Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas, Y'all!

Lest we forget what Christmas is really about, take a moment to enjoy this video...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Back to Normal

Things are finally starting to return to normal around here. As normal as things ever get, anyway. For those that may not know, Grayson spent four days in the hospital the week before Thanksgiving. There are no words to adequately express the amount of stress that can put on a mom. He had a bout with viral pneumonia, but appears to be on the upswing now. Mind you, I have not allowed him to leave the house, sans a couple of hours on Thanksgiving, since we got home a week ago Sunday. Cautious? Yes. Overprotective? Maybe.

Bless his heart, he had to spend three of the four days he was there confined to an oxygen tent. Not fun for an active 13 month old. Not too fun for his momma either.

We, of course, had to document this fiasco for posterity...
Grayson in a hospital gown in the tent, just chilling.
Me in the tent with him. Oh, the things we'll do for our kids...
He obviously never lost his sense of humor. He gets that from me.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Meme

My first blog meme!! That's just a survey for all you myspace peeps. How exciting! By the way, I will be posting about our stressful week later, when I can once again complete a sentence.

Tagged by Julie

The rules? Answer the following questions in one word and then pass it on to seven others.

Where is your cell phone? kitchen
Where is your significant other? asleep
Your hair color? brown
Your mother? good
Your father? loved
Your favorite thing? kids
Your dream last night? none
Your dream/goal? happiness
The room you’re in? den
Your hobby? scrapbooking
Your fear? mice
Where do you want to be in 6 years? here
Where were you last night? hospital
What you’re not? energetic
One of your wish-list items? money
Where you grew up? here
Last thing you did? type
What are you wearing? clothes
Your TV? on
Your pet? outside
Your computer? laptop

Your mood? exhausted

Missing someone? nope

Your car? Freestyle
Something you’re not wearing? socks
Favorite store? TJMaxx
Your summer? hot
Love someone? several
Your favorite color? blue
When is the last time you laughed? today
Last time you cried? yesterday

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The "Iwannas"

So, my daughter has a serious case of the "Iwannas". As in, every toy commercial that comes on television, she says "I want that". I'm thisclose to banning Nickelodeon in our house until after the holidays.

Am I the only one going through this? I realize, of course, that is the point of advertising toys on Nick. Toy manufacturers want kids to see their commercials and beg, and I do mean beg, their parents to buy them. Or ask Santa for them. And naturally, Abby falls for it every time. Darn that 4 year old mentality!

What's even worse is that our Christmas list has been finalized for weeks. I've already bought everything the kids are getting, so the gameplan cannot change now. The play's been called and the ball's been snapped. My Christmas shopping is D-O-N-E, done. She can't be changing her mind this late in the game.

I've been trying to steer her back on course everytime I hear rustlings of discontentment. So far it's working. I think. Who can really tell? Darn that 4 year old mentality!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bliss

In case you've ever wondered what pure bliss for a one year old is, here you go...

And yes, for the record, all of those toys are his sister's. And no, she did not know he was playing with them.

Do they have to grow up?

Yeah, yeah I know they do. But, wouldn't it be great if you could tag on a few years to the baby stage and take away a few from the teenage years? I soooooo dread the teenage years. I mean really really dread them. Basically, now that I think about it, I dread ages 5 and up. Pretty much, I never want them to leave the house and be out of my sight for longer than, oh say, an hour or so. How's that for an overprotective parent?

But seriously, I've commented on the adorable face Grayson makes when he's sleepy. To recap, he grabs his blankie, holds it to his face, gets this faraway look in his eyes, and does his mouth like he's taking a bottle. Much like this...
Now, doesn't that make you forget that the economy is in shambles? That the world is headed south pretty quick? Doesn't it make you want to snuggle up with him and listen to his sweet baby breath while he sleeps? Here it is again...
You know, it's rainy and foggy out, and we are still in our pajamas. I think I will go snuggle up with him and listen to his sweet baby breath.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Conversation between Father and Daughter

A conversation between Burge and Abby this evening:

Burge: "Who are you talking to?"

Abby: "China" (one of Abby's imaginary friends)

Burge: "That was a funny joke she just told me."

Abby: "I didn't say anything."

Burge: "China told me a funny joke."

Abby: "Dad, she's not real."

Laughter from Burge.

Abby: "Snap it out!"

Oh, how I thought that phrase had died. So glad she resurrected it tonight.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Happily Ever Afters

I love me some Disney. Yes, I realize it is totally overly commercialized, but I love everything about it. We took Abby to Disneyworld a couple of years ago, and we will go again when Grayson is a bit older and we have money. Not a cheap trip, that Disneyworld.

Anyway, we have a ton of Disney movies, and they are all favorites of Abby. She loves the whole princess meets prince, damsel in distress, happily ever after bit. And I have not had a problem with that. Until now.

Abby now has this obsession with getting married. She's four. Her dogs are getting married, her barbies are getting hitched, polly pocket is tying the knot, and she herself marries at least twice a day.

Now, while she believes that two people cannot kiss until they're married (a belief I firmly hope sticks. Hey, it works for the Duggars! But, that's another post entirely.), she apparently believes that you can marry multiple people in the same day. Not in this state and not legally, but a difficult concept to explain to a preschooler.

Those of you with young sons, least you think that my husband-hunting 4 year old is after your son, rest assured, she's already found her groom.

Winnie the Pooh.

I don't know whether to be relieved or deeply disturbed.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Big 0-1

I'm late in posting about Grayson's birthday party, mainly because I'm in denial about the big'un being a year old now. And he's like 2 minutes away from walking, and he wore jeans for the first time this week, and he looks like a little boy and not a baby anymore. While all this is joyous, it's a bit depressing for the momma. (I don't really know why I included the jeans thing there; it was just a momentous occassion for us, I guess.) I remember exactly when he was born a year ago. Just like it was yesterday. And I know that each year that memory will get a little more faded, just like it has with Abby. And while I will have tons of new memories to fill that void, it's just not the same.

Anyway, enough melancoly for one day, on to the pictures!

Abby helped Grayson blow out the candle. Notice how he is eyeing the cupcake.

Going in for the kill...
"Hmmmm, looks pretty tasty..."

"What? Do I have something on my face?"

"Now, if I could just get this whole hand in my mouth, we'd be in business."

"I think I have chocolate up my nose, but I must finish the job. All about dedication, people."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

More "Abby Antics"

We ate at Logan's Monday night before our bi-monthly Aldi trip. I know, I know, we went out to eat! We NEVER go out to eat, unless you count the Taco Bell extra value menu, which I really don't think you can. It wasn't that much of a splurge, really. If you didn't know, Logan's has a special where you can get two meals for $12.99 and $2 kids' meals. All four of us ate for $21!

Anyway, Logan's has the buckets of peanuts sitting on your table to munch on while you wait on your server. Peanuts in their shells, in case you didn't know. As in, not yet shelled.

