Thursday, December 31, 2009

why do I listen?

Sometimes I think to myself, why do I listen to Justin's advice?  Most of the time I trust his advice.  I think he is wise and knowledgable.  Other times, he really is just making stuff up.  Usually this is in the area of baking.  He won't make pancakes because he says he doesn't know how, and then I listen to him when I am pondering something regarding cooking. 

We have all seen what happened when I went to make cupcakes and realized I had no eggs, so on Justin's advice, substituted 3 eggs with applesauce.  1/2 cup of applesauce per egg....



Yesterday I wanted to make some rice crispy treats, mainly because I had two boxes of rice cereal.  I was planning to stop at the store and get some marshmallows but I thought I would make sure we didn't have any.  We had 3/4's of a bag of rock hard marshmallows.  Here is Justin's latest bit of wisdom. "Those will be perfect for rice crispy treats actually."

I started to know things weren't going well when I couldn't get them to actually melt.  They kind of made a type of taffy.  Ava kept asking what we were making and I just told her, "Rejects."   I put them in the pan and let them cool down.  I cut out a couple pieces to try.  They were still warm and Justin and Ava both ate them.  Later, I went to cut a few pieces to bring to work.  I couldn't get the knife in.  I am not exagerating.


rejects from Little Peepers on Vimeo.


Justin tells me this morning, "They are really hard to saw out of the pan, but all you have to do is microwave them and eat them when they are warm and they are fine."

Learn from my experience, hard marshmallows make hard rice crispy treats.


P.S. Justin, I love you! Thank you for always being willing to try my cooking adventures, even when I use strawberry oatmeal to make meatloaf.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

tents

One of our Christmas gifts was a tent... and an air mattress and 4 sleeping bags. We are going camping! We have decided we wanted to start doing weekend camping trips build up eventually to going to see some excellent state parks...in other states. We obviously don't want to drive across the country to go camping at Yellowstone and realize it does not work to go camping with our kids and we hate it.

So now to begin researching camp sites and make some tentative plans. Where are your favorite camping sites? Sights? which way does that go. Stupid internet. What level of roughing is it? 1 being full of motor homes and pop up trailers with showers, chlorine pools, and hot showers. 5 being dig your hole to poop in and bring your mosquito netting so you don't get malaria.

Friday, December 25, 2009

rushed

I know that I have missed some major milestones, like Rhys' birthday and Christmas. I will get there, hopefully, sometime soon, hopefully. I just feel like if I don't have time to really dedicate to writing the post, then I shouldn't do it.

Christmas has come and isn't quite gone yet. We still have one extended family Christmas get together tomorrow. For us Christmas is always crazy and busy, pretty much from late afternoon on the Eve of Eve until bedtime on Christmas day. This year it has all gone pretty smoothly minus a few naps. Rhys is awesome and doesn't even get crabby. He just gets wobbly. It is like he gets bored with regular stuff and has to move on to more interesting (aka inappropriate) toys and falls constantly, so he wants to be held and then put back down, and he just squirms and does whatever he can do to keep himself awake. It really is still relatively pleasant. I wonder if we just hit our wall with chasing after him.

Justin is still on vacation this week which is good because we haven't really gotten much of anything done yet. The next few days make me feel a little crazy schedule wise, but I think we will make it. I am working the overnights tonight and tomorrow, Justin is taking Ava to a movie, we have a Christmas gathering, we are going to Chuck E. Cheese, Justin is hanging out all day with his friend and I will attempt to pretend that I am not a zombie and stay awake and pleasant all day. Ava has a laser treatment Monday morning and I work again Monday night. Hopefully we will get to spend a little bit of time after that hanging out at home, getting toys put away and organized and rooms rearranged. I am sure Justin will be back at work and we will both be back in school before we know it. We are taking a class at the same time so it will be interesting to see how that works out. I got an A- in my last class by the way. In reality, I lost my A because of split infinitives. That is how close it was to a full A...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The good thing about amazon

The good thing about amazon is when you are wrapping presents 8 hours before your first scheduled Christmas extravaganza and you are like wait, what did I buy for shmfam shmfam? Oh that is right, let me look on my amazon order history. There it is. All of my orders in detail. Turns out I didn't misplace a gift, I just never bought it! Pretty much every Christmas growing up, my mom would sit there and say things like, "Wait, what did you just open? Is that everything? Have you forgotten something?" Always making us think that we were missing out on the cool present. She would just forget where she hid things, what she really bought, things like that. I think it is a genetic problem. My grandma sends us gifts she bought years before but had hidden so well, she forgot where she put them. She also likes to buy ornaments commemorating things with the wrong years on them. I kind of like it that way. It will always make me think of her.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

need a little accent

So we have had a Blockbuster mail order subscription for about two years now. I vastly preferred it over Netflix because I could exchange them in the store when I felt the need to get a movie right then and there. The problem is, they started making me return them! I know, it is very annoying. I used to have 30 days before they would charge me and even then if I returned it after the 30 day mark (it has happened) I would get a refund. They changed it to 10 days and no refund. I am just not that responsible with my rentals, so we were going to cancel it. Then I see a commercial for netflix that they now allow you to watch streaming movies on your computer or xbox with your membership in addition to getting movies mailed to you. This means Justin can actually activate his xbox live account that he got last year for Christmas and I can watch a movie with lovely British accents anytime I want. I seriously am a complete sucker for romantic comedies with British accents. I can't help myself. I crave it sometimes, so this is going to be so, so excellent.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

white elephant what?

So it is the season for white elephant gift parties. I really do enjoy them. I think the whole process and swapping is fun. What I don't enjoy is having to pick out a gift to bring. I think this all stems from my first white elephant gift exchange experience.

In fifth grade we had a white elephant gift exchange in class. My instructions about what a white elephant gift were this: bring in something that is wrapped up like a present but really wouldn't be something that anyone would want. It shouldn't cost you anything. We will pick presents based on the wrapping on the outside and trade everything and once everyone has the present they want, we will open everything and see what you get.

So I wrapped up a shoe box, filled it with rocks and newspaper and inside the paper, I wrapped up my sister's old, gummy pacifier that I found under my bed. It was NOTHING like the gifts that other people brought. Packs of gum, giant rolls of toilet paper. Random hair ribbons, things like that. I took my instructions seriously. This was a completely useless gift that nobody would want. Nobody found it to be funny either.

Since this party I have done quite a few white elephant gift exchanges. I still never know what to bring. I think I have an idea this year, I just have to find it. If I don't find what I am looking for, watch out. I still have a lot of old, gummy pacifiers lying around.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

the best laid plans...

So my plan of taking my final and writing my paper all weekend didn't exactly happen. I did finish my paper at 11:45pm. I am going to take my final tonight because in reality, it is the last chance I have to take it since I work tomorrow night. I am hoping not to destroy my grade with it but I should hopefully be fine if I take my time. I can't wait for it to be done. I just don't want it hanging over my head anymore. I have all these things I want to do in my "free" time that I haven't gotten to do for the last two months because I haven't had the time or haven't been able enjoy because I knew I had school stuff to do. If only I didn't have the rest of my other things to catch up on, like laundry and the house. It needs to be in order before the influx of more stuff at Christmas and we need to get Ava's room moved around. Either way, I see myself with some knitting needles and yarn in the future...preferably in a very comfy chair and a fire place, like at Caribu! Who wants a yarn play date with no children?

In other exciting news, we are about to begin our Christmas gift making tradition! We are really trying to teach Ava that to focus on giving gifts instead of receiving them. Since she has zero concept of money it doesn't always work for her to go out and buy something for someone plus it would be very random. But she does understand that she is making something for someone. So if you are lucky enough to be on a receiving end of a gift from my kids, know that we discussed who we were making it for the entire time it was being created.

By the way, why do I keep hearing about people wrapping gifts already? What do all these people do on Christmas Eve if all their gifts are wrapped?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Don't worry, I have a plan

I have my final and paper left and I am done with my class. I technically have until Thursday to finish my final. My paper is due Sunday. I have the outline done, so I have a general idea of the content (veerrrrrrrrrrrry general) and that is about it. So my plan is to take my final tonight and spend Saturday and Sunday during the day writing my paper and just be done with my class. That will buy me an extra week off in between classes. I am so looking forward to it. Justin will be off work the week of Christmas and New Years. That means we get to do our Christmasy things together, work on Ava's room, and just hang out. I hope to catch up on some shows and movies, finish a few yarn projects, and I can't wait. I figure this weekend might feel a little intense but it will be worth it to have it all over with. We have big plans like Chuck E Cheese and maybe the zoo if it isn't freezing freezing, so we should have a fun at home vacation.

I ordered glasses this week. I am looking forward to getting them in. My current glasses are 2 prescriptions ago and have been banged by kids about 10 too many times so aren't very straight anymore. It will be nice to be able to see and not have them fall off my head if I bend over.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ava's prayer

Just a few minutes ago, I was putting Ava down to bed. I asked her what she wanted to pray for. She said, "Your nose ring." I told her to go ahead and say her prayer then. This is what she said.

"Dear God, thank you for Mommy's nose ring. Thank you for making it so healthy and comfy. Thank you for making it so glittery and shiney so it makes little kids smile. Amen."

Hey, whatever works.

