It’s that time of year again...

The time of year when things get super awful crazy! Things are starting to gear back up again at work - my current to-do list has 19 things on it, 11 of which are due by the end of next week - and this is the last full week of summer vacation. Cadence is with GiGi this week for VBS, but next week she has a dentist appointment on Wednesday, meets her teacher on Thursday and starts 1st grade on Friday. Amelia also has surgery for tubes next Friday.

The only upside to things getting crazy is that it means cooler weather is coming, and it’s only 38 days and counting until the official kickoff of college football season! I’m so extremely excited about that, and am ready for football season to start.

Deep breaths, deep breaths, deep breaths. I CAN make it through the next few weeks of craziness!!


I just have to laugh

Today I went into the breakroom at work, and there was a church member talking to the ladies in there, and she was telling them about her daughter. I caught part of the conversation while washing my pump, and it took me a minute to realize that it was her daughter and not Mother Theresa she was talking about. Apparently her daughter has three children and is pregnant with #4, homeschools, bakes her own bread, grinds her own organic grain for her homemade bread, and mentors high risk kids. I'm positive there's more, but I left at that point.

Now, I have friends who are just like the daughter mentioned, and they are the kindest, sweetest people I know - just like I'm sure the daughter is. I'm also very happy for her that in her mom's eyes, she's apparently Super Mom (because honestly, don't we all want to be thought of that way by our moms??)But it made me wonder if this lady knew that not only was she making everyone else's kids seem inferior, but she was doing a pretty good job of giving another young mom (i.e. ME!!) a complex. I had to take a moment to remind myself that 1) how she lives her life has absolutely no bearing on how I live my life, and 2) I'm sure there are tons of things about me, when laid out like that, make me look beyond super awesome as well.

Later I went back in the breakroom to eat, and the mom was still in there, talking about herself this time. I realized then that the mom just likes to brag, and that made me feel better, too. It's crazy how no matter how old I get, or how many things I do, I still feel like a little kid playing pretend. Maybe one day I'll finally get over that.


We can run!

Our small weekend trip to run a race at Disney has blossomed, and we're going to blog about it! Come visit and read!



Book 2/10: Palm Trees on the Hudson: A True Story of the Mob, Judy Garland & Interior Decorating by Elliot Tiber

I know that I said The Dashwood Sisters Tell All was next, but I was looking through the free books for my Kindle app, and came across this title. Any book that has a bright pink and purple cover and deals with the mob, interior decorating *AND* Judy Garland is one that I have to pick up, even if it’s just for the absurdness of it all.

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a really easy read, and he does a great job describing NYC in the 60’s. His descriptions of the nightlife, the outlandishness, and the art scene are awesome. I also felt a little sorry for him through part of it, because I saw the mob stuff coming a mile away, and hated for him that he didn’t. I enjoyed it, and it was a complete 180 from Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart. Overall, a fun time, and I give it 4 books.

Next up, The Dashwood Sisters Tell All (for reals this time!)


Book 1/10: Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart by Beth Pattillo

I started this last year, and only made it through 5 books before life got too hectic - no where near the 25 I was aiming for. So I’m going to try again, and decided to try for 10 this time around. Sarah gave me some books to read, and I just finished the first: Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart.

I must preface this with the fact that I have never made it through any Jane Austen book. I’ve also never seen any of the movies - even the Holy Grail of Austen movies, the 5 hour BBC Pride and Prejudice. However, Sarah loves Austen, and not only loves - but owns - the BBC movie, and has watched it more times than she can count. She assured me that I’d love these books, so I told her I’d read them.

I went in not expecting too much, but absolutely loved this book. It is a very easy read, and VERY easy to get lost in. It also didn’t require a lot of thinking and concentration, which was great since I was usually reading either with a baby on my lap or while pumping, so 15-20 minutes at a time. The story was good, and it had just enough about Jane Austen in it to make me want to try reading Pride and Prejudice again. It was a great, fun, summer read, and a perfect escape during the few moments I could find during the day.

I can’t wait to read the other two in the series: Jane Austen Ruined My Life and The Dashwood Sisters Tell All. I give it 5 books!


Next: The Dashwood Sisters Tell All by Beth Pattillo


Birthday update, injuries and...Girl Scouts?!?!

I wanted to give a quick update on my birthday and The Never Ending List of Crappy Things.  The list does, indeed, seem to have reached it's end, and for that I am eternally grateful. Currently, bills are paid (with some money still in our account this time!), we have a new-to-us stove that works great, and my birthday was amazing. Sarah took Cadence, Amelia and me to see Winnie-the-Pooh (which is absolutely amazing), she gave me some cute running socks with pom poms (I adore them!), bought me some really pretty and sparkly earrings for Cadence to give me, and took all of us to O'Charley's for dinner Friday night. She also helped my awesome friend Kris get me a birthday cake - She got the bakery info and picked it up, while Kris so sweetly ordered it to make sure I'd have cake on my birthday. I don't know that I'll be able to repay either of them, but it was so sweet and awesome!

