Thursday, July 31

No Fail Stress Relief

At the end of a stressful workday, I am blessed to have this little man to help me wash away the turmoil of my rewarding yet overbearing job. No matter how tired and worn down/out I may feel, a walk with Spencer and it is a distant memory. His laughter as we walk down the street along with the smell of a neighbor's fresh cut grass or someone walking their dog (aren't all dogs in their own way adorable?) are not comparable to much in this world we live in. At least for me...

This is the Mom is slow and takes too many pictures look.
Skipping to the playground.

You still have that thing? I thought it's batteries would be dead by now.

No walk can be taken without these. Being my shallow self, I bought these because of the embroidered design on the side. No thought for comfort, as usual. They are called "casual shoes". Best walking shoes I have EVER had. New Balance, try them, you will not be disappointed!

Wednesday, July 30

Looking Back

I must break down and admit that while my sweet little niece Abigail was here this last weekend, I experienced a small twinge of baby fever. I have always loved children and imagined myself with as many as four young ones running around underfoot in a house full of chaos and laughter. I have extreme patience with children where I often have none with adults. They never cease to fill me with wonder and awe with their innocence and ability to make you forget the rat race outside your door.

Will I be able to give Spencer the time and energy he will need as a special needs child if another child, a baby, needs some of that attention too? How will we afford another child when I feel a terrible guilt now that my boy has to go to daycare every day? Will I love this new child as much as I love Spencer (being my firstborn and the love of my live)? If not, would it show? So many questions enter my mind. Questions that when you get right down to it, really are necessary but irrelevant when you are talking about a child. I would think that the many rewards of having another child certainly outweigh the questions above tenfold. No greater gift has God given us than the love of a child for you to nurture and love back.

I took a walk down memory lane and scanned some pictures of my sweet baby Spencer. These are some of my favorites taken before he was diagnosed with cancer and life was a little simpler for him.
This horrible polaroid of Spencer,taken maybe an hour after he was born, got me through the night after his birth. After they gave me something to help me sleep and wheeled my boy into the nursery, I slept with this photo in my hands. I would wake up every half an hour or so and just stare at it, making sure this wasn't a dream. Immense relief and more sleep would follow.

Three generations: Myself, Spencer and my dad.

Sunday, July 27


I sit here practically in tears. When did I become such a cream puff? I really am not a crier nor much of a person who finds empathy in her heart often. This used to bother me and I would wonder why I was a cold person. As time went by, I realized I just don't react as others may with terms of endearment or displays of tears or in some cases screams and tantrums. I am me. I do things at a slower more moderate rate and that is ok. I hold things in for a bit and process them on my own to deal with later. Sometimes much later.
So why I sit here so sad is new and foreign to me. I keep thinking what is wrong with me today? I am forlorn and reflecting. Have I maybe finally grown up a little? Why? How? Who did this to me? Can I take a pill to get rid of it quickly?

My brother, Chris, and his wife, Michelle along with my sweet and beautiful niece spent the weekend with Spencer and I. I have blogged about Chris joining the Army and how proud of him I was and am. The weekend went much much too fast because it was one of the best times I have had in a long time.

Chris went and grew up on me! Ok, he is 26, but still will forever be my "little" brother. He has always been a natural comedian and an attractor of many friends. This has not changed. What has is his sense of character, his responsible attitude towards life, his quiet confidence in himself and the love of his new wife. He is an amazing daddy and his pride for his daughter shows in every smile he bestows on her. His wife is his motivational support and allows Chris what he needs to not only be himself but keeps him grounded and focused. I had the opportunity to get to know Michelle a bit more and believe in time, Michelle and I will be very good friends.

We talked for hours, went to the pet store and oohed and aahed, played a really fun game called Munchkin, you must try this game, and Chris and I searched for frogs in the backyard (he loves frogs also and used to catch and raise them). Abby be bopped around the house (she is 1) and yelled at us in her adorable deep voice when she wanted attention. I think she speaks the same foreign language that Spencer speaks and possibly was even swearing at us!

So why am I sad? Partially because over the last few years, life has gotten in the way and Chris and I haven't seen much of each other. Partially because I think Michelle and I have much in common and could spend a lot of time together with our wee ones hanging off our knees. Mostly because of the lost time we haven't, as siblings, taken to get to know one another as adults and in a few weeks, Chris will be deployed to Germany for 3 years, with a tour in Iraq possibly starting in November.

