Sunday, March 30, 2008

My Little Precious

Today I had this conversation with my little princess.

Me: Don't forget to buckle up, precious.
Her: Mommy I love it when you call me "precious".
Me: Do you think I should have named you that when you were born?
Her: No, I just want to be named that today so just call me "precious" today.
Me: Sure thing, precious. I love you precious.
Her: I love you too mama.

Thursdays Are Right Again

Woohoo.....if this does not make you squeal inside, then you just are not a big enough fan of The favorite TV show of all time. I have been desperately lonely since the writer's strike and now I get to celebrate!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

My Mommy Bracelet

I am really loving this old/new hobby of making jewelry. There is a pretty long history behind this passion ever since I was a little kid but ironically the hobby that I had really done since age 7 was cross stitch. I absolutely LOVED that hobby and did it up until I had my 4th baby. Unfortunately, life got too busy and chaotic to continue.

But it wasn't until I was looking for Christmas gifts for my nieces last year and couldn't find a thing for them that wasn't either ridiculously overpriced or had the words "Hannah Montana" on it. Jewelry was a great choice since all of them love jewelry in one form or another. I went on a hunt for the perfect pieces for ages 7-13 and came up with nothing. Either the stuff was too baby-ish or it was too "hoochy mama". I decided that what the world needed was some new jewelry. I set out on a mission to revive my old hobby.

I have made a few really cute pieces for my little princess so far and she loves them. One was a cute pair of earrings that all of the teachers are raving about at school. I love one of my latest pieces that I made for myself because it is what I call my "mommy" bracelet....which is made up of beautiful swarovski crystals in each of my kids' birthstones.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Earrings Beware

**Warning as parts of this post are not for weak stomachs**

The other day I went to change my princess' earrings. I hadn't done so in a few weeks and figured it was time to change them and clean the lobes up really good. The first one came out with no problem but I did notice that the back of the earring was really pressed tight against her ear so there was some cleaning to do because of the dirt buildup. When I went to get the other earring that was a different story. Apparently the same thing happened on the other side where the back of the post pressed up against the earlobe. Only this time the earring back got lodged into the outer surfaces of her earlobe. I know....really GROSS! I couldn't get the back off. I tried a few times and then she started to wail. IT HURTSSSSSSSSSSS! It started to bleed and I started to panic. I couldn't get this earring off and the back of it is lost in her skin!

I didn't know what to do. It was Saturday morning at 8:00 am. It was the day before Easter. Her ear is bleeding and is a mess. My better half tried to get it. He couldn't either. By this time she was having a complete meltdown. (My princess is not exactly a tough cookie).

I think quickly. Her doctor's office is open on Saturday morning and if I wait any longer it will fill up quickly. I grab a jacket and we head out the door. Luckily we get there with only a few people in the waiting room and within 10 minutes we are with a doctor. Luckily she is a female doctor so I feel good that she will be understanding when I tell her how GUILTY I feel about this string of events.

Let's face it. It was MY idea to get her ears pierced last year. It was MY idea to buy the earrings that got lodged. It was ME who didn't think that we still had to turn them every day so this would not happen. It was ME who was too busy to pay attention to this little detail until it was too late. And now my princess might have to have that earring cut out. Lesson Learned. Take more time with your precious cargo and think and remember EVERYTHING!

When I explained what was wrong the doctor was very nice and patient and she didn't think it was a big deal. Let's face it. I cried more at this doctor visit than I have in all the other visits combined including the ones where shots were administered at 2 months of age.

The doctor got the earring out without too much complication and gave us a couple of antibiotics to soothe the area and make sure it doesn't get infected. After I finished saying a few prayers of thanks, we were on our way to get princess a chocolate covered donut that Daddy had promised.

Her ear has fully recovered and glad to say that the holes did not close up. We will be able to get earrings back in. But this time I will make them wire earrings and we will clean the areas every day.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

New Jewelry Pics

Corey's suggestions really helped me out. I decided to go outside and take a photo in macro mode. It's still not the best but it is a lot better than it was before.

