Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ho Ho's Lap

We didn't think last year was the right timing for Cindy Lou Who to see Santa. She was only 11 months old and still wasn't real sure of people other than her family. Let alone a big fat man in a red suit with a white beard. So passing up last year, we decided after a very successful trip to Disney and Halloween at The Zoo with all the characters she saw and loved there, this year was her year. She calls him Ho Ho. All the (45 minute usually takes 25) way to the mall she said, "Ho Ho's lap." Yes you are going to sit on Ho Ho's lap. She smiled. As if the 45 minute ride to the mall wasn't enough, how about the 45 minute wait to see Ho Ho? Oh the things we do for our kids. She waited very mostly patiently. When it was almost our turn, she did sit down on her knees and wait for the family in front of us to finish their visit with Santa. When it was finally her turn, she stood up, brushed herself off, and straightened her shirt. Gotta look good for the Big Man right? She walked right up to him, held up her arms to be picked up and just sat there. She looked at the other kids in line, looked ahead at the camera lady (but wasn't too thrilled with the jingle bells or squeaky duck used in a failed attempt to get her to smile), looked at Ho Ho and then decided it was time to get down. She didn't smile. Not once. So this picture is better than the one of myself at her age with Santa.
See. Told ya. It also looks like Santa's picked up a few pounds since 1980.
Okay, this post is two fold for me. I follow the McFamily over at Jennifer, the author of the blog takes wonderful photographs, edits them using Lightroom 2, and shares the finished product with all of us. She is also kind enough to share some of her editing tips/secrets so we too can get the "perfect" picture. As part of the holiday season she is giving away a copy of Lightroom 2 on her blog. So head on over, check out the McFamily, and see what she's all about!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Just Dance or Toot Your Own Horn

(Click Photo to Enlarge)

Around here that is about all we seem to do anymore! Thing 1 is super busy with dance practices preparing for an upcoming competition. She also has her studio class that meets twice a week... on the same days as after school practice, plus one private practice to fine tune it all. I love it. This is what being a mom (not a mother) is all about. Mothering is the loving, nurturing, taking care of side of things. A mom is on the sidelines cheering you on, laughing along side you, and being a friend. My kids are far from grown, but this is a wonderful season of our lives where I can enjoy them more and watch them grow instead of helping them grow up. Thing 2 had his first band concert this week. For a group of 11 year old kids who have no prior experience other than the first 2.5 months of school they did great. Thing 2 plays the French Horn. He enjoys it because it was his choice. We did not steer him in any certain direction of what to play. He has music influences around the house and it was nice to see him make his own choice. I look forward to his progress throughout the year.

I enjoy watching performances that showcase all the hard work my kids have put in. It makes me smile and warms my heart. This is only the beginning.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

Vacation Highlights Vol. 1

No help
Originally uploaded by rhondaburkhalter

We spent Monday of our vacation relaxing in the pool and catching our breath after a busy day of travel on Sunday. Tuesday we were beach bound! I personally do not enjoy the beach. The sand sticks to everything, the water is full of wildlife and salt, and there is no escaping the blazing sun. I did enjoy it as a child, but I guess that is before I realized what a mess it was. I was excited for Cindy Lou Who's first trip. I knew that she would enjoy it very much. She loves to be outdoors and explore new things. I would have much more enjoyed an early start instead of being in the heat of the day, but we made it work. I captured some great moments that we'll be able to share with her when she is older. For example, while digging in the sand with Daddy, she thought the sand looked yummy enough to eat. So she scooped up a big handful and shoved it in her mouth. The faces that I caught in pictures after that are priceless. A little while later she lost her balance at the shore line and a little wave knocked her down. Mmmmmm, salt water. So with a little grit of sand and some sting of salt Cindy Lou Who got her first taste of the beach.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Only 1

Only one post for July? Really? None for August. Really? Wow. Sorry about that! The summer was super busy and I found it so difficult to sit down at the computer. A couple of other things contributed to my absence. Our computer ran out of memory, so I could not upload any of the pictures I had taken of our activities. Very frustrating. July 31st, 2009 was my official last day in the business world. My new business consist of breakfast, playtime, snack, more playtime, lunch, nap time, afternoon snack, and more playtime. I quit my job and now get to enjoy my daughter. It was a life change for our family that had to be done. I was growing more depressed every day about not being able to enjoy her and raise her. I was feeling guilty each morning as I dropped her off. So, it had to be done. I couldn't be happier. Staying at home with her (and watching a little boy to supplement John's income) does not leave any free time for blogging. At nap time I am busy picking up toys and sitting down to eat my lunch. Then the afternoon brings kids home from school, fixing dinner, homework, dance practices, baseball games, and bath/bedtimes. After all that, I fall onto the sofa and relax before dragging myself to bed to start all over again. I'm drained and haven't had the energy to think or blog. I am on my 3rd day of vacation and with Cindy Lou Who peacefully sleeping in the Pack-N-Play next to me, I blog. We are in Florida visiting John's Dad and Step-Mom (my in-laws would be the short version of that explanation). We left Louisville very early Sunday morning. Cindy Lou Who's first plane ride. She did extremely well on the flight from Louisville to Atlanta. The flight wasn't booked so we were able to use her car seat and all 3 of us sit together. She is under 2 years old and doesn't officially require a ticket, so we didn't buy her one. Which means we take the chance of having to hold her in our laps during the flight if there are no extra seats. Such was the case on our connecting flight from Atlanta to Orlando. This flight did not go so well. It was booked. Every seat taken. So we took a deep breath and crossed our fingers that she would do well. That deep breath was let out in several heavy sighs of frustration. #1, the flight crew was late getting off another flight which delayed us taking off. #2, because of their delay we had to be worked into the other departing flights taxiing. #3, we sat on the run way in "traffic" for a good 30 minutes while flight after flight departed ahead of us. #4, Madison was well past her nap time at this point and well past her tolerance of sitting still. She screamed towards the end of the flight for only a few minutes, but all the time before that she did not sit still one moment. She squirmed between John and I. Back and forth. None of the items we brought for her distraction she cared anything about. Not one thing worked. I don't "fly" well. I hate airplanes. Claustrophobic. Add to that some heavy turbulence on the way and a crazy baby in your lap. Not fun for me. After we arrived in Orlando, we had a 2.5 hour drive to the in-laws condo. Thank goodness his dad was driving. I was beat. Cindy Lou Who was too, so we slept. I'll do an entire vacation post and continue on with our experiences. I just wanted to update while I had the chance and was in the mood to do so. Oh! That pesky problem with our computer running out of memory because of all my pictures was solved with the purchase of an external hard drive. Once we arrive back home, I'll have pictures to add and update some more.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Daddy's Vest

