Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Another BEAUTIMUS day!!

We started off the day with a bang (a good one, I promise!) and we will hopefully end on a high note. After a drama-free morning of getting kids ready and taking Grace to school, I put Layla in her kennel for a nap (safety) while Andrew and I walked down to a neighborhood park for our church's Mom & Me group. The round trip is 2.5 miles and I pulled Andrew in his wagon. It was a good workout! He loved the park and I loved spending time with some awesome women and their cute kids. We had someone new come and she is great! Her step-spn is in Grace's kindergarten class, so we got to know each other a bit better today. After we got home we went and had lunch with Bryan (this working from home stuff just BAFFLES me), and then I laid Andrew down for a nap. Then I decided to go weed the garden beds in the front of the house. Man..... there were a TON of weeds! By the time I was done I only had about half an hour before Grace got out of school.

We got The Witches in the mail from Netflix today, and Grace was SUPER excited to see it since we finished the book not long ago. She was disappointed that the movie didn't follow important parts of the book, but she says she still liked most of it. I am SO PROUD OF HER. Books are better than the movie adaptation 95% of the time. Unless that book/movie is something equally crappy on both ends..... I wont name any names.... you can venture to guess.....

So back to today, it was GORGEOUS outside. I added to my sunburn, so I am slightly more red than yesteray in spite of my sunblock applications. The kids got to spend a good amount of time outside and so did Layla. Man, her energy level has SHOT UP! She was romping all over the house today, and she BARKED FOR THE FIRST TIME! She wanted to go outside, she actually wanted to go outside for something other than doing her business! She went out and played in the yard and explored. I am going to get her a leash this weekend and we are going to start working on getting her used to it.

Andrew had a lot of fun today, and he loves being outside. He was such fun to have around for the whole day, and he played almost the entire day, so nap time was what it is meant to be, he wore himself out enough to actually sleep! He has been asleep for the night since about 8pm, snoring like a bear in his room. I love it!

Life feels blessed and light-hearted today. I will have to remember that next week when group projects are due for my advanced accounting class! Haha!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Gorgeous weather, poor Layla

Today was a beautiful day, and we took advantage of it. I put Andrew in the hiking pack and Layla in her carry-along kennel and walked with them down to her vet's office for her appointment (about a mile away from the house) and then came home and watched Andrew play in the backyard for a while. Then we cleaned the house, had lunch and went outside again. This time Andrew was in the stroller and I walked about 1.25 miles to see a woman from church and let Andrew play at the playground by her house, then we walked back home. Then we went to pick up Grace from school and stayed for about an hour to play outside. I have a sunburn, but only on my face and chest. It looks hilarious!

Layla has a bacterial infection, so she got anti-bacterial shampoo and antibiotics at the vet's today. Plus she had her shots, her first hearworm pill, and her second round of dewormer. Needless to say she has had some extra attention and love today. But she did very well with all of it, and she has gone from 2.8 pounds to 7.4 pounds in only a few weeks. She also sat on demand today, which earned her some yummy treats.

I don't have much else to share other than I think I am done for the day! Good night!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spring is busting out all over!

Bryan's new job started on Monday, and I still can't grasp the concept that he will be paid for days that he is not required to come in to the office or visit a client site. Today was one of those days..... and just as I feared, he threw off my whole routine.

I skipped out on Mom & Me to go have a late breakfast with him and our little dude, and then I watched a movie with him this afternoon instead of straightening up the house and studying for my midterm. I also took advantage of the fact that he was here and went and finally got a massage with my Massage Envy gift card. Apparently I needed it, I have an inflamed muscle (trapezius) that had a nasty knot in it. I didn't even work out today. Instead, I took a nap with Bryan. He ruins everything!!! :-)

But it has still been an otherwise productive week. I got the squash, pumpkin, and onion sprouts out in to the garden. No, I will not post pictures, the garden is not complete yet. The heirloom tomatoes are in the Jiffy greenhouse now, and the poblano and yellow bell peppers are still growing in their individual seed pots until I feel they are big enough to move outside. My cilantro and chives are under a CFL bulb in the kitchen, and I will go buy my 5 gal. buckets and my timbers I need to make my hanging posts next week.

Grace and I are close to finishing The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. We would have finished it last week, but I slacked really bad and didn't read any novels to her last week, just had her read short stories. I haven't picked up my own book, Mozart's Ghost, in almost 2 weeks. I really need to sit down with it again, but this advanced accounting class is kicking my butt and taking up a lot of my free time that I would have otherwise used to read, exercise, or do batch cooking.

