Friday, December 31, 2010

ACK! I forgot!

Well, for all those (including me) who thought this would be me

I have news for you. As of yesterday, I have officially been a non-smoker for one month! Yes, yes, I know. I'm great... as a matter of fact, I'm

Muahahaha! Love it! I need a shirt that has this on it haha. I'll have to find one soon. Anyway, just wanted to share my super fantabulously awesome news. Hope you all have a great day!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Early Resolutions

So, I already quit smoking.. yes I am still sticking to it, and yes, I'm still awesome! But, it has had good and bad effects. The bad is that I now feel the need to lose weight, and my lazy butt don't wanna do it. The good news is that I feel the need to lose weight and I actually halfway feel like I can do it. I am considered obese. I am truly my biggest critic, and to myself I only look chubby. Still, I have a long way to go.

But the way I see it is that every pound lost is an achievement by itself. It's one more step toward being healthier. So, good news is that I have a little help. I have an online friend (who I've been friends with for about 3 years) that recently lost about 80lbs. and is passionate about helping others get healthier too. Lucky me! I now bug the crap out of her all the time, but I do know it'll calm down as I figure things out a little more. Poor Cait... having to put up with my badgering. Honestly though, I'll risk annoying her to get some help b/c goodness knows I need it!

I hate dieting, but I hate exercising even more. I'm so out of shape and even a little exercise wears me out. Cait told me to wait a month or so to start so I can get used to the eating less/healthier first. This is one of the main reasons I'm starting early. I'm trying to test the waters as far as the food stuff goes, and arming myself with knowledge about both topics. I'm one of those people that the more I know about something the more likely I am to succeed at it. Still, exercising still seems so daunting. Ugh.

Anyway, I'll keep you updated on how I'm doing. Hey, I stopped one bad habit that was really really tough to quit, I can do this right? Right! Goooooo Angel!

What's your New Years resolution?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Sorry I've been a little MIA. I'm sure you all know how it gets around the holidays. I just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas! I hope the holiday season has filled your heart with joy, and I hope you get everything you wish for.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Weird or Unique?

I am weird and quirky. I sing goofy songs all day, talk baby talk to my husband on purpose, and I make up words. Usually it's some form of the originally word, however unrecognizable to the ones who don't know me. For instance - Chowah = Shower, Manyopoli = Monopoly, and Chin knees = Chinese (Always in reference to eating Chinese food).

In light of that, I have compiled a list of my own personal weirdness for you to enjoy and/or poke fun at me about. You can trust me, though, when I say it is only the short list!

1. I hate the heel on the loaf of bread.

2. I hate ANY LITTLE SLIVER of fat on meat.

3. I can't stand it when people scrape their teeth on a utensil.

4. I also can't stand it when people chew with their mouth open/ make smacking noises.

5. I turn homicidal if I'm being stared at.

6. I have road rage. If someone pulls out in front of me and then goes slow (or any number of other things) I will tailgate, try to pass them and flip them off, or *insert other insane things here*.

7. I don't like potato salad. I live in the south, so that's almost a sin.

8. I HAVE to stop the microwave on intervals of 5.

9. I am most scared of 3 things. (If you don't include biggies like death and such). Heights, the dark, and spiders... so you can imagine how I am about the attic.

10. I can't stand for people to walk closely behind me. Even BE close behind me. I even sit with my back away from the door in every place possible.

11. I am for sure right handed, but there are a couple of things that only feel right if done with my left hand.

12. If I am eating mashed potatoes and most any other vegetable I will mix them.

13. I can't stand for a closet, cabinet, etc to be left open, even cracked.

14. I love lists. I even make lists of lists I need to make.

15. I plan months ahead for most occasions. Ex: I do one grand thing around July for my kids' birthdays... I've already bought some supplies for it.

16. I love the smell of gas and spray paint.

17. When I put something away, the labels have to be facing out. This especially applies to food.

18. I don't care how hot I am, I have to be covered at least a little at night or I can't sleep.

19. I absolutely can not stand for anyone over the age of 3 to watch me potty. Even pee. My own husband has watched me push out multiple children but has never seen me pee!

20. I cannot sleep in socks.

21. I change my hairs' style and color constantly.

22. I have a serious issue with balance. Meaning, things have to be even. If there's one of something on one side, there has to be one on the other side or the world will fall apart.

I know there's more, but a.)that's all I can think of at the moment and b.) I can always think of more and eventually you would be asking yourself  'When does it end?!' so, I'll end there.

What are your weird quirks?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

As if appointments weren't hard enough.

What the crap is up with doctors' offices thinking it's ok now-a-days to reschedule constantly. I have one place that I go that I had to sign a form saying if I didn't reschedule at least 5 hours before my appointment time, I would be charged for the visit anyway. The same said office reschedules me almost every single appointment! So I guess my question is: On the days where it's not at least 5 hours before, can I charge them? Yeah, didn't think so.

The reason for today's rant is because this specific doctor's office (not the one above) that I'm going to today has rescheduled me 3 times. I know I'm probably being just a tad touchy here, but since when is that ok? If I were to do that I'm pretty sure people would start getting upset... and I'm the "CUSTOMER"! I thought it was customary for the one providing services to actually be where they say they're going to be when they say they're going to be there. It goes along with the I show up for my appointment at 1:00 and am still sitting in the waiting room at 2:30. Yeah, pretty sure if I showed up an hour and a half late they wouldn't see me, but boy howdy they can do it! Anyway, that's for another day.

