Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone is having a very merry holiday season.

Seasons Greetings from our little snow angels.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Our Fifth Wedding Anniversary

November 30, 2007 we celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary. Actually, we celebrated the whole weekend. This year we decided to celebrate in style without children. It was realized that we have never been away from the kids as a couple more than a few of hours during the day due to work.

FG has been out of town away from the kids several times, but never away from the kids with me. I actually went out of town for a wedding with my mom 3 weeks ago without the girls. FG stayed home with them in order for me to have my first weekend alone. It was nice, but I was ready to get back home to them.

Here's how our anniversary weekend started. Friday night, we went to the ballet. We saw the production of the dance company Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Quite frankly, I hated it. The first act was horrible. I fell asleep during the first act and intermission. The second act was certainly a lot better. It held my interest better, but not FG's. He fell asleep this time. When Act Three came around, we decided to leave. I spent 15 years of my life dancing. Be it that I am no expert in dance, but some of the moves just didn't seem normal and certainly not graceful. I guess I am more of a traditionalists when it comes to dance. Surprisingly, FG is the one that wanted to go to the ballet. I wanted to go to the symphony to see the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. But, as you know, marriage is about compromise.

Saturday morning we did spend some time with the girls. In fact, we had breakfast with Santa at Zea's Restaurant at the Esplanade Mall. It was fun, but a bit unorganized. They kind of forgot about us and we had to track down Santa and Mrs. C in order to take pictures.

Two o'clock was the time. The time for us to say have a good weekend kids with your grandparents. We were off to downtown New Orleans to the W Hotel New Orleans on Poydras Street. You would think we were taking some long trip away from the girls far far away, but it was just a ten minute drive from home. It was just what I needed!

First of all, I just hung out in the hotel room. I did nothing for about 15 minutes. Then I decided to do something I rarely get to do...take a bath without being interrupted. It was very nice. They had Bliss skincare products which were very nice and my skin appreciated them.

Next, we got ready for our dinner reservations at 6:00 PM. They were for Cafe Adelaide across the street at the Lowes Hotel. Our location was fantastic. The restaurant was across the street. Harrah's Casino was next door. Well, back to dinner. Being that the restaurant is part of the Brennan's family empire, service was excellent. The food was good, but I was very limited since I don't eat beef or pork. Of course, they had their namesake turtle soup and duck. FG got both of them. I got squash soup which was good, but too sweet for me. Next I had the shrimp remoulade. I think this was my favorite part of my meal. My entree was tuna. It was just fine, but not the excellence I was expecting. We decided to skip dessert since we were going to a party. I guess I have become a food snob over the years. That's what happens when you live in a city where food is such an important part of the culture. It is the culture.

Our next stop was next door at Miracle on Fulton Street. It is part of the Harrah's Casino Hotel. It was quite lovely. There was a band that played, Santa was there, and the icing on the cake was snow! Well, it is the closest thing we will get to snow here in southeast Louisiana. The street was very enchanting. I wish I had the girls with me because they would have had so much fun. But, it was an excellent experience with just FG and me.

Our final stop for the night was a party at the Elms Mansion on St. Charles Avenue. Lucky for us, it was a very mild evening and we were able to enjoy the grounds of the mansion. I held out on dessert at the restaurant because I figured we would have some at the party. We left 30 minutes before the party ended and still no dessert. I was so disappointed. Otherwise, we had a very nice time at the party. It was just lovely.

Now, back to the hotel. Did I happen to mention the incredible service we had at the W? There was a gentleman that goes by the name "Doc". He is the epitome of customer service. He is the man! If you need anything, I mean anything, he is the go-to man. Part of the unexpected service we got was a message from the staff wishing us a Happy Anniversary, a half dozen chocolate covered strawberries delivered to our room after about an hour of our arrival. In the morning, a chocolate mousse dessert was delivered to our room with Happy Anniversary on the chocolate. They really paid attention to the details. I certainly felt special. One detail we both noticed was in the elevators. They had rugs that said "Good Morning", "Good Afternoon", and "Good Evening" which were changed according to time of day.

Well, that was our weekend without children. we certainly did enjoy it. I don't know why it took us that long to do it. I am ready for a child free weekend or night again!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Road to Spirituality

Maybe it is because of the realization that I am pregnant with my third child, but I am searching for my spirituality. I have been on this search for quite some time, but have not had any luck. I think now that the newest member of our family will be arriving in about 7 months, I am really trying to complete projects and fill this spirituality void I have been having.

First of all, I decided I needed to learn how to pray. This I felt was my start to finding lost spirituality. I did consult a few people on how one learns this art, but I never followed through. The main person I depended on in this matter finally contacted me last night. I am a bit disappointed and felt like he copped out, but he did guide me to someone that I really think can help.

This person I am talking about is the priest at our church. Since we are in this new age of technology, I decided to email him. I did tell him I had something that concerned me and wanted to talk and we decided email would be best for both of us. This is usually the best form of communication for me because I can do it when the kids are asleep and I can focus. I really gathered my thoughts well and spoke how I felt with my present spirituality and religion. I am not one to make my feelings known too often, so this was really a break through for me. I sent this email on October 14, 2007. Well, November 11, 2007 comes around and no response from my priest. I resent the email, but changed the subject and added a few statements at the beginning of the email. I saw him at church on Sunday, but didn't say anything.

