Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Some Times I Wonder…

For some reason this morning I started thinking about how much of this my kids are going to remember.  I know that I will remember a lot of it – probably not all of it, which kind of makes me sad – but I know that I will remember a lot.  How much will they remember when they are my age?  When do kids really start remembering and making their memories?

Nate already remembers some things.  In fact, he remembers a lot more than I ever would have thought he would.  He remembers that we went swimming on our vacation – and he wants to go again.  He remembers that we met Nana and Pap Pap and Aunt Mare at the seats outside of Sonic and had lunch there when the weather was nice – now that the weather is nice again, he wants to do that again, too!  He remembers that Grandma Fran looks at the same moon we do every night and that Elena likes to play the Wii.  All things that I wouldn’t have bet on him remembering.

Danika – well, she comes up with the strangest things sometimes.  I still see her as younger than she really is, I think.  Her speech is something that I’m going to have to deal with sooner or later…probably sooner if I can.  Sometimes, though, she will bust out with something really clear and I can understand every word!  She loves Little Bear and this morning was reciting it word for word…which amazed me.

When I think back to my childhood, I remember bits and pieces.  I almost feel like I should write them down somewhere so that I won’t forget more than I already have!  I remember listening to The Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack with my parents on Saturdays while eating breakfast.  I remember my dad playing the 1812th Overture to wake us up in the mornings during summer vacation.  I remember jumping on the bed, breaking it and blaming the whole thing on my sister – then, getting caught!  I remember vacations and weekend trips.  I remember picnics and Lemon Blend.  I remember walking to Dairy Queen and Rosa’s Pizza. 

I don’t remember the everyday stuff as much as I would like to.  I don’t remember things as clearly as I would like to.  I don’t know if anyone does…I wish I could.

Anyway – here are pictures of my kids this morning.  An ordinary morning where we aren’t doing anything special.  I just snapped them: 1, 2, 3, 4.

Here’s what you looked like on March 31, 2010 little ones…where all we did was play with some toys, eat grilled cheese for breakfast (because you wanted to) and laugh with each other:

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Monday, March 29, 2010

I should probably just make it Monday Morning Catch-up…with a little Mama Guilt thrown in!

*I apologize about the absence of some of the pictures in this post - I have no freaking clue what happened or what's going on...but I don't have time to fix it right now!  :(

It's not a bad thing that I'm not finding the time to blog about my weekend on Sunday nights - It usually means that it was a great weekend and I just don't have the energy or that I am really busy with my family and don't have the time. It's not a bad problem to have! So - here's the low down on what went down this weekend.
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Saturday we celebrated my friend, Derek’s birthday.  He actually turns 30 this week – but with Easter coming and all we just celebrated this past weekend.  (I run into a similar problem with my birthday, too…it’s the day after his!)
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The above picture is only really funny to those of us who are “in on the joke”.  You see, when these guys were younger – much younger – they would spend HOURS kicking a bean bag around to each other.  HOURS and HOURS, night after night - “hacking”.  Well, it got kind of dark and they just couldn’t see that darn bean bag as clearly as they use to…you know eyesight gets worse with age.  So, someone suggested they use a bigger ball.  Much bigger…it was actually hysterical to watch them kick this thing around a circle.  I was just worried that one of them was going to break their ankle or leg…you know bones get more brittle with age.
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This is proof that I had a glass (or two) too many.  I was drinking wine and really (really) enjoying it.  Here I am towards the end of the night planting a big old kiss on someone who is NOT my husband.  (For the record, my husband is taking the picture – totally not upset, I swear!)

The next day (Sunday) we had an Easter Party to go to.  I must add here that my husband was amazing yesterday morning.  It was further proof of my two (or three) too many glasses of wine that I was having a really tough time getting moving on Sunday morning.  My husband was great!  Took care of the kids and let me “recover” a bit.  He even made everyone breakfast!  What a guy!

So – on to the Easter party. 
Unfortunately, it was raining – so the egg hunt took place inside.  Here are some pics from the party.
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Danika (on the left) and my niece, Angelina (on the right) with their egg hunt bags!
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Nate was lucky enough to only have one little boy with him in his age category!  His buddy Nicholas!  Boy did they ever make out with the eggs/candy!
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My mom’s camera has a much better picture (one where it doesn’t look like I woke Dean up to take this this picture – even though I did).  I’ll have to get it off of her!

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I have no idea what is up with the goofy grin. 



Mama Guilt Mondays

You will notice that there is no picture of Danika with the bunny.  This is where my Mama Guilt comes in.  She just wouldn’t do it.  No way – no how.  She was the same with Santa.  It’s not a big deal, really…but it’s not because I don’t WANT her to take a picture with these characters – it’s just that I DON’T want her to cry and scream any more than she already does.  I know that I shouldn’t feel guilty about not making her cry – but I kind of feel guilty that I can’t get her to not cry and just take the picture.  I mean I will have all these pictures of her brothers with Santa and the Easter Bunny (and hopefully Disney Characters some day) but none of my beautiful daughter.  I may have tried to make her take the picture, but I was holding a sleeping baby and there was NO WAY hubby was going to make her do something she didn’t want to…she has him totally wrapped around her finger.

Oh – and the prompt over at Mama Guilt w/Cop Mama was about picky eaters…I totally talked about that last week!  The Nutritional Habit of my Children!

That’s about it.  We ended the weekend eating dinner at my parent’s house and watching the Pens win in a shoot out.

We have a busy busy week ahead of us…so, I’m off to go get started.  First up – laundry…so we don’t have to wear the same underwear all week!  (BTW – I hate laundry…least favorite part is the putting the clothes away part…I hate to admit how much we live out of laundry baskets around here.)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A little bit of random on a Saturday Morning

I don't really have anything to blog about this morning.

The thing is...I know that I complained a bit in my last post and for some unknown reason I don't like to leave a complaining blog post as the first post visible on my blog for a long time - it's a karma thing, or something...

So, since I really have nothing to blog about - but don't want negativity radiating throughout my entire weekend - I'm just going to give you some random stuff...in no particular order...with no purpose, really. 

First of all (because I know it is the first question you would ask), yes - we slept a little bit better last night.  That's all I'm saying because I don't want to jinx anything! 

Did you notice my new layout?  Probably not if you are reading through a reader (like I do) - so head on over to my blog and check it out...let me know what you think!  I used The Cutest Blog on the Block and was totally inspired by my friend, Chrisine's new layout.  (you should check her's out, too!)