My azaleas are starting to push out blooms. Yes, I will post pictures, probably next week after all or most of the bushes are in full bloom. One of the plants' foliage is much lighter than the other bushes and is not pushing out blooms. I am sad that I might have to replace it, but I want to give it some time to see if it will bloom a different color. If so, I will just move it to another bed and put something else in its original place. Perhaps a cute fountain???

You know how we know it's Spring time?? The wasps are back..... there were 3 wasp nests in our gas grill yesterday! We decided to give it away since we never use it. The bugs get more use from it than we do. No loss, really. I want to extend the patio anyway, and getting rid of the grill will make that easier to do.

I think I will tuck in early tonight, I feel bushed from being completely unproductive all day long, haha!

Bryan, please go in to the office tomorrow so I can sweep, mop, dust, vacuum, study, and get a good kickboxing work out!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

If it's broke, scream like a mad woman!!!

Yesterday was Andrew's superhero birthday party, and it was great! The bouncehouse was cancelled due to bad weather, but we still had a blast running around the house in capes/masks and defeating the bad guy (a pinata I made to look like the Green Goblin's head).

So I had $85 left over that would have been put towards the bounce house. I thought "Alright! Now we can have a little fun this week and maybe get Andrew a better birthday present on his actual birthday!". I. Was. Wrong.

I walked in to Andrew's bedroom at about 8pm to get him ready for bed. He was playing at his train table in the far right corner of his room. I walked over to get him and I stepped on soaking wet carpet. "What spilled", I thought. Nothing...... the pipes to the water heater (right on the other side of his wall in the garage) were letting out a steady stream of water that was slowly coming in to my son's room! I used all of the towels in the house to soak up water, then I put fans on the carpet to let them start drying. The carpet smells like cat pee today, I am SO UPSET! I HATE bad smells!

So someone from church who used to do plumbing work comes over to help us figure out what to do, and that $85 is going to go towards replacing pipes, sheetrock, and the box that the water heater stands on. Of course, but hey.... at least we had the money, right??

Now Layla has had a ton of excitement the past few days with having tons of people over. She has been really good and has not "gone" in her kennel at all at night, and waits until we let her out in the morning to do her business. So today I thought I would let her roam free for a bit, and then I got lost in school work and trying to help the hubs look at the water heater. Layla was left unsupervised for a total of an hour, and in that time she peed in the living room FOUR TIMES, and pooped on my area rug. Ugh! Can a four week old dog really need to pee that much?? I was frustrated that I let down my guard and thought that she would be okay for a short while. She is in her small kennel napping right now, and she will be spending some time outsides this evening. She has not wanted to go outside since the day before yesterday, because it rained all day yesterday and was cold/windy. Every time I tried to put her out to go, she would whine by the back door. Man.... it is HARD taking care of such a small dog. I will openly admit it!

So the pipes to the water heater are broken, the sheetrock is damaged, the box needs to be replaced, and Layla is scared to pee and poop outside. They are all BROKEN..... and I am screaming like a mad woman!

But, my husband is working on the water heater, Layla will get bigger and learn how to hold it in, my son will be three years old on Friday, my daughter is happy and helpful, I am in good health, my school work for the week is done, Bryan starts a new job tomorrow (with a nice pay raise), and all things considered..... life is good.

But, I still need to do it..........


Friday, March 19, 2010

What is it, then???

Is it "Christian" to tell someone that they are going to Hell? If it is, then by what account are we justified in determining whether someone will go to Hell? Isn't Hell a relative term/idea? What is peace to one person may be Hell to the next, is it not? But is it "CHRISTIAN" to tell someone that they are going to that Hell of fire and despair? My opinion? No, it certainly is not, by any means, "Christian", to tell someone they are going to a place of despair and damnation once their mortal life has expired. We are looking at it solely from the view of Jesus Christ as he is portrayed in scripture. Did he condemn any one man to Hell? He did not. Did he urge us to judge others according to what we perceive of them and then pass our judgment upon them openly? No, he warned against judgment of others, saying we would receive judgment in return. Did he give us the authority to condemn others to Hell? Absolutely not.

