pediatrician was giddy. She was just thrilled to have great news for us instead of the sometimes somber news she has to relay.

The final report we will receive on paper in a few weeks will say the following: Liam is suffering from an anxiety disorder brought on by his lack of ability to communicate his thoughts and feelings. Essentially, his communication skills haven't caught up to his thinking abilities and it's driving him batty. He knows what he thinks and wants but can't get it out right. And he thinks about a lot of things you wouldn't necessarily think a six-year old would think about. So us "taking a guess" can often times frustrate him even more. For right now, we've decided to forego anti-anxiety medication and try therapy first. The psychiatrist agreed and seems to think that Play Therapy along with Cognitive Behavior Therapy will help Liam's communication skills develop more quickly. And that development should help alliviate most of Liam's anxiety issues. If not, we'll have to reevaluate and possibly go the medication route. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

So, this post in summary: One wedding down. One adorable baby born. Liam is not Autistic, and is actually quite a little smarty pants. And? One more little arrival in the next week or so (yes... can you believe Thanksgiving is next week?!). Things are looking up a bit.

Now if we could just get the !#%@*% kitchen finished!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Life and love. Or something.

Ok. So that last post? About Earl? Totally legitimate in that the TV show really does make me laugh. A lot. But the post overall was just nonsense. Filler, I guess. Sometimes I open this screen to work out some of my feelings in words and then get to the end and wonder if people really want to read this stuff. And even if they do? Will they read it and think I'm nuts?

Seeing as how there aren't, like, gobs of people reading this and the people reading it pretty much have probably formed their own opinions of me? And the fact that this is my blog, which I started initially to 1.) be able to comment on Jodi's blog and 2.) use it as a forum to work out my feelings and faith and such while occassionally posting ridiculous filler? Leads me to the conclusion that I should just write what I want to write and if it bugs anyone or appalls anyone, they have the right to not read it.

So, now I've set you up to think that there is some big huge thing I'm going to write. Some revelation or announcement or major statement. If so? You've apparently forgotten who's site you're reading. Ha.

Anyway, yeah. I'm working some things out. Mainly, thoughts on my marriage. My husband. My life at this point. First, I have to say that I really really love my husband, Rusty. Rusty is a good man. When it comes down to it you can count on him to do the right thing regardless of whether or not it's comfortable or convenient for him. Please understand, Rusty makes mistakes. Oh boy, does he make mistakes. And then? I freak out. But in the end? Hanging with him through the consequences of those mistakes? Has been painful. And confusing. And scary. But also the most transforming experiences for our relationship. I guess when you say, "Am I going to stick with this person and this commitment even though he did something stupid? Even though I'd be totally justified in giving him the boot?" and then you decide to stick it out, you move to a new level. Admittedly, it would be a heck of a lot easier if you could get to that level without so much junk to go through.

An example: Two years ago, Rusty was involved in a car accident. It was his fault, because of something stupid that he did. Let me say up front that it was a single car accident (Rusty's car) and no one else was involved or hurt. But Rusty himself was lucky to be alive. He knew that. He knew he'd made a mistake that was going to put our family through some crap for a while. And he was sorry. Not just "I'm sorry" and then all is expected to be forgotten. He was devestated. It was plain to see. And I was totally within my right to say, "You moron! What the hell were you thinking?!". But I remember standing there looking at him and realizing that nothing I could say would make him feel any worse than he already did. So I told him that. And his face... the expression on his face was amazement mixed with overwhelming gratitude for understanding him at that very moment. He knew I wasn't happy about it. But he also knew I love him and that trumped anything else.

So we dealt with it together. And it was a lot to deal with. But amidst all of the anger and sadness and fear? I was given what I consider a huge blessing. I got to witness the true character of my husband as a man and as a Believer. Rusty's lawyer met with the judge overseeing the case and came back to tell us that he thought he could get the case dropped because of some technical loopholes. Rusty just said, "I've done something wrong and deserved to be held accountable." Even now? Thinking about that? Gives me peace that I've married a good man.

So. What does that have to do with anything? Nothing, really. Just thinking out loud... or onscreen, as the case may be.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I love Earl

Holy crap. Do you watch this show? "My Name is Earl" I hate hopping on the bandwagon with new trendy stuff but this show seriously makes me laugh out loud pretty much the entire way through. Every time we watch it. If you don't watch it, it's hard to explain without sounding a.) totally rude or b.) kind of mean. Earl is a redneck. There is no other polite way of saying it. Essentially, it's a show about a redneck criminal who goes through a series of events that lead him to the conclusion that he needs to starting righting all of the wrongs he's done to people to restore balance in his life through Karma. The fact that Earl learns his Karmic way of life from hearing Carson Daily talk about it on TV? Hysterical. Could there be a better metaphor for our culture today? Carson Daily as our pop culture savior. Oy.

Also? "My Name is Earl" is a highly quotable show. Example:

Never underestimate the power of confidence. And never underestimate fifteen beers, a little enlightenment, and the power of Rob Base and DJ Easy Rock.

The wisdom of this show is obvious, isn't it? Seriously, it's very funny. You should watch it sometime. Click here to go to the iFilm page where you can watch a video clip of "My Name is Earl".

