Monday, May 30, 2011

Comedy of Errors

Wonderful Pappy found the boys this used swing set a while back, and with the lousy weather all winter, we haven't had a chance to get it together. Elijah has been bugging and begging Pappy to get this swing set/playground together. Once we decided on a location, Pappy has promised "By your birthday it will be up."

Elijah is holding him to it. He reminds him every day.

Pappy leveled the land we are going to put the swing set next to the house. Today was the first steps towards putting this thing together. Ever try taking something apart and then saying, "I'll remember how to put it back together" ... then 6+ months pass... nope, nobody is going to remember it as well as when you first take it down. And boy, was this interesting! I wish I had photos of all four of us (Granny, Pappy, the hubby and me trying to work with this massive playground).

We tried putting the ladder up on one side, three of us holding it up while somebody tries to shove it under and line up the screw holes.

Then, they were bolted in... but oops, wrong side!

Okay, everyone lift and hold while now shove the rock climbing wall on this side instead.

Ahhh it ain't lining up right.

What if we flip it on its side? (That worked, by the way. Kind of.)

It was quite interesting, and after I had free arms, I couldn't resist a few photos showing how nothing seemed to be working right to be putting this playground back together.

Elijah and AJ, it's a good thing we all love you guys, or else this might have been turned into firewood instead.

Now that's what I call ingenuity, Pappy.

See that barstool? That was a prop to hold the swing up for a while, too.

That old back gate/gate door we had turned in handy. Thanks gate.

Somethin' ain't right. Again.

Puzzled stares.

The plastic chair held the playground platform for a while too (this was before the milk crates). I have a new respect for plastic chairs.

Whoohoo! You got the ladder up! Good job, Pappy.

One section down. Uhh... God-knows-how-many pieces to go.

I couldn't resist a few photos of two of our dogs.

Gotta love Bacon's ears. One up, one down.

Cookie lounging around. Both these dogs are the sweetest things!!

On another note... isn't it funny how two siblings can be so different? Elijah is such a picky eater. He's getting better, but still very picky. AJ on the other hand... he'll eat most anything you put in front of him. That's pretty unusual for a kid who had severe reflux from birth through 2 years old!

He ate that whole thing himself.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Where's my baby?!

I have a question I think all parents can relate to... how did my little Elijah Anthony go from:


to this

It sounds so... typical. What happened to my baby? When did he turn from that little swaddled up baby burrito to this thoughtful, funny, smart little boy. I'm having a hard time believing that in just three weeks my lil baby boy will be turning four years old. FOUR! FOUR I TELL YOU, FOUR YEARS OLD!! It sounds so OLD. And THEN, after his birthday, AJ's birthday will be just around the corner in August, and he'll be three years old.

I did a little photo shoot with Elijah for his 4th Birthday "E-vite" (sorry kid, I didn't plan well and ran out of time for us do to custom invitations... you'll survive!) When I stepped back and uploaded the photos, I stared and said, "This can't be my kid!" This kid... is well, a kid, not a little baby, not a little toddler.

As for birthday theme. We went back and forth, back and forth. He went from Thomas (which he did last year), to tractors (which AJ had last year), then he toyed with "might machines" (aka, construction trucks, bulldozers, the like) and monster trucks. I finally took him to Target and we walked down the invitations and party aisle and he picked: balloons. Yup. Just simple party balloon theme. We found regular invitations with balloons on them, plates, table cloths, and even Evites with balloons. I can't tell you how thrilled I was off this! Simple balloons means it was a bit cheaper than some of the other mainstream character themes. That's my boy. Already learning how to be frugal just like his parents.

On another note... I was catching up on cutting out my coupons today (I feel behind, EEK! and any avid couponer knows there is nothing lousier than falling behind on cutting your coupons!)... and I stumbled across this:

Take a lookie. Just examine... it's like "What's wrong with this picture?"

I'll give you a hint. Since when are there 31 days in June?


Although it still doesn't quite match the worst spelling errors I've ever seen on the following picture:
This was on a crossbow my husband bought. Come now company... do you not have anyone to proof read?

Finally, I can proudly say I have been doing my Wii Fit almost every day this week. Yesterday I didn't, only because we went to a friend's house in the evening for dinner and stayed until close to 10 pm. But every time I've done at least 30 minutes! Tonight when I was going through my routine I noticed I really do feel stronger!

