Thursday, January 31, 2008


I have only attended four memorials/funerals so far in my life. The first one was for a coworker when I worked for Choice Hotels, International. He died unexpectedly, and his memorial service was in a funeral home. There were so many people attending, we all sat in different rooms and the service was piped in over the loud speakers. To say it was weird is an understatement.

Then one of my good friend's Dad passed away with a massive heart attack. He was sitting watching TV one minute, and gone the next. We accompanied them with their family to the Outer Banks of North Carolina where they were going to put his ashes in the Sound. They had a disposable urn, and dropped it in the water near a pier. The next day they went back just to see, and the urn was still there. Obviously the "disposable" urn was having issues dissolving in water. My friend had to use a stick to break it up a little.

And then my grandfather died, and I attended his funeral. My grandparents owned a dairy farm for many years, and during the funeral, my brother and I had random people who had worked on the farm come up to us and tell us they remembered us when we were little. I didn't remember any of them.

Lastly, my Stepmom's Mother passed away. I spent that funeral in the hallway as Ashley was just a baby and would not stay quiet for the service.

Today will be a first as I am playing with the community band I play bassoon for in a memorial service for a fellow band member. She passed away from cancer way too soon. And she loved band. She played flute, was always enthusiastic, helped out when we needed help. We are playing one of her favorite songs - Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Biting Sucks

We don't know what else to do. In the past two weeks, Audrey has bit this one little boy multiple times. And yesterday, she bit him twice.

And yes, she keeps biting the same kid. Nice, huh?

She had pretty much stopped biting until she broke her arm. And then in her sleep deprived state (with her freedom in her room without the crib rails, she was playing for a couple of hours before going to sleep), she started biting again.

But we have her sleep back on track (for the most part). And she goes to school having eaten breakfast, plus she eats a snack as soon as she gets there anyways. We read the Teeth Are Not For Biting book every night.

And now we are running out of options, and her teacher hinted that if we don't get this figured out, she will be kicked out of there.

So last night, I did some role playing where I had Ashley take a toy away from Audrey. But instead of trying to bit Ashley, Audrey just cried. I told her to say "No, Ashley".

And we are going to try a reward system. There will be no video in the car on the way home if she bits. And I have marshmallows as a treat if she doesn't bite.

In Audrey's defense, she isn't just walking up to this kid and biting him. He normally takes something from her that she is playing with. And they are working with him on that as well.

The only other option her teacher talked to me about yesterday was separating them. That would mean moving Audrey up to the next class, or moving the boy down a class. That has all kinds of problems as Audrey isn't the next one to move up, there are four kids in front of her, and I am pretty sure his Mom would be pissed if he was moved down a room. But at this point, I think moving Audrey up is a valid option.

Any ideas??

Monday, January 28, 2008

Valentine's Day

Ashley has been informing us for the past few months that Valentine's Day is her favorite holiday. Seriously. Even on Christmas day, if you asked her what her favorite holiday was, she would say Valentine's Day. And yes, I have asked her why, and she just says, "Because". Which to her is a perfectly good answer.

So this Valentine's Day, I want to make it special. I want her to wake up that day and have balloons in her room or hearts on her door (yes, I tend to go overboard, so sue me). Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Another way I plan on making it special is using the new promotion by Fruit Roll-Ups. I ordered my free Fruit Roll-Ups Valentines that I designed and will have for Ashley and Audrey on February 14th.

And now you can do the same.

Go to the Fruit Roll-Ups site and design away...and it doesn't have to be for Valentine's Day...they have birthday and other occasions as well.

One box of 30 customized rolls is $29.99 plus shipping, but I have three promotional codes for a free box and free shipping to give away. Just leave a comment with a cute Valentine's message or an idea for me for Ashley and Audrey, and you are entered to win...hurry, this in only open until Wednesday...

Are my eyes open??

I really don't know where to start about this weekend. We ended up leaving earlier than planned on Thursday to beat the snow that was supposed to hit. And of course it never snowed.

Thursday was good, we hung out with my Stepmom and attempted to meet my Dad at the train station on his way home from work, but we had the times wrong. My Dad takes a commuter train, the Virginia Railway Express, to and from work. The train station is within walking distance to my parents new house. The girls liked seeing the trains, but it was so DAMN cold outside.

Friday we had planned to go visit Ray's parents and brother and cousins, but the cousins had the stomach flu, just like Ashley had earlier in the week. I refused to go over there (and Ray's Mom was in agreement...) as Audrey and I were avoiding getting it. We spent that night with friends in Haymarket. I think the only thing Ashley misses about living in Virginia is her friend Grace. They always seem to pick up right where they left off, and happily run off to play.

