Sunday, December 30, 2007

Hubby's new toy...

So, we've been having fun playing with hubby's new blue (to match his work uniform...Eva picked it out) IPod Nano, which is so technologically superior to my Shuffle (the white kind that is about the size and shape of a pack of gum) it's not even funny. I've been playing DJ when we've been driving (a lot recently), but on our way home tonight, I put it on shuffle, and hubby told me that he's seen blogs have lists of what was shuffled on their IPod, so I wrote down as we went. I was originally going to do the first 10 songs, but I actually wrote down 13, as that's how many it took to get here they are (I wonder what this says about us!)

1)Count My Blessings
Curtis Stigers
Curtis Stigers

2)Letter Shapes
They Might Be Giants
Here Come the ABCs

3)Give It Up Or Let Me Go
Dixie Chicks
Wide Open Spaces

4)Mary, Joy Of All Who Sorrow (With Script)
Cat.Chat:The Catholic Audio Show for Kids
Mary Leads Me Closer To Jesus

5)Jesus My Faith Is In You (With Script)
Cat.Chat:The Catholic Audio Show for Kids
Cat.Chat #2 Jesus In My Heart

6)Tell Me Something Good
Millennium Funk Party

7)Here's To Lyin'
Doug Supernaw
Deep Thoughts from a Shallow Mind

8)With Or Without You
Joshua Tree

9)Just Like Anyone
Soul Asylum
Let Your Dim Light Shine

10)Your Banquet of Love
Keep Your Eyes On The Beloved

11)My Best Was Never Good Enough
Bruce Springsteen
The Ghost of Tom Joad

12)Nickel in the Well
Bryan White
Between Now and Forever

13)I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Joshua Tree

So, a random sampling of what we have out of 1800+ songs on hubby's IPod!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Domestically Challenged

So, I have been a housewife for the last, oh 5 years or so (full time for almost 2 years, part time for 3 years before that...not to mention the other 3 years as a student and wife...), so you'd think that I wouldn't run across that many tasks that I have NO CLUE how to do...

Don't get me wrong, I have ironed items before...I try to avoid it as much as possible after the high school trauma of melting my choir dress (we lovingly called them our blue garbage bags) by using too high of heat.

Hubby had thrown a couple of horribly wrinkled uniform shirts in with a wet load of laundry to try to get the wrinkles out. He fished them out, and they were still just as wrinkled, and I told him to throw them back in for the rest of the cycle (he thought that they might burn in the dryer...I figure, if I've never burned an article of clothing in the dryer, it is just NOT POSSIBLE!) He made the comment that he would probably need to iron them if they came out and were still wrinkled. So, they came out of the dryer, and guess what!?! STILL WRINKLED!!! So, I thought this would be a great opportunity to practice sacraficial love for my husband by doing something that I can't say that I hate (because my iron and I don't have enough of a relationship to label) but that I can say I avoid, and thus, really don't know how to do!

So, I grabbed up the three work shirts in the load of laundry, and set up the ironing board and the iron (there have been YEARS in our married life when we couldn't find/couldn't use our iron...for instance when it was covered with bits of wallpaper from trying to steam off 3 layers at our old house...), and set to work. I vaguely remember my MIL telling me of her grandmother's order of operations while ironing, so I thought I'd try that. (I am at least 2 generations away from any level of domesticity) So, I ironed and ironed...and got no where! Sadly, the shirts are made of a cotton/poly blend, which on our iron is in that ambiguous range where it might be steam iron, but it might not bother... So, now I am online not only to lament my pathetic domestic skills, but also to look up nonvideo (as our dialup and videos do not get along) instructions for ironing shirts.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I love Taxes...

Okay, so technically, I don't really LOVE taxes...I don't particularly like paying them...I'd prefer to keep our money...but I love the new year because I have 1) an excuse to buy a new piece of software every year (TurboTax...tried TaxCut SUCKED!) and 2) an excuse to look at all our finances and recap the year in what we accomplished or did not accomplish to make goals for the new year.

Yes, I am a dork! I'm sure at some point I've put up a blogthings quiz to prove it...

So, I got TurboTax in the mail today, and have been playing around with it instead of accomplishing any dishes or laundry. Of course, I don't have any tax forms yet, but we just got hubby's last pay stub of the year today, so I've been figuring things out based on that. Of course, that means that I'll have to correct a bunch of numbers when the appropriate forms come in the mail, but hey, I find it fun!

I've always been a money nerd (not a math nerd, I never could do math problems unless they involved money...I just need it in practical terms I understand $$$) I used to balance people's checkbooks for them in college. I did try to get my MIL on a budget/to balance her checkbook for the first time EVER...but after about 3-4 months of it, I found that I didn't have the time to babysit her. If there ever was a lost cause in terms of financial responsibility, my MIL is it...I love her dearly, of course, but I just try not to even THINK about her finances.

Oh, we've also set a new financal goal...I'll probably work on a ticker for it (I love tickers...I'm a dork, I said it already!) but we plan to save right around $20,000 in the next 18 months to buy a new to us car for our tenth anniversary. That means ol' Bessie is gonna have to make it 18 more months...I've been expecting that car to die for about 5 years now, but it's still going strong, so what's another year and a half?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Decorations

Well, it is December 23rd, and hubby is at church serving up breakfast to all the brave souls who stayed to decorate for midnight Mass tomorrow. I brought the girls home because I am just not brave enough to let them wander free in the church with decorating going on. However, the fact that the church is getting decorated is making me think that maybe...just MAYBE...we ought to decorate our house!

