Monday, March 31, 2008

The Decorating Saga Continues

When I came home from Chicago with the kids yesterday, I learned that Bret had gone out and bought an audio pier with a cabinet to put the cable box and DVD Recorder on. We had been looking into getting one, but couldn't decide on which one we wanted. Well, he tried to surprise me by getting one while I was gone.
I'm not sure what I think of it. It's a bit darker, redder and taller than I would have picked out myself. On one hand, I'm glad it's done, but on the other hand I'm not sure if I like how it looks. It's probably too late to take it back now that it's all put together anyway. I'm going to have to stare at it some more. Feel free to join me.

Spring Break Is OVER

One out the door, one more to go! Yippee!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Weekly Winners - March 30

Hosted by Sarcastic Mom aka Lotus

Today is our last day up here in Chicago. We'll be heading back home after lunch since the kids have school tomorrow. (That will be me you see dancing in the street as the bus drives away.)
Sleeping in until 9:30am was a beautiful luxury this morning. Once we were up, it was time to find something to do, though.
The kids and I at my mom's.

Ashley and Ryan playing with my mom's dog.

For lunch we went to the one and only place there is to go to in Chicago - White Castles, of course. It's probably a good thing we don't have them in Peoria - I don't think my stomach could handle it.

Someone made us stop at Subway first.

The one and only.

After lunch, we went Miniature Golfing. Ryan was adamant that he didn't want to go and that he didn't like to play golf, but he ended up having the most fun out of any of us.

A Ryan sized house.

A castle for a Princess.

Poor Homer. We found him this way, face down in the water. He must have forgotten to pay his tab.

He can get away with pretty much anything when he's looking this cute.

She shouldn't be allowed to grow up so quickly.

Who said you can't go home? (The street I grew up on.)

Once we were done golfing, it was off to dinner at my Aunt's house. We haven't been home since Christmas and it was so great to visit. You don't realize just how much you miss people until you're sitting around the table having a good time with them.

*My Aunt spent quite a bit of time getting the table nice and pretty for desert and then she dropped the pie as she went to put it in a sturdier dish. Ha!

We brought gifts with us since we had missed my brother's birthday a week or so ago and my mom's birthday is next month.

Luke, my Aunt's Golden Retriever, may just be the sweetest dog ever.

We're off to breakfast now...

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Open Mouth, Insert Foot

After a quick lunch at White Castles this afternoon, we played a round of miniature golf over at Hollywood Park. We pretty much had to drag Ryan out of the house assuring him that he would indeed have fun. Ironically, he had more fun than the rest of us.

This conversation just took place upon returning to my mom's house:

Ryan: Uncle Dave! We're back! I'm awesome at golf!

My Mom: Dave! I had the lowest score.

Dave: You must have cheated.

My Mom: Nope, but I did keep score.

Ha. I don't think she even realized the way that sounded!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Damn Smokers

Three and a half hours later, we're finally here in Chicago at my mom's house. Three and a half hours. Ugh.

The drive here started out fairly normal until 45 minutes or so in when Ashley started feeling car sick. We pulled over to a gas station about twenty miles past Bloomington, IL and got some crackers for Ash and other yummy's for myself and Ryan.

Back on I55 again, I'm talking to my mom on my cell phone and twenty minutes have passed when I see a sign welcoming us to Bloomington, IL. What the...?! Didn't we just come from that direction? Crap! I went the wrong freaking way - and it took me twenty minutes to figure it out.

I get us back on track and am still fuming over my own stupidity. Ashley is still feeling really sick and Ryan is telling me that he has to go potty - after we've already stopped at a gas station. I sigh, put my turn signal on and pull over to the shoulder. I press the button on my fancy overhead console that magically opens the sliding door on the shoulder side of the road. Ryan gets up and stands in the doorway, does his thing and I close the door - all without having to get out of my minivan. Awesome! You've gotta love having little boys!

We're finally back in route and other than the standard every 10 minute, "Are we there yet?" that comes from Ryan, things seem to be going fine. We merge onto I80, excited to almost be there, when the idiot in the lane next to mine, throws his still smoldering cigarette butt out his window and it hits my windshield dead center!