Saturday I met Julie and her adorable kids for lunch. I think a tornado hit our table, as we left behind a mess of playdoh and other random things (I was attempting to keep my kids entertained so I could actually have a conversation...). Julie probably thinks I only feed Audrey M&Ms as that is pretty much all she ate (I need to do a whole other post about Audrey's eating...). Ashley was slightly infatuated with Abby and kept asking me the rest of the weekend what her name was and how old was she. Julie and I did get to chat, and it was awesome meeting her and her kids. And she is as personable and warm and nice as she is on her blog.

I left there and went to Ray's parents house, where we visited for a while and I left Ashley there to spend the night. Audrey and I went back to my Dad and Stepmom's house for a quiet evening, which was really nice. We had takeout seafood, and Audrey actually ate dinner. If only Audrey had slept well that night, it would have been perfect.

Sunday was Audrey's and Faith's (their cousin who turned three last week) birthday party at what I will refer to as Chaos a.k.a Chuck E. Cheese. Most of the time was spent chasing the kids. Audrey and Ashley liked the big mouse (they are kind of used to seeing big scary characters in Disney World), but Faith was not too happy.

And then I headed home. I left there at 2:00pm, and pulled into my driveway at 5:20pm. I was supposed to have a girl's night out with neighbors, but it was cancelled which was good thing. I was completely cooked. And so were the kids. Audrey had all of her naps all weekend in the van and Ashley even slept some on the way home.

Ray's weekend was busy as well...only two major things happened to him. He locked himself out of the house on Friday morning and used a crowbar to get back in (we really need to give neighbors our key...). Then he painted the girls' bathroom and did touch-up paint in the rest of the house. When I got home, the spots where he painted didn't look right. The paint was shiny, not flat like the paint already on the walls. Ray had touch-up painted the entire house with the paint FOR THE OUTSIDE OF THE HOUSE.

I think he has some more touch-up paint to do...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Appetizer recipe

This is a quick and easy appetizer for Super Bowl Sunday...I orginally posted it on the Workingmomsblog, so if you have seen it before, sorry.

It is for an appetizer that takes only minutes to make, can be made virtually fat free, and will be gone within minutes of you making it. I always keep extra ingredients ready to go as it seems everyone always wants seconds.

Cream Cheese (Full Fat or Non Fat version)
Shredded Cheddar Cheese (once again, this can be the fat free version)

Take any microwavable plate or serving dish. Cover the bottom of the dish with cream cheese.
On top of the cream cheese layer, cover that with salsa.
Over the salsa, generously spread the shredded cheese.
Microwave this on high for 1 - 2 minutes, or until the cheese on top is melted.
Serve with tortilla chips or anything else that makes a good dipping tool.
And that's it! This is a favorite of mine for a couple of years. Now go visit Pensieve for more recipes..

Thursday, January 24, 2008 and a contest...

If you have a Kroger close to you, check out their new website for some cool features (such as my favorite, recipes...).

And want to win a $25 gift card for Kroger? Go here...

Friday Pictures on Thursday....

I am participating in a recipe thing tomorrow, so I am posting pictures today...

Wii really like the Wii, even Audrey...
That's what happened to my washing machine (which is luckily now fixed...)
Gotta love Target and their shirts...
These are the cupcakes I made for Audrey's party. Just call me Betty.
Me and Audrey at her party. She is ringing a bell to tell everyone that it's time for cake.

Ashley is fine, she didn't throw up anymore at home except once and even went to school the next day. Our plans have changed a little for today as I was going to leave this afternoon, but they are calling for snow in Virginia, so I am leaving this morning. Wish me luck...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Audrey is little...

Audrey had her two year appointment yesterday and she is so not like her sister. Ashley was and still is off the charts for height and weight. Ray's Mom is really tall (6 ft, or really close to it) and so is his brother. We are assuming Ashley is taking after them.

Audrey, not so much.

First off, with her cast that must weigh at least a pound, she only weighs 24 pounds. That's the 17%. And she is only 33.5 inches tall, 35%. Her pediatrician wasn't too concerned, but she wants us to give her more substantial food at snack time. Right now, both of the girls love rice cakes for snacks. That is what they eat on the weekends most of the time. That or goldfish. I guess I need to incorporate cheese, turkey, bread? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

And her asthma. She was diagnosed last spring with allergy induced asthma. But now, we aren't so sure it's just allergy induced. We have a long hallway upstairs in our house, with the playroom at one end and our bedroom at the other, and the girls' bedrooms and bathrooms off that hallway. In the evenings, Audrey will often run up and down that hall. And she often ends up in a coughing fit at the end of it. Her pediatrician also wants her on Flovent breathing treatments twice a day. We had stopped those when we stopped giving her Zyrtec in November for allergies. But I guess we are back on it for good now. She will go back in three months for an evaluation of her asthma.

