Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Happier Halloween

One year ago at this very moment I was at the doctor's office. I had spent the better part of three hours in the emergency room. I was given a 50/50 chance of losing my baby. And there was nothing I could do but wait and see.

It was one of the worst days I remember. I had endured thirteen weeks of constant vomiting, emotional stress, and physical agony and the only thing getting me through it was the hope of a healthy baby. And then there I was, afraid it was all crashing down around me.

Finally they were able to do an ultrasound, and I saw my little girl moving and wiggling about. She had one arm up, and it looked like she was waving. I imagined all the times Chloe had waved at me from a merry go round or ride, smiling, as if to say "Hey, Mom! Look at me! I see you!" and I imagined that's what she was saying.

I still feared the worst, but something about seeing her moving around, as if nothing was wrong, it helped.

I was put on bed rest. I had to miss Chloe's Halloween party, and she was really sad. I rode along to trick-or-treat, but my heart just wasn't in it.

Now, a year later, I have two healthy, wonderful girls who are excited for Halloween. I'm running around like a mad woman trying to get the house work done, and get prepared for the Halloween party at school and at Girl Scouts.

Today that little bean has grown into a chunky little bundle of joy, and though she's not waving at me today, she's smiling, and I wouldn't trade that for anything!






My happy, healthy baby girl ready for her first Halloween. Hopefully she doesn't have any scare-tactics this year.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Sharp Knife of a Short Life

When I first started blogging, I learned quickly the importance of networking. I began visiting random blogs and following comments to find writers (and possible readers) who meshed with me. About a year and a half (or so) ago, I saw Rachael's link on a Five Question Friday. I read her post, found she was new to blogging, and left her a comment to help her get started.

Over the next few months she became one of my 'bloggy friends.' I don't read a ton of blogs, and I don't follow a ton of people on Twitter. I reserve that for those that I really connect with, or the ones I interact with often. She was one of those. She always had an encouraging comment to leave me, or a sweet tweet.

I remember when she gave her recipe for pulled-pork, and though I had never considered cooking with root beer, I gave it a whirl, and it's the recipe I use to this day. One of the last times she tweeted, she said she was making it and wanted to know how many places to set. I told her to set one for me, I'd be right there (she's from the East Coast, so we knew that wasn't going to happen).

Soon she was talking about her upcoming vacation and how excited she was. She would see her mother in Florida, then head to MO to see a brother. We fancied the idea of having a chance to meet in person while she was here...though it never came to fruition.

Time passed, as it does, and being busy I didn't notice her missing at first. When Kailyn was born I was surprised not to have heard from her, but dismissed it, thinking she could still be on vacation. I looked at her blog, seeing her last post in March, and figuring she was having a dry spell (don't we all). I had already read that entry, so I didn't click on it.

Months passed and as tends to happen, she slipped from my mind. I got used to not seeing her. And out of sight soon meant out of mind.

Then the other day someone tagged her in a Facebook picture.

"THERE she is! She is still alive!" I thought to myself. Using the old cliche, and ready to go comment on the photo to ask where she'd been.

Unfortunately when I did that, I saw the caption. The tagger speaking of her as if she were gone. Talking about missing her and always being with her.

A knot formed in my throat.

I began hard-core creeping, and found that she had passed away. She never made it to Missouri. She was my age, and by some freak illness she died in her sleep while visiting her mother.

My heart was full and heavy. For someone I'd never even met.

I started thinking about all of my bloggy friends. We aren't "close," I guess, but I know what they're up to. I know how their days went. I think of them when I read certain things, or when the weather changes, or when someone mentions Canada. I didn't really realize what a structure these people were in my life, and how truly REAL they are to me.

I've been mourning this loss all week, and realizing that losing a blog friend doesn't hurt any less than losing a 'real' one must.

Goodbye, Rachael. You've been and will be dearly missed.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Munchkin Bags, Inc.

A few months back I was perusing Pintrest and saw a site where you send in your baby's clothes and keepsake items and this lady makes you a beautiful (read: expensive) quilt with the items. I decided then and there that one day I would tackle that project.

I started saving my dollars and I bought myself a spiffy little Singer sewing machine just a few weeks back. Never mind I hadn't sewn since I was a teenager and my granny was teaching me the basics. I was bound and determined to make that quilt.

I still am.

But first I need lots of practice. To start, I brought up some old clothes and scraps and just got the hang of using the machine. I sewed lines and corners. I made some little bean bags. I was just playing. All junk that I could throw away.

In the process, I used an old pair of dress pants and an orange tank top to make a little stachel. Again, just practicing putting pieces together, and how to applique. Chloe thought it was just darling, so she kept it.

Unbeknownst to me, she took it to school in her backpack. I don't care that she took it, but it's just a throw together piece of crap I was playing around with, and I don't want her telling people I made it :)

I guess she sees it differently, though, and so did her friends. This is the conversation we had yesterday.

"Mom, is it ok if I tell people you know how to sew?"
"I guess, why?"
"Sometimes you get embarrassed and don't want me to say stuff. I just wondered."
"Oh. I don't care."
Long pause....
"Can I tell people you made my bag for me?" she asked. I wanted to tell her no, but I could tell she was proud of it, so I decided to model self-confidence and say yes.
"Sure," I said.
"Oh good. Because I already did today, and I have two orders for you."
"Orders?" I asked her.
"Ya. My friend Jane wants a blue one, but it has to be big enough to tote her coloring book. And you can make Jill's just like mine, but with a pink heart," she announced.

So I may not be the world's best seamstress, but I have a six-year-old following you wouldn't believe. Now if I could get them to pay me in something other than bubble gum.... :)

I hate baseball, and I'm spunky

Happy Friday :) I have a blog in draft that is of a very somber nature. I have one in draft in mi cabeza that is a mom story. Then I log in (to work on said drafts) and upon reading the 5QF prompts, find I have good answers there as well. Maybe I'm in a bloggy mood? Either way, be prepared for a bloggy trifecta!

To get things started...5QF

1. Who wakes up in the morning with the kids, you or hubby?
I do. Not to say he isn't awake. He is usually up before we girls are. But I am the one who does the breakfasting and the dressing and the hair-pulling. I make Chloe's lunch and get her out the door, and for obvious reasons I'm the one who nurses Baby K. But none of my children have been demanding, or early risers, so I really don't mind. If we ever have a rotten little boy who wants to play outside at 6 a.m., it will be alllll on the Mister :)
2. Do you watch the World Series even if your team isn't in it?
If the Weaubleau High School baseball team made it to the World Series AND someone I know was playing, I MIGHT watch it. I hate baseball. Hate hate hate.
3. What is the best compliment you have received?
I'm sure that I've had many sweet compliments from many important people in my life. Some of the best ones come from my lil Chloe. But somehow compliments stick a little harder when they are from an unexpected source. Therefore, the following two are the ones that stick with me:

"You say out in the world you are just an average person, but I don't think the world sees you that way."

"You're painfully adorable, and spunky," someone told me. A couple years later, I quoted that person, and said, "Some things one never forgets."

To which that person replied, "One cannot forget what one is naturally."

And sometimes when I feel like a big ol' pile of crap, I think about those compliments, and it makes my day a little better to know people might think I'm adorable and beyond average.

