Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wake up...

I need coffee. It's 8:18am and I have yet to have my first cup of coffee.

I also need some much needed advice. Two issues:

1. Ashley's feet stink. I mean really smell. Ashley is a pretty sweaty kid, and I am guessing her feet sweat. Of course it doesn't help that she is wearing those lined crocs or her boots everyday now. So any tips on getting her feet not to smell would be helpful.

2. Audrey. Audrey, Audrey, Audrey. She is trouble. At least 3 or 4 times a week, she wakes up in the middle of the night and the only way to get her back to sleep is to bring her in my bed. Any tricks on how to convince her that her bed is much better than mine would be appreciated.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Blogs for you to check out...

I normally don't pass on the numerous blogs I read, but I have two that have come up recently that are definitely worth checking out.

This one is one of my neighbors and truly inspirational in that she just completed a half marathon....Congrats Carmen!!

The other one is one of my best friends who I have known for years. We spent Thanksgiving with her and her family this past year. We can go months without seeing each other, and feel like we haven't missed a beat when we get back together (and I can still kick her and her husband's butt in hearts...). I am sure her blog will spark many debates because over the years I have listened to enough debates between her and Ray. Me? I don't like confrontation (typical Libra here). But you guys? Go ahead and debate.


I hate being crabby and tired and short-fused once a month. Really, really tired of it. Last night, I was actually asleep before Audrey was (she is often up past 9:00pm in her room "reading" books). I just hope my kids don't remember the crabby mommy, and only remember the un-crabby mommy. (I don't remember my own Mom being crabby, so I am hopeful my kids won't remember either).

Some months are worse than others, some months I don't even notice. Maybe it is getting worse with age, who knows. All I know it sucks.

What else sucks? A Grandmother who is dying and doesn't know anyone anymore because of Alzheimer's. She's young for a Grandmother of a thirty something (late 70s), but unfortunately she has smoked a carton of cigarettes a day for most of her life. I remember her lighting a cigarette with her last cigarette. But I also remember countless days spent at her house, playing in her yard, helping her with chores. She lived next door to us when my brother and I were little, so we spent a great deal of time there in the summer and before and after school. I remember bologna, cheese, mustard and ketchup sandwiches, I remember playing charades with her on her front porch. I remember telling her I wasn't a "tomboy", I was a "tomgirl".

She has been in and out of the hospital and a nursing home the past few weeks. Ray and I actually visited with her when we were in Virginia over Christmas in the nursing home. She didn't know who we were, but she thought I looked like someone she knew.

My Mom has been helping out as much as she can, but now Grandma isn't recognizing anyone, not even my Grandfather. My Stepdad has spent countless hours in the hospital with her as well. I don't know the progression of Alzheimer's, and honestly, I don't want to know. I hope she still has some good days left in her.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Pictures (yes, I am actually posting pictures. On Friday).

Here are some pictures from Audrey's birthday weekend, and then I promise not to mention her birthday again.

Her birthday celebration started out at school. I brought in cupcakes for the kids. This picture was taken when the class was singing "Happy Birthday" to her. She did not look thrilled...

The next morning, she had gymnastics and ballet and we let her open a few gifts early since they were a new ballet outfit and a new gymnastics outfit. She also recieved from my Stepsister who lives in Hawaii a real grass skirt complete with the coconut bra...Ashley received one as well.

She actually picked this outfit for gymnastics out. She looks so freaking tiny in it.

And finally, her party at Monkey Joe's, a place with tons of inflatable slides and stuff. She still wanted a princess cake, so here it was:She wasn't too thrilled to sit in this chair either, but the lady running it somehow convinced her she had to do it, even if it was just for the singing part.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Audrey's Third Birthday

I realize this post is a few days late, but I need to get this down so that years from now she won't come to me complaining how on her third birthday I forgot to write my annual letter to her. Because she would TOTALLY do that.

I still can't believe you are three. I still remember your "birth" day pretty vividly. I am very grateful to this day how easy your birth was (most unlike your sister).

But since then? You have proven to us that you deserve some space of your own, that you will not settle to just be the little sister.