I am thinking that once in a while, life needs to take a backseat and we/I need to stop and talk to the ones that mean the most to me/us. I don't have many regrets in life. I just don't allow them to happen, simple as that. I am finding now, I do have some, I haven't been aware of them is all...

Have any of you ever felt this way? I am sure I will be better tomorrow. In fact, I feel better just typing this out.

John is in PA for a work trip and took my camera, so I have no pictures of this weekend's fun to show you. I have these super cute pictures of Chris as a child instead. I love this brother of mine!

Monday, July 21

The Dark Knight

I actually left the house without Spencer this last Friday. Not many things/people/rituals can accomplish this task. I used to never be at home. I had a beautiful home and many reasons to stay there but for some reason was restless and in need of some "action." Since my sweet boy was born, I cannot believe the change in myself as a person. I am so content with not only myself (sometimes too content and showering, shaving and basic hygiene don't seem remotely important...just kidding...but I heard you all going ewwww all the way over here at my house!) but with staying at home is the best idea I have every day. I enjoy company much more here at my house than going out to a bar or trying to keep up with the Jones.

One of the few things I do wish I could do more often but cannot for lack of a trusted sitter, is go to the movies. I would go once a week if I could. Due to the fact that I know few people here and Spencer has communication issues, I don't trust many to sit for him and have to pick my movies carefully. I was not disappointed this last Friday when we went to see The Dark Knight. I have always viewed Heath Ledger as an exceptional if not troubled actor. His voice alone could send me to lala land for hours. Christian Bale is in my top ten favorite all time actors. He has been above and beyond Hollywood's bland casting of Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt since the day American Psycho came out. Then there is Morgan Freeman. He seems to only get better as he gets older. I often wonder if he is as interesting in real life as he can make any role fit his nature to a tee. Last but not least is Gary Oldman. No matter how odd this man is, you cannot deny his acting abilities are grand. I am of course much biased by the images invading my mind every time I see him and cannot, nor do I want to, forget his role as Dracula in Bram Stoker's Dracula. My only disappointment was Maggie "dumpy butt" Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes. Katie Holmes looked like Audrey Hepburn next to Maggie's horrendous acting and her pig like features (sorry to be so blunt but this woman gives me the creeps). You may all have a nicer, different view, but this is my blog and I'll be a boob if I want too!

I could have watched the second showing of this movie, no problem. It was so well done and so creatively acted, there is no way one can catch the whole of the movie in one showing. The darkness of the movie, it's undertones, if you catch them are real and forbidding. I almost cried when I thought of the enormous yet worthy job Heath Ledger did to the Joker character. No villain has been done better nor with so much imagination. I am one of the few that dislikes Jack Nicholson and his trailer park acting and thought he did the Joker no justice when he took the role. Heath, now that is The Joker...

Don't take my word for it, go see it yourself. The only way you will be sorry is if you are expecting to see something on the lines of Spiderman. The Dark Knight is NOT a family outing movie and while I found the undertones of the movie and their meanings to be much more haunting that the actual scenes being shown, the scare factor and CGI effects are phenomenal.

Ok, I am off my soap box. This movie is the best I have seen since LOTR and I watch A LOT of movies.

This is my desktop right now. Cute, huh?

Saturday, July 19

Bad Morning, Good Day

Have you ever had a morning like this?

This is the look I gave John this morning when he asked if I wanted to go shopping. I think my hair speaks for itself and no answer was needed. However, John has seen me many mornings now and was not daunted by my Buckwheat like hair or the glare of my unadorned eyes. He just snapped a picture and walked away, commenting to Spencer that his mom needed to take a shower so we could get going. I know my beatitude overwhelms him at times like these and he needs some time alone to ponder his great fate of having such an agreeable mate. To top this off, my very mature pj's have a nasty looking cat on them with a quote, "Hey, dog breath." I think I am quite clear on how I handle mornings and one should proceed with much caution.
One must also admire a man who wakes up to such niceties with a smile on his face and is thankful for his life. Then again he has no hair to play tricks on him in his sleep, he doesn't wear pajamas, he just sleeps in shorts and a tee shirt and he doesn't wear makeup (except on special occasions), so his mornings aren't so different from any other part of the day.

