Friday, February 27, 2009

Daddy's Home!

Ronnie got home just as we sat down to dinner last night. I was expecting him, but Paige had to idea. She was so excited to see her Daddy. She was glued to him all evening.

He's home until noon on Sunday, when he has to leave to go 4 hours away. We had been counting on him being able to come home every weekend. Now we aren't sure. He'll find out Monday. Technically the operation at the hospital is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. He may work any kind of schedule. I'm still hoping he'll be able to come home on weekends.

We did get some definite good news. Although he has to drive an hour each way to work, he will work Monday through Friday, 9 to 5. That's really good! He won't have to work weekends or holidays. They have a crew for that. Another change is that he won't be working in the cafeteria, but on the patient trays. That involves lots of nutrition training for him this next 3 weeks. There have been some really good jobs over the past few years that he hasn't gotten because he needed more nutrition experience than he had. This could lead to better things later on.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

R2-D2, 4/15/08 - 2/24/09

We lost our cat R2 sometime during the night last night. Our cats are indoor/outdoor cats. R2 likes it outside. He didn't come in last night. It's not that unusual, and it was a warm night. I didn't worry too much about it. This morning when I opened the door to let him in, he wasn't there. That is unusual for him. But, remembering K9's recent overnight stay in my van, I wasn't as concerned, but definitely worried. I didn't see him in the cul-de-sac or the yard, so Paige & I got ready for the day.

As we pulled out of the cul-de-sac I saw him. He was stretched out in the road just likes he likes to sleep: legs straight out & tail straight out behind him. He would make himself as big as possible. I took Paige to daycare & called work to tell them I would be late. I came back home to bury him in the backyard with our other pets. R2 was a pure white cat, and there were no visible signs of trauma. It's very likely he was poisoned. It could have been a non-cat friendly neighbor. Or, it could have been more innocent. He could have tried to eat a frog, lizard or roach, all of which produce toxins that will kill a cat. Also, we have a neighbor who works on cars in his backyard. He may not have disposed of some antifreeze properly. It's all speculation. We are certain it was poison, but not what type.

Ronnie is still out of town, so I had to tell Paige myself. I told her that R2 didn't hold hands while he was crossing the street, and that he was hit by a car. I followed this up with reminding her that's why Mommy & Daddy make her hold hands in parking lots. I tried to make her understand that we only have 1 cat now, and that R2 will never come back. Althought she did a lot of thumb sucking when I told her, I'm not sure she gets it yet. It's hard to comprehend when you're only 3. When Ronnie gets home we'll tackle Kitty Heaven. We have planned a small party for him Saturday, just the 3 of us and K9. We'll let Paige say good bye to him that way. We'll have a picture of the 2 of them framed & put it in her room. I kind of like this one. It sums up his personality. He would climb into the stroller & nap while Paige pushed him. He adored her. She could do anything to him & he would just purr. She is definitely going to miss him.

I miss him too.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mardi Gras

We're back from New Orleans. Technically, Mardi Gras day is Tuesday. But, the weekend before is full of celebration. Ronnie's parents, Mimi & Paw Paw, are part of a Krewe, the Krewe of Dreux. We went over to take part in their celebration. For us, this is a great part of Mardi Gras.

The celebration starts Friday night at midnight. That's when the final vote for King & Queen take place. Most krewes do this earlier in the season so that the King & Queen can preside over lots of functions. This isn't that type of krewe. Ronnie went to the party with his parents while I stayed home with Paige. They got home around 2. We were up at 6:15, as usual. (That would be me and Paige. Daddy was still knocked out on the couch.) We woke Daddy up and went out for beingets & to special order our King Cake from Randazzo's. This is the best King Cake we've ever had. And the bakery is located about 2 miles from my in-laws home, so it's perfect! After a breakfast of mini beingets & chocolate milk (Coke for Mommy) at the Beinget Station, we went back to wake Mimi & Paw Paw.

Paw Paw has been working on this bus for Mardi Gras. It started out as a short school bus. It's changed a bit since it's first life. Here's a side view:

And the front:

And finally, the inside:

That couch along the left side is really comfy. And once all the supplies on the right are unloaded, it's a pretty big area.

Saturday was a long day. After we loaded the bus, Mimi, Paige & I went to the starting point. That's where all the Queens kick off the day by walking from the start point (a bar called Bacchus) to the park. Mimi is a Queen, so Paige & I get to walk with her. We walked the 5 or 6 blocks to the park. And the party started. Paw Paw & Daddy had the bus set up complete with grill. We stayed there for several hours hanging out & having a good time.

