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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday Fun

We spent a very fun day at my parents house today with Vanessa and Jarrod, my parents, and our Aunt Evelyn, Uncle Jack (whom we named our baby Jack after), and our cousin Nick. It was so nice to see them, as we don't get to nearly often enough. We had lots of fun swimming, chatting, playing with the dogs, and eating! As usual, my mom made a wonderful dinner for us and my dad grilled some great steaks, and I ate way too much. Everyone in this house is full and exhausted!

My parents

The next Michael Phelps?

David, in his favorite outfit.

Christopher and me


A very sleepy Jack, ready to ring up his next customer.

Week in Review. . . Part 2

Did you enjoy Henry's post below? He and David were in bed, I went to Jack's room to get him back to sleep, and I came out to that post! I'm probably lucky Henry didn't delete the whole blog!
So for the first week of me working, it went really, really well. However, it wasn't really an accurate picture of what the week will normally be like, as Chris was on vacation and school hadn't started yet. This week will be more realistic. I'm sure it will be fine. I'm really enjoying my job, and I know the boys are really enjoying lots of time alone with their daddy. And Chris has been extremely helpful while I've been at work, doing some laundry, making sure the house stays cleaned up, etc. I hope that continues!!

What else happened this week. . . I'm not even going to go there with the van situation. That's already been covered. Jack started to stand up in his crib.

He's also crawling (fast) all over the place. This is really more like hurling himself forward, because he's still doing the "Army crawl". David never crawled on his hands and knees, so this doesn't really surprise me. He's working on another tooth, eating Cheerios like it's his job, holding his hands out for someone to pick him up, and trying to eat all of the table food he sees. And he is SO in love with Chris. If he hears Chris' voice, sees him, even thinks Chris might be around, he is craning his neck to find him. His preference is definitely for Daddy right now!

David and Henry had a good week. There was minimal crying when I would leave in the morning. Each day got a little better. We went swimming a couple of times this week, for several bike rides, played outside in the rain, went to the Discovery Center, did lots of puzzles, played in the backyard in the baby pool, played lots of freeze tag, and gave the swingset a workout. We had a great week.

School starts on Tuesday. YAHOO! I will definitely need to be more organized about getting their things ready the night before, lunches packed, etc., as Chris will be bringing them to school in the morning. I know how difficult it can be to get all three out the door sometimes, so I'll try to make it as easy as possible for him!

Today we're going to Gigi and Grampy's for a birthday party for Vanessa. I'm sure there will be photos to come. Have a great day!

Week in Review

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Yuck, yuck, yuck

If you've read my blog since last year or know me in real life, you know the troubles we had with our previous car, the Pacifica. If you want to catch up on the car saga, read this then this then this. A year ago we bought a new Nissan Quest, and we love it. We've never had any problems with it. Until now. About three weeks ago, smoke started coming out of the exhaust when we started it. It would only last like 2 or 3 seconds, just one big puff. There's never been any change in the vehicle's performance, no strange sounds, none of the lights have ever come on like the engine light, oil light, etc. Other than the smoke, there's been no change. We brought it to the dealer on Wednesday to have them look at it. They called on Thursday to tell us that we need a new engine. And it's not covered by our warranty. I'm sorry, what? That's right. Chris, honest to God, was homicidal I think when he heard that. We picked the car up yesterday. With the old engine. According to the dealer, the engine is "full of sludge honey. It's like molasses in there." They claim it's not covered by our warranty because it's due to a "lack of maintenance." What? We've had all scheduled maintenance and oil changes done. Of course we've gone a little over our mileage for oil changes occasionally, but not like 20,000 miles over.

1. If you're not my parent, grandparent, or husband, Don't. Call. Me. Honey. I mean honestly, do I strike you as someone a stranger would call honey? I'm not sweet.

2. How does a brand new car with just over 20,000 miles have an engine so full of "sludge, honey" that it needs to be replaced?

3. We JUST had the oil changed, literally last week, and they never indicated that anything was even slightly wrong.

4. Chris just came home with some additive to put in the engine to clean it. When he opened the gasket cover (I could totally have just made that term up!) there was a smooth layer of dust on the underside of the cover like it hadn't been opened recently. Did they even look to see what was wrong at the dealer???

I'm SO frustrated. I hate dealing with car crap.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

School

We had orientation yesterday at D&H's school to find out who their teachers will be and what days they'll have school. I'm so glad they're Tuesday-Thursday, because I'm don't work on Monday and would have been disappointed if I was off and they were in school. David has his same teachers as last year, and I think that will be good. He didn't really understand that he may have different teachers this year, and he's sometimes a bit unpredictable with a change like that. He was, surprisingly, shy when we first got there. I'm thinking that was because it was a HUGE group of parents and children, because he normally acts like he owns the place.

