Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Words of Wisdom: Wait for it.

"Good things come to those who wait," my mom always said to me, throughout my life.

I had just graduated college the spring before and started my full-time job a few weeks before, and I was (unofficially) engaged to my sweetheart. Things were looking up.

I was just engaged. Literally. Said sweetheart, I'll call him Y, had just asked me while driving down a quiet country road that evening. It wasn't exactly the stereotypical romantic storybook proposal, but it was unexpected. And awesome. I had spent the evening floating on Cloud 9 (which, by the way, is awesome transportation) through Downtown, and landed on my doorstep, kissing Y goodbye for the night. However, the high of good news came crashing down with news of a death in the family (whose funeral we could not make, due to financial reasons).

Some weeks later, we made the way to our fave restaurant and had the family meeting, i.e. Y asked my family for his hand. We wanted to marry that next fall. It went well, for the most part, except one thing, which was made clear over time... my mom was not pleased about my choice. We had many a discussion, and I'll not-so-proudly admit that some were more like catfights. After all, she had a point. I had just graduated from college and found a job in the real world. I hadn't really... LIVED yet.

But I was determined that Y was The One. Undeterred, we looked at homes together (albeit totally on our own, homes that were under construction). We discussed how we'd raise our kids. Still, my mom pressed. She felt that Y wasn't The One. He wasn't right for me. It got under my skin. It irked me.

Finally, I caved. I sat down, shut up and did some soul searching. I hadn't even had my own place yet. Heck, I hadn't even had my first real review yet at my job (you know, the one that doesn't scream "We are going to throw you under that DART bus if you don't do XYZ!"). I hadn't even experienced what it was like to... have my own place. My own space. Breathe. I hadn't even really stopped to... you know, smell the new roses that had bloomed right in front of me.

That night, I swallowed my pride and conceded. I admitted that my own gut had even hinted that Y wasn't the right man for me, and that mom's advice to not marry him had affected me as well. I made the difficult decision to call everything off (fortunately, no dress or rings were bought yet, so that made it a *tiny* bit easier). After all, good things come to those who wait, right? Shoot, had I been more prayerful about it, it probably wouldn't have taken so long.

Fast forward about a year. I was settled in my own place and my job was going well. I loved it. Newly single from another relationship that I knew wasn't compatible, I had vowed to take it easy, no dating for a while. That lasted all but a couple of months. I met the man who later became my husband and we hit it off.

And here I sit, now, with two young tornadoes girls, watching Lalaloopsy Land as I type this and talk to them. My husband is out and about and we are sitting in our home, living the American Dream. Thanks to heeding what was probably the best advice my mom gave to me, I am so blessed right now. Good things do come to those who wait!


All Too Aware.

"There is a lump in your left breast," informed Dr. W as she did my exam. "We need to schedule an ultrasound to see it."

"OK," I replied.

"Do you take alot of caffeine," asked the doctor. "Chocolate? Chocolate girl!"

Later that week, I confided in my then-new-fiance/now-husband. "They found a lump in my breast. I have to go get an ultrasound."

"Ok. We'll see how it goes.I'm here for you."

"Thank you."

Time dragged on over the next several days as I informed my mom of what was going on and then finally had the test. The wait seemed to drag and drag until I was finally called back, took my bra off and put on the standard-issue muumuu gown for the test. Since it was a breast that was being scanned, I was able to use a pillow to lay back on. I watched as the tech ran the wand through the cold gel puddle on my breast. I strained to see the black-and-white clipped-triangle screen and make heads or tails of all of the black and white lines on the screen to no avail.

"What do you see," I asked the tech in earnest. "How big is it? Pea-sized?"

"Yeah, probably pea-sized," she replied as she kept scanning.

And more scanning, scanning and more scanning, for what felt like an eternity. Finally I was free to go, hoping that would be the end of it.

Unfortunately, I received the dreaded callback the next evening. The doctor was talking, but all I heard was "solid nodule... biopsy..." I began crying right there in the car (my fiance was driving) and didn't stop for quite some time. God Bless my husband, I even screamed while freaked out and crying; he had told me everything was going to be ok. My comeback? "Not if I have CANCER!" Yes, that dreaded C-word had crossed my mind and taken up residence at the forefront. cancer?? can't do that... hell no... wedding in sept... what to do? how many opinions to get? surgery? drugs? what next? "It'll be a fine-needle biopsy" "Please please please get me in SOON!"

They say ignorance is bliss. Perhaps it would have been in this case. But unfortunately, one could probably say I knew know too much about some things. For me, this would have been one of them. I was officially TOO aware.

I'm going to be blunt here; I don't get it. I may as well just admit this is a rant.

Don't get me wrong here, I understand wanting to be aware of a disease that can, and does, sneak up on you and can kill you. But there are a whole lot of other diseases that can do that. A whole month (and then some) of having this "awareness" shoved down my throat? No, thanks. Does Diabetes awareness month get this much attention (ever heard of a 3-day for diabetes)? Heart awareness month get this much attention? Not that I've seen.

"Save the tatas." Really? Do you have to shout such a juvenile and asinine slogan? Save my life, please! Even if it does ultimately mean cutting the girls off and laying them to rest. They've done awesome feeding my daughters, but that's the thing- I have them to think about. And a husband. And in-laws (I get along with!),among many others. Don't get me wrong, I have followed many a survivor's story, and it's not that simple- in many cases I've seen mastectomy AND chemo needed. But that's the trouble- such a simplistic slogan makes it sound so, and definitely minimizes the disease's impact it can have.

