Tuesday, November 30, 2010

meals for 11.29.10 thru 12.5.10

(i can't believe December is welcomed this week!)

here is what will be gracing our table this week... :)

  • Monday: Thanksgiving leftovers
  • Tuesday: hamburger stoup (crock pot)
  • Wednesday: chicken macaroni casserole
  • Thursday: leftovers (hamburger stoup)
  • Friday: leftovers (chick. mac. casserole)
  • Saturday: out to eat, probably
  • Sunday: ham and cheese crescent roll ups
seeing that i have my hands full on Wednesday with the kids, i will probably try to make the chicken casserole ahead of time on Tuesday... i'll just put it together, and hopefully it will bake up nicely on Wednesday... we shall see... it's also a new recipe that i've never tried... so i'm also crossing my fingers that it tastes pretty good... if not, we'll be having tomato soup! :)

and why are crescent rolls so daggone yummy? i could seriously sit and eat a whole entire poppin' fresh tube of freshly baked crescent rolls... yum!!! anyway, i'm going to the ham and cheese roll ups on Sunday... they look delicious on the Pillsbury website... and we have some ham in the freezer... i'm hoping that the meal will be good!

hope your meals are yummy and you're enjoying time chowing down this week... :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

mourning my beloved laptop and the day...

i'm so sad to say that my trusty old laptop finally went to laptop heaven today... :( oh how sad i am... 4+ years of "life" on that baby...gone...

i did a little troubleshooting with my "pal" Beverly from Dell...and after i did some fancy technical things at her prompting, she let me know that she felt i probably needed a new motherboard... fast forward for another 20 minutes on hold with parts...and the cost of a new motherboard is $600... so...yah...not going to happen... i didn't think i'd really get a new motherboard, but i was just curious to hear how much it would set us back if we did...

i'm really sad because i am an IDIOT...i have had this beautiful new laptop sitting in my living room for 3 months...but i NEVER sat down to transfer anything... i got all caught up in getting stuff situated for my online class...and it just never seemed important or something i should have made a priority... of course, hindsight is 20/20 and, well, i'm seeing the err of my ways... :(

thankfully, ry has the same work laptop as our own personal laptop, so i think i can take the hard drive out of my recently departed laptop, take his out, install mine into Ry's computer, and then pull off what i need... i have a ton of my files already on my portable hard drive...but i know there are things that i have updated since i dumped the files... i think i might have to do that this weekend...but i do have some things i need for the week - like stuff for my online class...of course...

and i hate the mouse on the newbie laptop...and the keys are all in different places... i seem to suffer from a pretty hard learning curve....

have i done enough whining yet? oh sorry...

yes, i heard a lot of whining here today from my sweet child... she managed to sleep 12 hours last night, but i just think she was all out of sorts from the travels... i would be, too... house hopping between the grandparents - 2 nights here...2 nights there...lots of time in the van... but anyway, we spent over an hour outside this afternoon so that we could "wash that grumpy" right out of her soul.... thankfully, it worked... even though her little hands were like ice cubes by the time we came in...
i was thinking that we were about a half-inch away from her head spinning around in the living room because she couldn't get her kite puzzle piece to fit properly before we headed out, so the chilly hands were worth it...

oh...back to the laptop saga... i called Apple to ask about how to transfer the hundreds of dollars worth of music on my iTunes account... and i spent lots of time on hold, AGAIN... the silly (i'm using nice words) automated person on the other end kept asking me for a serial number...and i didn't feel like going to find the iPod with the serial number... FINALLY i get to talk to a human...she tells me that she needs my serial number (of COURSE!).... so i get my iPod (which is borderline ancient, to Apple standards)... and i read her my serial number and she tells me it's INVALID...
so she asks if i have my box....and i do (of course, b/c we never throw anything away) and i KNEW where it was in about 3 seconds... i read her the serial number on the box, and, by golly gee, it's the SAME number on the back of my iPod... *go figure* the chick is pretty much insinuating that i probably have a "bought on a street corner in Philly" iPod in my hand...of course, i don't... it's from a big box electronics store...i've had it for 4 years... and well, the stupid store is now out of business... gee, i wonder why - probably b/c they were selling these $300+ iPods with faulty serial numbers...
so i ask this apple girl how i can prove that my equipment is not bootleg from Vinny in Philly...and she keeps telling me she's sorry but the serial number isn't valid (and she wasn't from India)... i'm like, "I KNOW...FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! LISTEN TO THE WORDS THAT ARE COMING OUT OF MY MOUTH...." (then i had "Meet the Fockers" flashbacks)...
she tells me i can go to an Apple store and they can verify if my iPod is legit... yah, b/c i live in the middle of the "almost" total country and we have Apple stores in every direction...
then she tells me they can help me get my music transferred if i pay around $30 for person to help me...
haven't i already given Apple enough of my money... iPods...music...for real... so i'm annoyed and tell her that i'm not paying for that service right now until i can see if i can do it myself... and i hang up...
i was not a sweet "customer"
i was so annoyed....................
especially because i really needed to mash the potatoes so we could eat dinner before 10 PM...