Hubby pulled down the Christmas decorations he could find from the attic (a place I have never ventured, and never really intend to...) but he couldn't find the ornaments for the tree. The tree itself has been up since Thanksgiving (only because my parents sent us a new, prelit artificial tree as an early Christmas present...had it been in storage, I'm sure it would be going up today!). I am, however, proud to say that our Advent wreath (we've had it for a few years, so it had to come out of storage) has been out all of Advent, and our nativity scene (new this year) has been up for weeks.

The rest of the decorations, minus the ornaments are in our bedroom, which the girls keep going in to attempt to eat things off of our wreaths, etc. So, today when hubby gets home, he will be sent up into the attic one more time to attempt to find the ornaments (and put up some outgrown clothes and toys) and I hope to clean and decorate the house, and pack for our whirlwind trip to see my parents. We get to leave sometime after noon tomorrow, and have to be back in time for hubby to go to work at 7am on the 26th.

My mom is doing well, she had a very long named surgery on December 12th to deal with the scarring from her cancer, so she will be sore and unable to hold the kiddos, but I know she is looking forward to seeing them!

Oh yeah...I almost forgot, I have to wrap all our presents (minus the girls two, since I wrapped them immediately after I got them home so that they wouldn't find out what they are!

Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Vacation planning...of sorts...

Well, one of the challenges of having a hubby who works 6 days a week (who likes to point out that it would be worse if he were farming with his family!) is that trips and vacations are few and far between. Hubby managed to get Monday off work (which is amazing with recent events at work including one woman out for a couple of weeks because of a brown recluse spider squash first ask questions later policy has been very much strengthened by this!) So, we can leave Saturday after work (hopefully 1 or 2 pm) and come back Monday night.

Originally the plan was to go see my mom, who just finished her last round of chemotherapy two weeks ago. However, both girls have come down with a cold (not serious for them, but VERY serious for my mom's compromised immune system) and my mom spent most of this week in the hospital with a staph infection. So, no trip to see grandma. We are trying to make the best of it though, but of course (as always) we are on a tight budget! So, I've been trying to priceline a hotel room for two nights, with no luck so far. So, hopefully we will be going to Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Denver, or Cheyenne, WY this weekend.

Also trying to find a few (very few!) fun things for the kids to do. We're all kind of hoping to get a Colorado Springs hotel so that we can go to "Boo at the Zoo" at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Eva LOVES the giraffes, and I think that Charlotte would enjoy feeding them, too.

I'm looking forward to finding some antique/thrift shops to go to, and checking out the specials at the big grocery stores (I'm such a dork!) and hubby is looking forward to relaxing a little bit. I think that I'll go do some shopping during naptime, and the kids and hubby can stay at the hotel and sleep/watch TV.

Well, better get back to priceline and see if I can do any better!

Monday, September 17, 2007

My Republican Rant of the Day (well, Month, more likely!)

Okay, so this is actually a continuation of a rant I've been having for a few weeks now...but the first time I started on it, hubby called it my "Republican Rant of the Day" so that's how I think of it now (even though, incidentally I am not in any way affiliated with the Republican or any other political party.)

So, we recently found out that hubby's new co-worker is pregnant. Which I think is great! Babies are wonderful! It would probably be better for her, her daughter (incidentally named Charlie) and her baby if she and the kid's dad were married rather than just living together...but whatever...I'm still happy about the baby.

So, I was talking with hubby about the health insurance from his work (which is AWESOME, at least the plan that we have, in regards to maternity care) and he ended up talking a little bit with this co-worker about it, and telling her how happy we were with it, and the fact that we didn't have to pay a penny for Charlotte's delivery or my prenatal care compared to our old insurance with Eva where we paid out of pocket about $8000 the year she was born.

So, hubby was expecting a happy reaction, or at least relief that this pregnancy wouldn't be too difficult for her financially, etc. What I don't think either one of us expected was confusion that you'd have to PAY for medical care with insurance!

You see, with her first kid, she was on medicaid and didn't have to pay for anything, either. (Now, don't take this the wrong way...she is a lovely women and I like her very much...I also understand how in SOME cases medicaid is a very good system) She worked a retail job, and because she wasn't married to the baby's father she qualified for medicaid (she may have qualified if they were married, but if they were married he might feel as though he needed to be responsible for his family)

So, in the end, who really got to pay for all of her medical care...people like us! The year we had Eva we made about $24,000 gross. We paid out about $8,000 in medical bills...forget that 7.5% threshold the IRS requires to deduct medical expenses...about 1/3 of our GROSS income went to medical bills...

I don't even want to think how much more went to social welfare programs like Social Security and Medicare...

It just ticks me off to think that essentially the government is REWARDING stupid behavior!

Now, I would like to say that both hubby and I are happy that is coworker had enough ambition to get a better paying job with benefits...because all the hoops to jump through to apply for the job are pretty extreme...but I just get frustrated when I think of all of the people in similar situations to her that don't work as hard to become self-sufficient someday...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Well, something pretty cool happened today. I'm a little bit of a loner, so I often deal with stuff on my own as well...

At Mass on Sunday, we had a ministry fair of sorts (donuts were provided...apparently not nearly enough of them, but we're still adjusting to this 8am Mass thing...) where we all were supposed to go down in the basement and fill out our time and talent forms for the upcoming year. I was chatting a little bit with a couple of the ladies from my bible study. They asked how Eva's destination birthday party went, and so I told them that it didn't go that well and the whole hospital saga, then I told them about my grandma, and about going up to sit with my mom at chemo the coming Friday (tomorrow). They told me that I was in their prayers, etc. which I appreciated a lot. It felt pretty good to get some of that off my chest.

So, last night I got home and noticed an e-mail that I wasn't supposed to read. The two ladies had sent out a call to make me and my mom a care package of sorts for at the hospital. So, tonight a bible study, a bunch of them brought a few things...some sympathy/thinking of you cards, a book, some magazines, an angel figurine, a few snacks and a little baggie of quarters for vending machines at the hospital.

