Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Fallen Tree

Why Christmas trees and little boys don't mix...

Cost of the Christmas tree- $28.00
Cost of the broken ornaments - $2.99
Look on a little boys face when the tree comes crashing down on top of him - PRICELESS!

And that, my friends, is why I chose to put the crappy ornaments on the tree this year.

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Life Lesson

I haven't really been on my computer since early last week with the holidays and all so this extra few minutes that I have before little man wakes up was feeling a little precious to me. So I thought. Then I logged on and checked my email for what I thought would be just the usual junk mail, a few forwards, a couple "hello" notes from friends...ya know the usual. But this morning I got an email that pretty much made me stop. And think. And cry.

I started attending a Mom's group at our church last semester to pawn my kid off on the childcare staff enjoy a few hours with other Christian women every other week. Through that group I learned of a fellow attender that suddenly found their family facing the news that her husband had developed cancer this past summer. I must admit I didn't know Shelly at all since we didn't sit at the same table. I think I only was introduced to her briefly once. But, this morning when I received an email that her husband had suddenly passed away on Friday it took me by surprise. Honestly, last I had "heard" he seemed to be doing well with the chemo and things were looking up.

So, anyways, it makes you stop and think. Here is this woman, with 4 children that has suddenly lost her husband. What would I do in that situation? Would I have the strength to be strong? How many times in the past week with the stress of the holidays (and our bouts of a stomach virus that has made me feel crappy and on edge) did I "bark" at my husband? How many times did I go to bed without telling him that I loved him? How many times did I get annoyed because he left a bowl or plate in the sink again without putting it in the dishwasher? Probably too many to count.

It's another lesson that shows you that you never know what life will throw your way. God has the power and control to take someone that we love so very much out of our lives here on earth in an instant. So, why not count our blessings today? Let the little things go. Hug our loved ones a little tighter. Kiss them a little longer and let them know that you love and appreciate them for the person that they are. Be kinder to those around us. Reach out and help someone in need. I, for one, am going to make a better effort to do so.

You can read about Shelly on her blog. She wrote a beautiful letter to her husband on Saturday that shows her love for her husband and her faith in the Lord.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Wish I Thought of It

Okay. I think I might have discovered the coolest, ingenious invention to ever cross my griddle.

No joke.

A friend had told me about this product months ago, and because I don't shop at the same grocery store as her I checked the other 3 that I shop at every time I was there "just in case" they decided to start carrying this little gem. To no avail. So, one day last week I was attending a story hour with Kaiden at a church that was a few minutes from her grocery store so I decided to run in to give it a whirl. This my friends, is what I am talking about.
Yes, it's exactly what it looks like. Pancake/waffle batter in a whip cream type of can.
But in case you missed the best part, let me give you a close up...
Yes, my friends, it's organic.

So, let's just say that your son is tired of eating oatmeal or cereal again for breakfast and for a little change of pace you would love to whip up some pancakes. Oooops. Better not. That would mean that you have to make a whole batch for just you and ummm, little man here. Well, not anymore. You just shake and squirt this batter into a pan to make one or two pancakes and voila! Instant pancake. Happy son.

Now, the truth is that it doesn't quite taste like you whipped up the batter yourself. But it is still quite tasty. And for a change of pace and something new to offer on those "picky" days, it has been a great addition to my refrigerator.

Wish I thought of it.

P.S. I found this at Albertson's right next to the cartons of egg white products, for those who have one near by. I have looked at Safeway, Fry's and Walmart and none of those stores carry it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

With only a week to go before you hop in your sleigh and fly, I just realized that I forgot to give you my wish list this year. I've been a good girl, if that's what your thinking, if you don't count the time that I cut in front of that lady in the grocery store line. I really was in a hurry and did you see her cart? I would have been there forever waiting behind her. I felt bad about it. Really. I did.

Oh, and before we continue. I'm really sorry about my blog post yesterday. Every one reaches their breaking point sometime and, well, getting that ticket in the mail was mine. When I mail my check in to pay the bloody ticket I'll put it in a Christmas card to make up for my nastiness. I'll even draw a smiley face after signing my name. How's that sound?

Now, let's get down to business.
  1. I-pod Nano. You know the one that comes in all those pretty colors. I want the pink one, cause I'm a pink kind of girl. I think I am the only one on the face of the planet that doesn't own an I-pod and that just has to change.
  2. Laptop computer. I want freedom to sit on my lazy butt anywhere in the house to do my blog surfing important business. Nothing worse than being confined to the office.
  3. A Chi flat iron. You've seen my hair, Santa, and you know it needs some taming. So, help a girl out here.
  4. A cleaning lady. I'll settle for once a month. Bi-weekly if your feeling really generous.
  5. Celine Dion CD. Yes, Santa, I realize that I am under the age of 50. But she has a voice of an angel. Ahhhhhh.....
  6. Custom blog design.
  7. One of those Panini Griddle press do hickeys. I saw someone on TV use it last night. It looked sooo good. I can make all sorts of crazy things on there...pancakes, quesadillas, steaks, paninis, etc, etc, etc. Must. Have. Panini. Griddle. Press...

So, Santa, that was pretty painless, don't ya think? We really are looking forward to having you stop by next week. I even went out and bought some cookies to make for you on your visit to our home. Chocolate chip. Your favorite, right? It's the least I could do. I hope I don't eat them all before you come.

Love,

Tracey

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday Whine

Another addition of Wednesday Whine. Because it's my blog and I'll whine if I want to.

I'm guesstimating here, but about a year or two ago the city of Scottsdale had this brilliant idea to test out the use of photo radar on the Scottsdale side of the Loop 101 here in AZ. For those not from around these parts, it's one of the major freeways that runs in a loop around the whole city. Go figure. Loop 101, runs in a loop around the city...you get the point. Highly traveled, highly congested road. But anyways, every 4-5 miles or so they put these radars up that would take your picture if you were going about 10 miles/hour over the 65 mile/hour speed limit. After awhile if you travel that section of the freeway often enough you sort of knew when they were coming so you could slow down within the normal range of speed so you didn't get caught. So, we thought that we had this "scheme" all figured out.

Apparently the City of Phoenix thought this was such a brilliant idea (i.e. it made them so much friggin' money from the speeders that didn't slow down and freed the cops up from having to sit on the side of the road actually using their hand speed detectors) that the whole city has now adopted this idea and put these photo radars throughout every highway in this place. I noticed these new "eyes" watching me a couple of months ago on the west side of the Loop 101 as about every 1/2 mile before the camera they are nice enough to warn you with a sign that you are coming up on a photo radar. Thanks City of Phoenix. That was so considerate. Up until this point I have been savvy enough following the rules like a good little girl that I am and have not gotten a ticket.

So, to make a long story short, my parents came to visit the week of Thanksgiving. I drove them to the airport the day that they were leaving. As I was driving down the I-17 (another major freeway in Phoenix) I noticed that they had the flippin' cameras there too! So, I thought I would play it cool and travel no more than the 10 miles/hour over the 65 mile/hour speed limit that is on every other road here in the city. Well, apparently somewhere around the airport they change the speed limit to 55 miles/hour. As I drove by one of the cameras I saw it flash.

Oh, @$%^&$#(@!

I looked at my speedometer and it was right around 70. I thought, "Well, I should be okay. I'm only 5 miles/hour over. Maybe it was just the sun reflecting off the camera." I even started looking for speed limit signs and for the next 4-5 miles before I got off at our exit and saw none. So I figured it had to be a 65 zone. Well, you know what happened next.

I got a friggin' ticket in the mail.

