Friday, December 18, 2009

Trip home-Looking forward to and dreading at the same time

The hubby, little R and I will be spending Christmas with my parents in their home this year. I'm looking forward to everyone being together one last time-my brother and his girls will be there too. I'm also glad that I will be able to give my Dad a break from the caregiver role for a few days and give him a chance to get out of the house without feeling guilty.
However, if I am truly honest with myself, I am also dreading it just a bit. My Mom's condition is not good, there is very little left of the woman I remember. My Dad is declining quickly too. I know my brother and I have to have a very direct, uncomfortable conversation with my father about my mom's condition and his plans for after she is gone. Up to this point, he has just said we will cross that bridge once we get to it. My Dad and I share a dislike of confronting the uncomfortable, so I definitely know where he is coming from. It has come to the point where plans must be made and preparations must be started.
Our trip will also include some major cleaning out of the parent's house. My Dad is a saver of all things-he came up in the depression, his family was impoverished, and they went without the things I would call neccesities. Because of this, he keeps EVERYTHING!! He feels if it costs money you should keep it, no matter if it is broken, useless, etc. My Mom was the type to buy stuff, lots of stuff, and sometimes use it, sometimes not. She also would buy for other people and sometimes forget to give it to them or misplace it. Mom also would collect clothing, houseware, books, etc that people were giving away with the intention of giving it to someone in need or just someone who might appreciate it and those things too would sometimes end up staying in the house. She enjoyed buying and enjoyed helping others, it was just sometimes to an excess. So, bottom line, I have a TON of stuff to go through and decide what should be donated, thrown away or possibly put on ebay. I'm guessing alot of things will just be trashed.
I know I will enjoy our time together and the memories we make. The busy stuff and other details will just be fleeting.

Merry Christmas
 Feliz Navidad

Monday, December 14, 2009

Handmade Christmas

I still have tons to do with ONLY 11 days left...panic is setting in. Well, not really but kinda close.
Finished so far:
Purple tutu for baby R w/ matching tutu for doll
Fairy wreath w/ purple flowers for baby R and a matching one for doll
Pink tutu
Fairy head wreath w/ pink flowers
Felt strawberries, sunny side up egg, pancakes, bacon, lettuce, tomato, ravioli and bow tie pasta
Flavored Vodka
Shaving soap in mug for the guys
Pink fairy wand
Purple fairy wand
Altered clipboards x 4
Refrigerator magnets x a bunch
Flower clips x 10
Banana cake in jar

Felt food: bread, cookies, sauce for ravioli
PJ pants x 3 for Christmas eve
Herbal soap
Applique tees
Magnetic paper dolls-taking these w/ me to cut out on the way out of town
2 fabric drawstring bags for felt food and magnetic stuff
cookies w/ Splenda
More cakes in a jar
if I have time-bow holder x 2, I was thinking I could take paint and brushes and ribbon w/ me out of town
4 picture frames to paint or decoupage or something
Coasters are another maybe-decoupaged -I could do these while out of town too.

I am most concerned about the PJ pants. My sewing skills are extremely lacking and I'm thinking this may be above my skill level but I was unable to find matching sets for adults and toddlers at a price I was willing to pay. So, to keep with the tradition of matching PJ's, I will give it a go. I did find absolutely adorable fabric at JoAnne's-yellow rubber duckies on a snowflake background.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A look back

At the beginning of this year I came up with a few goals to work on. Here is what they were:

- Spend more active time with baby-DONE-The hubby and I make it a point to take her outside to play, dance around the house, play chase, etc

- Less TV more music or even silence-Partially Done-still working on it

- PURGE the clutter [massively hard for me-I like stuff:)]-DONE-but need to do more, the next step is my massive crafting stash

- Learn to sew ruffles on jeans and skirts-NOT DONE-I have made 1 skirt w/ a ruffle-not a pretty sight but I let her wear it anyway

- establish a bedtime routine for baby R-HAHAHA-that should say it all

- stick to bedtime routine-refer to previous answer

- try out the freezer cooking method-DONE-now, I need to do it again

- Have at least 5 meals in the freezer at ALL times-umm, once again, refer above answer

- More fruits and veggies for me and the hubby-Partially Done

WOW, I have alot to work on.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Advent

I made a super simple advent paper chain for our family this year. This is completely new for me as we did not do this in our family nor do I remember anyone else doing it. So, after reading about it on numerous blogs, I gave it a try. The aesthetics of it are less than spectactular and it still doesn't have a safe home but we started our special activities last night.
Our first activity was coloring Christmas pictures-both secular and Christian. Other activities included in the advent are:
Make cinnamon ornaments
Make pipecleaner and bead ornaments
Put up tree and decorate
Gather natural materials for decorating the house
Hang wreaths and lights
Decorate cookies
Drive around and look at lights
Make green Rice Krispy treats
Watch Christmas movies
Camp out around the tree
Hot chocolate and jiffy pop
Make smores (hopefully on the fire)
Make handrpint and footprint reindeer
Handprint on canvas for present for Dad
Paint on canvas for grandparent gifts
Singing Christmas carols

Some of the activities are repeats (coloring, movie, singing) but I think there are enough unique ones to make it interesting. Maybe I'll get the hubby to make a fancy advent tree in the workshop for next year :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What my child is reading this week

This is my first meme and it is part of Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns.

