Saturday, December 30, 2006

So This is Christmas......

Ah, it's over.

I can't say that I am happy to be home and that sucks. I remember when I would be somewhere and that nice feeling I would get when I would be home in my own home. I don't get that here, never have, and this is probably the place we have lived the longest. Sigh.



We actually did have a pretty nice Christmas after the whole miss-the-Santa snafu. I am still surprised that everyone got pissed at me for getting pissed at them. I don't see how they can't understand why that would upset me.....but I am letting it go, watch me.....throwing it away, never to speak of it again. la, de, la, de, la....

Why the heck can't I get a decent picture ever? I pretty much gave up after this......

So, without further adieu, I present to you Santa's Hits and Misses of 2006


* Cars Dirt Race Track Set - Hours of fun and entertainment until the little one runs off with the cars. Male parent figure is needed to "try it out" before relinquishing controls to children.

* This car, these cars, and this car - It's all Cars all the time around here.

* A harmonica - Jacob has wanted a harmonica for ages. He actually does a pretty good job with do you actually play those things anyway?

* Crayola Art Case and a big roll of paper - Jacob thinks he's a real artist now.

* A small yellow hummer - Adam loves hummers, enough said.

* Ramone's House of Body Art and Casa Della Tires - Well, technically Gammy brought those, but in keeping with the whole Cars theme which I think became our Christmas, I think these might have been the ultimate favorite.


Candy - We weren't allowed loads of candy as a kid, but Santa kept our stockings filled each year with good, from-the-candy-store candy. Well, our candy store was named KwikEMart, but dang, someone knew what they were doing when they stocked the candy. Santa apparently thought my kids (and neice) would love the same, but no, tossed aside like pairs of socks. Jacob actually put his in a pile and asked for an apple. What was I, uh, I mean Santa thinking?

Necco Wafers - Of course, Adam is my little sweet tooth. He wasn't treated as sweetly in the candy department as the others, choking hazards and all, but he did receive a package of these fun treats in his stocking and all present opening ceased for him at that point, so this one actually needs to go with the hits.

Fish Maracas - Impulse buy.....Mama likes them.

Floam - Floam was a huge disappointment. The kids tried to use them like clay to form things. It melts into a big pile sending little girls into hysterical tears......which leads us to....

Moon Sand - I don't yet know if this will be a hit or a miss as I cannot get anyone to play with it. I am dying to get my hands on it though so maybe mama has a non-alcoholic New Year's Eve activity

Cars Carrying Case - Why in the world would you actually store the Cars? They must be under foot at all times, never must they be deprived of oxygen and light. The latches are nice for almost two year olds to pull off and chew on though.

Fisher Price Airplane - Because why would a baby play with a baby toy? It remains untouched and at the lake waiting for baby three.

So the picture recap.......

It was a Cars Christmas........Santa's no dummy.

All boys must have a harmonica........

The calendar was a huge hit......until Abigail puked all over it.

Necco Wafers are so tasty they make my head spin.

All in all it was a good day.....good company, good food, good times (except for the whole Santa thing, la, de, la) Only 359 more days to go.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Is Christmas over yet?

I need a vacation from my vacation.

Abigail is all better, thank goodness, but now my brother-in-law, Jacob, and I have the illness. So far everyone else has been spared. My sister was to head home this morning, and although I truly love her and enjoy her company for the most part, I was looking forward to getting rid of their hairy golden retriever because I believe I have developed an allergy to it. I would also like to see my own dog again. Poor guy.

So, here we sit, cooped up together in various forms of illness in this small, small house. Fun I tell you. On the bright side, there are healthy people (so far) who can play with Adam and make sure he is diapered and fed so I can just sit and be sick. Not the way I envisioned our holiday, but whatever, we'll muddle through.

I hope everyone else had a good holiday. I haven't been able to check on anyone because the dial up here is just so, so slow. Have a happy new year and if you so choose and are able, have a drink for me!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Ho! Ho! Ho!'s over. I love Christmas, really I do, but what a relief to have all that stuff behind us for another year.

Santa was really, really good to the kids. I would share some wonderful photos of them getting their loot but I didn't get any of those. My parents took it upon themselves to let the kids out and into it well before getting us up so we missed it! Yep, I missed seeing my oldest bask in the glow of Santa goodies in what could be the last year he believes in him, but I am the bitch who just ruins everything for getting upset about it. So, yes, I hit the ceiling and fought with my family on the happiest day of the year. Loads and loads of fun. It sucks to be pregnant at the holidays, especially around my family. I need a drink.

Abigail woke up puking this morning, apparently she has some sort of virus that was going around her day care, so I figure the rest of us will be spewing about the time we are to head for home....more fun. My dog has not been allowed in the house the entire time and he is a total inside dog. I am so sad watching him shiver out there, but he isn't allowed in because my sister brought her dog and it doesn't like my dog so they have to be separated.....Ezra always gets the short end of the stick on that deal. I feel so sorry for him. He will need many dentabones when we return home.....My mom and I have been cooking and cleaning and watching the kids while everyone else watches crappy movies because this is my sister's vacation......she works you know.

It hasn't been all bad. I actually enjoy spending the time with Abigail (aside from the pukiness today) and we finally did tell Jacob this morning that he has a new sibling coming and he didn't completely fall apart as I expected. He's not overjoyed, but he didn't have a meltdown, so that's positive right? Plus, Jacob has been exceptionally well behaved the past few days. I don't know if it's the threat of coal or the influx of people has made him suddenly timid, but it's the first time we have all been together and I haven't had to keep him timed out most of the time. Maybe he's maturing...maybe there is hope for him after all.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Santa is Coming......

I think we are off to begin the Christmas festivities today. The dad is still on call because although he covers for others all the time no one will do it for him so he gets the house to himself for the next three days. He is trying hard to contain his excitement about it. Yet again he gets more free time.

I think we have everything covered. Gifts? Check. Clothes packed? Check. Laptop? Charged and ready to go. You may hear from me in the coming days, but don't hold your breath. I am going to the land of slow dial up so we shall see how it goes.

I leave you with last year's Santa photo as the scanner is completely beyond repair.

Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad! Buon Natale! Yada, yada, yada........

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

One Day I'll Sleep Again

They say women forget the minute details of pregnancy and giving birth so that they will be willing to repeat the process over and over to populate the world. Some sort of primal thing or something. I don't know if that is completely true because I do remember the agonizing pain of contractions, the messed up c-section and complete meltdown I had two years ago, and the days of wondering if I would ever feel my left leg again, yet I did forget some very important details about being pregnant. The first one, obviously, was just how horrible it is to puke daily for months on end and the second, which is just now coming to light for me is the insomnia. Oh, my wretched hell.

For the past couple of weeks I have been awake between 1:30 and 4:30 every single night. My husband awakens at 5 making as much racket as humanly possible while trying not to make noise for almost an hour and then kids are up by 6:30 typically so essentially I am getting about three hours a sleep a night. I am tired. I am cranky. I need some sleep. Oh, what I wouldn't give for a vidodin right now. So, yeah, it really is 2:49 a.m.


My husband has a weird little quirk (well, many, but this is just one)......he awakens in the middle of the night and invades the kitchen and scarfs whatever is available. Sometimes he is awake (and he swears he is) but other times I have caught him so zombie like that I know he is sleeping and he usually doesn't remember doing it the next day. I have learned to hide anything I really covet in my upstairs closet, sick I know, but I was getting tired of waking up disappointed to find Butterfinger wrappers all over the table and all my limited edition Holiday Spice Pepsi that can no longer be found sucked dry. I saw a piece on 20/20 a couple years ago about people who regularly do this and they have found a link to this behavior and eventual onset of multiple sclerosis in some. Interesting. Something else I will have to look out for as I already worry he is developing early alzheimers because he can never remember anything I say to him.

So.....I spent all day Saturday and some of Sunday baking. I was a baking fool. I cranked my Christmas tunes and sent my family away and baked eleven different kinds of cookies and candies. I was a regular Betty Crocker. I wanted to give some away and then bring the rest up to the lake to have handy because I know my parents will have visitors this weekend and into next week and I didn't want my mom worrying about what to prepare. I had TONS of goodies..........(notice it says had?)

