Saturday, December 27, 2008

Xmas Aftermath

Christmas was great but I have no pictures ready to post. I do have some tree pics though! Here is R2Tree2 -- the tree of space!







Not great pics but you get the idea! LOL The kids all had a great xmas and so did Steven and I. We got some great gifts and some wonderful family time. Very quiet and relaxed this year. But, I did miss all of my extended family. No one came to visit this year so it was a little weird.

So, in the aftermath of opening presents and playing with toys, I injured myself. Last night, I tripped on a box and slammed my foot into a wooden chair leg. The result? A broken baby toe. Very swollen and bruised but not too bad looking. But it sure does hurt!

So, how was your Christmas? Did Santa bring you anything good? Did you get what you asked for? Were the kids well behaved? Tell! Tell! LOL

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas (Eve)

In case I do not make it to the computer tomorrow, I wish everyone a happy holiday of whatever flavor you celebrate. Be safe. Be happy.

Go HERE to Steven's Blog to see a picture of the WOMs with HOHOHO.! Braeden walked right up to Santa and said "Hi. HOHOHO I want GoGo ChooChoo Train!" He actually asked Santa for the Diego Rescue Railway. Cool. But he did not want Santa touching him! Malachai was totally cool sitting on Santa's lap until I walked away to be out of the picture. This from the boy who does not let ANYONE touch him usually! We were pleasantly surprised and the pic is sooooo cute!

More tomorrow maybe! Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A break to say Hi

Well, the tree is finally up, I have baked Gift if the Faeries bread, banana bread and eight different kinds of cookies, the kids saw Santa at the mall, I am done with all of my Christmas shopping and my kid is not doing any more fund raising right now. So, I can take a quick break to say hi!

I swear, I will post pics of the tree of space one day soon. My husband has named it "R2-tree-2" and it is gloriously covered in Star Wars and Star Trek ornaments. We are still in search of the perfect tree topper and are using a curly cue Santa hat right now. And I need to make me a space themed tree skirt one year here..... but it is pretty cool looking. Jenna took pics... I will post them. i promise.

I have to deliver cookie platters to both restaurants tomorrow and to a friend of ours as well. Then, I will start wrapping presents. Wow. It looks like a store threw up in my closet right now. Bags and boxes full of stuff all over the place!

The Wingmen of Mayhem have been active this past few weeks. The youngest WOM is full of shit. Literally. He has taken to protesting nap time by spending an hour or so working up a full diaper and thens tripping naked and playing with the results. Every day. SOOOOOO MUCH FUN. Ha. The older one has been acting so grown up lately that I am not sure what to do. Maybe he has been stolen by aliens and brainwashed..... hmmm......

Jenna's trip to London and Paris has been postponed. There were just too many issues with trying to get all of the money together for all of the students byt he deadlines. So, we are still fundraising, but are planning the trip for 2010 instead. That gives us plenty of time to earn every penny. And not go crazy while doing it!

Speaking of fundraising... I had organized a raffle to raise money. We went and got donations of different things from local businesses and sold tickets. Well, I ended up buying $20 worth of tickets and so did my mom. I won a 6 month membership to a local fitness joint! Sooo excited! They are open 24/7 so I will be able to go in when the kids are asleep with Daddy at night. maybe I can lose the darn weight that i hate so much.... I also won a free cut and color at a local salon! So, now I have to decide what i want to do to the hair! Hubby was so heartbroken when I got my hair cut short last time that I think I will keep it longer this time. It is not too long right now but i don't want to make him cry by getting it cut too much shorter!

Maybe I will finally dye my hair blue like I have always wanted! LMAO.... black with blue tips is what I want but I may setlle for red. Who knows! You will have to check back to find out! LOL

I will post pics of the tree soon and update on how we all are again before Christmas if I get a chance.

Merry Christmas to all of you. I hope your holidays are peaceful and joyous!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Lazy Tracy

So, like, Mama totally sucks. This is Tracy's daughter from over at The Delusional, who has some serious bragging and stuff to do.

In November I wrote a book. It's called The Surface of the Deep, and it weighed in at 87,050 words. My goal was 50K. Woot! I just rock like that. My book is about a revolution on an alien planet, and it parallels the French Revolution. The French Revolution rocks. You can read all about it at my writing blog, As the Plot Thickens, or on the "Surface of the Deep" page at my "official" (ha) website, High on Life. Go! Read! Give me more blog hits!!! Goooooo!!

Oh, yeah. Mom's putting a new playlist on the sidebar. It's our Christmas playlist. It's sort of...okay, well...it's pretty offensive. Bad language and crap like that. We think it's hilarious and totally kick-butt, but if you don't like rude Christmas carols, pause the playlist when you come to the site.

In other news, London/Paris fundraising is going great. Yay for that. I have $230-and-something-cents, and the first payment is only $215. So I'm set on that. Anything else I make between now and the due date goes to my best friend, who's also trying to go. After the first payment is made, I start putting stuff into my own account again, because the total is close to 3K. Yeah. That would be a lot. Heh.

B tried to kill the TV. He sprayed some sort of cleaning chemical (how he got it, I'm not quite sure) all over it. It fizzled out and died, but thankfully dried out and powered back up later. M also ate half an Asprin today, which was very fun -- not -- for Mama. She was freaking out majorly. I was pretty freaked, too. I swear, these boys are going to be the death of us all. No, I'm kidding -- I love 'em. But still, they're so...boyish.

Mom is sitting here telling me what to post. Everybody tell her that she's lazy.

She says that she's "tired". Uh-huh, sure. Heard that one before. Pfft.

Okay, that's all from me for now.

♥Jen

(PS -- Come visit my sites, please! I need some more hits. Be awesome. Yay!)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's Snowing!

OK, I know many of you live in areas where snow is no big deal. But, I live in Southern Mississippi. Snow is a HUGE deal here! My daughter actually got a snow day from school! Wow. It has been snowing for the past 3 hours off and on.... mixed with rain. But, we do have a covering on the ground...parts of it. HAHA

I am loving it. I have only seen snow two other times in my life. Once when I was about 14 in FL and once last winter, here in MS. It's crazy that we have had snow twice in the past year here. It is most unusual.

Anyway! I will update soon. Lots going on here.... just busy busy busy.....

Going to watch the snow fall now.....

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Best Post

Okay.... so I have been trying to catch up on all of the blog posts that I have missed reading over the past little bit and I ran across a post that Amalah wrote yesterday. I have gone back and read it about three times now. I have to say that I think this is one of the most well written, thought provoking and heart felt posts that I have ever read. I cried. Those of you who have followed my struggles with Braeden know the heartache I have felt and the fear and anger and just plain worry that I have dealt with. Amalah was there with me. She probably has no idea who I am, but her struggles with her son that have been so similar to my struggles with Braeden showed me that what I was feeling was okay. She carried me through some tough nights. So, reading this post really pushed my buttons. Right now I am trying to decide whether to bawl like a baby or be pissed off.....

Please. Go. Read.

Once agaiin....... bad blogger!

I have been soooooo busy. I know, it's no excuse! But, life got in the way of blogging. I have missed everyone though and will be popping in to all of your blogs soon.

One of the things that has been keeping me busy is writing articles for Associated Content. You can see links to some of my most recent articles on my side bar. Feel free to pop over, read them and let me know what you think! You can comment on the articles themselves or here. I would love some feedback.

My mother and MIL were here for a week for Thanksgiving. We had fun. It was great to spend time just hanging out together. The boys got spoiled rotten the whole week! LOL Speaking of spoiled...... I must confess that my MIL made the fabulous chef coats and hats for the boys' Halloween costumes. I forgot to give her credit so here it is: Great job! I loved the costumes and the boys did too.

Jenna's trip to London and Paris is still on, but has been rescheduled for June. I am fine with that, it gives them time to do more fundraising. Right now we are busy trying to get donations for a raffle they will be holding in a few weeks. We have to get all of the donations ready so the girls can start selling tickets! We hope they make a lot of money on this one....

Steven finally started his blog. It is called Metaphysics and Alchemy.... a cooking blog with some twists probably. Go check it out! He would love to know what you think. His very first post explains the name.....