R's newest favorite book is Where Is My Teddy Bear? by Erica Bing. I looked all over the net and didn't find a picture. The book teaches prepositions in a short, direct, fun manner. The approach is a question, answer format about everyday objects. The page with the answer has flaps to open to discover where the object is. R has it almost memorized. Cute.

This magnetic was supposed to be a Christmas present but the hubby gave it to R for some reason. She likes moving the magnetic animals around but doesn't really have alot of interest in doing it in an interactive way. The book has prompts for the child to place the animals in certain places.

We are also reading bible stories from this fold out book. R enjoys the pictures and the stories are short. We've read The Noisiest Boat (noah's ark) and A Fierce Giant and a Brave Boy (david and goliath)I plan on using The Night Jesus Was Born which is in this book as part of our advent too.

Cakes in a jar and cranberry vodka

Today was a busy day-besides the typical taking care of baby and cleaning, I got started on more Christmas gifts.
The first was cranberry vodka. I thought about cranberry liquer but decided on just the flavored vodka-same idea just no sugar.
MY RECIPE for Cranberry Vodka:
1 liter of vodka-don't go for the cheapo stuff
1 bag of cranberries-chopped
peel of 1 lemon-grated
peel of 1 orange-grated
Dump together in a sterilized glass container with lid and let steep for at least 2 weeks
Shake every day
When ready to bottle, strain solids and rebottle in glass container.

I plan on using 2 yard sale find glass containers w/ stoppers-originally from Pier 1 and possibly an old blue wine bottle if needed.

I also just got through making Cakes in a Jar. This idea seems way weird to me. You bake a cake, any cake in a canning jar and seal it. Sounds simple though. I used this recipe- since I had lots of yucky looking bananas hanging around in the freezer. I used 1/2 pint (8 oz) Jars and filled them approximately 1/2 full.
If these work, I'll probably try a pound cake of some kind next. A brown sugar one sounds good but most of the recipes I have come across call for shortening. I refuse to use shortening.
I actually hear a few pops..the jars are sealing :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Felt food

Last night was my first attempt at felt food. I made 1 (one, uno) strawberry. I now know why a product made from 55 cents worth of materials costs much more. I made a simple strawberry and it seemed to take forever. and I NEVER figured out how to make a french knot. All the tutorials said it was easy to moderatley easy. Well, my over-educated, master's degree brain was unable to figure it out.

I guess if I plan to make more stuff, I better get busy on it. At the rate I sew, I will be working all night Christmas Eve to get finished.
I have plans to make: more strawberries, 2 slices of bread, lettuce, tomato, bacon, slice of cheese, sunny side up egg, chocolate chip cookies x 2, a doughnut w/ icing and sprinkles, pancake w/ syrup and butter, and some type of meat. Now that I think about it, maybe I should pare the list down and complete the others by her birthday.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Head wreath/fairy crown

I made little R a fairy crown last night in a little over an hour-including MANY interruptions. I wasn't completely pleased with the results but it wasn't bad for my first try. I used white floral wire, white floral tape, various tiny flowers and 4 bead picks. I still need to add ribbons to the back-possibly with a few beads kept on with knots.
I think it will add a nice touch to her fairy wand and tutu I am working on for Christmas.
I've made these before for costumnes but always used ivy type greenery for a base-never just wire. For a little girl, I think I like these are much better. A big greenery based one might look a bit out of place on a toddler. Pictures to come.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Totally random post about unrelated subjects

BE WARNED: This post is a scattered one, kind of like my brain right now.

R says the cutest things :) Her newest word is rainbrella. I love it. Oh and yesterday she wanted her temperature (of course it sounds quite a bit different coming from her). She actually wanted her play thermometer. On the not so cute side she is now saying shut up. Hubby is to blame for that one, not that I don't occasionally say it to him. I know, bad example. AND, she now announces to the world her bodily functions. Friday in Target everyone close by knew she had gas, because she told them, repeatedly.

I'm working on her Halloween costume: black and red tutu, wings from clotheshangers and pantyhose, red t-shirt w/ felt circles or painted dots and a head band with pipecleaner and painted styrofoam balls for antennae.

Robert had his first showings yesterday. Yea!! He has an open house with another agent today. Yea again but wish he could go with us instead. I'm planning on taking R to a pumpkin patch/farm about an hour away.

There is not much change in Mom's health that I know of. I do know she sounds a little weaker. I think she is getting more confused but I really can't tell. She barely talks to me on the phone now. I used to have to tell her I had to go 4 or 5 times before she stopped talking. Never thought I would miss it :(

I'm off to get everything ready for our little excursion. Have a blessed day.

