Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Good Morning All! Here is to wishing you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving Day. We will be celebrating in full with a little turkey for supper....

OOPS - Wrong Turkey...

OK - That is better. Sorry Folks, you were not supposed to see that last one...Maybe I have had a little too much already...Kidding! It is only 10 a.m. - I don't start drinking 'til at least noon...

So, no matter who you are, or how you celebrate (I won't even ask about the photo above) - we wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Black Friday

It sounds rather dreadful doesn't it? BLACK FRIDAY. Humm... I know it is referring to the time of the year when all the retail stores begin to operate "In the Black", meaning they will finally turn a profit for the year, but I would think they would give this grand day a different name....Like: Elbow Your Way to the Front of the Line Day, or how about: Get Up at 3 A.M. and Tackle Your Neighbor Day? Ok, Maybe Black Friday is fitting after all.
I, personally, am extremely excited to be participating on this wonderful, feel good day. I have even done so much as research the store sales and create lists of highlighted merchandise that I will be hunting down to snag at astronomically low prices. That is, if I do not get taken down in the process. I have never had the opportunity to take part in this fieasco before, this will be my maiden run at getting up at the crack of dawn to hunt and gather with the masses - I wonder if this is how it felt to be a pioneer, or maybe a cave woman....
So wish me luck on Friday - think of me out there, in the cold, while you are snug in your beds, for I may be getting your perfect Christmas gift.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sleep Update

It is amazing what a little sleep will do for the mental stability of a person. Aiden has reverted back to his old sleeping habits, picking up an hour nap in the morning on top of it. I have enjoyed the last three nights now, only having to wake twice to feed him, and trust me, honey, that ain't bad! Ahhhhh, the shear pleasure, overwhelming joy, wonderful sloth-like feeling. I am not sure what, exactly, has changed, or why all of a sudden we can sleep - but I am not questioning it! The result has been a happy baby, and an ecstatic mother - life is good.

Mama's Beauty Shop

Mama's Beauty Shop - that's what Sarah calls the bathroom when I do her hair in the mornings, along with Mama's Diner when I cook and Mama's Laundry Service when I do laundry. Well today I am going public. We had our first non-family client, the Flip Flopping Momma's son. Let me tell you, after having only done the Farmer's, his two little brothers (16 & 14 respectively) and Grandpa Dan's hair - this little guy was a tough one! I do have to say he held still pretty well - no big chunks missing, but boy was he a lot closer to the ground. I think the Flip Flopping Momma would attest to this too, as she seriously injured herself trying to get low enough to take a picture.
As you will note above - we did start off with a pretty pink towel on his shoulders to catch the hair and keep him from being itchy - yeah, he ditched the towel - now he just looks like a hairy old man!

Here he is all done - ears still in tact.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hurray for Scratch and Sniff!

Today, while waiting for my cinnamon scone at Starbucks (I know, it is a hard life I live), I ran across this weeks issue of People Magazine. Knowing very well that I was only picking it up for the quick fix of brain junk food that it would provide while waiting in line, I began to carouse the lovely men featured inside. Comm'on - It's Hugh Jackman! Like you wouldn't look too.... Anyway! This is when I found the scratch and sniff men! Not only does the issue contain half naked pictures of the stars, they each have a rather large, slightly shaded area on their body (mostly located near the collar bone/neck area - thank goodness!) that is a scratch and sniff. And let me be the first to tell you, they smell yummmy (sorry Mom). OK - we did have a little fun with this in the store, something about Micheal Phelps smelling like chlorine, or Tay Digg's having pheromones that could travel far distances...
The point is - if you have not already, I highly recommend picking up this week's issue - It is well worth the $4.99. It is scratch and sniff men for goodness sake! This brings googling the stars to a whole new level....

