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!"


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.


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


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Totally Random Tuesday Thoughts: "Oh...You're A Writer?"

I am *cough* 29 years old. It's taken me the better part of my adult life to decide what I actually wanted to be when I grew up. As if that would ever happen.

I have tried everything, I was a kennel cleaner for a dog boarding place, I taught preschool, I sold cars. And while I liked only a couple of these jobs, I still longed for something more.

I never went to college. Instead, I dated the bad boy, got knocked up, moved in with dad, moved out, moved in, got knocked up again, got married, got knocked up, moved a time or two, got knocked up again. In between that I worked various jobs. But I never found my *calling*.

A little over a year ago, I gave up, permantely, the 9-5. No longer hawking used cars at the corner lot. I became, what is by far my most favorite job, a stay at home mom.

Like most families, we knew that even with me staying home, I would have to find a way to make some income. And since selling my self on the street corner was out...so began my journey.

I tried a bunch of different things. But nothing really worked. Then I realized...I need to take a look at what I love to do and make that work for me.

Thus my freelance photography and writing journey began.

I love what I do. I write daily for the Examiner and weekly for Associated Content. I also have open bids on Elance. I love what I do.

Yes, I am a writer.

Yes, I am proud of what I do.

So why is it, if someone asks me "What do you do?" and I tell them "Oh, I am a freelance writer and photographer" I get the look.

You know, the I smell something nasty look?

Then they say "Oh...a writer. I can't imagine it pays much"

Then I fight the urge to tell them why I freelance. I don't do it for the money, I do it because it gives me a break from the romper room that is my life. I do it because it is cathartic for me, I do it because it is who I am.

Instead, I smile and say:

"Well, it sure beats a day working the corner"

Have you pampered yourself lately?

When is the last time you have taken some time to do something for you? If you are like me, it has been a lifetime and a half.

Well, Origins has given me a chance to help a few lucky readers change that.

Now until Monday September 28th 2009, you can enter to win a free mini facial from Origins. With Origins Mini-facials you can choose from a wide variety of personalized treatments to address your specific skincare concerns.

How To Enter:

1.) follow my blog. If you are already following then leave a comment

2.) follow me on twitter @crayoninmydryer. Be sure to leave a comment

3.) Tweet about this giveaway (leave url for your tweet with @crayoninmydryer)

4.)blog about this giveaway linking back to me

On September 28th 2009, 3 winners will be selected at random using random.org

Good luck!!

Fast As Fast Can Be They Will Never Catch Me

My kids are the pickiest eaters...ever. My oldest will have a meltdown to end all meltdowns if I even so much as mention making mashed potates for dinner. And put them on his plate? I may have well just kill Spongebob.

My younger two are not as bad, but they are still picky. So, being that no fruits or veggies rarely cross their lips, I have learned that I have to be sneaky (hey it works with my picky eater husband too!!)

When I make meatloaf, I chop up onions, carrots, and celery really fine and mix it in the meat mixture. I do it with burgers as well.

I offer a veggie at every meal, and they have to take a "no thank you bite"

I keep mainly fruits on hand for snacks. Apples, Bannanas and Fruit Snacks with 100% fruit juice.

When I am grocery shopping I let my kids decide what fruits they want me to buy that week. If they pick it out then they usually will eat it.

Adding things like peanut butter or cream cheese is always a sure way to keep them eating their fruits and veggies.

And then there are days, that they just sit there at the table, with a defeated look on their faces because mommy is making them eat their veggies.

What a horrible mom I am!!

Thanks to Twittermoms and Horizion Little Blends for hosting this contest!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Me, bite off more then I can chew...never!

It is Saturday. I am, again, up before the birds. Why? Because I have a deadline for some articles that I am writing. And the only time I can write for any solid length of time is before the kids get up...or after they go to bed, but at that point I just want to go. to. sleep. So I am pretty useless at that point.

I have recently taken on another writing gig. Thanks to a dear friend of mine who referred me, I am now writing as The Rockford Early Childhood Parenting Examiner. It's a pretty cool gig.

Writing has always been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. It has always given me an outlet to express my thoughts and feelings. I enjoy sitting in front of the computer. I am fairly lucky, I seldom have writer's block and if I do, it doesn't last too long.

