Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Woodwick Candles and the Past 11 Days

As I sit here writing this post, I am LOVING the scent and SOUND of my Woodwick Candle. It truly sounds like a crackling fire!!! This was an AWESOME stocking stuffer I received!

What have I been doing for the last 11 days? MORE THAN I HAVE WANTED!!
  • Relishing 4 days ALONE IN MY HOUSE before the Holiday travels!
  • Surviving airport drama (I'm terrible on planes! Every time I step on one I think to myself, "Self, this is it!") So when the ENGINE FAILED on the runway and we were towed back to the gate to switch planes I really had to give myself a good pep talk to reboard. The Strong Man and my two angels were depending on me!!
  • MORE KIDDO SICKNESS!!! AGGGGGHHHHH!!! Turns out little Bailey has himself a good case of allergies, which lead to eczema, which he scratched like crazy and got infected. This infection lead to a cracked and bleeding diaper rash. I promise to act "Shocked and Awed" when I find out I was submitted for "Mother of the Year." Until then...I am praising the Lord for calendula and lanolin.
  • Spending Christmas Eve in the Emergency Room because my Dad had what medical professionals term a TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack/Mini-Stroke). A Stroke is a Stroke!!! Please note there will be a future post dedicated to Stroke Education. My dad is 57!!! Everyone needs to know the warning signs.
  • Trying to have a "MERRY CHRISTMAS" in spite of all the medical dramas.
  • Drowning in hazardous, brightly colored, plastic toys from China because Barnum and Bailey are loved on by the BEST family and friends imaginable!
  • Throwing a 1st Birthday Circus Soiree. That is right....my precious little Bailey turned 1!! (He will get his very own Happy Birthday Post shortly that will chronicle his 1st year, the bash, and the best 1st birthday cake you have EVER seen!!! (Thank you Aunt PuppetMaster!!!) Here is a teaser.....

  • Buying a rooftop luggage rack to get us home because we were blessed beyond belief this Christmas Season.
  • Driving 10 1/2 hours with a 3 year old and a 1 year old.
  • Unloading the car and watching Barnum and Bailey delight in all of their new treasures!!!
  • Finding time to just sit and be THANKFUL!!! Thankful for woodwick candles, thankful for the many hours I have clocked working with stroke patients and I recognized the symptoms my dad was having, thankful The PuppetMaster speaks the truth in love, thankful for the incredible blessing of family and friends, and most of all, thankful for the freedom to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Pandora and Myxer

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE when the Circus (aka out of town family) comes to town!! It is when the Circus comes to town that family members get to reconnect and I get to catch up with the times!!!

Thanks to my sweet family I now have custom ring tones and an online radio!!! The Strong Man is not ONE BIT happy regarding the ring tones b/c of his love for Internet Security and some mumbo jumbo about "untrusted" sources. HOWEVER, I am loving them and everything still works!!!

For ring tones click here.





Now....regarding my CUSTOMIZED online radio!!! Talk about a Pandora's Box!!! Check it out here and sign up for yourself!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Animal Training

Bailey was having a little trouble with his Zebra. He ranted and raved to me all day about "strong willed" something or other. I am ALL TO FAMILIAR WITH STRONG WILLED!!

Bailey's perseverance paid off and I hear over and over again that mine will too. Lord, please give me the strength!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Breakfast with Santa

WhereamI? Whoareyou? WhatamIdoing?

My apologies, my apologies!! I cannot believe that it has been over a week since I have last posted. I appreciate all of you being on the edge of your seat.

Between last Monday and this morning I have completed the following: Shop and Drop Day (free babysitting from 9-2!!!), kiddo illness, Adoption Day, more kiddo illness, kiddo gymnastics, Super Hero Birthday party, more kiddo illness, screamed-cried-begged for mercy from a friend, concealed weapons licensing course, small group Christmas party, Circus in town (OH!! I mean dear family), cooked dinner for 17 people (7 of whom spent the night!!)

Right this very second, I am eating the remains of my ice cream with a fork because all of my spoons are dirty and catching the world up on our lives via my blog. I also have the Comcast On Demand Yule Log burning in the fireplace to promote the Christmas Spirit. You should totally check it out!!

Back to Business. Before all of the craziness mentioned above, The Strong Man and I hauled Barnum and Bailey downtown to revel in the Christmas Spirit. I will let you be the judged of how it went.