As I was putting the breakfast (and lunch) dishes in the dishwasher I noticed my festive red and green dishes. I looked over in the corner, behind the mixer where I thought I was hiding them, and found most of my creations totally gone. The best molasses cookies in the world...gone. The thumbprints that he said he didn't like.....all gone. The pizzelles, a few left but in shambles. The only thing that survived was some peanut butter fudge and some toffees that I placed in a tight inconspicuous can. I felt like Ralphie's dad when he realized they wouldn't be having turkey for Christmas dinner. No Christmas cookies! Say it ain't so. The kids and I didn't even get to taste them. Grrrrr.

But I have that nice refrigerator magnet........

Yeah, must be nice.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Tuesday Tidbits

Six more days until Christmas. Every time I think I am done with everything, something else comes up. I am tired. Where is Santa when you need him?

Speaking of Santa, I truly must remember to do this next year......
As you know, we are spending the holidays with my family at the lake next week. This is the first time we have been with my sister in three years. It's kind of a pain to drag a bunch of presents all the way up there just to haul them back a week later, but it must be done! Anyway, once my mom was okayed to drive she drove a the Walmart and back because, really, that's all there is up there. My sister caught wind of this and would call every third day or so to tell my mom another funny story about something that Abigail wanted for Christmas and could she pick that up for her so she wouldn't have to transport it? My mom did as she was asked and when we went up to the lake last weekend Jacob couldn't find one present for himself as they were all for Abigail. I mean, she outnumbers him four to one easily, he was a little irked, but he got over it because he knows Santa will be good to him. Well, yesterday my mom and sister were conversing about one of said presents and my mom was saying how really excited she was to give it to her and my sister let my mom know.....oh, no, those are all from Santa! Where my mom says, well then she doesn't have any gifts for Abigail and then my sister says, well, I don't have anything from Santa and, of course, my mom gives in. Geez.....I spent a small fortune on "Santa". My sister didn't pay a dime. Where did I go wrong here?

My husband has returned from his manly vacation. I laughed out loud at him last night when he totally figured he would leave me another evening so he could go to church again. Let's see, he went to a Christmas party, a five night vacation, and will have three nights alone later this week. Uh, no. When I reminded him that he just got back from vacation he told me that he really didn't consider it a vacation that it was a lot of work because he had to entertain his friend so much. Oh boo, hoo, hoo. That cool gift I was waiting on......a refrigerator magnet. It really tells someone thank you for caring for my offspring alone for many days don't you think?

Tracey asked about girl names. I don't have any picked out this time around yet, but we were going with Grace the first time and Rachel the second time. Derick is really all into Grace still, but I don't like it as much as I did six years ago and was starting to wonder about Rachel toward the end of the last pregnancy. They are nice names and I could use them if I had to, but I am hoping to find something else this time.

The more I think about it and say it in my head, Caleb isn't for me. In fact, none of them are for me. The few names I really like have been taken already by friends or family members. That's what happens when you are old having children. My husband wants one that two families we know have used semi-recently. He says it's our kid and we should name it whatever we want to call it since we will have to be the ones using it the rest of our lives, I think it just makes us look half looney and like we couldn't come up with something on our own. What are your thoughts on that because, like, there are about six names we really like that fall into that category.

Monday, December 18, 2006

What's in a Name?

Now that I am 21 weeks and feeling the baby move every second of the day, I figured I needed to get started on finding a name for this little one. I threw out my old baby name books (along with all the pregnancy and first year books, I was sure confident we wouldn't be here again) so I checked one out at the library. I am currently working on boy names because they have stumped us in the past and I always have the two girl names I chose previously to fall back on if I don't get to girl choosing by April.

I made it through E last night. I like to look at the meanings of each name and some of them really were......well, interesting.

For example:

Aghy means the friend of the horse

Balbo means one who mutters

Balasi means one who is flat footed

Barr means lawyer (that makes sense)

Biagio means one who stutters

Caddis means resembling a worsted fabric

Cameo means a small, perfect child, which, of course, I will have, but Cameo, next

Denali means from the national park

Derick means the ruler of the tribe, but I won't let him know this

Eustace means having an abundance of grapes

The only name I found in A - E that I remotely liked was Caleb, yet Caleb means dog and also the head vampire on Port Charles was Caleb and since the show has been cancelled for three years and I still remember that, I most likely will remember that as I am yelling down the street for my kid ten years from now. Soooooo.......back to the book.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Can They Really Do That?

Have you heard that NYC will be banning trans fats in all their restaurants?

I guess you could say that it might make for a healthier city and eventually, I am sure, country, but, really, why should the government say what I can and cannot eat? If I choose to drive thru the Mickey Ds, I should be able to enjoy it.

I find it interesting, though, that everyone is going on and on about how unhealthy it is to eat in America, yet smoking is still okay. Why do I have to breathe the smoke of others just to get into a store or walk through the park? I am not hurting others by eating a donut, yet strangers could possibly be causing my unborn child health problems because I am subjected to inhaling their smoke if I choose to go outside. In my opinion, no one is forcing anyone to eat out at restaurants or binge on fatty foods, that's a choice. Anyone who says they didn't know the fast food joints were unhealthy are lying or have been living in a fall out shelter ala Adam Weber all their life. Even my five year old knows that chicken nuggets aren't good for him and that fruit is a better choice. It is not a choice, however, to breathe smoke from other's cigarettes and cigars in public places. If we can ban food, let's make smoking a private affair, something to be done at home or in your car or far, far away from building entrances. If the government will do that, then I will jump on the trans fat ban wagon.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Santa 2001

Well, I give up on ever getting my scanner fixed or being able to enter a nonchaotic store in the near future so instead of the awesome cute picture of my boys with Santa (you don't know what you're missing) you get Jacob at nine months with Santa for the first time. Enjoy.

Yes, I forgot to put his shoes on.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Etiquette 101

Okay......I probably should have mentioned this when I wrote about the weird things about me. I have a thing about thank you notes.

My mom taught me how to write a good thank you note as soon as I learned to write and I was expected to write one for everything I received and I did faithfully. It was just what was expected, proper etiquette. If you give me something, even as small as a piece of candy, you will get a thank you card from me within two weeks.

Because of this, I expect thank you notes in return. I know it's petty and, honestly, I realize people are busy and such, but having this beaten into me all my life I can't let it go. I figure if I buy someone a wedding gift or a graduation gift or especially anything I have mailed far away, a thank you note isn't too much to ask for me to know if you got the gift or I need to start calling the post office and inquiring about cashing in that insurance. Now, kid birthday parties are a little different, mainly because most kids we know can't read or write yet and they say thank you while we are there and, really, in this world a verbal thank you is great, but my kids have and always will send a thank you card even if I have to be the one to pen it.

Last year I mailed out one wedding gift, two baby gifts, and a graduation gift. The giftee should not have been disappointed either as I gifted well for all occasions. I am still waiting on those thank you notes. I eventually even emailed the wedding gift recipient after giving her the requisite three months and then some to see if it actually arrived because it cost me dearly and I got a short reply. Basically, yep we got that, thanks. Uh huh. The other ones, nothing, nada, yet I know one of the baby gifts was received as I got a mass email with a picture of said gift on kid a few months ago. Uh huh. I know it's a lost cause at this point, but I know I will forever remember that I gifted these people and was not thanked appropriately. I hate being like that, but it's just how I am, so sue me.

A few days ago I went to the mail and found a thank you note from the couple whose wedding we attended back in November. Score. I was so impressed to see that envelope with the big thank you sticker that I was promoting them in my mind to stellar human beings, when I opened it and found something like this (now is when I really want a new scanner because it's much better on paper):

Derrick/Andriea (spelled incorrectly although they got it right on the invite)

Thanks for the gift card.


WTF???? That chick couldn't even bother writing out the word and! Did she not get the little memo about how to write an appropriate wedding thank you, like maybe thank us for coming to their boring shindig? The real kicker.......we didn't buy them a gift card. I spent an entire morning perusing her registry (third marriage) for a kick ass gift and they have no idea what we bought for them. Amazing. I can still point out all our gifts and tell you who sent what and I sent out awesome thank you notes too, thank you very much.

