Monday, January 24, 2011

Let Me Introduce You

I know I have mentioned my little Scut on here quite a bit but let me introduce him officially.

Tomorrow he will be 8 weeks old and we can't really call him Scut anymore.  He has decided to turn that frown upside down and now has better things to do than screech every time you pick him up.

The other night, my husband called him The Not-So-Evil Dr. Spit Up.  (we have been watching way way too much Toy Story around here!)

Here are ten of his favorite things, in no particular order:

1.  His oh so warm and fuzzy swaddle blanket
2.  Watching his big brother play the guitar (with Murray, play your guitar with him...too much Wiggles too!)
3.  The mobile on his cozy swing.
4.  His BINKEY!!!
5.  Spitting up on Daddy (what can I say, he has the magic touch)
6.  Target (ok, that's my favorite)
7.  His Boppy Pillow
8.  Tummy time with big bro
9.  Arm wrestling (ok finger wrestling)
10. Peeing and pooping on us when we change him

Of course I don't have to include nursing and sleeping!

It has only been eight weeks and I can't remember what life was like before him.  Ok, I can, I got a lot more sleep and I was getting showers without an audience.

He is my cuddly little man, and Wookster is so proud to be a big brother.  I can't wait to see them truly interact with one another!  I am sure I will eat those words someday!

Well, Dr. Spit Up calls!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Holding It Down

There are some days when I am holding down this fort.  Ask me again tomorrow.

No I have not showered, but I have changed my clothes numerous times, due to a tiny person's bodily fluids  I have fed one child 5 times and the other one 2.  I have gotten some things done today.  Can I get a woo-hoo?


January is a fresh start every year.  I don't believe in New's Years Resolutions, but I do like to get a handle on my "season".  Yes, I know it's almost February, and I am just now getting a handle on my season...moving on!

In the past few weeks I decided to get a GRIP.

Here is what I vowed to do:  and P.S. I know it is rare, but today I got it all done!!!  Ask me tomorrow.

Make a MEAL PLAN each week.
check...this has helped my attitude about cooking and grocery shopping.

Make and use a CLEANING PLAN.  I blogged about it here.
Today I did a bathroom and my kitchen bc my hubby was off yesterday, and I was lazy!

Do some sort of EXERCISE 3 times a week (hey, it's a start)
This morning Jillian kicked my back side, and my toddler's...he actually uttered the words "I'ma sleepy" before nap today.  Yes, he sounds Italian.  He also says "I canna do it-a-bya my self!"
I love you Jillian Michaels!

Complete SCHOOL TIME twice a week.
We started the letter E this week and he is still loving it...he asks me to do it EVERYDAY.  I hope he keeps this excitement for learning up.  We aren't doing much, but he's only almost 3!  Something is better than nothing right now. 

Work out my "WORK SCHEDULE".  I clean two houses twice a month.  My old schedule was making me NUTS!  It was always changing and some weeks were super crazy while others were just crazy. It made me crazy.  Now I have decided on a rotation that just ties up every Wednesday.  Isn't that simple?  Why didn't I think of it before?  Why didn't I think of it at all?  Thanks Dear Mama for listening to me vent and offering up your awesome advice.  If you want to give her a call to help you fix all your problems, her number is...

On top of all this I also worked to protect our neighborhood wildlife.  Some fool was shooting the geese in the marsh across the street from our house.  I put in an emergency call to 911, luckily someone else had already reported it.  Unfortunately, this call probably put me over my limit for placing emergency calls.  Some not so emergency-ish.  Hopefully they wipe the slate clean for 2011?  I guess I will have to stick to citizen's arrests, if not.
So in conclusion, today I held it down!!!  Ask me tomorrow.

1000 Gifts...One and Two

Stick your fingers in your ears, wiggle your fingers and stick out your tongue!  I am going to be a copy cat!

