Thursday, January 31, 2008

I WON! I WON!! I WON!!! I WON!!!!

Won what??? Well, remember that Exceptional Parent thing I got nominated for?
Welllll..... I WON!!! I freakin' WON!!
I am now the Michigan Council for Exceptional Children, Exceptional Parent of the year for 2008!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There's a small reception the day after I get home from New Orleans. Wow. I am soooo excited and in shock. In the words of Sally Fields...They like me, they really really like me!! ;-)

The day after the storm

Picture of the trees in the north part of the yard.


Another view of tree covered in snow.

Mom's picture of Julia while waiting for the bus.


Julia's picture of mom while waiting for the bus. :-)


Julia's feet.


A classic Mom and Julia goofy picture.


Last but not least is a new picture of Oliver. Who happened to get caught eating Riley poo today. He's now in doggie jail for that offense. UGH! It's not like he's starving, he's eat good! What a maroon!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tutus!

It seems as though the craft bug has hit another friend of mine. Dawn started making tutus for her daughter EmmaLi and now our friend Tonni is selling them at her store!! Sooo...if you're in the market for a great tutu, go check out Dawn's page!

Snow Day #2

School was cancelled again today due to weather conditions. Yesterday wasn't too bad as we were able to get out and about and have lunch and do a bit of shopping. However...today is much different. It was -4 degrees this morning, blowing and drifting snow. The windchill was like -22 (actually, I'm not certain what it was...but that's what I thought I heard!)!! Winter is BACK! It was 49 just 2 days ago! The state police are recommending that people not drive unless they have to. Blahhhhhh...... If I get brave enough, I'll take some pictures.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway!!


Ok...so I've wanted to be part of this bloggy giveaway thing for awhile (even though I've never entered one except for Tonni's!) and I'm finally going to do it. Here's the really cool link to all the neato folks that are giving things away!! Here's what I'm giving away! There are 2 pairs of earrings that I made. The first pair are made with 2 Japanese white tensha with sakura cherry blossoms beads , 2 smaller red seed beads all on gold wire hooks. The second pair was inspired by the red Chinese New Year lanterns you see hanging. There are 2 silver "lantern" beads with 3 smaller seed beads on silver wire hooks. :-)

How to win them: Just comment on this post saying you want to be entered. Make sure to leave a blog address or email address! Shipping is on me. So, just check back here on FEBRUARY 3RD to see if you won! Woohoo!

PhotobucketBecause I'm THRILLED to have so many people sign up for my earrings, I decided to give away an addition 3 pairs. Ok...they won't all look exactly like the ones above, but...who doesn't like FREE STUFF?? Good Luck!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

So, like my new look?

Hi! I'm Melissa and welcome to the new and improved Ladybugs and The Red Thread blog. LOL! I have to admit that I've been very envious of people who design their own blogs. I just wanted to pick out a neato template and use it. However, blogger isn't that easy yet. I've struggled through the Pepto pink layout, the lighthouse layout, the "design your own" layout with funky colors. HOWEVER! Nothing compares to what my bestest friend Dawn made. She created my new look!! I just love, Love, LOVE it!! It's very chic as far as blogs go if you ask me. ;-) Soooo...if anyone is looking for a super cool blog, let me know! I can get you in contact with the hottest layout designer in the Midwest. Love ya, Dawn!! Thanks so much!!

Picture this:


Julia and I are driving along to go pick up Cam and Anna up from school. Music is ALWAYS playing in the car. My iPod pretty much plays shuffles all the time, because I like things that are random. Anyways, Tom Petty's song "American Girl" comes on. I downloaded it after watching "Silence of the Lambs" one night. Sooo...Julia and I were singing along and she yells out the chorus:


"Oh yeah, all right

Take it easy baby

Make it last all night

She was an american girl"


I thought I was going to get into a CRASH from laughing so hard. Because you've got to think of a 4y/o singing in her little voice (which is soooo far from Tom's gravelly one!) and the last line she changed to a CHINESE GIRL! The first time through she said American girl, then by the last chorus, it was changed to Chinese girl. I had visions of Mao rolling over in his grave as one of his country women is bopping along in her bright pink corduroy pants, purple winter coat with the new pink headbead from Tonni (yeah, I didn't get to keep that!) singing the most American rock-n-roll song. :-) I figured maybe it was a fluke, so I played the song again. Nope. She yelled out CHINESE GIRL again from the back seat. Nice. We do talk about China lot here, especially since Chinese New Year is around the corner, but...GEEZ! LOL!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Look what new tools can do!








I recently just ordered 2 new pairs of from a nice lady on Etsy and after I got them, I realized with the right tools, I could make them. So, I bought the tools. :-) Here are the earrings I made today. I gave a pair away already to Anna's teacher. LOL!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Slow news day


A month from today I will be in New Orleans for the National EHDI conference. The average temps are lows in the mid 50's and high's in the upper 60's. That's going to seem like summer compared the weather we've had here!! Ooohh...so, I'm thrilled about the conference, but I'm also excited about going to Cafe Du Monde for beignets and coffee. Mmmmm! (Don't worry Tonni and Dawn, I won't forget you guys. Beignets are on any practical women's diet!) :-)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

How great

Picture this: It's a beautiful Tuesday afternoon, about 6 inches of fresh powder snow has fallen. The sky is a bright blue with big, puffy white clouds and the sunny is shining. It's breathtaking. But it's FREEZING and I don't care to walk out to the mailbox (eh, call me lazy). I fire up the van, pull out of the garage to head to mailbox. I get the mail, start to pull back up (there's a small incline) and I get stuck. Slippin', slidin'...not going anywhere. My iPod is running and the song that comes on is "How great is our God" by Chris Tomlin. Here I sit, stuck in my own driveway, no coat, freezing to death and I realized how lucky I am to just be here. It's a wonderful day regardless of the cold. Being stuck is a minor inconvenience. However, I did get unstuck and managed to get back in the house before I became a Popsicle. I'm just glad no one saw me outside in my "I'm doing laundry clothes and the I don't give a rat's hiney about my hair" look today. :-)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Beautiful and Handsome

Julia: Mom, you're beautiful
Me: Aww, thanks sweetie...so are you!
Julia: Cameron, Daddy and other boys are handsome, right?
Me: Yep, boys are handsome.
Julia: Girls are beautiful, boys get handsome.
Me: Is there a boy you think is handsome?
Julia: Yeah, I like Jordan and Connor, but they not handsome, they just boys I like.
Me: Well, someday you might think they are handsome.
Julia: No way! No one is handsome like Daddy.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Moms & Music

So I posted those pictures yesterday and I started to think. There are some very distinct things that remind me of my mom. For my first 6 years, it was just her and I. I loved having her all to myself. Guess that's where I started to get spoiled. :-) I remember going to the beach a lot. Getting to stop for ice cream on the way home was a huge treat. I also remember getting to go to college with her on some days, I loved that! One of the other things that I remember really well is listening to Carly Simon. No on matter where I am, the grocery store, in the car, listening to my iPod...if I hear a Carly Simon song, I think of my mom. Funny thing, is I'm not sure she really liked her. :-) Diana Ross and the Supremes is the other one. I really liked her too, however, I am fairly certain mom liked her a lot. For some reason, I have a huge love for James Taylor. I'm guessing he was on the radio one or two times when I was little and it stuck. Now if you stop over to my parents house and catch my mom listening to music, it's usually Nickleback or Toby Keith! LOL!

This brings me to what my kids will remember about what listening to radio or music with me. Cam already thinks that Wayne only listens to Survivor, The Outfield, Night Ranger...classic 80's. He knows that mom likes a lot of stuff. Anything from MercyMe and Chris Tomlin to Saves The Day and Keane, to ELO and Peter Frampton (ugh...I hate that he's in the Geico ad!) to Depeche Mode and Madonna. My music tastes are all over the board. I hope the kids pick out some decent stuff to remember me by. But, I have a feeling the kids won't be fighting over my BeeGee's CDs when I'm gone. LOL!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Melissa...way back when....


The kids and I were talking about baby pictures of me and this is what I came up with. The first picture is me and my mom. The second one is me and my aunt Pam. I'm probably about 18mo to 2 years in the photos. Wish I had the blonde hair again!! Oh wait...I need to post a pic of me in the FAKE blonde hair I had for a while....I'll try to find one of them. That's when the laughing can really start. LOL! ;-)

Friday, January 18, 2008

After much thought....



This is where I plan on waking up tomorrow....Anyone else want to join me in Bora Bora?? ;-)

Mornings with Anna

Me: Here's your clothes.
Anna: Ok. Where's my underpants and socks?
Me: I didn't get any. You usually don't like what I pick out.
Anna: Well, what are you standing there for?
Me: Damn kids (said under my breath as I head back up stairs to find the PRINCESS socks and undies)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The 5 faces of Melissa

Ok...so I wanted to put together a little montage of my transition from overweight to healthier. :-)

1. Top center (red shirt, sunglasses) July 2006 about 200lbs
2. Bottom center (green shirt) March 2007 around 205+lbs
3. Left (white shirt) July 2007 181lbs
4. Top right (red shirt) September 2007 168lbs
5. Bottom right (brown shirt) January 17, 2008 155lbs!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Finally...the 50lb mark!

Yeah...my posts are all over the board tonight. LOL! But...I had forgot to post this earlier. Ummm...I reached a small milestone. As of today (drum roll please), I've lost 50lbs!! I started out at 205 back in April 2007 and today I hopped on the scale and it read 155.8. YYYYAAAYYY!! I spent a lot of time searching for ideal weight calculators and the ranges they gave me were all over the board. Anywhere from 107lbs to 141 depending on my frame size. Well, scroll down to that Prom picture...I was about 110 there. I look sick! Way too thin and I had no boobs or hips. LOL! People keep telling me that I don't need to lose anymore. I think it's because I've been so heavy for so long, that they're not used to seeing me in a thinner body. I figure I have about another 20/25lbs to go. I will post another comparison picture tomorrow. Thanks to all my friends (Tonni, Dawn and my SIL Tracy) for being my cheerleaders. I could have never done it without them giving support and encouragement. Love you guys!

Changes

Hey all!

As anyone who blogs knows...sometimes there are people out there that read our stuff and do bad things with it. I've had some issues and I'm seriously considering making my private. I hate to do that, but...I'm being left with few choices. I will let you all know when the change is coming if and when I decide to do it.

Thanks!
Melissa

Cameron X2


Cameron and I were discussing who he was named after. Well, Wayne and I both loved the movie, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and the character Cameron Frye. Soooo...that lead to our baby boy being named Cameron. Anyways, here's a side by side that I put together. :-)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Thought for the day...


So Wayne spent 45 minutes cleaning the downstairs shower/bathtub (the one that me and the kids use...he uses the upstairs one!) last night. My question is this: How can an area designed to CLEAN people get so dirty?? :-)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Prom 1991..Mom why aren't you with Dad?

While going through some old stuff, the kids came across this picture of me and my old boyfriend Jim. This was at my senior Prom in 1991. A few things to note:

1. My hair was huge! I've never did big hair and this one just got outta control!
2. The kids noticed that Mom was super skinny. Anna says, "Look!! You can see your bones!"
3. Cam wanted to know WHY I wasn't with Dad. Well, I didn't know him then and he would have been 25 years old and not allowed to come to a high school function. But I did meet him about 1 year after this picture was taken!
4. The dress. Oh how I loved this dress!!! Pink and satin...Molly Ringwald, look out! I still have this dress somewhere and would love to get back into it again!
5. Oh, you're wondering what ever happened to Jim? He's married with 3 boys, lives in Grand Haven and is doing well. We had always planned on going to Fiji. Guess those plans are out the door!! LOL!

In the news....


So...I know some people still think that I exploit my kids or all the volunteer work that I do, well, here's another installment. The Ludington Daily News does a daily blurb about notable people around the area. Well, I was picked!! Imagine that! Seriously, they pick just about anyone, so it's not like a huge honor, but who doesn't like seeing themselves in the paper? LOL! Unless it's in the court sections. :-) Anyways, this is about the H.O.S.T.S (Helping One Student To Succeed) Program. I volunteer one day a week for 2 sessions. If you read the article it gives better details as to what we work on. I've had a lot of fun with it and hope to continue. :-)




Saturday, January 12, 2008

Bet you thought I was kidding...



Here are a small sample of badges/ID tags from some of my conferences. I was trying to put my whole collection together and this is all I can find. My most prized one is from Deaf WayII. I know it's packed away somewhere. Deaf Way was the first major deaf/hard of hearing conference I attended. It was in Washington, D.C. in July of 2002. My other prized one was from the 2004 EHDI conference. I was a opening plenary speaker and it was a great honor. That conference was also in DC (see a pattern?!) and I had a super time. Anyways, I just wanted to post these so everyone would know that I actually do go to these conferences!! Oh wait. The other Super Prized Badge is from HLA-NC. That was the conference that I attended this past September in Chapel Hill. That was truly an amazing conference and I had so much to learn and met tons of very cool people. If I ever move, I moving to North Carolina. The services for the deaf and hard of hearing are beyond words. Anna would just flourish in an environment like that!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

It was 43 degrees and sunny, so...

I did what any other mini-van driving mom would do. I cranked up the heat, opened the SUNROOF and cranked my iPod up. It was gorgeous today and I've got spring fever in January. I checked the temp in Raleigh earlier this week, it was 71. I was thrilled about the 54 degrees we had earlier. Jeez!! So anyways, I'm sure I got a few odd looks as I drove around today, but I couldn't resist. The sun was out, 43 isn't THAT cold and well, I'm so ready for winter to be over! :-) Oh yeah...perfect song to cruise to is Saves the Day's song, Shoulder to the wheel. It jams even in the mini-van. Wooohooo!

This was when we got the van back in 2006. My ride needs to be PIMP'ed!!!

Wrong number

So while I was talking on the house phone yesterday, my cell rang. I didn't want to answer it, so it went to voicemail. Plus, I didn't recognize the number (908) area code. Well, it was a wrong number. The lady was nice enough to leave a message to tell me it was (so I wouldn't call her I suppose!) and then she gives a little chuckle at the end. It just makes me laugh to hear her laugh. She seemed to be in a great mood. I don't know how many times I've dialed the wrong number but never left a message. Maybe I should from now on! ;-)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Motormouth as sung by Julia

video

Julia loves listening to Anna's iPod or CD player and today she was listening to Naked Brother's Band. I love hearing her sing, so I started to take video of it. I wish we could find headphones/ear buds that would fit her. With only having one ear, it makes using these difficult. :-( She still has a great time anyways! Enjoy!

New Year's Eve and Julia's puzzle







Here are a few recent pictures. The first 2 are of our New Year's Eve dinner at Scotty's. We took the kids out for dinner. Cam ordered something other than chicken strips for the first time!! He ended up getting perch and really like it. YAY! Anna got a steak and Julia ended up with the famous french onion soup. They've asked to go to Scotty's again and well, it wouldn't be so bad but it's one of the most expensive places to eat in Ludington! The other pictures are Julia. She was working on her puzzle in the kitchen and fell asleep. Her head is on the puzzle box! It was really cute!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A look back


I love this picture!! This is Julia (she's was technically still Lu Yin Gui) after her first bottle and bath with us. We got her at 4:00pm and this picture was taken at 6:40pm. Imagine that! Anyways, she wanted me to post this picture after looking at our China trip photos. :-)

Weirdness Abounds

Tis the season...for lots of weird things lately. A few close friends have had relationships fall apart, another has a hurt back, another is having money troubles and car troubles. So why is it that the season of giving has turned to bad? Does anyone know? I sure don't. I thought the start of the new year was suppose to bring a renewed sense of well being. So far, I'm not seeing it at all.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Mom...I want to be...

Julia: Mom, I want to be a scientist
Me: Really?
Julia: Yeah, I want to work in a scary house.
Me: What's a scary house?
Julia: I don't know
Me: How about you work in a nice place that helps people?
Julia: Like where? China?
Me: Sure...you could go back and help other kids that are waiting for mommies and daddies
Julia: Sounds like a good idea, mom.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Love


Love is mighty powerful thing to fight. I have loved, been loved and been in love. The one thing I know about love is that either it wins or you're miserable. There is no compromising love. There is no 'make a deal' with love. It wins or you lose. Love is not logical. Love doesn't care if boys like wiggly things. Love is not practical. Love doesn't care if you have the money or not. Love is not reasonable. Love doesn't care if you have the time or the energy or not. Love doesn't care if you are already exhausted. It doesn't care who needs therapy. It doesn't care how full or dirty your house is. Love doesn't care if you are old or afraid. How can you fight love and hope to win?


This is a quote that I borrowed from Cindy Champnella's book: The Waiting Child