Monday, April 28, 2008

Celebrate May 5th!

May 5th, 1981...Cinco de Mayo? What the heck was that? I had no idea that this day was a Mexican holiday. Yet, in the Swyters' family, it was about to become a memorable day as our only son, Steven, entered into our family.

As a baby, he refused to sleep in his crib for longer than 45 minutes. I spent many hours rocking him to sleep and gently laid him back in his bed only to have him wake up 45 minutes later. Steven was always a strong willed child with a great sense of humor and a strong sense of family. He will always be my little boy, regardless of how old he becomes. His father and I are so very proud of the young man he's become today and we look forward to observe as his life unfolds in the years to come. We love you, Son.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Beautiful Daugher

One month left to go, according to a bogus due date, and my little girl will become a mother. Where have the 31 years gone to?

It seems like only yesterday I propped her up on my lap to brup her (she was a very difficult baby to burp).

It seems like only yesterday she took her first step (she walked at 9 months, yes, that's what I said!).

It seems like only yesterday she suffered from allergies to almost everything under the sun. Two years of allergy shots managed to overcome this and she was able to Trick N Treat for the very first time at age 5 (she was either in the hospital every October or too sick to go out).

It seems like only yesterday that I put her on the school bus for the very first time as I balled my eyes out! I remember how her little blond ringlets framed her face. I remember that smile, toothless, but the most beautiful smile in the world.

It seems like only yesterday that she put on that first little soccer uniform only to refuse to step onto the field.

I could go on and on sharing all sorts of wonderful memories of a mother and her child, but what I most look forward within a few short weeks, she will begin her journey as a mother and begin to collect thousands of special moments with Jack.
I love you baby girl!

Friday, April 25, 2008

I Am Ready

Inspiration has finally hit me in the head and knocked me over! Yes, I am ready. Ready to take charge and begin eating healthy and excerising. No, I haven't lost my mind...although there are days, believe me. Yesterday, I signed up for Weight Watchers. My first goal is to lose 10% of my weight. After reaching that first threshold, I plan on setting another goal and so forth. I will need ya'll's help, support and inspiration so please, don't hesitate to cheer me on. The good Lord knows I'll need it!

The Beauty of the Desert

Arizona...a favorite location of my husband and I. The desert landscape is quite beautiful but the photos don't do it much justice. As most large cities, the Phoenix/Mesa area is plagued with air pollution. This photograph is of Supersitition Mountain. For reasons unknown to me, I am very intrigued with the desert. Perhaps it's the simplicity of the desert and my true appreciation of finding a flower in the midst of tumbleweeds and cactus or maybe it's the Native Indians that I can invision riding across the desert on horse back.
Nonetheless, Arizona is a place we could find ourselves living, as long as we make a rapid escape during the months of May through September, of course!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Good Bye, California!

After spending the last month and a half in the state of California, we bid you ado!
Things I'll miss...
the beautiful mountains
spectacular Pacific ocean
friendly folks
dog friendly atmosphere
the vineyards
Thursday farmers market
exquisite dining
USS Midway
San Diego
Things that won't be missed
insane traffic
secondary streets that are 6 lanes across
the horrific gasoline pricing (highest in the US)
outlandish real estate pricing ($675K is really reasonable for this postage size lot)
the whole celebrity aura
Leaving California behind us, we arrive in Arizona, Mesa to be exact. Mesa is a very cosmopolitan town. Great restaurants, wonderful people, just a good feeling here. Perhaps it is the desert that lures people here. At every turn, there are mountains on the horizon.
And honestly, it is really dry here. Have you ever heard of 7% humidity? Well it exists here in Mesa. You must hydrate your skin and slather lip balm at every chance you get otherwise you just shrivel up! Hello Philosphy Mimosa lip gloss! Yeah, I'm a sucker for anything Philosphy!
Oh, 6 weeks until baby dumpling arrives....:)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Diary of a Mad Woman

Being on the road is really a fun life experience. Seeing new sights around our beautiful country is something I would recommend to anyone. But if there's one thing that I absolutely hate, it's trusting my hair to a complete stranger!
Some of you will remember musical "Hair" years ago. The "year" is 1968. The "place" is a park in Greenwich Village, NYC. It goes something like this...

