Monday, May 31, 2010

My "Go-To" Pasta Salad Recipe

Anytime there is a warm-weather get together, I bring cold salads. I have a recipe that I got from a co-worker when I lived in Ohio and it has since become my favorite "go-to" recipe for pasta salad. Prepare to be amazed at how simple, yet delicious this is!

1 bag/box tri-color pasta (typically rotini or the swirly kind)
1 bottle Robusto Italian dressing
1 container of grape or cherry tomatoes (see note in recipe on this)
2 green bell peppers
1-2 cucumbers
fresh grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
small can of sliced black olives (optional)

1) Prepare the pasta according to the package.
2) While the pasta is cooking, you will begin dicing your veggies.

Here's the low-down on that. Tomatoes: if you choose the grape tomatoes, you don't really need to de-seed them. I cut them in half and then cut those halves into half. If you use cherry tomatoes, you'll need to quarter your halves or the chunks are too large but only after removing the seeds from the middle. Bell peppers: I cut them into strips and then dice them into about 1/4-1/2" square size bites. Cucumbers: first, obviously is to peel them. I then quarter them lengthwise into 4 spears. I then run my knife down the peak to de-seed them and then they, too, are chopped into small, bite-sized chunks.

3) Drain pasta and run under cool water to chill. When I want to speed chill my pasta, I've been known to put 6-8 ice cubes in the colander with the pasta after it's been rinsed in cold water.

4) In a large bowl add the drained pasta, veggies and then pour on about 1/2 the bottle of the dressing. Stir well, serve chilled.

5) I included two optional ingredients: black olives that can be stirred in with the veggies (I don't like them so I don't use them) and Parmesan cheese which is a nice topping to spoon over after serving it. I've also crisped up some bacon and crumbled that into the salad at serving time. Man, was that delicious!

So, there you have it. Colorful, light, cold. A perfect pasta recipe for a summertime meal!

I'm enjoying the leftovers of mine right now as I type this.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Monday Mayhem

Join Us for Monday Mayhem

Welcome to Monday Mayhem.This week's meme features random questions that make no sense. Simply answer the questions the best way that you want to. Have fun!

1. What animal in your opinion is the stupidest animal alive? Well, it'd probably have to be the human. Seriously, we KNOW what is bad for us, yet continue to indulge in it. Intentionally go out of our way to hurt people -- those we love... are selfish... arrogant... materialistic... narcissistic... uncaring... uncharitable... Seriously, need I go on?

2. What person in the news or spotlight makes you wonder how they got so far? Paris Hilton. It seems to be there is a culture now that is just that you're famous for no apparent reason. I mean, sure AFTER she made main stream she went onto the whole reality show circuit and had her sex tape revealed and then did commercials and then did a record but before that, she was famous for nothing.

3. If you could make up a new law and be in charge of arresting law breakers, what would that law be? Oooh, this is good. Ha ha... it'd have to be the fasion police. Seriously, some people just need help! (Just kidding -- sort of)... How about making a law to punish people that throw their cigarrette butts out the car window. Do they seriously think the entir eworld is their ashtray? IT IS LITTERING YOU *BUTT* HEAD! (pun intended). I'd like there to be a law against people wearing their shorts/pants below their underwear also called "sagging" as I think it's beyond stupid. BEYOND stupid to have to continually pull up your pants ever 2 steps you take. It's along the same lines as that Justin Beiber kid and his head twitch to keep his hair going sideways. I'd like there to be a law that if you purchase something that can be recycled, that you need to see that it gets PLACED IN YOUR RECYCLE BIN! We could save so much... if people would just care and not feel like everything in life is disposable. I could just go on and on about this one. LOL... makes me sound like a real witch, don't it?

4. Name something of the color blue that you despise. Something blue that I despise? Wow... I can't think of much of anything that I even *truly* despise at all, much less, something blue.

5. If you were on your way somewhere and were running late and witnessed an accident, what would you do? It really depends on the situation. I think that if others had stopped to help then I would be fine with continuing on. If people were injured **and** there was a safe place for me to stop **and** I wasn't worried about my children being victim to anything BY my stopping, then I would do more than call 911 on my phone. If it were just a fender bender, I would give my name and phone number to the person and say that I am a witness and if they need a statement to call. Then I'd jet.

6. How tall is too tall and how short is too short in your opinion? Too tall, anything over 6'5" is too tall. Anyone shorter than me is too short. I'm 5'2". I dated a guy that was 6'4" and man... he was so tall it was just ... almost awkward.

7. What hair color and/eye color would you not want in someone you were planning on having children with? He would have to have curly dark brown hair and hazel eyes. :) (That'd be my husband in case you were wondering.)

8. What hour of the day has the worst drivers? I would have to say that 2-3am has the worst drivers because that's when the bars close and people start their drunken journeys homeward.

9. Are you following the Stanley Cup Finals? Nope. Not at all.

10. If you wanted to eat lunch at the zoo and all they served were animal parts, would you eat them? Well, technically, isn't chicken an "animal part" or isn't a hamburger an "animal part." I know, I know. I'm over analyzing the question. But, if it were animals such as those that were IN the zoo, I'd definitely say no. I'm not an exotic eater. I get the image of, say... Bambi... in my head and just feel queasy and whatever it is would become quite unpalatable.

11. Would you give, and if so how much, money to a 25 year old man holding a sign at an intersection that asks for money? I have in the past. I have no problem giving $5 or less because you never know the situation that some people are in. Have you ever heard that country song, "Don't Laugh At Me"? It talks about how people basically judge a book by the cover...

12. What do you do with emails that tell you to forward them on to 10 other people or something will happen to you? I delete them. If they're worthy of comment back to the originator, I will do that but I don't forward anythign like that. Now, they may be worthy of a forward, but I generally delete all that garbage off the bottom. I mean, I wouldn't want them feeling guilty for not forwarding something I sent. :)

Come join in the mayhem! HERE

Sunday Stealing

The guys at Sunday Stealing go about the blogosphere finding memes to steal from other blogs. I like to participate so here we go!

1. Make a list of 5 things you can see without getting up. 1) Benjamin; 2) My entertainment center which houses the television and shelves of personal mementos such as photos of the boys, Demdaco Willowtree Angels, the ashes of my Boomer and Gidget; 3) the bathroom vanity; 4) the ceiling fan; 5) Ben's changing table

2. How do you style your hair? How often do you cut it? I'm a stay at home mom of three busy boys. I find it a blessing right now to just be fortunate enough to get a shower each day (I think I'm on day two of now shower right now... just keepin' it real folks) so typically it's pulled back in a pony tail and I'm wearing one of three favorite hats (Texas Tech, the Gap or my "Tree Hugger" hat from Laura). If it gets styled, that means it's church or I want to look extra special good for my honey pie. I cut my hair about once a year. I don't have time nor the patience for high-maintenance hair. I'd like to go back short but not until I lose the weight. AND I'd like to have highlights but it will definitely be when Ben is older. Shorter hair requires you to fix it so it's a good thing because it forces you out of the lazy habits that I currently possess. :) It works for now and I'm just going to live in the moment. I'll worry about that later when it matters.

3. What are you wearing now? I'm wearing my new Reef flip flops, a pair of black athletic shorts, a white t-shirt with black ribs around the cuffs and neck... and Benjamin if you want to get picky. He's on my lap crashed out in a milk drunken state so he counts right? :)

4. What's your occupation? Do you like it? I am a domestic engineer. Sounds impressive, right? Until you realize that it's a homemaker. Fixer of all things broken. Seeker of all things lost. Cooker of all things yummy. Shopper of all things sale. Mender of broken hearts. Healer of boo-boos. Listener of worries. Maker of children. Nurturer of little minds. I'm a doctor, chef, taxi, therapist, art teacher, cheerleader, maid and more. It's the hardest job ever and I'd never consider another!

