Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2010 Resolutions...

I got the idea for this post from Brandy at Happily Blended (you should stop by and say Hi!!)

In just about 29 hours (I am in CST here) 2009 will be gone. But certainly not forgotten. And we will be welcoming in a brand new year. well I might be sleeping at that point....

I always set resoultions for myself. And I always ditch them. I have never seemed to be able to find the "resolve" to stick with the resolutions I have made as the new year rolls in. I guess, for me, making resolutions is just one of those things that you feel like you have to do just, well...because.

That is not the case for 2010.

After taking stock of things that happened or did not happen in 2009, I have realized that it is time to "own" what I say. No more empty "this year I am gonna...." Nope. This time I am going to hold myself accountable.

So, just what are my resolutions for the new year?

*I want to be more organized. Seriously, having to hunt for tennis shoes 3 minutes before the bus comes for Damien...so not cutting it any more (and while I am at it...I am going to start making his lunches the night before..no more rushing)

*I want to take better care of ME. Moms as a whole, tend to put themselves on the back burner. I have always done that. Not because I had to, but because I feel that, as a wife and wahm, that I should be putting the kids and my husband first. I have totally negelcted to take care of me. So, starting in the new year, I am going to get my dental work done, get my ear fixed and find out why I am exhausted all the time, yet cannot sleep. I am also going to loose weight...and lots of it. (more on that in a later post)

*I am going to take my business to the next level. I am blessed, that after months of searching and countless tears, that I have found a great fit for me. It is enabling me to work at home and make a good chunk of change. My goal is to be able to replace my unemployment that runs out in a few months.

* I am going to make it a point to post here more. I love my blog. I love the connections I have made with my blog. I am going to be more "socially active".

One of the biggest resolutions that i have for 2010 is that I am going to work on my marriage. Over the last year, my husband and I have had some huge fights. Mostly about stupid things. Our marriage shows signs of the battles we have waged against eachother. Starting now I want to work on making things right. I love my husband. I don't want to imagine life without him.

2009 has been both good and bad. But I wouldn't change the experiences for anything.

What will your resolutions be in 2010?

Monday, December 28, 2009

So, I am staying...

here that is. After much "look at me, I am moving!!!" I have chosen to stay right here after all.

Why?

Well to begin with, Wordpress would NOT let me move all my followers from here to there. I am sure that it is an easy task, but being one that does NOT have patience, I got mad and couldn't figure it out.

Then there was the whole "finding a theme that works" for me thing. I am picky. With a capital "P". I have to have my fonts set to a certain type and size. The added widgets and such have to look just right. And I wasn't finding anything that was really making me happy. (I am sure that I could have had a theme designed for me..but I don't have the money or the patience, to have one done to my specifications.)

Thirdly, a few (ok more like 5 or 6 but I am not counting) months back, I won a complete blog makeover from Jennisa, who designed Mckmama's blog. I am not talking about a simple template. I won one of the larger blog design packages from Jennisa.

And after waiting for my name to come up on her list, (she's a busy woman) she emailed me just before Christmas to say "hey, guess what...its almost your turn" I was a giddy a kid. I have been looking forward to this day for forever.

So, I am staying (the fact that my package wouldn't work with Wordpress sealed the deal). I am totally excited about the new look for Crayons In My Dryer and cannot wait to reveal it all to you when it is done.

Looking forward to the new year!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

The presents are nearly wrapped...

Baking almost done (well it would be done if the damn thing didn't fall apart)

Kids already asking if Santa is coming tonight...

I am looking forward to the next day and half. Steve has to work until one tomorrow, then we are off to my dad's house for the evening. I love spending time with everyone there. We don't do it often enough.

Friday we open gifts here, then take my oldest to his dads, then spend the day with my brother and mom after stopping at my dads in the morning.

It is alot of driving...

But I love it.

So, tonight I am wrapping up loose ends, making sure projects are done and deadlines are met.

Because for the next 2 days I will be scarce..

Merry Christmas!!!


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Super easy (and really, really good) Spritz Cookies

My husband used to work with this guy who was a chef (I am still wondering how you go from chef to managment at Wal-Mart?) and he was always sharing yummy ideas with my husband, who would then pass them off to me, because, well I like to cook (though Martha Stewart I am not) My kids love these cookies and I make them often.

Here is what you need
1 box of cake mix (You can use any flavor, my favorite: Strawberry)
4 Sticks of butter
2 3/4 cups of flour

Here is what you do:
Preheat your oven to 350
Take 2 sticks of butter and melt them in the microwave (one minute) then take it out of the microwave and put the other 2 sticks in the melted butter until they are soft (about 3 to 5 minutes)
Mix all your ingredients together well ( A mixer comes in handy for this)
Drop by the teaspoonful onto a greased cookie sheet
Bake for about 10-12 minutes. Until the tops are slightly browned.

This makes about 24 cookies.

Enjoy!!!

Some things I just don't talk about...

Most times, if someone asks me "So, how are things going?" I will force a smile and say "things are good". And for the most part...things are good. But, there are days that things aren't so good...these are things that I don't talk about.

I don't like to talk about my "problems". I am, for the most part, a fairly private person. There are maybe one or two people that I will talk to, that I feel comfortable talking to about things. But the rest, well I don't share. Not because I don't want to...but I have this inherent fear of being judged.

15 years ago, my parents got a divorce. This divorce ripped our family apart. 15 years and people on both sides of the family still talk bad about the other. But it is my mom who gets most the slack. And I don't really think that it is fair.

No one really knows the whole story. Not even me, and I am their child. And that is ok. What I do know is that my mom made a very difficult choice 15 years ago. She should not have to answer to anyone,other than herself and to God, about that choice.

Now, I am in the same boat she was 15 years ago. My marriage is at that point where you start to wonder if it is really worth it anymore. But I don't talk about it. I don't talk about because I see the reaction, 15 years later, to my parents divorce. I hear the bad things that are said about my mom. I don't want to be on that side of the conversation.

So. I don't talk about it.

I wish that I could. I wish that I could open up and say "look, I tried, but my marriage is failing." But, without a doubt, I will be reminded of my responsibility. Yes, I have four kids... I know that. But is it fair to stay in a marriage just for them? My parents were not happy together in the years leading up to their divorce.

But. I don't talk about that.

I don't want my kids to feel the same pain that my brother and I both felt some 15 years ago. I don't want them to have to feel like they need to choose sides or that they need to have a parent whom they are loyal too.

So. I won't talk about it.

What I will talk about though is this...

Marriage takes work. My husband and I have had fights that would make you cringe. They have been loud. And at times they have been mean. We have resorted to grade-school behavior. Calling eachother names and putting eachother down in general. It has been nearly 4 years since we took our vows. And each day is work. We have to work to make our marriage strong. I have learned over the years that marriage is alot like a plant...if you turn your back on it, neglect it...it dies. But if you nuture it, love it and tend to it, it will more then likely thrive.

So, where does that leave us? Where does that leave me? Well, recently we decided that we would wait until after the holidays to decide what it is we are going to do. But to be completely honest...I think we are going to stay together. Neither one of us has done anything worthy of leaving the other over. We fight...but I think with some counseling and some patience, that could change.

