Thursday, October 28, 2010

Update(s)

I  wanted to say thank you for your prayers for my boys...  they are both doing better.  My youngest that had the fever for a few days has been fever-free for a couple of days now.  His older brother's congestion hasn't turned into an ear infection (at least he hasn't complained of ear aches) and his congestion is lessening.  


On the other hand...  I have felt like I'm coming down with a cold, so instead of blogging the past two nights, I opted for sleep instead.  It's too bad I didn't get to sleep in my own bed though.  Mental note, "get a cot or similar for the boys' room."  My body can not take another night of sleeping on the floor in the boys' room.  Last night I started out in my daughter's room (she has a futon in there temporarily, for me to sleep on).   She said when I was tucking her in that she needed me to stay in her room until she fell asleep because she was having a recurring bad dream.  I said I would and then I had planned on moving to the couch (which would be convenient for me to get up at 5 am for my workout).  But my oldest son had other plans for my sleeping arrangements. 


At around 3 am, he came into her room and said he had just had a bad dream and asked if I could sleep in his room.  I said I would since I thought it would only be for a couple hours anyway.  But when 5 am came around and my alarm went off, I WAS SOOO TIRED (and uncomfortable) that I convinced myself that I needed more sleep and moved into my bedroom (after an hour of rolling back and forth on the floor, debating whether or not I should just do my exercise DVD.)  After deciding I would just deal with the guilt, I ended up sleeping until about 8 am and felt much better than before.  


After a day off from my workout DVD (I had done workouts Mon-Wed) I feel much better.  I was EXTREMELY sore yesterday, and only mildly today.  So tomorrow morning I'll totally ROCK that exercise DVD!


Goodnight!

Monday, October 25, 2010

I'm Gonna Be Brief... (no really!)

With my new schedule (which I just started today) I needed to be in bed about 2 hours ago, but I got carried away talking to a friend after our small group ended tonight at the church.  Since all three kids stayed at home with my husband, I had no excuse NOT to stick around and get caught up on stuff (except my new early bedtime taunting me to get home).  


All I'm gonna say is that my hyper-detailed schedule that I planned last night for today went really well.  So well, in fact, that I will be hyper-scheduling everyday from now on (until I get sick of it, hee hee).  


I actually DID get up at 5 am and did my exercise DVD.  It took a bit longer than expected because my poor baby boy (3 1/2 year old) kept interrupting me because he was so uncomfortable (with the fever and all).  (I won't go into my many roundtrips into his bedroom during the night.)  

I got lots of things done today (I'm a big list-maker and checker-offer, so it feels REALLY good!)   But I did not accomplish as much as I wanted.  I realize I have to be flexible, so I bend!  (no exercising pun intended here- although this morning I did 1 1/2 hours of yoga.)


I NEED to get into bed to be physically ready to get up at 5 am again to begin my workout DVD.  It's 10 pm now, and besides taking off my makeup and brushing my teeth (and checking facebook), I'm ready to hit the sack.
Goodnight!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Disappointed...

Yep, I'm disappointed in myself.  I have all of these grandiose plans to get "organized" and to be "efficient" around the house or even to keep an exercise "schedule."  I'm failing miserably in these categories, AND MORE!  Last night I DID go to bed at a decent hour (before 9 pm) and I totally planned on waking up at 5 am to do my lengthy exercise DVD workout.  BUT, what I hadn't planned on was my poor, miserable and feverish little 3 1/2 year old wimpering in his bed, and then coming to get me in my bed.  The poor little guy.  I ended up sleeping on the floor in his room for the third night in a row.  It's really not comfortable.  He continued to wake up again on the half hour and wimper.  At least I was nearby to comfort him and get him something if he needed it.  


But because I was in the boys' room for the night I turned the alarm off so it wouldn't wake THEM up at 5 am.  Ironically I was awake at about 4:50 am or so, because the little one needed me.  But I decided to go back to bed because I could (and I deserved it, so I thought).  Even when the sun came up around 7:30 ish I told him to lay back down because I was tired!  It didn't work, and I got up.  Since I missed my window of exercise opportunity, I decided to at least get some breakfast together.  To keep the first day on my "new" schedule close to the intended times.  


After breakfast I spent time organizing my coupons.  Going through today's paper and cutting out the coupons from this Sunday's and last Sunday's (they were already selected and separated, but not cut yet).  Then I tried to organize ALL of the newspapers that were laying around (just in our eat-in kitchen area).  I can't remember what else I did, but that took us all the way to lunchtime.  


The afternoon was a blur.  I didn't do much of anything (that I remember).  The boys wouldn't take a nap (even though they're both sick and NEED it).  I had to return the movie to a Blockbuster Express and pick up a few items at Wal-Mart too.  I was getting ready to do that when a friend of my daughter's mom texted me to see if she wanted to come over for a bit.  So I took her there and then went on my errands.  Got back in time to bring in the groceries and go pick her back up.  Get dinner ready and then have some family time before getting the kids to bed.  


Sorry if the recap of my day was boring, but it's just real-life.  I need to make some TO-DO lists (I think) the night before, so that not only do I have an idea of what I want to accomplish, but I can visualize it literally, on paper.  Yes, that's what I'll do.