They even include the picture of you in your envelope. As, if to say, "hey there TRACEY....we seeeeeee you!" And to make matters worse...I was smiling. So, they clocked me at 69 miles/hour in a 55. Yep, it was a 55. Good thing you marked it well, City of Phoenix. I really appreciate that. You can take your $180.00 and shove it.

Oh, and uh, Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 15, 2008

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

This year we decided to get a fake Christmas tree instead of a real one. It was a sad day when we finally made that decision, but in Arizona it just makes the most sense. Last year we ended up driving to Flagstaff and cutting down our own (thinking it was the freshest way to do things and it would last longer) only to have the same issues of it drying out pretty quickly and the needles still falling all over the place. Then due to the fact that we can't just leave it out in our trash, we had to pay another $25 for someone to come and haul it away. It just wasn't worth it. Also contributing to our decision is that Kaiden is eating pretty much everything that he can get his paws on. I can see it now...I would be fishing pine needles out of his mouth all Christmas season. I'm just not up for it.

So we have been on a quest for the "perfect" fake tree. Cause if we are gonna go fake, I certainly want it to look good. Without paying a fortune. So, the best one we could find was one at Costco. It's so divine, in fact, that it really does look like a real tree. The problem. It's 9 1/2 feet tall. Now, that's certainly not an issue for us this Christmas as our ceilings are 12 feet tall. And it'll probably look pretty darn perty sitting in the corner of my living room so tall and fluffy. But, we don't know what our future holds for us at this point. Maybe we will decide it's time to fly this coop and move on. In that case, will we always have 12 foot ceilings when the standard height is 8? Probably not. So, that did it for us right there. No 9 1/2 foot tree for us.

The quest continued. And continued. And continued. Why do all fake trees look so, well, fake? After weeks and weeks of looking, hubs made an executive decision yesterday. We will get a cheap disposable tree that will get us by this year and continue our quest for one that we can use in the future. Possibly we can even find a really good one on sale after Christmas. He jumped in the car, drove to Fry's and bought us a fake 6 footer for the bargain price of 28 bucks and some change. And let me tell you something. It's not worth even that much! It truly is our Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

We put it up last night and it now proudly sits in it's own little corner. Only this year, instead of sticking it in the corner where if we opened the shades it would be seen from the street we humbly put it in the opposite corner. Let's just say that this one won't be one that we are proud to show off! I still need to decorate it (and hopefully it will hold most of our ornaments without toppling over) but at least we can say that we have a tree this year for us all to enjoy!

Kaiden was eager to help set up the new tree
Looks pretty darn easy to me...

Hubs is so proud of his tree. Here it is before I got to "fluff" its branches! Ooooo....it's a doozy!

Up and ready to go. Now just turn on the lights, slap on a few decorations and we have ourselves a true Charlie Brown tree!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Banana Bread

Now since I am going to share this secret family recipe with you all, let's just say that you owe me one. This, for real, is the best dang Banana Bread recipe this side of the Mississippi. And now that I think about it since my Mom lives on that side of the Mississippi and makes this recipe too, it technically is the best dang recipe on that side as well.

But anyways, tonight I have organized a little "cookie exchange" with some Hot Mamas from my Mom's group. Basically it's an excuse to get out of the house by ourselves while we leave the daddies in charge of the kiddos so we can talk about girl stuff, eat cookies and drink sinful holiday coffee. Does it get any better than that?

The way a cookie exchange works (we do it every year at my book club too) is that each person makes their favorite cookie, bar, or brownie recipe. Then they make a little sample bag of 3-4 cookies in each and attach the recipe to the bag. That way each person that comes to the exchange gets a little sample of each others creations to take home with the recipe. I am sort of breaking my own rules, and this year instead of making cookies to exchange, I am going to bake some little Banana Bread loaves to give to everyone. Mmmmm Mmmmm. Aaaannnndddd, I thought since I am going to be baking this afternoon, I would also share the recipe with all my loyal readers. Consider yourselves lucky.

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup shortening (I didn't say that it was healthy-but I have substituted applesauce for this in the past and it works. Just not as well.)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 6 Tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Optional:

  • Walnuts
  • Chocolate chips

Directions:

Put all in ingredients in a bowl and beat 3 minutes. Pour into a greased bread pan spreading batter very high on the sides and low in the center. Bake at 350 degrees 1 hour or until done in the center.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Charlie Brown Christmas

Do you just not love Charlie Brown Christmas or what? Every year I watch this program when it makes it's way on TV and every year I am taken back to my childhood. This year was no exception. And guess what, I ain't afraid to admit it. I love this program. Last night after putting the little one to bed, I snuggled up with my popcorn and enjoyed watching this classic story of Charlie and his pathetic looking tree.

But by searching out a clip for you on You Tube, I came across a classic turned 2000 version. As in Andre 2000...if you catch my drift. Watch and enjoy. I'm especially fond of the part where Lucy "shakes it like Polaroid picture!" Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Google Me

I use a site called FEEDJIT to see who comes and goes from my blog. Believe me I am not obsessive about it, but often I have have quite the laugh seeing exactly how people find my blog through Google. So below, I have compiled a list of some of the searches that have brought you all to little 'ole me.

Chicago, IL googled “tortellini at 10 in the morning.” Ooookaaaay Chicago. Whatever you say. Tortellini at 10 in the morning wouldn’t be my first choice, but hey, if that’s what you’re craving by all means don’t let me stand in your way. However can I say something? You do live in Chicago. Home of the deep dish pizza. After a late night of partying I am thinking that might sound a little better at 10am. I’m just sayin’.

Dansville, New York googled blogurl: blogspot.com inpostt.”
May I suggest that you don’t google things while you are drunk, NY? I am speaking from experience.

Syracuse, New York googled Aquanet.”
While I realize that the 80's have made quite a comeback lately, I don't think that this is one road that you want to go down again. Some advice...Aquanet=bad news. Stay away. Stay far away.

Westland, Michigan googled “pack rats damaging cars in Sedona, AZ.”
Yes, my car got damaged in Sedona, AZ. But, no, it wasn't by pack rats. Sorry wrong blog.

Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh googled “A thankfulness message for friend.”
Bhopal, thank you for being my friend. And between us friends, where the heck is Bhopal anyway?

Rochester, New York googled “I am a Mom and a germ phobe.”
Nice to meet you Rochester. I am a Mom and a germ phobe as well. We should get together and share disinfecting stories sometime.

New York, NY googled “buying a mattress.”
Please don't take my advice in this department. I obviously am not the expert. But I will say that I decided to buy myself an early Christmas present and purchase a new Sleep Number. If all goes according to plan, it'll be at my door by the end of the month. I'll let you know how it goes.

New York googled “are cheddar sun chips bad for you during pregnancy.”
I'm no doctor, New York, but I eat those things like they are going out of style. Other than the fact that you might gain a few more pounds more than you are supposed to, I say, if it makes pregnancy more enjoyable, go for it. I do.

Birmingham googled “Cheese pampers.”
Well, Birmingham, I'm speechless. While I know that they sell eatable underware for ADULTS, I can't imagine that Cheese Pampers would go over well for babies.

So there you have it. What is the moral to this post? Protect yourselves and your family from the strange Googlers out there! They may be spying on you!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pregnancy Update: Week 12

Well, I survived my first trimester. Just when I thought that I would likely slip into a exhausted coma and not wake up or possibly eat my arm off to fill that gaping hole in the pit of my stomach, I came through unscathed. And honestly, all in all, it wasn't half bad. I only threw up once and the nausea came and went for all of about 5 minutes per day. Not too bad if you ask me.

So what does that all mean now? Well, according to the books this is the time when I enter the "blissful" period of pregnancy. When you wake in the morning and the birds seem to be singing your own special tune outside of your window. When your little "bump" finally protrudes and people know that you are pregnant and not just hanging on to those last holiday pounds and when the pregnancy glow glistens on your face.

