Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It's on!

It's New Years Eve. That means it's time for the SciFi Channels Twilight Zone marathon. Here's your chance to watch some of the best written science fiction ever. Rod Serling was an amazing writer.

The Twilight Zone was written during that time period when censors still viewed everything before it was aired. If the censor didn't like what it, it couldn't be aired. Most political and social commentaries wouldn't be seen. In order to get around this, many writers turned to science fiction. They were able to get out what they wanted to say, but were allowed to say it. Why not say how wrong nuclear war is? They aren't saying it about war between the US and Russia. This is talking about war on another planet. It's OK to talk about that.

I enjoy The Twilight Zone more than pretty much any other show. Why else would I have named my daughter Serling? It's a great show that tells a story while entertaining you. It's safe to watch with kids. Pop some popcorn and curl up on the couch. Try to catch my favorite episodes: Time Enough at Last, Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?, The Martians are Coming on Maple Street and To Serve Man. Those are the 4 best episodes, in my opinion.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sleep, Glorious Sleep!!

Remember my post a few days ago about Mommy being cranky? Well, let me say it wasn't pretty. Besides Paige being sick during the night for a couple nights in a row, Ronnie has been sick & snoring. Add to that his night job waking me up several times a night. Oh, and a side effect of a medicine I have to take is the dreams. It gives you these vivid, realistic dreams which make me wake up 3 or 4 times a night. Everything added together made Mommy not a happy Mommy. And we all know the saying "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." Yeah, it's true.

The past couple of nights Paige hasn't been throwing up during the night. Yeah! Ronnie hasn't had to work nights since last week. Two of the issues down. Finally, Ronnie's snoring & my side effect dreams. To combat those, I turn to another medicine, Ambien. We don't take it often, but when we do, watch out.

A couple of nights ago Ronnie slept on the couch & I took an Ambien. I got 10 hours of sleep straight. No waking up, no snoring, nothing. Then, because Ronnie has a been so tired from working 2 jobs, he took one the next night. I slept on the couch then. People walking in may have thought we had a fight or something. No, we just needed our sleep. Sometimes, in order to get the sleep we need, we have to sleep in separate beds. Or in our case, one of us in the bed, the other on the couch. I must say, we have a really comfy couch.

And now Mommy is happy, so we can all be happy.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Pictures- Finally!

This year there weren't a lot of pictures. Paige was a diva avoiding the paparazzi. She kept putting her hand up in front of the lens and saying "No take pictures of me!" I did snap a few, since it was Christmas, but for the most part, I didn't take that many.

Santa did a nice setup in the living room. She watched Die Hard as she set up the gifts.

Santa brought a doll house that's bigger than Paige, a Bob the Builder work bench & a pink dolphin. There's also tons of stuff under that tree!

The next morning, Paige came in & couldn't believe that Santa had brought it for her. She kept asking if it was hers, and if she could play with it.

She wasted no time in opening the gifts under the tree.


We were super cute in our matching jammies. This is one of my favorite traditions that we've started. I shop early to make sure I can get them matching, and in the correct sizes. On Christmas Eve after taking a bath, I pull out the new ones for her to put on. She got so excited this year. I laid out both sets of jammies on the bed so she could see that mine matched hers.

Paige and Daddy laid down on the floor to play with the new toys. She was so excited and overwhelmed she had no idea what to play with first.

Paige loves to color, and got 2 new Color Wonder sets. She was coloring with Daddy, while wearing 3 sets of barrettes in her hair. Everything else is scattered around.

Overall, I think there was a good haul this year.



I took my camera to Granny's house, but forgot to get it out and take any pictures. Paige took pictures on her camera, but they were odd pictures. If you would really like to see Granny's floor, let me know. I've got pictures of it. And of her couch, the table, and various other objects that stood still long enough. In a few weeks I'll review the hits & misses of Christmas. We need time to play with them to decide whether they were a good buy or not.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Picture Delay

Sorry, but there's been a delay in the posting of Christmas pictures. I know, you're disappointed. You were just waiting to see the picture of me and Paige in our matching jammies. There's been complications. See, Ronnie works nights 3 nights a week and by the time he gets in from work I'm ready for bed. I get woken up. Then, when he comes to bed I get woken up again. Then if Paige wakes up during the night for any reason, I get woken up again. And let's not forget that Ronnie is having sinus issues & as a result is snoring at night. The result? Mommy needs a good nights sleep! I'm cranky. And Paige is pushing ever button trying so hard to push me to my limits. And she's doing a good job of it too.

Last night she started coughing around 2:30. The end result was her throwing up all over her bed. She ate gumbo for dinner. It wasn't pretty. And I didn't get much sleep at all. We spent the day going to Target for a few items, then meeting up with Ronnie's older sister and her family. I haven't had the time or energy to download pics from the camera.

I'm about to put Ronnie to work downloading so that I can post pics. I somehow managed to not take a single picture at Granny's house last night. I don't know how, other than the massive confusion.

If I did my math correctly, there were 39 people in her house last night. Please remember that it was only immediate family. To me, that is what Christmas is all about. The huge amounts of cousins, aunts & uncles sitting around chatting, eating & playing with kids. To be honest, I didn't even know where Paige was half the time. She was in a safe, family environment with lots and lots of adults around. It's community parenting. If you see someones child doing something wrong or possibly dangerous, you stop them. We all watch out for each others kids, after all, we're family. I knew she was in the house & that's all that mattered.

We splurged on an After Christmas Adults Only Dinner. Mommy had a couple of margaritas. I'm blogging buzzed. It's time for me to curl up on the couch with Ronnie and watch Sixteen Candles before trying to get a full nights sleep. Tomorrow it's back to normal.


Oh, and it's a journey diamond necklace, not an eternity necklace. I stand corrected.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Santa Came Through

With a little help from Circle K, Santa delivered a 12 pack of Coke to the fridge. They were nice & chilled when I got up this morning. He also brought an eternity necklace, but that's another post.

I just wanted to let everyone know the world is safe once again. Mommy had her morning Coke!

Merry Christmas. I hope Santa brought you exactly what you wanted.

Pictures & full Christmas day details to follow tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

It's 8:30, Paige is in bed, Santa has eaten the cookies & left the gifts. Santa even had time to play a little bit of computer game. I thought we were going lite with Christmas this year. It seemed like we were going lite. Paige got a couple of big gifts, then a few small ones. The more I wrapped the more I found to wrap. I didn't think I was going to finish! Our Christmas tree looks like it exploded presents.

It was an icky-rainy day here, so we spent it mostly indoors. We did venture out to the grocery store in order to get some last minute items. Unfortunately, I thought I still have Coke and I don't. Marc & Wendy are out, so I can't just run to the store. I did send Ronnie a text asking him to pick some up on his way home. Mommy without Coke is NOT pretty. I can go without ever drinking another sip of coffee my entire life. Do not ask me to give up the Coke. It's just not going to happen. Yes, I'm willing to pay convenience store prices in order to have a 12 pack in my fridge tomorrow morning.

We met Ronnie at work for an early lunch. Then Paige napped. This afternoon we made cookies for Santa & reindeer food. Since it was raining tonight we couldn't spread it for the reindeer. Paige settled for putting it in a big bowl next to Santa's cookies. She was super excited about the new, matching jammies for the 2 of us. She asked where Daddy's were. I couldn't explain that Target didn't make them in matching for Daddy. So, I told her they were only for girls. That always works!

Tomorrow morning will be spent here, then the afternoon with family. We'll go to Ronnie's parents house, then on to Granny's house where my entire family will be. I hope everyone has a great Christmas, and that Santa brings you what you asked for. (COKES SANTA, I NEED A 12 PACK OF COKE!) I won't be online again until Friday probably. Enjoy your day tomorrow. Spend time playing with the kids, and remembering why you always woke up so early on Christmas morning.

