Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I'm sick. Ugh. No matter how many sanitary precautions I take, all efforts become futile when my sickly toddler snots on my face and says, "Love you, Mommy." How could I possibly turn him away when he lifts up his arms, pokes out his bottom lip, and says, "I hold you, peas?"

As everyone knows, when Mom gets sick, it's every man for himself. Those dirty dishes from dinner? Yeah, you know where the sink is. Need a new shirt? There's probably one in the dryer, your dresser, or in the closet. Hungry? Hotdogs are in that drawer in the fridge. Not that one. The other one. With the cheese and the lunch meat. Good job.

I'm not neglectful (is that a word?) of my kids or anything.  I love those guys.  I get them drinks and I feed them meals and I change diapers. They're big enough to do some things on their own, though. Snacks are on the bottom shelf of the pantry for a reason.

Of course, eventually throughout the day I get little spurts of feeling better (or at least where my head doesn't feel like it'll explode as easily). During these moments I throw a load of towels in the wash or empty the dishwasher. So my house isn't a total wreck yet. But who knows what tomorrow will hold?

I'm hoping this "cold" is indeed just a cold and not some mutant virus with plans to take over my family. So far, so good, but I've seen it happen before. One of us gets the sniffles and by the time the last person gets sick, it's pneumonia. Well, ok, maybe not pneumonia, but close. I'm only the second one sick. Hubby has a feeling he'll get the pneumonia. And certainly on Christmas. Why? Because that's the way it happens in our household.

OK, so I'm rambling on now.. Gonna get off here and spend some time with the hubbs before I lapse into my benadryl coma. Goodnight, folks!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My Stepmother and Friend

Four weeks ago today, my father unexpectedly lost his best friend, my stepmother, Debbie.  I've hesitated to write about it, not knowing what to say or if I should write about it. But now as I'm typing, I can feel a calm coming over me. Debbie came into our lives about seven years ago laughing and making jokes within minutes of our meeting her.  She was such a loving person, full of laughter and life. She has two children whom I am proud to call my siblings: Dena and Trey. She has one grandbaby by blood, and three others that she loved as if they were her own. We became good friends over the past few years and my sisters and I believed we could come to her and confide in her with any situation. Her death was sudden and painless: an aneurysm. We are all grateful that she didn't suffer.

My dad is holding up relatively well. Some moments are harder than others (waking up without her there, going to sleep without her there, Sunday afternoons). But that is to be expected. He takes comfort, as we all do, in knowing that she is walking with her Savior now.  Of course, that doesn't completely take away the pain of her not being here.

Dena and Trey are grieving in their own ways. My heart goes out to my step-siblings. I cannot imagine losing my mother so suddenly. My step brother was celebrating his birthday with her when she collapsed. Again, I can't imagine... Dena had to travel eight hours before she could see her mother for the last time. What a drive that must have been. I've tried to remind them often that we love them and are here for them, even if we are hundreds of miles away. 

My biggest fear in all of this is that my family is torn apart due to little spats. Everyone is grieving and anger and frustration are a big part of the grieving process. I just pray that any little arguments that arise will be resolved quickly and without hurt feelings. Debbie wouldn't want any animosity to rise up among us.

I feel so helpless being this far away. Most days it just doesn't seem real to me that she's gone. I know she's not here, but every now and then I'll get a thought (I wonder how Dad and Debbie are celebrating Christmas this year?) and almost immediately am reminded that Dad is alone now. I wish I could be there to help with something. Although, I'm not sure exactly what I could do. I also realize that I have to trust in God to deal with the things I cannot and to comfort those whom I am not able to physically comfort.

Throughout all of this, I have been reminded that family and friends are most important, after my relationship with my Heavenly Father. It's such a peaceful feeling to know that He is in control and that I don't need to worry. Debbie is and will be greatly missed on this earth, but in the end we will see her again and hear her infectious laughter. I'm thankful for that.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Smell Holidays Around the Corner!

Is it November already?? I can't believe it's nearing holiday season again! I love the holidays, everything about them. But this year will be different. We're not so sure yet if we will be able to spend Thanksgiving or Christmas with our family in Memphis. It definitely depends on how things are going for us then and what days Hubby might be able to get off from work.  Christmas seems a bit more hopeful than Thanksgiving, though.

