All photos on this blog are the property of Mary McGinty Photography (unless noted otherwise) photos may not be used or copied without my permission

Nov 25, 2008

My night with TJ

Mission Statement

Through a collaborative environment, we will develop emotionally, socially, physically, and academically to prepare for our futures.

Today I had TJ's parent teacher conference at GWMS. I couldn't be happier with this school. Glen Westlake is a new state of the art middle school with high expectations and high achievers. As we sat in the hall waiting, TJ was so nervous he looked sick. Now, with every single grade from homework to tests posted online along with teacher comments there are no surprises. TJ after a rough start, now at midterm has a solid B average. Finally, after I thought the kid was going to pass out from anxiety, I finally asked what he was afraid of? His reply " I'm afraid that you are going to embarrass me and act weird" Hmmm, the only thing that popped into my head was" OMG I have a teenager" Boy, do I remember...
We walked in and all TJ's teachers were lined up and 1 by 1, each one gave glowing reports on TJ. His math and social studies teachers were ecstatic with his recent A's on Friday's tests. Great kid, great kid, great kid. Some times a little to social was the only improvement suggested. Walking out TJ sighed with relief, apparently my behavior past his test and he didn't feel the need to crawl under a table.
With a bounce in his step he suggested the 2 of us sit in Bouna Beef together and have some dinner. As I looked across the table I couldn't be more proud of the person TJ is and the man he is turning into.
Tj and I had a nice dinner together just the
2 of us.

Nov 24, 2008


Karrick has a dog named Buttercup. Buttercup has followed him everywhere for more than a year now. Today is Buttercups birthday, so Karrick and I made cupcakes for the big day. Buttercup has unique coloring. Last year Karrick colored the driveway with pastel colored chalk, sprayed it with the hose then smushed the dogs face in it. Now Buttercup has a permanent rainbow colored face

Buttercup in Cocoa Beach Florida
Buttercup on his way to St. Pius X

Here we go again

With the family room complete it was time to gut and renovate the laundry room. I never fully realized the damage a flood can do. I was having nightmares about the mold growing behind the walls and decided it was time to bring it down to the bare bones. The outside wall was the only wall left to be gutted. That meant moving the washer, dryer and deep freezer. All the built in cabinets had to be tossed.
I doused the studs with pure bleach and will let it dry out, then I am going to insulate and drywall it myself.

Yucky yucky yucky

Nov 22, 2008

You Know it's almost Winter When...

You know it's almost Winter when all the kids have colds, the ground is covered with brown leaves and all the deck furniture has to be put in the garage.  With all of us working together it only took about 4 hours. It starts with moving stuff around in the garage and shed to fit no less than 15 pieces of deck furniture. After sweeping the last leaf off, it was time for play. The kids had a ball tackling, flinging and shoving each other into a giant pile of leaves in the driveway.

The grill stays put year round, although it does get placed much closer the the door.

On another note, some things just need to be shared. Cal received his ISAT scores yesterday from 3rd grade. 95th % in Reading and 97th % in math. Being in the top 4% of the country doesn't suck

Nov 21, 2008

Pinching Pennies and the The luck of The Irish

TJ informed me this morning that he needed new shoes. S_ _ _ ! I think to myself, I know he's growing, but $80 shoes every 2+ months. He informed me that they do indeed still fit." They are just ripped and plastic is cutting the back of my foot" he says innocently. "Oh no no" I say. He that walks on the back of his shoes, must suffer the consequences. To teach him a valuable lesson about taking care of things, I pull out the universal solution to all broken things. DUCK tape! I hand him back his refurbished skate shoe, just waiting for his "please mom, I can't..." Much to my surprise, I got "cool mom, there are lots of kids at school that have Duck tape holding their shoes together" All mom's of 7th graders think alike.

My neighbor Doug comes over and says "Hey, so and so has Duck tape on his shoes too" Smiling to myself, I feel awfully hip.

Still smiling, I pull into the gas station just to see gas under 2 bucks! Now I'm beside myself with glee. Before I can even say "Cha-ching" and fill my tank. The price drops 10 cents a gallon!
With my extra savings, I decide to treat myself to a cup of Dunkin Dounts coffee inside the gas station. Apparently everyone else has the same idea. Screw the long line. I'll cross the street where gas is 16 cents higher and buy a cup of coffee and save a buck fifty. I'm on a roll....The new cashier informs me she rang up my large coffee as a medium, therefore saving me 20 cents.

Do I even dare to dream...

Nov 17, 2008

A Day at Grandma's

With cold snowy weather it was a perfect day to spend in Long Grove at McGinty Farm. This is Tim's childhood home and it sits on 6.5 lush acres. Complete with a pond, 10,000 sq foot barn and large in ground pool. Most of all it's Grandma and Grandpa's house. We sit by the fire (TJ built it by himself) and visit. Cal did a solo on the Cello followed by a long long series of songs by Karrick. The kid writes his own lyrics and today we were graced with " Really Fast cars" and "Man in the Fire who is Still Alive" Before you freak out, remember the kid has older brothers. He sits on the fireplace ledge and sings his songs FOREVER, as we pray that the end is near. After the show the boys load more firewood and we sit down for dinner. When all is done it is playtime for the boys. G an G have many toys.

Grandpa has a cool Corvette. Tim is delighted to take each kid for a spin, complete with "peel outs" and doughnuts. (they stay on the property)

The boys love to drive Rosie on the grounds of McGinty Farm

All my boys settle in at home for some popcorn, R& R and a movie on the big screen
or a nap in TJ's case

Nov 15, 2008

A Date With My Boys

Tonight I had a date with Callahan to go see
"The Sound of Music" at Glenbard East H.S.
Cal really wanted to go because his friend Matthew was playing the role of Kurt. Every time matthew would sing or dance Callahan got a huge smile on his face. He was really proud of his friend. Callahan was equally excited to see his friend Ben's older brother cast as a Nazi.
Karrick also joined us. Well, of course half way through Act 1 he wanted to get up on stage.
When I told him he couldn't get up on the stage, he belts out "Sure I can mom, there are stairs right there" all the while looking at me as though I'm some kind of idiot. He asked if I would sign him up for the next play. I said ok, then he was content singing "I am sixteen, going on seventeen" for the remainder of the show.
I just don't know about this one. If he's like this at 4...

Nov 13, 2008

Pain in the neck

Today, I had Cervical Facet Injections. It's sad when you look forward to having needles plunged into your spine. This is my 4th time having the Facet injections. It is an outpatient surgical procedure. I usually get anywhere from a 4-6 month relief from excruciating pain. My nerves are permanently damaged from whiplash, so this is the best that can be done for me. It has become the norm to live with some level of pain and numbness. Today, I was having left side injections to C3, C4 ,C5, C6, C7 and T1. FUN, fun, fun. For the next 2-3 days I will be sore and swollen. On the 3rd day I will wake up and something magical happens. I will be able to turn my head and replace my Vicodin with Advil.

What is it: Cervical facet injection is a procedure that targets neck pain. A steroid medication is injected into the joint. To ensure proper placement of the medication the procedure is done under fluoroscopy or x-ray.

Who Benefits: Cervical facet injection is useful for patients with neck, head, shoulder and/or arm pain. This is especially useful for patients who suffer whiplash injury.

Purpose: The facet joint is a thumbnail size joint that is located in pairs on the back of your spine. These become painful and inflamed. The steroid medication can reduce the inflammation and thus alleviating your pain

How is it Done: First an IV is started and you may be given medicine for relaxation if you so desire. Next, while lying on an x-ray table your skin will be cleansed and prepared. Then a needle will be inserted into the joint. An anesthetic and steroid medication is slowly injected into the area.

What to Expect: During the injection pain will be increased temporarily. Following the procedure you may experience some initial discomfort for about 2 to 3 days. Once the medication reaches the inflamed area your pain should hopefully be relieved.

Nov 10, 2008

USLA- Cocoa Beach Fla

It was time for the Fall USLA Board of Directors meeting held in Cocoa Beach Florida. I decided to bring the boys for some fun in the sun and sneak in a little education. Lifeguards come from all over the country. Some I have known for 20+ years others I met at the Spring meeting in Kauai.I decided to indulge and surprise the kids with a limo for our ride to the airport.

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Ocean front Resort. It was very family friendly. We arrived a day early and had the place to ourselves. I can tell TJ is growing up...he likes alone time.

I booked the 2 bedroom loft with the full
kitchen. With 3 little boys it turned
out to be a great decision

The Lands End "slimming" suit was well worth
my $80. I don't care if you're 125 or 325, this
suit shaves off 20 lbs just by putting it on.
You get used to the somewhat labored breathing.
What we gals do....

Sports Illustrated eat your heart out

We made friends with a wonderful family from
England that were there on "holiday"
They pulled their kids out of school for 3 weeks.
I didn't feel so bad, I only pulled mine out for 1.

Now the education part...a trip to NASA! We had
a great time. What amazed me was the size of the rockets. I've never seen them up close before. The kids got to see how our space program has evolved over the last 40+ years. We did ride the "Shuttle Launch Experience" Not a smooth ride.
I felt our blast off the next day as I hobbled to the pool, pausing every couple of steps and waiting for the angry muscle spasms in my lower back to subside. Once I safely made it,I popped a Vicodin and a muscle relaxer, plopped my fat ass in a chaise and didn't move for the next hour. My back today, reminds me that I am not cut out for any trips that require leaving our atmosphere.

Actual capsule, looking at 2 seats through window...I think not

A lot of playing on the beach

At the closing banquet
I was awarded the"Meritorious Act Award"
for saving a mans life in Kauai. A 30 yo man dove in the surf and broke his neck. He is now a quadriplegic for life.I happened to be swimming 10 feet away from the man when I saw his limp body rolling in the surf. The horror one must feel, not able to move your arms and legs while being bashed around in 2 feet of water. Myself and another guy pulled him out. I maintained c-spine and calmed the man down until help arrived.He was airlifted to Oahu. I think about him often. I was not expecting an award, but was glad my boys were there to share with me.