And what about the sophomoric games that have been played, while supposedly in the name of awareness, but really have absolutely nothing to do with cancer, but are demeaning to women. Telling the Facebook world what color my bra is is not going to magically end any cancer, let alone breast cancer. List your status as "pink" and I am liable to think you are talking about the musician. Black? uhhh... new pair of shoes? Show me a picture, please!

The pink merchandise. Wow, that's a whole other ballgame. I love the color pink. In fact, it was one of my wedding colors. However, the whole breast-cancer awareness thing has, well, put a damper on it for me. I feel hard-pressed to find a pink toy or appliance that doesn't have that cutesy pink ribbon on it. Sure, I'd love to buy that pink stand mixer or pink knickknack for my girls, but sorry, but I don't want to think about breast cancer every time I bake. Or play with said knickknack with my girls. I know you can't really say how you'd act in a situation until it happens to you, but I know I'd be a bit annoyed to receive pink boxing gloves as a recovery gift from a breast cancer treatment. Seriously. I don't intend to look a gift horse in the mouth or anything here, but I'm sure I'd need a punching bag to go with a set of regular, red boxing gloves. Wouldn't want my girls to see me freak out.

Seriously. This is overkill. Yes, cancer is a horrible disease, but so is Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), stroke, AIDS and HIV. Diabetes and sleep apnea suck, too. Where's their 3-day, 60-mile walk and cause-colored merchandise? This is not to minimize breast cancer. I know that, unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of people have died from it over the decades. Yes, people (NOT just women!). Trouble is that other forms of cancer exist and kill people: brain cancer, pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, testicular cancer, heart disease (especially of the congenital variety) and a myriad of other diseases. Why does breast cancer trump all of these by getting a month of its own? Some of these other diseases, like diabetes and heart disease, have their own months, but how much do we hear about it, save for social media? How come it seems to trump social issues like...bullying?

I felt blessed to find out the day after my biopsy that the lump was benign. A fibroadenoma, with some glandular tissue mixed in (which was confirmed in my lactating days). Yes, I still have it, but I keep a tab on it. While it was a huge relief to not have cancer, I thought about all the folks who aren't so lucky, and I still do. I feel for them, many having to put their lives on the line by way of surgery and/or dangerous chemotherapy that could very well end their lives.

Stop giving breast cancer awareness a bad name!


Wait, WHAT?

It's Dec 31 already?! Wow. And yet again, I have failed to find the time to blog more! I know I've vowed several times to do so and, well, failed. But this year will be different. Yes, I know.

It will.

I have always had trouble (as all writers do, I'm sure) finding and thinking up stuff to write about. While I love to blog about my home projects, they don't come near often enough at this point to be able to center this entire blog around them. Not everyone wants to hear about my home life, either, and I don't wanna write too much about controversial stuff (abortion, gay marriage, for two) either; it's just not my thing. I just wanna be me.

Thanks to a long-time reference site of mine, SITS, I finally have some writing prompts I can identify with! It's funny, because the first one listed mentioned basically mentions blogging more, in my mind. Probably because I need to do it. I know I won't have the time to do every single one, nor do I have an answer for every single one, but they are something to work with! If you have a blog and are struggling with ideas, I suggest you check the site out. It's awesome! (thesitsgirls.com)

So there you have it, one of my 2014 New Years Resolutions. The funny thing is that I haven't made any NY resolutions in a long, long time. So why not go for some now?

1. Blog More. I have a smartphone. No excuses on this one!
2. Spend more quality time with the family
3. Breathe a little more
4. Stress a little less
5. Eat healthier. This one goes for the entire fam.
6. Stop and smell the roses more often.
7. Make 2014 an incredibly awesome year. Period. And do whatever is necessary to make it one. Well, almost whatever is necessary...

If anyone has any suggestions for topics or just wants to see me write something, call me out! My e-mail is listed in the contact link above. It's just spelled out to (hopefully) keep spammers out.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A clueless girl's rudimentary guide to football:

It's that time of year again, folks, when (grown) men, in stadiums throughout the USA, run around chasing an oval-shaped, brown ball, with cute stitching on top, around a field. The field has two yellow goal posts which look like a robotic-shaped letter 'Y' on each end of it (commonly referred to as an end- zone). The objective is to get the ball into the opposing team's end zone or something. 

But that is no easy feat. Or is it? It appears incredibly easy from high up, or even on tv, where we can see which end zone is whose. But from the ground? How is it possible? Both end zones look alike! Obviously I've never played tackle football before but I can guarantee you that I would be the oddball running the ball in the wrong direction, all disoriented from seeing so many different men dressed alike and nearly all running after me...

But back to the game: Then the unfortunate ball-carrier either trips over his shoelaces (a fumble?) or gets straight-up tackled (or -*gasp*- sacked!). The men then pile on top of each other, with said ball being hugged by the poor guy at the bottom, who I am sure is thankful summer is on its way out, being so close to the guys. 

