Thursday, March 29, 2012

My first time

Time for a little reminiscing.

I found this prompt at and thought it would be fun: Your first concert experience

My first concert was New Kids on the Block.

I was all of 12 years old when they came to our area for the second time. My two best friends and I went. We had on our t-shirts and ponytails, and my mom even let me wear a little mascara. I thought I was so grown up and cool!

When my mom was buying the tickets at a local department store (they always sold event tickets for some reason), she saw some of girls from our school with their moms. Not being familiar with the arena layout, she talked with them and they told her to get tickets that ended up being the worst. We couldn't see the band even with our little stadium binoculars! We ended up roaming around the arena, running into friends from school, checking out the boys, and having a good time. Afterward, we found our moms (there was a room set up for parents at the arena, pretty nice of them!) and started on the hour and a half drive home, stopping at Krystal for a snack. I have no idea why I remember that; it may have been my first time eating at Krystal also.

I don't remember much more about the night, just the feeling of fun and youth and invincibility that the very young seem to have. It was a happy time.

And just for fun, this was their latest song at the time of the concert:

Wow. My poor parents.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

There's a metaphor in there somewhere.

Sophie is potty training.

I didn't start this process, other than having a potty for her to use. Her big sister wasn't really potty trained until she turned 3, so I wasn't in a hurry. I am a firm believer in the "they'll catch on when they're ready" method. However, a few of Sophie's friends at daycare are learning and she goes to the bathroom with them and actually uses the potty.

At home, not so much.

This is how it goes, wtihout fail. She says she has to go pee. "I pee!" I drop whatever I'm doing and rush her to the bathroom. Pants down, diaper or Pull-up down, on the potty. Maybe five seconds later: "I done." She asks to go, sits on the potty, wipes, flushes, and wants her hands washed every single time. The only thing she doesn't do? Actually go in the potty. Most of the time when she tells us, she's already gone. Occasionally she'll still be dry and I'll do everything I can to keep her on the seat, even playing an episode of SuperWhy on my phone and letting her sit and watch it. Still nothing.

But, even though I am 99% sure this will be the scenario, every time she says "I pee!" I jump up and run with her to the bathroom, hoping that this will finally be the time she actually goes.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Fabulous friends meetup!

What a great weekend! Friday I met two friends who were vacationing in the area for dinner. We had such a good time, and two hours felt like nothing at all! Our poor waiter had to come three times to take our orders because we couldn't stop talking to each other long enough to look at the menus. We eventually parted ways, though, so they could get back to their cabin & group and I could go home to my family.

I look too serious but I was trying to push the stupid button to take the picture!

Grownups? Where?

Then on Sunday, two more friends drove up from Georgia to meet up with the larger group and stopped in my town on their way back home. Sophie came to this one, too. We met at Dunkin Donuts for a little snack & another great visit. This one was all too short, also! It would be great if we all lived close together. Thank goodness for Facebook. It makes socializing with each other so much easier.
We somehow didn't take one of us all together. Boo. But isn't she adorable?

She's adorable, too! I can't wait to meet the new baby :)

And just because:

Friday, March 23, 2012

Versatile? Yes, I suppose that fits.

Earlier this week I received the Versatile Blogger award from Tia at Depression Cookies. (The book she and her mom coauthored is amazing. Read it. You can find it here.) Upon accepting this award, I have to list 7 random things about myself and nominate 7 other bloggers for the award.

My 7 things
1. I don't like "cute." I DO think my little one is cute, and my older one was cute for many years (now she's just beautiful - I don't think teens like to be referred to as cute). Some animals are cute. But I don't want pictures of puppies or kittens. Graphics of teddy bears and flowers irritate me, and this dog: 
Boo, the "cutest dog in the world"
does not evoke feelings of "cute" to me. Instead, I think "I bet that dog is so yappy and annoying!"
2. My iPod is on shuffle and just went from Jars of Clay to Cake to REM to Milos Karadaglic to No Doubt to Lady Gaga. There's some Tchaikovsky on there, and Florence and the Machine, and Beth Ditto, and Eminem. I like variety.
3. I'm meeting friends for dinner tonight who all live out of state and I am very excited.
4. I of course downloaded the newest Angry Birds game yesterday (that makes 4 now) but I don't know why. I always get frustrated and never finish one, much less get 3 stars in all levels.
5. Even though I'm super excited about tonight the insecure high school girl buried inside me is afraid they won't like me in real life (we've been internet friends for 2 years through a pregnancy/baby group)
6. I really hope it doesn't rain much tomorrow so I can mow the yard now that my husband has fixed our lawn mower.
7. If I get game or app requests on Facebook, I block the app. So if anyone out there is waiting for me to do anything to expand your farm/town/whatever the popular game is lately, too bad.

