Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Story of the Queen and the Gas Station

There once was a queen, we'll call her Kristy, who desperately needed to fill her van with gas. She was so busy driving Sage to and from Vacation Bible School that she kept forgetting. It was many, many miles after the little ding had donged to remind her to get gas.

Conveniently, there is a gas station right across the street from Kristy's house. Gas is always higher there but it seemed to make sense to get it on the way instead of driving out of the way to get it.

She quickly pulled in to the empty pump and reached for her wallet to pay at the pump. Magic fairies (gas station attendants) came out and were all ready to fill the gas tank for her. She had pulled in to the full service side (who knew those still existed?). Well, since Kristy is pregnant, she decided she would treat herself to full service gas and not stand out in the hot, Houston heat to pump her gas. The magic fairies swiped her card and she sat quite comfortably inside the van while they checked the air in the tires and Kristy thought "Oh and I'm saving my husband some time, he mentioned that needed to be done!" and then while they washed her windows and checked the fluid levels in the van.

When the gas was finished, Kristy dutifully filled out the notebook that is kept in the van to keep track of mileage. She wrote 17 gallons of gas at $4.02. She looked at her receipt and thought "Wow! $85 for gas! That is the most I have paid yet!"

Kristy drove happily home.

That night, she mentioned to her husband how expensive gas was today. "17 gallons for $85, it was $4 a gallon!" Her sweet husband looked at her questioningly and asked her to repeat what she said. She responded "I know, I could hardly believe it either." She had told him about the full service she treated herself to by mistake and then told him how now he wouldn't have to check the air in the tires because that nice man stood out in the 100 degree weather and did it. He said "Babe, you paid $5 a gallon for gas!"

Kristy rushed to get her pocketbook and check the receipt. Sure enough, $5.02 had been charged. Her husband, anxious to right this wrong charge called the station immediately, "Yes, how much do you add on for full service? A dollar, okay thank you."

Kristy profusely started apologizing. That sweet husband, just chuckled and said don't do it again and then of course asked if she would write it up for the blog.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Leisure Time

I am curious, how much time do you stay at home moms or work at home moms get away from the kids? Let's put it in hours per week, kay?

On average, I probably get an hour or two away from the kids per week. And those times would include grocery shopping without kids, not just time for me to go do something.

This past weekend, it had been too long. I needed time away, bad! Even Drew told me I needed to get away. He might have had selfish reasons because I wasn't very fun to be around, for him. I might have been a tad bit grouchy. And when I say tad bit, I really mean, pretty grouchy, daggers thrown his direction every time he spoke.

Sunday afternoon, I said I am leaving, don't call me unless one of the boys is bleeding or puking. As I walked out the door, he asked Sage if he had any scabs he could pick, ha ha.

Since I don't really know anyone yet and this was a bit last minute, I went to the mall by myself. As I circled the parking lot looking for a spot, I realized this might not have been the best choice. The mall is very annoyingly crowded on the weekends and I generally try to avoid it. But then I decided that I don't have kids with me, so I will take it as a people watching time and take my time. I only had a couple of goals. 1) New foundation since mine was a bit too light. 2) A new undergarment. 3) Get my eyebrows threaded. I had 4 hours until the mall closed, certainly, I will be home in about two.

First stop, Sephora. A lady? girl? woman? what do you call a woman in her mid-twenties? Anyway, I told her I wanted a light coverage foundation. She put something on me, I told her it felt wet and like I needed to wipe it off. She put the finishing powder on me. I told her I looked like my face was blank and I didn't like it. I like my face to look natural, I actually like my face. I had originally told her I didn't want Bare Minerals but I was wrong. I bought the shade darker than what I had at home, so now I own light and fairly light. Yes, I am pale, thank you. I also ended up buying blush (I had been using some free stuff that I didn't really like), some eyeshadow, lip gloss and lip liner. I tell you all this because it is a big deal to me. I do not normally go out and buy make up for myself with colors and techniques learned how to apply from a professional. I buy one piece at a time, usually the cheapest and then I just copy what I like on others. It isn't the best way to buy make up because I end up with stuff that doesn't look good on me, but on my friend.