and since i spent so much time on hold with Dell and then the remarkably intelligent Apple representative...i didn't get to go to the grocery store until 8:30 tonight... the bonus is that the place is deserted at 8:30... i had my pick of parking spaces... :) and it was OK that i was wearing my sleep nursing bra because no one was there... i had a fleece on but...let's just say that the nursing bra doesn't lend for much as far as "perking" up "the girls" *boy i'm really letting it all out, aren't i?* but no one cared and i could peruse the aisles of the store in total undergarment comfort :)

i liked driving the mile or so to the store and seeing the Christmas lights decorating houses in the neighborhoods... kinda neat... :) i admit, i do miss the cow and baby Jesus that used to decorate the "got junk" house on one corner... it was such a touching Nativity scene... those tenants are long gone... then i started to wonder why people put lights on their houses...i like the whole idea, but...what's the meaning or background of this tradition?

so when i got home, before i gave K her bath, i decided to get out her little 4 ft. tall pre-lit tree that we got a few weekends ago for a pretty good deal... she LOVES "Triss----missss teees" so i knew it would be a big hit... :) i folded down the cheap little branches on her little tree...it's cute... :) i put it in her room in front of her window... her face was so daggone cute when she walked into her room to get ready for her bath... :) of course, she wanted to touch the "trissss------missss teee" a million times...and nicely pointed out the same blue light a few times...
and, aside from making Little Lady's night with her pretty little tree, i realized that i can kind of participate in the "lighting" of the outside of my house "no reason" tradition, albeit from inside, by turning on her little tree to illuminate the window area in the evenings...

we would probably decorate the house with fancy lights if we had an electrical outlet in the front of our house...yah, someone forgot to do that when they built this box of a house in the 80s... some one's leg warmers were probably too tight...or maybe Guns and Roses was playing too loud on the boom box on that day and the construction guys were dancing around in the yard singing "welcome to the jungle" and playing their electric air guitars like Slash...........

i digress...

i'm glad the day is over... :) i feel like i didn't get a lot done... :) gee, i wonder why... :) but, everything is fine...it will be better in the morning when i wake up because the "big things" now will not be that big after a little time has passed...

hope you had a good monday... :)

thanksgiving memories {2010}

it's been a few hours since we returned back to VA from our travels "to the north" to visit our families... PA first...then DE...
i'm pleased to say we didn't balloon to another clothing size... (hehe) but we hold some sweet memories...

~sitting at the table with our families...but especially with my mom as she ate turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, gravy...the fixins... :) a seemingly "simple" praise...but after what she went through with her tonsil cancer and the treatments she endured, which literally stole more than a year from her sweet soul... but the pure delight i feel while watching her be able to eat is something i cannot even put into words...

~watching the snow fall quickly and thickly on Thanksgiving morning... and hearing K tell us " 'no is coming from the ki!!" :) and her immeasurable joy and excitement... :)

~safe travels...over 8 hours going, but only 5 hours on our return trip... not too bad at all :)

~the beautiful crimson sunset on our way home...

~"i spy," the 2 year old version, for horses, cows, school buses, trucks, jeeps, and cars for the car rides... and her sadness when we couldn't stop and see the parked school buses for a lengthy time period...

~K's random announcement/request for "Mickey D's" on the ride home today... even if it is just for some apple dippers (the only thing she'll eat from there :))

~taking the annual Rakow (as in the in-laws) Christmas photo at Ronnie's Garden World in DE... wreaths around our necks...pretty trees...a 2 year old who won't look at the camera or, when she does, she won't smile...people staring at us as we try to take pictures during prime shopping time... :) having fun with the picture on Picnic later that night... lots of good laughs... :)

~doing a little Christmas shopping at a craft house in PA... a most prized purchase for my mom... :) more on that later... :)

~watching K climb up in "bebot's" chair with him as he watches TV (bebot=grandpa)

~K finally trying a munchkin from Dunkin' Donuts because we told her it was "cake"

~K sitting like a big girl at DD as she told us she was "watchin' the kids" or looking for "n" and "o" and "m" in any sign she sees...

~K referring to every slightly over middle-aged man, especially with grey hair, as a "bebot" and announcing when they were going to the bathroom to "go pee pee"

~thinking about decorating for Christmas at the house (and finally putting away the pumpkins - sorry sweet K)

~awesome Christian songs on satellite radio to fill my soul on the drive

~realizing that we are cheap... we keep our house really cold compared to our parents' houses....

