Wednesday, January 30, 2008


BRRRRRRRR!!!!!! I can't believe how cold it has been today, they closed the schools because of it. I had plans for this morning that I had to cancel, and lunch with my friend Catherine, oh well, next week instead. With the wind chill the temperature this morning was -40 degrees. The wind was so strong during the night, it woke me up quite a few times. I think it scared Noah at one point because he woke up screaming. I went to check on him and almost ran into him when I went into the boys room. I scooped him up and took him into my bed, I know you're not supposed to do that, but, I have the room, so why not!!?! Our day was spent checking on our thermometer(it came with the house) outside, I never thought I would enjoy it so much, but I do. I also told the kids to do some studying, I know it's what Peter would have done. I always thought he was strict about that, you know, making the kids do school work even when they were done with it. He bought so many activity books for them, we named them "Daddy school books", we still have a ton of them around the house. The other day when I picked the kids up from school, Ted was upset. I asked him what was wrong and he said, "I wish daddy was here." I asked him why he felt that way and he said, "Because I miss doing daddy school." I told him even though daddy wasn't with us, he could still work in the books, I could help him. After I said that Robbie said, "But then it wouldn't be daddy's school, it would be mommy's school!" I assured them it would always be "daddy's school", no matter who helped them. It was quiet after that, as if they were all thinking about it, and him. I am now on a quest to track down all of the daddy school books that Peter bought for the kids, and start working on them with all of the kids.

This week we are celebrating Catholic Schools Week with a lot of activities at school. Monday was crazy hat day and out of uniform. They had a carnival in the morning and in the afternoon the eigth grade girls played volleyball against the faculty, the girls won. Helen didn't have school Monday so we were able to go and watch the game. Helen really enjoyed it, she kept telling me, "Mommy, game!" I would ask her, "Did you have fun at the volleyball game?" and she said, "YES!!" My kids all wore hats from Halloween costumes, Ted had a cowboy hat, Robbie a Santa hat, Katie had a witches hat, and Grace wore a pirate hat. Some of the hats we saw that day were so cute and original. A little girl in Katie's class had an upside down ice cream cone, so it looked like it was melting on her head. Tuesday was wear your favorite sports team, or colors, and an all school field trip to the roller rink. Ted wasn't too happy about it, he thought now that he's in third grade he would do much better with the roller skates, he didn't. I told him he would have to practice this summer so that next year he will do fine. Today would have been dress up or uniform day with an open house. Tomorrow is the big Trivia game where the kids split up into groups, a kid from every grade makes up one team. The teams pick what color to wear so you know who is on what team, they also make up names. Ted's team is black and they are called "The Magic Eights", Robbie's team is brown and they are called "The Brownie Brown's". Friday is spirit day, they wear the school colors. In the afternoon the eigth grade boys will play against the faculty in basketball. We won't be able to go and watch that game, Helen's bus arrives during the game. The kids really look forward to this week, I think it gives them a sense of community. They really do a lot as a school during this time, not just individual classes. I stress out hoping they get colors they already have in their drawers for the trivia game!! Other than that, I enjoy the week also.

I hope all of you enjoy the rest of your week. Try and keep warm if you are in a place that's extremely cold, keep dry if you are getting rained on, and if you are lucky enough to be in a place where the sun is shining and it's warm, ENJOY!!!!

Until next time-
Take Care,
Free Counters

Free Counter

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Elusive Cotton Knit Fabric (or, My Big City Adventures)

Thick, high quality cotton knit fabric. That has become my holy grail.

It seems straightforward enough. It’ll Fit’ll needs thick, high quality cotton knit fabric for the one-piece body shirts (like Onesies) that we’ll be producing for children in sizes 3T through 7. So, I need to find a supplier, place an order, receive the fabric, test it for shrinkage, communicate the shrinkage rate to the pattern maker (so that the pattern can be adjusted to account for that shrinkage), finalize the pattern, and head to production.

But, as it turns out, finding cotton knit fabric is not as easy as it sounds. Our requirements are reasonable and minimal. First, we want high quality fabric because we want the best for you and your children. We want It’ll Fit’ll clothes to last a long time, through frequent wear, rough play and regular washing and drying. Second, we want attractive colors and patterns. Most of the body suits we create will be clearly outerwear; some of them will be bright white and appropriate for under or outerwear. Third (and last – see, we’re not too demanding…) we need the fabric cost to be reasonable – so that we can offer the finished product to you at a reasonable price. Simple, right? Surprisingly – not really.

