Friday, June 26, 2009


We are off tomorrow afternoon as soon as our town celebration and parade end for the day. Have happy and safe 4th's and we will see you in a week and a half!

BIG stuff happening in July!

My county's Relay For Life is set to break 1 MILLION DOLLARS this year. In case you are not aware, I live in a very small town - in a very small county of less than 14,000 people. So this milestone is huge for us. I am the Chair this year again, so I am rather stoked to have it on my watch! I am even more excited to have my Pally coming down to spend time with me and help me cheer on the 1 MILLION!!! I hope she is ready for a long all nighter! It will be so much fun!

MckBrunch is the Sunday before Relay and I am so excited! If you don't read me often, you may not know about my friend Jennifer from mycharmingkids and her miracle baby Stellan. Well in a few weeks a BUNCH and I mean BUNCH of us are converging on a restaurant in our State and having a what I can imagine to be amazing morning and afternoon sans kids and husbands - you will hear the buzz of chatter from wherever you are!

Our counties Fair is also in July, so every weekend is packed full!

We will "see" you soon, in the meantime, be safe, enjoy the holiday and PARTAY like rockstars!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

This week in pictures

Its almost vacation time! I get so excited for this time of year, and usually come back and plaster thousands of pictures of our adventures. So to prepare you for the onslaught, here are a few of our pre-vacation antics...

I had an awesome video on my BlackBerry of my son and our cat Toby - the cat with anger management problems, but apparently I need to learn how to use my phone, as I saved it as a photo and not a video. I will share the blur and you can imagine the rest from there...

Toby has for some reason had a love hate relationship with Jadon for as long as he has ruled our roost with his evil black twin Ruvy. Toby will sit on the edge of the sofa and howl at Jadon as he walks by while swiping at him. It gets to be a fun game for the whole family. Had the video saved you would have seen Toby go all puss-tal on Jadon and shriek every time Jadon walked by.

First, as Jadon and I were cruising home from dinner on Sunday, he was jamming in the back seat and says to me "Mom, my finger is dancing now too. It has ears and can hear the music".

What per say were the "ears"? They were his finger nail which split down the middle and peeled on both directions. You can't tell it here, but it was his middle finger, and the "ears" were sticking out. It was cute, and funny, and disturbing all at the same time.

Last but not least, the remnants of the storm that hit fast, hard and eventually kicked out a funnel in a town not so far away on Tuesday afternoon.

Mantha and I were at the Golf Course meeting with the rest of my tournament committee when it went from sunny to black, green, freaky. This was as the storm was leaving - the back end of a wall cloud.

We need to get through our towns celebration before we leave, so I am wishing those days away... I know it will come soon enough, I just hope the weather is nicer next week!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The many faces of fathers

Today I received a phone call from someone that I never expected to hear from on Fathers Day. That phone call changed my mood, made me happy, made me proud, made me cry. That phone call made up for so many days when I wondered if he really did care. Today I found out how much.
But I will get back to him in a moment.

First I want to wish a Happy Fathers Day to the two most important men in my life:

The man that gave me life:

He may have chosen to go on a 6 week vacation to Alaska over having Brunch with his stunning daughter, but that doesn't change how much I love the man! Happy Fathers Day Dad!

The man that breaths life into me every day:

There may be some days when he acts more like our 6 year old than like a father to our 6 year old, but I still love him! Happy Fathers Day hon-e!

I want to wish a Happy Fathers Day to two men who brought me so much happiness and joy, but are no longer here with us:

The man that made my mothers last years her happiest:

Bruce was my step father for 12 years. He came into my mothers life at a time when she needed someone to love her for who she was, not for what she had been. Bruce did that. He took away the sadness that had surrounded her for many years, and brought smiles and laughter and joy and excitement. He made her last years her best years. Even though they married when I was 24, there was never a doubt in my mind that he would be a father to me.

The only man I ever got to call "grandpa":

Grandpa Lawrence swept me off my feet the first time he met me. Literally. I dont know who he thought I was the first time he saw me, but I will never forget that incredibly strong bear hug I received in place of a hand shake the night Jim took me to their campsite the first night I met him. Those hugs never ended. He called me his girlfriend, and he my boyfriend. He was the only man that I ever had the honor of calling "grandpa" and I will never forget him.

Now back to the phone call today.

I sent texts to all the men in my life, whether friends husbands, or family members, to wish them a Happy Fathers Day. One I had to send to my aunt because my uncle does not have his own cell phone.

Several hours later, while driving home from getting Mantha, my cell rang. When I answered it was Larry's voice on the other end of the line thanking me for my message. Then thanked me for alllowing him to be a father.
There was no thanks needed, not from him.

