Monday, February 28, 2011

Color Me Mad

The tantrum threes!  Ugh.  As I have mentioned before, our 3 year old son has had a bad behavior escalation in the past few weeks.  We figured it was from seeing very little of my husband, due to work demands, but the other day I came across another theory. 

I was reading the news, and there was an article about artificial food coloring in food, and it's effects on children.  I remember years ago hearing that artificial food coloring could be bad for you, but I could not remember the specifics.  Apparently, they have found links between the colors and children's behavior.  Red 40 seemed to be the biggest culprit.  Sometimes the effects mimicked ADD.  Some families were quoted in the article, and one mother said her daughter could come off her ADD meds after she cut out the red 40 in her diet.  It was the food coloring all along, in her case!  Some other colors were mentioned, but Red 40 seemed to be the most problematic, and most the color children were most commonly sensitive to. 

After reading this article, I decided to try a little experiment here in our house.  I bagged up all the food with Red 40 in it, and any other foods with more than 2 artificial colors in them.  The 2 days that followed the color removal were peaceful, and less problematic for our son.  It could be a coincidence, but I'm not sure yet since my husband gave him a red cookie yesterday evening.  So now I have to start over, and monitor his behavior over a longer period of time.  What I do know is he was wild today.  He was not a good listener, had to go to time outs, was purposely doing what we asked him not to, and was physically aggressive.  Was this from the Red?  What it was, for sure, was enough to convince me to continue the experiment.  My son is very sensitive to sugar.  He really cannot handle much more than a pinch of added sugar without becoming a wild monkey.  Forget chocolate milk.  That is a nightmare.  Some kids are just more sensitive than others with certain things in their diet.  Perhaps he is also extra sensitive to the red dye.  We shall see.

I also know that the week he was almost totally out of control, he was eating Fruity Pebbles every morning for breakfast.  They have all sorts of artificial colors in them to get that fun look that attracts children.  So he was LOADED.  After the cereal was gone, he was more calm.  It's hard to ignore that.

I don't know anyone personally who has run into this issue with any of their children.  I've known people with sugar issues, or gluten issues.  If I can see a clear difference, and it improves his life, I'll have to do some more research and cut it out of his diet.  I never dreamed that food coloring could ever be an issue.  If it's not one thing, it's another!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Clearly Not the One

It's about time for some of the controversy I'm known for.  I've spent a lot of time trying not to offend anyone, and things got boring!  It's not my intention to offend, let's be clear, but it's the nature of the beast when you discuss politics.  That is exactly what I'm about to do, so if you don't want to hear it, skip this one! 

I've been paying attention to the protesting in Wisconsin lately.  This Governor who is trying to be a conservative hero by stripping the collective bargaining rights from unions, which doesn't do anything for the budget although he is trying to pass it off as it does), is broadcasting a message that a lot of us have known and understood for awhile.  The Republican agenda is not for middle or lower class folks.  It's not even that they aren't all that concerned with helping these groups, or even protecting their actual human rights, they don't even seem to even LIKE the people who make up these groups.  So, why do folks in these groups follow these leaders and subscribe to the idea that they are out for their best interests?  Does everyone really believe they are suddenly going to strike it filthy rich, and therefore we should be catering to the wealthy and continually help them to become more rich on the backs of those beneath them on the pay scale?  Allow me to illustrate the charge that the Republican agenda does not care about the common folk they swindle into supporting them...

The people elected this Governor Scott Walker, and as soon as they realized he was taking rights that were important to them away, they started protesting.  They made the voice of the people heard.  It was loud and clear.  Did he listen to his constituents and alter his agenda to reflect the will of the people?  Absolutely not.  They even conceded financially, and were just fighting to keep their right to collectively bargain.  He's passing it off as necessary to get rid of that for the budget.  He doesn't really ever explain it clearly, he just said it's necessary for flexibility.  He is pushing forward, with total disregard for the folks he is to be serving. 

My next example is the cuts in funding in the proposed budget.  Cutting funding for Planned Parenthood is a direct slap in the face to many lower class women who have no other health care.  They get care there, education, medication.  (It is not just abortion they provide).  Education is a huge part of planned parenthood, so now they want to get rid of large provider of education on how NOT to have an unwanted pregnancy, and at the same time abortion rights are always being attacked by the right.  (This isn't an argument of whether abortion is right or wrong.  It's pointing out how, when you put it all together, it sure seems like they are creating some pretty hefty problems for the middle and lower class folks.)  So, now people aren't getting as much education, or access to pregnancy prevention methods, and they want to make them have the babies that result.  A lot of the women who would be seeking an abortion cannot take care of their babies.  (Adoption would be a great choice, but, in reality, it's not something a lot of these women would get involved with).  So now less pregnancies have been prevented, they want all those babies to be born, and here is the real kick in the head, they want to cut funding for nutrition and care for underweight babies.   A lot of underweight babies are born to low income mothers, and knowing the risks for underweight babies, the demographic that a large number of women seeking abortions fall into are most at risk for underweight babies.  So, don't tell people how to prevent babies, then force them to have them, then don't help those babies thrive.  Don't help those women find ways to take care of their children. (Oh, and a side note, don't forget that funding for programs to help lower income families heat their homes is also being cut.  So now we can have lots of sick, hungry, cold babies.  Who out there is thinking "Awesome!  Exactly what our founding fathers had in mind!"  Insanity, I tell you.)

Oh, let's not forget trying to take away the approaching new health care options.  Lower and lower middle class families are most at risk for not having access to health care coverage or the care itself (due to costs).  *Don't forget, these families are going to get larger and now have babies without health care, food.... due to outlawing early abortions if they right has their way.  Good health should not be a privilege, it should be the right of every human being.  Especially in a wealthy country like ours.  No one should go without the medical care they need. 

It's not the redistribution of wealth on a communist or socialist level by increasing the taxes on the very wealthy.  We are not evening the playing field here.  We are not trying to bring the ultra rich down to a middle or lower class.  It's ridiculous to even suggest that is what is going on.  We are trying to take care of our own, maintain a robust middle class, and that keeps our country strong.  Being a nation of ultra rich and ultra poor is never a success story when you look back over history.  So, why is it that the middle class and lower class folks are so quick to agree to less options for themselves.  How have they been bamboozled into protecting the rich?  We've tried that for many years, it doesn't work! 

So I guess my point is, wake up!  Your abusive boyfriend is bad!  He's hurting you.  He may say "Oh, we are so about taking our country back, and creating jobs together!", but as soon as you let him in your house he's taking away your chances at good health, the right to discuss and negotiate for better working conditions, your right to choose what you can handle mentally and physically and what happens to your own body, help to feed your children (should you ever fall on hard times), and he just stands around posing, trying to look good for everyone around him and never really accomplishing anything or actually taking care of you (in reference to the votes to repeal things that they clearly knew they could never get enough to actually follow through.  It was all for political theater).  Just like a good friend would say to their friend who's boyfriend keeps kicking her when she's down, "He's no good!  This relationship is unhealthy.  He is controlling and wants to keep you weak." 