But, like I said...

Somethings, I just don't talk about. ;)

It's all up to me...

This year is coming to a close. And while I could sit here and say "Thank goodness it is over" I won't. Why? Because, every single thing that happend this year, from money issues to my marriage crumbling under the stress, to dealings with the ex, to the birth of my son...all of it happened for a reason. Reguardless of if I could see it at that time or not.

To be fair, I did spend alot of time playing the "poor me" card. And what did it get me? Nothing. The only purpose that it had was to make me even more depressed and more withdrawn. I sure as heck didn't feel better.

As this year ends and a new one begins, I am left to wonder what 2010 will hold for me? Will my marriage survive? (I am starting to think so) Will this nasty court battle with my ex finally be over? (I am starting to think not)? Will I find success in my chosen career path?

I want to know these things. I want to know that everything is going to be ok. That things will go the way they are supposed to.

But I know that I can't. I can't know these thing. I am not supposed to know these things. It is going through them that makes me stronger.

Will I succeed? I hope so. So much is at stake. But there is only one person that I can hold accountable for my success...or my failure...

And that is me.

It is all up to me to make 2010 the year that I want it to be.

So will 2010 be the best year yet?

I like to think so.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

If you are following me here...

If you could please, pretty please, just click on this link and follow my blog at it's new home? For some reason, google friend connect hates me and I cannot transfer y'all over there.

I hope to see you there....(please :) )

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I am moving...

Well, my blog,that is. After much consideration and contemplation (along with a few swear words thrown in because I could not figure out how the heck to make Wordpress work) I am going to be packing up the boxes and moving on over to www.crayonsinmydryer.com

Moving to Wordpress is a big step for me, especially since I have to pay for hosting. To me, moving to a pay to host site is a huge step because it means that I am finally at a point with my blog that I can do this. And I am happy. It means that I am succeeding at what I love to do.

I hope that if you are following me here, you will follow me there. For the next week or so, I may continue to post here as I am still working out some bugs with my site, but it is live right now. So look for me there.

This is a very exciting time for me as I am unveiling new projects and have a ton of stuff in the works. This is just one of my projects.

Don't forget to follow me!!!

Tassimo Beverage Maker Product Review



(*I recieved a Tassimo Beverage Maker Machine in conjunction with Sheblogs and Tassimo to use and review. My opinions are my own and have not been influenced by Tassimo or Sheblogs)

I have been eyeing those "one cup" hot beverage makers for a while. I always tell my husband "I want one of those...please??" He always chuckles and says ok.

Recently, through Sheblogs.com, I was able to recieve a Tassimo Hot Beverage Maker for free to use and review. I was excited before I even got the dang thing.

The Tassimo brewer, developed and designed by Kraft foods and manufactured by Bosch, lets consumers , make delicious coffee, tea, hot chocolate, espressos and lattes...one cup at a time.


Once it finally arrived (
thanks to the postman who left it on my porch...IN THE SNOW!!! ) I cleared of a space on my counter for the newest of my kitchen appliances.

The machine itself was quiet easy to set up. One of the things that I liked about this model was that it came with a water-filtration system in the water tank. You only have to replace the filter every 8 weeks. It comes with 2 filters and when you need more, you can either order them direct or go to a local retailer that sells the product.

Once I got the machine set up, it was time to select which beverage I would try first (and yes I tried almost all of them within 24 hours...I was wired on caffiene for days). Tassimo was kind enough to send me: Gevalia Coffee, Chai Tea Latte, Starbucks Cappucino Primo, Starbucks Cafe Verona coffee and Milka Hot Chocolate.

One of the cool things about this machine is that it contains a microprocessor (no, I don't know what
that is) that reads the printed barcodes on each T-Disc to automatically calculate the correct water amount, temperature and brewing time for each beverage. Each beverage takes about 60 seconds to make, and it is ready for the next cup immediately.

I love my machine. I use it daily, sometimes multiple times a day.

Want one of your own? Of course you do!!! Visit the tassimo website today and order yours. It make a great gift for any coffee lover on your list!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's not easy.

I have tried to maintain a somewhat positive attitude. Because, let's face it, negativity only breeds negativity, and the more I thought negative thoughts, the more negative things seemed to appear.

I am not perfect, nor have I ever claimed to be. I get mad over the dumbest things, I let things negatively affect me when I should just turn the other cheek, I loose my patients, and find myself snapping at my husband or the kids. And I always feel worse after. But I am trying.

Because of this, my emotional well-being has suffered as well. I have spent days feeling hopeless and not in control of things. I have been neglecting the things that once made me happy, blogging, writing, photography. Everything just seemed so hopeless. But I am trying.

I took a look at things. Took stock, if you will, and realized that there is no tangiable reason for me to feel the way that I feel. This is all my doing. My fault.

A friend once told me "Joy is your birthright." and until now, I never gave it much thought. Sure, joy is my birthright, but it doesn't mean I am actually going to get it, right? Wrong.

By choosing not to be happy, whether I realized it or not, I was never going to be happy.

So today, I am making an honest effort. No more excuses. No more "why me?" I am going to choose to be happy.

And I am not just going to say it...I am going to own it.

I. Will.Be.Happy

No excuses


Imagine the possibilities!!!

MckMama recently got her hands on a new computer. I am jealous, just slightly. Being in the market for a new computer, I have been eyeballing this particular computer for ages. But alas, my husband refuses to spend that much on a new computer (never mind hes been eyeballing those 2 grand Alienware gaming computers for sometime now).

But, it appears maybe the computer god's are smiling on me (either that or smirking at me because I am drooling over a computer) and MckMama has been given a brand new HP TouchSmart Computer to give-away to her readers. How cool is that??

Wanna get your hands on this computer? The hop on over to Mckmama's site and enter the giveaway. It ends Christmas Eve!!

Giving back this holiday season

Twittermoms asked us: How do you plan on giving back this holiday season?

As a family of 6 living on one income, it is hard sometimes to give as much as I would like to. Some of the ways I do plan on giving back this season are:

1.)Commit to putting one dollar in the Salvation Army kettles every time.
2.)Participate with my son and his cubscouts as they hand out handmade ornaments at the nursing home this year
3.)Donate all my kids outgrown clothing and toys to Goodwill. My kids often out grow things before I even get to take the tags off.
4.) Encourage my children to help others when they can. Even if it is just listening to a friend who is going through a hard time.

This holiday season you can help as well. For each purchase of RobeezeSoft Sole shoes purchased from the Robeez website, Stride Rite will donate that pair to the K.I.D.S (Kids In Distressed Situations) organization through Decemeber 23rd 2009.K.I.D.S brings hope and self-esteem to children in need and their families by providing new clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books and juvenile products donated by leading manufacturers and retailers.

So, purchase a pair like this ,which happens to be one of my favorites, and Stride Rite will donate that pair to the KIDS organization.

It's a great way to give back while finishing your gift shopping!!

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

How do I get my kids to sleep?

Twittermoms asked us: How do you get your child to sleep? I almost had to laugh. Sleep? What exactly is sleep?

As a mom of 4 kids, only one of whom willingly puts himself to bed, I have had to adapt some sure-fire tips to get the kiddos to bed before midnight.

