Thursday, December 30, 2010

I Want to be a Real Girl

The other day Sweet Pea opened up her new makeup kit that my cousin Courtney gave her for Christmas.  She asked if she could put makeup on her face. 

I told her, "Sure! Go ahead!" We weren't going anywhere, no need to worry about 8-year-olds wearing makeup in public.

She came out from wherever she had been doing her makeup looking like this...

I'm a puppet!!

I was actually impressed, she made herself look like a wooden marionette style puppet! 

Then to her little sister, "Do you want me to make you look like a puppet too?"

Babydoll, "yeah!" 

Perhaps we have a makeup artist on our hands? Along with fashion designer, dolphin trainer, florist, artist, and all-around awesome person!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wishful Wednesday

I wish my house was totally picked up. Christmas should come with a magic wand that puts everything where it needs to be.

I wish I could lie down with a good movie on and just be still.

I wish all those yummy Christmas treats were zero calories, because I'm going through withdrawls now.

I hope when my daycare parent brings me a plate of cookies tomorrow that I can share them with my family, and save the rest for Saturday.

I hope our current cold-free status can hold on.

I wish every day could be pajama day.  Tomorrow (Thursday) is Movie and Pajama Day at daycare, I'll be straightening up the piles in my kitchen and dining room.

What are you wishing for today?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas weekend part 2

Please excuse the awful blurry pictures, if you have to cover them with your hand so you don't get a headache, I will understand.

I remember being a kid and waking up way too early on Christmas morning.  I would sit in my bed wide awake and anxiously watch for the clock to reach the appointed wake-up time.  Then my sister and I would race into our parents room to get them up so we could go upstairs and open presents!

We told the girls that they could get up no sooner than 7:00, and come and wake us up.  Had I been smart I would have set their alarm clock back a few extra minutes, but instead their clock is set 2 minutes fast... so at 6:58 we heard them clamber out of their beds, jump across the hall, and crawl into our bed chanting "It's Christmas It's Christmas!" 

Little Man was still sound asleep so we invited the girls into bed with us to snuggle for a while.  I don't know how people do the whole family-bed thing, the 4 of us were squished pretty tight and Spence and Sweet Pea were trying not to fall off the sides.  It was a sleepy, joyful, squishy family moment.

After about 15 minutes of snuggling and wiggling and talking about Christmas, Little Man woke up and we all headed downstairs.

Once in the family room the kids discovered that Santa had left unwrapped toys in separate couches and table for each kid.

They quickly went about discovering their loot and digging in their stockings!

Santa had even left the whole family a gift, Rockband 3 and the keyboard!

After Santa presents we opened our gifts from each other.  One of my gifts were these slippers...
They have not left my feet since then except to put on real shoes or boots to go outside, to take a shower, and to go to bed.  And when I go to bed they sit right next to the bed so I can slip them on immediately.  They are warm, soft, comfy, and have a hard sole which gives them a sturdy feel.  The best part? They only cost $5 when I picked them up on black friday.

Yes that's right, I picked them up.  But Spence wrapped them so he still gets some credit!

After we finished opening our gifts we got dressed and ready for the rest of day 2.  Once everyone was dressed and ready there was a little more time to play with toys. 

This is Little Man playing with his remote control construction equipment and matchbox cars.

Babydoll and her new doll.  She thinks it's an American Girl doll, but none of us are about to correct her.  One of her aunts and grandparents each gave her an Our Generation doll, which are a lot like the American Girl dolls, but a whole lot more reasonable priced!

At 11:00 we went to my parents' house to celebrate with them, my sister, and her boyfriend.  We had a Delicious meal of lasagna, spaghetti, garlic bread, salad, and pies for dessert.  I've never made homemade lasagna and have become pretty accustomed to the frozen variety, so getting the homemade stuff was amazing!

We had a wonderful time visiting, opening presents, playing "Would You Rather?", laughing, and I even squeezed in a short nap! 

One thing I asked for for Christmas was a pair of haircutting scissors.  I'm trying to learn how to cut at least Little Man's hair to save time and money.  I might even give Babydoll's hair a whirl.  My sister gave me these and I can't wait to give it a go!

Later that afternoon we left my parents house, stopped back home to drop off and pick up presents, and let the dog out for a potty break.  Then we headed down the road to Spencer's parents to celebrate with his aunt, uncles, and cousins. 

There were over 10 kids there, so they had a blast playing hide and seek, the dice game, and running around together.  One amazing thing about kids, they can see each other once or twice a year (or in some cases here once every two years) and still play together like they are best friends! 

We had a huge meal of several appetizers, ham and turkey, and various salads.  When you get a couple dozen adults together for a party, there's always a surplus of delicious food! 

We played the dice game, ate, opened presents, ate, got caught up with each other, ate, and generally had a great time! 

We finally returned home at about 10:30, got the kids into bed just before 11:00, organized the gifts for the next day, realized we were missing the game gifts for the next day (ended up using them for a different game), and collapsed into another puddle of fatigue.

Stay tuned for the rest of Christmas weekend!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas weekend part 1

Christmas this year was wonderful!  For a year now I've been talking about how much I liked last year's Christmas because we got snowed in and were forced to stay in town.  We missed everyone we didn't get a chance to see, but since 2002 our Christmases and Christmas Eves have been full of driving around, dropping off and picking up presents, driving around, spending a few hours at each place and then racing off to the next place.  So last year when we were snowed in we spent Christmas with our parents who all live very close by, and at home sledding and enjoying our new toys. 

