Musings of Christmas

This is the third Christmas that I have thought more about Mary than about Jesus at this time of year.

In particular, Luke 1:38
"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said."

I think about her strength of mind; of her faith in God. I think about how she was challenging everything in her life: her parents, her betrothed, her religion; her culture - in accepting this Holy burden.

How afraid she must have been? What would everyone think? What would they think of her? Would they think she was crazy?

Even after the birth of her miraculous child, she didn't freak out when shepherds - complete strangers - come to see her newborn. Instead she:
... Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
What does this say about her?

Now that I am a mother, I look at the Nativity story differently. Instead of the great miracle of our Lord's birth, I see the strength and faith of a young woman. I see how her obedience to God has prospered us all. I see how her courage has saved us all.

Today, on Christmas day, my wish for you is to find your own strength and courage to be obedient to God.

Crazy Experiments

Ok.. so a couple of weeks ago, I told you that I was sharing my menu with you and that worked pretty good.

2 weeks ago, I did the next step in the whole, domestic goddess path. I did all my grocery shopping for two weeks which meant that I had to do meal planning for two weeks. This was interesting because A) who knew that 2 weeks of groceries would completely fill up the grocery cart? and B) who knew that it could be cheaper to shop for two weeks instead of one?

That second item is technically true. We have a weekly budget that we pretty much follow and that budget has a set amount for groceries. While the cart full of groceries cost more than one week of groceries - DUH - it actually worked out to be cheaper if averaged over two weeks. In fact, it saved us almost $50!!

Why? Because I was able to make a big purchase spread out a little further... I've got to admit that studying the sale paper really helped and so did a couple of other resources:

Coupon Mom lets me know what sorts of things are on sale and how coupons can help. And CouponSuzy actually lets me print out coupons!



Santa 2009

Phoebe went to see Santa a couple of weeks ago.

Every time I look at this picture, all I think is: "At least she wasn't crying."

The dress came from Kohl's and was a great deal.

And after I stopped praying for death, I got a pony.

Couple of weeks ago, I went to a Mom's club biz meeting. They only happen once a month and I've missed the last couple. We've got a rule in the club that if you or your child are sick, then you don't attend club events. For the last two months, Phoebe has become ill a day or so before the meeting, so we've missed them.

This month! HA! She's fine. She was great. At 10AM, we went to the meeting and learned a lot, talked to other moms, decided a few things to do in the club, etc. On the way home, however, my throat was suspiciously scratchy. By 2PM, I was really sick. Sick enough that I wondered if I could go get Moo from the train station.

We did get to the train station and home and by the time we got home, I went straight to bed. Moo worked from home the next day and helped take care of my little dumpling daughter and I slept.

I never ran a fever. Just sneezed and hacked and coughed. The phelgm threatened to take over my body. This went on for a week. Moo said, why don't you go to the doctor.

No, I wouldn't go to the doctor cause I figured it was a cold. No green or yellow phelgm. Just clear and running. There's no reason to go for that. If it lasted beyond 10 days, I'd go. Then I'd need to go.

And then, miraculously, on day 9, I felt like cleaning the kitchen. Just like that.

And that is the story of a cold.

The Plan

I'm trying to make our meals a little more interesting. I've added a fair number of new recipes to our repertoire in the last few months so we do have some different stuff... cooking at home saves money, is more nutritious - all that good stuff.

I'm also making sure we eat more balanced meals, like you know, with vegetables and stuff.

So in an effort to hold myself more accountable, I'm sharing this week's menu:

Saturday: I bought a roasted turkey breast from the Honeybaked store and we had mixed veggies and yams.

Sunday: Homemade Vegetable Beef Soup and homemade cornbread

Monday: rerun the soup and make fresh cornbread (would have re-run the cornbread too but it's been a while since I made it and my cast iron pan wasn't seasoned well enough and the cornbread tore up really bad)

Tuesday: Frozen pizza and salad.

Wednesday: Taco Mac and salad

Thursday: chicken enchiladas I made last week and froze.

Friday: 2nd half of the taco mac and salad

So this week is a mix of fresh, homemade frozen and store bought.

I'll share recipes with you as we go although I can't always promise pictures. I have great intentions but tend to forget to take the photos as I go so you get a pic of all the ingredients, but nothing else.

New Stuff?

  • Yep, if you go to the blog, you'll see that it looks a LOT different. I'm playing around with the template and have branched out - har de har har - into some non-Blogger templates...
  • My daughter has roseola. It's a common virus that cause really high fevers followed by a rash. The fever comes suddenly and then is gone suddenly. It is one of those random viruses that has you freaking out.
  • Still trying to get the ceiling in our master bedroom fixed. Last week, I had the guy over to fix it and found that we couldn't because there was STRUCTURAL damage in the roof causing the leak. Called the insurance and am now getting reports/estimates from roofers.
  • Last week's Stamp-A-Stack was a great success!! If you want to be part of this, go over to my creative blog www.hyppychick.com or email me.

Saturday Funny

amy winehouse
see more Lol Celebs

"You feed me minced?"



This child ticks me off.

I admit it.  I have what I will call traditional views on children and food.  Before Moo and I were married, I would often quietly critique how folks feed their kids.

This critique comes from a couple of different experiences I've had over the years.

Experience #1:  When I was about 6, we went to a family cookout.  The adults had steak.  The kids were fed hotdogs.  I have always had a love/hate relationship with hotdogs.  Cooked in a particular way (in a skillet with a tiny amount of butter) I like them, otherwise, I don't.  Since these hotdogs were cooked on a grill, I wouldn't eat them.  So I went hungry until my parents realized that I was only eating a bun (the baked beans had peppers and were too hot and the potato chips were the cheap extra greasy kind and I wouldn't eat either one).  They gave me part of their steak and then the other kids started asking for steak and our hostess - a cousin of my dad - got mad at my parents for their "bad example".

Experience #2:  Long before I met Moo, I dated this guy who would only eat potatoes and would only drink milk.  Want to go to a restaurant?  "What kind of potatoes do they have? Baked? Fried?"  It was a nightmare and we didn't date long.  When asked why he did this, he said that his parents had always let him eat what he wanted and all he really wanted was potatoes and milk.

"Have you ever had Japanese teppanyaki?"

"No.  Don't want to.  It looks gross."

"But you haven't tried it."

"Don't have to try it to know it's gross."

Since Phoebe started eating table food, I've come a long way in putting together healthy, balanced meals for her.  I still thinks she eats entirely too much chicken, but Moo pointed out that he and I eat a lot of chicken so we need to look at that.  The good thing is that she eats just about anything I offer her.

