Monday, December 31

A ride in review


Number of hours in the car: 10
Number of miles traveled: 750
Number of presents stuffed in the van: 29
Number of pieces of dry ice packed: 1
Number of stops: 4
Number of times Cinderella was watched: 3
Number of episodes of Dora watched: 10
Number of times Leah asked "Are we there yet?": 21
Number of diapers changed: 8
Number of hours Leah slept: 1.5
Number of hours Erin slept: 5.5
Number of times Leah refused to eat the cheeseburger she asked for: 12
Number of ounces of formula Erin sucked down to minimize stopping: 8
Number of times Leah randomly said "Mommy/Daddy I love you": Never too many

Saturday, December 29

Something smells like burning


Question: Which of these three things do you think smells like fire?

A. our clothes on the day after Christmas
B. my infant's head
C. the fireplace at my dad's house

Answer at the end of the entry

So here we are still in Louisiana. We were going to leave this morning, but my aunt and a few cousins came out here to Parran's camp and Leah is having so much fun we couldn't go yet. We are sticking around for a dinner of ribeye steaks, baked potatoes, sauteed mushrooms, and salad. YUM!

So last night we went to the Neel family Christmas party. For all who don't know, Neel is my step-dad's family. We were trying to think when the last time was I saw them. Finally, after much deliberation (and you know if it was that complicated, it has been too long) we decided it has been 3 1/2 years. Six kids have been born since then. One of my cousins have gone from a 5th to 9th grader. People have grown up A LOT. I was kinda dreading going because our girls have been through a lot this week with meeting new people and staying up late. I was afraid they would melt down. But they were GREAT and we had a really fun time. So I am happy we went.

The tally of new people met for my girls:
Marmandes (step-mom's family on X-mas eve): 24
Theriots (dad's family on X-mas day): 49
Neels (step-dad's family): 25

For a grand total of: 98

Can you believe that?

Now Leah met the first two lines two years ago when she was 7 months, but that doesn't really count because she was too little. Just like it doesn't really count for Erin this time. My poor children are strung out from lack of sleep and Erin has now gotten used to being nursed to sleep 3-4 times a night. So boot camp when we get home. Everyone will go to bed at 6 for at least a week to straighten us out. If we ever do get home...

Answer to our Question: B

Tuesday, December 25

Merry Christmas!


Between last night and today, the girls were extremely sleep-deprived and overstimulated. Even so, they were still good and cooperative. Last night we went to Grandma Marmande's (Myrn's mother) for dinner, presents and steal gifts. I ended up with a sterling cheese platter and knife decorated with the fleur-de-lis design and Mike got the "Swiss army knife of BBQ tools." Erin actually fell asleep in my arms, which never happens with that kid. When we got home, we put out milk and cookies for Santa and sprinkled reindeer food on the lawn before bed.

This morning everyone in the house was up before the girls. In fact Leah only woke up because my dad was banging pots in the kitchen. Santa had written Leah a note saying that he left her presents at her house because there was no more room under the tree here at Mimi and PawPaw's. She accepted that with no problem because there was plenty for her to open here. Right after present opening, we started preparing for the horde to descend.

The day was insane. I almost never saw Erin except when I was putting her down for naps. Leah was in and out with her cousins playing in her new bus tent and and eating oranges from my dad's tree. The little cousins have all grown up so much and it was so much fun visiting with everyone.

I leave you with a few pictures:

The girls making "reindeer food"

Erin on Christmas morning

Ella and Leah eating oranges all day

Uncle Zac and the girls

One hundred people watching homemovies from 1983 in one tiny bedroom

Sunday, December 23

We made it!


Well, we made it to my dad's house in Houma, LA with a minimum of fuss. We left home at 12:30PM and arrived at dad's at 2am. Of course when we got here both girls were wired for a while so it took some time to get everyone settled and into bed. But the ride was very smooth. Leah watched her DVDs almost the whole ride until she went to sleep at 9pm. Erin slept off and on the whole time. So all in all we were pleasantly surprised at the ease of the drive.

We are going to Myrn's (my step-mom's) mothers tomorrow night. The kids get presents and the adults do the white elephant gift exchange where you steal presents. Then Christmas day all the Theriots descend on Dad's house for a day of food and presents. I have made Cranberry White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, Chocolate Oatmeal, and Lemon Rosemary Butter cookies, Butter Balls, and Fudge (well, my mom made fudge) for that day. Tonight I made Tiffany's Chocolate Peppermint cookies and they spread too much. Tiff, I forgot what you told me about preventing the spreading. What did I have to do again?

Anyway, on Wednesday or Thursday for my birthday we are going to the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans. It was hit pretty hard by the hurricane, but they have put it back together nicely. My aunt said she might take some cousins and meet us there. I will post pics of that when we go, it should be a blast.

Friday we are going to my step-dad's family Christmas party and spending the night at my parran's camp. (Parran is the Louisiana way of saying godfather.) Then we are heading home Saturday. It will be a full week as always. I will post with pics and stories as the week progresses.

Funny Leah story: She had been playing with our flyswatter while we were packing the car. She wanted to bring it with us and we told her that PawPaw probably had one. She asked us what color it was and we told her to ask PawPaw when we got there. When we arrived at 2am, I was taking Leah out of the car mostly asleep. She curls up in my arms and says "What kind he has?" I had no idea what she was talking about until she said "What color is PawPaw's flyswatter?" After 14 hours in the car it was the first thing she said! :)

Thursday, December 20

4 month update


Erin had her 4 month check up yesterday. She was 14lb 4oz and 23 1/2 in, exactly the same as Leah was at 4 months. We fed her some rice cereal last night and she did pretty well. Most of the 4 bites she had stayed in her mouth. :) She is also doing well with her occasional bottle of formula. It's good to know I can leave her and she will be okay with someone else.

My baby has gotten so much fun when she is not tired. She is always grinning and making cute cooing noises. Her big mouth is always open wide, catching flies. I really love nursing her right before bedtime. She is tired, but cuddly and warm. Sometimes I don't want to put her down. When she cries in the night though, I have NO problem putting her down after nursing her back to sleep. The dr said she does not NEED the night feedings, but we should probably keep going to her til she's about 6 months to create that bond. After that we can wean her off the night feedings. I really don't mind them as long as it's once or twice a night. When she wakes up every 2 hours is when I have a rough time. Ugh...

Last night Mom and I went to Maggiano's for a joint birthday dinner. It was a lot of laughs and it was nice to have time to just visit as grown-ups. Thanks Mike for watching the kids for us!

Monday, December 17

Date night


Last night after Erin went to sleep, Mike and I headed out to Carrabba's for a date. We each had a glass of wine and shared the two founder's platters. It was so delicious! Afterward we walked around a few stores in the strip mall and just enjoyed our time alone. We didn't even really talk about the kids until we were almost home! We had a wonderful few hours off duty.

When we got home, Erin was awake hanging out with my mom on the couch. I put her back to sleep at about 9:30 and she slept until 4:45am! I went to bed at 10 so I got almost 7 continuous hours of sleep for the first time since she was born. I put her back to sleep at 5:30 after a poop episode. All of a sudden at 6:30 Leah was calling "Help, help" in the monitor. Mike went in and Leah's lamp was on and her pajamas were off. I think she was trying to change her own diaper. :) Mike came back in and I thought he had redressed her. A minute later Leah was calling "Help, I am pee-peeing." Apparently Mike had put big girl underwear on her and left her in her room? So she peed behind her clothes hamper. We got her all cleaned up and let her wake Grammy up. I went back to bed and slept until Erin work up at 8:15! This was the best night ever!!!!!

Sunday, December 16

Ballet Debut


Leah and I went on a date yesterday to the ballet. Our neighbor Makenna was a little party girl in The Nutcracker. I was a little worried about Leah sitting through a whole performance, but for the most part she was great. Before the show she and Ian ran around the lobby., laying on the floor in front of people trying to walk and almost got stepped on a few times. :) Leah had a dress on and kept flashing her diaper at everyone. I know she is still little, but I can't stand when kids wear skirts without shorts or bloomers. Kids just can't handle not flashing, so we will be shorting it soon. Anyway, during the first act, we discussed what was going on and pointed things out to each other. At intermission, we looked at the stuff they were selling in the lobby. I wish I had brought some cash because Leah found a little bendy ballerina for a dollar and it would have been a good souvenir.

