Thursday, March 26, 2009

Party like a Carny

Looking for something fun to do this Friday afternoon? Head to Jollyville Rd for some Carny food and field day activities. From dunking random people you don't know (aka QuickArrow execs) to stuffing your face with nachos and atomic cheese to running through the obstacle course, you're sure to be entertained Carny style.

All this and more this Friday - yes tomorrow - from 1pm-5pm! Just head to 11675 Jollyville Road, Austin, Texas 78759. All the action will be taking place in the parking lot.

This is all in support of fund raising for the Austin Cup which benefits the Center for Child Protection.

So why not stop by? Who wants to work on a Friday anyway, you deserve a day off AND it's for a good cause. (And there will be no danger of carnivorous clowns - which I can't guarantee at your workplace).

Pic from lulu

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Game

Corbin has put a new twist on an old game - Peekaboo.

He's taken all the hard work out of the game and made it easy on me. He grabs his little fabric book and puts it over his head, waits about 2 seconds then pulls it off quickly. At which point I just have to say Peekaboo! and smile - and he cracks up.

Man this kid is just too easy!


Home has never been a word that's held much meaning for me. Not to say I don't understand the feelings that home could bring, just that I never had that place. Our family moved frequently, leaving one home for another, until I learned not to get too attached to any place for long. The longest time I spent in a house was 4 years during high school. And even then I had to fight to stay there when my parents seriously considered moving to another state my junior year.

And of course, my parents have since left that "home" and moved 3 times since. So now there is no home left.

So being someone who has no idea of home, I want to create one for my own family. But...that's hard. My mind is still set on the wrong setting. That this place is not permanent. Me at home is not permanent. This house is not permanent. I'm on pause, waiting for the next change. Not wanting to invest in any one place for fear of having to leave it, lose it.

My mother is a wanderer, I am not. I am more of a hibernator. Not wanting to venture out of my cave, just wanting to create something from nothing and have a constant in my life.

I read a book once that talked about three types of men: The Commander, The Dreamer, and Mr. Steady. The Commander is in charge of everyone and everything around him. He is a natural leader. The Dreamer is always in chase of something, the next adventure. He is always in pursuit. Mr. Steady is stable, strong, hard-working, a constant and the backbone of any organization or effort.

Another blog I read just talked about her husband. How she'll probably never be in one place for long. To place him, I'd say he's The Dreamer. I used to thing it must be exciting to be married to "The Dreamer". Always on an adventure.

It's amazing how you can go through life for so long and not be hit with a realization and then BAM! You get it.

My wonderful husband is a creature all his own, but if I had to put him in one of these categories, I'd say he was Mr. Steady. As with any generalizations they don't always fit perfectly, but there are similarities. He is my constant - he never wavers. He is strong - I lean on him for support. He is hardworking - he provides for our family. He is loyal - he is the best friend you'd ever want to have. In a word - he's my match.

The Commander would crush me, I'm too soft hearted for a tough leader. Mr. Dreamer would break my heart - making me leave the things I've built and loved.

But Mr. Steady...he's my match. He compliments me perfectly. He waits until I'm ready to make a change. He's patient. He never forces his decisions on me. He's gentle. He remains constant and waits - for me to build our home.

So I'd like to thank my Mr. Steady for being perfect, just the way he is. And let him know that I'm working on building our home, I'm no longer on pause.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Out of Control

Today is just one of those days I feel completely out of it. Is the weather? The busy busy morning? Too many emails? Having to use my brain for something other than diaper changes? Not sure.

Maybe it's the complete chaos of my living, dining..uh ok fine, house.

Maybe it's cause I ate WAY too much just now...bah!

Or cause my sleep has been all wacky lately.

Not sure.


Corbin had his 9 month check up. Tomorrow my baby will be officially 9 months old. Check up went great! All is good developmentally for my little guy, despite my whining about his toothlessness and utter laziness. He has been sitting now for extended periods of time (15 minutes or more), but is known to randomly flip to his tummy if he sees something interesting. He cannot sit up from a laying down position though. But he'll pretty much stay sitting if you place him that way which is pretty cool.

He's also sitting in high chairs at restaurants, which is AWESOME. A lot easier to deal with now.

I think my Craigslist searching is over. I'm determined to STOP LOOKING. It really took over my life!! But we don't need anything!!! Nothing!!! So I'm stopping. The only thing I'm doing now is selling. So far I've sold Hayden's toddler shoes. I've got posts for a floral arrangement and some ferret leashes out there. Now I'm in the mood to make some money. HA!