One thing is I let them pick out their own pjs. Nothing ruins a well planned bedtime quicker then a toddler meltdown because she wants a certain princess pj...No NOT THAT ONE!!!! (Check out DramaU.net to see how you can win a years worth of Pajamas!!!)
Lights out! I have found with the lights off, no nightlights ( I leave the hall light on for late night trips to the bathroom) they fall asleep and stay asleep better

A consistent nap and bed time. It doesn't matter if it is a school night or not. The kids go to bed at the same time everynight. They take a nap around the same time every day.

They each have a favorite blanket or toy they sleep with.

If they get out of bed, then I just put them back in. I try not to engage in a conversation or anything with them.

While bed time still is tough, it is getting easier.

Now if they would stop yelling through the walls at eachother, life would be grand!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

Not Me Monday

Not Me Monday! is a fun blog carnival started by MckMama. Join in by linking up on her blog and sharing your own Not Me Monday!

I did not get sick, again, and do nothing around the house for a week. I am more organized then that. I also did not get an abcessed tooth and take way more then the reccomended amount of pain medication and spend 2 days getting sick. I am also not putting off going to the dentist.

I did not decide at 5 am Black Friday that I needed to go to Wal-mart for three toys and a movie. I also did not decide to spend the rest of the morning and afternoon shopping until I was so exhausted, I could cry.

I did not get pulled over for speeding enroute to picking up my sister in law on Friday. I also did not admit to the cop that I had no idea why I was pulled over and no, I didn't see the speed limit sign. (I did, however, get off with just a warning)

My son did not announce in Wal-mart that I needed to pay for an item that had gotten lost under the car seat "So you don't get in trouble with the police again Mom!!" loudly, prompting, I am sure, the cashier to wonder if I had anything stuffed in the baby's diaper.

I did not spend the entire weekend shopping. I also don't have alot more shopping to do.

Not Me. I wouldn't spend money that way

A must read: "The Shack" by Wm. Paul Young

I am an avid reader. I love to read, especially at night after the kids have all settled in and my husband is lost in World Of Warcraft. My reading tastes run from one extreme to the other, and Iwill often read the same thing several times.

One genre of books I don't tend to read are books with religous undertones. See, I have my beliefs. Things that I think about religion, about God or even if there is one and I don't like to have my beliefs challenged. I don't want to admit that over the years God and I have become strangers at best. So, I avoid those books.

Over Thanksgiving, I was telling my mom how bad I wanted a Kindle, that digital reader by Amazon, because then it would be so much easier to store my books and the kids wouldn't get to them. My mom is not much of a reader other than the occasional magazine.

She said "You like to read, right?" "Yep" I told her. She then told me she had a book she wanted me to read. It was "The Shack". She said that it was a good book, one that would make you laugh and cry...

So she lent it to me. I don't know why, but I felt that I had to read it.

I read it in three days.

I plan on reading it again.

I cannot really explain what the book is about without giving away the plot. But I can tell you this, it is a book that talks somewhat about God. It does not force religion on you. It does make you take a step back and look at your life, your beliefs, or in my case lack thereof.

You will cry. Alot. The book opens your eyes and makes you think. When you finish it, you are left with a feeling of wonder. After reading it, I felt different. While my beliefs were not challenged, it made me think. Think about redemption and forgiveness. Think about judgement.

It is a book that you must read if you are at a crossroads in life, or just need a pick up.

I needed that book. My mom, who doesn't read, says she felt like she had to read that book after reading a review.

This book is on the New York Bestsellers list...with a mere 200 hundred dollar advertising budget.

You can visit www.theshackshop.com for the authors blog, more information or to purchase the book.

Read it.

It will change you.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Time off

Taking time off, from whatever it is that you do, is a good thing. I have such a hard time completely taking time off. Meaning that while I may not be writing articles or reviewing products or *shhh* working on my newest project, I am still mentally going over the things that I need to do. My husband often yells at me to stop it, because when we are out, I will say "when we get home we need to do A, B and C" and he is all "why cant you just enjoy your time with us?"

He has a point. Worrying about a deadline, or dirty laundry or dishes isn't going to get them done any faster. I need to take time off to recoup, regroup and re organize my thoughts. I am much more productive as a wife, mother and writer this way.

So this Thanksgiving weekend, I have taken time off from all of the "pressing" things that need to be done. Instead I went shopping and out to eat, spent time with a friend and tomorrow will be doing more shopping and then taking the kids to get their first real christmas tree ever.

Sure, I am planning my next weeks work when I have a few moments. But more oft then not I am finding myself spending those moments playing World Of Warcraft.

I am feeling more refreshed and I am sure, come Monday, I will be ready to hit the grounding running.

It's ok to take time off...

Try it...

You may like it!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Great Gift Idea for The College Boy or Soldier in Your Life: The Automated Man

How many times has this happened to you, you give your son, who is going off to college or moving out on his own for the first time, a credit card and remind him to use this card for "necessities only"? Only to get your statement the next month and see that the card was used for anything but necessities? Or your college aged son, nephew or grandson comes home for the holidays looking as if he just crawled out from underneath a bridge somewhere. When you ask him about his appearance, he tells you that he ran out of money 2 weeks ago, and couldn't buy more shampoo. (Your guess is as good as mine as to where he spent that money at).

The truth is, when our children head off to college or even just move out on their own for the first time, everything that you have taught them about personal hygiene seems to be forgotten.

This is where the Automated Man comes in. The automated man is essentially an auto ship program for all of your son's, nephew's or grandson's personal hygiene needs. For $39.99 a month your son will receive a toiletry kit filled with the essentials that he needs. From soap to shampoo, deodorant to toothpaste, you can make sure that your son is taking care of himself.

What is great about this service is it is affordable. Your first order is valued at $140.00 and each additional order is valued at $80.00. The cost to you is simply $39.99 (plus tax). By signing up with Automated Man, this ensures that your son at least has the products to take care of himself and ultimately saves you time and money (No more trips to the post office...Automated Man ships directly to your son!)

Here is what i liked the most about the Automated Man service, they can ship to the military. As everyone knows, soldiers are lacking the personal hygiene implements that they need, especially out in the field. By signing up with the Automated Man, you can make sure that each month, your soldier is receiving the products that he needs. This would especially be great for those of you that adopt a soldier. This is a great way to make sure that they have what they need, items that may be hard to come by once they leave base.

If your son runs out of an item early, you can simply log onto Automated Man and let them know. They will send it out right away. If it is close (within one week) to your normal ship time, they will send the entire shipment early.

You can visit The Automated Man website for more information. You can also reach them by calling their customer service line at 1-888-315-DUDE.

With the holidays just around the corner, this would be a great gift to give the college boy or soldier in your life.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Not Me Monday!

Not Me Monday is fun blog carnival started by MckMama. Feel free to join in and link up here.

I most certainly have not been sick going on 2 weeks now and have not been not taking care of myself by avoiding going to the doctor.

My cough is not so bad, I sound like I have spent 50 years smoking

I also have not had a tooth ache for nearly a week that has not now turned into swelling. I am not putting off going to the dentist because A.) I hate dentist and B.) Need a ton of dental work done

Due to me not being sick, my house does not look like it has not been cleaned in weeks

I did not wash the same load of laundry 3 times because I did not forget to take it out of the wash, three days in a row.