What happened to the art of writing? When did it become okay to be so lax when dealing with others? What is wrong with sitting down and writing three lines expressing appreciation for something? It's so sad. I miss thank you notes.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Tuesday Tidbits

Well, only two more days until the daddy comes home. I am thinking he better come bearing expensive gifts because this was more than I bargained for. He likes to call each evening to let us know he's doing allright and what great amounts of sleep he is getting and that, hey, tonight we are going out for steak and maybe sushi tomorrow. Yeah, better be a nice a gift for a night in a nice hotel alone with all the PF Changs I can eat. I really don't want to hear about the great food and atmosphere while I have just opened my fourth can of tomato soup amidst screaming wails and loud toys. I am secretly glad, though, when he calls and is wheezing because he isn't used to the air "up there"

I took the kids up to the lake for the weekend. It was awesome cold up there, I couldn't even force the kids outside or even the dog, so we stayed curled up by the fireplace and ate junk and watched all the Christmas shows on ABC Family. I am wondering how many times my kid can watch Polar Express before getting sick of it, because I am on the verge.

There were some tense moments last week when we Mountaineers were thinking we might lose our Rich Rod......Alabama offered him a decent deal that, frankly, I am shocked he turned them down, but whew, he says he's staying put so we can all breathe a little easier. Yeah, I couldn't turn my back on my team for too long. I own too much gold and blue, it would be hard to replace all that.

I came home to find a hugongous package on our doorstep. Yet again, my mother in law sent an awfully expensive tray of cheese and meats for the holidays. Every year, same thing. She keeps Figis in business. Now, I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but we spend the rest of the year paying her bills, she is on disability and essentially broke, but come Christmas she is full of the spirit and insists that we have these little tidbits. I try really hard not to get a twitch about it, but when her bills start rolling in this February it's hard to be happy about more nitrate laden goodies. At least with Derick gone the next few days, the kids and I can eat the candies, nuts, and cakes before he even knows we got them. year she attached a card that said that the nuts were specifically for Derick. OH, and Derick got his yearly Christmas card from his dad.....addressed only to him. In his dad's world, the kids and I do not exist and for whatever reason, my husband is okay with that. I was put out about it at first, but now it's just kind of funny sad. Did I mention before that my inlaws hate me?

I think I am going out this afternoon to purchase another scanner. My husband will hit the roof, but I have been begging asking him to fix this one for some time and it hasn't happened yet and I cannot let Christmas pass without emailing everyone I know the picture of my kids with Santa....or my cool ultrasound photos. Of course, I would have no earthly idea how to hook it up, but those things come with directions right?

Friday, December 08, 2006

AAGGHH! Someone stole my baby and replaced him with this big child! How could this have happened? Where is my baby?

The dingo took my baby.....

Jacob's kindergarten school picture
September 2006
Is this the little boy I carried?....Sunrise, Sunset...sniff, sniff

Thursday, December 07, 2006


After vacuuming, scrubbing toilets, folding laundry, and baking a snack for Jacob's class, I sat down to rest and possibly watch an old, old episode of Men in Trees when my oldest son ran downstairs in such hysterics I was sure something horrible had happened.

Well, to me it was horrible......he has his first loose tooth! Now , he is just a wee baby, how can he be losing his teeth? I am not ready for this......first the teeth, next the driver's license. Why do they grow so quickly???

I am trying really hard to hold it together as he is so excited, but I want to cry seeing that very first tooth that appeared in his mouth will now be the very first tooth to leave it. I cried for hours when he got that first tooth, at seven months, because he was losing some of his there is no babyness to be found and I am so, so sad.

Here he is the day he got that first can't see it, but it was there. Even the poor dog was sad.

Bah! Humbug!

Okay....I am officially pissed about the week long skiing trip.

When he first brought this to my attention, like five minutes after his friend proposed, I made every effort to be the nice supportive June Cleaver wife and sit with a smile as he voiced his plans and excitement over the fun, fun, fun they would have. What started out as a three day weekend has now blossomed into a full week of ski and drink and good times which I imagine is not cheap. The money isn't that big an issue to me, I mean I'm not making any money, he may as well spend his daily wages how he wants, but it does kind of grate on my nerves when he starts ranting about not having any money to retire on when I purchase my baby a pair of seven dollar pajamas, but an expensive vacation is a-ok. Of course, I should clarify that whenever my husband receives a bonus of any type he deposits it in his very own savings account that can only be accessed by his "money" to do what he wants with, it isn't "shared" money that we could use to pay bills or save for a new house. I guess that's fine, but I work my ass off every single day, where the hell is my bonus? I guess the fact that I get to eat and have a roof over my head is bonus enough huh? At least that is the way he makes me feel about it. In my husband's eyes I sit on my ass all day long because even though by the time he makes it home 12 hours later each day I have cleaned the house three times, washed four loads of laundry, cooked three meals, ran all the errands, and entertained his children, all he sees are the couch cushions on the floor because I didn't scramble quickly enough to pick them up for the fortieth time or the sticky spots on the floor, or chili AGAIN how dare me.

Last evening I had the balls to put my pajamas on at 7 and climb into bed to watch television alone. I figured he was getting six nights alone, I was going to take my turn and you know what? My kids didn't get bathed until after 9 because my husband was stomping around in a snit vacuuming (after I had already done it that day) and bitching about our filthy, cluttered house and how he could get it all done in an hour what the hell am I doing all damn day while dragging that vacuum right into the bedroom interrupting my alone time. He was pissed because I wasn't up scurrying around like a crazy person all evening long. The hell? He gets a VACATION and I am supposed to feel guilty for going to bed early? Now, my husband is not a horrible person, he is just painfully misguided and has unrealistic ideas about how a wife is supposed to behave. He is expecting Donna Reed; he is going to be waiting an awfully long time.

His friend is arriving this afternoon, spending the night so they can take the red eye to Denver in the morning, I know I am expected to make a huge meal and probably a big breakfast as well. I am sure he wants the house spotless and the kids on their best behavior (lol). I can do all those things, except maybe the kid thing, but why is it so necessary? Why can't we go out for pizza and they pick up a cinnamon bun at the terminal tomorrow?

Yeah, yeah, my marriage vows say somewhere that I should submit to the husband and follow his lead, yada, yada, yada, but really, do I have to be happy about it? My husband cannot take a morning off to go to chapel with his son, but can take a week to ski with a dude, this doesn't sit well with me right now. Of course, the last time they took a trip together they were mistaken for a gay couple, so just knowing they will probably get that again helps a little, but geez, I am tired and achy and desperate for more than a three minute shower. So, yes, I am pissed. I suspect by the time he comes home next Friday I will be even more pissed, you know wrestling children 24/7. I cannot be responsible for the credit card bills that come in January....I hear the stores calling my name. Retail therapy, it's good for the soul.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tuesday Tidbits

Well, I have come to some conclusions about the whole wedding deal. First of all.....we were told the wrong month. It's February 24, not March 24, as previously thought. Better, but still not great. That makes me 32 weeks and since son number 1 came at 32 weeks I just prefer to stay around home then. My husband's suggestion was that he take the kids with him and surely someone there would want to wrestle watch them while he stood up front during the long, long Catholic mass. Yeah, right. I think I am going to have my good friend Erin come and spend the weekend with me. If I don't go into labor we can spend the time eating out at PF Changs and shopping at the Galleria with all four of our children. Should be loads of fun. (*BTW...Erin, you are up for that right?*) Very ironic that she would leave Baton Rouge to come here when the wedding is in Baton Rouge. Now, if they had just waited until June.......

My husband is going to Colorado, Breckenridge to be exact, on Thursday. He will be staying a week. Apparently it is necessary for him to take the groom on a paid-on-our-dime trip before the wedding and, well, since the wedding is only a few weeks away, this is the time. Boy, I would love to have a week vacation........even one where the kids come along sounds good to me at this point. Funny how we can never afford a vacation any other time.