~Wawa iced coffee.... :)

~watching "The Wiggles"

~dreaming of 2 slices of amazing white pizza with broccoli from Maple Glen Pizza on Wednesday evening... and Dad coming home with regular pizza with broccoli because "they didn't have any white pizza"

i know there are so many things that we can find as "not so perfect" each and every day... but, in all honesty, i think that we sometimes fail to see the real blessings that surround us... and, for this trip...while the turkey was good and the sweet potatoes were wonderful, the REAL beauty of the time was being with family and just "being" in every single moment. i loved every minute of it... :) and, i cannot help but feel a tremendous and overwhelming sense of thankfulness...and not just for the big things...but also for the little things that we often take for granted or fail to notice...

i look forward to Thanksgiving 2011 for even more invaluable memories... :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

confessions, meal plans, and other stuff... :)

~Confessions~Font size
i'm sitting here watching Lady Gaga from her performance this summer on the Today Show...on july 9th... it has been DVR'd for me and i'm ashamed i've never watched yet! :)
i'm so amazed by her talent...and i love her music... i know my husband rolls his eyes b/c of my fastination with her...but she's really interesting to me... i don't agree with some of her "stances" and the fact that she's almost always scantily clad in a bra and underwear, but the fact that she's a music genius is probably an understatement... and her music - well, i really love most of it... :)

it's Thanksgiving week...and it seems silly for me to post what we're eating... :) but, i will share the basics... :)

Monday: grilling out (hot dogs), mac n cheese, baked beans (ry), corn

Tuesday: leftover french toast casserole

Wednesday: dinner with Mom and Dad :)

Thursday: lots of yummies...turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, REAL cranberries, sweet potatoes, rolls...and who knows what else :) i'll surely be working along side of my mom helping prepare everything :)

Friday: i'm not sure yet :)

Saturday: lots of yummies, part deux - a regular Thanksgiving feast, again, but this time, with my in-laws :)

Sunday: i'm not sure yet :)

~Other Stuff~

  • i'm being bombarded, via email, with so many super shopping deals... tonight, i ordered some gifts for my husband and sis-in-law at Gap...saved 40% and got free shipping...that's pretty good... i also picked up 2 super cute sleepers for new baby #2 - possible coming home outfits :) the first "official" purchases for this little person :)
  • speaking of shopping, did you know that you can earn money back if you're a member of AAA (triple A) or by using ebates.com? today, i ordered my mom's *late* birthday gift...some flowers for her garden for spring 2011... i had a $25 off $50 coupon...and i used my AAA.com/mall find... i got 7.5% back to put toward a balance... and when you reach $10, AAA mails you a check... they have over 250 shopping partners...like Best Buy, Land of Nod, and several others... something to think about if you do a lot of shopping online... i was gong to use it for my Gap purchase, but i couldn't get logged in properly, for some reason, and i was nearing the midnight hour (the 40% was only for Monday)...so i had to bypass that deal....but it's kinda neat to get paid for spending money :) hehe :)
  • the lights went out at our house this evening for some strange reason...dunno why... but K's clock in her room had to be reset...and the ALARM started going off at midnight... NOT cool... she was stirring, but she laid right back down *thank God* and was sleeping before i could unplug the clock and leave... argh!
  • i'm going to steam clean the living room carpet tomorrow night... it needs to be done soooooo badly (the carpet is gross!!), but i really don't want to do it... :) i would love for the nice guys at Stanley Steamer to come and do it instead, but we'll save that expense for when i'm dealing with a newborn and the carpet needs to be cleaned and i REALLY don't want to do it then... :)
  • i have a lot of laundry to fold and transfer, so i better stop my randomness and get my rear in gear so i can wind down for the night... :)

if i don't post again before Thanksgiving, i wish everyone (ok, all 3 of you who read :)) a VERY wonderful and BLESSED Thanksgiving... :) Enjoy your time with your friends and family... :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

babysitter for hire...

as i'm sure you can imagine, the thought of welcoming a new baby into our family in February is at the forefront of our mind for Katherine... she is our world...and we are trying to introduce the concept of a baby, what they do, etc. :) thankfully, the little girl i watch, Tenley, is just 3 months and K has learned a lot from her being here... :)

K loves her baby doll...... she got her for her birthday...my dad affectionately named her Suzie....and that's the end of that... :) she even smells like powder...yum... :)

