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!