But, I am copying someone I think very highly of.  My friend Mary.  Check out her blog Hollinhead Hullabaloo.  When I grow up a little, I want to be just like her.  She is one God-lovin', home school rockin', REAL woman.  I look up to her because she is not only my friend, but she sets such a real example for me, her walk with the Lord, the way she manages her family, and her heart for others.

It all started on Ann Voskamp's blog a holy experience.

She started listing her 1000 Gifts and it took me back to when I first began my walk with God.

I was just a girl, barely 18.  I was so wrapped up in this world.  I was so pulled by what others thought.  Not that I have completely overcome this.   I had no idea who I was.  I was, who a lot of other people wanted me to be, people who didn't know who they were, themselves.
Oh how I would love to go back in time and shake Eighteen Year Old me.  Shake her and tell her what I know now.  Save her some heartache and heartbreak.
But what good would that do?  She wouldn't listen to me.  She would only listen to the One who made her that way.  The One who really knew her all along.  The One who would take her on an intimate journey, showing her who He wanted her to be.  The only One she needed to worry about. 

Early in my walk.  The part where I took many steps backward for each one in the right direction,  (If were were thinking Footprints In the Sand...there would be dragging involved), I started a Thankfulness Journal.  I just wrote down things I was thankful for.  Looking back at it, there were some pretty silly thank yous.  Blow Pops and  Dawson's Creek, eventually started to turn into a little bit deeper gratitude.  All of it just reminded me to be thankful, in everything.  It changed me.  He used it to change me.

I want to go there again.  I want to be changed.  And thanks to Mary, I will.  Let's start with one, and see where it leads.

1.  God.  That he loved me so much that He gave His only son for me.
I have two sons.  This absolutely blows my mind and when I think of it, I squeeze my boys, I wonder, I cry.  I know there is no love like that, but His.  He has filled a hole inside of me that I used dozens of other things to fill.  I searched.  I prayed. They all poured out in the end.  But there He was.  It was His Spirit all along.  He knew, He never gave up. He reigns in my heart forever and I can praise and worship, and call out his name for eternity.

2.  Max and Ruby.  They, and their 3 shenanigans per episode, are the only way I am getting to blog about this minus MAJOR interruptions.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Storm 2011...Georgia Style

I know all the folks who live with snow all winter think we southerners are so silly, when they call a couple inches of snow "Storm Watch ___ (fill in the year).  

We started our morning with Snowman Pancakes!

Well, 8 inches IS quite the storm in Georgia!  Here in our area we had a couple inches, covered with thick ice!  The Wook and Hubby's dreams melted quickly, unlike our ice covered lawn.   You can see the look of disappointment.

Until...they found our neighbors driveway!  The look of sheer terror on Wook's face, as he slid out of control and then excitedly yelled "Let's do it again!", was priceless.  I didn't get any shots, because I was laughing too hard!

We took a  family pic, and don't go calling DFACS, because in our defense, Scut was only out there 12 seconds. And we want to have photographic proof that we didn't leave him out of ALL the fun!

My hubby was very proud of his trash-can-sheet-of-ice, that he broke, and then used to teach our son to throw "Chinese Stars"????  Not sure that was age appropriate, and sometimes I think that deep down inside, he will forever be a 13 year old boy!
 I, being the loving mother that I am, dug through the ice on our outdoor chairs to find some very precious snow.  We were COLD and decided to bring it in to make an indoor snowman.  I have memories of doing this as a child and saving the mini-snow folks in the freezer.

At first we went with a food theme.  Kidney beans, carrots, oh rats! just wasn't happening with all the mixed in ice.  So we got out our trusty....
Mr. Potato Head pieces, and this is what The Wookster came up with!  I was impressed.  Now he is hanging out on the outdoor table peering at us through the window.  The snowman, not my boy. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Meatloaf Casserole

I will be sharing this over at Crystal and Co.
I came across this recipe in one of the emails Pillsbury sends me every couple days.  I signed up for the coupons (shhhh!), but every once in a blue moon I find a recipe that sounds appealing, easy, and doesn't require me to purchase 9+ of their ingredients!