So, that leaves me with the kids alone for an entire week, night and day. I will miss my sorority Christmas party, mom's night out, and I will have to take the kids through the drive through Bethlehem by myself. Yep, sure would love a vacation or, shit, a bath by myself one day.

You know, I haven't had to dig out the maternity clothes yet. I am shocked. Of course, I wouldn't know where to look for them even if I did need them, but heck, I am 19 weeks now and still sleeping on my stomach and wearing my size 6 jeans. All that puking was good for something.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Beating a Dead Horse

I wanted to thank you all for the kind words on the Jacob situation. It isn't the end of the world, but it is very frustrating to me. Like anyone else, I just want what is best for my child and I am finding it all a little eye opening because I always figured he would just do what everyone else does and do well. I am still not convinced he won't do well if we continue on the beaten path. I agree with those of you who said that he had a few months to mature and also that the teacher is judging him a little early having been only in school three months. Where it gets sticky, though, and this is why the teacher brought it to my attention so early, is that if I want him to continue to go to the private school next year, I need to enroll him in early February or he will lose his spot. Also, if I want to look at other private schools and find one that may better suit his needs, same thing. Soooooo.......I need to get busy. My immediate plan is to spend a morning observing him in the classroom. I want to see how he relates with the other kids and how he works with the teacher. I am inclined to think that boredom is a big issue on his end because all they do for the three hours he is there each day is, work, work, and then on Wednesdays go to chapel. There are no crafts, no playtime, no fun centers in the room. It's not like the kindergarten you and I went to. Jacob is all about art and writing and making up stories at this point and he gets no opportunity at all in school to do this. All he does is print letters, add numbers, and read flashcards.......stuff he has been doing for over a year now. I am highly trained in observing children and documenting their needs and weaknesses....I did it for years when I was a special education teacher. I am just wondering how objective I can be with my own child. Michelle asked about an IEP and an aide for him. That might work in the public school, but private schools do not have access to those kinds of services, at least this one does not. I also don't know if I am ready for him to go through all the testing that is involved with obtaining an IEP at this age. When I did this for a living I found kids who were tested before the end of first grade were sometimes misdiagnosed and labeled unfairly for the three years they were required to keep the IEP and in many cases judged by their papers instead of their abilities. Some teachers just couldn't look past the label and that was sad, but true. Now, that doesn't mean that next year, if we go the public school route, that I wouldn't go for it then, I just think three months into school may be a little extreme, at least for my kid, another reason I want to see what he's doing in may be a big eye opener to me. Also, I am not against retention at the grade school level and from previous experience with other school kids, kindergarten is usually the best time to do it (if not before). If he were having academic issues it would be my first approach, but he doesn't and I cannot even imagine how odd it would be for him to sit in a classroom again learning the same things he has learned the past two years. It would be like watching reruns over and over.......I imagine his behavior issues would only get worse at that point. I think, academically, that homeschooling is the way to go. I have been "homeschooling" him for years and he has learned well from me and I know he would continue to make progress cognitively, I just don't know how it would affect him from the social aspect. I mean, it won't be like I will be keeping him under lock and key for the next two years, but it won't be what he is used to and, right now, he really, really likes the cameraderie that school time brings. I don't know how he would like it if I took him out for such a long time; he really does like the structure of school. I also wonder if I would have the stamina to be up all night with a new baby and be the best teacher I can be for Jacob. So, decisions need to be made, the sooner the better. I am sure whichever path we choose we will find a way to make a good situation out of it. I am also sure that whatever we do I will second guess it every step of the way. Parenting ain't all it's cracked up to be sometimes....gee thanks to all of you who tricked me by making it look so easy.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Doesn't it Rain A Lot in March?

Remember I mentioned before that my husband's best friends was finally getting married? Well, they set a date...... the last Saturday in March. Again, who plans an elaborate wedding in three months? I know my mom ended up having to sew my bridesmaid dresses because everything we chose would take up to six months to be ready.....not to mention my own dress. She must be buying off the rack. Anyway......more dilemma. Shit, it wouldn't be my life if there were no dilemma.

The date of their wedding will be the exact day I turn 36 weeks pregnant. To any normal pregnant person, this might not be an issue. To me....big issue. My first son was born at 32 weeks, water just broke no reason behind it, he just showed up one Sunday morning. Second son was born at 37 weeks before his scheduled c-section with full blown labor. Now, very different situations, but it still stands that my kids come early.....on Saturday nights.'s already a given that I won't be attending the wedding (which, thank you very much, your gift won't be as nice as I was planning) but husband is the best man and expects to show up. According to him I am being extremely selfish, but I really don't want to be left alone for four straight days over a Saturday night with my track record. It might be different if it were our first child and I could go to the hospital alone, but how in holy hell would I drag two kids there and give birth in front of them??? Uh, yeah. So far, this is husband's input.......I will have a scheduled c-section in April and this isn't that day....because we all know those babies know how to read a calendar and well, I met some lady at that Christmas party that you couldn't go to because you were home watching the kids while I had a grand old time, who had her third baby while her husband listened in on the phone, isn't that neat? Uh, and what did she do with her other kids? He doesn't know, but apparently a phone birth sounds pretty cool so the hell with them that's the way to go.

Now, I am not a complete shrew. I really want him to go this *&%$ing wedding, this is his best friend and he was there for husband on his day, but WTF? Do I just hope upon hope that nothing happens and number three stays put until it's actual birth date or am I a horrible wife because I don't want to be left alone with the what ifs that close? Oh, and my mom won't be coming for this one's birth (or staying for four weeks like before either, oh shit) so pawning everything off on her like we have done in the past isn't an option, you know the whole she almost died and now can't do things like she used to thing. It just makes me realize AGAIN how alone and isolated we are here. I want to go home.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

What's Your Favorite Christmas Carol?

Sadie tagged me for my favorite Christmas tunes.

Name your favorite Christmas Songs and tag some favorite bloggers to Meme their favorites, too.

My favorite Christmas carol is Hark, the Herald Angels Sing. My Papaw passed away the Christmas I was five and I remember driving the eight hours up to Arkansas with my parents knowing something was wrong listening to Christmas songs on the am radio. My sister and I slept most of the way but at some point we stopped at a big building, I am guessing a hospital or funeral home, where my mom got out and my dad stayed in the car with us. My sister was around 14 months old at the time and she woke up screaming and I remember my dad singing the tunes from the radio trying to calm her. I remember so vividly Nat King Cole coming on singing Hark, the Herald Angels Sing and curling up with my dad and sister while my dad cried. I had never seen him cry before that. I always remember that everytime I hear it.

When we were growing up, my parents had a Nat King Cole Christmas album, it apparently isn't made anymore because I looked everywhere for it, but it was in a green cover with a bunch of little kids on it and we looked forward to getting that out every year. My sister and I always coveted a little girl's mary janes on the cover....we with our corrective brown ugly shoes always wanted a pair of mary janes, but anyway there were a few songs from it Buon Natale, The Happiest Christmas Tree, and Mrs. Santa Claus that we adored. I found a cassette of it years ago and snagged it but ended up leaving it at one of the schools I worked at...I finally found a few of the songs on itunes last year and was able to make a good CD with all my finds.

A couple of years ago at the beginning of my American Idol phase, I bought Clay Aiken's Christmas album. Can I just say I love every song on it and will continue to listen to it clear through January in spite of his highly publicized feud with the great Kelly Ripa. Oh, Holy Night and Mary Did You Know are my favorites, but they are all good.

Of course, no Christmas collection would be complete without Jingle Cats. Some guy actually recorded his many cats meows over a very long time and then had so much free time that he was able to edit them all into actual Christmas carols. It's a riot and Jacob's favorite.

Thank goodness for itunes. I haven't had to buy a Christmas CD since I got my ipod (except the new Brad Paisley one, but that's a given) picking and choosing and then putting my favorites on a CD rather than sit through a mediocre album for a few good songs really is the way to go. I found Heat Miser on it last year and we listen to it all year round. It was also where I found Sting singing Gabriel's Message in classic Sting style. Cool song.