Here's the Queen & King wearing their capes.

We joined in the parade to go back to the Bacchus. At that point we were all exhuasted, it was about 5 pm, so we headed back to the house. We grilled steaks and had a nice family meal.

Sunday morning we were up early to pick up our King Cake and head home. Ronnie had to be on the road to Atlanta by 11 yesterday. He's on the first part of his 4 weeks away from home. Paige and I layed around the house not doing much but relaxing. I haven't decided if I want to take her out here on Mardi Gras. Oddly enough, I felt completely safe in New Orleans in the middle of everything. Here? I'm more worried. In New Orleans I was surrounded by Krewe members, and there are lots of cop members. Here I would be on my own with no clean potty. Oh, I could meet up with my friends, but there's still no clean potty! And that's a must. Tomorrow we may just spend the day around the houes playing.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tax Time

And I'm an accountant. Everyone loves me this time of year. I've done taxes for a couple of friends already. I have another sitting on my kitchen table just waiting. It's a bit more complicated, so I'm waiting until Ronnie goes out of town next week so I can give it my undivided attention. I really don't mind. Especially the one on my table, it belongs to one of my favorite people.

I was warned that at tax time I would find friends I didn't know I had. Everyone wants their taxes done by someone who can get them the most back. And someone who'll do it cheap. I've been pleasantly surprised to find that most people haven't asked me to do their taxes. I've offered to a couple of people, and Ronnie has offered to a couple of his coworkers. I have been asked lots of questions though. If I don't know an answer I go to my favorite resource, the IRS. Their website is very user friendly.

Sometimes I bring it on myself. I was at The Disney Store the other day and I heard 2 of the associates talking. One was telling the other that she could get a credit for her house. That her friend had told her so. I couldn't help myself. I asked her when she bought it. The answer? 12 years ago. Sorry, honey, the credit is only for people who purchased a home during a certain time frame last year and part of this year. I couldn't help it, I had to say something!

Did you know you can file your taxes online for free? You don't have to pay someone to do them for you. If you have an adjusted gross income of less than $56,000 you can file for free through sites such as HR Block, and Turbo Tax. Click here to find your own service.

On a side note, this could be my last post for a few days. See, this is Mardi Gras weekend coming up. We'll be leaving Friday afternoon headed to New Orleans. Tomorrow night I have to pack & get everything ready. We're leaving as soon as we get out of work. Ronnie has to leave on Sunday for Atlanta. I'm not sure what day I'm coming back. I may come back anytime between Saturday night and Monday. It'l be an unplugged weekend. I won't be checking email or anything while I'm there. Mardi Gras deserves our full attention. By the time I get back to the house to get online I'll be too tired. I should be back by Tuesday, Mardi Gras day. I have to be back at work Wednesday morning.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My child is special

I can hear Grammy saying "I told you so." And I can hear everyone else groaning. Every parent thinks their child is special. Well, my really is.

I picked her up from daycare today. As usual, I had to put her shoes & socks on her. Paige hates to wear shoes & socks. When she gets there in the mornings she takes them off. Everyone at daycare does their best to keep them on her all day. They convince her to put them on to go outside to play. But, in the building? Not gonna happen.

So, I sit on the floor to put her shoes & socks on her. And that's when I notice it. Her feet are blue. I'm talking Smurf blue. I start to question her. She painted today. She got paint all over her paper, the other papers, the easel. None on the floor according to the teacher. Paige looks all proud of herself. She told me she painted them. Yep. She sat on the floor, painted her feet, including the soles of her feet, and let them dry.

Even the teacher said Paige is special, and creative. They didn't find any blue footprints on the floor. She must have sat there while she waited for it to dry. A thin coat of paint dries quickly by the way.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Ronnie has accepted a new job. He will be a chef for a local hospital group. He will be the sous chef over the cafeteria. As part of this new job he will go to Atlanta for a week for company orientation. He gets back from that & goes to a city 4 hours away for 3 more weeks of training. Yep, I'll be a single Mommy for a full month. At least he'll be home on weekends, so Paige & I can spend time with him.