Friday, November 21, 2008

At Least Someone Has Zen

Sarah started Kids Yoga at a local studio a couple of weeks ago. I have to say that I am extremely jealous and I am vicariously living through her right now. Personally, I love Yoga. That sense of self and inner peace I get each time I practice - it is great! And greatly missing in my life right now, right down to the inner peace. Sarah likes it too, we have practiced several times here at home together and she has always shown an interest. She says it makes her quiet, I agree, it makes me quiet too.
This studio that we happened across is fabulous! From the decor to the staff, I am in love with the place. I have even threatened the Farmer that I am going to go live there. They have every luxury I can think of; Facials, Massages, Reflexology, Manicures, Pedicures...That's it - I am moving! Sorry, I am veering off subject...
The woman who teaches Sarah's class is wonderful with the kids. She does fun Yoga games with them and reads stories during which the kids practice a pose for each animal in the story, she even has snacks - what more could you ask for?

Thursday, November 20, 2008


It is official, at least in my book, winter has come! We have had our first several dustings of snow. I am always excited to see the white powder floating down from the heavens to coat the earth in a glorious, clean blanket. That is until about March, then I have had it with the snow and am begging the heavens to send sun and maybe some 80 degree days. But for now, we are excited. Sarah and I run to the windows to watch the snow dance across the fields and play on the winds. We catch snowflakes on our tongues and touch small tuffs of snow stuck to the pumpkins just to feel the cold wetness on our fingers. Then we rush inside to make cocoa and fires in the fireplace and cuddle on the couch.
We are still awaiting a measurable snowfall, but we will take any amount we can get. Just do not tell the Farmer how much we love it, he would rather the snow held out until January, or at least until they are done in the combines. Who am I kidding - that will be January!

Emerging From The Trenches

Well, I have been down in the trenches for a while now, I should, by all rights, be on the up side by now - right?

Aiden is STILL sick, and STILL not sleeping. If you can't see all the dried snot on his picture above, I have a permanent snot smearing on my left shoulder I could show you, he has decided this is a good place to blow his nose. I have had a couple of days where I could not even muster the energy for a shower, let alone to post anything worthwhile on my site here. So with promises of things to come, I will go now and change my shirt and hope for a mucus-free day ahead.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Still Baking

Don't worry folks, I have not let the baking slide. I have a NEW recipe! In all my baking delirium, I have come up with Cherry Garcia cookies. Please hold the applause... To my regular chocolate chip recipe I have added about 1/4 t. of almond extract, a cup of dried cherries (finely chopped) and 2 cups of chocolate chunks in lieu of chips. (You may applaud now) OH Yumm! It is cherry/chocolate heaven...NOT that I have tried any - ya know, with the whole chocolate ban in effect. Ok, I tried them before the ban, so it doesn't count! Quit judging me!

Cheesey, I know

So, yes, maybe I am a little cheesey...Who cares!? I just LOVED these shirts that my friend the FlipFloppingMomma gave Aiden and I! Aiden's reads "Demand" and mine is "Supply" - on the back they both say "Economics 101". These shirts are from , Not your Mommaz nursing wear!

Friday, November 14, 2008

My Scariest Day

Ok- so it has been a while since I have posted anything, I am sorry to admit. But I have a good excuse! You all know about the no-sleeping thing we have been going through with Aiden, well the saga continues into yet another week. Over the weekend I had had it. I decided to take him into the doctor to see what the heck was going on. I know babies get restless when they teethe, and I know that around 6 or 7 months the whole separation anxiety kicks in and that will keep them up too - but this child had not slept for more then 40 minutes at a stretch for two weeks and I couldn't take it anymore.

So off to the doctor we went, under the mask of his 6 month checkup - perfect timing! Now I don't look like the overreacting parent that I really am. To make a long story short, after explaining my woes to the Dr., he also became a slight bit concerned (At least I am no longer alone here), and did a physical exam on the boy. He found that Aiden's spleen was enlarged - No wonder he could not sleep, an enlarged spleen! OK - what the heck does that mean? Turns out that an enlarged spleen can mean some serious stuff (warning to all mothers, never look it up on the Internet if your child has an enlarged spleen!). So we rushed poor little Aiden and his abnormal spleen up to the Hospital for an ultrasound. By now I am in full panic mode and I am taken the Farmer with me.