So what else needs to happen?  Do they really have to come out in plain English and tell people that they talk all folksy, pretend to like the same things middle America likes, pretend that our country is going to Hell in a hand basket thanks to the "left" trying to help keep middle America alive is all just an act to get you to say "Hey, he's just like me?!"  Should they record these messages where they admit these things, while they are at one of their vacation homes or sailing on their yacht, just like you do?  Oh wait, you don't have vacation homes or yachts?  Pay no attention to the yacht behind the curtain, I mean man, behind the man.  All you need to see is the guy pretending to be just like you.  He cares so much about you, and wants to save this country for you.  Keep that in mind when you're sick & can't see a doctor, cold & have no heat, have a pregnant daughter because she was afraid to ask you for help and didn't have a planned parenthood to provide her with contraception, and now you all have to eat cat food and make soup out of ketchup packets because they messed around with political posturing so much they forgot to create jobs and now you have none.  On that kind of diet, you better believe that grandbaby on the way will be underweight.  But, at least no one will call you a socialist.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

New Arrival

The new double oven, convection, 5 burner stove came today!  They called yesterday, saying they could deliver it early, so we agreed to that.  It is awesome.  I keep trying to figure out a way to make out with it.  haha  I at least want to bring my pillow down and sleep beside it tonight.  Tomorrow, for the inaugural dinner, I believe I'll be making coq au vin.  We shall see! 

My husband installed the oven for us himself.  He tried to convince me it was back as far as it would go against the wall, but it was still like half a foot out from the wall!  So I told him it was okay, we'll just call someone and pay them to put it in better, and then suddenly my husband had a brilliant idea as to how to get it against the wall without breaking the gas line.  It's amazing how you mention spending money and voila, a man has a million fabulous ideas to keep you from spending that money.  The fix is really easy, the gas line just needed to be set back a little further, so he's going to cut a slot for it so the stove won't be bending it or breaking it.  The gas line will be able to be up against the wall this way.  So if anyone else runs into this problem, there's how you get around it.  Cut the hole in the floor where it comes out a little bigger, back against the wall. 

Now, if you will excuse me, I'm dying to get my hands on this instruction manual, and figure out how to use all the features this baby has to offer! 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Conspiracy theories coming soon to your inbox...

I have a diverse group of friends and family members.  I know them all very well, and I'm a big believer in "know your audience", so I rarely send forwards or group emails, and if I do I copy and paste and send the info only to the people I am pretty confident will appreciate the content.  Apparently, none of my family or friends takes this into consideration before tacking my email address onto whatever junk mail comes their way that they feel the just HAVE to share with me.  It is no secret that I am a liberal, I do not enjoy racist or homophobic content, and I lack an appreciation of emails from God (I just don't think an omnipotent being is going to be logging onto hotmail to send out His or Her meeting minutes.)  Everyone knows this, yet I get these types of emails all the time.  Let me elaborate....

During the election, and now since, I have received much hate filled rhetoric via email.  Hatred of Muslims, African Americans, you name it.  Some of it very poorly disguised as "concern" for our country, although the reasons cited were more often than not made up, unfounded allegations.  This always annoyed me because I look up info before I send it out to verify it's validity.  Apparently I'm friends with a lot of folks who do not feel the need to verify stuff before they buy it.  They'll believe anything you tell them if you are loud and angry enough about it.  I'd call these folks out on so many of these emails, and yet they keep on sending them.  Why?!  I never send them emails trying to convince them to do research and learn what is really going on for themselves.  I don't send out anti-racism or anti-homophobe or anti-hate emails to them.  They don't want to hear it.  KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE, people.

I always get those hoax emails, too.  It's so easy to verify if that is indeed a missing person, or if there are people really spraying you down with poison when you are walking to your car... Hello, everyone, I'd like you to meet "Google".  Please type a few words describing the subject of a questionable email and see if snopes comes up verifying whether or not it is true information before you send it to everyone you've ever spoken 3 words to in your lifetime.  You could go directly to snopes, but I didn't want to be making things too difficult for folks, and I figured most email users should be capable of doing a Google search.  Maybe I have too much confidence in the abilities of chronic forwarders, though. 

One of my biggest email pet peeves is the people who send out trash disguised as a news story.  Fox News is the absolute worst.  (To see how I really feel, I could point you in the direction of the picture of me in NYC outside Fox News, flipping it the bird.  That pic was for my dear friend, and fellow human repulsed by Fox News, Dalia.  She was staying with relatives who had it running on the tv 24/7.  I would have moved out to my car at that point.  She's much stronger than I.)  But, my father-in-law is always sending these "conspiracy theory" emails as I call them to me from Fox or other uber conservative news sources.  One was trying to blame Obama and his cabinet for trying to ban hot dogs.  When really, it was a board of pediatricians wanting to put a warning to cut the hotdogs lengthwise, and not just into circles because they are a huge culprit when it comes to children choking to death.  The most disturbing thing about his sheer anger at the idea of a warning was that his own nephew, who is an EMT, was JUST telling us earlier that week how he was called out to a child choking on a hot dog.  He told us how horrific the scene was, and he was having trouble getting over it.  It was haunting him.  Oh, but you stick Obama's name on it and let the damn children fend for themselves!  Learn to chew your hot dogs, 1 year olds!  What's your problem?!  Ugh. 

So, two days ago, I get this news article for him.  I immediately rolled my eyes, just imagining what ridiculous info I was about to read.  Even in the title, right up front, it said that what they were about to discuss "May" be happening.  MAY!  Basically "We made this shit up, but there is a chance it could happen."  Then in the article itself it mentioned several times that there was no evidence that anything shady was going on.  It was aimed at Google.  It also pointed out that what they were saying was possible would be extremely difficult, even really close to impossible to do.  It's like, sure I CAN go to the moon, but it would be so difficult for me to do that so I will not be going.  Therefore, folks, it's not even worth discussing.  But somehow, this person wrote this article, trying to freak people out about something that wasn't proven to be happening or even likely to be happening.  What a waste of time.  The only purpose of "news" like this is to get people worked up about nothing.  I hate it.  He loves it.  I have told him I don't like it, and yet they keep coming.  The most hysterical part about this email warning of a security issue online is that my husband's line of business is INFORMATION SECURITY.  His own son is a security techie!  Thanks for preaching to the choir.

So, now that I got that off my chest, a little public service announcement:  You are not required to send out every forward, every "news" article, or every bad, tasteless joke to every email contact that you have.  You can pick and choose who it goes out to.  Take the time to click on the emails individually.  It's not like you're really thinking of these people you're sending these emails to.  They are impersonal and you obviously aren't thinking of the individual people you're emailing because you are clearly not considering if they would appreciate the content.  One more time, with feeling : Know your audience!!

Thank you to my sister for suggesting this post topic today.  I was trying to avoid offending people, although it brings me back to my point that the senders of these emails are not concerned with offending me.  So there you have it!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Irrational Fear

My husband and I were watching Tosh.0 the other night, and there was a bit where a guy in a gorilla suit made an appearance.  My close family and friends know I have an irrational fear of people dressed in "monkey suits".  I refer to them as "monkey men".  I believe it is more of a discomfort with people dressed in costumes that totally obscure the person.  People tend to act differently than they normally would when you cannot fully see them.  Just like how people chatting online get brave and say things they wouldn't say to someone face to face.  They can be anything they want to be.  In this case, they are dressed like a gorilla and, therefore, they are acting like an animal and not a person.  Even just seeing this guy on tv gave me the creeps, and made me uncomfortable.  Anytime there is a Halloween store that we want to go in, I have to have my husband go in and make sure there are no monkey men walking around.  I don't know why that is the costume of choice for employees who dress up for the job, but so often it is.  The mall in the city we used to live in, always had a Halloween store.  If I saw a monkey man in that store, I'd walk on the other side of aisle between stores so kiosks were between us.  I'm serious.  It is stupid and silly, but I hate it.  I don't really like clowns or the Hershey candy people walking around Hershey Park.  Let me see your face, people!  haha 

Seeing that guy on Tosh caught me off guard.  Usually this fear only becomes an issue around Halloween, for obvious reasons, so a February sighting was unexpected.  I wish I had more normal fears.  I'm also afraid of port-a-potties.  I simply will not go in one unless I'm down to the last second before I pee my pants.  Even then I have to weigh the pros and cons of peeing my pants against stepping foot in a spot-a-pot.  For a mild germ-a-phobe they are a nightmare.  Not to mention the risk of them tipping over is more than I'm willing to take.  They are just all around gross, and unpredictable since they are, in fact, portable. 

