Monday, June 29, 2009

Not Me! Monday


Last week was hot. SO. HOT. And when you're pregnant, everything feels about 10 degrees warmer than it actually is. So to me, it was like 100 degrees outside. Therefore, I certainly did not refuse to take my kids outside to play. I know how important it is for children to be able to get out and run around every day, so there is no way I would refuse their sweet little pleas all week just because I was roasting.

I am not the mother who fed her children only bagels for lunch one day, promising them a large dinner later. As I've said before, balanced meals are a priority in this family. And that's why, even if I had only given them bagels - which of course, I would never do - they would have been raisin bagels. You know, to get in at least two food groups.

I did not realize while writing up my Master Grocery List that I have been spelling the word "margarine" wrong for 24 years. I paid absolute attention in school and would never make a mistake like that. Over and over again.

I like to blame things on my pregnancy, be that a valid reason or not. But at least I didn't have to blame the fact that I completely forgot to plan one single meal last week on my pregnancy, because I would never do that. I always take care to plan a healthful meal each and every night for my family and always have it ready when my husband gets home from work. Because I'm a good wife like that.

When my husband came home from work several days last week smelling like...well...smelling, there is no way that I nearly gagged each time and insisted that he immediately head upstairs and take a shower before coming anywhere near me. I love my husband no matter what and would never refuse to give him a kiss even if he smelled like a sweat bomb. And even if I might throw up afterward.

To read about all the things lots of other people didn't do this week, head on over to MckMama's blog and check out the links!

The Up Days and The Down Days

I feel like I'm all over the place right now.

For starters, I feel like I should have had this baby, like....2 months ago. I am not even kidding when I say that I feel like I've been pregnant for a year. Now, arguably....I have been pregnant for a total of 33 months if you put all 4 of my pregnancies together. And sure, all those pregnancies have taken place in less than 5 years. But still. I had a nice 15-month break between the end of my last pregnancy and the beginning of this one. You'd think that would have been enough time for me to have that I-think-I've-been-pregnant-my-WHOLE-life idea out of my head! But no. I feel like a walking blimp.

To make matters worse, about eight thousand people asked me this weekend when I was due. Like I need a reminder.

"September," I would say, hopefully putting their fears to rest. After all, why was I shooting a wedding on a 90-degree day with a huge bump stretching across my midsection? It reminded me of the time my husband and I went to the Brickyard back in August of 2007 and everyone stared at me as if I might give birth at any moment. But granted, I was significantly closer to my due date at that time, and really, with all the miles we walked that day, I guess it might not have been unheard of. But regardless. I know everyone wants to know when the sweet little one is entering the world, but maybe I should just wear a pin or a t-shirt or something that says "Not til September."

But back to feeling all over the place...

My house is so randomly cleaned, I'm almost starting to feel sorry for it. I don't know if I cleaned a darn thing last week. All week. Well....I'm pretty sure I swept the floor a few times. And I might have made the bed. But other than that...I know I did NO laundry, NO bathroom cleaning, and were it not for our dishwasher, I would have done NO dishes.

But yesterday, after sleeping in a bit (hey, weddings are exhausting), going to church, and coming home....I suddenly got the urge to clean. EVERYTHING.

So I created a master grocery list (more to come on that later), did three loads of laundry (or was it four?), cleaned the kitchen, folded up the pack n play that was used one day last week, sorted and organized some junk mail/bills, finally put away the suitcases from our vacation a few weeks ago, convinced my husband to take our old mattress out to the garage, and picked up the bathrooms, living room, and loft. I was feeling pretty accomplished, so I asked my husband to make a McDonalds run to get me some chicken nuggets. And a movie. (Redbox is my new best friend.)

On the way home, his car broke. Again. He thinks it may be fixable, but we'll see. We watched Bedtime Stories, the a pretty great movie, and finally crashed into bed around midnight.

Today I was vanless, which of course meant that something would come up. It's funny how that happens. You can ask any SAHM if this has happened to her and she'll tell you the same thing, I swear. Even though we rarely go out during the week, if the van is not here...I feel totally stuck. And today was no exception. By 10 o'clock I was already considering who I could call to come over for a playdate. And then, to complicate things even further, a friend of mine called asking if I'd like to meet at a park.

"I'd love to!" I replied. "But I can't."

It figures. The ONE day someone invites me to go out...there's no van. But oh well. We enjoyed staying in this morning. We had a late breakfast and then I watched Bedtime Stories again with my kids. Keaton enjoyed it a lot. And since we're always looking for clean movies to buy, maybe I'll have to put this one on our list.

Since I completely missed Not Me! Monday last week, I'm trying to think of some things to write for this week. Check back later to see if I got that post up.

I'm headed to the kitchen to figure out what to make for dinner.....

Friday, June 26, 2009


It's 3:30am and I can't sleep. This happens sometimes when I go to bed early. It's the reason I don't like to go to bed early. But alas, sometimes it just happens.

I'm (im)patiently awaiting the arrival of the - ehhhh, details? - on how to create my new photography website. I was told they would arrive by midnight last night. Someone lied. It's funny, really, because when my husband asked WHAT exactly I was waiting for, I couldn't really tell him. Because I'm not really sure. A template, I guess?

I have my 28-week appointment with my midwife coming up in a few hours. I honestly don't ever remember going from every-4-weeks appointments to every-2-weeks appointments this soon before, but I probably did it with Reagan too since I was seeing the same midwife. I don't really understand the purpose of going in so often. I mean, maybe if it was my first pregnancy and I had a lot of new questions every two weeks. Or maybe if there was some sort of testing that needed to be done.

But seriously? I have to find a sitter, drop off my munchkins, drive the 25 minutes to the office, wait in the waiting room, wait in the exam room, see my midwife for 5 whole minutes if I'm lucky, drive back to pick up my kids, drive home, and feel like I wasted an entire morning.

Am I just whining? I thought so.

Oooo, I saw some really cool lighting this morning. I mean...earlier this morning. (Obviously I'm having some serious sleep issues tonight.) I think it was around 2am when I looked out our window and saw what appeared to be heat lightning to the south. It was either that or just REALLY far away. But considering it's been in the mid-70s at night around here lately, I'm going to stick with my heat lightning theory.