I've started to make other plans for our holiday time. Plans that include our friends here and intimate family dinners. H has already asked if she can start making Thanksgiving decorations to put up in the living room (The ones she made for Halloween are just now slowly coming down). So, since this turkey day could possibly be the first one I/we spend without family, I'm trying to psych myself into this reality by thinking positively. We can start our own traditions. We could have dinner with our good friends and their kids. We could serve at a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving Day. We could make our own turkey dinner and tell each other things we are thankful for.  There are definitely a few possibilities out there.

Halloween was fun. We ended up going trick-or-treating around the neighborhood behind hubby's work. H was a "candy corn witch," C was a baseball player, and I was a gangster/mobster chick. I already had the pinstriped pants/vest combo, so when I found the matching fedora I knew it was fate. Or something like that. We were running a bit late on our way out of the house that night, so I brought the camera along to take pics later. Got to hubby's work and whaddya know? The battery was dead. Ugh. I've threatened to dress the kids up again to take pics for family, but Hubbs says that would be mean.  Hey, it's not like I would promise them more trick-or-treating time or anything...

In other news, I've been following a fun blog called Natalie's Sentiments lately. The blog owner regularly hosts these online giveaways that I always forget to enter (of course). But this time, I actually caught the new post in time to sign up for it. She's giving away a pair of jeans! I love jeans.. Like, really. And seeing that all of my favorite comfy jeans are either falling off or have holes big enough for Alice to fall through, I'd say it's time for a new pair! Of course, I don't expect to win, but it would be a nice holiday surprise!

Well, my lovelies, I've rambled on enough for today. May your day be lovely and your jeans fit you well!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Addicted to Facebook

Recently, I've noticed some addictive behaviors in my life. No, I don't do drugs. I do... Facebook.  So, I've decided to make a list of such behaviors in order that others might recognize the addiction in their own lives before it's too late.

You know you're spending too much time on facebook when...
  • You're reading a blog and think "Ha! I like that! Where's the 'like' button?" 
  • You feel the urge to hit the "report spam" button when an ad comes in your (actual) mailbox.
  • You take a picture and the first thing you think is, "That one's going to be my profile pic!"
  • You haven't gone out with your friends in weeks, yet you know every detail of their lives.
  • Someone tells you a joke at work and you respond by shouting "LOL!"
  • The logo on your milk jug makes you wonder if your "Farmville" crops have come in yet.
  • You stamp "remove from friends" on the forehead of that annoying chick in the next cubicle.
  • You go to the bathroom in the middle of your date to post a status update: "Rocking this! I see a second date coming soon."
  • You start to receive emails offering you a position in support tech.
  • The only way you talk to your partner is by commenting on his/her wall.
  • You're considering starting up a second profile for your dog.
  • You would rather post youtube videos than watch that movie you rented.
  • Your Warcraft friends have joined facebook to see what all the hype is about.
  • Your friends recommend going to a local chapter of Facebookers Anonymous.
  • You just googled Facebookers Anonymous.
  • You're offended by any of the above.
If you or anyone you know suffers from a facebook addiction, please seek help immediately.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Changing Season

Ahh, fall..  How I love it; the changing leaves, the breezy days, the hustle and bustle... I especially love the memories fall brings. I remember roasting marshmallows in our back yard. I remember jumping into huge piles of leaves, not worrying about the dirt or bugs inside. I remember the excitement of picking out a Halloween costume and going to fall festivals and, of course, trick-or-treating.  When I was a kid, the span between Halloween and Christmas seemed to last forever.  But now that I have my own kids, I find myself thinking, "Halloween is in a couple of weeks, and Christmas is just two months away!! AAAHHH!!"

Nevertheless, I love it. The short weeks from now till New Year's are my absolute favorite time of the year. I love the scarves and sweaters. I love the sounds and the smells. One of my favorite smells is burning leaves. It signals change and warmth and fellowship to me.  I can't wait to take my kids camping or to build a bonfire and roast marshmallows with them. Last year we had a fireplace so we were able to roast marshmallows over the fire in our apartment. We made s'mores. Need I say more? Fun! But not the same. Strange though it may seem, I also love the busy feel that lies in the months ahead. I enjoy the rush and the excitement of visiting family and friends, trying to find that perfect gift for someone, and asking yourself, "Does this sweater match these boots?" about a hundred times. *Sigh*