A wonderful ultrasound tech, all of 12 years old, greeted us. We laid Aiden on the same table that I laid on many times to watch him and his sister swimming happily in my tummy, and she squirted him down with the funny jelly that I too had had smooshed all over my belly. Aiden was very pleasant through all this, I think he enjoyed someone so close to his age working on him. The tech took about five minutes to look at his spleen and kidneys and promptly left the room to talk with the Dr. on duty. Now this was the longest ten minutes of my life. Did we have a tumor on our hands? Was there a problem with his kidneys? Did he have a blockage? Questions whipped through our minds.

It turns out that Aiden's spleen was within the normal parameters for an infant of his age and they found no other problems. How they could tell this from the very brief examination, was beyond me, but Whew! So now what? Well, we talked to our Pediatrician once again and he came back with the diagnosis of "Colic". Hummm, colic, huh? Well, ok, if you say so Doc.

So I am trying out a new theory. For the past to days I have been avoiding all caffeine in my diet. Yes, Ladies, that means NO CHOCOLATE. Uhg..... And what do ya know, he has slept the last two nights. Huh, who would have thunk it? I guess sleep is better than chocolate after all.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Tommy Turtle, What Color Is Your Underwear?

I am not sure when the exact moment was that I got old. Was it a gradual process, or did
I wake up one morning with no idea of what was considered cool anymore. All I know is that I no longer view low waist jeans and tight Hollister tops as appropriate adult clothing. Of course, I know some 30-somethings who still think this is the only way to leave the house...
I, apparently, have also become thoroughly confused by men's clothing as well. Above we have a case in point. Above is my dear brother-in-law (yes, the Farmer has two teenage brothers - something about an empty nest syndrome, I am not sure...But where would we be without them to use as models?) and he is sporting the "IN" look in denim these days. Do you notice anything wrong here? Like a waist maybe? I spend more time knowing the color of his underwear then I do my own!
The pants are worn so low and so big that while carrying heavy boxes for me (hey, a girl has to have her boy-servants!) they actually began to fall off the child, leaving him to spread his legs as far as they could go, just to keep his pants above his knees! I had to rescue him just before they hit the floor.
Well, I might not get it, but the girls sure seem to be wild about this boy, so he must be doing something right.

Friday, November 7, 2008

First We Learn To Crawl

Aiden has been getting better and better about being on his tummy. Dare I say, some days he prefers it. Albeit with a fair share of "baiting" involved.
Today we used the unassuming dog. There she lay, sprawled out in the sun, minding her own business. Dreaming about chasing rabbits in the yard, or digging up a juicy mole to enjoy in the sunshine. (The likes of which leave ginormous craters in my yard that slightly resemble a minefield.) Suddenly, (insert "Jaws" theme music) her ear is grabbed and twisted into a tightly wound tootsie roll!
Daaa-da Daaa-da Daa-Da Daa-da Da-Da Da-Da DA DA DA DA
She leaps from slumber to defend herself, realizing quickly that she has turned from the mighty predator of her dreams to the unknowing prey! Pounced upon by none other than....THE BABY!
Ok - so she saw it coming. And she somewhat enjoys becoming a jungle gym for the children. Hey, it is attention after all!
Oh - that mighty hunter - ya just gotta love him.

Overheard - The Shadowy Man and The Sticks

While driving home after dark last night, this was the conversation in the car:

Sarah - "Mama, I just saw a man standing outside in the dark."
Me - (Trying to alleviate any fear of strange men in the dark) "Oh yea? Well they have a dog at that house, maybe he took the dog out to go potty."
Sarah - "No, Mama, he was a really tall man!"
Me - "Yes, Honey. Tall men have dogs too."
Sarah - "But he was really shadowy!"
Me - "Oh?"
Sarah - "I know, he was out to build a fire and has to look for sticks in the dark."
Well, that explains it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

OCD Defended

Earlier I posted an article regarding my OCD tendencies. Since this post was published, I have received all sorts of grief. I now feel I need to defend myself.

