Monday, November 29, 2010

Weekend Elf Mischief!

This weekend has been a tough one.  All 4 kids are sick.  We are down to just coughing and sneezing and sniffling...but Friday and Saturday there were also fevers and 1 throwing up.  It was an exhausting weekend.  We still managed to record some memories, though!

We got our tree up - and all the other decorations around the house.  I am planning on writing a blog post and showing you some of my favorites.  :)  We almost went and bought a new tree, though.  I LOVE my pre- lit tree.  Really, I do.  It's beautiful and all of the lights are perfectly placed.  It helps, though, if they all work.  Jerry and I spent the majority of the Steeler game trying to find the burnt out light that was preventing a section of our pre - lit tree from lighting up.  We never found it...can you tell?


Now...on to what Tinsel and Holly were up to this weekend.  Saturday night they found all of my nail polish and decided to paint some nails...


Jerry's painted nails
Nate's painted nails



The one thing I learned from Saturday night's elf mischief was that Nate does NOT like his nails painted.  He bugged me all morning to take it off until I finally got my cotton balls and nail polish remover and got it off for him. 

Last night, the elves decided that they wanted to play with Nate and Danika's blocks. 


Holly in her "Palace"

Tinsel in his "Castle"
Nate and Danika ran downstairs by themselves while I tried to get 15 more minutes of sleep . . . when they came upstairs, I asked Nate what the elves did.  He told me that Holly built a Palace and Tinsel built a Castle.  When I asked him why one was a Palace and the other a Castle he said, "Come on, Mom.  Princesses live in palaces and princes live in castles.  Duh."

So now I know...

Day 28 and 29

Okay...after this post I only have one more post with theses "truths".  It was fun for a while but I'm too excited about other things going on that I want to write about and this is starting to be a bit of a chore.  Here it goes, though, Day 28 and Day 29:

Day 28: What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do? 


If I were pregnant I would be totally panicked and would ask for an immediate ultrasound.  Last time I was pregnant I didn't get an ultrasound until I was 18 weeks pregnant.  So, for the first 18 weeks of my pregnancy I didn't realize there were 2 babies in there and not just 1.  The reasoning for not having an earlier ultrasound was simply that I had been pregnant twice before and if nothing seemed wrong, it wasn't necessary.  I was originally suppose to wait until 24 weeks - but the OB started to notice that I was a bit bigger than I should be...they didn't hear 2 heartbeats or anything...just that I was measuring big.


The chances of me being or getting pregnant are REALLY slim.  I'm not going to say it's impossible - because I know better than that...but I would be REALLY surprised if it did happen.  It wouldn't change things, though.  We'd just be a family of 7 or 8 instead of 6.  :)



Day 29: Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.


I really hope that someday I become a morning person.  I know it's doubtful, but I would get so much more done if I was motivated at 9 am instead of 9 pm.  Maybe, if I ever get a full night's sleep in my bed with just my hubby stealing the sheets, it will happen...


Now, I'm off to do blog post #2 for today...wait until you see what Tinsel and Holly did this weekend!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

More Elf Mischief and Day 27

Okay ~ let's get Day 27 out of the way.  I have to admit that the first 2 to 2 1/2 weeks of this was kind of fun.  Now it's getting to be a bit annoying.  I don't think the questions are as good as the first ones - but I'm going to finish.  Only 3 more to go after today!  Whoo Hoo!


Day 27: What’s the best thing going for you right now?


Obviously, my good looks.  Right?  hehehe  Just kidding.  The best thing going for me right now is my marriage.  It's amazing to feel like you are part of a team and know that, even when the other person is ticked off at you, they still love you.  I won't lie...I think marrying Jerry is the best decision I ever made. 


I also know that a lot of the other things I have going for me are because I married Jerry.  I have some awesome kids...if one of them happens to end up with an amazing talent that makes them lots and lots of money and buys me a brand new house, it's because I married Jerry.  I have my Masters because Jerry encouraged me to go back and finish it.  I have just about everything because he works hard to make sure that his family is provided for ~ he even works on Saturdays...which totally stinks but is just the way it is right now.  :(


Now, on to what those sneaky elves did last night...




The picture was taken from my cell phone, so you have to excuse the quality, but look what Tinsel and Holly did last night!!!  Nate and Danika were thrilled to see that they did such an awesome job coloring this Toy Story 3 picture.  :)


We are having a blast with them - Nate said to me this morning, "Look, Mommy, can you believe it?  They colored my picture!"  