Yes, I know this post was a bit random, but it was all brought to mind by that show.  Hopefully I have no other monkey man run ins this year, at least not until Halloween!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Night in...

Actually sat and watched an entire movie from start to finish with my husband.  That may be the first time we got to do something like that since the baby was born!  It was very nice.  Now, we have about a hundred boxes to schlep outside for the recycling collection tomorrow.  (Thanks to my spring cleaning, yard sale preparations creating a lot of empty boxes from our move this year.)  So, this is a very short post since we have a ton to do, and it's already 11:30 at night!  Better get moving...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Snow kidding

We got a nice pile of snow again overnight.  This AM my husband went out to shovel, and our neighbor came over with his snow blower to help out and to use some of our gas.  (Which, of course, we were more than happy to give since he's helped out several times while my husband was away working and I was left to shovel everything myself with the baby and 3 year old.)  They were talking and the neighbor said his kiddos were excited, and wanted to go sledding.  My husband said "Oh, you guys like sledding?  Where do you go?  Is it around here?", and the neighbor answered "Yeah, it's your back yard!"  Haha.  I forgot he wasn't around for most of the snow falls this year, so he didn't know the kids and our son loved to go out in the back yard and sled together.  The little 2 year old girl, when she woke up and saw snow the last time it snowed, said "Oh I can't wait to go to (my son's) house and go sledding!".  We love having them over, so I'm thrilled to know they enjoy it so much.  So everyone was out in the back yard sledding around lunch time.  I even got to go out after the baby went down for a nap (the Sony Baby Call does awesome outside.  Best monitor we've had.).  So that was a silver lining in a snowy situation.  Just when we were thinking the good weather was on it's way....

10 days until the new stove gets here!  I have to go to Lowes in the next day or so to pick up a new vanity light for our bathroom.  It's on sale, and you know how I am about the sales!  I had this light picked out for awhile.  I just hope our old light comes off nice, and it's not a mess behind it.  We shall see!  I also wish to replace the mirror in that powder room.  The one that is in there is so bad.  I have to update and decorate slowly around here to not send my husband into "sticker shock".  Plus, eventually I have to give myself a day off.  I was asking my husband how the cleaning and projects seems to never end.  I told him I need to go to the spa for an entire day or week or until I feel like coming back to cleaning!  So maybe, forever.  :P

I ran out of room on my camera today, so I'm working on transferring my pics off of it and onto my PC, then onto my hard drive and a DVD.  I feel I can never back them up enough.  I always worry about losing pictures now that I have children.  It makes me sad to think I would lose the visual reminders of what they were like growing up.  I want to save that for them and myself.  These moments are fleeting. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Spring Cleaning

First, a shout out to South Korea.  Thanks for stopping by!

Now, onto the post of the day:
Our HOA sent out a letter announcing an April community yard sale.  Woot!  Since today was a holiday, and my husband had the day off, I started going through things in our basement.  There was a lot leftover from the old decor of this home when we moved into it.  We took it down, and some of it we hung onto, mostly because we hadn't gotten around to getting rid of it.  Now, I organized it to put out at the yard sale.  I also went through our things, and found a good bit to try to sell. While I was digging through things, I also worked at organizing our storage area downstairs in our basement.  I organized it back when I was about 8 months pregnant.  Somehow, it got nearly destroyed.  It went from neatly arranged and organized, to a heaping pile of who-knows-what.  It was near impossible to quickly find anything, let alone get to it once you did locate an item. 

I have two sections going downstairs.  One is a section of well labeled, well packed things.  Mostly everything in this area is packed into labeled totes.  Holiday decorations, baby/children's clothes, sentimental items... it's all there.  The other section is mostly boxes of wires, electronic parts, and teenie tiny little nothings that my husband seems to horde by the hundreds.  I'd open a huge box (like a box for a car seat, for example), and it would have only a few things in the bottom.  I cannot stand that.  What a waste of space!  Now, there were plenty of full boxes, full of these little nothings.  They are all poorly or not at all labeled.  (Obviously I didn't pack these boxes.)  They are on the other side of the storage section downstairs.  I told my husband he is to go through it (he never did in the 6 years we were at our old house or the nearly 1 year we were here, but I keep trying for it).  I gave him ideas and tips on how to organize it, and to have better access to his things so he doesn't just give up and buy something he already has!  (This has happened several times.)  And, of course, there are threats of "Don't you dare mess this up again!"  I have a HUGE pile of cardboard that would more than fill my son's bathroom if it was empty, with no tub or toilet or double sink... I'm insisting that goes out to the recycling this week.  Most of that is from boxes that have been empty since the month we moved in here, almost a year ago!  I took a lot out myself, but I would quickly get tired doing the stairs over and over again while I was very pregnant.  Since the baby has been born, I have hardly been down there at all since it's not a finished basement.  I didn't realize that since I stopped taking care of it NO ONE took care of it. 

Hopefully the large pile of yard sale items yields enough revenue to finance my powder room overhaul, and maybe a few other small home improvement odds and ends.  I still have to go through our closets and garage to see what else can go. 

I worked for hours downstairs, and I was beat going between that, doing loads of laundry at the same time, and stopping here and there to feed the baby.  I forgot to feed myself lunch until super late.  I had cooked a huge breakfast for the family before I jumped into the spring cleaning.  So after all that, I cooked a nice dinner for my boys.  I'm thinking it's time for me to relax, and to do something nice for myself.  A bubble bath with a cup of tea and a DVD sounds perfect to me.  I have been so busy since the baby has been born, that I have not gotten to use my big tub since I was pregnant!  Now, with a back sore from lifting heavy boxes full of books, clothes, and electronics, a nice bath with my sore muscle soak crystals sounds like Heaven.  Fat chance, though.  I have dishes from dinner awaiting me, laundry to fold, laundry to put in the dryer, and I'm so tired I could fall into bed and pass out right this minute.  There are still a million things that need done around here, but they will have to wait.  Who knows when I'll get the chance to really concentrate on my to do list again.  Today was a rare opportunity, but my husband knows when he sees my eyes glass over and a flurry of organization start up, to just let me do it.  Do not interrupt me, do not get in my way, and certainly do not pull something out of the trash that I have deemed garbage. 

And for pity's sake, stop putting 3 things in the bottom of a huge box and throwing it on the pile with the other barely filled enormous boxes.  It's just insane! 

Bonus kid quote:  My son was walking around the house with a little contraption he built out of a honey bear jar and a toy train signal that was attached to the top of it.  I asked him what it was... "It's a findin-inator.  It helps me find where Daddy went."  So, I guess my 3 year old is now an inventor.  He reminds me of the main character from Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs.  I'll have to get him a little lab coat.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Released into the Wild

Today I learned that if I pick up a Starbucks coffee when I walk into the grocery store to do my shopping, I will talk to anything with a pulse (and some random fruits and vegetables) throughout my shopping trip.  Everyone who knows me is aware that I am a champion talker.  Give me some caffeine, and I simply cannot shut up.  I even have a voice in my own head saying "For crying out loud, shut the hell up!" when I'm in the middle of a marathon mouth run. 

It's always quite funny when 2 people who both talk a lot, and rather quickly, get together and have a conversation.  I have a few friends who could possibly out-talk me, or at least give me a run for my money.  We are always half talking over each other, and still managing to completely follow the conversation and respond to each other even while talking over each other.  I'm not sure if anyone around us could follow what we're saying, but we can listen and talk at the same time.  That takes some serious skill and concentration!  haha  See how I play it off as an asset.  It's not like we don't care about what the other is saying, we do, and we hear them, we just are responding or questioning or describing while listening, and we equally do it to each other.  The scary thing is, as fast as I talk, my mouth is never even able to keep up with my brain.  A fraction of what I am thinking actually makes it out of my mouth. 

