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.

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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.
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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Tuesday Tidbits.

If I get one more phone call from a damn candidate I am going to flip out. I get up to ten messages a day from republicans and democrats and libertarians begging me to get out and vote and let my voice be heard. Here's my voice: I did not vote for any candidate who called me more than once. If I had to shred your box busting flyers, you, too, were a no vote. To Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, you might be the best person for the job, but I wouldn't know as I tuned you out three weeks ago with the daily junk mail and three calls a day. The straw that broke your back was when your recorded message came through at 9:30 last night scaring the shit out of me. How do you have my number since I am on a do not call list?

Can Brad Paisley be any hotter? My friend taught him in the fifth and sixth grades and she kept his school picture up there for all her current students to see. I am sure he was exactly the type of kid that the cool girls all overlooked way back when. I bet they are kicking themselves in the ass right about now. As if I could not love him any more, he used a guitar with the WV Mountaineer logo on it during his concert Saturday night and then again last night when he performed on the CMA awards. That takes guts after that embarrassing loss to Louisville Thursday night.

Speaking of embarrassing losses......uh, why in hell did they allow that game to go on IN THE DARK for the entire second half???? I smell a scandal.

Oh, how I love PF Changs. I was able to indulge twice this week and am still craving it. Why can't they build one on my side of town? It might make this scummy place a little more tolerable.

Does this seem odd to you? My husband made himself a blog, which is a-ok with me, but I am not allowed to view it in any manner. Hmmm. It might not bother me if he didn't check mine out every day during his lunch break.

I would stay at the one hotel that gives three free cocktails a night to guests while I am pregnant. That was just cruel.

Why does hearing "Sweet Home Alabama" make me happy? I am not from Alabama nor have I ever even visited the state.

Eighty degrees in November is just wrong, plain wrong. I should not be sending my child to school in shorts this close to the holidays.

When should I start to worry that my youngest doesn't speak? I actually find it extremely cute that when I ask him to say something he shakes his head "no" to me. He understands everything said to him and hears just fine, in fact whisper the word "cake" across the room and he'll come running. I really do not find this a problem yet, but I know Erin's son is being forced into speech therapy now and he is only six weeks older than mine.

Any good Thanksgiving recipes ya'll want to share? Specifically vegetable side dishes? I LOVE to cook the turkey day meal, but I am getting a little sick of the green bean casserole every year. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Happy Election Day to you all! May tomorrow your phones be quiet and your mailboxes empty and let the Christmas commercials begin.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Day Out With Thomas

Well, we survived Thomas another year. The weather was nice and the lines were short, so all in all a good time. Adam wasn't as thrilled with it as I thought he would be, but he was quite adorable waving at that big train when he saw it coming. Jacob had a good time, he's always happy to ride Thomas and get a cool tattoo, but this year he spent a lot more time at the art table and I was kind of like, gee, we can do that at home for free, but whatever, at least he was happy. I think I deserve a medal for making it through the whole day without having a meltdown about the fact that I did not buy enough batteries for the camera, therefore getting only five bad pictures before the thing died. Oddly, the same thing happened last year so I don't know why it did not occur to me to be more prepared. Thank you Thomas people for overly charging me for this blurry Thomas memory, at least I have one semi-decent picture.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

TGIF.....Well, Almost

Guess what we are doing tomorrow....come on, take a guess.

Oh yes, it's time for the yearly pilgrimage to show our love and gratitude to the big blue wonder who is Thomas the Tank Engine. Yes, we are a sad bunch. This will be our fourth trip to the capital city, three hours each way, to increase the Thomas empire. I think I have mentioned before that Jacob is a Thomas freak, has been since he was about 16 months old. By the time he was two he could recite lines from books and videos and knew every single train by sight and there are many trains. How excited we were to find this event so close (relatively) to us. Who knew we would still be doing it four years later? It is a lot of fun, although not many surprises for us now that we are veterans. We know how to get through the lines and when to go where and can do it with such ease that we can shave two hours off our trip easily. That gives us extra time to spend at the PF Changs across the street; Mommy's reward for spending so much time and money in such a testosterone fired environment. I can't wait to see Adam's reaction this year. He went last year, but was still quite small and slept a good bit. He likes Thomas by association, what brother likes, he likes, so I must run out and get fresh camera batteries to be able catch his first glimpse of that huge train he reads about every night.

As much fun as Thomas is, though, what I am most looking forward to is spending the night away from home, husband, and children with my best friend finally seeing Brad Paisley in concert. Keep your fingers crossed that we make it there without a hitch. The last two times I had Brad Paisley tickets I had a premature baby and then the next time I had a lovely bout of mastitis and had to miss him each time. Third times the charm though, right? So, the weekend can't get here fast enough for me, hope yours is as good as I hope mine is!