In many ways, the past year has flown by. It was just last fall that I started this blog. In the past year, I have laughed, I have cried, I have learned, and I have grown (and so have my children, albeit differently). We have experienced many changes and many blessings, as well as uncertainty at times. The days seemed to stretch on and on during the hard times. But these hard times are what have made us stronger, as we trust in the Lord who lead us here. As with the new season, change is on the horizon for us. The new steps my husband is taking in his job are leading us onward and upward, and we can't wait to see what God has planned for us next. I love the Changing Season. I can't wait to dive headfirst into the excitement that lies ahead. Change is a good thing!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Inspiration (or: "Music of My Own")

When inspiration hits, you can truly be anywhere - in the shower, in the kitchen, seconds before you fall asleep. Inspiration hit me in the face today while sitting on my couch drinking my morning cup of coffee. Thankful to have my pen and notebook handy, I began to write... and write... and scratch that out.. and write some more. It just seemed to pour out of me: a praise song. Usually when I write, poems pour out. But recently songs have been coming to me, seemingly out of nowhere. This is where I wish I had stuck with those video taped keyboard lessons as a kid, because it's not just the lyrics that come to me, but the music as well. Of course, without recording myself singing it I will forget the tune within a few hours. Which sucks. But I guess I can always come up with a (better?) tune later as long as I have the lyrics written down. 

From the day H was born I've been making up songs. Songs about cleaning up. Songs about washing our hands. Songs about going to bed. They're just silly little songs that usually follow a familiar tune (Twinkle Twinkle, London Bridge, Mary Had a Little Lamb), and my kids love them. But up till now I've never written any songs down, nor have I written a song more serious than going pee pee in the potty.  It's definitely piquing my interest a bit, and I can't wait for more inspiration to flow. I'm not secretly wishing to become a songwriter for famous singers or anything (cause who would want that??), just enjoying the music.

I've always been a musical person. My grandmother used to pick me up from "school" (daycare?) when I was little, and we would sing all the way back to her house.  I was in children's choir by 2nd grade. I was in the competitive chorus group in high school.  Every year at Christmas, my (other) grandmother "asks" (it's really not optional) me and/or my sister to sing in front of the family.  Yet, somehow the thought of singing my own songs to other people scares the crap outta me.  Here's the hitch, though: I genuinely want to get over this fear. It's a bit ridiculous, don't you think? Ok, so I may not be the next American Idol or anything, but I have a decent voice. Why should I be nervous? Maybe one day I'll get over my shyness and share my songs with the world. Until then, (ba-da-da-da-da!) I'm lovin' it!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Great Ant War (part 2)

We've been ambushed. I woke up this morning to an army of ants on the kitchen counter, pilfering (of all things) my toaster. Apparently little toasted crumbles of goodness are what ant armies crave at 0630 in the morning. NOT my favorite way to start the day. My first thought was "What can I use to get rid of these things quickly, and without poisoning my family?" So out came the Lysol - Or rather, our generic brand Lysol equivalent (Who can afford to spend 5 bucks on name brand cleaner every month?!). I felt like I was in one of those gun-slinging western movies, armed with my spray bottle and ready to fight back. I didn't even give them the count of three before I blasted every one of them away. Of course, as I sprayed, more of their friends came out of the woodwork to fend me off. They were no match for the fat drops of antibacterial spray and the power of citrus. I laughed my evil laugh and holstered my weapon after half an hour (yes, half an hour!) of shooting.  As the smoke cleared, my skin began to crawl as my imagination told me "That one on the far left is moving! I swear it is!" Of course it wasn't.. but I sprayed it again anyway.

I hate ants (Have I mentioned this before?). I am convinced they are remnants of one of the plagues. A plague of ants would have definitely changed my mind about letting God's people go. I would have been like, "OK! Take them! Would you like some gold, too? Some food? Water? Anything else?" I'm sure ants have a wonderful role in nature and all that, but when they enter my house it's a different story. And mostly I despise them because they are so hard to get rid of. Sure, it's easy when they're outside. Use some heavy duty spray or pest dust and... Voila! No ants for 3-6 months. But when it comes to the indoors, you just don't want to use that kind of stuff in certain places. Especially the kitchen. Can you imagine? "Sorry you're so sick, Timmy. Mom had to kill the ants on the counter again. Oh, you made your sandwich on the counter? Well.. Now we know better, don't we?"

As I've stated before, and as experience has taught me, ants typically disappear (both inside and out) when the cold weather arrives. So bring on the cold weather! We're ready. We can handle it. Besides, that gives me a great excuse to get out my cute sweaters and wear my booties!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Random Ramblings

Every now and then (OK, more often than not), I get these random thoughts or ideas. So, I write this stuff down (if I remember to) and look it up later. Right now, for instance, I'm googling "biggest McDonald's play place" in another tab. Having small kids, I thought it might be a cool thing to check out. FYI, it's just south of Orlando, FL. It has an elevator leading up to a kids' treehouse themed area, the usual tubes and slides, a toddler area, and - get this - an arcade. Whoa!

