Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday -- Pacifier Cleaning

Now I have not tried this myself, but I hear it works GREAT!

Kids are always throwing their pacifier, bottle, sippy cup, etc on the ground. We are not always in a place where we can rinse this off and clean it to put it back in our precious baby's mouth, here is a traveling solution!

Get a small spray bottle (can be found for 50 cents at the travel size item section at Wal-Mart) and put 2 parts water and 1 part mouthwash.

Like I've said, I personally have not done this, but I hear it works! Try it if you desire and let me know!

For other Works for me Wednesday tips visit Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Like Sand through the soap dispenser...

This evening the following conversation occurred here at the "Don't Give Him Crackers" household:

DH (exiting the bathroom): "What is in that soap? Sand?"

Me (trying not to laugh out loud): "No, it's beads of sanitizer like hand sanitizer, I think."

What are those beads anyway? I just figured it was an extra cleaning soap stuff. Who thought purchasing soap from Bath and Body Works would cause such confusion!

Contest numero tres (did I spell that right??)

5 Minutes for Mom is having another contest...leading up to the big blog party starting on Friday. So go check it out and register to win a very cute bracelet made by Our 2 Peas in a Pod.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Imaginations running wild!

Over the weekend we visited with my family. My mom's birthday was on Sunday so the family all traveled to celebrate. Saturday several family members got together for supper and birthday celebrations. This consisted of 5 kids ages 4, 2, 21 months, 16 months, and 2 months. Anytime this combination is made fun is had by all!

Four of the five played under the dining room table along with my mom. My nephew was pretending to be on a train telling everyone, "Choo, Choo. All Aboard!" While Hoss was in and out, crawling through the crowd and under the chairs.

We were serenaded in a piano concert several times (as you can see above).

Hoss experienced his first dog biscuit...yes, he attempted to eat a dog treat. He also helped with the party clean up!

We also learned that a Pringles can makes a really cool "popper" when it is empty. Just squeeze the tube and the top pops off. Two year olds enjoy this greatly. I was amazed to see the imaginations come alive with this group. I can't wait to experience this with Hoss. was your weekend?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Spaghetti Anyone?

Hoss's first "real" spaghetti dinner! And he ate some of it with a fork! The other half was on the floor and him!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Yo, yo, yo...what up Rap Star!

I stumbled upon a website which claims to give you your Rap Star name. I could not pass this up! So away I went, typed in my name and out came my Rap Star name. I'm sure you are all dying of anticipation and can't wait to find out what my name was... so here it is... Dirty Velvet!

Oh my goodness! I laughed until I nearly peed my pants (hey, after a 10lb baby, bladder control is a difficult thing!).

So go find out what your rap star name is and be sure to share!!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Works For Me Wednesday -- Pepperoni Rolls

Today's! I love to eat...which is obvious to those who know me....but I don't always like to slave over a hot stove for hours on end (and other times I don't mind it at all). Well here is a quick and easy recipe to enjoy.
If you like pepperoni pizza you will LOVE these pepperoni rolls. When I lived in West Virginia these were very popular and I just assumed everyone new about pepperoni rolls, but I was wrong. Now my homemade pepperoni rolls are not the best I have ever had, but they have fed many a group of friends or just me and my husband.
Ingredients: 2 packages of pepperoni (or 1 if you want to make less)
a 4-pack of biscuits in a can (I use the brown Pillsbury kind, dont get the big fluffy kind, get the small biscuits)
a bag of Mozzerella cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Take one biscuit and flatten it out, put a bit of mozzerella cheese on top (I do a pinch and judge from there), then 3-4 pepperoni slices. Then roll up the biscuit into a crescent roll kind of shape, place it on a cookie sheet. If you use all 4 cans of biscuits, this will make about 40 pepperoni rolls. Cook these for about 12-15 minutes. When the bottoms turn brown they are done. Enjoy! (Too bad I didn't think about this before the Superbowl, it would have been great for a party).
For more Works for Me Wednesday tips visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Working 9-5

