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Feel free to ask a question or make a comment about anything: www.calistaquinn@gmail.com

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Did you Miss me?


So much to say so little time!!! I have been absent, out of commission, missing in action! Did you notice? I know, how insane of me to ask! Of course you did! LOL



Quick update! Due to the lovely issue of Pelvic Separation or Symphysis Pubis (I prefer the former, for some reason the latter grosses me out!) I have been on bed rest since July, but really not feeling good since May. Pelvic Separation for those moms lucky enough to have never had such an insane pregnancy ailment is where the pelvic bones separate too much due to the body producing too much of the hormone Relaxin. This causes no real support for the uterus, making carrying baby reallllly painful!

Anyone with chronic pain knows that you just get blue. There is no way around it, you can only handle so much, and being in pain, and having other duties and other children who need you to not stop can be draining. So that is why I took a hiatus. But Bean has been born and I am back baby!!!

Bean was born early December. She was born 5 weeks early and was only 3lbs 13oz. By the grace of God, she was perfect in every way. She was breathing on her own, and was the only baby in the NICU with no medical intervention other than to be under the warmers!!! Praise be to God! She might be tiny but she is mighty! Her attitude in utero had definitely translated to life on the outside!!! LOL She is feisty as ever and very opinionated!

Life with a newborn is filled with hilarity (mostly due to sleep deprivation), Sleep deprivation, and breakdowns (again due to sleep deprivation)... Um.... anyone getting the theme of the day? LOL Sleep deprivations has left me posting on Facebook, what I call drunk posts, even though no alcohol is involved. Stay tuned for that story!!!

I am back everyone! Hopefully I will be entertaining you with my posts again daily!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Perks of Pregnancy: The Showers!!!


So I decided to write about the perks of pregnancy, because frankly, this will be the last time I will ever enjoy them. LOL. So let's start off with the Showers! Really it is a gifting party and celebration of your impending birth. They are fun, and girly, and usually filled with games and such. I am so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family that I am looking forward to the celebration. The only part I dread is all the registry!




The registry! OMGosh, it is enough to give me a panic attack! I hate feeling like I am asking for things, you know what I mean? But I have been asked by quite a few people to register so last Saturday, we got a sitter for the kiddos and headed to Babies R Us! If I had only known what I was in for, I may have procrastinated even longer.


First we go in and there is this fancy desk we sit at, we basically have to sign our life away giving them all kinds of information, and practically a sample of our blood. Then they show us how the scanner works. Mind you, I haven't registered in over 10 years. I was terrible at it then, and now with all the choices and information, my head was spinning!


So we decided the best plan of attack is to go aisle by aisle. I begin to chuckle at some of the things I see, seriously having a baby is huge business these days! You can really make parenting complicated as they now have a contraption for just about everything! I was amazed! They now have bottles that are BPA free... Say what? I had no idea I had to ask the lady at the store why these now BPA free bottles are good, and is it worth the fact that they are now $10 each? She said that BPA was in plastic and could cause cancer. I look at Collin as to say, "so I am religious about sunblock for our very blonde girls, but I basically gave them a cancer diet with my BPA bottles from years past?" Seriously can a parent catch a break? They also have bottle warmers (um... hello microwave? or even worse, my girls drank room temperature, GAsp! But hello at 3am, I was not about to stumble downstairs), bottle Sterilizer Kits for the microwave, LOL I have to laugh again, because I always used the dishwasher. Isn't that sanitary enough? Apparently not, because now you can do it in the microwave with yet another contraption to sit on your counter! Then there was the binky mister, for when the pacifier lands on the floor. I guess that would be good if you were out, but I always just found a drinking fountain or sink. And whatever happened to "God made dirt, dirt don't hurt"?


So as we are going around, my chuckles turn to fear, have I been doing it all wrong these years? Should I be contraption happy? Are these things I NEED??? OMGosh, so we continue wandering and I decide that if we are to need all of these things, we are going to need to add on about 1000 square feet onto our house to actually house all the paraphernalia. I mean seriously!


Finally I go to the mother's room, in a desperate need for a break from registering. I try to put my head between my knees like I have seen on the movies when people are in distress, only my belly prevents me from making the full descent. After about 10 minutes, I come back calm and renewed. We go back to registering for the basics, deciding that we will definitely take our chances on contraption less life and stick to the basics.


So I get home and I tell my sister and my friend I have registered. I get two calls back... "What about socks?", "What about Changing Pads and Burp Rags?", "What about a snuggly for the car seat?". Dread washes over me again. How am I going to do this? I can't even remember what the basics are anymore? I have a half done registry that took me two hours to do! OMGosh! Cue hallelujah music as I have my hallelujah moment... You can now register ONLINE!!! Hallelujah, Hallelujah!!!!!! I was able to go online and add my pads, rags, socks and snugglies!!! H-A-L-L-E-L-U-J-A-H!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now I am able to sit back and relax, my part of the shower is now done, even though I have offered to help with whatever, my friends and sister insist I just show up. Okie Schmokie! No arguments there! I will be able to sip iced tea, eat yummy foods, and enjoy the company of everyone around me that I hold so dear, while celebrating the impending birth of Elisha! Only two months till my showers begin! Hooray!!!


Monday, June 1, 2009

Pregnancy Put Me Behind the 8 Ball!


Geez Louise! I have been so behind on this blog! I feel terrible that my last post was literally a month ago, to the day! So much to do, so little time! I have been ridiculously exhausted, but other than that all is well. You know it is bad when you are too tired to actually blog, because seriously, how difficult is blogging? LOL


Ok. The scoop! Bean's gender has been revealed... Bean is.... Another Girl!!!! While I am excited, I do feel a bit for Colin because he is completely outnumbered, I mean counting the dog the count is going to be 5 to 1! LOL Poor Guy! We have been going back and forth on names, and as of now, Bean will be called Elisha! I had been kind of leaning towards a boy, just because Elisha feels like a UFC cage fighter trying to make an escape, she moves constantly and with great Vigor! Her movements alone have really given me such peace because I was so worried due to a past miscarriage, that I really hadn't been able to relax and enjoy until I felt her move regularly. It's one of those be careful what you wish for, because half the time I feel like she is on the other side of my belly button, pulling on it! LOL Such a weird sensation!


We don't have the Nursery ready, partly because it is currently the playroom, and partly because I am too tired to do anything other that barely make it to work, and then nap. I am seeing the doctor today and we will discuss this. I don't think feeling like a limp noodle is such a good thing when at work, so maybe I will be off work early this time. Time will tell. Although that would give me plenty of time, to get ready for Elisha, Blog and Scrapbook... Hmmm..... Sounds good to me!


Emma and Elise are just still so thrilled. Elise has begun sewing on her own. Grandma has gotten her her own machine with her own sewing cabinet and sooooo she has been busy making me receiving blankets. I am pretty sure she is the only 10 year old with her own sewing center in her room. She asked me about a bobbin, and I said a what? I have absolutely no idea what a bobbin is. Can you help me out here? She said she had a sidewinder for a bobbin, and I am like it sounds a little too Top Gun to me, so I guess we will have to wait for Grandma to get back into town, because this whole bobbin thing is confusing!


Whew, that was a quick run down. I promise to be better about my posts! Thank you all for reading despite my irregular posts as of late!


Friday, May 1, 2009

Catch Up: Fallen Soldier Honored


Oh My Gosh! It has been weeks since I have even looked at my beloved blog let alone blogged away! The last few weeks have been challenging to say the least. Where do I begin???


I guess I should begin with what is most important. On the April 10th 2009 Bombing in Mosul, Iraq a local soldier ,SFC. Bryan Hall, and childhood friend of my husband Colin lost his life. He was a Staff Sergeant who was due to be promoted (and has since been promoted since his passing) to Sergeant First Class. He had just finished the Ranger training and had been back in Iraq only a week after spending time with his wife, 2 year old daughter, and his family when he was killed. I went to high school with him, we graduated in the same class, but our school was so large we didn't know each other, though I am sure we crossed paths.