This blog update was originally posted from Picasa Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Warning: It's a little loud

**Edited to remove extremely loud and amazingly theraputic Linkin Park video "Faint"**

Ok. So I know it's Linkin Park. Please forgive me. They're a bit over-exposed (or they were a year or so ago; not quite as bad now). But I really really like the yelling right now. And some of the lyrics. I like the lyrics:

I am a little bit of loneliness, a little bit of disregard
Handful of complaints
but I can't help the fact that everybody can see these scars
I am what I want you to want, what I want you to feel
But it's like no matter what I do I can't convince you to just believe this is real
So I let go watching you turn your back like you always do
Face away and pretend that I'm not
But I'll be here cause you're all that I've got

I can't feel the way I did before
Don't turn your back on me
I won't be ignored
Time won't heal this damage anymore
Don't turn your back on me I won't be ignored

I am a little bit insecure, a little unconfident
Cuz you don't understand I do what I can
Sometimes I don't make sense
I am what you never wanna say, but I've never had a doubt
It's like no matter what I do I can't convince you for once just to hear me out
So I let go watching you turn your back like you always do
You face away and pretend that I'm not
But I'll be here cause you're all that I've got

Hear me out now

You're gonna listen to me like it or not
I can't feel the way I did before
Don't turn your back on me
I won't be ignored

Sunday, October 30, 2005


It's been a bad week for me. I think we've covered the fact I don't handle continuous stress very well. Shocker. But for some damn reason, it keeps on coming.

Scene: Sean's pediatrician's office. Thursday, 1:00 p.m.

Dr: See those brown patches? The birthmarks?

Me: Uh, yeah?

Dr: Well, the thing is...if a kid has more than six we really should send them to a dermatologist to "rule out [insert something that starts with an "N" that even the Dr. had a hard time pronouncing]"

Me: LA LA LA LA...I'm not listening. Don't tell me. I'll take the kid to the dermatologist but don't tell me what it "could" be. I don't want to hear it right now. I'll listen to it if it turns out to be anything "for sure" and deal with it then.

Dr: I'm sure it's nothing, but you know... just to be safe. Here's the name of the dermatologist I'd recommend.

Me: Yeah. Thanks.

Nurse: Uh, doctor... you want me to pick her up or just let her lie there on the floor for a while?

(ok... so I didn't really pass out. But I'm pretty sure my mind and emotions tuned out for a while). Yeah, I'm sure it's nothing too. And I'm honestly not stressed about Sean's health. But it's one more phone call to make to one more doctor who'll have a waiting list a few months long (so my pediatrician warned). We have been doing homework with Liam all week and still have piles to make up from his week of testing. We have to go back to Cincinnati on November 11th for one more assessment appointment and the diagnosis. I have a house that looks like CRAP - it's messy and still unfinished as far as renovations go (yes, the house warrants bold, CAPITALIZED and italicized CRAP). And my husband? A complete moron sometimes.

(please... I adore my husband. He is a wonderful man and looks great in a pair of soccer shorts. But he is, at times, completely brain dead and knows how to do something just stupid enough to make me question whether his brain came unplugged).

So. Aren't you glad you stopped by? I just saw that Linda linked to me and I really do apologize to anyone who clicked there and ended up here. So sorry about that. I'd love to say I don't always whine so much, but I like honesty. It works for me. So admitting that I've been "Queen-O'-the-Whine" is pretty much all I can do at this point. Stop back later, maybe I'll post some pictures or tell a joke or something.

Monday, October 24, 2005


We're back.

Baby Emerson Dawn Kelly arrived healthy and perfectly beautiful on Sunday, October 16, at 9:06 a.m. Click here to see her adorable newborn photo. Mommy and baby are doing wonderfully, Daddy is beaming and big brother, Jacob (21 mos.), seems slightly curious but mostly oblivious.

And? Caitlin and Joel are married! The wedding was fabulous, the bride was gorgeous (seriously, she looked like an ad in a bridal magazine) and the reception was way fun. Loads of dancing, the most touching speech by a best man (Joel's brother, Jose) and 8 mos. pregnant Lianne looking way too cute in her bridesmaid's dress. Say a prayer for Caitlin and Joel that they won't get blown away by Hurricane Wilma as they venture to Disney World for their honeymoon.

As for the assessment, Liam's testing is not quite finished. We have to go back to Cincinnati on November 11th for an appointment with one more department then we'll have a diagnosis summary with his Developmental Pediatrician, Dr. Oppenheimer, later that afternoon. We love Dr. Oppenheimer. She is wonderful. Every single person we met at Cincinnati Children's Hospital was incredibly nice and for a few days it was comforting to have a team of experts taking care of Liam and documenting his challenges. Though we won't have an official diagnosis until the 11th, we were given some opinions and first impressions by the different people we saw. I'm going to try to gather my thoughts a little and write more later. The bottom line, though, is that we were told that Liam does have issues, particularly with communication. We were given some encouraging opinions as well as some sobering first-hand looks at how he processes the things he hears and what he understands about certain aspects of life around him. Obviously we'll know more after the full diagnosis. But the process has been worth going through and seeing those doctors interacting with Liam and understanding him in a way we can't has been good for us.

Photos and more to come later on.

Monday, October 10, 2005


So you know those funky domino things where they line up like half a million dominos then knock down the first one? And they just start falling, one after the other? Well, that's the period of our lives that my extended family is entering into. For you see, anticipation is in the air. We are waiting with baited breath. The first domino? Is falling any time. My brother and sister-in-law are expecting their second child any day now. Once I get that call that Emerson has entered the world? It's time.

**Emerson Dawn ("Emma" for short) is my highly anticipated niece due on the 13th

See, Emerson's arrival is only the beginning of the period which I've lovingly started referring to as "the craziness". Emmerson's birth (most likely this week) will be followed by Liam's assessment early next week. Liam's assessment? Will be followed up by my sister's wedding at the end of next week. Two weeks after that, early November sometime, Rusty and I will be traveling back to Cincinnati on our own for the diagnosis appointment with Liam's doctors. Then my other sister is due with her first child, a girl, on Thanksgiving Day (no name yet, but my dad has lovingly started calling her baby "Sweetie Pie". So "Sweetie" it is for now). Wrap it all up with Christmas and some family birthdays thrown in and you got yourself one heck of an exciting end-of-the-year.