I really want to see if I can go a whole week without spending any money (not talking about bills). It's harder than it sounds, at least for me. The quick run to HEB, grab lunch on the way home, etc. Somehow I find ways to spend it. So far I have only spent the copay for Corbin's checkup and I'm not counting that. So one day down (since I know I'm not going anywhere tonight), 6 to go. I'll be amazed if I can do it. I've tried and failed before.

Friday, March 20, 2009

New Math

Recent Craigslist ads:

Selling all 4 paintings for $100 or $20 each.

$25 Baby Gap gift card, yours for $27.

Books $5 each, or all 3 from $20

I guess this is special "craigslist" math that I'm not familiar with.

I've been saved from trolling craigslist for playscapes like a psycho stalker. My friends saw my blog and gave us 2 for free!!!!! Hayden is in Little Tykes heaven. :D

Of course, my addiction still has me looking for a kids basketball goal. HA! It never ends.

Sorry if posting has been slim. Kiddos have had colds this week and not in the greatest moods. I have also got a bit of it, although it's not too bad. Somehow I just haven't gotten a chance to sit down and type.

I found a new method of cleaning that has really been working for me and I've been keeping it up all week. Of course this cuts in on my blogging time, haha. But I supposed a clean house comes before a busy blog.

The kitchen now has a microwave!! No counter tops. Every time he comes he finds something other than counter tops to do...supposedly he's coming again on Tuesday...with counter tops...I've heard this before.

My mind is dead from a long, long week. Mark working long days + crazy sick kiddos = brain fried mommy. I think my post ends here. Night!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Oh Craigslist...

So this week I've been bitten by the Craigslist bug. I really want to find a Little Tykes outdoor play scape, slide, or something like it. I don't want to buy it new and I don't want to pay 100 bucks for it either.

I've found two ads in the last two days that were DEALS, but alas they have slipped through my fingers. The second one I replied to 11 minutes after it was posted. And that would have been an awesome deal. Two playscapes for $25!!! Argh.

I did however find a great deal on a Vtech Smartville Alphabet Train Station. It was only $15!! Wahoo. Although I paid for it dearly in annoying email communication:

My first email:

Is this still available? If so, I'd be interested in buying. Thanks.

Seller's reply:

Yes it is. Let me know if you want to look at it. Thanks.

.....Uh, what part of "I'd be interested in buying" was unclear? Of course I want to look at it...

My second email:

Yes, I'd love to buy it.

Seller's reply:

Okay well I am home all day except for this tues. Let me know.

...Okay, we're getting somewhere...

My third email:

I can stop by tomorrow morning. Just let me know where and what time is best for you. Thanks.

Seller's reply:

I live off kelly ln in pflugerville past falcon pointe. Anytime after 9 is fine just let me know.

...Off kelly ln where? What's the friggin' address? What do I have TO DO to buy this thing?!!!!

My fourth email:

Great. I can come by around 10am if that works. What's the address and I can map it? Thank you.

Seller's reply:

(**finally reveals address, which I will not post here, haha**)

Oh my goodness!!!!!! This could so have been a 3 email conversation instead of 8. Like:

Me: Hey I want to buy this.
Her: Great, I live HERE and am available at THIS time.
Me: Great, see you THEN.


Thursday, March 12, 2009


You didn't think I would keep these photos to myself forever did you? I think four years is long enough to erase any embarrassment you(I) might have caused yourself (myself) that night. ;)

Monday, March 9, 2009


I woke up to overcast weather this morning - one of my favorite types of weather. Especially, if the clouds give off that ominous storm look. It really did seem like it could pour at any minute. But the just said cloudy. So I took that as a Yes! on my morning jog. (I took our umbrella just in case).

The morning jog has been a pleasant addition to our lives. It doesn't feel like a burden or "have-to", but most days I look forward to getting out there!

The 60 days without sugar has not been so pleasant, HA! This weekend my period came and my willpower took a vacation. GASP! You didn't know I was a weak woman during this time? Well I AM! Okay, weak on somethings, ferocious on others. Those hormones!!! So now what? I messed up my 60 days?! Guess I'll just brush myself off and keep going. Perfection is not the goal here, but perseverance and determination are well rewarded!

All that to say, if you've failed yet again (like me), just get back up and keep going. No one is keeping score. This is my own personal goal and I can fail a million times as long as I keep going. And I'm not too proud to admit failure! We all fail (well most of us, there are a few Supers out there). But I don't give up that easily. So begone you sweet delicious chocolate!


