Monday, August 31, 2009

Settling In For The Night....

Although I think this (photo) is what David had in mind when we decided to buy a house with a hot tub, it looks as though he will be greatly disappointed. I must say that although we regularly take a dip after putting Madeline to bed, David is stuck soaking with a "Hoochie Mama" that is pushing 40! Hmmmmm.....some things never end up as you imagine. I do, however, have to say that hot tubbin' makes one SLEEPY! I have had great sleep since moving into this house.....poor David.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wrigley Wing

I know....crappy photo quality. 'nuf said! Yet, I wanted to give you an idea of what I am talking about in tonight's blog post.

For those of you that know David, you know that he is a HUGE Chicago Cubs fan. With him growing up outside of Chicago he grew up going to Wrigley. Through the years David has accumulated more memorabilia than any one person could possibly do anything with (unless they wanted to open their own sports museum or sports bar). Many moons ago, when David and I were in our apartment we always said that we would set up a rec room in the basement when we owned a home. In our last home, that never happened as when we finished our basement it was used as an office and a home theatre. All the Cubs stuff was stored except for a small amount that was displayed in a curio cabinet.

Now that we are in our new home, our new basement will eventually be finished but not for that rec room but rather for a play room for Madeline. The Cubs items have been evicted from the curio cabinet as the cabinet is in our living room which is going to be a more formal room. Each of the bedrooms are also designated for a particular use: 1) our bedroom, 2) Madeline's room, 3) a guest bedroom and 4) a crafting room. Knowing that we plan to be in this house until we die or down-size there seemed to be no room for the sports stuff. And then I had a brainstorm.....

Who says the guest room has to be something frilly and fru fru? Therefore, the guest bedroom will eventually become themed in "old time baseball". We have a large vintage black and white photo (approx. mid 40s) of Wrigley Field (see photo above) this will hang over the headboard of the bed in the guest room. I knew I would have to replace the lilac flowered bedspread and when I was shopping today I found a perfect replacement.... At Big Lots (of all places) I found (for only $25!!) a patchwork-like quilt in muted blues, reds and grays (subtle Americana look), The carpet in the room is already blue and the previous owners left white wood slat blinds (in great condition). I will hang blue valances that we used at our old house. The walls in the room are currently a gray-ish color. Also, there are already some white shelves in the room that were left from our house's previous owner. These can be used to display some Cubs stuff. Also, I have a radio that I had once given my mom and got back after her death. The radio is a replica of the old fashioned radios. This is on the dresser in the room. The feel I eventually hope to accomplish in this room is NOT so much rec room decor but rather an "Old Time Baseball" feel so the old-fashioned radio will help that mood. Also, I stumbled upon a baseball throw rug. The rug is not in the bright whites and reds but looks more like an old-time baseball. Good deal on that too.....rug was $40 but I got it for $7.99!!

Two "issues" with this theme for a guest room. 1) David's best friend, Jon, is a frequent guest at our house. Jon is a HUGE Yankees fan......Sorry Jon! 2) When telling my sister, Marysia, about the guestroom theme she asked me a question on the order of, "Will your guests be able to get to '1st base' in that room?" Ughhhh........geez, I didn't even *think* of that!! I would say to that we'll have to have a don't ask, don't tell policy.

But for now, I gotta get the rest of the boxes out of that room before our first guests arrive on Friday.....

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Housewarming - Round One

I can't even tell you how excited I am that my bother Paul and his family are coming to visit. I am looking forward to the true "housewarming" experience of it all - of welcoming the first of our family/friends into our new home. I know too that my brother is totally awesome and 100% cool with the realization that we just moved in so....the pressure of having a Better Homes and Gardens showroom ready house are way off.....not that they would get that if we lived her 5 years, but still... :-) I guess we'll just have the opportunity of having one awesome game of hide and seek with all the boxes still around....hahahaha! I am just looking forward to warming our home with the love of family. I am looking forward to spending family time, sharing laughs, creating memories, and placing more of our family's fingerprints on this house. See ya Friday :-)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Blog Name Explanation

Now that many more of my friends are reading my blog, I often get the question: "Why Mama-Dirtyfoot"? I decided to re-post my original explanation that I posted shortly after I created my blog. The original explanation, which was posted on October 4, 2008, is below:

First, what's up with the "Mama-Dirtyfoot"?? My mom always walked around barefoot. I truly believe that this is hereditary. I, too, can not stand having my feet covered. However, some problems have arisen from this primitive preference. The first is my terribly scaly feet. The pedicure bills tend to stack up, especially in the summer time. David jokes that he knows when I am due for a pedicure when he hears my feet snagging on the sheets. The second problem I encounter is that the bottom of my feet tend to get dirty. I walk barefoot in the basement, in the garage, on the deck, to the mailbox, on the grass.....the list goes on. Mix with this an accidental splatter of water, from hand washing or cooking, onto the kitchen floor and you have a recipe for dirty foot smudges tracked across my entire kitchen. In the summer months, my kitchen floor could probably use a mopping several times a day. I know, I know....pretty disgusting, but this is how David began calling me Mama-Dirtyfoot.