I was pregant my senior year of highschool. I was confused, in denial and hid the pregnancy from everyone - my parents, boyfriend, friends, everyone - until I was 7 months pregnant. Somehow my mother figured it out, even though I was spending the summer 1500 miles away. She had conversations with her sister who could not have children about the prospect of them adopting my baby.

When I came home from my summer away, I sat down with my aunt and uncle. I will never forget the tear and fear filled conversation. I remember their fears. It was not as easy as saying the word "yes". It was much more complicated than that. Even after they took custody of Alex, there was fear. Fear that I would spend too much time with her, that I was too close, and want her back.

I have wondered for years, now that their baby was grown, how he felt about me. I knew how my aunt felt. She tells me all the time. I know how Alex feels, I can see it and hear it in her voice when she spends time with Mantha and Jadon.

But until today, I did not know how Larry felt.

I may have given them something they couldn't have, but they gave me so much more. They gave me peace. Peace that my child would know love in a solid happy home. She has travelled the world, and never wanted for anything. She is getting a top notch college education, and is studying abroad. She is kind, and loving, and has morals that are not often seen in kids her age. That did not come from me. That came from them - her parents.

So today, as I wished Larry a Happy Fathers Day, I thanked him back. I thanked him for trusting me. I thanked him for allowing him to be the father my child needed and deserved.

Its been 21 years in the making, but on this Fathers Day, we finally know how much the other means.

I hope all the fathers in my life know how much they mean to me.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

He had a heart

That was bad. So 6 years ago, he got a new one. From a Donor. An anonymous person whose life had ended. A family who was willing to carry out the wishes of a loved one. A decision I cannot imagine was made lightly. A decision I cannot imagine would ever carry regret. For in one loss came anothers salvation.

I do not know this man, the recipient of one of the greatest gifts one can give. I have never met his daughter Hallie, but I know her. In the sense that all of us in this blogging world know each other.

This is Hallie's dad...

Today, I am sharing Hallie's fathers story through her letter because Hallie is raising awareness and is hosting a fundraiser for her father - and its Fathers Day this week, and my dad took a 6 week vacation to Alaska over brunch with his spectacular and stunning daughter (that would be me in case you got lost in translation), so I will spend time helping Hallie's dad!

This is Hallie...

She loves Prada. She would love Prada to be donated, but because she loves Prada so much, she knows full well that the Prada that was donated would get lost in the mail and would never make it onto the list of items for which to be raffled, therefore, I will NOT be donating Prada!

I will however send these two pieces of jewelry I made. That she chose. That may get "lost in the mail" but at least won't cause me the need to explain to my husband why I donated something that cost him three arms and two legs that met its unfortunate demise in the USPS solar system (aka Hallie's Prada shrine).

So please visit Hallie's Blog because she is hil-hairy-ass! Then visit Hallie's Dad's Fundraiser, and see what you can do to help her Dad enjoy even more Father's Day's and get yourself signed up to win something amazing (just don't expect Prada, I already told you, it got lost in the mail!)

Thanks in advance from Hallie and her Dad for taking the time to check our her fundraiser, and for that Prada bag that I just know you want to send to her!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

wisconsin wildlife vs the baums

I tell ya, if it weren't so dang funny I would probably think there was someone behind the antics of the first 15 rural miles of our trip to Wisconsin.

First, out of thin air, a doe trots across the interstate - not in front of anyone else - but in front of the baum-mobile.

Not 5 miles later we all turn to look at the buffalo on the prairie to our right (picture Lori holding a box of crackers - not the type that opens at the top with a nice safety bag, but rather a box of Archer Farms crackers that has a large open tray... got that picture in your mind? good...)


A pheasant hits our windshield DEAD CENTER, and yes, I mean dead. Like dead. As in now on someone elses tires.

Remember that box of crackers?

ALL OVER the car.

Cuz Lori gets a little jumpy and she literally tossed her cookies crackers. Everywhere. As in EVERYWHERE.

The defrost when turned on shot up cracker crumbs.

When I do something I make sure I do it right the first time...


Mr. Squeaky of the Squeak family - you know the one, that cute little field mouse family that lives right over there? Yeah, well we are not the only ones attending a funeral tomorrow morning. Because Mr Notsqueakyanymore is now part of the pavement on that same interstate.

I wish I could have recorded Jim's exact words, facial expression and tone when he made the statement "I dont like Wisconsin any more". It made me laugh so hard I almost pee'd my pants. Which honestly would have gone unnoticed in the tornado that became the interior of my car!

My pally Kim D of the Kim Writes Kim D's thinks we have something against nature and the hunters of this western land. She also thought however that when I said the "wildlife around these parts was trying to kill us" meant the U of W students... I heard they were wild, but didn't think they were viloent. I guess we will double lock our doors tonight.

Oh dreary rain, please go away!