NEVER underestimate the power of your words.  

4. Do/did you dress up to take your kids trick or treating?I only dressed up once. That was Halloween 08. It was epic.
I was "The Beast" :)
5. Do you have a favorite bible verse? What is it and why?
I really don't. I don't know why. I know a lot of verses from Youth group and teaching Awanas and Sunday School, but they all have different meanings for different times of life. There isn't one certain one that is my go-to verse.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A "Cow"nundrum

I've always been a bit of a 'fraidy cat. I often ride along on the four-wheeler, but I'm usually screaming, "SLOW DOWN! I DO NOT WANT TO DIE! STOOOOOOPPPPP!!" as we whiz across a field. The other day, however, hubby needed to get his truck from the field, and we took the four wheeler.

I had no choice but to drive it back.

I've never been on the driving side, and I found it was MUCH less scary (and kind of fun) when I was driving rather than putting my life in hubby's hands. I puttered back to the house, proud of myself for a new 'farm thing' I could add to my list of things I can do.

I thought about it throughout the day, thinking I could wrap K and we could go for a ride. I could get a cow in without having to run down the hill and have a heart attack. I could take Chloe for a ride. I had options.

So a day or two later when I heard a LOUD mooooooooo outside my window, it was time to take action.

LIVE ACTION! YEYEYEYEYEYEYEYEE!

The cow was leisurely strolling down the hill, headed to the other field to where several other cows had been moved. I decided I could ever-so-quickly hop on the four wheeler, zoom past the cow, open the gate, then chase her inside.

Sissy was napping, so I could just leave her in her bed and make this quick run. Hubby and company would be so proud of me. Gone would be the days of me calling them every time a cow got out. I would soon be a respected cow-hand, all due to my new ability.

Now never-mind the times I've run cows before. Don't think about the time I couldn't get the Cummins turned around, parked it in the road, and ran a cow in while wearing my athletic shorts and rubber boots, calling her an ol' bitch as people crept past the truck I'd left in the road and no doubt had a good laugh. Never mind the time I had K wrapped and was chasing a handful of cows on foot in the sweltering heat, baby's head just a bobbin' as I ran after them. And don't count the time I chased one down the lane in my car.

No. This time would be different.

I hopped on the four wheeler and started it up (OK, it took me a few tries and a lot of button-pushing...that had been left out of the tutorial).  I knew how to put it in gear, believe it or not! I got it going and away I went! I had to ride up the highway a bit and get behind her. I almost died a couple times as I misjudged the slope of the ditch I was climbing, but I got the ol' girl headed for the lane, and chased her at a reasonable speed toward the gate.

I realized I needed to get ahead of her, so I tried to zoom past.

She cut me off.

I hit the brakes and did NOT fly face first over the handlebars. Success!

I finally got around her and got the gate open, then I headed back to chase her in.

She ran past the gate, and I then proceeded to chase her in circles for quite some time.

Finally I got her headed back toward the gate, and again she went past it, heading for the highway again.

I got past her and was sure I had her this time! All I had to do was turn around and run her in.

She looked back at me, almost with a smirk, knowing the lane was too narrow for me to get turned around without hitting the ditch.

I tried.

And I failed.

And the four wheeler rolled slowly down the embankment until the fence stopped it.

No problem. The fence wasn't damaged. Was just acting as a barrier. A much-needed barrier. All I had to do was turn the thing around and get ol' Heifer in the gate.

Reverse.

There's a little R button.

So I pushed it.

Then pushed the throttle.

Which pushed me harder into the fence.

Reverse.

I never learned how to do reverse.

So, afraid of admitting my little dilemma, I decided I'd put it in neutral and push it back up onto the road. All the while the cow stood, shaking her head at me now and then. She walked right past me and headed back toward the highway yet again. Leisurely, knowing I wasn't going to be chasing her anytime soon.

I finally threw in the towel and made the call.

"Hey babe?"
"What." He could tell by my embarrassed tone I was in a pickle, I'm sure.
"Um," (giggles) How was I going to explain this when I had NEVER taken off on the four wheeler by myself before?
"What?"
"Uh. How do you make the four wheeler go backwards?" He then explained how, which made no sense to me, and told me he would show me when he got there.
"Um. I'm down the lane. I was chasing a cow," I said, laughing. He laughed. Then he came to rescue me.

And he got the cow in.

And now I know how to put the four wheeler in reverse :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Life: Waiting to Die

I remember standing in my friend's classroom as if it were yesterday. It plays back in my mind like a movie. She was fawning over me and my life, talking about how lucky I was. My heart sank a little. Probably pregnancy hormones (I was well-along with my first), but nevertheless I felt sad.

"Eh," I told her, "It's kinda sad, actually."

"What? How so?" she asked me.

"Well I have pretty much achieved everything I ever hoped for."

"How is that a bad thing?" she asked me, confused.

"I graduated high school, made it through college, got married, got my teaching certificate, found a great job, bought my own house, and have a baby on the way. All that's really left to do now is wait...to die, I guess..." I said. It sounded absurd to her, but it's truly how I felt.

In my senior book I had mapped out my life. In five years I wanted to be married and have at least one child. By my calculations I was already two years behind on my 'life plan.' I wanted to be a stay at home mommy with five children by the time I was 28. That was never going to happen. I was more the bread-winner, and child care for five kids would've broke us. Not to mention my husband and I were merely roommates who tolerated each other. Not much chance of another baby in that respect.

My family was done. I never wanted to "be" anything higher than a teacher, so my career was set. What was left? I had been so busy planning my life, I hadn't been living it. I was setting all these goals and time lines, so all I saw was the achievement. At age 25 I felt like I had accomplished everything I had set out for, and therefore my life lacked any further purpose.

Throughout the next couple of years I found myself feeling lost. I had no plans for my future. I often longed for the past. I missed my teen years. I missed my best friend. I missed dating and falling for boys and being independent. Nothing made sense.

And thus began the 'dark years.' I guess it only spanned about a year, but it was the time of life for me that was my "rebellion." My marriage was failing (hell it was failing from day one, but at this point it was undeniable), my mom was sick and as far as I could tell she was dying, and my baby was growing up. My job was unraveling (read The Beast posts) and life was essentially a mess. I took up with a friend who was the Louise to my Thelma. She understood where I was and where I had been, and we made the most of a bad situation (read: drank a lot of Malibu).

By the time I came out of the dark period I was going through a divorce and fed up with my job no matter what school I was at. I had found my mister (aka Soul Mate) at that point, and between him and my Louise, I had learned something tremendous.

How to live for today.

I let go of time limits and life constraints and the "how it 'should' be" and learned to enjoy each day. I learned to take life as it comess. I learned to have expectations but not limits. I decided that I didn't have to have a complete family by the time I was 28. Ten years isn't too much between two people who get each other and are in love. Thirty isn't too old to make babies. Teaching isn't the ONLY thing I can do well. Step parents CAN be great and make a family complete. Life DOES go on.

And now? I have two children, and am entertaining the idea of more.

I'm a stay at home mommy with a college education and a husband who still makes my heart flutter.

I look back at that senior book and see that I got where I wanted to go, I just took the long way there.

And THAT is ok.

Because life isn't ever what you expect it to be. But if you get it figured out, it might just turn out to be even better than you imagined.

