Friday, February 29

Life on Friday

So not a whole lot going on around here.

Payton is feeling much better. He got a rash yesterday, but it was gone this morning. He's required some extra rest and an earlier bedtime, but he's doing fine. No fever since Tuesday afternoon. I assume at this point, it's over. THANK GOODNESS!!

We are getting some snow right now. It looks like we'll end up with about four inches. I think Payton is going to play out in the snow later. As much as I love that he wants to, I hate snow. It's making North Carolina look better than it already did!!! (Right, Kim?!)

We have three birthday parties this weekend. Two on Saturday afternoon and one in Ohio on Sunday. We'll be making the trek back down to Ohio on Sunday after church and then I think we're going to stay at my inlaws rather than drive right back up the same night. We'll leave early Monday morning to ensure P is back for school and Matt makes it work in time.

Speaking of Matt, he loves his ring. He said he has recieved a TON of compliments on it at work and he's really adjusted to the new size and weight of it. He thought it might be too bulky, but it seems to have grown on him. We did call and order and order it in a half-size smaller, but that won't be in for a couple of weeks yet. So he's wearing the size ten for now.

Here's a picture. Sorry it's not great, but it's the best I can get. It really doesn't capture the ring very well. This is mostly for Marissa anyway, but I know some of you are curious too:

I'm not sure I'll have time to blog this weekend. I'll do my best though!

Wednesday, February 27

Gotcha, Matt!!!

Matt and I don't have a good history with jewelry. I lost two engagement rings before we were married. Then, within two years, Matt lost his wedding band. I currently only wear a wedding band, although I would like a big fat diamond, I know it's not in our financies. Matt has been wearing a silver wedding band that we found at a flea market for $20.

Now, I know that rings mean nothing as far as the marriage goes, but I really wanted Matt to be proud of his wedding band and like it...not just have one that we found cheap somewhere. I've been telling him for two years that I was going to replace his wedding band one day. Since we got our tax return a few weeks ago, I've been planning it, but just haven't had the chance to get it done, or get his old ring off him to check the size.

He never takes it off, but last night for some reason he did. He left it by the alarm clock and this morning, I snagged it. After taking Payton to school, I stopped at the mall and checked out the selection at the four jewelry stores. I found one that I knew he'd love at Rogers & Hollands, handed over his ring to check the size and by golly, they had the ring in stock!

I came home with the ring box hidden in my coat pocket. He wasn't paying any attention when I came in, so I snuck it behind my back. I had the new ring box in one hand and the old ring in the other. I said "I have a surprise for you. Do you want the old one back or the new one I bought you?" He didn't have a clue what I was talking about and finally chose the new one.

Man was he surprised! He loves the new ring and is very happy with it. I never get to pull a fast one on him, so it was a lot of fun for me too.

Tuesday, February 26's getting better

Well, last night was rough, but it seems that P is on the mend. His fever is staying under 101 without meds and although he got "the ickies" (vomited) last night, he's started eating this afternoon. I think we're on the upswing! Just in time for all our activities this week.

Matt and I seem to have escaped without catching it. And Maxwell, although he's had low grade fevers off and on, doesn't seem to be sick at all. Just sleeping more.

Since everyone seems to be doing well, I went grocery shopping this morning without anyone else. Isn't it sad that the trip was the highlight of my day?! I managed to spend two hours at the commissary on base and just went down every asile to check out the deals and see what we needed. I got a lot of great buys and I was really impressed by the amount of natural and organic goods they are carrying now. I can buy organic there for just a tad bit more than non-organic goods at Kroger! Definately makes it worth the 20 minute trip out to base.

Well, Maxwell is napping and Payton is watching Zaboomafoo, so I'm off to start laundry and organize my pantry. Another exciting part of my day. LOL.

Sunday, February 24

We're home and exhausted

What a great weekend!!! Matt and I got some great time with my family that was much needed. We got a chance to see my brother's new home, go out to the bar with him, meet his girlfriend (finally!!!!) and have a couple really nice dinners with my parents. We painted the guest room and I helped my mom order new carpet for that room as well. We picked out curtains and got all the details set up. It feels good to help make a dent in the work needing done in their home. They give us so much of themselves, it's great to be able to give back.

When we got to Toledo to pick up the boys, Payton had a fever. He's doing better and sleeping now, but I hope it doesn't last long and he can go to school tomorrow and participate in activities we have planned this week.