5. When was the last time that you took a nap? Was there a special reason? I had a nap yesterday. I don't think I ever got to fall asleep (there was a certainly little creepie that kept coming in to my room to remind me that he wanted to go over to play with the kiddo next door). It was still a nap for me because I was still, it was dark and I was laying down. Sleep was irrelevant at that point because I needed to just rest. No special reason other than mommy was going to fall asleep standing up if I didn't.

6. Who was the last person you hugged romantically? My husband, of course.

8. What was the last full meal that you ate? I had donuts for breakfast. Does that count? I had pizza for dinner at 9:30 p.m. last night? Those aren't meals, to me. They're junk but they were eaten merely out of necessity. Last full meal was on Thursday on Josh's birthday. I made one of his favorite meals... rotisserie chicken with rice and veggies.

9. What was the last email that you received? I'm sure it was spam. LOL. So I don't remember. Just kidding -- it was from my dear friend, Christa. We're trying to find great ways to keep our kids entertained, socialized and educated this summer.

10. What one website do you always visit when you go online? Why, my blog of course! I will either start a post or edit one. They're never done in one sitting.

11. What was the last significant thing you bought? A new car. I think that's pretty significant!

12. What musical artist did you not get at first, but then became a fan? Eminem and Gwen Stefani. I didn't like him when I heard him but then I started listening to the messages in his rap (which I'm really not a big fan of anyway) and he had some pretty powerful words to say. The way he can tweak a rhyme is awesome. Gwen Stefani -- when she came out with Hella Good, I thought it was the STUPIDEST song ever. Then, one day, I just loved it. Now, I'm still not a big huuuuuuuuuuge fan of hers but... that rap-ish song she sings (if that's what you want to call it) really IS stupid -- Holla Back Girl. Yeah, it's dumb.

13. What do you think about before you go to bed last night? How long am I going to get to sleep before Ben wakes up.

14. What was the last CD you bought? Wow, that's ... impossible to remember! It's been at least two years so I have no clue.

15. What is your favorite weather, and why? What's the weather like today? I love chilly weather. The kind where you need a sweater to feel comfortable... you can wear boots and jeans and everything is a-okay. Maybe even a light jacket... and sunny. Why? Because everyone (well, just about everyone) looks good in jeans and a sweater/sweat shirt. Not everyone looks good in shorts and tank tops. It's Africa hot here and frankly, I hate it. I'd rather stay indoors. Blech!

16. If you could have a special artistic talent, what would it be? I want to be able to read music so that I could play anything (with practice, of course). I can carry a tune very well. I can sing. I can harmonize....but being able to read music so that I could do multi-part harmony or learn to utilize other musical instruments (besides my voice) would be wonderful.

17. Did you watch the Idol 9 finale? If yes, what are your thoughts? Yes, I did. I recapped it HERE

18. What's something you'd like to say to someone right now? Drew, you're not allowed to get anything down from the playroom shelves without asking. Josh, put up your freakin football pads for the nth time or I'm chunking them and no more football! I don't CARE if Drew wants to wear them. He never puts them up and they're left in the floor so YOU PUT THEM UP!

19. Any special plans for this (holiday in the States) weekend? Wrote about that HERE

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I Shoulda Been A Polar Bear

I said it before and I'll say it again, I should have been a polar bear.

You're healthy if you're covered in a thick layer of blubber. You get to swim. You're feared and people KNOW not to mess with you OR your offspring. You live in a climate that is nice and chilly.

It's not even the first day of summer and it's FREAKIN HOT. I loathe Texas summers. Seriously, it's noon and the heat index is 95 degrees. Who WANTS to be outside when it's 95 degrees with no clouds? It's just ... UUGH! No thanks!

If you wear shorts and drive somewhere, your legs sweat so that it a) looks like you've peed your pants and then b) you get stuck to the seat. Eww!

You try to time going to the grocery store with the sun being down since you know you'll have to leave the door to the garage open while you empty the car and then the AC won't have to run in the heat of the day to cool the garage while you unload.

If you wake up and shower, fix your hair and make up and then want to do ANYTHING that requires being outside for longer than 2.7 seconds, if you want to do anything ELSE after you've done the ONE thing... you need to REshower.... and reaffix your make up that has now dripped off ontop your shirt. You will go through 2.5 bras a day because they'll be soaking wet. And do I even have to mention the sweaty crotch/butt syndrome? No one likes to feel sweaty butt cheeks... ewwww! But, if you sit, you sweat and so yeah, you'll go through 2.5 pairs of undies a day as well.

Why in the world people WANT to live in this kind of heat is beyond me. I say yuck! I'm going to declare myself allergic to the sun!

Friday, May 28, 2010


Do you have a favorite flower? A favorite meal? A favorite book? A favorite number? Today, my favorite number is ELEVEN. Why? Today, my eldest child turns eleven.

Eleven? Eleven. Where DOES the time go? In my youth, I never understood listening to the moms, aunts and grandmothers talk about how fast time flies. For me, it seemed an eternity just for the weekend to come. Once you have children, their words continue telling you to "enjoy this time" because they're grown and gone before you know it. And now my baby, my Joshua, my "Joshie Lou" is eleven years old. How did that happen so fast?

Josh 11 yrs (2)">

I still remember the day he was born like it were yesterday. I had gone into work where they'd thrown me a surprise baby shower. From there, I drove my gifts home and then went to my afternoon check up with my OB-GYN. I had a month to go before he was due. When exiting the shower the day before, I had a small trickle (think like 1/2 a tsp.) of fluid after my shower the day before but I thought nothing of it. I remembered and had her check... and yes, indeed, it was amniotic fluid.

Initially, she didn't say anything. She was just very matter-of-fact in her conversation. She had asked what I was doing that weekend (it was a holiday weekend, you see). I gave a laundry list of items and ended with, "We are attending a Memorial Day party and I'm bringing taco salad." She smiled and said, "Change of plans, you're going to have a baby."

I was SHOCKED! Mostly because he wasn't due for a month but also because Josh's dad was due to take a FINAL in an hour at school! I called him at work and was like... I have to go to the hospital. I recall him being silent and then repeating, "My heart. Is beating. So fast." I told him to go in and take his test and then drive to meet me at the hospital.

I went home and tinkered around -- he was a month early, remember? And, hey, I was going to be induced, I wasn't IN labor. What was the hurry? I wasn't packed. I had no diapers and furthermore, I was hungry.

His dad got home before I was finished and was like, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?" Ha ha. I basically told him everything in the prior paragraph. He was kind of freaking out and I wanted to stop at Meijer's to get somethign to eat (I was told they never feed you in the hospital until after your kiddo was born.)

Together we drove to Kettering Hospital. I was in a room right outside of the nurse's station and was hooked up on pitocin. We were watching movies to pass the time. Apparently being induced when your body really isn't ready takes a long time. When they'd hear me laugh, they'd come in and crank up the pitocin. Eventually they realized nothing was happening that night so I was given a sedative to sleep and woke up the next morning... Ultimately the next day it was time and when it came (after obtaining that life-saving epidural), I pushed for 30 minutes and he was born.

He was so tiny. He was beautiful. We both cried. It has been decided by me that he was (is and continues to be) a miracle. Why? When he was born he not only had a knot in his cord but also had the cord wrapped around his neck a time or two. LIke I said, a miracle indeed.