Monday, December 7, 2009

not so magnificent mommy monday

The day started out so well...Both kids slept in way late, like way, way, way late. It was around 10am when I heard them both start talking to each other from their rooms. And right there is where the day went downhill. Ava wet the bed because she slept so late and then stayed in bed to talk to Rhys. We did get everything all changed and in the washer and went down and made pancakes. I used the remains of three different boxes of pancake mix to make 4 pancakes. They were green with sprinkles, it was all quite lovely. We decided on going out to lunch later since it was a fundraiser day for MOPS at CiCi's Pizza. Ava suggested inviting Miss Terra since she likes pizza. (Ava makes things up. She told Terra that I was having a baby boy named Fred when I went to get her some soup at lunch. Terra isn't that well known for her love of pizza.) We did the whole shower, getting dressed routine which can take hours. By the time we were done with lunch it was 2pm and nap time. There was a lot of whining and crabbing going on as soon as the green pancakes were consumed. I decided that I would go for nap time instead of making cookies. Ava did end up napping after about an hour or more of repeatedly coming out of her room to discuss things that her imaginary friend said or to attempt to go potty.

So whatever. I made the rules about Magnificent Mommy Mondays. I can make them as Magnificnent or normal as I want. We had green pancakes and lunch out. I didn't scream and yell that much, though if I had decided to go forth with the plans of cookie making, I probably would have because Ava is having a problem with ignoring everything I say and talking back lately and today she was in fine form. Next week, we will try to do something fun again.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

lalala

Dori is home. So far Pepe doesn't like her but there haven't been any battles, just some arched backs and dirty looks. Our floors are already cleaner and more crumb free. Maybe this will turn into some competitive crumb hunting among the animals. I may never have to sweep again! That isn't true. I will just be sweeping up dog and cat hair.

Today has been a weird day. Kind of a waste of a weekend day for sure. I worked overnight last night and didn't get to sleep at all. I got home and everybody was up. Justin had to leave right away for church. Rhys has a cold with snot pouring out of his face, so that would mean no nursery for him. Ava had a complete flip out meltdown by 8:15. I just didn't think I had it in me to do battle with them to get clothes on and get out the door in time, to then have to deal with wiggly Rhys probably in the hall since he won't sit through service. As soon as I made the decision not to go, Ava kind of snapped out of it and became somewhat pleasant. Rhys decided it was nap time and slept for three hours so in the end, it was a very good thing that we didn't go. That would have been a horrible morning for sure.

Justin then came home and we had lunch and I went to bed with Ava and we slept most of the afternoon away.

I am thinking for tomorrow's Magnificent Mommy Monday, we will be making cookies. I got a cookie press and it sounds fun to me. I don't know though. I wish Rhys would sit through a movie because a dollar movie theater sounds more my speed right now. Ava keeps talking about going to a friend's house. If I had planned ahead maybe that would be what we would end up doing. Let us know if you are in the market for a playdate. We bring cookies!

My peapod delivery came tonight. I actually like putting the groceries away with the deliveries. It isn't all smashed together. They are usually bagged in general categories. There is never any extra stuff. Just the exact amount of ingredients for what we are eating this week. I have about 5 options for tomorrow night and I don't know what to pick. We always have so much extra, I have to strategically plan what I am making when and cross that with what fresh ingredients do I need.

20 page paper status: 0 pages written. Yay.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

So I forgot to mention that my sleep schedule is off when I have too much adrenaline or just flat out insomnia on some days. Example it is now 12:30, I am home from work and not even close to being able to go to bed. I am up to 4am often, but I don't consider that to be part of my regular sleep schedule. That is an exception to the rule.

I moved Ava's bed today. She was excited about the plans and wanted to know when we were going to paint. I got home from work and she was in my bed. Clearly that didn't work out. Part of the benefit of her being in her own room is she can throw a fit about going to bed and come out 123 times and not wake him up.

I can't believe tomorrow is already Friday. I have less than two weeks left to finish my first class. It is surprising about how fast it has gone by. Maybe time goes by faster when this busy. We will see if the trend continues with the next class.

sleep

I have been asked many times, "So when do you sleep." I sleep, just at random times. I also keep my kids on a sleep late schedule. It has been getting better because Rhys is getting with the program instead of getting up at 7am like before. Anyway, because I know there is nothing more that you would want to do than see my schedule...here it is

Monday:
bed around midnight the night before, sleep until somewhere between 7-9am
laundry, make bed, pick up bedroom
breakfast
figure out something fun for the day.
Do MMM stuff.
2-3pm return for nap time.
misc. stuff for the rest of the day.
Bed around 11ish.

Tuesday:
Wake up between 7-9.
Tuesday's are housework days so that is what we do.
Dinner is made on Tuesdays.
I try to do homework on Tuesday night.
Bed around 11.

Wednesday:
Wake up between 7-8.
Go to playgroup in the morning.
Go home for nap time and homework.
Leave for work at 3pm.
Get home a little after midnight and go to bed sometime between 1-2.

Thursday:
Wake up between 7-9.
Depending on how early I actually got up will determine what I get done.
I like to hang out with friends on this day.
Leave for work at 3pm.
Get home a little after midnight and go to bed sometime between 1-2.

Friday:
Wake up around 7 on MOPS days.
Go to MOPS.
Get home around one.
Lunch and nap
Random activities.
Small group.
Get home around 9-10.
Leave for work at 11:10.
Work work until 7:30am. I can generally get about 2 hours of sleep while at work.

Saturday:
I get home and usually sleep for 3-4 hours. The rest of my week is normal with homework on Sunday.

I sleep. It is just mostly after 5am which a lot of my friends with children don't get to do. When Rhys was still waking up repeatedly at night, I was sleeping A LOT less. I would get home from work just in time for him to start his waking up repeatedly time.

Thank you for that very boring moment of reading. I will write something b etter soon. I promise.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

And we are staying!

Our house is officially off the market for now. Not sure how long that is but probably at least the next year. So now begins the process of making it more livable for us. That means Ava is getting her own room. Sharing a room probably will continue to work out for a while, maybe even get better as time goes on, but I kind of feel like we should just make the change now and get it over with. Ava is a little apprehensive about it. I don't think she likes sleeping away from us, so being away from Rhys is even worse. The problem is she is rarely in her room and they both have very different sleep patterns. So, the solution she will be in her own room. We have to get rid of a desk holding a broken computer, figure out what to do with said computer, get rid of a broken entertainment center and recliner. (we have a lot of broken), figure out what to do with all vhs tapes that are stored in that entertainment center, move the tv into our room, drop a cable into our room from the attic, clean out at least part of the walk in closet in the den to be Ava's closet, and paint. Then there is the whole moving her furniture into that bedroom, but that is probably actually the easy part. I think it will be happening little by little with her furniture being moved first. I dont' think she will care if she has extra stuff in her room for a while, but I am sure she will love it when it is all set up as her own. It will be a HUGE room. I feel like she should get a bigger bed just to make it make more sense.

Anyway, here is the color theme I will be probably going with. Most of her furniture and bedding already goes, so it is very helpful.



I feel like for the last five years we have not been committing to doing anything to the house because it was a just for now house. Now, who knows how long we will be here. It isn't totally up to us, so I figure we might as well enjoy it while we are here.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Helllooooooooooooooo out there. I hope the last week treated you well. I had an adventurous Magnificent Mommy Monday today and am too tired to really write about it. Plus I am in the middle of reading P.S. I Love You. It is similar but different than the movie, so it is still enjoyable to read. It actually takes place in Ireland which is nice. I have been wanting to read a book with an accent. So anyway, instead of downloading pictures and writing a lovely little ditty about my day, I am going to just read for a while.

Peace out.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

canning

I made some jam. I don't know if it is good or bad. Ava likes it. I don't like jam or jelly, so it is kind of hard for me to judge. It tasted really, really sweet from what I could tell. I then sealed it in canning jars. I enjoyed the whole process. Plus it looks beautiful in the jars. Now that I have my basic canning supplies, I am definitely motivated to do more things. This year we have had a lot of fun going to pick fresh berries and other types of fruit this year, so I am looking forward to perfecting the canning process, gathering some recipes and ideas to be ready for next year.

Do any of you can? What do you make? What do you do with all of it? What do you eat? This is all new to me. I don't want to have shelves full of jars of things that I won't use. Suggestions?

Monday, November 23, 2009

so exasperating

Here is a 10 minute conversation between Ava and me.

M: Can you give me that garbage can?

A: Where?

M: Right there. (pointing to the garbage can 2 inches to her right)

A: Where? What?

M: Right there next to you.

A: Where?

Repeat about 50 times. She continues to walk around it. There is NOTHING else in the middle of the floor. Include descriptions of color, shape and size.

M: Hey Ava, can you throw this away?

A: Sure. (Puts garbage in the garbage can)

M: Aha!!!!! It is right there, that is the garbage can!

A: What?

M: Where you threw away the garbage, that is the garbage can.

A: Where?

M: Right there!!!!!!

A: This? (she pulls out another piece of garbage from inside the can)

M: NO!!!!!!!! For the love, this is insane!!!! The garbage can! You put garbage in the can!

Rhys then grabs the garbage can.

M: Thank you Rhys! Can I have the can?

Rhys drags it over to me.

This whole conversation started because Rhys wouldn't stop garbage picking and had just decided to eat a half eaten nutrigrain bar from inside the can from who knows when, but we have been out of those bars for at least a week.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Precious

So tonight I did battle with the new version of Microsoft Word and I lost. Justin had to fix my formatting after an hour and multiple failed attempts. There was lots of yelling at the computer screen and growls of frustration. I got my project for class submitted and as a reward, went to go see "Precious" with a co-worker.

To keep it brief, it is about an abused 16 year old girl and her story. It was excellent. I highly recommend going to see it, though be prepared you might cry. I actually didn't cry nearly as much as I expected to. I made it most of the way through the movie in fact. Though once we got out to the parking lot, my co-worker and I were half hysterically laughing and half sobbing. It was probably quite a sight. Does that mean we were wailing?