Anyway, the sky was lighting up with bright light every 1-2 seconds but I could hear no thunder. So cool. I really do have a thing for storms. And I'm super thankful that my kids seem to be okay with storms too. For the most part. I have a friend who has 3 small children and ALL of them are terrified by thunder. I know that's probably natural for little kids, but it just seems so sad to me. I mean, they're missing out on all the sweetness of the storm.

Speaking of sweetness, my husband and I were researching some information on different types of wasps, bees, and yellowjackets last night on the internet. Why would we do such a thing? Well, you see, we tend to have an awfully high number of wasps around our home. I was trying to describe one particilar type of stinging insect to him and we were searching for it on the world wide web's database of images. To no avail. But I digress.

Amongst our searching, we learned some of the most interesting things. For instance, did you know that digger wasps inspect their nest for intruders each and every time they bring back their prey before dropping it in for their babies? And did you know that mud-daubers lay eggs inside little cones made of - you guessed it - MUD! and plant a few paralyzed spiders in there and then, after closing up the nest, leave and never come back. The baby mud-daubers hatch from their eggs, become larvae, then actually create a cocoon, are finally born and then eat the (now dead) spiders that their mother left for them weeks prior. And here's another thing: ALL wasps feed their babies (I use the term "babies" loosely here) with spiders. Well, no freakin' wonder we have so many wasps! The woods behind our house is teeming with spiders.

(For the record, I'd rather have the spiders.)

There's something about studying science that absolutely amazes me. It's the idea that there are actually people who think this all happened by chance. That we all just evolved into our own state of being. That the wasps just happened to learn how to lay their eggs inside a mud nest, leaving those baby wasps spiders to eat when they hatched weeks later, and that those baby wasps just happened to grow and form inside the nest all alone, unattended, and then somehow just happened to know how to spin a cocoon around their somewhat unformed frames before officially making their entrance into the just CRAZY to me.

I don't mean to sound like some sort of religious lunatic here, but...really?! I just cannot comprehend how one could even begin to believe that this life is all by chance. I really can't.

Ahh, sweet sleep. Why do you elude me?

I guess I will attempt to lull myself back into some sort of dream-like state now. Although, when I'm pregnant, my dreams are more like nightmares. But perhaps the Lord will give me rest until the sun rises in just over an hour.

I'm sure I'm going to look back at this post later in the day and wonder why I was rambling so much. But hey, it's early in the morning and I can't sleep. Besides blogging, what else could I possibly be doing?


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Confessions of a Toddler Mom: I Encourage My Kids To Watch TV

I admit it. Especially when pregnant, I sometimes try to get my kids to watch tv just so I can clean the kitchen or take a quick nap on the couch or make dinner or get some business work done. When the digital TV switch happened a few weeks ago, we opted to get rid of TV altogether. That's right. We never got our little box. Even though it was free. So really, when I say TV, I mean movies. I prefer movies anyway since, a) they can be paused, turned off, and restarted whenever we want, b) I can view them prior to them permeating our little children's minds, and c) they are move convenient.

Alright, so I made that last one up. I don't really think movies are more convenient than TV. I just thought the sentence would look better with three points.

Regardless of how many reasons there are that I prefer movies, that is what we have. In fact, on the rare occasion that our children did watch television (you know, when we still had it), they would get confused when I would tell them we weren't able to pause it for later. They simply couldn't understand why they couldn't watch the rest of Barney after lunch.

I fixed this problem by simply buying them a Barney DVD. Because I'm nice like that.

Seriously though, we don't really have that many kid movies. I guess "that many" is kind of a relative term, but I'd say we have about...ehh....15. The limited number is also good because it deters me from encouraging them to sit in front of the screen since I get tired of those 15 movies a whole lot quicker than they do.

But then again....some days it's just so much easier to put in the ear plugs, run the water in the kitchen, and turn a blind eye to things like this:

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A Really Bad Day

Yesterday was a really bad day. My kids disobeyed and disobeyed and disobeyed. Both the older children spent significant portions of the day in their room. I cried while making dinner. Three times. I got sick after dinner.

It was just a really bad day.

The only positive thing I can think of (besides that our A/C works) is that my husband and I watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button last night. And we got it free from Redbox! Although I did miss part of it due to being sick. But other than that....

I plan to do a movie review on that later. Have you seen it? If so, what did you think of it?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It's Like A Sauna. Only Hotter.

I don't know what is going on here in the midwest, but apparently somebody has confused June with late August. It's been toasty toasty toasty here and the humidity has been equally crazy. It wouldn't be so bad if, like....the state fair was going on, or you know, I was nearing my due date, or the leaves were starting to turn colors, or really ANY other late August-like activities. But no. It's just hot.

Not that I can complain, because I really can't. I have a few friends who have broken central air right now and I feel for them. I really do. I also feel for the people who don't even own a central air conditioner, because I grew up that way. And it just didn't cut it.

We're so spoiled here in the United States. I mean, really....our lower middle class families have central air. And can pay for it. It's a luxury I try not to take for granted except most of the time I do.

In addition to being crazy hot, I feel like I'm running a million miles per hour this week. But on the upside, my to-do list is actually getting done. I know. Weird. Yesterday when my husband came home, I told him he wouldn't believe how much I got done that day! He said something about how that was nice and then went upstairs to take a shower. I walked into the kitchen to start dinner and realized IT WAS A TOTAL DISASTER.

Ok, so most of what I got done yesterday was done on the computer. Alright, all of it. But I was still feeling very accomplished. I was feeling even more accomplished after I cleaned the kitchen, made dinner, stopped at the Dollar Tree and the party store, visited yet another friend who had a baby this weekend at the hospital, met with my accountability group at Panera, only missed 2 teeny little words in all of my 20-some memorized verses, and made it home in time to see my husband before he hit the sack.


And that's not even counting the dentist, the playdate-turned-lunch, all the business details, the emails, the print-outs, the phone calls, and, you know, the HOUSE. (Minus the kitchen.)

I saw on a few other websites that tonight only you can rent a free movie from Redbox with promo code rbxthxu6. Seems like a nice night to relax. I hope we have popcorn.