I am now writing for two different places online. Associated Content and Examiner.com. I have set weekly goals as to how many articles I want to write and publish each week. And if I must say so, I set the bar fairly high. Maybe too high? I am looking to turn out 6-10 original pieces each week. Per site. Easy maybe? But this isn't like blogging. Blogging comes easy for me, because I like to talk. But turning out 6-10 articles per week. Per site...good quality articles, may prove to be a bit tough. What will I write about? What does 'my public' want to see? Do I even have a public?

I am also developing my photography business as well. Plus raising 4 kids. Plus taking care of a house. Plus doing various blogging things....

My life is full. My life is busy with a capital B.

But I wouldn't have it anyother way

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Writer's Workshop: If You Give A Mom A Moment....

If You Give A Mom A Moment....

If you give a mom a moment, she will want a cup of coffee

She will then discover the contents of last weeks cup of coffee molding in the filter basket

This will lead to her disinfecting the entire kitchen

Then she will drop the coffee pot on the floor.

She will clean up the glass, while keeping the toddlers at bay,

While cleaning up the glass, she will decide to mop the floor

After mopping the floor, she will load 4 kids into the car, head to the local Wal-Mart to replace broken pot.

Only to discover she has to buy a whole new machine.

She will leave the store 2 hours and 200 dollars later.

Upon arriving home, she will unpack the coffee maker while feeding the kids gummi bears

She will put the last of her coffee grounds in the filter and turn the machine on...

Learning a few moments later you must FIRST put the pot on the maker.

She will mop up hot coffee, with tears in her eyes

If you give a mom a moment, she will want a cup of coffee...

Screw the coffee, gimme a beer!

writer's workshop hosted courtesy Mama Kat

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Totally Random Thought Tuesday: Things I Learned In The Last Week

1.) Prior to Noah, the only real caffeine I needed was pop and the occasional Monster drink. Now, I cannot function without atleast TWO cups of coffee. French Vanilla Flavored with French Vanilla creamer and loads of sugar. Please.

2.)Noah can smile. And Coo. And Spit. Those 3 things combined have proven to be a great deterrent from the housework that needs to be done.

3.)That if I tell my husband "No its fine you can play on the computer" while I am cleaning and painting and he does it...that I really can't get too mad...but I still do.

4.) That updating the software on my iPod Touch will make it go back to factory settings. I will loose my 200+ songs. And the minions that work @ Apple.com in the customer service department are really overpaid.

5.) That exporting my husbands music off his iPod to itunes will allow me to get back all my music and all will be right with the world again

6.)That a 3 year old, Jeff Dunham, Walter, Achemed the Dead Terrorist, Jose Jalepeno...on a stick and Peanut...don't mix. Ever.

7.) That laughing at said 3 year old telling his brother "You idiot, you don't have an ass" will only make him say it more.

8.) That I am not as young as I think. And riding all the "make you wanna throw up rides" at the fair, especially after eating a polish sausage with onions and green peppers, will indeed, make me wanna throw up

9.) That laundry breeds indiscrimenantly while I sleep and there really is a sock monster in my washer

10.) That unless my kid is dying or really does have a broken bone, I am never taking them to the E.R. Ever. Doing so will result in my 2 year old having her leg in a temporary cast for nothing more then a splinter

11.) That I really am blessed. I have 4 wonderful children, a husband who loves me inspite of my flaws....

And an ipod loaded with music again.

Monday, September 14, 2009

THIS Is Why Our Health Care Needs Reforming..Seriously

Yes, our healthcare system is seriously flawed. I mean how does a 2 year old girl end up in a hip to foot temporary cast...for a dang splinter??

Our story starts Sunday afternoon. After waking the baby for the umpteenth time, I banish Aidan and Morgan to their rooms to play. Hoping that Noah will sleep with them downstairs. I sit down to try to get some work done.

It is time to go get their big brother from his dad. This event usually brings the biggest of smiles to Morgan's face when I tell her "bubba's coming home" and she races for the door. Sadly, this time, that was not the case.

After me yelling down the stairs to "get up here now", certain that her tears were nothing more then just "I am being a diva" tears, I went down stairs to pry her from whatever it was that demanded her immediate attention.

I find her sitting on the stairs with a blanket. "Lets go!" I demand. Already frustrated because I need gas and my husband forgot to leave the gas money for me, which means a detour to Wal-Mart to get it. Morgan refuses. By this time, Noah is in full meltdown mode in his carseat...Aidan is dancing around the house yelling "Silence! I Kill You!!" and I am getting more impatient with Morgan's refusal to come on!

