This is My "Real" Blog: February 2007

Angie's Blog!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

As you Wish. . .

I guess my seven-day hiatus left a few people in the dark (including my in-laws). Sorry. . . it's been a week!

On Wednesday of last week, I was called to pick up Caroline early from daycare. She was running a low-grade fever. Nothing serious.

When I went to pick up Edison a few hours later, I experienced a stomach cramp like I've never experienced. . . except for that time when I had that kidney stone. . .

Yep, you guessed it! I wound up back in the ER having x-rays and CAT scans done to see if I had a stone. I do. However, according to the doctor, that was not the source of my problem. It was a virus.

It was not a virus. I have a kidney stone.

I also learned that I have a sizeable hernia. I didn't know I had a hernia. I didn't know that they came in multiple sizes. According to the doctor, the larger ones are better. Who knew?

So, the prognosis and procedure for the future is yet to be determined. Be assured, I'll keep you updated through the blog.

After a very restful Thursday, I was back in business on Friday. We went to an event at our local Barnes & Noble for the Down syndrome group. The CEO of Barnes & Noble has a daughter with Down syndrome. They are doing a nationwide push to encourage support groups for Ds families. It was a great evening. Three of our kids read books. Talk about seeing great things in Caroline's future. I really did.

So, there it is. A nutshell of my nutty life. We're all fine. I am in no pain. I figure the next time I experience kidney stone pain, I'll take a pain killer and anti-nausea medicine here at home, and will save $500. Sound like a plan?

Here are a few layouts I worked on tonight. I had hoped to chat with the girls over at Butternug Squash Design again tonight. (We had a blast last night) But, everyone must be recovering from the festivities last night! So, while I looked for them, I scrapped a few pics of the kids. Thanks for looking! Have a great week!

Edison and his braces:

Caroline in the hospital. . . not what you traditionally scrap, but the picture was too cute!

Edited: Both kits are from Christy Sturm (Butternug Squash Design). Edison's layout is her "True Blue Buddy" kit with her cardboard alpha. Caroline's layout is using her "Fruity Garden" kit.

I'm here. . .really, I am!

Last week was bizarre. This week is busy.

But, I'm here. I swear I'm here.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Things I Love.....

Today I thought I would blog about a few things I love. Not that I don't have opinions about current events (Anna Nicole Smith, Britney's new hair-do and lack of parental skills), but I just thought focusing on some of the things I love would be a great way to start my week.

I love:

NASCAR. That's right. I said NASCAR. We made the trek over to our friends' house today to watch the Daytona 500. I have been looking forward to this for months. I love the pageantry. I love the sentimental "good-old-boy" stories. I love the commercials. I love the excitement. I did NOT love the end. I really wanted Mark Martin to have a Daytona 500 win under his belt before his *real* retirement, but it was not meant to be.

But yes, I LOVE to watch NASCAR. And yes, we did just expand to full cable so I wouldn't miss the middle of the season when it leaves the local networks, and goes to cable. I'm shameless.

I love leading worship. Not so much because I think I'm good at it. In fact, there are buh-jillions of people who can run circles around me when it comes to leading worhsip. But, I really enjoy it nonetheless. I have an awesome team that leads with me. And, the idea of singing, playing, harmonizing, and praising God all at the same time? Well, that's just heavenly.

I love my white t-shirt that I've had since before Edison was born. I once referred to a beloved t-shirt like an old friend. So comfortable, you don't mind totally relaxing with it. This particular shirt has black paint spatter stains from my "craft show" days. Spattering paint onto Christmas ornaments with a toothbrush is an acquired art. Obviously, the thought to wear a dark shirt would have been nice, but it just makes this shirt all the more special to me.

I love Thursday night TV. And, sadly, we missed three of my four favorite shows this past Thursday. I also love Law & Order (the original and CI). Here's how much I love Law & Order. . . I left a comment on Jules' blog about my celebrity boyfriend crush on Vincent D'Onofrio (CI). However, I also have a crush on Sam Waterston (L&O). I can't explain that one--something about the end of the show, when he puts on his leather jacket. Mark knows, and understands.

I love my kids. I guess that was a no-brainer, huh? They're the bomb. Caroline has begun to call herself Cah-line. Does me in. Just one more syllable, princess, and you've got it down cold. Edison is great. Such a young man. Scares me, but makes me happy at the same time.

I love my husband. Again, duh. He's all the good stuff I love about Vincent, Sam, and Michael McDonald (Doobie Brothers) all rolled into one. He loves me. What more do I need?

I love cooking. . .crafting. . .priority mail packages. . .warm oatmeal raisin cookies. . .going to Curves (really, I do). . .learning that a friend is expecting a baby (shhhh, it's still a secret!). . .e-mailing my crazy friend Laura. . .IM'ing with Melany. . .digital and regular scrapbooking. . .wow, I could go on all night.