If it hadn't been for all of the above events that lead us to being exactly where we were in that exact time and place, we wouldn't have been accosted by a smoldering cigarette butt. Weird. I am so glad to be a nonsmoker now! 3 months, 3 weeks, 3 days y'all!

So now Ryan and my brother are plastered in front of the TV playing the Lego Star Wars game on PlayStation 3. Little does my 6'7" manly brother know that my daughter is dead serious about him doing her Dance Dance Revolution game with her. She even brought him his very own mat!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins - March 28

1. Some relationships are meant to last forever.

2.Hilary Duff is the last concert I saw; it was the best night of my daughter's life. Okay, I enjoyed it, too.

3. Spring should be a week ago. Come on already!

4. Oh no! I forgot to do laundry all week!

5. I've recently started doing cardio classes at the gym again.

6. The excitement that comes from a child when they are experiencing something they love never fails to make me smile.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to driving up to Chicago to see my family, tomorrow my plans include a yummy breakfast out at The Diner, only the best breakfast place in all of Chicago (all diets are off) and Sunday, I want to be magically transported home so I don't have to be in the car for another 3 hours!

Thursday Thirteen - March 27

Thirteen Things We've Done Over Spring Break

2. Easter

3. Taken a trip to the downtown library.





8. I think I may be in trouble here...





13. My kids are not going to be happy when they go back to school and hear about all of the cool things that the other kids have done. If only the weather would cooperate...

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Zoo Trip

Yesterday afternoon the temperature broke 60 degrees so the kids and I headed over to Glen Oak Zoo for the afternoon. It's not a huge zoo, in fact it's pretty darn small and you can pretty much see everything in under an hour. That should change as they are doing some pretty massive upgrading. (I sure hope it's done in time for the regular season so that we didn't buy a family membership for nothing.) I'm now rethinking our decision to not renew our membership for Wild Life Prairie Park. I think we're probably going to end up doing it since the kids always have even more fun there.
Ryan was really into all the different animals. It was fun to see how excited he got, but nothing prepared us for the pure excitement that came from Chloe. She was all over the place, wanting to see it all.

At the zoo, they have a small building that houses a few aquarium tanks and some other things for kids to do. One of those things is a puppet show, which was Ryan's favorite part of the afternoon.

I have a new Top Ten List for David Letterman, though. It's titled Top Ten Ways To Drive Your Babysitter Insane. Number one? Send your child to the zoo with her in squeaky shoes. LoL. Seriously though, they're cute but I may have to burn them.

I've uploaded pictures from yesterday's trip to the zoo and also from Easter over at Flickr. Click here to see them. The easiest way to view a set over at Flickr is to click on the set and then click on "view as slide show". Enjoy.

One Of Those Days

I was super excited to go to my favorite class at the gym this morning - until I got there and it started. Holy cow! My legs just didn't want to move and I was counting the minutes until the torture was over.

I'm home now, obviously, and am hurting like a .... I'm off to take a quick shower and possibly take the kiddos to the zoo since the temperature has already broken 50 degrees. We'll see, but I need. to. get. out. of. this. house! Maybe I'll have some zoo pics to share later.

For now I'm going to go stand under a hot stream of water until the pain goes away.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


This is a mistake. This is someone else's unfortunate vial of blood that the doctor has analyzed. Look at my child, at the shine of her flyaway curls and the butterfly flight of her smile - this is not the face of someone dying by degrees.

I have only known her for two years. But if you took every memory, every moment, if you stretched them end to end - they'd reach forever.

I think I'll go hug my kids now.

Trim Up Tuesday - Week Two

Well, here I am at week two of this journey and while I'm still at the same weight that I was at last week, I'm not panicking yet because earlier in the week I was down two and a half pounds. I know where I went wrong. It was the Easter ham, yummy corn casserole and that Chocolate Bunny.

I made it to the gym 4 days over the course of the last week and even power walked for 45 minutes on the indoor track while Ashley had Volleyball practice.

My problem is the darn eating. It seems like the more I work out, the hungrier I am. I've even bought a bunch of those 100 calorie snack packs, but like I said - that Chocolate Bunny may be the culprit.