This year was even better!  Although Minnesota had record breaking snow fall this month, we were not snowed in.  But since my dad's side of the family agreed to have their celebration the day after Christmas, we were able to see everyone and take our time everywhere we went!  Now when you're kid-less and traveling to multiple families' houses, like my sister this year, it is fun and exciting and though I'm sure you're worn out by the end of it, it's nothing like lugging 3 kids and all their stuff around with you (and trying to figure out how to get a decent nap in for your toddler).  Traveling to multiple parties with kids is no easy feat, but spreading things out and minimizing how many parties each day (2 works perfectly if they are timed right) really simplifies things.

We started the night before Christmas eve with baths and showers for the kids, I braided the girls hair per their request so their hair would be wavy, we gathered up our outfits and made sure we got things washed that needed to be, and sent the kids to bed.  Spence and I then spent quite a while wrapping the presents that had been purchased more recently and organizing the game gifts and white elephant gifts.

Christmas eve morning was spent getting dressed up, making monkey bread, gathering up presents, swooning over Little Man in his tiny little tie (I died when I saw him all dressed up, then I revived myself so I could gush over him some more), and making an enormous mess.

Then it was off to my aunt and uncles house for a big brunch, a couple games, and lots of good times.  My mom took pictures with her new camera and emailed them to me since my camera has been crap, and it will be taking blurry pictures until I get it fixed.  Thanks mom for the pics!  The highlight for Babydoll was when Santa made a surprise visit! 

Babydoll loved that Santa stopped by, and was plenty excited to get an early gift from him!  He brought the girls each a puzzle, and Little Man got candy and a car (I think). 

Though Sweet Pea says she still believes in Santa, she has gotten to the age that sitting with him and the Easter bunny are for little kids.  It just doesn't thrill her anymore.

see what I mean?

After several relaxed and fun hours with my mom's side of the family, we drove home to let the dog outside and swap presents for the next party.

Every year for Christmas eve Spencer's mom prepares a lobster and shrimp dinner and we eat by candle light (though the last couple years we've added the lights turned up just a bit with the dimmer).  We started with some presents for the kids, then enjoyed a big dinner of lobster, shrimp, butter, popcorn shrimp, potatoes, butter,  salad, corn, buns, butter, milk, wine, and sparkling grape juice.  Then we opened more presents, enjoyed eachothers' company, and checked the norad tracker for where Santa was. 

Around 8:30 Santa was in South America and moving his way up to the states.  My sister-in-law Allie pointed this out to Babydoll who immediately jumped up and exclaimed that we have to get home now! so as not to miss Santa.  Once home we put out the cookies and milk for Santa, and carrots for the reindeer, got the kids in jammies, and put them to bed.  When Spence went in for his goodnight hugs for the girls Babydoll looked at him dead serious and told him, "you better be in bed before Santa gets here, or else!"

The kids in bed, our work was not yet over.  We got the family room downstairs cleaned up for the upcoming morning, laid out the kids Santa toys, and got organized for the next day's events. 

Then collapsed into a pool of fatigue.

Christmas weekend part 2 tomorrow!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

For now...

I can't wait to read and hear about everyone's Christmas, and I'll tell you about ours and post more pictures, but tonight I'm trying to get things straightened up after 3 days of mess-making! So for now I'll post this picture of my kiddos, and tell you all that I hope you're Christmas was fantastic! And if you don't celebrate it, I hope your weekend was fantastic!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Final Design

Boy am I tired!  I invited the daycare kids over for an after-hours Christmas party as a gift to them and the parents.  The kids got a party, the parents got a free evening of childcare!  And me? I had fun, but after 12 1/2 hours of child care, I'm wiped!

Last month I blogged about the Shutterfly givaway and showed you the card I intended to order.  When I got my ordering info, I found out I had to get a different size card.  This worked fine for me since it would allow me to order cards that would otherwise not have been in my price range. 

Also I've talked about how much trouble I've had getting pictures of my kids together and how much of a pain it is to find a good one for a Christmas card.  So now that we've gotten out a majority of our Christmas cards, I feel ready to share my final choice with the online world. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wishful Wednesday

I wish for fantastic driving weather this weekend.

I wish for a joyous celebration of Jesus' birthday.

I wish for smooth transitions between gatherings for all of our family.

I hope I don't leave any presents at home by mistake.

I wish I could say I've never left a present home by mistake.

I wish it wasn't snowing right now... I mean really... we've had enough.

I hope I get some snowpants this Christmas. I really need snowpants.

I wish I was soaking in a hot tub right now. 

What are you wishing for this week?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Chains, Toilet Paper, and Fake Sudafed

Here's a little of what's been going on around here lately....

The kids have been making decorations for Christmas, our theme this week is Jolly Holidays.

Because there are boogers on many of the little noses I see all day, I'm washing my hands constantly, which dries them out pretty bad.  Curel (only an ok lotion) is applied as often as possible.  Toilet paper is what wipes little noses, because we run out of Kleenex a lot, and when that happens... bring out the TP.

Remember the other day when I nearly killed my dog for eating my (family's) sugar cookies and I "had" to make chocolate chip cookies?  Well, I've eaten a few of them.  It's a problem.  I think about them, visualize them, then suddenly this happens...

And then this happens...

Also there are nightly applications of Vicks.  The regular stuff for the girls and the baby rub for Little Man.

Also? Antibiotics and generic sudafed.
Little Man is on Amoxicillin for an ear infection, Sweet Pea is allergic to Amoxicillin so she was put on cefdinir for impetigo, possible strep throat, and an ear infection (it was a big morning), and I've been depending on Target brand's sudafed to get me through this cold.