I promise to be back within the next few days with another post. There has been a lot going on. But, right now, I have to go rescue my 3 year old from the evil clutches of his younger brother.... mwuah hah hah hah!!!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

O Christmas Tree......

My family tends to be pretty nontraditional in most things that we do. We are just not big followers. Tradition is great..... we have lots of traditions.... just probably not the ones most people have! LOL

One thing we do a little different is decorate our Christmas tree. We decorate the tree with Star Wars, Star Trek and Lord of The Rings figurines. Also Dr Seuss and Harry Potter. Maybe a few ornaments from other space type shows as well. I do have some ornaments that my daughter made when she was little and some with special sentimental value and those get hung as well. But, the overall theme of our tree is space travel. LOL Lots of little spaceships flying all over the tree with a Darth Vadar or two thrown in for good measure!

We just like being different!

So, right now, we are int he process of putting together a playlist for the blog (and for Christmas!) full of highly humorous Christmas songs and parodies. We love traditional music as well.... but who can resist the redneck christmas song? Ha!

I will be replacing my current playlist with this version as soon as it is complete. If any of the songs are offensive to you.... I apologize in advance! Just hit stop and they will stop playing.

So, what are your weirdest traditions for the holidays? What does your family do that is just a little odd? What is your favorite Christmas song?

Trying to get in the spirit early this year.... LOL

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Let Freedom "Ring"

I was scrolling through all of my favorite blogs the other day and came across THIS POST from The Queen of Shake Shake. After reading her post and following the links therein, I have decided to participate in The Middle Finger Revolution. Yes, laugh, but it really is no laughing matter. I grew up in a time and a place where homosexuality was not really a major issue. Yes, there was prejudice but it was not "in your face" as much as some places. I grew up with parents that were open minded enough to say "live and let live". I grew up with friends and relatives in long term homosexual relationships and it was not a big ussue for me. It was just the way they were.

I cannot even imagine waking up one morning, like so many couples in California did last week, to find that my spouse was no longer my spouse. To find out that my relationship is no longer valid in the eyes of my neighbors and my relatives and my country.

I could rant and rave about this issue for hours. But nothing I say will change anyone else's mind. People with the prejudice that allowed Prop 8 to pass in California will never be swayed by my words. But, maybe if enough people show their disgust about this situation, it will wake somebody up. If not, at least I have shown them how I feel......


We welcome supporters of gay rights to snap your own photo showing your wedding ring on your middle finger. Spread the word that this fight isn’t over. Whether you’re gay, straight, bi, white, blue or tan — show your support by letting freedom ring on your blog! Please forward this page to any friends and family who may find it of interest.
If you want to join in, go HERE to add yourself to log it in and show the world how you feel.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Weird Child of Mine

So, as many of you know, my fabulous daughter has a blog of her own over here. What few know is that she has started a second blog specifically to discuss writing and her trials and tribulations with her novel. Yes, my daughter is a writer geek. LOL She is currently participating in NaNoWriMo which is National Novel Writing Month. All of the participants have vowed to write AT LEAST 50,000 words in the month of November on a brand new novel. Well, my ambitious child has written 30,000 words in the past week. I am not kidding. She read me an excerpt and I was fairly impressed. She has talent, I think. This is in addition to the novel that she has already completed and is rewriting and editing. AND, she is still pulling straight A's as a sophomore in high school. Yes, she makes me feel like a slacker sometimes.

Anyway, the whole point of this (other than just bragging) is that she has a bit of a contest going on right now. Not really a contest contest where you win something physically but kind cool anyway. So, if you want to check it out, go read this post on her writing blog. Poke around a little bit while you are there. She has some pretty funny posts on there, like this one.

HA. My weird 14 year old just asked me if it wouldn't be weird if the "evil demon of Writer's Block manifested as a corporeal monster". Yes, she is definitely a writer.......

Friday, November 7, 2008

Boring?

I've been spending a lot of time lately just cleaning and organizing my house. I am trying to cut back on my smoking with the intention of quitting and realized that the busier I keep myself, physically, the less I smoke. The unintentional side effect of this is that I have not been on the computer as much.

In reality, I also have nothing to write about! LOL The boys have been fairly normal and Jenna has her normal life and very little excitement has been going on in my life! Steven's job is going fine and I am just trying to get through every day without tearing my hair out. I try to get things accomplished and still be a good mother to the kids..... it is a challenge. I am not quite sure how other Mothers do it.

Christmas is coming up fast! We are planning our Thanksgiving feast and can't wait for that. My mother and Mother in law will be coming for a week and it will be wonderful to see both of them. Maybe Steven and I will actually get a date night while they are here! We could certainly use a night off.

I am planning my CHristmas presents and baking and decorating. The kids are older this year, Braeden will really appreciate things this year. Mal is still too young but he will get excited because everyone else is!

I have a really cool advent calendar that my Mother gave me and I need to decide what I am putting in it. I know a lot of people do candy but I want something a little different. Any ideas?

I will post again soon with something a little more interesting, I hope! (ALthough boring in my life is like a vacation! LOL)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Recipe and Giveaway!

My favorite soup recipe is for a spicy vegetable soup that is made with whatever I have on hand! The recipe changes every time I make it but here are the basics:


Chop a medium onion and add it and some minced garlic to a large stock/ soup pot with some oil or butter. Cook until the onion is beginning to soften and then add your vegetables. Chopped or sliced or cubed carrots, potatoes, parsnips, green beans or anything else! Softer vegetables need to be saved for later (such as zucchini or squash or tomatoes). Season with salt and pepper and any other seasonings you wish. Cook the vegetables for approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add about 2 quarts (8 cups) of a vegetable stock (or chicken if you are not vegetarian). I don't precisely measure. I just put in enough to make a solid pot of soup. Bring the stock to a boil and then reduce the heat. Add a can of chopped tomatoes with chiles and any softer vegetables that you would like to add. Stir well and taste. Season more as needed.

Cook on medium heat, covered, approximately 30 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Use an immersion blender (or remove some liquid to a regular blender) to puree some of the vegetables to increase the flavor of the soup and thicken it slightly. Only a couple of quick bursts are needed. You want most of the vegetables to still be whole.

Stir, taste and season more if needed. Remove from the heat and enjoy!


You can add lentils, rice, pasta or anything else you would like to as well! I usually try to cook my pasta and rice separate and allow everybody to add what they want to their personal bowls. But I have picky eaters! LOL


Now, the giveaway....... Fiarion of Lionden Landing has a giveaway going on right now for a fabulous cookbook! She is giving away a copy of Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson. I totally want to win! But, head on over, check it out and enter the contest!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Planet Pixies! - UPDATE

Frugal Mommy of 2 Girls is having a fabulous giveaway. Head over there and read all about The Planet Pixies.... isn't this one adorable?!? She also has another Giveaway going on for some great wooden toys from Santa Wood Shop. Go HERE to enter this one! I'm telling you, Frugal Mommy of 2 Girls has got some really great giveaways going on lately!


New Giveaway over at Sharon Loves Books and Cats..... enter for a chance to win Secret Keeper by Mitali Perkins which looks like a really interesting book!


Monday, November 3, 2008

MPM 11/3 - 11/9


I never got a chance to make my beans this weekend. Mostly because I realized I was out of beans and just never made it to the store. HOPEFULLY the bean making will happen sometime this week or next weekend. We'll see.... NOW, on to bigger and better things! LOL Menu Planning Monday over at Organizing Junkie has some great links to menus with fabulous recipes. Don't believe me? Go check it out!

Here is my menu for this week.... not very inspiring but at least fairly inexpensive and all from scratch!

Monday - Hamburger Gravy and Rice
Tuesday - Homemade Pizza!
Wednesday - Fajitas OR Pasta with red sauce and meatballs
Thursday - Leftovers
Friday - Baked Chicken with scalloped Potatoes and a veg
Saturday - Vegetable soup and grilled cheese
Sunday - Black Rice with Thai Chicken Curry

That's it, folks!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Pictures!

Here are some pictures from Halloween! Just a few......

Braeden in his chef's costume up at the restaurant to show off.


