Saturday, December 13, 2008

Naughty or Nice?

I knew this year's picture with Santa would be a memorable one, with my little one being big enough to be possibly terrified by the man in the big red suit, but this was too funny not to share! As you can see, when closely examined, my hands are holding him and I had to lean out of the picture. This was the best we could get! How funny this will be to show his girlfriends or wife one day. :)

Monday, December 8, 2008


Panic has just set in as I looked at the Freckled Frog sight and saw the flash banner at the top! I am fully aware that it is December, but it's still somewhere around the first, right? Didn't I just eat turkey and dressing last week? Still plenty of time to get presents and decorate my house for Christmas? I'm sure that the banner flashing 16 DAYS 'till Christmas has got to be wrong!!! That's barely two weeks! Santa's gonna need some coffee!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Past

Today is just one of those days where I don't feel like doing or going anywhere. I finished decorating our Christmas tree yesterday and the boys' trees and the mantel. I haven't done my dining room, but it's all laid out. It just always seems like so much to do. I need to finish swapping out our winter clothes and put all the summer clothes up, finish decorating, clean the house, start wrapping gifts, finish putting the playroom together, paint some canvases, go to the grocery, the list goes on and on and on. I decided to procrastinate and work on my Christmas cards instead. That counts for something, though, right?

As I looked through our pictures I ran across last year's Christmas pictures. Boy, how quickly they grow. I felt a little like Clark Griswold when he's sitting in the attic watching old movies as I sat on my couch, still in my robe, reminiscing. Here's a few pics from last year. My babies are growing so quickly.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Gingerbread Mess

We made our first gingerbread house, like so many others, this year. It was VERY hard for me to let the boys do it themselves (as particular as I am,) but they did a pretty good job. My lil' man just played "Hanzel and Gretel" and ate the candy most of the time. My big boy decorated as he pleased, as I globbed the oh-so-very messy icing all over.

The next morning, he had his dinosaur pretending it was eating the gingerbread house. I couldn't resist snapping a shot of what appeared to be "Godzilla meets the Gingerbread Man." Boys!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bright and Shiny

I was a little apprehensive about our first visit to the dentist, but my big boy proved to me just how big he really is. He did great! It also helps to have one of your best friends as your dental hygentist. He knows her so well that he didn't even flinch at the thought of her putting that cleaning tool in his mouth. We really trust our mi-mi (that's what my children fondly call her!) She gave him his own "cool shades" to wear to help block the bright light and, boy, did he love the water dispenser and spitting in the bowl. Little boys seem to love spitting! Thanks to our favorite dental hygentist and dentist for doing such a great job!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

So long SUCKER!

We finally lost our beloved "pappy" this week. I didn't think we would use one before we had children, but after reading how pacifiers helped prevent SIDS, I stuck that thing in his mouth right after he was born. In fact, there was one on the cart at the hospital! We put it to good use, too. It's been my friend in so many help stop tears, to help him go to sleep, to help me get some quiet time in the car:) But, alas, it's time we said farewell.

I had planned on us giving it to the baby monkey at the zoo this summer, but that never happened. My next plan was to leave it for the baby reindeer this Christmas, but fate took over. After searching and searching for it Monday night, I just had to send him to bed without it. I think I worried about it more than he did. While I'm glad that he's finally given it up, I'm a little sad that we are moving on to a different stage and he's not a baby anymore. Next thing I know, he won't kiss me in pubic. Agghh! I think growing up is just as hard for parents as it is for kids.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Cold Turkey

First, let me begin with a joke.
Why can't you take a turkey with you to church?
Because of his FOWL language! He, he.
The cold weather kept us in today, so I decided we'd make a craft. You would think as a former school teacher, crafts would be second nature to me, but I really don't do them with my own children because they are such a pain at school. Making 25 of anything is a pain. And, generally, at least half of the work is done by you. Anyway, I have to promise myself I will take on the challenge (and the mess) and do it more often because my kids LOVE it.

I decided that lack of Thanksgiving decor and lack of funds would inspire our idea, so I spray-painted an old canvas that I had and did the "hand print" thing. I snagged up a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote off the internet and stuck that baby on the kitchen wall. It's whimsical enough and I dated their handprints. As you can see, the little one decided to smear his first handprint. Oh well, that just means it's authentic! I think we'll make turkeys out of toilet paper rolls next ---just kidding!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Red, White, and Blue?

Our post-election week has been rather eventful. After the stress of election and the hubby being out-of-town, I thought I would make his return as nice and stress-free as possible.

I worked to get the house nice and clean, the kids fed, dinner ready on the stove, and chocolate chip pecan cookies in the oven. All was going so smoothly. As I stripped the kids down to nothing but a diaper and underwear and stepped into the laundry room, I heard cries.