I made Tuna Noodle Casserole last night for dinner.  Here's the recipe I used.  It's an Allrecipes recipe.  I use allrecipes.com for just about everything.  I have quite a few cookbooks - and I love looking through them, but when I need a recipe for something it is just so much easier to jump over there and find something.  Plus, there are usually a lot of reviews and suggestions for how to improve a recipe.  Since I'm not a big improviser in the kitchen - this is great for me!  I also love the Easy Meatloaf and World's Best Lasagna recipes from there.

We have an Easter party to go to tomorrow - so be on the lookout for bunny pictures in the near future.  I'm excited for the kids to get out and have some fun.  Plus, it's somewhere where I know I'll have help with the little guys or chasing the big kids if I need it.  I don't have to worry as much because it will be more than just Jerry and I keeping an eye on them.  *whew*  Although, my least favorite part of any outing is packing the bag - I can't wait for the day when I can walk out of the house without a bag the size of a pillowcase full of all the crap I need to take with me wherever I go.  (Please...Please don't tell me to keep an extra bag packed by the door and just refill it as needed - I don't have enough bottles and the last time I tried that the kids didn't get a chance to wear the change of clothes before they grew out of them!)

Speaking of parties, I'm headed to one tonight, too!  Except this is an "adult" party - no kiddos.  It's a 30th birthday part for a friend of mine.  In fact - it's a party with a bunch of my old High School/College Years friends.  Which could explain why I've felt like I'm in High School again lately.  :) 

Mentally, I prepared myself for the comments I'll get tonight.  Now, I don't know for sure if anyone will say anything - but chances are they will and I just want to be prepared...it gets really old, ya know.  So...if someone gives me the look and says, "So, are you done?" or "I think this is the first time I've seen you in the past 4 years and you haven't been pregnant!"  or "Wow, you must really have your hands full!  How do you do it?" or "Better you than me." or "Did you figure out what causes that, yet?" or "I don't know what I would do if I had 4 kids!" . . . I'll be ready.  I may not say exactly what I'll be thinking, but I will know that it isn't their fault.  They really don't understand.  You see, we didn't plan on having 4 children this close together.  Heck, we didn't plan on having 4 children!  However, I wouldn't be able to pick one to give back - I couldn't (and don't want to) imagine life without one of them!  They have all made our lives exactly the way it should be.  Yeah, it's not easy.  I understand why some people stop at 1 or 2.  I even understand why some people don't have any children.  That's just not for me - I always knew I was going to be a mommy...I always knew I'd have more than 1 baby.  Now, I NEVER thought I'd have twins and I NEVER thought I'd have 4 kids, but I'm happy about it and wouldn't change a thing.

All that being said, my kids are really starting to amuse me lately.  Nate says the most bizarre things sometimes!  Yesterday, he was talking to Danika - they were playing dress up and she had a Sleeping Beauty outfit on. 

Danika: I not Danika.  I Sleeping Booty!
Nate:  Okay, you're a Sleeping Booty!

Then he cracked up - like he actually knew he had called her a sleeping butt or something.  Is it possible?  Could he really have gotten that joke?  Well - he did tell my dad that he wanted to look up "SpongeBob Farts" on his Droid while they were waiting in line to get into preschool.  I know nothing about boys - I think it's time to revisit that book I bought when he was born!





Friday, March 26, 2010

Could it be?

So, if you've been following along at home, you may have noticed that I haven't been getting enough sleep lately.  I did get to sleep in until 8 am this morning - but was up from 4 - 5 with the babies.  It's amazing what not getting enough sleep does to me.  I become a different person - it's really hard for me to stay positive and happy when I'm exhausted.  I become this paranoid, crazy person who just can't relax.  Case in point, Mommy Group last night.

About 5 months ago a group of women who all have one friend in common were brought together by that friend.  It was actually really a great idea for us all to get out and meet some other moms.  I've met some really nice women and generally have a great time when we meet.  It was kind of a ground rule that we would try not to get like most groups of women do - we were not going to judge each other...we were not going to try to one-up each other...we were just going to laugh and have a great time.  My favorite meeting to date was our Christmas one - we had a cookie exchange and I swear I laughed more than I had in a REALLY long time.  I was actually sad to leave!

Our group met last month, but for some reason I couldn't be there.  I missed them so much...which is funny because we only see each other once a month - it's funny how you can miss people you barely see to begin with and don't really know all that well. 

Anyway, we met last night and I almost didn't go.  I was tired.  I was frazzled.  I just wasn't myself.  I'm sure it showed, too.  Tired, paranoid me took over and, even though I did have a great time, I left without the "wow, that was great" feeling I usually have.  I actually felt out of place - I'm not sure why, but I'm betting it was because I probably wasn't fully present...I was too tired and frazzled.  Now, if you are part of the Mommy Group and reading this - I hope that you don't think I'm complaining about anything in particular...it was really more of a not being able to relax and sitting across the room from everyone so I was a little out of it.  I will say, though - the food was awesome as usual!
 
I just wasn't comfortable - I felt like I was in High School again...I loved High School, but I didn't really have a lot of really close female friends during my Junior and Senior year.  The problem with hanging out with a lot of guys when you are younger is that their wives (and the guy you end up marrying) aren't really appreciative of you continuing your friendship at the level it was before anyone got married.  I'm going to have to make sure my daughter understands this and makes an extra effort to have some girlfriends - then again, my closest girlfriends moved out of state...I still have a few who are close enough for us to get together now and then - but life usually gets in the way of that, too.

I know that this is me and not the mommies at Mommy Group because I've been feeling the same way at work, a little.  Just like I've been on the outside watching - like I'm not participating.  It's like I'm not in on some secret that everyone else knows - and it's something about me...is this a common side effect of lack of sleep?  I'm blaming it on no sleep either way!

I hope to catch up this weekend and maybe enjoy Book Club on Monday!  Of course, I haven't finished the book - but I'm not going to let myself loose any sleep over that! 

Oh, and I think I am going to do Friday Follow - if you are here from Friday Follow, leave me a comment and I will head on over to follow you back!  :)

Friday Follow




MckLinky Blog Hop


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

*Yawn* I’m running on Caffeine

I’m exhausted.  Actually, I’m beyond exhausted…what would that be?  Hmm..

