Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

February Sucks This Year

February 26th, 2018 No comments

I haven’t really felt like blogging lately. Wookie was sick at the beginning of the month (throwing up yellow bile repeatedly) but after a trip to the vet and some medication she’s fine now.

On Valentine’s Day Joe’s mom passed away. She had a stroke a few days prior and just never woke up. We found out that Monday; with the short notice we didn’t know what to do with Wookie so I ended up staying home and Joe flew out to Arizona to see his mom before she passed away. It was very sad and sudden. We knew her time was limited due to the inoperable cancer she had but we weren’t expecting her to have another stroke. She was quite the spitfire, but was always so nice and supportive. Needless to say, she will be missed.

As a result of the above we didn’t end up celebrating Fat Tuesday (I cancelled our Pączki order from the local bakery since they would have been stale by the time Joe got back in town) or Valentine’s Day. We didn’t plan on doing anything special for the latter other than getting some Chinese food anyway so no big deal.

I’ve been dealing with some bad acid reflux ever since I stopped taking the Protonix prescribed by my doctor after my endoscopy revealed some irritation in my esophagus (although no pre-cancerous cells, thank goodness) in late November. I had to stop taking the pills because my kidneys started to swell. I’ve yet to find a natural solution to the reflux, however, which is worse than ever after being on those pills. I think they cause more issues than they solve to be honest. I have been avoiding chocolate (so sad) and iced coffee since they are common triggers. I’ve also tried taking magnesium and ginger and drinking apple cider vinegar (so gross) to help combat the burn. Some days it seems to help, although not entirely. On top of that, sometimes my midsection feels swollen and anything remotely tight-fitting feels very uncomfortable. Plus it triggers my health anxiety and I start worrying about ulcers or ovarian cancer.

So yea, it hasn’t been the greatest month overall. Looking forward to spring.

Categories: Family, Health, Pets Tags:


December 26th, 2017 Comments off

Friday was my company’s holiday luncheon which is always fun. I ordered two White Russians since Sangria wasn’t an option. I didn’t participate in the grab bag, which turned out to be a wise decision since the only present I would have wanted was a Darth Vader onesie, but I did win a gift wrapping set they raffled off.

I originally won a bottle of wine but was told I could take the gift wrap instead which was perfectly fine by me. The area around the restaurant, which is outside our local mall, was packed with traffic so I vowed we’d avoid stores until after Christmas.

Saturday we hung out and then took Wookie with us after dark to look at Christmas lights around the neighborhood. She ended up throwing up in the car so we won’t be doing that again! We were also up late cooking a turkey which she really did not like because she doesn’t like going in the kitchen when the oven is on but she wanted to go to bed and that’s where her crate is kept.

Sunday we celebrated Christmas with my family. I think my parents and Brother J went a little overboard this year, but I do like that I got presents instead of gift cards! Brother B got me some candles even though he hadn’t intended on exchanging (probably since I revealed a month or so ago that I had already gotten him something) and his girlfriend gave us homemade cookies which were/are delicious!

Pictured: Cookie tin, Lipstick & the Leash (book), Wii Sports Mix, How To Be Perfectly Unhappy (book by The Oatmeal), Invaders Must Die by The Prodigy (CD), 20 by Orbital (CD), Oxxo vegetable chopper, various candles. Not pictured: a set of packing cubes.

Joe received a hat that says “Cool” so he can be “Joe Cool” LOL, a beer mug, a $25 Binny’s gift card, a $25 Dunkin Donuts gift card, and a $25 McDonald’s gift card plus some money. See what I mean? They spent far too much and I feel bad. I got my brothers each a cute magnet from a craft show (Megaman for one and Jason Vorhees for the other) and for Brother J I also got two wrestling DVDs (although the brat went and ordered one of them himself after sending me his wishlist so I have to return it), a poo emoji keychain, a book, and some True Lemon since he was joking I should buy him some.