So my weekend was "priceless," but this week has been insane. Insane I tell ya! And it's only Tuesday! I don't know if I'd rather have a less than perfect weekend or an insane week and perfect, relaxing and priceless weekend. I think I'd just like it all to be perfect! Can that happen? (don't answer that, I can't handle the truth). All of the craziness has resulted from the 9-5 working world. No need to elaborate...that's that. I'm planning some time off now so maybe I can have something to look forward to!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

A Priceless Weekend

This has been a great weekend here with our family. So good I have not even showered in the past two days...that's what I call a great weekend! (Be glad that computers don't have scratch and sniff yet!)
Saturday my husband had to go in to work early, early enough for me to bi-pass the shower before he left. Hoss needed to get his glasses repaired (which resulted in new frames, apparently the life span of glasses is approximately 3 months for a toddler) so we needed to head out early before the weather got too bad (it was already snowing). So Hoss got a bath (actually 2 this weekend! at least some one did) prior to leaving and we headed to get the glasses fixed. That took a lot less time than I thought so we stopped by the mall to hit a few sales. Then Hoss Cat and I stopped and rented a couple movies for our snowy weekend inside. D came home and we hung around the house doing a few weekend chores and just enjoying our time together.
This morning church was cancelled due to the weather so we stayed in and watched church TV. Again, we just enjoyed our family time together. This has been very rewarding for all of us. We are going to be busy the next couple weekends traveling to visit family and friends. Quality time is priceless!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Future Ebert or Ropert?

I couldn't stand not sharing this adorable picture with you all. This is little Hoss Cat participating in one of his favorite activities...TV viewing. Yes, I know, it's not good for a little one to watch TV...let's not judge here folks! Ha! I just love the way he has begun to stand with his hands behind his back all prim and proper. It cracks me up! Right now he is participating in another favorite activity, reading. He has been sitting down "reading" his books for the past 10 minutes. I love to hear his baby babble reading. His new favorite book is "Brown Bear." His favorite page is the sheep, as soon as he gets the book he turns the pages as fast as he can until he finds the sheep and then says "Baa!" "Baa!" and makes sure someone else sees the "Baa!" This is great improvement since the first time he saw the "Baa!" he said "Moo!" Ahhh...he's gonna be a genius! Or maybe another Ebert or Robert! I love this age!

Friday, February 16, 2007

"Here Doggie Doggie! Arf! Arf!"

It was a cold November evening. We were preparing to leave to head out shopping. I was at work. We borrowed the agency's lift van to assist a participant at the home where I was working. I walked out with the other roommates and assisted them onto the van when I heard it, the vicious barking of a mean, drooling dog. I looked and saw a loose Rotweiller which broke free from the neighbors house next door. I feared the worse. I jumped into the van and leaned out the door to raise the lift to prevent the dog from entering. I was not able to close the doors because these were on the outside of the van. Seconds later the dog was at the entrance barking uncontrolably. My co-worker realized what was going on and contacted Animal Control. It would be about 2 hours (how many animal emergencies are there??). We didn't have 2 hours. I didn't have the keys to start the van to warm up and like I said, it was November and we were cold! So my co-worker contacted the police and through yelling from the door of the house, 20 feet away, told me the police were on the way.

As we waited one of the participants thought the dog was cute and began to talk to it saying, "Hey doggie! Hey doggie! Arf! Arf!" This only aggravated the dog more. I was certain the wire lift between us was not going to hold as the dog hissed, growled and yelled it's ferocious bark. The the conversations turned to, "I'm cold, it's cooolllldddd." The police could not get there fast enough.

While waiting the dog ventured back home. I decided we should make a run for it. I called my co-worker using my cell phone and told her the plan. I lowered the lift and assisted the participants off the sign of the dog. I told them to RUN!!!! to the house. RUN!!! must have been communicated as walk as slow as a turtle. My co-worker ran out and grabbed them by their hands and practically dragged them inside. As I was shutting the door to the van the dog began to appear again. I was able to safetly enter the house free from the dog.

Minutes later the police arrived and of course the dog was gone. We told them of the loose animal and the vicious behavior it was displaying (and had displayed in the past...a totally other post). One officer of the law put his hand on his gun and said, "We'll be fine." The other removed pepper spray from his belt. They told us they would stand guard while we got everyone onto the van.