Anyway – I’m sure you can tell by the title of this post that the babies haven’t been sleeping any better.  In fact, the culprit has a new name, “He-who-woke-EVERYONE-up-at-1:53am”.  Yep, it was him – again.

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He woke this one up first:CIMG1338

Then together they woke these two:CIMG1514

The only reason I didn’t spend the entire day in a complete and total daze is because I fell asleep at 8:45 pm last night.  I was helping Danika fall asleep and ended up drifting off myself . . . and . . . well . . . just went to bed!  I don’t even feel the slightest bit guilty about it – I am kind of bummed that my DVR has shows on it that I want to watch, but they will be there Friday (which is the next time I’ll be able to watch TV – Go Pens!)

So, when the entire house was awake at 1:53 am I was a little bit more rested than I usually am at 1:53 am.  Still – I’m ready for bed.

My main reason for hopping on to do a post at all today was because the twins had their 6 month visit today.  Apparently, they are doing great.  They are both growing nicely…there is still a 4 lb. difference between the two – David is 16 lbs. 4 oz. and Dean is 19 lbs. 14 oz. – and there is a few inches in their height, too!  David is 27 1/4 inches and Dean is 29 1/4 inches.  According to the doctor, Dean is “off the charts” for his height.  I’m surprised he isn’t off the charts for weight – but maybe it’s just because he’s so tall that he looks so big. 

They got two shots today – and are now sleeping soundly…which I am headed up to do now – because I have a feeling they aren’t going to stay asleep all night.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sunday Night Catch-up (on Monday Morning)

You didn’t really think that I would be able to write weekend updates on Sunday nights, did you?  hehehe  I did – but yesterday it just didn’t happen.  Mainly, because we aren’t sleeping…again.  Here is the culprit:

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For reasons unknown to me – he just doesn’t seem to be able to get comfortable.  I get him to sleep.  He wakes up 40 minutes later.  I get him back to sleep.  He wakes up 20 minutes later.  I get him to sleep.  He sleeps a whole 2 hours and gets up again.  It’s exhausting!  I’m thinking teeth – maybe.  Who knows?  One more baby that was born without an instruction manual…so all I can do is guess – and drink lots and lots of coffee the next morning.

As far as the weekend goes – pretty normal around here.  This is the biggest news:

Before Haircut -

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After Haircut -

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I gave him a buzz cut!  Of course, when I did it it was in the high 60s and now we’ve dropped down to the low 50s…but he needed it cut.  He’ll look normal again by Easter.

Other than the haircut, we didn’t do a whole lot.  We went to my parents for dinner and the kids got to run around in their back yard for a few hours.  We had some friends over with their kiddos on Friday and I may (or may not) have had a tiny bit too much wine – I really didn’t want to have to make room for it in my fridge.  :)  I took the paper snowflakes down in my living room.  I’m still working on laundry – it NEVER ends!

For some reason, Jerry and I have been watching those paranormal shows On-Demand.  You know, Paranormal State, Paranormal Cops and Ghost Hunters.  I’m not really sure why we are watching.  Funny thing is that it scares the heck out of Jerry – and mostly makes me laugh.  It just kills me that they always try to make something out of nothing.  I’m not saying that there isn’t paranormal things that happen – maybe some of the stuff they have happen really is real…but it’s TV for goodness sake.  All that being said – I kept seeing things last night.  I would hear Dean moving around and open my eyes because I knew it was my turn to go get his binkie.  I’d see something standing next to the bed or in the hall or the one time I actually thought Jerry was sitting up next to me in bed when he was sleeping.  I chalk it up to an overactive imagination – which is EXACTLY what I think those shows do and why people watch them . . . they give us those little bursts of adrenaline. 

Before we started watching those shows, we watched the first hour of Life on Discovery.  Jerry set the DVR to record it – I’m usually not one for nature shows…but it was pretty cool.  We’ll definitely be watching the rest of them this week!

I guess that’s about it – I’ve got stuff to do today…which means it will either be a great day and go really fast or I’ll be extremely frustrated because my babies need me and I can’t get anything done.  I’m hoping for option 1 – but I’m gonna try to be patient and enjoy my babies if it’s option 2.

Here’s to a great week!  *chugging coffee on my way to make 2 bottles and grab 2 diapers*

Saturday, March 20, 2010

3 of my favorite guys

Got a minute? Wanna smile? Watch this:





Friday, March 19, 2010

Michael Buble is REALLY Sexy

So ~ the concert was great…I mean look how happy I was before we even got inside!

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I was really excited for the concert but it was also great to get a little break from being Mommy for a while and focus on being with Jerry.  Awww ~ I know some of you just had a bit of a gag reflex . . . but deal with it.  I’m now, once again, madly in love with my husband and can’t get enough of him! 

For reasons I can (and cannot) blog about here, I smiled pretty much all day yesterday.  Nothing really bothered me, even when I was bothered.  Work seemed easier and my kids seemed a little bit more well behaved (except for Danika right after her nap – does anyone know why 3 year old girls insist on crying for 20 minutes after waking up from a nap?).

Anyway ~ back to the concert…We started the evening with dinner at Longhorn Steak House.  Yummy – I got to eat a hot meal and didn’t have to pick 1 thing off the floor or try to cut something with one hand because I was holding a baby in the other! 

After dinner, we headed down to Pitt’s Campus and the Peterson Event Center for the show.  Parking (just like everyone said it would be) was horrendous!  We got there early enough that there was a garage near by that we could squeeze into – and I do mean SQUEEZE.  I can’t imagine if we would have had the van – Jerry’s little car barely made the turns!

We walked around for a little bit and watched the college kids who were enjoying the nice weather.  There was a very small grassy area next to the event center where they were throwing Frisbee and tossing footballs around.  It made me miss college a teeny tiny bit – but I LOVED school…so that’s not really a surprise.

After getting to our seats, the opening act started.  We didn’t know there was going to be an opening act – but we were pleasantly surprised.  These guys were pretty awesome.  Naturally 7 makes all their “music” with their voices.   No instruments – just them.   It’s worth checking out – we actually bought their cd (which Michael Buble sings a song on with them) and got their autographs!  Really nice guys, too!  Each one of them took the time to shake our hands and say hello.  Looked us straight in the eye, too!  I know they were probably told that it would make a difference if they did – and it does.  :)  They opened with this song.

