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.