Sunday, November 29, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #20

It's hard to believe I've been doing this for 20 days already! Today I'm thankful for a day of rest. We've been on the go everyday this week and weekend. I was ready to spend a nice day at home. We were able to get the Christmas tree finished and most of the decorations put up (we don't do very many, so it wasn't that hard). We usually try to take advantage of lazy Sundays at home. We try to spend the day refueling our tanks for the upcoming week. I know exactly why God chose the seventh day as a day of rest!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Small Talk Six--Dear Santa

This weeks list : 6 Things on MY list to Santa

1. A new camera. I'd really like a DSLR accompanied by a photo class that shows me how to use it. And while you're at it, Santa, maybe some photo editing software and a class on that too.

2. A new kitchen. Originally this said stove and fridge, then I remember that I hate my kitchen. I hate the color of the walls (they're Smurf blue) and the cabinets (pale yellow) and the linoleum (it's peeling) and my table. So, a whole new kitchen for me please! (If you could throw in all new pots and pans and utensils, that would be nice too)

3. Money to pay off our debts. Ahh..I dream of living debt free. It will happen someday, of that I'm sure. It may be awhile, but it will happen. It would just be nice to have it done sooner rather than later.

4. A nice mini-van. I never in a million years thought I'd want a mini-van, but I do! I don't even want a new one, a nice used one would work just fine!

5. New clothes. I have the post baby body and most of my clothes don't fit. I would love to be able to walk into Kohls and buy whatever I want.

6. A king size bed. We co-sleep and our bed it getting a little crowded. Adelae always starts the night off in her bed, but inevitably winds up in bed with us. I love that we all get to snuggle together, but things are a little cramped. So, I think a California King sleep number bed would be fabulous!

So, what's on your list for Santa this year? Don't forget to go to MomDot and link up!

I'm Thankful Day #19

Today I'm thankful for Chuck and Jenny Collins, also knows as Bozo and Gramma Jenny. Ben's parents and sister live in Oregon, so we don't get to see them as often as we'd like. In their absence, Chuck and Jenny have stepped in. They invite us (and Ben's brother and his family) to share all the holidays with them. It's so nice of them to include us in their celebrations. This year they have gone above and beyond. They hosted not one, but two Thanksgiving dinners. We were unable to make it on Thanksgiving and they graciously offered to have everyone over again today. They always buy our kids a little something special and have come to see both of them in the hospital. Chuck and Jenny always make an effort to come to all of our parties that we host, even though they live an hour away. It's nice for us to have that connection to Ben's side of the family, even if his parents and sister are so far away. Someday we would love to travel to Oregon for the holidays to visit, but it's just not feasible right now. So, until then...we'll celebrate with Bozo and Gramma Jenny. We love you guys tons and tons!

