Category: 10 Things

Sick Days

Some bug has got me in its clutches and won’t let go. I’m not a good sick person and tend to live by the “mind over matter”mantra. This results in my body periodically turning on itself- and I find myself completely out of commission.

Here’s my list of essentials that are getting me through:

  • Hot tea
  • Favorite fuzzy pink blanket
  • Comfy clothes
  • New Girl marathon on Netflix
  • Lots of yarn to roll into balls for next project
  • Pinerest
  • And when I feel the least bit curious about what’s happening on social media- MORE Pinterest
  • Phone on “Do Not Disturb”
  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Fully charged Kindle

I’m on DAY 3- if I have any say in this, I will be back on my feet and participating in the real world tomorrow!!!

Take care!!!


Ari’s Care and Keeping of Pups….er…Babies

Ari’s Care and Keeping of Pups….er…Babies

Hi, it’s me, Ari, stopping in. While Kat’s busy getting Andrew settled back at home (he’s home- my boy is home!!!!! wag, wag, wag!!!), I decided to revive Kat’s 10 Things feature with my own 10 tips for caring for pups….er, I mean, babies.

We have a new baby in our family. My oldest boy, Michael, and his wife had a baby about 6 months ago. (It seems like a lot longer.) I love Michael. He lays down on the floor and roughhouses with me. He also puts me through a rigorous exercise program jumping over him, back and forth, through endless repetitions. And when he was living at home, we would take naps together when he came home from working 24 hour shifts. Those naps were the best!

So now, there’s this baby- Beej- and it was apparent early on that these people do not know how to care properly for a human baby. As far as I can see, human babies are just bald puppies. Spending these past 6 months with the baby has awakened my maternal instincts and I would like to share my parenting tips with you:

1. Upon arrival, it is important to inspect the baby to confirm that he is intact. Sometimes the parents will need encouragement to leave in the form of some gentle barks……progressing to herding them out the door with short, insistent barks if they are slow to respond. ari and beej

2. When suspecting the baby is need of a diaper change, one good sniff is all you need. It’s unnecessary to pull the diaper leg open, peeking in and then cautiously poking a finger in to investigate. Your nose will never fail you.

3. When it comes to cleaning spit up and smeared baby food, there’s no need to wipe ’em down. A thorough licking will get the job done!

clean up4. Get down on their level. Get on the floor and play with them. Babies get tired of looking at people’s feet and legs all the time and it’s a LONG way to look up when you’re standing right next to them.


5. Babies like walks. Lots and lots of walks. Especially if they have their dog to lead the way!

6. Sometimes babies just cry. Learn to tell the difference between a real cry and a simple “I’m bored” cry. It’s easy if you just listen.

close7. Sleep when the baby sleeps. This is KEY. When they are awake, they are a full-time job and constantly being on call can be exhausting.


8. Have patience. Babies are very curious and they like to explore and experiment.tail9. A good game of tug of war never hurts!tug of war10. Babies need love. Lots and lots of love, in the form of licks. loveAnd there you have it! If you follow these tips, your pup- er….baby will grow up just fine!

On a personal note, I think I make a fantastic mother to Beej and hopefully my careful and thoughtful role modeling will set a good example for these people and they will catch onto the proper way to do it!

Meanwhile, Baby Beej has been sitting up on his own, rolling over both ways and scooting. I keep hearing talk about when he will begin crawling. No one told me he would be mobile?!!??!

Ten Things of Thankful- #3

Soooo, I’m off to a less than auspicious beginning in my participation in Ten Things of Thankful but I’m hoping to improve on that! This past week wasn’t the greatest but I still had a lot to be thankful for——-

1. I have been sick this past week- not sick enough to incapacitate me but enough to slow me down, which I apparently needed because 7 days later, I’m still not at 100%. It might seem odd to be thankful but it caused me to slow down and I needed that.

2. The wonder of Face Time! This week I have enjoyed many sessions with my grandsons on Face Time. There’s nothing like talking to a 3 month old who is cooing and grabbing the phone. I am so thankful for my daughter-in-law for taking the time to do this!

3. My baby (19 years old) initiated texts with me throughout the week! He is away at college and I miss him so much! I can’t wait to see him when he comes home. 🙂

4. I had an anxiety attack- my first in nearly 10 years. It caught me off guard, in a public place, where there was no where to hide and a few witnesses. I am so thankful that my friend, John, was there, munching on his bag of chips and helping me find a level of calm with his steady, unflappable presence.