Henry was SO shy. He hid behind my legs for a good 15 minutes. When I brought him into his room to meet his teachers he wouldn't even look at them! Ms. Rhonda said, "Can I at least see your face?" He looked at her and said, "Look! I'm miling (smiling) at you!" At dinner tonight we were talking about school starting and I asked him if he was going to be shy on his first day and he told me he "got all the shy out today". I warned them the shy behavior is very out of character and that we call him Hurricane Henry -- they need a warning with that child!!

I'm excited for them to start, and I know they are too. I could hear David before we left telling Henry all about school and what he'll do there. It was so cute!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tuesday Twelve

Twelve things I did today.

1. Got up at 5:30. When my alarm went off. Seriously? I don't think I've set an alarm in three years. Chris got me a new alarm clock two years ago for Christmas and I didn't even know how to set it.
2. Was showered, dressed, hair and makeup done by 6:45. In the morning.
3. Made a fabulous cup of iced coffee with a caramel shot. At home. Not "made" as in made it get into my car through the window at Dunkin Donuts.
4. Packed a lunch. For myself.
5. Left my house, with nobody crying or hanging from my leg to try to come with me, at 7:00.
6. Drove, listening to what I wanted to listen to, with no crying, fighting, or silly singing going on in the car.
7. Filled out my new hire paperwork at my new job. I love me some paperwork. Also watched a training DVD. Surprisingly, it wasn't dreadfully boring.
8. Observed a really fun class. I know I'm going to be good at this job.
9. Came home to children who were excited to see me, and I was excited to see them.
10. Took the big boys for a 30 minute bike ride in the bike trailer. This is perhaps one of all of our favorite things to do. And there was no fighting in the trailer.
11. Ate dinner with my whole family, which almost never happens. After dinner Chris cleaned up and I brought the boys for a walk. Jack rode in the stroller, David rode his bike, and Henry walked. We splashed in every puddle we saw, most of them more than once.
12. Gave three baths, read 9 books, had lots of snuggles, and no yelling.

I think this new job is going to be wonderful for our family.

Crockpot Pizza

By popular demand. . .

Crock Pot Pizza

One bag of wide egg noodles
1 lb hamburger (or Italian sausage)
2 or 3 cans pizza sauce
1 bag pizza cheese
Pizza ingredients (olives, Mushrooms, pepperoni whatever you like)

Cook the egg noodles according to the package. Brown the hamburger or sausage (I remove sausage casings and brown in like ground sausage). Then you layer the all the ingredients in the crock pot and top with a little cheese. Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours or until heated through. Don't cook too long, or the sauce will start to burn!

Monday, August 25, 2008

New Car

Chris ordered our new car this morning, and I'm so excited about it. It has all of the features we wanted, including the Intelligent Key. That means I can put the "key" in my purse and unlock or start the car without putting a key in the ignition. Brilliant, especially considering I tend to . . . misplace . . . my keys on a regular basis. Estimated delivery date: four to six months. Yes, months. What the hell? How does that make sense? The car is MADE in the same place Chris ordered it! We're (obviously?) hopeful that it's hear a bit more quickly than that.

Menu Monday

Monday - leftover Buffalo burgers, fries or baked potato, steamed carrots
Tuesday - grilled chicken, corn on the cob, baked potato
Wednesday - crock pot pizza
Thursday - spaghetti, salad, garlic bread
Friday - leftovers
Saturday - crock pot chicken, salad, rolls
Sunday - oven fried fish, rice, zucchini

I've planned our lunches as well, since this is the first week I'll be working and Chris will have to get lunches for the boys without any suggestions from me! Today we had taco salad. For the rest of the week I've planned rotisserie chicken salad, turkey sandwiches, homemade pizzas, tuna melts, and a fend for yourself day.

What are you eating this week?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Wonderful Weekend!

We had such a nice weekend. Why? We didn't do anything special -- everyone was so well behaved, very fun to be around, minimal fighting, the house stayed clean, both big boys earned all of their good behavior stickers each day, and the weather was great. It was a fabulous Simpson weekend.


Yesterday I had wedding cakes to do. I spent the morning playing with the boys, folding laundry, hanging out with Christopher, and loving on Jack. After I set the cakes up, we went to my dad's store to pick up his extra car to use until our new car comes in. Last night Chris and I watched a movie. We've been trying to have a date night at home every Saturday night, and it's been really nice to do. And I've watched a bunch of movies that I hadn't seen! With his crazy shift at work, sometimes it feels like we never get to see each other, so I'm really glad we're making a point to do this.