Again we loaded, now everyone was with us...and the key to the van. As I was closing the door to the van the dog charged the officer. I don't know what exactly happened as I was running to the door to jump inside for safety, but I do know I heard a spray and the wimper of a dog.

When we returned a couple hours later, no dogs were present...and never were again. Now I don't condone animal cruelty, but I do condone strong leashes! My job never ceases to amaze me!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I sure didn't expect this!

As I have mentioned before my son wears prescription glasses (which have broke and will be repaired on Saturday, ugh!). He first received these at 13 months old, but this was not the first of his medical concerns. Oh no, this is just the last of several and beginning of more I am sure.

I guess I should have figured out the pattern the past year would take when Hoss Cat weighed 10 lbs at birth and was breech, but he was healthy and a happy baby. And then it all started, day one of life I am told he could not be circumcised due to "hypospadias" and would need to see a pediatric urologist. I had no idea what the heck they were telling me, but learned that this would lead to surgery at 7 months (which he has healed from and is doing great!)

And then on day 2 I am told that he needs to have a routine hip ultrasound, as a requirement for all breech babies. big deal, at the age of 5 days he goes and has a hip ultrasound, only to be diagnosed with hip displasia. This could have lead to braces on his legs, but luckily, his hips were able to correct on their own, which was discovered after his second hip ultrasound at 6 weeks. Praise God for that!

Then at 1 week old, he develops blocked tear ducts in both eyes...the right one was able to open on it's own, but at 5 months he had to have the left tear duct surgically opened. He still hates for me to wipe his eyes, which I did several times a day for 5 months and applied an ointment (no, not drops, an ointment on the eyelid) 4 times a day!

And then around 2 weeks I noticed he was could not hold his head straight at all and was always tipping this. This lead to a diagnosis of torticollis at 3 months of age and physical therapy for the next 8 months as well as a neck brace at the end of the therapy.

The physical therapy led to an eye exam around 8 months of age to check for an eye concern which could be have caused the torticollis. Well, there were no concerns causing the neck tilt, but he did not have an under-developed upper gaze, meaning he can not look up unless he throws his head back and he was farsighted. I thought, oh, no big deal, a little farsightedness, all kids have a little farsightedness.

And then it happened...the follow up appointment came and my concerns that he does not make eye contact up close led to a $200+ pair of glasses. (Of course, we could not wait until our vision insurance kicked in on January 1).

Yes, he is adorable with his little glasses (he looks like Ralphie from "A Christmas Story"), but he is a baby!

I thank God daily for the blessing he has given me, but I continue to think, what is next? I am preparing for tubes in his ears...he has had 4 double ear infections in his short life and the last one required 2 rounds of antibiotics to clear up.

We will just trust in God for guidance and comfort.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday -- Snack Carrier

After my son began drinking whole milk and I stopped carrying around formula every where I went I contemplated what to do with the formula holder. Then it hit me (well, I read it in Parents magazine) I could use the formula holder to carry his snack items. The formula container has 4 compartments and this allows for up to four snack items to be stored. I currently have 1 compartment with cheerios, another with Gerber fruit puffs, and 2 with goldfish (the favorite snack item). You can just turn to a specific snack item, open the lid and pour out the snacks. Even for those of you who breastfeed or didn't have a formula holder, it would be a great investment for ya to store those every so handy and necessary snacks.

For more Works for Me Wednesday tips visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Do you want fries with that?

I have noticed lately that if we are running through the fast food drive thru I tend to make choices for Hoss that I don't make for myself. I am always certain to be sure I substitue a healthy item for the fries option for his Kiddie Meal, but darn it I make sure I get me some fries. I will get yogurt or apples and always milk for him, but look at me with my 32 oz. coke and super size fries. What a good example! Maybe I should start to use this strategy for myself. Actually I am certain I should or I should just avoid the drive thru's all together. Hmmm...that #4 meal sure sounds good though! I should not have written this post before lunch. Darn commericals!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

October 5, 2005

Qtpies7 is having a contest for the best birth stories. I'm always up for a good contest! So here goes:

My pregnancy was rather uneventful...or so I thought. I knew that the dear little boy inside my womb was large ("hoss cat" as I called him) as several ultrasounds had declared. I also knew that this dear little boy was also breech and he was stuck. His head sat under my right rib cage for at least the last month of pregnancy. It was about 4 weeks out that I realized my obgyn had diagnosed my pregnancy as "high risk." And how did I discover this? I read it on my chart when I went to go check out after an appointment. I was high risk because of the large and breech child inside of me. I had a lot of swelling throughout the entire pregnancy so nothing was very alarming to me. During the last few weeks my blood pressure continued to rise. I was scheduled for a C-section at 39 weeks.

