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Monday, August 31, 2009

RAH RAH SIS BOOM BAH

Thursday was monumental!! I drove to North Alabama to watch my Umby cheer in her very first "official" football game. As if that couldn't get any better, my sister, Martha, called me the day before saying she thought she may be able to go with me. So Reid and I (Grant and Mac had some daddy time) head to Shelby County to meet Ra Ra. Rachel jumps in the car with us and we're off to Decatur! Bethany didn't know her Ra Ra was coming so she was super-surprised and excited! I can remember looking through the Oak Park cheer pics in the yearbook with her after she made cheerleading, and she would say, "I cannot believe that's gonna be me!" Well, Bethany, believe it because it's you!!!!! You are capable of anything, and you still never cease to amaze me! You did an awesome job, and we're all so very proud of you. Here are some pics: (I hope to post a short video later but don't have the time right now)

On the way to the game:

She never missed a beat!



Let's go Raiders!! :)

I couldn't be more proud! And Martha, thank you so much for going! It means the world to me and I know it meant a lot to B too! I truly do treasure our time together. You make me laugh, you don't take life too seriously, you love to have fun, you keep me in check, you love my kids like your own - I could go on and on. Now enough of that sappy crap. You know I luh yo mama!!! :)

Umby, this weekend with you was fabulous, awesome, wonderful, all of the above!!! I hate saying goodbye! I love you and miss you more than you know. I love you a million times this:


And that's a lot!!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A LITTLE COMPETITION NEVER HURT ANYONE

It was bugging Chris all summer that Grant is 5 and didn't know how to ride his bicycle without training wheels. Chris said he swears he learned to ride his without training wheels when he was "like 3". I seriously doubt it but, we'll let him keep thinking that. Chris worked with him a few times on it this summer, but Grant lacks in the patience department. Can't imagine where he gets that!?! Well Chris came home the other day and told Grant he saw Stone (a little boy in Grant's class - yes, that's his real name) riding his bicycle without training wheels. That's all he said. Grant said, "You saw Stone? Riding his bicycle? Without training wheels?" Chris said, "Yes, Grant - without training wheels." The conversation went no further. I guess Grant really started thinking about it and did not like it one bit that one of his friends knew how to do something he didn't. So the next day, which was Tuesday, Grant went to Chris and said, "Daddy, will you take my training wheels off my bike and teach me how to ride it?" This is Grant on his second day (yesterday) of riding without training wheels (and please excuse our ever-obnoxious lab barking at our neighbor's horses in the background):

video

Isn't that great! I'm so proud of the G-Man! He can can hardly wait to get home every day so he can ride it. He even will get on it in the morning if we have a few minutes to spare.

And about our lab barking, I figured out that maybe it wasn't because of the horses. Maybe it was because she saw my other two little monkeys stealing her food:
When I say I let my kids eat pretty much anything, I bet you didn't think that included dog food, huh? There aren't many things that would make me turn away a kiss from this little man:

But a mouthful of dog food is one of them! Gag!

Monday, August 24, 2009

I FEEL LIKE I GOT HIT BY A CEMENT TRUCK

Oh wait, I did. Well Friday was far from boring. It started with one of our dogs, Nate, not acting quite right. This is Nate:



He's a hybrid - 50% Cavalier King Charles Spaniel/50% Bichon Frise - called a Cavachon. Just a glorified mutt, really. He's hypoallergenic which we had to have because of Grant and Reid's allergies. He's really a sweet dog and is great with the kids, but I do understand why my mom didn't let us have them growing up. He's just another "child" to take care of. But he has become part of the family and we love him (except when he makes a chew toy out of my shoes!). So back to Friday. He was acting a little strange so I reached down to pet him and saw some blood on his back. I took him in the kitchen to check it out and it was a gaping hole. It's off to the vet we go to get that taken care of. We think it was likely a dog bite. Nate likes everyone and is friendly with other dogs to the point of being annoying. Our neighbors' dogs do not care for Nate, and we think one of them was letting him know it.


