Friday, November 28, 2008

Shopping at Amazon?

When you shop at Amazon through the link posted on the Hear See Hope Foundation's website, Amazon will donate 4-8.5% of your purchase. This money goes towards researching Usher Syndrome, which is the number one cause of Deaf Blindness.

The foundation was started by a coupe that a friend of mine used to nanny for. They have four children, two with Usher.

So if you're going to shop on Amazon please use the link through their website as you'll be contributing to their foundation just by shopping! Pretty easy and no extra money out of pocket!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gobble, Gobble!

Happy Thanksgiving! God bless all of you!

Here are just a few things I'm thankful for:
-The opportunity to participate in the Mass this morning with both of my parents and my nephew.
-A wonderful family, with a new little girl on the way!
-Great friends, including my amazing boyfriend.
-A great job nannying.
-Being able to save my peacan pie after dropping it while trying to get it in the over.
-Surprise flowers to cheer my day.
-Dinners with family and friends.
-Those who support my loved ones with open hearts.
-The men and women serving our country.
-Tears and struggle that humble me and provide me with the opportunity for growth.

Thank you to all of you who bless my life. You are in my prayers today.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Seriously, Officer!?

Today is totally one of those days. I got yelled at by a police officer, it rained on my picnic, and I was almost pee'd on.

The day started off so well. Instead of waking up at 5:00 AM, I got to sleep in until 6:30 AM. Do you know how late that felt to me? Anytime I woke up, I would check the clock and I was just sure I had set my alarm wrong and that I must have made a mistake. It's amazing how much of a difference an hour and a half makes! One of the parents of the children I nanny had the day off of work and he was nice enough to let me come in a little late even though he intended to be out for most of the day running errands and getting some work done at his parents condo they use to visit the family.

The morning went pretty well with the kiddos, Veronica got off to school smoothly, and the other three were in good moods and well behaved. Eric and I decided that I would head over to the condo with the kids to meet his mom and nephew Josh for a little play date to walk to the park and have lunch. It was a fantastic idea, really.

I followed Eric over to the house and since there appeared to be no parking anywhere nearby, we felt like it would be a lot easier to pull over, unload the 3 kids (ages 1, 2, and 2) and then we could go find parking for the two cars. Apparently, not such a great idea! A cop came by checking parking and ever so nicely (or sarcastically you might say) pointed out the no parking sign down the street. We explained we were going to quickly unload, but to put it shortly, he said no. Eric went to park his car and I moved the van into the condo driveway - private driveway, it's cool, right? Again, no. Eric comes back and is bringing some things into the house and the cop comes back and threatens a ticket again. I tell him Eric is on his way back out, but he's out of his car, ready to go. Eric comes back to move the car, but still nothing changes and instead of the car getting moved, we have to sit there to "politely" talk about it. Once Eric's dad came out, the cop immediately got into his car. Hmmm. Apparently, since we were partially blocking the sidewalk, it was still inappropriate. "What if someone on a wheel chair came by?" I do enjoy examples, but really? There was enough room for a wheel chair to get by with out going into the street. No one's safety was at risk. I understand rules are rules and he has a job to do, but aren't those rules in place for safety? Wasn't it safer to just let us quickly unload the kids? We were in no way ever blocking any one or any cars from going by. But eh, what are you going to do. He's going to have it his way, and fine, ok, that's that. Negotiating and conversation were clearly not going to happen and any attempt at this it seems was "bad-mouthing" him. I'm pretty sure there was never anything negative said directed towards his person or otherwise. I would have loved if he could have provided us with another example for this situation because I just couldn't figure it out on my own.

Once all the drama was over, it was off to the park. We now had three 2 year old's and one 1 year old. And here starts the crying, whining, and arguing. It's amazing how contagious it is! "I want to walk alone!" "I want to sit in the stroller!" "I want my mommy!" "NO!" Oh man! This was actually the worst I have ever seen it on an outing. We get to the park and immediately there are 4 children fighting over 2 swings. Eventually Eleanor wonders off and her grandma follows. As soon as they are across the playground, Madeline needs to go to the bathroom. She is crying and trying to pull her tights down. Yikes! I leave the kids in the swings, sprint across the playground, tell the grandma, and run back to Maddy. Tights are almost all the way down now. I grab Maddy and I'm waiting for Grandma. Finally she gets there, we run to the community center where all of the door's downstairs are locked. SHOOT! I'm totally just waiting to get pee'd on. By the time we try the doors, Eleanor has come running after us and caught up. I don't really have time to be slowed down by her, but she is refusing to go back to grandma. What do I do!? Try to run with them both, let one run? No, no, no...all of my options will slow us down. Finally grandma comes after her and Eleanor is down on the ground crying. Sad, but I really don't want to be pee'd on!! I run up the stairs and just keep telling Maddy to hold on, we're almost there. We get inside and then have to get back downstairs to the bathrooms. AAAH! Luckily, we make it. But oh, wait! Madeline is afraid of public bathroom toilets! They flush really loud and she doesn't really like it! Still, I get her on the potty and all is well. We get back outside and poor Eleanor is still crying, even though she is now getting a turn on the swing. We work things out, but attitudes are just not good from any of them at this point.