And I now officially hate winter. Not only was there freezing rain and stuff this morning, but Ashley has a stomach bug. She hasn't kept anything down since around 2:00pm, but she's asleep now. Ray and I will switch off staying home with her tomorrow as a)work is nuts for me right now for no real good reason and b)Ray' partner on his real estate team is on a "blue grass" cruise right now, so Ray is working his clients and his partner's. And of course I am supposed to leave on Thursday for Virginia, so keep your fingers crossed that the great stomach bug of '08 will remain with just Ashley and will end tonight.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Who would like to meet me?

This blogging world is a funny little place. We make friends, email with each other when we are having a bad day or just need to bounce ideas off of. And I love it. I laugh at what I read, I cry at what I read. I shake my head emphatically that Yes! That happened to me too!

And every once in a while, I get to meet some of these people I have become such good friends with.

Last summer, I got to spend a few days with her and her. Their kids were fabulous and getting to go out an have a drink with just the girls was fun.

And now this coming Saturday, I get to meet another blogger.

I know exactly where Julie lives...I had a bunch of friends I played softball with that live in her neighborhood. I know where she works, I know the Target she goes to. And now, I get to meet her and her extremely cute kids for lunch on Saturday.

And all I can say?


I just hope she doesn't think I am a complete dork (shut up Ray). I am who I am on this blog...I type the words just as I would say them out loud, so there shouldn't be any surprises.

Can you tell I'm excited?!

Saturday, January 19, 2008


So Friday was my regular Friday off, and I had a list a mile long of stuff to do for Audrey's party and just some regular errand running.

I dropped the kids off at school at 8:30, and I was home by 1:10pm. And these are the stores I went to:

BJ's (we really needed toilet paper)
Michaels Craft store (in search of picture frames)
Bed, Bath and Beyond (had some things to return)
Party store (last minute items for Audrey's party)
Toys-R-Us (Audrey's birthday presents)
Starbucks (at that point I had a raging headache and needed caffeine)
The mall where I hit NY&Co (had a gift card from Christmas), Children's Place (got the girls matching clothes for the birthday party because I am a complete dork), Hallmark for birthday cards, Belk to return something and find something for my Stepdad for his birthday since he was coming to my house that day.
Super Target (groceries and a bookcase for Audrey's room)
The cake lady to pick up Audrey's cake
I really know how to get things done when I have a limited amount of time. Oh, and while I was running errands, work called me twice. Fun.

I was also stressing out just because I am really good at stressing out and they were calling for snow on Saturday. In Raleigh where it never snows. And on the day of Audrey's party. Luckily, it wasn't supposed to start until the afternoon and her party was at 9:30am.

And the party was great. It was at a local kids playspace/museum type place, and everyone ran around and had fun. The cake was good, and the cupcakes were cute (I will post pictures of those later).

And it did snow, it just started much later in the afternoon. And it didn't stop Ray and I from going to the movies since my Mom and Stepdad were in town to watch the kids...

And you HAVE GOT TO GO SEE THIS MOVIE. We saw Cloverfield and OH MY GOD, I am going to have nightmares for weeks. But it was good, different, and definitely something you want to see in the theaters.

And now? I am off to bed..too much cake, too much popcorn, I am cooked.

Room-A-Day Giveaway...

From January 28 through February 15, you can win $25,000 to renovate any room in your house. The drawing will be done each weekday on The View with a final drawing to be announced on March 21 on the "Room-a-Day Giveaway" website. You can enter the sweepstakes daily by going here...

This sweepstakes is giving very deserving Moms a great opportunity to "relax, restore and renew" by creating new spaces in their homes. The sweepstakes is sponsored by Kimberly-Clark (you know them by products such as Huggies, Kleenex, Pull-ups, all things all of us use...) and Kimberly-Clark products and brands offer solutions to clean, organize and beautify every room in your home.

So what are you waiting for?? Go enter and watch The View to see if you won (or tivo it if you aren't home..:))!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Audrey Rose

Since I have been blogging, I have always written this post on either of the girls' birthdays many days if not weeks before the big day. I don't know if it because I am having such a hard time with Audrey turning two, but I had to force myself to write this one the night before...

If you look back at this year, you had kind of a rough year. It started with tubes in your ears, then being diagnosed with allergies and asthma. You kicked it in high gear at the end and decided to break your left arm. Just because you wanted to end your "1's" with a bang. And add a few hundred more grey hairs on your Mom's head.

You are a picky eater, which is new territory for your Dad and I. Ashley ate (and will still for the most part) anything we put in front of her. She especially loves fruit. You won't touch even the sweetest fruit, and I am pretty sure you would be happy to survive on rice cakes and chocolate.

But I hate to compare you to your sister. I want you to be your own person and develop and grow as Audrey, not Ashley's younger sister. Where Ashley had two and half years with your Dad and I all to herself, you have had to share us since the day you were born. I cherish Sunday mornings when your Dad and Ashley go to Sunday school and you and I have an hour to ourselves. We play hide and seek, we terrorize the dog, we give big hugs and I make you tell me your are Mommy's Girl, not Daddy's Girl.