Cry level of movie was a 5. (on a scale of what to what I don't know). Not as much as other movies that are constant, ugly cry type of movies such as: P.S. I Love You, I Am Sam, Glory, Terms of Endearment, or Lord of the Flies. It really did portray the lives of some of the clients I work with. Not all, but quite a few come from backgrounds like the girl in this movie. So grab a tissue, and go see a great movie. I am off to read a little P.S. I Love You, to cheer me up before bed and think about what fun things we can do tomorrow for MMM!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

dinner?

Do you all usually invite people over for dinner? I don't and I don't know why. We have a few people that we will sometimes have over for dinner, most of whom are related to us. I have lots of families that I would like to invite over. I just don't. I think I have made many excuses in my head of why I don't. My house is too far away. My house is too small. I don't cook well enough. I don't have fancy serving stuff. Nobody wants to come over for dinner, they would rather stay home. It would be too much work. I couldn't get my house clean enough. Most of these things are nonsense. I think my food tastes ok. Our house can easily be ready for company. I think our friends would want to come over even if our house isn't amazingly decorated.

This past weekend Justin said to a friend, "When you come over, well, if we ever have you over." We have been friends with this person for a while and have never had his family over! What is wrong with us? This has to be corrected. Watch out Justin, we are going to start hosting. (I like it that I have decided to do this during the holiday season when everyone is busy...set myself up to fail?)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Soundtrack for a car ride

On the Elastic Pants Weekend I made a soundtrack for the ride up there. It didn't work quite the way I thought it would because my burner decided not to burn the final songs. Either way, we listened to it on the drie there and back. Princess Plastic Pants asked me why I picked each song. I thought I would share.

I Got A Feeling by Black Eyed Peas - This is just a fun, start the trip off right, kind of song. It is going to be a good, good, night.

The Bad Touch by The Box Gang - This song is just stupid-funny and inspires many unattractive car dances. Therefore, it needed to be included.

Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen - This was a random add on. It didn't have much thought put into it, other than it is fun to picture everyone head banging in the car. One of my favorite memories of the weekend will be everyone singing this song on the way home. We were all pretty tired and zoned out, but that made it more fun. I think we were all just singing it how we normally would if we were just driving along alone.

Coconut by Harry Nilsson - Put a few ladies in a room with a little coconut rum and this song needs to be played. Picture Practical Magic. It is just a good time.

The Way I Am by Ingrid Michaelson - I just like this song. No real thought. It is a fun girl song to sing with.

Sweetly Broken by Jeremy Riddle - transitioning and changing the mood with this song. I love, love, love the imagery in this song. "At the cross you bekon me, draw me gently to my knees, and I'm lost for words, so lost in love, sweetly broken, wholly surrendered." It makes my heart ache.

Easy Silence by Dixie Chicks - This song made me think of things I hoped for my
friend. I hoped that she would be able to find an easy silence with us, or if not with us, that there is someone like that for her.

Wild Horses by The Sundays - Just a good relax song, no real thought.

Say It To Me Now by Glen Hansard - This song just makes me think of crying out with emotion. I felt like it is a good song for things that could be bottled up. You may not be able to say it, but if you belt it out with this song you will at least feel better.

Gasoline by Jan Arden - Similar thought to the last song. I also just really like this song.

So there you have it. The soundtrack for the car rides. There was a whole different soundtrack for the time we spent in the hotel, but that isn't mine to share.


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones!

take that!

I just finished filing my disputes with the credit agencies regarding my stupid association. The judgment is listed as not paid which is also not true. One agency doesn't have it on record at all. Either they are slow or they are fast...not sure which. I am guessing slow. I am not sure what will happen with the disputes. We had been talking about just staying in this house for a little while and refinancing. This better not mess up the refinancing process. That would infuriate me. As I look at my credit report everything is listed as good standing/never late. This shouldn't even be an issue.

My nose piercing has healed up nicely finally and I was able to change it. I now finally have a nice little stud in there like I had been wanting this whole time. So lovely, at least in my opinion.

Housekeeping details, I am almost done transferring all my old posts over to this site. I have two years done, and just have to do...about another year and a half. Good times, that is for sure.

Monday, November 16, 2009

gifts

I have realized that Justin and I give each other gifts of electronics (and candy). He doesn't bring home flowers for me, but he does buy me external hard drives. Over the years we have given each other cell phones, palm pilots, laptops, ipods, hard drives, game consoles, and I am sure many other things little electronic things.

My newest gift has been a portable external hard drive. I love it. It is smaller than my wallet. It has USB power. It has more memory than my actual computer. It is cute and silver and little. It has pretty lights. It is better than a nice bouquet. What can I really do with flowers?

Taking care of business

I made my header! With Justin's assistance and hacking we were able to get it in place with the template I chose. I have also updated my blogroll. If you would like on or off, let me know! Also, I apparently can set it up so I email a few people when I post, automatically. If you know anyone who would benefit from this feature (cough, cough, my dad, cough cough) drop me a name.



Our lovely, disgusting looking blue waffles. Our plans for the day stopped after a random lunch at Target. Nap time came and I had some school stuff to take care of. Justin went to the store and brought home dinner, so that was an extra bonus. So far the first Magnificent Mommy Monday has been a success! Corrective action for next week: have the whole house picked up by Sunday night. It will add an extra sense of relaxation to the day. Any body out there plan to do something for their own Magnificent Mommy Monday? If you do, write a post about it and link me in a comment so I can steal some ideas from you.

I have finished the Sookie Stackhouse books, at least the ones that have been published so far. I kind of think I need to read something with some sort of literary value next. What that will be...no idea.

Magnificent Mommy Monday

***Note: This concept is not my own. A woman spoke at MOPS and gave me the idea.***

Today is the first Magnificent Mommy Monday. The concept is to pick a day to celebrate me getting to be home with my kids. It is a blessing and a luxury that we work hard for. I don't want to take it for granted. So, every Monday, to start the week out right, we will celebrate ME!!!!! Magnificent Mommy. I am not sure what it will evolve to look like, but for now I am trying to make it the kind of day I imagined when I would sit at work and dream about getting to stay home.

I woke up wearing beautiful pajamas, instead of random pants and a t-shirt. I was woken up by sounds of my kids giggling and talking to each other in their beds. (this was not planned, but a lovely addition) We went downstairs and made waffles. Blue waffles because Ava picked out the color. We then put sprinkles on them. It was quite a success. We read books and sang songs. Rhys then went down for his morning nap so I took a shower alone. Ava at some point recently requested that Mommy Monday be over because she wanted to watch Scooby Doo. I am also skimming over when Rhys cried after being told not to throw waffles on the floor and when Ava got a time out for directly disobeying me. These weren't part of my dreams...Ok, moving on.

I have plans to get dressed all the way, including doing my hair and make up. We will have a lovely lunch. Go to Target, because that is where dreams come true. We might even go to the library if time allows and the kids hold out. Ava wants to make some banana bread later so we will probably do that. I am going to make some dinner and am even entertaining the idea of going to the gym later....that is not a real plan, but it makes me feel like I am at last motivated right now. Ahhhhh. What a lovely day dream. If I can do half of it, it will be a great first Magnificent Mommy Monday. Oh and I am only doing easy weekly mark of chores today, because I didn't dream about dusting.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

How to Not Lose Yourself in a Decade of Other People's Crap...Literally

Say you have three children, each approximately three years apart. Assume that it takes about three years to have each child potty trained, who knows how long to have fully "wiping" trained. That is quite seriously a decade of poop. Other people's poop. Little people that you love dearly and would do anything for, but no matter what, the poop gets old. The shine wears off about the same time the poop is no longer muconium. That is just one component of being a stay at home mom. Many of the stay at home mom's I know, had jobs and careers and chose to stay home with their children. I only know one person who decided to stay home before children. I don't know anyone who dreamed of mopping and dusting, and putting dumped puzzles away 10 times a day. We all have chosen to stay home to have direct interaction with our children, to be there for the daily events of life. The other stuff, housework(...ackkk!) often becomes a nasty side effect or consequence of this decision. It is true that the modern working mother often tries to do it all, run the house, raise the kids, be successful at work. It is much easier when you are working full time and to be able to say to your husband, "Hey, we really need to do some laundry/clean the bathrooms/scrub the house this weekend." and get assistance. Not only is it easier to get assistance, but it is easier to say the words. You don't have the same guilt as when you are home. You don't think to yourself, "Well, I shouldn't have to ask for help. It is my job. I am home all day." As my super, awesome, enlightened husband tells me every time I get frustrated and bogged down in my own expectations, I am not staying home to be a maid. I am staying home to raise our children. This does not mean the majority of housework doesn't fall on me. It is just logistics. But that also doesn't mean that I am expected, by me or him, to keep the house spotless at all times. It means I get help and can ask for it. I never want to be that mom who forgets about the playing, going to the park, reading the books because I need to have the house dust free.

On and on about housework. I am sure if you read this, you think my house is a disgusting mess. It isn't, 95% of the time. I do clean. I do pick up. I do fold laundry. I just don't make it a priority in my life.

When I first quit working full time, I couldn't imagine what I would do with all that free time. That is so funny, now that I think about it. I had so much more free time when I was working. By free time, I mean self-time. I had lunch hours. I had commute time. I had an office door I could shut and hear nothing. It was all time that I took for granted while working, but when you are never alone, and I mean NEVER alone (When you run to the bathroom and lock the door, only to have to tell your 3 year old that you want to poop in peace, you understand what I mean) that is all time that you long for. I had time that didn't really belong to anyone else. I didn't have to feel bad that I was reading on my lunch hour because there wasn't anything else I was expected to be doing. Now going somewhere to read and eat alone is a special treat, a negotiated outing.