Second stop, Starbucks for a java chip frapaccino. The line was long, I was scouring for a comfy seat. As I walked away form placing my order, I saw a comfy chair open. I raced over and sank down. Apparently, I took an old woman's seat. I am not sure how it went down, but she was standing several feet away adding something to her iced coffee and she scowled at me. When she was done, she came over and said to the lady in the comfy chair next to me, "Sorry, I made you move, I guess someone took it anyway." Glared at me again and went and sat in a wooden chair. I wasn't sure what to do so I just kept sitting. And then consoled myself that hey, I'm pregnant, I deserve a comfy chair! And left my purse sitting on the seat while I picked up my drink so no one stole the comfy chair from me!

Third stop, to get my eyebrows threaded. Now, I have never done this before. I have had my eyebrows waxed in a salon a couple times, but honestly, I have been doing it at home and I don't do it often enough. I had seen this booth in the mall and it tweaked my interest. It said it doesn't hurt as badly as waxing and the hair grows back finer. And, eyebrows, $10. I had to wait while she did another customer, whom I noticed wiping tears from her eyes. I told myself to be brave. I found the picture from the chart that I would show her what I wanted mine to look like. She sat me down and just started threading. And she literally used thread. White thread that she paid maybe .88 cents for from Wal-Mart. She tied a knot in it and I don't know, wrapped the thread around the hair or something and started pulling. I felt my eyebrows dropping on to my face. She didn't ask about a shape but I wasn't worried. Then she told me to hold above my eyebrow and pull it up while pulling below my eyebrow down. (It's interactive) She asked if it was my first time and I chuckled and said how could you tell. I thought it was rhetorical since she just had to tell me twice how to hold my face for her, but apparently, it wasn't since she answered because you don't know how to hold your face. It did hurt a little and I was wiping tears from my eyes too since they watered. And, it really was only $10 for both eyebrows, I had myself convinced it was going to be $10 per eyebrow.

It turned out great! I am so glad that I got it done and feel like a whole new woman. Between getting my eyebrows threaded and new make up, I felt really good. I still have eyebrows, but they are brows with a shape. I look like a girl. Even Drew is shocked by how much it changed the way I look. And he really likes it. I believe his comment later that night was something about how bushy my eyebrows were in our wedding picture. He kids. But seriously, a vast improvement.

Now, if I could just get someone to buy me a new wardrobe...

This is too long, the last stop was Dillards so I could get some new undergarments (a strapless bra, if you must know) and that is all you get to know about that.

The day was quite a success, I was at the mall from 2 - 6:30. Yes, the mall closes at 6 but the Target that anchors it stays open until 9 on Sundays.

I need to do this more often as I am a better mommy this week for it and a better wife. Next time, it would be fun to do something with a friend!

Monday, July 28, 2008

MckMama

I found a blog. Named My Charming Kids. I was intrigued by her cute kids, the fact that there were a lot of similarities in us, as I read her About Me and the fact that we are both due around the same time. She has a pretty strong gut feeling that she is having her third boy. Another similarity. Although, she has two boys and a girl already.

Her baby has almost complete heart block. The atria is not getting the message to the ventricles to pump the blood to his body.

Read her blog here

She is a Christian and trusts God completely but she is asking for prayer. Prayer that she and her husband would cling to Jesus. Prayers for the doctors for wisdom, prayers that the baby's ventricles will start beating on their own.

Lord, I lift up the MckFamily. I pray that mama and dada will cling to you, will look to you for comfort and guidance. Thank you that they trust you, Lord. Thank you that you are forming MckMuffin, Lord, I pray for his little heart, I pray that the ventricles will pump blood to his little body. I pray for the doctors. I pray that you will guide them, give them wisdom. I pray that all glory, honor and praise will go to you. Lord, my heart hurts for them, my head doesn't understand but I know you hold us all in your hands. Thank you that we can trust you to take care of us.

