Saturday, December 23, 2006
Merry Christmas and all that stuff
Well let's just say I haven't read ANY blogs in about two weeks. It is sad.
I am busy with the holidays and once again I am vowing to not "let this happen again next year." You know, waiting till the last minute to bake, wrap, pack, lose 10 pounds (three out of four ain't bad!).
So anyway, to show for my grogginess I've got a lots of wrapped gifts and baked goodies to share with all our loved ones. My tree is decorated with exactly six, non-breakable, ornaments. (You think I'm a scrooge for making ours a lights-only tree? I thought so, too, until the little guy in the pic below toppled it over on himself.) I'm giddy with excitement to see the looks on the boys' faces during all our Christmas celebrations, and once again I'm celebrating our happy home and families at Christmas time. It really just doesn't get any better...
Thursday, December 07, 2006
I see, said the blind man...
A list I hope you'll never need
1. Before you leave for the hospital or as soon as you get there, get a pad of paper and a pen and keep them with you all the time. I didn't do this, and I had six pieces of information written on a ragged 3x3 Post-It. Phone numbers, medical terms, room numbers, etc. You'll get all of this spewed at you in rapid succession and you'll want to remember it.
2. Have someone bring you a sack full of snacks and bottled water to keep in the hospital room, for you and/or the patient. Hospital food gets old very quickly and you won't want to leave his bedside for food anyway. Someone did this for me without my asking and it came in so handy.
3. Grab your cell phone charger.
4. Back to the pad of paper: jot down questions for the docs as you think of them. They talk fast and they spend limited time in your room so you need to make the most of it. It's also good to record any medications they are administering so you can Google them later or ask someone else to. And Google-ing doctors' names is interesting, too.
5. The more machines and/or cords involved in the patient's stay, the more important it is to be there with him all the time. The nurses, as compassionate as they might seem, will not hang around to help the patient get situated after getting up to use the restroom or if he needs to turn over. It's especially hard for them to get comfortable if they've had blood drawn or needle pokes in both arms.
6. You need to make sure you are there when the doctors visit. DH will think he is lucid, but ask him to repeat something the doctor said and you could get a blank stare.
7. Ask questions. The medical staff seemed a little robotic at times with all their procedures and such and soon you will find yourself wondering, "just what was that blood-draw for..."
8. Listen to the people who tell you: "you need to worry about DH and not your kids..." If you know the homefront is covered, allow yourself to focus on being at the hospital. It is hard to do but people really do want to help so you have to let them. It's really the only choice.
9. Speaking of the homefront: ask the people there to keep a phone log of calls so you and the patient can look at it later. Again, this was done without my asking but I so appreciated it.
10. I was wishing for one of those mini voice recorders for remembering what floor of the parking garage I had left my car. There were a few trips winding up and down on foot with my keys trying to follow the sound of my "beeper."
11. Pray with your DH, not just for him.
That's about it. I have been working on this post for awhile and now I'm ready to move on to funner things (shut-up, sometimes non-words work).
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Son One: "...what's good-goshes??"
Friday, December 01, 2006
So anyway, yesterday he nay-sayed and nay-sayed ad nauseum, and apparently this time it worked. He opened the front door this morning and his face just spread into a big grin when he saw this:
I think he needs to write a book now!
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
The more important news is that DH is well on his way to recovery after seven days in the hospital with the evil pulmonary embolism. He will be headed back to work soon. Thanksgiving was a little weird since it was just us and we had a catered turkey dinner instead of all the homemade deliciousness. But people, if I ever had a Thanksgiving more special, I can't remember it. Not only did I have him being home and healthy to be thankful for, but I was once again reminded of the special families and friends we have. I needed to be at the hospital nearly all the time and have someone care for the boys, and I would have been lost if it hadn't been for all the help. You truly don't realize how much your family means until you sit by your husband in the hospital and know that you are exactly where you need to be.
Anyway, so I am back and ready to get back to posting, uh, sometimes!
Friday, November 17, 2006
Trying times at our house
I appreciate the outpouring of help with the boys and prayers.
Friday, November 10, 2006
Meme: Nine Weird Things About Me
1. How timely for this first one! I don't like sweet potatoes or cranberries or anything with pumpkin in it. Other than being un-American, not so weird. That I must see all three of them on my table at Thanksgiving: that's weird.
2. I do not like the Beatles' music. Or the Rolling Stones'. I like a lot of music, but the two most popular bands in the history of rock-and-roll make my stomach turn.
