Monday, December 31, 2007


We're visiting my brother and his fabulous family.
Need a funny? My sister-in-law Fran has got one:

Fran- Have you heard the joke about the skunk?

Me- No.

Fran- Nevermind. It stinks.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


When I was a little girl, growing up in Chicago, we had a number of Christmas traditions. We would visit The Museum of Science and Industry to see Christmas Around the World and pick out a new holiday ornament, view the holiday window display at Marshall Field's on State Street, and watch the lighting of the great Christmas tree in Daley Plaza.

But, honestly, the tradition that holds a special place in my heart was going to see a production of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker. I remember sitting in the balcony, peering down at the orchestra pit, feeling the magic of the season and watching the story unfold. I was mesmerized.

So, this year, I realized that Gillian, my little baby, is growing up. She's old enough now to sit quietly in the theatre, use her manners when needed, and understand a story told entirely by music, dance, and emotion.

Last night was the night. Her first step into mini-adulthood. We saw The Nutcracker.

Earlier in the week, she considered her clothing options, picked out a 'grown-up' skirt, and, last night, asked for 'fancy' hair. My heart hurt to see this maturity, but I was so proud. We arrived at the theatre, she was on fire with excitement. We found our seats, in the balcony, and she peered down at the orchestra pit. Memories.

Then, she noticed a little boy sitting directly behind us. He, too, was 'fancied' up with a little tie and jacket. Gillian made goo-goo eyes at him until the production began. And at the Intermission. And after every curtain call. And,yes, she was completely captured by the story, held by the fight of the Mouse King with the Nutcracker, in awe of the Waltz of the Flowers and the Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy. She swayed to the music, clapped, and shouted 'Bravo!' whenever she could...all the while looking sideways at that adorable little boy.

Now, I am a mess of emotion. My little girl is growing up. She's beginning to have complex feelings about life...and she's asking thoughtful questions about love. I am proud, and scared, and unsure of this new territory. It's a beautiful thing when you see the wheels turning in your child's head. But I am a bit lost.

I haven't asked for anything this year, but I realize now that there is something I need. My Christmas wish is for the strength and wisdom to guide her down a path that will help her become the confident, caring person that I know lives inside her soul.
I hope someone's listening.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Seriously, people.

This can't go on.

Nathan just emailed to update me on the morning routine. See copy below:

Violin, yes. Spelling words, yes. Big breakfast with chocolate ice cream for dessert? Check.

Check a load of this: While Gilly ate breakfast, I asked if I could go pick out an outfit for her. She said yes, but specifically pointed out that she had no clothes behind Mama's in the closet, so I don't need to look there. HAHAHA. I am the finder of hidden things! I should be an investigator. That's it. I'm dropping out to pursue a new career.

Nuts about and to you,

P.S. I am going to put the whup on today's exam

Remember where the punching bag was hidden, folks?

Yeah, it's not anymore.


FYI: See previous two posts below for the lead up...

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Never tell a secret to a seven year old. Ever.

Scene one-

Nathan and Gilly are crashed out on the couch. I'm taking a nap.

I know what your present is! Want me to tell you?

No! I like surprises!

Come on...I can't hold it in! How 'bout I just tell you what color it is? Huh?

(exasperated sigh)
Okay. Good. Tell me what color it is.

It's black!
I know some other things that are black!

(no response)

A punching bag is black! But you're not getting one. I'm just telling you about other things that are black.

Scene two-


Saturday, December 8, 2007

Shhhhh! This is a secret!

Yesterday, I cam home from work just exhausted. We had plans to babysit for the neighbors, so, Nathan wanted to run some errands before the cutie pie arrived.

No problem.

After he left, I noticed that he hadn't gotten the mail yet.

Kay. I went out to get it.

Guess what was sitting on the porch?

Nathan's Christmas present!

I had totally forgotten it was coming. Thank goodness he hadn't gone out there yet because this

was sitting out in plain view. Not in a cardboard box with a mailing address stuck to it, but in the Everlast box covered in pictures proclaiming exactly what was contained therein. Sheesh!

