Tuesday, December 30, 2008

While He Was Sleeping

Lance has learned to climb out of his crib. So we are now in the transition stage between crib and big-boy bed.

This is what happened yesterday during his first big-boy-bed naptime. (Yes, I use our real names. But the fake names are really just for fun. Most of you know my real name and Lance's real name already, anyhow!) Today is Day 2. I wonder if we shall have a repeat performance...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

On Christmas

Well, hey there! How are you?

What a whirlwind Christmas it's been. I don't know about you, but this year I felt pretty Scrooge-y. I didn't get excited about Christmas like I usually do. I didn't play Christmas music 24-7. I didn't shop very cheerfully. I didn't take the time to wrap the gifts that I *did* buy with extra-special care, putting pretty ribbons and bows on each gift. Just paper. Sometimes I even left off a tag, just writing directly on the wrapping paper.

But you know what I did? I thought lovingly of each person as I hurriedly wrapped their gift. When I listened to Christmas music, I listened with my whole heart. While it was a drag to try and get cookies baked for everyone, as I personalized each cookie with someone's initials, I thought of them and how my year was better because of them.

So what if my Christmas tree was smaller than usual.

So what if my gift wrapping was sloppy.

It's been a tough year for almost everyone. Rather than be sad that I couldn't buy my son every toy I wanted to get him, I can rejoice that in this uncertain economy, my husband not only kept his job, but he got a Christmas bonus. And I found a job that I'll be starting in January.

People everywhere are losing their homes. We're not.

We don't go out to eat as often as we used to, but we have enough money to buy groceries to prepare delicious meals at home.

So while my Christmas wasn't as glittery and magical as it is in my childhood memories, I can honestly say to you,

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Name My Blog

I'm getting bored with the name of my blog. I need something better. So I'm having a contest.

The Name My Blog! Contest.


In the comments, leave suggestions for a new name for this blog.

If I find one I like, I'll pick it.

And your prize?

Bragging rights.

Sorry, but it's close to Christmas and I have a little boy to shop for.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Latte Speculation

Isn't that a great title? "The Latte Speculation" sounds like it must be a real on-the-edge-of-your-seat-keep-you-in-suspense-through-every-bit-of-bad-guy-music sort of story, doesn't it?

Well, there's no bad guy music here.

Damselfly is pregnant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I was among the first to know. Actually, I think I was the first to know, and thus was born The Latte Speculation.

Damselfly is a very dear real-life friend of mine. She has been helping me out by watching Lance two days a week for me while I was doing my internship. Since I kept having trouble with student loans and could never pay her, I liked to surprise her with little treats now and then, including a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks.

Let me begin by saying that Damselfly is a known strange-coffee-orderer. By that, I mean she rarely orders a coffee drink straight off the menu. One time in particular I remember her prefacing her drink order with the following phrase: "Decaf, sugarless, soy, no whipped cream something-or-other-mochalattecarmelcino." To which the barista replied: "Why bother?"

I laughed at that. A lot.

So before just springing her with a drink, I called her ahead of time and I asked her if she wanted her pumpkin spice "loaded" or if there were any special instructions. She said, "Loaded sounds fine."

So that's what I ordered her. A Pumpkin Spice Latte. Full caffeine, plenty of sugar, no soy to be found anywhere, and a pile of whipped cream. She enjoyed it.

Two weeks later I wished to surprise my friend again. Since she had previously OK'd a straight-off-the-menu beverage, I didn't call ahead. I just ordered it. When she answered the door, I handed her the loaded Pumpkin Spice Latte (with caffeine and sugar and NO SOY), said, "I love you a latte" (because I'm corny like that,) she looked at it, took a polite little sip, and set it down.

And this, my friends, was The Latte Speculation. I thought to myself, "Hmm. She's not drinking something which a mere two weeks ago she devoured like a hungry wolf in a desert. (Yeah, yeah, I know. Awful metaphor.) Could she be...pregnant??!!"

I then dismissed the thought. Surely, surely, if she was pregnant, she would have told me by now. Maybe she just wasn't in the mood for pumpkin spicy goodness. Oh well, next time I'd make sure to call ahead and get her order first.

Fast forward to last week's vacation at Disneyworld. You may remember from the pictures that the Damselfly Family and the Meadow Family were there at the same time. We had dinner together the first evening and Damselfly announced that she was pregnant!!! I could barely contain myself, and had I not been in the glamorous surroundings of the Wilderness Lodge Resort, there would have been much screaming and jumping up and down.

Instead, I merely smiled and said, "THAT'S why you didn't drink your latte." To which statement everyone at the table burst out laughing and her witty husband, J.P., coined the phrase The Latte Speculation.

And from this day forward, the story of Damselfly's 2nd pregnancy shall go down in history as The Latte Speculation.

We're going out for coffee tomorrow. I wonder what she will order??!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My internship is over. We've just gotten home from a 4-day vacation at Disneyworld. Hubby's mom came with us. It was her first time to Disneyworld, also her first time in the USA! Joining us for portions of our vacation were Flybaby, Damselfly, and J.P. I'll let Lance take over narrating our photos.

Hey guys! I sure like it when Mommy lets me write on her blog. Anyways. Here's a picture of me and my best buddy ever, Flybaby. His mommy and daddy are in there too. Mommy didn't mean to cut off Damselfly's head in this picture and she wants to tell her friend she's sorry. We were watching the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom. It was very cold! Mommy and Daddy bought me a special new jacket, hat, and mittens. Since we live in Florida, it's very unlikely that I'll need to wear the mittens again, but Mommy thinks I look cute in them.

We had special tickets to an event called "Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party." I got to stay up WAY past my bedtime to watch a special parade, see SNOW on Main Street, and go on lots of rides. Mommy and Daddy got lots of free hot chocolate, too.

At Epcot, we got to go under the sea and visit Nemo!! I just love Nemo. Here is one of the few pictures of me with my Mommy. Usually Mommy is the one taking the pictures, so she has to make sure she asks other people to take pictures with her in them. I'm glad she did!

I got to play some drums at the Animal Kingdom. We were standing here next to them when a really cool parade came by and Pluto gave me a kiss!

I also saw Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, and Donald Duck.

It was very special to have my Granny from South Africa come with us. It's her first time in the USA!

Here's a nice picture of Mommy and Daddy. Don't they look nice together?

We got to see Mickey and Minnie Mouse TOGETHER! Mommy tells me that usually, you have to go separately to Mickey's house and then to Minnie's house. They must have known that I was coming so close to my birthday with my Granny and so they came together so I wouldn't have to stand in line again. Wasn't that nice of them?

Monday, November 24, 2008

From Lance

Hi everyone! It's me, Lance, writing to you today. Mom says she'll be shocked if any of you are still around reading her blog. But I told her that you all loved her and would still come! Anyway, here's a picture of me sitting at Mom's piano. Mom likes to sit down and practice songs, but I think it's way more fun to just bang away, so whenever she sits down, I come up to her and say, "MOVE! MY TURN!" Most of the time she lets me, but she didn't today cuz she's working on a song to play at church in a couple of weeks.

She has one more day of her internship!! She's actually supposed to be there today, but I'm running a little bit of a fever so she didn't want to take me to preschool. I'm much better than I was on the weekend, though. I was running a fever of 101.7!!! Today it was much, much, lower and she expects me to be all better by tomorrow, which is good, cuz we're driving up to Grandma and Grandpa's house tomorrow for Thanksgiving. I'm going to meet my other Grandma from South Africa, too! She's going to come stay with us until Christmas. It's her first time in the USA and Mommy is kinda nervous. Mommy has a lot to do to get the house ready for her, so she says I have to get off the computer now so she can start getting us packed for her trip.

Oh, by the way, do you like my hat? It lights up.