So this picture is from April. Yeah, I know its July, practically August. I was just sorting through my photos updating and uploading and came across this one. Cindy Lou Who was 15 months old here. Now she is *sigh* almost 19 months old. She has cut more teeth and is starting to say more words. She uses her signs for "please", "help", and "more" quite often. It is amazing watching her grow and learn new things. I have much more to update, but thought that I would show some sign of life!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Birthday Fun

We love amusement parks. Actually, we love the Roller Coasters in amusement parks. So for Thing 1 and Thing 2's birthday this year, we thought a fun-filled day at Kings Island would do the trick. For Christmas I purchased season passes for our family of five four. Cindy Lou Who does not need one- she's Free. We did not take her however. This was a day for the people above 56" inches. I barely make it. She was not left out. She had her own party to attend. Miss J is turning 2 Friday and so the party was this past weekend. Kind of hard to compete with 4th of July.

Kings Island is very special to John and I. It was on our first trip there together that he slyly started the conversation about getting married. I don't remember how we got into the conversation about my back pack exactly, but that is the lead in that started it all. You see, my LL Bean back pack that I had for college has my initials monogrammed on it. At the time they were RMB. This was in July 2001. He made the mention that when (not if) we get married, I wouldn't have to worry about my initials being incorrect. His last name begins with a 'B' also, which is now my last name too.

Moving right along with our day! Our first priority was to ride the new coaster I'd been hearing about since summer 2008. When John and I were there last summer, we saw some construction being done near one of our favorite rides, but no signs indicating what was coming. When we got home from that trip, I signed up for the newsletter to be aware of upcoming events. Shortly after that, I received an e-mail with the news of what we had seen. A new roller coaster! Oooooh I was super excited! There was even a video of what it looked like and the course it would take. I really hate waiting for stuff. I am very impatient. April 2009 and here I am in September 2008. Well, at least I had something to look forward to. So off we went (and quickly) to the newest addition to the park.

PS. I hate cannot stand SNAKES (even on TV or pictures)

We had a wonderful, fun-filled day with Thing 1 and Thing 2. They are growing up faster than I can keep up and I enjoyed spending the day with my Big Kids. There are lots more pictures that you can see here of our great day! Our next trip will include Cindy Lou Who as we take on the water park. That is an entire day all by itself.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hot Topic Tuesday