Now I am not waiting to die. I have too much living to do :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Man Purse...my first recipe

I'm not the next Food Network Star, nor am I a photographer (most certainly not a food photographer), but every once in a while I come up with something my family loves that is easy and delicious. I would like to present to you...the Man Purse. A neat little pouch filled with manly man meat and potatoes with a few veggies tucked inside. The best thing about it is that you can customize it to fit your family's taste. Here's what you need to feed a family of four:
  • 1lb hamburger
  • 3/4 c hash browns (the diced kind, not the shreds)
  • 1 small green pepper (I use half of a large one)
  • 1 small onion (whatever variety you prefer)
  • 1 can of crescent rolls
  • 1 c shredded cheese
  • a little (or a lot of) butter, salt and pepper


Season the hamburger with a little salt and pepper, or whatever you like. I brown/saute everything using two pans. One for the potatoes and pepper, and one for the beef and onion. I have made it all in one large pan before, or you could saute the veggies separate, I just like the flavor better if it is cooked together.

I fry my potatoes/peppers in about a Tbsp. of butter. Then I add a little more when they are fully cooked. Obviously a little oil would do if you're a health nut...but I love BUTTER!

A pound of meat is a lot. If your family is more veggie oriented, you could easily cut the meat in half and add more veggies or potatoes. My mister likes meat, so I always use a full pound. It makes more than enough.


If I have extra time I will put all the cooked ingredients together and let them marry flavors a while longer. When everything is browned and tender, I put in about a cup (or so...) of shredded cheese. We use Cheddar Jack. Give it a good stir to mix and melt the cheese, and you're ready to fill the dough.




I use my cookie dough scoop and generously pile the filling onto each of eight crescents. This is where that cheese comes in handy (not to mention tasty!); it really is the glue that keeps everything together.




Once my crescents are filled, I wrap them up into neat little pouches (or "purses" or "satchels" if you prefer) and pop them in a 375 oven for about ten minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown.


 Take them out, and voila! You have meat, veggies, and bread, all in a neat little package. A manly meal tucked in a cute little pouch.



Recipe
1lb hamburger
3/4 c hash browns (the diced kind, not the shreds)
1 small green pepper (I use half of a large one)
1 small onion (whatever variety you prefer)
1 can of crescent rolls
1 c shredded cheese
a little (or a lot of) butter, salt and pepper

Heat oven to 375
Season and brown meat & potatoes, saute veggies in butter
Mix all ingredients and add cheese
Spoon onto rolls
Fold up edges
Bake for 10 mins @ 375




Friday, June 29, 2012

Umbrella Drinks > Big Brother > Books

It's hot. If you were not aware of that, I wanted to tell you. I wouldn't have known if 753,000 of my  friends hadn't said so on Facebook :) It's out of the bag now, isn't it?! Rather than risk skin cancer or heat stroke, I'm sitting in my house blogging. Pantsless perhaps :) It IS Friday after all.

Which leads me to Five Questions.

1. What's your favorite childhood snack that you still eat as an adult?
Oooh that's a hard one. Probably Oreos. I still eat those really consistently (naughty mama). Every now and then I have to sneak one of Chloe's Fruit Roll-Ups for a sweet treat and a little nostalgia. Mm those remind me of the good ol' days!

2. What food will you not eat the low fat version of?
Oh let's see, just about ALL food, haha. I like whole milk, full-fat butter, Oreos (as I said), regular cheese, the list goes on and on... I do eat LITE Italian dressing if that counts? I quit fried food, so I feel justified in eating full fat.

3. What's your favorite way to cool off during the summer?
My FAVORITE way would be with an umbrella drink on the Gulf Shore (sans Debby, please). However, that's not a daily option. This summer the ONLY way is to just stay in my 68 degree living room with my little bundle of joy. When I'm not in newborn-mommy-mode, I like to float in the lake, in a pool, anywhere really, and that umbrella drink doesn't hurt, either :)

4. What's your favorite summer read?
I don't read much. Once in a while I will get wild, go to the library, and go on a reading spree, but usually I stick to my shows. What's my favorite summer SHOW you ask? Why, Big Brother, of course! It starts in just less than TWO WEEKS and I'm just a *tad* excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5. What are you doing to stay cool in this awful heat?
As I said earlier (what's with the repetitive information here? Am I off my game?), I stay in. My hubby and father-in-law worked on my ac in my car to keep it nice and cool. I close my eyes when we pay the electric bill and keep the temperature in the house between 68 and 71. And I drink a LOT of iced tea. A. Lot. I also forego my boots for flip flops.

I wish I were sipping umbrella drinks. Have I mentioned that? Cue Garth Brooks please...


"..BRING! ME! TWOOOOOOOOOO pina coladas, I want ONE for each haaaaaand! Let's set sail with Captain Morgan, where we'll NEEEVER reach dry land......"

Sunday, June 17, 2012

My Mister Wonderful

I've crowed about my sweet hubby in many posts. You might re-visit some of the better ones (The Plan, A Note of Love, Why I Love Him, Good Girl-Dad) if you want the full picture, but today, on Father's Day, I am entering my Mister in the Mr. Wonderful Contest. CLICK HERE to vote for him!

From the outside, I'm sure a lot of people judge us. I've been a legal drinker longer than my husband has been driving. I grew up in town and took the academic track to an English degree and teaching, while he wants nothing more than to be a farmer. We don't necessarily "look" the part.

The first time we talked one-on-one, though, there was a connection. Not a chemistry like you have on a first date, or an infatuation that you develop for a boy you're fond of, but a personal connection. It felt like we already knew each other. We talked from the very beginning about feeling "meant to be," and I still believe we are.

We never 'had it easy' from the beginning. We dealt with parents who were skeptical, the left-over drama from my divorce, the on-going drama that comes with sharing a child, and judgments from outsiders. And that was just the first few months.

We moved in together before we'd even been together a year, which brought more doubt from others, but brought us even closer. Since the very beginning he's been my rock. He knows me better than anyone. He knows when to let me be, and he knows when to be tough with me. Sometimes he makes me mad because he won't let me pout or cry or fuss, but in the end I always realize he was reigning me in before I spiraled out of emotional control.

Being a young guy doesn't make it easy to jump into a family, but he did. He has supported me emotionally, mentally, physically, financially, and in any other way you could imagine. He has parented a daughter he never asked for, and shown love to her that most guys wouldn't be capable of.

Even as I type this, she is sitting next to me, chatting INCESSANTLY and asking me ridiculous questions such as, "What's your least favorite color? Did you have a candy bar earlier? What does this Cheez-It look like to you?" Amid her questions she asked what I was writing. When I explained it,
she said, "Oh you have to add that he gave me a big hug this morning."

All that was enough for him to be Mister Wonderful in my eyes.

But then Baby K came along and gave me even more reasons to love this man.

He often works 12 or 15 hours in the hay field, sometimes seven days a week. When he comes home I fix him a plate, he scarfs down his dinner, washes his hands, and grabs hold of his baby girl. He talks to her like she is a person. He spends time with her every day. He doesn't leave in the morning or go to bed at night without loving on her (and me) and paying us some attention. He works his (super cute) butt off to provide for us. He goes to the store with me. He takes us out to eat. He supports all three of us emotionally, and makes all of us feel like we are, in one way or another, HIS girl.