I have to go start getting ready for this appointment in about 10 minutes. Want to know why I'm having to do this before my coffee has fully kicked in? Because people are jackholes that's why! I have a no-appointments-before-nap time rule. At least one if not both boys are always up by at least 7:00.  Then we have breakfast, changing clothes and diapers, washing hands and faces, cleaning table and dishes etc, cleaning table, sweeping floor.. you get the picture. For some reason the boys think meal time is war time. War on my floor, table, their clothes, their hair, you name it. So yeah, it takes me forever to clean up after.

Then when I'm all ready to sit back down and rest a while, they're ready to be played with.  30 minutes of that and it's time to get Reid ready for nap. Yeah I can't believe it either. Reid normally goes down for a nap around 11:00-ish and sleeps for about 2 hours. James goes down for his nap no earlier than 12:00 and sleeps for about an hour. If I can't get him down before 1:00 and I have an appointment he doesn't get his nap, which is fine with him. Me, not so much.

Anyway, the point of all that is to say... my appointment is at 10:00 frickin' a.m. today. Not so horribly, terribly, awfully bad.. but then school is back in session today, only 2 hours late. So, I get to leave at 9:15 to get Mae to school by 9:30 and then make it to my appointment at 10:00. Shoot me? I don't DO mornings.

I'm aware that there are those that get up at the butt-crack of dawn and have established world peace by 10:00, but I'm not one of them and if you feel the need to rub it in my face you can go suck an egg.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Let it snot, let it snot, let it snot!

Hi all. Just wanted to let you know that My weekend has officially started off in the direction of the "this sucks hall of fame". 

First it snowed. Then it snowed some more. Then when it stopped snowing, it started again. Tennessee does not usually see a lot of snow and it definitely does not do so in December. As a general rule, we might see a flurry or two toward the end of December. Maaayyyybee even a light dusting if we cross our eyes and spin around three times. But January - Yes, that's when the snow hits. Even then most of the time it doesn't get above 4 to 5 inches.. generally.

Well, Ol' Man Winter (or maybe that creepy snowman off of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer)

decided that this year in the middle of December he was going to plop over a foot of snow on us. Oh, but it's pretty and the kids love to play in it you say? Yes, I have to agree that it is pretty. As far as the kids playing in it, that's a joke! First, I do not play in snow.

I must have ancestors that come from the tropics b/c my booty stays bundled up during the winter.

Wait, you're not getting the picture. Imagine everyone   lovingly sitting in the living room   err.. arguing over the remote and look! Over in the corner is mom, ready to climb Everest! Yeah, that's me. Anyway - I make snow cream and hot chocolate until it's coming out of my ears every year. That's as close as I get to snow.

Travis did take all the kids out when it first started snowing when there was like 3" on the ground. James and Reid both started whining the minute they got out there and were back inside within 5 minutes. That's a good thing in my eyes though. If I hadn't been napping when this little escapade happened, I would've vetoed it anyway. Both boys are sick. Especially Reid who is on antibiotics and breathing treatments.. soo yeah. But dad was trying to be nice so I buttoned it. And, of course, Mae will not go outside without Travis or I out there. She's the same way in the summer. I don't get it. I couldn't wait for summer so I could spend hours outside without my mom up my butt watching over me. She's weird.

Oh, and you know how I said the boys were sick? Theirs was snots and the crud as I call it. What I developed yesterday, however, is a lovely stomach bug! Yay! So, I've been up running to the restroom ALL. NIGHT. LONG (and still going) and dealing with 2 sick boys. Plus, the only one who isn't sick is out of school because of the friggin' snow! 
Um, and one more thing. Sometime during the night the heat decided to glitch out on us, and we woke up to a house that was below 60 degrees.

To me this is reaching arctic levels since it seems I have no blood. I am now sitting with the oven open to heat my 2500 sq ft home. Everyone has on about 10 layers of clothes and, needless to say, I am dying! The kids are all running around like it's all toasty in here while I feel like my fingers are going to break. The dude will be here before lunch and I'm pretty happy about that. Now if I can just keep all my body parts the right color until he gets here.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A twofer!

I realize I already posted once today, but I just had to share a short post. As of an hour from now, I will have been a non smoker for exactly one week!!

Woot! I love it! I still crave them, and sometimes it gets bad, but I'm hanging tough. I'm so proud of me!

Let it snow... not!

Look, I like snow as much as the next person. It's a beautiful sight, it's fun, and I love making snow cream and hot chocolate.

I don't like the cold at all, but I can deal with it. However, there is one thing that truly irks me about it snowing. The schools. They're all, "Oh no! We have flurries! Must. Cancel. School."

Oh, no-no-no-no-no! A light dusting is not reason to call off school. I depend on school being open in order for me to keep my sanity! It's bad enough you won't keep her during the summer. Grr... Judge me if you want to, but if you lived with Mae you would understand.

But that's not my biggest issue with snow days. No, that would be these little going to hours late days or coming home early days. Mae gets taken to school every day, but rides the bus home in the evening so I don't have to... ummm... go get her. Ok, that sounds bad. It's just the boys nap ends about 2.3 seconds before I would have to leave, and putting them to sleep earlier or getting them up earlier isn't really an option. Trust me. Plus there's the fact that Tennessee has exactly 3 kinds of weather. Burning hot, raining, or cold as ice. Not really great conditions to be getting 2 toddlers out in. Anyway.

So, yeah. Back to my peeve. When they go late or get let out early, we the parents have to take them or pick them up. First of all, if it's too dangerous for a big ol' bus to bring them home, it's not going to be any safer for my minivan.