Jon & Kate file for divorce. June 22, 2009. I never would have imagined this is where they would be when I started watching the show. In the beginning, things were different for them. Jon still had a day job & they weren't making $75,000 an episode. Kate was at home day and night with 8 kids with little or no breaks (same as us Ordinary People, right?). Ask any Stay At Home Mom who has 2 or 3 kids and I'm sure you'll find that her days are not all sunshine & play dates. It is a very demanding and endless job. In the looking back episodes of Jon & Kate before kids, they were different people. We are all different people when courting/dating and in the first few years of marriage. I don't think Jon changed as drastically as Kate, but they were different. He is a laid-back, fun loving, take things as they come type. Kate was focused on school and her career, but still knew how to have fun. Jon is only 2 years older than myself. Becoming a parent at any age is difficult, but even more so when you are younger. When it is multiples it becomes even more challenging. I speak from experience. My twins will turn 11 tomorrow. The carefree days of hanging out with friends until all hours were over. While people my age were experiencing the college years, I was experiencing 3am feeding and diaper changes. While I did "go" to college and earn my degree, it sure wasn't the way I had imagined my life to be (then). So Jon & Kate are young parents to twins. Not so bad, it does get easier. Not the way things turned out for them. Instead of one more child, they got 6. Could you imagine how you would feel if your doctor told you/spouse that you were expecting 6 babies? Take your current living arrangement. Take your current finances. What would you do? A reduction wasn't an option for them. Their faith led them to that decision. So now what? You have 6 babies on the way and 2 already. You live in a condo/apartment built for your current family lifestyle. I don't care who you are, that's some serious pressure. Until those kids were born, no one had ever heard the name Gosselin. Even then, the first documentary done had no promise of fame & fortune. It was to be a glimpse into the life of a mother of multiples and her daily routine with so many small children. Kate did not seem as demanding or direct then. Through the years Kate stepped up to the responsibility while Jon longed for his carefree days. Kate had to take charge or her home would have been a zoo. She had to manage the house cleaning, the grocery bills, the cooking... all the while having 8 kids at your feet. Remember the episode when all the kids were sick and throwing up? It was hard enough when just 1 kid was sick for us while trying to care for the other, let alone having 8 kids sick at one time. In last nights episode, Jon commented that he let Kate rule the roost and now he is standing on his own two feet and is proud of himself. Good for you Jon. You are proud of the fact that instead of communicating with your wife your feelings, you let it build until you just can't take it anymore. Great job. Way to show her. Ugh. To me, Jon was clueless about what it really took to keep things running smoothly. He is the type of person that needs direction rather than being able to see what needs to be done and just doing it. There were many times that Kate reacted before she thought of the way it might sound. We have all done that. She just happened to be filmed while doing it. Also, the editors of the show get paid to make ratings increase. There has to be a person who we love to hate. Kate got pegged as that person. I am guilty of this. Not judging Kate, but of reacting without thinking. My mind moved on to the next thought before I've had time to finish the previous thought. It makes me good at multi-tasking. It doesn't always make the way I communicate come up roses. Lots of times I could see myself in her shoes saying some of those things. I get frustrated when I have to explain something that appears very obvious to me. It makes me a difficult wife, mother, and employee sometimes. Not all of the things she said to him or the places she chose to say them I agree with. When you are in a store with 8 kids and a camera crew, tensions are bound to run high. There isn't always time for a "Please honey." or a "Thank you dear." Facts don't come with chirping birds and butterflies. The real world isn't Mary Poppins. Guilty as charged. The problem is at the end of the day, she may not have apologized and he may have sat silent. If she did not realize or know that she said offended him, she would have no reason to apologize. If he did not speak up and say something about how she made him feel, that is his fault. They had a very serious communication break-down. I wonder if they continued their church going once the show really took off? A break down in the marriage with no help recharging your spiritual batteries will end up with the result we have. They took the deal with TLC to provide for their family. Without it the kids would have suffered. It seems as though they started with their hearts, values, and morals in the right place. That all took a back seat when they forgot about each other. Kate may have been right when she said, without the show the path may have ended the same. Having a family that size with the stress we all deal with may have proved too much. Who knows. All I know is, a family has fallen apart and all the world wants to do is criticize them. They BOTH made some poor decisions. None of which, at least to me, seem so damaging that a little work couldn't fix. Getting a divorce is the selfish way out. They took the vow of marriage - renewed those vows- and now that the worse part has shown up, they quit. They took God out of the marriage and put self in. Jon just wants to live the days he lost being a young parent of 8. Did you notice the double ear piercing and the flashy car? He is clearly the one with the issues. He's not having a mid-life crisis, but he is having an identity crisis. He doesn't want to be tied down or viewed as a dad. He just wants to spend time with his kids, but get his "life" back. He has no idea what he is giving up. PRO 15:27 A greedy man brings trouble to his family, but he who hates bribes will live.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Recital 2009

I am a picture taker. I love to take pictures of my kids doing stuff. Last year at Thing 1's dance recital I was a Room Mom. Room Mom's help the younger dancers with costume changes, keep them entertained while waiting, and basically baby-sit. Not a bad job, I enjoyed being with Thing 1. She had 2 costume changes last year. That also meant 2 hair style changes. No biggie, Momma was there. This year I was in the recital. I enrolled in an Adult Tap class in December at the same studio. I thought it would be a fun way to get some much needed exercise and Thing 1 would enjoy watching me too. Not once did I think about not being a Room Mom. I'm super Mom, I can do it ALL! Ummm, wrong answer. Thing 1 was in 3 numbers this year. The time difference between her 2 & 3 numbers and my dance did not allow for me to be there for her. Her ballet dance was way before mine so I was able to help her change from the ballet to the other costume and get her hair taken care of. That made me feel a little better. Then I had to rush back to my side of the stage and await our turn. The recital itself went fine. Thing 1's ballet class had a little formation problem and I forgot a few steps, but other than that we did great. Thing 1 and I both didn't perform until the second act. During intermission I saw my family (briefly) and tried to figure out what we were doing for supper. I was hungry! Thing 2 oh the wit that he is, thought now would be a moment for humor. "So Bubba, (which is his home nickname since oh BIRTH) what sounds good for supper?" "I don't know. I can guess what you are gonna be having though." A puzzled look for sure upon my face. "What's that?" "Hospital food cause of the leg you're gonna break... Old Lady!" He then proceeded to cackle and laugh. Now, I know he meant no disrespect. He teases me about age ALL the time. He knows I'm not old. I know I'm not old. Dear God please don't let 30 be old. He also did it because he was out of my arms reach. I was in the balcony and they were below me. I could have jumped from the balcony and landed on him in an awesome WWE form, but that surely would have resulted in that broken leg. So, if you are still with me, this all started about my love of picture taking. Last year I was able to take several good pictures at the dress rehearsal and the recital itself (after it was over). PLEASE NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY DURING THE PERFORMANCE. IT MAY CAUSE INJURY TO THE DANCERS... I got news for ya, the flash from a little ol' digital camera ain't nothing compared to those bright, white, hot, steam your face off bulbs on the stage. Anyway, we follow the rules and no pictures were taken during the performance. This year, after it was over, no pictures. I was tired. I had a bag packed full of costumes and make-up. and the kitchen sink. Our blended family was waiting patiently for us. My husband, my ex-husband, his wife, and Thing 2. Cindy Lou Who was at home with the babysitter. I didn't leave her anywhere! By the time we all got together in the lobby... it was 7:30. 30 minutes back to the home town = late supper. We ran home and picked up Cindy Lou Who. The babysitter had other plans for later, it was after all a Saturday night. She had been at our house since 2:30. We had to be at the auditorium by 3:15, so it was a long day.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Who needs a book when you've got one of these!