And now the fun part! I get to name seven other bloggers as winners!
1. Jennifer at A Bumbling Idiot (who will be at dinner tonight! Squee!)
2. Amanda at  MommaSachs
3. Joonluv630 at Love, Life, and a Baby
4. Anjuli at bhulbhulaiyan 
5. Judy at Life... Minute by Minute
6. Tara at
7. Glenneth at Let's Talk and Walk

These are all great blogs, and all different. I hope you will visit each one!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Things I don't understand

Are there things out there that you just don't "get?" But everyone else seems to think it's perfectly sane?

Here's my list:

Fried pickles

Zombies (especially preparing for a coming zombie apocalypse... wtf?)

Vampire obsession

Bacon obsession (bacon candy? chocolate covered bacon? bacon candles? Really people??)

What Sophie means when she says "Want min-eh." I've tried and tried to figure this one out. What is min-eh??

Non-slip treads on newborn socks. What newborns are even trying to walk?

St Patrick's Day madness. Maybe because I'm not Irish and don't like beer? And I saw on Facebook this weekend where a leprechaun visits kids and leaves treats like the Easter Bunny? A few different people did this - where did that come from? It's the first I've ever heard of it.

Mama-drama. We're grown ups. Let it go.

Brightly colored skinny jeans - on men. Just don't. Please.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The dinner dilemma

I've run into a problem I did not see coming. I'm not sure how to solve it, either.

Emma was not a picky eater. As long as I didn't give her nuts or pickles, she was fine. Sophie has always been a good eater, too. There wasn't much she wouldn't eat, from the baby food stage into toddlerhood.

Until now.

Sophie would happily live off of meat and fruit if I let her. She is a good breakfast eater and likes everything we eat. For lunch she'll eat pretty good, too. But for dinner, here's where I'm having the problem.

She will eat most any meat. She loves chicken and pork chops. Tonight we had ham and she practically inhaled it. She likes all fruit. She likes corn. She loves spaghetti. Most dairy, too. I can't get her to eat vegetables any more, though! I've tried plain and with cheese, tiny bites or bigger pieces. She's even refusing former favorites of pumpkin with cottage cheese, and macaroni. I've been giving her fruit and vegetable juice blends to supplement but I know that's not enough.

I'll welcome any suggestions for toddler-friendly veggie ideas!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Spring dreaming

 Yesterday afternoon, the girls and I found some flowers while we were out and about. I planted my first-ever tulips! The color is so pretty. Emma chose a small pot of yellow violas and I planted those, also. We had a thunderstorm last night, and they survived! Both pots are looking great today.

This afternoon, I've been raking. We have so many trees in our front yard that I don't even bother raking in the fall - I'd never get anything else done! The leaves also protect my flowerbed and our little bit of fighting grass over the winter. However, this leaves a huge layer to rake up in the spring!

As I was raking, I was dreaming. I'd love to take a week of vacation time from work and spend it doing nothing but yard work. Raking, trimming, mowing, planting, painting, staining, landscaping, and making our yard look great. I hate "gardening" - the weeding, planting, and picking of vegetables, but I adore "yard work" - all the stuff previously mentioned.

I'm sure this year will be like the past two, though. I'll try raking, mowing, whatever in the evenings, between work and dinner and bathtime and bedtime for little one. By the time I get the basics done, before I can do the beautification, it will be autumn again and the cycle will begin all over again.

It sure is nice to dream, though.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Why does the U.S. hate women?

My friend Amanda of MommaSachs shared this picture on Facebook this morning. I told her immediately I was "stealing" it, but the more I thought about it, the angrier I became. I didn't want to simply share it on my page. I had something to say about it.

Lately in our nation, women can't win. This picture sums up the general attitude toward the entire gender perfectly. Women who don't sleep with men are insulted, both by the frustrated men and (sadly) by other women who DO sleep with men. Then, if a woman DOES choose to have sex, suddenly everyone from politicians in Washington to idiots on the radio like Rush Limbaugh want to be involved. (Yes, I know Limbaugh has fans out there, and I even used to listen to him many years ago and thought some things he said made sense. But anyone who claims that insurance companies covering birth control is equal to prostitution and says he is entitled to seeing videos of Ms Fluke having sex is an idiot. End of story.)