Hormones, anticipation, and nerves lead to tears daily for 2 weeks prior to this arrival. I am not a very good patient and I HATE needles, so the word C-section did not settle in my mind very easily.

The day arrived. My husband and I went to an early morning breakfast for my "final" meal and then got things ready. I made sure I had everything packed, the house was clean and I just sat and waited. I had to be at the hospital at 3 p.m. My parents arrived around 2 and off we went to the hospital. I had not had one labor pain to that day, but I was familiar with the hospital as I had been there 4 times during this pregnancy (once for dizziness/high bp, once for lack of fetal movement, and 2 falls -- one 2 days prior to the scheduled C-section).

We arrived and I settled into my room. The first order of business was vitals and an IV. I was a bit panicky and due to my incredible swelling the IV was difficult to start so after 3 tries (and on a bad patient, this was not good) the IV was flowing. As the nurse left the room she asked if I needed anything, my response, "Valium." She laughed, but I wasn't joking...I needed something.

5 p.m. arrived, the time for the actual procedure. I am walked back to what I remembered as being the coldest room I had ever been in (the operating room) to have the spinal and other prep completed as my husband was left to dress in the husbandly c-section attire. I was incredibly nervous about every second. The anesthesiologist met me in the room and began the spinal. This was nothing I tell ya...the IV was worse. Within 20 seconds of the spinal being in place my legs were numb. The anesthesiologist also told me he was going to give me a "calming" medication through my IV (I guess my request for Valium and the IV experienced warned them that I was not the best patient).

Next enter the doctor and the assistant. Catheter placed, stomach prepared. I layed on the table with both arms stretched out and the thought kept crossing my mind, "I am going to die right here like Jesus on the cross." I was petrified.

My husband came in and he said I was already "gutted like a fish" (there's a visual image for ya today). Soon the doctor asks the nurse what my BP was when I came in. She said she could not remember, but would check the chart. I pipe up "144/90." I knew it was high when they took my vitals so the number stuck in my head. The OB was impressed with my knowledge, but then I hear him tell the assistant, "this fluid and swelling is the beginning stages of pre-eclampsia." Oh, I forgot to tell you, I had to have a vertical incision for the excessive swelling on the bottom of my stomach.

I don't remember much more of the procedure except I kept trying to move my feet, like it was a game. I couldn't feel ANYTHING...nothing from my chest down. My arms were even tingling. I guess this game is why I was given a second dose of the "calming" medicine by the anesthesiologist.

There was some difficulty getting Hoss Cat's head loose from under my rib cage, but he successfully emerged and the following statements were made:
"Wow! Look at him!"
"This is a big boy!"
(You get the drift)

The next thing I hear is "18, 11." As I have previously posted, I immediately stated "He does NOT weigh 18lb, 11 oz does he?" And as soon as the statement left my lips I realized "18, 11" was the time he was born.

No, he did not weigh 18, 11, but he did weigh 10lb. 5oz. I saw Hoss for a few seconds and the dh took him off the nursery with the nurse. I lay on the table relieved and extremely happy from the "calming" medicine. About an hour later, 2 drainage tubes applied and lots of bleeding I was rolled back to my room.

The dh was waiting for me, but the baby was still in the nursery (due to his size he was being tested for diabetes...which he did not have). The next thing I know...the nurse is checking my incision and draining and is commenting on the amount of blood. Then the doctor returns, checks the bleeding and says that I may have to return to surgery if the bleeding does not subside. Well, it subsided, but those first few hours were scary.

The actual "birth" was not nearly as traumatic as the recovery. The removal of the last drainage tube 2 WEEKS later was extremely painful. The nurse telling me I had to give myself shots in my stomach daily led to a post-partum disaster right there at the hospital. I cried every day, once because the hospital did not bring me dinner (the poor girl who came to get my tray...that I did not have...sure witnessed a complete post-partum break down).