Sunday, November 16, 2008



*edited to add: Thanks to those of you who offered to paticipate in my "Where in the USA Has Our Email Gone" project. I ran out of time, so the project never got off the ground. Please don't think I was rejecting your geographical contribution! I truly appreciate everyone's willingness to help!

7 days left of my internship.

Then it's off for Thanksgiving with my family, and a few day's vacation at Disneyworld!

Then it's time to look for a job.

Then it'll be Christmas.

Then I'll *hopefully* be working.

I have some recent photos of Kiddo that I'll be uploading soon. Since there's not much interesting stuff going on with me, he's always a good subject! Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Where In The USA Has Our Email Gone??

It's time for a class project!!

I am a teacher in a first-grade class, and we are learning about our country. We will be running an experiment for two weeks, between November 10-November 21. We will send out an email and see how far it can travel in two weeks! Hopefully, we can reach all 50 states by then!!

Here is how it will work. I will send out an e-mail explaining our project. In it, I will ask people to send our class an email back to the following address:


I will ask people to tell us the city and state in which they live, and if they like, a fun fact about their area. Each morning I will read the emails to the students and we will talk about the different places and put a pin in a map to show all the places that our email has reached.

If you would like to participate in this, please leave your e-mail address in the comments and I will make sure to include you when I send out the first email on November 10. Please be aware that it will come from TESClass@gmail.com, and not my personal email address.

Thank you very much!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Yes. My husband is such a geek that he carved the Apple logo into our Mac-O-Lantern. Pun intended.

Jedi Knight and a pirate maiden??!!

Yoda I am!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My Halloween Costume

This is the costume I just ordered from www.buycostumes.com. Fortunately I already have some kick-butt boots similar to the one shown.

I haven't dressed up for Halloween for YEARS. We've moved into a new neighborhood, and made friends with our next-door neighbors who are having an adults-only costume party. Some girls from our church youth group are going to come stay with Kiddo after they do their own Halloween stuff, and then it's time for Hubby and me to PAR-TAY!

He's going to be dressed as a Jedi Knight.

It should be fun!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Peek Into My World

A little background- what you are about to read is an email I sent to a friend of mine this evening. She and I had talked about possibly taking our kids to the pumpkin patch this evening. She called me and said they wouldn't be able to make it, which was perfectly OK, but because she called me while I was in the middle of a patience-trying situation, I'm afraid I wasn't my most polite self on the phone with her. She emailed me this evening explaining why they chose not to come tonight, and this is the response I gave her:

Oh, also, Kiddo has bronchitis and is on antibiotics, which is giving him orange poo and a severe diaper rash. If you don't know that, the email won't make sense.

Oh. You also have to know that we have been trying to get together to bake cookies for awhile, too. She suggested that we do so Thursday afternoon when I come to pick up Kiddo from her house.

Now we may begin:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


No, that's fine, I figured that's what it was! I was going to email you actually and apologize for being so short with you on the phone, but I had just discovered more of that orange poo and a SEVERE diaper rash when you called, and Kiddo was in my arms about to wail and didn't want me to touch him let alone wipe him and put a new diaper on him, meanwhile Hubby walked in while I was on the phone with you, cradling a pre-wailing baby in my arms, and he wanted to know what was going on and who I was talking to and when I motioned unmistakably for him to come change the d*** diaper he said he had to go take a shower.....grrrrrrrrr............

I called Kiddo's doctor and she said that the diaper rash and orange poo is a side effect of ALL antibiotics. (I was asking her if she could give us a new prescription.) She then told me that if Kiddo's symptoms from bronchitis were getting better, that I could stop the antibiotics altogether. This confuses me because 1- why would you prescribe an antibiotic if it's not really necessary, and 2- when you DO prescribe an antibiotic, they always say "make sure to take ALL of the medicine!" So if I stop the antibiotic, he won't have a diaper rash, but he'll still have bronchitis??!! How is that a good option?

Argh. Grumble. Grmph. Groan.

SO frustrated. Hubby can't miss any more days of work and we certainly don't want to send him to preschool or to you if he's going to scream bloody murder every time he gets his diaper changed- also, I want to keep an eye on him to see if he has any more bad reactions. SO I'll be missing another day of student teaching. This is not going to impress my supervisor. Apparently I'm the only student teacher who has a family and a house and other REAL-WORLD obligations and they don't understand why I can't put my LIFE on hold to do their stupid meaningless assignments.

But I'm not bitter.

Or am I?

I just want to bang my head against a wall, pull all my hair out, and break something valuable. Something valuable belonging to someone else, of course.

Cookies on Thursday sounds very nice.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Things Aren't Always What They Seem...

Is he a little streaker? Or is his diaper merely hidden?

Did he shatter his entire leg, or is he simply at the children's museum playing in the hospital room?

I'll let you decide.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Thanks for all the prayers and sweet thoughts when I had my rough day last week. I love you guys!

I had a bit of a rough day again today, but something very sweet happened at the end which made it all worthwhile. I won't go into the story about how my day was horrible and I just wanted to quit. Just know that my day was horrible and I wanted to quit.

After school let out and most of the kids were gone, I was walking down the hallway back to my classroom after a faculty meeting. The kids who stay at school for after-care were in the hallway on the way outside to play. One of my students was in this particular group of kids. This student is definitely our problem child. He is often surly and generally unpleasant. None of the kids likes him. He is mean.

But when this little boy saw me walking in the hallway, he ran over to me and gave me a big hug.

I must be doing SOMETHING right.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Do You Ever?

Do you ever just want to sit down and cry until all the tears are gone?

Do you ever feel like you are working, trying, pushing, reaching, striving so hard until you look behind you and realize that for every hurdle you've cleared, there are two more ahead of you, each one higher than the next?

Do you ever just hate yourself for making stupid mistakes?

I'm feeling a little sad today, friends. The work load is getting heavier, the pile of bills is getting higher, and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. I've got a long hard journey ahead of me and it's getting me a little down.

I'll be back to myself in a couple days. I hope.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Things Not To Say

What Not To Say To Your Friend Who Is A Financial Advisor (and what subsequently to say to his wife, if you choose to do so anyway...)

"Your wife and I will go out and do something fun on Tuesday since there's no school. You can go to work and single-handedly repair the broken economy."

(To his wife- "I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry!!!!!!!)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

For Amber

Hi! How's everyone doing?

Thanks to Amber, for staging a blog intervention and getting me back. I've missed everyone so!

All right. So I've got 6 weeks to catch you up on...let's begin!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
In Which I Meet a Fellow Blogger and See My Favorite Comedian in Person

This weekend, I met up with Haley from Love, Life, Family, and Then Some. We had a wonderful time! Her family is at Disneyworld this week for a vacation. My parents live 45 minutes away from Disney, so we took this weekend to do 3 things: Visit my family, see a Craig Ferguson show, and meet Haley!! Haley and I did some shopping and then we had lunch. Lance and Baby J got along well, as did Haley and I! It's so much fun to meet people that I've formed cyber-friendships with! It was like we were two old friends reuniting, rather than what we actually were: two people who had never met seeing each other for the first time. Haley, I'm so glad you guys came out here and that we had a chance to meet! I only wish we would have had longer!

The evening after I met Haley, Hubby and I went to see Craig Ferguson!!! He has a late-night talk show and he's the funniest man in the WORLD. So when we found out that he was going to be in my parent's hometown the SAME weekend that we were going to be there to meet up with Haley, it just worked out perfectly! The show was great, and he's just as funny in person as he is on TV.

* * * * * * * * * * *
In Which My Son Invites Himself Into The Neighbor's House

A few weeks ago, we were outside in our backyard when our neighbors came outside. We're friends with them, so we both went into our front yards so we could chat. Mrs. Neighbor is an avid gardener and had made cuttings of some of her plants for me so I could start a garden, so then we went into THEIR backyard. Kiddo saw their back door, went up to it, and knocked! Mr. Neighbor said we could go in. I was a little embarassed, but we went in anyway and ended up having a nice time hanging out with our neighbors!