It hits you like a ton of bricks. Colin had a tough time, as he had just seen Bryan and his family walking a week before he went back. Being that we have two daughters, the reality of a child living without her father, is a much more painful thought. He was a hero, responsible for his platoon, a 14 year career soldier, and a proud defender of this great country. Regardless of any one's politics or views on the wars, he was a Hero, and he will not be forgotten for his sacrifices and his family's sacrifices.


There was a huge procession after his body was flown home. The local fire department drove to the airport and brought home his flag draped coffin a top a fire truck to the funeral home in old town. The Patriot Guard, Police Department and others, joined the procession at the airport in tribute and out of respect. Word was put out on the Local news channels, and Citizen's lined the Boulevard, Fire Trucks with their Men standing on top Lined the overpasses along the freeway. As the Flags waived, parents explained to their children the importance of the day, and the importance of showing our respect and our support to the the Soldier and his family.


Colin felt it was important we go to the funeral. I am really an emotional avoider. I avoid all things emotional, I rarely cry (ie it can be years in between jaunts). It isn't that I do not feel things, I am just not good at showing it, and I avoid it, because frankly the crying and release of control, is somewhat frightening. However, uncomfortable as it may be, Mr. Hall, was uncomfortable for 14 years, and I felt it was only right, only respectful to go. I did so badly dread it, and had made myself sick thinking about it.


The day of the funeral I piled into the truck with Colin, his mother, and his grandparents, who all knew the Hall family. Instead of a pack of Kleenexes I packed a box. I knew that this was going to be a beautiful but emotional funeral. I was so right. I learned things I never knew about my former classmate. He seemed to be quite the guy, those that knew him should be honored, those that didn't are poorer for it and we as a community have suffered quite a loss as he will never be back.


As a pregnant woman, I was unable to contain my usually stoic nature. I was able to keep the tears from flowing, my mind from racing (would I be able to deal if I was his wife), and my eyes from fixating on his beautiful innocent 2 year old daughter. She is unable to grasp what was happening to her, she was smiling, and happy. She was surrounded by a family who adores her and will care for her, who will do their best to fill the gaps. His wife was graceful, and though she didn't speak, a representative shared her words of love to her husband, and her grief. His family too was graceful in their grief, they showed true honor, pride, and dignity at a time of unspeakable grief and tragedy. They are an inspiration. Mr. Hall lived as an inspiration. And he deserves all the honor and gratitude that we as a nation can proclaim.


No, I never knew Mr. Hall, chances are neither did you. But that doesn't mean that we don't grieve for them or the families. It doesn't mean that we can not tell soldiers when we see them, thank you, even though we do not know them. It means, that we should. I have never been to war, it takes a very special and strong man or woman, and a very strong family to sacrifice what I would view to be a normal life, to defend our country. Thank the soldiers and their families that you run into, thank the ones you know. They deserve to know they are respected and appreciated.













Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Product Review!!!


As I said in an earlier post, Eco Store USA http://www.ecostoreusa.com/ has asked me to do a product review of a few of their baby products. I am reviewing the Baby Wash, Baby Moisturizer (both of which have aromatherapy properties) and the Nappy Balm. These are eco friendly products minus all the nasty chemicals. Intrigued I agreed to try these out and do a review! I told them I would give an honest review, and if I didn't like the products I wouldn't say I did. Luckily for them I loved the products. My only concern would be pricing, but see below for a chance to try them risk free.
At first glance, the product bottles are not huge. When you go to buy some of these name brand products you think the bigger the better, so when I saw these moderately sized bottles, I was a little concerned. When I realized that it is because you need to use less of the products for the same results, it all made more sense. Each item reviewed costs $10 each.
First the Baby wash, smells so good. I asked my daughter Emma what she thought, and she said, "That smells nice Mommy!". She has the most sensitive skin of all of us, and she really liked it. You can use less yet still get a great lather without all those "Nasty Chemicals". You use less, and your body feels fresh (yes, I tried it on me too, I thought what the hay!). I didn't feel dried out like I do with a lot of the body products I have used aimed at the female market.
Next the Moisturizer. Also aromatherapy, this one seems almost invigorating. The lavender smell puts you at ease, but it feels so good going on at the same time. Also you need less, and it goes further than you would think. But this light to the touch moisturizer gives you a deep moisture feeling usually only heavy moisturizer can give, minus the greasiness.
Finally the Nappy Balm aka diaper balm. This I had no babies to test on, but I decided to check it out anyway. I think we all know how smelly those other diaper balms can me, and thick too. Well this Nappy Balm, was really light yet seemed to have enough to create that barrier of protection. It smelled very neutral and also had very moisturizing properties. I was actually impressed. Now that I will soon have a baby to use this on, I am definitely going to be planning on using this in my nursery.
So? Want to try these products risk free? The first to email me with their Name address and Phone number (needed for fed ex) will be forwarded on to EcoStore. You will receive a 25 dollar credit and April is Earth Month, so shipping will be free!!! So email me at calistaquinn@gmail.com to get your $25 free in natural eco-friendly products! I really wouldn't put this on my blog unless I tried it and liked it! So try it and then let me know what you think!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

ECO STORE USA


Eco Store USA contacted me about reviewing some of their products on my blog. The products are natural, plant based and are earth friendly. The products range from Household Cleaning supplies to body and baby products.
I will be testing out three products. Once I have used these products I will be reviewing them right on this blog. The products are Aromatherapy Baby Body Wash, Aromatherapy Baby Moisturizer, and Protection Baby Nappy Balm (diaper balm).
I have to say that even prior to trying them as I have just received them I am already impressed. They sent full size products no small samples to me, I feel that sends a message that they are very confident in their products and are hiding nothing. They also choose to pursue the mom blogger market, which I feel that shows that they understand the power of women in the market place. We are very intelligent and discerning buyers.
So I will review these at weeks end. Also there is an opportunity for one lucky reader to get a $25 dollar gift certificate for product and April is Earth Month so all orders of $25 and qualify for free shipping. (Oh! May I add that even their shipping supplies were earth friendly and sustaining!) You will need to email me at calistaquinn@gmail.com with the following information: Name, mailing address, and phone number. I will forward this on to ECO store and they will take it from there.
Check out http://www.ecostoreusa.com/ for more information about the company.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Swoosh, Swoosh, Swoosh....

A baby's heartbeat is such a wonderful sound! It is the best remedy to really anything! I just got back from my appointment, and although I have had several ultrasounds (due to my fear based insanity! LOL) but I hadn't actually heard the heartbeat! It was wonderful! Bean was sleeping so the doctor did her best to rouse him/her. It worked for a minute and all my worry was indeed assuaged. I think the doctor was determined to have Bean give me a show for self-preservation! LOL Everyone around there knows me, and I swear I worse this time than with my first!

I just needed to update! I have several articles I will be adding to the blog over the next week! I have been one sad blogger, due to being so overly tired! I tried to explain to Emma and Elise that my body is just exhausted from all the work! They told me that I need to sleep at night then! LOL as if I hadn't been, but I guess that is their way of telling me I need a bed time.

Well back to work for now! Keep your eyes peeled for more exciting posts!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

American Idol: Shower Edition Here I come


I always knew was supposed to be a famous celebrity singer. I just have always known that. It is a part of me... well maybe a part of my imagination. However, that dream was dashed this morning, as I belted out my rendition of Taylor Swift's "Love Story" in the shower. I was great, let me tell you. I had all the lines, I wavered my voice, it was shower stellar! That is until Elise comes in and asks what all the yelling is about!


First of all, let's tackle the obvious, as a mother I have lost almost all privacy. The girls think nothing of walking in while I shower (or worse am using the restroom!) and just talking up a conversation, while I rinse my body and hair. Most days I don't care, but some days, (except for the restroom incidents on those I always care) I am like sheesh, doesn't a mom get a moment's peace? What the heck. Some days I don't feel like being watched, some days I just want to have that shower as my peaceful start to the day. Unfortunately the girls, just do not understand that, no matter how many times I tell them!!! I hate locking doors because if there was an emergency with how our room is set up, I would never hear them knocking. Anyway, I guess Mommy in their minds is 100% available all the time. I think I need to make a new rule!!!