Prepare yourselves for the image below!! My sweet husband and precious angels were prepping for their mug shots and some stranger comes along and captivates their attention!!! (Sound effects not included!!)



It has been requested I emphasize THAT THIS IS NOT THE STRONG MAN'S BACKSIDE!!!




Now that I have given you images of the setting, I will entice you further with the delectable cuisine!!









All is going well. We are living it up. Then this guy shows up!!!










I asked Bailey what he thought about doing this again next year and this is how he responded.....



OF COURSE!!! He didn't scare me at all!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

New Addition

Our extended circus family has grown!! I proudly present to you my new nephew.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Good Nite Lite

Lord have mercy! If you name it, we have tried it. We have tried EVERYTHING to keep Barnum in bed for more than 9 hours. I have concluded it is NOT in his DNA to sleep more than 9 hours. (This was easily concluded by observing his Daddy, The Strong Man and his Aunt, The Puppet Master. This brother and sister combo are VERY nocturnal and VERY early bird at the same time). It is a blessing and a curse for someone like myself who is in a coma by 9:00 PM and still dead to the world at 8:00 AM (I wish anyway).

Anyhoo.....On to our next endeavor. It is called The Good Nite Lite. Our good friends L, K, & K introduced us to it tonight. I saw the thing first hand, came home and ordered one, and stayed up PAST MY BEDTIME so that I could share this wonder with the world.
My goal with this invention is NOT to gain more hours of sleep from Barnum but for Barnum to gain a little independence. It would be BEYOND my wildest dreams if he played with toys, read books, picked his nose, etc until mommy or daddy came to get him. This would be a DRAMATIC improvement over standing at his door, knocking loudly and yelling, "DADDY! I'M UP!!!" at 5:15 AM.

Results are TBD. I will post back immediately following a two week trial. I'm telling you world.....I feel very optimistic.

Friday, December 5, 2008

She's at it Again

I urge you to check out this AWESOME devotional over at The Internet Cafe. Missy at "It's Almost Naptime" has done a wonderful job!!!

Some of the best advice I have ever gotten was, "Remember, have NO expectations."

Fabulous Display

Hey Bailey!
Mommy found a Fabulous Christmas Display. (Thank you Ugly Christmas Lights!)

As Dr. Phil would say, "Your reaction is Underwhelming."

Monday, December 1, 2008

Zoobilee

To keep Barnum and Bailey up to date on all of their animal training methods, we school them regularly at the zoo.

My favorite part of the giraffe exhibit is their tall doors!! Seriously, I have family members that could use those!



Barnum soooooo wishes he could get his elephants to perform as well as this sweet one. He learned a new trick about bribing them with apples so we will see how that turns out!!




Barnum and Bailey were captivated by the sea lions. Water animals are very foreign to them as we run our show above ground. (It FEELS like we are underwater but we are indeed above ground.)

Now, everything was going swell until we stumbled onto this guy and his buddies.

Apparently they said a little something that just sent my Bailey into a blind rage. Bailey tore into that leopard cage and taught them a thing or two!!

From the looks of it, he loved every minute of it!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Turkey Tales

HAPPY FIRST THANKSGIVING to BAILEY!!!!

What a Happy Thanksgiving we had this year!!! It required a LOT of obsessive planning, which involved and EXCEL spreadsheet, but it was WELL worth it because it went off without a hitch!!!

Due to the raging success, I feel obligated to share my recipes and plans with my devoted imaginary friends.


MENU
Turkey and Gravy
Ham
Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes
Cranberry Salad
Green Beans
Stuffing
Rolls
Dessert Buffet: Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie, Turtle Pie, Apple Pie

Recipes:

Turkey: Fully Cooked Turkey Breast purchased from H-E-B. I was not about to mess with any gizzards, neck, or bones of any kind!! Barf-o-rama!!! I served 10 adults and 8 kids with 2, 2.5 lb breasts and had A TON of leftovers!!!

Ham: Fully Cooked and Glazed Spiral Sliced Ham from a Ham and Meat Company across the street!!! AWESOME!!! I purchased a 9 lb ham and we also had a TON of this left over.

Mashed potatoes. This recipe was SO EASY!! I made it the day before!

Praline Sweet Potatoes. I also made this the day before! YUMMY, YUMMY. They were basically a dessert!!