The next question I would like to address is "What is this blog about?" I guess I'll just say, I'll let you know as soon as I do. I have been inspired to start my own blog after following the adoption stories of several families that are traveling to Russia for adoptions. I have enjoyed following these blogs because I could totally relate to the stories of these families. There is definitely an unspoken bond between families touched by international adoption. It is truly an experience; one that I joked was like "Survivor: Russia". My travels to Russia are behind me yet I continue to share this understanding with the families that are currently on this journey. My current journey is one that is also shared with millions. The journey of being Mama. Instead of "Survivor: Russia" I am in a new season of "Survivor" yet in this season, no matter how difficult the challenges are throughout the day, I always win the rewards in the evening as Madeline hands out hugs and kisses and hollers "DaWoo (Love you) , Mama" as I walk down the stairs after tucking her in for the night.

So, again, what is this blog about? "Survivor"? Yes! But also (excuse another television reference) this blog will be a bit "Sienfeld". Wasn't that a show about nothing? So here you have it. A cross between Survivor and Sienfeld or shall I say, the Adventures of Mama-Dirtyoot.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

On The Go Again Today

Busy day again today. Madeline and I took a drive to meet some of my former co-workers for lunch. Jen and Sr. Jeanette were my "partners in crime" as they were the other two members of the 5th grade team when I was teaching. It was so nice to see both of them! Madeline's behavior can be hit or miss yet I was soooo pleased with her behavior today while at lunch. She made me proud!

By the time we got home, Madeline and I had only about an hour before heading back out for Madeline's last summer swim class. You could tell that Madeline has had extra pool time lately as she had greater confidence in her swim lesson today. We will start up Fall swim lessons in late September.

After swim, Madeline and I took a trip to an open house at a local gymnastics school. We were debating on switching Madeline to gymnastics this year. Madeline had fun at the open house and I can see that Madeline would probably enjoy the gymnastics experience's NOT happening! At $52 a month, that is ridiculous! I could pay for Madeline's dance AND swim lessons for the same amount I would pay for just gymnastics. Luckily, in Madeline's eyes, today's open house was simply a fun play date. And thus, DANCE will start again in September.....

Cat Perch

Goofy Cat! Part of our upstairs is open down to the family room below. The youngest of our kitties, Elston, has claimed this as his own kitty perch observatory. I guess he likes keeping an I on us.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Sorry it has been a few days since I blogged. I have busy getting frustrated with shopping and almost breaking my nose, but I will return to those tales in a moment. Today, is David's "Gotcha Day". For those of you that do not know, David was also adopted. Although, David grew up always knowing that he was adopted, "Gotcha Day" was a day that was never really celebrated in his family. As David was raised, we also want to bring up Madeline to always know that she was adopted . We, however, find that many adoptive parents, in my opinion, over emphasize their child's adoption and Russian heritage to a point that the adoption is what defines the child rather than the the child creating their own definition of who they are, with the adoption being added as a footnote.

Yet, the question is, how does one *always* know that that they are adopted? It is not like we wake up every morning saying "Good Morning, sweet adopted child". Madeline is our daughter...period! In fact, I sometimes have to remind myself how we came to be as a family as I barely remember it any other way. So, we decided Madeline's "Gotcha Day" will be celebrated each year to mark the anniversary of when we became a family. Likewise, we thought it would be good to also celebrate David's "Gotcha Day". So tonight, the three of us went out to dinner to celebrate Papa's Gotcha Day. And, yes, if you are wondering, Madeline *does* know that Mama does not have a Gotcha Day.

This morning, I asked Madeline if she remembered what Mama and Papa gave her for her Gotcha Day. She said, "Yes, Mulan movie". I asked her, "Do you know what today is?" After Madeline thinking that it was her birthday, I explained that today was Papa's Gotcha Day. I quizzed Madeline, "What should we buy Papa for his Gotcha Day?" After coming up with ideas such as another Mulan movie, shoes and nail polish, Mama decided to buy some funky lights for the pool that David has been eyeing. However, in Madeline's eyes, the best part of Papa's Gotcha Day celebration was the fact that we were able to go to Dairy Queen after dinner.
As for Mama-Dirtyfoot, what have I been up to the past few days??? I am STILL trying to put this house together. It really is quite pathetic and sad! I wanted to buy some curtains for the family room. Yesterday, I had a shopping spree and bought like 4 or 5 kinds of curtains for the family room. I figured that it would be easier to try them at home and then return what I didn't like. Last night I tried them out and NOT ONE of the sets of curtains worked! It turns out I have no perception of color. Everything I bought was in the brown family when in actuality, it needed to be in the green family. So, today I returned all that I bought yesterday and went on a hunt for curtains that were specifically in the green family. I bought 3 sets today and wouldn't you know it, 1 of these sets was STILL in the brown family! Then, I bought an area rug for the family room that needed to be in the brown family and it ended up looking green!......AHHHHHHhhhhhh! I am ready to give up!!