Grant's class read The Gingerbread Man Friday, and they made a big "gingerbread man" out of sugar cookie dough. Since I live a minute (literally) from his school, his teacher asked if I would come get the gingerbread man and cook it. Our plan was for me to call her on her cell after I got him home and tell her he ran away then sneak him back in while they kids were at P.E. I bring it home, make the "he ran away" call, and decide to go ahead and cook it just in case it didn't turn out. Well, that was one big cookie, and when I cooked it, it all turned to one big, ugly blob. I decided to make a run to the store for more cookie dough to make another smaller one. They couldn't have an ugly Gingerbread Man, right! I had just enough time. As I made my way out of my subdivision, I got behind a cement truck - not unusual around here being that there is a good bit of construction going on. The cement truck gets in the left lane, ALL the way in the left lane, and I "assume" he's turning left. Being that there are mostly county roads around here, it is also not unusual for those type trucks to get in the left lane to turn left. I had my entire lane open so although he had not turned left yet, he was in that lane so I proceeded ahead so as to drive beside him. Only he wasn't turning left. He was actually getting that far over to make a sharp right turn, didn't see me, and turned literally right on top of me. We weren't going that fast and my airbags didn't even deploy, but it did some damage. We'll find out just how much today. The van was towed to the body shop. Not to mention it scared the crap out of me. Thankfully none of the kids were with me. I can't imagine how terrifying that would have been for them. That truck had a full load of concrete so a couple more feet here or one of us going a little faster and the results would have been much different. I'm ok, just really sore. I was a bit sidelined for the weekend. But I'm better today than I was yesterday, and I'm sure tomorrow will be better than today. I'm just really thankful it wasn't worse than it was and that the kids weren't with me. The van can be fixed.

BTW, the Gingerbread Man made it safely back to Grant's class, albeit a little late. They looked for him all over the school a bit longer than everyone thought it would take to find him. I trimmed him up to look more like a gingerbread man and "followed his crumbs" (a/k/a the trimmings I put in a ziploc bag) to find him. They devoured the thing and his crumbs, so all was good! Grant's mom and dad saved the day! :)


Friday ended with my sister and two nieces coming to my parent's for a visit. Any time RaRa, GaGa and Mags come my boys count down the minutes, literally, until they get here (I do that myself!). Add to that the visit being at Mimi and Granddaddy's, and they can hardly contain themselves. Thanks for letting Grant and Mac spend the night. And thanks, mom, for coming to get us a little early being that I am temporarily without a vehicle. You saved my sanity! :) They are already talking about "next time." Martha, you make me laugh and I love every chance I get to see you and my girls. I wish we could see each other more often!

I'll close for now with a few more pics:

Don't you just want to pinch it!!



Reid trying to escape me putting a "dipey"
on him - how dare I cover up his manhood
so that he can't keep his hand on it!







Grant trying to hide from the camera -Too slow for the Mommy Monster, G-Man!





No caption needed!

I'm working on Reminiscing Part 2 - found some goodies at my parent's. Shea, do you remember meeting Bethany for the first time???

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

NEW PICS


Cruisin' on the Bad Boy Buggy:

(We love spending time with that Sissy!)


Pickin' tomatoes (Can you tell he's exhausted from big school? They're wearing him out!) :)


"Wook" at mine:





"REID, you're not supposed to pick the green ones":



HA HA! Just kiddin', mama, I got a red one!


A rare moment:




Some QT with the grands, Mimi and Granddaddy:



"SUPERMARKET FEET!!"


And one more for the road:

We all shared this sentiment when we had to go inside:

Monday, August 17, 2009

THIS IS THE SIGN WE LIKE TO SEE:

There hasn't been a whole lot of that going on lately so it's nice when it does. This is for one of our spec houses. I know I'm a little partial (ok a lot) but my man builds a great house. I don't think there are many around here that can compare to the type house he builds. His attention to detail is like no other. Here are some pictures of our latest spec house (and, as always, please excuse my picture-taking abilities as they suck!):



Although this is one of the "smaller" ones we've built (about 1800 sq. ft.), his signature mark on houses is always the trimwork/crown moulding. He likes a lot of wood. We also do the hardwood floors. I love the floors in this house! They were left natural and turned out beautiful. Chris was born to do this. He has a God-given talent, a gift.

