Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mornings at the Nuthouse

I'll be honest with you - mornings are really the only time that this place doesn't feel like a nuthouse. Mornings are my favorite part of the day - even though I've always been far from a morning person. Mornings are calm and everyone is usually content. Even this morning when 3 out of 4 woke up feeling a little icky (runny noses, coughs and little fevers) everyone is pretty happy.

Mornings are when everyone eats.  Breakfast is often the easiest meal of the day - which means no fighting with the kids to eat what I set in front of them.  Morning is also the time when they aren't tired of their toys or "bored" (this is Nate and Danika's new favorite word and it drives me up a wall!).

Mornings are also when I can squeeze in a little time on the computer while drinking a cup of coffee.   So relaxing!  Of course, mornings usually end well before lunch and it is almost like clockwork that around 10:00 am morning turns into early afternoon and the kids are no longer as content as they were and my day has to REALLY start.

Today is going to be a BUSY day.  We have Nate's first T-Ball Scrimmage and I'm taking him (and the 3 others).  Then we have a birthday party for my nephew and FIL.  Tomorrow brings another birthday party at a bowling alley - which the kids are super excited about...so, the weekend will be over before you know it.  I'm going to enjoy my mornings, though - and the next hour or so before we have to start today...



Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Preparing for a month of SLACKERITIS




Of course, if you went to my High School, you would also know this time of year as the time when so many of us developed, Senioritis...basically, why bother because nothing we do in the next month or so is going to change anything (and it's almost summer) so let's get this boat moving!

Yep.  I am currently suffering from this dreaded "spring" affliction.  I'm ready for summer.

It doesn't help matters that I had an entire week and a half off of school or that we had at least 2 decent days to play outside during that time.  It also doesn't help that we've been staying up later and sleeping in longer.  It doesn't help that I started putting away the winter clothes and getting summer stuff out and that I already have a mini countdown going on for how many days I have left to teach.  It also isn't at all helping that I've gone through my calendar for May and have already penciled some things in for June.  I've basically already skipped May - although, it is going to be a SUPER, CRAZY, BUSY month.

I feel like screaming to myself that I need to slow down - but I'm in a hurry to slow down...that's why I'm in a hurry for those Lazy Days of Summer!  I can't wait to be able to take the kids outside for most of the day and not worry about bedtimes or what time we have to wake up.  I can't wait until I can do nothing for a few days and not feel at all like I'm behind or missing something.

I did a lot in the week and a half that I was off but I'm not even close to having everything done that I wanted to get done.  We had fun, though...it was a great preview of what's to come - here's hoping that the next month goes just fast enough for me to get to those Lazy Days but slow enough that I get everything done and don't miss out on the important things along the way!  Now I better get my butt to bed because tomorrow is going to be ROUGH!!!






Monday, April 25, 2011

Another Holiday Bites the Dust

I don't want to jinx myself . . . but this holiday seemed a lot smoother than the last few.

Even if we did end up in the ER with Danika on Easter Sunday at 1 am...it was pretty uneventful (both the ER trip and Easter).  Luckily, this trip to the ER ended with the conclusion that she was having an Allergy Attack but not an Asthma Attack . . . apparently there isn't a whole lot they can do for the post-nasal drip coughing fit she was having that was keeping her and the rest of us awake.  They did slip her some Tylenol with Codeine that helped her to sleep a little and stopped the coughing for a few hours.  It really wasn't as bad as the last time we were at Children's - which really was only a week ago!

So...on to Easter.  We made dips to take to my SIL's house.  We made Middle Easter Hummus (from the Family Feasts for $75 a Week book) - the link I have here is pretty close...the only substitution is that in my book we used Sesame Oil instead of Tahina.  We also made Pumpkin Pie Dip ~ and yes...I know it would have been better at Thanksgiving.  :P  (I linked to the more healthy version - I used cream cheese instead of the Greek Yogurt!)

Everything was VERY yummy!  My SIL even sent me home with some leftovers (Turkey - so there!!!  I wasn't the only one stealing from another holiday!) and I whipped up dinner using them tonight.  Easy...Rice, Turkey, Peas topped with Cheddar Cheese Soup and a cracker crumb topping.  3 out of 4 kids liked it and Jerry ate it - that's a keeper.

