Thursday, December 30, 2010

Jami’s Favorite Things

For the past 3 or 4 Christmases, my mom has started giving my sister-in-law & I a gift of her favorite things. Kind of a knock off of Oprah’s Favorite Things. She puts some of her favorite things in a bag and has us open them at the same time.  It’s a gift I really enjoy getting because I always end up discovering something new that I LOVE. This year my favorite thing of mom’s favorite things was a jelly watch.  While I can’t give you all a gift of my favorite things, I thought I’d at least tell you about my top 10 (in no particular order). Ready? And Go!

(I have not been compensated by any of these companies for my opinion on their products. These are truly some of my favorite things. If you came to my house you’d find them all. Well, except for the chocolate & the beer; I’ve consumed them.)

1) Arbonne RE9 Corrective Eye Cream

eye cream
I honestly believe my crow’s feet have been drastically reduced by my use of this eye cream. That little bottle lasts me about 3 months. It’s a bit expensive but totally worth it. TOTALLY. 
2) Pampered Chef Stones


I own almost every single stone Pampered Chef sells. And I. Love. Them. All. There is truly a difference in cookies baked on a cookie sheet & cookies baked on a stone. The stones just cook more evenly than other pans.
3) Diet Dr. Pepper

I drink WAY too much of this stuff. But I do heart it. I wish all restaurants carried it. I’ve been know to choose where I will eat based on whether they carry DDP.
4) Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate & Caramel Squares

Just doesn’t get much better than chocolate and caramel together. These really are a little piece of heaven. Santa leaves them in my stocking every year.
5) The Stephanie Plum Series
Stephanie Plum

If you have not read this series, GO. Start now. You will love it. It’s entertaining to say the least. I like to read them on the beach. So, get to a body of water and introduce yourself to Stephanie.
Trust. Me.
6) Dunkin’ Donuts Dark Roast Coffee

I wasn’t a coffee drinker at all until I became a SAHM with my 2 boys. Now, seldom does a day go by that I don’t drink a cup of this coffee in the morning. And, yes, it is really more like a cup of creamer & sugar with a little coffee mixed in. BUT this is the coffee I am stocked up on.
7) The Pioneer Woman’s Best Chocolate Sheet Cake Ever
sheet cake

Just make it. You’ll see. That is all.
8) iPhone

This is one of those things that I didn’t know I was missing until I finally got one. Wouldn’t be without it now. I’d be lost without it. Lost I tell you.
9) Lindemans Peche Lambic

My husband introduced this to me at a local pub. The peche=peach by the way. Oh my. It is a delicious beer.
10) Bissell Sweep Up
Just got this for Christmas from my parents. LOVE IT. So much easier than dragging the vacuum out every time the boys get crumbs all over the floor. I think I will grow to love it more.
So, what are some of your favorite things?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fresh Swordfish

I cooked this meal for us while we were on our anniversary trip in Florida. I had never cooked swordfish before, but it was so easy and good. And that Robert Mondavi Zinfandel wine? PERFECT with it. Mwah! Can we go back?


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Random Topic—Mac & Cheese

Last week it was socks. This week it’s mac & cheese.

When I asked for a random topic yesterday, my friend and fellow AD fan, Angela, replied with Macaroni & Cheese.

Piece. of. cake.  Here we go.

If I had to pick one comfort food to eat forever? Mac & cheese. Hands Down. It’s ALWAYS been my favorite. Always.

One of my aunt’s favorite stories to tell about me from when I was little—probably around 5:

She, my mom, and I were shopping in a town about an hour from where we lived at the time. My aunt and mom were discussing where to stop for lunch and couldn’t agree on a place. My aunt wanted Chinese food, while my mom wanted a burger.

So, turning to me to be the tie breaker, they asked, “Jami, which would you like for lunch, Chinese or a hamburger?”

My response?

“Macaroni & cheese.”

I grew up loving the stuff & I still love it to this day. My mom made a version of it with egg noodles, Velveeta, & browned hamburger meat. OMGoodness. Heavenly. (That reminds me. I need to make that soon; it’s been entirely too long since I’ve had it.)

I used to always make the boxed stuff. Still do if I am in a hurry. And to be honest…I love the stuff. But homemade is really better, right? All the recipes I had ever found were just to complicated for what I consider to be a simple food. But then I married into my husband’s family. His grandma & mom make killer homemade mac & cheese. The best part? It’s SUPER SIMPLE.

And if you know me at all you know I am all about the simple.

Here’s all you need & part of the finished product (This is actually left over from last night’s dinner.):

Mac & Cheese

Yep. That’s it. Cook the noodles, drain, put in a baking dish, add some American cheese & milk, & bake for about 30 minutes. No need to measure things. I just stir it around after about 15 minutes. Add some cheese if it needs it or add some milk if it is too dry. Just eyeball it. Easy PeeZee.