Friday, November 27, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #18

Today I'm very very very thankful for our pediatrician. Brinna has been terribly sick for about a week now. She has this horrible cough that causes her little face to turn all red, then she gags, then she acts like she can't breath. Occasionally that's followed by a lot of mucus being thrown up. Fun right? Yeah..not so much. Especially since she coughs all night long. Litreally..all night. It's so bad that Ben decided to sleep on the futon last night "so we wouldn't be bothered" when he came to bed "late" (about an hour after me...not late at all). I'm thinking perhaps it was so HE wouldn't be bothered by the constant coughing. He's kinda tricky like that. Anyway..after listening to my 4 month old little baby cough, hack and dry heave last night I decided enough was enough! I'm not one to take my kids to the doctor over every little cough and sniffle. In fact, I'm quite the opposite. I try to avoid the doctor at all costs. But, like I said, I'd had enough! I called the pediatrician this morning (on Black Friday none the less) and the nurse said "How fast can you be here?" Um...what?! She wanted to see us before they closed for the weekend, just in case. We rush around and head for the office. I was fully expecting to wait for a long time, after all, they were squeezing us in on a holiday. We waited about...oh....5 minutes. Once we were in the room I was expecting a long wait..surely at least 15 minutes. Or less than 5. We were in and out in under 30 minutes. The best part? Even though all she has is a cold (thank God!), he gave a prescription for a decongestant. Hopefully we can all sleep better now!
This is the 3rd pediatrician we've been to since Adelae was born. At first I was a little skeptical about their practice, but I can't rave enough now. The doctors that we've come in contact with have been exceptional. For that reason, today I'm thankful for Fort Wayne Pediatrics.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #17--Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving. LOVE IT! It is by far my favorite holiday. I love that we just get together with family eat and visit. I love that there is no expectation of gifts. In fact, there's no expectations at all. I love that I get to watch football all day long. I love that I'll end my night by sharing a glass of wine with fantastic family that I also consider my friends. I love that there will be too much food. I love that I'll have turkey sandwiches (or maybe even turkey and noodles) for days to come. I love that we have too many places to go. I'm sad that we can't be everywhere at once, but how great to have that problem! I love that so many people love us and want to make us part of their Thanksgiving celebration. I love that on this day so many people reflect on what they are thankful for. So, today I'm thankful for Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my family, friends and blog readers. :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #16

I'm thankful for all the babies born into my family this year. My brother, sister and I are all proud parents to little baby girls. My cousin, Ashley, had a little baby boy and my other cousin Natalie is having her little girl at any moment now. My brother in law, Matt and his fiancee, Ashley, are also proud new parents to a little baby girl. 2009 has been a great year for babies in my family. I can't wait for Christmas to see all these babies playing together!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'm Thankful #15

I'm thankful for baby laughs. I'm having one of those days where nothing seems to go right. It's been one little tiny thing after another. Just a minute ago I was sitting in the chair feeling sorry for myself and Brinna laughed at Adelae. It was full on laugh with a little squeal and everything. Pretty soon, Adelae was laughing along with Brinna and I couldn't help but start giggling myself. What a great stress reliever!

Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #14

Today I'm thankful for message boards. I've met some really great women through the internet. I'm also lucky enough to have been able to meet a few of them in person. My conversations with these women are what get me through my day. As a SAHM I have very little contact with the outside world, and even less contact with adults. These women help me keep my sanity!

I have to give special thanks for my fellow Feb 07 moms. We've been through a lot together over the last (almost) 3 years. I am very honored that they call me "friend." I dream that someday I will get to meet all of you in person. (Watch out're next on my list!)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #13

I'm thankful for Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and all the other great social networking sites. It's kind a strange thing to be thankful for, I know, but let me explain! Through Facebook and MySpace, I've been able to re-connect with friends from high school. I'm also able to keep in touch with family on a daily basis. It's so nice to be able to say "hi" to family that's in another state. So, I'm glad that I have a slight **cough, cough** Facebook addiction.

I'm Thankful Day #12

We had some slight computer malfunctions yesterday, then I had to make food for a party and then, of course, attend the party. With all the stuff going on, I sort of forgot to write my I'm Thankful. I had it all planned out in my head, it just didn't make it to the computer screen.

Today I'm thankful that Ben passed his fire test. He studied really hard and I'm glad it paid off. He has one more test to take before he can actually go into fires, but I know he'll do great!

Friday, November 20, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #11

Today I'm thankful for my Mommy. I love her lots and lots. I'm lucky enough to have a mother that is also my friend. I'm lucky that she cares enough about me and my girls to come to my house to visit every other weekend. (If you know my mom, you know that's a huge deal. She hates to leave the house.) She is an amazingly talented crocheter (is that a word?) and makes blankets for us all the time. It may not seem like a big deal, but it is. My girls will always have something that their Grammy made specially for them. She's always there to come to my rescue, whether I'm have a bad day or I just need to chat. We have really worked on our relationship and it's come a long way. I'm so thankful that she is such a big part of our lives. Love you Mommy! :) (and yes...I do still call her Mommy sometimes.)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #10

Today, and every day, I'm thankful to have a roof over my head. I'm thankful that we found this house when we did. God truly answered a prayer! We have a huge backyard for the kids to play, room to have a dog and several cats (all outside of course), and room to grow! We rent, but I honestly don't see us moving any time soon. Our landlords are fantastic and let us treat this house as our own. We've had to make several improvements, but they're all worth it!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #9--Wordless Wednesday

How many of you are thinking, "Wow Shaun! It's great that you're thankful for so much stuff, but what about your kids?" Well, of course I'm thankful for my kids! I was just waiting till WW so I could post this wonderful picture.