On Monday, I decided to call him. I didn't get him, so I left a message. Finally, Tuesday night he called. I guess I wouldn't have been so bothered had he just sent a quick email response saying I got your email, but I am busy and will get back to you later. Of course when he calls, I am sleeping and in a fog during most of our conversation. I am sorry to say that as a priest, I thought he would be more helpful and give me more insight.

The good thing that I did take from our foggy conversation was that our Archdiocese has a department called the Archdiocese Spirituality Center. This really excites me! I called today to set up an appointment with a spirituality director. I never knew there was such a thing. This person will help guide me on my journey to finding my spirituality and learning how to pray.

The lady I spoke with asked me, "who would you like?" Of course, I don't know anyone so she said a man, lady, priest, nun, layperson, young, old. So, I told her about me, my age, my family, and my expectations. Her reply was, "I have the perfect person for you." This sounds really encouraging. This 3 minute conversation was certainly more stimulating than the 35 minute conversation with my priest.

I am now waiting impatiently to hear from my spirituality director. I am hoping this is just what I need on my road to spirituality.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


Well, for those of you that don't know.....I am pregnant.....again. This makes baby #3. The funny thing is that it was planned. I knew when "it" happened that I would be pregnant. Although, I am still freaking out a bit. I am 37 years old pregnant with my third child. I will have 3 children 3 years old and under. I think I am either 7 or 8 weeks along. Normally, I would keep it quiet until after the 1st trimester, but I am already "showing". It is too hard to hide. And I am tired of making excuses to why I am sick all of the time. Surprisingly, I already had an ultrasound at 6 weeks.

I realize I have not been blogging and for that matter on the web. I have been so nauseated and just feeling bad. I used to be on the web before the kids woke up and after they went to bed, but not anymore. I now find myself curled up in a ball until after the kids awake and go to bed soon after they go to sleep. Sometimes as early as 8 o'clock. I don't remember being this tired. It isn't just being tired, I feel completely exhausted.

Am I old? Is this why I am feeling like crap? I know, I am too old to be having babies while I still have 2 toddlers. So, of course I am considered high risk. Not only because of my age, but because of my 2 previous c-sections.

This is a topic that really frustrates me and quite frankly angers me. My first child was breech, so it was a medically necessary c-section. The next delivery should have been natural, but my doctor convinced me the baby was growing so fast that they needed to do a c-section. In hind sight, I realize neither my health nor my baby's health were in jeopardy. This one was not medically necessary. What I do know is that doctors hate having to stay in the hospital the whole time while a mom tries to labor for a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section). It is no longer about what a patient wants. It is about what is more convenient for the doctor. They are the ones getting paid for their services. I don't understand why they cannot go through with a patient's wishes. I am a nurse and understand the medical standpoint, but I had no health risk factors that would prevent me. I do realize there is a place for everything. I do know that if it is a risk for the baby or mother's safety then, so be it, a c-section is necessary.

I have made birth plans, but never really made light of them to my doctor. I feel like this time I should and stick to it. When I went in for my appointment last week, she immediately said, "you know you will be having a c-section, right?" And I said, No, I won't unless it is truly medically necessary. I told her don't be surprised if I don't show up for my scheduled c-section. I will labor at home and and go in when the time is ready. Of course, if there are any complications, I will change the plan, but I feel like it should be my plan.

I just feel so cheated that I didn't experience labor for either birth. Not even one labor pain. It is a "Rite of Passage" that I was not given the opportunity. I really want it, unless it will bring harm to the baby. I think the closest to labor I felt was during my true first pregnancy when I was miscarrying. (Don't send pity over this, I am over it.) So in actuality, this is my 4th pregnancy. I try to forget about the 1st one.

So, my goal is to have a natural vaginal childbirth after 2 c-sections. My doctor thinks I am nuts, but this is my will. I am scouring the New Orleans area to find a new doctor that will work with me, but it seems that all the doctors that would have, have fled the area since Katrina. If you know of someone, please let me know (leave a comment or email me).

Monday, October 29, 2007

My attempt at being crafty

I was inspired by Artsy-Crafty Babe to try the art of paper mache. Now, you have to realize I have not done this since 5th grade. I really thought I did it since then, but no. I did a recount in my head and the last time was about 27 years ago.
I guess I could have looked up the proper proportions of glue to water, but I didn't. We winged it. Getting the balloon covered with the newspaper and glue mixture wasn't so bad. SG got a bit messy and had glue all in her hair. I really thought I would have to cut her hair, but luckily it washed out fairly easily.

It seemed like it took forever to dry. I left the paper mache balloons outside to dry and it took about 3 days. In addition to it being windy outside, the balloons ended up in the pool. I think this project was not really meant to be. I fished them out of the pool and finally I put them in the garage for safe keeping. One of the balloons popped and the shape disintegrated.

We carried on with the project despite our setbacks. Now it is time to paint. We painted them orange to resemble pumpkins. The paint just didn't work. It was not opaque enough. I then conceded and called this project a flop.

Next time, I will look up a recipe for the paper mache to get the proportions just right and get the best paint for the job.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

To Surgery We Go

Wednesday was surgery day for MM. I was fine until about an hour before we had to leave for the hospital. I had to put on one load of laundry and had to start the dishwasher before we left. Lucky for me, MM was napping. It was as though my brain was in overdrive. This was my defense mechanism. In order for me to keep my mind off my 15 month old baby having surgery, I kept myself busy.