Instead, I'll indulge myself with one of my greatest loves of all. . .no, not the Whitney Houston song. . . it's sleep, my friends. I love sleep. And, the pursuit of sleep is almost as wonderful as the sleep itself.

Good night! Happy week to you all!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Love is all you need

Man, I wish I could have coined that phrase! Still one of my favorites when it comes to Beatles' songs.

Happy Valentine's Day - one day late. We were zipping along just fine, yesterday. When suddenly I realized that not only had I *not* mailed the Valentine card to Nana & Papa (it will be on its way, soon!) but I had failed to get cards for the kids to give to Mark. Whoops.

One more trip to Walgreens before we headed to church for the Valentine's Banquet. Walgreens on Valentine's Day at 3:30 p.m., would probably be something like Wal-Mart on Christmas Eve. . . all day long! Lots of frantic people. Lots of men. Hmmmmmmmmm. But, I digress (as always).

We got the cards, and Edison chose the cards from them to me. Very sweet. And, we headed home. Both kids had Valentine parties in class. Caroline received cards and candy from all her friends. It was very nice -- although most of the candy is inappropriate for a 2-year old who doesn't crunch hard stuff yet. More for Edison, I suppose.

Valentine Banquet at church was a fund-raiser for the youth mission trips this summer. Very nice. Got to eat dinner with funny friends. Good time all around. Caroline wore a cute pink dress and her ponytails, of course. Edison ate pizza with the kids upstairs, and generally had fun. Or so he said.

So, I leave you with a "day-late and a dollar-short" message for Valentine's Day. Oh. .. and a few pictures, too.

Opening cards is a family affair. Caroline likes licking the glue on the envelopes. I need to remember this a Christmastime!

She was delighted to have a "pressuh" to open (present). Daddy got her a new Barney DVD (let the party begin!) and Mommy got her new hair ties and some sidewalk chalk. Yes, it *did* snow here yesterday.

Her fascination with cards ended once the envelope had been destroyed.

Except for this one:

This is my favorite part of the whole day. . . . loads of love.

Oh, and Helen. . . . "OCD" is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. You know, the kind of people that have to alphabetize everything. . . or straighten out crooked rugs. . .Excuse me, there's something askew here! : )

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Prizes, Pony Tails, Pork and Potatoes and Peanut Butter

Alliteration is a wonderful thing, is it not? I've decided to categorize this blog entry by topic. Should be lots of fun for my OCD friends. Of course, I will really make my OCD friends crazy, because things are not in alphabetical order. Oh well, they're chronological. Does that help? It doesn't? Oh well. Here goes nothing:

Edison did in fact, get honorable mention at the Science Fair last week. We got a picture of him and his two friends from his class who won. I think the look of delight on Edison's face says it all, doesn't it?

Pony Tails
While my friend Laura (RA) watched Caroline last week, she put her hair into a pony tail. I was noticeably impressed, because attempting even the humblest of bows for her hair usually sends her into fits. I loved it so much, we kept it on through lunch, nap, and on into the evening. I have plans to scrap a page entitled, "Pony Tails and PBJ"

Pork and Potatoes
Last night, we had pork roast that I had cooked in the crock pot all day. Yes, my house did indeed smell heavenly. It was one of the easiest dinners I've made in a long time. Caroline loved dunking her pork roast and roasted potatoes in ketchup. (te-puh) I'm just amazed at how much she is growing up!

Peanut Butter
There is no substance on earth that means more to me! I love the stuff - and I need so very little of it. Yes, it is high in protein. But, it's also high in sodium, calories, sugar, and fat. And yes, I am aware of the existence of reduced fat peanut butter, or low sugar peanut butter. I've even purchased the "natural" peanut butter that separates in your fridge overnight. Love the taste and texture, but I'm the proud Mom of a "JIF" family. Extra crunchy for Mark and me; creamy for the kids.

One of the best things to do with peanut butter is make this cake. I promised the recipe. It follows the picture.

Peanut Butter Sheet Cake
(recipe from Betsy Edmond)

Boil until bubbling:
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. cooking oil
1 stick butter or margarine
1 c. water

Remove from heat - and add:
2 c. sugar
2 c. flour
1/2 c. milk
2 beaten eggs
1 t. baking soda
1 t. vanilla

Mix well. Pour into sheet pan (jelly roll). I usually spray with cooking spray - but there's lots of grease in it. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool slightly. Then ice.