Since she got her 1 year molars, I've offered everything from the table with almost 100% acceptance including pickles, potato salad, and lettuce.  I tear or cut everything up of course, but the fact remains that this kid will eat almost anything.

Food companies have put out so many processed, packaged foods that I think parents are using as crutches instead of trying to put together healthy balanced meals.  I admit to feeding Phoebe a couple of these but only during travel when I don't know what will be on the menu.

I don't think kids get a good understanding of balance in these meals and I certainly don't think kids are getting any exposure to new foods and tastes.  I think the milk/potato guy is an extreme, but I see him as the prime example of why broadening kid's tastes is important.

When I was a kid, my parents said that I didn't have to eat everything on my plate, but that I needed to try everything.  And just like you do when your baby is trying new foods, I was offered things regularly that I said I didn't like just to see if I'd changed my mind.  To that end, I still do this. 

Just in the past year, I've come to like tomatoes and onions.  Before I tolerated them so long as I couldn't find them.  I'm still not likely to have a tomato sandwich or a slice of raw onion, but I now love grilled onions and I like seeded raw tomatoes.  So I think even adults have something to learn from this.

So when this commercial plays and this kid, in a very obnoxious voice starts berating her mother for feeding her (the child) minced fish sticks, I found myself getting incensed.

If the minced fish sticks are safe to eat and not too laden with fat and carbs, why does it matter whether FISH STICKS are made of minced or whole fish?  And why does this kid get to browbeat her parent into buying what is probably more expensive FISH STICKS?  Afterall, these are FISH STICKS!  Not fine cuisine. 

What foods do you hate and have you tried them lately to see if you still hate them?

Yesterday in Brief

I feel like I'm always telling you how busy I am and I don't have a lot to back it up with.  For that matter, I'm always telling Moo that I haven't gotten anything done and then I look at the list of things I've done in a day and I wonder where my brains are.  So I thought I'd walk you through a day with me...

5:30AM - Get up, get dressed.
5:50AM - Get Phoebe up and dressed and bottle
6:15AM - Take Moo to train.  We've only got one car and if I need to run errands, like yesterday, I have to take him in.
7:20AM - Back at the house
7:30AM - Feed Phoebe breakfast
7:55AM - Use flashlight to evaluate pesky rash.  Phoebe had a rash for a couple of days and was paranoid after call to pediatrician revealed that rash could be strep.  However, rash is almost completely gone.  Still mildly paranoid but will maintain vigilance.
8:00AM - Phoebe's nap time
8:05AM - My breakfast
8:20AM - Complete Insurance paperwork for Moo's Mac that got zapped during the storm.  Also includes printing out the receipt and finding and printing out the replacement value Mac information.
9:00AM - Work on Blog post for biz blog.
9:15AM - curse at Blogger because photos won't upload
9:20AM - decide to take break on Facebook AKA Time Sucker
10:00AM - Back to blog post.  F&$%#!!  Photos still won't upload.
10:30AM - Phoebe wakes up.  Time for a diaper change and bottle.  Phoebe doesn't want bottle.  Sigh...She's nearly done with these things.
11:00AM - Time for errands.
11:20AM - Take paperwork to Insurance company.  Explain why I'm bringing it instead of mailing ("uh because I was told to?")
11:50AM - Grocery store for a few odds and ends.
12:20PM - Idiot light (low fuel light) comes on.  Fill up tank
12:25PM - Go ahead and get ice at gas station since I forgot at grocery store
12:30PM - Get back home
12:40PM - Chase down toddler and feed her lunch (turkey, green beans and POTATO SALAD!! - the kid will eat almost anything!  Thank you Toddler Food Goddess!)
1:00 PM  - Play time with Phoebe
2:00 PM - Phoebe's nap time
2:10 PM - Lunch for mama - leftover bbq pork, salad, remainder of potato salad.  Then a break.
3:00 PM - more cursing at Blogger.
3:35 PM - text Moo about Blogger weirdness.
3:40 PM - Moo texts that yes, there's a problem.  Decide to work on biz newsletter instead.
4:30 PM - get text from Moo that Blogger seems to be working.  Attempt work there again.  Still acting weird, but much improved.
4:50 PM - Realize that I need to leave in 10 minutes to pick up Moo.  Rush around finding shoes and keys.  Then make quick bottle and wake up Phoebe.
5:05 PM - Run out to car.  Put Phoebe in car seat, give bottle.  Head off to MARTA.
5:20 PM - DRAT!  Trip to MARTA only takes 15 minutes.  If I leave 5 later, it takes 45 minutes.
5:25 PM - Phoebe wants more bottle.  Thank goodness I have spare in bag.
5:55 PM - Moo gets in car.
6:30 PM - home.  Moo starts dinner while I figure out something weird that came in the mail
7:00 PM - Dinner
7:30 PM - Playtime and after dinner cleanup
8:00 PM - Phoebe's bedtime.
8:30 PM - Play Dungeon's and Dragons online (yes, I am a geek) with Moo. Get killed.  Twice.
9:30 PM - Time to get ready for late night business related conference call.  Popcorn popped, drinks made.
10:00 PM - Conference call about blogging, Search Engine Optimization and RSS
11:05 PM - end of conference call.  Discuss what I learned with Moo.
11:45 PM - Moo wants to show me something in game that he found while I was on conference call
12:05 AM - decide to pickup living room before bed.
12:30 AM - determine task list of things for biz web redesign
12:45 AM - BED

So that's it.  That's what my errand days look like.  Non-errand days are a lot like that too but without all the driving.

One observation: Why does my daughter almost always get sick right before a Mom's club meeting?  Yesterday, I was afraid she might still have something communicable and kept her home.  Today, the rash is completely gone.



It's Monday again... so it must be raining

  • Why is it that it rains almost every time I need to drag the garbage can to the curb?
  • Baby girl has some sort of rash.  She's had it a couple days now.  She appears to feel well otherwise.  No diarrhea, fever, or rash anywhere else.  I've got a call in to the pediatrician so we'll see...
  • Biz stuff: I am having a Stamp-A-Stack next week.  A Stamp-A-Stack is an event where I provide all the tools, materials and instructions to create several projects and you bring yourself and put them together!  This time we're creating 12 Christmas cards with 6 different designs.  If you'll be in the Tifton, GA area and you're interested, let me know and I'll get you an invite.  I'll be hosting these here in Douglasville during the rest of the month.  Again, if you're interested, shoot me an email at amanda@hyppychick.com and we'll chat.  If you want to see a sample, check out the last post about it on my creative blog here.
  • Related biz stuff:  I am working on getting ready for the above event.  Funny thing about working on the biz is that everytime I sit down, I think about all the domestic stuff I need to do and begin to feel as if I should work on domestics instead.