OK, back to the questionable vocals! So hear I am, pretty sure that if a spotter was in my bathroom at that moment I would be offered a recording contract. Of course they would have to make me over and get me a trainer before they could sell me to the public, oh and I would have to have Bean first, but I would be famous! LOL Just when I am beaming with pride at myself, Elise comes in, hands over her ears, confused look on her face, asking, "What is all the yelling about? It is only 8am and no one is here!" I tell her I wasn't yelling, I was singing. She removes her hands from her ears, places them on her middle, and begins to laugh so hard, tears are coming down her face!


I feel my face redden, I forget I am naked and not quite dry, I point at the door angrily, she tries to apologize between the chuckles, "Out!" I yell! "Out!" "If you want to know what the yelling is about now? I would be more than happy to tell you!!!" She runs out. My dreams and pride are dashed, apparently my dreams of being discovered, are just dreams, and I, Calista, am not destined for a great singing career, but! but! I am destined to continue my shower serenades, because I like how I sing! But maybe I will spare the world, and not take up karaoke?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

So Mom, When did you and Dad, you know Do it?


Yes that is one of the questions my 9 year old daughter Elise asked me following us telling the girls that we were going to have a new baby. I had to laugh, I knew the question was coming because I had read to Elise, the Body Book; It's a God Thing, in December. It is a christian view point book written in today's language and a girls point of view. It is written to tell them about the changes in their life with puberty, peer pressure, drugs, etc. It is an awesome book, but since I had read it to her she has asked about sex and what it is.


I told her that the Bible says for us to wait until we are married. By doing so we do not have many of the worldly worries such as teen pregnancy, STDs and the like. Now before I get a million comments (yeah right I am lucky to get one!) let me tell you. I believe this is what God prescribes for a reason, however, I am not oblivious to the ways of the world, which is why I want to explain to her the body processes and challenges of sex prior to marriage. My head is not in the sand. I let her ask questions, and I answered them . I told her that boys have different parts than her. She said she knew (which I had hoped so! LOL). Then she asks "Do those parts connect with our parts?" I tell her yes. She proceeds to ask, "Bare?!" I tell her yes, which is followed by the predictable "Ewwwwww!!!! Gross!!!!!". So then I tell her that yes right now it seems gross, but someday it won't, and when that time occurs we need to talk again. She agrees.


Now we had that talk, in December of last year, so when we told Emma and Elise, I knew some questions were bound to arise. The first responses were met with glee and Squeals. Elise said "I have always wanted us to have a baby type thingy!" and Emma asked "When do we get it?". That made me laugh like Bean was going to come via UPS overnight or something! I was quite happy with their responses because Emma has always been very devoted to being the baby of the family and anytime a conversation arose about having another, she was very staunch in her answer "NO! I am the BABY!" So I was quite happy with her change in attitude so now we don't have to nanny cam her! LOL


It wasn't until this morning when Elise went on to ask, "So mom, when did you and dad, you know do it?" I obviously didn't tell her. I told her mommy and daddy relations are private. I was however that we had had the prior talk to all of this. I am also glad that she feels she can ask me questions, though as the parent, I always reserve the right to not answer. I think it is important that we do not bury our heads in the sand as parents like generations past. I believe that we have the responsibility to instill in our children the beliefs that we hold dear. When it comes down to it, children will make their own decisions, but we as parents have done our job if we have given them the tools, and the belief systems that we believe are best. That is the best we can do.


So I encourage all of you to take this subject head on. Do not let society tell your children what to believe, you need to do it, if you haven't already. It is a hard topic, but keeping the lines of communication open on the tough subjects is what will allow our children to make good decisions and get help when they have made bad ones. I will always be Emma and Elise's mother, not their friend, but I still want to be there for them with arms wide open. Here is the link to the book I read to Elise, it is for girls, but there are others for boys. Check it out, I am sure you can find it on many sites, and I encourage you as usual to shop for the best deal! Good Luck!


Monday, March 16, 2009

12 weeks and Two Days


I know I am not the most patient of people. Today I am 12 weeks and 2 days pregnant. I am still feeling ill, and I am still feeling tired. Despite the fact that I am in my second trimester by only two days now, I am clinging to the fact that all websites and books say I should be feeling better in my second trimester!!!! All I can think of is when? I am a good 48 hours in and should be feeling better right?

Ok... maybe it is the pregnancy insanity talking, or maybe I am channeling Bean's thoughts because Bean wants me to get the heck up off the couch and do something... I don't know. What I do know is my next scheduled Ultrasound is April 2nd. Ugh! Too far away! How can we tell Elise and Emma that we are going to have another Bean now that we are 12 weeks, without having some sense that all is still well on the Uterine Front? So I call one of my great friends, who happens to be an Obstetrician (yay me!). She says come on in!!! So today at 12 weeks and 2 days Bean and I are going to have another look see!!! Should all be well (and I keep telling myself it is) I will be posting these U/S pics finally as the Bean will be out of the bag! Not literally of course! Now that the girls will be informed I will finally let me public see the first baby pics! Of course US weekly isn't offering to pay millions for the first glimpse, and baby Jolie-Pitt, Bean isn't but that is ok, My public awaits!!! LOL

Two Be A Mom is getting noticed!

Thank you to all my readers who are patient with me during my tiredness and days off from posting! I never remember being this tired with my other two pregnancies, which is why I believe wholeheartedly in the theory of Pregnancy Brain. After all if we remembered how hard it was, we would only have one child!

Thank you for passing along my blog address and adding to my "hit list"! My blog is getting noticed and I may soon have some product reviews and money saving coupon buttons that will be added! I want to reassure you, that this is a blog for moms by a mom. I will never post a recommendation or coupon for a product unless I have personally tried it and truly believe in it or enjoy it myself. All of the links I currently post are ones that I use and enjoy.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Promises of Spring Leave Me With Cold Toes

Here in Sunny California, it can look warmer than it is! I keep waiting for that damned groundhog that keeps predicting 6 more weeks of winter to finally kick it so we can try to stack our bets with a summer loving groundhog!

For the last few days I keep hearing it will be in the high 60's... **cough** Where? I ask? I hear it will be warm so I don my capri's and flip flops only to have hypothermia set in once I go out side and head to the office. Where are these near 70 degree days? Well not in Northern California?

Where do these weather people go to school? How can they decide whether the day will bring 68 or 63 degrees? Whether that slight breeze will create a drop in temperature to where my leg hair grows a mile a minute forcing me to shave two days in a row? I just don't get it!

Don't get me wrong! They have a fabulous job. I mean what other profession can you think of that guessing and getting it wrong is completely ok? I want that job. I want the job where I just flick the arrow and where it lands is where I predict! Meanwhile I am now bringing slippers to the office, since you cannot see my feet under my desk and still maintaining my cute spring fashions. Because if I wear it! It will come!!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ob Appointment, and my latest meeting with the Internal Ultrasound Wand

So yesterday I go into my appointment, it is raining and cold here in not so sunny California, but I am clad in capri's and flip flops so as not to repeat the weigh in of the last appointment where I was in sweats, a sweatshirt and uggs! I swear it all weighed 20 extra pounds, but it could just be me. Freezing I step on the scale, and do not see all 20 pounds shed off, ugh! but at least 3 are gone! Freezing for 3 freaking pounds... not a great plan.

We go back and she does my blood pressure, which is uber low, yay me!!!! I thought the fact that I was sweating bullets might have raised it but apparently not! Now feeling stronger and more confident by this news we move on to the exam room. Out comes the speculum a.k.a. "The Duck". Nooooo!!!! Then in comes the machine with the two foot long internal Ultrasound wand, and grab my chest thinking of the close call with the punctured lung at the last appointment!

I talked to the Nurse Practitioner who is in charge of this appointment, and tell her that I do not want the duck. She looks at me quizzically (oh come on! like they haven't heard it referred to as that before!) Now I feel the bullets of sweat coming back. I explain that I have pelvic separation (which is ohhhhh so painful and will most likely lead to bed rest, which for the rest of you may mean hourly Calista Posts, because what else will I be able to do?) "Ok, Ok," She says, I just was going to test for Chlamydia and the G virus (can't think of the name). I am like "what?" She says we do it for all pregnancies. I explain that I do not need the test as Colin and I have been together since I was 16, we work for the family business with my parents, all day, together... ohhh what will retirement lead to??? So really he has no opportunity to cause any of this to happen. She tells me some women are surprised! Ugh! She would really feel better if I did it, and it is after all of this, she tells me they have a pee in a cup test for it! Hello??? Why wouldn't they do that anyway???? Why invade occupied territory for a swab, why, tell me why, they didn't do that with the last battery of tests I had to do, sheesh! So I relent, and tell her if it will make her feel better, fine I will pee in a cup (basically, I had to go so bad at that point, it was worth it just to be able to go!!!!)