My three old son most certainly did not announce to the world, on camera that he farted during my T.V interview last week. And I was not most relieved that it was edited out. And I was not secretly impressed at how well I did.

Nope! Not Me!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Why 3 year olds and T.V news cameras don't mix

Sitting in line to pick up Damien from school today, I noticed a local tv news crew filming. "Cool" I thought. Then " I hope the don't interview me." I am a shy creature. Plus, I am sick and look like crap. Lo and behold, she asked to interview me. Because I have such a hard time saying no, I agreed. Hoped that I didn't look too bad and answered all her questions.

Things were going smoothly. Then it happened.

"Mommy?" I ignored the voice coming from the back seat.

"Moooommmmmyyyyy?" I still focused on the news reporter, ignoring Aidan. Which was about to become a mistake of epic proportions.

"MOMMMYYYYY!!!!" I turned to look at him

"I farted"

Yes, the camera was still rolling. Yes it was pointed at his face. And yes he just announced to the world that he farted.

As I tried to hide my embarassment, I thanked the good Lord that this interview was not live and that the people at the editing booth had ample time to edit it out.

An hour later, my 3 year old is still living it up. He thinks it is the funniest thing ever that he said he farted on camera.

Yea, really funny Aidan.



Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Totally Random Tuesday: No Bella, Just Edward

Sunday we were at Toys R Us looking for Christmas gifts for the kiddos. As we walked in the front doors of the store, there was a huge Twilight Display. My husband rolled his eyes. He knows I have a thing for Edward (and no I will never call him Robert, his real name, he will forever and always be Edward okay?) And then I see it. In all its glory. An Edward Cullen Barbie Doll. My mom always buys me a barbie for Christmas. It has been our tradition since I was 13. So I do the logical thing, I call her...and our conversation goes something like this.

Me: "Mom?"

Mom: "Yeah, you know I just woke up right?"

Me:" Yes, but I have something uberly important to tell you?"

Mom: "Uberly? Is that a new word?"

Me: "Just listen, I am at Toys R Us okay?"

Mom: "Tell me that is not your uberly important news?"

Me: "No,But I found the christmas gift you can buy me!"

Mom: "Buy you? How old are you Melissa?"

Me: " You know how every year you buy me whatever Holiday Barbie is out? Well this year, I want Edward."

Mom:" Edward? Who the hell is Edward?"

At this point I realize just how "uncool" my mom is

Me: "Edward. Edward Cullen. From Twilight. Tell me you have heard of Twilight"

Mom: "Nope"

Me: "OMG, how could you not know who Edward is?"

Mom: " Because I have a life. Which by the way I need to live, what is it that you want?"

Me: "I want you to buy me this doll for Christmas."

Mom: " and you are how old Melissa?"

Me: " But not Bella...Just Edward. I don't want Bella"

Mom: " Again, I ask How old are you?"

Me: "I am serious. I don't want Bella, she so doesnt deserve Edward mom."

Mom:"....ummm okay, well is that all you wanted"

Me: "Yep. Remember, Edward ONLY"

Mom: " Sure. Bye"

My mom thinks I am insane.

Wonder if Santa will understand...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bronchitis and Bus Strikes

It's is nearly 9am here and I am just now sitting down to indulge in a cup of coffee, read emails, and get some work done. On a typical day, I would have been atleast 2 hours into my work day...but alas not today.

I have been surrounding by 4 coughing, sneezing and snotty kids for days now. My throat started hurting a few days ago. Shortly after that my nose was inoperable. Then it happened, as it does every year...it moved to my chest and turned into bronchitis. And it hurts. It hurts to breathe, it hurts to cough. It feels like there is a ten ton elephant sitting on my chest. And to top it all off, I cannot yell at the kids...which they are taking full advantage of.

This morning, I checked my email. And to my (not really) surprise...bus drivers are on strike in our school district and there would be no bus service. Why are they striking? Because they want to be paid in the summer, when they do not work. My opinion...they should be happy to even have a job. I get that it is a hard job and they do deserve to be treated with respect. But to strike because they want to get paid for not working? They should be happy to have a job, when so many people are out of work right now. But it is what it is. Of course, it throws off my entire morning...but we will adapt.

Loading 4 kids into the car, 3 of which are still sick, not fun.

Hoping this doesn't last too long.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

Just In Time For Holiday Shopping: Free Online Coupon Deals, Discounts and Codes

With the economy being what it is these days, everyone could use a little help when it comes to shopping, especially with the holidays just around the corner. From coupons for free shipping to Lane Bryant Coupons , you can find a coupon or discount for just about anything at Savings.com.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Noah got his shots today


For the past few months I have tried to silence the nagging in the nether regions of my brain reguarding Noah. He was an early baby and a small baby. And nearly everyone we encountered over the last few months swore that Noah would have developmental delays because of this. And while I like to consider myself a seasoned mom, hey having 4 kids makes me seasoned, right, I was still starting to worry. What would I do? How would we deal with a developmentally delayed baby?

Noah, thankfully, has been oblivious to my worrying. Chugging right along. Hitting milestones. Being a happy baby.

Today we hauled the clan into the doctors office, which I might add, takes alot of planning. I managed to get an early appointment, before nap, which met that the kids were in a better mood. (Not that it helped their behaviors at all)

I love my dr's office. I love all the nurses and the drs there. I knew that they would tell it to me straight if there was an issue with Noah.

Nurse came in...Noah weighs 13pds 40z and is just bit over 24 inches tall...2feet already and a foot away from being able to ride the kiddie rides at the fair...

Next the doctor comes in. I prepare to hear the worse. He asks me how Noah is doing. I proudly tell him about all of Noah's accomplishments..

"He holds his bottle, sorta, rolls over, pushes up on his knees, babbles a storm and laughs" "Good" "Oh yea, he also rolls all over the room"

The dr looked at me..."You mean, he rolls from front to back as well?"

"yes" ummm....isn't this supposed to happen, I think.

"Well it looks like Noah is an overachiever, he is ahead of schedule."

Ahead? My little baby that I just knew was going to have issues....ahead?

I was a proud mamma at the moment...I was thrilled to hear that Noah was doing great. On track (and a little ahead).

Buttt....my proud mamma moment didn't last...

As I quietly snuck to the corner as the nurse prepared to vaccinate my son I thought to myself....

I am such a wimp.

I. Don't. Do.Needles. Ever.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Is the T.V destroyed.

Yesterday, while sitting at the desk, planning out my workload for the coming month (I feel so good that I did that) I hear a crash. I think nothing of it. I do have toddlers you know. Then the sound of tears. But not the OMG I AM HURT tears. At that time, my husband calls and Aidan comes up stairs crying. He's mumbling something. "Mommy is on the phone, go back downstairs and play with your sister" and away he goes...never letting on that anything is wrong.

I am chatting with my husband who is telling me his work schedule for Thanksgiving weekend (Yes, I am happy) when Damien comes home. "Run downstairs and check on them would ya?" And away he goes...

"MOM!!!! THEY KNOCKED THE DRESSER OVER!!!!"