Then, what happens when said woman does get pregnant? If she dares keep the baby and becomes a single mother, she is often shunned by her family and friends, disparaged by the media as a "welfare mom" (even if she has never been on welfare in her life), and accused of having kids to get government money. That's not even going into the personal life changes that a baby brings! I love my children dearly, but it's a simple fact that when you have children, life as you knew it is over. It is a new and (I think) better life, but nothing is the same. Not everyone is ready for that change.

But what if she decides to abort? Oh, my goodness. The gloves of complete strangers REALLY come off then. She is labeled evil, a murderer. People treat her like she's just sleeping with random strangers on the street freely and having an abortion any time she might conceive. In truth, abortion is a huge decision made after a lot of thought, analyzing, and often tears and heartache. It's also incredibly expensive. She will always wonder "what if?" but hopefully she will be at peace with her decision. Some women never are.

My point is, though, that all these men making decisions and laws about our reproduction have no business being involved in it at all! I am so sick of politicians (on both sides, really) trying to decide what is best for me and my body and my life. Anyone other than myself, my husband, and my doctor should stay out of it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Have a smile

I love this video. It makes me laugh so hard!

Even better - pulled into the parking lot, realized what I was wearing, & left. True story.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Scary lessons

Last night was very frightening. I actually wasn't going to write about it, to spare the grandparents from worry, but there are some important lessons that must be shared, if only to serve as reminders to other parents (or even people who are ever around children).

Both girls take allergy medicine daily. Emma takes Clariten tablets, and Sophie takes a generic syrup form of Zyrtec. Monday Emma had opened a new bottle and Sophie thought it was food to be eaten, and kept asking for it. "Want eat!" and pointing to it repeatedly. She even brought me her medicine spoon from the kitchen drawer, asking for some of her sister's medicine. I kept telling her no, it's medicine, not candy, and she would get her medicine at bedtime like usual.

Yesterday evening, she was able to reach the pill bottle from the kitchen counter and brought it to me, again asking for some. I told her no, and gave it to Emma, telling her to put it away in the cabinet where it belongs (and way out of reach).

A short time later, I sat down at my computer (a rarity anymore!) while waiting for the meatballs to cook and the water to boil. Emma was on the couch, and we were watching a show we had recorded. I hear her ask Sophie what she's doing, then hear "Oh my goodness NO Sophie!" The bottle had not been put away, but laid down on a side table, and Sophie had gotten off the childproof (um... no) lid and was chewing away at several tablets. I quickly began scraping pulverized pills out of her mouth, as I mentally ran through my options. My first thought was the ER. My second thought was the pediatrician's nurse line, which I actually dialed but hung up before leaving my callback number. I considered 911, but wanted to skip the ambulance unless necessary. I needed advice. My next thought was the poison control center. But what was the number?

I used my phone to look up the number, and took the pill bottle from Emma. I took Sophie to the bathroom and was using her toothbrush to get more crushed pills from her teeth. I had no idea how many she had ingested.

A very helpful and calm gentleman took my call. He reassured me that of all the medications she could ingest, the Clariten was "not horrible." The tablets are only 10 mg each, and since Emma had just opened the bottle the night before and luckily counted as she picked up the spilled pills from the floor, she could tell me exactly how many Sophie had chewed. I was advised to give her something to eat and drink, and watch her over the next four hours for excess drowsiness or vomiting, neither of which happened thank goodness. I was so afraid that we'd have to rush her to the hospital to have her stomach pumped, so I was incredibly relieved. Actually, I was so relieved she wasn't dying that I didn't even think to ask him about her own bedtime dose of Zyrtec! I decided to skip it for the night, though, although the Clariten did nothing for her allergies last night. In fact, her nose seemed to run more than usual! She didn't seem to have any side effects, and was perfectly normal this morning.

