Saturday, December 29, 2012

catch up on my sappiness about living life...

When I signed on for a full time job, part time school, full time mama & wife, I thought I was crazy. Other people thought I was crazy, too. But you know what? It's not uncommon. In fact, I felt kinda bad I was feeling a bit sorry for myself. Do you know there are single mothers out there that work full time, go to school full time, and never have full time for their kids? True story. And there are dads, too, that have 3 jobs and still make time for school? Wow. But me? I'm finding some balance now. I finished my first semester - two classes. And I can officially apply for the degree program that I want to. That being Sign Language Interpreter. Y'all - I'm doing it!!! It's a crazy good feeling. Okay, yes, it's true that I'm a bit older than the rest of the kids in class and they say, "I bet you're a cool mom," but it's nice to have a dream. I mean, I'm hardly 40. What if I live until past 80? That means I have over half my life left. Crazy to think about, right? I mean, our society makes you think your life is over after 30. Oh hellz no; perhaps it's just beginning?

Anyway, let me give you a low down of the last 3 months:

My honey and I went to the North Shore for a mini vacation. Can you believe I live in Minnesota and never have been to the North Shore? That's crazy talk!

We went to Gooseberry Falls:
North Shore

And Rock cliff Lighthouse:
North Shore

My brother and dad did a little work on the house.

They put up crown molding:

And built a wall upstairs. Now, we have a bedroom and an office:
(dang, that boy's room is MESSY!!!)

Someone got their hair done:

No, really it was me:

We made Turkey Day treats:

Hung out with cousins:

and other family:


We found out our dog has cancer. Oh Lordy, this is a really, really sad one. He's been our baby for ten years. He's a pain in the ass, howling machine, but we love him. A lot. And it's been hard. And we don't know what we will do when the time comes, but we're letting nature take its course and trying to make him comfortable in the meantime. Some days, he seems really fine. Sometimes, it feels like he isn't sick at all. But we know the day will be coming. But there are people, humans, too, that we know that are sick with cancer. This is what happens when you get older. You are not invincible anymore. For me, I wish I could stay 17 forever. It's weird getting older. Really weird. And so when you get older, your thoughts are filled with prayers for all the people you know. Especially those that are sick. And you realize that life can be fleeting and so you remind yourself day after day - live in the moment, girl, live like there is no tomorrow, do what makes you happy, and be happy for the awesome moments you get with the people who make you happy, the people you love.

Especially be happy for moments like this:
He's waving. He's not yet too embarrassed of me. This makes me happy.

I wish I had more time for times like this:
Handmade mama time!

I even knit a bit these last few months, making my mama friends jar cozies:

Then, it was Christmas at my house. I bought a karaoke machine. Let me just tell you - forget knitting and signing, I'm gonna be a singer.

This is my niece:

My mom:

My daughter:

And now. It's almost the end of 2012. What will I be doing the night before? The same thing I did before the night of the end of the world, which never happened, and that is karaoking - helllloooo, did I not make it clear that that's what I do now?

I'll also be knitting up this blanket:

And, um, let's see...resolutions? Oh yah - make time to get skinny again.

That's all. Lovies.
Happy New Year,

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Livin' mi Vida Loca

Hey homies.

Here's a picture of my baby hats I knit for charity. They will go to babies of teens at a crisis center. It was all my friend Kristy's idea. She likes to knit for good. And I like the idea of that.


On the sticks now? Christmas presents! This year, I am doing it! Why wouldn't I, right?

But I also canned (or jarred. har har) 23 jars of salsa. Some mild, some spicy. I wish I could say the tomatoes came from my garden, but this year, despite having 6 tomato plants, I hardly yielded any. Just some to munch on. (I also didn't get raspberries. I think my plants were sad I was not giving them the attention I have been for the last few years.) So, I bought 25 pounds of tomatoes at the farmers market. I had enough jalapenos, but ended up buying a couple of habaneros for the spicy batch.


I think I will expand my horizons next year and can beans, too. But this year, salsa is mighty fine. :)

Remember I told you about my daughter being lactose intolerant? Well, things are fine in that area now. We give her lactaid. Lots of it. And it works!!!!

But my son - he's got the big allergy to cats. Woe is me, I've always been a cat person. Until he was 3, when we went to the allergist (2nd time, but this time they actually checked for animals! I mean, 3 years of ecsema? yeah, that was cat allergies.). We had 2 cats at the time. The doctor said, "he is DEATHLY allergic to cats. Get those cats out before he even comes home." It was a very sad time. But also good, because we finally had explanations!

