Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Apparently I'm.....

Apparently I'm on the "she's a sucker for a magazine subscription" list. And I guess Having 3 magazine subscriptions would suggest that I might be a sucker for a magazine subscription. And I guess that ordering the Cooking Light cookbook has now put me on the "she's a sucker for a cookbook" list as well. A couple of months ago I decided that my cooking is in a terrible rut and I need to try new recipes and that I wanted them all to be healthy. And since 2 of my magazine subscriptions are Southern Living publications I received an offer for an entire years worth of Cooking Light recipes cookbook plus "2 free shockingly extravagant gifts!". Um yeah, the shockingly extravagant gifts were a calculator that will tell me the current local time as well as the time in Denver and Hong Kong and a shockingly extravagant PLASTIC toile bag! I'm using the calculator because I needed one and Amanda absconded the bag and carries it to school every day. And they sent me an envelope full of "special offers" which consisted of fliers for free Hoodia (except the cost of shipping), some sort of mother's ring or pendant, and colorful elastic waisted pants. So if I take the free Hoodia do I still need the elastic waist pants?

But all cheekiness aside I did try an alfredo sauce recipe (which was actually from their magazine, I don't know if I have it in the cookbook) and it was really amazing. It was very rich and very garlicky- just the things you'd expect from an alfredo sauce with a lot less fat and calories. It is not, however, the recipe that I e-mailed to several friends last week. Same company different recipe- the one I sent out doesn't have garlic and what's the point of an alfredo sauce without garlic? And tonight I'm going to try a potato soup recipe that is Cooking Light but it's from a flier they sent me for ANOTHER cookbook! I just bought a cookbook and I haven't even had a chance to look through it yet! Um, yeah, I'm on the list. Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 26, 2007

Well, I've posted some pics and we'll have to see if they turn out. The first one is of Chloe smashing Grant between the couch cushions for a sort of "Grant sandwich". The funny thing was that she was trying to get his attention but he wanted to watch a movie so he completely ignored her and she gave up and started watching the movie with him- good times.

We went to B'ham this weekend to visit with my Grandmother who is very ill. She's been sick for quite some time and we just found out that she's going to have to stay in a nursing home rather than going back to the assisted living facility that she'd been in. So Mom called and asked if we could help move Grandma's stuff and of course we said we could. So Saturday was a long day- so long in fact that we had to push our visit with Grandma back to Sunday. That meant no church on Sunday but this weekend was so rushed there really wasn't anything we could do about it. So we went to the nursing home Sunday afternoon (I picked up a cold/cough from the little boy I'm babysitting so Travis was kind enough to let me sleep in) and as we walked down the halls I felt so sad. It wasn't a dreary place, I was surprised by there message of hope on the wall and little prayer room. I remember as a child I was so excited anytime I knew we were going to visit Grandma and Grandpa. And one time my brother and I were out running errands with my Mom and Dad and when we got home we saw Grandma and Grandpa's car in front of our house. We started jumping up and down and asking if they were there and Mom and Dad acted coy saying, "I don't know I guess you'll have to look for them". So we ran around the house in a furious search and we finally found them in my brother's room. I remember being so excited. I know that my Grandparents weren't perfect and it's not like anybody in my family was "touchy-feely-so glad to see you I've missed you so much- i love you", etc. They were always happy to see us though and tried to stuff us full of pringles and Jello Pudding Pops. So I'm sad that this is where (barring divine intervention) my Grandmother is to finish out her life.

I was concerned that the girls might be afraid to talk to her or touch her but they weren't at all. Even finicky Halle jumped right into bed with her and gave her hugs. I really seemed to mean a lot to her. Chloe made a real connection with her when we saw her at Christmas. She hadn't ever talked to Grandma that much but she started talking her ear off- " I love you Grandma, you're so sweet, you're the greatest Grandma ever!" And really, who can't resist that? And I know that Grandma remembered it because she was dying to give Chloe a hug. She said "Chloe you're my little sweetie, aren't you? Grandma loves you" and that seems to be out of character for her. I'm so glad that Chloe could make a difference and bring her some happiness, she's such a precious child and seems to know that she can make anybody feel better. And she's so genuine in it- it's just who she is. I'm looking forward to seeing God use that trait even more in her life.

