SPF - Holiday Weekend!

First of all let me say that I am so glad we have a long weekend ahead so I can hit the beach and relax. It's been a bad week. Only some of you will understand why I say this, but I am looking forward to having a couple of big stiff cocktails, guiltfree. I don't feel tired or sick or fat anymore. I can go back to cutting calories and hopefully shrink a pants size or two. (I know, alcohol has calories, but I don't care) At least for a little while.

Now onto Shaun's SPF.

1. Something with a story behind it

The story behind this picture started last Friday when the rain began falling. The rain didn't stop for five days and what resulted were the pictures from my previous post. Since the flooding started we have watched the weather radar every afternoon, looking for more storms. Last night we started to see a few flashes of lightning and ran to check the radar. We could see a severe storm heading right for us. I got the idea to try to capture some lightning strikes with Norton the Nikon and my tripod out on my back deck. The wind was blowing wildly which is probably why this picture was a little blurry. I left the shutter open for 30 seconds a shot and kept shooting over and over, hoping to catch something before the torrential rain started. I snagged this one and finally had to bail after my whole tripod almost blew over.

2. Something Random and Odd

More flooding in my neighborhood. Why is there a toilet in this guy's front yard?

3. Something borrowed

I was reminded this week that our children are not ours to keep forever, they are only borrowed from God for as long or as short as He sees fit. Some we may get to raise for 18 or so years, others only a few short weeks.


And The Floods Came Up

I know I described my lovely neighborhood of Mont Clare, PA in a post many moons ago. My house is a couple blocks away from the Schuylkill River and Schuylkill Canal, which runs along side the river through my village. My regular running route, before my knees made me quit, was along the road that runs between the canal and the river. This morning that road no longer exists.

Click here for the before picture.

I knew something was up when I left my house this morning to head to a location less than a mile away, and I found that the bridge into Phoenixville was closed. I tried to go two alternate routes and after crawling through traffic I found that both of those roads were closed as well. After an hour of driving not more than two miles in a big circle I went home in defeat. I put Nathan in the stroller and walked down to see the problem. Here's why the bridge in my neighborhood was out.

The usually very busy road was empty of cars but full of all the people in my neighborhood, milling about and chatting with one another. Some were speculating how much higher the river would rise, while others were trying to figure out where to evacuate to. For several homes it was already too late. A favorite resturant of ours was already under water.

The mighty rushing river carrying tons of large debris was a sight to see this morning. My heart broke for my neighbors whose homes are or will be under water.


Healthy boy

Healthy boy
Originally uploaded by Mainline Mom.
As of my last post on Friday morning the boy was still not doing any better. His ears were killing him and we spent yet another day crying and dozing on my lap while watching too many videos. I called the doctor Friday afternoon and they told me to bring him in at 8am the next morning. That doctor said while she hadn't seen his ears earlier in the week, they looked pretty horribly infected still. So she prescribed a different antibiotic. We ran straight to the Target pharmacy to get the magic potion, and within a few hours he was a different kid. No more pain, just the occasional waking up at night in hunger because he still isn't eating solid food. I will be so happy when I get to sleep through the night again.


Stuff Portrait Friday - TGIF!

This week has sucked pretty bad because the kiddo came down with a raging double ear infection on Tuesday night. He cried and kept me up literally ALL night Tuesday night, and has been crying in pain with a high fever almost all the time since then. All I can do is give him Motrin and hold him and watch tons and tons of Baby Einstein. He finally slept pretty well last night, woke up starving at 4:30am this morning and after some milk and more Motrin when back to sleep and is still sleeping now at 8:30am. Yay! Hopefully the fever has finally broken and he will be happy today. I feel so bad for him.

My very kind husband did take over for an hour last night so I could escape to yoga. That was really nice.

For SPF this week Kristine has assigned us to show:
1. Your drinking glasses
2. Your address book/stationary
3. Something new

My not so new craving, cranberry juice.