I was the Director of a large equestrian operation before I decided to be a stay-at-home Mom. My job consisted of managing a staff of 8, organizing several social events as well as horse shows at the facility, and the overseeing of a 22 horse recreational trail riding operation, all while trying to make a sizable profit each year. I was a busy person, and I loved it. I worked 12-14 hour days six days a week and would have done more, were I allowed to sleep in my office.

When the decision was made that I should become a stay-at-home mom I was reluctant to say the least. I even fought the whole idea with several part-time jobs, volunteer projects and adult education classes. Eventually, I surrendered to the idea of being at home. However, I still view my work here as a career. I made a contract with my husband that in staying home, it would be MY responsibility to maintain the home (power tools are the exception, if it takes a power tool- the Farmer is called in), care for the children, balance the budget, plan and cook the meals, etc., etc. His end of the bargain, in turn, is to keep us able to do all this with a steady income. (I think I have the better end of the bargain, if you ask me.)

Therefore, viewing this as my career, I strive every day to do better. I have been called a the perfect "50's Housewife"(which, I am pretty sure, was an insult), an "OCD", Neurotic, and just plain crazy. I enjoy what I do. I enjoy having a tidy house to entertain in, healthy, well behaved children to take places, sparkling stainless steel sinks, perfectly vacuumed floors, dust free tables, so many baked goods in he freezer that I have a hard time closing the door. Each day I will continue to try to do better.

It Takes It's Toll

I SLEPT! Ok, so last night was not the best night's sleep I have ever had - but we did get more than we have been getting! Aiden slept from 8 p.m. to 1:44 a.m. and, after a quick snack, then slept until 4:45 a.m. (Sarah was up at 5 for water, but that is neither here nor there) I even was up and energized enough to make everyone a big breakfast, watch the sunrise and the Co-Op chisel plow across the road with Aiden and clean the kitchen - all before the Farmer rolled out of bed at 7! Ha! We showed him!
However, I am just now realizing the toll that sleep deprivation has taken. This morning, while replacing my bar of soap in the shower, I noticed something... I had bought Dove bar soap and as an added bonus they were giving away sample bottles with the package of soap. I am always looking for free stuff and my hands have been severely chapped lately. I thought this was great! I have been slathering this stuff on after each time I wash my hands. Thinking it was a little greasy, but do-able, I have used it for three days now, religiously.... Wash hands, glop on greasy goop. Hummm, not showing improvement yet. Wonder why?

Do you notice anything here? Yep, that's right! I have been coating my hands and arms in hand wash - not lotion as I had thought I was doing! I had no idea until I happened to notice this corner of the package where it clearly states "Hand Wash".

I think I will go back to bed now.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sleep Deprevation

OK - so we are going on four consecutive nights now that Aiden has not slept... How much longer can this last? Even as I sit here now, I can hear him rolling around in his crib. After I was certian that, since being awake since 6:00 a.m., surely by now (11:10 a.m.) he would be so exhausted that he should sleep peacefully for at least an hour... Of course, I was thinking that at 9 a.m. when I attempted to lay him down so that I could get a shower, and he screamed the whole time I was in there, and again at 10 a.m., when, after falling asleep nursing, I was sure he would stay that way when I laid him on the couch to carry out his slumber. (I know, I know, couches are not safe places to lay sleeping babies. But, Hey, I am desperate here and I was in the same room!)
When I say that he is not sleeping - I mean NOT SLEEPING! For example, last night I was up with him five times between the hours of 9 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., again at 2:45 a.m., 4:00 a.m., and 5:15 a.m. And did I mention we were up for the day at 6 a.m.? What happened to that beautiful snoozing baby that would fall into a coma-like slumber for hours while his sister danced circles around him? Did I do something wrong? What has changed? Is it teeth? Is it gas? I could go insane trying to guess. In the meantime, I keep a steady stream of infant's Tylenol handy and slap on the Orajel in hopes of easing some discomfort that surely must be. Maybe tomorrow I will go run a combine... Well, I had better go get the fussing baby and nostalgically remember the days the he resided in my tummy - without a voice.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Soon She Will Take Over