Random Cute



"So right after you sign that line, you'll be the proud owner of a new stroller."

Saturday Fun


First week of Christmas

My goal for the next 12 weeks is to provide you with great ideas for both your creativity and your domesticity this holiday season. Each week, we'll address a certain area of concern here in Nervous Breakdowns and I'll show you a great card, gift or gift wrap idea on my creative blog.

This week, we are going to look at organizing the Christmas season as a whole. I KNOW it's September and December 25th seems a long way away, but making a few decisions and setting up a few tools now will make your holiday much more relaxing.

My first suggestion is putting together a Holiday notebook. I use the Holiday control journal from Flylady and add a calendar that I've printed out of Word.

Take a look at the calendar. Think about all of the things that are going to happen between now and New Year's. If your family is like mine, you've got family activities, Christmas recitals, parties and travel to juggle with shopping for gifts, wrapping those gifts and cooking up tons of special goodies.

Start plotting those things out. And start thinking about tasks related to the outings and parties. You don't have to think of all of them now, but a few minutes of brainstorming now will save your brain a lot of worry later.

Next Friday, we'll talk about budgets.

The 2009 Georgia Flood

We are in the part of Georgia that experienced the recent heavy rains and flooding.

A few days ago, Moo's mom was put into the hospital for some pretty serious stomach problems. We rallied the troups and took the 3 hour trip south to their home to check on her, check on Moo's dad and check on Moo's sister who was also visiting. Everyone needed a good bit of checking :)

We had been experiencing a good bit of rain at this point. Nearly everyday there was at least a small thundershower so we didn't think too much when we left Friday afternoon to head south. Moo's mom was doing much better and we came home Sunday morning (Mom got out of the hospital Monday and is doing great!)

When we got home, things looked weird. I mean you could tell there had been a lot of rain. Our garage floor was a little wet and there was the remnants of heavy rain in the yard.

We got in and immediately found that our phone was out which meant that we also lost internet and cable. I'm ok losing the cable although I missed the season opening of House (dag nambit), but the internet was a problem. I work from home and it's my primary source of information, so I was bothered when the folks said it would be 5 days before the phone was repaired and because of how our phone/internet/cable was set-up, we needed to get the phone fixed in order to get the internet/cable back online.

This experience has me seriously thinking of the wisdom of combining utilities in one company... but I digress.

Anyway, we get home, it's been raining, we've got no outside communications and then.. well then comes the deluge. I have never seen/heard rain like that in my whole life.

About 10 pm, Moo says, "you need to come into our bedroom right now". There, I found a crack in our ceiling RIGHT OVER MY SIDE OF THE BED dripping water on my pillow. We got our giant bed out of the way and then placed a 5 gallon bucket under the drip to catch the rain. Meanwhile, the rain continued.

There wasn't a lot of sleeping that night. I don't know what bothered me more: the constant drip-drop drip-drop drip-drop all night or the fact that the rain seemed to get louder. Also we kept shining a flashlight at the bucket to see how full it was and had to get up to empty it about 4:30 AM.

It was still raining cats and dogs when we finally dragged out of bed. I decided I'd drive Moo into work since it was raining so heavily. I got Phoebe up and got her ready and then we left. The rain was bad. Not the worst rain I'd ever seen, but it just didn't relent the whole time I drove Moo in.

After Phoebe and I got back home, the rain got harder. Meanwhile, I am starting to panic. I don't have Action News to tell me that we're having a monsoon and I don't have weather.com to check so I'm starting to wonder what the hell is happening. Also, the power is blinking on and off and when it couldn't get any worse, the water goes out. I am in complete panic mode now.

I'm texting Moo every 10 minutes to let him know what's going on, getting on Facebook with my cellphone to post my paranoia, generally getting myself worked up.

In a bit of a panic, I decide to evaluate our sources. We've got a couple gallons of water stored away and our water pitchers are nearly full. I stuck a couple of buckets outside to catch rainwater for the potty.

Why is it that when you lose a utility, you instantly need to use that utility desperately? In this case, I was dying of thirst and needed the bathroom in the worst way.

As the day wore on, I realized that I had a radio! GLORY GLORY HALLELUJAH!! I can find out what's going on. Agh! There's flooding in some of the northern counties. The river is filling up and rain is still in the forecast.

Next day, there was flooding all around us. The interstate was closed down in several places and roads were blocked all over. Moo stayed home from work because he had to - all of our routes were closed. Wednesday was the same way. Major interstate still closed; alternate routes too but began opening as the day wore on.

Moo and I had plenty of time to evaluate our ceiling which thankfully didn't drip anymore but the damage was done. A giant ugly crack in the ceiling. I called our home owner's insurance company.


Thursday brought the telephone repair man. As soon as he looked at the box, he knew that we'd had a lightning strike and we found that our internet router and the outside box had taken a beating. Also, Moo's computer was dead. He hadn't tried to turn it on since we didn't have internet.

So Friday we got internet and cable back. The insurance adjuster came out that afternoon to inspect the damage. And this past Tuesday, we got a check for the repairs to the ceiling.

So what have I learned?

Always know where a radio is. Keep your cell phone charged. Have a small emergency plan. These kinds of things will keep you sane.

But also, I am aware AGAIN of how lucky and blessed I truly am. People lost their lives and their homes as a result of this. I am lucky and blessed.

Flooding
We live in Georgia and have been right in the middle of the flooding. we're ok.. But no phone, cable or internet. I am posting

Never be a sheep

My father was one of the smartest people I've ever known - and one of the most irritating.

My father was a great skeptic and questioned all things around him. He was a student of religious and political texts and his opinions were well formed as the result of constant study and thought. Once he had an opinion, very little could change his mind.

He once told me, "Never be a sheep. Sheep are often led to slaughter."

As I grew up and evaluated the great questions of life, I began to talk to my father about values and ideals. When I would express an idea as fact, he would say "How do you know that? On what do you base your opinion?"

My father came from a family where debate was the norm. It was said that my grandfather would argue with a sign post just to get a rise out of the sign post. He delighted in playing devil's advocate.

While it made for aggravating times, these discussions kept me on my toes. I couldn't be part of the discussion without knowing what and more importantly WHY I believed what I believe.

What do you believe? We're assaulted by information every day. From the television, newspapers, magazines, the internet, Twitter... the list goes on and on.

