Friday, December 30, 2011

Sad Dreaming

The following is another recent dream I had - including some additional commentary.

Dream 12/27/11

I was working in my home office on a project for my job. My computer and my husband, Jesse’s, computer were set up in an L formation leaving us little room to both sit at our desks. This wasn’t a problem at the moment as my husband was at his work office. I had recently excelled at work and was heading towards an executive role by working harder and smarter and this allowed me to work at home from time to time. I had some rather highly technical information up on my large computer monitor and some other equipment stationed behind the monitor on another table. I moved around the monitor and was working with this other equipment when Jesse came home from work. He sat at his desk and brought something up on his computer and on mine while he dialed his phone. I came back around to the front of my computer, and was crouched down underneath the desk tinkering with some cords. I was so engrossed in what I was doing that it took me a minute to realize Jesse was on the phone with the airlines. When I looked up at my computer screen I noticed that he had an airline website pulled up.

I never asked him about it as I needed to leave and he was still on the phone, but I was under the impression that he had to travel for business that evening. It struck me as odd since he never travels for his job and he hadn’t talked to me before making plans to leave.

I rushed out of the house and walked a few blocks to my bus stop as I needed to get into the office. It started to rain so I stepped inside the bus stop shelter while waiting for the bus. But before the bus arrived Jesse pulled up in a pick-up truck with an assistant. I instantly knew something was wrong and wouldn’t let him speak. He was parked askew in the street while both he and the assistant walked towards me in the pouring rain. I was standing in the middle of the street, soaking wet, and heading back towards our home.

Jesse tried to explain that he was leaving for a job opportunity and he was taking our daughter, Riley, with him. I screamed. I cried. I told him there was no way he was taking my child away from me. I was distraught and confused. How could I not know that my husband wanted to leave me? How could I live without him and my daughter? I headed home knowing that I needed to get to a safe place and find my child.

At home Jesse no longer looked like the Jesse I knew with his clean shaven head. He had a chin length, sandy colored, bob haircut and was concerned about having to change that for this new job opportunity. Apparently, he would have to keep his hair cut short and his face shaved clean. He reminded me more of an old boyfriend who would have never agreed to cut his hair for anyone else (except when he finally got lice –otherwise he was “against the establishment!”). Jesse finally shared that he was moving to Spain which surprised me even more. He was pretty quiet, but did express some of his concerns of moving to another country with his daughter. I asked him multiple questions such as “why wouldn’t you talk to me about our relationship if you weren’t happy?” and “why would you think I would let you take Riley away from me… and so far away?” He didn’t appear too willing to talk or work on our relationship. He seemed determined to go and with that I was resolved to do everything I could to keep Riley with me even if he wasn’t willing to work on our relationship.

I awoke from the dream saddened to think that my family could be torn apart and even sadder when I rolled over and Jesse wasn’t there. Of course, my rational, awake side kicked in and I remembered Jesse getting out of bed earlier unable to sleep in our overheated room (I was also uncomfortable). I reminded myself that he wasn’t going anywhere and that Riley was just across the hall… and then I rolled over and went back to sleep.

But the story doesn’t end there. I woke up, got ready for work and rushed out to catch the bus. I didn’t have time to tell Jesse that I had a terrible dream, but I wanted to tell him this one. I wrote down my dream when I had time at work and planned to email it to him, but before I could do so he sent me this text:

Lmao. Riley’s first Spanish word was ‘arriba’ and it was hilarious.

Seriously!? Maybe that wasn’t a dream I had after all. How could he tease me with this when I was still a little sensitive from the dream? Granted, he wasn't aware that I had this dream, but still! At lunchtime I finally emailed him the dream and sent him a text that he should go check his email to read about my dream. Hours went by and I didn’t hear any response so I sent the following text:

Because you haven’t responded to my email I can only assume you took Riley to Spain.

And 26 minutes later he responded with:

Arriba!!! Haven’t checked it yet. Just got home.

Enough with the ‘arriba’ buddy. This is sensitive stuff we’re talking about. By the time I got home 45 minutes later Jesse had finally read the dream and was thoughtful enough to give me an extra big hug and reassure me that he wasn’t going anywhere.

That night I went to bed peacefully next to my husband and didn’t have a single dream that I remembered. But when I woke in the morning I found a pick-up that I’d never seen before parked right in front of our house…

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Ho ho ho

Riley was the first one to celebrate Christmas this week while she was at daycare. They had a little party with activities and lots of fun. Apparently, while the other kids gathered around singing she was off on her own diligently reading letters on nearby labels. She loves to sing and dance, but she sure loves those letters. Yeah, that's my kid... the geek. Guess she doesn't fall far from the tree.

