May 31, 2006

Blog Top Sites?!

OK, I need some clarification. How exactly does Blog Top Sites work? How is it that I can go from ranking 123 to 46 in one day, and then all the way back down again within 24 hours time? Is it based on how many people visit your blog? How many people comment? Is it a fluke within Blog Top Sites? Just don't understand it. That's all.

Works For Me Wednesday


I have not yet participated in Shannon's "Works for me Wednesday" because, honestly, I'm not that creative or organized. But I'm getting a lot of great ideas from all you other creative Moms out there. So, today, in the desire to participate, I racked my brain to try and figure out what things I do to make my life easier.

I hate the feeling of chaos. In my house, the most chaotic times seem to be morning and night. My kids (particularly Care Bear) have certain things that they need to have at night time to make the transition to sleep easier for them. Care Bear must have (appropriately) her favorite Care Bear, and her trusted black pillow (a couch pillow that she has adopted as her own and must have whenever it's naptime or bed time). When I put her to bed, I always make sure her black pillow and her Care Bear are there with her should she wake up in the middle of the night. This is in the hopes that she doesn't come and get me and ask for these things when she wakes up. I also have a gate that I put up at the foot of the stairs in case they do wake up and start meandering towards the stairs. I also do this in case they wake up before the hubby and I have gone to bed. I don't want them wandering down the stairs, seeing the lights and TV on, and think it's time to get up and play!! Perish the thought!! This is how I make life easier for myself at night! Works for me!

To make life easier for myself in the morning, I try to get the kids' clothes, lunches, backpacks (if it's the school year) and everything ready for them the night before so that there is not massive craziness in the morning of trying to find socks, underwear, lunch boxes, etc. Sometimes it gets done, sometimes it doesn't. But when it does, it "Works for Me!" :-)

Happy Wednesday, y'all!

May 30, 2006

My First "My Life Monday"!

I'm not confused. I know it's Tuesday, but I usually don't blog on Mondays, so usually don't get to participate in Rachelle's My Life Mondays. But I didn't want to miss out on this one, so I'm doing it on Tuesday. It's my blog, my prerogative! :-) This week's topic is "In Memory Of...."


This post is in memory of my great-grandmother on my father's side. Her name was Grandma Wickstrom.

When I was a little girl, my Grandma Wickstrom was my best buddy. I was lucky enough as a child to live a mere six blocks away from my grandparents. My great-grandmother lived with them as well. Since they lived so close, I got to see them often.

Grandma Wickstrom was always willing to play with me. I don't care what it was, she would play my games. I don't know of too many 85-90 year old women who have the patience, desire or energy to keep up with a 5-9 year old girl, but she did. I probably did wear her out on many occasions, but she never complained.

We played house, we played teacher (I was the teacher, she the student), we played bookstore, we played name it we played it.

Grandma Wickstrom had long, gray hair that she always kept in a bun. She had an infectious laugh and a loving smile. She gave wonderful hugs.

I loved my Grandma Wickstrom.

One night when I was spending the night at my Grandparents house, I went in to say goodnight to my great grandma and to my suprise, and somewhat horror, I saw a set of teeth swimming in a glass cup. And there was grandma, sitting on her bed sporting a huge gummy grin at me. From that moment forward, it was one of our funnest games. I would convince grandma every now and then to pop her teeth out and show me her toothless smile and have her talk for me. We would both bust into fits of giggles until our stomachs hurt.

My grandma Wickstrom was very special to me. I'll never forget one day when I was in third grade, I came home from school and heard that Grandma was in the hospital. She had suffered a stroke. I was terrified. She was 92 years old. She had always been so healthy, but she was getting old. I went to visit my grandma in the hospital. She wasn't able to talk to me or communicate with me, but I talked to her, I rubbed her head and I gave her a kiss. It was the last time I saw my grandma Wickstrom. The next day I came home from school and my mom sat me down to tell me that my Grandma had gone to be with Jesus.

It's been 22 years. I still think of my Grandma often. She was a true friend, playmate and kindred spirit. I look forward to the day I will re-unite with her in Heaven!!

May 26, 2006

A Note of Apology....

to my mom.

Dear Mom,

I did not intend to make you sound like the bad guy in my post today. For that I apologize. I know you support me in my efforts to get my degree. You always support me. It was an off-handed comment when I mentioned all the work I have to do and I made it sound like you don't support me. I wanted to make sure my readers understand that. I am sorry. I also wanted to post something I wrote for you for mother's day but didn't make it to my blog. So for you, Happy Late Mother's Day:


Of course, it's hard to come up with one single memory, but things I love about my mom:

1.) She almost always had fresh, home made chocolate chip cookiesfor us.

2.) In the summer, she took us to the pool all the time and we loved it. Even though she took us often, it was always a great treat and surprise to get to go.

3.) She played the piano one time for my elementary school performance even though I don't think she really wanted to. I sort of volunteered her for it without her consent. I just thought my mom was a super pianist and naturally would want to do it!