As I mentioned, this condition gets worse with caffeine, but it also gets worse with isolation from other adults, and when I see something exciting, funny, or unbelievable.  Then I just can't quit. 

I have chronic insomnia.  Yes, this relates to my talking, as it is caused by my inability to shut down my mind in order to properly rest.  See, even when I'm not running my mouth, my brain is still going.  I make long lists of things I have to do (we call it listing, and sometimes I'll try to verbally go over what we have to do with my husband at night and he'll tell me to stop listing and stop trying to pull him into it.  He recognizes what I'm doing before I do!), I write emails in my mind, I go over projects I want to do and plan how I will carry them out.  I also work on time management plans for the next day or week.  I cannot imagine what it must be like to have a quiet mind that can relax and settle down.  Mine is always going, and it shows through my talking, my sometimes obsessive cleaning or working on projects.  Even when I try to take a nice, calming bath I have to put a DVD on or I will sit there and go over and over all the things I should be doing instead, and it becomes so un-enjoyable that I have to get out of the tub.  Not enough is ever done, nothing is ever good enough, and I have to keep going. 

I have not found a cure for this ridiculous "condition", so everyone just has to put up with my yapping.  At least they get to leave after awhile, I'm stuck with myself!  So, if anyone knows of some secret, miracle cure for such an obnoxious mind, let me know!  I'd like some peace and quiet from myself now and then.  It can just be too much, and, yes, it can get to uncomfortable levels where I feel completely unsettled.  I am not sure how this ever started.  So, if you're around me & I am talking too much, know I simply cannot shut up.  I really want to, and I'm hating it, but it is what it is.  Silver lining?  My oldest son has crazy awesome verbal skills, and it looks like the baby is headed that way, too.  Guess it's not all that bad! 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

We Didn't Blow Away

So, we are still here!  Our house did not fly away to Oz.  My husband and son braved the wind to play outside for a little while today.  I could barely stand being out in the wind to run errands.  This kind older gentleman stopped to help me get the baby in the car because the wind was blowing against me so hard it was difficult to maneuver the baby carrier into the car.  To top it off, the stroller took off, crashing into me and bending my fingernail completely backwards.  That thing still hurts!  So, when this man stopped and said "Let me hold that for you."  I was so thankful.  My husband was trying to get our older son in the car without the door slamming on them on the other side.  When I was getting in my seat, the door got my other hand and I broke another nail when my finger got jammed in the door.  Fun times. 

We ordered my near dream range today.  (My true dream would be two full ovens stacked in the wall... oooooh, aaaaaah).  It does have 2 ovens, and 5 burners, and one of the ovens is a convection oven.  It has auto shut off, so it comes with a Sabbath mode to override that so you can leave it on and avoid breaking kosher laws by having to turn it on during Sabbath.  I don't keep that kosher, even on Sabbath, so it's not like I need that but it's cool that it exists.  It has all sorts of special bells and whistles for baking, too, which I super love to do.  It comes March 4th, so I'm thinking there will be a big inaugural dinner that weekend! 

We took my son to Borders to use his gift card from Christmas since a lot of the stores around here are closing.  We had several books picked out, but then he noticed a wooden train made out of building blocks.  So we left with that and two books.  The boy loves trains. 

My husband just installed a light we had bought for this house before we even  moved in.  In slightly over 2 months, we will have lived here for a year!  Better late than never!  I have my eye on a new light fixture for our powder room, and it needs a new mirror.  I'd like to take care of this soon because we have a neighborhood yard sale coming up in April, and I'd like to put the old stuff out for sale.  I'm mentally collecting things for the sale, but I need to clear a corner in the basement to start organizing everything.  With the move, we do have things to sell.  I wish I had kept some of the items we took down and replaced.  I could've sold them! 

I put up some decorations in my "girl room", today.  I don't have a little girl, but I have my office in our spare room.  That room had pink carpet in it.  Naturally, there was only one thing to do with that, turn it into a Hello Kitty room.  I had a blanket, and stuffed Kitties and such, but now I have cute wall clings up.  haha  The walls were painted white because I wasn't so sure what I wanted to do with them, but I knew I didn't want the terrible wall paper it came with!  So, now they are way more interesting, and I just need some valances for the windows because the white sheers are too boring.  The bedding is already white and pink, so it's coming together.  Originally I did it for my niece who wanted to be able to come stay over.  Now it's mostly just because I've like Hello Kitty since I was a little girl, and still to this day I think she's cute.  So I do it now for nostalgia. 

This house seems like one never-ending project sometimes!  Moving from a town home to a single family, 4 bedroom house means it's going to take awhile to decorate and make it your own.  It takes time, money, and did I mention time!  With a baby on the way, and now he's here, I've been even slower than usual at decorating.  I love to do it, but I take my time thinking about exactly what I want.  It's fun.  I wish I had more time for that.  One day, right?!

Tomorrow I have to finish my housework, and it's coupon Sunday, so I'll be working on that.  Luckily it's a 3 day weekend, so I have a little extra help from my husband Monday, too.  We'll see what all I can get accomplished.  I'm trying to wrap up some of these "projects" and organizing in a kind of "spring cleaning" way.  It'll feel great when it's done! 

Friday, February 18, 2011

And the Nice Weather is Blown Away...

The wind outside is wicked.  We just pulled all loose objects inside (yes, at nearly midnight) because they are saying to expect power outages, downed trees, and property damage.  The wind is disturbing the kids' sleep, too.  I just had to help my oldest get back to sleep after a trip to the potty, and now he is in my bed.  Usually I do not allow him in my bed, but when he is super disoriented (not fully awake really) it helps to calm him if I bring him in my bed while I sit and read or type.  When he's that out of it he just cries and talks jibberish, and it's hard to calm him, so bringing him in here works.  It's pretty rare that we have to do that, but at least it helps him.  He usually drifts back to fully asleep rather quickly.  The wind is so disruptive tonight, though, so we'll see if he can tune it out.

We took a very long walk around our neighborhood, and the neighborhood kind of next to ours.  Once again my oldest had his scooter with him.  My husband showed up after about an hour of walking, and we were on our way home.  At least he got a few minutes in the nice weather.  The wind is chasing all of that away.  We were all outside together later in the afternoon and early evening for a few hours.  A lot of our neighbors were out, as well.  Everyone wanted to soak up that last bit of nice weather before it gets cold again tomorrow.  They are calling for snow, even, next week.  Oh well.  It was a nice preview of spring.  I even got to open our windows yesterday and today, and let in the fresh air. 

Look, my little guy is asleep already.  When I'm done this post I'll carry him back to bed.  I don't know what's going on in the baby's room, but I keep hearing crazy sounds on the monitor.  I think debris might be hitting the house outside his room.  I keep checking on him, and all looks fine.  It's going to be a long night, especially since this isn't even supposed to be the worst of it yet!

Tomorrow is supposed to be windy all day.  We are going to look at stoves, I think, and I have to do the housework.  At least no outdoor activities were planned that the bad wind could ruin.  Hopefully the power holds up.

I guess I should get this little monkey back to bed, and get myself ready for bed.  Or I'll leave him here until my husband comes upstairs, and he can carry him!  I think that's a good plan.  

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Snow and Sun!