ADDED: Pictures from our trip and one from a sunflower field on the way back.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Handmade/homemade/crafted Christmas

As tradition goes at my house, most everyone will be getting at least 1 homemade gift. I always have a hard time coming up with ideas for the guys-you can't give a guy a ribboned, jeweled and glittered I think a homemade gifts says "I care" more than many(or even most) standard retail purchased items. This year my plans are to make:

For the girls- both big and small:
*Fairy wands-dowels with ribbons, stars, glitter
*Appliqued onesies or tees
*Flower pins/clips-dollar store and clearance artificial flowers stacked and jewels or buttons added for the center on pins or hair clips
*Notebook purses-   tutorial from Cuegly
*Altered clipboards-basic wooden clipboards with added scrapbook paper and embellishments
*Bow holder- made with picture frame and ribbons

For the guys:
*Flavored vodka-pomegranite, cranberry, maybe mango?, with martini glasses and drink recipes. I need a cute design for the recipe cards. I was thinking notecards connected by binder rings
*personalized notepads  tutorial  from Chica and Jo Maybe using recycled paper?? Definitely w/ a custom stamp and maybe color copies-don't want to stamp a 100 pieces of paper
*cookies- not sure what kinds yet
*cake in a jar- I've seen lots of how to's for these. Hoping I can find one with instructions for frosting too

I will also most likely do a few mixes in a jar for my parents. Dad doesn't do alot of cooking nowdays and Mom isn't able to. I have a cookbook from a church with lots of ideas for mixes you add to ground beef to make a meal-pasta or rice +spices and canned sauce.

I'm starting now so hopefully all will be done by Christmas. Originally, our plans were to spend Christmas in Western NC, specifically Maggie Valley. However, with my Mom not doing well, and finances being INCREDIBLY tight, that is a no go. Right now, our plans are up in the air. I'm guessing we will go to Alabama and spend Christmas with my parents. I'm hoping my brother will do the same thing and we can all be together on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. As much as I don't want it to be, I am pretty sure this will be my last Christmas with my Mom. I get tears just thinking about it but I have to be realistic and seize the moment.

Happy crafting-----

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Western NC-where I want to be

Just wanted to post some pictures of where I want to by 2012. 
The beach is beautiful and I do love snorkeling, swimming and looking for seashells. But.....we have no seasons, it is massively hot, and the beaches here are over populated in my opinion.

I am ready for seasons, waterfalls, mountain air, changing leaves, apple orchards, rock hounding, mountain streams, and the list goes on.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009



- the passing down of elements of a culture from generation to generation, especially by oral communication.

- a mode of thought or behavior followed by a people continuously from generation to generation; a custom or usage.

- a time-honored practice or set of such practices.
- the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, esp. by word of mouth or by practice

- a long-established or inherited way of thinking or acting: The rebellious students wanted to break with tradition.

 Why I think traditions important

provide a sense of security, even when times are rough or uncertain, traditions carry on

provide a sense of belonging, things done together bring you closer

provide a sense of identity, being a part of a family

provides lasting memories

allows parents to impart values

Traditions are a bit new to me, not that we didn't have them growing up-I just didn't see them that way. We did have some-opening presents Christmas Eve, visiting with family on Christmas Day, I ALWAYS had an easter basket of some kind-even as a college student, and I'm sure more than aren't coming to mind right now.
As a relatively new mom (2 years is still new ;}), I am trying to start meaningful traditions for our family. Some things we have started
-new matching pjs for Christmas Eve-this year I will attempt to sew pj pants myself
-new Christmas ornament for R every year-one that has a special meaning-saved for her when she has a family of her own
-picture of us hanging the ornament on the tree
-Christmas Day at OUR home
-birthday presents for R wrapped in plain paper with words that describe her written onn them
-Friday nights are "kid" food night-pizza, burgers, hot dogs, etc
-one TV free night per week (still working on this one), will later be a game night too
-reading to R every day, will hopefully progress to her reading to me-I know this one won't last forever but I can drag it out as long as possible

Things I would like to implement:
-weekly trip to library
-special birthday meal
-picking fruit at a farm every year
-yearly picture of R on her birthday and 1st day of school(or hopefully homeschool) and New Years (or hopefully homeschool) in front of house
-monthly picnic-inside if need be according to the weather
-and so many more!!

Happy memory making!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Birthday Party

Little R had a small birthday party with just family-and a few we consider family. Ok-this post has been a draft for a while..she was 2 over a month ago :)
Instead of cake-we had cupcakes-no ice cream, and only a few other snack items. This was an informal party-no invitations, no real decorating-just some streamers, a birthday banner and a few balloons for her chair. I did go with a theme-jungle animals. She wore an outfit a friend made (, and the cupcakes were decorated like monkey faces. We also requested no gifts but of course she got some anyway.
I ordered her gifts from my Mom and Dad from got a pretend Dyson that does pick up paper, band in a box by Melissa and Doug, and a cutting activity. The food cutting practice activity set is so incredibly neat and baby R likes it. Maybe I'll write a review! The hubby made her an chalkboard/easel/magnetic board and I bought various art supplies to go with it.. I was super impressed with his handiwork! Just so happened her sister Kiki got her magnet dress up dolls (think paper dolls w/ magnetic stuff) and Erica got her a puzzle type doll w/ magnetic clothes. She also got clothes, a little people castle, a doll that is interactive-she says certain things according to how you place her hands, $50 for her college fund, and other stuff I am forgetting.
We all had a great time and the birthday fairy even stopped by unexpectedly-complete w/ sparkly gown, wings and a mask. Thanks Julie-you're an awesome neighbor :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Homemade playdough

R and I had a fun time making playdough this past week. We used a recipe from a craft book we have but there are TONS of recipes out there.