Well, here's my version of their Meatloaf Casserole:

In a bowl, I mixed by hand
-1 pound of ground beef
-about 1/4 cup bread crumbs
-1 tablespoon A1 steak sauce
-half of a small onion (minced)
-salt and pepper (about 1/4 teaspoon each)
-1/2 of a beaten egg (about 2 tablespoons)

OR  you can basically make your meatloaf recipe minus ANY ketchup

Next, press this meatloaf mixture into the bottom of a greased (I used PAM) loaf pan

In a separate bowl, I made homemade mashed potatoes.  They called for instant, but I had a 5 pound bag of potatoes that needed to be used.  I used a little less milk to make them thicker than usual and then I added the remaining beaten egg.  I also stirred in 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.

If you want to use instant, simply make them according to the directions, add the egg mixture and 1/4 cup shredded cheese of your choice!

Pour the mashed potatoes on top of the meatloaf mixture and bake for 30 minutes at 350!  I also added a little more shredded cheese to each of our portions and we, of course, enjoyed it with sweet peas and ketchup. 

This was a huge dinner hit and I will be adding it to my list of favorite recipes...I am thinking it could be made earlier in the day and then baked at the last minute!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

WFMW: This is How I Clean...Or Don't

I am in a special Season of life right now.  You can read all about it here.  I used to have it somewhat under control.  I didn't realize this in my previous Season.  The one with only one child, who was potty trained and communicated with words, not various cries.

Not that I can distinguish between them.  I just go down the list.

hungry? wet? poopy? spit up all over yourself? want to be held? don't want to be held? too tired? not tired enough? brother's being too loud? tired of your swing, bouncy seat, cradle, bed????????  YIKES!

My house is a disaster zone.  Things are everywhere.  I go to bed at night and they are in their place and then twelve seconds after I wake up, they are not.  But, I can say, my house it sanitary.

Before having Scut, my precious, cuddle-bug...I worked out a system for myself.  It wasn't what I had always done, but I stuck with it long enough to find that it worked.  It worked when I was WAY too pregnant, and it has worked for me for the past 5 weeks.   My strategy, keeping my home clean all along so it never gets to that "What is growing in my bathroom???" stage.

Sounds too easy?  Well, it may not work for you, and it may not work for me in a couple months :)

The first two weeks I did this system required much deeper cleaning.  Then after that, it was just upkeep.

Monday: Clean my KITCHEN.  This includes whatever needs to be done on top of the daily stuff, such as the dishwasher, counter wipe down, and sweeping the floors.  
Honestly, after the first two weeks, I got to where I could do this in 30 minutes, when uninterrupted.  Like I get 30 min uninterrupted now.  Hey I still get it done at some point.

Tuesday:  Clean my BATHROOMS.  I have a secret weapon for these!  They are called Clorox Wipes.  I keep a container in each bathroom, on the counter.  I splurged on these before having the baby but have been finding them either FREE or dirt cheap.  Keeping these clean has eliminated my past habit of ignoring the bathrooms because they were sooo bad.  Denial is unhealthy, I know!

Wednesday: Clean my FLOORS.  This includes mopping the kitchen if it was left undone, bathroom floors, hardwoods, and vacuuming.

Thursday: DUSTING is disgusting, but it has to be done.  This includes our bedroom and living area.  I don't dust the kiddos rooms every week.  I also change and wash our bed linens.

Friday: De-clutter the house and do any something on my never ending To Do List. (example: change out pictures in frames so that we have some pictures of our second child in the house)

Here's what I love about this method.  If I don't get to clean the kitchen on Monday because of a doctor's appointment, last minute play date, or its just a crazy kind of day, I simply get it done the next Monday.  It is not going to kill me or any of us for the kitchen to only get cleaned every two weeks.  

Also, if I only have a few minutes to squeeze in some cleaning, this method gives me a focus.  Usually, once I go five minutes, I find that I really have more time than that.