We have a ton of plans this week...lots of "things" to take care of. I need to get P registered for Tball and swimming lessons for this summer. We have doctor's appointments and such. We have two birthday parties on Saturday and one on Sunday. Matt would like to do some work on my car this weekend as well...we'll see if we get everything done.

If you are reading this, please pray for my best friend Tiffany. Most of you know her. She's taking the Bar Exam on Tuesday & Wednesday this week and I know she's really nervous about it. Just pray for peace and a clear and focused head.

Hope you all had a great weekend!!

Thursday, February 21

A real honest for goodness adult weekend!!

Matt and I will be leaving in just a few short hours to take the boys to my inlaws house. We're then going on to my parents' home to help them do some makeovers to the downstairs bedrooms. Not a lot of fun, but at least it will allow for our little family of four to have two bedrooms on the same floor when we visit them!

BUT, while we're there, we are going to have a date night. And we're going to see a movie with my brothers. And we're going to have a real adult dinner with my parents. No kids. No little mouthes to feed. No hands to wash. No lil' man to take to the potty *just* as the food gets to the table.

I'm very excited. SO excited to get some real adult time with my parents, brothers and especially my husband.

Tuesday, February 19

Love Letters

I remember the days of "notes". When notes were passed in classes, between friends and lovers. When whole notebooks, decorated with things two or more friends shared, were dedicated to the topics of boys, homework, awful parents and unfair rules. In a box somewhere in this house, I believe I may even have a few of these notebooks, as well as a few love letters from a former boyfriend.

Since high school however, love letters have become much more meaningful. I have one such love letter from Matt from our college days that he left taped to my dorm room door. It will forever hold a special place in my chest of memories.

A few years ago, with the widespread use of technology, I realized I wasn't "passing notes" anymore. I wasn't sharing my daily life with people unless they saw me. I wasn't telling them how much I loved them. I wasn't remininding people how important they were in my life. I decided to try harder to write a good old fashioned letter or note once or twice a month.
I try to pick someone different that I haven't seen in awhile. Or maybe someone who needs a "pick me up". Depending on the friendship, I may write a funny story, a serious antidote or just say hello and I'm thinking of them.

These "love letters" have been sent to family, friends, friends of my moms who have become friends of mine, and I even sent one to a neighbor once who I only knew from saying "hello" once in awhile.

I'm not sure what the letters mean to the recipients, but I hope that they brighten their day and remind them that someone cares enough to take five minutes to write that down. I hope it means as much to them as those old love letters mean to me.

Sunday, February 17

Earth Friendly

My mom and I were talking today and she commented on how she didn't realize how "earth friendly" I had become until she visited last time. She didn't really raise me that way, but I ended up that way after I moved to Michigan a few years ago. I thought I'd share with you guys some of what we do and use in our home to make us more "earth friendly".

When we moved into our new home in July, I was so excited that we'd be able to finally recycle conviently. I mean, living in Michigan, we have the bonus of getting $.10 per bottle or can you return to the stores, but I can now recycle papers, plastics, aluminum and glass right from my front door! We never throw those things in the trash now and we cut our trash output in half by recycling!

We started using cloth diapers with Payton when he was 1 year old because of an allergy he had. With Maxwell, we started at 3 months when he fit into the small size of FuzziBunz. By using cloth diapers, except for when we travel out of state, we have saved ourselves over $1,000 so far JUST with Max! I'm sure by the time potty training comes with Max, it will be closer to $5,000 total! We use mostly fuzzibunz, although I have a new love for Knickernappies Disposanots! We just wash them here at home and don't worry about a diaper service.

Recently, we've started using Chico Bags as a way to stop using plastic bags from grocery and other stores. They are VERY compact and I carry two in my car, one in my diaper bag and another in my purse. We gave out a few as Christmas presents this past year and recieved a great response from them from family, teachers and friends!

When Payton was young, we were going through tons of sippy cups, but I was worried about plastic leaching through into the drink and that those chemicals were being consumed. We found an alternative in Sigg Cups and Klean Kanteens. We have four Sigg Cups, mostly in the kid patterns for Payton, and recently purchased two Klean Kanteens. Klean Kanteen is also coming out with colors this May! We use them all the time when we're running errands or going to an event or the zoo. No need to pay $2.50 for a bottle of water when I have one with me!

