Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday Woes

Going out on Black Friday is not an entirely new experience to me. Every year, I get so excited to head out and find some good deals, but I'm also filled with dread to face the obnoxious people afraid to miss out on the last Elmo or Cabbage Patch doll or Wii. People seem to go to any lengths to save a few dollars. I was elbowed, bumped, and who knows what else just trying to walk through aisles.

I got to Walmart at 5:10 this morning, with a short list of things I wanted to get: a Leapster, Kung Fu Panda dvd, pajamas, a jacket, and a pre-lit tree for my mom. I headed towards toys first, to be met with a mob. I asked an employee, who was doing nothing but standing at the end of the aisle if he knew where the Leapsters were, since things were set up so haphazardly. That child had some major attitude. I guess friendly service isn't required that early in the morning. I finally find the display to watch someone else pick up the very last one. Ugh!

My sister grabbed the tree, and after wandering around for 45 minutes, I finally found the pjs I wanted for GM and picked up a V-Smile Cyber Pocket, in case I can't get a Leapster before Christmas. Kung Fu Panda was of course sold out, and the jackets left were the wrong sizes.

We headed to Kmart where we found some good deals on toys. I managed to snag the last Tractor Tippin' board game, and some other stuff the kids will love. As we headed towards the line, we realized it was wrapped halfway back the store. We stood there for over an hour, just to check out. And wouldn't you guess we were right behind this crazy lady trying to draw attention to herself in anyway possible. No joke, this lady announced to the store, "I took my meds today, ain't nobody gonna make me mad. " Then continued with, "Who wants to hear some carols? I feel like singing." Please someone save me.

How fun does this look?

I don't know if it was worth it or not. The anxiety, the stress, the frustration. If I mention going out next year, somebody better stop me. Remind me how much i love sleeping in a warm bed. Remind me how rude people are. Remind me how stupid I am to think it's worth it. Don't care what you tell me, just be sure I don't try this again next year!

Our Day of Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving at our house was a little different this year. Every year, my mom makes this huge meal, and all 20 or so of us meet at her house to indulge ourselves. This year, my sister and I took over all of the cooking duties. She was in charge of the turkey and dessert, and I made all the sides.

My dad recently made his way home from the hospital, after not being so sure he ever would. About two weeks ago, he had a stress test done, and the doctor thought he had a small blockage. Turns out, they had underestimated the extent of it. When he went in to get stint put in, things took a turn for the worse. He ended up needing a second surgery, where he had 5 bypasses done.

It was the scariest day of my life. All those thoughts of what might happen, what could happen, what would change. Thankfully, he has pulled through with an amazing attitude. I'm realizing just how strong and determined he is.

On Thanksgiving, after being home two days, he stood up to say his thanks before the meal. His words can out with a bit of a shake, "I'm thankful that I have all of you here, and that I'm still here with you." There was nothing I could do to avoid tearing up, and looking around, no one else could either. I tried to focus on the grilled cheese I was making for an oh-so-picky 4-year-old, but it was no use. I laid down my spatula and slipped away to the bathroom to keep my tears to myself. I fixed my make-up quickly and returned to my post at the stove.

My dad is not the type to easily share his feelings. I've seen a lot of changes in the last week, in him and in all of us. I can easily say, I am most thankful for my family this year, especially the chance to spend more holidays with all of them. Nothing else could mean more to me.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Blog Party Day 12: Giving Thanks

Today is the last day of MomDot's blog party and it has been so much fun! I hope ya'll are having a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoying some delicious food!

Today's Sponsors:
Georgie Tees and Musty

What a better way to end the celebration than to find out what we are all thankful for?

I'll start with a few of the things my then 3-year-old son was thankful for last year:
  • Mommy reading to me
  • Daddy zooming cars
  • Grandma and Grandpa playing outside with me
  • Heather watching movies with me
  • Little M comes over sometimes
  • Fruit snacks, marshmallows, and cheesy crackers
  • All my toys
  • All my books
This year, I'm thankful for many things. I'm sure I won't be able to list them all here, but this will be the abridged version.

  • My son and husband
  • My parents, brother, sister, grandparents, nieces, nephews, cousins
  • My family's health
  • True love
  • True friends
  • Sweet moments in life
  • Moments of peace (although few and far between)
  • Good books
  • Being able to see my son smile
  • Beautiful photos
  • Belly laughs and sweet giggles
  • Having a warm, welcoming home
  • Having a car that runs well and gets us where we need to go
  • Good food and full bellies
  • The internet
  • All the wonderful blogs I've found
  • All the bloggers I've met
  • People who take the time to read my posts
  • Coffee
  • Weekend cartoons
  • Traditions
  • Discovery Kids
  • Stickers & crayons
  • Homemade cards
  • Chocolate chip muffins
  • Hot cocoa with whipped cream
  • Memories
  • Time to enjoy life
I could go on and on, but I'll stop. I'm sure ya'll are thankful for that, right? I really do have quite a bit to be thankful for. I can't wait to hear what my son's new list consists of. I'm sure I'll have him tell me what he's thankful for this year after our holiday meal. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Blog Party Day 11: Food!