Once I finally pick Morgan up and get her upstairs, I notice that she is not wanting to put weight on her left foot. She would cry when she would stand on it and did not want her shoe on it. I figured maybe she twisted it and hauled her to the car.

We left at 530, get home at 800pm...she still wont walk on it. By now I am getting concerned. Morgan is not the type of girl to just sit still. Daddy came home and instead of running to him like she normally does, she scooted...on her butt.

I grabbed my keys and Morgan and told my husband I was taking her to the ER...just to be safe.

Can I just say that last night must have been the night for childhood injuries...Morgan was the 4th kid in there at the same time as the others...for xrays.

After waiting for 2 hours, I mean come on this IS an emergency room, they come to take Xrays. By now I am tired, she is tired, thanks to the Motrin the nurse gave her, I am hungry, and start harboring feelings of guilt. What if it is broken? Had I not banished them downstairs, this wouldn't have happened.

An hour after the xrays were done, the doctor comes in ( this is the same doctor that 2 years ago misdiagnosed Morgan with Pneumonia...she was all of 2 months old and on antibiotics for NOTHING) and says "I don't see a fracture, but that doesn't mean there isn't one. We will put a temporary cast on her and you need to follow up with the Orthopedic Dr tomorrow...hopefully they can get you in. Thanks for your time" What?? He was gone before I could as if the temporary cast was nessecary. But I am not one to usually question medical proffessionals, I mean it is because of one very proactive Dr, that Noah is here..but blindly trusting a doctor, especially one who has misdiagnosed your child in the past, can be a mistake...

I watched with tears in my eyes as they put the cast on my baby girl. My once active toddler was reduced to being carried everywhere. She was miserable. She didn't want the cast on. I didn't want it on. We both went home with tears.

Needless to say her and I didn't sleep. Because I was harboing imense feelings of guilt, I bedded her down on the couch with cereal, juice and The Christmas Story.

She didn't pass out till around 330am...and even then hardly slept.

As soon as 8am rolled around this morning, I was on the phone. We need to get this taken care of now. By now I am not convinced that it is broken as she is trying to walk around on her cast.

Getting an appointment with a specialist, especially same day, is almost impossible, but the Gods above must have been smiling on me because I got her in around 1015am.

The orthopedic dr looks at her xrays, gives me this "why the hell are you wasting my time" look, takes off the temporary cast and says Morgan is fine. Probably twisted it.

I silently thank God, while cursing the ER doc from the night before for putting us through this.

Morgan is now walking, sorta, at this point. We get home. I put her down for a nap, hoping that she will be feeling better by the time she gets up.

When she wakes up, she refuses to walk on her heel...crying if I don't pick her up. Then it hits me...there has to be something IN her foot. So I plop her down on the couch.

And then I see it. In all its crowning glory...a splinter. A big ol' splinter embedded in her foot. In the exact spot she won't walk on. Now, I didn't notice it last night, but shouldn't the doctor have? Any one of the 3 or 4 nurses she seem? The orthopedic?

I grab the tweezers, an alcohol pad and a needle. And perform minor surgery (ok not really) on her foot. She doesn't even flinch. I imagine that any pain she feels from me poking her in the foot with a needle is less then what she felt walking around with that thing in it.

In a few moments, most of it is out. There is a little bit left, but I am "hoping" it will work its way out.

As for my daughter, she is now running around downstairs with her brothers.

So, anyone want to tell me...how does a splinter equal a temporary cast?

And while you are at it....

Have YOU ever tried to keep a 2 year old still...

Just sayin.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Barefoot Books for Baby Gift Set Giveaway!

Our last Barefoot Books Giveaway was a success! So I thought I would bring it back again this month.

This give-away is for a Baby Gift set retailing at $28.00


A perfect 'welcome home' for a new baby

Welcome a new baby into the world with Baby’s First Book, featuring Clare Beaton’s exquisite hand-sewn collages. Paired with a cuddly White Bunny Rabbit puppet, this gift set makes the perfect present and is presented in an eco-friendly, reusable green shopper tote with a gift tag to personalize.

For babies to 2 years

How To Earn Enteries:

1.)Follow Crayons In My Dryer
2.)Follow me on Twitter @crayoninmydryer
3.)RT this giveaway on Twitter...be sure to @crayoninmydryer so I know you did it
4.)Blog about this giveaway, linking back to me

Be sure to leave a comment after you do the enteries.

Winner will be announced on Sept 21. I will choose a winner at random using random.org

Be sure to check back often as there are more great give-a-ways coming up!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Where Were You That September Morning...