But until then, we'll continue to enjoy the sauna.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Where Did The Time Go?

Wow, I totally lost track of blogging this week. So let me catch you up on some of our late-in-the-week activities:

On Thursday...

We went to playgroup. Normal playgroup routine ensued.

I went grocery shopping. I took my husband's A/C-free car to get an oil change while I was shopping and I actually thought I might die from the humidity. It was great.

My husband and I ordered pizza and watched a movie. We like home dates.

On Friday...

We had some friends over in the morning. We hadn't seen each other in about a year, so it was nice to catch up. Our kids played together and we chatted about life. Good times.

We went to (blog co-author) Gretchen's house and our kids played in the kiddie pools outside. We sat inside and talked about how she wanted to try natural labor this time around and about how she couldn't wait for her little guy to arrive.

My kids got a little sunburnt. Despite the ton of sunscreen I put on them before they went out. I blame the pool. And the sun.

I made dinner for a friend who broke her finger this week. Meaty Manicotti. I wanted to eat it all myself but managed to give it to her instead. Oh, how I miss it.

Gretchen called as we were putting our kids to bed and told me her water broke. I was so jealous. I mean, not that I would want my water to break right now, but my water has never broken on its own with any of my children and I just want to know what that experience is like. That's probably weird, I know.

It was HOT!!!! outside.

We got to experience a REAL mattress for the first time in years. It was amazing. Seriously.

Oh, and Cari had her baby.

On Saturday...

I didn't sleep well, so I read for a while early in the morning. Then I went back to sleep.

Gretchen had her baby.

I made a real breakfast for my family (usually my husband cooks on Saturday mornings), did laundry, cleaned the kitchen, picked up the house, made the bed, and thanked the Lord for the energy to do so.

I cleaned out and vacuumed the van. It was hot. But not as hot as Friday.

Now I'm planning to go see Cari and Gretchen at the hospital. Isn't it convenient that they both went into labor on the same day at the same hospital, just for me? I thought so too. :)

We shall see what the rest of the day holds.....

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I Am About To Embark On A Grand Adventure

Not really. I just thought it sounded like a very intriguing title. So of course, if there ever comes a time in my life when I am about to embark on a grand adventure....nobody will believe me. I'll be like the boy who cried, "Wolf!". But I'll take my chances.

I'm totally convinced that laptops and cell phones will be the cause of my entire generation developing carpel tunnel by the age of 35. I'm not even kidding. I was processing wedding pictures for several hours this afternoon and then researching some companies for my up and coming new photography website and, let me just tell you, my right hand hurts like crazy. Sure, that's probably a good sign that I should stop typing and just go to bed. But hey, I didn't blog yet today. So lay off.

Due to said activities taking place this afternoon, I completely failed to plan dinner. I mean...completely. Like, there was NO thawed meat, NO thawed freezer meals, NO milk, and NO bread. (Sandwiches are my fallback.) So out I went at 5:47pm to get to the bread store before they close (at 6pm) and grab some milk at CVS on the way home. Oh, and toilet paper. I have this serious fear of running out of toilet paper. Not kidding. And considering all three of the toilets in our house were on their very last roll...this fear was really starting to take over.

Anyway, I had decided on breakfast for dinner and thankfully my husband had offered to get some things started while I ran to the store. Stores. When I returned home, the bacon was cooked and the pancakes were ready to go, minus the milk. I threw some eggs on the skillet and he got to work on the pancakes. Dinner was ready in no time. We're really a great team, I tell ya. And if we ever open that coffee shop/diner when we're both retired...we're gonna serve some suh-weet food. But enough on that. Back to my website...

I feel like I must not be in my early 20s because I simply do not understand all the internet/website mumbo-jumbo. What is a splash page? Drop-down text section? Dual portal? Puh-lease, someone rescue me. If I wasn't so cheap, I'd hire someone to do this for me. But I am cheap. So I'll have to do it myself. Although don't expect me to do it without complaining.

I am fairly confident that I've decided which company I plan to use for my website, but I just need to work out all the details. And yes, of course I'll direct you to it when it's finished. If it's ever finished. If I ever get started.

And since I'm nearing the end of this post, I'm now searching for a picture to put up. I kind of like putting up a picture in every post. It gives me a way to document my life and makes me feel better about myself as a mom. You see, normally I just take a million pictures and they never see the light of day. They just sit on my laptop and I never get them printed. Ever. Unless my mom wants a copy. Otherwise, they just take up space on my hard drive. It's silly, really, but it's what I do. At least for now.

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That is seriously the only look she gives me for pictures. I'm not even joking. Oh, what's that? You think I am joking? Well, I'll prove it....


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And see?

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Well okay, so you can't actually see her face in that one. But just trust me on this. She's making the face. The same face she makes in every picture. So, see? Not joking.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Confessions of a Toddler Mom: I Sleep While My Kids Play

I know there are several moms out there who are always wide-eyed and bushy-tailed every waking moment their children are up during the day. There are moms who get up at the crack of dawn and have breakfast ready when their kids wake at 7am. There are moms who get a shower, have their quiet time, drink their coffee, and eat their own breakfast before their children even break out of dreamland.

I am not one of these moms.

When the sun rises on our house early each morning (especially early in the summer), I am sleeping. I am sleeping because I stay up at night after my family goes to bed and work on my business. Occasionally I'll watch a movie, read, or do something productive like (ugh!) folding laundry...but in general, I'm working at the computer.

When one of my children comes in to tell me "it's pretty outside", I simply roll over, invite them to join me in the bed, and fall back asleep. They usually don't fall back asleep. They read or roll around in my bed. Once both my older kids are up, they play together or watch a movie in my son's room.

My youngest is still in her crib and happens to LOVE being there, so I generally go in to get her sometime after 9am. Up until 8.30 or so, I enjoy resting between bouts of getting up to see what the latest fussing is about with the other two.

I realize this is probably highly irresponsible, but this is a typical morning for me. Thankfully, my children play together very well and generally don't have too many quarrels. At least not this early in the morning. They always stay upstairs and I can hear them very well (even though I'm sleeping - sort of), so this has never caused any problems in our home.