I decide it's time to change gears and pull lunch out. Let's feed those little bellies, take a break, and and bring the fun back on. No, no. Let's fight over what color cheese we get, whine over who has what, and oh, Eleanor is afraid of the birds. SIGH. Could it get any worse? Oh, yes. Here comes the rain! It starts as a sprinkle and then slowly works into a steady, heavy rain. We pack up lunch, we pack up the kids, and crying again starts. And oh, there's my lunch on the ground! Josh is mad the diaper bag is on his seat (just keepin' it dry for you buddy!), Madeline still wants her mommy, Eleanor doesn't want to walk and grandma is now carrying her, and Georgia is mad she is in the stroller and not with Grandma, but is really the only one who can comfortably fit in the front of the stroller and doesn't have an option and has no concept of understanding all that is going on and why she is wet and cold. Despite the crying, and Josh's constant loud "MOO'ing" which is scaring poor Georgia, we make it back all in once piece.

The kids warm up, finish lunch, and have some play time. We make it back to the house just in time for Veronica to get dropped off and all is well although there is still some whining. I take Maddy and Veronica home and it's time to get ready for naps. I'm pretty ready for one too!

I was actually in a pretty good most of the day and laughing a lot. Sometimes there is just nothing else to do! The most frustrating part of the day was actually hearing a swear word come out of one of the children because she wanted a book her sister had. REALLY!? Inappropriate!

It's now nap time slash my break time. I think I'll recover and I'm ready for a fun night! Marc and I are taking Phil out for his birthday since we missed it on Friday and then I'm off to my championship indoor soccer game tonight. We're the defending champs - kind of a big deal. Ok, not really and I'm pretty sure the cool shirts we win are the same ones from last time. It's a good thing I don't need any new shirts!

Wish me luck! Or better yet, say a prayer for my sanity....just in case naps don't go very well. :) It would fit in with the day rather well and give me another opportunity to work on my patience.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day!

Happy Veteran's Day!

Thank you to all who serve our country and fight for the lives and rights of so many while being so readily willing to sacrifice your own.

May God bless you and may everyone appreciate you and be inspired by what you stand for.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I Finally Found My Calling!!

It's been so clear my whole life. How did I not know? I'm meant for leading Catholic Aerobics!

Part of the photo shoot:

My stage shot:

With my saint crew:

Part of next year's promo materials?

Things to note:
-My stage name is Sensaria.
-My show is called Work Out with the Saints!
-My first show was
at Convention 2008: Get a Clue

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I've sent too many fwds today...

Just passing on a couple of things that came through my mailbox....and trying not to send another fwd out!

I particularly appreciated the reference to the abuse of the teaching on "
Forming Consciences For Faithful Citizenship," as that is exactly how I felt...

Catholic Leaders React to Obama Victory, Offer Advice

And here's a little podcast for your enjoyment...

A New Chapter in the Cult of the Presidency

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Long Crazy Weekend

Happy Birthday, Little Perry! My nephew is 8 today! So old!

This last weekend was pretty long and crazy - hence the title of this post.

Friday night I kicked off my long weekend with a party at the Dupe de Lupe: The Finer Things in Life. I was excited for wine and cheese and even more excited when my brilliant boyfriend decided we should get port and chocolate....mmmmm. And not only is Marc brilliant, but he's hilarious too. He apparently owns his own tux and just happened to have a salmon-colored cumber bun and bow tie. He was pretty thrilled to get to wear them! The party was great fun, the port was delicious, and better yet, my much desired hang out time with some friends was met! :) The funniest parts of the night came after the party though. Marc and I hadn't had time for dinner, so we stopped by Taco Bell. After the drive-thru guy handed us our food, he said, "Enjoy your prom!" Really!? So maybe we looked young, but still, it was the end of August! The laughter continued after that when we stopped by Marc's friend's place. As we were leaving, someone complimented our dress and then her friend asked her as we walked away, "Did they just get married tonight!?" Again, let's break this down! 1. I'm in a black dress. 2. Why on earth would we stop by a party after getting married!? People are ridiculous! ...but it's much to my enjoyment so I can't complain too much. And for your very own enjoyment, here are some pictures from the night....