I began the quest with great enthusiasm and confidence that I’d have an array of wonderful fabrics from which to choose. I am fortunate to live near Chicago and to be able to attend the bi-annual fabric and trim shows held at the Apparel Center (next to the Merchandise Mart) in Chicago. That show had provided a few great sources for denim and twill fabrics when I sought those. So, I left the house one bright morning excited about shifting and sorting through the many possible cotton knit fabrics I expected to find.

Imagine my surprise when I found absolutely no cotton knit fabrics at the show. Moreover, when I asked the textile company reps about finding that fabric they were at a loss to give me references or leads. A few particularly helpful folks did give me some ideas about how to go about finding a source (for example: call a Chicago-based tee shirt company and ask for their cotton source.)

Undiscouraged (I guess ignorance really can be bliss), and all dressed up in my fashionable clothes – including a great pair of heeled shoes – I set off to meet a friend for coffee and conversation after, and around the corner from, the show. I was feeling upbeat, positive that I could work through this little obstacle, and – honestly – probably just a little too big for my britches. Leave it to the universe to put you right back where you belong. One moment I was striding confidently across the busy Chicago street – an urbane city woman, full of mission and poise. The next moment I was on my hands and knees in the middle of the street, the contents of my purse sprawled all around me – like a bumpkin playing dress-up. Oops. The heel of my stylish shoe had gotten caught in a pot hole and I’d been sent flying. A kind woman hurried into the street to help me up and gave me some great advice: “The shoes are adorable, but you’ve got to watch where you’re walking.” Yep, I’ll say! Oh well…at least the coffee and conversation were very nice, the bruises were relatively small, and the shoes were unscathed.

Back in the ease of my regular, barefooted life, in my home office that looks out on old farm fields I made the calls and followed the avenues suggested to me at the show….To no avail. I realized that I’d need to attend a larger scale fabric show in either Los Angeles or New York City.

I do believe that most things work out just the way they’re meant to. It’s not exactly fatalism – a belief that all events are predetermined and cannot be changed by human actions – but close. I think we can impact some of the fine tuning and detail – and, after all, I do believe (as Mies van der Rohe said) that "God is in the details." So how encouraging and validating that a great, long time friend (who founded a consulting firm) called with an opportunity to do a bit of work for her. It’s a perfect situation. The work – in support of a large, global corporation - is interesting and intellectually stimulating, personally rewarding, and gives me a front seat view to history in the making. Now, having conquered the learning curve, the time commitment will be minimal. The income – just having a positive cash flow for a change - will be a huge help to It’ll Fit’ll’s financial position. And, on top of all that – I’ve been able to spend time with a great friend (we’ve known each other for over 20 years), who I respect intellectually (she’s brilliant and has a Ph.D.), who makes me laugh and who has coaxed me back onto the top of my game.

As if all of that weren’t wonderful enough, the first working engagement that I did with my friend required that I travel to the New York City area – last week when a textile show was taking place at the Javits Convention Center. So it seemed that all of the pieces were falling perfectly into place.

The flight to the northeast was smooth, uneventful. Once I checked into the hotel, I took the train to Penn Station in NYC and then a $10 (with tip) cab ride to the convention center. No heels or fancy fashions this time; I was wearing my travel clothes – rubber, insulated topsiders, jeans, ski jacket. Luckily, there were no missteps or public humiliations on this fabric mission. Unluckily, though, there were no textile makers that could provide It’ll Fit’ll with cotton knit material. This show showed predominately high performance fabrics, apparently. (Though as I told Susie, 100% cotton knit performs perfectly in my estimation.) At any rate, among the nearly overwhelming collection of suppliers, all of which were from Asia, I found only two that had the right fabric. Neither of them would sell to us, though, because our volumes are too small to meet their minimum. Nor would they put me in touch with other customers to whom, I suggested, I could add my small volumes. Though I would have paid a premium to another customer to make it worthwhile to bother with me and my small volumes, the mills dismissed that idea out of hand.

While the NYC textile show was a disappointment, the experience was exhilarating. I couldn’t get a cab from the convention center to the train station; it was during the rush hour. A limo driver offered to take me there for $25 – he must have thought I was quite a rube - so I enjoyed an invigorating walk instead. And, that sense of invigoration continued for a very long while – I feel it still. I realized that not every endeavor will be a success. Sometimes just trying something different, stretching yourself, living a new experience – those are the successes.