So what IS it, then, to tell someone they are going to Hell? Is it close-minded? Self-righteous? Judgmental? Earnest effort to save? If so, save from what? Is it a reaction to something unknown? If so, is it not a reaction of fear bred from ignorance? If a person is faithful, charitable, loving, accepting, and good-hearted, are they condemned if they are not of your faith? Can people then turn and condemn you to Hell for not being of their faith? If so, when does said condemnation take place? If we feel we have the authority to condemn others to Hell, do we also have the authority to decide when it will happen? If any person on this planet feels they have that authority, they have been horribly mistaken.

I will say right now that I have found the answers to these questions, and they are answers that make sense to me and strengthen my spiritual awareness. Those answers I have found might not match up with the answers of other good, kind, loving people. But I will NEVER condemn those people to Hell for understanding something in a way seperate from my own understanding. I will NEVER condemn someone for making their own choices, and being on a spiritual level that differs from my own. I would NEVER feel myself so flawless that I have the right to compare others to myself and determine that they are doomed, because they have not found what I have found in the manner of which I found it. Whether it is done out of good or out of wretchedness, it is not a founded principle to assume the position of judge over others' spiritual welfare.

That, my friends, is the consequence of confusing religion for spirituality. Let's all remember that religion is created by man, therefore it is flawed. But spirituality is created by something pure and apart from our primal and carnal selves. When religion supports your spirit, your spirit becomes weak and ineffective. But when your spirit supports your religious findings and understanding, then you can make the progress you have been looking to make. It's called enlightenment, and we all have equal opportunity to find it.

Yes, even those who are condemned to Hell by their "Christian friends".

I believe in Christ as my Savior, Prophet, and Friend. I can therefore call myself a "Christian" to save explanation of detailed belief and understanding. The church I belong to does not make me who I am as a person. The things my spirit knows and the way I use that knowledge is what makes me the person I have become. I will not condemn friend or foe to a place of darkness. Not only do I lack the authority to do so (thank goodness, that must be a heavy burden beyond our understanding), I lack the ill-temper to feel myself justified in doing so at any rate of severity.

What is it, then, for any person to tell someone they are going to Hell? It is wrong.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

In Soviet Russia.....

.... it is rainy and dreary today, but that doesn't stop the Spring Break "madness"! We ran some errands this morning, had a nice lunch at home, did quiet time and then met up with Grace's friend Alicia and Alicia's mom, Dorothea at the Katy Mills indoor play area. It was packed, just as I had feared. Did I ever mention that I..... HAAAAAAAATE THEEEEE MAAAAAAALL!!!!!? After about a half hour there both of my kids were melting down from being around waaaaaay too many strange kids, and it was pretty warm in there as well, so Grace was insisting that her feet were in agony from being in "the hottest socks in the world". So we left and went elsewhere, where moods lifted, a little.

We got home and the kids immediately started fighting over Layla, I nipped that by taking her a putting her elsewhere. Then they started tattling on each other, even after I warned them that tattles would put them in the corner. Both kids ended up in the corner, and then we moved on to the next trial. They behaved long enough to get a mini ice cream cone after dinner. They kept waving their hands and cones in my face, so I finally blurted out:

"Stop tattling and waving things at me, or I am going to ship you to Russia!"

Andrew's reaction: "Hahaha! Dat funny, Mommy!"

Grace's reaction: "Are you really going to ship us to Russia??"

My answer: "Yes, and in Soviet Russia, ice cream eats YOU."

Grace's reaction: "I'm telling Daaaaaddyyyyyy!"

My reply: "That's it, you're going to tattle, you're going to Russia."

Grace's reply: "Noooooooo! I don't want to go to Russia!"

My reply: "Then stop tattling and eat your ice cream."

Grace's reply: "Okay, FINE!"

Andrew's reaction throughout the whole thing: "Hahahahahahahahahahahaha! Dat FUNNY!"

My kids are the bee's knees.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hey hey hey, whaddaya say!

Today was such a busy day! My nephew and his mom came over with 5 other kids and I entertained them plus my two kiddos for the day. They ate lunch here, went to the park, watched a show, ate dinner with us, played around the house, completely wore Layla out, and ran around the backyard. So I made food for 10 people twice today. Plus I straightened up the house, did laundry, took care of Layla, scheduled songs all the way up until mid-May for church, paid some bills, and washed dishes.

Then when all of the guests were gone after dinner, we decided that we would sit down as a family and talk about the importance of having a budget and a menu in place for our financial and physical health (for FHE - Family Home Evening). We made a menu and a grocery list as a family and then went to the store to get what we needed. Then we brought it home, brought it all in the house, unloaded it, took Layla outside, and tucked kids in bed. Then I had to go over the list of items needed for Andrew's birthday party this weekend and check off items and add the totals paid for those items to see what else is needed.

