Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Parent Version of Sexy, or Breast Pumps and Casinos

Tonight, Rob and I are going to have our first night away together since having Lincoln.  !!!!  We have a free night at a casino in Lake Charles that Rob got after taking a trip there with his brothers.  I have about $20 that I can try to stretch out on the penny slots, but really just am excited for a little over 12 hour window to enjoy my husband.  Alone.  Plus I love staying in hotels, so this is a big treat.

I know it will be weird, because I haven't spent a night away from Linc, but we're leaving right before his bedtime and will be back tomorrow at midday, so it's a tiny break.  I'm still nursing, so of course that creates its own set of things to do, leading up to this conversation with Rob last night.

Me:  Remind me to bring my breast pump.  If I forget it, I will EXPLODE.
Rob:  .......
Me: Oh.  I guess that's not really promoting the whole sexy getaway image, huh?

Needless to say, I will NOT be forgetting the breast pump.  How do you think that would go over on the casino floor??  The lactivists would love me.

SpongeSaw No Pants

Recently I talked about Sawyer as being in the sponge state of life.  Rob and I are learning what it means to teach him about what we believe, and often there are sweet (or hilarious) results.  This past week, here are a few examples of seeing this teaching get squeezed out of our Saw (who, as the title indicates, is often found running around pants-less in our house).

One thing I've been hammering into him is that no one is perfect.  When he disobeys, I talk to him about not being perfect and assure him that Mommy and Daddy aren't perfect either.  If I feel like I've snapped at him or gotten upset when he disobeys, I confess being wrong, ask his forgiveness and tell him that I'm not perfect.  No one is perfect but Jesus. So the other day, while Rob was home and Saw went poopy on the potty, this came into play.  Rob, who HATES dealing with the poopy, had Saw stand still so he could wipe him.  "Perfect!"  Rob said.  And Sawyer came back with this:  "No, Daddy.  JESUS is perfect."  I love it.

Another cute example came when Saw was headed to bed and Rob said, "Who loves you?"  Obviously, he expected Saw to come back with "Daddy!"  Instead Saw said, "Jesus!"  (And then Mommy, Daddy, and the whole list.)

I'm currently trying to avoid that pitfall where I attach too much significance to things like this that he says. I think an easy trap for parents who are christians is to look for that MOMENT when their kid really gets it.  But we don't hearts, and the Bible says that we're the sowers of seed and God makes them grow.  I can sow, but  I don't know what's going on in Sawyer's heart.  I love hearing him say that Jesus isn't perfect and that Jesus loves him.  I loved it when he said he wanted to pray for God's glory.   I don't want to dismiss those moments, but I also am not going to run around and say that my kid is special or is coming to an understanding of Jesus.

He is more than a sponge--he's soil.  Rob and I are planting, and God is doing work with the seeds.  He often goes right from "Let's read Jesus" to "Let's go to the playground."  Because he's two.  For now I am taking what seems to spring up with a sense of enjoyment, but not a sense of finality.  But I definitely love those moments hearing him connect what we tell him with something in real life--even if that's getting his bottom wiped.  :)

Unhand My Internets!

Ever use Google Alerts?  I have it set up for my blog name, my skater name, and my actual name.   Not because I'm super self-involved (though I am), but just so I can see if people are talking about me or linking up to my blog.  Usually I just get alerts when I post to my own blog or when someone named KRisten Oliphant scores in basketball.  (Really Google?  You can't tell the difference between KIrsten and KRisten with all your billions of dollars??)  This morning, I got an alert from a different site and was excited for a moment that my blog was linked up somewhere.  That lasted about ten seconds until I saw the site.

Not only did they take my entire word-for-word post (about cardboard cutout parenting) without using my name or linking to my blog, but it was one of those not-real sites.  You know, the kind you run into if you type in the wrong address or something.  It almost LOOKED real, except that all the articles are very obviously lifted from various places on the web only because they contain two keywords.  (I'm not writing them again or linking to the site, because I don't want them to get any more traffic.)  The whole page is nothing but gross ads:  Five Tips to Lose Weight Now! and the like.