This afternoon I decided to put all this decorating stuff aside and play handyman. I tried to hang a door rack on the inside of the linen closet......couldn't do it myself. I moved on to hang a hook for robes on the bathroom wall just outside the shower....couldn't do it myself. Finally, I tried to finish a project I started on Monday that involved switching around closet organizers between bedrooms. I began hanging a clothing rod. As I was checking to see if the rod was level, the entire rod fell on the bridge of my nose. All I have to say is that I am lucky that I didn't break my nose. But all this frustration was enough to spin me into a meltdown! Needless to say, I am looking forward to the weekend when David is home and can help out with all that manly work!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Busy Weekend

Verrrrryyyyy busy weekend! It was a good mix of work and fun yet nevertheless, still busy! The fun began Friday afternoon with David's work Summer picnic. Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures from the picnic. I can say, however, that Madeline was having a blast! And for Mama and Papa, the picnic was much easier for us this year than it was last year. Madeline was well occupied playing with the other kids at the picnic. David and I didn't have to chase her around this year. We only had to make sure that she was in eye's view.

Although I hoped to accomplish more work than we did, David said my goals are unrealistic. But I must admit, we did still accomplish a lot around the house while still taking occasional breaks for play. The picture above is David taking time out to play with Madeline and her cars (yes, she likes those too) In the particular picture above, the two of them where picking out which car should be Elston's (the kitty). Saturday evening, I went out with a bunch of people from grade school. There were about 20 of us and as the evening progressed, we ended up moving to a karaoke bar. Although I am not in this particular picture, I also got up there and sang my heart out.....not a pretty sound!

Sunday morning came tooooooo early! Madeline has been getting up much earlier than she used to in the old house. I think I need to get some room darkening shades, especially since there are two windows in her new room! After breakfast and church, we spend the rest of the day working away - although we did take a little time to shoot some hoops (see photo).

So what did we accomplish? Aside from my pool/hot tub maintenance (vacuuming pool, adjusting chemicals, etc), David spent a decent amount of time cleaning up the glass from our shattered patio table, we (for the most part) finished getting our kitchen put away, David assembled a huge storage cabinet to use as a pantry (that is one thing I miss from the old house!). Also, David organized the stuff in the garage however we will need a shed to get the rest of the stuff (such as lawn mower & snow blower) out. Below are two pictures of the kitchen/family room area. Although we are making progress it is amazing how much we still have to do!

Standing just inside family room looking into the kitchen. The doorway straight ahead goes into the dining room. To the right of the table is the entrance to the sun room.

In the photo below, I am standing in the doorway to/from the dining room. Here you can see into the family room. You can see our fireplace straight ahead however, I can't decide if I should keep the bookcases (still empty at this time) on either side of the fireplace.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Erie County Fair

Whhhhaawww! Although one of my favorite events of the summer runs for 11 days, it has come and gone.....and I didn't make it there! I recall hearing that the Erie County Fair is one of the country's largest county fairs. I do believe that as you can spend an entire day at the fair and still not see everything there is to see. With all that we have going on, it's no wonder why we couldn't make it to the Fair this year. But......whhhhhawww! So sad!

Friday, August 21, 2009


Good news/Bad news today. Where to start?? Well, I guess I'll go in chronological order of yesterday's events.

First, I've been stressed out about the how to's of properly up keeping and maintaining out pool and hot tub. I got very minimal advise from a local pool store and was pretty much winging it with the limited guidance I received. I kept testing the chlorine and Ph levels and tinkered with throwing in various chemicals yet I had no idea if I was making a mess or not. Plus, how often should I vacuum the pool? Rinse hot tub filters? Back wash the pool filter....what's that?!?!? What is the difference between Ph Rise and Soda Ash? What the heck am I doing?? I decided to head over to a *different* pool supply store. They were WONDERFUL!! This new store gave me 2 little bottles to collect water from the pool and hot tub. I could bring in the samples and they tested everything. So I did that and found that the chemical levels were pretty much right on. So, when I thought I had no idea what I was doing, I was actually doing a decent job. The pool place then gave me a little tutorial on what to do going forward to maintain. AND....I can bring back water samples as often as I want to retest. Yep, I will definitely go there from now on!