This Father's Day I'm particularly thankful for my Mister, the most wonderful Mister Wonderful there is :)

Don't forget to go vote for my Mister. Click HERE. Find my link at the bottom of the post (Andrea @ A Broken Road), and click "like." Simple as that!

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Good Girl-Dad

My hubby is kind of the strong silent type.

Fits of laughter?

Ok if you know him WELL, you know he's pretty ornery, but his 'public persona' is more of a quiet, shy type. While he's loving and sweet with me one-on-one, he's not really one to show emotion. People who don't read my blog and see us out together probably don't think we have any kind of spark at all. There's a lot of banter, picking, joking, and FLICKING things at each-other me. He's really emotionally reserved.

He was also very vocally hoping for a boy.

So I wasn't sure what kind of a dad he would be to our little baby girl. I knew he would be a good father, but what kind? Would he be one of those dads who aren't too plugged-in during the baby days? Would they have a respect for each other, but not a gushy "daddy's girl" type of love? Would he encourage her in sports and farming, but not the 'girly' parts of life? The jury is still somewhat out, but I've learned a lot about him the past few weeks.

During my pregnancy he was all about the "wait and see." When the time came for bebe to arrive, that's when the questions started coming. About what would happen when she came out, where would she go, what would they do, how long would it take, etc.

Within the approximately 30 minutes that I was semi-comfortable with the epidural, I tried to give him a good idea about what was about to happen. Somewhere in the answering and discussing I must have mentioned him holding her. All I remember was his response.

"Honestly, I don't think I want to hold her until this is all over with and everyone leaves," he said, referring to the nursing staff and my doctor. I didn't ask him why, and it didn't bother me, it just stuck with me.

Fast forward a few minutes. Bebe had arrived, Hubbs had cut the cord, and the nurses had taken her over to the little baby thingy to clean her off, weigh her, and wrap her up (and whatever else they do over there). The nurse asked if we had a camera. In all the crazy rush we had forgotten about taking pictures! Hubby grabbed it and went over to take some pictures.

Between my constant questions to my doctor about WHAT exactly she was doing and was it going to hurt as she was finishing up my delivery, I glanced across the room at my sweet screaming bundle of joy. I watched as the nurse wrapped her in the blanket, and anticipated her speedy arrival in my arms.

As I watched, the nurse pushed Kailyn toward her daddy and asked if he wanted to hold her. There wasn't a moment's hesitation. He stuffed the camera in his pocket and took hold of her. All smiles and awe, he snuggled her close and inspected her little face. He kept her until my doctor was finished, then brought her to me and sat on the bed as we both admired our new addition.

By the next day he was changing diapers. Not often, but doing it nonetheless ;)



He spent a week catering to our every need, taking us to appointments and obligations. Keeping the house up. And holding that baby.

Every night when he gets home he cleans up quickly and gets a hold of his girl as quickly as he can. He drags her little sleeper over by his chair, and if she's not in his arms, she's right beside him. In the mornings he never gets out of bed until he's snuggled with her, and he never leaves her sight without a kiss and some lovin'.



For a guy who was hell-bent on having a boy, he's sure turned out to be a pretty great girl-dad :)

Friday, June 8, 2012

A Macaroni Secret

Kraft macaroni and cheese. It's Chloe's favorite thing. She would eat it twice a day every day if I would let her. The problem is that I won't. Contrary to what her Nana has told her, I don't consider mac and cheese a "healthy" "dairy" product nor a suitable meal on its own. It's a side dish, I tell her, to be eaten with something healthy, or at the very least with a hot dog on one of those frazzled nights.

While Chloe and I were at her game Wednesday night, Hubby made himself some mac and cheese (since I hadn't made dinner and he beat us home). Chloe went home with Nana, so she was none the wiser about the mac and cheese consumption. But as it always does, the truth came out today.

I was just getting out of the shower when I heard the door knob turning (in vain, as I had locked the door...a post for another day).

"I'm almost out," I told her.

"WELL," she started. For some reason NOTHING can wait until I get out of the shower. "Explain to me why there was macaroni on the FLOOR," she demanded. Before I could say anything, I saw her tiny fingers thrust under the bathroom door with two dried Kraft mac and cheese noodles on display.

"Um. Mister had that while we were gone to ball the other night," I confessed.

"So you're saying someone had mac and cheese for dinner WIFOUT me," she concluded.

"I guess," I said. The fingers slid back under the door, and she was gone. As she left the door I heard her call back, "I'll remember dat!"

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Close Encounters of the Grumpy Old Man Kind

I'm learning quickly how to plan my entire life around Kailyn's schedule, wants, needs, and preferences. She's becoming more predictable, so I am able to loosely plan my work, chores, and fun in her "down time." But sometimes there are things you just HAVE to do, and a crying baby tends to be the result when it's all said and done.

I found myself in this situation the other night. I had driven 25 miles to the Verizon store, had waited patiently for over an hour, and was next in line. An older man had come in behind us and sat down nearby. He was a typical old man. Polyester pants a little too short, plaid socks, loafers, shirt tucked, glasses, bald head, and a screwed up old face. He literally looked like a mean old fart.

A few minutes later, it started. The fussing. At first she was just having little fits of grunts and snorts. Soon it was all-out crying. I knew she was hungry and tired, but I was not about to forfeit my place in line that I had waited SO! LONG! to keep. Not sure what to do, I started for the door. I was becoming anxious, knowing how a crying baby irritates people in public.

As I pushed the door to open it, the old man called to me.

"Ma'am!" he said in his gruffy old man voice. I was ready to rip his head off. "Ma'am, don't take that baby outside, it's too hot."

I stood with my mouth agape. I was speechless. How DARE he tell me it was too hot outside. It wasn't that bad. I had to do SOMETHING besides let her cry right there in the store. Thoughts raced through my head in milliseconds, but before I could muster any words, he spoke again.

"That baby isn't bothering anybody, and it's hot. You just keep her in here," he said gently. I raised my eyebrows at him.

"Are you sure?" I asked him (disregarding the fact that there were ten other people present).

He straightened his posture and piped up, "Anybody in here bothered by this baby?" A few shook their heads no. "Didn't think so!" he replied loudly. And I had to smile.

"Thank you," I said sincerely.

"Honey, my son is forty six years old, and I can tell you I'd rather listen to that little baby than his big mouth any day. She's tired of waiting; we all are. You don't worry about her."

So I waited it out. She fussed the whole time, and I know it was irritating because even I was flustered by the time we left, but we got our business done, and I saw that there IS such a thing as a non-grumpy old fart :) I also realized that not all people get angry and frustrated. I would've expected (and quietly ignored) dirty looks and sighs of exasperation, but what I got was acceptance and support. Several made comments to me as we waited about knowing what it's like to be a mom, understanding that it takes a lot to care for a newborn, and mostly, they all agreed that they MISSED that new baby time so much and encouraged me to enjoy every minute, even the stressful ones, before they are gone.

Looking down at my six-year-old baby girl, I decided they are right.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Magic

"MOM! You un-did my special sister magic!"

I hear this phrase often. What it means? I've woken Kailyn. Chloe believes she has special sister magic that calms her baby sister and lulls her to sleep.