And the children at school have to get home one way or another, and it puts them in danger for anyone to drive on the ice (or flurries), but why put my boys and anyone else's kids in danger too by having to travel to get the kids. And I've always wondered about 1 car families. Or families that have a broken vehicle. I mean, what do they do? Walk? Ugh!

Ok, end rant. Snow and such has started earlier this year, so I think we're in for a rough winter.. Oh goody...

Friday, December 3, 2010


Ok, if I wasn't the shiznit before, I soooo am now. I now feel comfortable enough to say that I am a non-smoker! I have not smoked for 60 hours!!

I'm doing rather well too! Oh, I wasn't at first, but we won't talk about that. Noo... that's got way too much blood and gore in it. Lets talk about now where I am doing pretty well, and only have the big cravings sometimes, and are handled by me doing a cleaning spree.

My husband is sad because this cleaning spree only lasts 30 minutes to an hour at the most. I, on the other hand, am thrilled! No smoking and a clean (ok, clean-ER) house?! In the words of the Miz... I'm the mom, and I'm awesome! Of course, this is causing me to be a touch neurotic... but it's the price you pay. Aaaannndd of course, I've replace one bad habit with another. COFFEE.

Don't get me wrong. I love, love, loved coffee before, but NOW..... Oh. My. Gawd! I wouldn't have made it through the first day without it.  I'm all -

of course I'm balanced... I do have one in each hand, duh! ( Yes, I'm aware I add lots of random pics. I see them, and I go - I like this one, I like that one, oh oh gotta have that one. hehe. Oh well )

I'm going to feel really stupid if I relapse. Yes, I know that's a term most addicts use. I am an addict. Thanks to having a mother that smoked and a sister 8 years older than me with friends that smoked I started smoking when I was only 8 years old. By the time I was 10 I was smoking a pack a day... That means I've been smoking for almost 20 years!

I did quit all the way one other time... When I was pregnant with Michael. I started back the night he died. It's been a big part of my comforting when it comes to losing him and I haven't been able to completely stop since. Please don't lecture me. I'm trying. It's been hard. Not a good excuse, I know. But it's the only one I have.

Anyway. I can truthfully say that already I am seeing the positive effects of quitting. My sense of smell has picked up greatly, and I can taste things a lot better. For instance. Yesterday we ordered pizza. I was across the room getting plates and realized I could smell the banana pepper in the box! Usually I can be standing over the open box and not smell it. Then last night hubby cooked dinner while I went to the store. (I think he'd rather pull his nails out with pliers before shopping) One of the things we had was corn. While eating I sat there and took in the fact that it tasted different. I thought maybe he had used canned instead of frozen like we normally do, thus causing a different taste. But no, he said he hadn't. It had a LOT more flavor! Weird.

Sooo, yeah. So far I'm rockin' it out, and so incredibly proud of myself. It's so liberating. I've been chained to this addiction for so long! I've felt like a failure my entire teenage and adult life. I know that sounds heavy, but it's the honest truth. Doing this.... it's such a big thing to me. It's something for all of my family, but really, mostly for me. It's been so long since I've done something for myself. And it's been a long time since I've had a reason to be truly proud of myself. (Other than raising amazing kids!) This is a great thing even on the surface, but I feel something much more powerful and momentous brewing. I finally feel like I've taken a little power back in my life, and that's quite a feat.

What about you? Is there anything you've overcome? Is there something you've experience that was truly powerful?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Best of Friends

I am lucky enough to have a few good friends. I am even luckier to have not 1, not 2, but 3 best friends. Not everyone can say that. I am not one that's had many friends in my adult life. I got pregnant 3 months out of high school, and back then it wasn't exactly "cool" like it seems to be now. I lost a lot of friends when I got out of a lot of bad habits. That's when I learned some people who claimed to care for you really don't. I was a freshman then.

Three years later I was pregnant and lost what few friends I had left. I had become a fuddy duddy. I couldn't go out to parties, I couldn't drink (even though none of should have been anyway), and I didn't date anymore. For 3 years after that I was a single mom just trying to survive. I worked long hours, sometimes working 2 jobs and at one point tried going to school and working and raising Mae. I hate to admit it, but the only real time I had with her was on the weekends, but what could I do? When she was 1 I met Travis and when she was 3 we married. I found out only a month after we got engaged that I was pregnant with Michael. We had a few minor problems in the beginning and long story short I was put on bed rest. No real chance to make friends there. The only place I went is to the store. I couldn't exactly say, "Hey miss checkout lady, would you like to be my friend?"

Then we had Michael. And then we lost Michael. I started reaching out to people more.. as much as I could considering my state of mind. A specific person had been a long time "peeve me off" person, and I to her. She reached out to me none the less and helped me through his death even when everyone else was tired of listening to me. In the process we found out that a mutual acquaintance had been pitting us against each other. I'm talking about TT. If you want to know more about her go here. She quickly became someone I could not imagine my life without. She lives very far away now, but we remain in close contact. She is kind and selfless. She is someone I admire very much.

I also met a friend here and a friend there on myspace groups. We all became close and very involved with each others lives. So we formed our own group. I love them all dearly! This is in no way saying that I don't care about them. However, I got super close with one person. My lovely friend Vics. She is one of the sweetest, caring, intelligent individuals I have ever met. She was only 20 when we started talking, but then, and to this day, I've sought her opinion on things. She has a very clear and fair perspective on things. She'll make me feel validated if she thinks I'm right, and put me in my place if she thinks I'm wrong. She has always been 100% honest with me no matter what. Something I highly respect in a person! She is one of my closest friends, and I have never met her in person.