As I expected, Michael was awesome.  He was funny ~ which I remembered well from the first time we went to see him.  He was cute ~ which I also remembered well from the first time we saw him.  He gave it his all – he even made fun of us a bit…after all he’s Canadian and they love their hockey.  He commented on how we need to shut up about the whole Gold Medal thing…after all we have been lucky enough to watch great players like Lemieux play in our city and have a little bit of Crosby and Malkin on our team now.  hehehe

The whole show was wonderful.  I was surprised when I read a review that didn’t RAVE about it…then I realized why it didn’t.  I noticed that Michael’s voice seemed a little bit off…it seemed tired.  However, he is an amazing performer and when he gets you in the moment while he’s singing you don’t hear that he doesn’t hit every note perfectly (or that he was a little pitchy, as they ALWAYS say on American Idol…I hate when they use pitchy as a critique.)  He gives you a great show and you walk away really feeling like he was singing to you…even with 9,000 other people around you.

Watch this – and you will see what I mean.  This isn’t a recording from Pittsburgh, but this is how he closed his show.  There was no screaming or anything at the end in Pittsburgh.  It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop in the bathroom on the first floor of the arena.  It was amazing.  I started tearing up.  I think Jerry may have even sniffled a little (but it could have been from the disgusting perfume the girl in front of us was wearing – yuck!)

I can’t wait until he comes back.  I will definitely be there – hopefully with closer seats but I would sit anywhere and just be happy to be in the same building as him.  (BTW – that’s extremely similar to the line I used to get my dad to take me to see Metallica when I was a Freshman in HS.  I said, “It’s okay, Dad.  At least I’ll be in the same State as them.”  We had tickets the next day!  Love ya, Dad – you buy the best concert tickets!)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Parenthood ~ I love Peter Krause

 

I love Peter Krause.  I loved him when he played Nate Fisher in Six Feet Under.  I loved him in The Lost Room ~ which my dad actually had me start watching.  He was good in Dirty Sexy Money, but I wasn’t a fan of the show otherwise.  He’s the reason I started watching Parenthood – and I’m really loving his role in it and the show in general. 

Peter

I was a little worried that I wasn’t going to like the show after the pilot.  There was too much drama and not enough comedy.  I was hoping it would have a nice balance – but all the things that started going downhill at first made me nervous that this show was just going to be one more thing that reminds me that life doesn’t always work out the way you plan.  I don’t need a TV show to tell me that things go wrong, the unexpected happens and people with the best of intentions aren’t always able to hold true to their promises.  Life isn’t easy – but I didn’t want a TV show to remind me of that and shove it down my throat.  I’ve warmed up to the show, though. 

There is still more drama than comedy.  There are still a lot of reminders of how life doesn’t always turn out the way we want or the way we planned.  However, there are also more of those, “THIS is what it’s all about” moments.    Like one of the last scene’s last night – the whole family (differences aside) was together supporting Peter’s character and his family as they waited for a really important call about his son being admitted to a special school – he was recently diagnosed with Aspergers.  When the call came – they celebrated together!  It was one of those moments when everyone is happy…those are the kind of moments I want in my TV shows.

Without getting too personal – my extended family isn’t the way I imaged it was going to be when I was growing up.  My sister has been dealt a really bad deal health wise – she and her husband – and it’s made a lot of things out of the question.  For example, I can’t just meet my sister at the mall to let the kids play in the playground for a little bit.  My sister has MS and she is in a wheelchair.  She doesn’t drive.  She walks short distances with a walker.  It’s hard on everyone – especially her.  She has a beautiful 3 year old daughter who loves to play with my kids. (and fight with them…because isn’t that what cousins do?)  That’s just my sister – we won’t even get into what’s going on with other members of both mine and Jerry’s family.

It seems, as of late, that my family just doesn’t have a lot of those, “THIS is what it is about” moments. It’s almost like all of our happy moments are somehow shadowed by the stuff that didn’t work out the way it was suppose to – sorry if that doesn’t make sense, but I’m not going to elaborate because it would take too long and be too upsetting.  It makes me sad.    When that happens, I really have to “force” myself to look at what I have – because I am blessed.  My children are healthy.  My children are amazing. 

Last night I had an “Ah Ha!” moment.  I realized that it’s not about me – as much – anymore.  It’s more about them.  I seriously looked at Jerry and said, “We may not be able to have that – but THEY can!” I feel a little more hopeful.  I feel like I have a new understanding of my purpose.  I will tell you that I kind of scared about it – having any kind of expectations is dangerous business…but I’m excited now, too. 

I started thinking about 4 kids…in 4 years!  4 kids…so close together. . . then I realized maybe God does know what he’s doing.  4 kids that close together just might mean they will be best friends.  They will help each other through things.  They will lean on each other.  They will be there for each other.  They will have lives full of those, “THIS is what it is about” moments together.  They may drive me crazy now – but maybe the fact that they are so close together will really be a tremendous blessing in the future. 

Okay – I’m done rambling.  Head on over to Oh, Sweetlee Me…I actually won this contest!  It came in the mail yesterday!  :)  It’s really pretty!

Oh – and guess what…I’m spending some time with my favorite Canadian TONIGHT!!!

Sooo excited!

PS ~ here he is singing my wedding dance song!  :)

 

 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mama Guilt Monday - #1

So...Cop Mama hosts this little MckLinky Blog Hop thing (meme) on Mondays to get rid of some Mama Guilt. She mentioned it to me when I posted this...and I just forgot last week. I remembered (even though it's a little late in the day) this week and knew exactly what I was going to write about.

Without further ado ~ What I'm feeling guilty about today...and have been for some time.

The Nutritional Habits of My Children

I remember when Nate was little and we were talking about how we were going to make sure he ate the right things.  I remember reading all the books I could get my hands on to make sure he wasn't going to be a picky eater.  I read about the order in which you should introduce new food.  I read about eating diner together as a family - at the TABLE.  I read about how much, how often and what kinds of foods he should be eating.  I really wanted to get it right.

Fast forward to now - add 3 kids in 33 months bringing the grand total to 4 kids in 46 months (3 years/ 10 months from baby #1 to baby #4).  Also factor in me getting a part time job and Jerry working late most days plus EVERY STINKING SATURDAY!!!  I have a million excuses - but really it always goes back to me just not being persistent and strict enough with my children.