Sarah has been telling her Father that she would be driving that combine one day. That is, without a guiding hand on the wheel, or having to sit in his lap to reach the steering wheel or at least see over the steering wheel. Well, today we are closer to seeing that day. Today she climbed into the cab all by herself. Without Daddy hoisting himself, with her in his arms, up the ladder, making my breath catch in my throat at the sight of him balancing her and holding onto the rail. I was always sure one or both would end up on the ground one day...
Alas, just in time for the arrival of her younger brother to the field (another one to tote up the ladder), Sarah has mastered this climb and no longer needs us. (Insert sobbing Mother here) This night she also spent a great deal of her time steering this massive machine, and might I add that she keeps it in the rows nicely. Watch out, Farmer, you no longer have job security.

Monday, November 3, 2008

What's Wrong With a Little OCD?

Personally, I never considered my daily habits as compulsory. I just figured this is what every stay-at-home mom did. Lately, however, I am realizing that I may have some issues...

In order for one to understand, I believe, they must join me on my journey through a typical day.

6:00 a.m. - Wake with crying baby and change diaper

6:30 a.m. - Feed Baby

6:45 a.m. - Dress sleeping 5 yr. old.

6:55 a.m. - Wake 5 yr. old (trust me, it works much more smoothly in this order!)

7:00 a.m. - Brush 5 yr. old's hair and teeth

7:05 - 7:18 - Feed 5 yr. old, Hubby and fish

7:18 - Persuade 5 yr. old to put on shoes and coat

7:24 - 5 yr. old saunters out to waiting bus

7:28 - change poopy diaper

7:30 - Hubby leaves for the day

Whew! Now we can start my day

7:35 - start a load of laundry

7:45 - clean up dishes left in sink from Hubby's dinner night before (he gets home well after I am asleep and apparently does not know that we own a dishwasher)

8:00 - Puck crying baby from the Bumbo or swing and soothe

8:15 - Soothing not working - try feeding

8:30 - Attempt to place sleeping baby in crib

8:35 - Finish dishes in sink

8:45 - Retrieve crying baby from crib and change diaper

8:48 - place baby in exersaucer in attempt to check emails

9:00 - soothe crying baby

9:15 - Check email with babe in lap and try to post new blog entry (this involves a lot of picking items up off the ground)

9:25 - Change Laundry, and collect more from various bedrooms

9:45 - Feed crying baby and attempt to put sleeping baby back into crib

10:00 - shower

10:05 - Flee shower to retrieve pacifier and reinsert into baby's mouth

10:10 - 10:30 - Dress, hair and (if lucky) makeup, Clean bathroom counter when finished and take towels to laundry

10:35 - try to finish blog entry

10:50 - Listen to talking baby in crib

11:00 - Place baby back into excersaucer and vacuum (VERY entertaining for baby)

Now, here I must insert one of my OCD nuances. Vacuuming to me is serious work. I vacuum every other day, if not daily, for the reason that I do have a baby that does spend quite a bit of time on the floor. We have a dog in the house and if the vacuuming is not done properly, the baby will be donning a beard consisting of baby slobber and dog hair. Therefore, the furniture is moved, the lines are made in evenly matched, horizontal patterns (as not to leave an inch of carpet untouched) and it is done from the innermost end of the room outwards.

OK- Maybe I followed these rules well before Aiden and Sarah were born - but they work here!

