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


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


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


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


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 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


I have a new favorite website. It is 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.