Then there's GG. Forgetful, frustrating GG. I met her through Mae's school about 3 years ago when I was pregnant with James. She offered to keep Mae so Travis and I could have a little break. What a great thing that would be! But I didn't know her well enough to trust her with my child. Since Mae has many issues due to ADHD and behavioral problems I was called into school quite often. She always sought me out, talked to me, and again and again asked me to call her if I never needed anything. The day I found out I was pregnant with Reid I had to pick up cookie dough we had bought from a fund raiser at school. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change anything in having Reid, but that day I was completely freaked out. How were we going to handle another one?! She asked me what was wrong and I burst into tears. Ever since then we've gotten closer and closer.

What's the point of this you may ask? It's simple. I wanted to brag on my wonderful friends. I'm so proud to have them in my life and wanted to put it in writing just how great they really are. I hope they realize what a big impact they have had on my life and how much I appreciate them.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Lets Give Thanks.

No matter who we are, where we come from, and what our circumstances we all have much to be thankful for. Just for today lets forget life's stress, the fight we had with our relative, the antique vase the kids broke last week. Let there be joy in our hearts for what we have. It could be so much worse. Always.

I have a friend who battled leukemia when she was only 16 years old. She went through rounds of chemotherapy and had to deal with being a human pin cushion. She lost all of her hair, and most of her friends. She nearly died. She is inspirational to me, and not because she had cancer and survived, but because she didn't forget the joy in her heart. I'm not saying there weren't days when she got down or just didn't know how much more she could take. What I am saying is that she never forgot that it could be worse. She once told me that there was this little boy around 10 years old in the same situation she was in and his parents would drop him off and only came in once every couple of days to "check" on him. She also told me how grateful she was for having her mother there at all times. She knew that no matter what she was going through, at least she was here to fight for her life. She has been cancer free for 11 years.

This same friend was sitting in her living room 3 years ago when a tornado hit. She heard a couple of things hit the house and threw the covers over her head. About 2 seconds later it was over and when she lifted the covers off of her head, she saw the street in front of her. Her entire house had been torn to the ground around her, down to the foundation. The only thing that was not touched was the couch she was sitting on. The only injury she sustained was a gash in her head that required 8 staples. She picked herself up, waded through the piles of broken glass and memories and went off to find someone that might need help. She had lost everything, but she comforted those who had lost relatives and friends. This was in February.

The following December her father died. She cried and mourned and then picked herself up in preparation of what needed to be done. She organized everything. She thought of everyone else, and only when it was all said and done did she allow herself to break down in the shelter of her temporary home. She didn't even have her own home to seek solitude in. She is a hero to me.

May 30, 2007 I had a beautiful child named Michael. We brought him home 2 days later and were deliriously happy. Every day was a challenge and a blessing. June 30, 2007 we put him down to sleep and when we checked on him not even 2 hours later he was blue. An ambulance ride and 32 minutes after trying to revive him later we were given the news that our precious boy was dead. We both blamed ourselves. My husband locked it all away while I sat crying. SIDS - known to me as the "I don't know what happened syndrome" had taken my boy. They didn't know why, but he had just stopped breathing. The funeral was short. I barely remember what was said. I felt as if I would lose my mind. I walked around for months afterward telling everyone I was sad, but fine, all the while hoping tomorrow I would not wake up. That I too would stop breathing, to cease to exist. The pain was so great I felt like it would swallow me, and I didn't care. The only thing that kept me going was my sweet little 4 year old girl. I knew she still needed a mommy.

3 1/2 years later, I still hurt daily. The holidays are almost unbearable and some days I still find it hard to carry on. I still cry, and I'm terrified that people will forget my little angel. I won't forget though. I keep everything that was his and that reminds me of him. He has a whole wall decorated with his pictures and trinkets in his honor. Every year on his Birthday we do a balloon release. We put a little Christmas tree on his grave for Christmas, and his pumpkin (so lovingly carved) out there on Halloween. Not a holiday goes by we don't do something to remember him. At family events his bear and a candle are set out in remembrance of him. About a year after his death I realized that I needed to pull myself up by the bootstraps and get on with living.

I am so truly grateful for everything I have. Three beautiful children, wonderful husband, and everything I need. I lived through the worst thing a parent can live through, and I've made it. I will never be the same, and I don't want to be the same. His death has made me change for the better. I appreciate things more and savor every moment with my children. I am a better person because of Michael, and somehow to me, that makes his death mean something. It doesn't make it good or fair, but it does my heart good to know he had an impact. I'm lucky to have gotten to hold him and get to know him for that month. I've met people that lost their child before or during birth... at least I got a month.

What about you? What personal obstacles have you overcome? What has made you a better, more thankful person?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Family Tradition.

Well, the Thanksgiving holiday is upon us. I've been gearing up for it by doing food shopping, and drinking  going to therapy getting out all of my recipes. Thanksgiving around here always goes the same way.

First, I do my shopping. I buy what I can in advance but a couple of things I wait to get until the day before to get, like celery and bananas etc because I don't want them to go bad before the big day. Then the day of I usually send dear ol' hubby to get the things I forgot or thought I had but didn't. That's when it starts.

At first, I'm all amped up ready to take on anything because I am supermom after all. Oh, it's an amazing thing to behold. Slicing, dicing, boiling, peeling. *sigh* Then as the day wears on, anyone that can talk will tell you to stay out of my damn way and for Christ's sake DO. NOT. COME. IN. THE. KITCHEN.

