Deer in Headlights

It is wonderful not having a really really. . . really slow phone. Oh yeah, please meet my husband. Trying to be silly. Its his most popular defense mechanism.

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Mommy Makeover?

I have a question. . . Do women really have a desire to get mommy makeovers?I suppose I should explain this not so new idea. The mommy makeover is breast augmentation with an abdominoplasty which is the medical term for tummy tuck. This takes care of our deflated boobs, and the extra skin and stretch marks left on our waists/hips from carrying all of those babies. Its wonderful that we have the technology available to us to erase the wear and tear on our bodies. And I understand it is essential to us women to feel attractive whether we are married (in any other sort of long term relationship) or still fishing for the next big catch. But are we willing to shell out the cash to have it professionally done? I mean there has to be a market for the SIMM (single incision mommy makeover), don't worry the acronym was originally coined by Dr. Danielpour and Dr. Layke.
I suppose having this sort of availability makes sense with our instant gratification seeking society. But, I am pleading all of you women. Wear your child bearing hips with pride. And men, appreciate them. Those stretch marks and deflated boobs should make you think of strength, and courage, perhaps even obedience. God created all of us. And He is ready to hold us in his arms and to tell us that we are His beautiful princesses. He doesn't care about stretch marks or excess skin.

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Mommy Friendly Retailers

Here recently I have felt ashamedly overwhelmed by going out in public with two toddlers by myself. I know there are some moms out there who can balance five babies on one finger and their shopping cart full of groceries on the other. However, that is not me. . . Not yet at least. I'm sure my beautiful orchestrating skills will sprout up if the need ever arises. But in the mean time I struggle. I freak out because I cant go to bathroom when I'm standing in an isle that is a stores length away from the toilet. and I almost have an anxiety attack when I can't get a parking place right next to a cart return coral. Don't even ask what about what I do if there isn't a coral. My being pathetic is wonderfully funny. Anyhow, leaving the house is somewhat inevitable. There is no way that I can get everything that I need done while Josh is off work (which is a very short time, generally) and I don't have everyday help coming out of anything even resembling wood work. So in our adventures out and about Lynchburg I have found some amazing mommy friendly stores. My favorite is definitely Staples. They seem to have a small staff, but they are awesome. Today, I was willing to let both of the kids walk with me to the car. . . but I also had bags. So I stood near the door trying to plan my attack on the parking lot with the toddlers. Apparently, I took a long time trying to figure it out, because one of the associates came to my rescue. The sweet lady offered to either carry my two bags while I carried the children. Ultimately, she suggested I just take the cart to the car and she would come and get it so I didn't have to leave potentially screaming kids in the car with no mommy in sight. Awesome!!!
If there is anyone else who gets overwhelmed like me, first you should remember that you are not alone. And secondly, this tip is for me too, but don't be afraid to ask associates for help. For instance, if you have to go to the bathroom in Wal-mart, go to the CSM and ask if you can take merchandise-less cart (if you have two) into the bathroom with you. I have found that a lot of people will show some kind of compassion to a desperate mommy doing the pee-pee dance in front of them.

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The Secret to Good Alfredo Sauce

Over the weekend my mother and father in law, in Charlottesville were very gracious to allow me and Josh to have a little date night. It was actually their idea, which was awesome. Rarely, do we get someone coming to us telling us to go out while they stay at home watching our beautiful monsters. Anyhow, as a kind of thank you I wanted to make them dinner. I made them chicken linguine alfredo with a homemade alfredo sauce. Instead of buying shredded parmesan cheese, like I usually do, I bought an eight ounce block of cheese. It was the best alfredo sauce I have ever made. It was so good that Josh asked me to make it for our family on Sunday night. Again, I tested the sauce with shaved fresh parmesan, and it was still phenomenal. I can't believe it. The secret to really good alfredo sauce is fresh parmesan, shaved at home in your kitchen. I have found that a vegetable peeler works wonderfully. I first shaved the entire block, and then dropped it into the hot heavy cream and maybe three or four tablespoons of butter(it will melt as you heat the cream). Then I just added garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, back to our date night. It was rather silly. I mean we had a good time enjoying each other's company. However, I felt like I was just wasting time. We went and ate dinner at Chipotle. Of course the dinning area was packed, so we decided to brave the out doors. Tehe. Really? it was only about 50 something degrees outside, but you know. . . I guess maybe people do crazy things just to enjoy a Chipotle burrito, or bowl in my case. Its ok, it was okay, I was kind of having fun imagining that I was in a newly hgtv'd house somewhere gorgeous staring at a mountain. . . at night. . . when I wouldn't really be able to see the mountain anyways. Who cares if my day dream wouldn't have really worked, it was better than realizing that I was freezing and staring at the busy 29 in Charlottesville. Meh, silly dreamer. Anyways, dinner was followed by Starbucks coffee, a trip to Michaels (pretty much just so we could use the escalators.) and we ended our evening at Harris Teeter to see if we could take advantage of any sale coupon match-ups. I wasn't terrible impressed by Harris Teeter. Although we did walk out of the store with seven bottles of salad dressing and several other things that I can't remember. We only spent $22 and saved $33, I guess that was pretty cool.
Anyhow, the babies were great for their Gi-gi and Poppy. They said that they had a blast. However, I'm sure that it will be a while before they volunteer to keep them again, haha.