Some people do not understand the cat allergy. They think it's a little skin irritation and that's it. But I know better. So I have always been cautious. Lately, he's wanted to go to his friends' houses. And some of them have cats. What is a mother to do but load the kid up with antihistamines and wish for the best? Sometimes, all is fine. Sometimes not. This is what happens when it's the later:


This picture hardly does justice. His face was ballooned. Under his eyes were black and blue. His skin was red. His eyes blood shot. I thought he just got his butt kicked. How horrible.

I wish I could just give him some lactaid.


I did the THRILLER flash mob at work. It was so AWESOME! How brave we all were.

And next week is my last class of this session. The next week after that, I start the next session. I hope I get an A. I am going to be a sad girl if I don't get an A.

Speaking of A's - we went to the Fall Conferences at the Junior High. Now wonder my mother never went to conferences. What a joke! All of the teachers were set up in the gym. Each had their own table and their own line. You got 5 minutes each. The lines alone were 30 minutes. We were there for 2 hours and spoke with 4 teachers. It was nice to get first hand information, but now that you can get grades and attendance online, I think I'll bow out of the Spring conferences. Maybe.

Okay, off to go get ready to go out to dinner with my handsome husband and then watch a comedy show in ASL. My husband must really love me!!!!! (I love him!)

Here is the man we're seeing:


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

philosophy 101 by Gilda

Hello friends.

I think of you often.

I've been so busy that I've had to pencil in bathroom breaks.

Time with family and friends is precious.


It was September 11th recently and every year it reminds me of how I need to make every moment of my life mean something. How I am lucky to be alive. And so I always think back...okay it's been 10 years, how have I made it worthwhile?

A long while ago, after my dear Aunt Fran died, I had a dream she came back. She said, "shhhh, I still have some more to learn before I go back." Maybe it was a silly dream, but a piece of me thinks it makes sense.

I don't think she meant going back to college, but more than that. What people do and why, how things work and why, the beauty of things, the magic of things, the mysteries. Imagine....the many, many things you will never know in a life time. But even more so, the things you WILL!

Ah, here I go with a few minutes of spare time to jot a few lines in the good ol blog and I'm getting all philosophical. Perhaps it's the college girl in me. HA.

Anyway, school is obviously amazing. Challenging, yes, but I still shiver with excitement!

My full time job is excellent, too. The people there ... well, they are brilliant folk. Brilliant in the way of books. People skills not so much. But you know me, I thrive on my people interactions (reason I got a job (basically)). So, I must let you in on a secret ...... I am leading a flash mob of ThRILLER in just a couple of weeks. I've been practicing with a group at work. It's daring even for me. But for them - well, they make me proud for their efforts!!! And today after I gave a presentation to 75 people, one of them said, "You bring a spark to this place." Which made my heart swell 50 times larger.

How I find time to knit, I do not know. But I finished a dog sweater custom order with Bears logo and a baby hat. If you want a free pattern, let me know, I can email you one.


Oh. and sad news: I learned yesterday that "that's da bomb" is now considered OLD!! So much for me saying that's da bomb diggity bomb! NOT! (remember when you used to say NOT after everything?)

One more tidbit: my son still wants chickens. And I still want to be a farmer. So,this past weekend we took a family trip to our friends' chicken farm for the day. It was da bomb diggity bomb. :)

Want to learn a little bit about our farmer friends? Here's a link to their story:

That's all for now.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

whirlwind ~ wooosh ~ happiness

Ahh, a moment to sit and contemplate.....

It's been a whirlwind week. I've started school. Talking 'bout night school, 'night school...yeah, and it rocks. When class ends, I don't want to leave. Even if it IS past my bed time. When I drive home, I feel empowered and vibrant. I'm doing something I really, really, really have wanted to do a long time. I feel proud of myself and that is a very awesome feeling.

(view of downtown st. paul from my school)

Things have been changing around here and so quickly, too. I went from being the stay at home mom to a working full time mom going to school at night. My son is going to junior high. And my husband became a Hells Angel. (ha! Kidding. But he is now a motorcycle rockstar. uhhuh). My daughter is as sassy as ever, so no change there :)


I've been knitting on my lunch breaks and in the evenings. Right now, I am working on a custom puppy sweater for a Chicago Bears fan. That's right, I make time for the knitting. I wasn't able to whip up a bunch of baby sweaters for fall craft shows, so that's a bummer, but maybe I'll have some done in time for Christmas.