My conclusion? Mac & cheese is my PERFECT comfort food. What’s yours?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Traditions:Gotta Love ‘Em

I’m not here today! I am guest posting over at Mountain Mum. I shared one of our Christmas traditions in my family with you Friday. Visit me over at Kristina’s blog to read about my CRAZY extended family. After over 34 years we still do this one thing. You’ll have to venture on over to see what it is.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Our Christmas Mantle

I love my Christmas mantle. It is a Christmas tradition around my house. Growing up, Santa & these little elves & mice graced our fireplace mantle every year. My mom gets tickled at me because she never knew it was a tradition to me until the year she tried to change the mantle decorations. I. Threw. A. Fit. And I was about 16 or so. It wasn’t pretty (The fit that is.). Funny how many Christmas traditions grow out of something that you never intended become a tradition. She gave me the decorations so that I could use them in my house.

Here are a couple of closer looks.

Through the years the little mice & elves have gotten chipped and pieces have broken off, but I don’t care. I’ll use them until they are unfixable. Poor Santa bit the dust two years ago now. My husband tried to fix him, but so far he hasn’t had much luck. He was a cutie though. Here he is in a mantle picture from 2007.

Mantel 2007 santa

We have started creating our own Christmas traditions with our boys now. My favorite one is eating Christmas Eve dinner on china in our Christmas pajamas. So. Much. Fun.

What are some traditions you hold dear?


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Boy Toys

The following phrase exits my mouth NO LESS THAN 5 times a day:

“Get your hand out of your pants.”

The boy moms in the crowd are shaking their heads in agreement. You completely understand what I am talking about.

From a VERY early age, both of my boys discovered their manly play toys.  I’d say probably around the same time they were discovering their ears and noses and hands and toes. It was just another body part they discovered right along with the others. When I change diapers, hands are (or were cause the 3 year old is now potty trained) immediately drawn to it. Like a moth to a flame. It’s like a magnet.

The theory I have developed about this as a result of being a boy mom? Women don’t play with their girls because we haven’t had them since day one. Men? Well, their boys have been keeping them company since they were in diapers.

And that’s all I have to say about that.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Random Topic—Socks

I asked for a random topic on Twitter last night. Little did my tweetin’ tweeps know, I was going to take the topic and run with it for this blog post. The first response? Socks--via my Canadian girl Tara. P.E.R.F.E.C.T. Here we go…

Socks. How do I LOATHE thee? Let me count the ways.

1)  The people who make you for toddlers have plotted a conspiracy against parents by putting six different pairs of socks in the same package. Oh, they all look similar, but they aren’t the same! I bought Sweetie Pie & Boogaboo each a six-pack of you. All the of you were white, but each pair of you had distinguishing markings. (which could not be seen because of the packaging)Three pair of you in the set had a gray heal. The other three a navy one. BUT of the three gray ones, one pair had two gray stripes around the top, one pair one gray stripe around the top, and the third no gray stripe. Ditto on the navy. Whyyyyyy? Are you trying to make me lose my mind? Make all the flippin’ socks white (with the size on the bottom—I actually so appreciate that) and be done with it already. Amen.

2) Folding you is a PAIN IN MY ARSE! Seriously. You sit in my laundry basket well after all of the other laundry has been put away. In fact at this very moment, my family is having to dig through the basket to find a pair of you to wear. I will go through 10 rounds of laundry before I admit defeat and finally sit down, bump you out of the basket, & pair you up. And I curse you the entire time I have to do it. Every. Single. Time.

3) Keeping track of those of you that Boogaboo takes off is a NIGHTMARE. What is up with toddlers and socks??? I mean really. Is it that difficult to keep the things on? I find socks in the most random of places. Purse. Garage. Pantry. Blanket drawer. Under car seats. In the yard. And the really strange part? It’s ALWAYS the right one. Never the left. I know this because his right foot is always the one that he strips the shoe and sock off of. To be fair, Socks, this one really is something you don’t control, but you are involved and the situation is maddening.  So I blame you.

4) The washer and dryer eat you. Hence the reason you are a pain in my arse to fold. When I do finally get around to matching you up, half of you no longer have mates. At least no mates that are clean. You must be the washers payment for cleaning clothes. Like one load of clean clothes costs me 5 random socks. All from a different set. Just to make the task of matching the socks up more fun. You know. Because I don’t have enough to do around here.

Ahhhh, I feel better. Thanks Tara.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sour Cream Enchiladas (Please see my comment below.)

I've made this so many times I don't really measure, so these are my best guesses.  I have tried to make these healthier with fat free sour cream and reduced fat soup. They are still good, but using the bad stuff is so much better!
Corn tortillas are key! And, yes, I know these are flour in the pictures. They are still good that way, but I have recently discovered how much better these are with corn. Try them both ways. You’ll see.
1ish pounds drowned hamburger (I brown mine with some chopped onion.)
1 8oz sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1can chopped green chilis
3/4 tbsp cumin
Salt & pepper to taste
Corn tortillas
Shredded cheddar cheese
Mix the drained ground beef with the remaining ingredients. This is your filling.