First she says we should do the ultrasound. So she tries abdominally, but nothing... panic is rising, then she says, well you are not thin, so we will go internal! I am not thin? Really because then I must have fun house mirrors because I swore I was a Giselle Bundchen beauty! Hello? I think they just like to poke and prod and since she was deprived of the swab on comes the two foot wand. I ask her to be gentle that my lungs have a way of jumping out at sticks, (not really but i was trying to get plain Jane to laugh... to no avail, I must add.)

All of a sudden the baby bubble jumps on the screen, the prodding of said two foot wand, has awoken bean, and it begins to dance and swim around. I see the head (the really big looking nose, please no Mr. Potato Head babies!!), the two arms, two legs. I see the spine, and the umbilical cord. The beauty of a miracle from God. I feel peace, then a it looks into the picture if I didn't know better, I would swear it was flipping it off for waking it up! I tell the nurse, "Wow it looks pretty developed for 9 weeks!" She does the measurements, and sees I am at 10 weeks 4 days! Only 10 days until the 12 week first trimester, deep breaths mark! Woo Hoo!!! What an excellent sign!!!

So I left the office feeling pretty good about Bean. Feeling more confident that this little miracle will be coming home with me this September, to nuzzle and coo, scream and poo. I would post pics, but we still haven't told Elise or Emma or the rest of the fam (other than parents) so to honor all of them, I will wait until I am able to share it with all of them. Thanks for listening!!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


My dear Blogger Friend, was so kind as to nominate me for this very prestigious award! It is for Bloggers by bloggers and the winner has the obligations to list 7 things that they enjoy as well as 7 blogs they enjoy to read, I only read 5 so that is what I am passing on. I received this award from Mary K Brennan who pens (or types as the case shall be) "The Adventures of Mommy Maestro" check out her awesome and creative blog to start your day off right http://marykbrennan.blogspot.com/

I feel honored to be acknowledged by a fellow blogger, and Mary has been wonderful as her blog has been a great inspiration! I can rely on her for the oh so exciting comment posting, so that I know that someone out there really reads this!!!

On to my 7 things I love, other than my faith and family as those would take up all 7!

1. Kettle One Up Extra Chilled Extra Olive Martini's (Yes prior to Bean, but yet again following Bean)

2. Reading a good book by a great author, such as Jen Lancaster (Blog listed below, only check out if you can laugh your tookas off!)

3. Pedicures without the paraffin wax (can you say HOT!)

4. Facebook, can't help it! I love it! Even if all the people I cannot remember from high school add me as their friend (no I wasn't popular, more like invisible, or so I thought!)

5. Good family Photographs. (Check out Bella Mena Below!)

6. Bunco... Mom's night out with wine (again prior to Bean), dice and chocolate, really what could be better?

7. Wednesday night date night with Collin!!! I love me some time with my man!!! And not having to cut someone's dinner up is always a plus!

5 Blogs I love to read and Pass the Award onto are (except for Mary's http://marykbrennan.blogspot.com/ since she is my beloved referrer!):

1. Jennsylvania www.jennsylvania.com be prepared, too hilarious!

2. The Puppies Cooley http://www.puppiescooley.blogspot.com/ Just when you think Dogs can't talk!

3. Beautiful Photography http://www.bellamena.blogspot.com/ Sindy is WONDERFUL

4. Hungry Girl ok, it isn't a blog but go with it: http://hungry-girl.com/

5. http://irishembi.blogspot.com/ Very funny!

Pass on the Honors everyone!!! And have a Wonderful Day!!!

Frugal Tip of the Day Slow Down or Speed Up Your DSL


Most of us really don't notice if we have 1 or 10 mps(or whatever the speed thing is) for our DSL. We had one which is supposed to be slower than 10, but when for some reason or service ran a promotion I actually saved $20 a month by going to the higher speed! I called recently because I was on the money saving train, and if I lowered my speed, I would actually have to pay more than I am paying now! Crazy!!!


So call your Internet service provider, and the other providers in your area, see what they are charging for different speeds, you may end up changing! I know the hassle of email if you change! That is why I no longer use my Internet Service Providers email account. Check out Yahoo or GMail, for a free email account, that you will never have to switch despite changing providers!!! I did it about 3 years ago, and I am thrilled, I now feel free to change as I see fit, because there is no longer the irritation of having to email out each time, that we have changed!

OB/Gyno Visit Equals Tummy Trouble and Humiliation!


So today I am going in for my second "viability scan". Isn't that just a lovely and reassuring term? I mean seriously, I feel like I am walking the plank and I may get lucky. Shouldn't it be the other way around? Shouldn't it be we are going to see your baby today!!! Of course there is always the knowledge that something can be wrong but it isn't in the freaking forefront, it is merely in the background, while joy is allowed to reign until proven otherwise.


I am scared to death of the two foot internal Ultrasound wand coming back into my life, last time I swear I narrowly escaped a punctured lung. I am hoping, praying that between beans supposed size, and my fat not getting in the way, that they can do the standard belly wand. Note to self: Do not go to the bathroom before! Which is really a double edged sword, because if you go, they cannot see bean as well, and if you don't go you feel like with all the pushing you will spew your bladder all over the place. Sorry for the uncouthness but it is a worry, and it seems like when you are pregnant, all bodily functions are up for discussion! I don't know why!


Then there is the pee test you are supposed to take each time you go in. The one where they give you the smallest bottle and you are supposed to somehow aim and give them a sample so they can test it for glucose or whatever with those keto strips. How lovely is it to see your nurse each time and hand her your cup of pee! It is humiliating! Seriously! They already did the test why retake it every time? Honestly I think they see a thick girl and say, hmm... she must have high cholesterol and be diabetic. For the record. I am neither of those!


I am also worried that they are going to want to use the "duck" and do the pap smear and all of that. Ugh! I hate that! I hate someone at that end of me, if makes me nervous, and I will be honest I constantly worry that I will toot! I know! I know! You didnt need to know that! But I have to tell someone, and I really do not want Colin going off to work thinking about his wife tooting at the gyno office!!! I never have, I swear, because I would totally tell you, but why is it a worry? I swear I am the only one with these irrational fears!


It seems until last night when it was all racing back to me, that I had forgotten how one loses what seems to be all privacy, all rights of hiding bodily functions. I guess your right to privacy ends with the fertilization of your eggs! Ugh!!!!! Wish me luck, as I pick out the perfect outfit, the whitest socks, and try to aim into that dreaded cup!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Frugal Tip of the Day Save on Household Items!

I think we have all heard about the millionaire who despite his fortune, saved the remnants of his soap bars and would put them together to reuse when the ball got big enough. My idea is similar, except far less tedious and gross. It came to me as I helped my dear Emma wash her hair. She likes to do it all herself. So I watched as she poured entirely too much shampoo for that little head of hers. All I could think of is what a waste! I told her she really doesn't need more than a quarter sized dollop for her head, and at most two of those dollops, definitely not two cup fulls.

So after her shower I head to the Laundry room, where I promptly fill up the detergent to the top line. Immediately I think about Emma and her shampoo. Why do I feel the need to fill it to the top? So I poured only 2/3 in about the 2nd line worth. Then off to the dishes where I thought about it before I filled both cups to the brim of Dishwasher detergent. Why after all are there two cups?

