The Littlest Link and Jay's 2nd Halloween!

Figured I better get this one out before Thanksgiving is upon us!

We don't go "all out" for Halloween like some people do, mainly because hubby's family has never been one for the day (his dad HATES it with a passion, coming from a religious point of view). But there are some things I enjoy doing - pumpkins and dressing my kid up being some of them!

This year we took Jay to the pumpkin patch for the first time (we figured he was too little last year to really enjoy any of it). We were only there for about an hour, and he refused to give up his Thomas notepad so he could actually do much of anything, but oh well... I'd like to think we had fun! (side note: he didn't know what to make of the witch lady and her skin being all green, lol...)

"Oscar... why are you 2 dimensional and not talking?!"
Running around, with notepad in tow. He would NOT give that thing up!
Climbing up to the Great Pumpkin
We took photos in the face cutout thingys
We let him pick out his own pumpkin and I carved it a few days later.

And then there's his costume this year...

Little Link from Zelda!!!

You may have seen this idea on Pinterest awhile back (obviously I did, as that's where I got the idea for it). It was too awesome not to do!

Raiding the Trick or Treater's candy bowl
Hubby had to work so it was just me and Jay this year so we stopped over at my parent's house for trick or treat, by my aunt's who lives around the corner from my parents, as well as by one of Jay's uncle's houses as he's in the same neighborhood, lol... my mom joined us for Trunk or Treat up at church this year. Hubby's sis, my cousin, and some friends of theirs did a Finding Nemo themed trunk this year.
Hubby's sis as the yellow fish from Finding Nemo, Jay, my cousin as the starfish
and a friend of theirs as a turtle.
Freaking out over Tigger and Pooh =)
They also had people dressed in costumes to entertain the kids as they waited to get into the Trunk or Treat part of the lot, including a Tigger and Pooh, who Jay went crazy for! He let out a squeal of "Tigg-ah!" and went running over, pulling on Tigger's leg to get his attention. While we waited for hubby's sis and her friends to finish up, I took Jay back over to where Tigger and Pooh were stationed, to keep him entertained for a bit since there wasn't much of a crowd by them anymore. He danced along with them (they had a band playing music during the event, Jay would stop and dance every time we snaked past them, lol...) and just had fun in general, interacting with Tigger and Pooh.

We found Link's game!
Quite a few people recognized him as Link and corrected those that didn't - one lady behind us, in her 20s, even jumped the line to come take a picture with him, she thought he was too cute! A guy, probably in his 40s or 50s, corrected his wife when she mistook Jay's costume for something not Link, lol... Older, non-gaming people called him "The first Robin Hood" or Peter Pan... someone even thought he was an elf (with a sword and shield, really?).

Afterwards we stopped by Best Buy to say "hi" to da-da as he was working all evening - the customers he was with thought Jay was the Jolly Green Giant, although hubby quickly corrected them, lol... it was funny though, as Jay went running through the video game section of the store while a couple college-aged guys were playing one of the demos. They both saw him - one started smiling and laughing while the other exclaimed "OMG! That. Is. AWESOME!!" It was too funny!
Too cute!

All in all, I'd say we had a successful 2nd Halloween!

Jay started to get a bit tired and overwhelmed by the end of Trunk or Treat, so we sat down and I let him pick out a piece of candy (he seems to like Snickers). He got quite a bit of candy. I also left out our bucket of candy again this year, with the sign to take a few. We had 2 groups of Trick or Treaters before we headed out. And I'm guessing a few more stopped by as there was a bit of a dent in the candy I had left out!

Be sure to check your children's candy though! This year there were 2 reported incidents in our area of objects being found in kid's candy - one that was posted online showed a razor blade stuck in a thing of Starbursts, while another report showed that of a pin/needle in a piece of candy! How sick and sad is that?? And the razor blade one was found in a decent neighborhood too!


I voted... but not for Romney OR Obama.

As I've mentioned before, this election, if anything, has made me realize one thing: I'm a conservative moderate.

That being said, I don't like Obama for a number of reasons and I didn't like Romney either. To me, they were basically the same and both represented some of the more extremes of their respective parties.

I couldn't vote for Romney due to all the extreme stuff the Republicans were pushing (mainly the whole "war on women" and some of the outrageous comments that came out of that). I couldn't vote for Obama because I don't agree with a number of stuff he's pushing and claims he's made that I doubt he'll follow through on.