Today Chris helped me finish a cake I did for this afternoon. He made a bunch of fondant stuff for me, because he's MUCH better at the sculpting portion of it than I am. He wasn't feeling well today (he has this cold that EVERYONE I know has) so he went to bed early. I played outside with the boys for a little while, had a picnic, and we delivered my cake. Then I brought them to my in-laws' house for the afternoon. They live on a "farm" (not a working farm) and the boys LOVE it there. We all do. We had a really fun afternoon with them. David (my father-in-law) ran the big boys all around, played outside with them, and just generally let them do whatever they wanted. Sheila and I stayed in chatting pretty much the whole time, which I love to do with her. I'm so lucky to have the in-laws that I do!


While we were there, Jack remembered that he can sit up by himself, which he had forgotten for about a week. That's all he wants to do now. I put him to bed, and clearly he wasn't ready to go. This is what I saw when I went into his room after he cried for a bit. Pitiful! I'm going to fold some laundry and make our menu for the week. I need to go to the grocery store tomorrow, and it's always more pleasant when things are well planned out. Have a great night!

Progress

So while in the process of losing weight, it's difficult for me to really notice results on myself, other than when I try on clothes that I know didn't fit previously. When I see pictures like this, it makes it a little easier for me to see.

August 2007
Yikes. WTF? Did I not look in the mirror?
I am pregnant here, but let's not really blame that --
I think I'm only probably like 9 or 10 weeks pregnant.

January, 2008August 24, 2008
Scary hair, no makeup, and one less chin.
And, is it just me? The more weight I lose, the more I think I look like my mother.
I need to find a recent photo of her to add to this.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

I wonder. . .

How many points is two pieces of pizza and a strawberry Pop Tart? Why? Because that's what I had for dinner.

I'm just going to pretend I didn't eat it and not think about the points!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

1. We went to a county fair on Saturday. Once we got there, we discovered David had a fever. We were there for an hour and spent $60 for admission, two pony rides, one container of popcorn, a large lemonade, two corn dogs, three Ferris wheel rides, two games, and two trips through a fun house. 2. After the trip to the fair, we stopped to get some Tylenol for David. When we got home, Gigi came over to stay with the boys while Chris and I went shopping for a new car. I like this so Chris will be ordering one soon at work. We're waiting to see if there's a discount list . . . you know I love a bargain!

3. I start working on Tuesday!

4. I've posted on my website that I'm not doing anymore cakes. . . yet I've taken three more orders since I've posted that. Clearly I'm having an issue saying "NO".

5. I bought this for Jack the other day at Target. I had a coupon and figured we'd give it a try.
When I cooked some, this is what it looked like.

It looked like it had worms in it. Chris and I wanted to barf. Jack would have licked it out of the bowl if I let him. It was SO disgusting. It smelled hideous. I'm glad he likes it, but I don't know if I can bring myself to cook it again it was so gross!

6. Jack's using a cup sometimes now. He's pretty good at it!

7. We have preschool orientation next week to find out who the boys have for teachers. They both think they'll have Mrs. Frankie and Mrs. Sheila. . . they definitely won't both have them, so I'm sure someone is going to be upset!

8. I was getting dressed yesterday and Henry was in our room playing with a disposable camera that's like 5 years old and we've never developed it. He kept pointing it at me and telling me to say cheese. Then he said, "Mama, want me to take a nice booby picture of you?" Um, no thank you little Mr. Pornographer.

9. David came to the grocery store with me this morning. On they way out we passed a family with seven children. He was talking about how they had a lot of kids, etc. In the car he said, "Mama, do you hear that?" I said no and he cupped his hand near his ear and said, "Hear that? I hear another baby in your belly!" I don't think so!

10. Jack does this about 986765 times per day now and gets SO mad when he does.

11. I put Jack in his crib in his diaper the other night after his bath, while I put David and Henry to bed. He was probably in there for 5 minutes. This is what I returned to. He managed to somehow remove his diaper, spit up, and pee. Ugh. I see him following closely on Hurricane Henry's heels. What shall I call him? Tropical storm Jack?
12. This just doesn't even need a description.

video13. I have no idea why this layout got so screwed up. Anyway, here's David making Jack kick his own butt. . .