Ha ha hee hee ho giggle snort giggle ha hee hee snort ha ha ha hee ho ho snort giggle giggle hee hee ha hee ho giggle giggle giggle ha!

Oh sorry, that made me laugh in all of it's ridiculousness.

But really, what I really look forward to is the first feelings of flutters of the little goober moving around. For the first weeks it feels almost like my own little secret that only the baby and I share. Then I look forward to going to our ultrasound and finding out if it's got a "twinkie" or a "ya-ya." Yes, I know, I am so mature. I look forward to shopping for the furniture, picking out his/her name (and then changing it 50 million times), reading books to Kaiden to "prepare" him to be the best big brother ever, pregnancy brain setting in, my weekly progesterone shots in my butt every week starting at week 17, my hair starting to fall out in clumps in the shower, not seeing my feet...Oh, wait...I am supposed to look forward to the blissfulness of it all. I forgot. In all seriousness I really do enjoy being pregnant. I had a great first pregnancy with Kaiden (despite the fact that he wanted out after only 29 weeks) and I really look forward to this one going smoothly. Without any issues. please. The whole process is truly amazing and never before have I been in such awe at the shear miraculousness of creating a human life.

So I hope you enjoy my journey along with me. I am sure I will have some great stories to share and all you mommies out there will be able to relate!

Here I am 12 weeks preggo. Can you see the little baby "bump?!"

I get weekly updates from Babycenter about my pregnancy. Here is this weeks information.

How your baby's growing: The most dramatic development this week: reflexes. Your baby's fingers will soon begin to open and close, his toes will curl, his eye muscles will clench, and his mouth will make sucking movements. In fact, if you prod your abdomen, your baby will squirm in response, although you won't be able to feel it. His intestines, which have grown so fast that they protrude into the umbilical cord, will start to move into his abdominal cavity about now, and his kidneys will begin excreting urine into his bladder. Meanwhile, nerve cells are multiplying rapidly, and in your baby's brain, synapses are forming furiously. His face looks unquestionably human: His eyes have moved from the sides to the front of his head, and his ears are right where they should be. From crown to rump, your baby-to-be is just over 2 inches long (about the size of a lime) and weighs half an ounce.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Walk To Remember

Today Paco and I accompanied Kaiden on his first outdoor walk to the mailboxes. Now, what usually takes me all of about 5 minutes to walk to and from the mailbox took us 30 minutes today. The mailbox is only four houses away. Four. But, it was a good opportunity for Kaiden to get out and start to walk on some uneven surfaces and see the world around him. We stopped at all the flowers, picked up (and ate) every rock (and I live in AZ where everyone has "desert landscaping with all rocks in their yards) and looked at the bugs crawling down the sidewalk.

I have been wanting to post a little video with Kaiden walking (since I finally learned how to use this feature on my camera...Thanks Janet!). So I deleted some pictures and made some room on my memory card. It's not much, but it'll do for now until I go through and get others off of there. Here he is walking up to the front door after our long outing! Enjoy!

video

Monday, December 1, 2008

Cool Eats

In the past 24 hours here is a list of the things that I have pulled out of Kaiden's mouth.
  • An uncooked spaghetti noodle. Measuring approximately 2 cm long. I am still wondering how he found that thing.
  • Rocks from our yard. Now that he has started walking (May God help us all) I took him outside to "discover" the world around him. Apparently rocks taste good to him.
  • Rocks/pebble like things from our gas fireplace. Luckily it wasn't on, but he did manage to open the glass doors and find these "decorative" rock things and put them in his mouth.
  • Thread. So tiny I barely could see it. But must have looked appetizing just sitting there on the floor. So, why not eat it?
  • A dead bug. Protein, I guess.
  • A tampon. In the wrapper, but still.
  • A panty liner. See above.
  • A clean sock. Yes, all those hours of laundry and I now I have to wash them yet again. No wonder it seems like I get nothing accomplished.
  • Dog food.
Yes, that is my day. Filled with pulling non-eatable items from my kids mouth. You would think the kid is malnourished or something. Believe me, far from it!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thankful Thursday



It has been a few weeks since I participated in Thankful Thursday. Now that I think I am making my way back to feeling like my old self again I need to remember each week to be thankful. This week I am thankful for:
  • Wonderful friends that attend our weekly bible study. I so look forward to Tuesday nights when we all get together to encourage and support each other in our faith walk.
  • My husband's enthusiastic, entrepreneurial spirit. I know that how ever bad these economic times will get (and they don't look good on a global scale) that he will always take care of his family.
  • My family. A true blessing to me each and every day.
  • Bunco tonight. A night away with friends and a chance to win some of their money! Hee hee.

For more Thankful Thursday visit Grace Alone.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wednesday Whine

I stumbled across Karen's blog today. Actually, she visited me from Tackle It Tuesday yesterday so I went to check her out as well. Today she is starting a weekly meme called "Wednesday Whine." She says that we will feel a whole lot better if we get something that is bothering us off our chest. I believe her. I am pretty sure she meant one thing but, heck, while I am at it I might as well get a whole slew of things off my chest. Let the whining begin.
  • I woke up today and realized that I need a major attitude adjustment. Major people. Major. I am pretty sure that I have been an absolute bear to live with the past few weeks. Dare I say, months? I have been inpatient, snappy, unmotivated (aka lazy) and just plain miserable. If you see me out and about, kick me in the butt. Hard. I deserve it.
  • Why is it when someone (names are withheld to protect the not-so-innocent) knocks the dog's water bowl over and goes to the closet to grab a towel to clean it up with do they grab the nice, clean, in very good condition hand towel that I use in the guest room when the raggedy, stained, who cares what this looks like cause I never will put it out for public display towel is right next to it?
  • I put the baby down for a morning nap about 10 minutes ago. Everything had been quiet and relaxed all morning and then the dog starts yapping up a storm. Happens. Every. Time. So annoying.
  • I am really in the mood for a Subway sandwich. Turkey and cheese on Parmesan Oregano bread with lettuce, bell peppers, pickles, salt and pepper and a smidgen of mayo. Of course with Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips. But, my OB said to watch lunch meat. Not that I can't eat it at all, but just not too often. Sure, you take away my wine, beer and sushi, why not lunch meat too?

Ahhhhh, I think that she is right. I am feeling a whole lot better already! I am pretty sure that I could find lots more to whine about, but you know what they say, "negativity feeds off of negativity." And I did say that I needed an attitude adjustment so I'll stop. For now.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tackle It Tuesday: Thanksgiving Day Menu

Tackle It Tuesday Meme
Oh boy. How excited am I to be hosting my 2nd Turkey Day Extravaganza?!?! Okay, so it's just going to be a little gathering of about 6 adults and 2 kiddos, but none-the-less, turkey day feasts are always a big deal. Can you smell the turkey roasting in the oven? Mmmmm.....