My big boy had fallen into the corner of a small table and had a decent size gash in his forehead. Well, with blood everywhere, I knew there was no point in dressing him. As calm as this sounds, you might think I actually thought that. In reality, I was shaking and knew there wasn't time to get them both dressed and wasn't exactly how to do it all by myself. I had one on each hip and loaded everyone up and raced to the emergency room. The one time I had a reason to turn my hazard lights on and I didn't even think about it. I just made him hold a dish towel to his forehead and drove as fast as I safely could without using up what little gas was in the car because my gas light was on.

Let me just tell you, if you walk into the emergency room with your children barely dressed and covered in blood, they take you straight back. I'm just lucky my mother-in-law was able to meet me there and take the little one. Poor thing was scared to death (as was I.) I had to get my mom to go get the boys clothes and turn off the cookies that I'd forgotten about.

And, I must give credit where credit is due, they did a wonderful job. They gave him stickers and a Hot Wheels car and got him all calmed down. They were able to glue it and get us out pretty quickly. Guess that'll teach Daddy to leave us alone.

The only thing now is to get it to heal. He's already made it bleed once since we left. Boys!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Soap box

Okay, it's not terribly often that I get on my "soap box," but today I'm going to. There are many, many topics from our candidates that are very important, but I want to tell you one more that most people probably don't think about. During a recent debate, McCain stated that he would further studies to find the cause of autism. Obama fired back that it would require money (of course.) I just wanted to express my concern for this and how important I believe this is.

As a former special education teacher, I can tell you that when I started my program in school, the rate of autism was somewhere around 1 in 3000 children (or so I was told.) A story in the NY Times says that in the 80's, the rate was somewhere between 4 and 5 out of every 10,000. Today, the current rate is 1 out of every 150 children. This rising rate is alarming and is why we are hearing so much more in the media today about autism.

My personal opinion is that it is vital, at this rising rate, for us to find the cause, so that we may prevent this. I have done ABA therapy in private homes with children with autism and I can't even tell you how difficult it is for families. As a mother of boys, it is even more alarming that the rate is 3 to 4 times more prevalant in boys than girls.

Just something else for you to think about.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Road Trip

As our children are getting older, we are braving up to more and more trips. We decided (against R) to go to the beach this summer. It was great. The boys loved it.

Recently, some friends of ours invited us to go with their family to Branson for a few days. I was a little unsure of sharing a condo with another family and how the boys would behave with other children staying with us, but it worked out wonderfully! I almost think every trip from now on should be with other couples and their kids. We did things with the kids all day and then, after dinner each night, we'd settle all the kids in one room and put a movie on and stay up and play cards. It was nice to have adult time while the kids entertained each other.

Well, let me just tell you, in Branson, they do things a little bit differently. This picture is my baby with, yes, a WHOLE chicken on his plate. We went to the Dixie Stampede, which for those of you like me that have no idea what this is, it's a dinner show. We were on the front row of the South side (of course) and apparently the Civil War is fought over and over again here. The horses were so close to us that dirt was actually slung in my lap a couple of times. Now, I know what you're thinking, this doesn't sound like my "cup of tea." But, I will admit, I enjoyed it. As silly and over-the-top as it was, my kids were in awe. There was singing and dancing and they got to see all the animals (horses, ostriches, pigs, and cattle) up close. The food is a set meal. Everyone gets a bowl of soup (that I swear is gravy,) a whole chicken, a piece of pork tenderloin, a half of a potato, a piece of corn-on-the-cob, and an apple turnover. The drinks, oh yeah, in the mason jars and there is no silverware. You eat everything with your hands. Don't you know the kids were thinking this is how it should always be. It was just hilarious to see that big 'ol chicken in front of my little feller --- oops, I'm falling back into that Branson slang!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Birthday memories

I have told the story of the day E was born to many of my friends, family, E, and random aquaintances many times. It's one of the most traumatic, wonderful, scary, beautiful days of my life. I had more feelings wrapped up into one day than I knew what to do with. Anyway, I'm going to tell it one more time, just for nostalgia and to remember how drastically my life changed 3 years ago, this week.

I had a scheduled C-section (although I tried my best not to) because that big boy wasn't budging. Not the slightest bit of dialation, no dropping, nothing. He measured 8 1/2 lbs at 38 wks, according to my ultrasound, and so we conceded and booked it.

It was a Thursday morning, Oct 20th, and also my grandmother's birthday. Now, I did not want to have him on her birthday. I wanted him to have his own birthday. But, apparently, Virgie had more pull upstairs than I did. My doctor only delivered on Wednesdays, but the hospital was already booked up that day. He wouldn 't let me go past my due date b/c of his size, so they called me back with the Thursday date, and said Dr. Kennedy was going to come in on his day off. With that, I decided that it would be special for them to share the same birthdate and I figured I no longer had a choice.