Welcome to Day 11 of MomDot's blog party! Tomorrow is the last day, and winners will be announced starting Friday. I'm very, very late posting my answer to today's question, but I don't feel too bad since my intro to the post was up at MomDot hours ago.

Today's Sponsors:
Shishu Style and Mimsi Bags.

Today's Question:
If you could only pick one food to eat on Thanksgiving, what would it be? Do you have a home-cooked meal or eat out? Does your family dress up?

There are so many yummy choices, that it's almost impossible to pick only one food that I could feast on at Thanksgiving. But, since I'm forced to make a choice, it would have to be our homemade mac & cheese. Let me start by explaining that I'm lactose intolerant, so I rarely eat anything with milk or cheese. But on Thanksgiving I'll chow down on some vanilla flavored chalk pills and take my risks with this delicious comfort food. I actually just finished baking it tonight, and it seems to be calling my name from the fridge.

We have never eaten out on Thanksgiving. I waitress part-time, and a restaurant is the last place I want to be on the holiday. This year is a little different because it's the first time my mom isn't making the meal. She has a lot going on, so my sister and I are taking over the chef duties this year. You may recall me mentioning that my culinary skills are not so hot (ok, they kind of stink), but I'm doing my best, and so far everything looks pretty good.

Our meals are laid back. Honestly, no one would care if you showed up in your pajamas. I usually wear something nice, but casual. There's no need to get all dressed up to spend the day helping in the kitchen, and no one's offended if I come to the table with mashed potatoes on my shirt or cake frosting in my hair. I think it's nice to be able to relax and enjoy the meal with family, no matter what we all are wearing.

Pillsbury Winners

Here are your random numbers:

35 4 10 

Timestamp: 2008-11-26 09:47:10 UTC

So, the winners are:



All Rileyed Up

Congrats! I'll be e-mailing you this afternoon to get your contact info and we'll get the basket on it's way.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Blog Party Day 10: Our Tree

Welcome to Day 10 of MomDot's Blog party!

Today's Sponsors:
Organic Blankees, Huddy Buddy, and Baby Legs

Today's Question:
How do you decorate for the holidays? Do you have a themed Christmas tree? Share pics! Do you think there is such a thing as OVER decorating?

One of things I remember most from my childhood Christmas's is decorating the tree at my parent's and my grandma's house. My parents always had a simple tree. It was decorated with ornaments we had collected over the years, things my mom had made, and things from nature. I always thought it was beautiful, even though it always leaned and fell over quite a few years.

My grandma had a much more elaborate tree, with ornaments from years and years of collecting. There were always lots of breakables we had to be careful with, a huge village scene around the base, and a million strands of lights and garland. I always dreaded decorating her tree for her because it had to be just right and it took forever.Our tree now has become our own little collection of decorations. We have lots of photo ornaments, plus all the ones given to my hubby and me as children. I let our son do a lot of the decorating, and keep it simple. We always end up with a leaning tree, or something that looks more like a bush than anything else.We don't decorate a lot besides our tree, but this year we will have our own Nativity set to put up too. Here's what my mom gave me as a gift last year:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Blog Party Day 9: Gifts

Welcome to day 9 of the MomDot blog party!

Today's Sponsors:
Cutie Covers, Jacscreations and Sassy Baby

Today's Question:
What is the most unusual gift you have received? Best gift? Do you re-gift?

It's really tough for me to remember any unusual gifts over the years, nothing jumps out at me, even though I'm sure there was quite a few. Living in my family, you learned early to smile and say thank you, even if you weren't quite sure what it was you were looking at. No matter how impossible it seemed to identify whatever you unwrapped you still knew to say thank you.

Instead, I'll tell you about two of the sweetest gifts I've ever received. The first was senior year of high school. During the school year, my brother had taken my senior portraits for me. He took this great black and white of me lounging on the railroad tracks. At Christmas that years, he gave me a hand drawn portrait of the picture that he had drawn and framed. I know it must have taken forever, and it was just amazing.
Here's one of the pics he took-I couldn't find the exact one he used right now...

The second sweet gift was from the hubby, three Christmases ago. This could be classified as slightly unusual too though. He had bought my a pair of baby booties as a gift, but I wasn't pregnant. As I opened them, he explained he was ready to try for baby #2 if I was. I had been ready for quite sometime, and he wanted me to know he was on board with it too. Even though baby #2 has yet to happen, I know the hubby and I are on the same page about what we want.