We met up with the ballerina herself, Makenna, in the lobby at intermission
along with her sister Andelyn. (How neat are those names?) Leah got a little antsy during the second act, but only toward the end. All in all I was impressed at our first cultural outing.

To update the sleep post from the other day, last night was great! We put Erin to bed at 5pm and Leah at 6:30pm. (The night before, at 6 and 7pm did not work by the way) Leah slept all night. She had not napped the day before due to the ballet. Well, I say due to the ballet, but Leah has only napped 2 out of the last 10 days. I am worried we may be outgrowing naps! So she had a good night last night. Erin woke up at 10:15 and 1:15 to eat and woke up for the day at 6:30am! That was a great breakthrough. I hope now that we broke the cycle, we can get back to her good night sleep. We can hardly leave the house due to her numerous naps, but it is all worth it for the sake for a good night's sleep

Friday, December 14

On demand


I found out that we do have Exercise TV in Demand! Now I can do Pilates and Yoga in my living room. It's not exactly the same but it's something.

Erin has not been sleeping well at night. Beginning at about 11pm she wakes up every two hours and sometimes every hour until morning. Mike and I discussed this at 4:45 am while we were listening to her cry since 4am and decided that both girls need an earlier bedtime. They don't go to bed late, maybe between 7:30 and 8 for Leah and varies for Erin depending on her naps. But I think 6pm will be Erin's new temporary bedtime for a while until we see how she is doing. Leah will be going to bed at 7pm for the next week. We want to see if this helps the night waking. My favorite sleep book, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, almost always advocates trying an earlier bedtime if things are not going well. Leah has also been waking in the night 3 out of the last 5 nights. So early bedtimes all round!

Update: I just did 30 min of Pilates from ExerciseTV On Demand. It feels good!

Sunday, December 9

Babysitting Jobs Wanted


I am the babysitter extraordinaire! Along with my husband of course. Tonight we watched Chase and Ian while Bryan and Laurie went to his work holiday party in Fort Mill, SC. We played outside for a long time, took a walk around the neighborhood (Erin in snugli on Mike, Chase in wrap on me, Ian & Leah in wagon), made and ate dinner, fed Chase baby food, bathed Ian & Leah, and put all 4 kids to bed by 7:45pm. Then we made a Minted Chocolate Trifle for Mike's work holiday party tomorrow. So it wasn't bad at all. I am the bomb! Oh, yeah, and Mike too. :)

Thursday, December 6

Possible suspension...


of my 5K ambitions. :(

Last Sunday we took the kids on a walk to see all the Christmas lights in the neighborhood. For some reason my knees started bothering me while we were walking. Ever since then, the part of my knees under the kneecap has been aching. I have had slight knee issues before. I remember when I did guard, whenever we would have staging practices, my knees would bother me. It's weird that they hurt more when I do easy things like walk and stand than when I work out and dance. Anyway, I am wondering if maybe the running has inflamed my cartilage with all the pounding. So I have to stop running for a while and see if it gets better.

I still want to go to the gym for Pilates and yoga, but it is really hard to make it to classes on a schedule right now. Between two kids, each on their own schedule, I can't force them into mine. So I think I may need to get some DVDs and really make myself do them at home. If anyone still needs to get me Christmas or birthday presents, Pilates and yoga DVDs are a great idea.

On another note, I just got a phone call from my neighbor. Apparently our city is on an even higher lever of water restrictions. We have not been allowed to water outside or wash cars or anything like that for quite a while. Now I hear that you are only going to be allowed 6000 gallons a month and that at a 15% increase in price. After 6000 gallons they will charge you $10 for every 1000 gallons. My neighbor said that she checked her last month's bill and, even though she thought she was conserving water, they used 12000 gallons. So we better watch out. If anyone out there has ideas for conserving water in the home, please pass them on.

Monday, December 3

Goal update and other stuff


1. Stick to Weight Watchers and show consistent weight loss - I did well last week and I have lost a total of 11 pounds since I started keeping track. I know that part of that is just more baby weight coming off, but I went down a pants size last week so I am ecstatic.
2. Run a 5K once a week - I ran one last Tuesday.
3. Improve my time from 45 minutes (no set time goal) - time of 41:45 which is 15 sec better than the last time
4. Get to the gym twice a week minimum - again only once :(

I tried something new with the 5K. Instead of running half a lap and walking half a lap, I ran more like 1 1/2 laps and walked half a lap still. I thought if I ran more, my time would improve. But I had to run slower since I wasn't taking as many breaks, so it turned out almost dead even. At the end I pushed really hard to beat my old time and I did. :)

Next weekend, we invited Mike's co-worker John and his wife Dawn to Channukah dinner. I have not seen Dawn since before they announced their pregnancy and she is now due in February. So it will be neat to chat with her about that. Then we are babysitting Ian & Chase on Sunday while Bryan & Laurie go to his work Christmas party. It's always a challenge to watch other people's babies because you don't know the little things like how they prefer to be held, etc. I mean Chase is a really easy baby, so I'm sure it will be fine.

This week is supposed to be really mellow. We have no specific plans, just to get Erin's naps in. I plan to scrapbook everyday during rest time and only do housecleaning when Leah is at school. I will post my pages at the end of the week.

Friday, November 30

New comparison


Check out Erin's 3 month photo at right. She and Leah are really starting to look alike. They have the same nose and ears and the mouths are similar. Where they really differ (besides obviously the hair) is the eyes. Erin's eyes are so much bigger and more expressive. It is so neat to have two girls and be able to look at them as they grow and see what each has gotten from us.

Tomorrow we have a birthday party for Leah's little school friend to attend. It was her first party invitation from someone that wasn't a friend of the family. That was kind of exciting, that she is making her own friends and having her own life that I don't direct. Not that extreme, but you know what I mean. :) Anyway the party is at Gymboree which I have never been to. I can't wait to see what they can do there.

After the party we have our CDS Cookie Exchange. I made my traditional Butter Balls, but they did not come out exactly right. I kept baking and baking them, but they never seemed to get golden on top. Later on I thought maybe I didn't have the oven on and it was just still warm from the muffins I baked, so I stuck them back in several hours later for 5 more minutes (bake time was supposed to be 15-18 min, they ended up baking a total of 25 min). They still taste good but they are rather crumbly, many fell apart in the powdered sugar bag (you are supposed to shake them). I think I have enough still whole for the exchange...

And last but not least, tomorrow night is the Annual Downtown Monroe Christmas Tree Lighting. I don't know if our girls will make it, it depends on the kind of day they have. I hope everyone naps well and we get to see the tree, but you never know around here.

Wednesday, November 28

PMS for toddlers?


Is there such a thing? Leah slept fine last night, got up at 6:30 as usual. By 12:15 she was having fits about every little a thing and yawning so big it practically split her face in half. So I brought her upstairs and we got ready for "rest time" (so called because she has a tantrum if she thinks I am making her sleep). She did great until I left the room.

Then the crying began.

It continued for 25 minutes.

I went back in and rocked her, held her, threatened her, let her switch to my bed, switched back, called Daddy, and finally just left her alone.

I have never seen her like that in my life.

I think she may be out for the rest of the day.

Update: Leah only slept for 25 minutes then woke up hyperventilating/crying again. I brought her downstairs and she sat with me for a bit, then started crying again for no reason. Then Erin woke up crying and Leah didn't want me to go get her. She was clinging to me and saying "Hug me." Eventually I was able to get Erin by promising Leah I would put her right in the bouncy seat. They both cried for about 10 minutes. Leah would not let me pick Erin up. Finally I got Leah to watch a movie and the afternoon went smoothly after that.

Tuesday, November 27

House Survey c/o Erica


1.) When you walk in your front door, which room do you enter?
2 story foyer

2.)Do you have a dishwasher?


3.) Is your living room carpeted or does it have hardwood floors?

disgusting builder's grade carpet

4.) Do you keep your kitchen knives on the counter or in a drawer?
On the counter in a block

5.) House, apartment, duplex or trailer?


6.) How many bedrooms is it?

4 bedrooms, a playroom and a bonus room

7.) Gas stove or electric?
Electric, I forgot to get a gas line installed in the kitchen when we built

8.) Do you have a yard?
yes, in a pie shape

9.) What size TV is in the living room?

50″ plasma

10.) Are your plates in the same cupboard as your cups?