What?

So I run downstairs, only then remembering I haven't seen nor heard Morgan...and then Aidan's recent tear filled eyes.

My husband is saying there is no way they could have done it. I am thinking You don't know your kids Buddy

Sure enough, the big 5 drawer dresser is tipped over, its contents spewed across the floor. "Where's Morgan!?!"

I am looking around frantically...

I find her, behind the dresser, thankfully ok and butt naked....

The first question my husband asks....

"Is the T.V destroyed?"

Yes your kids are o.k

(And yes the T.V was fine, this happend in Morgan's room...the room without the T.V)

So how do 2 toddlers manage to tip over a semi-full, large 5 drawer dresser one might ask?

It's simple....

Aidan scales the smaller dresser beside it, climbs to the top of the larger one, stands up and then uses his weight to tip the dresser over

That is he was crying....

So, I am headed to Lowes at some point and getting hardware to bolt the dresser to the wall...

Or wrapping the kids in bubble wrap


Monday, November 2, 2009

What is that smell...

So many of life's defining memories are often triggered by a smell or a certain scent. Like the time I played quarters with Southern Comfort...to this day that smell makes me gag.

It doesn't have to be that drastic...but you get my drift.

Twittermoms and Downy recently asked us "What scent defines you?" and my first response was "Baby spit up and formula!" But I don't think that counts...does it? I mean it does define who I am...a mom of 4 children, one of them a baby. So I decided to pick something a little more pleasant, I mean no one wants to spend their day smelling like formula...do they?

So, I thought long and hard about this. So many different scents define me, I think. But if I had to pick just one it would be the "Appletini" body spray from Victorias Secret.

Why? Well, its a fun and somewhat silly scent. It is not traditional. It marches to a beat of a different perfume drum. It is not an overpowering smell. And it compliments me nicely!

I am all of these things. I am fun. I am silly. I am so far from traditional. I don't follow a crowd and am not overbearing.

It defines me because I am different and proud to be different.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

What really matters

Right now, my bloggy friend Jen's one year old little boy is fighting...for his very life. (You can read about his story here ) Today is his 1st birthday, and I am sure that she never imagined she would be spending it in the PICU of her hospital, watching her son fight this battle...

I have followed her story rather closely since first getting to "meet" her online many months ago. In fact, it was during her son's last lengthy hospital stay that I was introduced to Jen and her Many Small Children. And it was during that time that I learned just how strong human spirit really can be, as thousands of people, who never met one another, came together to pray, no matter what their faith, for this little boy, his family and the doctors.

She allowed all of us glimpses into her personal hell, sharing her sadness when he was sick, her joy when he was getting better, her anger, her laughter, her tears....even though this is her journey, she is sharing the load with thousands all over the world, and I am honored to share this journey with her family.

Following her story, especially over the last 2 days, has opened my eyes. My faith, that had been stuck in a corner to gather dust, has been found again, and I am finding myself slowly returning to the faith I used to have.

We spend so much time feeling sorry for ourselves, lamenting over what we don't have, being angry, voicing unkind words...that we aren't living. Life is going by, we can't stop it...for every 60 seconds we spend being angry, or upset, that is one minute of happiness we will never get back.

Life is short. As the Nickleback song goes "Each day's a gift..but not a given right"

We are not promised a tomorrow, we are only promised a today. How we choose to live our "today" is our choice. Will we be happy or will we live is sadness and anger?

I know how I am going to live my "Today"

How will you?

Praying for Stellan so that he feels the love that so many have for him...Be Strong Little Man

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Product Review and Giveaway: Is Daddy a Hero/Is Mommy a Hero

Recently I had the opportunity to read and review two great children's books, "Is Daddy a Hero?" and "Is Mommy a Hero" as part of my involvement with the Kidlutions Review Crew.

"Is Daddy a Hero" and "Is Mommy a Hero" are written by Sydney age 9 and Megan age 7. They wanted to write books for children who have parents that are in the military. They have seen some of their friends parents deployed and seen how hard it was to deal with that seperation.

The books focus on the positive aspects of the military and portray their mommy and daddy as a true HERO.

These young authors are donating a portion of the proceeds from the books to www.soldiersangels.org, a volunteer-led non profit with 200,000 volunteers. Through special projects, dedicated teams and individuals supporting the troops, they make a visable difference in the lives of our service members and their families.

I read each of these books, and was impressed with how well they were written. These 2 children have a really poweful message that comes across clearly in these books. These books are a must for any military family.

I am giving away a copy of "Is Daddy a Hero" and "Is Mommy a Hero" Here is how to enter:

1.)Leave a comment stating which of the 2 books you would like (Mandatory entry)

Additional Entries:

2.)Blog about this giveaway and link back to me (1 entry)
3.)Follow my blog (1 entry)
4.)Follow me on Twitter @melissa_austin(1 entry)
5.) Tweet about this giveaway (1 entry)

*Be sure to leave a comment after each entry*
*Winner will be drawn on November 5th via Random.org*


Random Tuesday: Stuffy Noses and Sore Throats

Whoever brought this sickness into the house, can take it back...now. Thank you very much.

What started out as one child coughing, has turned into 5 out of 6 people in this house being in varying stages of this, whatever it is.

Including me.


The only one of us who isn't sick, is Steve. How he manages that, I haven't a clue. Especially since he works at Wal-Mart and is exposed to all sorts of gross things there.

Even Swine Flu.

Yep, Steve was exposed to Swine Flu. Or maybe he was. He says it was someone on another shift, but doesn't he know...that stuff spreads!?!

I am not inclined to buy into the whole media frenzy surrounding The Swine Flu. I think that freaking out, just makes things work. But I am concerned. Concerned enough to start sanitizing the heck out of things...and requiring Steve to wash his hands before touching the kids...especially the baby.

So far, no one in my house is exhibiting any flu-like symptoms. Just sore throats, coughs and stuffy noses. And in my case an ear infection that hurts like..well it just hurts.

I hate being sick. Mainly because I don't get a sick day. I think I should....

Along with a paid vacation.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Winner of Dr. Weil Baby Product

Sorry this took so long to get posted, but sickness has invaded this house so I have been dealing with 4 sick kids...

Not to long ago, I posted a giveaway for Dr. Weil baby products here

Congrats go to Donna who will receive the baby bottle and a coupon for a free bottle, plus another coupon for $5.00 off a Dr. Weil purchase.

Donna, please send me an email at maustin27@gmail.com this week so I can mail your product off.

Thanks!!!

Stay tuned for more great giveaways in the coming week!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Writer's Workshop " Hows motherhood changed me"

Every little girl dreams of growing up and being a mom, right? Well, not this little girl. I dreamed of growing up, living my life with the man of my dreams and being free. Free to do what I wanted to do. No diaper changes or carpools. No snotty noses or scraped knees. None of that. Don't get me wrong, I loved children. I was a preschool teacher for years. But being a mom, was just not my thing.

Then I got pregnant. I still didn't want to be a mom. I was terrified at giving up my freedom, my career. I didn't want to become my mom and loose my identity to the little baby inside of me. I didn't want to be just a mom.

