Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Commentary

Christmas Eve Eve we had a small handful of friends over for dinner. It is one of the many highlights of my Christmas Season. I look forward to it all year. And it did not disappoint.

Christmas Eve I got the best surprise of all and he didn’t fit under my tree. My brother came to my house for Christmas Eve dinner. He stayed until late in the night and we all talked and laughed, and Mom cried because her baby was home.

Tradition is a must for me. Christmas Morning is never complete for me without my Cinnamon Rolls. My, crack the can on the counter, pop it open, through them in the pie pan, Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls. Thank you, Hubs for running out and finding them for me.

SuperNanny ain’t got nothing on me. Those that know me know that I am a sucker for sitting with JP each night until he falls asleep. It’s as much for me as it is for him. Ok, probably more me. Hubs doesn’t care for the idea and thinks JP and I should have long ago outgrown this. However, when I opened my annual Willow Tree Figurine to see that Hubs got me this one (which I had never even seen), I teared up. He loves me. He really does love me.

Favorite gift of this Christmas? Well, JP names everything as his favorite. But by the looks of the camp out in his room each night, I’d say the Pop Up Tent he received (a complete “on a whim” gift) takes the cake. In fact, the tent was forgotten in the car until later in the day. He has been in it as much as possible since we gave it to him.

Fans for Trinity

In case you haven't heard about my friends story, please read & consider helping. I'd appreciate it! Spread the word too.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mean People SuCK

Mean People Suck

You can quote me on that.

The kiddos and I went shopping (and beach combing and eating and visiting) at the beach yesterday. Our last stop was to Kmart to see what Christmas items they had on sale and possibly winter boots for JP.

We pulled in and drove parallel to the front doors. It was raining. Not pouring, but not sprinkling. When I entered the crosswalk with the van and noticed a man himming and hawing about to go or not to go in the rain I took a left and went down a closer parking aisle. Figured let him do his deciding and I’d be on my way. That’s really neither here nor there.

I circled around to the next aisle and here was the man and his family of four heading to their car. The spot next to them was empty. We pulled into it while he unloaded his cart. We donned our coats and got out in the rain and rounded the back of the van to head to the store (having to walk behind this family’s car). As we approached, the three of us hand in hand, I yanked JP back as the man backed out not even looking behind him at all. JP is always two steps ahead of us, even holding hands.

As the man backed out he stopped when his window was even with us. I was, at this point, rudely asking him “Really? Really?” He rolled down his window confused. I said “Really? You almost backed into us and you left your cart RIGHT behind my van? Really?”

No doubt, I was ticked. I didn’t curse, I didn’t yell, I didn’t call names. But I was ticked, and he, and my kiddos, knew it.

He turned to his wife and spoke to her in his native language. He turned back to me and spouted “she was supposed to put it away, I had the kids.” He then calmly gets out of his car in the rain and returns the cart to the corral across the aisle.

We continue on our merry way. At the entrance to the store, I looked back one last time. For what? I’m not sure.

The kiddos and I found some deals in the Christmas aisle, no boots, but had fun looking anyway. We exit the store to see it’s now pouring rain and I stop dead in my tracks. Madi follows my gaze and says “Mommy, who DID that?!”

“That” being three shopping carts up against the hatch of my van. Yes, mean people suck. I looked around wondering if the family was off in the corner of the lot somewhere to bask in their gloating somehow. I didn’t see anyone. I got the kiddos to the car and put them in, still slightly looking around. I then, admittedly failing at my own shopping cart kindness, moved all three carts to the empty space next to mine. I was PISSED. I glanced at my bumper and didn’t see any scratches.

I then, as any Tweeter would do, tweeted to my peeps my “displeasure in the situation that had just occurred.” Ok, Ok, so I tweeted out some vulgarity in lieu of screaming at the top of my lungs in the car for my children to hear. Madi asked me why someone could be so mean and hurtful to a stranger. Thankfully, she was still talking about the man, as she didn’t know the language going through my head.

I drove home.

This morning, Hubs sends me this picture of the back of the van while I’m on my way to work in his jeep as he had some errands to run with the van. I never even thought to look again since I had glanced at the bumper in the parking lot. The reason I didn’t notice? It’s higher than the bumper! Right about where, oh, I don’t know, perhaps a shopping cart would hit it!