We get seated, and Burge starts noshing on the peanuts. Burge likes peanuts. Just thought I would throw that in. To be honest, I'm not really paying attention to Abby. I'm a bit preoccupied with keeping all eating utensils out of Grayson's hands, where they would be used as a weapon. Abby says, "I don't like these." We look over and see half of a peanut. Half of a whole unshelled peanut. Like, she bit off half the peanut in the shell and is trying to chew it.

After we had a good laugh at her expense, we explained that you need to take the peanut out of the shell before you eat it. She liked them a lot better after that.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I Heart my Magic Eraser!

Okay, so I know I post a lot about cleaning and cleaning products and such, but it is pretty much my life these days. Anyway, if I haven't conveyed lately my love for the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, here it is. I love this thing! And it's Wal-Mart generic counterpart, the Miracle. Yes, it's great for taking pencil or crayon marks off walls and doors, but have you ever tried it to scrub out your bathtub? Genius, I tell you! It sparkles, and who doesn't want their bathtub to sparkle?

It is also great for scrubbing your sink, if the bathtub sparkle isn't enough for you. Now, I'm not one who's been drinking the flylady Kool-aid, but I do like my sink to be clean at all times. Not that there's anything wrong with the flylady. I'm sure there are many who follow her that are quite sane. She's just not my cup of tea. Trust me, if I have any negative voices in my head, I don't need her replacing them with positivity. They are drowned out by the screams of a 4 year old and 1 year old.

Anyway, if you haven't tried the Magic Eraser for your everyday cleaning needs, give it a shot. You will not be disappointed!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

WFMW: Aldi

Another week has passed, and its time for Works-for-Me Wednesday again. Aldi seriously works for me. In the span of 3 months, it has become my "go-to" grocery store. As in, if I can't get it at Aldi, I seriously question my true need for it. When I first left the work force, I didn't think I could justify the drive to Aldi to buy groceries on a regular basis (the nearest one is about 30 miles away.). Plus I was still riding the "name brand" bandwagon.

Then I found out they had milk for $1.99 a gallon. Yes, I said $1.99 for a GALLON OF MILK! At that time, Wal-Mart brand was going for $4.19 a gallon. That, my friend, is flippin' ridiculous! So, we started going to Aldi once a month just to get milk and staples, like flour and sugar.

Now, we hit Aldi every payday, and only go to Wal-Mart if they are out of something we desperately need. Here's why Aldi works for me...First, I'm not tempted (as much) to impulse buy. I can (and do) always find something at Wal-Mart that I just have to have, but isn't on my list. Aldi pretty much just has groceries, so I can't get a new lipstick or toy for Abby or Grayson. Second, their products are, in my opinion, better than all other generics, especially Wal-Mart brand. Especially cheese, and we can put away some cheese in this house, people. And finally,and most importantly, I can buy 2 weeks worth of groceries for half of what I would spend at Wal-Mart! That definitely works for me!

So, if you have an Aldi near you, check them out! It will definitely be worth your while.

And head on over to see what works for everyone else at Shannon's rocks in my dryer.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Jon & Kate + Loads o' Fun

Thursday, I got to go to the Southern Women's Show in Birmingham. Yes, I got to spend an entire day without kids in a place that totally caters to women! That alone was worth the drive to B'ham. But, as icing on the cake, Jon & Kate Gosselin (as in Jon & Kate +8) were there as well! I will admit I am slightly obsessed with that show. As with most cable shows, reruns air several times a day. And we (me & Abby) watch it at least once a day. Burge, by the way, is not so impressed with it. He's not so fond of Kate. I can relate to her because, if I'm keeping it real here, she says what I'm thinking (or have thought) but just never said out loud. Granted, some things could be better left unsaid, but thinking it is just as bad as saying it.

Anyway, our sole purpose for going to this was to meet Jon & Kate. Anything else was just gravy. But this place was awesome! There was clothing and handbags and shoes, glorious shoes! You could get your legs shaved, your teeth whitened, and your eyebrows waxed. You could try out mattresses and then get fitted for a bra. Which I did. Not the mattress, but the bra. And, as a side note, you just haven't lived until you've tried on undergarments in a little cubicle where the only thing separating you from literally hundreds of people is a very thin sheet of nylon.

You could try every kind of perfume made and then get a makeover. I even heard rumors about someone teaching ballroom dancing, although I did not personally witness this. I did have my hair done in an "African Butterfly Hairclip." And then I bought one. Now, I'm not one to buy into a lot of hype (although you wouldn't know it by this trip...keep reading), but this thing is awesome. I have worn it everyday since I got it. It might take the place of my ever-present ponytail. You can check them out here.

Then we came across the Shamwow exhibit. These jokers work! I don't know how many 2 liters of Diet Coke they went through in a day, but they would dump it on their little carpet sample and the Shamwow would suck it right up. But, then after all, it is made in Germany, so it has to be good. If you have lived under a rock for the last 6 months and have not heard of the Shamwow, you can check them out here. So, of course, I bought one of those too. After all, they make you say WOW every time! Who couldn't use a little more of that in their life?

My eyes had glazed over at this point. I momentarily thought about seeing if the leg shaving lady would move over to the teeth whitening booth so I could get 2 treatments at once. And then if I could wear the warming peppermint neck wrap and have a hand massage too, it would be heaven! What was our main reason for going again? Oh, yeah! Jon & Kate!

We had a decision to make at this point. Do we stay by the stage to hear them answer audience questions, or do we get in the ever growing line for autographs? We chose the autograph line, because I have seen every show, so most likely I know the answer to whatever question would be asked. Here are the fruits of our labor...


All in all it was an awesome day. I would totally attend it again, even if Jon & Kate weren't there. Now, if the Shamwow guy wasn't there...that's a different story.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

WFMW: Kitchen Organization


This week's edition of Works-for-Me Wednesday is all about kitchen organization. Now, I am not, by any means, an expert on organizing anything, least of all the kitchen. But here's what works for me...

I unload my dishwasher first thing in the morning, while the kids are eating breakfast. Then, all day, as dishes get dirtied up, they go directly in the dishwasher. Then, before I go to bed, I start the dishwasher. (Now, please do not lecture me about the dangerous perils of running the dishwasher while we sleep. Our dishwasher is LOUD and really heats up the kitchen.) This way, my kitchen sink is never piled up with dirty dishes (which is a huge pet peeve of mine), and it doesn't take so long to unload and then reload.

For more great kitchen tips, check out rocks in my dryer.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Grayson's First Year

We've had a pretty uneventful past few weeks. Which has been such blessed relief! We are gearing up for Grayson big "numero uno"! It's hard to believe that it has been a whole year since Grayson made his big entrance ( and I do mean BIG...9 lbs 8 oz!). Here's a little stroll down memory lane, just to see how much babies really do change in 12 months time.
I'm not sure that Abby's still so excited to have a new brother...since he's not so new anymore.