I love this stationary (I blanked out my last name). I've had a supply of it since my wedding 8 years ago.

I know I've posted this picture before, but these are my new glasses. Nathan broke my old ones. I love them, but I still hate wearing them. It's hard to tell but they are grape colored frames.

Happy Friday y'all!


Tuesday Thoughts

Nathan's second day of school was pretty much the same as his first. Only I was much less nervous this time.

I'm very excited because today starts four weeks of the yoga-nazi being on vacation so Mark will be teaching my class Tuesdays AND Thursdays. You know I won't miss one class. I like Jen, really I do, but Mark is so much more fun. Oh and by the way, I've almost mastered Crow pose thanks to a variation HE taught me. So happy about this.

Since Mike was sick all weekend we kind of breezed by Father's Day without much hullabaloo. I would just like to take this opportunity to tell my husband what an awesome father and husband he is.

Mike, you rock, dude. You have more patience with Nathan than you think you do. I love when you take time to build towers with him or give piggy back rides or just wrestle. Thank you for doing your share of diapers and dinners and baths and storytimes. Nathan adores you, and so do I. Thanks for letting me out with the girls once in awhile, and for not yelling at me for buying yet another pair of shoes. I love that you have jumped aboard the fitness wagon with me this year and you are looking very buff! And I love that you sing Bob Dylan or the Penn State fight song to Nathan every night. I am so glad that you are so fiscally responsible that I know I will never have to worry about money. And I'm happy that you believe in a good work/family balance. Oh yeah, and thanks for marrying me eight years ago and helping get me through the tough times. AND thanks for letting me buy the BAMF, Norton the Nikon. I love how you yell at the TV in the morning when I'm watching the Today show and James Carville says something stupid. It's so cute. And I'm glad you've been revealing more of yourself to me (and the world) on your blog. Well anyway, I love you.


1st Day of School

Jungle gym
Originally uploaded by Mainline Mom.
I am happy to report that Nathan had a wonderful first day at his new school. I got a full report about how he stopped crying and started playing as soon as I left. His teacher says he is the most well-behaved kid in her class, and she would trade him for all the other "hellions" anyday. She says he listens and follows directions perfectly. He apparently loved circle time and singing songs, and ate more of his lunch than he usually eats at home. Way to make a mommy pround, kiddo!!

Weekend Word Challenge

Today is Nathan's first day at his new daycare center, the Goddard School. I swear it was just as nervewracking for me as the first day of school for an older kid. I love the place, but it means a change of routine and environment for both of us. I got everything ready last night, got up bright and early and fed Nathan a nutricious breakfast (our former HDL always fed him at her house) and had him to the school by 7:30. Dropped off all his stuff and wandered into the room full of kids that are all around his age, but half his size. He was pretty standoffish, but spotted some balls and picked them up. When I bent down to give him a hug goodbye, he immediately dropped the balls and started whining. I waved bye-bye and started to walk away and the full-out crying began. His teacher was smart and picked him up into her arms right away so I could walk out. The poor girl is about six months pregnant and Nathan must be 10 lbs more than all his classmates. I waved through the window and watched his worried face, but he wasn't crying. I know he'll be fine and have a great time, but it's tough to see him thrown into a strange place without me.

Moving on, this weekend's fun photography assignment from Oddmix was in honor of Father's Day, discipline and comfort. I thought about showing some of my exercise and comfort foods, but of course Nathan was the obvious choice. Discipline in our house is a time-out in the pack-n-play, which is very effective.

And comfort is either a bottle and a soft lap, or in this case, Daddy wiping a runny little nose. Between Nathan and my sick husband, we went through multiple boxes of tissues this weekend.


SPF Laziness

This week for Stuff Portrait Friday I didn't bother leaving the comfort of my office/living room to snap my pics. Not too much thought put into it. It's been a pretty decent week here, but I am happy for the weekend. No plans either, none whatsoever! Anyway Kristine's assignments:
1. Your puzzle
2. Your best
3. Something old

My puzzle is trying to keep all my fish alive in our new fishtank. So far we are down three Neons in just a few days.

