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We’ve Moved…Sort Of

We’ll still be posting Thelma and Louise stories here. But come on over to Boy Crazed Momma where I’ll be posting the majority of the time.  I think you’ll like the new look!

Wordless Wednesday—11/17

One of my favorite sleeping pictures of him.


Gaga and Penguins and Buzz, Oh My!

Better late than never, right???

I really had two Halloweens. My first one was at Bunco , and then the second was taking the boys trick-or-treating on Saturday night.

We happened to have Bunco the Thursday night before Halloween weekend.  So, of course, it was a costume party. 

Lady Gaga stopped by:


And a penguin and flapper


And here we all are…the ones who dressed up…


Up next, the trick or treating! We had Buzz and Thomas at our house. It was hard to keep Buzz out of his costume before Halloween.  He wanted to wear it all of the time. Thomas had a hat to go with his costume, but he wasn’t about to wear it. The battle was not worth fighting.


This year was fun because my 3-year-old really got into it.  He kept saying, “Can we go to another [house]"?” as soon as we’d get finished at one.  It surprised me that he really didn’t mess with the candy while we were walking through the neighborhood.  We trick-or-treated around our house for a while and then we headed over to my in-law’s house so my 3-year-old could go around their neighbor with his cousins. If the proof is in the candy stash, then the evening was a success.  And the bonus was that the boys are still too young to know which is the good candy, so mommy and daddy scored some good stuff. (Oh, don’t act  like you don’t do it too.)

99 Things

I’m pretty sure I stole this from my friend Laura’s blog.  I have had it in my drafts for a while now and had forgotten about it.  I stumbled upon it today, so here you go.  A little get-to-know-me post. Feel free to lift this for your blog.  Laura won’t mind. Promise.

Instructions: The post is a list of 99 random things. Bold the ones that you yourself have done.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disney World
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
(No, but I have on a plane.)
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke (With a little liquid courage)
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing (And threw up the entire time)
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling — snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching (Sort of—Got lucky and saw them)
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
86. Visited the White House
(Just from the outside)
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club

93. Got a tattoo
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

The Season of Giving

The Sears family in Canada needs our help.  I met Dana on Twitter, & we have since become e-pals.  Her family is struggling to pay for the care her son, Mason, needs. I know many of us look for ways to help those in need, especially this time of year.  PLEASE consider helping this family.  Thanks to Bonnie’s Bows you can even get some Christmas shopping done at the same time!  Here is a sample of Bonnie’s goodies:

Christmas BeaniePsychedelic Flower Headband Under the Sea Butterfly Tutu Dress With Accessories

Here’s Dana’s story in her own words:

Hello, My name is Dana Sears & I am Mason's Mom. Mason was born with Special Needs. At this time we do not fully understand the "Special" but we do understand Mason's "needs". Because Mason doesn't have a diagnoses, Drs dont really know what causes his issues, we do not receive government funding for Mason's needs. In 2009 Mason received his G-tube, this is a tube implanted into his stomach to allow us to bypass his swallowing. Mason's feeding costs are around $100 a day, that works out to $36,000 a year, just to feed him. That is impossible for a young family. Mason also needs Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Developmental treatment, Behavioral intervention & tools to help us in our day 2 day life.

Many families with Special needs Children struggle financially due to the extraordinary costs of raising our children. Our Family has gone $64,000 dollars in debt just giving Mason the bare minimums for the last year and a half. We are unable to supply Mason with everything that the Drs. and specialists say he needs. We have had help from Variety-The Children's Charity, they supplied one year grant of $5000 when we were weeks away from having to give Mason over to the Ministry, we had no where left to borrow money from.
I never thought by Blogging my feelings, or our journey trying to solve Mason's Riddle that I would run across someone like Bonnie. Bonnie is an amazing woman, to want to help my family is more than I can thank her for. I am not good at asking for help, but we are again needing some funds for Mason. We are stuck waiting to hear about our appeal to the government and waiting to hear from Charities. As the next couple of months go by we will be in need of more medical supplies again.

What will we use the Donations for? The specialists have asked for Mason to have a swing that he can use at all hours of the day. Swinging is a long acting drug in Mason's body, better than any pharmaceutical available. Mason is the happiest when he is swinging. Over time we have purchased most of the parts like the swings, rope ladder, rings, and just need to purchase the lumber and bolts to complete it! This swing will allow Mason to use one anyone type if swing at one time and will sit in a room in our house. Also we need to purchase some more feeding bags, and a few Mic-key buttons. We go through a Mic-key button every two months, these cost just over $400 a piece. On average I spend $30-$45 a week in parking for appointments. This is a huge expense that most people don't realize. We have one credit card, right now it's maxed out at $1500 for just parking dues. It's crazy.

Our family can't thank you enough for helping. Complete strangers helping my family, it just amazes me. When everyone around us has left, complete strangers have picked us up, encouraged and now want to help support us. It's.Truly.Deeply.Amazing.
Warm Regards, 
The Sears Family
Twitter: DanaSearsFam

So, how can YOU help? SIMPLE.

1) Head on over to Bonnie’s Bows and make a purchase.  Twenty percent of her sales will go to Dana’s family.