One of the few times he ever took a pacifier. But, oh how we tried!

He does have hands, I promise!

Gotta love that face!
The mischievous look...

Our first picnic. Obviously it was good, since he is wearing as much as he ate.Ready to take on the world!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Outlast lipstick


It's a bit odd that I follow up a post about how I've let myself go with one about a lipstick, but that's how I roll. So my works for me Wednesday tip is Cover Girl Outlast lipstick. This stuff rocks! Especially if you like to talk a lot (like me!) and you tend to eat off your lipstick in the process. This stays on forever, and it's not cakey because it comes with this nice little tube of chapstick-like stuff that you put on top of the lipstick.

It also works for me because I got to try it free at CVS! Indeed, buy-one, get-one free sale + buy-one, get-one free coupon=2 free lipsticks! Can't beat that!

Head on over to rocks in my dryer, for more great tips.

Bare Face and Feet

I am ruined, or "rurnt" in Southern speak (and yes, Burge and I did discuss how exactly one would spell that non-word). And it only took 5 short months of "stay at home" life. I am now more used to seeing myself without make-up than with. I will even leave the house without make-up these days, and I do, quite often. My daily wardrobe now is worthy of its own episode of What Not to Wear. Although, I have yet to sink to the cardinal sin of wearing pajama pants to Wal-Mart. Please, please stop me before me before I get to that point. I'm talking intervention, people.

And the kicker...I actually gave myself shin splints Sunday by wearing real shoes! Seriously, who knew barefeet and flip-flops would ruin your feet?

And now, Abby's Confucius thought for the day. "I'm looking at you, staring at nobody."

It's deep, folks. There's a lot going on in that 4 year old head of hers. We're contemplating starting a line of t-shirts and calling it Abbyisms. What do ya think?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

CHILU

I realize that it might seem that Abby becomes fodder for this blog a lot, but I've gotta tell you, you don't even know the half of it. There are not enough hours in the day for me to write about all the funny things she does. And says. Mainly says. I shudder to think about what she will say to her teacher when she starts kindergarten next year.

Anyway on to today. I walked by her room this afternoon, and her door was closed. That is her new thing, playing in her room with the door closed. Heaven forbid Grayson make his way in there and mess with any of her precious stuff.

So, I walk by and notice she has spelled out something on her door. This is what it said...
I opened her door and asked her what her sign says. Her reply was, "It says,'If you want to be.'"
I said, "If you want to be?", thinking there had to be more to that statement. But, no. She said again, "It says, 'If you want to be.'"

Yeah. Mull that one over for a while.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

WFMW: Storing sheets


It's been awhile since I've had a Works-for-me Wednesday post, because I guess I've not had a lot that really "worked" for me lately. Hopefully, I've turned a corner.

Anyway, here's a little tip that works for me. When I wash sheets, I fold them up and put them in one of the pillowcases. Then I stack them in the linen closet. And it looks something like this...
(Yes, I know that I have 15 packages of Cleanteam wipes. But they were 14 cents after coupons. We'll use them all, eventually.) Anyway, they stack really easily like this, and I never have to hunt for a missing pillowcase. It works for me!

For more great tips, check out rocks in my dryer.

The Attention Span of a 4-year-old

Yesterday as Abby and I were doing preschool, our Bible story was about how God and Jesus were the same. I know, can you pick a more confusing concept to teach a four year old? Anyhoo, I was explaining how Jesus lived with God, and God let Him come to earth as a baby, and then He grew up and died on the cross and was resurrected 3 days later, and then He went back to live with God. Well, Abby was sitting at her little desk absorbing it all. She looked up at me and said, "Mommy, I'm glad God let Jesus come to earth for a little while."

My heart swelled with pride and tears sprung to my eyes as I thought to myself, "She gets it!" Certainly I have the smartest, most spiritually gifted preschooler in the world! My mind shot ahead as I pictured her as the next Kay Arthur or perhaps winning a Noble prize. She's brilliant to be able to grasp such a deep spiritual matter so quickly!

Then I heard her gasp. What profoundly deep thought would come from her mouth next? I looked at her with such pride. And she said, "Look, Mommy! A puppy!" as she stared out the window.

Yeah, moment over. Perhaps she's not as spiritually deep as I thought. Oh, well. There's always tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Football Widow or Frenzied Fan...the choice is yours

This seems to be the perfect time of year for a post about football. Especially after we've spent the better part of the last 3 days watching it in the Lane house. Let me start by saying that I did not grow up in a football watching household. My dad worked most every Saturday while I was growing up, and while he likes to know who won and lost, he really could care less about watching the actual game. So I was not exposed to much college football in my formative years.

Living in Alabama my whole life, I, of course, had to choose a side. That is a requirement once you cross the state line. Now, I'm not talking about North versus South, or vegetarian versus carnivore. I'm talking Alabama versus Auburn. Mind you, I didn't attend either one of these fine institutions. That is not a requirement.

I attended a lesser known university in Alabama. One that is not known for it's football prowess. It really doesn't have much football prowess, actually. I'm not really sure any of my JSU's games are televised...or even attended, for that matter. This certainly did not help my lukewarm reception of college football.

So, imagine the shock to my system when I married one of the most frenzied college football fans there is. And he actually did attend Alabama, which just adds fuel to the fire. From September until January, you can bet on what he's doing on Saturdays. I had a choice to make: I could either rebuke the football phenomenon and become a "football widow" for half the year or I could embrace it. Without even fully realizing it, I have embraced it.

Over the past 9 years, I've gone from "couldn't really care less" to frenzied fan myself. Now, it was a gradual shift. I started out just wanting to know who won. Then, I would watch the first quarter, lose interest and go do something else, then come back for the final few minutes. Of only Alabama games. Then, I would watch the majority of an Alabama game. Now I watch all of every Alabama game and most of whatever other game might be on TV at the moment. Last night I stayed up way too late watching a game between teams I don't even like! I like to be up on all the latest Bama news now. I actually follow the top 25 rankings. Yes, I am a college football fan. Who would've thought it!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Yeah, I'll claim her...

I wanted to do a "Works for me Wednesday" post, since it is Wednesday. But I cannot think of one thing that works for me today. How sad! Surely there is something that works for me that I can share to help someone out.

Okay, I just had to pause to actually speak the words, "Abby, get your feet off his head." You really just never know what odd things you'll say as a mom, ya'know?

Anyway, my brain is not functioning at full capacity as of late, and the muse...she is not filling me with inspiration.

So, instead I will share with you some of my brilliant 4-year old's artwork. She presented with me with this last night, and I got what it was immediately. See if you can figure it out. Hint: We watch a lot of HGTV.