I wish I could give sudafed to Little Man and Babydoll, because they could really use it.  Unfortunately there's not a whole lot you can do for young kids when it comes to coughs and colds.  We've just been helping them blow their noses, giving them as much sleep as possible, and plenty of water.  Vicks at bed times on their chest and back have helped them breath and relieved the cough a little bit.

See ya Tuesday night for Wishful Wednesday... or maybe I'll get really logical and post it on Wednesday!

But probably not, I can't always be the logical one.

I apologize profusely for the major blurriness of all my pictures... haven't taken my camera in to get fixed yet.

Boogers, Revisited

I'm reposting this amazing poem I wrote and posted back in May, because it applies today as well.  Enjoy, but don't steal it!


Boogers on their noses
Runny runny noses.
Boogers on their lips
Afraid to kiss those lips.
I hug the booger kids
Boogers on my arm
Boogers walk around the house
Boogers boogers everywhere.

There was also a picture, but I can't find it, so if you want to see the picture that relates to this poem... be my guest and click here.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Our Dog is Grounded!!!

I made a batch of sugar cookies this afternoon.  I ate a bunch of them, the kids and Spence had some, and we still had a bunch left.

That is, until Lucy our dog got a hold of them!

15 minutes ago she ate all but one of the cookies that were left, and the one she didn't eat couldn't be saved.  I mean, who wants a cookie that a dog has mouthed and was just about to eat?  I'm a self-proclaimed cookie addict, but no thanks!


The only silver lining here is that now I'll be forced to make chocolate chip cookies, which I'll have to eat some of tonight because if I don't then things will be very difficult for me for the rest of the week. 

While I don't mind making and eating chocolate chip cookies, I'm not going to thank her for eating all my (family's) sugar cookies!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Spike Diet - Weighing In

In October I told you about a diet Spencer and I had started, back then I had lost 5 lb in the first 2 weeks.  The diet is called The Spike Diet, and you can read about it on their website.

I'm thrilled to update that I've lost, as of my last weigh-in last Saturday, 18 pounds!  There's no way I'll tell you my actual weight, but the second digit in my weight dropped to a number I haven't seen in years!  I've lost more than 2 inches off my waistline! I bought a smaller belt and am now buckling it at the 3rd hole, and I'm wearing jeans I nearly threw out before because I haven't fit them in a long time and couldn't foresee squeezing into them again... now they fit comfortably!

I'm not the only one who's been losing weight, Spencer lost 25 pounds and is in the best shape he's been in in years!

I'm not going to lie and say it's been a total breeze, but for someone who's never really committed to a diet before... any serious attempt at a diet would not be a total breeze.  But it hasn't been hard at all either!  Once a week I get to stuff my face with whatever the heck I want, and it's a key part of the diet! I've heard from a couple people that they would be worried about getting back in diet-mode after a day of indulgence, but for me it actually makes it so much easier because I know that on Saturday I can eat as many Christmas cookies as I want. 

A few things that have helped me along the way...

I keep track of ALL the food I eat and calories on a spread sheet and enter them as soon as possible.

I snack on protein because it burns more calories in the digestions process. 

Keeping a bottle of water handy helps stretch me to the next meal, and keeps the water weight off... somehow.

We buy Special K Protein Meal Bars for when I don't want to make something... the chocolate chip ones are the best and the convenience of them keeps me from reaching into my kids' halloween candy, or popping a hotdog into the microwave.

I'm trying with all my might to not bake any cookies until Saturday, because I know that before they are even cooled off I will eat like 7 of them... which is ok on Saturdays because that's my spike day!

When I make dinner I add up all the calories in the ingredients and divide it up to get my total calories eaten.

The calculation of how many calories you are supposed to eat can be a bit confusing, so be careful when you figure it out.

   The whole metabolism boosting thing must be working because I feel like I'm losing weight more easily as I go along, although I'm not expecting much weight loss in the next couple weeks with Christmas coming up.  I'm not really worried about it though because a couple times during my diet I've fallen off the bandwagon and gained a couple pounds back, but the next week those pounds were gone.  One of those times was when I had the flu (or whatever it was) and I was eating whatever I could grab or was given to me, like really yummy and bad for you creamy chicken and wild rice soup.  Once I was well enough to prepare stuff I was back on track.

Oh and, a small Christmas miracle occurred on Sunday.  I took the girls to go see the childrens' play How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and there were cookies for sale, and I didn't get one!  Most people wouldn't consider that a small miracle, but if you know me then you know I'm obsessed.  Coffee and cookies get me every time, but not THAT time!

I'll check back at some point again, hopefully it will be because I reached my goal of 25 lbs lost!

Oh, and because tips are always good, what diet tips do you have?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

One of my Favorite Kitchen Tools

Recognize this?  This, my friends, is one of my favorite kitchen tools.

You may think this is a pizza cutter, right?  It is, but it is also so much more than a pizza cutter!

I use it to slice quesadillas.  I cook the quesadilla in a pan sprayed with pam, throw it on the cutting board and slice it up quickly and easily with my pizza cutter!

I use it to cut pancakes as well!  instead of cutting up pancakes for 6 kids with a knife and fork, I make quick work of it with a pizza cutter on a cutting board, slide the cut-up pancake onto a plate, and drizzle a little syrup on it!

It works for other foods as well, like turning french toast into french toast sticks!

What's your favorite kitchen tool?  What handy little tricks do you have to share?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wishful Wednesday

I wish for my bachache to go away, carrying Little Man around too much lately and he's not so little anymore!

I wish for safe commutes for my friends and family throughout this winter season.

Steven King has a twisted mind... random I know.

I wish I had a glass of water.  sorry, another random.

I hope to help Babydoll remember who this season is about.

My girls are getting colds, I wish a speedy recovery for both of them.