So, today my tackle is the Thanksgiving Day menu. Making a list of all the ingredients I need and shopping for it. I wanna have all my ducks in a row so I don't have to think about getting last minute shopping done the day before.
On the menu this year is:
  1. Turkey. Duh.
  2. Gravy. Made from all the giblet "parts." Mom will be in charge of that one. Mmmm-K?
  3. Mashed potatoes.
  4. Stuffing. And not that boxed stuffing either. Pure, homemade, toast the bread yourself and get down and dirty stuffing.
  5. Broccoli casserole. Don't let this dish fool you. There is nothing really healthy about it except the broccoli. But that is pretty much canceled out by all the cheese and other deliciousness of the dish. In fact, we may just save ourselves some time and smother it all over our stomach, butt and thighs just for time sake. Cause that's where it will be settling eventually anyways.
  6. Rolls and butter. Because you can't ever have enough carbs on Thanksgiving.
  7. Cranberry sauce. The one that looks like the can. No need to get fancy here and make your own. I hated when I went to someone else's house and they actually made their own. The way we do things here in the hood (okay I am lying about the hood, but it sounded better than saying, "...in our suburban, middle class neighborhood) we just crack the can, slide that cranberry "roll" onto a plate (you can use a fancy one if it makes you feel better), slice that baby up like a loaf of bread and voila! My favorite!
  8. Pie. Hopefully ala mode! But our friends are in charge of bringing that one.
  9. Crock pot Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I found this recipe on the Internet and it sounds oh so divine. I can't wait to try it. Of course I'll be making it decaf, but I am sure it'll still give me a buzz from the deliciousness of it all.

Okay, now that I have a pile of drool all over my chin and I have slipped into a tryptophan induced coma I am going to get ready for my big day of shopping. Does anyone have some favorite recipes that they have on Thanksgiving? I would love to hear!

By the way, I am making a new rule this year. The hostess gets the first piece of turkey skin before the carving begins. And the second, and possibly the third. It's my house, I'll do what I want. Get over it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Christmas Traditions

Yes, I know it is only November, and yes, I know that Thanksgiving isn't even here yet, but don't blame me for talking about Christmas. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE me some Christmas and, goodness, I just can't help myself!

I was over at Katie's blog today and she is taking the next 12 days to post a little something Christmas-y each day to get us thinking about the holidays. It'll be here before we know it, people, and if your like me, ain't nothing worse then running around like a chicken with your head cut off trying to do last minute shopping, sending cards out, decorating, etc. So anyways, today her post was about Christmas Traditions. Oh, how I love traditions. And oh, how excited I am to start some new traditions with our growing family!

I can remember as a little girl that every year my brother and I would hang our stockings on the mantle every Christmas Eve. Just in time for Santa to fill them. And of course, we have the honorary photo to commemorate each year. And each year we look more and more annoyed to have to take the photo. Ha! Then I can remember that we were allowed to open one present on Christmas eve. I even remember when we were really little we weren't allowed to go downstairs until everyone was awake and Dad went downstairs first to "make sure Santa showed up." Jeff and I would wait at the top of the stairs until we got the go-ahead and then we would fly down the steps into the living room where Santa's generosity would stop us in our tracks. Later through the years, I can remember we would pile in the car on Christmas Eve and go around looking at Christmas lights. That's something that we still enjoy doing to this day.

But that's not why I am writing this post. Through the years I have begun to realize that Christmas isn't all about the presents that you get or who has the best lights hanging outside their home. But for the past few years we have tried to bring Christmas back to what the true meaning is. The birth of our Lord and Savior. It's also about helping others in need. So, for that reason hubs and I have made it our annual tradition to adopt a family on Christmas.

We know this can seem like an overwhelming expense. Especially in today's economy. But, believe me, with a little creativity, bargain shopping and saving, it really is do-able. We commit to adopting a family of 3-4 and spending right around $100.00. Of course, the agency wants us to focus around the children, but there are always household needs that we have been able to supply as well. I remember one year I was able to buy a family of 3 clothes, toys, pots and pans, a holiday meal and some extra goodies for the Mom. We use organizations that actually allow you to meet the family and deliver the presents to them ourselves. This has made it even more special for us to see their faces light up as we fill their home with gifts.

It is kind of timely to talk about this today because I just got faxed the information about the family that we are adopting. This year we got a family of 4. Husband and wife and their two teenage children. It always amazes me the items that they ask for. Simple things like curtains for the girl's room, guitar related items, pots and pans, laundry soap, cleaning supplies, and toilet paper. It makes me feel so blessed to realize that my husband works so hard so that we don't have to want for simple things like that.

I am really excited this year to be adopting a family again. This year will even be of greater significance for us as we will be able to bring Kaiden along with us to deliver the presents. We want him to grow up serving and not taking for granted the wonderful life that God has blessed us with.

If you live in the Phoenix area and are interested in adopting a family this year, we used an agency called Desert Mission. I am sure they still have plenty of families that need help. If you wanted to contact Cathie or Megan at 602-331-5792 they can hook you up with a family. If not, I have gone through the Salvation Army in the past and I am sure that each city has a simliar program.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dreams

Remember when you had those really bizarre, I mean really bizarre, dreams during pregnancy? Well I started having some of those last night in between waking up 50 million times to toss and turn or get up to pee. Never-the-less, I had some doozies that are left up for some major interpretation. So, dust off your dream books and help me figure out what this one means.

Hubs and I were on this school bus with a bunch of people. None of which I recognized. We were driving through this little suburban neighborhood that sat right on a body of water. I don't know if it was a large lake or ocean, but regardless there was water involved. We pulled up to this wooden bridge that overlooked the water and all got off the bus and onto this boat. We were going to be taking a boat tour. So we piled into the back of this boat. Only the boat was sitting on the bridge. In the back of the boat we all were sitting in water about up to our necks. I was in the very back looking down the bridge at a man (that would be our tour guide) walking up towards the boat. He was carrying a dolphin. A real, live dolphin. Pretty cool, I thought. At this point, hubs and this other man get out of the boat and said that they needed to go to Wal-mart and would be right back. The tour guide sat on the side of the boat and handed me the dolphin. I thought, "oh, how cute" and was holding it and hugging it, etc. I asked a lady sitting next to me to take a picture. As the dolphin and I are looking at each other face to face, he started to throw up on me! But not just any throw up. Like black, watery throw up. He kept doing it like 4 times in a row. I was trying to scream for someone to get that thing off of me, but no noise would come out of my mouth. The lady was just snapping pictures and wasn't helping. It was gross.

Meanwhile, hubs was in Wal-mart. He and this man were there buying, of all things, sleeping bags and adult diapers! I told you it was going to be a bizarre one! HA! I must have decided to get out of the boat and try and get myself cleaned off, cause I ended up at Wal-mart too. I went into their restrooms that had like 20 stalls. My dog, Paco, somehow joined me in the bathroom. As I went in one of the stalls I closed the door but found myself standing at the side of the toilet because when you shut the door, the door was so close to the toilet that it touched the front of it. There was no way to actually sit on the toilet (or "hover" like we all should do in public restrooms) to go because the door was right there in the way! So I opened the door and tried the next one. Same thing. I finally had to stand there and wait for the handicapped restroom so I could fit. Of course there was a huge line for that since none of the other stalls were usable.

At this point, I woke up baffled. What does this all mean? Dolphins, boats, throw up, Wal-mart bathrooms, adult diapers and sleeping bags? Hmmmm.....Am I losing my mind? Probably. But that is for a whole different post. Any dream interpreters want to take a stab at that one? Good luck!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sleepless Nights

Have I ever mentioned that I haven't gotten a good nights sleep in the past three and a half years? Well, if not, then I am mentioning it now. Cause I haven't. And, frankly, it's getting on my nerves.

When we moved into our house in May of 2005 we bought a new mattress. It is a nice pillow top fluffy thing that we thought, at the time, was the next best thing since sliced bread. We even got it on sale. We soon found out that we were wrong. Ever since then we have complained every single morning how we didn't sleep well the night before. Again.

We have contemplated many times buying a new mattress. We have even purchased a Tempur-Pedic mattress only to call them back within the 36 hour grace period to cancel the order. At those prices we are just scared of hating it and then being stuck with thousands of dollars of "store credit" to a mattress store. Minus the 20% "restocking" fee that they charge. It's highway robbery, I tell ya. We have also considered the Sleep Number bed, as suggested by a friend, that has slept fabulous on it for the past 5 years. Again, do we want to shell out the $2600 for one that we are "hoping" will do the trick?

