About Me

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Manhattan, Kansas, United States
I'm a 33 year old woman finding her own way in life, while being a mother of almost 7 yr old girl Angel, going to college full-time and working as many hours as i can to get by. I've lived in Kansas all my life growing up in SW and now living in The ne corner for 12 years. My ex is a medically-disabled/retired OIF/OEF veteran (TBI,PTSD) and my daughter is topping the scales on height and knowledge of her age. I'm just along for the ride sometimes :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Officially Fall

Yesterday was the autumnal equinox, the first day of fall. After the dog-heat days of summer, that were too hot to even take my baby-4-yr-old girl to the pool, I am READY for those crisp winds and chilly nights. And yes, even the rainy and grey days. Today was one of those days.

The one thing I love most about these dreary days (that is, as long as there's not more than 2 or 3 in a row) is that for some reason still unknown to me... I. Want. To. Clean!! There's nothing more I love than to haul out the mulitple and sadly under-used brooms, scrub brushes, sprays, and elbow grease. I even have made a list of the cleaning I'm looking forward to doing. I think I do more of a "Fall Cleaning" whereas most people do "Spring Cleaning".

Now, for those of you without kids, you're probably asking yourselves what the big deal is. Ask anyone with at least one kid old enough to walk. There is no such thing as a clean house with kids. Anything that I clean, she's uncleaning in the next room. My little imp usually just does it in the same room, right in front of my face. LOL I'm doing dishes, she's getting a snack from the fridge. I'm vaccuming, she's pulling out Candyland on the middle of the living room floor. I scrub the toilet, she wants to take a bath.

So, I'm ashamed to say, my house is very rarely spotless. Don't get me wrong - I don't have trash laying around or rotting food like the show "Hoarders". But it's cluttered. I personally prefer the comfy, lived-in look compared to a bare, contemporary style anyway. But I definitely need at least an hour to pickup before a friend comes over - usually two is preferable. If I have a solid weekend (or an uninterrupted 5-6 hours without Angel or Jason in the house) to clean, it can be spotless and stay presentable for a week. But then our lives get busy and I don't have time to keep it up. Then we slowly regress to the 2-hour-company-notice level. I rarely let the kitchen/living room get worse than a fast 1 hour pickup, unless Angel and I have just spent a weekend at my Mom's house and haven't unpacked. Those are the only rooms company usually sees anyway.

Getting off-track here...

SO, I have my list of winterization stuff to take care of and that crosses over into my list of deep-cleaning I need to do, along with decorating for fall and changing wardrobes from spring/summer to fall/winter. I'm getting as much as I can done this weekend. Even getting Angel out of my hair, I mean, the house so that I can clean uninterrupted. hmmm... I wonder if any other non-OCD mother gets this excited about a chance to clean house?

Happy Fall!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Break time?

I am circling back to the ideal that a Woman's work is Never Done. nope nope nope. Actually managed to cook more of a supper than just chicken nuggets/fish sticks tonight (all my daughter wants to eat) and did a load of laundry, then decided to sit down to some quality TV time. Hey, the new season of House started! Hubby's depression is full-blown right now, so instead of snuggling up with me, he said he was going to bed. :( Don't know how to get him out of this funk and honestly, I don't want to waste the energy trying to bring him up. I know, that sounds horrible, but it's such a battle that I just can't fight much longer.
After House I switched the channel and Lo and Behold -- Hoarders. Couldn't watch more than 10 minutes of it and I wanted to clean the house. LOL Didn't get a whole lot accomplished, but did manage to get some studying in for my next insurance class. I'm nervous because the stuff that I'm reading so far seems really basic knowledge and everyone says AU is really hard. Makes me think that I'm not picking up on what I'm studying. But now, I'm feeling pressured to pass this so that I can get a bigger, better job. Maybe in a different town. Maybe even a different state.
I'm getting antsy for a change -- lived in the same house for almost 6 years now after 6 years of apartment hopping. Hopefully I'll snap out of it if I do something like paint the living room. Got the colors all planned, just need the paint and the time to do it! Need that precious time to get all my other half-started/planned craft projects too. Oh, and decorate the house for fall. And get Halloween costumes started. And look online for some recipies even a simpleton like me can make. And copy off some Kindergarten level worksheets for Angel to do at daycare. And contact the Catholic school so I know what to expect next year for her. And go through my junk mail. And file my old bills. And add the new bills to October's budget. And look for new car insurance that's cheaper.
Geez. Now I'm overwhelmed. Even SuperMom can't handle all that in one day. I'm tired now and going to hit the hay...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ups and Downs of PTSD