We used:

2 cups flour
2 cups warm water
1 cup salt
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon cream of tartar

The recipe recommends slowly adding the water to just the flour and salt mixture-I just dumped everything in and stirred alot over medium low heat. I stopped cooking when the mixture was hard to stir, then let it cool for awhile in the pot. I then scooped the dough out and put it on waxed paper to finish cooling. The dough still felt sticky to me so I sprinkled some corn starch on it and kneaded it in.
From there I added a little orange essential oil for fragrance and hopefully preserving. I separated the dough into 4 parts and added food coloring. R chose which colors except for orange-that was my idea.
The results were great!! Well, except for the orange which looks kinda like pureed pumpkin- not what I was shooting for.
This could be a great lesson for ratios, measuring, color blending, and the science behind how heating a mixture of liquid and powder makes a solid mass.
Playing with our creation was even more FUN.

2, two. dos, twee, deux, do'

I am now officially the mother of a 2 year old. I think she has been in the "trying 2's" for at least a couple of months already. Almost anything is worthy of a meltdown depending on her mood, lack of sleep, etc. However, she makes up for it in kisses, hugs, "love me's" and general cuteness.
I took off from work on her birthday so we could spend it together. We went shopping for books and practical life supplies, ate lunch, played on an inside playground, cooked dinner together and went to Krispy Kreme. The hubby and I had doughnuts, R decided she didn't want hers or ours and of course thought the floor was a better place than her napkin for the food to reside.
It is so true that the years fly by and you should enjoy them. It is hard to believe I first held her in my arms over 2 years seems like only a few days ago and at other times-a lifetime ago. I have learned so much in these 2 years. I now understand why you should nap when baby naps; I no longer pick up toys constantly-as long as there is a path, it's okay; sometimes, it's okay to let her watch cartoons for an hour-I need the break; kids really do repeat what they hear; some days are exasperating but the other days far outweigh those kind; parenting is not easy but it is rewarding; and so much more!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

I prefer uneventful

This past week has been a rollercoaster in my world.
My Mom went back in the hospital due to mutiple problems centering around her cancer and chemotherapy-worry, scared, sad, fear
She is out now and home health is in place to come out at least once a week-relief
Hubby's new career is starting-excited
-it is commision only-scared, terrified, anxious
Babysitter's daughter fell and hit her head and was unconscious for a few seconds-empathy
-she is okay though-happy, glad
Neighbor's little boy has a high fever and had a febrile (hopefully) seizure-empathy, fright
Hubby and I picked up the twin brother from the ER and kept him for a night-not sure how to describe this feeling- I just know I was glad to be able to help out
Tragic but not fatal incident I can't discuss because of HIPAA laws-panic, fright, sad, questioning, scared

I'm ready for a nice, quiet, uneventful weekend!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fun filled days of summer

R and I have done a lot the past few days-painting with watercolors, talking about weather, lots of coloring, blowing bubbles, and checking out
the yard- especially the caterpillars.
Watercolors- R likes to paint but scrubs the brush on the paper, likes washing the brush off but not drying, and enjoys painting the sidewalk, her body parts and mine. I got the paints on sale for 1.99 at the local teacher supply store and they have more paint than most sets I have seen.
Weather-We have window clings up and talk about weather when we remember. R doesn't really get it yet but she can identify sun and rainbow.
Coloring-R breaks crayons, peels the paper off and colors on anything she can. I'm thinking chunky crayons are better for toddlers. However, I have a plethora of crayons new and old. BTW-Target had the 24 pack for 24 cents, can't pass that up. I can always used them for shaped crayons later.
Bubbles- R and I blew bubbles-well, mostly me and she chased them. The bubbles were of our neighbor's kids commented-those things are as big as balloons. I used regular bubble liquid but added dish detergent and glycerin. No measuring just poured it together and stirred. I made improvised wands from pipe cleaners and used a pie pan for the container. I didn't like the pipe cleaners, too flimsy. Next time we will try metal clothes hangers bent into different shapes.
Our yard-WOW!!!! We have caterpillars. There were some on the parsley and some on the fennel-today I only saw them on the parsley. None so far on the purple passion fruit. I plan on buying a butterfly habitat for next year so we can observe the life cycle of a butterfly.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Proud to be an American

I got an email this morning from a former coworker of mine (Thanks Sara!). It was a short paragraph and link to a video. I rarely ever actually look at links in emails unless the link was sent specifically to me about something the person knew I would be interest in. However, today I did for some reason and I am glad I did. It was touching to see people-young, old, black, white, business people, laborers, fireman, military, policemen, etc- ALL showing their respect to a soldier. As some of the signs along the way said "Freedom isn't Free". I don't agree with everything about the wars going on but I agree all people have a right to be free and unoppressed. I respect our leaders for standing up to the oppressors and I respect are soldiers even more for fighting for people they don't know. As a side note-why don't you see more stuff like this on the big networks????
As a daughter, sister, granddaughter (x2), niece(x many), cousin(x3), and daughter-in-law of individuals who served our country-this video made me proud and tearful. When my brother left for Iraq, I was so scared I would never see him again. Despite our differences, disagreements and sometimes plain arguments- He is my family and I love him dearly and couldn't imagine life without him. You would think the longer he was gone, the more used to it I would get...NOPE. If he didn't email for a few days I panicked. I would search the net for info about the base he was at, watch CNN, Fox News, etc for hours, check my email incessantly and just be plain obsessed about my phone being right beside me. I thank God he made it home all in one piece.
I have included a copy of the email and the link.

