Monday, April 30, 2007

Look at the Post Below the One Before This One !!

Since I started answering my FIRST interview question on the 27th and didn't finish it until a few moments ago .... it appears out of order !!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Almost as Unique as CPA Mom
LogoThere are
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Almost, but not quite because CPA MOM truly is one of a kind and one of the best in this world called blogging.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Finally !!

Many thanks to Rachel for sending me 5 interview questions. I am FINALLY going to answer them ! (Go ahead and say it ... It's about time !)

So, here goes ... Sorry, it took me so long.

1. How did/does the age difference between you and SJ affect your relationship?

Having the opportunity to watch your younger sister grow up from the very beginning and being able to really understand it all has been totally an incredible experience. Some backup explanation is probably necessary for those of you who don't know us personally. SJ was born just a few months after I graduated from high school. I was an adult already (the inspiration for the name of this blog - SJ is the SIXTH OF SIX). My siblings and I threw my Mom a surprise baby shower! (That bassinette was crammed full of stuff). We had the opportunity to give her her middle name! (If she was born in the AM hours, her middle name would be Dawn - if she was born in the PM hours, her middle name would be Eve/Evelyn - SHE WAS BORN IN THE WEE HOURS OF THE MORNING on that wonderful October day). I embarrasingly admit that she was a novelty at first. I willingly changed her diapers (what normal 18 year old would do that?), I watched her willingly without being asked ( my friends were put on the back burner for a while), I bought all kinds of things frilly and PINK (even though I really didn't have the money to do so).

I SPOILED HER from the git go.

SJ was in my wedding even before she was able to walk down the aisle as a flower girl. My son was born one week before she turned one. She was an aunt twice before she started kindergarten. SJ was like one of my own, like my very own daughter. My boys and she did things with each other all the time. They played, they fought ... they grew up together. They went to high school together (all 3 of them at the same time one year). Not only did I support my boys in all their endeavors, I did it for her too. I went to her sporting events, I went to the Friday night football games (my alma mater also - Go VIKINGS!) and watched the band perform, I traveled (with my parents and kids) far and wide to watch the band competions, I went to parades the band was in, I was on pins and needles when the band went to London to perform (ask her someday about the bomb scare), I bought raffle tickets and fundraiser items, I had to be there before she left for the Homecoming dances and Proms to take pictures, I went to her graduation from high school and college too. I did it all, just like I did with my boys because, well ... it was like she was one of my own! My baby sister ... the little girl I never had.

When SJ got older and decided to move away from the area, I watched and sobbed as she and her boyfriend (now husband) drove away to start a new life somewhere she had never been. I vividly remember that wooden giraffe in the back window staring back at me (she still has it too). I was lost and felt like I had just lost my best friend ... for days and days afterwards. I wished that I had had the courage back then to do what she did - leave everything behind and start over new. (Of course my boys would have come with me, but I never left). I still live in the town where SJ was born and grew up. I was the maid of honor in her wedding and I was extremely honored when she asked me.

SJ and I both have our lives to live on opposite sides of the United States, so we don't get to talk as much as we used to, but we still keep in touch. I travel to CO as often as I can. She sends pictures of her family. We IM when time allows (the time difference sucks!) We talk on the phone from time to time (although it is usually a bit late for me, but she is worth staying up for).

She gets me (I think) and I get her (I think)!

SJ has always listened when I was going through tough times - offering advice, not telling me what to do! SJ introduced me to the blogging world and with her encouragement, here I am !! Another great way to keep in touch and inform each other about the comings and goings of our lives. (And it doesn't even matter what time it is !) SJ is still one of my best friends. I still miss the fact that I can't see her whenever I want. I have kidded her often that I was the test case (1st child) and she is the polished, final result (last child) !!

I love all my siblings dearly, but there will always be something special about the youngest. (Ask my brothers and other sister - they would probably tell you the same thing).

SJ was beautiful then ...

And still is now ...

Hugs and Kisses and Lots of Love to SJ - my baby sister.

****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ******
This post is so much longer than I thought it would be (and I need to get to bed) so questions 2 thru 5 will appear Tuesday night (PROMISE)
****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ******

2. What is one thing you want to do before you die? (That's kind of a morbid question, sorry)

3. Do you worry more or less about your kids when they are adults?

4. Are you hoping for more grandkids?

5. What type of work do you do?

1. If you want to do this meme, although I think most already have, leave me a comment saying, "Interview me." (If I don't have your email address already, either leave it in the comment or email me at

2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.

3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Weight Loss Wednesday with a Little Bit of Disappointment

Well, at least I didn't gain a full lb. !!

Weight Last Week 197 lbs.
Weight Today 197.6 lbs.
Goal Weight 180 lbs.