We have gotten rid of most of the harsh chemicals that were in our home. We use natural cleaners from stores or online purchases as well as the old-fashioned blend of vinegar and water. It works surprisingly well! Clorox GreenWorks is available in most stores now as well as Method Cleaners and Seventh Generation. For laundry, we use Seventh Generation soaps or even Arm & Hammer Essentials (the green bottle).

We have also forgone all paper products on our house. We use cloth napkins, regular plates and bowls and only use about 2-3 paper towels a week! I just can't make the cross to cloth toilet paper, but I know a few who do. I just can't go that far. This has made a small dent in our budget with buying less disposible products, but beyond that, it's nice to not add more trash to the landfills.

We are in the process of switching all our interior bulbs to more energy friendly bulbs. We also recently purchased a new front loader high efficency washing machine. I really like it and because it's so effective, we actually cut our drying time by 35 minutes, making both our washer and dryer more bill friendly!

**WARNING** If you're uncomfortable talking about the "female cycle", stop reading now!!!!

After the birth of Payton, I started using a menstrual cup instead of tampons. I read reports of the bleached cotton in tampons leading to not only TSS, but also more severe cramps and heavier bleeding. Basically, the idea is that you don't want anything drying or unnatural in your body. I would say that about 80% of my friends are also diva cup users, even ones I thought would never try it! It's very easy to insert and when it's full, you just dump it and reinsert it. Changing it about two or three times in 24 hours. SO much easier and my cramps are virtually gone and my cycles are much less heavy! My friends report the same!

So, that's most of it. Maybe it's inspired you to make a change or two in your life! Or maybe you're just more informed. It's been a great feeling to know that I'm doing my part, and teaching my children how to do their part to prolong the life of this world that we enjoy so much!

Thursday, February 14

Happy Valentine's Day!!

First, I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's day that you can share with someone you love. <3

We woke up this morning to hugs and kisses from Payton & Maxwell. We had pancakes and strawberries for breakfast and then we opened our Valentine's day presents. Payton made me an adorable card at school and Matt had taken the boys shopping for a card and gift for me. I got a green, plastic, bunny bobble head.

It's the thought that counts right? It was picked out by a 4.5 yr old. Good thing I already planned a massage for myself today!!

I got Matt 2000 points for the Wii to get some new games he wants. Payton got a new Diego DVD and Maxwell got a cookie monster toy that he's already in love with. I think I did pretty good this year!

On another note, Maxwell is pretty much full-on walking now. I can't believe it happened so fast. He'll still crawl if he's in a hurry, but for the most part, he walks like a drunk everywhere.

Payton is doing really well. He loves the new game we have for the Wii, Bust A Move. I can't believe how much hand/eye coordination it's given him. He'd play for hours if I let him!!!

Wednesday, February 13

Classroom Mom

I had the opprotunity to be a "classroom party mom" today for Payton's Valentine's day party. He was so excited when I mentioned it to him, that I couldn't NOT do it.

So I get there and help the other moms set up the snack tables and pass out the (junk) treats that were brought in. Thank GOODNESS I signed up for juice and was sure they were getting 100% real juice at least. The kids simply ate the frosting off the top of all the treats and didn't eat anything else.

Each of the moms had a table that we were responsible for. I had Payton, his best friend at school, Travis, and Payton's nemisis, Felix. They were actually really good together today and didn't have any problems! Thank goodness!!

While we cleaned up the tables from snack, the teacher explained the craft to them.
They were to decorate red wooden hearts with a hodge-podge of buttons. She was talking about how the buttons came from a former student's mom who didn't have anything to do with them. Mrs. B, Payton's teacher, asked if any of the kids knew what "recycle" meant. Payton was the ONLY one to raise his hand! When she called on him, he said, "To reuse something to help save our planet and keep it clean." I don't think I've ever been so very proud of that lil' environmentalist!

Anyway, The hearts turned out REALLY cute! I think we might do something like this for our family soon. I would take a picture to show you, but Payton gave it to his "bestest" friend Rose. (See "Crazy is as Crazy Does" Blog to meet Rose.)

After that it was time to pass out valentine's. Man...did those kids get loaded with sugar!!! Suckers, chocolates, sweeties, candy hearts, rice krispie treats, cookies...ugh. Thank goodness we have a "one treat a day" rule in our house!