And so over the following two days I turned from the It’ll Fit’ll focus to my friend’s business. Funny thing, though – one of the people in the second day of the training sessions I helped teach works in the apparel industry. She has not only a possible cotton knit fabric source for me, but other resource suggestions and advice as well.

Intersting how those fates work. Sometimes the answers that we seek aren’t in those exciting, enchanting, far-away locales. Sometimes the best answers are where we least think to look: in the workaday world and the comfort of old friends.

Free Counters

Free Counter

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Time Heals All Wounds

I have an update on DonnaJean's daughter, she is out of the hospital and on the mend. Thank you to those of you who kept them in your thoughts and prayers, I do believe in the power of prayer!

It is blustery cold here, and snowing, again. Tomorrow we are expecting frigid temperatures, they say it's going to be -20 degrees with the wind chill...brrrrrrrrrrr!! I certainly didn't plan things right this week, I need to go grocery shopping tomorrow. I was hoping to hold out until Friday when the temperature is supposed to be in the 20's, but we will be using the last of the milk in the morning for cereal. I'm lucky to have that, Helen would be very upset if she had to eat something other than her Koala Crisp cereal for breakfast. I just recently discovered that the all gluten free grocery store that was located in Milwaukee, has moved closer to me. It is also easier to get to, so I will definitely be going there very soon to see if I can find her more of a variety. I'm hoping to find some family meals there, I do a lot of double duty cooking!(two burners, same food, one gluten free, the other not.) Gluten free food is very expensive, the cereal Helen likes is a regular sized box, it costs $4.89!(ouch is right!) Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, it's worth every penny spent if that's what's going to make Helen better. Since she has been on the gluten free diet she hasn't been up during the night with stomach cramps, and we haven't had to clean up messes! I see a change in her, more mature, it's very subtle, but it's there.

I'm exhausted, emotionally. We had another death in the family, my great aunt on my mom's side, she was 93 years old. That's the age I wish everyone lived to, and even beyond that if your mind and body are willing. She had a good life, she was surrounded by family who loved her very much, and she went peacefully. I have come to accept that it will be a lot harder on me emotionally when someone I know passes away. It's hard to explain...not only am I sad for the loss of that person, but I'm sad for all the losses I have suffered. I'm hoping one day to not feel that way, but for now, so be it. The saying, "Time heals all wounds" is so true, for me anyway. I have begun writing in my journal again, I haven't done that since the night before Peter died. I wrote everything down so the kids could read about(when they are older) and have a better understanding of what we went through. It was very hard to read. I realized I needed to start writing again, they need to know what we are going through now, and what we went through last year. I must say though, I was in a bit of a fog, so I don't know how much I can remember of that first year without Peter, but I'm going to try my best. It is my gift to my wonderful children.

Until next time-
Take Care,

Thursday, January 17, 2008

January Tornadoes

Today was a late start for Helen's school, I was planning on writing this while we waited for her bus. She normally gets picked up at 7:15am, on late days she is picked up at 9:15am, more than enough time for me to write a blog. Before I came here to write I thought I would check in with a new blog I have been following and found out some sad news. My friend DonnaJean, who has left many comments here on this blog, has an adult daughter with DS. I found out she is in the hospital, the doctors are saying it is a bad case of pneumonia. How scary it is for us when one of our kids gets so sick they end up in the hospital. It's even scarier when that child has special needs. I spent most of my time scrolling down on that blog to see if there were any updates on her, I also sent a little note. I hope all of you will join me in sending warmest wishes to DonnaJean and her daughter Laurie Elizabeth, and pray for a speedy recovery. Laurie, hope you get well soon!!!!:o)