So - does it sound like I'm wasting time, yet?  You see...I have to be completely honest - I am wasting time!  I am waiting for some pictures to upload to Snapfish so I can take advantage of this deal...thing is, it is only good until tomorrow!!!

While I'm waiting, though, I'll put some pictures up for you all to see from our festive holiday!

Yummy

Nate Enjoying

Dean

Danika, Nate and Angelina

Danika and the bubbles

David

Tomorrow is going to be a really busy day and then I have to start thinking about work again on Wednesday - time really does fly because I felt like I had so much more time than I really did!  Yikes!

Hope you all have a peaceful and productive Tuesday!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

And the winners are...

#110 ~ Leah Walker

and

#43 ~ Shannon Wieneke

I will be contacting you both shortly about a mailing address so I can mail you out your coupons!

Thanks to everyone who participated.  I was super excited to get a total of 124 entries!  That is awesome!  I also already have my next giveaway in the works . . . and I think it's a pretty good one!  :)

A lot of the laundry tips that I got were good ones and there were a lot of repeats - treat stains right away and don't let the laundry pile up.  Both very valid tips...my favorite tip, though, came from June L.  who said, "Don't bother folding undies. Most people don't show off how wrinkle free they are to the public anyway. :p"  I actually thought about this tip last week as I was folding clean clothes and just threw the undies in a big pile.  I'm not sure how much time it actually saved, but it really did feel awesome!


Thanks again for entering and keep your eyes peeled for the next contest - but next week should be business as usual around here!  :)


Janene

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Because I Don't Like to Complain

I was going to blog yesterday...but I don't like to complain and that was all I felt like doing.  Last week was probably the most stressful week of my life to date.  I know that there are a lot of stressful weeks in my future but last week really had me thinking, "How much more can I take?"  Even with taking a day off and staying home, I was at the end of my rope!

But - I don't want to complain about it on my blog.  After all, who the heck wants to listen to that?  I know what you all want - I do!  How about some pictures of the fun things that happened this weekend?  So much better than hearing me complain about how stressful things were, right?  :)


NAte and Debo  )

Nate and Debo the Clown

Nate and Nicholas

Nate and his buddy, Nicholas

Dean and Mama

Me and Dean

DSC_0124

Nate and Danika with the Bunny

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As close as Dean and David would get

Aunt Anita and Danika

My Aunt Anita with Danika reading a book

Story time

Nate looking at the book, too.

Peek

Love this!

kiss

Big Kisses to you All ~ if you didn't enter my contest yet, you should head on over there and enter :) Pretty please! hehehe

Have a wonderful day and Hoppy Easter if I don't get on to blog again before then!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Another Purex Giveaway - Purex Complete with Zout!

You may remember that I did a review and giveaway for Purex Complete Crystals a while back.   Purex sent me a full bottle of the Free and Clear Purex Complete with Zout to review along with 2 coupons for free bottles to share with my readers!

First, my review.  I mentioned in my review of the crystals that I have to worry about sensitive skin with 2 of my 4 kiddos - I don't react well to certain detergents either...so when they asked if we NEEDED the Free and Clear, I said yes.  I'm really glad I did.  Another problem I have with my laundry is missing stains and I was really, really hoping that the Zout addition to the Free and Clear detergent would be what I needed.

I'll be honest with you, I don't know for sure if the Zout helped with the stains I miss in the wash - but I didn't see any stains when I was folding my clean clothes.  The even better news - both of my sensitive skin kiddos had no reactions to the switch.  Zout uses Triple Enzyme Power (described below - click on it to enlarge) to help with it's stain fighting.