My something old is this sideboard in my dining room. My husband and my dad spent considerable effort dragging it up from my great-grandparents' basement in Boston several years ago. It was ugly and warped and VERY old. My parents had it refinished and now it is beautiful!

My best picture of my son this week. Well maybe not my best, but my favorite.


I've been tagged...

My very cool bleeding heart liberal friend Running42K tagged me today. I like the premise, so I will play.

I know – God.
I believe – that the Bible is 100% true, accurate, and literally God's word.
I fought – to prove my innocence against my former company.
I am angered – that murdering unborn babies is legal.
I love – my whole family.
I need – nothing?
I take – time for myself away from Nathan.
I hear – the baseball game on TV in the other room.
I drink – Diet Grape soda, cranberry juice, and water.
I hate – racism.
I use – Tide Free laundry detergent.
I want – a healthy baby girl.
I decided – to wait till I was married.
I like – taking pictures with Norton the Nikon.
I am - smart.
I feel – naseaous.
I left – my old company to start a new one.
I do – too much blogging?
I hope – my kids grow up to be well-adjusted adults.
I dream – about ex-boyfriends a lot.
I drive – way too fast.
I listen – to the Michael Smerconish radio talk show every morning.
I type – very fast.
I think – my blog is not funny or creative enough.
I need - to stop being obsessed with my self-image.
I wish – I had a piano.
I compensate – for my laziness with spurts of hard work.
I regret – some past relationships I've had.
I care – about the environment.
I should – go to bed earlier.
I am not always - truthful.
I said – I would be a fulltime SAHM. I'm not.
I wonder – what my sister has named her baby girl.
I changed – into my pjs as soon as I got home from dinner.
I cry – pretty much only in front of my husband.
I am - very outgoing and talkative.
I am not – afraid of public speaking.
I lose – my patience with Nathan frequently.
I leave – my yoga mat in my car.

I think that's all of 'em. Just off the top of my head stuff. Don't think I'm gonna tag anyone though. Y'all can copy and fill it out if ya like, I would love to read your answers.

WBW - Nakedness

Despite her blog community discussion on pedophiles and naked baby pictures, TKW has requested that we dig out our own naked baby bath photos for this week's Way Back Wednesday! I know I'm posting pretty late today but better late than never.

There's me, circa 1976. I had that huge ugly birthmark on my head for awhile but it went away. Maybe it's still there but just under the surface and that's what is giving me this awful headache I have today. Maybe it's also the reason I did so well on my SATs. The birthmark...the source of my neurosis.

In actuality I believe my headache is from doing too much of this at yoga last night:

Seriously, I spent much too much time on my head last night, with Jen pushing against me to try to get me to do a headstand right. When she suggested I attempt a forearm-stand against the wall I accidentally fell onto my head. I laughed and Mark laughed very hard AT me, for which I scolded him, but I do have a big bruise on top of my head today. I can feel it.

My head isn't the only problem. I feel like complete ass. I'm exhausted to the point of lying on the floor while Nathan dances around me. I feel either hungry or on the verge of puking or both...all the time. And my right knee is pretty much consistantly popping in and out of the joint whenever I...move...anywhere. This is just lovely.


Guess Who?

It's hard to miss a 7' 2" tall black dude amidst a sea of bluehaired people (senior citizens) leaving an early Sunday church service. Mike and I walked out the doors of the sanctuary into the large lobby and we almost ran right into him. I wondered if he might be a basketball player for a minute, and then Mike heard him say something and leaned over to whisper excitedly, "That's Dikembe Mutombo!" I said "really? are you sure?" and looked again. It sure looked like him. Mike said "I heard his voice. It's very low and gruff sounding, unmistakable." We both pondered what on earth he would be doing at our church. He was dressed in a nice tan suit and was obviously attending the service. As we drove home we speculated about who he played for. I knew he had been traded to Philadelphia a few years ago, but I didn't think he played for them now. Mike thought he was retired. I thought he had come from the Houston Rockets to the 76ers. Mike knew he had gone to Georgetown and swore he had played for the Nuggets.