Here are this week's stats:


  • I am the same weight as last week. (Hey, that's better than gaining!)


  • I did 195 minutes of cardio this week
  • I did 45 minutes of brisk activity this week


  • I did meet my last goal
  • My Last Goal Was: To make it to the gym at least 3 times.
  • My new goal is: To eat healthier and snack less.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Weekly Winners - March 23

Hosted by Sarcastic Mom
Happy Easter Everyone! It's been a long and crazy week and I'm looking forward to spending a relaxing day with family and good food today. We're not mentioning the word "diet" today because the Easter Bunny brought me that Chocolate Bunny he promised me.
Monday night was Ashley's band concert. I was so afraid that I wasn't going to be able to see her play due to a mandatory PTO meeting, but all worked out just fine since her grade level played first.

On Friday, the day was warm and sunny at 62 degrees and we were all in great need of getting out of the house. I've been wanting some new books to read, so I took the kids to the big downtown library. Ryan came home with 5 books about castles and Star Wars. He was really excited, but is now saying he doesn't want to ever give them back. Ever.

While the kids and I were downtown, Bret ran some of his own errands - one of which was getting more food for both the dog and bird. Remember what I said about letting him go to the pet store by himself?
Meet Hector of Troy.

Ryan is still obsessed with the TV version of the movie, Troy that is saved on our DVR. Hence the name of our newest pet. I have to admit he is cute. And when he fell asleep in Bret's hand this afternoon I almost forgot that hamsters remind me of mice. *Shiver* He's still a baby, so that makes him cute for now.

I tried, unsuccessfully, to get out of coloring Easter Eggs by letting Ashley make Jello Eggs on Friday.

So, of course I had to make a gourmet meal to go with the jello eggs. (Did you think otherwise?)Yummy chicken, covered in butter, garlic salt and Lawry's salt and roasted in the oven...

...and these awesome Bacon Cheddar Ranch Red Potatoes.

Sunday consisted of pure laziness. I redesigned my blog after losing the whole darn template while talking on the phone and not paying attention.

Ryan still dominates at Checkers. I'm too embarassed to say how many times he's beaten me.

Easter egg coloring. I didn't get out of it. I shouldn't complain because I probably only have one more year, maybe two before you know what.

I told you he was addicted to the movie Troy. (Look closely at the egg.)

Ashley did her share, too.

And even helped her brother out with the tattoos.

"Let me show you how I feel about these tattoos!"

They had fun. At least Daisy stuck around to help me clean up the mess.

We woke up this morning, Easter morning to snow flurries. (Only in the midwest.)

Ryan found his basket with no problems this morning.

The Easter Bunny was a little bit sneakier with Ashley's basket. It took her quite awhile.

(She's still looking. Ha.) Ryan finds more of his eggs.

Found it.

Happy Easter, Everyone!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Ashley's Band Concert

For those that couldn't make it our for those that were forgotten to be told when it was....

Friday, March 21, 2008


This is what you get when you're fooling around with your blogger template and talking to your mom on the phone at the same time. You lose all of your damn settings. Ugh.

10:42pm...Stupid, stupid, stupid!

11:26pm... And then you can't get the *bleepin* header at the right size!

11:38pm...Finally the right size, but now it looks blurry. I'm going to scream!

11:50pm...Whatever. I'm going to bed.

March 22, 2008 @ 1:55pm...I think we're all set now. I'm off to go rejoin the world of the living. Maybe I'll start one of the books I picked up from the library or do some laundry - or both.

I Burned My Booty Today

Wow, that got your attention, didn't it now? More on that later...
This morning I left the house before anyone else was out of bed and did the 9am Body Step class with my friend, Teri. It was my fourth time doing the class after a lot of time slacking off. The first time I did the class, I barely got through it. This time? It was a totally different experience. I felt like I actually had some lift while I was doing all the moves. It was such a blast that I'm planning on going back and doing it again tomorrow morning.
Doesn't it look like it'd be a blast? This is one of the tracks we did. (I'm a You Tube addict.)

