Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

It is officially the last day of 2007. It has been a big year for us. We welcomed Bear into the family January 31, 2007, 7 1/2 weeks before his due date. I got laid off from my job May 31, 2007. No big loss as I hated that job anyways. I started a new job July 16, 2007. A lot of other smaller things have happened but what amazes me is how fast this year went. Bear is 11 months old today. 11 months ago he was in the NICU hooked up to oxygen, heart monitors and other machines that go beep in the night. And now he is standing up playing with his Leap Frog activity table and yelling Dada at the top of his lungs.

As I look back on this year one thing is very clear to me. I want to be home with him. I have mentioned this before in more than one post but having spent more than half of the first year of his life as a full time working mom I see how much I have missed. If I am lucky I might get to spend 2 hours with him after I get home from work before he goes to bed. During that time we have to feed him, bathe him, read to him and get in all our cuddle time. That is if I ignore the mail, cooking, cleaning, laundry, paying bills, dinner, etc, etc until after he goes to bed.

I hate this. I know there were times during my maternity leave that I got a little stir crazy from being home all day but mostly that was when he was so tiny I didn't want to take him out in public for fear of him getting sick. Today we made a lovely trip to Target and I enjoyed being the Mom pushing my baby around in the basket stealing kisses while selecting 75% off wrapping paper. I enjoyed my time at home when I sat at the kitchen table drinking my coffee while he sat in his high chair eating cereal. I feel like I am missing out on so much and for what? A job that is ok but nothing spectacular? I don't love it, it is not my calling. It pays decently and provides insurance benefits that we need.

I am hoping 2008 will bring us a solution, such as a better job for my husband with better benefits. Perhaps someone with more courage would step out and trust God to take care of the details but I am just not quite that brave yet. Maybe 2008 will bring me courage. I also find myself itching to get pregnant again. I never thought I would be ready again so soon but who knows? I love the possibility that a new year brings. That is what New Year's is all about. I hope you all have a wonderful and happy New Year's Eve this evening!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Yes, Yes I'm still alive. I know you were worried.

Hello. Miss me? What? You didn't notice I have been AWOL for a week? Anyways, moving on. I am tired. So very, very, very tired. We have been going and going for the last week. I left from work at noon on the 21st packed up Bear and didn't come home until yesterday except for a brief stop Christmas evening to unpack dirty clothes and repack clean ones. When you are traveling with an almost 11 month old stops for clean laundry are mandatory. I got home yesterday and my in-laws stopped by for a quick visit and as soon as they left our friends showed up for pizza and the Alamo bowl on our recently purchased HD ESPN. I love that you can call the cable company and they can just flip a switch and turn on channels for you. I got to see my team lose in stunning new clarity. We have HD channels we just didn't have that particular package.

I did enjoy my time away. I spent days hanging out with my family, mooching free meals off my parents, watching hours upon hours of Lost episodes with my Dad, and of course, playing with all of Bear's new toys. Luckily my mom bought him a toybox which is now busting at the seams. I am glad to be back home watching Netflix with my husband and waiting for all my shows to come back from the holidays. My DVR is all sad and barren. I need to take down my Christmas tree and reclaim my living room but I am too lazy. I have an ungodly number of Google reader posts to read through. Don't you people take holidays? Geez. I just wanted to stop by and say Hi so you would know I was still breathing. I'll check back with y'all later.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Freedom

I'm 95% ready to hit the road. I get off work in 31 minutes. The presents, pack and play, and Bear's bag are packed in the car. I need to run and pick up Bear from daycare and take him home so I can finish packing my stuff up. Then I grab the Puppy Chow (Chex Muddy Buddies mix, not Rocky's) and hit the road. I am super excited. I talked to my Mom this morning and she and my grandma can't wait to see Bear........and me, of course. Riiiiigggghhhttt. I'm just here to chauffeur the grandchild. I know my place.

My sister is turning 30 today. Ah, the glory of being the younger sister. I IM'd her this morning to wish her a happy birthday and ask if she feels as old as she is. I'm so loving, I know.

Anyways, I have 26 minutes until I get freed from my work prison. I must busy myself now with emptying my coffee cup, closing my blinds, setting my away message, and jumping with glee.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Preparations

I am looking forward to the time off but I am not looking forward to the preparations. Luckily the Christmas presents are all bought and wrapped but I still have to make puppy chow (AKA Chex Muddy Buddies) tonight and get everything packed for me and Bear. Bear and I are heading to my Mom's house tomorrow when I get off work at noon along with the gifts for my Mom's side of the family and my husband's family. My husband has to work half a day Saturday so he will be meeting us there.

I am just tired today and not motivated for anything but sleeping. Although I am looking forward to taking Bear to see my Mom and Grandma. The fact that it is 80 degrees and sunny isn't exactly screaming Christmas cheer at me either. The office has been slow all week and I know it will be dead tomorrow morning with it being a half day and all. I just need to get motivated. I have to do all the laundry tonight, packing, sorting Christmas gifts, preparing things for the dog, cooking dinner, and straightening the house. Oh and I need to stop and get gas tonight on my way to pick up Bear from daycare. I don't mind being busy, I usually thrive on it I hope I will snap out of it by this evening so I can get everything done. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My favorite stand up comedy piece ever

Lynne Koplitz Stand-up

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I saw this years ago but I still find it hilarious.

Counting the days

2 1/2 days till I am off work for over a week! I am so, so ready for the holidays. My work told us this morning that we get half a day off Friday and then we don't have to be back until January 2nd. That is cause for celebration right there. The presents and family time are just the icing on the cake. I'm just kidding. Sort of.

Its been a rough past few months. Topped off by my visit to the dentist Monday where I found out I have yet another cavity. So January 3rd I get to have another filling. And my husband has pinkeye and Bear still has a nasty cough and is congested. BUT I can look past that and see the light at the end of the tunnel in the form of vacation days. My husband's boss still hasn't let him know what days besides Christmas day he will get off but hopefully he will get at least Christmas Eve and Christmas day.
In other news, I am officially done with Christmas shopping, wrapping, etc. I need to make one more batch of Chex Muddy Buddies mix for this weekend at the request of my brother and pick up two $5.00 Bingo gifts for the spirited family Bingo game this weekend but besides that I am DONE. We wrapped the last two family present's last night. I made up the teacher's gifts for Bear's daycare. Got together a gift for my student worker and my adopted elderly person at the nursing home.
I thought I would share a few pictures of the teacher gifts. I am not the creative, artsy type so I did the best I could. I made up a batch of Chex Muddy Buddies last night and put them in little snowman snack bags tied with curly ribbon.


Then I took an ornament I picked up at Target.


I took a small red metal pail I picked up at Target for 1.00 and clipped the recipe for the Muddy Buddies to it with a Snowman clothespin I picked up at World Market.


Then I put it all together


For the lead teacher I added a $15.00 Target gift card.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Giveaway at Musings of a Housewife

For those of you who have kids, want to have kids, or know someone who is then you should stop by Musing of a Housewife. She has FIVE Lands End diaper bags she is giving away. Stop by her blog and leave a comment to be entered to win.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well-fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (James 2. 14-17)

In church this Sunday we were reminded of our duty to take care of those in need. My religion does not believe that you will get into heaven by your good deeds alone but this does not mean that they are not worthy and necessary. Our little church is struggling financially right now. We are not meeting our basic budget for survival but as our preacher pointed out this does not mean the church should hold off in sponsoring causes just because they need money too.

Our pastor reminded us that we could have been born in a different country with completely different lives. That we could be the one living in a place where our children are starving to death daily and being tortured, murdered, or made into child soldiers just because of what latitude and longitude in which they were born. And furthermore, while we are suffering and starving there are nations standing idly by watching and complaining about Christmas shopping, too many leftovers, and what we are wearing to the company Christmas party.