A relative who lives in another country and has amazing adventures! Meet my Aunt Vick.

(homemade treats in celebration of 1st of May. It's a holiday there.)

Vicki to some, Victoria at birth, and Visiona to others. She lives in Britzingen, Germany. In 1988, she packed up and headed across the sea to marry and continue her love for magic. Yup, I said magic. Growing up I remember Aunt Vick being Top Hat the Magic Clown. I will have to do some investigative work to find a picture of this! I liked to dress up in her old beauty pageant costumes and pretend to be her assistant. When she moved, I enjoyed writing her letters on my little blue typewriter. I even had a pen-pal in Germany thanks to her. I loved when the holidays would roll around. It always meant a special package from Aunt Vick filled with loads of German tasty treats! In 1993, when she got married, our family (The Lewis/Losson/Highfill Clan) all got to go over seas to Germany for 2 weeks! The first week was spent sight seeing and taking in all the beauty that Germany has to offer. The second week was spent on wedding preparations and the event itself. I wish I knew where those pictures were. I have a bad feeling that they are long gone, lost forever. Grandma Jane was the keeper of the pictures in our family. Every time we turned around there was a camera in our faces. "Ya'll get together right there." "Just one more, I wanna make sure." Had digital been around then we would have been in serious trouble! Little did I know then that I would long for those captured memories now. When Grandma passed in 2001, Papaw's & her farm were auctioned. All of her belongings distributed among her children... that's a whole story by itself.

"The years between 1989-1997 were filled with nothing but MAGIC. We lived above the magic business, spent most of our time in it, traveled the world to magic conventions and the only people we knew were either magicians or somehow related to magic. Besides Manfred’s annual magic convention that he hosted himself, he added new events to his magic calendar and hosted Magic Days and a Magic Auction." (taken from her own words & website)

She has her own website that details her journey from the United States to Germany and everything in between. She has a website for her current business of making magic silks. She has a website dedicated to her job of Visiona.

(Aunt Vick is a butterfly...really she's in there.)

Through out the years and all the traveling, she always keeps us up-to-date with wonderful stories and pictures. I love to get her e-mails and stories. Her writing is so descriptive that you can see everything taking place. The pictures are just a bonus. In addition to being a wonderful writer, she is very creative and crafty. She LOVES Halloween and has many American traditions that she's taken to Germany and shown them what it's all about. This Easter she created a paper mache Easter Bunny... life size. They even wrote an article in her local newspaper about it.

That's Chico laying next to the bunny. He is her dust mop baby! The most human like dog you'll ever meet. This is just a large example of her crafty ways. She does table settings, flower arrangements, and photography. I put a lot of links in this post so you could jump out and look at her websites if you like. For the most part they are in English. I received one of her storybook e-mails today and was inspired to dedicate a post to her. She really is a wonderful woman and it's a shame we live oceans apart. It is a great way to learn about another culture besides a history book. Go out and find yourself a pen-pal from another country. You might be suprised what you can learn (and teach).
Our goal for next year vacation is to go visit her (and my Uncle Manfred and human dog Chico). John has never been out of the country. I'm beginning to think he believes Florida is the only other state on the map in North America. It would be a wonderful experience for Madison too.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wacky Wednesday

I am crossing my fingers that I will have a chance to post some pictures tonight. I was playing with my camera last week and over the weekend and I'm dying to see the results. So what makes Wednesday so Wacky? Let me enlighten you. I have 3 children. Thing 1 and Thing 2 and Cindy Lou Who. Thing 1 takes dance lessons and has her (ahem OUR) recital coming up this Saturday. She is also devastating her poor mother going to be in Middle School this fall. Oh the joyous days of Middle School... I NEVER want to relive those days. High School, maybe. At any rate, with Middle School starts the "real" sports and teams. Elementary school goes by the, Give Every Kid A Chance philosophy. Which is good, don't get me wrong. It lets the kids see what they like and what they don't. I know that Thing 2 has changed his mind between: baseball, basketball, and football all several times. Thing 1 has been dancing for 4 years now and has the talent. God given talent. We all know these types and to most they make us sick. I am certainly not promoting her to my blog readers and puffing her up because I'm her mother. I do love her, but I do have the sense to tell my children if they are wasting their energy on something that may never be. I'm not advocating they give up on anything they dream to do... I'm just real with them. I'm 5'2" on a good day. I never aspired to be a model or play basketball. I live in reality. I know there are all sorts of people who are vertically challenged like me who do these things, but I'm not one of them. Okay, I've completely jumped track. I do that. Moving right along... Middle School Dance Team. She is trying out for the team. The preparation clinics were Monday and Tuesday. The try-out is TODAY. I am a nervous wreck. As I type this, she is there and dancing her heart out. Monday she had clinic, Thing 2 had a baseball game, Cindy Lou Who (16 months old) is being taken along for the ride. Tuesday... clinic until 5:30, dance class at 5:30 (obviously we were late), Thing 2 Boy Scouts, Thing 1 extra practice on dance team routine at fellow friend and try-outter until 9, Cindy Lou Who along for the ride. That brings us to Wednesday. Today. The culmination of talent and memory. She has 3 dances for Saturday stuck in her brain already and learned this one in 2 days! I hope know she can do it. Thursday will be our slowest day of the week. We have absolutely nothing going on. Friday is dress rehearsal at 5pm until 10pm. Ugh. I hate dress rehearsal night. The kids are all worn out by the time we do the solid run through and the parents and kids both are cranky & hungry. Then Saturday is our performance. This week would not normally be so crazy except that John's schedule got totally changed at work due to a remodel they are doing and he is working 11a-9p every day... I am not a SAHM (yet) and work from 9-5. So I am running around town like a crazy woman. Just pay no attention to the woman in the grey/silver (cause that's the only color it came in 2004) Honda van and just check to see if Cindy Lou Who is along for the ride.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Not Forgotten... Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week. But read mine first!