* * * * * * * * * * *
In Which I Become Aware That Times Have Changed

I am doing my internship in 1st grade. Last week I was teaching a writing lesson. I was showing them how to make a "word web" to map out ideas for what they want to write about. So to begin the lesson, in order for me to "assess their prior knowledge," I asked them, "Who can raise their hand and tell me what a 'word web' is?" The responses I got were the following:

"It's when you go on the internet and google something you don't know."

"It's when you get on the computer to look for stuff."

It was pretty funny.

* * * * * * * * * * * *
In Which I Have a Hard Time Keeping a Straight Face

The week before my writing lesson, I was reading some sentences that the students had written about their favorite outdoor activity.

Let me back up a little. Many 1st graders are still learning how to write their letters. They often mix up their "b" with their "d." Additionally, that week in their phonics lesson they had learned that "ck" makes the "k" sound.

One little girl was attempting the write the following sentence:

"My favorite outdoor activity is riding a bike."

This is what she ACTUALLY wrote: (please forgive my creative punctuation; I am trying to avoid getting some strange searches.)

"My favorite outdoor activity is riding a "d"i(c)K"

Lots of fun, I tell you.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
In Which I Hope To Return to Blogging

Last week, my university supervisor came to observe me teach a lesson. She was impressed with me. So impressed with me, in fact, that she said I no longer have to write the super-crazy-long-format lesson plans which previously took me 2-3 hours per night to write. Now I can write them this way:

Math, lesson 8.3, addition facts to 10, student pages 105-106.

Previously, it would have taken me 2 pages and 45 minutes to write that.

So hopefully, I will have a little more time to devote to blogging.

I forgot how much fun this is!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Description of My Day

Hellloooooo, blog friends!! How ARE you all?? I miss you!

Here is a detailed description of my day yesterday:

6:15 am: Wake up
7:00 am: Leave for work.
7:20 am: Arrive at work. Teach all day. 30 minute "planning break" HA! 25 minute lunch break? Sure, shovel your food down and run.
4:00pm: Arrive home
4:00-4:30: a little downtime
4:30-7:00: housework, play with Kiddo, get dinner ready
7:30pm: get on the computer to write lesson plans and do other silly monotonous work they make interns (but not real teachers!!) do
10:30pm stop working
10:30-10:50: eat the dinner I cooked at 5. Watch 20 minutes of TV. Ready to sit and relax for awhile, but no, because it's now...
11:00: bed

Sleep for 7 hours and begin again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

This is why I have not been able to blog.

But I have so much to tell you!

Maybe, maybe, one of these days I'll have some spare time.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What Happens When...?

What happens when 200 women gather at a beach resort for a fun weekend together?

What happens when one of them distributes glow-in-the-dark bracelets while at the beach at night?

What happens when two roommates who have received glow-in-the-dark bracelets go back up to their room and are still awake at 2 am?

What happens when those two roommates disassemble their bracelets and pretend that they are lightsabers?

This is what happens.

That's me and Damselfly having a lightsaber fight in our hotel room at 2 am on our weekend retreat.

We are very silly.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hello? Is anyone there? Anyone??


I'm still here.

But with so little time left for blogging.

Oh, how I miss all of you!

I peek in through your windows every now and then to get a glimpse of what is going on in your lives. (i.e., I skim through my reader every now and then. Please don't think I'm stalking you!)

The internship is going great, but boy am I beat.

Just wanted to say hi.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A New Hobby!

I've found a new hobby!! Digital scrapbooking!! I used to adore paper scrapbooking, but it's just not practical for me anymore. I'm so not organized with my supplies, so it takes twice as long to get everything out and see what I have than it does to actually make the pages! I found a few freebies on some digital scrapbooking sites, and I used photoshop CS3 to do the layouts.

Once again, I copied from my best friend. (Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!) She had the idea to do "then and now" layouts of pictures of her son from each month and also from a year prior to that month. So I've done the same. So far, I've only done March (above) and August (below. Obviously.) I hope to eventually do a whole year's worth and then have them printed into a photo book.

Oh. And the only reason I've had time to do this? Because of the tropical storm that kept school closed but let me keep my electricity to run my computer. :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Busy, Busy, Dreadfully Busy!!

Well, my first week of student teaching is about to come to a close. This has been pre-planning week, in which teachers prepare their classrooms, attend a TON of faculty and team meetings, and, well, plan for the year ahead!

I have been busy from the time I wake up until the time I lay my head down at the end of the day. Today we attended our student teaching orientation from the University and we found out just how busy we are in fact going to be for the next few months.

Seriously busy. You've no idea what I've got to do! Busy, busy, shockingly busy. Much, much, too busy for you.

(I'm not being mean. It's a Veggie Tales song.)

Anyway. Since I am now working WAY MORE than a full-time job, a lot of my personal "fun" stuff is going to have to take a back burner for awhile, blogging being one of them. I will be spending a ton of time on this computer, and when I complete my work I will be ready to RUN out of the room.

I may be back every now and then. I hope to try and at least stop by your blogs occasionally! I will most likely keep up on Twitter, so please follow me on there if you aren't already. My twitter name is GMeadow.

I will be done with student teaching the week of Thanksgiving. Then we'll see what happens! I may or may not take a full-time teaching job. While my son is doing much better at the daycare center, I still miss him a whole lot and I'm not ready to give him up for such a long time! After my 3 months I will be ready to be Mommy again. Maybe I'll find something part-time at a preschool. We'll just have to see.

So while to the rest of the world it will appear that I have gone into hibernation, rest assured that I am working my tail off. And please, when your children head off to school this fall, say an extra special "thank you" to their teacher. Most of you have no idea the kind of time, hard work, and love these people pour into their students, your children.

See ya around!

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Tonight I am sad. This is my last night as a stay-at-home-mom.

Tonight I am excited. Tomorrow I embark upon the final leg of my journey towards becoming a certified teacher.

Tonight I am anxious. I have been "out of the loop" for a couple of years now and my skills have gotten rusty. The world of education is ever-changing, and there could be an entirely new way of teaching math by now. No joking.

Tonight I am scared. My little son will go to daycare for the first time in his life. Will he eat his lunch? Will he be able to sleep on the little cot they give him at naptime? What if he can't fall asleep? What if he's not tired when they put all the other kids down? Will they check to see if he needs his diaper changed often enough? Will he like the other kids? Will the other kids like him? Will the teachers be able to see how special and precious my baby is?

Tonight I am happy. I have worked for nearly eight years to achieve the goal that will be reached on December 12, whereupon I will walk across a stage and be handed a piece of paper that says I have attained a college education.

Tonight I am mournful. For the next 15 weeks, I will be missing half of my son's life. He will spend more waking hours with someone else.

Tonight I am jealous. Jealous of the people that will get to hear the new words my son learns. Jealous of the people that will get to see the smiles and hear the giggles of my little boy. Jealous of the people that will give him his food and take care of his physical needs.

Tonight I am angry. Angry at myself for making poor choices in the past resulting in my current situation. I am angry at the education system for not providing support for mothers of young children. I am angry that we live so far away from my family, who would be more than happy to take care of my little boy while I take this final step towards completing my education. I am angry at the economy for making the prices of houses triple in the last 5 years, making it necessary for a family(at least, our family) to have two incomes in order to purchase a modest home.

I am feeling so many things right now. I can't decide which emotion to settle on. I have my son's backpack ready for tomorrow. It has a change of clothes, several diapers, his blanket, pillow and stuffed monkey for naptime, his morning snack and his lunch box. I have chosen the outfit I will wear for tomorrow, and as soon as I finish this post I will pack up this laptop in its bag and include a notebook, pen and pencil with it so I will be prepared for anything tomorrow.

The only thing I can't prepare for is how I will feel being away from my precious, precious, baby.