Soon I am sure there is a conspiracy amongst the manufacturers and the detergent companies!!! It is one to get us to over use these products and waste money! Now I don't even fill the one cup to the brim, and guess what? I still have shiny food free dishes! The same with the clothes detergent, I only go to line 2 really saving 1/3 of the detergent I would use per wash. Also with body wash and shampoos. I am not talking about getting half clean, but really using only what we need to get ourselves and our homes clean. I noticed that my laundry soap has lasted longer and all of our items like that. Really using more doesn't mean more clean, it means more money and cleaners down the drown. Just a thought!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Frugal Tip of the Day Check out Interest Rates


Interest rates can make or break your finances. If you notice most credit cards are sky high, and most savings accounts are gutter low. But there are deals out there!!! For instance, did you know you can call your credit card company and negotiate a lower rate if you have a balance and even if you don't? Call them! If they won't help you out, check into the 0% interest cards that allow balance transfers, a lot of them are willing to give you 6 months of no interest, and low if any interest on balance transfers!


Bank Accounts: I know we are all trying to be extremely cautious with the money we do have. However, there are safe ways to make more money in different interest baring accounts. You may want to check them out. Sometimes in lieu of a Certificate of Deposit or CD which you pay penalties to withdraw early are a good idea. However if you have enough money (most banks are about $5K minimum) you can look into Money Market Savings and Money Market Checking accounts. These accounts do have the higher minimum but yield a higher percent interest, plus you can access your funds. Keep in mind that if you do go below the minimum that the interest benefits will be lost, however there is no penalty in most cases and that is important.


Finally check out some institutions like Franklin Templeton which offer funds which are also non-taxable so really that increases the benefit quite a bit since you will not have to pay taxes on the interest you earn from that account!

Miss Hannigan Moment


Do you remember Miss Hannigan from the 1982 movie Annie? Miss Hannigan (Played by Carol Burnett) was the mistress of the orphanage that Annie lived in during the Great Depression. She was mean, she was drunk, but somehow her character was able to gain the audience's sympathy.


Well I wasn't drunk, and my kids lives are not like that of an Orphanage, but darn it, I wanted nothing better than to feed them Hot Mush, no make that Cold Mush today! I came downstairs, and I nearly jumped out of my skin! All of a sudden I remembered Miss Hannigan's coined phrase, "KILL!!! KILL!!!" Of course she would never harm the children, but it certainly got her frustration across to them.


When I walked into the kitchen and saw the marker and pencil box splayed across the kitchen table with pencil shavings on the table and floor, then looked into the food prep area to see that bread crumbs covered the counter and floor, along with the smell of burnt cheese from a microwave version of a grilled cheese, I wanted so badly to scream! My neck and shoulders burned with tension and irritation. I am not sure which I was more of, tense or irritated. Mind you the girls had only come down stairs 20 minutes before me, so what the heck happened???


I asked Elise and Emma, if they saw anything wrong, and of course the deer caught in the headlights look and a "no" shake of the head, said they did. Their curious looks made me check my own ears to see if steam had in fact began escaping them. Once I was satisfied that steam was not escaping through my head, I began my check list of what was wrong. The most irritating part is, having to say it when you know that they know!!! What were my comments met with? Moans, groans, and the you're a mean old Mommy look!


I bit my tongue and refrained from the "Kill, Kill" comment, and I did not feed them mush hot or cold (partly because I am not entirely sure what it is), they got their standard waffles and eggs from their Mean old Mommy huh? Seriously though, am I completely wrong in thinking that they have a place and time for their things, and that their mess should not take over the house? I get the chills like when watching Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" when I am surrounded by mess and disorder. I am usually able to keep in the horror scream, but today was a close call.


What part of sharpen your pencils over the garbage can is too hard? Or put the markers and pencils away when they are not being used? And how many times, must I tell you that when you microwave bread it gets harder that the Rock of Gibraltar and please don't do that???? Whew! Vent finished! But seriously, am I wrong here? Mommy in my book doesn't equal Maid!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Two Girls, Two Fish, a Bean and a Beagle

Two girls, Two Fish, a Bean and a Beagle.

Our lives are so full and so busy. For moms there is just so much responsibility whether you work or stay home. For me, sometimes it makes me want to hide under the covers with my fingers plugging my ears, while singing “La, La, La, La laaaaaaaaaa”.

Between learning to read, and doing mission projects, my girls are always needing me. I knew this going in as a parent, and for the most part I truly enjoy it. But there are times, when I feel I need me time. I mean I am so good at “me time” that I must have it perfected; maybe I should copyright my “me time” experiences. LOL

I am a great pedicure seeker outer. Want a good Pedi in our area? I can tell you where to go. Need a good coffee break, I know the place! Best place to scrapbook (other than my own scrapbook room, because my girls can find me there?) I got your number!

So why? Why? Do I not take advantage of these places, and these opportunities more often? Guilt. I feel bad leaving my two girls, two fish, hubby and a beagle (Bean is rather attached or embedded at the moment so he travels with me everywhere, no escaping Bean!). What if they need me? I mean every time I go (which mind you is rarely other than my two bunco nights a month) it is like I am committing a crime! The girls give off such guilt, as though I am abandoning them! What the heck?

So I decided to sit down with the ring leader, Elise. I had to explain to her that Daddy (Colin) wants his Elli and Emma time. Colin loves our girls; to be honest I think he hopes Bean will be a Beana, because he loves being the guy in their life. They love him too, they cannot wait for Daddy, but I honestly think Elise is trying for this power trip. Well Mama is bigger, and she ain’t falling for that.

So when I ask what her deal is? Why she doesn’t want me to go? What does she say? “Well, the thing is, if you go and I stay, then I am not going and you are going, but I am staying.” Huh? That is basically all I can get out, because I am still trying to untangle that sentence in my head. Try again I tell her. “Well, I am afraid you will get into a car accident, die, and I will never see you again.” Hmmm… Good one, but I am sensing some intentional guilt coupled with a ton of BS. “Yeah, I say, so the real reason is?”
She huffs, “Fine, I just don’t think it is fair that you get to get pedicures and go with your friends why I don’t get to.” Ahhh… The truth…

Ohhhh dear Elise. “Well my dear,” I say through gritted teeth and a faux smile, as I know realize I have been played for years by this too smart for her britches kind of girl, “When you are the mommy, you will be able to do the same.” “Well, that won’t happen because I won’t be a mommy, because you said it hurts!”. Humph! Realizing that this conversation is going no where, I kiss her on her forehead, which is a lot nicer than I want to be! Then I say, “Well I will see you all later after I hit Starbucks for my frappuccino fix, get my mani/pedi, the go the scrapbook heaven store, to peruse the aisles on no schedule!”

The Moral of the story? Mom’s need our own time! We do we deserve it and we need it to maintain the sanity and give us more patience, especially when we go through all the effort to build missions for these lovely child wonders! Right? So now I no longer feel guilty about leaving my 2 girls 2 fish and a beagle. I relish my time away, as I know it will refresh me for my time back in the trenches. I love being a mom, but I can’t forget who I was before I was a mom, because I am going to need her when the children are grown and no longer need Calista the Mom.

I'mmmmm Baaaaaacccckkk! And I have a Funny!

Sorry for the ridiculously long hiatus of 3.5 days! I am here I swear! But apparently this pregnancy is kicking my tookas! I was so tired, that even checking my emails seemed like a daunting task, and for this email obsessed mama, that is saying a lot!!! So check out the next post! I'mmmm baaaaack!!!!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Frugal Tip of the Day Buy Only What You Need!

So I was watching an episode of Wife Swap, and there was this family that had it's basement nearly entirely cluttered by extras of items that were on sale. Extra Soaps, extra shampoos, canned food, you name it! Now I am all for being prepared, but there comes a time when it is too much, and just because you have a coupon doesnt mean you need to spend the money because you want to have it stocked. Reevaluate your stockpile items do you really need to add to it? Are you going to need to rent a storage shed to hold it all? Maybe you should hold off then. Everyone should have a little extra, but we should all try to know when enough is enough.

Mission Discriminated!

So Elise comes home completely bummed. Apparently because the classroom cannot house 25 missions, they decided to have the class vote on which missions should stay for open house. I thought that was a little harsh being that all the kids worked so hard, and now they are being told that some are better than others. I thought they should have picked names out of a hat in fairness, however that is neither here nor there! Why? Because Elise's which caused quite a stir (and rightly so darn it!) was disqualified because it was perishable. So now this perishable parish, cannot even get it's moment in the spot light! Not only that but Mrs. C, never said anything about this vote or the open house when I asked about the krispies!!! Grrrrr!!!!