But if you are willing to take the chance to peek in there, you'll not be seeing the sweet smile I started out with. Humming while I work, a thing of the past. What you will see is hair falling in strands around my face, my clothes covered with a hodgepodge of different ingredients covering my clothing and the floor, about 251 dirty dish towels, pots boiling over, and me sweating worse than the ham in the oven.

And of course there's my family's constant phone calls asking: What time is it again? Do you need anything (because the day of the event is the proper time to ask this - Yes, I need you to leave me the frick alone!), What exit is it again? (Because I've only lived here for 6 years... ) and so on. Quite often I don't even hear the phone. Sometimes because I don't want to and sometimes because of the slamming and cussing I'm doing.

Now most everything is done, and the family start arriving in approximately 5 minutes. Since I can't very well look the way I am and be presentable, I rush of to the bathroom to change my clothes (sooo glad I picked out every one's clothes the night before), check on food, shower put on deodorant/perfume to cover up my sweat and food smelling self, check on food, throw on the bare minimum of makeup, check the food, style brush my hair, and check on food.

12 seconds until family is to arrive. It's officially go time. Time to put the kids' clothes on. (Soo soo soooooo glad I laid out the clothes the night before!) Change diapers, check on food. Change James' clothes, check on food. Change Reid's clothes, get snot wiped on me, wipe off with wet washcloth. Check food, sweet potatoes are burnt. Scrape off marshmallows, put on new ones, put back in oven. Realize shirt has burnt marshmallows on it, change shirt.

Sweep kitchen floor, use crusty dish towel to wipe up spots left, wipe down counters, realize hubby has set the table, (insert angelic singing here) yell a "thank you" across the house... no reply. WTF. Check on hubby. Hubby has decided that now is the time for a quick shave and has locked himself in the bathroom, meanwhile the boys have gotten into -insert any random thing here- and has it on their clothes. Pull sweet potatoes out of oven. Rush to change their clothes, in walks Mae - Still. In. Her. Pajamas.

Mae goes upstairs to change after me asking her nicely yelling at the top of my lungs, "Why are you not dressed?! Do you know what today is?! Are you crazy?!" Umm.. yeah. Run back to the kitchen, toss the food onto the table. Grab the boys to keep them from getting into yet another something just as Mae comes back down the stairs dressed and ready to go, Travis comes out of the bathroom freshly shaved and smelling wonderful. Family knocks on door, I plaster a smile on my face and we open the door - the scene of a perfect family.

If you thought that was crazy, you're in for it.. but I'll try to make this short. Shouldn't be hard since the next hour is a blur anyway. Just picture everyone trying to grab at food while smarting off to whoever is in their line of fire, arguments breaking out, spilled drinks, kids whining because they wanted ham instead of turkey, people talking with their mouths full, people getting seconds...... and then it's over. Kids are in the play room being loud (but who cares, they're out of our hair), mom is complaining about the food making her gassy, hubby's undoing his pants, and my sister is promising to help with the dishes in just a minute just two seconds before her snoring can be heard from the sofa.

My lovely husband usually washes the dishes (Yes, ladies. Read it and weep!) while I put food away and wipe things down. We all sit around chatting for a while and then everyone goes home. We get the kids bathed and in bed. Then I (finally) take a shower and go to bed myself. After all, I have to get ready for Black Friday!

What is your Thanksgiving like? Do you have any traditions? Share your story below!

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Ways To Save

Are you frugal? I try to be. We're not rich. Not by a long shot! But you know what? We never go without. All of my childrens' clothes look really nice, as do mine and hubby's. We always have plenty of food, and good stuff too. We have what I think is plenty of "gadgets" and we have lots of fun.

I do not do everything I could do, either because I haven't heard of it yet or because the time investment isn't worth it to me. Yes, time is valuable too. Unless you're destitute (or on the verge) you can probably afford to be a little less thrifty in certain areas than you would be. Time is something to be spent as wisely as money.

That being said I'm going to tell you about some of the things I do to save money. I will try to remember all of them, but it's such a part of who I am -after years of practicing - that I may leave something out. I'm going to try to put them in categories so that they make more sense, but some of them may run together a little because they fit into more than one group. If you're not interested, then skip on to the next post. It's fine, but if you are interested read on. There may be something you haven't thought of yet.


 1.) Cut the credit. We have 1 credit card and we truly only use it for emergencies. No, sales on clothes isn't an emergency unless you have absolutely no clothes. No, I mean like your air conditioner going out for instance.

2.)Don't buy unnecessary things. If what you're buying isn't an immediate need like medicine or you're on your last roll of toilet paper, wait a week and see if a)you can find it cheaper, as in on sale or used or b) it's something you really need at all. Do you really NEED that new shade of lipstick or could you make due with what you have and get it when the other runs out?

3.) Don't eat out as often. Look, I'm not saying stop all together. I LOVE eating out and would do it much more if I were rich, but I'm not so I don't. We could afford to do it MORE often, but it would effect our bottom line. We generally eat out once a month, sometimes twice if something comes up, and even then I can make it out of a place with a dollar menu for around $10 for the whole family. Granted, Reid and James can split a McChicken and a small fry and be just fine so... yeah. But we don't get soft drinks from anywhere, we drink water or drink something from home if we're bringing it back to our place. Ultimately it saves money and is better for your health.

4.) Do routine maintenance on your vehicles, change your air filters in your heat/air unit often (1x/month is best), and just do general upkeep on everything you own. It may cost a few dollars now, but it's much better than more than a few dollars later.