What are you wishing for?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The "Other" Target Store

Little Man has been a little on the cranky side lately.  He whines more, is more forceful with his demand for your attention, spazzes out when he doesn't get his way, and has had a little bit of trouble sleeping.  He is a rockstar at bedtime.  You give him a kiss and a hug, lay him down, hand him his teddy in his right arm, he pops his left thumb in his mouth, cover him up, say goodnight and I love you, and walk out the door.  We don't hear from him again for 12 or 13 hours.  In the last week he's woken up a few times crying... nothing major, but enough to make us go "hmmm, wonder what that's about?"  He also has been messing with his ears lately.  All of this led me to take him in to the clinic at the Target store a couple towns away.  I live a few blocks away from a Target store, but we don't have a clinic at ours so I had to go to the other Target.  We take the kids to the Target Clinic for simple things like strep tests, ear checks, and that sort of thing because for us the copay difference is $40 less.  Basically a no-brainer.

I walked in with him, started filling out all the paper work while simultaneously trying to keep him in the clinic area because he thought it would be a whole lot more fun to just go explore the store!  Turned out his ears were fine (one was a tiny bit red, but not infected red), but he had a temp of 99 so the dr gave me a Rx for an antibiotic in case his temp shot up and he started really complaining about his ears.  I thanked the Dr and we headed out to get a cart so I could get the things on my short grocery list.

I have to say, and I'm feeling slightly disloyal for saying it, I like the neighboring Target better than mine!

Little Man and I only explored half the store, but I like the layout, I like the spaciousness and visibility, and I love the shopping carts.  The shopping carts don't squeak or pull to the side, they roll more smoothly, the sides are like handles and I could pull it from the sides or front of the cart if I wanted to easily.  They're just nice :o) 

So please, dear Target in my town, could you consider closing down for a few days and totally renovating yourself to be like the other store?  I mean, you already moved the grocery section all around and screwed up my awesome shopping template, you might as well move it all around, expand, and buy new carts.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wait... What? I'm NOT in Control??

Sort of a stream of consciousness post here, as I'm still working through this realization and what it all means.

I may be just a little bit of a control freak.  While I don't always know the best way to do things, I tend to think that, in the moment, my way is correct.  I don't know what it is that makes some of us feel the need to control most aspects of our lives, but I feel really anxious when I feel out of control of a situation.  Luckily for the people around me, I usually remain pretty calm while I try to take control, but I know this part of my personality has been frustrating for Spencer, among others. 

I tended to take the lead in group projects in school... which made me dislike group projects because I wanted things done a certain way and would become a little anxious about how someone else would do things.  I was passive about it, not sticking my neck out too far, not putting up a fight, but internally I'd be grumbling.

I am the type of person who needs to know what is coming, what is in the near and not so near future.  I need to have a plan in order to feel secure.  I couldn't just go to college and get a business degree and figure out what I would do later, I went to college for very specific career paths (which resulted in a few track changes and a few credits wasted) because even in high school the thought of not having a plan made me uncomfortable.

Here's the thing though... very little of my life has gone according to my plan.  I always knew I wanted to get married and have children young, but my husband and I were blessed with an amazing baby girl long before we planned to get married.  I originally thought I'd be a paralegal, and when law class bored the heck out of me I changed my plan to being a sign language interpreter.  I really enjoyed that career track, but my plans have a way of changing on me.  We had our daughter, I gave daycare a shot at a daycare center because I had always thought it might be a good fit for me, and I suddenly realized that the whole sign language thing was not the right job for me but could be a wonderful background for this new job that I love!

I planned on having our second child a couple years after Sweet Pea was born, but that wouldn't be the case.

I could go on and on about how my plans change and how every time they do I feel really nervous about it until I realize that the new road was exactly where I needed to be.  I plan and plan and try to control things around me, but it usually doesn't work out how I want it to.

So I'm beginning to realize that, get this, I'm not in control of my life... or anyone else's for that matter.  I can do my best and plan and try and work but I'm still not the one in control.  I can trust that God will take care of us and trust His plan for me, but until I truly accept the fact that I have NO control over the big picture of my life, then how much can I really be trusting Him?  I feel like I've been saying and believing that I trust Him to handle things, but then I struggle against His will and try to take control.  It sounds absolutely ridiculous to say that I've been trying to control things despite His plan. 

God has shown me again and again and again how very different our plans are and how much better his plan is than mine, yet it's taken me all this time to really truly come to this understanding.  I'm struggling with it, and trying to reflect and be still and understand this.

The idea that I'm not actually in control of my life is both freeing and terrifying.  If I can't control things, then anything could happen at any moment, including bad things.  But if I were in control of my life, I could lead myself and my family down the wrong road.  But I know that God is in control and will lead me where I need to go if I just let Him.  That's not to say that I think I can just sit back and float along.  I think I need to pray, and listen to what He's putting in my heart, and follow that the best I can.... and truly trust His plan for me.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wishful Wednesday


First of all, I am SOOOO thankful that I only ended up serving one day of jury duty!

I wish I had known all day yesterday that it would be my only day, I was more than a little worried about what I was going to do with our kids and and telling my daycare parents that I would indeed have to be closed... again... after being sick for so long.

I wish I could afford to buy my kids more toys this year for Christmas.

Along that line of wishing, I wish my bills would pay themselves.

I wish I could think less of my own trouble and remember that there are families with no home this Christmas.

I wish for those families to be able to find a solution to their troubles.

I wish for wisdom and patience.

I wish for a safe and  happy holiday season for everyone!

Friday, December 3, 2010

It's Snowing!