The benefits with this company are amazing. First the pay is about double what he's making now, which puts him back at what he was making at the college. The paid time off policy is to die for! On September 1st they allot your PTO for the year. You must take it by the end of August the following year. For employees with 0 to 5 years, you get 5 weeks of PTO. You read that right, 5 weeks. Wow. He'll have some PTO to use even before then. They have wonderful medical & dental benefits as well.

On a down side the hospital is about an hour away. He'll have to commute almost 2 hours a day. He did this before, when he lived in Houston. It's not something he's looking forward to, but the pros outweigh the cons. The other downside, of course, is the month of training. The company does do good with this though. They've paid for his hotel, provided breakfast & lunch, and have provided him with a Visa credit card with his allotment of money for evening meals, $25 a night. He's driving, so they'll reimburse mileage.

Believe it or not, this was a hard decision to make. Ronnie really enjoys his day job. His night job is just so-so, but he's learning a lot there. Ronnie's very much a free thinking, tie-dye wearing, outside the box kind of thinker. His time in corporate America has either been amazing, or crap. There's not really been any in between there. But, as we all know, the economy is in the toilet. Restaurants are closing left and right. Everyone is saying it's only going to get worse before it gets better. His restaurants aren't in danger of closing. At least right now. There's no telling what will happen later on. So many restaurants have closed in the area that kitchen jobs are extremely hard to find, and paying less than usual. So many apply for 1 job, that they can lower what they pay & still get applicants. The hospital will not be going out of business any time soon. It provides the most stable environment.

Ronnie leaves Sunday going to Atlanta. Figures that he would leave the weekend before Mardi Gras. We've had to change our Mardi Gras plans. Small price to pay, I guess.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Holidays married to a chef

Ronnie is at work even as I type. He had to be in at 2 today. The restaurant's first seating was at 4:30, the last is at 10. We celebrated together last night. We went to see Friday the 13th. It was really good. The theater was packed & the audience was fun. There was lots of screaming, jumping & covering of eyes from those around us. It was a blast. Today was an exchange of gifts: Paige got Madagascar 2, Ronnie got a new copy of Boogie Nights, & I got a replacement for the favorite lip gloss that I lost, Viva Glam 5 by Mac.

Holidays are what you make them. When Ronnie and I first started dating he warned me about the times I would spend without him. As a chef he will work lots of holidays. People go out to eat on Valentine's Day, Mother's Day & Easter. That means he works on those days. We decided at the beginning we would celebrate them when we can. And, that there would be no hard feelings for him missing holidays because of work.

To us yesterday was Valentine's Day. Paige had a party at daycare and we went out. In truth, I had forgotten that today was actually the day until we went grocery shopping. All the men trying to find cards, chocolates & heart shaped balloons was a dead give away. Easter we can't really move. The Easter Bunny still comes bright and early that Sunday morning. Ronnie is at work by the time Paige gets up. She & I hunt eggs together then go to my family's get together. It's always at 12. The only change in my lifetime has been location. It's moved from Granny's to Uncle Little Erie's. We go play, eat & have fun with aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents & great grandparents. We can't move Easter because of this tradition. Mother's Day? This one is actually my favorite. See, we move it the weekend before or after depending on what else we have going on. It moves from a day to a weekend. That's right, it's full Mommy's Day Weekend in our house.

There are days Ronnie will have to work. But, there are days when he will make sure he's off. There's Paige's birthday party, and there's our anniversary. Both days he makes sure to be home with us. He typically works both of our birthdays. Not really a big deal. Once again, we celebrate before or after if we can't celebrate on the day. Holidays are what you make them. So we move them to either before or after the date. All that matters is that we enjoy them.

So tonight Ronnie is at work, and Paige is in bed. I've been left alone with the DVR and On Demand. I'll be spending the rest of the night scrapbooking and catching up on some TV. For me it's a nice quiet evening at home. Another advantage to moving our celebration? It's impossible to go out on these days. I get a quiet night tonight, and we can go out when we the crowds aren't as bad.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Chores I Hate

There are certain things we all hate to do around the house. I have 4 things I just don't enjoy doing.

1. Balancing the checkbook. I know. I'm an accountant. I should love doing this. I spend my entire day at work balancing someone else's checkbook. Well, among other things. It seems like after spending my days pouring over bank statements, sales figures & sales tax forms that I just don't have the energy to do my own checkbook. I usually put it off to once a week, which makes it worse. Every time I say I won't let it happen. The following week, I do it again. By the way, I need to balance the checkbook tonight.