Do you get it? It's "House Hunters"! More specifically, Burge and I on "House Hunters". Granted, Burge and I get bigger with each house and all 3 houses look pretty much the same, still I think it's brilliant. The Abster's pretty smart, even if I do have to tell her not to put her feet on her brother's head.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Simplification

I can't believe it's been a whole week since I posted anything. It's been a bit busy around here...last week, Burge's car was in the shop for a while (we are hoping to make it through this week without having something break...Not likely!). I've been working on cleaning out the kids winter clothes for a consignment sale next month. And, I'll admit, I've been more than slightly embarrassed over how many clothes my kids have.

Really, does a 4 year old need 10 + pairs of jeans? 5 pairs of tennis shoes? Granted, when I worked a real, paying job, the laundry might not get done every week, or even every 2 weeks for that matter. If I'm being honest, it might not get done until Abby ran out of clean underwear, and I won't even get into how pairs of that she has. But I digress...this is not a post about my previous horrible laundry habits, it's about excess.

We all have too much stuff. Simplification has been on my mind a lot lately. Our closets don't need to be busting at the hinges with clothes that we might wear someday. Abby doesn't need 10 pairs of jeans, especially when she doesn't even like to wear jeans!

But simplification doesn't just involve material things, at least not in our house. We have issues with time simplification too. You know what I mean, over-committing ourselves to things that we don't really feel led to do, but for some reason think we ought to. Getting the kids involved in activities that they never asked about or showed an interest in, but because everyone else's kids are doing it. We are going to learn to say no, and more importantly, not feel guilty about it!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Nursery duty...AKA Hell

Burge and I had surprise nursery duty this morning at church. It was a surprise because we didn't know we had it until the middle of Sunday School. We both decided we like the surprise attack. That way we didn't dread it all weekend. Yes, we are that couple that look at nursery duty as a chore rather than a chance to serve. If it's any consolation, we had plenty of chances to exult today. The only thing I didn't like about not knowing we had it was that I couldn't prepare any activities. Again, yes, I am that person. The one who prepares a lesson for nursery duty. You know, idle hands are the devil's workshop. And, boy, were they today!

There is nothing like being in a confined (very confined!) space with nine 2, 3 and 4 year olds that really make you want to go home to your own kids. And take a nap. And a Valium. And maybe a hard drink. (Just kidding on those last two! Okay, okay, maybe not the Valium). Seriously though, what makes otherwise well behaved kids go nuts at church? Because I know their parents don't let them run around on top of the tables at home. Do they? Maybe they could smell our fear. Who knows? All I know is it makes me long for the bedbabies class. I'll take crying over mutiny any day.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Gratituesday

There are so many things I have to be thankful for these days. Of course, there are the "stock" answers. I am thankful that my family is healthy, that I have 2 beautiful children and a wonderful husband. I am so very thankful that God has allowed me in this season of life to stay at home with my kids, to be able to watch them change day by day, to be able to teach them and watch them respond.

But today, what I am most thankful for is the faithfulness of God...even we aren't faithful to Him. As you know if you've been reading for a while, we've had a few trials recently. We joked about them and joked about exulting God through them, but there were times when we were totally and completely overwhelmed. When we could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. When we thought if one more thing goes wrong, I'll lose it...and then something else went wrong. I have no doubt that we truly believed that God would see us through. But I, in my sinful human nature, was constantly trying to figure out a "Plan B". You know, just in case the one and only Omnipotent, Sovereign God didn't come through for us.

But He did.Just as He always has. Just as He always will. And I am once again humbled in His Glory. And amazed that He continues to be patient with me. And oh so thankful for His faithfulness to me.

For more moments of gratitude, check out Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Hair

No, not the hippy Broadway show.

Frugality has now found its way into our hair regimens. Burge has been threatening to cut his own hair with his beard trimmer for several years now. As you may know, he's thinning a little on top (cough, cough...), and he just thought it was ridiculous to pay $12 to have the edges of his hair cut. Add to that, the lady who usually cuts it rarely gets it as short as he would like it. I resisted, namely because I knew my OCD would not allow me to stay a bystander in the situation. And then, once I got involved in the haircutting process, what if I screwed it up?

So, anyway, I gave in, and we bought a hair trimmer kit. $20 at Wal-Mart...less than the cost of 2 haircuts. I really overanalyzed the difficulty of home haircutting. For a man, anyway ( I will NOT be cutting my hair with the hair trimmer kit.). You just pop the guard on and whip right through it. Took less than 15 minutes. And looks just as good as the $12 one, I might add. We had one scary moment trying to figure out how to use the angled guard to contour around the ears, but we got through it. I so wish I had before and after pictures so you could see our handiwork. Alas, we do not, so you'll just have to imagine.

And in case you're wondering, I did have to get involved. It was hard for him to do the back, so I jumped in and volunteered my expertise (Ha! Ha!).

And lest you think Burge is the only one making sacrifices in the hair department, I will be going back to doing my own color. As soon as I get up the nerve...I used to do my own color when we first married, but for the past 6 years or so, I've gone to a salon. I'm more than a little apprehensive about it, but hey, what's the worst that could happen? On second thought, don't answer that...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

How to annoy your sister...

Today I came to the realization that the desire to annoy your sister is ingrained in a young boy's psyche. From birth, apparently. Grayson got up from his nap before Abby today, and I let him play in his room while I dried my hair. Which, by the way he loves! I think he knows all the stuff in there is exclusively his, and Abby can't play with them without his permission. Anyway, I digress... I heard him coming out of his room (he still doesn't crawl very covertly), but I just assumed he was coming in the bathroom with me. On the contrary, I stuck my head out the door just in time to see him barreling his way into Abby's room. She was still asleep. She did not appreciate it. At all. Which delighted him all the more.

I planted him back in his room and came back a few minutes later to find this...
Who could be mad at that face?

In other Grayson-related news, the beloved rainforest jumperoo has become a sedative for him. Everytime he gets in it these days, he goes to sleep. It's really pretty cute...

Friday, August 1, 2008

Showers...one of life's luxuries

Over the past few months, I have learned to enjoy the little things in life. Take for instance, a daily shower. Now, a year ago, a daily shower was a given. It was the first thing I did when I got up in the morning. Not so much anymore. Here's how we roll at the Lane house...

In the mornings, I sleep until the kids get up. Now, before you make some snide remark about me being lazy, that's usually between 6:30 and 7. If both my kids sleep until 8, it is like manna from heaven. And then, oddly enough, they want to eat, so I have to fix them breakfast. Therefore, the early morning shower is out.

Usually the first chance I have to get a shower is naptime. And then there is always the possibility that my precious shower time will be interrupted by Abby, who just has to tell me something, or Grayson, who decides that naptime is over. And, sometimes I'm trying to get caught up with things I didn't get done in the mornings. And, well, sometimes I just want to take a nap too. I'll admit it. Even Jesus took naps, people.

