Croup, Be Gone!

I stood in front of the medicine cabinet this morning, toothbrush in hand, not remembering why I opened it in the first place. It took me about 30 seconds to remember that I was going to brush my teeth and for that I needed the toothpaste. That's when I realized that I'm sleep-deprived.

Murray was diagnosed with croup on Tuesday. He slept peacefully that night, thanks to a steroid that he took at the doctor's office. Even so, Craig and I were awake every hour or so checking on him. Last night was a completely different story. To make a long story short, Craig and I each took a couch in the living room and Murray slept in the recliner; Shark Tales was on repeat and muted. This was the only way we could get him to calm down enough to at least doze for an hour or so at a time. Craig took him to the doctor again this morning. He received another dose of steroids and we are under strict instructions not to let him get riled up. In a toddlers' world, this means he pretty much gets whatever he wants; for the time being anyway! Unfortunately, he didn't get to wear his costume to daycare today and celebrate Halloween with his "frens". We have cool mist humidifiers running throughout the house, we've run out of hot water in the bathroom several times, given him several glasses of warm juice, and even stuck his head in front of the open freezer. Poor Craig; he can't leave Murray for a second or he starts to wail. I'm sure he's ready to catch up on some sleep.

It could be worse. It's not the flu and we are thanking God for that. I remember that last year it took Murray several days to get over the croup. We'll just wait it out.

One of my very favorite charities has always been the Meritcare Children's Hospital. As most of you know, the doctors and nurses in the Neo-Nicu saved our nephew's life. He's almost 2 years old now and doing just beautifully! Anyway, in addition to this wonderful cause, I've decided to join the March of Dimes Jail and Bail fundraiser this year. If you didn't receive an email from me, check out my website: My goal is to raise $750.00 by November 17th. If you are able to help, any amount would be greatly appreciated. Your donations are completely tax deductible - contact me for a receipt for your records.

Have a safe and fun Halloween.

Did You Know? Day 6 & 7

Murray was tired of pictures, but we made him pose with Maggie:

Day 6 & 7:
1. Give your child (over 1 year) honey for a cough and sore throat; it coats the throat and isn't worrisome for overdosing.
2. If you go to the pumpkin patch and put your toddler on the barrel trains, he/she may be reluctant at first. But after the first time, you end up spending the rest of your tickets on the barrel trains. Tears will prevail when you take him/her off after each time until he/she is distracted with the goats.

3. Pygmy goats generally have twins (a young girl taught me this today, as one of her goats is ready to give birth). When I was very young, we always had goats at Fort Detroit, but it's been 25 years; it was great to re-learn.
4. Just when you think that your toddler has kicked a habit, it comes raring back. Murray decided that it was time to wake up at 3:00am this morning. After checking to make sure that he wasn't ill, we left him to cry it out. Forty-five excruciating minutes later, he finally realized that he wasn't getting out of bed and went back to sleep. The problem was, our human alarm clock slept until 7:45 this morning, so we were all late.

We had a fantastic weekend. We arrived at the Pumpkin Patch right when they opened at 10am. It was perfect timing; there was hardly anyone there, so we were free to spend as much time as possible at each attraction sans crowds. Murray's favorite things were the goats and the barrel trains. My sister loved the Peanuts display in the not-so-scary haunted forest.

Family photo op:

How about those Vikings? What a poor display against the Steelers yesterday. There were times during the game that I was so frustrated that I had to walk away from the television. Certainly, the referees were not great (that tripping call was bogus), but our running game was just not up to par. Turnovers, sacks, penalties (sheesh, enough false starts anyone?); my heart would soar and plummet through the entire game. Oh well, the Vikings will certainly come back for a win against Green Bay! I still have faith. . .
Have a great Monday - I think we'll see some sunshine today!

Did You Know? Day 5

This will be short and sweet, as it's family night and it's late.

Today I learned:

1. Cleaning the house gives you a great work out - crank the music and dance your way through the chore. Before you know it, it won't be a chore!

2. If your cell phone gets wet, take out the battery and place both your phone and battery in a baggie full of white rice. The rice draws the water out and usually restores your phone. Sometimes, it can take 48 hours or more, like it did for me, but my cell is now like new.