As I begin typing this, it's naptime on Friday, and the snow is falling.  Watching it fall from my living room couch, it looks beautiful.  I'm sure the people who will be driving home in it in a couple hours will think otherwise.  I'm also sure Spencer, who will have to shovel it (alone, because I can't breath well right now) will think otherwise.  But the kids? They love it!

Snow means sledding,

Eating freshly fallen snow,

snow angels,

snow balls, snow forts, snow men, and stomping through the fresh powder in big snow boots and snow pants!

Little Man has had mixed feelings so far this year.  The first time it snowed this year he was soooo excited!  He saw his sisters getting ready to go out and started bringing Spencer every article of clothing he could find until he got his snow suit and boots on.

He got out there and was kind of in shock for a little while.  he walked through it for a few minutes and then got frustrated by his inability to move and started crying. 

That first time it really snowed this year the whole family was outside.  we were shoveling and playing and moving stuff in the garage around so I could park my car in it.  Because we were all outside, Little Man was kind of stuck out there with us.  It wasn't very cold that day so we made him just "suffer" through it while we got the stuff done that we needed to do.  After a while of whining and crying and falling down a lot, he started getting into it more and ventured off to play in the snow! 

Now when the kids get ready to go out he starts asking, "dide? dide? dide?" and runs to get his boots and snowsuit!  He falls down a lot, and can't get up by himself - which really ticks him off - but he's enjoying the winter! 

Now if I can just get the temps to stay high enough to let him go out there every day!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Momma Getting Fresh with Santa?

I could tell you more about being sick, but I just coughed up some nasty stuff so I'm going to change the topic for a minute.

You're Welcome.

It's Christmas season, my favorite time of the year when I'm not stressing out or freezing my hiney off!  This means it's also time for Christmas music, and time for me to cry at nearly every other one.  The classic Christmas songs make me instantly reflect on a time 2000 years ago.  A time when a tiny baby was born in the most modest of birthplaces.  The fact that I know that baby grew up to teach us about God's word, the kind of life we should strive for, and because humans can never live a sinless life he would eventually die so that our sins could be forgiven and we could join Him in Heaven, brings tears to my eyes often.  Sounds like a Savior to me!

That said, not all Christmas songs have that effect. 

Take "I saw Mama kissing Santa Clause" for instance.  When I was a little kid I remember being confused as to why it was a cute song.  Why would people sing a song about a mom kissing another man... while the family sleeps... on Christmas eve! 

I guess to me it was a cutsie song about a married woman getting fresh with an old bearded man, not a cutsie song about some forthcoming bedroom role-playing scene!

Come to think of it, either way, that song disturbs me.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

It's been 11 days since I started feeling sick...

Oh my goodness I've been sick!  It started 2 thursdays ago.  That Thursday I felt a heaviness in my chest and figured I was finally catching the cough that several kids in my life have had, and I had been pretty tired in the evening.  Thursday afternoon I could feel myself ready to pass out and Spence was ready to take over kid-duty after I finished daycare so I could go crash.  That night my temp had started to rise but lingered in the 99 degree range so I figured I'd sleep it off and feel better in the morning. 

That night, in the middle of the night, I woke up with horrible chills and a fever.  After managing an email to my daycare parents telling them I'd be closed that day, I reset my alarm to wake up in time to either confirm that they got those emails or call them before they got completely ready to come. 

Friday was a struggle, I had all three kids at home and Spence had to work.  I don't remember much other than having Sweet Pea feed everyone cereal for breakfast and lunch, and opening a bag of pretzels for snacks.  During the next several days there would be a lot of cereal/toast/pretzels consumed.  My son was neglected, the house was ignored, I just prayed no one was getting hurt because I couldn't leave the couch.  Just getting up to pee took more work than it seemed it was worth.

Saturday the girls started a "vacation" at Nana's that had thankfully already been planned, which allowed me to get a lot more rest than I otherwise would have had.  I remember giving Little Man the bag of pretzels a couple times because I couldn't muster up the energy to get up and give him a bowl.  He sprinkled more than a few pretzels around the room, but our dog took care of those for him.  When Spence was home he took care of the kids and I hid downstairs trying to sleep it off, which was difficult because by Saturday I had started coughing pretty bad.  Saturday afternoon, even though I had now lost my voice, I was starting to feel like I might just live so Spence and I went to a friend's house for a party that we had been looking forward to.  I felt ok but was more than ready to fall asleep by the time we got home, I was so looking forward to crawling into bed!  I got ready for bed and laid down, but started coughing, so I got up and found some cough medicine.  After taking a dose of that I sat back down on the bed and WUMP, the bed broke.

The corners of our bed have pretty weak joints and it's broken on us before, but tonight was NOT the night to be dealing with a broken bed.  I had been very sick, was then feeling ok and had made it out, but now was ready to collapse and we had a bed with the bottom right corner on the floor.

Spence tried to fix it for a while before I had just had it and we took it apart at all 4 corners so we could set the frame on the ground.  I laid down and was amazed at how much more comfortable our mattresses were when they weren't connected to the head and foot boards!  It was the most comfortable that bed had felt since we tried it out in the store!  This was looking like it would be a blissful night of sleep, except that I couldn't go more than 2 seconds without coughing... and I'm not exaggerating! 

Desperate to get to sleep I hauled my pillows out to the living room to join my blankets and sleep upright on the couch.

Things weren't going well, and that was just 2 days into it.  There's more to fill you in but I need to get to sleep so I can work tomorrow for the first time in 11 days! 

Fill you in more later!  And thank you for being patient and not totally forgetting about me while I've been recovering!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I Am Thankful...