Every once and a while, an event comes along that shakes us to our cores. Forces us to take a look at ourselves and our lives. It brings change. Change in how we treat others, how we live, what we believe. It could be something like a car accident. But for many many Americans, here on our soil and those living abroad...It was September 11, 2001.

When I think back to that day, I can remember exactly where I was and even what I was wearing. Some may doubt that sense of recollection. But it is true. I was standing in a room full of innocent 2 and 3 year olds, working as a teacher (which I loved) at a church that I would find out, would choose to condem me for my beliefs.

I was wearing black dress boots, an ankle length black skirt that had red flowers on it with a black tee shirt. It was hot that day, my hair was pulled up in a pony tail ( I miss having hair that long sometimes)

It was just after snack time, free play, when my director came in and pulled me and Yolanda (my assistant) aside and told us that a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center Towers. Like many other Americans, we to chose to believe that it was simply a very horrible plane accident. But like many other American's our hearts told us otherwise.

We turned on the little radio that was situated in the corner of my classroom, one eye on the children, the other on the radio. What had happened? What was going to happen? My teacher assistant offered to watch the children and the remainder of us went into the other room to turn on the television. Surely our local news would have picked up on this by now.

It was the national FOX news that we found upon clicking on the television and what we were about to witness was alot more then just a horrible plane accident.

As I stood there, staring at the t.v. watching the chaos unfold, a 2nd plane hit the WTCs. Tears started to fall from our faces. We watched that morning as the news reported the plane crashes at the Pentagon and in that field in P.A.

We watched in horror as the towers fell to the ground.

Driving home that afternoon, my heart was heavy. One of my dear friend, whom I had replaced as teacher at another day care center about 6 months prior, had left teaching to pursue her dream of becoming a flight attendant...at that time I did not know her fate.

As I drove past the gas stations, the lines were horrible. What were people preparing for? As I listened to the radio, I heard talks of war, nuclear attacks, the end of the world. What was going on? Why did this happen?

In less then 24 hours, I would find out that I was pregnant (on 9/12) with my first child. When I found out I was pregnant, I cried. What kind of place would the post 9/11 world be like? What would America be like? How could I bring a child into this world? With all the talk of Nucular war, would I even live to see my baby be born?

Over the course of the next few days, my eyes scoured the internet reading the news waiting for any word on my friend. Her parents hadn't heard from her either. As I would drive to work each morning, I would look up at the sky and think of how "lonely" the sky looked with out the air traffic. My mom was stuck in Las Vegas, but atleast she was safe on the ground. It would be almost 4 days before she made it home.

About 6 days after that day, I recieved a phone call, it was from my friend's parents. 9/11 was her first scheduled day as a flight attendent. Her plane? The 2nd one that hit the towers. I remember falling to my knees. I had seen that plane hit. I couldn't imagine the terror she or anyone else at that moment felt.

It has been 8 years, according to the time now, to the date since that day happened. Our world has changed significantly. I watched as many of my childhood friends went to war, some did not return. Others, like my best friend in high school who was in the mission that captured Saddam Hussein, made it back to a hero's welcome. Still others are on their 3 or 4th tour of duty with no end in sight.

As American's we are more aware. Sometimes too aware, as racial profiling has increased. Some of us have moved on with our lives, never given a 2nd thought to those events. But most of us, everytime we look at that American Flag, we are reminded....

Our Freedom Isn't Free...

Toby Keith's Courtsey Of The Red White And Blue

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Writer's Workshop: What Does Marriage Mean To You?

When I was growing up, I had this idea of how marriage would be. I mean don't we all. Especially little girls, we spend a huge percentage of our childhood days planning out how our wedding will be, rehearsing with Barbie And Ken (and the occasional cat and dog...not that I did that...I'm just sayin...)

Then we grow up. And hit that wall.

First, we have to find the man that we want to marry. That takes some a lifetime in and of itself.

I,myself, was engaged 3 times...once for real, meaning we actually set the date, I picked out my colors and all that jazz, only to have it implode on me. Once was just a silly highschool "we will be together forever" thing. I think that ended a few weeks after graduation. And once was a "I am going to make my ex-wife jealous" engagement. Can ya figure out how that one ended?

Then I met my now husband. We got married. And then I really learned what marriage means.

*It means forgetting the "never go to bed angry" rule. Some nights you have to go to bed angry so you can wake up and realize how stupid you were

*It means loving another when it seems impossible to continue to do.