2) You can go directly to Dana’s blog and make a donation through PayPal. There is a donate button on the right hand side of the page.


3) Spread the word.  If you blog- steal as much of this as you want and re-post. Twitter? Link us up! Facebook, Myspace, Message Boards- we will take any advertising we can get!

In this season of gratitude and giving, please consider helping this family out in any of the above mentioned ways.  Anything is appreciated! 

‘Tis the Season

W.O.W.!  Have you seen the selection for Christmas cards and invitations over at Shutterfly? And there are some really unique ones! Let’s take a look, shall we?

I like this one just because it’s pretty without being too girly.  Living in a house of testosterone, I look for things that meet that criteria. Love the colors. Love the simplicity.  And I totally have a picture of the boys that would go great there.  I found this one here.


The story cards are INGENIUS!  I love getting caught up on my friends and families lives, but sometimes those Christmas newsletters are just a little too long. These story cards solve that problem.  Hit the highlights of what happened during the year without giving every single detail.  LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. this one.


And who doesn’t love a party? Shutterfly has a great selection of invitations. If I was having bunco at my house in December, I would be all about this cookie swap invitation.  Who doesn’t love cookies, right?

Cookie swap

My choice for a card for my family would be this one.  I love the short, sweet updates you can put on it, but, most of all, I love the colors!


Go take a look for yourself at the traditional Christmas cards, the story cards, the Thanksgiving cards, and the holiday party invitations that Shutterfly offers. They really do have a plethora of choices.


If you are a fellow blogger and would like to receive 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly, go here. Clever 1000 is the referral source I used.

Moms: Let’s Stop Judging Each Other!

After reading this post over at the Heir to Blair my heart went out to her.  You see, I’ve been there—a work-outside-of-the-home mom. And it’s though. Really tough. I totally get the guilt and frustration it can cause.  I also get how exhausted you are at the end of the day.  But I also think I have a unique perspective because while I was a work-outside-of-the-home for 3 years, I am now a stay-at-home-mom. (Do I sub one day a week, but that’s just for my sanity and because my MIL wanted to watch the boys one day a week still—perfection!) I am lucky to have such a great gig. Incredibly L.U.C.K.Y.  As a mom who has been in both positions, I will just say each has their pros and cons and leave it at that for now.

Here’s what killed me, absolutely KILLED me about Blair’s post. It was the comments. The judgmental ones. I kills me that we moms judge each other so much. Now granted some of the comments could have been from people who do not have children, and let’s be honest, they have no clue what they are talking about and I can dismiss those.  But some of the commenters where very specific about having children, so we know they are moms (or maybe dads). And some of the things those moms or dads said…Oh my. The GALL of some people. 

Here’s an example:

I’m just curious about something here. Why isn’t you not working an option (I know, kinda personal, maybe you make more money than your hubby). But the work seems to be at the base of every problem you complain about. So quit. You don’t NEED the double income, no one NEEDS two incomes in a family. You just want one so you can keep buying pretty shoes and trendy hair bands, keeping your kid in the coolest clothes, and your hubby with the newest golf clubs. Life is about finding balance, and learning what is most important to you. You say it’s time with your kid, so than spend time with the kid.

Two things that got my feathers ruffled here.

1) Really? You don’t NEED two incomes? WHAT? You don’t know the financial situation of other families.  A lot of families out there can’t survive on one income, especially in this economy.  And they DO NEED two incomes to make ends meet. And they should be made to feel guilty about that.  Yes, we are now a one income family. BUT we are doing A LOT of scrimping , pinching pennies, and rearranging of expenses. We are sacrificing quite a bit to make it happen. And? Here’s the other thing.  I am a teacher, so once the boys both get into school, I will go back to work full-time. It’ll be a perfect situation again—on the same schedule as the boys.  But some, no most, moms don’t have that luxury. Their careers aren’t so mom-friendly.  And you know what? At that point my family will NEED the two incomes because you know what we aren’t able to do right now on one income? Save for college. 

2) Apparently this whole comment isn’t even true, but even if it was, who cares? It’s none of your business why moms work.  If they choose to work or if they have to work—not your concern folks.  Priorities are different for everyone.  Some people might work because they want to be able to take their families on nice vacations. Well, I can’t fault them for that.  Think of the value of the cultural  experiences, think of what you learn by visiting national parks. Honestly, I have big plans for vacations I want to take the boys on. That’s another reason I’ll be going back to work when they get in school. And some moms might work to give their kids nice things.  And if that’s what they want, then more power to them.  And? I’ll just say it. Some moms are not cut out to stay at home and, likewise, some are not cut out to work outside of the home.  Love, love, love my boys, but I couldn’t get out of the house to sub fast enough today. They were driving me batty.  I need this one day away to keep my sanity. Some moms may not need to work for the money, but they might need to for the sanity.  I get that, and, even if I didn’t get it, not my place to judge.

Another example of a comment that made my blood pressure boil:

Blair has blogged about at least two weekends away without Harrison since he was born. I (and most moms I know) have had exactly zero weekends away from my baby at almost a year old; I already have very limited time with my daughter and I cherish what I do have. I would miss her if I went away.
Then again, I didn’t have the severe PPD/PPA issues, which I imagine would make you want to escape in a bad way so that’s a different situation that I don’t claim to understand.

