Monday, September 28, 2009

Yeah Me starring... Me!

Okay so I need to go to bed but I just have to blog about this.
My clean house.

I went on a cleaning marathon on the 18th. Cleared off the island. Cleared off the desk in the kitchen. Straightened up the whole house. Guess what? Still clean!!!!

I cleaned our bedroom. I DUSTED it. I uncovered a couch in there! It's blue!! Guess what? STILL CLEAN! and I've made our bed everyday since this monumental event.

Last week, in keeping up with the theme, I got Hannah's room cleaned up. Clothes all put away in the correct drawers, storage totes, closet. Pack-n-play tucked back in the corner under the crib instead of just piled up there next to the rocker. Guess what--- you guessed it-- STILL CLEAN!

Last night, I started cleaning up my side of the closet. While the shelves still have some organizing to be done, I found the FLOOR of my closet, AND vacuumed it.

I am so damned proud of myself. The only room that really still needs finishing up is the spare bedroom, which is temporarily still a mess because a) I'm trying to organize a scrapbooking workspace and b) I think I've had a touch of a stomach bug the last few days so I haven't been doing much.

I'm just so darned proud of myself.... let me tell ya. I hope I can keep it up. I know as I write this and get ready for bed that I've got a little tidying up to do tomorrow in the kitchen, but for the most part, I'm really keeping up on things and I'm sooooo darn excited.

The first or second night the big cleaning had happened, we put the girls in bed and while Matt sat on the couch and watched me, I flitted around and cleaned up all the toys and got the vacuum out ot vacuum the area rug. He looked at me like I was on crack.

But in this case, it is a good thing!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Observations of a Bus Mom

This post has been edited in case any of the mentioned neighbors happen upon it :)

I feel like I'm living in my own little episode of "Desperate Housewives" - but the bus version. You should know before reading this that we live in a pretty nice neighborhood. We live on the edge of town, away from the ghetto. Just to give you a frame of reference for the interesting stuff below. Every morning I walk Brooke to the bus stop, which is just at our corner that we are one-lot-away from, and this is what I observe:

There's me- the neurotic mom who is detail oriented and tries really hard to make sure everything is taken care of in a very timely fashion. We're always ready for the bus 10 minutes early, and stall in our house until it's closer to the time we should walk to the corner. There's me- making sure my girl is happy and settled and ready for her day, anxious to put her on the bus, wave to the wonderful bus driver, and walk back to the house to get my other beautiful girl out of bed.

There's my neighbor across the street. She's the mother of four children and two stupid little yapyap dogs. She calls them stupid herself, it's not just me. She trudges out (sometimes after the bus has pulled up) to get her two elementary kids on the bus. Often times she is checking backpacks, reviewing spelling words, or helping one of them with homework on the front porch. Her life is chaos compared to mine. One of the stupid dogs barks when they leave the house, which might wake up her 4 yr old, so she is always carrying one of these white fluffballs to the bus stop to keep her quiet. (which brooke loves by the way. And if I have Hannah with me? she goes nuts). Anyways, this neighbor is just busy busy. Being around her makes me tired. She always seems to roll with it pretty well, good thing God gave her 4 kids and not me!

As I leave my house, I watch a neighbor a few doors up the street leave to walk her 1st grader to the other corner a block away. I silently thank God that they go to that corner, because that neighbor is the token screwed-up/has issues chick of the neighborhood. We're talking drug addictions, police stand offs right on my street with her druggie boyfriend, numerous domestic violence calls because of fights with her husband when he is around, and the mom being caught in people's houses/garages under the guise of "looking for her dog" when actually she was trying to get her hands on some good prescription drugs. Yeah, she's a mess. Her youngest seems like a sweet kid, but we try to avoid the topic of Brooke playing with her because we just don't want anything to do with the family. Again, I'm glad she walks to the other corner. See, it doesn't seem to matter what your neighborhood, because issues, problems and addictions show up everywhere.