Home is Where the Heart is


(Our family in front of our old house in our old city, right before we moved)


That saying makes sense to me until I move. Then it is so confusing to me. I want to go home but can't figure out where home would be. And if I don't know where home is, where is my heart? And when I think about someplace being my home, what makes it my home?

Familiar people, landmarks, restaurants, church.

We've lived here 6 weeks now so I see familiar landmarks. The hospital that is a mile from our house with the "ugly hat" on it, the mall (grin), grocery stores, buildings are always in the same spot so they quickly become familiar.

There are some familiar people that I see around church and in our neighborhood. But I have realized that I am probably not familiar to them. I am hyper aware of people around me because I am constantly looking at people and wondering if they would be my friend or what they are like, stories about these people go through my mind all day.

We have made ourselves familiar with some restaurants. Chick-fil-A and Sams Deli being our family favorites.

Our church is becoming more familiar. Although, we aren't entirely positive it is the church for us. There isn't anything wrong with it, it's just big.

The familiar aspects are here, mostly, but it still doesn't feel like home. What will make it feel like home?

Time.

And that, is the hardest part. It just takes time to make this feel like home and make me want to make my home and heart here.

I can't will time to move faster so I feel at home and know where my heart is. I can't make time slow down so I will enjoy every new day that I live here.

Some days feel good, it starts to feel like home. And some days are hard and leave me wondering where home is and what it would look like in a different city. Admittedly, I have more hard days than good days lately but in time, that will change. I will have more good days when I know this is home and I will embrace life here, the lizards, the cockroaches, the many spiders and bugs that I kill on a daily basis, the incredibly beautiful days, the hot weather, the driving everywhere, not having family close, finding a babysitter for every little thing, and the variety and plethora of shopping.

It isn't easy moving to a new city, away from family and friends but there are rewards too. I'm just not sure I can pinpoint those quite yet.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Must Read

Blink

I pray my heart can be as sensitive to the Spirit's voice. I pray my faith, my love will deepen. I pray that your heart will be open.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Decorating Derangement

I have always been nervous to decorate my home. Luckily, in the past, we weren't planning on living somewhere very long and we rented so nothing was permanent! And we had no money so decorating was a term very loosely used in our world. It was more like, do we have some frames that we could hang some pictures we took on some of our walls, maybe above the free floral couch and massive black leather chair?

But now, this is our house. We are paying the mortgage every month. It belongs to us. Which makes Drew want to put money towards things that will make our house very efficient like a new water heater and windows. But, I want to decorate.

Except, I don't. I'm scared. I have trouble finishing a room. And that is why we don't have one room finished. Well, there are several reasons. I also don't want to take the two boys to Hobby Lobby to see what they have that I can decorate with, our living room is already spewing of Ikea and Target hasn't caught my eye with anything lately.

Picking paint colors was hard enough now I have to figure out something to hang on the wall?!

And we desperately need throw pillows for our couch. We have light blue walls in the living room and one shade bluer in the dining and kitchen. I would love to pull in different colors like green, but am unsure of how to go about doing that. Do I have to find a pillow that contains blue and green? Or can I go with just green?

And the new baby/guest room is causing some angst in my life. I refuse to paint it blue. They boys have a blue room by default of us purchasing too bright blue for a living room paint. I will not paint another room blue. I would like to paint it green. But, I would like a little bit of floral in there because I am a girl and it seems like the guest room would be a good place for this. But, do I need to remind you that it is also going to be home to a boy? I found this bedspread for the queen bed and yes I would buy that pillowcase and then this crib spread and bumper and skirt in bright green, not pink but my other dilemma is that we are painting our room green so upstairs we will have 2 green bedrooms a blue bedroom and a blue bathroom. Are there rules against using only 2 colors in your house?

And I kind of want to paint our half bath downstairs orange. Can I do that? Did I mention it has a black toilet?

And what color do we paint our entry and hallway?! I was thinking a light gray.