Oh and our contractor didn't come on Sunday (what a surprise). Sigh. But that's not going to get me down. Counter top or NO counter top, I'm determined...

I WILL have a pretty kitchen, even if I have to hide the actual kitchen underneath stuff.

Oooh, I was just chatting it up with the hubby and he said the guy should come this weekend (yes, this weekend) to do the counter tops and sink.

A sink!!!! I might have a sink again??? Where I could wash dishes? Or my hands? Or use a garbage disposal? Or drain macaroni? NO WAY!!! Sinks are the BESTEST invention in the world.

Okay, I'm not going to get my hopes up. But, I CAN'T WAIT.

Wow, nothing like a kitchen remodel nightmare to make you really appreciate all the luxuries we take for granted! For instance, do you know how much longer it takes for me to get hot water in my bathroom sink vs. my kitchen sink?? Seriously. I start running the water on low 2 minutes before I need to wash a dish.

In other news, I think Corbin might be on his way to getting his first tooth. My toothless 8 month old has been constantly rubbing his tongue on his lower gums for the last week. I keep looking for a tooth, but nothing yet. He's also sitting for longer periods of time! Yay Corbin! Soon he won't be a baby anymore, sniff sniff. I don't want him to grow up too fast, but I do look forward to the days he can play and interact with Hayden more. He LOVES his big brother and just wants to play with him. Hayden, on the other hand, sees no usefulness in his brother as a playmate, so he mostly ignores him. Once in a while, they might get into a funny faces match as both go back and forth sticking their tongues out at each other. They both think this is hilarious!

Maybe it will rain!! I read this book on contentment, one of it's points being not to complain about anything (even the weather). Is wishing it would rain complaining? Not that I don't like the overcast skies, but I LOVE the rain - and our parched Texas landscape desperately needs it. All I need are a few cacti in our backyard and we'd have the makings of a desert.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday Randomness

No real coherent thoughts today, so it's a perfect Friday randomness post.

1. My mind has been focused on frugal things lately. Different aspects, but all frugality related. How can I save money on our food bill? Forcing myself to request a dinner out less. Not buying new toys or educational stuff for Hayden just because I think he needs it. Trying more natural cleaners and products. Baking soda has become a new staple of my life. I guess it's the economy? Seeing so many losing their jobs, although we haven't faced that challenge yet. But if it should come to that I'd like to be prepared.

2. Today I thought Hayden might be old enough to introduce a "matching" game. I had recently gotten one in a kid's meal a few weeks ago. But after pulling it out, I saw that the cards were very small and the matching pictures were all too similar for Hayden to be able to separate. It was made for much older kids.

My mind instantly went to an Elmo matching game I had read about. Then, I stopped. No, we don't need to buy anything. How could I make our own matching game? First I thought about magazines or other things around the house, but how could I get two pictures of the same thing? Then, I the light bulb went on. I don't need pictures to cut out, I'll just take my own and print them!! So I busted out my camera and went around taking pictures of things Hayden loves and already knows the words for.

I printed those out 4x6 and taped them to colorful card stock I already had bought over 5 years ago. Hehe, I lovingly refer to my tape job as the poor woman's laminater! So far I've done three matches - his sippy cup ("Cup" he calls it), Corbin (or "baby), and his frog! I also took pictures of Elmo, and his "Mac" truck, but haven't printed those yet.

3. I'm really excited about the matching cards and so was his ECI (early childhood intervention) case worker. She opened my eyes to all kinds of possibilities for them. I had already thought about using them to teach him new words, but she suggested using them to teach colors, and 2 word phrases, even transitions. Taking pictures of our house, or the park, or church.

This is definitely an awesome idea for anyone who has a toddler, but especially if their are also struggling verbally like Hayden.

4. Hayden has been making great strides verbally. I think I will list (for my own records) those words he's saying now, I'm sure I'll forget some:

  1. Ball
  2. Cup
  3. Down
  4. Up
  5. Car
  6. Baby
  7. Mac
  8. Door
  9. Cat
  10. Bye-bye
  11. More
  12. Milk
  13. Popcorn - or "Copcorn" as he calls it
  14. Dada
  15. Mama
  16. Blanket
  17. Elmo
  18. No
  19. Please
  20. Thank you
  21. Bubble
  22. Grape
  23. Cheese
  24. Cookie
  25. Cracker
  26. Bee
  27. Monkey
  28. Tiger
  29. Fry
  30. Book
  31. Rock
  32. Frog
  33. Potty
  34. Pig
  35. Dog
  36. Cat
  37. Head
  38. Eye
  39. Ear
  40. Nose
  41. Mouth
  42. Eat
  43. Belly
  44. Shoe
  45. Sock
  46. Apple
  47. Bear
  48. Drop
  49. Go
  50. Blue
  51. Yellow
  52. Green
  53. Light
  54. Night night
  55. Duck
  56. All done
  57. Goldfish
  58. Cheek
  59. Train
Haha, ok that's all I can think of for now. Sorry for the long scrolling, I just needed to write it out. His list up until a few months ago was about 6 words long. A 50 word spoken vocabulary was one of those big milestones he just didn't hit.

5. The kitchen made one more bit of progress last weekend. We got the bar built and the wood put down that will go under the counter tops. Still no other progress. He said something about coming this Sunday. I'm not holding my breath.

6. Corbin's appointment went well. His non-functioning kidney is now half the size is was at birth. The body will slowly absorb it until no kidney is present. This is a good thing, if it didn't, they might have to remove the kidney later. The functioning kidney is now the size of an 18 month old's kidney. It grows largerto take on the extra work.

Hayden is doing better as well. No more breathing scares after last Thursday.

7. I miss my microwave. 'Nuff said.

8. For the past two days Corbin has started sitting for longer periods of time (longer = 2-3 minutes without major fallovers) My hope is increasing that I will have a son who will eventually learn to sit. ;)

9. Hayden tried Turkey Bacon last week and loved it. It's unpredictable what he'll eat.

10. Hayden's random antics crack me up. Here's what I found earlier this week. Was he trying to tell me he wants to go outside? Or is this just a car "line-up"?

11. We had started potty training last week, but Hayden took an extreme aversion to all things potty related, so we are taking a break. I did get him to both pee and poop in his potty, but it was more of a novelty to him than anything else.

12. I've been wanted to clear off my dining room table for awhile (it's been acting as our counter top for some time). Now that we sort of have a counter top, I should clear it up. After the bar was built, Mark and I realized that we stole 4 inches out of our dining room to make the kitchen bigger. Oops. Now I'm thinking our large table is not fitting as well. I'd love to find a used round table and sell the other (although I really love our table). I think round would fit the area much better without compromising the number of people we could serve. I'd still want to keep 6 settings. Until then I'll just make do with the awkward space.

13. Last week after Hayden's bath I had trouble getting him to get out of the tub. So I drained all the water out, but he still stayed playing. I figured I'd go do some things, and when he wanted out he'd call. Uh huh. After a couple minutes alone, I went to check since I didn't hear anything. He'd found something to occupy him. He had pooped IN THE TUB, and was now kicking it around the tub...time for another bath. That's what I get for leaving him unsupervised. This kid can find entertainment anywhere, let me tell you.

14. My mother-in-law had given us a baby brain dvd a LONG time ago, and I had totally neglected to play it, and subsequently forgot all about it. Today, in the effort to NOT play the same movies over and over, I dusted it off and threw it in. It's actually really cool and super educational. All about shapes, numbers, words, even classical music running in the background. Sheesh, maybe if I had played this Hayden would be an even smarter cookie! Well, at least I found it now.

15. I also found our Planet Earth DVDs. Dude, dvds like these make me wish I had one of those flat screen super duper tvs and not my $50 oldie but goodie. I can imagine how awesome these would look on something like that. One day they will become all too common, and then I'll get one on Craig's list, HA!

16. Jogging has been sporadic. Monday was too cold. I got to go Wednesday. Today, I thought the ECI lady was coming at 9am, then remembered it was 12. But luckily I didn't go, cause she showed up an hour early since one of her appointments canceled. So no jog today, since I don't like to have the kids out in the full afternoon sun. I have to be really careful with Corbin, his medication makes him photosenstive. I even cover his side of the stroller with fabric to block the sun.

17. Hayden now has a huge interest in sign language. Which has me looking up signs more and more. He randomly started signing More last week, was already doing please, and now thank you. We're also learning diaper, again, and others. Previous to this, having him sign would just make him angry, so I'm excited he's liking it!

18. I found some great new blogs, and gotten rid of others that have gotten boring or just too negative. Eventually I'll update the blog roll to reflect this. If I read your blog and it's not listed, let me know. Sometimes I don't list them because I'm not sure if you want traffic from strangers. But if your blog is open to interested readers, I'll certainly add it!