The Stay-At-Home Parent Survival Guide: Real-Life Advice From Moms, Dads by Christina Baglivi Tinglof speaks about the transition from career to staying home.

"A kitchen full of dirty breakfast dishes and the echos of Barney in the background have taken the place of a structured office environment. When they leave their careers, they often feel like they have left their identities behind too. It can be a blow to their self-image and self-esteem."

She goes on to say that when you start to feel lost is when you need to spring into action and take steps to regain the feeling of contentment and optimism as when you first began your stay at home journey. Some crucial steps she says are:

- Focus on the real reason you chose to stay home, to love and nurture your kids. To watch them become caring and responsible little people.

- Take care of yourself so you have the energy and enthusiasm to take care of others. This means finding alone time to pursue outside interests.

- Set realistic goals and boundaries. Prioritize, organize, and delegate.

- Set realistic goals for yourself during the day. Making a "to do" list to scratch off can also help give your self a sense of achievement.

- Accept help when offered.

- Network with other full time parents.


I think I am more content and happy now staying home than I ever thought I would be. I think I have really taken each of those suggestions to heart. I have my weekly cross off list. I have even started adding extra things, errands, things to mail, etc. to the dry erase board. I accept help more than I ever thought I would. I take my kids to play groups. I go to MOPS. I have talked with Justin about expectations and what can really be accomplished in a day. I have ventured out and gotten hobbies. I may only get to work on things once every 3 weeks for half an hour sometimes, but it is nice to have something to do when I get that half an hour. It also makes me feel better about my kids growing up. I am not left with the "what then?" thought. I am more than my children. I have my own identity and I love it that Ava can tell you what I like and don't like, because she can see that I have interests.

The thing I have left to work on is focusing on why I chose to stay home. I think I regularly have to direct myself back to the real reason. I am putting a plan in place to help make this easier....stay tuned for Magnificent Mommy Monday's!!!!!!!!

righteous indignation?

So a couple months ago, we were taken to court by our association. They claimed that we had not paid three months of association fees. We had paid them, and they were returned to us by the bank. We then figured out that the billing address had changed. By this point they also told us we owed hundreds of dollars of legal fees. We were more than willing to pay our association fees, as we had already attempted to pay them and had the bank records to prove it, but we were not willing to pay legal fees because they didn't give us adequate notice of the change of address.

Long story short, they filed a lien on our house, took us to court for over $1000 of legal fees and other fees. The office manager from the management company testified that they changed the billing address in December but didn't notify us until April. We were sued over January, February, and March's dues. So we won. We were only ordered to pay the three months we originally had attempted to pay. They were ordered to remove the lien and send a letter to creditors.

Fast forward to me getting a copy of our credit report. We had a notice on our credit report that we were ordered to pay the three months of association fees in court. This is factual, but at the same time, it doesn't reflect the fact that we shouldn't have even been taken to court in the first place. Now it is my responsibility to send a letter to the credit reporting agencies and hope that the notation makes it to our credit report and doesn't damage it too much since it will be on there for a minimum of 7 years. That is so frustrating because we haven't done anything wrong and yet we are still being punished. What is recourse do we really have?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I should have a contest...

I should have a contest. It should be called "make me a blog template that looks cool." Here are things I would like in my blog. Cuteness, comments, Like, love, funny buttons. That is about it. I am not too picky. There might even be a prize.

I am going to cross my fingers and call Ava POTTY TRAINED! She hasn't had an accident in over 48 hours including overnight. It has generally been voluntary too. So this means she can do it. Everything from here on out will be accidents. I have been frustrated with potty training but now that it looks like we are out of diapers for good, I am a little sad. Just a little, let's not get carried away. I am just sad that she has ditched the last "baby" thing.

Speaking of ditching the baby things, she went to a playdate/birthday party thing, and pretty much left me alone the whole time. Good thing I had some fun mommies to talk to.

I did have so many more things to say. They have left me. **sigh**

I have realized that school is apparently replacing the time I used to use to watch tv. I am actually weeks behind in a number of shows. That is unheard of for me. Don't worry Glee, Sons of Anarcy, Amazing Race, CSI, So You Think You Can Dance, SVU, Ugly Betty, I still love you all. I will enjoy you in the future, thanks to hulu.

I am on the last crap vampire book. It went to less crap for a couple of books...the jury is out for this one.

OOOohhh. Thanks for the comments lately! It motivates me to fill your life with even more mindless drivil...wait, no. No, it doesn't. It just makes me happy. Don't worry, there won't be any bad consequences for you commenting.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

potty training take 543 and a half

I feel like I have been attempting to potty training for about the last year. I should feel like that because I have. We have done little things like introduce the potty, make it available, and all that for at least a year. We have tried sticker charts. We have tried m&m's. We have tried running around with no pants. We have tried pull ups. We have tried training pants. We have had good hours or partial days. We have had horrible days where there is no successes and just lots of tantrums over even suggesting that she go sit on the potty. I have gotten to the point where I know she could do it if she wants to. She just doesn't really want to.

Last week she actually went by herself while she was playing. She also changed her own poopy pull up by herself a couple times (yay?) So now that it appears that her sickness (aka excuse) is over, I decided it was time to get down to business. This morning she woke up asking for a pink cookie. I saw her want and I saw my in. I asked her if she had to go potty. She started with her normal whining, indignant response of "I don't want to go potty! No I don't have to go!" So I told her if she went potty on the potty and showed me, she could have a cookie. So she fussed a bit and then went. She immediately got a strawberry wafer cookie. For the rest of the day, she just decided to go on her own and requested her pink cookie. I could tell by the end of the day she was starting to get distracted so I reminded her and she went. No accidents all day, as far as pee was concerned. Around bed time I heard her flush and I asked her if she went potty. She said she flushed her poopy. I was surprised and skeptical so I asked her if she went in the potty. She answered no, she went in her underwear and took them off, flushed the poopy and put her underwear in the sink. She had her pants back on at this point. I think we are very, very close to being there. She is at least taking responsibility for her messes. I just need to get more pink cookies.

I should be

I should be doing something productive right now. Yesterday I looked at my week and what I had going on and was like yikes. This is going to be a challenge in time management.

Assuming that I actually am bathing, feeding, and entertaining my children during the day while Justin is at work, and attempting to get things done around the house too, so it doesn't win. (I have figured that I must put in at least 2 hours a day of maintenance work everyday to keep it looking good and clean, if we are home and destroying it. Today I have already put in about 4 and have tons and tons of clean laundry and toilets and dishes...) Here is a glimpse at the rest of my week. (yes it is Tuesday so some things are already done)
-Take VILE Pepe to get neutered and declawed.
-Justin and I both had Monday night meetings for church things.
-Focus on potty training Ava, meaning no pull ups, only underwear and cleaning any messes that result (so far she has gone 3 times today because she decided to, which is amazing!)
-pick up VILE Pepe from the vet
-go to the store to get presents for a birthday party and operation christmas child
-get ingredients for MOPS breakfast
-Read two chapters for class
-Meet online with my group for group project for class
-Go to playgroup Wednesday
-make meal to drop off at new baby's family's house Thursday morning
-go to birthday party Thursday morning with Ava.
-Get breakfast ready for MOPS
-Go to work Thursday night
-Bake breakfast thingy Friday morning
-Go to MOPS
-Sleep in the afternoon until Justin gets home...ahhh
-Somewhere in there I need to write a paper on the group project for class and post 6 lovely and intelligent answers in the discussion forums.

So what am I doing now? writing my list of what I need to do, while "preparing" to begin reading my first chapter and avoid picking up a book I actually would like to read.

Please note this is not a woe is me post. This has been an exercise in procrastination.

PS- since nobody has fallen asleep yet during nap time, when I was planning on reading, does that mean that this hasn't even interfered with my reading time because the clock hasn't started yet?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Elastic Pants

I am feeling a little blah right now about other stuff that is a little too personal for the bloggy world (what??? there is such a thing??) so I am going to talk about my upcoming plans to get myself totally psyched and excited. Do people say psyched still? I do, so I guess that is a yes.

A few months ago I was sitting in Panera after a long week and weekend. I think I just needed a few moments away to get organized and have some peace and quiet. I was trying to figure out what I wanted or needed for me, and what sounded relaxing. I felt like I had all these unfinished projects, books, discussions just floating around me, and even though they weren't really important, they were always just there in the back of my mind adding on another "to do". When there is laundry to be done, dishes to be washed, toys to be picked up, or kids to take care of, it makes it hard to enjoy or even get to the little projects. So I came up with the idea of the Elastic Pants Weekend.

Initially the criteria was pretty vague. I proposed the idea to the moms in my small group. A weekend away, somewhere with no children, no agenda, no responsibilities, with lots of comfort food and good ambiance. It was a go. Tomorrow morning three of us are going to drive to Lake Geneva, WI and are staying in a suite with a hot tub and fire place and kitchenette. I initially was thinking cabin, but that was actually harder to come by for the one night that we are able to go. I think everybody has their own idea of what to do. We have NOTHING planned. NOTHING. We don't even know what we will eat. There isn't much packing to do since part of the rules is sitting around in comfy clothes (ELASTIC pants, meaning sweats, yoga pants, pajama pants, whatever floats your boat). I am bringing a couple half finished books, a journal, 2 half finished crocheting projects, my laptop and camera for scrapbooking, a fall scented candle and that is about it. I may get stuff done. I might enjoy my time doing nothing. We will see how it goes. Maybe we will have some good conversations, maybe not. There are seperate bedrooms so if what someone wants to get out of the weekend is not speaking for 24 hours, they totally can. For me, I wanted it to be beautiful outside, smell delicious inside, have comfy couches and have a nice fire going.

