Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Christmas present to myself was a Garmin GPS. I used to like to get lost when I was younger. I'd drive in a neighborhood and find my way out, and then into bigger cities and finding alternate routes. It used to be exciting and different! Now that I'm older, I don't enjoy getting lost. With the invention of mapquest, I am a printing queen! I will print directions just in case. What sealed my choice this season on a guiltless gift I can splurge on, was trying to get from point A to point B (and mapquest didn't help.) I read over those directions and couldn't find my way out of a subdivision to a wedding (and didn't want to be late.) I had to eventually follow someone to the location. On the way back to the subdivision, I followed a car (whose occupants lived far away) and their gps took them directly where they needed to be. What a lifesaver!!

I have been without an electric can opener for years (I don't use many cans and it didn't seem to be a priority.) Last week, I cooked three recipes that required at least two or three cans (of stuff) each. Well, I definitely found the time and made it a priority to buy one. I was glad it was under $10 and figured I should have gotten one a long time ago. Aaaww!

I love gadgets that make my life easier!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Crack! Pop! It seems that I feel like the tin man sometimes (from the Wizard of Oz!) Maybe I need a little oil, lol! My knees, elbows and ankles pop when I get up from somewhere or move positions. I guess it's just part of getting older. I would rather my bones not pop while I'm sneaking out of a room (after putting my kid to sleep though.)

Monday, December 29, 2008

"Thanks for being a Mom." That's what was said to me at the end of a conversation I was dreading. An incident occurred this past weekend with my daughter and her friend. My daughter drives and her friend used that to her advantage. Her friend left and got into another guy's car while having my daughter wait for her to return. As it turned out, the girl took a long time and ignored her phone calls and texts, wanting to spend more time with her 'friend.' They were at a nearby dark park... My daughter ended up leaving her and the friend's parents came and got her. I became concerned when my daughter hadn't called to let me know they arrived at their destination so I called her. She was upset and said she was coming home. She said she didn't know what to do (when it was happening.) The girl's stuff was still in the car too. I told my daughter that she knows what she needs to do...(hoping her moral compass would let her know what to do.) I don't really think she wanted to know what to do...she just wanted her friend to be nice to her and do that anymore (without having to say 'no' to her.)

I wasn't sure what story was told to the friend's parents but I needed to let them know what really happened. I knew the friend's address and used that info to get their last name and then their phone number (I love the internet that way.) I explained what had happened (as I knew it from what my daughter had said.) Fortunately, her parents were already alerted by cues from the friend beforehand and were already thinking she was planning something. We exchanged lots of phone numbers and vowed to call each other in the event they spend the night with each other in the future. The friend will, of course, not allowed to hang out with her friends like my daughter for a while, and has already had her cellphone taken away.

Ahh..teenagers. This is what keeps me young, lol!

Friday, December 26, 2008


My 'lil Santa!

I had a very merry Christmas and ate way too much! I should finally get some sleep after staying up late for days leading up to the much anticipated holiday! Now, the clean-up begins....tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Today is my favorite day of the year! It's Christmas Eve...I make wassail, play Christmas music, watch Christmas shows on tv, leave the Christmas lights on all day, read Christmas stories to the kids, finish up wrapping presents, and bake cookies...lots and lots of Christmas cookies!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I found a local radio station that plays Christmas songs all day every day. I think it has been doing that for several years but I had forgotten. I find myself turning it on each day now...and this afternoon, finally realized why. While driving around returning from an errand with my boys in the car, I found myself singing out loud and loving it! I think I love Christmas songs because I know most of the words! And what words I don't know, I make them up, lol! I tried explaining that drummer boy song to my preschooler today...and making the sound, pppprrrumpapumpum! It brings me back to the cartoon that came on at night when I was a kid...I looked forward to it and the other ones that came on every year at night (when there was no such thing as cable!)

Friday, December 05, 2008

Everybody's sick around here! I've been fighting off the 'gunk' for over a week. My youngest daughter has missed most of school this week. Now, the little boys are sick. Actually, they've been having symptoms of a cold for a week or two but yesterday, my preschooler's cough took a turn for the worse and his ear started hurting. And the baby seems to always have a runny nose (probably due to teething, but not necessarily because of his wheezing.) Nevertheless, all three kids went in to to two different doctors today and were seen. I'm not feeling bad enough to go see a doctor but just enough to feel tired and under the weather all day long, ugh!