I'll catch you tomorrow - I'm off to sleep.

Did You Know? Day 3 & 4

I was incommunicado yesterday; I had so much going on that I just didn't have the time to sit down and post. So, here's what I learned yesterday:

On Parenting:
1. Murray is a heck of a lot more stubborn and sneaky than we thought. Yesterday morning, after Craig finished ironing, Murray wanted to play with the hot iron. Of course we said no and put it in the linen closet. We ignored his temper tantrum, which lasted about 15 minutes. Craig left for work, and I finished preparations for the day. Out of the corner of my eye, I watched him drag his step stool over to the closet door. He climbed up, but still couldn't get the door open. After another 10 minutes or so, I walked by and saw that now he has a chair placed strategically next to his step stool so that he can climb on his stool first, then the chair. At this point, I explained that he could get hurt climbing, and I had to put all the chairs in the bedroom. He went on for another 10 minutes or so and finally gave up and was back to his sunny self. I had no idea that an almost-2-year-old could analyze like that.

2. Here's the sneaky part: Craig was digging through his pockets and found a couple of Match Box cars that aren't part of our collection. Turns out, he's been swiping them from daycare! How in the heck do we handle that one?

Today's Lesson:
On Assertiveness and Stress Management
1. Do you ever do something or go somewhere that you really don't want to but you do it anyway because you feel like you have to? Well, today I learned to say "no". If I end up doing something that I don't have the time for or if it's just not something I enjoy, I end up feeling more stressed out than I would be if were honest and said "no" in the first place. Assertiveness is not a bad thing as long as it doesn't turn into aggression. So, "say yes to say no" (I borrowed that from a commercial).

We hope to visit the pumpkin patch this weekend. So far, the weather seems to be holding out, at least until Sunday. Enjoy the sunshine today!

Attitude = Gratitude

I generally tend to post once a day, but today brings some thoughts that I'd like to share. I was thinking the other day about how much fun life is. Don't get me wrong, I'm not "little miss sunshine", but it suddenly occurred to me that even though we have rough patches (sometimes daily), I've found that that it's the simple things that count the most. For example, ladies, you know how fun you feel when you have under garments on that make you feel "good all under" (as my very wise Grandma says). Do you ever wake up and think, "hey, I'm alive today and well!" Do you feel like you make a difference? Men, do you ever just feel like you are making such a difference with your job, wife, child, significant other, etc. that you are almost on an endorphin high? Do you ever walk out the door feeling confident and feeling loved and cared for? I think both sexes feel that way, and if not, each of us should strive to find something each day that brings a smile and all over fuzzy feeling. I recently read an article about gratitude. Studies show that even if you fake gratitude, eventually, you will feel genuine gratitude. The same principal applies to attitude. When in doubt, fake it. Since I answer phones and deal with clients face-to-face, I've found that even on my worst crabby days, if I fake it, no one notices, and I feel so much better when I receive a compliment about how cheerful I am. So, my soap box for the day: Attitude = Gratitude.

Did You Know? Day 2

I've retitled my posts for my trial week of learning something new each day. Please feel free to share what you have learned today. Learning new things can be funny too! For instance, Roxane, Peace Garden Mama wrote that she learned that even after her mom comes to stay and does the majority of the laundry, the minute she leaves, it's all piled up again!

Today I've learned:

1. When you exercise in the water (i.e. water aerobics), you generally work 2 (or more) muscles at a time vs. exercising on land, when you work one muscle with each activity.

2. Getting up at 5:15 to get to the Y was way too early. I had plenty of time and sat around waiting for class to begin when I could have grabbed another 15 minutes of sleep.

The day is still young; maybe I'll learn even more new things!

Gas Tanks and Olive Oil

The old saying, "you learn something new everyday" is true. Just for fun, I'm going to experiment a bit. For one week, I'm going to keep track of at least one new thing that I learn each day. So here goes (I'm starting with Sunday):

Sunday: I learned that you can tell which side your gas tank is on by looking at the fuel gauge. In the middle, there is an arrow that points to the direction of the gas tank. I was so excited when Craig pointed out this fun fact. I'm constantly pulling up to the wrong side of the tank, since I switch cars so often. Now I won't have to be confused (well, at least about how to gas up the vehicle).