What would you do for your elastic pants weekend?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I got nothin'

I haven't caught up with all of my intended posts. We are at what is hopefully the end of this round of flu. Ava started with a fever 7 days ago. She is fever free now for 3 days and is just still coughing. Rhys is on day 6 of fever and his cough has gotten much worse. I just have a cold. It isn't even a bad cold. I just sound bad but really don't feel all that bad. After being 8/9 months pregnant with pneumonia at this time last year, it is all relative and there isn't a whole lot to complain about anymore.

Ava had her eye appointment yesterday and her pressures were awesome. 22 (r) and 16 (l) in the office. Dr. K was shocked and amazed. He was like well I am more than happy with these pressures and her nerves still look great so I see no need to schedule any surgery right now. That is good news for many reasons, one of which is Ava wants to take swimming lessons. I am going to have to sign her up soon. Yay for being old enough for me not to have to get in the pool with her! Now if she can just take the final potty training step and just want to be in underwear all the time, that will be that much better.

I am writing this while Ava watches Go Diego Go, and I am pretty sure the iguana just pooped out seeds...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

ravelry

I have a new favorite website. It is www.ravelry.com It is a site for people who knit, crochet, or weave. It is a humbling experience to browse around, that is for sure. You can get reviews of yarns and patterns, get project ideas, patterns, see people's finished products, get advice, and my favorites: keep track of projects you are working on, want to work on, yarn you have, and needles and hooks that you have. It is amazing.

I decided not to knit a cardigan. I couldn't get over being intimidated by it. I will knit some socks. Much smaller and less daunting of a project. I am however, crocheting myself a cardigan. I figure I will attempt to make something that is meant to be a specific size in a medium (?) that I already am sort of ok at.

I am supposed to be reading for school right now but my eyes are moving over the words and nothing is sinking in. I am also supposed to be answering questions. Words aren't coming to me, so I will have to try again tomorrow.

3 out of 4 of us are sick right now. It has made this day seem unending. We spent most of last week in the house. I think I only left one time that wasn't for work. Thinking about this week going the same way makes me feel a little antsy. I will let you know if I have lost my mind by Friday.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

week 1

I think I have successfully completed week 1 of my first graduate level class. Sunday I started Organizational Leadership and Management. I have read all of my chapters, participated fully in online discussions and even did one of the assesment thingies for one of my two papers due next week. I am definitely trying to stay ahead of things since I can now easily see how hard it will be to catch up if I fall behind. Hopefully we don't all come down with the plague at our house anytime soon.

Ava is fighting off something. She has a fever but other than that seems fine. I am pretty much just letting the fever do its job and giving her lots of water and juice, and encouraging naps and watching movies on the couch. I hate how much tv she watched today, but it is the only way to get her to sit still. The fact that it hasn't progressed to anything else, tells me it isn't the flu. It is just a bug of sorts. Practically everyone I know is sick with something so this is not at all surprising.

I have been having the feeling lately like I forgot to put things on the calendar. I keep thinking there is a ton of stuff in November that I should have down and I just don't. Any of you expect me to be somewhere sometime? Last week I had put a note in my calendar but didn't fill in what. It was like "appointment 9am" I had no idea where I was supposed to be and could just vaguely remember saying, "yes, that should work." No idea who I said that to. A week later it now comes to me. At least the plans were tentative, so they were in fact real, just not set in stone. Oops!

Since I like to avoid things that I don't enjoy doing, like cleaning my house, I have been keeping myself pretty busy. I am almost done crocheting a hat for Justin. Sizing hats is hard. Maybe just for me, but it is. This could have something to do with the fact that I have never done a gage swatch or blocked anything. I am going to knit myself a cardigan next. I just have to go get some yarn. I have the pattern all picked out. I should work on making a gage swatch for that, shouldn't I? Then I would have to learn how to count my gage and that just is all sorts of complicated. Interesting factoid. Aside from the first project ever, a blanket, I have never made anything for myself and even that blanket was just more of a household blanket than something just for me. I don't even know where that blanket is. Ok, that really wasn't that interesting of a factoid.

I have also been reading the Sookie Stackhouse books. They are horrible but I just can't stop. I did stop for a while. I got through one, got the second one, and got through half of it before I decided it was just not getting any better and stopped. I read about three other books, and then got bored. I went back to #2 and finished it. I was then embarressed that I had read two crappy books. So a few books later, I got the third because I was bored and couldn't think of anything else to get. I wanted easy reading. I sure got it because fine literature, these books are not. I am now on book 6. I guess this is only embarressing IF you actually read the book to realize what crap it is, but then you are reading the crap too so there!

Blog people out there: What is blogfrog and why do I get emails from them? I skim them and it talks about increasing readership and topics and what you should talk about and how to build an audience. That is just too much pressure for my own rambling drivil. Look at this post. Do I actually have anything to say????? Blogfrog, I don't know what you are trying to sell, but you are barking up the wrong tree. I don't even have a cool layout for crying out loud.

Coming soon:
Rhys' greedy laugh.
Halloween
Digital scrapbooking, me???

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Oops

So I never updated on here. Ava isn't having her surgery today. We have decided to go with her regular eye doctor to do the surgery instead of at Children's. The surgery hasn't been scheduled with him yet. We are not rushing into it because it isn't critical. She actually had a pressure check yesterday and the numbers were 18 and 15, which is excellent.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

hello my name is:

I was going to make this post all cool and have pictures to go along with the introductions I am about to make, but I just don't have it in my right now. Maybe I will do it tomorrow.

So we have some new characters in our house. It is probably important to know the cast if you are ever over. We have the old regulars: Nina and Calvin. We then got Baby Sister. She was the doll Ava got when Rhys was born. Then for Christmas Ava got another doll from my grandparents. This is currently her favorite. His/her name is Jesus. He kind of smells like men's cologne, so Ava will say things like, "Hmmmm, this kind of smells like Jesus." She will also say, "Where is Jesus?" "Oh! Jesus pooped!" She has quite a few My Little Ponies. She has decided on pink one is called Popping Style. Someone is named Fred, but I haven't figured out which doll.

She talks about Jack constantly. I figured out the other day that Jack isn't real, at all. Jack is her imaginary friend. She has told me that Jack is a baby but he was born before she was. He is very silly and does lots of crazy things. She said he is pink like her, and gets purple spots sometimes. He has hair like Rhys. She asked if she can wear her favorite shirt. Justin asked which shirt was her favorite. She responded with, "The one Jack was wearing." That wasn't very helpful.

Last night she introduced her feet (I have mentioned that she talks to her feet in the car and bathtub in the past) to my mom. They are Jacob and Nathan. Funny that we had neighbors with those names when I was growing up. You know she is having a good conversation with her feet in the car if she has taken her shoes and socks off while we are driving.

I will be interested to see if Fred turns out to be another imaginary friend or not. It will be very hard to tell Fred and Jack apart, that is for sure.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

spontanious

Today it was a mostly nice day out. I didn't have any plans but I wanted to do something. The kids slept in way late, so late that I couldn't go to the class at the gym that I had semi-planned on attending. We had a late breakfast, got everybody dressed and ran to the the craft store to get some supplies. We were then on our way to go leaf collecting. And then the sky changed and it looked like it was going to rain. What did I see? A grand opening sign and an open door to a paint your own pottery thing. We pulled in and an hour or so later, Ava has a super smudgey, globby, painted pumpkin plate with her name on it. We will be picking this up on Friday after it has been fired. There aren't any studio fees at this one, so if Ava wants to take 2 hours to paint a 2 inch rabbit then so be it. She has wandered around the store pointing out all the things she wants to paint. Bonus is, we still have the leaf collecting as a back up plan for tomorrow.

Monday, October 19, 2009

finished

I have officially finished knitting my second scarf. I am ready to move on to another project. I am thinking hats are my way to go this winter. My only thing with that is, hats are best when they are crocheted. This is even from the lady who taught my knitting class. Maybe I can make a hat and knit the matching scarf?

Pepe almost got a new home today. Instead he will be losing his claws and his nuts in the next couple of days. I am still reserving the right to send him to a shelter. He is on probation.

Rhys has figured out how to go up stairs. My life has just gotten significantly more difficult. He is getting so much better at walking, rarely crawling anymore. Top teeth are also on the horizon. He is just getting so old so fast.

I think I will be starting school next week. Unless I miserably failed my entrance writing exam, which I would like to think is somewhat impossible, I am accepted into the school. They are currently waiting on my transcripts to show up to verify that I do in fact have a bachelor's degree. This school seems to be one of those, easy to get into, but if you don't get good grades you are out, kind of place.

I have had about 7 hours of sleep in the last 2 days. Some of that was my fault. Either way, I am exhausted and can't wait to go to sleep in about 2 minutes. Bed time before 10pm. That is proof that I am tired.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The New Mommy Makeover

Thanks to reality shows about plastic surgery and probably plenty of other societal influences, plastic surgery after kids has become a very common consideration. The mommy makeover. Just get a boob job and a tummy tuck. It is fine. You aren't really getting plastic surgery. You are just putting things back into place, undoing the damage to your body caused by pregnancy and sometimes childbirth. This isn't a cheap endeavor. It is like buying a nice new car.

So I have decided to give myself a different kind of makeover. Not that I wouldn't want to be able to look at myself in the mirror and not be able to tell that I have ever had kids, but in reality, I will never be 24 and childless again so no surgery can truly bring me back to that place. I have always thought that I could never go through with that kind of surgery because it seems like such a frivolous way to spend money. I decided there is another way to spend thousands of dollars, possibly frivolously, but at least I will be sending a better message to my kids besides appearance is everything, it is worth 3 years of college. College...oh yes, my point. My mommy makeover is a masters degree.