When I got home I did a little research. He had played for a whole mess of teams, including Philly for only a year or two. He had been traded from the Atlanta Hawks. Now he was playing for Houston. Which didn't explain why he would still be in Philadelphia. Through a litte more research I found out that he does indeed live in "a quiet Philly suburb" with his wife and seven kids, four of whom are adopted. Then it hit me...our church did a big workshop on adoption this past Saturday. Maybe he attended or spoke at it and decided to try out our church on Sunday too. Well I hope I keep seeing him around. From the research I did, he sounds like a pretty cool guy.


Weekend Word Challenge

This week's Weekend Word Challenge from John over at the Odd Mix was Masculine and Feminine. Leave it to him to shake things up with his photos. I'll stick to the right definitions. I'm one of those "play-by-the-rules" types.

Feminine. Only women can give birth. There is a natural order of things that cannot be denied. There are distinctly different physical and pyschological characteristics in men and women that are nature, not nurture. Sure there is some overlap and some abnormalities, gender characteristics fall along a bell curve. But there is no overlap of men that can actually give birth. So I chose the tenderness of an expectant woman. NO, THAT'S NOT ME.

Masculine. My buff husband hauling rocks out of the garden. Since it's a brand new house we are forever removing big rocks from the yard. Could I do this job? Yes. I pump iron too. I could haul the rocks around. But I don't want to, so my man does it for me.

Confessions of a New Mom

Last week as I was driving home from dropping Nathan at daycare, I heard something on the Michael Smerconish radio talk show that caught my attention. He was reading from an article written in Philadelphia Magazine called Confessions of a New Mom. It is an essay about how devestatingly hard having a new baby is and why nobody talks about it. Yeah sure, people tell you it will be hard and you'll be tired but they always couch it with "it passes quickly and it's worth every minute". The books mention that you won't get enough sleep and you may feel frustrated, but that doesn't even begin to describe it. This author spoke exactly what I remember feeling when Nathan was born and nobody else I knew seemed to have experienced or warned me about. For the first time in my life I felt utterly incompentant at something I thought I was born for. I had tried for almost a year to get pregnant and suddenly I was wondering if I'd made a mistake. Even though we had no problems breastfeeding and I put him on a schedule almost immediately, I resented the time I had to nurse him.

Multiple women, including me, called into the radio show to thank the author of the article for writing it and sharing exactly what they had felt. One stupid guy called in and said she was blowing it out of proportion and she must not have had a support system cuz he had kids and his wife was a trooper and it wasn't that bad. Idiot. Let me tell you, I had a huge support system and none of them warned me and they all seemed to conveniently forget what I was feeling after their third and fourth kids. I thought maybe they were all just better at it than me. Maybe none of them had as flourishing careers or were as smart as I was. And no, it wasn't post-partum depression. I knew that and the author of the article knew that. I was dragging my poor baby to depositions for my lawsuit and people were telling me I made it look easy. Believe me, nothing was even remotely easy about it. But months later I got the hang of it and really started to enjoy being a mom. Now I have amnesia about labor and delivery and all the screaming and lack of sleep. Thank God for hormone induced amnesia!



After two weeks away from Stuff Portrait Friday, I finally have a day I can relax and do nothing but look forward to the weekend. Until my boss calls anyway. So today Kristine asked us to be a little creative again, and show

1. Wide Open Space
2. Brightness
3. In the Dark
So this was a little challenging! I thought about showing you the wide open space between my ears these days, but that's a little hard to do. So I could think of no more wide open space than the ocean. Let's make that TWO oceans. Here is the Cape of Good Hope, at the southwesternmost tip of Africa, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Indian Ocean.