We build-to-sell every two years, and our two years is this year. And while I will miss the house we're in right now (I hated it when we first moved in - thought it was too big and too "cold" but have grown to really love it and appreciate it's beauty and uniqueness), I'm ready to see that "SOLD" sign in our front yard!

On to other news. Grant started Kindergarten last week. I cannot believe I don't have a picture to post. I did not have a working camera and had to pull a "Louise" and get myself a trusty disposable camera. I hope they turn out. I will admit the element of surprise of getting those pictures developed is fun! I kinda miss that. He did so very good. I'm so proud of him! Chris and I had a hard time with him starting (just couldn't believe our baby was already starting big school) but he has done so well it made the transition easier. Listen to me, Grant starts school and I'm talking about the transition for Chris and me. :) We love his teacher too, PTL! I am not one to request teachers. I've never done that with Bethany and I won't start now. I pray about it and trust that the Lord will put them with the right teacher. And I've never been disappointed.

This weekend was a great one. I left the laundry and dishes alone and just enjoyed my kids. That's hard to do sometimes but I'm sure glad I did. Chris took his M-L-C Mobile (story for another post), "mid-life crisis mobile," a/k/a this:

To the beach with a friend for a little guy's weekend. Nothing like a good bromantic get-away with two men on their MLC Mobiles! :) And he deserved it! And the kids and I enjoyed a weekend of take-out (which we rarely do) movies, and junk food! It was one of those weekends where we all just wanted to relax, stay in the AC (because there aren't many days we choose to stay indoors), and veg out in front of the TV. Bethany and I ate, laughed, ate, watched movies, ate, played with the boys, ate, went to bed, ate, woke up, ate. Needless to say, we put down some food! :) I think it was just what we both needed to end a rather challenging week. I had a ton of fun, Umby! I love and miss you!

Friday, August 14, 2009

20 THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT ME

I love these kind of things. Before the blogging world and before texting was so big, my friends and family got so sick of me forwarding these kind of things and surveys in e-mails. But I didn't care. I still sent them because I loved doing them, and getting them back was fun seeing what everyone else put. Us Weekly is even doing something similar on a celebrity in their magazine. Celebrity I am not nor will I ever be, but I wanted to do it anyway. Here are 20 things you may or may not know about me:

1. I'm a 32-year-old surgically-induced menopausal woman on hormone replacement therapy and it sucks! The title of my blog should have been: "Hot flashes and temper tantrums: The life and times of a menopausal mom with toddlers." Women, if you can, keep those ovaries! They are precious!


2. I've let my kids eat cookies and fruit roll-ups for breakfast.


3. I like watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians because Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe remind me of my two sisters and me.


4. I have been secretely watching Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood for a little while and not telling anyone because I was a bit embarrassed to say so. :) And while I now see Tori Spelling in a new light and really do like her and think she's funny, I sometimes have to walk away when Dean is on-screen. He's nauseating.


5. I love to be different. I purposely will not get something, even if I want it, if it's something everyone else has.


6. I'm a perfectionist to a fault (think OCD) but you'd never know it to look in my vehicle. It's like a rolling trash can. And I don't care.


7. I love Afro Man but can no longer listen to it, not only because my kids are usually in the car with me, but because it's so so bad and I'm convicted when I do. But I will if my little sister, Dawn, is around. No one can sing it like her!


8. Chris and I watch The Young and the Restless religiously every single night. We never miss it. I don't know how our marriage survived before DVR! :)


9. I wish I had the guts to get a brazilian wax.


10. I'm a firm believer in Karma. I even wear a "what goes around comes around" karma necklace every day. I've lived it. I've seen it. I believe it. As my sister, Rachel, a/k/a Martha has said: "Karma? Yeah, I know her. And she's a b**ch."


