Tuesday, July 31, 2007

man, my feet hurt. fyi, don't believe land's end when they tell you how fabulous their new flip flops are and they've got soles like tennis shoes, e.v.a. something or other, blah, blah, blah. they are still flat little shoes that offer no actual support. darn that snazzy blurb they write that makes me feel like my flip flop collection isn't complete if i don't order them right away and oh my gosh they're on sale too-aaahhhh!

okey dokey then, on to my list of 8 habits/facts/tidbits about me, courtesy of a tag from my gal pal christina. i want to try not to repeat anything i've said before in one of these, so this'll probably be more of a "current facts about joanna" list:

1) i love flip flops. are you surprised, after what you just read? i totally love them, wear them as long into the fall/winter as possible. ask aaron, he'll tell you all about it (and do a lot of eye rolling), he'll also tell you that i might try to convince you that i started the recent flip flop craze, from wearing my "shower shoes" all over, including the bars, back in college. there were some other trends i started but that's another post....

2) my computer screen is convulsing right now. i'm using mozilla, and while i'm trying to switch all my bookmarks over to explorer, i'm having a hard time making the transition and find i keep opening up this browser instead. wouldn't be so bad if i hadn't deleted something (maybe it was important) and now my screen seems to twitch. i feel a little crazed looking at it but i just can't tear myself away from my mozilla.... (not the best "fact" about me but i wanted to share).

3) i recently found i was having a hard time remembering the order of the lyrics from paul simon's boy in the bubble when i found info on the actual boy in the bubble. wow. this was a bit before my time and my only real knowledge of this kid was the "inspired by a true story" movie with john travolta, which was itself haunting but still not the real thing. i started reading all about the boy, and another guy who suffered from the same condition. talk about depressing. anyway....

4) i just saw the movie hairspray-very fun! love musicals, loved the original john waters hairspray. this one was great, but it's a little hard to get over john travolta in drag the whole time, somehow in the first one divine wasn't distracting at all as a big fat woman.

5) my favorite musical is bye bye birdie. i would love to see this one re-made someday--sweet high school girl and cute high school boy in boring old ohio and then boom! sweet young girl is randomly picked to kiss hot rock star before he goes into the army--how could that not be a big hit???

6) something is wrong with my camera. it's sad and it's not. i have been puzzled for soooooooo long as to why something is wrong with my focus--my shutter speeds are good, my ISO is fine, i know what i'm doing, but something is just not checking out. by now it's clear that it's a motor problem (or something, i don't know the technical/internal junk) and while it stinks that it has to be fixed, i'm so glad to know the answer to my issues and now i can get better results.

7) i really want to learn to quilt. i've been seeing some awesome fabrics online and i would love to make some bright, candy-colored wall hangings or something. my friend jennifer said we could do a craft night and i told her i want quilting lessons! and if you're out there becky-you too! and i want to use your embroidery machine! i love crafts!

8) i am totally jealous of my friend dori's cowboy boots and am considering taking a horseback riding class just so i can get some. my other idea was finally taking the beginning motorcycle rider class i've signed up for twice but had to cancel--they say you need boots, how perfect!

well, i'm sure you all just loved that free-association type list. i'm off to bed, giving these aching flip flop feet a break :)

random picture of andie, thought this post needed a picture:

Thursday, July 26, 2007

my little problem

so, i think i've lost my parents' passports.

let me say it now lest i forget to warn you later: don't leave things in my possession that belong to you. don't loan me things, don't forget things when you stop by, just please, please, please, don't put that awful ball in my court of having to return something to you.

okay, if you remember, my sister stayed with us for a week while our parents were in paris celebrating their anniversary. upon returning on a flight to o'hare, they were then going to fly out immediately to a wedding in North Carolina and i was to bring julie to o'hare as she was going with them. everything went fine, no problem, my parents promised souvenirs and oh by the way, can you take our passports home for us with you? definitely, fine, no problem, done. fast forward about a month and my mother called the other day, can't find her passports then remembered that she had given them to me. well, the last thing i remember was sitting them next to me in the passenger seat and driving off, assured that all was well and they would be returned to their rightful owners shortly. however, i don't remember the handoff. at all. neither does my mother. unfortunately, this is not rare for me--i am about as absentminded as it gets. and this problem as only gotten worse.

i've looked everywhere for those darn things and can. not. find. them. i can't imagine i accidentally threw them away or got rid of them, and that's because of problem #2 of mine (another story for another time) which is i hold onto too many things and for far too long. i don't go willy nilly tossing stuff in the trash without sorting, re-piling, agonizing, etc. and often i just figure, "you know, i'll just keep it right where it is in this pile on my side counter, eventually if i need it, i'll know to look here". so, i just figure that if those passports aren't in one of my many piles, surely they're at my mothers. problem there is her piles--you didn't think this trait/problem of mine came out of thin air, did you? oh no, my mom and is my pile predecessor. she's checking her piles, i'm checking mine--i'm getting more certain i must have given them back to her, she's getting more certain that they're at my house. quite a quandary.