I told Elise, that the point is, it was loved by all and even though it will be trashed (what the heck else can I do with it???) it was a wonderful (gag!) experience! All the family stress..... errr Bonding, Family Bonding, was such a joy! Really, I do not think I will ever forget this experience (as it is now seered into my brain) and it's creative outlet.

So.... Don't make perishable Parishes for class, it won't be able to stay for open house! Bummer!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mission Accomplished!!!!

Let’s just get this mission breakdown out of the way:

6 small boxes of Rice Krispy Cereal (since the freaking store didn’t have the large ones: $11.34
6 bags of marshmallows (the minis because aren’t they so cute???) $6.00
1 pound of butter: $2.49 (and yes it was the good kind!)
11 rolls of Chocolate Necco Wafers (I gag at the thought) $9.79
2 Hershey Candy Bars (for Doors and Windows): $1.78
Meringue Powder for the Royal Freaking Icing: $5.49
Powdered Sugar for the Royal Freaking Icing: $1.00
Cookies for the sandy soil: $2.49
Floral Foam for Room and Bell Tower: $27.13
Paint and Glue because to hell with the Royal Freaking Icing : $4.99
Emotional Suffering and Misery: Immeasurable and therefore cannot be added to the calculations.

Mission Quantitative Total: $72.44

Yup that is right $72.44 for a freaking mission project when I could have paid $20 or less with a coupon had I known about the kits in time! OMG I will never make a mission like this again. My sanity is gone, my hair is thin, and my patience, err… well I never really had any patience but that is besides the point!

The Leaning Tower of Krispy was replaced by a Tower of Foam and graham crackers, which I will report fell promptly down with one turn of the car. IT had to be stacked in a shabby kind of way to even have some semblance of a tower.

To be honest I was ready to drop kick that dang thing into the classroom, dust off my hands, turn on my heels and scream with glee. Ding Dong, the Missions dead, La La La (sorry please excuse the horrible rendition from the Wizard of Oz.)

Anyway, Elise was thrilled to take her project in, the kids were in love with the fact that it was candy and krispy’s even though they were no longer edible. So do I get my mom of the year award yet? I mean come on! If there as any reason to go postal this project was it! Next time I am going to buy the mission 3 months ahead, set it up and call it a day, I may even hire someone to put it together for us!!! Ha! Take that 4th grade!

Sorry for the quick and lame update, but I am so tired, my eyelids feel like they are huge pillows, and speaking of pillows, I need to go get mine! After last night of staying up with my engorged beagle from over consumption of stolen pet food, Rosie has been left with a sour tummy and an equally sour disposition. Note to self: Place doggie food in a container that sneaky stealth beagles cannot get into. Well I am off. Over and out! Nap Time ya’ll!

Mission Accomplished...

Yes... the mission is accomplished. And due to the morning sickness, and treating a beagle who opened up the cabinet and gorged on her food, she is now a moaning mess much like I myself am. I promise to finish up the Mission Trilogy by this afternoon...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mission Pics (Thus Far)

Mission Front
(Note the Leaning Tower of Krispy)



Mission Side
(Note the crumbled cookies for the sandy soil, inventive right?)




4th Grade Mission Projects: Not For The Faint Of Heart, Part 2


Truss Building and Royal Icing Mortar Combat… It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t pretty. I am still emotional from this traumatic experience, but I will try to relay last night’s events, that left me sticky, exhausted, and frustrated. Honestly, if I never see a stick pretzel again, it will be too soon.

It was about 2:45pm when we returned from school, and I decided to “ice down”, our mission mock up. When we returned home the first thing I see is that the Bell Tower had taken a tumble. I quick scoop it up and smoosh it back together before Elise sees it and has a breakdown. I made my Royal Icing (yes I like to capitalize it because it is so official sounding, isn’t it?) with meringue powder (again channeling my inner Martha), in my Kitchen Aid Mixer. Feeling very competent I put the icing in my piping bag with the string end thingy (ok maybe that isn’t the official name of the tip thing, but work with me!). I twist the end of the bag, and set off to work.

Elise holds up the krispy blocks and I begin to pipe underneath them. All of a sudden, my piping bad springs a leak, and not this little drip thing, but I mean a gusher, before I know it, the bag bursts, and my not so Royal Icing, is all over me, the blocks and the wood floor. I can feel my blood pressure rise, as I cannot stand messes, and just the mere fact that this kitchen has been taken over by this mission is difficult enough, but now I have icing all over. I count to ten and begin to clean up. With every sweep of the sponge the icing grows, and moves about, as though running from my sponge. After about 20 minutes, I finally get it cleaned up.

I count to ten again and I get another bag out, and clean off the tip of the string thingy and start all over again. I try smiling and telling Elise that this will all be over soon and that she is doing such a great job and is going to have the most unique mission (really what I couldn’t get out of my head was the Seinfeld episode where Jerry and Elaine see the ugly baby and call it special!) So I just keep smiling, and Elise not fooled, looks at me in skepticism. “No really,” I tell her, “It will be great!” I can tell, she isn’t buying it.

Finally the mission is glued down with that freaking icing. Next is on to the truss building that Colin swore would be the way to go. One after one of the stick pretzels break and disintegrate. I try to keep my blood pressure down so Bean won’t think his Mama is a Freaking Mimi, but holy guacamole, this mission will never end.

I call Colin, in absolute desperation and lack of patience. “Oh, so the pretzel trusses are not working. Now what?” Colin says, “Well I told you we needed to get the thicker pretzels” OMG Oh! No he di’nt!” (Well maybe he did, but that is beside the point! Sheesh!) “Well, dear dear Colin, “ I turn and whisper scream into the phone, “the last time, I constructed a model, was say, never, so when you get home dear lovely man, figure it out! This engineer is walking off the job!” I turn back around and smile at Elise, and say “Daddy, will be home soon sweetheart, and he has a plan!” Again with the skeptical look, what is with that kid? LOL

So Colin arrives home on his white horse, and announces that we need to go to the craft store because we will just get Styrofoam to fix this roof. What a novel idea, especially since the aforementioned kits are made out of foam! Why didn’t I go with that????? So off we go to the craft store, he finds the foam, and when we get home, he fashions roof tops, with a very thrilled Elise. Meanwhile, I am again, watching Judge Judy, and feeling my blood pressure decrease as she reams the morons who are before her.

Colin and Elise come back in from making the rooftops, and now it is my turn again. I make that dang icing and put it in the bag and we begin affixing the necco wafers for tiles, I with the icing, and Elise with the wafers. We get the lower building finished when we realize that the hunt will be on again, for more of the chocolate necco wafers as we have run out!!! So yet again we cannot finish the construction of this never ending, and patience defying project. So my kitchen is yet again commandeered by this Mission and the AWOL krispies I find everywhere! Not to mention that this morning… the Leaning Bell Tower of Krispies fell again…

To Be Continued: The Completion of the Mission, and the razing of the Leaning Bell Tower of Krispy.

Frugal Tip of the Day Save Time and Sanity


Save time and Sanity by buying your child's 4th grade Mission project in a Kit at the local craft stores, most craft stores also have coupons so utilize these to save cash, time, and the mounting frustration that building a mission on your own can cause!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

4th Grade Mission Projects: Not For The Faint Of Heart, Part 1


Mission projects... Did you know there were kits out there to complete a Mission in record time, with the model actually looking like said Mission? Novel Idea, I didn't!


Elise came home with the instructions for her mission project. There were all kinds of household items listed on what could be used. We decided we wanted to use rice krispie treats even though they were not on the list. I emailed Mrs. C, who said it was a wonderful idea! We were stoked, we were excited, we were original, we were.... INSANE!!!


Last weekend we scoured the store for the big box of Krispies... Um... Why are they all out? There were no large boxes so we were stuck with the regular boxes... 6 of them! and 6 bags of marshmallows. We had decided to use chocolate necco wafers for the roof tiles (for the record, Colin's idea) I had no idea people still ate necco wafers (and I apologize in advance to the necco people), because they are GROSS! I do not get the idea behind them, a chocolate flavored sugar cube flattened and powdered, ugh! I am having a preggo food aversion with threats of Morning sickness at the mere thought of it all!