I have not forgotten about my blog. This is what happens when you have kids... they rule. By the time I sit down at my computer, nothing wants to come out of my brain worth blogging about. This weekend Madison woke-up at 4:20am Saturday morning SCREAMING. I would say crying, but that doesn't cover it. Having a fear that she had thrown up, I flipped on the light upon going into her room. I don't normally do that. Why would I have the feeling that she'd thrown up? I'm good like that. Actually, there was a stomach bug that took the school by storm and hit many of the teachers and kids. I was warned that 2 tots from her room went home early Friday with it. Turns out it was an airborne virus that spread very quickly. So as luck would have it, she got it. Poor thing was covered. I mean COVERED. Hair, pajamas, blankets, tag, sheet. Iceberg survived. So I ran the bath water and we got in. In the meantime, Daddy was taking care of the bed. He was startled from his sleep when a voice yelled into the baby monitor... "John! She's thrown up! Come help me!" It sits on his side of the bed. (Not Me!) Mean Mommy. He's in and out of the bathroom, where are the clean sheets? Where are more pajamas? Where are more blankets? You can tell who runs the house, right? Madi and I stayed in the tub long enough for Daddy to get everything changed out and back to normal. Fresh pajamas, fresh diaper, paci, and Iceberg. She laid back down no problem. As soon as I closed my eyes...more SCREAMING. Oh no. Not again. Time elapse, about 5 minutes. Repeat cycle. So at this point we stayed up with Madi. Well, we took shifts. We brought her out in the living room and put up her gate. I took my turn at sleeping on the couch while John entertained Madi. Once I woke-up, we switched. Eventually we brought her mattress from her bed to the living room floor. She crawled right up on it without prompting and fell asleep. No kidding. Once she woke-up she seemed to be feeling a little better. She went after the cracker box we had in the living room. Cheez-Its, White Cheddar. Mmmmmm Yummy. She had a few. Then about 30 minutes later, the Cheez-Its and the Pedilyte reappeared. This one required the carpet cleaner. That was at 1ish. My mom got home at 4 and brought Madi a banana from the kitchen. I just looked at her and said, "If she pukes it, you clean it." Who would think about talking to their mother that way! Certainly Not Me! I waited. And waited. Nothing. She kept it down. Then as if to tempt fate, mom brings in a bowl of yogurt. Seriously, yogurt? **sigh** Madi gobbles it down and again I wait. Much to my chagrin, nothing. Mind you I was not hoping my baby girl to throw it up and continue the cycle, more like Ha! I was right and you were wrong. Yeah, my best Not Me! moment of motherhood.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My Heart Goes Out...

I stumbled across this blog several months back. To have 3 healthy children, I could not imagine the amount of faith it would take to get through the heartache of having a child who may never grow up. These parents lost their little girl after 11 months. There are no words. Tears just started streaming down my face the moment I saw the post title in my reader. I knew she had gone home to be with God. I am thankful that she is not feeling pain any longer. I am thankful that there is an almighty Father in heaven who was there to welcome her home and make her well again.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day Part 1

This is the present that John put together for me. I don't think I'll ever hear another sigh when the camera comes out. If not for my constant picture taking madness... he wouldn't have these pictures of his baby girl.

Week 4... (a little late in posting)

(Taken 2 days into week 4)

Yup, that's right. I'm almost done with week 5 and just now getting around to posting Week 4 results. So without further ado, I lost another 2 lbs last Thursday. Woo Hoo! That puts me in double digits for weight loss. Awesome. For our group work-out (which we do on Thursday nights) our fearless leader decided we would do the Wii Fit. A video game for exercise! Yeah right. Like I'm gonna get anything out of this. Can I just go back to the Y? Let me be the first to tell you that I recant my previous statement! That was really a work-out and it was fun. Swiveled my hips for 6 minutes and 1,957 revolutions doing the hula-hoop exercise. You don't just stand there and pretend to hula-hoop. Nope. You've got Mii's throwing additional hula's at you that you have to lean and catch... and keep up with your original hoop! I must say that it was more challenging than I gave it credit for. It will be interesting to see what Denise comes up with this week. 2 weeks ago, she made an obstacle/relay course at our local park. That was fun! Pictures were taken, but not by me so I don't have them to post... yet.

I am not sure how this week will pan out. Friday was the Madi vs. Hair Spray Can incident (which I'll post about) so I ate emotionally for dinner. Not too bad, but not healthy either. Saturday was terrible! Well, not the entire day just dinner. I had an additional dance practice for recital in 2 weeks Saturday evening. John & Madi dropped me off, ran some errands and came back to get me. On the way home I said, "Wanna go to Sonic?" Dear hubby said, "Sounds great to me! I'm starving." Sonic, really? Does this sound like a healthy dinner to you? Nope. I did the best I could, after all it was my selection/suggestion. Good thing my lunch and breakfast weren't much... I had 930 cals and 35 g's of FAT! Wonderful. I won't even go into what we had for Mother's Day dinner... I don't even think there is a site for the cals/fat out there. Mother's Day post is also coming so you will see what I ate.