2. Cleaning the litter box. This one could be the worse, just from the smell. Ronnie usually does this one for me. The ammonia smell kills me. It worse than taking out the diaper pail. Does this one need further explanation? Didn't think so.

3. Folding laundry. I really think I could live from the basket of clean clothes. I wouldn't have to fold anything. I could hang up everything except my bras, panties & socks. That's if I had enough closet space, but that's another blog completely. Once everything was hung up all that would be left would fit into 1 basket and I could pick stuff out of there as I need it. I don't know why I hate this one, but I do.

4. Ironing. If I had my way, and the money, everything that needed to be ironed would go to the cleaners. They could do it for me. I really think this could be my one luxury. It's also the one thing I just won't do. I'll balance the checkbook (in just a few minutes), clean the litter box (which I did a half hour ago) and fold laundry (did that over the weekend), but I won't iron. Haven't done it in ages. I will watch Ronnie iron my work clothes do. He's such a sweet husband, he ironed my clothes this morning.

So tell me, what do you hate to do around the house? And do you really do it or do you give it to someone else to do?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sunday, February 8, 2009


People must think we deprive our child of candy. That she never, ever gets any. When we're out in public & there's candy involved, she gets super excited. She shouts about candy and that she wants some.

Truth is, we give her candy, in moderation. Also, she doesn't really like it. We've already established we have the weirdest 3 year old in history. After all, she asks for hummus & cous cous. We've given her different kinds of candy. Most of it, she just spits out & says yuck. She thinks she likes it, but she really doesn't.

For the record, there is some candy she likes. Paige likes M&M's, Laffy Taffy & Nerds. Everything else ends up in the trash. So yes, you can give her candy. But please make sure it's one of these 3. Otherwise, you'll have a sticky hand full of candy.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Paige is becoming more observant these days. Some days it's good, some days it's not. Try explaining thongs to a 3 year old. Not so fun. But watching her try to make her panties do the same thing is pretty amusing.

I picked Paige up from daycare & gave her the usual snack: juice (lemonade) & an apple. I guess this apple was juicier than the others. I could see the little light bulb go off over her head. She looked up at me and said, "Mommy! It's got juice!!" She was so excited. I told her that apples do have juice it's where we get apple juice. She really enjoyed that apple.

We got home & I let her pick what to watch. She picked Little Mermaid. Like that's a shock. She was standing up on my rocker helping me put in the movie. That means she wanted to see the DVD to make sure it really had the picture of the mermaid on it before I put it in the DVD player. She spotted this picture on the DVD player.

Paige was not happy the day this was taken. Can you tell? We got a 5x7 for ourselves for blackmail later in life. She looked at the picture & told me the girl wasn't happy. I told her the girl was her. She looked at me all innocent and said, "I'm in time out. I'm crying. That's not nice." She may still throw a temper tantrum, but at least she knows it's not nice.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Reality Bites

Jonah Lisa did a post (the link isn't showing, but click on "post") the other day. Then Caroline (click on her name) took up the idea. Now, I'll come out of the closet as well. Jonah Lisa said it best. What you see on my blog is a snapshot of something cute or funny. It's not what my life is really like. My life is a constant state of mess that I try to overcome. Or I ignore, it depends on my mood. So, tonight I come out of the closet. These pictures were taken less than 5 minutes ago.

As you can see, we have a small place. The kitchen on the left looks into the living room and dining area. The space between the couch & the bar belongs to Paige. Let's see what all you can find, shall we? Well, I spy Go Fish cards, 2 baby dolls, Ants in the Pants (Spongebob edition). I also see the box of tissue, Paige's sunglasses, assorted junk mail, the book I'm currently reading (Daddy's Girl by Lisa Scottoline) & my purse among other things on the ledge. Then there's a jacket or 2, Bob the Builder toys, a coat hanger & some of Paige's books. And a trash bag. I don't get that one. And did you notice I need to vacuum? I noticed. Instead I blog.

Now, on to the area between the couch & TV. Just ignore Ronnie's legs, he's watching a James Bond movie before cleaning the litter box.

This isn't as bad. Paige tends to confine most of her mess to the area behind the couch. In front of the TV is just a couple of toys, including her pink puter as she calls it. Then there's that large pile o books in front of the bookshelf. There's a few Diego toys under the coffee table. Overall, not too bad.