Thanks to having the nerve to stand up to a stranger about what I thought was not right and not observant, I get my car smashed with three shopping carts. I also had the pleasure of spending time on the phone with the State Police, my local State Farm Agent, the corporate Agent, and the Auto Body Shop. I must add though, that they all were as nice as could be and some even apologetic that this happened.

Miss Mary at my local State Farm Office even calmed me down enough for me to stop crying. The State Trooper was nice enough to tell me that he was proud of me for standing up for my kiddos and myself but “gently scolded” me for not calling the Police to take care of the situation. He assured me, even after I reminded him there are more important crimes and issues to deal with than something as minor as a shopping cart and a driver not looking while backing up, that this too is part of their job to protect citizens. He thinks I should have called when I entered the store. My argument, not to him, but to myself, is that it seemed handled. The man seemed more upset with his wife and happy with that excuse to me that I thought that was the entire situation. That was it. Over.

So the Mommy van goes to the Salon on Friday for an estimate and then back sometime in the next couple of weeks for a makeover. We’ll see where the Trooper’s investigation leads us.

In the meantime, he filed this as a Criminal Mischief complaint and said it was definitely malicious. Although he completely validated me, it was not as comforting to hear it aloud.  

PS. Always look, twice, when backing up.

PPS. Be the kind of person that returns the damn shopping cart.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Poor Pluto

Pluto has been part of our family for over two years now. He’s been shopping with us. To Cape Cod with us. And just recently survived our family vacation to Disney World: amusement rides, dinners, bus trips, monorails, boat rides, tours, plane rides (including the #pukeonaplane incident) and more.
So, we get home and a week or so later, this.

Poor Pluto. Daisy decided that since Mommy was sleeping in and the kiddos were playing downstairs not paying attention to her she would play with Poor Pluto. Poor Pluto sacrificed his ear and his tail in the process.

When JP discovered Poor Pluto, we had tears. And then Mommy calmed him down. And then more tears. And some more tears. And even an offer to give Daisy away. And them Mommy calmed down.

JP then decided Mommy would get a new Pluto at WalMart and all would be right with the world. Although I was surprised it was just that easy for JP to get a new one, I was reluctant to give up on Poor Pluto in case we couldn’t find another one. But why wouldn’t we be able to, right? I mean, WalMart has everything.

Ignoring said reluctance, JP gave Poor Pluto to Daisy and told her she could have that one. “Ummmm? JP, that’s probably not such a good idea.”

After realizing Poor Pluto had been dropped into the shower with Sissy, I decided we’d put Poor Pluto away so Daisy didn’t have her way with him even more.

In addition to Sunday lunch break with Daddy, Karate, and a wonderful holiday Party an hour north, we managed to hit two WalMart Stores and a phone call to a third in search of Pluto. No luck (unless you want to consider Sissy encouraging JP to move on to Tigger or Pooh, or a teddy as luck. No, thank you, Babe. Let’s focus).

We encountered more tears. (Just JP’s, I swear).

On our gallivant home from the Holiday Party, I finally pitched the idea of Mommy fixing Poor Pluto’s boo-boos. I am not a seamstress by any stretch. I don’t even care to do buttons (that’s why I call on my Mommy). So this was a desperate measure on my part. I pictured all that Poor Pluto has been through and figured if blankies can make it through so much all these years in all these families, so can Poor Pluto.

In the dark, in JP’s room while sitting with him that night, Poor Pluto became whole again. I promised JP that if he went to sleep just this one night without Poor Pluto in this arms that he would awake with him right by his side in the morning. Mommy would fix him, give him a bath, and return him to his rightful spot.

And I kept my promise. Through needle stuck fingers and all.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Photo Card

Sparkling Snowflakes Christmas
Quick and easy: Christmas photo cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Boobs & Balls

Men in my life, here's the deal. You don't have to reply or acknowledge me. But you do have to make me a promise.

My Montana pal, Clint Miller passed away last night after a painful fight with Testicular Cancer. He was 40. FOR-TY!