I have been reminded tonight that PTSD can rear it's ugly, selfish head when you least expect it. Things have been so (fairly) good lately, that I've almost forgotten that a mom's work is never done. Ok, in this case, it's a "wife" role, but it still feels like "mom". One of us has to be responsible and realistic at all times. I just wish that I could take a break from it once in a while.
Since he can't work (thank the Lord for unemployability/disability income) he wants to fill his free time elseways so that he's not "stuck" in the house for days on end. And I'm totally fine with that! Go to the gym and improve your health. Find a part-time job that can be a hobby. Pick a daytime soap-opera and follow it. I'd even go stir-crazy during the day at home by myself. There's only so much facebook and cleaning I could handle. Instead, he's choosing to sleep during the day (he doesn't sleep good at night b/c of the night-terrors and nighttime missions in Iraq - totally understandable) and join a dart league 3 days of the week. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Then, he usually likes to go out Friday and/or Saturday because that's when all his buddies go out to play darts; at the bars of course. That would leave Tuesday and Sundays at home with Angel and me. Am I totally selfish to want to spend time with him, watching a weekly tv show or renting some movies, more than twice a week? And is it wrong of me to want to have a night a week where I can go out with my girlfriends; a time that I can just be ME -- not a mom, a wife, an employee -- just M.E. But, once again, my feelings and needs are put on the back-burner.
And of course, this fight couldn't come at a worse time. My high school reunion is this weekend and I was SO looking forward to bringing him back home to meet all my classmates and former schoolmates. I know it'd be somewhere strange for him to sleep, stay, mingle and so I know it's a struggle for him. But I don't ask for much. I want this one weekend. Now that he's in full-blown "it'sallaboutmebecauseIdon'tknowhowtohandlethemoodsthatareraginginsidemybrain" I'm afraid he's going to try to back out. Then I'm going to be stuck, all by myself, trying to act like everything's fine when it's really not. Yes, I know a little of that is me being prideful and wanting to show everyone that our little family is happy. But damnit -- I should get that once in a while.
He wants to pretend like we're as carefree and spontaneous as we were when we were dating or newly married. Reality is -- life has moved forward and we have to also. There's still plenty we can do, but the truth is that we're married, we're not in our early 20's anymore, and we have a daughter whom we love and can't ignore or neglect.
It's been almost a year since our huge almost-final fall out. And we were making some wonderful progress -- I was well on the way to falling in love with him again. But I've had to deal with so much over the past 4 years, that it's hard to forget all the times my heart has broken and all the times I cried so hard for so long that there were no more tears. Have you ever cried like that? It's a very draining experience, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I went through that at least once a week. And I hadn't done that for almost 8 months. I've done it twice in the last month and it's making my heart harden again. I don't want that to happen, but I don't know how to stop it. I can't just ignore it and hope it goes away either. Been there, done that, it didn't work. But I don't know how to tell him without him either exploding and saying he'll leave or getting so depressed that he doesn't want to move from bed. I just want him to listen to me, and take my words to heart.
I know, it's a small thing - this weekly scheduling. But, the meaning behind it makes me feel like he doesn't care about spending time with me, doesn't care about my feelings, doesn't even consider how this affects me or Angel.
Thanks for listening to me vent. Yes, I realize that I still have lots of things to be thankful for in my life. It's just sometimes hard to remember what those things are...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Scenery: Farm Life

Hey all!... My daughter's photo is a contender in Thrifty Fun's newsletter contest.

The picture is of my Angel riding in the back of Gramma's pickup, helping her older cousins grab bales of straw hay. :)

You have to logon to vote (it's free, and the thrifty/frugal tips are awesome)

Thanks everyone!!

Scenery: Farm Life

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Unfortunately, disappointment is one of those inevitable ways of life. You can't always have everything you want. Heck, even Lindsay Lohan goes to jail (snicker).

I've had lots of disappointments in my life. Most recently, I received a letter stating that I did not win my current dream job in insurance. However, I don't let me disappointments define me (most of the time). No, I didn't get my job; but this gives me time to get in the insurance classes I really do need before jumping headfirst into a claims job. When I was learning to play piano in grade school, Mrs. Wells' always told me that as long as you trudge on and pick the tune right back up when you make a mistake, no one will notice that you flubbed Chopin, Beethoven or Tchaikowsky. This was some of the best advice I could ever apply to my life. In school, I never wanted to be last- in anything. I would be disappointed when I got a B on a paper (devastaed at anything lower). Seeing those sub-par grades made me strive to do better next time. When I was a Freshman in High School, I was a fierce basketball competitor. (small and strong with sharp elbows is always a deadly combination) Long story short, the ball was headed for out-of-bounds and I dove for it; grabbed it just in time to throw it back and look face-first into the brick gym wall. Yep. Got knocked halfway through the first quarter. Did I mope and cry about it? (ok, so I did cry some. That really hurt!) After half-time, when the coach was sure I didn't have a concussion, I was right back in that game, as competitive as ever. I didn't let that one mishap scare me away from the game. Skip ahead to freshman at K-State. Came home for a weekend visit and was t-boned by an idiot woman going 80 mph. Fortunately, my brain blocked out the entire incident, so I can only go by what I'm told. But that didn't scare me from driving. In fact, a good road-trip is one of my absolute favorite things!

Yes, I'm competitive. Always have been, always will be. But I think that's one thing that helps push me through disappointments in life. And I'm proud to want to do the best I can. No, I don't always "win", but I use that disappointment and look for the silver lining. I learn from those failures and disappointments so that it Never. Happens. Again.

This brings me around to how parents are trying to raise the village lately. Dodgeball is forbidden to be played for grade school P.E. class (too violent), t-ball is no longer being scored (they don't want anyone to be labeled as "loser"), a parent can't so much as threaten to tap their kids on the butt when they misbehave, let alone actually SPANK them (gasp! such cruelty will scar them for life!), and kids are getting passed to the next grade in school- even if they DON'T know the necessary skills to read and write, just so that no one feels like a failure. I'm almost surprised they haven't done away with P.E. altogether; afterall, we can't have our "babies" be tired! ARGH!!! I absolutely loathe all this coddling that is being done. If you completely shield your children from LIFE and it's disappointments, how the heck do you expect them to live ON THEIR OWN when they're grown??? These spoiled brats are going to graduate high school, expect their parents to pay for everything until they graduate college, and just EXPECT to land whatever dream job they want. After all, no one has ever told them or showed them that they. might. not. Oh, how the suicide rate will go up once this generation gets into real life and realizes that life is not a bowl full of Jell-o.

Like all moms, I don't want my daughter to have to face disappointment. But at the same time, I know she will and plan on being right there to help her work through it. And, of course, push her to do better and encourage that wonderful competitive streak she inherited from her daddy and me :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Angel!