Help! Send blogs or links to things you like and would look good in my home, ideas, give me something internet!

And, I promise pictures if you promise to help.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wordless Wednessday: My View

Our walk to the swimming pool:


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Growing Pains

Have you heard all the hype about BPA leaching from bottles, pacifiers and such into our children?

I decided to try to curb Kolby's love for his MAM passy which apparently is full of BPA by buying Gerber Nuk classics which I was pretty sure weren't BPA infected.

Here is the result:



This was a couple months ago before we moved.

Last weekend we visited some friends in Austin. I took one passy. I knew I only took one and I just decided I would be careful. Well, the second night, I couldn't find it in our room anywhere. I know it is there somewhere because he used it for his nap that afternoon. He hadn't taken a nap or gone to bed without a passy in about 2 years and 3.5 months, yes, basically his whole life. We told him we couldn't find his passy and he would just have to sleep without it. I anticipated a hard time falling asleep and possibly lots of waking up in the night.

Nothing. Not one cry.

When we got home, I not so secretively stashed the passies laying around in a drawer and decided to see what happened.

Again, nothing. He never asked for one or cried for one or woke up wanting one. It made me kind of sad.

One night, I noticed his green blankie laying on the floor and said to Drew "Didn't you give him his blankie?!" (the other comfort item he hasn't slept without) Drew said "Nope." I ran it into his room where he was fast asleep. Without his blankie. I tucked it in right next to him.

Mommy's not ready for him to give up his blankie. I mourn the loss of the passy but the blankie I will push until he goes to over night camp.

And then I'll secretly pack it in his suitcase.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Why you should bolt the dresser to the wall

The other day, Friday to be exact, I was in my bathroom about to get dressed and I had sent Sage to his room to get a pair of socks. We needed to leave for VBS in about thirty minutes.

I hear a loud crash and then a pitiful "Mamma!"

I run to Sage's room and see the dresser laying on the floor and blonde hair peaking out the top.

"Sage!" I yell. "I'm here, I'm here. Oh, Lord help me lift this!"

I lift it up and as I shut the drawers, I ask "Were you climbing on the dresser?" He says no, he was looking in all the drawers to find his socks. Every. single. drawer. was open.

I sit down beside him, and see no visible markings. He is crying, we are both scared. My mind is racing, I need to put on clothes, should we go to the ER, I should call Drew, I'll put Kolby in the stroller to go in the ER so I can buckle him and keep him safe, I can't believe this happened.

He is complaining of his shoulder/arm hurting so I make him move them both in all directions. Then I see his eye. He has a cut diagonally under his eye and on his forheard.



He won't stop crying so I decide to give him Tylenol in case he has a headache. And then I break out the real medicine. Starburst. Finally, starburst calms him down. I get dressed and we rush to VBS. He told me he didn't want to go anymore because he got hurt.

We get there and he turns to me, smiles, waves and says "Bye!"

Later, I noticed his lip too.



Can you see the blue stuff on his bottom lip? It's not food. It appears to be a bruise or a blood blister.

And the shoulder he complained of? Friday night, I gave him a bath and he has a pretty big bruise on his shoulder along with small cuts. I felt so bad for him.

After I lifted the dresser off him, I couldn't move it back towards the wall. Drew tried moving it that night and couldn't do it either. It is amazing the strength God will give mothers when they need it! I got the things to bolt it to the wall, it was supposed to get done this weekend, but hopefully tonight.

The cuts will heal, the bruise will fade, but my memory will last. It was the scariest thing yet. I wonder how long it will be until our first ER trip?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Anyone wanna buy a house? *Update


That, my friends is a lizard. A lizard in my house. My house. Did I mention it was in my house?! I kind of want to move. Anyone know of a house in Texas that doesn't have lizards that come in?

We live in a beautiful neighborhood with loads of trees, green and luscious it even has a pond! But, I have found some drawbacks. Mosquitoes being at the top. And bugs coming in a close second. I think a lizard in my house just might put me over the top. Can you tell how tiny it was? I was standing on a chair.