Wait a minute. Hold the phone. Did this person really just insinuate that you have post partum issues to need time away from your kids? I can imagine that MAYBE, just MAYBE that might exacerbate the situation (and I am totally speculating here) but what mom out there can’t say she needs some time to herself? If you raised your hand, you are LYING. I’m just going to go ahead and call you on it. We all not only WANT some me time, but we NEED it as well. In fact I’ll just go out on a limb and say that I’m a better mom & wife when I get my me time. And how dare we judge moms who leave their kids for an evening to go out for some girl time. Or on a date with their husbands. Or whatever they need  to do to have some time for themselves. And if a mom takes a weekend away to go to a conference, or a scrapbooking retreat, or a shopping trip once in a while, well, that’s her prerogative. More power to her. Heck, my husband & I have been known to take vacations without the boys. GASP! Judge if you want, but it has, dare I say, saved our marriage. We all love our kids, but sometimes we moms and dads need a break, yes?

My bottom line? This motherhood gig is hard enough no matter which side of the working fence you are on.  We mommas need to be supporting each other, not tearing each other down.  So the next time a mom is doing something you wouldn’t dream of, try to remember, you are doing something with your family & kids that another mom wouldn’t dream of. We are all different.  Need different things. Want different things. Have different priorities. And just like with a society, shouldn’t we embrace our differences?

Fantastic Friday—10/29

What an awesome week I’ve had! A-W-E-S-O-M-E.

1) I really did finally get back on the horse with my running and eating.  I’ve been half a$$ing it for a few weeks now and had gained 2 pounds.  This week I was finally able to drop them. AND I MADE A BREAKTHROUGH DECISION!

2) Hubs and I went to the Thunder season opener game on Wednesday. So much fun! I forgot how much I love basketball season. The game was exciting; we played the Bulls, and the score was close the entire game.  We finally were able to pull ahead in the last 3 or 4 minutes and won our first season opener.

3) Bunco was last night.  I play with several ladies I used to teach with, & they are such a fun, amazing group of women. Oh, & Lady Gaga, Marilyn, & a penguin showed up to play last night. (More on that in a later post. I know. I know. I’m leaving you hangin’.) 

4) I got to hang out with my girl, Louise, last Friday night.  It had been awhile since it was just she and I out together sans husbands and kids.  We went to The Melting Pot for some chocolate. What better way to send some girl time, right? The best part? I got a good Thelma & Louise story out of the night! Again, that’ll be for another post, BUT here’s a little reminder to tide you over.

5) Although I know it is still a work in progress, I feel that I am FINALLY starting to find a good balance in playing with my boys & being a domestic goddess (okay so maybe that’s a wee bit of an exaggeration) in this crazy, chaotic, awesome SAHM life. This past week, I was able to keep my house at a point where I was comfortable with it. If someone where to show up unannounced, I’d have been fine inviting them in.

6) This week I have been a blogging goddess. No really. I mean that this time. I blogged all week—except for yesterday. And for me that is incredible. When I get in over my head with the house, the boys, and running, this is the thing that gets taken off my plate. BUT, like I said above, I am finding that balance. I am figuring out how to get the housework, the playtime, the writing, the socializing, the family time all into one day. Some days (like yesterday) something has to give, but, at least this week, I did something right.

I’d love to hear about the good that happened in your week! Leave some comments & let us know what you are grateful for in your week.

Wordless Wednesday 10/27

The east side of Cozumel that a lot of visitors don’t see. I highly recommend taking the drive around the island if you are there. B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!


Say No to Double Strollers!*

double stroller (*Not THIS particular double stroller, just double strollers in general.)

Today was the last straw.  I will quit running before I run with the boys in the double stroller again anytime soon. What’s that you ask? You want to know why? Well, let me just give you my two (Yes there are only 2) reasons I’m going on this little strike.

1) It is an absolute mad house zoo three-ring circus getting all three of us ready to go.

I have to wrangle the boys, get them dressed, get socks & shoes put on them, get my contacts in, put my running clothes & shoes on,  pour sippies of something to drink, pack a snack for the boys, grab the blankies, grab some small toys, put jackets on the boys, open the garage and push the double stroller out, close the garage, grab all the above mentioned crap, shoo the boys out the door, grab my keys and iPhone, get the boys buckled into the stroller, hand out all their “goodies”, get my headphones in ears, turn on the iPod, and start my Joglog.

Fun, eh?

2) Getting them to sit still and just enjoy the ride AT THE SAME TIME is next to impossible.

I am still at the point that running is a challenge for me. I can usually run 2 or 2.5 miles and consider it an easy run. BUT I need to focus, concentrate on breathing correctly. NOT GONNA HAPPEN WITH THE MUNCHKINS. EVER. This is my 2 mile run on a typical day.

9:00—Start running (Goes pretty smoothly until the snack is gone.)

9:13—Help 17mo find his sippy cup

9:15—Pick up said sippy cup out of the street 17mo threw it into & put it in the cup holder with me so he can’t throw it again.