In the past year, you have conquered a few things. Potty training came easy and you are learning more and more everyday at school. The one thing that does confront us from time to time is your lack of recognizing some colors, and we have a sneaking suspicion you are color blind.

You use your words well, especially the "you are bad, sister" words and the "no, Mommy, GO AWAY" words. Spunk? You got it. At first glance, you seem so sweet an innocent. But I have caught you a few times, going up to your sister and pinching her or hitting her and then looking straight at me and telling me she hit you first.

Your first love is not me or your Dad, it's chocolate. Seriously, you would eat chocolate every single minute of everyday if we let you. You often pretend to be coming to us to tell us a secret, and you are really just going to ask for chocolate. You don't eat any fruit and shy away from most vegetables, but I can't complain. You still try things we put on your plate and if you don't eat, well, we sometimes give in and give you chocolate. But just sometimes.

Bedtimes have been hard this past year. We thought (very stupidly I must admit) that getting you a really! cool! new! bed would cure your bedtime woes. Instead, you refuse to actually go to sleep in your bed every night. You fall asleep on the floor of your room most nights (and the other nights at the top of the staircase against the gate). And every night I move you to your bed. And every morning you wake up, call out for me, and I come get you and you snuggle on my chest while I go lay back down in bed with you. This is our time together; sometimes you fall back asleep, sometimes you roll off of me and tell me you love me. If your sister wakes up, you ask me to carry you with me to get your sister. You are lucky you are so little still, you fit perfect.

I hope you stay this little forever.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What I am doing today....

Um, yea, so everyone knows I hate the cold. Hate, hate, hate it.

So waking up to snow was not a happy moment. The forecast when we went to bed was possibly 1-3 inches, maybe 2-4? Schools were already closed at 10:15pm last night.

This video was from about 8:00am this morning. Since this video, the snow has almost doubled. There is probably 7-8 inches on the ground. My office closed, and I am thinking not much is open out there.

The other kicker? I just found out that Ashley has to make up her day today on SATURDAY. They don't have any "extra" days built into year round. And of course this Saturday she has a Girl Scout event. I am all for her missing the 1/2 day of school to go to the Girl Scout event. I know, bad parent.

And I am sure she won't go to school tomorrow....

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Audrey

Ignore the tired eyes, the chocolate traces around her mouth, and the fact we make her sing "Happy Birthday" to herself. And ignore my annoying voice...

She really did have a great birthday...

Friday, January 16, 2009

100 days

Today is Ashley's 100th day of school (remember, she is on year round, so may have reached this later than a traditional calendar school year? I don't know...). She had to bring in 100 things and they are having a celebration this afternoon in class.

I still have days where I can't believe I have a kindergartner. I was behind her school bus this morning driving out of our neighborhood (I drove to the bus stop this morning BECAUSE IT IS LIKE 20 DEGREES OUTSIDE) (I need to remind everyone how much I despise the cold) and it was just one of those moments where I realized how big she was, riding a bus, getting herself to class.

And then Audrey is turning three this weekend, and just thinking ahead to her started kindergarten gets me all choked up. Ray and I tell Audrey all the time we want her to stay little. We give up with Ashley since she's already so tall it's difficult to pick her up. But Audrey? She's still so little and snuggly, if she could only stay that way.

And no, I am still not ready for her party tomorrow (gotta do the goodie bags) and I still have to get her a leotard and tap shoes for her dance class she is starting tomorrow. Nothing like waiting until the last minute.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

January Birthdays

I feel bad for Audrey and all the other people who have January birthdays. They seem to get lost in the shuffle. Heck, I haven't even bought Audrey's present yet, and her birthday party is Saturday. I still have goodie bags to make and balloons to get. Oh, and cupcakes to buy for her party at school on Friday. I definitely need to make a note about that otherwise I will be rushing out of work early on Friday and completely forget.

I asked Audrey the other night what she wanted for her birthday. A purse was high in the list (of course we probably have 20 laying around the house for her and Ashley), a necklace, and chocolate. The girl at least knows what she wants!

Monday, January 12, 2009

And I thought December was busy...