In other news - I've decided to quarantine  my family today.  3 out of 4 are coughing and have runny noses.  1 was puking last night.  All of them look exhausted and sound horrible.  So - we are all staying home in hopes of getting better.  It really stinks because I had so many things planned and a few offers for other things to do, too!  The one that has me most bummed out is that I'm going to end up missing my cousin's wife's baby shower.  :(  I don't want to get anyone sick, though and I'm starting to feel a little tickle in my throat, too.  The only good thing I can think of is that maybe this will mean we will all be healthy at Christmas!  



Friday, November 26, 2010

Meet Tinsel and Holly


I'm not sure how I came across it the first time exactly...but you may remember this post where Nate and Danika asked if we could have some elves visit us for Christmas.  Well...Tinsel and Holly arrived on Thanksgiving morning!  The kids were super excited and have had them with them since then...except at night when they have to put them to "bed" so that they can explore the house at night while the kiddos sleep.



Last night, after an exhausting Thanksgiving...which could be another blog post entirely..., we put Tinsel and Holly back in their sleeping bags and in their bed.  We left out some water and crackers.  We sprinkled them with some magic snow and headed to bed.  We didn't hear a thing but just LOOK what we found them doing when we woke up this morning!


We aren't sure where the other animals came from...we are guessing that Tinsel and Holly may have let them in at night.  Nate's reaction was priceless.  He said, "Look, Mommy, they are playing cards!  They found Daddy's poker chips and they are playing cards!  I think these elves may give us a little trouble!"  hehehe   (If he only knew what they have in mind for the days leading up to Christmas!)

Day 26: Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?

Interesting question...the truth is I have thought about it.  However, I never really seriously thought about it...at least I don't think it was really seriously.  Last summer was a tough one for me emotionally and I felt like staying in bed all the time and wanted everyone to just leave me alone for a few days...but that is probably the extent of me wanting to give up.

As far as what I think this question is REALLY asking - I don't think I would be able to commit suicide.  I can't say that I KNOW I NEVER would - because I can think of a few things that would make me feel like there wasn't a reason to live...but I hope those things would never happen or if they did I would find the strength to pull through them...you can read more about that here.

So...that's it for this question...I'm off to write another post (yes, another post right after I wrote this one) because I don't want to put them together today...I want to keep this depressing post here and make the next one a happy post!  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The "What I'm Thankful For" Post - 2010 and Day 25

So ~ tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  But I'm sure you knew that already.  I have been catching up on some blog reading and decided I had to jump on the bandwagon and write a post about what I'm Thankful For.  Hence, the title of this blog post and the following list of things (all of which are things I am Thankful For - in no particular order...for the most part.)


  • My Husband (You have to scroll to the bottom to read about him ~ if you click on the link, that is)
  • My Children
  • My Parents
  • My in-laws (seriously, I have AWESOME in-laws...and I'm not just sucking up because some of them happen to read my blog now and then)
  • Having a roof over our head (even though I'm hoping it's a different roof when I'm writing next year's "What I'm Thankful For" post)
  • Having food to eat 
  • Nutella (a special thanks to my friend over at What Little Girls are Made Of for introducing me to this through her blog post about it)
  • My job and the wonderful women I work with (I couldn't ask for a better place to work or better people!)
  • My students (I can't tell you how awesome it is to be around 3 and 4 year olds all day!)
  • My cell phone 
  • My computer
  • My TV, DVR and OnDemand (without these things, I would feel more out of touch than I normally do most days)
  • My Blog (it's my creative outlet and helps me feel a little more normal)
  • Speaking of feeling normal, Citalopram and Buproprin
  • Peppermint Mocha Coffee-Mate (although Starbuck's Peppermint Mocha is better...this helps me to feel like it isn't necessary to spend more than $4.00 for a cup of coffee to enjoy it!)
  • Stella, Hot Mama
  • Everyday...I'm thankful for everyday I get to spend with my family and everyday I get to make more memories. 


In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I will be "unplugging" tomorrow, though.  No blogging, no Facebook, no unnecessary texting, no Twitter...I'm going to focus on my family and spend time with them making memories. I'm hoping to take a lot of pictures to share with you when I do plug back in on Friday.

Which brings me to tomorrow's truth -

Day 25:  The Reason You Believe You are Still Alive Today...