K has shown she's going to be a pretty good big sister, i think...
she can help get Suzie's little hat on... :)

she can get Suzie situated on her "blankie"
she can pick Suzie up and comfort her when she "kies" or burp her...
she can also use Suzie as a bowling ball when she plays with her bowling set...
she gets a strike every time, too! thankfully our "Nanny bear cam" wasn't functioning for those pictures...
and we can't help but giggle when Suzie is "tossed" wrecklessly into the swing for a little relaxation... :)
in all seriousness, i'm so pleased to watch K with Suzie and Tenley... while it's not all coos and smiles, K is learning that baby's cry...and they need their diaper changed...and they have to eat...and that they require to be held... she's so attentive to Tenley...wanting to comfort her or give her hugs and kisses every 5 minutes... :) we'll still working on talking quiety when the baby is sleeping...but that will come with time. :) i know she's going to be a super big sister... :) well, until she realizes that her little sister isn't going to go home with Tenley at 4:30 each day :)
while she has a ways to go, take her number down...in 10 years, she's bound to be a great baby sitter... :) just be sure to put away your bowling pins, kay? :) i'm not making any promises there.... :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

for no particular reason...

just because...
she's makes me smile...
she'll pull off her "yooos and yocks" in a heartbeat to put on Mom's shoes...

and if i could find the words to convey the attitude in this facial expression, i would... i think my mom would say something about paybacks and things coming full circle right now...but we won't go there... :)
but really, it's just funny to see such a little body sporting big shoes ( :o) right, Sarah? )... :) and it's even more scary to think that, in 15 years, i'll be wishing she was still doing this...well, minus the attitude... :)

...the sunshine is streaming through the windows right now, and i hear little rustlings from a certain little girl's bedroom... it's time to see what the day has to offer... :)

enjoy your day :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

meals for 11.15.10 to 11.21.10

wow...can you believe we're already halfway through November...
kinda hard to believe...
that means Christmas shopping has to get into full mode!! :-\

i have been slacking in the posting department... just super busy... but, it's time to put our menu up for the week... :)

now, i realized, as i was writing this down in my notebook, that we're having some of the same things we had a few weeks ago...and ya know what...i don't care :) the choices that seem to repeat more often than normal are good...and they're easy enough for me to "whip up" when i'm tired and don't feel like doing much in the kitchen... :) and the leftovers are yummy...so, they'll repeat until we get sick of them... :)

here's what we'll be chowin' down on this week... :)

Monday: spaghetti and garlic bread

Tuesday: macaroni soup (it's going to rain all day on Tuesday - perfect for soup :))

Wednesday: garlic chicken and potatoes in the crock pot (have a 10 lb. bag of potatoes that i need to use! :))

Thursday: leftovers (probably soup)

Friday: French Toast Casserole (TO.DIE.FOR!! soooooo good!!!!) (i'm looking for the link to the recipe!)

Saturday: leftovers

Sunday: grill out :) (and i love that they are predicting it's going to be in the low 60s - perfect for grilling out! :))

hope you all are having a great mid-November week...and that the eatin's are good at your place! :) imagine...next week, we'll be gorging ourselves on turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberries, and pie... :) yay!!! :)

ENJOY your week! i hope it's blessed :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

my favorite pie making experience and Graves' Mountain Apple Festival

our house smells of apple pie tonight... i love smelling the blend of spices and apples... YUM!
we have 3 bags of apples in the fridge from our apple festival fun about a month ago! i love apple pie...but I think Ry likes it better… he always asks, “does a piece of apple pie count as a fruit serving…it has fruit?” :) and i won't be surprised if there's a piece missing in the morning - Ry will have some for breakfast :)

i put LOTS of apples into tonight's pie...Macintosh, Gala, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Winesaps… and I peeled, cored, and cut the apples in the living room, on the floor, so I could hang out with my sweet girl this evening (daddy was cooking dinner)… as I cut my apples, she kept coming over to my bowl and picking out slices of apple… with her cute grin, she’d say, “apples….mmmmmm!” she’d take a bite, smile, run into the kitchen, tell her daddy about the apple…and run back in for more… :) that’s probably my favorite pie making experience ever… :)