What are you wordless about today? As always, head on over to 5 Minutes for Mom to link up and see what others are wordless about.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #8

Today I'm thankful for my aunties. When it comes to my upbringing the saying "It takes a village to raise a child" is more than fitting. I was lucky enough to have several people helping to make me the person I am today.

I'm thankful that Aunt Jean took me my first semester of college. Even though, according to her I was at times a less then exemplary house guest, she let me spread my wings and learn to fly. With her gentle coaching I learned who I could be, once I got rid of a lot of the hurt I carried around. Her great advice and open ears got me through more than one rough spot in my life. To this day, I know I can call her and talk to her if I need to. She's always there for me. We've had so many fantastic conversations over the years. I'm truly blessed to have had the opportunity to build a wonderful relationship with her. I also have her to thank for my love of Diet Coke and dark chocolate. :)

I'm also so very thankful for my Aunt Carol. She has been a great influence in my adult life. She always has an ear to listen and great advice to give. I enjoy the friendship that we have more than I could ever explain. I am so proud of her for realizing her dream and making it come true. Her strength and determination are definitely and inspiration to me. I'm so thankful that I can call her any time, day or night, and she's there for me.

I'm so very blessed to have two fantastic women in my life. They have both held my hand while I cried and while I laughed. They love my daughters with all their hearts. I can honestly say that not only are we family but also we're friends. I'm so incredibly lucky that I've been able to foster such great relationships with two remarkable women. I know that if I become half the women they are, I'll be doing just fine. I love you both tons and tons.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #7

I hate Mondays. It's the day that Ben goes back to work and he's been working a lot, so we don't get to spend much time with him during the week. But, I'm very thankful that he has a job. I'm thankful that he enjoys the job he has. And I'm very thankful that his job allows him to work overtime. There are so many people out there that can't find work, or have to settle for jobs that they don't like just to get by. We are lucky enough that he stumbled upon this job a few years ago. We are even luckier that his company hasn't been affected by the recession. I'm also thankful that his company treats their employees very well. I know that not all people can say that about their job. So, today I'm thankful that Ben is a part of a such a wonderful company.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #6

I'm so thankful for my sister. We weren't close growing up (something neither of us had any control over) so I'm even more grateful that she's an important part of my life now. Over the last few years, she has become my best friend. We talk on the phone at least once a day, if not more. My conversations with her have helped shed some light on a few things that have been nagging most of my life. We spend our time chatting about the funny things our kids do, our respective parents, our spouses, and whatever else strikes our fancy. So many times I'll call her for a specific reason and when we hang up the phone an hour later, I realize I totally forgot to tell her that thing that I called about in the first place.

Because of my sister, I got my family back. I have a better relationship with my dad, stepmom and brothers because of her. She pushed us all together and it has truly been a blessing. Without her influence, I don't think my girls would know their uncles or their Nana and Papa. I credit her with giving us all the kick in the pants we so desperately needed.

She is also a never ending source of inspiration for me. Her strength and faith is absolutely amazing. She has taken a lot of hits this year and still manages to laugh, joke and smile. I often say that if I were in her shoes, I would be broken by now. Not my sister! Just says a prayer and gets on with her life.

So, Thank You Maria! I love you so very much and I'm proud to be your sister.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #5

Coffee! Today I'm thankful for coffee!!! Hooray for coffee! Brinna had a rough night, so that means Mommy did too. We didn't get a whole lot of sleep. So, right now this cup of coffee with White Chocolate Raspberry creamer is making me very very happy.