Me in my last minute "Super Mom" costume with Malachai in his chef's costume.

Jenna in her zombie costume. The makeup was so realistic and scary that she made on little kid cry while we were trick or treating! Poor baby... Jenna felt bad! LOL

Chef Chris holding Malachai at the restaurant. Mal does not like people to hold him, talk to him or even look at him. It was funny, poor kid! LOL

Chef Hank holding Braeden. See the look on Hank's face? He is scared of kids! LOL

I do have pictures of the kids painting pumpkins and of the decorations that Jenna did but blogger hates me tonight and trying to upload any more pictures right now would be pure agony. Maybe I will be able to get them up tomorrow!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Candy Coma?

We had a great time last night but did not end up with much in the way of candy. It seems like the same neighborhood we trick or treated in last year was.... less this year. Last year almost every house was decorated and giving out candy. And the streets were filled with people. SO much fun! This year.... maybe one house in 6 was decorated or giving out candy. We had maybe 1/4 of the people on the streets this year....

Is it the economy? Or maybe just that it is homecoming weekend here at the University. Or maybe something completely different. I don't know. The boys loved it. Braeden actually said "Trick or Treat!" and "Happy Halloween!" which, if you have been following him at all, is a really big deal. Granted, probably nobody but family could have understood him, but Steven and I were both so excited and just so proud of him.

I don't have the pictures off of the camera yet because I have been busy cleaning house all day. But, maybe tomorrow. They were soooooo cute! And Jenna's zombie costume was wicked.

Hope your Halloweens were fabulous and I will be back tomorrow!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Two Years Ago Today.......

The story of how my husband and I met is actually fairly amusing. To me, anyway! LOL

I had been friends with Paulie for about 12 years off and on and he had a best friend that he had known for, gosh, 15 - 20 years. His name was Steven. We had never met because he was living in Ft. Lauderdale and we were in Gainesville. I might have met him years before, briefly, but I didn't remember it if I had. So, we shared a mutual friend but had never met that either of us remembered. When Paulie told me that Steven was moving back to Gainesville I was like "Cool! I will finally get to meet him!".

The night that Steven moved back, he and Paulie headed out to the bar after they had unpacked the Uhaul and Steven's GF at the time had gone to sleep. I met them up at the bar for a few drinks. Steven and I hit it off right away and we flirted and chatted and drank and.... well. Paulie had to give another friend a ride home so I offered to give Steven a ride back to his new apartment. Paulie made me promise to behave myself. Ha! He must not have made Steven promise. Long story short, we ended up hooking up. I felt bad about his GF, yes. It was bad to cheat, etc etc. I know it all.

We ended up not really seeing much of each other as he was trying to make things work out with his GF and I respected that. When she moved out a little bit later we started dating/ sleeping together regularly.

Now, I will not name names but I had a good friend who was also semi involved with him. One day, I called his cell phone and she answered. I was totally jealous that she had spent the night at his house. I am so totally not a jealous person, normally, that this made me stop and think. She asked me. later, if I wanted her to back off and I said yes. So.... clear playing field!

Steven jokes that one day I was just living in his house and then all of a sudden there was a kid there! LOL It was slower than that. I did not even introduce him to my daughter until we had been seeing each other for about a year. Then, about six months after that we moved in. There were a lot of reasons for that that I will not go into right now. BUT, we were happy!

I found out I was pregnant around Thanksgiving of 2004. Steven wanted to get married but I told him not yet. I did not want to get married while I was pregnant.

Braeden was born on August 9, 2005. On Halloween of 2005 we decided to set our wedding date for the next Halloween. We both love Halloween and dressing up and parties so we decided we wanted a costume party wedding! Neither one of us is very traditional. It works for us! LOL

I started planning the wedding and in the meantime, things happened. We ended up moving to Mississippi and lots of weird things interfered in our lives. Read about them here. BUT, our parents were determined that the wedding would go on as planned. I think they just wanted us safely married off! LOL Meanwhile, we found out we were pregnant again in July of 2006. So, I was getting married pregnant whether I wanted to or not! LOL My MIL bought the material for my wedding dress for me for Xmas, my mother paid for the wedding cake, my MIL paid for the grooms cake, my oldest brother paid for (and cooked) all of the meat for the reception, my other brother paid for us to have a night in a bed and breakfast after the wedding (honeymoon cabin!), my family all pitched in and so did Steven's on buying decorations and setting everything up. It was wild.

We traveled to Florida and everything was set for the wedding. My friend, Chelle, bought my wings for a wedding present and helped to set up and decorate. We spent Halloween day getting everything set up. The wedding was fun! I forgot to carry my bouquet down the aisle but otherwise it was great. My ring is made up of the rings from both my grandmother and Steven's grandmother. His aunt paid a jeweler to take the other ring sets and make them into what I wanted as a wedding present. I had made my own wedding invitations and response cards as well as Thank You cards. I made my dress with the help of my MIL (what a fiasco! I hate satin, even crepe satin!). Steven's and Braeden's outfits were made by his mother. hmmm.... my mom and many others brought dishes of food for the reception. The music was a compilation Halloween CD that I had made up for the wedding to give out. We had no photographer, but we had tons of disposable cameras everywhere and everyone took pictures.

The party was a blast. We had soooo much fun! My brothers got Steven pretty tipsy before the ceremony and there was a keg and several bottles floating around. There was sparkling cider for all of the toasts since I was preggers and could not drink. (shhhhhh, I had a beer right before the ceremony!) The food was to die for and the cake was great. Steven's groom's cake was carrot cake with cream cheese frosting in the shape of his favorite guitar and the wedding cake was chocolate and vanilla with whipped icing.

We partied for hours and then, finally, we headed out to the B&B for our wedding night. It was fabulous. There was a fireplace and a hot tub right in the room. The breakfast left much to be desired but the room was worth it! LOL

So, two years ago tonight, we had a wedding that I will remember forever. And so will all of the people there! LOL Here are some of the pictures from the wedding.... my scanner is not working so these are the ones I already have on the computer. MANY of these are just shots of different friends or relatives that were at the wedding. I did not go through and put captions on most of them. But check out all of the costumes! LOL




I will post pics of this Hween tomorrow hopefully. I hope your night is as frightfully fun as it can possibly be!!!

Happy Anniversary honey, I love you and don't regret a minute of the past two years......

Beans and Rice, Rice and Beans

I love homemade bean soup and white beans with ham. I also love baked beans. But how many ways can you eat beans? Beans and rice, rice and beans.... it gets boring after a while, right? The cheapness of beans makes them very desirable as far as stretching your budget. However, coming up with new ideas has stretched my imagination.

I found this post from Biblical Womanhood that really made me think..... beans are so versatile. You just have to find new ways of utilizing them.

I will be making a huge pot of beans this weekend. Probably more than one. Red beans, black beans and kidney beans. Maybe even black eyed peas. Once they are cooked, I will portion them into zip locks in meal sized amounts and freeze them. Way cheaper and better than buying canned beans. Especially since I get the dried beans from WIC right now.

You can also add lentils or beans to a vegetable soup to add the protein that you need. Or, make bean burritos, add them to a Mexican casserole, make a bean soup, use them in place of almost any meat in a casserole dish and even just have them as a side dish. All of this in addition to the basic rice and beans.

Why not give it a try? Post any ideas for using beans here and I will give them a shot! I want to cut back on my meat by AT LEAST 25% over the next month or so. The cost of meat is making it prohibitively expensive to eat every night... especially as a main course!

I will post recipes or ideas as I try them and let you know how this bean menu is coming along!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Better late????

Thanks to Toiling Ant from Living to the Hilt for the gentle reminder that I had forgotten to post me menu plans for this week! Better late than never say I!

Sunday - Grilled steak with cinnamon chipolte rub (yummy!), mashed potatoes, brocolli with cheese sauce and corn.