and while i'm opening up and you're still reading-i still have my neighbor's sunglasses sitting on my counter from when she left them three weeks ago accidentally, i have a scarf in my closet someone left at a playgroup sometime during the winter, and you know last saturday when our family went to the lakehouse? well, it was also a search and rescue mission-i had borrowed a DVD from a family friend about two months ago, thought it was in my laptop bag and when i went to return it it wasn't there. the only place i remembered getting it out was at the lakehouse. we searched all over, under couches, every room, inside books. nothing. cost me $8 in a new DVD.

so, in a very long nutshell, i have determined that i can barely take care of my children and our own possessions, if any of yours enter my house-you may never see them again!

please cross your fingers for the passports though. definitely a bigger deal than that scarf.


on tuesday when i picked kieran and his buddy aidan up from camp i got a not-so-good review from his counselor about his behavior. mostly it boiled down to bossiness, which i had a feeling might start rearing it's ugly head. bad timing for him though, as my generous friend Marlene (and her son, what a sweetheart :) ) had just loaned us 3 power ranger outfits! kieran has been asking for a power ranger outfit for weeks and we've been putting him off and i was so bummed that just as i get these cute little costumes in my hot little hands, i get a bad report.......so, i can't exactly reward that behavior, right? so i just didn't mention it and figure we'll see how thursday's camp goes.

so, just before camp i tell kieran i really want to hear good things from his counselor and that i've got these p.r. outfits....! he totally lit up, i knew i had him. sure enough, he was actually awarded "camper of the day", his counselor wrote that kieran was "amazing" and did everything they asked and helped others! woo hoo! see what a little tangible bribe can do?

and wouldn't you know it, i ran to the fabric store while aaron put him to bed and when i returned after he was asleep he was in full red power ranger ragalia. love it.

kieran and aidan:

kieran with the mask:
wearing the costume, watching the show-heaven!
andie's a p.r. fan too, she liked to get really close so she can absorb all the cheesiness:

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

got to keep moving

we've all been doing really well lately, the weather has been nice and mild, i'm feeling better, we made an impromptu trip to my parents lakehouse on saturday, kieran started t-ball, andie is sleeping well at night after moving out of our room (woo hoo!), i'm getting caught up with work. can't complain too much really.

i'm starting to get excited about fall, it doesn't hurt that it's definitely my favorite season too. i can't wait to go to the apple orchard, pick pumpkins, put some mums by the door. anyway, moving on, it's going to be bittersweet i guess, with kieran starting kindergarten and andie starting a morning daycare program for the first time....what am i going to do with myself??? this evening, holding my neighbors' precious new baby girl who was just born yesterday makes me remember those early days. and nights. oh, those nights of waking up every hour or two, each time just as your body creeps into that deep r.e.m. sleep. how can you both miss something so much and just want to go back in time and also be so silently thrilled to be past that stage of your life at the same time?

big new things ahead, but trying to enjoy the summer at the same time.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

oh my gosh continued aka is this a joke?

so, you know that wacko who wanted to watch our kids? the one i posted about here. well, after letting her down easy (and i think i was more than fair after she so miserably failed her job interview with us and i restrained myself from recounting the ways) she just e-mailed me tonight. here's how things went down after dinner a few weeks ago.

my e-mail to her:

Hi xxxxx,

We all really enjoyed meeting with you this evening and we had a nice time chatting, but I don't know if the babysitting is going to work out very well after all. Aaron and I really think we need someone who can come to our house to watch the kids, and to be honest, I think you're really great but I don't think kids are really your thing. I'm looking for someone really into kids and who has a lot of experience babysitting and while I think you've got lots of great ideas for the kids, I don't think you're a kid person, per se.

I really wish you the best at U of I and hope the job search ultimately goes your way!

Thanks for coming out to meet with us,


not bad, huh?

her response:

Hi Joanna,I'm sorry things didn't work out. I should have been honest with you - I like kids but I've had some bad experiences with some including two 8 year old female cousins for which the kindest possible adjective for them is imaginative. I'm still interested in the job if you can't find anyone, and will take the bus up to [nearby landmark] if possible.

my response, and i really wanted to be honest and tell her where she went wrong and there were oh so many areas, but aaron reminds me she could be psycho and she knows where we live, so here goes:

Hi xxxx,

I appreciate that but I just don't think you fit the requirements for this position-I need someone for specific times which require a car, and I need someone who loves and knows about kids and has years of babysitting experience.