Use CORN tortillas. So much better than flour with these & I'm a flour tortilla girl myself. Wrap the filling in the tortillas (a good spoonful or two is enough. This one is a bit too full.) & place in baking dish.

Leave some filling to cover the top of the enchiladas in the baking dish.
Top it all with a couple of cups of shredded cheddar cheese. (And, POOF! magically the tortillas have turned to corn.) This is a picture of the ones my family will be eating tonight. The enchiladas in the previous pictures have already been devoured.
(Side note: At this point, you can cover them with plastic wrap and foil and freeze them. They work great that way. Then you have dinner made on a crazy, busy night. I’ll double and even triple the batch sometimes so I have plenty in the freezer.)
Bake covered with foil at 350 for about 30 minutes. You just want to get them melded together and hot. Uncover and bake long enough for the cheese to melt and brown a bit.
Hope your family enjoys them as much as mine does. I grew up eating these. Come back and let me know what you think after you’ve tried them!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Yearly Torture

Our trips to take the boys to sit on Santa’s lap have gone like this:

2007: Sweetie Pie was 11 months old. We went to the mall where the picture packages where ridiculously overpriced. Our picture is of him screaming with a puff—you know those Gerber thingies—hanging out of his mouth. Paid like $30 for that. Yes, I know it is a classic picture that you have to have, but we were all stressed out after the event. Took like 2 hours to calm all 3 of us down.

2008: Sweetie Pie was almost 2. We discovered Bass Pro Shops give you a free picture with Santa. Ha! While I did what to have the classic Santa picture, I didn’t want to pay the money if he was just going to scream. I. Was. Thrilled. So, off we went to Bass Pro. And, indeed, I ended up with exactly what I expected. A FREE picture of E screaming while on Santa’s lap.

2009: Sweetie Pie (SP) was—Well, you do the math. And Boogaboo was 7 months old. We went to the zoo for a special event called Santa Delivers. We watched Santa deliver gifts to a few of the animals. Sweetie Pie actually gave Santa a high five. Cut to hubs and I smiling & looking all hopeful that maybe this was the year…we’d get a good Santa picture. But nope. Not from SP. He wouldn’t even get close to sitting on Santa’s lap for a picture. But Boogaboo did us proud. He was still young enough to be clueless, so we did get a good first Christmas picture with Santa of him. With our own camera. Again, Free. I know I am cheap. Or frugal. Or whatever you want to call it.

2010:  With Boogaboo being 18 months now & with Sweetie Pie’s track record, I was FULLY prepared for a meltdown performance from both boys when I took them to see Santa this year. The day we were going, I talked Santa up BIG TIME to SP. All he could talk about was going to see Santa.

I.Was. So. Excited.

I got the boys dressed in their little Christmas sweaters & off we went. To Bass Pro. Because it’s free & they usually have a pretty decent looking Santa. We got there and NO LINE. (Play Hallelujah chorus in the background here.) Santa gave both boys candy canes, which apparently won there hearts because, people, we actually got a decent Santa picture this year.

Complete with reindeer in the background.

Now by decent here’s what I mean. There were no tears. No fits. No meltdowns. SP didn’t actually smile, but he doesn’t smile in pictures these days anyway. Boogaboo does have a freaked out look on his face, but still not tears. Success. I even dropped $10 for a picture package. I know. You’re shocked.

And Sweetie Pie actually TALKED to Santa. Faint! Here’s the conversation.

Me: Sweetie Pie, tell Santa what you want for Christmas.

SP: (as Santa looks intently on) I want ping pong paddles and a big bowl of water.

Me: (thinking ‘What. the. heck?’)

Santa: What are you going to do with the big bowl of water?

SP: Put my boat in it.

Of Course! Children are so logical sometimes. Except we don’t have a boat.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Birth of Boy Crazed Momma

Welcome to my new home! What do you think? I’m in love with the colors.  This blog will be sort of a continuation of my previous blog, The Ditzy Duo. That blog was originally created to tell stories of my best friend and my adventures & eventually morphed into more of a momma blog. So, I decided to separate them. Enter Boy Crazed Momma.

My desire for this blog is simple: I want to connect with people. Please fell free to leave comments galore. Have conversations with me and each other. I love dialogue people. The more the better.

All of my previous posts are here now. Along the side you’ll see links to a few of my favorites.  There is a mixture of momma stories, girlfriend stories (under the Thelma and Louise title on the right side) , random thoughts, and some recipes. 

I hope you’ll join me on this new side adventure.  I plan to use mainly this blog, but I’ll still post a few good Thelma and Louise stories at my other address from time-to-time. Grab your coffee. It’s going to be an exciting ride!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gaga and Penguins and Buzz, Oh My!

Better late than never, right???

I really had two Halloweens. My first one was at Bunco , and then the second was taking the boys trick-or-treating on Saturday night.

We happened to have Bunco the Thursday night before Halloween weekend.  So, of course, it was a costume party. 