9:15-9:23—17mo throws a fit for the sippy cup.

9:23—17mo finds his blankie & all is well with the world.

9:25—3yo asks me the 3,564th question since we began the run. I answer the question only to get the 3,565th question of the run. 

9:26—Turn the iPod up to tune out the incessant question asking by the 3yo. (Yes, I do this & I don’t care if you think it is mean. You aren’t there. You don’t know. And the questions are NEVER important. And I can still hear him if by some chance is ever was important. He just thinks I can’t hear him.)

9:29—Tell 3yo to stop messing with his brother.

9:30—Tell 3yo to stop messing with his brother in a stronger tone.

9:31—Stop my run, look into 3yo’s eyes, and tell him to stop messing with his brother or we aren’t playing outside when we get home.

9:35—Stop my run to pick up the train 17mo has thrown in the street.

9:41—Again with the questions

9:44—17mo hits 3yo—crying ensues

9:46—Return home vowing to NEVER run with the boys again.

So, be honest. Do you blame me? My new plan is to go on my runs as soon as my husband gets home from work. Ahhh, nice, peaceful runs. The absolute bliss.

Sleep: I Need It

Picture it. You’re all snuggly in your bed. You’re sleeping so soundly you have a drool spot on you pillow. (Gross? Maybe Satisfying? Definitely.)  The window is open so you can hear the storm rolling outside. You you are dreaming the BEST dream you have ever had, and it is gettin’ good.

Cue the 17 month old. Screaming. Bloody murder. You wake up and look at the clock. It’s 2:00. IN THE MORNING. You’ve only been asleep since 11:30. You get up, stumble into his room, change his diaper, and determine his tooth must finally be coming through.  You go ahead and take him into the living room, give him some ibuprofen, and—what else?—watch a Blue’s Clues so the medicine can kick in. Finally you get him back in bed, and you go crawl back into your warm, cozy snuggly bed. It’s 2:30.

Cue the 3-year-old. Up and down for the next TWO HOURS. He has to go to the bathroom. He has to put a bath toy he found in his room back in the bathtub. (WHY???) He needs a drink of water. You get up with him no less than 3 times. Finally you get back to sleep somewhere in the neighborhood of 4:30.

And then, per the norm, the 17 month old is awake for good at 5:15.

This has been my life the past three nights. Not all three nights have been this bad (This was the first of the three & by far the worst.) I mean, come on. I feel like I have a newborn again—in a fog and running on autopilot. Sure I am used to getting up at 5:30 or 6:00 everyday courtesy of the younger little man, but really? What is up? Shouldn’t my 17 month old be sleeping better by now? (My 3-year-old is BY FAR my better sleeper.  This particular night was so out-of-character for him.) I have tried putting the littler one to bed later. Still gets up at 5:30. So, I out him to bed earlier. Still up at 5:30. Limit his naps during the day. Hello 5:30. Let him sleep the day away. You guessed it. 5:30. So, my next plan of attack? Back to baby basics. Get him back on a schedule. Starting tomorrow. At 5:30 AM.

Do you other mommas have any words of wisdom? How do I get this kids to sleep later? 

Splish Splash!

splash park

We discovered this splash park near our house late this past summer when our air conditioner was on the fritz. We spent just about every afternoon there that week because that’s how long it took the AC people to get out to our house. The boys LOVED it! (Well, it took the 16 month old a bit to warm up to it, but he loved it after a few minutes.) It was a great place for them to cool off from the 100 degree temperatures. As soon as the splash park opens again Memorial Day weekend, I’m sure we’ll be there.

5 Years & Many More to Come

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Today my husband & I celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary; it feels kind of like a small milestone.When I decided I was going to write this anniversary post, I had trouble deciding between writing about our actual wedding or writing about our actual marriage.  I decided on the latter.   Too often I think people go into marriages thinking it will be a piece of cake. That everyday is going to be full of honey and sweetie and sugar pie.  That the hot passion will last forever. And please don’t get me wrong.  Some days are like that; sweet, kind, passionate. But it’s rarely like that ALL day, EVERYday. Because, you know, real life happens.  Kids, careers, merging two families, creating a home.  So here are a few “lessons” I have learned in the past five years. (I can’t speak for my husband, but I’d venture to guess he has learned a few of the same things too.)

In the case of my husband and I, we are both first borns  (i.e. stubborn) and we were older when we got married (i.e. set in our ways), so you can imagine how much we can butt heads some days.  The words, “You know you don’t always have to be right!” have come out of both of our mouths on more than one occasion. We have learned to fight (Yes, we fight. You’re shocked I know!) in a way that works for us. I have continually discovered through these past five years just how important it really is to know your partner’s “fightin’ style”.