Of course there was no contact info or anything relevant that I could use to figure out who runs the site.  But I have people, people!  A special thanks to Carmen Geddit from HRD for putting on her hat and doing a little cyber-sleuthing this morning.  Derby girls are multi-talented!  I now have all the information I could ask for and simply have to figure out what to say in my cease-and-desist.

I recently linked to sites talking about lifting content from blogs, but never thought it would apply to me. I am currently researching the legality of this and also how to protect my work.   Linking to me or giving me credit is great.  But Mommy doesn't like it when you steal her internets.

Monday, November 29, 2010

CVS Rollover: Rolls of Toilet Paper

My goal of keeping the ECBs growing and rolling through year suffered another setback today because for the first time since MAY, I've needed to buy toilet paper.  Wrap your brain around that for a second.  Pretty great stockpile!!

In any case, I did stumble on some great deals, and between Walgreens (ick) and CVS, I spent something like $16 out of pocket and got back $6 in ECBs and Register Rewards.  And I got some major stuff!  Plus, Proctor and Gamble is having a rebate where if you spend $50 this month on products, you get $20 back in rebate form.  So, without spending much, I'm headed towards rebate-ville!  Plus, all of this shampoo is going to the women's shelter.  All in all, a great day.  But I still need FOOD.
If you want some ideas, check this post from Deal Seeking Mom about CVS.  At Walgreens, I used coupons for the Nyquil and Dayquil (plus free Puffs!) and then put the Register Rewards (called Jingle Cash or something now?) toward the diapers, which also had a reward.

Cardboard Cutout Parenting

Linc has been sleeping fitfully the past few days.  In the hours before midnight he'll kind of rustle around and cry out and sometimes fully wake up.  He seems fine all day, but as soon as he's lying down, his nose is running and he sounds like a Boston Terrier.  Rob went in there tonight when he started really yelling (after I'd already nursed him and gotten him back down) and got him back to sleep for the second time.  Afterward, Rob shared this brilliant idea:  what we really need is just a cardboard cutout of one of us to stand over the crib.  The idea made me laugh, and then as I sat down to write a quick post about it, I was struck by something deeper in that image.

How often am I just a cardboard cutout parent?  There are moments in every day where I'm here, but not really HERE.  I'm listening to Sawyer, but I'm not really LISTENING to him.  I'm watching Lincoln crawl like mad lightning across the floor, but I'm also sending a text message.  I look like a parent. I definitely SMELL like a parent.  But in those moments, I am totally flat.

I will say that I am more often than not fully engaged with my boys.  I love the little things like watching Lincoln zooming around the room or hearing Sawyer's take on life.  Still--when I really thought about the idea of a cardboard cutout parent, I knew I was guilty of it.  And that's the last thing I want to be.

Great Sling Deal!

In keeping with Cyber Monday, here is a great deal from Seven Slings!  You can use the code "Thanksgiving" to receive a free sling.  You'll only pay shipping.  You can also use it toward one of their gift sets, which will take the gift set down to $5, plus shipping.  I ordered one the last time they had this deal and have really enjoyed it!  Just for the record:  that's $39 off!

Darth Balls

A conversation overheard between Rob and Sawyer.

R:  Look, Sawyer.  It's Darth Maul.
S:  It's Darth Vader!
R:  No, it's Darth Maul.
S:  It's not!  It's Vader!  It's not Darth Balls!

Photo of the Day (So Far)

Any Good Deals This Weekend?

I did not do the traditional Black Friday thing, but found some great online deals and also made a productive grocery trip, stocking up on cheese at Kroger.  Here are some things I bought:

-1 Top Secret Black Oliphant gift (this is for our gift exchange with Rob's family:  a $50 gift that with a cash prize for best gift) from Kohls, using several codes for free shipping and 20% off, making it cheaper than going to the store at 4am.  I also got back Kohl's cash to use next time I shop.  Score!