Fifteen minutes before leaving home, I decided I had to wash my hair. Now, you know I had all morning to do this, but for some reason there was some trigger that went off that insisted I needed to shower and wash my hair in the 15 minutes before we had to leave. Not only did I need to do this, but I needed to blow dry my hair, get dressed, apply some make-up, wake up the baby from her nap, dress her, and get some juice packed up. Oh, I cannot forget that I timed it just right that the clothes would be finished in the washer just before leaving. I had to put them in the dryer. I also timed the dishwasher just so I would be able to get MM's favorite sippy cup for our journey. Surprisingly, I did all of this in 15 minutes. I got to the hospital with 2 minutes to spare.

Here's MM at the hospital waiting in the pre-op area. She could not sit still. Luckily we were one of the last ones in there waiting for surgery. She certainly kept the staff entertained.
This was her after a dose of Versed. Strangely, she stayed in my lap until I walked her over to the surgery suite. She certainly liked the Versed. Notice the syringe in her right hand. She wouldn't let it go. She was feeling good.
Off she went for surgery and off I went to the land of neurosis again. I just could not sit still. I couldn't stop talking. I had to walk. I walked over to CCU to say hello to my friends and work colleagues. I really think they thought I was the one drugged.

Once I got back to the surgery area, the doctor came to talk to us to say the surgery went well. Whew! What a relief. Even though they say minor surgery, it is still major surgery in a mom's brain. When you medicate my child to sedate her. Then you anesthetize her, put a breathing tube down her throat, start 2 IVs, and medicate her more with Fentanyl, I would call this major surgery.

The anesthesiologist came out to talk to us and then the nurse. Finally, I get to see my baby. But, the problem is that she is screaming and won't stop crying. She has IV fluids infusing to her foot and is hooked up to the oxygen saturation monitor. Her vitals are within normal limits except her heart rate is elevated. As a nurse, I know this is generally due to pain. I finally convinced her nurse to give her some acetaminophen. MM kept arching back and getting stiff. JoJo the clown could have stayed home because MM had no interest in her. Once she got the medication, I continued to rock her and started singing BaBa Black Sheep. Somehow, my singing helped soothe her. I tried other songs, but this was the one. So, Tylenol, singing and flatulence made my baby happy again. It was so good to see a slight resemblance of a smile on her face.

Off to the house we go. Now, at this point I am completely exhausted. I felt like I had been up for 2 days straight and non-stop on the go. I was so happy to get home. I was so happy that the surgery was over and my baby was fine. The only trace of surgery is the swelling of her left eye. You would never know she had a tube inserted from the eye and into the nose.

Here's MM waiting to get get home. I thought to get a picture of her post-op, but I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and didn't remember until we got her in the car.

What a day! I am glad it is over and all went well.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Crazy Eights

I have been tagged for a meme. This is a first for me! At first I was going to just do it real quickly, but I decided to actually put some thought into it and use it as a learning tool into my deeper self that I rarely tap into.

So, here's to you Sheila at My Memories. Thanks for tagging me and making me look a bit deeper into myself than I would normally allow others to go.

Here's the Crazy Eights Meme:

Things I am passionate about:
1. Hand writing thank you notes and good manners
2. Having fun in life
3. Reading to my children
4. Stimulating my brain by doing puzzles, reading, computer games
5. My family
6. Dancing and listening to music
7. Learning
8. Health: being healthy, staying healthy, advocating a healthy lifestyle

Books I’ve read recently (or am currently reading):
1. Ines of My Soul: A Novel by Isabel Allende
2. Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner
3. Smart Discipline by Larry J. Koenig,, PhD
4. The Making of A Happy Family by Larry J. Koenig,, PhD
5. The Dirty Girls Social Club by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez
6. Pocket Parent
7. Secrets of Longevity: Hundreds of Ways to Live to be 100 by Dr. Maoshing Ni
8. The Hidden Manual: Mac OS X

Things I say often:
1. Little Miss
2. One, two, and if I get to number three
3. Good golly
4. Oh my gosh
5. What do You think?
6. My oh my
7. You tell me why
8. Please and Thank you

Things I want to do before I die:
1. Instill in my children the values I feel are important
2. Be able to have a conversation in Spanish with my husband
3. To visit a foreign country and communicate in their language (not English, of course)
4. Visit Hong Kong to fulfill my grandmother’s last trip planned before she died
5. To teach my children all of the necessary lessons needed to be respectful and productive human beings
6. To teach my children to be passionate about life
7. To dance: I love to dance and think it should be part of my daily life
8. Have one last dance with my husband

What attracts me to my friends:
1. A little bit off like me
2. March to the beat of their own drum
3. A passion for life
4. A certain spirit about them
5. Honesty
6. Good values
7. Listening even when I am making no sense
8. Common ideas of life

Things I learned last year:
1. Sometimes you just need to let it go
2. Choose your battles with your children
3. My children are a lot more like me than I realized
4. My girls also have a great love to dance
5. I can order everything I need from Sam’s online. They will do all the shopping, and I just have to go there to pay for it and pick it up
6. No recycling means tons of waste
7. Hardships can make you stronger
8. Downsizing all of my possessions (due to natural disaster) has been a really good thing

Songs I can listen to over and over:
1. Only Love Can Break Your Heart (Saint Etienne)
2. Diamond Girl (TKA)
3. Never There (Cake)
4. Amargo Adios [Version Tequila] (Inspector/Mariachi “Los Reyes de Guadalajara”)
5. Rompecabezas (Aterciopelados)
6. Cuts You Up (Peter Murphy)
7. Good Times Roll (The Cars)
8. Rush (Aly & AJ)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Doin' the Haus

Deutsches Haus that is! Saturday night we celebrated Oktoberfest 2007 at the Deutsches Haus. I have been here to celebrate Oktoberfest many times, but this was the first time with children. And I must say, I had the most fun this year because of the kids.