*It means fighting for what you really want, and not walking away because it is easiest.

*It means letting go of how you think things should be and instead focus on how things are.

*It means working together towards a common goal.

*It means compromise

*It means never forgetting to say "I love you"

*It means that sometimes you have to admit that you are not always right (even though I am)

*It means sharing

*It means arguing like adults and not like children in the school yard.

*It means having someone to share your life with.

When I got married to my husband, I had this idea in my head of how I wanted my marriage to be. I thought that it would be all smiles and loving kisses. And it was...but not all the time.

We had to compromise,alot, on things in our lives.

As my husband and I went through our lives we lost alot: Our home, our car, our credit. I lost jobs. He lost time with his family as he struggled to keep us afloat.

But we also gained alot: Our 3 children, a new outloook on life, ourselves.

So ultimately Marriage redefines itself everyday. It is how we react to those redefinitions that help us learn what marriage means.

To me: My marriage means simply this: Love, Strength, Honor, Loyalty and Respect.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday 9/09/2009

Aidan's "I am mad at you Mom!!" Face

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Totally Random Tuesday...

Well, Noah ended last week and started this week with a cold. Probably as a direct result of mommy needing to sleep with the window open at night...but most definately as a direct result of D starting school and bringing home other kid's germs. But it really doesn't matter how Noah got his cold, all that matters is that my 2 month old is Miserable. With a capital M. And what really sucks is there is nothing that you can give a 2 month old when they are sick. Not that I am one to medicate my child at every sniffle, but still, something would be nice. But since there is nothing one can do for a sick baby....mommy has not slept in a few days. I am at the point where I feel like I am walking around in a haze. My muscles ache, my head hurts, I am exhausted. My dear, dear husband claims he cannot hear Noah cry at night, even though we share the same room. And he sleeps right next to the bed. It ticks me off to be woke up for the 4th time in as many hours and see my husband sleeping peacefully. Makes me want to hit him with something, then pretend to be sleeping.

Yesterday, I got what I think may be on the best. emails.EVER!! Ok, well maybe not that good, but still pretty exciting.

See, in Feburary of this year, my husband bought me my first ever SLR Digital Camera, a Nikon D40. I was in love. I take a ton of pictures of my kids and we thought that this would be the best option for me. I mean I take and develop enough that is pays for itself in the first use.

Since then, I have been toying with the idea of taking pictures on the side for a little bit of pocket change. I have been back and forth a million times with the idea. I mean, if I loved doing it, then why not try to make a little extra money on the side?

Well, I started a photography blog, thought up a cute little name, Come As You Are Photography. And left it at that. I put up pictures that I took and edited of my kids but really never pursued it much further then that.

Until yesterday.

I get an email. Someone is interested in my rates to photograph a 3 hour retirement party. Are you kidding me?!? After the inital shock wore of, excitement set in. This was great!!! Until it hit me...what are my rates? I wouldn't know what to charge to be fair, yet make something for myself. Also, I didn't even know if there was a place I could rent lenses as I only have the one that came with my camera.

After discussing with my husband, we agreed that I would put together a proposal for this guy to look at and if he liked it GREAT, but if not that was ok too. Because I am now going to focus on getting my photography business up and running with an anticipated offical launch in January!!

I am so freaking excited

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Kids Say the Darndest Things...

This was the dinner time conversation over hotdogs and potatoe chips, courtesy of my lovely D

D: "Mom how come your are not eating?"

Me: "I am not hungry, I will eat later."

D: "It's because of your diet right? What is a diet anyways mom?"

Me: "It is something that mommy is doing to try to look a little thinner."

D: "Look what?"

Me: "Skinny ok, just eat your damn hot dog"

D:"Is that how come you do the Wii Fit?"

Me: "Yes, now eat"

D: "Well is it working?"

Me: "Is what working?"

D:"The Wii Fit?"

Me: "I don't know, I guess...just eat for cripes sake"

By now I am starting to wonder where this conversation is going...

D:"Well I think it is."

Me: "You think what is? And are you going to eat...like ever?"

D: "The Wii fit mom" as he shoves the hot dog in his mouth

Me: "Thanks"

D:"You don't look as fat anymore"

Me: "Well thanks, I am trying...now eat!!"

All is quiet for a few minutes when he opens his mouth to speak

D: "Well you still are fat but not as fat"

Me: *crickets*

He never did finish that damn hotdog

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Writer's Workshop "Tell About a Time When You Were Wrongly Wronged..."