As for the bad news, a huge storm rolled through the area last night and knocked out power for a few hours. It grabbed hold of our patio set umbrella and shot it across the yard. I am pretty sure that umbrella launching is what also caused our patio set table to shatter into a million pieces.....Whhhhaaaaawwwww!!!! Boooo Hoooo!! But, I mustn't complain as this bad news is actually good news because I realize that the damage could've been a lot worse. The power outage could have caused our sump pump to flood our basement filled with boxes of our stuff waited to be unpacked.....but it did not. The launched umbrella was thrown in the direction of our sun room and it could have been launched into the glass of the sun room or our neighbors sunroom....but it did not. So, although the shattered table is disappointing, I will accept it with a shrug of the shoulders and only a few swear words.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Oh What A Beautiful Morning

Ahhhhh....what a great way to start the day! I know, I should take this time while Madeline is still sleeping to be productive unpacking.....but the Sun Room was calling my name! (Excuse the miscellaneous stuff on the floor that is still waiting to find a place) The temperatures dropped a little so David and I decided to turn the air off last night. This morning, I made myself some coffee and headed out to the Sun Room with the morning paper. The cool breeze flowed through all the screens as I listened to the birds chirping and the cicada bugs buzzing. When the cable company was here the other day, I had them add cable in the sun room too so David and I were able to watch the evening news out there. Maybe I'll indulge in a morning show now while I sip on some more coffee. Have I told you that I love my new house?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Spaghetti And Meatball

Don't have much new to report here in the "Gettin' Settled" stage. I can, however, proudly say that I did find my silverware so dinner has been more enjoyable. Yet, despite the fact that my goal for today was to clear and find a place for all the miscellaneous junk on my kitchen counters, I did not accomplish that. Instead I tinkered with the pool and hot tub and decided that I will never be able to figure out how to correctly balance the chemical levels in either. When in doubt, add more chlorine, right?

Madeline and I also ran around running some errands today too. Since Madeline has been zipping around the pool on her orange noodle, I decided that I needed more noodles before they disappeared for the summer. Aside from Madeline using the noodles, David and I wanted some too. So, after buying 4 more noodles, Madeline and I hopped in the pool with David joining us when he came home from work. Madeline and I ended up having a blast surrounding ourselves with our 5 noodles. As we jumped around we pretended that we were spaghetti. Madeline thought it was pretty funny when I told her she was the meatball. We had fun despite the fact that we weren't productive. counter progress!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

One Room Down (sort of)

I finally have one room completely set up without boxes.....and Madeline is the lucky recipient of that. I thought I would send along pictures of her room. Keep in mind that all I did here is unpack stuff. I still need to paint (which probably wont be until winter), add some curtains (the shades were left by the prior owner), and also add some artwork to pull the whole thing together. However, I will not be able to get all this pulled together until we settle in the house a little more. But here is a peek at Maddie's room - Phase I

The first photo is a peek into Madeline's room from the hallway (don't mind the blue bed rail flopped down at the side of the bed)

This photo is me standing just outside her room. You can see the little hallway area outside her room opens up to the family room below.

One of two sets of windows. You can see the hallway. To the right is where the hall opens to the family room and to the left is a bathroom.

You can see the other set of windows and ooooooohhhhh how desperately we need paint, curtains and pictures.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Miscellaneous Update

This afternoon the doorbell rang and two neighborhood boys stopped by because they heard we had a kid. So Madeline got to play with the boys for a little bit. Sighhh.....this is only the first time that boys will come calling for Madeline.

Madeline is doing great in the pool! She is progressing nicely with her skills although she is by no means officially swimming yet. Madeline is still figuring out the rules of the house. They aren't any different than the rules of our old house but she is testing to make sure the boundaries are still there.

Today, despite trying to make sure that Madeline was somewhat occupied throughout the day, I was able to be semi-productive. What I really need is to have some family around town so that I could drop Madeline off for the day and make some serious unpacking progress. At the speed I am going now I might rid us of all the boxes come Christmas time.

We are officially hooked up with phone, cable and Internet.....yippee!! FYI, my sister Marysia was the first incoming call to the new number.

Also, the prior owner had an electric dryer so we had to get things converted over to gas. That was taken care of today. I am now able to get the laundry started The mountain of laundry that grew during the moving process will also probably start to diminish around Christmas time too!

One additional expense associated in having a pool & hot tub is the cost of laundering the towels.....holy crap! No exaggeration - we have three full loads of towels! Wait....speaking of the hot tub.........I am going to hop in now!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Welcome To The Neighborhood

We are starting to wonder if the neighborhood is happy about our arrival....the wildlife neighborhood, that is. Last night, David and I took a midnight dip in the pool. The mosquitoes are brutal and I ended up with a mosquito bite on my cheek and now it looks as though I have a huge zit. Also, this evening, David hopped out of the pool to start the grill up for dinner and ended up getting stung by a bee. David's foot was throbbing away and I needed to help him get the stinger out despite the fact that I have no idea where the tweezers are. Now that we had the "welcoming committee", we are motivated to further unearth ourselves from the boxes.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Smoking Break???