Now, the lessons. Remember these!
1. Know the Poison Control Center phone number. Save it in your cell phone (I did this afterward). Post it on your refrigerator and in your medicine cabinet. If you have a landline, tape it to the phone. 1-800-222-1222
2. Don't count on childproof bottles to be childproof. Little fingers are very dexterous.
3. ALWAYS always always keep dangerous things put up high, higher than you think they need to be.
4. Don't assume your older child did as she was told right away. Kids often have the "it's no big deal, I'll get around to it" attitude. In this case, it WAS a big deal.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tuesday randomness

This made me laugh out loud. Doctor Who + Big Bang Theory = awesomesauce
It's Tuesday. Is it just me, or are Tuesdays usually "blah" days for everyone? My husband left this morning for another trip, E was late for school, and it's rainy. Glee isn't on for another month, and I have no idea what is for dinner tonight. Yes, I realize it's only lunchtime, but still.

I downloaded a new game app for my phone over the weekend. Draw Something. When it works properly, it's lots of fun. Unfortunately, it is lacking a few features - like updating. I'll get notifications that someone has played their turn, but when I open the game... nothing. That is very frustrating. Also with the free version, I was very frustrated that the word choices to draw (you pick from three things to draw for your opponent to guess) were repeating frequently, or just made no sense. It wasn't the freedom from ads that enticed me to upgrade, it was the promise of "over 2000 words to draw!" that got me to tap that link. And for only 99 cents, why not? A surprise bonus was the gift of "coins" (you earn as you play) to allow me to add more colors to my drawing choices. I don't like that there is no chat feature like on the "with Friends" games, but that's okay. We work around it.

Pinterest is really making me impatient for the next season of Doctor Who to begin! And nostalgic for the Ninth Doctor. Thank goodness for Netflix instant! What they say is true - your first doctor is always your favorite.

Our weather this week is gorgeous, temperature wise. High sixties to high seventies all week long! I love these temperatures. Last night while dinner was cooking I went outside and raked the fall and winter's accumuation of leaves out of my flower bed. I also had a close look at my "experiment" - which potted plants survived the winter? This year I had no desire to bring them all into the house - we have nowhere to keep them, and I knew Sophie wouldn't stay out of them! My cactus is definitely gone, and two other plants I've had since I began college. One, the giant, we'll have to wait and see. The leaves are dead, but the branches are still strong and flexible. I'll just wait and see how it does. If it comes back, that is great. I'll have to cut it down quite a bit but it needs that already. If not, then I'm ok with that also. I'd been keeping these around more as an obligation anyway, since I'd had them so long. I did find that many of the bulbs I had are sprouting again!

Monday, March 12, 2012


I am grateful today.

For health


New medicine syringes from the pharmacy

Sick pay

Comfy beds

New pillow


Flexible employers



Spring Break

V8 Splash


Mio orange flavor

DVR and Netflix

PBSKids app with full episodes for middle of the night wakings


Toddler squeals of joy






Thursday, March 8, 2012


As I mentioned earlier in the week, last Friday our area suffered horrible weather and tornadoes. On Wednesday an area to the west of us was devastated by a tornado, with two losing their lives. Then on Friday, my hometown was hit by an F2 tornado.

This was the same storm system that struck when Emma and I were on our way home from watching the movie. Here is what happened to the roof of a store right next to the theater we had just left. We were very lucky in many ways - this was the only real damage to our home area (we live an hour away from my hometown), and Emma and I made it home safely. (All photos in this post are from the Facebook pages of various area news sources - television, newspaper, and community sites.None of them were taken by me.)

Earlier in the afternoon, when the storm system was moving into Tellico Plains, I called my parents to warn them. They were not home, though, but actually closer to my workplace. My mom had just gotten a new car the day before and they had come to pick it up. When the storms were striking their town, they were in the town where I live filling up with gas. They missed the storms completely, and luckily the tornado was nowhere near their house. It did, however, go right through downtown.

Here is a video of the tornado forming.
and here is a video of the aftermath
There are other videos in the "related videos" sidebar on YouTube if you're interested.

This picture has been circulating Facebook, also. It must have been taken near the time the first video was beginning, but from a different angle. Across the highway the vehicle being driven in the first video turns left onto is a shopping center, and behind that is the high school. This photo is another angle, showing the school.

Many families lost their homes, either to outright destruction or to condemnation. The high school was set up as first an overnight shelter, then a serving location to feed the many volunteers who have been working all week to clean up the town. My parents' church escaped with minimal destruction. An ancient tree fell, missing the building. One downstairs kitchen window was blown out, and many shingles were blown off the roof. Half the sanctuary was wet, but they had power, so on Sunday everyone sat on the left side and church was held. Phone service was out for several days. This was the phone company:
Also? That was directly across the street from their church.