Monday - Brown rice Jambalaya with chicken breast and cajon sausage

Tuesday - Homemade hamburger helper (garden veggie rotini with mushrooms, hamburger meat and cheese sauce)

Wednesday - Cowboy Beans with cornbread

Thursday - BBQ chicken, scalloped potatoes and green beans

Friday - Leftovers/ whatever is around

Saturday - Pork Chops, wild rice mix, gravy and peas

Sunday - Country fried steak, au gratin potatoes, green beans


No new recipes this week and no meatless meals. I really need to find some new recipes that appeal to us. I tried a few last month and will be having them again, I think. ANd vegetable soup again soon! I made the best homemade soup the other day.... yummy. I will post the recipe next time I am making it.

Suggestions of good, hearty meatless meals and yummy alternatives to the same ol same ol are always welcome!

Don't forget to check out Menu Plan Monday over at the Organizing Junkie!

Working Hard or Hardly Working?

Steven is at work, Jenna is at school and the boys are playing quietly. I have caught up SOME of my housework and now have a moment to myself to post.... what shall I post about?

Steven ended up staying at the restaurant he works at because they gave him an unsolicited raise. He did not even tell them he was interviewing for other jobs. So, he stayed where he is happy working. THEN, his boss hits him with the big question. They want to switch over their second restaurant from a gourmet pizzeria to a full service Italian restaurant. He wanted Steven to go down there full time and take it over. Switch the menu, train all of the kitchen staff and be the Head Chef/ GM. Another small raise and the possibility of a third raise in 90 days. Well, we jumped at it. The 2nd restaurant is only about 3 blocks from the old one so there is no difference in travel time, the challenges are interesting to Steven and he could not pass it up. So, he is now the head of the second restaurant. They are starting small with a simple menu in addition to the pizza because he has to train all of the kitchen staff to cook anything other than pizza. And the front of the house has to be trained on how to do full service for anything other than pizza. Steven has big plans for the future though... I can't wait.

As for Halloween..... Jenna is going to be a zombie and I am going to be Anita Blake from Laurel K Hamilton's series of books. She is a zombie animator and a vampire executioner. She is totally bad ass. The boys are going to be little chefs like their daddy. My MIL made them tiny little black chef coats and hats to match their dad's. Soooooo cute. I will post pics after the day! Promise!

As for me, I have been busy busy busy trying to get rid of the roach infestation in my house, cleaning and cooking and basically being Mom. Jenna has had several fundraisers over the past few days with more to come. She is working her butt off and I am very proud of her.

I plan to try to update at least every day from now on as I have missed the release of actually writing down my thoughts. It has been over a year now since I started blogging and I missed the anniversary! Maybe I will have to have a give away anyway..... stay tuned!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Busy as a ....... Barracuda?

So, there go my promises of posting more often! Right down the tubes! I am lacking in energy and drive right now. Sickness wiped me across the floor like a limp wash rag and rung me out. I am like a limp noodle. etc etc etc blah blah excuses and ramblings blah blah


OK. Now, onto the meat of the post!

Braeden is "progressing satisfactorily" in speech therapy. I am still not sure how much help the therapy is to him as he only goes twice a week for a half hour.... but, he is speaking more. Could be helping. Or, he could just be ready. Who knows.

Malachai (The Baby) fell out of the van the other day. It was both upsetting and amusing. He leaned against the sliding door that was not there and tumbled right out, ass over band box, and gave himself a nice goose egg right on the forehead. But, he is fine. He then proceeded to fall off of the couch three times in the past two days. He must be growing.

Jenna got straight As her first 9 - weeks of sophomore year! Go girl! I am so proud of her. She is taking advanced English, advanced Geometry and French along with history, tech and art this semester. She rocks. In fact, she rocks so hard that she has been invited to go on the Art trip over spring break this year. The majority of kids who were invited are seniors. They only ask kids who are responsible and doing well in school. They also want kids who will appreciate the trip as it is a pretty big deal. They are going to London and Paris for a total of eight days! Wow. I'm jealous. Can I go, too? Anyone want to rent some little boys so I can go away for a week? LOL

She is presently in full blown fund raising mode as the girls need to raise as much money as possible for the trip. We can't afford much so Jenna is pulling out all of the stops. They had a rummage sale this weekend, they are selling coupon/ certificates to Belks outside of the store on Tuesday and will be starting a Krispy Kreme fundraiser later this week. And Jenna plans on writing a begging letter to all of our friends and relatives asking for donations! LOL She is so excited I think she is about to explode.

I have news about Steven's work situation that is actually fairly exciting, but I will post about that separately. I need to organize my thoughts first!

I hope everyone had a great Monday (mine was busy!) and I PROMISE to post again soon!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Menu Planning??????

Yeah, right. Ha.

I am planning my menu for this week about a day ahead of myself. BUT, I am working on a master menu plan for the next month. AND a shopping list. I am planning to go shopping Sunday for my major monthly shopping trip.

I think my new plan of attack is to try at least one new recipe per week for the next month to try to expand my regular menus. And one meatless meal per week.

So, look forward to some postings of menu plans, shopping adventures and coupon horrors!

Update

I have been soooooo sick for the past 3 - 4 days that it is not even funny. Just a cold but it knocked me down pretty bad. I am still in recovery but thought I would update!

Steven is not leaving the restaurant that he is at. They offered him more money and are working on fixing the schedule so that he is working less hours so..... he is staying where he has creativity. That's fine. I just need the money to pay my bills!

Jenna (The Girl) is probably bringing home straight As on her first report card. I am so proud of her! I wonder what I should do for her as a reward? hmmm.........

The boys are both doing fine. The Boy has had another speech explosion and is really making progress. He is probably speaking as much as a typical 2 year old now. He is 3. BUT... it's better than it has been! And he is making steady progress. The Baby has a new favorite word.... No! Yes, he has reached that stage. The funny thing is that when he says it he speaks kind of nasally and it sounds like he is saying "doh" like Homer Simpson! LOL

I am presently in the process of finishing up the last of my unpacking and organizing of the house. It has only taken me a year. Ha. But, we have this horrible German roach infestation that I cannot get rid of. So, I decided I had to finish unpacking everything so that a major bug bombing would work. As soon as I am finished, I will be attempting to kill every last one of those damn bugs. They are driving me crazy.

Wish me luck..... more soon!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Return of the Faerie

I've been gone for several months but am now back and ready to get to it! One of the things that has kept me out of the blogging community for so long is stress about money. With the rising costs of everything from gas to electricity to pasta to canned veggies, we have had very little spare cash. Really, none. My time has been spent trying to make extra money on ebay and struggling to make ends meet. My energy has been lacking and my drive to post has been nil.

However, I am feeling very positive lately and plan to start updating MUCH more often now!

Last night I made a really fabulous vegetable soup using veggies I had in my crisper that were close to going bad. I also made homemade wheat/ garlic rolls and pasta for the boys since they aren't too big on soup. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved the soup! And so did my family! I scooped out some of the veggies and added them to the boys' rotini and they loved that too.

So, with the thought that veggie soup (or chicken or beef or....) would be very welcome this winter, I am instituting a new plan!

When I drain canned veggies, they are usually drained into the sink. What a waste of nutrients and taste! I have now placed a container if my freezer for these "leavings" and will use them to help make stock for soups. OR, to cook pasta in to get more flavor and nutrients! Has anyone done this? Any advice? I also plan to freeze all of my leftover veggies in the same manner. That way I have less waste.

I am back to menu planning and will post my weekly plan tomorrow as part of Menu Planning Monday....

See ya then!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Back again

I know, I know, I know! Anyone who is still checking in with me regularly is shaling their head and saying "Finally, that ditzy broad posted something new!". All I can say is that my world is spinning in place very rapidly right now.

Steven and the new restaurant have finally come to terms on pay and it looks likely that he will be starting to work there within the next 3 weeks or so. He has an orientation next week and he has to give notice at the old restaurant. The money isn't great but it is the same as he is making now plus 50 cents more an hour to compensate for extra gas usage as the new place is farther away. The positives to this move are that he has the potential to make much more money in the future AND, he will be only working about 40 - 45 hours a week for the same money. Right now he has been working about 60 hours a week for the past year and a half. I will be very happy to see his face a little more often!

I have been struggling with trying to find ways to make extra money and also to keep myself sane. The stress is getting to me!

