Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Live from Lake Buena Vista...

more to follow, but here's just one of Josh's MANY performances @ WDW.

It's Magic Man!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Have a look...

Totally unedited, but most of the vacay photos so far are in Flickr.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Merry Christmas everyone!

We're off to Disney World - we'll be back in a week. I'm overcoming the last looming date this week - my due date. I was due w/ Isabel on Christmas Eve. I've felt a lot of dread as we've come closer, and now it's almost over.

Have a great Christmas everyone - and thanks for hanging in with us this year. I know the blog has had some fairly rough-reading over the past few months, and we've had some major highs & lows. Thanks for sticking with us and for all your love & support.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Christmas card photos

Seriously, how fabulous is Lauren? I love them!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Wheeling & Dealing

Do you love Christmas shopping? I do - and I manage to do about 90% of it online. I usually end up spending a total of 1 or 2 hours out at actual stores, and the rest is done in an hour or less online. The best part about online shopping is the COUPON CODES! Love love love to feel like I'm getting a better deal...

So here are my two fave sites for coupon codes: Naughty Codes and Retail Me Not. In the last year I think I've only bought things a handful of times without some sort of discount.

As an added bonus, I get to see the UPS or Fedex guy almost daily in December. They're often my only link to the outside world, so that's always exciting. You gotta love mail time!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Oh, Hillary...

Grossly inappropriate but I'm sorry, I always - categorically, without exception - find potty humor funny.

Bye-bye, baby...

Originally uploaded by sjross
Seriously - how old does he look in this picture? Not 3, that's for sure. I am not even sure he looks 4.

I see so much of Nate in this picture...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Happy Birthday Josh

At some point I will put something a little more thought-out here. For now, I'll just say that Josh turned 3 and is COMPLETELY aware that he's older. He has been very puffed-up and self-important all day.

Oh, and we bought him the Wiggles "Getting Strong" DVD for his birthday, so he's WAY pumped up about that.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Lessons in lunacy

Me: Why did you do that?
Josh: Because I'm crazy!
Me: You're crazy? Who made you crazy?
Josh: God did.
Me: God made you crazy?
Josh: Yeah, and Jesus made me crazy too.
Me: Why did God and Jesus make you crazy?
Josh: Because I was boring!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What in the world?

Today at school, Josh's class made handprint turkeys. He loved it, and wanted to make more when we got home. Ok, no problem. A little Tempera never hurt anyone, right?

So I set him up at the table and for over an hour, he painted his hand and put handprints on construction paper. Messy, but washable, and entertaining. So whatever - I can live with that combination.

But after I answered the phone int he other room, he decided to paint, umm, what's the word? Oh I know - EVERYTHING. I walked back in and his entire left side was covered with red paint.

Somehow, in a 3 year old brain, I guess if a little Tempera is that much fun, then a lot of Tempera must just be awesome beyond belief.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Check me out...

I've succumbed to peer pressure and finally started using Flickr. I've unloaded a ton of pics from the past few months. Check my Flickr account to see them all.

Many many months to go...and the organizational possibilities are completely overwhelming. For now, pardon the chaos.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Live from Berkley...

5 new videos of Josh live in concert are on YouTube.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

My all-time favorite

Of all the pics we've taken of Josh over the almost-3 years he's been around, this is still my all-time favorite. I'm sorry, the cheeks are just fantastic.

Wiggly adventure

So going to see the Wiggles in TO may have been the most exciting thing J has ever done. It seems, however, that we have spun into total out-of-control Wigglemania. Full-blown. For the last day or 2, Josh corrects me every time I call him Josh - he now is to be referred to only as Sam Wiggle. And it's always in the 3rd person: Mom, Sam is waving at you. Sam wants a drink of water. Sam isn't going to take a nap.

Me? No longer mom - I'm now Murray. And I was told again that I can't sing, so this is a good gig for me - sit back in silence and play the 3/4-sized guitar. Although once in a while I get told I'm not doing it right, and His Highness takes the guitar away from me too. And then I just get to be in the audience.

If you didn't catch the Wiggles while they were in the D, let me know. I'm sure Sam would be happy to give you a private viewing. Concerts daily at 7:00, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Out of the mouths of babes...