So, most of the time, my showers are at night after Burge gets home. This really is the best scenario. I know the kids are taken care of, and better yet, I know they won't interrupt me. I can take as much time as I want, or as long as the hot water will allow. I can do all of my deep, philosophical thinking. (I really don't know what it is about me and deep thinking in the bathroom...) It's refreshing, rejuvenating, uplifting!

I love showers! They are no longer a means to an end like they used to be. It's my own little mini-vacation everyday!

I realized today that I haven't posted any pictures in a while. So, here are a few random ones...


Here's Abby with her Lego "dog". Burge called it a rhino, and she was very offended.

And here are my two handsome men...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

And the hits just keep on comin'

Today was payday for Burge, therefore today was grocery shopping day in our house. I like to grocery shop alone for several reasons. First, it's just about the only time when I am awake that I have to myself. So, yes, I relish grocery shopping. Also, since jumping on the coupon clipping bandwagon, I really have to concentrate. I have to keep up with my grocery list, the coupons that go with my list, the extra coupons that I think I might can get some good deals on, and the running total so I don't go over my budget. Well, I got roped into taking Abby with me today. Last night after church, we stopped at Piggly Wiggly to pick up some ground beef that was on sale. Abby, of course, wanted to go in with Burge while Grayson and I stayed in the car. And Abby, of course, wanted to push the buggy. Only Burge didn't get a buggy for just a package of meat. She got back in the car upset. Boo-hooing, actually. So, to make it up to her I told her she could go grocery shopping with me. Big mistake, on so many levels.

Abby is definitely her mother's daughter. She cannot keep her mouth shut to save her life. I can tune her out most of the time when we're at home. Tuning her out is not such a good idea when you're in a crowded Wal-Mart. I couldn't concentrate like I needed to and spent more than I had intended to. Then a killer storm stopped right on top of Wal-Mart and knocked the power out while we were trying to pick out some bananas. Then we had to wait until there was a break in the cloud to ground lightning to get out to the car. Now, if you'll recall, my car is in the shop, so I was in Burge's car. Which meant I had no clicker. I need a clicker. Quite obviously, after today. So, I unlock the driver's door and throw the keys and my purse in the car. I unlock the rest of the doors, or so I thought, shut the driver's door and went to open Abby's. No go. I had locked the car back with my purse and keys inside. Burge had to load Grayson up and come unlock the car for me.

Seriously, a few more weeks like these last few, and I'll have a first class ticket to a padded cell...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Crawlin'

Again, a lot has transpired since my last post, most of which is blog worthy. You know, anytime you spend any amount of time in a hospital waiting room, you come away with some funny stuff. And then when you add pain medicine to the mix...it's just a barrel of monkeys. But I'll save all that for another post.

No, today's post focuses on the youngest of the Lane clan. Grayson is mobile! He started crawling last week. It's still a bit awkward, but he's gaining speed everyday. He started out with a one-armed army crawl. It might be a little hard to picture, but he would just push up with his right arm and kinda tuck his left arm underneath him. The downside to this technique is that every step he took, he wound up planting his face in the floor. Necessity being the mother of invention and all, he quickly learned to avoid the carpet burn on the face by using both arms. He still pretty much army crawls, but hey, he's got a little extra girth around the middle that poses a bit more of a challenge to get off the ground.

Of course, with this new milestone has come another one: discipline. I honestly don't know what the draw is to power cords. But, seriously, it's like a moth to a flame. As soon as his little rug-burned knees hit the floor, he immediately flocks to one of the hundred-plus cords that are attached to the many electronics that call our living room home. He has quickly learned the word no, and just as quickly learned that he can only get in trouble if someone catches him. His downfall is that it's difficult to act in any kind of covert fashion when you can only move at a speed of a mile every other day. And it doesn't help that he also has "Eagle Eye" Abby watching his every move, relishing in the fact that now Grayson is also getting in trouble.

Yes, times... they are a-changin' in the Lane house. We never had to babyproof anything for Abby...she never messed with anything. We're not going to be so lucky with Grayson...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Whatever can go wrong, will...at least in our house

Okay, so this has turned into one stellar week (please repeat that in your most sarcastic tone). Let's recap, shall we? On Monday, we (Burge, me and both kids) dropped his car off at the body shop for it to be fixed from the U-Haul hitting him in a parking lot, while he sat in it. Then we go to pick up his complimentary rental car. Sounds simple enough, right? Not for us. We sat at Enterprise for 2 hours. Or rather, Burge stood inside Enterprise, while I sat in the car with the kids. To their credit, the kids handled the first hour pretty well. It was hour 2 when everything started to fall apart. There were tears shed, and the kids weren't very happy either.

Then Monday night, either a small tornado or some very particular wind knocked our front porch off its foundation. Just a word of advice, if you come by my house, don't tarry too long on the front porch. We're not really sure how stable it is, and trust me, we don't need any other injuries on our shoulders.

Next, our phone and internet were off for 2 days, and it almost took an act of Congress or some well-placed threats to get it back on. Enough said about that...

So today, Abby had to have 2 teeth filled, and Grayson had to come along for the ride. It did not go well. Not that I thought it would. I don't like the thought of needles and drills anywhere near my mouth. Why should Abby be any different? So, let me paint you a picture of how I spent my morning. I was in a cell, I mean room, that measured about 5 feet x 5 feet with a hysterical 4 year old and a very sleepy 9 month old. In other words, my own personal hell. Abby got pretty upset when they came in to give her the shots. I got her calmed down in the hour that we had to wait for the actual fillings. But then when the drill was whipped out, all bets were off. I have honestly never heard her holler like that. And of course, no one hollers alone when Grayson is around. So, it was like stereo. It's a safe bet that everyone in that office was glad to see us go.

And to really knock this day out of the park, the air conditioner went out in my car this morning. I mean, seriously...way to kick me while I'm down.

I won't even get into the 2+ hours we spent tonight getting our church directory pictures made.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Should it really be called customer service?

I've been MIA for a few days. A lot has happened since the weekend, most of it worthy of it's own post...trying to get a rental car for Burge while his is in the bodyshop, the freakish tornado that took down our neighbor's shed and moved our porch off its foundation, and my new obsessive love for the Swiffer sweeper plus vacuum. I'll get to all those later. Today I need to vent about the fact that I have been without phone or internet for 2 whole days. 2 days!

It was knocked out on Monday night by aforementioned tornadic activity. Nobody's fault...I'm not mad about that. I called to report the outage Monday night and the customer service man assured me someone would be out on Tuesday to fix it. So, all day Tuesday I waited. Not so patiently. And he never showed up.

I got a little concerned around 2ish, so I called customer service to check on it, and once I again I was assured that a tech would be there before 5. I called again at 4:30, only to be told that he would be there by 5, but if he happened not to be to call back at 5. I called back at 5, and spoke to a really brilliant guy. First, he asked me if I was calling him on the line that has no dial tone. HEL-LO! It has no dial tone! Then he put me on hold for ten minutes, only to come back on the line to inform me that they had overlooked my appointment for that day. Really? 'Cause I was just calling to chat with you for a while, just cause I like customer service people sooooo much. Anyway I got a $25 credit for my trouble and a rescheduled appointment for Wednesday.