I've always said though that if you don't vote, you have no reason to complain about the outcome.

Honestly, as I've said before, Ron Paul seemed to be the only candidate running this time around that made any sense and didn't come off as a moron or a-hole. I looked at Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, and some of his views were a tad too liberal for me, and then there was the Green party... and yeah, bunch of hippies if ya ask me, lol...

Yeah, I could have sucked it up and voted for "the lesser of 2 evils" or "NObama" but I didn't want to compromise myself and my beliefs in doing so - I wanted to be able to vote yet still sleep with myself at night.

So... I did something I've never done before and went the write-in route this election year, writing in Ron Paul as my candidate.

And I'm glad I did.

I'm proud to be part of the 1.7% of our country's voters that didn't vote for Romney or Obama this time around.

Honestly though, I know quite a handful that went the write-in or third party route this time around, as I know too many people that didn't like either Romney or Obama either (yet most of them went the NObama/"lesser-of-two-evils" route).

I'm Going Home...

Well, to my university's homecoming that is.

It was last month and I decided that since it's already been 5 years since I graduated and I haven't really been back there since, why not?

We drove the 30 miles over in the late morning. I took the back roads for nostalgic reasons. It was fun driving past all our old favorite just off campus places.

First thing we did on campus was check out the remodeled Cole Hall.

For those that don't know, Cole Hall is the building where the 2008 Valentine's Day shooting occurred (I've mentioned it on Valentine's Day every year since). On the main floor, the building consisted of 2 big auditoriums used mainly for Gen-Ed lectures that the majority of students took during their time at NIU, as well as housed a small anthropology museum. Thanks to the voices of students, alumni and others, they made the decision not to tear down the building like originally planned and instead sent out a survey as to what should be done. The result was a remodel. The outside and front/main hallway got a total facelift, the auditorium where the shooting occurred got split, part of it now being a smart classroom while the anthropology museum expanded into the other part. The other auditorium got a facelift as well so it no longer resembles the old one. Pretty neat.

Gotta admit though, I got chills and started to choke up a little just walking through that building again. I had several classes in that damned auditorium during my time there. It was a tad emotional.

After that visit, we headed over to the Alumni and Visitors Center and proceeded to the Alumni Village area behind it where they had various tents for each college at the university where you could eat free food. Since I was an Art major, we went to the Visual and Performing Arts tent. Can't say I knew a single person there. After we ate lunch we went in search of the school's newspaper tailgating tent, since most of the people I knew during my time at school, outside my art classes, were the newspaper staff. Sadly though, this being the 1st year with a new adviser in years, there apparently wasn't one! Which sucks as I knew some of my fellow newspaper staff people were th
ere... somewhere.

New building in the end zone!
We did get tickets to the game though, where we were up by A LOT at halftime (which is when we
left as Jay couldn't sit through an entire 3 hour football game). There was a lot of changes though - at the one end of field is a new field house that I had no idea existed. You could also the new high-tech residence hall from the stadium. I got myself a new t-shirt, as well as one for Jay to grow into.

After we left the game, I ran into a few of my fellow newspaper peeps - the gal that was editor-in-chief the semester I started as well as 2 guys that I worked on staff with for a few years. It was nice catching up with them!

Jay hamming it up at the football game
with mommy and his plastic Geico gecko
(you can see the plain backside of it)
From there we took a drive around campus and then went to our favorite local dinner, just off

Then we drove over to the theater so I could harass my bestest buddy from my time there. Sadly, the last of the kids I worked with on staff had just left not too long ago, aside from one that is now management and left before I got there.

If anything, this trip made me realize how much I miss DeKalb and my time in college... we really did have too much fun in college!

Funny story though - at the Alumni and Visitors Center, Geico had a booth and they handed out pompoms with a plastic Geico gecko as the handle. Well, ours immediately broke off so we gave it to Jay to play with... Little Man clung to that plastic gecko alllllll day, lol...

Got fleas?

Last week we took Jay to the immediate care clinic Friday evening after I got home from work, as when I picked him up from my mom's she said pointed out that he had been scratching his scalp so much that he was causing it to bleed and scab.

Turns out, my kid has fleas.