(I did not take this picture, and claim no rights to it, whatsoever.)

In a separate tab, I'm googling pics of something altogether different.. "icebox early 1900s."  I know, random, right? I was thinking yesterday(ish?) that I don't think I've ever seen a real one. I mean, I've seen plenty of refrigerators, come on! But an icebox? Like my great-grandmother used? Nope. Can't say that I have. Apparently there are lots of different sizes of these, and they were made from different types of materials. Like any type of furniture, you could buy the icebox of your liking, or simply whichever type you could afford.  For those of you (if any) who may not know what I'm talking about, an icebox is not just a type of pie. It is (was) the prelude to our present-day refrigerator. Our grandmothers and great-grandmothers would buy a block of ice and store it in one compartment of the icebox. Then perishable items such as milk and meat would be kept in a separate compartment, to be kept cold. Of course, the problem with this is that once the ice would melt, Granny had to replace it and clean out the water or empty the tray that caught the water. And I can imagine the icebox didn't keep things too cold for too long.  Thank goodness for current technology!

The fourth tab I have open right now is a search for a cinnamon apples recipe. Yum. Fall is the perfect time for these. Hubbs and I love cinnamon apples, and, having discovered some decently priced manzanas here, I thought I might try to make some. Maybe. If I'm feeling creative enough.

(Again, this photo is not mine. I claim absolutely no rights to it, yadda yadda.)

I'm not sure why I'm telling the world these things, but it does make me happy to think that perhaps someone else out there was wondering "Hey, am I the only one who has intruding random thoughts?" No, Dear Someone. You are not alone.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Great Ant War

Ants ants everywhere, and not a place to sit!

Or, something like that! All summer long we have battled ants outside our home, and over the past few weeks they have been trying to break in. Luckily, my fabulous hubby bought some spray that we can use both inside and out, which seems to be keeping them at bay (Hooray!). Well, a week or so went by with no sign of ants in the house... until a few days ago.

Needing to wash my hands, I turned the knob on the bathroom sink and lo and behold, ants came pouring out of the faucet! They weren't with the flow of water, but rather hidden in the millimeter space around the spout. Now, sometime before this I had watched a few minutes of a documentary about a man who worked with and studied ants.  He found that they leave a scent trail behind them so that other ants will be able to follow them and find food or whatnot.  So, armed with this new information, I smashed each ant I saw (which is very gratifying when you have had ant problems such as we have) and promptly scrubbed the surface of the sink, countertop, faucet, etc, in hopes that any remaining ants would not be tempted to come out. Then, following my husband's instructions, removed the towels from the cabinet under the sink and sprayed liberally inside. Again, this was done as a deterrant. 

I am quite proud to say that I think we may have won this battle, as I have yet to see more than one or two ants since.  However, the war won't completely be over until the cold weather sets in.  Only then will we truly have our house back.  To those of you who are currently fighting the good fight, stand tall! We will divide and conquer!

Saturday, July 31, 2010


     Do you ever wake up and think to yourself, "OK, today I need to do X, Y, and Z..." only to find when the day is over that you completely forgot about one or all of those things?  Welcome to my life. It doesn't happen to me every day, but I do forget things often. So often do I forget, that I learned a few years ago to start writing things down.  I have gone through countless notebooks, notepads and sticky notes reminding myself to do the simplest things: "Do laundry. Take out the trash. Call Mom. Blog." 

     Not only do I forget things I need to accomplish, but I often forget words I am wanting to say - mid sentence. Especially if I'm tired or upset. I'll find myself asking my daughter to pick up her - and I forget the name for the toy. She reminds me, "Barbie, Mom." Yes. That's it. Thank you. It's quite embarrassing to have your five year old complete your sentence for you in the grocery store when you say, "Can you hand me one of those cans of..." and she says, "corn?" as you point to the object and draw a blank. But, alas! This is me. It's very frustrating.

