Thursday, April 30, 2009

I'm Still Here

OK, I have not died, yet, but I have been really busy at work, while also planning and packing for our drive to NC tomorrow, then flight to Texas on Saturday for a week stay with my Aunt, Uncle and Grandma! Bill is driving up with me tomorrow, but then he is flying back to AL on Sat., while the kids and I fly on to TX. Yes, I know, my head is spinning trying to keep up with where I need to be and when.....

Since I will be flying solo with the kids, I have been packing and re-packing to get as much as I can under 50lbs and into only two suitcases so I can handle it all. Whew! Thank goodness for carriers, eh? JR will be living in my Mei Tai for most of Saturday! Hopefully he will be happy about that.

I'll be using a backpack as my diaper bag, since that will be the easiest kind of bag to carry with the carrier and holding Little Dude's hand and whatever food we buy at the airport for the plane ride. There is no way I'm paying for the food they offer on the plane! If I have to pay too much for food, I'm going to at least get some awesome muffins from Starbucks, or something!

Little Dude has his own little backpack as his "carry on" and I will be stuffing it full of toys, coloring books and the sippy cups (though the cups have to be empty to get through security...grrr...and I'll have to pay way too much for water once past the gates, but that will be OK, so long as I can take them on the plane later. There is NO WAY I'm letting Little Dude have an ice filled glass of soda on the plane, trust me, that will not end nicely for the soda, him, the plane seat, and most likely me, too.

Oh, and I just realized I have to find some of my light blankets for nursing JR..I'm kinda wishing I had splurged on a Hooter Hider nursing cover; the structured shape would have been nice, but all I can do is pray I'm not sitting next to a guy AND that JR decides to leave the blanket alone, instead of playing with it as usual...oh goodness, but oh well.

Anyways, wish me luck! I'm going to have my laptop with me, since I have some tasks for work to keep up with, so I will also do a little blogging while I'm gone. But honestly? I'm going to be enjoying spending time with my Grandma, and letting her spend time with her great-grandsons! AND I am crazy excited to see my awesome cousins, Kurt and Erika and my most wonderful Aunt Marla and Uncle Bruce, so if I don't get on here much you will just have to excuse me. I'll be back to my regular updating on Mother's Day.

And just so you all know, I'll be in NC til the middle/end of June-Yay! So be prepared to be forced into seeing pictures of my house, Eddie the dog and my roses.



Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I've got a walker



JR is all about standing now. This morning he was standing in his crib to greet me when I came to get him. He stands at the train table so he can be Godzilla to Little Dude's tracks. He can now stand as he pulls on my legs for attention.

And this morning he took a step. Between the couch and coffee table. And he made it!

I am so excited for him, and at the same time, so very sad to see little bits of his babyhood morph into toddlerhood.



Monday, April 27, 2009

I Don't Know You

I don't know many of you, even though I have great conversations and friendships and bonds with you. We share stories, share events, and share our hearts.

This weekend a lot of my online friends were able to get together and walk in the March of Dimes for Team James and Jake. I wish I lived nearby, and could have gone to walk, too. But you know? Our hearts were connected, because even though we don't know each other, we are friends.

*photo from Beth at I Should Be Folding Laundry**

And my world is a better place, for not knowing you. Thank you for listening to my heart, and for sharing yours with me.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Bit Of Fresh Air

I grew up in Barnardsville, NC, a little, little town west of Asheville in the backwoods mountains. How little was it? Well, the house across from the volunteer fire dept burnt down before they could all get there to help, because everyone lived out in the mountains. The post office, grocery store, one diner, one school and skate rink were all on the main road, which was also the only paved road when we first moved to the area from Texas.

We had gineas, goats, horses, cows, chickens. We even had one chicken that got steped on by one of the goats and I was able to help my Dad try to brace the leg. Chicken hobbled forever. I got to drink goat's milk and eat fresh, free range eggs (and yes, amazinly, how the chickens are raised does make the egg taste better!)

I also got to play in a creek, and sometimes salamanders would come out of our faucet because we had a fresh spring that we got our water from. It was a really cool way to grow up, though I did miss not having any kids or friends that lived nearby.

My husband and I now own a home near Raleigh, NC, which is not a little little town, but we were lucky enough to find a great home with a large size lot against the woods in a little area south of Raleigh. We have a rodeo, yet shopping is nearby. We can see the starts for miles at night, yet there are neighborhood kids for them to playwith.

I can't have chickens for fresh eggs, but I'm not really missing the rooster waking me up at 5am. We are pretty lucky, and I am so glad my kids will be able to someday camp out in the back yard, roast marshmellows, and look at the stars.

So, when I came across The Fresh Air Fund, it definatly pulled a string on my heart. I have never lived in the inner city, but living for the last year in an apt in Alabama can make me relate a little. There is not a yard to play in, and unless we go to the park, there are not any outdoor toys, trees, or climbing gyms for my kids. Which is OK, because we do have parks nearby, and someday we will be back home, where we have swings, and trees, leaf piles, and, oh yea, the sky full of stars. But I realize now, how there are so many city kids that may have never seen a sky full of stars.

The Fresh Air Fund is a charity where you can sign up as a host family for an inner city kid of New York City's toughest neighborhods, and invite them to come out to stay with you so they can experience the fresh air of country or small community living. Or, if you happen to live in the inner city of New York, you can sign your kids up for a Fresh Air Camp.

The only draw back to hosting is that you have to live in one of these states, which I don't, which does make me a little sad. Howevier, if you still want to help, the Fresh Air Fund actually covers all travel costs for the children that get the Fresh Air Vacations, so they are always in need of donations to help fund transportation for the children from the city to the host family, so there are great ways to help, even if you can't actually bring a child to your backyard to watch the stars.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Suze Orman, AVON and a Giveaway!

Wow, yesterday was just simply amazing. I was honored to sit in on panel of my favorite mom bloggers, like Mom Generations, 5 Minutes for Mom, CutieBootyCakes, and more, as we got to pick Suze Orman's brain for the latest and greatest personal financial advice!

Here is a brief recap:


*How do you go about incorporating your company, and when do you do it?
Answer-If you Inc. you need to start in small steps. Start as a sub chapter F and then a C chapter once you take on staff so you can save on taxes. However, the best advice is to start as a sole proprietor and to hold off on Inc. until you have grown in size and have staff.

*What are the biggest mistakes a new, start up business could make, and how can they avoid those mistakes?
Answer-Not understanding the amount of money to start a business. The working capitol needed to continue is huge and should be factored in during the "research" part of developing your business into reality. Another big mistake is to not close shop when you continue to lose money. If you hang on to a business idea that is failing, all you are doing is flushing away money. Walk away with what money and investment you can save. ALSO, pay yourself first. You are the most important employee, and should be paid FIRST. Then pay everything else. A huge mistake is for business owners, esp. women, to take care of their staff and everything else before they pay their paycheck. You are in business to make money, and you won't do that unless you pay yourself!

*What is the best use for extra income, either from bonuses or paychecks, right now?
Answer-Normally, Suze would recommend paying down debt; however, in our current economy, she says SAVE IT! Credit Card companies are actually starting to close down accounts on people so they decrease their risk; so, if you get laid off and and don't have an 8 month emergency savings, you may find yourself in a hard squeeze if the credit cards you thought you could use in such an emergency are closed. So, right now, save all the extra money you can.

*What is the best way to finance a business? Self finance? Bank finance? And how do you get a bank to back you right now?

Answer-
NEVER self finance unless you can afford to still live your lifestyle unburdened should you lose your whole investment. The best way to find investors is the put together all the research of your idea, get the money costs, the staff costs, the hows, whys and wheres all worked out and into a professional presentation before you hit up investors for money. Going to the bank, clean up your credit and have investors backing you. It never hurts to also show the bank your business plan so they can feel more confident in your success as well.

*What if you live paycheck to paycheck? How do you save an emergency fund?
Answer-Play financial unemployment-Force yourself to put money aside first thing and you'll be amazed at how you make your money stretch. When you open a SaveYourSelf account and put $100 dollars each month in, at the end of the year you will get another $100 added to your account, that you can immediately withdraw. You can go to www.saveyourself.com for more info.

I wish I could go through all the great questions the fabulous mom blogger panel got to discuss with Suze, but there were so many it would take many many posts to go through them! You can; however, go to twitter,follow me, of course, and search the #suze tweets (or is it twitterings?) to see the questions and answers Twittered in real time yesterday. I think between all of us mom bloggers present we were able to cover everything asked and answered! Also, the most awesome part EVER is that Suze DOES answer questions you send her over Twitter, so if you missed out on submitting questions yesterday, you can still get them answered by following @SuzeOrmanShow!

Suze was also so amazing and motivating, and I have to thank the wonderful people at Mom Select and AVON for putting together this interview and inviting me to be on the panel. I really felt like a fish out of water, sharing the discussion with the fantastic group of top mom bloggers AND Suze Orman!

I mean, really, I watch her on Oprah! Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would get to talk to her and ask her my financial questions!

Here are a last few tidbits of advice I learned:
*Go to www.savingforcollege.com for THE BEST advice on the different state 529 college savings plans for your family. NEVER use Universal life insurance. Suze has a fit over anyone using those. Just so you know.

*Suze is a huge fan of AVON, a company that allows women to really become powerful in their own business with no risk of losing investment. You can learn more about AVON here: http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/avon/37724/ and if you would like to get involved with AVON you can go here: http://www.youravon.com/REPSuite/become_a_rep.page?p=PRBlg423&c=PRBlg423


Time for a GIVEAWAY!
You should always have a living will in place; that is the best and only way to protect tomorrow today. Usually it costs a lot of money to set it up; however, for the next 48 hours, you can get one done FOR FREE buy going to www.suzeorman.com,click on the "Will & Trust link in the blue bar on the left hand side of the home page. Click on the orange Gift Code button and enter "Moms Rule" into the gift code field. Click the green Submit button and follow the instructions to redeem your free copy of the Will & Trust Kit. This Give Code will be valid until 12:00PM EST on Saturday, April 25th.

So yes, I learned A LOT yesterday, talking with Suze Orman! Is there any advice, financial or otherwise, that has really made a positive impact on your life, business and money management? Suze's greatest advcie to me? 1-You must be powerful in your money to be powerful in your life and 2-"Being a mom is the hardest job there is-if you can do that, you can do anything."

Have a great weekend; I'll be busy working on my Will & Trust after downloading my free kit!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Audio Cast with Suze Orman

I am so very excited! From 10am to 11am EDT I will get to interview Suze Orman about financial guidance when starting up your own business! Any questions you have about personal finance, entrepreneurship, starting a business, taxes, ANYTHING, email me or leave a comment here and in a few hours when the interview starts I will ask as many as I can! Here are a few I am planning on asking:

*How do you incorporate your company? Do you do it at all? Do you wait until you are a certain size before incorporating?

*What is the best way to set up a new, start up company for tax purposes?

*What kinds of jobs do you feel might be great entrepreneurship opportunities for the next few years? Computers? Daycare?

*Outside of self financing, what are some ways someone could raise capitol? What is a good way to get a bank's backing right now?

*What are the biggest mistakes a new, start up business could make and how can they avoid those mistakes?

*how do you go from talking about ideas and details to actually doing it? What are some of the first steps you need to take to turn your idea into a live business?

I will be tweeting some of the Q&A as i can, and then you can check back here over the weekend for the answers to the financial questions asked!


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day 2009

**HUGE UPDATE**



Do you have any financial questions about starting your own business, investing, and saving in our current economy? Well I am excited to share that TOMORROW from 10am to 11am EDT I will be part of a team that gets to interview highly respected financial advisor, Suze Orman!! You can submit questions here and I'll ask as many as I am able, or you can submit questions via Twitter by following Suze @suzeormanshow! Suze Orman's financial advice and the Q&A session I will be a part of will be turned into an infomercial for AVON, so go ahead and ask your personal finance questions, and who knows, you might be just a few adjustments away from financial freedom.

Follow me on Twitter as well, @MicheZ. I will also be Twittering the audio cast live and submitting my (and your) questions.



It is Earth Day! I love Earth Day; it is like Valentine's Day and Mother's Day wrapped into one for our lovely Mother Nature.

Since today is for celebration of the Earth, there are a lot of fun activities to join in! Baskin Robbins usually gives out a free small cone of ice cream, too; however, I haven't found any information on whether they are doing it this year. It is still worth the drive to go see though, because, hey, it's ice cream! What better way to celebrate the Earth than by eating some ice cream on a lovely spring day? UPDATE***It seems I have Baskin Robbins and Ben & Jerry's mixed up-Ben & Jerry's gives out the icecream for their birthday(yesterday), not Earth Day, so no wonder I couldn't find anything when I tried to look it up...lol)**

What am I the most excited about this Earth Day? The movie, Earth. It is a heart warming story that follows three animal families as they journey across our planet, brought to you by the creative minds behind Planet Earth in a fashion of emotion, beauty and intrigue that only Disney can do. And if you go see the movie in the theaters, the amazing Disney company will plant a tree for each ticket sold during opening week!

Have kids and don't think you can go to the movies? Well, never fear, a lot of movie theaters have summer programs that will be starting soon where kids of all ages (babies too!) are welcome. The movies are usually free or a few dollars, and they play movies that have been out for a few months (so by the time the programs start, Earth should be one of the movies showing! Whoo hoo!)

Here are a few of the sites to check out:

Regal Entertainment Theaters
AMC Movie Theaters

Ask your local theater, too. They may have a community kid time they offer and you just don't realize! And a great activity to get some energy out after the movie? Plant a little garden with your kids! They will love digging in the dirt, and Bonnie Bell has eco friendly, bio degradable containers, so you can introduce your children to caring for our Earth.

Happy Earth Day!


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I Lift My Lamp Beside The Golden Door

We went to the park yesterday, and I met a young mom (I say young, she was probably only a little younger than me-now I feel old). Anyways, we started talking in that way that lonely moms desperately need, throwing off all caution of strangers and differences, bonding merely over the fact that we had kids, and needed to talk to another adult.

As we talked, I learned that she was living in a hotel, while her husband was here working for the next few weeks, and that in a few months they will start house hunting to move here. From California. Where all their family is. Where they grew up, and where all their kids were born. They will be more then a 15 hour drive away; they will have a far enough drive that they probably won't ever be driving back. And with 3 children, and a tight budget, they probably won't be flying back anytime soon for visits.

As we talked, I found myself listening more than talking, giving her the support she desperatly needed, along with directions to all the local fun stuff they will have here in their new home. As I saw her starting to get excited about Mobile, I started reflecting back on some advice another friend, Cathy, had given me when I had explained how Bill and I were not sure where we might end up, being transfered here permenatly or getting to go back to NC:

Abraham trusted in the Lord, and gave up everything he knew, left his land and home, and followed where the Lord guided him to go, doing what he had to do because he trusted God would look out for him, and God did and greatly blessed him.

When Cathy first told me of Abraham's strength and faith, I had brushed it off, not really making the connection.

But when I met Susan yesterday at the park, I realized that perhaps God is showing me a sign. That while I am in between, and a bit of a traveler, not knowing where we will end up, not able to make plans for the future, and having to just do what is best for our family as the choices come, perhaps I can be a tool of comfort for others going through similar events. Perhaps, this is my chance to truly offer comfort to others in need, and lend myself as a staff for them to lean on and find supportive rest.

So, if you need an ear to complain to, to contemplate with, and unload a bit of your anxiety, I'll be at the park at 11.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Funk

So I have been in a funk lately. Being down here in AL has been getting to me, and honestly I am not quite sure how to get over it. See, I had planned to be back in NC, where our house, friends, and family are, by the end of May. That was THE PLAN. However, things have changed, and it looks like we will be down here until next fall, or maybe even longer.

And while I am oh so glad my hubby still has his job, and I am oh so excited that he has been given more oportunity, more responsiblity, and more leadership within the company he works for, I am little (OK, a lot) depressed over the fact that it also means we will be living down here longer.

Not that AL is bad, it isn't. I have even found a couple of great play groups that I joined, have made a couple of great friends here, and I enjoy the idea of having a pool this summer with the kids.

But then, I also found some super cute curtains that I think would be perfect in our living room. Back home. In NC. And while I could just buy them, and hang on to them and see, I have enough windows that I would be covering to really make the purchase a huge amount of my savings to spend, which I don't want to do unless the said curtains compliment my furnature the way I think they would. SIGH.

The curtains aren't really a big deal in the long run. It's just curtains, and we have gone 5 years without curtains, so it really isn't a huge thing.

It is the not being in my house that is getting to me. That is the big thing. Not having my furnature, and my stuff-my shoes! My CAN OPENER (I hate the one here, I'm in a fight with it at the moment because it refuses to open cans without ripping the said can sides to shreds first...). And my yard with all the great yard toys for the boys. The slide we were going to build a ladder for! I am missing all that stuff especially hard right now, as I realize it will be even longer than I thought before we can go and enjoy our home, friends, and family again.

But, I am really grateful I get to be down here with Bill, because though it would be OK if we had to be apart, being together is so much better; it would just be so sad for him to miss out on the boys AND I would be missing him way more than I am missing our home.

Besides, home is where ever we are, right? So, for now and a little longer, home is here in AL and that is OK, because we are together.

And because I'm just going to go ahead and buy the curtains. If they don't work in the living room, I'm pretty sure they would work in our bedroom, esp with the color paint I want to put in there as soon as we get back....

Friday, April 17, 2009

Finding The Genius

This is my favorite quote in the whole world:

Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.

Albert Einstein

During those times I am feeling off, put down, and, well, like I just am not good at what I am trying to do, I remember this quote.

There are many things we can all do, and many things we can't, but if we only judge ourselves by the things we can't, we will surely miss the things we can.



I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I myself will be working on being the fish that perfects swimming, instead of the fish trying to climb a tree. Wish me luck.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rustic In A Watery Way

This Week's You Capture was to photograph something Rustic. Well, honestly, I am not quite sure what a rustic photo would be...For me, Rustic brings up images of cowboys, country stores, cow fields, farming and good old fashioned work. But, since I live in the middle of Mobile, AL, which is a rather large city, I didn't have much opportunity to take any "rustic" photos.

But, I did take these a few weeks ago, when we had all those huge storms and RAIN:

This is the sunset over the parking lot of a restaurant in town. Kinda a Rustic feel to it, don't you think?
This is where we parked-note we are a good ways from the restaurant AND there is water...
Here is the actual restaurant (My MIL, Patty, was watching the kids for us). We were going to just leave and eat somewhere else when we saw all the water; however, we saw A LOT of people wading through the water to get to Felix's, so we figured it MUST be good. So we made the swim too.

Any my sweet hubby; oh yes, in a very old fashioned (dare I say Rustic? ) way, he was my knight and carried me through the water all the way to the restaurant. Note how high his pants are rolled up? YEA, the water was DEEP in some spots, and some of the more daring people actually parked their cars in the deep water, though most of those cars were actually big trucks.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Children Know

We have all had those moments where you just want to crawl under a rock and die, but parents experience them in ways that are unique, and frustrating.

Oh yea, you know what I am talking about; those moments.

The ones where the children KNOW they can become tornadoes of destruction, unleashing their wrath in waves of terror more fickle than the Greek and Roman Gods.

Oh yea, they throw...TANTRUMS, and ususally they save the worst ones for the times when you are in public.

And try as we might to remember that ALL kids do this- push the limits, test the waters, and just see how much they can do before mom's head explodes and you really do SkinThemAlive, it is hard to not feel the stress and pressure that all the other adults give as YOUR little bundle of joy and light of your life proceed to kick your shins, scream, and claw at your legs, all because you asked if they would like to have some water and NOIDONTHAVEJUICE.

While all this is happening, it is terribly hard to not wonder if everyone is judging you, shaking their heads because you don't spank, or because you do, or because you try to reason with the little joys, or because you don't. And don't worry, they are, and for all those reasons.

You just have to realize, no matter how you parent, others will judge, others will disagree and others WILL TELL YOU IN NOT SO NICE WAYS. But you know what? So long as you are lovingly disciplining (for more on what I mean, you can ask-but in my opinion spanking shouldn't happen past the diaper stage and before the steady walking stage, and even then only in the most dire of needs-like running in the road or something-)your little ones, and doing your best to turn them into rational, well behaved, self sufficient, hard working adults with positive self images, then you are doing a great job. And for those tantrum moments? Just scoop up your joy and leave the area, and your child will eventually calm down, even if that means having to leave and go out to the car.

And for all the strangers that are staring at YOU? Well, I find that just throwing myself into a tantrum as well helps to move them along. Most people don't like to be around crazy people, and most of us on this crazy journey have come to realize, Parents ARE Crazy People, so we might as well use it to our advantage.



Monday, April 13, 2009

My Lucky 13

My baby is rapidly turning into a toddler and watching the transformation makes my heart swell and my uterus cry; time just goes by too quickly. Here is my little JR, 10 months old today:





He has started standing, taking steps, and gosh has he got a little personality going already! He loves a good meal- in fact, he loves any meal; has a constant smile (except when SCREAMING) and he knows just what kind of shy face to make in order to melt hearts.

My baby is approaching toddlerhood.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Rebirth

Today is so hard on kids, young adults and well, everyone. Beyond the normal bullying and teasing kids can go through, the internet has opened a whole new door to tormenting and judging from peers. It is scary, as parents, to realize we need to do our best to arm our children with the self esteem, attitude and skills to fight back against the ills they will face as they journey through this world. And to follow our own advice and keep our self esteem in tack, as well.

Regardless of faith or not, everyday offers a chance of rebirth, of starting over, and getting on a straight path. Today is a great day to leave whatever demon you are fighting behind; a decision only you can make.

As a Catholic, I believe that Jesus was reborn today, and on Easter in 2004 I was born into the Christian Faith. Though I am not always strong in my faith, I try to be, and I hope I can pass that strength in God on to my children and grandchildren.

Here is a video Nell over at Casual Friday Everyday shared with me. The visual aspects are touching and a great reminder that though there are many demons out there to knock us off our path, God will always be there to pick us up, help us through the dark days, months, years. The greatest gift of faith is knowing that we can get through anything because of Him.
Happy Easter, everyone!




Friday, April 10, 2009

March Of Dimes

I had something else I was going to write today, but at the moment, nothing seems as important as remembering Maddie, James and Jake, Caitlin, Sophia and Lucas, and Sawyer all the little babies I have known either in real life or through the blog world who died from complications or premature birth.

Maddie went to heaven on this Tuesday, April 7th, at the tender age of 17 months and my heart is broken for her parents and family.

There are two places you can donate to help support March of Dimes teams that are online friends of mine:

For James and Jake For Maddie

You can find events here as well; since I don't know where we will be living (either in AL or NC, I can't sign up quite yet, but as it gets closer I will either be walking in the Spanish Fort, AL walk, or the Triangle Area, NC walk. I hope I get to see some of you there, and though I don't have much to donate, almost every penny goes to research and help for preventing death from premature birth. Find out more at the March of Dimes site: www.marchofdimes.com




Thursday, April 9, 2009

You Capture Fun

Photobucket

This week's "You Capture" was to find something fun. Well, with two little boys, that was a pretty easy task. I picked this picture because it wasn't posed, Little Dude was having TONS of fun, and I captured a sweet little smile that has just a little mischievousness showing through:



I also love this one because it shows Little Dude joyfully throwing a ball in a field of mud; is there anything more fun than that? For a toddler, I think not.




So what did You Capture this week?


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Someday

So yesterday we drove to Pennsacola, FL to take my mother in law to the airport. Since we were in the area, we went ahead and made a side trip on the way home to go visit the National Air and Naval Museum again. It was, again, super fun and we made it around the the second floor this time, where there was a ton of NASA exhibits. SUPER cool!

As we left, Little Dude threw a fit. Partly he was hungry, partly he was tired, and partly he just didn't want to leave. So, he threw himself down, I had to drag him out of there, literally, and THANK GOD for my Mei Tai having pockets because I had to use both hands to get Little Dude to come with me. I swear some people were debating wheather I was kidnapping him-he was fighting me tooth and nail the whole way, and I even have a bite mark to prove it.

After finally getting Little Dude strapped into the car, and JR buckled into his seat-both screaming at the top of their lungs- I took a moment to lean against the car. I was dreading the hour drive I still had to get back to Mobile, and reall dreading even getting in the car my two terrors, er, bundles of joy, when an old woman started to get into the car next to mine. She came over, and I thought for sure I was going to get Parenting Advice, but instead she gave me this little gem:

"Someday you'll look back and wish these boys hadn't grown up so fast."

And then she smiled and walked on, leaving me very thoughtful.

Though yesterday I was ready to thrash my little bundle of toddler joy, I was quickly reminded that even these tough tough parenting moments will soon pass and become just memories. And, gasp, I might actually wish I were back in them, so I better enjoy them while I can.



Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bye, Patty!

I am so sad today; my awesome mother in law, Patty, is going home. I have been spoiled for two weeks with all her help and companionship, so now I really don't know what I will do after she leaves...well, actually I guess I will get back to keeping up with all the blogs I enjoy reading! And I am sure my boss will be happy for me to take more work, should I find myself with too much "free" time!

In all seriousness though, I have had the best two weeks with Patty, and having her head home makes me miss our home all the more. I wish we were all going back to NC together, but it looks like we will be down here in AL for a bit longer. Sigh.

And it is nice here; we have made some friends, and I joined a few playgroups, but gosh, I miss our yard, our kitchen, our dog, and all our great friends and family.

But on the flip side, Bill still has a job, which is something to celebrate since his industry (construction) has taken a huge hit. Pay cuts were handed out last week to start this week, so our budget has tightened significantly, but I still can't complain. Many people were laid off, and I'd rather have a pay cut than no pay any day!

Well, we are off to the airport!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Time Off

My awesome mother in law, Patty, has been here for two weeks to visit and hang out, so Bill and I took advantage of having a baby sitter in town and left town. That's right! We went away for a few days and headed over to Biloxi, MS. It was TONS of fun! We stayed at the Beau Rivage, ate at Mary Mahoney's-to die for broiled crab claws-and we tore up the roulette table. Though we have to thank the kids for that-we played their birthdays and kept winning! Whoo hoo!

Although it was weird to not have the kids hanging on us, it sure was FUN to have an adult weekend away. AND I was finally not pregnant, so I could enjoy the free drinks the casinos hand out while you gamble. While we were in Vegas I missed out, so it was fun to order drinks!

I'll get pictures up later this week; we had an amazing view from our hotel. Anyways, sorry for the absence, but I did have a good excuse, don't you think?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Make A Bird Feeder


I love hands on activities for kids, and I was so lucky to work in a fabulous day care where we did all kinds of creative, fun, learning activities with the children. So, I have been excited to start doing a lot of the ones I especially enjoyed with my own children. This one is easy, simple, and environment AND budget friendly since everything is edible or out of the yard. Without further ado, here is how to make a bird feeder with your little ones:




Now that spring is here, I hope you guys have lots of fun with this activity; it can be done outside or inside and has minimal mess involved. Also, find a great place near some of your windows, if possible, to hang the feeder, then you can enjoy watching the birds with your child! This activity can also be a more involved learning activity for older kids, as you point out different kinds of birds, their colors, what kinds of homes they make-you can take this as far as your child shows interest and even make a great homeschooling lesson on birds out of it. Super fun, super easy, and that is what Works For Me Wednesday! Check out We Are THAT Family for more great tips!!