On Saturday (my actual birthday), Mike and I went to Schlotzsky's to eat with some of my birthday coupons, and bought a stove. Sunday was McAlister's with more birthday coupons, and my mom came up with more presents. She gave me the Disney Princess: Cupcakes and More cookbook, and some adorable Pooh and Tigger salt and pepper shakers. It was an awesome birthday.

Today has been pretty eventful as well. This morning I received my first running-related injury when I fell on the asphalt and scraped my knee pretty bad. Then this afternoon, Cadence finally had an appointment with a therapist. I took her to the one at the church, and I think it went well. He talked to both of us for awhile, and for now he seems to think it's all habit and attention seeking. I left with a few things to try, and I can tell the next few weeks are probably going to be hard for all of us. He told me that he wants Mike and I to:
  • Ignore and not engage her at all - If she says she's ugly or stupid, agree and go on. If she argues over dinner or chores, tell her one time and don't argue with her. If she tries to pull us into endless logic battles, ignore and don't let her have any power.
  • Quit giving second (or third or fourth) chances to do things before I give consequences - If I tell something and give a consequence if it isn't done, follow through immediately and be consistent. Don't keep telling her "If you do this one more time..." before I finally explode.
  • Don't yell - This will definitely be the hardest. Don't let her pull us into a yelling match, because it leads us into grown up tantrums, and it's just not productive.
He also suggested a quarter jar. I took two of Amelia's Gerber Puffs containers and let Cadence decorate them. One has about $5 worth of quarters in it, and the other is hers. Every time I see her doing something nice or polite or respectful, she gets a quarter. When she gets angry and throws a tantrum, or barks orders, or is rude or sassy, she loses a quarter. At the end of the week, she can take whatever money she's earned and gets to spend it on something for her. We're hoping the results will be twofold - it will give her an immediate incentive to change her behaviors, and force me to start focusing more on the good/positive things she does instead of getting wrapped up in the negative. Let's hope it helps.

I think I am also officially a Girl Scout mom. The money hasn't been paid yet, but I spent about half an hour on the phone with her soon-to-be troop leader, and already have jobs to do! :) They won't start until sometime in August, but her leader was VERY excited when she found out I'm a graphic designer. They already have a list of community service projects and field trips planned, and I'm so excited!! I've never done anything with Girl Scouts before, so this will be brand new for both of us. And for those of you that live close, be expecting me to come hounding you to buy cookies in January!

Things I'm thankful for:
1) A great counseling session
2) Hope that it will get better
3) Neosporin with pain relief for my knee
4) Birthdays, and birthday cake
5) Girl Scout projects!


Birthday Freebies!

Since my birthday is tomorrow, I’ve gotten a few emails from local places with freebie items or coupons to use. I decided to see if there were other places that offered birthday freebies as well, and found a great list on HeyItsFree.net of restaurants and retail stores that you can get freebies from. Most ask you to join their mailing list to get it, but will also send you something for signing up. So far, this is what I’ve received:

For Signing Up:
Chili’s - Free chips and Queso
Dairy Queen - BOGO medium blizzards
Maggie Moo’s - BOGO cone or cup
Marble Slab - BOGO Tasty Creation
O’Charley’s - Free appetizer with entree purchase
Ruby Tuesday - BOGO entrees
Schlotzsky’s - Free chips and 20 oz drink with sandwich purchase

For My Birthday:
Arby’s - Free 12oz shake
Backyard Burger - free cobbler
Baskin Robbins - One Free Scoop and $3 off any ice cream cake
Chili’s - Free Brownie Sundae
McAlister’s Deli - $5 off next purchase
Maggie Moo’s - Free kid’s cone
Marble Slab - BOGO cone or cup and $3 off any ice cream cake
Ruby Tuesday - Free handcrafted burger
Schlotzsky’s - Free small sandwich
Sweet Tree Yogurt - 5oz free

I also had a free creamslush from Sonic, but couldn’t get that coupon to print, and signed up at Zaxby’s, but they mail their coupon to you instead of emailing it. And I’ve heard that Cerami’s (a really good local Italian place) will give you free spaghetti and meatballs on your birthday. The downside? All the coupons I’ve received expire within the next two weeks. I know that I'm using the O'Charley's one tonight when we go to the movies with Aunt Sarah, and know the McAlister's one will get used (I love that place.) I also have a feeling that every ice cream one will be used as well. Looks like I have some eating to do!

Make sure you go to HeyItsFree.net to sign up for your freebies as well, and happy birthday to me!!

Things I'm thankful for:
1) Aunt Sarah
2) The opportunity to see Winnie-the-Pooh with my girls
3) Birthdays!!
4) Free stuff!!!!
5) Payday!


Funny things

My phone crashed last week (I just realized that I forgot to add that to the Never Ending List of Crappy Things), and thankfully I had gone on the week before and saved videos and pictures off my phone. I was looking through them this morning, and came across some pretty funny stuff. After the Never Ending List of Crappy Things, it was nice to laugh. Enjoy!