Then they line up, scatter a few others around for good measure, throw the ball up in the air and do it all again. For two hours. But there are breaks in this cycle; occasionally a man will break through his invisible wall and somehow make it to the other end of the field, with the little oval still in his arms. That, my friends, is a touchdown. Said man then may spike the ball to the ground and throw his arms up in the air, shouting celebratory remarks (whilst the opposing team surely utter curse words under their helmets). But it's no shenanigan; that victorious runner just earned his team six points on the board. And if he kicks the little brown oval with the cute stitching on top through the top of the big Y, it's an extra point. Hey, every little bit helps.

Finally, the game narrows down to the last couple of minutes, probably the slowest part of the game (especially if you're watching on TV!). If the game happens to be tied, it could go either way as both teams scramble to get hold of that little brown oval with the cute stitching. Sometimes, unfortunately, the game is already won or lost, depending on who you root for.

Once it's over, though, one thing is for sure: we can't wait for the next game of men chasing the that little brown oval around the stadium, but then it all goes too fast- before we know it the Super Bowl is over and we are vacuuming confetti off of our living room rugs and savoring the last of the ranch dip with the chips of the potato chips.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Honey-Do: A Re-Visit

A reminder for those who are new to this; this is not to be confused with honeydew. I actually don’t like honeydew very much (I prefer cantaloupe, if I might say so myself), but I like honeydo. Our new home has so much potential that it’s not even funny. And we have a Texas-sized to-do list to fit the bill, if I might say so myself.

We have knocked off several items, with several to go, and several others unmentioned as we have realized there is always more!
1. Paint Downstairs - eh, still working on this one. Have at least the hallway and kitchen. The kitchen... anyone wanna come tape with me?? I'm sure it will take just as long to tape as it will to paint...

2. Hang Ceiling Fans in the girls’ bedroom (which could prove tricky if a- the brackets that hold the fan to the ceiling aren’t already there and b- the fact that all 3 upstairs bedrooms’ lights, plus the bathroom up there, are on one circuit, puts a huge damper on things. I’ve done some Googling- it may be do-able… but that will have to be another post)
Done. Woohoo! All three upstairs bedrooms have ceiling fans now, and they all work, beautifully. Even though they are of the "5-minute" variety, they took about 20 minutes apiece, but still... easy. Does anyone actually get those done in 5 minutes?

3. Paint Upstairs

4. Maybe a little wallpaper in one of the bathrooms?-maybe. If I can find the right pattern cheap enough. Operative words: right pattern.

5. Master bedroom fan needs a remote. Found one that will work at Home Depot, now just to go grab it and program it so it will work with our fan.
Poor thing is paralyzed. One remote has failed us as it is incompatible (go figure :p). Off to get the correct one. Eventually.
We did it! I looked at a couple of web sites and found a similar-looking fan. Looked at the specs and manual and voila- we now have a working fan in master, for a total of six working fans in this house. Which is a beautiful thing in these TX summers. 

6. Hang more pictures! The walls are disturbingly blank. Disturbingly. Especially upstairs.

7. Erect a backyard shed for the hubby’s tools, so that we may once again have two cars in our two-car garage. However, since today’s sheds are packaged in approximately 2,395,746,108 pieces, we will need to set aside a year a fortnight 4 score and 7 years some extra help to get it all put together.-
 hmm... giving myself partial credit on this one. the shed was erected in approximately 1,832,352 parts, far fewer than the original estimate. Mostly those pesky little screws. and washers. uuuuuuuggghhh... Now the thing just needs to be moved; the original spot we planned for it isn't working out. Fortunately, trees hide it from the street. ;)

8. Soak in the huuuuuuuge bathtub. Yeah. It’s still not been christened yet. YES! Did this one too! Unfortunately only had time once thus far- will pencil in time for more times.

9. Patio Furniture. Front and Back. ‘Cause it’s needed. And that’s that. And no ugly stuff! What's good quality and good-looking on a shoestring budget? Walmart! Stay tuned... ;)

10. Granite Countertops. And stainless steel appliances. Find out if the kitchen is pre-plumbed for a gas range perhaps? Half-hoping there is a capped-off line hidden somewhere within that wall. A gas range would certainly be easier to clean than a coil-top, yet have the flexibility to allow for cast-iron cookware, right? Otherwise I think we’re gonna have to go flat-top. Hate the coils. Blech.

11. Wood Floors. Need I say more? Carpet+Toddlers+Clumsy Parents=NotAGoodThing.

Hmmm… this is getting mighty expensive. Anyone wanna tell the winning lottery numbersfor this weekend? I'm still open for this one...


Monday, September 2, 2013

September and the Tongue-Cloud

How is that possible?! September already?? I can't believe I am typing that out already! Where has this year gone? It seems like just last week we were looking forward to 2013 and seeing what this lucky year was to bring us. Now here it is, nearly three-quarters over already. The girls' school cirriculum is already in full swing, even as the hot, unrelenting sun glares down at us. It is hard to believe that just a couple of months ago, we were eagerly anticipating and counting down to our first-ever family vacation to CO! I do plan to post more about that soon; I've been very busy!