OH! How could I forget! I have my three year old son on video tape singing Feliz Navidad with the words completely massacred, but it's so cute I can't help but chuckle every time I hear it over the loud speakers at the Kroger. Police Mommy Dot......I might have to put that on youtube.

So, there you have it. I could go on and on since I love Christmas music but I am itching to see what all of you like.......if you are reading this, consider yourself tagged!

It's So Cold!

I am cracking up over here. Every year when the weather starts to "get cold" the Texans all blow a gasket and act like the earth is going to dissolve around them. I could not find one radio station on the way to school this morning that wasn't warning everyone to get out and get prepared for the cold front. The low is going to be 30 people.....30! That's the low.....highs will still be in the 50s, sweater weather. On the local news last night they were interviewing the salesmen at a coat store and I laughed out loud as the recounted their tales of hard work on the run on coats. Now I realize these Texans blood runs warm, but come on now, is the cold going to hurt you that much? I am in charge of finding day care workers for my moms group and I can't find any takers because no one "wants to get out in the weather". It amazes me. Thirty degrees for a high can be normal this time of year where I am from....we dealt with it. There was no staying home or rushing out to buy a new coat or beating people up in the Lowes for the last space heater. It was life. I am stoked for 30 degrees....I can't wait to wear warm pajamas tonight and actually turn off my air conditioner. It's should be cold! Bring on the snow!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Now What?


Ah, Jacob. Is it possible to see your child's future in his three month old face? I swear, I knew I would be right where I am today while pacing ruts in my floor with my screaming infant. I always joked that I felt sorry for his words come back to haunt me.

Jacob is and always has been a hard child. I never realized how much until I was blessed with an easy child. This doesn't make me love him any less, in fact, I probably err on the side of caution and lavish more love on the harder child because it makes him and me feel better in the midst of the many issues we go through.

As an infant he was a colicky preemie. My visions of motherhood bliss quickly flew right out the window and I cried right along with him each day as I was frustrated and frazzled and sure he was going to drop dead at any moment, because holy hell, something had to be wrong with him to cry that much. As he got older, he got better, but he was always so busy and loud and just totally into things....normal for a boy, in my opinion. When he was two I enrolled him in a mother's day out program where he spent two mornings a week for three months. He was a fantastic talker at that point and started telling me each afternoon how he spent the entire time in "the office". After inquiring about this, I found out the teachers refused to work with him and the director deemed him "high functioning autistic". A woman with a GED and no college credit was telling me this. Apparently there was a clause in their enrollment papers that stated they did not have to teach autistic kids. I hit the roof when I showed up on his last day and found a woman from the local college there to observe him, but vindicated when she sided with me and found him to be nothing more than highly energetic. After that fiasco, Jacob developed a fear of women, then eventually a fear of men and then even other children. When it got to the point where we could not stroll through the Walmart without him attempting to throw punches at everyone who passed, we sought help. The woman spent fifteen minutes with him and said he had aggressive anxiety and gave us a list of ways we could help him with that and we did. Over time, we saw a big improvement in his behavior and he can now, most of the time, control his anxious tendencies and his aggression.

Fast forward three years and we have a big strapping kindergartener, smart as a whip, a long way from that wailing banshee of baby days. I am wandering through with my head in the clouds thinking things are a-ok and happy that my kid is doing so well when I get a note from the teacher requesting a meeting with red ink. Uh oh, this can't be good. So two, maybe three weeks ago I meet with her and am told that Jacob is really too immature for school at this point. Although, I wasn't really surprised to hear her say that, it was still a slap in the face. You never want to hear negative things about your child, no matter how true they may be.

Now.........last spring when kindergarten was looming, I brought this up to my loving, yet dense in these matters, husband. I, myself, after witnessing the emotional beatings he took from the more mature kids at preschool and just observing his actions, for oh, five years, felt that where Jacob was five and academically capable of entering school, he was still more like a four year old in his social and behavioral interactions. Husband scoffed and said I was an overprotective mother not ready for my son to leave the nest. I have a degree in early childhood education with an emphasis in kindergarten and a masters degree in special education with emphasis in behavior disorders yet, I am labeled nervous mother by those closest to me unwilling to hear my case. So, against my better judgement I sent him off to school with my head stuck in the sand hoping that all would go well. Now, things aren't going badly, per se, but the teacher is getting increasingly frustrated with his inability to just sit down, organize himself, and work like a five year old. I have been there, man, I was the teacher for many years, I know where she is coming from so I hold her no ill will. She is working hard with Jacob and he is making some progress, albeit small. is my dilemma. Jacob attends private school so he can go only half a day. Our public schools are full day kindergarten and I was able to negotiate with the husband that hell would freeze over before Jacob would be able to sit in a classroom for eight and a half hours a day. So far, I like it, he likes it and academically the kid is doing first grade work and soaring through it. But being a private school, they do not have to promote kids to the next grade if they don't want to. Jacob's teacher has informed me that if Jacob does not mature immensely in the next few months that she would not recommend he go on to first grade. Okay, have dealt with this before on the other end, I get her point, BUT, she agrees Jacob is probably the smartest kid in the class and repeating kindergarten would just be a huge waste of time for him academically as by then he will probably be able to move on to second grade work. SOOOO.....these are my options:

1. I can keep him at the private school, he repeats half day kindergarten and just learns absolutely nothing new but will supposedly learn and mature behaviorally.
2. I can enroll him in an all day transitional first grade class at the private school where he would still be behind the regular first grade class and probably learning nothing new, but may be able to catch up emotionally with his peers since the kids in that class will be the same age.
3. I can take him out of the private school and enroll him in all day kindergarten at our public school where again he won't learn anything new but maybe he will be on track with his year younger peers there.
4. I may be able to get him into first grade at the public school where in the teacher's words, "they will eat him alive" and she still doesn't feel he will be ready to be in school all day.
5. I can homeschool for the next two years until he has matured enough to enter third grade with kids his own age

I, personally, want to try the homeschool approach but my husband and mother and school teacher friends are adamently against it. They believe since he has maturity issues he needs to learn how to interact in school and around others. I think I can cruise him through the next two grades academically easily in two, maybe one year, and we can assess his maturity level at the next year and go from there. No one agrees with me. I don't want him going to school for a whole extra year when he has the skills to even skip a grade. If everyone had listened to me to begin with I would have held him back a year, as the teacher said would have been best for him, we wouldn't even be worrying about this right now. What good are all those fancy degrees if no one believes you have the sense to use them anyway? It's always something......

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Tuesday Tidbits

Argh...I just found out that my husband is on call until Christmas morning. I am so pissed. We missed Christmas last year because he was working and now we may miss it again. This sucks because Derick hoarded vacation to have all this time at the end of the year and now he can't use it. He will end up losing at least a week. How ironic that the biggest reason he turned down great Ohio job was it offered one less week of vacation. Figures. We had planned on going to the lake on the 21st and having Santa go there and it was also going to be the first Christmas in two years we would spend with my sister's family. My sister has moved heaven and earth to do this and now we may not even be there! She is going to be pissed as well. We could stay here and open presents Christmas morning and then speed like demons to get there by late afternoon but then we miss everything. My family misses everything. My sister has to go back two days after so I will miss all that time with her. What I really want to do is stick with my original plan sans Daddy and then let Daddy be the one to speed like demons to make it there by the time the kids awaken, oh, around 5.

It is hot as Hades. I can't take it anymore. It's almost December and we are wearing shorts. I really, really don't like Texas. Have I mentioned that before?

Did they cancel Brothers and Sisters? I have noticed my tivo isn't picking it up and the only episode coming up is a rerun. Why is it I like every show that no one else does? I still want to know how The Book of Daniel turned out and who killed Sam on Reunion. Dropping shows mid story line is just not fair....I mean, did Joan of Arcadia wage war with evil? We will never know.

I recently heard of an affordable neighborhood on the other side of town that is in close proximity (sorta, kinda) to Derick's crappy job. It never occurred to me to try the other side of the beltway but I am thinking this may be the answer to my prayers. I have given up on thinking my husband will ever leave his current company because he had the perfect opportunity this summer and gave it up. The odds of him being transferred somewhere decent are slim to none so that leaves us living in the depths of hell basically forever. So, what I plan to do is research this place and find out who lives there, what the schools are like, and how far exactly it would be from the job and make a pitch to the husband that we get the hell out of here before next school year...the sooner the better.