Finally, I have a couple more days left of my May off until I start another class. Yippee. Gag me. Thankfully I have June on, and then July off again. I'm NOT looking forward to this next class though. Something about research and some other nonsense that's a requirement for ALL students of National, not just English majors. Blech. Oh well, it is just takes me one step closer to my degree... I'm somewhere around 4 classes or so left! (giddy squeal!)

Blog Hop!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

When life gives you lemons...

When life gives you lemons, instead of making lemonade, I'd usually like to throw them at the wall. Perhaps I'm passive aggressive. Or just aggressive.

What do you do when "life gives you lemons"? What do you do when they give you lemons for years and years? It wears me down, I tell you. I try to remind myself that God has his reasons for everything, and sometimes, even in our most trying days, he is teaching us lessons.

I won't dive into the boring details of the past few years of my life. We've had a few surprises, or unexpected turns if you will. I've lost my way off the path and struggle to find it again. To sum up, we were at the forefront of this economic collapse of 2008. We were the first to get hit because we moved literally within a month of the "housing bubble burst," which of course lead to a huge economic downfall. In this house, we still haven't fully recovered. Anyone else stuck in the same boat, or sinking boat I should say? I feel like one of those people who were on the Titanic when it sank. I stood there in denial, "Nope. It'll be fine. It's unsinkable. Nothing bad has happened to me, why should it happen to me now?" Unsinkable my arse. Boy was I wrong. I'm sure you can guess that I was one of the dummies who didn't even bother looking for a lifeboat... because, after all... this ship is unsinkable! Now you can just picture me stuck in the ocean trying to swim my way to safety. Three years of swimming. I'm exhausted.

However, three years of swimming makes me think. It made me stronger (after all, wouldn't you be strong if you swam for your life every day?), it gives me lots of time of reflection. It's made me pretty humble. And, to be quite frank, I do sit here and as the waves are going by, and cursing the unsinkable ship... those are on my bad days. But that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? This evening I had to remind myself of that. Going back to the Titanic imagery, I tell you, we weren't prepared for collapse. We were one of those type of people walking with our head in the sand thinking all will work out. Rough times makes you reevaluate life though. If it weren't for falling flat on my (ahem, you know), I would have never learned how to properly manage and budget money. I would have probably never learned how to live life without credit cards. I would have never really learned how to REALLY bargain shop. I'd still be there "keeping up with the Joneses." I thought about my day earlier and what I did. Nothing eventful, I just went to the store and picked up a few items and grocery items. I looked for the sales, I used my coupons, and I got some sweet scores.

I still curse the wind on some days. But then I remember... look how far I have come. Look how far we have come as a family. It sucks being stuck in the middle of the "financial collapse," don't get me wrong, but I recognize sometimes you need to start from scratch. Houses won't stand long on shoddy foundations... but if it is built on a solid foundation, it will stand.

I suppose we've just torn down our house and are rebuilding on a solid foundation.

I'm building up those muscles swimming for life.

I'm shaking my fist at that stupid Titanic.

I "just keep swimming, just keep swimming."


Goal Update, day 2:
Goal 1: Fly Lady Baby Steps

My apologies for looking so serious. It's hard to concentrate on taking a photo from your camera phone!

(By the way, Fly Lady, I don't do lace up shoes unless it matches the outfit. Sorry, just ain't happenin'!)

Oh, and I got new glasses. Me likey likey!

Goal 2: Wii Fit

37 minutes!

I was totally going to take a picture of the screen. I forgot. So sue me! ;)

Goal 1: CHECK
Goal2: CHECK

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Setting goals

I must admit... I'm not a goal keeper. In fact, I'm pretty awful at it. I've tried to remember if I ever was good at keeping goals, or have I always been the type to lose track?

It feels like way back-in-the-day I was good at keeping my goals. I'd follow through with things; my mind was clearly focused; I said I was gonna do this, and I did. I could totally be imagining this. Albeit, I've always been a bit of a procrastinator. Maybe I've never been good at this whole goal keeping thing?

Then, throw kids into the mix, and it all goes down hill. I call it the Mom Brain. It starts in pregnancy when your hormones go out of whack, it interferes with your memory and brain cells, and in my humble opinion, I swear it kills the brain cells!! I thought after I had a baby my brain cells would return. They'd come out from hiding and return to their regularly scheduled programming.


Uhm, no.