New to the series is the mom of three kids. She just moved here about 2 weeks before school to live with her now-fiancee. Her youngest is in Brooke's class.... and he is a little fireball of barely-contained energy. Sweet kid but he needs some attention and settling. They joined the bus just last week. She loads her three kids up in her beat up Ford Taurus, and drives them from their house 2 blocks away to sit in the car at our corner till the bus comes. Today she sat there, with the car running, for 7 minutes. If she's going to load the kids in the car and get out anyways, why doesn't she just drive them to school? The school is about 5 minutes away, less time than she sat there waiting today. I just don't get it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Yummy Place

When Matt and I went to Vegas, we found this yummy little place in the Bellagio - the Jean Philippe Patisserie. I say it is yummy, though we didn't get anything there since we'd just had a huge lunch at Serendipity. But everything LOOKED yummy and it was at the very least a feast for the eyes.

The first thing it had was the World's Largest Chocolate Fountain. Check it out:

It had some extremely delectable little desserts:

One of Brooke's favorite desserts on the cruise, and one of my favorites as well, were the little fruit tarts. I really want to learn how to make those; particularly that gel/jello like substance that goes over the fruit to make it pretty and well preserved while still tasting fabulous.

They had some amazing cakes:

There was a lady doing made-to-order crepes; which in the past I have not liked but I have a feeling these would have been fabulous:

I took these pictures planning to do a blog post, but over the past six weeks I've been otherwise distracted! Now that we are settling into our new stride, I can spend a few moments just chattering about the sweetness of this yummy place.
Now, if you know how to make those fruit tarts, please deliver one to my home immediately. Or, go buy me one from Picadilly. That'll do. You love me don't you? Then get me a fruit tart :) I mean really, when was the last time anyone did some random-act-of-kindness for me?
Fine. Be that way. :0) In the meantime, have a great weekend!

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11th-- where were you?

Where were you on that fateful September 11th when the TV screens filled with pictures of smoke billowing out of a tall tower? When the TV screen showed another plane crashing into the tower and you thought it was a replay of the first video? Where were you when the skies were QUIET all across the country? And what did you do?

Matt and I were working 2nd shift back in 2001. I was working customer service at RAPID- Hawker's customer support/ spares division. So we were laying in bed, just waking up, when his dad called and told us to turn on the TV. We turned it on. And sat there for hours, watching it in absolute shock. Calling my mom to see if she had heard, and watching some more. We watched the live footage as the second plane crashed into the tower. We heard the reports of a plane crashing into the pentagon. We watched live on TV as the first tower fell. It was all so surreal. And you know, watching it on TV didn't even begin to touch the magnitude of what people were experiencing right there in the midst.

We both went to work that evening. They'd grounded all airplanes across the country. Froze the nation, just like they wanted to. Matt's job is to get planes flying, so they were a little limited that night on what they could accomplish. My job was to get parts to customers. I remember saying multiple times "well you better ship that UPS Ground because Fed Ex is not even flying right now." I'd have a customer say "I have an AOG airplane" -which means airplane on ground /can't fly/broken-- to which I'd say "every plane in the country is AOG right now. The only way we can get a part to you is to drive it there- on a UPS truck!"

The phones were quiet that night at work for the most part, and we watched the news clips online, looked at pictures, just couldn't believe it. I remember thinking we needed to get a flag for our house. I called around and found that Dillards had two Tommy-Hilfiger flags left. I told the lady to hold them for me, and I went and got them on my lunch break. One for us and one for our inlaws. And like the rest of America, we put that flag out and lifted our heads and would not let them defeat us.

Now we are still fighting wars that are part of the aftermath of that September 11th. My brother has fought the war. My cousin's husband has fought the war. My cousin right now is deep in Afghanistan as a green beret for the army, fighting the fight. Will the job they are doing keep something like 9/11 from happening again? I don't know.

But I do know this. I know that the troops deserve our support regardless of the mission. They are doing the job they are told to do. Love the worker, hate the job if you must. And I know something else too. We serve a mighty and faithful God, and whatever is in store for us in the future, He is there, He knows it, and because I know that, I do not have to be afraid. Because this place, this place with terrorism, and war, and hate.... it is not my eternity.