When I became a mom for the first time, and then for a 2nd, 3rd and 4th time, I realized that being just a mom was so much more then just mom.

Since becoming a mom, I have learned that life is short and precious. I have learned to take one day at a time.

Where I once found happiness in the confines of the local mall or Target, I now find that same happiness in my children's eyes. Hearing about their day. Watching them sing and dance to the Wiggles. Hearing the baby laugh.

I am more kind. Growing up and even in my adult years before being a parent, I went through alot. Emotional and verbal abuse. Physical abuse. My heart had become hard and walls had been built that no one could break through.

Even after the birth of my first son, those walls were still there. At first I resented that innocent little baby for taking away my freedom. I felt like a prisoner.

Then I learned, motherhood wasn't a prision sentance. It was a blessing. I should be happy to have such wonderful children. These children complete my life. Material things no longer matter. I could be happy in a cardboard box as long as my children are with me.

Being a mom has opened many doors in my life that I thought were shut forever. I was able to rebuild relationships with my family. I learned to be strong. When I became a single mom with my oldest, I learned that I can handle a baby on my own and that as long as he had me and I had him, we would be ok.

My family has grown since the first time I discovered I was pregnant. I look back at how life was then versus now. Then I thought I had it all...but now I realize that I didn't have it all. Or even all together. I was stumbling around in the dark, grasping for a life perserver.

My kids, all four of them, were that perserver

Thanks Mama Kat for this weeks prompts

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Writer's Workshop: So much more then just "Mom"


This week's prompts from Mama Kat were all centered around a "Mom" theme. I didn't have to think to hard about which prompt I would choose.

Growing up my mom was always just mom. To me and my child brain she was what a mom was supposed to be. Chauffer, cook, maid, replacer of broken barbie heads...mom

She was a stay at home mom for almost all of my childhood. She would walk with us to school and wait for us to come home. She would have after school snacks ready and listen to our school day stories.

My mom always had a smile on her face. Even as her marriage to my dad continued to deteriorate. She stressed the importance of being happy. The importance of making good choices. Being responsible.

Then it happened. One afternoon, my mom came into my room, tears filling her already red-eyes. "Your dad and I are divorcing. I am moving out" I was 14 or 15.

It was at that point that my mom, who for years was just a mom, started to take the shape of more then just mom. She started to take the shape of a person who, after years of her kids being her identity, was trying to find herself.

My mom and I remained close during that time. For the most part. I couldn't quiet reconcile her choice to leave her family in my mind. It just didn't make sense.

Then the unthinkable happened...I grew up.

Growing up is hard.

By the time I was 17 or 18, I realized that my mom was so much more then just a mom...she was this, this...I don't know she just was...

She was there for me as I struggled my way through an abusive relationship. She was there when I got pregnant. She was there when I found myself a single mom at 21 with no job, no money. She was there.

She was there when I would call her in tears, telling her I wanted to divorce Steve. She would listen to me. Remind me that I had kids, but then say Only you can decide what makes YOU happy

Many years ago, my mom had to make a choice. It wasn't about us kids at all. She always loved us. Unconditionally. It was a choice between a bad marriage or her sanity.

She made a hard choice.

My mom is still the first person I call with any news. The first person I call when I need advice. She is my best friend. My mom.

She is so much more then that though. She is an example. She is a teacher. She is strong and she is brave.

She had made me want to be the best mom I can be to my kids, She has made me realize that only I can change my situation.

Either do something about it or shut. up.

She never judged. Always supported.

No matter how bad I messed up (and there were some moments...)

I became a mom 7 years ago for the first time, 3 months ago for the fourth time...and it was really just recently that I realized that my mom was more then just Mom....

She was a person.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Learning NOT to react....

For the longest time now, I have been one to react. And not always in a positive way. I am the type of person that tends to just...explode...I can't tell you how many times I have called my husband at work, yelling, and there is nothing he can do at that moment. He is working. He can't make the calls that need to be made. And while it would be nice to have the help...his work schedule just doesn't allow it.

No amount of explaining on his part would make me understand. I just wanted whatever the problem was fixed...now.

I am learning.

These past few weeks, I have been forced to take a really hard look at myself, my life, my marriage and just...everything. I had to decide if I was going to accept things the way they are or make the changes that needed to be made within myself.

I cannot control others. But I can control my actions. My thoughts. My happiness.

That meant learning to accept things. Certain things that bug the hell out of me. I can't control them, therefore I am letting go and just accepting.

The stress I felt...is slowly fading away

It is not to say it is easy. Because it's not. Old habits do die hard. And letting go and accepting things hasn't been easy.

Problems are going to arise. It is a given. Life isn't easy. But I can make it easier.

I am learning.

I am learning to stop and think things through for a moment. I am learning that, as much as I hate it, I have to deal with a majority of things, because my husband works. alot.

I am learning that if I take a step back, as hard as it may be, and just think, a huge problem can be dealt with.

There is a solution for everything...no matter how large.

It makes me happy to know that I am capable. For so long I lacked the confidence to deal with problems. I was afraid of confrontation. Afraid of talking to whomever it was...the bill collector, the car dealer...anyone. I would rather hide and then yell at my husband for not taking care of it.

Truth is, I can do it.

I am learning....

And it feels...GOOD

Wordless Wednesday:The Littlest Pumpkin



Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Totally Random Tuesday: Finding Balance

I have been thinking alot about this lately. Which probably isn't helping me achieve it any faster. I seem to lack whatever multi-tasking genes are needed to achieve balance in life.

I am blessed. I know that. I have 4 kids. A home. A husband. I have a full life. But can it be too full?

My husband works. Alot. Which means more often then not, I am left to my own devices with the four kids and the house. Did I mention that I am in the process of working from home too? Yea, life is full.

I am finding myself burning the candle at both ends, and eventually it will meet in the middle. And when that happens, I am sure it will be an event of catastrophic proportions...ok, maybe not that severe, but you catch my drift.

I have also been doing some free-lance writing for Associated Content and Examiner

I enjoy writing for both of these online publications, but it can be a bit consuming, trying to meet deadlines and produce quality content, while four kids are yelling and screaming.

Balance. I crave it.

So, lately I have been trying to find ways to promote balance within my life. Allowing me time for my work, my hobby (photography) family and house work. And it is hard. There just is not enough hours in the day for me to get everything accomplished.

Do I let some things go on some days? Or do I let go one of my writing jobs? Or do I just start earlier and work later? Is there really a happy medium to being a WAHM?

I am sure that there is. But between dirty diapers and dirty laundry and a looming deadline ( I still have to finish 2 articles by tomorrow) how do I achieve it without feeling like I am negelcting one thing or another?

I love my life, my full full life, I just want to find a little bit of balance..thats all...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Not Me Monday!!!



I certainly have not had any Not Me moments this past week.

I did not let my kids have peanut butter cookies for breakfast this morning, simply so I could make my coffee. Nope, not me.

I did not let my 2 year old daughter taste my coffee once...or twice or three times for that matter

I am not letting my kids watch "Jingle All The Way" for the umpteenth time..I mean it is only October

I did not have to re run the washer multiple times this past week because I forgot to take the wet clothes out the night before.