I'm not so sure she isn't right.

There are times I have to stop and do something for myself. Take a shower. Keep dinner from burning. Dry my hair. Small tasks that don't take long, but require putting the baby down and using both free hands.

It's those times when I hand her off to Chloe. Usually she's already sleeping, and Chloe doesn't have to use the "magic."

But there are times when I'm holding Kailyn and she starts to fuss. She isn't hungry. She isn't dirty. Sometimes I wonder if she isn't just BORED of looking at my face all day every day.

So I pass her off to Chloe.

And more times than not, they lock eyes and settle down together. Chloe talks to her, rubs her head, and soon Miss Kailyn is quiet, if not sleeping.

Sister magic.

Works for me :)


Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Birthday Story

I guess her birth story really starts on Monday. That's the day my doctor decided that if I hadn't gone into labor by the following Tuesday (May 8th) she would break my water and bring this baby on. I was already 5cm, and since labor with Chloe was a mere 6 hours, she was a little nervous about letting me go too long, for fear I may have the baby in the car. YIPES!

So she scheduled me at the hospital.

In the true fashion of her last name and all related, Bebe decided she would wreck the plan ;)

I went to work on Tuesday and felt really well. I was getting all the loose ends tied up and trying to do ahead everything I could, knowing Friday would be my last day. (Knowing? Ahahahaha Bebe laughs)

Wednesday I did the same at home. I'd been nesting, so it was not too messy, but I cleaned, even the ceiling fans, did dishes, laundry, and everything else I could think of. I was ready to enjoy the upcoming weekend, my last before bebe would arrive. (Again, she laughs).

Mister had worked late that night and he and the boys were hanging out after work.

I got Miss Chloe to bed, watched some tv, then laid down for the night.

And the contractions began. They were the usual Braxton Hicks that I was accustomed to. I wasn't even getting my hopes up.

But by about 10:00 they were a little more intense. I was becoming uncomfortable. I don't recall all the events within that hour, but at 11:08 I sent hubby a message that said "CALL ME NOW!" He was already in the drive way, and though I was very serious, he was in denial that this was "it." He even went to lie down and told me to wake him if things didn't slow down.

By midnight I had convinced him that this was NOT a false alarm (probably the change from my calm voice to my incessant whining interrupted by fits of explanations as to HOW! MUCH! it hurt). My brother-in-law came lickety-split and picked up Chlo, and we headed to the hospital. Longest drive to Bolivar EVER.

I have no cute pictures of me propped in a hospital bed, smiling, awaiting her arrival. I spent most of my time wiggling and moving to different positions trying to find ANY relief. The rest of my time was spent asking WHEN the anesthesiologist would be there, and COULD I PLEASE get SOMETHING in my IV?

I big ol' syringe full of morphine didn't even phase me.

I came in at a 6.5 and by 2:30 I was 8. I got my epidural shortly thereafter. If there is ONE thing that can keep you still during a hellatious contraction, it's a huge needle in your back and fear of paralysis.

Finally the epidural was complete. Unfortunately, it only took on one side, so while I got SOME relief, I was still feeling full-on contractions on the right side. They only gave me one initial dose of the epidural, and told me that would last two hours. If she wasn't here by then, they'd bring a pump, but they didn't foresee it being that long. I text my mom and told her we planned on having a baby by 5 and would see visitors after six.

 Within fifteen minutes they checked me (probably because of my STILL incessant whining) and I was complete. Ready to go.

Remember how that epidural didn't take on one side? It didn't do much south of le belly button, either....

Luckily it only took a few pushes, and in about five minutes Kailyn Dean was born. She made it to this world at 3:20am weighing 6lbs 10oz and measuring 19 3/4" and she was absolutely perfect.



Ten fingers, and ten tiny little toes...



The mister said he did not want to hold her until everything was finished and all the hospital staff had left. But when the nurses got that baby wrapped up and thrust her toward him, he latched onto her like nothing I've ever seen, and he's been madly in love ever since.

We all have...




l <3 v e

Friday, May 4, 2012

You wouldn't think she could've surprised us. We've been half-way expecting her early arrival for two weeks now. But late Wednesday night my little independent spirit had us rushing to the hospital. My first 'real' contractions were around 10pm, and at 3:20am we welcomed our daughter into the world. I'll write her birth story later, but for now, I'd like you to meet Kailyn Dean. 6lbs 10oz 19.75"



Friday, April 27, 2012

Non-Asked-For Opinions (It's Shakespearean)

If there is one thing I detest, it's non-asked-for opinions. Non-asked-for is an adjective I coined all by mine self. Call me Shakespeare :)

My mom can probably attest to this better than anyone. She's been on the receiving end of my wrath after giving a non-asked-for opinion enough that she knows :)

When we went wedding dress shopping I told everyone BEFORE we even left that non-asked-for opinions were not welcome, and if I needed guideance I would ask. I wasn't trying to be rude. Just saving everyone from a tense situation. If I try on a dress and I like it, I don't want it ruined for me by someone else giving me an "ehh." If I think it might make my butt look big and I say, "do you guys think this makes my butt look big?" then I want an honest answer. And I was very upfront about my expectations. It made for a wonderful experience :)

However, I don't have this "No non-asked-for opinions, please" policy tattooed on my forehead, so the general public is unaware of my little pet peeve. And you know how the general public is. They have an opinion on EVERYTHING.

Everyone's an expert.

Somehow being pregnant brings this out in people even more. Not when THEY are pregnant so much as when they come in contact with someone who is. I've been dealing with it my entire pregnancy.

"How are you feeling?" someone would ask. Without boring them with the gory details of life, but being honest, I would say, "I've been pretty sick, but I'm doing alright otherwise."

To which I then opened myself up to a plethora of "advice." And by advice I mean sentences that start with "You really need to..." and "When I was pregnant..." (never mind it was likely 15 to 40 years ago...) Rarely a "I'm sorry to hear that..." or "Have you tried..." or "Does it help if you..." Not from the general public, anyway.

No one wanted to know what I'd done or what was or wasn't working. All they wanted to do was impose their own opinions on me. Try crackers. Eat small meals. Pickles. Lemonade.

I just wanted to scream, "OH REALLY????? I NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT!"

It's only been six years since my first pregnancy. I'm not new at this. I have a doctor. I have nurses. I was even seeing a nutritionist. I am NOT uneducated, though that's how I felt I was treated.

I finally just started saying I was fine. I had exhausted every old wives' tale and every suggestion and trick I knew. My doctor finally found a medicinal combination that worked for me and that's how I've coped the last three months and not killed anyone or lost any more weight.

And now that I'm nearing my due date, I'm getting them again. Everything from how I need to stop "wishing away my pregnancy" (I don't feel like I have done so at ALL, even though the end of it means no more daily nausea, no more six pills a day, no more gall bladder trouble [I hope], no more ligament pain, and sleeping on my stomach once again), to how to get the baby to come out. People constantly telling me I NEED to go walk. I know. I've heard that one, too. However, I'm perfectly content on the couch with my Oreos, just waiting :)

Patience is wearing thin, and I KNOW this is only the beginning. Babies bring on a lot of advice-giving as well. I guess I either need to work on thickening my skin, my come-backs, or my ability to lie (Oh she sleeps all night at 2 weeks old, never cries, and hasn't had a single diaper rash, I will say). Or maybe all three :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Nesting or Psychosis?