I need a nap.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Hysterical laughter

Ok, so a while back Rusty and I stumbled upon a site called "The Sneeze". It's a webzine featuring a section called "Steve, don't eat it!". Steve, the author, goes to the grocery and buys one of those food items you always see but wonder if anyone actually eats them. Seriously? This could be one of the very funniest things I've ever read ever. It's gross. And the language gets bad sometimes. So be warned, it may not be for everyone.

If you read my warning and still decide to check it out? Be careful. You'll be laughing out loud, and possibly even snorting. So if you're at work or anywhere around other people while reading it? Either control yourself or tell them what the deal is so they don't think you're having some sort of spasm or something.

Click here to read "Steve, don't eat it!" . You can thank me later (or send me hate-mail. Whatever.)

In other news, my soldering skill still sucks. I actually came back to the computer to see if I could find any info on how to do this better. But amazingly enough, I didn't get any hits when I entered "solder + tips + art + sucks + burn + hate" into Google. Shocking.

It burns

So. I've been experimenting with soldering lately. You know, the soldering iron, the flux, the third degree burns.. good times. But you know what? I totally suck at it. Or at least I think I suck at it. And it's driving me crazy. Because for my entire life, one thing I could always count on was being able to make things. And dammit this isn't working!

More updates and possibly a photo (of either a finished piece or a burned body part) later on in the day.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Originally uploaded by art chick.
Ok. So I feel kind of bad that one of the only things anyone knows about Sean from reading my blog is that he likes to go pants-free quite a bit of the time. Over the last month or so he has made great strides in rejoining the pants-wearers of the world. Of course, at this very moment, he is sitting on the floor watching TV wearing nothing from the waist down. Baby steps.

So, anyway. With all that's been going on with Liam and his upcoming assessment and everything, I've been using my blog space to work out my feelings about a lot of what's on my mind in that regard. I felt like I wanted to take some time to talk about Sean and how great he is and how Rusty and I feel really honored to be raising this child as well.

Rusty and I aren't really the type of people to go around saying things like "Verily, our children are truly a blessing to our house". Most of the time we're yelling things like, "Get your foot off of the table while you're eating" or "Close the door when you go potty. No one wants to hear that." But honestly? We believe we are blessed to have the really great kids that we have.

Sean turned four this past September. And he's everything that a four-year old should be. He's cute, he's smart, he's active and he's hysterical. He makes Rusty and I laugh and totally loves his Mommy and Daddy. He throws himself at us to give spontaneous hugs on a regular basis. He carries on little conversations with us and he knows what he likes and what he doesn't. He's hitting all of his milestones and then some. He's just a fun kid to be around.

That? Was a very hard phrase for me to type - "a fun kid to be around". I'm not sure why. Maybe because Liam, through no fault of his own, often isn't a fun kid to be around. You have to be on your guard to make sure he doesn't get upset about odd things. His outbursts are embarrassing and also make you more protective toward him because you don't want other people thinking he's just being a brat. He struggles to get complete thoughts and sentences out sometimes. A lot of times it's just harder. And for a while, I was too ashamed to write that because I really felt like it was "wrong" for me to feel that way. But after a lot of prayer and thought and maturing spiritually I am now at a place where I can say that though Liam is often a complex child to parent? I adore him. I love his quirks and his unique views of the world even though it's more of a challenge to deal with a lot of time. And I can finally say, without feeling like a bad mom, that Sean is a lot of fun to parent. And that I enjoy being his Mom in so many ways that I haven't been able to share with Liam because that just not who Liam is or what he's capable of in some ways.

While I never want Liam to feel like he isn't as good, or smart or "fun" as Sean? I also never want Sean to feel like he and his childhood have to take a backseat to Liam's issues and what we have to do to resolve and/or deal with them. Sean deserves just as much time and attention and discussion (often resulting in much laughter). I love both of our boys and I truly feel honored to have been chosen to raise them to become the men God created them to be. A little freaked out, but honored nonetheless.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Wal-Mart = Hell

I hate Wal-Mart. Or at least, I hate our Wal-Mart. It is dirty, cluttered, dirty, crowded and not stocked with anything you actually need. You honestly can't just "run in" for anything because there are only three cashiers at any given time and you have to wait 20 minutes or so in line to check out. My friend, Ashley, refuses to shop there because the last few times she's gone there have been "domestic altercations" where the police had to intervene. Honestly, my experience there has never been quite that bad. But still. It looks like a place that would have domestic altercations.

Now, I didn't always detest Wal-Mart. When we lived in Fairfield (Ohio) there was a newer Wal-Mart near us that I adored. It was clean, stocked, well-lit and organized. There were sky-lights and high ceilings. There were very nice people working there. There were even cashiers standing in front of their queues waiting to ring you up. Craziness!

So what is the point of this post? Why all the whining? Well, I succumbed to the lure of cheap-o prices yesterday and went to Wal-Mart to pick up some transparencies for an art project. It wasn't our Wal-Mart, but one a bit farther up the road. I had other errands to run, I knew Wal-Mart's prices on what I needed were $3 or $4 less than Staples, I had already checked Target with no luck and had just been putting it off so I took a chance. Sean and I went in and straight back from the entrance I happened to see the boys section with a big ol' rack of University of Maryland gear. I was sucked in. We'd purchased Maryland wear for the boys from the university bookstore on campus and the quality was very disappointing. So when I checked this stuff out at Wal-Mart and it was actually very sturdy I bought a few things for Liam and Sean. But? That was my mistake. For you see, I didn't have Liam with me. And I should have understood the law of buying clothing for children not in your presence. Because though the long-sleeved Terps t-shirt was nice? It was from Wal-Mart. A Wal-Mart not really close to home. Which means? If it doesn't fit right, it has to be returned.