But, I promise to post more often. My mind seems to be clearer than it has been for a while. And the kids are being funny as hell so I need to update more often! LOL

More soon.....

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Vote for me!

I entered one of my poems into one of those silly contests at Poetry.com. If anyone wants to help me win a prize, head over here and vote on my poem! They have daily and monthly winners so you can vote every day. I'd love to win! LOL

Monday, September 29, 2008

Bug Bites and Potty Humor

So, Saturday, my youngest decided that ant piles are for playing in. He sat his chubby little ass down right in a huge fire ant bed. And proceeded to play. While the ants crawled all over him and into his diaper. I did not see the ant pile so was unaware that there was an issue. I think he didn't understand what was going on when they first started biting him. He did get up and start to walk to me. When I saw him crying I went running.

It was straight out of a horror flick. I started swiping at his legs to get the ants off and then pulled off his diaper. I swear, he was COVERED in fire ants. By the time I got them all off I was freaking out at all the bites. From the middle of his back to about his knees he is covered in ant bites. He has some on his neck, arms and feet but not many. His inner thighs and diaper area are the worst. I guess they went for warm, damp area and went to town.

He is doing fine with them, no signs of any allergies and he has an appointment at the doctor scheduled for tomorrow anyway so I will have him take a look at the bites to make sure all is well. But, it scared me to death. Poor baby. He doesn't seem to be bothered at all by them, though... a little itchy but he went right back to playing afterwards with no side effects.

On a lighter note.... we are working on potty training our middle child. Because of his speech problems, we are not pushing, just working at his pace. Since he cannot TELL us that he has to go, we are working slowly. But, the other night, the funniest things happened.

The Boy decided to go on the potty. While he was doing his business, the Baby decided he was going to go on the potty too. So he sat on the Boy's lap. LOL I got him off and when the boy finished, I took the babies diaper off so he could sit on the potty. The Boy was patting the potty and going "Here, Mal-Mal" (That's what he calls his brother). So, "Mal-Mal" sat on the potty and his brother proceeded to show him how to aim and then when he was done, showed him how to shake it off. I was trying my damnedest not to just laugh until I cried. They were very serious about the whole process. So, the baby hopped up and ran around for a minute. Then he came back and peed again. He did this four times! LOL He may be trained before his big brother!

Speaking of potty training......

The Boy was on the potty the other day and he was checking himself out. Must be a guy thing. Anyway, he looked at me and pointed at himself and said "Look, Mama, Bubbles!". I almost strangled myself trying not to laugh at him as I told him that they weren't bubbles but were balls. He got this weird look on his face and looked back down at himself. Then back at me. Then back at himself. And said, in a very shocked and suspicious tone, "BALLS??!!??".... LMAO. I almost had a stroke. So, I explained to him that they were really called testicles but we sometimes call them balls. I don't think he believes me. I just hope he doesn't decide to try to bounce them.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hai!

HAI!! I missded you guysss!!!!



I has compooter that workses now!
I post again soon!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Snotty Days Are Here Again

First, I must welcome Hallie and Mr. Sock Monkey to my great state and little blog... Welcome! If you do not read Hallie over at the Wonderful World of Wieners every day then you must! She is a riot!

Next, I am welcoming snotty noses into my home once again. The season of snot has commenced with the official running of the snot. All three of my children are participating in the games. And I am sure that my husband and I will be roped into joining as well! Please welcome snot into your home as well! It really is not truly Fall until that first snotty nose makes it's appearance. And it fills me with such joy to watch the little ones licking snot from their upper lips... joy and nausea...

Steven has a last interview with the new restaurant today. The manager has to discuss money with him. Hopefully, tomorrow I will be posting that he has a new job! And, hopefully, he can start right away and not have to work out a miserable 2 weeks at the old job. We'll see what the a-hole boss says when he puts in notice.

Tomorrow I plan to discuss Halloween costumes. Ours in particular and all of them in general. So, get ready with your costume stories! I want to know what the weirdest costume you ever wore was. Also, your fave, the funniest and the grossest! Until tomorrow.....

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Breath of Fall

I remember when I was younger, waiting in the dark for the school bus to come and pick me up. My favorite days were the days when the weather was just creeping over into Autumn. Standing in the darkness, in the silence. Alone and at peace. Surrounded by crisp, cool air, fresh and invigorating. My breath like a fountain of mist drifting in the still air. Whenever I think of school I always remember those mornings. And whenever the weather starts to cool off I remember them as well.

Tonight it is int he 60s here which is practically freezing for the south! LOL Of course, it won't stay that way. In a couple of days it will be back to 90s in the day and 80s at night. We won't really get feeling like Fall until mid to late November.

But, for tonight, I feel the cool air and I remember.

Now, please excuse me..... I am going to go dance in the cool air and feel the breath of Fall on my body.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Hubby!

War and death, loss and despair - people dying everywhere, BUT! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday!

Now that you're the age you are, your demise cannot be far. BUT! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday!

We like children, yes we do, boiled or baked or in a stew. BUT!  Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday!

At your age most folks go blind; you've kept your sight but lost your mind. BUT! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday!

May the candles on your cake burn like cities in your wake. BUT! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday!

Hear the women wail and weep; kill them all but save the SHEEP! BUT! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday!

There are many many more verses but I will leave it at that to try to keep it vaguely PG 13 LOL.

Happy Birthday, honey! I am so glad you were born and then decided to grow up into such a great man! Turning 38 just means you are getting distinguished. Not old. Really! Love you!!

Proud Mama

My eldest child, Jen, is an extremely special young lady. If any of you have read her blog, The Delusional, then you might know a little about that! LOL But, today I want to share with you an essay that she wrote for her Advanced English class.


The River Sings
By Jen

Picture, if you will, the mighty Suwannee River. The swift current; the majestic cliffs; the mighty cypress trees lining the tranquil banks. There is a certain peace found there that I have yet to encounter anyplace else -- indeed, I have found nowhere even remotely close.


On this majestic beast of a river, I need no paintbrush. Everybody puts on at least a thin mask for the world to see; every being brushes on at least one thin layer of paint. When I decend the old, creaky wooden steps I am overcome with an overwhelming sense of place. The mask falls; the paint is washed away. The Suwannee knows all my deepest secrets -- it needs not to see the facade.


I leap from the bottom step onto the warm, sandy riverbank. My river waves to me as it rushes by.


"Hello," it says to me. "My child, how I have missed you. Welcome home."


I smile, recognizing the truth in its words. I am a daughter of the Suwannee; my soul runs free here.


Stepping lively, I race to my river and dive into its depths. A fish swims past, nibbling at my toes. I make my way down to the bottom and brush the submerged sand with the tips of my fingers.


I linger a moment before lack of breath -- and the buoyant red life jacket I wear -- force me to leave. My head breaks the surface and I wipe my duckweed-coated hair from my face.


Having greeted and in turn been welcomed by my Suwannee, I go to help my companions load the canoes. It is time to work, and I can swim again when we reach the campsite.


Later, after the boats are loaded and lunch is devoured, we shove off. A delightful thrill runs up and down my entire being, tickling my spine and awakening my senses.


The familiar scent of my Suwannee reaches my nose. I inhale deeply, relishing the sweet, earthy smell of my true home. A sigh of pleasure escapes me.


"My child, my child. Tell me, what do you think?" asks my Suwannee.


I set down my paddle for a moment -- leaving my boat partner still powering forward. I must pick it back up in a moment. I dip my hand into the water and pluck from it a small feather.


"Oh, my mother, my mother," I say. "Your scent; the sight of you; the taste, your touch, your sound -- they awake in me an eternal flame that nothing can extinguish. My soul flies free, through both the water and the trees."


"My child, my child," the river sighs. "Oh dear daughter, you return."


"I will always return to this, my home; and to you, my mother," I say. "How can I not? For you brink me to life; you sing to my soul. This...this is what it feels like to be truly alive."


I pick up the paddle and continue on the journey. The combined power of the paddle's strokes and my Suwannee's current carry us farther down its length. I smile.


The river sings.