I Would Hug You But...

I am in a new "Season" of life right now.

My old season included keeping the same outfit on all day, popping in and out of stores to efficiently run errands, completing chores without stopping to do a variety of things, not worrying  about my breasts being exposed to friends or strangers.  Just to name a few.

I can't tell you how many of my friends have uttered the words "But this is just a season..." when I mention the mass amount of guilt I feel for any of the following:
                               my toddler watching Toy Story 3 (the entirety of it) every day
                               forgetting to return things, birthdays, names, my parents anniversary, call people back
                               not engaging my newborn NEAR as much as I did my firstborn
                               my house being a disaster zone...please don't call DFACS
The List goes on...and y'all know I like lists!

I am not complaining y'all!  Well maybe a little, but this is my space here, and I guess this is the place to do it.

I guess I should just say that there will be many some things I will miss about the newborn season.  I WILL NOT be sad when this season is over for the following reasons:

I will be getting more sleep and therefore be able to recognize friends, family, and neighbors again, and they will be able to recognize me!  This includes calling them by their actual names.

I will not have to worry about being pooped AND peed on every time I change Scut's diapers.  His many, many, many diapers.  You cloth diaper ladies should win week long trips every 6 months for what you go through!

I will not wash 2-3 loads of clothes a day for someone who weighs under 10lbs. 

I will get to drink an entire 8oz cup of coffee without microwaving it 3 times throughout the morning.

My idea of a date night will be childless...not just void of the one who can communicate with actual words.

I will not have to beg a 2 year old to please be satisfied with Toy Story 1 or 2, because I cannot bear to watch the train go off the tracks with all the "orphans" one more morning, or see Barbie complement Ken on his "as-cot", or watch college aged Andy roll his eyes at his loving mother who is obviously raising her two spoiled brats completely alone, because where is their Dad????

Oh, and P.S. my hubby asks frequently if we have watched Toy Story 3 in its entirety many afternoons, because he has yet to see the whole thing and would like to.
I am one viewing from popping him some popcorn, cranking it on, and heading to Starbucks for a couple hours...oh but wait I would still have a little cute someone attached to my sore cracked nipples while I sip my Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha.  Which they probably aren't serving any more!!!  DUH Jess, the Holidays are over!

But, I think the one thing I am really tired of is...Apologizing to my husband every afternoon when he returns home from work, for their being crusty, rank spit up in both sides of my hair.  At least he still wants to even touch me. 

With all this being said, I love my boys and I know that one day...way down the road... I will laugh, and look back and be thankful for this precious time with them.  And I will laugh my head off when their wives are going through it themselves...and maybe offer to help!  Bless their hearts.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas 2010

  I know this is a little late, but seeing as how I am getting minimal sleep these days my priorities include keeping us all fed and clothed in spit up free garments!

Christmas was a little different for us this year.  Even with a three week old it as so very fun and memorable.  You see, we started some new traditions, something I have been wanting to do since Wook was born. 

I had an extremely positive attitude about Christmas beginning the weekend after Thanksgiving.  I know I should have a positive attitude no matter what (since Christmas is all about the birth of my Lord and Savior) but it is all the things that distract me from Him that I have a bad attitude about.  Ok, back to my positive attitude.

I went into the hospital to have our second child (who I will refer to as Scut, explanation to follow shortly) with all of my Christmas decorations up!  I returned home to a very festive home which would not have been decorated if it had not been done previously.

Let's fast forward to Christmas Eve.  I wrapped up the little bit of cooking I was doing this year (reminder: 3week old) and made my yearly Red Velvet Cake Balls.

Wook and I made a birthday cake for Jesus, which he meticulously decorated with sugar letters and M & Ms.  I simply laid out the correct spelling and he stayed busy for quite some time.  His strategy was to poke the M & Ms deeply into the icing, because then he would be required to lick his fingers!  He's so smart sneaky!
I am thinking he has a future in cake decorating!