So last week, upon the suggestion of my Costco Queen mother, we went to Costco and bought a Tempur-Pedic type mattress topper. Three inches of pure foam heaven for $180.00. I thought that we had found the answer to our sleep deprived prayers for a fraction of the cost of a new mattress. Three nights later and not a wink of sleep longer I am still looking for an answer.

I will say that I slept slightly better the first two nights. Not as much tossing and turning from my hips and legs going numb after laying in one position for 10 minutes. But here's the problem. When you put that thing on top of a pillow top it makes it too cushy that now, instead of my hips being the problem, my whole body was out of alignment and then I would wake up with a backache from not being fully supported. So, last night we did what all logical people would do. We flipped the mattress over to the hard surface and put the topper on it that way. Needless to say, after 30 minutes, I grabbed my pillows and headed to the spare bedroom for a night of tossing and turning on that hard mattress.

So, at this point I am sick and tired. Sick and tired of being sick and tired. I just want to get a good night's sleep without tossing and turning and turning and tossing. Is that too much to ask? I told hubs that we just have to bite the bullet and pay the money for a new mattress. And after a trip (our 10th trip, I'm pretty sure) to the Sleep Number store yesterday, I think that this is the way to go. That way hubs can have his sleep number and I can have mine. If we try it for 30 days and hate it, we can send it back without a "restocking fee" and only be out the shipping costs of about $100.00.

So, hopefully this will be an answer to out sleepless night prayers. Cause Mama needs some sleep. And when Mama ain't happy and rested ain't nobody happy! Stay tuned to find out if we finally bite the bullet and just buy one.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Happy 4th Birthday, Paco!

Dear Paco,

Where has the time gone my little yappy pants? I remember like yesterday the day Daddy and I brought you to your new home. It was a little apartment in Phoenix that we were living in 4 years ago. We snuck you in because we didn't want to pay the non-refundable pet deposit since we knew we were moving out in a couple months. And when you cried like a baby the first few nights, we hoped that everyone around us wouldn't turn us in for having an "illegal pet." We were less honest then, but not any less cheap. Ever since then you have happily followed us through our many adventures.

Mommy had always wanted a dog from the time she can remember. Being the deprived child that I was after years and years and years (and years) of begging, your grandparents just would never give in to my tears and get me a dog like every other kid on the block. I had to settle for gerbils. Or hermit crabs. But I knew that one day, when I was old enough to be a mom, I would get my own four legged friend to call my own. So when my friend's dog had puppies, and she was looking for someone to give them a loving home, I knew that you and I were meant to be.

It has been 4 wonderful years having you as our "first born." Even though you have adjusted to being the "low man on the totem pole" since the baby was born, and even though you bark at every slight noise that you hear outside (especially when the baby is trying to nap), and even though you still pee on the floor when you have a doggie door that you know how to use to get you out to the backyard, and even though every time we mention the word "walk" or "bath" you bolt to hide under the bed, and even though you lick my hand so many times and for so long that I think that when I look down I will have no skin left, we still love you more than you will ever know.

You have been a faithful companion and a loving addition to our family. You will always be mamma's biggest snuggle buddy.

I love you, you crazy canine.
Da Mamas

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Drought

Thanks all who have stuck by me in my, ummm, blogging drought of sorts for the past few weeks. Honestly, I attribute this lack of blogging enthusiasm to my new case of the "blahs." It's bad, people. Really bad. I truly have nothing of substance to say.

I mean, I could sit here and write about how all I want to do every spare minute I have is sleep. Or I could tell you that I pretty much feel like I could eat everything in the house. Or even that I had no problems with lines at the polling place yesterday and was in an out in a flash. Or that I am a fat heafer (already) and can't fit in any of my regular clothes and look like a drown rat in maternity clothes. Or that my house is in major need of some TLC and that a vacuum would be just the thing is looking for. Or that I am heading to Costco pronto to purchase a Tempur-Pedic mattress topper for our o-so-uncomfortable bed that is only 3 years old that we can't bring ourselves to just get rid of even though it has caused many sleepless nights. But, let's be honest, that would all be B-O-R-I-N-G!

So, I apologize for my lack of posts, wit and just plain enthusiasm for blogging lately. I am sure I will turn around here soon. Maybe a few cupcakes or brownies may kick me back into gear?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Weekend Adventures

This past weekend was actually pretty busy for us. Here are just some pictures of all the activities that have been going on.

Thursday night I joined some of the Moms, Dads and kiddos from my Mom's group here in my community. We had a potluck at one of the parks and all the kiddos dressed up in their Halloween costumes. Kaiden, on the other hand, freaked out when we put his costume on. So, he had to go as Mr. Army man instead. That's the best I could do! Friday night we actually got a few more Trick-o-Treaters than we did last year. So, thank goodness, we didn't have too much candy left over!
On Saturday, we went to a 2 year old's birthday party. Complete with miniature horses for the kiddos to ride and pet. Here is "Cinderella" with the birthday boy! Isn't she just adorable?!?!
Here is Kaiden riding "Yellow Boots" (I think that was her name). After expecting him to totally hate the horse, he actually LOVED riding her. She even "neighed" at the end of both of his rides. It was pretty cute!
They had a saddle set up to sit on (just in case the kiddos didn't like the actual horse). Kaiden loved to "ride" this too! He even tried to gallop up and down like the motion of riding the horse.
Sunday we went to the Dog Festival in Scottsdale. They had a bunch of vendors set up and a ton of dogs with their owners. Paco was with us, but was scared of the water, so he didn't get in the picture...LOL! This doesn't show much of the festival, but hey, there really wasn't that much to show!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Total Wine

Have you heard of this place called Total Wine? Do you have one in your city? If not, I would strongly encourage you to write to your state Representative and try to get it passed that all states must have a Total Wine in their state.

This place is an alcoholics paradise. For real. A neighbor of ours told us about it a couple months ago and we have been meaning to check it out. On our Friday night date night hubs and I just happen to pass one at Desert Ridge Marketplace. If you live in Phoenix, you know where I am talking about. We went in and stood there in awe. This place is huge. It's like a Costco warehouse filled with wine. Okay maybe I am exaggerating a little, but still, it's huge. They also have your vodkas, whiskeys, rums, beers, etc. too, but man, the amount of wine they have is amazing. Now if you actually know something about wine and aren't like me who picks up a bottle because (a) the bottle looks really cool, (b) the price is cheap or (c) you think that is the kind you had a few years ago at a restaurant and have been trying to find it again ever since, then this is the place for you. They were even doing a wine sampling that night. For a penny you could try as much wine as you wanted. I am pretty sure the men next to us were there for a free happy hour. But there was only one small problem.

I can't drink.

I know, I know. Some doctors now say that you can enjoy a glass of wine every once-in-a-while while you are pregnant. I even know people that have enjoyed a few here and there and their kids are fine. But me, I am so paranoid that I would take one sip and my kid would come out looking like this:

There was even a time when I was pregnant with Kaiden that I ordered a Virgin Strawberry Daiquiri and only drank a few sips because I was convinced that the bartender spiked my drink.

So in the meantime, when hubs is mean and drinks right in front of me when he knows that all I want to do is relax and have a cocktail enjoys a nice cold beer or glass of wine I ask him if I can smell it. Yep, I have been reduced to "smelling" his beverages in hopes of catching a buzz. Meanwhile, I order something lame like a Sprite and cranberry in the hopes that I may trick myself into believing that it's got some alcohol in it.