I was so touched by these little things. It means so much to know that other people are there for you. I guess I should know by now that in a small town, when someone says "Let me know if there is anything I can do for you" they mean it (growing up, it was more of an empty phrase that people really didn't mean...)

Anyhow, that made me smile and cry a little bit, and made me grateful for friends.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sometimes I just don't have the energy to whine about my life...

...and maybe that is a good thing!

It's been about three months since I got that phone call from my dad about my mom's cancer. Now, I've never been the biggest fan of doctors (not saying that they are bad people, or anything...I just don't really like medicine, etc.) but this really hasn't improved my view much.

So, my mom has Kaiser Permanente insurance...when this whole thing started, she ended up really sick and jaundiced. She was sent in for CT scans, MRIs, etc. She was first sent to a surgeon who told her that she had inoperable pancreatic cancer. Not a fun thing to hear...not to mention complete lack of bedside manner, and an assumption that his guess was indeed, fact.

When she was sent on to an oncologist for testing, it turned out that she has lymphoma (not sure which type...there's a reason I didn't go into nursing or anything like that!). They have competely ruled out pancreatic cancer, and her most recent CT scan did not show any tumours. So, Friday is her 5th round of chemo, and she will have one more round, but then most likely will be done.

I was supposed to go up and sit with her during her chemo, but naturally my snotty little girls gave me a cold! Obviously, it would be better for me NOT to enter into the chemo room with any sort of illness, so instead I am going to stay home and feel a little guilty about my mom having to be there all alone.

I have to admit, this has been a very trying couple of months for me...but I know that it has been so much worse for my dad. I am hoping that all of what has been happening is God's plan for my dad's salvation...

So, the whole cancer thing happens...
Good news (my aunt, uncle, hubby and I all think this first one might have been a miracle) lymphoma with a 50% survival rate (or so) instead of the less than 5% survival rate for pancreatic cancer.

My mom went back to teaching, and has ended up in the ER three times now (she still doesn't want to take time off because she is afraid that she will need sick leave later...never mind that she has been paying into a sick leave bank for 25 years...never mind that she definately has reason to used said sick leave bank if she needed to...)

Most recent ER visit was over labor day weekend. Hubby and I and the girls were going up to the mountains with his extended family (to the same town where my parents spend weekends and summers) and my mom had planned this grand 3rd birthday bash at their house. My mom ends up in the ER neutropenic (not sure if I spelled that right or not! but basically having no immune system) and needed antibiotics and a blood transfusion. It turns out that she had e. coli from the stent in her liver, and she had to stay in through Tuesday so that they could put a cathader into her because all her veins were going bad from all the chemo and the IVs from hospital stays.

My dad threw the bash by himself, took lots of pictures, and my mom was well enough after the party for us to bring the girls down to see her.

So, my mom took a week off from school after that. Last Friday, I got a call from my mom saying that my grandma (dad's mom) who was in the hospital with a broken hip had a lot of problems during a hip replacement and was bleeding internally and not likely to make it through the night. She passed away that night.

See what I mean about my poor dad?

Anyhow, that's just a short update on how things have been around here in the past few months. I'm going to try to get back in the habit of blogging (though perhaps with less whining involved!)

Friday, June 08, 2007

The C word...

Okay, so I got some pretty bad news yesterday. My mom called to let me know that she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The dreaded "c" word...worse yet, it is inoperable. Reading up on pancreatic cancer, it does not look good, but I'm still waiting to hear back on more details. So, anyone who sees this, please say a prayer for my mom, Donna...and also for my dad! My mom is at least nominally Christian, but my dad isn't at all. They really don't have anything to hold on to during this suffering.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

This is sooo COOL!!!

Check out what Danielle Bean is up to! What a great idea!!! A charity raffle for St. Gianna's Maternity Home near Fargo, ND. She's raised lots of money so far...

Being technologically behind, I don't know how to link in the post, but go to my link for Danielle Bean, and you'll find plenty more info there!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Dress update...

So, the girls and I went to a doctor's appointment with my MIL up in the city, and naturally we went shopping afterwards. I tried on all sorts of outfits at Kohls, and most of them were horrible, but I did find one dress that I really liked! It was black and white, and is very similar in style to the dress I bought this winter (which is black, white and red) and the price tag read $, I thought that was a little pricey, and I was sad and about to put it back when I passed a price checker thing...the dress was on clearance for $16.20!!! So, cool!

I looked around some more and found the dress in two shades of blue, and even found it in my size. So, I ended up getting the dress in blue...and I thought with that good of a deal, maybe I'd buy a necklace to go with it...just costume jewelery, nothing that fancy. I found two great necklaces that I really liked with it, and since they were buy one get one half off, I got both...the sick part? The two necklaces together cost more than double the cost of the dress!

Also, I finally got a couple of doormats for the house, and got hubby two new shirts and ties (we can BOTH look classy for the upcoming wedding! Woo hoo!!!) And grandma of course got the girls some clothes (Charlotte cute part dress onesies, and Eva a t-shirt and two sets of PJs...she has a pajama fetish...) and Eva a little sports set (with a football, 2 baseballs, a soccer ball, a bat, and a glove) with Dora all over them, so Eva has some great outdoor toys to go with our great weather!

Our First Homeschooling Project!

So, on Sunday after church and lunch, we decided to go to the hardware store to price pavers, etc. for our landscaping woes (I am adamant that this year we WILL have a sidewalk to the front door rather than old boards placed over the dirt where said pavers will go!)

