This is My "Real" Blog: March 2007

Angie's Blog!

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Who Wants a Clean House?? (part 2)

It's officially Spring! Time to clean out the junk in my house. Yes, I did previously blog about this. But, in less than a month, we will celebrate Caroline's birthday. That means visits from various family members. . .including Nana & Papa and Uncle Steve & Aunt Bettie.

Granted, they are used to seeing/experiencing my house in its usual disarray. But, today, for some reason, I am compelled to really do some cleaning. Call it what you may. The real reason I'm so compelled is that Edison is gone on a church trip, and I can get into his room, and root out stuff without his complaining.

It's official. I'm a mean mother.

Friday, March 30, 2007


I've been "mama"
I've been "mommy"

Suddenly, without notice, I have become "mom"

I did not give my permission for this change of terminology. At some point, on Thursday, March 29, Caroline decided that my name is "mom" rather than "mama," or "mommy." Can I say, please, that I much prefer "mama" or "mommy" especially since she's just 35 months old.

It doesn't help that my son finds it hilarious. My wonderful, dedicated husband, whom she calls "Daddy" thinks it's funny, too.

I'm not laughing.

Why does it bother me so?

I really think it bothers me because it is just another sliver of evidence that she is growing up. She's doing this at a much faster rate than I was ready for. Maybe I had "altered" my expectations that she would seem like a baby longer than other kids, because of the Down syndrome. Maybe I figured I'd always be "mommy" to her, because she's my baby girl.

Or, if I'm honest, maybe it makes her seem older -- so it makes me feel older.

Excuse me, please pass the geritol. I feel a wrinkle coming on.

Monday, March 26, 2007

She made it!

That's right. . . Caroline made it down the aisle with little (or no) intervention from Daddy. We miscalculated one thing: the aisle runner.

Her two trips down the aisle on Friday night were seamless. She made a beeline for Grandma, who was armed with a baggie of mini marshmallows. But Saturday afternoon, there were 200+ people in their seats (or should I say, on the edge of their seats) and this pesky aisle runner that made her little ballet slippers a bit trickier to maneuver.

. . .but she did it!

Of course, positioned where I was (at the piano) I could only see Mark get her started, and then I saw her little blonde head make its way to Grandma. I've played Pachelbel's Canon in D so many times, that I was able to "fudge" a little while I watched her come down the aisle. But, in this day and age of videotaping wedding ceremonies, I don't stray from my music all that often.

I'm going to try and post some pictures. Let me remind you again. . .Mark was in the back of the auditorium (sending her down the aisle) and I was on the stage (providing "walking" music). In other words: we don't have many pictures.

And, the #&$&#^$ photographer (she really ticked me off) didn't take hardly any pictures of the little girls before the wedding. I'm still trying to figure out why we had to be there early (at the photographer's request) only to be told to stay out of the auditorium.

Oh well. Not my battle to fight. It was just frustrating.

I am going to look for pics, and will insert a few into the blog, as I find them. I just wanted you all to know that she did it. And, she did it good.

Oh yeah, and I guess you could say I got "jiggy widdit" at the reception. There may be pictures of that too. Gak!


Caroline eating "fry fries" before the wedding (sans ketchup)
The wedding party (sans the bride's daughter - she was tired)
Dancing with Grandpa
Dancing with Daddy
I almost forgot to show you the beautiful bride! I'm so proud of you, Natalie!
Look what my wonderful friends Kathy & Barry have. . a picture of Caroline heading down the aisle!!!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

51-36 with 18:01 to Go!

As I type this blog entry, the University of Tennessee is playing Ohio State in the NCAA tournament. I can't tell you if this the elite eight, the super sixteen, or the final four.

. . .all I can tell you is that they're {currently} winning. We're very happy.

Spring has officially arrived in East Tennessee. My creeping phlox are in bloom. The dyanthus plants on either side of them will no doubt bloom in the next week or so. I even noticed big bumblebees flying around the front porch today, so it's official.