16.4 lbs. to Go !

I guess this is what happens when you celebrate a 3 lb. weight loss !! Maybe I should go back to CO for another vacation !!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I'ts Tuesday ALREADY

Where does the time go?

I send my thanks to Rachel for sending me interview questions (this past Thursday) per my request and all in the same sentence, I send my apologies for not answering them yet. I haven't forgotten, but a few of the questions deserve much attention (from me to get the answers just right) and I just haven't had the time (or felt good enough) to do them justice. (She's a tough cookie - but very good and insightful in what she asked).

I tell you all of this because SPRING TIME has found it's beginnings in Northern Virginia and my allergies are draining me way too quickly. Everything is covered in a disgusting yellowish-green dust. It is sad when you walk to your car after work and when you get there, your black shoes are no longer black, but yellow! The trees are the culprits right now and there is an end in sight,but it can't get here soon enough!

Wouldn't you know - I feel fine while at work because, well, it's air conditioned and I work in the basement so the pollen doesn't find it's way down there. In the basement and in the middle of the building ... where no doors to the outside are in sight -

Before and after, the pollen attacks me!

My sinuses drain (yuk), my eyes water and get puffy, my nose runs, I sneeze and I am not in a real good mood as of late, especially when the sinus headache sets in. It's hot and stuffy and I refuse to turn on the AC yet (It's April, for Pete's sake)! So, the windows get opened and the pollen keeps me company. Rain is in the forecast, so relief is on the way and then I will get busy answering the questions.

On a completely different subject unrelated to all of the above ...

Did anyone see American Idol tonight? When Blake sang Imagine by John Lennon, I had goosebumps ... but the judges didn't like it that well !! Your thoughts on that performance and all the others are welcome. (It is so much more enjoyable now that Sanjaya is finally gone ...)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

I'm Just a Drop in the Bucket ...

But if everyone did the same, the results would be monumentous and there would never be a shortage !

I proudly display the following items on my car ...


I am a gold Champions For Life card holder (which means I regularly donate at least 4 times a year). You get special treatment - you get to go to the front of the line! (a pretty good perk if the donor site is busy and lots of people are waiting). I would still donate if I wasn't a card holder and I would patiently wait ...but hey - according to the American Red Cross, I am a VIP !!

When I found out that I was CMV negative, I became even more passionate about giving blood.


What this means is that since I am not a carrier of CMV, my blood can be given to Newborn Babies and anyone else who has a compromised immune system.

Quoted from Wikipedia is the following blurb ...

"Relevance to blood donors
Although the risks discussed above are generally low, CMV assays are part of the standard screening for non-directed blood donation (donations not specified for a particular patient) in the U.S. CMV-negative donations are then earmarked for transfusion to infants or immunocompromised patients. Some blood donation[1] centers may maintain lists of donors whose blood is CMV negative due to special demands."

I am on that list and get contacted all the time. This is very near and dear to me because my oldest son was a preemie and received numerous blood transfusions during the first days of his life. Someone back in 1976, generously donated blood and he benefited from their gift and now it is my turn to give back that precious gift.

This past Tuesday evening, I stopped at a local Fire Station that was holding a blood drive. I stuck out my arm ....

I was past due for a donation (you can donate every 56 days) and with the tragedy at Virginia Tech, I knew that blood would be in even greater demand. I had many things that I should have been taking care of at home, but I felt that an hour or so of my time at the Blood Donor Site was more important - someone out there needed the Gift of Life. The things at home could wait, but those in need could not.

So, I donated my 49th pint (that is 6 gallons plus 1 pint since the early 80's). It was painless ... and so very important to someone in need.

The American Red Cross routinely gives you some type of thank you gift after your donation. That night I received this ...

Note: it looks funny because I pulled the sleeve over onto the front of the shirt because their was an image on the sleeve also (Rejuvenate Yourself ... And Someone Else)

On Friday, I proudly wore a VA Tech T-shirt.

Yesterday, I proudly wore this one.

I have quite a collection a shirts from over the years and I wear them all the time. My most favorite one says "Are you my type?" on the front. The Red Cross info is on the back. It has been interesting sometimes when I wear it - who doesn't need a little attention every now and then?

Another perk of giving blood (in my opinion, that is) is what they have to offer you when you go to the canteen for 10 minutes after your donation. You get a cold drink and ....

I "Heart" Famous Amos cookies !

I sometimes wonder ... do I donate to Help Save A Life or ... to get some of those scrumptious cookies!

If you can, consider giving the Gift of Life because - Together, we can save a life.