And now 16 months have passed and the pain, the post-partum, the nervousness have all subsided and I'm ready to do it all over again....eventually!

Please pray for Nick

I have resisted sharing with my dear Christian blog cohorts the story of Nick, an 11 year old with brain cancer, as I have waited on approval from his family for permission to share his story; however, I can't resist any longer. I am positive the family would love your prayers going up to the Healer for Nick.

Four summers ago, when Nick was 7, they found the first brain tumor, and surgery, chemo, radiation followed. All was well for Nick. Periodic MRI's confirmed the cancer was gone, but last August, at a routine eye appointment, it was determined the tumor was back and much larger. Surgery followed, and then a second surgery in the neck area to remove a spot from the spine. A third suspicious spot on the spine was just cleared on last Friday's MRI. His parents (Tim and Tammy) chose an aggressive treatment program because this cancer is so aggressive and they are about half way through the chemo course, traveling to Columbus, Ohio, for that monthly. Nick has been very sick, weak and immunity deficient but they have such a large support system thru the college Tim teaches at (Kentucky Christian University, my alma mater), First Church in Grayson, and co-workers. And, they have many, many prayer warriors as many of us have spread their request for prayer and shared Tammy's almost daily updates ....which blesses us with their faithful examples and encouragement.

I have a close connection to Nick and his family. Tammy, his mother, has been a part of my life from day 1. She attended church with my parents when they were dating and teenagers and her parents were "God parents" so to speak for my sister and I. While I was at college, their family was a home away from home. Tammy and Tim have 5 kids, 4 boys and 1 daughter, adopoted from India. Nick is the youngest boy. In the early 90s they had a daughter, Adrienne, die from SIDS at 7 weeks. I was 12 at that time and remember the funeral. One thing I remember the minister saying at the funeral was that this tragedy could not have happened to a stronger Christian couple. This has stuck with me for 14+ years and as I was able to spend time with the family on a day to day basis for 4 years I learned it was true. I spent a lot of time with the family, babysitting all 5 at times. Tammy and Olivia (their daughter) were in my wedding back in '04.

A website has been developed to help everyone to follow the process of Nick's treatment. He is currently receiving chemotherapy. Please become a prayer warrior and pray for Nick during this trying time. The updates and emails will bless your socks off!

Friday, February 9, 2007

Woo Hoo...I have made it!

I have regular readers!

I have received comments from Qtpies7 a couple times, and great comments they were...good advice. So I decided I should frequent Qtpies7's blog since she so kindly is frequenting mine. And you know what I discovered??? (Besides that the 7 in her name means that she has 7 kids...she deserves some recognition just for that! Oh, and our husbands have the same name)

I have made someone's blog list!

Hallelujah, Praise the Lord!

Someone thinks I'm good enough to add me to a list! So Qtpie7, welcome to my list of frequented blogs and hopefully I will soon send some comments your way.

Then I received a comment on my blog yesterday from Janelle. She promised to return to this very blog so I figured I should check out this Janelle person. I discovered that we have at least one thing in common, we are working mothers. And we have sons, well, I only have one, but she has 3, so boys are common ground. We working mothers of sons have to stick together so Janelle, welcome aboard to my frequented blogs!

I am looking forward getting to know you two and everyone else in bloggy land!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Contest time again!

Go check out the great contest at 5 Minutes for Mom! This week they are giving away a gift certificate to Stork Calling! (I am hoping to win to give it as a gift to an expecting friend or cousin). Check it out and Good Luck!

"We're on FIRE????"

I have not yet discussed with the blogging world my profession. I work for an agency that supports adults with mental and physical disabilities. I greatly enjoy my job. I have been with this agency for nearly 5 years and have been blessed beyond belief with great jobs and fabulous friendships. I felt a calling to work with this population when I was in college and immediately upon graduating I began working direct care for this agency. My job has challenges every day and every day I laugh, cry and rejoice with someone. I want to tell a story of an event which tested my passion at the beginning of career, it's notoriously known around here as "The Van Story."