We spent some time outside today--much needed time outside. Caroline loves the swing set - especially when Edison entertains her while pushing her. She is becoming such a fun little girl. I'd do anything to contain her fits of laughter. When she gets tickled - usually in response to some "slapstick" event (or Edison) she bursts forth with this contagious laughter. It goes on and on and on. I can't describe it.

After playing on the swings, we had a great dinner together. Laughter. Stories. Jokes. All around the kitchen table. This is what I remember from my childhood. I hope I can continue to pass this tradition down to my kids.

(On a side note: the UT boys have let Ohio State get within 7 points) I hope blogging about a game while watching it isn't bad luck.

After dinner, Caroline started meandering around the house. Tickling Edison. Fighting to see what I was doing on the computer. Looking for Mark. This child never stops moving.

Suddenly, she came out of her room (box of diaper wipes in hand). She took my tote bag off of a chair - and brought it to Mark. No small feat, my friends--this is a heavy tote bag. She put her baby, "Emma" on the chair, and proceeded to "change" her diaper. Emma must have been quite dirty, because it required two diaper wipes. We stopped her at two. She's becoming such a little girl. She's not my baby anymore.

After the kids went to bed, I started working on a new layout. I've been wanting to take a picture of the kids like this for many years. Because we had no idea when Caroline would start walking, I didn't know when I would be able to capture this picture. . .until today.

The journaling is from a song that I sang at Jon & Lisa Ferguson's wedding nearly 16 years ago. The kit is "Tropical Sorbet" from Christy Sturm, my friend and "digi-scrapping boss." I hope you enjoy the layout as much as I enjoyed making it.

Tomorrow is Wedding Rehearsal day. My sister and her family are on their way to Tennessee even as I type. I'm praying for their safe travel, and wishing that they lived closer. Edison was so excited that my nephews are coming, he could hardly fall asleep. I love times like this.

Enjoy a relaxing Friday. I have serious doubts that I'll be back on the blog until Sunday. . .and late Sunday at that.

With just over 14 minutes to go, they're holding Ohio State at 6 points. We have such high hopes for them -- even though I picked Ohio State to go all the way in my NCAA bracket. You gotta love those Vols!

Last picture. . . this is the reason I do this scrapbooking thing. . .I've got these kids. I want them to remember. I want them to tell the stories. I want them to continue the legacy.

p.s. Thanks Melany, for photoshopping that last picture! You rock, girl!

Editor's note: UT lost by 1 point. They had a chance to overtake OSU, but couldn't do it. I guess it's all my fault.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Baby Beatles and Guava-Flavored Sorbet

Edited: Sorry for the delay/teaser! I've been meaning to blog about these two things, and I figured if I didn't leave myself a little reminder, I'd forget all about it!

Baby Beatles. . .
For the last week or so, we have been letting Caroline listen to music as she goes off to sleep. It has been, for the most part, a successful venture. The music of choice? "Baby Beatles" It is the most precious CD. "Strawberry Fields" and "Here Comes the Sun" How can I express how sweet this is?! I have no words. Just take it from me. It's precious.

Guava Sorbet? Maybe a little papaya?
I'm (way) too excited about my new job as a Creative Team member for Christy Sturm (Butternug Squash Designs). She has inspired me, and trusted me to help promote her beautiful digital scrapbooking business. I was able to complete my first official "CT" layout. I chose to do a 2-page layout about my kitchen.

Her latest kit is called "Tropical Sorbet." Guava, papaya, mango. Really fun, delicious colors. Made scrapping this assignment lots of fun.

What did I do? Well, to be honest, I just re-arranged the appliances in my kitchen. No, not the big ones. The small ones (microwave and mixer). The overall countertop layout makes for a cleaner, more streamlined work surface. I love it.

So, here's my 2-page "Tropical Sorbet" layout about my kitchen featuring a "Guava Alpha" from my buddy, Christy. I really enjoyed this layout, and look forward to many more.