The good news in all of the bad food I ate over the weekend, is that it did not taste as yummy as it used to. The only meal that I ate in its entirety was dinner Saturday. I brought over half my dinner home last night (which I won't eat, but John will).

So, today is a new day and I'm back in the saddle so to speak. Work-out at the Y tonight per usual. Had my Special K for breakfast and my lean pocket for lunch. Just don't hold it against me if I break even or gain a pound this week.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Meet Iceberg. Iceberg is Madison's penguin friend. Press his hand and he plays the tune "Jingle Bell Rock". Iceberg was lovingly stuffed at Build-A-Bear workshop by Mommy & Daddy for Madi as a Christmas present. On Christmas morning, Madison was more interested in playing with Iceberg's Igloo than she was her new friend. All in due time. She wasn't even a year old yet. Rewind if you will back to January 9, 2008. This is Madi's birthday. John was making frequent runs between home and the hospital to tend to our pets. At some point during our hospital stay (5 days!) he ventured into the gift shop. He bought Madi her first penguin. This is where it started. The penguin was not just a stuffed animal. Nope. He was a Star Registry animal. Madi has her very own star named after her out in the cosmos.
So with that a star, err, I mean a penguin was born. Moving right along... we kept with the penguin theme for Halloween. It just seemed so cute and all since her first Daddy purchase was the stuffed penguin, why not dress her up as a penguin too! As luck would have it, Gymboree had a penguin costume for 2008 and I caught it on clearance. Even better.
Now we're up to Christmas and you've already met Iceberg. The entire purpose of this post was centered around the pajama's. A friend and fellow blogger from high school has a daughter who is 8 months older than Madison. When catching up on some reading, I saw a post of her daughter in these pajama's. Since that post was at Christmas and her daughter is now 2, I thought, Hey! Wonder if she still has those and would she be willing to sell them to me? I forwarded her a copy of the picture from her blog and as luck would have it, she still had them. Before I could offer to pony up some dough, she was asking for my mailing address and was ready to ship them out. As you can see, they fit wonderfully and Iceberg thinks they're nifty too.

Thanks again Kristin & daughter... (didn't get permission to use baby's name so I'm not gonna post it here!)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Week 3...

was a flop. When you don't put much into something, you can't expect a lot back in return. Well, I guess you could, but then you're just being delusional. This past week was rough. The first 2 weeks, the twins were at their dads so getting in my workouts and fixing dinner quick wasn't a problem. This was the first week of them being home. Friday, Shelby had her award banquet at school. Saturday I did manage to work out for an hour, though very unenthusiastic about it. Saturday afternoon was spent at the dance studio for pictures. 3 dances = 3 costumes + 3 individual pictures + 3 group pictures + 1 mommy in her costume & picture with daughter = long afternoon. Not to mention the dance bag fiasco. Sunday was much more laid back. Then the work/school week started and here we go! Picking up 3 kids from school (at different locations) going home trying to start supper right away was not happening. The twins wanted to play outside and with that Madi has to go too. I can't blame them! We had some beautiful days. So with no one to watch the baby outside, I go. Supper is not getting done this way. John gets home and takes over baby, but at that time it is already 6. No way am I getting out of the house at 6:30 when I haven't done anything regarding feeding my family. Tuesday is dance night for Shelby and I. So at least with that I get some cardio. Wednesday, just flat exhausted. Thursday morning is the weigh in. So I have learned a thing or two this past week in regards to making me time and just getting it done. Excuses are what got me here in the first place. I have this guilt of being away from my family and feeling selfish. I know deep down that I am improving my health which hopefully increases my chances of being around for my kids for a long time. Full-time job and Full-Time Mom need to find a balance. 1.4 lbs for the week was my number. Weight loss over 3 weeks... 9 lbs. I'm okay with this. It is a journey, not a race. My belt went down to the next notch and I tried on a pair of pants I haven't worn in 6 years. They fit. Week 4 will be better with regard to effort.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Family Fun

This weekend was the first one in a long time that we have gotten to do something as a collective family! John is only off every 3rd weekend so we don't always have Shelby and Ian with us. Thanks to GOD and the beautiful day HE gave us on Sunday. Saturday was a hectic run here run there kind of day. I would have loved to take some pictures of Shelby in her recital outfits and getting ready and all the fun, but a little mishap with her dance bag threw us off our game. Her dance bag contained her shoes for all 3 classes...which was in my mom's car. Had I found this out earlier in the day, I could have gone to my mother's work and retrieved said bag. However, I had the fortunate experience of discovering this at the point we were getting ready to leave. Not enough time in schedule to permit extra stop out of way. So we made due. When we got to the studio and sorted this issue out it left no time for extra fun. I had to do her make-up and help her through 3 costume changes and also get myself ready for our picture together. Ian was at the ball field helping with a clean-up day and then his baseball pictures in the afternoon. We met for dinner at 6pm with John's mom at Olive Garden. I had a repeat of Easter Sunday lunch. Yummy! Afterwards we headed to Dairy Queen so the kids (and John) could get a Blizzard. Madi and I shared a Banana Split. So this was our Saturday. No pictures to show for it- sorry. :-(