Playing in the snow in shorts and t-shirts?!  Yes!  That was the scene outside my front door today.  It was gorgeous outside!  My sons and I took a walk (well the oldest took a scoot on his scooter, and my youngest took a ride in the stroller, so I guess I took a walk with 2 boys on wheels).  We went to a playground, and the oldest played for a while before we returned home for lunch.  It smelled like spring, and we had to take our jackets off.  He kept running his scooter through snow piles.  It was so strange.  Then, later in the afternoon, school let out and the school kids were out in t-shirts and shorts, climbing on the snow.  We were back outside, as well, and the kids could not be happier.  My older son is really benefiting from the nicer weather.  He had such cabin fever, as those of you who've read previous posts know.  He already has requested another walk for tomorrow.  Actually, he asked if we could take 2 walks tomorrow. 

I felt bad for a neighbor child, about 5 years old, who is friends with my son, and was watching him play outside from his window.  He is very sick right now, and what a terrible time for that!  We have penciled in plans with them for a play date next week as long as everyone is healthy.  Hopefully some of this nice weather will continue for them. 

My husband came out to play with our oldest, and so I had some time on my hands.  The baby went down for a nap, and I got to researching ovens.  I think I'm having a small panic attack over this.  I know this is something we'll have for a long time, and that really puts the pressure on me to pick out something great.  It also bugs me that all of our appliances are white, except the over-range microwave which is black.  (Our current range is bisque with black).  I'm already annoyed that once I get a white stove to match the fridge and dishwasher that the microwave is going to look mismatched.  Yes, I care about stupid things like that.  I can't help it.  It just bugs me.  It is very sad, though, to be upset over it before the stove is even here. 

I am trying to decide between joining a  yoga class or a dance class, on top of picking out this stove.  Yoga seems more doable at this time, as the dance class I was considering would involve my husband.  If I do yoga, I can go alone and automatically have childcare at home.  Also, the time requirement would work with the baby's feeding schedule.  What is with all of these decisions!  It's difficult to make them when they start to pile up. 

With the windows open all day, our house smells amazing.  It's making me drowsy, and all warm and fuzzy feeling (just like when I check the Dow J on a day when stocks are up).  I am going to take a nice, long shower, put on the good lotion which is the best aromatherapy I have around here, and hop into bed in my spring-fresh room.  I hope everyone else had a great day today, and got to enjoy some of the weather one way or another.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Our vacuum has been trying to die now for a few years.  It's cord is hardly intact, and two weeks ago it snapped in half.  I keep using it, though.  I did my research to see which vacuum might be a good fit for us, and I think the best info I got was from directly posting a question on facebook.  People gave me info on their favorites, and why they liked them.  So, we have settled on a Dyson Animal.  I am possibly a little too excited to get this vacuum.  I get strangely excited over cleaning products (I was head over heels for my shark steamer mop this Christmas), and kitchen tools.

Speaking of kitchen, I have also picked out the stove I want.  I am going to wait on that a little bit, but I'll get to enjoy that sometime between  now and this summer.  Whenever I get around to it, really.  It had my 4 requirements: gas, 5 burners, 2 ovens, and viewing windows (our current stove does not have a window to see in, why is that?!).  I'm super excited about that.

I wanted to join a dance class once the baby started going longer between feedings.  I found a ballroom/latin/swing dance class around here.  I was thinking of doing something by myself, but this has piqued my interest.  Maybe my husband and I could do it together.  It would require finding a sitter, but that probably could happen.  So now I have to throw that in with yoga, tap, or ballet.... I just want a fun way to be active.

Speaking of babies, I went to record my littlest's height and weight for 4 months, and looked at my oldest's baby book.  My oldest was always on the small side for his age, and it turns out he was 1 and 1/4 inches shorter than my youngest son is at 4 months, but he was 3 oz heavier.  Guess that's just how my babies are.  We always thought the first one was smallish due to his terrible reflux.  My youngest outgrows his clothes faster than my oldest did, but I think it's because of his length.  He gets to the point where his onesies are too short.  Oh the things Momma's notice about their kids.  :)

We had fun playing outside today.  It's supposed to be 60 tomorrow!  We shall be outside, again!  The baby loved watching his older brother ride his powerwheels around our cul de sac.  It was a busy, but fun day.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tax Time

I may be the only person I know who gets excited at tax time!  I love the big reveal at the end.  Will you come out a winner?!  If so, how big is the jackpot?  I mean, I understand it was our money all along, but it was like it was hiding and we found it in couch cushions.  Or when you pull out an old purse to use, and voila!, there's a $20 bill floating around in there.  Bonus! 

We had so much going on this year with selling a home, buying a home, buying a car, I worked for a few weeks filling in for a nurse, we had a baby... so we decided to go to a CPA.  He was very nice, and to top it off, he treated it like the game show I always imagine it to be, with a big reveal at the end.  He was even downright gleeful as he announced our refund.  Then, he gave us candy bars.  The candy bar wrappers were little tax forms.  They were adorable.  It was the best tax experience I have ever had! 

My husband promised me that we could replace our stove after taxes this year.  We were going to get one when we moved into this home, but we decided to wait until taxes.  Well, it's kind of nice that we did because Lowes is having a promotion where you buy a gift card for yourself (they are promoting it as using your tax refund and getting 10% more for your refund), and they will add 10% of the amount you put on the card to the balance.  So if you put $1000 on, you get an additional $100.  Perfect for someone who was already going to buy a stove from them.  See, ever since I started couponing, deals and discounts seem to appear out of nowhere.  I guess I'm just more alert, and notice them more often. 

So, now it's time to choose my stove.  It must have a 2 oven option and a 5 burner gas range, so that really narrows it down.  I want stainless.  Hopefully, unlike our current oven, the temperature will be accurate so I don't have to keep messing with the dial to get it at the right temp.  That is a pain in the butt.  So we'll see what I come up with!

Again, I love tax time!  (Sorry for the chipperness to those of you who do not share my love.)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sweethearts Day

Happy Valentine's Day!  We had a great day.  My oldest son and I picked out some flowers for my Mom, and we took them and the baby to her at work.  She was very surprised, and got to show the new baby around to her work friends.  It was really nice.  She was coming to our house tonight, but we wanted her to have the flowers for her desk at work.  We gave my oldest the "Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs" DVD for Valentine's Day, and we told him that he could watch it later on with Nana.  She brought him a hamburger, and he was in Heaven!  Movie night with Nana! 

My husband and I, thanks to movie night with Nana, got to go out alone for a nice quiet dinner.  It was sweet.  We got to talk, well at least when the little girl behind us wasn't screaming at us.  I guess the universe was worried we might miss our kids, so it had her kick my seat over and over again, throw her hat at my husband, landing in his drink (nope, her mother and the other adults didn't do anything to discipline her).  Then, the cherry on the top was when she grabbed a handful of my hair and yanked it so hard, it pulled my head back!  I turned and said "Ooooh no no no."  Again, none of the adults even apologized for her behavior.  So, we almost had a childless evening.  It was still fun, and nice to talk to each other without interruptions.  We are very thankful to Nana for giving us that time together. 

We will not be forgetting this Valentine's Day anytime soon (thank you little girl!), and we started a new tradition with a different restaurant.  Next year our boys can join us..... maybe.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Eve

Well hooray for better behavior!  An early Valentine's gift for Momma!  My oldest son's behavior improved greatly this weekend.  We had no time outs on Saturday, and just one today.  We have been increasing the praise, and working on more of a rewards system.  Also, the weather has improved, so he has been able to go outside.  That makes a huge difference.  This kid needs to run and play!  We are trying to get him outside more often, and with the better weather, this should not be such a hard thing to do.  We practically live outside in the spring, summer, and fall. 