-1 Nikon D3000 DSLR camera from Walmart's online store.  I missed out on a great deal on a Canon, but then was convinced by a derby friend (thanks, Mean Harlow!) to go with Nikon for superior lens quality.  I got a decent deal:  $540 (inc tax) for the camera with lens, bag, and a DVD with tips and tricks.

-1 game of Memory from Target for pretty cheap.  Cheaper at Toys R Us with a rebate, but I wasn't in the mood for Toys R Us.

I know I bought a few more things for great deals, but don't really remember right now.  I'm keeping my eye open for great Cyber Monday deals.  If you want to find some good bargains, I suggest hitting up sites like Passion for Savings, Money Saving Mom or Deal Seeking Mom throughout the day.

My King Sized Bed Sleeps Five.

1 King Sized Bed
2 Adults
2 Kids
1 Dog

This is how our week has been:  five in a bed.  I don't know why Sawyer is waking up these days, but he's been finding his way into our bed around 2am a few nights this week.  Lincoln?  Mostly sleeping until 5am when he needs to nurse, so I bring him in as well.  Tex?  He's just always finding a way to sneak in and spoon our feet.

I wonder--if we have more kids, do we need a bigger bed??

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Political Infancy

A conversation this morning between Sawyer and one of our friendly Texas conservatives.  I usually avoid talking politics here because I abhor them, but this is more humor than politics.  Though it might be slightly more funny if you are on the conservative side of things...

P:  There's an awful lot of protest going on over here.  Are you going to be a liberal democrat when you grow up?
S: Yes.
P:  Uh oh.  Sawyer, are you a socialist or a capitalist?
S:  I'm Sawyer.
P:  Do you like an elephant or a donkey?  Elephant or donkey?
S:  Donkey.
P:  Do you want people to give you money, or do you want to make your money?
S:  Make money.
P:  Well, he's borderline liberal.  One more question.  Do you like the name Obama or the name Reagan?
S:  Reagan.
P: Oh, you're a fine boy!  You'll do great in the Senate.

My Dad's commentary:  The only thing worse is if he's both a liberal Democrat AND a Dallas Cowboys fan.


*****Just for the record, I realize that I have a lot of friends and readers who vote different ways.  I hope you read this conversation as humor and not a real political statement.  Well.  Peter and my Dad may be making statements, but I just thought this was a funny conversation.  *****

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday = Blah

Today was kind of a letdown.  I bought two things online that were great deals using coupon codes.  I did no shopping at all today until about twenty minutes ago when my dad seemed to want to go.  My dad usually goes to bed pretty early (sorry, Dad, but it's true) so I'm always up for an adventure with him late night.  (If we're counting past 9pm as late night.  I am.)

My only concern was getting dressed, so I simply went as is.  In pajamas.  With a bathrobe and snow boots, since it's cold.  We were looking for excitement, but we really just bought bananas.  And a few other little things.

Scootin' on across the State

That is a direct quote from a meteorologist in North Carolina about rain.  It was one of the funniest moments in live television history that I have witnessed.  Something about the seriousness of this man with a western-carolina accent as he told me I didn't need to worry about the rain.  It was just going to scoot on out of there!

I am clearly not thinking clearly.  Clearly.  I blame the pumpkin chocolate chip cake.

The point of this post is that Lincoln is really scootin' across the house.  How long ago did he start crawling?  Three weeks?  He still does more of an army crawl, digging his toes in rather than his knees, and propelling across the house.  He loves to escape the nice, safe living room and hit our bedroom or Sawyer's, eating whatever he can find in his path, which means I need to vacuum on a daily basis.  ("He's going to choke on something," Sawyer said today.)  He loves to move and tries to follow people from room to room, or will get moving if he sees a toy or the remote control or an open door.  It's fun.

But he's not content to crawl, and I think he's going to skip to walking really quickly.