This weekend was crazy busy, but I still had time to do some cleaning and purging of the playroom toys (Audrey turns 3 next weekend, and I know she will be getting more stuff) and I finished the third book in the Twilight series. I am completely excited to read the last book - and yes, I know what happens in it, but I am still excited to read it.

Back to the weekend. Friday night, we had a cookie rally for Girl Scouts. Anyone want cookies, email me :). You can also donate boxes of cookies to send to the troops. Anyway, we had that, and one of the other girls in the troop came home with me to spend the night. Ashley crashed immediately; Friday nights are rough for her, she is extremely tired. The other little girl took some coaxing, but she wasn't too far behind Ashley.

Saturday morning, Ray took Audrey to gymnastics; I took Ashley to a birthday party. I was worried about getting to the party as it was downtown (and yes, I work in downtown Raleigh, but I know how to get to work and get home, not much else although I am learning) and North Carolina's first woman Governor (and no, I did not vote for her) was being inaugurated that morning. So roads were closed and such, but I made it on time.

Got home in time to wake Audrey up from a nap to take her to a birthday party. She was grumpy and not cooperative at first since she had been woken up, but in the end she had fun.

Home from that in time to rest a little and get ready for a night out. Ray and I and six other couples went to dinner at a really, really nice restaurant in Raleigh. As in Ray had a $55 steak. It was really good to hang out and chat, and before we knew it, it was 11:00pm. I really wish we could do that more often.

Sunday morning I was teaching Sunday school for Ashley's class and was not prepared since I was just filling in for someone, but it worked out. The afternoon Ray went to work and that's when I did some reading, cleaning, and purging.

Then off to our good friends Matt and Wendy's house. Wendy's birthday was the 6th, so I went to dinner with her while Ray and the girls hung out with Matt and his kids.

I crashed in bed around 9:15pm last night. I have a ton of stuff to do this week in preparation for Audrey's birthday like actually buy her a birthday present. I still can't believe she's turning 3, especially after this morning when we were walking down the hall to head out, and she stopped, stuck her butt out towards me, and farted. Lovely.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


Way back in September, there was a huge outbreak of ringworm in Audrey's class. Audrey never got it, but because of the outbreak, the school changed the policy, and if you were diagnosed with ringworm, you had to stay out of school for 48 hours (the State regulations actually say as long as it is being treated, you can go back to school). Audrey never got it at that time, so we assumed we were okay.

Flash forward to November/December (I can't remember exactly when). I drop Audrey off at school one day, and while she is washing her hands, I notice a suspicious looking spot on her arm. A parent freaks out, I take Audrey to the doctor, her pediatrician says it could be anything, gives us cream anyways, and I take her back to school.

To make a long story short, Audrey was not allowed back in school since the doctor's note said she was being treated as ringworm. In the end, it wasn't ringworm, the spot morphed into an eczema spot that Audrey gets (it was right in the crease of her elbow), and actually, it's still there. Ray called and discussed this a little heatedly with the owner of the school. Some not so nice things were said by the owner of the school (like Audrey would have been kicked out a long time ago in other facilities for her biting issues she had in the previous room). Ray explained he was just trying to understand the policies, and in the end, it was okay.

We moved on, forgot completely about it.

Until yesterday. I was at work, and the owner called me saying she needed to talk to me face-to-face, that Audrey was okay. She wouldn't tell me anything over the phone. So of course I go to the school. She begins to tell me that the Division of Child Services showed up the day before because of parent complained about a ringworm outbreak as well as one of the teacher's credentials.

I didn't get it at first, and then I understood - she wanted to know if I was the parent that called.

As calmly as I could, I told her that we did not call, I wouldn't have even known who to call, and I didn't even know what teacher she was talking about. I explained that if I had a problem, I would come to her.

She then wanted to know if I knew anyone who would have done this. She is on a witch hunt, which isn't good. The visit by the State showed they were doing above and beyond the State regulations, so I am not sure why she needs to know who ratted them out.

We really like the school, the teachers, the curriculum. I wouldn't dream of moving Audrey, but I was definitely shocked by the owner's accusations yesterday. Not a good way to end my day.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Work From Home Days

I work for an agency for the state that actually cares about the money that we spend commuting to and from work. Last year, a committee was put together to determine some money savings ways, and lucky for me, one of them included a work from home option.