I do and will again in about 50 days or so.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

My Ribbons of Support

Yes, it was my neighbor ... she's the greatest! I gave her one of the ribbons I made (she CAN wear that on her uniform). Not only did she get me a t-shirt, she got one for herself, one each for her 2 nieces, one each for 2 of her sisters, AND a t-shirt and hat for each of her 2 nephews that live in CA. Plus, she got a bunch of hats (but I don't know who they are for). Peebles Department Store was a lifesaver and it looks like she dropped a bundle of $$ - all in support of the VA TECH family.


P.S My intended post for tonight will just have to wait ...

Oh My Goodness !!

Imagine my surprise this evening when I got home and there was a VA TECH t-shirt hanging on my door !! I suspect that it was my neighbor who has already left her house to go watch Survivor with her sisters and nieces. (She is a postal carrier and has to wear her uniform, which is understandable.) I was late getting home because I cruised by Walmart to buy something maroon and orange ( I have maroonish clothing but nothing orange!) No t-shirts to be found at the Walmart and ... not much in the fabric/craft department. I did pick up some ribbon (kinda) in the almost appropriate colors and was planning on making some ribbons to share - which I will still do! This is awesome !! I hope that I see a sea of maroon and orange throughout my workplace tomorrow.

The big boss sent out an email today urging everyone (thousands of people) to show their support tomorrow . THIS IS FREAKING AWESOME !!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Weight Loss Wednesday w/ Wonder Woman

Weight 2 weeks ago - 200 lbs
Weight today - 197 lbs
Goal Weight - 180 lbs

17 lbs to go !!

My face - not my body (at least not yet !!)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Tribute to VA Tech

Just saw this on the 11:00 news ....

Even though there are no VA Tech Alumni on the Washington Nationals Baseball Team, each player on the team tonight wore a VA Tech baseball cap to show their respect.

And ... one of the victims is from Woodbridge, a freshman (I think).

So very tragic ...

My Heart is Breaking ....

And I don't know what to do or how to help. Matt just called and he forgot. His wife is pissed and I feel that she has no right to be. Today is his wedding anniversary. He forgot. He didn't acknowledge it. (As a side note, his mother-in-law forgot too.) But his marriage is in shambles - he has tried and tried and things just don't seem to get any better. He asked me what to do and I had no answer for him. Mothers are supposed to have answers ...

I never forget! I always acknowledge birthdays and anniversaries (and other events too!) But, today I didn't. No card in the mail, no phone call ... I just couldn't do it. Being in the situation that they are in ... It just didn't feel right. How could I send them Happy Wishes when they aren't happy? How could I celebrate something that may not be in existence much longer? I hate divorce ... I've been there. He's torn ... there are kids involved. He loves them - he misses them when he isn't there.

As soon as I left for CO, he went home. I don't understand ... he hasn't talked about it ... He's an adult and I can't fix everything for him ... But, I'm his Mother. I feel so helpless ... I had a feeling that he'd go back. I thought about it during the entire trip across the country. She had called him before I left and berated him for "abandoning his children". He didn't abandon them ... he was trying to give her her space. She said "You could have least called them". I know (and I think he knew too) that if he had called she would have said NO and not let him speak to them. She is manipulative - she is controlling - she loves to put you a guilt trip.

It just didn't feel right. I just couldn't do it. And now, I feel like I failed him miserably. I am supposed to be there for him, and I wasn't. I'm his mother.

My original post got put on the back burner. I have to work through this first.

It just hasn't been a good week so far (and it's only Tuesday). Tonight, I learned that the killer of all those innocent people at VA Tech is from Northern Virginia - Centreville - less than a hour away from where I live. I felt sick to my stomach when I read it. And there was a tragic fire just down the road from where I live early yesterday morning. A 24 year old firefighter lost his life. He was searching for the 7 occupants of the house - the roof collapsed, the high winds made the fire burn furiously - the people had gotten out and no one told the firefighters. Another life lost that potentially could have been prevented.

My heart is breaking ... for one that I love and for so many that I have never met.

Monday, April 16, 2007

A Feel Good Story in Honor of Autism Awareness Month

Here is this town that I live, 2 fun-loving fathers have opened a pretzel shop named "Noah's Pretzels". One of them has a 6 year old son (Noah) who is autistic.

It all started when his Mom and he were waiting for their pizza at a restaurant and Noah started to yell. She could tell that the other people in the restaurant were annoyed, but he was just excited that his pizza was coming. They just didn't understand ....

She hopes that when autistic children come to Noah's Pretzels (her husband and his partner's new business), people won't judge the children - or their parents - too harshly if they act a little differently.