Of course, you know what I'm going to write next. The t-shirt didn't fit Liam. Neither did the sweats I bought for him (I couldn't help it, people!). So I'm faced with a decision. Drive less time but wait in the inevitable long line to return the items closer to home? Or drive a while longer and wait in a shorter line (or even no line, I've seen it before). This? Is why I now hate Wal-Mart. My life is stressed out enough as it is. I don't need little irritations of my own making like this thrown in. I should really know better by now.

Friday, September 30, 2005


Having a hard day. Was wondering if you would mind saying a prayer for me, asking God to remind me that everything really will be ok.


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Carbon Leaf

::EDITED:: The video was annoying some computers so it's gone. But you can find it at if you want to see more. Click on their Media link once you get there.

This is for Jodi, and anyone else who thought "Who the heck is Carbon Leaf?" when they read yesterday's post.

Now Barry? He's got sneak attack hotness. Like, it doesn't hit you directly. But when I watch him sing it just... does something for me. Maybe I just like guys that sing. I mean, Harry Connick Jr. was on the list. And Jason Mraz wasn't but he's cute too.

I read this little blurb from Barry (the lead singer) and liked how real he seemed about writing music that translates into something for people:

"I walked to the store today. I fell in love when I saw her at the cheese counter".

I wrote this line around the time of our 2nd album, to illustrate how I don't like to write. These days, I'm finding that there's a lot of freedom in this line, and that describing things for what they are gains you alot of freedom. I like the line now. I think it's good. I use the word 'good' intentionally, because you're always told, "never use the word 'good', there are thousands of better words to more accurately describe something..."

Don't believe it.

'Good' is one of the best words I know. It's an accurate barometer, when it's meant. "How do you really feel?" "I feel good." It's one syllable, easy to understand, mellow and confident. It is the opposite of Bad. Good is the ember. It sits there and smolders for you. It does it's job quietly. If you're, lucky, you know what Good feels like. Sometimes Good in life is rare, but when it's there, you know it, and it feels good.

"I walked to the store today. I fell in love when I saw her at the cheese counter".

I like the line now. I think it's good. But the line never really happened to me, so I didn't put it in a song. If you're going to be so plain spoken, it has to be true. When it's true, there's nothing to hide. There is a lot of merit to that kind of writing, though it's still the challenge to say something in a way that hasn't been said over and over again, the same as before and before...

Unless, of course, it's simply good and true. And, in rock and roll music, people relate to the cheese counter.

So cheese is good, but only if it's real.

I liked that line of reasoning so I bought their CD from iTunes and have been happy with pretty much all of it. So you be the judge. Of course, you're watching this video online so I'm not sure if the hotness will really come through. And? That line "So cheese is good, but only if it's real"? Words to live by, my friend. Now you can't say you didn't read anything profound today.

Monday, September 26, 2005


That's about all the enthusiam I can muster today. I'm tired. Did a lot of driving this past weekend. Well worth it, but tiring nonetheless. Sean decided he loved me and missed me and had to share this revelation with me around 4:45 a.m. this morning. He passed out again. I was wide awake from then on. Good times.

I was debating just letting my blog rot until after Liam's assessment. I am tired of talking about it and thinking about it and trying to plan for it and worrying about it and freaking out and stressing about it. It's just this huge roadblock in our little family's way when we look to the immediate future and I'm tired of having to always be on top of something right now whether it's the school special ed person or the five different specialists we'll be chatting with in three weeks. I'm not one of those psychos that "thrives under pressure". I wither under pressure. Leave me alone already.

On that note, my good friend Betsy requested I answer these questions for her. And seeing as how Betsy is a pastor at our church I somehow feel that I must obey (like God told her to tell me? I'm weird.) So here, now, for your reading pleasure:

5 things I plan to do before I die:

1. Learn to scuba dive

2. Learn a foreign language

3. Take a vacation to a foreign country with someone originally from that foreign country as a traveling companion

4. Get back in shape and actually stay in shape

5. Finish the damned kitchen

5 things I can do:
1. Make a hardcover book from scratch
2. Type fast

3. Dance

4. Make Rusty smile

Pretend I'm normal

5 things I cannot do:
1. Pronounce the word "Czeckoslovakia"
2. Wear strappy sandals

3. Go to Target, Ikea or The Queen's Ink without spending money

4. Not eat cheesecake

5. Be normal

5 Things that attract me to the opposite sex:
1. Smile
2. Legs
3. Sense of humor

4. Confidence

5. That little sumpin' sumpin' you just can't describe but you totally know it when it's there

5 things I say most often:
1. Dude...
2. Sean, where are your pants?

3. What the crap...?

4. Why does it stink in here?

5. I'm really sorry (sniff)

5 celebrity crushes:
1. Cary Grant
2. Don Cheedle

3. Harry Connick Jr.

4. Barry Privett (lead singer for Carbon Leaf)

5. Han Solo

5 people I want to do this next:
1. Anyone who reads my blog but has never before left me a comment (Mindy... if you're reading this? This would include you.)
2. Amy Hasse, because she's one of my oldest and dearest friends ever

3. Linda, because I bet she has fascinating answers and because I love her

4. Jodi, because she makes me laugh whenever I read her comments or email

5. Anyone on my "Five celebrity crushes" list

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Dear INXS,

You stink. JD is a poophead.