I am astonished with the rate you are speaking, and the things you are doing. You play your Dad and me. If one of us puts you in time out for some reason, you immediately go crying to the other parent. You cry when your sister looks at you funny because you know it will get a reaction out of us.

Life is moving so fast with you...some days I want to make it stop all together and just sit with you...but then I think of all the good days we have planned ahead and how much more you have to learn and I sit back and I watch you laugh and run down the hallway chasing your sister...I sigh and run after you, knowing I will be doing this my whole life.

Happy Birthday, Little One.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Decisions, decisions, decisions....

One of the reasons we moved to Wake County, North Carolina was because of the school system. The quality of teachers, the size of the classrooms, the availability of technology in the schools was stuff we had read about and liked. We also liked the choices that were available to us - year round schools, magnet schools, private schools, charter schools.

But it's those choices that are driving me insane.

If we go the regular route, she will attend the local elementary school which is a year round school. She will start some time in July, depending on what track we want. (Basically, the kids go 9 weeks on, 3 weeks off) There are four tracks. The choices start here. What the hell track do we pick? We have heard bad things about some of the teachers on track 3 in first grade, track 4 in second grade. I heard the track 3 kindergarten teachers are great, but are they going to stay in track 3? And do we pick a track based on what her friends are doing? Or do we pick a track based on when we want to take a vacation in the fall?

And tonight, I am going to a magnet school fair. Ray went to one last week, and was incredibly impressed with one of the magnet schools. It is based on Stephen Covey's seven habits of highly effective people. The curriculum and such is based on that, and they work their lesson plans differently. The school and it's curriculum sound great, but we would have to provide transportation to the school (which is really no big deal), but then she will be going to a different school than all her friends in the neighborhood.

This is stressful. And this is just kindergarten. I know whatever decision we make, we will make it work and Ashley will adapt and be fine. And I know if she does get into the magnet school (it's a lottery to get in) if that is the way to go, that her friends on the street will still be her friends.

Have I confused you yet?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

How the other half lives...

First off, thanks for all the suggestions yesterday...hopefully Ray has read them all and will consider each one. I loved the Savannah suggestion. And I know a few of you said Vegas, but Ray and I have been lucky to have gone to Vegas multiple times since we have been married to include a Valentine's Day weekend four years ago. I have also been wanting to go to the Biltmore since moving to North Carolina, so we shall see. You will find out in June where we go!

Anyways, Ray and his real estate team have a multi-million dollar listing right now in North Raleigh. Yesterday was the broker open house were they tried to get agents in to check out the house and hopefully find someone to buy it. It was catered, and since it was free food and a chance to see a huge house, I tagged along.

And holy hell, was this house big. Seriously. A million dollars will get you a pretty damn big house in Raleigh anyways, but a couple million?

In the master bath was a Japanese soaking tub. This tub was so tall it came up to my chest. There were gold plated sconces in the master bedroom. The chandelier in the foyer was flown in from Spain and was $35,000. And there was a wine cellar in the basement.

And don't get me started on the closets. Let's just say this woman has more shoes than Oprah. And they were all color coordinated, the winter ones in the main closet and the all the other ones in the "seasonal closet" on the third floor. Yes, I said seasonal closet. On a separate level. I wonder if she pays someone to move the seasonal clothes from one closet to another. Because I am guessing yes.

If there is anyone in the market for a multi-million dollar house in Raleigh, I know just the house for you...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

10 years is a really, really long time...

One of our neighbor's houses went on the market yesterday. Come to find out, they are moving because they are getting a divorce. And they have 3 kids under the age of 5. This just gets to me. How sad is that for the kids, how hard it will be for the parents, and that's just crazy. That makes 2 families on our street to have this happen in the short time we have lived here.

I pretty much told Ray he's stuck with me, good or bad, better or worse.

And this June, we will be celebrating 10 years together in marriage...I have hinted and hinted on him taking me away for a weekend. Ray reads here, so any good ideas for places for him to take me to would be greatly appreciated. Just remember we live in North Carolina...

Tax Stuff

Friday in our mailbox was a notice for a certified letter to be picked up at the post office. We normally get these notices once a month as our renter in Virginia sends the rent check so that it requires our signature on delivery. We have no idea why.

But this notice was from the IRS...

No worries though, just something that happens every year with the LLC Ray set up in Virginia and late filing and blahblahblah. I just hate dealing with tax stuff. And as most of you know if you read hear last year, we didn't file our taxes until October. Any bets on when we will file this year?

Maybe we should take advantage of this service from Turbo Tax. During January, taxpayers can get their tax questions answered on a single tax topic by a tax professional (that is NOT me) free of charge. Go here to check it out...