Monday, December 22, 2008

To Do List

I'm a list maker. There's usually so much going on, that if I don't make a list, I'll forget something. Some days I know there's a lot to do once I get home, so I'll start making a list at work. I started today's list about 3 or so. I would think of something, add it to the list, and keep going on with work. I leave off the stuff like bath, pajamas, bedtime story. But, I do put a few off the DUH! things on there. There's just that satisfaction of getting to cross it off the list. Here's tonight's list:

  • Set coffe pot
  • Milk for daycare
  • Make rice for tomorrow's supper
  • Make supper
  • Clean kitchen
  • Balance checkbook
  • Pay bills
  • Make invitations
  • Make art pen pal project
  • Wrap last gifts
  • Fix Buzz Lightyear ornament someone knocked off the tree
  • Sweep/mop kitchen
  • Vacuum
  • Blog
  • Enter Coke rewards
  • Go to drug store and gas station
  • Laundry
That's it. It's 18 separate entries. You'll be happy to know that as of this post, I've completed 13 of them. The art project is a 3 nighter at least. I've glued, now I have to wait for it to set, tomorrow night I'll paint, then I glue again on the 3rd night. I may not finish Paige's birthday invitations tonight, but I'll at least get the 3 done for her friends at daycare we're inviting. Finally, I didn't vacuum. It's just too late. Maybe tomorrow. And as soon as I post this, I'll wrap the last 2 gifts. I've at least touched on everything on the list. I'll just have to carry a few things over.

I do recommend the list. I can procrastinate with the best of them. I find a book, a blanket & the couch and I'm done. I can spend the rest of the night right there happy as can be. But, knowing it's written down, all that stuff I need to get done, I just have to do it. I have to mark the stuff off the list. It's a good feeling of accomplishment. My secret, of course, is adding something I know no matter what, I'll get done. Like cook supper. It's a gimme, so you know you'll mark 1 thing off the list.

edited: I finished the invitations. Or, at least as many as I think I'll need. I've hand made them, but that's another post. The only carry overs to tomorrow is vacuum and work on the art pen pal project.

Ideas Wanted

I'm looking for more things to do with Paige on Christmas Eve. Ronnie is working a double this year. She's really at an age where she gets the whole Santa thing & is getting excited.

Here's what we have so far:
New, matching jammies for Mommy & Paige.
Bake cookies for Santa.
Make reindeer food to sprinkle on the lawn.

That's it. Nothing else special. I don't really want to start the opening 1 present early tradition. I want her to come in Christmas morning and go crazy with all the cool stuff!

You will be very happy to know that Santa did purchase a pink gift, then forgot about it. Santa found it last night while gathering up all the gifts to open & jammies to wash. It's a wooden percussion dolphin. Something like this, only hers is pink.

So, what do you do on Christmas Eve?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ongoing Projects

As soon as I think I've caught up on my projects, more pop up. I guess that's always the way. But at this rate, Paige's scrapbook will never get updated!

Let's see, where to start? Well, my team didn't win the decorating contest. The judges were all guys, and they voted for the Santa Strip Club area. Completely wrong in my opinion, but it was really funny! Paige's daycare party was a huge success. The kids all had a blast and everyone loved their goody bags, including the teachers.

Last night was our unofficial office party. It was much more fun than the official one. This one involved bacon wrapped jalapenos, 200 jello shots & karaoke. Almost everyone from work showed up. There wasn't any drama, just a bunch of accountants having a good time. For those of you who think our idea of a good time is a tax return, you've obviously never been out with us!

Finally, preparation for Paige's 3rd birthday party is well underway. My latest project is to make her invitations & get them ready to hand out. Her birthday is in about a month, so there's a lot to do. Up until a week ago we were having it at Build a Bear, but Ronnie changed his mind. He wanted to have it here at home. So, we're having an arts & crafts birthday party. We're thinking lots of paint, play doh, construction paper, glue, pipe cleaners, googly eyes. The works. I think it will be a blast for the kids. I'll provide smocks for the small artists & turn them loose on the carport. Tables will be covered in cheap plastic table clothes, and the whole area can be hosed down afterwards. I think it's perfect!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Party Cubed

This is a week of Christmas parties for us. First, my office is having is official Christmas party & luncheon today. Tomorrow Paige has her daycare party. Saturday night is our unofficial work party. One of my coworkers decided we needed a huge blowout. Another volunteered her house. It all just came together.

Last night I had to finish up my last minute stuff. I made a huge bag of Puppy Chow to take to my office party today. Then, while that was cooling I made 16 English muffin pizzas for Paige to take to daycare tomorrow. They had to be made in batches of 8, so it took a bit of time. I also made Christmas tree soaps to add to her teachers gift bags. They are completely done now: 1 ornament, 2 chocolate covered pretzel rods & a soap. The bags for her friends have been done since last week. I'm ready to take them in and let the kids have them. I want to see how well they're liked.

Since none of this can happen until Paige is in bed at 7:45, it means I get a late start to doing anything. But, it looks like we're about done for the holidays. Ronnie has to make the appetizers to take to the party on Saturday. He's making spinach bacon dip & bacon wrapped stuffed jalapenos.

To answer a question posted in comments: Coke salad is a jello salad made with Coke, pineapple, cherries, nuts, celery (left out of mine cuz I hate it) & cream cheese. It's super yummy. I'll try to find my recipe or get it again from Mom and post it.

And the decorating contest has been postponed again. Well, the winner announcement has been postponed. It will now be done tomorrow. We have coworkers coming in from offices out of state. Since they can be completely impartial, they will be our judges. They won't know who decorated what area. They will vote by numbers. The area with the most votes wins! Stay tuned, I'll let you know how we did tomorrow night.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Paige's first letter to Santa

Paige has gotten very excited about Santa coming to visit. About a week ago I told her she needed to write a letter to Santa. If she didn't, he wouldn't know what she wanted. Yesterday we sat down & wrote her first letter.

She told Santa she's been a nice girl, and that she learned to use the potty like a big girl. Then she asked Santa to bring her a pink present. The letter was written on card stock I use in scrapbooking. At the end of the letter she put all kinds of stickers for Santa. Here's where Mommy had a flash of brilliance. Instead of mailing the letter to the North Pole, we put it on the tree.

We've been telling Paige that Santa finds us because he can see our tree. We put the letter on the front of the tree, held in place by the special garland we made. (It's the same garland as what we made to take to the office.) Santa must have found her letter. He even wrote one back. He told her to keep being nice & to listen to Mommy and Daddy. That if she does, he'll bring her a pink present. He also told her he's very proud of her for learning to use the potty like a big girl.

These two letters will look so cute in her scrapbook. You know that's exactly where they're going, right?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Holiday Meme

Monica tagged me for a holiday meme. I promised her I would post it by the end of the week. And this is the end of the week. At least to me it is. So, without further procrastination, here it is.

Egg nog or hot chocolate?
Hot chocolate. With lots of marshmallows.

Does Santa wrap presents or put them under the tree?
Puts them under the tree. This year Paige wants a pink present, so he may have to wrap 1.

White or colored lights on your tree?
Colored. And blinking.

Favorite holiday dish (not including dessert)?
Gumbo. Doesn't everyone have that at Christmas?

Favorite holiday memory as a child?
I forget how old I was. It was Christmas morning at Granny & Paw Paw's. Me and Stephine got up early. We ran into the living room & there was 2 distinct sides of the Christmas tree: mine & hers. Mine had all kinds of Strawberry Shortcake under it. We had a blast playing that day.

When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I'm not sure. But, I'm pretty sure it involved my Uncle Kenny.

How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
With lots of help from Paige & the cats. Usually with one of our favorite Christmas movies playing in the background: Die Hard.

Snow: love it or dread it?
Dread it. After living in Germany I can honestly say I hate the stuff. I live in the South. We don't get it here.

Can you ice skate?
I live in the Deep South. Our only ice is in sweet tea & margaritas.

Do you remember your favorite gift?
Not sure I could pick one. Each year I got something that I really, really, really wanted.

What is the most important part of the holidays for you?
Playing on Christmas morning with Paige.

What is your favorite dessert?
I can't pick just one. I love Coke Salad, Fudge, Pralines, all of it.