After service we were given the opportunity to sponsor a Hope Child from an African country. You know the ones you see on TV that you can help for just a dollar a day. Our church was given 100 children available for sponsorship and when I left yesterday 28 had been taken including the 3 the pastor took. What really broke my heart was when I was flipping through all the cards with the children's names and information and trying to decide which one to adopt I thought about my own son. What if it was Bear's name and picture there on that card and someone tossed him aside looking for a cuter kid or a more needy kid? I'll admit. I am no Mother Theresa. Not even close. I have fast forwarded on the TiVo past the children with the sad eyes and the big bellies. I don't know if it was the video the church showed or the bible versus or maybe the fact that now I am a mother but it absolutely touched me. Made me feel like a complete jerk to tell you the truth.

As you are doing your shopping, wrapping your gifts or preparing Christmas goodies for your family I hope you too will pause for a moment and realize how incredibly blessed we are. And try for that moment not to take it for granted.

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

If you are interested in sponsoring a child you can get more information at World Vision. 87% of the money you donate goes directly to the child you sponsor. You can check them out on the Better Business Bureau site if you are concerned about their motives or legitimacy. They can even do monthly withdrawls from your bank account or credit card so you don't even have to bother writing a check. And for those of you who need a little more incentive, it is tax deductible. They have children available all over the world. And if you aren't ready for the commitment of sponsoring a child with a monthly contribution you can make a one time contribution. They have it available for you to donate to buy a goat, school supplies, clothes, etc for a family in need too. They even help children here in the US if you prefer to keep your giving a little closer to home. You can even donate as a Christmas gift or in memory of someone.

God bless you.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cold weather recipes

Me and Bear have been a little under the weather the past few days and it is in the 50's and rainy outside. In light of that I thought I would share some of my favorite comfort recipes. These are from my favorite recipe website www.allrecipes.com .

Flatlander Chili (from www.allrecipes.com)

INGREDIENTS
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 (46 fluid ounce) can tomato juice
1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 cups canned red beans, drained and rinsed

DIRECTIONS
Place ground beef in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside.
Add all ingredients to a large kettle. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

This makes a lot so I typically half the recipe. As a Texan I feel it is my duty to up the spices and add a chopped jalapeno or two but besides that this is a wonderful recipe. I serve it with Saltines and thick slices of sharp cheddar.

Tomato Basil Soup (as featured on www.allrecipes.com)

INGREDIENTS
4 tomatoes - peeled, seeded and diced
4 cups tomato juice
14 leaves fresh basil
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup butter
salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
Place tomatoes and juice in a stock pot over medium heat. Simmer for 30 minutes. Puree the tomato mixture along with the basil leaves, and return the puree to the stock pot.
Place the pot over medium heat, and stir in the heavy cream and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Do not boil.

I usually serve this with grilled cheese sandwiches. I make my grilled cheese with wheat bread buttered on the outside, thick slices of sharp cheddar, and garlic salt dusted on the buttered outside. Yum!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Photo, no go

Why is it that when you want to take a picture of your precious, darling, sweet beautiful child that he insists that if you make him stay still for even a second it will result in a complete and utter meltdown of epic proportions? GAH!!!!!!!! I just want ONE decent cute picture. Is that too much to ask?

I'm trying to get a picture to put on a photo card for his 1st birthday invitations. I don't have any current pictures of him that are birthday invitation worthy. So tonight I chase him all over the house on my hands and knees to try to get ONE picture. And all I get is the back of his head and hysterical tears because Momma is trying to make me stay still.

I probably took 100 pictures and I am ready to pull my hair out. The reason I need the pictures now is that Walgreens is running a deal for 5.00 off photo cards through Saturday. Tomorrow and Saturday we have stuff going on but I'll try again. The worst thing is that my piece of crap digital camera ruins every potentially decent shot by taking so long to actually take the picture that I swear he has crossed the room before the shot is taken....

Time for a new camera..

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Bargain Hunter

I have to say that Christmas is not my favorite time of year just because of the holiday, the lights, and food, etc. It goes deeper than that. Right to the core of my little bargain hunter soul. It is my time of year to step up to the challenge of buying gifts for everyone on my Christmas budget set by the Grinch, er I mean my husband. We had a heated discussion the night before last regarding my Christmas spending. I kept trying to point out that Christmas gifts were not the only thing on the credit card. We also put daycare, Sam's, Netflix and several other places on there as well. So he asks me to total up my spending. He guessimates that I spent almost double the Christmas budget. I insist that although I don't know the exact number I did not spend THAT much.

So I pull up my online statments and start totaling. Of course the longer it takes to total the more certain he is that I have single handedly caused the financial demise of our family. I know I have gotten some incredible bargains this year but I have also bought for more people than before. Plus I have purchased things for my sister's December birthday, My Dad's January birthday, my twin nephews December birthdays, and Bear's January birthday. I added it all up and came up with actually less than I spent in previous years despite the increase in people.

Thanks to my friend Amazon and the supporting cast including Google, Deepdiscounts.com and many, many other websites with free shipping and no sales tax. This is the most I have ever purchased online and so far, knock on wood, everything has been delivered in one piece in a timely manner. And most importantly I never had to leave my couch. No malls, no crowds, no rude salespeople, no tired feet, and I still got some awesome deals. So thank you to the internet without which I might have had to pay sales tax, and shipping, and worst of all, FULL PRICE.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Feeling a little Grinch like...

I love Christmas. It is hands down my favorite time of the year. I love the lights, the smells of baking and pine needles. The nip in the air, the frost on the ground, shiny Christmas ornaments, bells ringing, the whole nine yards. The christmas tree has been up since 2 weeks before Thanksgiving. The presents are all purchased and under the tree. The Christmas music is in my cd player. Christmas cards have been sent complete with Christmas stamps.

That being said, I don't feel it this year. I feel stressed and hectic and downright Grinch like. There are so many things going on and more stuff is popping up every day. They decided today at work that we need to have a potuck lunch to celebrate Christmas and planned it for this Thursday. 3 days from today so I need to make something for that. Then there is the Christmas Party for volunteers at church on Friday that I got the invitation to last week. For the church Christmas party I need to come up with 2 white elephant gifts. Then Saturday I have a baby shower for the same neighbor that did the cookie exchange last weekend so I need a gift for that. We were invited to an informal Christmas Party at one of my co-worker's houses Saturday night complete with another white elephant gift exchange. I declined that invitation. Then next week I need to get together all the Christmas gifts for Bear's teachers. I am making goodies for them. We are also adopting elderly people at a local nursing home through my work so I need to pick up gifts for that.

One thing that annoys me about the holidays is white elephant gift exchanges. I don't understand the point of bringing your junk you don't want to trade for other people's junk you don't want. Last year my husband ended up with a tuxedo thong and junk from someone's junk drawer at a white elephant gift exchange. I understand doing a little something but I would prefer a small real gift exchange or an ornament exchange.

I also wanted to adopt an angel from one of the angel trees around town. This is something I try to do each year. I like picking out a Barbie doll, clothes, toys and such for a child in need in our local area. But I've noticed something over the past few of years of doing this. The requested gifts for the kids are moving out of my price range. They deserve to have a wonderful and special Christmas but I have a hard time looking at requests that include laptops, Playstation IIs, Xboxs, etc. Every gift request I looked at was outside of the price range I would spend on any member of my family including my own child. So I ended up deciding to adopt an elderly person instead. Their lists include items like sneakers, pajamas, nail clippers, sweat pants, etc. Then I can buy them an assortment of items that they need and I feel they will appreciate it. Perhaps this is rude of me and maybe I am being a little judgemental but apparently my version of needy is a little different than other peoples. Apparently, I am not the only one who thinks this though because I found a news article saying the same thing.

I need to snap out of my Grinch like mood and get more into the holiday spirit. I think I need a reminder of what the season is really about. It seems to be lost in the shuffle of parties, presents, and decorations. We went last week to see the presentation called the Star of Bethlehem. If you haven't seen it I highly recommend it as a way to refocus on what theChristmas season is really about. I think I will take some time tonight to visit with my bible and read the story of Christ's birth (Luke 2:1-21).