I have received many responses to my ad so don't worry about us, good luck in the future,


okey dokey, so this brings us to present day and her e-mail to me:

I could not in good conscience work for a home whose inhabitants are so hostile towards companion animals, which seems to be your general attitude. My sister is allergic to cats and found out when she was 11, but we had one that she was unwilling to abandon and was willing to take shots to control her allergies.

what???? i'm not writing back of course, i've found that you can't argue with crazy and this one is nuts. why oh why do the crazy ones always find me?

Friday, July 20, 2007

safe and sound

another plug for another talented family member:

we saw aaron's uncle mike and aunt beth tuesday night and beth brought a copy of her soon-to-be-released children's book: Safe and Sound. we loved it! the copy is great and the illustrations are lovely and we just know it's going to do really well, just like her other one.

kieran's already hoping beth and hanni can come talk to his future kindergarten class about it!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

not well

thank goodness for friends & family.

i'm ill. it's not fun. yesterday aaron's parents came over and played with the kids for a couple hours so i could rest upstairs. it was so nice. and today my buddy erika had kieran over for a few hours (yes, the same woman who gave birth less than two weeks ago, i know, i know, she's a saint and i don't deserve her friendship and aaron says we should pretty much share custody and help raise their new baby in return for how often she's watched the kids for me) and this afternoon my mom and aunt julie came over to take the kids for a bit. i've just taken tylenol with codiene (how do you spell that?) and should sleep but i just can't seem to.

i have a cold, which really stinks, but i've also had my "period" for three weeks and this week is particularly bad. in june i started a new BC pill continuously, without placebos, to stop my previous 14 week long bleeding spree. actually, i had to take the pill twice a day for a couple weeks to actually stop the bleeding, but it worked and i continued taking it for the next month. and then i randomly started bleeding again on it and once again, i haven't stopped. this week i am no on any pill as i am waiting to start a new one this weekend, but that means that in addition to the dysfunctional bleeding i've had for weeks, i now actually am having a period and it's pretty bad. i'm keeping a migraine at bay with medicine because of the hormone fluxuations and the cramps are really bad.

i have to say, i was fairly hopefull after i had surgery in april, and then the bleeding continued, then i was hopeful again when the pill helped, but now that it hasn't work, i gotta say-i'm not quite the optimist anymore! ultimately i know what has to be done, but i just don't know if i'm ready to say goodbye to my uterus yet. it's really been there for me you know, when i had my first period ( i totally called all my friends too, "Guess what-I got it! I got it!" if i had known what a pain every month would become i wouldn't have done nearly as much jumping up and down), it's given my two beautiful kids. i don't know. i seem to only have two options: 1) find a pill or hormone combination that prevents me from bleeding and cramping, or 2) get rid of my uterus. oh, and actually i recently thought of a third-i can be a surrogate mother and be pregnant all the time and not bleed! i loved being pregnant and while i just don't know that i want a baby right now, i could help some great couple and help myself at the same time! i'm kidding. pretty much, but it isn't that bad an idea really....

anyway. i'm going to try to nap. but that's what's going on, i hope to feel like myself again soon, keep your fingers crossed and think happy thoughts!

Monday, July 16, 2007

go see this movie. do it! you'll thank me later.

been meaning to post this for a week. loved this movie. aaron and laughed the whole time, best movie ever.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Name That Movie

"The time had come for someone to put his foot down. And that foot is me."


"Now she should be good looking, but we're willing to trade looks for...a certain morally casual attitude."

no cheating!

this is such a fun movie, but most of the quotes have expletives so there weren't too many good ones left!

Monday, July 09, 2007

oh. my. gosh.

well, after babysitting candidate #3 e-mailed about the bus and i responded to say i wasn't sure how well it would work out since she didn't have a car but maybe she would like to babysit some evening if needed, she assured me she was still available for the morning/afternoon babysitting i discussed with her.

so, we had her over for dinner this evening to meet the kids. wow. did i mention before has been a learning experience? i now know i need to add another requirement to my growing list for a babysitter:

1) Must have good communication skills
2) Must have good references
3) Must have a good schedule
4) Must like kids

i honestly didn't think that was necessary but after this dinner i am no longer taking anything for granted.

