Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Looking For a New Sitter

We are in the process of looking for a new sitter. This has to be the hardest, most stressful thing I have done in a long time. Since we moved in December, we have had to drive ½ hour out of the way each morning and each evening to take and pick-up the kids. It’s too hard on us. Also, the sitter has started doing things that we’re not too fond of. First, every time I pick them up I feel like our sitter is absolutely drained. She has nothing but bad things to report to us, at least that’s how I feel.

When our current sitter first called us (she had heard a rumor that we were looking for a sitter because we wanted to take our daughter out of day-care) we were her first “clients.” She had quit her job to stay home with her older kids and wanted to make some extra money on the side. She was wonderful. Her rate was lower than day-care but we ended up paying her more because she was so great. She told us that she just wanted to watch 2 or 3 max in order to keep the ratio low. She got another little newborn 1 year later. 6 months later my son was born. Everything was still great…she loved my daughter and took her everywhere!

About 1 year ago she took in another little girl (so now there are 3 girls that are 4, 3 and 2 and then my son who’s 2). I think it’s just more than she can handle. She seems so tired each day. She also seems to have picked a new favorite, and it’s not my daughter. I don’t think she likes preschoolers…I think she’s a baby person.

We raise our kids a little differently from the way we were raised. I have a policy that I don’t say “because I said so” when my daughter asks me “why?” I always give her reasons for the rules or why I say “no” to things. As adults we would never do something without knowing why, so why do we expect our kids to? Anyway, she told us that our daughter was back-talking the other day so she went in time-out. What??? She’s 4, there’s no “back-talking” yet. Come to find out, the sitter was telling her to do something out of the ordinary (while at the same time frustrated because my son had make a mess with the cupcake she had given him to eat) and my daughter asked her “why?” So the sitter sent her to time-out. Hubby explained to the sitter that she is very smart (duh, the sitter tells us that all the time) and she wants to understand what’s going on…she’s not a puppet. When they got in the car my daughter said that the sitter was yelling at her and it was scaring my son.

So that’s just one example of the daily battles that seem to be going on because she gets so easily frustrated. The latest thing she did that absolutely appalled me was get a new puppy. Now before you go crazy, it’s not the puppy, but how she got the puppy. They have a dog, have had him for a long time. I hate dogs. But I think it’s great the kids are exposed to them so they aren’t scared of them. Their dog is bad in that it always jumps all over us when we take the kids or pick them up (and we’re in our nice work clothes). But I’ve tolerated it, because of course, it was there first. Fast forward to Monday. Hubby drops the kids off and the sitter tells him that they brought in a stray puppy. That’s right. She brought in a dog that she knew nothing about. Had no idea if it would attack the kids, had any diseases, nothing. Hubby and I are furious. She doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with this. She also told my daughter to be careful, because since it’s a puppy, it will bite her because it doesn’t know better. The sitter informed us that if they can’t find the owner, they will be keeping the dog. We told the sitter we would figure out what we wanted to do.

So I have started the sitter search. I don’t want to take the kids to daycare for a number of reasons. The only one I would consider turns out to cost us $2,000 per month. That’s right. I’ll wait for you to regain consciousness. So there will be no daycare at this time.

Unfortunately, there are hardly any sitters in our new city. I have no idea why. And since she’ll be in school in 2008, I have to find somewhere that she will be able to go to the school I want her to when it comes time.

Needless to say I’m very stressed out…why can’t this person live by me??? I would pay her oogles of money to watch my kids.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I Thought I Missed It, But I Really Don't

Last night was the party for my son and my nephew (their birthdays are 1 day apart). My sister-in-law that just had the baby was there. Now I’ve been jealous of her position for a little bit now – one newborn little child. Remember how easy that was? The baby slept all the time, only waking up to eat and get a diaper change, and then it was back to bed. Sometimes I REALLY miss those days.