As for whether I re-gift, I do pass things along that we can't use, or things we have duplicates of. I don't tend to give them as gifts, but just to get them to people who will be able to use them.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Christmas Giveaways

Over at What's That Smell, they are hosting the Because It's Christmas: Kids and Charity Giveaway, in conjunction with Three P's in a Pod. They have a ton of giveaways not only going on for their readers, but they are also donating gifts to kids in need. All giveaways run through 11/30, so be sure to head over and check them out. I was very excited to see a giveaway sponsored by Xeko, a company all about animals! My son loves their stuff and tells me, "hurry, we need to save the animals!"

Another giveaway is going on at Hip Mama's Place. They have a bunch of prizes up for grabs, so be sure to check them out before 12/4.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Baby Says Ohmm...

It's been a rough day here at our house. I'm not going too get to into what all is going on, but it's been a stressful one. I guess GM's feeling it too. I walked in from the kitchen to find him meditating on top of the couch. At least that brought a smile to my face.

Blog Party Day 8: Black Friday

Welcome to day 8 of MomDot's huge blog party!

Today's Sponsors:
Koshas, Leapfrog and Soda Club

Today's Question:
Do you shop on Black Friday? What time do you start? Do you complete your shopping this day? What’s the best deal you have ever found? What’s your shopping strategy?

Before have GM, I never shopped on Black Friday. The few dollars I could've saved were not worth standing in line forever, getting elbowed by some old lady, or being cussed out over the last talking Elmo. Really not worth it. Once GM arrived, four years ago, I had to start saving money, and getting good deals. And, lo and behold, I ventured out for my first adventure into the world of Black Friday.

I honestly dread it, but we all make sacrifices. So, I get myself up and out the door by 4 am, with a crabby, cranky, irritable 4 year old in tow. Did I mention he's annoyed if he doesn't get a full night's sleep? And we meet up with whoever is available to go, be it my mom, my sister, my sister's best friend, anyone at all, as long as I'm not facing the mob alone.

We have our plan laid out the night before. We scour circulars for the best deals, the top must-buys of the days, and we head there first. Then we go to a few other stores and make it home before 9 am. I never get everything all in one day, but I do manage to cross quite a few things off my list. The best deal I've ever gotten was a kid's laptop computer last year, that was originally $40, on sale for $10. Too bad, GM wasn't thrilled and used it once, maybe he'll grow into it.

Do you shop? What's on your list of must-haves this year? I really need ideas on what to get my 4 year old!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Think Thin Thursday: On to Week 2

Our first week of Think Thin Thursday has come to an end. I started last week at 144 lbs, and dreaded hopping on the scale this morning. I knew that I had eaten better than normal this week, but I'm still awful with working out. I just can't seem to find time to squeeze in a workout. Here's the results from the scale this week:You'll notice I still have a scale from the 80s, and I'm too cheap to buy a new one.

So I did manage to meet my goal of dropping 1-2 lbs for the first week. Yay!

This week, my goal is to fit in two 30 minute workouts. I know it doesn't seem like much, but I don't stick to workout plans if they take up too much time or I don't think I'll be able to fit them in each week. For me, an hour a week is a definite improvement.

My biggest temptation of the week has got to be the fact that we have ice cream cake in the freezer and a freshly baked cake sitting on the counter since hubby decided to make me one for my birthday today. They have been calling my name all day, especially since I've been in a foul mood and just want to sulk with some comfort food. I've managed to avoid them both by taking out my annoyances of the day out with cleaning instead of eating.

Now we are on to week 2, good luck to all the others this week and congrats to those who worked towards their goals last week!

Blog Party Day 7: Naughty or Nice

Today's sponsors: Sillymonkeez and My Baby Bump

I'm making a list checking it twice...I can't be the only one who had that song pop into their head when hearing today's question for the MomDot blog party.

So who is on my naughty list? I can't think of a single person. Maybe the cat. She drives me crazy, with her furballs and constant need to be up my behind. But, that is my my short naughty list.

This nice list could go on an on. Of course my little one and the hubby are on the nice list. They drive me crazy daily, but they are my world. I'd have to say that all the rest of my family makes this list too. Since I don't want to bore you with all the details, I'll just tell you that my family is amazing, they help me out whenever I need it, they cheer me up, and they've always been a huge part of my son's life. I really can't ask for more.

This is a family photo from 2004, I was 8 1/2 months pregnant! That's me in the blue, with my parents, sister, and bother.
Here's me with the rest of the family a few years ago.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Blog Party Day 6: Memories

Welcome to Day 6 of the MomDot Blog Party! I'm really late today from being at work and having 3 times the kids this afternoon, but I'm finally getting my post up!

Today's Sponsors:
Flying Colors Baby, Uncommonly Cute and Lollipop Book Club.

Today's Question:
What's your favorite holiday memory from your own childhood?