I know some of you moms out there are anxious for school to start again so you can get your kids out of the house.

Me? School starts tomorrow, and I am in agony.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Week of Fun: Pictures

Well, I haven't been blogging every day during my Week Of Fun, but here are some pictures showing the highlights of the week!

Me, my son, and my friend's boy playing at the water playground.

We took the boys to a really cool place called "Pump It Up" which had two ROOMS full of bounce houses of various sizes and shapes. It was hard to get a picture IN the bounce houses, but they had this little area for the smaller children to climb around on.

The boys splashing around at the beach!

Next time I need to remember to bring my son's water wings, because he just wanted to plunge headfirst right into the water! Unfortunately, he can't swim yet...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Week of Fun: Day 1

Today began my Week of Fun with friends Holly and her Man-Cub.

Our day of adventures began at the Ft. Lauderdale International Airport. There is an observation area where you can park your car and watch the planes taking off and landing. This particular runway serviced mostly smaller planes, but we saw a couple of larger ones from Air Canada and Delta. Mostly we saw little puddle-jumpers from Spirit and JetBlue.

The boys just loved it! They would squeal, point, and wave at the planes as they came in. It was a little hard for Holly and I to keep the boys contained- they kept wanting to run across the street over to the barbed-wire fence separating the airport from the viewing area. A plane must have come in every 2-3 minutes!
After that, we moseyed on over to Hollywood Beach. (This is Hollywood, Florida, people. Nothing spectacular.) It was a beach that neither Holly nor I had been to before. The water was just GORGEOUS, and Chris just ran right up to it and would have plunged in head-first if I hadn't grabbed him! Chris and his friend the Man-cub ran up and down the shoreline, giggling when the waves broke over their feet. They didn't like it so much when the larger waves came and knocked them down, but they were both troopers! We stayed at the beach a little over an hour, which really surprised me. And this was without any sand toys!!
I snapped a few pictures on my camera, but haven't got them onto the computer yet. (Husband, WHERE is the card reader??!!!!) I hope to get them up for you soon!
Tomorrow, Holly is taking us to a super-secret indoor Location of Fun. I have no idea where we are going or what we will be doing. Only that I need to wear socks.
I am intrigued.

Monday, August 4, 2008

His First Scraped Knee

My little boy got his first scraped knee today. Well, it's more of a scraped shin than a knee. We were in the front yard playing and he tripped over the brick edging separating the grass from the flower bed. He has a 3-inch long diagonal scratch. It's the first time he's bled!

The little trooper! As soon as I picked him up, he just wanted to start playing again but I knew I needed to administer first aid. He was more scared of the band-aids than he was of his fall, the poor thing! It took 3 band-aids to cover the entire area. In hindsight, I would have been better off taping a large piece of gauze to his leg. I will probably do that when it's time to change the bandages. The little guy squirmed and wiggled and I had to hold him down in order to get the band-aids on, which just made him scream more.

Then I let him sit on the couch, eat a popsicle, watch his favorite movie ("Finding Nemo") and then I gave him some chocolate milk, and a little while after that I put him down for a nap. He's been asleep for almost two hours now.
The poor little guy! I'm sure he'll recover quickly. I need him to recover quickly, because my dear friend Ivy and I have planned "The Week of Fun" for my last week of being a stay-at-home mom. A week from today I begin my teaching internship, so every day this week we are going to take our kids out to do something fun. We haven't settled on an itinerary yet, but items on the list to be considered include:
-watching the airplanes from the observation area at the airport
-going to the beach
-exploring a new park Ivy found
-going to the zoo
-some super-secret surprise things that Ivy wants to show us!
So since I will be having The Week of Fun, I might not be around the blogosphere quite as much this week. I only have a little time left with my little boy, and I intend to enjoy it to the fullest.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I Should Be Sleeping

Warning: I use a bad word in this post. Don't judge me.

I woke up three hours ago. Hubby was snoring, and my jaw was sore because I was sleeping on my side and putting pressure on my face where the teeth were removed. I took a Vicodin, thinking that once the pain eased, I'd go back on to sleep.

Nope. I put in ear plugs, thinking that if I drowned out the snoring, I'd go back to sleep.

Uh-uh. I went out to the living room, got on the couch, thinking that since the living room is a little cooler than the bedroom thanks to the powerful ceiling fan, I'd be more comfortable and fall back asleep.

Wrong again.

But at least I'm getting caught up on reading all of you dear people!!

Here is a picture of me when I was a baby. There is really no purpose for me putting this here right now, it's just damn-thirty in the morning and I'm bored.

Forgive my language. I get cranky when I haven't had enough sleep.

Friday, August 1, 2008

I've Moved!

Hey everyone!

For those of you who haven't yet updated your blogrolls or readers, please take note of my new URL:


I will be blogging over there from now on. Thanks!


On This Day in History...

This day, four years ago, I wore the perfect white dress....

and carried a bouquet of flowers in the glorious colors of an autumn sunset, which is my very favorite thing to look at. Even though it was in the dead heat of summer.

This day, four years ago, I was a little irritated that my husband chose to wear a Winnie-the-Pooh tie on our wedding day. But then I thought about it, and realized it was cute and sweet, because he was just being himself.

This day, 4 years ago, I spoke words that would change my life forever.

This day, 4 years ago, I wore flip-flops. While it may have irritated my husband that I chose to wear flip-flops on our wedding day, after he thought about it he realized it was cute and sweet because I was just being myself.

Happy anniversary, honey! I love you more than you'll ever know.

Thursday, July 31, 2008


I'm supposed to start school a week from Monday.

My childcare fell through. Now we're looking at spending hundreds of $$ a month so I can go to school.

I'm having issues with my financial aid. First I couldn't do the application online. Then my first name and last name got mixed up, so the Social Security Administration can't verify that I exist which is throwing a major delay into the works. Now I have to verify that I do in fact exist, and only THEN they will process my application and MAYBE I will get some money. But will it be in time? And if they don't give me money, I will already have started, wasting time and more money spent on childcare that wouldn't have been necessary if everything went smoothly and I knew today that I was not going to be getting any money.

Are these things signs from God that I should not be going back to school now, or are they just life's obstacles that come up that I need to overcome?

I've been praying for God's direction in this. One day I feel sure that I am to go ahead with my plans. The next day a roadblock pops up, convincing me that I need to wait.


The Thrill Is Over

OK, so it was fun to be an invalid for awhile. Lying in bed all day, catching up on blogs, enjoying the buzz from the pain meds.

I'm ready for things to be back to normal. I tried going off the paid meds for a day, but apparently the older you are when your wisdom teeth are removed, the longer it takes to recover. Without the meds, the pain is wretched. WITH the meds, however, I remain slightly buzzed all day long, rendering myself thinking unclearly and also a little nauseous.

I only have one week left to stay home with Kiddo before I begin my internship and take on the work of a full-time elementary school teacher. He will be left with a babysitter twice a week, the other 3 days he will be at a local day care center. I'm not worried about him- he'll be fine-- but it's starting to hit me that my time with him is drawing to a close. Other people will be spending the greater part of waking hours with him. Other people will get to hear him learn new words and discover things in the world around him. Someone else will pick him up and kiss him when he falls down and bumps his head. He will sweetly say "please" when he wants a drink-- but someone else will get to hear it.

I'm starting to get a little sad.

And annoyed, that this medication is making me unable to fully enjoy and embrace these last few days of being a full-time stay-at-home mommy.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Extreme Blog Makeover

Blissfully Domestic is offering a blog makeover!! I have decided to enter. While this template I have is very nice, it is freely available to anyone who wants it, rendering my space here un-unique.

While this particular incarnation of my blog is brand-new, I have been blogging for three years now. My blog has taken many forms. At one point it was a photo blog. For awhile it was a pregnancy journal. My old blog is still up if you'd like to take a gander. I currently blog under a pen name, but there was a time I didn't attempt to hide my identity. I have enjoyed blogging, and I think it is now time to branch out and have a space that is all my own.