I know this isn’t a new concept; that you have all heard “experts” say this, but I am here as a non-expert to say it is OH. SO. TRUE.  You have to make time for date nights & time for each other. When hubs and I have a few days in a row that aren’t just peachy-keen, one of us will realize it has been a few weeks since we had time just us. Ideally, we try to have date nights at least twice a month. (This doesn’t always happen.)  But they really do rekindle & refresh us.  And these date nights are all well and good, but want to know the secret that I think really works for us? We go on a vacation every year sans kiddos—yes you read that right. EVERY YEAR.  And while we miss our boys like crazy (I almost cried when we boarded the plane this year—ALMOST I said), we find we reconnect on so many levels while we are away.  We are reminded that the most important thing we can give each other and our boys is a strong, loving relationship between us. And while being the best parents we can be is so very important, being the best wife/husband might be even more so.  Because, let’s face it, the boys will leave this house eventually, and it will be just my husband & I living here. I want that day to come and be looking at my best friend not a total stranger. My point is I’ve learned it’s important to make time for you as a couple.

Another lesson I’ve learned? I feel closer to my husband when we do activities together. Sounds weird right? Let me give you an example.  We are both divers.  There is nothing we enjoy more than diving together.  There’s just something about experiencing something together that not everyone sees that makes me fell close to him.  And the conversations about the dives last way past the dive itself. Heck, we still talk about the dive when my husband touched a shark at least once a month.  Other activities we enjoy together?  bike riding and following our local NBA team.  Simple things.

The most important thing I’ve learned is that for my husband and I both is to know we each have the others’ back; that we are on each others’ side. And I am going to leave that one just that simple.

So, that’s my wisdom I have to impart on you. Please don’t read this and I think that I think we have it all figured out. Because I don’t. We are still learning daily, but I do feel like we are pretty good at some things. That’s ok, right?   No matter how long you’ve been married, I believe you always are learning new things. What have you learned in your marriage?

Jack-O-Lantern: McMelon

We have a new member of the family: our jack-o-lantern. The other night we were all outside playing, and E asked his daddy if they could make a jack-o-lantern. So, my husband dropped his workout, and they got started.


Once the face was drawn on and the top cut open, it was time to clean out the pumpkin, E got grossed out and went to ride his bike. So much for the father-son bonding time (not to mention the workout that daddy dropped).


When E did grace us with his presence, getting him to pick up the stem was about the only touching of the pumpkin we could convince him to do. 


Of course daddy would have had to do the carving part by himself anyway.


We thought he turned out well.  E is so proud of him that I think he thinks he carved the jack-o-lantern himself. And we’ll just let him think that cause, well, he’s 3 and what’s it going to hurt? But I know the day is coming when E will carve a pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern all by himself & not get bored or grossed out because, you know, time flies.

A Little Hike

These are my boys in action this summer.  We were at the Grand Canyon. this was right after we had a picnic lunch; they took off with their daddy on an exploration. I didn’t realize how closely their close matched until my husband showed me this picture.  Love that each of them have a foot off the ground.  Yep, this picture pretty much depicts my life—always on the move!

Fantastic Friday 10/8

Still love this idea.  My goal is to do a fantastic Friday post every week.  It really does make you realize what you have to be thankful for. And I’ve got a lot of gratitude to express for things that happened this week.

1.  We got the garage cleaned out! This bares repeating. WE GOT THE GARAGE CLEANED OUT! Finally put all of the baby stuff in the attic while we figure out if we’ll have a third child. And we got all of the boxes full of my “classroom” put away on selves or in the attic.

2. While cleaning out the garage and the attic, we re-discovered 12-18 month fall/winter clothes that my 1-year-old can now wear. AND we found 4T clothes friends & family passed down for my 3-year-old. Now we don’t have to spend money on clothes for the boys this season, which is awesome since we are still figuring out this one paycheck household thing.

3.  The stars aligned, & I got to sub yesterday. It looks like this will be the Thursday norm of me.  I’m thankful for this for a couple of reasons. 1) Though small, it is a little extra money for us. 2) It keeps me in the loop for when I go back to teaching in a few years.

4. I am thankful for my husband who wants me to be home with the boys as badly as I do.  He worked his rear off the past couple of days to figure out more ways we can cut expenses to give us a little more wiggle room every month.

5.  The scales are finally headed in the right direction again!  After two weeks of the numbers going up (Remember that vacation my husband & I took?) and then holding steady, I’m FINALLY down one more pound. Yay!

6.  It’s been a great week home with my boys, but the best part was Wednesday afternoon when my 3-year-old took a nap (That was a good thing, but that’s not where I was headed.) & woke up wanting to cuddle.  I got 30 minutes of cuddle time with my sweetie pie.

7. Thunder tickets came in the mail this week.  I am so excited for the season to start.  Going to really enjoy going to games this year because next year me might have to sell off several tickets.  No way we can afford season tickets with me staying at home.

8. Can’t believe I almost forgot his one, OU BEAT Texas! BOOMER SOONER!   

How was your week?  What happened that you are thankful for? Remember, sometimes it’s the little things. :)

Paradise Found











A Little Slice of Heaven


Putting It Out There

I know this is supposed to be “Wordless Wednesday”, but this photo needs a little explanation. I have been really working to lose weight for a little over a month now.  I posted about my plan of attack in July, but I didn’t hit it really hard until mid-August.  I have been running, lifting weights, and watching calories, and I have lost 13 pounds.  So, while this number is still about 35 pounds higher than my goal weight, I am proud of it for now.  My scales have not shown this number since before I got pregnant with my now 3 1/2 year old—so what? Over 4 years, right?At this rate I should be right around 130 (my goal) right around the new year. :)


Mexico Moments

This is a repost of one of the first stories I wrote for this blog.  I need to write about Thelma and Louise again soon.  But in the meantime, I thought some of you would enjoy reading this now that you have gotten to know us a bit better.