It has rained EVERY DAY since Thursday. Not that I am complaining - ok, yes I am...

We need the water, but its has been this heavy mist that persists and ruins your hair and makes you want to sleep all day. We got a tease - literally - 10 minutes of sun yesterday. Then promptly we went back to drear.

My mood is already south, so I need the sun to boost it back up again.

Pally, we may have a little one in tow Friday - I know you are ok with it - but wanted to warn you that he will probably be our date at lunch and a flick on Friday!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Spread your wings sweet girl and fly

I have started and stopped writing this post all day today. It is a hard post to write because it is so unjust.

Eternity is someplace far away. It is not supposed to be in the today, not in the now. Lately however, eternity, that peaceful place for most, seems to come sooner than it should.

Dear sweet Lauren Marcella passed away just after 4 this morning. She was not yet 3 years old.

On Thursday night Lauren spiked a fever of 107.5 (and as her parents said on her Caring Bridge site, this was not a typo - 107.5!) during a grand mal seizure that lasted over an hour and 45 minutes. It took many meds to find the right one to calm her tiny body. On Sunday she was starting to wake up and things were looking positive. Sunday afternoon it changed. Horribly. They airlifted Lauren from Wisconsin hospital to Children's in St. Paul (the same one my son was at two years ago) and a short twelve hours later she was gone.

Lauren was a miracle. She started her life struggling. She was born with a severe cord wrap that caused Cerebral Palsy and a Cortical Visual Impairment. But man was she a fighter! She was so beautiful - always smiling and giggling.

Laurens birth literally saved her mothers life. Knowing that a cord wrap was possible, Lauren's baby sister was born via C-Section. During that C-Section, ovarian cancer was discovered in her mother - at a stage that was curable - a cancer that could have gone unnoticed. A miracle.

Eternity should not be so close for a child who has barely touched this Earth, but she is fully healed and bouncing on the clouds with strong legs, bright eyes that can see the beauty and a body that no longer fights her.

Be at peace sweet girl.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Once there was a friend...

Now a foe?

This little guy made his home in my hanging basket last summer - around this time. Sadly, not much after this picture, his siblings joined him and they KILLED my flowers (there were 3 more just like this one).

So I took the baskets away.

And bye bye birdie.


I think he is back. And he is mad. A mad pooper that is. Seriously, our deck, grill and house look like WWIII has hit with little white "bombs" every where!

So how fitting that last night I happened to open this picture and the kids ask "mom, is that the bird that is pooping every where?"

I do love the picture even if the little stinker has gone all swine flu on me!

Pally? This is just a snippet of what you will enjoy when you visit "St. Jim" next month!

Thursday, June 4, 2009


And I thought I got impatient during pregnancy...

Now I can only hope that DHL is the winning recipient of my new beauty. For if it is them, I expect "she" shall arrive tomorrow morning! If the big brown truck was "her" fate, I will see "her" sometime next week.

Oh the anticipation!!!


White truck, not brown. Not yellow like I had hoped.

Oh well, she is still on the way home!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Its been a while... I think of them every week, they just never make it here... Slacker!

In case you do not remember the blog carnival of Not Me! Monday, check out my good friend MckMama's blog - she will tell you all about it - because of course, its her circus baby!

So many weeks, so many things I didn't do... But because you don't really want to hear all about them, I will keep it local (to this week that is).

I did not revert back to my old ways and eat Cheeto's for breakfast two days last week. I did not do that because it is wrong. Just wrong!

I did not stay up all night last Monday night after Jim said those to magic words "go ahead"... Now don't start thinking nasty things people - that was the night that I ordered my new beauty that is coming very SOON!!!!

I did not actually write in that post that I would have a tiara and lipstick ready for her when she arrives this week.

I did not call her a her.

She is a laptop, not a her.

I did not beg, plead, bribe and eventually toss my hands up in the air and let go of my over controlling mommy'ness when Jadon walked into my room this morning wearing this:

Insisting that it "matches". I did not laugh a little and really wish there was something more I could say that justified my desire to change socks. But really, are they hurting anyone? Its just daycare right?

Yes, they are green and blue striped alligators. Thankyouverymuch.

I did not just eat the left over Milk Duds from the movie we went to yesterday.

We did not spend over $75 for 4 people to see Up. It was such a good movie by the way, but HELLO, $75??? Were those seats and popcorn made of gold? Unless your children can chug 83 gallons of Sprite in just under 2 hours, do not, I repeat, do not purchase the "family pack". I do not believe any of us ate all of our popcorn or drank all of our beverages.

But I digress... we all have to make that mistake once right?

At least we did not forget the popcorn salt. Of course I did spill it in my purse as I always do...
I did not leave this post unposted since 8:15 this morning...
Ok, I did.