So yeah... we think what happened is that the dog got em as her flea collar fell off a week or so prior to this and she was rolling around on the carpet, scratching, etc... and Jay plays on the carpet, also rolling around so yeah... he probably got them that way. Found a few in my hair but not nearly to the degree that Jay has.

We've been fighting that battle this past week, washing our hair with the dog's flea and tick shampoo (which the smell almost made me nauseous at work the other night!). We also "bug bombed" the house last weekend to kill em all off but who knows... we might have to do it again.

My poor baby though... it's funny to say "my kid has fleas" but at the same time, makes me sad.

Miss Me Much?

Hello again!

Long time, no... see?

Anyways, yeah, I've been AWOL on the blog here for the past month or so... been a tad bit busy in RL, taking care of the little guy, plus one of our leads at work had a fulltime job offer literally fall into her lap and being the most experienced regular associate at work, my boss talked me into taking on the position temporarily through the holidays so she has adequate time to find someone for the position and get them trained when it's not quite so crazy. Can't say it's been too bad... having been there officially 2 years now (as of this week!) and management treating me as one of their own for quite some time now (and the fact they love how they never need to micro-manage me), it's been a pretty smooth transition. I closed with the other lead tonight and she told me our store manager was telling her how I'm doing just fine when it comes to closing. Opening is okay aside from certain parts of the paperwork (the parts that require annoying math) that I tend to have a little trouble with, but apparently everyone does at first. My next shift is my first time closing without another member of management working with me. If I wanted the position permenantly, it'd be mine, but honestly... I don't. The main reason I accepted it was because I know I'm the only qualified and most experienced person on our staff that could step up and do it, not to mention last year during the holidays my boss had me working 5 days and 30 hours a week, and I knew odds are it was going to happen once again so I figured I might as well get paid a little more for it this time around. I'd much rather work 3 days a week though and be home with Little Man the rest of the time. Especially since hubby works 2 jobs. I really don't want my child to grow up feeling like he was raised and disciplined by his grandparents because mommy and daddy were always working.

I'm getting a few posts lined up to get ya all caught up and things I wanted to "document" here on the blog, such as Halloween and the recent election among other things.

Some quick blurbs though...

My sister is now 5 months pregnant and just found out this week that they're having a little girl! I so knew it too, simply because I was hoping for a girl and got a boy and they were hoping for a boy and so of course they'd have a girl, lol...

One of our good friends from long, long ago (she was a bridesmaid in our wedding) just announced this week that her and her husband are expecting in May! So excited for them!

http://iamgoldenstate.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Gossip-Girl-season-4-poster-600x345.jpgI'm hooked on Gossip Girl. I blame Tara (Fabulous But Evil) and the rest of you on Twitter. And of course now that I'm caught up via Netflix, it's in its final season. Cuz that always happens to me - I get hooked on a show and by the time I'm all caught up it's almost over for good. Booo... but I am soooo for Chuck and Blair and their relationship drama. It's soooo bad, but soooo good! And hubby's gotten into it with me too, as he kept coming home at 4am while I was in the middle or just starting an episode and we'd watch a few. He likes Chuck and Blair drama =) Like I told Tara, Chuck and Blair better end up together for good and there better be a Chuck and Blair wedding this season or I'm going to be sooooo upset! Those two are sooo right for each other! Yes, I'm gushing over a fictional TV character. But when it comes to Chuck and Blair, how can you not??? I'm so over Dan though... I liked him and Serena during the 1st season but after that... Dan got kinda annoying. Nate and Serena need to end up together and Dan can just be alone. I also would like to smack Lily upside the head for Rufus... wtf?! Rufus is such a good man... I really would LOVE to see a "When Rufus Met Lily" flashback episode done a la the Valley Girls episode - that'd be AWESOME!

Have any of you noticed an increase in spam comments lately? As you know, I haven't posted in like a month but I get almost daily spam comments on completely random old posts... You all complain about capcha's on blogs (which I hate too, especially now that they include numbers!) so I took em off and yeah... spam comments on a near daily basis!

Stay tuned for more!


Life Lately

Hey there!

Remember me???

Yeah... I kinda fell off the face of Blogland for awhile... it's been crazy, busy, stressful and chaotic around these here parts lately.

Here's what I've been up to the last few weeks:

I dyed my hair red...