I know it's not a really big think to be thankful for, but shouldn't we be happy for the little things too? :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

I'm a with it

I hate it when people say to me "I have a job, I don't have time for that" when I tell them I cloth diaper, or when I tell them that I plan on making my own baby food. I have nothing against working moms, or moms that go to school. In fact, I have quite a few friends that work or that go to school full time while raising children, but they never make me feel like less of a person for staying at home. I can't stand it when people look down on me because I choose to stay home. I don't stay at home because I'm lazy and don't want to work (an unfortunate misconception). I stay at home because I want to. I want to be here with my girls while they grow. I want to be the one to teach them their ABC's and 123's. I want to be the one that kisses the hurts and gets the snuggles at naptime. I'm lucky enough that Ben is willing to work extra hard so I can stay home with my girls. I'm lucky that he supports my decision. I'm lucky enough that he realizes, most days, how hard it is to be a stay at home mom. I wish other people were more understanding.

I can't tell you how many times I've had people ask what I do and when I say "I stay at home with the kids" they give me a look of pity. PITY! And if that's not bad enough, you should see the way they look at me when they realize I have a college degree. "What! You went to college and you don't even USE your degree?! Are you going to go back to work soon?", I'm not. You see, I already have a full time job. In fact, I work around the clock with out a break. If I'm lucky, I may get a few hours to myself during the day. IF I'm lucky the girls will nap at the same time and I'll have a chance to do the dishes or put away the laundry. If I'm REALLY lucky, I'll be able to shower with out someone coming in or the baby crying. I think the next time someone says "What do you do" I'm going to say "Well, I'm a nanny, a maid, a plumber, an accountant, an artist, a teacher, a cook and a sustainer of life." Maybe then they'll give me the respect I deserve.

You see, being a SAHM is hard work. It really is. As I'm writing this blog, I'm helping Adelae learn the sounds her letters make, nursing the baby and enjoying a cup of coffee. As hard as my job is, it's also the most rewarding. I love my "job." I love that I can use crayons all day. I love that I can hold my baby when she cries. I love that I can lay down with Adelae at naptime and have an extra long snuggle, just because I want to. I love that Adelae wants to play with me so bad she can't wait till I get out of the shower. I love that Brinna wants me so much that, at times, I'm the only one that can hold her.
In a few short years, my kids will be in school. At that point, I'll probably re-join the mainstream work-force full time. But until then, I'm a SAHM and I'm proud of it!

I'm Thankful Day #4

I'm thankful that I'm able to be a stay at home mom. Ben works hard and we scrimp and save so I can be home with my kids. It's hard, but I love it. I love to be here for all their first. I love it even when it's hard. It truly is the best job on Earth.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #3

Today I'm thankful for my Dad. In the last three weeks he has helped us install heat upstairs (which included lots of wiring), added more outlets upstairs (which were necessary for the wiring of the heaters), helped us blow insulation in our entire house, looked at my malfunctioning car, showed Ben how to change the brakes on the Oldsmobile, and came to my rescue when my toilet was clogged and I couldn't figure out how to use the snake. He's a fabulous man with a huge heart. He is willing drop whatever he is doing at a moments notice to help us out with our countless home improvement projects. He never asks for anything in return either. We've tried to pay him for his help several times, and he never takes any money from us. So, I try to feed him when he's here and we return the favor whenever we can. I don't know where we would be with out him. I love you Dad!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #2--Wordless Wednesday

I'm so thankful that God put Ben in my path. I couldn't ask for a better husband or father to my children. He's truly my very bestest friend and the other half of my heart. I fall more in love with him all the time. (And he's not too shabby to look at either ;) ) He's also a Veteran, so I thank him for his service to our country.

To participate in Wordless Wednesday, go to 5 Minutes for Mom and link up!