Our Thanksgiving meal was awesome if I do say so myself. I had a great time cooking it and an even better time eating it. I made a new green bean dish in the crock pot and it was awesome. The old standbys were pretty good as well. I am ready for more, but alas, it is gone. Can't wait until Christmas to do it all over again. I am thinking about starting a recipe blog because I find so many great, great recipes that would be a shame not to share. If you think you would be interested let me know because you want this green bean recipe, trust me.

Oh, and these are pizelles....

you need a pizelle iron to make them, it's kind of like a small waffle iron. They are typically flavored with anise and taste like licorice. In northern WV where there are lots of old Italian ladies you can find them a dime a dozen at craft fairs during the holiday season. No such luck here so I got my own iron and will do it myself this year.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Christmas Card Attempt #2 Mommy went crazy in one afternoon.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

To Whom it May Concern.....

Dear Mountaineers,

For the past twenty years I have cheered you on. Through the 1988 unbeaten season to the 1994 1-9 season I was there, donning my blue and gold forever faithful to "my team". I remember with fondness the strains of Simple Gifts and Country Roads played by the Pride of West Virginia before each game. I tear up anytime I see a picture of Mountaineer Field. The years I spent at WVU were among the best in my life and I thank you for being a part of that. I, however, regret to inform you that after today's disappointing and baffling performance against unranked South Florida I can no longer direct my football passion in your direction. We must make a clean break. I have moved on. I now love the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers and will follow them through the Big East Conference. It was fun while it lasted.......

Ho Hum

Since I have nothing interesting to write today, I snagged this little holiday meme from Michelle......feel free to snag from me as well.

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? I love to see the egg nog in the dairy case this time of year but I haven't bought any yet, it's expensive and I am afraid I wouldn't be able to keep it down.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? Santa lays each boy a stack of stuff to be seen as soon as they come down the stairs, but he leaves a few things wrapped in the stocking. I let Jacob choose his own wrapping paper, this year Cars go figure, and he knows the stuff wrapped in that is from us.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Well....we haven't put the outside ones up yet, but last year we did colored on the tree and all white outside. I have always wanted to do all green outside, but the husband thinks it will look bad and he prefers all white...we shall see what happens this year. I think we are attempting that tomorrow. We did all white on the tree this year, but Dad gave up half way through and the top five inches of the tree have no lights. Whatever.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? No

5. When do you put up your decorations? Usually the Friday after Thanksgiving, but the husband got it all out last Sunday and we have been slowly getting them up ever since.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Sausage stuffing and cranberry sauce

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? We had neighbors who had no children who took us in as their own. They came over every single Christmas morning, were there before we woke up, and after they and my parents had set everything out the husband would stop at our bedroom doors and say "ho, ho, ho" in the most convincing voice, we were always so sure we had just missed know I think I am going to invite them to come this year and do that for Jacob, what a kick he would get out of that.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I read really well at an early age and picked up one of my mom's magazines and was reading an article where these women were talking about telling their kids there was no Santa. I was so heartbroken. I couldn't have been more than eight at the time. I have to watch what I write or read now that Jacob can read too.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Well, last year we had our Christmas on Christmas Eve because Derick had to work out of state on Christmas Day, but I don't think we have before.

10. What kind of decorations are on your Christmas Tree? mostly Hallmark ornaments. We didn't plan it that way but we have a really small tree and right now those are the least breakable. I put the breakables away. Maybe in ten years.....

11. Snow! Love it or Dread? Love it! Love it! Love it! Nothing beats a white Christmas.

12. Can you ice skate? a little bit, don't get much of chance to do it here in the hot south.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I had a favorite every year, but I got a big red haired Chrissy doll the year I was seven, I think, that I just adored.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Watching my children delight in everything about them.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? pizelles....I have a pizelle iron this year, can't wait.

16 What is your favorite holiday tradition? My sister and I and all our kids have the exact same stocking made by my mom. Well, except for Adam because my mom had it all in her sewing stuff in WV with intentions of getting his finished for this Christmas but she hasn't been able to go home yet. She feels badly about it but I am just glad she is alive to finish it next year. He won't know the difference.

17. What tops your tree? A very cheap star that makes our tree lopsided

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? I think it's all good.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Hark, the Herald Angels Sing....there is a reason behind that I just don't have time to get into it right now.....another post.

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yummy? Absolutely, positively nasty...I might puke just thinking about them.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, I thought about making a Thursday Thirteen with all the things I am thankful for, but really, I just don't have the time. I am actually surprised I have a few minutes to sit down now. I have been cooking and baking for the past four hours and finally figured I better get clean before the big feast while everythings cooking.

I really wanted to post the ultrasound pictures from yesterday, but still, the scanner does not work. The nice Dr. William H. Macy gave me tons and tons of pictures in all kinds of poses....kind of makes up for the fact that I forgot my video tape AGAIN. signs or trisomy 18 and the amniotic sac has fused nicely. The baby has long fingers and extremely long legs. I told them to begin with that I did NOT want to know the baby's gender and it's a good thing too, I guess, because everytime they would try to get a look it would have it's hands down there. That makes me think it must be a boy as my boys like to put their hands down there as well.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving....give thanks for all you are blessed with as I will.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tuesday Tidbits

Jacob's school is the only one in town still open this week. Poor kid hasn't had a break since school started in August. I guess I should be glad since we are paying for it, but geez louise, even I am tired. The good thing is that they are having a Grandparent's Day program this afternoon and because of that he doesn't have to go to school until noon! Hallelujah! I got to sleep in just the littlest bit and breakfast wasn't rushed and I didn't yell "brush your teeth" once this morning. I also don't even have to drive him there since he will go with my mom for the grandparent festivities. I might actually get Adam to nap today....dare I hope?

Yep, my mom came yesterday. She is doing a lot better, still has some issues with her incision and gets tired easily, but hell, she's alive and able to get around so we're all happy about that. It's hard on the kids, though, as they want to yank and crawl on her all the time and they just don't remember not too. It's hard on her to tell them no, but I am trying to stay on top of it. So we all know what I am thankful for this year.......Boy, things could have been so much worse.

I was so sad to see that Rutgers lost to Cincinnati this weekend.....Cincinnati?? Well, whatever, at least it wasn't Temple. I was really hoping they would go unbeaten this year, even though it wouldn't be good for West Virginia. We have gone unbeaten before, Rutgers hasn't....I hope they can pull it out next year. But.....WVU still has a shot at the Big East championship and a BCS bid so that makes me happy.....just two more games, just two more games......

I have my follow up nuchal scan tomorrow morning. Well, it will probably end up being tomorrow afternoon as long as I waited the last time, but anyway, it's tomorrow. It's been in the back of my mind for the past four weeks, although surprising for me, I haven't worried too much about it. I got my info off google and let it lie. Now I am starting to freak out just a bit. I have a solid plan in my mind of what I would do in the worst case scenario BUT I don't really know what I would do given the worst case scenario. It all looks good on paper ya know? I just kind of feel like I am pushing the envelope. I have two healthy (and extremely good looking) kids, why in the world would I risk having a kid at 38 when I know all that could go wrong? It's so ironic that pregnant ladies can't drink, a beer would calm my nerves well right about now.

My husband gave my baby a mullet this weekend. He cut my kid's hair without even mentioning it to me. I am still a little peeved about it. He cut his bangs so blooming short but didn't touch the back at all because he didn't have time. What? I think cutting your kid's hair is something you need to have some time for. Poor kid. I actually feel kind of sorry for him like maybe all the other one year olds are pointing and laughing at him. See, a mullett......