I did the chicken dance and didn't actually feel silly.
To make it even more fun, I danced with the Deutsches Haus Chicken. The girls were having so much fun. They danced and danced and danced and danced.
Notice the hair in motion!
I took still pictures and realized my camera takes video. Ding-dong! I got some really great footage of the girls gone wild "G" version.

While we were there, I learned some new information about my heritage. I always thought I was just a smidgen German, but now I learn I am more German than my other cultures. Well, I am not in the thinking kind of mode, so I am not going to try to figure out the percentage. Here goes, here's my ancestral heritage:
Maternal grandmother: 100% Italian
Maternal grandfather: 50% French, 50% Spanish
Paternal grandmother: 100% German
Paternal grandfather: 50% French, 50% German

So what am I? Heinz 57? So, my children have this plus an addition of 100% Nicaraguan from their father.

Since this celebration last night, I got curious. Curious as to why they celebrate for 4 weeks and why they celebrate this at all. So, here's the answer.

History of Oktoberfest

The Oktoberfest tradition started in 1810 to celebrate the October 12th marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to the Saxon-Hildburghausen Princess Therese. The citizens of Munich were invited to join in the festivities which were held over five days on the fields in front of the city gates. The main event of the original Oktoberfest was a horse race.

Anniversary celebrations were held annually thereafter that eventually became larger and more elaborate. An agricultural show was added during the second year. In 1818, a carousel and two swings were set up for the revelers. Such amusements were few in the first decades of the festival, but party-goers were amply entertained by the tree climbing competitions, wheel barrow and sack races, mush eating contests, barrel rolling races, and goose chases. By 1870s, mechanical rides were an expanding feature of the festival and in 1908, the festival boasted Germany's first roller coaster. When the city began allowing beer on the fairgrounds, makeshift beer stands began cropping up, and their number increased steadily until they were eventually replaced by beer halls in 1896. The beer halls, like the beer tents of today, were sponsored by the local breweries.

The festival was eventually prolonged and moved ahead to September to allow for better weather conditions. Today, the last day of the festival is the first Sunday in October. In 2006, the Oktoberfest extended two extra days because the first Tuesday, October 3, was a national holiday. Over the past 200 years, Oktoberfest was canceled 24 times due to cholera epidemics and war. (Taken from

I have very fond memories of the 1984 Louisiana World's Fair Exposition in New Orleans. There was an exhibit called the German Beer Garden. This was my first experience with beer and Oktoberfest. This Oktoberfest extended from May 12 through November 11, 1984; A bit longer than the typical fest. Oh, those were the days.

To add to the history, Deutsches Haus has been around New Orleans since 1928 in the same spot at 200 S Galvez Street. It is in danger of being demolished to make way for the new LSU and VA Medical Centers. There is a petition to save the Haus.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pop Go the Measles

Have any of your children contracted the measles? Our youngest developed the measles, but it really isn't the measles. Do you get that?

Okay, here's how the story goes. On October 3, 2007 my daughter went in for her 15 month checkup. Part of the routine visit was for her to get an MMR vaccination. Just as a refresher, MMR is for measles, mumps, and rubella. She got her shot, cried and life carried on.

Saturday night, October 13 we were getting ready for my mother's birthday dinner celebration when we noticed a generalized, yet very mild and minimal rash. I just assumed it was from a new clothes detergent I tried. You know how sensitive and delicate baby skin can be. I noticed a few more spots before we put her to bed, so I gave her some Benadryl.
This is what she looked like the next morning. In just about 12 hours of sleep her body went from a few spots to what you see in this picture. Hello! This looks like measles. I called the on-call doctor and that asked is she was in any respiratory distress. Of course she wasn't, only spotted red. She said to continue with what I have done by giving her Benadryl and Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Believe it or not, but this picture actually looks good compared to what she looks like today.

Monday, we called the pediatrician's office so he could see her. Finally we got an appointment. It was a bad side effect of the MMR vaccination. Generally, a reaction occurs 7 - 12 days after the injection. Her reaction time was 10 days. Our pediatrician stated he has seen mild "bumps", but never like hers. Luckily she never experienced any other true effects of measles such as a runny nose, eyes, or mouth, and fever. We emailed pictures to her doctor so he can document it.

Now, to add insult to injury, the poor doll has to have eye surgery tomorrow. Not only is she going to be itchy from the darn pseudo measles rash, she is going to have a tube placed from her eye through her nose.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Things I do to Help the Environment

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day
First of all I want to say that I live in a post-Katrina area and recycling is almost nonexistent. I am able to bring newspaper to our local school for recycling. Parish (county) curbside recycling has been unheard of. Recently, I heard about a private company that does curbside recycling. When I got wind of this, I jumped at the chance to be a part of it. Friday, I had my official second curbside recycling day. I felt so great about doing this.