What is your favorite tradition?
It's a new one we started last year: matching jammies for Mommy & Paige on Christmas Eve.

Which do you prefer, giving or receiving?
A little of both. I love picking out the perfect gift. But I also enjoy unwrapping.

What is your favorite Christmas song?
Little Drummer Boy sung by Bing Crosby & David Bowie

Candy canes: yuck or yum?
Yum for the first 1 or 2 then yuck. I can only eat peppermint in small amounts.

Ever recycled a gift?
Yep, sure have! I usually don't give it to someone else as a gift I purchased. But, if I get something I don't like, wrong size, awful color, etc, I've given it away. There have been the odd gift here & there I presented as if I bought it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

We pulled it off today! My team at work, Crystal, Marie & myself, with Ronnie's help, decorated our area of the office. We selected the area where Crystal & I sit. It's a bit out of the way, so we had more room to play with. The team who selected the training room or the one with the kitchen, must be aware of the rooms purpose, and design around it. The only ones who'll be inconvenienced is me & Crystal.

Please warm yourself by our fire.


Once your toes are toasty warm, take a step through our door...


into our Winter Wonderland. Complete with Frosty, Alabama style.

In case you don't recognize the hat, that's the style worn by Coach Bear Bryant from Bama.

Looking at the fireplace, it's made from poster board, construction paper, & tissue paper. The red & orange look more like bricks in person. Hanging above the fireplace is our stockings with garland draped around them. The garland is made from foam beads strung on plastic cording.

The doorway is a box cut into strips, wrapped in wrapping paper, then curling ribbon hanging from it. We needed something that would allow us to walk through to our desks and to the printer.

Finally, Frosty. This creation was Ronnie's brainstorm. He's actually made of butcher paper. It was cut and stapled basically into a beach ball. We stuffed each section with newspaper from the recycle bin. The buttons, eyes, nose & mouth are all construction paper. We filled in with trees, snow, stuffed animals, and a baby doll on a sled to round out the picture. There are also some snowflakes hanging from the window & ceiling.

I think we did a good job. I also think we did great on the spending. We took the challenge to heart when they said to try to use items you already have. We spent a whopping $12. We bought stockings, wrapping paper & ribbon. What do you think? Think we'll win?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Whew!

Finally. Exams are over. I'm free!!! Well, until I take the next class. After discussing it with Ronnie I will take that class over the summer, not in the next term. It'll be tax season and I just don't want the added stress of class on top of that.

Now that class is over I have all this free time on my hands. Yeah, right. I wish. We're having a decorating contest at work. I've been a crafting fool since Sunday to get ready for it. We're decorating tomorrow. I'll take some pictures and blog about it tomorrow evening. I think you'll be impressed. Just a taste- we made a snowman. He's about 5'5 or so. Just wait. You'll love it!

On a sad note, my sister in law, Connie, lost her cat last month. We knew Dave had been sick. He had a nice going out party & burial. Hey, they live in New Orleans, everything is a party. We got a lovely card in the mail yesterday. It looked like a Christmas card, only with Dave's vital information on the front, and a full obituary on the back. Leave it to Connie to come up with something like that. That's definitely another post once I get it scanned. Dave was 17 years old. He had a pretty good life.

With the holidays fast approaching there's commitments out the butt. Paige and I will be in the Christmas parade on Saturday. Sunday afternoon is Ronnie's Christmas party at work. Thankfully, all Christmas shopping is done. I don't have another gift to buy. I have plenty to wrap, but nothing left to buy. I asked Paige what she wants Santa to bring. She said a pink present. I need to go get some pink wrapping paper now. Santa usually doesn't wrap gifts, but he may need to this year.

I still have a few projects to finish up craft wise. I need to put together the goody bags for her classmates. Then I need to do the bags for her teachers. Their gifts are made, except for the chocolate covered pretzels. I just need to put everything together in bags & put names on them. Making the bags for all of the classmates will take more work. I'm looking forward to time to relax, read & blog. I just need to figure out when that time is!

I'm glad to be back. I will be much more regular with my postings now. Thanks for bearing with me during finals. It was only one test, but it was a really hard one. Monica, I didn't forget that you tagged me. I'll blog that before the end of the week.

Friday, December 5, 2008

I've been tagged!

While taking a break from studying tonight I realized I had been tagged. Heather was kind enough to include me in the game. I'm supposed to tell you 7 things you probably didn't know about me, and then tag 7 others. I think most people I know who blog have already been tagged. But, I'll share 7 things you probably didn't know about me.

  1. Ronnie was my first boyfriend back in 9th grade. Paige was born 20 years, almost to the day, after we first met.
  2. I was a broadcast journalist in the Army.
  3. I drank beer at Oktoberfest in Munich. That was about a year after I went through the Panama Canal.
  4. I lived in Honduras. And I loved it!!
  5. I started college twice before finally finishing on my third try.
  6. On average I read 1 to 2 novels a week.
  7. I have a tattoo of Mickey Mouse on my right thigh.
See, just a few odd bits of trivia about Angie. Because, well, you always wanted to know where my tattoo was, right? I was in Germany, Panama, & Honduras while in the Army. I had fun in all 3 countries, and would love to take Ronnie to Germany one day.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Forgive me

This week will be very hit or miss with posts. I have ideas, I have pictures, what I don't have is time. Nothing holiday related. My final is Monday. I'm a studying maniac right now. I study at lunch and after Paige goes to bed. My weekend will be spent curled up with auditing books.

Once my final is over I'll have more time to do the things I enjoy, like blogging. I will get on here and post when I have a moment or 2. Just don't expect to see something everyday. Next week, things will return to normal.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Crafting fool

We had the usual busy weekend: after Thanksgiving shopping, putting up the tree, and crafts. I wanted to complete as much as I could before the holidays got here. It seems the closer we get, the faster time goes. Paige went to church with Aunt Wii Sunday morning & I got out the glue gun. I would work on one project until I had to wait for glue to dry. Then I moved onto the next one. I would alternate between projects until everything was complete.

Sunday I managed to complete:
7 teacher gifts for daycare
6 gifts for my Secret Santa at work
18 chocolate covered pretzels
4 Blues Clues game sets

I'm now caught up on in-progress projects. The only real project left is my on-going, scrapbooking. I do need to get that caught up. Now hopefully I'll have the time to do so.

Paige helped us decorate the tree. I'll post pictures of it in my next blog.

Friday, November 28, 2008

It must be love

Why else would I go to Walmart at 4:30 this morning? Last year was my first time to hit the Black Friday sales. Kim is such a bad influence on me, still. She and I made a full morning of it last year. This year, it was just me. There are 3 stores I want to go to: Michael's, Walmart & JC Penney. Ronnie has to work today so that makes it a bit difficult to manage the shopping with Paige.

Michael's opened yesterday 6pm to 9pm. I did my shopping then. Paige stayed home with Ronnie & I went to Michael's. I got more scrapbooking stuff. Everything I got was 50% off, plus my coupon for an additional 20% off my entire purchase. I did pretty good.

Walmart had a Kitchenaid stand mixer for $130 starting at 5am today. Ronnie has wanted one for years. Literally for years. We've just never been able to afford the $250 price tag for a mixer. For $130 he can have it as an early Christmas gift. Mainly since it's the only gift he'll be getting this year. I got there at 4:30. People were already grabbing the smaller items and throwing them in their buggy. There was no way for me to get a buggy through the crowds. I grabbed the 2nd to last Kitchenaid, made my way to the back to get a gallon of milk, then checked out. I was home and back in bed by 5:25! I was able to walk through the checkout. Everyone was still arguing over the $88 Barbie Jeeps. That place was an absolute madhouse!

JC Penney has some good sales tomorrow and some nice coupoons in the paper today. If I go, I will wait and go tomorrow. There's some nice boots half price, and some not too thick sweaters for only $9. That's my kind of shopping!

Who else braved the Black Friday crowds? What good bargains did you get? I'm off to get more caffeine.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Our Thanksgiving menu

I know a lot of people expect us to have this huge, elaborate menu since Ronnie is a chef. We could. But, we really don't want to. My family is all getting together at Uncle Little Erie's new house to have a huge meal together. Just your usual Thanksgiving meal: ham, turkey, dressing, gravy, green bean casserole, gumbo. You know, traditional stuff.