Monday: Extra Virgin Olive Oil is much more fattening than plain Olive Oil. Who would have thunk it? The words "Extra Virgin" lead one to believe that it would be lower in calories and fat. Not so much - it's just the opposite.

Feel free to share something new that you learned. This could get interesting!

Mama and Murray's "No Good, Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad Morning"

5:00am - Murray wakes up for the day and rouses the puppy in the process.

5:15am - The mayhem has begun. Maddy (the puppy) won't leave Murray alone, causing whining and screaming.

5:30am - Murray and I are snuggled up in my bed trying to get some sleep, but the cat enters the room and gets in a fight with the puppy.

5:35am - Separated the 2 crazy beasts, but now the big dogs want to go outside.

5:45am - Big dogs out, but it's raining so they are barking to come back in. My floors are black with mud. Too tired to care.

5:50am - Back in bed to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Diego, and Handy Manny.

6:45am - Finally rouse for the day. Murray eats breakfast while I clean up Maddy's accident and let her outside.

7:15am - I'm dressed, Murray's dressed, Maddy is running around like a miniture devil. Forgot to make coffee, I'm in desperate need.

7:30am - Murray is ready to go - coat, hat, shoes, and mittens and we're on our way. Wait! Where are the keys?

7:45am - Still searching for keys, my phone doesn't work, so I can't communicate.

8:00am - Finally found one key, but it will only start the car, not make it go.

8:15am - Near tears, but trying to stay calm. Murray is crying because he wants to go see his friends at daycare. Still can't find the keys. Desperately texting Craig in the cities and Maggie to find out if they know where they are.

8:30am - I'm still searching, Murray is still crying, and the puppy is crying in her kennel.

8:45am - I give up. Murray will have to accept the fact that he's stuck with mama today, but he isn't cooperating. He keeps crying for his "frens" and saying rather tearfully, "I go". I distract him by playing cars and having a snack.

9:15am - Craig texts to tell me that the keys were in his pajama pants. Sure enough, I find them in the bottom of the laundry basket.

9:20am - We're out the door!

9:30am - Murray is so happy to be at daycare. Phew. I'm wiping sweat off my brow.

10:00am - Sit down to blog and try to fix my phone. It's soaking in white rice. I can text and call but no one can hear me. Grrr.

10:30am - I'm going to take a nap and then start the day over. Isn't life grand? Always good to have a little chaos to remind us of the little moments that count. Happy Friday!

Water is Only for Drinking

I'm beginning to think that I should stay away from water of adWny kind. Rivers, lakes, oceans, sinks, bath tubs, and even water bottles. I was driving home after picking Murray up from daycare when my water bottle tipped over onto the seat and my ph0ne. You may recall that I'm on my third phone (in about 6 months). This one, by far, is my favorite. I would replace it, but I forgot to take the keys from Murray when he went on an Aunt/Nephew/Uncle bonding evening. So now I'm stuck without a phone and it's driving me bananas. Funny thing is, what the heck did we ever do without mobile phones?

This is such a hard time of year for me. I didn't realize why my mood swings were off the charts and my crabbiness level was way out of control. When it finally dawned on me, I realized that all of this is because we're nearing the anniversary of our mom's death. Isn't it strange how we are so unaware of what are emotions are telling us? Now that I've figured out what has been bonjtrkh;nlbvlfglflcvl,vlr09t0y0t0totititi,y,g,ghbyfmjffjad of telling everyone to go to heck. znxjnxnnnnxnnvjvgjbnkcvcjjvjgtjtitit868i6i8y9yiyiyt9yt8iytiittiy76ncnsjsdjx n,vmcjmvkjmfchyxsxbgbxxxxmmx,mvmfjgntgggg b z

Sorry for above. Murray got a hold of the keyboard when I was away for a moment.