Thank you to Phoenix Recycling in New Orleans, LA for allowing me to do this. Because of this, our weekly trash has decreased to about half. I do pay for this service, but the price makes no difference to me. With our previous parish curbside recycling, we paid through our water bill. I have talked to several of my neighbors about this and their reply was, “you actually pay for that?” What they don’t realize is that they paid for it before. The difference was that is was part of the monthly water bill and they just didn’t know it. As of right now, I am the only one on my block that has curbside recycling. I really hope this changes.

Now on to the other things I do to help the environment. I don’t feel like I do too much, but I guess every little thing helps.

Things I do to help the environment:
1. I try to use towels and cloth napkins instead of paper towels and napkins.
2. I try to avoid hitting the “print” button on the computer as often as I used to.
3. I am not much of a TV watcher, but I turn it off if the kids have it on and they are nowhere to be found.
4. I turn the lights out when I am finished. I am constantly going behind everyone in the house turning lights out.
5. I don’t drink coffee, by my husband fills his coffee mug with a lid before he leaves home and uses it at his office instead of using the disposable cups.
6. I have been replacing our regular light bulbs one at a time with CFC light bulbs.
7. I try to avoid using foil and plastic wrap and use glass or plastic ware instead.
8. I maintain the proper air pressure in my car’s tires.
9. I clean up after my family and me when we go out and about and do find myself picking up after strangers, too.
10. I try to explain to my 3 year old about recycling. I think she does understand because she remembers what does not go in the trash.
11. We reuse printed paper usually by giving it to the girls to cut, paste, and draw on.
12. We installed low-flow toilets.
13. We avoid fast food meals. I cook about 95% of all of our meals.
14. We change our A/C filter routinely.
15. Most of my laundry is done in cold water with the exception of a few loads that are washed in warm, not hot.
16. I try to purchase local grocery items such as fruits and veggies.
17. I recycle as much as I can.
18. When we refurnished our house, I bought appliances that were energy star efficient.
19. Our new A/C system is 16 SEERS and is energy star rated. We use a programmable thermostat.
20. Our lawn and garden is watered early in the morning.
21. We have oak trees in front our house.
22. I unplug appliances when not in use.
23. I try to remember to unload my car of any excess weight routinely.
24. I plan on buying a bike before the end of the year and actually using it.
25. We use filtered water from the refrigerator instead of buying bottled water.
26. I use recycled shopping bags when I go grocery shopping and other miscellaneous shopping. My daughter likes to remind me, “Mommy, don’t forget the bags in the car.”
27. I have been mending our clothes and items instead of getting rid of them.
28. I buy toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, cereal, dish soap, soap, toothpaste, dental floss, diapers and other things in bulk. I also remember to recycle the packaging.
29. I find myself buying and using more durable goods than disposable. For parties, we use all of the plates, glasses, cloth napkins, and other items we have instead of buying plastic and throwaway items.
30. I use my crock-pot at least once or twice a week (sometimes more during the winter) which in turn, I use the oven less.
31. I have joined Bog Action Day.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

My Little Sleeping Beauty

Well, as the story goes.... my little sweat pea MM never has a problem with going down for a nap or bedtime. Then one out-of-the-ordinary day, she doesn't want to nap or sleep. What happened to my perfect little sleeper?

Yesterday, I put her down for her afternoon nap around 1:30 PM and I thought she was asleep (while I was working in the office). My mother and SG came inside and got her at 2:10 PM. Wait a second here. She was supposed to be sleeping! But, she wasn't. She was laughing and playing in her crib.

I get over the fact that she didn't take a real nap that afternoon. But, around 4:30 PM she was getting really goofy and giddy. This was my clue of how tired she was. She was out within seconds of me putting her down in her crib.

Around 6:00 PM we were getting ready for dinner. I thought I heard her up and had FG go get her. To my surprise, she was still sleeping. This child doesn't miss meals. She slept through dinner. I figured she would wake up at some point before my bedtime. Nope! She stayed asleep.

This morning, I got up around 6:45 AM. She was still sleeping. Before I got out of bed, I actually panicked that she was still asleep from 4:30 PM the afternoon before. I jumped out of bed and dashed in her room. She was still breathing...whew! As I am watching her sleep on her belly all stretched out I realize how big she got. I think she was having a major growth spurt and needed a bit of extra sleep. She now extends 3/4 the length of the crib. This is the baby who is growing up so fast.

Finally, she woke at 8:30 AM! MM slept for 16 hours. I think this is record breaking sleep for my children. I am glad she got the sleep she needed, but she sure did have me worried for a moment.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Stop! No, Go!

Okay, so what is it? When you come to a yellow light, do you stop and wait for the light to turn red or do you accelerate and hope it doesn't turn red?

This is the question I have been pondering. Two weeks ago I was stopped by a state trooper because I went when the light was yellow with anticipation that the light would remain yellow. Obviously, that was not the case. It turned red. As it happened, I was feeling dread. Phrases I verbalized were, "I cannot believe I did that. The light turned red. I BROKE the law." To make it fair, it was a double light system. I had to get through two sets of lights on 1 yellow light. Once I crossed and made my u-turn, I knew I broke the law. Bright swirling lights were headed my way.

The way this happened was...a night out on the town. We hired a babysitter and went to a wedding. The wedding was getting lame so we decided to go OUT on the town to Harrah's Casino. My traffic violation occurred on Canal Street at Decatur Street, across the way from my destination, Harrah's. This is probably a routine stop for the police.