I've heard of animals going kind of nuts-o when they lose babies. Sometimes they'll even take on a baby that isn't theirs. Some women have been known to do the same. I'm not calling them nuts (like the animals), but I've seen some strange things (like baby-doll obsessions, life-like dolls created to replace a child lost, etc.)

I realized today that my daughter may be suffering from some sort of psychological loss after having our false alarm over the weekend.

She's been prepared for this baby forever. Has been SO involved in choosing things, helping put things away, and arranging everything (the way SHE likes it, after Mommy has done it her way and left the room). She likes to go into the baby room just to look around, and sometimes she even snoops through the dresser drawers, although I know she's memorized each one by now.

When it was "time" for baby, she was ready, and when things didn't come through in the end, she was a little heart-broken. She took it well, and didn't seem too disappointed. In fact, she hasn't said a whole lot, and seems enthusiastic about the time coming (again). However, yesterday I went into the baby room to find this:

This is baby McKenna on the Boppy in the crib. She usually resides in Chloe's room in her little bassinet, and I rarely see her upstairs. I was instructed NOT to turn the lights on in there, because McKenna needed some quiet time.


I didn't think a whole lot about it. Found it kind of cute that she was playing baby in there. Then this morning when I went in to use the full-length mirror, I saw this:

Baby McKenna had mysteriously moved.

I guess Chloe decided that she was going to have that baby sister one way or another, and if I didn't bring one home, she would continue as if I had. It's comforting to see that McKenna is well cared-for. She wears a diaper and real baby clothes. She spends time on her tummy, but always sleeps on her back. And it looks like she's getting plenty of play time in the swing ;)


My daughter may be having some kind of psychological coping problem...or maybe it's just her way of nesting. Either way, I think it's pretty cute, and she's going to be a great big sister very soon. :)


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Don't (be a) Jerk

I already wrote about my false alarm with Bebe over the weekend. I mentioned a little, ah hem, incident, with my IVs, and told you that was a story for another day. Today is that day ;)

While the other nurses were flitting around making up baby beds and calling up doctors, the nurse who checked me in brought in her IV kit. She was a very nice lady, chatty, but not annoying. She got all ready to do the IV, and I turned my head away, telling her this part was about as bad as having the baby. I've never had bad luck with an IV. I have pretty 'bulgy' veins in my arms, and even at my lowest, most dehydrated pitiful weight when my veins seemed to be shriveled up to nothing, the nurses were able to find one for blood.

She got started with the initial sting on my lower left arm. I froze, gritted my teeth, and waited for the pain to subside, but it didn't. There was some jabbing and digging. Then a sigh.

"Well your vein started to cooperate, but now it just won't," she said. I looked over to see the vial with just a few bloody bubbles inside. Ew. "Your veins roll really easily here," she said. "I'll put one in your hand, that should work better," she tried to console.

Great, I thought. I don't want the IV in my hand. It's too hard to keep it from setting off the alarm. Every time I bend my wrist or move, it will pull. Ugh.

(Note to self: Be careful what you wish for....)

"Ok, I'm about to start. Try not to jerk this time."

Um what? I thought, locking my jaw again. I'm pretty sure I didn't jerk anything.

I began to become irritated, but I kept a lid on it. Tried to let it roll and not get flustered.

The sting again.

And the digging.

Poking.

More stinging.

Tears welled up in my eyes. She kept saying sorry, but I didn't acknowledge her this time. I sat, gaze fixed away, trying not to let the tears fall.

"UGGGGGH!" she groaned. "Your veins are NOT cooperating and I am getting VERY FRUSTRATED!" she said with a little fury.

Oh I'm sorry. Let me give them a stern talking-to and see if they are a little more cooperative for you...

 "I won't try more than twice. You'll hate me the rest of the time you're here," she said. I smirked a little, thinking one more try probably wouldn't make me hate her any MORE than I already did at that point. I probably could've over-looked it if she hadn't made that comment about jerking. Or *MY* uncooperative veins. I wasn't going to blame her, but she jumped right into blaming my body, so I figured tit for tat.

"I'll send someone else in to try," she said.

I looked down at my arm, red already, a knot on my hand, and the tears stung almost as much as the needle.

First attempt...

Second try =/


And in came Miss P. She was the nurse who was with me when I delivered Chloe. I felt so comforted. I knew she'd been nursing there for a long time, and I felt like if anyone could help, she could. She not only slid the IV in with one quick swoop, but she also sensed my mood and knew how to talk to me. She said she'd heard I'd been tested as a pin cushion and wasn't liking it very much. She was kind, yet still had a sense of humor. She was gentle, yet did what she needed to do.

She pulled three vials of blood for testing and never once crammed the needle further into my vein. She left nothing more than a little pin-hole when she was finished. I thanked her, and she said anytime I need an IV just holler at her. She'd be glad to stick me ;)

And the spot where I actually *had* an IV for almost 24 hours...


Lesson learned. When I go in again to have this Bebe, I will be requesting Miss P :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A False Alarm

I've known all along this baby had a mind of her own. From day one she has been completely different from my daughter and my first pregnancy in every way. I was sick and lost 18lbs the first 6 months (and still medicate for that), we almost lost her at 13 weeks, she gave me gall bladder trouble, plagued me with Braxton Hicks, and has been unusually active in-utero.

So why would I be surprised when she decided to make her entrance (or lack-there-of) just as dramatic and just as much on HER terms.

Friday morning I woke up at about 6:30 and was having contractions. No big deal. Like I said, I've been having them for well over a month and they've not been anything alarming. It was unusual, though, because usually they are sparked by excessive walking, being more active than normal, or doing a lot of bending (aka laundry). I'd been under strict orders to take it easy and stay off my feet this past week because I was already 3cm and my Doc didn't want me delivering this week.

On top of that, my mom would be out of town Friday and Saturday, and the entire Chaney clan was scheduled to be gone Saturday and Sunday. So it was an inopportune time for bebe. And I took it easy. Nothing sparked these babies except for, well, the bebe and her strong will.

I monitored them throughout the morning when I noticed they weren't stopping. I had gone on to work (I stay off my feet better there than at home hehe) and by lunch time they were 10-12 minutes apart. I rode with hubby to get gravel after lunch, and told him that I might go home, because they were coming about every 8 mins now and I thought I should rest. He didn't seem too concerned, and they weren't really painful, so I waited.

By 2 I decided to call my doctor's office. I was becoming paranoid about everyone being gone the next day, and thought I'd feel better if she'd just check me. When I told the nurse the situation, she explained that my doctor was out of the office, and that she'd like me to go be monitored for an hour or so at the hospital. They would be able to watch the contractions and check me, and I could have some peace of mind.

When I arrived I was 4cm, which didn't surprise me since I'd been 3 on Monday. I was having contractions about every 6 minutes. The nurse had me go walk for an hour, then wanted to check me again at 3:30.

When she checked me again, I was 5cm and still contracting. She called Dr. B who was on call, and he told her to admit me.

"You're not going anywhere, missy," she told me. She and the other nurses began to (somewhat frantically) prepare the room. They stocked the closet and then they put a sheet and blanket in a baby bed and wheeled it in. And that did it for me.

I called hubbs at work and told him the final verdict, instructed him what to do with Miss Chloe and had him get my things. He was there within an hour.

In the mean time the nurse had blown two of my veins (OUCH!) (and possibly blamed me for it??? that's for another story), got another nurse to IV me correctly, and asked about my birth plan (nurses and drugs, remember?). She was talking like we could expect Bebe before morning.

Bebe would've been 22 days early, but they didn't seem concerned. 37 weeks is considered term, and even though she is small, they were confident she'd be ok.

When hubby arrived he explained the situation with Chloe, we discussed what to do with her for the remainder of the weekend, and we informed our families about what was happening. Then he pulled out the baby name book.

"We have to name this baby," he said, smiling. We talked for a couple of hours off and on, and I'm pleased to tell you that bebe actually HAS a name now :)

My contractions began picking up in intensity, and were beginning to make me uncomfortable.

Hubby's family came later in the evening and brought Chloe for a visit. They took hubby to get some dinner and then came by to say goodbye and drop off some drinks for me. By that time I was sure I was in the beginning stages of labor. I was uncomfortable with my contractions, they were coming about 3 minutes apart, and I was getting irritable ;)

By the time they checked me at 10:30, though, I hadn't changed a bit. They called Dr. B and he said to keep me overnight for sure. The nurse had asked him if they could break my water or something to move things along, but he said no. Being only 37 weeks they didn't want to take even the slightest chance of forcing her if her lungs weren't ready. I understood, but felt that delivery was going to happen either way, so was hoping they would help it along in that way.

Dr. B said to watch me over night.

And as the night progressed, my contractions became less uncomfortable.

And then farther apart.

And at about the same rate she got me to the height of that situation, she took me right back to square one.

Dr. B. said I was welcome to stay or go home, whatever was my desire, and was completely surprised that this had happened. He explained that if I were a couple weeks farther along he would break my water and it would be done, but he knew forcing it wasn't a good idea (plus I know my doctor would also disapprove of that, especially since she wasn't there). I agreed with him and told him I'd rather go home. He told me goodbye, and said he wouldn't be surprised to see me back in a day or two, but explained I could go longer than that. Stranger things have happened.

So we came home. We were exhausted and uncomfortable. I hadn't eaten in 24 hours, was needing my meds from home for nausea and heart burn, and was soooooooo tired.

On the way home I had grand plans of finishing up some things around the house, eating some food, going for a walk, and maybe even mowing (among other things...winky wink hehe) to spur her back into a pattern.

But as soon as I finished my sandwich and got comfy on the couch every bit of that planned changed. I just wanted to sleep.

And sleep I did :)

People consoled me and sent sweet messages and phone calls my way. I appreciated them very much. I was commended on my high spirits and my ability to 'keep it together' after having to come home empty-handed.

But the truth was that even though I WAS very disappointed (really it was the made-up baby bed that got my mommy clock tickin') I was so glad to be home. I know that no one has ever stayed pregnant forever, and at the most I have 3 weeks to go. Being 5 cm makes me believe I won't go nearly that long. So I know she's coming.

Hubby and I had the luxury of a test-run. We worked out some kinks. We know what we forgot and have it packed, now. We know what we needed to do at home and have it done now. We realized no one packed a bag for Chloe, and we have her ready now.

And we named our baby :)

So when we do go, even if it's in the middle of the night, we are better prepared than we were. Every day we wait is a day for her to grow and get stronger, and a day to relieve some of my anxiety over the possibility she's not ready. And. I have hope that MY doctor will be the one delivering her, which would not have been the case this weekend. Also? Our entire family won't be out of town anytime in the next 3 weeks.

In the end, I try not to look at it as time wasted, but as a saving grace. It was a learning experience. It was better safe than sorry (because Lord knows if Hubbs had gone out of town she would've come full steam ahead...we already know this girl's personality!), and it was productive, even if not in the way of bringing home a baby.

Now I wait. Patiently as I can :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Our First Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to the Mister and me! What I wrote on our wedding day basically sums up our relationship, and though it has grown and changed over the past year, I feel like that post is "us" and always will be. There's not much I can say about him or us that I haven't said already.

What I can say, is what a journey this year has been. I had come to see marriage as merely a "legal technicality" in a way. We had lived together 16 months before we wed. I didn't think that our commitment was changing or that marriage was going to be any different from what we already had.

I was wrong.

I can honestly say that "piece of paper" makes a huge difference in a relationship. It provides security, yes. And it also takes away independence. There were times that this year I truly understood the whole "the first year is the worst" statement, even though I thought our first year living together should've counted (and it was far from difficult!).

But that first year of marriage IS different. Suddenly there's no 'escape clause.' You don't have the freedom of thinking that you can draw a line and walk away if it gets difficult. Suddenly you have to weigh every disagreement and disappointment against the consequences of leaving, which is now a legal step.

Suddenly you feel a little more secure knowing your partner also has to weigh those consequences.

You fight a little less fair. You test each other a little more. You push the boundaries a little harder.

This year wasn't always easy. It certainly wasn't perfect. It was equally rewarding and difficult.

But at the end of our first year together, I can honestly say we are closer. We love each other more, and in new ways. We've learned about each other the things we may have never known had we not been married. We've grown and changed individually and as a couple. As a family. More than anything, we walked through the good times and the bad and we are happy.

I look SO forward to many more years together, full of love and hope. The best thing is knowing we can get through the tough times. Knowing no matter how rough things get, we are in this together, we love each other, and we value our relationship and our family enough to MAKE it work even when the world seems to be against us. Having that one person by your side who knows you, loves you, irritates you, pushes you, holds you, helps you, and lives FOR you.

I'm blessed. I'm happy. And for the first time in my life I truly understand marriage. It is a LOT of work, but the rewards far outweigh the effort put into it.

Happy Anniversary Mister. I love you.

Friday, April 13, 2012

5QF: mowing and spaghetti...what more could I ask for??

It's Friday, yay! Hubbs and I are holding down the shop by ourselves today, and this weekend is our anniversary weekend :) I'm so pregnant and the weather's so nasty there isn't a lot we can do, but all the Mister's family and Chloe will be gone this weekend so we will be totally on our own for two days. I can't wait!
Until then, I'll pass some time with 5QF.

1. Who mows your grass?
I do! I do! I love to mow. Even 9 months pregnant you can drive by our house and see me bouncing my baby bump around on the lawn mower. It's my me time. I can plug in my ear phones, listen to my "mow" play list (Jamey Johnson, beachy songs, Hank Jr, and I'm Yours are my MUST LISTEN songs) and just ride, not being interrupted or bothered. Hubby is kind enough to take care of the weeds, and since I've been pregnant he's been mowing the ditches and the steep parts. He mowed while I was visiting family a couple of weekends ago and I pouted for two days. He laughed and told me I had to be the only wife who would throw a fit and get mad because her husband mowed the yard :) And yet he still loves me.

2. Do you have a picture wall or picture gallery in your house (show us! <--- my addition to the question)?
I have a few pictures on the two "big" walls in our living room. I really want to make a picture wall in the dining area, but right now it's occupied by turkey fans and a coon. I'm not sure my picture wall will fit into our woodsy themed decor =/

I have a really cute frame set that I want to put up, but again with the not matching. Maybe one day we will re-do our room and I can do one in there :) Until then, it's just the most important pictures above the couch, and a hodge-podge of eclectic shots and mis-matched frames on a built-in bookshelf in the hall.