No, none of us are smokers here but it was smokin' hot (and humid) here today. southern friends and relatives would pretty much laugh at today's "smokin hot" upper 80's. Yet, since we have had a crappy summer so far, this warmth does feel hot. Thankfully, we do have central air at this house too so, although I hate closing out the fresh air, I can't deal with humidity. After tinkering around the house a good part of the morning we took some time to enjoy our yard. I am sooo not ready to share pictures of the inside of the house yet as we are still buried in boxes. However, the picture above is Madeline sitting in our backyard. The steps she is on exit from our 3-season room. You can't see the hot tub but it is located just behind our patio dining set. Also, to the left of where I took the picture (out of view) is Madeline's swing set and our pool. The pool is a little rough as you can tell it is on the older side but it serves its purpose. And, at 4ft deep and a 22ft diameter it is a perfect size pool for the three of us.

David also put together Madeline's swing set. This picture is my view as I peeked out of the 3-season room. I love the mature trees in our yard! We can hear cardinals chirping all day. And here is the craziest thing.... although we used to live in a fairly rural setting and now we live in a city we actually have more "wildlife". Aside from the cardinals and various other birds, we get squirrels and bunnies in our yard and can actually hear the crickets and cicada bugs. Its amazing that we had none of that at our old place! We still have so much to do here but are enjoying every second of it!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Full Of Joy and Exhaustion!

We are here! I am waaaayyyyyy too tired too post much. Moving Day was a nightmare!! Our movers were great but we simply weren't as prepared as we should've been. We didn't end up getting out 100% from the old house until almost 10pm. All I know is that we will have the World's LARGEST garage sale because I came to the realization that we have WAY TOO MUCH CRAP!!! We are pretty much buried in boxes now. We will eventually get unearthed but for the time being, it is a bit overwhelming.

I know that I will end up getting grief from my brother, Marty, for posting a cell phone picture (Deal with it, bro!) but I didn't have energy to try to unearth my camera. I will eventually include more photos but unless you want to look at pictures of boxes, there is not much to see at this point. I did, however, include Madeline and David sitting down for our first sit down meal at the house. We still aren't completely unpacked (noticed the plastic solo cups used as wine glasses) and that is why I didn't actually cook (got a rotisserie chicken and sides from Wegmans), but regardless, after a few days of meals on the go the sit down meal (although it was home cooked) was quite nice. In the photo above you can see a peek into our sun room behind our table. The three of us did take a break from the madness and had some family time in our pool. Yes, this video (below....and sorry it's sideways) was also taken with my cell but despite the crappy quality, I am sure you can see that the three of us were having some great family time together.

I am thinking of heading to bed soon as we have another full day of work ahead of us tomorrow. I will post more when I am not half asleep.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

WARNING! Falling Off The Face Of The Planet

FYI!! Today is Moving Day. I will try to gain Internet access throughout this transition however it may not be possible for the next couple of days. So, although it may seem as though Mama-Dirtyfoot has fallen off the face of the planet, we are simply in our mid-moving transition. We will be out of our old house today and will be sleeping at the new house this evening. Our Internet should be reconnected at the new house on Monday 8/17 but if it is possible to hop on the Internet before that, I will. For those of you that know me, I may be reached on my cell phone over the next few days. Our new home phone will also be hooked up on Monday 8/17. Additionally, I will be sending out new address cards too so that you know where to come visit us.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

What a nice sign on our momentous day. I stopped out to run a few errands before stopping by the new house this evening. While out and about, I spotted this rainbow. What a nice sign :-)
However, I am a bit overwhelmed! After tonight's walk through of the vacant new house it became evident that the entire place will need some fresh paint and carpet cleaning. Yet, since we are moving in tomorrow, it looks as though we will have to do all this gradually. Lots to do! Lots to do....but very exciting!


IT'S OFFICIAL! WE HAVE A NEW HOUSE! We are having a party and YOU are invited! You live out of town?? That's okay!!! You haven't seen me in 20+ years but are my friend on Facebook?? That's okay!! You never met me but only follow my blog?? That's okay!!! Why is this all okay? I decided to celebrate by having a virtual housewarming party! What is the scoop on the party? You will have officially attended my party just by leaving a quick comment below. Just a quick "Congrats!" will do. OR....if you are a party animal, you can tell me in the comment section that you stopped by, drank all our beer, couldn't find the lampshades because they were still in boxes and left. And the best housewarming present would be a comment from regular visitors to the blog that have never commented before. Go ahead....introduce yourself! Even if we have never met, simply say hi. The only thing I ask: if the party starts to get too crazy, please don't trash our house!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ooohhhhhh Sooooooo Close!