4.) My mom used to take walks in the early mornings during summer.When I woke up and saw her gone, I would panic (take note that thiswas not when I was young and unable to be alone...I was just always paranoid when my mom or dad were gone and I didn't know where they were). She started leaving a note outside her bedroom door where Icould see that she was on a walk, and what time she would be home. If she was not home by that time, I was out on my bike searching.

5.) She always had some yummy treat for us to eat for breakfast on Sunday mornings. Don't ask me how she managed to get us kids and herself ready and still manage to make us something yummy for breakfast.

6.) She would pick up donuts for us on Saturday morning when she went to the store so we could have a treat while we watched cartoons.

7.) She used to sew me beautiful clothes...and sometimes even matching clothes for my dolls!

There is much, much more, but most importantly, you love your kids (and now your daughter and son-in-law) unconditionally and you are passing on your motherly wisdom and love on to me and your grandkids!

Love you, Mom!

I Asked For It!!

In the eloquent words of my mom, "You asked for it, Kristen". Yes, I suppose I did. But I can handle it. Really, I can. The question is, can I handle it and keep my sanity in check, and keep from keeling over from complete exhaustion.

I am currently sitting at my desk with a 24 oz. cuppa jo, and a 1 liter bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper. Gross, I know. It's only 8:30 in the morning. But if I plan to sit here all day with a nice, calming breeze blowing through the window and a dead phone, I'd better have something to keep me awake. For real.

My strait jacket finally arrived. It fits. If any of you all are confused, I'm referring to the fact that I have added going back to school to my already crazy filled life. I work in the Admissions Office at a large University, and one day I was sitting at my desk, talking to thousands of students who were applying, getting admitted, excited to start their college education and a slight depression came over me. I'm 31 years old. I have less than 2 years of college under my belt. Circumstances beyond my control prohibited me from finishing my education. I suppose looking back on it now, it's not a bad thing that I wasn't able to finish my education and waste large amounts of my parents money only to come out and never again use what I learned. Really, what 18 year old knows what they want to do with the rest of their lives? Some may, but almost every friend I have has ended up regretting the area they studied in college and are currently not doing anything with it.

So, anyway, I was sitting there, all of a sudden disappointed that my life is very quickly passing me by, and I have yet to complete even a bachelor's degree. While I like my job, for me it is simply a way to pay my bills. I have worked here for almost 10 years, I know everything there is to know, there is no opportunity for advancement (unless you have at least a B.A.), and I can practically do it all in my sleep (which is probably good for me today.) I got a crazy idea. "Hey", I said to myself. "I work in the Admissions office. I have the inside track. I can apply without the application fee. I can speed up the process by taking my application straight to a "decision maker". What am I waiting for??" So, I filled out an application that day, and got admitted, that day. Yes, working here does have it perks. For the average joe, the application process takes 2-4 weeks. Yay me!! :-)

So, here I am. I'm almost through with my 2nd week of my first class. Can I just say, that I have forgotten the art of studying?! I wasn't a good studier when I didn't have additional factors such as kids, husband, part time job. But this time I am determined. I will not quit. If it takes me until I am 50, I will complete this degree. As God as my witness, I will never work for minimal pay again!!!

But I am tired. Oh, so tired. My first week of class was fairly simple. She was breaking us in. Giving us a false sense of security. Making us think, "Hey...this Interior Design stuff is a cinch!" Then came week two......As I browsed through my syllabus mentally making note of how much studying I could get away with at work, and how much I could complete in a lunch hour, I began to hyperventilate: four lectures, a 14 page reading assignment in my text, an assignment that requires waching two episodes of "Trading Spaces" and a paper to write comparing and contrasting the differences and similatires between the designers on the show, and the professionals in the Interior Design field. How, oh how, am I going to do this?! And how does any mother actually find the time to take more than one class at a time? I truly admire those that actually go to school full time and have kids.

My paper is due Saturday. I have completed the lectures, completed the reading, and completed one episode of "Trading Spaces". I finished the show at midnight last night. I will finish the second episode tonight, and spend the day Saturday writing my paper. While reviewing with my mom all of the stuff I have to get done by Saturday, she wisely told me, "Well, you asked for it." I know I did. But in the long run, I will be happy with myself for completing a degree, following through with something, and hopefully getting a job I truly enjoy bettering life for myself and my family. So what if I have so much information crammed in my head that it is oozing out of my ears and nose?! One of these days, I'll be glad I did it.

Short summary of my thoughts on AI Wednesday night. Best finale ever. Best season ever. Yay Taylor! It was fun to see Clay, and the nerd who impersonated him! Now, I am done speaking of this show for the rest of the year. Breathe a sigh of relief, people. ;-) Thanks for putting up with me!

May 24, 2006

This Is The Night!

To quote lyrics from my favorite Idol of all time, Clay Aiken: "THIS IS THE NIGHT". Oh, yes. The night when the newest Americal Idol is crowned. (Don't worry readers: If you are not a fan of this most awesome of shows, you will only have to put up with one more post regarding it. That will be Friday when I discuss my thoughts on tonights results).

As pathetic as it may seem, I am sad that it is almost over. Every year I look forward to January when the journey begins, and every May I am sad when it is over. It's just something little that I can look forward to every week to get me out of the normal humdrum-ness of my life as a mom of three.