I'm Thankful Day #1

I found this on Facebook the other day " Let's see how many people can do this. Every day this month until Thanksgiving, think of one thing that you are thankful for and post it as your status. "Today I am thankful for..." The longer you do it, the harder it gets! Now if you think you can do it then repost this message as your status to invite others to take the challenge, then post what YOU are thankful for." I think it's a fantastic idea. We don't often focus on the wonderful things we're given on a daily basis. I thought this would make for some wonderful blog entries! I'm going to try to think of one thing to be thankful for every day until the end of the year.

Today I'm thankful for snuggly little children. I woke up this morning with Brinna snuggled against my front and Adelae snuggled against my back. How amazing to have that be the first thing I wake up to! I'm lucky enough that it happens on a daily basis. If Ben is home, we look like sardines in a can, but we love it! I wouldn't change it for anything in the world.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Please Pray

For a little boy named Stellan. His Mommy is MckMama. You may know her from my Not Me! Monday posts. Instead of thinking of clever Not Me's today, MckMama and Stellan are in Boston awaiting possible heart surgery. In case you aren't familiar with their story..Stellan was diagnosed with a heart condition in the womb. When he was born, the condition seemed to have corrected itself. I can't remember how old he was when his SVT returned, but it's been persistent for at least 6 months now. His poor little body and heart have fought so hard to get him to where he is today. And today, that is in Boston awaiting another surgery on his little heart. He is not doing well, this time around. Please oh please, pray for Stellan and his entire family. Long ago, his parents lifted Stellan up to God. They know that this is all in God's plan, but it doesn't make it any easier to understand. I don't often ask my readers to pray, but this time I am. Pray, pray, pray. Pray with all your hearts and all your souls. If you want to know more about Stellan, or MckMama please check out her blog. It can be found at . I promise you won't be disappointed. You can also follow her on Twitter.

I just realized

It's been over a year since I had a cigarette! Hooray for me!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What's for dinner?

I am the worst meal planner ever. I never know what we're having for supper until the very last minute. Often it's after 7:00 when we eat because I just don't plan ahead. I'm trying to get better though. One of my go to recipes in the winter/fall time is potato soup. I came across this recipe a really long time ago when I was first starting to cook. Ya know, back when I had to have a recipe for EVERYTHING. (I'm much better now) If you look after the recipe, I have a few variations on the ingredients.

Parmesan Potato Soup

4 medium baking potatoes
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
4 1/2 cups chicken broth
6 cups milk
3/4 to 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
10 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

Pierce potatoes with a fork; bake in the oven or microwave until tender. Cool, peel, cube and set aside. In a large Dutch oven or soup kettle over medium heat, saute onion in butter until tender. Stir in flour and seasonings. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add potatoes, return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add milk and cheese, heat through. Stir in bacon.

To make this a little more hearty, I substitute 1 lb sage sausage for the bacon, just make sure to brown the sausage first. I also add carrots and celery. I saute them in the butter with the onion. If you like your soup a little creamier, make sure to use either half and half or Vitamin D milk. Make some grilled cheese and Voila! a perfect fall meal!

What's your favorite recipe? My good friend Ashley is having a give away on her blog. Up for grabs are gift cards to Victoria's Secret and Starbucks. All you have to do to enter is post your favorite recipe on your blog and add it to her MckLinky.

Happy. Every. After.

Adelae wants to sing her ABC's, do some counting, and tell you a story.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

No islands for me!

6 reasons why you would be doomed if you were stranded on a deserted island all by yourself.

1. I'd be all by myself. I'm a very social persona and would probably go insane after a day.

2. I don't know how to make thinks like fishing poles, bow and arrows, and things like that. I would assume that having those things would be kind of necessary.

3. There is no way I would be able to catch or hunt my own food.

4. If I were able to somehow kill some kind of animal, I would have no clue how to prepare it. Plus, doesn't that mean I would have to have a knife of some sort?