So after the nursing home we went back to Mom and Dad's for a feast fit for 5 hungry Buttons. Steak. Baked Potatoes. Homemade herb rolls. Homemade cheesecake, mmmmmmm. So we stuffed ourselves, said our goodbyes, and made the 3 hour trip home. Oh and unloaded the car- including the table and chair set of Grandma's- bathed two grubby tots, put the table back together, brushed two little sets of teeth, put two sleepy tots to bed and then followed our own bedtime ritual and were in bed just before 11 to start the week- whew! I actually thought I would be exhausted today but I feel pretty good. I'll post pics later of the new table set that I think I'm going to paint. But this week will be devoted to stripping wallpaper because I really want to get the house painted. More later....

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

I'm Making Coffee

I am making coffee today. If you know me very well you know that I'm not much of a coffee drinker- does a Latte count as coffee? And if I do make coffee it's decaf with copious amounts of creamer. Not to be confused with cream- it's creamer, the fake stuff-flavored- with hydrogenated oil in it. It's not healthy and I don't care. Well, today I'm making the caffeinated kind- full on coffee; still with copious amounts of creamer. I'm tired. Like, dog-tired. I want to start working out again today and I kind of doubt that's going to happen, I might as well wait until Monday right? So far this week I've managed to sleep every-other-night. Monday night it was because of Halle and last night it was because of Travis. He had to work late doing an inventory project and he got home at 12:40 am. He left for work the previous morning at 6:30 so I probably don't need to say it was a long day for him.

I actually went to sleep early but I can't stay asleep if Travis isn't here. He finally called at 12 o'clock to say that he was on his way home and I stayed on the phone with him because I didn't want him to fall asleep on the way home. So, I'm drinking coffee- and babysitting. Did I forget to mention that? I'll be babysitting for the next 2 1/2 weeks for a little boy from church. The extra money will be nice and he's a sweetie. And now we're heading outside (with my coffee) for playtime so that we can have lunchtime and naptime....so I can have packing time since we're going out of town for the weekend. Did I mention that I'm really tired? This coffee thing better work....

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

These are the new floor pics. I took new pictures, uploaded them and have blogged about the floor AGAIN. If they don't turn out this time then you'll just have to come over to see it. Also, notice that I rearranged the shelves on one side of the island to make it more asthetically pleasing. Well at least the bottom shelf is. The top shelf is where I put my stainless steele mixing bowls because I need them often and I can rarely find them and I figured it would be handy if my measuring cups were there too. I'll re- do the shelves on the other side of the island as soon as I can figure out what to put over there.

So while I'm here I suppose I should post about something other than the floor.....like maybe my two-year-olds sudden disdain for sleep? I think for the last two months off and on she'll have trouble sleeping. This is a recent development and is quite unwelcome considering the fact that she's my only "good" sleeper. Chloe didn't sleep for the first year of her life due to her constant tooth eruption- she had every tooth/molar with the exception of her canines by her first birthday. And she's lost 7- soon to be 8 in the last year! But Halle was different, she occasionally had trouble sleeping but for the most part she's like me- put her to bed and leave her alone. Last night however was soooo different. We put her to bed and she went to sleep, we put Chloe to bed and Halle stayed asleep, Travis and I went to bed and she started crying- sigh. So we put her in bed with us for a while to calm her down, Travis ended up on the couch and at 2 am she was still wide awake! At that point I felt myself starting to come unraveled and decided that she HAD to go to her bed. So I put Chloe in my bed and put Halle in hers. For the rest of the night there were periods of quiet mingled with cries and Halle banging on her door. Or at least it seemed that it was the rest of the night. Travis said that he got her and slept on the couch with her on his chest for 2 hours before he had to get ready for work. Then he put her in Chloe's bed and the quiet-crying-banging on the door cycle returned. Then I got up at 6:45 for my taking kids to school routine followed by snuggling with Halle on the couch. I fed her and put her down for a nap at 11 and there was MORE CRYING! I thought she HAD to go to sleep at some point, really, what is going on?!? Then the thought came to me "two year molars". So I went to her room and asked her to open her mouth. I put my finger in the back of her mouth and there they were- four molars coming in at once. It's not like this is my first kid, so why does it take me so long to figure this stuff out? I have no idea how tonight will go. She'll get some Advil and some numbing gel, I'm sure and she has to pass out at some point, doesn't she? I mean, really how much non-sleeping can a two year old that likes to sleep take? She actually fell asleep on my chest for about 45 minutes but as soon as I got up so did she. I'm sure that this will pass soon and as much as I enjoy most parts of taking care of these little ones this is one thing that I'll be glad to see pass.