A few bizarre conversations we've had recently:

While looking at a Wiggles cassette tape insert: Mom, you should read this. It's very unusual.
When I called his school friend Fudgie instead of Fudge: Actually, his name is Fudge. You should really try to remember that.
To his teacher yesterday: My mom had to cut my hair because it was really getting all crazy.
About birthday gifts: I need drums because I'm very talented. You can't sing so you can just play guitar.
Mission critical: We need a stage at home as soon as possible so I can perform. And I really really really need drums. Okay?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Make a choice

Someone recently told me that the most effective strategy with toddlers was to give them choices - allowing them to choose between 2 things gives them a feeling of being in control, while providing you with an outcome that you desire. Makes sense, right? So here's how that went this morning:

Me: "Okay, Josh, I'm going to give you a choice. Choice #1, you can take a bath, or choice #2, you can take a nap."
Josh: "Choice #3 - I watch a show on TV and I don't have any other choices."

So much for that.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

We might be insane but...

This is where we're going tonight:

You've got to feel kind of sorry for Canada - they didn't even warrant their own tour - they got a "includes Canada" tagline on the American ad. Not only that, their cities are appended to the US shirt - with an American flag only. Kind of embarassing. For Canada, I mean - not us. We're AWESOME.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Happy Birthday, dad!

The Mom Song

Awesome - I love it love it love it!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

On the train to Toronto!

See you Monday!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Detroit Adventure Pass

Starting this Thursday, visit your public library to check out a FREE PASS to local museums. Click here for more details.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Peace out, bro

No, Adrock, this is not a hippie blog.

Here's a downer...

***Update - we ultimately did decide to get her a dedicated niche. They will letter it and them move her sometime in the next week or two. I feel relieved - I don't know that I'm ever going to go there, look at it, whatever, but it feels much better.***

So I've been generally upbeat but here's a rather depressing post. Sorry - skip it if you're not in the mood - it will not offend me.

I stopped by Roseland Park Cemetery on Monday to see if Isabel was there yet. I couldn't find a July 2007 box - but they had August & September. So I called their office and they said it went by cremation date, not date of death. That feels really wrong to me - callous or something - to just stick her in a box with about a dozen other babies based on when they cremated her.

I've really struggled all along with how much significance to attach to what happened. It started in the hospital - do we name her, do we talk about her, do we bury her, do we have a service...

In the end, we did name her. But if I'm being totally honest, I almost never use her name when we talk about it - I guess it makes it too important, too real, too much for me. But now I'm confronted with a decision that's tearing me up - do I leave her where she is, in the September box, or do we pay for her to be in her own box, with her name carved in granite for all the world to see, and for all eternity? The idea of a permanent memorial is very intimidating to me. I don't want to be one of those people that obsesses, dwells, fixates, mourns too long/too much, or whatever. But I don't want to brush it aside like it was nothing. I am so conflicted.

What would you do?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Hangin' @ the fire station

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Sneeze you later...

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 — Major makers of over-the-counter infant cough and cold medicines announced today that they were voluntarily withdrawing their products from the market for fear that they could be misused by parents.

The move comes two weeks after safety reviewers within the Food and Drug Administration urged the agency to consider an outright ban of over-the-counter cough and cold products for children under the age of 6.

Read the rest of the article here.

And another one bites the dust...

Yet another series of lead paint recalls poured in. There have been 24 separate lead paint-related children's product recalls in the last week. Yes, you read that right - two DOZEN, people.

If you didn't already, go to the CPSC website to sign up for notifications. You can also visit Recalls.gov to see all government recalls, including FDA, NHTSA, etc.

Seriously - it's getting crazy. I'm seriously thinking about buying this. And I'm tempted to stop buying anything made in China. What about you?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

my new favorite blog

i heart cynical dad. seriously, he cracks me up.

Friday, October 5, 2007

I figured it out!

Well, I finally have figured out the secret to having a quiet, well-behaved toddler. And no, don't be silly - it's not positive discipline. It's my old iPod!!!

Seriously - look at this child. He spent 1.5 hours COMPLETELY SILENT in a Target shopping cart, just grooving to the Wiggles.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Uh oh.

Might be time to get a new phone service...

"The end may very well be in sight for Vonage, because the judgment represents at least 25 percent of its total value," said Stan Schatt, vice president for broadband and wireless networks at ABI Research. "I think the handwriting is on the wall."

Read more here.

Monday, October 1, 2007

And in other news

I managed to buy my friend's daughter a stroller that doubles as a mini finger guillotine.