Although the 1st time we put box color on it, well, it only took at my roots and various patches around my hair. We put other stuff on it but it still wasn't great, but acceptable to go to work with the next day and then I had to go to my family's hairstylist to get it fixed. I was going for brown with reddish tones to it but yeah... it's a tad too red for my liking. Oh well, it'll fade.

I went to my 10 year high school reunion. Just typing that makes me feel old. My graduating class had like 54 in it, 12 showed up, most with spouses or dates. That's not too bad... it was definitely interesting as we started out with half a room, that filled up with people eating dinner and then a Soul band started playing and we got pushed out to the lobby so we could hear each other. Some people were amusing, showing up to compete for most successful only to learn that most of us are pretty down to earth with regular ol' jobs, married and have young kids. One guy in my class is a millionaire already, being the co-founder of a health and fitness company and does motivational speaking for USANA and has been on Dr. Phil. Another guy was nominated for an Emmy for journalism broadcasting. We have quite a handful of successful people in our class actually... one guy I spoke with though seemed a bit sadden that he was still a bachelor with no kids and felt like he was in the minority.

I saw one of my favorite bands - Static-X - live for the 4th time, at a smaller bar downtown here. It was so small that I was literally within arms reach of the bassist the entire time they were on stage and was within 10-20ft of frontman Wayne Static the entire time too. The band geared up right next to us too - we were sectioned off by their equipment boxes. It was AWESOME to be THAT CLOSE to one of my favorite bands. I also caught the drumstick at the end - while having my hand out to fist bump Wayne as he walked past on his way off the stage the drumstick landed right in my reach and I caught it with my other hand. Some dude and his gf were grabbing onto it and pulling though so I pulled my fist away from Wayne just as he was about to walk by so I'd have both hands on it - they weren't taking it from me. Hubby got decked in the mouth by the chick that was rockin' out next to me the whole time though. The next morning my photo of the band gearing up next to us got retweeted by the band on Twitter, as did hubby's tweet about how he was bleeding, sore and now deaf after going to the show, lol... so cool! I've always seen them before at the House of Blues in Chicago so this was quite a different experience seeing them in a smaller venue and being able to be that close to them. I was right down front and the crowd, being older, didn't get too out of control so I was able to rock out without having to worry about getting crushed by people or having moshers thrown into me (a mosh pit broke out a few times but security got it under control quickly). I'll definitely be seeing more bands there in the future if it means I can be that close to them!

We went to the nearby apple orchard for the 1st time this season. It was fun - we let Jay lead the way in the wire fence maze... yeah, don't recommend that! He'd get to a dead end and come halfway back only to stop and pick up rocks and dirt and mulch, lol... We got his annual measurement there though - he's grown half a foot since last year according to the chart.

Photo: Growth vine at Edward's Apple Orchard, 1 year apart - looks like he grew half a foot!

Jay has started throwing tantrums left and right now too - welcome to the terrible 2s! Last week we were watching The Office instead of his shows on Sprout, so he threw a tantrum the entire 30 minutes it was on - thrashing and rolling around on the floor, kicking and throwing his toys, screaming, crying... the works! The second it was over and we put Sprout back on he was completely fine and smiley again. That stinker!

Hubby got a seasonal job with Best Buy Mobile! We were on our way out to the apple orchard when he got a call about an interview so we turned the car around, he ran in to change and Jay napped in the car while I waited for him during his interview. It went really well as they hired him on the spot and he starts orientation this weekend. It's only seasonal for now, but we'll see how it goes, maybe they'll keep him on after the holidays!

And that's pretty much the excitement we've had around here, aside from the stress of my father-in-law still living with us and basically trashing the house as he goes as he doesn't pick up after himself (we're sooooo tired and fed up with it - I'm about ready to move back in with my parents until he's gone, cept I really don't want to rock Jay's world anymore than it already has been. I don't really know what to do anymore, I'm on the verge of losing it).


Book Club Friday + eBook Giveaway!

Joshua Johnson is the author of "Gunpowder Fantasy" The Cerberus Rebellion (released this past July in eReader formats) and the creator of the Griffins & Gunpowder universe. When he isn't working or spending time with his family, he writes novels, short stories and novellas.

He currently lives in Northern Illinois with his wife (that's me!) and young son.