we had a pretty good time at the apple festival... we traveled about 40 minutes away to Graves’ Mountain Lodge in Criglersville, VA. this is a little mountain town close to where Ry teaches and I taught… it’s also special because Ry and I got married in a little white church in Criglersville
I love Graves’ – it reminds me of the resort in the movie "Dirty Dancing"… there’s a huge lodge where people come and stay… there’s also a wonderful dining area where lots of kids and adults from Madison work… we’ve never eaten there, but we hear the food is awesome…
They make their own apple sauce, cider, jellies, and apple butter (my favorite!)…just to name a few items… and they are wonderful!
I think this is the second generation running the orchard… they have acres and acres of apple trees i've always seen on a hayride into the orchard… we used to take a field trip up to Graves’ in the spring…and we’d see the baby apples growing… :) it’s BEAUTIFUL up there, too…gosh, it will take your breath away...
and, we know the families running the lodge now… I’ve taught their kids…and it’s just special to be part of such a wonderful family business… they’re real people…and good and sweet…and I love that…
we wanted to head to the festival on a warmer day…the weekend before had been quite chilly and rainy…so we took the chance to wait until the last weekend of the festival… I thought I’d be colder up there, but we were glad to enjoy some sunshine and warmth (which is why K’s pants are rolled up)…
within about 10 minutes of being there, K was ready to go home :-\ she was tired of the stroller and didn't want to hold your hand... she wanted to run around and enjoy the freedom of “country life,” but there were just too many people to allow that… and the kiddy activities were for kids a little older than her… so, we stayed for a bit…had a little snack, socialized with some friends and past students, and walked around the craft area…

my favorite part was seeing the men making apple butter. it's a lengthy process...i think one batch takes around 12-15 hours...mostly of constant stirring over a wood fire...and the apple butter is in a big cauldron... :) it was so neat! when we were watching, they were pouring the apple butter into jars... what i would have given to walk up and ask them for my very own piping hot jar....

just before we left, Ry took K (who was on the verge of a melt down) to an area with all kinds of pumpkins and gourds while I loaded up a half-bushel box of apples! That’s where he managed to snap some pictures of her…
day dreaming of going home and getting away from the craziness here... :)
K's showing us her muscles... :) she had to move the pumpkins and gourds around the field...of course!
we also grabbed a couple of quick pictures near the hay kitty before we left… the first time, with Daddy...and then one with Mommy... :) (she was weepy and crying at this point! ticking time bomb!)
i wanted to post a video of K dancing to the bluegrass music...but it won't work (of course!)... :) oh well...next time... :)
we headed home with a nice box of apples and good memories... :) and a sleeping little girl in the back seat... :) all in all, it wasn't a bad trip...we had fun... :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

meals for 11.8.10 to 11.14.10 and other stuff

...and not in that order... :)

i'm so sad that the weekend is over already... while today seemed to last a lot longer (daylight savings time?!), i really wish we could have 3 days weekends at least once a month... *sigh*

i'm an idiot... we went to make a few returns to stores last night...one of those stores being Toys R Us. My mom and i had purchased two of the very same items for K's b-day - a doll and a cute little fleece outfit. we did a little shopping, didn't find much that we needed/wanted...so we just returned the items. now, Toys R Us gives "flimsy" and very thin gift cards when you make returns... the cashier wrapped the gift card in 3 receipts - my original and two from the return... i was getting into the back seat of the car...and let me just say that's getting to be very challenging these days (small space, little leg room, pregnant woman...not pretty) as i shoved myself into a little space, i must have loosened my kung fu grip (haha, meet the fockers :)) on my pile of receipts and gift card... nice... i don't know where it is... so, i lost/misplaced this gift card... $18.42... kissed it goodbye for now... i'm content to think it was a nice offering for someone...or my contribution for Toys For Tots... yep, i'm an idiot...but the good Lord must know someone needed that money more than we did...
and i did call to see if anyone had a conscience and returned the gift card that was probably laying in the parking lot... no dice... then again, it could be somewhere in the car...but i look for it later...look again, that is... :)

i like milk a lot these days... :) it's so good... :) it also helps my heart burn a little :-\

ry and i took inventory of our freezer in the basement this afternoon... :) it was a fun time for all (haha - not really)... it's amazing how much food one family can get, put in a freezer, and forget about... sad... we also "de-iced" the freezer, as well...it wasn't bad...so it didn't take us long. when i threw the snowy ice outside, it reminded me that snow will be here soon. :) (that means snow days for Ry and no day care for me... :)) i digress... anyway, we're committed to getting a significant amount out of our freezer in the next month or so... that should help with our grocery budget a bit! (and i haven't even "inventoried" our upstairs freezer attached to our fridge, either...we have some things in there that we can use, too! :))

i have a check up at the docs on Tuesday afternoon...i'm fully prepared for a weight change... i am not going to be dropping lbs. this time... bad, bad snickers craving... geez... :-\

it's supposed to be really nice in the next several days...in the 60s. :) yay! i am looking forward to that nice weather so that we can play outside a bit... with daylight savings time, it's going to be tough to get some good play outside time in after naps... boo hiss....

i only have 4 more weeks of class (over the course of 5 weeks - we don't have class over thanksgiving week)... i have learned a lot from the class, but i will say i'm not too motivated to do the work in bits and pieces... for the last several weeks, i've been working on Saturday or Sunday to get everything finished...i hate that b/c it takes me away from family time... i am going to try hard to plan better so that we can enjoy the next few weekends! :)

ok...meal plan... :)
here's what will be on our cluttered table this week! :)