The summer has been mild, but I'm already ready for it to take a hike! It was supposedly only 95*F for our afternoon walk around our neighborhood but it felt like another 200* day. Although, to our northeast, the sky was getting pretty interesting. It started with a few subtle but fluffy clouds, which by the time we were halfway through our walk had blown and bubbled up quite a bit. One little guy actually caught my attention enough to stop me in my tracks for a quick pic in the sun:

The Tongue-Cloud. I did a quick double-take on it and it still looked the same- like it was sticking its tongue out at us, as if to say, "Neener-neener-neee-ner you're not gonna get rain!" (Only to later realize that it may have been saying "Neener-neener-neee-ner you're gonna get some rain!")

After we wet our clothes some more just by walking in the sun and arrived back home, we chilled out cooled off and put tags on Miss Mollie (she's fully legal now! woohoo!). I looked out back and the clouds were bigger and darker, closer to us. I turned my head away and that's when DH announced it was raining. A beautiful sight!

Enjoying that gentle, unexpected rain was a very nice way to wind down and relax, while the minions went wild. Tongue-Cloud was too kind.

Hard to believe we were just using that barbecuer in yesterday's 200* weather.

I'm hoping that this rain indicates a cooler, wetter winter ahead. I certainly wouldn't mind another white Christmas!

So... how's the weather where you're at?


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Damn You, Autocorrect!

Natalie, please get up, pick up the toys. It's bedtime. Natalie, Natalie, please, pick up the bag. Pick that up. Pick up that toy. Over there!

This is your iPhone. This is your iPhone inadvertently on talk-to-text mode while instructing your toddler what to clean up. Night y'all!

Monday, August 5, 2013


It's been a crazy week. Where to begin? Monday Keith's car decided it didn't want to play anymore, and started showing major signs of giving out now instead of waiting until spring (why, hello again, old "friend" Murphy. Nice to see you. *not*) to give us some time to prepare to take on a car payment. We did some intensive research for a few days and decided on a brand-new Hyundai Tucson! So far we love it. I love the sporty look/feel and the color is aaaah-mazing!

Without further ado, meet Mollie!

We clambered through the rest of the week and rejoiced as we came to the weekend, looking ahead and forward to getting back on routine and getting the house all tidied up again. But guess who had other plans? Our old frenemy Murphy (is this becoming a theme in my life or what? ;))! Jessica, Natalie and I all became sick. Yay summer cold. Spent most of Saturday in bed, yesterday dragging but today am feeling much better- thank you again, Zicam!

This past week, while it has been overly crazy, pretty much illustrates our whole summer. I can't believe summer is already almost at a close, but what can you do except reminisce? ;)


Sunday, July 28, 2013

My Own Business- Hoodwinked?

I know it's been a while since I've posted, a long while, in fact, but SO much has happened since the start of summer. For starters, in an attempt to make extra money, I've done it. I've taken the dive of starting my own business by becoming an independent consultant for Scentsy. Yes, I joined a MLM company.

Like I expected, this endeavor has been challenging. More so than I had expected. We had major hiccups last month as the plagues made their way around our home. First, Natalie became ill, then Jessica. Then Keith, followed by myself. I probably got over it the fastest, thanks to some supplementation, and now recommend it to everyone who suspects they are becoming ill.

Of course, my good ol' pal Murphy('s law) is always by my side, and why/how I ever thought he might leave me alone for this I will never know. All this sickness happened the very same month that they raised the bar on us consultants. The terms I signed up for/agreed to were selling $1 (yes, literally, $1) every six months to stay active in their system. However, they very suddenly "carefully considered" (yeah, right) and raised the bar to $150 in sales every three months (in one month) to stay in their game. :( Since I'm just getting off the ground I don't know how I am going to do that. I attempted to host a party this weekend but it just didn't work out- at least 140 people invited- 25 no's and four maybe's (two of which turned into definite no's which sealed the deal of no house party)- with two of those maybe's having no communication on the follow up. I hope to have a decision made on whether I will try to host a house party again next month by this weekend- need plenty of time to give notice (even though people had about two to three weeks' this time!). That probably won't be enough either... This quota thing is for the birds!

Then I finally had business cards made. I had planned to pass them out pretty much willy-nilly, until I ran out, but it turns out I seem to have lost the cards! MURPHY, WILL YOU PLEASE LMTFA?? With the aforementioned quota has me with much trepidation about putting alot more money (that I don't have) into the business. Seems too risky now- what if I bend over backwards spending a ton of money and time and still don't make the bottom line?

Perhaps I should take on knitting? ;)

I want this crazy venture to work out on my very tight budget, so come check me out!



Sunday, May 19, 2013

So I did it...

...finally sent the old shower head packing to the trash can. Last night it leaked all over the bathroom (and we have a separate, walk-in shower) while I was running it to warm up the water and I slipped and slid right into the baseboard, toe first. Thankfully, the only "injury" I incurred was a broken toenail in the process. The damn thing then fell on me twice in the shower, and Keith a couple of times as well. It had been doing this over and over again, but this was the straw that broke the camel's back!

I almost grabbed a cheaper one that looked promising in the reviews that I had read online, but then I saw its shape: just like the one we had that kept falling. And one of the reviews complained about it falling, so why take that chance? And if it keeps falling and I have to return it, well, ain't nobody got time fo'dat!!

So long, slacker... on the way to the graveyard -er- trash can.

...and in with the new!!