Your task at hand (yes, it's a pun, smile) is to give your "ahems" a self check. Do it for yourself, your loved ones, your life. Just do it.

If I can self check, you can self check. Boobs or Balls, just check them!

Peace Be With You, My Friend

Cancer is a terrible thief. 
Clint Aaron Miller 03.08.1971 - 12.11.2011
~~ Angela Miller

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Inaugural Flight

Barring a few small setbacks including a severe cough and runny nose on JP and bad cough from Madi, we have arrived safe & sound in the most magical place on earth. Walt Disney World!

Oh, and did I mention JP and the #pukeonaplane? Ugh.

The kiddos earned their wings today with not one flight, but two, with a short layover in chilly, rainy Michigan. We rode on a moving sidewalk, an escalator, an elevator, a shuttle, a tram, two planes, a bus, a golf cart, and one of us, a stroller. Phew. We're exhausted.

We're all in bed early ready to hit the Magic Kingdom in the morning.

See you then!

Disney Surprise Unveiling

My plan went off without a hitch. Well, almost. It did take the kiddos a few more hints than I thought it would to get the big surprise. Once they did, Madi didn't seem to believe us. She kept asking "Really?" after everything we tried to tell her.

We've got it on video and we have a cute collage of surprise shots we made at JCP Portraits. The girls did a really good job and loved being in on the surprise.

I think it still hasn't quite sunk in for either kiddo. I'm hoping when we arrive at Cinderella' s Castle they'll be surprised even more.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I Am Exhausted

I need this vacation. In less than two days we’ll be on our way to the airport hotel and then on our way to Disney the next morning. I can’t wait.

I’ve waited and waited for this surprise for my kiddos and am ready to blow their minds. We are all set for 4 o’clock on Monday for our big Disney Surprise Reveal. I don’t think I could be any more prepared. Well, then again.

After the reveal we will head to the airport and spend the night there so we don’t have to get up so early the next morning. That’s if we sleep any way. Which I seriously doubt.

I need a nap just thinking about that actually. Seriously, I just yawned.

I have been on a whirlwind of to do lists for over a month now and am honestly ready for this to be over. Not the trip, just the preparation for it. It’s tiring.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Wanted: Babysitter

Wanted: reliable, dependable babysitter to cover Saturday afternoon gap of Mom & Dad's overlapping work schedule.

Must be able to:

Think on your feet;
Cook frozen pizza on a cookie sheet, not a plastic cutting board;
React fearlessly when JP hands you a baby snake in the yard;
Pass a drug test when trying to get a job we know about;
Answer a text respectfully when asked your availability;
Recommend a backup sitter without altamatums and stipulations;
Leave the BF or GF at home when sitting for the kiddos;
Be flexible when not needed occasionally;
Handle one puppy and one dog with care and positive discipline;
Respect silly rules in place for kiddos;
Play with the kiddos with no TV.

Apply within. Anytime.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Heaven's Welcome Party

My thoughts of late are always drifting to the Millers. I'm really not sure how they do it. I'm trying to understand. Understand facing death head on and preparing for it rather than denying it or putting it off.

It takes strength to do so. I, for one, don't have that strength.

I believe in Heaven.  I truly believe our loved ones are "up there" somewhere watching over us, Praying for us, keeping us safe (as safe as God allows them).

So, in that belief, I've been daydreaming of all of those loved ones that Clint will soon meet in Heaven. I picture them preparing for his arrival with a huge celebration followed by receiving his Angel Wings  and then Angel Training (and I'm pretty sure he can skip ahead a few grades in that).

I think the Welcome Party will last quite a long time. I've already decided there is a huge following of just my loved ones alone waiting for him. Besides that, I picture the 900+ people Praying for him on his Prayer Board that have a welcome committee ready at the helm too.

Here's just a few of mine.

Pat- My Mother In Law was not around long enough to ever meet our children. For that, I am always saddened. As a small comfort, JP's "P" is in her memory.

Herbie- My Father In Law, gone too soon also, but to be with his wife forever. He's Gone Fishing.

My Nickerson Grandparents- I never respected enough their place in my lives. I was an awful grandchild to them and regret it every day.

Laura Beth Moyer- mourning her school suicide prevented me from trying again.