5.) Do as much as you can yourself. It's November and lots of leaves are on the ground. Go rake them! Make it a family project, try to have fun with it, and you'll be getting exercise too. Play a game like "I spy" while you do it. May sound like a child's game.. and that's because it is, but who says adults can't play? And at the end you will have saved X amount of dollars. Money that can be used for something else.

6.) If you save money in one area that doesn't mean it's time to go shopping. By all means treat yourself once in a while, but if you're spending as much as you save you're not doing much good. Treat yourself with a good book! In most places there is at least one used book store around, or even better, go to the library!

7.) Plan your errands. Don't do an errand or two a day. Plan a day where you do errands and then think of the best route to take so you're not doubling back and such. It'll save gas and most of the time it's easier on the nerves.

8.) I buy almost all of our clothes used. Goodwill, consignment shops, craigslist, you name it. And I never turn my nose up at hand-me-downs from friends and family. The only time I buy new is if I catch a really good deal on the off seasons. I do not pay over $1 for new clothing. I don't need to. We get everything we need, and I spend around $300/year on clothes for all of us. I know there's some that will turn their nose up at this, and that's fine, but I can guarantee my kids look just as good as anyone else's. I just pay way less for the same thing.

There's LOTS more I can put here but I think I'll stop there because there's one more area I want to talk about before this blog gets waaay too long. That topic is food. I'm extremely proud of the fact that I feed a family of 5 on around $320/month. Some people take saving money a lot further than I do and that's fine. But here's what I do.

2.) I may not get a paper out here, but they do deliver sale bills for free. I check those and write down sales all the places are having on things I need. However, I do not usually go to those places to get said sale items. I go to Wal-Mart. They have this program set up where you can "comp" an item. ( I do this because it saves a lot on gas and time by not having to run to 12 different stores.) If it's the same brand/size you tell them at the register where the sale is and how much it is they'll give you that price on the item. Even if it's the store's brand, get the Wal-Mart brand and you can comp it. Now, it can get kind of embarrassing holding up the line to do this, especially if you have multiple items to comp, so this may not be for everyone. I go late in the evening about 8pm or so so that the lines are much shorter and the people behind me can get in another line if they want. To each their own.

3.) The one exception to my buy only what you need rule is meat. If I find a really good sale on meat, and I mean really good, I buy up as much as I can afford. We have a Hills IGA here that has a sale on hamburger meat once every 3 or 4 months. 10lbs. for $12. I have been known to walk out of there with $100 (approx. 80lbs) worth of meat. Then I bring it home and wrap it in freezer paper in 1lb. packages and write the date and what it is on the paper... so I don't get my meats mixed up in the freezer and so that I use the oldest first. That's 80 meals worth of meat for $100. I love it!

4.) Aldi. It's a great place to get some things, especially milk and eggs. You can get some things well under the price of the same thing only a different brand name at other stores. I don't buy fresh fruits and vegetables from there though. They always seem to spoil quickly in my experience.

5.) Do less convenience foods. Frozen pizzas, hot pockets and such really cut into your food budget. I know its a pain to cook, but if you're looking for ways to cut your grocery bill try it. You'll see the difference.

6.) In the spring I will be starting a garden. Canning and freezing food will be done as well! I've estimated it will save me at least $50/month. That's a pretty good deal considering I'm borrowing a tiller from my neighbor and then there's just seeds, rake, hoe, garden hose, and canning equipment (the canning stuff was bought from a yard sale). Yes, it takes a lot of time and work. No, it's not for everyone. But I get to save money while eating fresh vegetables and exercising so it is for me.

7.) I buy bulk items from Sam's Club. Once again, I only buy what I need. This can be just as dangerous as coupons in my opinion, so you have to really rein yourself in if that's not something you're used to doing.

Oook.. I could go on. I want to go on, but you're probably bored to tears by now. If you know of any other ways to save, I'm all ears! I may have already heard about them, but I may not have. I'm always looking for new ideas.

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Say What?

It's so funny how families talk when the household includes children. Children with their mispronunciations and parents' baby talk. And some of the things that I find myself saying to and about my kids I am convinced would scald the ears of people that have had children or been around people with them. I truly feel they're missing out. We may say some very strange things, but we also get to be there when our sweet darlings start speaking. It's always such a heart warming thing.

I mentioned in my first post that James presents me with different body parts to kiss and "make better". It is a common thing in my house to hear something that goes like this "Oh, honey, did you fall down? Ohhh, you hurt your butt. Here, let momma kiss it." Yeeaahh... Pretty sure someone without kids would think that was weird and gross. Oh well, my baby's hurt and damn it, I made it better!

Something else that would inevitably make those snooty childless people turn their nose up is how I am forever telling my kids to: Stop licking random things. Stop putting bodily *junk* (i.e. Poop, Pee, Snot, boogers, spit etc.) on well, everything and everyone. Also not to eat random things like dog food , dryer lint, paper, what I think used to be a hotdog that has been in the couch for 100 years and growing hair, and so on.

Oh the strange things parent's say...

But even more strange (and sometimes funny) is the things kids say. Mae has had me rolling on the floor more than once. Once she went into the bedroom to wake Travis up. I followed her and so glad I did. Mae pushes on him telling him to wake up. He groans and peeks at her with one eye. He says, "I am awake! And she says, "Well your other eye isn't!" Sometimes she's not so funny. Like the time I was folding laundry and was admiring one of her pairs of pants and said, "Mae, I love these pants. I wish I could wear them." And she said, "No way mom! You're butt is too big! You'd break them!" Thanks kid... 