3. The canister set on my counter top is ALWAYS straight. And so are the towels hanging on my oven door. (No, I'm not "Sleeping with the Enemy." My husband, however, might be.)
4. I have clean coffee mugs in my cabinet that have lipstick on the edges. Even after they've been through the dishwasher. I don't bother to clean it off, I just grab one with lipstick and everyone's happy.
5. When I'm out and about with both my sons and one is in the stroller, we almost always use the doors for the handicapped that open automatically when you push a button. Not weird. Teaching my older son to hit the button with the BACK of his hand to avoid more germs? Weird.
6. Driving home I go out of my way so my older son can check the progress of a house in our neighborhood currently under construction. (He now says "...it's lookin' pretty good...")
7. I sing to the radio in the presence of adults.
8. (Some would say) I have a blog.
9. My favorite guilty pleasure in a movie? The closing number in "Dirty Dancing." Don't we all secretly want to be Baby at that moment?
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
I had my hair chemically straightened on Monday night. Just for the record, it is WEDNESDAY and per the lady's instructions I cannot wash it till TOMORROW morning. The only other time in my entire life I have gone so long without washing my hair, I had just given birth to my first son and washing my hair was last on my list of things to do. Anyway, here are the before-and-afters. I don't think I need to identify which is which (sorry for the poor quality of the first one).
Some of my friends were trying to discourage me from having it done, saying things like "oh, I wish I had your thick curly hair." Well, people, it was a blessing and a curse. Lately mostly a curse. With hair like mine, you have to be committed to "calming" it every day, or it looks like the photo on the left. That process takes about two hours, two hours I don't have and my little boys aren't quite willing to help me out there.
One of my sisters had the process done six months ago and it is still gorgeous. She said it has "changed her life." Her hair is more manageable, easier to make smooth, and the volume of it was drastically reduced.
I hope it has the same effect on my hair, but right now I cannot see past dumping a huge handful of shampoo over the top of it. Mmmmmmm!
P.S. For those who are interested, here is the product that was used.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
So I get to the long list of food that the caterpillar ate, and he's breezing through them "cake!" "sausage!" "cheese!" (struggled on the lollipop) Then I say, "a big piece of cherry..."
And I thought my love affair with Sonic was private...
WFMW: Totally FREE Cookbook
Today's WFMW tip is a no-brainer and one that I hope you have already tried, because if you haven't you have been missing out on one of the best freebies ever.
For you impatient types, go here and sign up. Now.
If you need more info than that, read on.
Kraft publishes a totally free, no-strings-attached cookbook. All you have to do is sign up. No shipping, no one-time charge, just F-R-E-E. And every quarter (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter) they send you a new issue. It's about 70 pages of recipes and cooking tips that are practical and don't contain 47 weird ingredients.
Now, since it is free and there is no obligation to the consumer, expect every recipe to have name-brand, Kraft company ingredients in it. We all know we can get around that!
So go there. Now. And order it up.
For more great WFMW tips, visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
WFMW: Oatmeal Play Box for Toddlers
I got today's idea from a book about entertaining toddlers. I got a larger-than-a-shoebox plastic bin with a lid and filled it about half-way up with oatmeal. I added a few measuring cups, bowls, and spoons. My boys absolutely love pouring and scooping, and if they happen to eat some, so much the better for my older french-fries-lovin' boy.
The book suggested you just put it in the middle of the kitchen floor and sweep up after each session, but this would make someone with my personality type implode. I prefer to keep it outside where the where the birds and squirrels can enjoy any messes and I don't have to sweep anything up or watch oatmeal dust float through my kitchen.
Enjoy! And for tons of other stuff that works, check out Rocks in My Dryer.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Halloween Open House!
If you haven't seen Chili's awesome decorations, go there now. Or she will haunt you!
Friday, October 27, 2006
I'm back...and with some very useful information!
One thing burning a hole in my pocket is this PSA: check your cabinet for expired spices! I ran across this ad in the Sunday circular a week ago:
"What?!?" I say to myself. "Who could possible allow a container of any spice reside in their cabinet for FIFTEEN YEARS before using it all??"
Uh, well, that would be me. Here's what lurked in the deepest recesses of my cabinet:
It's interesting to think this "valuable" item was worth packing up and moving from apartment to house to apartment, etc., about six times.
So please tell me I'm not the only one. Please go check your cabinet and let me know if you found any similar relics!