This is a tough one for me. I'm sure I had a lot of wonderful holidays over the years, but honestly, I don't remember a lot from my childhood. Weird, huh?

I do remember our holiday routine though. We'd get up early and open gifts at my parents. Then we would bundle up and walk next door to my grandparent's house. Later in the afternoon, we drive a few minutes down the road to my other grandparents.

I remember all the holiday meals, spending time around a huge table with good food, listening to the grown ups talk. I think that was my favorite part of the holidays. Just sitting and listening to their stories. I hope that is one part of the holidays my son will grow to love one day too.

Wordless Wednesday

View other WW photos at MomDot.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Gift Guide & Giveaway at Mom Generations'

Over at Mom Generations, they have just launched their 12 Days of Must-Have Holiday Gifts. They have a video gift guide to watch and are giving away the items on it. There are several ways to enter, so go check it out here.

Blog Party Day 5: Giving Back

Welcome to day 5 of the MomDot Blog Party! I'm loving getting to know everyone a little bit better.

Today's Question:
Do you volunteer during the Holidays? What organizations do you donate your time to? How do you teach your kids the true meaning of the Holidays?

Today's Sponsors: Baby Pop and Chic Covers

When the holidays roll around, my hubby gets scheduled mandatory over-time at work. Between that and being home with GM all day, we don't get a chance to do much, including volunteering. Before having him, I used to volunteer year round and really enjoyed it.

Since we aren't able to volunteer directly, our family chooses 1 or 2 names from our local Star Tree. Basically, names of children in need are placed on the tree, along with their clothing sizes, likes, dislikes, etc, and the person who chooses their name buys items to be sent to them from Santa. GM and I go shopping for our chosen children. We usually pick out some warm clothes and a toy or two. Everything is wrapped and dropped off at the donation center.

I can't say that I've done anything specific to teach my son the meaning of the holidays. To us, the holidays are about family and giving, and we model that behavior for him. We include him in the Star Tree, we have him create homemade gifts, he helps bake cookies and hands them out to family and neighbors. We include him in all of our holiday events, he picked out our Christmas tree last year, he helps decide the menu (although I have to expand from chocolate cake), and he decorates paper we can use to wrap gifts with.
At the tree farm last year. We sent the Charlie Brown tree to live on grandma's porch.

Be sure to enter my Pillsbury Home is Calling giveaway!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pillsbury Home is Calling Giveaway

As we get ready for the holidays, all thoughts are turning towards yummy food, and sharing delicious treats with friends. The Pillsbury Home is Calling campaign wants to bring families together and is helping by delivering more than 1 pound of groceries to food banks each time someone forwards their commercial to a friend.

The giveaway:
Pillsbury has offered 3 lucky readers a chance win a Pillsbury Home is Calling gift basket. Each basket contains:
  • a coupon for Pillsbury refrigerated crescent rolls
  • a magnetic coupon holder
  • a house-shaped mouse pad
  • a pot holder
  • a cookie sheet
  • a bread basket
  • a Pillsbury Doughboy figurine
Who can enter:
This is open to anyone with a US shipping address. Bloggers and non-bloggers may enter. Please be sure to leave an e-mail address if it is not in your profile, or if you are not a blogger. I must have a way to contact you!

How to enter:
First, leave a comment telling us your favorite Pillsbury product. You must do this to qualify for extra entries.

To gain additional entries, you may leave an unlimited number of comments, as long as you share your favorite part of the family meal in each one.

This contest will end on Tuesday, November 25 at 11:59 PM EST. The winners will be selected via a random drawing. Winners will be e-mailed and announced here and will have 48 hours to respond, or a another winner will be drawn.

Blog Party Day 4: Holiday Cooking

We've made it to day 4 of MomDot's Blog Party! Today's sponsors are Bottlewise Duos and Glow Mama.

The question of the day:
What is your favorite holiday recipe? Describe your holiday table.
What is your biggest holiday cooking disaster?

Since my mom does all the cooking for the holidays, I don't have too many recipes to share. I do, however, usually make a side dish to take along when we head to my parents. This year, I'm planning to take an incredibly yummy baked corn dish. It's so simple too!

Mix together:
  • 2 cans of corn
  • 1 can cream corn
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • pouch of corn muffin mix
*Bake at 375 for 35 minutes. I drizzle a melted butter and honey sauce over the top. Mmmm...

Our holiday table is busy! We have anywhere from 10 to 20 people there, depending on if anyone has to work or is at their in-laws, etc. Plus, we have friends who are always invited to share our holidays, who may or may not come. The food is set up buffet style, with a little of everything, from turkey and ham, to every yummy side you can imagine, to tons of desserts. It's loud with laughter, and dinner ends with lots of full bellies.