Here is a bracelet I just made for my princess and the earrings to match.

Friday, March 21, 2008

People Who Live in Glass Houses

You know the rest....something about throwing stones. So I am paraphrasing but the message is all the same which is "don't judge others unless you want to be judged yourself". Let's face it. We all have skeletons (yes I know you do even if you are shaking your head no). We all have had moments of regret or where we wished that we would have acted differently. None of us are perfect and should not be held to a higher standard than we would hold ourselves.

I am amazed at how I keep learning these obvious lessons even at the ripe ole age of 42. Most recently I have been judged hurtfully by someone in my family. It hurts bad. Much more badly than I initially realized. Time does heal certain wounds but judgments can linger around for a long time.

Now, I have never really been the kind of person to hold a grudge and I can say fairly matter-of-factly that I have never rejected an apology. I think apologies are awesome. They feel great to say them and they feel great to hear them.

But what do you do when the apologies don't come and you are left to feel hurt? There is no closure. No resolution. Just a bunch of displaced hurt.

I am not speaking metaphorically. This really happened to me. Someone gave me their opinion of me and it was not pretty and I didn't understand it and I am left with it on my mind. Because the person who gave it wasn't a stranger. It was a member of my family. And it hurts.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Fun Little Game

I thought it would be a great idea to involve the whole family in the NCAA March Madness 64 - drawing random numbers from a hat and assigning teams to everyone in my family. The thing of it is that we are only 6 people in the family and there are 64 we all got at least 10 teams and a few of us got 11. I have to admit that we had a lot of fun picking numbers and seeing which number lined up to which team.

Of course we all quickly found out that North Carolina is the #1 seed as my younger teen stood up and shouted when he picked the #1 out of the hat.

The little people got so excited even though they had no idea what this was all about. There is something magical to a child about pulling a number out of hat. Ah, the joys of innocent little lives.

A Sad Story

Today I found out that a dear co-worker is in hospice and will die from an advanced cancer soon. That bums the crap out of me. She is so strong-willed and assertive yet kind and caring. I am having a hard time accepting that this terrible disease is, once again, going to take the life of someone who is close to me.


An email around work has circulated with regards from her and her family. Her husband says that her wishes to us all is to "retire early and enjoy your life."

Hmmmm. Just what I have been thinking lately. Retire early and enjoy your life. How many times do we hear those types of words with respect to spending enough time with your family. It resonates with me. Some of us may not have the finances in place to retire early but we can certainly enjoy our lives outside of work. Here is what I am going to do to improve my personal life.

1. Spend more time with my kids when I pick them up from school. I will turn off the radio and listen to them tell me about their day.
2. I will lay out the toys in their room more and sit on the floor and play, read or do whatever they want me to do.
3. I will take more shortcuts in areas that don't involve spending time with family such as cooking, cleaning, and other housework unless they are participating with me.
4. I will enjoy my children climbing into bed with me in the morning rather than fret over them waking me up so early.
5. I will cheer loudly for my kids at their baseball games even though it might embarrass them. I want them to remember how proud I am of them.
6. I will talk more with my husband about the good things of the day rather than the stresses.
7. I will take my vitamins, eat healthier, and keep exercising.
8. I will keep thinking of ways to create a happy and healthy home for all of us.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Fancy Jewelry

Yesterday I took a class at the local bead store. I have to admit it was so much fun. I love beading and I love making jewelry but didn't know the finer techniques to doing it the "right way." Now I know.

I got the chance to make a necklace and earrings and I was so proud of myself afterward that I came home and made a few more pair of earrings with the beads I had accumulated over the past year and re-strung a few strings of faux pearls that needed to be done.

I still haven't figured out how to take a good picture of this (maybe Corey will help me out) so I decided to scan the jewelry with my photo scanner. It's not the best but it's all I have. The actual piece looks so much better in real life.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Last night, I accompanied by sister-in-law to a Make-A-Wish function that my brother had organized. It was a sports auction that included a silent auction beforehand and then moved onto a live auction in the main dining room. There were lots of munchies and free alcohol and plenty of stars.