I would like to see bigger and better things for this blog in the near future. I've seen lots of you out there make money just with your blogging. Since I'm already blogging, I may as well make some money while I'm at it-- but to do that, I'd really like to have a super-fantastic spectacular one-of-a-kind home on the web that expresses my personality.

So please, please, select me to be the winner of Extreme Blog Makeover!

Thank you very much.

(More) Fun With Language Acquisition

I posted awhile back about some fun we have had in our household as regards language acquisition.

Well, the fun continues.

After a rain, we will often find small frogs in our backyard pool. They will be clinging desperately to the concrete, in a well-intentioned attempt to keep themselves alive. The poor things.

Anyhoo. Kiddo was in the pool with us after one such rainy froggy afternoon and he was just fascinated with the tiny beings clinging so desperately for life. We took him over to the side of the pool and he would just peer at them, with the look of one who has just discovered the meaning of life.

We told him what these tiny desperate beings were.

"Look at the frog, sweetie! See the frog? What a tiny little frog!"

Then he grinned, looked at the frog, pointed at it, and said with emphasis:


You see, he hasn't quite the hang of the guttural "g" consonant. He also has trouble with his "r". The word "dog" usually sounds like "duck," but that's not quite so offensive-sounding as its amphibian counterpart.

He is displaying the properties of one learning a language. He is consistently producing the "-og" sound as "-uck."

Hubby and I have the hardest time not laughing when he does this. He gets so excited to see the frogs, and when he gets excited, he says whatever word over and over again. So we earnestly hope that our neighbors are not outside in their yards when our little boy sees the frogs.


I recently learned that one of our local museums has a traveling frog exhibit. We very nearly took Kiddo to see it, but we changed our minds. There is just too much potential for embarrassment there. Imagine us trying to explain to some poor innocent bystanders that our son really truly is trying to say "frog."

Kids say the darndest things, don't they?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lousy Day

I am miserable. I'm still in lots of pain from the surgery, and I just got a traffic ticket for doing something stupid that I KNOW I shouldn't have done, but I only did because I was in agonizing pain. I had to cancel the party I was going to have tonight because I'm still in pain. Can I just curl into a ball and cry my eyes out, please? That is, if I don't drench the keyboard with my tears first.


Yay. Now I have just been vomited upon- projectile-like- by Kiddo.


GAH- 2 hours after the being vomited upon, my landlord shows up with his family "just to drop by." (Which any other day would be fine, because our landlord is also our friend, and we've been wanting them to come over for awhile!) I haven't cleaned the house in days because of the surgery, and the kitchen still smells of toddler vomit. Oh, the unfairness of it all.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Magnetic Monday: Righteous Harmony

I'm sorry, I'm sorry, it's been a number of weeks since I have participated in Magnetic Monday.

Now I have returned!

"resurrect a piece of righteous harmony."

Right on!!

And Things Have Returned to Normal

Hubby's back at work. I'm in charge again, as concerns matters of child-rearing and housecleaning.

It's bittersweet. Sure, it was fun getting to lie around in bed all day and enjoy the wonder that is narcotic pain killers. I was rather surprised when I looked at the clock and 6 hours have passed since I last "juiced up." Guess I'm finally weaning myself away from them, which really is a good thing. It's impossible to do anything productive when one is under the influence of such medication.

Not everything is back to normal. I still have to be careful what I eat. I'm on a "soft diet" consisting mostly of jello, pudding, creamy soups, applesauce, and protein shakes. I'll go back for a post-op checkup and hopefully I will be cleared to resume normal eating habits again! But who knows, maybe I'll lose a few pounds in the process! :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

In Which I Smugly Gloat

Heh heh heh...

I've had the same conversation that I'm sure many of you have had with your mom-pals- bemoaning the unfairness in which our husbands get to take "sick days" from work when they stay in bed all day and are able to get better, but when we, the moms, get sick, there is no such thing as taking a sick day. Unless it happens to occur on Hubby's day off, our sick days aren't much different from normal days.

So I'm a little smug about the fact that my husband is on his 3rd day of playing Mr. Mom and getting a small taste of what my life is like every single day. My surgery was on Friday. He took Friday off, which means that his whole weekend has been spent as my normal weekdays are. Ha!

I shouldn't be so smug about this. I had to smile to myself when Hubby begged me to come get out of bed and "sit with Kiddo" so he could wash the dishes. I didn't say anything to him, but I derived a great deal of pleasure in the knowledge that I manage to wash the dishes every single day while Kiddo is awake with no one else to "sit" with him. Kiddo's schedule has gotten way, way off, but he seems to be adjusting just fine to the difference in his primary caregiver.

It's been a little humbling for me too, though, to see Kiddo being taken care of in such a different manner than I do. I think it's good for him and me, too.

I am really very grateful to my husband for stepping up like this, taking such good care of us. Tomorrow he goes back to work, and things will return to normal. Hopefully I won't be so swollen and dependent on strong pain meds!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I'm Over the Moon!!!

My small son just said "I love you!" for the first time!!!

Well, it came out more like, "Luh Oooo!" but it was still sweet, and I couldn't be happier!!!

In Which I Describe My Appearance

I thought I was one of the lucky ones.

Someone else who had the same doctor remove THEIR wisdom teeth didn't swell up at all.

But I am. Like a chipmunk. It didn't start until this afternoon. I thought I had escaped it, but no.

Sigh. Better snuggle up to a bag of frozen peas again!

Enjoying Some Quiet Time

Because I'm rather laid up, thanks to having all four of my wisdom teeth removed yesterday, I have been spending lots of time on my laptop- blogging, twittering, facebooking, and various and sundry other creative stuff.

For some reason, my wireless signal doesn't want to reach all the way back to my bedroom today. It worked fine yesterday, but not today. So I am going to spend this afternoon doing some REAL scrapbooking and card making! I have a number of card kits that I've received as gifts from friends (Thanks, Haley and Damselfly!) so I plan to finally put them to use. If I become terribly ambitious, I may even photograph them to show you later!

Have a nice day!

To My Friendly Starbucks Barista

While I was in my hometown this week to be with my family while my mother was in the hospital, there was a bright spot. A bright, shiny spot which made each day of my visit a little more pleasant.

Starbucks. There is a relatively new Starbucks not far my parent's home, and I was a frequent visitor during the 3 days of my stay. On my way out to return home, I went through the drive-thru to get myself juiced up for the 4-hour drive. As I pulled up to order, a very friendly voice greeted me.

"Hi, and welcome to Starbucks on this beautiful evening! My name is Josh. How can I help you?"

Josh sounded like nothing would make him happier than to take my coffee order. I could tell by the sound of his voice that he was smiling.

"Hi Josh! I think I'll try one of those raspberry brownies that the lady ahead of me ordered, and I'll also have a Grande Raspberry Mocha Frappucino."

"That sounds DELICIOUS! A themed dinner?"

"That's right, Josh!"

"It'll be $6.23."


I pulled up to the window where I met Josh in person. He was delightful! I could really tell he was having a nice time at his job. Most drive-thru people barely look at me, they just want to grab my money, throw my food at me, and send me on my way. Not Josh! He took some time to make pleasant small-talk.

What Josh didn't know was that I really needed something like that. I was on my way to the hospital one last time to see Mom before I drove home. I was very worried about her, as I'm sure you remember from the updates I posted. I was afraid I was going to be too late and they wouldn't let me in, and I was afraid that if I didn't get my coffee, I would fall asleep on the drive with Lance since we only left at 9 pm, ensuring a peaceful, quiet drive.

But Josh's friendliness and his smile, his thoughtfulness, really helped to brighten that evening.