This afternoon, my preschooler said, "Mom, can you stand up and carry me while you walk around?" I did.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


I was SO excited when our city got a Baskin Robbins Ice Cream store (after not having one for over 7 years!) I am a huge fan of their ice cream and blame it on my childhood. LOL! I loved going to our local store and sitting on pink chairs while spending time with my family. Later, I'd drive through the drive-through and the worker knew immediately upon seeing me what I was going to order. After a long and hard day cleaning out our huge shed and organizing the entire inventory (that took over 9 hours of hard work), I ended it by sending my daughter to get some ice cream for me. Unfortunately, when she returned, she handed it to me while I was holding my youngest son who had a taste of it and REALLY liked it!!! I guess I had better write this in his baby book that this was his first food. I had to fight to a bite as he'd dunk his whole face in the cup. I guess he's gonna love ice cream as much as I do.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I am thankful for...

My preschooler answered that in his class. He had three answers: mom and dad; playing tractors; and snacks, food and milk.

Here are a few things I am thankful for. First and foremost, I am thankful for my loving and considerate family, my health, and my hubby's job that allows us to live comfortably. In the last year, I have redone the house I grew up in, moved into it, had a baby, had a trip to California and now am getting ready for the holidays. I am very blessed that nothing really bad has happened. My family and I are in great health and I move into this Thanksgiving holiday looking forward to spending it with my immediate and extended family (along with a few friends.) I am thankful for my husband's family with whom I have been close to for many years. His sisters are incredibly nice and thoughtful. I love his mother too and am thankful she's nearing 86 years old. She has been very loving to my children and very nice to us. I am thankful for my bf Janet who stays awake with me when I drive long distances via phone. I don't know what I would do without her and her friendship. She's been a shoulder for me and I hope vice versa in good times and bad. I am thankful for my other friends that I would like to spend more time with and think about often like Cathy and other friends from high school. Now that we both have kids, there is so much more to talk about. I am thankful for my friend Pam with whom I have shared many stories about my kids with her whose kids are near the same age over the last 20 years or so. I am thankful for my online 'sweet potato' friends with whom I have made lasting friendships over the last four years and hope to continue them. I have learned so much from them. I am thankful for my brother Mike who calls just to check on me (and he lives across the street.) We have become very close in the last decade and it's a nice feeling. I'm very blessed.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tonight, my preschooler said...

Mom, I really like you.

This is during our quiet settling down time before going to bed. We were just laying on his bed talking about what he'll be doing tomorrow (and how he should already be asleep.) It was completely unexpected...and sweet.

He then added, I really like Curious George too.

He acquired a stuffed Curious George at Kohls yesterday and they've been inseparable ever since.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Monsters! Last night, my preschooler tip-toed into my room and I immediately woke up. He rarely leaves his room but last night was an exception. Apparently, 'a monster made out of scooby snacks' came into his room and scared him. He was actually shaking. I suggested he have scooby eat it! He wanted to 'stand guard' in the living room and I said, sure. As you've probably guessed, he watched a lot of Scooby Doo. It was too cute...although, not at 5am.