I think I may have seen it upstairs first. Is that possible? I had taken a shower and come out of the bathroom into our dark bedroom. And saw what I thought was a bug. I yelled for Drew not caring that the boys could hear me (they were in bed). Kolby even started yelling "Dew, Dew!" It moved so fast but I dared to take my eye off it so I could yell down the stairs. By the time Drew came up, it was no where to be found. Out of sight, out of mind. Fast forward a couple of hours. Drew and I are getting ready to go to bed, I don't even remember what I was doing, putting dishes away and Drew was shutting the blinds. All of the sudden, I saw movement. Fast, quick movement. We spotted Lizzie's baby (scroll down to June 30 to meet Lizzie). And I was trying not to think about her having babies!

What do we do?! Call an exterminator?



Here is Drew ushering the little guy safely out of our house. I have to confess for Drew that he might have been a little scared of the little guy too. I'm sure he won't mind me telling you that! However, he got over it much quicker than I did as he escorted him out and I stayed on the chair!

***Update: He came back tonight. He slithered in as I slithered out to get the stroller to go on our bike/walk. Drew saw him come in and he slithered right into our front closet which happens to have quite a few boxes still. No more sightings yet. Julia's comment helps a little but I still don't love the idea of little lizards in my house!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Here's How it Went Down

Sage's birthday was Monday. 4 years old! I can't believe it but I'm not going to get into that here, that is for his birthday book (a journal we write in for each of the boys birthdays or "around" there birthday or sometime in the year that they were that age).

We have known since last year that we wanted to get him a bike. He was ready last year but we were living in MN with Drew's parents and had only our tiny Saturn to get all of us and all our things back and forth from CT for the summer. So, we decided that 4 was the age. The age he would get a bike for his birthday.

You might expect my husband, the planner, to have a spreadsheet of which bike would be the best and most cost effective for Sage's birthday. However, no, he didn't. One night, we looked online, found this beauty and thought we were set. It seemed a good price point, a good brand so we can pass it down and we thought we would just pop right in to Target and pick that bad boy up. We did do a little research and took him to a bike store and made sure we knew which size to buy.

So, on Sunday, the day before his birthday at roughly 7pm, I popped over to Target. Um, that 16 inch Schwinn bike? Yeah, not there. I called Drew who checked on line and saw this sentence "Usually ships within 3 to 5 days
This item is available online, but is not available in stores." I was pretty frustrated with ourselves for being so darylic about the whole birthday bike thing. I didn't want to just give him a picture and say look for it to be delivered sometime in the next year!

And then we found out that shipping was $35 roughly half the cost of the bike. Done deal. Not gonna do it.

So, the next day, (the day of his birthday)Kolby and I drop him off at Vacation Bible School and I have 2.5 hours to find a 16 inch bike. I type in "bicycle" to my GPS, Gregory and he comes up with a list. I call first because Gregory has been known to be wrong. But, some of the stores haven't opened yet and some are fax numbers that Gregory gives me.

Kolby and I go to the first store. They have bikes! Nice ones! Like this! Did you see the price tag of $180? At the store, it was $189. Um no. Kolby enjoyed playing on the 12 inch, $179 bike while I tried not to be shmoozed by the man because the bike is so nice, it is made very well, you will have it for many years, all your kids will ride it, it will only fit him about a year. Aaaand not sold.

Kolby and I go to the second store. Closed until 11 am for the Tour de France.

Kolby and I go to the third store. Doesn't exist, thanks Gregory!

Kolby and I go to the fourth store. Did I mention we ran out of wrapping paper the night before and he had requested a balloon that I hadn't gotten yet? I call. They sell bikes! 16 inch bikes! For more than we wanted but about the same after shipping. Kolby tried it out. We threw in a helmet, safety first.