I must say, that next to the Clay/Ruben season, this has by far been my favorite. The talent has been great (in my humble opinion) and it has not lacked in excitement. I have weathered disappointment (Ace) after disappointment (Chris), after disappointment (Elliot) this season, but the excitement of the finale is still contagious.

Since all of my favorites are long gone, I am hoping that Taylor walks away with the title. Only one male has won the competition in the past five seasons, and where is he now?! Nowhere to be seen. I'm tired of the pop princesses and ready for a guy to win this thing. So, Taylor, please do not cause me yet another disappointment. I'm all aboard the "Soul Patrol"!

From 7-9 p.m. tonight, MST, my eyes will be glued to the set, and if the hubster knows what is good for him, he will keep those little ones out of my hair! LOL!

Last night, I walked down to my mom's house to use her phone. Hubby was gone, and he had taken the phone with him (we only use a cell phone instead of a land line). When we were there, Feisty decided to invite herself to dinner at their house. After getting sticky from head to toe with syrup (they had pancakes), my mom decided to give her a bath. My mom (being an Idol fan herself), asked Feisty who she wanted to win the competition: Katherine or Taylor. Feisty promptly responded "Kaferine". Thinking that this may have just been a fluke, my mom and I both asked her several more times who her choice to win the competition was, and each and every time she answered the same. So Feisty, the competition is on. Who will win? Your choice of "Kaferine", or your mama's choice of Taylor. We shall soon find out.

In another thought, does anyone else think it's pretty sad that more people watch AI than watch the State of The Union? Or that more people vote on AI than vote for our President? I guess it speaks to the desire of Americans to make sure they have their next favorite pop star instead of their next favorite leader of the free world. Hmmmm.

And now onto something else. About a week or so ago, I was tagged by both Queen Beth and Maine Mom for a meme that I believe J.D. created. I haven't done it yet, so I am going to do it today! Here goes!

2 Things you compliment your husband on while in his presence.
1) How nice the yard works when he has been working on it.
2) How nice he smells

2 compliments you make about your spouse to your friends
1) He's a very loving father.
2) He's an amazing musician.

2 traits you married him for.
1) His passion for things he loves.
2) The fact that he was/is a great father to his son (my step son).

2 Days you cherished the most with your husband being together.
1) Our wedding day.
2) Our first camping trip together.

2 Material things you could give your husband if you just inherited a fortune
1) His very own music studio.
2) His dream car.

2 things you would miss the most if he left for 2 weeks.
1) Adult companionship.
2) His help with the kids.

2 thoughts that crossed your mind when you first met/saw your spouse.
1) Great smile.
2) He has a kid?!

2 favorite dates
1) Driving in the mountains together.
2) Watching movies at home together.

2 funny odd things you love
1) He's higher maintenance that I am.
2) He likes to help me cook.

2 places you have lived with your spouse
1) Colorado
2) Colorado

2 favorite vacations
1) Camping in the mountains.
2) Estes Park for anniversaries. (Yeah, we haven't travelled much!)

And I think that is it for today! I'll see y'all on Friday.

May 23, 2006

It's All Good

Thanks so much to everyone on your comments and input on my last post. I really appreciated everyone's opinions.

Saturday, I decided to have a chat with Barbie. I hadn't really had the chance before then since the big "foot in my mouth" episode. But by Saturday, I practically had an ulcer over the situation and was losing sleep. The Barbie and Ken family and our family have always gotten along really well since we moved to the neighborhood and I hated the thought of messing up the relationship between ourselves and our kids. So, I decided to take a mixture of the advice you wonderful people had given me. Some thought I should go talk to her about the situation, some thought I should leave well enough alone. I decided to do something in-between.

Early Saturday morning (early on a Saturday morning meaning about 9:30 a.m.), hubby was outside working on the yard. The front door hung ajar and Care Bear and Feisty had managed to escape out the door to go investigate what Daddy was doing. I ran out the door after them. No one was dressed yet. Hair was all over the place; food was all over the faces; and guess who happened to be outside at that particular moment? Yep; Barbie. Perfectly coiffed in her daisy dukes and her itty-bitty tank top. And here I am looking like death warmed over. Barbie was in what looked like a rather intense discussion with her mom who was over at the moment. I decided to myself, "This is possibly the only opportunity I may have for quite awhile to talk to Barbie and get this whole thing out in the open and ease my mind." Then I looked down at myself. There was no way I was going to go have a chat with Barbie looking like Medusa. I surveyed the situation. Looked like the conversation with Barbie Mom may last awhile. Perhaps I have time to go slip on my own daisy dukes and tank top (although a little more modest), brush through the snake hair and go say hi. So, I did just that. Luckily, when I got back outside, Barbie Mom had just left and Barbie was getting ready to head inside. I bounded through the yard to give Barbie the good ole, "Hey, wasssupp?" I decided to act like nothing weird was going on (because perhaps there wasn't; this may have all been in my head. Not like I haven't created dramatic situations for myself before.) Within 30 seconds of talking to her, I realized that this was another case of "Kristen Paranoia". I didn't ask Barbie if she had heard the statement I made, I just put on the charm, inititated a lighthearted conversation, and she talked back. If she did hear anything, she didn't let on.