I think I must have watched "Father of the Bride II" about a dozen times that summer. I pictured the exact same scenario for myself. My water would break in the middle of the night and I would wake R up. He would be running around just as panicky as Steve Martin did. We'd jump in the car and make a mad dash to Memphis. By the time we got to the hospital, my forehead would be glistening with sweat and I would be doing that breathing technique that I learned in my class. I would push just a few times and R would cut the cord. We'd all be one big happy family. Here's where the record scratch sound comes in!

Instead, I showed up starving and thirsty b/c I couldn't eat/drink anything after midnight and had to ride with R sipping his Starbucks all the way to this place where they were preparing to cut me open. I was taken to this little, scary room that looked like something out of a third world country (a little dramatic, I admit.) The wallpaper was peeling off and the floor was scuffed. It was about the size of my bathroom. I immediately began to cry when the nurse left. Upon her return, she assured me this was only a holding room where my iv would be started. Okay, I can do this, I thought. While starting my iv, R thought that I would somehow find humor in the situation if he commented on how the blood was squirting out everywhere. There was no blood, she did fine. I, however, felt completely sick. I wanted to throw him out, but I was too scared to ditch anyone.

I was rolled into a surgical room just like on Grey's. Here's the part I was really scared of. I thought that when it came time to have an epidural or spinal block, I would be in so much pain that I would want anything to relieve it. When you feel fine and just really want to come back and try another day, the last thing you want in your back is a 25 guage needle. Enough said. If I talk about it too much there may never be a 3rd child.

Surprisingly, the surgery wasn't so bad. It was over very quickly. It was the strangest thing to see this miniature person that really was living in my body for 9 full months. I was a little sad that I would no longer get to feel him kicking me or see his little bottom sticking out on one side of my stomach. All that was quickly replaced by this overwhelming feeling of awe at the miracle that life is. And, then followed by (I'll admit it) the fear of being responsible for another person 24 hours a day for the next 18 years!

I can't imagine my life without him now. I am amazed at the things he says and does and the thoughts he has. I am occasionally angry with him. I am often moved to tears by his kindness. And, like most mothers, find him to be the most brilliant and beautiful 3 year old in the world. I thank God for him and his little brother and thank my grandmother who got to share one birthday with E while she was still here with us. Happy Birthday, Grandma and happy birthday to my wonderful, big boy!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Next Monet

My oldest definitely takes after his momma. He loves to draw, paint,, this isn't sounding quite as good now that I think about it. My little man decided that he would "decorate" his wall with a pen he found, then later, his closet door with a sharpie. The last straw was when he found my ONLY tube of waterproof mascara and "colored" his hardwood floors and himself with it. Well, after all my disciplining efforts that seemed to make no difference, I decided to follow the old saying "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em." We painted pumpkins together to allow his creativity to be channeled into something that required less clean up and more aesthetic quality.

Monday, October 6, 2008

I've finally begun painting the playroom, after days of making paint color decisions, taking down the bedroom suit, and buying the things I needed. And, yes, there was a little procrastinating! While, I LOVE the idea of changing things and am usually excited to get started, I get bored about 3/4 of the way through and am ready to be done. So, today I got two walls done, only two more to go, plus painting a chalkboard, moving all our toys up, and decorating it. You know, I could really get a lot more done if I just didn't need to sleep at night. Anyway, I figured if I posted pics, it would drive me to finish it quicker. So, here's my first two walls!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

This one's for Kate

I fully support your recent blog. Wear that blue proudly. Nothing says more about one's character than supporting your team no matter what the "weather" (fair-weather fans are a pet peeve of mine!) Here are my cookies that I decided definitely taste better in blue!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Dear Abby...............

Okay, I'm sure many of you are wondering what in the world this is a picture of. Instead of what it is, let me tell you what it was. It was a wonderfully, shiny countertop (notice the reflections you can still see in it) that I had worked so hard to clean and shine that is now covered in cookie crumbs.