I also purchased a kit from Laura Pitman, who is a designer over at Elemental Scraps (a new site where I post my layouts). Her kit, "Comfortable Country" really suits my taste. I love the rich country colors, and the stitching just makes me shiver. I love adding stitching to digi-layouts.

My final layout to post is the compilation of a few free kits I downloaded and an old picture of Caroline that I'd never scrapped before. I cannot believe that this little girl will be three in just a few weeks. Where does the time go?

Have a great rest of the week. We're at T-minus 2 days until the wedding. My friend Stephanie braided her hair the other day, in order to accommodate the tiara. Yes, I said a tiara. Here's a preview of Saturday's princess!

"Here comes the sun. . . doot doo doo doo. . .here comes the sun, and I say it's allright!"

Oh, one last thing. . . today (3/21) is World Down Syndrome Day. It's an easy thing to remember. . "3" of the "21st" chromosome! As my friend and "employer" Christy says, it's a celebration of something "extra" that our kids bring to the table. A little extra kindness. . . a little more time . . .and a lot more love. Happy World Down Syndrome Day on behalf of Caroline and Henry!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

I'm oh-so ready!!!

. . .ready for sickness to leave our house.

After we got Caroline diagnosed and treated for croup, Mark and I both came down with some sort of upper respiratory goop. Mind you, neither of us has darkened the door to a doctor's office. But, we're getting by, day by day.

We are in "pre-wedding" mode. My cousin, Natalie, is getting married this coming Saturday. Caroline is to be one of the flower girls in the wedding, as is Kylie, Natalie's daughter, and Becca, my niece.

Yes, it *should* be interesting. I can guarantee pictures and stories when the wedding festivities conclude. I'm looking forward to it.

I'm also ready for March Madness to be finished. I filled out a bracket for the first time ever. It was all on a whim. I chose coaches and teams because of sentimental reasons. Really, it was totally random. And, I'm doing quite poorly. Oh well, it's a man's world. I can live with it.

Did I mention that I'm offocially a "Z.I.P." in our little (non)town? Yes, I did type "ZIP" not "VIP" because our little (non)town just got a new Zaxby's restaurant. The staff hosted people that work in Seymour (churches, schools, etc.) to their "Pre-Grand Opening" night. We ate free!

The food was good. . . it was free. And, I call Seymour a (non)town, because we act like a town - but are avoiding incorporation and local government like the plague.

Caroline's doing well in therapy. Yesterday's physical therapy appointment had her doing "ballet" moves--isolating and raising one leg at a time. She really is catching on well, and talks the whole time while working. That's a good sign, and a genetic trait that she receives from my side of the family.

So, it's Sunday night, the beginning of a new week. There are lots of things to do. Many appointments to meet. And, some new pages to design for Butternug Squash Designs. I got my first set of links tonight for a new kit that will be released later this week. How very exciting!!!

Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Who Wants a Clean House????? Seriously.

"Scrubs" reruns on Comedy Central
"30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray"
"Paula's Home Cooking."

And don't get me started on all the NASCAR shows. We've even managed to teach Caroline to say "Michael" (Waltrip) Did I mention that I'm addicted?

These shows, however, pale by comparison to my new favorite show. I've even gotten Edison hooked on it. It's called Clean House. Now, I will grant that the show's host, Niecy Nash, can be a bit grating to the senses - especially to my dear husband. However, the concept of this show sends me into absolute shivers of delight.

Here's a quick synopsis:

1 slovenly family (seriously, folks - oink, oink!)
1 team of professionals
2-3 heated discussions over who brought the family to this point
4-5 heated discussions over what items can go away
1 or 2 "bribes" made to get rid of rubbish
1 yard sale complete with a camera crew
1 big old wad of cash for renovations and new furniture
2-3 days for the family at a hotel or resort
1 happy family upon their arrival at their newly cleaned house

Whatever is not sold at the yard sale goes away - not back into the house. The show matches dollar for dollar what is sold at the yard sale - up to $1,000. When the family comes home, 99% of the time they are thrilled with the results. However, I've seen less-than-enthusiastic participants. Very.awkward.