Added bonus, I stayed within my calorie intake for the day and easily walked over an hour today by just chasing everyone around. I felt so accomplished!!

..... until I looked at the bed. The laundry I did is still laying there in a giant heap, waiting to be folded. Awwwww MAN! Do I HAVE to?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Today, yet another beautimus day!

I got to meet my other nephew for the first time today, and he is PRECIOUS! He will be a year old at the end of April, but we celebrated his birthday today in Wallisville. I got to hug him and kiss him, and rub his sweet little head. He was fairly good about the whole ordeal as well, the sweety had never met me before, and he cried some, but I got to see him and hold him, and that is what matters. We had a great time outside, as it was yet another beautiful day. My husband took some shots with the camera, which of course meant that he would end up taking some pics of me (with me completely unaware of what he was doing). I was browsing through the pictures today, and WOW! I have lost a ton of weight! I have lost about 16 pounds since January, but I actually SEE it in pictures now. Go me!

"Oh, how we'll make this chorus swell-
All is well! All is well!"

Friday, March 12, 2010

I rock, and roll, all day long!

Andrew came to me 10 minutes ago and said "Mommy, I'm tired, I want to go to bed. I want juice.". So I gave him a small cup of juice and tucked him in to bed. Then I went to check on Grace, and she was in jammies, in bed with a water bottle, watching a movie with the lights out. Wow..... two down, and I didn't have to do anything! So I went in to the kitchen to grab a drink. Layla was completely passed out in her big kennel, on her little red blanket. She went in there by herself and and zonked out on her blanket, all sprawled and snoring. It is the cutest thing ever, to have all of the "kids" tuckered out and ready for bed at 8pm on a Friday night. Gotta love it!

Thar it be!

Look at that picture of my squash and pumpkin sprouts! That's only 5 days from the time I put the seeds in the pots. I am SUPER IMPRESSED. I might have to transplant them before April, which causes concern about any final freezes and how it will effect the tender sprouts. I hope it all works out!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thursday in the land of milk and honey

It is GORGEOUS outside today, just like yesterday. We have played outside most of the morning, and I took some time to turn in homework corrections for an advanced accounting class before lunch today. The windows are open, we are having leftover breakfast for lunch (Andrew LOVES this concept).

Layla is having digestive issues because of the deworming treatment and she has blood in her stool from it. The recommendation from the vet was to give her chicken and rice mixed together. Perfect! I have crockpot chicken with rice on the menu for this week! All I have to do is push it to today and move today's meal to that day. Layla is set with food. Hopefully it will make her feel better. I received a large dog kennel from a friend for free, and I set it up in the kitchen this morning. I have a plan for all of this. When I am gone for a short while or she needs to come with me in the car, she will go in the small crate. When we all have to be gone for several hours (this upcoming Saturday when we drive to Wallisville to meet my nephew for the first time), she will stay in the large dog kennel with a blanket, food, and newspaper. When I am home but busy and unable to eye her well enough, the extension gate will keep her secure in the kitchen. I also found out yesterday that I can get a free dog run from a friend down the road. That is AWESOME! I am planning on picking it up before this summer to get it set up, secure, put some easy to clean flooring in, and then get Layla accustomed to staying in it for longer and longer periods at a time (starting with only a few minutes and then working up to a full morning in the Fall when it is cooler out).

When I steal my digital camera back from my husband this evening I am going to post pics of my Jiffy greenhouse progress. I can't put the lid on it anymore because my pumpkin and squash sprouts are too tall. I might have to put them in to the garden earlier than expected (beginning of April as opposed to mid-April).

Andrew's ant bites look much better now, poor guy. I counted them yesterday while he was sitting on the potty. He has 72 bites!!! The zinc carbonate in the calamine lotion neutralized the formic acid in the ant bites, so he has not scratched them but the slightest bit. The calendula lotion as really helped the bite swelling and irritation, so I suggest using those two together for ant bites.

I made some peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, plain chocolate chip cookies, and banana muffins for the bake sale this evening at Grace's school during Open House. I hope she has fun while we are there. I am going to talk Bryan in to staying home with Andrew so Grace and I can go alone. I feel like she and I need some one-on-one mommy-daughter time together. She is getting big so fast and I just don't know where the time is going anymore. She is reading a good deal of C.S. Lewis by herself, doing so much for herself, and can even make her own sandwiches now, and she's only 6 years old! Sometimes the pace at which our lives progress makes me want to find a way to stop time and cherish the moments we have. I love my Gracie so much. She is my firstborn, my only girl, my oldest child, my greatest accomplishment. Bryan, Grace, and I had to learn to be a family together. She taught us the true meaning of unconditional love, patience, mercy, and joy. I miss her while she is at school. I often find myself wanting to homeschool her again just so I can spend more time with her. But I respect her wishes and I will let her continue going to the elementary school right across the street from our house, so close yet so far.

Andrew's birthday party is next weekend! It will be a superhero themed party with a bounce house, cake, hotdogs, a pinata, and capes/masks for all attending children. I am going to pick up the material to make the capes early next week. It will probably be fleece or a stretch material that requires no sewing, because I know next week will be busy, and sewing at least 10 capes will take soooo much longer than just cutting them out. We are going to make comic book fight signs to hang around the house that say BAM!, POW!, SPLAT!, and the like. I think it is going to be super fun for everyone, including the host (Yours Truly). I am going to make another cake with white fondant and red/blue strips stars to mimick the Justice League, and I will probably put Superman/Spiderman/Batman on top as toys Andrew can keep.

Grace will be in a talent show for church the weekend after next, so she and I are going to start planning her dance routine this weekend. She hasn't done ballet in a while (the budget didn't permit it), so she is excited to do a routine, and I am nervous about choreographing one! I haven't done it in a good long while, so I am a little unsure of my abilities. It will be fine, I just need to pick a song with her and let her take over, only interjecting to offer advice on the routine. There, problem solved!

I really badly want a date with my husband!! We haven't had one in almost a month, and I think we both deserve some time away together. It's going to be nice to finally get a date, but it will probably be next weekend before we are able to get one. Money, time, and sitter availability to look bleak for this coming weekend.

Can I confess something?? I miss Bryan. Our schedules have been so hectic, and we wont have a break until this summer! I am finishing my degree, Bryan is about to change jobs, Grace is coming up on the last couple months of school, Andrew is learning at home, potty training, going to playgroups, driving me crazy, and then we have Layla, who needs almost constant attention at her young age. Bryan comes home from work and one of us is always busy at home. He does remote work from home for his current position, I do schoolwork, cook dinner, take care of the kids and puppy, go through the evening routine with kids, and then we finally get a little time together and we fall asleep! But Bryan starts this new job on March 22nd. If all goes well, he will be full-time by June, then we can go on a vacation! I will be done with school by June if all goes well, and then I can focus on my relationship with my husband and kids a little more. I can't wait! The end of another crazy journey in our family life is in sight, and a new one waits around the corner. I hope the new journey includes lots of time to do quality family activities!!

I can't wait to do more landscaping next month! I get to plant a couple apple trees, expand my vegetable garden again, fill in the bed all along the back fence, put in fresh dirt/mulch/bushes in the front of the house, and plant flowers around the tree in the front yard. It's going to look great when I am done! And hopefully I will lose another 5 pounds in the process. Landscaping is hard work!!

Anyway, Andrew's playtime in the yard is over and now it's quiet time. Off I go!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The joy of it all

Wow.... Layla's puppy formula is EXPENSIVE! But, it's helping her gain weight and feel much better. Her coat is shinier, her eyes are brighter, and her nose is wet. I love it! Her stools are becoming solid again, and that is a huge improvement for her.

Andrew has gone on the potty all day today (with the exception of one stinky surprise this morning), so we celebrated with a cup of Sprite.

Grace had another piece of schoolwork posted on the Principal's Hall of Fame this past week, and she will bring it home this week to display on our fridge. I am very proud of all of our kids (including the fur-baby) for their accomplishments this past week. It certainly makes up for the meltdowns, regression, stubborn refusals, and sleepless nights. :-)

On another note, my Jiffy Greenhouse is DA BOMB! My pumpkins, crookneck squash, and early prolific squash sprouts are already long enough to where I can cut out the weaker sprouts (2 inches or more) and I just put the seeds in on Saturday. I had reserves about using the plastic greenhouse with peat pots before, but now I am completely sold on the idea. My yellow bell peppers and poblano peppers are showing no signs of sprouting in my traditional containers, so I will use the Jiffy Greenhouse from now on for starting seeds. Now I just need to figure out how to seperate the squashes and pumpkins in the garden to reduce the risk of cross pollination and getting squashkins. :-)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Why do I do this to myself??? Because I are crazy. No, that's not a grammar error.

Here is a list of reasons I am completely insane and should be babbling in a padded room right now:

1. I am married to a completely analytical man who uses computer code to decipher any and all sticky situations in our home and personal lives.

2. I do all the landscaping for the house BY MYSELF.

3. I handle all of the taxes and financial records for the house and the personal business BY MYSELF.

4. I do all the cooking, cleaning, laundering, tidying, and scheduling BY MYSELF.

5. I create the family budget and plan the monthly menu BY MYSELF.

6. I am still in school (to get my BSBA, only 3 classes to go)

7. I volunteer for the PTA at least once a week at my daughter's school and drag Captain Destructo (my son) along with me for the fun.

8. I attempt to eat no more than 1,500 calories per day and work out for at least 45 minutes, 5 times a week. Journaling food is sooooooo tedious!

9. My calling in my church (ward music specialist) keeps me busy when I get time to sit and think about things outside of the home, planning the congregational hymns and choral pieces for each Sunday of the year.

10. Have I mentioned Layla yet? No? I am taking care of the majority of our puppy's needs.

11. My husband mentioned the thought of another child last night, and I THOUGHT IT MIGHT BE A GOOD IDEA. What is WRONG with me?

12. I learned how to replace a kitchen faucet by myself, but I will admit that was fun and rewarding.

13. I cut my husband and my kids' hair at home, Andrew is SO SQUIRMY when this happens.

14. I dogsit for other people..... need I say more?

15. I might do group fitness instructing again after this Summer to keep myself fulfilled and earn a little extra money. At least I will be done with school by then!

16. I hear voices telling me that it's okay to go spend $50 on chocolate at Walgreens and eat it all in one night while bawling at the sentimental parts of Sense and Sensibility. But I WONT give in. Yet.

So there you have it, I am certifiably insane, and it makes sense that I am, I suppose. Thanks for supporting my descent into madness!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Living in a horror movie!!!

Apparently Layla's deworming treatment is VERY effective. She is passing all kinds of weird looking worms in her stool, and it is A NIGHTMARE. We can't leave the poo in the yard, or else the eggs in the poo will contaminate the soil. So guess who has to clean up all the poo for the next 3 weeks? Me, only me, with ziploc baggies. I had to bag one that was at least 5 inches long. It. Is. Horrible. I might put down diotomaceous earth in the backyard once the deworming process has taken place to possibly decrease the risk of her being reinfected and my family being infected. We are also going to wear shoes outside at all times now (even water shoes when playing in the sprinkler) and we are probably going to all do a single dose of Vermox (mebendazole). I am going to ask a couple of different doctors about it first to decide if we need to do it or not (naturopathic, GP, and gastro-doc). Yuck. Yuck yuck yuck. Poor Layla.

Well worth it

We just paid $50 to find out that poor Layla was infested with hookworms and roundworms. The vet estimated her age at about 3 weeks old, she's still a baby! It seems as though she was taken from the litter immediately after birth. We are very happy that we saved her and that we can take care of her. She officially feels like part of the family now. We got some puppy formula from the vet to feed her, so now I can officially say that having THIS puppy feels like having a newborn child. :-)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Gus, Layla, Andrew, Grace, Austin, and fashion

They all woke up at about 6am this morning. Gus needed to go outside and do his business, and so did Layla. Andrew needed a new pull-up (I woke up to him sing-songing "Mommyyyyy, I went poopooooooo"), and Grace and Austin wanted breakfast. Zombie Mom does these things in auto-pilot, so I shooed dogs out of the back door, changed a pull-up, and told the older two to wait another half hour for breakfast, but that they could play quietly. Andrew came out of his room and turned in to Monster Man, chasing poor Gus around the house while Gus depserately looked for a place to hide from the midget-sized evil. Grace and Austin decided not to wait for breakfast and made themselves bowls of cereal, which did not make a huge mess, much to me relief. So the morning went off with a bang, about 2 hours before I wanted it to start. Afternoon nap, you are calling my name!

Now on to my other endeavor. I have been the CEO of a very frugal household for a good long while, and before that my husband and I were not making enough money together to get nice clothes. So...... I haven't owned any nice new clothes since high school, almost 10 years ago. I have completely lost touch with fashion. Completely. My regular wardrobe consists of worn blouses that are at least 3 years old, dumpy T-shirts, and sweats or jeans that are at least 2 years old. Come to think of it, I never really had a relationship with fashion. I wore sweats and old jeans to school with T-shirts and discount store tops.

I need an upgrade, badly. On everything. My clothes, my hair, my shoes (some of which have also survived from my high school days...... eww), my jewelry.

So I set out last night to find out what I might actually like now, and what would look good on me. There is so much to learn! Doing advanced accounting, business operations, and statistics courses in college..... that was far easier than trying to figure out my best styles. Seriously. Color palette? Shape-flattering tops and bottoms? What to mix and match? How to accesorize? The best colors for your hair/face shape? Plus I need to shop modest (LDS) so that throws a lot of new fashion choices out of the window. But there is hope! I FOUND STUFF I ACTUALLY LIKE! It's online, so now I have to figure out my sizes, order a few things, try them on, send them back for better sizes, and then decided on what lines fit me best (personality and body-wise). I browsed for at least 3 hours last night, trying to figure out what I want/need. I really like Shade Clothing, Funky Frum, Down East, and the Daytrip line sold at Buckle.

Now to figure out cuts and colors of shirts, and style of pants/shorts. Long shorts are obviously what I need. Bermuda shorts are a must, it doesn't really matter what fabric it is, as long as they don't make my butt look dumpy or non-existant. I need some classic rise or high rise flair jeans with a slightly relaxed fit. I have bought at Buckle in the past, and I had the mid-rise. Not high enough for all the bending and stooping I do during the day. I like my hiney to stay in my pants, thank you very much.

I have golden colored blonde hair, and my skin is pale with a rose hue to it. I can tan, but it takes effort and caution, or I burn instantly. I am hyper-colored, if you touch my skin it will turn white and then a red spot will appear and stay there for at least half an hour. So the color part is one of the trickiest things to figure out. Will bright colors show my redness in my skin? Will pale colors wash out my face and hair? Will dark colors be too hot this Summer? I am also hourglass shaped, with a 38 inch chest (between size C and D) and a 28.5 inch waist (and a little baby pooch below, of course), and 37.5 inch hips. I hate that so many cute shirts show cleavage on me or are not quite long enough on me to go below the top of my pants. I am 5 ft. 6.5 inches, so I need longer shirts to accomodate my bust and my slightly longer torso. Not fun, not fun, not fun.

Now I know why those women on What Not To Wear went through such a roller coaster of emotion when they were on the show. I am about to go through a lower-budget version of the same thing! I need support, Heaven help me!

The first matter of business is to deal with my unmanageable hair. My frizzy, curly/wavy combo hair. I have seen a stylist at a local salon a few times, and I am going to go see her next week with the gift card my mom and sister gave me for taking my nephew/mom's boyfriend's dog this weekend. I will have to break down and actually take her advice, buy those products that will help me manage my hair, and allow her to do something different with my hair!

I have been playing with a free makeover software online, and I might do some low lights, a few high lights, and layer my hair some more. Then I will actually have to buckle down and style my hair instead of throwing it in to a ponytail every day to take kids to school, exercise, run errands, do yard work, and then do school work. I will actually have to look STYLISH. My husband admitted to me yesterday that I have gotten really comfy in my dumpy clothes and no makeup/crazy hair phase. I am lucky he loves me so much and admires me so much. But I am happy he was honest with me. I do miss nice jeans and cute tops. I want that back..... and cute hair, and new shoes.

It's time to do it!

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Great Weekend Battle

I am exhausted. We can all venture to guess why. But I haven't gotten a good workout since Wednesday, and that makes the exhaustion feel like impending death. Plus, I am watching my nephew this weekend. That doesn't stop me from working out, but he always brings something along that causes problems. JUNK FOOD. Chips, snack crackers, cookies, juice pouches. We don't keep these things in our house (although I do loooooooove to bake sweet treats) for our family, so when they do show up, we (me and my husband) can't seem to find self control. I have already had 2 oreo cookies and 2 servings of Pringles chips today as my "snack" for the day. I am going to regret this in the morning! Someone come pump my stomach!