Rob discovered recently that Linc has a fabulous balance.  If he's standing up, holding onto you, and you let him go, he can stand for upwards of ten seconds (which is LONG if you really count it out).  He can even sort of correct if he starts leaning too far forward or back.  He loves now to stand and hold onto something (like the baby gate) and then let go and trade it for something else (like me).  Today Rob tried him on the walker that Sawyer got from my parents and while he's not great at taking steps, he showed enormous determination in TRYING to walk that thing.  He did surprisingly well, and then tried to push other things around the room while standing, like an activity cube and his activity table.

While Linc still has that super laid-back personality and chill happiness that I love, he also has begun to exhibit very strong opinions about things.  Sawyer had this NEED to move and go-go-go from the beginning, and Lincoln is showing his own version of that now, simply later, and tempered by his chillness.

He's definitely not ready to walk yet, but he is mastering the art of standing and stepping while holding onto things on a daily basis.  It's scary.  And fun.  My baby is growing out of the baby stages.  I would say time for another one...but it's not.  Yet.

To Kill Is Not Nice

That is a direct quote from Sawyer yesterday.  He was playing with the Joker and some GI Joes, all hand-me-downs from when my brother and I were kids.  I'm not sure where he picked up on the word "kill,"  but I was both disturbed and amused at this conversation between his men.

GI Joe: You're killing me!
The Joker:  No, I'm not.
GI Joe: To kill is not nice.
The Joker:  I killed you!
GI Joe:  I'm killed!

Again, no idea where he picked this up, but his conversations between his men are always interesting to hear.  Today they were a little nicer.

GI Joe: You're my brother.
The Joker: We're brothers.
GI Joe: Come up. You can do it!
The Joker:  I can't!
GI Joe: I can help you!  You're my brother!
The Joker: Help me!

That one was pretty cute.  I really love to hear what his men say to each other and what he does with them.  Often things in his toy world correspond to what we've been saying or what's happening in the real world.  Yesterday, my mom had to put Saw in time out.  Today, Saw put my Teddy in a time out chair.

His people and animals often fit into family groups, which is kind of neat.  If he has a small tiger and a larger tiger, one is the mommy and one is the baby.  Or there will be a mommy and daddy and baby.  Now we have the addition of brothers.  And bad guys.  And killing.

His small world is becoming so huge, and bringing in all the good and the bad of the big world with it.

Did You Win?

Did you win the Black Friday CSN giveaway on my review blog?

(Hint: If your name is starlightmommy, then yes.)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Truly Texas Thanksgiving

I consider it a success when no one is scalded by the oil from the turkey fryer.  Honestly, I love fried turkey, but since having kids, I truly fear this scenario.  I actually kind of play it out in my head so that my reflexes will be ready, just in case I have to leap between Sawyer and the fryer.  Then I wonder things like how I'd nurse Lincoln when my whole back is burned up and I'm lying on my stomach, drugged up in the hospital.  Or, what I'd look like after having to shave my head due to the burns.

Let's not think of me as a worrier, okay?  I'm a PLANNER.  And I'd like to plan ahead just in case I need to save my kid from frying and also how to keep breast feeding while immobile.  See?  Planning.
Yup.  We're all going to die.
In any case, our Thanksgiving dinner may result in a string of heart attacks, or at least a year lost off our lives.  Not only was our turkey fried, it was injected with Papa John's garlic butter.  I know.  It's both YUM! and EW!  It tasted beautiful, as did the stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied yams, pumpkin cake and special Khalua pie that Lynn made as a birthday gift for me.  Groan.
Pretty bird. 
We had a really nice time, with both my parents and Rob's parents and family.  Sawyer loved playing with his cousins (especially Colin) and not surprisingly ended up running around in his underwear and rain boots at the end of the night.  Lincoln loved all the attention from people, and other than the scare when he almost choked on a leaf, had a great time.  I'm thankful for family and a great day and simply for food.