  • Monday: beef and peas w/ rice (ry's cooking! :))
  • Tuesday: pumpkin pancakes
  • Wednesday: chicken hot dish & rolls (still have the ingredients from a few weeks ago - never made it!)
  • Thursday: leftovers (beef and peas)
  • Friday: leftovers (chicken hot dish)
  • Saturday: orange chicken and rice
  • Sunday: grill out - steak and baked potatoes

i hope that you have a wonderful week :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

bir-dayyy bir-dayyy thoughts...

i'm watching my first few hours of "34" float along in while "33" passes into history... :) it's kind of funny... i swear that, aside from a few aches and pains (probably from being pregged up and not the healthiest weight), i feel like i did when i was 18... age is really relative, isn't it? i don't know if i will feel the same way when i turn 40...or 50...but i am sure i'll be ok. :)

i think back to 3 years ago... it was right after i had become a momma for the first time...and ry kept asking me what i wanted for my birthday... and to be honest, while i was sleep deprived and still in awe, i couldn't give him an answer... i finally said, "what more could anyone want?" as i was holding Katherine... and then i cried... (he probably walked away confused wondering what in the world was wrong with me! :))

then, for a moment, i was taken back to the years when i was a kid... it was my mom's birthday and i'd ask her, "what do you want?" and she'd just smile and say, "ohhh, i don't know...i don't need anything, really..." i would get annoyed because i couldn't figure out how anyone could NOT want something for their birthday...perfume, a sweater, a CD...anything??!
i hope that doesn't make me sound shallow... i don't mean it THAT way... but if it's your birthday, people around you usually want to give you something special to celebrate your day and you can ask for anything!

well, i think something happened to me on that early morning in October of 2008 when i had Katherine...
after a few hours of holding my daughter and staring at her incredible creation, i understood why my mom would never have any gift ideas for her birthday...
when you have a child, i think you probably receive the biggest gift of all...and the best one, for sure... and there isn't anything in the world that you could really ever want any more...nothing that important, anyway...
and so, for the last 3 birthdays, i have had a tough time thinking of anything that i could want for a day that celebrates the day my mom became a mom and i became part of this Earth...

see, i guess life's perspective changes... time with my extended family becomes more important...hearing their voices on the phone is cherished...and spending the evening with my own family trumps anything that could be wrapped up in a package...

so, on this 34th year, i can say i feel rich and have everything i could ever want... that's a pretty good bir-dayyy bir-dayyy, if you ask me... :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"birthday birthday, Katherine" :) {part 1}

for a few months, K and i have been practicing the "happy birthday" song in the bath tub... it's actually the only way she will sit still and let me brush her teeth... we sing 4 times (2 for the top, 2 for the bottom :)), at least...and she chooses who we sing happy birthday to each time...
but she doesn't say "HAPPY birthday" - she says, "birthday birthday" :) it makes me laugh b/c she has a "northern" accent as she says it... "bir-dayyyy bir-dayyyyy" - stretching out her ending...
on 10.23, my sweet girl had her 2nd birthday. we had both sets of grandparents here (yay!), the Knights (including her pal Thomas :)), the Strongs, and the Weigles... we had a full house, but it was fun... :) we decorated pumpkins and played...and ate...and talked... :) it was a FULL day... :)

i have a lot of pictures...so i'm posting a few tonight...and of course, they're posted incorrectly...backwards again! :- grrrrrrrrr....
anyhow, i will probably take care of the birthday pics and stories in a few posts....

we were blessed by so many wonderful and thoughtful gifts from our friends and family... books, crayola artsy stuff, a bowling set, a dancing/Disco Mickey Mouse, spongebob pictures, clothes, a little leapster laptop...so many good things!
but, at the END of the party, K got her "big gift" - a "pink Harley rocker" bike... :) she LOVES this bike, but i think she's still a bit too little for it... it will be perfect for warm stints this winter, and surely, next spring... :) she sat on her bike for 3 days after she got it...with her helmet...but those pics will come later :)
another important gift was her baby doll...obviously, i wanted something for her to "get ready" for being a big sister... it's funny b/c my mom and i BOTH got her the same exact doll (mine is still in the toys r us bag to return! :) we don't want TWINS!)... it took me 15 minutes to figure out what doll i wanted for her... so many dolls now are so...adult looking... they have teeth and stuff...weird... anyway, i guess my mom and i have good taste... K loves her baby and even takes her on the bike... :) she's not too gentle with her yet, but we're working on that... :) oh, and her name is "Suzie" - thanks to my dad :)