So, Eva pipes up that we need to get a birdhouse. No idea where this comes I really don't like birds very much...they are noisy when I try to nap and they poop all over my car...(okay, likely this is some genetic thing from my mother that SKIPPED a generation!) So, I ended up talking her into a bird feeder, because I see no purpose for bird houses (isn't that what trees are for?)

At first I thought we might get something decorative to class up our yard, but after discovering that birdhouses start in the $20 range and go UP from there (to feed birds...I just don't get it!!!) we decided to instead go with the early homeschooler's model. A kit that had a base and suction cups that you attach a platic bottle to (20 oz soda bottle is what we used!) and fill up with bird seed. So, Eva and I put together the bird feeder, and she has been enjoying watching the birds come eat at the feeder.

So, as a Future Homeschooler of America, I diligently went on line to Paperback Swap and found children's books about birds. So, Eva will be getting a field guide to 24 common bird species in the mail before too long. I'm thinking that unschooling during preschool may be the way to go!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Another one that doesn't surprise me!

Your Dominant Intelligence is Musical Intelligence

Every part of your life has a beat, and you're often tapping your fingers or toes.
You enjoy sounds of all types, but you also find sound can distract you at the wrong time.
You are probably a gifted musician of some sort - even if you haven't realized it.
Also a music lover, you tend to appreciate artists of all kinds.

You would make a great musician, disc jockey, singer, or composer.

Okay, so we all know that I'm not normal...

You Are 30% Normal

You sure do march to your own beat...
But you're so weird, people wonder if it's a beat at all
You think on a totally different wavelength
And it's often a chore to get people to understand you

...but this particular quiz asked me for my views on spanking and living together before marriage, among other things that really didn't make me think one answer was normal and the other was not...oh yeah...and if I'm 30% normal and 60% weird...what's the other 10%????

Dress rant...

Okay, continuing my theme of ranting about's topic is dresses.

So, in two weekends we are going to the wedding of a college friend who may be the world's most fashionable person...(okay, maybe I shouldn't go that far...but she is the most fashionable person either one of us knows!) Hubby is going to be a reader at the wedding, and I am having the dilemma of what I should wear...

You see, the last dress I bought was for Charlotte's baptism...I love the dress, but since I bought it to wear in DECEMBER...I'm thinking it might not work for a summer wedding. The last dress I bought before that was for my SILs wedding (and really, I just don't like the dress that much...a little more matronly than I want to look!) which was also in DECEMBER the year before...

Then my next newest dress is one that I bought before we last went to the Midwest Catholic Family Conference (which we will be attending again this year)...unfortunately, the last time we went was in 2002...the other two dresses that I have in my wardrobe were bought for me by my mom...probably in 1999 or 2000...

So, I went to every website I could think of that might sell plus sized women's clothing, and looked at every dress option...I found two "maybe" dresses...

The problem I seem to have is that dresses either scream "look at me!!! I'm a skank ho!!!" (and a FAT skank ho at that!) or "excuse me, I am on lunch break from my business casual office job."

Whatever happened to nice dresses for church or whatever?? I don't want to look like I'm in my 50s (my Catechism class this year guessed that I was almost 40...I'll be celebrating 28 this summer!) but I don't want to look like I'm trying to pick up Johns (with very bad eyesight and a thing for fat chicks, of course!)

So, still trying to figure out what to wear to above mentioned wedding...

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Should I be worried about the 8%???

You Are 8% Sociopath

You're empathetic, loyal, and introspective.
In other words, there's no way you're a sociopath... but you can spot one pretty easily!

The GRE thought so too!

You Are Incredibly Logical

Move over Spock - you're the new master of logic
You think rationally, clearly, and quickly.
A seasoned problem solver, your mind is like a computer!


Okay, the evil laugh is because I no longer have to deal with html on blogger!!! Best new feature ever!!! I hated adding links because I had to wade through all sorts of mumbo jumbo that I don't understand to put them in...but now, I just click a button, and it walks me through step by step. I really did need blogger for idiots!

I'm too tired to come up with a title, so this will have to do...

So, I've been a slacker in terms of blogging recently...but this time I have a good excuse! (Just kidding...I don't need an excuse to be a slacker, it's second nature to me!)

Hubby and I have started the South Beach Diet...though I hate to use the word diet...basically it is more like we've stopped eating our usual menu of excessive amounts of carbs. Instead, I've been making excessive amounts of salads...slightly more work than my normal "cooking" but at least it keeps the kitchen cool!

We are currently in the second week of phase 1 (which is the most restrictive part of the diet) and next week we get to start adding back in grains and fruits, which I am actually a little bit nervous about...

Other than that, not much going on! Some family get togethers, lots of housework to catch up on, trying to get Charlotte out of our bed (so far we've managed one night in the cosleeper...with any luck in a few months she'll be ready to move in with Eva!) Interviews are done for the new clerk at the post office, but no word on who the job is being offered to (still in the background check/reference stage, I'm guessing) so it may be a while before hubby isn't working so much overtime, but I'm not complaining, because we are down to the last $1020 on hubby's student loan, and after that, the only debt we will owe is our mortgage! Woo hoo!!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

This REALLY shouldn't suprise anyone!

Weird Al Shares Your Taste in Music

See his whole playlist here (iTunes required)

"There is no emoticon for what I'm feeling!"

Your Emoticon Is Laughing

You've got a wicked sense of humor. You're everyone's favorite IM buddy... at least today!

Only 60%???

You Are 60% Weird

You're so weird, you think you're *totally* normal. Right?
But you wig out even the biggest of circus freaks!

I HATE insurance companies...

Okay, so I REALLY try not to use the word hate when I really mean "strongly dislike", etc...but today I am really HATING ours!!!