Saturday, October 14, 2006
I don't have anything profound to write about this; maybe I just think it's a milestone that ought to be acknowledged. I'm proud of the fact I nursed both boys for a year. I do feel like there are precious few things I KNOW are right with my parenting skills, but breastfeeding is one thing I never doubted...
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Yes, I live in Oklahoma. No, I do not live in the country (or a teepee or a log cabin, if you're really clueless). I live in the middle of town, in a neighborhood, in a city with ordinances such as all dogs must be fenced in or on a leash.
Apparently the foxes of our city do not have to live by such rules.
This one has been roaming our neighborhood for the past several days. I caught a pic of him on the way out of our backyard. Isn't he nicely camouflaged in the first picture?
Now this little critter is about the size of a beagle, but for all I know he could have the personality of a tasmanian devil when provoked or tempted by the sight of a small toddler. Yikes. I think my little guys are going to be playing indoors for a while...
Thursday, October 05, 2006
A would-be anniversary I'm not sad to miss.
Staying home pays me nothing. In fact, it cuts my husband's nice salary in half to support me. Eating out a lot and shopping on a whim are distant memories. My "promotion" was having another baby to raise. More diapers, less sleep, etc. And my wardrobe? Well, we just won't go there.
But I am not a bit disappointed I'm not celebrating today's would-be anniversary. Staying home with my boys has brought me more joy than I could have ever imagined. It is a gift I thank my husband for as often as I can. Every day one of the boys does something that makes me want to pick up a phone to call someone and tell them about it. And then I think, if Son One and Son Two were in daycare, I would have missed that moment. I know, I can't be with them to witness ALL their genius, but I want to drink in as much of them as I possibly can.
I'm an older mom, and I listen to a lot of my friends talk about their kids' early years so fondly. And they say things like "they're only little for such a short time..." and "it goes by so fast..." You know, almost like they didn't savor it enough. I don't want to look back and feel that way. I want to savor every delicious day of their little lives.
So anyway, today's the anniversary that wasn't, and I'm thrilled to not celebrate it. Maybe my two little bosses will give me big sloppy kisses instead...
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
WFMW: Buying fewer trash bags
I got tired of buying tall kitchen bags so often. Now, during every meal prep, I hang a plastic grocery store sack on the knob by my sink and use it until the meal is over. Then I trash it, full or not, at the end of the meal.
I used to take the tall trash bag out nearly every day but now it's about every third day. This little tip has really cut down on how often I buy the "real" trash bags.
One thing: I sometimes make them "paper only" bags, so if there's a hole in the bottom then I don't have to worry about leakage. It is surprising how much paper a family of four can collect in one day!
Monday, October 02, 2006
My First Meme!
1. Favorite memory of your mother? I remember how soft and warm she felt when she hugged me, which was all the time. And I remember rocking with her in the rocking chair, even after I was probably too big. And I remember how she would always tell me I was the "sweetest little girl in the whoooole world!!" (And I have 10 siblings!) In spite of our big family, my mom never didn't have time for me. I remember some of her sayings that she had me believing when I was a teenager: "he's not good enough to date my daughter..." which was usually true, and "your car runs better when it's clean..." Good one, mom.
2. Favorite memory of your father? That's hard because I only knew him a short time: he died from cancer when I was four (liver cancer, though he was a non-smoker and only a casual drinker). Anyway, I really just remember him lying down in bed. But if you listen to my mom talk about him, you would think he could walk on water.
3. Favorite memory of your sibling(s)? Wow, a lot there, too. Recently? Florida, Florida, Florida. Several of us and our families have made the trip to the panhandle every summer for ten years. Some of my happiest memories are about the beach. It has brought us closer in so many ways... And my nieces and nephews. They are glue when it comes to keeping the sibs together.
4. What one skill would you like to wake up tomorrow and be able to do (though you'd never learned it)? Figure skate. Olympic-quality. I figure if I have the skill for it I'll also have the body for it.
5. Which one of your dreams has come true? Marrying my husband. He makes me feel like I'm the only person that matters. And becoming a mother.
Friday, September 29, 2006
Burning Questions of the Day
1. Why doesn't anyone ever say "wait...you have an EYEBROW on your cheek..." and then ever-so-gently brush it off for them? Everyone uses that pretty word "eyelash" when they really don't know where it came from. Is it because no one wants to think of one's eyebrows falling out. Wasn't that in "The Wall" or something?