Amazon.com tip

I just found out on Want Not's Blog that Amazon is selling Band of Brothers for $25.00 today. I already purchased this item after Thanksgiving for $32.00 and told her that to my chagrin. She was so kind as to email me and let me know that Amazon will refund my $7.00 if I purchased the item within the last 30 days. Apparently they have a policy to match the price if you find it lower on their site within 30 days of purchasing it from them. You can read all about this at Amazon's website here. I have to say I love Amazon and haven't had a problem with them yet. Knock on wood.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

One more cookie recipe


These cookies weren't the best cookies at the party but they were very Christmas-y and go great with coffee or cider.



Soft Molasses Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

1 cup sugar, plus more for coating the dough

1/2 cup molasses

2 1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 1/4 tsp ground cloves

3/4 tsp ground ginger

2 large eggs

3 1/2 cups un-bleached all purpose flour

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the molasses while mixing at slow speed, then the baking soda, salt and spices. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated. Stir in the flour. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease (or line with parchment paper) two baking sheets. Shape or scoop the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Roll them in granulated sugar and put them on prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between them.

Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. The center will look soft and puffy, which is ok. As long as the bottoms are set enough to lift part way off the cookie sheet without breaking, they're ready to come out of the oven. Cool the cookies on the pan for 10 minutes before transferring them to a rack to to cool completely. Yield 44 cookies.

Cookie Exchange

I got home Friday evening and baked 8 dozen Oatmeal Scotchies (per Swistle's glowing recommendations on her blog). I took them to the neighbor's cookie exchange yesterday. I have never seen so many cookies in once place. They had spinach dip, vegetables, and meat trays but the crowing glory was the entire kitchen table covered in buttery, sugary, chocolately, pepperminty, peanut buttery goodness. I thought I would share some of the recipes I picked up in order of those I liked best. Oh, and the scotchies were a big hit. My pregnant neighbor couldn't get enough of them. My husband also loved them and he doesn't care for sweets.

Carmel Cookie Bars
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1 box (16.6 oz) chocolate chip cookie mix
2 cups crisp rice cereal
1/4 cup butter softened
1 pkg (14 oz) carmels
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 11x7 inch baking dish. Beat 1/2 cup butter and the egg in medium bowl. Add cookie mix; beat until well blended. Gently stir in cereal. Remove 1 1/2 cups of the dough, set aside for later use. Press remaining dough onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes or until light brown.

Place remaining 1/4 cup butter, the carmels and heavy cream in sauepan. Cook over low heat 10 minutes or until carmels are completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Pour over crust. Drop reserve 1 1/2 cups dough by tablespoons evenly over carmel mixture. Do not spread the dough.

Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 2 hours in pan on wire rack. Cut into 32 bars to serve.

Sopapilla Cheesecake

2 - 8 oz pkgs cream cheese

2 pkg refrigerated crescent rolls

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 c butter, melted

1/2 cup cinnamon sugar

Using a 9x13 baking pan, unroll one pkg of crescent rolls and line the bottom of the pan. Flatten mix together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth and spread over crescent rolls. Unroll the other can of crescent rolls and place on top and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Andes Peppermint Crunch Icebox Cookies

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter softened

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar firmly packed

2 large eggs

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

3 1/3 cups all purpose flour

2 1/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 cups (10 oz) Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips

1/2 cup red decorator sugar

Combine butter and sugars in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until well creamed. Add eggs and vanilla, beating well Combine flour , baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture, beating at medium speed. Stir in Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Crunch. Cover and chill dough 1/2 hour.

Remove dough from refrigerator and divide dough evenly in two parts. Roll into 2 (12 inch) logs. Wrap in wax paper and freeze until firm.

Place red decorator sugar in a shallow plate. Unwrap frozen dough and roll in the sugar. Cover outside of roll evenly with sugar and then slice and 1/4 inch slices. Place slices on easy release foil lined cookie sheets. Bake cookies at 350 degrees 350 degrees for 11 to 13 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let cookies set for 2 minutes on cookie sheet and then remove to wire rack and cool completely.

Friday, December 7, 2007

You might be a Redneck: Overheard today at a meeting at work

Woman #1: We picked up a bobcat off the road and had it stuffed. It was too pretty of an animal to let go to waste.

Woman #2: Did you see the wild hog with the coyote in its mouth over at the store?

Woman #1: No I guess I missed that.

Woman #2: Yeah that one was ours, we didn't have room to put in the trailer.

Woman #1: Our whole living room in the log cabin is full of animals. I think the only thing we don't have yet is a skunk.

What's under your tree?

I thought briefly about calling this post "I'll sh0w y0u mine, if you sh0w me yours" but decided the google hits that might attract were more than I wanted to deal with. So in keeping this G rated we will go with "What's under your tree". I've been done with the bulk of my Christmas shopping since the weekend after Thanksgiving. Since then I have been picking up little things here and there. Here is a run down of some of the items I have wrapped and under the tree or in shipment on there way to my house.

For Bear

Hasbro Playskool Let's Play Together Go & Grow Giraffe (this will probably end up a birthday gift in January)

Badger Basket - Barrel Top Toy Chest, Cherry (my mom bought him this but I picked it out)

Clink and Chew Keys

LeapFrog Learn & Groove Musical Table

Small World Toys Sunshine Symphony (Got on sale at a discount store locally)

Laugh and Learn : Learning Toolbench (I got this for $17.90 the day after Thanksgiving)

My Mom, Grandma, and My Step-Mother in Law

Leigh Gray Purses - $35.00 will get you a purse, matching cell phone holder or Key FOB and a matching makeup bag. They are really cute in person too.

Father in Law

Band of Brothers DVD Boxed set . This is an awesome series. If you haven't seen it, you should.

My Sister

The Glass Castle

Sephora Gift certificate (comes in a really cute compact with a mirror)

My Husband (I'm not done shopping for him yet)

An Inconvenient Book

The Sopranos - First Season

My Stepmom

The Ghost Whisperer - First Season (I did some shopping around to find a better price, Deepdiscount.com is much cheaper than Amazon on this)

My Dad

Monk - Season 1

I also got him season 2 since his birthday is in January

My husband's nephew

Cold Nose Kisses Amazing Puppies - Beagle

My husband's niece

Cold Nose Kisses Amazing Puppies - Cocker Spaniel

My niece

Hello Kitty Clock Radio with Night Light

I also got some clothes for my nephews and a few other miscellaneous things. The prices on several of these items have gone up since I purchased them on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The Hasbro Giraffe was an awesome deal on Amazon today that I couldn't pass up. It was 30.00 on sale at Toys R Us today but it was only 10.00 on Amazon today.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Cash or Credit

So my husband calls tonight to activate a new credit card that came in the mail about a month ago. It is not an account he uses much as it was an account I had before I met him. I use this account for just about everything. It is the only kind of credit card the daycare accepts and I have it attached to my online shopping accounts. When my husband called he didn't know any of the answers to the questions they asked him for security on the account. So the account guy requests to talk to me.

I get on the phone and answer all the security questions and the guy tells me my account has been compromised and he has to cancel my card number and issue us new cards. He starts rattling off all these purchases asking if I made them. I think I did but who knows, I have been buying Christmas gifts all over the Internet and they have been hitting my credit card as they ship not in the order I purchased them. Now my online account is locked out online so I can't really log online and go through the transactions and compare my email receipts.

I really, really appreciate my credit card company's vigilance but I have a sneaking suspicion that the fraud alert was triggered by my husband calling to activate a card that was mailed a month ago and not being able to answer the security questions. It is an annoyance I am willing to live with but it is going to be inconvenient as I now have to change my information in a bunch of places and if it wasn't my husband that triggered the alert then I have to worry that someone got a hold of my information.

On another note, the daycare lady never contacted me today so I think she picked the other couple. Go figure.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Daycare - Another Day, Another Drama

I'm starting to sound like a tired, old broken record regarding my child care situation. Or maybe it is more like the teacher on Charlie Brown. Wah, Wah, Wah. Anyways, I thought I had a solution to our child care woes. Thought being the key word. I have been searching high and low for a child care that meets not just our minimum standards of safety but also the amount of kids, the hours, etc. I can't find a single person who can recommend a child care center or an in-home daycare. Either they are keeping them a secret and only sharing with a few select friends or everyone is facing the same issues as me. The child care is ok but not ideal.