Now, on the plus side...we are insured and nine times out of ten they pay claims with no difficulties...

On the minus side...if they don't pay a claim, it is a pain in the you-know-what to get them to review it...

Today I talked to some guy named Michael (since he shares a name with approximately 25% of the American male population, I feel no guilt in posting his name!) NOT HELPFUL AT ALL! See, this is a claim that we had for Charlie when we took her into the ER at the ADVICE OF THE 24 HOUR NURSE LINE THAT THE INSURANCE COMPANY HAS FOR US TO USE!!!! Fortunately, she was, it got coded as something that the insurance didn't like. The visit was in DECEMBER of 06...

I have called the insurance company AT LEAST once a month over this...I have also called the hospital at least once a month (and their billing office, and the clinic, and the medical records department, etc.) LAST MONTH the hospital told me they had sent out the information requested, so when I got a paper in the mail stating that the insurance company needed the information that was already sent to them, I called in.

Michael informed me that the information that "they" sent in was for the wrong date in October...then he got mad that I wasn't understanding what he meant since Charlotte was born in November. It was a claim for ME from a different HOSPITAL, in a different CITY, with a different BILLING OFFICE, etc. etc. etc...then he treated me like crap because I didn't have the account numbers from the hospital bills (which I have only recieved one of...) and the phone number from that paper, and instead tried to give him the hospital phone number (it is a small has ONE main phone number...) Finally, I talked to someone higher up who was at least as unhelpful...

Then I called the hospital, and they read me back everything that had been done (every mailing, every time I called, every time they called the insurance company, etc.) and told me that they were sending out the information again tomorrow...

So, my insurance company likes to pass the buck all the time...

Nothing makes me quite as crazy as people who won't take responsiblity for their own organization's screw ups!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Movies are a wonderful thing...

So, last night I was just at wits end. You see, we had made a family trip to Colorado Springs (which is quite long enough of a drive, thank you very much) because hubby ended up having training in a small town near there (they had moved the one that was closer, but the phone service was out in our town because someone had accidentally cut a fiberoptic cable south of town, and so they didn't get the call that it was that day rather than the next!) Anyhow, that kept us out past midnight after all was said and done on Wednesday. Thursday I had bible study in the evening, and we decided to watch our movie from netflix afterwards, so we were up late then...Friday, the girls went on a napping strike, so I got no rest then. So, last night I had hubby take the girls up to the theatre to watch "Firehouse Dog" (Eva LOVED it...she has a thing about dogs...) and I got to stay home and work on OUR scrapbook for a change. So, I got Eva coming home from the hospital through Eva's baptism...(okay, so it was only about 6 weeks of her life...but's an accomplishment when you are as behind as I am!)

Both kids are still free at the movie, so it wasn't even that expensive to get them out of my hair...I'm going to have to do that more often!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Why Men Suck...

Okay, I guess more fairly, I should title this post "why the traditional distribution of labor within the family sucks!" As I sit here with my appliances all going (Thank the Lord for my appliances, or my mechanical slaves, as I call them!) I've been thinking about accomplishments. Do you ever get the feeling that you are always busy, but never actually accomplish anything? Take dishes, cooking and laundry, for instance...You wash all the dishes...then it is time to feed the family a meal, so you have to cook, when you are done cooking, you have more dishes to wash...then you have to cook another meal, ad nauseum! Same with get up in the morning, you get dressed, you get the kids dressed, you go about your routine of cooking and doing dishes, and at the end of the day, you get undressed and into PJs, then you have to wash the laundry...and as if clothing weren't enough, there are sheets and towels and blankets and burp cloths and diapers to wash, too!

A while back our washing machine was broken (right in the middle of potty training! Yikes!!!) and the repair guy couldn't get here for four days. I just let the laundry pile up (except for the load that was in the washer when it quit working...I took those up to my MILs house when we visited to rewash and dry...) and after it was fixed, I did a ton of loads of was almost like accomplishing something...In fact, I feel much more of a sense of accomplishment if I let my house become a pigsty and THEN clean it all up!

So, yesterday we did some work around the house. I cooked three meals, did dishes, did some laundry, played with the kiddos and used our Hoover Floormate on the tile floor in our kitchen. Today, I have more meals to cook, more dishes to do, more laundry to wash and dry and fold and put away, and of course, the kids to take care of. Yesterday, hubby worked on staining the cabinet doors for our kitchen and laundry room. Every door now has at least one side stained...and today, they are still stained!!! He also dug up a lilac bush in our front yard that was mostly dead...yes, a lot of hard work...but guess what he doesn't have to do again! (To be fair to hubby, his days at work are a lot like my days at home...he does the same things over and over again 6 days a week...)

Okay, enough whining (for now)...maybe I'll go try to accomplish something!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

We celebrated Mother's Day a week early...

Mostly due to the fact that hubby has three cousins graduating from high school on Mother's Day. So, hubby and Eva went out this morning to get some supplies for our never ending cabinet project, and they got my present while they were out. I am very excited about it (which probably means that I am a massive dork!) because instead of being fifteen years out of date, technologically, we are now only about five! (I figure if you can find it in our town, it has to be at least five years behind the times!)

We have two stereos in our house (I use the term loosely, of course!) one in our bedroom which is the small one that I got in high school with one tape deck, a CD player, and a AM/FM radio. All parts still function (except the tape deck can be a little finicky at times. Our other stereo was hubby's from high school. It is an old school boombox! Detachable speakers, CD player, dual tape deck with high speed dubbing, AM/FM radio with the capability to program radio stations...the problem is that the CD player on it doesn't work, and we live far enough out in the boonies to not have very good reception for any radio stations (we used to have Sirius Satalite Radio, but didn't use it enough for it to be worth it...)

Okay, total tangent here, but this is too cute not to tell...I went outside to tell the family that supper is almost ready, and Eva is singing "Father Abraham" to an earthworm her daddy found for her...Back to the original post...

So, obviously they got me a new stereo...and this one doesn't take up half my bookshelf! It only takes up one shelf. It has a CD player, AM/FM radio (no programable features, but we don't really need it, and best of all, I can hook my IPod up to it and we can all listen!

Hubby claimed the old boombox for the garage, but at least it is no longer in the house! Besides, all he wants out there is something that can pick up AM radio for sporting events while he is working out there!

I hate freecycle...

I may be the only person on the planet...and maybe it's just my local freecycle that sucks (but I'm guessing there are many other sucky ones, too!)

I have been on the local freecycle group for over a year (maybe closer to two) and I finally unsubscribed from it...I have made exactly two requests (one for empty beer bottles, the other for empty baby food jars) making it clear that I would be willing to travel to pick stuff up...

I have also made at least two offers (if I've made any more, they were just never responded to...) one was a bunch of pen refills that I had left over from grad school, which after about two weeks of no response, I threw them out. Naturally, about two weeks after that, someone responded that they would be interested in the pen refills if I still had them...

Second one was last week or so...I have over a dozen clean, unused cloth diapers (6 cheapy prefolds and over a dozen flats) and I don't have any use for them (as I have 3 dozen of two different sizes of good prefolds, and probably 2 dozen or more flats that I use for burp rags...) So, I offered them, and was very excited when someone said that she was interested...I e-mailed her back privately with my phone number telling her to give me a call to figure out a time she could pick them up. I also told her that we town we live in, and that we are in the city itself. Our city is in the county that the freecycle group is supposed to be for...

She e-mailed back that she was located in another city in the next county over (at least an hour drive away) and asked if we ever came to that town, and asked if we might be able to drop them off there...

I e-mailed back that we do occasionally go through that town, but that we had no plans to do so in the near future...she has never e-mailed me back...

So, apparently, I can't get anyone to even save their trash (or recyclables) for me, but people want me to DELIVER items to them in a different COUNTY???


Whew!!! Can't imagine what my mom would say if I failed..

You Passed 8th Grade Science

Congratulations, you got 6/8 correct!

Just enough blogging...

Okay, I have to admit, I started this blog only after becoming addicted to reading blogs. At one point, I think I visited about a dozen blogs a I am down to three. (The second kid definately contributed to that!) But honestly, there are lots of great bloggers out there, but there are two types that I just can't stand anymore. People who blog too much, or people who blog too little...

On the "people who blog too much" list include Amy Wellborn (whom I love to read, but since she posts a zillion things a week, I just can't handle keeping up!) and the Heart, Mind and Strength blog, which because it has half a dozen people who blog on it, just is information overload as well...

Then there are the ones that you visit, and they don't update for weeks at a time (like me for instance!) and by the time they have updated, you have visited their site a dozen times looking for more thoughts...

I think it is pretty hard to reach a happy medium in blogging...I understand the urge to put everything you find interesting on a blog...and I understand the not having time to regularly update a blog...but it is sad when only 2 of my original 12 or so blogs fit my new expectations (the 3rd I found just a couple of months ago...very funny stuff at Ask Sister Mary Martha!)

Saturday, May 05, 2007

What was the point???

Okay, so we were in tornado warnings last night...we saw on the TV, and kept trying to figure out if we were in the path of the tornados...however, since it was DRIZZLING in Denver, that was FAR more important than us!!! So, right about the time we finally went to bed figuring that the tornado whistle would (hopefully! We're all heavy sleepers in this house) wake us up it started to hail. We had a nice pile of pea sized hail just sheeting off of our roof, and the street was white with hail...we figured there was pretty much no chance of hearing the whistle with all the hail, and thought we'd leave our existance up to God (obviously, we were not hit by a tornado, since I am typing this...

At about 1 in the morning the phone rang...I jumped out of bed and ran to get it, worrying that it was a reverse 911 telling us that a tornado was about to wipe our town out of existence...

It was a reverse let us know that we were no longer in a tornado warning...

So, I ask you...why on EARTH did they do that at 1 am, but not call earlier in the evening to let us KNOW that we were in a tornado warning???

Friday, May 04, 2007

Our Blessed Mother had an accident...

Okay, I've always wanted a Mary garden...but to have one, you need two things...a statue of Mary, and some sort of flower garden. I had gotten one step closer recently. My MIL let me have a statue of Mary that her ex-step-mother had given her when she lost her mind and left the Catholic church for a cult (and then divorced her husband and moved to "find Jesus" and sell "Holy Tea"...) So, we brought Mary home and placed her inside our fence until we could plant a garden underneath the bedroom windows.

Now, Eva LOVES Mary, and has several small Mary and Joseph statues that she plays with in the house. Naturally, she loved this larger, outdoor Mary. Mary rode Eva's bike with her...Mary was put down for naps on the step...Mary was carried up to the top of Eva's slide with all of Eva's other treasures (It looked like a redneck Catholic shrine...I really wish I had gotten a picture!) Mary even slid down the slide (not because I thought it was a good idea...) and she survived all of that.

Well, unfortunately today Eva apparently dropped her on our sidewalk, and broke her base into I am waiting for hubby to get home to see if Mary is repairable...If she is, then I am sure he will have the good sense to place her OUTSIDE of our fence!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I blame this on my hubby...

You got 29 out of 30 questions right!

Take The "Test Your Simpsons Knowledge #1" Quiz Now!