Killed in action the week before, the body of STAFF SERGEANT FIRST CLASS JOHN C. BEALE was returned to Falcon Field in Peachtree City, Georgia, just south of Atlanta, on June 11, 2009. The HenryCounty Police Department escorted the procession to the funeral home in McDonough, Georgia. A simple notice in local papers indicated the road route to be taken and the approximate time. This was filmed during the procession by a State Trooper. Nowadays one can be led to believe that America no longer respects honor and no longer honors sacrifice outside the military. Be it known that there are many places in this land where people still recognize the courage and impact of total self-sacrifice. Georgia remains one of those graceful places. The link below is a short travelogue of that day's remarkable and painful journey. But only watch this if you wish to have some of your faith in people restored. Please share widely. GOD BLESS THE U.S.A.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Middle age, I'm there

As much as it pains me to admit it- I am officially feeling "middle age". I went to the doc on Friday and am now on a Statin drug. I even bought a pill box. You can't get much more "middle aged" than that.
My maturity level is certainly not at almost 40. That's okay by me though. I prefer to keep a little immaturity around. I can always use it for an excuse to be selfish :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Pros and cons; positives and negatives; the good and the bad; and more

The hubby and I continue to contemplate a move to Western NC-we have pretty much made up our minds that it will happen and within the next 2 1/2 years. We even have a 4 county area picked out. HOWEVER, some people (in other words family) don't think it's a good idea. So, I used the old "make a list" way of looking at options. We, well mostly me, sat down and listed the positives and negatives of moving to a new state, specifically NC.

On the positive side

- seasons

- it's cooler

- no hurricanes

- mountains

- snow

- more affordable housing

- lower property taxes

- more home school "friendly"

- closer to "rock and gem" places, a passion of mine

- variety of state parks close by

- easier to grow a garden, hubby says not important, I say it is

- closer to sisters, provided they stay in the ATL area

On the negative side

- we will pretty much know no one

-the move itself (time, expenses)

-the possibility of 2 payments if our house does not have a renter

-it's cold

-long way from the beach


-some of the roads scare me

-less visits from his parents

-possibly less visits from the sisters now we aren't close to the beach

-new job for least a part time one

-possibility of moving my parents for the 2nd time (not sure what the future holds in that area)

So, bottom line, we have alot to think about. I am determined to make it happen and so is the hubby. For me, the positive outweighs the negative and I think it does for him too. I'm just scared of change. We just need to set a time plan, make a plan, stick to it, and pray about it.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Finger painting

R and I spent some time finger painting yesterday after I got home from work. She had a blast!! I alternated between putting paint on the paper and her hands. I think she enjoyed rubbing paint on her hands and on me more than putting it on the paper. We also tried footprints and hand prints-neither were incredibly successful. Since we were outside, I grabbed a few sticks, rocks and leaves and let her use those too. Fun times!

I used the crayola washable finger paints-they are a nice thick consistency and the colors are bright. They do take quite a long time to dry but it all depends on thickness of course. Baby R likes LOTS of paint so there were globs of it everywhere.
In the next few days I plan on trying the make your own version of finger paints. I picked up a box of cornstarch, and 2 assortments of food coloring to try out. I'll post about the results in a few days, well maybe weeks :)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My garden woes

SO, my garden is not doing so well. I have 1 cucumber and 1 yellow squash or zucchini still alive. Not sure if I watered too much, not enough or something else. My beans are alive-well most of them-but there are almost no beans. Plus, when we came back from our trip there were large pieces of vine gone-not dead but GONE. No clue what is eating them-I didn't see bugs or caterpillars-I'm thinking squirrels or rats (gross!!). I do have LOTS and lots of Roma tomatoes and some regular ones too. The bell peppers are taking off and I have spices (basil, cilantro), even if they do look kinda puny. I guess the carrots and onions are doing okay-I can't really tell but most of them are still alive.

I am thinking about planting winter squash and maybe some cantaloupes in one of my mostly empty flowerbeds. Not exactly the best time for planting but I'm going to see what happens. This year's garden is more trial and error than anything else so it is a learning process for me however it turns out.

Visit to Nanny and Poppa's

The hubby and I and little R went to my parent's house for a few days last week and over the weekend. This car trip was so much better than others. We stopped about an 1 1/2 into the trip and bought a portable DVD player. That thing is an electronic MIRACLE. It was great to have little R not whining and complaining about most everything after 30 minutes in her car seat. She did get grumpy close to the end both ways but nothing like the typical trip. What a relief.
We all enjoyed spending time with my parents. Plus, as a bonus, my brother and his 2 girls came and spent the night on Friday. It was nice to catch up and baby enjoyed the attention from everybody. Mom was worried R might be scared of her baldness-not at all. R just looked at her head, smiled and giggled, rubbed it a little and went on. Mom was relieved.
I spent quite a bit of time cooking and preparing food. I did get 12 meals in the freezer though-Yea!! Now I know they have some home cooked meals without alot of hassle. My Dad doesn't cook much and Mom still has very little energy and continues to have some yucky side effects from the chemo. They get alot of takeout and deli meals and eat sandwiches.
After getting that many meals done in a kitchen I'm not used to in a reasonable amount of time-I'm even more determined to do some freezer cooking for myself. Now, finding the time to do it is the key.
This week is essentially a 3 day work week for me. I was off on Monday except for court in the morning and I'm off again Friday. I could definitely get used to this!! However, no such luck for me.
Have a Happy Independence Day!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Father's day and dinner