in the middle of the party, we had cake! K was really excited this year (probably b/c her cake was edible! :)).... she LOVED to hear everyone singing "happy birthday to you..." :) i made strawberry cupcakes for the kids and strawberry cake for the adults... :) it was yummy... K, of course, in typical fashion, just took swipes from the icing... :) (i'd like to say this is from her momma's side, but my mom told me that i didn't eat icing when i was a kid...just have been a love i developed later in life! :))

here K is just playing...mostly with Thomas... they were having a BALL with the balloons... :)
here, K is holding her balloons (which she managed to get ALL tangled up)... she loves "boons" a lot.... :)

it's hard to believe that she's 2 already... and while i know this age can be a bit trying, i am loving almost every second of the challenge :) she's so funny, and she provides us with joy EVERY day... i can remember being so scared to be a momma...and not sure that i wanted this change in my "comfie" life... but in all honesty, being blessed with her in our lives has been so indescribeable... she is, without a doubt, the most incredible gift we have ever received...
and we are looking forward to see what the next year holds for this sweet little girl who has A LOT of personality and is loved in ways she will probably never fathom... :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

tuesday random...

i have a lot on my mind right now :) maybe you wanna read it...maybe you don't... :) your choice... :)

~today is election day... i'll be voting but i don't like any of the candidates... i hate when that happens...

~my delightful daughter has been a tiny bit of a challenge in the last few days... my friend told me that her son was different when he turned 2, too... i feel like i'm raising a sassy, impatient, but oh so cute child... i know it's just a stage, but i swear, if i have to hear her tell me "NO!" again...or cry because she doesn't get her way...or try to throw a fit when something doesn't work the way she wants it to (ie: her grocery cart hitting the door frame and her attempt to back up didn't "work" the way she wanted)...or her JUMPING in the bathtub... i am gently redirecting... as my mom says, "she's just 2...she's learning...be patient..." :)

~i love that my delightful (hehe) daughter is talking more... she makes me laugh all the time... "come on, daddy....awesome...no way...a sommmme (want some)...oh-keeeeeeeay (okay)" i love how she makes her face a little sad and says, in a high-pitched voice "mommmmaaaaaaaa" when she wants sympathy...like when i scold her for jumping in the bathtub! :)

~K had her 2 year check up last monday morning... and she still has the BRUISES from the shots she got (3 of them) on her legs... not sure how i feel about that... is it really that hard to give a child shots?
oh, and we won't even talk about the fact that she has a cold...has for the last week... wonder if it's part of the side effects from the shots or if it was just luck of the draw from her jumping and crawling around on the floor of the doctor's office (picking up germs galore), nearly naked, for 15 minutes while we waited for the doctor...

~i love that my girl snuggled with Ry and me in bed on Saturday morning for nearly an hour...watching a little Imagination Movers, but it was still JOYFUL as she snuggled up with her momma under the down comforter... :)

~i think it's going to be an interesting month, financially, for this family... but, i have faith it will be fine :)

~i am in the mood to cook something...bake something... :) wonder what tomorrow will bring... :)

~my cousin, Amy, put together an amazing and beautiful book (from shutterfly) with tons of pictures and stories about my mom's side of the family... today, i am amazed as i read about my ancestor (Inger, from the 1860s) who, at the age of 15, married a 13 year old "man." within 4 years, they had 4 children... she was hanging laundry one morning, the kids playing nearby, and she saw a bear approach... she shot at it, hitting it, but not stopping it...and her 19 year old husband came running... the bear attacked & killed him right in front of her and the children...she shot a second time and killed the bear that time...but at the age of 19, she was a widow and had 4 children under the age of 4...
maybe i shouldn't complain about my 2 year old jumping in the bathtub!

but i can't help but think about ME being married at 15 and being...intimate with a 13 year old boy...and conceiving a child...err children!! i know how it happens and stuff but...wow...

~Halloween candy was on sale today... not a good thing... i won't tell you where the stash is...but if you want to know, it's in the kitchen in the basket on the baker's rack... it's in a target bag...but keep your paws off of my snickers with almond! :)

~i love my down comforter that ry scored for us at a black friday sale last year at target... i just put it on the bed last week... utter joy as i'm a furnace instead of an ice cube through the chilly nights... :)

~i make "to do" lists each week and never cross off everything... that's annoying... :)

~i am sick and tired of the political ads...and the political phone calls...

~i don't want to take all the Halloween stuff down (that's one of the things on my "to do" list this week...)