Well, I think I was wrongly wronged...does that count?

Ask anyone who knows me, I have a lead foot. Being taught to drive by a race car driver and then driving said race car, didn't lend itself to my "speed sensibility" and I have been known, just at time or two,to let the the needle on the speedometer creep past the designated speed.

Years back, I was driving on a back country road, heading back from seeing a guy that I was not supposed to be seeing, stereo cranked up, singing along at the top of my lungs, totally oblivious to anything going on around me...blissfully unaware that my speed was fast approaching the "illegal" limit.

I had the music up so loud and was so wrapped up singing whatever it was that I didn't notice the cop behind me at first. I honestly don't know how long he was behind me before I actually had that "oh crap" moment and pulled over. Because I wasn't wresteled to the ground by Mr. Officer (although he was hot so it would have been ok...maybe) I assume that he hadn't been following me that long.

I opened my door because my window didn't roll down. Did you know that the cops don't want you to open your door..."Ma'm...you need to remain in your vehicle" he shouted at me.

Then it happened, my mouth it started on it's own..."Who pissed in your cherrios this morning?" As soon as I uttered those words I knew I was getting a ticket...for what I didn't know just yet.

As he glared at me, he pulled out his little ticket book and asked me if I knew why he had pulled me over. "Nope, maybe you had nothing better to do, I mean it is the end of the month" Darn it, there went my mouth, again...I have seriously got to learn to control it better.

I could sense he was getting slightly irratated with me so I shut my mouth and waited for Mr. Officer to tell me what exactly I had done to have the pleasure of being pulled over by him.

"You were going 55 in a 35" he said a little sternly as he started to reach for my license and registration in my hand. I was speechless (for the first time like ever) I looked up, my car has 1/2 way past the speed limit sign designating this stretch of road a 55mph zone.

"Excuse me, can you even read?" I said, knowing full and well that I was setting myself up to get into more trouble then I was already in, but there was no way I was going 55 in a 35, especially if there was a sign right in front his eyes stating it was a 55mph hour zone.

He took a deep breath and began to explain to me how I was speeding up before the sign blah blah blah.

I was impatient, I was supposed to be home in 15 minutes and still had a 30 minute drive ahead of me. Being home on time was the only way my dad wouldn't figure out what I had been doing.

"Obviously you can't read and are just in a foul mood, so give me my ticket and we both can go our seperate ways.." Wrong answer, Melissa.

Mr. Officer decided that I was being beligerent and made me sit on the side of the road while he searched my car "For drugs or firearms". I almost had to laugh..firearms? I told him he wouldn't find any drugs or firearms in the car, but because it was so messy, I was sure there was a pocket of chinesse in there who hadn't heard that the war was over. I laughed...he didn't, apparently dealing with a mouthy 18 year old was last on his list of things to do that day.

After what seemed like forever, he wrote me my ticket for speeding, gave me a lecture about being more respectful to law enforcement. I told him this ticket was B.S and he snickered and said see ya in court.

I went to court, I didn't deserve that ticket, I was already in a 55mph zone when he pulled me over...I could win this. I walked smugly into the court room.

The judge called my name, I walked up next to Officer Friendly. I plead my case. He said his piece...

I got a fine AND court costs..

Seems he had been following me with his lights on...

For a mile.

Add to that my attitude and the judge decided to make "me an example for all the other mouthy teens in the room"

You try explaining a $75.00 ticket from a cop in a town you weren't supposed to be in to your dad...

I think I am still grounded.

thanks to Mama Kat for the inspiration!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Have You Heard About Votre Vu?

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Whether you are looking to earn some extra spending money, to finance a special product, to support your family or even gain financial independance, your Votre Vu Business can make these goals a reality

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If you are interested in learning more about this wonderful business oppurtunity, please email me for your free information pack, no obligation

Not interested? That is ok too..but don't miss out on sampling some of the finest skin care products around. Email me your name, address and skin type and I will send you free samples customized to your skin type.

Visit www.votrevu.com today to take a look at all of our wonderful products

And dont forget to get your free samples...

Melissa A!

Wordless Wednsday Noah's First Smiles

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Product Review-Hooked On Phonics Reading Program

Midway through the 2007-2008 school year, I was called into a conference with my son's first grade teacher.

My son was not where he "should" be as far as academics were concerned and his principal and early intervention specialist had thought that maybe we should consider holding him back a year and having him re-do the first grade.