Lincoln and Thanksgiving Turkey

I thought it fitting to try Linc on some turkey today.  Granted, it was that non-homemade turkey baby food (I forgot to bring stuff and it was on hand), but the faces were priceless.  Also?  He almost choked on a leaf.  That about sums up his first Thanksgiving.  :)
Starting to look like a lip curl...
Lip curl + nose wrinkle = definitely not good.
Please?  Can I have something different?  Anything.
Seriously?  Mom, you must hate me. 
This was when he started spitting it out.  And when I switched to bananas.

A Pretty Cake I Do Not Make

Good thing this pumpkin chocolate chip cake is FABULOUS, because it sure doesn't look great.  While I tend to make food that tastes good, my presentation just fails.  Period.
Mmm.  Really, I have to say that this is one of the best cakes I've ever had.  I can say that only because I didn't create the recipe, just adapted it.  If you want to read the full recipe, click HERE.  Oh, and note to self:  double the frosting.

Thanksgiving CVS Rollover

I haven't done my weekly CVS Rollover in a while, mostly because I had a few weeks where I needed things that weren't on sale, so I spent my ECBs on those things.  While this saved us paying out of pocket for things like diapers and wipes, it also meant that my accumulation of like $13 went down to something like $5.  I saved that $5 because the sales have been pretty terrible.  Until today.

That's right: today.  Did you know that CVS's Black Friday sale started today?  Well, it did.  I totally expected it to be flooded with couponers, since there was a huge sale, but I think people assumed that the sale started tomorrow.

Started with:  $6 ECB
Paid OOP: $5.48
Ended with: $13 ECB


Here's how it all went down.

Transaction 1
-2 Herbal Essences (1 shampoo, 1 conditioner) at $3.99 each
-1 Makeup kit (for my niece!) at $2.99
*used 2 coupons for $.50 off each Herbal Essences
*used $6 ECB

Total OOP: $4.31
ECB received: $7.98

Transaction 2
-1 Gillete deodorant at $4.99
-1 Eucerine Lotion at $6.99
*used 1 $2 off Gilette coupon and 1 $1 off Eucerine coupon
*used $7.98 ECB

Total OOP: $.11
ECB received: $10.99

Transaction 3
-2 Listerine Pocket Strips at $2.99 each
-1 Philips Earbuds at $6.99
*used 2 $.50 off Listerine coupons

Total OOP: $1.06
ECB received: $13

Transaction 4
-1 Colgate Sensitive at $3.99
-1 LA Looks gel at $2.99
-1 Carmex lip balm at $.99
-1 Renpure Conditioner at $4.99

Total OOP: $0
ECB received: $13

Most of the things that I bought are for donation, but I think spending less than $6 for a total savings of $58.01 is pretty fabulous.  Plus I still have $13 ECB to use!  I may go back and grab a crockpot.  They're on sale for $18.88 with $10 ECB.  I may not do much Black Fridaying, but I think I saved enough on this trip, don't you?

If you want to head out for the sale (which lasts through Saturday), here's a great post from Couponing 101 that shows the deals!

What's Missing?

Oh, right.  Kneepads and a helmet.

Photo of the Day (So Far)


Raise the Roof! I Mean, Crib Rails.

You know it's time to lower the crib mattress when you come in to find your baby standing in the crib, holding onto the side and looking over.  Added to list of things to do today...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bible Humor

Tonight while reading the Bible to Sawyer, I came across this gem, which I have to paraphrase, since I'm not waking Saw up to get the version in his room.  It said that when Jesus called Peter and Andrew, they dropped their fishnets to follow him.  Not their fish nets.  Their fishnets.

Derby girls everywhere are laughing.

So Much Personality, So Little Time

On a daily basis, I love my boys.  They have so much personality, and both are totally unique.  The contrast only brings it out more.  I call Linc my sunny boy.  He is the happiest kid ever.  All smiles, all the time.  Talking, singing, shouting, making dragon noises (his newest thing) and making drunk faces at strangers and loved ones alike.  He is starting to have stronger opinions, like complete meltdowns (for about three seconds) when you take away something he's not supposed to play with.  But still: you could take this kid anywhere and he lights up a room with his smile.