On and on...

Continuing on our Mickey Mouse obsession, I have at long last secured a costume from eBay. Because there's nothing like paying a premium for someone else's hand-me-down crap.


"Mom, look! I'm big and big and bigger! That means I can go to Disney World!!!"

-Josh apparently grew during his nap last week and seems to think he is now big enough to go see the Mouse.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Welcome, Josie!

Josephine Lyn Grishkevich
6 lbs 7 ounces
20.5 inches long
22 September 2007
3:58 pm

Congratulations, Paul & Nicol!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Car seat recall

Doral Juvenile Group announced a recall involving Alpha Omega, Cosco, and Eddie Bauer car seats. I am mentioning this one specifically because it affects BOTH of our car seats, and I know my sister & some friends also have the same one.

Recall details are here.

I'll blog more soon - I know I disappeared. It was a crazy, crazy week. We had a sewer pipe break and spent the week in a hotel, Josh started fall swim lessons and nursery school, and I was at a church conference for 3 days. Craziness.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Feeding time

Feeding a giraffe @ the Detroit Zoo this morning.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

How Toxic Is Your Carseat?

I could quickly slip into paranoia...here's more to chew on. Michigan-based Ecology Center reviewed 60 carseats sold at Babies R Us and Target and published a study of the chemical exposure resulting from use.

Interestingly, note that the 2 most expensive infant seats are on their "Worst" list.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Oh, for crying out loud!

Three new lead paint related recalls at Mattel. Read more here.

***Update - I found out that you can sign up for email notification of any new recalls. Go here to register - you can limit your notification to infant/child products. That eases my mind a little...I guess.***

Justice, Joy & Psalms

So yesterday, I breezily asked my sister about her sister-in-law, who is pregnant with her second child. I said "So how's Lindsay? Does she know what she's having?" and my sister replied that it was a girl. Casual, breezy, and the conversation moved on...

Until midnight, when I started crying and could not for the life of me get it back under control. I was totally overcome with anger - not at Lindsay, but more at what she represents...what I should have been. I was supposed to be having a girl in December, just a couple of weeks before Lindsay. I just have these moments where I am so totally pissed off about what happened, and the fact that it happened to ME, and how totally unfair it all is.

I was talking to a good friend about her miscarriage many years ago. She told me that a friend of hers was pregnant at the same time, and that for years, when she looked at the friend's little girl, she felt a pang of what might have been. I can so relate to that...I know a couple of people due within a couple of weeks of me, and even dumb Nicole Ritchie. I look at them and think about what might have been, where I might be, where the baby would be...I just want what I lost, and I'm grieving.

Several people recommended reading Psalms. I was just looking back at what I've read, and I have consistently underlined David's down moments - the "help me, why have you abandoned me?" verses where he cries out to God.

Psalm 40:1 from the Message translation: I waiting and waited and waited for God. At last he looked, finally he listened.

It's hard for me to reconcile what happened in the context of faith. I really, truly believe that God is completely good in the midst of everything bad that happened to us. And I really truly believe that God loves us. I am trying to just hang onto that, despite the "why?" that constantly nags me...but I am continuing to ask God "why?" at the same time.

He gets angry once in a while, but across a lifetime there is only love. The nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter. (Also Message, Psalm 30:5)

So that's what I'm hanging onto...days of laughter, here I come.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Danger, Will Robinson, Danger...

Nine separate lead paint recalls this month - NINE, people. Seriously, this is insane. I'm only going to let Josh play with old tires and organic vegetables from now on.

Recall details can be found here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

much better

Not sure what it was, but he seems close to normal...low-grade fever but back to his rockin'-out self again.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

still yucky

now he's at 103.6 with Advil...yowza.

That's yucky yuck

Josh came down with something that is, as he says, totally "yucky yuck."

We're now heading into hour #5 of continuous (I mean that literally - CONTINUOUS) crying and a high fever. It was high last night, and fine this morning. It slowly crept up and he woke up from his nap back at 102F with Advil. So he has pretty much just laid on the couch and whimpered for hours.

Pray for him - all of us, really. Bummer birthday for Nate, and not so much fun for me here either...

Happy 32nd Birthday Nate!

we love you, schmoopie!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Josh in 3 years...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Wow, this might be me.

That would also perhaps that Nate's color-blindness is not quite so severe as I see it...