So go check it out. You won't be sorry. And if you have any mocktail recipes for ole preggo over here, don't be afraid to share. Otherwise, I'll just smell your drink.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tackle It Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme
I am feeling quite ambitious today. That might not last too long, but hey, I figured I better go with it before I run out of gusto. I slept in today and didn't go to the gym at 4:45am. That might have something to do with it. But, whatever the case, I got lots to do and today's my day!
  • Morning walk with Kaiden and Paco. Check!
  • Clean bathrooms. Master-Check! Powder room-in progress (I needed a break!)
  • Clean kitchen
  • Print and fill out application for social security card for Kaiden. Check!
  • Laundry
  • Make appointment to get my hair did. Check!
  • Vacuum
  • Dust
  • Look into dental insurance for Kaiden and fight with HR to find out why he was never added.
  • Nap

If all goes according to plan, and Kaiden manages to nap well for me today (I'm not too optimistic on that) then I may just get everything done that I need to. Well, that is if I can stay off the computer and stop blogging when I should be cleaning.

What are you tackling today?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Random Thoughts

I have had some random thoughts going on in my head today. Probably explains why I didn't sleep well last night. But I figured I get them off my chest for all of you to read.
  • PA teams are on fire! The Phillies are kicking some major boo-tay in the World Series, Penn State beat it's big time rival Ohio State and the Eagles actually won yesterday. Did I read that right?
  • I can't believe how many times the words, "No. Kaiden. We don't eat coasters" comes out of my mouth. Never in a million years would I have thought I would ever utter those words once let alone a couple times per day. Or "please don't eat the dog's food" or " no we don't feed the dog bananas," or "Mommy doesn't want you to eat her shirt, please." I am sure that is just the beginning and as he discovers crayons and paint and dirt that'll go in his mouth as well. I wish I could tape record myself. It probably is pretty funny to hear the things that I say on a daily basis. It's amazing what motherhood does to you.
  • Hubs and I enjoyed a date night on Friday night thanks to our dear friends that volunteered to watch Kaiden. What a concept to actually be able to eat at a leisurely pace while at a restaurant instead of just throwing food down your throat in an effort to hurry up and leave since you have a screaming kid! We realized that we need to make a better attempt to go on date nights. Hopefully at least once a month.
  • I am exhausted lately. I mean EX-HAUS-TED! Even after I take a nap. I feel pretty good for about an hour or so and then I am totally pooped again. So, nobody come to my house unannounced. I don't have the energy to clean very well, so it's not pretty.
  • Can you believe it is the 27th of October? It'll be Christmas in 58 days. But who's counting?
  • I am making Crockpot Tortellini Soup tonight for dinner. Have you tried it yet? It's super yummy and super easy. I wanted to make it yesterday, but when I went to the store to pick up the beans, I bought bananas, lunch meat, apples and pears. But forgot the beans. The whole reason I went to the store in the first place. There was no way I was going back to store for a second trip so I'll have to go pick them up today. Pregnancy brain has officially set in.
  • Kaiden has started to stand unassisted on his own. Sometimes only for a few seconds, but still. Oh boy. He'll be walking soon.
  • I started getting my free 2 year subscription to Parents magazine the other day. I read the October issue last night. I am not sure if they are still offering that deal, but if so, I highly recommend it. I learned some really great info. Like did you know that the American Pediatric Dental Association recommends that you should take your child to the dentist when their first tooth appears and no later than their first birthday? Who knew? I guess I better make that appointment for Kaiden. Pronto.
  • I hate unloading the dishwasher. Loathe it. I know it's silly cause it's one of the easiest jobs to do. Probably takes all of about 5 minutes, but I just hate it. It think I would file it under the same category as unpacking your suitcase from a trip. I hate that too. But I will tell you that I am extremely anal about loading the dishwasher. There is a right way and a wrong way to load it people, to maximize all the space but still get all your dishes clean. It's one of my pet peeves when it's not loaded "properly." The reason I mention it is because there is a clean dishwasher that needs to be unloaded right now. Ugh.

Okay. I think that is all that I have going on right now. I am off to take advantage of Kaiden's morning nap time and enjoy a nap myself. I'll unload the dishwasher later.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Stuffed Peppers

I had never eaten a stuffed pepper until this past February when I decided to make them for hubs on our anniversary. He loves stuffed peppers and I had always wanted to try them, so I found this recipe. I remembered I had it in my recipe collection on Wednesday and decided to pull it out again and give it another go. Super easy and pretty good, if I do say so myself. It's one of those, "can't mess this up no matter what you throw in there" type of recipes.

Ingredients:
  • 4 med bell peppers. Color doesn't matter, although I prefer the red ones.
  • 1 lb ground beef, browned over medium heat.
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2-1 cup rice, cooked
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place rice in a saucepan and cook according to directions.
  3. Cut off tops of peppers, remove membranes and boil for 3 minutes. Drain on paper towel.
  4. In a skillet, brown beef with onions (and I added chopped up the tops of the peppers and threw that in too).
  5. Place peppers hollowed sides facing up in a baking dish.
  6. In a bowl, mix the browned beef, cooked rice, can of tomato sauce Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper together. Spoon an equal amount of the mixture into each hollowed pepper. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
  7. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the peppers are tender, cheese is melted and slightly browned.
  8. Enjoy!

P.S. Hubs said that his mother used to throw in peas or corn into the meat mixture as well. I am sure you can get very creative!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thankful Thursday



Thankful Thursday is a time each week for me to reflect back on all the blessings that I have been given. Today I am thankful for:
  • The blessing of another child.
  • Nausea. I know as demented as that sounds it gives me comfort to know that I am, indeed, still pregnant.
  • A husband that is loving regardless of my fluctuating hormones.
  • Naps. I don't know how I would function without them right now.

For more Thankful Thursday visit here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

...and test #3. Because sometimes I need things "spelled out" to me!


For more Worldess Wednesday click here and here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tolmachoff Farms

I take it back. I take it all back.

In my Thankful Thursday post last week I said I was thankful for the weather. I guess I was trying to be a "glass is half full" type of gal and be optimistic about seeing the end of this hellish weather in sight. I was wrong. Cause this past weekend we decided to venture outside. In doing so, we melted into a pool of goo on the pavement in the 97 degree heat. I cursed Mother Nature the whole time. Even nice Christian girls reach their breaking point eventually. So sue me.

Anyways, we went to Tolmachoff Farms. It's a pick your own produce farm and during this season they have a Halloween theme. Corn maze, petting zoo, pumpkins, etc, etc. It was fun despite the hot sun beating down on us with no shade to get away from it and not even a slight breeze to cool us off. But we dealt with it and made the most of it. I probably won't venture out again until at least November. Just to be sure that this stupid summer is over. But I'm not bitter, can you tell?!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thankful Thursday


Today is going to be a simple Thankful Thursday. Because today I am thankful for the weather. And if you live in Phoenix, you know what I am talking about. We have officially made it to the low 90's. And we are even forecasted to get into the 80's by next week.

Can I get an Amen?!

In the recent weeks we have been fluctuating between high 90's and even a weekend of the mid 80's. That was a fluke, though, and it shot right back up again into the 90's. But I think it is now safe to say that we are finally getting into the Fall around these parts and can look forward to some bearable temps. I have even been able to enjoy our morning walks once again with Kaiden and our dog, Paco.

This really is my favorite time of year. And even though we don't really see the leaves change and fall to the ground like I remember from the Northeast, God's beauty still shines through here in Arizona.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Broken Record

Question: How many times must you repeat the word "No" before you officially consider yourself "sounding like a broken record?"

Is is 10? 100? 1000?