Sawyer, on the other hand, is remarkable in his wild precociousness.  He makes people laugh and astounds them with his running, talking, and everything else.  Now that he talks, I love asking him questions just to see what he'll say.  Here are a few prize moments from today.

He hooked me up to a leash today and said, "I want to walk you around the block."  I paused to show him a tree frog I found on a bush and he said, "Mommy, you're not obeying."  This cracked me up.

Rob and I were debating the presence of his soul patch just below his lower lip.  I was all for shaving, while Rob wanted to keep it.  I asked Sawyer what he thought, if he liked it and if he thought Daddy could keep it.  "He can,"  he said.  I said, "Sawyer, I want you to be on my side."  He thought about this for a few seconds and then said, "Okay, Mommy.  I'm on your side."

Even on the days when there are moments that try my patience and where I don't get anything done that I want done and I feel happy just to have the day over, I LOVE getting time with my boys.

Tomorrow Is Your Last Day!

To win my Black Friday giveaway!  It's $45 to CSN and believe me, they've got some great sales!  Click HERE to enter if you haven't already!

(Boxed) Photo of the Day

Parenting Your Beliefs, Part 3

The thing that I've been struggling with now that Sawyer is soaking things up like a sponge is this:  I don't want to create one of those kids that goes off to college only able to repeat what they were taught by their parents with no ability to really think critically or claim their beliefs in a personal way.  Those kids?  They go to college (realistically this often happens before) and get hit by that bus called Real Life.  They have no idea how to answer hard questions or how to wrestle with what they believe.  More often than not, they shrug off what Mom and Dad taught them like an old coat.  I don't want that.

I was afraid to start teaching Sawyer about God.  At his age, he can't think critically.  Talking with him about God started to feel like I was really indoctrinating him.  I felt a little creepy, like a cult leader or something.  Was I brainwashing my child?

I kept coming back to Deuteronomy 6, which summarizes the law as loving the one and only God and loving your neighbor.  Then it says this, in verses 6-9:  These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. 


Pretty much, those verses say that you need to have the Word of God as a part of every part of the day.  I am to IMPRESS them on my children.  That seems like such a broader and more powerful word than simply teach.  It implies forcible action.  Which is kind of scary also, considering my fear of brainwashing my kids.

Then I had this realization:  right now, Sawyer is a sponge.  He learns information by memorization, by hearing and repeating.  He picks up language by hearing it and using it.  He is a parrot, repeating things that we teach him.  He absorbs and spits it back out.  I haven't read a book on child development, but what I see is Sawyer learning by hearing and repeating.  So it's okay for me to teach him what I believe that way.  For now.

As he grows, the way he learns will change, and we can change the way we teach.  I want him to struggle with it.  I want it to become HIS.  But right now, I am commanded to IMPRESS the Word of God on him.  When I sit and when I rise, when we're in and out and eating and sleeping and everything else.  Every part of the day,  I should be teaching him the things I believe, and in his current development, that means relaying what I believe and also living it out.

More to come on this, specifically about teaching him at all times of the day and on living it out.  I'm praying that as he grows in understanding, this understanding of it will also grow past simply memory of things we've said and into a rich relationship and critical thinking on his own.  But for now:  we speak and he soaks.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Don't Forget: Black Friday Giveaway

Oh, and hey!  I'm still giving away a gift card to CSN!  Click HERE to enter if you have not already.

Parenting Your Beliefs, Part 2

Did you forget about this series?  I didn't, but it's been weeks or a month since I wrote the first post, which you can find HERE.  I kept writing and re-writing in my head the next installments and they were getting gunky and heavy and just too much.  So I'm simplifying and streamlining for more bloggable bites.

This post is all about the realization that we all believe SOMETHING.

Many of you are like, duh Kiki.  But stop and think about this for a moment.  Even if you went into marriage and kids and your adult life with some formal sense of belief or subscription to a religion, the second you have to explain something about death to your child or consider WHY it's important for your kids to obey the rules, you will almost certainly be sent to that place of wondering what you really believe and why.