11.) Is there a coffee maker sitting on your kitchen counter?

no, in the pantry, and only used when parents come to visit

13.) What room is your computer in?
what room is there not a computer? we have desktops in the music room and craft/guest room and a laptop that goes everywhere

14.) Are there pictures hanging in your living room?

a Thomas Kinkade print, a Gator pennant and various family photos

15.) Are there any themes found in your home?
a poker room-ish theme in the game room and a Parisian theme in the kitchen

16.) What kind of laundry detergent do you use?

whatever's cheap

17.) Do you use dryer sheets?

18.) Do you have any curtains in your home?

in the kids' rooms and the game room

19.) What color is your fridge?

20.) Is your house clean?
it is straightened and partly clean

21.) What room is the most neglected?

Dining room and game room are equally neglected

22.) Are the dishes in your sink/dishwasher clean or dirty?
dirty, with the top rack full and the bottom rack mostly empty (I hate that)

23.) How long have you lived in your home?
16 months

24.) Where did you live before?
a 4 BR house in New Port Richey, FL

25.) Do you have one of those fluffy toilet lid covers on your toilet?

Uh, no.

26.) Do you have a scale anywhere in your house?
Yes, in my bathroom

27.) How many mirrors are in your house?
including bathrooms, 5

28.) Look up. What do you see?
ceiling fan in family room

29.) Do you have a garage?

yes, 2 car

30.) Do you own or rent?

Monday, November 26

Taking a break...


from housecleaning to veg on the computer for a few minutes. I decided this year not to clean the house before people came. I straightened and wiped things down. But really there is no point in deep cleaning before you have visitors. Everything just gets dirty again and you get frustrated because you just cleaned.

So I waited until today and then I:
mopped the kitchen
swept the hardwood
did laundry
weeded toys out of the playroom

Leah has gotten/will be getting so many things for Christmas/Channukah that I had to make room. I put a bunch of things in a tub to rotate back in after a few months. This child is spoiled, let me tell you.

Update on my goals:
1. Stick to Weight Watchers and show consistent weight loss - not on Thanksgiving week, thanks :)
2. Run a 5K once a week - I ran one Tuesday
3. Improve my time from 45 minutes (no set time goal) - improved time of 42:00
4. Get to the gym twice a week minimum - only one gym appearance last week, again due to Thanksgiving

I plan to head to the gym tomorrow for either yoga or to run a 5K, depending on what time I make it. I have started this week well on WW. I am ready to start fresh!

Friday, November 23

Thanksgiving Recap


Yesterday went fairly smoothly. The turkey came out of the brine and went into the oven at 9am. My mom and I decided we didn't have enough yams and ran to the store to get more. Then she helped me put together the green beans and the yam casserole and peel the potatoes.

Then everything came to a screeching halt because the turkey would. not. finish. cooking.

All the other dishes were waiting for the turkey to come out before going into the oven. I had made a guesstimate of 4 hours but in reality it took 5. So dinner wasn't until 3pm, but I think Laurie was glad about it because she wasn't quite ready yet either. Then we all sat down and gave thanks.

It was really nice to see Todd and LeShayne and their kids. (Todd is Bryan's younger brother.) I knew LeShayne in high school. She and I were in color guard at East Lake High School together. I met Todd through my ex-boyfriend and kinda lost him in the "divorce." But before that happened, I met Laurie and Bryan through Todd. I got to keep them. :) Anyway, I had not seen either Todd or LeShayne since maybe their wedding in 2000? Wow, I wonder if that is really right.

So we had a great Thanksgiving meal with them, the Maddexes, my mom and my in-laws. I loved having all the help with the kids. In the evening, our neighbors Kim and Dan had their annual Christmas lights reveal. We all walked down and oohed and aahed as the lights went on.

And off.
And back on again.
And then off again.

The sheer amount of lights kept tripping their circuit breakers. But it was still fun. Someone was passing around cookies and brownies, which I did not partake in due to the 2 desserts I had already consumed. Then we bundled the girls into bed and I caught up on my TV.

All in all a lovely day. Thanksgiving is still my favorite holiday. *sigh*

PS I ran another 5K at the gym this past Tuesday. My time improved from 45 minutes to 42 minutes!

Thursday, November 22

Happy Thanksgiving!


I like Brittany's idea of listing people I am thankful for. So I am stealing it and making my own list.

1. I am thankful for Mike. He is a total partner in my life, with running our household and raising our children.

2. I am thankful for my mom. She is one of my closest friends even though she lives so far away.

3. I am thankful for my dad and all my HUGE family in New Orleans. I have such fond memories of family gatherings and holidays with them. I can't wait to see them at Christmas.

4. I am thankful for my in-laws. I am so lucky to have in-laws that I get along with and that respect the way my home works.

5. I am thankful for the Maddexes. One of the best decisions for our family was to move here to NC with them. I love that our children get to grow up together.

6. I am thankful for the CDS crew. My life has been enriched for knowing each and every one of you.

7. I am thankful for Leah. She has the maturity of a much older child and we have come to the point where we can have conversations. I would like to keep her this age for a while. :)

8. I am thankful for Erin. She is the smiliest (?) baby and every night when I rock her before bedtime, I think about how I can hardly remember life without her in it.

9. All of my friends who are mothers. They teach me things ALL the time.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it highlights a top few.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19



After reading LeShayne's post today, I decided to get you guys involved in my new journey so I can be held accountable for my actions here.

I have decided to rejoin Weight Watchers. I still have 27 pounds of baby weight to lose plus the 13 I still had to be at an ideal weight for me. I am trying to increase going to the gym too. The classes I like to take are during Erin's naptime. So I am in the same dilemma I was in when Leah was still taking two naps. But Mike and I have decided to run a 5K sometime in the spring, so we have set an additional goal of practicing once a week. I ran mine Saturday at the gym with a time of 45 minutes. So I would like to improve that time.

My goals in summary:
1. Stick to Weight Watchers and show consistent weight loss
2. Run a 5K once a week
3. Improve my time from 45 minutes (no set time goal)
4. Get to the gym twice a week minimum

There, now it's out there. Be sure to check in and see my progress toward those goals.

Wednesday, November 14

Same ole, same ole


We don't have a lot going on over here. Everyone is eating, sleeping and growing properly. No one has been ill (except for a little Leah stuffiness and cough in the AMs).

We are doing B at my house for "preschool" this week. Yesterday we used blue food coloring and dish soap in water. The kids used straws to blow bubbles in the water, then they touched their paper B's to the bubbles to make blue bubble prints. It worked pretty well. Today I baked blueberry-banana bread for the kids to snack on. We are going to glue yarn and precut balloons onto construction paper. This preschool thing is pretty fun.

I got a fair amount of Christmas shopping done yesterday while Leah was at school. Erin had a portrait appt at 9:40 at the mall, so I just shopped around after that. Santa is now done with Leah. I am really stuck on what to get Erin besides clothes. I have everything still from Leah, so there is not much she needs or even can use at this age. I think we may get her an infant swing for our swing set. She likes Chase's. We will see...

I am fully into Thanksgiving mode right now. I am making two turkeys, one roasted and one fried. Mike is going to be in charge of the actual frying. I am also making: mashed potatoes and gravy, yam casserole, and green bean casserole. We are eating with the Maddexes, so Laurie is making: stuffing, bread, possibly turkey gravy, apple and pumpkin pies, and cheesecake. Think that's enough food? :) I REALLY want to have nice dishes and a table that seats everyone one day. That is my goal. We'll keep working on it.

That is about it. Hope it was semi-interesting.

Saturday, November 10

On my own


Mike is in South Carolina as we speak (as I blog?). He was going with some people from work to try to scalp tickets to the SC/FL game. I assume he got them because I haven't heard from him. They probably won't be back until morning because the game wasn't until 7:45.

I got the girls to bed fine tonight and was able to watch Grey's Anatomy which I have been saving since Thursday just for tonight.

So Mike went with a girl from work and her friends. He told me the friends are one guy and one girl. Obviously I trust him and that part is not an issue. But anyone else think it is weird that they may get a hotel room tonight? I don't know what the situation will be, how they will allocate sleeping space, how many rooms they will get, etc. I think it is a little strange though...

Update: They left SC at 11pm and Mike walked in at 2am. So no big deal. I knew it was nothing, but the situation was kinda strange, that's all.

Thursday, November 8

Blogspot Confessional


Thanks a lot, Christine! :)

A. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning.

B. Each player lists 6 facts/habits about themselves.

C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.