Considering I'm 6 months pregnant right now, sleeping is a main priority of mine so I try to get as much of it as possible. Granted, I don't sleep nearly as much late into the morning when I'm not pregnant, but right now....well, it's just part of my routine.

Now you may chastise me. But please be gentle. :)

And just because I'm going to try to start posting pictures more regularly on this blog, here's my adorable daughter acting unusually cooperative in front of the camera:

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Goodness, how did I get such CUTE kids??

And yes, it's a total coincidence that her outfit just happens to match my newly colored and designed blog.

The Finer Things In Life

When my husband and I first moved into our house, our first baby in tow, we prided ourselves in our ability to pay for brand spanking new furniture for our bedroom and our dining room. Looking back, while I don't think that was the very best decision, I do see that those things were quite an investment and probably something we still would not have if we hadn't bought them then.

We got a great deal on all of our furniture. We bought it from a man who had intended to start his own furniture business and then became very ill and was unable to do so, so he had discounted all of the original prices significantly. We were very pleased with our purchase. There was only one thing we were missing:

A mattress set.

So, being the "frugal" people that we were...(if only we had known what frugal really was)...we scoured the newspaper for a cheap mattress set. We found a box spring, mattress, and frame - new, for about $120. We knew there were far better things out there, but hey, we needed a mattress set and...since we had splurged on the actual furnishings for our bedroom, we'd just have to get a cheap mattress for the time being.

Four years later, we are still sleeping on that mattress set. It squeaks something atrocious every time a body turns, twists, rises, or sinks down onto it. Sometimes I even think I can hear it squeaking when I look at it. But that's not all. It's also highly uncomfortable. I mean, like....we have 2 layers of egg carton foam on top of it and can still feel the springs in certain areas.

This being my 3rd pregnancy and all, I definitely know what "inability to sleep" means. My husband, on the other hand, works 12 hours a day and can fall asleep standing up if need be. He could sleep on a board, a cloud, or a porcupine and not even flinch until the alarm went off. I, on the other hand, don't quite have the same experience when it comes to sleeping. Perhaps I should simply take up working harder, but...that just doesn't sound like very much fun.

The day before we left on vacation, we saw a sign up in a mattress store window. $199 for a Sealy Perfect Sleeper mattress - ANY SIZE. That would have been a heck of a deal if only we hadn't been about to leave for a 2-week vacation. After having slept remarkably well for a week in various hotel beds, our return home to our squeaky, uncomfortable mattress was....well....difficult, to say the least. And again the "We should really get a new mattress" conversation it oftentimes does.

I don't remember exactly how it happened but we discovered, while browsing online, that the $199 Sealy sale was actaully still going on. We mulled over it for about a day before deciding a new mattress would be a good choice. Ahem, a great choice. So when Sunday afternoon rolled around, my husband went over to the mattress store to buy us a new mattress.

Lo and behold, they were all sold out, but they were still honoring the sale so he went ahead and paid for our new mattress. I am now attempting to wait patiently while it is shipped over to the store and due to arrive on Friday. In the meantime, we have moved our mattress to the floor in hopes that perhaps the box spring had something to do with the uncomfortability of it all. It turns out it's not any more comfortable, but it is quieter. A lot of the squeaking apparently comes from the box spring and not the mattress. Once we get our new mattress, we will determine whether or not we should purchase the matching box spring (from Sam's - way cheaper than the mattress store!) or just stick with the one we have for a while.

And speaking of the finer things in life, my little Reagan really has a thing for these jokester glasses we found at the Dollar Tree several weeks ago. They look like super heavy duty Rx glasses when, in actuality, they are simply a strange cut of plastic that appears to magnify your eyes. Feast your eyes on these babies!

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Please ignore the war wounds. This girl likes to pick fights with things like doors, hard floors, furniture, etc. And obviously, she typically loses.

Monday, June 15, 2009

"Not Me!" Monday


In general, I dread Mondays. It's the day my husband goes back to work for the week. It's the day my kids tend to be ridiculously wound up. And it's the day I oftentimes wake up WAY too tired to function. The house is usually a mess and I'm so exhausted I don't even want to think about cleaning it.

Yes, Mondays are definitely not my favorite day. But I will say that, since blogging "Not Me!" Mondays are just a tiny bit more favorable. I mean, they're still my least favorite day of the week by far, but...I'm just sayin'.

Last week, I definitely did not let my clean laundry sit out on the laundry table for 4 whole days rather than just putting it away. I also didn't leave all our trip luggage and baggage lying around the house, some of it unopened and unpacked for the duration of the week.

I did not eat about 10 pieces of peanut butter pie in 5 days just because it was in the fridge. I have way more self control than that!

I definitely did not skip the free cookies at the grocery store - even though my kids behaved like angels - just because I hate the mess they make all over my kids' clothes, the cart, etc. I would never deprive my children of something so tasty solely because of a teensy little mess!

My husband and I did not laugh hysterically while our three young'ns ran around my studio this weekend, trying on various scarves (props I have lying around) and looking - and acting - rather silly. And I certainly don't have any pictures to prove it!

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Nope! None of that ever happened at our house!

Speaking of our house, there is absolutely no way that my daughter wet her bed one afternoon during her nap and I completely failed to change her sheets for like....4 days. That would just be way too disgusting for something I would do! (To rest your fears, the sheets have indeed been changed now!) :)

I'm linking this up to MckMama's "Not Me!" Monday post, so head over there for more funny things nobody did this week!

Her First Pigtails!

So stinkin' cute!

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Unfortunately, they only lasted about 15 seconds.

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Well, there's always next time....

Saturday, June 13, 2009

What in the world is going on?

So this morning I accidentally typed in "" rather than "". The thing that tipped me off was the first post. It was my May Finance Recap that I posted about like....ohhhh, 2 weeks ago or so. Now, earlier this week when I visited my old domain, it was totally vacant. Open. White. Nothing there. Now this? I hvae no idea what that's about, but hopefully they will seriously take it down soon so all of my faithful readers will be able to catch up on about a gazillion posts. If they find the new address, that is. Apparently nobody has. Yet.