As far as brightness goes, I love the brightness on my son's face and in his eyes when he looks up at the sky. I took this picture yesterday while we were watching the planes fly overhead.

In the dark was a tough one. So many cool ways to photograph things in the dark. We had a long power outtage last week on Thursday night while my grandparents were in town. We lit LOTS of candles.


Blogger Sucks

Quick! Post and comment while you can!! I have been trying to post and/or leave comments all day with no success. I finally finished my four big papers and now I'm ready to kick back and enjoy some blogging and Flickring. Check out the awesome little bug I captured today...

Can you see it? I didn't see it until AFTER I took a shot of the whole bush and zoomed in a lot.

Well I have lots to say cuz I haven't said anything since Monday. But it'll have to wait, cuz I'm dead tired. So talk to y'all tomorrow. Peace out.


Triumph and Tragedy

John's Weekend Word Challenge this week was to show the words Triumph and Tragedy. Like my last post said, I've been busy and was not able to put my full concentration on this assignment. But here ya go:

Triumph - Nathan is becoming a pro at building this block towers. He balances them higher than he can even reach them. Then he LOVES to knock them down and start over.

Tragedy - Nathan is headed full steam into the terrible twos and everything is a tragedy to him. Not getting a balloon at the supermarket is currently life's biggest tragedy, which is making food shopping extremely difficult for mommy. Not being allowed to go down the basement or outside whenever he pleases or being forced to watch Nascar instead of Elmo are also causes for tantrums.


Major Freakout

I cannot believe I have missed TWO Stuff Portrait Fridays in a row. I am so sorry Kristine, I will try not to let it happen again. But I have been SO BUSY! After we got back from our Memorial weekend adventure, my grandparents came to visit for a few days. And my house was a wreck so I got busy cleaning. When they are here I basically have to take off work to entertain them, which is bad right now because I still have those four great big papers due this week. My grandparents left Saturday morning and I had to make a special salad for a MOPS picnic, which turned out to be pretty boring because none of my friends showed up. Then Mike decided yesterday would be a good day to set up our fishtank again, and that was almost an all day family project. In fairness I had mentioned I would like to set it up again, but yesterday was not the best choice of days. Because my grandparents kind of left our house a mess again and today Mike's friend is coming to stay with us for business. So more cleaning. Which barely leaves me enough time to procrastinate writing my papers by sitting here writing this blog. After Mike's friend leaves my best friend and her boyfriend are coming to stay for a couple days. Yikes! I hope she doesn't expect to eat at my house because she is vegan and I am really bad at figuring out what to buy for her. Plus I've been to the foodstore about six times in the past four days. Twice with a toddler throwing a tantrum the entire time because I would not buy him another balloon. Oh yeah, and other news is coming soon...if you email me I'll tell ya what it is.


Weekend Recap

I know it's Thursday and the weekend ended Monday, but when you take about 600 pictures there must be considerable time spent editing them. Yes, I spent most of the weekend behind the lens.

Our little family traveled north to visit my inlaws in Williamsport. Mike's whole family shares a nice little campsite on the Susquehanna River where they spend every weekend all summer long. It is fondly known as "the riverlot". They all have nice campers and there is a pavilion with refridgerators and even a flush toilet installed in a big yard shed. Most importantly there is plenty of space for kids and dogs to play.

The shirts say "I do all my own stunts"

Grammy bought Nathan a T-ball set

Swimming and fishing and wet dogs are all part of the riverlot

Drinking and lounging have been known to occur

Many games of cards are played

Nathan loves Heidi

Nathan's legs are too long for this 4-wheeler

Nathan's cousins have big expensive toys

Nathan likes baby Haley, but not when I hold her

He is fascinated by baby Mia's ears

Uncle Doug teaches Nate to throw rocks in the river

His T-ball skills are quickly improving

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