(my nieces with my daughter (middle)

And because there's so little time, I've decided I want to spend time with people who make me happy. Simple as that. So those that are near and dear are the ones whom I want to spend time with.

(me n my hells angel, my bro and his girl with their new house, my dad with the kids, the kids after a swim trying to get into the house all wet.)

And like I said in my last post, we went to our friends' wedding. It was a great day. It brings tears to my eyes how great it was. I was the official photograher, which was very, very hard. I could never, ever do that for realz. I'm just not bossy enough. I had a hard time directing people. So, now I know that. But I still got some great shots and I made them a special gift with the photos.




Here's to spending time doing what you want with the people you want to be with,

Friday, August 17, 2012

photo practice and lactose intolerance

My friends get married tomorrow. I was going to sign my toast, but my husband said not to, because no one else knows sign language. And I get it, so I won't. But I'm also their photographer; this is my gift to them. I am so excited and nervous at the same time. I had to make sure the battery was full and the settings weren't off or anything, so I took a few photos in the yard:
Recently, I've discovered that my daughter is lactose intolerant. This kid eats nothing but cheese, so it's been real tough. I've been trying to find cheese alternatives. Soy is disgusting. It really is. So, I went to the fancy grocery store in town, went right up to the cheese counter, and said, "I heard you might have lactose free cheese." She said, "Oh yeah, goat cheese doesn't have lactose." So, I spent 8.00 on a block of colby jack goat cheese and right when we got home, we gobbled most of it up. Then, that night, my daughter was up at about 1am to 4am with stomach pains. Lessons learned: 1. Goat cheese is not lactose free. 2. Do not trust the cheese lady at the fancy grocery store (she knows nothin', I tell ya).
Anyway, back to life and making those baby sweaters for the fall.....

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Life is crazy at the moment

I've been working at my newest job for almost two months. I must like it, because my record is to leave after one month. It's a great job with great people, but it is a mighty change going from stay-at-home mom to working-full-time-mom. I get two hours at the end of the day to spend with my family, but that includes making & eating dinner, preparing lunches, and bath time. Sometimes, I slip in a load of laundry. I can't seem to find time for my beloved Real Housewives series on Bravo. Usually, I have to catch the marathons on the weekends. However, I always, always have time for TRUE BLOOD on Sunday nights. Mondays are always manic anyways, why not add a bit of tiredness.


One day, while I was at work, the mirror in the bathroom fell down. Then, a couple of days later, the picture in the dining room fell down and broke. Jake pooped upstairs two times, and my plants are droopy. This is what happens when you change your life suddenly.


And to make matters just a tad bit more complicated, I go back to school in 28 days. Two nights a week.


But I'm excited about life right now. I love my kids, my husband, my family, my house, my garden, my job, my friends, and my skills (specifically knitting). I'll be spreading myself thin adding another thing, but it's something I've always wanted and if I don't pursue it, I'll feel like I've gipped myself. I've had so many dreams and I've actually followed through with none of them. Like how I was going to join the Peace Corps. How I was going to travel the world. Become a famous photographer. Have a sheep farm. I still have time, but this I can do now; I want to do it now. And so I will.


I'm going back to school to become an interpreter. I have a background in Deaf Studies and sign language and after a student internship at a Deaf school, it was kind of put on the back burner. Since then, I've participated in language groups and studied my books, but never fully got back into it. The weird, weird thing is ... I signed up for the program and the next day I met my awesome friend, J Stilx, who is Deaf. At the nature store, where we both worked, I was able to interpret for him. It made me so happy. His friendship has made me so happy! I feel so exhilarated when I am with him. And for that, it made me realize that I was on the right path.


Anyway, I thought it only fair to let y'all know what's up in my world at the moment. Of course, knitting is not at the forefront, but knitting is still a big, big part of my life. I realized the other day that knitting soothes my soul; calms me down; gives me time to think. So, I think I will always need knitting in my life. And even though I only get a few rows done at a time, I knit practically everyday. I'm trying to come up with a trademark pattern at the moment, so I knit and then rip, knit and rip, knit and rip. Therefore, no pictures to share. Sorry.


But hey - the other day I was knitting during my lunch break and my coworker said, "you're knitting? With orange yarn?"
"UMMM, YAH!!!" Seriously, some people do NOT know cool, do they?