Here I am, nearly four years later, that means four years of not a full night sleep (that's right, my youngest STILL does not sleep through the night), and all this sleep deprivation, the chaos of an almost-four-year-old and an almost-three-year-old little tornadoes that plow through the house every day leaves me completely absent minded.

I start something, a kid cries, they whine, they bicker, they need help with this-that-and-the-other, and I never finish what I started. Example: that nicely folded laundry sits in the basket and ends up NOT put away. It's incredibly frustrating. I don't want to be like an absent minded nutty professor... and yet, here I am!

As in famous "What About Bob" fashion, I'm constantly reminding myself...


I must remind myself I don't need to conquer it all at once, it takes time to regain your sanity after two children VERY close in age, and as crazy as this sounds... it has taken me four years to figure out how to roll with the punches that life gives. It's a constant learning process, at least for me!

On my list of things I never follow through on... FlyLady

I've improved by leaps and bounds with help from FlyLady. She too has a "baby step" method of things. In the almost three years I've followed this site, I've never totally made it through the 30 day baby steps. I'd start, stop, start again, stop... and it goes on.

Working out falls into this downfall category too. I have Wii Fit Plus. It's awesome. It's fun. I totally love it. Now WHY do I not stick with it? Who knows.

Now here's my plan... to help hold myself accountable for these other things (the Fly Lady baby steps and working out on the Wii), I'm going to share some of it here on my blog... (PROCRASTINATORS UNITE!)

I also hope I'm not being too ambitious.

Goal 1: Accomplish Fly Lady's Baby Steps

Baby Step 1 is to Shine Your Sink.

Now, my house isn't a wreck. Fly Lady has helped me from it getting totally out of control. However, to be honest, I want a home that looks like Better Homes & Garden! Really, it'll probably never happen with two young kids... but one can dream right? And along the way I need assistance reminding me of those little "hot spots," clutter zones, or forgotten cleaning areas to keep track of. Hellllo Fly Lady!



Look at that shine! (Are you hearing Billy Mayes in one of his Oxi Clean or Orange Glo commercials? I am!)

Goal 2: Work out every day with the Wii Fit

I'm not stressing about my weight. I did set a goal to lose about 5 lbs on the Wii Fit, but I'm not totally worried about it. My goal is I just want to FEEL FIT again. I was always a very active person. I also played softball from 6 years old until 15 years old, and I danced from 7 or 8 years old until I was nearly 18 years old. After that, I've been at a loss and always go in waves of working out. My goal here: tone up, shape up, and try to get rid of that baby kangaroo pouch too!

The Wii Fit told me I worked out for 53 minutes today AND yesterday! Go me!

Goal 1: CHECK!
Goal 2: CHECK!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Nope, I'm not Charlie Sheen.

My parents have a big Kentucky Derby Party every year. This year was the 137th running! Now, if you know anything about the Derby runnings, the horses are scored "Win, Place, Show" (1st, 2nd, and 3rd). Let me tell you, in all the years our family has done the Derby Party (an annual tradition), I've never... NEVER! ... won any money. I'd bet on horses, and they'd NEVER WIN! Or, if I'd place a bet on a horse, I'd choose the wrong scoring (I'd say X Horse will Win, Y Horse will Place, Z Horse will Show)... and then, X horse will PLACE, Z Horse will WIN, and Y horse will SHOW. COME ON!

My family has ALL won money on horses. My dad, my mom, and my sister. Me? NEVER.

NOT THIS YEAR! I placed all "WIN" bets across a few different horses (okay, MANY different horses) and I'm proud to say I won! GO ME!!! I proceeded with my winnings to buy a new pair of pants at Kohls and two books at Barnes and Noble.

More Derby Pics.

Life wouldn't be complete if I didn't show off my handmade DERBY HAT. Derby hats are all the Derby tradition. Last year I made my hat as well, but this year I outdid myself. I had a little extra inspiration from the Royal Wedding. (NOT from Eugenie.)

I must admit, though, winning feels good. Maybe Charlie is on to something.

Victory is MINE!

Remember what made me MIA this last month? That Literary Theory class I was taking? The boring boring textbook? I finished the class May 1st!



How's that for round two?!

Now that I've allowed myself a brain-dead two weeks, I'm rejoining the blogging world. It was a nice break, but I feel my writing brain cells slipping away as every day goes on.

I'm back!