Lady Gaga stopped by:


And a penguin and flapper


And here we all are…the ones who dressed up…


Up next, the trick or treating! We had Buzz and Thomas at our house. It was hard to keep Buzz out of his costume before Halloween.  He wanted to wear it all of the time. Thomas had a hat to go with his costume, but he wasn’t about to wear it. The battle was not worth fighting.


This year was fun because my 3-year-old really got into it.  He kept saying, “Can we go to another [house]"?” as soon as we’d get finished at one.  It surprised me that he really didn’t mess with the candy while we were walking through the neighborhood.  We trick-or-treated around our house for a while and then we headed over to my in-law’s house so my 3-year-old could go around their neighbor with his cousins. If the proof is in the candy stash, then the evening was a success.  And the bonus was that the boys are still too young to know which is the good candy, so mommy and daddy scored some good stuff. (Oh, don’t act  like you don’t do it too.)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

99 Things

I’m pretty sure I stole this from my friend Laura’s blog.  I have had it in my drafts for a while now and had forgotten about it.  I stumbled upon it today, so here you go.  A little get-to-know-me post. Feel free to lift this for your blog.  Laura won’t mind. Promise.

Instructions: The post is a list of 99 random things. Bold the ones that you yourself have done.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disney World
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
(No, but I have on a plane.)
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke (With a little liquid courage)
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing (And threw up the entire time)
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling — snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching (Sort of—Got lucky and saw them)
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
86. Visited the White House
(Just from the outside)
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club

93. Got a tattoo
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Season of Giving

The Sears family in Canada needs our help.  I met Dana on Twitter, & we have since become e-pals.  Her family is struggling to pay for the care her son, Mason, needs. I know many of us look for ways to help those in need, especially this time of year.  PLEASE consider helping this family.  Thanks to Bonnie’s Bows you can even get some Christmas shopping done at the same time!  Here is a sample of Bonnie’s goodies:

Christmas BeaniePsychedelic Flower Headband Under the Sea Butterfly Tutu Dress With Accessories

Here’s Dana’s story in her own words:

Hello, My name is Dana Sears & I am Mason's Mom. Mason was born with Special Needs. At this time we do not fully understand the "Special" but we do understand Mason's "needs". Because Mason doesn't have a diagnoses, Drs dont really know what causes his issues, we do not receive government funding for Mason's needs. In 2009 Mason received his G-tube, this is a tube implanted into his stomach to allow us to bypass his swallowing. Mason's feeding costs are around $100 a day, that works out to $36,000 a year, just to feed him. That is impossible for a young family. Mason also needs Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Developmental treatment, Behavioral intervention & tools to help us in our day 2 day life.

Many families with Special needs Children struggle financially due to the extraordinary costs of raising our children. Our Family has gone $64,000 dollars in debt just giving Mason the bare minimums for the last year and a half. We are unable to supply Mason with everything that the Drs. and specialists say he needs. We have had help from Variety-The Children's Charity, they supplied one year grant of $5000 when we were weeks away from having to give Mason over to the Ministry, we had no where left to borrow money from.
I never thought by Blogging my feelings, or our journey trying to solve Mason's Riddle that I would run across someone like Bonnie. Bonnie is an amazing woman, to want to help my family is more than I can thank her for. I am not good at asking for help, but we are again needing some funds for Mason. We are stuck waiting to hear about our appeal to the government and waiting to hear from Charities. As the next couple of months go by we will be in need of more medical supplies again.

What will we use the Donations for? The specialists have asked for Mason to have a swing that he can use at all hours of the day. Swinging is a long acting drug in Mason's body, better than any pharmaceutical available. Mason is the happiest when he is swinging. Over time we have purchased most of the parts like the swings, rope ladder, rings, and just need to purchase the lumber and bolts to complete it! This swing will allow Mason to use one anyone type if swing at one time and will sit in a room in our house. Also we need to purchase some more feeding bags, and a few Mic-key buttons. We go through a Mic-key button every two months, these cost just over $400 a piece. On average I spend $30-$45 a week in parking for appointments. This is a huge expense that most people don't realize. We have one credit card, right now it's maxed out at $1500 for just parking dues. It's crazy.

Our family can't thank you enough for helping. Complete strangers helping my family, it just amazes me. When everyone around us has left, complete strangers have picked us up, encouraged and now want to help support us. It's.Truly.Deeply.Amazing.
Warm Regards, 
The Sears Family
Twitter: DanaSearsFam

So, how can YOU help? SIMPLE.

1) Head on over to Bonnie’s Bows and make a purchase.  Twenty percent of her sales will go to Dana’s family.


2) You can go directly to Dana’s blog and make a donation through PayPal. There is a donate button on the right hand side of the page.


3) Spread the word.  If you blog- steal as much of this as you want and re-post. Twitter? Link us up! Facebook, Myspace, Message Boards- we will take any advertising we can get!