Tomorrow morning I'll be getting up at 5 am.  I have you to keep me accountable, right?  Exercise DVD, shower, then prayer time.  Hopefully all of these done before the boys wake up (with the sun).  I still need to picture what the rest of the day will look like.
Goodnight!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Dinner and a Movie Night (again)

At the request of my youngest (and sickest) son, we repeated the movie, How To Train Your Dragon for our weekly dinner and a movie night (sometimes game night).  Yesterday for dinner he said he wanted pizza, which was a good sign (he had an appetite).  I had to inform him that we would be having pizza the following night for "dinner and a movie night."  He said he really wanted to watch the Dragon movie again, so because there are no other decent kids movies out right now (and he feels so bad) I succumbed to his wishes.  I was worried about the older two kids protesting since we just watched the movie a week ago, but they were both excited to see it again.

We will get extra value out of this $1.00 rental since we will be staying home from church tomorrow.  My husband has lots of work and I imagine would've stayed home from church anyway.  So that means that I would need to stay home with the sick kids and my daughter wouldn't have a choice, but to stay at home with the rest of us.  I hate to stay away from church, but I'm needed at home.

We will also be grounded from our Sunday evening small group meeting and most likely from our Monday night small group.  Although I think I'll be able to go and just leave the kids with my husband.  Since I'm currently leading our small group, it's important that I'm there.

I did my 3rd exercise DVD today.  I've been averaging every other day for my workouts.  It's a real commitment because each DVD takes at LEAST one hour, some last an hour and 15 minutes.  I've decided tonight to start going to bed earlier so I can get up earlier.  It's almost impossible for me to complete the workout with the constant interruptions from the kids after they're awake.  

So right now, the kids are all tucked in (but not asleep) and I'll be following shortly.  I'm looking forward to getting a good night's sleep.  Last night (and the night before) I had to sleep in the boys' room.  Last night I started sleeping in my own bed, but my youngest kept coming in to tell me something so many times, he finally asked me to sleep on the floor in his room.  It was a good idea to be so close to him, because every half hour he would wake up and say he was going to throw up, but then change his mind.  We have a 32 ounce cup that we've dubbed, "the throw-up cup."  I would hold it over his mouth and wait, but no action.  Which I was fine with, less mess.

I was excited today to find an ibuprofen for children at CVS that was dye-free (it was their store brand).  I'm happy to give him colorless medicine, especially when there's the possibility of throwing it up.  I would normally give the kids Children's Tylenol.  But back in April (or May) they recalled almost all of the Tylenol and Motrin products.  A couple months ago I had looked for an alternative to Tylenol at Publix and all I could find (for children's pain relief) was Triaminic.  I bought the bubble gum flavor.  The picture on the front of the box showed the liquid as pink (which you'd think WOULD be the color for a bubble gum flavored medicine.)  But, no.  The actual liquid color was BRIGHT RED!  Like I said before, the reddest-red I've ever seen (in a medicine).  I looked at the ingredients and the red dye was listed somewhere in the middle of all ingredients, NOT at the end (proving that there's WAY too much dye in that medicine.)  I don't think there needs to be artificial colors in medicine.  It's not good for our bodies.


Okay, that's my diatribe on childrens' medicines and unnecessary dyes.  It's almost 8:00 p.m.  I've gotta wind up my time on the computer and hit the sack!


Goonight!

Quick Update, Then Bed

I promised myself I would TRY to go to bed early tonight (as I often promise myself about every other night).  This time because I want to stay healthy while I'm taking care of two sick boys.  But I feel a compulsion (possibly obsessive) to continue with my daily posting to my blog.  Even if no one is reading it, just because.  So it's already 12 a.m. Saturday morning and I'm going to TRY and be brief.

My youngest son who threw up yesterday, hasn't thrown up today (yet).  He slept almost all day, but did have a normal breakfast (sans his usual tall glass of milk), he skipped lunch because he was too tired and wanted to sleep, then for dinner snacked on an bottomless snack trap (I think that's what they are called) of goldfish in front of the TV.  He developed a low grade fever during the night and hasn't been able to shake it yet, but since he'd gone 24 hours without throwing up, I finally gave him some fever-reducing medicine before bed (that is the darkest red medicine I have ever seen!)  I also felt it was necessary because his fever was starting to rise.  He's had normal tinkles (#1) and poopies (#2) so I'm pretty excited there's no diarrhea or dehydration.  Thank you God!  I might as well stay up for another 20 minutes because he can have more medicine then.

Now for something completely different...  My husband says his new office is very quiet, so the kids and I are thrilled.  So is he I imagine.  The new office is working out well, I think.  I'll keep you updated if anything changes.
Goodnight!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rough Night.