After the class I found out that I still had 3 tanning sessions left from when I bought a 10 tan package deal two summers ago. Yes, I know how bad it is for you, but I only go a few times in the Spring to get a base tan so I don't fry the first time I'm out in the sun. So I laid in a warm sunny state of bliss for 10 minutes. I'm now fried and my backside is as red as a tomato and I'm starting to itch like crazy.

Friday Fill-Ins - March 21

1. Ryan and Ashley's report cards are so exciting!
2. Strawberry fields and messy, sticky kids are only a few months away.
3. Brownie Triffle sounds like it would taste delicious!
4. Why does a sunny, warm day in a patio chair with a good friend and good conversation make me feel so good?!
5. The breathtaking scenery, famous castles and the laid back cities of Ireland are something I've always wanted to see. Someday.
6. It's sad when your children get their feelings hurt.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to calling my brother and wishing him a Happy Birthday, tomorrow my plans include calling my brother - very early in the morning - and wishing him a Happy Birthday (ha!) and Sunday, I want to watch my kids enjoy Easter morning while I obtain my own sugar buzz with the chocolate bunny that the Easter Bunny is going to bring me!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - March 20

Thirteen Songs You'll Find On My iPod Right Now
(Click on title to hear song.)

1. Pocketfull of Sunshine - Natasha Bedingfield

2. Bleeding Love - Leona Lewis

3. See You Again - Miley Cyrus (Did I just admit that to all of the internet? Quiet. It makes you move when you're on an eliptical machine at the gym!)

4. Start All Over - Miley Cyrus - (See explanation for number 3. When you have a preteen daughter, this stuff is all you hear and it sticks in your head. LoL)

5. Unfaithful - Rhianna

6. Umbrella - Rhianna

7. Oxygen - Colbie Caillat (This whole CD got me through quitting smoking.)

8. The Little Things - Colbie Caillat

9. No Air - Jordan Sparks feat. Chris Brown

10. Freeze - Jordan Sparks

11. Who Knew - Pink

12. She Goes All The Way - Rascal Flatts

13. November Rain - Guns N Roses (Um, only the best song ever recorded.)

You can usually find me listening to whatever is on the radio during any current week. When I hear a song I love, I usually end up listening to the whole entire album until I can't stand it anymore.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

The One And Only
LogoThere are
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

My first name:

  • There are 80,472 people in the U.S. with the first name Lynda.
  • Statistically the 599th most popular first name.
  • More than 99.9 percent of people with the first name Lynda are female.

That last one bothers me a bit. Who in the world would name their son Lynda?

My last name:

  • There are 759 people in the U.S. with the last name W********.
  • Statistically the 34353rd most popular last name.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Trim Up Tuesday - Week One

It's time for me to get serious here. I can no longer use quitting smoking as an excuse for gaining weight. Since quitting, I've gained 15 freaking pounds on top of what I already need to loose. I don't consider myself grossly overweight, but I don't consider myself as being at an average weight. I'm scared though. I've never tried to lose weight as a nonsmoker before so this could prove to be the most difficult thing I've ever done.

I'm going to set small goals for myself that will lead me up to the final result. First up? Losing that 15 pounds that I put on since quitting smoking.

Time logged in to the gym over the past week: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Pounds lost since last Tuesday: 0

Pounds gained since last Tuesday: 0

Total pounds lost: 0

0? *Screams* Are you kidding me? Is this someone's idea of a bad joke? Please tell me that the scale not moving has something to do with building muscle because this is sad. I've sweat my butt off and nearly killed myself at the gym over the past week and have been trying to eat healthier.

Guess this just means I'm going to need to buckle down and get serious. Trial week is over!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Body Attack

That's it! I'm taking a trip to Paris. Body Attack looks way more fun there! Click here if video doesn't work. Thanks for the idea, Em!

So She Says

I met my friend Shawn at the gym again this morning for another grueling workout. This morning's class was the new release of Body Attack. The new release is always hard because it's new, but throw in the fact that you haven't done it in over a month and that equals hell.