Mae also likes to tell random strangers things. Like the check out lady at walmart. Check out lady, "Hi, what's your name?" Mae (shyly), "Mae." Lady, "You sure have pretty eyes." At this Mae perks up and says, "Thanks! Mom says they're brown cuz I'm full of shit!" Thanks again kid... 

But on the cuter side, James is learning to talk and it's adorable. (For now.) Honestly, I had been a little worried because he started talking just a little late. Being a worry wart concerned mommy I called a speech specialist. He said it was still a little early and to give it 6 more months. No need. About 2 months later he started talking... a lot. Mostly just single words, but man, those words are so cute! His favorite thing to do is read a gook (book) and after a meal he wants noun (down) from his chair. He also loves ooz (shoes) and would wear them all day if I'd let him. Lately, since Reid seems to be into everything these days James gets to hear me say "Reid, put that down!!" quite a lot. Because of this, anytime Reid does anything James doesn't like he runs through the house yelling "Weed! Weeeeeeeed!" Good times.

And sweetest of all is that my baby, who is not supposed to be growing, has now said his first word. Well, actually he's saying two words now. His very first was "Bow" (Pow) which is accompanied by pretending to punch someone. Such a good mommy I know. But that other word he knows is "Mama" does that count? You bet your a** it does! My baby knows who I am! *tear*

So, although some mighty bizarre things are said in my house, I wouldn't trade any of it for those cute, funny, and sometimes uncomfortable, things my little ones say. Now the only question is, how do you make them be quiet?

What are some of the adorable things you've heard children say?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

There's clean, and then there's clean.

Have you ever walked into a room that your husband has just "cleaned" and find yourself forcing a smile and thanking him all the while thinking - yeah, I'm totally going to have to re-do this when he's not looking. I find myself in this predicament quite often.

Well, before I go any further let me just say that I realize I'm INCREDIBLY lucky to have a hubby that helps at all. I know many men don't. My wonderful hubby comes home from work and shares everything equally.  We see it as we are both starting our "second shift". On the weekends my dear, sweet hubby lets me sleep in despite the fact that Reid doesn't get me up during the night anymore unless he's sick or teething.  He knows I'm a person who needs a good amount of sleep and I simply cannot function on just a couple of hours and that's enough for him to put his needs aside and get up with them. Even if I have to re-do what he does, I am still SO grateful that he does what he does do! I just needed to get that out there first.

That being said, when I do see what he's done, I have the bad habit of seeing what's wrong. I always say thank you and am very gracious about it. However, when he's not looking I'm wiping down cabinet doors that are streaked with who knows what, the tops of canisters that have accumulated a years worth of a greasy dust mixture that has accumulated in only a week, or wiping off the top of the tank on the toilet.

I don't understand the time it takes him either. I mean, it takes him as long as it does me which isn't tons of time, but the thing is.. he takes as long as I do! I get every nook and cranny and wipe everything off as I move it to clean etc etc (things he doesn't do) and yet I get done as quickly as he does. How is this possible?

Anyway, this is just one of the things that irk me about my hubby. I don't get it, but when I think about killing him his imperfections, I just remember my own flaws. I mean, who else would put up with me?

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Verbal Diarrhea!

You know what I think is strange? That everyone I have ever talked to on this subject thinks it's crazy how people can't mind their own business and/or make stupid (duh!) remarks, yet I still get this constantly from strangers. Are my friends just super cool and happen to be the only ones on earth that realize it's not kosher to point out how a pregnant woman's butt has spread or that a man's hair is too thin for his age? (Poor hubby has gotten this one and unfortunately I've gotten the first one.) Let me explain.

I was out today running a gabillion (ok four, but c'mon! I had all 3 kids with me!) errands with my kids and at each place at least one person referenced how many kids I have or something to do with them. Here's my list.

**My doctor's appointment: From a woman in the waiting room - "Man! Are ALL of them yours?"  Me - "Um.. yeah." (You'd think I was one of the Duggar parents)

**Wally World: Check out girl - "How many kids do you have?" Me - "Four." (My standard response. If you've read my first blog you know I don't leave Michael out.) Check out girl - "Oh wow! How do you DO it?!" Me - "I manage." (Good grief, what does she want me to say? "Well, I don't usually bring them with me. Normally I just give them tranquilizers and leave them passed out in the living room while I do my shopping, but my delivery of syringes won't be in until tomorrow" *sigh*)

**Good Will: Woman putting clothes on racks - "Oh what cute children. Niece and nephews?" Me - "No. They're mine." Woman - "Oh, I'm sorry, it's just that you look awfully young to have so many." I smile and walk away.  On one hand it's a compliment. On the other hand, what the heck! Ok, I know I've been poppin' them out like nobody's business, but you'd think I was part rabbit the way these people look at me all bug eyed over 3! *double sigh*

**Sam's Club: Going into the store a man saw me getting kids strapped in what I like to call the station buggy. (Short for station wagon + buggy) You know, one of those carts with the extra parts in the front for kids to sit that makes it feel like you're the most uncool person on the planet.

Frick, back on subject. Ok so he sees me and asks me if I need help. I say no thanks and so he says, "Oh, well you sure have your hands full. I don't know how you do it." Goodness, there's that again. *Note to self - Must look into this tranquilizer stuff*

Then we go in, do our thing and get int the shortest line. Meaning the one that's only out to the parking lot instead of across town. I'm busy losing my ever lovin' mind, because lets face it. By now my boys are in true melt down mode, there are no snacks left, cups drained, diapers bulging, and overdue for a nap. Greeaaat.