And here is what happened that night: video

Did you notice Kolby? He was carrying the helmet for Sage because Sage didn't want to carry it himself. Kolby starts to put it on and is thinking, yay! my bike that mom and I picked out! I wondered what she did with it. And then Sage gets on and Kolby starts screaming "Mine, mine!" And do you notice our awesome parenting skills? Drew picks him up and says, "Do you wanna wear the helmet?"

We win for parenting award of the year in all categories!

Notice the Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett jersey? I think we did make parent of the year for that present! He has been requesting one since about January!

And yes, we did spoil him. And yes, we are ashamed at how much he received.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

How to not make a new friend

-Go to a playgroup where you know no one and try to speak to the other mommies.

-Sign your child up for swimming lessons and strike up a conversation while watching the kiddos sink or swim.

-Go to the neighborhood pool.

-Go to a playgroup at a bounce house place and watch your children.

-Go to the library story time and try to strike up a conversation with a mom who just moved here.

Drew is going to make me some mommy cards. Will I be brave enough to pass them out after being shunned?!

Two illustrations: I took the boys to the story time at the dive of a neighborhood library and noticed another mom getting a library card. I deducted that she just moved here also and maybe she would be interested in talking to me. You know when you try to strike up a conversation but the other person doesn't add anything? That is how it went. I gave up and we left story time early. End of story.

I went to a playgroup at a church (a very large church which we have attended- know which one it is?) this morning. It is advertised in the bulletin as Let's Play! an indoor playplace (think McDonalds) and a place to meet up with other moms out of the heat. That sounded right up my alley. So I went. I said hello to some other moms who were obviously all there together. They said hello back. And never talked to me again. Oh, except when I asked them if they were going to an outside park after overhearing them talk about it. Maybe I should have invited myself out to lunch too. But ya know, we had swimming lessons to get to!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Sinking In

3 boys.

Three boys.

3 boys.

Wow.

Crazy.

Oh. my. word.

Loud.

I was going through the list of things we need/want for the new baby and it just seemed too short.

Need:
Car seat
onesies? but do I? I mean, we live in TX!? I always used these for warmth.
socks

That is about it for need, I think. We should be fine in the clothes category.

Want:
Peanut Shell pouch

And that rounds up the list for today, folks!

But, I do have a guest room/ nursery to decorate! I'm thinking green.

Monday, July 07, 2008

The Winner Announced

22 comments.

9 people said boy.

The Beholder. James Fullton!

I will be mailing James a dozen monster cookies. James, they'll be in the mail by the end of the week!

And now, the battle of the name game begins!

I Thought I Knew

First, the feet are perfect. I even have a picture!

From the beginning, I kept thinking boy.

As the days drew closer to the ultra sound, I changed my mind and decided girl. I even bought two shirts at the Gap outlet with the thought that if I'm wrong, they'll make a great gift. I started decorating her room/guest room. Floral, light pink, shabby chic. The girliest room in our house.

But, now it is back to the drawing board for me. A third boy!

We're so excited. My "dream" family has always been 3 boys and a girl, so maybe my dream will come true!

Friday, July 04, 2008

The Fourth

Planning just the right outfit to stay cool during the 4 or 5 hour wait until the show of all shows began but cute enough to get noticed by friends and strangers.

The sticky heat, kept at bay with strawberry smoothies and cold pop. Coolers stocked with fruit, water, soda, chips, cookies, anything your heart could desire and more.

A sea of blankets on the banks of the Cedar River, bumps of lawn chairs for the adults. Church friends waiting, reserving space.

Weaving in and out of the crowds only worrying about how to find our way back to the right blankets. Meeting new friends, reconnecting with old ones, the chaos of a city of 120,000 coming together to celebrate the freedom of our country.

The show begins. The music triumphs. Tears well up in pride and gratefulness. Ashes rain down on us from the blown up fireworks.

The journey home, satisfied and tired. Already looking forward to next year.

God Bless America.

************************************

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Cedar Rapids, IA the city that I celebrated many Fourths. I can only imagine what the river banks look like today, no blankets spread out, no lawn chairs, no coolers, no seas of people, no food stands, no festivities.