I think today I am already up to 100. I am feeling like I sound like a broken record. So, does that mean that I can actually start using that phrase? I am looking to you, old wise Mommies, because I am new at this game.

Seriously. I think I may just lose my mind. What does it take to get Kaiden to stop touching the TV, stereo equipment and glass on the fireplace? How many times must I say, "no" and remove him from the area before he "gets it?" And when he just laughs at me does that mean that he thinks it is a game?

I'm exhausted. I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My New Awards

Wow, y'all. I am truly honored to have received these two new awards. There are so many awesome women bloggers out there that I don't feel worthy of such praise. But, if you insist, I'll take 'em anyways. Mine, mine!

The first award is from Dorsey over at Searching for my Inner Skinny. She says all the things that I am thinking but don't have the nerve to say out loud. I love people like that. Tell it like it is, sista, tell it like it is.

With this award I am supposed to tell 6 things that make me happy. Only 6? Here is goes...

  1. Chocolate chip cookies. Right out of the oven. With a tall glass of cold milk. Come on, does it get any better than that?
  2. Snuggling. I have turned all of the boys in my house into snuggle bunnies. It's a rule that you must snuggle if you live in this house.
  3. Arizona sunsets. Ahhhh....God's true beauty right out my back door.
  4. A great dancing flick. Ain't nothin' better than seeing professional dancers cut a rug.
  5. My family, of course. This should probably be #1, but hey, I got chocolate on my mind.
  6. A great book. I love to end a long day laying in bed curled up with a good read.

My next award is from Tracy over at Seed Thoughts. She has a true heart for God and her words are inspiring. She has a little one the same age as my little guy so she gives me words of encouragement as we seem to go through the same scenarios at the same time. Thanks Tracy!


Now with both of these awards I am supposed to choose different people to pass them along to. I usually don't follow those rules. Which is weird for me, cause I sooo am a rule follower. Usually. I guess I never feel right just picking out a few people since I love so many blogs that I visit. If you read this whole post, consider yourself awarded....I heart you!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sippy Cup Training

Reason 1286 why I was a better parent before I actually had a child: "I'll have my kid off a bottle by 12 months old. Come on, how hard can it be for them to get used to drink out of a sippy cup?"

Reality: My kid wants no part of a sippy cup and actually freaks out if I offer it to him instead of his bottle. He. Ain't. Havin'. It.

So we went to Kaiden's 12 month checkup last week and the doctor walked in just as I was sticking a bottle in his mouth. During our appointment as he was asking his typical developmental questions:

Doc: "Is he walking yet?
Me: "Just behind his push truck."
Doc: "Is he saying any words?"
Me: "Just MaMa and DaDa."
Doc: "Did you switch him to milk yet?"
Me: "I am in the process now of making the switch."
Doc: "Oh, and you really want to get him off a bottle by 15 months and have him drinking out of a cup."

Gasp.

Me: "Oh, okay. But I am having a little trouble getting him to take a sippy cup still." (Little trouble is an understatement.)
Doc: "Just keep offering it to him. He might even like it now since he will be drinking milk from it. Some kids like milk better."
Me: (Easy for him to say.) "I'll keep trying."

I walked out of there in a panic.

My mission (and I guess I have no choice but to accept it):
Get my kid to embrace the sippy cup within the next 3 months, and I'm so not sure how to get this done.

I actually bought his sippy cups when he was 6 months old and started to, infrequently, offer it to him. He never got the concept of sucking from it. But, I would remove the valve and actually just pour the water or juice in his mouth thinking if he knew what was in there he would then he would want to take it. Nope. I gradually started to offer it to him more and more during lunch and dinner and sometimes in between meals. But, he would rather play with it or use the spout as a teething toy and chew on it. Actually drink from it? No such luck.

This past week I decided to "up my game." Kaiden still takes a bottle when he first wakes up. Just about 4 oz. So, I have been putting half of the milk in the bottle and giving that to him first then trying to give him the other 2 oz in the sippy cup. He. Freaks. Out. I still offer it to him all through the day. Even still taking the valve out for the first few sips, which he will take willingly. But as soon as I put the valve back in, it becomes a toy.

So, the training continues. I may be down, but by golly, I'm not out. This Momma will win this fight once and for all.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thankful Thursday: I Love My Hubby Because...



I have been tagged! Tracy over at Seed Thoughts tagged me, and this time I get to share five reasons why I love my hubby. I figured I would post this on Thankful Thursday since these are also reasons why I am so thankful to have hubs!
THE RULES:

Grab the graphic and insert with these rules, in your post.Give at least 5 reasons why you love your hubby. List more if you want. Tag 5 people (or more) to play along and link to their blogs in your post.Then visit those women’s blogs and leave them a comment on any of their posts.


I CHOOSE TO TAG:
-All Thankful Thursday participants. Come on, you know your husband rocks so join in!


5 REASONS I LOVE MY HUBBY:

  1. He is a hard working man. Seriously, I don't know how he does it. He gets up at 4:45am, leaves the house by 6am, battles the crazy Phoenix traffic on his 35-45 minute commute to the office, works all day (while sometimes getting yelled at by ignorant clients), battles the same traffic to get home and greets us with a smile. In his "off time" he researches stocks on the Internet, stays up-to-date with all the current events and reads mind boggling amounts of financial information, emails and magazines so to stay on top of the market. Phew. All so he can provide a wonderful home for his family and I can stay home and eat bon bons and blog all day take care of our son and home.

  2. He is funny. Actually, goofy is a better word. You probably wouldn't know it from outside, but if you were able to tape us on hidden camera, you would think we are a bunch of 6 year olds. I often ask him, "Where did you come from?"

  3. He loves his family. The thing that warms my heart the most is to watch him with our son. Whether it is reading to him or playing with him, he does it with so much love that it often brings tears to my eyes.

  4. He's really smart. Like really smart. I can pretty much ask him anything and he knows the answer.

  5. He puts up with me. And does it with a smile on his face. Despite my moodiness and irrational emotions and ADD tendencies, he still loves me. Even telling me often how lucky he is to have me. It's a good thing too, cause at this point, he doesn't have any other choice.

I love you honey!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I have been feeling a little under the weather the past few days. Hence the fact that I have really been slacking on doing any posts this week. But truth is, when I feel so crappy, I don't have much to say that is worth while.

Anyways, feeling on the sick side made me think of this recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup that I just LOVE. About a year ago, I was on a quest to find the perfect recipe that was quick and easy and I stumbled across this one. It seriously take all of about 5 minutes to prepare and is really, really good. So enjoy, whether you are sick or not!

Ingredients:
  • 1 (15 oz) can of whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans of chicken broth
  • 1 (10 oz) can chunk chicken (I substitute shredded rotisserie chicken that I buy already done at the grocery store, cause canned chicken...yuck!)
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (10oz) can diced tomato with green chili peppers, drained
  • 2T taco seasoning

Pour everything in a large sauce pan. Simmer over medium heat until chicken is heated through. Top with cheese, avocado, sour cream and tortilla chips.

Yum-O!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Makeover Monday

I need a makeover. Not me, silly, my blog. Well, actually, that is debateable. I could probably use a makeover too, I suspect, but that is definitely for another day.

I would like to get a whole custom blog done at some point, but hey, maybe I'll ask for that for my birthday or Christmas. So, for now, I would like to at least get a custom header done. Mine is so, well, booorrring! I don't have the slightest clue as to how to do this myself, plus I have no programs on my computer that would allow me to achieve this new look, so I am looking to you, my faithful readers, for some advice.

Who have you used that you would recommend to do a design for me, OR is there a way that I can do a pretty cool header by myself without being, ahem, computer savvy?