As I moved around the room, I couldn't help but to be star-struck. There was Bob Costas, Jeff Conine and many other local sports players and celebrities. Katrina Campins (remember her from the first season of "The Apprentice") sat at our table. There were professional cheerleaders from all of the local sports teams. So many people with perfect, fat-free bodies who looked like they just walked out of the hair salon. Let's face it. They probably did.

And there I was eating egg rolls and sipping a diet coke and texting my better half to let him know that a double-D cup cheerleader just brushed up behind me. I looked at myself in the mirror and realized I still had cheerios in my hair that my two year old put there because it was funny. I look down at my slight belly roll and the little bit of cellulite and remind myself that I have four kids and no one is lining up to shake my hand.

The live auction starts and I am dumbfounded at how wealthy people just throw money around. Don't get me wrong. I was not complaining. Make-A-Wish is an outstanding cause and I am glad that the money pays for kids' wishes. The organization is truly a miracle. I was still amazed at how much these auctioned items are going for. $7,500 for a morning with Venus Williams and Roger -whats-his-name. Yikes. I grew instantly jealous that I could not buy the golf package (a round of golf inside the ropes at the Doral Open with the big stars like Tiger Woods) for my husband. I don't live in that kind of money world.

But as the night ended and I got home and walked through my door, I walked over to my 4 year old daughter's room. She was still awake and in bed. The greatest smile lit up her face when she saw me. She extended her hands out and gave me the biggest hug and kiss and told me she loved me. I tucked her into bed with a big smile on my face.

When it comes right down to it, the celebrities have their money and the cool status that goes with it but at my house, I have pure gold.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Getting Ready For School

My little princess is making so much progress in her preschool class.

I can't say enough about the teaching staff at this wonderful school. Kudos to my little girl for telling me today that losing her pink crayon was her fault because it was her "per-sponsibility". How cute.

Being Frugal

I love the challenge of being frugal. I don't consider it cheap. Which is why I get such a thrill out of playing this game. Since playing this game I have reduced my grocery bill by about 50%. This is a huge and incredible accomplishment especially considering that I have not given up the name brands that I was enjoying.

For example the other day I thoroughly enjoyed a really great meat sale at my local supermarket chain. Most meats were BOGO (buy one get one free). I bought the nicest top sirloin steaks that ended up being 5 for $10. They were really good and the whole family enjoyed them. I made a batch of rice pilaf. The rice was on sale $3 for a 20 lb bag! The fresh broccoli was buy a bunch get a bunch free. Total on that was $3. I figure that the steak dinner that my family enjoyed cost $10. If we were to have had the same meal in a restaurant, I estimate it would have cost us somewhere around $50-$60. That was a good day!

I have enjoyed many days like that. At the same meat sale, I got BOGO on boneless, skinless chicken breasts. A five pack of breasts cost $10. That is a total of $1 for each chicken breast. You can't even get that kind of deal at McDonalds. Their chicken sandwiches cost at least $4. We ate the chicken breast tonight and I made it with mac-n-cheese where I got the macaroni for BOGO and the cheese was also BOGO. We had it with frozen corn on sale for $1 each frozen package.

I just finished making tomorrow's lunches for everyone in the family with $1 jar of Peter Pan peanut butter and BOGO Smuckers grape jelly. In the lunch boxes they get Yoplait yogurt that was on sale 10 for $5. I also bag up cheerios in each lunch box with General Mills Cheerios that were BOGO and with sandwich bags that were also BOGO.

I am way too lazy to calculate the savings but I just know that they are there. I know that my better half was spending at least $7 a day on lunch. Now it is only costing what it takes to make the lunch....pennies compared to $7. That kind of savings adds up to $100+ a month!

Tonight I am doing laundry with name brand laundry detergent that I bought at CVS. It cost $3.99 for a concentrated 78 oz bottle. Since it was so cheap I decided to splurge on Snuggle to make the clothes smell good and feel soft. That cost me $4 for a 64 oz bottle.