I was asked to work some overtime and drive down to a camp where 8 of our participants had spent the last week and pick those ladies up and bring them home. An easy way to earn a few extra dollars so I was on board. I had not met many of these ladies as I had only worked for the agency for about 2 months. I arrived at work around 10 a.m. to get the van and get moving. Another staff who I had not met was going with me. She agreed to drive down to the camp and then I would drive back. Easy as pie, or so I thought.

We load up in the 15 passenger van to travel the hour down the interstate to the camp. Let me describe this beautiful piece of equipment they called a was circa 1985 (this event was in 2002), had no power steering left and the steering wheel shook the entire time you were driving, regardless of how fast you were going. The van's air conditioning was no more and it was August. But it moved and the radio worked!

As we traveled down the interstate we recognized that the console between the driver and the passenger seat was getting hot and the other girl's pb and j sandwich melted...yes, melted. We just passed it off as the temperature and lack of A/C.

So we get to the camp...oh, did I mention that this is in the mountains of Kentucky...where gaurdrails are few and far between? We get the ladies and their luggage ready to go. One of the ladies had fallen the previous day and had stitches in one knee. I spent 20 minutes talking to camp staff about how to care for the injury and finally we were on our way. We discovered that the ladies had not eaten lunch yet and it was close to 1 p.m.

I asked everyone if they had money and even made them show me their money...most did so we decided to stop at a McDonalds by the interstate. Once arriving at the McDonalds it was evident that the money they had shown me was a dollar here or a penny there because very few had enough money to purchase lunch. I ended up purchasing several lunches, including my own.

Now as I had mentioned previously I did not know many of these ladies so I let the majority of them order whatever they wanted, you know, Big Macs, Quarter Pounders, etc.

So we eat, pee, and board the van again. I thought we were home free. Boy was I wrong.

About 5 miles from our exit the van jerks and a huge puff of smokes shoots out the back. I passed it off for bad exhaust and slowed down a bit, after all we were heading up a hill. As we were traveling up the hill a car pulls up next to us and rolls down their window. They were attempting to communicate to me. I turned down the radio to hear what they had to say. It went something like this,

"We have a flat tire?"
"WE'RE ON FIRE?????!!!!!!"

Yes I yelled the last statement to a van full of disabled women. Hysteria set in immediately. Screaming, crying, etc.

I pulled the van over onto the side of the road and jumped out. As soon as I hit the ground, my legs gave and I nearly fell over. I began to tell myself I could do this I could do this. We hurried and got everyone out of the van and called for help (Praise God for handy cell phones!).

Rest at ease, when I turned the van off, the flames and smoke which were apparently shooting out of the bottom of the van, IMMEDIATELY BELOW ME!, diminished.

We assisted everyone over to the opposite side of the guardrail for safety. This entailed walking to the end of the guardrail with one lady (about 1/4 of a mile) and then back down to everyone else because she refused to climb over it.

So the story should end here, but oh no it does not! As we are standing waiting for the rescue team there are a lot of conversations which go like this:

"What about my suitcase?"
"Your suit case is fine, the van is not on fire now."
"It was on fire?"
"Yes, but we are fine now."
"My suitcase is going to burn up!!!"
"No, it is okay, I promise."


"I'm hot!"
"We all are hot!"
"When are they coming to get us?"
"Very soon I promise."

(Lots of promises made that day!)

And on and on. Well, then the unthinkable happens...the Big Mac, Quarter Pounder, Large cokes set in....bathrooms are needed. Of course I was not pulling over to try to find a secluded area so we are in a wide open area with nothing around for shelter. We are able to take one of the ladies down the hill to squat and pee...except she cried instead of peeing...lovely. Then the Big Mac really did set in. One of the ladies stated she needed to do more than pee. We asked her to wait until we could get back on the road and to a restroom, but mother nature did not allow such. And here goes the diarrhea, down her shorts, into her shoes...oh it was a sight.

Thus new conversations ensued:

"She stinks!"
"I'm standing over here."
"When can we go home?"

We decided to try to clean her up the best we could with supplies from the van and then when the new van got there to pick us up we would help her change. So we go to the van and what do we find, but 1 glove and 1 paper towel. Count them...1! So the supplies were short and the diarrhea continued, it was a disaster.