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Second Hand Christmas. . . And Post Holiday Rush. . .

So, Josh was asking the other day about how long it had been since I had blogged last. Which is funny because he doesn't even regularly read this thing. Anyways, due to his satisfaction on how little Christmas actually hurt our pockets, he suggested I write about it. The short of it is that I got only six items from a big box store at very steep discounts, and everything else off of my beloved Craigslist and from consignment and yard sales. We spent about $175 on two children who woke up on Christmas morning to a tree that just seemed to be sitting on a bunch of presents. There was no room for anything else, mostly because all we had were big boxes. Also, we started earlier in the summer, so it wasn't like we had to throw all of the money under the tree at one time. We are quite proud of our second hand Christmas. Especially, because it is something that neither of us were raised with. We really are seizing this opportunity to grow our family our way, unrestricted by tradition and expectations. I figure that we only have a couple of years where we can get the babies what seems to us to be a lot of gifts before they are capable of understanding complex ideas. Anyhow, yeah, it was exciting to wrap all of the free to cheap little people. I believe the final count was something like 44 little people. It was fun. And now Christmas is over, and we are left with a tree that we don't plug in anymore and haven't taken down yet, and me trying (when I'm not being lazy) to clean and organize the house. Houses are daunting. I am very overwhelmed with trying to find and wash all of our towels and to fit all of our crafting stuff on a small table. However, I have humbled myself to seek help. I have a friend coming over tomorrow to see how dirty my house really is. So I suppose the secrets out. . . I am NOT super mom. I am a terrible house keeper, and make pathetic attempts to hide it by shutting bedroom doors and piles on tables and bookshelves and throwing miscellaneous crap onto the now at least foot deep floor of our pantry, *very big sigh*. Well, my goal is to have everything clean and put together by Saturday night. I want to be able to unashamedly post pictures of my entire house in the beginning of next year. We will see.

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Bye Bye Halloween. . .*Sigh*

So is anyone else happy that Halloween is over? Don't get me wrong, I love Halloween. October 31st with mobile children who you can dress up in cute little costumes paints an all new picture of Halloween for me. I am so used to "scary" costumes, Halloween parties, and haunted houses (like Scaremare). However, now it feels like I have really entered a new stage in life. I really appreciated walking door to door in our neighborhood with my monkey Michael and duck Meghan. By the way, I was successful in convincing my mother-in-law to get the costumes off Craigslist. They were sooo cute. It was wonderful, Meghan actually quacked as we strolled down the sidewalk. It was especially nice because my in-laws(Gee-Gee and Poppy), well, Gee-Gee got to share the first experience with trick-or-treating with the babies. Poppy wasn't feeling well, so he stayed back at our house to hand out candy to the fellow trick-or-treaters. Also, me and the babies were able to make pumpkin cookies before dinner on Monday. I have realize that I don't mind having an almost three year old in the kitchen with me as long as he doesn't touch anything without my explicit permission. For example, it was great having him count out the measurements of the ingredients, and I even let him stir the cookies a little after I had already finished. But, I started freaking out when he started trying to reach into the bowl to eat the batter, and grabbing the ingredients off the counter. Hmmm, I hope it gets easier as he gets older, I hope Michael really starts to pick up on the skill of listening. Anyhow, Halloween is a much more calm holiday to me now, and I like it. There is nothing more that I like to do on Halloween night than take the kids out for about an hour and finish the night by watching a not scary at all movie before going to bed. Oh yeah, after we finished trick-or-treating and while we were still handing out candy, a nice lady came to our door with a precious two year old bumble bee. Of course, Michael wanted to get in her face and become instant friends with her. Through a series of questions, I learned that she too stays home with the little bumble bee. More importantly, she lives in the house on the corner across from mine. What, I didn't know there were other stay at home moms this close(in proximity) to me. I can't wait to bake her something, and maybe start some kind of friendship. Because us stay at home moms need each other. At least, I need you (other SAHMs).
Anyways, I am glad Halloween is over because I like fall without all of the anxiety inducing pressure of dressing up and buying candy etc. I believe I like Thanksgiving better, and it is much closer to the Christmas season. And I love Christmas. Yesterday I got to trace Michael's and Meghan's hand once so I could use it as a template to make a hand turkey banner for Thanksgiving. I didn't finish it until late. Nonetheless, it is done. Their little imperfect hand turkeys(they wouldn't keep their hands still, and I didn't want to hurt them) are strung across the mantel of our fireplace.