One last splurge better half's favorite hair gel....Garnier Fructis that I just bought for 99 cents a bottle. It just doesn't get any better than that. that I have peaked your curiosity, here is how you play the game.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Moms Know Best

I am beginning to believe that when moms give birth that they are somehow also given the gift of intuition. I swear that I can read my kids' minds at any given time of the day. I can predict their movements and sense troubles brewing.

During these past wonderful 15 years of my life as a mom, the intuition has never faded. I feel so thankful that I have it. I can help my kids way before they ask me for it. I can soothe a sick child before they know they are sick. I can tell they are crying even before I see their face.

When I met my better half he didn't have kids and fairly quickly he witnessed this intuition of mine and marveled at it. He often asked me how it was that I knew how the child was feeling before anyone could see. I told him that it was God's gift to me.

It appeared last night when I was laying in bed. My littlest man had diarrhea all day long and I couldn't figure out why. I didn't think he ate anything differently than the rest of us but perhaps he had too much ice cream or something that was somewhat upsetting to his stomach. No biggie. He went to bed with a fresh diaper and while I laid in bed something told me to lay down with him in his room. I sensed that there was something "not right." I laid down next to him with my pillow and blanket and listened to him sleep so soundly. I brought a towel with me....not sure why....just in case because you never know when you will need it. A few hours later I was awakened to hear him coughing and then, sure enough, he started to vomit. I was right there to be with him and help him. He was not alone any minute of the episode. Thanks to my intuition. It rarely fails me.

This kind of thing has happened to me so many times that I no longer marvel at it. I just accept that it is a mom thing. I do, however, feel that this superpower is quite cool and comes in handy many times.

Have you ever had your intuition kick in when you least expected it?

P.S. My little guy vomited a few more times and is now much better. My intuition tells me it was a 24 hour bug.

Friday, March 7, 2008

You Can Cook...Absolutely!

I whipped up another crock pot meal on a whim last night and thought I would share. This one turned out super delicious and very easy to prepare. Allow a couple of hours of crock pot time.

Spaghetti with Sausage (2-3 servings)


A few links of sausage (preferably still in the casings). It can be frozen too.
28 oz can of tomato puree
Medium onion, sliced or diced
Dried oregano
Dried basil
2 cloves of chopped garlic or garlic powder
Salt and pepper
1/2 pound of spaghetti
Olive oil

Remove sausage from freezer and let thaw. If you don't have time to thaw out the sausage, put it in the microwave in defrost mode for a few minutes to take the chill off. In the meantime, heat a skillet to medium-high heat for a few minutes and add a few tablespoons of olive oil to coat the pan. Add onion and garlic cloves (if you are using garlic powder add the powder with the herbs to the sauce) and cook until translucent and soft. This usually takes a few minutes. While the onion is cooking, add the sauce and herbs to the crockpot and set to high. When onions are done, add to the crock pot. Return the skillet to the medium-high heat and add a touch more oil. Add the sausage links to the skillet and brown on all sides. When the links are done browning, add to the crock pot. Cover the crock pot and let cook for 2 hours.

Add a 1/2 pound of cooked spaghetti and a side salad and you have a delicious meal.

Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Children Worry Too!

Tuesday is usually the worst day of the week for me as far as busy and running around. There is usually baseball practice, track practice, the occasional baseball game and then there is CCD at night. Try to fit in dinner and laundry with all that and you have one busy momma.

Tonight was no exception. In my haste, though, I was late in picking up a certain teen from CCD. Even though it was only 10 minutes past the release time he was the last one left. The very kind teacher stayed with him and waited which was very sweet. When he saw me pull up he got into the car and looked very troubled. Even though I apologized for losing track of the time, he said that was fine.

He says "I was SOOOO worried about you...I thought something had happened to you and my heart was beating really fast and I felt sick to my stomach."

I have to admit to getting all teary inside as I replied "Welcome to parenthood."

We both smiled and I treated him to dinner and a smoothie. My little men are growing up.
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