When the show is over, the crew leaves to change the lives of yet another slovenly family.

Why do I love it so? I suppose it's because there are areas of my home that qualify for "Clean House" in my opinion. Some of these areas include my stuff. Other areas, well. . . .you know what I'm saying.

Granted, most of the homes featured on the show require GPS navigation systems to get through the clutter and junk. (I kid not) I cannot imagine how some of these families actually live in this type of squallor.

So this afternoon, in the spirit of my new show, I began tackling Edison's room. I didn't even scratch the surface. But, at least I've started.

There's a yard sale at the church in May to benefit missions. Caroline's preschool has said that they need books and toys. Edison's school has a carnival in May - and they want stuffed animals. So, I have my donation spots already. It's just a matter of getting junk out of the house, into a box, and to its new destination.

I can only do so much good in one day, but at least I have begun the process. Now, if I could only find the remote. . . Paula Deen is on!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

In an effort to boycott all emergency room visits. . .

Caroline and I both refused to go the ER. Curious? Read on.

On Saturday, I had another round with "Rocky II" my 2nd kidney stone. When I went to the ER a couple weeks ago, the CAT scan showed another kidney stone in my kidney. When he started to "shake, rattle, and roll" on Saturday, I knew what was up. And yes, for whatever reason, I've assigned a gender of male to kidney stones.

Medicine good. Pain bad. More medicine good. Pain gone. Sleep heavenly.

I was able to be at both services on Sunday morning. . . and although being tired from paying homage to the porcelain god that lives in my bathroom, I felt fine. I didn't take a full-fledged nap on Sunday, but dozed while Caroline slept.

Monday - back to work, daycare, school, etc. As a famous writer said, "All was right with the world," as we started the week off.

However, yesterday afternoon, Caroline woke up from her typical nap with a not-so-typical cough and wheeze. It was stridor. And no, I don't mean the ever scrumptious Viggo Mortensen from Lord of the Rings. It was croup.

We acted quickly, and gave her a breathing treatment. That seemed to help, some. She eventually settled down (with just a little rattle in her chest) and even ate supper. But, by 8 p.m., it was necessary to give her another treatment. She didn't like it, but it helped. Bathttime went without a hitch. Bed time approached, and we thought we had it made in the shade.

Unfortunately, around 11 p.m. she started in again. We tried taking her outside to breathe in some cooler air. It helped. . . and then we took her to a warm, steamy bathroom. Again, it helped settle her down--but the stridor came back around 12:45 or so. After a couple of calls to my aunt (a nurse) and the after-hours nurse at the pediatrician's office, we gave her another breathing treatment which ended at 1 a.m.

Mark stayed up with her in the recliner. She slept. Him? Not so much. He came into bed sometime around 5 a.m. At 6, she was up again. I took a turn in the recliner, and we stayed there until 8. And, at 8, she was ready to go!

Our doctor's visit was scheduled for 9. It went great. The staff complimented us on avoiding the ER - especially because she did so well. After two prescriptions and 18 minutes, we were on our way.

And now, she's doing fine. Her newest "trick" is standing with her arms folded. Of course, the process of actually getting her arms crossed is more hilarious than the pose itself. And of course, when we imitate her, she thinks she's queen of the castle! So, all in all--even with sickness, we are having good times here at the Crazy House of Aubrey.

Happy Tuesday to you all! It's a balmy 77 degrees today - so I'm loving this particular Tuesday more that just about any that I can remember!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The end of a week, and a few layouts

Not a whole lot more to say. Friday was a Friday. Caroline had two therapy appointments this morning. They went well. We will sure miss seeing Jan and Missy when she turns three. I can't believe that's coming up in 6 weeks. Wow.

Mark and I have a board meeting for DSAG tomorrow. We are looking forward to a great time with the rest of the board. We always end up laughing our heads off at something or another.