1. I was going to marry my ex-boyfriend. Seriously. We had bought a ring together at Easter time in 1999. All that summer I waited for the proposal. At Halloween, I got dumped. Looking back, it was the best thing to ever happen to me. I met Mike in January of 2000 and we started dating in February. The rest is history.

2. I thought I was getting a divorce the summer of 2004. We worked it out, but it was a very rough patch. I still think about it sometimes and get sad. But I just have to remember that it made us closer in the long run.

3. I was a horrible bridesmaid in Laurie's wedding. I didn't make it to the bridal shower OR the rehearsal. I did however buy a car on her wedding day. I'm surprised she still talks to me. :)

4. I threw up in a wheelchair on my shoes at Universal Studios' City Walk. I had a fishbowl drink at TGIFriday's before we went, then I had one and a half Hurricanes at Pat O'Brien's. All the sugar and liquor combined to make me VERY sick. I could not even pick up my head from between my knees, so my friends called security to get a wheelchair so we could get to the car. Even in my drunken stupor, I was embarrassed.

5. I was always such a goody-goody at school. On the one day I tried to skip, I actually went to school in the morning and turned in an excuse note to leave early. The administration called to verify it with my parents and of course I was caught. I spent a day in ISS, which was actually kinda fun because I met all kinds of people who were not in my classes. I made some new friends that day...

6. For my bachelorette party, we went to Pleasure Island in Downtown Disney. My friends had pinned individually wrapped Lifesavers all over my shirt. They then asked guys at the clubs to remove said Lifesavers with their teeth FOR MONEY! I earned over $200 that night, enough to treat myself to a spa day before my wedding. Special thanks to my saleswomen, Rana and Kelly. They did a bang up job raking in the dough!

I tag Laurie, Keri, Megan, Mandi, Stacy, and Nikki. Let's hear some little known facts/stories!

Tuesday, November 6

Tagged by Erica


What’s the first thing you do when waking up in the morning?
Get a kid out of bed, one or the other is always the reason I have to get up

Do you prefer a shower or bath?
Shower because it's quick

How many times a day do you brush your teeth?

Once or twice if I’m not too tired when I go to bed (Ditto with Erica)

How often do you find yourself thinking about your ex?

I dream about him sometimes but rarely think about him otherwise.

What kind of cell phone do you have?
Dunno, something generic but Bluetooth enabled

What would you do with a 10 bill you found on the ground?

Depends on where I found it

What would you do with your significant other if you knew today was your last day with them?
I can't even think about it, it would be too horrible

Have you said “I love you” today?
Yes, at least three times :)

What’s one thing you actually remember about kindergarten?

Reciting a poem at graduation

Are you closer with your mom or dad?

My mom is one of my closest friends

Do you prefer the tanning bed or the sun?

The sun .. never been in a tanning bed, never plan to

Is chocolate really better than sex?

Maybe not better, but faster and less messy :) (I am stealing Erica's response on this one)

What’s 2 of your favorite movies?
Can't Hardly Wait and Night at the Roxbury

What’s the last thing you think about before going to sleep at night?
How long will I get to sleep before Erin wakes up to eat?

What would you do if your best friend jumped on your ex the day after you two split?

At this point in my life, I don't foresee that ever happening.

Does your life seem to revolve around drama?

I think I am past the drama stage.

How do you calm down when your extremely angry?

The last time I was angry, I got very quiet and shouted mean things in my head.

Do long distance relationships actually work out?

Is a 2 hour drive considered long distance? If so, then yes.

Ever thought you met “The One”?

I am now married to "The One"

What are 2 of your favorite places to eat?

Maggiano's and Miro's Spanish Grille

3 of your favorite places to shop?
Target, Old Navy, Children's Place

Do you currently have a job?

Stay-at-home mom, it doesn't get much more full-time than that

Which would you prefer…be rich and miserable, or poor and extremely happy?
Poor and happy, duh

What’s one of your favorite TV shows?

How I Met Your Mother

What did you want to be when you “grow up”?

A teacher

Do you know who lives in a pineapple under the sea?


Would you want a house at the beach or in the mountains?
Mountains as long as it's not isolated

Which would you rather have…a huge walk in shower or a jacuzzi bath tub?

Huge shower with multiple jets

Do you look up or at your feet when you walk?


What’s your favorite ice cream?

I love most ice creams from Bruster's

Do you like Starbucks…or are they just overpriced?
I like Pumpkin Spice Lattes

Are you a prep or a jeans-and-t-shirt type of person?
Jeans and t-shirt

What color are your eyes?


Do you have glasses or contacts?
Both now

Is it love at first sight or lust?

Usually lust

Which do you want…a big extravagant wedding or a quiet intimate ceremony?
I had a medium size wedding

What’s the most expensive thing you own?


What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a pair of jeans?

What color are your bedroom walls?

Builder's white

Do you ever actually make your bed?


How many pillows do you have to sleep with?

Just the one

Do you prefer to sleep alone or with someone?
With someone, as long as they are not a super squirmy sleeper

5am wake-up call


This morning both girls were up at 5am. What is up with that? I guess they are still adjusting to the time change and it is throwing them all off. Leah tossed and turned in our bed until 6:30, then we put the TV on for her. Erin ate and I laid her back down. She talked until 5:45, then started to cry, so I brought her in our bed too. When she kept being loud, I brought her downstairs until 6:30, then I put her back to bed when she started rubbing her eyes. She is still sleeping as of 8am. I will have to get her up soon though. We have to bring Leah to school at 8:30.

So Laurie and I decided to start "Letter of the Week" activities with the kids. She bought these cool preschool activity books. This one has snacks that begin with each letter. This one has art projects that we can do for each letter. We will do an activity 3 afternoons a week on non-school days. Laurie choose to do the first week. So she printed out a picture of the sign for A (sign language) and filled a bag with things that begin with A. She also played an alphabet song and had the kids jumping when they saw an A on the flashcards. They made apple prints on a big letter A and ate apples for a snack. All of that took about 15 minutes. We both said at the end of it How do people teach preschool?

I have B week next. Any suggestions for fun B activities?

Monday, November 5

Revised Sleep Struggles


After yesterday's post, we had a setback AND a step forward. Erin slept from 10:15am until 12:45pm. She woke up happy, not crying, which hasn't happened in a while. She started rubbing her eyes a little before 1:30 and I thought Surely she can't be tired yet. So I didn't put her down. When she started getting fussy at 2pm, I put her to bed and it was a struggle. AND she only slept 30 minutes. So I though I had ruined the good sleeping that had been developing. I was so ticked at myself for not listening to her signs. I need to not second guess them and just go with it.

We ran out to Target to do the ONE errand I had to do that day. By the end of that short trip, she was screaming with tiredness. I tried to keep her awake on the car ride home, but of course she snoozed 2 minutes from home. I went upstairs with her and she screamed herself into a frenzy. Finally I tried nursing and the second it touched her mouth, she was out. She woke when I put her in the crib and cried some, but not too hard. At 4:45pm she fell sleep and was OUT FOR THE NIGHT. Granted she did wake up at 10:45, 12:45 and 4:45 to eat. The last 2 times, she talked to herself in her bed for a while before falling back to sleep. But at 7:30am, I think I am just hearing from her. So again, hopefully after that fabulous night's sleep, we will have a good nap day.

If I listen to the signs...

Sunday, November 4

Sleep Struggles


After my last sleep post, Erin made a liar out of me. She continued to sleep well at night, going to bed between 7 and 8pm and only waking once or twice just to eat, then sleeping through until about 7am. But all of a sudden, she stopped napping during the day. I read all the books again. I tried putting her down sooner, putting her down later, nursing before nap, not nursing before nap, covering the curtains so that it was darker in her room, etc. Not a thing worked. Erin was so cranky! Most of each day was spent trying to get Erin to sleep, during which I used the TV as a babysitter for Leah, which I HATE doing. In addition to the madness, Leah has also recently mostly turned her back on naps. So to have no napping in my house with a cranky infant was driving me crazy! I can only imagine what I would have been like had Erin not been a good night sleeper.

On top of all that, Mike decided to take on another lawn project. We got a truckload of topsoil dumped in our backyard so that he could spread it over some seed to hopefully grow us some grass in the backyard. But a truckload of topsoil is a crapload of dirt. It meant that he spent a lot of yesterday morning hauling dirt while I had another fun-filled no-nap day with the girls. At about 4:30, I came out crying with a crying Erin and said "This is not okay!" I told him I needed his help with the kids on the weekends, especially with both of them not sleeping, and I was upset that he had decided to spend his weekend digging dirt. He quit for the afternoon to spend time with us. He said he hadn't realized how I was feeling and how hard it was. So that was better.