On to Sunday. We all got up early. Well, early as in Madison got up at her normal time of 7:30 and the rest of us got up too. Sometimes we try and get her to sleep just a little bit longer so we too can take advantage of the weekend mornings. Up and on the go we had breakfast, then worked as a collective to clean a few rooms of the house. No need in going over board and cleaning the whole house... :-) Cleaning done, Madi down for nap, and time for a small break. Timing all worked out as we were able to enjoy the park and not in the heat of the day. The boys wanted to play basketball which left the girls to "hang-out" on the playground. I'm a terrible playground mom. I'm overly cautious of tripping, falling, scraping, scuffing, and germs. Parks are hard for me. Shelby was off on the merry-go-round and Madi and I stuck to the swings. After a while, Madison caught sight of the boys on the BB court and wanted to be with them. Shelby and I loaded up like pack mules and away we went across the park. Luckily the boys had already played one round and were just getting ready to start on the second when the girls invaded. We had set our cooler and snacks on a table under the shelter that was near the BB court. The kids kept wanting stuff from our stash, so I decided to move it. Madison went walking with Shelby and I once again to be the mules. Apparently there had been a cook-out or party or another family there before us.... Don't know-don't care, just know that if you have any trash... THROW IT AWAY! Before I could even blink, Madison had helped herself to a cup that was left on the seat of the picnic table. It was full of something (which I now know was Diet Coke) and when I shrieked, she spilled. She was already moving the cup toward her mouth before I could get to her. My shrieking just caused her to move a little faster. The substance went all down the front of her! **sigh** Shelby and I finished gathering our stuff and walked the now soaked Madi back to the BB court so I could change her. John scoffs at my over planning, but thanks to my obsession Madi had clean dry clothes and we had her wet ones in a plastic sack. HA. By some miracle, her shoes were not touched. Dry as the day they came out of the box. The rest of our afternoon was uneventful and I managed to take some pictures of them all enjoying the day.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Week 2... More Difficult Than Week 1

I don't know why, I just know it was. It wasn't difficult to keep up with the work-outs. That actually makes me feel better. I enjoyed going to the Y and making the most of my hour. It was the FOOD. I was craving so many things that are not good for me and what got me here in the first place. So I must say that this week the struggle was sticking to my lifestyle change. It isn't a diet. A diet is what they have at the hospital for people with medical conditions. Low-Sodium Diet, Low-Sugar Diet, Liquid Diet. No, what I am doing is a lifestyle change and approach to food. If I look at it as a "diet", then what motivation do I have to keep it going? A diet is for a period of time. The awesome changes that I am seeing not only in myself are in my husband. I'm not quite sure if I have posted directly about John's CF (Cystic Fibrosis) before, but his calorie intake is quite a bit more than the rest of the family. His fat intake is more too. This makes for difficult meal planning. However, now that I have been fixing lower calorie (better calorie) foods, he has been digesting the fat a lot better and combined with his working out he is gaining weight. So, my weight loss journey is leading to his weight gain journey and we are both winning! I linked to the Cystic Fibrosis website so you can read a little more about that if you aren't already familiar. John's journey is another post all by itself. So are you ready to get down to the results? Last week I lost a dramatic 5 lbs. Okay, maybe not dramatic for you, but for me. This week was 2.9. Not a lot, but the right amount when you are doing it the healthy way. An average weight loss per week should be about 2 pounds. Was I jumping up and down over this? No. Am I happy that I am learning new things and gaining more stamina when exercising? Yes. So my overall loss at this point is 7 lbs.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


3 days after starting my journey to healthy we had Easter. This is what I had to live with...

Anyone who knows me, knows that I live for Easter when the Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs make their appearance. For some strange reason it is better than a traditional Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. I just know they taste dang good and I haven't had a single one! Matter of fact, my mom has been snatching one here and there. John has dipped into them too. I guess better them than me, but I have sunk so low as to ask John if I could just have one little lick before he dropped it into the blender with his protein mix. I was not allowed. Such a super bummer! Pre-Weight loss, I had been known to devour a six pack of Eggs in one sitting... yup, it's what I would like to call an addiction! The road to gaining weight was so much more enjoyable than the one I'm on now to losing weight. In the end it is all for the better. Maybe Easter next year I'll have learned enough self-control to eat at least just one.

Lost Now Found Easter 2008

So on Easter Sunday 2009 when taking pictures is when I realized my babies had grown up. I was left wondering when it happened. Sounds silly, but really, I don't know how time went by so fast. As promised from **Sigh, I Guess I Blinked**, here are the lost but found Easter 2008 pictures.
Easter 2008 (above)

Easter 2009 (below)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Healthy Here I Come...Week 1 Done

April 10, 2009 Start of Week 1... My "Before" photos.