I will know this, and I will not forget.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

First day of Moms Day Out.... then and now

Today was Hannah's first day of Moms Day Out! I picked her up a littler early because I knew she wouldn't make it until 130, but they said she did great the whole time! Not that I was worried, she's a pretty laid back little thing!

While she was at MDO, I went to volunteer in Brooke's classroom. That is going to be a whole 'nother post but I will say that it was fun, and I was very impressed by how things go in the classroom.
Brooke started Moms Day Ouy when she was Hannah's age; different location- same age. I thought I'd give you a little comparison of my two girls at this stage, including their pictures.

Small and mighty
Laid back
Self entertains
Happy and ornery
Great fine and large motor skills
Not a lot of talking going on yet, but definately starting to head that direction
A little lover / sweetie
Her pics from today:

Brooke-at 18 months
Very particular and schedule oriented
Not much of a self-entertainer
loved art projects
Lots of words and talking
Very social and busy
She was sweet too
Her pic from her first day of MDO:

I think they look so much alike but yet different enough they are definately their own little person. They are my little princesses, and I'm so blessed to have them!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Catching up

I'm starting to become a blog slacker like my cousin-in-law Kacy. (ha!) I'm going to work on improving that. We're all still trying to hit our stride just right with life in general these days.

First off I'm happy to report Brooke seems to be adjusting to kindergarten better. She still tears up and says she misses me when she is gone all day, but overall things are going well and will hopefully continue on the upswing.

Last weekend, I bailed on the family to go see my sweet new nephew, Brayton. He is just precious. See for yourself:

I drove to my mom's house on Friday and spent the night there. We went out to dinner, to the new Bass Pro Shop, and to the casino for awhile. Once again I did not win.
I got up Saturday morning and spent the whole day with Ryan, Megan, and Brayton. I just held the baby a lot which was fabulous. I got a little teary meeting the little guy for the first time. I'm a very proud aunt:

We met Mom and Brad for lunch at Joe's Crab Shack. It was yummy, I sure wish we had one here. Some day I'm actually going to order one of the big crab steampots and eat it. all by myself.

I did some pictures of Ryan, Megan and Brayton because I like to play photographer:

Sunday I got up early and hauled ass back to Wichita. I hadn't told Brooke before school on Friday that I would be gone when she got home, and she was pretty darn upset on Friday night. I talked to her several times on Saturday and she seemed much better but I was just anxious to get back home so we could enjoy Sunday afternoon and evening together before I sent her back off to kindergarten.
Since I got home, I have just been exhausted. I don't know what it is, maybe it is my allergies and this claritin-d. Maybe I'm drinking too much Diet dr Pepper and not enough water. But I just feel e-x-h-a-u-s-t-e-d. I was sooo tired by the time I got to bed last night, I didn't sleep worth a darn.... you know how they say little kids have trouble getting to sleep when they just get over-tired. That was me. I'm praying to come out of the tired fog soon!
I'd been feeling highly stressed and overwhelmed the last few weeks, and it had really been taking a toll on my wonderful personality. Some things finally resolved themselves this week to help alleviate some of that stress, so I'm hoping to start feeling more like myself again soon. I've also been struggling with some melancholy and just flat out loneliness, which is hard for me to understand, and I'm hoping that will go away soon too. I am blessed with a great family and some wonderful friends, but some days I don't feel like I have a friend in the world, and that just sucks. Some days it is almost like those junior high days where you just long to be one of the popular kids and you just aren't. But the adult version. Shit I have no idea what I am talking about. :0)
I'm going to end this post with a quickie little recipe for you to whip up during your labor day weekend. dice up 2 chicken breasts, and cook em up in a pan sprayed with pam and sprinkled with some Southwest / taco-y seasoning. mix your cooked chicken with a block of softened cream cheese, about 3/4 cup of cheddar cheese, and 1/2 cup salsa. Spread in a little dish and bake (or even microwave) until hot thru. You can serve this with plain ol tortilla chips. but I didn't have any, so I took some flour tortillas, cut them into triangles, sprayed them with pam, sprinkled on some seasalt, and baked them till crunchy. Then tell everyone your wonderful friend Angie created this recipe-- Chicken Enchilada Dip.

Have a great weekend!