And THAT is talent. One day soon I have a feeling that we will be reading this young lady in print. And Oh what a proud Mama I will be!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sadness

911 Tribute Pictures, Images and Photos

It's hard to believe that it has been seven years since America's heart was broken and her soul squeezed with terror and horror. I know that for me, the anniversary is a day to feel my heartache and to shed a tear in remembrance. A day to remember WHY we need to be vigilant and strong as a country. I hope we never forget or allow the memory to become a bad dream.

So many people seem to have forgotten. I know that it is not healthy or realistic or even necessary to dwell on what happened every day. But, where is the feeling of unity and outrage that was there in that first year? Is it gone or just dulled? Has it been replaced with sullen anger over our war in Iraq? Do people hate Bush and this war so much that there is no room for the sadness and regret for the lives lost on 9/11/01?I don't know. Maybe I am just not out in society enough to see it. I know whenever I see a plane I remember. Whenever I see pictures of New York or of Iraq.... I think of the scenes of death and destruction seven years ago.

My heart aches and my soul burns for the families and friends of those lost in the terrorist attacks. I was lucky enough to lose only my blinders and my faith in our safety.

I am quiet today. I am thoughtful. And I am sad.

And I should be. We all should be. I hope I never lose that sadness. Because then I think I will have lost my humanity.

Rest In Peace.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Castles in the Sky


cloud castle Pictures, Images and Photos


I am building castles in the sky today. Castles full of hopes and dreams and plans. Plans to get out of debt.Plans to be able to pay my bills without having to be a master of juggling. Plans to be able to hire a babysitter every now and then and have date night with my husband. Plans to be able to see my husband more and spend time as a family when he is not exhausted.

Steven had his first interview at a different restaurant yesterday. I won't share the name at this time but will say that it is a national chain. They have pretty much guaranteed him the position. Now he has to meet with the General Manager to discuss money. Then it is time for a decision. He says that he has been making his decisions in the past based upon what is best for him. But now he is making decisions based upon what is right for the family. Way to grow up! I just hope that this position will make him at least semi-happy while making us financially stable. I have always told him I did not care where he worked as long as he was happy and the bills were paid. But things have been pretty tight lately. I will be happy to be a little better financially. AND have more time with my husband! I have almost felt like I was married to a stranger for the past year or so. Time to get back to the basics.

So now, let's all cross our fingers that my castle in the sky is not blown away by the winds of reality.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Biggest Loser, Bdays and BJs

Better day today.... I just have those days, ya know?

Tomorrow The Girl and I are starting our own version of The Biggest Loser..... Faerie Style! We will weigh in every week for the next six months and atthe end of that time, we will have a winner. Actually, I think I mighthave three categories which gives me a better chance of winning something! LOL Most pounds lost, most inches lost and percentage of fat lost. We will do a monthly weigh in, measure and fat check at Curves and see what happens.

I haven't decided on prizes yet.... any ideas?

The boys have been whiney most of the day today. It really is one of the worst things possible. I could stand screaming fits better than whining!! But, I handled things fine today... must have been PMS.

My husband has been talking about getting a different job since this summer's pay fiasco... but today he actually made steps in that direction. Go honey! As far as I am concerned it could not happen soon enough. His boss and he are at each other's throats all the time. Steven is stressed and depressed which just makes things harder for me. I really hope things work out the way he is talking aboutand we can get situated in a different situation, LOL.

My husband will be turning 38 on Friday. Wow. I now have to decide on the coolest thing to do for him for his bdaythat won't cost much money. I mean, other than a BJ. That's pretty much a given! LOL Any suggestions for cheap bday joy for the hubby?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Anger Managment


I have had a bit of a rough day today. I have been struggling with a lot of anger and resentment for most of the day. My stomach is tied in knots and I don't feel well as a result. I know I have mentioned in the past that I have a bad temper. I just cannot seem to work through it today. And TRYING not to take it out on the kids is making me tense and even more irritable. Everything is bugging me. The messes, the laziness, the disrespect, the feeling that I am nothing but a servant in my own home, the lack of empathy on the part of my husband, the stupid shit that I do that makes it all worse... and my damn computer!

There is not one particular thing that I can pinpoint. I know that it is mostly a combination of being cooped up in the house with children and no adult conversation.... and some basic resentment of certain people who get to sleep in and then leave the house and stay away for a long time. Even if it is work.... at least it is around adults! I know I "should" be spending my days reveling in the joy of motherhood and the wonders of raising children. But, honestly, there are days when I could easily run away and not come home for a month. I think I am just tired and overwhelmed by everything that I have to do every day.

It's easy to say that I need to take a break and do something for myself. It is not as easy to actually do that. Lack of money and lack of me time leads to a basic lack of any ability to get away from this house and these kids. I love my children. I would never hurt any of them... but sometimes it is all I can do to handle the anger and frustration. The need to DO SOMETHING. ANYTHING. Anything that does not involve poop, slobber, dirty dishes or scrubbing floors.

I want to be that woman in a sharp suit leading a high powered meeting and going to lunches in fancy restaurants. I want to be that woman who follows her dreams and becomes a best selling author. I want to be that woman who travels the world meeting interesting people and having sex with strangers in exotic paces. I want to be that woman who runs her own business, who has designer clothes, who can go get her nails done or her hair done whenever it needs it instead of when she can afford it. I want to be that woman with a maid to clean up after her and a nanny to take care of the kids when they are too much. I want to be that woman with a perfect house, a perfect family and a perfect life.

And then I realize..... every one of those women is probably making a list of the women that they would rather be. Very few women (or men) are completely satisfied with their lives. Very few people don't have dreams and wishes and needs and desires that are sitting on a shelf waiting to be taken down and acknowledged.

And really, many women would give their left nut (if they had one) to be in my place. Instead of where they are.

So, while my anger still simmers, I am not consumed. I just need to get some rest.

And remember that the choices we make are sometimes dictated by necessity. And the future is never set in stone.

I will survive and I will do a great job at whatever my job is. And one day..... I will be exactly the woman that I want to be. Instead of the woman I need to be for now.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Mundane Madness?

I hate my computer. Really. And it hates me. That's why I have not been around much this week. The stupid thing has picked up some virus or bug or something and is trying to eat my soul. We must fix it. Which probably means wiping it completely and reinstalling the operating system. Again. Meanwhile, one of the ways in which the silly thing is trying to get me is by disabling my spell check. Gack. So, please forgive any horrible misspellings....

The past week has been hot and tiring and trying. My air conditioner decided to take a crap on Tuesday and was not fixed until yesterday. So I spent several days in sweltering, humid, nasty Mississippi weather with no AC and two screaming, incredibly irritable children. The husband and The Girl were able to escape for large chunks of time. We spent a lot of time outside as it was cooler than inside. Ha! Not by much but still.....

The Wingmen of Mayhem are planning something. I think that they are trying to lull me into a false sense of security. A belief that they are capable of behaving and not trying to kill each other for long periods of time. Just so that I drop my gaurd. But I am on to them! I will not lower my defenses! Although I did catch them climbing onto the headboard/ shelf of the older boys' bed and then jumping onto the bed from there..... we removed the headboard immediately. It was just asking for broken limbs or a cracked skull.

I have several very interesting posts and some new poetry floating around in my brain. Hopefully, if the computer cooperates, I will be posting again tomorrow. And then the next day. And MAYBE even the next day! I know! Shocking! Amazing! Awe inspiring!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Gustav a Gone Gone

Eh. No biggie. We are all fine here. We did not even get really heavy rains where I live. Some limbs down but no big ones. The power did not even flicker.

I will post something more later. Just wanted to update. We are taking the boys to McDonald's so that they can burn off some energy! Hope everyone else is safe and happy!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gustav A Go Go?

For anyone who does not know, I live in Mississippi. We are about 60 miles from the coast. We moved here in the aftermath of Katrina so did not go through that storm here. But, I grew up in Florida. I was in Central FL but my husband is from Miami. Both of us are used to hurricanes and preparing for the worst while living our lives normally. I have heard some major horror stories of Katrina over the past few weeks. The storm was not the major problem here. It was after the storm that caused the most problems. People from the coast evacuated to our area. The power was out (in some places) for up to 10 weeks. The water had to be boiled for months. People were sleeping int heir cars in the parking lots of grocery stores so that they could get in as soon as they opened and try to get supplies. Other people were shooting each other over generators or ice.