I will be very brief.  Not that I want to, but need to.  My desk/computer is situated in between our living room and dining room, kind of acting as a divider.  In the living room asleep are my husband (on the couch) and the two older kids (inside play tents, the indoor kind).   My three year old son is sleeping in his own bed.  Around 8:00 tonight the youngest was a little whinier than usual and complaining that different parts of his body hurt.  I felt his forehead and cheeks and determined he didn't have a fever, but his body didn't get the memo.  Not long after the crying started he threw up all over himself and his bedding that he had dragged into his tent (our newest one, and thank goodness it had a tarp-like material on the bottom, so none of the throw up got on our carpet.)  My husband was nearby and quickly whisked him to the bathroom so he could finish what he started, this time over the toilet.  He didn't make it in time, but hey, some of it went in.  He took a quick bath and went to bed very easily.  He still didn't have a fever.  Ironically we were at the pediatrician's office today for my 5 year old son's well child visit.  I'm really hoping he didn't pick up a stomach flu virus while we were there.  Do you know if a virus could cause symptoms the same day you caught it?  


I have pictures of the tent set up.  I'll re-size them and post them tomorrow.  Goodnight!

I've Got Some Explaining To Do

My husband read my post from last night this morning.  He usually does read them and will comment on how I could've made them sound better or something like that.  He told me he felt a bit embarrassed that I "said" MY side in all caps.  Maybe because I "said" it twice during the post "speaking" about my closet cleaning frenzy yesterday.  I would like to set the record straight for my friends and family who take the time to read my humble little blog... the only reason for the caps on MY side of the closet, was to differentiate between HIS side and MY side.  That's it.  But to further clarify this point.  MY side of the closet took up about 90% of the closet.  Earlier I told him I thought it took up about 3/4 of the closet, but after removing the remaining stuff (that was MINE) on the floor today from HIS side, I think it was definitely closer to 90%.  And in case you don't believe me.  I took a photo of MY side (after cleaning up and tossing clothes) and HIS side.  Granted HE got rid of more clothes than I did.  Which is funny because I had more to start with.  But I guess that's why I'm the hoarder and he's the tosser in our family.  
Here's a picture of MY side.

Here's a picture of HIS side.
Here's a picture of both combined.
The black table that you see a corner of in the lower left part of the picture is part of his old drawing table (embellished with lots of stickers).  His desk/drawing table is the reason behind clearing out the closet.  Before yesterday, you could take about two steps into our closet.

It was being used for storage, but very disorganized.  I had a LARGE pile of CLEAN clothes on the floor that was hindering walking into our walk-in closet.  We had our dresser in there since we moved in (10/02).  This morning it finally came out (although it doesn't have a permanent home yet, that requires cleaning up the master bedroom first, YIKES!)  That will have to be put on the back burner for now.  The kitchen is overflowing with dirty dishes on the counters and in the sinks and I have a BUNCH of dirty laundry that is taunting me.  Plus there's the homeschooling.  My 7 year old daughter loathes math, and whines at just the mention of doing it.  My just turned 5 year old son LOVES anything that has to do with homeschool.  It's funny to see the differences between the two of them.  Anyway, back to the subject at hand, the closet.

Remember when I was asking in an earlier post if anyone had any leads on an inexpensive office space for my recently displaced husband?  Well last Tuesday, we (the whole family) drove around just looking for an inexpensive office space that would have most of the benefits of his last office space.  We found out that they DON'T EXIST.

Ironically there's an Executive Office Building a stones throw away from our house.  Like a five minute walk (or less).  It was advertised online as having an office for $250.  We met with the realtor and she said it had been rented recently.  I really think it was bait and switch advertising, but I kept it to myself.  The smallest office she had available started at $300/month and if we wanted to have a month-to-month lease it would be starting at $350/month.  In Palm Harbor we looked at an office building that had office spaces starting at $175/month, but it was a really old building and there were no amenities like WI-FI included.  We would've had to call BrightHouse or some other internet service provider to get a modem in his office.  That alone is about $50/month (I think).  

So...  one night after he told me about getting kicked out of his great office space, while I was drifting off to dreamland, the idea hit me.  It sounded pretty "far out" (to borrow a term from Greg Brady) but it was crazy enough that it just. might. work.  (I don't remember where that quote is from, I think from some Saturday morning cartoon?)  The idea was for him to work in our walk-in closet in our bedroom.  It would solve the main problem with him working at home, and that is that the kids (and I, yelling at them to be quiet) make too much noise!  

We have a pretty small house.  It has 3 bedrooms.  Before the boys came along, my husband had an office (in one of the bedrooms).  Now the office is our daughter's room and the two boys share a room.  My husband is now forced to work at his desk in our bedroom.  It is not ideal by any means, but we had learned to deal with it.  Until...  he was offered some extra work in August from Marvel Comics.  He got the perfect office space for an excellent price, because it was leased from his former employer who is very kind.  During the month of September my husband became ultra-productive.  It was uncanny how much work he accomplished while working at an office.  He was definitely spoiled there.  After having a perfect office space and then not having one, you realize how much you need it (or something similar to it).