I've been researching my Catholic faith. I've found that there is so much to discover, even though I was born and raised Catholic. I know that if it weren't for God, so many things in my live wouldn't be present. For example: DH'ierrururutututueyeyd family (Murman again)pegs d a roof over our heads, to say the least. Sometimes I question Him - I feel like he's taken so much from our family. I know He has a reason, but I won't figure it out until it's my time.

Speaking of God, my prayers are with T.S.F. and S.B.A. Love you guys!

Introducing Maddy

Puppies are very much like having a newborn, except that babies are much easier. Little Maddy, my dad's 7 week old Gordon Setter arrived on Saturday morning. She is quite the handful. I'm used to Golden Retriever pups, who tend to be on the timid side. Not Maddy! She doesn't walk; she runs, and runs and runs until she finally collapses into a deep puppy sleep. Our poor big dogs aren't quite sure what to think. Rudy did play with her yesterday, but Nala tends to ignore her or growl at her to stay away. Kirby the cat, on the other hand, hasn't been seen since the arrival of Maddy, except for at meal times. Otherwise, he's hiding in the basement where she can't get at him. Next is Murray; he has a love/hate relationship with her. He thinks she's so funny, but when she jumps on him, even though she's tiny, it scares him. This morning we had to do a complete change of clothes because Maddy got excited and jumped on him, knocking him right into the big dogs' water dish. He was soaked. Introducing Maddy:
On Saturday, we gathered at the Grandpa and Grandma's to help take the docks out of the lake for the season. It was the strangest weather I can recall on dock day. I thought this picture was so beautiful: The deck is covered in clean, white snow, and on top is a thick layer of bright green leaves. Note the lone orange Maple leaf in the middle.

Here is a picture (taken from the snowy/leafy deck) of my Grandpa, Craig and my uncle getting the docks out in the snow:

I attended Mass by myself yesterday; Craig wasn't feeling the best, so he stayed home with Murray. I wanted to say the rosary before our service began, which is impossible with a toddler in tow. As much I as I missed attending Mass with my family, there was something peaceful about being able to sink myself into the presence of God without worrying if Murray had colored on the pew or trying to corral him between us. I think next week, we'll try the nursery. I do want him to learn to enjoy Mass as much as I do, but I'm thinking he may be a bit young. Any thoughts?

I'm not even close to being ready for this weather, but there are worse things to complain about! Be safe in your travels!

"Rudy, I Mean, Maggie!" (quote from our late Mom)

I just want to clarify that my human sister, my beloved Mags, is not a dog (see her comment, previous post) nor do I view her that way. The funny part of all of this is that when my mom was alive, she would constantly call Maggie by the dog's name and vice versa. Never me, just her. So, sorry Mags, you may be my best friend, but you certainly aren't "man's best friend"! Love you sister!!

Polly Want a Cracker or *#*&#&****?

I haven't made an effort to sit down and write for several days. I have been tackling some personal issues which have zapped my energy on a regular basis. I'll spare you the details, but just know that I'm back with bells on.

That said, we've been spending a lot of family time together whenever possible. Craig is traveling so much these days that we try to take advantage of every moment we can. Since my last post, we've discovered that we don't have a toddler - we have a myna bird (do myna birds speak? Maybe I mean a parrot). Everything, and I mean everything we say and do is repeated. Anyone who spends time with children will understand exactly what I'm talking about. We've come to the realization that every action and every word counts. What Murray doesn't mimic immediately is stored in his brain and haunts us later. When we thought that we knew this day was coming, we had no idea what we were in for. I still cringe every time he says the word "truck". You can imagine why. When Craig begins to yell at yet another stupid driver (he is the only decent driver on any road in the lower 48, any passenger of his would derive), he stops himself abruptly and out comes some hilarious mumbo jumbo under his breath. I would translate it for you, but it's not appropriate for any age. Anyway, we're learning right along side Mur-man the do's and don't's of good manners. And we thought we were well-behaved!

I am anxiously awaiting the delivery of my dad's new pup on Saturday. My new "sister" will be seven weeks old, and is already paper trained, as well as doing very well "going" outside. We will have her for a week, and then my dad will come to take her permanently. I will post pictures as soon as she's in our arms.

Find some sunshine today. If it's not outside, check your heart.
Peace out.