But as I watched her yesterday, I realized that I don’t miss it as much as I thought I did. Having one little baby means that you’re a new mom, and that means you really have no clue about a lot of things. I watched as this new mom opened the clothes that I gave her and looked at the tags where they have the weight ranges and coordinating sizes. Based on these weights she was determining when her daughter could wear the clothes. I remember doing that…and how wrong those tags can be! Now I know that you just try it on the kid (after washing it because of course it’s going to shrink a ton). I also watched as she was getting upset because it had been four hours since the baby had eaten, and she normally only goes three hours. She kept saying “we need to wake her up. She needs to eat.” I learned very quickly not to wake a sleeping baby :)

So as I watched her more and more, I realized that the experience that I have gained over the past four years is priceless. And even though life can be very challenging with two kids, I wouldn’t trade that experience and knowledge for even one day of new-motherhood.

Friday, June 22, 2007

My Baby Turns 2!

To my fantastic little boy:

For the longest time I didn’t think I would get to keep you. From bleeding early on in the pregnancy to just “weird feelings,” it was only last year that I realized that you are here, and you are here to stay. I couldn’t be happier.

You were a pain-in-the-butt baby! So much so that there will be 3 years between you and the next one as opposed to the 2 I had always planned. But at around 14 months you really turned into the best baby I could have asked for. You started walking at 14 months, but thankfully talked earlier than that. I felt bad because everyone was comparing you to your sister and her amazing vocabulary at such a young age. But I could tell you understood everything we said, and just because you couldn’t say the words exactly, you knew the words in your head. During this time you really became a little boy – you LOVED balls, and football, oh my gosh the football (got-me-got-me in the upstairs hallway). You also grew more and more attached to Pappaw. You do everything with Pappaw! You love trucks and cars (“Ightning Keen” and “O maer” (Lighting McQueen and Tow Mater). Now your current obsession? TRAINS. More specifically, THOMAS! You love Thomas and can name each of the different trains. You have to have your Thomas sippy cup and you love your Thomas PJs.

You turned into the best sleeper (after 8 months in my room, mostly in my bed before you fell off, then it was bassinet only). I could just lay you in the crib and walk away and you’d go to sleep. You were good about having paci only when you went to sleep when you turned 18 months, and just a couple of weeks ago you gave up paci for good. Of course this affected your sleeping, but we’re working through that, and you’re doing better every day!

You say the funniest things – “Dat funny mommy,” “I not cazy, u cazy,” “Yes, uh-HUH,” “I uv u too,” “Bubeddies aaand stawbeddies,” “And Joshie,” and my favorite, “No nigh-night time.” I’m tearing up just thinking about how you bring such a smile to my face.

You hug me, you kiss me, you say “holda me mommy” a lot. You love blueberries, strawberries, bananas, hot dogs, ice cream, broccoli, pizza, chips and fishies. You are the best eater, really.

I could go on and on, but I will end with this: I love you so much and even though I never thought I would be able to raise a boy, you have made my life so much better because you’re in it. You constantly amaze me when I watch your “boy” brain work and the things that interest and fascinate you. Thank you so much for being My little boy.

Happy 2nd Birthday big boy!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Recipe

I'm really busy at work so I thought I would post the recipe for the dinner I made last night. It was wonderful! The thing that took the longest was cooking and cutting the chicken and then cutting the veggies. If anyone has a suggestion to getting "cooked, cubed chicken" fast, let me know, because a lot of the recipes I like call for that.

Anyway, here you was really good and the kids liked it too!

Chicken Celery Casserole

From Quick Cooking

"When time is short and I have many guests, this is the recipe I reach for," relates Ruth Andrewson from Peck, Idaho. "The comforting dish has a crunchy topping and can be on the table in under an hour."

4 cups cubed cooked chicken
8 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped pecans
1 small onion, diced
2 cups mayonnaise*
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 cup crushed potato chips
1 cup crushed french-fried onions
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese


PREP 15 min.

COOK 25 min.

TOTAL 40 min.