My baby turned 4 years old at 6:45am today. She's so ultimately excited to be 4. I'm so ultimately depressed that she's not my little tiny baby that I can cuddle whenever I want.
My mom (Gramma!) was able to come up for Angel's big party this year. Angel was super-excited just to have Gramma here (I was also excited, knowing that I'd have help getting the house ready!). Had way too much food, but had a couple hours of wonderful company. Angel got some awesome gifts out of the deal -- Princess Sleeping bag (that she wouldn't relinquish come bedtime), a new Leapster 2 (since hers quit and can't find the receipt), Veggietales movies (Thank you Lord for finding some way to introduce you and your messages through cartoons). Those were all from other people! Miss Molly went way over the top when she got the leapster for Angel. I'll kick her in the rear later. Right now, I'm still in shock and awe that she'd spend $50 on a kid that she's not related to. :)
Of course, I'm getting all weepy and sentimental about the grand age of 4. Wanting to go through old photos and such. Maybe even finish up her scrapbook about the first year of her life. She was born in July and I've got complete finished pages to December. Then, kinda mismatched until March. (sigh) Maybe I'll finish it by the time she graduates. College.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


First off, I'm not usually the type to always want the bigger, better, faster, whatever. But I've become pretty restless at my current job. Nothing new to learn and the workload is dwindling, which translates into a very boring day for me. I've never been one to like sitting on my tush and getting paid to do nothing. Chalk it up to my farm-raised work-ethic.

So I was browsing through my companies job openings about 3 weeks ago and saw a postition opening in the NW part of the state. I'd be about an hour closer to my mom and in a smaller town (but not a whole lot smaller). It intrigued me, but only for a little while. Checked the openings about a week later and lo-and-behold, there was another opening (same job) but in the S Central part of the state - about 1 1/2 hours from home! I haven't been able to get it out of my head since.

I'm a firm believer in fate and that our loved ones who have passed have a heavy hand on what cards we get dealt. I think my daddy is trying to point me in the right direction from up in heaven right now (as he seems to do from time to time, just when I need and miss him the most). This job would allow me to work very closely with the local farming community in about 4 counties of small towns. I've always loved that I grew up on a farm in a small town, but I'm not quite cut out to run the farming operation myself. Heck, I don't even know how to change the oil in my car (thanks to my over-protective and loving daddy and brothers). This would be a way that I COULD be in constant contact with the local farmers. Also, Angel would grow up in a small community, like I was and want for her. Oh, and did I mention that it would MORE THAN DOUBLE my annual pay I'm getting now? I could live on this salary without a raise for the rest of my life and be content. I'd feel like we were hitting the danged lottery!

I'm not sure if it was my Confident, Fearless Woman personality or my Tired of Settling spirit that took over, but I have submitted my application for said job in the South Central. And now, I'm worrying endlessly about it. There's just too many uncertainties in my life. IF I get the job, IF we have to buy a new house, IF we get approved for a loan for a new house, IF we have to get a huge truck to move, IF I can't find great daycare/preschool for Angel, IF I'm underqualified and overwhelmed, IF we can't make new friends. Then, on the flip side- IF I don't get the job, IF I'm going to be miserable staying in my current job, IF my boss finds out I want a different job and that jeopardizes my job, IF another opportunity ever comes up again like this. UGH!!!

Talking to some people, I'm SOOO perfect for this job (need some more insurance schooling, but I've been knocking that out quickly already) and considering who I may be competing against for it - I have a really really good chance of actually getting it! Either it'll be locals applying (who have absolutely no experience in insurance or at least the computer system we use), or there's not a whole lot of people who'd be willing to relocate to the country for the job. But then, of course, Doubting Sally takes over and I keep thinking how I don't have field experience (only behind the desk and over the phone) and how there are sooo many classes I have to take to be considered an expert.

So anyway, thanks for letting me ramble on and on about a potential changing point in my families life. I do really really really really hope I get this job. I want it sooooo bad. Keep your fingers crossed for me!!

Monday, July 5, 2010


So I realize that I haven't been a very good blogger -- I swear there's been stuff to write about over the last 2 months! I just haven't made time for it. So, here's the short version:
1. Disney World in April sans baby girl was awesome! Only took about 3 days of our 7 day vacation to realize she wasn't with us -- kept looking for our blonde-headed rebel running around! And don't even say how horrible we are for not bringing our over-excitable 3 year old with us. She was at Gramma's and that in itself is a theme park - two fort/swingsets, chickens, a puppy, cows up the road, acres of lawn to run around in, a swimming pool and hot tub, movies and snacks unlimited, and cousins to play with.

2. I have passed my INS section! Yes, it is insurance classes and I now have an Associate in Insurance Services according to AICPCU school. Now I'm just waiting on that $225 bonus on my next check -- just in time for Angel's 4th birthday!

3. I've been doing a lot of christian parenting books. I love their advice and am taking some of it to heart and practice already. Being AVAILABLE to your kids, makes them realize that they are important to you. :) So I've been more available, which means less access to the internet.

4. Angel spent another long weekend (i.e. Wednesday through Monday) at Grammas over Memorial weekend while we went to Chicago (disgusting, crime-y, expensive, unfriendly city) for the 23rd Annual Bull-Shooters Tournament. Hubby came out 8th/9th place in Mens' singles 501. Pretty darn good since there were over 500 to start with and also this is a WORLD-CLASS tournament. Seriously. Jason lost to a guy from Portugal. Oh, and at the same hotel, same weekend, was a high school quiz bowl tournament (about 300 geeky, awkward teens) and also -- wait for it -- an S&M festival in the basement. Yes, as in whips, chains, dominatrix, weird sex stuff. No, we did NOT wander down there, but the high schoolers kept trying to catch a glimpse of the action (good thing for the security hahaha)

5. Last weekend in June, my daycare lady, Ms TC was going to be gone the Thurs, Fri and following Monday. So what did Angel do you ask? Why, Gramma came to the rescue again! (yes, she does have a cape hidden under that Christopher Banks sweater) While Angel was gone, I did some loooong overdue housecleaning. I cleaned the master bath, living room, kitchen, laundry room. And had our dumpster/trashcan full plus about 4 trashbags and a busted shelf. No, we didn't really have that much "trash" just laying around, but papers, broken toys, almost empty shampoo bottles, etc. Also "freecycled" a 30-gallon bag of Angels clothes, another one of my clothes, another equivalent of one in toys, cans of juice Angel won't drink, videos. Tell you what, after all that, I felt like I wasn't doing anything when my trashcan this morning was almost empty when I put it by the curb.