Cadence, jamming to Linda Ronstadt at McAlister's

Amelia, playing instead of sleeping


Some photos...







And some quotes (courtesy of my facebook page)....
  • For Cadence's wedding, she wants it in a castle with a disco ball, she'll have a rainbow dress, and will serve grilled cheese and cheese nips at the reception. Sounds like fun!
  • "The cheese nips in my lunchable were little tiny cheese nips. But these in the box are gigantic, huge, magical cheese nips!!"
  • "The shells (Mac-n-cheese) look like O's. And I don't really like them that much, cause they look like O's! And O's just aren't my type!"
  • Cadence asked me if she could change her name when she gets older. She wants to be called Jem.
  • Cadence says I need some Pajama Jeans because they have "smooth, butt lifting design," and my butt is saggy.
  • "I love you anyway, even if I don't have a trampoline, a water slide or a swimming pool!"
  • "I don't want anything else, because I have my family! Well... I want toys, too!"
  • "When I see things, I don't see them." Alrighty then.
  • Cadence just told me she doesn't like her one piece swimsuit because it "chokes her butt."
I hope everyone has a great week!

Is that a light or a train at the end of my tunnel??

This past week has been something. I was very excited last Friday, because Mike got his first full paycheck, and things should have been better last week and this week. I was wrong. Because of time, I will bullet point for you the things that have happened in the last week.
  • Got his paycheck, and paid all our bills (including car insurance and car tag.) However, forgot to write my car tag down in the checkbook, and didn’t notice it until Monday. And we spend money over the weekend.
  • Mike’s computer decided to crash and burn, and we thought it was the power supply. Went to Best Buy over last weekend to get a new one, only to get home and discover that it WASN’T the power supply. We figured it out and fixed it (for free!!), but had to wait on the money to be returned to our account.
  • Still having problems with Comcast, though not as bad.
  • After realizing that I forgot to write down my car tag, and stuff would probably bounce, had to borrow money from my sister to add to the money in my savings so that my account was back in the black when mortgage came out on Monday (today) (Thank you, Sarah!)
  • Took Amelia to the ENT on Thursday, and found out that she needs tubes. Not that bad, except it’s going to cost $700 out of pocket. They have been postponed until September or October.
  • On Friday, went to transfer all the money out of my savings account, and accidentally transferred it INTO savings. Also went to put the money in from Sarah and got there right as they closed and the lady wouldn’t help me. Had to put the money in the night deposit and try and fix the transfer so that it cleared over the weekend.
  • Saturday, I was supposed to take pictures at a wedding (doing it as a favor for my mom’s best friend), and meeting the girl at 8. Finally got to where she was about 8:30 because she didn’t meet me like she said, then I sat around in the nastiest “salon” ever for three hours watching her get her hair done.
  • While waiting at the “salon,” I checked my bank account and saw that my mortgage came out Saturday instead of today. Had to make some phone calls to my bank to keep it from bouncing. We got it taken care of, but it will cost me a $5 service fee. Stupid bank.
  • The wedding reminded me why I don’t do them anymore, and after 8 hours, I finally left. The best part? The bride didn’t tell her parents that she had agreed to pay me, so no one had money for me. Thankfully my mom gave me gas money to get home, and the bride’s mom (my mom’s friend) is supposed to be mailing me a check. Apparently everyone thought I was going to drive an hour and a half, leave my two small children all day, and work my tail off taking pictures of the most uncooperative bride ever, all for free. I don’t think so.
  • Yesterday morning, I got online to check on my newly arrived cell phone bill. It’s messed up. And when I called about it, I was told it was a computer glitch, and they’ll give me a call after the billing cycle to make sure it’s fixed. Lovely.
  • And the kicker, as I’m fixing breakfast yesterday, my stove made this awesome electrical buzzing sound, then black smoke started pouring out from behind it. The connectors right behind the oven selection knob melted and shorted out. Mike was able to unhook those and take care of them so that I can still use the eyes, but I don’t have an oven. Looks like we’ll be buying a new one this weekend when he gets paid again. 
  • No birthday cake on Saturday. :( We don't have the money to order one, and my oven has crapped out, so I can't make it myself.

And this is on top of the fact that after I bought groceries and realized we had beyond no money, I found out that the babysitter needs diapers and the cat doesn’t have food, and there are a few other little things we need around the house before this Friday. I hope this all ends soon, because Mike and I are both almost to our breaking point. I just keep telling myself that Saturday is my birthday, and I get to go to the movies to see Winnie-the-Pooh Friday night with Sarah and Cadence and Amelia (that’s my birthday present from Sarah.)

It’s gotta get better, right?

Things I'm thankful for:
1) We're all safe and healthy
2) Even when I realized we were beyond broke, bills were paid and we had food
3) It might take a month or two, but things WILL be better
4) My birthday is Saturday!!
5) I get to see one of my favorite childhood movies with my two girls.