What?

Crazy.

The panic set in here this past week. The stores started running out of canned goods, batteries, bottles water and toilet paper. Gas stations were out of gas. Prices soared up 0.35 per gallon and there were people filling 10 - 15 gas cans at a time at every station I stopped at. Women I know were talking about evacuating north as early as last Wednesday. Teachers at the school were talking about if school is not in session we should do such and such.

Don't get me wrong, I am paying attention and we are prepared. But, I have been prepared, mostly, since Hurricane season started. Why are people just now getting ready for a storm? Why is everyone panicking? Panic is not going to help you. I have a plan in mind and if the worse happens and we need to evacuate, I have the plan ready to go. I have batteries, food, water, gas, everything we need for up to a 2 week stint of no power. I have discussed with my daughter what to do if we get hit hard and she is cut off from our end of the house.

I am cautious but still calm. We are having guests over for dinner tonight. No biggie.

I guess, the people here are reacting this way because of trauma. They were so traumatized by the situation last time when they were not prepared that they are now panicking. I hope this panic does not cause more problems. I hope they everyone is prepared and cautious and calm and the aftermath is easy. Mostly, I hope we are not hit hard. I hope it blows itself back down to a smaller storm before it hits land. And I hope everyone has evacuated NOLA and the coast before it hits.

So, keep us in your thoughts. I will post again before it hits and keep doing so with updates. If we lose power or internet, I will contact someone else to post updates for me. If I can.

I am sure we will all be fine. But, hey, positive thoughts coming my way are always welcome! Everybody be safe and stay sane!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Books, Behavior and Birthday Bashes

"If I had not been what I am, what would I have been?"
Excerpt from Elizabeth Moon's wonderful, compelling novel The Speed of Dark. I just finished reading this book for the second time. It is such a powerful and well written book that it affected me just as strongly the second time as the first. Isn't that the true test of any story? Even knowing what happens.... are you still on the edge of your seat? Do you still turn each page with bated breath waiting to see what happens next.... even when you already know? Love this book. It is set in the "near future" and is the story of an autistic man and his struggle to find who he is and decide whether an experimental "cure" is the right path for him or not.

Just thought I would share. Anyone looking for a great story that will make you think.... go read this one!

The Boy started speech therapy at the elementary school this week. He is going twice a week for 1/2 hour sessions. We will see if it helps him or not. His old therapist who came to the house each week is wonderful. We will really miss her! She came by Tuesday to see how his first day went and recommended a book for me to read. It is The Einstein Syndrome: Bright Children Who Talk Late by Thomas Sowell. She said that as she was reading it, all she could think of was my boy. Here is the description:


The Einstein Syndrome is a follow-up to Late-Talking Children, which established Thomas Sowell as a leading spokesman on the subject. While many children who talk late suffer from developmental disorders or autism, there is a certain well-defined group who are developmentally normal or even quite bright, yet who may go past their fourth birthday before beginning to talk. These children are often misdiagnosed as autistic or retarded, a mistake that is doubly hard on parents who must first worry about their apparently handicapped children and then must see them lumped into special classes and therapy groups where all the other children are clearly very different.Since he first became involved in this issue in the mid-1990s, Sowell has joined with Stephen Camarata of Vanderbilt University, who has conducted a much broader, more rigorous study of this phenomenon than the anecdotes reported in Late-Talking Children. Sowell can now identify a particular syndrome, a cluster of common symptoms and family characteristics, that differentiates these late-talking children from others; relate this syndrome to other syndromes; speculate about its causes; and describe how children with this syndrome are likely to develop.

Sounds like a book I need to read. I plan on picking a copy up sometime fairly soon. It may just help me understand and deal with my middlest child. One can only hope.

Last week he decided to push his brother over in the high chair. Scared the hell out of the baby and me. He is fine, wasn't hurt at all, but I thought I was going to have a heart attack I was so scared. These behavior issues that The Boy has, and the aggression and violence, may be part of his speech issues. Or they may be separate issues altogether.

All I know is that it definitely makes for stressful times. And interesting!

My birthday was low key and mostly quiet. We may have a little celebration this weekend. Steven got the whole weekend off so we could do something and now this damn hurricane is threatening the area! So... I think we may just have some friends over for dinner one night and have a cake and I will get drunk here at home and molest my husband and then pass out. Sounds good to me!

Catch ya on the flip side!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bad Blogger

Every day over the past week I have come on here and tried to post. It has not worked. Either the boys would not leave me alone for long enough or I just could not get anything out. It has been a slightly crazy week.

I am feeling very melancholic today. I turn 34 today! I am now older than Jesus. (Please no one be offended. It's a joke. Not meant to cause offense to anyone.)

I am feeling kinda old. I know, I know.... 34 is not old. But tell that to my body! My daughter is 14 1/2 and every day that goes by she makes me feel older and more like my own mother. I am supposed to be the wild and crazy one! Wow. When did I become an old fuddy duddy? A housewife?

I will not be doing anything for my birthday (that I know of) other than cleaning house and changing diapers. Same ol same ol. My darling daughter did post a message for me that made me cry this morning.... check it out here.

I will try to come back later and post something with a little substance to it. Until then.... Peace.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hugs and Mambo Madness



I am in need of hugs. That is what I have decided. I am too stressed out and frazzled and I just need some full body, warm, comfy hugs. And some snuggles.

And then maybe some extremely hot and sweaty mattress mambo..... what better way to destress?

I think I might need to host another question day. And let y'all give me some ideas for posts. My life has just been to incredibly boring for words lately. Well, in between all of the crazy kid stuff. I have not been doing a damn thing other than kid stuff and cleaning. And fighting with doctors on the phone....

I wonder if I can find a babysitter for my birthday? So I can go out? No. So I can sleep. That's how damn pitiful I am lately! Ha! No, actually, I would like to go out. But, then I would need a designated driver since I have not been out and had anything to drink in so long that one drink would probably put me under the table. Or on top of it. Or in the back seat of someones car! LOL

I wish my Chelle could be here to go out with me! She always takes extra good care of me when we go out. Steven could ask us if we are sisters! teehee

Yeah, it's late. I'm tired. I am waiting for Steven to get off of work so I can go pick him up. Then maybe I can get some sleep. Or some mambo madness to help me sleep. Or maybe just a hug and sleep. Or maybe all three.

I am feeling a little punch drunk right now. You must excuse me for rambling on with no point to this post. Perhaps I am just liking "p" words.

Have you ever seen "V for Vendetta"? The V speech? Ha! I want to memorize that. Let's see if I can find it..... Oh, this is a good version.... turn the music off on the side bar.... and enjoy!




While I was looking for that one... I found this. Take the time to watch it all the way to the end.



Have a great night.... a great day on Thursday.... hugs to all of you. Thank you for your words, your comments, your thoughts and your love.

Monday, August 18, 2008

My Special Child

There are times when I feel like a total fraud. I talk about my son and his issues and I am so overwhelmed at times that I am just not sure how to handle everything. And then I see a child who is so much worse either behaviorally or physically and I feel like a fraud. Who am I to complain about my sons tantrums or aversions or obsessions? At least he can walk and feed himself. At least his brain functions and he is smart and will get through his issues and not be dealing with the majority of them for his entire life. A mother who is part of a playgroup with me emailed me the other day to see how I was. One of the things she said was that those of us with high needs children have to stick together and help one another. And I felt like a complete fraud. My child is not THAT BAD.

So then, that begs the question, how bad is THAT bad? When does a child become "high needs" and when is he just a spoiled brat? When do I admit that I have a special needs child? AM I in denial or is he already there? I have no clue. I do know that having someone understand why I hesitate to go on play dates or have anyone over to the house is a real help. At least I know I am not alone.

I am struggling right now with deciding whether The Boy needs a diagnosis or a label. Whether it would benefit him or hurt him in the long run. Whether he is really a special needs child in more than just speech or if he is just highly gifted with a brain that works a little different and maybe a few extra quirks to make life interesting.