After extensively searching the Department of Family and Protective Services website and reading all the local child care provider's inspections and looking at things such as hours of operation, location, number of children, etc I found one that looked promising. This lady lives 5 minutes from us, only keeps 5 kids including her own, she didn't have any violations on her inspection which after reading some of the others, was a big deal. So I emailed her and she didn't have a spot open. But then she emailed me back the following day and said she said she had a spot opening up January 2nd and she was offering it to me first. I said great, when can I come meet you and check out the place? She said her first availability was Tuesday night (last night). I agreed to come by at 6pm last night with Bear and my husband. We met and saw the house and she gave us all the paperwork. We agreed that we would talk it over and let her know in the morning.

I wasn't 100% thrilled with everything but it was pretty good. She does take 2 weeks vacation during the year but we don't have to pay her for it. We just have to arrange for other daycare. She also takes 5 sick days per year, paid for by the parents (I have heard this from other parents too so I expected this), if the baby is sick or we take vacation we pay the full week (I currently only pay half a week for my daycare if he is out a week). She also has a 110.00 non-refundable registration fee which is a little higher than I paid for our current daycare. BUT on the plus side, he will be exposed to less germs, she reads with the kids, does sign language, talks Spanish to them, she is close to our house, and she charges 43.00 less per week than our current daycare which makes up for paying her sick leave and then some. So after much discussion last night my husband and I decided to try her out. So I emailed her as soon as I got to work and said we wanted the spot.

She emailed me this afternoon and indicated she was meeting with another set of parents tonight and she would let me know which one of us will get the spot. WHA? She told me last week that the spot was ours if we wanted it. I understand that she has a business to run and can't wait around on a maybe but I met her at her earliest convenience and gave her an answer the NEXT morning. Now all the negative things I overlooked last night are starting to crawl all over me. I am more than a little ticked that she didn't mention this last night. I didn't realize that we were competing for a spot. If she had said I need an answer today because I have another family I would have understood but that just completely caught me off guard today. I need to talk to my husband about it tonight and see if we want to wait and see with her or if we want to try something else.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Cookie Recipe Suggestions

I've been invited to a cookie exchange at my neighbors house on Saturday. I have several cookie recipes that I know are good but I was wondering if you guys had any tried and true recipes that are always loved and requested? I can bring cookies or bars. I am debating on bringing the oatmeal scotchie recipe from Swistles site. I made those over the Thanksgiving holidays and ate over 2 dozen of them BY MY SELF!!! I am a bit competitive and I want to have the best cookie at the competition, um I mean party. I also pulled a 5 star recipe for gingerbread cookies off the allrecipes site that might work. Your input would be greatly appreciated.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Kid tested, Pug approved

Hmmm....I wonder if he tastes like Science Diet
THAT doesn't smell like Science Diet


MMM.....finger licking good..

Friday, November 30, 2007

Christmas MeMe

I stole this from Amanda at Random Thoughts.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Gift bags. I am wrapping paper retarded. My wrapping looks like a 3 year old did it. Last year when I was pregnant I guilt tripped my co-worker into wrapping some of my gifts for me when he came by to work on my computer. I have no shame.
2. Real tree or artificial? Artificial. Why waste money on a real one when I can use the same one over and over? Not to mention the shedding of needles and watering the fire hazard.
3. When do you put up the tree? Typically the week before Thanksgiving because we usually go out of town and I want it up when I get home after Thanksgiving.
4. When do you take the tree down? New Years Day or the next.
5. Do you like eggnog? No, I had tried the non-alcoholic stuff at the grocery store and thought it was ok but I convinced my step-mom to make the real stuff when I was in college and it was nasty!!
6. Favorite gift received as a child? This is a hard one. The only thing that sticks out in my mind is my dollhouse and all the tiny things that went into it. I loved my dollhouse more than any other toy.
7. Do you have a nativity scene? of course. It doesn't feel like Christmas without it. He is the reason for the season as they say.
8. Hardest person to buy for? My stepdad. The man has everything.
9. Easiest person to buy for? My husband. He wants everything and is very specific with his wish list.
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I was given back a DVD I gave someone as a gift. Its not the gift so much as the fact that they wrapped it up and gave it back to me in all seriousness. I already owned a copy of that movie so I gave it to someone else.
11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? A Christmas Story
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Early November. I try to be done by December 1. I do most of my shopping online so I have to leave time for shipping and wrapping.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Guilty as charged.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? My grandma's homemade cheesecake and her dressing.
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear, and they cannot twinkle. Twinkly lights on the outside of the house only. I like to sit and stare at the tree and the twinkly lights give me a headache.
17. Favorite Christmas song? Angels we have heard on high
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Travel. I grew up with divorced parents and got used to splitting my holidays.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? hmm...Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Blitzen, Donder, yeah I don't remember any more
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? I bought a nice Santa at Hobby Lobby for the top of the tree
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? One on Christmas Eve. The rest on Christmas morning.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Christmas sweaters. Socks are cute. Sweaters are taking it too far.
23. What I love most about Christmas? Christmas Eve church service with my family. Then Christmas breakfast after we open gifts the next morning. Really, just family togetherness.

10 months

Bear is 10 months old today or tomorrow depending on how you count it. I'm never sure on what day to count it on since November doesn't have a 31st. But his adjusted age would have been 8 months on the 23rd. So anyways, he is older than he was yesterday.

He is doing much much better health wise. I went to pick him up from daycare today and the teacher said she thought he was hungry because she caught him sucking on another baby's toes, twice. So he either has a budding foot fetish or he has his appetite back.

We also noticed this evening that his bottom gums were really swollen and just the tiniest bit of white was peeking through. This is tooth number 1. On the one hand I am really excited but on the other hand I am sad to see that little gummy smile go away.

We are also meeting with a new potential child care provider next week so cross your fingers for us. I have been praying and praying for some alternate solution to the child care = plague equation. This is a lady who is 5 minutes from our house. $43.00 a week cheaper than my daycare AFTER my discount and she only keeps 5 kids + her own kid. She has a nanny for her kid. What I thought was really striking was that I didn't originally want to contact her due to my fear of at home child care providers but I felt drawn to her if that makes any reason.

I know that there are many wonderful home child care providers but there are also the ones who put kids in pack in plays in the basement and cover them with blankets when the inspector comes. I read too many scary stories in the news. Anyways, I read her last inspection report online on the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services website and she didn't have any violations unlike some of the others who had 4 cats in the house with no vaccination records, unrestrained babies in swings and highchairs, uncovered fish ponds in the back yard, etc. I slept on it and the next morning I still felt the nagging urge to contact her. So I emailed her and asked if she had any availability. She emailed me back and said she didn't. So I figured it wasn't meant to be. Then later that day she emails me back and said one of the older kids she watches just got accepted to a program he was on the waiting list for and she now has an open spot. She offered it to me first since I had just contacted her. So we are going to meet her after work next week. I hope this goes well.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Happy Thoughts

I have been posting nothing but doom and gloom and plague and pestilence for the past week or so. I decided to wait to post until I was in a better frame of mind. Since my 11:45 dentist appointment was rescheduled to 3 weeks from now I am in a better mood. It is amazing how such a small thing as someone scraping my teeth can freak me out for days in advance. I don't like people messing with my mouth. I swear that braces caused me permanent emotional scarring that I may never recover from. I still remember the night my water broke, I was so freaked out about a dentist appointment the next morning I could barely sleep. Luckily, when the baby came I got to postpone my appointment for months. How sad is that? Labor, pulmonary edema, emergency c-section, premature baby? Nothing to the fear of a thorough teeth cleaning.

