Friday, December 31, 2010

Release Me

Well I didn't want to end the year on my blog with that depressing post from last week. Things actually got worse from there. The tummy bug hit Port pretty hard. First there was a day of high fever (105 at the highest) and then there was a day of vomiting.  I was thrown-up on more times than I care to recall and ended up doing multiple loads of laundry throughout the day.  Port handled it really well, I have to say.  He didn't really cry much; you could tell it freaked him out a bit, but he always recovered quickly.

Thursday night we took a risk and took the boys to look at Christmas lights at a couple of local hot spots.   Thankfully we didn't have to get out of the car. Port was so distracted about the pretty lights that he did great. Of course, when we got home he threw up again a couple of times.

The next day was a day of horrible diapers and almost more messes than the vomiting caused.  By Friday night I was pleading to God for some relief!

Saturday, Christmas morning, was such a blessing. Port woke up excited and energetic and everyone else felt good too.  There was no more vomiting, no more bad diapers and everyone could eat!
 {mmm, homemade caramel apple cinnamon rolls!}

Yippee!! The boys were super excited about their gifts and I think Hubby got more play time out of the boys' toys than they did!

I am so thankful for a beautiful Christmas day! God is certainly good.  We were able to enjoy the morning; some enjoyed it a little too much!

We even made it to the inlaw's place for dinner.  I made my first ever brisket in the oven.  It turned out pretty good but it looked horrible! I am not sure how to make a brisket look pretty, but next time I attempt to cook one I will have to do a lot more research. 

So yes, Christmas was great! I would like to wipe the couple of weeks leading up to it from my memory (except for the time spent with family of course), but thankfully the big day was great.  The rest of this week was awesome too - we got to spend more time with our family and Hubby and I even got 2 1/2 days of kid free time while the boys stayed with the inlaws just a few miles up the road.  It was so nice to be able to have a couple of date nights! I got a ton of work done and slept in for 3 mornings.  Pure delight! By Thursday though, the silence was getting to be too much and I missed my boys terribly.  I had a family photo session that afternoon and left straight from the location to go pick up my boys. 

Port acted so strangely.  When I showed up, I walked up to the house and he was playing in the living room. He could see me through the door and he was all smiles.  The problem was, the door was locked and I couldn't get in (Grammy was in the back of the house and didn't know I had arrived).  My poor baby was twisting the door knob and trying with all his might to open the door and he couldn't do it. I walked around to the back of the house to try the back door and it was locked too. By the time I got back to the front, my baby was in tears. Grammy finally heard the commotion and unlocked the door. Port cried and cried and clung to me for dear life. It was as if he had repressed all the sadness of me leaving a few days before and finally it all came to the surface when I returned. He wouldn't let me out of his sight for the rest of the evening. When we got home, he didn't want to go to bed and ended up screaming and crying for about 45 minutes before passing out. He was so exhausted, but didn't want to sleep in his bed.

We had a pretty good day today, and we decided to stay home tonight and have our usual low key New Year Eve.  With so much that has happened in the last few weeks, I just really didn't feel up to another night out.  I cooked a bunch of snacky, finger foods for "dinner" and we all enjoyed a "feast" (as Kiddo called it) and the kids went to bed on time. Woot!

(for the record, jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese and blue cheese, wrapped with bacon and baked are DIVINE! YUM yum, yummy, yum, yum!)

ahem

So tomorrow begins the new year and I am so excited at all that is on the horizon. I am ready to let go of the bad things that happened this year and start out fresh and positive.  I have some great personal stuff coming up this year and also some really great business stuff too. I can't wait to see what happens with everything and of course, share it all with you.

I'll close this with a partial quote from a post on my facebook page (that I stole from my cousin - she got it from dailyword.com) ...

I release and let go, ready to make the most of this present moment.
As I reflect on the events of the past year, I recognize successes and failures, gains and losses. Each event has taught me something and made me wiser. Knowing this, I acknowledge and release the past year in gratitude.
In contemplation of the coming year, whether I am excited or apprehensive, I know the spirit of God will empower me to meet every situation with confidence and strength. With this in mind, I release any concerns I may have about the future.
Today I am ready to stand tall in this present moment. I appreciate the now, perfectly balanced between the blessings of the past and the promise of the future. This is the moment of power and action. I am ready!
He has made everything suitable for its time.--Ecclesiastes 3:11


Wishing you an amazing New Year full of great fun, happy family, yummy food, fond memories and overflowing prosperity! See you in 2011!

Until,
D :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fall to Pieces

I was going to blog today.

I was going to blog about how much baking I did last week and all the ingredients I went through - 16 pans (give or take) of cinnamon rolls uses up a lot of butter (about 5 pounds), flour (about 10 pounds) and sugar (about 5 pounds).  It was fun though and I am having so much fun handing out pans to friends and family. I love cooking for people!


I was going to blog about my parent's visit and how great it was. There was good food and presents and fun with a gingerbread house. 
 But then...
 This morning happened.
We got up to find that Kiddo had vomited some time in the night, and had slept that way for quite a while. His tummy has been "off" all day.
 Oh dear.
 And Port has a fever and possibly a tummy ache - but he can't tell me for sure what is wrong.
 And I have been feeling quite a bit queasy myself today.  My head feels like it's filled with jello.
And then...Hubby went for a bike ride and stopped on the way home to do some last minute shopping, and returned to his car to find that his bike had been stolen.  And if you recall, our car was *just* broken into a few weeks ago and his cell phone, a small radio and 2 light stands and umbrellas were stolen then.
 I am trying to piece together what is left of my holiday spirit, but I am finding it difficult to hold it all together.
 I see small, beautiful moments and lovely places in all the chaos.
 But in all I am pretty bummed and not feeling like I should.
 I need better glue.
 Or I may end up looking like this on Christmas Day.
What gets you in the holiday spirit?

Until,
D

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Scattered

Since my brain (from now on simply, Brain) has packed up and left for Tahiti, I better get this all out while I am feeling a moment of clarity.

Some Kiddo Speak from this week (for your reading pleasure);

In the car with Hubby:
Kiddo (6yrs old): "What if someone put some gunpowder in a cannon, then put me in the cannon and shot me out of it, and I flew through the air over there to that Jack in the Box and crashed through the roof? I would order a lemonade.  And a cheeseburger...because I found some money and it was enough..."

Last night at Dinner:
Kiddo: "Mumma, for my birthday dinner I would like to have pot roast and split pea soup."

(um....)


So yeah, my brain has left indefinitely. I have a feeling all the sugar I have been feeding myself lately has something to do with it - Brain just can't handle the stuff and has gone on extended vacation until I do myself a favor and detox. Sorry, Brain, that probably won't happen until after the holidays.

On Tuesday I got pulled over on the way back from the grocery store.  47mph in a 40mph zone. "So Mrs. Fry, was there an emergency?"

I realize this is a standard question, but I really have to stifle a snicker when they ask it. Do they honestly believe that 1) if there was an "emergency" I would *only* be driving 47mph and 2) if there was an "emergency" and suddenly a cop was following me, that I would stop to chat??

Ah well. Counting my blessings that it was only a warning (and I didn't even have a valid insurance card on me) so many thanks to the police dept.

Yesterday, not only did I whack the top of my head (on the bottom of a kitchen cabinet) so hard that it made me see stars, but I also loaded up Port and headed up to the school to pick up Kiddo an hour earlier than I was supposed to.

The two certainly are not related in the least...

I hope Brain is enjoying the beach.