We started our own tradition last year: Thanksgiving at our house. We invite over some friends, let the kids run wild, & have a meal. Last year was more traditional: turkey, duck, green bean casserole. This year? This year we wanted to do something a little different.

Our menu:
BBQ Chicken
Meatloaf burgers
Hot dogs (with chili, sauerkraut, relish, onions, the works!)
Mac & Cheese (Kraft)
Baked beans (Bushs)
Green bean casserole (gotta have it!)
Brownies (Betty Crocker)

That's right, we're grilling out for Thanksgiving. Something small and simple. Between now & the end of the year I won't see a whole lot of Ronnie. This is his busiest season. I knew that when I married him. Instead of killing himself making a huge meal for us, we decided to go easy & fun instead. It may be one of his last days to sit back & chill.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Too much Trading Spaces?

I'm not much for reality TV. Trading Spaces, Top Chef & Project Runway are about as far as I go. But I really like those shows. I DVR 'edTrading Spaces last Saturday and sat down Sunday to watch. Paige curled up on the couch next to me with her doll and a book. After about 30 minutes she asked to go see Aunt Wii.

Off she went next door. She curled up in Aunt Wii's chair with her to snuggle. All of a sudden I hear huge amounts of laughter. Paige had gotten up in the chair, looked around and announced, "Your house is really beautiful. I really like what you did with the lights."

As long as she doesn't start telling Daddy to pack his knives and go, I think we're safe.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Paige's first movie

We went to see Madagascar 2 yesterday. We told Paige we had a surprise for her & got her in the car. When we got to the movie theater there was a huge stand up for the movie. She immediately ran to it and started talking about her animals. She loves Madagascar 1, so we thought this would be a great movie for her first one.

We got our popcorn & found seats. Paige kept watching the commercials on the screen asking where her animals were. The theater slowly filled up with parents & kids. By the time the movie started, there was no empty seats left.

I wish I could say that from the first moment she was mesmerized. I think Ronnie and I were both hoping for this. It didn't happen. She sat through the previews asking where her animals were and wanting to hold the popcorn. When the movie finally started she was staring at the screen. About 45 minutes into the movie, she had to potty. Just past an hour into it she was so fidgety and walking around our 3 seats that we had to leave. This child who will sit through an entire showing of Madagascar or Cars at home, couldn't sit through it at the movie theater.

Paige talks about seeing her animals and says she liked the movie. I guess when it hits DVD we'll pick it up and watch it at home. Ronnie and I were both really looking forward to this, and were a bit disappointed. We'll get over it.

Now for my Walle disclaimer. I did think the movie was beautifully done. I love Pixar. And I LOVE Mickey Mouse. Disney is the best in my book. The movie had a good morale to it. I just think it was a bit boring to sit and watch. Especially for kids. When it got to a part I thought was good, I told Ronnie we could just start it there for Paige. Then it would get dull again. I could see why she lost interest in it. I was just looking for more from this movie. I had big expectations going in. I have HUGE expectations for Toy Story 3. I really hope I'm not disappointed. And the fact that I have to wait until 2010 just makes it worse!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Walle

Are we the only ones out there who were bored by this movie? I was super excited for it to come out. Pixar was doing a movie about robots. In space. How cool! Ronnie and I were both so ready to see it. We almost took Paige to the movies to see this one. But, at the time we didn't think she would have sat still for the entire thing. We were right.

Like most Disney movies, I pre-purchased this one at the Disney Store. I picked up our copy this week. We were going to save it for Christmas, but after the few days Paige had we thought she could use a pick me up. We got her early from daycare yesterday, popped popcorn, made lemonade, and turned the lights off. By 10 minutes into it, Paige was fidgeting. By 20 minutes she was asking to go play with her toys. We turned it off.

After Paige went to bed we tried to finish it. Ronnie dozed on the couch while I read a book. Neither one of us could get into this one. For us, it's Pixar's first flop. Now, Toy Story 3 better be good!

Friday, November 21, 2008

My title is too long

I wanted to call this blog: "A recently potty trained 2 year old who hates to poop on the potty has explosive diarrhea. What fun!" I just thought that was too long to put up there.

Paige's fever turned into explosive diarrhea yesterday. My headache went away, but is back today. There's a nasty stomach bug going around and we were lucky enough to get it. Yeah us. I must say she's been really good with the bug. She would run to the potty when she needed to go. Much screaming, crying & begging would commence once she was on there. Paige was pretty vocal too! :) We only lost one pair of panties in the whole sickness. Not too bad. There was no way I was cleaning those. They just went straight in the trash, and Paige went in the shower for a cleanoff.

The bug now needs to make it's way around the house. Ronnie and I aren't feeling so good today. Paige? She's doing great and is back at daycare today. The fever broke yesterday morning and she's doing fine. I don't think she's contagious anymore. That's one thing I'm very diligent about. If anyone is contagious they do not go to work or school. I'm sitting on the couch now.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What a day!

I woke up with a headache. I took a couple of Tylenol and started wishing it away. Yeah right. Paige woke up feel kinda punky. No fever, just not herself. Usually she wakes up at warp 5 and doesn't slow down. This morning she just wanted to be held & snuggled. She mostly gets herself dressed these days, with a little help from us. This morning she just laid on the bed and let me dress her. All the time asking for Daddy who was getting dressed himself.

I left work early with a migraine that just wouldn't stop. I wanted to leave before my eyes got too sensitive to light and I couldn't drive. Came straight home, crawled into bed & stayed there. I had my bottle of esgic close by. (It's a migraine medicine.) One didn't do the trick, so I popped a second one. I slept for a couple of hours & started feeling a bit more human. Or at least like I wouldn't rip anyone's head off for breathing too loud. The ice pick being slammed into my head was reduced down to a small hammer.

Ronnie came home around 3 with Paige. Daycare had called. My little girl had a temp of 102 & just wasn't feeling like herself. She gladly snuggled with Mommy on the couch. I kept a constant stream of Diego and Dora going to keep her happy. Paige, the child who doesn't like medicine, actually asked for some. That's how I know she doesn't feel well! She says nothing hurts. And aside from the feeling sluggish, she's acting just fine.

Ronnie had to work tonight, and Aunt Wii had church, so it was just me and Paige. With my headache and her fever. What a combination. She's tucked nicely into bed. I'm about to head there myself, along with my bottle of esgic. Paige will be staying home from daycare tomorrow. Hopefully she'll feel better, and so will I.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What is a friend?

So many people think friends are only people you see in person. I have some of those. We chat on the phone, send text messages, and go out for drinks. They are great people to have around, even those that live in other states. We're all so busy with work & families that it's hard to make time to see each other as often as we should. That goes for all of us. I'm as guilty as the next person.

I also have some friends who are online. These friends fill a much needed void. When Paige was born I joined a group of ladies who also had children in January, 2006. Some friendships have endured the 3 years since I first met them. There's Beth who I actually got to meet in person. We visited her unnamed town for a music fest. We were able to let our kids play together while we got to sit and chat. Then there's Caroline. We've never met in person, although I'm tempted to crash her vacation to Vegas next year. But that's another blog. I have a few other online friends. We chat through instant messenger mostly.

A friend isn't someone you have to see in your regular everyday life. Your online friends are just as important and are lots of fun. It's just a different type of fun than girls night out. So, to all my friends, email, online & real life, thanks for being there. I'm sure I'll be chatting with all of you soon. That was me sending the naughty text earlier. Shhh! Don't tell Santa.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

And the crafts go to...

Comment number 4: Sara.

Thank you to everyone who left a comment. I do hope that some new readers will stick around for a bit.

Sara, please email me at scifimama @ gmail. com with your name & shipping address. Also, let me know if you have girls, boys, & the age of the child that would probably do the craft project with you. I have several projects that I could send and would like to send something age appropriate. I do have several that would make great Christmas gifts for teachers, so keep that in mind!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Yeah, we're cool like that

Over the past almost 3 years several family members have threatened to give us a child size drum set for Paige. We always answer the same way "Why? We already have an adult one." Well, here's the proof.