O.K. we have to admit, sometimes our funny stories roll out of the M-O-S-T embarrassing of situations; we are sure many of you girlfriends out there can relate. This particular running-to-the-bathroom-story is so embarrassing that we have made a pact with each other to never let out which one of us it happened to because, well, you will TOTALLY understand when you get to the end...

Let's just say there is a hotel cleaning lady in Mexico still cursing our names. It all started in 2003 with a trip we took to Ft. Lauderdale (There are some stories there too!) when we spent the week talking about going parasailing but never did. Once we arrived back home, we both regretted not taking advantage of the opportunity to fly high over the ocean. We promised each other and ourselves that if the moment ever presented itself again, we'd dive right in and not let it pass. Ok, jump ahead four years--a wedding and a child later. We, along with our husbands, finally took that trip to Mexico we had been talking about for years. Before we even left, we decided this was it; we were going to parasail over the Carribbean. How beautiful and tranquil, right? So, finally the last day of our trip we did it, and it was an experience neither of us will ever forget. EVER.

Nerves were building as our scheduled parasailing time crept closer and closer. One of us even tried to back out, but, true to our friendship, the other part of the duo twisted her arm and reminded her of the promise she'd made years ago and guilted her into holding up her end of the bargain. (You thought I was going to say something sweet about providing support and encouragement, didn't you? Yeah, that didn't happen.) Our husbands, being the supportive men they are--who are we kidding; they wanted ammo on us--bought a seat on the boat. So there we were, on the boat full of people who were also going parasailing. After the first person took his turn, we were up. The guide had told us each turn would last around 15 minutes, what sign to make to come down early, and that they'd try to bring us in so we'd land on the platform but there was a chance we'd end up in the water. Getting into the air was no problemo; it was smooth sailing (after all of the screaming and prayers on the way up). Our experience started off as we had envisioned--beautiful and tranquil--then it all went south in more ways than one.

We couldn't have been in the air for more than five minutes, maybe not even that long, when it hit--quite literally. Have you ever seen Sex in the City: The Movie? Remember Charolette's experience in Mexico where she did everything she could to avoid consuming any of the water only, when she accidentally did, she went running for the nearest toilet only to find herself unable to hold it any longer? Well, we are here to tell you, those "Mexico Moments (MM)" really happen, and this one happened to one of us 500 feet into the air! So, there we were in quite the predicament. The "accident victim" begged the other one of us to make the sign for an early landing and prayed we'd end up with an ocean landing (Who cares about the possibility of attracting fish and maybe even sharks? Landing in the water might at least give us the chance to get out of this situation with a little dignity). No such luck. We landed on the platform and were welcomed by questioning looks from our husbands. We did the only safe thing we could do in that situation; we said one of us was feeling sick. Now the trick was to get the boat to the dock and fast. The problem? There was still one person on the boat who hadn't had their turn not to mention the guides who's English was limited. At this point we can't even recall how the conversation went, but somehow we convinced the driver we need to get back to shore. And as luck would have it, a couple on the boat with us told us of a close bathroom once we got to the dock--the VIP lounge.

We both took off to the VIP lounge as soon as the boat got to the dock. I'm pretty sure neither of us had ever run that fast. We burst through the lounge and into the restroom. Let's just say there was no salvaging the bathing suit--never mind the HOURS it took to find that suit--so luckily she was wearing a cover up as well. And then another "MM" hit. She was in luck, right? We were in a restroom with a toilet right there. Well, if you have ever been to Mexico, you know the toilets don't flush like they do here. (At least this has been our experience.) So to make a long story short the toilet got stopped up. So there we were, one of us sick at this point, a toilet full of well, you know, and a RUINED bathing suit. What do you do in that situation? No amount of life experience could prepare you for this, right? Like any good girl would do, we PANICKED. (Here is where the bathing suit cover up came in handy since the swimsuit was now IN THE TOILET right along with--well, you know.) We ran out of the VIP lounge as fast as we could and across the resort to our rooms, where we stayed for the next three hours. We just knew somehow the hotel people would find the culprits.

Now we are sure you understand why we wish to keep this story anonymous. We promise this really happened; we couldn't make this story up if we tried.

Make Yourself at Home—Part 2

First it was a tour of my fridge and deep freeze.  Now, I invite you in to see my pantry (or pantries).  I don’t really have a pantry per se.  I’d kill to have a good sized pantry, but until we move I’ll just have to dream. (In my dream I also have an island in the kitchen, beautiful countertops, tile that does look dirty 5 minutes after I mop it, plush, cozy carpet, a big laundry room where I can actually do laundry, great, big walk-in closets, a huge, relaxing master bath, a bonus room for the boys play area, and a maid to clean it ALL. But I digress.)