Grampie- Gone when I was in 8th grade and one of my first memories of a Funeral.

Julia- my name sake, my biological Grandmother gone when my Dad was much too young. Someday, I will sit in Heaven picking her brain for hours (or however we measure time in Heaven).

My child not meant to be.

Madi's GodMom's Dad, the most recent arrival to Heaven. Gone just last night, too quickly.

I hold onto the hope that these loved ones are ready to hold Clint's hand when it's time and guide him Home.

I read just last night "Love the people God gave you because He will need them back one day."

I believe it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Signs by The Heart

Meet Carolyn Phinney, local owner of Signs by Tomorrow, Dover, DE. Trust me, you'll need this link by the time I'm through with you. That's her in the picture with her wrapped SUV.

Carolyn and I met in September of 2007 through the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Central Delaware class. We were Room Mates in Rehoboth for the kick off retreat for the class. Poor Carolyn had endure rooming with me during my puking pregnancy with JP. I warned her ahead of time via telephone just to give her a fair shot at a good weekend. She was a trooper. 

Carolyn and I have remained friends since and have seen each other here and there over the past 4 years and always seem to pick up where we left off. As Facebook Friends we follow along in each other's lives and comment back and forth to keep in touch. 

A couple of years ago Carolyn put her Leadership Skills to the test in taking on a new adventure as a small business owner. So far, she has rocked it. She is out in the community making a difference.

Here's the proof, and brings me to my point. This morning, while catching up on my Facebook and Twitter timelines, here's what caught my eye. 
On the road today I saw a woman in the parking lot of a vet's office bawling...I drove past, went to the florist down the road, got her flowers (thanks Cook & Smith Florists for donating when I was going to pay), drove back, walked right up to her and told her that I saw her while I was driving and knew she needed something to let her know that life was going to be OK. I handed her the flowers, told her she was loved and I'd pray for her over the loss of her cat, gave her a hug and left. I don't know her but she is human, like all of us, and is heartbroken so I hope that my one act of kindness may help heal her a little more quickly.
I'll let that sink in for a moment. Read it again.  

Not only did this business owner take a moment to perform this act of kindness but she inspired a second small business to jump on board, in a matter of what was probably 5 minutes. Two local businesses, Signs by Tomorrow and Cook & Smith Florists, putting aside business and being Humans. Human beings with a heart, with a care, with a hope that they would make a small difference in this neighbor's day. 

I often joke about our Small Town Delaware and the 2 degrees of separation we have. I've lived here 36 years (which is amazing considering I'm 29) and yet stories of "who knows who" amaze me every day.  I'm waiting to see how cool this one plays out. Perhaps these community friends will find out that this sad neighbor that lost her beloved cat is the sister of the brother of the friend of a friend that has a kid that plays on Carolyn's son's Football Team. Who knows? Or, that the sad cat owner was a nurse at the local hospital that went on to make the day of a patient by taking a moment to sit and talk with them in their room. Who knows? 

Or, one day down the road these two local businesses will have a Patron walk through their door and say that they chose their business based on the act of kindness they showed one random day in November, when they made a difference in more than one woman's day.

Carolyn, I am so inspired by you.


Thursday, November 10, 2011


I’ve finally decided on our #DisneySurprise reveal. It hit me out of the blue on the way to work yesterday morning and I put it into motion the very same evening.

I stopped by JCPenney Portraits while Madi was at CCD last night. I pitched my idea to the photographer and she LOVED it. She was so tickled that I was so into making this such a surprise for my kiddos. I jokingly reminded her how I’m the “Prop Mom” when it comes to getting their pictures done. She chuckled and said she loves parents that get into the spirit of photos.

Anywho, the night before our flight we have Holiday Family Photos scheduled for 4pm. We’ll take the kiddos in (whether Hubs and I are getting in the pic has yet to be decided) for their Christmas pictures. I’m thinking Mickey & Minnie Pajamas for casual photos. Either that or a nice outfit for both.