We gave my parents each a Target gift card, my mom a CD, and my dad a magazine subscription. We also gave Brother B’s girlfriend a Dollar Tree gift card and a rubber ball inside a stocking with paw prints on it for their dog.

My only complaint about the evening was that we were supposed to be there at 5 but didn’t arrive until almost 5:30 due to traffic. It had snowed earlier that day and we got caught behind snow plows in EVERY SINGLE LANE for a good portion of our drive. Brother B called me right around 5 so I explained our predicament. I don’t know whether he didn’t relate the info to my parents or what, but once we arrived we found everyone had already eaten. Seriously, they couldn’t wait for us? Especially because we brought the ham, turkey, cranberries, stuffing, and mac and cheese. I was pretty irked but didn’t let it ruin the evening.

Christmas Day was low-key with just the two of us and Wookie, which was perfect. We opened our remaining presents (we each had opened two the evening before) and also gave Wookie her gifts.

It was so cute how her tail never stopped wagging. I love that dog so much!

Much to my surprise, Joe got me an iPad Pro! Apparently it was $150 off at Target a few weeks ago which was a stellar deal coupled with the 5% off we get with our Target card. I wasn’t really liking my Samsung mini tablet (I prefer Apple’s ecosystem) and at this point I’ve given up hope of Apple releasing a new 7″ tablet. I plan to give Joe my Samsung tablet, and if by chance Apple does decide to release a new mini tablet I will happily buy one and give Joe my iPad Pro 10.5″ since his iPad Air has gotten extremely slow over the years. (I still occasionally use my iPad 2 but not for much since it’s nearly six years old and quite slow now).

Pictured: Gel pens, Tsum Tsum coloring book, Junior Mints, iPad Pro 10.5″, pumpkin seed BarkTHINs, Further by Chemical Brothers (CD), french vanilla and mint Swiss Miss cocoa, a PopSocket, and Human Giant starring Aziz Ansari (DVD).

Joe’s “big” gift from me was a fitness tracker. Not a Fitbit, however, since he didn’t want something that expensive in case he didn’t make use out of it. The one I got him is pretty cool because it doubles as a bare-bones smartwatch that sends him alerts when he gets messages. For the price ($35) it’s pretty impressive. Other things I got him: a Norelco multi-groomer, a beard grooming kit, beard shampoo, candy, a cocktail muddler and spoon barware set, and a Jack Skellington nutcracker.

After setting up my iPad we had a late breakfast which included a new recipe I came across that I thought Joe would like – Three Cheese Grits Casserole. To my surprise I really liked it too so that will be part of our Christmas tradition moving forward.

We also dismantled the Christmas tree because it was driving us crazy. It’s just too big and messes with the flow of our home.

This morning we ran over to Target and Walmart to check out the after-Christmas discounts. We didn’t need any gift wrap but were on the hunt for Christmas cards; unfortunately there weren’t many styles to choose from so we didn’t get any which is ok since we have enough for next year anyway. We did buy some candy and a timer and remote-controlled outlets to make turning on the Christmas lights much easier from now on. I’ve already starting using them and they work great!

We’re also on the hunt for a slim Christmas tree for under $35. Walmart had one for only $25 but it was pre-lit which I’m not sure we want to deal with since it doesn’t seem like you can remove the lights and replace them with your own down the line.

We also bought this awesome sign.

We really liked it the first time we spotted it two weeks ago but didn’t want to pay $18. Today it was only $8.92! I like how you can hang it or just put it on the floor or a table since it has a built in stand.

Today was also our Christmas with the kids. Since E had to work this afternoon we met them at a pizza place at 11 am for lunch (and they were on time, woo!) and then went back to K & ES’ place to open presents.

Now we’re just relaxing since it’s back to work tomorrow. Boo! At least I only have to work two days this week!

Categories: Family, Holidays Tags:

Christmas Shopping & Lights

December 12th, 2017 Comments off

Tis the season to spend money like it’s water!