Yeah, we put the tree up this weekend. We don't usually do it this early, but I wanted to try to get some beautiful photos of my two boys in front of the tree for Christmas cards and get that finished, but so far nothing. All I have now is a big ass mess with all the boxes that need put away (still waiting on husband to do that) and little fingers that can't resist all the pretties on the tree. Too. Much. Trouble. We also have a Hallmark Polar Express bell that rings and says something about the spirit of Christmas lies within your heart, yada, yada, that goes off continually, like in the middle of the night that is about to unnerve me. I have a feeling that bell is going to be hanging outside before it's all said and done.

My husband's best friend finally decided to take the plunge and propose to his girlfriend this weekend. I am thinking maybe he heard us talking about how he would be alone forever with only his cats because he did an about face and is completely jumping on the marriage bandwagon which we thought would never happen. Now, I love a good food, open bar, dance all night. Sweet. When I hear this news I am giddy with the anticipation of it all FOR ME....what fun I can have! Then he slaps on us that they are trying to find a date in February......FEBRUARY! Who plans a wedding in three months? More importantly.....who has a wedding when their pregnant friend can't partake in the alcoholic fun? I am so mean, but I am so hoping they can't find a place that can do it that soon and have to do it, say, in June when I have expelled number three from my body and can enjoy it.

Monday, November 20, 2006

I Need a Drink

Why is there a tree in our house? Why are you making me sit here? You are mean, mean people.......
What would you think if this came in your Christmas card? It really was the best one I got.

Friday, November 17, 2006

I love the of my favorite places.
As I was cruising through the other day I stumbled across this book. I had never heard of it nor the author before, but the cover was cute (yep, judging a book by it's cover) so I picked it up. I am so glad I's a riot! I can relate to everything the character goes through, except that eventually she gets a live in nanny which could so never happen here, but her frustrations and feelings were exactly what I tried to voice to my own husband back in the day. Just reading it makes me feel so much better like I am not the worst mom on the planet because I showered after dinner and did not enjoy all day scream fests.
Apparently the author wrote another book that precedes this one....I am off to hunt for it.

The Love of Brothers

I woke up early this morning, before the kids for a change. After enjoying the solitude, I went into Jacob's room to awaken him for school and found him sitting next to his brother, who was still sleeping. He was just sitting there, stroking his brother's face and rubbing his hair and telling him how much he loved him with the biggest genuine smile on his face. It was the sweetest thing.

Of course, I am not really surprised to witness that.....Jacob has loved Adam since the day he was born. He has been protective and kind and a good brother. How did I get so lucky?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen New Things I Have Found and Enjoy


Sees Candies Gourmet Lollipops. They come in butterscotch, chocolate, vanilla, and cafe latte. Delicious.


Cafe Au Lait, only easier

White Castle cheeseburgers in your grocer's freezer. I love me some White Castle. Did I say I wasn't going to eat fatty foods again? Well, six weeks was a good try.


Cranberry Splash Sierra Mist
It's the only thing that settles my stomach and it is tasty to boot.

5. Tree Top Spiced Apple Cider
Sorry, can't find a picture, but it tastes just like mulled cider and you don't have to do anything. Awesome.


Marzetti Yogurt Fruit Dip
Seems the only thing I can truly stomach these days is fruit and having this little dip around livens it up a bit and its lo-cal.


Go Bananas Snapple
I have been craving this ever since I bought one at a gas station somewhere in Tennessee or maybe Kentucky in May. I haven't been able to find it since but assures me they are still selling it. Love, love, love this stuff.


Coke Blak
I have only had this twice as it is WAY more expensive than I want to spend on a small drink, but it is good.

Sara Lee Blueberry Crumble Bread
I don't personally love this, although it is okay, but Adam can't get enough of it and it's easy to throw a piece on a plate for him in the early morning hours.


Slow Cooker Liner
I use my crock pot at least once a week. It was the best wedding gift we received. I don't know how I lived so long without them. Of course there is all kinds of info floating around about how you shouldn't warm foods around plastic, but shoot, you gotta die of something.


French Vanilla Eggo Waffles
My family has gone through at least thirty boxes of these since I first saw them in September. Please, oh please, don't be a limited run thing. My kids love these and will eat them without syrup they are that tasty.


Haggen Daaz Sticky Toffee Pudding Ice Cream
I saw a show on Food Network this summer called Scoop. HD held a contest to create a new ice cream flavor and the whole show followed three women and their quest to win the contest. In the end, this flavor took the prize although I thought another one sounded much better,something about toasted coconut, lime, and macadamia nuts, but when I saw this in the store I wanted to try it and I wasn't disappointed. I am not much of an ice cream fan though.


Burts Bees Grapefruit and Sugar Beet Shampoo
OK, not food, but I needed thirteen things and this was new and I do enjoy it. It smells great and makes my hair feel nice. Thanks, Erin, for sending it my way.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
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Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Tuesday Tidbits

It's warm again. I miss seasons. I want orange leaves and snow flurries. I want to quit using my air conditioner. It is not right to Christmas shop wearing shorts and flip flops.

We took the kids to see Santa this weekend. Yes, we really did. I absolutely refuse to go to the mall after Thanksgiving so it's become a tradition for us to try to be the first ones on Santa's lap. I thought others might have the same idea, but no, we were pretty much the only ones to chat with Santa that morning. No line, no rush, plenty of time for Jacob to fill Santa in on all his desires PLUS Adam's because no way was Adam hanging with that scary stranger. Remember Easter? I got the most awesome picture too, but now the scanner is broken, so you must face pictures from me for a while.

I am increasingly frustrated by the idiots who cannot follow the drop off rules at Jacob's school each morning. The school has two driveways, one for students from the east of the school the other the west. If you use your assigned driveway the traffic flows in and out flawlessly, yet every day some stupid nut goes out the wrong one. This means where everyone should be turning right to get out and head west on my assigned driveway easily, the one a-hole holds up the entire line trying to turn left while in the east driveway everyone is turning left without a problem. WHY? I still have to laugh at all the WWJD bumper stickered cars carrying persons with such road rage. I have a hard time believing Jesus would flip me off for driving the speed limit.

I cannot keep my house clean. I worked most of the afternoon getting the entire downstairs spotless, it even smelled clean. In less than an hour my kids had torn the cushions off the couch, pulled the toys out again, and spilled crumbs and juice all over the mopped floor. Why do I even bother?

I am so tired of having to check and flush all the toilets every morning. I finally convinced my son that flushing would not carry him away to the ocean, now I need to reteach the husband the same thing. He does not flush the toilet at night for fear of waking someone up, I am down with that, but what I don't understand is why he uses all three and can't flush them before he leaves in the morning. He still pulls the I-don't-want-to-wake-you excuse because he does leave at 6 while we are still in bed, yet he flips on lights, starts loads of laundry, and speaks loudly to the dog at that time; how is a little flush going to make a difference?

Who else is impressed with Rutgers this year? Rutgers has sucked, completely and utterly sucked, since I started following college football in 1985. They are in the Big East conference so WVU plays them every year. We have never lost to them in all that time. My friends and I attended every single home game, but if we played Rutgers or Temple sometimes we wouldn't bother to leave the tailgate, I mean we knew what the outcome would be and they don't allow alcohol at Mountaineer Field (can you believe that?) I was absolutely thrilled to see they knocked off Louisville Thursday night and are one of only a handful of unbeaten teams, the only one in the Big East. Of course I will flip out if WVU is beaten by Rutgers, but I am a sucker for the underdog and would love to see them play a huge bowl game if not the big bowl game.....which brings me to, HA, Texas was beaten by unranked Kansas State Saturday night. Again, score one for the underdog.

I have most of my Christmas shopping done. Like I said before, the mall isn't a good place to be in the coming weeks so I am done going there. Anything else I come up with will have to purchased online. I am still on the hunt for Sarge and Lizzie diecast cars (from the Cars movie) and the new Rosie train. If you see them, let me know.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday

I cannot believe another week has passed us kids just keep getting bigger, my midsection keeps creeping up, yet the constant and debilitating nausea continues and worsens with every single week. What is up with that??? Aren't I supposed to be in the peppy, jolly phase by now? I miss solid food. A lot. Maybe this is God's way of letting me now that a tubal ligation would be a good way to go. Or a vasectomy. I think that is the only fair solution, don't you? I will have been sliced open three times and served as a human bovine twice, surely a little snip isn't too much to ask right? I knew you'd see it my way.