Well, Father's Day did not go as planned. I had planned on making breakfast for the hubby and making sure he got a little extra me time that morning. As I started breakfast preperation, I noticed some bowls with leftovers he had left in the sink. I decided to go ahead and get them cleaned up and put in the dishwasher before I started cooking. I proceeded to empty the leftovers into the sink and turn on the garbaghe disposal, only 1 bowl at a time though. Next thing you know, NASTY water is rising on thge other side. Turns out I clogged the pipes...AGAIN. So, hubby spent his morning draining disgustingly dirty water from the sink and pipes, and unclogging our drain with a snake.
Bless his heart-he barely complained. I felt so guilty!!! To add to the comedy of the day, the fish I cooked for dinner was awful. As in, there was no way we could eat it. I don't know if it was old, spoiled, or just gross-whichever it was-it was completely inedible. Once again, hubby didn't complain and we just ended up getting dressed really quickly and going out to dinner. Thank goodness for an understanding hubby. Love you!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Homemade Pizza

Hubby, little R, and I love pizza made at home!! Lately, the hubby has been making them because he is the one home first but I do occasionally make one too. Ours is a semi-homemade one since we used a bagged mix which I get for less than $1 at Save-a-Lot. As far as ingredients-it's whatever we have on hand. For the sauce-jarred pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce or tomato sauce w/ added spices; for the cheese-usually mozzarella but we add others like Monterrey jack, Colby too; for veggies-usually just green peppers but sometimes tomato slices, onions, artichoke hearts, yellow or red peppers, thin sliced carrots, etc; for meat-usually pepperoni, regular sausage, or Italian sausage,however ground beef, ham, and chicken are all options. We have made a taco style pizza w/ salsa, various cheeses (mozzarella and I forget the other kind but it's billed as a Mexican cheese and it's very wet and white) and hamburger seasoned w/ chili powder and cumin-it was really tasty. The hubby is much more creative than me in the kitchen-I tend to make the same things over and over with only minor tweaks-he likes making new things or changing recipes quite a bit.
Right now, hubby is at home making a pizza while I'm at work waiting on a client who I have to remind about responsibility and consistency and treatment plan guidelines.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Random facts about me

I haven't really been in the blogging mood lately-nor have I been doing much "blogworthy" activities. SO, here goes with a random facts list.

1. I desperately want to move to Western NC
2. I honestly did not even consider having children before I was 30. Amazing how nature works :)
3. I remember almost none of my labor or C-section.
4. I am way more emotional now than before I had little R.
5. I look forward to the day I can start working only part time.
6. I still count on my fingers
7. I like to do lists-whether I actually use them or not
8. I am starting to enjoying cooking-but still not the clean up afterwards.
9. I enjoy planting veggies and watching them grow. There is a satisfaction in being able to eat something you grew from a tiny little seed.
10. I think about, research, consider, etc, stockpiling food, water and other supplies. I like the idea of being prepared and not just for hurricane season.
11. Speaking of hurricanes- I feel as if I HAVE to be outside looking at things while they are happening. Note: I have never been a strong hurricane.
12. I worry too much about things I can not change.
13. I am way too timid about getting out and meeting/talking to people. I even get nervous before playgroups!!
14. I hope my little R does not get my shyness.
15. I love kid movies, especially Disney ones.
16. I save way too much stuff.
17. My perfect living situation would be a 3 month rotation between Western NC and a sparsely populated carribean island.
18. I still essentially use the hunt and peck method of typing. I have typed 20+ page papers this way.
19. I feel incredibly immature for my age.
20. My feelings on the previos fact change often.
21. I have never wanted to live in a big city.
22. I just recently decided I could live "in the country".
23. I heart seashells.
24. I would love to be able to paint.
25. I still love 80's hair bands.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Pain, quick trip, and more's Thursday already and I am so far behind with household chores, not to mention paperwork. I spent my weekend in pain and under the influence of narcotics. I HAD a cavity that needed a root canal but thought I could wait until the end of the month to get it fixed. I had it all planned out- I would go to Tuscaloosa on a Thursday, go to the dentist on Friday, and have the rest of the weekend to spend with my Mom and Dad. Well, it didn't work that way.
On Friday evening, I was downing alleve and tylenol in copius quantities. By Saturday, I was taking my neighbor's meds. Saturday night ended with a trip to the ER for pain meds and antibiotics. I spent most of Saturday and all day Sunday sleeping-opiates knock me out. On MOnday morning, the hubby started calling around looking for someone who could see me ASAP. He called a random dentist in Mobile and they said they could see me that afternoon. After hearing this, we threw clothjes in a suitcase for us and R, grabbed extra diapers and a sippy cup and headed out. We made a speedy trip to Mobile and the dentisit saw me as soon as I got there.
The experience was not a pleasant one BUT it was not as painful as I expected. The dentist was thorough and gentle, the staff was friendly and it was cheaper than having it done here in PC. 900$ later..I'm no longer in pain.
R did get to spend a little time with her grandparents and we were able to rest a little before driving home the next day. I say a little because the in-laws house is hot, not warm, hot!!! Also, the bed seriously hurts my back AND I forgot to pack a bottle. I remembered the liners but not the bottle. Little R still drinks a bottle before bed. I know, bad mommy for not breaking her already. It was so pitiful though..she woke up once crying :I can't have it..bottle, I can't have it. I wanted to cry :(
On a happy note- We stopped by Battleship Park and little one got to touch an airplane. She now talks about kissing and hugging the airplane. Too cute.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Memorial Day weekend