What happened is this. I grudgingly got into the shower mumbling to myself that decent people didn't shower on Saturdays and were allowed to smell and wear their pj's all day. Why couldn't he find a new set of luggage in town, by himself, instead of having to drive 45 minutes away. Once in the shower, I remembered (I mean give me a break, this is still all new to me) that I have new and improved hair and it only takes 5, yes 5, minutes to fix and look so much better than the hour it used to take me. By the time I emerged from the bathroom, I was not only much more presentable, but you could look at me and I might not bite.

Moral of the story, go with big tall man to get him some luggage and you will come home with one of these adorable and essential companions.

This is Simone, Xander's new friend. Isn't she the cutest little girl? I couldn't resist going into the pet stores and just looking at all the fish and critters. The first store had no White's Tree Frogs in stock. The second one had my new baby and John was a gem by taking the decision out of my hands and telling the sales lady that we wanted her. He is the most thoughtful person, much much much more that I could ever hope to be. He doesn't understand my joy at a $20 frog but the thought and willingness of his to get her for me without question means more than I can say.

So, now you poor souls who actually visit my little blogging world, have yet another frog for me to take bad photos of.

Wednesday, July 16


Remember this picture from about a month ago? The blog title was "Love at First Sight" and I wrote how my friend, Pam, fell in love with the pet store owner's four year old Argentine Black and White Tegu, Beast. Pam now has her own! As of last Friday, Pam is the proud owner of Oliver, who is only a few months old but already about a foot long. He is adorable and quite mellow. He does like to take flying leaps off of Pam onto the furniture though. I wish you all could hear her when he does this. Her quiet yet firm ,"NO" is the cutest and funniest thing at the same time. Like when you watch your child do something naughty, yet secretly admire them for their charisma.


His favorite meal so far? Cheesy hot dogs! Leave it to Pam to come up with this meal. He will eat crickets but seems to think better of himself and prefers the hot dogs and fish. Tegus eat a wide variety of foods, including fruits and live animals (rabbits, mice etc.) Pam is not sure what she will feed Oliver yet as she wants him to be kid friendly for her niece and nephew.

Nice bath tub he has there. It's hard to tell due to the his heat lamp casting a yellowish glow, but Oliver is very beautiful. His markings are wider and even prettier on his belly. I sat next to his "safe place" and watched him for quite a while. I could seriously watch him for hours and probably not care to do much else; he is that neat and interesting. He loves to be petted and talked to.

The pet store sold out of the tank Pam needs to get Oliver set up, so they loaned her a 10 gallon tank in the meantime. It is too small to provide adequate hiding spaces for Oliver which is one of the things he loves most. This funny guy crawled into Pam's cd case on the table and took a nap right in front of us! How can you not love a card like this?

Pam covered him up with a dish towel and Oliver was happy as can be...

By the way, Oliver is too young to determine his sex as of yet, so if he just "happens" to be a girl, he will be called Olivia.

Monday, July 14

New and Improved

First off, you guys are awesome! Thank you so much for asking about John. I am sorry I didn't update earlier. The infection is much better and his arm and finger are almost back to normal; it is the medication that is taking him for a ride. He is allergic to Penicillin and one of the (many) drugs included in this antibiotic is Penicillin. If that isn't bad enough, the concoction, while necessary to kill the spread of the infection, causes flu like symptoms. Poor John has to take a couple of pills every four hours and for the first hour afterwards, he breaks out into sweats, is sick to his stomach and feels like sleeping. He is talking about not taking the remainder of the medication but I think it is just talk. Kind of like threatening the pills to stop making him feel bad or else! He is actually sucking it up for the most part and counting down the days until the meds are gone.

On another note, I am sad to say that my once extremely thick and glossy hair, for whatever reason has decided to thin out on me and look like a haystack. I have naturally curly hair that I have straightened for a couple of years now, only adding to the damage. I decided I wanted to at least look like I still had thick hair and took the plunge tonight and got it all chopped off! This is the shortest my hair has been since I was a pre teenager (is that a word?). I also had three colors added. I am in love with it. It is funky and fun and I needed that. I feel like a new person! It looks much more interesting in person. John is not too keen on it, but he will get used to it. I mean he shaves his head, so how can he really complain. I went to a new stylist for the first time in a few years and am so happy I did!