So for now we have made this book self in the garage work for us.  It mainly is used to store our canned goods. We go through a significant amount of tomato sauce and paste, so we always stock up on that.  The boys like their fruit.  We’ve been buying a lot of fresh, but we like to keep some canned on hand in case we are out.  The ravioli is a quick, easy lunch when we are in a pinch.

Inside the house, I have a couple of sets of cabinets (Oh and a basket) I use for the rest of the pantry type foods. One set is above the microwave.  It has cereal, pop tarts, fiber one bars, oatmeal, & that kind of stuff in it. The Bisquick is now gone thanks to Elle the Heiress pigs in a blanket craving on Twitter the other night.  She had several of us craving them by the end of the night.

Another set of cabinets has our coffee, tea, jello, cake mixes, pastas, and such in them. Apparently I have Hamburger Helper.  I forgot that was even there. And it is almost cornbread weather! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE me some Jiffy corn muffin mix. I can’t make it better from scratch.


And we of course have a snack basket above our fridge. Don’t you to?  This is where we store the travel snacks.  You know?  The ones moms grab in case they need saving while running errands with the hellions monkeys children.  Goldfish crackers, animal crackers, graham crackers, regular crackers.  Are you seeing the theme here? We also keep our chips up in the basket too. Or sometimes they are beside the basket if it is overflowing, which it is right now.

That’s really it.  I think it’s pretty normal stuff that we have. Now let’s be nosey and see what Elle the Heiress and Katie over at Cleared for Takeoff  have in their pantries.  They are giving us a tour today too! But my real question is what’s in your pantry?  Care to show me around?

That’s What I Call Progress

Thought I’d write a weight loss update in case any of you are wondering how that’s going. Well, it’s going.  Slowly but surely.  Since I began trying to lose weight and get healthy back in May (I didn’t really hit it hard until the second week of August.), I have lost 12 pounds and am almost down one size.  But I am also building muscle—lifting weights, running.  I can see more of a difference than my scales portray. 

My arms are not nearly as flabby.  My waddle when I wave—you know what I am talking about—is smaller.  Now that it is getting cooler out, my arms are looking good for sleeveless shirts! I’m come to terms with the fact I will always have big thighs.  It’s something my family has passed on to me.  But I decided I would rather have big, muscular thighs than big, fat thighs.  The running has started making a HUGE difference in this already. 

I was surprised how quickly I was able to work up to running two miles.  I don’t do it very quickly and sometimes it isn’t pretty, but I can run just a little over 2 miles without stopping.  I don’t do this everyday.  Like today, I was lucky to get a mile in before I had to stop and walk for a bit.  I just wasn’t feeling it this morning.  Not sure whether it was the humidity or the constant multitasking between my run and my boys in the stroller.  Some runs are like that.  Then there are the mornings my husband (Who I am so thankful for.  He has been my biggest cheerleader through this process.) is home and I get to go for a run by myself.  Without kids. Without the monster stroller.  Now those are the mornings I really enjoy my run. Those are the mornings I can really push myself.

Now to really start focusing on my belly.  Oh my how that area of my body has been neglected.  I’ve always had a little pooch there and now, after two kids, Mamma Mia! I’ve been doing some Pilates and ab work, but I really think it’s time to kick it up a notch (or two or three).

So, yes, I have made progress. Quite a bit actually.  I have a ways to go yet, but this has been the best start on getting fit and healthy I’ve ever had. Wish me luck on the rest of this journey.

Fantastic Friday-9/3

I love this idea!  What a great way to look back at the week and remember the positive and be grateful. Thanks Cameron Crazy Mom and Elle the Heiress for turning me on to this FANTASTIC idea!

Great things that happened to me this week:

1. Got to go have a girls night out and play bunco with my much missed teacher friends last night.

2. Weighed yesterday morning and I am officially down to my pre-baby weight.

3. Having a date night with hubs tonight.

4. Looking like we probably will get my oldest into the school district I’d love for him to be in. (After camping out overnight.)

5. My boys are playing more and more together. It’s so much fun to hear them laughing with each other.

6.  I got my fridge and deep freeze cleaned out and organized!

7. My oldest is getting better and better at learning the “basics” of soccer. The whole family played in our street one evening.

Okay, I know there is more. Next week I’ll keep track as the week goes. :)  What made your week so fantastic?

Parenthood Craziness

This is crazy. I am sitting in a long line full of other people to try to get my 3-year-old into a school for NEXT year.  Yes, that’s right. The 2010-2011 school year.  My oldest will be going into Pre-K.  The craziest part of this is that I have been in line—technically my chair as been—since 9:00 last night.  I have been in the back of the Explorer tweeting, eating ice cream & sleeping (for a whole hour) up until now.  I am number 86 on the unofficial list to get my kid in here.   But I’m number 27 on the Pre-K  list. The people at the front of this line have been here for a week. Yes, a week. They have pitched tents and barbequed food.  I drove by here Friday night, and there was a smoker going in the parking lot.  The superintendent of this district even provided port-a-potties.  Craziness, no?

We won’t know for sure until May whether we are in or not. I’ve been told by the other parents out here who have done this before that being 27rd we have a pretty good shot. I’ll try not to get my hopes up though. We’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed until then.

