Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Vodkamom: Estelle - in a five-year-old body.

Vodkamom: Estelle - in a five-year-old body.

Now, how could I ever top this one?

When I need a breath of air, when I need a laugh, Vodkamom is always there.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday sillies


Sheesh. Yesterday was too dark. Even this morning. Change up.

Baked brownies, rented movies, and took my girl to the park. Have you ever seen such dirty feet? Not me - I can't see past her smile.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Backlash.

Ever heard of magical thinking? Yeah.

My mother died when I was 10. I never got to see her at the end; never got to say goodbye. Maybe she wasn't really dead. Maybe my behavior was bad enough that she just left. She was living somewhere in he world unencumbered by a barely 10 year old girl who sometimes was self-centered (just ask my aunt, I was - and I had poor penmanship, too.)

Or maybe she died because I didn't do something to better care for her when she was sick. I mean, I was 10...I should have been able to cure her, right?

Right?

It wasn't until I was well into adulthood that I learned abut magical thinking. Common.

And it wasn't. my. fault.

And yet...

I wrote about breast cancer yesterday.

And this morning a woman I know died. From breast cancer.

I was up in a beautiful mountain town, with a great guy, and all I could think all day was....(fill in the blank). I could have done more for my friend Heide, should have raised more money for research, should have known to reach out to someone more.

I am taken immediately back to that 10 year old child, Scared. Anxious. Afraid.

What makes you afraid? What do you feel responsible for?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Going Pink for October

Ok, this is important to me. Too many friends and family have had to walk the road of breast cancer. My sister-in-law, Ellen. My friends Wanda, Michelle, Rana, Sharon, this list could go on and on. My best friend's sister, Dorothy and my friend Heide (unfortunately, not survivors). Some may call Breast Cancer Awareness Month "pinkwashing," a way to make money, and not really to help. Not me....

And I think back, to a time seven years ago....seven years. In some ways it seems like yesterday, in others a lifetime. Marilyn's sister Dorothy was still sick. Very sick. I saw a commercial about the Breast Cancer 3-day, and made a commitment that very day.

I raised over $2,000 and walked 60 miles in three days. Was it easy? Uh, no. Was it fun? Absolutely. Heart-warming? You betcha. Will I ever do it again? Probably not, as my knee ended up being damaged far more than I thought.

In honor of what so many people do to fight this enemy, I'm reposting my diary from the Breast Cancer 3-day I was a part of in 2003.

Day 0 - November 6, 2003

I traveled to Sacramento via Amtrak bus...met some interesting people and got to see the newly remodeled Redding Amtrak depot - it's a beauty! My friend Marilyn picked me up at the Sacramento depot - remodel going on there, too - what I saw was lovely. We shopped for some new jammies, grabbed a quick lunch & hit the road!

Arrived at the Expo Center in San Mateo for registration - very well organized! We saw a safety and orientation video (okay, I was crying already - is the whole weekend going to be this moving? I have a feeling it will be!). We then moved on to towel rental (no one wants to use a wet towel all weekend, do they?), and got in line for final check on our donations...we all had to commit to a minimum of $2000 and many of us had checks that still had to be turned in to make that minimum...lots of great volunteers helped this move quickly - had my first meeting with "Pretty Woman Guy." Okay, pink hair, pink gloves, lots of smiles - who is this guy? His name is Phil...that's about all I know now....he made sure that those who didn't meet the minimum got matched up with those who went over, so that no one was turned away from walking. Anyway, after confirming our donations, we got our official event badges!!! We got our tent assignment - G048 - and we were on our way! There were ladies at the door to hand us pink carnations and off we were to the Radisson Villa Hotel in San Mateo.

Very nice hotel room - built in the 50s but recently remodeled - we had a picture of Albert Einstein to inspire us! We ventured to the restaurant for the walker's special pasta buffet - and were seated with a couple from Redding! Small world...

We stuffed ourselves, showered and off to sleep early....with visions of blisters in our heads.

Day 1 - Friday, November 6, 2003

It's my wedding anniversary! Six years ago today, John and I pledged our love to one another before God and our friends and family. Today, I walk to save families...