The why of obedience I think really takes you to this place.  WHY do you want your kids to obey you?  WHY are you making the rules that you make?

So this first post about parenting your beliefs really breaks down to the basic:  whether or not you think about it, or have a particular system you subscribe to, you HAVE beliefs.  And you will be teaching them to your children.  Again, whether or not it's a conscious thing.

I know lots of parents who had a crisis of beliefs after having kids.  Did you go into parenting with the realization that you have beliefs?  Did you have a crisis of belief when you had kids?  Or if you don't have kids, was there some other point in your life that made you really think about what you believe and why??

Photo of the Day


We Had THIS Kind of Night

11pm:  Tried to go to sleep.  Lincoln wakes up inconsolable.

11:30pm: Lincoln comes to bed with me and finally goes to sleep.

2:45am:  Lincoln wakes up and begins kicking and shouting.

4:30am:  My parents take Lincoln in their room and I go back to bed.

5am:  Sawyer wakes me up banging on the door, saying, "I'm crying outside your door, Mommy. I'm wet, Mommy."

6am:  Sawyer comes out of our room and starts playing by himself.

6:30am:  Sawyer returns to my room, holding a dirty diaper, saying, "I went poopy, Mommy.  Poopy on my hands."  I throw it out, wash his hands, and in the process, get smeared with poop.  On my new pajamas.

YAWN.

Best Pregnant Status Update, Maybe Ever?

Saw this status update today on Facebook and had to share.  (And since I am friends with this person and my posts feed into Facebook, you get a prize if you see this and comment here.)  

________ is headed to the deer lease, my last chance to bow hunt before baby arrives! *fingers crossed*

Props to you.  Props to you.  Only in Texas?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Moldy Duckie, You're the One!

Oh, rubber ducky.  These are some of Saw's standby bath time toys, and now Lincoln's as well.  The only problem is that they start getting all speckled and mildewy and then I have to throw them away.  Anyone else have this problem?  I'm terrible at remembering to squeeze them out.    Any tips on cleaning and saving them or is the trash bin the best place for our dirty ducks??

Boys and Boxes

Sawyer in the box and Linc trying to get in.
Now Linc is in, while Sawyer mostly tried to get him out. 
You've got to love that drool...

Zoo Outing!

On Friday, Mom and I headed with the wee boys out to the zoo.  The weather was fabulous, but Mom and I were really dragging!  The boys did really well and once I let Lincoln out in one of the buildings, he did NOT want to go back in.  Just like that brother of his!  Here are some photos.

My cute boy.
Lincoln in the piranha tunnel!
Boys in the tunnel!!
Hi, Linc!
Aw!  Tunnel hug or tunnel attack?
This was definitely the highlight of their day. 
Sawyer decided to take his shirt off.   
Gammy pushing the boys in our fabulous stroller.  
Seriously Sawyer.

Drool-cake Lincoln. 
Running around was just about as much fun as the animals. 
I liked this tree.

Are You Black Fridaying?

It's Thanksgiving week!  Which means lots of great food and family and fatness.  And also?  Black Friday.

I know that it's really In-the-Black Friday, but I still think of it as I did before I knew that's what it meant, which is something like a really scary shopping day.  If you've ever gone on Black Friday, it IS really scary!  I waited in a super long line around the building at Best Buy and then watched people elbow and jostle each other and generally be selfish and horrible.  One family snuck past the line Best Buy had established to keep order around the well-priced electronics and stole all the video cameras from behind the covered tables where they were kept.  I don't think they STOLE them from the store, but stole them in the sense that there had been people waiting all night who had vouchers for the video cameras.   It was a mess.

I've never wanted to go again.  But I do know that as a bargain shopper, the right deal might get me out the door.  This year, I'm finally going to get that DSLR camera I've been saving for since last year.  I had enough several times, but derby kept slowly draining my money.  I've been looking at deals and haven't seen any that are crazy enough yet...but we'll see.