Did you all hear of the freak January tornadoes that ripped through SE Wisconsin last week? They came close to us but far enough away that we are safe. We took shelter in a cedar closet in our basement. It was scary for the kids, especially Katie, she is still afraid. I had the news on and they kept us updated on where exactly the storm was. When I heard the sirens go off I knew we HAD to take shelter in the basement. They had already reported the tornado touching down in Wheatland and how strong the storm had become. We all headed downstairs, Helen on the other hand had other plans. She kept flying up the stairs, thinking it was a game. Then Mickie our dog started barking, she had to go out. I scolded Helen while I let Mickie out(good thing she's fast, it was looking terrible outside). I closed the door to our basement hoping that would deter Helen from climbing up the stairs, and put Mickie in her kennel. We were set, I had grabbed blankets, my cell phone, a clock, and a radio in case we lost power. The only thing we didn't have were flashlights, they are now on my list of things to get at the store. I know I could have grabbed candles, believe it or not, I never even thought of them that night. We were watching the news, the kids were filled with questions. I answered as many as I could, I was trying to reassure them so I chose my answers carefully, Katie was really scared. Then, of course, Noah had a dirty diaper, and no, I didn't think to grab diapers. I headed back upstairs to change him, Katie was crying, she thought the tornado was going to blow us away because we were not in the basement. While I was changing Noah I looked outside, it was very dark(4:30pm) with rain falling down in buckets, definitely very ugly out there. When we got back downstairs I tried to calm Katie down, that's when I thought of the closet. It helped her feel safer, maybe because we were all close to each other in there. The storm blew over us and headed into Lake Michigan, we are about 4 blocks from the lake. That evening was filled with a lot of talk about what would have happened if the tornado did touch down in our neighborhood. Now we are expecting very cold temperatures, and snow. This weather has just been crazy!

Last week I was going to blog and then decided not to. It was so nice to see a blog from Sherry at the top of the page, I didn't want to push her down any. I also wanted to give everybody a chance to see the post, I wasn't sure if everyone scrolls down or not. Sherry has some fantastic ideas for It'll Fit'll, I am very excited to see all of them fall into place this year. The wait will definitely be worth it, so please hang in there with us.

Until next time-
Take Care,
Free Counters

Free Counter

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Ideal It'll Fit'll Web Site

Evan and his smiling dog, Milo.
I mention Milo in today's post. Milo has never met a stranger.

When first launched it seemed so exotic, to me at least, to order books - or anything, for that matter- on the computer. I remember when my sister-in-law (and great friend!) Anne Marie casually mentioned at some long-ago get-together that she planned to buy a particular book on amazon. I thought she was so sophisticated, so urbane, so clever, so so so much more everything than I.

That was in the mid-1990’s. Times certainly have changed. Yes, these dozen or so years later Anne Marie is still much more almost everything than I, but she’s no longer electronically/commercially progressive. That’s because ecommerce is no longer novel. It’s ubiquitous. I consider myself relatively computer savvy and quite the ecommerce consumer (the UPS guy waves to me in recognition whenever we’re on the road at the same time - though I'm sure that has more to do with his affection for our sweet dog, Milo (or, as Susie's Noah calls him: My-O) than any traits or purchasing habits of the humans in the house.) Anyway, my e-consumption notwithstanding, I am still a bit dazed at the notion that in a very short time I will be the proprietress of an e-tail establishment, an on-line store.

Developing the requirements for the site has been a fun exercise. When the site is finally launched, I will enjoy comparing the initial list of expectations with the reality of the functioning site. And, I’ll look forward to the changes that occur over time – as the business and the site evolve.

We’ll have the ordinary stuff– photos of the clothing, zoom functionality, comprehensive descriptions, shopping cart functionality, order confirmation, shipping notification, etc. But, the site will also have some aspects that are out of the ordinary and are driven by our business practices and special programs. Here’s a description of some of those. Please, please feel free offer your ideas and suggestions. We fully expect the site to be dynamic, based on your feedback.

- A Comprehensive Sizing Section. Of course we'll explain, in words and pictures, the sizing system and how to determine which size clothes to buy.

- A Photo Gallery - of "It'll Fit'll Kiddos". We've gotten pictures of some adorable, beautiful children and we hope that you will send photos of your loved ones, in It'll Fit'll wear, that we can post on the site. The gallery won't be limited to pictures of "little It'll Fit'll kiddos"; since we'll have adult clothing (eventually) we'll hope for pictures of adults too. In my view, we're all our parents' kiddos - no matter how old we are.

- A point in the ordering process when you will (if you choose) tell us for whom you're buying the clothes and give us that person's age and birth date. It'll Fit'll will have a Birthday Club program. We'll send a birthday gift to each person for whom It'll Fit'll clothing has been purchased. That's why we need to know that name, age and birth date information.

- A point in the ordering process at which you define the 501(c)(3) organization to which you would like the 5% of your purchase donated. I've written before about the fact that It'll Fit'll will donate a portion of our proceeds to Down syndrome support organizations. We now plan to donate 5% of revenues (as opposed to profits) to whatever Down syndrome support organization you tell us to (as long as it's a registered 501(c)(3). So, at some point in the ordering process you will need to indicate to which group you'd like a donation made, in your name.