I did it. One full week of changing my bad habits and starting some better ones. No fast food this week, though I sincerely miss my Chick-Fil-A breakfast & sweet tea. I have replaced my 760 calorie/33 g fat breakfast with a choice of fruit/yogurt/cereal (Kashi Go Lean) at under 300 calories and 3-4 g fat. BIG difference. Lunch has been a little more of a struggle. I am surrounded by fast food establishments. The thing I found helpful about eating at a restaurant is checking their nutrition facts online first before going. I can choose my meal before going and know how healthy it is. Easter Sunday our family tradition is Olive Garden before church. My usual Chicken Marsala, 770 Calories and 37 g Fat. Sautéed chicken breasts in a savory sauce of mushrooms, garlic and Marsala wine. Served with Tuscan potatoes and bell peppers. Super yummy. Instead I found a lighter fare, Venetian Apricot Chicken Grilled.
(Photo Courtsey of Olive
Chicken breasts in an apricot citrus sauce. Served with broccoli, asparagus and diced tomatoes. 280 Calories and 3 g Fat. Amazing. I gave it a try and I really enjoyed it. I did have the salad that was brought to the table, but tried to eat off the top because all the dressing is in the bottom of the bowl. I entitled myself to 1 bread stick. I am a breadaholic. A huge learning experience this week regarding nutrition. On Friday I started off with a bang. Got up, did my Biggest Loser DVD, made my yogurt Triple Berry smoothie and was feeling good. Saturday was so busy. We had a baseball game to be at then a birthday celebration in the park. I didn't exercise with the DVD. I did chase my little one up a very steep incline hill several times. My calf muscles were feeling it on Sunday. Sunday was Easter. I went to lunch at Olive Garden... came home and started preparing Easter Dinner. Ham, Green Beans, Loaded Potato Salad, Deviled Eggs and the appetizers for snacking. Other than tasting the Potato Salad to make sure I had the seasoning right, I did great. No snacking in between lunch and dinner, though the kids Easter candy was SCREAMING out my name. Not calling... screaming. Monday I had my first experience with the YMCA and an Elliptical machine. Thank goodness I was with my team, because I don't know if I would have kept going for 30 minutes without them by my side. I didn't want to seem a quitter so I pressed on. Tuesday is dance night. I look forward to my hour of tap class. I was highly disappointed this week in the fact we only danced for about 15 minutes! UGH. That's another post entirely. Wednesday. I was in touch with my team throughout the day. Yup, we're meeting around 7 at the Y. I got there just a little early to complete the membership stuff I started online. It was around 10 til I decided to go ahead and hit the Elliptical. I kept watching the door waiting for them to come strolling in. 40 minutes later I'm done with Cardio, still no team. No call. Whatever... moving on to weights. Finished workout, still no team and no contact. Oh well, this is for me- right. Tonight is water aerobics. Should be interesting. Nothing like putting a 5 ft tall person in 6ft water and seeing what happens. If you made it this far without falling asleep here are the weigh in results. 5 lbs lost for a total percentage of 3%. If you watch the Biggest Loser at all... you know 3% is pretty good. Go me!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

**Sigh** I Guess I Blinked...

Easter 2009

My babies are growing up. When did that happen? As I took these pictures on Easter, I didn't realize at the time how grown-up they looked. Upon downloading them and getting ready to post about Easter, I realized I had a whole new post. Thank you Shelby for your creative input and posing your brother in these pictures. That is what is amazing about them getting older. They are becoming their own persons. Shelby is very artistic and creative. We never know what she is going to come up with next. I love that. She is working on her own cartoon character that she developed. John is helping her think of story ideas. She is really into it. She also loves her family very much. Ian has gone from my sweet, little boy to a pre-teen pest. I love that too. He plays baseball and is involved in Boy Scouts. The proper outlets for him to behave like a boy. He has his "mommy" moments where he can still be sweet. I cherish those. My babies will turn 11 this June. They will start Middle School this fall. I'm here to tell all those new parents out there who may stumble across my blog, enjoy each and every moment because it really does go by in the blink of an eye.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Madison's Egg Hunt at "School"


Tomorrow doesn't pose a problem now that she's had her practice round of egg hunting. I am so thankful that her teachers took pictures so we could see her gathering up the eggs. Apparently she did really well at catching on to the idea. I am looking forward to tomorrow for her "First Easter". Last year she was only 3 months old and obviously didn't have a clue. I would insert picture here, however, I just went searching for Easter 2008 and cannot seem to find it.... I know I took pictures, but maybe they are still sitting on the digital card :-(

At any rate, we are looking forward to tomorrow for it is the day the LORD has risen. The true meaning of Easter. God bless each and every family as they celebrate this joyous occasion.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Healthy Here I Come...

30th Birthday March 2009

So 3 children and 12 years post high school, I weigh about 37 pounds more than I did then. Not too bad considering 2 C-Sections later. Anyway, my weight is not so much the issue as my fitness level (actually lack there of). Before I gave birth to Madison, I vowed no matter how much weight I gained during the pregnancy I would not keep it around after she was born. I at least, if nothing else would get back to pre-pregnancy weight. Accomplished. So what is the deal with dropping the pounds that came along with the twins? It has been the most difficult thing to do- period. I lost some weight in 2001 when going through my divorce. Attribute that to poor eating, stress, and anything else that comes along with a divorce! So now that I am happily re-married and my dear John loves me as is, I haven't had the motivation to get fit. John, sweet man, is one major factor in my relapse actually. Every time I tell him that I want to get healthy/lose weight etc. he lovingly brings me home sweet treats ALL the time. When I am not in one of my "weight loss modes" not one treat is brought. Hmmm, clearly sabotage. This just says to me, "I love you no matter what. Have another Reese Egg." So I am blessed that my husband does love me as is and isn't trying to change me. However, I want to change me for me! I'm 30 now. It doesn't get easier from here, only harder. Madison's School (aka day care) is hosting a "Biggest Loser" competition for parents and workers. I took this as my open door. My opportunity to have the support of people who want to lose weight and get fit too. Tonight is the official weigh in and team building. Tomorrow begins Day 1 of my desire to be fit. I did start taking an Adult Tap Class in December trying to build at least some exercise in my schedule. One hour a week isn't going to produce major results, but it gets me off the couch one night a week guaranteed. Our recital is about 6 weeks away. I want to be able to finish the dance without feeling completely out of breath and in need of immediate hydration. So here we go! Join me on my journey and offer any words of encouragement that you may have! Recipes are good too!

Monday, April 6, 2009

For Nana and Grandpa Steve

This post is especially for John's Dad and Step-Mom who live in Florida and are missing Madison growing up. I put together a collage of recent pictures that I have taken so far this Spring. I hope this brightens their day and brings a smile to their face. We love you both and hope to see you soon!