I let Jacob play hooky on Friday. Go ahead and say it, I'm a horrible parent. I just didn't feel like taking him, he was having a substitute and I was being lazy, so I convinced him he had a fever and laid in bed a while longer. Then I felt guilty and decided that since we were already home we would hit the town and that we did. We went to Chuck E. Cheese early in the morning and had the place to ourselves which was sweet. We had a great lunch, played at a park, hit the big library, and painted pottery, expensive pottery, to give as Christmas gifts. The kids were absolutely amazing. I don't know if aliens from the planet Well Behaved took over their bodies or what, but I can't complain. I would love to do that more often, but I am sure if I attempt it again the aliens will come from planet Scream All Day so I will just lock it away as a good memory and be glad for it.

Since I had a little help on Friday I went and treated myself to a hair cut. A hair cut you say, with two kids in tow, surely you jest. Yes, I myself thought it would be a scene straight from Super Nanny, but I had to do it. You see, I hadn't had a hair cut in over two years. I went from hair above the ears to hair above the butt in that time and I just finally got to a point where I couldn't take it anymore. I put up with it a lot longer than I wanted to because Adam has a hair thing. He likes to hang on to a hunk of my hair as he goes to sleep at night. Or when he's scared. Or hungry. Or just about anytime of the day he isn't playing trucks or terrorizing the animals. It was cute at first but now he has some strength in those fingers and, well, OW. Plus, the tangled Medusa look was starting to scare the other kids when I dropped Jacob off at school in the morning. It just could not be tolerated another day! So, with baggies of forbidden Halloween candy and books of all kinds, we set off. I actually turned around at a stop light and told Jacob that if he helped me out by keeping Adam in the stroller the whole hair cut we would do whatever he wanted the rest of the day, I was that desperate. Hence all the kid friendly activities mentioned earlier. Thank goodness he didn't want to knock off a grocery store or play in traffic. He's a good one I tell ya. Anyway, I feel like a ten pound weight has been lifted from my shoulders. The nice lady cut 11 inches off my hair which we bound up and mailed to Locks of Love. I would post some before and after photos but we don't have any before pictures of me anywhere and I can't take an after photo because my camera broke, just broke without warning. Died. Finito. My ten month old camera no longer takes pictures which SUCKS because who can afford another camera at prime gift buying time?? It's always something. Anyone care to come over Christmas morning and take some nice shots of my kids opening presents?

We went to a wedding last night with kids in tow. We have no friends and know no babysitters so we take them with us everywhere. It's a lot of fun, really it is. I have never been the type to get misty eyed at weddings, typically wondering what they will be serving and if it's an open bar or not during the festivities, but I found myself completely teared up and on the verge of a full out bawl fest watching two people I did not know (husband friends) exchange vows while sitting next to my two boys. Jacob, not well versed in weddings having been to his last one at six months old, was asking about it all and I was explaining to him what was going on and that one day, yes, he would stand up and marry a girl (please be a girl) he was in love with and live with her, yada, yada, yada. Of course he insisted that he would live with me forever and ever and I had to agree that, yes, he would lest the tears start rolling mid-ceremony and he was satisfied. BUT, I stared at that couple at the altar and about lost my lunch thinking that one day my guys may be doing the same thing. AGH, they are mere babies, can't they stay this way forever? Must. Not. Go. There. They were so absolutely charming though, dressed in their matching duds (yeah, I did that), that I was able to press it out of my mind and enjoy their sweetness all evening. I would have gotten a good picture for you too, but, you know, the whole dead camera thing.

So, wow, if you are still reading this you must really have time on your hands. I am droning on today as if I don't have piles of laundry to wash and fold. We need to all get up and enjoy the day......have a good one.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Okay, I am going to pass along my two favorite recipes. These are the recipes I usually don't share with others because I like to be the only one who brings these things, but since the odds of us ending up at the same table are quite unlikely, I am passing them on because they are awesome. These aren't my creations, my sister found the cranberry one in a magazine ten years ago and the pineapple one came from this website, which I highly recommend by the way.

Cranberry Salsa 216 Ways

To a 12 oz package of cranberries and 3/4 cup sugar add one from each A, B, and C.

A: 1 cup chopped pink grapefruit, 1 cup chopped kumquats, 1 cup diced pineapple, 1 cup chopped apricots, 1 cup pomegranate seeds, 1 tangerine, peeled and sectioned.

B: 1/8 tsp. ground cloves, 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. ground allspice, 1/4 tsp. ground anise seeds, 1 T chopped crystallized ginger

C: 1/2 cup pecans, 1/2 cup hazelnuts, 1/2 cup almonds, slivered or whole, 1/2 cup cashews, 1/2 cup macadamia nuts.

For example, we usually make it with kumquats, cloves, and almonds but since I won't see my sister and her kumquat trees this year I am going for tangerine and hazelnuts.

Baked Pineapple

1 20 oz can pineapple chunks
3T white sugar
6 T butter, melted
3 T flour
5 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup butter cracker crumbs

Drain pineapple, reserving 3 T juice. Combine pineapple, reserved juice, sugar, butter, flour, and cheese. Mix well. Spoon mixture into a greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish; top with cracker crumbs. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

We can eat this at one meal so I double it. If you decide to double, don't double the butter, it just makes the crackers greasy.

And for Celeste.......

Caramel Apple Pie

1 pie crust, store bought or homemade recipe
6 cups sliced apples
juice of one lemon (or like me, splash of bottled lemon juice)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
dash grated nutmeg
3 T flour
4 T cold butter, cut into little cubes
8 - 10 one inch square caramels, cut into fourths
white sugar

In a large bowl, combine apples, lemon juice, sugars, spices, flour, butter, and caramels. Stir to coat fruit evenly. Line a pie plate with one of the crusts. spoon filling into the bottom crust, and cover with the top crust. Crimp the edges. Place the pie on a baking sheet covered with foil. Poke fork holes over top and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Bake at 375 for 50 minutes. If you notice overbrowning after 30 minutes, reduce heat to 350.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I feel I should explain the huge Thanksgiving feast.

Don't think I am a Martha Stewart wanna-be or that I cook meals on that caliber, say ever the rest of the year. I do, however, love to cook and find it increasingly difficult to do so with two children that need attention most all day long. Where before I had children I would cook time consuming meals from scratch, now I look for the short cut and more often than not, throw something frozen in the oven and hope for the best. I love Thanksgiving because it is the one day of the year I can cook and bake all day long while someone else, usually the husband, tends to the kids. I also happen to adore stuffing and sweet potatoes and noodles and they just aren't things you cook for the typical evening meal. So, where lots of people are looking forward to the Christmas gift giving festivities, I am eager to plan menus and buy groceries and plan my attack of the turkey day feast. I can't wait for the parade, the football games, and the annual showing of It's A Wonderful Life. I am thinking WVU plays Pitt that night too, so what could be better than cooking a huge meal and eating it while watching Pat White and Steve Slayton stick it to the Panthers? Anyway....I cook for us, just us. The four of us plus my mom, who should finally be able to travel this way, will be the only ones to partake, but that's okay. We will have leftovers to last us the entire four day weekend. Now if I can just teach my kids how to clean up.

I will pass along recipes shortly......

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Thing I'll be Cooking for Thanksgiving

1. a turkey.....duh

2. sausage, apple, and cranberry dressing

3. cornbread dressing (for my mom who dislikes my other one)

4. sweet potatoes with marshmallows

5. a green bean recipe I found in the new Rachael Ray magazine

6. Tracey's velveeta vegetable thingie

7. a huge bag of Reames noodles, I will be the only one to eat them.

8. gravy, lots and lots of gravy.

9. baked pineapple

10. my sister's super excellent cranberry salsa

11. an apple salad recipe I found in a Paula Deen cook book

12. apple caramel pie

13. and of course, a pumpkin pie

I always do my turkey meal shopping this week. I made the mistake of waiting until the week before one year and was practically beaten to death over some cranberries. So, I am off this afternoon, wish me luck.
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
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Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!