Saturday was moving day! I helped Marc, Greg, and Phil (who was gone in Chicago at a wedding....oh man, as Greg put it, "Phil owes us dinner. At least twice!") We spent ALL day moving and still weren't done. I can't believe how much stuff can fit into an apartment. Honestly, I don't quite understand! I was so tired and finally fell asleep on the living room around midnight while the guys were loading up some more furniture. I was pretty much spent and I think my fatigued-mono-recovering self had had enough.

Greg was kind enough to take us out for a really great Chinese dinner at Louie's in Ballard that night though. On a quick side note: Who would have thought a place called Louie's would have such great Chinese food!? It was pretty awesome what happened there. We prayed before eating as usual and a group of people happened to be walking by who had just finished. One of the men stopped and patted Greg on the shoulder and thanked us for praying in public and said it was really great to see. A couple of minutes later after he probably paid, he came back and put 50 dollars on our table for our dinner as a thank you! WOW! We all thought that was pretty awesome. It's something I hope I can return. I don't quite have the money to go around buying everyone dinner, but at the very least, I'd like to make it a point to thank others I see pray while out for a meal. It's just not done enough and I'd love to encourage people more and show my appreciation.

Sunday we were all pretty exhausted, but moved a few more things. Thankfully we were just down to the smaller things. We got a few loads and left the last couple of loads for Monday. It was great to go to Mass and get some much needed peace! And for the much needed fun I needed, Marc and I played some miniature golf! I had hoped to cut Marc's hair for the second time that day too, but we ran out of time. It's probably better that way. I was so tired! And well, I wasn't that great to begin with on my first hair cut. (It took me an hour and a half the first time! But at least the end result was decent. :) That's what counts!) To illustrate how tired we were, this was my favorite line of the day. Marc: We'll go play miniature golf and then come back and take a hair cut. We wanted naps so badly!

Instead of napping and a hair cut, we went out to the Pub at Piper's (or something like that) for Andrea's birthday. Happy Birthday, Andrea! It was a lot of fun. I especially enjoyed talking to the Dayton girls and playing darts with Marc, Britta, and ...oh man, Tom? Sorry...Tom? (It was Britta's friend from work who I just met, let's call him Tom.) It was the longest game of darts I have ever played. Marc was pretty good, I started off really well, Britta has ridiculous beginners luck, and I'm not sure if Tom has ever played before. So let's put the blame on Tom and myself and just say we hadn't finished the game before our time was up. Did anyone else know there was a time limit on darts?

Monday was another busy day and very fun! I brought Marc along for family time. We started at a BBQ my sister was having. I won't get into the ridiculousness of our adventure just to bring a side dish to share, but let's just say we ended up bringing a box of fries from the Pike Brewing Co. That's totally normal for a BBQ, right? After that we had dinner with my parents. I really enjoy them! :) We wrapped up the night watching Season 1 of the Office with some manis, pedis, and facials. It was so nice!

And Tuesday was back to usual with adventures in babysitting....I had 5 girls all together and some how the day went amazingly well....and I am so thankful because I was sooo tired! My little kiddos are so great! Just one more little shout out from Tuesday: Woo! Way to go Soccer West! My soccer team FINALLY beat a team we never beat to win the championship game. Holler!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Being around little kids all the time, I often get to enjoy "first moments" and I'm even lucky enough to get to enjoy the same kind of firsts repeatedly because I watch so many kids. Yesterday, Georgia said "bye bye" for the first time. It was pretty cute. And oh, one of my other more recent favorites was when Eleanor saw a rainbow for the first time. "Look at those colors!"

Something I had not anticipated, however, was the monumental firsts that I would get to experience dating my 24 year old boyfriend, Marc. In the last month and a half, he's had some big ones....

Marc's First Slurpee! I had him layer it to get the full experience. He later tried not to finish it, but I insisted he use the spoon part of the straw. Again, I felt he needed to get the full experience. It also helped that it was ridiculously late at night and we needed to drop something off for a friend an hour away! This was just before I found out I had I was sleeping most of the ride in the passenger seat. :) (Note: Marc has since had another Slurpee...success!)

Marc's First Time Up the Space Needle! Our first attempt was planned for just before Marc's birthday dinner, but when it started raining ridiculously like no other, we decided it was better to postpone. We finally made it this weekend! We had lots of fun followed up by walking around Seattle Center in which time Marc concocted a plan to get to the top of the big half-ball looking fountain. You know the one. The International Fountain is the actual name I do believe. He'll need two other people. He claims all three of you will be up there in three minutes, tops! So if you are interested, he's looking. Yep, that's my boyfriend! (Note: I know. The pictures are a wee bit lame because I don't have a super cool camera so you can't see all of the pretty city lights. We took a picture for another couple with a nice camera and reviewing the image just kind of rubbed it in after trying 800 different things for who knows how long on my camera.)

And here is me with Marc, sharing in the moment...

And for some recent shout outs:
-Happy Birthday Britta!
-Happy Birthday Aliscia!
-Congrats to the newlyweds, Andy & Jenn!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Summer Fun

Jaden playing in the sand!

Getting Dirty!


Let's just dump it all over me!

Yeah, didn't taste so great...

Grandpa to the rescue! (Auntie Cole just took pictures...thanks!)

Mmmm, water!

And a little update from me....

I'm on the upswing of my mono! My symptoms are pretty much gone and now I'm just tired. I'm back at work full time this week and was hoping to get some work outs in too, but I'm pretty ready for a nap by the end of the work day. I'm very thankful this hasn't been worse.

And much cause for celebration...
-Happy 3rd Anniversary Stacey & Perry!
-Happy 30th Anniversary Mom & Dad!
-Happy 24th Birthday Marc!
-Congratulations to the newlyweds, Andrew & Lindsey!
-My cousins Jessica and Casey are both expecting their first babies in the next couple of months and Mike & Missy are expecting again!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Just Kidding! I don't have allergies...

I spent a fantastic weekend in Longview working on a house for Habitat for Humanity with other young adults from the Seattle Archdiocese. It was a fun group, I met a lot of new people, and had a great time working on the house. It was just the dose of service I needed and I hope to do some more in the near future.

Unfortunately over the weekend my "allergies"/symptoms continued to worsen and because people could actually see my gland bulging out of my neck, I decided I would give in an go to the doctor. I don't have allergies, I don't have strep....

I have mono! :(

Seriously!? Who gets mono at 25!? That's what I thought, but apparently the most common age range to get mono is 15-25. Darn youth! And sure enough, facial swelling IS a symptom. It had at one point been brought up that maybe mono is what I had, but my saving grace was the lack of explanation of my huge eyes. That didn't really work out for me - bummer!

So what have I been doing today? Sleeping. I plan to be doing a lot more of that in the near future. If you could say some prayers for me, that would be absolutely wonderful. I have already discovered (or so I think) possible plans/reasons why God may be allowing me to have mono. He's brilliant really! I'll probably need the prayers mostly to take care of myself and not think, "Oh I can do it. It's not a big deal. I'll be fine." So if you could ask Our Blessed Mother to help me not be so hard-headed, I would really appreciate it. Thank you!!

Also, a little shout out to my mom - Happy 55th Birthday!! I love you!!

PS If you or anyone you know has mono, I'd love to know where I got this from!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Worst Birthday Present EVER!!

Earlier this month I turned 25 and little did I know I was in store for a really crappy present that was a coming a couple of weeks late. Allergies!?! Who knew that you could suddenly develop/get/have allergies!? Well, apparently a lot of people, but not me!!

For a week and a half I have had swollen eyes that sometimes hurt and ONE swollen gland. Other symptoms that come and go are congestion, scratchy throat, and eye junk (that's the official term). I think the absolute worst part is the extreme exhaustion - something else I did NOT know about allergies. I almost fell asleep yesterday playing "cars" with Felix. Who does that!? Many blessings to those of you who have had allergies your whole life. Man, I give it up to you! I finally caved Tuesday night and got some medicine. Let's hope it helps!

I know life could be worse and I don't mean to complain, although upon further reflection, I've probably been complaining way too much. It should probably be noted in this confession that when I said I "got some medicine," I really asked Marc to go to the store to get it for me. :) Glad I have such a nice boyfriend. Mostly, I'm blogging about this because A) Let's face it, I'm not so great at blogging and it gave me something to say and B) I'm totally caught off guard and appalled that you can just GET allergies one day when you are 25! Seriously!?

To end on a happy note, my good friend Josh (affectionately called Josheewa after my cousin Josh) is now married. I couldn't be happier for him and absolutely adore his wife Katie. I'm pretty excited that they are finally married. Here are a few pictures....

Josh & Katie - ADORABLE and HAPPY

Angie & Me

Marc & Me

PS The Blue Angels are flying overhead and that makes me happy! Also, I'm glad that at 4, as opposed to 3, Veronica is no longer deathly afraid of them. I did enjoy her calling all other airplanes "Green Angels" for awhile though - those were the quiet ones. :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Summer, Summer!

It's SUNNY today! :) That makes for a very happy Nichole. It's really nice to start getting out a little bit more with all of the kids I take care of. For those of you who have lost count, there are 4 families I regularly nanny for - totaling 6 kids...7 in January! (That leaves out all of the other weekend and fill-in babysitting.) And of course, if you are freaking out, I usually have 1 or 2 at a time...but sometimes up to 4, which is actually a LOT of fun.

Anyways, I went to the "Starbucks Park" today or, as Veronica calls it, the "Spiderweb Park." It's actually the Powell Barnett Park, but who wants to call it that? That's no fun! It was pretty great hanging out there, playing on toys, having a picnic, and watching all of the kids interact. Veronica can now climb to the top of the "spiderweb" and Madeline made friends with a cute little girl who kept stealing her hat. My favorite quote from the trip was from a little boy on the "spiderweb" playing with his friend. He kept jumping up and down making the whole thing jiggle and his friend wasn't too thrilled and thought he might fall. So the little jumper kid said, "You can't fall! You have stronger feet than me AND you have a ninja turtle costume!" It should be noted that this child was not wearing the costume at the time, which to me, made it all the funnier. And the cute moment of the day goes to Madeline who fell asleep in the stroller on the way home. :) Way to go, Maddy! That's what I like to see!

I don't really have much else to tell you about. I'm just happy it's sunny! If anyone wants to bring their kiddos over for a play date....or if anyone with out kids just wants to come hang out with me and my wee ones...let me know! There are tons of parks around here and as it warms up, we'll be hitting up all of the ones with "water features." And PS when did everything at parks start becoming all professional sounding? Water features, play structures, seriously!? What ever happened to "big toys" and other such silly, simple names? But enough of that, you should come play with us!

Hope you all get to enjoy the sun today!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Coming back...

I've been wanting to come back to the blog for a bit now, but it seems like as time goes by, it gets a little more built up. What are you supposed to write about after so long? So naturally, I felt like the perfect new entry after months should be about hooping.

A few weeks ago, I was at Golden Gardens (or something like that...??) in Ballard for a BBQ with friends to celebrate Kaija's Birthday (Happy Birthday!!). There was a large group of middle-aged adults near us with the biggest hula hoops I have ever seen in my life! My initial response was: "Seriously!? Is this some kind of club!? Weird people in Seattle..." Well, as you all know, I should be counted as one of the weirdos and so, of course, by the end of the night, I too was hooping!

As it would turn out, it was some woman's birthday party (Happy Birthday....lady?) and hula hoops were the party favors! She brought everything to make them. Unlike the picture above, they all had really cool colors and decorations. Ok, pretty much they used electrical tape, but they looked sweet! Monica, clearly braver than I am, just went over and asked about what was going on and before we knew it, she came back with a hula hoop! I think about 5 of us ended up with them. So nice of the other party to share!

A few things you should all know:
1. There is a website. Of course. Why wouldn't there be!? It will teach you how to make your own hula hoop and anything else you want to know about hooping. You can even start your own club! :)
2. You, too, can hula hoop! I have never in my life been able to keep a hula hoop up - unless you count that quick second from the time I let it go and it falls to the ground. These hoops - super easy! As it would turn out, weighting them with water instead of stupid little beads to make fun noises for the kiddies helps keep it up. Alright!
3. Hooping can hurt. Now I've actually seen work out hula hoops before. I also thought those were ridiculous. Now I see where it kind of makes sense. I should start giving people a little bit more benefit of the doubt apparently. Anyways, I'm thinking, "Alright, so the heavier it is, the better the work out is going to be." I'm not really planning to work out with this thing, but why not burn a few extra calories in play, right? Well I still don't really know what the best weight for the hula hoops is, but I do know that I filled mine almost as full as it could be with water! And oh man, I had bruises the next day! A little cushioning around my hoop would have definitely been a good thing.
4. Hula Hooping - not just for standing around. Not only did we see who could last the longest, but we also had races. That's right! We hooped AND we ran!

In the end, hula hooping is kind of fun! And next time I'm at the beach watching people be ridiculous, I hopefully am not going to be such a negative nancy judgmental face! ...unless you are the guy who is scary and pretending (or maybe not pretending) to cast spells in our fire..then I'll go ahead and get someone to kick you out of my fire area again...but that's a story for another time. :)