She asks me why
I'm just a hairy guy
I'm hairy noon and night
Hair that's a frightI'm hairy high and low
Don't ask me why
Don't know
It's not for lack of break
Like the Grateful Dead, Darling
Gimme head with hair
Long beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming,
Streaming, flaxen, waxen
Give me down to there hair
Shoulder length or longer
Here baby, there mama
Everywhere daddy daddy
Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair
Let it fly in the breeze
And get caught in the trees
Give a home to the fleas in my hair
A home for fleas
A hive for bees
A nest for birds
There ain't no words
For the beauty, the splendor, the wonder
Of my...Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair
I want it long, straight, curly, fuzzy
Snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty
Oily, greasy, fleecy
Shining, gleaming, streaming
Flaxen, waxen
Knotted, polka-dotted
Twisted, beaded, braidedPowdered, flowered, and confettied
Bangled, tangled, spangled, and spaghettied!
Oh say can you see
My eyes if you can
Then my hair's too short
Down to here
Down to there
Down to where
It stops by itself
They'll be ga ga at the go go
When they see me in my toga
My toga made of blond
Biblical hair
My hair like Jesus wore it
Hallelujah I adore it
Mary loved her son
Why don't my mother love me?
Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair
Today, I am overjoyed! I got a great hair cut and the price was only $12 bucks!
Life is good!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A Day With My Daughter

Last Friday, was the best! My daughter played hokey from work to spend part of the day with me. After sleeping late, we were off to her favorite brunch place, Mittie's in Alpharetta. This location holds a very special place for both of us as it was right across the street from where she got married at The Arbors.

Erika ordered scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, fruit and her favorite, orange cranberry scone. I felt adventuresome and ordered a Monte Cristo which is french toast stuffed with baked ham and swiss cheese. Surprisingly, it was great!

Although we sampled the mini scones, the large ones are on display when you immediately walk into Mittie's. Who could resist?
Thanks to the wonderful waitress that took such great care of us at Mittie's.
After brunch, we were off to North Point Mall to buy the very necessary, new bras for the 32 week pregnant woman. I always enjoyed shopping with my daughter because she was always open to my suggestions. What teenage daughter would actually relish the idea of Mom selecting her clothes? Honestly, I think there was only one on the planet, my daughter.

I seemed to have radar and went right to the sale rack. 20 minutes later, 2 bras were being wrapped up .... at 50% off!

As for Macy's....well, several years ago, when word leaked out that the premiere department store, Marchall Fields in Chicago sold to Federation chain, I hoped amongst all hope that the name would remain the same after the deal was done. I have so many wonderful childhood memories linked with Marshal Fields. Saturday afternoon trips with my beloved Grandmother Harriet for lunch in the Walnut room. Christmas lunches "under the tree" as a child, with my own children and all of my family are memories so precious that I have scrapbooked some of these treasures. And what about the phrase "Meet me under the clock"? This is synonymous with so many traditional Chicago memories. Frango mints? Excuse me while I wipe a tear from my cheek.

Ok, I have wandered a bit from my point and what was my point? Oh, yes, Macy's. I vowed never to enter a Macy's store after they violently tore down the Marshall Fields signage all over the city. However, as many of you know, a mother will do anything for her child and I did just that.

Beginning today, I rededicated my vow to never set foot in a Macy's again.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

This Man of Mine!

Anyone that knows Fred, knows he cannot keep a secret for longer than a minute and a half. Well, there was my surprize 50th birthday cruise, but that is the one exception during the past 35 years of marriage.
Waiting for me back at the RV, was a brand new Canon Rebel TXi digital camera! I am so excited, no giddy with joy! Now the responsibility lies on me to become the expert camera in the family.
7.5 weeks until my little dumpling arrives....I better get busy and start reading.
Feel free to give me lots of advice, dear friends, as I know I will be need it.

God Has a Plan

If there is anyone that doesn't believe God has a plan for us all, let me tell you this story and you will soon agree that we are not in charge.