Tomorrow is the closing date for our house.....can you believe that we still don't know what time?!?!?! Regardless, I think we are *all* now ready to move on. Although our moving day isn't until Wednesday, we will be able to get into the new house later in the day tomorrow. Despite the fact that we will be having movers come for all our stuff the following day, I asked David if there was anything that we might want to bring over to the new house the first night. We considered loading up all of our house plants and placing them in the 3 season room until they find their new spot. We considered moving some odd shaped fragile items on our own. But after only a little bit of consideration, we decided to cart over our swim suits and a few towels to test the waters of the new house - literally and figuratively. And the best part is that, next week it looks like summer will finally make an appearance.....not a bad way to start out!

Last Supper

This weekend was a flurry of packing activity. We are getting close to the big day! Yesterday, I packed up all the clothes in my closet. While doing so, I came across this sweater (see picture). I know my sisters will be able to identify it immediately. When we were little, my mom wore this around the house *all the time*. Actually, if I am not mistaken, she also knitted it herself. Despite it being quite humid yesterday, I had to try on the sweater for a little bit. And how pathetic am I.....if I really sniffed good, I could still catch the scent of my mom deep down in the threads of the sweater. I look forward to wearing it this winter while sitting in front of the new fireplace (yeah!)

We also had our Last Supper here. Today I plan to pack up our dishes as we spend the next couple of days eating off of paper. This should be easy as we are planning to go out for dinner tonight after visiting the new house today for our final inspection before the closing. Anyway, last night we popped open a bottle of "Bear & Lion" Old Vine Zinfandel. In addition to the fact that the wine was rated a 94, I liked the name of the wine as I told David that it helped us to toast 2 of the 3 other kitties we had while here. Kitten and Jhombie were "David's girls" before Madeline and I came around. We nicknamed Jhombie "Bear" because she was just like a big black teddy bear and well....if you knew Kitten, you knew that she was a feisty kitty and thus the "Lion" would be a fitting remembrance of her. For dinner David grilled out filet steaks and topped them with crumbled blue cheese (yum!). We also had baked potatoes and broccoli with my crumbs....the only way David will eat broccoli. After dinner we shared some Sticky Toffee Pudding........and then the lights went out. Other than the obvious concern about keeping the water bailed from the sump pump (note to self: by a battery back-up for the new house) David (being a native of the Midwest) was somewhat freaked out about the weather. As for me, I didn't grow up having to worry about tornadoes so I do not have it ingrained in me to be concerned about the weather. Me, sure I worried about water in the basement, but other than that I loved the storm.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Paralyzing Mess

The last minute packing seems never ending! This place is such a mess and the messier it gets I just feel paralyzed by the clutter around me....not good! The more artwork and personal things we pack up the sadder this house looks. David told me that he is not saddened by the move at all....which I just don't understand. David told me that he is only looking ahead to the new house. In our conversation, I told David that of course I am excited about the new house and all that it has to offer yet, I am a nostalgic person and am sad about leaving this house behind too.

After dinner, David and I sat at our kitchen table and reminisced about all the things that we shared while in this house. We laughed about some of the silly things we did, shook our head in amazement in some of the amazing things we were able to accomplish in or lives while here and discussed some things we would miss and some we would not about our current neighborhood. Through this conversation, I guess I came to grips with *why* I find sadness in this transition and it is this.... Life goes by so quickly. Days, weeks, months and years fly by with out one having a true realization of how much time has actually passed. However, this move has made me realize how this house has been my home for the majority of my adult life. This house has been our home throughout our entire marriage and our entire parenthood. When we look back and reminisce at our time spent here it is evident how long this house sheltered us - in more ways than one. It was our sanctuary. Looking at the life we shared here makes you realize how much time has passed by and how quickly that has happened. Saying goodbye to this house is also closing a chapter on part of our life. We have made a good life here and it is sad to let go. Although I know that our new house will soon become our new home. Eventually our new home will offer the same memories and the same sanctity. But in the meantime, I am tying to breathe in every last second of the time we share here.

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Sign or Coincidence?

Disclosure...."non-believers" of this type of thing may very well think I am nuts however, I do feel that I have been "visited" in my dreams by loved ones. For those of you that know me well I have had some great symbolic dreams to tell about and one, in particular, that was an amazing experience to say the least (Click here for the full story of that particular dream). So, for whatever reason, I feel that I get my "messages" through to me when I am sleeping.

Last night as I tried to fall asleep I talked to my mom in my head a little bit. Because I am missing my mom during all this moving hoopla, I said, "Mom, come visit me in a dream tonight. Let me know that you you see what's going on in my life right now and that you are with me". Well, unfortunately there was no dream to report of however, I find the following interesting.