Bear is doing well so far. Knock on wood. He is still screaming when I put him to bed at night BUT he is going to sleep pretty quickly and mostly importantly, staying asleep. I think the comment from my bedtime blues post about separation anxiety may be spot on. He has recently started to really watch us when we are there and watch for us when we aren't. He is fine if he can see us but if we put him to bed and he can hear us talking in the next room it upsets him. In the mornings he is usually sitting up looking over the edge of the crib for me or pulling down the bumper pad in his crib so he can watch the door through the slats. It absolutely does wonders for my ego to see him light up when I enter the room and hold up his little chubby arms to me to pick him up. He lights up now when we go in to pick him up at daycare and watches me as I leave the room each morning.

My work has been going pretty well. My student worker is an angel from heaven and has made life so much more tolerable. We have been slow but this has allowed me to catch up on the mountains of paperwork threatening to tip over and bury me in an avalanche each time I walk in my office.

The weather is sunny and gorgeous with just a hint of frost in the air when I leave the house in the morning. This is a huge improvement over our weekend of gray clouds, rain, and cold.

So happy thoughts.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Job? What Job?

I dropped Bear off at daycare at 8 this morning and headed off to work. My second day back after being out for a week. At 10:48 the daycare calls and says he has loose bowels and I have to come get him. But they are being nice and say that IF I can get a doctor's note saying the medications he is on are causing this they will let him come in tomorrow. Otherwise I can keep him home another day. GGGGAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!

After having a mini panic attack, I pick up the phone and call my husband who absolutely cannot get away from work today. He took off the Friday before last to get Bear and stayed home with him Monday and Wednesday of last week. I took Monday and Tuesday of last week. I call the doctor's office and explain to the girl on the phone that I NEED A FREAKING DOCTORS NOTE , AGAIN (even though I just got one Sunday from them to bring him back to daycare on MONDAY!). She takes my frantic message and tells me the nurse will call me back. I grab my purse and head out the door to get Bear while cursing the daycare under my breath.

I get to the daycare and they start telling me all about how they are sorry but the state requires them to send him home. I explained that the doctor gave him a clean bill of health SUNDAY and said he could go back to daycare Monday with the caveat that the medication was going to cause an upset stomach. Thats all fine and good they say but they need another note stating that so they can put it in the records in case another kid gets sick. They also mention they have 4 babies who haven't come back yet from the Thanksgiving holiday because they are sick. One has a confirmed case of RSV. The teacher brings in the center director to explain all this to me as well. I understand CYA but seriously? I could have had the doctor fax them the note right then so he could stay but NO I had to take him home today and bring a note tomorrow.

I grab him and strap him in his carseat and run home to grab a blanket and some toys. I snuck him back into my office so I could try to finish a few things before I went home. And because I suck at being sneaky, I left my office keys at home and have to carry him through the office looking for someone with a master key. I get let into my office and put him on the floor with some toys and finished a couple of things. We head home and when I get home and settled in the nurse calls to say I can come pick up the note. Half way across town. Closer to my work that I just came from than my house. So I call my husband and he is an hour and a half away and won't be able to make it by the doctor's office before they close. So I load Bear back up in the car and we got to the doctors where the girl at the desk HAS NO CLUE where the note is. After waiting 10 minutes I get the note. While I am there I notice the flu shot clinic is right there and Bear is due for his 2nd shot. So I decide to walk over and get that done. Of course the line is several people deep with everyone needing to talk to the nurse for 10 minutes. We finally got that done and headed home 30 minutes later.

I'm sorry this is running so long but I am beyond stressed. I have no more sick leave and I am burning through my vacation days. I'm freaking out about the idea of what happens when I run out of leave completely? My husband has about burned that bridge too. We have to find another solution but I only have 3 options.

1. Quit my job of 4 months and make a dramatic cut in our budget
2. Find another child care arrangement (I have been looking but I haven't found anything better)
3. Keep with the status quo and hope Bear finally gets immunity to some of this junk and stays healthy for awhile.

I'm so stressed and frustrated.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bedtime Blues

Today was the first day back to work in a week. I "worked" a 1/2 day Wednesday but that barely counts. This past week sucked so much I was glad to be going back to work. I can't believe I just said that. Bear is being a bear lately. We got him all better and got the clean bill of health yesterday except for the thrush.

The anti-fungal is working great and his mouth is all clear. The diaper rash is doing much better too. But what is driving me crazy is his sleeping. We have been blessed with one of those rare, precious children who goes down for the night and immediately falls asleep and sleeps for 12 hour stretches. The past several days he has cried immediately as soon as we put him down. He has also been waking up crying several times in the night. I don't know what to do. I let him cry for a little while and if he doesn't calm down then I go in and get him. I sooth him until he is calm and then put him back to bed. Is it normal for a 10 month old who was a previously great sleeper to start acting like this out of the blue? It is possible he is teething as he hasn't gotten his first tooth yet.

Gah!! I just want my healthy, sleepy baby back.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Fungus Among Us

Alas, just as we thought we were on the downhill side of all this illness yet another thing strikes. We killed off the bacterial and the viral and as a great side effect he got a fungal infection. The universe has a sick sense of humor. We noticed on Friday that Bear's mouth was coated white on the inside of his cheeks and gums. Then the diaper rash started and spread and spread. Yes ladies and gentlemen, we have Thrush. And by we, I mean Bear. Poor kid doesn't get a break.

We took him back to the Urgent Care center today and luckily his regular doctor working the Urgent care pediatric cases this weekend. He is awesome and got us all set up with an anti-fungal cream for the rash and an oral anti-fungal medication to clear up his mouth.

We seriously need a break. All I want for Christmas is a healthy baby. I'm dreading taking him to daycare tomorrow so he can pick up more germs. I really thought after we did the tubes that things would slow down. It is hard to believe it has only been one week today since we took him to urgent care for RSV, 2 ear infections, and bronchial pneumonia. It is not just that he gets sick its that it happens so fast and so often. Then to have the antibiotics cause thrush is just the icing on the cake. Thank goodness Bear is an easy baby and takes this all in stride cause momma and daddy aren't taking all this as well. I'm just glad we have insurance and jobs were we can take off work for days to be with a sick baby.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Varsity's Horns are Sawn Off!!



WHOOP!!! 38-30!!!

In other news, we survived Thanksgiving. We went over to the neighbor's house around 2:30 and had a wonderful time. My broccoli casserole and my peanut butter pie were both big hits. My husband got ill though and had to leave shortly after we ate and spent the rest of the night moaning and whining. He caught the stomach virus de jour working its way through our family.

Bear is doing better. He isn't wheezing and coughing any more but he did throw up all over me last night just as I got him dressed in his pjs. Yogurt isn't so hot before you eat it. It is so much worse when it comes up. Yuck!

My husband ended up having to work today so Bear and I hung out around the house. I did some online shopping but nothing too much. I did get to go out for sushi tonight for dinner at the new sushi place in town and then got a heavenly carmel machiato at Its a Grind. That made me feel much better about my less than spectacular week. Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Works For Me Wednesday


With Thanksgiving tomorrow I know many of you have already decided on what you are making. I made the fatal mistake of trying to go to the grocery store last night to pick up a "few things". $100.00 later I walked out with enough stuff to make desserts and side dishes for a small country.
That aside, I wanted to share one of my quickest, easiest, best recipes for a side dish if you are still trying to think of something to bring. It costs less that $5.00 to make and there are never any leftovers. My co-worker gave me this recipe last year, I believe it is from a cooking show but I don't know which one.

Corn Casserole
1 stick butter
1 package Jiffy corn muffin mix (the little blue box)
1 can cream style corn
1 can whole kernel corn (DRAINED)
Salt and Pepper for taste

Melt the butter in the microwave and mix in the corn muffin mix. Add both cans of corn and stir well. Add salt and pepper for taste. Put in oven at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes. It will be done with the middle is firm.

For those of you who want to get away from the whole green bean casserole boringness I also have my Mom's broccoli casserole recipe to share.