Monday, February 19, 2007

I WantTo Be a Pwincess

Halle brought one of Chloe's princess dresses to me this morning and said "Hewe, I want to be a Pwincess! So I put this little dress over her clothes and then she decided that she wanted her puppy backpack on so that's how she's dressed for the day- so sweet! Oh and BTW, the puppy backpack is actually has a tether that goes with it (Amanda calls it a leash which drives me nuts) to give little ones some freedom to walk around without having to hold your hand- and really, how comfortable would you be walking around with one arm over your head. Anyway, I bought it in Gatlinburg on vacation this past summer. We were walking around for hours and Halle just couldn't handle being in the stroller (did I mention it was 100 degrees outside- I'm not exaggerating) so my MIL found this in one of the little shops there. It was cute and $20 bucks which I thought was a bit pricey but considering the circumstances I figured if it would help her to be more comfortable and would help us keep our sanity I'd try it. It worked OK, but since Halle has a strong personality she still got frustrated by being "tethered" and we still had to try to keep her little hands from pulling things off of the shelves. So we decided that until the kids are older we need to take vacations that don't involve very much shopping. And I also saw a backpack like this at Target for $10 and I think it was Eddie Bauer- well at least she likes to wear it.

And here are the floor pictures! This is the very last strip that Travis has left to pull up. It's under the computer desk and he says that there seems to be more glue on this spot than the last but he'll have it up tonight. I'm almost finished tileing, I just have to tile under the stove and 3 or 4 more rows and then we're done. It is so nice to have a clean floor. Since we moved in I either walk through the house with shoes on or with my toes curled up because it was so gross. We didn't want to spend the money to put down a temporary floor just to come back later and spend more money on what we really want (bamboo) so we were going to use porch paint. I think that would have looked fine and would have given me a license to be a bit more creative but since you have to go through the kitchen to get to 75% of the house I just don't think we could have survived the drying time. So this is the cheapest, decent-looking flooring we could find and it does look so much better (Amanda said that it looks 500% better). It's cheapness is evident in the fact that not all of the tiles match up perfectly. You can't tell too much but in every line I put down there is a small gap between at least two of the tiles. I suppose it could have been my error but it is very consistent and very aggravating. And I have nothing to fill it with. If I was using actual tile I could fill it with grout but as it is that is where food and dirt will get caught and it will get gross and will be impossible to clean- grrr. So hopefully the new floor will be temporary. But other than that I love it- No Really, I do!

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Friday, February 16, 2007

I don't have much time to post as usual but I figured if I don't start posting more often people will quit reading soooo.....here we go.

I've been sick for a week- gosh that never happens! I'm going to babysit for a couple of weeks so we're doing the floors. I didn't think it would be acceptable for the little boy to run around on plywood so we've ripped out all of the old-nasty vinyl except for one small strip that Trav couldn't get to last night. And in case you ever need to know how to do it- there is a great vinyl cutting tool that is indespensible and since vinyl is mostly just glued around the edges you can place a towel on top of the glued portion and place a hot iron on top of that. Heat through and pull it up- it takes some muscle (and I have some blisters) but it's better than using the awful chemical method. Oh and I should mention that there was 27 years of crud under the fridge and stove- including rodent droppings! It was so nasty but now it's gone and I couldn't be happier. I've put down peel-and-stick vinyl tiles in the hallway and am working my way through the kitchen. I'll post some pics later. It's very tempting to start sanding the cabinets while the appliances are out but I'm going to try to stick to one project at a time and just get it finished. More later.....