These two links have more photos and information about the tornado. It's almost surreal to see, having grown up there.
Guide to Tellico Plains
Monroe County Buzz

The townspeople are so inspiring, too. Instead of "why did this happen to us?" all you see is people coming together to help each other out in times of need. Volunteers are flocking to the area to do manual cleanup or just to take food and water to the workers. Serving schedules are being shared on Facebook like funny photos usually are. I was blessed to grow up in such a strong, loving community.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sick day

I know, yesterday I promised a post about the weather. Exciting, right? Terrifying is more like it. A tornado devastated my hometown, going right through the downtown area.  Thankfully my parents were fine, no damage to their area at all, but many families lost their homes and businesses. Later that night, right after the movie anyway, as Emma and I were driving home, another supercell came through where we were and we were caught in it.

But, it will still have to wait.

Last week my husband was on a business trip to Orlando. His roomate had a sick daughter. My husband comes home, he gets sick. He's been at home since Friday. Then last night, Emma was up at 3:30 with a fever, chills, sore throat, and headache. Then at 4:30, Sophie had her turn. She had a lower fever and was coughing and crying. During all this I started coughing. Today, I'm coughing, hot, cold, and dizzy. Lots of dizzy. Soon I'll be at home and in bed. If I follow their pattern, it won't be long until I have the fever and chills and body aches and everything else along with it. So if you don't here from me for a couple days, that's why.

Stay healthy!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Movie night - The Vow

Emma and I were needing some fun mom-daughter time, so Friday after work I picked her up and we went out just the two of us. We did a little shopping, a little eating, a lot of ice cream-ing, and then went to a movie. She had been dying to see The Vow. Me, not so much. I'm not a fan of that kind of movie and from the commercials it looked ridiculous. But, it's what she wanted to see, so we went.

It actually wasn't bad.

I won't say it's the best movie ever, but she really enjoyed it. "How did you NOT cry, mom?!" (Honestly I was a little too worried about the weather to cry, but that's my next post.) The movie is loosely based on a true story (by loosely, I mean there really is a couple who had a car accident and the wife lost her memory. There's even a nice little update on the real couple at the end. But that's as far as "true" as the story goes.) The movie begins with the accident, and the couple's meeting and romance is told in flashbacks. I was really surprised that it wasn't over the top, annoyingly mushy and ridiculous. I didn't roll my eyes once. I loved the flashback of their wedding, it was such a sweet scene. I was glad the movie showed a (slightly) more realistic version instead of going all Notebook-y with the sappyness. Is sappyness a word? It should be. I was afraid at one point that the writers were going to "borrow" a scene from Ghost (Rachel McAdams' character is a sculptor) and was all prepared to be snarky, but thankfully they didn't go that route at all. She and Channing Tatum just play a cute, fun, loveable couple.

Overall, it's a nice movie. Definitely a girl's night movie - I'd never subject my husband to this. It doesn't have quite the Hollywood cookie-cutter ending, either, which gives it extra points in my mind. It would make a better Netflix night selection that date-night choice, though. And if you have teenage daughters, stock up on tissues before watching.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My eldest daughter

Last week I posted about the difficult part of parenting. It's not all bad, though. In fact, my husband and I are blessed with an amazing older daughter. We are very lucky to have her. So this post is all about the good in her.

She is full of sass and spirit.
She is quick-witted and funny.
She is very adventurous. 
She is thoughtful.
She is creative.
She is talented.
She is intelligent.
She loves her family.
She is empathetic.
She is a great big sister.
She loves to play.
She looks out for Sophie and stands up for her.

I remember one Christmas when she was young, about six or seven years old. She had the usual pile of gifts under the tree, and mid-opening noticed that I only had two. She had given me a necklace that year, and my husband gave me a beautiful ring that I love dearly. I was very happy with my gifts, but she was concerned that I might feel bad not opening as many boxes as she did. So she started bringing me her own gifts to open. That's the kind of person she is.

She is finishing her middle school years this year, and preparing for high school. I was worried a couple years ago, but this year she's really taking ownership of her academics. She'll ask to stay after school during tutoring hours to finish a project, or to get extra help in a class. Even though she has a good grade in her algebra class, she is retaking it next year so that she will understand it better. She's in honors classes and I predict that will continue as she goes through school. She wants to be a journalist, and I know she will be a good one. She is fearless.