I got out the car. I must vouch for myself and say I was nicely dressed. No alcohol in my system. No signs of drug use. And I am not of the young set. I felt like all of these things gave me an advantage with the state trooper. He asked me where I was going and coming from. We joked about never going out and the one time I do, look at my predicament. He checked my drivers license and ran my license tag. All were clear and he gave me the go-ahead to continue my evening.

So here I am back to my dilemma. Do you stop or go at a yellow light? The officer said always stop at a yellow light. Sure, but the car going 45 mph behind me doesn't think so. If you are approaching the yellow light, sure I will stop. But, if I am right at the light and it changes yellow, I feel as though I should just punch it and go.

Since this night, I found myself in this situation often. I have jammed on my brakes with a yellow light and thought I would have everything from the back of the car including children up front with me. I just don't know. I guess each yellow light will be a unique experience and will have to be dealt with as it arrives.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

If the Cup Fits

My mother has breast cancer, well survived it. The problem she has is no bra fits her. Her left breast is about one size larger than the right. (She would have a fit if she knew I was writing this.)

I have been encouraging her to buy a new full support bra so she doesn't hang out. She tends to "hang out" often because she goes with a bra to fit the smaller breast cup.

Yesterday I decided to go bra shopping for her, but it hit me that no bras in the stores will fit her. How often do you go shopping and find a bra with one C cup and a D cup? Right, I know!

When I saw her, I mentioned this to her and suggested she go to a shop that specializes in special bras for cancer survivors. Her reply was, "why would I do that?" Hello mother, you spent over a year in treatment for breast cancer. I think she may still be in denial. Or that she may think people are going to feel sorry for her if she goes to a place like this.

I never really thought about this, but I guess she could have reconstructive surgery on her breast. Maybe I will mention this to her.

But, in the meantime, I need to help her get a bra that fits properly. I cannot let her go out in public with one breast hanging out the top, bottom, and side of her bra.

Friday, September 28, 2007

33 uses for an old toothbrush

Here's recycling/reusing at its best.

33 uses for old toothbrushes:
1. ring cleaner
2. eyebrow shaper brush
3. jewelry cleaner
4. nail brush
5. carpet cleaner
6. shoe cleaner
7. comb and brush cleaner
8. tile grout cleaner
9. cleaning small grooves in the car
10. remove stains out of fabric
11. cleaning around sinks
12. cleaning around the toilet
13. cleaning around faucets
14. garlic press cleaner
15. scrubbing the part of coffee pot where coffee is dispensed
16. dusting the lint catch in the dryer
17. dusting the lint catch of hair dryer
18. cleaning between fork tines
19. cleaning dog poop from shoe soles
20. cleaning sliding door encasement
21. cleaning computer keyboard
22. cleaning inside of bottles
23. make a toothbrush bracelet,,HGTV_3268_1382191,00.html
24. clean shower tracks
25. clean can opener blades
26. brush your cheese grater
27. clean silk from ears of corn
28. waffle iron cleaner
29. hair dye applicator
30. clean gunk from appliances
31. clean telephone receiver
32. clean light switches
33. clean corners and seams

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sweet Jesus!

We decided to go to church Saturday afternoon at 4:00 PM instead of Sunday morning. The girls sometimes get very active and irritable and antsy during Sunday morning mass. That's why we opted to try it out on Saturday afternoon.

Big mistake! These girls were so wild. I didn't take into account that they didn't eat before we went. Neither one would sit still. This isn't surprising, but please sit for at least one to two minutes at a time.

MM wanted to walk. So, I walked with her down the side aisle. She wouldn't let me hold her hand so she would drop to the floor and have a tantrum. She has never done this before. Why does she have to do it now in church? Not only did she do this once or twice, but about 10 times in the one hour of mass. I decided to walk the girls to the back of the church in the candle and statue area. This was fine until I hear Kaplunk!

Guess what happened? One or both of them were playing with the last supper statue and dropped it. Jesus' head broke off. Of all the statues for them to break, it was this one.

At the end of mass, FG and I felt obligated to tell Fr. Ian. He was so fine with it. He just requested that we glue Jesus' head back on and return it. I was quite relieved that he was so nonchalant about it. Not that I was expecting him to be angry, but not so laid back about it either. So, the deal is that SG has to help me put Jesus' head back on.

Now on to another mess the girls made. I was in the laundry room ironing. I figured something had to happen because I don't iron very often. I hear SG say, "Mom, we made a big, giant, huge mess." I see tiny white foot prints all over the floor. I follow it and there it is. The girls got into 2 containers of powder. Powder is everywhere. Luckily it is mainly contained in the my bathroom.

I wanted so badly to be strong and angry, but I busted out laughing. It was the funniest thing. A fine thin layer of powder was everywhere throughout the house. I am still cleaning powder. It looked like it snowed in there. The girls were covered in powder snow. I think my favorite part was the tiny white feet prints everywhere there was wood flooring.

As you can see from the picture, they put a towel and my dress down to clean up before I got in there. It made it worse. Mischief at its best!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Reusable Bags Help us to Go Green

Like many people I know, I feel bad about all the plastic bags brought home from the grocery and every other store. I have been looking into purchasing some reusable bags, trying to decide what size and how many I would need.

Help could be on the way. Amy at Crunchy Domestic Goddess is giving away reusable bags. " Reusable Bags has offered up two of their best-selling reusable bags to one lucky winner :
the Workhorse Style 1500bag workhorse bag cottontote
and the Lightweight Recycled Cotton Tote with Dual Handles, both made by ACME Bags."