5. I don't know how to make fire with out a lighter. I'm thinking that fire would be somewhat necessary for survival. I know when I watch Survivor they need fire. I'm betting it's important or Jeff Probst wouldn't be giving them flint all the time.

6. I hate bugs and rodents. Again, I've watched Survivor. I know that there's rodents and bugs. Just thinking about it makes me shudder.

It's probably a good thing that I don't travel much, isn't it?

What are your six? Don't forget to head to MomDot and link up! Happy Saturday!

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Need To Be Perfect

For some reason, I have this need to be perfect. I must be the perfect mom, the perfect wife, the perfect daughter, the perfect sister, the perfect well...everything. when I leave my house, both my children must look perfect. There shouldn't be any stains on their clothes, food on their faces (or clothes), and no hair should be out of place. They must behave perfectly at all times. I, also, must behave perfectly. For some reason, it is very important to me that people perceive me as perfect. I'm not perfect, I know that, I really do! But, people need to THINK that I'm perfect. I don't know why. It's not so much that I need to be perfect at home, but I need the outside world to look at me say "Wow! She has really got it together!"

When I was growing up, I was convinced that if I were perfect, people would love me. Ya see, I had a rough childhood. No more difficult than others, but it was hard. I never felt like I was good enough. I wasn't thin enough, pretty enough, smart enough, you get the picture. Like so many kids of divorced parents, I was convinced that if I were perfect, my parents would love each other and we would all live together in Utopia. There are so many other factors to my need to appear perfect, but I'm not quite ready to share them yet. Perhaps in time...perhaps not.

I know, now, that being perfect doesn't win you love. Nobody ever loved me more, or less, because I wasn't perfect. I know that people probably won't think I'm a bad mom if my girls have stuff on their face, or if their clothes have a stain, or if their hair is messy. I know I'm a good mom and a good wife, that's really all that matters. But when I leave the house, everyone gets a critical once over. More times than I can count, someone has had to change clothes because of some minor flaw. But, there are other times when we leave the house and Adelae has a milk mustache and messy hair. I'm getting better...slowly, but surely, I'm making improvements.

I think, honestly, that I'm unhappy with myself and that's I need the people I'm in charge of to look perfect. I don't think I'm pretty, or skinny, I don't wear the right clothes, my make-up is always a little off, my hair never looks like I want it to. I feel frumpy, fat and old. By making my children look a little more perfect, I'm taking the spot light off me. So many times I think that people probably think to themselves "Wow! The kids are cute, but Mom sure could do something with herself." It makes me sad. I don't think I'll ever be good enough, in my own eyes. I'm not sure how to get over my perception of myself. I'm working on it. I'm praying that God helps me. He's helped me so much in the past few months, and I know that he can help me with this too.

Perhaps I am perfect just as I am, but until I can really believe that my kids will just have to suffer Mom's critical eye.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dog or Cat?

I think my dog thinks she's a cat, or the cats think they're dogs. This isn't the best picture, but if you look, you can see a big black lump..that's the dog. See the other lumps? Those are cats. Yeah, my animals suffer from identity crises.

Want to see what others are wordless about? Head on over to 5 Minutes for Mom

Monday, November 2, 2009

Roll Over Miss Brinna!

She can roll!

This was the **almost** video

Then she did it!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Trick or Treat

Smell My Feet :)We went trick or treating with my brother and two of his three kids. It was a little cold, but all in all a great time. They all had so much fun and got tons of candy. Of course, I had to go through the candy when we got home and pick out the stuff I just knew Adelae wouldn't like. Is it my fault that what she won't like is the same things that I happen to love?

Two Cinderella's, Dale Earnhardt Jr and a tiny skeleton getting ready to head out.

Who needs a royal coach when you have Daddy?!

The tiny skeleton slept through the whole thing!

Two princesses waiting for costume judging (neither of them won, but I still think they're adorable!)

Practicing her smile for the judges.

Checking out all of her loot.

All tuckered out after a very long day.