Make Yourself at Home

Welcome to my fridge! Are you hungry?  Feel free to whip up dinner while you are here.  When I first heard of this idea for a blog post courtesy of Elle the Heiress, who got the idea from Katie over at Cleared for Takeoff, I thought it was a little kooky. (Check out Cameron Crazy Mom too.) I believe my first  thought was, ‘I wouldn’t want to show my cluttered fridge and freezer to the world. Why just the other day I was thinking about how I need to clean it out.  And don’t even get me started on the deep freeze.  I should really clean it out too.  I have no idea what all is in there.  I bet I’m wasting a ton of money buying food we don’t need because it’s hidden in the black hole.’ Okay so it was a rambling thought, but that’s what popped in my head.  BUT the more I pondered this idea, the more I thought what great incentive to get this chore I hate to do done.  So, here we go.  Mi casa es su casa.

First up: the deep freeze.  WARNING: IF YOU ARE A VEGETARIAN YOU WILL NOT LIKE THIS PART.  YOU WILL QUICKLY SEE WE LIKE OUR MEAT. We are the stock-up-while-it’s-on-sale kind of people. And you’ll see that when we stock up, we stock up.

1Deep Freeze copy

Before the Clean-out :

2 deep freeze open copy

After the Clean-out :

4 df3 DF 

This is a collage if the goodies in the nooks and crannies. We have enough mozzarella cheese to make pizza for the entire neighborhood.  (This is why I need to do this little project.) We also have a ton of steak; it was on sale a couple of weeks ago. That deli cheese in the middle there on the left is THE BOMB. We get it at a place on the way to Branson.  We’ll stop to eat at Lamberts, and then we go buy cheese while we wait on our table. In the middle are the pre-made meals—some by me and some store bought. Some nights you just need something EASY, you know? With the buns and bread, I have banana breads and Amish Friendship breads I made and froze for later. My husband smokes the best ribs, so we have four racks of those. And the crown jewel of the deep freeze? The Blue and Gold Sausage.  This is made in Oklahoma and is BY FAR the best sausage around. In addition to all of this, we are stocked up on chicken, pork chops, and ground beef.  There are a couple of roasts in there and a pork roast too.  Should we not be able to leave our house for some reason, no one worry about us going hungry. I think we’ll be just fine. (as long as we don’t lose power.)

3 Deep Freeze

Next up let’s journey back into the house to the fridge.  I know there are all kinds of goodies in there.  Meet my fridge. (Sorry these pictures are the best.  I had to do this project quickly while my 1-year-old was sleeping, so I grabbed the first camera I could find, which was my iPhone and got moving.)

front of fridge copy front of fridge 2

After I finished organizing the inside of the fridge, I cleaned the outside.  Here is the reality of what it looks like now. I think it’s a nice compromise of the above two pictures. Because, let’s face it, I gotta entertain the boys while a cook, and they love the magnet toys. Oh, and I have since found the M, so my boys will only have 3 letters they don’t know. The collection of magnets on the side of the fridge are from various places we have traveled.  The little measuring cup on the front is my lifesaver.  it contains all kinds off cooking helps. Substitutions, equivalent measures, those type of things.

outside of fridge

And now on to the inside of this monster. Yes, this is going to be a long post.  Go grab a drink and some popcorn. Maybe take a potty break if you need to. And then come on back and settle in again. Go ahead, I’ll wait for you…

Okay, are you back?  Here’s the inside of this bad boy. And, yes, these are after I did a little cleaning and organizing.

inside of fridge

Oh my.  The left side of that picture is way blurry.  No need to fret! I have some close ups! Let’s take a closer look at what my family is eating.

                   fridge door 1 inside of fridge 2

We have two open bottles of ketchups and 2 open jars of mayo because we went on vacation and had to buy more.  Those then got brought home and added to our fridge. I have no idea why we have 3 bottles of open BBQ sauce. None. My 3-year-old would not survive this life without his strawberry milk.  We never run out of this. We are trying to eat healthier, which explains the many bottles of salad dressing.  Most of it is light. (A quick apology here to my Dad who works for Borden. Sorry about the milk.  The boys where in meltdown mode, and I wasn’t making another stop. I know you understand.) Of all of that yogurt, we have three left in the fridge as I type this. My boys eat at least one a day and usually more. Oh, and the homemade jarred stuff? Most of it is courtesy of my mother-in-law and my grandmother-in-law. Just wanted to give credit where it is due.




  taco saucevpotatoes

Almost finished.  Only have the freezer left. This is the one place that I really needed to throw some things out.  There was a lot hiding in there. This is what I pulled out of the freezer. Crazy huh?

IMG_0549And here it is all cleaned out and pretty: 


I was excited to see that we had more fish and seafood than I thought we did. Those Whips yogurts make great little low cal treats when frozen.  I found the pecans, almonds, and walnuts I thought had disappeared.

         freezer2 freezer3

frozen treat butter



Now tell me how in the world that crayon got on the top self  in the door of the freezer.

And just as I was finishing all of the cleaning and organizing, my toddler woke up from his nap.  He helped me finish the job.


Your turn.  What’s in your fridge and freezer?