In other news...all our of trip laundry (and other laundry) has been put away! Our upstairs loft is clean and dry! Well, okay, so there's probably some peed-on laundry in the laundry basket and I'm sure there is at least one stain on the floor up there. But other than that. On Monday (and Wednesday) I washed and dried the laundry. On Wednesday, I folded and sorted it. And on Friday, I actually put it away. It only took 5 days! Isn't that great?!

Oh, what? That's horrible? That never happens in your house? You can't believe someone would leave clean laundry sitting out that long?


In other other news...we're having a garage sale today. Our neighborhood association sent out a newsletter a few months ago and I'm pretty darn sure it stated that our neighborhood garage sale was going to be in August. You know, like it always is. But lo and behold, when I left the house Monday evening to go - umm, wherever I was going - there was a cute little white sign out by our neighborhood entrance.

"Neighborhood Garage Sale - June 12-13"

Nice. Thanks for the notice.

Being 6 months pregnant and sore, I'm rather unfond of bending, reaching, sorting, and all other things garage-sale-preparingish. Of course, I would have been no more fond of all that in August. But still. I was ready for August. I had time for August. Four days was just....too soon.

So I gave it up and decided we would not have a sale this year. At least not in coordination with our "neighborhood sale"....which really shouldn't be called that since, honestly, I think about three families participate. But I digress.

I was feeling mostly confident with my decision to sit out the garage sale festivities this year when I dropped off my kids at my friend Cristi's house yesterday so I could run to my midwife's office for the oh-so-cherished glucose test. (Blek!) But when I left her house, I noticed this lovely this arrangement in her neighbor's garage.

A neat row of hung baby clothes lined one side. You know, like they were just waiting for their turn at a neighborhood garage sale. And that was that.

As a pregnant woman, I reserve all rights to change my mind about any thing at any time concerning any issue. And so I did. Change my mind, that is. I came straight home - well, I went and took my test first, then picked up my kids, then came straight kind of straight home - and set to work unloading all those bags of clothes that people have given me over the past several months and sorting through what I wanted to keep and what I wanted to rid myself of.

It was rather freeing, I must say. Those bags have been sitting around for...well...far too long. And if you've given me a bag of clothes - ever - yes, this is my exact routine for handling them. Let them sit in a closet for at least 6 months and then open them up....just in time to see that all the clothes you have given me are now too small for my growing children.

So anyway, the garage sale....

The worst part about setting up for a garage sale is pricing everything. The second worst part is cleaning the garage. I mean, we do strive to keep one half of the garage clean at all times, you know, so I can do things in it. Like park. But the other half is sort of my husband's workshop and so it always needs picked up when it's time for a garage sale. Or time for anything else.

I figured out the easiest solution for both of these issues. No price tags - just one sign. All similar clothing is the same price. All similar items are the same price. Everything else is 25 cents. Oh, what? That's not that original? Well, whatever. It works.

As for the cleaning part...well, okay...I didn't really come up with an easy solution for that one. We just had to clean. But since we didn't have enough garage sale items for a full garage, it really wasn't too bad. :)

Last year (or was it the year before last?) we made the bulk of our profit from selling chocolate chip cookies. Because I have, like, the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. In the world. (And if you click on that link, you will too.)

In addition to being a great seller, they're also really delicious to eat while I'm, um, working so hard out there. So it's 7:27am and I'm still trying to decide if I should whip up a batch of dough before I head out to start our 8 o'clock sale.

If it gets excruciatingly boring out there today, I'll probably be back here blogging about some other really exciting aspect of my really exciting life. That is, if I finish working on the engagement book, wedding pictures, business cards, emails, and all other business-related things.

On the other hand, perhaps I'll just skip that and go straight to blogging. Because I just love you that much.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Spiders Have Taken Over

Disclaimer: This post describes spiders in detail. If you don't like spiders....well, just suck it up and read it anyway. :) Ok, but really. You can skip it if you want. But I will call you a wimp. Ok, end disclaimer.

I used to be really afraid of spiders. And when I say really afraid, I mean like...terrified. I'm gonna blame the whole fear issue on my mom who's also pretty afraid of spiders. Growing up in Wisconsin, I thought a BIG spider was like, you know, the size of a nickel. But after I moved to Indiana, I realized that big spiders were closer to, you know, a half dollar. Or bigger.

The first year we moved into our house was horrible. We moved in during the month of April. Yes, the month that spiders start emerging from their dark cavernous homes. Or wherever they live. And since our house was the very last house on our street to be built, and also since our house butts up against a small wooded area...well...let's just say the spiders were confused. I imagine they were pretty used to roaming our property before it was our property. And they didn't seem to have any problems continuing to roam our property even though it was now our property. I, on the other hand, was NOT a fan.

Every morning I would come downstairs there would be at least 2 or 3 large brown spiders crawling across our living room or kitchen floor. Since my husband was off doing other things that he deemed more important than staying home and killing spiders for his wife all day (like...working), I learned pretty quickly that I had to kill them myself or...or....or else. Or else was not something I was interested in researching, but I was pretty sure it had something to do with spider breeding and infestation and a lot of other bad things. You know what I mean. You've seen Arachnophobia. So we invested in a few flyswatters (although I generally use shoes) and I overcame my fear of large brown house spiders. And eventually they learned their place and opted to stay outdoors. At least most of the time.

Then one day I discovered wolf spiders. Oh. My. Word. Those things should be outlawed. They are so huge and hairy and black and....hairy. Oh, and did I say HUGE? Eww. They mostly hung out outside our patio door, but one creeped up on me once while I was working in the garage. I literally thought I was going to die. It was eyeing me like it hadn't eaten in at least 5 weeks and I was like a deer in headlights. Well, sort of like a deer in headlights. Except I RAN. Inside, of course. And I didn't go back out for about a week. Alright, it might have only been a few hours. But I did watch my back for about a week.

We've been in our house about 4 years now and I've gotten pretty used to the occasional large brown spider, all the little "dust spiders" that build homes in the corners of my house, and the occasional small black spider roaming around. I always kill the big ones because...eww. But I've learned to leave the little guys alone, for the most part. I mean, they're not going to hurt me and it's so much work to go find a shoe. I mean, a flyswatter. But I've got to tell you something. I think while we were out of town, all the spiders got together and had some sort of evil spider convention because they have really taken over!