On a funny note, last night Mike said to me, "I tell you when you do stupid stuff, right? Why didn't you tell me that spreading a truckload of dirt was one of the stupidest ideas I ever had, right after trying to sod my own yard?" Apparently it was lot more work than either of us had anticipated. We are about 1/3 of the way through the pile as of noon on Sunday.

So to end on a happy note... Last night, we put a cranky Erin down at 7:45. She woke up to eat at 2:30, then again at 6am (old time). After the second feeding, she talked to herself in the crib for like 20 min or so, then proceeded to sleep until 9am (new time)! She was back in her crib by 10:15 and is currently still sleeping in there! We just might have broken that nasty sleep cycle with a new wonderful one! That was 3 exclamation points in a row. Can you tell I am excited?!?!?!?!

Wednesday, October 31

Halloween Shenanigans


Tonight was pretty fun. Everyone arrived at our house at about 6:30 for pictures. All the kids (and some of the parents) looked awesome! We had two Dorothys, two Glindas, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, a flying monkey, the Wicked Witch of the East, Auntie Em and Uncle Henry, and the Wizard (who opted out of pictures)(actually his costume couldn't fit in the door). Erin was supposed to be Toto but she was SUPER tired and cried from 5:45 on so I did not dress her up.

We started out just when it was getting dark and most houses did not have their porch lights on yet. We got about 3 houses down and Leah started dragging behind because her shoes were too big. She was having a hard time walking in them. Mike was also dragging behind because his costume kept falling apart. So, with Erin in the wrap, I carried Leah several houses. I was so irritated with Mike at this point because I had suggested that he not dress up considering he just got it all put together tonight at 6pm. My irritation was a little irrational, I admit. I was just frustrated that I needed his help with the kids and he was more worried about his costume. At that point, I decided to go home and get the stroller for Leah to ride in between houses and that worked pretty well. Then Erin, who had fallen asleep in the wrap, woke up crying again. So I decided to just go home and put her to bed. Mike took Leah around for another half hour, then they called it a night too.

A little while later, while sorting through and sampling candy, something happened that broke my heart a little. Mike and I were bickering back & forth over something really stupid. Leah was standing next to me. After listening to it for a minute, she said, "Mommy, leave Daddy alone." All at once, I remembered what it was like to be a kid and hear your parents argue. It was such an awful feeling, I never wanted my kids to go through it. I know that is not entirely possible, AND what Mike & I were doing was NOTHING like what I lived with as a kid. But still, I felt so guilty. Then she sat in my lap and hugged me and said "I love you, Mom." Crack, crack, now do you hear my heart breaking?

Sunday, October 28

Carolina BalloonFiasco


Yesterday we had high hopes of a beautiful day spent watching hot air balloons take off. Laurie had told us about the Carolina BalloonFest in Statesville. It was about an hour's drive. We left home at 3:15pm and stopped for gas and diapers. At 4:25 we were turning about 4 miles away. At 5:50 we pulled into the parking lot.

That's right, I said 5:50.

It took us an hour and a half to go 4 miles! The line was ridiculous! There was a "Mass Ascension" at 4:30 that we had wanted to see. Well, we got to see it from the car. Mike & Leah got out and walked for a while next to the car. That's how slow we were moving.

At several points, I considered just calling it a day and going home. But at a certain point, you have waited long enough that you don't want to have wasted the wait. You might as well just go through with it. And at the time I had no idea how much farther we had to go. I kept thinking, surely it is right around THIS bend.

Our friends we were meeting there were in line to leave as we were parking. They waved goodbye to us from across the parking lot. Now, as this was supposed to be an afternoon outing, we were ALL in short sleeves (it was in the high 70s). The afternoon outing had turned into an evening/night outing.

My poor babies had no jackets.

I wore Erin in the wrap so I was able to tuck her arms in and she stayed pretty warm. Leah, on the other hand, was pretty chilly.

We were originally intended to stop on the way home and get dinner maybe at Cracker Barrel. But by the time we got into the festival, we were starving. We did not have enough cash for us all to eat. Thank goodness there was an ATM trailer there. Then we proceeded to spend $40 on greasy fair food we didn't even want. After the sun went down, we got to experience the "Glow." They shot flames into all the balloons at once so that they were glowing simultaneously. It really was beautiful. We raced for the car after that, to beat the traffic out.

It took us 15 minutes to get to the interstate instead of an hour and a half this time. After a few miles on the highway, cars start slowing down. Mike is about to start screaming obscenities, when I volunteer to drive home (I had driven there too). We do a Chinese fire drill in the middle of the highway in stopped traffic. It doesn't take long for us to find the source of the traffic. Construction at 8pm on a Saturday night. What idiot ordered that?!?!? Mike, my lovely husband, shouted things like, "3am would be a great time for construction" out the window to the workers as we passed them.

We stopped for Chik-fil-a and a double diaper change in the back of the van. On the road again, Leah munched a few nuggets and spilled her milk in her carseat. I had to climb in the back and crouch on the floor looking through the diaper bag for clothes for her. I had stocked a separate bag from my usual one and kept it in the car since my last poop incident. So I had a change of clothes for her. I undid her top buckle and switched out her shirt. After that, we had some peace in a quiet van. Amazingly, both girls allowed us to change their diapers and put them into jammies without waking up too much when we finally got home at 9:30.

So next year, no BalloonFest for us.

Friday, October 26



Leah's Papa gave her a real working stethoscope and we taught her how to put it in her ears and put the other end on her chest to listen to her heartbeat. She claims she can hear it when we help her place it. So the other day she comes into the kitchen with it and says "Mom, it's time for your check-up!" She also wanted to give Erin a check-up. How funny!

Also she is going to be Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz for Halloween. Whenever anyone asks her what she is going to be, she says "Daw-fee, Daw-fee, Daw-fee, Daw-fee." NO one can quite understand what she is saying. We actually had a Wizard of Oz party last night at Ian's house. Four families in our neighborhood decided to be Wizard characters for Halloween. I can't wait to see the pictures. Anyway, Laurie invited us all over for popcorn, pizza, and movie watching. After the first 45 minutes, the kids were in the playroom and the moms were in the dining room looking at L's scrapbooks. But Leah did get to see Dorothy and Toto and still really likes the shoes.

Last one, then gotta go get Erin up from her nap. We were looking at our wedding photos the other day. I think that may be the first time Leah has seen them. When she saw me with my headpiece on, she said "Mommy, you are a princess!" Got that right sister!

Wednesday, October 24

Diaper Capers


This morning while I was taking a shower, Leah laid on my bed and watched TV. When I got out, I heard her say, "Mommy, I taked my diaper off." I went in to ask her why and this is what I saw.

How hilarious is that?

In other news, the CDS girls had a scrapbook night last night. I did 2 complete pages and 2 partial pages. If you want to see my latest scrapbook pages, check out our website at G-Rated Life. Click on photos, then Scrapbook Pages on the right.

Tuesday, October 23

Sleeping like a baby


Erin is such a wacky sleeper. Two nights ago she slept from 7:30pm til 8:30am! She woke up to eat very briefly at 11pm and 4am. That was an AMAZING night's sleep for both of us. (If only Leah would get in sync.) During the day, it is not unusual for her to only be awake for like 5-6 hours total. She can only stand being awake for an hour and a half MAX before she starts getting fussy. That is her window. If I miss her window she is a real pill to put down. If I am in tune with her, she lays right down in her crib for a good nap. Today, she slept from 10:45am until 3:45pm! Does anyone else think she sleeps a ridiculous amount for a 10 week old? I thought this kind of thing was more the behavior of a one month old.

I finally bought a new camera, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3K. Mike is working to get the admin page of our website functional so I can upload to it. That is why you have not seen Corn Maze pictures yet. But look for them soon! I guess I can post a few here.

Maddex and Gallers kids

A family photo

These kids are so darn cute!

Friday, October 19



I was blog surfing today and I found this You Tube video from Sesame Street from 1977. (How do I phrase that sentence to not say from twice?) Check it out.

Wednesday, October 17

I don't have much to say


Everything here is going swimmingly. I guess I will discuss with you the two things I have been focusing on lately.