I left that meeting feeling defeated. I felt like I had dropped the ball as far as parenting my son was concerned. I also knew that I did not want to have my son retained in the first grade. My husband and I talked about this to great lengths. My son would be going to a new school for the next school year (thank goodness for that ) so no one but him would know that he was having to repeat the first grade. I still wasn't comfortable with the idea though.

I decided that I would give it one last go before comitting to retaining him or not. Since reading was his weakest area, I began looking for ways to bolster that skill.

I had previous experience with HOP as an early childhood educator a few years prior. I had seen first hand, the success that a child could have with this program. However, I was put off by the cost of the program itself.

I decided, anyways, to check out the website again and see what resources they would have available in addition to the popular programs.

I was surprised and delighted to see that with the HOP reading program (and others as well) they offered a simple payment plan. $20.00 down and then $21.00 a month for 4 months would allow me to have this program for my son. I was so pleased with this offer that I explored some of the workbooks on their site and ended up purchasing a 1st grade workbook that covered all subjects.

When I recieved my package (I purchased the Deluxe) I immediately opened the box and was impressed with how easy it was to understand the program and how developmentally appropiate the program was.

My son started it on that following Monday ( I recived it on a Saturday) and within one week of using the program, his teacher noticed that his reading comprehension and confidence had increased.

We have been using the program now for about 5 months (taking time off during the summer for the birth of his baby brother) and are now into the 3rd box, the second grade box.

The workbook was great too. He was able to do most of the activites with no assistance, and the ones he did need help with it was very minimal.

He is now reading at nearly a second grade level, which is great considering when we started this program he was only reading at maybe a kindergarten level.

Be sure to visit the Hooked On Phonics Website for all of your childs needs. They have kits for science, reading, math, writing, and for multiple languages too. They even have kits for toddlers to use.

Hooked on Phonics is a great resource for any parent, and I highly reccomend it

Someone Should Have Told Me...

That being a mom meant:

A night out would be a trip to wal-mart and the drive thru lane at Mcdonalds

Becoming the referre to backseat brawls

I would never again be able to get the Spongebob Theme song out of my head

I would know, and SING every word to any Wiggles songs ever made

That life and death would be explained as we flushed the goldfish

That if there was a channel showing cartoons they would find it and watch it

That I would make 45 trips up and down the stairs at night, because someone needs a drink, needs to be changed and needs a hug

That everytime I sat down, my butt would trigger some sort of silent alarm that would make someone cry,someone poop,and someone need more of something

That never again would I pee in peace

That taking a shower meant jumping in and hoping I remembered to lock the door

That said door would be unlocked and I would find myself showering with an audience

That it would be inevitable that someone would forget something they NEED while on a long trip and we would have to buy it on the way

That I would eat chicken nuggets 5 nights a week

That In a rush to get everybody ready, I would ineveitably be the one who didbt get dressed and now I am scaring the children at the elementary school...

If someone would have told me that being a mom meant all those things...I would tell them yep, it also means this too.

For every tear that they cry, I cry 2

I melt at the sight of them, even if they are dirty

I will hang their art work, even the little scribbles all over the place for all to see

I will move heaven and earth and fight the devil for them

If someone would have told me that being a mom meant all those things I would have still chosen to become....mom

It's Just a little Spider

*Picture not included because spiders are just nasty*

Ok, so for as long as I can remember, I have been terrified to death of spiders. For some reason, they scare the living piss out of me, even little ones.

But, I love the movie Arachnaphobia, go figure. Anyways, so for years, this "irrational fear" of spiders has made me prime target for jokes and pranks. I am constantly made fun of. I admit, it is a stupid thing to be scared of, but come on..they are NASTY.

So today, I am going to go down stairs to check on the napping kiddos, when what am I greeted by..A SPIDER!! And not just your typical daddy long leg, no this sucker had a body the size of a quarter, legs that where just as long and was black and yellow.

I panic,of course, who is going to kill this thing. I look at the dog, who looks at me. "Surely you dont expect ME to kill it?" I ask the dog, as this nasty thing creeps along my wall. It makes its way to a pile of clothes and settles. "So now what?" I cant just leave it. So I do the next best thing...