No doubt in my mind that they are the reason.

Day 23 and 24

Day 23: Something you wish you had done in your life. 


I wish I had traveled more and to farther away places before I had my kids.  I know that there is still time and a chance that I will travel later in life - but I kind of wish I would have already done it so I could tell my kids about all the wonderful places I went...Jerry and I are already talking about starting a savings account (something out of the way that we only put a little bit here and there in) to pay for a trip to Europe after Dean and David leave for college!  hehehe

Day 24: Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)


This became REALLY difficult for me.  I had it all figured out who I was going to write my letter to ~ and then the playlist got OUT OF CONTROL!   Anyway, here it goes...


Dear Danika,


     I have to tell you the truth...I didn't think I wanted a daughter.  I know that sounds awful but I tell you this because I was wrong.  I am totally willing to admit it.  I couldn't have been more wrong.  I was so nervous that you were going to be like me.  I think that's pretty common with mothers and daughters.  Mothers always want more for the daughters.  I was (and still am) worried that you will end up getting hurt for being too caring (which really sucks) or being overly dramatic like I was when I was younger.  I was the original drama queen ~ so, when daddy tells you to stop being so dramatic, you could probably remind him that you get it honestly...from your mother.


     I thought about all of the different directions I could go with this "playlist".  I thought about how I could make it about being a strong woman - because there are songs about that all over my iPod.  I thought about making it all the sappy songs I love - I'm a total romantic and have more "love" songs than you could listen to in one night.  I also thought about making it tell a story of some sort...like songs I loved when I was little to songs I love today.  I more or less went with that one - to put it simply, this is a mix of songs that make me smile.  Some have a story behind them...some don't.  I hope that they make you smile, too....and maybe will remind you of me.


I love you and I am so happy that you are my daughter...I'm so happy that God knew that I needed a daughter to help me survive all the testosterone around here...I'm so happy that you are who you are and that you amaze me every day!


Love,
Mom


Danika's Playlist (this playlist now exists on my iPod!)


1) Daydream Believer - The Monkeys
2)You Can't Always Get What You Want - The Rolling Stones
3) When You Say Nothing at All - Alison Kraus
4) Time and Time Again - The Counting Crows
5) The Catch - The Cure
6) Friday, I'm in Love - Dryden Mitchell
7) I'll Back You Up - Dave Matthews Band
8) You and Me - Dave Matthews Band
9) I Believe in Love - Dixie Chicks
10) I Cross My Heart - George Straight
11) Hold On - Michael Buble
12) Ex-Girlfriend - No Doubt
13) No One Said it Would Be Easy - Sheryl Crow
14) Tiny Dancer - Elton John
15) No One - Alicia Keys
16) Feel Like Makin' Love - Bad Company
17) You're the One That I Want - Grease Soundtrack
18) Little Moments - Brad Paisley
19)  Love Hurts - Nazareth
20) Love is a Battlefield - Pat Benatar
21) Again - Lenny Kravitz
22)  Somebody - Depeche Mode

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 21 and Day 22

I decided to skip yesterday and do Day 21 and 22 today.  First, because I can.  Second, because the question for Day 21 just didn't seem to be enough to write a whole blog post on...I was going to try ~ but by the time I got around to being able to turn the computer on I was just too tired.  Plus, I didn't want to fall asleep thinking about car accidents - I had a bad enough dream without thinking about them...


Day 21: (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do? 

I don't like this question.  I don't like it because my best friend is my husband and I don't like thinking about him being in a car accident.  If it happened an hour after we had a fight, I would feel horribly guilty - even if I was right and he was wrong (which is always the case, right?  hehehe).  Of course, I would be a wreck and rush to his side - as soon as I took care of the kiddos.

Day 22: Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.

This question is a little tough, too.  I truly believe that everything that I have done has made me into the person I am today with the life I have today - and I'm not sure I would want to chance things being any different.  It's funny because I was reading my friend's husband's blog - Life's Frozen Moments - and I thought about all the times that I look around and try to mentally record what is going on because I don't want to ever forget how happy I am right now.  I don't want to forget what it's like to have a baby that is mine to hold and a little one that comes to me when he/she is upset or happy.  I know the teenage years are going to be different and I will miss these years...maybe I'll have a different answer then. Yesterday, however, I was walking out of the movie theater bathroom with Danika and she was singing and hopping around.  A woman walking behind us said, "Oh honey, treasure these moments."  I told her I'm trying my best to do just that...