Until,
D :-)

A little number to get you (and hopefully me) moving this morning. Turn it up!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sunrise Sunset

Today was an absolutely splendid, gorgeous day. It was the kind of weather that draws you to the windows when you are inside, and once outside you can't do anything but smile. It was the perfect temperature, had the perfect amount of sun and clouds, and a very gentle and unobtrusive breeze every now and then to move things around as gently as possible.

My back started bothering me off and on a couple of days ago, and by this morning I was pretty much immobile for the better part of the morning.  The more I sat, the stiffer and more painful it got, but if I tried to stand, I couldn't straighten out enough to walk properly. What little movement I could do resembled something a bit like Tim Conway when he played the old man character from the Carol Burnett show.  Yeah, it was fun.  And of course, it was one of those days when Port won't leave me alone and constantly wants to either sit on the couch or play on the floor. Both locations hurt me way worse than sitting in a chair. When Hubby got home I snuck out and tried to get some shopping done without the kids. I shuffled into the first store and for a good 30 minutes walked around in a hunched over, hand on the small of my back, old lady walk.  The longer I walked, the straighter my back became. After about an hour and a half I was finally walking straight and the pain had decreased to almost nothing. 3 hours and 2 more stores later I returned home with nothing more than some Christmas gifts and that pesky burning sensation I get on the left side of my lower back when it's bothering me. That, I can deal with.

But the day - wow it was so nice to be out in such a beautiful climate. I just wanted to document it before the cold front comes in a couple of days from now and I am once again layered in cloths and jackets and shivering next to my space heater.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Last Saturday I woke extremely early and drove to Dallas to do a newborn photo session.  It was hard getting up so early, but it was a fun drive there and back.  I left before sunrise.  Going through the Starbuck's drive-thru when it was dark was nothing new, but usually my purchases occur at night, not in the wee hours of the morning. By the time I reached the freeway the sky was beginning to lighten.

The birds were awake.

I watched the sunrise as I drove; it was a beautiful site I hadn't seen in a long time.  I enjoyed the solitude and time to think, but I knew soon enough the initial rush of getting on the road would fade and the oh-my-goodness-I-had-to-get-up-at-5AM was going to catch up with me.

Because I was so tired, I needed things to keep me awake, thinking and alert.  I thought about taking pics of course, but at some point it also occurred to me that I could record video and post it to Facebook from my phone.

Genius!

Don't get me wrong, I did not think anyone would be interested in 30-60 second videos of me driving from Austin to Dallas, but it was still a fun thing for me to do.

I ran into a lot of fog on the way.

And then was blessed with a beautiful reminder of who is really in charge. Too bad I didn't get the best picture of it.

And eventually I arrived in Dallas. The session - well, it was difficult. That sweet baby girl did not want to rest for me.  She was far too excited and wanted to stretch and look around and be held by mommy instead of laying like a little super model in my cozy blankets and pretty wraps.  So, we tried all the tricks and I did what I could for 3 hours and then packed it up to head home. On the way out I stopped at a McDonalds just outside of town. It was brand new and beyond cool. Well, as cool as a McDonalds can be I guess.  It had a play area for the kids inside that basically was just a few tables and 3 or 4 big screen game centers (I guess they just decided to toss the whole, "pretending to be somewhat healthy" thing right out the window with the actual playscape). The kids can sit in front of the screen and play different games. There were also tall tables in the dining area with the same big screens for the adults to play with.  But I think the best thing about the restaurant was the sign at the door.

We totally need those in so many places! lol!


After being on the road for a while, the day started to wear on me. I tried singing, recording myself singing, videoing myself singing, running through the radio stations, anything I could think of and still the road was lulling me to sleep. Thankfully I received a few well times voice mails and phone calls and thanks to my friends I made it to the next Sonic I could find for a much needed Coca Cola pick-me-up. I recorded this last video, and decided to turn the camera on myself. Why? I have no idea. I had been up since before 5AM and had spent, at that point, about 6 hours in the car.  Please excuse how tired and awful I look.

Yeah I don't drink Dr. Pepper anymore. That is a story for another time I suppose.

Stopping at Sonic was enough of a refresher that I made it home safely.  It was just in time for sunset.

Until,
D

Friday, December 03, 2010

Ready



It's finally ready!

I am so excited. If you remember, back in August of 2009 I ventured up to Dallas for a few days to hang out with the amazing Rachel Anne Ridge of Home Sanctuary fame.  She and I worked together on a book project of hers and I had an absolutely amazing time. 

Well, after lots of life and other responsibilities got in the way, the project was put on hold.  However, I was so pleased to find out a couple of months ago that things were back in motion, and just last night I received the news.  The book is finished!!

I am so incredibly honored and humbled to be a part of this. My role was very small, but the end result is so awesome. I really hope that the book is amazingly popular for Rachel; she is so deserving of great success.

To see the story of how the book came to be, you can read today's Company Girl Coffee post. If you would like to order a copy of the book for yourself or a friend, you can click here. It would make an awesome Christmas gift for all the girlfriends in your life.  The story is precious, the pictures are beautiful and the sentiment is uplifting and joyous.  I hope you enjoy it. I know I will treasure my copy forever.

Until,
D :)

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Hurt

The day started out bright and early, about 30 minutes before my alarm was to sound, when I pulled a sleepy Port on top of me in the bed. He was warm and snuggly and went right back to sleep, as did I.  It was only 30 minutes later that I discovered the reason he was so warm; he was wet.

Good morning!

About 30 minutes after dropping Kiddo off at school I received a call from the nurse. Kiddo had fallen in his classroom and landed head first on to the back of a chair.  The nurse (a substitute for the regular nurse) told me that they had 4 head injuries yesterday and that Kiddo's was way worse and she asked me to come pick him up. I was a little perplexed at why a bump on the head was enough to send him home, but the nurse knows best, right?

He wasn't bleeding, his pupils were not dilated and he had not thrown up.  But she wanted him to go home and rest.  When I walked into the nurse's office, my brave little guy began to cry.  But it wasn't because he was hurt or even because he looked like this...


It was because he didn't want to go home. He was worried about missing school. Poor guy.

On the way home though, he figure out that going home could be a good thing after all. He told me that when you feel bad you get to sit on the couch and watch tv all day.  And as soon as we got home he stripped off his school clothes and put his jammies back on.

I suppose he wanted to fit in with Port and I, who were still in our jammies.

Yes, I went to the school in my jammies.  Give me a break, I hadn't even had my first cup of coffee yet!

Anyway, he seems to be fine. He had a little headache for a while but some Tylenol took care of that.  The bump is bruising up nicely and will be the star of the show when we take our family portraits this weekend. Whee!

I took the boys to Sonic during our afternoon snack time and allowed Kiddo to get a root beer float. On the way there, Port was excitedly exclaiming "hooray ice cream!!" over and over.  When we pulled into the parking space to order, I turned around to find him sound asleep.  Whoops!  Kiddo and I still enjoyed our treat (cheddar peppers for me), and baby brother got his later when we got home.

Twice today Kiddo has asked me if we could go on a "money walk".  According to him, a money walk is when you go for a walk and look for money lying on the ground.  He said that is people need money they can just go on a money walk and pick up all the coins they need off the ground.

Maybe he hit his head harder than I thought...

Until,
D

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Hallelujah

Geeze it feels like we skipped November entirely! I can't believe December is here already. It's time to really get moving, get stuff done and take on all the extra that comes in preparing for the holidays.

I need to trim the hedges out front so we can put up lights, clean out the house a lot more so there is room for decorations inside, and do all the extra cleaning that goes into having people come to visit. For almost 2 solid weeks around Christmas we will have family in town. It will be a crazy time for sure.