In a bowl, combine the chicken, celery, pecans and diced onion. Combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice and garlic salt; add to chicken mixture and mix well. Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20 minutes. Top with potato chips, french-fried onions and cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until chips are crisp and cheese is melted.

Yield: 8 servings.

Editor's Note: Reduced-fat or fat-free mayonnaise is not recommended for this recipe.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

My Little Boy's Birthday Party

So here are pictures from my son’s birthday party that was on Saturday. We had to do it a week before his real birthday (the 24th) because there’s a huge festival in our city that is next weekend (and I don’t do parties on Sundays…I need a day to recuperate!). It ended up being really small…we didn’t invite any neighbors because we had it at a park (there’s always that obligation when it’s at home), and a couple of the family friends were out of town. My mom and sisters were on vacation, so they didn’t get there until it was ending. So it was just my dad, hubby’s parents, and his sister and her husband and their new baby. It was very relaxing and I really enjoyed myself! When we have parties at home I spend the whole time running around trying to make sure everything's perfect. But since we were at a park, I could only do so much! The only bad thing is usually when I'm running around crazy, I remember to take lots of pictures, but since I was sitting and relaxing, I forgot to take so many pictures :( Oh well, at least I got some!

I’m very pleased with how the cake turned out – it took 4 hours of decorating and there’s white showing because I started to run out of icing.

Monday, June 18, 2007

This is what I get to deal with today:
Maybe unpacking will take all day and I won't have to do any real work :)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Jen over at Jen on the Edge nominated me for the Thinking Blogger Award. I feel honored because I didn’t have any idea people *thought* when they read what I wrote. I’m kind of speechless, I don’t really know what to say (except "thank you" of course!).

I’m probably going to get thrown out of blogosphere for this, but I’m not going to pass it on to anyone. I read too many blogs that make me think, and I know most of you have already gotten this award. So to prevent any hurt feelings, I’m just going to “give” it to all of you. I hope you're not offended Jen...I just always feel so bad with things like this (memes, awards, etc.).

I know you all think I’m lame, but that’s just how I am :)

Today is moving day for our office. We are moving back next door to the main building (a couple of years ago M/I got so large that they had to lease space in the building that we are in now and moved accounting and HR over here. Unfortunately with the HUGE housing slow-down, we are not that big anymore, so there’s room for us to come back). The latest that we get to leave today is 3:00, and we have tomorrow off!!! YIPPPEEEE! I think I might take the kids over to the pool. I can’t wait to be stay-at-home-mommy tomorrow!

VBS is still going great! My daughter absolutely idolizes the head lady (seriously, you would think this lady was a celebrity the way my daughter acts!). Last night the stuffed animal my daughter brought in won a prize, so at the end hubby took her up to get it. The head lady asked us how everything was going and then my daughter told her the memory verse. The head lady was so impressed that she said tonight my daughter could say the one for today ON CAMERA!!! It’s kind of funny, actually, during all of the time we’re around the camera, it is almost always focusing on our little class of 4 year-olds (as opposed to the other 400 kids that are there), and a lot of the time it’s focused on the two little girls in our class. I hate bragging, and usually never do it…but she is So.Dang.Cute that I can’t help it!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

So I thought I would post some pictures from Vacation Bible School. We are having a blast! We have 5 kids in our class (actually had 6 last night as one of Kylie’s friend’s that is much older wanted to be in our class, as she does every year. She actually happens to be the daughter of the lady I had the problems with last VBS who I now get along great with). It’s an Amazon theme and we are going through “the 7 C’s of history” – Creation, corruption, catastrophe, confusion, Christ, cross and Consummation.

Our night goes like this:

5:00 – I arrive at the church and change into my shirt and shorts and go through the concession stand where everything is $.50 (hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, chips, grapes, cookies, drinks, etc.). I get food for the whole family.