I also did not smell a load of clothes and decide they didn't smell that musty then throw them in the dryer with an extra dryer sheet.

I did not spend half the morning on the floor with Noah laughing at his faces...that would be so unproductive

I am not letting the kids scream at the top of their lungs down in their room simply because it keeps them occupied.

I did not eat 2 pieces of pizza, potatoe salad, a sandwich and 2 cookies for lunch then wash it down with koolaide...I mean I am trying to loose weight.

Have your own Not Me Moments? Head on over to MckMama's blog and read more of Not Me Monday's and share a few of your own
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Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Grandpa....

Today is Grandparent's Day at my son's school. As we speak, my dad is packing his lunch and getting ready to make the 1 hour drive out to Damien's school and spend the afternoon with him. Damien bounded out the door this morning, anxious for 11am to come around..because then "Papa" would be there...

It brought back memories of days gone by for my. My grandpa, my "pappy" as we called him, regularly attended functions like that in my elementary school days. My mom's side of the family never really paid much attention to us grandkids. But my dad's side...every single one us was spoiled. And now its our kids that are spoiled by their great-grandma.

My grandfather ruled with an iron fist. But we never doubted that he loved us. He always told it to us straight. No fluff. And no telling us what we wanted to hear. Even if it meant hurting our feelings, you always knew that Pappy was telling the truth.

2 years before he passed away, I was due in court for a custody hearing. I had no lawyer and no money. No one in my family could help me out. "Call your grandfather" my dad suggested. I bristled at the idea at first. While I knew that my grandpa would help me out, I didn't want the lecture that would come with it.

I did end up asking for the money. And I did get the lecture. But I could see the love in my grandpa's eyes. He loved me. He loved Damien.

It took me a year to pay him back. And when I did.. he told me "I loaned you that money because I knew that if I didn't, you wouldn't have a chance to raise your son. I needed to give you that chance. That money is always there if you need it."

On December 1st 2004, I got a phone call from my dad. "Are you sitting down?" I knew that it was bad. His voice broke as he told me "Your grandfather, he died..." I remember hanging up the phone and falling to the floor. Not my grandfather. He was 10ft tall and bullet proof. He can't be gone.

As I made the drive to their home, I prayed that it was a mistake. My dad had just played a cruel joke on me. I would laugh it off.

But when I entered their home...it was silent. My grandfather's chair, the one he always sat in..stood empty. His coffee cup from that morning on the table. The book open to the chapter he was reading. Pappy was gone.

My dad explained that he had begun having chest pains and trouble breathing the night before, but didn't want to go to the hospital. So my grandmother sat by his side all that night. On the morning of the 1st, he got up. Had tea and coffee, and then sent my grandma to the store for milk...it was while she was gone that he died. He knew it was time and didn't want my grandma to be there. The watch that he wore everyday for years had stopped at the exact time he died...on the exact date.

Christmas that year was different. You never realize how much one person holds your family together until they are gone. My grandfather was the glue. Without him, we all are lost.

It will be 5 years this year. I never got to say goodbye. The last time I saw my grandfather, my pappy, he was in an urn, atop the bookshelf in my grandmother's home. I miss my pappy.

Life is unpredicatble. You learn at an early age, that you cant really depend on anyone. But you could depend on Pappy. No matter what...

I am sorry that my kids won't get to know the grumpy old man who would smile, just a little, as his little grandchildren stuck craft pom-poms to his beard, as he warned them they would go to jail for grandparent abuse. I am sorry that they won't get to have sleep overs and then biscuts and gravy on Sunday Mornings at Hardees, like we did.

But I know that the memory of Pappy lives on for my kids thru me. And thru my dad...my dad will lecture them, tell them stories, let them stick pompoms to his beard. He will be for them, what my pappy was for me.

I am grateful that my dad is there for Damien today, just as many years ago, my Pappy was for me.

I love you Pappy.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

Where oh Where are those darned socks?!?

I hate laundry. I think I have made that fact perfectly clear both on this blog and in person, to my husband. He laughs. He thinks I am joking. Wait until hes out of clean underware, then we will see who is laughing.

The worst part about it isn't the folding. I like that part. The clothes smell good. Makes me feel accomplished. It is the socks. I hate the socks.

I hate them so much that I will just put all the loose socks into a laundry basket and hope that someone will sort them out. Usually that someone is me.

I have decided that there is indeed a sock gnome. He lives somewhere in my laundry room. Coming out only to feed on poor innocent socks. This is not based on myth or legend. This is based on fact. Scienctific fact.

One day I decided to experiment. I was bored. I was also looking for Noah's socks. I knew I had put them in the wash. Now, they were gone.

I decided it was time to expose the sock gnome for who he really was. A killer of socks. A destroyer of a mom's sanity.

So I threw in one pair of socks. Just one. I know a waste of laundry soap and water. But anything for science right?

They made it through the wash ok. No sign of the gnome. When it came time to take them out of the dryer...one was gone. The sock gnome had struck again!!!

Scientific data points to something taking that sock.

I have decided to thwart that sock gnome.

I am purchasing several lingerie garment bags to wash my socks in.This way he cannot steal them anymore.

One the plus side, putting socks away will be easy. Each person in the house will have their own bag.

Never have to sort and fold socks again.

Take that you evil sock gnome...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The one who got away: Writer's Workshop


It is said, that sometimes things must fall apart so that greater things can fall into place. 5 years ago, I didn't believe that there was anything all that great waiting for me.

After reuniting with my highschool sweetheart, we bought a house together and got engaged. I was 4 months into living in my brand new home and planning a wedding when he dropped the bomb...He wasn't ready to be with someone who had a kid. He wasn't ready for that responsibility.

So I left with my heart on the floor, son in my arms and headed home. Back home to my dad.

Sometimes things must fall apart....

Mike contacted me several times after I left. Once even writing an eight page letter, claiming he loved me and wanted to have a baby with me.

I think he was falling apart...

It took a long time for the tears to stop falling. For my heart to somewhat heal. I dated. But each with disasterous results. Mike was "the one who got away". I wondered if my heart would ever feel whole again.

Then I met who became "The One". It started out innocently enough. After a particularly devastating break up and my heart still hurting from loosing Mike, I wasn't ready to take down the walls just yet...if ever.

A month or so later, Steve and I lost touch. I chalked it up to fate. I just wasn't met to date anyone. Ever. Mike had moved on I heard. I was still stuck in those memories. Mirred in a love lost. A heart broken.

A few months later, my Yahoo Instant Messenger dinged...signaling a message. I was pleased to see it was Steve. We began talking more and more frequently. He made me laugh. I could slowly feel the walls that I had built so high with reinforced steel being chipped away. Mike was becoming a distant memory. My heart was healing.

It's been 4 years since my first date with Steve. 4 years since he pulled up to the resturant in his red Ford truck. 4 years since he first held my hand, first kissed me.

Today, I am thrilled that "the one who got away" got away. Had he not, I wouldn't have met Steve. My children wouldn't be here. I would still be unloved and unwanted or trapped in a bad relationship.

"The one who got away" taught me that I am stronger then any outside force. That wounds do heal. That even though

Things fall apart...

Greater things are almost always waiting in the wings.

Writer's Workshop hosted courtesy of MamaKat

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

3 months ago...