The interesting thing about his NEW OFFICE SPACE in our walk-in closet, is that it is a comparable size to the offices I was shown in two different Executive Office Suite buildings (we looked at the "cheaper" office spaces, which translates into an office about the size of our closet).  We got him "moved in" to his new office space right around lunchtime today.  
Here's a picture of his NEW office!
We decided this morning (at my suggestion) to use his old drawing table for a desk instead of using his desk which has two shelves above the desk that cannot be removed.  It's hard to describe, but it's a comtemporary-styled design with black flat surfaces and silver metal poles holding up the desk's 4 shelves total (including the working surface and a shelf below the main desk).  We would've had to remove and switch around the clothes-hanging thingies (Closet Maid is the manufacturer) to fit his desk into the closet.  It would've taken a lot longer to do, so we went with the drawing table instead.  It seriously doesn't have to be fancy.  It's not like he's entertaining clients in his office (that would be funny, though, to see that).  But anyway, I thinks it's totally going to work out.  I'll let you know how it's going after he gets into a routine and we'll see if it's quiet enough in there for him to be uber-productive once again.  Btw (means by the way, for all of you non-texters who might be reading this) Marvel Comics has offered my husband a lot of stuff recently.  He is expected to do two monthly books for DC Comics, and now that Marvel is giving him some more work, we will be able to breathe a little bit easier around here (financially).  Especially when we're saving $350/month by NOT paying someone for an office space!  God is SO AWESOME!  We are SO thankful to Him for the work.  When you're a freelance artist, it's often feast or famine.  We will praise Him during both.  We are fully aware that EVERYTHING we have is a gift from God.  Amen.


I'll have to wait until tomorrow to tell you about my shopping trip to Publix this evening.  There's MORE to the story.  But here's a photo of the receipt (at least the bottom of the receipt where it shows how much money I saved!)  My personal goal when I shop there is to see if I can get the "money saved" total higher than the actual amount spent.  Which today I did!
To be continued...
P.S.  I did do the second exercise DVD this morning.  It will be fun to see how sore my muscles are when I wake up tomorrow!  (yes, that's sarcasm)




Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Clearing out the Closet

All day today I have been focused on one task (for the most part) and that is cleaning up MY side of our master bedroom closet.  The good news is that MY side is almost done, the bad news is that I don't really have space to put the "stuff" that I'm clearing out.  I don't want to or have time to go through a couple rubbermaid tubs and one large box full of junk and a few plastic Wal-Mart bags filled with mainly paper stuffs.  I was excited to find my milk crate FULL of cassette tapes (mainly from college).  Yes, I know I'm dating myself here.  I didn't own a portable CD player until I graduated from college and moved to Chicago and had my first REAL job (which was in 1992). 


I briefly looked through the top rows of tapes (that's what we used to call them) and was instantly transported back to a time where life was a whole lot simpler.  I mean A WHOLE lot simpler!  I will fill you in on my "walk down memory lane" during another post. 


Last night I stayed up WAY too late and didn't get up early enough to do my workout before the kids got up.  I was unable to find a good time to workout today and I'm sad.  Not because I love to work out, quite the contrary.  I just didn't want to "fall of the wagon" or whatever the correct usage of the phrase is, after ONE DAY of starting my exercise plan.  I am sore today though, so that's good.  Yesterday I worked out my chest and arms and abs.  I like the workout plan.  I'll feel more at ease after I've gone through each of the DVDs.  I don't like being surprised, (what the upcoming exercises will be) I like to know what exercises will be next so I can pace myself.


So, my post tonight will be short and sweet.  Just wanted to check in with you and let you know that I'm TCB (takin' care of business).  I'll take a picture tomorrow and then you can see the "after."  I'm afraid I didn't have the insight to take a "before" picture, sorry :O(

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Importance and Privilege of Voting

If you know me very well, then you would know how strongly I feel about voting.  Ironically, when my husband and I first moved to FL in August 2001 and I had to claim a political affiliation to a party, either Republican or Democrat, when I was getting my FL driver's license.  At the time, I wasn't sure which one I was (or wanted to be).  I've come a long way since 2001.

I've always voted in all elections, ever since I turned 18.  I was pretty excited to vote in a presidential election a mere 7 months after turning 18 and a brand-new college freshman.  I grew up in a small town in East Central Illinois and voted there, in Chicago, in Phoenix, AZ and in FL.  All of the different places that I've lived.  I truly believe that our chance to vote is a privilege and should NOT be taken lightly.  I believe that MY VOTE COUNTS and that my voice WILL BE HEARD.  

I don't think it was until I became a parent in Feb 2003, that I really started heavily researching the candidates.  I think becoming a parent REALLY makes you grow up (at least it did for me!)  I really (I really say really a lot, maybe I should break out my thesaurus?) wanted to make sure that MY elected officials were representing me (a conservative Christian) and not some liberal leftist. 


I learned from my mother (as a teenager and early twenty-something) the importance of standing up for your beliefs.  When I was 13, my mom became pregnant with my youngest brother, David.  Unbeknownst to me, her OB/Gyn had suggested she get an abortion because she was 39 years old.  That was the only reason.  My mom was offended and that day decided besides keeping her baby, my littlest brother, she was going to use her voice to tell others about the truth about abortion.  I remember her writing editorials to the local newspapers, and eventually becoming a counselor at the nearest Crisis Pregnancy Center (which was about 30 miles away).  The importance of her activism did not affect me until I became a mother and witnessed firsthand the miracle of life.