Started early. The bus picked us up at the hotel at 5:00 a.m. On the way to Bay Meadows racetrack, we met a woman named Jackie. She has flown from Ohio, by herself, to join the walk in honor of her friend, Mary, who recently underwent a mastectomy. We invited her to join our merry band! After dropping our gear at the big "G" truck, we walked to Opening Ceremonies, which started just after 6:30 a.m. Okay, they were beautiful...I was crying already. Just talking to those around us, we met women from all over. There was a group of survivors standing onstage holding a banner - one woman looked as though she might have just finished treatment - she had about 1/8 inch of hair - and a glorious, triumphant smile! A physical therapist led us through about 15 minutes of stretching, and off we went! Folks were there to cheer us on our way in the breaking dawn. We walked 19.9 miles the first day - honestly, it wasn't that bad. Marilyn and I had trained well, and the exuberance of the crowd carried us on. Since I'd trained pushing 75 pounds of kids around the River Trail in a double stroller, this seemed easy!

There were about five pit-stops, along with lunch, where literally dozens of volunteers fed us, filled our water bottles with gallons of water and Gatorade (by the way, blue is much favored over orange), provided porta-potties (some even were decorated!), medical care, laughter and positive encouragement! There is a group of women calling themselves the "Cheerios" who taught us the chant, "Urinate, hydrate, stretch, stretch, stretch!" Very wise words from women who know! And now I know the mystery of "Pretty Woman Guy" - he drives his truck back and forth along the route blasting the song, "Pretty Woman." Actually, he alternates this with the theme from the movie, "Rocky." This guy is awesome!

By about 3:00 the clouds were thickening, our feet were starting to hurt and we were getting tired....and still it was nothing like the fatigue a person with breast cancer endures. On our last stretch into Coyote Point Recreation Area, the heavens opened and it poured! We squished our way into the campsite that was set up for us. It was great. We got our gear and our tent and mercifully, it stopped raining before we set up the tent. There were, again, lots of volunteers to help - they carried bags, set up tents for these who had never done it before, answered questions (like, what is the best way to apply moleskin, and can you remove it without removing vital layers of skin?). Once the tent was up, we went off to find the dining tent. We were certainly well fed! Salmon, wild rice, breadsticks, salad, green beans and a choice of desserts! We sat family-style at long tables, which was just as it should be. We stayed for the announcements, then decided to skip showers and go to bed....yes, Marilyn and I were in our sleeping bags, asleep, by 7:30 p.m.

Day 2 - Saturday, November 8


Wow - I felt pretty good! No muscle soreness, no blisters, the sore feet feel great! Ah, the recuperative powers of a good night's sleep....we made our way, again, to the dining tent - so much food! But I guess we need the calories. Grabbed a shower, packed up our tent and gear and off we went. Today we met Venus - she's a local and joins us for the rest of the walk...this is great - she's our tour guide! Sprinkles off and on today - we've heard that our campsite for tonight is flooded out from the rains yesterday. They will bus us back to Bay Meadows Racetrack to eat and sleep. But off we go to Daly City...we walked through some wonderful neighborhoods. You meet so many people...while walking, at the pit-stops, at lunch...it's amazing. We are all so different in so many ways, but at the core, we actually have far more in common than I had ever imagined. We are moms, dads, daughters, sons, friends, businesspeople, doctors, lawyers, students, white and blue and pink-collared workers, homemakers (okay, honestly, I didn't run into any others besides me) - but we are all here because we believe - we believe that we can make a difference, that we are not powerless, that many working together can do so much more than one individual...I met orphans, and widowers, and survivors! And I met one young man whose life had not even been touched by breast cancer - and he was there, walking....to make a difference. There were those with disabilities, with illnesses, with breast cancer, even, and we were all walking together...Some were fast, some were slow, and most of us were in between, but we all walked to raise money and awareness to fight this disease that touches so many lives.