The girls hadn't been over for several days, but within the conversation I had with Barbie, I was enlightened by a couple of things she said and have realized that it may be a good thing that her kids have been able to spend so much time at our house lately.

Needless to say, Care Bear and Feisty have been crawling out of their skin the past few days with their buddies not around to play with and Mama has been overdosing on pre-school play. My house is suffering. I was over-joyed yesterday evening when I saw two little blonde-headed girls making their way through my yard towards the door. And so were Care Bear and Feisty. They stayed until 8:00 p.m. Past dinner (yes, I fed them), and until bed time. And you know what? I couldn't have been happier.

May 19, 2006

Some Ketchup with my Foot, please!!

We have some neighbors. No, really, we do. Quite a few actually. But we have some next door neighbors. They have two little girls, ages 5 and 3. My girls, ages 2 and almost 4 love to play with them. If it were up to all of these girls, they would play with eachother every waking (and non waking for that matter) hour. This is great, in my opinion. Play, play, play to your hearts content and wear yourselves out real good by bed time. But here is the thing: Most of the time I feel like I have 5 kids instead of just 3.

I'll explain my neighbors a little bit for you. I call them Barbie and Ken (not to their knowledge of course). Barbie is just that: a Barbie. 25 years old, long blonde hair, big (fake) boobs, and a year round tan. Her hair and tan are fake, too though, but nonetheless, the result is the same. Barbie likes to talk on the phone. All.the.time. I never see this woman without a phone attached to her ear. NEVER. I think she should just have it surgically implanted onto her ear. It'd probably make life easier for her. Barbie spends most of her non phone hours either tanning or working out at the gym. She puts her girls in the "daycare" at both places while she self-indulges.

Ken looks like, well....Ken. Handsome, built, winning smile, the whole nine yards. Ken owns his own business. I still to this day do not exactly know what he does, but whatever it is seems to earn them a pretty good chunk of change because Barbie doesn't work; she's too busy on the phone to work. Ken spends copious amounts of time on his yard. Barbie spends equal amounts of time on the inside of the house. The house (inside and out) looks like it belongs in Better Homes & Gardens.

Their little girls are absolutely adorable. Sun-kissed blonde hair, bright blue eyes and sweet little demeanors. They are very well behaved. I can always count on seeing one or both of these sweet little faces at my door when I hear the doorbell ring first thing in the morning before Care Bear or Feisty (I just found out I've been spelling Feisty wrong all this time) have even had a chance to bathe or get dressed. Most of the time when they show up, they are still in their pajamas. At some point during the morning, Barbie must realize they have gone and herds them back in to quickly to clean them up and send them on their way again...back over to my house. (side note: one day last week, I was on the phone with Barbie....shocker; on the phone...and she told me that when she was in the shower that morning her girls had escaped when the dog got out and walked themselves to the park. She couldn't find them....she even called the cops. She's also had Animal Protection called on her several times and gotten several tickets for her cat and her dogs getting out. She had to go to court last week....this is all to say, she doesn't keep very good track of anything or anyone she is responsible for.)

The girls all have a great time together, all day every day playing everything imaginable. 90% of their time is spent in either my house, or my yard. I don't mind. Those girls obviously feel more comfortable playing at my house or in my yard where they don't have to be concerned with getting a footprint on the floor, or leaving a plate on a table. I am preparing, however, to start asking for money for my babysitting services, or perhaps claiming them on next years taxes. I do, after all, feed them lunch and snacks half the time. They, in fact, feel so comfortable with us and our family that the younger of the two girls actually refer to my parents as Grandma and Grandpa. What does that tell ya??

Every now and then, once dinner time and bed time rolls around, I do begin to get a little frustrated wondering if their parents are ever going to retrieve their offspring, or if they even care. Should I draw a bath for these girls? Should I set them a place at our dinner table? Should I find the sleeping bags?? It can get a little hard when I'm trying to fix dinner and I have 10 little feet underneath me asking for food, or whatever other question happens to cross the mind of a child that age. Eventually, the door bell does ring. They do remember they have kids! Miracle of all miracles! Then the cycle begins the next morning. It's all good. Until "neighbor of the year" (that would be me) sticks her size 7.5 foot in her mouth in an unsuspecting moment:

It was two nights ago. It was 7:00. Dinner had come and gone. The girls were still at our house. Feisty was unbelievably cranky and tired. I wanted her to go to bed and was not having much success what with the chaos inhabiting my home. She wasn't havin' it. In a moment of frustration I walk down the stairs into the kitchen and express my frustration to hubby. "Are those kids ever going home?!" Hubby gets a look on his face and gestures towards the door (which can't be seen from the kitchen but is in close proximity). I hadn't heard the doorbell ring. Apparently, either Barbie or Ken had shown up and were picking up the girls and may or may not have heard my oh-so sweet comment. My heart immediately plunged in to the bowels of my stomach and I wanted to sink into the floor right at that moment.