I got a couple of new layouts done with some of Christy's recent kits. The first is with her kit "Giving Me a Heart Attack" which was released in February - Valentine's Day. The other is called "Dreams of Spring" and it features lots of florals, stripes, and a gorgeous blanket-stitched alpha that I LOVE!

Have a phenomenal weekend. Don't know if I'll post again before Sunday night or not!


Friday, March 09, 2007

Big News. . . BIG, BIG News!

It has been a very full day. Edison is doing better. My grocery store is still stocking all of my favorites. A very full day.

Oh, did I forget to mention? I have been asked to be a Creative Team member for my friend Christy, and her amazing digital scrapbooking shop, "Butternug Squash Designs." It's amazing! I took a chance, asked her about getting a spot on the team, and she accepted me! How excited am I?!

Here's what it means. . .Every two weeks (or so) when Christy releases a new kit, I have to make (at least) one layout using the new kit. I then post it at least four sites (including hers) to get the word out about her amazing stuff. To be honest, I've been doing that - for the most part - since I started digital scrapping. However, I've been using only freebie kits, and kits that I have bought from Christy. As a member of her team, I have full use of all her kits.

This is big, folks. Really, really big. Here's a layout I did tonight - using her new kit, "Baby Prep" which is available at Butternug Squash Designs.


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Holy Granoley!

That's right. . .I'm blogging twice in one day! I actually wrote the previous blog before I went to bed last night (this morning) so, in my mind, it's yesterday's entry.

The song of the day:

"You make me feel. . . y0u make me feel. . .you make me feel like a Na-tur-al Woman. . (wo-man!)"

Some of you may remember the show Murphy Brown. On it's most-watched episode, Candace Bergen scratchily (and off-tune) sang this song to her new baby upon his arrival. Truth be told, I think if you asked him, the scene would have made even Dan Quayle cry. (This Trivial Pursuit topic will surely separate the baby boomers from the rest of you!)

This however, is the song on my lips this afternoon. I'm sure you're thinking that I hummed it as I rocked Caroline to sleep. Or sang it over my sleeping 12-year old who is becoming a young man far too quickly.

Nope. I'm singing to my granola. That's right, I said granola. If you would have caught me singing that song today, you'd have seen me crooning over two pans of homemade granola that are now cooling on my kitchen counter.

My new & exciting friend Beth, whose blog I faithfully read, shared this recipe with me months ago and I'm just now getting around to making this delicious mixture of all things natural, sweet, and delicious. Of course, I added a pinch more maple syrup. I have to admit that I omitted the sesame seeds (didn't have), but used dried apricots, cranberries and raisins along with the almonds, walnuts, pecans and sunflower seeds. Oh, and I used my homemade vanilla--so I can take some credit for this food of the gods that is going to make its debut atop some ice cream, or in my cereal bowl tomorrow morning.

I haven't started grinding my own wheat. I thought about it at one time (pre Y2K). And, I must admit that after sampling some of the hot granola, I washed it down with a Diet Coke.

So, a natural woman may be a bit of a stretch for me. But for now, I'm going to enjoy some really kickin' breakfast cereal that I made myself. And, I'm going to make more when it runs out.

Oh, and one more very crucial thing. . .

My friend Christy, whose son, Henry, shares that same extra chromosome that Caroline does. . . shared a wonderful speech on her blog that was given by a young man to his high school peers and teachers. I encourage you to visit Christy's blog to read it. Bring an open mind--and don't stop reading after the first or second paragraph. The entry you're looking for is dated Tuesday March 6. It's worth looking for.

Edited: I had a bowl of granola with skim milk. This is heavenly, ya'll. The time spent on the counter allowed the granola to "crisp up" and it made the flavors meld together so beautifully.

Greetings from the Sicko Ward

That's right. . .we're incubators. Again!

Edison came home from school on Monday, complaining of a seriously sore throat. Of course, the pediatrician's office was not able to get him in until Tuesday morning. By that time, he had woken up in the middle of the night (6 a.m. is the middle of the night to me!) and "blown groceries" all over his bed and bathroom.