5:15 – My baby-sitter brings the kids in to church (she is also leading a class – very convenient!) and we all sit down to eat dinner (hubby shows up whenever he drags himself away from work :) )

5:45 – Check my son into his little class (deal with him crying – late separation anxiety). Then I sit at our check in table and check the kids in.

6:15 – Head down to the sanctuary for opening songs and announcements.

6:40 – Head to crafts. There are three rotations (Crafts, lesson, games), and there are two sets of everything – one for the little ones and one for the bigger kids (we go from pre-K to 6th grade).

7:15 – Head to lesson. Here we hear the Bible story and play with toys and games that are applicable to the story.

7:55 – Outside to games and snacks! Our snacks have to do with the lesson as well.

8:40 – Head back in to the sanctuary for closing songs and drama.

9:00 – Parents pick the kids up (not really, we haven’t been leaving until around 9:30 because parents have been late getting their kids).

So as you can see it’s a very fun, very full night. Here are some pictures:

Craft Time!!! (My daughter is the one on the right)

Hubby helping the boys with crafts

My daughter with her older friend

Our crazy class! The older girl is our awesome helper!

The Bible story teacher

The sanctuary this week (it normally looks like any other sanctuary - pulpit, baptismal, etc.) The waterfall in the middle actually has real running water, and the camera in the picture is the film crew that's here this week taping us!

Here are some of the actors that are doing the drama. We have an awesome drama group!

Hopefully the rest of the week goes as well as the first two days! Even though I'm dead tired, I'm still having so much fun!!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

On Friday after my sister’s graduation we went to a very nice restaurant for lunch on the campus. We all sat down at a table and immediately my parents started seeing people they know and saying “hi” (they are both professors and have been for a long time). A group of people that they knew walked up to our table to say “hello” as well. My parents began the introductions as they went around the table: “This is {my baby sister}, she graduated today with her MBA and MHA. And this is {my middle sister} and she just graduated from medical school, so she is actually Dr. {my middle sister}. And this is our granddaughter, and this is our granddaughter’s mom.”


Part of me feels guilty that what they said hurt me. I should be proud to be my kids’ mom (which, don’t get me wrong, I definitely am). But I’m so much more than that. I graduated with an accounting degree; I’m a CPA; I have a terrific job with a great company.

Part of it, I believe, is that being a mom comes very easily to me. Now of course there are hard times when I want to pull my hair out, and I definitely get angry and scream at my kids from time to time, but for the most part it’s been a fairly easy journey. I was never scared when I was pregnant about what kind of mom I would be, and heck, I was taking care of our neighbor kids like they were my own long before I had my own kids. From the day I brought my kids home from the hospital everything came very naturally to me. But the other stuff (school, job, etc.) those are the things I worked hard for. Those things did not come so easily to me.

I’m sure I’ve got people thinking “what the heck? Why isn’t she proud and happy to have that as her label?” But I’m not just someone’s mom…I’m a wife, a mom, a friend, and an accountant. To just pick the first item as a description of me is to deny who I am in total.

So what about you? What labels have you been given? What labels do you think you deserve? Do you ever get upset when someone gives you a different label?

Monday, June 11, 2007

A Fabulous Weekend!

I made it! Thursday night I finished my sister’s scrapbook at 11:00 and my daughter and I left for my parents’. We got in around 1:00 and crashed into bed! We got up and went to my sister’s graduation. Let me tell you….it started at 9:30, and finally at 12:15 my dad and sister walked out (with a bunch of other graduates) because they had had enough! I have no idea what time it actually ended, but it was WAY TOO LONG!

We went to lunch where I had to deal with cranky kids because they needed a nap, and also try to find them something to eat because even the grilled cheese at this fancy restaurant had some weird cheeses on it and my kids hated it (and they are very good eaters). After that I was able to take them home and put them down for a nap.

Saturday was absolutely gorgeous here in Ohio! We were outside pretty much all day. Then Saturday night we had a little fire and sat out with the neighbors and talked until about 12:30 in the morning.