Monday, October 27, 2008

It's amazing how much someone can change in five years. It seems like just yesterday... Five years ago, I was working as a dedicated employee in a career I loved (in the public sector), had two teenagers and a large (and messy) home. Fast forward five years and I now have four children, am a stay-at-home mom and a smaller home that I keep cleaner (notice, I didn't say 'clean.') I made huge life-changing decisions that have hugely impacted my life (to the better) and have spent more time with my family (and extended family.) If someone were to have told me (five years ago) that I'd be in this position I am right now, I'd would have laughed at them. I really loved my career and those coworkers with whom I had worked with for...12 plus years. Sure, I'm a lot poorer than I was at that time, but I have learned that money isn't everything. It's amazing that with the addition of my last two children, I have gained many more friends and I continue to learn so much from them. I'm truly happy at this stage in my life.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My Sister-in-law has breast cancer again. She had it in one breast years ago (maybe eight years ago?) She's one of two sisters-in-law who have had it so far. Now, it's in the other breast. She's scared. She's gonna just have a mastectomy this week and remove the whole thing so it won't return. I wasn't in the picture a lot when she went through radiation previously...perhaps I didn't want to accept that it was happening, or that it was so serious. I plan on doing more this time. I will be there to listen, will offer to come clean/cook/help out around the house while her husband is at work and/or do whatever she requests of me. I feel very blessed to be healthy and have a wonderful family and great friends. I don't know what I'd do in that kind of situation and would rather not even think about it. For now, I'll send some extra positive thoughts to Judy on Thursday.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I just got back from San Diego. It's incredible how different that city is from the one I live in right now. San Diego has at least a million more people. My city is flat, not along the ocean, and has lots of mosquitoes. I was in awe when we flew directly into downtown. I'm used to airports being further away from those kinds of areas. I don't fly often. In the suburb where I stayed, there were houses all up and down the hills and sometimes the streets stopped in the middle of the hill...makes me glad that my rent car was not standard! I love going to new places and seeing wonderful different views...and then I especially love returning home. While driving, here are a couple of picture I snapped along the way.

Leaving the airport, I was glued to the Pacific Ocean and all the splendor.



And, of course, there was a lot of traffic.


Here's a sign showing how close it was to the border.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

At the same birthday party last weekend, my preschooler also received a little stamper. It was a circle shaped stamp that was orange in color. Yesterday, while we were running errands in the car, he decided he needed to stamp his arms, hands, legs and forehead. If that's not enough, he needed to also stamp his baby brother who was in the carseat next to him as well...all over too. It was a kodak moment (but I didn't have my camera.) He was so proud of himself.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Magic Jelly Beans~

Scott was invited to his first kid birthday party of someone he knows as a friend (someone from his pre k class.) He received a little thing of jelly beans shaped like a fish. On the way home, he discussed throwing them in the yard. I asked him why he'd do that, and he explained. He wanted to throw them in the yard and after he went to sleep, they'd grow into a beanstalk and go up into the sky.

Smiling, I reassured him that he could do that and that it was ok. He did...Fortunately, he didn't go outside the next morning and check to see if there were a beanstalk! Whew!

I just love childhood.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

It's interesting...there are some things I've never done and aren't sure why.

For instance, I have a friend whom I never visit. I met her when I was 13 and we've lived within 10 miles from each other all of this time. She and my brother dated once and we started talking. We've followed each other's lives for about 30 years via phone (and email in the last few years.) It works for us and we've had a great friendship this way. I saw her once when I was 13, again in a library the same year (didn't realize it was her until later) and then again at her father's funeral several months ago. Thanks for being my friend, Pam.

Also, I haven't eaten at my brother's home (until tonight.) He has lived across from me for many years (and eats at my home all the time.) I'm not sure why, but the fact that he just started cooking probably has something to do with it. I enjoyed the chicken and dumplings, Mike. Thank you.

Years ago, I mentioned something about skydiving. For my birthday, my husband bought me two tickets to go skydiving. I procrastinated and procrastinated as I am quite the acrophobic. I just couldn't bring myself to throw myself out of a plane. Eventually, after a year, the tickets expired and I never went. I now choose not to mention this to my husband as I hope he has forgotten that his thoughtful gift went unused and was wasted. I probably could have done it if I had worked on my fear throughout the year...but I'm not sure why I didn't.

Finally, I love wearing socks. Around the house, I always take off my shoes and walk around in socks, usually nice fluffy white ones. I wear them until they are no longer white and have holes...then I throw them away and buy more while doing the same thing, over and over. I even sleep in socks. I have no idea why.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Yesterday, my husband dropped something in the kitchen and said uh-oh! My preschooler immediately sang, "Der Kommissar is in town." That's what happens when he listens to '80s music with my husband, lol! Today, he was singing, "I love rock and roll...put another dime in the judebox, baby." His all time favorite is, "I hate myself for loving you..."