11. One of my peeves is when a woman tries to do a man's job. We were made different for a reason.


12. I love to watch NASCAR and would love to race NASCAR but never would, even if I could: See #11.


13. I love to read People and Us Weekly but rarely have time. To make time, I sometimes will take one of them into the bathroom with me to make it look as if I need to take care of business but will really just be in there to take a few minutes to read my magazine. I've truthfully never understood why men take reading material into the bathroom.


14. I've been told that I can give a little TMI on occasion. ME?


15. Besides being a mom, my favorite job was as an oral surgery assistant. The mouth bleeds a lot and I loved all of it. But I did almost pass out seeing my very first surgery.


16. I love rap music and will jam when I'm by myself. I wonder what people think when they pull up to a red light next to me and I have my factory-installed Bose minivan "system" bumping.


17. I cannot listen to Stanky Legg without actually doing it.


18. Because I've had four children and a complete hysterectomy, a Depends commercial is not something I laugh at. I have to squeeze when I sneeze.


19. Most of what I've said so far is sure to embarrass Umby! Hey, that's what mothers are for, right!


20. My real reason for this blog is on the one in whatever-crazy-number chance Kelly Ripa is in the blogosphere, somehow comes across my blog, loves it, and wants to hang out with me and my kids. I love her! :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

HEY RA RA...

This one's for you!




And how about a couple of these for reminiscing:

Angels. Pure angels!


Lovin' the Mork & Mindy!

REMINISCING (Part 1)

I came across these pictures today and wanted to share them. It's a look back almost 14 years ago at the beginning of life with my angel, Bethany. I was 17 when I found out I was pregnant with her, 18 when I brought her into the world. I was clueless about being a mother and scared to death. But I knew I had been given a very special gift from God (still know that). I've made a lot of mistakes along the way, but one thing's for sure: I love that little girl with all of my being!

Seeing her heart beat for the first time:

(Can you make out the little peanut?)



Making a stop at Aunt Kay's in Montevallo to make sure we're in real labor. WE ARE! It's off to Brookwood:

(Nevermind the bangs, look at those cheeks! I gained 50 lbs! WHOA!)


Meeting for the first time:

(One of the best moments of my life!)


Our first day home: (Isn't she beautiful!)


First Easter:

(Makes me miss 322 Wright Dr. - you agree, Martha?)



Sweet baby girl:

(She was such a sweet baby!)


Snoozing with Granddaddy! :) (I love this one!)

Whatever has me laughing obviously didn't strike her as funny!



Now that's the smile I know!

I LOVE YOU, UMBY!

Stay tuned. This is just Part 1.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A LITTLE TWIST ON LITTLE WHITE DONUTS

I love donuts - could eat my weight in Krispy Kreme (the plain ol' glazed ones). But it isn't just Krispy Kreme. I pretty much love ALL donuts. And who doesn't love the white powdered ones! Well I have a little twist on them. Put donuts on a cookie sheet (sprayed with Pam) and put them in your broiler until they start bubbling and you see the sugar starting to melt. Flip them over and do the other side just like it. Do not leave them, watch them the entire time because it literally only takes a minute or so per side, and they burn easy. Let them cool just for a minute and indulge. They are so delicious! Think combination of white donuts and funnel cake! I love them, Umby loves them, the boys love them. Yummy!

Something else yummy and easy are flour tortilla pizzas. It's fun to get the kids in on this one. They can make their own. Take flour tortillas, spread on your favorite pizza sauce (I use Ragu pizza sauce) leaving a little space around the edges for your "crust", top with pepperoni and cheese (or whatever you wish), put on a cookie sheet, and place in 425° oven until cheese is melted and tortilla is a little crunchy. This is a favorite with my kids and so so easy.