     I wish I knew why I forget things so much and why, in contrast, my thoughts always seem to come so easily when I'm typing or writing them down. It makes me worry, of course, that by the time I'm a grandmother I will have early stages of Alzheimer's or another form of dementia. There's a history of dementia in my family. Is it inherited? Not sure. Some believe it's hereditary, while others rely on the all-too-familiar "it hasn't yet been proven." I have seen how people treat Alzheimer patients, and I don't want to be treated that way - like an outcast, or less than a person. It's definitely a frightening thought, and perhaps I'm reaching a bit. But I do fear these things.  It sucks to forget.  I want to remember and be remembered.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Play-doh Saga

I'm a mommy.  I play peek-a-boo games with my son and dress-up with my daughter. It's hard to do these things on days when Mommy is sick or not feeling well.  Today has been one of those days.  Every now and then, for some unknown reason, I have a spell of vertigo.  I get dizzy and nauseated at even the slightest movement.  Today it started at 10am and finally stopped after I decided to take a nap with the kids.  When I woke up at 2pm I wasn't dizzy or nauseated anymore (thankfully), but had instead (and still have) a headache and heart palpitations.  Nice.  Insert my daughter, H.

H has been asking me all day if she can play with play-doh.  Play-doh for me is one of the worst kids toy inventions ever.  I have a plastic drop cloth that the kids are supposed to sit on while they play with it.  They sit and play on the drop cloth for about five minutes, and then slowly the play-doh makes its way across the carpet (which is/was shag carpeting in our new place).  The play-doh then gets stepped on and sat on and squashed into the carpet and all over socks, pants, and - yes - hair.  Today of all days I do not feel like cleaning up this stuff.

So I tried to break it to her gently the first time she asked me today.  "Mommy isn't feeling well, Sweetie. Maybe we can play with the play-doh tomorrow."  Not good enough.  About an hour later, I got the same question, followed by a promise to help clean up the mess.  A valiant offer, indeed.  But unfortunately, her clean-up efforts always fall a bit short, leaving Mom to pick through the carpet. 

Nap time came and left, and I had briefly forgotten about the play-doh.  H hadn't.  Once again, she pleaded with me. "Mom, can I please play with play-doh now?  I'll be good, and I'll vacuum after.  I love to vacuum!" 


I felt sorry for her, really.  But I was not about to give in on this one.  "Not today.  I still don't feel well, Bug.  I'm sorry.  Maybe tomorrow I'll feel better and we can play with it then."  Apparently three no's to a five year old means "Ask me again later. I might say yes."  So she waited a few minutes and angrily bombarded me with questions of "Why" and "Why not?".  Instead of answering her questions, I asked her a question of my own.  "Don't you care that Mommy doesn't feel well?"  And she answered completely opposite from what I expected to hear. "Well, no. I don't."  WHAT?!  How is it possible that my sweet little angel doesn't care about my well-being?  She doesn't care?

After a little talk about feelings ("Well, how would you feel if So-and-so was sick?"), I realized that my daughter can empathize with others, she was just upset with me.  And after her outlash of anger on me, I decided she wouldn't be playing with play-doh for a week.  She cried for about two minutes, then began playing with her zhu-zhu pets. 

Ah, kids.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What happens next?

I'm sitting here with my almost-two-year-old, who just woke up from his nap.  He almost always wakes up before his sister, which allows us to enjoy a few minutes of mom and son time in the afternoons.  Today, he asked for some "choo-choos" (fruit chews), and as he shoved the first one in his mouth he said "I wan Me-Mouse, Mom."  Firstly, I'd like to note how big he sounds to me when he calls me "Mom" instead of "Mama" or "Mommy."  I rarely get called those last two any more - unless someone's hurt or there's something wrong.  Secondly, for those who may not know, "Me-Mouse" is "Mickey Mouse" in toddler speak.  C has been talking a lot about his Mickey Mouse movie over the past few days.  So, I put in the dvd and he asks, "What's that, Mom?" I show him the case.  "Me-Mouse?!  I rike that, Mom!" (as if he didn't just ask me to put it in.) As soon as the menu screen shows up with Mickey and his pals, I hear him say "Yay! Me-Mouse!" (again, as if he expected something else?) and he is instantly sucked into tv land.  Apparently the sound of Mickey and his friends has lured H out of her room now, because I hear her behind me, trying to "surprise" me.  Of course, I already heard her not only open the bedroom door but tiptoe down the creaky hallway.  I turn around. "Boo!  Ha.. I scared you, didn't I?" she says.  I nod. "YES, you got me." 