I am so freaking excited.

I get to work from home every Thursday. And yes, that totally means I am going to take Ashley to the bus stop in my pjs, because hello? I don't have to get up and get dressed. These past three mornings have been pretty bad. We have been running late every day, and I have ended up driving the girls to the bus stop since we are so late (and the torrential downpours don't help things).

So tomorrow - a pj day for me. At home, where I can drink good coffee all day. I am also going to have lunch with Ashley at school, which she is thrilled about.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I am alive.

I am here, I just got caught up yesterday with Ashley going back to school, taking Audrey to an ENT appointment, and just getting back into the swing of things. It felt like the first day of school all over again for Ashley since she was out the whole month of December, and her classroom was recarpeted right before the break, so I had to send back all the stuff she was sent home with (art shirt, nap towel, etc.).

And Ashley woke up at 3:15am Monday morning, and did not go back to sleep. How she made it through the entire day, I have no idea.

Audrey had the tubes in her ears checked. We had run into her ENT (I also worked with him in my previous job) last month, and we mentioned that Audrey had her tubes in for almost two years. He said that is about how long he likes to see them in, and wanted us to come in to get them out.

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Well, when I got there, one tube has fallen out, and the other one is on it's way out, so he left it alone. So I handed over my $40 co-pay for pretty much nothing.

And yesterday, I had to turn in my final weekly posting at the local newspaper's website. It will run tomorrow, and I will link it here. Luckily, I get to stay on and write for the site monthly as I will get to review cookbooks for the site. I am so excited!! The editor knows how much I like to cook, and offered me the opportunity. This should be interesting...

Friday, January 02, 2009

If I could only remember half of what she says...

The scene: North Hills Shopping Area, and for those of you not familiar with Raleigh, it's an outdoor type shopping area with theaters, a Target, Starbucks, some really high end stores I wouldn't dare step my foot in, and not very many parking spaces unless you want to park in the depths of a parking garage. Which, by the way, were no where near the Moe's Southwest Grill the girls and I were meeting Ray at for lunch on Wednesday.

The details: As I said, we were meeting Ray for lunch after ice skating and errand running (to include buying the second book in the Twilight Series, New Moon, which I finished by the next day and DID NOT LIKE, I wanted more Edward/Bella, not that crappy Jacob guy...) at a Moe's. We got there, and as I was looking for a parking spot close to Moe's, I pointed out Moe's location to Ashley as we drove by it. And kept driving as we needed a parking spot. We finally found one, and not that far away, to which Ashley said:

"You have got to be KIDDING me. I have to walk that far?"

I am so in trouble in her teenage years, aren't I?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

I am officially tired...

I am tired, after going to bed around 1:00am. And no, there wasn't any sort of wild party, just Ashley and Ray and I snuggled in bed at midnight. Ashley wanted us to wake her up to see the big ball drop and to watch the newest episode of Wizards of Waverly Place that came on at midnight. I woke her up about 10 minutes before midnight, and put her back to bed at 12:30. I laid with her for awhile upon her request, but she woke me up and told me to leave since I was snoring too much.

The girls and I have had a great week hanging out. Tuesday we went with friends to paint pottery and out to lunch. Yesterday we went ice skating and met Ray for lunch. Ashley loved it, Audrey hated it. Ashley was using the wall as her crutch, but while I was taking Audrey back to get her shoes on, Ashley decided to skate through the middle of the rink, no where near the protective wall. And she did great.

Today will be quiet. We are hoping to take down Christmas decorations. Our tree is absolutely dead, and the lights that hang from our porch are half off due to high winds here yesterday. I am going into work tomorrow, so Ray has the girls to entertain.

January will be a busy month, maybe not as busy as December, but close. Audrey turns 3 and starts ballet on Saturday mornings. We are hoping Grandparents will come visit, and Ashley and Audrey both have birthday parties to attend this month. Ashley goes back to school after being tracked out of school for a month. We have a couple of Girl Scout committments this month as well (if anyone wants to buy cookies, let me know...). And tonight, the Hokies play in the Orange Bowl.

Bring it on 2009, we are ready.