The pretzel shop is just as dedicated to teaching customers about autism as it is to making scrumptous, soft, warm pretzels (some of which are gluten free). There are Autism Awareness banners hanging throughout the shop. These people are trying to teach tolerance about this neurological disorder that affects so many people. If the child wants or needs to yell, they don't have to worry about being judged in this shop. Their parenting skills are often questioned when the son "misbehaves" in the eyes of people ignorant of the disorder. One of the walls of the shop is starting to fill up with pictures of autistic children who have visited. This wall shows that it is almost impossible to tell the difference between a child with autism and a child without it.

The shop is open every day of the week, but pretzels are only served on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Parents can come anytime to talk and learn and share stories.

I haven't had a chance to stop in yet, but it is definitely on my to-do list. To check it out, go to Noah's Pretzels.

April is Autism Awareness Month - spread the word.

Friday, April 13, 2007

I'M BACK .....

The jet lag is no longer kickin my butt !

I got back into town Wednesday evening and I think I scared the CRAP out of the two ladies that were sitting behind me on the plane ... not on purpose, of course! I have flown into Washington Reagan National before and know that it is a quick landing. The landing area is short and I know that there is water (the Potomac River) at the end of the runway. So, just as the plane is about to hit the pavement, I brace myself with the seat in front of me and the window beside me ... the ladies behind me are whispering (but I can hear) ... She's holding on for dear life, Oh my God, does she know something that we don't? I very calmly tell them that the plane will land and stop quickly. Just about then, Thump and the feeling like you have just stopped at the end of a very fast moving roller coaster ! I turn around and both of their faces are as white as a sheet. They gain their composure and say "Thanks for the Warning". I didn't dare tell them about the water ... If I can recall correctly, I do believe that once upon a time, a plane didn't stop on time and ended up at the edge of the water !!

Washington Reagan National Aiport is always a treat!

I went to work on Thursday and probably should have stayed home instead. The alarm clock went off at 5:30 - my body says NO, it's only 3:30. Same thing the night before ... crawl into bed at 11:30 and toss and turn - no one in their right mind goes to bed at 9:30 ! Very short night indeed. I was greeted with hundreds of emails (and stupid questions) and got absolutely nothing accomplished all day. But hey, I was getting paid for being there !

Today was much better (even though it is Friday the 13th!) and I am glad to announce, there were no mishaps of any kind ... unless you consider traffic a mishap. But, here in Northern VA, traffic on a Friday is always a pain even when it isn't Friday the 13th. 30 Mile Backup during the evening rush hour ! A tractor trailer caught on fire THIS MORNING on southbound I95 - emergency road repairs caused the backup in the evening. It must have been ONE HELLUVA FIRE !! Ironically, it was a tractor trailer fire on I95 North, the morning I left for my trip (when it took LB 2 1/2 hours to make a 45 min. or so drive to my house). The night I came home, the highway was backed up due to an afternoon crash on I95 North ( a tractor trailer hauling beer and a car that collided with it and caught fire). Budweiser anyone? It was all over the road, but probably a little warm due to the heat of the fire. Luckily, LB didn't have to make the trip that night ... Matt (and Jillian) came and got me and he lives up here, so he didn't get tangled up in the mess. Jillian says to me, when I finally get out of the airport - "Grandma - what took you so long?" I told her to go talk to the baggage carousel ...


So, tonight I get a phone call - Josh wants to know if I am home yet? He has to go to the bathroom. Isn't it amazing that one doesn't hear from their kid unless they need something? So, he stops by to use the facilities - and I got to see the new granddaughter (one month old next week!). We decide to go and grab something to eat because they would be starving by the time they got home (they would have to get into the 30 mile backup). We head on down the road to go to Sully's and IT IS CLOSED ! I was so Bummed Out ... that was one of my most favorite places to go for a steak and sweet potato. There is a small typed sign on the window that said that Mr and Mrs Sullivan (can't remember their names, even though in was on the sign) have decided to retire and that the kids wanted to go off and do something different with their families. A Sad Day in the neighborhood, to say the least. It must have been a quick decision because at least 3 other cars drove up while we were there and I'm sure they were disappointed also.

Anyways, once I get my pictures downloaded (and my laundry done), I will update with the adventures of my vacation (JET LAG SUCKS).

But, on a positive note, I am now the proud owner of my very own CHICKEN POOP !

UPDATE: The latest truck was hauling tomatoes !! (AH ... Fried tomatoes - I wonder if they were green?) Two lanes of the highway had to be repaved (the fire melted it) and the bridge had to be checked out to make sure it was still structurally safe.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Just Waitin ...

It's 8:53 EST and my sister is on the highway coming here to pick me up (traffic due to a tractor trailer truck fire on I95 is slowing her down a bit), so I am just waitin ..... for that big plane ride in the sky! Watch out Colorado - I'm on my way !!

Be back in a week!

Can't wait to see Mom and Dad, SJ, KJ and of course, Junior and Isaac. I think I'm in for a treat!