6. I have formulated a new game-plan for losing weight. www.myfitnesspal.com is an AWESOME and FREE website that helps you track exercise and calories eaten. It knows Ev.ery.thing. about calories, whether you eat at McDonalds, home-made, or frozen meal. It found my frozen/nuked Tai Pei Pepper Beef I had for lunch and automatically entered the calories, fat, protein, etc so that I DIDN"T HAVE TO!! Same for exercises! Then compares your goal calories, fat, protein with how much you ate/exercised in order to lose weight. Granted, I'm not doing that great yet. But I DID manage to survive 45 minutes of Jillian Micheal's circuit-training exercise video for the first time on Saturday! (Couldn't hardly move on Sunday though.) I've only made it almost half-way before so was super proud of myself.

7. My family survived the 4th of July celebration. Hubby has PTSD from an overseas deployment so booms, smell of gunpowder in the air, and bright flashes of light are NOT the most relaxing for him. But all 3 of us loaded up in the van and went down to Cico Park to watch the cities display. Angel wasn't scared (not really - she'd play it up to "hide" behind one of us) and Jason held it together. Think it helped that Angel needed her daddy to be big and strong and brave when she couldn't be. :) And even though it rained all day on the 4th, Angel and I made some Independence Day crafts that turned out super-cute! Especially the glue/glitter on black construction paper fireworks! With glue, draw fireworks patterns on the black construction paper (night sky). You know, the spider type pattern they make when they first explode? Then you take glitter and shake it onto the glue-fireworks. Super Super Super Cute!!

Well, that's the last couple months in a nutshell. Hopefully be back to normal blogging schedule soon! Enjoy your summer!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Almost Vacation!!

I have officially began my vacation, according to work. According to what I need to get done before said vacation actually begins is another story. Tonight I still *have* to get Angel's stuff all packed, van fueled up, dishes started, DVD player charged. Tomorrow AM, driving 2 hours to meet MY mommy so Angel can spend 9 days with Gramma. Angel loves her Gramma. :) I forgot that Angel has an awesome memory and so can't tell her about going to Gramma's house until the night before. Yes, she has been asking me for the last two days (actually begging at points) to go to Gramma's house already! Nope, haven't told her she'll be going there by herself. :( Gonna miss that little bugger.

So, after leaving my most precious belonging with the only person I'd trust her with that long, I drive the 2 hours back. Have to be back in time to pick up the Disney World theme park tickets on post, take cans to the recycling center, get to the bank. Then have double bowling night, come home, have a beer (or two), and finish packing all of Mongo's (hubby) and my stuff. What the heck, I'm not going to sleep anyway because I'll be too excited!

Friday morn, we HAVE to leave the house before 7am in order to make it to KCI for our flight at 11:28. Really. A 2-hour drive to wait another 2 1/2 hours to fly. Ridiculous. Of course, all this time, I have to keep Mongo from going pyscho on some poor, stupid by-stander that can't get all the change out of his pockets in the security line. I'm praying we can get him drugged up enough (hey, I mean legally) so that his PTSD is controllable and I can drag him on that plane. It'll definitely be a true test.

That's the hardest part. Getting him on that danged plane. Of course, it wouldn't be a problem if he WASN'T IN A PLANE CRASH IN IRAQ!!!!! geez.

Then comes the fun! 7 days in sunny Florida a.k.a. Disney World a.k.a. HEAVEN!! I've never been so I'm more excited than a pre-pubescent boy from the 50's with the newest Sears catalog/woman's lingerie section. Oh yeah. :) See ya'll after vacation!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

My life is reduced to pizza and fish-sticks according to Wal-Mart.

So I was trying to be "good wife" and really work on our finances. They say that in order to budget your money, you need to know what you spend it on. I'm supposed to keep track of all receipts, every penny that's spent for an entire month. (worked for about 3 days) Looking at one Wal-Mart receipt I saved, I realize that my life is totally changed. Before Angel came along, Wal-Mart consisted of make-up, expensive hair products (ok, they cost 10-15 each - it's still Wal-Mart), cute and cheap! clothes/shoes, lingerie even. I didn't care how much whatever cost, just toss it in the basket. I am ashamed of this receipt because it DOES reflect my life now....

Fish Sticks........3.58
Fish Sticks........3.58
Dill Spears........2.38
Miracle Whip.....4.48
Pepsi 24pk.........5.98
Value Bread.......0.88
Coupon ...........- 1.50

total $38.79 plus tax.

A couple things jumped out at me: 1. The Shampoo and Conditioner are the only things for me. (btw Suave's new scent Pomegranet = smells like HEAVEN!!) 2. And they are most definitely NOT the most expensive items on the list. Nope, that was left to the Pull-UPs (which had a coupon), Pepsi (this woman's equivalent of crack-cocaine) and the MIRACLE WHIP. WTH???????? 3. Also sticking out ... the sheer quantity of pizza. No, this was not a "stock up - It's on sale!" kind of pizza frenzy, but yet a normal "Get us through a couple days" surplus. My daughter only eats pizza and fishsticks. Sometimes those cute little breakfast sausages. 4. The receipt actually says "value bread". Can't even try to fake it into believing it's the special bread. Nope. It's. Value. Like clearance-sale puppy. I buy bread with self-esteem issues. Great.