And the voting page for Cutest Tax Deduction contest is up...if you know someone that entered, go vote!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Bullets points because that's all I got...

  • Our washing machine is broken. The one that's not even two years old. The one that broke about 8 months ago. Do not buy a front loader GE washing machine. If we had a couple hundred dollars sitting around, we would so buy a new non-front loading, non GE machine. The repair person is coming on Thursday, and he better have the damn part to fix it.
  • Ashley asked us to put her to bed at 7:00pm on Saturday night. That's how tired she was. She had Hayden's birthday party Saturday plus just a full week back at school last week. She was cooked.
  • Our nephew Aidan is in the hospital again. Last update he had the flu, but they were running tests last night. He will be one in February.
  • I totally forgot to wish my Stepdad Ed a Happy Birthday on January 8th and my friend Wendy on January 6th. January birthdays sneak up on us when we least expect them.
  • I tend to be a germaphobe this time of year. Yesterday at church, they did one baptism and the pastor walked the baby around and let various people give the baby a kiss. All I could think of was that IT IS FLU SEASON PEOPLE!
  • I haven't had coffee yet this's going to be a long day...

Friday, January 11, 2008


Go check out Lookit! for information on a Bunco Championship in Vegas or a chance to win $15,000 on YouTube...

And my good friend Pensieve is hosting a Recipe exchange of sorts on January 25th, either go here or check out the button on my sidebar...

That's it, now go check out the pictures below or get back to work (or whatever you are supposed to be doing...)

Friday Pictures - More fun with my new camera

Huh, that's not my kid. Where did she come from? Oh yea, that's Hayden..the all of a sudden she's five and adorable and playing with Ashley on one of our 70 degree days we had this week.
Yup, you guessed it. Hayden again. Can you tell I like to take closeups? Seriously, I suck at taking pictures of objects (not like SJ), but closeups of kids? I can handle that.
Now that one is mine. Unless Edie wants her for a day or two.
She loves playing with her friends, can you tell?
You know I had to throw in a picture of the non-sleeping warrior...she is using her cast hand like she doesn't even have a cast. Audrey had her cast checked this's good to go. Only three more weeks until she gets it off...

Thursday, January 10, 2008


One of my prior classes, I had to tutor an elementary student. I tutored a 4th grader that lives on my street, and even though I no longer have to tutor her, she still comes over on Wednesday nights, eats dinner with us, and I help her with her homework. It gets kind of stressful when Ray isn't around (he works late on Wednesdays), but I make it work.

So yesterday, Jessica promptly sits down at the island in my kitchen where we do work and announces she has lice.

And I about fell over and screamed get out.

But I didn't, I asked her to explain, and come to find out, she had lice, as in past tense.


Seems she borrowed a girl's hairbrush in her class, and that's how she got it. I have no experience with lice whatsoever and I hope to keep it that way.

On a completely unrelated note, and I totally realize I am completely jinxing myself (but heck, I am not home for bedtime for the next two nights, so ha!), Audrey's bedtime routine thingy is getting a little easier. I had recalled watching a part of some Super Nanny show where the kid wanted the parent to stay in the room until they fell asleep. Super Nanny had the parent sit with their back to the bed, and over time, position themselves so that they moved out of the room, going further each night.

Monday night, I was in the room and it took 2 hours, Tuesday night I was close to the door and it took 2 hours, and last night I was in the hallway where she could pretty much only see my feet (I was laying on the floor reading a book by the light of the bathroom, crazy, I realize, but I am tired of falling asleep myself while waiting for her to fall asleep, so I decided to read). And it only took an hour last night. I am thinking this is working.

Don't get me wrong, though, she is still waking up in the middle of the night. We have her mattress on the floor and she keeps rolling off of it. I have no idea how to keep her on it...without putting up rails which she catapulted over the night we had them up.

I was so happy with last night's success, I just wanted a darn cookie.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

We finally figured it out...

So Ray and I just figured out something, and I was laughing so hard I was crying...

Ray picked the kids up early from school yesterday to take advantage of the good weather and took them to a park. I got home and started dinner and decided to make a quick batch of chocolate chip cookies as a couple of neighbors were coming over to play and I have been wanting to make this particular recipe.

So everyone comes over, cookies are shared, everyone leaves, and about a dozen cookies are left on the kitchen table...

Let me just remind you we have a Wiener dog, Dachshund, small dog, that is not supposed to be able to jump much.

So I do the bedtime routine with Audrey (which I won't bore you with the details, but it took 2 hours, so much for watching TV anymore) and Ray puts Ashley to bed. Ray gets to go back downstairs and enjoy TV without me and looked for the cookies. He looked in all the cabinets thinking I had hid them as they are completely his weakness. He can't find them, so he gives up.