I told him that he was the friendliest drive-thru person I had ever met. He seemed surprised and pleased by this. Then I told him I would write about him on my blog. I told him the URL, and I hope he manages to look me up!

So if you're here Josh, please know that your kindness made a huge difference to this mommy during a difficult time in her life. You didn't just give me coffee and a brownie, you gave me a reason to smile when there was none.

Thank you.

Friday, July 25, 2008

A New Home

Hey everyone, it's me Guinevere from Guinevere's Thoughts on Nothing in Particular. I wanted to try out some new blog stuff, so I have set up a new blog. I haven't decided yet if I'll close down the other blog or not, we'll see what happens!

I plan to be doing the bulk of my blogging over here, so please add me to your blogrolls and readers. Thanks!

Oh, and thanks to Lena for designing this template and offering it for free! You do FABULOUS work, honey!!
I type this from a laptop while lounging in bed. My mouth is filled with gauze, I'm snuggled up to a bag of frozen peas, and the remains of a few jello cups are littering my bedside table.

I think I'm gonna enjoy a few days of being an invalid! My husband is taking such good care of me, too! He went out and bought yogurt, jello cups, and pudding to feed an army. He also bought me some Starbucks Frappucinos, since I'm not supposed to have anything hot for a few days.

He's taken Lance out for the evening, so I'm enjoying some nice quiet time. He won't be out for long, but it'll be good for Lance to run around and play at the park while Daddy has his softball game. (Our city has several softball 'leagues' of which our church members make up 3 of the 4 teams! lol! They play every Friday night.) Fortunately some of the other players on Hubby's team have teenage daughters who just adore Lance, so they're going to help out with him. The best part? I didn't even have to arrange it!! Hubby called the parents of the teenagers to ask if they would please bring them along tonight.

I was knocked out for the surgery. I remember a few times I would wake up a little bit and could hear what was going on, but not often enough to remember the details. Although at one point I heard the doctor say "oops." That wasn't good! I was under for an hour, but I only have a few minutes' worth of memories of the procedure! The IV stick was the worst part. I'm such a baby when it comes to needles!

Whoa...the phone just rang. Apparantly talking is something I'll have to refrain from as well! I seem to be fine when I keep my head as still as possible!

Cheers re-runs, here I come!

In Which I Say Goodbye to Wisdom

My wisdom teeth will be coming out in a little less than two hours.

Goodbye, Wisdom. How I shall miss you.

In the meantime, I'm finding it rather difficult to refrain from eating and drinking, especially when Lance doesn't finish his breakfast.

Plain toast never looked so good, until you're not allowed it.

I expect I'll be spending a lot of time this weekend on my computer! I'm gonna milk it, baby.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Today's Updates

Hello, Blogfriends.

Here are the updates on mom. I hope you don't mind that I just copied the e-mail I sent out to our friends and family.

Hi everyone.

I saw my mom yesterday evening. It was good to see her. They have figured out that her stomach is not emptying AT ALL-- it is full of fluid, although she hasn't eaten anything for several DAYS. I had previously misunderstood and thought they were witholding food from her, but the truth is she can't keep anything down. One of the days she *did* have to fast because of a procedure they needed to do. They had her on clear liquids the other night, and she only took a few sips of juice, and it made her throw up a lot.

They are going to do more tests today to figure out the cause of this. Something similar had happened before, and they discovered a bacterial overgrowth in her small intestine. Hopefully the tests today will reveal what it is THIS time. There is talk of transporting her up to Mayo clinic.

My dad will be going to the hospital this morning so he can talk with the doctors and find out more information. At this point, we're all wondering why they haven't given her any nutrition intravenously, since they know she hasn't eaten anything in the three days she's been there. They have her on a saline solution and electrolytes so she won't dehydrate, but she isn't getting anything else.

While I'm relieved that they have figured out SOMETHING, it's scary to think that my mom has not been getting any nutrition for several days and is basically slowly starving. I don't like that thought AT ALL. Hopefully Dad will be able to get them to give her something in the IV. They won't release her from the hospital if she can't eat. Mom would prefer to have Dad drive her up to Mayo rather than have the hospital transport her, because that would just be a ridiculously huge (and unncessary) expense.

Please continue praying- now, that the doctors will be able to fix the problem they have found, and that my mother will have some measure of comfort. I will be returning home to Coral Springs tonight. I wish I could stay longer, but I'm having my wisdom teeth removed Friday morning.

Thanks and God bless

Hi again,

Mom has now received an IV with nutrition. They are also draining the fluid from her stomach. Already she looks a little better- not so pale, and she looks like she got some rest. They have decided to transport her via ambulance to the Mayo clinic in Jacksonville, but we're not sure yet when they will do this.

Thank you all for your prayers- we are beginning to see them answered! In addition to praying for mom's healing and wisdom for the doctors, please pray also that this will not become a financial burden for my family. My parents have a fairly good insurance plan, but it doeesn't cover everything. An ambulance trip to Jacksonville is going to be a significant cost, as will several days of hospital stay.

I will be going to visit Mom once more, on my way home tonight. I hope to have more information then. I know the are going to do more x-rays later this afternoon to see if her small intestine is working properly.

I can't begin to tell you how much your support means. You are all family to us. Without your prayers and moral support, I'm sure things would be much different right now.

God bless

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

In Which I Depart From My Most Recent Subject

This post has nothing whatsoever to do with my mom in the hospital. It's time for something fun and lighthearted.

I give you...

Lance! In the kiddie pool! Completely dressed! With a popsicle stain on his face!

This afternoon I was filling the kiddie pool that my parents have at their house just for Lance's visit. He was standing there eating a popsicle while I filled it. My grand plan was to take him inside and change him into his swim trunks when he was done with the popsicle.

Toddlers don't worry too much about their parent's plans. He just clambered right over the side of the pool, went down on his hands and knees, dripping with popsicle juice.

And I stood there and laughed like I haven't laughed for several days.

It was good.


Hey everyone. I'm up in my hometown to be with my family. I packed up Lance and we left our house at 9 pm. He slept ALL THE WAY HERE, a 4-hour drive. When we arrived around 1 am, he of course woke up when he saw and heard his Aunt and Grampa, so I let him stay up and play for awhile. Hopefully he'll sleep a little longer in the morning for me!

The gastroenterologist came to see my mom this evening, but we don't have any answers yet. Tomorrow, Mom is having a stress test and a bunch of other tests including an endoscopy.

I'll be sticking around the house, holding the fort down here and taking care of some stuff that my parents haven't been able to take care of, like following up with the TV repairman, doing some housework, preparing meals, etc. I'll go to the hospital when I can, but that might be tough with Lance. Not even sure yet if he will be allowed in the cardiac unit; will check on that tomorrow.

And again, thank you for all your prayers. Keep 'em coming.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


edited to add:

The cardiologist came, and there is no indication of any heart problems, praise God! They are waiting on results from a thyroid test, and are waiting for the gastroenterologist to come. Whatever happens, she will be in the hospital at least one more night.

Hey guys.

Thank you all for your prayers and kind thoughts as my family goes through this scary time.

Mom was kept in the hospital overnight and is waiting to be seen by a cardiologist and a gastroenterologist. The worst of her pain has subsided, but they still don't know what caused it. They ran tons of tests on her, but everything came back normal. I suppose that's a good thing, it rules out all the "biggies" but doesn't help us to figure out what to do to make her better.

I'll keep you all updated as I get more information.

Monday, July 21, 2008

*Edited to add: As of 10:45pm, my mom is still in the hospital. She is on morphine to relieve the agonizing pain, but all her tests came back normal, so they still don't know what has caused the pain. They are going to keep her overnight for observation. My parents don't have much of a support system, so please keep my dad and sister in your prayers, as well, as I cannot go to be with them and help them through this difficult time.*

I just received a phone call from my dad. My mom is in the ER for severe chest and abdominal pain.

Please pray NOW.