So my challenge to you: Look at a random Wal-Mart (or Target, K-Mart, whatever) receipt and see what your life has been reduced to. I'm a Value Fishy Pizza woman but the hair smells like Pomegrante, drinking a Pepsi eating a Miracle Whip Sandwich. I'm going to go cry now. :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Is laundry really that confusing?!?

I want to start off with this proclamation.......

Angel has gone 2 weeks without pooping in her pants!

Yes, two WHOLE WEEKS! I never thought I would be so super excited about not having to wash (or throw out) miniature-sized underroos with poop. But I am! She even got a new Leapster game out of the deal! (One invention that has been a dream -- love her Leapster!)

On top of that, my husband has been a dear and has been doing almost all the laundry and dishes for the last month. Wow. He's really been stepping up so that I can concentrate on my dang insurance classes. :) But then I realized something.... He has a warped sense of confidence in our washing machine and dryer's amazing abilities.

My dear, loving, demented husband's rules for laundry:

1) If the lid closes, there's not enough clothes in the washing machine.
2) If there's suds coming out from the top of the washer, it means the floor will get clean too. Two birds, one sudsy stone.
3) There's no need to check to see if the dryer is empty before adding the next washed load. Just turn on the dryer longer.
4) It's all fabric. Silk, terry cloth, denim. Why seperate it?
5) Dry-Clean Only = Huh??
6) Seperate whites, colors. (ok, he does seperate them, but see #4)
7) If I put your bra in the dryer, it'll shrink and push up the boobs more. (Thanks. Now only my self esteem is sagging more than my chest.)
8) The hotter the water, the cleaner the clothes. (My darks are fading faster than Michael Jackson)
9) I don't want to mess up your method for putting clothes away, so I'll just leave them in a jumbled pile to wrinkle until you can get to them. But I put my own shirts on hangers and folded my own shorts. Aren't you proud you didn't have to do that? (sigh)

He means well and I know it. Just didn't know that laundry was really this confusing. Guess there really IS a reason I've been doing it all for the past 9 years. (Sigh) :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

RANTS FROM MOMMYLAND: My Baby is a Cupcake. Baked by the Devil.

Found my new favorite blog to follow. Oh yes, I am definitely a member of this one. :) Nice to know I'm not the only one that thinks my baby girl becomes temporarily evil to add to my temporary insanity.

RANTS FROM MOMMYLAND: My Baby is a Cupcake. Baked by the Devil.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Tips for moms-to-be...

So, it seems like everyone is becoming a mommy nowadays. Must be in the water. Good thing I don't drink water. :) Anyway, thought I'd put out a couple ideas to put in those new-mommies to be heads........
1) Coupons. You WILL need them. Diapers/formula are two of the biggest expenses in your new baby's life. Go online to the Huggies website and sign up. You'll get at least $5 worth of coupons every couple weeks. Start recruiting your friends and family to save them for you too. You can even start buying some diapers now if you're brave. Keep in mind that your baby may grow out of a size of diapers in a week. Trust me. It's SUPER annoying to have 3 packs of size 1 diapers and use a whopping 20 of them, then she's into a size 2. Also, your baby will develop a rash to different types of diapers. Also super annoying. Same thing with formula. I encourage you to breastfeed but that's another preaching. Doesn't work for everyone and you're not supposed to give cows milk in the first year. So that means formula. And those run at least $25/can.

2) Mylecon Drops. Buy some now to always have on hand. Short story -- gas-ex for babies. This is the only thing that worked for my daughter. Unfortunately, she got her daddies gastrointestinal habits. Give your baby a dropper full and in less than 5 minutes, her tummies allllllll better. No harmful side-effects and can't overdose. Trust me, if you could I would have found out. Also, there's a coupon for $4 off the next bottle on the inside of the package. Yes, these cost about $7-8 apiece.

3) Shop Garage Sales. For almost everything. Babies go through clothes like my husband goes through toilet paper. They spit and poop on them just in time to grow out of that size. Most infant clothes (0-6 months) are only worn once or twice anyway, so the stuff you get is practically new anyway! Even if you don't know the sex of your baby, there's plenty of neutral onesies out there. Watch out for the yellow stains--that's formula/milk and will NOT come out. Ever. If you're ok with those clothes as "never leave the house" than by all means buy them! I did. :) If you scout the papers and craigslist (and rileyyardsales.com here) you can pick up strollers, high chairs, bedding, potty chairs, and toys out the wazoo. Make sure that your Seller explains how to open/close strollers, assemble playpens and raise highchairs. There's nothing more frustrating than baby accessories without instruction manuals. Highly discourage buying a carseat second hand though. Safety laws change frequently and if a carseat was in an accident, it can actually be useless in the next.

4) Sleep. You will not get more than 6 hours in a night after baby comes. Until at least age 3. I'm finally up to 7. I think I've "slept in" twice since she's been born. You'll miss it.