3 months ago, I was just leaving my doctor's appointment. It hadn't gone well at all. In fact, we had decided that Noah would be arriving that night.

I had just got into my car when my cell phone rang. It was the nurse. My doctor, after taking a 2nd look at my charts and the NST results decided that waiting any longer would have most definate disasterous results. He ordered me to be at the hospital within a half hour for a noon surgery.

I remember driving home, tears in my eyes, calling my brother..."Can you be here like now?" He made it. Calling my husband..."Get the kids ready...now." They weren't. Calling my dad and mom, repeating the same thing over and over. "Noah is coming now" He was 36 weeks.

It has been 3 months since a team of nurses wheeled me down the sterile hall towards the omnious operating room. 3 months since I cried as they put the spinal in my back (even though it didn't hurt). 3 months since I told the nurse "I think I am going to throw up" I didn't. 3 months since I heard the most wonderful sound to a mother's ears...Noah's loud cry. 3 months since the doctor closed up my baby making factory.

3 months.

It seems like a long period of time when you say it. But to live it...it seems so short.

It has been 3 months of sleepless nights, endless feedings, multiple runs to Wal-mart, never ending laundry.

3 months of having a baby permantely attached to my arms.

3 months.

3 months ago our lives changed with Noah's dramatic arrival. Morgan was no longer the baby. She was now the only, forever the only, girl in our family.

I went from having 2 toddlers to chase to having 2 toddlers a newborn and a 7 year old with a really bad attitude to chase.

I had to learn how to haul the toddlers and the newborn out...alone. I am still not comfortable doing it.

Over the last 3 months I learned alot about myself. I learned that while four kids may seem like alot (and some days it is) that I wouldn't trade my life in for anything. The seemingly endless days of rocking, washing and feeding. The never ending fighting, crying, needing...

None of that.

With the birth of Noah, I was taught to appreciate life more. He almost wasn't here. To slow down, as much as one can with 2 toddlers and a 7 year old with a bad attitude can.

I can't believe its been 3 months. Noah went from being this tiny 5pd 15oz baby to this, I don't know how much he weighs, laughing, rolling, spitting person. I can see his personality. He's going to have his mom's stubborn streak.

3 months....

It goes by so fast.

Monday, September 28, 2009

"Umm..wow, are these all yours?"

After dropping my oldest off with his dad Friday...I had to, um, pee. Now usually, I only pee when out when I have another adult with me to watch the kids, because not having an extra set of hands means schelping 2 toddlers and a newborn into a bathroom. Peeing while they announce to the world that "mommy's going potty!!!"

But this was one of those times where i had to go NOW!!

So, I haul the 3 of them into the gas station to use the bathroom. My son and his father are in there, "I can watch them" his dad says....ummm no chance buddy. Did I mention I don't like the guy?

So into the tiny bathroom we go. It was a fairly uneventful bathroom break, with only minor peaking under the stall door at me, and 2 bathroom garbage diving incidents.

Proud of my brood, I instruct the 2 toddlers to join hands, I grab the carseat and off we go.

As we are walking back towards the exit I hear it from behind me.

"You have a nice family"

"Thanks" I am quiet proud of myself. Because for once, they are actually behaving.

"How old are they?"

"3 months, 2 and 3" I reply.

The guy gets a surprised look on his face. "Thats close in age"

Your telling me buddy

"
I know" I laugh

"Umm, wow...so are they all yours?"

I look around. All what mine? Did I attract a gaggle of geese that I am not aware of? "All who mine?" I ask.

"The kids. Are they all yours?"

All Mine? I have 3 kids in tow, its not like I am the Duggar lady and out with my 25 children.

Three kids...thats it.

"Yep and that one over there with his dad...he's mine too!"

"Wow."

I watch the guy walk away. Why is it that as soon as someone finds out that I have four kids they are in awe? I mean, really? And heaven forbid I tell them my toddlers are 12 months and 2 weeks to the day apart...they might have a coranary

As far as society has advanced over the years, is it still taboo for a woman to have more then one or two children? Just last year I only had 3, and no one acted like this. Is four the magic number? The "I cant believe she has four kids, she does know what causes them, right?" number?

Just for the record, yes I know that what causes babies

And no, we wont be having any more.

Ever

Friday, September 25, 2009

Little Old Ladies and Ice Cream

The other day, my husband and I took our two toddlers out for ice cream while waiting for our oldest to return home from the hallowed halls of academia (ok ok school)

Now, my toddlers are, well they are toddlers. Ages 2 and 3. They act like most toddlers do. They run, they yell, they fight. And usually they are doing all 3 of these things at once.

We decided to eat our ice cream inside instead of allowing them to mess up the car with it. Dairy Queen was pretty empty save for a group of old gentelmen and 2 old ladies.

The 2 old ladies gave me the evil eye. How dare I bring my unkempt children into a family dining establishment. As if...

And like usual my toddlers decided now was the time to act like they were raised by neandrathals...with really bad manners.

My 3 year old decides now is the time to yell. It's fun mommy...it echoes in the semi empty establishment.

My 2 year old decides to follow suit and begins screeching at an octave that would cause ones ears to bleed.

"Sit down and eat..please" Yes I am begging my children to behave.

Then I notice it.

The old lady at the other table turns in her chair and gives me

The Evil Eye

You know the one I am talking about. The one that people who either have no kids or had kids that they treated really bad, give a parent when they think their children are out of control.

My kids are NOT out of control at this point. Actually, they were never out of control...that happened later at Red Lobster when the waiter sat us next to the lobster tank.

They were just being..well..kids

We were in there about half an hour. During that time that old lady never took her scowling, beady little eyes of off my kids...

Apparently, it is wrong to take your family to a ....

Family Resturant...

Next time, I am going to seat myself and my children..all FOUR of them right next to her.

Just because I can.

I got nothing

Ok, so I have seriously been in a writing rut lately. Between blogging, Twitter, and my two way cool writing gigs. The well has run dry. I am a writer, the well can't run dry, can it?

It has gotten so bad, that I sit at the computer, staring at the blank screen for hours. Well, maybe not hours, but you catch my drift.

I got nothing.

Not for lack of things to write about. I mean with four kids, and a busy life, surely something is bound to arise that I would deem blog-worthy. Has my life really become that boring?

Before I took on the 2 additional writing gigs, I had tons to write about. Sometimes it was serious, but more often the not it was something that someone did in my family that made me roll my eyes. But atleast I had something.

Now, I got nothing.

I'm sad. Writing has always been my thing. Mainly poetry in my early years, but over the past few years, blogging and content writing has been my new thing. I like it. It is theraputic. I can get my point across so much clearer when I write. Ask my husband, I am known to email when we fight, because what I want to say comes across that much clearer.

So, I am now forced to take a step back and re-evaluate what it is I am doing. What am I doing anyways?

I want to continue to write. But I want to turn out blogs that people will actually read and not just random post that makes me look like a blitering idiot.

I love to write. I am just, shall we say, suffering from writer's constipation...ok writer's block is a more pleasing phrase.

Anyways, I sat down to write this post hoping it would knock something loose in my head and I could write something more...

But again

I got

Nothing

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