For my husband who loves me.

that I have 3 amazing, smart, kind, well behaved, beautiful kids.

that Spencer and I both have jobs.

that we have a warm home and food in the kitchen.

for the parents who allow me to love and care for their kids during the day.

for those wonderful kids who come to my house most mornings.

that I continue to feel better and better.

that Spencer is bringing me gatorade, love that stuff.

that I'll be spending thanksgiving with the whole family.

that all my kids are safely tucked in at home tonight.

for all of you who read my blog, even though I get sick or busy and take a hiatus every now and then.

that we are entering the most wonderful time of the year.

What are you thankful for this year?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wishful Wednesday


I wish I could get over this virus 100%.  Like, 4 days ago.

I wish my now low-grade fever (in the 99s - woo hoo!) was gone.

I wish I could have played with my kids this past 5 days.

I wish I knew how I'd feel in the morning.

I wish I knew how I'd feel on Thanksgiving.

I wish my brain hadn't just been on a slow sizzle for the past 5 days.

I'm going to bed.

what are you wishing for?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I've been sick

I've been in a flu-stuper (stooper?) for a couple days now, and have been fighting it off for days before that, which is why the old bloggy wog has been neglected.  I'm feeling better this morning though, which is good because I gots stuffs to do, and hope to resume regularly scheduled blogging on monday.  That's my goal anyway!  Thanks for bearing with me!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wishful Wednesday

I wish my camera was fixed so I could get out of my blogging funk... need better pictures!  Does anyone want to sponsor my camera's repair?  hehe... but no, seriously.

I wish I had taken a shower last night, because when my alarm went off this morning I just reset it and went back to sleep... no shower for me.

I wish this budding cold would go away.  It's been tapping on the door for a while now and I'm not sure how long I can keep that door shut!

I wish my family/dog/bladder would let me sleep ALL night... at least once in a while.

I wish I could eat a brownie right now, but I'm making them tomorrow for a get-together I'm hosting tomorrow night, so I'll have to wait.

I wish I had a cleaning lady.

What are you wishing for today?

Monday, November 15, 2010

My Sweetie Pea

I didn't blog last night.

I had to watch Dexter, Desperate Housewives, and the latest episode of The Office.

Had to.

Then I went to bed, because every once in a while I sleep.

I'm having a hard time blogging these days because the things I want to blog about work best with photos.  And my camera is not working well which makes me really bummed.

I need to take it in to get fixed, but I'm afraid they're going to demand my first born child in exchange for a working camera.

So today, I bring you, my first born child.

This is Sweet Pea when she was 3 years old.  All of these pictures of her are so her that I had to include them.  I could put up a lot more, but I have a menu to plan (a day late and a dollar short but hey, whatdoyado?)

She's showing me her muscles, not having a bowel movement.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Random Things I've Learned part dos

A few more random things I've learned...

~ Target's Up and Up brand baby wipes are awesome, and a whole lot cheaper than the name brands.  Walmart's Parents Choice baby wipes suck.  They rip apart, they have a hard feel to them, and they are tough to get out of the travel packs.  I once bought baby wipes at the dollar store... worst wipes ever!

~ While I'm on this train of thought, Target brand homestyle frozen waffles are also awesome, Cub brand waffles are gross.

~ Special K protein meal bars are delicious.  Luna bars have about the same amount of protein but are gross.  The Luna bars with more protein are so gross I couldn't even choke down one bite.  Nasty.

~ Apparently I shouldn't eat a Luna bar with a coffee chaser... upset tummy.

~ When the house is clean at night, my mornings are lovely.

~ Watching that "Baggage" dating show hosted by Jerry Springer makes me extremely glad I'm not out there dating... some huge crazies on that show!  But what else would you expect from Jerry Springer?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Shutterfly is Awesome!

I am SUPER excited about what Shutterfly is doing for bloggers right now, and I'll tell you why.  I use shutterfly to order all my photo prints because I can order through them and pick up at the Target store a few blocks away from my house.  In years past I've also made photo books and calendars to give as Christmas gifts, and they were always a hit!  And now Shutterfly has offered bloggers 50 free holiday cards as a thank you for blogging about them!  If you're a blogger and are interested in the promotion click HERE.

Remember my post not long ago about how much trouble I have getting a good photo of my kids to use for a Christmas card?  Since I wasn't able to find a single picture of my kids together that was Christmas card worthy, I designed one through Shutterfly.  I'm not going to show you the actual card that will be going out yet, because I like to make it a surprise for the family and a few close friends that will be getting cards.  I will, however, show you the card I chose (minus my chosen photos). 

I wasn't able to get a good group photo, so I took a photo of each child and then found the perfect card to plug them into.

As you can see, these are not my kids, and I've changed it up a bit to make it work for the pictures I chose, but this is the card!  click here to link to it. I like this card because I can change the caption to whatever I want, and include the names of our family members.

I've also really liked their photo calendars, and gave them to the grandparents and aunts 2 Christmas's ago.  They were disappointed last Christmas when I didn't make them, so I'll have to see about making one again this year.  Click here to see the various Shutterfly photo calendars you can make.

Last Christmas I made a photo book of all the daycare kids to give as gifts for the families that trust and allow me to take care of their children each day!  The parents loved them, but even more than the parents, the kids loved them!  I've had a couple requests already to make "yearbooks" again!  Click here to see the photo books you can make.  Last year I made a "custom" photo book with captions and neatly organized.  If I get to it this year I'll most likely make the "simple" kind, that way the only hard part will be choosing a balanced number of photos of each child in daycare.  That and getting good pictures with my camera being broken!