With no love whatsoever,


P.S. Jordis rocked, but you could have at least picked Marty.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Until I write a "real" post...

Because? It's funny. And? I'm kind of icked out to say... it's really cute too.

click here to see the tampon dolls : MyPaperCrane Shop

And if you think that's cute, check out the smiley rolls of toilet paper.

click here to see the toilet paper roll : MyPaperCrane Shop

And oh my goodness... the moldy bread!

click here to see the moldy bread : MyPaperCrane Shop

Sorry excuse for a post.

I have to say, this blog has been boring lately. Boring, boring, boring. Which I'm sure shocks everyone. Because really? My life is so astoundingly glamorous.

Stay tuned. Maybe if you're lucky? I'll scan the little cartoons I made from Ikea installation instructions yesterday while I was waiting for customer service to get back on the line (ooooh, think you can handle the anticipation?).

In other news, I haven't had a full night's sleep since last Monday. Sean keeps waking up, climbing into bed with us and kicking me repeatedly in the face in his sleep. Then? I wake up (because? I've been kicked in the face. Keep up here, people). As I was saying: a kick to the facial region, I wake up and then I'm all confused because I felt the kick but do not see the kicker. This happens two or three times until I actually sit up in bed wondering what the holy crap is going on and then I see him. Sean, totally upside down in our bed, head down at the footboard and burrowed into the comforter. You can't see him unless you're really looking hard. Or unless you happen to open your eyes a split second before his little foot makes contact with your cheekbone.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Red Cross Banner

Hey, I made the little American Red Cross banner that's over to the right with the links. If you click on it, it'll take you to their online donation page. Also? If you want a copy of that graphic for your blog or webpage, just let me know and I'll email it to you.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The jig is up.

It happened yesterday. I've been officially crowned "The Artistic Mommy" by Liam's teacher. During the first week of school, when they send home a million and three forms to fill out? One of them was a volunteer sheet. I glanced at it longingly and put it aside. For you see... I have a three year old. Who is not yet in school. Therefore he is my constant companion. Also? He's totally unbalanced and likes to live his life pants-free. Three years old + unbalanced + pants-free = not a good person to bring along when you're trying to volunteer and actually get something done.

So. I didn't fill out the volunteer form. But then, they hit me with a sneak attack. A little form, only half a page, that asks parents to list their workplaces that may be of interest to the kids on Career Day or just in general. I didn't list my freelancing out of the computer room in our house because I figured no one really wanted to see the computer room in our house. I don't want to see the computer room in our house. But of course I had to put Rusty's job down. He works at NASA and gets super cool space stuff (super cool enough that when he brought home holographic postcards of the sun for Liam's pre-school class? I was totally bummed that there weren't enough for me to get one). Plus? Rusty's best friend works at NASA and his friend's son is in Liam's class as well. I figured knowing them they'd go all tag-team for Career Day. After filling in Rusty's info? I saw it. The line asking about hobbies. "Do you have any hobbies that you would be willing to share with the class?". Hobbies? Please.

Let me pause here and explain some thing. Prince George's County schools do not employ art teachers at each school. I did not know this until parent-teacher conferences with Liam's teacher in kindergarten last year. We were told they have a "traveling" art teacher who does different schools on different days. Which would be ok, in theory. But Liam's teacher went on to say that she hadn't seen the traveling art teacher in at least three years. Stop the insanity! My child - my artistic little drawing dude - didn't have art class. It was up to individual teachers to provide art time. Which is a bit much to ask these teachers who are already providing extra school supplies out of their own money and way more of their time than they actually get paid for. Plus? Some people just aren't into art so they don't see it as a real necessity (can you imagine?).

Anyway. With that in mind, I went ahead and listed my art degree and hobbies as book-binding/book-making, stamping, collage, scrapbooking and then ran out of space (sadly, I didn't get room to mention "blow-torching in the name of art"). I figured I'd get a note home during certain "crafty" times of the year - Halloween pumpkins, Thanksgiving turkeys, Christmas... that kind of thing. But she has already called me on my offer to help. And it's totally not holiday related, so I'm guessing Liam's teacher is one who feels that the kids do need some art in their lives on a regular basis (Yay, Liam's teacher!). So now, the big question. Will lower-body paint for Sean be seen as bad parenting or just artistically eccentric?

Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Flight That Fought Back

So, yeah. I watched this documentary on the Discovery Channel last night. I wasn't going to. I mean, I really don't get into watching TV that I know will just make me a giant puddle of blubbering mess (which is why I no longer watch Extreme Makeover: Home Edition... I mean come on). Anyway, this documentary...

I'm embarrassed to say that up until now, my knowledge of American Airlines flight #93 was pretty limited. I knew that someone named Todd Beamer had said "Let's roll" at some point. And I knew that the plane was headed towards D.C. That's about it. But there is so much more to the story than that, and it was completely fascinating.

I'm sure the documentary will be re-run over the next few weeks so I won't go into specifics here. But one thing I realized last night? That flight #93 crashed in Shanksville, PA. 15 minutes (fly time) from Washington D.C. We live 21 miles (on the ground) from the White House itself. And though we didn't yet live here in 2001? My mother-in-law did. My brother-in-law and his family did too. Our friends from college, and YoungLife, and church. All scattered around the D.C. area, from inside the city itself to Silver Spring, from Columbia to the Fort Meade area, from NASA to the Naval Academy.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, our friends and family were here and there going about their normal morning routines. And had that flight not crashed into a field in PA? If it had overshot its target? And crashed somewhere else? Some of those friends and family may not be here today. 21 miles drive time is only minutes by air. And that fact really hit home last night. As someone who had a lot to lose in this area? I am so very thankful that the 40 people on American Airlines flight #93 were brave enough to attempt to bring that plane down before it hit its target. And to the families and friends that lost loved ones on that flight (though it's doubtful any will actually find this to read it): I so appreciate what your loved ones did. Not only did the plane not hit the capital, it also didn't hit thousands of innocent everyday people that live and work in this area. And so many of those thousands of every day people are people that my family and I care about. I am so grateful.