Of course, I would also be willing to let someone design something for me for *cough* free and I would post your name all over my blog for kudos.

I'm just sayin'.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Happy Birthday, Kaiden: Part 2

Kaiden's actual birthday was Thursday and ended up being slightly uneventful. Partly due to the fact that he didn't take a morning nap since we were out at our Mom's club meeting at church. Then, when we returned home, he decided he didn't want to take an afternoon nap either. After many unsuccessful attempts, I just quit even trying! Some days you just need to know when to throw in the towel! So our original plans of going out to dinner and getting ice cream were replaced with ordering in pizza and putting Kaiden to bed early. He was just so tired and cranky by the time 6 pm rolled around!

But despite the day not turning out like I had hoped, we did enjoy opening some presents with the little man and he enjoyed playing with his new toys before bed!

Here is Kaiden eating his birthday breakfast. Notice that it still gets all over him!

Kaiden opening his presents



Kaiden "forward facing" for the first time! Yay!


Happy Birthday little man!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Vacation

So hubs left us this morning (again) on a much deserved vacation. For a week. To Cabo. Without me. No, I'm not jealous. Ok, so that's a lie.

His friend is a Cabo freak. Seriously, he goes probably 8-10 times per year. No joke. Anyways, he has been bugging hubs to venture along with him one of these times for a "male bonding adventure." I don't know if men really have the ability to "bond," but hey, who am I to judge. So, they have been planning this vacation for the past 5 months or so. They are going to golf, fish and hopefully get some good relaxing beach time in.

I know hubs needs it. He works in the financial arena and with all this stock market craziness going on, he has been super stressed out. Clients calling constantly. Some nice, some not so nice. People have been losing a lot of money in this crazy market and some of them like to blame hubs. Like he has control over the market or something. People. Don't you wish they would all go away? I know, I know, "love thy neighbor."

So anyways, last night we were having a conversation that went something like this:

Me: "So are you excited to leave for your vacation tomorrow?"
Hubs: "Yeah. I feel bad leaving you, though."
Me: "You should." (smirk) "Are your clients going to miss you?"
Hubs: "Yeah. You know the last thing I should be doing is going on vacation right now with the market the way it is."
Me: "So what are you going to do then?"
Hubs: "Go on vacation."
Me: (laughing)

Don't you just love a man that has his priorities in line?!

Have fun, honey. You deserve it. And when you get home, if I survive this week without you, then I'll need a vacation too.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thankful Thursday-Happy 1st Birthday, Kaiden!



Dear Kaiden,

It has been an amazing year and I can't believe how quickly it has all gone by! Bound and determined, a year ago, you made your way into this big, bad world. Leaving the comforts of my belly for the sterile surroundings of the incubator where you would spend the next six weeks growing bigger and stronger before we could bring you home. It was a stressful time for Daddy and I as we made our daily trips to the hospital to hold you and comfort you before we would have to come home. Without you. But for however brief those visits were, I somehow found comfort in knowing that you were in God's hands. That when we weren't there, He was looking over you and, in the end, it would all be okay.

I still remember that wonderful day that we finally got to bring you home from the hospital. We loaded you in your car seat and cautiously drove the freeways to our home. Your new home. When we got there, Daddy and I just looked at each other as if to say, "What do we do now?" Unfortunately, you didn't come with an instruction manual but we soon started to figured it all out, through trial and error and a whole lot of prayer.

Since then it has been an amazing roller coaster ride. We have enjoyed watching you grow, change and discover the world around you. I remember your first smile, your first laugh, the first time you slept through the night (cause I sure didn't!), the first time you rolled over, the first time you ate "real" food, the first time you crawled. I remember the first time you said "Mama." And even though you were looking at the dog when you said it, I knew that you really were saying it to me!

As you turn 1 today I find myself experiencing a mix of emotions. I have slight feelings of sadness. Sadness that a whole year has gone by in a blink of an eye, wishing that I could have just one of those days back. Happiness about the immense joy that you have brought me each and every day. And feelings of pure excitement as I look towards the future. Hopeful of the person that you will become through our guidance.

I thank God every day for giving you to me. For trusting me as your mother to help teach you and love you. I thank God for giving me a husband, and you a father, that will provide and protect you and teach you over the years what it means to be caring, compassionate, hard working and teach you how to be a leader of your family that you will someday have. I thank God for your health. Even though you had a rough start, you were a fighter and have been amazing us all along by your utter determination. I couldn't be any prouder to have you as my son.

I love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be.

Happy 1st birthday, my precious baby boy!

Hugs, kisses and oogles of love,
Mommy


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Feeling Fat

I feel fat today. Not too sure why.

Maybe it was the Spinach Artichoke Dip that I have left over from Kaiden's party that I ate Saturday. And Sunday. And Monday. Oh, yeah, and yesterday.

With chips.

Or maybe it was the cake and ice cream that I ate on Saturday. Then it called my name on Sunday and I answered.

Nah.

How 'bout the cookies?

Nope. I'm sure that wasn't it.

I know, it was probably the chocolate chips that I keep in the cupboard that I had a handful of the other day. Or two. Maybe three. Okay, four handfuls, but I'm sure that was all I had.

Hmmmm, I can't quite figure it out. I mean, I have been eating salads for dinner the past couple of nights. With a roll. Or two. And butter.

Like I said, I am feeling fat today. I am still not quite sure why.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Children's Building

Our church has been in the process of constructing a new children's building to house all the children's classrooms. Currently they are in a huge tent-like structure and are in dire need of a new and improved dwelling! They are almost at the completion phase, but before they lay the carpeting and flooring, our pastor invited the whole congregation to write on the concrete. So, this past weekend the building was open before and after each service so that we all could "leave our mark" with markers. You could write prayers, scripture verses, notes, drawings, etc. Whatever was on your heart. It was such a great idea. I even got a little choked up knowing that the foundation of this building was truly built on God's Word. After services on Sunday we picked up Kaiden from the nursery, headed to the children's building, grabbed our marker and left our mark. It was fun! I even think that Kaiden enjoyed crawling around on the dusty floors! Here are a few pictures of our experience.

We found what would be the K-1 classrooms (since that's where Kaiden would be first) and began!

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6

Daddy and Kaiden. This is the main area of the bottom floor of the building. See all the people? It was packed!

Kaiden left his mark. We traced his hand and wrote a note to God!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy Birthday, Kaiden: Part 1

Kaiden's 1st birthday is on October 2nd, but we wanted to make sure that he had his first "big boy birthday bash" to help celebrate this huge milestone! Some of our dearest friends (and surrogate grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins) joined us this past Saturday at our home. Here is just a glimpse of the photos that we took from the day! (I hate that I didn't get as many pictures as I wanted...but it's hard being the hostess and trying to fit pictures in too!)

Our dear friend made these "bouquets" out of cookies. Her two girls decorated each of the pots as well. Every kiddo took a cookie home at the end of the night along with their goodie bags.

Here's the beginning of the day with some of the kids playing with Kaiden's toys.

The girls were such good helpers. They spent a bunch of time teaching Kaiden to walk all around the house behind his push truck.

Here are some friends lingering around the table after dinner.

Time for cake! Here are some of the kiddos with Kaiden right before we cut into the cake! Mmmm...

Kaiden wasn't too sure of cake. In fact, he took the plate and turned it over, took the cake and threw it on the floor and really didn't eat any of it!

After cake, the troops were all getting restless. It was a long day and everyone needed their Zzzz's. So we woke up the next day and opened the presents from everyone that came.

This one was sent from Grandpa and Grandma in PA. We just couldn't resist giving this one to him early! He loves it!

Here's my precious boy....about to turn 1!

Stay tuned for part two of Kaiden's birthday!