Which brings me to the inspiration of tonight's post.  When reading over my emails tonight (before bed) I happened to check out one from one of the conservative christian groups that sends me daily emails keeping me informed of what's going on in the news.  This story was in the middle of some other current events and I was drawn to it by the photo of the tender-looking woman (and the title of the story).  I included the link to the website (click on her name below in purple, then scroll down, it's the third story of the day) so that you could see the photo of Dr. Jefferson and you could see what else the Family Research Council is reporting.  Here is the blurb from my email...


This Jefferson Founded a Nation of Pro-Lifers
Dr. Mildred Jefferson may have been the first African-American woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School, but it was her leadership in the pro-life movement that may have been her greatest accomplishment. A founding member of the National Right to Life Committee, Dr. Jefferson served as its President three times. "I became a physician in order to help save lives," she once said. "I am at once a physician, a citizen, and a woman, and I am not willing to stand aside and allow the concept of expendable human lives to turn this great land of ours into just another exclusive reservation where only the perfect, the privileged, and the planned have the right to live." 
A trailblazer until the end, Dr. Jefferson fought for life until hers ended last Friday at the age of 84. She will be remembered not only for her contributions to our movement--but also for inspiring it. Our hearts and prayers go out to her family. May they take comfort in the tremendous legacy Dr. Jefferson left behind.


There was a link in the story that takes you to a two-page online article in the Boston Globe newspaper.  You can read the full article by clicking here.

The quote that is highlighted in lavender above is so eloquent.  I am in awe of this woman.  I had never heard of Dr. Jefferson before this evening, but I am SO inspired by her story.  She had many odds stacked against her being a black woman growing up during The Great Depression at a time where minorities did NOT have a VOICE.  She is truly an inspiration to me, because even though I did not know of her before tonight, I want my life to be a testimony to our Lord and Savior.  I don't know in what way, but only that I want to inspire others to want to know Him.  If this unsuspecting woman could do it, why can't I?

Which leads me back to the importance of voting.  In Florida we have about 2 weeks until our general election.  We will be choosing a new governor to make decisions for our state, and new U.S. Senator (to represent us in Congress).  I hope that you will take some time before now and election day (Tuesday, November 2nd) to do your homework.  Make an informed decision, and ultimately, cast your vote.  


If you'd like links to voter guides that have information on how the candidates feel or how they've voted in the past on sensitive issues, please post a comment for me and I'll include them in an upcoming post.  They also show concise information on each of the amendments on the ballot to make that part of voting easier.  Early voting started today and continues until Oct. 30.  


Please get out there and vote!  We are SO blessed to live in a country where we have the privilege to do so.  God bless America!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

She Lost It... and I'm LOSING It!!

My daughter lost her tooth today during breakfast.  It was really good timing (insert sarcasm here) because it fell out just seconds after my 5 year old son spilled the milk from his cereal bowl onto the table, then to his seat, floor and part of my seat.  We were all really excited until he told me that his undies were soaked and it felt "really cold."  Before that I didn't even know that it went on his seat.  So it was a bit difficult to stay happy that her tooth fell out while he was whining and I was cleaning up the mess.  The one redeeming factor was that he was still in his pajamas and not in his church clothes yet.  Here's a picture of my 7 1/2 year old daughter after losing her first top tooth.  She now has a temporary lisp :O)
It was a bagel with cream cheese that finally did the trick.  The tooth was FINALLY ready to come out.  

And now, why I'm LOSING IT...  My three kids will not listen to me (and obey).  I'll admit my standards are pretty high, because we've attended Growing Kids God's Way parenting classes THREE TIMES!  The last time we were even small group facilitators.  If you are familiar with the GKGW (short for Growing Kids God's Way) philosophy, then you already know that you raise your children to the standard instead of lowering the standard to the children.  At the very most basic description of the standard, I think, is obeying your parents.  The kids are now 7 1/2, 5 and about 3 1/2.  We've been attempting to follow the philosophy of GKGW for the past 6 years.  We are obviously NOT doing something right.  

The incident this evening was not as bad as it has been on other occasions.  We stopped at a Publix grocery store that has one of those GLACIER water bottle filling machines.  

It HAS TO BE at a Publix that is NO WHERE NEAR OUR WATER COMPANY'S SERVICE.  We are refusing to use our tap water for drinking because we were notified (after 3 months of using contaminated water) that the standard water sampling they do quarterly showed higher than acceptable levels of some chemical that "could" cause cancer.  We used to filter our tap water with a Brita water filter, but we threw them away and started buying bottled water, until we had enough gallon jugs to refill ourselves.  At our closest Publix/Glacier machine it only costs 25 cents to fill your own gallon-sized jug.  My theory is because the water is tainted.  Outside of the water company's radius of service the Glacier water costs 5 cents more.  Even though it is a MAJOR PAIN to fill up about 10 water jugs at a time every week.  We're saving money (and plastic) by not buying more gallons of bottled water. 

Alright, enough with my tainted water supply tirade.  Tonight on the way home from our small group meeting, the kids and I stopped at our usual Publix that is about a 15 minute drive south of our house to fill up our water jugs.  In a nutshell, I had to CONSTANTLY tell them to not do that and do this, over and over and over again.  It doesn't help that the Glacier machines are at the entrance to the store and lots of people are going in and out and in and out trying to dodge the three kids sprinting back and forth from where I am to the gigantic scale (that they thought was a jungle gym), the electric scooter shopping carts, playing with the automatic doors, sticking their hands in the box to drop off your boxtops for "cash for your school," etc...  It didn't help that I had more than the usual 10 jugs to fill.  I'm not sure how long we were there, but it was TOO LONG!  I probably looked like my head was going to explode.  While I was putting the filled water jugs into the car, I overheard my daughter say to the 5 year old son something really snotty (the tone of her voice) or condescending.  THAT was the last straw...