Apparently, said chocolate necco wafers, are not very popular indeed, people prefer the multicolored fruit flavored sugar cubes flattened and powdered (oh here come the aversions again!!!!). We looked at 4 grocery stores, three drug stores, before desperately stumbling upon these faux chocolate atrocities at a freak GAS STATION???


So we go home... I carefully plot out the floor plan of Elise's mission, with her help, and with my Drafters skill (hey I took a semester in high school, I know what I am doing!). Then Elise makes the treats with Colin's help of course and they place them in cookie sheets, so we had about 6 huge sheets of treats.


We decided to allow the treats to set and harden (aka we were all just about as tired of this project as we can get already!). Then last night Colin and Elise began cutting the pieces and mocking up the mission. I went and watched TV as I had suddenly just remembered Colin's history with Model Making, and his precision orientation, which is far different from my, shall we say interpretive approach? So I decided to let the master and apprentice take over, plus Judge Judy was on, and I am a Huge Fan! (Go Judy! Go Judy! Go!) Side Note: Never Co-sign for anyone, it is one of the Judge's cardinal rules, lol!


Ok. so they mock up this mission, when it occurs to Colin, that the only way to get a realistic roof is to create Trusses. Say what? Oh and he is serious. So now, Trusses have to be built tonight out of pretzels mind you to hold the roof. OMGosh, am I ever going to survive this project???? Why didn't I buy the kit????


To Be Continued.... (in the next issue, Truss Building and Royal Icing Mortar Combat!)

Frugal Tip of the Day Save Change!!!


These days our slush funds... or kittys as some people call them (ie my grandmother, and I still don't get why) are small if even existant. So I decided to come up with a way to save $$ by saving cents (Yes I cannot find the cent sign on my keyboard, anyone with info on this please email me!). What I have begun doing, is whenever I spend cash, I put the change aside. When I get home I put the change in a jar. You would be amazed how quickly that adds up! I don't spend change anymore. I save it until I can put it into the coin wrappers, take it to the bank and cash it in for bills. That is how we get our slush built up. Just by change alone it can go up to $40 in two weeks! Try it!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ultrasound?


So... I haven't quite figured out, why women have to go though all the insane things in life just to freaking procreate, why Hubby, get's to sit back and say, "Now that wasn't so bad was it?". GRRRRRRR!!!!!

Today was my first OB/GYN appointment since discovering that we were unexpectedly expecting a new bean into the family. No not the legume variety. I head to the appointment, which I think is going to be standard, you know, the filling out of paper work, answering the same questions repeatedly written 50 different ways (seriously is this some kind of IQ test?). After a while, I won't lie, I actually wrote different answers, just to see if they ask me about the descrepancies... they didn't.

Then I am lead to see my doctor. Now I have done this before, but never have they done and ultrasound so early. When I found out they were going to do the "Viability check", I was instantly nervous. Like test taking nervous, sweaty palms nervous! Would I Pass? Would I Fail?

So they wheel in the Ultrasound Cart, and instead of the wand for the belly she whips out this strange, LOOOONNNNGGG attachment! I said, "What is that for?" Well I am told she needs to do an internal exam because I am so early. Say what? "You mean, that long, huge thing, is going up my Yee Haw?" "Yes, but don't worry, I put a lot of lubricant." Then I am thinking "Oh ok, lots of lube, well I need more than that! I need to add an addition on to my Yee Haw to make room for that sucker!

"A little pressure," she says. More like raming pressure, and this is not at all adding ease, now I am freaking that this thing can puncture a lung, not just my uterus! Then all of a sudden on the screen was Bean. Heart Beat fluttering away (from what they tell me, I couldn't see anything but static looking stuff, but don't tell Bean that), I try to enjoy this moment. Fear still creeps in, as I worry about my prior experience. I hope that this time, will be different from the last.

I leave the Dr. office sore, hoping it is from said "Ram", not any signs of anything going awry, but with some hope. Maybe this is the Bean we were meant to have.

Shout Out to Mommy Maestro!


This is a shout out to Mary K. Brennan, aka "The Mommy Maestro". Thank you so much for your awesome Blog, and giving me wonderful ideas for my own, ie using pictures with my posts. I love, absolutely love reading your blog! Thanks so much for the daily info and entertainment!
Haven't read her blog? Check it out! http://marykbrennan.blogspot.com/

Frugal Tip of the Day Save on Burgers!


So this frugal tip I found by accident. I was trying to make some gourmet burgers, you know how in the restaurant, the burgers actually are a good size and juicy? My burgers are home were so not cutting it. So one day I decided to add potato to it, thinking it would help hold the flavor and juices in. I grated the potato and added it to the ground beef and spices and formed my burgers. OMGosh! It totally worked! The burgers stayed the size I had made them originally, and the flavor won raves and kudos from our friends at the BBQ.

So I was telling my mom about my culinary experience, and you know what she told me? "Yes, that is nothing new, people did it all the time in the depression era to make their meats go further." Hmmmm... First I was a bit ticked that this wasn't a new and therefore marketable concept, LOL. Second, I realized that yes, I had indeed used less meat, and was also able to use less expensive ground chuck rather than ground round because the potato kept them from wasting away! So Not only did I have great burgers, (and this is how I make them every time now, because they just rock!) but I actually saved money!!! Try it!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Frugal Tip of the Day Save on Books!

Paperback Swap! Love to read? Hate to buy books, but the library has a selection less than desireable? Try www.paperbackswap.com you list your books and then make a list of your wish list. You pay to mail the books at media rate (most are about $1.85) when a book on your list is requested. When you request a book, you pay nothing! You can get books of the NY Times best seller list, books hard to find, and books of any genre, I believe they have over 1 million books listed! If you are an avid reader you know getting a book for under $6 is a steal! Here is a way to keep your hobby and save cash at the same time!

Sleep Over... Like a Horror Flick... Come to Life!

As I sit in the chair in our room, I hear the wind whipping around the house, rattling the flue in the fireplace in our room, and blowing rain hard upon the windows. Outside a wild storm is blowing, what trees still have leaves on them are being tossed around and their leaves ripped from their branches. It is a torrent out there, but in the sounds I find peace as what is going on within the walls of our home… is anything but… it is a SLEEPOVER!!!

Really, a sleepover is an oxymoron. It is a stay up over, or a drive mom insane over. Seriously, whatever possessed me to have a sleepover with 4 girls, has vanished and the overwhelming sense of sleep deprivation is now in full swing. I have heard giggles, laughs, spats, Horton Hears a Who, Wizards of Waverly Place, etc. I tried to concentrate on the storms fury, for an odd place to find peace but it is unmatched by 4 little girls!

Prior to the sleepover I had channeled my inner Martha. Oh I had grand ideas of treats, and dinner, and a movie night! An hour after their arrival, my hair was no longer in it’s clip, I was exhausted, and dinner hadn’t been served yet!!! Following Dinner we had to make necklaces out of candy beads, so there was the whole debate on who get’s what, so I ran in there, already ready to breath fire (Have I told you that Calista is not one with patience?). I take the beads calmly (And this is feat for me since I have now heard drama for 2 hours straight!) and disburse them evenly amongst the girls. They then string the necklaces, drop all the beads off and then must start again!!!!

Following that, I decided we needed some downtime, so Colin makes Popcorn and we set down the girls (Oh did I tell you we have 2 six year olds, a 7 year old and one 10 year old? Maybe the ages was the first mistake, but I am not too sure I am ready to admit that). We put on Horton Hears a Who. I had heard this movie was fantastic. Was it? Can’t tell you, because every 5 minutes is was “Auntie, Can I have?”, or “Mommy, Can I have?” , or me saying “Sit down, before I change my mind and it is bed time” or “Can we sit with you?”. AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! I look around and Colin is no where to be found. He is smart. He is hiding! Well maybe not hiding but definitely upstairs in the comfort of his bed with the Beagle Rosie, watching real television that is not even animated! I want to be so irritated, but I can’t be, this “sleepover” was not his idea.