Gunpowder Fantasy combines elements of Epic Fantasy (magic, elves, mythical creatures and vast scale) with rifles and railroads.

About The Cerberus Rebellion:
One hundred years of peace and prosperity. War changes everything.

On the world of Zaria, Elves, magic and mythical beasts coexist beside rifles and railroads. The futures of two nations hang in the balance as rebels and revolutionaries trade gunfire with loyalists and tyrants.

Eadric Garrard was raised to believe that as the rightful King of Ansgar, his loyal nobles and fearful subjects answered to his every whim, no matter the cost or consequence. His decision to send his troops thousands of miles away will test that fear, and loyalty.

Raedan Clyve was ordinary until an Elven ritual involving a griffin's heart turned him into something more. Twenty years later, he still struggles with the magics that rage through his body. His mentor holds him back from his full potential and he faces pressure to find a suitable wife and father an heir.

Hadrian Clyve has picked up where his father left off and works to expand his family's influence amongst the Ansgari nobility. His aggressive negotiation of alliances and shrewd choice of marriage agreements has earned him respect, and resentment. When his King calls his troops to arms, Hadrian has other things in mind.

After a century of scheming and decades of preparation, Magnus Jarmann is ready to bring his family's plans to fruition by launching a war of independence that will free his people and return his country to its rightful place among the nations of Zaria. The King's call to arms creates an opportunity that Magnus cannot afford to miss.

In a war, little is held back; in a revolution, nothing is safe.

Readers who like Game of Thrones, World of Warcraft, The Lord of the Rings  should definitely check out The Cerberus Rebellion and the rest of the Griffins and Gunpowder Universe!

In addition to The Cerberus Rebellion, Joshua has written several Griffins and Gunpowder Universe short stories (all currently available for purchase on Amazon Kindle ) and has agreed to let me giveaway 1 .mobi, .pdf or .epub copy of the short story of your choosing! Please enter using the Rafflecopter below!a Rafflecopter giveaway


Hey Jack, it's a fact - football's back!

Football season starts tonight!!!!!!!

http://cdn2.sbnation.com/entry_photo_images/5006541/GYI0061264250.jpgThat's right boys and girls, fall is officially here with the official start of the NFL Football season!

TONIGHT my Dallas Cowboys take on division rivals (and current Superbowl champs) the New York Giants, televised on NBC!

My boss, I recently learned, is a Giants fan so I'm hoping since I'm stuck working tonight that we can get out quick so I can catch the last hour or so of the game. I do plan on wearing my Cowboys star earrings though and of course team colors!


Photo Fun Monday 09.03.12

I realize I've been a horrible blogger as of late... the reasoning behind it is that I don't get much time
alone to really sit down and blog these days and when I do get a rare moment alone I'd rather relax and waste time doing other things.

That said though... here's the latest photos on my phone, albeit a few days late =)

Jay and his Aunt Katie, being silly together

My birthday was last Wednesday but since I had to work Wednesday (I requested it off but for some reason my boss misread it and gave me Thursday off instead... O.o) Thursday was celebration day!

Hubby and Jay got me these babies: chicBuds earbuds with blue Swarovski Crystals! I LOVE the retractable feature on the earbuds so they don't get tangled and have been wanting a pair of chicBuds for like a year or so!

 Getting my annual birthday pedicure

 The color is called Chicago Champagne Toast by OPI

 Hubby took me to see The Expendables 2 and then we went for dinner at Olive Garden. Afterwards we stopped at Toys R Us to see if their Thomas the Train sale had started that day or if it was the next as I couldn't remember what the flyer said (it was the next). We saw this adorable girl's Robin costume! If we had a little girl I would have soooo bought it!

 We did find WoW Megablock Legos though!
I got the Tauren on the Wyvern while hubby got the Draenai on the Griffin.

Jay had fun taking a bubble bath:

 I build my WoW Megablock set after Jay went to bed =)

 Dog bed I picked up for under $30 at Walmart for Lady Girl. We had to give back the doggie crate my friend was letting me borrow as her dog was acting up and they needed it. She seemed confused as to where to lay at night so we thought she needed a bed of her own.

 Can you spot Jay?
Little stinker climbed up on the loveseat and poked his head under the blinds to look out =D

We went over to my parent's house Sunday night to celebrate my birthday with my family. Jay decided to climb into the toybox ottoman!