3. What book has influenced your thinking the most? Or, what blog? (I want to read what gets people thinking!)
I don't think there is any book or blog that I would say influences my thinking. There are books and blogs that make me think. Some of which have been "The Deadline," "The Five People You Meet in Heaven," and "The Atonement Child" as well as Mama M (most specifically her "Talkin' Shop" posts) and Chibi Jeebs because she just gets it, and always has a fresh perspective :)


4. Do you have allergies? If so, how do you handle it this time of year?
I do. And with the mowing, they are even worse (and yet I still LOVE it!). My fall allergies are worse than my summer ones, but they all give me fits. Alamast eye drops and Benadryl are my friends.


5. What's your go to meal to cook in an hurry?
Spaghetti and tacos. Hubby doesn't care for spaghetti, Chlo and I don't really like tacos, so we eat them on the same night. I come home, grab a bag of burger, fry it up and boil my noodles. I take out a little meat for our spaghetti, then make the taco meat for hubbs and we have a meal ready lickety split. I always keep spaghetti and taco fixin's on hand so we can have a dinner in a pinch.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A year ago...

A year ago at this time I was less than a week away from my wedding day. I was cutting calories (and carbs!), exercising, and thriving on stress. I was planning and preparing and struggling with sleepless nights trying to get everything done, both in my brain and in the real world. I'm so glad now that I blogged about the little mundane things, because they are lost in my memory banks somewhere far far away now.

And this year, this week is much the same in a very different way. I'm still frying food for the Mister and having to substitute for myself. But now instead of subbing a big salad and a bowl of fruit, I'm eating extra mashed potatoes, biscuits and gravy, and ice cream or strawberry shortcake to make up for my inability to consume fried things :)

I'm still watching my waist line, but instead of measuring it daily to see if it's shrunk, I'm watching happily as it grows and becomes more round with each day. Rather than digging out my skinny jeans, I'm putting them away and opting for stretchy things (finally hehe).

Exercise? Well, I'm not running. I'm not even walking. But I waddle now and then :) Burning calories these days means climbing the stairs or taking the laundry to the laundry room.

Spending? It all goes to Target hehe. We needed lots and lots of baby things, and slowly but surely we have acquired at least the basic necessities. I'm not shelling out money for a beautiful dress or decorations. Now I'm buying diapers and blankies and everything in between.

Stress? Yes. But now I'm worrying about baby names and bedroom things rather than flowers and cake. Mmmm. Cake......

Oh and I'm a bit distractable ;)

It's funny how much can change in a year.

Friday, April 6, 2012

5QF: Dinner plans, Easter treats, and life

I've been a lazy blogger lately. Just the other day I had a great post RD'd in my head, but now I can't remember what it was even ABOUT. Not for the life of me. Sigh. Pregnancy brain. I only have five more weeks to blame it on something other than old-age or poor brain cells :)

Anyway, it's Friday, so I'm going to do five questions and call it good :)


1. Would you prefer having people over for dinner or going to their house?
I would prefer to have dinner at "their" house, whoever "their" might be. For many reasons, most of them selfish and somewhat snobby :) First of all, I'd much rather bring a dish or a dessert than cook for other people. I get all nervous when I'm cooking for someone else, and in my attempt to make my dish perfect, I usually screw it up somehow. Something I've cooked amazingly for my family a million times becomes something too dry or too brown or too salty when other people get involved.

Also? Dishes. I'll help load your dish washer and rinse your dishes if we can eat at your house so I don't have to scrub pots and pans and dishes in my sink at home. Because I'm sans dishwasher. And I'm NOT bitter. At all ;)

Finally, and this is the snobby-ish rude one, but the one you'll nod your head at and say, "Oh yes that sounds like Andrea." By coming to your house I can end the night whenever I want. And no, I'm not intending on wearing out my welcome. I HATE when you have people over and they JUST WON'T LEAVE. I'm like a two year old when it comes to socializing. When I'm done, I'm done, and any further interaction just annoys me. So if I come to you I can say, "Well we better get going. I have to get Chloe in bed," or something similar. And you'll be happy. And I'll be happy. And as long as you don't say "OH NO! You can't rush off yet!" we'll be good to go :)


2. Favorite Bible verse and why?
I really don't have a "favorite" one. There are some that I memorized growing up. In fact I think we had to memorize a whole chapter or book or something one time....and while I remember the content, I don't remember the locations of all of them. But I guess if I had to pick one that I like best, or that always fits is the one from 1st Corinthians 13. ...and now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.  <3

3. What was the first concert you ever attended, and the most recent one?
I'm not sure on my time-frames, but I'm pretty sure the first one I ever went to was Alan Jackson/Randy Travis with my granny and dad. My grandma saw Alan Jackson on Star Search or something and she fell madly in love with him. And they've been having this one-way affair ever since ;) I've been with her to see him probably six times over the years, if not more. She's in love. Back then he was a nobody, and was opening for Randy Travis at the MO State Fair. When Alan was done Granny was ready to leave, and my dad was irritated because we hadn't even seen the "good" act yet hehe.

And the most recent one?  Hahahahahahaha. Ironically, you guessed it....Alan Jackson. This time with Jerrod Niemann opening for him, and a million new songs since that first album. What's funny is that I wouldn't necessarily consider myself an AJ "fan," but I've seen him lots of times.

4. The year is 2025. What are you doing, and what have you done?
Well, I've probably had some sort of melt-down over my age. Geesh. Forty-four. But hopefully aside from my melt-downs I will have been a good farm wife and mommy, and will be in the home-stretch of raising two (maybe three?) wonderful children. Chloe will be 19 and will have been out of school for a year, and hopefully have some college courses under her belt, or else be an actress or dancer or something extremely profitable ;)

If you ask her, though, we will all be living in her mansion on Pensacola Beach. The one she attained by marrying a rich handsome prince AND being a tv star like Victorious. And by "all living," I mean Hubbs and I, the bebe and her, as well as her Nana, Uncle Coco, and anyone else she invites into this communal family. If she's right, I may be having a meltdown much more epic than the 44 one ;) Even living on the beach wouldn't make it easy to cram all of our extended family under one (enormous) roof.
But back to reality. I will be starting the Dark Ages aka teen years with bebe by then, so hopefully I will be of sound mind :)

Either way, all I really hope to have accomplished is to raise happy children in a loving home who are indpenedent (but still need their Mama sometimes) and self-assured. The rest is just life.

5. What's your favorite Easter treat?
Before I was preggo I would've said Reeses Eggs for sure. Last year I ate them by the bundles! They were definitely my PMS go-to food and calmed many a raging hormone. But since I've been pregnant peanut butter tastes weird to me. It's more....nutty? than normal. I don't know. It's not sweet enough or something and I don't care much for it.


As a kid I always loved those Sweet Tart chick/bunny treats. They were my favorite thing to get in my Easter basket. And once I learned the truth about Mr. Bunny, I started telling 'him' directly just to hook me up with a couple bags of those ;)

Happy Good Friday :)