Once I started giving them what they wanted, all my hopes for not having picky kids flew out the window.  We rarely sit down as a family to eat because Jerry is usually late coming home and the kids can't wait.  I usually cook for us and cook separate for the kids.  My friend, Christine, is much better at this than I am...she even found a way to get her girls to try something different and be excited about it!  Even if she doesn't get them to eat it - she at least gets them to try.  I can't even get my kids at the table with us...let alone eating the same thing.  It did happen on Friday, though - and I was OVERJOYED!  Nate actually ate Parmesan Crusted Tilapia, Green Beans and Mashed Potatoes!!!  Of course, Danika fell asleep before dinner and ate a PB&J when she finally woke up at 11 pm.

My philosophy of late has been that they will try things when they are ready - but will they?  I don't put new stuff in front of them anymore because I'm just too tired to fight with them.  They are healthy.  They are growing.  They are (usually) happy.  They just don't eat what they should.  They don't eat where they should or when they should.  They are such snackers.  They are picky.  Danika will even proclaim loudly, "EWWWW" at anything she thinks looks like something she won't eat.

I want to do it differently with the twins.  We started them on cereal and a few veggies about a month ago - we don't even do that every day!  I guess it's because I know they don't NEED the cereal or veggies because they get everything from their formula...I'm lazy.  The days I do remember I often remember at 7 or 8 pm...when we should be getting ready for baths and bed.

So - my Mama Guilt this week (and for as far back as I can remember) is that my kids just don't eat the way they should...I hope they eventually like things other than Chicken Nuggets, Hot Dogs, Grilled Cheese, Macaroni and Cheese, PB&J and a few select fruits and veggies.   *sigh*





Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday Night Catch-Up

I thought that I would use my Sunday post to kind of catch you up on things that happened over the weekend.  Not that anything too exciting happened…but it will also help me to remember later on. 

I find that I use my blog as a way to look back on the things that have happened – because I’m not remembering the little things on my own.  I have my excuses…yes, I’m still exhausted.  But it’s fun now to look back on posts like this one – where I thought I might be pregnant with my 3rd baby…or this one – where I found out I was in fact pregnant with my 3rd AND 4th babies…or even this one – where I can remember taking the kids to the museum for the first (and only) time.  (BTW – I was pregnant with the twins when I climbed through that McDonald’s playground thing…)

So – Friday’s play date was WONDERFUL!  My niece, Angelina, came over, too and it couldn’t have worked out better.  Nate and Elena played together so nice – and then Angelina and Danika were able to play together.  I don’t even think anyone had to sit on the “naughty step” all day!

Saturday, I took Danika to get her first haircut.  Here are the before and after pics :

CIMG1507 CIMG1512

It really isn’t that big a difference, but it is much easier to brush now…the ends were getting really tangled and knotted all the time.

We also got an email from the farm we are doing our CSA with on Saturday.  I’m really excited because it will put a lot less pressure on my husband to do a big garden this year.  He loves to garden – and will probably still plant some stuff, but he won’t need to plant as much…so maybe it will be easier for him to take care of this year.  He always ends up feeling guilty that he can’t give his garden enough attention – we have so many living things to divide our attention among already!

Saturday night, Jerry and I actually got to go out for a few hours.  It was nice – just enough time away to feel like we got a little break.  We were home and I was in bed by 12:00 am.  Yes, that’s late for me…especially considering that we had to turn the clocks ahead last night!  Ugh…

Today, Jerry went to the grocery store for me…with a pretty big order.  I’m amazed that no matter how detailed a list I write, he still ends up buy the wrong things.  I would complain more if I didn’t HATE going grocery shopping.  I’m grateful that he does it and can usually make his mistakes work.  :)

Then we went up to my parents house for a really yummy dinner and for the kids to get to see them a little bit.  Oh – and for Jerry and my dad to get to watch the hockey game together.  (Go Pens!)

All in all – it was a calm weekend but a fun one.  I’m exhausted and need to go up to bed NOW!  I have been missing my computer time, though – pathetic, I know…I may have to go see how some of my fellow bloggers spent their weekend before closing my laptop.  Eh – maybe not.  They’ll be in my Google Reader tomorrow, too!

Friday, March 12, 2010

This is really a bigger deal than you would think

In about an hour or so my friend is bringing her daughter over for a play date. We plan on ordering pizza and letting the kids play for a while. The big deal part is - I didn't clean my house!

One of the main reasons I never want anyone to come over to my house - one of the main reasons I feel like I have no friends - is that my house is in a constant state of chaos.  I think that I've finally come to accept the fact that my house is just not going to be neat and orderly.  Now - my house is NOT dirty.  I do wipe things down, run the sweeper, pick up dirty dishes and dirty clothes.  We take the garbage out and all of that jazz.  However, there are a TON of toys and just stuff that I never get around to putting away...and what's the point, really?  I put them away and they come right back out!  I need a routine - but I have 4 small children and a routine is often just an extra added stress for me...because, let's face it - I'm not really in control of what's going on 75% of the time (the other 25% of the time the twins are sleeping - I have a little more control when they aren't awake).  Then you run into the fact that when I do get time to myself I'm usually too exhausted to do anything productive. 

So - I decided when I woke up this morning that I was not going to stress about how my house looked before my friend came over.  I'm not even going to say anything about it (or I'm at least going to try not to - it's hard for me not to make excuses).  I really doubt she will think anything bad about me - in fact, I'm pretty sure she'll probably feel bad for me and want to do my laundry!  hehehe  Of course, I'll tell her no.  I couldn't let her go down to the basement!  Holy crap - wanna talk about a catch all for all the stuff we don't know what to do with!!!  Nate calls it "the toy store downstairs"...yep, that's pretty much what it looks like. 

So - wish me luck...I'll let you know how it goes.

Oh - and no Friday Follow for me this week...I have too much anxiety about getting to the blogs in my Google Reader as it is!  :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

100 Things that Make Me Happy

This is my 100th post!  I’ve decided to post a list of 100 things that make me happy rather than 100 facts about me . . . well, in a way it’s 100 things about me, too.