To get started with your cards click on a link above, or choose one of these below.
These are pretty cool if you  have a lot more money to spend - photo wall art:

This promotion is such a blessing to us because we were already planning on ordering 50 Christmas cards from Shutterfly, but we're really watching our pennies right now and I worried about being able to pay for them.  Thank you Shutterfly for helping us out and allowing us to help spread the word for you too!

Wishful Wednesdayw

I wish I could stay healthy forever, that would be pretty helpful.

I wish my family could be and/or stay healthy forever, that would be awesome.

I wish my basement was as clean as my upper level right now.

I wish I had a gigantic sandwich in my hands right now.

And brownies.  And cookies. :o)

Did you know that a salad made up of iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, and ranch vinegarette salad spritzers is refreshingly tasty and almost zero calories?  It's pretty exciting :o)

What about you?  What are you wishing for today?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Things that drive me nuts

Whether you're a parent or not, there's things that other parents do that makes us crazy.  We all make mistakes.  We all have dumb-parent moments.  I am fully aware of my humanness and am not a judgemental person, but sometimes I see things out and about that drive me nuts.  I'm not talking about stuff that may have been a lapse in judgement, or a stress-induced mistake, I'm talking about recurrent wrongs.  Recently I've seen:

A 2-year old ( I think) in the backseat of a car, with NO CARSEAT and just a seatbelt, driving down a busy highway.  I noticed it at a stop light, it was a guy driving, cell phone to ear, tiny little toddler strapped in with just a seatbelt.  Now perhaps there was an issue and he had to drive her home from somewhere and there was just no carseat available... but then he pulled into Target.  Really... shopping?  He better have been buying a carseat!  If he crashed, or got hit, that little girl would go flying around in that car and, I can't even think about it.

Parents swearing at their kids for misbehaving in public.  If they're swearing at them in public then you know they're swearing at them at home too.  Makes me cringe.  I saw this today in a parking lot and it's what led me to write this post.  Some people don't think swearing is a big deal, and swearing in front of kids is a big deal either... but I don't like it, and I take offense to people swearing AT their child.

People walking their dog down the street, inches away from a sidewalk.  Not related to parents or anything, but it bugs me because cars have to drive around them, and I'm always afraid that the dog will dart out or something.

Little girls wearing things I wouldn't even want my 17 year old daughter wearing... someone buys it for them.  And someone lets them wear it.  Luckily I haven't seen any of Sweet Pea's friends dressing above their age, but I know eventually that will come.  Eeek!

Ok, this has become a bit of an angry post, but I'm hungry and I have a headache, and I guess I'm a bit cranky right now... so this is what happens.  Perhaps it's a bad idea to blog with a headache and an empty stomach.  Sorry.

What do you see that drives you nuts?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Babydoll Disturbs Me

Babydoll brought me a book she had been reading, and showed me a page that apparently  had her pretty excited.  It was a mom holding a 12-ish month old baby and they were waving goodbye to the big brother who was on the bus going to school.

This is the conversation we had.

BD (in a giddy sort of way): I want this baby!

Me:  You want a doll like that baby?

BD:  I want this baby!

Me: But that's not our baby, that baby lives with her family.

BD (in an even giddier sort of way, quite proud of herself for her new plan): How about we go to their house, and when they're all sleeping... we'll take the baby!!

Me (in a horrified sort of way):  Sweetie!  We can't take a baby!  If you take someones child you go to jail!

BD (in a questioning sort of way): How long?

Me: A long long time!

BD:  How long is a long long time?

Me: Until you're very old!

BD: Big enough to break out of jail?

Add this to the last time we had steak and she announced, "I love blood" and I'm more than a little disturbed.

Then again, the slightest scrape sets off a half hour of sobbing, so maybe I shouldn't worry too much about that last one.

Wishful Wednesday

A little later than usual but here it is....

I wish the tornado siren test didn't happen a half hour into naptime.. bad timing people!

I wish all the halloween candy was calorie-free, but still just as yummy!

I'm more than a little concerned about Christmas cookie baking season coming up, there's a wish in there somewhere.

Seriously sirens... SHUT UP!

Sweet Pea wishes for a baby chimp.  She's been having dreams that she has one, and doesn't seem to mind that they are very dangerous as adults.

I wish I had a self-cleaning house.  That would be awesome!

What are you wishing for today?

Monday, November 1, 2010

A few words from Little Man on costumes

I've got more pictures from Halloween, but Little Man's meltdown deserved it's own post.  So I now bring you a few words from Little Man regarding costumes.

I haaaate thiiiiiiiiisss!!

I have no idea why you crammed me into this costume which is clearly 3 sizes too big for me!!

No I will NOT come out there! I'm going to stay back here behind my glider rocker until this whole costume business blows over!

You can't make me go anywhere! 

Hold me Teddy, just hold me.

If I have to leave my room I'm bringing Teddy with me.

Ooo Toys!

Alright Mom, maybe it's not so bad after all.

With one minor improvement that is! :o)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Spike Diet - It's Already Working!

Before I got pregnant with Sweet Pea I weighed a certain amount.  Pretty quickly after she was born I lost the weight and was back down to that certain amount.  I stayed there until we started having trouble having another baby, and gradually put on 30 pounds.  I've lost weight before but my body keeps settling in at the 25 lb weight gain point. 

While doing The Sound of Music last summer I got to know Russ Branjord.  He has developed a diet called The Spike Diet, which allowed him to lose 50 lb in about 6 months, and go on to lose over 100 lb!  Check out his blog here.  A while back he had a giveaway on his blog and I won a copy of The Spike Diet book.