- A list of DS support groups from which you can choose to make the donation discussed above. We'll rely on you and those groups to provide the names, backgrounds, details of the organizations. So, if you don't have any group in mind you can choose one from this resource. If you make no choice, we'll also have a group of default organizations - one in each geographical region of the U.S. - to which we'll credit, on a rotatational basis, such donations.

- A section describing the "Hand Me Downs" program and process. This section can come after launch, if necessary. That's because this program will allow you to send back It'll Fit'll clothes that still have life/wear left in them for a credit. We'll issue you a credit and donate those clothes to people in need. So, in theory, we've got some breathing room on the timing of this requirement since it will take some time for people to outgrow the first of their It'll Fit'll clothes.

- A Feedback/Comments section for each apparel item. This will allow everyone to share information and observations about their particular experience with that item. I think shared perspective is a great help in choosing what to buy.

That will have to be the end of the list for today. I'm working at Susie's house this afternoon. She's out running errands and I'm keeping an eye on the kids. Actually, though, I can barely see a thing at the moment because Grace and Noah have built a "tree house" of couch cushions and blankets all around me and Grace is obstructing my view by bouncing on my lap....

So, for now that's our current vision of an ideal web site. Once we launch - and with your help - we hope to make it your ideal as well.

P.S. The time stamp says that this was posted at 11-something pm on Monday. But, it was really posted Tuesday, at lunch time. I started the entry late last night, so that's when the system stamped it. Just FYI..

Free Counters

Free Counter

Sunday, January 6, 2008

A New Year and A Renewed Perspective

Hi Friends! Happy New Year!

I’m glad to be back in touch with you guys.

I have wrestled, long and hard, with the notion of posting a blog entry again. I’ve been away so long, I didn’t know that I could I explain it all. I wondered if I really had anything interesting to report or share. What should I be writing about anyway? Blah, blah, blah…

The feeling of dread and embarrassment and trepidation at returning to the blog reminded me of one of my earliest childhood memories. I was in kindergarten and got to school late one day. I walked to school and I’m certain (though I don’t remember specifically) that I’d dawdled a good bit on the way to school that day; I was good at dawdling. When I got to school, the playground was a ghost town. It was clear that the bell had rung and the school day was well underway. I didn’t know what to do. I was much too embarrassed and afraid of getting in trouble to enter the class room – which, by the way, had an entrance door next to the playground. I hid in front of that big, solid metal door and peeked into the classroom windows (there was an entire wall of windows) to see what was going on. I slipped back behind the door and tried to get my wits about me. But, I had nothing - no idea what to do. I was totally at a loss. I just continued to stand there. After what seemed like hours, but I think was really a few minutes, my teacher, Miss White, gently opened the big metal door and greeted me. She had seen me peeking in the window. She asked me what was wrong. I explained my predicament. She was so warm, sweet, kind, welcoming, forgiving. She took my hand and led me into the class room. We got my coat hung up and I slipped into whatever activity was in progress. I recall the great feeling of relief at being there – where I belonged.

So, here I am now, quietly slipping back into this space and already feeling relief at being in this place where I feel, so strongly, that I belong. I hope that you each have a nature like Miss White’s, and can similarly forgive me for my absence and neglect. This time, though, I didn’t dawdle on my way here. This time life waylaid me, against my will.

In December of 2006 - about 12 and a half months ago - I told several friends how happy I was to be closing the door on 2006 and welcoming a new year. The new year - 2007 - was certain to be better than 2006, which had been consumed by Peter's (Susie's husband) cancer diagnosis, treatment, hospitalization and death and all of the changes, adjustments and emotional whirlwind one would expect from such an ordeal.

As it turns out, 2007 may well have been the worst year of my life. That's really saying something because I've had some crummy, lousy, terrible, horrible, no good, very bad times.

The regular visitors to this blog may have read about some of the travails of this past year. Mom’s illness and hospitalization was probably the most devastating aspect of the year. Mom lived only about 5 minutes from me and besides being the best possible mother and cheerleader, she was integral to my daily life. I relied on her to be my “back up” whenever I was in a pinch (and vice versa.) We grocery shopped together every week or so. At the store I’d always observe the elderly couples shopping together and one day I realized that I was Mom’s grocery-shopping better half (and vice versa.) She always, always bought a candy treat for Evan, my 10 year old son with a huge sweet tooth, whether he was with us or not. Before she dropped me off at my house, we’d make a stop at her place so that I could help her get her groceries up to her apartment. There I’d help her unpack her groceries and I’d unpack and put away the two cases of bottled water that she bought on every shopping excursion. She faithfully followed Doctor’s order to drink lots of water to compensate for the partial kidney that had been removed due to a malignant tumor.