I still don't know if Barbie and/or Ken heard my comment. But yesterday when their girls showed up at our house in their jammies, within minutes I heard Barbie yelling for them to come back home and they didn't come back the rest of the day. Who knows what today holds. I could just be paranoid. Maybe they didn't hear me, but I wouldn't doubt they did. I will feel so rotten if I ruined my kids' relationship with their friends because of one comment made out of frustration.

My foot isn't tasting too good right now!

(Fridays award will be awarded early next week. Haven't been too creative with the cooking this week. Been using old standbys because after the big bash on Saturday, I didn't have the energy or desire to be creative. So look for the award early next week. I know you are all sooo bummed.)

May 17, 2006

My Girls are Not Camera Shy!

I had no idea what an absolute goof-balls my daughters were until I looked at these pictures preparing to post them. At least they are lately. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. My mom and/or dad took these on their digital and sent them to me today. Enjoy.....

in our matching outfits standing in matching outfits
with breklinn making facesshowing off sonjas bracelets
in her cool new shades olivias new care bears
olivias new bedding hayley as mickey mouse 014checking out the flowersolivia eating her cake

And without further ado.....
    olivia showing off her tiny bum panties

    THE TINY BUM PANTIES!! Yay Grandma!!

    Thanks for indulging me today in my journey of pictures from the past weekend. I honestly don't have the energy to write much today after yesterdays novel. Plus, now in addition to sinus woes, I have some sort of eye infection or something. Oh, yeah. I'm a mess. Bleh.

    May 16, 2006

    Where Do I Start?!

    Man, I feel like it's been years since I've been here, on my own blog, not to mention anyone else's blogs I love to visit. It's not that I don't love you all anymore, or that I've given up on the good 'ole blog; I just haven't been around a computer much the past week or so.

    My usual blogging days are when I'm at work; Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Sometimes another one may get thrown in there if I can manage to get to my mom's computer and pound out a post without The Fiester insisting on sitting on my lap and "helping" me. Anyway, last Wednesday, I went home sick from work an hour after I got here with a pounding sinus headache and aches and pains. I felt like an 80 year old woman. Then Friday I took off for my dear daughters 2nd birthday...but come to think of it, I think I did manage to get something out that day. Maybe it hasn't been that long since I've been here, but it feels like it. It's those sinuses, I guess which are still causing me endless amounts of pain. I can't even open my mouth all the way. You think I should maybe go to the doctor? Eh....he'll just charge me $50 to tell me it's allergy related and to take some OTC medication, so I think I'll save my $$ and just go straight to the pharmacy.

    I'm just blabbering on and on about absolutely nothing important right now. Let's see if I can get a straight thought here.

    The weekend could be a large part as to why I am so out of it today. Friday, after spending the day entertaining my very energetic, newly minted two year old, we headed to the mountains with the folks (my folks, that is) to have the first cook out of the summer. It was a gorgeous evening in the mountains and my little ones thoroughly enjoyed climbing on rocks, wading in the river and playing at the playground provided at the park. Care Bear and Fiesty both attempted to go to the bathroom, however the putrid stench inhabiting the port-a-potty provided for parishoners of the park prevented them from doing so. I nearly vomited on Care Bear when we attempted it. I tried to orient her on the skill of going behind a tree; after all, when you're in the mountains, and there is no bathroom available, (or none that you can stomach entering), you go behind a tree. I learned this skill as a young child; my father had my brother and I in the mountains with him before we were out of the womb.

    Care Bear was not comfortable going behind the tree. I think she would have gone had it been potty of the #1 variety, but as she was crouched down behind the tree, she looked up at me with a sad little embarassed look on her face and told me, "I can't do it Mommy. I have to go poopy." Poor little baby. So, what did I do? What any good Mommy would do in this situation: I tracked down my mommy, and made her take the Bear into the port-a-potty. She still couldn't go, so the poor thing had to wait until we got all the way home (a good half hour drive). Fiesty wasn't worried about it. Having just learned the art of going in the potty, she still recalled the ease of going in ones pants. So she did that instead of torturing herself. It's aa-iight. I can handle a set-back of that nature.

    The following day was the "BIG BASH". And yes, it was big. I happen to be one of those obnoxious parents who feels the need to invite every friend, family member, neighbor, dog from the street over, my children's birthday parties. Maybe it's not all that bad, but I do have a lot of family in the area, and I would not want to leave out anyone. I'm not one to hurt feelings. So, in anticipation of the big event, I got to spend my entire day Saturday cleaning. The event was set to begin at 4:00 p.m. And it literally took me until about 2 minutes before 4:00 to get the house to a standard I felt comfortable with having about 20 people over. The party was in our backyard, but you just never know who may happen to decide to wander on in. As it went, I could have probably gotten away with just cleaning the living room and the kitchen and been fine, but if I hadn't cleaned the whole house I'm positive the entire brigade would have wanted a full tour. ANYWAY.....(am I a good rambler today or what?!?!). Fiesty thoroughly enjoyed her big day. In a BIG way. It got even better for her when she opened Grandma's present and had received....drum roll please....tiny bum panties. She promptly insisted on taking off her pants and ran around sporting her new panties, with Dora on the bum, and announced to the whole crowd, "THEY FIT ME!!" I guess I didn't realize that she knew herself that she had a tiny bum. I don't give her enough credit. All in all, Fiesty's 2nd birthday was a great success and she still wakes up in the morning and says, "Mommy...happy birthday!" It must be such a let-down for a young one to learn that "No, your birthday doesn't last forever." Next year, Fiesty, next year.