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Goodbye Old Friends

Isn't it silly how we humans get attached to things? This couch and chair were a gift to me from my parents when I graduated from college. They had only had them for about a year when they gave them to me and I remember going with my Mom to pick them out. We had actually picked a plaid couch and chair in jewel tones but it would have been 6 weeks before Mom could have gotten them and I guess she figured that Dad would make her cancel the order before then so time was of the essence. Now if she had gotten the sofa and chair that she wanted I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't have gotten this set so I'm glad it worked out the way it did. Oh and I suppose I should mention that Mom and Dad sat on lawn chairs for 6 months after I moved out.

This set followed me to my first rental house in Panama City. That house was so small that in the living room I had room to put one piece of furniture on each wall. So I had the couch on one wall, the chair on another, my piano on another and I squeezed the TV on the remaining wall. And I remember that sometimes on my off day I would lie on the couch with the window open and just relax. It felt very homey. This set is ugly for sure but it has traveled with us from place to place to place getting more beat up as time went on. It has been a place of comfort for me during pregnancies and sickness and a place to lie our sick kids.

And now we're inheriting another set from some dear friends so it's time for these to go. I'd considered putting these out on the curb since the city has a disposal service but I listed them on Craig's List for free and am selling the slipcovers for $75. I called a girl today that sounds like she's 18 and she and her husband will be the new owners. I'm hoping that this set will be a blessing to them- it surely has been a blessing to us. I suppose I'm not as sad about getting rid of the set as I am about the memories it represents. And I'm sure that one day it will end up on the curb, I'm just glad that I'm not the one to do it.
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Friday, February 02, 2007

Pictures From a Snowy Day

I love snow. When I was 4 my family went to visit my grandparents in Bradenton, Fl and when we got home there was snow all around the edge ofour house. And I remember that I didn't know what to do with it so I scooped it up and rubbed it on my slide. Even at 4 I remember thinking it was a silly thing to do but there was just a tiny bit and what else could you do with it? So for the rest of the 27 years I lived in FL I prayed for it to snow. Every-single-year. And the first winter after we moved to TN we had TONS of the white stuff. I actually remember that it was such a cold- snowy December that when the temperature reached 35 degrees a pastor at church commented that he didn't think he'd see the day that 35 degrees felt warm. And for the next two years we had lots of snow culminating in the January that we had 7 inches fall within a couple of hours and it seems like we've had nothing since then-and that was 4 years ago! I suppose maybe I'm snow-greedy. But when you move 770 miles north you expect to get some (a lot of) snow- really is that asking too much?

So this morning my prayers (and the prayers of hundreds of thousands of Tennessee school children) were answered with an almost generous snowfall. And in preparation for the snow that we were supposed to have gotten- but didn't get- on Wednesday night I picked up a "snow wedge" from Target (on clearance so I'm not sure if they have any left). It was really a pain to blow up but it was totally worth it. The little girls and I went outside to make the most of our snowy day (while Amanda slept). The snow wedge worked so much better than I expected and at one point I slid from the top of the hill at our house into the ditch! Now I didn't really intend to end up in the ditch because it totally creeps me out so I made sure to put the brakes on in other trips down the hill to keep it from happening again.

It was nice to be able to slide down the hill since that is one of the only pluses to having a home built on a hill. I also slid down the hill in the back yard which is steeper but I ran into the railroad ties that define our back deck so it was a faster slide but it also ended very abruptly and since I didn't want to break any bones we moved back to the front yard. Halle was a good sport and she slid down the hill as well but after a half hour or so her hands were freezing and she started crying and was pretty much inconsolable so I brought her in, warmed her up, and made Amanda get up to watch her so I could sled some more with Chloe. Oh and our crazy kitty cat got out and climbed up the tree in the front yard and got stuck. So I had to climb up and get her- it was kind of cool. So there has been much fun going on at our house. Of course, I feel for Travis who had to head into work to do a project before leaving to help the Fadely's move. Hopefully there will be snow left when he gets home so he can try the snow wedge out too.

End Note- Blogger is dropping my photos for some reason so I'll have to wait until Blogger fixes the "bugs" in the new system. But if you're really dying for photos let me know and I'll e-mail them to you.