Installation took all but five minutes, if that. As its appearance suggests, it is a dual showerhead. The fixed portion loops around the detachable portion, which itself has four spray settings. The systems splits between loop only, showerhead only and both. I tested all functions of this thing and it. is. pure. awesomeness. so far. It doesn't leak and SNAPS into place, assuring the user that it will not, in fact, fall down and knock the head.  There seems to be enough pressure behind it to allow me to wash my mop of hair, possibly in half the time.

Can't wait to test this thing for real tonight!


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

CrazyMom Presents, Here It Is! There are quite a few posts to toss in here, so I promise, this will be the only post this long. Ever.

Crazy Weekend.

Four tubs of laundry. FOUR tubs. eek. You’d think we left the house every day or something. ;) After weeks of slacking we finally had to draw the line and get more clothes, so we put our washer and dryer to a workout this weekend. 
Ah well, on to the fun stuff. In spite of a round of plagues still hanging around the house (last week Jessica, this week Keith and Natalie and still poor Jessica), we managed to turn things around and get a TON of stuff done, notwithstanding the laundry. 
We have knocked a couple of things off the ol’ Honey- Do List! The girls now have fans in their bedrooms, and the spare has a fan as well. We even had all three going, plus the bathroom lights, (keep in mind all on the same circuit- eek!) and had no issues thus far. 
ImageI just picked on the fan in Natalie’s room, since they’re all the same. 
And a big, bonus task: the girls’ Grammy bought them a swing set. Their daddy and uncle went and picked it up from Wally World today and we put it together! A bit painstaking as there were a lot of parts, but I think it was good prep for the shed down the road. ;)
So, all in all, I’d say this was a pretty productive weekend. Installed three ceiling fans, banished excessive pots and pans from the kitchen sink, put together a swing set, and conquered Mount Laundryvest. 
I’m exhausted. Just can’t seem to figure out why. ;)

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Seeking Feedback?

Eh, I don’t know where to start. I know I haven’t written much, and aside from stating over and over that I will do better only to not do better, I do want to post more! 
As usual, I have been a busy little bee. Unfortunately though, not busy enough, as one would see as they walked into our home. Blocks strewn about, dishes piled in the sink (Mount Dishvrest!), and not to mention good, ol-faithful Mt. Laundryvest, the one that gives me pause as to how I would ever handle doing cloth diapers (three days’ worth? Diaper laundry every other day? NOOO Way! I can’t even handle regular laundry, apparently… and NO I am NOT pregnant). 
Anyhow, as Mt. Laundryvest takes over our cavernous bedroom, I have to ask one thing: What do you like to read about? Which topics should I write more about? I am looking for some inspiration.
Feel free to spill, please! 
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It’s been Quiet.

OK, not really. Turns out I have once again been very busy. We have made it about 1/3 of the way through painting our new home! I am so thrilled at the progress we have made and the way things have turned out. Slowly, but surely, we are kissing the boring beige walls good-bye.
Well, let me back up a bit. Not literally. The walls themselves are still there, just slightly modified from their original form. ;)
We started out with the girls’ rooms since we took a day off from work, so they were both at school. Good thing we did this, as everything, between moving furniture, taping, painting, taking down tape and moving furniture back took about 4-4 1/2 hours! But I would do it all again as it came out nearly perfect. I say nearly, as some errors can be seen in Natalie’s room, but hey, this was my first time at a two-tone job!
ImageMy inspiration for the two-tone job in this girl’s room was the fact that her closet (is not a walk-in, as the others are) juts out as you walk into the room. In other words, you have to veer slightly right to get into her actual bedroom. In this picture, her closet is actually the hot-pink on the far left.
ImageThen the light pink was splashed on the other three walls. Love it!
And the other princess got the blue room she has always wanted.
And last, but not least, in spite of sore muscles from ladder-climbing and crouching, we started and finished our master suite. The bathroom is still blank, but will be painted eventually.
Wall art to come. ~yawn~ I’m exhausted!
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Happy Birthday, my Dear Sweet!

Jessy turned three this past Tuesday. How is that even possible?! It seems like just yesterday (in some ways) that were bringing her home from the hospital after her suspenseful birth
We stayed low-key this year since we weren’t quite settled yet into our new home (but that is rapidly changing, thank goodness!). In spite of that, we came through with J’s request for a SpongeBob theme. Well, not very well-done since the party was planned and invited-to in a matter of days for a matter of days ahead (read: last minute), but some circumstances (including another birthday) dictated the quick shindig. Image
I had grabbed some favors from Party City since Target didn’t have what I had wanted (and hadn’t bothered telling me they needed 48 hours notice on the weekend for a cake- thanks guys!) but it turned out well, as you can infer from the pic. J loved her (eh, still does) SpongeBob face mask.
She was very proud of her cake, too!


My Dearest Jessy,
My, how time flies. I can’t believe you’re THREE already! May 3 treat you wonderfully, give you lots of new adventures and learning and new friends! Mommy and Daddy love you very much. May you have more Grammy/Mommy/Daddy/Natalie time and less boo-boos. May you have lots of love everywhere you go.
Love you very much, my sweetheart! 
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Well here I am!