My child is a pint size musician. And a chick drummer at that! She and Unc were having a blast.

The video is a bit dark, since the room is rather bat cave-like.


video


I hope you enjoy Paige's first performance on the drums as much as we did.

Friday, November 14, 2008

My first give away

As you've probably figured out, I'm a rather crafty person. I enjoy doing arts & crafts projects with Paige. It's always so much fun! Many people tell me they don't do this with their kids because they just don't know where to start. They don't know what their kids will like & don't want to invest a lot of money in things that may never get used. I completely understand. So, in the interest of encouraging more crafty kids & parents, I'm giving away art & craft supplies.

My give away will include most things you need to get started:
  • popsicle sticks
  • glue
  • pom pom balls
  • goggly eyes
  • pipe cleaners
  • foam sheets
  • felt sheets
  • stickers
  • construction paper
  • 1 complete craft project kit

All you'll need to add is the imagination. If you don't have any, I can email you links to get started. (Those are bookmarked on my home computer & I'm at work. SHHHH!)

To enter just leave a comment. I'll pick a random number & that comment will win. If you blog, please refer your readers. If they say you sent them, you will receive the same thing. The deadline to enter is Sunday afternoon. I'll post the winner Sunday evening.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Do you Twitter?

I Twitter. Do you Twitter? I love to Twitter. No idea what I'm talking about? That's OK.

Twitter is micro-blogging. You have 140 spaces to tell the world what you're doing & what you're thinking. I find it a great way to keep in touch with friends across the country. None of whom I've actually met in person. You can have little conversations, say what's going on in your world, what you're thinking, all in 140 characters.

Twitter is very addicting. Caroline introduced me to Twitter quite a while ago. A think her Geeky Brother introduced her to it. You can follow people, and others follow you. You see what's going on with them.

It only takes a second or two to pop on, post something and go about your day. It's a great stress reliever at work. Need a couple of minutes of non-accounting to clear your brain? Post a Twitter.

If you decide to check it out, my Twitter name is SciFiMama. Go figure.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cards for the Troops

One of my clients at work, JB, is an active duty soldier. He owns a business in Texas, is stationed in Oklahoma, and has been sent to Iraq. I wanted to do something special for him and the others in his unit for Christmas. I organized my office & daycare to do cards & needed items for JB and his unit.

Of course he can't tell me any exact numbers. I wouldn't want him to compromise the safety of anyone over there. He was able to give me estimates. I needed to provide cards for 200 troops. Only about 50 if I wanted to take care of his direct platoon, but about 200 for the unit. These are soldiers who have been away from home for about 9 months already. They aren't even sure when they'll be back home. But it definitely won't be in time for Christmas.

I surpassed my goal of 200 cards. We also have enough items for everyone in his unit to get 1 thing, and for extras to be passed out to the other platoons. When I say items I mean everything from toothbrushes, to snack foods. Things that they have a hard time getting over there in Iraq.

My hope is that this lets them know that we haven't forgotten them over here. That we do appreciate everything they're doing for us. And that we know how hard it must be for them and their families. Last month 9 of their soldiers were killed in a helicopter crash. (This was reported on CNN, so JB could tell me.) JB says their morale is down in the dumps. And as the holidays approach it gets even worse. I really hope this gives them a little happy.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"Where's my cous cous?"

This is how Paige greeted dinner this evening. Everyone has their favorite meals. Hers is is grilled tilapia, cous cous & green beans. Mommy wasn't in a cous cous kind of mood, so I made macaroni & cheese instead. I should have known better.

After Paige finished off her first tilapia filet I had to entice her to eat the mac & cheese before she could have more fish. She ate 2 1/2 filets! We could have this every night and she would be happy.

I'm going to guess this isn't the typical 2 year old's favorite meal. What's your kids favorites?

Monday, November 10, 2008

My bread machine

We were walking through the grocery store Saturday when I mentioned I sometimes wish I had a bread machine. I like different breads, and they're usually so expensive in the store. Ronnie looked hurt and reminded me that I married a bread machine. We bought bread making ingredients and I put him to work.

Flour & yeast.


Rolling out the dough.



Letting the dough rise.



Adding the cheese to the herbs before forming.



The finished product. I couldn't wait. I had to have a slice before I remembered I needed to take a picture.


His breads turned out pretty well. I will definitely be putting this bread machine to use later on. It won't just sit on a shelf in the kitchen!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

What a weekend!

I guess it started Friday night. Ronnie was giving Paige a bath while I was in the bedroom gathering up jammies & things. I could hear them singing their ABC's. It was the cutest thing ever to hear. Paige had gorged herself on take out Chinese & was in a great mood.

Saturday was one of those wonder fall days. The temp here was in the high 70's and it was gorgeous. We rode bikes, played soccer, and spent a lot of time on the swings. Paige and I had a nice morning of Christmas shopping that ended with her getting a chocolate chip cookie at the mall & a ride on the carousel. She didn't even complain when we went grocery shopping! Just helped pick items for the week.

Today is a treat for us. Paige asked Aunt Wii if she could go to church this morning. Aunt Wii quickly picked out an outfit & told me to get her dressed. Paige has been wanting to play with her friends and her boyfriend Jude attends Aunt Wii's church. I think this is her main reason for going. I've been wrapping gifts, picking up the house here and there. Ronnie is brewing beer at the moment.

This has been such a nice, relaxing weekend. It's the kind of weekend I wish we could have more of. It's been lazy breakfasts of bacon & biscuits, Saturday morning cartoons, and just plain having fun. I hope everyone one else has had a weekend exactly like ours.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The bear

Last month Beth had a bear giveaway. I was a lucky winner. I spent almost a week picking out the fabric, a green sparkly felt. Paige's bear arrived yesterday.

"What is it, Mommy?"


"IT'S MY BEAR!!"



And just a few minutes later:


Paige had no idea that a bear was on it's way. I didn't tell her so it could be a full surprise. Her bear has replaced Pappy by her pillow at night. I had to pry him out of her hands to take her to daycare this morning. She drags him around by the ear or the neck.

Beth, thank you. The bear is a huge success here.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Catch up

It's been a while. All I can say is I'm sorry. Life just kind of caught up with me, then ran me over like I was standing still. We had a great time Friday night. Our little Bob the Builder family was a success. I think we were cute!


The weekend was spent at the Peter Anderson Festival. My parents set up a booth each year in front of the Mason Lodge. Space for the festival is highly competitive. Luckily, Mom has an "in" with the Lodge, a couple of my uncles are members. I spent both days helping Mom in her booth, and Ronnie spent the time entertaining Paige. Sometimes by herself, sometimes with Mark & Measha's children Mia, Miku & Merick. Here's Paige with Mia & Merick.



Saturday we indulged in something that is truly unique to Ocean Springs. We had Tato-Nut donuts. These donuts are made with potato flour & put Krispy Kreme to shame with how light & fluffy they are. It's almost like biting into air they are so fluffy. I'll have a Krispy Kreme when I can't get a Tato-Nut, but it just doesn't compare. If you ever get the chance to try one, you definitely should! It was so nice to be out there for the weekend. Most of my family stopped by the booth at some point. I got to spend time visiting with family and catching up on what's going on with their lives.


Saturday night we had an amazing dinner with friends Mark & Measha. Ronnie cooked a huge buffet of food. There was no way to eat it all. While Paige played with Miku and Merick we adults indulged in some good cheese & beer. Mark & Measha had a booth set up right next to Tato-Nut! How lucky!! Mark does hand turned wood. Measha is my favorite soap distributor. She hand makes all of her soaps using only natural, organic products. If you can't make it out to her, stop by her site. The children's foaming soap is great, Paige swears by it. I love her bar soaps. I'm currently using the Carribbean Bay soap, it smells so good. And for a really nice treat, try her organic orange scrub. I do admit to never having ordered from the website. When I need a reorder, I just call. It does pay to know the owner who makes the soaps! Also, think outside the box when looking at her site. She makes these great sled style soap holders. They make a very unique business card holder.