19. Right now Hayden is rolling grapes around on his tray. His much ore interested in their similarity to balls right now then their nutrition potential...sigh.

20. IT'S FRIDAY!!!!! I don't know what the hubby and I are up to, but in my mind I always build up big possibilities. Usually, they stay in my head and never see the light of day. But every week visions of picnics, family nights, walks, and hanging out fill my head. Maybe one of these days we'll actually do it!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sharing Our Secrets

I'm relieved at the feedback from my last post. Posting something from my journaling is always very difficult, as it is so personal. To put my feelings out there to the world is, well, scary. But wow! I love it that some of you were actually encouraged - that' reason enough for me to keep posting these personal thoughts when I have a few interesting ones.

But the title of today's post is not about my inner secrets, but our cooking secrets! Over the past couple years I've gotten some great recipes that have become regulars on our dinner table. I got a great recipe from Robyn (I'll let her post it if she wants), a wonderful cabbage, chicken, rice soup recipe from Cynthia, and many others.

I'm also working on perfecting my new Turkey Lasagna recipe.

It seems like the best recipes come from others, not cookbooks or online.

In light of that, what awesome recipe do you cook over and over for your loved ones?

Here is one of my favorites:

Amazing pie crust:

Sift together into a 9" pie shell:

1-1/2 C. Flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar

Mix together with fork:

1/2 C Oil
2 Tblsp. Milk

Pour over flour mixture and stir until blended with fork. Use your hands to complete the blending and pat into the bottom and sides of pie pan as evenly as possible. Flute edges.

To Pre-bake - Prick with fork and back 425 for 10-12 minutes until barely toasted.

Can also be filled and baked as called for in filling recipe.

Also- good to add toasted sesame seeds when used with a cream pie. Just sprinkle on top of crust or press in!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

More than just laundry and diapers

Yesterday God kept my mind busy while I anxiously awaited Corbin's 3:30 urology appointment (It went well by the way). I found a thoughtful study on homemaking at The Simple Woman blog. The intended time line was over the course of weeks, but as I tend to do I scanned through it in one sitting.

By the grace of God, both boys played quietly on a blanket while I turned the study into a morning devotional. It was very thought provoking and I got a lot out of it. At first glance it looks quite sparse and without content. But that is because the real content is found through meditation and journaling on the few prompts of each post. I have found lately that the best studies are NOT the ones that tell you what to think, but that make you think.

I got so much out of my one sitting just perusing the study and journaling on a few of the questions that I think I'll go back and give some of the entries more thought.

One of the prompts was to define your homemaking vision. At first I threw this question aside, my reaction was the last thing I needed was to define my decorating scheme or do my meal planning. HA! How little I thought of home making. I felt urged by God to give this more thought, even though I felt it was a waste of time.

So I went back to her prompt:

Do you have a vision for your home?

I started with more mental pictures. My visualizations of what home meant to me. Then added words, like warm, cozy, inviting. As I kept typing, suddenly I had a very clear vision of my home that I never knew was there. It was just pouring out of me from this unknown place, but wherever that place was it knew what my vision for my home was.

Being home with my children is more than wiping running noses, running to doctor appointments, changing diapers, serving meals, folding laundry, or washing dishes. There is a greater purpose to my life here. I can create something here that is not based on the possessions I buy, the money my husband makes, or even the house we currently live in. Our home goes where I go. I have the amazing ability to make our home.

And knowing that my vision has nothing to do with what color the walls are or what we eat for dinner tonight is so freeing. Home is more than the walls of this house or the stuff we put in it.

Home for me is:
  • Warm, inviting, and constantly in service to others.
  • Clean, simple, but cozy.
  • A place my husband daydreams about coming to after a long day at work.
  • Where my children feel secure and loved.
  • Where my children can feel God's love, mercy, and kindness.
  • Peaceful place where harsh words are not spoken.
  • Full of laughter.
  • Little waste, where everything is used to it's fullest capacity.
  • Not extravagant or filled with useless gadgets.
  • Where my children would have a few cherished and well loved possessions.
  • Where my children know that their treasure is in heaven, not on earth.
  • Where the focus is our relationship with God and others, not on success, money, or possessions.
I still don't know where these words came from. I didn't know what I was going to write the second before I started, but as I went my visualizations turned to words, and this is what came out.

I'd be interested to know if anyone else out there is interested in homemaking and what their vision is. Homemaking has become such a negative word these days, but it has such a wonderful effect on our families if you can get past the baggage that word brings in our culture.