And of course I need to get on with all the baking and such that I am prone to do. I will be making several batches of home made cinnamon rolls in various flavors, coconut balls and Christmas cookies galore.  I waaaay overdo things around the holidays. It's already started; last week I made a banana pudding and this week I will be making an apple pie (due to some fruit I bought for Thanksgiving week and then accidentally left at home).  I suppose we have to work our way into the sugar frenzy.

As I mentioned yesterday, the holiday music has already made it's appearance in the house. I have loaded up my phone with my entire collection and it has brought me such joy. Something else came across my facebook feed today that I wanted to share. It brought me to tears (though I cry at everything).  This, in my opinion, is the best kind of flash mob...


Enjoy!

Until,
D :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Last Song

It is the last day of NaBloPoMo, the last day of November. I can't believe we are already this far along in the year and so close to Christmas. I am still neck deep in editing and orders and deliveries, and I still need to get my own family photos made and a holiday card designed, ordered and sent out. I already feel like I am behind the game and December 25th is looming ever closer over my head.

I wish I could muster some happy happy today, but to be perfectly honest I am pretty stressed out and feeling blue. I'm not sure what has come over me. The boys were being whiny (though they are playing together really well right now) and it is just adding to my stress and frustration.

I am feeling very stifled lately.  I'm not sure how to describe it, other than that. I feel like I have so much to say and I can't say it.  I feel like I can't be myself right now and I really want to. I am so busy, and it is a good thing for sure, but the weight of my responsibilities is sort of crushing my spirit at the moment. I am sure it is only temporary, but it hurts nonetheless.  I feel like I can't breathe sometimes.

It is that horrible feeling that makes one daydream of packing a bag and running away for a while. Shoot, sometimes I don't even want to pack. I want to be irresponsible and grab a credit card and just have some fun. I want to make everything right for once - fix all that is broken and replace all that needs replacing.

I want to free myself, if only for a little while, of the things that keep me tied to my office chair.  I am sure I will get some sort of break toward the end of the month, but the urge to run is very strong right now.

I need to figure a way to get the words in my head out of there. They are making me crazy.

Thankfully I can now safely listen to Christmas music without too much ridicule so I do have some relief. The songs remind me of no particular person, event or stage in my life like most do, but only of happiness and family and God.  I have had Frank, Bing, Elvis and others in my ears all day and it is wonderful.

Until Port runs up to me and screams, "Mummai, no SINGING!"

Where was that suitcase?

Until,
D :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Collide

I was adding a few things to my Amazon wish list this morning (it is Cyber Monday afterall!) and I decided to fill out the little info box on a few of the items, just to help people who might be shopping for me this Christmas.  Most of the stuff on my list is strictly for ideas - not necessarily the exact items I want should someone be so inclined to make a purchase.

Anyway, a couple of the things were pretty basic. Some of the things on there are for the boys, so my comments were general. Then I filled out the comments on some of my things. And I noticed that all of my comments went something like, "mine broke/fell apart/wore out so I need another one".  How sad. lol!

I guess I am dealing with a lot of broken things right now. Stuff, people, hearts...sometimes it is all overwhelming. And today I am feeling the weight, especially in the people and hearts category. There is so much sadness in this world. Every day there are people out there that do good deeds that go unnoticed, or worse it seems it's all for naught. But I have to keep reminding myself that there is good in everything. Even if the outcome seems bad, somewhere along the way lives were affected, people changed, memories made.  And when sad things happen I have to look beyond the immediate and search for the bigger meaning in it all.

We are all broken.  We are all messed up in one way or another. And life is a constant battle between doing the good that is naturally in our hearts and giving in to the also naturally occurring anger, the sin and the defeat that we face in so many aspects of our lives. When bad things happen we want to give up, give in and stop doing the good. Because it seems so pointless sometimes. But you just never know how your actions affect the world. Life is much bigger than all of us. I firmly believe that good brings about good, always. 

As I am writing this, Howie Day is playing on Pandora - the song is Collide. The lyrics identified by my brain, cutting through all the noise in there...
Even the best fall down sometimes
Even the wrong words seem to rhyme
Out of the doubt that fills my mind
I somehow find
You and I collide
When taken completely out of context of the song as a whole, it kind of illustrates my point. And that is, no matter the good we do, the effort we put in or how successful our efforts seem, sometimes bad things happen.  Things that don't make sense suddenly are the truth. And even if it shakes you and tears your world apart, in a bigger way that we may not even understand, the good has still been done. And in that good, we collide.

Across the room, across the state, the country or even the world - we are connected in ways we may never understand.

Until,
D :)

And just because the song is really pretty, I'll post it if you want to listen.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Show

Only 3 more days left of NaBloPoMo and maybe then I can get back to posting something a bit more interesting.  The good thing about this, I guess, is that is has me "writing" every day, even if it is only for 5 minutes just before midnight.

I had an amazing newborn session this morning! The baby boy was 15 days old and super sweet. He let us maneuver him every which way for a good hour and a half before he got hungry or even showed the slightest signs of annoyance. He didn't want to do every pose we tried, but he did most of them pretty well.

I was absolutely amazed at how well the boys played together for the rest of the afternoon today.  They got along so well! They spent a good part of the afternoon running in and out of the house, making up all these silly games.  Then Kiddo decided that they were going to put on a "show" for Hubby and I. So after dinner (in the pitch blackness of the back yard) Kiddo drug us out on the back porch and they did their performance. It was so cute - it mostly consisted of Kiddo running around and making things up while Port copied everything he did. It was pretty cute! Kiddo had set up a bunch of "obstacles" that he ran around and jumped on a few times, and then he played some sort of frisbee game then he ended the whole show with a song and dance number.  We were cracking up the whole time. When he finished the song, Port took over and started singing the theme song from the Cat in the Hat show on PBS. That was hilarious!

It's probably going to be a rough morning after we drop Kiddo off at school. Hopefully the readjustment to our normal schedule won't be too hard on the little guy.

Until,
D :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Bring Me To Life

 {beautiful sky, shot with my iPhone, somewhere outside of Crowley, Louisiana}

I am sitting here tonight eating some banana pudding. This is a fantastic recipe! I usually just make banana pudding with nilla wafers, bananas and well, pudding. I never would have thought to add anything to that. But holy moly, adding cream cheese?!?! Genius!

Anyway, we came home today after a very long 4 day trip and I am just flat out exhausted.  I had to make banana pudding tonight because I accidentally left a huge bunch of bananas here instead of taking them on the trip like I had planned. Port eats bananas a lot - they are one of the few things he will eat on a regular basis so I try to keep some in the house at all times. I left the bananas and the other fruit I bought for him (grapes and apples) here and when we got back today the whole bunch was on the verge of being too ripe.  My freezer is already full of over ripe bananas that I will someday use for banana bread, but I didn't want to toss these in there too so I made the pudding. So yummy!

It was fun visiting with the family but I am so glad to be home.  I don't much care for living out of a suitcase (or in this case a duffel bag. I don't own a suitcase!).  Tomorrow I get to spend the better part of my morning with a beautiful newborn boy as I am doing a newborn session. I am so excited! I also have another newborn session in Dallas coming up sometime in the next week or so.

Some day I will have a chance to sit down and breathe. I am thinking it will be sometime around February.

Until,
D :)

Mental Jukebox Selection today: Evanescence, Bring Me To Life. I can't get this one out of my head today.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Flash

Tonight Hubby and I had the opportunity to get out by ourselves for a little bit.  We headed down to the local mall and took a short walk in the freezing cold.  Then we ended up at the Cheesecake Factory afterward for something warm to drink and yummy to eat. I was checking my Facebook on my phone and saw that there was a recent flash mob on 6th street. Hubby didn't know what a flash mob was, so I looked up a couple of YouTube videos for him to watch.