5. I’ve had an unexpected few days of solitude. It has been heavenly to be able to “just be” without constant limited interruptions. Snow

6. Grey’s Anatomy- Where have I been for the last 10 years?

7. We got snow. I am just so glad that it was only a few inches…..and it was light and fluffy, not the wet and messy stuff.

8. The day after tomorrow I am going away with my friend, Steph! Vera BradleyIt’s only overnight but it doesn’t matter. We haven’t gotten away in a few years. It will be so nice to shop (Vera Bradley Outlet), eat and talk….. I know it’s not from last week but knowing it was coming was a bright spot for me this past week.

9. I finally finished Baby Beej’s Back up Blanket! (say that 10 times fast) I made him one, with the intention of making a spare just in case his was forgotten at home. Well, before I could complete the spare, I found myself with a baby without his blanket. blanket

10. Photo Challenges- I’m addicted! Even if I forget to post the photos, I am having fun looking for the perfect shots.

There it is-my Ten Things of Thankful! What are you thankful for?

Ten Things of Thankful

Ten Things of Thankful- Week 2

So, this week was/is a rough one. Finding those 10 things is not quite as easy. I’m feeling kind of stretched so instead of a list, I’m going with photos.

Thank you to Considerings for creating this awesome event! 1ed57-tenthingsbanner

I hope you had a lot to be thankful for this week!


Ten Things of Thankful- Week 1 (hopefully!)

Ten Things of Thankful- Week 1 (hopefully!)

I have decided that in my quest to work on my word of 2015- FOCUS– it wouldn’t hurt (and would most definitely help) if I take time out to really think about those thankful things in my life. I have chosen to participate in the Ten Things of Thankful at Considerings, which takes place on weekends. The task is to list 10 things that I was thankful for this past week.

Here are some things that I have been thankful for over the past week- in no particular order. 🙂

1. I am thankful for best friends who remain a part of my life despite my many ups and downs, flakiness, mood swings…… I’m not sure if I could have stuck it out with me and there are still times when I want to take a break from myself.

2. I am thankful to have the privilege to work with respectful, caring and funny guys who have nothing but patience and understanding when I’m tongue-tied. (They make up for the asshole.)

3. I am thankful that my “baby” still needs me at 19 and isn’t too old to text Mom when he can’t sleep.

4. I am thankful for little boys- especially those around the ages of 5 years and 2 months- who make me smile. These two little guys are the brightest spots in my days.

5. I am thankful for a dog who lives the most dramatic life I have ever seen in an animal who rarely leaves the block. She makes me laugh and reminds me daily that I’m never alone as long as she’s there. (Please note, I think Ari is waiting for her opportunity to post. She has so much to say and she’s really jealous of Toby, Hugh’s dog, who gets to put his own stuff out there.)

6. I am thankful that everywhere I went was less than 10 minutes away on those days when I was low on gas and didn’t feel like filling up the car.

7. I am thankful that the temperature remained about 30F this week so I wasn’t freezing when I did venture out.

8. I am thankful that while I was listening to music on my phone that songs from that darn U2 album only play 3-4 times during an hour period. I have nothing against U2, they are just not on my playlist……Thanks, U2!

9. I am thankful that Glee was on Netflix when I went looking. I’ve been in a funk and beginning back at Season 1 has been the boost that I needed. I love the songs and it makes me laugh.

10. I am thankful for a husband who jumped on the idea of heading out of town this weekend when I brought it up. This break from my life is just what the doctor ordered.

What are you thankful for this week?

Happy Saturday!



2014- Oh, What a Year it Was!

2014- Oh, What a Year it Was!

2014 was a very busy year for my family. It held the MOST milestones. It began on January 4, 2014 with Michael and Jasmine’s wedding and it will end on January 4, 2015 with Michael’s graduation party. It seems fitting that it begins and ends with Michael, like coming full circle.

Here are the top 10:

1. Michael and Jasmine’s wedding- What an incredible way to begin the year! It was a beautiful (although freezing cold) day. The wedding was small with just close family and best friends included.

2. Kris left for the Disney College Program. Leaving him Orlando with major anxiety and depression issues was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life!