The class ends and my face is redder than it's ever been and I can hear my heartbeat pounding in my head. Then Leslie, the instructor who is tiny, very buff and has more energy than the one year old I take care of during the day, leans over and puts her hands on her knees and says out of breath, "Wow, that was the hardest release I've done yet." And you thought I was exagerating. Ha.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Checkers Superstar

He gloats.

But I will get him. Anyone know of some good sites on the web that teach you how to beat a 7 year old at Checkers?
Games played today: 5
Ryan's wins: 5
Mom's wins: 0

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Beaten By The Under 13 Crowd

Well, the egg hunt at the outdoor mall didn't happen today due to the freak snowy Saturday that came after the freak 72 degree Friday. Only in the Midwest!

I did, however do my mommy of the year duty and took my son to a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese this afternoon. I'm thankful to be alive and sane. My new name for Chuck E Cheese is Chuck 'O Nightmare. What parent hating person came up with the idea of that place? The problem with that place is that the kids that need to be supervised, aren't. We did have fun plowing through the tokens with some games of ski ball until I caught the unsupervised hoodlum in the lane next to ours taking Ryan's tickets as they came out. I called her on it and made her give them back to him. Ugh.

I've been trying all afternoon and evening to get my house clean, but Ryan found out that we have a Checkers game and has somehow convinced me to play every 30 minutes, it seems. He's beaten me every single game. I then got suckered into a game of Chess with Ashley, only to once again get taken. How is it possible that a 31 year old can get beaten so badly by 7 & 12 year olds? Then again, when I was a teenager babysitting my younger cousins, they would beat me in the game of Memory every singe time. It is so not fair!

So now I sit here at almost 11pm at night with a house that got cleaned all the way up to the kitchen - the one room that needed it the worst, of course. The kids are finally in bed, but my ego is still pretty bruised. It was nice to spend some fun time with my kids, watching them learn new games and skills, but did they really have to pick it up that quickly? Anyone for a game of Checkers or Chess? I obviously need the practice.

I'm off to finish my last few sips of Bacardi Silver's Mango Mojito. Yum, you must try it. Unfortunately, I can't stomach beer anymore since quitting smoking. The two went hand in hand and beer just tastes awful to me now.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins

After another couple of gorgeous days outside in 70 degree weather, my mind is complete mush, so I'll give this a try.
1. Contact may cause me to become annoyed if you call me one more time. No, I do not want to buy tickets to the Policeman's Ball. Stop. Calling. Me.
2. The parties hereto do mutually agree to line their shoes up by the door, hang their coats up and put their socks in their hampers. Just once?
3. Disney Parks provided us with the best family vacation ever last summer.
4. A Smirnoff Ice sounds really good right about now.
5. I positively love early Spring-like weather.
6. Babies always make me smile.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to getting a good night's sleep, tomorrow my plans include an Easter Egg hunt at the new outdoor mall, shopping for birthday presents, a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese and cleaning my house, and Sunday I want to have a nice relaxing day at my sister in law's house celebrating my mother in law's birthday.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spring Preview

As soon as the kids got home from school today, we headed outdoors to enjoy the warmer weather. While it reached 56 degrees today, it was still a little on the cold side.
Ryan and his friend that comes over after school played a game of baseball.
Both of them impressed me with how well they were hitting each other's pitches.
Both Ryan and his friend are moving up to machine pitch baseball this year, so this is very promising to see.

Ryan slams one out of the backyard.

Running to second base.

This kid is ready to learn how to slide!

Quick "cheese" for mom.

Chloe was happy to get outside for awhile, too.

She is determined to graduate to the big girl swing.

After Ryan's friend got picked, Ryan and I took Chloe and the dog for a walk.

Camera oops.

I tried to get a picture of Ryan and Chloe walking, but the dog had other ideas. Every time Ryan would get ahead of Chloe, she would run with her arms out, trying to catch up with him, yelling "Eye-an!"

After dinner Ryan really wanted to see if any of his friends were out playing so we went for another (much longer) walk. No one was outside and now the sore muscles are really kicking in. I may have overdone it today, but I really needed that second walk after taking a second helping of spaghetti tonight.

Is it bedtime yet? It's all hitting me now.