I thought you all might be interested as well, so I linked up a video below. I think they are so cool and would love to see one in person.

Enjoy!
Until,
D :)

Glee Flash Mob in Seattle.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Today we took a 4+ hour drive to visit family in southern Louisiana.  Hubby rode in a car with my inlaws and my brother in law, and my sister in law, my boys and the dog rode with me. The drive over was nice - I got to spend some good quality time talking with my sis-in-law, and it was a refreshing change from traveling with the Hubby. I am sure the other car with the inlaws was alive with conversation as well. We arrived at our destination, and after a quick check in with our hosts, we ventured down the road to visit for a bit with Hubby's grandmother. She was in pretty good humor, but didn't want to come have lunch with the family.


While most of the adults were visiting, Happy (the kids' grandfather) and I took the boys out front to the pond to feed the ducks, turtles and fish that reside there.

(yes, Port's pants are way too big)

They went through half that box of Goldfish, though I suspect Happy ate his fare share too! ;-)

We made it back to our cousin's house for lunch. Of course, the food was great. After a few hours visit we got back on the road to come home. Hubby rode with the boys and I on the way back.  We actually drove into a cold front and at one point and watched the temperature gage drop 9 degrees instantly. Over the next 30 minutes it dropped continuously for a total of 27 degrees. It was crazy how quickly it dropped.

Overall I missed my mom's cooking and seeing that side of the family, but it was still a great day.

I hope you all had a wonderful, food and family filled day as well.

Until,
D :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Blessings

I know, I know, yesterday's post was total weirdness.  It is a prime example of the times I have a much bigger idea in my head, and I just can't condense it down small enough to get it out of there in some sort of logical fashion.

So I don't know if today will be much better. I just have so much swirling around in there that I don't really know what to blog about. And with it being Thanksgiving and all the stress, travel, planning and reflection that involves, I am left in a very strange mental state; a balancing act between trying to be present and in the moment and still deal with the gravity of life and relationships and everything else that is brought to the forefront this time of year.

I am so thankful for so many things.  We are blessed in an immeasurable number of ways, and I simply am in complete awe that we are so fortunate.  I know I complain a lot, but you have to know that deep down I can see the bigger picture. I know how lucky I am and how much worse it could be.  I still live an amazing life.  I have a wonderful family, the best job I could ever hope for and so many unbelievably wonderful friends who are perfect for me in so many ways.

My friends. I don't know how I would survive without them. 

It's funny, I have friends that I talk to every day, others that I converse with a few times a month, and others that I only interact with a few times a year.  And they are all so special to me, each in their own way.  What I find so amazing is that no matter which friend I am with and no matter what situation I am in, that friend always knows the exact right thing to say.

I thank God for my friends. I love you all.

Have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving! May your tummy, your glass and your heart be full!

Until,
D :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Right Now

Another post where I don't make any sense. Forgive me.

Time is a funny thing. 

We may follow a clock, a watch or the display on our phones, but we are never really on the same time with each other.  Because we each live in our own present, we, in many ways, anticipate what others will think and feel and do once they catch up with our thoughts and our actions.

We write a letter or address something as simple as a Christmas card, and instantly we are in the future. We envision the recipient receiving it and we see in our minds their reaction. We can see it clear as day; the opening of the letter or the email, gazing at the picture on the card we picked out and we can see the smile on someone's face. Or their tears. Or their anger.

But until it actually happens it isn't reality.

Living in the moment is so hard.  We plan for the future, we plot our next move, we look forward and prepare for things to come. And meanwhile someone else is living in the same time as you, doing similar things and their reality may or may not include you without you ever knowing it. It can be confusing and difficult when those realities collide.

In such a technology based world we are in better sync than ever. And yet in some ways I think it is worse because we can get ahead of ourselves. We've taken the surprise out of surprises - the "heads up" is the way to communicate and keep everyone in the know. Sometimes something very special and endearing about life is lost in this "instant communication" world.

While I am so thankful for technology and instant information, I occasionally wish I didn't have such quick access to certain things.

Until,
D

Monday, November 22, 2010

Break

Um, yeah. Ok.

So, I know I complain a lot, but I really don't like to.  It's just sometimes things are easier to deal with if I can share my feelings with others.  Most of the time I find someone who has been there before that can sympathize with me or at least say, "Hey, I've been there. It will get better." or even "Hey, I've been there and it sucked." It makes me feel better to know I am not alone.

Ok, so maybe I do like to complain.

But I try not to complain all the time. At least I try not to whine about things. But today, man today I feel so bad for my Hubby. And for our situation right now. And just in general.

I have mentioned a few times how everything seems to be breaking around here. The washer is now possessed - working just fine sometimes and refusing to agitate at others. I haven't a clue what is going on with that thing.

I came home from my awesome weekend to find that the door handle on our microwave spontaneously broke. It basically has pulled away from the door and bowed out, making it very difficult to open and shut the door.  The good thing is we actually have 2 microwaves in the kitchen, and another in the closet that we don't use, but the one that broke is the one above the stove and not exactly something that is easy to remove and replace.  And, it is the one I use all the time because it is at *my eye level and I can see everything in it better. I don't like the other one. But beggars can't be choosers I suppose.

Something I haven't mentioned here is that it is very likely that my husband will lose his job at the end of the year. I can't really go into details because nothing is official, but that seems to be the way things are headed and so we are trying to prepare for the inevitable.  The housing market as we all know, really, really stinks right now, and since he is in that field it is pretty unlikely that he will be able to secure employment elsewhere any time soon.  So, we are preparing for him to start working on his own, and are trying to secure the things he needs to do that effectively.  We purchased a new desktop computer and are setting up our spare room as an office just for him.  Otherwise, we are on a spending freeze until...well, probably forever.

whee!


But then today happened - oh JOY! Hubby went for a bike ride and was attacked by a dog while he was riding the trail.  The dog (a vicious black lab, by the way *eyeroll*) bit his ankle pretty good; he's got three puncture holes.
Hubby had the dog owner text her information to him on his phone (which was back in the car) and he thought everything was fine...until he got back to the car.

The car had been broken into. The passenger side window was smashed and his phone and a portable radio were gone. Thankfully they didn't find his wallet, which was also in the car, and they left his very expensive bike wheels in the back. The glove box had been ransacked - not sure what they were looking for, but they certainly made a mess doing it (now that I think about it, they were probably looking for the wallet).

Sooooooooo - we had insurance on the phone, but the deductible was still $50 (for them to replace it with a different, poorly rated phone) and the window is going to cost about $90 to replace.  I probably don't need to mention how much we can't afford this. grrr

If these things happen in threes, then how many are we up to now?  I am pretty sure it's more than 3.

Tonight we recorded our weekly Musing Mommies podcast, and of course, this episode was about the things we are thankful for.  Surprisingly, it wasn't too hard to come up with some blessings.  Even in all the crap, the day to day stuff that happens and gets me down, I know that things are still good. Life is good. Family is good. Friends are good.

God is good. And faithful. And I know He is watching over us and taking care of us. No matter what is thrown at us, we will come out of it ok.

Reminding myself that God is still good. Always.

Until,
D

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Marry You

I had such a great couple of days this weekend. The drive to Dallas was very fun. It was so great to get to know my friend and very talented photographer, Allen, a little better.  When we work together, we don't get to sit and chat too much, so it was nice to have some quiet time to discuss all sorts of things.

And discuss we did! I am pretty sure there were only a handful of subjects we didn't cover. 