Sunday night when we got home was a whirlwind of unloading the van & getting Paige to bed. Monday & Wednesday I had tests in advanced auditing, so that meant lots of studying. Tuesday was election day, and like most of America I was glued to the TV for results most of the night. Ronnie's already said his candidate didn't win. Well, mine didn't either. He & I actually voted the same way this time. Neither candidate agreed with me on my big issues, so I voted for the strong military that usually comes with a Republican candidate. My full support is also behind Obama. The majority have spoken & he has been elected.

And I almost forgot some exciting news! Marc & Wendy's 2nd son, Jeff is home. Ronnie called me at work Tuesday to let me know Jeff had just shown up. He's currently stationed in Texas. We weren't expecting him home so it was a great surprise. He'll be here for 2 weeks. Paige is completely taken with Jeff again. Wendy's brother Rich came in town today. He and his family live up in New Jersey. It's almost like a small family reunion. Now if only Marc & Wendy's oldest son Matthew could come home from Guam with his wife Amanda and son Xander.

I think that's a catch up of what's been going on and why I've been a bit too busy to blog lately. I promise to try to do better.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My two cents. Clink.. Clink..

Ronnie needs to get something off his chest.

I'm not trying to start a debate or knock anyone else's views here. This is to just say my piece and move on with my life. I'm not happy with the election, not saying that I wanted the other guy either. My pick dropped out of the race during the primaries. I congratulate President Elect Obama. Well done. America has spoken and now lets get down to business.

Between the two, I had more in common with McCain. So that's where I voted. End of story. I hope that everyone else did the same. That is what makes America what it is. Freedom of choice. It is no hidden secret that I do not like Mr. Obama's views on most topics. I don't like a lot of the things he has said. But, this his how the system works and I support the system. I hope he proves me wrong in my belief that he needed more experience for this job, I really do. I am not excited, nor happy about this election. Please understand that I would have felt the same way had McCain won. This is not bashing time. I want change as much as the next person, I just wish that we all could agree on a president, parties withstanding. Wouldn't that be cool. Both parties agreeing and choosing one.

People often say that in order to complain you have to vote. I think that some only vote in order to complain. I vote because it is my right as a citizen to vote.

I wish Mr. Obama the best of luck, and if there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.

Ronnie Anthony Elvis Toncrey Jr.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Go Vote!!!

Today is election day! Go out and vote. Pick your candidate, grab a book & comfy shoes & head to the polling place. This election is expecting to be one of the largest turnouts in history, at least for Alabama.

You may feel your vote for president doesn't count if you don't live in Florida or Ohio. And I feel ya on that one. I'm not really sure my vote counts. But, there are lots of other elections going on today as well. We're voting on the county license commissioner, and on other local officials, as well as some state ammendments. I know that my vote will count on those issues.

In honor of election day, some restaurants are offering freebies to people who vote:
  • Starbucks will give a free regular coffee to all who vote.
  • Krispy Kreme is making star shaped glazed donut with red, white & blue sprinkles. You'll need to show your "I Voted" sticker to get this one.
  • Shane's Rib Shack is giving away their American Value Meal: 3 chicken tenders, fries & a drink.
  • Ben & Jerry's is giving away a free scoop from 5pm to 8pm.

These should not be the only reason you vote, but it could be a nice way to cap off standing in line at the polls.

Remember, if you don't vote, you can't complain for the next 4 years. I know several of you who don't plan on voting. I will be happy to remind you of this when you start complaining about the president in about 6 months. Hopefully if I remind you of this enough, you'll vote next time.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

Yesterday was Paige's party at school. The cups I made were a huge success. All the kids loved them and the parents kept asking where I find the time. I don't know. Really, I don't. Everyone loved her little costume. Tonight we are going trick or treating with Nikki and her family. I think she said there will be about 30 of us total. Should definitely be a good time!

About 2 weeks ago now we took Paige to the pumpkin patch.


She had to test sit the pumpkins to try them! We came home with 2, one for her and one for Daddy. We used the Playskool Mr. Potato Head pumpkin kits to do our pumpkins. That way Mommy didn't have to clean out all the junk inside. These are supposed to push into the pumpkin, but they are safe for ages 2 and up, so they are blunt points. How do you get them into the pumpkin you ask? Find the wine corkscrew you haven't used in years. It makes the perfect size hole!

Daddy has a pirate, Paige got a monster. I had to do a pumpkin for work. We had a pumpkin decorating contest. I got the idea from a magazine, and took it a bit further. So, presenting my Burger & Fries:

I used felt to make a burger patty (2 brown pieces glued together) & to make lettuce, tomato, pickles, cheese & onions. I cut the pumpkin in half and glued halves of pistachio shells to the top to make sesame seeds. Ronnie used yellow construction paper to make giant fries, and alternated red foam & felt to make the pile of ketchup. They'll announce the winner of the competition today, but I took the day off from work.

Our weened will be spent at the Peter Anderson Festival in Ocean Springs. It's a great 2 day arts & crafts show. My parents set up a booth to sell Moms jewelry & the children's clothes she makes. This year she's debuting her ribbon skirts. Super adorable. I'll have to post a picture of Paige wearing hers. I may not post Halloween pictures until next week, so forgive me, please! I'm spending the weekend away from home.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Big Girl Bike

At his 2nd birthday party my cousin Andrew got his first big boy bike. Paige saw it and her eyes lit up. By the time she managed to sit on it she was in love. As I pulled her from the bike she was telling me how much she wanted a big girl bike. Being a good Mommy, my first thought turned to bribery. See, I wanted Paige to potty train, she wanted a big girl bike, I saw where we could work something out.

On the way home I explained to Paige that to get a big girl bike she needed to be a big girl. I then went on to say that big girls use the potty, only babies use a diaper. So, to get a big girl bike she had to use the potty. Ronnie & I discussed the rules: fully trained during the day time. Night time is more control & more of a physical development of the bladder. So, fully trained, no accidents during the day, and she gets a big girl bike.

Saturday we went to the USS Alabama again. She went all day with no accidents. Sunday morning Aunt Wii took her to church & once again, no accidents. That put her at a solid 3 weeks with no accidents during the day. After she woke up from her nap off we went shopping.

We didn't tell her what we were shopping for, only that we needed to go to the store. We went to Toys R Us and hit the bike section. We pulled down every 12 inch bike they had for girls. Paige had to make the final decision. She had a hard time deciding between a Barbie and the one she got. See, Barbie had a bell & cool streamers. I pulled some off the shelf to show her we could buy some for the other bike. She was sold. We came home with this one.

She loves riding her bike. You can tell by the chessy grin.



We were out riding well into the darkness. We finally pried her off the bike & into the house with promises of chips & salsa. And with promises of being able to ride after school on Monday. And of Tuesday. And well, everyday.



Mommy gets lots of exercise with this too. Paige doesn't get the full idea of peddling. She pushes down with one foot and can't do it with the other. I have to run behind her helping to push & steer at the same time. Next goal: learn to ride the bike.

Monday, October 27, 2008

This n That

First, in an effort of full disclosure, Paige has 14 pair of shoes, not 13. I thought I was missing a pair, and it turns out that I was. A pair of cute little flats, white with varying shades of pink hearts on them. My Imelda Marcos has grown her collection a bit. But, it will be shrinking soon. We're getting down to 38 tonight. For the Deep South, that's colder than cold. I don't like it. It means I have to pack away the flip flops and sandals, both mine and Paige's.

Second, Paige got her first big girl bike on Sunday. I'll post pictures tomorrow. We had told Paige that when she could use the potty like a big girl, she could have a big girl bike. We've been about 3 weeks without an accident. Paige got a trip to Toys R Us where she picked out the bike she wanted. She's been having a blast riding her big girl bike up and down the driveway.