Josh's Birth Day">

And now, I know not what to think about the fact that he's eleven. As a mom there are days you can't WAIT for them to grow up but once they start, there's no looking back (as much as we really want to.) So we have eleven.... then the teenage years.... then driving... high school... then college... wow, my little boy is turning INTO... a young man.

This is the kid who as a tot would wave his hands in the air as if he were driving an invisible motorcycle when he was hungry. Once you'd place him in his high chair he'd devour whatever you were feeding him. His first real food (besides the cereals) were peas but his favorites were carrots and sweet potatoes. He ate so many carrots and sweet potatoes that his nose, ears and such got a tinge of orange. Don't laugh, I have photos to prove it! He demanded being rocked to sleep nightly which meant that once you stopped rocking, you better be ready for him to cry and for you to start all over again. If you chose not to, and tried the "cry it out" method, he would get SO upset, he would throw up everywhere. Which then meant you were changing sheets, lights on, changing him, wiping carpet, it was a mess. Shortly thereafter, I realized it was NOT worth it and alas, he was rocked to sleep. Sometimes cradled in my arms, sometimes wrapped in a quilt.

This is the boy who, at the age of 6, knew already that he wasn't the kind to bully or hurt people's feelings intentionally. It's something that is still a defining character trait of his. He genuinely cares about doing the right thing. It's a blessing and a curse that he seeks approval for most everything he does.

He never realized how tiny he really was until recently he found his first pair of shoes that I still keep (I don't want to hear about emotional clutter) and then this very morning, I put little Benji in one fo the onesies that Joshua used to wear. Man alive, he's size 14 now.

Did I mention the fact that he's lost FIVE teeth in three weeks...and I know that he doesn't want to grow up, either, becuase he's saving them to put in his tooth fairy pillow. The child KNOWS that I am the tooth fairy. He smiles because he wants to keep the fantasy alive not only for himself...but also for his little brother, Drew. But, I never thought you were supposed to lose teeth at this rate? Seriously, they're freakin' falling out of the kid's head. EWwwww!

He is an amazing young man who loves sweets. He lives for biscuits and gravy with sausage in the morning. He is a people pleaser who lives to make people happy. For lunch, he loves to make a "snack" lunch which basically consists of little things like -- apples/peanut butter, yogurt, gold fish, something else and a drink.

He's capable of making his own breakfast and loves to make scrambled eggs. He lives to play with his friends. His best friends at the present time are Bailey, Thomas, CJ and Shane. This year marked his venture into tackle football. While I don't feel he has the necessary aggression to truly rock in the world of football, the fact remains that he likes it and so I will support him wanting to continue. In fact, we're lucky that his new school HAS his two passions: guitar and football.

I have a young man with a thirst for knowledge... a thirst for going to church (he loves it). Someone who has been given some unfortunate situations in life (divorced parents) but his ability to see what circumstances are his fault. He is just now learning to comprehend that his voice matters. Truly something major for him to grasp in his 11 short years on this earth.

He knows how to show incredible restraint with frustration and anger when he's the victim of his younger brother. He doesn't understand why people would lie, cheat, steal and intentionally hurt one another. He loves animals and nature and is a Webelos II scout. He loves to draw, play guitar and listen to classic rock. He is a typical kid in that, if allowed, he'd fondle the remote control all day while in his pajamas.

He and I grew closer than we ever were while homeschooling these past two years. This coming year, I know that I'll miss it. I know that he'll grow academically, mentally, emotionally and socially, however, at Fort Worth Christian and I just pray that it's a successful transition for us both.

While the post isn't timely (it's over a month late because I've been wanting to add photos to it), the feelings in my heart for this little man remain true and I think they just continue to grow even moreso than he does. Did I mention he's almost as tall as I am... at eleven? Say it isn't so!

Here is a little stroll down memory lane of the 11 years... so far... birthday by birthday (sans #2 since that was before digital photos and I haven't scrapped it (yet))!

Birth day
Josh's Birth Day">

4th birthday
Josh 4th birthday">

5th birthday
Josh's 5th birthday">

6th birthday
Josh's 6th birthday">

7th birthday
Josh 7th Birthday">

8th birthday
Josh 8th birthday">

9th birthday
Josh 9 years">

10th birthday
10 year birthday">

11th birthday
Josh 11 years">

Sigh... eleven... Happy Birthday Joshua! Mommy loves you to infinity... and beyond!

Kids say the darndest things!

My mom is here at the house right now to take Josh out to lunch for his birthday. Ben has giggled a couple of times while she was holding him. The first time he did it she just was excited and said, "Oh, he's just a giggling!"

She continues to hold and talk to him.... Josh is laying on the couch looking at his birthday present (she made him a kaleidoscope) and she comments again about Ben's giggling and smiling.

Josh's response?

"Maybe he thinks you look funny."

5 Question Friday

Rules for Five Question Friday: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then link up to Five Crooked Halos (below)!

1. Is there something you've always wanted to try but just can't muster up the courage to actually do yet? I guess I feel quite fortunate that it's not a courage factor for me to not try something because anything I have WANTED to try, I have. There are certainly things I would like to try but because of finances, timing or scheduling I was unable to. So, most of my untried "things" are usually because of those factors and not because of because of fear. I'm pretty fearless when it comes to doing what I've set my mind to do.

2. If you had $100 handed to you in cash without your significant other knowing about it, what would you spend it on? Seriously? I would call my husband and tell him. I wouldn't have to hide it. And, I'd probably just keep it in my purse and save it for incidentals... I'm not a big shopper. I'd prefer to use it where we need it -- diapers, milk, gas, dinner out, etc.

3. What was your favorite piece of playground equipment as a child? I remember a swing set my grandmother had in her back yard that we would swing for hours on. It wasn't anything fancy like these elaborate models of today's time. It consisted of two swings and that was it.

4. Do you prefer a sweet or hearty breakfast? I prefer a hearty one hands down. Give this girl some scrambled eggs, hash browns, biscuits and gravy with a side of bacon and I'm set! The only draw back is that after eating THAT heavily, I tend to be tired again. Typically when I make homemade waffles or pancakes, I don't even EAT breakfast with them. However, on the rare occasion that I do, I top mine with berries that have been heated which creates a natural "syrup" or with fresh strawberries (on my pancakes). Because, face it, there's not much that doesn't go well with fresh strawberries! Oh how I love summertime.

5. Are you a Neat Freak or a Messy Bessy? Truth be known, I'm a NEAT FREAK but you'd never know by looking at my house right now. After having a child -- even though he's two months old -- it takes a while to get on any sort of schedule again. I've got piles of crap in every room. The formal living room has two or three HUGE bins of stuff we're getting rid of. Should I have a garage sale or should I list it individually on e-bay or Craig's List? I dunno -- which is why it's sitting there. The playroom -- explosion of Tinkertoys and Legos. The kitchen is something I've at least tried to maintain some resemblance of order within. The family room -- piles of books that I'm selling and a Bombay chest full of decorative accents that are pretty but that I don't know where to place them in my home. The bedroom... ugh.. So, I'm actually a neat freak supreme but by necessity I'm just letting go of my freakishness right now so that I can just live life.

I'm linked to: My Little Life

Friday Fill Ins!


Happy Memorial Day weekend to all who celebrate it :-) we go!

1. Ice cold watermelon -- the best food to take on a picnic.
2. Summer heat is here... we're supposed to be in the 90s the rest of the week with little wind. Can you say "sweltering?" Yeah, that'll be us.
3. I live to wear my black REEF flip flops from Hawaii. But I will not wear them unless my tootsies are painted and pretty.
4. To love someone is to love them warts, boogers and all -- there is no picking and choosing character traits. People are a package deal.
5. The best day I had in Colorado was when Drew and I went to take a long hike in the National Forest in Estes Park. The weather was perfect, scenery was beautiful. We will be back in a couple of years.
6. When I crave food, it's usually salty or sweet.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to celebrating my eldest's 11th birthday -- Happy Birthday Joshua, tomorrow my plans include taking Joshua and his friends to Six Flags to spend the day and Sunday, I want to enjoy the time with our neighbors --we're having a street-wide shrimp boil (I don't eat that stuff, however, I make something else for myself!)