Everywhere I look there's a spider! A little guy here, a teeny tiny guy there. I've found them scaling the kitchen walls, crawling across our bedroom ceiling, dangling from my laptop....the nasty things are everywhere! I can handle it if I see one every once in a while, but this is really out of control!

So perhaps I'm making this into too big of a deal. But regardless, I'm thinking we're going to need to investigate some of those spider-killing sprays that go around the outside of your house. And I should probably stop typing about spiders, because now I can literally feel them crawling all over me. *Shudder*

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Tiny Burst of Energy

The Lord never ceases to amaze me with His sense of humor. Right after - and I do mean, like, immediately after - I complain about not getting my 2nd trimester burst of energy, what else could possibly happen guessed it...a burst of energy! And it was perfectly timed as well since, as I believe I mentioned, I had seven meals to make this afternoon. Sure, they were seven identical meals....but regardless. Seven meals is seven meals.

So I made those, popped one in the oven and 6 in the freezer, unloaded the dishwasher, cleaned the kitchen, folded some laundry, cleaned out part of the fridge, washed a few dishes, unpacked some bags (yes, still from vacation), fed my family, made 2 peanut butter pies <>, took care of a few business things, and I'm now about to start working on an engagement album. That is, if I don't fall asleep first.

After successfully managing to go grocery shopping with my kids this morning plus all that other stuff I mentioned before....and now yet another paragraph of accomplishments for today...I'm feeling extremely productive! Which is a nice feeling since I've basically felt nothing but UNproductive this week up until this point.

There are still a lot of clothes to put away, but at least they are all folded. Well, except for that load that just finished in the dryer. Laundry never ends in this house. But I suppose that means I should be grateful we have so many clothes to choose from every day!

Speaking of clothes, look what Reagan found tonight...before the unpacking of the suitcase had commenced:

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I know. She's too cute. You don't have to tell me.

Are You Lost?

Yesterday was the day I officially got kicked off my custom domain (which was WAY overdue) and went back to my address being a Blogger address. I checked my stats today and noticed that my typical numbers have been down since yesterday. My assumption is that several of my readers had linked either from their blog or from some other source and therefore are not being redirected since that domain is now open. Hopefully everyone finds their way back eventually.

I noticed this morning that today is the first day since returning home from our vacation that I've felt relatively normal. I'm not entirely sure that normal really even exists in this house, but I did get out of bed before 9 this morning and didn't feel like I immediately needed to head back to bed. Which is probably good, because my kids were definitely up for the day.

I also noticed this morning that we desperately needed groceries. Well, I noticed that as soon as we got home on Sunday night. But whatever. We needed them today for sure.

I don't generally take my kids shopping with me for a few reasons:

1. If I'm coupon shopping, I simply can't keep my coupons, list, and kids straight.
2. I like to get a break from them, so I usually go at night when my husband is home with the kids.
3. I tend to lose track of the things on my list and end up running back and forth through the grocery store about 7 times to get everything on it.
4. There's generally not room in the cart for both kids and food.
5. I hate the looks and comments. YES, I have three children under five. And YES, I'm pregnant again. NO, we're not Catholic. YES, we think they're all a blessing. And, for the love of....whatever.....YES, we do know what causes it!

Unfortunately, today I had no choice. I had to get to the store before late tonight because I have cooking club tomorrow and needed to get my meals made and frozen before tomorrow morning. (Who would have thought that an entire chicken and rice meal won't freeze in less than 12 hours?) So I took them along.

Things actually went pretty well. There was minimal whining and I managed to get through TWO grocery stores to get everything that was on my list...on sale. We also happened to arrive at Meijer shortly after they did all their manager special markdowns, so we scored some 25 cent organic yogurts and some 99 cent OJ half gallons....which was perfect since both yogurt and OJ were on my list anyway. :) On the downside, I literally thought I was going to pass out when we reached the check-out line. I hadn't eaten nearly enough for breakfast and it was ridiculously hot in there. At least to me.

But we're home now and....Whew! I'm wiped!

While the kids ate lunch, I put the groceries away....which included washing and re-containerizing the grapes and blueberries. I know. I'm proud too. I have set out my aluminum pans for my cooking club meals, labeled each aluminum foil "lid" and am now attempting work up the energy to make 7 pans of chicken and rice. It's actually the easiest thing on the planet to make, but when you're 6 months pregnant and you just took all 3 of your toddlers to two grocery stores....well, let's just say this momma needs a short breather!

I have about a bazillion things to catch up on business-wise and am attempting not to get burnt out with all the catch-up work that's constantly on my mind. I realized today that I'm just about to enter my 3rd trimester with this little one and - HELLO! Where's my 2nd trimester energy boost?!

Actually, I can't complain. I did get a short burst of energy that lasted about 4 weeks last month. I did lots of organizing and planning in that time, so I guess that's better than nothing. With the baby quickly approaching, I'm going to try to start making some meals/foods ahead of time like I did last time with Reagan. It really was a blessing after she was born (and even shortly before she was born) to just be able to pull something out of the freezer when I was too exhausted to cook. Co-author Gretchen does OAMC every month, which I find totally admirable, but having tried it myself....I also found it way exhausting. So I like to do a little at a time, making extras when I cook my regular meals. So I'll be trying that again. I'd like to make a list of all the foods I'm going to freeze, but...well, I have this thing with lists. I make them and then....I lose them. It's horrible, I know. But it happens. Way too often. So maybe I'll blog the list. Then I can't lose it!

Ok, I believe I need a bit more sustainance and then I will be set to go on making all those dinners. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Confessions of a Toddler Mom

I know I've blogged like eighty-seven times in the past 24 hours, but I just wanted to share this idea with you and get some opinions. I've decided to start a series called Confessions of a Toddler Mom. It would feature topics like "I Forget To Brush My Hair" and other mom-esque things of that nature.

I know that, somewhere out there in the blogosphere, this series probably already exists. But since I'm unaware of it, I'm going to start it myself. I've already compiled a list of about 20 things I could easily blog about and plan to blog a "confession" once a week. My question is this:

Is this something you all would be interested in blogging about as well? And if so, would you like me to put up a Mr. Linky at the bottom of my posts so you can share the links to your "confessions" too?