Last week, when we returned from evacuating, my preschooler started sleeping in his own room at night. He just went in there (probably because he wanted to watch his dvd on his portable dvd player, which we allow sometimes.) I'm not sure why, but we just ...went with it. He sleeps in his own room during his naptime. But for almost three years now, he has been sharing the bed with us. His departure was unexpected and we weren't weaned, so to speak. I miss him at night with us. It's nice to have more room in our bed, but sad nonetheless. He's growing up...

Thursday, September 04, 2008

My youngest brother is getting married next month. I haven't been to a wedding of a sibling yet. This brother was previously married but for only a couple of years and his wife wanted out (she found someone else.) I figure that it ended because they didn't invite the family and, in particular, me. It was a quick wedding because he was being deployed. This time, our family (and extended family) received an invitation and I have already bought my ticket to fly out to San Diego (for me and my baby.) It would have been nice if it were convenient for all of us to go witness such a celebration, but it was not to be.

When I think of this upcoming wedding, I smile. I love seeing people plan and enter into these lifetime arrangements called weddings. They plan the details (flowers, food, photography and music) and look forward to honeymoons. My brother and his fiance are going through premarital counseling. I think that is a very wise decision as many things aren't discussed until they come up. I've had friends who went through the same thing and weren't disappointed. I like feeling happy that his whole life is ahead of him. The joy of being married, having children, becoming mature with his spouse, and growing old together. My husband and I haven't really fought over anything significant in many many years. Occasionally, we disagree over very minor things, but overall, we've grown very mature with each other and have learned great techniques to get along. Marriage isn't easy, it's a work in progress with both parties doing their best to make the other one happy. I hope my brother's marriage goes as smoothly as mine has.


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

When you live in an area where hurricanes are prevalent, you cross your fingers that they go somewhere else. We evacuated recently from Hurricane Gustov (our city was one that had a mandatory evacuation.)While I had many of my important documents still together from the last evacuation a few years ago, I made a list of the things I thought were important and needed to be packed. It's interesting how you have to choose those things based on how much room you have in your vehicle. While I love taking pictures, I didn't have room for my photo albums. But then, pictures don't seem as important when you consider having to leave to protect your family, real people. Lo and behold, my daughter showed up the morning on the day we evacuated. I woke up to find her asleep in her car outside in the yard. She made it back home and we took her along with us. We also took our preschooler's bicycle (his favorite possession), my husband's golf clubs, my other daughter's cellphone and ipod and my baby's pack-and-play. We needed a place for him to sleep as naps are very important to him. For me, I grabbed a box of genealogy information and baby books from my children as well as my siblings. As long as we were all together as a family, nothing else seemed very important. We were safe and far away from the impending storm.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bathtub woes... Yesterday afternoon, my preschooler decided he was stinky and wanted a bath. It sounded good to me although he wasn't really stinky. He played and played in there, loving it! I was getting hungry and popped out for just a minute to get a handful of peanuts. You know that feeling when you get when you hear something that you picture happening but know it can't possibly be happening. Well, I hear sounds of water being dumped. It wasn't a normal bathtub sound. As I walk toward the bathroom, I am continuing to try to picture what was happening. Lo and behold, as I get there, this precious boy is pouring huge cups of water onto the floor over and over. The entire floor is covered in water at least an inch high. How could SO much water be thrown out in so little time! Ugh!!!! I grab him out of the bathtub and put him in the hall in his time out place with a towel as I try to soak up the water as quickly as possible. In hindsight, I amaze myself in how composed I was when I handled my little water-thrower. It took all the towels I had to soak it all up. I had to move everything around, dry off what was on the floor, pick up the soaked rugs.... I remembered the big smile he had on his face when I initially went in there, probably proud of his accomplishment. After all the water was picked up and everything was back in it's place, I allowed him to get out of his time-out. When asking him why he did it, he said it was because he was done! (I had just gone out of there to get my peanuts after asking if he were done, he had said he wasn't.) But then, what should I expect from a 3 year old. Next time, I'll bring my snack in there with me. I reassured him that he can throw water out when he's outside in his pool, not in the bathtub....ever again!!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Finally, preschool. I had put my preschooler on the waiting list for this particular private school when he was a month old. My city's schools aren't that good and the one he'd be going to in our neighborhood is just plain scary. I knew that if I hadn't gotten him on the list early, it might not happen.