When Mom was hospitalized I spent the best part of every day and every night with her, including sleeping in her room, for those two weeks. She told me she felt comforted having me there and knowing that I was there even if she happened to awaken during the night. That comment alone made all of the logistical juggling worthwhile. Mom was discharged from the hospital and went to Susie’s house to finish her recuperation. You regular blog visitors have read about some of the escapades that Mom, Susie, and Susie’s six children had together during those two months. There was always a funny story to tell and Mom always laughed as heartily about those adventures as anyone else. Mom loved being at Susie’s house and Susie enjoyed having her there. And although Mom planned to move back to her apartment, she also talked about moving back in with Susie on a permanent basis. Just a couple of days before she was to head back to her own place, Mom died at Susie’s house. Although Mom’s doctor said he wasn’t surprised, we were. I was shocked. One small comfort was that Mom was in Susie’s happy home when that happened, instead of being alone.

At any rate (wow! that was quite a tangent…) Mom’s illness and death were a large part of the notorious year, but there was more – some of which I’ve written about and some of which I haven’t. It was, now that I think about it further, definitely the worst year ever. But, I am now able to see that there were many positive aspects of this past year as well. And I’m finally able to appreciate those things more fully, to focus on moving forward, and now I am excited about possibilities again.

Among other positives, It’ll Fit’ll was born this year. We’ve gotten great, invaluable support and encouragement from you guys. I’ve been able to meet and connect with many of you. That was absolutely a highlight of the year. Another positive aspect was the renewed realization that I’m blessed (and I don’t use that word often) with wonderful family and friends. Those people that helped me cope and heal - they enrich my life immeasurably.

My children are among those wonderful people. They remind me, by living their lives so fully, how much fun life can be and what we can accomplish in each day. One fall day weeks ago Evan reminded me how much joy we can find in the simple things, if we just look and imagine. I picked him up at the bus stop that afternoon and he asked if we could stop by the garage sale which he’d seen advertised on a home-made sign along the bus route. He had no money, but he told me if he found something of interest, we could go home and get his cash. I waited in the car, finishing a magazine article. After a while, he bounded into the car with an armload of stuff. I assumed that he’d bought it with a promise and his winning smile. As it turns out, though, he’d found those treasures in the “free” section of the garage sale. He explained to me, with glee, his plans for his loot. The three votive candles, dusty, dented, with barely any scent left were "just nice to have" and could be used for some “wax experiments.” The decades-old framed “art” (which I suspect was a grocery store give-away from my childhood days; we had one or two similar pieces for a while during my childhood) would be perfect for one of our bonfires. He described how he planned to throw it on top of the burning bonfire and explained how he expected it to be consumed (the center part first, then the frame, etc.) There was a huge, neon green coffee mug from the home center megastore which he thought he’d give to his father. I can’t remember the rest of the haul and it’s long ago been tossed or burned. But I do remember that the evening of that rummage sale, Evan and I drove to Susie’s for something or other. We stopped and grabbed him a fast food dinner to eat on the way. Not long after I handed the bag to him in the back seat, I heard him say “Mom, look.” I turned to look and he said “A candle light dinner!” He’d set the rummage sale candles on the ledge of the back seat drink holder and had spread out his dinner like a feast. He enjoyed that dinner and those candles as much as any gourmet would appreciate a 5-star restaurant meal. And, I’m sure I enjoyed it nearly as much as he did – without having to ingest all those empty calories!

So, my renewed perspective is one of appreciation for the positive facets of life and a return to those days when I was more like Evan with an ability to see the possibility and upside of most things and most situations. And, I see with great clarity that you guys, this blog, this It’ll Fit’ll initiative are a magnificent aspect of my life. I also understand, finally, a bit about blogging.

During the time that Mom was in the hospital, I read a book about business-related blogging called “Naked Conversations”. After a while I stopped working so hard to find a way to “casually” explain the subject of the book I was reading. If the doctors or nurses jumped to conclusions - oh well! It made me smile to see their surprised looks. The book was an interesting review and analysis of businesses that blog or sanction employee blogging (like Microsoft), the advantages, the challenges, the topics, the tone, etc. etc. etc. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking, worrying, about what to write – all business? is some personal stuff OK? does familiarity really “breed contempt”? updates? what about when there are delays or bad news? questions, requests? will that imply that we’re too green? and on, and on, and on.