Monday, August 20, 2007


I need a babysitter this Thursday from 12:30 - 2:00. Anyone interested?

Note: creepy men need not apply. I'm just too lazy to call the people I usually ask.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Everybody cut footloose


(Note the sudden change where he stops & puts his hands on his hips. He saw Andy checking him out and had to look cool.)


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Tag...I'm it!

I was tagged by Brittan! Here are the NEW (Rachelle) rules:
-Let others know who tagged you.
-Players answer questions about themselves.
-Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 questions and answers.
-Players should tag 3 or more people and tell them they’ve been tagged.

1. one thing people might not know about you:
My college major was political economy @ MSU's James Madison College. Lots of fun, very interesting classes, fun with spreadsheets, pretty useless in terms of a career. I did however fall in LOVE with Milton Friedman and to this day Capitalism & Freedom is my favorite book.
2. the best invention ever is: Hmm...I'd have to go with the internet. I would most certainly shrivel up & die without it.
3. in my next house, i vow: To have a master SUITE with walk-in closets and a bathroom with a jacuzzi tub. And 2nd floor laundry. And a playroom. And a kitchen with a full-size pantry. I could go on - it just simply must be bigger. More, more, more.
4. in my next life, i vow: I don't know how to answer this one - there's no next life. so I'll be in heaven, gellin' like a felon. If I could redo parts of this one, I'd figure out a way to be less stressed. Less J-ness and a little more P-ness (that's for you, Dana).
5. if i had nothing else to do i would be happy:
Shopping. Nate would shudder if he heard me say that but I would absolutely love to shop all day.
6. my dream date would be: A quiet dinner anywhere that didn't involve getting up 50 times to cut up food, refill milk, clean spills, etc. And we could stay for dessert and not have to rush out because someone is getting antsy or has to pee or needs to go to bed.
7. one thing i do and one thing i will try to do to make our planet greener: I hang out with Daedra. She takes care of that crap.
8. one thing that astonishes me and one thing that amazes me: I find it astonishing that we have the ability - the gift - to grow little tiny people inside us and bring them into the world. However that works out, it's a miracle that happens and it's truly an honor to be a part of it. I never feel more empowered than when I'm pregnant.
Josh continues to amaze me every day. I find it totally astounding that he came from us. It's a joy to watch him develop into a little person and see snippets of what he will be like as a grown-up. We have our moments where it's not so fun, but overall it's remarkable, and I wouldn't miss it for the world.

Now I will tag Daedra, Lauren and Josie.

Currently reading

Daniel: Lives of Integrity, Words of Prophecy by Beth Moore

We're halfway through my women's bible study now. We've just finished all the historical study of Daniel and now we're moving into the prophetic stuff. It's way more challenging - I just finished Daniel 7 and I find all of the end times stuff confusing. But way fun too.

I found this week's lesson particularly interesting in light of this FT article that Nate sent me about the US and Rome.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

New and improved

Daedra, you rock.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

It's that time again...

The dreaded Woodward Dream Cruise. I know, I know..everyone loves it. Try living 6 blocks from Woodward - the smell of exhaust, the lack of parking at all my local stores, the idiots in lawn chairs for 6 weeks on Woodward...it gets old. Fast.

Berkley does have a smaller, more manageable version - the Cruisefest. After a classic car parade, they shut down 12 Mile and have bands, food, etc. It's a taste of the Dream Cruise without all the stink. It's this Friday night - if you're interested, give us a call - we just walk 2 blocks from our house.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Keeping up with the Joneses...

Monday night I had a total panicked "I am not good enough" moment. We're close enough (in proximity not lifestyle) to Birmingham that I have those periodically. This was driven by my absentmindedly inviting a mom from Josh's swim class over for the Berkley Cruisefest. Then I got home, looked at the 1970s orange carpeting on our stairs and freaked out. I thought "Omigod she lives in like a million dollar house. I have to have new carpeting or I'll die of embarrassment."

Do we have money for new carpeting? Absolutely not. So what did I do? I tore it up anyway. I almost gave Nate a heart attack when he came home to this yesterday:Does it look better? Absolutely not. Under the carpet are totally beat-up, worn-out charcoal-painted pine steps.

So now what? Unless the carpet fairy comes soon, I need to get really creative, really fast...

And so it goes...

Up & down. That's the way the last two weeks have gone. It's hard for me to believe that it's been 2 weeks - we went to a 3:30 ultrasound on July 27th and our lives turned upside-down.

Today, for some reason, everything is getting to me. Nicole Richie is totally bumming me out. I mean, granted, it's Nicole Richie and on some level, she bums pretty much everyone out. But she's particularly getting to me at the moment with her 18-week old baby bump.

A couple of days ago I was laughing about an old post that freaked my dad out. He sent me an email that said "Wow, that was a loooooooong story!" and then told me that he couldn't believe all the things I was willing to tell the whole world. Truth be told, it's actually easier for me to say something here than face-to-face. So anyway, while I was preparing for a follow-up visit with my midwife, and planning to talk to her about ovulation. I thought "I should blog about ovulation just to freak my dad out again!" So here I am, saying the O word - O-V-U-L-A-T-I-O-N. Dad, are you breaking a sweat?

So, we talked ovulation - which should happen in the next 4 weeks. In 2 months, I can try to get pregnant again. Sometimes I think that's what I want to do, and sometimes the idea completely terrifies me. I think we'll just have to see where we're at in 2 months.

For now, I am finally sleeping, thanks to Ambien. And I'm praying again, due in large part to Daedra. So I'm getting there...but it does seem to be a step backwards for every 3 or 4 forward.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


You've got to love YouTube.

Sarah Gewirtz, if you get married, we are so doing this.


Do you journal? I've had a few people recommend it as part of the grieving process. I have to be honest - the word journaling makes my skin crawl a little. It sounds so...junior high. And I'm so cool I stopped in the 4th grade. I'm kidding...sort of.

So I don't know...what do you think? What would you do?

Monday, August 6, 2007

Moving on...

@ my sister-in-law (and pastor's) encouragement, i'm moving from job into psalms...should be interesting. i've never really read psalms because it's so stinking long...that's probably sacreligious to say stinking about the bible - apologies to those that are offended. i just happen to be a big fan of closure, so i don't like to read things i can't finish quickly.

for those who haven't tried it - i highly recommend the Message translation. it's a really great, conversational, easy way to read the bible.

on a side note, many congratulations to dave & becky who welcomed
kate avery locke on friday.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Currently Reading

The Misery of Job & the Mercy of God
by John Piper

"O Dinah, do not speak like those
Who cannot see, because they close
Their eyes, and say there is no God,
Or fault him when he plies the rod.
It is no sin to say, my love,
That bliss and pain come from above.
And if we do not understand
Some dreadful stroke from his left hand,
Then we must wait and trust and see.
O Dinah, would you wait with me?"

I'm in the waiting stage right now - I don't understand WHAT happened, WHY it happened, and why it happened to ME. I am trying to figure out where/how God is merciful in all of this...I know in my head that He is, but am struggling to feel it in my gut at the moment.

Friday, August 3, 2007

How Great Is Our God

This song is really speaking to me right now...

Thursday, August 2, 2007

I've been trying to figure out what to say here. I think blogging would be good for me - sort of 21st-century journaling. It's a fine line though - between what's interesting and useful to share, and what is cathartic for me but inappropriate. So I'm stuck.

Bottom line because I know you care - I'm here and I'm okay. Physically, I feel almost 100%. Emotionally, I'm pretty much a train wreck, but I think that's what you'd expect at this point.

I'll be back online soon. Until then, just please keep praying for us. I'm in a difficult place right now - I actually have not prayed since we lost the baby. I haven't been able to. So if you would pray, we could use it.

Thanks for checking in...

P.S. Today was Nate's first day back @ work. His boss pretty much kicked him out when he got there, so he will be home until Tuesday. I'm relieved to say the very least - I wasn't quite ready to be on my own here.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Am going to be fairly brief. For those of you that haven't heard, we lost our baby at just under 19 weeks. She had a cord wrapped twice around her neck & arm. We delivered her Sunday July 29th at 10:14 am.

Isabel Grace
8.5 inches
7 ounces

We appreciate your thoughts and prayers, please allow us space to process...thank you.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Attack of the camera phone

More Hi-5
Dancing at a Jimmy Buffet tribute band show last night
Little parrothead getting down
Wasting away in Margaritaville with Grandma, the Vanovers, the Paweleks,
and the newlywed Vanovers

Josh & Ky on the way to Boyne
Josh in his new guitar t-shirt (we have to fight to get it off him)