I love spending this time with my kids.  They say and do things that both astonish and amuse me every day.  But I've been thinking lately about my future in terms of my career.  What do I want to do?  What do I want to do when the kids start school?  When they get older?  When they go off to college?  So far, I'm not 100% sure of that answer.  I used to have (and a large part of me still does have) the drive to be a nurse, and nothing but a nurse.  Not just a nurse, but an OR (operating room) nurse.  I've spent a pretty fair chunk of my and my parents' money (sorry, Mom and Dad!) and numerous semesters and course hours toward this goal.  It's something I could definitely see myself doing later in life.  But right now, I don't think I'm disciplined enough to be a nurse.  I don't think I'm quite ready for the long hours and the physical and emotional stress involved.  I do long to help people, and I want to do something in the medical field.  But what?  I've thought about getting certified to be a CNA (nurse's aid) after the kids go to school.  It would allow me to work in a hospital setting while getting one-on-one interaction with patients, minus the long hours and with less stress.  I've also thought about just staying at home for a while longer so my kids don't have to come home to an empty house or a babysitter.  That is, of course, if my husband's patience lasts and if our financial situation remains stable on on one income.  I'm not entirely sure what I want to do just yet.  But I'm sure as time goes on and as our lives change and grow, what I'm supposed to do will become more clear to me.  Until then I'm just praying and breathing and reminding myself to enjoy these sweet moments with my kids.  After all, one day soon they won't be so little anymore.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Sea Monkeys: Part Deux

Ok.. Maybe I overreacted a bit about the whole sea monkey thing.  After we put the eggs in the "tank" we placed them on the window sill and went outside to play.  About an hour later the cat knocked the tank off the window sill.  H was devastated.  So, daddy bought her a new kit and we started over.  The eggs hatched successfully yesterday (yay!) and our little guys are swimming safely in their tank on the kitchen counter.  I know I said I would post pics of these things, and honestly, I tried to get a good one!  I discovered a Fujifilm A360 is probably not the best camera to try this with!  LOL.  Find a ballpoint pen.  Find one?  Ok, see the very tip there?  No, the end you write with.  Yep.  Right now the "baby fishies," as C calls them, are about that size.  With tails.  Oh, yeah, and they're white.  So I'm sure you can understand my dilemma! Maybe this sea monkey thing won't be so bad after all! Well, I'm off to settle another kiddy dispute! Au revoir!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spring Goals

Dear Spring,
Welcome!  I hope you treat us well.  Please do not allow your fresh pollen to attack our sinuses this year.  Do note, however, that if you decide to attack us we will be prepared, for we are armed with Claritin and Sudafed and plenty of tissues.   We do invite you to bring plenty of warm, happy, sunshine-filled days to play in.  We eagerly await the buzzing of bees and blossoming of flowers.  And when the occasional rains fall, we will be grateful to the Rainmaker, for from that rain comes life.  Also, Lady Spring, please do remember that it is now your time to shine.  Do not let Old Man Winter bully you into bringing more snow!  He has had his turn. 

Respectfully Yours,
Crystal & Family

That was fun! :) I do hope to reach these goals this spring:

*to find a church
*to make some spring/Easter crafts with my kids
*to plant and grow some kind of veggie
*to do something for myself
*to have a date night (or day) with my hubby

I met most of my goals for winter:
*If we get enough snow, make a snowman with my kids
H and I made three snowmen this year, and for the first time ever, Hubbs was able to make one with her! Very exciting! C just ate the snow.
*Take more pictures
I felt like I took a fair amount of pictures. :) Will most likely continue this goal.
*Have a date night with my husband
We had a fun night out together!  I just wish I could have relaxed and enjoyed it more.

Now for the goals I didn't quite reach:
*Give to someone else on my birthday
I attempted (during moving time chaos) to assemble a blanket drive shortly before my birthday, and it didn't quite come together.  So when the Haiti earthquake hit, I decided to send info about another drive to the few who were interested.  Moving is not an excuse, and I guess I got discouraged when so few responded to my initial attempts.  I foresee another attempt in my near future.
*Get a tattoo for my birthday
Again, with moving expenses, etc, I was unable to reach this goal.  I have an idea of what I want, and now we have only to save up the money for it and to find a reputable place around here.  Or, we might just wait for a return trip home, so that we might go with what (who) we know.