Finally, nearly 2 hours later, the replacement van shows up...always fast service when there are 10 people standing on the side of the interstate in August (and wouldn't you know no one once stopped to see if we needed help).

Our first order of duty, getting poopy pants changed. So, out come the suitcases and where was the one suitcase we needed? STILL AT THE CAMP! How could this happen? We are able to borrow clothing from someone else and use the fully stocked replacement van to get the situation under control. And finally we are off and running again.

It was encouraging to find out that they decided to just tow away the van to the junk yard and the next week a brand new van was purchased. So the running joke is if we need something new, just let Jessica use the old one.

Yes, I still work here...5 years and counting and stories continuing!

This is just the first installment of many work adventures. Tune in for more stories, coming soon. Some even involve other vans!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday -- Valentine's Day Scavenger Hunt!

When my husband and I were dating and celebrating our first Valentine's Day together I put together a scavenger hunt. This began as he approached the door to my apartment and received a clue and throughout the apartment he would go and find a "gift" and another clue, leading to the final gift. The first gifts were small items like a heart shaped chocolate chip cookie (I found a heart shaped pan and used ready to bake cookie dough), chocolate covered strawberries, etc. This would even work great for kids! Even if you put the clues on different Valentine's cards. He enjoyed it and it was a good memory! Happy Valentine's Day!!
Check out more Valentine's Day ideas at Works for Me Wednesday over at Rocks in My Dryer!

Wordless Wednesday -- Brrrr!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Demolition Kid!

I never knew how big of a mess 1 16month old child can make. We have enough toys to stock an entire toy store, but does the kiddo want to play with those?? Of course not. Instead he enjoys ripping every item off of the changing table in his bedroom and finding new homes for those.

I have found diapers, diaper rash ointment, lotion, baby wipes, shoes, toys, etc. in odd places such as the toy box, the laundry basket, the diaper pail (yes, inside the diaper pail with the dirty diapers), even in his crib. The crib is his latest discovery. He has figured out that he can throw things through the slats on the crib and load it up with miscellaneous items.

This picture is how I often find him "playing" in his room:

There are some items to point out in the picture:
* He has a sock in his hand, which was removed from his foot (he must have gotten bored with ripping items off of the changing table)
* He has opened the baby wipe container and has thrown all of them on the floor
* There are clothes which have been removed from the laundry basket laying on top of the stuffed horse under the window
* What you don't see is the open toy box which has no toys removed from it
* You also don't see the CD player on the bottom shelf of the changing table which is playing a cd (he figured out which button to push to make it play, which in turn made him cry, I guess "John Jacob Jinglehimmer Smith" is not his #1 choice of music)

The only thing I can find to stop this is to clean his room and shut the door. I don't want to cause him to think that he is not allowed in his bedroom. We all need a break from each other (trust me!).

So to all you experienced mothers out there...any suggestions on what to do to dissuade him from reaking havoc on his bedroom? Or is this a lost cause and I should just come to terms with my new role of picking up baby wipes from the floor to clean his bottom?

Friday, February 2, 2007


I am a sucker for free stuff and contests so go check out what is happening and 5 Mintues for Mom and enter to win! Good Luck!

Glasses, Glasses, Glasses!

My 15 month old son wears glasses. He has since he was barely 13 months (he is severely farsighted). He has done great with the glasses. The first couple weeks he would pull them off a lot and did not like to wear them, but he eventually got used to the new face-wear and now he does not bother them much -- only when he is sleepy or if his eyes itch. It has been a great accomplishment, actually one of my better mothering feats in my opinion! I have protected "the glasses" as if they were gold, after all they were not cheap in any fashion and my pockets are very deep (they might as well be gold, they cost just as much!).

Yesterday we had a glasses disaster.

We live in an apartment and have to park a few miles away from the apartment (ok, not really, but in 10 degree winter weather and with a toddler it can feel like it). Yesterday I arrived at home and gathered the 700 items of the kiddo's and then I grabbed the mail and my purse and all the other belongings. Needless to say, I had my hands full. When I went around to get Hoss Cat out of the carseat I realized he had pulled his glasses off. I found them on the side of the seat and put them in the outside pocket for the diaper bag. Safe for now, or so I thought! I decided since Hoss is walking so well and because he weights 28lb 7oz (he just had a check-up, I don't own a doctor's scale!) I would let him walk to the apartment door. So I helped him stand up outside the car and balance and then I let go of him...MISTAKE! He immediately took off through the parking lot. I grabbed the "belongings" and raced after him. I was able to catch him before any disasters occured and we walked to the apartment.