Christmas Eve we spent with my side of the family which is what we do every year. One of my brothers and his wife were generous enough to host a gathering at their house once again. We only stayed a couple hours since Riley goes to bed so early, but it was an enjoyable two hours. Since we leave so early we missed another year of the fun game and gift swap, but it also means that it's one less gift I have to worry about buying. Perhaps next year we can at least stay for the kid's gift opening.

Riley and Jesse were looking at the calendar I made for my dad. Each year I make a new one with family photo's from the previous year that includes each person's birthday. Riley was sitting here saying "oh my!" while holding her cheeks as her uncle Chuck recently taught her to do.

My step family is Italian so we usually have a large meal of lasagna, manicotti, peperoni salad, olives... plus ham, sauerkraut, fruit salad, etc for those who aren't fans of the pasta. But last year we decided to get rid of the big Italian meal and replace it with appetizers. While I love all the apps (that's my fruit at the top of the picture) I have to admit I really miss having a big meal where you regret eating too much, where you are stuffed when all is said and done... plus I miss my brother's lasagna. I'm just going to say it... I want my big Italian dinner back. If I can't have that I will settle for my brother making me my own special lasagna. Please don't forget the olives! : )

Yeah, clearly time to go home. When she gets fussy she does the 'fake tantrum' where she delicately lays down on the floor and emits the fakest sounding whine. Cute and irritating all at once. So we left at 7ish which is when she usually goes to bed. We were smart enough to change her into her jammies before we left, but then she spilled water all over it. *sigh* Usually she has a complete meltdown if she gets wet, but she didn't seem to care, stayed awake the whole ride home, and went to bed pretty peacefully. Thank you, Riley.

Christmas morning Riley, Jesse and I open gifts at home. Riley doesn't quite get what Christmas is about yet, but definitely had fun playing with her new gifts... which she now has way too many of. I'm a little scared since her birthday is right around the corner. No toys, please. Please. There is a little sensory overload going on with the toys. Books, however, she never seems to tire of or get frustrated with. She even scored a llama, llama book that she's loving. Thanks grandpa!

Opening my gift from Santa, aka Jesse and Riley. Please note that the wrapping in my hand is actually tinfoil. It makes complete sense to my husband - it's shiny and easy to wrap items with after all.

My new camera. Apparently, the hubby got sick of seeing the crappy pictures I've been taking with my phone. So now I have a small camera I can bring with me everywhere. And it's red - my favorite. He has no idea what he has unleashed by getting me this.

Jesse and I don't usually exchange gifts, but this year he said he wanted to. I went ahead and got him a couple things, but then discovered the caliber of what he was going to get me so I insisted he give me some ideas of what to give him. He came up with this SSD which apparently was a huge hit... whatever it is.

Riley had a little meltdown when she fell and bonked her head so we remedied it with Frosty the Snowman and moved into the living room to open the rest of the gifts.

Jesse was also very happy with the game I got him. I also have no idea what this is about, but his buddy, Dan, said he'd been yearning for this game so I obliged.

At first Jesse wasn't giving me any ideas of what to get him for Christmas so I threatened him with used underwear from a thrift store. I'm pretty sure he knew I wouldn't follow through on that and admitted that he could actually use some new grundies so that's what he got. Apparently, this is less exciting than his other gifts.

Yeah, that's right, laugh...I'm putting a picture of you holding grundies on the web.

Later Christmas day we went to Jesse's mom's house. On the way we stopped at a park to run off some energy. This is actually a pretty amazing thing because the weather is not usually this nice on Christmas in Minnesota. And look, no snow!

Web of ropes + yelling "pull" = tons of fun. We basically spent much of our time holding on to this contraption and yelling "Puuuulllllll!" as we pulled. Now she randomly grabs on to things and yells "pull".

And before we left we had to walk the perimeter of the park.

With a little reluctance on Riley's part (to leave the park) we headed off to grandma and grandpa's house.

We were being a little risky by planning to have Riley's nap there, but we thought we would give it a try. It didn't turn out so well. At first she screamed. Then screamed some more. Finally, Jesse decided to go in and lay down with her while I headed downstairs with the in-laws to watch House Hunters. We no longer have cable so this was sorta like a Christmas treat for me. While I was waiting to find out which half a million dollar vacation home she picked (1, 2, or 3?!) I heard my kid talking upstairs. Earlier my mother-in-law had gone into the kitchen and from my comfy spot, bundled up in my chair I could see her rush from the kitchen upstairs and then down again. It didn't sound like there was anything to be concerned about... I only heard my daughter's sweet little voice, but I got up and made a rather slow crossing to the stairs (enough time to see that she picked house #2). I made my way upstairs to see my husband changing our kid's diaper. Apparently, she was close to sleep when she had a massive bowel movement. I got there at the tail end when she was pretty much clean. The rushing I saw earlier by my mother-in-law was her getting paper towels since my husband ran out of wipes. While Jesse was wiping the last of Riley's butt clean she turned to me and said "sorry". Oh, baby girl, it's ok. You don't have to apologize for pooping. What a sweetie.