Broccoli Casserole
3 lbs broccoli crowns
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
4 eggs well beaten
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 med. onion chopped fine (1/2 to 2/3 cup)
1 cup mayo
2 cups herb stuffing mix
butter

Cook broccoli (not too soft, leave a little firm). Place in 13 x 9 pan. Combine eggs, soup, cheese, onion, and mayo and pour over broccoli. Sprinkle with stuffing mix and dot with butter. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly (about 30 minutes).
Have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Crisis Averted

My neighbor came by after work with his daughter and formally invited us over for Thanksgiving dinner. He needed to check with his wife which I totally understand. They are having quite a few guests so it should be fun. We really enjoy hanging out with them. We walked over to his house so I could get the scoop from the wife on what to bring. She insisted they have plenty and I shouldn't bring anything. However it is against everything in my Southern upbringing to show up empty handed. The fact that it is Thanksgiving only adds insult to injury.

So now I need to decide what to make. They already covered all the major bases with the meat, mashed potatoes, fried sweet potatoes, corn casserole, green beans, homemade bread, pies, cheese ball, etc. I think I will bring my Mom's broccoli casserole and perhaps a dessert. It is so hard to decide when you don't know what people like. We will also bring beer. No Thanksgiving ball game is complete without the beer and our neighbors can put it away with the best of them. The wife told me we will probably be woken up at 4 a.m by the sound of our neighbor opening his 1st can of beer before starting to cook the turkey. I am really looking forward to this. I was bummed about missing Thanksgiving but I am glad to have a back up plan with people we like.

Then Friday we can sit back and watch the Texas Aggies beat the HELL out of t.u. WHOOP!

Uncomfortable

We are stuck here for Thanksgiving. That in itself is disappointing but the fact that I have not purchased any food or done any preparations makes it even more sad. I was looking forward to a fun filled weekend with all of my family. My parents are divorced and live 4 hours apart but my Mom was going to be 5 minutes down the road from my Dad's house celebrating Thanksgiving at my aunts so I was going to get to see both sides of the family for once.

I don't know what to do. Our next door neighbors had invited us to do Thanksgiving at their house a week ago but we told them we would be out of town. They had offered to watch Rocky for the weekend for us while we were out and we accepted. I saw the husband outside today bringing in the trashcan on his lunch break and ran over and mentioned that our plans had been canceled and they wouldn't need to watch Rocky anymore. I didn't bring up their invitation for Thanksgiving and all he did was mumble something about talking to his wife about what their plans were going to be. I didn't say anything but I felt awful.

I don't want to mooch on their Thanksgiving and I don't want them to feel uncomfortable uninviting us if it is too much trouble. I know Thanksgiving is a huge undertaking depending on how many guests are invited so last minute guests could throw things out of kilter. I really like our neighbors they are similar in age to us and have a 2 year old daughter and a son on the way. I really just wanted to let them know that a) they don't have to feed our dog b) if they invitation still stands we would love to join them and I will bring whatever is needed.

Anyways, that was a little uncomfortable. If we aren't invited to their house I will need to figure out some kind of Thanksgiving dinner for me and my husband. It may be stove top and ham for us this year. I have a lot to be grateful for so we will just make the best of it and celebrate with our little family of four (including Rocky).




Perhaps Bear will share some of his Thanksgiving meal with us.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Pity Party

As I sit here with The Hills on pause on my DVR from last Monday, typing away on my laptop, my husband and son are sleeping. I am so glad to have my son home. I spent last night here while my husband and father in law stayed at the hospital. (I later found out my husband had called my father in law and specifically requested he stay the night at the hospital so I would go home and get better) My pug is snoring in his cage and my son is rolling back in forth in his crib in a sweaty sick sleep.

All is right with the world I suppose. He is home and for that I am glad. I am still worried about the vomiting and the raspy breathing. I am worried about taking him back to daycare next week. I don't want to take him to daycare. I don't want any more hospital visits and constant sickness. I don't want people calling me to tell me to come get him because he is sick yet again. I don't want to cancel my long awaited holiday plans to go to see my family for Thanksgiving. I don't want to go back to work.

My heart is heavy. I want so badly to be home with him but I don't want to put that kind of pressure and strain on my husband right now. He has his issues with his work and now is not a good time for me to leave my job, my insurance, my paycheck. I'm praying for something to happen. Divine intervention. I know I have so many blessings and I am grateful but I just feel like home is where I am supposed to be.

My parents just bought my sister a house 10 minutes from them. She is single with 3 kids and in school full time. She hasn't had a job in over 2 years. They gave her a vehicle, pay her insurance, her mortgage, and miscellaneous other bills. Her child support and the government pick up the rest. I love her and I know she needs help but it frustrates me that she is now about to move into a house that is almost 300 square feet bigger than mine and it won't cost her a dime. She is attending school via internet classes. I don't want to be jealous or petty. She has her struggles and is paying for her mistakes in many ways but it is hard to accept that those of us who do work hard and do the right thing don't get some of the same options. I love my independence and my parent's do give us help from time to time but it is still hard not to be envious? jealous? hurt? bitter? I don't know. And the funny thing is that I know she feels the same way about me and my college degree, wedding, nice house, husband, etc. I guess the grass is always greener.

I just needed to vent. That's what blogs are good for.

The plague

I am officially the world's crappiest mother. So, I left off my last post with Ethan feeling better and crawling around like nothing was wrong. Saturday night I got sick as a dog throwing up. My husband let me sleep in till 9 on Sunday because I was feeling so bad. When I got up Bear had taken a turn for the worse since the evening before. He had started running a slight fever and was throwing up everything my husband gave him.

I was still throwing up but I didn't want to not be there for him so I got dressed and we took him to the Urgent Care center. They checked his ears and he has ear infections in both ears although you couldn't see any drainage yet. They checked his lungs and he had some fluid so they gave him a breathing treatment. They tried to take blood to check for dehydration but after three very difficult attempts they gave up and referred us to the hospital.

We took Bear to the hospital and they did get some blood but could not get an IV in. He came up positive for RSV. That caused bronchial pneumonia and he most likely had a stomach bug too in addition to the ear infections. I felt so horrible. I was already sick and add the guilt of not realizing how sick my child was and I felt like the worst person on earth.

Bear is one of those kids that can be sick as a dog and he will still be smiling and crawling. They did breathing treatments every 3 hours plus antibiotic shots and ear drops. Baby Tylenol brought down the fever and lots of Pedialyte. He got released at 3 this afternoon and we are waiting for the home health care people to drop off a nebulizer for his breathing treatments.

It is good to be home. I know he didn't get any rest in the hospital. I'm keeping him home tomorrow and my husband is staying home Wednesday. We cancelled our Thanksgiving plans with my family. Hopefully he will be all better by next week. He is a real trooper.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Picture Perfect

Ethan got sent home early from daycare Friday. He was throwing up and the daycare people got nervous. My husband went ahead and picked him up and took the afternoon off. I got off a little early too and we got packed up to go visit my parent's for the weekend. There is a photography studio in their town that is really cheap and does cute pictures. They print them there so you can take them home with you that day. I made us an appointment 2 weeks ago to have our Christmas picture taken this morning. My husband felt it was a bad idea to do this since Bear was sent home sick. He didn't have a fever, he was already on antibiotics from a previous cold, he was eating and drinking fine so I convinced him to go.

He threw up a little bit last night but nothing bad so we weren't too worried. This morning our appointment was at 9:10 a.m. which they told me when I called two weeks ago was the earliest appointment. We got Bear all dressed and my mom came along to help us wrangle him. We got there and there were already 5 other families there doing pictures. Apparently they slid some people in before us. So we were standing there waiting and Bear throws up all over my Mom and the floor and his cute little picture outfit. We luckily had brought blankets, wipes, and changes of clothes for him and the floor got the brunt of it. The photographer girl comes over and is basically trying to get us to reschedule. Mind you, he is still not running a fever, eating and drinking fine, and he is already on antibiotics. We decided to go ahead and do the pictures since we were there and dressed and Bear seemed fine after he threw up. I'm thinking I won't be getting any mother of the year awards anytime soon. But we did drive 2 hours to come there and scheduled the appointment 2 weeks ago (that is as far in advance as they take appointments) and we had him a new outfit and were already there. We did get some really cute shots though. Once we got back to my Mom's house my husband decided we should drive on home with Bear being sick.