Flash forward to 1:00am. Tootles, the lovely dog, normally sleeps like a log at night in our bed, under the covers. Instead, last night she spent two hours pacing, breathing heavy and annoying the living crap out of us. Ray took her out once, I took her out once as well as giving her some water which she inhaled.

I look for the cookies this morning, and wonder where the hell Ray put them. I was going to take one to work.

I didn't think about them until a few minutes ago. I remembered that Ray was going to be late tonight, so I called him to see where he hid them.

He didn't. He wanted to know where I hid them.

Do you see the light bulb going off??

No wonder Tootles had issues last night, that DAMN DOG ATE MY COOKIES.

Benefits of Blogging...

When I think of the benefits of blogging, I think of all the friends I have made, all the moments I have documented, all the advice I have received.

But DUDE, I was sent FOUR CELL PHONES to review!

To check out the full review, go to Lookit...but I thought I would share a couple stories about these phones here.

First off, Ray has a Palm Treo and I have the infamous Razr phone that I thought I had lost forever on a ride in Disney World last October. Ray hates his phone. Seriously. He has so many problems with it, I don't even know where to begin. I like my phone, but I just use mine for the occasion phone calls to Ray and various friends and family. Ray, being a Real Estate Agent, uses his all the time.

So when I got an email asking to review some new cell phones, I was like, Hell Ya!

Basically, Video Share phones let you live video stream (or recorded video) to another Video Share compatible phone.

I can't even begin to tell you how often we have used these.

Last Saturday, Ray was working all day. So I took the girls to Snipits to get Audrey's hair cut. Since she looked so damn cute sitting in her chair getting a hair cut, I called up Ray, hit the Video Share button on my phone, and he was able to see her as well.

The uses? Endless.

And no, you can't have my phones. All mine.

Now, if we could only convince all of our family in Virginia to get these, then we wouldn't have to go back and visit them anymore (Ha! I kid!).

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Is it really only Tuesday?? should at least be Thursday or at the very least, Wednesday...

Let's just say this week is not going well. And it's not just the Audrey issues, work sucks for lack of a better word.

But did Audrey sleep last night? Nope, nada, no way. Well, actually, she did sleep sort of okay, just the whole going to be thing was crappy.

But thank you to everyone for all of your suggestions, if I could try all of them all at once I would. What I think I will try is a combination of some of them, plus some other stuff that Ray read about online.

Which you know it's bad if Ray is searching for parenting tips online...seriously. He laughs at all my parenting magazines I get, but last night while I was attempting to get Satan-child to sleep, he was reading about Dr. Sears and Super Nanny.

Bottom line, Audrey wants to be held and loved and snuggled. She is one snuggly kid.

Just now her snuggling includes her wrapping her very hard cast arm around your head and periodically nailing you with it.

I have told you guys about Eat Better America before...

I have told you guys about a great site called Eat Better America before, but now you can get a free sample of the original Fiber One Cereal. And if you are like me, I love Fiber One cereal and their bars and the higher the fiber, the less Weight Watchers points for those of you counting again in the New Year (Hi! That's me! I gained 6 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years!).

The Business of Being Born Film

I was recently asked to pass on some information about a new film that's coming out called The Business of Being Born. And as I am sure it will with you, this film's synopsis evoked many feelings the whole birthing process in the United States. Both of my kids were born in the hospital and I thought and still think it was the best decision I made for their births. Also with both of my deliveries, Pitocin was administered and increased periodically through my labor (very long with Ashley, very short with Audrey).

But I know many people disagree with this, and I have seen way too many A Baby Story shows on TLC showing Moms giving birth in various locations - birth centers, at home, or in the hospital to make me wonder what it would have been like somewhere else.

In the film, Executive Producer Ricki Lake and Director Abby Epstein question the way American women have babies, and explore this fundamental question: should most births be viewed as a natural life process, or should every delivery be treated as a potential medical emergency? The Business of Being Born makes a compelling argument for more humanistic approaches to birth.

Details on Film opening
NYC Opening: January 9-15 at the IFC Center. Call 212- 924-6789 or email or for group discounts.
LA Opening: January 16 - 22 at Laemmle’s Sunset 5 Contact: for group discounts.
SF Opening: January 18-24 at the Roxie Cinema from January Call 415-431-3611 for group discounts.

The film will also be available on Netflix in February.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Don't you hate it when bloggers whine about sleep?

I hate it when I whine about my lack of sleep. I really do. But it's catching up to me and Ray really, really quickly.

It started the weekend before Christmas. Both the kids got sick on our trip to Virginia. On all three nights staying with my parents, Audrey decided sleep was optional as the cold she had moved into her chest and aided by her asthma, made her miserable at night.

But she got over it. What she did not get over was the water/juice/milk and love and rocking she was getting in the middle of the night. And just when we thought we would turn a corner, BAM, she breaks her arm and I am spending the night laying on the floor in her room.