Are any of you venturing out?  If so, for what?  Also, don't forget that if you don't want to go out, but want a gift certificate to CSN for Cyber Monday, you can enter my Black Friday Giveaway HERE!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I Have Friends, Y'all!

And sometimes they come to visit.  And sometimes?  They help cook.  With swords.
MaryBeth gets into the Texas fighting spirit.

Assembly line of eggplants.

This is perhaps the best method for battering eggplants. Thanks, Chico!
I had a really fun time today with my friend MaryBeth from grad school and her man Chico. They drove in from New Orleans and we hung out and I somehow got them to both help make dinner (stacked eggplant--which somehow was a bit of a letdown tonight) and watch my kids and help me run errands.  Did I mention great friends?  Short visit, but definitely sweet!

Photo of the Day

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Think You're Pregnant?

If you're not sure and don't want to spend $10 on a test (or a $1 at the Dollar Tree), then you can head over to Nurtured Family in Houston for a FREE test.  You can take one a week, and shop while you're there for everything pregnancy and family.  How fun!  Also, they promise their tests work a bit sooner than the ones you buy on the market, so if you need to know NOW, head over.  Find more info on the Nurtured Family links in my sidebar!

New Black Friday Giveaway!

Hey everyone!  What do you want for Christmas?  Bar tables and stools?   A bunch of bananas?  A new baby?  Our friends over at CSN have at least one out of three of those things and are sponsoring a great giveaway.  Check out my review blog for entry!

Cast Ironing

So, I have a cast iron skillet, which I barely use because I don't get it.  I thought I would ask you, my lovely readers, for tips.

English tips.  Many tips.  Or no tips at all.  No tips of any kind.  (Movie quote, anyone??)

If you have ideas for me on cleaning or cooking with or care, please help me!  I feel like when I clean it, it ends up having rust spots.

Boy Hugs

I love these photos from a brief impromptu playdate with Kelly and the boys yesterday.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Holidays Are Upon Us! (Run)

No, don't run!  I love this time of year.  Fall is my favorite season, and I love the advent time.  Not for the presents, but the real advent part--reflecting on Jesus.  And also:  THE FOOD.  From Thanksgiving to Christmas, it's just great food, all the way around.  Plus there are wonderful family times throughout.  Of course, this also becomes a super hectic time of year, and one thing I need to really nail down about is Christmas cards.

I've used various companies in the past and found some great deals on photo cards.  One of my favorite sites is Shutterfly.  They have fabulous choices for their Christmas Photo Cards (which you can check out HERE) as well as invitations (see HERE) and simply good old fashioned Christmas stationary cards (found HERE).  Now that I know where I'm getting our cards, I need to find the perfect photo.  I loved our in-air photo (seen in my right sidebar) and want to recreate it, but now that we have four people, capturing that shot is going to be tough.  Plus, we may need something new and different.

What are your plans for Christmas cards?  If you're a blogger and want 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly, you can click HERE to learn more.

Richmond Roundup

And here are my photos, mostly taken by car while driving (the ultimate multitask), of Richmond.  Texas has its own beauty, but I love the old Virginia architecture and surroundings.
The covered bridge from my old neighborhood when I was a kid.

My first Richmond house!  There used to be a yard where all those bushes were.  In fact, once we won yard of the month. :)

The view driving down Patterson Road.

University of Richmond!

Go Spiders!

Ah, Carytown.

The Jefferson!  Supposedly this hotel used to have alligators in the lobby. REAL alligators.

The bell tower right where Rob and I got married.  It rang as we left our reception.  Not planned, but good timing!

Shockoe Slip.

Bottoms Up Pizza, one of my faves.

I think the only time I went to this Farmer's Market was with my Bible study leader in 8th grade and I STILL remember it.

The train station downtown.

The capital.

This used to be called the Mosque...now it's something else.  I think.  Or maybe I got the buildings confused?

A typical row of houses in the Fan.

The controversial Arthur Ashe monument on Monument Avenue.

My old high school!  Go Rebels!
This cross is near my old house and I drove by it basically every single day I lived in Richmond.  

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