We got home around 5 and he ate a whole package of the Yo Baby yogurt drank 8 oz of juice and water and was crawling around like nothing was wrong. Ugh. We always have to have some mini-drama when we do something. Hopefully Thanksgiving will be more uneventful.

On the upside, when I got home my earrings from Jewelry by Erin were here and they are so freaking cute. I got the little Turkey earrings under the Holiday section, 2 sets of the christmas tree earrings, a set of blue bead earrings, and the little Christmas bulb earrings. The turkey earrings are so adorable. I can't wait to wear them for Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Grrr...

My son's daycare provider rubs me the wrong way. I hate this. I want the person that my son spends the bulk of his waking hours with to be someone that I have rapport with. She is not the only teacher in the infant A classroom but she is the lead teacher and unfortunately she works the earlier shift so she is there every time I drop my son off. I love the girls that are there in the afternoon but unfortunately the way our schedules work out, my husband does most of the pick ups and I do the drop offs. I don't think she particularly cares for me either.

What makes me feel worse is that she LOVES my husband. The other day we accidentally sent one of our bottles mislabeled with the wrong date on it. I got a 15 minute long lecture about how they can get shut down for something like that. A few days later it was my husband's birthday and he labeled the bottles with the date and his birth year. She totally made fun of me for it and I explained that it was actually my husband that did it.

The next day she was still talking about it and told me she had talked to the other teacher and she wasn't sure it was my husband that did it. In all seriousness. I'm always the one who gets the lectures if he is sick and may need to go home or if he ran out of diapers. My husband said I am being too sensitive but I dread seeing her when I drop him off in the morning. She does a great job with my son and loves him so I can't complain about the care he is getting. It is just a personality conflict.

I really feel comfortable talking to her about it so I guess I will just wait it out until he moves up to the infant B room in a few months. I just needed to vent.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Any Suggestions?

I've been invited to an Arbonne party this evening at one of my friend's houses. We were all asked to bring an appetizer to snack on. I was just wondering if you guys knew of any really quick easy appetizers or dips to throw together to bring this evening? Secondly, I was curious if any of you have used Arbonne products and could suggest anything really good to buy?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

About me

I had fun doing the 7 things meme but now I keep thinking of things. It was really hard coming up with 7 but as soon as I hit publish I was ready to go in and start adding more things. It's cathartic. Who doesn't love to talk about themselves?


  • Like the fact that I would rather sleep than do anything else on earth (except maybe eating out, it's a close tie). I literally can go to bed at 9:00 at night and sleep till noon the next day. No problem. I wish I didn't love sleep that much. I want to be one of those people who functions on two hours of sleep and pops out of bed at 4:30 in the morning to have quiet time before the baby wakes up. When I was pregnant that was my biggest complaint. Stretch marks? Water retention? Nausea? Nothing compared to my sleep being interrupted by peeing 10 times a night.

  • How 'bout the fact that I cannot leave the house without checking to make sure my curling iron is off 18 times? I will unplug it and then clear everything remotely flammable from the surrounding counter (including the blow dryer and hair brush). I will feed the baby then go back and make sure it is off. Then I will get everything packed in the car and check it again as Bear and I head out the door. I have even been halfway down the driveway and stopped and come back in the house to check.

  • I am a bit of a know it all. Even if I know jack crap about the subject. If I have an opinion about it trust me, I will share it with you.

  • I am a conservative. I used to be somewhat liberal. I went to a pretty conservative university and grew up with conservative parents but I was young and idealistic and wanted to think outside the box. Then I got a job and paid taxes. And met my husband who is a die hard right wing conservative. He loves to talk politics and totally baits people into heated discussions. Now I watch Fox News and there might even be a Mike Huckabee sign on its way to my house. I don't agree with him on everything but he has opened my eyes on a lot of things. Please don't stop reading my blog if you are a Democrat. I promise I will keep my political diatribes to a minimum.

  • I'm blind as a bat without my contacts. It is very annoying. Even more annoying that my eyes get worse every FREAKING year so I am not a good candidate for Lasik. That and one eye doctor told me my pupils were huge and Lasik wasn't good for people with huge pupils. I'm still trying to figure out if that was code for something else *snicker*. He went out of business like a year later.

  • I think some of the best smells on earth are coffee and bacon, Hugo Boss cologne on a man, campfire smoke, vanilla, and cinnamon rolls.

  • I can't sleep without at least 2 pillows, minimum. 3 is preferred. 4 is heaven on earth. I also hate snuggling with anything other than my pillows. That includes my husband. My son is the exception to the rule.

  • I have a tendency to sleepwalk and say random things when I am asleep. I have been known to dance on the bed in the middle of the night.

  • I am the peace maker in my family. The one that everyone comes to when they are upset about something and my job is to placate everyone. I love my family and I have learned to just accept everyone's personality and roll with it. I am not a "roll with it" kind of person so my family is the exception to that rule.

  • I hate sharing. Especially with my husband. He asks for a bite of my food and I know he will eat half of it. Typically when I order something it is something I really wanted and I plan on cleaning my plate. The exception to this rule is if he ordered something better.

  • Oh, and I can never think of a good answer when someone asks me my favorite food, movie, etc. I always say something like ice cream or enchiladas because that is probably what I am craving at the time. Like right now, it is sandwiches. But not homemade ones, no, it has to be made by someone else and preferably sliced diagonally and wrapped in paper. And is has avocados. Yum.

Ok. I think that is it for now. I may add more later. I may also NEVER get tagged for another meme.

7 things meme

Lag Liv was kind enough to tag me for my very first meme (I'm getting a little misty eyed over here, don't mind me). So I will try to think of 7 random facts about me to share with y'all.

1. I am a multitasker. The more things I am doing at a time the happier I am. I can't eat without doing something. I must be talking, watching television, or reading. Seriously, I will have my dinner all ready to go and I have to hunt for a blog or a newspaper or TV show to watch before I can settle in and enjoy my meal. This extends beyond eating into working, talking on the phone, driving, cooking, getting a pedicure, etc. I seriously can't do one thing at a time. I would die of boredom. (P.S. - never take me to a spa, I am incapable of relaxation)

2. I have absolutely no problem spending an enormous amount of money on eating out but will never pay full price for clothes. Seriously, it is a problem, I may need an intervention. We went out to dinner to celebrate my husband's birthday last night and dropped $200.00 on dinner. I would literally die if I paid $200.00 for an item of clothing, shoes, or a purse. I really don't think it is the cost so much as the challenge. My mental challenge of looking at things and always thinking "I can get it cheaper". I blame my mother. I also blame her for my addiction to eating out.

3. I have a terrible habit of mimicking other people. The more I like them the more guilty I am of doing this. I pick up words and gestures subconsciously and it takes me weeks or months to kick it. I spent an entire semester of college saying dude after hanging out with a guy who said it all the time. I also say anyways about 3,000 times during a conversation as I change my train of thought and move on to a new topic. I picked that up from my grandmother. Or the word seriously, I picked that up from Grey's Anatomy and use it entirely too much.

4. I talk really, really fast. In the past few years I have slowed it down considerably due to older coworkers who can't hear me and need me to enunciate but the more excited or nervous I am the faster it gets. To the point where I could double as one of the chipmunks (Alvin, Simon, Theodore, I believe were their names). I do this not only because I am nervous but also because I want to say everything I have to say before I get interrupted or before someone changes the subject.

5. I hate calling people on the phone except very close friends and relatives. I much much prefer to talk online, through email, or in person. I prefer to place orders online, reservations, ask people for things, etc. I don't know why I don't like the phone but I just don't. We don't have a home phone line, just cell phones so it is easier for me to screen my calls. I also give out my husband's cell phone number for confirmations, to the dry cleaner, to the mechanic, etc so they will call him instead of me.