Anyway, no pictures of knit stuff, but I hope you've enjoyed the other pictures. See the chicks? Yes, to add to the crazy of my life, my dear son has decided to build a coop and adopt chickens. Not yet! We were just checking out someone else's. But that gave him the idea. wink wink. He'll build his coop this fall and order the chicks next spring. I know, crazy. But honestly, if he follows through, I'll be a proud mama. He's going to Junior High, ya know. He's like my lil baby chick becoming a rooster, AWWWWWWWWW.

Peace out y'allz.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fun times.

My kids were actually getting along (playing bicycle):


We bought a pool:


And I've been gardening!:


I've got the knitting bug again, too. So, look back for more pics and posts on that ;)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

7-7 birthday post

Today, my oldest turns 11. eleven. He might as well be a teenager. He sure acts like one. Mysterious. Brooding. Funny. Smart. Independent. He's coming into his own. More than half way to graduating and then off to college. Wahh, why do I do this to myself? I want to remember my kids as babies forever. So...with that, here is his birth story.

My daughter was born on the coldest day of the year, but my son was born on the hottest day of the year. Go figure. No wonder they're so different.


I should start with the pregnancy. It was a fabulous pregnancy. Wow, what an amazing feeling to have this being growing inside me. Sometimes, I would get chills of happiness when his feet poked through my skin and I could tickle his feet. I'd never felt so in tune with myself. I knew he and I would be kindred spirits.

I was a new mother to be. I didn't know anything except that a c-section was bad, and drugs, too. I wanted a hippie mama birth. Except I didn't know anything about home birth at the time. I found a midwife and wrote up a birth plan. It was such an easy pregnancy, I'd figure it would be an easy birth. My birth plan was 4 pages long. No c-section, no drugs, no suction, no blah blah blah....

Then, the day I went into labor, I remember it being early, early morning - about 5am or so. I was sleeping and having awful cramps and I was thinking in my dream, "oh how I hate when I start my monthly." Then, it dawned on me that I wasn't starting my monthly, I was in labor!

I was two weeks late. I had an induction date scheduled just 3 days away. Who woulda thought I'd finally be going into labor? Not my mom, who decided to hang out with her buddies and have a little drinky. She sure regretted it the next day when I woke up at 5am. "You gotta be kidding me," she said.

The contractions were very close and started to suddenly get more erratic, painful, and frequent. I called the midwife and she said to go in right away. So, at 6am, there we were pulling into the hospital parking lot. One thing I noticed about being pregnant and then being in labor - people move out of your way! So, easy as pie, I made it to the room. There, they said I was dilated already to 6, I think.

It all becomes a blur after this. I remember them saying I would be having the baby within the hour. In fact, the overnight nurse stayed on to see me through. I took a bath and that sped things up. I was in so much pain, I started to get crazy. The pain was so unbearable that I started to distract myself by opening drawers and closets and when I couldn't take it anymore, I demanded drugs. Right now, I want them RIGHT NOW. But my birth plan. "I don't care about my birth plan, I want drugs." And so they gave me a narcotic in my veins. Which slowed everything down. And made my contractions even more erratic. I was already dilated to about 9, but they still had to give me pitocin to get the contractions more steady.

But the drugs. Oh, they tamed the pain and I was in and out of sleep, mostly between contractions. But everything slowed down. When I arrived at 6, they had said 'within the hour,' but now it was almost noon. Finally, I was dilated to 10, so they had me push. And I pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed. For FIVE hours straight. They kept saying, 'we need to do suction, we may need to do a c-section.' But I held on to the one thing I had left. I had already taken the pain killers, I couldn't let go of my other wishes. But finally, they brought in a team to take me to an operating room, and when they moved me on to the gurney, out popped my baby. Just like that.

He wasn't crying, so I screamed, "is he alive?" Or maybe I was thinking it. But they turned and told me there had been meconium so they had to suction his lungs. Then, there he was on my chest, all bundled. And I remember thinking was, "it's so nice to meet you, mister."

And that night, as I slept with my baby in my arms, I had the weirdest dreams. I was walking through water and saying goodbye to ghosts.

It had been so hot when I brought my little guy home that I spent the first night sleeping upright in a chair next to the air conditioner.

So, 11 years ago today, my life changed. And he truly did turn out to be my kindred spirit. Happy Birth-day to my baby boy <3