I race to my hall closet and grab the bottle of woolite carpet cleaner. Yes carpet cleaner. I spray the damn thing and it hides in the clothes. Damnit. Then I start stomping on the clothes as if they were on fire. I hoping that is is dead. Then I realize if its not, then its still in the clothes and is free to roam about my house, so I do what any girl in this situation would do...I grab a pair of tongs and pick the clothes up (why are you laughing? I wasnt going to touch the clothes after that) and pile them into the laundry basket. Still no spider, so logical conclusion, it is still in the laundry basket. So now the laundry basket is sitting at the top of my stairs waiting to be taken down to wash....this will kill the spider sending him to spider heaven.

Except for this..WHO is going to wash those clothes?

*recycled from my Myspace Blog*

Where oh Where Has My Laundry Detergent Gone?

I have begun to realize just how indispensible I really am around here.

My laundry has gotten a "tad" out of control...and by a tad, I mean it isn't piled in EVERY room..yet.

The other day, I ask Steve to throw a load of laundry in as he is walking down the stairs. Hey, he ASKED me what he could do. So he threw a load in for me and then left .

The next day, I asked him again to throw another load in..he is totally on board *I think* with my obsesive cleaning tear I am on. Although if I get amused by my new carpet steamer one more time, he is liable to call the men in the white coats to take me away...but that is a blog for another day...

Back to the laundry. "Melissa?!?" he yells up the stairs. I roll my eyes and wonder *how* difficult is it to put the soap in and start the washer? "What could you possibly want" I say as I walk down the stairs. "Where's the laundry soap?" "DUH..where YOU left it" "But its not here?" I go down there, it is not there. "Well where is it then?" "I dunno"

I look at Aidan , "Did you take it?" "yeah" Thats his answer for everything..so another day passes...no laundry soap..How does laundry soap grow legs and walk away? I tore the boys room apart, thinking that Damien or Aidan took it, steeling myself for the soapy mess I would soon fine. Nothing. So I get on my hands and knees and look under the beds...do you know how much crap a boy can shove under a bed...oh my! I found lots of things..including the sorce of that mysterious oder but still, no soap.

So at this point I am thinking that Steve has lost his ever loving mind, because soap can't just dissappear. On a whim, I open the washer, where the clothes from the previous day reside...and there in all its crowning glory..is my laundry soap...

After an inspection it is determined that the soap, the entire bottle, had gone thru an entire wash cycle. Thankfully, it had not opened.

Steve knocked it in the day before and washed it with the clothes.

I would call the police and report an attempted murder of an innocent, (and FULL) bottle of Purex All Natural Soap. But I am sure, it would be thrown out...I dont think he is fit to stand trial.

*Blog recycled from my Myspace Blog...because frankly, this blog is wayyyy cooler ;)

Picture of The Day

A Classic Mid-west Summer Storm

Sometimes I wonder...(Totally Random Tuesday)

My house is a mess. It seems that while it takes the kids mere seconds to mess it up, it takes me hours to clean it back up. It never gets quiet right before the kids come tearing through it again, leaving a path of destruction in their wake.

I tried sending them downstairs to play in their rooms...you know the place where all the toys are supposed to be? Yea, that didn't go to well.

In the boys room, there is crayon covering every inch of wall, the doors and even the window. Several times now I have ripped their room apart trying to find the damn crayons. I can't find them..anywhere..

The boys also have an obsene amount of toys. Every year I cut their collection down by atleast 1/2 in preparation for birthdays and christmases. I don't buy many toys during the year for them...so tell me why they have enough toys to open a toy shop. Geoffery The Giraffe would be proud.

My daughter's room is no better. Except for she likes to take her diaper off...after she poops...I think its time to replace her carpet...

Anyways back to what I was wondering about...

When I was younger, my mom was a stickler for a clean house. She spent hours a day doing laundry, cleaning and scrubbing. I remember my mom, on several occasions, making me take every last thing out of my room, put it in the hall and then clean my room top to bottom.

I was a disorganized kid, and now I am a disorganized mom..

So, what I wonder sometimes is this..

Am I this way inspite of my mom? Had she not been so all like Mr. Clean on me, would I be more inclined to keep a tidy home? My mom pounded housework into my head, that I think like most kids, I just tuned her out, and became set in my ways. If you tell a kid not to do something a certain way...guess what? They are going to do it anyways.

So if my theroy is right, that my mom just set me up to be disorganized because of how hard she pushed me as a kid...then my kids are going to be freaking neat freaks..right?

I doubt it. Because there are holes in my theroy here...see the kids like not having an organized mom, because how can I yell at them to clean their rooms, when the remainder of the house is still in dissarray...

Just the other day, my sweet 7 year old told me..."Mom, I will clean my room....when you clean yours!!"




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