I also received my gift from my husband early.  I got 2 new non-stick frying pans, and a very good chopping knife.  I asked for, and picked out these items!  Haha.  How romantic, I know, but my pans were aging (and not gracefully).  I love cooking for my family, so this is a fabulous gift in my opinion.  I cannot wait to break in my new gifts with a yummy coq au vin dinner! 

One more Valentine's gift for me, my Mom is coming over tomorrow evening to watch our boys while my husband and I take a road trip to the nearest Long John's.  haha  We are going to keep the crazy tradition alive.  It will be nice to have a quiet, peaceful drive, just the two of us. 

I wish everyone a fun and happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Mommy Time Emergency!

I am in dire need of some alone time!  With my 3 year old's new love of not listening, defying me, and breaking the rules, I'm completely exhausted.  It's been around 2 weeks, each day getting a little worse.  Hopefully my husband and I can put our heads together this weekend, and come up with a new approach to discipline for this kid, but I also need to have some personal time to de-stress. 

Earlier today, I went to put in some laundry, and when I came back to the living room I saw my 3 year old reading a book to the baby.  It was sweet, and just like him to do something like that.  At least I saw a glimpse of the loving, fun, sweet boy I know and love.  I feel like he's getting lost in this ugliness, and it breaks my heart. 

I think a few minutes to myself this weekend will help me look at the situation with some fresh eyes, and come up with some ideas.  I wish I could skip this part, and just take all the fun things about having a 3 year old.  He's so smart, funny, creative, and loving when he's not acting out.  I think the first step will be to figure out what maybe triggered the sudden surge in bad behavior.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Time out!

I have hit the child rearing wall!  My three year old is all sorts of defiant lately, and this week has nearly constantly tested his limits.  What do you do with a child that will not sit in time out?  Ugh.  This has got to be the most frustrating thing about parenting.  You want to enjoy all the wonderful things about your child, but when they are acting up so much you can't.  By the end of today I was nearly ripping my hair out of my head.  My husband and I decided we have to revamp the disciplinary system we had going on.  I think between the baby starting to play with fun things (jealousy), and Daddy working so many long hours and not getting to spend so much time with him, my oldest son is acting out.  By the end of the day, he is super exhausted and then he can just switch from fun kiddo into beastie in the blink of an eye.  I would like to convince him to take a nap in the middle of the day, but he doesn't get that it would help him feel better, and have a nicer evening.  I feel like I'm yelling at him all day, and constantly sticking him in (or at least trying to) time out.  Aren't they supposed to figure out after a few time outs that the behavior getting them there is not worth it?  He will repeatedly do the same wrong thing forever.  I am not sure of one bad action that he's been in time out for multiple times that has actually been corrected.  I don't believe in grown adults hitting children, unless the child would otherwise be hurting themselves or another child or animal and a swat on the hand or even mouth (for biting), could be appropriate.  A big reason for this is it sends mixed messages to be teaching a kid not to hit, but then you are hitting them.  They've also found that hitting children makes them aggressive, and my kid is already this energetic, clumsy, doesn't know his own strength tornado.  I don't need to have him being mean and trying to hurt others when he already hurts people simply by not watching what he's doing or not realizing how rough his play is.

We are going to try a rewards system.  I have seen this professionally recommended, as well as personally recommended by a friend of mine.  "Tell them what they can do, then tell them what they can't do." is a statement I heard, and so a rewards system with more "time in" for good behavior to help ward off bad behavior and "time out" seems like a possible system for us.  I knew that we had it too good when he was 2 and so lovable and happy go lucky.  It was the Terrific Twos and the Terrible Threes for us!  But, I want to find something that will work for him.  Kids are miserable when they are acting up so much.  It doesn't feel good to them to be doing that.  In my son's case, it clearly is a response to his changing environment.  We always have more problems with him when company is around or something is very different, and so I see how when his daily routine is changing he could have the same type of reaction.  It's just never this frequent.  I don't want to be the mommy that is always screaming because she's exhausted and out of ideas. 

I have to remind myself not to take it personally.  He is not doing this TO me.  He is testing to learn his boundaries, and what is acceptable, and what is expected of him.  I just wish he'd pick up the pace, and learn a little bit faster.

I also cannot wait for better, warmer weather.  I think being stuck inside the house due to the bitter cold, and me not wanting to take the baby out in that, has really taken it's toll.  My oldest has always needed to run and play, and work his energy out.  All this bottled up energy seems to just be overflowing and exploding now.  The little soccer league he's going to be joining cannot start soon enough! 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The classic beauty that is Astro Turf

While driving today, I came across a rather breathtaking use of Astro Turf.  It literally took my breath when I saw this pretty little white house, completely ruined aesthetically for me by glaring green Astro Turf covering their front porch, side porch, and outdoor stairs.  I wanted to knock on the door and ask "Why?!  Why would you do that?!"  Then it occurred to me that maybe there is some practical reason for it that I just am unaware of. 

I doubt there is anyone who could think that is beautiful.  Maybe they are big sports fans?  Are they hoping people will be fooled into thinking that grass just naturally grew up there?  And why would that be desirable, anyway?  Do they host little teenie tiny soccer matches for their garden gnomes on it?  Do they have a little putt putt set up on their porch?  I also want to know how you remove snow from it.  What is the maintenance like?  I've seen this before, and usually there are worn spots in it.  All I know is, my first reaction wasn't "Wow, now THAT is a classy look."

If anyone is aware of a good reason to use Astro Turf on a porch, please let me know. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Baked Goods for Services

My mailman, once again, earns employee of the month (in my opinion).  He not only brought me my mail and package, but he also picked up my newspaper and brought that to me!  I baked cookies for him back at Christmas, and I'm starting to think they must've been the greatest cookies he's ever had to get this kind of service.  For the longest time, I was convinced my baked macaroni and cheese (which is really my Mom's because she gave me the recipe I use) could solve the world's problems.  Everyone I made it for raved over it, and it is one of the ultimate comfort foods out there.  Too bad I'm restricted from dairy right now since the baby has a sensitivity to it, or else I'd be cooking some of that up for us this week. 

People love food.  I don't have to even make that statement, as we all know it's true.  The guys my husband works with really love getting their Christmas cookies from me.  I have baked and frozen mac and cheese for folks in the hospital, or who just had babies, and that has been a meal they didn't have to come up with on their own and work too hard to make.

My husband and I are currently a little on the sad side about Valentine's Day, because we associate food we cannot get here with the holiday.  Our first Valentine's Day together we were supposed to meet up at a nice restaurant in my hometown, but I got a flat tire at work which was 1 1/2 hrs from my house and 1 hour from his, so he met me at work.  Then he took me to get my tire fixed, and next to the tire place was a Long John Silver's.  We went in there to eat, and it was empty!  It was so great!  We had the whole place to ourselves.  I guess no one is taking their Valentines to LJS.  haha  But, it was kind of romantic to be alone there, and it was sweet of him to help take care of me and my car.  He brought me gifts, and mine were back at my house waiting for us so he didn't get them that day.  Every year since then, we go to LJS for Valentine's Day.  It's always empty, it's always fun.  Even since we've had our son, we still go.  This year, though, we don't have a LJS near us since we moved.  We aren't sure what we might do.  Should we start a new tradition?  Or, do we make the trek to the nearest LJS, or even go all the way up to our old LJS?  Decisions decisions. 