1. My family – especially my children and my husband.

2. Books with happy endings

3. Cooking with Jerry

4. Romantic Comedies

5. Reading books to my children

6. Getting dressed up for a night out

7. Not having to get dressed up for work every day

8. Watching the Food Network

9. Board games

10. Chocolate

11. Coffee

12. Sleeping in

13. Long conversations

14. Reality TV (don’t judge me – I know it’s mindless and I NEED mindless every now and then)

15. Daydreaming

16. The Pittsburgh Steelers – but not Rothlisberger . . . what the heck is going on with him these days?

17. Orlando Bloom

18. Christmas Lights

19. Snow

20. Giving presents

21. Being pleasantly surprised

22. The smell of A&D ointment

23. Baking with my kids

24. Warm Chocolate Chip cookies

25. The idea of living a simpler life

26. Miracles

27. 20/20 vision (thanks to DH & Lasik Vision Institute)

28. Vampire Stories

29. Campfires

30. Toasting marshmallows

31. Clean/new notebooks

32. Old journals

33. Art Museums

34. Pumpkin patches

35. Love Poems

36. Scrapbooks

37. Sweatsuits

38. Getting the mail – my dad teases me about how happy this makes me every time I am at their house and the mail comes

39. Candlelight

40. Halloween

41. Lime Green

42. Fall

43. Jerry’s Chili

44. Long, Hot Bubble Baths

45. Brand new socks

46. Sleeping Babies

47. Rainy Days

48. Apple scented candles

49. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

50. Book stores

51. Fireplaces

52. Doughnuts (Chocolate cake with chocolate icing)

53. Blogging

54. Making things

55. Gnomes

56. Laughing babies

57. Taking pictures

58. Getting flowers

59. Michael Buble

60. Christmas

61. Long car trips – especially driving when the sun is rising

62. Eating outside

63. Cheeseburgers on the grill

64. Pictures of people kissing

65. Making pancakes

66. David Cook’s version of Always Be My Baby from American Idol

67. Swinging on the front porch

68. Amusement parks

69. 80’s music – especially Monster Ballads

70. White Zinfandel

71. Coloring

72. Daniel Craig

73. Not being able to fall asleep because I’m excited about something

74. Winnie-the-Pooh

75. Not smoking

76. Fairies

77. The Dave Matthews Band

78. Parents who tell me their children talk about me all the time at home

79. Teaching

80. Brownies

81. Disney World

82. Listening to my kids play together through the monitor

83. Flannel

84. People who do exactly what they tell you they are going to do

85. Steve Burns

86. Room Service

87. Genius on my iPod – I find so many songs that I forget I have thanks to that feature

88. Movies and Songs about November (Sweet November - movie /November Rain – song)

89. Sitting by large bodies of water

90. Cookbooks

91. Getting Flowers from Jerry

92. A clean house

93. Opening all the blinds and turning the lights off – letting the sun light the house

94. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very-Bad Day

95. Hearing Jerry read Green Eggs and Ham to the kids before bed

96. Solving problems

97. Standing up for myself – doesn’t happen often but I ALWAYS feel better after I do it.

98. Forest Green

99. Book Club and Mommy Group

100. Blog Comments!

Awards? For Me?

I've actually received 2 blog awards from my fellow bloggers!

I'm honored - really! I think I put off posting about them because I wasn't sure who to send them to myself. I read a lot of blogs and I even comment on a lot of them...I just don't really "know" any of the bloggers very well.  I'm gonna give it a shot, though...

I received this award from B Sparkly


and this one from A New Mom



So - I'm picking only 3 bloggers I know for each award.

I'd like to pass the Lovely Blog Award to ~

Cop Mama

Party of Five

My Tales of Being an Ambitious Gurl

I'd like to pass along the Sunshine Award to ~

What Little Girls are Made Of


The Boob Nazi

Ma Vie Folle

My 100th post is next!  I actually made a list of 100 thinks that make me happy!  I'm probably going to post it right after this one!  :)

Have a great day!




Sunday, March 7, 2010

Multiples and More – Question of the Week (Take 2)

This is my second week doing the QOTW over at Multiples and More and this one is an interesting one that I’ve actually come in contact with before.

Do you think parents of multiples are more likely to become divorced? Why or why not?

I’ve been married for a little under 6 years.  I have 4 children under the age of 5.  The youngest 2 are twin boys.  I can’t imagine doing this without my husband.

I bought this book:  Mothering Twins: From Hearing the News to Beyond the Terrible Twos and the topic of mothers and fathers of multiples being in the highest bracket for divorce was brought up.  I know it is stressful – but it is NOT the only (and probably not the main) cause of these families falling apart.

In my honest opinion I think that having multiples . . . No, I KNOW that having multiples causes a lot of stress on a marriage.  However, I think people who make bad decisions and get married for the wrong reasons to the wrong person are much more likely to get divorced than a loving, committed, happy couple who has more than one baby at a time. 

If you get divorced because you have multiples then there was probably something wrong with your marriage in the first place – or their would have been something wrong even without the multiple birth.  I know a lot of people who have not been able to make their first marriages work – none of them have multiples. 

Divorce happens too often in this country and hurts a lot of people when it does.  I make an extra effort to not judge people who are divorced because I don’t think that anyone can fully understand the very personal reasons that it happens.

As far as my relationship with Jerry goes, having multiples has changed it.  I really feel that it has (so far) made us a lot closer and more of a team…on good days.  The problem is that the work NEVER ends.  It is exhausting and I think there are often times when I feel like he isn’t doing enough – and times when he feels like I’m not doing enough. 

We both try very hard not to let those things cause problems between us – it doesn’t always work, but we try.  We have had to become much more verbal with each other in order to not get angry all the time – communication has become so much more important.  You learn fast that you can’t expect the other person to read your mind – there is just too much noise in the house for that to EVER happen.

On the other hand, knowing when to let things go because it isn’t worth getting into a fight about has become equally important.  It is also important to not jump to conclusions and take the time to talk things out or get all of the information.  Like when he taps me on the shoulder at 4 am and tells me it is my turn to go put the binkie back in Dean’s mouth so he will stop crying because he got out of bed and did it last time.  I feel like calling him a liar because I didn’t feel him get out of bed.  I didn’t even hear Dean cry!  I’m exhausted and in a deep deep sleep and he has to wake me up to go put a binkie in that I don’t want to try to find in the dark anymore than he does…Then I realize (when he tells me) that I didn’t hear Dean the two times before (at 1 am and 3 am) because he let me sleep through it!