This was my attempt to get a picture of her in front of the tree. This was by far the best picture I got, but I guess that's what I should expect with an energetic toddler.

Suzie showing off her new infinity scarf. Loving it. I might have to pick one up for myself.

You can't tell here (as this doesn't compare to his earlier pictures), but Jesse loved his new iPod Nano.

Showing off my new necklace.

Talking on the speaker phone to Jesse's brother's family in PA.


Grandma and grandpa got Riley this super cool bike which we put together the next morning.

And you know how I was complaining about not having a big Italian meal at my family's gathering? Well, I pretty much got it here - Lasagna, Caesar Salad, bread... Good stuff.

Jesse and I had the day after Christmas off so we decided to take advantage of the great weather.

Riley insisted we swing too and she really wanted us to sit next to her... and of course, we took our turns doing so.

Heading home after a fun holiday weekend.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Apparently people think I have weird dreams and that I should share them. This one is from a couple months ago... enjoy.

Dream 10/26/11

I was living in a suburban type neighborhood. The type with no sidewalks and houses that had attached garages that faced the street. The neighbors were friendly and we felt safe, but we still locked our doors at night. One of my neighbors had recently come down with a disease that was controversial. I didn’t know much about it, but knew that a group of individuals felt that it was for the greater good to capture these sick individuals and kill them even though most of the population felt that these people could be healed. Turns out the renegade group broke into the neighbor’s house and killed him leaving a wife behind. As the police were investigating the crime scene another neighbor and I tried to console the woman, but there was only so much we could do for such a senseless crime.

The next day several people went to visit the woman whose husband was killed. I walked over there hand in hand with the dead man’s younger brother. He had several young brothers and a brother that was around his age named Adrian Peterson (yes, the football player). 

We all sat at a table in the garage and the dead man’s wife told me how helpful my book has been. I didn’t know what she was talking about as I didn’t recall writing a book. “Is she talking about my blog?” “Did my blog get made into a book?” “Did I write a different book?” "What could she be talking about?"

I then realized that the other neighbor with me is one of the managers at my work and she has the disease too. She is sitting in front of a computer playing what seems like a kid’s computer game. I walk past her and the computer a couple times while working with other people to figure out how we are going to fight back against the renegades. I walk by her again and see that she now has two computer screens (and I remember lots of details like they have a black frame, but are the old, deep monitors and one is much smaller than the other). She is still playing the kid’s game when I realize this game helps fight some of the neurological affects of the disease.

Fast forward and I am standing outside another sick person’s house. This person is being held hostage by the renegade group and we want to save him before anything drastic happens. I am standing to the side of the front door… with a gun.

Not really me... for those that need clarification.

An undercover cop walks up and stands right in front of the door with his gun. I start knocking on the door hoping that the renegades will actually come out and we can take custody of them. The cop then throws his gun to the side as he is afraid the group won’t come out if they see he has a gun. I am out of view so I hold on to my gun, but think “Holy crap, I’m the only one out here with a gun and I am not a cop!” Luckily, another cop shows up, with a gun, to back us up and I'm able to take a big sigh of relief.

I keep knocking, but no one opens the door. The door has a glass window which is partially covered in green leaves. I then notice a woman trying to cover the rest of the glass with more green leaves and tomatoes on vines. I keep thinking “why doesn’t she just cover it up with a sheet”, but apparently she wants to make it attractive. Of course.
All of a sudden the main renegade guy opens the door and there is a flurry of action. The cops rush in while the main guy gets in my face and tries to explain what they are doing and why it is for the greater good. I counter all his points, but am also highly distracted because he is standing far too close to me. It makes me feel claustrophobic.  I keep pushing him back when I notice that all the guys are wearing plaid flannel which strikes me as odd.

Random men in plaid - not renegades or cops as far as I know.

 And in the end we were finally able to arrest the renegades…and therefore save the world. The End.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

More holiday fun... and other stuff

Tuesday I bought a potty for Riley. She's far from being ready to potty train, but she's shown some interest and sorta gets the concept so I thought I would introduce it to her. She hasn't potty'd in it, but she does know one thing about sitting on the toilet and that's having reading material handy. By Tuesday evening the potty had already become a popular spot for reading. Since I was working late Jesse and Riley were hanging out upstairs (where the potty is) before she went to bed. Jesse ended up jumping in the shower while she played in her bedroom and the little nook we have. When he got out of the shower he found her sitting on her potty with a book... and his underwear up to her knees over her clothes. Lol. That's my girl.