That afternoon, the hubby and I made his Mom's famous Chicken Won Tons.  We made about 100 and ate them over the course of the next few days.  I know...not good, not good!  This was a new tradition we started this year...the Won Ton making, not the eating all of them in a few days.  I also made homemade bruschetta.  The veggies were healthy, right?

Later that night we attended our church's Christmas Eve service.  This is something my hubby and I had been wanting to do for several years but usually visited with family.  I changed Scut twice before we left and then again when we got there.  Spit up stinks!

The next morning we woke Wook up.  That's right, we had to go get him out of  bed around 8am.  He's my super sleeper.  Scut, not so much.  

Wook woke up and walked into the living room to find his "new" train table and train set.

We scored the table and huge train set for $50 on Craigslist back in the summer.  The track shown was only half of the set.  The rest of it is put up, because we thought it would be too overwhelming for him us to build with all the pieces.  He literally played with it for 30 minutes before we asked HIM if he wanted to open anything else.  He also opened some wooden blocks, duplo blocks, a Toy Story Memory Game, and some construction trucks!  If you didn't notice, all of the above toys listed can be categorized as "quiet".  I got the biggest kick out of Wook's present opening technique. He refused to even acknowledge what the gift was until every scrap of paper had been removed...then he would excitedly yell "It's a ______!" 

Scut, who let me tell you, was thrilled with Christmas this year, opened a Lullaby Seahorse from his big bro, some hand me down bath towel robes, a water tummy time mat, and some Butt Paste!  Can't you just feel his excitement???

We played with our new toys all day.  For Daddy this included, a Gorilla pod camera tripod, some new gym shorts, and a battery powered Nasal Water Rinse thingy (in his defense, he did not ask for this...but he is a Netti Pot -aholic!) For Mommy this included new hot rollers, a butter dish (yes asked for it), and some button up pj's for nursing.

Christmas night we headed to my parents house. We ate a super yummy dinner of ham, my Mama's mac and cheese, and other delish casseroles!  She also made my absolute Christmas favorite...boiled custard with pound cake.

The over-stuffed stockings!

We opened presents, visited, and watched bits and pieces of A Christmas Story.

It was during A Christmas Story that Scut started his "skinning the cat" scream fest because DARE I... burp him in the middle of nursing.  The part of the movie was showing where Ralphie is walking home and is stopped and taunted by, none other than, red headed Scut Farcus.  Scut Farcus, with his scrunched up face , says "You gonna cry, cry baby?"  "Cry for me, go on and cry!"  Then he laughs that laugh of his.  It was in that moment that I looked down and my sweet baby boy was making the exact same face, screaming.  I envisioned him teasing me in the middle of the night... "You gonna cry, cry baby?"  "Keeping you up all night, gonna make you cry, Mommy?"  I laughed hysterically and have been calling him Scut ever since.  Lord, I pray he doesn't grow up to act like Scut Farcus.

Two of the toys Wook opened from G-G and Pop included a talking Woody and Buzz Lightyear (because according to G-G you can't have one without the other).  These toys would be categorized as "loud".  Woody fortunately has an "off" mode, ya know for nap time or just "Mama's gonna lose it if she hears there's a snake in my boot one more time...get the snake outcha' boot already Woody!"  I have yet to find Buzz's sanity setting...if you know of it please let me know!

Through it all, one thing was very very clear to me this year.  As I held my newborn son, through most of the Christmas festivities, I couldn't help but be reminded of Christ.  I couldn't help but think of how The Father gave us His Son that first Christmas, then gave Him again on the cross!  For me and for you, for my husband and for my precious boys, so that we may spend eternity together, worshiping Him!  Holding my son, I feel such gratitude that God sent us the Savior that night, and how desperately we need Him!  That is what Christmas is all about.  That is what I will keep in my heart, not just on Christmas, but every day He gives me!

This pretty much sums up my life right now...and this one did NOT make the Christmas card!

Oh, and The Joker wants to wish you a Scary  Merry Christmas, too!