Sunday we went to church, came home, jumped on the neighbor’s new trampoline (my daughter is doing so well jumping with the big kids!). and then went out on our neighbor’s boat with them. After we got back we had a nice little cookout and played horseshoes.

Looking back this past weekend was one of the best I have had in a long time. Nothing was planned and yet we did so many fun things. I love our new neighborhood. I love that our old neighbors moved with us and are such great friends of ours. I love the warm weather!

This week is VBS. So that means, leave the house at 7:00 AM making sure that we have everything we need for the entire day. Leave work at 4:30 PM. Arrive at church at 5:00 PM. Get dinner from awesome cheap concession stand they have set up (everything is $.50, even the main course which are hot dogs or hamburgers or something like that). Get ready at 5:45 PM. Done with VBS at 9:00 PM. Get home at 9:30 PM, give baths and get kids into bed. Do laundry (have to wash the VBS shirts each night), pack bags for the next day, clean up anything out, etc. Hopefully get myself to bed by 11:00 PM. Wake up and do it all over again.

Even thought that sounds crazy, we LOVE VBS**. Our church does such an amazing job with it. There are around 1,500 kids, I believe and the sets that are painted are absolutely amazing. Here’s a link to pictures from some of the previous years’. Seriously, check it out and you’ll see what I’m talking about (and this is just the morning session, there are at least another 500 in the evening session)!

**For those of you that were reading me at this time last year and know all about my VBS drama…hopefully, nothing like that will happen this year! We are actually teaching the 4 year-olds, so they are no longer “nursery kids,” and the lady I had so many issues with last year and I actually get along really well now. So hopefully no drama :)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

My Pampered Chef party was awesome last night! I had a much better turn out than I thought I would and I think everyone had a great time! It started at 6:30 and the poor consultant didn’t end up leaving until around 10:00.

My daughter came home and I was so excited to see her! She immediately came in, said “hello” and went out to ride all of her outside toys (her bike, jeep, etc.). My son actually went home with my mom (“go Pappaw’s house”) since I’ll be going down there tonight.

After the consultant left I got to work on the scrapbook. My daughter wanted to do her scrapbook with me, so we stayed up until 1:00 AM (I know, mother of the year being taken away from me again) and I got a whopping 3 pages done (out of 20!). But we had a blast together! It's amazing how much she has picked up from just watching me...her pages were so good!

I will rush home after work and get the rest of the pages done and then we’ll leave to go down to my parents’. I will get this thing done!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Forever ago Kelly M. tagged me for the following meme, and I'm just now getting to it (sorry Kelly!). In all fairness, I actually did it right away, but then I forgot about it.

What Kind Of Ice Cream Are You?

You Are Rocky Road Ice Cream

Unpredictable and wild, you know how to have fun.
You're also a trendsetter who takes risks with new things.
You know about the latest and greatest - and may have invented it!

You are most compatible with vanilla ice cream.

This seems very strange to me...some of this I would never think is true about me, like the unpredictable and wild...I don't think that's me at all. But the trendsetter and having the latest and greatest, that does fit me for the most part. I tend to have the latest and greatest in a lot of things, but others (like clothing) I'm so far behind it's not even funny.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Boys Have Taken Over!

I’m missing my daughter a ton, but each time I talk to her she sounds like she is having a blast!

This is what happens when the girly-girl leaves…the boys take over the house! We were hanging up the hooks to hang the ladder on and my son had to help, so hubby showed him exactly what to do. He even said “put your pencil in your mouth” which is when my son interrupted and said “me need a pencil,” so hubby ran and got him a little one. He had to be just like daddy!

This rash (you can kind of see it on his cheek), due to paci, is finally clearing up! And he only got up once last night (around 3:30 AM) and I rubbed his back and he went back to sleep IN HIS CRIB!!! Maybe we're slowly getting back to normal!