Okay, not exactly the outcome I was hoping for, but I'll make do. I had to pack up the kids and head to Wal-Mart just to get my mind off the fact that I was jonesing for an internet fix. Seriously, I was having withdrawals...and my laptop was just sitting there, beckoning me to get on it. I swear I heard it calling my name.

So, Wednesday rolls around, and by this time all 3 of us are watching for the tech out the window. Maybe not so much Grayson, but Abby kept asking where the telephone man was. I think she knew I was about to blow. I held off calling again until lunch, when once again I was told that he would be here by 5. I called again at 2, and this lady I think could sense the desperation in my voice, and called someone to check on it for me. Again on hold for 10 minutes, and then she came back and was sorry to inform me that due to an error on their part, the service order never got sent, and it will probably be tomorrow before someone can get out here. Seriously?!? My phone has been out for 2 days, I have called you 25 times and you are just now discovering that the order has never been sent??!?? I'm honestly not sure what I said at this point...I think I might have blacked out for a moment. I might've cried, I might've threatened bodily harm, I'm just not sure. Whatever it was, it must have worked, because she said she would have the technician call me and then she promised me that it would be back on today. These are just words, people. I don't care about words...I want to see some action! I NEED to see some action!

Well, fortunately for them, I did get a call from the local office and the tech did make it out to get us back up and running. I have calmed down slightly, and my adored laptop is humming lovingly as I type this.

As a side note, pray for us tomorrow. Grayson and I will be taking Abby to the dentist tomorrow to have 2 teeth filled. And then we have church directory pictures scheduled for tomorrow night. Yes, I apparently like pain...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Randomness

So, we've had a pretty busy weekend, and I have been so tired, I couldn't string enough thoughts together to post anything. Still not sure I can, so this post will be pretty random. I have further slipped down the spiral of domesticity. Happily, I might add. The highlight of my weekend was my mom buying me a "Seal-a-Meal." No, not Richard Simmons' "Deal-A-Meal" ( am I showing my age, whipping out that blast from the past?). This is a vacuum sealer and it is SWEET! I have been vacuum sealing everything I can get my hands on. I know, sad, isn't it? But, it's the little things that make me happy.

On to another random thought...I love CVS! Granted, after today, CVS and all others who shop there probably don't love me, but I LOVE CVS! I got a ton of stuff today for next to nothing! So what if it took me 20 minutes to check out and there was a line wrapping around the back of the store and Abby was so tired of waiting on me to check out that she laid down in the floor and tried to take a nap. That is a small price to pay to get a jumbo pack of diapers, 4 boxes of wipes, 2 boxes of cotton swabs, make-up, make-up remover, 2 tubes of toothpaste, 2 things of deodorant, 2 packs of gum, 4 12-packs of Pepsi, and 2 candy bars for less than $15.00. That is awesome!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Guilt...The Gift that Keeps on Giving

I had a bit of a revelation this morning while cleaning the bathroom. Yes, odd I know, but I often have deep thoughts while cleaning the bathrooms. Whether it be from inhaling the cleaners or all the blood rushing to my head while leaning over the bathtub or just because the running water drowns out my kids' yelling and I can actually process my thoughts, who knows? But, I do a lot of deep thinking while cleaning the bathrooms.

Anyway, my deep thought for the day is that I've traded one guilt for another since I've quit work to stay home. While I was working, I felt guilty because the kids were in daycare all day. I felt guilty because the laundry was never caught up and the house was never clean. I felt guilty because we ate fast food more than we ate home cooking. Now that I don't work outside the home, I feel guilty because I don't contribute to the family income. I feel guilty because I think it puts more stress on Burge as the sole provider for the family, even though I think he would say it's less stressful for him than worrying if our kids were being cared for appropriately. At least I hope he feels that way. I feel guilty if I'm not doing something every minute of the day. I think I feel like since taking care of our household is my job now I shouldn't ever sit down. Ever. Which is really stupid, because when I had a paying job, it's not like I worked the whole time I was there...uh, did I say that out loud?

But here's the kicker...I feel guilty because I actually enjoy what I do now. I mean, this is supposed to be my job now, I'm not supposed to be having fun while doing it, right? But I do...I love every minute of it. Because when I'm scrubbing the toilets (which is my least favorite thing to be doing at home), that's still better than my best day at any paying job. I'll take it!

My point is, I think, that "mommy guilt" is inevitable. It comes in all shapes and forms, but it's there. All we can do is just know we've done the best we can. And that our kids won't remember much of it anyway...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My OCD schedule


Today, my tip might, for some, be common sense, and for others, a walk a little too far on the OCD side, but it works for me. I have a house cleaning schedule. I also have a laundry schedule. In case you couldn't tell, I like schedules. I like lists. I like them a lot. And yes, I am working on that OCD post.

Here's what it looks like. On Mondays, I clean the dining room and the hardwood floors, and I wash bed sheets. On Tuesdays, I clean the bedrooms and wash light colored clothes. Wednesday, it's the kitchen and darks. Thursdays are bathrooms and white clothes. And Fridays are the living room and playroom and towels. Now, that's not saying I won't swiffer the hardwood on Thursday or clean a toilet on Monday, lest you think I only clean up once a week and only on my assigned day. But, it's nice to know that any given room will be cleaned at least one time a week. Because, let's face it, that's really pushing it some weeks.

And here's why it works for me. It is much easier for me to spend an hour or two everyday getting small jobs done, rather than neglecting my kids for a whole day trying to do it all in one day. Also, once I get my task done for the day, I don't have to feel guilty for playing Candyland twenty-five times (Whoopee!), in a row, with a cheating 4 yr old. I can focus my attention solely on my kids, without thinking about all the other things I need to be doing. Third, if something comes up, and I get behind on something, it's no big deal. It's easy to combine tasks the next day, or get caught up on Saturday. I also just like knowing what's ahead of me each day. I am a creature of habit.

I realize I might have let you a little too far into my obsessive-compulsive brain, but hey, it's what works for me. And for more great tips, head over to rocks in my dryer.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Snap it out!

Abby came up to me today and told me to "snap it out." She repeated it several times (to her disgust...she was wondering what was so hard to understand about that) until the lightbulb went off over my head, and I asked if she meant, "snap out of it." Yes, of course, that's what she said. Now, ignoring the fact that I have no idea where she heard that (because while she does watch her share of TV, that does not include Moonstruck), it hit me that I should have been writing down all the funny little things she says. Like going around the house singing, "Do, do, do, do, do, do a dolly of Daisy" instead of "dollop" from the sour cream commercial ( I said she watched her fair share of TV!). You know, so I can whip them out one day when she has a boy over and embarrass her.