I guess the one thing I would tell parents who just found out they are having multiples is that it is important to take care of each other, too.  Love your partner and make sure that they know you love them.  Be there for each other and really become a TEAM!  Jerry and I considered ourselves a team from the moment our first “singleton” came into this world.  We grew into a stronger team when our second “singleton” arrived.  We were a little (understatement of the year) nervous when our “multiples” were on their way – but now that they are here we are stronger than ever…not perfect, but still happy and in love with each other.

So, if you’ll excuse me, I’m headed upstairs to stick my freezing cold feet under the covers and find Jerry’s warm ones…I might even whisper to him how grateful I am to be on this journey with him by my side!

More New Things – and Lots of Random Stuff!

So ~ Courtney, over at Make Me A Blessing, started using Windows Live Writer and was raving about it.  I decided to give it a try, too…see what all her fuss was about.  I’ll have to play around with it a little bit – but I already like that you can do more with the font and it seems like there is a lot more options. 

I really enjoyed Friday Follow.  However, after the past two Fridays I am drowning in blogs!  I try to follow blogs I will find interesting – and I follow everyone who follows me.  I think I added 10 blogs to my Google Reader on Friday – I’m still not caught up.  I guess I’m going to have to go through and pick the ones I really want to get into and focus on those.  My time is limited – and I feel like I’m all over the place these days!

What do you do?  If you participate in Friday Follow, how do you keep up?  I logged onto my Google Reader after 1 day of not really being able to spend anytime reading and I had over 170 unread posts!  I guess part of my problem is that I like to comment on the blogs that I read – which takes extra time!

The main reason I didn’t get to read many blogs this Friday was that I had my niece, Angelina, here with us for the day.  I wasn’t really worried about her being here – even though she fights with Danika and Danika has a lot of trouble sharing with her.  All three of the “big kids” ended up on our Naughty Step at one point or another…but I do have proof that they can play nice together!

 

Now, they did manage to get EVERY toy out of EVERY box and container in the house.  They even went down to the basement (aka the “Toy Store” in our house – Nate’s name for it since that’s where we store the overflow of toys) and they played down there.  I have yet to actually clean up the havoc they reeked down there – I just haven’t been getting enough sleep to get up the energy.  For some reason the babies weren’t sleeping well.  Thursday and Friday night they were up at insane hours wanting fed and held.  Last night was better, though, so of course I picked last night to catch up on some TV.

We watch quite a few TV series these days.  We didn’t for the first few years we were married – it was too tough to be tied down to sitting in front of the TV at a certain time of the week.  Because of the beauty of DVR, we are hooked on TV again.  Last night we caught up on episodes of – Spartacus Blood and Sand, Community and Parenthood

Now – Spartacus is bad TV.  Really bad, actually.  So bad that we can’t help but watch it.  I say at least once per episode that we should stop watching it – but I know we won’t.  We are too curious about what will happen to this man turned gladiator who lost everything and has nothing left to live for . . .

Community just rocks!  It started out kind of slow…but man is it awesome now!  I LOVE Joel McHale and in this week’s episode he takes his clothes off!!  I seriously would have never guessed he was so well defined.  Plus, the whole Abed/Troy friendship cracks me up…they are hysterical.

Parenthood was okay.  I think my biggest problem with this pilot was that there was too much drama and not enough comedy.  The movie was a good mix of drama and comedy – this seemed like one problem after another with only one small piece of comic relief (one that was already shown on the preview).  I will keep watching it, though because Peter Krause is a favorite of mine.  I did cry real tears while watching.  When Peter’s character’s wife confronts him about their son, Max, possibly having Aspergers.  Of course, he is in denial and she looks at him and says, “There is something wrong with our baby.  Please, don’t make me go through this alone.”  Max looks to be about 5 or 6 in the show…maybe a little older.  The fact that she used the word baby was probably a major contributing factor to why I was bawling my eyes out.  It reminded me of that Olympics commercial -  

Made me cry EVERY time!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Five Question Friday! #4 and Friday Follow

Wow - you either have to get up REALLY early in the morning or stay up REALLY late at night to get at the beginning of this MckLinky! If you are headed over from Friday Follow - nice to meet you! Can't wait to check out your little space on the web, too!

Here’s how YOU can join the celebration:

* Link up your blog name and URL using the MckLinky below – Only need to on one blog to be seen on all the blog hops.
* Follow the Friday Follow hostesses listed in the first 3 slots
* Follow as many blogs as you’d like
* Comment on the blogs telling them you’re from Friday Follow
* Follow back when you get a new follower through Friday Follow

Friday Follow

So - besides being Friday Follow is is also Five Question Friday...figured I'd kill 2 birds with one stone (so to speak) since I'm actually up in a somewhat quite house! 3 out of 4 are still sleeping - as they should be at 6am - but my "baby baby" is up and ready to go because he went down at 6 pm and never got back up last night. Slept the whole night through!

My Little Life



1. What's your guilty pleasure?

Hmm...blogging.  Reading blogs, writing blogs - they all take up time that I could be doing other things.  I try to squeeze it in when I don't have other things to do, but I ALWAYS have other things to do. 

2. What is your favorite TV series?

We hardly ever watched TV until we got our DVR - now we record everything and catch up on it when the kids are asleep.  I have a couple favorites but the two that I've really been enjoying that aren't on a premium channel (because I don't count those as TV for some reason) are Glee and The Good Wife - not necessarily in that order.

3. Can you speak any foreign languages?

Nope - I took Latin in High School to help with my SAT grades.  I'm not sure if it did that or not.  My SAT's were pretty good but nothing amazing.  I didn't mind taking Latin, but I do wish I would have taken a more practical language - HOWEVER if you ask my Latin teacher he would tell you that Latin words are the roots for all of those other languages...so if you understand Latin you can understand all of those other languages, too.  Maybe, but you can't speak them...

4. How many pairs of shoes do you own?

I hate shoe shopping...really, I do.  I own...8 pairs of shoes.  2 pairs of tennis shoes, 1 pair of dress boots, 1 pair of winter boots, 1 pair of Crocs, 1 pair of dress shoes (black), 1 pair of sandals, and I think 1 pair of flip flops.  I have purchased shoes for special occasions like weddings, but I always end up getting rid of them shortly after because I know I'll never wear them again and they just collect dust.

My husband, however, is addicted to shoes.  He probably has 20-25 pairs.  I make him throw a pair out every time he buys a new pair because we have no more room for his shoes.  Go figure.