In this season of gratitude and giving, please consider helping this family out in any of the above mentioned ways.  Anything is appreciated! 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

‘Tis the Season

W.O.W.!  Have you seen the selection for Christmas cards and invitations over at Shutterfly? And there are some really unique ones! Let’s take a look, shall we?

I like this one just because it’s pretty without being too girly.  Living in a house of testosterone, I look for things that meet that criteria. Love the colors. Love the simplicity.  And I totally have a picture of the boys that would go great there.  I found this one here.


The story cards are INGENIUS!  I love getting caught up on my friends and families lives, but sometimes those Christmas newsletters are just a little too long. These story cards solve that problem.  Hit the highlights of what happened during the year without giving every single detail.  LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. this one.


And who doesn’t love a party? Shutterfly has a great selection of invitations. If I was having bunco at my house in December, I would be all about this cookie swap invitation.  Who doesn’t love cookies, right?

Cookie swap

My choice for a card for my family would be this one.  I love the short, sweet updates you can put on it, but, most of all, I love the colors!


Go take a look for yourself at the traditional Christmas cards, the story cards, the Thanksgiving cards, and the holiday party invitations that Shutterfly offers. They really do have a plethora of choices.


If you are a fellow blogger and would like to receive 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly, go here. Clever 1000 is the referral source I used.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Moms: Let’s Stop Judging Each Other!

After reading this post over at the Heir to Blair my heart went out to her.  You see, I’ve been there—a work-outside-of-the-home mom. And it’s though. Really tough. I totally get the guilt and frustration it can cause.  I also get how exhausted you are at the end of the day.  But I also think I have a unique perspective because while I was a work-outside-of-the-home for 3 years, I am now a stay-at-home-mom. (Do I sub one day a week, but that’s just for my sanity and because my MIL wanted to watch the boys one day a week still—perfection!) I am lucky to have such a great gig. Incredibly L.U.C.K.Y.  As a mom who has been in both positions, I will just say each has their pros and cons and leave it at that for now.

Here’s what killed me, absolutely KILLED me about Blair’s post. It was the comments. The judgmental ones. I kills me that we moms judge each other so much. Now granted some of the comments could have been from people who do not have children, and let’s be honest, they have no clue what they are talking about and I can dismiss those.  But some of the commenters where very specific about having children, so we know they are moms (or maybe dads). And some of the things those moms or dads said…Oh my. The GALL of some people. 

Here’s an example:

I’m just curious about something here. Why isn’t you not working an option (I know, kinda personal, maybe you make more money than your hubby). But the work seems to be at the base of every problem you complain about. So quit. You don’t NEED the double income, no one NEEDS two incomes in a family. You just want one so you can keep buying pretty shoes and trendy hair bands, keeping your kid in the coolest clothes, and your hubby with the newest golf clubs. Life is about finding balance, and learning what is most important to you. You say it’s time with your kid, so than spend time with the kid.

Two things that got my feathers ruffled here.

1) Really? You don’t NEED two incomes? WHAT? You don’t know the financial situation of other families.  A lot of families out there can’t survive on one income, especially in this economy.  And they DO NEED two incomes to make ends meet. And they should be made to feel guilty about that.  Yes, we are now a one income family. BUT we are doing A LOT of scrimping , pinching pennies, and rearranging of expenses. We are sacrificing quite a bit to make it happen. And? Here’s the other thing.  I am a teacher, so once the boys both get into school, I will go back to work full-time. It’ll be a perfect situation again—on the same schedule as the boys.  But some, no most, moms don’t have that luxury. Their careers aren’t so mom-friendly.  And you know what? At that point my family will NEED the two incomes because you know what we aren’t able to do right now on one income? Save for college. 

2) Apparently this whole comment isn’t even true, but even if it was, who cares? It’s none of your business why moms work.  If they choose to work or if they have to work—not your concern folks.  Priorities are different for everyone.  Some people might work because they want to be able to take their families on nice vacations. Well, I can’t fault them for that.  Think of the value of the cultural  experiences, think of what you learn by visiting national parks. Honestly, I have big plans for vacations I want to take the boys on. That’s another reason I’ll be going back to work when they get in school. And some moms might work to give their kids nice things.  And if that’s what they want, then more power to them.  And? I’ll just say it. Some moms are not cut out to stay at home and, likewise, some are not cut out to work outside of the home.  Love, love, love my boys, but I couldn’t get out of the house to sub fast enough today. They were driving me batty.  I need this one day away to keep my sanity. Some moms may not need to work for the money, but they might need to for the sanity.  I get that, and, even if I didn’t get it, not my place to judge.

Another example of a comment that made my blood pressure boil:

Blair has blogged about at least two weekends away without Harrison since he was born. I (and most moms I know) have had exactly zero weekends away from my baby at almost a year old; I already have very limited time with my daughter and I cherish what I do have. I would miss her if I went away.
Then again, I didn’t have the severe PPD/PPA issues, which I imagine would make you want to escape in a bad way so that’s a different situation that I don’t claim to understand.