How do you make decisions on political issues? From the TV? Why do you believe them? Because they say they are "fair and balanced"?

What about the internet? Do you believe the internet? Even Wikipedia is having to put measures in place to help people evaluate the "facts" given to see if they are true...

So what do you base your beliefs on?



Universal Sickness

There's a lot of talk about healthcare these days. A lot of it is political rhetoric, most of it is pure nonsense. It's hard to look at it and see what needs to be done.

I think we can all agree that healthcare costs are out of control. For one thing, it's nigh impossible to shop for healthcare based on price. What does your doctor charge for a visit? Don't know? You only pay for a co-pay? Yep, me too.

But here's the thing: if you are a private citizen with no health insurance, you get one price. If you are insured, you pay another. Your insurance has negotiated a price and all charges are based on those negotiations.

For example, I recently got a statement from my doctor. It stated that the charges for a recent visit were $56 of which I paid a $20 co-pay. The insurance company picked up the remaining $36 bucks.

I made a phone call to this same doctor and asked what the price of a visit was without insurance. $95. I called another of his offices (he has two) and inquired there. The price there was $105.

So is the cost of the visit $56, $95, or $105? How much did my insurance save me? Or the reverse of this is why should an uninsured person have a more expensive visit?

I got's tings to do....

So I'm pretty busy here at the ranch.

I've become a regular domestic goddess cooking regular meals, cleaning the house and whatnot. I am an entrepreneur with my new crafting business. I'm making new friends in my Mom's Club group. And I'm a full time mommy and wife.

And blissfully happy. Really. I am incredibly happy. Me. Who thought I'd be bored stiff by the time baby girl was a year old. But it turns out that all this busy-ness suits me.

Baby girl has become a walking champ and roams around the house giggling with me behind her. She's got a mouth full of choppers and has cut all but 1 of her 1 year molars. (I think she's cutting that one now.) She still takes 2 naps a day and of course, she's been sleeping through the night since she was 2-1/2 months old.

I'm going to start talking more about the business here soon. The purpose of this blog has always been as an outlet for me and as entertainment and education for you dear reader. Perhaps you all will educate me as well and let me know what you think of things?

That's it for now. I hope to get around here a little more often. I'm working on a schedule - yes, stay at home moms - NAY - WORK AT HOME MOMS need a schedule for work versus playing with their gorgeous daughters.

New Pics of Baby Girl





We went to get pictures done yesterday.

Yes, birthday pictures a month late.

She was only partially cooperative. She wanted to hold her toy with her fingers in her mouth and didn't really want to smile for the camera at all, but we managed to get a couple of photos.




Why Health Care Reform matters so much to me

My parents were divorced December 1999. In the divorce decree, my dad had to pay for my mother's health insurance through COBRA for 18 months.

Fast forward to the winter of 2001, my mother fell at work and hurt her back. She crushed 2 discs and nearly crushed a third. Her employer had good Worker's Compensation insurance and she was given really great care. Because of the damage done, surgery is ruled out but pain management seemed to keep the pain under control.

Fast forward a few more months: COBRA ends. My mom now tries to find health insurance on her own. Due to preexisting conditions (the bad back and rheumatic heart disease - left over from two bouts of rheumatic fever as an adult but which NEVER bothers her nor does she even take medication for) she is denied by company after company.

Fast forward to Spring 2003: Mom gets a cold.

Over the next few months, the cold progresses to bronchitis. Her doctor wants a chest x-ray. She asks how much an x-ray will cost. $2000 she's told. "I don't have $2,000," she says. She takes a breathing treatment and a script for antibiotics and goes home.

A few weeks later, it's worse. She can barely breathe and after I beg her, she allows me to take her back to the doctor. $300 dollars later, they tell her they think she has pneumonia and still want an x-ray. Still she says she can't afford an x-ray.

Another breathing treatment and more antibiotics and back home.

A few days later, right after Thanksgiving, she calls me at 10PM. "I can't breathe." She pants into the phone. "Can you take me to the hospital?"

She can't afford this either but it's too late for that.

When we get her there, her blood saturation is at 84% and an x-ray shows a left lung almost completely solid white on the screen. It's pneumonia they say. But I can hear in their voice that they think it might be more.

She needs to be admitted. Mom fights back just a little, but she's thankful for the oxygen tank making breathing easier so she doesn't fight too much.

Daily breathing treatments and oxygen make her feel better over the next few days while the doctors run their tests. She's worried about paying for all this but she's told that Medicaid may pay for part or all of it. After all, her only income is worker's comp and a little disability check we were finally able to get for her.

I'm Mom's advocate in this. She's given me power of attorney so I can keep things going and sign whatever needs to be signed. I meet with Medicaid. I come up with TONS of paperwork and copies of bills. It will take a few days to process.

Meanwhile, we've finally got a diagnosis. Pneumonia yes. But also 4th stage small cell cancer. Mom rejects the doctors' advice to take chemo. She wants to feel as good as she can for as long as she can. She comes home for a few days, then needs to go back to the hospital. She gets weaker.

I'm still waiting on a decision on her bills. Mom asks me everyday. I tell her truthfully that I don't know and that I'll call. I leave message after message and get no reply.

Finally, I find out that the caseworker on the case is on maternity leave and they are still sorting through her files. Her replacement is unfamiliar with the case or even with Medicaid cases. He generally works in Child Protective Services but will get back to me in a few days.

The next notice I get is that Mom's case has been denied. She's got too much money. I appeal, including a copy of my mother's checking account statement which shows a balance of just over $1000. I also include a copy of the bills that have come in so far amounting to over $50,000.

Mom, meanwhile is getting worse. Her doctor, who is also my doctor, suggests hospice and gets her into the lovely hospice that is part of the hospital.

Mom seems to hold it together mentally until after the move to hospice, then she deteriorates quickly becoming paranoid and delusional. The cancer, the doctors have told me, has spread to every part of her body including her brain. She is increasingly incoherent, but has occasional lapses of coherency. "Have you taken care of the bills? Did the Medicaid come through?" she asks.

I lied.

I lied to my dying mother and told her that yes, everything is fine.

Meanwhile, I'm worried. The hospice wants to know how they will be paid. The doctors are beginning to send nasty letters. Even the ambulance that took her to the hospice from the hospital are getting antsy.

I lie to my mother every time she comes around enough to understand. Even when she and I talk three days before her death, she brings it up. I lie to her again and tell her, "Everything is taken care of. Just rest."

What else could I do?

Two weeks after her death, I get a letter. The temporary caseworker has been reassigned and the new one on the case approves her care and all the bills disappear almost overnight. I have to send a letter with the case number to a few, but for the most part everything is taken care of.