Finally, I've finished the Dark Tower series. It's taken longer than I expected. In part because I cheated one week and read 2 James Patterson novels. I couldn't help it. The call of that stack of books from Aunt Glennis was just too strong. I've also had studying to do, work, this whole parenting gig gets in the way of books sometimes. But, I've finished. The story reads amazingly well start to finish. I enjoyed my return to Roland's world. Stephen King has written other novels that tie into these. I plan on reading more of them to round out the story.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Changes

I'm getting a bit tired of the old layout & am searching for a new one. I'm not sure this is it. I do have a few ideas in mind. Please bear with me as I start making a few changes. Let's call them tweaks. Geeks like to tweak. If you see one you particularly like, let me know. One thing I have updated is my blog list. I've added a couple that I read and have been lazy about adding on here for some reason.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Paige the Shoe Queen

We would like to think we're raising the perfect adult. Everyone thinks their child will be perfect, and we're no exceptions. Paige will be tall (approximate adult height is 5'10), will probably have big boobs, is cute (everyone says so) & is smart beyond belief. So far she's a reader (good thing being named Paige), likes to watch SciFi, likes Marvel comics movies & most forms of music. She also has a love of Mickey Mouse, dolls, cars & trains. She'll learn to be a good cook from Daddy & how to balance the checkbook from Mommy. Overall, we think she's pretty rounded. We think some guy is going to be pretty damn lucky in about 25 years.

Then, there's her weakness: shoes. Paige was less than a year old when she realized what shoes were. She got dressed & I put new shoes on her. Daddy & Aunt Wii told her how pretty they were. That did it. Ever since then she's had a shoe fetish. She gets a new pair of shoes and has to show them off for days. She will put her foot out, pointing her toe and command you to look at her new shoes. You are required to ooohhhh and aaaahhhh at these new shoes. If you do not, she will continue to show you her new shoes until you do. And just because you've seen the new shoes today doesn't mean you won't be shown again tomorrow. New shoes are worn daily for at least a week. And they are considered new shoes as long as Paige says they are. She will also tell you who bought her new shoes.

In preparation for writing this post I gathered up all of her shoes to count & take a picture. I just got up to count my shoes for comparison. Paige has 13 pair of shoes. That's 13 pair of shoes that currently fit her & that she wears. Granted, it's almost winter and the summer shoes will go away. But still, 13 pair of shoes. I only own 21 pair, and my feet haven't grown since 7th grade! Here's the proof:


If you look closely at the pink glittery on the bottom right here you can see how loved these have been. In every size she wears we have to have 2 shoes: sparklies & pink Converse. Please ignore my craft basket mess in the upper corner. Just pretend you don't see it. :) There are 2 pairs in here that Paige doesn't even know about yet. The brown boots on the bottom left are for her Halloween costume. We'll give them to her then. Then in the top portion there's a pair of brown Mary Jane's. I got those to go with skirts & dresses this winter. I try to space out giving new shoes so that she gets maximum "new shoeness" out of each pair.

I know this can't be normal for a 2 year old to have 13 pairs of shoes. How many pairs do your kids have?

Paige the Kitty Cat

Lately Paige has been pretending to be various animals. She's been a horse, dog & cat mostly. Her favorite to pretend is a cat. And she makes a really good cat. When she's a cat she can only meow. She crawls around on all fours. The best part is she likes to snuggle. Paige Kitty will crawl up in your lap and wait for you to "pet" her hair and back. She'll rub up against you and meow if you don't pet fast enough.

This game can go on for literally hours. Just don't make the mistake of meowing back at her. She stops, looks at you and says "No, Mommy. You're not a kitty cat. You're a Mommy." At least I still know my place in this household.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Christmas Goody Bags

I've been working on my Christmas goody bags off and on since August. I'm close to being finished with the contents. I don't want to do the actual bags until closer to Christmas. I'm putting each child's name on the bag, and someone could leave. It's rare to see someone leave our daycare, but it could happen. I did 2 bags to show, 1 boy & 1 girl. I used names that I'm sure will still be there at Christmas: Paige & Jude, her "boyfriend".

Each bag includes a Christmas koosh ball necklace (thanks, Grammy), a candy cane ornament, & a zipper pull made with Christmas beads. Girls are also getting a gingerbread man lip gloss holder. Boys will be getting a Frosty in sleigh ornament instead. Each bag is decorated with their name and stickers. After putting everything in I close the bag with ribbon with jingle bells. There's a "From Paige" tag on each bag as well. Except for the bags themselves, everything else has been made just for this. I even made the tags with my scrapbooking supplies!

Here's a girl bag:


And a boy bag:


I haven't trimmed down the edges of the zipper pulls yet. The plastic cording is still curved. I'm going to hang them so they can straighten out. Once they've been tied extra tight, I'll trim down the excess.

Once again, this was all pretty thrifty. These are more than my Halloween bags. The girl bags cost $1.37 a bag, and the boys were $1.62. I was able to buy most of these things back in March on a great clearance sale. The boys ornaments were more of an afterthought & I had to pay full price, that's why there's a difference. Overall, I think I did pretty well though. And there's definitely still time for everyone else to get working on their goody bags!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Use credit cards to save money

What did that say? That can't be right! No way to use a credit card to save money. Is there? That's what I used to think. Then, I discovered Chase credit cards. I currently have 2 cards, one BP and one Toys R Us.

First, the BP Visa card. I use this card frequently. But, I think of it more as a debit card than a credit card. The interest rate is high, so you never want to pay interest on any Chase card. They offer cash back awards based on your purchases. The first 60 days of the card are double points. You get 10% back on all BP purchases, 5% back on travel & entertainment (including meals at restaurants) & 2% back on everything else. After the first 60 days are over you go to the normal cash back amounts: 5% on BP purchases, 2% on travel & 1% on everything else. The best part of this cash back is it's really cash back. Once you get to $25 in rewards, you can cash in for an actual check to be mailed to you. After using this card I immediately write the purchase amount out of my checkbook. Then, about every 2 weeks, I log onto chase.com to check to see what's posted, and pay it off. This way, there's no interest, but I'm accruing cash back rewards. We've had this card for less than a year, probably about 6-8 months. We've cashed in $200 in cash back. When I say we use it frequently, I really mean it! But, it's never used for anything other than what I can pay immediatly out of my checking account.

Next is the Toys R Us (TRU) card. It's also from Chase. Again, a high interest rate that you never want to pay. This one was opened about a month ago & will be closed soon. I only opened this card for the discount. When you apply & use your TRU that same day, you get 10% off everything you purchase. I went about a month ago and did all of Paige's Christmas shopping. (Yep, only stocking stuffers are left.) I applied for the TRU card & got my 10% off my total purchase. Then, because I spent just over $200 ($201.65) I got 90 days interest free. I had enough money in checking to cover my purchases that day. But, why use my money when I can use someone elses? The card will be payed off in another month and closed after that. All interest free, and with 10% off on top of that.

Finally, JC Penney. They offer special discounts to cardmembers during the year, plus coupons based on your purchases. Like a lot of retailers, Penney's is hurting lately, and they've been having some amazing sales. Like most cards these days, the interest rate is high. When I use this one, it's used like a debit card. I write the purchase out of the checking account, and pay the card online as soon as the charge hits.

I know that there are other cards out there that offer cash back & discounts for using them. Most people don't pay them off at the end of the month, and are paying high interest. If you can control that, you can get some great deals out there. The BP card has been continually rated very high for it's reward program. We all have to buy gas, we may as well get something back for it.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Mommy the Pack Mule

This is what I feel like. As I pulled out of the driveway today I was thinking back to the good old days. You know, the days where I decide to leave, grab my purse & keys & walk out the door. Sometimes I miss those days. When you become a Mommy you also become a pack mule. Nobody warns you about this, but it does happen.

The newborn days. Paige was born in late January, and even here in the Deep South it gets cold. So, to leave the house there's blankets & a diaper bag crammed full. There's the extra clothes, diapers, wipes, Mylicon drops & who knows what else. Good thing about breastfeeding? No bottles or formula to deal with. A couple less things for me to pack.