If I had to pick something, though, I would probably say that I wish I wouldn't have just gone for the c-section with the twins.  I wish that I would have tried to just be induced and see how it went.  I did the c-section for a few reasons...because David was so much smaller than Dean and he was Frank Breech . . . I also thought that having a c-section would be easier - I am not a big fan of contractions.  To tell you the truth, healing from a c-section sucks.  I think in my mind I thought it would be easy...it wasn't.  So ~ I would probably do that differently...I kind of wish I hadn't had the c-section.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

As promised - Days 18 - 20

Okay...let's get this over with.  If it's one thing I'm not comfortable doing it's talking about religion or politics...I'm not exactly excited to share my views on gay marriage or drugs and alcohol either - you may remember me mentioning I'm super non-confrontational?  That's why.  So, here it goes anyway...it'll be quick and hopefully painless.

Day 18: Your views on gay marriage. 


My views on gay marriage?  I've been thinking about how to put that so that I don't sound like an idiot or like I'm extremely self-centered but it's just not happening so I'll just say it.  It doesn't really matter to me.  I had some gay friends when I was in college.  They were nice.  They were very accepting of me and they were very fun to hang out with.  They were actually a lot nicer than some of the straight people I knew in college.  I would want them to be as happy as they could possibly be...and if getting married would make them happy then I feel that they should be able to get married.  However, I don't currently have any gay friends...and it isn't a pressing issue in my life right now...so, I'm not overly vocal about it.  


I guess when it comes down to it, I would support gay marriage if it were important to someone I cared about.  I don't oppose it - but it isn't really an issue that I am dealing with right now.

Day 19: What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics? 


Isn't it funny that this question follows the gay marriage one?  I mean, there are a lot of people who are members of my church (I'm Roman Catholic) who would be openly opposed to gay marriage.  They would find all the places in the bible that show that man and woman are suppose to marry - no same sex marriages.  Anyway - that is a minor part of my problem with religion right now.  Not gay marriage - just that it doesn't seem to be looking at the changes taking place and changing along with the rest of the world.


Don't get me wrong - I have faith.  I feel an amazing amount of peace when I am at church.  I pray on a daily basis.  I want my children to receive all of their sacraments and be brought up in the Catholic faith.  I just think that things have changed a bit from when the "rules" were set up and that, if the church wants to thrive again, some changes need to be made.  After 13 years of Catholic School, I'm pretty familiar with they whys and whats and hows of the Catholic Church.  I have, however, decided that I will live my life the best I can.  I will think about my family (who God has given to me to take care of and teach how to make it to heaven) and always do what I, in my heart, think is best for them.  


Want an example?  I have a perfect one...it's personal but I don't mind sharing, I guess...I think the Catholic Church needs to reexamine their stance on birth control.  I have 4 children.  4 very young children.  I planned 1 pregnancy...and 2 of them were a blessing but a surprise blessing (one of which actually produced 2 babies!).  I can't afford any more little bundles of joy.  It wouldn't be fair to the ones I already have or to the ones that were on the way.  We are at our limit.  I did what I had to do to make sure that we wouldn't have any more children.  I wasn't happy about it - but I was thinking about my family and being practical.  It is a sin to do what I did . . . but I'm living with that.  I can't imagine that God will hold it against me when my judgement comes as long as I've lived a good life and raised the children he has blessed me with well.  I don't know for sure, but I'd like to think he would understand.  If he doesn't, I know that I did what is best for my family - that's all I can do right now.


Now that I've spilled my guts about religion - I'm skipping politics...mainly because I'm so uninformed it's sad.  I just don't have time to pay attention.  If I have a question...I ask my dad.  He knows everything I need to know and he tells me in a way I can understand.  He's my own personal political search engine.  :)

Day 20: Your views on drugs and alcohol. 


My views on drugs and alcohol can be summed up pretty quickly.  Illegal drugs are bad.  Don't do them.  Legal drugs are good if they are used as directed.  Alcohol can be fun in moderation but too much can lead to an awful morning.  Too much alcohol too often can ruin your life.  Moderation is key.


Okay - there you have it.  Now, I'm off to clean my house for the party tonight!  Nate's grandparents are coming over for wings, pizza and cake!  Should be a good time!