5) Play house. Seriously. Remember when you played with Barbie dolls growing up and Barbie had to have the corvette, enough shoes for China, the hair salon, and enough clothes for her own mall? I had an entire playroom full of Barbie stuff and I only used maybe 1/5 of it. Now put your baby into Barbie's spot. Baby's gonna need a LOT of stuff. But don't go overboard. You'll need that money for diapers and formula (see #1). Make a list of the absolute necessities, then a list of what would make your life easier and compare the two. Ask your friends/family that have had babies (within the last 5 years optimaly). Here's the list I would recommend.....
=Transitional Crib (goes from crib to toddler bed to real bed)
=Bookshelf/toy box
=playpen/PackNPlay. If you can get the new ones w/ bassinet that'd be great for that first couple weeks home so that baby can be close to you at nighttime. I had a small bassinet on wheels that was great for bedtime for those 3 hour apart feedings.
=Nursing Bras and Breast Pump (obviously not needed if you don't want to go this route)
=Bottles and nipples (for either method). Decide now if you want the type with the insertible bags or not. I found it was cheaper to wash the bottles all the time than buy those darn bags. I had Avent bottles which I could only find at Target but was very very happy with them. This is one of those places to not go cheap.
=Nursing shields/pads. Even if you don't nurse, your boobies will leak. And it's uncomfortable as hell.
=At least one can of formula if breastfeeding for backup in case of problems
=Diapers (buy two packs of newborn size. Ask your hospital what kind of diapers they're going to put your baby in at the hospital and get that kind for less possiblity of diaperrash right out the gate)
=Boppy. Great for feeding baby and later for tummy time and sitting up
=Burp cloths. I prefer the old-fashioned cloth diapers for this. Plain and easy to bleach.
=Baby bathtub. The type that has a removable hammock for newborns. Babies like to squirm when they get slippery.
=Wipes Warmer. Not really a necessity but makes the babies happy to have warm wipes on that bare bottom. Less chance of that surprising pee.
=Infant medical kit. Comes with thermometer, nail clippers, medicine dropper and that Snot Sucker-Out Thingy. Don't know the real name.
=Medicines. Diaper Rash cream, Mylecon drops, infant tylenol
=vaporizer. Makes a huge difference when you have an infant with a cold and you can't get enough snot out of them.
=Strollers. You'll need two. One big one (minivan version) and one umbrella stroller (sportscar). Bonus if you can afford the stroller/carseat combo so you don't have to take your infant out of the carseat carrier; just lock it on top of the stroller. The simple stroller won't be any use to you until baby can sit up aided; at least 5 months.
=Diaper bag. You'll get one from the hospital but if you are picky or want something special get it. Keep in mind this bag will not leave your side for at least 2 years. Yes, I'm serious. You won't know how to transition to a purse afterwards. I'll probably still be in the support group by the time you join. I'll save a seat for you.
=Digital Camera.
=Baby moniter. I got the basic two piece and it's worked wonderful. My end is portable w/ batteries so I could get some yardwork done while newborn Angel slept. I still use it at nighttime for her "Water" calls.
=At least 3 outfits for each day between laundry days for baby and two for you. Not kidding here either.
=Teething rings, toys, biscuits. Never too early for baby to start chewing. Angel got her first tooth at 2 months old.
=quality pacifier. The hospital will give you one - ours was a Nuk. Green and odd looking but wonderful. And expensive.
=bottle cleaning brush and rack. Costs you $3 but is a lifesaver once you cross over into bottle-world.
="What to Expect the First Year" book. If you haven't already gotten the "What to Expect when your expecting" get it now. NOW. :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Simple Pleasures a mom enjoys...

When you become a parent, your priorities change. Along with that, so do your preferences and pleasures. Before momhood, I would plan what movies I wanted to see (in the theatre even), what parties or bars I was going to, spontaneous road trips (the one to 'Bama over 4th of July was a trip), frivoulous shopping sprees, etc etc. Actually, most of it was unplanned or spur of the moment. That's the objective of being carefree and young.
Now don't get me wrong -- I still have fun with friends, take road trips, go shopping. It's just been tweaked a bit. Now I have to arrange for babysitters (I normally have 3 backups for each event), pack diaperbags or a backpack, mentally doublecheck nap and food schedules, and unconsciously plan around major crowd fluctuations. Hint -- NEVER go to the mall on weekends and stay out of Walmart on Saturdays. If I have to leave the house at 3, I used to take 5 minutes tops to get ready to leave the house; quick makeup touchup, put on shoes and grab the purse. When Angel was an infant-2 years old, that was an hour ordeal. Now that she's 3, it's back down to about 20-30 minutes; longer if I have to find my budding nudist some clothes. One thing that hasn't changed (but may for some of you other moms) is my camera has a permanent spot in my purse or pocket. You never know when that little bug is going to do something awesomely cute, or the local fire department is driving the new fire engine around town and stops at the grocery store to grab breakfast for the department. (unfortunately, camera's batteries were dead, so didn't get to document Angel's private tour of the new fire truck). I've always been a bit of a camera nut. Drives my husband crazy. Going to drive myself crazy soon because I have over a years worth of photos that are still on my computer waiting to be sent to Walgreens once they have their 10-cent sale. :)
As I was saying, getting ready for outings have changed alot. So have the events themselves. The shopping sprees are at WalMart or a Goodwill instead of The Buckle or Dillards. Movies are rented now and usually watched after Angel's tucked in. Thanks to becoming friends years ago with the owner of a local video store, we don't have to pay late fees which saves us probably 100's of dollars a year hahaha. In the rare instance we go out to bars, I'm ready to leave by 11:00 because it's bedtime. That and I've found out that hangovers with a child are NOT fun. Not that they were fun before either. There's no such thing as a spontaneous road trip with a toddler. Road trips are carefully planned around naptimes and potty breaks. Instead, my outings usually consist of zoos (which I love anyway but now have an excuse to go see them), parks, playgrounds, parades, fairs, circuses, and playdates.
Along with all that, the things that make me happy have changed. For the better I might add. I used to revel in the perfect outfit, knowing everyone who's anyone, going to concerts, blah blah blah. Now I've learned to slow down and breathe. My heart beats faster when the scent of spring wakes me up. I listen to the song of the rain when I'm snuggled on the couch. Deciphering my daughter's drawings, singing silly songs with her, watching her face light up when she figures out where the puzzle piece goes...all that makes me proud of her. I'm amazed by how much her little mind absorbs (and ashamed when she imitates Mommy's road rage). When she took her first steps, I was so taken back that something we take for granted is such a huge accomplishment. That first smile at 3 months made all the crying nights worth it. There's nothing sweeter than when your child falls asleep while you're holding her, no matter if she's an infant or 3 or 12 (I'm guessing).No mother will ever forget when her child first says "I wuv you mommy". You know how the Grinch's heart grew and grew and grew? Yep. Like that. My heart skips a beat every time Angel comes up to me and gives me a hug for no reason. I never thought I'd be so excited to see some doodoo in the loo. Wait until you try potty training a very head-strong toddler that refuses to poop. You'll do the happy dance and tell your child how proud and happy that makes you too. (of course, part of that is the thought of not having to clean out and wash those dirty panties anymore). I've now found another one of those moments that makes me tear up. My daughter climbed on the couch, cuddled up to me and said "Mommy, you're my best friend!". Tell me that wouldn't tug at your heart too. :)
Yes, life changes enormously when you have children. But I would have to say for the better. Sure, I have moments that I get jealous of my single friends. But I wouldn't trade my family and life for anything. No matter what hardships I go through, whenever I look back, all I can remember is the good parts. Guess that's Gods way of ensuring the human race. Afterall, we're one of the few species that won't eat our young. :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