Paige gets a bit older & the season changes. Extra blankets are replaced with just a lightweight nursing blanket. Blowout diapers become less, so there's less clothes to carry. But, you have to add solid foods, bibs & spoons. You still have extra clothes, but now it's just shirts that will match the pants or skirt already being worn.

We become a full fledged toddler eating regular table food. Now we only have to carry diapers, bibs, spoons & 1 extra shirt. The big newborn diaper bag is replaced with a smaller more compact bag. Now, breastfeeding is behind us, so cups must go everywhere with us.

We get closer to 2. Now to leave the house all we need is a cup & diapers. The diapee wipee fits nicely in my slightly larger than usual purse, so no extra diaper bag is needed. For a slightly longer trip, the small diaper bag may still be needed. You'll need diapers, wipes, snacks & juice. I'm sure at this point some parents have given over to candy & soda as snacks & don't feel the need to carry the bag. Not me. I'm still giving Juicy Juice or organic juice & snacks are animal crackers or granola bars.

We've reached the potty training stage. If you've read my earlier posts you know I don't believe in pull ups. I think they're Pampers way of getting you to buy their product longer. We only wear big girl panties. Now to leave the house I have my slightly larger than usual purse. Then there's the smaller toddler size diaper bag complete with juice, snack, emergency diapers & a folding potty seat. Then there's the extra bag of clothes. I'm walking out the door with 3 bags, a sippy cup, my drink, keys & phone. I don't have enough hands!

Of course none of this takes into account that Paige just has to take toys with her. It seems we can't leave the house without her holding onto a toy. It doesn't last long. Mommy ends up carrying it. Oh yes, and don't forget the 30 pound, 3 foot tall 2 1/2 year old who still likes to be carried. One day I'm hoping to get back to my normal size purse & no extra bags. I'm just not certain that it will happen any time soon. We'll see. It has to happen one day, right?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sixth Photo

I've been tagged by Beth to participate in a little blogger game. You find the 6th photo in the 6th folder of your online picture storage. I had to cheat a bit. I don't have an online photo storage. I've got accounts with a couple, but I've never really used them. So, I went to the 6th photo in the 6th folder of my external hard drive. You share the picture and the memory. Here's mine.

This picture was taken at Cheaha State Park in Central, Alabama. It's a beautiful, quiet resort park. Ronnie & I went there this past June to celebrate our 4th anniversary. It was also Father's Day. This was the view from our back patio. We rented a small cabin made just for 2. We spent the weekend hiking, swimming, relaxing & reading books. It was an amazing time that we still talk about. It was also our first time away from Paige for an entire weekend. Here's a link to my original post about the vacation.

Part of this game is to tag 6 other bloggers. The problem is that I don't know 6 other bloggers who read on a continual basis. So, Caroline and Monica, you've been tagged. Please participate, if you would. It's a fun game.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Potty training update

We have been in big girl panties for quite a while now, probably 3 weeks or so. Our accidents are getting less and less. There were no accidents over the weekend. Monday there was 1 accident at school, and none yesterday or today.

Paige has gotten better about telling us she needs to potty. We still ask, but if she says no, she means it. She will tell us and run to the potty. By the time you get there she has her panties half way down. This girl is serious!

We even wear big girl panties during nap time! That's right, Ms. Tricee at daycare told us she doesn't put Paige in a diaper for nap, so neither do we. Maybe by this coming weekend we'll feel more confident about trying panties overnight. We know it means a lack of sleep, and changing sheets quite a bit. But, I think we're up for it.

Paige has been promised a big girl bike when she doesn't need diapers anymore. Looks like Mommy & Daddy will be bike shopping soon. :) Hey, I figure the cost of the bike is about 2 boxes of diapers. Not too bad a deal.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

We are gonna play Blues Clues

Paige has recently discovered Blues Clues. I must say it's a nice departure from Bob the Builder, Backyardigans & Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I like these 3 shows, but On Demand only has a few at any given time. Watching the same thing over and over does get old after a while.

What she likes most about this show is helping Steve find the clues. So, what's a Crafty Mommy to do? Make a Blues Clues game of her own, of course! This was a cute, easy & cheap game to make. A little felt, some Elmer's glue, construction paper & computer paper and it's done. Ronnie "hid" the clues for us before we got home. When we walked in the door Paige got her Handy Dandy Notebook.


With our trusty green crayon and Handy Dandy Notebook in hand, we were off to search for clues. And here it is, our first clue! We found it! It was on our jammies. Wow!

There's 3 clues, so we must keep looking. Clue #2! We found it! It's next to our soap.



Time to keep looking. Blue always has 3 clues. Where could that last one be? Maybe on a washcloth? Yes! There it is!


Now that we have all 3 clues, what's next? We sit down in our thinking chair. (Well, our thinking couch, but it is red.)


Now we have to figure out Blues Clues. What could it be? We have jammies, soap & a washcloth. Hmmmm..... Blue wants to take a shower! That's it!

We've just figured out Blues Clues! We've just figured out Blues Clues! We've just figured out Blues Clues because we're really smart!

And here we are relaxing with our clues.


Paige didn't want to give up her clues at all. She held on to them for quite a while. It's a fun, cute game to play. It was great watching Paige come to the answer on her own, with minimal prodding from Mommy. We try to play the game about once or twice a week. Something to keep her interested, but not too much. The hardest part is coming up with the clues for the game.

I enjoyed making this game. I enjoyed it so much I've got 3 more to make. One for Hannah, Kennedy & Chickie. I may make a few more for a few more friends. We all have girls within a few months of each other. It's easy & fun. Now I just have to find the time to sit down and do it!

The election is coming

I know politics is a hot button right now, and I don't want to push anyone's buttons. I'm not here to tell you who to vote for. Heck, I still don't know who I'm voting for. There are lots of emails going around for and against each candidate. After speaking with some family & friends, I realized people are believing some of the lies being spread. This is a nasty campaign from both sides. I wanted to give you a few resources to help you in making an informed decision.

First, here's the official site for each candidate. (McCain is listed first since his name comes first alphabetically.)

John McCain

Barack Obama

At each site you can find out what each candidate says they stand for. Not what someone else says they stand for, but what they say they believe in. Of course, they're politicians, so take it however you want.

Finally, there are lots of emails slandering each politician. I like Snopes.com for their ease of use in finding out if an email is fact or fiction.

Snopes

This takes you to the political section. Scroll down to find the candidate you want to see, and click on them. One of my favorite is that Obama can't run because he's not a natural born citizen. Scroll down, that one is listed as false.

I don't care who you vote for. Really. It doesn't matter to me one little bit who you vote for. But I do want to encourage you to vote. Pick a candidate, hopefully I'll be able to soon, and vote for him or her. Remember, if you don't vote, you can't complain about anything the next president does.


Finally, I like comments. Please leave some. Kim & Beth thanks for the comments the 2 of you leave. Now, for everyone else, please leave a few. I found out most of my family reads only after them telling me that my post about Paw Paw made them cry. I found out Sean reads when we started discussing Spore. It's nice to see comments, so please take a second and leave one. You don't have to have a gmail account to do so.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Food Stuff

I have a new favorite seasoning. It's the McCormick Grill Mates Vegetable Seasoning. This stuff is wonderful! We just had some on corn on the cob. Paige ate 2 small ears. It's been good on everything we've tried it on. It's even good on grilled chicken. Yep, being the rebels we are we put vegetable seasoning on chicken. Loved it too. Paige enjoys the seasoning so much that she actually asks to eat it out of the jar. I pour a small bit in my hand and allow her to eat it. Like Mother, Like Daughter. I share it with her! :)

Getting in a dinner rut? Try Kraft. We use this website frequently now. It allows you to create an account & save the recipes you like or want to try. So far the taco bake is one of our favorites. We add crushed tortilla chips to the top before serving. I had 2 helpings & Paige had 3. Recipes can be altered to suit your taste (we left off the sour cream from the taco bake) & to make them a bit more healthy. Play a bit on the site. They have a weekly meal planner where everything you need to get fits into 1 bag. There's definitely some good ideas on here.