Pork Chops with Rhubarb Sauce

Okay, I was watching "Everyday Food" on PBS on Sunday, and they did this recipe...of course, I'll list what I actually did, not what they told me to do! (I enjoy the show, but those New Yorkers have no idea what is available in the supermarkets of rural America...honestly, they said that you could get rhubarb year round in the produce can't even get it at the store in the summer here...maybe the farmer's market, or 95% of backyards!)

Okay, here it is!

Brown 4 (or more) pork chops in a little bit of olive oil.

In a sauce pan, cook 1/2 an onion in a little bit of olive oil

In a small bowl mix 1/2 c. dried currants (or raisins, if that's what is in your pantry) with 1/4 c. water and 1 T. balsamic vinegar

Add to sauce pan 2 c. chopped rhubarb, bowl of water, currants, etc. and 3 T. white sugar

Cook until thickened and mushy, serve over pork chops.

We had it with leftover brown rice and brussel sprouts (frozen ones, naturally!)

Beating a cake mix with a whisk counts as a workout, right?

Of course the subtitle of this post could be "Why I am a fat you-know-what"! I have no particular reason for baking a cake other than we had a chocolate cake mix and chocolate frosting in the pantry. I'm contemplating looking up the Saint of the day, and arguing it is a celebration in honor of that Saint...but who would I be kidding? Hubby and Eva are a-okay with me baking, to say the least.

Not much else going on here...I'm still behind on laundry and dishes (a perpetual state) and I tried a new recipe for supper, so I'll post that in a minute for anyone else with hills of rhubarb that came with their house who doesn't know what to do with rhubarb!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Today's church marathon...

Okay, don't get me wrong...I love going to church on's just that by the end, I am completely wiped out! First of all, we have CCD (catechism/religious education/sunday school or whatever else you want to call it!) before Mass. Eva is in the preschool class and has to be there at 9, I don't have to teach my 4th graders until 9:30 (they have music class first!) Today was the last day for classes, and apparently there is a tradition to let the kids walk to the local quick-e-mart for snacks on the last day (I made them take a test after they got snacks) never mind that they are all old enough to recieve communion. The other 4th grade teacher and I told them that they shouldn't take communion because of the candy/pop right before church. Then, we had a very nice mass, but all the little kids in the church were restless today, so it was very noisy! Finally, we had a LOT of announcements about upcoming stuff, and a blessing for a young man going off to pursue the Franciscan way of life. After Mass there was a potluck followed by sexual abuse training (we both fortunately did the training several years ago!) which we skipped and went instead to a local restaurant. Afterwards, I decided we might as well pick up some groceries while we were out. (I go back and forth on that no shopping on Sundays thing...) Finally, 5 hours later we got home...

Since Sundays are hubby's only day off work during the week, 3 hours of church tends to wear on us...I am so not ready for the work week to start again!

A toddler with a step stool is just NOT a good idea!

Okay, so we've always had a step ladder in our house. It currently resides in the laundry room, and we drag it out when we need to reach something high up. We acquired a step stool when I got home from the hospital because I couldn't get up into our bed (normal sized box spring with a pillowtop mattress.) It is a $10 rubbermaid one, and it is Eva's best friend...ninety five times a day she asks "Where's my step stool?" It is a great aid for getting into trouble. Here is today's example...

I was lying down with Charlotte trying to get her to nap after our 5 hour church marathon/lunch/shopping trip (more on that later!) when I noticed a buzzing sound. When Charlie fell asleep, I went investigating. Due to my severe "Harry Potter" addiction, I have all 6 books on tape (I'm thinking about upgrading to CDs sometime soon...) and I listen to them virtually every night while falling asleep. My stereo is on top of a lingere chest (about 4 1/2 ft tall, I'd bet) and the rewind button was pressed in and buzzing. Where was the step stool? Right in front of the chest! Go figure, my little toddler was probably trying to "listen to music?" which she asks to do everytime we go into my bedroom throughout the day.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The real question is, what would I be in the box of 72?

You are most like:

You are Green

The feeling of spring follows you. Newness, surprise, beginnings and growth. Your fresh perspective gives others much to consider.


Take this quiz: Which Crayola Box of 8 Color Are You?

Obviously, I have no life...

Gummy Bears

You may be smooshie and taste unnatural, but you're so darn cute.

Another TMI post...

So, I complained about pants about a year ago, so now I will move on to another of my clothing nemesis (and I have many!) and that is BRAS! Now, I know that not all plus-sized women are big chested, but I have the pleasure of being both fat and busty. So busty in fact that I have difficulty wearing all sorts of cute styles of clothing. Empire waists always fall mid chest for me, for instance. So, obviously I dread buying bras!

Recently, we went up to Denver to visit my parents. By a happy coincidence, I had gotten an ad from Lane Bryant (for those of you skinny people, it's a plus sized clothing chain) that they had their brand of bras on sale, buy one get one for $9.99. With this ad was a coupon for $15 off a purchase of $15 or more. So, while we were up, we left the kiddos with my mom and dad and did a little bit of shopping.

It was a fairly tolerable bra shopping experience, thanks in large part to getting a bossy black woman to help me! (There just tends to be a difference between a bossy black woman and a bossy white woman...since I am the latter, I know how I can be bossy!) You see, I had the right size in mind (46DDD, yes, that is 3Ds), but I honestly haven't worn an underwire bra since the beginning of college. This nice (but bossy) lady told me I needed an underwire, gave me a bra to try on, fixed the straps, told me to put on my shirt and look at it in the mirror. Honestly, it made a huge difference in looks.

Being a comfort person, however, I don't mind being saggy and comfortable. However, when hubby said it looked MUCH better, I figured I'd suck it up and go with an underwire. I asked the lady if there were any other styles of underwires that might work for me. She flat out told me that the style I tried on was the only style she would recommend for my figure. So, I bought two for the price of one after the sale and coupon, and got out of the store in under 20 minutes. What more could I ask for when bra shopping?