3. Auditions, auditions, auditions. For a month, I spent more time on the east coast than I did here in Illinois while accompanying Andrew on his college auditions.

4. I finally found the nerve to begin my blog and Dandelion Fuzz was created.

5. After a spring of last performances, Andrew graduated from high school.

6. The highlight of the summer was when our family was reunited on a vacation to Disney World.

7. Comings and goings- Kris came home from Orlando, Andrew left for New York.

8. Michael began Fire Academy.

9. Baby BJ (aka Beej) was born!

10. Michael graduated and began his career as a firefighter.




What were the most memorable moments of your year?

10 Favorite Books I Read to My Children When They Were Young

10 Favorite Books I Read to My Children When They Were Young

For my son and daughter-in-law’s baby shower, we asked guests to bring one of their favorite books in place of a card. I’ve always given my children books for their birthdays and Christmas and I have continued the tradition with CJ. Choosing the perfect book for the newest little baby was a decision not made lightly. It got me thinking of all the books I read to my kids when they were little and that inspired this post for my 10 Things feature. Reading is one of the my favorite past times and its one I hope I have passed on to my children. I had to laugh when I found out that Michael and Jasmine were letting CJ check out 10 (TEN) books from the library and then they were reading all 10 to him every night! (That didn’t last long. I believe it got cut down to 3 or 4. Much more reasonable.)


  1. The Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown. I discovered this book quite by accident but I immediately fell in love with the simple lines and the illustrations, also simple but detailed. I gave it to Michael when he was very young and it quickly became a favorite. It tells the story about the big red barn and all the animals around the farm, using great description of their appearance and sounds they make.
  2. Owen by Kevin Henkes. Owen has a yellow blanket that he takes everywhere with him. When it is time for Owen to go to school, he is faced with a dilemma. He doesn’t want to leave his blanket at home. I have a blankie baby myself. Actually I had two but I broke one of his blanket habit and then felt so bad, my second blanket lover took his to college with him.
  3. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans. Who doesn’t love Madeline? Kris could recite this book from memory by the time he was three years old. I was always drawn to the illustrations- not only the colored pictures but the black and white line drawings, too. My grandson, CJ, enjoys hearing the Madeline books. We have a video of a young Kris sitting with this book open in his lap, appearing to read, “In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines.”
  4. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault. Andrew really liked the repetitive feel of this book. Looking back, this shouldn’t be a big surprise, considering his love of music and his innate sense of rhythm. I had purchased the board book for CJ a few years ago and it was only by accident that I found out that Michael is not a fan of this book. Oops! “A told B and B told C…”IMG_0445
  5. The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone. This book is a favorite of Andrew’s although I did read it to all three children. It chronicles Grover’s growing fear of the monster that he knows is at the end of the book. Grovers antics to prevent the story from ending are very silly and it always makes me smile.
  6. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. I resisted this book until Andy came. I was convinced if I read a book about a boy drawing on his walls that my kids would draw all over our own walls. As it was, I had Michael drawing in the door jamb of his bedroom door. Andrew loved the exploits that resulted from Harold’s drawings.
  7. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. There’s nothing like a good rumpus and a little boy named Max who is behaving badly! One of my children confessed to being slightly scared by this book as a child. I think it might have been Kris.IMG_0449
  8. Dr. Seuss’s ABC by Dr. Seuss. This was always a regular read in our house. I’m convinced that it was the reason Kris knew all of his letters by the time he was 2. I have memories of him writing his ABC’s on the blackboard at Michael’s pre-K when we went to pick him up. I think we all have this book memorized.
  9. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff. All of these books are favorites. The mouse, the moose, the pig. I love the moose making sock puppets and the pig getting sticky from syrup and needing a bath. I’ve heard that there are also a cat and a dog book. I can’t wait to get them to read to CJ and his little sibling!
  10. Where’s My Teddy? by Jez Alborough. Kris has always loved teddy bears. It was his love of bears that caused me to pick up this book and it quickly became a family favorite. Eddie has lost his teddy and he is shocked to see that it has grown incredibly large when he finds it. The illustrations are the perfect complement needed to complete the story.

There are so many more- Little Critter books, Clifford, Curious George, Arthur, Thomas the Tank Engine…

What are some of the favorite books you read to your children? Or if you don’t have children, what were some of your favorites as a child?