6. I hate hate hate airports and flying. The flying part doesn't bother me. It is arriving 3 hours early to make it through security. Having people searching through my bags. Having to take off my flip flops to go through the metal detector knowing thousands of other barefooted people also walked through there. The tiny little cabin space. The fear of my flight being delayed and being stuck on the tarmac for hours. My luggage getting lost. All of these things freak me out. I am a planner and a bit of a control freak so having all of these things out of my control freaks me out. I don't like being treated like a criminal even though I know it is nothing personal. I feel this way when I walk out of stores too. I'm always afraid I will set off the alarm even though I know I didn't steal anything.

7. I sort of speak Russian. I took 3 semesters of Russian in college and then did a 5 week study abroad program. We spent a few days in Kiev, Ukraine and then 3 1/2 weeks in Moscow and finished up with a week in St. Petersburg. I got A's in my courses but my Russian is still really bad. I also took Spanish in High School and you hear a lot of Spanish here in Texas so I get my Russian and Spanish words confused.

Ok. So that is 7 random things about me. I won't tag anyone because I don't think I know 7 bloggers well enough to tag them so if you want to do this meme you are welcome to but not obligated.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The story of us

Today is my husband's birthday. He is 33, although he would tell me to tell you he is 29. We have been together nearly 5 years and this is the 5th birthday I have celebrated with him. I think about how far we have come in these past 5 years and it amazes me.

We met through a co-worker of mine who was sort of dating his roomate. She was also dating another guy and I believe she was trying to make a move on my husband as well, but I digress. It was love at first sight or at least as close as I have ever come to it. He was out on his apartment patio smoking and talking with a friend when we walked up. He was all dressed up to go out, later I found out he was going to meet some friends and a girl he had been talking with. We immediately hit it off and he decided not to go out. He took me to Sonic for ice cream instead. On the way there we kept coming across things that we liked about each other and I kept telling him that if you like such and such I am going to marry you. He didn't freak out which is amazing and instead he gave me his number. I informed him that *I* did not call guys they called me and gave him my number. He asked me out for a date for that Friday (this was Wednesday)

I had a blind date already scheduled for the following evening (Thursday night) with another friend of my co-worker. She thought this other guy would be perfect for me. She and I had a presentation that next day and while I was giving the presentation my husband called and left me a message just checking in. Ok, guys don't call the next day, especially if you have a date already scheduled for the next evening so I knew he was really into me. I went ahead and went with my co-worker to meet the blind date that evening since it was already scheduled but my heart wasn't in it. We met for dinner at Chilis and I was not impressed. His friend seemed more interested in me than him. After dinner we decided to go to a local dance hall (I live in Texas) and my co-worker spent the rest of the evening dancing with my date. It was 25 cent drink night and the guy never even offered to pay for a drink so I really was not impressed. I became even less impressed when my co-worker left with him and left me to close out her tab (yes, the same co-worker who was also dating my huband's roommate and another guy). I called my husband from the bar parking lot and we got a good laugh out of my bad blind date.

The next evening we went out to dinner and then went back to his apartment and watched old movies. 3 months later he moved in with me, 1 month after that he proposed, and 1 year to the day after the proposal we got married. It has been really good at times and really tough at others but I couldn't have chosen a more perfect person for me to spend the rest of my life with. He is an incredible father and husband. A tough guy on the outside and a soft heart on the inside. He is my love.

Happy birthday, baby!

Monday, November 12, 2007

A perfect day

Yesterday was a beautiful Sunday. High in the 80's and sunny. The baby let us sleep till 9:30. We decided to forgo church for this one weekend and just relax. We got up and went to Target to pick up a few things and actually managed to get out of there for less than $100.00, which is incredibly impressive in my opinion. We had a very enjoyable lunch at one of our local hot wing restaurants.

When we got home Bear went right down for a nap. The evening before we had taken our new Christmas tree down from the attic and started setting it up so we had the afternoon to finish putting lights on the tree. We will be busy the next 2 weekends and I would rather put my tree up early and enjoy it longer than trying to put it up the 1st weekend in December. My husband has never helped me decorate the tree before but this year he helped me put the lights on, unwrap ornaments and hung a good number of them on the tree. He even put my new tree topper on the top of the tree for me. Then we moved all the rubber maid containers to the attic and the baby swing that Bear hasn't used in 4 months. We spent the rest of the day hanging out watching Lost and Friday Night Lights episodes.

It was just an all around good, relaxing day. I really needed that. We have been blowing and going and the strain of working and trying to be a Mom and wife has been hard.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Out with the old, in with the new

We are going over to an old co-workers house tonight for dinner. I worked with him for about 2 1/2 years and his son is a year older than Bear. I should be excited about this but I'm just not. I am so bad about this. I am friends with people while we are involved in something like school, work, church, etc and then once we lose that common thread I lose interest in being friends. I have gone through more groups of friends than I care to recall in the past. I'm notoriously bad about this. I change so much in my interests and attitudes that my "friends" often don't convey to the next phase of my life. I think I hold too much back. I never get to that intimate best friend level with anyone and so it is easy to move on from friendships that no longer share a common interest.

We have another couple coming to stay with us this weekend. I went to college with this girl and we studied abroad together in Russia. I got her husband a job working for my husband a few years ago so they became friends. They moved 3 hours away a year and a half ago and want to come back and visit. Yet I am not particularly excited about that either. I don't know why. I always enjoy myself when I hang out with old friends I just don't ever make the effort to really stay close or remain part of their lives. I haven't had a "best" friend since middle school. I miss that. I have several new friends that I have made in the past few years but none I would just pick up the phone with and chat about whatevers bothering me. My husband is really the only person who knows me inside and out and knows all my secrets that a best friend would typically know.

This makes me sad. All of the people I hang out with have best friends that they call up and go shopping or go to lunch and I just don't have that. I almost feel like I am too old. The people I meet and I am friends with now already have someone like that in their lives that they have known for a long time and share inside jokes with. I am grateful to have my husband to go through everything with but nothing beats a close girl friend.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Christmas Shopping...

It is that time of year again. The Christmas decorations are out in full force in all of the stores. The pressure is on. The pressure to buy Christmas gifts for everyone in my family and my husband's family. Deciding who do I buy for? How much do I spend? If I get the kids a gift do I also buy for the adults? Is my husband going to kill me when he sees the Discover bill?

I'm already starting to get stressed. My husband sets the budget then it is my responsibility to select all of the gifts and wrap them and decorate the house. That includes the gifts for people like his father whom I have NO CLUE what to buy. I purchased my first three Christmas presents today from Speaking through me purses. These will be for my mom, my grandma, and my husband's stepmom.

I also stress after the gifts are bought. I look and look and look, second guessing everything I pick out until I talk myself out of everything I picked out. It would be so much easier if everyone just came with an updated Target wish list. Except Target charges an arm and a leg for shipping plus you have to pay tax....I take that back. Everyone should come with an Amazon wishlist. And there are so many people to buy for and so little budget to do it in. I have to get really creative so I don't look cheap. And my sister and her twin boys have December birthdays, my dad, my husband's nephew and my son all have January birthdays. So all those people need Christmas gifts and birthday gifts.

I love Christmas. Hands down, it is my all time favorite holiday. But the gift buying stresses me out. And the travel to see everyone stresses my husband out. And the Discover bill stresses us both out. I want to just enjoy the twinkling lights, carols, crisp weather, my tree and not think about all the materialism. Don't get me wrong, I love a great gift as much as the next girl. But every year the Christmas shopping list gets longer but the budget isn't any bigger. It is hard. It is times like this that I really wish I was creative and could make presents for everyone but that is just not happening.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Who doesn't love jewelry?


So I have been expanding my google reader lately with some great blogs. In my excitment over the Fall Y'all giveaway I came across a blog for Beading Mommy. She sells jewelry over here. She has some really cute stuff for amazingly cheap prices. She is also struggling right now and has a baby at home and a baby on the way. If you haven't been to her store yet, swing by and check out her stuff. I ordered 4 pairs of earrings today and I can't wait to get them. I especially love her holiday stuff and I believe she may be adding a few more things soon. The earrings in the picture above are only $3.00 and shipping for USPS is only $2.00 for regular mail or $5.00 for priority.