2. Why do I have to pay a waiter a bigger tip for a $15 steak than I do for a $7 hamburger? Don't they come on the same kind of plate? Doesn't she still have to visit my table to bring it to me (and fill my Diet Coke glass at least twice)? Is it because the steak weighs more? Or maybe it's the risk factor: the steak is a more valuable item so she must take extra care to not drop it. If you're a current or ex-member of the restaurant world, please enlighten me!
OK, I feel better now. I might make this a regular feature since I tend to think these random thoughts a lot. I hope that now, answered or not, I can purge them from my brain and make room for something useful.
Monday, September 25, 2006
WFMW: Giving sippy cups to their proper owners
My tip today may be a no-brainer for some of you seasoned moms, but for some of us the lightbulb takes just a little longer to come on.
I have two sons currently "on" sippy cups. At the end of the day I find myself in sippy cup hell. I don't know whose is whose or what's in them. So I make new ones and before I know it I have six or seven cups in the fridge and I have no idea which one to grab. I tried assigning each son a color but I don't have enough different colors for that and I'm not buying more and besides I'd just have to remember who has what color.
So I came up two simple rules:
1. One cup per kid, per day. And they have to finish whatever's in it from breakfast before they get something different to drink.
2. I put a sticker on the top of Son One's cup; he's 2 and old enough to not try to eat it. I know at a glance which one to grab from the fridge, and he does, too. It only takes a small sticker and by the time it starts un-sticking, the day is nearly over anyway.
Like I said, it's simple, but when both of them are screaming for something to drink, every second counts. And one more nerve of mine is left intact.
For more WFMW tips, check out the queen.
"Mommy, my tummy hu..."
Son Two only had one incident and I happened to be holding him and standing near the kitchen sink. Lucky me. Not lucky sink.
Husband and I tried not to panic when our little ones were surprising us like this, but we must have looked a little like Lucy and Ethel at the candy factory. The first time it happened we didn't talk about it until about two hours after everything and everyone was cleaned up. I think we were in shock.
Everyone's all well now, and the plan is to post more frequently my mundane little entries for all the world to see. Hope they don't make you sick.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Crafty, but I won't make you sick
My littlest turned the big O-N-E on Saturday. I wanted to post this pic for all you who think you have to buy a cake to have a decorated cake. This was so easy and it had good centerpiece presence. Unfortunately, I can't take credit for the design, but my best friend Betty Crocker can.
Also, the little bags on the right were favors filled with M&Ms. Yes, it was a bit of a theme. I bought the bags at my local craft store for $2 and the ribbon for $1 on the clearance rack. I didn't compute the cost-per but it was cheap and original and fun to make.
So yes, it's a little crafty, no it's not nauseating. I think the little guy will love the pics when he's old enough to not try to eat or tear them.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Overheard from Son One
Me: "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
Son One: "A four-wheeler."
At Mother's Day Out:
Teacher Megan: "Who loves you?"
Son One: "Ms. Megan!"
(Apparently this statement melted Ms. Megan's heart...and mine, since he has been, uh, shall we say slightly apprehensive about MDO lately.)
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
What, do you blog like you brush your teeth?
1. I have two little kids.
2. I have two little kids.
3. I have nothing of worth to write about.
4. I have two little kids.
Yikes, I have really got to think of a better list of excuses, since, helllooooo...One of the major reasons I started this blog was all the neat MOM blogs I was reading.
So here's my assignment fooooorrrr YOU! (Sorry, my boys are at Mother's Day Out today but Elmo lives on). I need to know your tricks for finding time to blog. Do you have a list of go-to topics? How long do you spend on a post? Are you people night owls or early risers? My aforementioned friend up there has some posts worthy of college term paper material, people!! Where do you find time in your mom-days to do it?
Tips appreciated...the jar is on the table.
Saturday, September 02, 2006
My day off yesterday and a movie review
I saw "World Trade Center" with Nicholas Cage and a host of unknown actors. I had a lump in my throat almost the whole time, but this movie wasn't nearly as moving as the actual news footage from that day, as I remember it. It told the story of two Port Authority cops who were trapped for many hours under many feet of rubble between the two towers. While the movie gave a great idea of what it must have been like to be buried like that, I didn't get a real sense of what was going on outside. I was prepared to see mass confusion and chaos, people running around screaming, tons of people exiting Lower Manhattan on foot...the movie showed none of that. Maybe they avoided that on purpose, I don't know. Anyway, Nick was awesome in it, does he ever really fail at a movie? It was very entertaining and I would recommend it as a rent or a matinee. (By the way, I saw it at 11:10 a.m. and paid $4.00!! I am thinking pretty soon they will start first-run movies at 8 a.m. and they will be $.50).