    Speaking of Fiesty, can I just say that I officially have a two year old in every sense of the word?! (read: the terrible twos!!!) Oy Vey!!!


    My class was set to begin yesterday. The big day arrived. It's an online class, so I had been receiving emails on how to log on once the big day arrived for several weeks already. Wild with anticipation and ridiculously excited to start studying again, I trudged down to my mom's house with my girls to log onto my class and get going. (How un-educated is it of me to attempt an online class when I don 't have an easily accesible computer?! Oh, well...). Imagine my distress when I followed the instructions long ago received to log onto my class and I get the message telling me, "No instructor has added you to a Web CT course." Whaaaaa??? Oh, the distress. After numerous calls to the department, the professor and various other offices on campus, I finally called a friend of mine who works in the Design department. She informed me that it's par for the course for instructors to add students late to their online classes during the summer and that it's, shall we say, more relaxed. (I interpret that: LAZY). Uh, OK. So, basically, just hope I get added to the class sometime before all assignments and exams are due. Good. I like that plan. Lucky for the people in the department, when I logged on later in the evening last night, I was added. I guess persistence works (in some cases anyway). So, here I am at work today trying to take advantage of some computer time and checking out my first lecture, via Power Point. Not sure what I think of this online class thing. It's definitely different. And I'm starting to wonder what on earth I've gotten myself into and how I'm going to function on a daily basis adding this aspect to my life. I guess there's no ideal time to try to go back to school when you have kids; there will always be some reason to say "This isn't a good time". So I'm choosing to say, "Now is as good a time as any." Let's hope I'm right.

    I heard a rumor. And if it's true, I could very well be a very happy person tonight come about 7:00 MST when American Idol comes on. Now, this is a rumor, so no blasting me if it isn't true. (Although I will have a broken heart). Hey, isn't that a song? "I heard a rumor....they say you have a broken heart!" Anyway, rumor has it that there was a voting issue last week (surprise, surprise....this happens about once a year) and that Chris' votes were accidentally routed to Katherine and that she was in fact the one that should have gone last week. Dare I get excited? Dare I hope this to be true?! Too late....I already dared. I had already given up. Said no more for this year. I don't care now. But I have renewed hope. (I know, I know....I really need to get a life.) I forgot to mention on Friday when discussing AI that after hearing the devastating news that Chris was gone, I just dropped my head and said to myself, "Not again. Ever year." Fiesty was standing near by and saw my dismay and said, "Mommy? Sad?" Then came over, wrapped her arms around my neck and began singing the Barney song. You know, "I love you, You love me....". Then the next day she turned into a two year old.

    I think maybe, just maybe, that was all I have to say for the day. Whew. I feel like I just unloaded on y'all. That's what happens with a full weekend and no way to blog. I have a lot of reading to catch up on everyone else's, so don't think I'm ignoring anyone. I'm just behind. I also have a couple of memes to do that I was tagged for last week, and some pics of the party that I plan to post once my mom sends them to me (no, I don't have a digital camera either).

    Thanks for listening to the rambling. I've just got so much stuff full inside my head and now it's clear again. Thank goodness, since I have to make room for this school stuff.

    I hope everyone had a wonderful mother's day! My family gave me the gift of a nap when my husband took the kids to the park with my dad for two whole hours. Pure heaven. Thanks for the birthday wishes for Fiesty and the Happy Mothers Day wishes everyone! :-)

    May 12, 2006

    3rd weekly award and Randomness

    Well, here I am at May 12, 2006 currently re-living 2 years ago when I was in heavy labor with my precious little Fiesty. In 29 minutes (2 years ago) she was born. I can't even believe how quickly time flies. Little did I know that the three months following her birth would be such difficult ones. Care Bear was only 20 months when Fiesty was born and she had a difficult (to put it mildy) time adjusting to no longer being the princess baby. Add to that the fact that she had just been diagnosed with amblyopia and was sporting brand new glasses that she had to adjust to. We had also decided that we could no longer co-exist in the small 2 bedroom townhome we were living in with five of us and found a home three doors down from my parents.

    New sister+
    New Glasses+
    New House= Unhappy Care Bear. For several months.

    Fiesty also decided to add to this distress by being a colicky baby for the first three months of her life. I just know she did it on purpose to make her new mommy's life that much more miserable.

    I can not count the number of times that I ran the 100 feet down to my mom's house with my screaming, crying infant to seek her help in calming her down. She would sometimes take her from me to give me a rest for a few minutes and walk the street, up and down, up and down, over and over in an effort to calm her down. Suffice it to say, at this time of year for the last two years, I get a little sinking feeling in my gut when I remember how miserable I felt at that time. And that made me feel guilty, because I shouldn't be miserable! I have a sweet, wonderful new baby girl in my life. I can't be miserable, for cryin' out loud!