Wait a minute. Hold the phone. Did this person really just insinuate that you have post partum issues to need time away from your kids? I can imagine that MAYBE, just MAYBE that might exacerbate the situation (and I am totally speculating here) but what mom out there can’t say she needs some time to herself? If you raised your hand, you are LYING. I’m just going to go ahead and call you on it. We all not only WANT some me time, but we NEED it as well. In fact I’ll just go out on a limb and say that I’m a better mom & wife when I get my me time. And how dare we judge moms who leave their kids for an evening to go out for some girl time. Or on a date with their husbands. Or whatever they need  to do to have some time for themselves. And if a mom takes a weekend away to go to a conference, or a scrapbooking retreat, or a shopping trip once in a while, well, that’s her prerogative. More power to her. Heck, my husband & I have been known to take vacations without the boys. GASP! Judge if you want, but it has, dare I say, saved our marriage. We all love our kids, but sometimes we moms and dads need a break, yes?

My bottom line? This motherhood gig is hard enough no matter which side of the working fence you are on.  We mommas need to be supporting each other, not tearing each other down.  So the next time a mom is doing something you wouldn’t dream of, try to remember, you are doing something with your family & kids that another mom wouldn’t dream of. We are all different.  Need different things. Want different things. Have different priorities. And just like with a society, shouldn’t we embrace our differences?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fantastic Friday—10/29

What an awesome week I’ve had! A-W-E-S-O-M-E.

1) I really did finally get back on the horse with my running and eating.  I’ve been half a$$ing it for a few weeks now and had gained 2 pounds.  This week I was finally able to drop them. AND I MADE A BREAKTHROUGH DECISION!

2) Hubs and I went to the Thunder season opener game on Wednesday. So much fun! I forgot how much I love basketball season. The game was exciting; we played the Bulls, and the score was close the entire game.  We finally were able to pull ahead in the last 3 or 4 minutes and won our first season opener.

3) Bunco was last night.  I play with several ladies I used to teach with, & they are such a fun, amazing group of women. Oh, & Lady Gaga, Marilyn, & a penguin showed up to play last night. (More on that in a later post. I know. I know. I’m leaving you hangin’.) 

4) I got to hang out with my girl, Louise, last Friday night.  It had been awhile since it was just she and I out together sans husbands and kids.  We went to The Melting Pot for some chocolate. What better way to send some girl time, right? The best part? I got a good Thelma & Louise story out of the night! Again, that’ll be for another post, BUT here’s a little reminder to tide you over.

5) Although I know it is still a work in progress, I feel that I am FINALLY starting to find a good balance in playing with my boys & being a domestic goddess (okay so maybe that’s a wee bit of an exaggeration) in this crazy, chaotic, awesome SAHM life. This past week, I was able to keep my house at a point where I was comfortable with it. If someone where to show up unannounced, I’d have been fine inviting them in.

6) This week I have been a blogging goddess. No really. I mean that this time. I blogged all week—except for yesterday. And for me that is incredible. When I get in over my head with the house, the boys, and running, this is the thing that gets taken off my plate. BUT, like I said above, I am finding that balance. I am figuring out how to get the housework, the playtime, the writing, the socializing, the family time all into one day. Some days (like yesterday) something has to give, but, at least this week, I did something right.

I’d love to hear about the good that happened in your week! Leave some comments & let us know what you are grateful for in your week.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday 10/27

The east side of Cozumel that a lot of visitors don’t see. I highly recommend taking the drive around the island if you are there. B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Say No to Double Strollers!*

double stroller (*Not THIS particular double stroller, just double strollers in general.)

Today was the last straw.  I will quit running before I run with the boys in the double stroller again anytime soon. What’s that you ask? You want to know why? Well, let me just give you my two (Yes there are only 2) reasons I’m going on this little strike.

1) It is an absolute mad house zoo three-ring circus getting all three of us ready to go.

I have to wrangle the boys, get them dressed, get socks & shoes put on them, get my contacts in, put my running clothes & shoes on,  pour sippies of something to drink, pack a snack for the boys, grab the blankies, grab some small toys, put jackets on the boys, open the garage and push the double stroller out, close the garage, grab all the above mentioned crap, shoo the boys out the door, grab my keys and iPhone, get the boys buckled into the stroller, hand out all their “goodies”, get my headphones in ears, turn on the iPod, and start my Joglog.

Fun, eh?

2) Getting them to sit still and just enjoy the ride AT THE SAME TIME is next to impossible.

I am still at the point that running is a challenge for me. I can usually run 2 or 2.5 miles and consider it an easy run. BUT I need to focus, concentrate on breathing correctly. NOT GONNA HAPPEN WITH THE MUNCHKINS. EVER. This is my 2 mile run on a typical day.

9:00—Start running (Goes pretty smoothly until the snack is gone.)

9:13—Help 17mo find his sippy cup

9:15—Pick up said sippy cup out of the street 17mo threw it into & put it in the cup holder with me so he can’t throw it again.