In Which I Reveal How Pitiful I Am

I told you yesterday about my crazy injury when I got involved in a fist fight with a tough latina chick.

This Friday, I am having my wisdom teeth out.

You know it's time to have your wisdom teeth out when chewing a soft chocolate chip cookie causes agony.

And since the wrist is still sore, typing is causing another kind of agony. Going to the doc tomorrow for the wrist.

Crazy week, huh?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

In Which I Explain My Injury

I could tell you that Lance hit me with a hammer.

I could tell you that I slipped and fell on a wet pool deck.

I could tell you that I dropped a bowling ball mid swing.

I could tell you that I was performing some complicated gymnastics excercise.

But all of those would be dirty, nasty lies.

I was practicing piano. I was trying to play octaves, and my hand just isn't quite large enough. So I strained my wrist. It's been hurting for a week. Some of you may remember when I tweeted about it last week.

That wrist brace makes lots of things difficult like typing, and even lifting Lance.

So like a fool, I took the brace off so I could write this post.

Already I am regretting that decision.


In Which I Contemplate the Imagination of Children

Overheard on the playground:

"If you BOYS want to play with us, you have to be my minions 'cuz I'm Evil Girl."

"Last one there is a rotten picklehead!"

"What's a rotten picklehead??!!"

"He's gonna DIE!"

Playground antics sure have changed since I was a kid.

Or HAVE they?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fun With Language Acquisition

Lance is 19 months old. Every day, he learns or attempts to learn new words. Lately, he has been fascinated with the magnetic letters we have on the fridge for him. His favorite letter is "E." He calls all of them "E."

While I am lying on the couch watching TV, I can hear the sounds of the magnetic letters clicking agianst the side of the refrigerator. Then the sound changes to the padding of his bare feet across the tile floor, through the kitchen, to me in the living room.

He looks at me with a very serious face.

"Eee..babble babble...Mama...babble babble...Eee....elp...oom...mama...babble..Eeee!"

He looked so concerned, and he was plainly trying to tell me something which needed my immediate attention.

"Show me, sweetheart!"

He took my hand, and led me to my bedroom, where the letter "E" was hidden in the darkness. He was trying to tell me that the letter E was in Mama's room, and he needed help getting it because it was dark.

How about that!

In Which I Expand My Blogging Universe

Hi everyone!

I have begun blogging over at MomsMiami.com. (Oh, and I don't attempt to hide my true identity. My user name over there is "JenKSwan" if you want to find me!) It's a great new site for moms in the south Florida area to connect with each other. There are blogs, forums, galleries, and local resource information galore. If you're a south Florida mom, please come join us! Blogger Holly of Tropic of Mom also blogs over there, and last night she and I had the pleasure of attending a meet-up of some of the MomsMiami bloggers.

We met up at the Mr. Foods No-Fuss Meals. It was a TON of fun! If you're not familiar with it, it is a place where you go and assemble meals which you then bring home to cook the next day, or freeze and keep it for later. I had been wondering what all the fuss was with Mr. Food. I thought, surely it couldn't be much different from just going to the grocery store and making your stuff at home! Boy, was I wrong!!

Here I am with my completed Brocolli Ham and Cheese Quiche while I will be cooking tonight. My dear friend snapped this photo, and in her caption, she called me a "Rachael Ray Wanna Be." LOL! I just need some EVOO and to throw some salt over my shoulder!

You could select from an entire menu of what meal(s) you'd like to prepare. For this event, we were all allowed to make one meal for free, other bloggers chose to spend a little more money and do more. The ingredients are all laid out for you, and instructions are posted. I chose to make the "crustless brocolli ham and cheese quiche." It couldn't have been simpler! The instructions went something like this:

1. Put gallon-size ziploc bag inside tub
2. Add 1 level scoop of cheddar cheese
3. Add 1 level scoop of swiss cheese
4. Add 1 cup of pre-beaten eggs (which were stored in something like a salad dressing bottle, I simply poured into the measuring cup provided!)
5. Add 1 tsp onion powder (the onion powder already had the measuring spoon inside it)

and so on and so forth.

Once I assembled all my ingredients, I placed my sealed ziploc bag with my quiche innards into a refrigerator, and then I got to enjoy free wine and snacks.

Here I am with blogger Sherry North, who is the author of Because You Are My Baby.

I would highly recommend Mr. Food's No-Fuss Meals for people who like to cook but don't enjoy the planning and preparation. For me, the hardest part of preparing dinners for my family is NOT the actual cooking part, but trying to decide what meals to cook, and on which days to cook them so I don't waste ingredients. For example, there is a chicken dish I like to prepare that calls for chopped green onion. If I'm going to prepare that meal, I need to make sure that a couple other meals during the week also called for chopped green onion, because at my grocery store I can't buy them individually. Only in a large bag full, and most of the time I end up throwing them out because green onions aren't something I use a whole lot.

That problem is eliminated with Mr. Food.

It's also a fun thing for a girl's night out, or as an alternative for a baby shower. A couple weeks to a month before a woman's due date, get all her friends to chip in for a few week's worth of meals. All of you head on down to Mr. Food, enjoy each other's company while you prepare meals for the mom-to-be to take home and freeze. Then she'll have plenty of food available to her.

Anyhoo. It was a lot of fun, and I'm sure I'll be going back!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I'm Teething! And, Friendship is Awesome! And, Blogger Meetup Tonight!

Hello, Blogfriends! What a nutty week it's been. I trust things have been going well with all of you?


A week from Friday, I am having my wisdom teeth taken out. And none too soon, either! For the past twenty-something years, these teeth have just been hanging out inside my gums, minding their own business, not bothering anyone. Every dental check-up, the doc would take a look and would say, "It's not time yet! Let's just leave them alone and see what happens." Well, at my most recent visit, he said, "It's time. You better get this taken care of as soon as possible."

Boy, he wasn't kidding. My wisdom teeth are starting to poke through, and golly gee whiz does it hurt!! All four are coming in simultaneously. My jaws will just throb in a pain and pressure which radiates through my entire head, behind my eyes, down my neck and into my spine, leaving my whole body feeling like there's someone scratching a chalkboard all day long. Know what I mean?

Our poor kiddos, they go through this for the greater part of their first few years of existence. What a rotten welcome to the world.


Last night we had some friends over to spend the evening with us. Two of the four friends moved away about two months ago, but came into town because Mr. Friend had a business trip in the area, so he brought Mrs. Friend along with him. The six of us Friends used to hang out together a lot, and we were beginning to miss it! So although it's only been 6 weeks or so since we all hung out last (we all went out for a good-bye dinner when Friends #5 and 6 moved,) it felt like we had been reunited after years and years of separation. What's funny though, is that we Mrs. Friends might often go a couple months without all getting together because we were all so busy. One of the Mrs. Friends said that it took one of us moving away in order for all three of us to drop everything to spend some time together! To my surprise, it was true! So we enjoyed each other's company and had a great time. The three of us Mrs. Friends had also gotten together a couple days before to have lunch at the other Mrs. Friend's house, which was also a very sweet time for us to celebrate our friendship.


I am very excited to be attending a blogger meetup this evening. Our local newspaper is sponsoring an event for mommy bloggers in our area, and I have been invited by another blogger to attend! We will be meeting up at Mr. Food's No-Fuss Meals. There will be free wine and snacks, plus we get to put together a meal for our family at no cost. It's gonna be fun!! I'll let you guys know how it goes.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What a Day!

We're back from our trip to grandma's! We had a very nice time, we did a lot of fun things, but I have to say it's nice to be home again, too.

At least, it was. Until this morning, when I tried to leave the house to go to the home of my tutoring students. My car didn't want to start. After a few tries, it started up just fine. Then I started driving and realized that my brakes are in pretty bad condition. I hadn't realized it before, but after a week of driving around a rental car, a 2009 Hyundai Sonata, I can now tell that my brakes are pretty much non-responsive. Not wanting to drive across town in a car that might not start up again and in which the brakes might decide to fail, I called the mother of the child I tutor.