Monday (12/04) I went on a little Christmas decor shopping spree and only managed to spend $100 which also included stocking stuffers for the family.

I put the North Pole sign in our cutout next to a snowman and our ornament tree. The Merry and Bright sign is above the laundry room door and the snowflake is hanging above the garbage can in the kitchen. Santa went above the front door and the Peace Love Cheer box is on the fireplace mantel. I ended up returning the No Humbugging sign to Michael’s because I didn’t like the way the teal looked on the red background.

Last week we ended up getting a bunch of gift cards to take advantage of the bonus deals this year:

  • $300 worth of Target gift cards since they were 10% off.
  • $102 at Culvers to get for $25 gift cards and a calendar of coupons since the cards each came with a coupon for a free basket (which is worth $8+). The cashier gave us an extra coupon since it took her awhile to ring us up.
  • $100 at Lou Malnatis to score a free $25 gift certificate which is basically a free large deep dish pizza.
  • $20 to reload our Dunkin Donuts balance for a $5 bonus gift card and another $10 via Masterpass to get a bonus $10.

We put up the tree about a week ago and attempted to decorate it Friday but half of our multi-colored lights weren’t working so that’s how we found ourselves at Walmart at 10 pm shopping for Christmas decor. Ours is open 24 hours but apparently they close everything but the self-checkouts after 10 pm so there was a bit of a line by the time we were finished shopping around midnight. I grabbed some cute battery operated mini lights for the mantel too only to learn the next day that one set was not the color listed on the package and the other one didn’t work at all!

Saturday (12/09) morning we headed to a different Walmart to return the unused multi-colored lights since we bought too many boxes and plan to go with white lights moving forward, and also to exchange the mini lights for working ones. I snagged a pair of Christmas leggings too. We went to At Home to look at decor and bought a new sign I plan to put over either the front door or laundry room once the Christmas stuff comes down. We also purchased a new clock but plan on returning it since the inner section is too dark at night and makes it hard to read. The hunt for a new wall clock continues!

On the way home we stopped at Dollar Tree which has been my obsession lately. I got cute Christmas tea towels there recently and have become addicted to watching YouTube videos of Dollar Tree hauls. Some stores have some really decent stuff! I got Christmas magnets there I put up on my file cabinets at work.

Saturday evening B & R came over and we went to look at Christmas lights together. We had dinner at Just Kabobs first and then went to Aurora’s Festival of Lights which is a drive-through the zoo with tons of lights set up. From there we hit two homes that had decorated nicely in the past. The first one was a bust and had nothing going on but the second one had music coordinated with lights which was fun to watch. We stopped at Dunkin Donuts to grab some hot chocolate and ended up having to go to a second location since the first one only had the regular stuff and not any of the special flavors advertised (Joe wanted Almond Joy and I wanted Mint).

With hot chocolate in hand we visited Lilacia Park and walked through their little winter wonderland. It was only 28 degrees but I did wear a lot of layers so other than my legs I was pretty warm. It was a lot of fun but we had to laugh at the fact that as we were heading home B remembered there was a house that would be really cool to see but it was way out west closer to where we were earlier in the evening. Oh well, something to check out next time we’re in the mood/neighborhood.

Sunday (12/10) we checked another Dollar Tree for some stuff I was on the hunt for because they do have some decent stuff. For instance, I got these tea towels at the Dollar Tree a few weeks ago.

We also stopped at Menards where we ended up buying the cutest stockings!

I’ve been wanting nice stockings for awhile but haven’t seen anything I’ve liked. These are so cute and were only $5.60 each! The only complaint I have is it’s hard to stuff them without stretching them out. I guess you’re better off getting a stocking that has a felt inside with a stocking-like outside so you get the best of both worlds.