The feet started hurting earlier today - around lunchtime. And my knee started hurting as well - I ran into this problem during training, and would rest for a day or two and it would be okay...that is not an option here. We are all starting to feel the miles....every step is a concerted effort to make it to the finish line. It starts raining again about 3:00 p.m. We keep slogging along, up and down the biggest hills I've ever seen (okay, maybe that's an exaggeration) until we make it to Junipero Sera Elementary School in Daly City. We are cold, we are wet, and we are tired...we are ushered briefly into a church next door to get a cup of coffee, the moved across the parking lot to an area where we wait for buses to transport us to the race track. It's still pouring rain...we are given mylar emergency blankets and told to stay wrapped up. There are 13 buses to transport 1404 walkers and nearly 400 crew members to Bay Meadows race track....needless to say, we are in for a long wait, since traffic in this area is a mite busier than I'm used to in Redding. We meet some new friends...we laugh a lot...we are so tired of standing. My left ankle is starting to hurt every time I put weight on it, so I'm standing on one leg. But it's nothing like what Christy's mom went through 13 years ago following her mastectomy and chemo, not to mention the radiation...After about an hour they started handing out those little disposable hand-warmers, and advise us if we start shivering and can't stop to flag down a volunteer medic. An ambulance takes someone away...we all wonder, and some of us pray...

Finally, it's our turn! We ride in blissful comfort to Bay Meadows...now I know a little of what it must feel to be taken to an emergency shelter following a natural disaster...I think of refugees, and the homeless. We are allowed to put our bags down - we find a spot near the betting machines and find the nearest bathrooms...blessed flush toilets! We then are told we can stake out a spot for our sleeping bags upstairs, but must leave the rest of our gear downstairs. Marilyn, Jackie, Venus, and I find a spot - it's carpeted! And it's in the Ladies Lounge....oh, well. We go outside to the buffet line (it's stopped raining) and go back in to find a table. We have dinner in the Sports Bar, but unfortunately they're not serving tequila tonight!

I then find my way to the medical triage tent. I see a nurse, get a quick massage and then the massage therapist decides I need more care....I wait some more and am seen by a chiropractic intern from Palmer College...again, these folks have donated their time to get us over the finish line! By 10:00 I find my way back to the Ladies Lounge and it's off to sleep...not for long, alas, as the flushing toilets are heard all night...and the crew awakens at 4:00 to get ready for the day.

Day 3 - Sunday, November 9

I head back to the medical tent to get my foot taped and knee wrapped, have some breakfast, and we wait for the buses again. I'm tired, I hurt, and we still have a full day. I am not giving up...it would be so easy to just take the bus to the finish line..there is no shame. Not every one can walk every step. But I'm going to see what I can do today. I spend most of the day walking behind my friends...but I meet some new folks this way, and spend some time walking alone in prayer. That's okay. And I meet up with Marilyn, Jackie, and Venus at every stop. And the day is absolutely beautiful. Lunch is pretty long today... When I arrived at Duboce Park, where we eat, I am in so much pain with every step I don't see how I can go on....I called John on my cell phone and he was so wonderful, so positive, so reassuring, but my body is screaming - I am almost in tears, but when I hear him tell me that he knows I can finish, I believe him.....I head over to the physical therapy area, and after some care, and ice, and re-wrapping, I'm good to go!

After about a half hour, the pain is back, but I am not giving up now. We finally enter Golden Gate Park, and it's one of those miraculous Sunday afternoons I remember from the Bay Area...families and singles are everywhere, enjoying the park...there are dogs and kids, volleyball games and roller-skaters, and everyone is cheering us on! I finally get to victory row, and every walker who has already finished is there in long rows for high-fives.....including the police officers from San Jose who have taken 4 days without pay to ensure our safety....I am in tears again, but this time they are tears of joy. I meet up with Marilyn, Jackie and Venus and we walk together to get our T-shirts and wait for the closing ceremonies....

We did it...we walked every step..we encouraged each other and laughed together and made new friends...but most importantly - we raised four million dollars!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I read this now and it all comes rushing back to me - every emotion, everybody's face, all of it. My life is so different now. In 2003 I was a blissfully unaware, happily married, stay-at-home mom. Today I'm divorced and working hard to support my wonderful kids who are growing so fast. But those three days in 2003 remain three of the most incredible days I've lived.

Go hug your mom, your sister, your best friend. Remind her to do a breast self exam, and if you're a woman, do one yourself. You owe it to the people who love you.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Grammar Police

Sticklers Make a Point.
Be warned. I look for these...because I celebrate this every day. One day a year is just not enough.

Not long ago, a friend had his car burglarized and his stereo as taken. We also have a friend named Kelley. A few days after his loss, I found this on Facebook:
got a security alarm on my car ya and that will stop the someone from breaking in my car and hanging out with Kelley today having fun.

I responded that I wasn't surprised that someone out there would break into his car just to hang out with Kelley, because she really IS fun.

He wasn't amused.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Possibility of Everything

I cannot wait to read this book. It reminds me, a bit, of "The Horse Boy," another story of a family who travels far to find shamans to help with their child. Loved that book.

Besides, I love reading books written by people I know or have at least met.

I found an old blog I wrote about the author of "The Possibility of Everything," Hope Edelman.

Nah - it is mostly about me because that's how I roll. But I did mention her.

I met Hope in 2002, after she posted a request for people to interview on a Motherloss forum. Here is what I wrote in 2004, looking back on our meeting:

Two years (or a lifetime) of waiting is over

It comes out today - Hope Edelman's new book, "Motherless Mothers." I was one of the women Hope interviewed for research. I actually called Barnes & Noble and they have one copy - they're holding it for me.

Two years ago, I was so excited to meet Hope. Her book, "Motherless Daughters" was a godsend for me...another motherless daughter, Lisa, gave it to me as a gift. We stick together, those of us who lost our mothers when we were young. We comprise a family of women with no anchor, no guidepost, no idea of how to become a women... My mother will always be perfect, because she died before she I could realize she wasn’t. I live up to the memory of a women I can never be, because she never was.

Anyway, I prepared carefully for my meeting with Hope - I left early from home, armed with a full tank of gas, two maps, phone numbers...I am a planner. What I didn't plan for - the impact of talking about being a mother without the slightest idea of how to do it right. What I didn't plan for - the impact of talking about things that no one else but a motherless daughter would understand. And I never planned to have my emotions laid bare in the dining room at the Claremont Hotel.

It was a beautiful day in the Oakland Hills. The restaurant was lovely - white, starched linen, and white, starched diners and employees, in stark contrast to the streets I drove through to get there. I remember the soup – Navy Bean, and the iced tea. I remember watching the sweat form on the glass, because I knew that if I looked away, if I looked at Hope, I would start to cry. Eventually I did. I sat in the beautiful restaurant, sobbing like the child I felt like I was. We talked about everything – my mother’s death, my belief that it was my fault, marrying late, adopting children – losing a child. My loss was fresh, and I had been so philosophical about it up until that day. My mother-in-law – how different she was from my mother, and how I wanted to be close to her, but always felt awkward calling her “mom” like she asked.

On that sunny afternoon, I was a married woman with a two-year-old son, a husband who loved me, and had just been through a failed adoption – the little girl we had dreamed of, who looked just like my husband, and only had for six months. My life revolved around my family – I stayed home full-time, except for some volunteer work, with Jacob always along. Today I sit in my office overlooking the river, a full-time working, single mother of two absolutely amazing children. I live every day wondering if I’ll live to teach my daughter how to become a woman – after all, my mother died when I (her youngest child) was 10, and she lost her mother when she was 15 (but her youngest child was 10). I don’t even know if any of my story made it into her book – except that all our stories have a single thread. Only the top thread, no bobbin thread to hold it in place or keep it from unraveling.


Well, I am in the book. Right there on page...oh, no - I won't tell you. Read the book. You'll know it's me, I'm sure of it, even though she changed everyone's names to protect the innocent. Or idiotic, as she must have thought I was, having a breakdown in the middle of the Claremont.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Oh, yeah...I can do that.

First I saw this on Kottke.org.
Then it showed up on Dooce.com.
Now I have watched it approximately 8,012 times.
I have seen probably 98% of these movies...some I now want to watch again, and I absolutely have to watch the ones I haven't seen.
There are a few that were only redeemed by the dancing.
Enjoy.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Jewcy News


My name is Annie, and I am an orphan.

And my hair is curly, though you will rarely see it in that state. But it is NOT red, unless my hairdresser is lying to me.

So, I am not that orphan Annie.

But since my last surviving parent died when I was 10, family history has been hard to come by. Seriously, have you shared your darkest, deepest family secrets with your children under 10? For crying out loud, my mother hadn't even gotten to the sex talk with me before she died.

So what does a girl with an active imagination do? She imagines.

When I was in college, I had a kick-ass roommate named Linda. I learned a lot from her. Her family would invite me for holidays, and that was awesome. Now, getting invited to someone else's house for holidays can be really awkward, but somehow it never was with them. Her father - a Scandinavian Lutheran. Her mother - a Romanian Jew. One that auditioned for "Match Game," no less. She taught me to saute onions in butter until they were so sweet and golden they would make you cry.

I decided right then and there that I must have been Jewish in a previous life.

Forget about the fact that my mother was a lapsed Catholic and my father Russian Orthodox. Forget they had me baptized at All Saints Episcopal Church in BEVERLY HILLS, no less, because apparently, that was the thing to do.

Fast forward a couple years and I auditioned for an unnamed cola product (ahem) in Petaluma, California. 400 people showed up for the audition. I thought it would be a kick, so I was one of them. First round, second round, third round...and so it went. I looked around, and there were six of us left.

Six. Are you kidding me? I knew in my heart that if I had made it this far, I had it made.

"No, thank you." I stared at the judge, stunned. "Can you tell me what I could do differently next time?" I asked.

"You are too ethnic looking." I continued to stare at her, my hazel eyes surrounded by milk white skin that freckles if I am out in the sun too long. "Ethnic?"

"You are Jewish, and we are going for the all-American look." "I look too Jewish? What, Jewish people don't drink ^&#*^#*???"

I didn't touch a %^&*( product for 10 years. Want to know how many subsidiaries they have and what they actually make? Just ask me, I know.

Eventually, I walked away, puzzled.

But somehow, I was always drawn to Judaism. Through the years, I have attended numerous Holocaust remembrances. Poured over Jewish cookbooks (hey, I love the food). Read every Faye Kellerman book written, because I love the way she tells of the traditions.

A month or so ago I got an email from a nephew I rarely hear from. He had been contacted by a guy in Russia who thought we might be related. A Google Translate correspondence began that day. We compared relatives, pictures, old articles.

He is, I believe, my first cousin, twice removed. He lives in Ufa, in the Republic of Bashkortostan in the Russian Federation. And I have learned much about the family I never knew. He is descended from the brother who stayed behind when my father, two of his brothers, and his sister left Moscow.

And one of the things he told me?

Yup. My father was Jewish. 100%.

He was baptized in the Russian Orthodox Church because that was the thing to do ...if one wanted to succeed in Tsarist Russia, one did what one must.

So, because of my patrilineal descent, I would be considered a Jew in Reform Judaism. Not by the Conservatives or the Orthodox, who only recognize matrilineal descent. Who knows about my mother - she was born in Claremont-Ferrand, France, and her maiden name was Wilson. Right.

It just amazes me that I always felt this pull, this fascination and commonality with the Jewish people, and it turns out to have basis.

So now what? Do I learn to shukkel? Do I join J-Date?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Kill them all

I am not a scaredy cat. Well, not too much.

In college, I had a science textbook with full page, shiny color pictures of various living creatures. One page had a picture of a spider nearly as big as the banana spider I met once on Kaua'i.

I stapled the page to the one before it, so that I would never have to look at that photo.

Years ago, I worked for a business called Creative Leisure. Great name. Great place to work. Best of all, the people I worked with. And there is one I will never forget, because she saved me from the alien creature.

Working late one night, Louise and I were the only ones in the building. I went into the ladies room, and the first thing I saw was an alien.

I. am. not. kidding.

I had never seen anything like it. It was gigantic, and ugly, and terrifying. I screamed, frozen, unable to save myself. I screamed and screamed and screamed, until my throat was raw. Tears flowed down my face. I knew I would die that day.

Louise came rushing in, only to run right out again.

She deserted me. Or so I thought...immediately she reentered, with a broom and dustpan.

She swept the creature into the dustpan (no easy feat) and took it outside.

Once my sobbing slowed, she explained to me that it was...

A potato bug.

Not poisonous, though with a painful bite.

I knew she was wrong. I knew this was an alien being, sent here to terrify and torture human beings.

Thankfully, our paths have not crossed again.

Until today.

My son had two friends spend the night. While clearing the side yard (as fair payment for keeping me awake last night), they found...

Insert Bakaleinikoff 4-note creature theme.

Note one, but TWO potato bugs.

After stabbing them to death with a sharp stick, I quickly Googled "kill potato bugs."

They recommended, "pick them up and drown them in a coffee can filled with soapy water.

Right.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

♫ Father runs triathlon with his son in tow

Friday, June 11, 2010

Summer Evening Joy


We are in the new house. Am I done putting things away? No. Do I even have the furniture where I want it? No.
Can I take a break to go to the park with my beautiful daughter, and laugh out loud?
Yes.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Guess who is moving?


We've been living in a two-bedroom townhouse for a couple years now. I share a room with my seven year old daughter. Let me repeat that, in case you didn't get it the first time: I share a room with a seven year old.

It is cute, and we have a killer pool, but townhome living has its drawbacks. Like the fact that my children are not allowed to ride their bikes. You read that correctly. They have to walk their bikes a block away before they can climb on and ride. The place is billed as a family complex, yet there is no bike riding, skating, skateboarding, running, or playing allowed.

That, and the fact that our new neighbors must really, really love each other. And I think they have a pet elephant.

So, thanks to Facebook, we are moving into a darling three bedroom house. I will be able to walk through my bedroom without stepping on a Barbie shoe (everyone knows they are so small as to be practically invisible, yet can do more damage than a machete.

We're moving in a few weeks. Come on over for a barbecue.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother"


I have been thinking a lot about families lately. What makes a family, and what makes a family work. How our family shapes the person we become. How my family is very nearly entirely made up by choice, and not biology.

Grandparents? Died before I was born.
Aunts and uncles? Died before I was 10.
Parents? See aunts and uncles.
Siblings? Two died before I was born. One died in 1991 and one in 1994. My remaining brother is my only tie to biology, though we share only the same mother. We were not raised together (he was 16 when I was born). We were separated when our mother died. I found him 14 years later.
Husband? Divorced (should I say failed?).
Children? Adopted.

Yet I rarely feel the lack of family. Not because I am a loner - that is far from the truth. I have friends closer to me than I see some sisters. I have connections with so many people that I value so much - it feels inadequate to call them friends.

Though I divorced five years ago, my ex and I remain very close. We see each other at least once a week, and talk more often than that. We have built a relationship completely around our children, and it works very well.

He is recently remarried, and I have to say - he marries really great women. I was number two, and remain friends with his first wife. We met and built a friendship while caring for her daughter, now a woman, and one of the coolest people I know.

I went to my ex's wedding reception on Saturday. And I didn't even pull a Shelley Long on "Modern Family." Haven't seen it? Watch it - it is funny. I felt welcomed, and my kids were thrilled to have "all" their parents there. But there were some parents missing.

Mother's Day is coming up, and I am thinking of the women who bore my children. Unable to care for them, the children were removed from their care. They weren't able to pull their lives together - at all - and I was able to adopt these amazing kids. Could I love them any more if they came out of my body? I honestly, truly could not imagine so.

On Mother's Days past, I have cried. I have locked myself in the bathroom. I've rejoiced. Most years, it's a combination of the three.

This year, I hope it is mostly rejoicing.

Happy Mother's Day.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I double dog dare you not to smile

156 Countries Sing Together for the Starbucks Love Project

Monday, January 4, 2010

How I've spent my kids' Christmas vacation


Holding my darling daughter while her foot was stitched and her toe "reduced." That's fancy talk for "grabbing the end of her toe and pulling it as hard as humanly possible until it pops back into alignment, while she screams her freakin' head off."

Holding her again when she got her stitches out. And finding out that if it hasn't started to heal in another week, she gets to have a pin put in. It's a toe. Who cares if it falls off, really?

Watching "Alvin and the Chipmunks, the Squeakquel." And being durn-fool enough to BUY. THE. SOUNDTRACK.

Finding out we DON'T get to move into my ex-husband's THREE bedroom house (after he moves out, of course)...but we get to stay here in our two bedroom apartment with the world's best neighbors. Too bad they are a couple buildings over, and the ones right next to us have a bad habit of banging on the wall when they think my kids are too loud. Never mind their baby who cries at all hours or their two horse-sized dogs who run up and down the stairs several times a day.

Having the crud come live in my chest, and then giving it to my wonderful kids, so that their coughing could keep me awake at night.

Crying and swearing I'll never date again, ever. Yeah, right. I've said THAT one before...in fact, I think it was on my resolutions for 2008.

I did make one resolution this year. One. Of course, I can't remember what it was, because I can't find the back of the envelope I wrote it on.

Wait, that's right.

Annie's 2010 New Year's Resolution:

To be more organized.

Pffft.

Happy New Year!