My favorite month!!!!

Today is March! Officially my favorite month of the year. Spring begins so it starts warming up, grass turning green; it's my birthday month (even though I'm dreading that big 3-0); and today marks 46 days til DisneyWorld. :) Tell you what, nothing could put me in a bad mood today!
I've been daydreaming of mowing the grass, getting to leave the windows open all day long, hearing Angel giggle as she runs around outside, smelling that "spring" smell in the air, planting flowers, getting to take family walks in the evenings...all that wonderful feel-good stuff!
I don't know if any other time makes a person feel so happy as springtime. Of course, I've always been prone to seasonal-depression during the winter. The lack of sunshine, cold, and all the dead vegetation/trees just completely puts me down in the doldrums. I've even had dr's suggest tanning! Now that's some advice I can follow up with! haha. So when springtime starts creeping in, my mood automatically improves. It's like a cloud literally lifting off of my heart.
I hope some of ya'll are looking forward to the coming spring as much as I am! It's going to be beautiful!!!!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Spring Preview Saturday

It's the weekend. Supposed to stay up late and sleep in, right? Well, only half of that equation has been fulfilled. Hubby and I stayed up until 3am chit-chatting and watching the Time Travelors Wife last night-Friday (I cried throughout the entire darn movie, but even hubby shed a couple tears). Unfortunately for me, Angel is developing an awful good memory. I had promised her on Friday afternoon that I would take her to the zoo tomorrow (Saturday/today). She now knows what "tomorrow" means as well.
===7:16am I am awakened by the plop-plop of some little bare feet running into our room and then, "Mommy! We go to the zoo today!" .......... WAAAYYY too cheery for me only having 4 hours of sleep. I'm able to lay in bed for another 10 minutes by letting her climb in bed with us. Then, I steal another 5 minutes of rest by telling her to turn on the tv in the living room (note to self: when going to bed, turn the channel to Disney so she can watch cartoons BY HERSELF in the AM).
===7:32AM out of bed, but not voluntarily.
===8:15AM out the door. Go to KMart to compare cost of luggage for our trip in April. Manage to waste about 45 minutes there since zoo doesn't open until 9. Realize I have a low tire so stop at a gas station to fill it. (I'm going to be sooo mad if that tire needs patched since just replaced them)
===9:20AM Pull up to zoo gate and realize that from Nov-Mar they don't open until noon. >:( Have a *very* upset little girl. Have to pinky swear to come back and also bribe her with the park and a hershey bar to stop crying/screaming.
===9:30AM Playing at the park. Realize that it's still only freakin' 30 degrees outside with no sunshining yet!! Keeping warm by running around and in playground equipment.
===10:30AM Angel finally admits that her hands are numb. Still takes 10 minutes of chasing and threatening time-out for her to get in the van.
===10:50AM Park in Aggieville to browse the Dusty Old Bookshelf. Am hoping to find a Disney World tour book. End up finding a treasure-trove of pre-K to 2nd grade learning books, a new Nora Roberts novel, and one of those books that tell you how to fix everything with a can of coke, cheerios, and vicks vapo-rub (did you know that can clear acne?!?!).
===11:30AM Grab sandwiches at Pita Pit (love it!). Bribe Angel to sit still at a table with a bag of doritos.
===11:50AM Brought lunch home since zoo is still not open and don't want a repeat tantrum. Pop in her new Tinkerbell video hoping I can catch a nap. No such luck.
===12:20PM Leave home for the zoo. Again.
===12:30PM Stop at WalMart for......oh who cares! WalMart is my mini-vacation timeshare.
===1:30PM Zoo is open!!! Temp is finally up to about 40 degrees. mucho wamer-o.
===2:45PM Seen all the zoo. I'm tired from pushing her in the stroller. (note to self to workout more) Have to trick Angel to leave the zoo by telling her I have chocolate in the van. I'm starting to notice this bribery deal we've got going on. Not sure if I'm a fan of it, but hey, it works.
===2:50PM Have to stop at a quick shop to get Hershey. seriously.
===3:15 PM home!
===3:17 PM Angel has taken off all her clothes and is demanding a bath. I really do think I have a budding nudist-colony member as offspring. Kinda cute, but I feel embarassed for the pizza delivery person when Angel beats me to the door.