So, that's how I fared for winter 2010.  How did your goals go?  Did you meet them all?  Some?  Forget about them altogether?  Well, if you fall into the latter group, the good news is that spring is here! - a time for new growth and a fresh start.  So what are you waiting for?  Make a goal list.  I promise it'll make you feel great to cross them off as you meet them!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sea Monkeys

Yesterday was our family day.  We played at Pump It Up and went to the mall to stroll around.  Then we went out to eat at Famous Dave's and Hubby decided it would be nice to get H a little gift on the way home last night. Sea Monkeys. I never had sea monkeys as a kid, and don't know much about them, so I googled them. Have you seen what a fully-grown "sea monkey" looks like?? They're not pretty. They actually kinda remind me of silverfish, which grosses me out!  Here's what the adult sea monkey is supposed to look like:

Gross, right? They look nothing like the cute little drawings on the box. 

So, I'm thinking, "What are these things, exactly?"  I mean, all we know is that they are easy to grow on your own.  They eat some kind of special fish food that comes with the kit.  Then what? How long do they live? According to the website, they have been scientifically engineered to live "longer than ever before" - approx. 2 yrs.  I don't know if I want to take care of some weird alien-bug for two years.  H is all excited about it, though. So that's cool.  I just hope she doesn't get weirded out by them.  I just hope I don't get weirded out by them!  Because I'm sure I'll be the one taking care of these things. 

Well, we prepped the tank this morning, so tomorrow we will add the eggs and sometime within the next week we should have baby sea monkeys swimming around.  I'll be sure to post pics as we go!  Wish us luck!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Growing Pains

Today, my baby boy transitioned from a crib to a toddler bed. I am so proud! Hubby put the bed together this morning and C was able to sleep in it at naptime. He was very excited about it, and did surprisingly well both at naptime and at bedtime. I use the sit in method (from one of those "Nanny" shows) and it took a grand total of only 20 mins for him to fall asleep at nap and 15 mins tonight at bedtime. I only had to lay him back down about three times. I was very impressed with him.

My daughter seemed just as excited as C was about his new bed. I actually had to calm her down before both nap and bedtime tonight. With the two of them sharing a room, I figured things would be quite crazy at this point, but surprisingly it's not. They're getting so big. I can't believe they're going to be turning 5 and 2 soon.

H's birthday is next month, so we've been asked for a list of what she wants. Gigi (my mom) suggested we let her look online at a toy website and write down all of the things she would like to have. So we went to toysrus.com and let H browse the pages (category: age 5-7, subcategory: girls). I have a list so far just shy of 30 items. I think we have enough.

My furbaby, Onyx, is getting big too. She's seven months old now and probably just shy of her full size. She still has a lot of kitten in her, so she's very mischievous. There have been several times in the past week or so that she's gotten out when we've come in or out of the house. She's not "fixed" yet, so we don't really want to let her outside just yet. She's also very intrigued by water, and will make a mess in the toilet, sink, etc at any chance she gets. Just a bit earlier tonight I heard a crash coming from our bedroom, and found that she had knocked the top of the gerbil cage off. Luckily only the top came off, and Scamper is doing fine.

Hubbs and I are planning to get her fixed soon and hopefully that will help with some of the mischief. Overall, she really is a sweet cat. She's cuddling with me right now as I type. She loves to play and cuddle with the kids, too - as long as they're nice to her. I guess she understands somehow that they are little like she is.

All three of my "babies" are getting bigger. And the best part? I don't have to sit back and watch. I get to be a part of it. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Here a Tooth, There a Tooth...

Molars. They're necessary for chewing, of course. But what a pain! Literally! For the past couple of days my son has been cranky, throwing things, barely eating, and very much wanting to be held by Mommy. It dawned on me this afternoon that he must be getting his molars. He's nearly 21 mos, so it's about that time. I even felt around in his mouth a bit and he said "ouch!" as my finger ran across his gums. Nice. I feel so sorry for him... especially when he tells me "I hongry, Mama! I want!" I know he's hungry, but eating hurts right now so he ends up only taking a couple of bites, if any. I read about these "teething tablets" that dissolve in the kid's mouth and relieve the pain. I wonder if they're any good? They're supposedly all-natural, which translates to "costs an arm and a leg." Anyone have any experience with these? It's been about three years since I've had to deal with this. I feel like such a noob! *Sigh* Well, here's hoping that the crankies end soon!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mr. and Mrs. Fix it?

It's been well over a month since I've blogged. But I do have an excuse. :) We've moved. Across state! I know this might not seem like a big deal to some of you (if anyone actually reads this), but it's a big deal to me! I have always been in the same area my whole life. I grew up with all of my aunts, uncles, and grandparents within driving distance. So moving across state is a huge move for us. I'm pretty proud of myself. So far, so good. It helps to be able to keep in touch via phone calls and facebook.