I tried to clean my house today, but to no avail. I just can't seem to get it. I've had kids for almost 3 years now and still haven't figured it out. Am I just plain dumb? Lazy? Maybe, I just don't have the necessary tools? The situation that led to this disasterous looking countertop went as follows:

I lit a candle, loaded dishwasher, took clothes out of dryer and into bedroom, put washer load into dryer, cleaned countertops with Lysol wipes, dried with towel (can't let the wipes dry or it leaves spots,) shined with Pledge and wiped dry b/c Pleadge will leave funny spots if all the moisture isn't wiped in or off. Then I vacummed the floors where all the little crumbs from earlier were left under stools. Everything was looking great. When I came in to make dinner, I cleaned up as I went along (which is usually difficult for me to do as I usually have tons of things cooking at once.) Everyone had eaten, except my little one b/c he had napped late. So, I got his together and had to feed him b/c he was still so sleepy. Rember the movie "Christmas Story" where the mom has to feed the younger brother b/c he won't eat and she makes these crazy pig noises? That's what I feel like. I have to bribe him to eat. Well, while all this is going on, my other little angel comes in and wants a cookie. Well, like the little perfect mom that I want to be, I get him one of my freshly baked chocolate chip, m&m, pecan cookies. And I wonder why I don't lose weight! As I finish up feeding the little one, I turn to see the HUGE mess of crumbs on the counter. I'm not sure that he even ate any of the cookie!

Well, you can imagine my frustration. Does anyone else experience this? Any realistic tips? We've tried the whole mat thing under his food. He just smears it all over the counter anyway and then I've got to clean the counter and wash the mat.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

To my new friend........

Okay, most of my blogs consist of short explanations of pictures b/c by the time I can blog at night, I'm exhausted-not many brain cells left to use. BUT, today I have something to say. A new friend has been blogging about her adoption process and she has several links to other families who have also adopted children from Ethiopia. Watching these video clips of these families has been so inspirational and heart-breaking at the same time. I look at my own children and it absolutely breaks my heart to think that just a flip of circumstances, it could have been MY babies who didn't have enough to eat. It could have been me that had to give up a child that I loved, but couldn't afford. I have feelings of guilt for all that we have and the luxuries we take for granted. While the top ten poorest countries in the world are all in Africa (except one,) there are starving, homeless children everywhere. How do we save the innocent of the world? My support and admiration goes out to all of those who are taking on this challenge. May God bless you.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The local zoo!

It was so nice this weekend that we made a trip to the zoo. The boys love going and it makes everyone nice and sleepy that night. Is that baby Bono on the bottom?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008


Okay, so I had to show this off because I did think it turned out really cute. I really enjoy painting things, eventhough I'm not nearly as good as I'd like to be. I've been painting different things for a few people here and there and thought this Dino turned out better than I expected. Give me fairies or girly things and I'm fine, but I'm not really experienced at "boy" stuff. But, I am learning ALL about boys these days.

Back-up career

Okay, so if my big boy doesn't make it into MIT, I think there's always a back-up career as a baseball player. I was astonished (and Dad was delighted) that he was able to actually hit the ball as Dad pitched it. Obviously, he doesn't have my athletic inability.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

New Addition

Announcing the new addition to our household ---Nemo! I know it's SUCH an original name, but I'm sure you can guess who named him. Anyway, I've decided this is a great pet. So low maintenance ---feed once a day, very cheaply I might add, and that's about it. We tried to give Nemo a friend snail, but somehow the shell was left and I couldn't find the snail. Maybe Nemo likes escargot!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Okay, by request, here is the goofy cake I made. My sister ordered a western themed cake for her dad's birthday. When she picked it up, she wasn't pleased with the way it looked, so I offered to try. This was the best I came up with! I don't think they'll be letting me join the crew at Charm City anytime soon, but it was still fun to try!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sweet as Pie

Okay, so here's my latest sweet I've made. I'm becoming more and more of a organic freak. I'm trying my best not to buy canned goods and go for as much organic and fresh fruits and veggies as possible. Of course, the summer offers us so many fresh, local fruits and veggies that I couldn't resist trying to make a fresh peach pie. It was so easy and Ryan loved it, so I thought I'd post the recipe.

Crust: 2 cups flour, 2/3 cup Crisco, and 5-7 tablespoons water. Mix Crisco & flour till crumbly. Add water a couple tablespoons at a time until dough is formed. Split dough in half (one for bottom and one for top.) Roll out on lightly floured surface & form to pan. I did my top as lattice. Bake bottom pie crust before filling.

Inside: Peel and slice 4-5 peaches and place in saucepan on stove. Add a little water (I did around 1/2 cup,) about a half stick of butter, about a 1/4 cup brown sugar, sprinkle a little cinnamon and nutmeg and about 1 1/2 tsp of cornstarch to thicken. I really just made this up and the amounts as I went along and it turned out great.

Pour into pie crust and place top crust on and bake till top is flaky. It's easy as pie!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Okay, so the hubby is making fun of the name of my blog. What's new, right? When we were first married, we moved off from home. He was gone all the time with his new job and we didn't know anyone. I was bored silly. I guess I was crowding him because he informed me that I needed to get a hobby. Can you imagine? Now, there just aren't enough hours in the day for everything. And, as if there's not enough to do around here, I've decided to join my friends in blogging. My bio lists many of the things I'm trying to do and some that are just dreams (hence the name of the blog.) So, anyway, here's mine!