Thursday, June 28, 2007

man, someone has to stop my from staying up so late. every night. i'm sure it has something to do with finally having some time to get work done, not having the kids jumping all over me, being able to relax with the laptop in a quiet house, but i am sooooo tired!

and i don't know why but i end up turning the t.v. on and watching the craziest shows. typically, it's discovery health, i don't know why but i'm drawn to the freaky medical stuff. i remember being mesmerized by the video of a facelift in anatomy class in high school, convinced it was a sign i was meant to be a doctor. until i remembered that i have no interest in science, no desire to go to school for that long, and no real ambition in that direction. where was i? anyway, i watch these crazy shows, anything from "The Girl Who Turned to Stone" about the incredibly rare condition in which an individual's body literally calcifies and becomes rigid skeleton, to my new favorite, "Medical Mysteries." the other night i finally turned the lights, t.v., and laptop off after 1 am when the next show promised lots of fun stories about impact and people who have been impaled with one sharp thing or another. and do you really think i can just drop off to dreamland after that? fat chance. i lay awake, thinking about how crazy it is a guy can somehow get a tree branch impaled in his neck and seem completely coherent and normal.

i think i need to start watching little house on the prairie or something. i need help.

Monday, June 25, 2007

what a crazy week last week turned out to be. it was great working with so many fun people and it's exciting to go through all their images.

this past weekend i think aaron and i really felt like ships passing in the night. saturday morning aaron spent 7am-10am working, then i photographed a wedding all day from 10:30-6pm, then sunday aaron spent the whole day working, i had an event in the evening and when i returned home he went back to work until after midnight. he is just swamped and i've been feeling the same, we tag team all the time now. we're both hoping to maintain more balance for the rest of the summer and maybe take that vacation someday!

anyway, the kids are good, kieran and his buddy aidan are pretending they're power rangers, andie is sweetly playing on her own (a rarity) and i get a minute--never mind, andie is calling for me as i type. oh well, beggars can't be choosers right?

here are some shots from this past week:

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

how does one accidentally fire her babysitter, you ask

so, i'm going to move on to finding babysitter #3. sigh.

first babysitter was studying abroad in italy last semester, i corresponded through e-mails with her, checked references, was impressed with her childcare experience-she was even qualified to teach the kids swimming lessons! we were setting up a meeting when she would be on campus, when suddenly a red flag appeared as she mentioned that she needed to meet with me before she returned home to the 'burbs. hmmmm.... when asked when she was going to be here permanently i finally get a Dear John letter from her, telling me that she won't be on campus after all this summer as it turns out. cripes. on to babysitter #2, originally my first choice but she's only here for the summer and i couldn't use her during the school year. oh well, she sounded very responsible, worked with special needs children, and is studying arabic this summer-my kids could become bilingual! i hire her before asking the big question: "So, what time is this class you're taking this summer?" it's everyday from 10am-3pm. hello??? where does that leave morning or afternoons available? i was going to give it a try this week from 3:30-5:30 but what happened was yesterday kieran went to camp, my mom watched andie while i tortured myself at the gym, then at 2pm my lovely, charitable neighbor watched the kids so i could take photos, then as soon as i'm done and my kids have already been shuffled all over the babysitter arrives. the timing is just not going to work. sooo, i told her, "I think I'm going to have to find another babysitter." which only later did i realize probably sounded like i was firing her, but in actuality i was only saying that i was going to look for an additional babysitter. i was still interested in having her as an option, or evenings, but i think i accidentally fired her.

so. that's where things stand. a friend has given me a reference for a young, high school girl who she uses for her three kids and is looking for babysitting this summer. please keep your fingers crossed. i waited for the first one to return from italy, then i waited for the second to move to campus, needed someone to help me out a month ago and yet here i am. babysitter-less. two babysitters gone and my kids haven't even had a fair shot at running 'em out of the place!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

what day


someone almost killed me today. we'll call that someone tony, because that's his name. for some reason i decided to would be a fun thing to try out the fitness trainer at the gym. i met with tony for a consultation about two weeks ago. turns out we went to high school together, we made some small talk. he was fairly low-key and earnest, but i laughed out loud at him as he said, "I'll work you hard. A lot of people say they feel like they're going to throw up after our sessions." i thought he was joking, but you know, he was totally serious as he said those words.