9:15-9:23—17mo throws a fit for the sippy cup.

9:23—17mo finds his blankie & all is well with the world.

9:25—3yo asks me the 3,564th question since we began the run. I answer the question only to get the 3,565th question of the run. 

9:26—Turn the iPod up to tune out the incessant question asking by the 3yo. (Yes, I do this & I don’t care if you think it is mean. You aren’t there. You don’t know. And the questions are NEVER important. And I can still hear him if by some chance is ever was important. He just thinks I can’t hear him.)

9:29—Tell 3yo to stop messing with his brother.

9:30—Tell 3yo to stop messing with his brother in a stronger tone.

9:31—Stop my run, look into 3yo’s eyes, and tell him to stop messing with his brother or we aren’t playing outside when we get home.

9:35—Stop my run to pick up the train 17mo has thrown in the street.

9:41—Again with the questions

9:44—17mo hits 3yo—crying ensues

9:46—Return home vowing to NEVER run with the boys again.

So, be honest. Do you blame me? My new plan is to go on my runs as soon as my husband gets home from work. Ahhh, nice, peaceful runs. The absolute bliss.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sleep: I Need It

Picture it. You’re all snuggly in your bed. You’re sleeping so soundly you have a drool spot on you pillow. (Gross? Maybe Satisfying? Definitely.)  The window is open so you can hear the storm rolling outside. You you are dreaming the BEST dream you have ever had, and it is gettin’ good.

Cue the 17 month old. Screaming. Bloody murder. You wake up and look at the clock. It’s 2:00. IN THE MORNING. You’ve only been asleep since 11:30. You get up, stumble into his room, change his diaper, and determine his tooth must finally be coming through.  You go ahead and take him into the living room, give him some ibuprofen, and—what else?—watch a Blue’s Clues so the medicine can kick in. Finally you get him back in bed, and you go crawl back into your warm, cozy snuggly bed. It’s 2:30.

Cue the 3-year-old. Up and down for the next TWO HOURS. He has to go to the bathroom. He has to put a bath toy he found in his room back in the bathtub. (WHY???) He needs a drink of water. You get up with him no less than 3 times. Finally you get back to sleep somewhere in the neighborhood of 4:30.

And then, per the norm, the 17 month old is awake for good at 5:15.

This has been my life the past three nights. Not all three nights have been this bad (This was the first of the three & by far the worst.) I mean, come on. I feel like I have a newborn again—in a fog and running on autopilot. Sure I am used to getting up at 5:30 or 6:00 everyday courtesy of the younger little man, but really? What is up? Shouldn’t my 17 month old be sleeping better by now? (My 3-year-old is BY FAR my better sleeper.  This particular night was so out-of-character for him.) I have tried putting the littler one to bed later. Still gets up at 5:30. So, I out him to bed earlier. Still up at 5:30. Limit his naps during the day. Hello 5:30. Let him sleep the day away. You guessed it. 5:30. So, my next plan of attack? Back to baby basics. Get him back on a schedule. Starting tomorrow. At 5:30 AM.

Do you other mommas have any words of wisdom? How do I get this kids to sleep later? 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Splish Splash!

splash park

We discovered this splash park near our house late this past summer when our air conditioner was on the fritz. We spent just about every afternoon there that week because that’s how long it took the AC people to get out to our house. The boys LOVED it! (Well, it took the 16 month old a bit to warm up to it, but he loved it after a few minutes.) It was a great place for them to cool off from the 100 degree temperatures. As soon as the splash park opens again Memorial Day weekend, I’m sure we’ll be there.