    Now two years later, my daughters are the best of friends (with the sibling rivalry mixed in there every once in awhile.) Care Bear dotes on her little sister, and Fiesty never thinks of doing a single thing in her life without her big sister. At that time I never thought life would be comfortable again, but it is (although very chaotic most of the time.)

    All of that to say, HAPPY BIRTHDAY FIESTY. My sweet girl. You are a big two year old girl now, and I am so proud of you and I love you so much, baby!!

    Now, I can not let a Friday randomness post go by without mentioning American Idol. You all knew it was coming. CHRIS. I am still mourning the loss of Chris this week. I was truly in shock and a little bit mad at America when I heard Ryan say that Chris was out this week. I really thought it was a joke. I thought Ryan was going to do an AI first, and turn around and say, "Just kidding. You're out Katherine". Yes, it would be a cruel joke, but I would've been happy. I have nothing against Kat. I think she is a beautiful girl with an outstanding voice and talent. I also love Elliot and Taylor as well. But for some reason since the audition round, I had a thing for Chris. He seems to be an upstanding guy; married an older woman, took in her children, loves them and works hard for them. This was his dream. There was just something about him that made me want him to win. But, I should have known. Didn't I say this always happens to me?! Oh, well. I'm sure someone will pick him up. I just wanted my favorite to win. FOR ONCE. I'm done. No more AI for me. until next year.

    Alright. No more rambling on. Time for the Friday "I HELPED KRISTEN COOK" award. This was a great recipe that my whole family enjoyed. My husband is actually looking forward to dinner time now to see what new concoction I will come up with. Of course, I always give credit where credit is due. He knows about you people. Oh, yes. He knows. Today's award goes to:


    I'm copying and pasting the recipe she submitted straight from her comments to me. Thanks again, KEP!
    Fry a pound or so of hamburger with some onion and green pepper if you like it that way, then add a can of tomato sauce, 1/4 tsp each of garlic salt and cumin, and a can of green beans.Let that simmer a few minutes while you take a tube of crescent rolls apart and put them in a pie pan to make crust. Beat an egg and smear it on the crust with a handful of shredded cheese. Pour the meat mixture on top, put more cheese on top of that, and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.
    It was soo good! Thanks again!
    And I'm out. Hope everyone's weekend is fabu-loso!!

    May 9, 2006

    No More Diapers?!

    Could this possibly be true?! I don't know. I hate to get excited about things like that because I always get excited prematurely, and then get disappointed when things don't stay that way. Case in point: this post. I don't wanna talk about it.

    I can't help it though. I am prematurely excited, and maybe this will turn out better than the sleeping thing. Yesterday morning, my girls decided to sleep in super late. We're talking 9:30. I'm talking, "YEAH!" I didn't have to take Yoda to school yesterday morning, and we didn't have anywhere in particular to go, so there was no big hurry. Imagine my massive disappointment when I realized that Fiesty was out of diapers. Crap. That means I have to get them in the bath, clean up their grimy selves, and get them out after all to buy Fiesty diapers. And hope that on the way to the store, there is no accident.

    Then a lightbulb went off in my head. "Wait a minute. Fiesty will be 2 in three days. Fiesty likes to do everything her sister does. Fiesty has gone potty on a few occasions, she just needs the incentive to do it regularly. Fiesty has no diapers, and Fiesty has a mom who is in no.mood to go anywhere at this point in time. Fiesty is gonna get potty trained today! After all, wet jeans and underwear never hurt anyone."

    So, I went and told Fiesty the news. "Guess what baby! You get to wear underwear today!!" She took the news very well. Problem, though. When you have a child as little (petite) as mine, underwear can be a hard thing to find. I found a few pairs that Grandma P sent to Care Bear when she was underwear wearing age that never really fit her, and tried them on Fiesty. They sagged in the bum a little, but for this purpose, they would work. We'll concentrate on finding more snug fitting for the tiny bum under-panties later.

    After the saggy bum underwear was on, and the jeans that were a little too large now that they don't have 10 lbs of diaper under them were on, we started the training. I obsessively reminded Fiesty about every 10 minutes, "Now Fiesty, remember to tell Mommy if you have to go poopy or pee, OK?" The first few times I told her, she was sweet and patient, but after about round 10 she wasn't taking it anymore and very adamantly and forcefully told me, "O....K!!!" I left her alone after that. But sure enough, about 10 minutes later I hear a little voice yelling, "Mommy! Potty" and look up to see her grabbing her saggy bum area and crouching down. With speed I didn't know I posessed, I picked her up and we hit the stairs two at a time in an effort to reach the potty on time. And we did. And she went. And there was clapping, and singing, and kissing, and overuse of toilet paper, and it was great fun. So much fun was it for her, that every 10 minutes or so afterwards, she decided it was time to go again. And again. And again. She remained in her underwear all day, until bed time, when she christened her first pair of training pants. Hey, I'm not THAT optimistic. On deck for this weekend: Tiny bum under-panties shopping.

    Oh, and lest I forget:


    May 6, 2006

    Mother's Day Stuff

    My husband called me at work yesterday and told me that Care Bear had written me a mother's day story. Of course immediately, a soft hand clutched my heart and beads of water collected in my tear ducts. She had taken her notebook of paper and squiggled lines through about half the notebook and recited the story to my husband. Naturally, I could not wait to get home and hear the first story my daughter ever "wrote" for me.