Today, I made a comment on Facebook that our moving date is going to be on August 12th. My aunt commented on my status to inform me that this date was my paternal grandparents wedding anniversary. I responded that I thought this was pretty neat and that I take comfort in this type of thing. I also informed her that David and I left for Russia (to bring Madeline home) on my parents' wedding anniversary date. Later in the afternoon, I made phone calls to discontinue service on our utilities. I took care of our phone service. Initially I was disappointed that we wouldn't be able to carry over our same phone number. Yet, all of a sudden it hit me that the last four numbers of our new phone number are the same as my mother's (and Madeline's) birthday. Suddenly, all was well. Do I believe in numerology? No, not exactly. Sign or coincidence....who knows. All I know is that I found comfort in this "coincidence". Let's just call it a kiss from Heaven.

Hoppa Bunny, Peeeze!

Thought I would share this video... As we enjoy the last few days in our house, Madeline had some silly papa/daughter time. You might be amazed at the level of rough housing Madeline is getting but from her giggles on the video, you can tell that she is having a blast as Papa rockets her through the air. Madeline is pretending to hop like a bunny and asks David to continue the stunt by begging, "Hoppa Bunny, Peeeze!" How darn cute!!!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

One Step Closer....

Things are finally starting to fall into place. Today we signed all the paperwork to sell our house. Long story, but the sale of our house won't be official until Monday. We, however, cannot close on the new house until Tuesday. So, for a couple of days, we will actually be renting our current house from its new owner.....That will be bizarre! Anyway, in order to not be distracted while conducting today's business, David and I got a babysitter so David and I could meet at the attorney's office. And since we had a sitter (which we hardly ever do) David and I stopped out for a beer before going home. It was a beautiful sunny day here and we enjoyed a toast to our new beginnings out on the bar's patio (see photo). Also, before going home, we (being as anxious as we are) drove past the new house. We also made a neat discovery-that there is a small Russian deli in our new neighborhood.

The last minute packing is coming along slowly but surely. I took a good majority of our artwork off the walls today and packed it up. The lack of our own personal touches in this house our quite depressing. As our moving date approaches we will be quite busy. Monday night we will complete the final inspection of the new house. On Tuesday, we close on the new house and become homeowners once again. Finally, Wednesday is our moving day. I am looking forward to getting settled AND, oh yeah......the hot tub!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Seasonal Shopping

One positive about when we are moving is that I am able to purchase many items for our 3-season room, patio.....etc, on sale through end of season clearance sales. Yes, I am doing a ton of shopping these days, but let me tell ya I am SOOOoooooooo saving money! But despite the shopping highs I am feeling from the deals the seasonal items that greet me in the stores bring me back to reality. The reality that summer's clock is tick, tick, ticking away..... This photo made me CRAZED!!! Halloween?!?!?!?!?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!?!?!??! It's August!!! Well, let the stores do these wacky is stuff like that that puts summer items on clearance in the first place. So....go ahead....if clearance items are my benefit, go ahead...put up your Christmas decorations!

Will Miss Many Things

It looks like things are squared away for the moving date. It has been a MAJOR pain in the a$$ to get this set up. To make a very long story short, the people selling the house we are moving into pretty much......ohhhhh, to put it nicely, are being difficult. Despite having a contract date of August 7th, the sellers didn't even set up to have their movers move them until the 11th. And unless we are willing to walk away from the deal, there is nothing that can be done about their ridiculous thought process. So, as a result, our movers needed to be rescheduled, the delivery of our new fridge needs to be rescheduled and we still do not have a babysitter for the day of the move! Crazy thing is....David has the wacky idea that we won't need a babysitter (to occupy Madeline) on moving day. Yet, he has to leave for (1) a speaking engagement and (2) a ground breaking ceremony. I sometimes wonder if my dear, sweet hubby has any idea what I do at home???? Anyone want to babysit on Wednesday?!?!?!?

Despite being soooooo ready to get this move done, I will miss so many things. I can already get teary-eyed thinking about our last walk-thru of our current home. I can already imagine the feeling of closing the door and locking in the ghosts of our family and all the life and love we poured into this house. How pathetic am I???? I am crying as I type this......oh, brother! I am looking forward to moving into more of a "neighborhood setting" yet I will miss being able to look out our front window and see open fields. I will miss the migratory geese that frequent our neighborhood as a result of our proximity to the Niagara River and open fields. I will miss our baby birdies that grow bigger every day (there are actually FOUR!) and who's mama and papa nest with us every year. I know my mom would be thrilled about my new home but I will miss being able to picture the times that she and I shared together in this home.....from day one, she was here helping me unpack and lining my cupboards with shelving paper. Moving is a stressful experience. Aside from the hassles of packing, moving, closing dates, etc. Moving is also about saying good-bye. Yes, moving is also new beginnings however one home must be said good-bye to before another can be made.