Hop on over to Crunchy Domestic Goddess and enter!

The Bird Watcher

Yesterday I was trying to find something to do with SG outside. I asked her what she wanted to do. I heard a shocking reply. She said she wanted to bird watch. This is so out of character for her. How often do you hear from a three year old, "I want to bird watch."? She certainly took me by surprise.

So, that's what we did. The great part was that the weather was exceptional Tuesday. It was in the low 70s with a cool breeze. We pulled out chairs in the backyard and bird watched. We have a bird nest under our carport with doves. Though, they weren't too exciting. Over on our neighbor's tree, there were two birds that were having a grand ole' time. These were the birds we were watching. I guess I need to get a book out and learn about the birds in our area since my daughter likes to "bird watch".

They were chasing after one another, flying around the tree, singing and chirping, and hanging out on the fence. I am still amazed that SG sat quietly and patiently for at least 45 minutes. She truly enjoyed watching. She did say she was relaxing. Wow! New vocabulary.

I guess next time I am looking for something to occupy her time, I will suggest bird watching.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Befores and Afters

Lately, I have been doing a lot of reorganizing. I save all the cleaning for my husband. I'll spend a couple of hours reorganizing a cabinet or drawer. He comes home and asks "what have you been up to all day?". I will say cleaning drawers and cabinets. He says "all day?". Yep!

So, to document my latest tasks, I have pictures to prove what I have been up to. I am sorry to say I don't always remember to take the before picture, though. I think it is just a case of "mom brain" being forgetful. Hey, at least I remember the important things.

First is my little sweatpea's room. It has been so bland and boring. I decided to jazz it up a bit.

She now has a garden.

Okay, now this was a big project. I didn't realize how disorderly one tiny room can get. I think it was a case of embarrassment when I thought to take a before picture. This picture is so much better looking. I guess to most people this still looks a mess, but hey, I can see the tabletop and walk without tripping on anything. As you can see, I organized my crafting/wrapping paper area. I can actually use the table to wrap gifts.

This has been a work in progress. I had been meaning to get my hair cut for the last 6 months. I have been wearing my typical "mom" hair-do, pinned up or in a pony-tail.

Next is the mad-crazy-I-can't-do-anything-with-this-hair look.

Finally, a hip-mom hair cut. Lots of layers and up with the latest hair trend.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Order in the House

This morning I woke up early as I always do since school started. But today was different. Instead of going directly to the computer and spending about 45 minutes online, I actually did some housework. I have accomplished so much this morning. (Okay, I have to admit it is a habit I need to break, but I did go straight to the computer but only for about 10 minutes).

Today is a busy day. I guess things happen much more quickly when under pressure. I have three appointments lined up today. At 9:30 AM the A/C repairman will be here to replace the leaking coils in my less-than-a-year-old A/C. 12:30 PM is when the pest control technician will be here and the famous window time frame of 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM is reserved for the annual termite renewal inspection.

The house has been picked up and cleaned the quickest in a long time. I have just been tired and not feeling like picking up. I cannot tell you how many times a day I pickup after the kids. The good thing is that SG is getting older and I am teaching her about responsibility. Therefore, she is learning to pickup after herself. So, it doesn't happen as often as I would like, but this is a start to the learning process.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I don't like to complain, but...

Okay, so we were at church on Sunday and there was so much that bothered me. First of all, I am a firm believer in dressing appropriately for church. I guess that's why people refer to the term "Sunday clothes" or "church clothes" when they are referring to nicer duds. I have been seeing too many people wearing clothes that look like they strolled in right from the night club. I am talking tight knit cotton jersey; chest bearing, cleavage showing stretchy camisoles; pants so low you can see their butt crack and hip bones. Come on! Where is your dignity?

Pet peeve number two is noises that should be avoided. This is why we have vibrate mode on cell phones. A couple of cell phones went off during the quite moments in mass. These weren't your typical ring-ring. These were loud obnoxious songs certainly not appropriate for church.

Next is the toy that the mom allows her child to bring in church. I am not sure about other mom's, but I bring quiet toys such as colors, coloring books, books, etc. This child was playing with a talking doll. Come on now! Have a bit of sense. If anything it is for the common good of the congregation.

I know, I am being a bit rough, but these are things of common courtesy. People have forgotten about manners and respect for other people.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I like to move it, move it

Yesterday, the girls and I went to Target for some shopping. It was just a typical shopping adventure except, SG started to sing. She will remember the catchy phrases of a song and just sing it repeatedly.

We watched the movie Madagascar recently. She absolutely loved the song that goes, "I like to move it, move it. I like to groove it, groove it." The only problem is that she leaves out some of the words.

Now, to continue my Target story. We were shopping along and we were singing the song together. Then she was singing on her own. We were going down an aisle with several people and baskets. The women were looking at me with looks of awe and offense. At first I really had no idea why.

Then it clicked. SG wasn't singing the whole phrase from the song, just bits and pieces. She was just singing "move it, move it" repeatedly. This is why I was getting the one eyed stares. If the people only knew she was only singing a harmless little song. They probably thought she was being rude and asking them to , well move. Oh well, I am sure I won't see any of those people again.

"I like to move it, move it. I like to groove it, groove it."

Saturday, August 18, 2007

How well traveled are you?