I don't tell this story to prove why government shouldn't be in charge of our health care. The caseworker who denied Mom's coverage didn't know what he was doing and wasn't even in his proper department. So I don't blame Medicaid. My mother still received the best possible care, I think, because everyone knew that Medicaid would pay.

I tell you this story because I feel that if my mother had had health insurance when she first got sick then she might have gone to the doctor sooner. We might still have the same result - afterall, my mother had smoked for nearly 40 years. But she would have had some assurance that everything was taken care of and I wouldn't have had to lie to my dying mother.

You cannot possibly understand how a situation like this tears your soul apart unless you live through it.

During the grieving process, I attended therapy and one of my biggest problems was the guilt I felt for lying to my mother while she was dying. Now, I just get angry. She should have had another option. There should have been another way.

My mom wasn't a deadbeat. She wasn't someone riding the coat tails of society. She was someone who paid her taxes; who voted in every election; who baked brownies for my class when I was school; who was active in her community; she was just LIKE YOUR MOTHER.




Not making a decision

Moo and I decided way back around November or December of last year that we would wait until after baby girl was a year old to make a decision about whether or not to try to have another child.

It really is strange to phrase it that way. It took us two years of trying to get baby girl. I monitored my cycles using a crazy fertility monitor, tracking software and thermometers for over two years in the hopes of getting pregnant. It finally took reading Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler and a couple of rounds of Glucophage to get pregnant.

So having known my history, you would think that we would have to go through the whole thing again if we want another child. I have to admit, Glucophage was not kind to me. I had really bad gastrointestinal side effects with it and almost gave up on it.

Moo and I have talked about this subject over and over again and I think he's gotten tired of it. His attitude is and always has been that if we are supposed to have children then we will. I have always been more the controlling type - I know you are absolutely shocked to know that I am a control freak. So his relaxed attitude about this of all things drives me round the bend.

So it comes to this: we have decided not to decide. This is quite a feat for me. I, who plotted my cycles, took my temperature every morning, endured that dreadful Glucophage all with my eye on increasing the chances of getting pregnant, have decided to relax and see what happens.

So we aren't doing anything to increase our chances but we aren't doing anything detrimental either.

I put a time limit on this too: no matter what, I'm getting "fixed" in two years or when I deliver another child whichever happens first.

It's strange, but making this decision is strangely freeing. I am still using the TCOYF software because I can plot out my cycles. Otherwise I can never remember dates. Sure other people use a calendar but I'm a gadget person and like this better.

But as I said, it's strangly freeing. I am keeping my mind off of it and this will likely be one of the last times I discuss it - at least until I get spontaneously pregnant or get "fixed".



My Darling Girl is 1 year old

We had a little birthday party for baby girl on Saturday. Well maybe not so little. We literally had 25 people at this party and the kid was at her cutest.
Happy birthday baby girl. Your mama is so happy you came to join us.

It's official.. my kid walks...


Random thoughts from a scattered mind...

Time for a random update of what's going on at the Nervous Breakdown ranch.
  1. Moo's toe is completely healed - hallelujah!
  2. Remember when I ran over my toe in February and had to have the toenail removed in March? We'll a couple of weeks ago, I did it again. This time, I stubbed my toe on the couch and knocked the nail almost completely loose. Took a trip to urgent care and got the nail removed. If you're into looking at sick things, you can see the pic of my toe here.
  3. I have started my business full time. I am still doing a lot of groundwork type stuff. You know setting up my books, making contacts, that sort of thing. I've done one workshop and have another one scheduled later this month. If you're interested in card making, scrapbooking, making gifts, etc. drop me a line. I can help you host your own private workshop. If you'd rather just take a look, check out my creative blog at www.hyppychick.com
  4. Baby girl is coming up on her first birthday. I KNOW! This year has flown by. She's so different than the lump that I first held on July 16, 2008. Moo doesn't like it when I say that newborns are the larva of humans. I mean, they don't do anything but eat, crap and sleep. They can't even turn their heads at first. And to top it off? Take a close look at several newborn babies. You'll notice they all look strangely the same. I mean sure you can pick out the essence of uncle Charlie's nose or grandma Smith's eyes, but they all look mostly alike.
  5. Baby girl is now drinking - pretty reliably - from a sippy cup. We tried every sippy cup in the world trying to figure out which cup to use. This one says it's most like drinking from a regular cup; that one says it's leak proof. This one has complicated valve things that look easy to lose; that one is all one piece but a terror to clean. We finally had success with a simple cup that had no moving parts and no valves. It's not completely leak proof but she willingingly drinks from it.
  6. Walking: hmmmm.. what to say about walking. Can she walk? She take a few steps and has been known to toddle across the living room. But I'm not sure I classify her as a walker yet. If she has any distance to go to, say, grab the remote control, then she takes a step or two, drops to her knees and ZOOM! She's off.
That's it for now. I'll be uploading a bunch of pics of little girl soon.

Things I wish someone had told me... part duh

First edition of this is here:

3. What to do when your baby girl, who has been whining most of the night in her crib at grandma's house, wakes up at 4 am with a 102.8 fever. However, I feel vindicated because even the doc at urgent care didn't see that she had an ear infection. Took the regular pediatrician digging the ear wax out of her ear to see it. Bad mother. Bad. Bad.

How cute is this?




Brain Dump: The Revenge

It's been a million years since I blogged, but seriously, I have so much going on but none of it really lends itself to a post...

  1. We just got back from DisneyWorld. Yes, this obviously lends itself to a post and I AM writing it, but it's not done and I don't know when it will be done.
  2. We had a great time by the way.
  3. Moo got a massive blister turned ulcer on his toe while at WDW. We're doing a lot of running back and forth to the doc. Moo has diabetes, as you recall, so this is no laughing, put a band-aid on it and get on with your life matter. They've talked about skin grafts.. YOW!!
  4. I have joined a direct sales company as a demonstrator. I'm going to have a new website forthcoming. My web designer has a sore toe (see above) but when it's ready, you guys will be the first to know about it.
  5. Little girl did really great on the trip and I will go ahead and post some photos so you can bask in her cuteness tomorrow.
  6. I have lost some weight. Most of it was at Disney World, but I've lost a little more since getting home. Mostly, I've just added more exercise in.
  7. But also I'm eating better. Little girl LOVES veggies and you can't feed your child crap and I don't want to cook 2 meals so I eat what she eats. This means more veggies and salads for momma and little girl eats carrots and sweet potatoes and green beans and lean meats.