On Wednesday I left work early to attend a Holiday event at my mom's nursing home. Jesse was having a boy's game night so it was just going to be Riley with me. When I got home from work she was crying. Hard. And had been for the last hour at daycare. We turned on a DVD since that was the one thing she asked for and then we gave her some treats. I was hesitant to bring her, but her mood seemed to have lifted a bit so I bundled her up and put her in the car. Turns out she was a superstar that night (even when stuck in rush hour for 40 minutes).

I brought the good camera, but ended up leaving it in the car since I was anticipating a touchy child... so I did my best with the phone camera. Our family had our own little area to hang out, but were also able to take in the holiday music entertainment. Riley and I only stayed an hour, but had a good time. We left in a good mood with full bellies and a stuffed animal from grandpa.

My brother, Ben, and my mom, Ann.

Grandpa or "Papa" feeding Riley a treat. My brother, Barry, and wife, LaRaa, in the back.

Riley telling Papa a story with my brother, Chuck, looking on.

Random Riley picture.

On Saturday Jesse's friend, Jeff, brought his 11 month old daughter over for a play date. It was fun to be reminded of the changes that can occur in one year.

Riley dancing to the sound of the bell.

The bells were a favorite item of the day and this lucky lady even got to take one home.

Later that day we dropped Riley off at Jesse's mom's house and headed out to connect with some friends for a last minute get together. Jesse and I met up with my high school girlfriends, Susannah and Joanna, and their dates, Jim and Jay at the House of Comedy at the Mall of America. Going to the Mall isn't my favorite thing to do, especially so close to Christmas, but it was worth it to hang out with these friends. Joanna, Jay, Jesse, and I got there early enough to eat and chat before the show. Before we walked in Joanna turned to me and said "What's great about eating here before the show is that we are more likely to get a good seat". Then the host proceeded to sit us right up front. Smack dab in front of the comedian. We all groaned a little as we knew that this was the prime spot to be railed on by the comedians, but since Susannah and Jim hadn't shown up yet we let them have the front spots. That's what you get for being late. Plus we knew they'd be such good sports about it.

Turns out Susannah and Jim showed up seconds before the show was to start. Susannah turned to an employee to get assistance in finding us only to find out she was speaking to the emcee of the show. As she and Jim were using the restrooms the emcee got on stage and proceeded to ask us (in front of the crowd) if we were waiting for Susannah and Jim. She then shared with everyone that they were in the bathroom and when she saw Jim waiting at the back of the room she urged him to come sit down. All the comedians at some point interacted with Susannah and Jim - they were just the buffer needed for me to not be picked on. Yea baby.

Overall the show was pretty good - some jokes better than others, of course. And if I would have to rate the food I'd say it was ok, but overpriced. We did walk out with some complimentary tickets so there is a chance we'll go back. How can you turn down a night of laughter?

As always, I could spend hours with these two and never stop laughing or enjoying their company. It was a very entertaining night and can't wait until we get to hang out again.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Random Wrap Up

The following are some random pictures I've taken in the last couple weeks that I didn't include in my last couple posts since there were all about Christmas activities. I figured I'd dump them them here.

A recent visit to the Children's Museum. We decided to purchase a family membership so I see many more visits to this place. She could have spent hours placing balls in these tubes to see them shoot out into the surrounding water.

A recent visit to the indoor park. She's a little hesitant of slides, but she boldly went down this one over and over. So proud of her for taking it on.

All bundled up and ready to go outside with Daddy's hat on. I was a little surprised that she was ok with wearing this getup. I guess it's only the snow and cold she doesn't care for.

Actually walking on the shoveled sidewalk, but getting her to walk on the snow was a little difficult. She really wanted to go to the park at the end of the block, and  was a little disappointed when we got there.

Walking in the snow and dealing with it for a few seconds. Moments later she was begging me to carry her which was a challenge since her winter attire felt like it added 10 lbs to her weight.

Helping daddy shovel. This she embraced and actually seemed to enjoy. Glad I remembered we had this shovel. Now, if I could only put her to work...

Sorry this is sideways - couldn't get it to turn. Hopefully, you can still enjoy.

Cute daddy and Riley moment. Inside. And warm.

Less than thrilled for this winter crap. I hear ya, kid.

At the park there is this super cool tree that is like a fort. Jesse refers to it as the "bear cave".

Eating an apple while playing outside.

Escaping from the bear cave.

And finally, one day Riley got into the recycling while I was cooking. I looked down to see her "chugging" back an empty bottle of beer as she walked into the living room... where I found the above scene. Guess we better make double sure that we clean items before putting them in recycling from now on.