I'm standing on the snow covered porch, in my socks, trying to figure out how I am going to get an 80lb. boxing bag into the house before he arrives home. AND where the heck am I going to hide an 80lb box that is nearly as tall as I am?

The snow is melting under my feet and Gilly comes out to investigate. She yelps an excited, "Daddy is going to LOVE that!!" Yes. I know. For those of you who aren't aware, Nathan used to wrestle in high school and college and was pretty darn good. We've got a box full of medals to prove it. When we moved to Madison, WI a few years back, he took up Ultimate Fighting (boxing/wrestling) and loved it. He knows a few local guys who compete (UFC) and has been hoping to train at home so he'll feel more confident training with it's just darn fun.

Alright, so Gilly and I figure that we can tilt it and push it up the stairs. We huff and puff, make unattractive noises, turn red with effort and, finally get it to the top of the stairs. Then what, right?

There's no way I am wrapping this monstrous thing. We've still got a couple of weeks until Christmas. It's not going in my closet and we've no time to push it down the stairs into the basement. Gilly's room it is!

We shove it across the floor and into her room. She's got a pretty deep closet, so I position it in the back. Totally visible! I grab some long dresses from my closet and hang them in front of it. Sweet. It's disguised. As long as he doesn't wonder what my clothes are doing in her closet, we should be safe. He's a man, right? He won't even notice.

Nathan gets home with about 3 minutes to spare. Gilly and I look at each other knowingly. We've got a great secret...

Now, how are we going to get it back out for Christmas day?

P.S. Let's hope he doesn't suddenly decide to start reading my blog.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Ahna, you knew this was coming.

I have to take a minute and thank my favorite neighbors:


Why, do you ask?

Here's why:

Fine. I'll clarify.

Today we had a GIANT snowstorm. Many flakes. Many idiot drivers. Many. As in, lots.

Guess which highway they took? I94E.

Guess which one I had to take? I94E.

Guess how long it took me to get home?

No, really. Guess. (Normally, I am home in twenty minutes. I leave at 3pmish.)

Come on. Take a crack at it.

An hour you say?


One hour and a half?


Two hours??!

Nope. Try two and a half.

Now, since we're playing this fun guessing game, try to figure out what time Gilly's bus comes home.

Fine. I'll just tell you. 4pm or so.

Was Nathan home? Why, no, of course not!

Did I make it home in time? Why, no, of course not!

Okay, let's up the stakes a bit...

Realizing that I wouldn't make it home in time, I called my good friends, the Bungalogans and asked if they would be so kind as to pick my sweet child up at the bus stop.

Being the wonderful folks that they are, they agreed.

Ahh. All's better now.

But wait!
There's more!

Guess what arrived at 5:30pm? Ding, Ding! You're correct! Gillian's bus!!

Was Gillian on the bus?


Did the Bungalogans panic a bit? Heavens, I hope so! Did they figure out where Gillian was?

Heck yes!

Now, who came home in time to learn of the new situation?

Right again! I did!

After spending 2 1/2 hours in the dang car moving at under 10 miles an hour entire way, I arrived home to learn that I would need to get back in the car and spend another few hours driving to Gilly's school (normally a 20 minute drive in the opposite direction)because she did not get on the bus. She went to Girl Scouts instead.

Now, picture me near tears at this news. Because, yes, that is how I felt. Like weeping frustrated, horrible tears.

And what did the male half of my wonderful, understanding friends say?

He said,

"Relax. I'll go get her."

And what did the female half of my wonderful, understanding friends say?

She said,

"Sit down. I'll get you a glass of wine."

And what time did my poor, starving child get home?


Rick made it back with an in tact, although weepy, seven year old girl and two large pizzas.

I breathed a sigh of relief.

We ate delicious pizza and watched Rudolph.

I've gotta say, somebody had an eye out when we found this house.

Somebody knew that we'd need those Bungalogan's and that they'd be there for us.

So, thanks guys. We love and appreciate you more than you'll ever know!


I got nothing you guys.

Shall we wax poetic on the meaning of nothing?


That'd be ridiculous.

I'll try again later.