    Upon reaching home, the first thing I did was ask Care Bear to please read me her story. She proudly got out her notebook and began to weave her beautiful tale:

    Care Bear: "Mommy and I were going through the woods picking blueberries. There was a big scary monster with sharp teeth and the monster was going to eat us. My mommy killed the monster. THE END!"

    Ummm, beautiful story Care Bear. Just what I envisioned. Hubby's reaction? "That's not the story I heard earlier."

    I guess it's the thought that counts. So, thanks Care Bear for my first Mother's Day story. I will treasure it always.

    May 5, 2006

    Friday Award Time and some Randomness

    Well, here we are at Friday again, which means it is time to award another "I HELPED KRISTEN COOK" award. I just realized that I forgot to make a "call for recipes" on Tuesday. Cool. My brand new award and I'm already goofing up on it! Hey, this is new to me, too. It'll take time. :-) So, consider this your call for recipes. If you wanna submit one, be my guest either via my comments, or via email. If you do send one to my email, let me know in the comments, though, because I typically only check my yahoo email account once a day or so, unless I'm expecting something to come there.

    Let me say that I have already tried several of the recipes that you awesome people have sent to me and they have all been met with great success. I am having so much fun cooking new things for my family and I think they appreciate it, too! ;-) I'm considering awarding twice a week because I have so many. We'll see. I also am working with The Queen to possibly make a banner you can display on your website proving that you helped me cook! More on that to come soon.

    In addition today, I will also be throwing in some "randomness". It seems like by Friday, randomness is what I have to offer. Millions of little things that happened through the week all conglomerate together and mush together into a post here.

    But without further ado, let me present today's "I HELPED KRISTEN COOK" winner. It is:

    She submitted a recipe to me when I first requested them a couple of weeks ago. She put it in my comments, so I am copying and pasting her recipe directly from her comment to me.


    "You take some boneless shinless chicken breasts and cook them in the oven with shake-n-bake. Follow the directions on the box of shake-n-bake and about 5 minutes before its done take it out, throw on some spaghettie sauce, some shredded mozzarella cheese and some parmesan cheese, put it back in the oven until cheese is melted and bam, you have supper."

    And it was mmm mmm good! So, thanks Snickers!

    Some comments from the family on the masterpiece:

    Care Bear: "Mommy, this is delicious. Excellent!" (This coming from the pickiest eater on the planet! I kid you not!)

    Yoda: "I've never seen you make chicken like this. What is it?"
    Me: "Well, it's called Parmesian Chicken. It's Italian. You'll love it."
    (Yoda has Italian roots and is very proud of them. If you tell him something is Italian, he'll eat it. And he did. And he loved it!)

    Hubby: "This is great. You'll have to make this again sometime!"

    Fiesty: (Well, she couldn't talk because her mouth was overstuffed with food.)

    So, there you have it. Another success story in my quest to fix my family delicious, nutritious and inexpensive food!

    In other news, in my last Friday Randomness post, I talked about my husband having a new job at DirecTV. Well, about a week ago, he got a call for an interview for a job that he really wanted and he got it. He starts Monday and we are all very excited. This job is much more "up his alley" and doing the type of work he is used to. The pay is decent, the hours great, and I am very excited for him. So, yeah hubby!

    This morning on my favorite radio station, they had Ace Young from American Idol in the studio to do an interview and a performance of his own music. He's back in town for awhile and it was fun to hear the interview. He sounds like a real nice guy and has some plans in the works for an album soon.

    Speaking of Idol, at this point I am sad to see any of them go. I think this is the best season ever so far and I kinda wish they could all just win. I think at this point, I will be happy with whoever wins.

    It's rainy and cold today. I think it might snow again. Cool. I'm never going to be able to clean my kids' closet out of their winter clothes. I wouldn't be surprised if it snowed on the 4th of July.

    I start my class a week from Monday. I also got registered for my fall class. It appears as though it may really happen this time. Yikes. I'm gonna be a college student again.

    I think that may be all I have for now. Stay tuned, though. Maybe more randomness will leak its way out as the day goes on. It is, after all, not even 9 a.m yet. Give me some time! :-)

    May 2, 2006

    Thank You!

    Thank you so much to those of you who read my post this weekend and sent your prayers my way. They were truly felt, particularly on Sunday, which was "big decision" day in this situation.

    The situation is under control, and I feel that the decisions made are truly what God wants for the situation and for my family and myself.

    However, when you think of me, your continued prayers would be appreciated as this is an ongoing need, not a one stop prayer shop type of thing.

    On another note, I have tried several of your recipes that you have sent me, and have a few more in the works for this week, and let me just say that the ones I have tried thus far have met with great success. I can not tell you how much I appreciate having some new and fun things to cook for my family! It's so great!

    So, on Friday, I will be awarding another "I HELPED KRISTEN COOK" award, and I have several more in the works for the next few Fridays! You all are the BEST I tell you, the BEST!.

    I hope everyone had a great weekend! It's a nice warm day here today, without being too hot. Just what I like!