The portrait session I helped him with that afternoon went smoothly.  The vineyard we shot at was pretty, even though it was right off the freeway.  That whole area would be a good place for a portrait session - there were some very nice office buildings across the street that would make for a nice backdrop as well.  The winery building was small but beautiful and had some great areas to shoot in. And of course, there were the grape vines.  This time of year the grapes are gone (or in some cases, shriveled on the vine) and the vines are beginning to yellow and dry out. But the rows still gleamed in the sun and made for a great photo op.

Friday evening after the shoot I met up with one of my dear friends from high school.  We had dinner at Olive Garden (yum!) and had a chance to chat a little on the drive home (and a little more while circling the neighborhood just so I could finish my story! haha!). Once back at her place and after her kiddos were in bed, we all hung out on the couch, watched a little tv and played on our respective iPhones! lol! It was fun!

Saturday morning we got up and ventured out to a beautiful shopping center not far from their home and did a family photo shoot. It was so much fun running around the pretty shops before everything opened for the day.  A huge Christmas tree was already up and decorated, the grounds were immaculate and the whole thing was perfect for a session.

After more visiting and lunch, Allen picked me up for the wedding.  We headed over to the church and then were called to come out to the bride's home where the bridal party was getting ready. We shot some there and Allen left to find the guys. I rode with the bride and her maids in the HUGE limo out to the church. That was such a trip! I have never been in a limo that big before.

The girls got dressed at the church. There were a couple of pretty tense moments when the bride discovered she didn't have the chapstick she was addicted to, and when they were trying to get her into her dress. The zipper was a little messed up and the dress was pretty snug, so it took about 10 minutes to actually get her zipped up.  I felt so bad for her; she was on the verge of panic for quite a while.

Thankfully everything worked out; a groomsman was able to run to Dillards for the chapstick and the zipper eventually cooperated. The ceremony went off without a hitch, and I got to shoot with a 5D Mark II and a beautiful 200 mm lens. About 10 minutes into the ceremony, Allen sent me over to the reception site to get detail shots.  The reception was at the winery and it was soooo beautiful when they had it all set up.  The tables were tight - they were seating 325 people in a room that really was more suited for about 250 tops.  It was very difficult to get between the tables.  But, we had so much fun and the reception was a blast.  The couple left to a shower of sparklers that lit up the parking lot so beautifully. I got to stand up on the bumper of the limo and take some overhead shots of the getaway, taking in all the guests, sparklers and a running bride and groom.

Allen and I decided to drive back home that night, and we got on the road a little after 11PM.  In order to keep each other awake, we talked the whole time. I did pretty good most of the way, but I really fought falling asleep for the last hour or so.  My eyes were crossing even though Allen was talking to me. He did great driving and didn't seem tired at all. We got back to my house a little before 3AM and then of course I was wide awake.  It took me about an hour to settle down and go to sleep, and I was so thankful this morning that the kids didn't know I was home so they left me alone and I was able to sleep in. Hubby took them to church so I could rest, but it left the house too quiet so I used the time instead to take a shower in peace, clean up a bit and vacuum the floors.  So much for resting!

It was a great weekend, but I am totally beat. My whole body hurts, I have a headache and I am still fighting dozing off. So I will wrap up this incredibly boring blog post and call it a night.

Until,
D

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Marry Me

I can blog from my phone!!!

We are on our way home from Dallas. It's going to be a pretty long drive back. The wedding was so much fun! I have a ton to talk about, but it is very difficult to do this on the road. Have a wonderful weekend!

Until,
D

Friday, November 19, 2010

In Person

I am here in the Dallas hanging out with one of my oldest and dearest friends and her family.  We see each other so rarely, that it feels like I can't get words out fast enough to talk about all I want to with the time we have together.

I am not a phone person. I mean, I will talk on the phone all day if I am able, but it takes a lot for me to get up the nerve to actually call someone.

So face time to me is priceless.  Sitting across the table from someone, or next to them in the car, or together on their couch - it is my favorite time with friends. 

And so I will soak it up while it lasts.  Hope you have a great weekend!

Until,
D :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wake Me Up Inside

I thought yesterday's 4:30 wake up call was bad enough, but when the screaming started this morning at 2:30, I would have given anything for a couple more hours of sleep.  I tried to ignore him; I paced the floor for several minutes thinking he would just settle down and go back to sleep. But when I went back into the hallway for the 3rd or 4th time to listen, I noticed that not only was he crying hysterically, he was actually out of bed and at the door.

He never gets out of the bed unless it's really bad. 

So I opened the door and found my little sweet boy absolutely soaking wet from his neck to his feet.

Major wardrobe malfunction.

I don't know what happened with his diaper.  And I really don't know where all that pee came from, but he was a mess. And he was freezing. Poor guy.

I got him cleaned up and dry and warm and there was no where to put him because his bed was soaked too so we went to the couch.  He fell back to sleep relatively quickly, and I laid there most of the night under him, listening to the annoying whirring sound the dvd player was making. I had forgotten to turn it off when we went to bed.


Getting Kiddo to school this morning was trying; he was moving slow and I had no patience from the lack of sleep.  But we made it, and once back home I was thankful when Port wanted to play outside for most of the morning. I've been falling asleep at my desk all day. Everything was going as well as could be expected until I heard Port crying out on the back deck.  I walked out to find him standing on the step, with his pants and diaper halfway down his legs.  The fantastic part was that he had pooped first! Woo hoo!

Soooooo, since he was covered, I had to carefully carry him into the bathroom and just hose him down. He had made such a mess!

Seriously, this is not the week for my washer to go out on me. OMG the laundry!!!

This afternoon the boys were playing in the back yard and had a fight and Kiddo threw a big wooden steak at Port and hit him in the head. It left a nice goose egg and a little busted spot. Seriously, what is with that? Do you remember when he threw a rock at Port's head??

ugh

On a good note, I am leaving tomorrow for a weekend in Dallas to shoot a family session for one of my clients and a wedding with Allen.  Thankfully I am riding with him so I don't have to worry about driving. I am so excited to see my friend and her family and do the session for her. It should be a wonderful and fun weekend...if I can stay awake!

At least I won't be dealing with anymore potty accidents.  I hope.

Until,
D :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Accident

As I write this, it is not even noon yet and we have already had an interesting day.

Well, interesting by a mommy's standards I guess. 

Port woke me up at 4:30 crying hysterically. I don't know what his deal was, but we ended up on the couch. I could sooooo close my eyes right here in my chair right now and fall into a beautiful, blissful deep sleep.

But there is too much to do.

Kiddo wet the bed this morning just before he woke up and he made a mad dash for the bathroom but it was too late. I got him cleaned up and off to school and then once we were back home Port's diaper exploded and flooded what he was wearing too.

Then I find out that Hubby got rear-ended on the way to work. Thankfully it was just a tap, but the guy hit the rack on the back end that is bolted to the frame of the car. So, there could be unseen damage to the frame. Joy.

Then, the clothes washer decided to stop agitating. And my computer has crashed twice today, and this is after the monitor went out on me temporarily yesterday.  I picked up Kiddo from school and he informed me that he left his one and only jacket on the playground today and he *thinks* it will be in the lost and found tomorrow.

So I think I'll quit today. I can't take anything else.

Until,
D

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Simple

I am trying to keep up the momentum on the house clean out. I haven't really done much more, but the wheels in my head are still turning and plans are being made.  My goal is to try to donate as much as I can and preferably do it to places other than Goodwill.  I do think Goodwill is a good organization and it is very easy to make donations there, but I kind of want to do something more - I want some of there things to go directly to people in need, rather than into a store where anyone can walk in and buy it.