Happy Late Halloween!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Glad That's Over

Can I just say I hate Halloween! It is my least favorite holiday. I mean, it's the only day of the year that we say it's acceptable to beg from door to door, dress like an idiot, and gorge yourselves on excessive sugar. I just don't get it.

Of course, I liked Halloween allright when I was a kid. We never did too much. We had simple, usually homemade costumes (thanks mom), we were taken by the parents to maybe ten houses, after having buckets scoured for all possible razor blade and cyanide laced goodies (we were never EVER allowed the pixy sticks), we were allowed to sit in front of the tube and devour it and that was that. We were so grateful to have that little bit of candy, it didn't matter if it was candy corn or a king size candy bar, we thanked everyone profusely and if we so much as hesitated my dad would shoot a look that reminded us right away how thankful we were. I think the last time I trick or treated was the sixth grade BUT I could get away with it some because I had a younger sister who needed my help, but I know I didn't trick or treat in seventh grade because, yo, I was too cool for that baby stuff. Ah, good times, good times.

Anyway, what the hell has happened to people in thirty years? Thankfulness and good kiddy fun has gone the way of the betamax and Atari. Here are just a few of my many observations, we'll call it:

Scenes from Halloween Hell

The Setting: A Fall Festival with trunk or treat and bouncy houses, good, clean, fun

- There were no thank yous to be heard, or many trick or treats for that matter. I got a lot of "gimme candy" from kids old enough to know better with parents standing alongside chuckling. I kept thinking of my dad and how I know if I had done that once I would've turned around to find his belt off. A second time would've been a home march. When did that kind of behavior become okay? The only kids who did say thank you were the under six set. I finally got to where I told them all "you're welcome" and was met with blank stares and some mean looks from the parents. Good teaching opportunity people, go with it. Hey, I might be able to find your costume of an Amish gun shot victim more endearing if you were just a little more polite.

- Speaking of costumes...when the sign says no scary costumes, it includes bloody axes in the head and bloody goop on the face. And that was just the stuff on the elementary set. Going as an amputee is not funny. My friend's husband suffered through having all his limbs removed this summer in a bout of meningitis and still didn't survive. I was thankful she didn't take me up on my offer to join us for the evening. You are at a church people, have a little respect for yourself. And for the rest of you, maybe try a costume next year. Going around with a Target bag in plain clothes is just plain begging and that's just wrong IMHO.

- I gave out kick ass candy. No jolly ranchers or peanut butter logs from us, no way. Nothing but the good stuff....candy bars, pop rocks, and mini packs of junior mints. Well, I did have a package of Snoopy fruit snacks which was what my son chose to hand out and you know, at least half of those ungrateful snots refused to take them and asked for something "better". Yeah, I could picture my dad getting a tic at that point. Thank goodness he is out of the trick or treat business. Take what you get and don't throw a fit. That goes for you adults too. I have a hard time believing your six month old baby prefers Snickers bars with the whole can't-eat-nuts thing at that age.

- And....if your costume consists of a stretched out, see through tee shirt with "I'm a skinny girl in disguise" then maybe you shouldn't take six trips through the line, with requests and complaints.

- At what age does trick or treating just make you look sad? We got plenty of the gory, rude teenagers who would toss down the scripture cards given to them by the nice old lady, which is to be expected. What I didn't expect was the sheer amount of adults, like middle aged adults, going through the line sans costume and sans children. Can you honestly not afford a two dollar bag of candy? That was just weird. Those people were the biggest choosers and went through the line many times. Taking candy from a baby, indeed. I would also assume that if you are dressed as a pregnant hooker and/or carrying your infant while showing it off to your classmates, then you are too old to trick or treat.

- I witnessed a family come in with cute little girls dressed very boldly as tigers, couldn't miss them. Well, Daddy and his girls found the bags the church handed out with churchy stuff in them, dumped that out (they weren't the only ones) and went about for some trick or treat fun. I gave each girl some candy and they go on their way. A few minutes later, they come up from the opposite direction in their blinding costumes and make another lap, okay. Then again, and again, each time with Daddy on their tail. They have requests too, "Was it this one, daddy?" and the next time Daddy may as well have a whip and be shooing them on their way because "We are here to get some damn candy, speed it up". Those girls were embarrassed and hanging their heads at that point, but it didn't stop him. The next time around he enlisted his wife who looked equally mortified as she said it was for "the baby"...the nonexistent baby. Again, go out and buy yourself a dang bag of candy. Those pop rocks you so coveted can be purchased at Walmart for a buck.

So that was my night.....needless to say, we will be finding some different entertainment next year. I didn't even get to see Adam trick or treat for the first time or bounce in the jumpy house because I sat there amidst the chaos handing out candy all night. Derick disappeared with the children and I barely saw them until it was time to go home. Pictures are coming up, but they aren't good. Daddy and children couldn't be bothered for a photo shoot, but rest assured, they looked cute as ever AND they were the most polite kids there!