Friday, October 15, 2010

5 Years & Many More to Come

Today my husband & I celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary; it feels kind of like a small milestone.When I decided I was going to write this anniversary post, I had trouble deciding between writing about our actual wedding or writing about our actual marriage.  I decided on the latter.   Too often I think people go into marriages thinking it will be a piece of cake. That everyday is going to be full of honey and sweetie and sugar pie.  That the hot passion will last forever. And please don’t get me wrong.  Some days are like that; sweet, kind, passionate. But it’s rarely like that ALL day, EVERYday. Because, you know, real life happens.  Kids, careers, merging two families, creating a home.  So here are a few “lessons” I have learned in the past five years. (I can’t speak for my husband, but I’d venture to guess he has learned a few of the same things too.)
In the case of my husband and I, we are both first borns  (i.e. stubborn) and we were older when we got married (i.e. set in our ways), so you can imagine how much we can butt heads some days.  The words, “You know you don’t always have to be right!” have come out of both of our mouths on more than one occasion. We have learned to fight (Yes, we fight. You’re shocked I know!) in a way that works for us. I have continually discovered through these past five years just how important it really is to know your partner’s “fightin’ style”.
I know this isn’t a new concept; that you have all heard “experts” say this, but I am here as a non-expert to say it is OH. SO. TRUE.  You have to make time for date nights & time for each other. When hubs and I have a few days in a row that aren’t just peachy-keen, one of us will realize it has been a few weeks since we had time just us. Ideally, we try to have date nights at least twice a month. (This doesn’t always happen.)  But they really do rekindle & refresh us.  And these date nights are all well and good, but want to know the secret that I think really works for us? We go on a vacation every year sans kiddos—yes you read that right. EVERY YEAR.  And while we miss our boys like crazy (I almost cried when we boarded the plane this year—ALMOST I said), we find we reconnect on so many levels while we are away.  We are reminded that the most important thing we can give each other and our boys is a strong, loving relationship between us. And while being the best parents we can be is so very important, being the best wife/husband might be even more so.  Because, let’s face it, the boys will leave this house eventually, and it will be just my husband & I living here. I want that day to come and be looking at my best friend not a total stranger. My point is I’ve learned it’s important to make time for you as a couple.
Another lesson I’ve learned? I feel closer to my husband when we do activities together. Sounds weird right? Let me give you an example.  We are both divers.  There is nothing we enjoy more than diving together.  There’s just something about experiencing something together that not everyone sees that makes me fell close to him.  And the conversations about the dives last way past the dive itself. Heck, we still talk about the dive when my husband touched a shark at least once a month.  Other activities we enjoy together?  bike riding and following our local NBA team.  Simple things.
The most important thing I’ve learned is that for my husband and I both is to know we each have the others’ back; that we are on each others’ side. And I am going to leave that one just that simple.
So, that’s my wisdom I have to impart on you. Please don’t read this and I think that I think we have it all figured out. Because I don’t. We are still learning daily, but I do feel like we are pretty good at some things. That’s ok, right?   No matter how long you’ve been married, I believe you always are learning new things. What have you learned in your marriage?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Jack-O-Lantern: McMelon

We have a new member of the family: our jack-o-lantern. The other night we were all outside playing, and E asked his daddy if they could make a jack-o-lantern. So, my husband dropped his workout, and they got started.


Once the face was drawn on and the top cut open, it was time to clean out the pumpkin, E got grossed out and went to ride his bike. So much for the father-son bonding time (not to mention the workout that daddy dropped).


When E did grace us with his presence, getting him to pick up the stem was about the only touching of the pumpkin we could convince him to do. 


Of course daddy would have had to do the carving part by himself anyway.


We thought he turned out well.  E is so proud of him that I think he thinks he carved the jack-o-lantern himself. And we’ll just let him think that cause, well, he’s 3 and what’s it going to hurt? But I know the day is coming when E will carve a pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern all by himself & not get bored or grossed out because, you know, time flies.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Little Hike

These are my boys in action this summer.  We were at the Grand Canyon. this was right after we had a picnic lunch; they took off with their daddy on an exploration. I didn’t realize how closely their close matched until my husband showed me this picture.  Love that each of them have a foot off the ground.  Yep, this picture pretty much depicts my life—always on the move!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fantastic Friday 10/8

Still love this idea.  My goal is to do a fantastic Friday post every week.  It really does make you realize what you have to be thankful for. And I’ve got a lot of gratitude to express for things that happened this week.

1.  We got the garage cleaned out! This bares repeating. WE GOT THE GARAGE CLEANED OUT! Finally put all of the baby stuff in the attic while we figure out if we’ll have a third child. And we got all of the boxes full of my “classroom” put away on selves or in the attic.

2. While cleaning out the garage and the attic, we re-discovered 12-18 month fall/winter clothes that my 1-year-old can now wear. AND we found 4T clothes friends & family passed down for my 3-year-old. Now we don’t have to spend money on clothes for the boys this season, which is awesome since we are still figuring out this one paycheck household thing.

3.  The stars aligned, & I got to sub yesterday. It looks like this will be the Thursday norm of me.  I’m thankful for this for a couple of reasons. 1) Though small, it is a little extra money for us. 2) It keeps me in the loop for when I go back to teaching in a few years.

4. I am thankful for my husband who wants me to be home with the boys as badly as I do.  He worked his rear off the past couple of days to figure out more ways we can cut expenses to give us a little more wiggle room every month.

5.  The scales are finally headed in the right direction again!  After two weeks of the numbers going up (Remember that vacation my husband & I took?) and then holding steady, I’m FINALLY down one more pound. Yay!

6.  It’s been a great week home with my boys, but the best part was Wednesday afternoon when my 3-year-old took a nap (That was a good thing, but that’s not where I was headed.) & woke up wanting to cuddle.  I got 30 minutes of cuddle time with my sweetie pie.

7. Thunder tickets came in the mail this week.  I am so excited for the season to start.  Going to really enjoy going to games this year because next year me might have to sell off several tickets.  No way we can afford season tickets with me staying at home.

8. Can’t believe I almost forgot his one, OU BEAT Texas! BOOMER SOONER!   

How was your week?  What happened that you are thankful for? Remember, sometimes it’s the little things. :)