Donuts and My Sin

What does your mother smell like? Smell is one of the most primal of our senses capable of reviving intense memories and emotions.

My mother, gone now 5 years, smelled of cake donuts and My Sin perfume.

When I was kid, she worked for a large Income Tax preparation company during tax season. The rest of the year, she was a stay at home mom. During tax season, she'd go by a local bakery/restaurant and pick up scrambled egg and cheese biscuits for herself and her co-workers a couple times a week. That's where the smell of cake donuts came from. The bakery had the best cake donuts you have ever had but it was the smell that permeated your clothing.

She'd come home from work and hug me and ask me about my day and I would smell that combination of perfume and donuts and feel completely loved and cared for.

To this day, if I smell either of those scents, I instantly think of my mother.

How do you smell to your kids? I hope Phoebe remembers me from the Dial soap I use and the lemon verbena cologne I wear.

What does your mother smell like and what do you as a parent smell like?

PS. Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there.

Grand Ideas

I am working on some crazy ideas right now. For one, I am getting my work at home business started (look for more about this in the next few days) and I am in the midst of preparing for a giant Disney World trip. I also have a ninth month old (!) intent on killing herself.
I say that because no matter how often I vacuum the floor, she manages to find the one thing she shouldn't and promptly puts it in her mouth. I then have sweep her mouth with my finger whereupon she sinks her tiny needle like teeth into my flesh. Those six teeth are sharp!

Hey! It's a blog post!

Yeah yeah I know. It's been a couple - well a few - days. Moo and I took little girl to grandma's house weekend before last and when we got home, little girl had the sniffles. I think she picked up something at play group the Friday before.

Anyways, she was sick. Feverish, snotty, sneezing and the most pitiful coughing I've ever heard. Took her to the doc to confirm a cold and that's it. By Wednesday, Moo wasn't feeling too good. I was congested myself but fought through it to finally succumb to it myself this week. My voice is gone but I'm feeling ok now.

During all the snottiness, I found that little girl had cut another tooth for a total of 5 teeth.

Best Parenting Advice I've Received...

When you are pregnant and right after the baby is born, everyone and their brother is giving you advice or telling you how your life is about to change. The best advice that Moo and I received however, came to us via our internist. He said:
Remember, she came to live with you, not the other way around.

I think of this advice on a daily basis. I think people put way too much emphasis on their children and I don't think it does the kids any good. Now, I am doing the stay at home mom thing but beside being good for everyone involved, it's the result of a financial decision too.

If you live for your children, what will you do in 18-20 years? Can you go cold turkey? Can you let them go?

Obsessive Compulsive - or how our family travels...

Moo and I have been getting ready for an upcoming trip to Walt Disney World (henceforth to be referred to WDW) for about 3 months now. The trip itself is mostly paid for - our package included hotel, park admission and dining - so we have only to pay for getting there and miscellaneous stuff.

Over the next few weeks, I'll show you some of our preparation, but I'll start with the food packets. Little one is on solid food for 2 meals a day and is doing great with nibbles from mine and Moo's plate.


















To begin with, we thought of everything we might need in a day and then started breaking things down into activities and from those activities, we determined where we could start making kits. The food kit was born of this brainstorming.

This is the kit as it will be packed each day. Moo and I spent a while last weekend putting these together so they are already to go. We'll just put this in our diaper bag and we'll be ready for a meal with little one!
















Here you see the contents:
2 baby spoons
2 handy wipes
1 disposable bib
1 container of food - this is a container of carrots
1 biter bisquit
3 paper towels
and the zip top bag it was all stored in, this will be used for trash at the end of the meal.

Here's another view of the carrots, biscuit and towels...













And another view of the bib - now unfolded, the spoons, handy wipes and zip top bag.





I'll let y'all know how these work on the trip...

Look at me!

This is what I saw as I was surfing the internet this morning:


Beauty

I have never thought of myself as beautiful.

My husband thinks I am. And my mother thought I was. But I have never thought of myself that way. When I look in a mirror, I see only flaws. My face is crooked - my nose is slightly crooked, my ears are crooked. I've always thought my eyes were too intense.

It's not that I believe that I am ugly. I just don't think that I am beautiful.


How is it then, that I believe that this child is beautiful?













When the truth is that she looks a lot like this child?




















I didn't think my parents were ugly. I thought they were very attractive people. My mother always had her hair done and I rarely saw her without makeup. My father was a very handsome man.



In the face of my own child, I see my parents. The same serious eyes of my father (although she's got Moo's Mom's eye color) and I believe that she'll have dimples like my mother.

Why can I see the beauty in my child's face when the beauty I see is much of what I see in the mirror? How can I teach her to see her own beauty when I am unable to see my own?

Things I wish someone had told me...

I wish someone had told me about:
  1. Baby poop - nuff said.
  2. How nasty baby meat in a jar is... Phoebe won't touch it. It's absolutely disgusting and I'm not even trying to feed it to her anymore.

Friday Cuteness


Just a couple of pix.. you can see her new upper front teeth in the first one..












With the biter biscuits I refer to as "vanilla mud" - because that's what they turn into...

Time Marches On

My daughter turned 8 months old earlier this week. In the last few days, she's managed to cut her top two front teeth, learn to pull up and break my heart.

She's babbling a lot. Ma-ma, ba-ba, bwa-bwa, squealing, screaming and misc other noises are her favorites. I don't think the sounds mean anything to her but are just fun to do. However, when she's standing in baby jail (the pack and play) crying and screaming MA MA just breaks my heart and I can't help but talk to her.

She has a love/hate relationship with baby jail. She's got toys in there that she only get to play with in the pack and play. And I don't put her in there a lot - maybe a total of 10 minutes a day. She's only there when I can't watch her every minute or I need a break. The rest of the time, she's on the move.

I'm babyproofing the way my mom did - very minimally. She only believed in using common sense and socket plugs but otherwise she said that keeping close watch over kids and removing or distracting the child when they got in trouble was the best way to do it. She always believed that kids should be able to go to anyone's house. She said that most folks don't need to babyproof their home as they had no baby! So it was better to teach a child to leave stuff alone rather than put the pressure on the host to babyproof their house for this one child.

My mother often told a story about taking me to see an elderly aunt when I was about 18 months old. The aunt starting removing her knicknacks from tables and low shelves and my mother stopped her. "Amanda will leave them alone." Then she told me to look but not touch. She would laugh at this point, because I primly placed my hands behind my back so that I could look at the pretty things around the house without the temptation to touch them. "Temptation get behind me" my mother would always say.