Side note: My dear friend Laurie (college buddy) had all sorts of euphemisms for vomiting. Some of my favorites were: blow groceries (see above), drop chow, heave to, blow lunch (supper, etc.). You get the picture, right? And, considering she had not "dropped chow" since she was in 3rd grade, conversations along those lines were always very interesting.

But, as usual, I digress. Back to our lives now. . . .

Edison had an early appointment at the pediatrician's office on Tuesday morning. A throat culture and nasal swab indicated that he had not one. . . not two, but three positive results. He has flu strain "a" and "b" as well as strep throat.

There' s a longer, more dramatically drawn-out saga of him taking medicine. I won't go into it. It's not pretty. But, he is getting better. . . .of course, I was just heading off to bed, when he "blew chow" one more time. So, we're not completely out of the woods.

Speaking of woods. . .he is missing the spring version of his school's 3-day outdoor education field trip. He's bummed. I'm glad to have him close to home when he's this sick. But still, I feel for him. Please say a little prayer for him--and for the rest of us as we wait out the quarantine.

No new layouts. Lots of "busy work" for the Down syndrome group. It's fundraising time again, so I'm trying to use my spare time to get that work done. It's a great cause. Takes lots of good help. Thankfully, we've got it!

Have a great Thursday!

Editor's note: If you read the comments, you will note that my father in law is eating "prickly pear" ice cream in the layouts featured in my previous post. Who knew?

Monday, March 05, 2007

Extreme (Scrapbook) Makeovers

I started a thread at the Butternug Squash Forum the other day. I asked some of my digi-scrapping friends if they had ever gone back and re-done a layout. I was looking back at some of my early layouts. Very basic. Very.basic.

It made me think about re-doing some layouts. Interestingly, my idea was not met with enthusiasm "Hey, that's the greatest idea since sliced bread." But, a few of my dear friends encouraged me to try. So I did.

Here is a layout I did very early on - it's of Mark's dad eating strawberry ice cream. (I assume it's strawberry -- but knowing George, it could very likely be raspberry, too!)

The second layout is the "new" version of that same picture. I tried to keep the theme similar. Well, sort of. I also simplified it. Streamlined. Can you tell I've been watching HGTV and the Style network?

The original:

The makeover:

The second set of layouts is from last year's Buddy Walk. I looked for the earliest layout I could find. There are many more - and they are much worse. But, it was a good exercise in creativity.

The original:

The makeover:

So, there you have it. My adventure in re-inventing myself. Melany told me that I was "scraplifting" myself. I guess that's sort of true, too.

Oh, and Helen. . . ."regular" scrapbooking pages are traditional paper scrapbooking pages. I spent some time over the weekend playing with paper, photos, tape, and ribbon. It was fun.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Another Weekend is Gone

. . .and I don't have a lot to show for it. Except, I guess, for 8-10 scrapbook pages (the regular kind). I enjoyed a family birthday party, found a dress for my cousin's upcoming wedding, and had a great time at some friends' house on Friday night. (Yep Jules - it's your inlaws I'm referring to!)

As the new week encroaches on my free time, I am swallowed up by a slight sense of dread. I have a lot to accomplish this week. And, next weekend should be just about as busy as this one was. Sigh.

I don't have any new pictures of the kids to post. I don't have any new layouts to post either. Sorry.

I'm watching "50 First Dates" on USA Network. I am loving this expanded cable service. The movie is interesting. Melany told me that the ending is. . .let's say, untraditional. There's only 32 minutes left (counting commercials) so I'm getting a bit anxious. It's sweet thus far, and I know how I want it to end, or not end. We'll see.

Well, I paused in my composition long enough to see where the movie is ending. I won't say anything, except that Melany was right.

Some movies are fun. Some make you laugh. Some make you cry. And then there are the ones that make you realize you can't predict the outcome. It's not your job.

Edited: The movie had a sweet ending. Kind of bizarre. But, it was Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. Made me think. I like when that happens.