After that was clean up and go. Payton told me on the way home that he really had a good time and he was "really very happy" that I came to his class today. He even asked if I'd come back on his next school day. So cute. I love that he still wants me around!

Tuesday, February 12

Really, you read this?!

Hmmmm. I had no idea! I knew that a few of my momma friends were reading my blog...and occasionally my parents and inlaws, but I had no idea that *you* were.

Talking to an old friend last night, I found another reader of my blog. I was shocked. I had no idea. Now I feel like I have to write something interesting or cool. *sigh* I have performance anxiety.

So I'm sorry if there isn't anything too interesting here in my blog. It's just my daily life. My ponderings. Things that inspire me and deflate me. It's to keep friends and family informed and to help me sort my thoughts.

But thanks for reading!! ALL of you! Come back again soon! Be sure to vote in my poll on the left side of the screen. I'm curious as to who visits and how often.

Saturday, February 9

2:30 am ramblings...

It's amazing what a great night with friends doing "nothing" can do for your spirit. Earlier today I felt lonely and slightly neglected. Matt's working a ton of hours of overtime, for our family I know. And I *REALLY* appreciate the sacrifices he's making. But I miss him and his company and help by the sixth or seventh day in a row of him not being home.

So when I was able to get together with some close friends tonight, I jumped at the chance. It was great to see them, have some snacks, a drink or two and just hang out. We played Wii for awhile and just enjoyed each others company. That boost was enough to get me through a few more days of life without Matt around. I'm forever grateful to those friends and they mean so much more to me than they will know.

The look, the feel of's the fabric of my life!

Friday, February 8

Another "normal" day

We didn't do much today. It's a good thing I think.

Payton had school today and was very excited. They're doing kindergarden readiness evaluations this week. We got back a preliminary sheet that talked about what to expect and what our child would be doing. Thus far, Payton's two biggest challenges at school have been identifying a diamond (not sure how I missed that shape) and he needs to work on his cutting skills. We'll have confrences the end of the month and I'm anxious to know where he's at compared to the rest of the class. Yes, I know. "You can't compare your child to other children", but come on...*insert eye roll here*, what mom doesn't!??!?

Maxwell is taking a ton more steps now that he was just a week ago. He'll actually walk from one item to another if it's less than about 10 steps. Not much longer and he'll be running. What happened to my lil' baby?

I watched yesterday's Oprah last night. It was called "Does this clutter make my butt look big?" The point was that if your home is not healthy and clean and functional, you won't want to use it. Thus, you eat out, make unhealthy, quick decisions to get out of a chaotic kitchen and shop and bring things home to cover the fact that you don't like your home in the first place. Now, I'm not a hoarder by any means. I'd rather throw something away and have to buy it again in a year or two than keep it that long and have it take up space. BUT, the order and functionality of the show really set with me.

So tonight and this weekend, I'm pitching things. LOTS of things. Not because our house is dirty or overrun, but because I like clean surfaces and "things in their place" and it's just not happening right now. So if you're in need of something, let me know. I might have one for you! LOL I'm focusing on my kitchen, dining room and master bedroom. Matt and I still haven't figured out what to do with the master since we moved in back in July. I have picked the wall color now and I'm hoping to paint in the next month.

On another note, as you can see, I changed my blog layout again. I just can't get it to feel like "me". I wish I could do more HTML stuff, but I tried and it deleted some of my favorite pieces of my blog and so I had to put them back and I didn't know how to edit the HTML again. Ugh. So this is what you get, for a few days anyway. Then I'll change it again I'm sure.

Have yourselves a great weekend.

Wednesday, February 6

Rain, Sleet and Snow...oh my!

We woke up to thunderstorms in the night, followed by sleet this afternoon which turned to a full on snowstorm by 4pm today. When we got done with dinner, Payton asked to go outside and play in the three inches that had accumulated outside. After getting him all bundled up, he went out and threw snowballs at me and Maxwell on the other side of the front door.

After about ten minutes, I decided to get me and Max bundled up as well and we went outside to "play". Mind you, this was Maxwell's first encounter with "playing" in snow. He didn't like it.

He clung tightly to me for at least ten minutes. Then he realized the noise he'd been hearing was our neighbor's snowblower and he couldn't have been more happy. Everytime that snowblower passed by us he smiled. BIG smiles.