upon meeting her she seemed nice, but nervous. the kind of nervous where she looked in every direction but never made eye contact for the first few minutes. okay, no big deal, i figure, i can handle some social awkwardness as long as the kids like her and she gets along well with them. those were my exact first thoughts within 15 seconds of meeting her. i was making dinner and she talked. a lot. fine, no big deal, we were getting to know each other of course. but aaron and the kids were outside playing in the backyard and she had no intention of playing with them, engaging the kids in conversation, or acting curious about them. it was also then that i realized that the reference she had given me was more of a personal nature and while nice enough, was not regarding childcare and to the point said (and i'm going to cut and paste here, so that i'm completely accurate): "She is highly intelligent, and a very caring individual, and likes animals." and all of this i gathered from our brief meal together, but come on "likes animals"???? she seriously seemed to have no interest in the kids. she had some nice ideas for activities, like going to the library (walking about a mile though-come on, my kids can maybe walk a block before the fatigue and whining sets in), going to the Harry Potter book release this weekend at midnight, and general hanging out. but ultimately, she seemed more into animals than children. and while she became less nervous and more comfortable with us, i don't know that that was a good thing. as we start our drive across our town and into the next one to take her home, as i told her that aaron was allergic to dogs and kieran was allergic to cats, she said that if it were her, "the kids would have to go." speechless. i literally had what i can only imagine was the crappiest, fake smile plastered to my face as i stated, "well, i guess that's not really an option."

she really was a sweet person, but it was basically an interview and it went horribly.

i now don't wish a babysitter search on anyone.

the saga continues

now it looks like babysitter #3 will not be working out. someone shoot me.

i recently advertised again for a college student sitter, within hours had about seven responses. very encouraged, i zeroed in on one person in particular. good communication, check. good references, check. good schedule, check. i e-mail her last night, to ask if she wants to come over for dinner to meet the kids, she responds affirmatively and then asks where we live and "what's the closest bus route to our house?" ugh. so apparently in my ad asking that the babysitter have his or her own transportation wasn't specific enough. and i, of course, hadn't asked the important question of whether she had access to a car or not and had already hired her in my head and indicated to her she would be hired. just as i had with the other two.

i'm trying not to discriminate based on car ownership, but i'm planning to leave the house to do work and would like our babysitter to be able to drive the kids places if necessary. and we don't exactly live near campus and yes, we do have a bus route but it is severely limited, really only during pre- and post-work hours of 8am and 5pm for commuters, nothing around 10am and noon or 1 and 3pm when i'm needing a sitter. sooooo....i think i'll be keeping this one in reserve for some evening babysitting and get back to the drawing board. again.

this sure had been a big learning experience for me. i'm trying to be positive.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

after watching new life enter the world, we went to a little local spot for a classic rock band and some wine. the kids love it, they get to "dance" on the stage they basically run around like maniacs (to the utter joy of the childless music lovers in attendance).

my parents' plans for the evening fell through last minute and they came out as well, along with erika's sister and aidan. kieran felt it necessary to wear his cape.

so fun.


i had the most amazing day yesterday. my friend erika gave birth to baby #2 and i got to be there. it really was incredible and very humbling. it all started friday evening, which was probably my first all-nighter since college (but anything for you erika!), it included a lot of walking through the hallways, watching charts of baby's heartrate and mom's contractions, and ultimately, at 9:24 am a new little person in the world.

erika did an awesome job getting the little guy here, i don't know anyone who might call women the "weaker sex" after witnessing a birth. it was surreal, almost calm as erika pushed, with only a few of us in her room and as the baby made his appearance it was truly humbling.

congratulations to the family, we are so excited for them and are hoping they ask us to babysit! a lot!

Introducing baby Oscar, in his blonde in a bottle blog debut!


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Monday, July 02, 2007

***watercolor show***

just an f.y.i. for those who are local, a little plug for my favorite artist and mother....

my mom and a few watercolor buddies are showing several of their pieces at Pages For All Ages bookstore. you can see this famous kieran painting as well as one of andie and another of a chicago street scene there, hurry, hurry, hurry!

summer days

yesterday turned out to be a really nice day. aaron had informed me ahead of time that he had to work in the morning, so i wasn't expecting much out of the day, the kids already bored and wandering the house at 8:30 a.m. but then my parents invited us over for french toast and i jumped at the chance to get out of the house. we ended up spending the morning there, the kids playing with toys and enjoying the mild weather outside. when aaron was done with work he met up with us there and we went to an open house (see picture below). this is the house my parents lived in for nine years, the house my brother and i were brought home to when we were born. it was divided into apartments and my parents had the back of it, some downstairs and some up. it's on one of the prettiest streets in town and friends of theirs have been working for years to remodel it and turn it back into a single family home. it was really fun to take a tour-the first time i've been in in since i was 6-and hear some of the fun stories, some of which i had heard time and time again-like the one where i threw a huge fit, they put me in my room which had no lock and had to tie the door to the radiator in the hall. i screamed "UNTIE ME!" until they thought people would call the authorities. ahhhh, memories.

anyway, even though i still have a million things to do, it's nice to take a break and enjoy the nice weather we're having lately :)

Sunday, July 01, 2007


have to post a picture of the little cutie i photographed last week. so sweet.


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