To make icing, boil together:
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 stick margarine
1/3 c. milk

Remove from heat. Add 1 lb. powdered sugar (3 1/2 cups) and 1 t. vanilla.
Mix icing well - no lumps. Ice cake. Store in refrigerator.

There you have it. . . .prizes, pony tails, pork and potatoes, and peanut butter. Procure, prepare, and partake!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

I put it off as long as I could. Sigh.

Supposedly, you won't be able to tell. . .but I've just signed on to the new version of blogger. They say that I won't notice a thing. They say that my services will be even better. They say that I'll like it more.

We'll see.

Whoo - what a weekend! Our church held a prayer conference designed to challenge us to be a praying church. Now, please don't think that because we had this seminar that we never pray. Not true. My daughter's very existence is evidence of the power of prayer - by my church family.

However, the challenge was issued to soak everything we do as a church in prayer. I was really motivated, inspired, mortified, embarrassed, and rejuvenated all weekend long. But, with that motivation, inspiration, mortification, embarrrassment, and rejuvination comes exhaustion. I'm tired.

Then, at our small group tonight, we spent time re-hashing what we'd heard throughout the weekend. Let me tell you, the Lord was in my house. Don't get me wrong - he lives here. But tonight, HE was here. We prayed, cried, laughed, shared, and really cemented our relationships as members of a small group. Again, that adds to the exhaustion.

But.....let's see.....what else happened this weekend? Hmmmmmmm. I made one of my favorite desserts. Peanut Butter Sheet Cake. I'll post the recipe tomorrow. Quite honestly, I'm too tired to get out of bed (yes, I'm reclining as I type) and get the notebook I have that recipe in. But, it's worth the wait.

And yes, for the record, I ate a very small piece of cake. It was so small, you could call it "wee sliver" for those of you checking up on me! I also made a taco salad for the carry-in dinner last night at church. Wow. It was good. I forgot how much I like "official" taco salad. I make them all the time with leftover taco meat. But this was "official" with the tomatoes, black olives, chips, and the salsa/sour cream dressing. YUM!

I also attempted (for the first time) to put Caroline's hair in pony tails. Her hair is very short - but it swings around and gets in her eyes. I got two little pony tails on the backside of her head. I'll continue to try. I think the more confident I get at it, the better she'll feel.

There's not much more to say. Oh, except this. . . .last week, I talked about the "Dreamsicle" cake that I made for our Super Bowl party. Well, this week, my friend Kathy made a chocolate version that totally rocked. For the chocolate version, you take a chocolate cake mix, and stir in 12 oz. of diet root beer. Bake like the box says, and ice with sugar free/fat free cool whip.

It's amazing.

Well, I guess now I've said it all. Excellent weekend. Exhausting weekend. Happy Heart Day - in case I don't post before Valentine's Day. Don't worry, I will. (that should put the minds of both of my readers at ease!)

Friday, February 09, 2007

Why is it. . . ?

. . .when I need Caroline to take a long nap, she opts for five minutes. But today, when I could have settled for an average length nap (1 hour and some change) she has been asleep for two hours!!

I'm half tempted to go wake her up--but a wise person told me when Edison first came home from the hospital that I'd basically be INSANE to wake a sleeping baby--especially to make them eat. Don't worry. I'm leaving her alone. She was rubbing her eyes all the way through her PB&J sandwich at lunch, so there's no way I'm getting her up needlessly. The frustrating part is that Edison is at the school's after-care program (which he loves) but they charge us something like $5/hour. Sigh.

. . .when I set out to go to Wal-Mart, and purchase the essentials (diapers, toilet paper, moisturizer, and hair "thingies" for Caroline) that I remember everything but the hair "thingies," and still manage to spend over $125.

. . .that the washer seems to take longer when I'm actually at home -- waiting for the first load to be done. I was starting to think that it was going into overdrive about a half hour ago. As it turned out, all was well. I was just so productive during that 28 minutes, it seemed like an hour. Yeah, right.

. . .that just now, as I sit down, Caroline wakes up from her marathon nap. That's right--the house is quiet, dishes are done, and laundry is running. I even got half my bathroom cleaned. Just as I sit to write my blog entry about strange coincidences and funny quirks in my life, it's time to stop and go get Edison.

Can anyone explain that to me?!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Honorable Mention

So, today, we're getting Edison from school. Nothing unusual. He hops in the car--looks over at me, and says: "I am a winner."

Now, mind you, my son is a winner. He's smart. Cute. Witty. Charming (when it suits him). So, I didn't take the bait, at first. Being the gullible, supportive mother I am, I said, "What do you mean??"

"I mean, I won the Science Fair."

Yes. You read that correctly. His science fair project (the one we lovingly call "Beelzebub") was labeled a "winner" by the judges.