I've been meaning to investigate the whole Mr. Linky thing anyway but haven't really had a need for it, so if this is something you all would like to participate in, that would really give me a reason to figure it out! If not...well, I can probably find something else to do with my time. :)

Green Beans and Cheesecake

I happen to think that eating a very balanced diet is of utmost importance, especially when pregnant. So today for lunch I partook in a vegetable, a fruit, a protein/dairy, and a grain.

Green beans, Raspberries, Cream cheese, and a Graham cracker crust. :)

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Go to Kmart! Do it now!

Kmart is running a sweet deal on diapers/PullUps (actually, lots of Kimberly-Clark products) this week, so if you're a Huggies fan like me and you like to stock up on diapers like me, you'll want to check it out. I've been saving up my Huggies coupons for a while now as there haven't been many great deals for the past several weeks, but I was sure glad I had saved them up when I discovered yesterday's gem!

You can head on over to Common Sense with Money for full details on how the Catalina deal works, so I don't have to retype it. :) Don't forget that Kmart is running double coupons up to $2 right now! There's also a $5/$50 Kmart coupon available online that I completely forgot to print out, so I will probably print it later today and use it another time this week when I go back for another round of diapers! Here's what I grabbed last night...

3 packages of Huggies Snug N Dry diapers @ $9.99 each
1 package of Huggies new Natural diapers @ $10.99
1 package of PullUps @ $9.99
$50.95 + tax
- (1) $2/1 Huggies coupon (doubled)
- (2) $1.50/1 Huggies coupon (doubled)
- (1) $3/1 Natural Huggies coupon
- (1) $5/1 PullUps coupon
$36.95 + tax OOP


I got back a Catalina coupon for $14 off my next Kmart purchase! I plan to use that coupon toward my next trip this week PLUS my $5/$50 coupon to stock up on 5 more packs of diapers. If I can manage to find a few more Huggies coupons, I imagine my total will look something like this:

10 packages of diapers/PullUps for about $46 (after my 2nd Catalina)!

I love paying less than $5/pack for diapers. :)

Oh, one final thing....MAKE SURE you get your Catalina coupon before you leave the store. My cashier's register was out of Catalina paper, so I had to go to the service desk to get my order re-rung and get my coupon.

Happy shopping!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Not Me! Monday


Since I was on vacation all last week, laziness was at its peak and therefore there should be plenty to blog about for today. However, I generally blog my "Not Me!" posts as the week goes on so I don't have to try to recall everything on Mondays. BUT...because I was on vacation, I wasn't near my laptop all the time so I wasn't able to do that. So we'll see what I can recollect for this week's edition. :)

I definitely did not steal the password for the hotel's wireless internet when we arrived on the island since I thought it was ridiculous that they wanted me to sit in the lobby to use my laptop when I had a perfectly comfortable room upstairs. And besides, they shouldn't have had it sitting out on their check-in countertop in perfect view of anyone who might be looking....regardless of the fact that it was "technically" in their territory. Because I'm not a thief, I certainly don't need to justify my actions by telling you that if I had even once chosen to use my laptop in the lobby, they would have freely given me the password and I would have had it for the remainder of our stay anyway.

And speaking of internet usage, my husband and I surely did not sit in the parking lot of a Country Inn and Suites, search Hotwire for a local hotel, and book it using Country Inn's wireless internet service. I would never participate in something so heinous as internet-stealing and would also never congratulate my husband on such a frugal idea.

There is no way that, while driving home yesterday, I became so annoyed with the people who failed to get into the right lane after having SIXTY MILES NOTICE (no exaggeration) that the left lane would be closing and thereby were causing a THIRTY-MINUTE DELAY that I drove in the middle of the two lanes, thereby making it very difficult for traffic to pass me on the left. I in no way would ever do such a thing. And since I wouldn't ever do anything like that, I also didn't notice that other respectable people (who had been driving in the right lane for miles, I might add) were catching on and doing the same thing to prevent others from continuing to pass in the left lane.

And finally, I definitely did not watch a chipmunk jump sporatically around the yard due to what I can only imagine was some sort of poison-induced state of mind. I certainly did not discuss different ways we could put it out of its misery while watching it slowly die. And after it died, there is no way I laughed about taking it to the church's animal blessing service I read about in the local paper, all dressed up in a tiny chipmunk suit (think Jerry of Tom and Jerry) and lying peacefully in a red velvet chipmunk casket. Because you know, I am such an animal rights person!

I'm Back!

I'm back in Indiana after shooting a wedding in Iowa, taking a week-long vacation with my hubby, picking up our kiddos from my parents' house and driving all the way back home. My husband and I had a really great time. We were able to actually hear each other, do "couple" things, and just enjoy some time alone for a few days. But it was nice to get back to our kids as well.

There is laundry in the washer and dryer upstairs, the trip snacks have all been put away, and my kids are in their rooms for quiet/nap time. On the other hand, the table hasn't been cleaned from lunch, the kitchen floor needs swept, the grocery list has only just been started, clean clothes need to be put away, the van needs to be thoroughly cleaned out, and general trip unpacking has yet to happen. At least I've gotten a few things done, right? :)

We've never been out of the house for this lengthy of a time period before (11 days) and I had no idea those little dust spiders (that's what I call them) could take over the corners so quickly! I also had no idea that toilets could get dirty without being used! Apparently I do a little more housekeeping than I think I do when we're home....which is kind of a nice feeling.

On a more personal note, I went online today and discovered that I'm now 26 weeks pregnant. Did I need to go online to figure that out? Well, probably not. But my calendar is upstairs and I'm way too lazy to go and check it. Anyway, the 26 week thing sort of threw me off as I was certain I was closer to 23 or 24. But I guess being out of town and forgetting about all things normal has caused me to forget life as I know it.

I'm feeling extremely sore all the time with this pregnancy. My midwife says that's common once you get past the 3rd pregnancy, but I happen to think it may have more to do with the distance between my children than the number of pregnancies I've now encountered. Either way, I'm so grateful to know that our little one is doing well and continues to grow inside me...even if it does mean sore ligaments for me. Speaking of the little one, this child DOES NOT SLEEP. I'm not even kidding. If I'm awake, the baby is awake. If I'm asleep, the baby is awake. If I'm up running around, the baby is awake. If I sit down to rest, the baby is awake. IT'S. CRAZY. I do hope this isn't a sign of things to come....