For example, one of the local dry cleaning companies is collecting coats for kids, so I am planning on cleaning out our coat closet and donating our old coats there. I want our unnused clothes and baby items to go to a shelter or a children's home.  Of course, I will try to sell a few things too if I can, because in this process of purging one of my goals is to turn our spare room back into an office for Hubby. Part of our office clutter problem is that we don't really have any shelving or storage solutions for all our office supplies and equipment. If I can make a few bucks selling some of our stuff, that money will go toward a few shelving units and some boxes and organizational items.

Another area that needs a good purging is the boys room. I really need to get in there and clean out all the outgrown clothes and toys. There is so much stuff just piling up because there is no where to put it out of the way.

Of course I could say that about all the rooms.

I am trying to keep my eyes open for a place to recycle magazines and phone books. I will try to sell some of the trade magazines we have to Half Price Books, but I am pretty sure they won't want back copies of Rachel Ray and Real Simple. ;-) So those will have to go to recycling.  I read online that you can actually compost old phone books as long as you remove the pages with colored ink and plastic covers.  I am not sure how I feel about the yellow paper though - surely there is some sort of dye in that, right? I really don't want all that being infused into my vegetable garden. I am sure that the ink isn't much better either.

There really just isn't any way to get away from all the chemicals in everything. But that is a discussion for another time.

Until,
D :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Head On

Another day, another post forgotten until it's too late for me to think. I promise to be more on top of things tomorrow. Today just had too many errands, whiny kids, dirty dogs, smelly diapers and dirty dishes.

I pulled up to Kiddo's school today to pull into my usual parking spot so I could pick him up and as soon as I turned off the car my phone rang. It was the school nurse.  The moment she told me who she was, my heart stopped. Kiddo was in her office, but thankfully it was only for a bump on the head.

That's pretty sad when you are thankful for a head bonk.

He got hit with a locker door and has a pretty good little goose egg on his forehead. I am so thankful that my first call from the nurse did not involve epi pens or medical assistance. *shew!*

So that was the excitement for the day.

And with that, I am taking my weary body to bed. I will leave you with today's mental jukebox song.

Lovely, by Sara Haze


Until,
D :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Where I Stood

I cannot count the number of times in my life I have wished there was a way to record all the thoughts in my head. I get to thinking about something and is swirls around and swirls around and works itself out to the point that it sounds so good - and of course at that moment the thoughts are perfect and I have no way of getting them out of my head and in written or recorded form.  It is frustrating. Often I think of things so deeply that even if I can sit down to write, I can't make it come out the right way.  Or the thoughts are so complex with so many layers that I couldn't possibly express them in a way that makes sense. 

I am not trying to say I am highly intelligent or anything, but my thoughts sometimes go into great detail that I find fascinating to me. And based on the response I get from my blog readers and the podcast listeners and my other various outlets, I am sure there is an audience that would appreciate them.  But it kills me that they may never be heard. I need you to just get in my head and sit around there for a while, listening and looking at the pretty pictures my thoughts create. I think it would be interesting.

I know that at some point technology will find a way, but for now I have to sit down at the computer each day and desperately try to remember what it was I wanted to talk about and how to say it. And so many times, while I am doing something else, I find myself thinking of the perfect post from start to finish and then I sit down to write it and with the click of the first keys, poof! It is gone.

That is how this post came to be. It was perfect in my head when I was standing in the kitchen making Kiddo's lunch a minute ago, and when I finished that and sat down to write I couldn't remember a darn thing about what I wanted to say, except for the part about getting in my head. I should have been recording a voice memo into my phone while I was making his sandwich.

Darn it.

I guess I will try again tomorrow.

For tonight though, I will let you in on a little corner of my brain. It's over there to the left, where the jukebox is sitting. Today's selection has been playing on repeat all day. It came up on my iPhone shuffle this morning and has been with me ever since.

Where I Stood, Missy Higgins




Until,
D :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Picky Picky Head

For months I fought the dinner time battle with Port.  He is an extremely picky eater, and so every night I would serve him up a plate of what we were having and every night I would toss the same plate of food in the trash because he wouldn't eat it.  Every night we fought with him about sitting at the table, and 9 times out of 10 he would end up crawling all over me while I was trying to eat my meal.

It was frustrating and infuriating and I became so tired of the battle.

And you know, parenting is all about picking your battles.  I got to the point that I didn't want this one anymore. I also realized that part of the problem is that Port still isn't really on our schedule when it comes to eating. I can regulate breakfast and lunch, but he was still hungry every night around 5PM.  Unfortunately, that is right when I am either cleaning the kitchen or just starting dinner; there is no way that I could have dinner ready that early.  And it doesn't make sense to do that as a family - Hubby is never home from work that early.

I even give the boys a big snack when Kiddo gets home from school.  It still didn't change the fact that Port is ready to eat at 5 every day.  And if I don't let him eat anything at 5 in the hopes that it will make him really hungry when supper is ready, it always backfires on me. Either he bugs me and cries and stays underfoot the whole time I am making dinner, or he works himself into a tizzy by the time dinner is ready.

So, a couple of months ago I stopped trying to conform him to our schedule. I feed him what he wants at 5 (usually a hot dog, cheese, sandwhich or nuggets) and then at dinner time I give him vegetables and fruit that I know he will eat. Many times it is nothing more than a banana and some carrots or grapes, and some times it is a banana, some carrots and grapes. haha.

*cough* I said he was a picky eater.  No seriously though, he will also eat apples and pears, raisins, cranberries, cherries, strawberries, and blueberries. Occasionally I will give him some beans if we are having them, or chicken and okra when that is what's for dinner.

And let me tell you, it's not perfect or ideal, but it is sooooo much better! He doesn't always stay at the table, but he does sit long enough to eat something.  And I don't have to worry so much about wasting the food anymore.  I wish he would try more foods and be more open to tasting stuff, but right now I don't have enough energy to fight him on it.  Later on, when he is older and better at communicating, I will try to get him to taste new things.

Until then, I am stocking up on bananas every week.

Until,
D :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Busy Being Fabulous

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the craziest time of the year for me.  I have 3 photo sessions this weekend, next weekend I will be in Dallas for a couple of days shooting a family session and a wedding, and I have 2 sweet mommas who's babies are due on the 15th. I will be working in newborn sessions for them both.  I am so blessed to be able to do all of this and I am excited about it even though it will be pretty stressful.

This is nothing new of course, it is always the busiest time of the year.  I just have to keep reminding myself to take it all one step at a time, one day at a time, and to do what I can, when I can.  It will all get done and I will have so much fun along the way.

Now, if only I could ship the kids off to the grandparents for a few weeks... ;-)

Until,
D :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

When I Come Back Around

In the fall of 1999 I graduated from college. Finally. After many, many semesters of floundering, changing my mind, and failing classes, I finally got my head together long enough to finish up a major in vocal music education and get myself a degree. I took my EXCET exam, barely passed, and was awarded with all level general music education certification. 

Getting married in the spring of '99 really helped; at that point all I wanted to do was finish something, anything, and have that accomplishment. I didn't want to drop out and have all that time and money be a waste, and I was concerned about having something that could potentially get me a nice job if I needed it.

If I wanted it.

See, even though music has always been my passion, teaching music never was. But, heavily influenced by my family and friends, it was what I studied in college anyway.  And I guess, to me it was more about filling the need, the primal desire to sing, that kept me in the program. Singing was all I ever wanted to do, and I took the opportunity to do it in the only capacity I felt I could.

And all of this is not to say that I never enjoyed teaching - my student teaching experience was really fun and I did enjoy it immensely.  But I never had an excitement about it unless I was right there in the thick of it. I didn't want to do it if I didn't have too. Of course, the hours didn't help either - have I mentioned before that I am not a morning or a scheduled person?? Yeah, that was a HUGE disadvantage to teaching.