i met tony this morning at 9am, having just attended body pump yesterday morning. yes, i am a glutton for punishment. it started out easy, as we did a complete circuit of about a dozen different machines and three ab exercises on the floor. early on i said something to him about worrying that he was going to kill me with cardio, something i dread and literally turn purple from when i overdo it. no, he said, it's just the machines. so it was a little tough, but do-able. then i walked briskly on the treadmill for three minutes, a drink, then back for round 2. now, it didn't seem intimidating until i started the first machine of the second set and i swore to tony the weight must have been increased behind my back. as we continued i got slower, and slower, and s l o w e r.....and i seriously did envision myself spraying vomit all over tony. my stomach felt crazy. and every muscle was just completely fatigued. despite a brief extra water break in the middle of a set, i finished. although tony admitted that often there's a third set, he did say that he will do two just starting out. halleluia. pretty much every muscle is sore, my quads, my triceps, my abs, my butt, my hamstrings. it's not quite as bad as the nancy/body pump fiasco but i don't think i'm going to make body pump tomorrow.

hey, and speaking of butt, it is definitely kieran's favorite word these days. we're so proud. he liked to use it in everyday conversation, you know, like, "Okay mommy butt."

earlier this evening aaron and i had some PBS show on (i had to throw in the PBS part so you'd think we're intellectual and smart) and it went something like this:

kieran: what is that place?
me: that's scotland.
kieran: is that like butt-land?

and a lot of laughing ensued. on his end, aaron and i have heard it waaaaaay to much to be amused. it's sad to hear ourselves whisper tersely to him, "Kieran! We are in a restaurant! No more saying butt!"

and fine! i admit it, we were only watching PBS because it's in HD. sheesh, are you happy? we're not classy people okay!

fun shots.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

sigh of relief. i finally have a minute to sit down. it has been the absolute craziest week. my sister has been staying with us since last friday as our parents are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary in paris. they've e-mailed to say they've had a great time, done tons of walking, experienced several amazing art museums, etc. it sounds lovely and i'm only a little jealous. ....okay a lot, but i did get to go photograph the Miss Atwood pageant last weekend and how many people can say that?

in any case, we've all had an incredibly busy week and in playing surrogate "mom to pre-teen girl" this week i have driven hundreds of miles to activities, events, classes, and playdates, while julie boldly changed the radio every five seconds complaining about the lack of good music (hello?? what about that great Talking Heads song you just passed???) aaahhhh, to be twelve going on twenty. she's awesome though, so sweet and the kids love her to pieces.

i'm in the process of hiring a babysitter for a couple afternoons a week so i can get some work done, just last week the babysitter i was about to hire e-mailed at the last minute to back out. so back to the drawing board. i have someone else i've corresponded with and we'll hopefully meet her in a few days-keep your fingers crossed! it's hard not to spend too long on the computer while the kids play, i really need to have quality work time and quality family time and right now it's just all mixed up and i'm not giving enough to either one. and that's not fair.

soooooo, i need a vacation. actually, our family could really use one. aaron's just swamped himself right now, we take turns complaining about how busy we both are. in watching julie recently when my parents visited our brother jacob in virginia and then now, they will watch our kids so that aaron and i can go somewhere. i have absolutely no idea where we might go, i am definitely open to suggestions (hint, hint!) nothing too expensive-it's hard being self-employed, it's not like there's vacation time, we'll spend money going on a trip, but then it's like spending it twice, as aaron misses out on that time when he would be working and earning. but i tell ya, we're getting out of town as soon as possible!

i hope to post something more fun next time, tomorrow i drive julie to o'hare to meet up with our parents and they're all flying out to North Carolina for a wedding. the fun just never stops around here :)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

i love you amber. a friendly stylist/client, platonic way, of course

yesterday i almost threw a little fit. it was about my hair. okay, so my hair is short, and is has been now for a couple years. i've mostly had short hair but then after i had kieran i started growing it out and it was the longest it's ever been (if you look in the comments sections, my avatar shows this). then after i had andie i was sick of blowing it dry all the time and dealing with it and went through that new-mom-must-chop-my-hair-short phase many women experience. and it's been short now for two years now. it's a love/hate relationship, as i pretty much have to blow dry it, but it's pretty quick and i enjoy having a "style" to my hair, unlike when it was long, one length and was either always in a ponytail or just there.