I don't have any cooking disasters to share, at least not any holiday related. I will share a quick, almost kitchen related disaster from last year.

We always put our tree up on a table, so the cat doesn't climb it, and no one knocks it over. I picked out our tree last year, and it ended up just a bit too big. I asked hubby to trim off some of the trunk, only to realize we didn't have anything resembling a saw. This is what happened:
Please note, that's my bread knife! Are you kidding me??

Friday, November 14, 2008

Blog Party Day 3: Shopping

Welcome to Day 3 of MomDot's huge blog party! I'm having so much fun reading all the posts and hope ya'll are enjoying visiting me too! Day 3 of the Christmas of Dreams Blog Party is sponsored by Appledonia, Hippo Toes, and My Bag by Kushies.

Today's question is: When do you start Christmas shopping? How do you budget for Christmas? Do you stick to your budget?

To be honest, I am the worst Christmas shopper ever. I tell myself every year that I'll start early. But on the chance that I do, I end up losing gifts I've bought or GM finds them and starts playing or I forget another event and have to pull it out for that.

I start my list in November, I may even pick up a thing or two. Than Thanksgiving arrives and I realize I'm pretty well screwed behind, and I start to stress. Any budget that I thought we had created goes out the window, and I basically use whatever we have left after paying for food and bills. I usually end up picking up a few extra shifts just to be sure we can afford the holidays.

Holidays are never huge ordeals at our house, but we do make them memorable. There's lots of crafts and homemade gifts, and GM always has a ton to open, even if that means a bunch of small gifts. We're lucky that he's thrilled to get books, games, and Matchbox cars, and that momma can usually find a few good deals on things he really wants.

I'm doing pretty good this year. I have almost a week til Thanksgiving, and I already have gifts for 3 people (out of 15 or so), plus 4 things for GM. This is quite the achievement for me!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Think Thin Thursday: Week 1

Over at the Not-So-Blog Blog, Bridgette is hosting Think Thin Thursdays, as a way to offer support and motivation for those of us (okay, me) to work towards our goals, whatever they may be.

So, for the first time in about a year, I drug my feet onto the scale. It stopped itself at 144 lbs. Just to clarify, I'm 5'7", so it's within the normal range according to BMI calculators, but closer to the higher end than I would like. Before having GM, I weighed 115. I'd be happy somewhere in between the two.

My goal for the week is to drop down at least 1-2 lbs. I know I need to set small goals for myself, or I'll only get frustrated.

Here's an old photo of me for some self "thinspiration"
This was taken about 4 months or so after I started dating hubby-a little over 5 years ago-don't mind the messy room!

Next week, I promise to have a scale photo to share, there just wasn't enough time in the day today.

Just a few giveaways to check out...

My son is the biggest little bookworm I've ever seen. He constantly has his nose buried in a book. While it drives me crazy that I have to read through the 600 page animal encyclopedia for the millionth time, I know his love of reading is a good thing. Please remind me, it's a good thing.

Over at MomDot, they're giving away a huge book set, just in time for Christmas. GM's face would light up like nothing else to see all these great books awaiting him.

The grand prize set includes:
  • Take Me Back
  • Do Not Open
  • Pick Me Up
  • Cosmic
  • Dr. Frankenstein’s Human Body Book
  • Cool Stuff Exploded
  • Eyewitness Expert: Knight
  • Animals: A Visual Encyclopedia
  • $50 Gift Card
Plus, 4 other winners will get a copy of Take Me Back. Today's the last day to enter. So be sure to head on over, and enter here.

While you're there, check out the giveaway and review of the The Stepping Stone Playmat from One Step Ahead. I'd love this for my cutie-patootie nephew, Little C.

Blog Party Day 2: Traditions

Day two of MomDot's blog party has arrived!

Sponsers: LaPlates and Lets Go Strolling and Natitys Design

Vip Blogs: Parent Reviewers , Mom Most Traveled, Mommy Zabs, MomStart, HipposToes, Run DMT

The question of the day is: What are some of your favorite family traditions? What are some traditions you want to begin?

We seem to have so many Christmas traditions in our family, from watching It's a Wonderful Life (in black and white, of course) on Christmas Eve to opening gifts at home in our pajamas before going out to visit family to having huge dinners, both on Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.
(Have to leave out milk & cookies)

One of our family traditions is to take "bow photos." When I was little, one of my grandmas always wrapped gifts in the most beautiful paper, topped with every type of ribbon and bow you can imagine. As we opened the gifts, we would put all the ribbons into a pile, than decorate one another with them when we were done. Now I've carried that on with my little one, with help from the rest of the family, of course.

(Grandpa & GM-2004)

Here's a few more photos of my little one.

(GM's 1st Christmas 04)

(GM in 2006)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My family: Blog Party Day 1

Click button to return to see other entries.

Today's Sponsors: Day One Blog Party Question is Brought to you by La Belle Toile and This and That by Randi

VIP BLOGS to visit are Parent Reviewers , Mom Most Traveled, Mommy Zabs, MomStart, HipposToes, Run DMT

Today is the first day of the big blog party over at MomDot. The party will run from today until November 27. Be sure to check out the topic list if you want to get a head start on your posts!

To kick off the party, I'll be introducing you to my family, also known as the other crazies I'll be spending the holiday season surrounded by.

Our little family consists of just the hubby, GM (my 4-year-old), and myself. The hubby and I have been married for almost five years, although it feels like a lot more some days. He is five years older than me, and we have a crazy, long how-we-met story. We actually went to the same high school, but didn't really know each other until after we both had graduated.

He works hard to provide for us, and spends almost all of his free time at home with us. He's a great dad, and loves to take the little one fishing, to ride go-karts, or to the arcade. He is also a wonderful cook, and I tell him so all the time. This can also be interpreted as cook us dinner for us anytime you like!
(Daddy & GM: Christmas 07)

GM is a very active 4-year-old. I have no idea where this kid gets him energy. I rarely find him sitting still, but when I do, he's either reading or just snuggling up to me. He is obsessed with animals and plans to be a zoologist some day. His favorite animals this week include the spider monkey and the anteater. He wants to be a zoologist since "they get to care for baby animals, zookeepers have to pick up poop."
(Me & GM: Christmas 07)

Then there's me. I'm 23 (for 8 more days). I'm a stay-at-home-mom most days, but I work a few mornings a week too. I'm a photo bug, you never catch me without a camera, and I love to sleep, even though I never seem to get enough of it. At heart, I'm a country girl, and a family girl. I could never imagine leaving my hometown where my family all lives. GM is so attached to all of his aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents, that he's upset if more than a few days pass without seeing them.

Wordless Wednesday

From my brother's wedding last summer...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Time-Out Time

Something in my head told me today would be a good day to stay in bed. I seem to have quite a few of those days, but today was exceptionally awful.

GM was so excited because daddy promised to let him watch Kung Fu Panda this morning. So he was up before the crack of dawn, ready for his movie. My attempts to lull him back to sleep were met with much resistance, as were my attempts to get him to listen to anything I had to say today.

After hours of telling him to chill on the Kung Fu moves, warning him not to jump of the couch, not to dive off the bed, that his toy snake was not a weapon, I got tired of it. He was given plenty of chances to heed my warnings, and chose not to. So, off to time-out we went.

Now, usually, time-outs are easy in our house. I tell him he's in time-out, explain why, and he sits perfectly and does his time. Not today, oh no, not today. Today he punched, he kicked, he cried, he screamed, he flailed his arms, he tried to run. Every time, I pulled a Super Nanny and put him back in his time-out spot. Every time, I was met with a new complaint, I need a drink, I don't want to sit, I want to stand, you hurt my foot, I hurt my finger, I'm too hot. And the last? I'm going to throw up! And he did. Thankfully, there was a towel in reach, and afterwards, he served out those few minutes he was being forced to sit there for.

Yes, I feel like a bad mother, I made my kid puke. I feel guilty that I let him get that worked up, but I have to be consistent, I don't need him getting hurt acting like a "warrior" or to ignore me when I talk to him. So, I followed through, for 30 minutes, and afterwards, I went and had myself a nice little cry of my own.

It's all in the details...

GM came home with a new toy from his nanny's house yesterday (his great-grandma). Every time he visits, he comes home with at least one new thing. She is an instigator though, asking him, "Don't you want to know if I have something for you?" Really, I'm trying to teach the kid manners here!

Anyways, the toy she presents him with seems harmless enough. It's a miniature horse, seems very well made. Here's what it looks like, straight from Target's website:
Schleich Tinker Stallion
Schleich Tinker Stallion

Seems harmless, right? Well, I thought so too. I'm sitting on the computer after we get home when hubby comes walking up carrying the horse with a smirk on his face. He puts it belly up right in my face, and I see it. My mouth dropped, this is a kids toy we're talking about right, ages 3 and up? Let me tell you, the manufacturer took great care in the smallest details of this horse, or the, um, not so small details, since I was staring at the biggest plastic horse you-know-what I've seen in my life.

My hubby proceeds to question me: How would you like to be the horse pee-pee painter? Do you see how carefully they painted that thing?

I've never been more grossed out by a toy than I was to be looking at that thing's thing!

Note to readers: Not a good stocking stuffer, unless you want to spend Christmas morning explaining why the horse has a "weird bump"on it's belly.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Photo Hunt: Together

My Body Story

Looking back over my “pre-baby” years, I feel so stupid. Every time I looked in the mirror, all I saw was fat. A tummy that was flabby, legs the size of tree trunks, and arms that resembled jello’s infamous jiggle. In those days, I went to any lengths to see the digits on the scale drop. I ran miles upon miles a week, worked out late at night, chugged water to chase away the resounding growls that rumbled in my stomach.

It didn’t help that my friends were the size of twigs, yet ate anything they wanted. I continually compared myself to them. I wanted to be them, and was willing to do anything to achieve my ideal perfection. In those days, my idea of perfection was 110 pounds on my 5’ 7” frame.

Now, I realize the utter stupidity of my youth. First and foremost, the image I saw in the mirror was far from reality. I was tiny in those days, almost to the point of looking frail. The numbers I fixated upon were not worth the trouble. Sure, maybe I did weigh a little bit more than my best friend, but it was purely muscle. I was running, playing soccer, and exercising excessively, there was no fat to be seen.

After graduating high school, I got healthier. I focused much less on numbers, no staring at a scale hoping it would suddenly drop, no counting calories, no calculating energy consumed versus energy spent. I ate healthy, worked out, and gained a few pounds, but that was okay. In retrospect, it also helped that I was in my first healthy relationship with a man, after several detrimental attempts at love. This man (now my husband) had a passion for cooking and eating. We spent hours in the kitchen cooking up wonderful meals that made my taste buds come to life. But, we always found ways to burn off those excess amounts of calories as well.

Then, I found out I was pregnant. At first, I struggled with the idea of my growing belly. I was just becoming unreservedly comfortable about my body and myself, and without warning, it was all changing again, only this time I was not the one in control. But, seeing my son’s heartbeat on the screen at the doctor’s office washed away any reservations I had. In that one moment, I didn’t care what I looked like, I just wanted a healthy little one, and realized I was willing to give whatever it took to achieve that. In total, I gained almost 50 pounds throughout my pregnancy.

Since, giving birth, over 4 years ago, I can’t say that I have striven to return to my pre-pregnancy size. I have tried various weight loss strategies, products that “guarantee” results, and plans that require more time, or energy, than I have to offer. Pilates classes were deemed to expensive after I decided to forgo returning to work full time. Tae Bo required turning off Elmo or Blue’s Clues, causing a scene so monumental that I most likely burned more calories calming my rugrat than I did during the DVD. Yoga necessitated a level of calmness and serenity that no longer exists within the walls of my home.

But, I'm finally getting myself motivated to workout, at my own pace, and see what the results may be. I plan to watch what I eat, but not obsess over my meals. I want to be healthy, not only for myself, but for my family. I've also found a way to hold myself accountable to my goals, by participating in the developing Think Thin Thursday over at The Not-So-Blog Blog. I have to say, I'm getting myself excited to start working out and eating better, maybe those old jeans will finally fit again too.

Who Forgets the Hoo?

My hubby snores. Not just a quiet snore, the kind you could ignore, but loud, surprised the room isn't shaking snores. I spend a lot of nights laying in bed, trying to tune him out, since he falls asleep the moment his head hits the pillow, while I lay awake for an hour or more.

The noise pollution has started to annoy GM too. He spent a good twenty minutes explaining daddy's snores to me yesterday. As he explains it, daddy forgets the "hoo" part. He was cracking me up, by the time I thought to grab the camera, he was over the explanation, so he needed a little prompting. But here's his thoughts on it:

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Trisha Haas and the Beautiful Bowholders at Bambina Ballerina

Trisha Haas started Bambina Ballerina out of a need to get bows out of the drawers. The end product was beautiful tutu hairbow holders, like the Sherbert Delight, or Sugar Plum. There are so many choices at Bambina Ballerina, it would be hard to pick out a favorite, but this one is definitely at the top of the list:You can check out the other designs by Trisha Haas including: hairbow holders and fairytopia holders over at Bambina Ballerina. You can visit Trisha at Bambina Ballerina blog, or she can also be found running a second amazing site, over at MomDot, where mom bloggers are celebrated every day.

Trisha Haas also provides links to directions to make hairbows at Bambina Ballerina, she has a contact area for bow boutiques to get some publicity, and a link directory full of fun items for little ballerinas.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

One Minute to Move It

All it takes is one minute to get moving, but that minute usually leads to many more. So what do we do to get moving for a minute? We crank up some music and get dancing. Let me tell you, GM has some dance moves. Now that he's started to learn lyrics to songs, he's started singing too, which gets us both giggling.

Check out this to learn more about One Minute to Move It.

Wordless Wednesday

In case you can't read it, the cow has bubbles saying, burp and toot.

Really, what is this thing?

Oh the joys of Gross-ology at the museum.

Check out other WW photos over at MomDot.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Momma's Boy

Being a stay-at-home-mom, I always had visions of the hubby coming home from work and being ready to take over for at least a few minutes, giving me a much needed chance to have a moment of peace. While the door opening is usually met with squeals of "daddy's home!" The excitement seems to dwindle quickly and I never get that tiny bit of quiet I've wished for all day.

GM is such a momma's boy. I feel like he's connected to my hip most of the time. If I'm in the kitchen, he's not far behind. I'm doing laundry, he's there to help. We always read bedtime stories as a family, but more often than not, GM attempts to kick daddy out of the bed, literally.

I feel guilty that he doesn't want to spend as much time with daddy as he does me. On the days they are home alone, GM complains that "he always has to do what daddy wants to do." Meaning, they had to go to the store, or GM didn't get to pick the afternoon movie. Rough times, I tell you. I'm laid back, didn't get to the store, we'll do it tomorrow. I feel like I'll go insane watching Animal Alphabet one more time, I pop on some earphones and use those 43 minutes to listen to some music or go on-line.

I rarely argue with a four year old, knowing well how those battles end, usually with whining for a full hour afterwards. So, sure, I give in more often than I should, but I enjoy the peace and the opportunity to have a whine-free afternoon is not one I give up easily.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

There Goes 100

I guess I should celebrate my 100th post. Ya'll can pretend there are balloons and confetti flying, right? I'm not one for celebrations. Actually, I really don't like them at all, especially when they are focused on me. I've always been the girl in the background, and I rather like that.

But, in honor of my 100th post, I felt like I should do something special. I could list 100 things about me, but I'm sure you'd be bored by number three. Maybe you'd feel sorry that I spent so much time on it, that you'd scan down to number 42 or 86, and say something on one of those (we've all done this, I'm sure), but really, no one needs to knows 100 things about me. I'm not even sure I do.

I thought about a giveaway, but I've got nada, nilche, nothing to hand on to ya'll right now. I can't even handle a $5 giftcard this week. After getting all the bills out, I'll have about $3.79 in the bank.

I even thought about just leaving a blank post, just to get past the milestone. Although that could peak curiosity, I figure I should do something a little better than that.

So instead, I'll just share a few things I love about blogging:
1. The people I meet. There are some truly amazing people out there that I'd never "know" without blogging.
2. Comments, of course. I like knowing that someone actually took the time to read, or even just stopped to say hi.
3. Having a connection to the outside world. Being a SAHM, I feel like I never get out, and never talk to people who are over 3 feet tall. So it's nice to get a little adult interaction.

So there you have it, you can see what a nerd I really am. Post 100. Yay for it being over! Now I can return to regularly scheduled programs.

Mom Moments

As moms, it seems like we are constantly having random moments. Since giving birth to my crazy little 4-year-old, I think I've had more than my fair share of total randomness. I've experienced so many things that I never would have thought about before having him. I could mention watching hubby get sprayed in the face during the first bath, or having the only live show I've seen in years be the Wiggles Dance Party. But I'll save you that.

It seems lately that I find myself uttering words I can barely believe. Things like, we don't climb the walls. No, we don't pick the cat up by her tail. Let's aim for the potty next time. Candy is not meant for the turtle. Complete randomness.

Then there are the classics. Things I swore I would never say in this life time, and yet, I do. Because I said so has become a legitimate response. Don't sit so close to the tv, followed by, don't give me that look. 1-2-you don't want me to get to three. How do I know? I've got eyes in the back of my head. You'll poke your eye out running with that thing (which usually leads to thoughts of you'll shoot your eye out).

My life feels so chaotic sometimes, and yet, I'm sure I'm not the only one who mutters these same words every day.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Questions About Our House

GM asked me today why we lived in this house. It seemed like a simple question, but completely out of the blue. I tried explaining that this was our house, it's where mommy and daddy wanted to live. We moved in here back in June, and he adjusted really well to the move. The last few days, with the parade and trick or treat, we were around our old house, so I figured that's where the question was coming from.

It was hard for all of us to be back by the old house and not be living there. It was the first house GM ever really knew. He played in that yard, he ate his snacks in that kitchen, he jumped on the bed in that bedroom. It seems to be the little things we miss about being there. Even though it's just a house. I miss the flowers we planted out back, sitting on the deck over looking the yard, and snuggling in th living room.

The new house has so many advantages though. It's so much bigger, GM has a playroom, we have an office, and a garage. There are definite perks. But, it still doesn't feel like home some days.

Anyways, back to the question. After asking why we lived here, he followed up with "Why don't we live next to grandma?" I don't know what brought that up. We own four acres of land next to my parents, but we haven't built there yet because I worry about not being able to keep up with a mortgage, property taxes, and all that. I'd rather wait a little while and be more stable before taking such a huge plunge. I guess GM is ready to be grandma's neighbor, but it's hard to explain to a 4-year-old that sometimes things just are the way they are. And, I feel a twinge of guilt that maybe he doesn't think of this place as home either some days.