My week and a half home was planned months ago. The purpose for my trip was to stay at Erika's while her husband, Aaron, was on a business trip. Erika is, after all, 32 weeks pregnant as evident by looking at her growing belly.

I planned on staying with Mom for the first few days and then driving up to Roswell to take care of my baby girl. Several days before I came home, Mom went into the hospital with a crazy virus that really put her flat on her back. Luckily, I was there to take her home from the hospital and able to stay with her for several days. She was home for only 4 days when I had to take her back to the doctor who immediately admitted her in Piedmont Fayette last Tuesday.

I had an eerie feeling after trying to contact Becky all day without success and I began to grow nervous that something was wrong with her father in law, whom we lovingly referred to as Pops for over 25 years. Pops was a resident at a nursing home for the last several years. Sadly, dear Pops passed away in his sleep.

God's plan worked out perfectly. I was in town to take care of my mother and get her the care she needed, otherwise, I shutter to wonder what would have happened had I not been in the right place at the right time.

The Wallace's have been our Georgia family for the past 25 years. Had I been in California when Pops' passed, I'm not sure how I would ever get over that. But God had a plan that I be in the right place at a very sad time to be of what little assistance I could be to my Georgia family.

We are not in charge, I know this. It's often difficult to trust in Him when we think we know best. We couldn't be more wrong.

Aside from all of this, I did manage to hold onto some very fond memories with my children. Steven never ceases to amaze me. No longer a boy, but now a man, I love him with all my heart. He knows why.

When your children begin to have a children of their own, you discover it is a life changing experience. My little girl is going to be a mom very soon. I can't describe the words but I can only say that I am so very proud of her and her life choices. She choose a wonderful man as her husband and soon to be father to Baby Dumpling, Jack. Aaron is a caring, tender, loving man who wants nothing more than to be the best husband and father he can possibly be. He is a wonderful part of our family.
Yes, God has a plan.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Diary of a Mad Woman!

Finally, a day for just me (and well, doing things for baby Jack)! This is the first morning I got to sleep in, a mere 9:30 a.m. which when you think about it, is really 6:30 a.m. Pacific time. First things first, I started taking all of the little tags off of the little sockies, bibs, one-zies, receiving blankets, crib sheets and more! Do you know they no longer make Ivory Snow? It is such a shame because that was such a part of our baby prep when my children were babies. These days, one uses fragrance free soap.
Four loads later, I decided to make a little time for me and get a much needed pedicure, manicure and eye brow wax. Pampering is when you have one gal massaging your feet and calves while the other tends to your manicure. If you can believe this, I have never had an American manicure so I said, what the heck, let's go for it. I was quite surprised by the outcome and will probably add this to my monthly routine maintenance.
One of many things that my daughter put on "Mom's list of Things to Do While Home" was to make her lasagna. This has been one of the "cravings" so of course, I couldn't deny a 32 week pregnant lady her lasagna. My daughter does not eat beef or pork, so this is a turkey lasagna. Wanting to also treat my son, he jumped at the chance to also have Mom's lasagna. Problem is, he preferrs the beef and pork version of my recipe. That means, 2 lasagnas going in a kitchen I have never cooked in before. Bottom line, one is ready for dinner and Erika will be thrilled.
Oh, there is one more load in the dryer and a changing table that needs to be assembled. I am not the mechanical one, but what the heck, I'll give it a try. Will let you know tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A Little Boy Dumpling!

The highlight of my day today was getting to hear my little grandson Jack's heart beat. My daughter's doctor entered the exam room and asked my daughter "How is your little dumpling today?" She refers to all her patients' babies as dumplings! How adorable is that!!! I find that she connects with her patients as a mother which exhibits a comforting, nurturing manner and puts the moms at ease.
I haven't posted the photos just yet from the shower because I have been running ragged between Alpharetta and Fayetteville. My mom is back in the hospital and I haven't found a moment to start working on Jack's nursery. If all goes as planned, I will dedicate Thursday to begin adding my finesse and give my daughter a hand.
I am tired.