We also wrapped most of the gifts we got for the kids and my brothers and only have each other’s presents left to wrap. And by we I mean Joe since I only wrap his gifts because I’m not very good at it. We also sent out our Christmas cards so I feel like we’re ahead of schedule this year.

The house is pretty much done as far as decorations go other than the tree. I managed to throw some garland up the other day but it still doesn’t have any ornaments.

Monday (12/11) I went out for the last of the stocking stuffers and also returned some items to Walmart. My friend came over for lunch and we watched a movie together which was nice, other than Wookie annoying the shit out of her. She’s so wary of strangers but once she knows someone she wants to get right up in their face. Our dog is silly.

Categories: Family, Shopping Tags:

Lonely Weekend

December 4th, 2017 Comments off

Every time Joe goes out of town I get all excited about having a bunch of me-time but after the first day I’m already over it. No different this time around. He left early Thursday morning and came back super late Saturday night. His mom is, for all intents and purposes, dying. Her cancer is worse than they originally thought and there’s not much that can be done. Joe found cheap flights online and figured he’d visit for a few days since we have no idea how long his mom has. It didn’t make sense for me to tag along since we still don’t have a trusted dog-sitter and that’s way too much flight-induced anxiety for me to handle in a three-day period.

I didn’t do much but catch up on some YouTube videos and enjoy two nights of uninterrupted slumber. Seriously, I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night once which was glorious. I totally understand why older married couples end up sleeping in separate beds, sometimes even different rooms.

That being said, it was lonely without Joe. Also, I really don’t like being alone in the house after dark. I don’t mind it at all during the day but once it gets dark outside I feel uncomfortable. I think I’ve watched too many true crime shows or something but I get all paranoid thinking some predator is watching the house and is going to attack me once he realizes I’m by myself.

Anyway, Sunday I dragged Joe out to run errands just to get out of the house since other than taking Wookie for a walk Saturday afternoon I hadn’t left the house since Thursday.

Categories: Family Tags:

Mish Mash Of Stuff

November 6th, 2017 Comments off

We took my Crosstrek to the dealer and they fixed the loose wire that was causing the window and door lock buttons on the passenger side not to work. We then had dinner at a new Tex-Mex restaurant called Chevy’s. It wasn’t the best food I’ve ever had but I could see us going there occasionally. I particularly liked their chicken flautas.

We only got a single trick-or-treater this year – our next door neighbor. Meanwhile, my brother got over 100 kids at his new house. His girlfriend said we should come to their place next year and I’ll definitely be taking her up on that offer. I didn’t feel like deconstructing the treat bags I put together so I brought them into work on Wednesday and left them in the break room for the taking.

Weekend Stuff
This weekend was a pretty gloomy one so we mostly just shopped, although we did get together with one of our friends to play BINGO Friday night at the VFW. It’s not as crowded as BINGO at the church, it’s warmer inside, and it doesn’t seem to drag on as long. Of course we didn’t win squat! Plus I feel like they call out the numbers so quickly that I can’t keep up. I doubt we’ll be going again anytime soon.

Sunday I tried a new crockpot chili recipe because while my usual one is ok, it wasn’t one that I really looked forward to eating. The new one is pretty good and with a few tweaks will probably be our new go-to.

New Obsessions
I may have mentioned how I decided to buy plain throw pillows and covers to upgrade the look of our couch. They don’t quite match but look a lot better than the 13 year old pillows that came with the couch. Now I’m on the hunt for a better wall clock but everything I like so far is over $100!

I’m currently obsessed with Walmart’s plush leggings. I wore a Halloween-themed pair on Halloween (and every night thereafter since they are so comfy) and picked up a Christmas patterned pair this weekend.

Family Stuff
Joe’s niece had her second daughter, A, by c-section on Wednesday.

Joe’s mom’s cancer is worse than originally thought so his niece is arranging hospice care for her. It sucks she had to go through the surgery and it doesn’t seem to have helped.

Categories: Car, Family, Food, Holidays, Shopping Tags: