Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook...February 22, 2011

FOR TODAY...February 22, 2011

Outside my window...it’s another long day at work so I’m not sure…it was cold and gray last time I checked but I’m hoping winter is loosening her grip on us…I could really use some sunshine and warm temperatures!

I am thinking...about staying home tomorrow and not planning anything for the boys and I on my day off.  Although I can’t remember which day I told Heidi we’d come visit…was that tomorrow?  I guess I should call her!  If so, then THURSDAY we shall make no plans…or was that the day I told Tiffany we should get together?!?  Oh geez, I need a personal assistant!  Help!  Someone set me straight!

I am thankful for...my husband’s new job opportunity.  Not only is it helping him achieve some dreams he has, but it’s providing me a much needed break from my normal routine and giving me an opportunity to spend some quality time with my boys.

From the kitchen...meal planning.  I want to have some meals actually prepared for Dave when he gets home from work for the next few days so that will require some planning on my part.  Not something I’m generally good at it, but Heidi has been giving me pointers.

I am wearing...work clothes but imagining the comfort of crawling into my fuzzy PJ bottoms and cozy t-shirt when I get home. 

I am remembering...very hard to keep a little secret.  It’s so hard though and I’m not very good at it.  I keep forgetting this tidbit is a secret but I promise I’ll keep it under lock and key! 

I am creating...a birthday invite for Nathaniel’s 5th birthday party.  He has requested an “FDNY” party and wants to invite some of his friends from school this year so we decided to have his party up at the fire hall.  Of course it is impossible to come by “FDNY” themed party invites/decorations, so I am creating one.  It will serve the purpose.  I’m hoping my cake-making friend, Karen, can make us the most fabulous FDNY patch (or fire helmet?) cake you’ve ever seen! 

I am going...home soon to three Kings whom I have missed horribly all day!  It was nice of Dave to come into the City to meet me for lunch though so I could see the boys today on this, my long work day.  Plus we got the much needed task of updating my pistol permit (address change and adding pistols) completed so that feels accomplished!

I am reading listening to...Dear John by Nicholas Sparks.  It’s a great story so far…as I’ve said before, I rarely find time to actually read, but utilizing the 45 minute commute to/from work to listen to audio books has afforded me the opportunity to “read” three books lately when actually reading a book takes years otherwise! 

I am hoping...to get rid of this headache.  I am also hoping to enjoy a glass of wine and perhaps a warm bath when I get home tonight (after the kids are in bed, of course) but that may be counterproductive in my first hope of getting rid of my headache…we shall see what the future holds.

I am hearing...silence.  I love silence.  It centers me.  Too much noise and chaos and I feel like my skin is crawling. 

Pondering these words...
Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday. - Don Marquis (1878 - 1937)

Around the house...there are projects I want to start everywhere - purging projects, cleaning projects, organizing projects, creative projects, home projects, yard projects, self-help projects.  You name it….

On my mind...my how-to plan for making this stay-at-home-mom thing a full-time gig.  I would LOVE to spend more time with the boys and do something creative from home that fulfills me but making that happen while still paying the bills is proving more difficult than I had hoped.  So, I will continue to trudge along in my job until I can make something work out that enables me to earn a living for my family while doing something I enjoy.

Noticing that...these questions get harder and harder the later in the day it is.  Perhaps I'm over thinking it?  :) 

One of my favorite things...gum.  I love gum.  Gum is like a flavor funscape.  When I was pregnant with Alex I would buy gum in all sorts of flavors and eat it like it was going out of style.  I craved it, quite literally.  I remember going through an entire package of lemonade gum on a 20 minute drive to my parents because I’d suck the flavor out of one piece, throw it out, and start a new one….so many flavors, so little guilt.  Maybe that’s why Alex eats gum to this day?  Hmmm….

A few plans for the rest of the week:  I have the next few days off from work to play SAHM so I will enjoy them to the fullest.  In addition, I will be celebrating a very special friend’s birthday, taking Alex to the Golisano Children's Hospital's Pediatric Hematology Department to meet with a blood disorder specialist and find some answers as to why he's anemic despite our best efforts to supplement his iron intake, taking Nate to swimming lessons and hopefully planning a sleep over with our favorite people!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

I'm so ready for Spring...even in all its muddy, sloppy, messy glory!

Stop over to Simple Woman's Daybook to read more entries!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Why I refuse to color my hair, even as it becomes painfully obvious that I REALLY need to start coloring my hair.

Growing up I was known to say (on more than one occasion) that "Miss Clairol will be my best friend when I grow up".

This meant two things at the time.  One - that I was certain I would go gray as I grew older since my Paternal Grandmother had gone completely white by her 20s and I knew I wasn't lucky enough to get my mother's genes that led my Abuelita into her 90s with very few gray hairs to speak off.  My mother now follows her lead and has a head of gorgeous black hair with only a few grays mixed in.

I have not been so lucky.  I found my first gray hair in my early twenties.  Staring at that shiny, unacceptable hair in the bathroom mirror, I remember the horror.  It left me shaken for days.  Of course I quickly plucked it and moved on.  In the next several years I would find a spare gray trying to sneak its way into my head of (otherwise) brown hair.  Until recently, my plucking method kept things in check.  Now, however, those pesky grays seem to grow inches long over night.  Just as I think I'm in the clear, 10 more sneak in under cover of darkness.  It's getting out of hand.

So I'm thinking more and more that it's time to succumb to the inevitable.  But I refuse.  Why, you ask?

It's that simple.

I'm afraid of letting go and letting nature take its course.  Right now I seem to have things (mostly) under control.  Every week or so I inspect.  I pluck.  I regain control.  Lately, though, it's becoming every few days.  Or worse.  I find long gray hairs that somehow snuck past my inspection process for months to get to the lengths they are now.  Then it starts becoming unruly.  No longer are these little culprits easy to spot.  Easy to locate.  Easy to pluck.  They're getting more stealthy and blending in more.  Suddenly they're taking over.

It scares me.  If I start dying my hair to hide these nasty creatures then who's to say that in a year, or a few months even, that I won't have completely gray roots SNEAK up on me?!?  At least now I know what I have to contend with.  If I cover them up, they'll keep coming while I ignore the inevitable and before I know it I will have lost the war.  I know that sounds ridiculous, but it's the first straw to that growing older thing that I have no control over, ultimately.  I don't think I have this growing old gracefully thing down.  So, in the meantime, as I'm learning this complex skill...to dye or not to dye?...that is the question.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

He's BACK...

Bolt is back!  Yippee!  I wrote a post a year or so ago to introduce Nathaniel's partner in crime and then out of the blue my Bug grew up and decided he didn't need Bolt, or Radar, or whatever his name was for the day.  I was devastated.  My baby was growing up and his constant sidekick was being kicked to the side.  *sniff*

Well today, just hours after telling me "Mom, I don't call him Bolt anymore...I don't know what his name is now", he came to his senses and said, "Eh, Bolt is back.  I missed him!"

So, with no further ado...I'd like to introduce you to Bolt (before he disappears from Nate's life and/or gets renamed, again!)  :

Bolt is Nathaniel's best buddy these days.  They fight crime together, they rescue princesses together, they run into burning building to save people, pets, and property.  In addition to Boo Bankie and Bedtime Bear, Bolt is Nathaniel's go-to BFF.  (*although since I originally wrote this, Boo Bankie and Bedtime Bear have become a thing of the past but that's a whole other sob story for another time, *sniff*).  Nate brings him everywhere we go, dresses him in fire outfits, even makes sure he gets fed, bathed, and tucked in at night.  Bolt has been seen rescuing Nathaniel from the confines of being tied up as he valiantly chews through the ropes to set Nate free!  Nate even puts him in the front seat of the car and buckles him in on car rides.  It's adorable.  He's a true friend!  

Bolt has taken a beating in his short life, however.  He's been dropped in mud puddles, dragged across the dirty ground on "his leash" and stuffed into the back of a Cozy Coupe to rush off to fire rescues.  Luckily for me (and Nate!) he's 100% washable so that makes for an easy save!

We love you, Bolt!  Glad to have you back and thanks for being a trusty friend to my Bug!   You'll always hold a special place in our hearts!

Friday, February 18, 2011

I believe...

I saw this on Facebook today and it got me thinking....

Then, when I reposted it on Facebook and asked my FB friends what they believe, my BFF reminded me of this little ditty:

"Well, I believe in the soul, the (bleep!), the (bleep!), the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days." -- Bull Durham (1988).

I've always loved those songs (you know the ones) that are more or less a list of things the singer/writer feels strongly about...belief statements, favorite things, statements, truths, declarations.

My favorites are Affirmation by Savage Garden

and Eric Church's Love Your Love the Most

So, I decided to make my own list...this is a work in progress, no doubt, but I have to start somewhere...so off the top of my head:

I believe in treating people the way you want to be treated in return.

I believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt.

I believe in true love, second chances, and happily ever afters.

I believe in always trying to be the best person you can be.

I believe in continuously striving to be better than you are (we're all a work in progress)!

I believe in soul mates and love at first sight.

I believe in giving more than you take, loving more than you hate, praising more than you critique, complimenting more than you complain.

I believe in dreams and bucket lists and goals and wish lists.

I believe a hug or a kiss from your child can heal just about anything.

I believe an "I love you, Mom" has 10x the healing power as above.

I believe in karma and destiny.

I believe good things come to those who wait.

I believe everything really does happen for a reason.

I believe in guardian angels, psychics, spirit guides, ghosts, and Ouija boards.

I believe if you don't have anything nice to say, you shouldn't say anything at all.

I believe in the power of a kind gesture, a gentle word, and a warm smile.

What do you believe?!?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday...Weapon of Mass Destruction

You've heard of flame throwers and the M-16...but did you know about the havoc the infamous WATER SPITTER can wreak on an unsuspecting enemy?  Beware and consider yourself warned!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook...February 15, 2011

FOR TODAY...February 15, 2011
Outside my window...I have no idea.  I started my new modified work schedule today to accommodate Dave's new training schedule for his promotion (!) and I haven't seen outside for 6 hours...in about 4 hours I can let you know...of course it will be dark then as I'm finally driving home, so I doubt I'll have much to report.  Luckily I only have to do these long days for a few weeks (and only sporadically amongst those weeks).

I am thinking...that whatever I ate for lunch did not like me.  I suddenly have heartburn and I can't remember eating anything volatile.  Maybe it was that evil orange?  Who knows...

I am thankful for...five minutes to compose my thoughts (here) now that my grant (that was due today) is done.  I have two more due on Friday that I have to quickly move on to, but for now...I'm enjoying this little break.

From the kitchen...again,when I get home my hubby said he'd have dinner ready for me, but after 12 hours away from my house, I'll want to see my kids first and foremost...dinner will wait.
I am remembering...a list of things I want to do prior to our big cross country train trip to Portland, Oregon in a few weeks (33 days, I believe!) :)  I want to be uber prepared with activities and all the comforts of home while keeping our carry on luggage to a minimum and minimizing (as much as possible!) the clutter that I'll inevitably wind up lugging around even if the boys start out with it.

I am going...to hit the Post Office on my way home to drop off this grant proposal.  Then I'm heading home to snuggle with my boys and relax with my hubby.

I am hoping...to find an alternative to Dave going back to midnights or evenings at work.  If I could use the next few weeks with all my PTO to establish something (freelance writing, grants, ??) I could give him a reprieve from the duty he's been dilligently working for 5 years now...and in return, give myself some much desired time with my (growing much too quickly) boys while providing myself with an opportunity to do something I'd really like and possibly be good at.

I am hearing...office noises.  People chattering, machines running.  Fingers clicking on keyboards.

Pondering these words...
Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.  Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart.  Let me not pass you by in the quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.  Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. –Mary Jean Iron

Also (from my friend "Meredity" at work):
"Parenthood is where your good intentions go to die."   So, true!  The best plans...*sigh*

Around the house...don't know.  Not there :(

On my mind...so many things.  Too many to list here just now.  I wish I could adequately convey them in a profound blog post but that doesn't happen lately.  So the thoughts just bounce around in my head, ping-ponging off one another until they (hopefully!) eventually come out in coherent thoughts and ideas.

Noticing that...if I don't just sit down and crank this out, I get easily distracted and then lose my train of thought and by the time I post this it's disjointed and confusing and doesn't make much sense. 

One of my favorite things...I'm digging my iPod this week.  With all the grants I have due at work it is instrumental in keeping my focus, my sanity, and my deadlines!  I have two more (grants) due this Friday so I will be (quite literally) tethered to this thing for the forseeable future.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  getting my grants done, taking a day off and taking the boys ice skating for the first time (fun!), Nate starts his swimming lessons this weekend, and Tiff & I are planning to take the kids to see Aladdin at one of the local colleges.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...this is my Goddaughter, Lydia.  She (and her two brothers) just turned 10 (!) a month ago and she is something special!  I don't get to see her as much as I used to but I think about her all the time and can't wait until we can be pen pals!  I am pulling together some goodies to send her for scrapbooking (which is something I hope we can do together someday!) - I love you, Lydia!

Stop over to Simple Woman's Daybook and check out other daybook entries here!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Peanut Butter Day!

Last week I was explaining to my 4-year-old how Valentine's Day was coming up and we had to work on the valentines to give out to his friends at school.  In typical Nate-fashion, he said, "Mom, Monday isn't Valentine's Day...It's Peanut Butter Day!"  So today, we celebrate Peanut Butter Day.  The day of the year where you shower those you love with peanut butter, I guess.

So to celebrate PB day, the boys and I met up with Aunt Tiff and Brie at Friendly's to have dinner and indulge in some peanut butter sinfulness.  Yum!

Check out the mound of guilt I had - it's a Hunka Chunka PB Lava Cake and it was SO good...I couldn't even eat it all but you can bet your bottom dollar I (practically) licked every last trace of peanut butter from that bowl.  Friendly's has the best peanut butter!

Anyway, I think Peanut Butter Day will be a tradition in our house.  What better way to show someone how special they are than by sharing a little peanut butter?  I sure do love peanut butter...but not nearly as much as I love my precious boys!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Have to share...

What happens when you take pretzels and delicious little Rolo candies and mush them all together?  Only the most fabulously scrumptious Superbowl (or anytime) treat ever! 

My friend, Leah, introduced me to these.  Sure, everyone probably already knows about these secret little gems, but it was news to me.  And can you say, E-A-S-Y?  

I call these RolGolds (Rolos and Rold Gold Pretzels) but I've seen them all over the internet as Rolo Pretzel TurtlesRolo Pretzel Sandwiches, Rolo Pretzel Cookies, and thousands of other variations (some with pecans, some with Almond M&Ms or Hershey Kisses, but all sounding delicious!)

First, take on the tedious task of unwrapping the entire package of Rolo brand caramel candies.  Or, if you're willing to share a couple, enlist the eagerly "helpful" hands of your wee ones.  

Then lay a bunch of pretzels out on a cookie sheet (In doing this a second time, I'd probably line said cookie sheet with foil first, but for some reason that didn't cross my mind at 10 PM when I did this in preparation of our Superbowl gathering the following day)

Next, lay all those nekkid Rolo candies out on the pretzels and put them in the oven (350 degrees) for about 5 minutes (or less...watch them!)

When they look all ooey gooey like this, smush a second pretzel on top (or put on a pecan, or M&M, depending upon your recipe).  

(My cooking lingo is so fancy, isn't it?)

 Let cool, pry off our cookie sheet and ENJOY!  
Make plenty though - they go fast!  

They are so pop-able and delicious and DANGEROUS to have around the house (so I assure you I won't be making them again anytime soon unless I want to completely throw out any hopes of seeing my pre-kid size ever again!)

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Finally the weather warmed up enough so we could get the kids out sledding today!  It was a perfect day  for it!  After last year's (literal) run-in with a tree, I insisted the boys wear their bike helmets for safety.  

After a couple trips down the hill (and rides back up the hill!), Alex was content to sit at the top at eat the snow while the big kids (Nate & Brie) went down over and over.  He even talked a big game about building a "snow castle" but couldn't maneuver his fingers well enough in those bulky gloves.

Aunt Tiff hung out with her Godson while I took an "emergency" run down the hill to find out what was wrong with Nate as he lay at the bottom of the hill.  As it turns out, you apparently can't get back up the hill while still laying on your sled.  That was Nate's big drama.  

Couple more runs down the hill for Nate and Brie whilst the rest of us hung out up top and ate more snow.  Yum!

And finally, exhaustion set in. 

He was done.  It was too much work!

So, we packed up and headed to Cam's Pizzeria for some delicious (and WARM!) lunch!  
What a fun day!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sunshine via Text Message

Throughout the day, my husband will send me photos/messages of the boys via his cell phone.

It might be a "bad hair day":

a cute face they're making while napping:

"lunch time shenanigans":

something silly they're doing. 

a smile to say "hi" (and brighten my day!):

Or just a random message:

It doesn't matter what it is, it brings a smile to my face and totally makes my day!  These little snippets into their day are just the sunshine I need to get through a normal hum drum day inside the gray walls of my 6x8 bulletin board/cubicle.  I love hearing that they're happy, seeing what they're up to, and knowing that I'm missed while I'm working.  Thanks, honey for thinking of me throughout the day!  I know you don't always openly embrace this "technology crap", but I hope you know how much it means to me!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook...February 1, 2011

FOR TODAY...February 1, 2011

Outside my window...nothing.  Although they are calling for a "storm of historical proportions" tonight and tomorrow.  Supposedly we're going to get a foot or two of snow over a short period of time.  The weatherman are using words like "crippling" and "snowpocalypse" - it all seems awfully dramatic, but we shall see.

I am thinking...about the changes that are going on in life right now.  Dave has been offered a promotion at work which is huge.  I'm so proud of him and happy that he accepted it.  Now I have to make it work for him.  I promised him I would.  I know it will all work out, I just wish I knew how at this point.  I have faith so it will all fall into place.

I am thankful for...a job that is willing to be flexible to work around some of the changes going on.  They haven't answered my proposal to work an alternate schedule while Dave is in training for his promotion, but my direct supervisor (who is fabulous!) has said he'll do what he can to help me out so that's awesome.  We'll see how it works out.  I'd hate to have to quit.  I (generally) like my job and really need the income.

From the kitchen...popcorn.  The boys and I are snuggling on the couch together as I type this watching Despicable Me (or "pickle me" as Alex calls it).  I popped some popcorn for our movie and Nate said "What about the melted butter?!?  Grandma puts melted butter on top".  Thanks, Mom!  :)

I am wearing...my fuzziest PJs.  Warm and cozy.  *sigh*

I am remembering...a long list of things I had wanted to get done tonight.  Between watching the ever growing list of school closings, snuggling with the boys, and finally getting this post up on my blog, it's almost 10 PM and I'm tired so that list will probably have to wait.

I am going...to check on the weather again in a few minutes.  Last I looked it wasn't doing anything, but the weather channel had said it should start up after 10 PM so I'll see if anything is happening.

I am reading...the same books I've been reading and haven't gotten back to in a long time.  I really need to do that.

I am hoping...for a snow day tomorrow.  Or at least a day that I can work here at home and not have to waste my day driving to/from work in horrible weather.  I could really use a snow day tomorrow to get away from the office politics.  I'm much more productive here at home with my boys anyway.

I am hearing...snowmobiles outside, I think.  The sounds of Nate fighting crime in his bedroom.  He's decked out in an army hat, wearing a belt with a sword, harpoon, laser gun and pirate hook stuffed in it, and carrying a pop gun and welder's helmet.  He's well-equipped for any such disaster.

Pondering these words..."As we grow up, we don't lose friends, we just learn who the real ones are" - Unknown

Around the house...mess and chaos.  I desperately need to purge the boys toys and get rid of some of their clutter.

On my mind...some drama that's been going on at work.  One of my very good friends has been squirrelly for more than a week now.  She claims she's not mad at me for anything, that she just has stuff going on, but her actions don't back that up.  She hasn't talked to me in weeks, doesn't return my text messages, yet everything seems hunky dory with our other friends in the office so I'm not sure what I said/did to push her away.  I would think if she truly had things going on that were bothering her she'd want to talk to me, but perhaps I'm over stating my importance.  I tend to do that a lot.  I've had a couple incidences recently where I think I'm more important to a friend than I really am.  I assume we're tight, that they'd confide in me, and then quickly realize that I am not the first, second, third, fourth, or even 115th person they turn to when they have something big to share or a problem to discuss.  It makes me wonder if I'm really that significant to anyone or if I overstate my importance across the board.  It just feeds into my theory of being invisible.  I'll get used to it someday.

Noticing that...I haven't posted anything on my blog in over a week...that's sad.  I've started several things but my thoughts have been so scattered lately that nothing ever gets finished or is up to par when it is.  I have to clear my head so it makes sense.

One of my favorite things...my photo-a-day blog.  It's been a lot easier to keep up on than I thought and I like the journal of my year that it's keeping.

A few plans for the rest of the week: snowstorm that may or may not interfere with my plans to see Heidi & family tomorrow, library, sledding with Tiff & Brie this weekend!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

My handsome Bug.