Monday, August 3, 2009

New Tenants

The barn swallows are back and the eggs have finally hatched. Mama bird is going back and forth all day between hunting for food and feeding the baby birdies. It is unfortunate that the birdies are on our front porch, right near our entrance door, but we are having so much fun bird watching. Madeline and I were mesmerized by their habits this morning as we can secretly watch them from the stairwell just inside our main entrance. This has also provided a great learning experience for Madeline as she can tel you (with disgust) that birds eat bugs. She also knows that mama bird chews up the food and spits it into the baby birdies' mouths. I explained the mama bird's feeding process to be like if I chewed up some pancakes and spit them in Madeline's mouth. Madeline thought that sounded pretty neat.....ugh! The picture above (although hard to see ) is mama bird coming in to feed her babies. The photo below was my attempt to photograph the inside of the next while mama and papa bird were away. It looks as though we have 3 birds in our front porch "nursery"

Ariel Overload

How many times can one draw Ariel??? In addition to the numerous Ariels I drew at Grandpa's birthday party and on the long car rid home, I was requested numerous times to draw Ariel (from the Little Mermaid) today. I was asked to draw Ariel as a mermaid, Ariel in her wedding dress, Prince Eric, Madeline in her wedding dress (which I refused), Madeline in her bathing suit, Flounder and Sebastian. And when we ran out of space on the Magna Doodle, the drawings were cleared and the requests began again.....sigh!

Moving the Moving Day

Grrrrrrrr......what a pain in the butt! It now looks at though we won't be closing on the new house until next week. We should have an exact closing date scheduled some time today but at present it looks as though our closing date will now be August 10th.

Why the change? When we wen to schedule the date we were told that the sellers of our new house will be out of town on Thurs. August 7th. Honestly, I think that is bogus because they knew we've been talking this date for weeks since the supposed cut-off date on the contract is the 7th. What I think is going on is that they can't get into their temporary (until they move down south) apartment until Monday the 10th......or they wanted the weekend to move. So now, I need to find another babysitter, reschedule the movers and reschedule the delivery of our new refrigerator. Mama-Dirtyfoot is not happy!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

"Scenic Route" Home

Before hitting the road for our 500 mile journey home, we met up with David's brother Ed's family for breakfast. Mom & Pop also met us out. Unfortunately, we weren't able to meet up with Carolyn and Dan as they had to head out of town the night before for Dan's family reunion. Anyway, this morning's breakfast was a nice additional get together before the two brothers and their families headed home in opposite directions.

500 miles is a long stretch with a 3 yr old. At least on the way to Michigan City, I was able to break up our trip by visiting a friend however, today we attempted to drive straight through. In the PM days (Pre-Madeline Days) David and I could make the drive in 7 hours if we really pushed ourselves. Today, our journey took 9 hours. Part of the major problem was there was construction and thus a detour near Detroit. The detour signs were terrible and our GPS kept trying to take us back on a different Interstate that would've taken us way out of the way. Since we ended up in downtown Detroit, David and I decided to try to cross into Canada via the tunnel instead of the bridge that we normally travel. I do have to say that David has a great sense of direction and he can normally find his way around anywhere....except today. Amazingly our GPS (which also is normally right on) was absolutely useless in giving us help. There was one sign for the tunnel which we followed but then no additional signs were provided. We finally, from our limited knowledge of the skyline of Detroit and the general lay of the land, were able to get our butts over to the tunnel and into Canada to finish the second half of our trip home.

How did Madeline occupy herself during all of this? She had a white board and markers and was busily drawing away. After numerous requests for Mama's drawings of Ariel, Flounder and Sebastian (from The Little Mermaid), Madeline was quite quiet in the backseat. I turned around to see that Madeline applied "make-up" all over herself. Madeline did not stop at her face! She also accessorized with "bracelets" and "ankle bracelets". All I have to say is that I am glad to be home!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

SURPRISE! - Happy 75th Birthday!

The birthday surprise was pulled off without a glitch! However, before the celebration the three of us had to occupy ourselves until the party began. Although we considered heading to the beach again today, thoughts of that were washed away with the rain that arrived. Instead, we headed to the hotel pool. Madeline truly is becoming quite the little fish (see video at bottom - terrible quality as was taken with my phone, but you can see how she completely goes underwater!)

As far as the birthday festivities, David's dad was completely surprised. He thought he was just heading to dinner with David's mom but when he arrived, the entire family (us traveling from NY and brother Ed's family traveling from Wisconsin....Carolyn & Dan live in town) was at the restaurant. Madeline greeted Grandpa with a Happy Birthday balloon. It was a very nice get-together thanks to David's sister Carolyn who coordinated all the small details of the event. Aside from decorations, great favors, and the cake (which she had all of us sign with icing before Dad arrived) Carolyn even went to the trouble of getting a box of gag props so that we could take a "walk on the wild side" with a silly picture. After the family completely overtook a section of the restaurant, (ooooppppsss, sorry co-diners) we headed back to David's parents house to visit some more. A good time was had by all! Happy Birthday, Pop.