JP is not a fan of getting his picture taken. Mommy is pretty much banking on that for the #DisneySurprise Reveal. After a couple of photos and himming and hawing Mommy will pull out her bag of props and start taking things out one at a time to add to the picture. Hubs and I will begin tossing (nicely) the items at the kiddos to confuse them a little. In the bag I’ll include a toy airplane, a bag of snacks, Mickey & Minnie Tees, and each of their stuffed animals they like to sleep with (JP more so than Madi, but you get the idea).

As we’re pulling things out of the bag the JCP photographer has agreed to continue shooting pics here and there to capture the moment. They are also thrilled with the idea of us bringing our own video camera.

I’m hoping by the end of the bag Madi, Miss Smarty Pants that she is, pieces it all together. I’m also hoping for some really loud screaming and jumping and the most surprised little kiddos I’ve ever seen. I am ecstatic for them already and we still have a little under three weeks to go.

Now, if only Mommy can keep her mouth shut until then…?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Update On Our Friend

Hi all.

Trinity is doing well. She is resting comfortably in the ICU. Her Hubs is now sleeping by her side. I'm letting them sleep as long as they can.

Trinity was wheeled back for surgery at 7:30 and by 12 we were being moved to the ICU waiting room while they got her settled into her room. She asked for her Hubs right away so the nurse came and got him and took Mom back, too. The nurse then stopped Hubs and reminded him that Trinity wanted her Chapstick. That made us all smile.

The surgery went well. But, as quoted from her Mom "They had to do an indirect bypass because her temporal arteries were too small to do the direct. She had an indirect temporal muscle flap. This could take months to tell if it worked." Basically, what they intended to do, they couldn't because her arteries were too skinny. She had worried about this as the doctor had told her that's the one place you don't want to be skinny.

The good news is that they had a Plan B. The bad is that it's not an immediate, quick solution. It's a slower solution that will take time to work.

Since I started writing I have been able to see her.

I just got back from sitting with her. She's concerned that her friends know she's ok. She is in a lot of pain but they are trying their best to manage it.

Please continue your Prayers for her. I told her I would ask you all to Pray for the pain to be more manageable.

And Then He Hit Me with A Ton of Bricks, And I Am Honored

A few months back, T had a question for me. It was a doozy.

We talked a little about it and then, who knows, either one of the kiddos interrupted, or one of us got distracted, or, I don't know, life sidetracked us.

Then last month we went on our little road trip to Pittsburgh for her Gram's Funeral. And we skirted around the question a little again. Very little.

Sitting in the waiting room during and after her Moyamoya Brain Surgery today, there was no denying the question and the subsequent answer. Not that there was EVER a question about my answer.

T's Hubs introduced me to a friend as T's Sister from another Mister

and, as of signed paperwork a week ago, the guardian of his children if anything should ever happen to the two of them.

This Is Choppy, Sorry About That

Being in places such as these give you such an appreciation of so many things.

Health, obviously being at the top of the list. But so many other things, too.

Family. I am grateful for the Family I have, the Family I am shaping and of the Friends' Families that I have grown to be a part.

Education. Not necessarily mine. But that of the doctors and nurses and health professionals for the job they live and breathe every day.

Selflessness. I've passed several patient rooms with no visitors. I'm hoping their visitors are just out to lunch or gone home to shower. I'm hoping.

There are more, but I'll treasure them quietly.

I'm finding myself reminded of how lucky I am. How lucky my family is. And I am grateful.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Didn't You See That Back There?!

A funny thing happened today. I re-introduced my kiddos to Auto Bingo. I think the first time we played JP was probably too small.

This time, the kiddo got it. And by "got it" I mean obsessed with it.

He wouldn't mark anything off that Sissy said she saw. He says "Sissy, iF I doN't see iT, I not maRk iT oFF!"

He wouldn't mark anything off that wasn't on his side of the car. (I'm not admitting to how many times I turned around to make it his side of the car.)

He wouldn't mark anything off that wasn't EXACTLY like the picture showed it.

And, every time I turned even remotely close to looking like we were headed home, he got upset. "We not go home!" He insisted that we could not go home until we found everything on his card. that included a Silo, a haystack, a motel (nobody tell him that motel is next to the titty bar, k?), a bus, a post office, A NO LEFT TURN SIGN! I mean, really!? A no left turn sign!?

Oh, and the kicker of them all: a public phone! Yeah, right! What!?