But then, as the months wore on and he was getting older, I started getting sad. Even last year, I was getting teary eyed with the thought that he'd be gone three days a week. Was I doing the right thing? Was it too early? He had an interview with the school last January and I was quite ambivalent then too. But because I was pregnant, I thought he might want the time away from home to play with kids his own age, and that made me feel better. We finally got the acceptance letter in March. He was in! Oh, I was really feeling anxiety then, still on the verge on 'undecided.' After all, I could change my mind and not send him.

After the birth of his little brother, and the change in our daily routine, I finally understood that it'd be a break for me, and him. It would be alright. He'd survive...and I would too. It'd be ok. This preschool is expensive, it's a big chunk out of our budget and each year he'd go there would get more expensive. It was a big decision to send him and I spent hours debating the issue in my mind.

Last Friday, two days ago, the day was his first day of preschool (for 3 year olds) and we both did extremely well. I talked about what would happen in our daily stories at naptime and nighttime. It was the opportunity to discuss what his days would be like and what he'd do there. He was excited when he bought his backpack (green dinosaur style) too. When I took him to his class, he looked for his chair and sat down, happy as a clam. I knew he'd be fine. Neither of us cried, or even thought about crying. I am an easier crier and have cried when my previous kids entered kindergarten. But, it was easier than I thought.

He had a great day. Loved the lunch I made for him and enjoyed the class snacktime.
I think I made the right decision...



Monday, August 18, 2008

I just love this face.

And the face of my little one too.

And, not to be left out, my younger daughter.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tractor Man! Here's my preschooler - dressed to work! He's in his 'tractor boots,' backpack full of tools and his hardhat. He'd prefer to wear this everyday!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

It's raining outside! We need the rain so house on piers moves when it's dry and doors start to buckle along with cracks starting to emerge on the wall. We placed a soaker hose under the house to prevent any major issues in the near future.

I love the sound of the rain...especially a good thunder storm. It sometimes brings me back to when I was a kid and I remember coloring in a new coloring book and the smell of new crayons. Such a simple's interesting how something so insignificant can remain for decades in my memory while something that happened last week is easily forgotten. It just means I'm getting a little older; hopefully, a little wiser too.

It's dark outside, I can hear the rain beating on the steps to the porch, and the sound of faint thunder in the distance. Life is good. What makes this even better is that the both kids are taking a nap and it's quiet inside too.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I have a friend (actually my brother's friend) who has come to our house with him on occasion. It turns out that she and I share the same interest in watching Law and Order: Criminal Intent and In Plain Sight. So, for the last month or so, she's come over to watch the shows with me... It's nice to have a tv watching partner of sorts.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Pics from the Fourth of July!


Both boys

And...just had to include this one!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Yesterday, I went to the mall with my family. Of course, with a toddler (I guess he's a preschooler now), he wanted to stop and ride the little vehicles in the middle of the mall. So, we let was expected. However, it was totally unexpected that he would check out them so closely. LOL! He spent half the time checking out the oil leaking underneath (of course, there was no oil...he was pretending.) He even went as far as to tell the little girl going to ride the four-wheeler vehicle that she needed to be careful because there was oil leaking underneath it and he needed to fix it. So totally cute! You can tell he's been hanging around his dad (who has been trying to keep the old lawnmower working for a long time....)I wonder what he'll be when he grows up?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Aaaah! Peace. My infant is sleeping and my toddler is in his room for quiet time/nap. While I can think of dozens of things to do, I took a few minutes to check my email. I'm currently eating some trail mix and watching Bend it Like Beckham...again. I'm reeling from playing Cariboo (toddler game) during the baby's morning nap (we savor the time to play while the baby sleeps.) My goals for the rest of the day...continue putting prints in my photo album and bring groceries to my mother-in-law. If I can remember to pick up stamps along the way, I'll be a happy camper.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Yes, the sun naps. While sitting outside this morning with my toddler and newborn, I watched my toddler play in the sand with his dumptrucks. The sun was shining and then it was covered by clouds (making it a little more cool which was nice.) When the sun came back out, my toddler asked, "Sun, did you have a nice nap?" When I realized what he asked, I told him that the sun enjoyed the nap. He then remarked that the sun was really tired...and then it popped back out. I never thought about it that way before.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