My only issue with this bottle is the cap.  I know I had issues with the dispensing of  the crystals, too.  Maybe it's just me...I'm a little obsessed with how things pour out and get dumped in.  Not that there is anything wrong with the cap - it's fairly standard - but I like something easier to read in a hurry.  My laundry time is precious.  :)

I can't wait to hear how 2 of my readers like their free bottles of this detergent.  Here's how you can be one:

You can get an entry for leaving a separate comment for doing each of the follow:

Subscribe - This is a mandatory step for chances to earn other entries ~ you can subscribe via Google Connect, RSS Feed or Email!  After you subscribe, just leave me a comment telling me how you subscribe for your first entry.  If you already subscribe, just leave me a comment to let me know.  

Extra Entries


1) Leave me a laundry tip - I can use all the help I can get! (One time entry)

2)  Follow me on Twitter (@JKrajci) and let me know you follow with a comment and your Twitter "handle" so I can follow you back!  (One time entry)

3)  Blog or Tweet about this Giveaway (Once Daily for each - up to 2 entries per day)

Remember, leave a separate comment for each and I will use random.org and TRY to add a picture of the winning numbers this time (but I'm not making any promises because I'm still not sure how to do that...)

You have until 11:59 EST on Saturday, April 23rd to enter!

Thanks and Good Luck!

Disclaimer: Purex Insiders provided me with this free product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. I received no monies for this post. The opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine!






If you are interested in becoming a Purex Insider go HERE.  

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Working Mom Stays Home

I work part-time out of the house.  I'm pretty sure that I have mentioned this before.  I'm a preschool teacher.  I teach 3 and 4 year-olds.  I love my job.  I love the women I work with.  I love the kids in my classes.  I love that it's only 2 days a week and I get to spend the rest of the week with my babies.

This week, however, it hasn't been like that.  I can't tell you how insane this week has been.  ER all day on Sunday...PCP visit with Danika Monday morning...Funeral home all day on Monday...Funeral on Tuesday...Work all day on Wednesday - even the evening for the Art Show.  So, of course, I had some pretty unhappy babies.  Guess what, though -  They aren't unhappy today.



Growing up I didn't miss a lot of school.  That isn't to say that I NEVER missed school - but I didn't stay home unless I was really sick.  The rule was - if you miss school then you aren't allowed to do anything in the evening.  If you missed on a Friday, you were stuck in the house for the entire weekend!  So, I tried not to miss much school.  I don't think there was ever a year when I had perfect attendance, but we were never going to get a phone call from a truancy officer.

I didn't realize it at the time (although I should have because my dad always said, "I have to go to work if I'm sick or not - you should go to school") but my parents were setting me up to have a good work ethic.  I very rarely take days off from work.  When I taught 5 days a week, I never used all my days.  Now that I teach only 2 days a week, I still have days left at the end of the year to use up!

Today, I used one of those days.  I swear that God was sending me multiple signs that I needed to take today off.

First, last week I happened to ask how many days I had left.  I had 2.  I scheduled a day off in May but decided that I would just lose the other day...I didn't have time to take another day off.

I already mentioned the crazy week that I have had so far.  I'm tired and really missing my babies.  I mentioned to my "boss" yesterday that I was missing them because I had been away from them so much and was already thinking about all the time I was going to spend away from them up until Sunday.

Then, my MIL (who watches my babies on Thurs.) had a filling fall out!  She is headed to the dentist today to get that fixed and the twins were going to stay with my FIL until she got back.  My FIL is totally capable to watching the boys for a short period of time - plus, my SIL was probably going to show up at some point, too.  They would have been fine...but, David had a fever last night and coughed a lot all night and had a fever this morning...so, I was a little nervous about leaving him with my FIL because I could see him screaming for 2 hours and my FIL not being able to calm him down and losing it.   Probably wouldn't have happened. . . but I would have worried about it the whole afternoon.

I mentioned this to my "boss" last night when I was leaving the Art Show and she said that it would be no big deal if I took today off and took care of my baby.  (Of course, she already knew I was missing them)  She assured me that they could handle things without me - which I never doubted but was happy to hear!

So, I took the day off.  I feel a little bit guilty - because that is how I was raised - but I look at my babies, happy even though they are coughing, and I know that I did the right thing.  They need this day this week.  I need this day this week. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

How I Spent My Sunday

First of all, thank you all for your kind thoughts and words about the loss of Memaw K.  My husband and I both truly appreciate them.  Tomorrow we will go to the funeral home and the funeral will be on Tuesday morning.