Now I know that It’ll Fit’ll isn’t a typical business and you are not typical customers (potential customers, at this point.) In fact, Susie and I talked about that very topic on Saturday. She pointed out that the term “customer” doesn’t seem to fit you guys because you’re more than that, or our relationships are different than that. After discussing a few possibilities we agreed to noodle on it separately a little more and revisit the topic in a short while. Anyway, I think you’re more like friends. Some of you are friends I haven’t met yet, some I’ve met in person, some I’ve only met electronically, but there is an element of friendship to our collective relationship rather than a commercial element. At any rate, that’s how I think of you and I’ve stopped worrying about the minutia of how to communicate with you. I’m not so much blogging anymore as I am dropping a line or two to a group of pals.

So, friends, there's my stream of consciousness blog entry. And, here’s to you and to us and to the possibilities of a great new year! We'll talk again soon.

Free Counters

Free Counter

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy New Year

I hope everyone enjoyed bringing in the new year, we did. The girls and Noah went to bed around 10:00pm, Ted and Robbie stayed awake with me. Well, they were playing PS2 in the living room while I watched TV in the bedroom! I kicked them off the game around 11:30pm so we could watch Dick Clark's New Years Rockin Eve. I have watched that show ever since I was a young girl, so it seemed appropriate to watch it with my kids. I made us ice cream sundaes and we sat back and brought in the new year. Robbie said the countdown along with Dick while Ted and I kept eating! I think they enjoyed themselves, especially Robbie, ice cream that late at night and not getting in trouble was his highlight.

New Years Day was spent relaxing, for me anyway, the kids played with their new stuff. Since they have been home on vacation I have been constantly picking up after them. I decided to take a couple of days off, I wasn't enjoying their time home. Once I relaxed, we played a few games, Sorry was our favorite. I have always enjoyed that game, ever since I was young. I would make my friend Alison play that game with me for hours! Robbie didn't do very well with the concept of fair play, he took every move personally. I started to explain the thinking behind the moves Ted and I did, I think it helped. His lip would hit the floor if we knocked him back to start, and then if he didn't get the right number to get out, look out! By the third or forth game he got the gist and was right there knocking people back to start whenever he had the opportunity.

The Greeks have a tradition on New Years Day of making a cake, or it can be a sweet bread, called Vasilopita. It is in honor of St. Basil, it is his names day. You put a coin in it, whoever gets the coin in their piece of cake, has good luck for the coming year. The first slice goes to Jesus, the second to St. Basil, the third to the house, and then from there you start with the oldest member of the household and work your way down. I didn't know you are supposed to keep slicing until there is no more, someone is supposed to get the coin. I did all of the slices and still had cake left, so nobody got the coin. I emailed my sister-in-law with the question of what to do next. We were waiting on an answer before we cut anymore slices. In the meantime, Frick and Frack (Helen and Noah), climbed on the counter in order to get the very ripe bananas (I was planning on making banana bread) from the top of the refrigerator. They knocked the cake off the counter and onto the floor. We all ran into the kitchen and saw it laying there in all it's glory, I made a very nice looking cake, with the coin laying next to it. First thing I heard was, "Great, there's the coin, I guess no one has good luck this year!" Ted was just beside himself, he was so mad at Frick and Frack. He wasn't mad they dropped the cake, he was mad the coin had fallen out of the cake so no one could claim it! I told the story to my friend who is Greek and she got the biggest kick out of it. She told me next year to cut pieces for everyone, and if there is more, to start cutting for other family members who aren't there. She said to take the pieces and put them in a container to eat at a later date. I thought you had to eat the cake the same night you slice it, but you don't. Well, you learn something new every day!

The kids are back in school today, YEAH!!! We are back on a schedule, what a difference it makes. I have learned that I don't need as much sleep as I thought. While they were home I slept in, getting too much sleep. I function a lot better on about 6 hours of sleep than I do on 9 hours. I never would have guessed, I used to be such a sleeper when I was younger. Will that knowledge stop me from sleeping in on the week-ends? Probably not. You can't teach an old dog new tricks!!:o)

Until next time-
Take Care,
Free Counters

Free Counter