I could show you my 2 baskets of laundry that need to be folded. Well, 3 including what's in the dryer now. I could show you the pile of shoes I have, or that Paige has put hers away nicely like she's supposed to. Maybe one day I'll get brave enough to show you Ronnie's computer desk. It's not a pretty sight. It catches all the junk for all 3 of us.

I may not have the neatest house, but it's mostly clean. The bathroom is clean, and so is the kitchen. The garbage is taken out & the table wiped down. To me the rest is clutter and shows how we really do live on a daily basis. If you were to walk in right now I would be a little emberrased, but not enough to spend your whole visit cleaning. I would tell you like I tell others: Fisher Price is my decorator, and they love me.

Ahh, being 3

Everyone told me 3 is worse than 2. I was hoping not. Apparently, I was wrong, 3 is worse than 2. Paige is very independent; she has always been this way. For months now she's taken more of an active roll in picking her clothes & getting herself dressed. This morning was one of our worst in recent memory.

It's very cold here today. Last night it got down to 26. I know, not cold by some standards, but I live in the South for a reason! Paige tried to pick a t-shirt to wear today. Um, no. So I let her pick the t-shirt as long as the purple sweater goes over it. Fine. Then she doesn't want to get dressed. Off to the bathroom for a tantrum. Finally she agrees to get dressed. Great. She decides she doesn't want any help. All I'm allowed to do is watch. OK, let's see how that goes. She needed some help with pants. Not that she can't do it, she was playing around & didn't want to. We finally got dressed, or so I thought. She spied the t-shirt she forgot, so we had to take the sweater off to put the t-shirt on underneath. Then she didn't want to put the sweater back on. I finally got her in the sweater and ready for the next battle: shoes.

Paige has picked her own shoes for a couple of years. Today she picked a little pair of dress shoes. I wanted her to wear boots or tennis shoes. We fought over that for a few minutes before she finally agreed to wear her pink boots.

Today was a morning of her doing it herself, and lots of arguing with Mommy & Daddy. It's cold, she must be well dressed to leave the house. I can't send her out in a t-shirt & dress shoes. Hopefully tomorrow will be better, but I'm not holding my breath.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Picture & More Crazy Cats

First, the picture. It's not the best picture of my Dad ever. He had literally just gotten out of the hospital after about 2 1/2 weeks. They left the hospital and drove straight to the studio.

Paige looks so tiny there! At the time I remember thinking how big she was.

I've already told you about R2 and his late night playing of the Elmo theme song. Seems he wasn't the only kitten busy last night. K9, Ronnie's cat, never came in last night. I was a bit worried about him, but let it go. After all, he's a cat and may not come in every night. This morning I went to the door to let him in, but no K9. Odd. I got ready for work and headed to the van.

I got in, set my breakfast on the center console, put my lunch bag in the passenger seat with my purse. Then started to take off my rain jacket to put over there as well. I look over and there's K9, coming up between the seats looking at me. I had put stuff in the van yesterday afternoon about 4 to take to daycare today. K9 must have jumped in then. He spent the night in the van.

I pick him up and bring him back inside. Make sure he's got plenty of food & water & go back to my van. It passes the sniff test, so he managed to wait for his litter box. I put the key in & everything came on. K9 had turned on my left blinker, windshield wipers, high beams, cruise control, fog lights, rear defroster and turned down the volume on the radio and dimmed the lights on the dashboard. I'm lucky my battery wasn't dead. When I look in the middle row, I see he's taken the pillow from Paige's car seat & put it on the floor. The car seat was full of fur so I'm certain that's where he slept last night.

Crazy cats. I hope tonight is less eventful.

Quick Funny

Last night we had gone to bed, keeping the cats in the living room by closing our bedroom door. I was almost asleep when I heard it. "la la la la. La la la la. Elmo's World." Paige has this little Elmo toy that when pushed plays Elmo talking. Press it 5 times in a row, and it singe the Elmo's World theme song.

R2 had found the Elmo, put it next to our door, and stepped on it. As Ronnie went out to see what was going on, R2 was ready. As soon as the door opened he ran into the bedroom & dove under the bed. He didn't want to be thrown back out. A few minutes later he felt safe to jump up on the bed. And was promptly thrown back out.

If the cats would sleep in bed instead of play they could sleep with us. Ronnie hid the Elmo toy. I didn't want to wake up to more Elmo's World in the middle of the night!

Picture update. Monica asked for the pic that Paige has taken over. Ronnie hooked the scanner back up last night. I'll scan it tonight when I get home from work.