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Puddles in Autumn

I believe that consistency is not my strong point. Oh well. . . Anyways, we have been potty training, I think it has been about two weeks now, maybe. It is going well. Michael is so stubborn. He won't yet tell us when he needs to go, with the exception of a few poops. He will just stand up and announce poop, and I pretty much have to rush him to the potty. At first we were bribing/rewarding him with stickers. He doesn't need any help with encouragement for using the potty. I just want him to tell me when he has to go. Tonight, Josh asked Michael if he could hold "it" a little bit longer so he could get Meghan in bed before taking him upstairs. Michael proceeded to grab his ummm, little boy parts. Josh laughed and told him to stop holding it. Therefore, Michael let go, spread his legs and peed on the floor. I suspect Josh will think twice before telling Michael to stop holding it. Josh said it was a pretty big puddle.
A little over two weeks ago we celebrated Meghan's first birthday. Her actual birthday wasn't that big of a deal to me. However, October 9th was. October 9, 2010 was the day that we found out that Meghan had meningitis. That was the day that she was physically saved and given back to us. Along with the thankfulness that I feel for that, I also have a lot of fear. I know that God has given me the babies to care for. And I know that when He is ready He can take them back. Like I said, I "know" that, but it is much harder for me to understand it and be comfortable with it in my heart. I know that I didn't lose Meghan (or Michael), but I am afraid that I still can. I need to seek our God for peace for that. He will deal with my heart concerning that matter. I can't imagine how the fear of losing babies compares to the devastation of actually losing babies. However, I hope that it I have to experience I hope God will give me the strength to say, "Why not me?"
Anyhow, in celebration of the one year old Meghan we (the four of us a handfull of friends and the grandparents went to an apple orchard. I was a little disappointed that we couldn't walk through the orchard. But we did get to go on an actual hay ride, the seats were really made of hay bales. It was kind of cool that I got to share a first experience with Michael and Meghan. Meghan wore her homemade birthday tutu. By the way, tutus are rediculously easy to make. I want to make so many of them. Maybe if I can catch tulle on sale at JoAnn's. During the Hay ride Michael did not want to get off the wagon when we got to the pumkin area. He wanted to stay as close to the big tractor as possible. Everytime I almost got him to step off he would get distracted. However in the one minute before the tractor driver closed the wagon, Michael walked down the stairs and grabbed the pie pumpkin right beside the stairs and almost ran back to his seat. I wish I could tell you that Meghan had a good time too, but she didn't get her nap. So she struggled to sleep and screamed the whole time. But that was okay. We got a pie pumpkin and a peck of apples out of the deal. Just in case you are wondering, a peck of apples makes three apple pies six cupcake sized pies. And I think the pumpkin made a wonderful pumpkin-tomato soup. I kind of chickened out of the curry that I was planning on using and used more italian herbs instead. The next weekdend Josh has off we are definitely stopping at another orchard. And I want to get enough apples to try to can them in various ways. The peck we baught on Saturday was gone by Sunday evening. But we DID have delicious pies to show for it.
Oh yeah, one last thing. I am seizing my opportunity to write. Not that it was given to me, but I am taking it. I have started another blog. And I am using it to write a little bit of the book at a time. I have wanted to write since I was in middle school, volunteering in the library. And now I am. I am no longer playing around. Some of my work is online now. Please feel free to read it. If you do, let me know. I want every opinion, even if you are telling me that it is absolute garbage. For now it is called, "You Will Know Her By Her Hat."

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