*Note: The commenter is totally correct. I hadn't even noticed that though this was initially billed as a "documentary", it really is a "docudrama". Much of the actual dialog is recorded cell phone conversations that took place between the passengers and their families as well as voice data recordings. But the actual minute-by-minute details will never be known so the director chose to use dramatic interpretations of what is believed to have happened based on those recordings and cell phone conversations.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Quote O' the Week

I believe that if life gives you lemons? You should make lemonade. Then find someone who's life has given them vodka. And have a party.

(I'll be interested to hear from anyone who knows where I heard this. Because? I am embarrassed to admit having seen it.)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

A little bit of normal

Ok. I have to confess something. After these last few years and all the stupidity of so many of the "reality" shows? I finally started to watch one. Yes, I'm serious. No, I've never wached a reality show before this one. Yes, I am under the age of 80. No, I don't live in a cave.

Rusty has been DVR'ing the INXS show, the one where they are trying to find a new lead singer. Now, keep in mind, I said we're watching it recorded. Which means, essentially, we fast forward through all the stupid stuff (personally, I don't care what they do "back at the mansion") and just watch the performances. I was a big INXS fan in high school and was sad when it was announced that their lead singer, Michael Hutchence, had hung himself (1996 or 97?).

Anyway. The point of this. We've been watching the show (and I just realized I don't know the official name of it). Dave Navarro is one of the hosts along with INXS themselves. Navarro is in Jane's Addiction and was in the Red Hot Chili Peppers too, I think. Maybe I'm wrong?

Again with the getting off track...

So. There are some very good performers on the show. There are/were also a bunch of complete weiners. But I have been totally enthralled with one singer in particular - Jordis Unga. Yes. That is her name. She's from St. Paul (of course). Jordis? Can sing. I don't really get all worked up about singers. The last solo performer's entire CD I downloaded from iTunes was Jason Mraz. Otherwise, I'll download a single and that's about it. But now I'm all "I really want to find more of her stuff" with Jordis's music. She's unique and has a fabulous voice. And she uses that voice astonishingly well. But then, sadness...

Jordis was elimated from the competition last night and now it's down to four people left. But when she got up to leave, the band and Navarro couldn't say enough about her and her talent and her future (they eliminated her on the basis of "not being right for the band", which is probably true -- she's way too cool for INXS).

So I just downloaded some of her songs from MSN Music. If you're interested, I totally recommend clicking this link to hear her cover of The Man Who Sold the World first. Her version of Imagine , Give Me Some Lovin' and Knockin' On Heaven's Door are great, as is Heart Shaped Box. I'm really anxious to see if, or more likely when, she will be releasing a debut CD.

P.S. Regarding the show? I am totally hoping Mig or Marty wins. JD? Is an ass. And I don't really believe INXS wants a girl singer so I think Suzie's out next. But realistically? INXS won't be "INXS" without Michael Hutchence so I probably won't be buying their new music anyway.

P.P.S. I'm thinking of rollin some dreads myself...

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

How long?

I have to be honest and say that I've debated deleting that last entry about the pendants. There's nothing wrong with it, really. It just seems so petty and needless with all that's going on right now. I remember people talking about this after 9/11 - when were you supposed to feel allowed to laugh and make jokes again without sounding irreverant? I feel like that now. When do you go back to talking about "life as usual" again if you weren't directly affected by Hurricane Katrina? The little things I do day to day, little treats like the pendants I bought, the things we're doing to renovate our house. Even my declaration on Monday that we have to finish the house because it's driving me crazy just seemed so hollow, even though it's true.

I hope you realize I'm not saying I resent the fact that I have to think about the hurricane's aftermath. I mean, it's not like you can help it, really. And I'm praying for those people, some by name specifically. But it's starting to take an emotional toll on me. I'm cranky and even crying from time to time over the last few days. I'm disappointed and scared that it took so long to get relief to so many people. So when, and how, do you seperate yourself from it and say "Life goes on" without losing your empathy and sensitivity?

Monday, September 05, 2005

Support an artist

I rarely by "impractical" things for myself. But lately I've found myself missing the little bits of me that have been (and are still) packed away during the move and renovations on the house. Small things like candles, my vintage bottles and other little items that seem so insignificant but feed my need for beauty by just being around in plain view on a daily basis.

So last night? I bought four pendants: the one in the photo, one that is green with a clover detail attached with a jump ring (it hangs free of the green background), a pale blue and green two-piece pendant, and one that is fused glass with a vintage look. The photos are all close-up details. The pendants themselves range in size from an inch to an inch and a half long.

So. Four pendants. Stained-glass. Handmade. Total for the lot? Around $40 plus shipping. I had seen a stained glass pendant a few months ago and fell in love with it, but it was over $100 because it was "handmade, one-of-a-kind", etc. So this? Was way fun to run across. You must check this out:

LingGlass on Etsy - Your place to buy and sell all things handmade

The artist I purchased from is named Chu Ling and lives in Singapore (shipping for the lot was only $5.00 total, by the way). She has been wonderful and sent immediate email responses to all of my questions. She's also very nice.