That being said... You remember the day when you were younger and your mother said to you, "I hope one day you will live in an old apartment where nothing works! Maybe then you'll be grateful for what you have now!"? Remember those times? Yeah, well.. I'm pretty sure Mom jinxed me when she said that. Either that, or she really is able to perform feats of magic! (Just kidding, Mom.)

We knew this new place was an older place, and expected to have a few problems upon moving in. It's a duplex that's about 10 years older than I am. Well, to make a long story short, here's a list of things we've had problems with:
*leaky faucet
*leaky pipes under sink
*dishwasher (still haven't had this one fixed - hubby wants to "look at it")
*oven is filthy (on my "to do" list!)
*knob on stove (we have to check it regularly to make sure it's "off")
*washer (hose leaked)
*fuse (shorted out when light switch was bumped)

That's all I can remember right now. Know how long we've been here? Two weeks! Haha.. But I'm not complaining. Every time something else happens I just laugh. I'm pretty sure it drives my husband nuts when I laugh about the escalating problems. He says, "I'm glad you find this funny" as he tries to fix x,y and z.

All in all, we are glad to be here and we are loving it. I think the times we spend together asking "does it work now?" will keep us from asking the same question about our marriage later. So, I'm not too concerned about the problems we face, because I know we'll be stronger because of them.

Well, I'm off to clean the oven! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My Bucket List

A friend of mine tagged me in a note on facebook, and inspired me to write this. Like my friend, even before I watched the movie "The Bucket List" I have had a list of goals to accomplish before I die. I suppose I've always had this list with me, but I've never written it down. No, I'm not terminally ill, and I don't plan on dying any time soon. But God's plans are different from my own, and none of us knows how much time we have left. So, that being said, here's my "Bucket List" in no particular order. Some are things I'm afraid of but want to do before I go, and others are huge dreams of mine. Here goes!

1. See my kids graduate college
2. Get at least one tattoo
3. Go to each state in the US:
•District of Columbia
•New Hampshire
•New Jersey
•New Mexico
•New York
•North Carolina
•North Dakota
•Rhode Island
•South Carolina
•South Dakota
•West Virginia
4. Go to the following places outside of the US:
-Virgin Islands
-Galapagos Islands (to see the turtles!)
5. Do at least one of these:
-Bungee Jumping
6. Help someone to better himself
7. Volunteer my time to those in need
8. Become a nurse/health care professional
9. Witness a heart transplant
10. Become fluent in another language
11. Eat at least one strange and exotic food in each foreign country I visit
12. Swim with dolphins
13. Learn to sew on a machine
14. Learn to drive a stick shift
15. See "real" snow
16. Go snow skiing
17. Write a book.
18. Fire a gun at a nonliving target (and hit it)
19. Shoot a bow and arrow and make a bullseye
20. Ride in a hot air balloon
21. Take ballroom dancing lessons with my husband
22. Eat the best pizza in the world

That's all for now. I plan to cross off and add to this list as needed. What does your list look like?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Goals for Winter

There are so many things I would like to do. I want to learn to sew, I want to travel, I want to be able to give to people the way celebs do. We all have goals, don't we? I enjoyed having my list of goals for fall, and with my husband's help, I have been able to accomplish those goals:

*jump in piles of leaves with my kids; check!
*find a church home; check! - well, we have found a church that we enjoy attending!
*have a bonfire; check! - hey, a fire in the fireplace counts, right?
*make s'mores with my hubby (who had never had them!); check!
*have a halloween party; well, I didn't throw one, but I did go to one!
and *make something great to bring to Thanksgiving dinner; check! -brownies!

Since I met (or somewhat met) all of my goals for fall, I have decided to keep this up and make some goals for winter 2010:

*If we get enough snow, make a snowman with my kids
*Take more pictures
*Have a date night with my husband
*Give to someone else on my birthday
*Get a tattoo for my birthday

Meeting these goals for myself, as simple as they are, gives me such a sense of accomplishment. If you are reading this now, I emplore you to set a few goals for yourself. Whether they're goals for the week, month, season, or year, make a list of things you would like to accomplish. Then tell someone about your list. My husband read my list of goals after I wrote them and, either consciously or subconsciously, he helped me to reach them. Perhaps the same can happen for you. To my hubby - Thank you for always supporting my goals and for helping me to accomplish the things I set out to do. You're the most amazing man I know, and I love you very much!