We had planned on watching the "Dragon" movie when we got home and eating homemade popcorn during the movie as a special treat, but I had to take away that privilege.  They freaked out at the news, but that only strengthened my resolve.  I knew I had made a good choice on a punishment.  It is physically and mentally exhausting to have to "fight" with your kids to try and get them to listen/obey you.  Tonight before bed I'm going to get out my GKGW book and start searching for the answer to this dilemma.  Let me know if you have any suggestions.

Also tomorrow morning I'm beginning a new exercise workout.  I'm pretty nervous because it's known to be REALLY hard.  I'm going to take some "before" pictures tomorrow and won't post them unless I lose the 20 pounds that I want to get rid of.  I'm going to rely on you to keep me accountable.  I'll keep you posted of my progress. Thanks!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dinner and a Movie Night!

Every Saturday at our house is dinner and a movie (or game) night.  We eat at the coffee table in the living room in front of the TV and either rent a movie or watch one recorded with the DVR from cable.  We usually eat pizza (not too messy on LR carpet) from Little Caesar's or homemade.  Sometimes we improvise if we're burned out on pizza (it happens sometimes).  


Tonight we watched How To Train Your Dragon.  It just came out on DVD yesterday.  Our family was pretty excited to see it again.  That's a real compliment for the movie, because my husband and I are real computer animation snobs.  We just LOVE ANYthing that Pixar Studios puts out, but most other CG (computer-generated) movies fall short of Pixar's art and storytelling/subject.  If you remember over the summer when I was new to blogging, I took the kids to see How To Train Your Dragon for $1 at the AMC Theaters.  We had a great time.  My daughter had already seen the movie prior to that showing when my husband and her went out on a Saturday afternoon for a daddy date.  They did a movie and dessert.  They both had a wonderful time and it made the movie very special to her.  It inspired her artistically (although just about anything does!)

The only bummer about doing a movie on a Saturday night is that if we don't start early enough, it turns out to be a late night for the kids to get to sleep.  That's when a game night comes in handy.  Mommy and Daddy get to decide whether it will be a movie or a game night (although sometimes we let the kids choose).  It often hinges on whether or not there are any good kid movies out.  We rarely repeat a movie.  I think Wall-E was the only one we've ever repeated (for a dinner and a movie night).

Sunday's are a busy day for us.  Every other Sunday I volunteer with the preschool kids at church.  So I need to be prepared before church for that.  Tomorrow is one of my Sundays.  After church we come home and eat and then barely have time for the youngest to take a nap before we leave for our newest small group (through our church).  When we are done we come home, have a quick dinner and get those kiddos into bed.  We are always extra pooped on Sundays from all of the driving and playing (just the kids do the playing.)  Our Sunday small group is doing a marriage study based on the book Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.  We watch him on a DVD, fill in the blanks in a workbook and then have a discussion.  My favorite part about the small group (besides the fellowship) is the FOOD!  We each bring a dish to share and yum, yum, yum, I LIKE TO EAT!  (If you've seen me lately, you know what I'm talkin' about!)  But to be fair, I also like to cook.  So it's win-win for me.


Monday nights we have our original small group that meets at our church (the Sunday afternoon one is at a friend's house).  We are reading a book by Bill Hybels (senior pastor at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, IL where my husband and I used to attend when we lived in Chicago.) It's called, Too Busy NOT To Pray.  I'm leading the group for now while our main leaders/founders are volunteering to teach a class at our church.  I have an advantage in that I've had this book since 1996 or so and have read it MANY times.  It's a good book that recommends journaling your prayers while using the ACTS acronym.  A= ADORATION, C= CONFESSION, T= THANKSGIVING and S= SUPPLICATION.  Let me know if you have any questions about the book or ACTS or journaling prayers.


I'm going to try to get to bed before midnight tonight.  It's been difficult to do that when blogging.  I know I need to get on a strict schedule, but I haven't sat down to figure one out yet.  I want to start exercising again and getting up extra early to have my prayer time in the morning.  Maybe you can help me to be accountable?  Thanks!

The Birthday Boy!

 My oldest son turned five years old last week.  We celebrated his birthday with a large group of friends at one of our favorite local parks.  We had dinner and cupcakes and barely enough time to load up the van before it was pitch dark.  I am always prepared and brought a flashlight AND an battery-powered lantern that came in handy to make sure we gathered everything we brought.  Thanks to everyone who helped clean up!  The party was a success and I am relieved that it's over.  I get really stressed out over events like this, getting everything ready, making sure I remember to bring everything, etc...