While putting my toddler to sleep last night, he whispered something. I couldn't understand it initially, but after a couple attempts, I finally got it. He was saying to me, "You're my best buddy." Aaaww!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

My younger daughter recently attained her first job. She's working a lot and I'm very proud of her - who'd have thought she was a hard worker!!! Between work, dance and school, she's a busy teenager! I should be happy, right? No...because I have to pick her up from work and she gets off at midnight! :( That's ok...she should be getting her license next month.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

New Addition to our Family: Collin. I now have four children; an older set of girls and a younger set of boys. It was a little scary for a while but we ended up doing well and being healthy. He was born on April 4th. We're very blessed. It's amazing how much I enjoy staying at home being a mom.

My boys...

My littlest...

Friday, March 28, 2008

Enjoyed a relaxing weekend in Galveston last weekend! Loved the ferry, fed the seagulls, walked on the beach and enjoyed swimming in a heated pool at a fantastic hotel while celebrating my daughter's birthday! It's good to get away!!!



Sunday, March 23, 2008

This morning, my toddler woke up quietly and whispered...wondering whether the Easter Bunny had come or not. After days of preparing him about what was going to happen, him helping me tape up pictures of Bunnies in flowers as well as Easter Baskets, and coloring eggs, it was finally the time! He and my teenager found their baskets and started looking through them. I love these moments...and, of course, the reason we have these holidays. Happy Easter to all!!!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I've officially moved! Yep, all the big furniture and appliances have been moved. Finally got around to moving my clothes and shoes...but still haven't gone back to get dishes, half the pots/pans and other stuff I'll need eventually. I'm just resting and waiting for the next surge of motivation to come.... I love my new place!!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

New carpet! Mmmm! I love the smell and freshness of new carpet. It makes everything seem new and clean. The carpet plus freshly painted walls makes the old house I grew up in seem even more inviting. It's halfway done with the work in the rooms as well as putting in a new floor for the kitchen. It's getting close!!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I will be moving soon. Not far away though, just a couple houses down from where I live now. It's exciting! Because I haven't moved in over twenty years, I have clutter and crap everywhere!!! I find heavy burdons being lifted as I throw away stuff and donate the stuff someone else may want. I still have too many books and more clutter than I can contain, but the anticipation of knowing that everything will have a home is calming. I'm currently cleaning and doing a little painting (with my doctor's approval.) I'm still at the stage of divide and conquer, packing will be next week!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Crawfish holes all over!! These little mounds are multiplied all over my yard!! Yesterday, my toddler and I walked around the yard and while he pushed his dumptruck, he was knocking them down. There was a huge one in front of me and I kicked it down. Unfortunately, it was the next one he wanted to plow down and he was disappointed. He informed me of his feelings and we continued walking. A few minutes later, he stopped, looked back and me and told me, "I'm still mad." Not thinking about what had happened or what he meant, I asked him why. He let me know that I am not to knock over any more crawfish holes. I apologized to him. :) He also wanted me to go in the house and have a timeout! Toddlers are SO cute!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

My toddler is supposed to be taking a nap right now. But I hear him in his room playing with toys. He is currently playing with one of those toys that you pull the lever and it sings an animal sound or the Old McDonald song. He tries to sing with it and it sounds so cute. I just wanna go open the door and kiss his precious chubby cheeks....but I'm enjoying my 'alone' time too much. Maybe he'll end up napping after all. Hey, I can dream!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

We're contemplating moving! I have come to the realization that I have a problem with keeping stuff too long and just being a packrat! With the possibility arising, I've been cleaning out drawers, cabinets and! I have a lot of stuff!!! I'm kinda looking forward to clearing out stuff, even if we don't move.