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday Numbers

1 child with diarrhea (H)
1 child with a croupy cough (J)
1 child with a fever and vomiting (D)
2 times I changed the cover on the changing table because Jack pooped all over it
3 baths given, to the same child
4 beds changed. One of them two times.
5 couch cushion covers washed because they had vomit all over them
6 times I cleaned up vomit today, all before noon.
7 loads of laundry have been washed
8 episodes of Spongebob were watched
9 train tracks were built. And torn up by Henry or Jack.
10 slices of bread were eaten by David between 2 PM and bedtime!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Why. . .

Why do my children insist on head butting me all over my body ALL DAMN DAY LONG?! Is this some sort of barbaric boy way of showing love that I don't know anything about?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tired?

This is how Henry fell asleep this afternoon - standing up reading a book!!David then started singing at the top of his lungs and woke Henry up, only to have him fall asleep like this. When that wasn't too comfortable he opted finally for this.

And we FINALLY got a new camera. I'm sure my posts will be more visually exciting now!

Worked it out Wednesday

OK, here's the scoop. I have been thinking about going back to work for a while now. This is, clearly, a huge decision and transition for our family. Having been a SAHM for almost 5 years now, I was concerned as well about my ability to find a decent job. Or even to get an interview with someone, for that matter. And I don't want to go back to work in something I'm not going to enjoy. If I'm going to give up that much time with my children, it's going to be doing something I love. Obviously the buyout proposal from Nissan put a new spin on the whole situation. What went from being a someday conversation turned into a now conversation. Soooo. . . I submitted my resume to probably 10 positions. I was marginally interested in about 8 of them, pretty interested in 1, and wanted 1 of the jobs.

I am a total believer in everything happening for a reason and at the right time. Chris and I went to tour the school on Saturday and he was SO excited about the program and really interested in going to school. We were at my in-laws' house for Chris' birthday party and I got a phone call on my cell phone from the job I was really interested in. When I saw the ad for it, I even had said to Chris, "I want this job. I would do really well at this." I interviewed yesterday for it, and had a really, really good feeling coming out of the interview. I thoroughly enjoyed B&K, the owners of the business, and I felt the feeling was mutual. They said I would hear something either way from them this evening.

At 10:30 this morning the phone rang, and it was the owner, B asking if I could come to his office today to discuss things further. It was TOTALLY inconvenient -- Jack's sick and Chris was gone with David, I hadn't showered yet, etc. -- but how could I say no? So they are hiring for two positions, one full-time employee to run a current location and one part-time employee to learn the business in the current location (approximately 40 minutes away from our house) and then transition to a full-time position in a new location 15 minutes from our house that will be opening in August of next year. B. offered me the part-time position. I told him that I hadn't really considered part-time and that it would obviously change the times I'm available to work, as we wouldn't hire a childcare provider for our children on a part-time salary. He said that they know I'm the right person for the new location, and he's willing to have me work whatever schedule I want to. How do I possibly say no to that??

I really think this is going to be great for us. It will allow us plenty of transition time, and when I do go full-time David will be in all day kindergarten, Henry will (hopefully) be in all day preschool, and Jack will be the main childcare concern. I'll be in a market I'm very familiar with, close to our house, and Chris and I are very excited!

Workin' it Out Wednesday

Lots going on, lots of loose ends, will update later tonight.

How's that for a cliffhanger?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Random

  • I saw a sign today, "All brick home for sale. Newly remolded!" Um, remolded? I thought it was just a mistake. Until I saw the same sign three more times.
  • We're trying to be proactive and explore some childcare options, as that will probably be a reality for us in the not so distant future. There are some SCARY people out there wanting to watch children. I've posted a couple of adds seeking a full-time nanny and I would say I've gotten probably two or three people, out of like 10 or 12, that are even a consideration for an interview. I'm so hopeful that one of the daughters of David's teacher will be interested. If anyone in my area knows of someone wonderful you can recommend to me, please do!!
  • Chris got a hammock for his birthday -- the kind on the stand. It's in our garage right now, and the boys are obsessed with it. Guess who flipped it first and got dumped on the floor? You guessed it, Henry. He laughed.
  • I didn't laugh when David and Henry poured a five pound bag of flour and a full container of oats on the garage floor today. Then started rolling peaches in it "making snowballs". Thank God for the shop vac. I seriously need to remember to lock that garage door.
  • Chris and I went to look at ITT Tech for him this weekend, and we were both VERY impressed with the school here in Nashville. I admit I had very, very low expectations, and we were both very pleasantly surprised. He's very excited about the possibility of going to school. There could be some big changes around here soon!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Where is my baby?