I'm linked to: Friday Fill Ins

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Standards and averages

I'm not one to measure my success or failure by anyone else other than my own personal internal critic. However, when dealing with my kiddos, I will say that sometimes, it's nice to get info from people who have BTDT (been there / done that).

With each of my pregnancies I created an account at and would check out certain symptoms to see if it was "normal." I would search out topics such as "can I eat Feta cheese?" on their website to make sure I'm doign what is safe for me and my unborn.

Another thing I really like about this site is that it will send you frequent updates on your kiddo for stages they should be entering for this stage in their life.

I just received one of these today for Drew. It talks about the concept of time and how at this stage in their lives, they are very much understanding that a routine involves a particular timeline. At this age, too, he should be able to know and remember in what month and on what day his birthday falls. Check. We've got that one covered 100%. He is asking for countdowns from today on how many days left so that he can have his party and get presents. I don't know if I should be excited for him or admonish him for being greedy! The big ugly greed factor really irritates me but I know at this age they are SO excited for presents and parties and I should let him enjoy it.

Another milestone he is supposed to be past, in or near is having him be an active participant at birthday parties and playdates. He is such a social butterfly, this isn't even something I am even worried about. This child lives to play with others!

We need to start working on the whole shoe-tying thing and I hope to have that 100% mastered this summer. He really needs more work with his fine motor skills and so I know that's just a learning process he'll have to undertake. However, we are going to do it this summer! HE will also learn to swim this summer. I have him in lessons in just two short weeks.

I'm working on our "summer schedule" and will post that here just to inspire someone else to do the same. :)

Thankful Thursday

It’s that time of week again! Time to list what you are thankful for. This week we are doing things that start with the letter “P.”

Happy Thursday!

  • Pictures - I have to say that I am fanatical about having photos of my children, family, stages in life. Pictures are just something I treasure.
  • Prayer - This is a powerful tool in the arsenal of our lives.
  • Pampers - I've always been a Pampers kind of mom... and I still am. I love me some Pampers.
  • Physical Fitness - There is no excuse for laziness. You have to get up and get moving. Sitting and fondling the remote control doesn't make your heart take care of you because you're not taking care of IT! Physical fitness is what we can all do to make our lives better and help us live longer!
  • Panama! - This is such a FUN song by Van Halen that just makes me want to sing along and turn the radio up LOUD!
  • Pizza - normally I'd say no to this but since it's obviously a favorite in this house (I AM the sole source of estrogen, remember?) and as such, I'm completely over-ruled on saying no to this for dinner when the man folk desire it (BBQ chicken with spinach for me)
  • Parades - I remember being in small towns and how the whole town would come together to support the small-town parades. They're fun. They're happy. Who wouldn't want to be part of something so fun and wonderful?
  • Pike's Peak - I absolutely loved living in Colorado Springs, CO. It was such a majestical experience to see that each morning. Totally God's country!
  • Pajamas - I live to be in my pajamas!
  • Pasta - I love pasta! Spaghetti, rotini, fettuccine, angel hair, wagon wheel, lasagna, linguine - you name it, it's yummalicious!
  • Paralegals - because that's what I was in my former life. They're hard working sub-attorneys. :)
  • Potatoes - I love me a big-o baker loaded with butter, sour cream, bacon bits, cheese, chives...mmmmmmmmmm
  • Pacifiers - the mute button. Nuff said!
  • Pineapple - mmmmmm, fresh pineapple! Can you really taste the deliciousness of it all?
  • Paper - I'm a scrapbooker. Without this vital component, it's a futile endeavor!
  • Peanut butter - I will admit that when I don't have something to "go to" for lunch or breakfast or even dinner, THIS is my "go to" meal! Extra crunchy with strawberry jam please.
  • Pets - I'm totally a dog person and I love my little Lola! Life just isn't complete without pets!
  • Pantera - A true Texas band... major heavy rock but I love 'em!
  • Perry the Platypus - I've seen one too many episodes of Phineas and Ferb. Even so, Perry is so fun and cute!

    I'm linked to: The Mommy Files

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

He got SHOT!

Big day today it was... 8:15 a.m. we all walked into our pediatrician's office for Ben's 2 month check up. The boy was born at 6.6 and went down to 6 lbs on his first visit. I'm happy to report he's over 11 pounds now. The boy is growing and man do they ever grow fast!

The doc checked him out and everything looks great. He's hanging out in the 50th percentile in everything.

THEN it was time for immunizations. I know there is a huge controversy/debate over immunizations and autism. I'm one to lean on the side of caution and think that I'm going to do everything I CAN do to protect my child and so I am an advocate of immunizations. I see no reason to give them a potential risk of serious disease or infection. The benefits far out-weigh the risks to me. HOWEVER, I can not stay in a room when they get shot. I just can't. I can't watch someone poke my children and make them cry without wanting to punch them right in the nose.

So, that's where Andy comes in. When it was "shot time," I left the room with the boys and it wasn't too long after that Andy walked out holding Benjamin and he wasn't even crying. He said he didn't even notice with the first one and didn't even start to turn red until she was done with the second one.

I loaded him up in the carseat. We drove to the bank to cash some checks, Chick Fil A for breakfast, to Walgreens to load up on a few necessities (and, most importantly, get some infant Tylenol-ish medication). We came home and the child slept. And slept. And slept like he hadn't slept in a week. His colic, screaming, two-hour lung work out the evening prior really must have just knocked him out. Poor guy. I had to wake him up after I was just about engorged after 5 1/2 hours and then he cried for an hour while attempting to nurse. (It was so sad). Then he cried for another hour... and finally settled into his swing where he was for about...well, about another 4-5 hours. He slept his day away. I think after getting poked, however, you've earned it.

It was also Drew's last t-ball game of the season. I didn't attend because of Ben. If I didn't have the swing, he'd likely have cried the entire time and that's not worth it to me. Afterwards, the family went to Spring Creek BBQ and brought me home some take-out.

Therefore, instead of attending the game, I held my cutie, rocked and watched the finale of American Idol. Stand by for your complete recap.

Lee Dewyze won. I'm glad. I called and voted for him several times. It was an odd show. Since I'm not a huge advocate of television in general, I will admit that this is really the only "reality" tv show that I like or even get into other than So You Think You Can Dance. I think it is because I ENJOY singing and am good at it and I ENJOY dancing (when I did).

I think Simon (my favorite judge) leaving is a sad thing. At one point they brought Paula to the stage to talk to him and honestly, it was bizarre. She was drugged or something. Andy said that he read that Madonna was taking Simon's place. I think that's sad.

But, regardless, as far as the winner... Crystal IS an amazing musician but she's not as "main stream" and marketable as Lee. Casey, too, was great but sometimes the vibrato in his voice almost makes him sound nervous. I do, however, know of one big huge RICH country star that has the same thing -- ever heard of one Toby Keith? Yeah, his voice does that too!

At one point, they brought out all the previous winners (sans David Cook) which was really entertaining. There are the big guns -- Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood.... and then the others. You know, the ones that win but that you just don't see or hear much of them again. They didn't become a "Kelly" or a "Carrie" or a "Daughtry" after the show..... Fantasia, Ruben Studdard, Chris Taylor -- some of those people just seem to disappear. Taylor Hicks was there. I read he was doing Grease on Broadway. Sounds interesting but not a way to keep your name out there.

The finale show brought the likes of Alice Cooper, Janet Jackson, Hall & Oates, Chicago, Bret Michaels, Alanis Morissette, Christian Aguilara (her song was snoooooooooore -- boring!) a couple of the Bee Gees and Joe Cocker to the stage. Many of them it was probably the first time in a while before a huge, live audience like that. And a few of the arrangements were just.... weird. However, it was enjoyable. I think that there was just no way to top last year's finale show. That was awesome.

So, in the end, Lee won. He seemed blessed and humbled and real and honored. I think Crystal was ... less grateful for the experience than he was which is why it was quite nice for me to see someone like him win.

All in all, that was my night. Shots, errands, crying, t-ball, BBQ and American Idol.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Stealing

The guys at Sunday Stealing go about the blogosphere finding memes to steal from other blogs. I like to participate so here we go!

1) What's your middle name? Rene

2) How old are you? 37

3) Where are you from? Are you living there right now? Texas...yes. I'm actually only about 25 miles from where I grew up.

4) Is it cold where you are? If 94 is cold, then yes... I'm freezing.

5) What's the time? 7 pm

6) What are you wearing? Nike t-shirt, khaki shorts and a is in my lap on a pillow trying his best NOT to fall asleep like he so needs to do

7) What was the last thing you listened to? The lawnmower in the back yard. Andy and Josh are doing the yard right now.

8) What was the last thing you ate? Veggie burrito from Chipotle. YUM!

9) What was the last thing you watched on TV? Some documentary about Burmese Pythons taking over the Florida Everglades. Scary stuff!

10) What's your favorite TV show? Why? I don't really like TV all that much. If I watch, it's typically American Idol, The Ellen Show, Ghost Hunters or one of several cooking shows that I like.

11) Quick! Find a book, or something with text on it! Flip to a random page and post the second paragraph's first sentence. Are you kidding me? The kid just fell asleep... NO WAY JOSE!

12) What was the last movie you saw? How was it? I saw Love Comes Softly. It's a movie with Katherine Heigl in it. She's a frontier woman who becomes widowed and has to make some tough choices, falls in love and remarries (not necessarily in that order). I love movies like that -- the whole "Little House on the Prairie" genre.

13) Do YOU think you have an accent? Where do people in your country do people speak with strong accents? I'm a Texan, we ALL have accents. :) Mine generally only comes out when I say the word "five" or "nine" or when I'm sleepy or have had a few too many (though it's been more years than I can remember since I could even say that... thank God.) I do say "ya'll" however. I think you have to if you live here and want to be "normal." (whatever THAT means) Ha ha!

The dedication of Benjamin Ryan

"The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn't been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him.” - Pablo Casals

Today was the day at 12:30 p.m. we dedicated the life of our son, Benjamin Ryan, to the Lord before the congregation at Gateway.

One of the pastors was assigned just to us. She came and held Benjamin and blessed him in the name of Jesus. She poured her blessings over him and then individually over each of us. When she got to Josh, she really became choked up. She has three sons of her own and she was so moved by our family. It was touching.
As soon as she blessed Benjamin, she handed him back to me and then started to talk to Drew. As I held Benji and Drew was being blessed for being a strong big brother... he wouldn't take his eyes and hands off of Benjamin... he would hold his little feet and kiss his toes and touch his tender heels. He would caress them as if it was HIS baby. He, indeed felt special for being a part of something small but significant.

Present were my mother in law and my dad as well as both boys (they went off to Sunday School afterwards). Thank you to my friends Brad and Melissa Conlon for getting a video of it for me. My mother in law took the photos. I didn't bring my camera. (shudder!)

I'm Proud of you Josh

I'm so proud of Joshua for standing up today at the wee age of ten years and telling someone something that he knew would hurt their feelings BUT knowing that he had to say what was on his mind and in his heart. He had to experience manipulation and hurt feelings in the end but realizes how good it felt to say what you wanted to say and to stand up for what you wanted and your rights too. It was a VERY hard day for him but I'm very proud of him.

Did you know that I'm a horrible parent?

Drew "always never gets to go swimming. Three weeks is like 30 days." Uuuuunngh huuuuuhnnnggh huuuunnnnhgh! (that's him sobbing upstairs.)

You see, I won't let this child go swimming. Why? Because he doesn't KNOW HOW TO SWIM! I have him scheduled for swimming lessons in three weeks. By the end of that week, he'll know how. However, I do not want him swimming in someone else's pool a) becuase right now I can't be there and b) I don't want him wearing floaties. Why? They create a false sense of security. All he needs to do is forget he has them on and get pushed in or fall in and he's a gonner. I nearly lost him once because of a near drowning... I'm not doing it again. I have Benjamin, he's napping. It's miserable outside and don't want Ben out there while I sweat my ass off (pardon the Texan) watching him. Not today. UGH! Besides, Ben is trying to fall asleep right now and from the sounds of it, Mr. Whiney-Butt needs a nap!

So, yeah, I'm a bad parent because I "always never" let my non-swimming 5 year old go swimming. Safety first. He can be mad at me but at least he'll be ALIVE while he is!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Friday Fill Ins we go!

1. Watching reruns of Seinfeld never fails to make me smile. No soup for you!!
2. I'm looking forward to getting my figure back after I stop building our dream home someday.... to seeing my friend, Mary, on Monday.
3. Benjamin making his gurgle, googey sounds as he nurses (yes, I'm multi-tasking) is what I'm listening to right now.
4. Potato salad must have onions, pickles, mayo, mustard and obviously POTATOES in it!
5. A bowl of taco salad was the best thing I ate today (Thursday).
6. Today was Drew's last day of preschool.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Drew's baseball game, tomorrow my plans include making the trek to my old church, IBC, because they started an organic veggie co-op and I joined so it's "pick up day" ... along with watching Josh's football team play in the SUPERBOWL and Sunday, I want to enjoy Ben's dedication and my cousin's baby shower!

I'm linked to: Friday Fill Ins

5 Question Friday

Time again for 5QF (5 Question Friday) at My Little Life. Here we go!

1. Do you have an iPhone and, if so, how do you get apps and what are your favorites? No, I don't. I use a Blackberry.

2. What is your fondest memory of K-3rd grade? I ...geez. Truth be known, I have a horrible memory. I blame the two plus years of nursing my older boys and now, Benji. These kids literally suck the smarts right outta ya.

3. What makes you cringe at the thought of touching? I have no idea why but touching raw chicken just oogies me out. I don't like picking up bugs that you're supposed to squish in the papertowel/toilet paper either. That just gives me the shivers. I cringe at snakes too, but not because I fear them... they're just so hard to read so you dont know if they'll strike or not.

4. If you could have any celebrity show up on your doorstep who would it be and why? Rick Springfield - Ha! Why? Because he's a freakin hottie and that means I'd get my own personal concert and maybe get to sing along too!

5. What would you say is your best physical feature? It's rather hard to answer this right now because I feel quite dumpy. It's typical for me to feel dumpy after having a kiddo. 9 months up 10 months back is what they say. I'm not one of those fortunate women that just sheds the weight because of nursing. And, since there is no one on the planet that seems to be able to make a real bra for nursing women, I'm going to think that it'll be darn near impossible for me to go jogging again UNTIL I'm done nursing. I'll give this guy 10 months and then we're going to go to cow's milk and momma is running! Next year I'll do the Turkey Trot or a 5K or something. I am motivated and ready to lose weight so ... asking me my best feature when I feel fat and ugly.... not smart. Just makes me feel worse... so thanks a lot.. big jerk! ha ha.. j/k Right NOW my best physical feature is my eyes (when they're not ten shades of red from being tired.)

I'm linked to: My Little Life - Five Crooked Halos

The last day...

Today was Drew's last day of preschool at Noah's Ark. He's been there since he was almost two. He started out in the Kangaroo class with Ms. Maria and Ms. Gayla then the next year he was in the turtle class... and then in the elephant class last year. This year he was in class with Ms. Jane and Ms. Connie and he was a Bear.

As I've told other people about why I do what I do... both Josh and Drew have late birthdays so instead of starting them in K at 5 years old and then having them proceed to first grade, we do things a little differently. I want my boys to have the advantage of being the oldest in their class and having one more year to mature (we all know how BOYS are, don't we girls?) because they need it!

So, this school where Drew will go has an "in between" class. It's more advanced than kindergarten but not quite first grade. It's called Developmental First. Josh took it too, so while he is old enough to be in 5th grade, he's in 4th. And, he's the oldest in his class. He will appreciate that down the road for academics and sports.

Today for the end of the year teacher gifts, I went and bought some acrylic margarita glasses from Hobby Lobby (50% off) and hot glued ribbon around the edges. We cut a small foam block and inserted it in the cup. A quick trip to Costco yielded 2 dozen roses for $16. I divided it between the 5 cups and voila.. instant beautiful gifts. Drew had one for his two teaches, the director (wonderful woman) and the music teacher (Ms. Hallie). I even made one for Ms. Lori who he claims was his favorite teacher ever. She is JUST so, so wonderful. I do agree with Drew - she's pretty awesome.

As such, today is the end of one era in our life. I no longer have a preschooler. This fall, I will have two boys attending a real school. I'm glad they'll be there together, however. I love that they'll have that. I even called today to get them set up for testing. :) Josh is QUITE excited. Drew's just excited to eat lunch in a cafeteria with a big group of people and it be a HOT LUNCH! WOW!

Thankful Thursdays!!

It's that time of the week again. Time to sit back and contemplate what we are thankful for. This week it is time for things that start with the letter "O".
  • Onions - While I hated them as a cgild, no salad or burger is complete without a red onion. Why they call them red when theyre actually purple is beyond me. Must have been named by a colorblind man.
  • October - I absolutely love the fall. And hey, who doesn't love to find the perfect costume to dress your kiddo in to send them begging for candy around the neighborhood?
  • Ocean - I love the majesty and beauty of our oceans. Very sad about the whole BP oil spill in the Gulf right now. That ecosystem is fragile enough...

  • Oreos - They have golden Oreo sandwich cookies now and they are the bomb!

  • Orange - It was Marie Osmand's favorite color when I was a little girl so I loved it then.

    I'm linked to: The Mommy Files

Monday, May 17, 2010

Just a Monday - random thoughts by yours truly

Nothing special much about today. I've decided not to do Meal Plan Mondays anymore. Why? Because I like to have them written down on my fridge, not on my blog which means I potentially have to kick someone off to look at said blog to figure out what I'm to defrost today for dinner. If it's on the fridge, it's just a walk to the fridge and bam -- done deal!

But, just in case you're curious... today we're having picaunte chicken. It sounds way more fancy than it is. It's chicken breast tenders that are cooked in a skillet with some onions and peppers. Then you drain and pour in a can of black beans, Mexican corn and a jar of salsa (or picaunte sauce... I think that's just how they say it in different areas of the country).

Today we finished Josh's math book. We are officially done homeschooling math. We will continue to read good books and do writing and language arts because I'm weird like that.

My boys were wonderful and let me sleepin until 9:30 today. It's funny to even CALL it "sleeping in" when I was up all night. It's more like "catching up for my sanity and patience so that I don't snap on a whim and bite your head off." But I think they just saw it as an opportunity to play Wii. :) Love the Wii sometimes.

They've gotten along swimmingly lately. They are LEGOMANIACS! It's crazy!

Drew still wasn't feeling 100%. He's supposed to have t-ball practice today. There's a HUGE weather system moving this way. Not sure we'll still have it... looking rather ominous outside but we shall head that way if they are. Ben is swingin... he loves that darn swing. I hate that he loves it so much. I'd rather hold him. Where's that darn sling I need?

I'm having some lower abdominal distress issues. Sucks. Hopefully I'll be able to get that taken care of in the next few days. :(

Mom called, she's got shingles. She gets them from stress. Having 10 applicants to screen for the PD and gallbladder surgery certainly should have stressed her out, should it? HA! I just hope she feels better soon.

Josh and I had a long, long talk last night. He broke down into tears when he realized a few things about someone he held in very high regard. He asked about the divorce between his father and I. He asked about my mom (we've had a VERY less than desirable relationship). He asked about lots of things. He's very wise beyond his years. He told me things that had been told to him... and I basically told him that anyone is welcome to blame whatever they want on me. He couldn't BELIEVE I said that. I said, "...and do you know why? Because I don't care. I have better things to do than to take on some one's guilt or anger or excuses. They can fling them all my way but they won't stick because I don't care." He really appreciates that I'm that way. He saw a parallel between himself and my father (such a wonderful man). That was very moving. It was a good talk. He understands a lot of things now. Things that a young boy shouldn't have to but when you're the product of a broken home, it's inevitable. He doesn't understand why his bio dad is insisting on his five weeks' visitation. Josh has expressed on multiple occasions that he doesn't WANT to go up there for five weeks. Josh wanted to know where that magic number five came from. I had to explain court documents. "Can't you get it changed?" Man, if it were only that easy. We'll see how it all turns out. Josh wants to go up there for June and be home in time for his team party (just under 4 weeks). He doesn't want to go BACK up there after his summer camp but that's what his bio dad is wanting. It's so sad for him to feel like he has no voice.

He expressed how thankful he is for a mom like me. How he loves how much I cook good, healthy meals not only for dinner but breakfast and sometimes lunch too. I try to make sure they eat from the rainbow and limit processed junk. I have explained to him that anything I wanted in life became all about my children when I became a mom...because to me, that's the most important thing. I told him how my goals aren't gone, they're just on hold because for me -- being able to be there is my job. Taking care of my boys IS my world and that makes me happy. I think he realized a lot of things in our talk last night.

Josh realized that he has to speak up for himself... even at the possible expense of some one's feeling. He learned that people will make you feel bad to persuade you to do what they want you to do but if you really feel strongly about something, never be afraid to let your voice be heard. Because no one can pick up on hints or read minds. The only way to communicate your true feelings is to let them be known. He's going to have to face his father and do this.

One blessing from our talk was that he realized how wonderful it is that we CAN talk about anything. I explained to him that I don't have that kind of relationship with my mom. He couldn't comprehend my mom not having MY back or me not having his. I just explained that some people aren't wired like that. I am, however, and he knows that now. He thinks I'm a strong person to have no one to go to like that. But I do... I take my problems to God... and so we ended our talk by me telling him that whatever his worries are, the best thing he can do is to give it to God because it will all work out however it is intended.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday Stealing

The guys at Sunday Stealing have a hefty one this week. I have maintained their nomenclature. Here goes nuttin'...

26. Have you ever been stung by a bee? No, and truth be known, I have never been stung by anything that flies and has potential to sting. In fact, if something that buzzes and stings even comes near me you will know because I will be the one running away in a panic screaming as if Godzilla himself were after me. I don't "do" flying, stinging creatures.

27. What's the sickest you've ever been? I remember one year when I was in high school and my parents were out of town hunting. My sister was to take me to school. I was so exhausted, I couldn't get out of bed. They'd left on Friday and by Monday I was so ill, I don't think I'd eaten all weekend and I really don't think I left the bed either. My sister was so afraid I was going to die that she basically carried me to her car and took me to the doctor's office. It was at that time that he said that I had Epbstein Barr Syndrome (or chronic fatigue syndrome). I thought that was so weird. I still don't even know if I believe in it but??? Oh well. I know they asked me to pee in a cup then said it wasn't "clear" enough and wanted me to go again. I'm like, that was ALL the liquid in my system period. They took blood and then I went to the bathroom to TRY to pee again... and passed out on the toilet. Not my finest moment, for sure.

28. What's your favorite form of exercise? I really don't like exercise. I think those people that are the "fitness gurus" that have overcome obesity and are now experts and personal trainers just surrender one addiction for the next. However, if I HAVE to exercise, I really enjoy running (as long as I have a REALLY good support system for "the girls"). :) Mary, you'll remember this comment, won't ya? LOL Based on my current abode I can't say hiking, because that'd be #2 on the list. :) There's really no where around here TO hike.

29. What's your favorite Cyndi Lauper song? She Bop or Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

30. What did you do for your 13th birthday? You're freakin' kidding, right? I have no idea... I think it was my 12th or 13th birthday that I had a sleepover at the house but I can't be sure. Dude, I don't even remember what I ate for breakfast TODAY and you want me to remember my 13th birthday? Wow, you're smokin' something.

31. Are you afraid of heights? No, but it's not like I've ever been anywhere super high where it was an issue. I'll climb ladders, get on a roof. No biggie.

32. Have you ever taken dance lessons? I took jazz, tap, ballet, gymnastics... just like most little girls.

33. What's your favorite newspaper? I don't read the paper. I prefer to get my news online. It's more environmentally friendly.

34. What's your favorite Broadway / West End musical? I really enjoyed Grand Hotel when I saw that. When I was a young girl, CATS was my favorite. I love musicals, however. That's why I'm a GLEEK!

35. What's the most memorable class you've ever taken? I would have to say my high school English class taught by Mr. Larry Colthorp. He was a Shakespearean GENIUS! I also really enjoyed my theater class taught by Ms. Montague.

36. What's your favorite knock-knock joke? Whichever one my children are telling is the best knock-knock joke ever.

37. What's your least favorite commercial? I truly despise all pharmaceutical commercials. I think they're horrible. I really can't stand the legalized tag lines of all the potential side effects, "...taking "Prolaxin" could cause memory loss, hair loss, impotence, weight gain, weight loss, migraine, growing a third toe, growing a third eye, losing your balance, you to grow a penis..." they're all so ridiculous. If you have an issue, take it up with your doctor, don't self diagnose on a commercial. Seriously. However, the "Mattress Giant" commercials with their stupid jingle drives me NUTS AND there is an idiot attorney that preys on people that have been in an accident. "If you're injured, call in the "Strong Arm." He just looks angry and you know--from this ad-- that he's an ambulance chaser. It's annoying.

38. If you could go to Disney World with any celebrity alive today, who would it be? Wow, it'd have to be someone super fun... but really, I wouldn't WANT to go b/c being with a celebrity would cause a mob and you'd never get to do anything.

39. Do you prefer baths or showers? Showers, I don't have time for baths. Besides, my jacuzzi is broken so they're no fun now. Note to self -- get that fixed.

40. What's your favourite newspaper comic strip? Mother Goose and Grimm was always funny. There's one that I've read several times but I don't know the name of it. It's basically one that only parents would think is funny (not Family Circle) but along those lines.

41. What's your favorite breakfast food? I love these little chicken minis from Chick Fil A. The yeast rolls they use are delicious!

42. Who's your favarite game show host? I don't watch game shows to know who the host of any of them are. Back in the day it was Richard Dawson, Pat Sajack and Chuck Woolery. LOL

43. If you could have a super power, what would it be? Hmmm...should I pick something helpful or practical? I'd want to be like Samantha on Bewitched and be able to twinkle my nose and make about anything I wanted to happen. That'd be cool!

44. Do you like guacamole? Does a one legged duck swim in a circle?

45. Have you ever been in a food fight? No, I haven't. Why? You want to start one? I'm far too practical. I think of the mess that it's going to leave and know I'll be cleaning it up.

46. Name five songs to which you know all the lyrics. Walkin' After Midnight by Patsy Cline; Wanted Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi; I Won't Leave You Lonely by Shania Twain; Hotel California by the Eagles; Marina Del Ray by George Strait; I'm Just A Country Boy by Don Williams... seriously, I could go on for hours. I love to sing.

47. What's your favorite infomercial? I despise them too! LOL I'm a nursing mother and at 2am that's ALL that is on TV.

48. What's the longest you've ever waited in line? I'm sure as a kid I waited over an hour or more for a ride at Six Flags... but who knows now. My time is too valuable to wait that long for something.

49. What's on the cover of your address book or day planner? A Blackberry logo (that's what I use now)

50. Have you ever taken a picture in one of those little booths? Yeah, a few times. :)

Yeah... not today either

I was planning in gearing up for church today with the whole family for the first time since B made his arrival, and wouldn't you know it -- Drew woke up barking like a seal -- again!

Let me explain, yesterday evening J had his playoff game. I took him with B to the fields at 6pm. Gametime was 7:15 so I sat in the the van with B sleeping in my arms watching Love Comes Softly (again)... love that movie and highly recommend it to anyone! The previous game and the one before it ran long so his game (obviously) didn't start on time. It started about 7:40 pm.

Since we had D at J's last game and he was "SO BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORED," neither of us wanted to listen to it. ASI Gymnastics have "Parent's Night Out" once a month and for $20 you can drop your kid off and let them go play and be fed pizza/lemonade from 7-11 at a gymnastics place where they play games, bounce, run run run and come home exhausted. He loves it (and he had a friend or two there, too). So, I took J to the field. Andy took D to ASI at 7 and dropped him off and then drove to the fields... hung out until game time. Well, you see, the last time we did this at ASI, D woke up with CROUP! Guess what... this morning, he woke up barking like a seal. If he's still coughing tomorrow, we're going to the doctor first thing in the am. Grrrr.

Why "Grrrr?" His preschool graduation is Tuesday; ice cream party on Wednesday and field trip on Thursday ... he can't be sick on the last week of school especially when it's a FUN ONE! GRRRRR....

BUT... on a better note...

Josh's team is going to the SUPERBOWL!!!!!

We are so excited. This does mean, however, that his birthday trip to Six Flags with his 3 friends is OBVIOUSLY postponed. His end-of-season team party is obviously a week later which also means that his visitation to Iowa with his bio dad is therefore screwed up (but it was anyway b/c of all the other things J wants to do this summer. I think he's starting to enter the age where he's (the bio dad) going to have to realize that 5 weeks in the summer just may not happen because his son has a social and athletic life now and really doesn't want to go up there and miss out on spending time with his friends and doing the camps he wants to do. I'm sure he had to know this day would come...?? yes?

Anyways, so this coming Saturday he'll be going to the SUPERBOWL! We are all so thrilled for him. Not too bad that the first year you play football, your team goes to the SUPERBOWL, huh?
I'm very proud of him. He was COVERED in sweat last night. He's hurting this morning. It was a great day!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lead, Follow or GET OUT OF THE WAY!

Why I had to cap that last phrase is beyond me but it speaks to you, too. Doesn't it? While sitting here in my room rocking my milk drunken 7 week old, I decided that blog following/subscribing/reading had to get under control.