so, thursday i went to the pool for the first time this season and i think this was the start of my tailspin. add that to the fact that my hair is even a bit shorter recently, and aaahhh! i can't even say i looked like a blonde bozo the clown with accuracy as it wasn't really curl per se, but as my hair was wet and the wind whipped it dry, it was blonde fluff/frizz poked out on all directions. it wasn't attractive and when you're already wearing your bathing suit your body is on display enough. so, unable to get the image out of my head and suddenly frustrated by the totally un-summery hairstyle i'm sporting, i called my stylist yesterday morning groaning and whining, "I think I need a trim but I also need to grow my hair out, this style isn't working. And the worst thing is the color-I've highlighted it so much that it's so bleached out but the roots grow in looking so ugly and dark!" (it wasn't a proud moment for me, but i was having a low hair moment, we all have them, right girls?)

my stylist, amber, is a gem. i've been going to her for about 10 years, we're the same age but she has two more marriages than i under her belt. i was a bridesmaid in wedding #2 and i recall that the instructions for the makeup artist were, "Make us look like strippers." and damn if i didn't look awesome! amber has been there for me through all my hair ups and downs, advising me as to what next hair move to make, being the voice of reason when i declare i want golden blonde (a la Jessica Simpson) as opposed to the wheat/ash blonde of norm (a la Gwyneth Paltrow) (although this was the one time i insisted she do what i ask, and right before my wedding no less, and she did it, shaking her head the whole time, and wouldn't you know it-my head looked like pee. didn't suit me AT ALL. wish i had listened. she tactfully told me right before the wedding, "I think we should give you some other tones" and tried to minimize the damage before the big day but the combination of the yellow blonde and my skin tone-not good.) amber has also been the voice of reason when i call her in a panic (yes, this happens more times than i'd like to publicly admit here) saying, "Amber! My hair is falling out! Everytime I shower, every time I touch it! Hair all over!" my calm, collected, stripperish buddy simply asks, "You've been wearing it curly lately, right?" "Yeah, almost every day." "Well, when you wear it curly, you don't brush it, do you?" "Well no, not when it's curly." "When you where it straight you brush it though, and all that hair that comes out in your brush from normal hair loss is brushed out. That's not happening when you wear it curly, so it's just normal hairloss that's not being brushed out." we should all have an amber! the poor girl has stood by my well i make her swear not to let me cut my hair so i can grow it out, and then later insist that it's okay, she can let me cut my hair off again, this time i "really need a change and have to have short hair!!!" and so on and so on and so on. i'm starting to think i need to start a wig collection....

so amber got me in that day, worked her magic and i love my hair again. two friends happened to be at the salon and nodded their approval after my transformation and i feel like a new woman! she actually didn't trim it, but foiled it and it's got some darker blonde and brown shades that suddenly seem so much more flattering to my skin tone, and after she styled it i knew she was right-it's a great short haircut that i just need to work on. i can't really expect to go to the pool and have the wind dry my hair into perfection, can i?

anyway, i think i just mostly needed a little pep talk and a little pick-me-up color, and it totally hit the spot. i just love having amber, it's always last minute when i call her, or there was a time (okay, okay, times plural, it was more than once) when i called her in a panic, fresh from coloring my own hair only to have it turn into what they call in the industry "chic fuzz" and i know this all to well. amber has literally opened the salon early to save my head and come to my rescue. in her dry, quiet way she rolls her eyes and when i tell her, "This is the last time, I swear" she laughs and insists she knows it won't be and a smile back, both of us knowing i get way too tempted by those gorgeous hair models on the Clairol box and will inevitably be unable to resist an instant makeover for a mere $6.99. but seriously, could you? could anyone??? and is it my fault i like change? why do the same thing over and over? and when you know you have someone reliable to fix it if something should happen, it's just too anyway, she's my stylist, my personal hair coach, my voice of reason, my hero.

now i just need to find my new pedicurist best friend!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

the crazy things we hear ourselves say

apparently, the other day kieran really wanted a poptart and we don't have any. we're in the car and aaron says seriously to a whiney, cranky kieran, "Do you think Batman or Spiderman would cry if they didn't have a poptart? No they wouldn't! They would just go to the store to get more!" i probably undermined the whole thing by laughing my face off. he sounded so serious and it was just a phrase you never think you'll utter in your life.