So anyway, in the fall of '99 I received my degree and since it was technically in the middle of the school year, I decided to take some grad classes (what was I thinking???) and substitute teach until I could apply for full time school positions in the spring.

Because that is what you do when you acquire a teaching degree, you teach. Right?

Hubby and I sort of had a desire to move to Austin.  If we had to stay in Texas it was the only place we could really see us living, so I started researching school districts in that area. I was told by several people that the Round Rock school district was one of the best, and from what I could tell the pay scale was slightly higher than the other districts. It seemed like fate when that spring an elementary school music teacher position in a Round Rock school opened up, so I sent in my little, pathetic, blank resume. When they called me in for an interview, I put on my most teacherly attire and drove the 3+ hours from Huntsville to Austin. I pulled into the parking lot of a school I had never been too, in a city I had only dreamt about and sat in my car for a few moments to collect my thoughts.  A teaching job wasn't really what I wanted, but it made sense and it would provide us with some security so it was the most logical choice.  I loved working with the elementary aged kids when I did my student teaching and I felt that level best fit my personality and inexperience.  So I went in to the school, totally aced the interview (they LOVED me) and then I came back to my car. I sat in the space and stared at the wood fence that lined the parking lot. It was done. Either they would offer me the job or they wouldn't.  I prayed for God's will and drove back to Huntsville.

A few days later they offered me the position.

I had the weekend to think it over and make a decision, so Hubby and I once again drove to Austin to look for housing.  This was way before the internet made shopping on line for housing easy, so we had to make the long drive.  We spent all day Saturday looking at dumpy apartment after dumpy apartment and then drove back on Sunday looking at dumpy house after dumpy house.  We returned to Huntsville Sunday night exhausted and weary.  There just wasn't anything that we could afford on a teacher's salary.  We couldn't take into account Hubby's potential salary because we weren't even sure he could find a job right away.

Even back then we were practical. Sort of.

So on Monday when the school called me back for an answer, I turned them down. Something about it was so easy, and yet I knew that that decision would change the trajectory of my life forever. I never went into public school teaching, and instead Hubby and I uprooted everything we knew and moved to Arizona the next summer to start a totally new life together.

I haven't thought about that school or that decision in years.  I couldn't even remember the name of the school or where it was. And in my mind, it was almost as if the whole thing was a dream. It really didn't even exist in that "former" life of mine.  So much has changed since then.

Last night, I pulled into the parking lot of an elementary school in Austin. I was there to judge an art competition for the students participating in the Reflections Art Program.  I pulled in a parking space and looked up at a wooden fence surrounding the lot.

I was at the same school, in the same parking space that I sat in almost 11 years ago.

Life is a wonderfully mysterious, amazing thing.

Until,
D :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Let Beauty Awake

Port woke me up this morning with his diaper in his hand. 

The boys have been getting up earlier since the time change - it's not as bad as some of my poor friends, but I certainly don't like being woken up before my alarm goes off.  I suppose it is pretty nice when I am greeted with a sweet smiling by and a gentle "good mownin mumma". But when the wake up is an open wet diaper tangled in a pair of pajama bottoms sitting on my chest, it doesn't exactly start my day off right.

I don't care to get up before my alarm either, because it leaves us too much time to get ready in the morning. And if there is downtime I get sleepy. I like to get up and keep moving until we are out the door. But anyway, I suppose it could be worse.

The other night when I was out with my girlies, I recalled a story I never blogged that you might be interested in reading.  It was from our vacation to Arizona a couple of years ago.  If you are new around here or don't remember, Hubby and I took the boys on a 2 week long trip to Flagstaff for our annual family vacation with the inlaws.  Kiddo was almost 4 and Port was only 4 months old.  I blogged the first few days of the trip but I am pretty sure I never finished it out. {on a side note, I titled almost all of them with the songs from Ralph Vaughan Williams' Songs of Travel. I thought it was pretty brilliant... ;-) }

To refresh your memory (or get you up to speed), we drove to Arizona, stayed in Flagstaff for about a week and then drove back.  We were packed into our little CRV and towed a trailer with the stuff that didn't fit in the car.  Port was still very new, and thankfully sleepy, and I was pumping 8xs a day to feed him. On the drive there and back, we traveled pretty unplanned; that is, we didn't really reserve hotel rooms or anything along the way. We basically landed where we did, found a hotel and would stay the night. We stayed in a few dumps and a few pretty cool places along the way. 

On the way back home we were in New Mexico (I think) and had come to the point that we were ready to stop for the night. We started looking for a hotel and it just happened to be time for me to pump again. I had no problem pumping in the car, but since we were so close to stopping I decided to hold off until we found a place to stay.  We found a seemingly ok Motel 6 (they are always a crap shoot - sometimes decent, sometimes awful) and decided it had the best rate that we were going to find in that area. Being the end of the trip, we were a little tapped out financially and really wanted to save some money. So we stopped, paid for the room and then towed the kids up to our room. As we walked through the hotel grounds, I was disturbed by one, the sheer volume of people staying there, and two, the overwhelming smell of pot coming from several of the rooms.

uh huh

We went in our room and it became very clear that we would never be comfortable there; with all of the loud ruckus in the pool and the doorways of other rooms, there was no way we could rest. So, Hubby went back down to get us out of the room (and get our money back) and we decided to try the Motel 8 across the street. It looked pretty nice; it had much newer construction and a very tall fence around the perimeter of the property.  The lobby looked like something out of a 5 star luxury hotel and when we walked into the room - AMAZING! It was so beautiful! I was so relieved to be somewhere comfortable, quiet and nice!

The room itself was set up in a pretty unusual way. When you walked in the door, the bathroom with toilet and shower was to the right. Walking in lead you straight through the vanity area; when walking in and opening the door to the right, there was a huge 6+ foot wide mirror on the left.  Looking in the mirror from the door you could see the bed room portion of the room in the reflection.  So you walk in, are immediately in the vanity area and then walk through to the bedroom. The beds were on the right, tv on the left and sitting area at the far end of the room next to a big window.

So if you followed that - that was the general layout of the room. Basically one big rectangle with the bathroom tucked off behind the front door.

We got the boys settled inside watching cartoons and since I was about to explode, I set myself up to pump while Hubby went back out to the car to get the rest of our things. I set up on the bed and did my thing.  And being that it was just my family, I didn't really care and I was so tired, I didn't bother with covering anything up (you know modesty flies all out the window when you become a mom; especially the second time around).  So the boys were watching TV and I was pumping and all was right with the world. After a few minutes I hear a key card in the door and it begins to open. I say to Hubby (who is coming in the door), "so did you get everything ok?"

I looked into the vanity area to the mirror which showed me a view of the door.  It cracked open and a head popped in and a man with a big smile on his face saw me...

and his expression immediately changed to horror.

As did mine, because the man was not my husband.

As I scrambled for something to cover myself, he mumbled a hasty, "oh my God I am so sorry!" and scurried out the door. I can only imagine what he thought I was doing, hooked up to some sort of medieval torture device.

I was too tired to be terribly alarmed. I figured it was the cleaning crew or something with the wrong room, and I was pretty sure they'd walked in on much worse.  But then, the phone rang. I answered it and the  concierge was on the other end. 

"WHO ARE YOU and WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THIS ROOM!?!?" the voice yelled at me. I calmly gave her my name and told her we just checked in a minute ago. I asked her what the problem was. She replied that someone else was assigned to that room and she gave it to us by mistake and that her horrified guest had just walked in on me. She realized she had messed up and quickly got off the phone with me without so much as an apology.