Whew. Still no nap for either of us. At least she can't quite tell time yet. I convinced her the clock chiming at 8:00 was actually 9:00 bedtime and I "let" her stay up for an extra half hour. Fell asleep on the couch for a few minutes at 8:45. I'm almost ashamed to say that -- dangit, I'm not even 30 yet and I have a hard time staying up past my DAUGHTERS bedtime!! Have at least managed to finish our estimated budget for the Disney trip in April. Now if only I could finish our dang taxes so we could have the refund in time to spend. Yeah, right -- as if the messed up gov't would d.......zzz...zzz...zzz...sorry, nodded off. Night all!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Transitioning from a woman to a mom

I've noticed that I have considerably changed from pre-baby days until now. Granted, my poor body will never recover from the 60 pounds (!) I gained during pregnancy or the c-section and breast-feeding afterwards. I'm talking about the changes in how I think, how I react, how I live. I'm sure most, if not all, moms do the following also:

1. I never think twice about wiping my child's runny, snotty nose on my own sleeve. A sleeve attached to an expensive sweater that is dry-clean only. While standing in line at Wal-Mart.
2. No matter what purse I use (or when considering a new one to buy), I always make sure there's room for a diaper (now pullup) and wipes. Then inevitably, that same purse ends up with kleenex, child strenth tylenol, at least 4 crayons, a small notepad, package of crackers or fruit snacks, a container of bubbles, a sucker or 6, at least 2 chapsticks (so that I can have one too), a couple tiny hair ties and usually my daughter's Leapster. Now if only I can find room for a cold beer in there....
3. My sense of smell is heightened, yet dramatically dulled when needed. I can smell when my daughter poops her pants from the next room, but don't gag when I have to clean it up (or that dreaded spoiled-milk vomit babies get)
4. When picking out my own clothes for the day, I actually think of how fast and how often I will have to run after my daughter.
5. After the initial panick, I actually cherish the 20 seconds of quiet time when Angel wants to play hide-and-seek in the clothing racks at Walmart. As long as I hear the occasional giggle and pit-pat of those size 11's, I know she's close enough that I can track her down.
6. I seriously start panicking when the house is quiet. I instinctly know that Angel's usually up to no-good. Occasionally it's just that she played too hard and has now fallen alseep in the middle of Blues Clues.
7. I am bi-polar. I can be sooooooo mad at my child for breaking something very expensive, but when she looks at me with those tear-filled eyes and says "I'm sorry mommy. I love you" I immediately turn softy. Superman has nothing on my personality switch.
8. When I dress my daughter for a day out and about together, I actually like to make her my "Mini-me". Nothing too extreme but I think it's cute if we have the same color-scheme going. Khaki pants, pink t-shirt, white sneakers for both of us. I guess maybe that's one of those "Does That Make Me Crazy" submissions on Kid Kraddik's radio show. :)
9. I hate kids. Maybe that's a bit strong. I dislike kids. They're loud, annoying, selfish, snot-nosed. Good in very very small doses. HOWEVER -- I love love love my daughter. And I'm quickly becoming much more tolerant around others' offspring. Don't take the training wheels away yet though. I'm a proud mama and no one else's kids will ever be as smart, attractive, witty, or creative as my own. On that note....
10. I sometimes wonder if my daughter was body-snatched and replaced with the spawn of the devil. Tantrums are horrible, but the all-day moodiness of a 3 year old is the worst. I fear when she hits puberty.
11. It's almost impossible for me to leave somewhere without asking if anyone "needs to go potty?" Yes, I did say this to friends on a night of drinking and we were bar-hopping. I have been able to restrain myself much better since.
12. Nothing -- and I mean absolutely nothing -- tops the day when your child first says "I Wuv you Mommy". :)

The World of being a Mom

Well, everyone has heard it over and over again...Being a mom is hard work. And no one really appreciates that statement better than a mom herself. Yeah, dad's are in the mix too, but truly not as involved as a mom.
Being a mom is a full time job 24/7. I actually consider the hours I spend at my job as my "time off" from being a mom, but I'm always on call. :) There's no 1 title that really sums up all a mom does. If Angel gets sick at daycare, I leave work to pick her up and become "dr mom". If she's lonely or needs a playmate, I'm her friend. Hungry, I'm a cook; makes a mess, I'm the maid. On the same day, I'm also a chauffer, motivational speaker, teacher, seamstress, fashion consultant, hair stylist, circus ringleader, tech support, events coordinator, laundress, therapist, and personal assistant. Ask any mom and she'll tell you the same - probably even have more to add to it!!
I have to say, I've never really appreciated all my OWN mom has done for me over the years until I joined the exclusive club myself 3 years ago. I call her up all the time asking her opinion on what I should do, how I should do it, and how she stayed sane from raising 6 kids herself! And yes, I still call my mom when I'm sick. Nothing she can really do but still it makes me feel better just hearing her voice. That's the magical power of moms. Can't really explain it, but it's there. Kinda like Love. :)
To add to the mix of my 3 1/2 year old daughter, I have my husband Jason. We've gone through a tough couple of years lately but are on the mend. He was injured in a plane crash in Mosul, Iraq on 2/23/2007 (2 days after our 4-year anniversary) serving our country in the US Army. Angel was 7 months old at the time and Jason had seen her three times -- first at the birth (he was able to take leave for this), then we took a road trip to Mississippi right before he deployed (Angel was 3 weeks old), and then during his two weeks of R&R in February 2007. He was actually headed back to war after his R&R when the plane hit the ground. Long story short, his left arm was dislocated at the shoulder from holding another soldier from rolling with the plane in mid-air and then was hit in the head TWICE with a 500-lb equipment toughbox. He had the worst of the injuries on the plane (God was trying to keep them safe) with the dislocated arm/nerve damage, TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), and the term every military-wife fears --PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). I won't go into all the details and story of recovery on this blog (wait for the future), but because of the brain injuries, Jason had the temperment of a 2-year old. He appeared normal to the outside world (except for a stutter and drugged appearance, well, because he was drugged) and so it was hard for anyone else to understand that I was really raising two babies as a single mom now. Thank goodness Jason wasn't affected in other ways for his development -- it was just the temper/selfishness/impatience/etc.
Anyway, this blog took a different turn so will close off now. :) Enjoy the reading and comment if you will! A Mom's job is never done and highly underpaid, although the perks of goodnight kisses, the hugs and kisses, the cute comments, and all that unconditional love makes up for the lack of sickdays. Let your mom know you love her and all she does!!!