Which she thinks is cool now.

So Friday night we turned her crib into a toddler bed. We did the same thing with Ashley as the same exact age. Ashley acted as though there was still a wall on her crib. She wouldn't climb out, called for us when she woke up, was a breeze to move into a toddler bed.

Audrey is the polar opposite. She knows she has freedom now. She knows how to open doors. And she has a cast on one arm, so we feel sorry for her and coddle her and make sure she's safe. Which means I spent much of Friday and Saturday night on the floor in her room or rocking her to get her back to sleep.

Drastic times call for drastic measures. Let me first preface all this with one tidbit, Ray and I are not in favor of letting her cry it out. We just aren't. And no, we absolutely don't think you are a bad parent if you do, it just doesn't work for us. We absolutely will let her cry it out for a few minutes or ten, but as far as longer than that, we don't.

Back to the drastic measures. Since she seemed to be content being rocked to sleep in order to go back to sleep, we took the Granddaddy Lazy Boy chair (that honestly smelled like garlic bread throw up from last week's Mommy gave her too much milk throwing up escapade) out of her room. This is in hopes of when she did say "Rock, Mommy" in the middle of the night we could say "Nope, no chair, no rocking."

I am chalking up Friday and maybe Saturday night to the fact that she was probably still in pain. Now? Considering she was beating the side of her crib with her cast last night, I am pretty sure she is okay. I am waiting now for the day she attacks her sister with her cast....

Yesterday's nap, she decided that since Mommy slept on the floor, she was going to sleep on the floor. Fine, whatever works. But when she wanted to do the same for bedtime, I pulled her crib mattress on the floor and told her to sleep there.

Two hours later, she was still awake.

But she did do better in the middle of the night. She woke up sort of once, I gave her a sippy cup, she drank very little of it, and said "Rock" and I said, no, but told her I would lay beside her. On the floor. No wonder my back is really killing me today.

So, any ideas on how to keep her to stay in her bed? SJ gave me some ideas, and I was thinking about doing something my stepsister does with her 3 year old. She has a video now player, and her daughter watches one video, and she says she's asleep by the end of it.

I just want some sleep.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Pictures of the Pink Cast...

Completely waterproof cast
Ignore the random clothes, finding something to fit over her cast (and worse was the splint) can be difficult. I have raided Ashley's old clothes for some short sleeve stuff for Audrey to wear now.
Thanks Grandmommy and Papa Mocha for the balloons!

Do You Know Anyone Who Had a Baby in December 2007?

TurboTax is sponsoring a contest for all of those parents who had a baby in December 2007. The contest is called "America's Cutest Last-Minute TaxDeduction." Parents are invited to upload a photo of their newborn to the contest's web site, where their fellow taxpayers will vote for the cutest and most original photo of the baby. The winner will receive a $5,000 savings bond ($10,000 uponmaturity). The site is CutestTaxDeduction and the contest ends January 9.

Good Luck!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Friday Pictures will be soon...

Don't worry, I will have some great pictures to post of Audrey.

Wanna know why?



About 9:15 last night, she attempted to climb out of her crib. We heard a crash and instant crying, and we ran up. She was pretty inconsolable, and then we noticed she wasn't really moving her arm. So the decision was made for Ray to take her to the ER (I just can't handle those things...) and I stayed with Ashley.

They came home about midnight with instructions to go to an orthopaedic doctor today. She also had a splint on which was not fun. She could not use her hand at all, and she just kept saying "take it off."

Today they put on a cute pink cast, and she has full use of her hand. The cast is waterproof which is cool, but we have to go back next week as they are concerned she will be able to pull the cast off after the swelling goes down. She might have to have it redone.

And yes, we are converting her crib to a toddler bed today. We had been talking about doing it for the past two weeks, and well, now we have to.

I promise pictures later today...

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Growing up, my brother and I pretty much did our own things. We had our sibling fights, but what I remember most from when I was little was me playing school or with my dolls, and Mike playing in the sandbox. Neither of us were willing to play each other's games, and that was okay. And Ray's brother is 8 years younger than him, a pretty big gap for kids to try and be playmates.

But Ray and I knew we wanted two kids close together so they could be playmates, you know, keep each other occupied while I sit back and sip coffee and read the paper.

When Audrey was born, Ashley couldn't wait for her to react to her. And once Audrey started smiling or laughing in reaction to something Ashley did, Ashley loved that.

Then Audrey started walking and doing stuff her sister didn't necessarily like. And Ashley messes with Audrey as well. She will bump into her in the hallway or pull on her foot or just touch her even when I say don't.

So now the sibling fighting begins.

Last week, Ashley was quietly playing with her figurines in the playroom. And Audrey marched right up to the table and knocked over all her figurines in one sweep of her arm. And she smiled the entire time she did it. Ashley fell apart crying, and Audrey laughed.