Tonight I have my moms’ night out dinner at Las Margaritas. While I love going to dinner, I’m going to miss being home with hubby and my little boy. Tomorrow night I have my Pampered Chef party (you are all invited you know, just take a trip up/over to Ohio tomorrow evening, it starts around 6:30 :) ). I’m using it as a way to meet our new neighbors and so far I know at least 3 of them are coming (in addition to my friends that are coming).

Oh, remember back here where I had to create a scrapbook for my graduating sister? And how I’m really slow to scrapbook normally? Yeah, my other sister is graduating from grad school on Friday morning (she just told us two weeks ago that she was going to walk) and I have not started her scrapbook. I’m panicking, just a little (total sarcasm). I bought $75 worth of stuff yesterday during lunch, but last night I really wanted to hang out with hubby and my little boy that I couldn’t bring myself to do any of it. So I think I’m going to be up until 2:00 AM the next couple of days in order to get it done. I haven’t even printed the pictures yet. I’m so screwed!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Paci Update - The Good and The Bad

Well, we are now on day 4 of no paci. Yeah!!! He's really been doing great. However, bed time is much harder. It was so easy to lure him to his crib with his paci. Now, he actually cries when he goes to bed :( Last night I just wanted to snuggle with him so he fell asleep in our bed with me (I know, it's going to come back and bite me in the butt...keep reading :) ). I took him back to bed and at 4:30 this morning he woke up crying. Hubby brought him into our bed (see :) ). I'm really hoping that he'll go back to normal within the next week.

My mom came and go my daughter yesterday and took her to Michigan for a couple days to help my sister unpack. She was way too willing to go :( She packed her bags and was running out the door as my mom pulled up. I talked to her last night and she sounds like she is having a blast! I miss her so's amazing how quiet your house is without a 4 year-old! But she'll be back Wednesday night, so it's not too long that I'll have to go without her!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Paci or Thomas?

We are kind of strict about the use of pacifiers in our house. Hubby has a fear (based on several observations of family and friends) of our kids using a binky when they’re 3 or 4. So he’s had a pretty strict timeline of use and it has actually worked out well.

Unlimited use of a pacifier until 18 months old. Then they can only have it when they are sleeping. Around 2 it’s time to get rid of it completely. With my daughter, she easily gave up the “unlimited use” at 18 months (although I vividly remember her pulling one out of the diaper bag at almost exactly 18 months singing “I got a beebee” {what she called it} knowing that she wasn’t supposed to have it). Then when she was around 2 she wanted to lay down on the couch with Grandma one night at bedtime. So we told her that if she did that, she couldn’t have her beebee. She was fine with that, went down on the couch and actually fell asleep. She asked for it the next night, but we kept telling her she was so big the night before and didn’t need it. And we took her to the toy store and bought her a laptop. She never used one again.

My son has followed in her footsteps. He loves his “paci” (his term for it…no matter how many times I would call it a beebee, he would call it a paci). He’s gotten to where he has to have one in his mouth and one in his hand when he’s sleeping, and he will tell us, “2 pacies.” He’s so good about sleep, when we ask him if he’s tired, he’ll say “get 2 pacies, go in crib.” He was very good at 18 months about giving it up during the day. However, the getting rid of it at 2 was really worrying me because he loves his pacies and crib.

Because of his pacies he gets rashes around his mouth that won’t go away, no matter what goop I put on it. So last night when I was brushing his teeth, when the rash looked the worst I’ve ever seen, I showed him his face in the mirror and told him that he had boo-boos because of his paci. I told him that if he slept without it then I would take him to the store and buy him something Thomas today.

He actually went to sleep without it and did not even whimper. The trouble came at 4:00 in the morning. I could tell he really uses that thing to sleep! He was up pretty much from 4:00 – 5:30 when I finally brought him into our room (and this is the child that pretty much always sleeps through the night). He fell right asleep between hubby and me.

But you know what? He never once asked for his paci.

When I get home tonight we will be loading up in the car and going to buy something Thomas.