I wonder how long that poor man had nightmares...

Until,
D :)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Throwing It All Away

So today I tossed out 419 pieces of paper that the kids have drawn on. Most of it was Kiddo's drawings.  I kept about 30 that were really great/unusual/memorable and tossed the rest. Several coloring books were tossed as well.

419. Yes, I counted.

It's not that I intentionally counted, but I just kept a running tally in my head, counting as each piece went into the trash bag, much like I counts the steps I take or measures in music.

What you don't count your steps everywhere you go? Oh, must just be me then.

The music measures, well that would be the result of years and years of training.

Anyway, the pages filled a 33 gallon trash bag.  Please don't get onto me about recycling them or shredding them or all that - if I waited until I got around to shredding, it would never happen.  If I could figure out all the rules for recycling paper and then had to sort all the pages based on whether it was colored paper or marked on with marker, crayon or pencil, or if I had to sort based on the presence of glue or staples or whatnot.... yeah, the stacks would still be sitting there.

I try to be as "green" as I possibly can, most of the time. But right now I am just going with the momentum I am feeling and getting rid of stuff.

Baby steps.

I also cleaned out a fully packed-to-the-gills-running-over 13 gallon trash can full of plastic shopping bags and took them all to the recycling bin at HEB.  I completely filled their bin. My apologies to HEB.  At least I was able to do the right thing with those. Of course, then we got home and Port had a poop-tastic diaper. A plastic bag would have come in handy to dispose it. Thankfully I had a plastic bag full of onions, fresh from the store.  It worked just fine.

Aren't you glad I talk about poopy diapers?

The weirdest thing happened today when I was at the grocery store with Port. We were in the frozen food section and he was babbling away, making no sense but just happy as a clam, when out of the blue he screams, "My ear!! My ear!!" He whined in pain and laid his head down on the cart. I looked at him and rubbed his head and didn't see anything alarming or unusual. Almost as quickly he sat up and was fine. I thought he may have had a brief ear ache or something; he's had a lot of sinus drainage lately.  I had pretty much forgotten the whole thing until we got out to the car and I put him in his car seat. That was when I noticed his ear was swollen and red.  Upon closer inspection, I discovered a spot that looked like a pin hole.  It was as if someone had poked him with a needle.

I have no idea what got him. There wasn't anyone else in the isle that I can recall and I certainly didn't see any flying insects. My best guess is that he was bit by a spider, but the hole was really big.  I can't imagine what kind of spider could leave that large of a puncture wound and not be seen in the process.

Ahh the mysteries of HEB...

I shall leave you with the mental jukebox song of the day. A friend introduced me to the tune, and now I can't get it out of my head.

Until,
D :)

Dear John, Taylor Swift

Monday, November 08, 2010

House of Cards

I really have nothing to blog about today.

Well, I take that back, I have lots to blog about, but I made the mistake of waiting until the evening to open this thing up and frankly, my brain started turning off the lights and shutting things down about an hour ago. The doors are locked, the windows have been checked, the dog has been fed, the cat has been put out and my little brain is dreaming of it's warm pajamas and ratty old robe, washing it's face and drinking a big glass of water before snuggling down into the deep recesses of the many blankets on it's bed.

Oh wait, no, that's just me. Except for the part about having everything shut down and done.

I still need to make a school lunch and turn off everything in the house. The dog is snoring and I have no idea where the cat is. Hubby of course, is already in bed, leaving me to shut it all down by myself.

Such is life.

Anyway, I spent most of the day today (when I wasn't editing photo sessions) thinking about what I need to do to like my house again.

Yes, I hate my house. Hate it. Hate every square inch.

You know why?

Because I can't see a square inch because of all the crap we have around here.

It has officially taken over. I am so sick of it all that I hate just sitting here. I hate looking at it. I just want to move and leave everything behind. We keep stuff for the most rediculous reasons! Sometimes we don't even have a reason for keeping it.  For example, today I threw out a pair of jeans.  They ripped right in the middle of the derriere about 6 months ago and I have been holding on to them. WHY!?!?!?!?!? What on Earth could I possibly do with a pair of jeans that allows my rear to hang out?? Seriously. I don't know what "logic" told me to wash, fold and put them back in my closet. I pulled them out on Halloween and didn't even remember that there was he huge tear! Thankfully my Hubby pointed it out before I left the house and mortified myself once again.

So anyway, I threw them out. Good riddance. There is SO. MUCH. STUFF in this house that is just like those jeans - broken, unusable, unfixable, and yet we hang on to it for some strange reason.

Part of me feels guilty for filling up a landfill with all of this stuff, but I finally realized that my house was turning into a landfill! I can't live like this!! Pretty soon my friends will be calling the producers of Hoarders.

So yeah, I am a little dramatic, but seriously in need of a change. I have got to get rid of at least half the stuff in this house. It is stressing me out and depressing me.

Any ideas, helpful hints, offers to help? I am open to any and all suggestions.

Until,
D :-/

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Day by Day

I am too tired to make this into anything that makes sense, so it will just be random thoughts today.

***********

Last Tuesday night my Hubby loaded up his things into a friend's car and they took off together for a long drive to Arizona.

Thankfully their trip went rather well (for the most part) and they made it home safe and sound.

I was home alone with the kiddos for 4.5 days.

By the end of day 1 I was already getting a bit frazzled.  By day 2 I was ready to pull my hair out.

So on day 3 I loaded them up and drove them to Houston to visit with my inlaws.

Thankfully, I was able to meet up with a couple of my very best girlfriends for dinner that evening. The plan was to get to Houston, get the kids comfortable with the grandparents and meet up with my friends at the restaurant for dinner. Unfortunately I left a little bit later than I had planned and ended up pretty much dumping the kids and our dog on my inlaws and sprinting out the door.  (sorry guys!)

I made it to the restaurant before my friends, and put our name in for a table. The place was packed - our wait was supposed to be 30-35 minutes, but we waited for over an hour. 

I felt so bad about myself when my friends showed up.  They both looked amazing - all dressed nice and hair and makeup done.  I was in a nasty gray long sleeved t-shirt and dirty jeans. I had planned on taking a shower before the drive that afternoon, but had to bathe the dog instead. So while they were looking nice for an evening out, I was a disheveled heap of greasy hair, dirty clothes and body laced with the lovely scent of dirty dog, dog shampoo and fast food french fries.

Ahh the joys of being a mom.

I am sure my friends didn't mind too much, though they did sit on the opposite side of the table. ;-) We still had a great evening that ended all too soon.  I really wanted to keep talking, but I could tell they were both tired.  There is just never enough time.

Until,
D

Saturday, November 06, 2010

The Things You Say

In the car yesterday:

Kiddo: "mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo.."

Me: (gritting my teeth and saying in a warning tone) "Kiddo..."

Kiddo: "mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo... Mumma do you know what 'mo' means?"

Me: (flatly. trying not to rip my hair out) "no."

Kiddo: "It means be quiet. (brief pause, then) mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo, mo..."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Later, still in the car...

Kiddo: "Mumma, how do they make sugar?"

Me: "It comes from a plant."

Kiddo: "What kind of plant?"

Me: "A sugar cane."

Kiddo: "A what?"

Me: "Sugar Cane."

Kiddo: "What kind of cane?"

Me: "Sugar."

Kiddo: "Then what is second?"

Me: "What do you mean, what is second?"

Kiddo: "What comes second? When they are making sugar?"

Me: "I am not sure how they do it. We will have to look it up later when I have access to the computer."

Kiddo: "I think they add salt."


Please send the men with white coats.

Until,
D :)

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