Friday, November 19, 2010

100% True (Love)

Okay - I'm behind on my blog writing.  Tough.  That's exactly why I didn't sign up for NaBloPoMo and only decided I'd do the 30 Days of Truth this month at my own pace...kinda.  However, there is something more important I have to write about today.  So, tomorrow you will hear Days 18 - 20.  You will hear all about my views on Gay Marriage, Religion, Politics and Drugs and Alcohol.  Excited?  I'm not really.  

I am excited about today, though.  Today is my oldest son's 5th birthday.  I've been a mommy for 5 years and I've learned SO much in those 5 years - I've also met some amazing people, too.  The most amazing ones being the 4 little ones that now call me Mommy.  :)

I probably remember the least about Nate's actual birth.  Not only because more time has past since he was born but also because I had no idea what I was doing.  I had gone to the childbirth classes.  I had read book after book on what to expect.  I talked to family and friends.  I watched countless episodes of A Baby Story. None of it prepared me for it.  None of it really got the point across at how much it was going to hurt or how tired I was going to be or how much I was going to want it to just be over.  Nothing could prepare me for how much my life would change, either.  

The second I saw him, I was in love.  The first time they gave him to me to hold . . . I knew that my life had a brand new purpose and meaning.  I had a new priority...a new #1 priority - which is insane to think about.  You go from having all of these things that you have to do on a daily basis to having just one major thing to worry about 24 hours a day.



I worried more with Nate than I did with any of the others.  It isn't that I don't worry when one of them is sick or falls or is acting kind of funny.  I do.  With Nate, though, I had this gripping fear that I was going to either break him somehow or that I was going to cause irreparable damage to him. 

 I also thought that every little thing wrong was a sign of something worse.  If he was too tired to eat, I cried because he was refusing to nurse.  Which meant that  he wasn't going to get enough to eat and he was going to end up in the hospital dehydrated!  If he sighed while sleeping, I was convinced that he was going to stop breathing and I would stay up while he slept (which anyone with a newborn knows is a REALLY bad idea) just to make sure that he was breathing.  Nate got me over all of those things.  He made me realize that babies are a little bit tougher than they look and that I really could take care of one without causing any harm!



I remember feeling slightly nervous that I wasn't being fair to Nate by having Danika so soon after he was born.  He is an amazing big brother, though.  When he was leaving for school this morning, he actually told Danika that it was her turn to play with his new Buzz Lightyear birthday present...until he got home, that is.  :) He is such an awesome kid.


Dear Nate,
  
     I can't believe that you are 5 years old already!  You are so smart that it amazes me.  You are starting to read more and more.  You are starting to actually ask real questions and comprehend the answers.  All the things I learned about in my Early Childhood and Child Development classes, I see you going through them.  (Ask me about scaffolding someday and hopefully, I will remember the answer and tell you what I'm talking about).  
  
   You are also very sensitive.  I remember when you saw me crying at the end of Toy Story 3 and asked me why.  When I told you it was because I was thinking about when you were going to go to college someday, you started crying too and told me that you were never leaving...I wish that were true but I know that you will grow up even more and I really am excited to see the man that you are going to become - just don't rush it, okay?
  
   You have been trying more and more foods and liking them!  You are starting to try all kinds of new things.  This year you started going to The Good Shepard program (church school - as you call it) and you have been telling me about the things that you do there.  You even got excited when I told you that we are planning on getting our butts back to church this Advent season!  

    I want to thank you for all that you do to help me - you really are a help when it comes to the twins and even Danika.  You finally stopped complaining when I ask you to buckle her in when we get into the van.  It's such a big help!  You also make me smile and make me feel loved - which is such a wonderful gift!

    I will never forget how excited you were last night before bed...knowing that today was your birthday.  I will never forget the look on your face when you saw your birthday present this morning.  I will never forget the hug and kiss you gave me after you opened it.  I hope that you have an AMAZING birthday weekend!  I'm so excited to share it with you.

I love you.

Love,
Mommy





Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 17: A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.

I love to read but I am not one of those people who read the same book once a year because they love it so much.  I usually read a book and then move on to the next - I've even been getting rid of the books I've already read because I just don't have the space to keep them around anymore.  I use to use Paperbackswap.com, but I had way too many books hanging around waiting to be requested - so a few months ago I took a few boxes of books to the rummage sale where I work.  I gave a few to friends at work and then donated the rest - I don't miss them at all.