Speaking of living somewhere new, we realized that we are in our last few months of our first year here.  We first saw this house covered in snow, and so when it was snowing here the other week, we realized how long we've been here.  We're running out of "first time doing such and such in the new house".  We are becoming more familiar with the area, and finding new things to do to replace what we used to do as a family in the old house.  But, oh how lovely it would be if a Long John Silvers came to town!  Then we could at least keep the Valentine tradition.  Oh well, sometimes we have to let go.  Maybe there is some other fast food joint that everyone will avoid on Valentine's Day that we can take over here!  :) 

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Art of Paper Delivery

Someone please explain how to deliver a newspaper to my newspaper delivery person.  How hard is it to pick up a paper, roll down your window, toss the paper into the two lane driveway?!  Apparently properly delivering a newspaper is a near impossible task, at least in our neighborhood.  My papers are RARELY delivered to my very large, hard to miss driveway.  Instead, I find papers on the sidewalk between our house and our neighbor's house, behind bushes, in the neighbor's driveway, in the street, in piles of plowed snow, in the neighbor's yard, but almost never on the driveway.  I have had to go hunt for my New York Times papers many times, and often come home empty handed.  Often the paper is simply not delivered at all.  This happens so frequently on Fridays, that we now joke about it.  If we actually receive the Friday edition, we gasp and fuss about how that actually happened, and the trouble the paper delivery person must've gone through to get it to us. 

Yesterday, I walked out to get the Sunday Times and our local paper from the driveway.  The local paper was there, but I saw a car slowly moving past the house, then someone open the door and snatch a paper in a yellow bag (just like my NYTimes comes in) out of a snow pile and drive off.  I could not believe my eyes.  "Did they just steal my paper right in front of me!?"  I cannot be sure, as another big city paper that gets delivered in our neighborhood also comes in the same yellow bag.  But, perhaps if it wasn't laying in a snow pile, well into the street (a good 10 feet from the entrance of my driveway), they wouldn't have taken it.  They would've had to go into my driveway to get it, not just open their car door and pick it up.  They were probably trying to steal papers for coupons.  The NYT doesn't have coupons, though.  Or maybe my delivery person didn't deliver mine, and they delivered someone else's paper to the snow pile in front of my house.  I still place the blame on the NYT delivery person because of the terrible delivery service we've been getting.  And, as I mentioned, if it was in the right place, the people would have had to drive into my driveway to get it, and get out of their car.  But who knows if it was even my paper or if mine was actually delivered.  Grrrr.

I did write to the New York Times to complain about paying for a product I was so often not receiving.  I do not have time to report each paper I don't get, either.  Nor should I have to go through that nearly every week.  I love the NYT, and it's a great pleasure to receive.  It was a gift subscription from my sister.  I'm so disappointed in missing out on it, especially Sunday.  Of all days, Sunday!!

I should give it a try, and see how hard it is to pull up to my driveway, reach for a paper next to me, roll my window down, and toss it to my target (the driveway).  As a nurse, I delivered babies, even on my own when a doctor didn't get to the room in time.  I never once put a baby where it didn't belong, and I'm pretty sure it's more complicated to help a mini-person into the world than to toss a paper into a driveway.  I could be wrong, though, so I should give it a try.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super what?

I cannot really comment on the big game tonight, because I mostly missed it.  I also, sadly, missed all the crazy commercials, except for the Bridgestone one (which was awesome).  I did see the halftime, and I loved the lights and dancers, but I felt the performances, save for Slash, were lacking.  So Super Bowl Sunday turned out a little lackluster for me, with regards to the football festivities.  We attended a child's birthday party out of state, and that was the focus of our day.  We had a nice time seeing everyone, and we met some new folks.  Our oldest son had fun with all the kids.  We also got to see some relatives as we made a pit stop to feed the baby on the way home.  It was a nice, family day. 

With such a busy weekend (when are they not busy?!), I am totally beat.  I feel like too many things did not get done.  Hopefully I'll be able to catch up tomorrow.  We did get our grocery shopping though.  We only had to do a teenie tiny trip, but with my budding coupon skills, we saved about 50% off our order.  I could get use to this extra, leftover money.  I even got a new screen for our fireplace that I had been wanting for months, at 75% off!  I knew coupons saved you money, but I didn't realize how much.  Using those with the circulars, well I look at it as a challenge now, and that is all I need to motivate me to kick ass. 

So far my New Years resolutions are going well.  The baby weight is slowly coming off still, and I can wear my black dress now.  I have also kept up with my blog.  I only took one day off in January (everyone deserves a little time off, right?). 

We have decided to enroll our oldest son in soccer this spring.  They have a 3-4 year old league, so he'll join that.  It will be good for him to be around other kids his age a little more, and to teach him sportsmanship.  He loves physical play, and he loves games.  It seems like this will be perfect for him.  It's on Saturdays, so the whole family can go.  I'm so excited for this that I almost ran out and bought a minivan.  But, then I remembered I hate minivans.

There's a few updates, but now I suppose I should take care of some household responsibilities.  Perhaps I can even convince the baby to go to sleep.  His wide eyes and big smile say "fat chance"!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

May Cause Spouse-yness

This morning my husband and I were making breakfast together, and he started teasing me about what can only be described as my random flighty-ness.  I know that I can sometimes be random, but I didn't realize how many blanks I leave for my husband to try to fill in to form a complete thought and hold a conversation with me.  Actually, I'm not really sure how he holds a conversation with me after this morning!  Now that I've been enlightened, I can change it.  I can, but I'm sure I won't.  I joked earlier today that apparently I should come with a decoder.  I'm usually fairly articulate, so I don't know why I drop the ball with my husband so much.  My Mom gave me some idea as to why, and I'll address that after I give some examples that occurred here over a 24 hour period.

Example 1: Yesterday I went down to my husband's home office, and handed him something.  He explained to me how the incident appeared to him: "My wife walked into my office, handed me a page from the photo album, indicated with some strange sign language that I needed to grate some cheese, and walked away with no further explanation. "  (That translates to I knocked on his door, he was on a conference call so I handed him a page with 2 photos on it.  I mouthed "You need to scan this.", and made a back and forth motion over the paper with my hand to demonstrate, and walked away.  Since he was talking on the phone, he apparently could not read my lips at the same time, and instead got "You need to grate some cheese." from my charades.  

Example 2:  While eating the breakfast we made together, we were quietly eating when I started with *silence* "So, do you think it's like 15 or 20%?" *silence* (Yes, no lead in, no further explanation. )

Example 3:  "Finally I got one of those cooks to say something about that thing!" Followed by walking away to go write something down. (There were no cooks present, just a baffled husband.  Also, there was no explaining what that "thing" was.)  And yes, I said that directly to him.  I wasn't just mumbling to myself (which also frequently happens.)

I had to laugh when my husband pointed these moments, and more, out to me.  He was doing it kindly, and in jest, not to be mean.  My mom explained a theory about why I might just start off in the middle of a conversation, or give less than optimal information when explaining something to my husband.  She pointed out that after you're with someone for awhile, you start to think the same conversation is running through their head that is running through yours.  You do start to think alike, sometimes people get to the point where they finish each others sentences, so it makes sense that you might start to act like they know what you're thinking about.  Then, you might start off in the middle of your thought, because they must be thinking the same thing.

Is this idea a lot like the thought that people start to look like their pets?  It's not that my husband actually can guess the topic and fill himself in on the missing pieces, I just expect him to just know what I'm talking about.  I expect him to know what my insane, poorly executed, made up sign language means.  It's not like he actually DOES know what I'm talking about or trying to tell him.  So I guess it's not the same thing, because people DO actually look like their pets sometimes.  It's not just in our head that they must look like them.  As many times as we do actually think the same thing, usually it's when some outside stimuli makes us think about that and we just know what the other person thinks of that situation.

How close do we get to our spouse?  How alike do we become?  Do we just start to assume we share a brain after awhile?  After 11 years, this is where we are at.  What is it like for folks after 50 years?  Maybe a few years from now I'll just be referencing my dreams as if he's had the same dream.  I already pretend he wants to eat the same thing I'm interested in eating.  When he comes over to me, and says "I have a question." I usually follow with "Oh yes, Chinese sounds wonderful!"  It's almost never a question about what we should eat, but it is a nice try on my part.