Thursday, July 10

Bad Blood

Today is a day that my blog URL is most fitting. Queen of the Damned. Seems John got himself blood poisoning or septicemia. He has been feeling ill for a couple of days and the tip of his middle finger was extremely tender. This morning his arm started to bother him, so he finally visited a doctor, who immediately administered an IV dose of antibiotics. He will need to go in for another tomorrow and be on antibiotics (pill form) for ten days hoping that it doesn't spread further around his body. He is really worried, though he isn't quite as sore as this morning. He had blood drawn and Lyme's disease and a few other things were ruled out. The doctor thinks if he was bitten by a Brown Recluse, even in his sleep, he would have woken up from the pain of the bite. Not sure they will be able to determine how he acquired it but I sure hope he starts to feel better soon. The antibiotics make him sicker still, so right now he is not too happy. Poor guy!

Here is a description I got off of Anyone have experience with blood poisoning and want to share? Not that I wish any of you did!

Blood poisoning: The medical term is "septicemia." No matter which of these two terms-blood poisoning or septicemia-you prefer, what is meant is the same thing, namely a "general (systemic) disease that is due to the presence and the persistence of germs (pathogenic microorganisms) or their toxins in the bloodstream." The "germs" can be bacteria (in bacterium) or any other microscopic agent of infection capable of causing disease in humans. Another term that is very closely related to "blood poisoning" and "septicemia" is "sepsis." "Sepsis" also refers to the presence and persistence of germs or their toxins in the blood but those germs or toxins do not need to be in the blood. They may be in other tissues of the body. Blood poisoning/septicemia and sepsis are often serious. They can sometimes be life threatening diseases calling for urgent and comprehensive care.

Sorry, not the greatest pictures. He is in no mood to "pose" for me!

Wednesday, July 9

Surrounded by Men

So last night I had this dream...oh wait, I wasn't going to post that!! Sshh, I lost my train of thought. No really, I have become a blog lurker these last few months and suddenly realized how outnumbered I am here at home. Three to one, if you count Xander, and I do. I mean pets are like family members in this household. I don't mind that I am the only female, unfortunately I am well past the "girl" stage these days, it's just that it would be nice to do some girl stuff once in a while. Play barbies, fix our hair together, go shopping (and like it). I wouldn't trade my guys for the world though. Funny how that works.

All the boys:

Sunday, July 6

My Water Babies

Our summer has finally started and with it, Spencer's days (and nights if we let him) are spent in his pool. He got to pick out a new one this year as last year's blew away one day while we were at work! Spencer does not show much interest in things outside his oral fixation with strings and movies. I try to take him outside as often as I can to get him away from zoning out on his "obsessions". This is one little boy who wears out his mommy regularly! All I have to do is show him his swimming trunks and he is jumping and yelling in delight. I love it! Nothing in this world compares to your child's laughter.

While his pool was being filled, Spencer decided the hose was a fun new pool toy.

I can't leave out Xander. This boy is also enjoying his "pool". Okay, technically he is enjoying his Tupperware bowl but who's keeping tabs?

Just waiting for the babes to come by. Mr. Xander B. Cool.

Saturday, July 5

Celebrating Our Independence

We had a fun filled 4th. We grilled out and enjoyed the company of friends. I even made a "themed" cake that turned out to be delicious and addicting! The cake is called The Barefoot Contessa's 4th of July cake. YUM!

Spencer looks so sad here, doesn't he? Poor guy was wondering why he had to eat dinner alone. No really, I think he was just zoning out, he was tired from playing in his pool all day.

Of course we played some Wii bowling. Pam is at Pro status and has to disguise herself to avoid the paparazzi. Here is one fan who got a little out of control!

Later we saw him near the kitchen counter feeling pretty proud of himself for the sneak attack.

Here is Pam vowing no more autographs for the night!

Ramsay is such an excellent bowler, we at times resort to distractions or outright fouls to try to throw him off.

That smirk is due to the fact that even though I walloped him in the head with a pillow in the middle of his shot, he still got a strike!

We got to meet Pam's brother Chris. Chris is just as awesome as Pam and we can't wait to hang out more with him. No doubt these two are related. Very strong resemblance to each other. The look on Pam's face is a priceless as she watches her brother play air guitar.

John was behind the camera most of the night. I think the digital rays or camera moonbeams took their toll on him. I just hope his face doesn't stay like this.