Other gifts I got for my birthday:
Once Upon a Time, season 1 on DVD
The Tigger Movie on DVD
Ferris Bueller's Day Off on DVD
Enchanted on DVD
Divergent paperback
Giftcards to Old Navy and Target


Another Jaydran Funnie

The other night, shortly before Jay's bedtime but after hubby had left for work, I was sitting in the family room with my young teenage sister-in-law chatting while Jay played. Lady Girl (my in-law's dog we took in early last month) was sitting calmly like she usually does when Jay toddles up to her out of nowhere, pops his binky out of his mouth and proceeds to stick it in the dog's mouth!


Lady Girl got this "uh, what are you doing?" look on her face and promptly got up to get away from Jay and his silly antics.

Well, like any toddler on a mission, Jay goes chasing after her around the family room, binky in hand!

She lays down again, Jay catches up to her and once again tries to get her to take his binky in her mouth! At that point we had to tell him to stop, explaining that Lady Girl doesn't want his binky and we had to distract him with something else.

It was pretty funny though and me and my sister-in-law were cracking up!

I texted hubby and my mom - hubby's response was "/facepalm" while my mom stated that Jay just wanted to share his binky her; he likes it, she should too! lol...


I have some exciting news, everyone!

Many of you have been following our journey dealing with Jay's hydronephrosis (aka enlarged kidney problem) that he's had since pre-birth.

It was first noticed in utero, confirmed it via ultrasound soon after he was born, we visited the local urologist in town with some pediatric experience who ordered some (not so fun) testing at the children's hospital in Madison, and due to the nature of the blockage being abnormal (it was at the ureter tube end that's connected to Jay's bladder instead of the common blockage being up at the top near the kidney) we were referred to a pediatric urology specialist at the children's hospital up in Madison and were told that due to the blockage Jay would most likely need to have surgery around his 2nd birthday where they pull out the ureter tube at the bladder, snip it and then reattach it. After several visits in Madison, we learned the specialist was taking a position at the children's hospital in Milwaukee. Fortunately our insurance covered him at Milwaukee so we followed him there.

Eating some celebratory pizza
after his check-up!
You may remember me reporting last February, at Jay's last urology check-up 6 months ago , that there was a significant improvement with the dilation in his kidney and that it was possible that the blockage was opening up on its own.

Well this past Thursday we had Jay's regular 6 month check-up again - an ultrasound on his kidneys and bladder and then meeting with the specialist right after to go over it.

He said that as far as Jay's urology issues go - we can consider him cured!

He said the left kidney continues to look healthy with hardly any dilation and the ureter tube doesn't look engorged at all anymore! He said to consider it a temporary plumbing problem that has been resolved!

Guys, this is AMAZING news!

The specialist did tell us at the beginning that while there was the slim chance the blockage could open up on its own, it is rare and we shouldn't get our hopes up as we would most likely be facing the reality of Jay needing surgery to correct it.

Honestly, I had started to prepare myself for the reality of that, pushing it to the back of my mind until the time got closer. It helped that the specialist assured me that he had done the procedure himself (as he would be the one doing it) many many times and so far he has been successful with no complications - he had put me at ease.

But now, no surgery at all, no further testing either (which is GREAT because I have no idea how you get a 2 year old to cooperate when it comes to attaching a catheter to them, not to mention getting them to leave an IV alone or lay still for a 45-60min thorough ultrasound scan with using some kinda of sedative!). He wants us to come back in a year for a follow-up ultrasound just to confirm that everything still looks good but he said that unless anything comes back abnormal we'll most likely be meeting with the nurse practitioner so we can have a quick in and out visit.

I would like to thank ALL of you for your thoughts and prayers as we have been dealing with this these past 18 months or so - I know many, many people have been praying for Jay and specifically that the blockage would open up on its own so he wouldn't need to have the surgery  - it has been GREATLY appreciated!

For all of you out there who have been following us on this tough journey or if you stumbled across this post while trying to find answers to your own questions about hydronephrosis or other kidney/ureter problems your little one might have... let me just say that there is hope! While surgery may seem inevitable to correct it, I pray you have a great pediatric urology specialist like we did (Dr. John Kryger, based out of the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee) who recommends waiting a few years to see if the problem corrects itself first. It is a rough journey, especially with some of the testing your little one has to go through (please feel free to click the "hydronephrosis" label at the bottom of this post to read back through some of what we've gone through these past 18 months in regards to this), but I hope that if anything, I have given you hope and comfort in knowing you're not alone when it comes to this.