So babyproofing for my little one has included moving my laptop from the living room (she loves the velcro on the cord and the little reel I use for my mouse), being extra careful with beverages, and making sure that small things like beads and eyelets are kept off the floor. My kitchen floor has never been cleaner.

Easter Card


I made this card for my card making group. Too cute, huh??

Pan full of sunshine (recipe alert)

Last night I hosted my local Mom's club card group. This is a bunch of ladies that get together once a month to make cards and have fun. I'll post my card tomorrow, but I wanted to share the cake I made with you.

INGREDIENTS

* 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
* 4 eggs
* 1 cup vegetable oil
* 1 (11 ounce) can mandarin orange segments
* 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
* 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
* 1 (3.5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix


OPTIONAL

* 1 capful of Vanilla extract (not optional for me, but might be for you)
* 1 (11 ounce) can of mandarin orange segments to garnish cake

DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, oil and mandarin oranges with juice. Beat until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.
  4. To make the topping: In a large bowl, beat together whipped topping, pineapple with juice and dry pudding mix until blended. Spread on cake.
  5. You can serve this cake immediately after icing, but it's really better after sitting in the fridge overnight.

Yes, it uses a cake mix. If you are cake snob who only makes your own homemade concoctions, then you'll have to figure out how to adapt this to your needs.

The secret to cake mix success is, however, VANILLA EXTRACT. Seriously. If you want to add richness and a homemade flavor to a cake mix cake, add a capful of vanilla extract - NOT VANILLA FLAVORING.












The finished cake is quite pretty. Sorry for not getting a photo before we dove into it. I also had a piece of this cake this morning with coffee and whoa buddy it's tasty.

'Movies with an 8 month

We went to see Watchmen. With a baby. Yeah, it didn't go well. Within 20 minutes I was pushing the stroller out of the theater. 5 minutes later, this happened.

Random Funny



Brain dump

Can't think of any one topic, so here you go:

  • I'm hosting a small get together Monday night. The first thing you need to know is that I LOVE being the hostess!! I want to serve something yummy to nibble on so I'm going through ALL of my appetizer recipes. This doesn't sound too bad until you know that I've literally got hundreds of recipes and then when you add the countless recipes that look good online - well you see my problem.
  • daylight savings time has made the baby's sleep schedule... um.. interesting. She's waking up earlier, going to sleep earlier, naps are of course earlier... I gotta work this kid to the normal times.

Reader

I am a huge reader. I read everything from religous books to political to humor to vampire fiction.

I got this hunger for books and reading from my parents. I don't have many early memories that don't involve my parents and books. My earliest memories of bedtime is settling down to my own book while my parents read their books. I asked my mom about this memory one time and she said that I was about 3 at the time. In fact, I don't re
member NOT being able to read.

Mom read romance, mystery, and what she called "Love in the Family" - true crime type novels. She read Janet Louise Roberts, Stephen King, James Patterson, Patricia Cornwell, Ann Rule, etc. She always had a book going until her brother passed away in 1990. She said after that that she just couldn't concentrate anymore. She eventually was able to read magazines and Reader's Digest and towards the end of her life, she could read books again. At the end, she loved Janet Evanovich and I got her a cd player so she could listen to the Stephanie Plum books.

Dad was a different kind of reader. He read everything from Winston Churchill's History of the English Speaking Peoples to James Bond to Philip Jose Farmer to James Michner. He loved EVERY kind of reading material. Another thing: he was reading at least 3, if not more, books at any given time. He had one in the bathroom, at least one next to his chair in this living room and at least a couple in the bedroom.

I'd go to the local used bookstore with him a couple times a month with a bag of books to trade in. He'd carry in 10-15 books and come out with 6-7 books as well as a couple for me.

Like my dad, I generally have at least 2 books going. Generally, one of the books I have going is an old favorite. I tend to read my favorites until they fall apart and then I get another copy. Among my favorites are:


Interestingly enough, I also love audio books. When I was driving back and forth on my commute from Hell at my last job, audio books helped save my sanity. I've got a number of favorites that I have in audio and paper versions.

The reason I'm writing about all this besides to let you in on how my brain works is because my husband got one of these:


It's called a Kindle 2 and it's a digital reader. I want one, but I can't tell you why and these things are NOT cheap. Furthermore, I don't know that I need one.

Hubby can justify it. He rides public transportation to and from work. It could save him a lot of time and energy. Additionally, he's a writer and wants to publish some of his work for Kindle so in that way, I think he needs it.

For me, it's like an iPhone. It's cool. It's really cool. But I don't need it. I can't think of a single reason that I can't use what I already have. Also, I really LOVE books. I love the way that old books smell. I love the feel of the paper. I love the ragged edges of a well loved book.

What books do you read and are you considering a Kindle?

Giant to-do list

Over the next month and a half, I have a giant to-do list.

I've got all kinds of stuff going on: an upcoming DisneyWorld trip with an infant, a consignment sale I'm taking part in, a couple of date nights, hosting my Mom's club card club, Spring cleaning, etc.

As such, I've started writing everything down. I used to write all my tasks down every day. But being at home, most days my calendar and task list are pretty simple: set-up bottles and formula, restock diapers, fill, run and empty the dishwasher, make phone calls, etc.

I'll be talking more about this as the month flies by...

Friends

We spent the afternoon with our friends. Their son, almost 20, is in the Navy and about to be shipped off to Hawaii. Life must suck when you have to work in Hawaii.

Baby girl did just great despite not taking much of a nap. By the time we were ready to leave, she would lay her little head down and then pop back up again. There was just too much going on to sleep.

Bonehead

Last night, I did something thoughtless. I'm not going into details because it was really stupid of me and for the sake of the parties involved, I'm not going to get into it.

Because I was a bonehead, I caused my dear husband, Moo, worry and pain.

You are the most wonderful, understanding husband in the world. Even when I could see that you were VERY angry with me, all you wanted to do was hold me close. I never meant to cause you pain. I never meant to worry you. I am sorry and you have every right to be angry with me.

You put up with my vast array of craziness and you rarely complain. I KNOW how good you are to me.

I am sorry. Sorry for not thinking ahead. Sorry for not doing what I said I would do. Sorry for behaving like a child.

You are too good for me and I am thankful to you every day.