I had planned on getting stuff done today because the weather was finally suppose to be nice and I figured that Jerry could take the "big kids" outside while I entertained the little guys with my dusting moves.  However, life had other plans for us - I'm learning quickly that it usually does.


On Saturday, my mom and dad took Nate, Danika and their cousin, Angelina, to the circus.  They had a blast.  They LOVED seeing all the animals and Spiderman was even there!  They even had a chance to ride a pony before they left.  They came home with toys, pictures and cotton candy!  Unfortunately, Danika also came home with a wheeze in her chest and an annoying cough.  She's had coughs like that before but this one seemed worse than all the others.  We watched her overnight and when she woke up with the wheeze still there, we called her PCP and she sent us down to Children's Hospital.

Dankia making faces at me in the waiting room at Children's
Smiling from the other side of the bubble wall
Every time that Jerry and I have gone to Children's (this was the 3rd time to the ER) we always feel like they are better as soon as we walk in the door.  I mean, this doesn't look like a child who is breathing funny, does it?  So we were worried we had made the trip for nothing but also kind of relieved that it may mean a short visit!  Wrong.

She didn't have a fever but her blood pressure wasn't all that great and when the doctor listened to her breathing she commented, "Yep, she has a wheeze.  Let's get her a breathing treatment.  It doesn't sound too bad so I think one treatment and you will be able to leave."  .

I'm pretty sure I'm going to ask all doctors from now on not to give me a time frame unless I specifically ask for one because 2 breathing treatments, 2 doses of steroids, 1 dose of zofran and quite a few little buckets dumped into the sink and we were still there.

How cute is this dinosaur mask?  She loved it the first time - not so much the second.
We ended up spending about 8 hours in the ER.  Danika and I spent 8 hours in the ER but Jerry came home to take care of the rest of the kiddos.  Luckily, a good friend of ours came down to pick him up.  Once the doctor started using the words "hour" and "then we will see", I told Jerry to try to find someone to come and pick him up.  I had a feeling we were in for a longer day than we expected.

To be honest with you, we would have been able to leave earlier but she kept getting sick and the doctor was afraid she would dehydrate and we would end up having to come back down.  The IV scared the crap out of me but she was a real trooper.

She was also a trooper when she puked in her little pink pan on the way home in the car and held the pan until I could take it and dump it.  Then she puked during our stop at the grocery store to get her some clear liquids and me a salad for dinner.  She hasn't puked since then, though (knock on wood).  They didn't give me an official diagnosis but they think it is asthma (which I know very little about)

Now I have to make a doctor's appointment tomorrow and wake her up every 4 hours for a dose of her medicine...sigh...it's going to be a long night and a longer week!  But I have to admit it was kind of nice spending time with my girl today...even if she wasn't feeling great.  :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Almost 6 months ago

In a few short days (on the 11th) it will be 6 months since Memaw left us.   I remember waiting for the call that she had passed on and I remember the mixed emotions of relief and sadness that came with the call.

We sat waiting for a similar call last night and it came around 12:45 AM...Jerry's dad's mother who we also call Memaw, had passed away.  We knew that she wasn't doing well from a phone call we received in the early afternoon...so, we waited.  Every time the phone rang we jumped a little.  When the call finally came we felt that similar relief and sadness that we had 6 months ago.

I will be completely honest with you and say that I did not know Memaw K as well as I knew Memaw N.  I know that the first time I met Memaw K was at a family reunion.   I remember her telling me about a movie she watched when she was younger that she LOVED.  She told me that the main female character's name was Janene and that was why she would never forget my name.  She said that she actually stayed and watched the movie twice and her mother was so angry with her because she didn't know where she was all day.  She told me that same story several times in the 13 years I've been with Jerry and for the life of me I can't remember the name of the movie...

I also remember her telling me about going to Hawaii with her husband.  Jerry would cut the grass at her house and a few times I took the kids out there to see her.  She told me all about how wonderful Hawaii was and that Jerry and I should definitely make the time to go someday.

One of the funniest memories I have of Memaw is the second time I met her...she really didn't know who I was and I was talking to her daughter about the wedding.  Memaw asked, "When are you getting married, honey?"  I told her I was getting married in June and she replied with, "My grandson is getting married in June!"  I chuckled and told her, "I hope so because that's who I'm planning on marrying!"

We are preparing for a long, sad week.  I really hate this time in before the whole viewing and funeral.. When you are there, you know how to act but going on with life as usual while you are waiting for that time just seems wrong.  It seems like there should be something else to do or that you should be able to just stop everything from needing done.  I know that I'll be busy finding babysitters and picking out clothes and making sure we are where we need to be doing what we are suppose to be doing.  In the meantime, I'll be taking care of little ones that wouldn't be here if this woman hadn't lived the life that she lived.  I think that's probably a pretty good way to honor and remember her.


Danika and the Memaws

This is a pic of Danika with both Memaws - Memaw K on the left and Memaw N on the right.  I just LOVE this picture.

Friday, April 8, 2011

What a beautiful day - Yesterday, that is

So, I wake up this morning and it's raining and that chill is back in the air.  It's not FREEZING and it's not SNOWING but it doesn't smell like Spring like it did yesterday.  Yesterday was beautiful.  Yesterday was wonderful.  Yesterday was AWESOME!  (A lot for today to compete with, huh?)

Here are some pictures of the kiddos enjoying yesterday:


Riding


Dean


Pants on the ground...


David Jerome

You know the saying, "Grandchildren are your reward for not killing your children"? I think they are enjoying it! :)

Nana and Pap Pap

It was a great day.

Today, however, it is really gray (or grey - which I never did figure out the difference) outside.  I know we won't be going out.  I also know that I have a TON of things to do inside and I should take advantage of it.  So . . . I'm banning myself from the internet today.  No, seriously...I'm putting the laptop away and I'm going to do stuff around the house and try to keep the kids happy.  It should be interesting to see how it goes.  Of course, I still have my BlackBerry.  I think that will make it a little easier...at least I won't have that feeling like I'm missing out.  My internet dependency (addiction) is a topic for a whole other post.  Right now, I'm signing off for the rest of the day!

Have a great Friday!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

SITS Photo Challenge - Meatloaf "Cupcakes"

I was so excited when I saw the SITS site was doing a photo "workshop" of sorts because I recently got a new camera and I am all about learning how to use it to take great pictures. I LOVE the camera (it is a Nikon D5000) and I LOVE a lot of the pictures I am taking with it. I also know, though, that there are a lot of things that I don't know how to do or could do better if I learned more about photography.

I started using Picnik shortly after getting my camera. To tell you the truth, Picnik came from Picasa because they have an option to edit your photo in Picnik if you use Picasa. I tried it and I LOVE Picnik. It's user friendly and has a lot of really fun functions. I did spring for the "Premium" membership because I knew that it would bother me to not be able to use all of the features. I think it was worth it.

So - yesterday's SITS' post was about Composition and Perspective. I enjoyed reading about both and also trying some out...I wasn't happy with my pictures, though. Yesterday just wasn't one of those days where the kids let me take a lot of pictures without them crawling all over me. I did take a few of them from different angles.




However, today we were challenged to create a photo collage. I know that we were only suppose to pick our top 3 photos and edit and all...but, like I said, yesterday was a tough picture taking day for me. So, I just thought I would share with you what I did get pictures of - Meatloaf "Cupcakes". :)

Picnik collage by JMKrajci

Picnik collage, a photo by JMKrajci on Flickr.

Basically - you make meatloaf the way you normally would. Then you fill a muffin tin 1/2 way with the mixture. I added a little "special sauce" then cheese. Then, I put the top of the cupcakes. I cooked them in a 350 oven for about 40 minutes. "Iced" them with some mashed potatoes and added yellow corn "sprinkles". The kids LOVED them! Danika even ate it like she normally eats cupcakes...she licked the icing off first!

Monday, April 4, 2011

He may be the one. . .

Jerry and I talked a lot about having a third baby before we were surprised with a pregnancy that gave us #3 and #4!  One of the things we talked about was pushing our luck.  We were worried that having more babies would be pushing our luck because the two we had were (and still are) healthy and happy.  They were, for the most part, pretty easy babies and we had them right where we wanted them before I became pregnant again.  Of course, I now know that having them right where you want them only lasts for a very short period of time anyway - so, enjoy it when it happens!

The more I think about the fact that we even considered that we were pushing our luck by having more babies, the more I feel kind of selfish.  However, I totally think that pregnancy #3 gave us the one we are going to have trouble with!


My Deano.  Seriously, I have probably commented about 25 times that, "None of my other kids did/do that!" when I talk about Dean.  Dean is ALL boy.  He is so rough and he's only 19 months old.  It's really, really tough to discipline a 19 month old.  I'm finding it difficult, at least.  He doesn't seem to understand the WHY when I say, "Don't bite your sister," or "Stop pulling your brother's hair," or "You can't hit the TV with that hockey stick!"  I get it...he's only 19 months old...but he is DRIVING ME CRAZY!!

I started reading, "Bringing Up Boys" by Dr. James Dobson a few years ago but never finished it.  I found out I was having Danika and switched to all of my concerns about raising a girl.  Now, I'm back to reading the book.  I haven't read a lot of it, but it is already scaring me!  The things that boys do!  I can see Dean (and even David - although he is more cautious) doing some of these.  

He is VERY reactive and jumps before looking.  He ScReAmS and throws a fit any time he doesn't get his way.  He actually bangs his head on the ground!  He swings, at whatever or whoever is near him, wildly when he is upset.  He shoves food in his face and grabs things off of whoever has them when he wants them.

He also runs to anyone who comes into the house and immediately hugs them.  He smiles at people when they are leaving, waves "bye" and blows them a kiss.  He did this to EVERYONE we passed in the mall on our walk last week!  I loved watching all the older women just light up as they blew kisses back to him.  He gives the best hugs and already loves to sing songs - I love listening to him sing through the monitor in the morning.  He gives me big, sloppy kisses and will pat my back gently when I snuggle with him.

I'm just at a loss on how to teach him to be gentle more often.  I don't want to bite him when he bites me to teach him a lesson.  I don't want to pull his hair when he pulls his brother's hair to show him it hurts.  Any other suggestions would be welcome.  I'm already worried I'm raising a bully and I'm hell bent on that NOT happening!  I have a feeling this is going to be the one...he's going to keep me on my toes, for sure!



Saturday, April 2, 2011

I will ALWAYS think of Bill

I can't help it. Any time I make a cake I sing the , "Dad is great. Give us the Chocolate Cake." song. Like the WHOLE time I am making the cake. Then some more when I am eating the cake. And when I'm wrapping up the leftovers, I think about the fact that I can eat Chocolate Cake for breakfast and no one will say anything to me.

Yesterday, I made this cake:



My birthday isn't until Wednesday.  We weren't celebrating anything .  But man, oh, man did the chocolate taste yummy.  The kids all thought so, too!



You know what, though - they didn't want any for breakfast.  Silly kids.  I was totally going to give them chocolate cake for breakfast and teach them the song (but substitute Mom for Dad) and we were going to laugh and giggle and have a sugar rush first thing this morning.  But noooo....my kids wanted bananas and flapjacks.  So, I gave them all bananas and microwaved some pancakes.  Then I sat my butt down with a big piece of chocolate cake and sang quietly to myself, "I am great...eating the chocolate cake."

It was still really yummy - and tasted delicious with my Swiss Chocolate Almond coffee.  :)

Friday, April 1, 2011

JMKrajci's photostream

Guess who is back on Flickr? It's been a while since I used Flicker for photo sharing. See? These are the last pictures I posted.
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Part of the reason is because I use Facebook for so much of my photo sharing. However, I like keeping my FB profile private ~ so, I thought that sharing photos on Flicker would be a way to share pictures with people that I don't want to have access to my FB or who don't do FB - like my husband! :)

Let me know if you use Flicker and how you use it - I'd love to see your pictures, too!