Your Travel Profile:

You Are Extremely Well Traveled in the Southern United States (85%)
You Are Very Well Traveled in the Midwestern United States (75%)
You Are Well Traveled in the Northeastern United States (57%)
You Are Well Traveled in the Western United States (53%)
You Are Somewhat Well Traveled in Canada (40%)
You Are Somewhat Well Traveled in Southern Europe (40%)
You Are Somewhat Well Traveled in Africa (25%)
You Are Mostly Untraveled in Latin America (13%)
You Are Mostly Untraveled in Western Europe (7%)
You Are Untraveled in Asia (0%)
You Are Untraveled in Australia (0%)
You Are Untraveled in Eastern Europe (0%)
You Are Untraveled in New Zealand (0%)
You Are Untraveled in Scandinavia (0%)
You Are Untraveled in the Middle East (0%)
You Are Untraveled in the United Kingdom (0%)

Are You a Child of the 80s?

You Are 88% A Child of the 80s

There's hardly a moment of the 80s that you missed out on.
Was there ever a better decade? As if!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today, I celebrate my 37th birthday. Yes, I am very proud of that. Some people shy away from their age, birthdays, and just aging in general. Not me! I love birthdays. It is the most important day of my life. If it weren't for this day so many years ago, I would not be here.

I think I am aging well. At this point in life, I only have about 5 gray hairs. Lucky me that I don't have to die my hair. For the most part, I am healthy. I have two young children that keep me very active. I exercise several times per week and eat healthy. I think I look younger than I am (then again I could be fooled).

So many people dread turning 30 , then 40. I remember being in my mid-twenties looking forward to my big 30th birthday. So far, my 30s have been the best years of my life. Can life get any better? Look out 40, just another 3 years!

Yesterday we went to the farm. It is about an hour away from where we live. When I say farm, most people think of some farm with cattle and crops. Not ours. It is tiny with an itty-bitty "cottage" and a horse, Skippy. It is our refuge from the city life.

The big birthday event was at Pontchartrain Vineyards' Jazz 'n the Vines.
The Sentimental Serenaders Big Band performed and we had a picnic along with wine, a battenburg lace tablecloth, and candles. Okay, so it was about 102 degrees, but we hung in there. The cake started to melt, it was so hot. Despite the heat, we had a great time.

My sister was in town from Pennsylvania. She decided to leave earlier than us so she could get a good night sleep for her 17 hour drive back to PA in the morning. As she got about 3 miles down the street, a deer ran out and hit her car. This is one of those unheard of things down here. Now, in PA yes, but in Louisiana, no way. Yes way. She was really panicked. When we spoke to her, we thought a huge deer smashed the whole side of her car, but it was a small doe that only damaged the front bumper. She is sore, but not to the point that she needed to be hospitalized. She was able to get on the road this morning, just a bit later than she planned.

This morning was a glorious morning. It is always nice to wake up in the country! The sun was shining bright and we were on the porch rocking in the rocking chairs. Skippy was hanging out with us thinking he was human instead of a horse. We went to brunch at one of my favorite spots in Mandeville, The Broken Egg.

Once we got back home, I opened my presents. I got a beautiful cake stand, jewelry, Victoria Secret panties and bra, cool measuring cups, and Print Explosion Deluxe 3.0. And one day soon I will be getting a new bicycle. How could one's day get any better?

Here are some pictures of my birthday festivities!

My birthday cake from Zoe's Bakery. I didn't feel like making my birthday cake.

SG kept calling this a picnic party. It was so beautiful at the vineyard.

A doe, a deer! Oops, this is the deer damage.

MM on Skippy.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Ashwin’s Blog Extravaganza!! Win $2500

I thought I would get in on the action! $2500 is a lot of money and could go to good use. Good luck to you!

Over at Ashwin’s blog, you will find one crazy blog owner!! You can win $2500!! To enter just copy this text and paste it in your blog!! But hurry, this competition will not last long! So get posting!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Happy 3rd Birthday to my dear little one!

Today SG turns 3. It is so hard to believe she is growing up so fast. Then again, she is so tall and can have intelligent conversation. Wow!

Here's a pictorial of her over the 3 years. First I will start with one of me 40 weeks pregnant on my way to the hospital for delivery.

Mommy and Me: Happy Birth-Day

3 months old Toys-R-Us Giant Ferris Wheel in NYC

5 months with Papa in Scottsdale, AZ

Finca Agua Fresca, Jinotega, Nicaragua

Taking a rest on the coffee beans. 18 months; Nicaragua

May 2006

26 months Audubon Park

Jan. 2007: 2 years 4 months

June 2007

July 4, 2007

Happy 3rd Birthday to me!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Summer Giveaway

The Whole Family: Reflections From the Kitchen Sink blog is having a Solarveil sling giveaway. It is made by AP Stitches. Go to The Whole Family blog to enter. Be sure to enter by Wednesday, July 4th at 11pm. A random drawing will be held the very next morning and one lucky mama will win this great Solarveil Sling!
Good luck!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Happy Birthday to my Little Sweatpea!

I cannot believe it! Marcela is one today. It seems like yesterday I was 9 months pregnant living in a FEMA trailer. Wow, how time flies.

Here's just a few shots of her over the year. My how she has grown.

Just a few days old.

Sweet Cheeks!

My little pumpkin!

Baptism: 6 months old

9 months

11 months

Sunning at Anna Maria Island, FL: 11 months

Today I turn 1! I am so excited.