Upon entering the apartment I stripped the toddler of all his winter apparel (it was 10 degrees, there was a lot of apparel), put away all the "belongings," and then skimmed over the mail. Then I realized he needed to have his glasses back on. So I grabbed the diaper bag, no glasses. Then I grabbed my purse and actually turned it upside down and dumped it on the kitchen table, no glasses. I searched my coat pockets, all over the house, and I finally realized the glasses just weren't there.

Enter the husband, home from work. He enters to me frantically looking for the glasses with tears in my eyes. I can't believe I lost them! I JUST had them! So the husband turns around and scours the parking lot. He enters 5 minutes later, no glasses! I am in full blown panic mode by this time! I decide I am going to go look myself (I wear glasses, my husband does not, I MUST have better eyesight!). So I go down, walking slow, looking everywhere I could imagine, in bushes, under cars and then I find them! Sitting all alone under a carport. We never walk under the carport, but that just so happened to be where I chased the kiddo when he took off in the parking lot. They were safe and sound, no injuries and returned to the beautiful face of the toddler!
This entire scenario reminded me of the movie "Parenthood" starring Steve Martin. At one point the parents search through all the trash cans and the dumpster of a pizza restuarant (imagine Chuckee Cheese) when their son accidentally threw away his retainer. I really was 1 minute away from doing this myself!

He's only 15 months old...I still have years of these panic attacks to look forward to. These are the blessings to count! After all, look at this face:

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Woah Baby!

I believe that this story may be my future! My son was born on 10/5/05 weighing 10lb 5 oz. He was big all during the pregnancy and I knew he would be big, so it was not a huge shock. He was born via c-section due to his size and he was appears he got too large to turn around. When Hoss Cat was born the doctors and nurses all said, "Wow! Look at him!" or "That's a BIG boy." The anesthesiologist said "18, 11." My comment was "WHAT! He does not weigh 18, 11 does he???" And then as soon as the statement was off my tongue I said, "Oh, that's what time it is!" I will never forget that Hoss was born at 18:11.

The Price of Children

I received this in email form from my mom...I just had to share it with everyone. I love it!

The Price of Children

This is just too good not to pass on to all. Something absolutely positive for a change. I have repeatedly seen the breakdown of the cost of raising a child, but this is the first time I have seen the rewards listed this way. It's nice. The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140 for a middle income family. Talk about sticker shock! That doesn't even touch college tuition. But $160,140 isn't so bad if you break it down. It translates into:
* $8,896.66 a year
* $741.38 a month
* $171.08 a week
* That's a mere $24.24 a day!
* Just over a dollar an hour.

Still, you might think the best financial advice is don't have children if you want to be "rich."Actually, it is just the opposite. What do you get for your $160,140?

* Naming rights. First, middle, and last!
* Glimpses of God every day.
* Giggles under the covers every night.
* More love than your heart can hold.
* Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.
* Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.
* A hand to hold, usually covered with jelly or chocolate.
* A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites
* Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.

For $160,140, you never have to grow up. You get to:
* finger-paint,
* carve pumpkins,
* play hide-and-seek,
* catch lightning bugs
* never stop believing in Santa Claus.

You have an excuse to:
* keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh,
* watching Saturday morning cartoons,
* going to Disney movies
* wishing on stars.
* You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay for Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters for Father's Day.

For $160,140, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to be a hero just for:
* retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof,
* taking the training wheels off a bike,
* removing a splinter,
* filling a wading pool,
* coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs,
* coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream or pizza regardless.

You get a front row seat to history, to witness the:
* first step,
* first word,
* first bra,
* first date
* first time behind the wheel.
You get to be immortal.
You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you're lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren and great grandchildren. Y
ou get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match.

In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God. You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits. So, one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost. That is quite a deal for the price!!!!!!!

Love & enjoy your children & grandchildren!!!!!!!