So, should a person really be allowed to have a blog when it takes them twenty minutes to sign on to blogger?? I remember a day not long ago when I could handle simple tasks like remembering a username and password from one day to the next...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Book recommendation

So, yesterday I got a book in the mail (through Paperback Swap, see my links) and spent yesterday afternoon reading it and doing a lot of crying. Then, after work, hubby started reading it (and doing a lot of crying as well) and he stayed up until after midnight (a huge feat considering the kids and his work schedule...that and the fact that we are getting old and tired) to finish it. The book was "Letters to Gabriel" by Karen Garver Santorum.

Basically, it was letters she wrote to her baby while pregnant. I highly recommend reading it. I won't go into all the details, but she ended up delivering Gabriel Michael prematurely at 20 weeks. He lived two hours. It has a wonderful prolife message in it, and is the story of a mother and her baby.

I was just amazed and related to it as a mother. Not a book I'd want to read while pregnant, though...I really don't cry that much normally, but pregnancy makes me weep over cereal commercials!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


So, the penance I recieved at my last confession was to do a load of laundry lovingly, carefully, and with prayerfulness for the gift of my family. (I thought laundry for penance was a bit harsh considering I didn't have any mortal sins to confess...but I guess that just shows how much I like doing it!)

Now, I believe I may be the laziest person on the planet when it comes to laundry. I never did any until I was married, and made hubby do half of the laundry up until I became a housewife...When we lived in the city, we would wait until every last piece of clothing was dirty, then we would both go to the laundromat together and sit there for several hours with several triple load washers going. In fact, one time hubby insisted on going to Smiley's Laundromat on Colfax in Denver because he thought it would be more fun to go somewhere exciting to do laundry (it wasn' me!)

I don't sort colors, I don't usually pretreat (I did with Eva's clothes when she was little, but for some reason, I washed her clothes alone...not different detergent or anything...) and I wash everything except diapers on cold/cold.

So, this laundry with love thing was difficult for me, to say the least. In fact, I thought that since I spend so little time or effort on the family laundry, I might use this penance as an opportunity to turn over a new leaf! So, I went and bought a Clorox bleach pen, and got a pretreater for set in stains called Zout. I did three loads of laundry after pretreating...I even checked the really badly stained clothes (mostly Eva's) to see if the stains came out, and if they didn't I hung them to dry. I even finished the drying, folding and putting away.

After doing those loads, I realized that our laundry room was pretty much useless for laundry because it had become a dumping ground for everything that we didn't know what to do with! So, hubby and I cleared out so much stuff that our dumpster was full on Sunday (our trash day is Thursday) so we've had to be very creative in trying to get the rest of our trash for the week out there!

So, I brought our two hampers into the laundry room, one for whites, one for everything else, and I am attempting to sort our laundry everyday. Whites do not get pretreated until I have a whole load. Colors get pretreated as I put them in the hamper. When I have a load, I do a load. I am hanging certain items to dry rather than just not caring and tossing them in the drier. So far, so good in terms of my resolution.

However, this resolution is conflicting with another one of my resolutions...We are in the process of paying off all our debts (mostly student loans) and have paid off $10,000 since August. We have under $2500 to go, so pretty much all excess money should be going to debt payment...but I desperately want a laundry sorter (rather than the two mismatched hampers) and a wall mounting drying rack...

Maybe I'll ask hubby for them for my birthday in August...

Monday, April 23, 2007

And of course, most importantly...

You Are Guinness

You know beer well, and you'll only drink the best beers in the world.
Watered down beers disgust you, as do the people who drink them.
When you drink, you tend to become a bit of a know it all - especially about subjects you don't know well.
But your friends tolerate your drunken ways, because you introduce them to the best beers around.

Not sure how accurate this one is...

You Have a Choleric Temperament

You are a person of great enthusiasm - easily excited by many things.
Unsatisfied by the ordinary, you are reaching for an epic, extraordinary life.
You want the best. The best life. The best love. The best reputation.

You posses a sharp and keen intellect. Your mind is your primary weapon.
Strong willed, nothing can keep you down. Your energy can break down any wall.
You're an instantly passionate person - and this passion gives you an intoxicating power over others.

At your worst, you are a narcissist. Full of yourself and even proud of your faults.
Stubborn and opinionated, you know what you think is right. End of discussion.
A bit of a misanthrope, you often see others as weak, ignorant, and inferior.

Okay, this really shouldn't surprise anyone!

Your Geek Profile:

Music Geekiness: Highest
Academic Geekiness: High
Fashion Geekiness: High
SciFi Geekiness: High
Geekiness in Love: Low
General Geekiness: Low
Internet Geekiness: Low
Movie Geekiness: Low
Gamer Geekiness: None

I am alive!!!

Okay, so I really dropped the ball back in October of 2006...but 6 months later, I'm back! (There's a really good reason I didn't e-mail everyone I know with my blog address...but I think maybe I will to keep myself on top of posting!)

Charlotte was born November 11th with a scheduled c-section, thanks once again to breech positioning. She is a very sweet mama's girl now, and at five months is rolling all over and grabbing everything within reach. Mostly she drools on things she finds, or talks to them. Every night when we are trying to go to sleep, she sings an ode to her pacifier, as far as I can tell.

Eva is still as goofy as ever, and is a great big sister. She likes to help out when I need her (at least most of the time) and pretty much always wants to help me when I DON'T need help.

So, I am back, and I will actually go and e-mail some friends and family to let them know that I have a blog, in hopes that THAT will make me write in it!