I've been pondering, as of late, the direction I'd like to take with this blog. As my life becomes busier and busier, I find it easier to blog about my kids, my husband, my....everything, and more difficult to blog about great coupons finds, recipes, etc. I still definitely enjoy those things, but the time factor to blog about them just seems to become more and more difficult. I haven't quite decided where all of this pondering will lead but I thought I'd give you a heads up.

I've had mostly favorable comments about my recent beginnings of "Not Me! Monday" posts, so I plan to continue those. And to the one anonymous commenter last week, I'm sorry that you did not enjoy reading my post. I suggest skipping over those from now on if you prefer not to read them. As I mentioned in my previous paragraph, this blog may begin to show more of me and less of other, so if you aren't big on what the real me is...well....I'm so sorry. And as a final note on that topic, commenting anonymously (unless you simply cannot figure out the system, like my mom) is considered cowardly and rude in the blogosphere. Especially when leaving negative comments.

To the rest of you....sorry for my short rant. :)

I hope you're all enjoying the beautiful summer weather!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Foto Friday!

I shot a wedding last weekend in Iowa. The weather was GORGEOUS and I couldn't have asked for a better couple to work with. Please head on over to my photography blog for the full wedding post. :)

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

WFMW . . . Mom "I'm Bored" summer edition - Free movies

Many of you know that during the summer movie theaters offer free and cheap movies once or twice a week. You can click here to see a list of theaters. If you are in or around Indy, here are a few local links:

Canary Creek (Franklin, IN)

Movies 8 (Greewnood, IN)

Anyone know of some others?

For other summer fun activities, please visit We are THAT Family!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Get Your Finances In Line In 2009: May Recap

My husband and I are currently on our PAID FOR IN CASH vacation!!! Not that we've ever gone on vacation with a credit card before (or gone on vacation at all for that matter), but I just know this is so much nicer than getting a giant bill next month for all our vacation expenditures. :)

Somehow, by the grace of God, we were able to stash away another $1000 into our savings last month. I honestly have no idea how, because we have nowhere near that amount of extra income every month but....somehow, the Lord made it happen for us. It is so refreshing to finally be debt-free and significantly building our savings so that, in the event of an emergency, job loss, or other financial catastrophe...we would not be feeling hopeless and wondering what to do next.

I also (FINALLY) canceled our credit card last month. I've been meaning to do that for, like....ohh, at least 2 years, and I just finally got around to it. But it feels nice to know that I don't have to keep track of where that card is in our filing cabinet anymore. :) I admit I was kind of disappointed when the woman didn't argue with me to try to keep the card for an emergency. I was really looking forward to explaining to her how we've learned that an EMERGENCY is the absolute WORST time to use a credit card - the one time I can be certain I can't pay it off the next month. But she didn't even press me one bit about it. She simply complied and canceled the card.

....But I guess I'll be okay.

Alright, so on to the good stuff. (The good stuff being: the stuff you don't care about but I that I like to type up anyway because it encourages me to keep on keeping on; keeps me accountable to, um...myself; and gives me another blog post.)


So here's a quick update for the month of May:

Goal #1: Save up and pay CASH for our 5-day vacation to Mackinac Island in June! :) ---- 100% completed ----

Goal #2: Fully fund our 6 month emergency fund and put into a money market account to be left UNTOUCHED unless there is an actual emergency. ---- 40.5% completed ----

Goal #3: Save for my husband to get a "new" (that means used) car.

Goal #4: Raise retirement contributions to 12% (with a 4% match).

Goal #5: Open a money market account for each of our children.

Goal #6: Begin paying extra principal on our mortgage.

Goal #7: Establish a will and testament. ---- Still thinking about working on this... ----

Goal #8: Get disability insurance for both my husband and me. ---- We're in the process of finalizing this for my husband. Who would have thought they don't even offer disability for SAHMs? ----

How are you all doing with your finances, budgeting, etc.? I know nobody will answer this question because it's just FAR too personal, but it seems polite of me to ask. :)

Monday, June 1, 2009

"Not Me!" Monday!


Well, it's time again for another "Not Me!" Monday! post! (I bet ya didn't know I could use 3 exclamation points right in a row like that, did ya?) I'm actually on vacation right now and really wrote this post last week, so there will be no linking to MckMama's specific post, but you can visit her blog to find her "Not Me" Monday Mr. Linky collection if you'd like to read more.

Last week, my husband and I (well, mostly my husband) built a shelf and installed it into our laundry "room" (aka closet). While doing said task, we certainly did not put our 3 toddlers to bed at approximately 9.30pm, 10.20pm, and 11pm just so we wouldn't awaken them with the sound of the electric screwdriver. Our children are always in bed before 8pm, (Well, that's actually pretty true. They are almost always in bed before 8pm.) so we would never do something like that.

I definitely did not spend a good portion of the day Tuesday thinking that it was Monday. P.S. Thank you, veterans and current military persons, for all your service!

I did not spend an entire van ride home from the store thinking that I might actually crap my pants. Because I had not been so lenient as to not pay attention to what I was eating at Panera Bread and ate WAAYY too much cheese in one sitting. And while driving home, I certainly did not become so desperate as to call a friend of mine to see if I could borrow her toilet to, ya know....borrow, so I wouldn't have to clean out my pants 10 minutes later. I was also not in the least bit somewhat ecstatic to know that she wasn't home and therefore didn't answer the phone to hear me panting my desperate pleas. (I did make it home by the way, and - pun intended - by the seat of my pants!)

There is no way I encouraged my children to watch way too many movies last week while I packed for our vacation (and blogged ahead for this week) instead of standing nearby and coaching them as they diligently practiced their letters and numbers and did a host of other highly educational activities in order to further their little minds.

Please let me know what you think of these "Not Me!" Monday! posts. Not that it matters. I think they may have taken the place of my previously favorite day of the week (Foto Friday!) in terms of blogging, so I'm likely going to keep them up regardless of what you think. But I do want to know how you feel about them. Really, I do. :)