I utilize iGoogle Reader for my blog following. If I *was* following your blog and I'm gone now, don't worry. I have stopped following but I have NOW subscribed. I like using the "subscription" feature much better because you can categorize those blogs. I have blogs in several categories: Decorating and DIY, Crafts and Gift Ideas, Cooking, Homemaking, Misc and fun stuff, Reading and Inspiration, Homeschooling, Home-Couponing, etc. I like that when I'm nursing I can just read about decorating and see ideas that people have. Or, if I want to read about cooking... all the cooking blogs I subscribe to will be in one space.

From there, I will either star the items to search for later or tag them with "recipe" or "to do" or "gift idea" and the like.

Now I will NO LONGER FOLLOW any blog at all! It will be either subscribe or I'll bookmark that particular entry. Period.

There are so many hours in a day and the fact that I feel like I'm spending a good majority of them following unorganized blogs is preposterous! My boys will only be little so having these organized will help me streamline what I DO want to read. Right now, I love getting to catch up on my blog roll at 2am for these early morning feedings. It's my "me" time. I'm looking forward to dwindling them down even further, however.

I'm on a purge mode--house wide it seems. I don't understand why we have so much excess. Seriously, how many plastic pitchers do you have in your kitchen? I have 5. FIVE? Who the heck needs FIVE plastic pitchers. I'd PREFER to have two really pretty glass or acrylic ones but I have FIVE UGLY PLASTIC ones. WHY? I'm getting rid of three of them. I like to have one for sweet tea and one for unsweetened tea. Other than that, I do NOT need FIVE pitchers.

Along the same lines, I have been blessed with an incredibly large kitchen. Why I feel the need to FILL it up is beyond me, too. Seriously. It's ridiculous. I have one area in my kitchen that is similar to a china cabinet. There is a beautiful granite counter top, two or three sets of double doors beneath that and then glass-fronted cabinet doors for the cabinets on the wall above that. It's full of stuff that I DO NOT USE. Why do I still have it? Just to fill a space? Seriously, I would rather my home be full of memorabilia and items that I use and love rather than STUFF to fill up space.

For instance, I have a set of glasses that have gold rims on them. My mom gave me these to go with some beautiful gold flatware. I have used these at Christmas so it seems it'd be wise if I wanted to keep it... to pack it up with the Christmas stuff in the attic and bring it out THEN. There are beer mugs that my husband (he actually has more sentimental clutter than I do, I think).... from some place in Lubbock. We NEVER USE THEM... why do we have them? Seriously?!

I have found a home for the rocking bassinet that I have. I can't just give it away to anyone because of the fact that it was recalled. Apparently it's a co-sleeper, bassinet, changing table, combo apparatus. However, since there is no way to keep the co-sleeper next to the bed and the support bar isn't "regulation" .. little scootchie babies can get their heads caught in the rail and strangle themselves (it happened, thus the recall). However, the recall was like 3 years ago (when mine was in the attic and I was OUT of baby recall monitoring mode). So, I can't *in good faith* just give this to anyone knowing they may use it for the wrong reason. However, I don't need it and it's -- TAKING UP SPACE -- so since my cousin is due in July, I'm going to give it to her to use as a bassinet. Once she's done, I'll let her gift it to someone else... with the disclaimer that they can NOT use it as a co-sleeper.

I'm ready to go through my closet and purge, too. I have TRIED to get him to do the same. He has long sleeved turtle necks that I have NEVER seen him wear. I say, get rid of those. He says they're for skiing. I would bet my right arm that even if we WENT skiing, he'd NEVER wear a turtleneck. He hates them. Yet, he hangs onto them. It's going to be funny when I purge my closet and he has three times the clothes that I do. I swear the rumors will fly -- you know what they say about guys that have more clothes than their wives... LOL

Friday, May 14, 2010

5 Question Friday and Friday 5

Time again for 5QF (5 Question Friday) at My Little Life. Here we go!

1. Take your night, girls night out, or night out alone? Honestly, I get NONE of the above right now but knowing that I'd be up at 2am... I think I'd honestly take some sleep over anything. Sad huh? Date night with hubs is a close second because I know that relationship needs to be continually replenished but as this is just a stage in life... I know it won't last.

2. Can you touch your nose with your tongue? Nope. Not a freak of nature like that. :)

3. What is your favorite flower and why? I don't have a "favorite" of a lot of things -- flowers are one of those things. I love and appreciate a large bouquet of wildflowers. I mean, who doesn't like hydrangeas, tulips, thornless roses or stargazer lilies... they're all beautiful creations but... just a good old fashioned bunch of mixed wildflowers makes me smile.

4. If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself? I know it sounds quite cliche but I really wouldn't want to change my life because just one small change of circumstance might mean that I wouldn't have my boys or my husband now... BUT... if I HAD to (for sake of this question) I'd tell myself to get in college immediately after high school so that it was a done deal. Trying to do it later in life isn't as easy once you've started in the workforce, have a family or are busy with other little things -- you know, CHILDREN?!? Oh, and "go with your gut"... do NOT let Darlene perm your hair the week before cheerleader camp... tell Marc not to take that class at Irving High... wear SUNSCREEN all the time... and don't let Shelly take that red drink in the back of the car in South Padre... pay cash and don't cut your hair off.

5. If you won the lottery, what is the very first thing you would do? The first thing I would do would be to call Andy so we could freak out together! It'd be an amazing thing considering the last time I ever purchased a lotto ticket was about 15 years ago.

I'm linked to: My Little Life

AND THEN.... we have this week’s Friday 5! The instructions for this one are to copy these questions to your webspace, answer them and then return and link to the same site. Here we go!

1. What is absolutely the best cookie you’ve ever had? I'm absolutely addicted to Paradise Bakery's sugar cookie. They're made with cake flour, are HUGE and freakin' delicious! I got my recipe for them off the internet (copycat site) when I realized that the Paradise Bakery that was in the mall near me closed down and I had no way to get my favorite cookie ever again! I became desparate and just, on a whim, decided to surf the net for them.

2. What is a cookie you really don’t care for? I'm not big on anything with mint in it. I think those are just gross.

3. What are some other cookies you are rather fond of? I like HOMEMADE chocolate chip cookies and snickerdoodles. I also like cranberry-oatmeal cookies, too.

4. Grocery-store cookies are, of course, never as good as anything that comes out of someone’s kitchen, but what’s a packaged cookie that’s still pretty good? Pinwheels (chocolate cookie, covered with a huge dome of marshmallow and then covered with a thin layer of chocolate. I also like Pepperidge Farms Milano cookies. Those are two thin oval shaped shortbread cookies with a small layer of chocolate between them. And then the golden Oreos are pretty good too.

5. In general, do you think cookies should be chewy and gooey, or should they be crispy and crunchy? Well, it really depends on the cookie. Oreos would be gross ooey and gooey. Paradise bakery cookies would be gross if they were crispy so it definitely depends on the cookie.

Friday 5 is a great site and I'm linked to it: Here

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Friday Fill Ins! we go!

1. I just had a hot shower while Captain Pampers was sleeping and the big brothers slept in a bit (had a late night last night due to football).

2. It is what it is.

3. The third sentence on the 7th page of the book I'm reading: Now me, I miss the smell of coffee... and bacon frying in the morning.

4. Going to Canton tickles my fancy.

5. I was walking after midnight, out in the moonlight, just like we used to do I'm always walkin' after midnight searching for you. One of the only songs any of my 3 boys would calm down to as I sang it to them when they were hysterical infants.

6. The guy who plays Stuart on MAD TV makes me laugh! I especially love when he goes, "Stoooooooooooooooooop it, " or "Quiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit it," or "watch me."

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to possibly attending Drew's t-ball game, tomorrow my plans include (stand back, this is really exciting now...) cleaning my house and Sunday, I want to go to church, plan my menu for the week and relax!

I'm linked to: Friday Fill Ins