But eventually our neighbor was done and the snowblower was turned off. That was the end of the fun for Maxwell. Payton still had a great time throwing snowballs at me, our house, the trees and then cleaning off my car and attempting to shovel our walkway.

Ahhh. Gotta love Michigan winters!

Tuesday, February 5

Dr Appointment Updates

First, I had Maxwell's well visit this morning. He's growing very healthily and doesn't have any issues...well that the doctor is concerned about anyway. He weighs 20.5 lbs and is 29 inches long. He's average for weight and a bit short, like his momma. He got one shot and the dr. ordered blood tests for lead and iron levels. He got one shot...which only makes us about 8 behind now!

We came home and picked up Matt & Payton and went to the drs to have his mole removed. Since we were there early, we decided to have Max's blood work done there. So I stayed with Max and Matt took P to his doctor's appointment. He got the easy kid...again.

Maxwell SCREAMED when they took his blood and didn't calm down until they finally let go of him. Then the nurse realized the order was for two vials, not one. So they had to do it again in the other arm. By now the kid's had one shot and two blood draws and is NOT happy. He couldn't even be appeased with juice.

In the mean time, Matt and Payton were having his mole removed. It all went really well. It was about the size of a dime and Matt said it came off really easily. Payton didn't even cry or anything and just played tic-tac-toe with his daddy. The doctor said it didn't look like anything to be worried about. We go back in two weeks just to have the site looked at. Other than that, we won't hear anything unless the biopsy comes back with something to be concerned about.

So now everyone is home, recovering from the emotional and physical pain of the day. Maxwell and I are going to take a nap and I think Matt and Payton are going to play the Wii.

I'm glad it's all over and we're all "ok". Thanks for all the love and prayers!

Monday, February 4

just an average day i guess

Today was one of those "normal" mom days. I don't have anything interesting to report really.

I woke, got the boys dressed, fed 'em breakfast & lunch. We left to go run an errand and take P to school. Came home, Max napped and then we went to pick up P from school. We were home about an hour when a friend called to see if I wanted to meet her at McDonald's for dinner with all our kids, so we did that.

I decided since we were so close to the Chiropractor, we'd go there and we were all seen and adjusted. Much needed, btw.

On the way home, P and I sang songs to try to keep Maxwell awake. It actually worked this time!! Got home, and got the boys in their pjs. Nursed Max, got Payton a cookie and put Max to bed. Payton is watching his newest favorite show, American Gladiators (he's going to be a gladiator when he grows up, you know) and then he'll go to bed.

Tomorrow, we have doctor's appointments for both boys. Max's is just a well visit, but Payton's is to have a curious looking mole removed from his scalp. Think about us and pray that it all goes well. But not too well, or we'll have to follow through on our promise to take him to Chuck E' Cheese. ugh. I'll update how the procedure went tomorrow afternoon.

"See" you all tomorrow!

Saturday, February 2

What to do....what to do....

My inlaws are coming to get the boys today for the night and I wasn't expecting it! I don't have any plans and I'm not even sure what I want to do.

I could paint the trim in the hallway and around the doors...but I can do that any day. Maybe tonight...when I don't feel like doing anything else.

I wanted to go get a massage, but my massuse is closed today. :(

I could go shopping, but I'm not really in NEED of anything. So that's not really fun.

I could go see a movie and have lunch...but I don't have any girlfriends who are available on short notice. Everyone has kids and plans.

A new Trader Joe's opened in Grosse Pointe yesterday, so maybe I'll go there.

Hmmmm....maybe I'll just go back to bed.

Friday, February 1

Rice Cakes got a bad rap

Last week Kroger had the Quaker Rice Cake Minis 10/$10. Of course they were sold out when I wanted them, so I got a rain check. Actually, I got two, but don't tell anyone.

Today, I found them at my store and picked out my ten bags. I got five chocolate, cheese, BBQ, apple cinnnamon, kettle corn and cinnamon sugar. I got home and busted out a bag of chocolate and they are SO yummy!! I love them and so does Payton! And for seven chocolate cakes, there are only 60 calories! That's CRAZY talk!

So I divided up a bag of chocolate and a bag of cheese into small snack bags of 80-100 calories each and they are in our snack cabinet. They only flavor I'm leary off is the BBQ...I'll keep you posted about those...