11:15 - Feed Baby green beans

11:30 - clean baby

11:35 - play with baby on the floor (to my future detriment, help him learn to crawl and pull up)

12:00 - Lunch Time! Make peanut butter and jelly sandwich
12:05 - Take fussy baby out of swing and place in lap and attempt to finish sandwich
12:07 - Give up on sandwich and down glass of milk instead
12:09 - pick up all the toys on the floor that baby has thrown
12:15 - clean up dishes and wash out sink, being careful to wipe all stainless steel surfaces to a nice shine, Start dishwasher
12:20 - change diaper
12:30 - Sit with crying baby and rock in attempt to get another nap in
12:45 - lay baby in crib
12:48 - Return to computer to finish blog post or add new post
1:10 - listen to bay in crib and wait for whailing to begin
1:15 - Whimpering starts
1:16 - Type faster
1:17 - get baby, change diaper
1:20 - Change laundry
1:25 - Decide to bake cookies
1:30 - mix wet ingrediants while balancing baby in one arm
1:35 - lay baby on floor and mix dry ingrediants
1:40 - turn on oven - oops
1:45 - notice that it is time to meet 5 yr. old at bus - go outside and sit on steps with baby
2:15 - Bus arrives with 5 yr. old
2:20 - Make 5 yr old a snack
2:30 - Lay baby on the floor and play
3:00- 3:45 - Better bake those cookies now
4:00 - sit with nursing baby - Thank you Oprah!
4:30 - baby falls asleep in arms, notice dust on livingroom tables
4:45 - baby wakes
4:46- dust livingroom
5:00 - hummmm - supper?
5:15 - Supper is decided and begun
5:30 - Put away laundry
5:35 - Empty Dishwasher
5:45 - Set table and serve dinner
6:00 - Clean table and wash pots and pans
6:15 - Color with 5 yr. old
6:30 - throw children into bath, pretend 5 yr. old is a mermaid
6:45 - Dry and dress baby for bed
7:00 - Dry and dress 5 yr. old for bed, brush teeth and hair
7:30 - Read stories
7:40 - get fresh water for 5 yr old - cold, with ice
7:45- Take 5 yr. old to bathroom
7:50 - sit baby on floor and play
8:30 - baby starts to show signs of tiring
9:30 - nurse baby and put to bed
9:35 - Replace pacifier in baby's mouth
9:45 - Replace pacifier in baby's mouth
10:00 - Replace pacifier in baby's mouth
10:30 - Coast is clear - Dive into bed
12:15 - Replace pacifier in baby's mouth

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Creepy Night

Finally, the night we have been waiting for has arrived! As I have mentioned, Halloween is one of my favorite times of year. I am not sure whether it is the excitement of dressing up, the ginormous amounts of sugar threatening to throw us all into a diabetic coma before the night is through, or the thought that maybe, just maybe, we might not be alone in the world on this particular night...oooo....I can hear the spooks now... I have also passed this love affair with Halloween down to my eldest child. She gets just as excited as I do, and together we make quite the giggling pair.
This year was the first year we did not Trick-or-Teat in our own neighborhood, but instead went to a neighboring town. There were three reasons for doing this: Nana and Papa live in this town, and we have never been able to trick-or-treat their house, the friends that we would be trick-or-treating with live in this town also, (OK - Now the REAL reason) and there was the most awesome of all Halloween houses just down the street from both Nana and Papa and our friend's house! Now, we are not just talking a few ghosts hanging from trees and a jack-o-lantern here... We are talking the Queen Mother of all decorations!
The man (shown below without his legs) who owns the house designs props for the movie industry and has therefore designed every display you will see below. It is a truly amazing experience! They put out their displays two weeks ahead of Halloween and tear them down the night of Halloween. Why only have all this up for such a short time, you ask? Well, it is because they cause a traffic jam on their street two blocks long when the displays are in action! It is crazy the amount of people that come out to see this attraction. Buses even ship kids in from across town just to Trick-or-Treat at this house.
Here is Sarah trying to decide if she is going to be scared or not...I think the coffin won.

The owner of the house. He is sitting at a mirrored table with a sign that reads: Missing, one pair of legs, last seen wearing blue jeans and tennis shoes, if found please return.

Back from the grave - this escapee is trying to make a run for it. Boy, we were sure glad that fence was there!
The front yard.
She looks terrified, doesn't she? My little princess. Oh yea, by the way, she ditched the Ladybug costume, told me it had been seen already and she needed something new.
Alien in a tube.

Another house nearby. I would hate to live near the house above and have to try to compete...