Checking in

Random brain dump:

  1. In follow-up to yesterday's post regarding the Bachelor, I can honestly say that I am glad that the Bachelor Jason Mesnick seems happy with Molly. I wish them all the luck. He's still a prick.
  2. I have a giant to-do list for the next 45 days or so. We're going to Walt Disney World next month (!!!!!) and I have meetings and appointments galore before that. So, I'm trying to get a lot of things done like spring cleaning, getting ready for a children's consignment sale, hosting my card club, stuff like that.
  3. I met with the sweetest young woman this morning. Moo and I have been longing for adult interaction. For the most part since Phoebe was born, we've kinda done what we wanted to do when we wanted to do it. My chiropractor told us when Phoebe was less than a week old to remember that little babies are highly portable and will sleep anywhere... and this is true. You can easily throw your newborn into the carrier at 2AM and go to Waffle House and they will mostly sleep through it. However, when your pre-toddler hits the hay, you don't want to move, you don't want the phone to ring, you want to make sure that kid sleeps when she needs sleep or there will be HELL TO PAY with much talking and playing and cajoling. So Moo and I decided we needed a babysitter 2-3 times a month so that we could go out as a couple. I talked to folks around about who they used and I got a lot of "well we don't go out that much" or "we use my/his parents". No one could recommend a sitter. So I went through this website and posted my job. I got 72 applicants. After going through background checks and reviewing references, I narrowed it down to one who I think may be perfect for us.
  4. Went to my local Mom's Club meeting yesterday. If you're a stay at home mom, see if you have a chapter of this near you. The ladies in this group are fantastic.
  5. I'm heading off tonight to a Stampin Up party. This is a catalog party. I will spend money. And it will be GOOOOOOOOOD.
Hope everyone's having a great day!!

The Bachelor Sucks

I have spent the last six weeks watching the Bachelor. I have been rooting for Melissa since the VERY FIRST SHOW. I thought she was just adorable and I could clearly see that she was the best chick there. So, last night, when bachelor Jason got down on one knee, I was pleased and excited that he was proposing to Melissa.

Then my world crashed to the ground. He broke up with her SEVEN MINUTES later only to make up to the girl he sent home.

What a JERK!!

I had personally gotten a little tired of him crying. I mean, we're all looking for a man who can show some emotions, but at least once a show I was screaming at the television telling Jason to grow a pair and stop crying already!

Snow

video

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

It's not often that we get a major threat of snow in Atlanta. The first thing you need to know about possible snow in Atlanta is that we have no idea what we're doing and we've had just enough experience with icy weather to know that we don't know how to drive on it and we might lose power. So we go to the grocery store and stock up on those staples: bread and milk. I don't know what we plan to do with the bread and milk but we by golly have it.

Today we have a possibility of 2 or more inches of snow. If we get any, I'll post some pictures.

There's No Business Like Toe Business

Picture it.

Sicily, 1983: A beautiful young girl skips down a road on a warm spring evening. Her dainty feet are bare and caressed by the warm breezes. And yet, as fate would have it, she stubs her big toe, cracking the nail and tearing the cuticle. The foot bleeds profusely and despite her best efforts, she finds herself in a emergency room later that evening. The doctor, a handsome faced man with the body of a god, makes a grim determination. It will have to come off - the nail, not the toe. The young girl accepts her fate and the convalescence afterward with amazing grace. The nail grows back, but something is wrong. It grows back crooked and begins to cut into the surrounding flesh, infecting it. Another doctor, this one grizzled with age and full of experience, performs delicate toenail saving surgery and corrects the problem. The girl, now a voluptuous young woman, thanks the surgeon for saving her toenail.

On Ground Hog day - February 2nd for those of you not in the States - while I was ensconced in my favorite rolling office chair, I had the misfortune to roll the chair's wheels - WAIT FOR IT - over my own toe. Yes, I rolled a chair over my toe WHILE I SAT IN THE CHAIR. Do not ask how I did this. The details are sketchy at best for me.

Anyway, when I could breathe again - I didn't mention that I had stopped - I began to shout many appalling things like: MOTHER OF PEARL and HOLY ZARQUAN'S SINGING FISH!! While I was extremely proud of myself for not saying words in front of my young daughter that rhymed with buck and bit - you know the ones - I knew that I had seriously injured myself. After a few minutes more, I was finally able to pull off my shoe and sock. The toe was red and bruising appeared later in the day and I had some mobility so I didn't really worry about it. The pain mostly passed and although the toenail turned blue, I wasn't really worried.

Fast forward a few weeks to this past weekend. I stubbed the same toe and didn't think anymore of it until I took my socks and shoes off before bed. I had a bloody toe. The blood seemed to be coming out from under the nail. I did some basic self care, but the fact remained that the toe was red and the blood just wasn't going to stop by itself.

Yesterday, I went to see a podiatrist who looked remarkably like Dudley Moore when he was in Arthur. He took the nail off. Just like that. Well just like that after he put 3 shots of Novocaine in my big toe and grabbed a big pair of pliers. I've been through this before WITH THE OTHER FOOT. So I know the drill: I have a giant bandage on my toe and I'll have to soak it and change the dressing for a few days.

The thing is, my daughter is becoming quite mobile in the last few days. I need to post the video of her standing up but she's crawling a bit and seems fascinated by my FEET. Yes, including my sore toe.

Under the best of circumstances, I have ugly feet. I now have the joy of having ugly feet minus one toenail.

7 months old

My darling girl turned 7 months old yesterday. She decided yesterday morning was time to sit up by herself and surprised the hell out of me by not only figuring it out, but by doing it repeatedly in her pack and play where she naps and on her blanket on the floor.

This is the kid that I was worried about because she wasn't sitting up without assistance. I could sit her up, prop her chubby little hands on the floor and she'd promptly fall over. Yesterday, she was halfway on her side and belly and just propped herself up and VOILA! Now she sits. Granted she tucks one foot behind her, but she's sitting.

I also tried her on a little solid finger food yesterday. I've been offering her Cheerios for a couple of weeks now but she wasn't too interested. Last night, I put five on her tray and watched carefully. Not only was she interested but she ate all of them.

Is this the way it works? One day, you've got a little baby and the next, she turns into a kid?

Hello again

I've not posted in a while mainly because I haven't had much to say.

Baby girl has cut two teeth. She's an expert sleeper. Is becoming an expert eater. Still can't sit up for long by herself, but has started crawling - BACKWARDS. I'll have to get some video of the backwards crawling because it's HILARIOUS.

I am excessively diverted...


2009 - The year that will be...


2008 was a crazy year.

I had a baby.

I quit my job and became a stay at home mom.

I had a baby.

Moo and I paid off all our bills and are debt free except for our house.

I had a baby.

Notice a theme here? The baby thing changes EVERYTHING!!! 2008 was the most amazing year of my life.

As crazy as 2008 has been and as life changing as it has been, I've decided that 2009 will be even better.

Happy New Year!!

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals