Sunday, February 28, 2010

Under the Weather

Well it's been coming for a while now I suppose. My two little munchkins have been threatening runny noses and suspiciously worse sounding coughs for the last several days. We have really tried to lay low, take our meds, drink some juice and take the vitamins but to no avail they are officially sick. We got up today and Noah announced he didn't feel good and proceeded to lay on the couch all morning. This is the boy who usually gets out of bed by 6 am with more energy and force than a steam engine and doesn't ever stop! He has a sore throat and a mild fever and gallons of stuff running out of his poor little head.

Lil on the other hand has a nasty cough and a fountain of yuck from her nose. She also is covered in a rash (probably eczema which tends to flare when she's sick.) So after deciding that we definitely couldn't take them to church it was decided I'd stay with the sickly and Travis went on to church.

While he was gone I made beans and cornbread and potatoes and no one ate it but me and Travis. The kids didn't have much of an appetite but they did manage to eat some Popsicles.

I suppose we'll be making a trip to the pediatrician in the morning to see what's going on. We really have made it a pretty good stretch without having to go to the doctor but I knew it was too good too last! Noah is devastated at the thought of having to miss a day of school but I told him we'd just have to see what the doctor said.

Wish us luck, I missed everyone this weekend!!!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Gymboree and Me...

In case you love Gymboree and I do...the boys polos (that are usually 17-19 dollars are all 10 this weekend. And if you have a nifty 20% coupon like I did they are $8.00 each. I can't get Noah polos from Target for that cheap. And if you have a boy like mine who is hard on his clothes, Gymboree stuff lasts much much longer and looks better after a trillion washes.

Oh yeah, and they are giving away gymbucks this weekend too.

My retail therapy for the week has been fulfilled and if I only knew what this baby was I would have got him/her some nifty stuff while I was at it. Seriously though, I got Noah an entire wardrobe of Spring polos and tees to wear to church/school and Lil a little spring dress and spent not too much and got gymbucks. Not sure that you care but it makes me happy.

Also since I never ever make it to the mall anymore, (and my sweetie watched the kids so I got to go on my own for a couple of hours today) I made the awesome discovery that they are putting in a Crazy 8s kid store. (owned by Gymboree, a little less expensive and still super super cute).

Friday, February 26, 2010

Books Books Books...

So I love to read. it. I can remember being tiny when I would sit for hours with Mom and she would read to me. I would memorize the books long before I could read them and then I'd "read to her". I wanted new books everywhere we went. One of my very earliest memories is the first time she took me to the library.

I had to have been maybe 3 and we were in the grocery store and I think I asked for another new book. Mom explained that we would go to the library and borrow all the books we wanted and read them. I was fascinated and I still remember it. I used to check out stacks and stacks of books. When I finally got to school and learned to read I was hooked. I would go to the public library and head to the big kid section and pack up the big books and take them to the desk to check out. The library lady would give me a suspicious look and my mom would have to assure her it was OK because I could read books that big. One of my favorite things at Kyrock was to go to library with Ms. Brenda and she would let me check out books from the section that was supposed to be too advanced too.

It never let up. When I was in high school and had to pick out books for book reports my friends would purposely choose the shortest they could get away with. On the other hand, I would choose something with 1600 pages. I loved it! I'm not trying to brag, I was just a bookworm and I still am. I wasn't athletic I wasn't a math genius, I could just read and read lots and read fast.

When I went to college I tested out of freshman English and went to a higher level course and I loved it. It was an 8 am friday class and half the class usually didn't show up as a result from Thursday night parties I think. I was there and I read whatever we were supposed to read. I distinctly remember that professor profusely trying to talk me into becoming and English or Lit major and teaching. I didn't want to teach I just liked to read!

Fast forward 10 years. I now have 2 babies a house to run and a business to run. I find very very little time to read anything except things like Junie B. Jones to Noah (which by the way are hilarious books and I love them!) but I have really started to miss my books. Also by the time a Mommy puts in a 16 hour day for everyone but herself it equals some frazzled out nerves. So I decided earlier in the year to set aside a little time to at least read something just because I enjoyed it. In January I reread all the Twilight series books. Yep, reread but I loved it.

I had been eyeing the Kindles for a long while but I decided that were too expensive for right now. Well Travis spoils me and got me a spiffy new iphone and lo and behold there are free Kindle and Barnes and Noble Ereader downloads. I downloaded them along with Pride and Prejudice and am happily taking a little bitty bit of time to myself and reading. Perfect way to pass the time while waiting in doctors office or wherever. I'm a little bit hooked but it's OK. Most of the downloaded books to Kindle are only 9.99 and compared to a $29 bestseller I think it's great!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Temper Tantrum

Ummm I feel compelled to broach this subject more for my sanity than yours. If you have never encountered the world of two year old tantrums here goes...

Noah Thomas is NOT a perfect child. Wasn't when he was a toddler and he's not now. He's a work in progress. He's loud and rowdy and boisterous and well...he's all boy. BUT he never threw the type of tantrums that his little sister is becoming famous for.

Let me set up the scene. At any given moment of the day, if one thing doesn't go planned to little miss's schedule, she will proceed to lay herself out flat on the floor and stiffen out. Then she cries and screams and no amount of consoling helps. Everything I've read (and I've read alot) says that when a toddler throws a tantrum like this it's to get attention and gain control of the situation. So, you're supposed to ignore it. So I do or I try at least. Tuesday we had one that lasted 10 minutes. In reality 10 minutes is a very short amount of time but when you're listening to howling and screaming it's a long time. Really I'm not sure what else to do. You can't reason with her or even pick her up. So I let her throw her fit along with the wailing and gnashing of teeth and proceed with my business. This is all well and good at home. I'm not sure the people at Walmart will enjoy this kind of spectacle that I'm sure will happen eventually. My spur of the moment instinct is to pick her up and spank her little tail (yes we spank our children) but I think it would fuel the tantrum fire. So please, if anyone has a great suggestion for me please let me know.

The things that set off the tantrums are so random it's not even funny. Yesterday it was because I made her hold my hand while coming down the steps. Tuesday I still don't know what it was over. Today it was because I made her get down from climbing.

OK I don't' want you all to think I have a terror for a child and she is let run out of control. 99% of the time she is fun loving and happy and affectionate and spunky. She's a great eater, a fantastic sleeper, her vocabulary grows everyday, and she loves people. She's never met a stranger. She's fantastic at the doctor's office and for the dentist. She's right on target with where she should be as a two year old and unfortunately that includes the tantrums. Sigh....

In retrospect I do find it a little amusing that two year olds find this a solution to whatever situation is going wrong. I mean she's never seen anyone else lay flat on the floor and scream and wail. It's just a gut instinct I guess.
As a Mom, we've gone through a lot of phases together and I know that this is just a phase and as it is said I know "this too shall pass" but it sure is painful until it does!

Sidenote: No I didn't include a photo with this post. I'm certain it would make people fear for their lives and run for cover....just kidding!!!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How to Nab a Husband

OK I'm sure that Travis married me for a couple of other reasons but this one is high on his list.

I even think I have blogged about this before but it bears repeating.

How to Make the Easiest Barbecue Ribs in the Universe and your husband will fall at your feet..

You need

uhh some ribs (western style or country style pork ribs)

a crock pot

an onion



Barbecue sauce (one day I'm going to get technical and make my own like the Neely's do...)

but for now bottles will suffice

OK now it gets really complicated...

Throw the ribs in the crockpot...salt and pepper it....

chop onion and throw it on top.

Put the lid on and let it cook all day long on low or part of the day long on high...

Do a little dance cause Dinner is almost done

At the end of the day when these are all done and juice take them out of the crockpot and drain off the juicy stuff. Put them either back in the pot and pour the sauce on them till it's hot OR lay them out on a baking pan and pour the sauce on top of them and cook in the oven till the sauce is hot.

Mash some potatoes and throw in some green beans and some rolls and you're done...

And if your kids don't have egg allergies cook that chocolate lava thing that Lesley blogged bout...

Seriously your husband/boyfriend/dad/brother/uncle/son/ will love you....

OK I suppose he will love you if he is a man like Travis who loves his meat and potatoes and looks for an excuse to wear overalls and will build you a house with his own two hands...and rock your babies to sleep...and make them go to church...and let them ride on his back...OK I could go on and on about the type of man you'll attract with these ribs but enough yourself a favor and make them. I'm pretty sure he was thinking of these ribs when he bought me my anniversary band...

PS refer to my previous post and you will know that I will not eat these ribs. It's just a meat thing...sorry... my kids however love them too...and I think it gets to Travis that they cut in on his leftovers.

Final PS...I bought a dutch oven the other day. It's nifty and red and it's really really heavy. I also haven't cooked anything in it. I would try these ribs in it some day but they might not be as good and my husband might be compelled to leave me for a tall skinny blond...three things I am not. So I will stick with the crockpot and work on our 12th year of wedded bliss.

In Random Order

I love...
my hubby
my kiddos
my mom and dad
my family
my church
my friends
my house
my pajamas
my camera
Olive Garden
rain on the roof
Barnes and Noble
getting my hair cut
Gone with the Wind
Sheryl Crowe
the color red
baby feet
my Cuisinart stand mixer
a clean house
yellow roses for no reason

I do not love
cleaning up after cooking
temper tantrums
full laundry hampers
cigarette smoke
going to the dentist
being sleepy
meat in general
spots that won't come out of clothes
the sound of ambulance sirens

and that concludes my segment of useless information about Jessica. Have a fantastic Tuesday.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Baby Update

Today was my regular appointment with Dr. Gass and other than the long wait in the waiting room it was rather uneventful. Heartrate was 156 and everything is still on track where it should be. I did do the AFP blood test today which we don't get results from for a while. We scheduled the ultrasound today for March 22. The way my appointments are falling I'll actually be between 21 and 22 weeks at that point but the way the time is passing it will be here before you know it. We plan on finding out what the gender of this baby is if we can. Both of my other babies were rather uncooperative when it came to finding out what they were. They both had a tendency to want to keep their little legs tucked up under their behinds! Lilly actually required us coming back later in the day for the nice ultrasound tech to take one more look after I had drunk a little caffeine to get her to moving! But all in all the gender is not what I'm concerned with on the day of the ultrasound, it's just a nice bonus!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Conundrum

Lately I have been pondering where exactly I will put this new baby. Let me clarify. I try to discuss with my darling husband about where we are going to locate this baby's room and he looks at me blankly and declares that I sound crazy because our house has 15 rooms and I'm asking him where we will put this baby.

I guess I should rephrase and say where is the most logical place to put this baby? All of our bedrooms aside from the master bedrooms are upstairs. However, only two of them are serving as actual bedrooms, (Noah and Lil's). The other ones are my office, a playroom for the kids and a family room. So here comes the confusing part. I refuse to do without a playroom at this point. Seriously, it would make more sense to do without a dining room at my house, that's how much we use the playroom. The office is my work area which I could relocate to the lower level of the house but it's located on the landing with a wrought iron stair rail instead of walls that separate it and I don't think that's appropriate for a child's bedroom. That leaves the big family room. It's big enough to accommodate 2 or 3 kids easily. So here are my options:

If baby #3 is a girl it will share Lilly's room...simple solution!

If baby #3 is a boy it will take Noah's old room and Noah being the oldest gets to relocate his bedroom into the big room and have a big boy bedroom/kids living room/computer/homework area to eventually be shared by all the kids. Reason for this is if baby #3 is a boy there will be 6 1/2 year age difference separating the two boys and I don't think it would be fair of me to ask a 14 yr old with a 6 year old? Does this make sense?

My final solution would be (if baby #3 is a boy) would actually make the kids happy now but I realize would not be a permanent solution. In a few years someone would have to move bedrooms again (probably when they outgrew the need for a toy room) would be for Noah and Lilly to share the big room as their shared bedroom. Then the new baby could have Noah's room and the other bedroom would serve as the family room/computer area.

Is this final solution crazy? Seriously I need some input. As an only child I never had to share a room (or anything else for that matter) with anyone. Is it more fair to move everyone so everyone can have their own room?!? Is it silly to put a boy/girl room together (Even though there is some bedding in the pottery barn book that is so stinking cute I can't stand it?)

I realize I should probably wait until next month when we hopefully find out the gender of baby #3 to figure all this out but I would still like to have some input.

Travis says no problem, we can line up bunk beds in the big room upstairs and have as many kids as we want...I hope he has a plan to send them to college!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Here is a post you will not care about but I am venting. Photography is my job. For a living I photograph tons of babies, toddlers, kiddos, families, seniors, you get the picture. (No pun intended). Seriously I love it...I LOVE it. I love capturing that new baby phase when they're all wrinkly and curled up, I love the slobbery phase, I love the wide eyed into everything phase. I love it all. It doesn't bother me at all when I have a fussy one or one who won't sit still. I just play a little, give them a chance for a bottle or a cuddle and we're good to go.

What I do not love??? The expense of photography. Seriously, I love it when an important piece of my equipment wheezes out it's last breath and when I haul myself online to order a replacement and it's never's usually several hundred dollars or more. Seriously.... makes me wanna spit nails. I would much rather spend my money on some cute prop or background that on some piece of techie crap that makes the whole rig run right. Which is exactly what I'm getting ready to do. My little box that controls all of my studio lights has sadly seen it's last days. I though about burying it in the backyard but alas I will order a new one. And then I will cuss and fuss when I have to get used to it and I will bemoan the fact that my other one had served me well for 6 years. case you couldn't tell by the above paragraph I will clarify. I am 100% self taught. I have spent countless hours with my nose stuck in a book or up all night online and shot thousands of crappy photos to learn this business. Is it the "right" way? Who knows, but it's my way, and this far it's been more successful than I ever dared to hope for. I have customers who loyally come from out of city and out of state so I can photograph their precious families and I love them more than they could know. If I do anything right as a photographer it's because I did it wrong at least 4 or 5 times and learned from it!

But all of the failed equipment and money spent and hours studying is so well worth it when I get an email or a phone call from a mom who tells me when she saw the photos I took of her newborn baby she cried.

So I will continue to sink money into equipment and books and workshops because sadly I'm addicted.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Recipe: No-Bake Chocolate Sunbutter Oatmeal Cookies
This recipe is a must have for any body who is allergic to peanuts/tree nuts or who has an allergic child like us! (I make it with dairy products but it could EASILY be made dairy free as well.)

1 stick butter or margarine (use fleischmans unsalted margarine if dairy is an issue)
2 cups sugar
1/4 c Hershey's cocoa
1/2 c milk (you could substitute soy or rice milk)
1/2 cup Sunbutter (sunbutter is a peanut butter substitite made from Sunflower seeds. It is made in a nut free facility and you can order it online or I buy ours at Kroger in the organic food section, it smells just like peanut butter and tastes very very close)
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

combine butter, cocoa, milk and sugar and bring to a rolling boil. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add oats and sunbutter. Drop by spoonfuls onto was paper. Super easy!!!

Ironically enough, Noah doesn't like these and won't try sunbutter. I think he thinks it looks too much like the real thing. As a side note, many many food allergic individuals have food aversions to the things they are allergic to. So I'm not sure if the flavor of these turn him off just because of his peanut allergy or not. Either way, I don't push it. I make them and they're safe for him if he wants them or he can pass! We like them though!

I don't miss peanut butter. Really I don't, UNLESS you count Snickers, and Reeses cups, AND chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies. I'm more of the peanut butter candy kind of girl. I could care less about peanut butter sandwiches, etc. However, to keep my child safe we don't eat peanut products in our home. Travis will occasionally eat peanut butter crackers at work but he keeps a toothbrush and toothpaste there and he won't kiss the kiddos or drink after them or anything after he eats them.
So long story short, I ran across this recipe a long while back and kind of thought...hmm I'll try that sometime, then my friend DeAnna emailed it to me and reminded me I wanted to try it. So I did and the results were super!!! I bet I could have fooled the most addicted peanut butter lover ever.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day Weekend

I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day! We were so busy this weekend I'm not sure where the time went, but it was fun!

Friday night Travis kept the kiddos so I got to have a little time out with the girls and we went to watch Valentine's Day and to eat at the new mexican place in BG. (It was kind of funny though because the name of the place is Riviera Bar and Grill and it just showed up on our checking acct as riviera bar after I used my debit card, so Travis asked me, "Uh just what did you guys do Friday?" )
I assured him we didn't get sloshed at some bar, we just ate chips and salsa!

Saturday I worked and then we went to Noah's ballgame at Kyrock and then we visited with Mom and Dad for a while. We had church Saturday night and Sunday. We got up Sunday morning and gave the kids their Valentine's treats (chocolate from Peanut Free Planet and some Valentine's Day books) and then after church Travis arranged for his Mom and Dad to keep the kiddos so we could have a date. (Which we rarely ever get to do!) We went to watch Dear John (which I liked and Travis tolerated) and then we ate at Longhorn. It was a great day! It's funny how our Valentine's Day festivities have evolved as the kids came along. I'm sure next year it will be even a little harder to orchestrate than this year!!!

On a side note (I don't THINK Travis will kill me for posting this). Every single year for the past 15 years Travis has written me a long letter and folded it and put it in my Valentine's Day card. He thinks he's no good at writing, but his letter makes me cry every single year. I look forward to these letters more than any gift he could ever buy me!

I also overheard a funny conversation while getting ready for church on Sunday. It was one of those Daddy to son talks and I could hear Travis saying, "Now Noah when you get bigger you'll learn that Valentine's Day is mostly about girls, and they like flowers and stuff." That's right Daddy, teach him early! Roses and love letters are sure ways to a girls heart!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow Day Breakfast

When I was little my mom used to make these ALL the time. We called them "biscuit doughnuts". I don't care what you call them they are yummy and take all of 10 minutes maybe.

Here's what you need

1 can of canned biscuits (not the flaky kind)
powdered sugar
either a deep fryer or a deep enough skillet to heat up about a couple inches of oil

Remove biscuits from can. Use a tiny cutter to cut a whole in the middle (an empty small medicine bottle is what I use)

Heat the oil

Drop in biscuits a few at a time. Let them cook a few of minutes on each side until they're golden brown.

Remove from heat and put them in a covered dish with the powdered sugar. Put on the lid and shake till they're covered.

Cook the rest of the doughnuts and shake in sugar. Now the best part...cook the doughnut holes and shake in sugar.

I realize these directions aren't real exact but I promise get them golden brown and you cannot mess them up!

I think these would be good coated with cinnamon sugar or even glaze too, but Mom always did powdered sugar so that's what I do.

Serve to your hungry kids and relish the praises of how you're the best mom ever...

Warning...I'm pretty sure these have no nutritional value. I mean come on people it's fried biscuit dough coated in sugar...

If it makes you feel better serve em some fruit too.

But this morning me and the kiddos ate them hot out of the pan with some milk....we got powdered sugar everywhere and we stayed in our jammies and it was FUN!

Added bonus...I can't find a doughnut ANYWHERE that doesn't contain egg. So if it weren't for these babies by kiddos would be unknown to the doughnut world. These are egg free and nut free. I used to make homemade biscuits with soy milk and make these too when Noah was allergic to milk.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Disneyworld 2010

So we just got back from our very first trip to Disney World. Neither Travis or I had ever been either so it was a first for us all. We took Nana along as well. The plan was to leave last Friday night and to drive through the night and arrive on Saturday. Well the impending winter storm came so we left on Thursday to beat the weather. So we ended up being gone nine days. That is a long time to be away from home! But we did have a great time. For a couple of days if FL it was cool and rainy but the rest of the week was very pleasant and it got warm enough that the kids got to swim in the heated pools at our resort.

We stayed in the Disney Caribbean beach resort and we reserved a "pirate themed" room because Noah is obsessed with the Pirates of the Caribbean movie. The beds were shaped like pirate ships and the furniture was like crates and barrels and things you would find on a pirate's ship. Noah's favorite detail I think was a huge skull and cross bones curtain that hung across the bathroom door.