Number 1 is choosing health insurance for Mike's new job. It is significantly more expensive at the new job than the old one. We are trying to decide between the HMO and the 80/20 PPO. The problem is the HMO is like 300 more a PAY PERIOD than the PPO. That is a LOT over the course of a year. I know, everyone says get the HMO with kids. And they could be right. But the deductible on the PPO is not that bad (300 ind/600 fam) and the out of pocket max is not all that high either. So what do you think?

I was also trying to decide (still part of #1) whether to move with my pediatrician to her new office. We REALLY like her, but her new office is 30 min away as opposed to 10 min currently. I was trying to make sure she was covered under both possible new insurances. She is, so we decided to move to the new practice and suck up the drive. Hey, there is more good shopping there than Monroe anyway.

Number 2 (this is going to sound silly) is my chore list. I found this link from my pregnancy board on BabyCenter. No, I did not pay outright for it. The rest of 2007 was half-price and Mike had enough left in his PayPal account to cover it. He was never going to use that $ anyway. So I got it. It is VERY comprehensive. I never think to do things like clean my porch light fixture, but it is one of my chores today. I like that it forces you to do the obscure chores. My house has been cleaner since I started it. Now I don't do every chore EVERY day. Sometimes I switch them around and sometimes I skip things that I don't think are necessary. But I like having something to keep me on track.

Also, we have to buy a new digital camera this week. We are going to the Aw Shucks Corn Maze this weekend and I can't be without a camera! We had a blast there last year. Mandi bought the girls the cutest Halloween outfits to wear there. Anyway, any camera advice???

Saturday, October 13

Long time, no post...


I know it has been forever since I have posted. We left last Saturday for a week in Florida and just got back last night. Our neighborhood had a garage sale planned for today that I did not prepare for and I ended up just throwing things out there to see if maybe something would sell. We sold our old lawn mower and a bug bouncer. So it was not too bad of a sale.

Back to our week in FL. Saturday night when we arrived, lots of our friends came over to watch the Gator game. Leah stayed up until 10:30 that night and Erin did her whole "I am asleep until you put me down thing" til then too. We went out first thing in the AM to get a swing from Wal-Mart for Erin. It worked like a charm the rest of the week. Sunday we went to Downtown Disney with Mandi & Barry and Mike's parents. My mom stayed with us the whole week too and she was an AWESOME GRAMMY! Thank you so much!

Monday and Tuesday were park days thanks to Megan. Leah told us the rest of the week anytime we talked about Magic Kingdom "I din like the Winnie a Pooh ride." There is a part with Heffalumps where there is lightning and thunder that she didn't like. She didn't like that part of Rainforest Cafe either. But she did like the carousel, Dumbo, an her favorite, It's a Small World. We met Mickey, which scared her yet again, and she saw Mickey's and Minnie's houses. At Animal Kingdom we saw Nemo, the musical. Erin had a poop explosion right when the lights went down for the show to start so I had to exit quickly. Then halfway through she got fussy so Mike took her up to the top to bounce around. But for the most part both girls did well at the parks. Leah did not nap at all while we were in FL, but was still pretty good.

Wednesday Mike went to a skate park where our CAMERA was stolen. Yeah, the one with all the Disney pictures. So we have to rely on my mom, who took a few, and Mandi who took some too that first day. BOO! Us girls went shopping with my step-dad. Then we ate dinner at one of those Japanese steakhouses. Leah liked watching them cook.

Thursday was Sea World. The Donalds met us there and we got to meet Corgan, who is 9 days younger than Erin. He was a sweetheart. Belle is such an awesome little girl too. She is so confident and sure of herself. Also, she and Leah are the same size! we had a great time with them, but were exhausted early that day.

We finally arrived home Friday night at 8pm. It was a great trip, but super tiring. Thank goodness we still have the weekend!

Wednesday, October 3

Don't forget to...



Please comment if you read here or are just stopping by to see what I am about after reading my comments on your blog.

Girls Night Out... and the Consequences


Last night Laurie, Liza (a new neighbor) and I went to dinner at Miro's Spanish Grille. I had decided the week before that I needed a little break from Mommy mode and asked the girls to go out. Several of our regulars were out of town this week and another one had ballet practice tonight so we were down to three. Not taking a diaper bag as a purse was unusual and driving the Corolla with only adults in it was even stranger. The restaurant was FABULOUS!!! We ate the chef's selection of tapas for an appetizer along with a pitcher of Sangria. There were things like a Spanish omelette, fried calamari, some beef tips with an aioli sauce, etc. The I ordered the seafood mixture that comes in paella on angel hair pasta. We all shared a tres leche cake and a Belgian dark chocolate cheesecake slice. This meal was so delicious, the company was awesome, the night was perfect.

I get home at 11:00 and Mike is in Erin's room comforting her. She was due to eat so I fed her and it took about 30 minutes to get her back to sleep. At 1am Leah wakes up crying. There is nothing wrong with her, she just wants company. She cries every 20 minutes until 2:30. Erin wakes up to eat at 3am. At least she went right back to sleep this time. Then she wakes up at 6:10 to eat again, but dozes off shortly after in my bed. Leah is up for the day at 7am and Erin is right behind her. There was not much sleep for me last night. I don't think it was DUE to my girls night, but it was a rough night anyway.

So Erin has left behind the newborn stage of sleeping all the time, anywhere, anyhow. The car seat and the swing used to be the magic sleep-makers, but no longer. She wouldn't take a pacifier at all up until last night, but even with the pacifier every time it fell out of her mouth, she woke up and pitched a fit. Even nursing doesn't automatically induce sleep when she is tired. So we are having the sleep-deprived crying jags often throughout the day. I hate that I KNOW she is tired, but she won't let go and just FALL asleep. What is up with that?

Tuesday, October 2

Kaitlyn Stewart has arrived!


Congratulations to Christina, Joe, and Zach on the birth of their newest family member, Kaitlyn Marie Stewart!(Is that still her name, Christina?) We are so happy that she is here and Christina did great with the birth from what I hear. We can't wait to meet the newest member of the Hive. Lots of love to you all!

Friday, September 28

Family Tree Answers


I feel bad doing this book tour and not answering the questions. So here are my answers...

1. In the book, many secrets had been kept. What kind of an impact did these secrets have on the characters once they were revealed? Actually I think many of the characters were able to face their own flaws better once the secrets were all out in the open.

2. How would you feel if your child looked like he/she was from a race neither you or your partner showed evidence of? Would you worry about your child's future? I don't think I would worry about the child so much. Nowadays, families come in all shapes and sizes and I don't think anyone from this generation going forward cares all that much about background.

3. When Hugh discovers that Lizzie is a different race than him he questions the paternity of the child. He doesn't understand why Dana is so upset that he wants to prove he is the father. Do you feel that the faith and trust you have in your partner should be enough in this situation? Would you need to prove to other people and to yourself that you were correct? This was the part of the story that bothered me the most. I was so angry at Hugh for his accusations. I think your trust in your partner SHOULD be enough to not question their faithfulness. On the other hand, I WOULD want to know where the genes came from and would probably insist on doing the background research. But I like to think that I would not suspect my partner of anything unseemly.

The Great Mofo Delurk 2007


I cam across this in my blog-browsing and decided to participate. I know my close friends comment on my blog regularly, but I always wonder if anyone else reads besides them. So here it is...

Next Wednesday, I will be SURE to post and you be SURE to comment. In fact, you should comment on EVERY blog entry that you read that day to make sure that your bloggers feel loved. So pass back by here on that day and let me know you care...

Thursday, September 27

Slow Cookin Thursday


As per Erica's instructions, I am posting two slow cooker recipes I made back in June.

Apple-Dijon Pork Roast

1 boneless whole pork loin roast (2-3 lbs)
1 can (14 1/2 oz) chicken broth
1 cup apple juice
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons cornstarch
6 tablespoons cold water

Cut roast in half and place in a 5 quart slow cooker. Combine the broth, apple juice and mustard; pour over roast. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or until meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.

Remove roast and keep warm. For gravy, skim fat from slow cooker. Pour juices into a saucepan. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; gradually stir into juices. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with pork.

Minestrone Stew

1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 can (19 oz) ready-to-serve minestrone soup
1 can (15 oz) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (14 1/2 oz) stewed tomatoes
1 can (11 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

In a skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients; mix well. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or until heated through.

Both were yummy. Good luck and happy cooking!

Wednesday, September 26

Sleeping babies!


For the fist time in a long time, I have two sleeping babies at nap time! Erin is in her crib too! She fell asleep in her swing and after an hour or so I transferred her to her crib because I had to shower and needed her to be near a monitor. So far no peeps! Now to address birth announcements.