We've had a nice, relaxing weekend. UFC 101 was last night, and that always brings a lot of fun - good times with good friends and, as always, good food! :) We also watched Transformers and I must admit, I just don't get what all the fuss is about. Megan Fox may be beautiful but she can't act and gets on my last nerve. The movie was just dumb to me. But I mainly watched it because the boys have been wanting to see it and they enjoyed it, so it was worth it.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, August 7, 2009

P90X

That should stand for Possibly 90 Xcuses Chris and I have come up with for why "next week" is always a better week to start P90X. In case you don't know, P90X is an extreme home fitness training system. You work out 6 days a week for an average of an hour a day. It's a big commitment. You half-way have to be in shape to even start it, or so we're told. There are minimum requirements listed in the fitness guide. To read them, it sounds simple. To DO them, not so simple! And I'd like to think we're not in that bad of shape. For example: Think standing with your back against a wall - then slide down the wall until your body is in a seated position - your body should make a 90° angle - then hold that for 60 seconds. Sound simple? Well it's not. Chris only made it 20 seconds on his first attempt. And those 20 were grueling (and I almost wet my pants from laughing so hard). I guess a few of those reverse lunges and donkey kicks I've been doing have paid off because I was able to hold it for 60 seconds but just barely. Chris and I laughed so hard at each other just trying to do the minimums. I can't imagine what it will be like when we actually start the program. BTW, there is a strict meal plan you are also supposed to follow while doing P90X. We won't be following that. I'm of the mindset that if I'm working out THAT hard, I'm gonna eat!

I plan on posting before and after pictures, but no "before" until there are good "after" to post. :)

As of now, we're planning to start next week. We shall see.

THE VERDICT IS IN

The Costco diapers win - Kirkland brand. Reid is allergic to the brand from Target, Up and Up, plus I never really liked the way they fit. They're just so darn cute! And I think I listed the price incorrectly on the Costco diapers. They're $39.95 for a box of 186 (Size 4).

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

BLUE

Again, this may be one of those that, as his mother, I am the only one who finds it even remotely funny. I don't care. I must post this as I know he won't be saying things like this forever and I don't want to forget it (and Grant yelling "MAAAA-MAAAA" in the background will also one day take me back). This is Reid saying blue. I don't know what the heck he tries to do with his tongue but to me, this is hilarious. It's a little overkill, I know, but it makes me laugh. And I love to laugh!

video

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

MEET SPIKE

(I do hope to have some better pictures of him soon, and with the kids. This picture was taken, texted, uploaded, e-mailed, saved and now posted so it's not too bad considering all that!)

Spike was found by some friends of ours (who just happen to be our neighbors too) close to a creek by their house. They have four dogs which found Spike and weren't too fond of him. Bob and Sheree got the dogs away and were able to go to him. He was very frightened and had a couple of puncture wounds from the dogs but other than that, seemed to be in good health. They have determined he's only a few weeks old and either was abandoned by his mother or something happened to her. After speaking with their vet and doing some researching, they have decided to keep and raise Spike. He is the sweetest thing. And so tiny. You can't tell from the picture but he only stands about 1 1/2 ft. tall. We're sure he missed his mama at first as he wouldn't eat or drink, but he's eating well now (he's being bottle-fed), and we're told he likely thinks Sheree is his mama now. He is getting more steady on his feet and will "run" and play a little. He's so friendly and very social. He loves the attention he's getting and will walk over to you and give you lots of kisses. We are lovin' that Spike and look forward to watching him grow! I hope to have some good pictures soon!