"Can you bring your kids over here today for their tutoring session?"

"OK, but I can't do it now. I'll call you later. Will you be free this afternoon?"


"Great. I'll call you when I get back from my errands and we'll schedule a time."

Shortly after this conversation, Lance decides to go down for a nap. I decide to take a snooze, too, since I'm exhausted after all the travel. My phone rings while I'm sleeping. I don't answer it because I know Lance won't sleep very much longer and I will call the person back then. I close my eyes and drift back to sleep.

15 minutes later, a knock at my door. Bleary-eyed and fuzzy-tongued, I answer the door. It's my students and their mother.

"I called you and left you a message to tell you we were coming!"

"I was sleeping. I haven't checked my messages yet."

"I'm so sorry! Should we skip it?"

"No, come on in."

Her 4-year old bounds into the house screaming and yelling, and wakes up Lance. Grr.

While I am busy with her 8-year old, I have Lance eating his lunch in his high chair. Because he's all confused and doesn't know what's going on and I am in the other room, he starts fussing and squirming in his seat. The mother of my students thinks he must not be hungry, so she takes Lance out of his high chair, and...

She lets her 4-year old eat Lance's lunch!!!!!!

Can you believe it?

She could have asked me if her son could have a snack; after all, she saw me get out the huge container of goldfish crackers. We would have been happy to share. But no, she just gives her child Lance's lunch. Additionally, when we go to their house for the tutoring session, she doesn't so much as offer me or Lance a drink of water, so why should it be acceptable for her child to eat my son's lunch when she's at my house??!!

I managed to get through the tutoring session without anyone getting hurt. The 8-year old wouldn't keep her focus and only got through two worksheets when I had planned for her to do 3 math pages and 2 handwriting pages, in addition to going through her multiplication tables, which we are usually able to do in our hour-long session. So she got homework. Chuckle Chuckle Snicker.

Lance is sleeping again. I still have to unpack, make a grocery shopping list for this evening, make arrangements to get my car fixed, apply for a student loan for next semester, and find an oral surgeon to remove my wisdom teeth.

That's a lot to do in a short naptime.

Have a great day!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Hey everyone.

Those of you who are of the praying sort- please send up a prayer for me! The last couple days I have been suffering from heat exhaustion, which is very unusual for me. It happened yesterday when my mom and I took Lance to see the aquarium and he was running around in the outdoor water playground. I became very faint and weak and we had to leave early. It happened again today when my sister and I were in the pool with Lance. Fortunately I recognized the symptoms, so I got myself inside into the air conditioning and drank some water immediately.

This is weird. No, I'm not pregnant-- just finished my cycle yesterday. Will schedule a checkup with my doctor when I get back home. In the meantime, I'm going to drink lots of water and try to stay out of the sun for prolonged periods.


Friday, July 4, 2008

When Hubby's Away, the Wife Will Play

Hubby has gone off with my dad and a bunch of other friends to the 145th anniversary of the Battle at Gettysburg. We're civil war reenactors, you see. I would have gone along, but it's a long trip for Lance, and Gettysburg is *such* a big event. 40,000 reenactors plus their families, in many cases, all in identical white canvas tents. If Lance were to get lost out there, we wouldn't find him for days.

So I elected to come spend the week with my mom and my sister. So far, we have:

1. Made homemade play-dough and spent hours squishing it and rolling it into balls and snakes
2. Played with bubbles
3. Ran through the sprinkler in the front yard
4. Visited the swans and geese at the lake in the center of town
5. Had a "Sister's Night Out" in which grandma stayed here and put Lance to bed for me

Later this afternoon, Lance and I will accompany my sister to a 4th of July party held at the home of the pastor of her church. This particular gathering is the "young adult" group, so there will be people of my age there and a few who have children of their own. There will be pool volleyball, possibly jet skiing, and fireworks!

To come later in the week- a trip to the box office of our performing arts center to buy tickets for Craig Ferguson and Pink Floyd, a shopping excursion to the Downtown Disney Marketplace, and hopefully a visit with an old friend I haven't seen for nearly a year.

Oh and of course, lots of trips to Starbucks. Normally, Starbucks is a once-in-awhile treat. I figure, though, if Hubby can spend hundreds of dollars on train tickets to go do something fun without me, I can blow some cash on expensive coffee every day for a week.

So there.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Visiting my parents for the week while Hubby goes to shoot Yankees.

Not the baseball players.

He's a civil war reenactor and it is the 145th anniversary of the battle at Gettysburg.

Lance and I are staying with my mom and sister, and we have big plans.

Aquarium, museum, parks, old friends...

It's going to be fun.

I may be absent from Blogland for awhile. Then again, maybe I won't.

See ya!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

In Which I Prove AGAIN That I Am A Dork; Or, What's In A Name?

I am such a dork. A big, huge, ridiculous, dork.

I believe I have mentioned once or twice that I'm in a rock band. *grin* Well, we rock band members often communicate via e-mail. Just a few moments ago, I received a message from one of the band members. The email was sent to the entire group although the content was directed at one member in particular. This member's name is Jon. My name is Jen. (I just like to pretend to be Guinevere Meadow. It sounds so much more mysterious and foreboding.)

Anyhoo. This email said "Hey Jon, please send us all the pictures you took at such-and-such an event last week."

Because I'm a dork and I didn't read carefully, I thought the message said, "Hey Jen, please send us all the pictures you took at such-and-such an event last week."

Trouble was, I wasn't at this particular event. I certainly didn't take any photos.

So I hit "reply all" and proved to the whole band that I can't read. I said something to the effect of, "Hey guys, I wasn't at this particular event, and I certainly didn't take any photos."

I am sure I will be mocked mercilessly for years to come. They're still mocking me for the time spell-check changed "Jen" to "Ken" and I didn't catch it.

To try and desperately recover some shred of dignity, I sent the following three emails to the group once I caught my blunder:

Oh for heaven's sake. I'm such a dork.

Ignore me, please.

Jon, Jen, Ken....

And would it trouble you all to know that just prior to reading Ivy's message and mistaking "Jon" for "Jen," I was writing a lesson plan to teach a kindergarten student about phonics and letter recognition??!!! Yes, I really was...

The letters are just swimming around on the screen. Perhaps I'm slightly dyslexic.

Ken, I mean Jen, I mean Jon, I mean Ron, I mean Rob, I mean.... who the heck am I??!!!!!

and finally,

I hereby insist that we change the spelling of Jon's name to "John" so that I won't get confused again. Or maybe we could just rename him to something else entirely that won't be confused with anyone else in the band. "Eugene" perhaps, or "Geraldo."

-Jim Ken Jon Jo-Bob Billy Sue Luanne Suzy Q.


I'm glad I have a sense of humor and can laugh at myself.

Friday, June 27, 2008

In Which I Explain The Economics of Guinevere

I am helping to improve the economy.

How? you ask.

Excellent question.

I am diversifying!

I used to shop for clothing at one store. Just one store. It was my favorite store. (Pay particular attention to the past-tense "was.") The sizing was always accurate, the clothes were of high quality and lasted, and were just trendy enough to stay in style for several seasons. I got lots of wear out of everything I purchased there.

I don't like them anymore. The last 5 times I have been in there I have been appalled at the rudeness and inconsideration of the store employees. Their promotional materials lie to me about what is and is not on sale. They advertise 2 skirts for $25, yet if you just want 1 skirt, it costs $29.50. HUH??!!

So I have been spreading my dollars to other sectors of the clothing market. I am helping to provide jobs for whomever it is that makes the clothing which ends up in my closet.

The great thing about it? At these other stores, I am one size smaller.

Makes it all worthwhile, doesn't it?