Friday, February 4, 2011

It's fate

If you want something, make it happen.  We try very hard to live that way in this house.  I try very hard to leave my fate up to no one but myself.  I don't depend on anyone or anything to make things happen for me.  I don't pray for things to happen or change, I am that change.  For things that are mostly out of my hands, I do what I can to tip the scales in favor of the outcome I wish to happen, and then I have to let it go and hope for the best.  But a lot of things people want, they have control over (at least to some extent). 

First, you need to know what it is you want.  You might be thinking "I want a Bentley.", but really what that comes down to is you want a new job.  Most people can't just get a Bentley working the job they currently have.  So, if you want that Bentley bad enough, then you need to look at the steps required to get the job that will get you that Bentley.  So, maybe now you want more education to become eligible for that job.... you get the point.  You can't just wish for a Bentley, or pray for a Bentley, and expect a Bentley to appear.  If that is your method of seeking change, you'll be waiting longer for that change than you would be waiting if you started from the bottom and worked for it.  Real life example?  Sure, no problem.  It's like when I wanted to lose weight, and for years I was so upset over how long it would take to lose the amount of weight I wanted to lose.  Well, guess what!  That amount of time still passed.  Each and every time, the time passed.  Finally I committed myself to make the changes, and the same time ticked away.  This time, though, the pounds ticked away with it. 

You also have to be careful what you wish for.  It's really true.  If you decide you want something, and you are thinking about trying to get it, you have to be prepared for sacrifices that may be involved.  I used to look at other people's lives and think "Oh I want what she has."  Then I realized, you can't pick pieces of people's lives.  They aren't just living that one moment.  There is an entire life, an entire set of their own problems and issues that come with being them.  I can't just pick and choose what pieces I want.  If they sacrificed for what they have, then I'd have to be willing to accept that sacrifice, too.  Once you look at the big picture, perhaps you don't really want what you thought you did. 

I get reminded of these things from time to time when I hear someone say "must be nice" or "I wish I could do that".  They don't look at what it took that person to get to where they are.  Sometimes people are just handed golden situations, but other times , sure, it is nice but they worked their ass off for that situation you are coveting.  I also get reminded of these things when I hear someone say they are going to pray for success or to quit smoking or to lose weight... whatever it is.  I almost never hear those same people say what they are going to do to actually facilitate the realization of their dream.  I mean, I seem to remember hearing "He helps them who help themselves."  Well, we help ourselves here at this house!  If we fail, it's on us.  If we succeed, well we did what we had to do to get there.  (Plus we have a good support system around us, I would never skip out on giving credit to the folks who are there for us when we need them.)

In conclusion, make life happen!  Get creative.  Find inspiration and motivation.  Just be sure to have a friend near by in case you fall down.  They can pick you back up, and put you back on your path.  But own your life.  It's a wonderful feeling.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Get your grill

We are still covered in snow here, and that includes our deck.  Tonight we wanted to grill, so out came the shovel.  We are serious about our grilling.  It made me think of summer, cooking out, steaming crabs, and chewing out the snowball man for not coming around enough.  "I have an addiction, sir!"  I'm thinking the snowball thing won't be as intense this year since I am no longer pregnant.  (I'm sure the snowball man will be relieved.  I am pretty sure I had him worried about my sanity as I interrogated him as to his whereabouts on days he failed to show up in our cul de sac.)  I'm all ready for summer, except the summer attire part.  I'm still working on losing the baby weight.  They say 9 months on, 9 months off, but I'd prefer it if it would just disappear about.... now.  Ugh, that did not work. 

My 3 year old NEEDS to get outside and run around.  I don't like taking the baby out in this weather, so we haven't been outside too much.  We pretty much get out to shovel, and for an occasional sledding play date with the neighbors. 

I know I'm not the only one sick of the yucky weather.  Yesterday I heard the groundhog did not see his shadow.  Good.  I hope he is right, and spring comes early.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy winter weather to an extent, but I do seem to tire of it more quickly each year.  I could also do without a line up of winter boots by my back door.  It does not go with my wine and grapes theme in the kitchen. 

Oh, and for the record, my usual mailman had off today.  It's a good thing I heard someone on our stoop, or our package would've sat out on the wet stoop for who knows how long.  RING THE BELL!  Dave rings the bell, and he waits for me to open the door and get my package directly from him.  I'm spoiled.  That's okay with me, though.  

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hints, Tips, General Girly Talk

Today, several little tricks and tips I use in my everyday life came to my attention, so I thought I'd use my post today to share some of them.  Like a little girl talk session, but really it's just me talking AT you.  Feel free to leave your own tips or tricks in the comments!  I love new ideas on how to make things in life easier, more efficient, or just generally better!

First off, an update on the coupon clipping we've be doing around this house.  (Well really I'm in charge of the coupons.)  Checking the circulars for sales, and then pairing up as many things as I could with coupons (only things we need, I'm not hoarding things just because they're on sale or I have a coupon), has saved us a cool $100 on this weeks shopping trip.  AND to make that even better, our trip really stocked us up so well that we will only need a few things for the next couple weeks (mostly just meat for main dishes after next week.)  So, really it saved us more than $100, because we bought more than usual and saved that, and spent less than we normally would for a weeks worth of groceries.  So, I'm thinking this is totally worth the trouble of going through the ads, and clipping coupons.  In a few months I could have saved enough for a nice pair of Manolo Blahnik's!

Now, during the winter my hands get sooooooo dry.  I wash my hands like crazy (thanks to being a nurse and knowing what germs are out there!), and that combined with the dry weather and dry heat destroys the skin on my hands.  They are rough, they crack, and they hurt!  Today I remembered a little trick I started using last year when the dry hands started.  Wash your hands with body scrub!  They make hand scrubs, but if you already have body scrub that works great.  My body scrub is scrubbier than my hand scrub, so I need to use that the first few days until I get rid of all the dry skin.  It sounds like it would be painful, but it's not.  It takes off that dry skin (use it gently), and leaves your hands soft.  I do it only once a day, or less if it starts to get irritating.  I always follow up with lotion immediately after I use the scrub.  I just used it today for the first time this season, and my hands are a good 80% improved from earlier this morning.  Try it, you'll like it!

Another trick I shared with a girlfriend today, is when you're short on time for a few days, make a dinner that you can morph into something else for several meals.  I love to do this with chicken soft shell tacos.  Dinner one night, the next morning throw some of the leftover toppings in an omelet, and for lunch use leftover soft shells, meat, and cheese to make quesadillas.  My husband was so annoyed with the amount of food that went bad before we ate it and got thrown away, and so I started trying to find ways to create new things out of used things to keep it interesting and finish what we cook.  I now consider it a challenge! 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A little bit of this n that...

First up in today's news, my laptop has hit the skids. I am, therefore, posting this from my iPhone. So, I'll keep this short & sweet.

More winter mess tonight. Our school district closed today because they were worried the kids would get out of school for the summer on time. The roads were fine, so that had to be the reason. Tomorrow morning is supposed to be worse. We'll see. They've already been off 7 days in a row!

The baby isn't sleeping well at all. He's been rolling over in his sleep, and then he wakes up screaming. I lost count if how many times he woke up last night. Poor baby, and poor parents!

There is a new commercial out there for something called Easy Feet. It grosses me out. I can't watch it if I just ate. I don't need that close of a look at people cleaning between their toes.

We weren't home much at all Sunday, but, according to our meter,we used 100 gallons of water. Guess we still have a leak somewhere.

Nothing too exciting, but that can be refreshing! Now, to see about fixing my laptop....