We managed to visit all of the parks and our favorite by far was Magic Kingdom. We all loved the fireworks around Cinderella's castle and the kids loved the rides.

We saw lots and lots of the shows but the best by far was Fantasmic in Hollywood Studios. It was unbelievable and it was the last thing we did so it was great to end the vacation with such a great show.

We did a couple of character meals which were really fun for the kids and Lilly loved getting to go meet the princesses. She had to have a princess costume before we left! She picked Jasmine and it's really cute. If it still fits it will probably be her Halloween costume.

Noah also got to do the "pirate's league". Where they dress you up and paint your face and you get your photos taken and then get to participate in a pirate parade in the magic kingdom. It was fun.

Travis managed to ride all of the big roller coasters and we shopped and ate a lot. The food will be another post entirely. If you have a food allergic child I highly recommend Disney. This was the first family vacation EVER that we haven't had to rent a condo or cabin with a fully equipped kitchen and do all the cooking our self. I am happy to report I didn't have to cook or wash a dish for an entire week. The staff at Disney is unbelievably knowledgeable and equipped to accommodate kids like Noah. If the restaurant didn't have what he needed or wanted the chef would make theirs completely separate and serve it himself. Noah and Lilly were in heaven getting to eat Micky Ears waffles. This probably sounds crazy to some people, but I almost cried when they brought them ice cream and cookies that were especially for them. The kids eyes absolutely lit up. Noah has never gotten to eat ice cream in a restaurant before.

So all in all, it was a great great trip. The kids had lots of fun and we are already talking about when to go back. It will probably be a few years but we want to do it again sometime. Enjoy the pics!

Sunday, February 7, 2010


OK so I have decided that facebook makes me feel uncool and completely inadequate. I have friends who post their status when they are leaving yoga and going to Nashvillle and meeting work friends at Starbucks. It all sounds great. If I was truthful about my status most of the time it would be

"I just changed a diaper and am getting ready to sweep goldfish cracker crumbs up from the floor."

I don't do Farmville and I don't really care who just found mystery eggs or a stray mongoose or built a barn.

I don't play Maffia wars because I think it's not cool to pretend to kill people and steal vehicles.

I don't care about my horoscope and my lucky numbers for the day and I certainly don't feel compelled to post my bra color to 300 people.

I also sometimes get confused as to what post I am replying to and have been known to post completely inappropriate comments on someone's status. Then I scurrry to delete it before anyone in cyberspace reads it and thinks I'm a jerk.

I also can't keep straight where I'm supposed to put updates. On my wall, on your wall, on news feed...what?!?

I then get alarmed when someone pokes me. What exactly does poking entail? I don't want to be poked in person and I find it offensive to poke someone else.

I also get lots of friend requests from people Travis went to school with who are looking for him. They send me messages to tell him this and tell him that. They tell me to tell him to get facebook already so they can keep up with what he's doing. I should really tell them I can tell them what he's doing in about 10 seconds. He's up to his ears as an engineer at At&T, he's raising 2 kids, and trying to keep the peace with his pregnant wife. Oh yeah, and he spends a considerable amount of time making fun of anyone who actually gets on facebook. (of course that's between enlightening anyone who will listen on why democrats are evil, why UK basketball rocks and why his world is incomplete when Nascar is not in season.)

I also feel guilty when I have to unfriend people because they repeatedly use words that my 6 year old will soon be able to sound out and I don't want him going to school saying he saw them on Mom's facebook.

I also feel guilty when I get friend requests from people who I don't have any idea who they are. I hate to ignore and I refuse to they hang in facebook limbo and they taunt me every time that I sign in and there is a list of people whom I don't know where to file.

So in closing, facebook causes me stress. As if I didn't have enough. But alas, I will continue to get on it and waste time and try to think of status updates that make me sound not quite so boring.

Does facebook make anyone else feel this way. Perhaps we should start a support group or maybe soon it will be a diagnosed syndrome...

Ah life was complicated enough without you...why must you torture me?