Well, the long weekend has come and gone..leaving me wishing for an even longer weekend/vacation. Most of my time was spent catching up on sleep I didn't get while worrying about my Mom. She spent almost 5 days in the hospital from what appeared to be an "overdose" of chemo. She went for days without being able to keep solids down even with anti nausea injections and a bag or two of IV fluids. SO, she went to the ER and they admitted her. After many, many phone calls and inquiries I was still as uninformed as before I called anybody-MAJOR source of frustration. As with many others-not knowing is one of the hardest things for me.
Thank goodness for having family and friends who work at the local hospital.I finally got some accurate information mid morning on Thursday and felt a little better about what was going on.
I could add more about the stressful part of the end of the week/weekend but won't.
On a positive note-We took R to see her first LIVE cows and horses. She was thrilled to see the "moos". We heard about the baby moo for days.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bellingrath Gardens

When my parents were visiting, I took time off and took Mom to Bellingrath Gardens in Mobile, AL. I wasn't incredibly impressed this time, but the gardens are pretty at anytime. I'm thinking they were in an in-between phase because I saw lots of new plants and lots of planting being done.
What I enjoyed was the time we got to spend together and the time my parents were able to spend with little R.
R had a great time exploring the grass, shrubs, leaves, flowers, water features and various bugs we encountered along the way. We used her new backpack with a leash, ummm strap-to keep her from escaping into the river or dissapearing into the flowering abyss. It was a lifesaver-she could walk or ride in the stroller and I didn't have to plead, argue, redirect or force her to hold my hand or stay close. I distinctly remember the devices from quite a few years back that attached to the child's hand and had a strap the parents held and I even more vividly remeber my thoughts about them. It went something like this I can't believe a parent would have their child on a leash like a dog..I will never do that to my child...those are for people who just don't try to make their child behave, etc, etc. I take it all back!!!!! I was so thankful for the backpack and the peace it allowed.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Heirloom seeds

This year, I planted mostly heirloom seeds from Ferry Morse and Burpee. Why heirloom? I like the idea of non hybrid veggies and being able to save seeds year to year. Plus, there is just a tiny bit of preparedness in the back of my mind and heirloom seeds are a start. All of the seeds I planted are growing well and now I'm waiting on harvest time. The dragon tongue beans already have beans on them, the squash and zuchini are blooming and the onions are doing okay. I will post pictures soon.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Letting go and letting GOD

Why is it so hard to stop worrying about things you have no control over???? I keep reminding myself, let God take care of it the way he sees fit, just pray about it. BUT, I find myself worrying about the outcome, thinking about what ifs and getting down about what the future may or may not hold. So, this is a visual reminder for me to Let Go and Let God. I will continue to pray for healing but also pray for acceptance of God's plan.

Friday, May 1, 2009


Definition of GRATITUDE

a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation

a feeling of being grateful for gifts or favours

The state of being grateful; thankfulness.

My mom's recent diagnosis has reminded me of how thankful I should be for what I have...even the little things. So, here is a list for the world to see.

Things I am thankful for:

A healthy child
Parents who care
In-laws who are helping
A home
My car
All of my senses
The ability to work
Having a job
Reasonably good health
unconditional love
Air conditioning
Food for my family
the bible
Good coffee
Krispy Kreme :)
Having had my parents around till now
change of seasons
the beach
having at least a little common sense
a husband who helps out w/ baby
Nichole-she takes wonderful care of little R
my 3 critters
silence (not that I experience it alot)

These are just a few of the thinks I am thankful for. A few years ago, Oprah mentioned a gratitude journal on her show. I haven't done that but I do make it a point to think about all I have to be thankful for..even the small things.

Monday, April 27, 2009

the C word

I'm sitting here at work, desperately wishing I could be at home with little R and my mom. The hubby and I brought my parents back here to FLA from Alabama this weekend. Mom told me on Friday that her cancer is back. When she goes back, she will start chemo and maybe radiation...AGAIN. She had breast cancer, had a mastectomy, went through chemotherapy-2 different kinds, radiation and ongoing anticancer drugs. Then, cancer was found in her back, more chemo and radiation...another flare up, more radiation.
Now, she has cancer in her kidneys and liver. According to the docs, the original cancer in the breast metastasised to the back bone which has now metastasised to the kidney and liver. AT least it is the same form/strain as before-hopefully the chemo they used before will be effective.
I am so glad we had already decided that my parents would come back with us. Time is precious but even more so when the reality of illness, death and dying are so close.
If you are the praying type-please keep my Mom and Dad in yours-if not, send happiness and health vibes her way.