and as a sidenote, we did purchase the poor kid some poptarts but i'm pretty sure the whole blubbering breakdown was due to a condition i recently read about-LBSCBDO. you have to check this out, it comes from one of the funniest blogs ever- Confessions of a Pioneer Woman. she also had a spin-off cooking blog and i will definitely be trying some of the rescipes! read all about her sagas with her husband, Marlboro Man, and her four little cow punks!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

preschool no more

friday was kieran's last day of preschool. i can't believe how fast the year went by. i'm so proud of all he's learned and how well he's done. i was a little sentimental as i went through his time capsule, which included hand and foot prints from september, self-portraits throughout the year. the progression he's made in writing his name. and pretty soon he'll be five. sigh.

yesterday aaron met his birth father for the first time in 30 years.


for the first years that aaron and i were together and he told me how he had never known his father i wondered what that would be like. i would ask if he were curious about him, or wonder what he looks like, he would often shrug and not seem to concerned with it. i wondered what it was like not to have a father your whole life, as mine was such an integral part of my life and someone i always counted on. aaron had obviously written his birth father off long ago and having just a mother was all he knew. and i would wonder about her, aaron's mother. especially now that i have children, i wondered what that was like, raising a child alone, working to stay off welfare, moving in with family because there was no other option, working days, nights, whatever it took to provide. letting aaron stay home alone younger than he should have because she had no choice. sacrificing. giving up her life to be a single parent. little to no time for dating, or the possibility of investing in new relationships or the potential of a sibling for aaron. with virtually no assistance and little family. but again, it's all they both knew and i think aaron has always admired his mother's strength and sense of responsibility and it taught him to be the amazing person he is now. and while i believe that everyone should have to overcome some kind of adversity, i also marvel at how well aaron and his mother have both done. aaron's mother married when aaron was in college, giving him a father, brother, and sister. then we got married, and suddenly he gained an extra set of parents, a brother, and a sister. we have cultivated our awesome family tree over time, always with a section missing.

we ended up making a spontaneous trip up to his aunt sue's house and the impromptu trip turned into a family reunion. aaron met cousins he never knew about, a grandfather, and his father and his wife. we knew that it was a possibility that they might show up, and after 30 years without contact you just don't know what to expect. i was so proud of aaron, i think it's obvious to everyone what a great person he is and just how good a job his mother did and what a terrific dad he is to his kids. and everyone was wonderful, his aunt sue had a giant trampoline, a big pool, tons of snacks, we were shocked the kids returned home with us in the evening! kieran and andie played with cousins (technically, second cousins once removed), they were spoiled with presents from aaron's dad and his wife, they were doted on and fussed over. every child should be so lucky, right? and aaron was wonderful, if it was awkward for him, i didn't feel it. he was his usual charming, polite, attentive self and i was so proud to be there with him. i had a nightmare before we left that things might not go well. at any disparaging word of aaron's mother or something like that, i wouldn't have been able to hear it. my loyalties are so strongly tied to aaron (of course) and his mother that i worried that i wouldn't be as open to this event. but it was needless worrying, everything was lovely and there was never a moment in which we didn't feel comfortable.

it was just a really enjoyable time for everyone, i'd say. and while i think aaron and i had both accepted he would never know his birth father, things have a way of working out differently. i'm sorry that aaron missed out on knowing his father and having a two parent household growing up, but i think it's even more sad that aaron's father, as well as this whole family, missed out on aaron. he's one of the most incredible people i know, and definitely the best fathers to his children. i personally couldn't image my life without him.

so, we'll go from here. i'd be lying if i said it hasn't been a range of emotions both yesterday and today. i wonder why it took 30 years to meet such nice people. i don't know if we'll ever know. i just know how vital my family is to me and that has grown from my parents and siblings, to include aaron and our children as well as aaron's mother and stepfather and step siblings. i'd like to think our heart are big enough to welcome all this new family into our lives and we can continue to get together with them and celebrate things like graduations, weddings, and birthdays together.

we are are all just fortunate to know one anther now and we'll see where life leads us :)

Health Care Management MBA
Health Care Management MBA
Online MBA
Online MBA