Be sure to check out the other sellers as well. If you're getting tired of buying gifts that look like everyone else's gifts, you should give this a shot. There is some fabulous and wonderfully unique artwork of all kinds available. Regarding these pendants? I love that I can wear these on a cord or chain. But also? I can hang them around the house or in the window when I'm not wearing them and still enjoy their beauty. Maybe "impractical" wasn't such an accurate description after all.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Please help.

Aside from my brief looting observations? I am so terribly overwhelmed by what we've been seeing on TV this past week I just put off updating and posting about the hurricane and the aftermath. I wish I could think of something really funny to say to lighten the mood of this post, but come on. I'm so not that good. So check this link out and then follow their lead and DONATE!

Snarkywood --

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Dude. I got tagged.

That's what I get for reading Jodi's blog. She mentioned me by name, dammit. I can't get out of it now...

1. Up until the minute I was born, my name was supposed to be April.

2. My best friend, Amy, and I are always mistaken for sisters. Even by at least one person who had known us for a few years and known our last names were different.

3. I've always wanted to have my nose pierced.

4. Maryland gave me my B.A. before I actually finished my requirements. I gave it back, trying to be honest. They thanked me and promptly sent me another one. I kept it and never took my language classes.

5. I had a major crush on Bill Rempe and Chris Frazier from elementary school until the day we graduated high school. I would have kept crushing on Frankie Martorana, but he left for a different school.

Do I have to tag someone now? Hmmm... I tag anyone and everyone that reads this today. You are hearby ordered to write five random things about yourself in the comments section. And? I "blog-tag" my good buddy, LINDA!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

My day

Go ahead. Ask me what I did today. That's right, you're too chicken. You've been led down this path before apparently. Ok, so I'll just hit you with the amazingly glamorous details of my afternoon spent on the bathroom floors (yes, that's floor with an "s", meaning more than one bathroom floor.)

I? Bleached the grout in both bathrooms today. Because? I am a rock star. You envy me, admit it. Spraying, scrubbing (with a real scrub-brush and everything) and wiping, trying to get that grout white again. Or at least a little more "un-brown". Our bathroom cleaned up nicely. Yay, our bathroom. The boys' bathroom? Not so much. So I hit it with more bleach. And more scrubbing. And then? I came to the conclusion that maybe that grout wasn't white to start with. Smart-ass bathroom floor.

On a brighter note? I believe I bleached off my fingerprints so I'm thinking I may knock off an ATM or something.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Freaking out

Oy. So, me? I'm a wreck. You'd think that after waiting all spring and summer for word on Liam's assessment I'd be thrilled to finally have a date, right? I mean, I am. And though October sounds like it's still a ways off? It's not, really. It's only seven weeks from yesterday.

So what exactly am I freaking out about? Hm. The fact that we will actually be taking our child to a world renowned program for something that affects his entire life and how he lives it, for one. Another? That they may not be able to help us and we'll be back at the beginning trying to figure out what's going on in Liam's head. Also? Our pediatrician's opinion that regardless of what label Liam ends up with, he's going to need some sort of intervention for the long term to help him succeed in school, relationships and life in general.

I mean, that's the bigger, broader stuff. The smaller stuff? Being so proud when Liam has told me, every day of school so far, that he cried or had an ourburst at school but was able to calm himself down. Being so thrilled to see him being so proud of himself. Then feeling crushed when the next thing out of his mouth is that someone called him a cry-baby "even when I calmed myself down by myself, mom". Coming to the realization that the educational part isn't the only battle he'll face at school every day. Wondering if he'll be able to sustain real friendships. Wondering if or when he'll notice that there is something a little different about him. And if that day comes? Wondering what we're supposed to tell him to make him understand that he is still the most perfect child God could have given us and that we wouldn't change anything about him.

Yeah. That about covers it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I'm a geek.

I'm a geek?
Originally uploaded by art chick.

Holy crap. I mean, I knew this day would come. The day when we have literally hundreds of TV channels at our disposal with millions of programs. I could watch "Friends" from the beginning of the series to the end by flipping back and forth between USA, TBS and random FOX affiliates. I can watch 24 hours/7 days a week of anything and everything having to do with interior design and decorating. But what do I watch so much of lately? What do I DVR and check nightly to see if any re-runs I haven't seen have been recorded? I'll tell you what I'm addicted to. The [so hysterically funny that the science geekiness is cancelled out] Discovery Channel show: Mythbusters. Oh. My. Gosh. That show kills me.

Ever wondered if your stomach would really explode if you ate Pop Rocks with a Pepsi? Mythbusters did (Pilot 1). Did you ever hear that a penny dropped off of the Empire State Building could kill someone on the ground? Yep, Mythbusters heard that one too (Episode 4). Did you hear the one about using tomato juice to get rid of "skunk funk" if you ever get sprayed? Uh huh (Episode 16). Take urban legend, add to it every email "warning" you've ever been forwarded and then sprinkle in a few playground legends and that's essentially the subject matter of this show. With a twist.

The Mystbusters are Hollywood special effects guys that essentially pick a myth, do all the science to figure out how you'd have to replicate that myth, then create a real life reproduction of the exact same circumstances and put the myth to the test. They weld rockets to the top of cars. They bury dead pigs in concrete (and dig them up again), they bark at skunks. On purpose. All in the name of science. I now officially love science. And I have a fine arts degree, people.

At the end of each test, the myths are laid to rest. They're either officially declared busted, confirmed or plausible (it's the plausible outcome that seems to irritate the Mythbusters the most. They don't seem to like to leave things hanging).