So yeah, I get up to the register and see an old friend acquaintance person I put up with because she was a friend of one of my friends. She says, "Hey! I haven't seen you in forever! How have you been!" Me - "Ok, you?" Her (looks into the station buggy) - "How many you have now?" Me - "Four."  Her - "Four?! You've had THREE kids since I saw you last?!"  Me - "Yeah, I've been busy." Her - "I'll say! God, I sure hope you're done!"

Ooooo Kaaay... I'm pretty drained by now, my "way too many kids" are going ape sh*t, and I've had enough. I said, "Nooo... I was just telling Travis yesterday that I'm ready for another!" *shocked look from her*  Me - "Ok, not really, but man you really have no leash on your mouth. You should really think before you speak you a**wipe." And I promptly turned and left, wheeling my whining daughter and two monster boys away in that detestable station buggy.

This is just one day out with my kids. And I get this Every.Flippin'.Time. Why?! And what the crap goes through peoples' brains before they say these things. Nothing I bet. I bet they just don't think about it at all and out it comes. Kind of tells you something about people doesn't it? I mean, do these people walk up to cancer patients undergoing chemo and let them know that the no hair look is so last week? Hmph.

What do you think? Does anyone you know suffer from this verbal diarrhea? Any similar stories? Comment and tell me your thoughts on the subject.

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Welcome to My Wonderful, Beautiful, Sometimes Crazy Life!

Welcome to my blog. If you're looking to read about someone who has wild and crazy adventures, you're in the wrong place. However, if you're looking for some stories about 3 wonderful kids and an incisive husband driving a woman completely bonkers, get cozy. I don't know yet what I will write about, but I know I have all kinds of weird, offbeat, and sometimes funny stories and thoughts. I will write about them here.

A little about me: (Copied from my profile) -
My name is Angel, and I'm almost 27 years old. My husband's name is Travis and my 4 childrens' names and ages are: Mae (7), James (2), Reid (1), and Michael who would have been 3 this year had he not died of SIDS at 1 month of age. We have a dog (dachshund, rat terrier mix) named Lola. I am blessed to be a a stay at home mom. If you decide to follow my blog, you'll get to know the ins and outs of this half-out-of-her-mind mommy and her journey through this crazy life.

Whew, boring part is done! Ok, now on to my amazing kids.

 Mae is 7 and in the 2nd grade. She is my only-est little girl and the twinkle in my eye. She is a diva, super picky about food, and she says the most off the wall things sometimes. She has severe ADHD (which she takes medication for) and a lot of behavioral issues. I'm sure I'll rant a lot about that kind of thing on here since it's probably #1 on the "trying-to-make-mom-crazy" list. Oh well, my little attention - seeker is still my little monkey.

Speaking of little monkeys... James is 2 and boy can you tell he's in those "terrible twos". Don't get me wrong, he is definitely my biggest love bug. He cannot go more than 10 minutes without loving on me and/or dad, if the baby is upset he pats him and says, "Awww" before running off to find him a toy to make him feel better. He presents me with different body parts at least 10 times a day that needs mommy's kiss to feel better.. it's so sweet. One of my favorite things about him is how much he loves books. He WILL NOT sit still unless you're reading to him and he would rather sit and look at a book than play with a toy. The thing is, several times a day this sweet lovable angel turns into a screaming mess. Chances are it's because I said he could not have snack # 234,758 for that day. My little snack monster. Haha!

Reid. Oh sweet Reid. I fear he is doomed to suffer through as "mommy's baby" for the rest of his life. DO NOT get me wrong, I want zero more children, but still the nostalgia of their baby-hood leaves me teary eyed and heartbroken looking into the future knowing that I'll blink and they won't need me anymore. Poor Reid is the last of the babies, and as I've ordered him to stop growing, he will forever be my baby. He was pretty easy going as a baby, but now, oh lord if he gets left alone for 5 minutes he's in hysterics. But his sweet dimples and looks of complete desperation keep this mommy from jumping off a bridge.

And then there's Michael. As you read above, he died when he was 1 month old of SIDS. Unfortunately because of that I don't have a whole lot I can tell you about him. One day I'll share the whole sad tale. It still affects me daily, and I include his memory wherever and whenever I can. It's a subject that makes most people nervous, but to get to know the me that I am now, you need to know about his short life and the devastation his death brought. To be honest, I'd rather others feel uncomfortable than to feel like I'm betraying his memory by not including him. He is my angel baby.

Hubby, sweet hubby. Oh my! Travis is serious and motivated. Organized, highly intelligent, and sometimes just a touch grumpy. He irritates me daily, never does things exactly the way I want them when I want them ( What? Like that's too much to ask?), LOVES history - especially involving the Roman Empire, pours over maps and worst of all... he's way into politics. We're totally opposite, argue often, and I completely love him as much today as the day we were married. He keeps me grounded and I make him lighten up. Win-win.

Lola is a skittish, stupid, overly hyper little thing. The little turd likes to get into our dirty toilet paper trashcan and drag out well, everything that goes into a bathroom trashcan that should not be found in the middle of the living room floor. She growls at everything that moves like she's going to tear it/them a new one, but get within 5 feet of her and she's running scared. But she is thoroughly a true member of our family and fits right in with all her weird quirks. And the best part is she sleeps under the covers at the foot of the bed with us keeping my sub-zero feet warm : )

Aaaannndd, that's about it! I'll write more as I can. Thanks for reading and please press that little follow button!