A friend posted this on Facebook and I must have missed it when Jill (@thenerdybird) linked her article earlier, but here's one for Game of Thrones fans - kitty (named Arya, btw!) meows the theme song! LOL... like Jill says in her post, it's kinda reminescient of those crazy Jingle Cats (and dogs!) that "sing" Christmas tunes.

Check it out! It had me cracking up!


Jay's Day Out with Thomas!

Yesterday (Sunday) we took Jay to meet Thomas and Sir Topham Hatt!

HiT Entertainment with MegaBlocks held the annual event again
this year at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, IL which is roughly about a 45 minute drive from us. I had first heard about it a few years ago when hubby's brother and sister-in-law took our oldest nephew to it as, like Jay, he's loved Thomas for years. This was the first weekend for it this year as it continues next Saturday and Sunday. They had a bunch of different booths and stations set up around the railway museum grounds - a Thomas merchandise tent, a local firefighter booth, a tent to watch some Thomas videos or hear stories, mini-putting greens, and a tent to get temporary Thomas and Friends tattoos! You could also get your picture taken with Thomas between train rides (yep - you could purchase tickets to go for a "ride" on train cars pulled by Thomas) as well as pictures with Sir Topham Hatt. It was really neat!
 As we pulled up to the railway museum grounds we got stopped at the train tracks that go around the parking lot and lo and behold - there was Thomas going past us! Jay got the biggest grin and made a face like "Oh yeah, that's Thomas, that's my pal."

 Thomas at the station, between train rides

 Jay didn't want to take his eyes off him!

 Daddy, Jay and Thomas

 Mommy, Jay and Thomas

 Riding on a train car pulled by Thomas
Jay was doing good until the family sitting in front of us pulled out their brand new Thomas toys, opened them up and proceeded to play around with them. Naturally, Jay being a toddler, he wanted them so we had to struggle with him for a good bit to keep him from diving over the seat to get at the toys (he had his own Thomas train toy with him but he wanted theirs!). He also wanted crackers during the train ride after they had told us no food or drink on the train.

 There's Thomas coming down the tracks!

 Jay got Thomas and Percy temporary tattoos on his hands and just like last week at the fair when he got a Jolly Green Giant one, he promptly proceeded to rub at them, lol...

 He couldn't believe it was Sir Topham Hatt! He didn't want to take his eyes off him!

 Sir Topham Hatt, Jay and Daddy

 Jay started touching him, lol...

 He started babbling nonstop to Sir Topham Hatt, it was really funny!

  Sir Topham Hatt, Jay and Mommy

 Thomas running down the line

Processing the events of the day
 And he fell asleep on the car ride home

 Jay's loot - we got him the reusable Day Out with Thomas bag and this year's annual wooden train car (a Quarry car) to go with the set we plan on collecting when he gets a little bigger. He also got a certificate after going for a ride on Thomas that makes him a Junior Engineer!

This year's annual wooden train car... which I already found in the dog's water dish this evening!

Jay had a great time with a huge grin on his face for the majority of the time we were there. We definitely plan on taking him again in a few years when he's a bit older! If you have a tike who loves Thomas and you're interested, be sure to check out the official Day Out with Thomas site to see if Thomas and Sir Topham Hatt are coming to a railway museum near you!

And because today is  Monday, here's the only other photo I took this week:

Hubby's sis turns 14 next month, however she's huge into the Hunger Games and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I was going to take her to the midnight DVD release of Hunger Games at Walmart however her and her dad took a spur of the moment trip down to Springfield for a few days and weren't back in time so I went with my sister and got it for her (I had to do some grocery shopping after work while there anyway). This was the setup we had waiting for her on the kitchen table when she got back into town. We got her the 2-disc Walmart set which included trading cards (she got Effie Trinket!) and a Mockingjay pendant and we also got her a Twilight Sparkle plushie. We figured we'd give it to her a month or so early that way she wouldn't go out and buy the movie before then (we know she's been dying to watch it again!). She loved her gifts and we're glad =)