However, there is one book that I won't give away for a few reasons.  It's my copy of the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne - and not only is it a book that I can read more than once, it has a handwritten inscription from my grandmother (who gave me the book) inside!


It's been a while since I opened the book, but I'm sure that I will open it again.  It isn't fiction - which is probably one of the reasons I can go back to it.  It's one of those books that you can read a little bit of and benefit from or read the whole thing and feel inspired.  I also have the movie and the DVD - (well, it's on my iPod).

Did it change my views on something?  You bet.  You can't help but pay closer attention to how you think after you read this book.  You can't help but notice that when you start to worry or feel sorry for yourself that things get worse instead of better but when you are focusing on the positive and trying to be upbeat and happy things seem to stay upbeat and even get better.  Now, of course it isn't ALWAYS that easy - but this book has taught me that you really can accomplish a lot by your attitude and confidence level.  It totally changed my views on how I control my life.

One of my favorite Lord of the Rings quotes is when Gandalf says to Frodo, "All we can do is decide what to do with the time we are given".  I think that pretty much sums up how this book helped me, too.  It made me realize that I can decide how I react and I can decide how I feel and I can decide how I think about things.  It also showed me that like attracts like - so if I decide to be happy, happiness will come.  I've decided to be happy - so we will see.  (I've also decided that I would like to hit the lottery so that I can buy a bigger house with a playroom to hide the toys that overflow into every room in my house - I'll keep you updated and let you know when the check actually shows up!)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 16: Someone or something you definitely could live without.



I love gossip.

I can't imagine that feeling of being out of the loop all the time.  Jerry stopped using Facebook about a year ago.  Just stopped cold turkey.  Canceled his account.  Now ~ he checks my Facebook every once in a while...and of course, I tell him what so-and-so posted as their status or ask him if he heard about this or that.  I can't imagine not having Facebook to keep me up on what is going on with everyone I know, knew and met once at a party.

I hate gossiping, though.  It always makes me feel bad.  It always makes me feel like I did something wrong.  That I did something that someone is going to get mad at me for or that someone will say they heard it from me.  I hate the feeling I get when I see someone that I gossiped about.  I hate the feeling I get right after I say something that I immediately know I shouldn't have said.  I hate gossiping.

So ~ I could live without gossiping.  In fact, I've been trying REALLY hard to not gossip.  I'm going to keep trying to not gossip so that I don't have that feeling in my gut again.  

Day 15: Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.

Wow...I came up with so many answers for this question.  Let me just run down the list of thing I can't live without.


  1. Jerry - over the summer he took 2 trips where he was gone over night.  One of the trips he was gone for 2 nights.  I survived...but barely.  I give single mom's all the credit in the world.  I couldn't imagine doing that every day/night.
  2. Caffeine - When I quite smoking a little under 2 years ago, Jerry suggested that I also quit drinking caffeine.  To which I replied, "Are you crazy?"  I'll admit it.  I drink way too much caffeine.  I actually did try to give it up once - when I was pregnant with Nate - it was horrible.  I had awful headaches and was super tired all the time...but I was pregnant...so, it could have been that, I guess.  I'm not going to try it again to find out, though. 
  3. The internet - it's my link to the outside world.  My television has been taken over by Sprout and Nick Jr.
  4. On-Demand and DVR - It's the only way I get to watch any television shows that I want to watch.  It also rocks when the kids are screaming that they want to watch something that isn't on that exact moment.
  5. My job - I love my children and I love being home with them as much as I am but this summer was a rough one because I didn't have those 2 days out of the house a week.  I have the perfect job!
There you have it - now, there are a lot of other things that I don't want to imagine living without...but these are things that I've tried living without and just couldn't do it.

Menu Plan Monday

So...I plan on doing a second blog post later today (Two in one day!?! What has gotten into me?) about the next "Day" in my 30 Days of Truth but I wanted to post my meal plan today because I actually took the time to plan it out Saturday and did my shopping yesterday!  (Grocery shopping on a Sunday?!? What has gotten into me? - I went super early in the AM so it wasn't too bad)

I also have to tell you that I bought an e-book over the weekend over at Life as Mom.  I think it inspired me to do my meal plan this week because of the really cute print-outs and all the organization stuff in there.  I will say I was kind of disappointed that so many of the pages were calendar pages - but I know I'll use the other planner pages a ton!