I have decided to go back to school to get my Masters in Public Administration specializing in non-profits. I have no idea what I will do with this degree. I would rather not think about that right now. I am currently enjoying my relatively responsibility-free, part-time job status and don't have any plans on changing it. I just think I would like to keep my options open for the future. I think if I do go back to work full time, or get a "real" job (my job is real, I just think of it so differently now that it isn't M-F, 8-4), I will want to move up and will need my masters, so I better just get it. Plus I think it will be good for me. I will feel better about myself. I will have a sense of accomplishment. Maybe even more self-worth. I will keep my brain from getting rusty, stay sharp, even though some days I talk about poop more than any other topic and often question if I am only talking to myself since nobody seems to be listening to me at all. Maybe I won't make money with this new degree. Maybe I will be tossing away thousands of dollars on a degree that I do nothing with. Maybe I will volunteer my time with some non-profit, or charity. Maybe I will start one of my own. Who knows? I will have the ability and the option and that is good enough for me right now. But I think that just goes into what I value about myself and what do I want other people to value about me. Is it my appearance or is it my mind? I think I have just voted mind.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

stinky

Here is an email I got earlier this week from Justin.

ava this morning: "daddy you need to spray pepes poop!" me: "i dont smell anything, i dont think he pooped." ava: "he did! you need to spray it! its stinky!"

all morning: "daddy i dont like this stinky drink! I need a new one!" me: "ava, its water in a clean cup. its not stinky." "it is! its stinky! i dont want it!"

2 minutes ago, whining/crying: "daddy, i dont want this stinky drink!" me: "ava, maybe its your breath that stinks." her: "no, its my drink!"

after brushing her teeth: "ava, is your drink still stinky?" her: "it isnt!"

*****

The other night driving home, Ava had a great goal if driving into the sunset. She kept telling me to get closer to the yellow. I told her we actually couldn't unless we were flying in an airplane because the sun stays the same distance from the earth all the time, so it only looks like we could get closer. Her solution was to "get rid of the wheels on the car and put some sharp things on it (wings) and we can fly to the yellow on bacation. Oooh we should do it on Daddy's little car, it will be better."

*****

Ava has now learned to always sit in the grocery cart. She flipped out and landed on her head. She was fine and just has a bruise, but I doubt that it was enjoyable. I think she has a higher pain tolerance than I do. She stopped crying in about a minute.

*****

Rhys is getting really brave with his walking. He still looks funny walking because he is about as tall as the average 6 month old. He is also obsessed with cell phones. He just tucks it by his ear or under his arm and walks around like a very old, drunk person, randomly saying "hiiiiiiii".

******

I have been a little concerned about how Rhys will learn to use silverware while eating. He skipped baby food so he isn't used to being fed with a spoon. We didn't teach Ava how to do it, she learned at daycare, so I don't even have the experience to rely on. Yesterday he was playing with a tea set. He held a cup and a little spoon and was pretending to scoop stuff out of the cup with the spoon and put it in his mouth. Apparently I don't have anything to worry about, at least with pretend food.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Non-specifics

October is booking up. I have to work on getting the Halloween costumes figured out. I like it that I say I have to, but the only weekend day in October that doesn't have something planned is Halloween.

Pepe and Tequi hate each other. Our days are filled with constant growling and wrestling. Pepe just inhaled a chunk of food in attempts to chase Tequi away from the food. Tequi yells and growls, Pepe chases and torments. It is noisy. Pepe also thinks that he can jump as far as he wants. He sometimes tries to go from the back of a kitchen chair to the table. He doesn't make it and wacks his head on the table and flips around as he falls. He does not always land on his feet. He is also obsessed with food. He eats anything he can find, including saran wrap with foot on it. I never said he was smart.

The plague seems to have gone away for now. Crabbiness and the need for extra sleep is still there, but not as much. Fever is gone so we are free to go into the world again. So of course, we will go to the gym and the land of germs. I want to do latin impact class.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

still here

We are still here in the land of Sick. Slight fevers still all around. 99-100. I don't trust that they aren't contagious yet since I was told that they will be fine to rejoin the world when the fever goes away. Eating has resumed. Sleeping continues. The cabin fever has set in. Justin is at church right now. I will be surprised if he doesn't make a break for the hills.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Oh my head...

Wednesday Rhys woke up with a fever. He had been acting a little off the day before, so I was thinking ear infection. He had a fever of 103 so we went to the doctor. No ear infection. He had herpangina. Fun!!! His fever did go up to 104 by the end of the day, but seemed to have gotten better over night. When I had checked on him in the middle of the night he was covered in sweat but finally cooler. The last couple of days he has been sleepy and whiney and just clearly uncomfortable. He has been either fever free or only up to 100, so that is good, but he actually seemed to feel better with the fever. His throat hurts so he doesn't want to drink much, only when he is really hungry. He obviously had a headache. He just reaches up and rubs at his eyes or grabs his head and just flails around and whimpers. It is pretty sad to watch since there isn't a whole lot we can do for him. The tylenol seems to help but only for a little bit and then he gets tired and we put him to bed and he wakes up hurting again.

I woke up with a migraine this morning which is never a good thing. It didn't get to the puking point but I was close. Justin was at least working from home so I was able to take a nap in the afternoon. It finally went mostly away by 8pm which is good since I had to work the overnight.

Ava started to get really whiney around five and I noticed she felt warmer. The sickness has clearly been passed on. She now is hanging out at 101 and says her head hurts and her throat hurts. At least she can tell us what hurts but even then there isn't a whole lot that we can do.

Plans are definitely canceled for pretty much the entire weekend. We had tons of things scheduled this weekend. I think the only things left to do, barring anyone else getting sick is I am going to go to my friend's bachelorette party, but just won't be staying all that long and Justin will be going to church on Sunday because he has about 4 places to be there. Hopefully there will be some good movies on tv this weekend.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Finger foods

I am in this daily struggle of convenience verses nutrition. I want easy but I want healthy and I don't want to go broke doing it. I am far from the no preservatives, organic, whole, raw, food pyramid, no refined sugars, white flour, crack-laced mom when it comes to feeding my kids. I am more of a please eat more than goldfish crackers, kind of mom. Every time I think I suck at getting good food into them, I realize that Ava does eat a lot of healthy stuff. I just don't always go for THE healthiest of those foods. Rhys is a finger food only kind of baby. Unless I am also eating it, he does not want it from a spoon. So I have been trying to avoid going down the "typical kid food" route that Ava got on while at daycare. He also only has 2 teeth so I have to watch for choking. So I found a few recipes today and had a kid food cooking extravaganza.

Breakfast started off with blueberry and oatmeal muffins. I think they can be improved to have more of an oatmeal taste, probably with a different kind of flour.

I happened to have a couple baking pumpkins lying around. Seriously, I did. So I halved and gutted them and got them going in the oven. I later turned them into 5 cups of pumpkin puree. I am hoping to make some super healthy pumpkin muffins with wheat flour tomorrow. I think they will go over well.

Then from www.wholesomebabyfood.com, I prepared (recipes at the bottom of the page)the following: Broccoli and cheddar cheese nuggets, apple turkey sticks, and applesauce gel squares. The gel squares were by far the EASIEST thing ever. They came out awesome and Rhys and Ava both loved them. I have a feeling they will be a staple and I will be trying some variations with different types of fruit. Rhys ate the turkey sticks and the broccoli bite things right up. I tried them all and they all tasted decent. Ava wasn't a huge fan, but we will see what she has to say tomorrow. I froze the extras and this way I can just microwave them when it is time to eat.

What is your favorite nutrient rich kid food? It doesn't have to be just for kids, but what they also like to eat? I can make muffins all night and day, but I want them to have as much good stuff in them as possible and less "cakey" stuff.

Broccoli & Cheddar Cheese Nuggets



Ingredients:

1 16-oz Package frozen broccoli, cooked, drained, and chopped

1 cup Seasoned bread crumbs (you could try using baby cereal if you want, we know it works well with "baby meatballs")

1 ½ cups Shredded cheddar cheese (please use real cheese and not a "processed cheese food" product. Try tomato & basil cheddar.)

3 Large eggs or 5 egg yolks



Directions:

Preheat oven to 375
1. Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil and set aside.
2. Combine all remaining ingredients and mix well.

*Add seasonings if you like - garlic powder, pepper, extra basil & oregano for example. Add a fruit or veggie puree to substitute for the eggs if desired.

3. Shape mixture into nuggets or fun shapes such as squares or squigglies etc..and place on baking tray. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turn nuggets over after 15 minutes. Serve warm. Be sure to crumble these if your baby needs.


Applesauce or Fruited Gel Squares

Ingredients:

1/8 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1 cup unsweetened applesauce (or add thin dices of banana, peach, pear, grapes, blueberry etc)
2 cups apple juice
3 small packages unflavored gelatin

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix cinnamon into applesauce and set aside.

Pour 1 cup cold apple juice in 8x8 pan and sprinkle gelatin on top. Heat remaining 1 cup of apple juice in the microwave for 3 minutes or until boiling.

Stir boiling juice into the gelatin and cold apple juice. Stir in applesauce.



Refrigerate for 1/2 hour and then stir to keep applesauce evenly distributed. If you do not stir when in the fridge, the applesauce settles to the bottom, but it still tastes great.


Refrigerate for an additional 2 1/2 hours or until firm. Cut into squares with a knife, or use cookie cutters to cut into shapes, and serve.