PS I walked 2.5 miles today (first 1.5 with a double stroller, second 1.0 on an indoor track with Erin in the Moby wrap) and I feel good!

PPS Sorry about the exclamation points!

Sunday, September 23

See-saws - Not safe for children


And apparently not safe for adults either! Today we took the girls to a new playground in Waxhaw (it is next to a skate park that is being repaired). They had two see-saws, the kind that are just a pole with a slab of wood at each end to sit on. The handles are just a small piece of metal at the front of each seat. So at first Mike and I got on and tried it out. He is heavier so he kept pushing off really hard and I would fly down. I didn't like it because there was hardly anything to hold on to and I felt like I was going to fall off every time. Then Leah wanted to ride. Mike held her while I pushed on the other side with my arms. Then we switched and I held her. Mike suggested we all ride together, so I got on with Leah and he got on the other side. That went well, because we were pretty evenly weighted. Leah then wanted to ride the OTHER see-saw. So Mike put her on and got on behind her and suggested that I get on the other side. I didn't want to, but decided to be a good sport. Of course they were WAY heavier than me and every time Mike pushed off, I felt like I was going to fall. I told him to stop, I wanted to get off. He stopped with me at the top. I thought he was going to let me down slowly, so I started to slide off a bit but couldn't stop myself and slid off all the way! I tried to hang on so I ended up twisting around the seat and landed on the ground HARD on my right side. It knocked the breath out of me pretty good and left a few bruises. I thought that was the extent of my injuries, but here it is 6 hours later and my right outer thigh feels bruised on the inside. I think I did something to the muscle. Seriously I couldn't even carry the baby up the stairs tonight! It hurts to walk or put any pressure on it. Mike starts his new job tomorrow so if I am injured, he can't even stay home and take care of us. I hope it feels better when I wake up.

So moral of the story - don't ride see-saws. Also don't listen to your husband. He has no idea what he is talking about.

Friday, September 21

Book Tour #4 Questions


Okay, these are all the questions I got this time around. If you read it and didn't send me a question, that's okay. You can still answer these on your blog. Everyone who answers, please comment this entry and let everyone know that you answered the Q's.

1. In the book, many secrets had been kept. What kind of an impact did these secrets have on the characters once they were revealed?

2. How would you feel if your child looked like he/she was from a race neither you or your partner showed evidence of? Would you worry about your child's future?

3. When Hugh discovers that Lizzie is a different race than him he questions the paternity of the child. He doesn't understand why Dana is so upset that he wants to prove he is the father. Do you feel that the faith and trust you have in your partner should be enough in this situation? Would you need to prove to other people and to yourself that you were correct?

Thursday, September 20

I love Gatlinburg!


I was chastised in the comments last entry for not posting real post. So here it is... a REAL post.

We had such a great time these last few days with Nikki, Jason, and her family. We stayed at the Gatlinburg Falls Resort at the Eagle's Nest cabin. It was so beautiful! It had a hot tub, 3 floors of rooms, 5 bedrooms each with own bathroom, and a game room with air hockey, pool, poker table, big screen TV, and arcade game. Leah LOVED playing with Halle and
adopted Nikki's mom, Mia, as her own. She also liked hanging out with Nikki's sister, Teryn, and meeting the other family members. We just want to say thanks to the DeRosa's for having us and taking care of us so well! Oh yeah, and thanks to Joe for turning 30 so we could join them on vacation!

Anyway, we had a blast on Saturday watching the Gators bang out the win against Tennessee. When I pick up our pictures from JC Penney's (where I get all my photos taken), I will post the ADORABLE one of Mike and the girls in their Gator outfits. Sunday we headed to Gatlinburg and got settled into the cabin.

Monday, Mike and I took the girls on a hike to see Grotto Falls. We hiked a "moderate" trail 2.4 miles round trip. Leah rode in the backpack (thanks for loaning it to us, B&L) most of the way there and Erin was in the Moby wrap. Actually Leah got out and hiked with us probably at least 1/4 mile. At the top, Mike and Leah played in the falls and I fed Erin. We ate lunch up there and then started back. Now it took us 1.25 hours to get up there and only 35 minutes to get back. Leah actually fell asleep in the backpack on the way down! :) I so wished I could have gotten a picture of that, but the camera was packed away somewhere by then. We were so proud of going hiking as a family! You too can hike with a one month old. :) That evening I made roasted chicken and vegetables for everyone.

Tuesday, we went into the town of Gatlinburg and shopped around. We ate lunch at Bennett's BBQ, then took the tram up to Ober Gatlinburg. Mike and Leah went on the Alpine Slide, which Leah LOVED. We got ice cream and headed back to the cabin for a yummy Mexican fiesta. The next day we went to breakfast at Flapjacks Pancake Cabin, then walked around the Great Smoky Mountains Arts & Crafts Community.

That afternoon we went Hillbilly Mini-Golfing! You take this tram up the mountain and golf your way down. Leah did so well with her little orange plastic club. She teed off and putted every hole. After the first hit, she would move her ball to within inches of the hole for her last shot. We were there during naptime, so I think she did great! After golfing, we went home to let Leah have a late nap and pack up our stuff. We had an early dinner of burgers and dogs then headed home around 6pm.

Three things of note on this trip:

1. We do NOT like having both girls in the same room. Whenever one woke up crying, we were afraid they would wake the other up. Leah had a stuffy nose while we were there so she coughed at night a lot. (Erin has the stuffy nose now at home. She sleeps in her car seat for the time being.)

2. I can nurse Erin in both my Moby wrap and the sling I bought at Sleeping Baby Productions. That was nice because I didn't have to slow anyone down while we were out and about. The sling is WAY easy to nurse in and it will be even easier when Erin has full head control.

3. I love fresh raw corn! You can cut it right off the cob without cooking. It is great in salads of all kinds. I will definitely be using it in recipes in the future. If you eat my food, keep your eyes peeled for corn!

Saturday, September 15

Extended Book Tour


Book Tour #4 has been extended for another week to give others a chance to get their questions in since I only have my question and one other one (thanks, Jen!). So anyone who is reading/thinking of reading Family Tree, please get me your question by NEXT Friday. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 12

This or That Tuesday - Take Comfort…


I know it's not Tuesday, but I couldn't get to this yesterday...
Which is more comforting for you…

1. Lying down on the couch, or stretching out on a recliner? Lying down on the couch. I always feel like I am going to fall out of a recliner.

2. Going barefoot or wearing soft slippers? Barefoot, slippers never stay on.

3. Eating ice cream, or pizza? Ice cream (I agree with Erica)

4. Watching on TV…a classic movie or a reality show? Reality show

5. Wearing: blue jeans or sweat pants? right now sweats, but ordinarily jeans

6. A long, soothing bubble bath or a quick, invigorating shower? Shower usually

7. Furniture: leather, or something more on the fuzzy side? Do NOT like leather. it hot weather, it sticks to your sweat. In cool weather, it is cold to sit on.

8. Soft, classical music, or upbeat rock & roll? Totally depends on my mood

9. Darkness or light? Both at different times

10. Thought-provoking question of the week: You get married, or otherwise begin cohabitating with a significant other. S/he moves into your place, but brings with them the UGLIEST chair you have ever seen! You really don’t want this thing in your home, but SO says it is the most comfy chair s/he has ever sat in, and no way will they part with it. Do you: grin and bear it, or scheme to get rid of the montrosity somehow? Keep discussing it to death until the other person gives in just to shut me up!

YOU are tagged. Ha, ha, gotcha!



So I had to watch Britney's performance at the VMAs, especially after Erica's comments. I had DVR'ed it and put on just the beginning this morning. Wow, it was BAD! I mean, REALLY bad. Britney looked as if she had to concentrate so hard to remember the words, she couldn't think about anything else. She barely moved around the stage, and the dancing she did do wasn't even full out. Her face was had no expression the entire time.