5. What's your favorite kind of M&M's...peanut, almond, straight up regular, etc.?

I like ALL M&M's.  In fact you would be hard pressed to find a piece of milk or dark chocolate that I don't like...not a fan of white chocolate, though.

I'd have to say that the dark chocolate M&M's are probably my favorite with the almond ones coming in a close second!

So...there you go!  Head on over to Mama M's place and grab the questions to play, too!  Leave me a comment so I can come read your answers!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Admitting you have a problem - is it the first step?

I have a problem when it comes to my kids.  Other than DH (because they are his kids, too), I don't like to ask for help from people.  I will ask for help if I am in desperate need of it - but I don't like to ask for help.  Some days, I actually LONG for the time when I will be able to pay a well researched, responsible high school student to watch my children (or two...since I have four kids!).

I feel so guilty when I ask a relative to babysit my kids, that I don't ask unless I have no other option (like staying home while Jerry does whatever it is I need done - or Jerry staying home while I go).  Part of the guilt comes from the fact that I am blessed to still be happily married and still have my health.  Not everyone in my family is as lucky as I am in that aspect - so I often feel guilty because they need the help more than I do.  The problem is that there are a lot of times I need help and don't ask - which leads to me being upset and frustrated.  I end up feeling overwhelmed and taking that out on DH.  I end up feeling stuck and hiding out from my kiddos until I get my senses back and realize I'm just being over dramatic - but when I'm feeling it...it's a real feeling.  Luckily, it never lasts long...and I always look back and realize I probably overreacted.

I know that it's 150% my fault.  (After all...I'm not perfect.)  I don't want to "bother" anyone - I don't want to add to their already busy and complicated lives by dumping my needs on top of all the stuff they already have to deal with.  No one really ever ASKS to spend time with my kids without me there.  Are they suppose to?  Am I waiting around for something that doesn't usually happen?

I was really worried, when I thought about how to get this off my chest, that it would sound like I trying to look like some kind of martyr.  I'm not.  I was worried that I would sound like I'm whining.  Maybe I am...a little.  I know that it is my fault that I don't get the help I need - I don't ask but if I did the help would probably be there.  Plus, if I ask and it isn't there (which has happened, too), then I'm no worse off than before I asked, right? 

The thing is . . . I don't want to be one of those people who is always dumping their kids off on other people.  This is my life now - I have 4 very small children and I pretty much have NO social life.  I know it won't always be like this...but isn't this the way it is suppose to be right now? 

My husband doesn't have your typical 9-5  / M-F job, which really stinks when it comes to me getting any time out of the house.  I can't tell you how much I wish he had Saturdays off...or was home every night by 5:30.  We would be able to get out of the house all together.  Go somewhere with the kids...I can't do that by myself.  NO WAY!  Maybe this is just the winter blues talking. 

Right now, though, his job is perfect for our situation (well...not perfect, but pretty good) because he has Tuesdays off - which means we don't have to find a place for the kids to go while I go to work on Tuesdays...just Thursdays.  He has a job, though - which not everyone can say - and it's a good one.  We want a lot of things but there isn't really anything we need that we don't have.

I guess the whole point of me opening this can of worms is that I don't know how to get over that guilty feeling I have when other people have to deal with my kids.  I feel like I'm the one who has to discipline them, comfort them so they stop crying, change them, feed them, dress them, bathe them...I am the one that should be doing that.  However, lately, trying to do that, laundry, work, cook, clean and maintain a little sanity is starting to be a bit much.  I keep telling myself it will get easier - especially when I don't have to make every trip to the potty with my daughter and the twins can feed themselves!  Yesterday, I was talking to one of the women I work with who has 5 children...she just looked so tired and said to me, "You think it's going to get easier - but really it just gets busier."  I can't worry about the future, though...that really overwhelms me.  I have to focus on now...and right now I have to go switch the laundry, clean up the breakfast dishes and take Danika to the potty...

Monday, March 1, 2010

And...my day is shot

I had big plans today.

Okay, not really big plans but I had a lot of things I wanted to do. I was off to a pretty decent start, too. I had all the blogs read in my Google Reader (which I'm still just not happy with how cluttered it became), I had a load of laundry folded, one in the dryer and one in the washer. I had all children fed, dressed and pretty happy. Then...it happened.

It started with a phone call from DH around 11:00.  Something like this:

Him:  "Did you know that deposit check we gave to Comcast cleared?"

Me:  "No.  Maybe that means they will be here sometime this week then?"

Him:  "Maybe I will try to find their number and give them a call later today."

Me:  "Okay, if you can't find it call me and I'll look it up online.  Gotta go...baby's crying"

Him: "I'll call you later, love you."

Me:  "Love you, too"

I then went about the rest of my morning - still in my pajamas (which I rarely change out of on a MONDAY).

About 40 minutes later...

Him:  "I called Comcast."

Me:  "Cool, what did they say?"

Him:  "Well, after I got through all the press '1' for this and '2' for that stuff I got an estimated date and time."

Me:  "Okay, when?"

Him:  "Any time between 12 and 4."

Me:  "Today?"

Him:  "Today."

Me:  "Shit."

Now - I only say that because I was (like I said) still in my pajamas.  There were toys EVERYWHERE.  The kitchen was a mess and I didn't dust the TV stand.  Plus, it was 11:45ish...so, I had no time to waste.

Luckily, my amazing MIL came over and took my 2 "big kids" with her to deliver leftovers from the GIGANTIC, 23 lb turkey she made for dinner last night to Memaw (her mother) and Aunt Mare.  So, I had them out of my hair.

About 10 after 12, the cable guy called and said he'd be here soon.  Of course, right before he got there both babies woke up and needed changed and fed.  Whew...at least he was a pretty nice guy.  He wasn't willing to do too much set up - not that I blame him for not wanting to fool around with my husband's stereo or our wireless router (which had been giving us problems with Verizon).  He was here for about an hour or so and it seems (knock on wood) that everything is working just like it is suppose to be.  Fingers crossed it stays that way!

After he left it took me another 40-45 minutes to get my laptop up and running connected to Comcast - and I even downloaded their FREE Norton!  Yay for free virus protection.

So...now it's off to figure out what the heck I had DH buy chicken thighs for the other day when I sent him to the grocery store.  I'm sure it was some recipe I was looking at...I just can't seem to find it.