Okay - on to this week:



  • Monday - I already have my Turkey Chowder in my slow cooker.  We are also having Caesar Salad (which my kids LOVE for some reason) and some garlic bread.
  • Tuesday - Jerry cooks for the kids on Tuesdays.  I made it simple and told him to just make Pasta.  I'm headed to Mommy Group...so he is on his own!
  • Wednesday - Pizza Roll Up Burritos which I got from Debbi Does Dinner.  I'm not really sure what else we are having...but it's a start.
  • Thursday - I'm making my Meatloaf.  The kids love it.  It's easy and I know they will eat it.  I'm also making mashed potatoes and corn...mmmmm....
  • Friday - Chicken Macaroni Bake this recipe I nabbed from Once a Month Mom's website - I'm still so curious about cooking only once a month but haven't been able to make the time to look into it...which probably means it would be perfect for me!  I'm going to try to do peas and garlic bread with this one, too.  My kids are LOVING garlic bread lately.  :)
  • Saturday and Sunday - we are celebrating Nate's birthday this weekend so it's an anything goes kind of weekend.  I know we are doing pizzas on Saturday but Sunday is up in the air. 
There you have it.

Can't wait to check out some of your Menu Plan Mondays to get ideas for next week!  :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 14: Write a letter to a hero that has let you down.

I resorted to an old high school/college trick I used all the time (which I'm sure is used by others ALL the time, too) to try to answer this because I was having a VERY tough time with it.  First of all...I couldn't think of any of my heroes.  Then, once I did come up with a few I realized that none of them have ever let me down.  I'm pretty picky when it comes to the people I look up to and the people I trust.

I use to be one of those, "Trust them until they don't deserve it" kind of gals...then that got me totally screwed over and I became a "Don't trust anyone until they prove they deserve it" kind of gal.  I fully believe that no one is perfect (myself *ahem* included) so I don't think I have unrealistic expectations for anyone anymore...

So...the old high school/college trick I was talking about...I went to the dictionary.  Dictionary.com that is.  I got the definitions for Hero:

1.
a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.
2.
a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities orhas performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model orideal: He was a local hero when he saved the drowning child.
3.
the principal male character in a story, play, film, etc.
4.
Classical Mythology .
a.
a being of godlike prowess and beneficence who oftencame to be honored as a divinity.
b.
(in the Homeric period) a warrior-chieftain of specialstrength, courage, or ability.
c.
(in later antiquity) an immortal being; demigod.
6.
the bread or roll used in making a hero sandwich.


I've decided to write a letter to hero #5...yes, I'm writing this letter to a sandwich.

Dear Inferior Chicken Cheese Steak,

     I know that it isn't your fault.  I know that I should be writing this letter to the cook who threw you together without knowing that I had already tasted a far superior Chicken Cheese Steak that you could never compare with.  I know that you did your very best - but you were covered with American Cheese, green peppers and onions NOT simply Cheese Whiz.

     It isn't that I didn't enjoy you.  It's just that my expectations were so high.  When I saw you on the menu, I was so excited!  My mind raced back to standing in line at a little dive Cheese Steak place on a corner in Philadelphia while I was doing my first student teacher experience.  I remembered the bullet proof glass that the cooks stood behind.  I remembered the smell of grease and the heat that filled the little "hut" they were cooking in.  I remembered the impatience the man taking my order showed when I needed clarification when he asked, "You want it with or without?"  I anticipated your arrival in a piece of butcher paper wrapped around you, with a piece of foil wrapped around it.

     Instead, you arrived on a white plate with an order of fries and a slice of cantaloupe.  Again, not your fault.  Your chicken was also more chicken chunks instead of shredded or chopped chicken...it just wasn't as juicy or as tender or as delicious.

     Please, don't feel bad.  There have been other Chicken Cheese Steaks that have come after you and failed miserably as well.  It's probably more my fault.  I tried to turn you into something that you aren't - something you just couldn't be...

    Janene

Sorry - lame, I know.  It was either this or write a letter to Frodo telling him how utterly disappointed I was that he didn't just throw the damn ring in the fire when he first had a chance...or how he could have not trusted Sam after all they had been through together!  I almost took that route ~ so consider yourself lucky that you only had to read about a sandwich and not a hobbit...and please, keep reading!  I promise tomorrow's post will be better.  :)