Who absconded with my baby and left me this rapidly developing replacement? Jack is not even 7 months old yet. Today he rolled over in his swing, while buckled in. He thinks it's hysterical. I thought it would just be a one-time thing. I should have known better. I think his days as a swinger have come to an end, which sort of sucks for me. He also followed a ball underneath his crib. I left him playing on the floor in his room to give D&H a quick bath. I turned around in the bathroom and Jack was in there smiling at me. . . he had crawled across his room, out the door, down the hall, and into the bathroom. And the biggest thing he did today? He was crawling across the kitchen floor when I turned around to look at him. He. Was. Sitting. Up. He sat up HIMSELF! WHAT?! So I had to look in David and Henry's baby books to see when they sat up themselves. David was 8 months, Henry was 9 months. Jack is not even 7 months old. SLOW DOWN! I swear the child will be walking next week. And he's all up in Henry's business, which Henry is so not happy with. He keeps doing these huge, long, dramatic sighs and saying, "Jaaaack. Go play wif baby stuffs."

David is spending the rest of his summer vacation creating drama apparently. I'm glad he's not a girl, as the drama level is already high. He's so a mini, male version of me. It's rather uncanny. And I'm not sure I like it!

Henry, Henry, Henry. You know how some children are just touchers? Yes, that's Hank. The boy touches everything. If it can be squeezed, squirted, splashed, poured, emptied, eaten, scratched, slammed, thrown, bounced, taken apart, or turned on and off, Henry's there. Oh, wait, that's EVERYTHING you say? Right. That's what he touches. Everydamnthing. I seriously feel better leaving Jack alone in a room than I do leaving Henry. If he's quiet, I know he's doing something he shouldn't be. "Henry, what are you doing?" "Weeellllll, I'm not really doing anyfing naughty." Duh. I certainly don't believe that! I came out of the shower the other day (Chris was in the garage) and heard D&H playing in my room. I started to hear drawers slamming, etc. and came out to tell them to stop. At that point David was jumping on the bed and Henry was on the floor in the living room. Counting my husband's blood pressure medication pills that he had climbed up the dresser to get and poured out on the living room floor. Child resistant top? Check. Child resistant? I think not. I honestly think we're going to have to lock our medicine in a box, because he is not stopped by safety latches, high cabinets, or any other seemingly clever solution I've come up with. Is three too young for boarding school?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Do it?

OK, I have been obsessively thinking about one thing in addition to Nissan. . . I really want to cut bangs. Yes, I have swoopy-to-the-side bangs now, but really, really want to cut normal bangs. Thoughts? Will it make my face look wider?

And also, I think Katie Holmes is so cute, if not a bit odd. I normally think she's very stylish. WHAT THE HELL IS THIS? I wore my pants like that in 1989. And it looked stupid then too.

Hump Day

I cannot believe it's been almost a week since I blogged -- that has to be some sort of new record. Not surprisingly, nearly all of the talk around our house lately has been to take or not to take the buyout. We've made no decision, but have discussed several options continuously. If Chris was 20 years older or 10 years younger, the choice would be simple. He would take it in a heartbeat. If we had no children, it would be the same choice. However, three little mouths to feed makes the decision much more difficult. It's certainly an attractive package. I feel a bit odd discussing the financial aspects of it on here, but it's public information and anyone could Google it.

Right now, we're considering him taking the buyout and opting to be released during fiscal year 2009. He could be released at any point (with two weeks notice) from April '09 to March '10. When he's released he would get a $100,000 severance, $5300 (roughly) in education reimbursement, a year of insurance coverage, and a $5,000 voucher to purchase a new Nissan or Infinity vehicle OR a $10,000 voucher to purchase a current employee lease vehicle. By opting to continue working for a year, that gives me time to find a full time job so we have an income when he's done working. We would also lease a car now, so we can take advantage of the $10,000 because we'll have to purchase a vehicle when he's done. (We have two cars, but "Woody" is more of a, shall we say, project car than a very reliable commuting car.) So if he leaves, what will he do next? Well, that's a good question. He thinks he'd like to go to school, and I think that's a great idea. While there's undoubtedly a lot of uncertainty with him leaving his job and going to school, we're very excited about to opportunities that will bring for him and for our family. And, quite frankly, we think there's a significant amount of uncertainty in him remaining at Nissan. While they've not done a true layoff in the 25 years they've been here, that doesn't mean it will never happen.

So, as it stands now, I'm looking for a full time job and we're exploring our options. We really want to make a well thought out decision, so it's pretty much ALL I think about!!

What would you do if your family was in this position? I'm truly curious what you think your decision would be, not just "I don't know"!