Family Reunion, car trips, etc

Well, we are back from our short trip to attend a family reunion in Alabama. The ride there was not pleasant. We need to remember to only travel in the morning or early afternoon with R. When she is tired, riding in a car seat for hours is not something she does without a protest. She cried, whined, and practically begged me to hold her (I hold you)-it was sad :(. We did stop once at a McD's to let her play for about 30 minutes and that seemed to help for a little while.
Little R had a good time playing chase and coloring with her cousin Jacob (he is actually my cousin's grandson, not sure what that makes he and R) at the family reunion. They were so cute!! And we got to see relatives we hadn't seen since...well, last year at the family reunion.
Kudos to my cousins Regina and Sheree for putting it together. I'm looking forward to seeing the CD of pictures put together by another cousin and his daughter. Someone had the awesome idea to have everyone bring family pictures-old and new-and scan them in to create a picture CD.
It was also great to get to spend time with my oldest niece. She came for the family reunion and spent the night at my parents' house. R has only seen her once or twice before but she warmed up to her quickly. It was sweet to see her holding R and see the smiles being exchanged.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Things to do before I die

As part of my job as a counselor, I lead group treatment sessions every week. One of the topics I have used in the past and used again today was what are 20 things you want to do before you die. Previously, I've played the Tim McGraw song Live Like You Were Dying and then explained the activity but not today. I didn't decide until after I was at work to do this activity.
SO,in keeping with a theme-I'm blogging about my own bucket list of things to do before I die.

Learn to speak another language, fluently
Have a home in Puerto Rico
Get out of debt
Get my LMHC
Sell my creations on ETSY
Learn to sew
Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef
Swim in a phosphorescent bay
Spend the night in the rainforest
Be unplugged (no TV, computer, phone, etc) for one week
Kayak with Orcas
Take an Alaskan Cruise
Meet my grandchildren
Move to western North Carolina
See the Northern Lights
Take my child to swim with the manatees
Take my child to Disneyworld
Go on a photo safari
Paint a picture and hang it in my home
Have a "real" garden-you know, the kind that actually feeds my family
Live far enough away from the city to have chickens, not a pen full just a few laying hens
See the Grand Canyon
Ride a camel
Dig for Thundereggs
Be an extra in a movie
Have a house with a big porch- rockers, porch swing, hanging plants, the whole old southern kind of porch
Come up with a "signature" dish
Take guitar lessons
Learn to play a CCR, James Taylor, or Simon and Garfunkel song on my guitar
Find a church where I feel at home
Teach a college level course
Forgive some people (I'm currently working on this )
Grow my own fruit
Become comfortable with my body-whatever size it is
Foster creativity in my child
Foster a sense of wonder about nature in my child
Learn how to start a fire with sticks or rocks-no flint, no matches, etc
Research edible plants and have a working knowledge of them for wherever I live
Have an emergency fund
Take a survival class
Go to Jerusalem and walk where Jesus walked
Own an RV
Visit all 50 states
Take R fishing
Wake up to snow on Christmas morning
Make something R will actually want to wear
Teach R to swim
Learn to fix R's hair :)
Volunteer on a reservation
Go back to Ireland
Hike at least part of the Appalachian Trail
Go to Costa Rica
Trip to the UP of Michigan to hunt for Lake Superior Agates

Well, enough for now. I guess I better get busy making the money I need to do some of the traveling I want to do.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Phrases, new words, and general cuteness

R is now using a few phrases...neat. She says "I hold you" which can mean hold me or I want to hold _________ (usually the cats or whatever critter she sees on TV or outside. She also says "I get you" when playing with me or the hubby. Her newest word is Libby but it comes out Geebee or Sheebee. Too cute.
The hubby has been keeping her at home most of this week so they have really been able to bond. The babysitter had her tonsils out this week and since hubby is without employment-it just made sense to have her home.
NOW-I must actually work :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Weekend

Unfortunately, I didn't have a 3 day weekend like so many :( Our Easter weekend was very uneventful. I worked a few hours on Saturday and napped for a LONG time because I felt crappy. We did make a late night run to Krispy Kreme with baby in tow. She stayed awake until almost 11:00 pm. I think I have a future night owl on my hands.
Sunday morning was spent letting R play with her Easter Basket toys and then off to church. We chose to stay close and just go to the church within walking distance from our house. Not my first choice but it was convenient and time constraint friendly. The sermon was meaningful and easy to understand, the music was AWFUL but I reminded myself it was about making a Joyful noise not a pleasing noise.
Sunday afternoon once again involved a nap and then outside play with R. She FINALLY got to use her sidewalk chalk from her Easter basket. She was more amused by writing on me than the sidewalk. She also made a few sneaky attempts at writing on Daddy's car. We then transplanted tomatoes and peppers and let R play with the waterhose. She LOVES this. The water is freezing (well water) and I have no clue how she stands it. As usual, by the time we were done outside, little R needed a bath and dry clothes.
BTW-I went to the Doc yesterday and I have a bad sinus infection and an ear infection-this explains why I have been so tired and thus all the naps.