Ashley is constantly taking things from her sister. Her stuffed animals, books, whatever Audrey has in her hands, all of a sudden Ashley wants it or says she was playing with it. And it drives me nuts. Right now we are making Ashley trade Audrey if Audrey has something Ashley wants, and so far it's working.

And Audrey really doesn't like to be touched. I picked her up from school one day before Christmas, and her teachers said she was kind of crabby all day. So I am putting Audrey in her seat and I tell Ashley that Audrey is grumpy and not to mess with her. And what does Ashley do? Immediately reaches over and tries to tickle her. Audrey starts crying and Ashley gets mad.

Maybe in high school they will share clothes? Be best friends? Or am I just dreaming? I need to hear from all of you who grew up with sisters...

Don't forget to check out our Thursday giveaway on Lookit...

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Food Post

Lucky for Ray, I got TWO aprons for Christmas (one Vera Bradley one and one funny one) as well as a potato masher and a potato ricer. Let the cooking commence. And hopefully soon I will start including some pics of what I make and sharing the recipes.

But first let me share with you a few recipes I have tried off of The Pioneer Woman Cooks site...I love looking at her pictures and drooling over the food. And most of it is some pretty basic stuff.

Holiday Bacon Appetizers - I tried these at my Dad's house during Christmas for the family gathering. All were eaten, but I will say this...I thought the parmesan/romano cheese taste was too much. Someone suggested using brown sugar in the comments, and I don't know about that either.

Mashed Potatoes - I made these on Christmas Day for our dinner. Yum, yum and more yum. I obviously used less potatoes and estimated the other ingredients, and it turned out great. Yum. I love mashed potatoes, I almost ate the leftovers for breakfast. One side note - you do not need to add all that extra butter on top and cook in the oven...we tend to go less with butter and such.

Chicken Spaghetti - I made this a few weeks ago, and split the amount in half and froze half of it. Unfortunately, Ray is not a fan of 1) casseroles or 2) Cream of anything soup. I, on the other hand, LOVE casseroles and could eat them Plus they are easy to make ahead of time. So this recipe? Yummy, although I was pretty much the only one to eat it. I made the frozen half the night of my Christmas concert for my Mom and I, and it was just as good as the original one. So if you have a husband who eats casseroles, this is a definite keeper.

French Breakfast Puffs - Holy Hell, these were TO DIE FOR. Seriously. I made these when my Mom and Stepdad were here for Christmas. I will say this though, be careful rolling the puffs in the butter before dipping them in the sugar/cinnamon mixture. I seriously drenched one, and Ray said he could feel his arteries clogging. Next time, I am going to spray them with the artificial butter spray and see how that works. I will let you know.

*Edited to Add* I was chatting with my good Weight Watchers buddy Dorrie (and no, she does not have a blog), and I decided to enter in this recipe into the recipe builder on the Weight Watchers site and see how many points it is. GOOD GOD. I had NO IDEA 2/3 cup of Crisco is 35 Freaking POINTS...without the last step of drowning in butter and more sugar, each one comes out to 7 points each, which honestly isn't all that bad....I guess.

Another recipe I thought I would let you know about is this Parmesan-Dijon Chicken recipe. I also made this on Christmas day, and Ashley asked for seconds...and thirds. A definite keeper....

And as I said, I promise pictures and full recipes to print out sometime in the New Year...maybe that can be a New Year's know, to add to the finish master's degree, raise children, catch up on scrapbooking, make curtains, workout more....

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A New Year....New Randomness

Just a reminder, on Thursday everyone should be wearing Nike shoes just like these that Audrey got for Christmas from Ray's parents...Hokie colors!

And if you were lucky enough to be entered into the world of Webkinz this Christmas, let's hope the website gets a little faster. Trying to explain to Ashley every time we got on the computer why it was so damn slow was so damn annoying.
And thankfully, my family room no longer looks like this. And really unfortunately, the rug is gone as well. Too many stains from humans and dogs (our lovely Tootles tootled one too many times on the rug) to keep this rug anymore. I like the all hardwood look, it's just the rug buffered the very loud children I have.
And my new kitchen table...I am in love.
So there, a few random pictures from the past week. I am not happy to go back to work tomorrow, but I am happy to be getting back to a schedule. Ashley has been begging to go back to school, and tonight she was so cooked from over a week of no naps, that she was in bed at 6:30pm, a new record for her.

I have a few lame resolutions for this year....same old, same old get organized, get caught up on to do lists, make new to do lists...that I won't bore you with them. But hopefully this year will see me finish my Master's Degree and change careers. And it will see my oldest child start kindergarten and don't even get me started on that or I start to cry.

And I am already crying since Audrey turns 2 on the 18th...where did my baby go??