I made 67 cupcakes and then transported them safely to the party (thank you Publix for the inexpensive cupcake carriers you sell in your bakery!)  The party's theme was Star Wars and I bought online the coolest cake topper I had ever seen (for a child-themed party).  It was two separate four inch figures.  One of Luke Skywalker and the other, Darth Vader.  The cool part about these figurines was they each held a lightsaber and when you pushed the button on their back, the lightsaber lit up.  The MAJOR bummer about the lightsabers was that THEY ONLY LIT UP WHEN YOU WERE HOLDING THE BUTTON!  That took a lot of the fun out of it.  At least for a cake topper.  Afterwards they could be played with like normal action figures, so I guess you get your money's worth.  I'm sorry I don't have a photo of them to show you.  I can get one, but not right now (too difficult & too late at night).  


But each cupcake had these Stormtrooper or Darth Vader plastic rings on them which I also loved.  Here's a pic of the rings...
Here are the finished cupcakes.  Finished VERY early the morning before the party.  Thank goodness the party was in the evening.  I was able to do other last minute things during the day, without making us late for our own party.
Two people at the party asked me if I could do cupcakes for upcoming parties for them.  I was flattered and look forward to possibly doing that for them.  Who knows?  Maybe I might have a new part-time job making cupcakes.


The first picture in the the post is my son in front of all his presents from the party.  Take another look at the picture.  You probably wouldn't be able to tell that he had a low grade fever.  I didn't.  Not until it was time to tuck him in for bed.  He was burning up.  The next two days he had a fever that went up, up, up and then down, then up, then back down, you get the picture.  His actual birthday was two days after the party and he was so miserable that day.  Well technically in the mornings he was quite chipper, but the afternoons and evenings brought back the fever.  Fever with aches and chills were the only symptoms that he had.  Then the fever broke and he had a bit of a scratchy throat, but it never got any worse than that.  Thank goodness.


We had planned to go to Busch Gardens for his actual birthday, but nixed the idea for obvious reasons.  The consolation prize was dinner at his favorite restaurant.  If he was better we would've gone to Hella's Restaurant at the Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs.  It's our favorite Greek restaurant.  But, due to not feeling well, we went with his second choice....  McDonald's.  His fever was down before we left, but once we got there he complained that he was cold (chills) and so my husband took him out to our mini-van so he could warm up.  The rest of us finished eating without the birthday boy, so that idea really backfired.  We came home ate some more cupcakes, opened presents from the family and he went straight to bed (without protest).  The poor little guy.


Anyway that was the excitement at our house last week.  This week it has been back to normal around here.  Soon I want to tell you about our homeschooling and also about hoarding, but that's for another day.  I REALLY need to get to bed earlier (note to self).  Goodnight!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What's New? or if you prefer... WHAZZZZ-AHHHP?

I didn't mean to leave you hangin' last night/month by not mentioning whether or not I started taking my medication for depression yet.  I did finally fill the prescription, but after reading the lengthy list of side effects, was "scared straight!"  I started to doubt if the ends justified the means.  Of course I'd love to highlight some of the more dramatic side effects for your amusement, but I have lost the pertinent medical information somewhere in the overflowing paper clutter atop my desk.  So you will have to take my word for it, I don't think I want to "go there" just yet in my attempts for "normalcy."  I'm playing this one by ear just a little bit longer.  (Please feel free to use your fingers to make "air quotes" on both sides of your head while reading that one sentence above with the dual quotations.  You can picture me doing the same as I am proof-reading this post!)


Did I tell you that my husband had an office for the entire month of September?  It was a DREAM office space and lease agreement.  But alas, it was only month-to-month, and the building was bought out and therefore the rent was raised threefold.  My husband had an agreement with his former employer, but when the building was sold, it dissipated.  We are eternally grateful for the use of the office space while we/he had it.  My husband was VERY productive while "at work."  And likewise the kids and I could "let our hair down" when he wasn't here.  Very often while he was trying to work the kids would have to TRY and remain relatively quiet to not interrupt his focus.  This was EXTREMELY difficult, because kids will be kids.  


I can't remember if I told you what my husband does for a living.  He is a digital colorist in the comic book industry.  In laymen's terms:  he colors comic books on the computer.  He's been doing this for about 20 years and he's very good at it.  His main employer is DC COMICS, but he does a lot of work with MARVEL COMICS too.  


Near the end of August, an editor at Marvel contacted him and asked if he wanted some extra work.  In this current economic climate, of course he said, "YES!"  That's when we went looking for an office outside of the house.  God very quickly worked out all of the details and placed it in our collective lap.  It is truly amazing how God works.  I LOVE waiting around to see what he's going to do next.  And yes, I realize that not everything is sunshine and roses, but man, God is an awesome God, and he has knocked my socks off a bunch of times recently.  I've fallen to my knees and pleaded with Him but also rejoiced in his love for His children.  "You ROCK God!"

Back to the office space thing...  Currently my husband is back at home.  Currently I'm trying to keep the kids quiet.  If you or anyone you know knows of a moderately-priced office space that is available anywhere in the SW Pasco, N Pinellas or W Hillsborough counties, please contact me by commenting on my blog  :O)

My daughter's tooth is still attached.  No new news there.  She asked if she could create some art for me to put on my blog, so of course I said, "yes."  But instead of what she gave me, I'd like to use some of her previous work.
This is a few from her cast of characters known as...
The Lovers
Yes, I am aware that the skull faces are a little bit morbid, but my husband's love of lowbrow art has rubbed off on the wee girl.  The first character is a bunny rabbit, I can't remember what the middle one is, but she is the matriarch of the group.  Lastly is the adorable puppy dog.  Each of them hold a heart.  I don't remember their backstory and my daughter is already in bed AND asleep for the night.  (She is somewhat of a night owl and has difficulty sometimes going to sleep.)