Speaking of, she apparently is already honing those skills. I'm not quite sure how I feel about that. Okay, I do know I feel about that, I don't like it. But, anyway, here's a picture from this past weekend...

Why drive yourself when you can convince someone to do it for you? I can't really argue with that logic.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

You know you're getting old when...

So, here's my realization for the day...I'm getting old. It's not the fact that I turned 31 last week. Okay, it's not JUST the fact that I turned 31 last week. It's not just the fact that my idea of a night out is going to Hobby Lobby. Or that if you really want to get wild, throw in a trip to the grocery store (or better yet, Aldi's!) It's not just that my priorities have changed from caring about what I looked like to caring about what my house looks like. It's not just the fact that the UPS man called me "ma'am" last week. It's not just that my knees creak when I try to get out of the floor with Grayson. It's all those things combined, along with the fact that a 2 year old's birthday party wore me out today. I mean, WORE ME OUT, as in I laid on the couch, so thirsty that I couldn't even produce enough saliva to swallow, but I could not make myself get up to get me a drink. Now, granted, I did have 25 lb. 9 month old attached to my hip for most of the day. But, still....

In my mind, I'm still in college. I'm still relatively in touch with pop culture. Only, I'm not still in college or in touch with pop culture, unless pop culture includes Noggin and Nickelodeon. Truth is, I am a "ma'am." Next step, minivans and soccer practice...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Stinky Baby Breath

When I went to get Grayson out of his crib this morning, I noticed an odd smell. Not a stinky diaper smell; it was different. I didn't really think that much about it because, let's face it, sometimes babies smell funny.

But then it lingered. He took his bottle, and I was still catching a whiff every now and then. I finally decided he must have drooled excessively during the night (imagine that! Grayson drooling excessively!), so I went to change his clothes and gave him a once-over with a baby wipe. There...that ought to take care of it! Only it didn't. Then I realized this was a smell that I had smelled before, just not in babies. About that time, Grayson pulled up on my shoulder and laughed in my face. BINGO! I found the smell! Grayson had super stinky breath!

Then I remembered that we had chicken and pasta last night with a cream sauce with garlic in it. My 9 month old has garlic breath! Now, before you all think I'm a horrible mother, I did brush his teeth last night (all 4 of them) and I don't normally give babies garlic. But you try eating around him and not give him some, when he looks at you with those sad eyes and with his mouth wide open, waiting for a bite. Anyway, my dilemma: How do I get rid of baby stinky breath? It's not like he can rinse with some Listerine or anything... And how long does garlic breath last if left unattended? Any help would be greatly appreciated, especially when he's asleep on my shoulder, breathing right in my face.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Works-for-Me-Wednesday

If you've ever had to get up in the middle of the night to change the sheets on the bed of a child who's had an accident, you know that it's not the highlight of parenthood. I have a little trick that will save you a little time and maybe you won't even have to get fully awake. I "double up" on the sheets. It goes like this...mattress, waterproof mattress cover (obviously, waterproof is key here), fitted sheet, then another waterproof mattress cover, and another fitted sheet. Then when the unfortunate accident occurs, you just take off the top layer, clean up the kid, and everyone goes back to bed.

It works for me! And for more great tips and ideas, head on over to Works-for-Me-Wednesday at
rocks in my dryer
.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Happy 9 months, Grayson!

As we were eating breakfast this morning, Grayson got strangled on a cheerio after downing a 6-ouncer of milk. Those of you that have kids know what happened next, and for those of you without kids, I'll spare you the gory details. Let's just say my own bowl of cereal was no longer appetizing after I cleaned up the mess. Abby, however, apparently has a stomach of steel because she just kept right on eating. Either that or Barbie Princess cereal is just that good.

Anyway, this incident provided Grayson with an impromptu bath in the kitchen sink and me with a great photo op on his 9 month birthday. How cute is this...


Monday, July 7, 2008

Organization 101

Okay, so I'm not the most organized person in the world. Not even close. I would not call myself a pack rat (although I do think I'm raising one...you just never know what you're going to find hidden in Abby's room),but let's just say clutter never really bothered me. I think it has something to do with not being home a whole lot. When you work away from home full-time, it's really easy to turn a blind eye to closets that are not excessively organized.

But now that I'm home all the time (and I do mean ALL the time), it's really starting to get to me. As in, I obsess over it until I can get it cleaned out. As in, I can't go to sleep at night for thinking about how my linen closet is so disorganized. I know, I think I may be developing just a touch of OCD, but that's another post. Anyway, I'm about halfway through all the closets in our house, and I've discovered a few things.

First, I have enough towels to dry off an entire third world country. To put this in perspective, Burge and I have been married almost nine years. Today, I found towels that we got as wedding presents that have never been used...like about 25 of them. It is quite possible that I will never have to buy towels once in my entire life. Ditto on hand soap. Granted, we go through a lot of hand soap in this house...that's another story for the OCD post, but it will take us years to use up all the hand soap in this house. Today I found a huge jumbo refill of Softsoap that I don't think has been opened. Which leads me to the question, can soap ever go bad?

Finally, I've come to realize we've got a lot of junk. Here's a thought for the day: if you have something that you're debating on whether to keep it or not, fearing throwing it away because you MIGHT need it one day, chunk it! If there's even the slightest doubt that you might not need it, get rid of it! Seriously, if not, you will wind up with the black hole of closets like me. Since beginning my closet excavation, I have had to go out and buy plastic totes twice, because I have so much stuff to get rid of. I will be having the mother of all yard sales in the next few weeks to try to junk up someone else's home.

So, if you visit my house in the next few weeks, no, we are not moving...all those totes on my front porch and in my garage are just waiting to find a new home. And by all means, feel free to check out my closets...

Friday, July 4, 2008

Thirty + 1

Today is my 31st birthday. Yes, today I turned 31. 31 years old today. Did you catch that I'm turning 31? I am officially 30-something. I can no longer say I "just turned 30". Nope, I've passed the point of no return. And, really, it's not all that bad. I've got 2 great kids, a great husband, and I'm blessed to be able to do something that I never thought I would: be a stay-at-home mom. Life is pretty good.

And I got a kickin' cake...Check this out...


Yes, that is supposed to be me, but let me clarify a couple of things. First, if the sun shone for 24 hours a day all summer long and I baked out in it continuously, I would not be that dark. Second, I will not after giving birth to 2 children, ever be in a bikini again. So, thank you, Betsy, for not putting a beached white whale on top on my oh-so-delicious carrot cake. I very much like to live in that fantasy world where I am bronzed and bikini-ready.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Sweet Little Boy


I went in to check on Grayson during his nap today and found him like this...





Can that really be comfortable?