Winning that book was the push I needed to get motivated to lose these pesky 25 pounds.  The very basic idea of it is 6 days of specific to your weight/height/age calorie restriction, followed by 1 day of calorie surplus - or your spike day.  You watch what you eat for 6 days, and then so that your metabolism doesn't tank, you eat whatever you want on the 7th day.  The details of the diet are best found on his websites, along with testimonials, but it's about burning fat and boosting your metabolism.

I've been doing it for 2 weeks now, and I think this could really work for me.  It helps that Spencer is doing it too, though he actually goes and works out, I'm just dieting at this point - hopefully the workouts will start soon.  In two weeks I've already lost 5 pounds, and am wearing jeans that I haven't been able to button up for years!  And my belt is too big!

It's easiest for me to count calories at this point by eating prepackaged protein/fiber snacks and shakes, and eating dinner based on how many calories I have left at that point (always leaving room for a snack in the evening!).  Once I get used to counting calories I'll start branching out with my snacks and meals.

The best part? SPIKE DAY!!  Throughout the week I'm surrounded by a lot of bad food choices - foods that would ordinarily cause me to throw my hands up in the air and say, "It's not worth it to give up all these foods I love!  It's too hard!"  But now I see them and just tell myself I can have as much as I want of it on Saturday.  Saturday's are my spike day (at least until Thanksgiving and Christmas) and this past Saturday I ate the following:

pb and j sandwich
piece of cheese pizza
little bag of Fritos
handful of fruit
little cheese and meat
handful of Combos
can of pop
more candy
2 enchiladas
small white pumpkin mocha
and more:o)

Doesn't look like dieting food does it?  If my weight loss keeps going like it is, I'll be down to my goal weight in just 10 weeks!  By Christmas!

The Spike Diet blog was helpful in getting to know the concepts of the diet, but the book has been great for getting a more in depth understanding of the diet, and lots of yummy, and easy snack and meal ideas.

My favorite part, other than the losing weight part? Spike day!

Spencer's favorite part?  Center cut bacon is encouraged throughout the week!

Now that you've read my blog post, check Russ's out with the link above!  I'll keep you updated on my progress!

Friday, October 29, 2010

When I was a (dumb) curious kid

The temp is dropping here in the icy state of Minnesota, this morning it was well below freezing.  The mid-sized kids just went outside and the compact-sized kids have to stay in this morning.  While I was sending the mid-sized kids out, I warned them not to lick anything or their tongues would stick to it and it would hurt really bad. 

Why do I know this?  Because I was warned as a child not to lick metal in the winter or my tongue would stick. 

Did I listen? Not really.

Generally speaking I was an obedient child, but I also have a curious nature - and you know what they say about curiosity. 

Curiosity led me to learn about lots of different and wonderful things throughout my life, but it wasn't so helpful one cold day when I was little.

I'm not sure how old I was, I was no older than eight though because it was at my "old" house.  My neighbor friend and her 74 big brothers were over in our yard sledding down the hill, through the open gate, and onto the frozen creek. 

After sledding for a while, I looked at the metal chain-link fence that I'm pretty sure I had just ridden my sled into and wondered, does your tongue really stick to frozen metal, or is that just something grown ups say to you so you don't lick stuff?

And so I nonchalantly stood up to the fence, and put my tongue on it. 

And I was stuck.

Not wanting to panic or ask for help (I've never been good at asking for help) I thought I could pull my tongue off. 

So I put my lips on the bar for leverage.

And they got stuck too.

I don't know how many seconds or minutes I stood like that, not sure what to do, but I would have been mortified if my neighbor friend and her 74 brothers knew what had happened.  The fear of being laughed at was too great.  In fact my friend saw me and asked if I was ok.

I responded with , "lm lhm" in a very "yep, I'm just hanging out by the fence" kind of way.

It was time to free myself, so I did the only thing I could think of to do...

I braced myself, and yanked my face back away from the fence pole.

holy frankfurters did that hurt!!

I looked at the fence in front of me and there, staring at me, was the outer layer of skin from my tongue and lips!

I don't remember sledding anymore that day, but I do remember trying to figure out how to explain my mangled appearance to my parents without looking like a total idiot.  I thought I had told them that I was sledding and crashed into the fence in such a way that my mouth got stuck to the top bar on the fence, but my parents tell me I fessed up at dinner when they asked what was wrong with my mouth.

So now, every year, I warn the kids not to put their mouths on anything outside or they'll get stuck, and it will hurt, and that I know this because I did it when I was a kid.

And then I shake my head at myself for being such a dumb curious kid.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wishful Wednesday

Wishful Wednesday came and I forgot about it?? It's the easiest post and I forgot about it??  Whatevs. Here it is, a little late on Wednesday night, but probably makes more sense than posting it tuesday night. 

I wish I didn't have to lift 20-something lb children.... can't they just learn to leap into their highchairs/boosterseats/cribs/the car/shopping carts?  I mean, it would really help my back out!

I wish I had fully realized the wonderment that is Once Upon A Child sooner!  I'd been in one of these stores WAYYYY back when Sweet Pea was a baby, and it was really junky and chaotic.  I went into one tonight and wanted to stay for hours!  Clean, organized, fantastic stuff, great prices!   Ok, commercial over.

I wish it was Saturday cuz there's stuff I wanna eat.  I'll tell you more about what I'm talking about next week, if when I weigh myself on friday I have indeed lost the weight I think I've lost.

I wish we had a second car.  Most of the time having one vehicle is fine for us, but it's getting tougher.

That's all I have tonight!  What are you wishing for? Come on, speak up!  You don't have to have a google account to comment :o)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Little Man Hamming it Up

Little Man was hamming it up for the camera the other night, and I can't help but put up cute pictures of my baby boy. 

This was his after-the-flash face that he enjoyed doing and kept it up long after the flash was over :o)
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