The rest of my day was spent at a real-live toy store shopping for my little boy who will be ONE in a couple of weeks. I am up to my ears in party planning and I cannot wait!
Thursday, August 31, 2006
My day off tomorrow can't come soon enough
I've been pretty tired lately and yes, I need a break, but does exhaustion cause one to be just dumb? Take a look at the bottom shelf in my pantry from yesterday:
Yes, that would be a package of Virginia ham in the basket. In my haste to clean up lunch I must have forgotten that, uh, lunchmeat has a home called the 'fridge, and it should never stray from its home for more than two hours (DH looooves that little rule). I discovered it when I started to prepare dinner about 4:00, so into the trash it went.
So looks like first on my list to do tomorrow to be smart. Or at least fake it really well...
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
WFMW: Easily Changing Crib Sheets
After two and a half years I've finally found an easy way to change the sheet on my sons' crib mattress.
Lift one end of the mattress way up, leaving the other end in the crib. Put the sheet around the top end and then lower it back down. Then lift the other end of the mattress and put the sheet around it. Put it all the way down. Pull and tug on the sheet in the middle until it's taught.
Let me tell ya, if someone would have told me this early on, I would have been a lot happier. Instead I wrestled that stupid mattress like a 10-foot alligator, in the crib, out of the crib, etc.
Oh, and while I'm on the subject of cribs, the breathable bumpers are wonderful! You can find them at www.onestepahead.com. They are not bulky yet they still protect baby from bumping up against the hard rails or getting a foot stuck in between. And they are cheaper! And they match everything because they're white! I wish I'd have invented them...
Both of these ideas work for me!
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
The real reason I waited so long to have kids.
Case in point: last week I took my kiddos to my very good friend's house so she could watch them for a couple of hours. When I returned it was time to clean up the toys and we're all like, "OK, time to clean up toys!" My two-year-old started getting that angst in his voice, like cleaning up toys was the last thing on his mind.
(I should say, the toys we were about to put away numbered in the bazillions...little army men and other like-sized items that were kept in a plastic bin. I am still questioning my friend's sanity when she let her son have these, but I must defer to those with the experience. Maybe someday that will make sense to me. Even when my son dumped them out all over the floor, my friend was unfazed.)
So my son's voice is rising and his eyebrows are knotting up and I'm thinking I'm gonna have to pull rank on him, when my friend swoops in and says "I bet I can put these toys away faster than you!!!" and commences to throwing the little men in the box very rapidly. Yeah, you guessed it, my son shrieks and happily follows suit. I just sat there in awe. I expected my friend to say "...ah, grasshopper, soon you too will learn similar tricks..."
I think I will keep this friend around a little longer...like till my kids are 18.
Monday, August 21, 2006
The Boys in the Church
I started thinking to myself, how much enrichment could she possibly be getting when she's hearing about every tenth word? I didn't berate her for not putting her kids in the church nursery, though, because I don't really like to put my kids in there either. All this would have probably kept me at home had I been alone with my two kids that morning. I sat watching my content son playing with his toy tractor in the pew and thanked God for that, that I could hear the readings and participate. I thanked Him (in advance) that my other son would be entertained by his dad for a while, and I'd be able to hear some more of the service. I thanked Him for my peaceful feeling at the end of Mass, not exhaustion or frustration. I thanked God for all these things because I realized that He doesn't always work in big ways, that sometimes His presence is felt in smaller ways.
(All that said, my husband ended up taking both my boys home since we live next door to the church, because they were getting out of hand. I thank God for him, too!)
Anyway, I'm sure that woman will continue bringing her boys to church, with or without her husband, and month by month they will get easier and easier during Mass. And pretty soon she will be able to hear the whole service while they sit quietly beside her. (I, myself, am anticipating that day!) And she will be glad she brought them to church yesterday and all the Sundays in between, and didn't stay home.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
I love going to mom's but it is so hard to stay on my eating plan there. I get in a vacation mode where I give myself license to eat anything in sight. And the boys are into everything (one is 11 months and walking and the other is 2.5 and running, climbing, swinging, etc.) It is wonderful having mom to help me with them but it is still stressful enough to drive me to her cookie jar, which, I might add, is one of those clear ones with the metal lid. Ya know, come to think of it, I bought her that blasted thing a few years ago for Christmas!
No exercise today. I'm really having trouble in the motivation department where that's concerned. My little one is up at 6 a.m. every morning. I got a million excuses...