The best? When things get really fun if the myth is easily busted. A quick bust just opens the door for totally useless - yet extremely entertaining - destruction. Like the time they were testing to see if you could really be decapitated by a ceiling fan. They made molds of one of their heads out of ballistics gel with real cranium inserted. And used pigs' spines to mimic a human spine and put the whole thing together to make a freak of a mannequin complete with fake blood if the head was torn off. Official outcome of the myth? It was totally busted. So they made a bigger, badder fan. From a lawn mower motor. And sharpened metal blades. Almost completely tore through the freak mannequin though the myth stated "decapitation". So they still weren't able to perfectly replicate the myth even with their scary equipment substituted. But it was really fun to watch them try.

Ok, so you really really have to watch this show. New Episodes are on the Discovery Channel every Wednesday night at 9:00. Re-runs of various older episodes come on during the week (and I haven't yet figured out their schedule yet which is why I have to keep checking the DVR).

Monday, August 22, 2005

The new banner

Like it? You may wonder, where did 1977 come from? I mean, I was born in ' 72 so technically I've been making messes since then. But I doubt the early messes qualify as "very pretty".

1977 is the year I started first grade. It was also the year I discovered I was a little more artistically inclined than some of my classmates. Two incidents in particular stand out. One, and the messier of the two, my mom and my teacher had to sit me down and give me a little talking to because I used to doodle/scribble across the corners of all of my work papers. The second, happened on a day when we had indoor recess. It must have been in the winter because I remember dreading another indoor recess. So one of my friends and I (Anya, are you out there? and HOW could I possibly remember that name after so long?) decided to color. But when we went to the crayons, we found a box of strips made from construction paper. I started rolling them up making flower shapes and such. My teacher came back to the room and kindly told me that I had discovered and already complete that day's art project and by the way I did a very good job. Did I mention I adored my first grade teacher? Mrs. Margrave was the standard by which I measured the rest of my teachers (only two stood up to the test -- Mrs. Wheatley and Mrs. Welsh. Yay, Tri-County Christian elementary!).

So. That's why my pretty messes didn't start until ' 77 as far as my memory goes.

The beach

Sean's baby feet
Originally uploaded by art chick.
We finally made it to the beach. We usually go to Rehoboth (Delaware) but this year we went to Ocean City, Maryland with Rusty's mom. I'm usually not an O.C. fan as it's insane. We stayed at a hotel called The Francis Scott Key Motel. It's an older hotel, but very well kept. It's hidden back of off 50 in the trees. It gave off a southern plantation vibe but on a slightly smaller scale. The had great facilities for the kids (the indoor "Pirate Pool" is all the boys can talk about now) and a shuttle to the boardwalk. The boys were in heaven. It was enough to make me rethink my opinion of Ocean City and we're planning on going back next summer though then we'll probably rent one of their cottages.

Nothing else really to say. I'm busy with some ad work as well as getting ready to head out to Cincinnati this Thursday for my sister's bridal shower (Yay, Cait!).

Also? I've got a consultation with Liam's pediatrician tomorrow so she can go over his birth records to see if he'll need a CAT scan while in Cincinnati for his assessment. Medical stuff is starting to freak me out.

Click on the photo of Sean's cute little baby feet to see the beach photo group over at flickr.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


I'm so tired. I'm tired-er than tired.

We had orientation at Liam's new school today. 8:00 a.m. Good times. It actually went well. We finally got to see the inside of the new building and it's really nice. Each classroom for K-3rd grade has it's own bathroom accessible from that room only. So no random kids wandering the halls getting lost going back and forth to the restroom. The entire school was renovated after having been closed and standing empty for a number of years. Everything is new. Even the textbooks are all new. It's nice to have new stuff for a change (Liam's school last year? Definitely not new). Many of the teachers from the old school came over to teach at the new building. Liam and I got a hug from his kindergarten teacher from last year and she just kept repeating, "Isn't it nice over here?! I can't believe how nice it is!" (did I mention she'd been at the "old" school for 18 years? Yeah.) One thing missing? Sean's buddy, the P.E. teacher at Samuel Ogle, Ms. McClintock. She was the sign-out person for picking up kids after school and Sean had a serious crush going on. He was disappointed that his "friend with the glasses" wasn't at the new place as she opted to stay and teach 6th, 7th and 8th graders now that Ogle is a middle school. I promised him we'd walk by the now-middle school and say "Hi" sometime soon. I wonder if she'll hang around and still be teaching P.E. when Sean hits 6th grade (Hee. Sean in 6th grade. What an image.)

Anyway, Liam has this teacher who I swear could be one of the nicest and happiest people I've ever met. Like she really seems to like the kids already. Her attitude was basically that first grade is going to be fun on her watch, dammit! And really? By the end of her classroom orientation? I was ready to go back to 1st grade. And that's kind of blaspheming because I had the best 1st grade teacher of all time -- Mrs. Margrave.

So. I wondered about telling the teacher about Liam's issues or whether I should just let her figure out herself that something is different about him. I mean, I don't have anything official to tell her yet. The assessment is scheduled for the week of October 17. Three days of testing. But that seems so far away still and for now, Liam is just like any other 1st grader to this woman. Did I want to damage that version of him for her? Well, I did. I mean, I told her that she may notice some little things with him. Mostly the outbursts if he gets upset. But they are managable and Liam can calm himself just by "taking a deep breath" because? He is the best kid ever, people. This lady? Didn't bat an eye. She just smiled, nodded, and laughed that with Liam's obsession with rules and order and such that she'd finally have a "classroom cleaner". What is that? How does five minutes talking to someone put you so at ease? I don't know. But it did. So one less thing to worry about.

Alright. Well, I tried to upload my beach photos but the camera batteries died. I'm on the hunt for the adapter but until then everyone will just have to wait. I know it's killing you, admit it. My kids at the beach? How can you resist the cheesiness that is the Sapper boys? Exactly. You can't. So don't even bother trying.
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