When the camera would show audience members, their faces were so funny. They looked like they were trying to be encouraging, but couldn't actually LIKE the performance. I will watch the rest later when Leah is sleeping because I saw the first minute of Sarah Silverman's monologue and it is NOT toddler-appropriate. :)

School Days


I really love that we are sending Leah to "school." She is always excited to go. Granted, I don't actually drop her off, Mike has been doing that since Erin is born. (I will probably get back to it when he starts his new job. More on that in another post.) But I am sure she is giddy with joy when she gets there. Every time I pick her up, she is happy to see me and says, "Mama, I go home with you? Awwww, my baby!" She loves seeing Erin in her carrier at pick-up time. I love seeing art projects I did not have to clean up after. :) They are all over our playroom now. Another non-Leah related plus is that I can either get so much done with only one OR I can relax and chill and veg on the computer or read the entire time. I can also take that time to just concentrate on Erin and what she needs instead of trying to juggle things. It is truly one of the best decisions we have made.

I started this post last night then had to feed Erin and put her to bed in the middle, so I did not finish. Now is is 7am and the girls have been up since 6. Both are happy, smiling, and playful. BUT I didn't hardly sleep because Erin was nursing like every hour and a half. So hopefully I can make it through the day.

Monday, September 10

Question due Friday


Book Tour #4 is ending soon. Don't forget to send me your question this week!

Wednesday, September 5

A few notes from my life


I have random bits of news to share. Let's get started...

I swear Erin is smiling now! Not consistently, but yesterday she and I were talking and I am pretty sure I caught a few smiles. I need to get them on camera, they are ridiculously adorable (what baby smiles aren't?).

I went walking with the CDS girls this morning! There were four of us, each pushing a stroller (me with my new double) taking up all of the road! It was funny. But anyway, I am proud of myself for getting started back on the path to fitness. A few more weeks and I will be back on Weight Watchers too.

Leah is so funny when Erin cries. She says over and over, "I know, baby, I know." I have noticed myself saying it now that I hear her say it, but I never realized it before. Kids pick up EVERYTHING!

Other than that, my dad & step-mom are coming tomorrow to visit for the weekend. Then the next weekend, the Konickis are stopping at our house on their way to Gatlinburg and we are following them up there for a few days. Our first overnight trip with Erin! I may be wrong, but I think Leah was almost 3 months before we went on an overnight. Ahhh, how things change with the second.

Mike is wakeboarding today, so it is my first day, ALL day, with 2 kids and just me. So far so good (at 3pm). I was even able to clean the kitchen, mop, and clean the downstairs bathroom while the girls were napping. We will see how bath and bed go. :)

Saturday, September 1

Loving Two


I walk along holding your 2-year-old hand, basking in the glow of our magical relationship. Suddenly I feel a kick from within, as if to remind me that our time alone is limited. And I wonder: how could I ever love another child as I love you?

Then she is born, and I watch you. I watch the pain you feel at having to share me as you’ve never shared me before. I hear you telling me in your own way, “Please love only me." And I hear myself telling you in mine, “I can’t," knowing in fact, that I never can again.

You cry. I cry with you. I almost see our new baby as an intruder on the precious relationship we once shared. A relationship we can never quite have again.

But then, barely noticing, I find myself attached to that new being, and feeling almost guilty. I’m afraid to let you see me enjoying her — as though I am betraying you.

But then I notice your resentment change, first to curiosity, then to protectiveness, finally to genuine affection.

More days pass, and we are settling into a new routine. The memory of days with just the two of us is fading fast.

But something else is replacing those wonderful times we shared, just we two. There are new times – only now, we are three. I watch the love between you grow, the way you look at each other, touch each other.

I watch how she adores you — as I have for so long. I see how excited you are by each of her new accomplishments. And I begin to realize that I haven’t taken something from you, I’ve given something to you. I notice that I am no longer afraid to share my love openly with both of you.

I find that my love for each of you is as different as you are, but equally strong. And my question is finally answered, to my amazement. Yes, I can love another child as much as I love you — only differently.

And although I realize that you may have to share my time, I now know you’ll never share my love. There’s enough of that for both of you – you each have your own supply.

I love you — both. And I thank you both for blessing my life.
— Author Unknown

I cry every time I read this (stolen from my pregnancy board). Although we are only at the beginning of this journey of two, I see some of these things starting to develop. You do have to sacrifice some time with the first to care for the second, but the LOVE is never sacrificed.

Thursday, August 30

Book Tour #4 Reminder


Book: Family Tree
Author: Barbara Delinsky

Question Due: September 14th

All Questions Listed: September 15th/16th

Post Date: September 21st

How the book tour works:

(1) leave a comment or send me an email ( saying that you're interested in participating.

(2) I will keep adding to this list of participants so people will know who is participating and where to go to read other reviews on "post day" (September 21st). You can add yourself to the list up until September 14th.

(3) read Family Tree by September 14th (about 4 weeks from Tour #3's post date).

(4) create a single question that would kick off a discussion (in other words, any question that leads to more than a "yes" or "no" answer where someone can express their opinion) and email it to me on September 14th (or any time beforehand).

(5) on September 15th/16th, I will post the list of possible questions. Everyone will choose 3 questions off the list and answer them in a blog entry (if we only have 3 participants, we'll all be answering the same questions. If there are more questions, we'll have more variation on the blog entries because people will choose to answer different questions).

(6) on September 21st, everyone will post their entry. I will post my answers too and a reminder that it's post day so people can go around and read the entries and comment (start a discussion back and forth in the comments section).

I want you all to know that I have already read this book, but I wanted to share it with all of you because it was SO good. It really lends itself to a good discussion so I can't wait to hear and answer your questions about it. Please consider participating, this book is very good.

Erica tagged me


Man, I just read Erica's My Favorite Time of Day post and I was tagged! So now I have to blog about my favorite time of day.

Is this horrible? Right now my favorite time of day is right after we put Leah down for bed at night. Either we have time to play and interact with just Erin OR Erin is sleeping and we have time to just relax. Is it bad that my favorite time of day is without my kid(s)?

Whose children are these?


I stole this from Christine. Apparently they both look like both of us.

Wednesday, August 29

The Wedding Tag - I read it too


1. Where did you meet your husband? I saw him for the first time at our wintergaurd dress rehearsal,, I met him at a guard show, but only for a minute

2. What was the first thing you said to your husband? Who remembers these things?

3. Where was your first date? I went to his house, then we rented Muppets from Space to watch there, then I stayed over to watch Simpsons, I didn't want to leave

4. Where was your first kiss? In my living room on our first Valentine's Day (a day early)

5. Did you have a long or short engagement? We were engaged for 11 months.

6. Where did you get engaged? At a park in the gazebo, Mike played a "Will you marry me?" song he wrote on his guitar.

7. Where were you married? Holiday Inn Harbourside at Indian Rocks Beach, FL

8. How did the reception go? It was just about the most fun I have EVER had!!!

9. How was the honeymoon? We went to Bora Bora and stayed at the Club Med there. It was a once in a lifetime experience.

If you read this and have not already responded, YOU are tagged!

Tuesday, August 28

Erin's 2 wk appt


We saw the doctor today and Erin has grown up a bit. She is now 7lb 15 oz after dropping to 6lb 10 oz two days after birth. I know Mike blogged about going to the hospital to have her bilirubin checked awhile back. I was pretty scared at the time. They had to do a heel prick to get the blood. I was having flashbacks to the first time I witnessed that with Leah and it was awful. They couldn't get the blood to flow and she was SCREAMING in my arms. I was sobbing and my tears were pouring all over her face. It took forever. So I was afraid this time, but the lab tech was awesome and Erin actually FELL ASLEEP while they were taking her blood. Her levels turned out to be within acceptable limits and by that Friday her weight was back up to 7lb 1oz. So it turned out okay in the end.

I also want to address Mike's blog about my dream. I know it sounded wacky that I was so upset about Erin turning into an animal. But let me explain my reasoning. It wasn't the turning into an animal that freaked me out. In the dream I was screaming over and over (good thing I don't talk in my sleep or I would have woken the entire house up) "She was never our child" and THAT is what killed me. I thought I had lost her. She was not mine. I realized in that moment that I love her more than anything. She belongs to me in reality. It was an important moment that makes me feel good now that I look back on it. But at the time, I was terrified of losing her. Hey, don't judge me. :)

Anyway, things are going well here. Erin is nursing well and for the most part sleeping well. I am feeling very good, so good I am surprised when I think that I had a baby 2 weeks ago (today actually). When I was pregnant, I couldn't remember when my belly wasn't huge and hard. Now I can't remember having a pregnant belly. How easily we forget. Anyway Leah is GREAT with Erin, wanting to hold her all the time. Mike is such a help, he took a shift last night with Erin, THEN got Leah all ready for school in the morning.

Well, I gotta go to bed while I can. Can't wait to see some of you in Florida in October!