Monday, August 3, 2009

SURE TO EMBARRASS

Embarrassment. It's an emotion that I'm sure to feel at some point when we all venture out as a family. And I'm not easy to embarrass. Between the boys and Chris, someone will come through you can bet on it! This past weekend was no exception. When Bethany, the boys and I were waiting to meet Tara at our usual spot in Shelby County, I decided to take the few extra minutes we had to clean out some trash in the van. The boys are always antsy to get out of their carseats, so they were out of the van playing in the grassy area beside me. Umby had a migraine coming on so she was resting in the front with her seat reclined. As I take a moment from my car-cleaning to look up and check on the boys, I see Mac in all his glory using their little grassy play area as his own personal restroom. The exit off which we meet is a busy one - quite busy. And the gas station where we meet is usually the busiest place off that exit. As if that weren't enough, while I'm helping Mac cover himself back up and explaining to him that just because it's grass doesn't mean he can use it like he does the woods at our house, I look over to find Reid completely undressed from the waist down: shorts, diaper, all of it. And he's a man's man in that as soon as that diaper comes off, the hand goes to it. He showed no shame in his game that day either. And while I got a "get control of your kids, lady" glare from some random woman, all I could do was laugh. And laugh we did, didn't we, Umby! Boys!

So yesterday we all venture out to do our bulk-buying. We love buying in bulk and like things about both Sam's and Costco so when we need to replenish most of what we buy in bulk, we usually have to make stops to both. That was the case yesterday. We went to Costco first, and the shopping went off without a hitch. They had samples of pizza and Monster energy drinks so we were all good to go for a bit. :) It's off to Sam's we go. By the time we get finished in Sam's, the boys are hungry and tired and they're letting everyone know it. In the parking lot I have Reid on my hip, Mac hanging on to my leg wanting my other hip, and Grant a few steps behind acting as if he's run a marathon and cannot muster enough energy to take a few more steps to the car. Chris is about 10 steps ahead of all of us acting as if he hasn't a clue who the woman with all those screaming kids are. We obviously caught the attention of a dear elderly man who stood by his truck just watching all the commotion. I glanced over at him and saw him smiling, almost laughing, with that, "oh, bless your heart but what were you thinking" look. I smile back and just shake my head. The man looks over at my sweet husband with a look that Chris obviously interpreted as a "didn't you figure out what was causing that" question - to which my loving spouse replied, "WE DIDN'T HAVE A T.V." Dear old man gave a little chuckle, continued watching as we loaded everything and everyone into the van, and moseyed his way on into Sam's.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

THE JURY IS OUT: COSTCO V. TARGET

Diapers. I've been using them non-stop for five years. I have even dealt with 3 in diapers at one time. I have used everything from Pampers to Luvs to Huggies to Parent's Choice to the ones you buy in a gas station. I used to swear by Pampers. That's what Bethany used, it's what Grant used, and I love the smell of them. No other diapers smell like Pampers. However, two of my boys ended up being allergic to them and being that we buy in bulk, we had to all wear the same brand. So we switch to Huggies. They weren't allergic and they fit them so so good but those things leak like crazy (although Huggies Supreme do a bit better than regular Huggies), and Luvs held against leaks about as good as a swim diaper. I have a friend who swears by Luvs. It's all she ever put her daughter in but I'm thinking Luvs must do better for girls because I remember using Luvs on Bethany too. I tried a few other brands until Costco opened in Montgomery and we saw their brand, Kirkland. They are AWESOME! They are fairly inexpensive (a box of 186 Size 4 diapers is $49.99), they fit them perfectly, and best of all, they do not leak! I'm not saying they've NEVER leaked, but overall they're my top pick! It's extraordinary how much they can hold. You do have to be a member of Costco to purchase them, but the membership fee is inexpensive, and we love buying in bulk so it's worth it to us. I am, however, curious to see how Target's brand of diapers (Up and Up) do. Bethany and I were in Target the other day, and she mentioned she thought their diapers were pretty good as well as inexpensive (her sisters have used them). A package of 34 Size 4 Diapers were $5.99 (if my memory serves me correctly). These diapers are so cute. They have blue and green polka dots. If I went for looks with diapers these would win hands-down! And it would be more convenient to be able to get our diapers from Target. However, one of the first things I noticed is that they don't seem to fit very well. They don't "hug" like the Kirkland diapers do. We'll see, though. I've used them for two days and nights now with no leaks. I'll give them a fair shot.

If you can believe it, I have a picture of my four - TOGETHER! Mac was in a mood but hey, as you can tell from my last post, this look is an improvement! (Uncle Kevin, thanks for the Vandy t-shirts!)