Also, he said Mama today inadvertently. I know he can say it, because he lets it slip every now and then. Usually when he's in his bed and doesn't want to be. He knows that is the quickest way to get me in his room. Anyway, I digress. He said it today while he thought I wasn't paying attention. I looked up and asked him if he just said Mama. He looked at me, grinned and shook his head no. Little stinker!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Works-for-me Wednesday

This is my first Works-for-Me Wednesday contribution! How fitting it is one concerning food... Anyone who knows me, knows of my love for refrigerated dough. Not however, for the uses that it was originally intended for. I cannot tell you the last time I served crescent rolls as actual rolls, but the last time I used crescent rolls was Saturday night in a taco pie. Alas, taco pie has more than five ingredients, so it did not make the cut today. Instead, I am offering up 2 of my other favorite refrigerated dough recipes. Now, if you have some grudge against refrigerated dough, you may certainly substitute your own made from scratch dough, but I can't promise it will be as good.

Quick & Easy Cinnamon Rolls

1 roll of refrigerated biscuits (8-10 count)
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 stick butter
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Bake biscuits according to package directions until they just start to brown (about 6-7 minutes). While biscuits bake, combine sugar, butter and milk in saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and boil for about a minute. Add vanilla. Sprinkle partially baked biscuits with cinnamon and pour liquid over the top of them. Return to oven for another 2-3 minutes or until brown. Serve immediately.

Chicken Pot Pie

2 refrigerated pie crusts
1-2 cups cooked chicken, diced (or if you're really in a crunch, 1 can of chicken)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can Veg-All (or used any leftover veggies you have on hand)
1/4 cup sour cream

Grease bottom of pie pan and unroll 1 pie crust in it. Combine in a bowl chicken, soup, Veg-All, and sour cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour mixture into pie crust, and lay 2nd pie crust on top. Crimp the edges and cut slits in the top of the crust for vents. Cook in a preheated 350 degree for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

For more great recipes with 5 ingredients or less, check out Rocks In My Dryer.

Monday, June 30, 2008

10 Things I Don't Feel Guily About...

So, today I began reading "Motherhood: The Guilt That Keeps on Giving" by Julie Ann Barnhill. I'm only on chapter 2, so I really can't comment on the book as a whole, but the preface got me thinking. She suggests, okay demands, that you list 10 things you've done as a mother that you do not feel guilty for. Truly, this is harder than it appears. I could list about a million things that I do feel guilty for, but here goes my list of non-guilt (in no particular order)...

1. I do not feel guilty for letting my 4 year old watch TV, even if she did think the proper term for this symbol - "?" - was "Mystery Mouse-ca-Tool".

2. I do not feel guilty for letting my 8 month old eat table food. It's an ego-boost that at least one of my children enjoys my culinary expertise.

3. I do not feel guilty for keeping my kids on a schedule. No one would withstand the chaos that would ensue if the family schedule did not exist.

4. I do not feel guilty for NOT enrolling my kids in every after-school activity, sport, and/or lesson that is available, nor do I feel guilty for the lack of culture they will surely endure throughout their lifetime.

5. I do not feel guilty for making my kids eat generic brands of almost everything and not buying the convenience foods they so richly crave. Hey, it's only the second best for MY family!

6. I do not feel guilty for working outside the home for the first 4 years of Abby's life, therefore putting her in daycare for 6-8 hours a day. It was what was best for our family at that time.

7. On the flip side, I do not feel guilty for quitting work now to stay home with my kids, even though it means they've had to give up things they want because we can not afford them any longer. It is what is best for our family now.

8. I do not feel guilty for taking a nap when my kids nap, even though I should probably be doing something more constructive, like laundry.

9. I do not feel guilty for making my kids play by themselves while I clean house for an hour or two each day. It's important for kids to learn how to entertain themselves. It's also important for DHR not to come take my kids because my house is nasty.

10. I do not feel guilty for disciplining my kids, even if while I'm doing it , I feel like the worst mom in the world.

There, that wasn't so painful. You should try it...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Cornholio Abby

This is probably one of my favorite pictures of Abby. She is expressing her inner-"Cornholio". Yes, as a matter of fact, it does bother me that she has an inner-"Cornholio", especially (or maybe in spite of ) since she has never seen nor heard of Beavis and Butthead. She would most certainly remind us all that we don't say that word. Butt, not Beavis or head.

No, I like this picture because this is the very essence of Abby. I can be sure each day is going to bring some unexpected moment of laughter from her. It's surely one of her spiritual gifts, to put a smile on someone's face. This is why I'm a SAHM. I don't want to miss any of her "Cornholio" moments.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

CVS-Unleash the Inner-Frugal

Up until a few months ago, "frugal" was not a word that would in any way describe me. Then I quit work to stay home with my kids, effectively cutting our household income in half, and frugality was thrust upon me. Now, never to be one to back down from a challenge, I have tried to jump into frugality with both feet and no life jacket.

Enter CVS. I'll be honest, I've never been a CVS shopper. We use a small mom & pop drugstore, and I just always thought anything you could get at CVS, you could get at Wally World, faster and cheaper. So, imagine my surprise when I started reading blogs to try to enhance my newfound frugality and found entire blogs devoted to the art of CVS shopping. It was all Greek to me...they seemed to have their own little language. I had never heard of ECB (Extra Care Bucks for you CVS novices). I have to try this! I have a BS in Math, for Pete's sake! This is right up my alley! So, I went to CVS.com and got me an ExtraCare card. When it arrived via USPS this week, I immediately looked at the weekly sale flier to see what I could get for free. Lo and behold, Pepsi 12 packs- 4 for $11. Not a steal, and no ECBs for them, but hey, we gotta have the caffeine. I looked a little further, and I found my deal. Buy $20 in Charmin and Bounty products and get $10 ECBs. Who doesn't need TP and paper towels? No one, that's who.

So, this morning me and the Abster headed to town for our bi-monthly grocery shopping. Our first stop was CVS. Of course, on the last day of the sale, there was no TP. Apparently people need TP more than paper towels. Go figure... They totally had the Bounty though, so I stocked the cart with 4 8-packs of Bounty (not an easy feat, our CVS has little mini-carts. Seriously, they are Abby's size. As a matter of fact, she pushed it all over the store for me, without any major incidents, I might add.). So my first transaction was the Pepsi's and paper towels...about $3o, which might not seem so frugal...but dude, I won't have to buy paper towels for the rest of the year. Really, 32 rolls, are you kidding?!? But, I got $10 in ECBs, so I turned around and bought Buy-one-Get-one Free RightGuard deo for Burge, a tube of Colgate toothpaste, a tube of Neosporin and a 4-pack of SafeGuard soap, all for a grand total out of pocket expense of...wait for it...$.93! Less than one dinero!

Needless to say, now I'm sold. I'm a believer. I've already looked up next week's flier and worked out my list. And I will be stopping on my way home from church tomorrow, in hopes that all the good deals will not be sold out. Yes, my name is Gina, and I'm frugal. And gosh darnit, I'm proud of it!