There are days that all I want to do is run away. When I am absolutely positive that I cannot take another tantrum or food issue or sleepless night. When I know that someone else could handle all of this so much better than I am. When I feel that I am doing all that I can possibly do and it is still not enough.

And then there are days when I look at that sweet face and know..... that he is special in all of the most important ways. He is my special, sweet, smart, wonderful child. And whatever comes in the future.... we will handle together.

So. My "special needs" or "high needs" child is just right for me. I could not imagine life without him. Now I have to take one step at a time and find what is right for us. What is right for HIM. And make sure that I "mama bear" it into happening.....

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Black Eyed Boy and The Insomniator

So. My Girl is settled in school quite happily this year and I have no crazy stories or stressful tales to share about her first week. Anyone who wants to see how she is doing can pop over to her blog and say hi!

As for the boys..... well. That is what this post is all about.

The past few weeks have been pretty crazy as far as the boys go. The Baby is no longer a baby. He is a toddler and hell bent on being just like his brother. Ha. He climbs on anything, jumps off of things, runs everywhere, gets into trouble specifically to see what I will do about it and generally does whatever his brother does. It is very very tiring. BUT. He is also still my snuggle bunny. He comes up and climbs in my lap and hugs and snuggles and gives one big, wet kiss after the other. And when he is done he jumps down and runs over to his brother and tackles him! LOL He is giving me about the normal amount of toddler mayhem in my day. With an extra dose of toddler love to make up for any trouble. The main issue with him lately has been the number of bumps, bruises, scratches and general boo-boos that he is covered in from day to day. he is all boy, rough and tumble and no doubt about it. He is, however, sporting a nice black eye right now, courtesy of his brother and a frying pan. We were all in the kitchen and the boys were playing with pots and pans.... then the baby started screaming and I turned around to see The Boy with a frying pan in hand. Since I did not actually SEE what happened, I am pretending it was an accident. And putting a lock on the cabinet where I keep the pots and pans. The poor baby looks like he was beaten! It is now all yellow and green as it heals. My little bruiser!

The Boy. Well.

He has his good days and his bad days. He started seeing a counselor/ therapist for his behaviors. It's a little odd for me. We go see her and talk for a half an hour or so about what he has been doing and what I should be doing with him and then she takes him to a "play room" and plays/ observes him. And then comes back and gives me goals of things to work on for the next 2 weeks. He sees her every 2 weeks right now. I like her. She has not tried to tie him down to a specific diagnosis although we discussed several. She is very open to my opinions and feelings on what is going on with him. She listens to me and respects me as his mother and the one who knows him better than anyone else. Right now we are working on trying to give him controlled play areas. To help him focus on specific things and not get distracted and then out of control. It seems to be helping to some extent. When he has specific goals and specific toys/ activities and is not just left to play with whatever.... he is fine. He stays on task and plays nicely and is happy. Instead of getting lost in toys/ activities and then getting bored and acting out. If any of that makes sense. I'm not sure if I described it well or not.

She is also encouraging me to push his doctors in Jackson into referring him for a sleep study. She feels, and I agree, that he has a sleep disorder and that most of his behavior issues stem from being overtired. Extremely overtired/ sleep deprived. The cool thing is that when he went for his appointment in Jackson they actually wrote on his checkout form that he has a sleep disorder. This should make it easier to get them to refer him.

Speaking of the appointment in Jackson. That was just about the only good thing that came out of that trip. Otherwise it was a waste of time. And then they called me yesterday and wanted to say that they needed me to bring him back for another doctor to examine him so that they could give a recommendation on a dosage for melatonin. What? The trip takes two hours one way. So, drive a total of four hours, use about $40 worth of gas, lose a days work for Steven and drag two kids through all of that.... just for a dosage recommendation? No. I told them I needed a referral to someone in the area or I needed them to just confer with his regular pediatrician. That there was no way i could make the trip again when I had just been there and they told me they would just call me with the info. grrrrrrrr.

Anyway. So, I am waiting on the dosage info for the melatonin. Still. I am waiting on a referral for a sleep study. And, meanwhile, dealing with lack of sleep and behavior problems. He has turned three now so he is no longer eligible for the speech program that he was in. Now, he has to receive his speech therapy through the school system. He got turned down for Head start because we make too much money. (Ha!) So, I will have to transport him to the school twice a week for therapy starting in about 2 weeks.

gack.

I feel like it is just never ending.

And I am sleep deprived as well!

But, he is doing better as far as his speech goes. He is also doing a little better behavior wise. So, I see a glimmer of a reflection of a light at the end of the tunnel. Just keep your fingers crossed that it is not a train. Or a dragon.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Numb



The past week has been unbearably mind-numbingly boring. And I am on the downside of my life. I am feeling numb and cold and barren and just downright blah. I struggle in the day to day grind of changing diapers and fighting the behaviors of the middle child, breaking up fights and trying to cook, clean and be a "housewife" who gives a shit. I struggle to get out of bed and face the day.... without a grimace and a groan. I struggle to get off my ass and accomplish anything worthwhile in my house. I stretch my mind to try to think any thoughts that are outside of my tiny little world. And I crumble back down like a used tissue. My mind is empty. My heart is dim and my soul is sleeping.

The bright spots of goodness and of despair:

The Boy turned three on Saturday.
The Girl started tenth grade on Monday.
The van decided that it did not need working brakes. In the middle of a 2 hour drive to Jackson. In the rain. (All is well.)
The Boy had a new psych evaluation that was absolutely worthless. They did the same tests on him they have done 5 times in the past year with the same damn results. And still no answers to our sleep issues.
The computer is working!
My back hurts.
I started exercising again.
My husband and I are speaking. AND having sex. Imagine that.
$400 to fix the brakes.

So now I just need to find a way to catch up on my sleep and wake the fuck up. My life is passing me by and I am just watching it and not even caring. My children get older and grow up and I have no idea what I am doing.

I need.... something. Something to wake me up. Something to make me care. Something to inspire and drive me. Something to give me some ambition and drive and a reason to get my ass moving.

Now I just need to figure out what my something is.....

Friday, August 8, 2008

I'm Baaaack!

I am back. My computer went down about a week and a half ago. We THINK the house got struck by lightning. We lost the modem, wireless router, 3 DVD players and my daughter's TV is wonky. AND we ended up having to get a new network card for the computer and reinstall the operating system. But, we are back and running strong.

I will try to get a chance to post a detailed story of what we have been up to for the past week or so sometime soon. For now, I just wanted everyone to know where the heck I have been! LOL

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Bug Hunters

Just a quick check in with everyone. We are having a blast. I am sooooooo happy to have The Girl home. I want to share a story with you.

I live in a 40 - 50 year old house in the Deep South. That means bugs. You cannot get away from them. And I have kids. Which means crumbs. Crumbs = Bugs. Deep South = Bugs x 100. So. I have bugs. My middle child is scared of bugs. When he sees a bug he screams. It could be a roach, a gnat, a housefly, a spider.... it doesn't matter. He screams "A Bug, A Bug!" and I go running with the fly swatter to kill it. (This can be really amusing when we are outside.) I have a heavy duty bug swatter. I swear, this thing is like an inch thick and is attached to a tire iron.

Anyway. This evening (as I type this) my son is leading his sister and his grandmother on a merry chase through the house in search of bugs. When he finds one he jumps up and down and points while hollering "a bug, a bug!" at the top of his lungs. His sister then screams and his grandmother attacks the bug with the swatter. It is highly amusing. He then says Thank You to his grandmother. What can I say.... he is polite! LOL LOL LOL

So, the bug hunters are on the loose. They may have to move outside soon as I think they are running out of bugs in the house.

Maybe I should rent them out......

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tomorrow.... Tomorrow....

Tomorrow is the day that my darling daughter comes home to me! SHe, my mother and my MIL will be driving up here from Florida. I canNOT wait to see her. It has been a long summer without her.

I may not be posting again after tomorrow until the following week. It depends upon how busy we are and what we are doing.

Think of me wrapping my arms around The Girl and getting picked up in a big hug! I can't wait.....

While youa re here.... go read this post from Lotus. I think she just wrote the story of my life....