We celebrated my oldest son's 5th birthday on Sunday.  His party was last Friday (a week ago).  I will post pictures and more info. about it soon.


I almost forgot.  I had two and a half hours of fun this morning while I was babysitting my friend Tammy's 5 week old baby, Joshua.  My daughter took this picture of me and upon closer inspection you can see him looking at me with a strange look, that I think says, "Who are you again?" and "You do NOT look like my mommy!"  I truly enjoyed my time with him.  He was a great baby to sit.  Anytime Tammy... anytime.
  Signing off for tonight.  I promise to post again tomorrow...

I'm Ba-a-a-ack...

I was talking with a dear friend today and once again she encouraged me to continue blogging.  (She is the same friend who inspired my last post - almost a month ago!)  Her kind words today touched me, and I thought, "Why not?"  I'll make it a priority once again.  Only now I have a bit of a dilemma:  start blogging about current stuff OR get you caught up on what I've been up to for the past month and a half.  

I thought about this briefly and decided to do a little of each.  I can fill you in on the mundane tasks of my everyday life (if blog-worthy) and add tidbits of events that have happened since my blog hiatus.

Today our family drove to Tampa to pick up a gently-used washer and dryer.  My sweet friend Jen and her husband offered it to us so that my laundry would get dry in the dryer preferably with only setting the dial once.  I will be cleaning out the dryer vent when we remove our old dryer.  That will certainly help.  I'm pretty excited to try them out.  Only a woman could understand my excitement (okay, maybe a bachelor would too).  This addition to our home will make laundry a whole lot easier for me.  So if you're reading this Jen, "Thank You!"  


I didn't get a photo of the new washer and dryer yet, but I wanted to show you our new oven!





Doesn't it look AWESOME!  It was hand-delivered by these two lovely people all the way from Illinois! 

They are my parents.  A friend of my mom's remodeled her kitchen recently and her old oven was a specific kind of oven that has a floor vent instead of a hood vent.  I'm not sure if floor vent is the technical term for the vent, but that's what I call it.  It vents the air from the oven under the floor and outside.  It's kind of cool.  She asked my mom and her other friends if they knew anyone who could use this type of oven.  My mom said that I had that kind of oven and would probably like to update my kitchen with her oven that was newer than mine.  

So it was settled.  My mom and dad would drive it down to FL and we'd get an extra visit from them on top of the already awesome new oven.  Mom and dad also included an old twin-size bed that I slept on as a child (so did my dad when HE was a child) that we determined would go in our daughter's room.  It was WIN-WIN for everyone!

We enjoyed a lovely visit with my parents and even got to celebrate my dad's birthday before they left to drive back to IL.  After surveying the new oven we determined that our older oven had the convection feature while the newer one did not.  I was sad.  I knew that my parents spent a lot of time and energy getting that oven down to FL and that my mom's friend was really hoping that I would be able to use her old oven.  

So, we compromised.  Her newer oven had ceramic glass cooktop inserts (that's what I call them, not sure what they would actually be called).  The ovens have interchangeable cooktops.  You can swap out a regular burner set for an indoor grill on the stovetop.  We ended up using the ceramic glass cooktops and matching black vent cover (in center) on our old oven, and BOY, DOES IT LOOK GREAT!


That day that we swapped the cooktops I spent a lot of time detail cleaning the oven/stove.  I even took off the knobs and scrubbed them individually.  That oven didn't look THAT good the day we moved in (Oct. 2002).  We are SO thankful for the updated-look on our old oven.  It gets me excited about cooking!  (not that it takes too much to get me excited about cooking, hee hee!)  So, thank you Pansy and Mac for letting us have your old oven.  We will see that your oven finds a nice home.  By the way... does anyone need a floor-venting type of oven?  Leave me a comment.


The drama tonight (and for the past three nights) has been my 7 1/2 year old daughter's loose tooth.  It is her first loose tooth on the top part of her mouth, so it's extra exciting.  Each night she asks me to pull it out for her, but doesn't let me stick my fingers in her mouth to do it.  She's already lost two teeth on the bottom.  I pulled one out and my husband pulled the other out without much fanfare.  This top tooth is totally disconnected in the back part, but still attached in the front.  It's already giving her a lisp when she talks and she pushes it out and closes her mouth looking like a one-toothed bunny rabbit.  I thought I'd include a photo taken tonight of the tooth-pulling drama...




In this picture her loose tooth is turned sideways, but still attached.  We'll see if it's still in there by tomorrow night.


Last bit of current news...  tomorrow morning I get to babysit for a friend's newborn baby.  It's only for a couple hours, but I'm giddy with excitement.  I can't wait.  I'll fill you in on how that goes tomorrow (I fully plan on updating the blog daily again).