~we got K's Halloween costume for next year at 50% off tonight...thought it was a great deal...she'll be a puppy, probably (that's the costume)... i will have to put pink bows on the ears so that we don't have to hear anyone call HER a cute little boy... yes, people actually called K a "he" this weekend at Halloween festivities... yes, i'm sure the average mother and father dresses their little boy in a lady bug costume - adorned with pink socks and red mary janes...

ok...that's enough... :) it's not everything, but i feel a little emptier! :) plus, i need to get some sleep... morning will come too fast...and i have a to-do list to take care of, a toddler to gently redirect, i need to be ready to vote...and, maybe, i'll make something good to eat... :)

hope you have a good day :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Little Lady Bug

we read "Ten Little Lady Bugs" before bed a lot... :) while i'd like to brag that my child chose to be a lady bug because she's so inspired by the book, i have to admit that this year's Halloween costume is a hand-me-down from Ry's aunt... she has a daughter a few years older than K, so we are sooooooooo blessed to receive BAGS that are full of very nice clothes, coats, dresses, shoes, and yes, Halloween costumes... and, well, this year's costume was soooooo cute and so perfect... :)

a sidenote...i tried to be deliberate about loading my pictures... for some reason, it always puts my pictures in reverse of what i select...and i "thought" i had remedied that by selecting the ones i wanted last as my first downloads...but it didn't work that way... so i'm going to go backwards... :)

On Halloween night, Ry took K to a few neighborhood houses... Admittedly, we don't know a lot of neighbors in the 'hood, but we wanted her to have a trick-or-treating experience... :) so, for about 45 minutes, Ry and K traveled to a few houses while i stayed home and ate handed out candy.... :) (so what that one of my cravings happens to be snack-sized snickers bars!!!)

first, here's our little lady bug dreamin' of allll the candy she's going to get...

our disgruntled lady bug is getting really fed up with her floppy antennae :)

our favorite :)

On Saturday night, we went to Ry's school to attend "Trick or Trunk." Last year, nearly 1,000 children came to this event... We went, but K wasn't dressed up...we just walked around with our friends and K sported her cute pumpkin shirt. :) She did manage to get a ton of candy (people were throwing it into her stroller)... Since it's so organized and "compact," we decided to go back again this year...

I was a little disappointed...

don't get me wrong...i am glad we participated and had the experience, but K got mostly candy that little ones can't eat...bubble gum, taffy, tootsie rolls... in addition, knowing that this community gathering is for young children, many of the "trunkees" handing out candy were too scary for little ones... K clung to me for dear life 3 or 4 times and cried when she saw some of the costumes... :( again, these costumes would be great for an older kid crowd...but for the 2 or 3 year olds there, it wasn't appropriate... but, we made the best of our time there :)

surprise, surprise...these pics are backwards! :)

here, we're "bribing" K to look at the camera at the end of the night... we are bribing her with a "bobbypop." :) this is why she's reaching out...

when we were just about to start getting candy, the organizers have you walk through a "cemetery" blow up yard ornament... next to it is a huge, green, Frankenstein... :) K was so excited to see him...but now that i look at the picture, it looks like i'm excited and she's not so sure! :) but, honestly, she was all about shouting, "loooooooooook!!!" and pointing. :)
we had a good time... while K is a candy maniac (ugh!), we're looking forward to many more years of trick-or-treating with our sweet girl... :) now, i need to go and hide her candy so she doesn't see it in the morning and pass up her favorite morning waffle to throw a fit for candy!
Happy Halloween :)

meals for 11.1.10 to 11.7.10

i have been thinkin' that i really need to do a better job at budgeting for our grocery bill each month. it's interesting to me that, when i send ry to the store, he spends about $25-$50 less than i do... while i would *hate* to ask him to grocery shop each week (haha - i would gladly give him this responsibility), i may have to send him a few times a month so we can have some $$ left at the end of the month! it is a mystery to me b/c i don't think i really overbuy or anything...i stick to a list, for the most part... granted, there are a few items that i see when i shop that i realize i didn't write down but we need, but i'm not piling unnecessaries into the cart... hmmm!

our meals for the week will be pretty basic... i don't really want to spend a lot of time cooking this week, so we will be having leftovers a lot... :) i think i want to do a little experimenting, too...i want to make cinnamon rolls from scratch...and i have a PILE of apples that i need to put into an apple pie or something apple-y. AND, someone's going to be a year older, so we'll have take-out one night to celebrate, too!

here's the plan for the week :)

  • Monday: chicken and rice soup (pioneer woman) and corn bread
  • Tuesday: pigs in a blanket, mac n cheese, and veggies
  • Wednesday: leftover soup
  • Thursday: Endzone Pizza :) yummmmm!!!
  • Friday: leftovers (pigs, mac, veggies, and soup?)
  • Saturday: probably out to eat with friends
  • Sunday: leftovers, grill out, or breakfast for dinner :)

ENJOY your week and the first days of November! :)