After two weeks of sickness in our household, we feel human again. Finally. It had begun a couple of Fridays ago, when I was supposed to get some cleaning done around the house to where we wouldn’t be so cluttered. But the universe had other plans. That afternoon I started to feel sluggish, then later that night N began coughing that awful, croupy cough. 
I’ll spare you the details after that, but the next two weeks were not fun! 
I, however, did not fail to start on that Honey-Do list: The bedroom fan. I bought the remote on my lunch break and a couple of days later went in for the kill. I grabbed the remote, stuffed the batter in there and went at it, flipping the switches into their 16 different positions. Well, the package states that there are 16 different combinations. However, there are two frequencies, so technically it’s 32 combinations, right? ;) I had gone through all of the combinations when I began to scratch my head. Then it dawned on me that I hadn’t tried the *other* frequency. Flipped that switch, and sure enough, the blades of the fan began to circle round and round. 
Satisfaction commenced. Oh, the things we get excited over as grown-ups. ;)  
Next up: Christening the bathtub.
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Not to be confused with honeydew. I actually don’t like honeydew very much, but I like honeydo. Our new home has so much potential that it’s not even funny. And we have a Texas-sized to-do list to fit the bill, if I might say so myself.
1. Paint Downstairs
2. Hang Ceiling Fans in the girls’ bedroom (which could prove tricky if a- the brackets that hold the fan to the ceiling aren’t already there and b- the fact that all 3 upstairs bedrooms’ lights, plus the bathroom up there, are on one circuit, puts a huge damper on things. I’ve done some Googling- it may be do-able… but that will have to be another post)
3. Paint Upstairs
4. Maybe a little wallpaper in one of the bathrooms?
5. Master bedroom fan needs a remote. Found one that will work at Home Depot, now just to go grab it and program it so it will work with our fan.
Poor thing is paralyzed. One remote has failed us as it is incompatible (go figure :p). Off to get the correct one. Eventually.
6. Hang more pictures! The walls are disturbingly blank. Disturbingly. Especially upstairs.
7. Erect a backyard shed for the hubby’s tools, so that we may once again have two cars in our two-car garage. However, since today’s sheds are packaged in approximately 2,395,746,108 pieces, we will need to set aside year fortnight 4 score and 7 years some extra help to get it all put together.
8. Soak in the huuuuuuuge bathtub. Yeah. It’s still not been christened yet.
9. Patio Furniture. Front and Back. ‘Cause it’s needed. And that’s that. And no ugly stuff!
10. Granite Countertops. And stainless steel appliances. Find out if the kitchen is pre-plumbed for a gas range perhaps? Half-hoping there is a capped-off line hidden somewhere within that wall. A gas range would certainly be easier to clean than a coil-top, yet have the flexibility to allow for cast-iron cookware, right? Otherwise I think we’re gonna have to go flat-top. Hate the coils. Blech.
11. Wood Floors. Need I say more? Carpet+Toddlers+Clumsy Parents=NotAGoodThing.
Hmmm… this is getting mighty expensive. Anyone wanna tell the winning lottery numbers for this weekend?
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Hi 2013, I’m Kimberly. Nice to meet you.

We finally got into our new (to us) house right after Thanksgiving. Merry Christmas to us! Since our lives have basically been a crazy rat-race rollercoaster since, oh, early/mid October, it is nice to finally come to a bit of a slowdown and enjoy life a bit. We (needless to say) still have boxes unpacked that are in the guest suite/office, but just this weekend we managed to make room for one car in addition to taking Christmas down, seemingly so soon after putting it up!
I spent the week after we moved unpacking, cleaning, and watching two crazy girls (the babysitter was out of the country), then two weeks later we decorated for Christmas! Then, the sickies entered the picture and did of course hang around until just after Christmas (sorry, no kids playing in the snow! Yes, I did just say snow!), but we still managed to have a wonderful season. Putting away that decor is always so sad!
Now, back to the snow part. Yes, we had snow. A white Christmas is a rare thing here in Texas, so I went a little shutter-crazy on it.  One of my fave shots happened from J’s bedroom.
All this white stuff fell in DFW on Christmas! We didn’t even have to dream. How’bout that??

That snowy look? Yeah, it was there on Christmas Eve, too, that morning. I looked northwestward from the upstairs living area and saw that classic gray and knew (from our experience back in ’10) that we were destined for some snow. Just how much, I had no idea. Now, of course, we’re on a two-day hiatus from our own Great Flood. Hehe. It will jump into the 70′s tomorrow- remember, that snowstorm pictured above was just two and a half weeks ago. Welcome to Texas, folks. If you don’t like the weather, just wait 15 minutes. It WILL change. Unless it’s summer, and then it will stay. perpetually. hot.
Needless to say, Santa’s sleigh got a good workout in our area; he doesn’t typically get to use it around here! He was very good to J, N, and everybody in between.
Look at all these goodies! Two certain little girls must have been very good.
Now, unbelievably, the Christmas stuff is down after our being able to enjoy it for about 10 minutes ;p
And to get started on more house projects. Onward!

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Out from AWOL- Major updates!