Apple Turkey Sticks

Ingredients:
1 lb ground turkey
1 whole egg or 2 egg yolks, beaten
1/2 cup pureed carrots
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup unprocessed natural wheat or oat bran
1/4 cup bread crumbs
pinch of basil
pinch of garlic powder



Directions:

Place ground turkey in a large mixing bowl.
Add the egg/yolk, carrots, applesauce, spices, bread crumbs and bran.
Mix well - If this mixture appears too dry, add more carrots or applesauce. If this mixture appears too wet, add more bran and/or bread crumbs

Place mix into a lightly oiled (olive oil) loaf pan and bake at 350F for approx. 45 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean. **You may wish to cover with foil to prevent the top from burning

When finished baking and cooled, remove loaf from pan and slice as you would for bread. Break into small bits for finger feeding or Mash or chop gently

This recipe may also be made into "Turkey Sticks" for Toddlers and older babies who are able to handle more textured/chunky finger foods.

trabectome

Last Wednesday Ava had a surgical consultation at Children's with Dr. M, for her glaucoma *1. This was actually our second surgery consultation, the first one was about 8 months ago at University of Chicago. That doctor didn't think surgery was necessary at this time, or possibly ever. Since that appointment there had been other changes in her eye pressures and eye structures, so our doctor (Dr. K) referred us for another opinion. He just didn't feel comfortable sitting around waiting for her optic nerve to be damaged. Her pressures had remained stable the last 3 months while we were waiting to get in for our consultation so at our last office visit our doctor actually said he was expecting the surgeon to say she was fine and wouldn't need surgery, but he just wanted to hear it from another surgeon because it just wasn't sitting right with him.

If you have ever had to do the whole consultation with any type of well known doctor, you know how much hassle it is to just go to the appointment. Knowing that Dr. K was expecting Dr. M to pass on surgery made the whole thing seem kind of pointless. I felt like we were driving in traffic for 2 hours, to wait about 3 hours for about 15 minutes of face time with all the different personnel, to then drive another hour plus home, just to check it off our list, to say that yep, another doctor said no. I was a little surprised after Dr. M turned the lights back on and said, "Based on what I see, and the increased cupping of her left eye, I would definitely treat her with surgery. Her pressures aren't really controlled with medication and her nerves won't withstand these pressures." Well that wasn't what we had been expecting. She went on to say that she wants to do a total of 4 surgeries if everything goes well.

Here is the basics of the surgery:

"Trabectome® is a minimally invasive procedure specifically designed to improve fluid drainage from the eye to balance intraocular pressure (IOP). By restoring the eye’s natural fluid balance, the Trabectome procedure stabilizes optic nerve health to minimize further visual field damage.

The surgery is performed through a small incision and does not require leaving a permanent hole in the eye wall or creation of an external filtering bleb (fluid collection on the outside of the eye) or an implant.

Following are steps for the Trabectome procedure:

1. A small (1/16 of an inch) incision is made on the affected eye.
2. A small strip of diseased tissue is removed with an electrosurgical pulse to open access to the drainage system of the eye.
3. The eye is irrigated with a saline solution to remove tissue debris, leaving the eye to recover almost immediately.

Trabectome is an out-patient surgery that allows the patient to go home the same day. It is particularly offered to patients who are allergic to medications or who prefer to use surgical interventions instead of other medical therapies. The Trabectome procedure is performed on glaucoma patients at many leading ophthalmic centers."

This may bring up the question of why Dr. K sent us to another surgeon. He is one of the leading pediatric ophthalmologists in the area. Based on where we live, that actually says something vs. leading in the three surrounding counties total population 200. Ava doesn't just have pediatric glaucoma. She has sturge weber type glaucoma which is a whole different scenario. Part of if it, they don't actually know what causes is it. Because they aren't sure what the cause is, it makes it harder to treat. They are just treating the symptoms. Because she had the port wine birthmark on both lids of her right eye and the bottom of her left, it was pretty much a done deal that she would have glaucoma in her right and about a 70% chance that she would have it in her left. She has the extra blood vessels that make up the birthmark on the sclara and the retna of her eye. This can cause major complications during surgery, mainly bleeding. This surgery isn't any more life threatening than any of the other times she goes under general anesthesia, so that isn't a real concern for us since she does it all the time. The risk with bleeding in the eye is that the retna can seperate, there can be swelling of the optic nerve that can cause damage and permanent vision loss. As with any surgery there is a risk of infection, so she will have to wear an eye patch for at least a little bit. Other risks could be that the pressure drops too much and her eye collapses. (ewwwww!) This surgery is has around a 70-90% success rate in normal glaucoma patients. It is really hard to find rates in sturge weber glaucoma patients because it is just not a type of research that is funded.

So the possible benefits of this surgery are: drop the pressures down to a normal level so that we can take her off at least some, if not all of the medication she is on for at least some time. We will probably have to do more surgeries in the future, so this is definitely not a permanent cure, but buying us time is always a good thing. The older she gets, the more medications become available. We scheduled the surgery for the Tuesday before Halloween. It is only a 15 minute surgery, so I have been told, so at least we will get to go home that morning. We will have to go back the next day to have things checked out but I heard those appointments are around lunch time so at least we won't be driving in traffic 2 days in a row. That is all I know for now. Hopefully this post has answered questions instead of confusing you all more. Go study the anatomy of the eye. It is really a complex piece of machinery.


*1 Glaucoma is a chronic, life long disease of the eye which results in an increased inner ocular pressure (IOP)(pressure in her eye). This pressure causes the eye to sometimes expand, causing clouding of the cornea and the optic nerve to elongate and seperate. Ava regularly has her pressures checked (normal range us less than 10 in adults, in children they try to get under 15. Ava's are currently ranging between 20 and 30). Her axial length (length of eye, front to back), diameter of the cornea, and the cupping of her optic nerve, the cup to disc ratio (c/d). Normal eyes have a c/d ratio of 0 to .3. Ava's c/d ratio had always been around .1 or .2, and it has recently gone up to .4. This is an important number because the cupping ratio means that there is damage to the optic nerve. The more it cups, the more the nerve fibers separate with a complete separation at a 1.0. The vision loss occurs from the outside in, as the nerve separates. Right now Ava has 20/20 vision so we have no knowledge of any vision loss, which is the over all goal, to keep her from losing any of her sight.



This is the picture of normal cupping (.3)



This is how they measure. It is broken down into 10 sections and counted off.

Monday, September 28, 2009

clothes

With the chilly weather today, I had to dig out long sleeves to put on Ava. She has actually grown this summer, at least in length and might actually be outgrowing her 2t clothes. Her shirts are all looking a little short in the sleeves and the waist. The pants still are fitting alright, but are about half an inch away from turning into floods. I thought we were going to be good for her clothes this winter but I guess not. This has made me think about the whole packing up and saving of her clothes. She has now worn most of these outgrown clothes for a year or more. I don't think i am going to save them. I think they will be passed on. I have saved pretty much everything she has worn. I might save a few things that are in good shape, relatively new, etc. But majority of it will probably be passed on. IF we have another baby and IF that baby is a girl, that means this stuff will be stored up for a number of years before we bust it out again. It made sense to me to save the stuff that they wear for only 3 months or so. That is a ton of clothes to save up as it is and now we will have a boy wardrobe in all the same sizes saved up.

So I am off to find clothes for the Ava girl. Weird. It has been a long time since I have had to go shopping for her. That I have had a reason to go to the mall! Be still my heart, I don't know if I can take it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

relief

I took my test for work yesterday. I am glad it is over, though I am sure it is just for now. I have to pass it this year no matter what and if I didn't pass it this time, then I will be taking it again in February. The bonus of taking it again? I will actually have more of a direction of what to study for. I would have no real worries about passing it if I took it the second time. I feel such relief that it is over for now. I can read a book that I want to read without feeling guilty. I can knit or do whatever. There isn't this thought of me needing to do something else hanging over my head all the time.

Speaking of reading a book without feeling guilty, I read a book, Day After Night by Anita Diamant. I definitely enjoyed it. It was about post-world war 2 Jewish refugees trying to get into Palestine. It was a 1 sitting read for me, which means it held my attention. Sorry, nobody can borrow it, it downloaded it to my phone. emedia of all forms results in less clutter in my house.

I am excited to start this week. A new week to get back on track with things. Hopefully I will make it to the gym a few times, finish up a project or two and get some fall clothes out. Insanely busy weekend up ahead so hopefully I will be able to into it after a nice calm week.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mr. 9 months old!

Warning: there is a lot of baby bragging ahead. It really isn't bragging, just a stating of facts in a completely biased manner.


Last week Rhys was 9 months old. We went to his 9 month appointment on Friday. He was pronounced to be completely healthy and really ahead developmentally. He was 19 pounds, 13 oz and 27 inches long. He is in about the 40th percentile for weight and 20th for height. He really wouldn't look chubby at all if he weren't so compacted. His head is still up on the 70's.

Milestones he has hit:
He can clap and say "yaaaayyyyy"
He can walk 3-12 steps depending on how motivated he is.
He can stand unassisted for a couple minutes.
He imitates sounds we make. Tongue clucking and kiss sounds.
He responds to his name.
He actually regularly crawls around on his hands and knees now instead of on his stomach.
He holds phones up to his head/ear and says, "hi" sounds like aaaaaayyyyyeeeeeeeeee.
He has a good pincher grasp and eats pretty much anything we put in front of him as long as it isn't baby food. He is a big fan of cheese and peas. He hasn't gotten really into fruit yet but we keep trying.
He is finally generally sleeping through the night or when he wakes up he can get himself back to sleep.
He says mama and diidii/daddy.
He yells for Ava, usually calling her Ah or Aba.
He has said Pepe a few times.