So finally it is bedtime. The storm is still surging, and I am thinking I will sleep with the sounds of nature outside of my room. I shut my eyes begin to think good thoughts, then feel something touch my arm, I jump and scream, as I was half way between sleep and consciousness. “Auntie… I have a bloody nose!” OMGosh! So now we are pushing 11pm. So I take my niece and get her a Kleenex and let her lay with me. Then she asks to wash her hair. What? Can’t this wait till morning? Ohhhh apparently not, because this wasn’t your average bloody nose, I feel her hair which is matted in blood, now I am grossed out! Not just regular grossed out, but Pregnant grossed out! Colin is asleep and dead to the world. Again, this was not his idea. Ugh!!! Why didn’t I listen to him???? Shhhh! Don’t tell him that!

So I take her in the bathroom to the sink, and begin to wash her hair. As I am watching it, I realize if there is this much in her hair, OMGosh what Elise’s bed must look like! I go in there, and Elise who when she sleeps is as dead to the world as Colin, is laying a half and inch from what looks to be carnage. I can’t deal! I see a blanket, and my solution is a little Scarlett O’Hare. I throw the blanket over it so I can “Think about it tomorrow!”. I come back to my room, where my niece informs me that she really wants to sleep with us. (Ohhhhhh, No!) We have a queen sized bed for a reason thank you very much! So I tell her she must sleep in the chair, which fits her fine with the ottoman it is like a twin bed. So she sleeps there…. So I think…. Finally I am off to dream world again, when again, I feel the tapping! OMGosh, now I am losing my patience, as my sanity dwindles from no freaking sleep!!! “Auntie, I really want to sleep with you” “My darling niece, get in the lovely chair, so I can get some sleep please???????”

Note to self… Sleep overs… need to wait… for years possibly. I need a nap!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Frugal Tip of the Day Save on Energy!!!


Make a deal with the kiddos! OK so it is kind of like a bribe but I choose to look at it as a reward system! Enlist your kids help in saving money on utilities. Put them in charge of saving money. Set up a goal to save a certain amount (make it reasonable) by the next bill, and then they get a reward. Have them in charge of lights, and making sure doors are shut, turning off water promptly when brushing teeth or washing dishes. You may also want to unplug the coffee pot, toaster and cell phone chargers (etc.) when they are not in use. Also check into the green choice of Florescent light bulbs rather than incandescent. Pretty soon the savings will become habit!

Friday, February 13, 2009

OMGosh I am sooooo tired!!!


OK! So! I have already written about our unexpected pregnancy, we are going to get our first glimpse at said bean next Tuesday. I will be sure to update you about that visit! Anyhow, I have not been pregnant in a good 7 years (with the exception of the miscarriage 18 months ago which I had no symptoms of pregnancy at all with that one, and it shoulda been the red flag right there!). Well I never realized how all that pregnancy stuff, and memories, can go shooting out the windows once you set eyes on that beautiful baby! But let me tell you... It does...

I was sitting on the couch yesterday... mind you this is my new campsite. I can be found here regularly, when in doubt check the couch! Anyway... I was on the couch, talking on the phone with my girlfriend, complaining about being tired and not knowing why???

She said, " You are kidding right?"

And I am like, "Um... No? Why?"

And she is like, " Well duh! You are pregnant!"

So then it occurred to me, as things more often than not do, way later. That maybe I was tired during my other pregnancies. I went to the source to find out the scoop. I called my Hubby, Colin, who sounding puzzled, clarified that I was tired during the first two. Why had I forgotten? Is this pregnancy Brain a real deal? So I went online! OMGosh, I cannot believe the Preggo Brain stories! I am not alone! I am not the only one to forget her head should it not be attached, while pregnant! I am not the only one who is soooo tired, they can barely watch their favorite shows like Grey's Anatomy, even thought it is online the next day (Thank goodness for that by the way!).

So I decided to resign my position as Couch Council President. I got my tookas up with great gumption! I unwound the cord on the vacuum, and I vacuumed like a champ! Then! Then! I went so far as to mop as well! I decided, that while I do need to rest, I cannot let this get to me! It was like a moment of empowerment, a shock to my already shocked system to say "Hey! You can do something about this!" I even went back to my inner Martha, and made heart shaped cookies, glazed them, and wrote on them for the girl's class parties today! They were so happy! After Colin made dinner (God Bless him!) I did go back to my Couch Domain, but I did it with pride! I conquered the Couch Potato-ness! I conquered the tiredness! And then! I went to bed! LOL

My daily goal is to remember that I can, be productive and rest! I cannot let this get the best of me! I may not win Mommy of the Year (Although I am pretty sure I should!LOL) but I can still be a good mommy! Here's to Mommy's who do everything through Anything! God Bless us!!!

Frugal Tip of the Day Save on Dinner OUT!


Especially with this weekend being Valentine's day so many restaurants are looking to do business with you! In general, make sure if you choose to eat out that you do it at a place offering coupons or specials! For instance, we have a local pizza place that offers BOGO (buy one get one free) on any pizza on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday. Sooo… Those are the nights that we do pizza, unless another place has a better deal. Scour the penny saver, or your local clipper magazine. Clipper Magazine even has coupons available online. Search for a restaurant, or shop near you at http://couponclipper.com/

Since this is Valentine's Weekend, many restaurants will be offering Special menus or Prix Fixe, to choose from. These menus are often more expensive than when you would go out on any given night, but also have multiple courses. Decide if a night out on V-day is in your budget, if it is shop around for the best Prix Fixe dinner pricing out there, I can guarentee you, this year, there will be some steals at some restaurants you may ordinarily not be able to go to!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Close Friends and Peripheral Friends

Oh My Goodness… I am sitting here in my office where all of my daily adventures and usually the imagined ones begin as I gaze outside to the world which amazingly continues to move ahead, even though I am not there to direct them! I suppose that sometimes I forget that my way isn’t the only way, though my darling daughters are sure to remind me of that.

Though they may remind me of that, and quite often, I am still pretty sure that though my way isn’t the only way, it can be quite often the best way. STOP it! Like you don’t feel the same about the way you think. I mean obviously we all think we are right, otherwise we wouldn’t do life the way we do, so take the hands off the hips and check this out!

Yesterday, my daughter Elise, comes home. She is excited because it was candy gram day. The day they reserve candy grams for their friends for the party prior to, Valentine’s day. I asked her if she had reserved her grams for her two close friends, the ones that have been her friend since she moved to this new school in August. No she says she reserved them for these two girls that I know she wants to be friends with because she thinks they are cool. Mind you Elise is only 10ish, but I was just shocked.

It occurred to me that children do not just inherently understand not only social graces, but how to do right by their good friends, and how they can have peripheral friends but that they are not on the same level as said good friends. As I am having this thought, and we are walking out of the school yard, Jana her good friend (not one of the candy gramed) came to see if she could play after school. Elise was more than happy of course to go do that, but it made me realize that we had to have the friend talk when she came home.

When I picked her up, I asked her about why she gramed the other two girls, and not her good friends. She said she didn’t even think about it that way. I had to explain that you only have a handful of good friends in life, and those are the ones we go above and beyond for, those are the ones that we stand up for, and those are the ones, we think about ahead of all of our other friends even if some seem cooler. We talked and I explained the whole concept of peripheral friends and close friends.

After we finished talked and she decided how she was going to right this situation, I began thinking about those two twitty cool girls. I know I am an adult and I am supposed to be beyond that, but hello? I found myself irritated that my daughter was trying to basically suck up to the cool girls, and I felt back in school again! Honestly, I will admit, that my dear Elise, is far more patient and kind than I was then or even now. There is no way I would have tried to befriend the cool kids, just on the mere fact that they think they are all that and a bag of Doritos already, so I wouldn’t have wanted to feed into their egos. Am I odd here? Should I want her to befriend the cool kids? I of course believe I am so right about this, but I am older now and willing to admit, (to you, not to Colin, so shush it!) that I may not be doing this right. Any ideas??? I mean seriously, let me know!

Frugal Tip of the Day


Back to Basics, Coupon cutting! The trick to cutting coupons, is to only cut coupons for things you would normally buy. Don’t go crazy and just buy whatever is available on coupon or you may actually end up spending more! Cut coupons, and put in a coupon organizer, try to use coupons if you can when the item is on sale also for extra savings!!!