Wow! It’s been this long since I’ve visited here already? Yikes!
Sorry I’ve been AWOL, but things have been moving very, I mean VERY, fast. Not to be jinxed by its newly-dubbed nickname, This (s)old House sold in… you ready for it?… not 6 weeks, not 8 weeks, not 4 weeks, not 10 days… but 2 days! Yup, TWO days!! With, get this, a cash offer.
After picking up our jaws out of our laps when the realtor (who, BTW, is awesome!) called us to bear the news, we digested it and went on with our lives. The inspection revealed a foundation issue that needed fixing (hey, I nicknamed the house “this (s)OLD house” for a reason! ;) ), but fortunately for us it was very minor- as in it was the smallest job companies would take. The day the work was done, DH and I took off from work to get some work done around the house (well, so much for the day off :p). Let’s just say that being inside the house while eight men were literally jacking it up was quite interesting. Hearing the drywall creaking all at once and the grout in our newly-done bathroom popping was quite a trip. Fortunately, though, I am happy to report that no tiles or pipes were harmed in the process of house-jacking.
From there it went extremely fast. We had begun packing about three weeks before our big move and STILL had to put our pedals to the medal to get it all done, but we managed, thanks to our little helper.
Um, just what are you doing with my room and all these suitcases??
After a very fast-paced weekend of packing and moving about 98% of our belongings into a tiny storage unit, we were officially homeless. So began the hour-plus long commutes, since we are staying currently with my mom. The long commutes become painful while on the road in bumper-to-bumper traffic, stuffed much like sardines in a can. That said, it is SO worth it to see the girls light up when they see their Grammy after a long day, and Grammy so happy to see her little sweethearts (my slightly-probably-biased opinion).
Snowy was being a little turd about getting into her seat. Guess she didn’t want to ride for an hour… fortunately, I was able to coax her in.
But then there’s the story about taking 25 minutes to move approximately three miles, the demon lady on the Bush Turnpike… ohhhhh man. How does Dallas not make the worst cities list for traffic more often??
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Adventures in House Selling, Part II

Sky-Gazing through the trees
So we had to be out of our house bright and early this morning- by 10am. For us, that is early. ;) While husband and girls got their breakfast, I somehow slipped through the cracks, probably from running around cleaning up after the tornadoes, showering and shining the windows in the kitchen, as was Keith- but he eats at literally twice the pace that I do. We quickly remedied that situation by stopping at McDonald’s and I ordered a sausage McMuffin (instead of the usual egg McMuffin) and a coffee (which, btw, was sooooooo delicious!).
We then made our way to my brother-in-law’s house to park my car, intending to walk over to the Plano Balloon Festival, which happens annually in our neck of the woods.  We loaded up the double stroller on its low tires, hung up the diaper bag and started making our way over. However, something was amiss…
I quickly noticed that there were no balloons in the sky, as there had been the day before. Jessy and I had seen the balloons floating around that morning and she was so excited to see them. I stopped walking and pulled out my phone (TG for mobile internet!) and googled the shindig. Sure enough, the balloon launch had already happened, at 6am! The next one was at 6pm, when were were already penciled in to be over the river and through the woods.
We then discussed our next action and decided to walk through the nearby residential neighborhood and seek out the short-sale home we had seen on the internet and driven by just weeks before. After sweating out a few drops and hiding from the sun as much as possible, we came upon it, and it looked just as beautiful as it had when we quickly drove by it. Sadly, it looked just as overgrown, but that was nothing that couldn’t be cured with a pair of hedge clippers and a hacksaw. Oh yeah, and a little elbow grease, too.
We continued down the street and came upon the quiet cul-de-sac and continued down the extended sidewalk, which took us across a bridge over a shallow creek to another subdivision. There were teen-age boys on their bikes riding along the small hills within the woods that surrounded us, doing sick tricks and 360′s as they popped up and around the crests of the hills.
We continued on our way and reached a bridge that overlooked a huge chasm with a quiet creek floating through it. The four of us stopped and admired the beauty of the clear water running over the sand and rocks, which Jessy made clear she was excited to see.
Little doll missed out on the rocks.

Once we arrived at the aforementioned subdivision, we quickly decided to turn around so we could stay in the shade. This time, once we passed the bikers’ trick zone, we continued south on the path and stayed in the shade, admiring the beauty of the trees and leaves that were beginning to fall.
We continued walking until we happened upon a beautiful foreclosure home (which may be a later post ;) ), looked into the windows and loved on it. One of the neighbors saw us (GULP!) and chatted up my husband and actually seemed very nice, and that is always a bonus.
We quickly concluded our walk after that, as we were becoming hot in this Texas sun; the summers never seem to like to end around here. ;) We loaded everybody up into the car and hit up the store where we bought some cold liquids to drink on the way to lunch.
A perfect ending to a perfect house-selling adventure.
Until next time, viva la vida!
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Here We Are

Well here we are. This (s)old house of ours is now on the market officially and we wait. Hopefully not too long! There is a house near where I work that has been on the market for all of two weeks and now has a contract on it- and it sold for nearly double what ours is worth. So let’s go!
Now that we have that settled, after only two years of getting the place ready, the no-sleep monster has reared its ugly head at Natalie. For the past three weeks she has awoke at night at least twice a week. At first I shrugged it off as a growth spurt since she had been eating beyond well at that time. But then it happened again, the next week. Twice. Teething? Nope.
This week- twice and probably working on a third. I think this kid just doesn’t believe in sleeping. Quick- invest in Starbucks! I have a feeling I’m gonna need it. Another reason why we need a bigger house -stat- so that the girls can finally have their own bedrooms and sleep. Right? Right??
Ah well… A girl can dream, right? ;)
So, how do you get your non-sleepers to sleep? We have this kid on a routine that has been working pretty well up until now… Dinner, bath, relax then bed. Oy!
20120920-221508.jpgwho could put a face like this on Craigslist? ;)
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Crazy Pace