He is so independent and happy to go off and play by himself most of the time that I have to make a conscious effort to give him one on one time. He just wanders around playing and plays with Ava that I can go an hour or two with just supervising. I love getting him out of the bed after naps or in the morning because that is when he is the most cuddly. He just snuggles into my shoulder for a good minute and hugs me. He has turned into such a happy little guy. It is funny now to see all of the faces he makes, including a very dramatic pout face. He is trying to move out of the baby phase so quickly, it makes me a little sad, but at the same time I am looking forward to seeing more of his personality come out.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

ahhhhh bliss

Fall.

Burning leaves, earth tones, sweaters, familiar jeans, family activities, back to school fun, and season premiers...

It all brings me joy.

i know, i know

I have about five things I have been meaning to write about and I keep forgetting. Consider this a rain check. A friend posted about trying to do something everyday for a year. Maybe I should join her in entertaining the idea of posting daily. exercising everyday for a year certainly isn't going to happen. The sheer amount of pointless drivel I will send out into the internets does hold me back a bit, I do admit.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

always

I always do this. I decided to start back on weight Watchers today. Well I made the decsison on Friday I think and now the day is here. I went downstairs to get rhys bottle and I was thinking, hmmm I am up early. I could do the dishes, clean the living room, dust, fold laundry, study for my test coming up. I started schedulinh my day full of really productive tasks, most of which I will actually probably do. I have just noticed that when I try to control something, like what I am eating, I want everything else to be very organozed and controlled also.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

29

Today I am 29. It is odd to see the numbers going up. It feels like I am talking about someone else. I am not upset about it. It is strange to realize I am actually getting older and one day I will be "old". I really do think life is getting better and more fun as I get older so I am really not too concerned. Be prepared for next year. I want a party. One not thrown by me. I don't think I have had one like that since I was in the single digits.

20 years ago. The year I was 9. What I remember about being 9. I was in 4th grade and Mrs. Wilson was my teacher. I had my first real group of friends in school and felt settled in. I still talk to a few of those friends occasionally, even without facebook. My sister was born when I was 9. I was active in Girl Scouts. I think I weighed around 45 pounds. I remember spending my recess playing Aggravation when it was inside and 4 square when it was outside. I spent the year saving cans to help pay for my field trip to Springfield. I felt old and cool. I think it was the year before the creation of "The Lucky 7" which I was not a part of. I remember in my class picture I had to hold my hands over my knees because I was in the front row and had huge holes in my pants. I combed my own hair with water for my picture, so I had a really nice wet looking comb over and I was in a sweet denim vest. See, I told you I was cool. If our scanner was working I would be posting that picture right now. I am pretty sure my birthday party was canceled last minute for not cleaning my room.

10 years ago. I was a sophomore in college. I was working as an RA. I made some of my lifetime friends that year. We all still get together a few times a year. I had my heart broken. I almost flunked out of college. I changed majors. I really started to figure out who I was and was confident about what I had to offer. I met Justin and knew we would get married eventually. I was also working at a doctor's office. I got my belly button pierced for the 2nd time. I got a 4th hole in put in my right ear. I got a 2nd hole in my cartilage. Again, no picture to post here because I don't have a working scanner. If you have pictures, send them and I will post.

Now. I am happy, loving life. I have a very similar job as 10 years ago. I have amazing friends. Truly. Friends, you all keep me sane and definitely contribute to my level of happiness. I am enjoying going through life with all of you. I hear 29 is a good year. Everybody always says they are 29 for years and years. Maybe they are afraid of saying they are 30, but I will choose to think that it is because it is just such a good year. I am wondering what I will say about this year when it is all done, but I have high hopes that it is going to be awesome. Last night I was feeling a little blah about my birthday. I walked in from work and saw a livingroom full of toys all over, a cat box that needed scooping and dishes to be done. I was woken up by a phone call from Justin telling me to open the front door. There he was with coffee and bagels. He had also picked up the toys in the livingroom. A couple hours later I got another call from a friend and there was iced coffee and donuts at my door, for round 2 of coffee! I have been dreaming of coffee fairies for a while. I just wanted coffee at my door whenever I thought about it and there it was. See? Great friends. I am having lunch and hanging out with another friend later and going to my knitting class tonight. (My co-workers are mocking me, telling me I am an old lady. Whatever, they will be jealous when they are all done with kids and work and don't know what the heck to do with themselves. Neener neener neener.) I am thinking that a little metal adornment will be added to my body soon too. So hello 29, it has been great meeting you. I am sure we will have lots of fun together this year.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Getting materialistic

So I have been getting asked what I want for my birthday. So I had a little down time and was thinking about all the things I would like to get/do for my birthday.

***This is not a post asking for gifts!!!! It is a list of what I am interested in. It is for posterity.***

- A facial and/or massage.
- Knitting lessons (thanks Justin!!!!!)
- Starbucks/caribou gift cards and time away from the house to go sit and drink and knit or read.
- Barnes and Noble $ so I can download books to my ereader.
- My nose pierced.
- a pair of Levis.
- non-nursing bras and underwear.
- a mommy and me pedicure at Bamboozled.
- plan fun things with friends
- breakfast and a movie in bed.
- Kings of Leon CD/itunes gift card to purchase the music
- Steak dinner
- a reason to wear my gold shoes.



That is what I have got. The list seems pretty long to me.

Monday, August 31, 2009

the inquisition

My friend over at www.everydayMOMlife.blogspot.com must think that I copy all of her posts. I really don't. We just seem to be on the same wave length a lot.

Anyway, I was just looking at a statcounter that I haven't checked in a very LONG time. Months even, honestly. I came to realize that I have a lot more readers than I thought. I only know this because I have readers from all over the country and a few other countries actually. I thought they were mostly all in one or two towns close to home. Who are you, my dear followers? Are you regular followers or just happen to stumble on to this shockingly boring blog?

I decided I would try to find out who has taught Ava "damn". Here is the interview.

M- You know the bad word you said yesterday?

A- Damn?

M- Yes, that bad word. We don't say that word, by the way, so lets not say that word anymore. Who said that word?

A- I did.

M- No, where did you hear it?

A- In my ears.

M- Who else have you heard say that word?

A- You did, when you asked me if I said damn.


I got no where. If you are the teacher of potty language, your secret is still safe. She is like a vault.

I never shared, but we got a new kitten. This kitten was found trying to cross a busy street in the dark. He was sick and gross and covered in fleas. He is now ours, and after being quadrupole de-wormed, de-flead,loaded up with antibiotics, and a week of constant eating, he is back to health and is a maniac. We have named him Pepe'. He speaks with a spanish accent. Tequi spent the last week in a closet. He was not happy with the new addition to the family. There was lots of hissing and running away. The last couple of nights we have heard lots of running around, which would make us think that they were getting along, since we didn't hear any sounds of death and battle at the same time, but we had no proof. Tonight, Tequi was downstairs finally, and he and Pepe' were playing! Pepe was attacking his tail and they chased each other around, up and down the stairs. Who would think two cats running would make so much noise.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I got a feelin' woo hooooooooo

Ramdom thoughts by me:

Wouldn't it be weird if you were cracking up at an online conversation and the other person is saying, "lol" repeatedly. You think you are sharing an actual hilarious moment and they are really just sitting at their computer just staring blankly and typing "lol" out of habit and online etiquette?

I am on 2 fantasy football league teams this year. I have never played before or watched any other team other than the Bears. This will be a new experience for me. I had to choose a team name. I was going to go with Team Bitch Child, after an incident at work that amused me. I decided it probably won't be as funny when it isn't 2 in the morning and changed it to Jabba the Hut Hut Hike. I am choosing to learn from a previous error in sleepless judgment, changing my email address to skankyemily@something because it was part of a really funny joke in college at 4am. I don't remember the joke at all now.

Not having a printer hooked up to a computer at home sucks and makes my life somewhat difficult. Grrr.

Ava was asking for a song in the car. She usually will decide to call a song by some random lyric mid-sentence, and usually the words aren't right. (sweetly broken = really brokened) Last night she wanted to hear "skip the world". I had no idea what song she was talking about so I asked her how it went. She said, "waaah waaaaaah waaaaaaaah reeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrr reerrr skip the world reeeeeeeeer waaaah" Apparently she decided to sing the guitar part to me too, and I still don't know what skip the world is.

Why am I annoyed at caulk separating on the counter in my house but want to buy a house that had a kitchen cabinet door fall off when I touched it?

On the way home last night Ava was in a horrible mood and throwing a fit about everything. She ended up saying, "damn! damn! damn! damn!" We asked what she was saying and she said, "I'm saying a bad word." This led to us talking about not saying bad words and all that. Then she said, "I'm just singing the song that Mommy likes." For one, I don't know of any song with those particular lyrics. For two, what a way for her to try to sell me out! I am not sure who she is picking up this particular word from because I don't say it. I am much more likely to drop the F bomb, thank you very much.

I am in the middle of reading Julie and Julia and I saw the movie last night. So far I have enjoyed both. The book makes me want to try to cook artichokes.

I think I am abandoning the weight watchers ship again right now. I think I will try to maintain and focus on eating healthy meals as a family. I am sure that just like any addict, me trying to do it on my own is a recipe for failure, I just don't think I can focus on it right now.

I am pretty sure me regularly having a lack of sleep has made my brain decide to stop functioning...or I have Alzheimer's. I will go with the first choice.

Ava keeps asking to hear "disco stick" on the radio. I am not sure where she has heard this song enough to decide she likes it or to pick up on the words because I find the song obnoxious and offensive so I always turn it off. Justin likes to say that I am teaching Ava to have terrible taste in music but I am thinking this one is all him. I am pretty sure Justin has a secret penchant for Lady GaGa.