Sure enough. He went to the awards presentation tonight. Somewhere between "I wish you would homeschool me. If we homeschooled, we wouldn't have to do science fairs." and today, he decided that he wanted to win. Unbelievable.

Honorable Mention. Quite a feat - considering that three attempts to recreate flatulence ended in utter defeat. He will still get an "A" in science. He doesn't have to compete at a higher level in the regional science fair. The best thing: we're done for another year.

I'm proud. My little Einstein.

On another note: I finished Plain Truth the other night. It did not end the way I expected it to end. But, I'm glad to be finished with the book. I started reading My Wife Thinks I'm an Idiot: The Life & Times of a Sportscaster by Mike Greenberg. I bought the book for Mark for his birthday. The guy is on ESPN Radio in the mornings. Edison and Mark love to listen to him and his partner (Mike & Mike in the Mornings) I'm enjoying the book---actually giggling or laughing out loud from time to time. That's high praise when it comes to reading.

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, February 05, 2007

What a SUPER Party!

John and Laura hosted a great party. I even won a couple prizes. Loads of great food - and lots of laughs. I am glad the Colts won. Would have loved for the Bears to win, too. But, I agreed to root with Edison.

. . .but returning the kickoff for a touchdown was suh-weet!

Here's a couple of layouts I got done while watching the end of the game, and all the shows that followed.

This layout is Edison from about 8 years ago.

This layout is Caroline about a week ago. Fun.

Have a great Monday!!!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

15 pounds. . .and potatoes the size of your HEAD!

Since the onset of 2007, I have been doing my best to live a changed life.

I've been more positive. . . most of the time.
I've been trying to get more sleep.
I've been going to Curves at least twice a week.
I've been eating more sensibly - trying to curb snacking and no sugar.

Well. . .the one thing I failed to do was get an initial weight at the beginning of the year. I realize that was dumb. I have an inkling about where my weight was, but still. . . I've lost 15 pounds since the beginning of the year. Maybe more. . .but 15 is a safe number.

No, it hasn't been easy. There have been times where I have deprived myself of something that I really wanted. It's amazing how empty some decadent foods are. But, the reward of letting them go is so much sweeter.

I have learned one interesting thing: food noise annoys me.

I never realized how annoying it is to listen to someone else eat. The worst time is at night, when I'm done eating for the day. And, bless his heart, it's probably my husband whose eating annoys me more than anything. He doesn't mean to. It just happens.

Tonight, or should I say all-day today is the Super Bowl. I've mentioned before how I am torn between my loyalty to "Da Bears" and my allegiance to Peyton Manning. Peyton was a star player for UT (in case you haven't heard) and his heyday encompassed the first four years that we lived in TN.

We're going to a Super Bowl party tonight with our cell group from church. We are all looking forward to a great night together. John and Laura, our new friends, are hosting the gala event. Pictures will be taken. Some might even be published!

I've made my cake. It's a diet cake. Shut up.

1 can diet orange soda and one white cake mix. Stir. Bake.
Top with Sugar Free Cool Whip. It's good.

Shut up. It is. I don't need chocolate cheesecake.
I have my dreamsicle cake. Shut up.

I'm also making spinach/artichoke dip, pigs in a blanket, and potato skins. And, as my title references, these potatoes are as big as my daughter's head. I'll easily get 6 potato skins out of one potato.

Seriously, Mark bought a 15-lb bag of potatoes. I am baking 8. There's one left in the bag. Need I say more?

And so it's Super Sunday. Great commercials. Great halftime show. Still no decision on who to cheer on to victory. Edison just reminded me that I promised to root with him this year -- because I rooted for Pittsburgh last year, and rooted against him. So, I guess I'm rooting for the Colts. (In my heart, I want the Bears to win.)


Thursday, February 01, 2007

So Frustrating

Computers, actually.

I'm fed up with my computer right now - but it's nearly 1 a.m. So much for my resolve to go to bed early, eh? I got all creative and made two layouts that I wanted to publish tonight. Computer crashed - twice - and I was too stubborn to just go to bed. I was determined to wait it out.

So, here I am. We'll see how long this lasts. I'd better post the layouts now, just in case!

The first is a layout I did with an old picture we just discovered of Edison. I believe this was taken on an Easter Sunday--after church. There's just something about this little man. He stole my heart the minute I knew he existed, and that's not going to change. . . ever!

The other layout is one that I struggled with - throughout the process. Thankfully, Windows Live Messenger allowed me to send it back and forth to Melany a few times. Just as I was about to throw in the towel, she fell in love with it, and the rest is history.

The song and layout capture the waiting . . . and the undying faith that Edison had in asking God for a baby sister.

As always, thanks for looking! Signing off seems like a wise move, considering my unstable environment.