Day one for you, day 3 for us

I am new to the blogging world, but I have a pretty good feeling that this will be a new way for me to find balance and start fresh. I am Jacque, and I am fairly certain I am insane. I have been married to an awesomely dorky guy for the past 7 years, and we have moved 4 times within those 7 years. 3 years ago I quit my career to become a SAHM to Grace (6, in Kindergarten) and Andrew (almost 3, in Lala Land). I started off homeschooling my daughter, but we allowed her to be involved in the decision of attending public school or continuing home school when the time for Kindergarten registration came around. So I only home schooled her for 2 years, but we enjoyed every second of it. Andrew is far more interested in bugs, dirt, balls, and trains than sitting still long enough to learn a new word, count, or read a book with me. I have certainly learned to pick my battles with my kids! Sometimes Grace wears rainboots to school when it's dry out, or snow boots to school when the high temperature will be in the 60s. It works, because she still eats her vegetables, cleans her room, and reads a part of a book every night. Andrew loves to clean, but I can't get him to touch anything other than hotdogs, cheddar cheese, and grapes/strawberries/bananas, unless I let him wear his Batman cape....... then I can convince him to eat a few bites of broccoli, carrots, parsnips, corn, or spinach salad. I love both of my kids with all that I am, and I am very thankful for the opportunity I have had to stay at home with them and nurture them these past 3 years.

My husband recently got a job offer that will secure my place at home for a good while longer. I am in my final semester of a BSBA program online with DeVry University, so the future looked unsure with student loan balances, until recently when my husband came home with the good news. His new job will have him travelling locally, and sometimes travelling out of state. That "sometimes" is not a set number of times, so when he starts the new job later this month we might be surprised to find out that "sometimes" is every month or every other month. So there is the possibility that I could be a SAHM/occasional single mom. I have taken on that role before when he went to Nashville to record new songs with his producer, but that was a yearly occurence, and much easier to anticipate and plan for. Secretly, I am looking forward to the possibility of him being gone. We are smitten with each other, which is amazing. But it also creates total procrastination when he decides to take a few days off or come home early to surprise me. Mount Laundry returns in our master bedroom, the kids wander around the house in search of homemade meals, and instead find frozen waffles and peanut butter & honey sandwiches, the vegetable garden begins to wilt from neglect, and the dirty dishes in the kitchen start planning a hostile takeover by way of "mystery smell". So if he travels I will be able to keep the house tidy and up to schedule the WHOLE TIME HE IS GONE. I like that idea. Plus, he wont be here to remind me that getting Chinese takeout once a week will make me bloat up like a marshmallow and setback my weightloss progress. That sounds like an acceptable slice of freedom to me! Besides, absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? So when he gets home it will be completely acceptable to have an appearance by Mount Laundry, freezer meals, and the dirty dish brigade.

But wait, there's more. We decided to expand our family again. We have enough humans for our cozy home, so we opted for a canine companion. I found her free on CraigsList. Free doesn't mean easy, ever. She was taken from the litter far too soon and placed with a neglectful (unintentionally so) owner who worked too much, went to school, and was naive about the responsibilities of dog ownership. I know, I was in that place 9 years ago when I brough Peaches home. She was the sweetest, smallest, most neurotic mini-dach I had ever seen, but I thought loving on her when I was available would be enough. I did what this girl did and I eventually gave her to a home where she would have companions during the day and a responsible owner who could devote time to her.

I am that person now, the one who is at home and can find the time to train and care for a puppy. But this puppy wont stay small, this puppy is going to be a stocky, rambunctious lab mix (that "mix" is either pit/boxer or both) full of energy and a need to chew! I am ready for this, I am ready for this, I am ready for this, I am ready for this. She is only a little over a month old right now. Not knowing the original owners, I can't try to place her with her mother again to help her bond correctly, besides, the mother will most likely reject her now, as she has already been taken and placed elsewhere for at least 2 weeks. Tiny thing, she needs love and attention, and structure. I am going to be the one in charge of giving that to her. Can I really do it? I know I can, but have I completely lost my mind? I am taking my final courses, running a household, caring for children, supporting my husband's career choices, volunteering at church and at my daughter's school, and then attempting in vain to run errands in between the madness. Now we are adding a vulnerable puppy to the mix? I think I need to blog about this to get it out of my system when it builds up.

So here I am! Blogging to get it out of my system and start fresh. Layla is her name, and she will be a good family dog to us. Last night she made me realize that having a small puppy is like having a newborn child when it comes to sleep. She whined, she howled, she wanted to explore and look around at 1am, and then she slept in the bed with us when we had no more energy to keep putting her back in the restroom in her safe area. However, the crate arrives today!! We are going to crate train, and I am going to be consitent with it. She is going to whine, howl, scratch, and beg, but I am going to do it, so help me Heaven. My husband will just have to get some earplugs to help him get a good night's rest for the next few months, I suppose.

We already love Layla, and I feel more dedicated to this task than the rest of the family. Money, time, tears, exhaustion, regression, and then finally accomplishment. Bring it on!