It’s incredible how fast time has gone. A little over 5 weeks ago Natalie turned 1 years old. Time is going tooooo fast! She is now walking all over the place, literally. Not full-time quite  yet as she wouldn’t walk from the car to Grammy’s house just yet. ;)
We finally finished our bathroom reno after two months. Between helping my mom recover from major surgery, taking care of a husband and two kids and trying to prep a house for sale, yes I was definitely running ragged this summer. So glad it’s over now (and that’s a whole other post). Phew! I don’t think I ever want to touch a project like that again. Just so time consuming! 
House is not listed yet but hopefully will be in the next couple of weeks. We just had a new garage door and opener put on the house ($eek!$), so that should hopefully help the place sell a little faster. And once we finally clean out the garage (we’re almost there!) we will be able to park our cars in there. One day. Hey, a girl can dream, right?
Phew. That’s my crazy life in a nutshell. More to come later!
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Aaaaaaaaaaalmost there!!

Wow, how is it August already?! CrazyMom that I am, I have been very busy. Between shuffling two kids around and juggling them with work and a bathroom renovation (that STILL isn’t quite done yet!), I’ve been just short of listing everyone and everything on Craigslist.
Kidding about the CL part.
We finally have the scene put together in the bathroom, however we had an issue with the awesome-looking dual showerhead we bought. I had originally thought that having a dual showerhead would save water by speeding up my showers since my hair is thicker than a Siberian Husky’s coat (seriously- it takes me literally 10 minutes to rinse, wash, rinse and condition- and I CANNOT skip conditioner). ;) That might have to be put on hold, however, since the setup was quite poorly engineered, as the entire setup would droop to the right once I maneuvered it into the correct position for use. Turn it on, and it would leak like a sieve. Disassembled it to verify the washers were in all the way and correctly and reassembled, but we still had a little shower sieve on hand.
That being said, I am still posting the pics with the showerhead in them because of how BEAUTIFUL the thing is, and we all know how ugly sells in an older house ;)
The tile has now been sealed and all we have left is to caulk and, well, a good shower head.
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Tilted Tiling

Part 8,353. Keith and I took the day off from work today and while we did not finish (so if you decide to hire us, don’t do it for speed), we made great strides on getting this bathroom fixed up.
I am sore and utterly exhausted but we’re getting so close!
For your viewing pleasure, the work we did today:
Ignore the red line across the soap dish; I decided to store the level there along with my pen and got lazy about moving the items. Jury’s still out on the soap dish, however, we’re not sure if we like it or not!
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Bathroom Renovation

So it begins. Home improvement project number 8,352 or so: the master bathroom. It wasn’t really on our to do list until a couple of out (blah) tiles un-stuck themselves from the wall.
We very quickly realized that this wasn’t going to be a simple fix. The soap dish had fallen off as well, not for the first time. Time for a regroup. :o
Our current bathroom was just too ugly icky boring for us, especially if we ever want to put this place on the market (yes, we’re still taking about it). I’m sure we would have to do something to make the place marketable, right? ;)
First, we said good-bye and good riddance to the claustrophobic, hard-to-clean shower doors:
Slowly but surely, we began pulling tiles off, one by one, only to discover that the drywall wanted to get in on the fun too.
The drywall’s wish was promptly granted and it was replaced. We have now begun the tedious tile-measuring and cutting process.
Amazingly, Keith and I have managed to get through this renovation to this point without killing each other. Now, herein lies the question: can we keep this up or will I end up banishing Keith to the roof?
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Crazy Cool Recipe

So a few weeks ago I hopped on the infamous bandwagon known as Pinterest, not soon after seeing a friend post a yummy-looking recipe online.
The recipe, however, called for item which I had never used before. Won tons. Up until tonight I’d only eaten the delicious confections, but never had cooked them.
All I needed was this pack of won tons, some ground beef, grated cheese and some sort of Mexican spice, at minimum. It seemed too good to be true, but I just had to try for myself.
Tonight I decided I was up for the challenge. I browned the ground beef in some chunky salsa (I used Pace Picante medium) while I preheated the oven and washed and cut the tomatoes (optional ingredient. Other optionals are sour cream, lettuce, black olives… You get the idea). I would have used the sour cream but we were out and I just didn’t feel like running to Kroger (even though it’s across the street from me).
I organized my won tons two-at-a-time into my cupcake pan, to yield me 12. The corners were staggered so that the “cupcakes” now had 8 little points, instead of the boring, standard 4. I filled each one with the meat-picante mixture and topped with shredded cheese, to look like so:
I popped that sucker in the oven (425*F) and the oh-so-tasty goodness came out looking like so:
A world-class, winning recipe. At least IMNSHO.
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She walks.

It’s official. Natalie walks. Only while holding/pushing something like a foot stool or chair, but she now walks. And she’s only 9.5 mos old- what is happening to my little girl!?
But you’re just going to have to take my word for it, for as soon as I pull the camera out… She stops.
What is with this camera standoffishness audience-hating? This little girl is a little trickster. Oi.
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