Cranberry Salad: THANK YOU JT!!!!!
1 bag of fresh cranberries (produce section in the grocery store)
1 large box of cherry jello
1 can of crushed pineapple, drained and save about 1 cup of juice

1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of nuts I used Butter Toffee Pecans

Chop cranberries in food processor. Mix chopped cranberries with 1/2 cup of sugar. Let soak for a couple of hours. Mix 2 cups of hot water with jello. Add 1 cup of cold water with 1 cup of drained pineapple juice. Add cranberries, pineapple and nuts. Refrigerate for several hours. This will make a TON!!!

Green Beans--DOLE that one out to one of your guests!!!

Stuffing: STOVE TOP OF COURSE!!!
Rolls: Sister Schubert's Frozen Yeast Rolls---Yummy in your tummy!!
Dessert Buffet: Whatever Frozen boxed pie you want!!!

My spreadsheet consisted of a timetable for reheating/heating everything. A less compulsive person could just write out a list. ;)


Here you have it!! Thanksgiving made easy so that you can ENJOY your day, family and guests.

My sweet Strong Man, Barnum and Bailey provided me with the PERFECT reward for busting my tale feathers to make their Thanksgiving special. As I headed into the bathroom to sip wine and take a long hot bath I found this:








Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Free Holiday CD


I had to pass this gem on ASAP!! Go here to download Oprah's free Holiday CD. HURRY, HURRY, you only have 48 hours.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Favorite Things

Devoted readers,

It is no secrete that I think Oprah is the devil.

Even though I used to be a devoted follower! So devoted that I skipped two days worth of classes in college dialing the 1-800 number to secure myself four tickets to a live taping!! (The Strong Man would KILL me if he knew that I told the Worldwide Web he went with me!!!) He doesn't obsessively (or even regularly) read my blog so he will never know. Supports it...yes. Reads it...NO.

Current feelings about Oprah aside, I was informed by It's in the details that Oprah's Favorite Things airs TOMORROW!!! Wednesday, November 26, 2008. Word on the Internet is that "she is only showcasing affordable items." I would like to know her definition of "affordable" so I have my DVR set.

That is right! I HAVE MY DVR SET!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Black Friday

This blog is dedicated to all of the Christmas Gift Deal Seekers in my life. I am by NO means an authority subject but I ran across a few gems that could be potentially helpful.

  1. Official site for all 2008 Black Friday Ads
  2. A little history on the madness.
  3. Google. For real! Every decent plan begins with a google search!!
  4. Amazon. Prime Shipping cannot be BEAT!!!
  5. This just in.....Thank you Amazanian for this website!!!

Good luck you bloodhounds!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

That was then...

That was then....


















This is now.....(10 months later)



I am CrAzY about these two!! I am also CrAzY that we still have my husband's bachelor pad couch!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tooth Tissues

Sweet Barnum. Sweet, sweet Barnum. Little Barnum is SO sweet that I have to fight really hard to keep the teeth in his little head!!! You see, he was born without the enamel on his top four teeth. This was discovered right before his 1st Birthday. As an OCD 1st Time Mom, I had PLENTY of time to stare, pick, prod, make mental notes, thoroughly research all mental notes and consult experts regarding my research and mental notes. Oh how exhausting I was!!! (That is right devoted readers....WAS!!)


One day as I looked down at my sweet little Barnum, I noticed "wear" marks on his top two teeth. In a fit of hysteria, I hauled my precious baby to the dentist. I was SICK! After all, this child was nursed EXCLUSIVELY for 11 months!! However, I felt that b/c of my child's teeth people would view me as the "mom that props the bottle." I cried. I lost sleep. I cried some more. I was defenseless. All I wanted was for my baby to be immune from life's problems. (Little did I know that these teeth were going to be the LEAST of his problems in the next year to come!!!)


Back to the dentist. An ANGEL of a man!! We started a preventative plan involving varnish fluoride treatments every three months. However, the doc prepared me that we would more than likely end up needing to cap his top four teeth.


I researched myself silly and in the meantime my sil gave me an article on Xylitol. It was all natural and what did I have to lose? In typical OCD fashion, I bought and implemented EVERY Xylitol product I could get my hands on.


I am happy to report that I have SOOOOOO gotten a clear perspective on baby teeth. Yes, the stint with paralysis helped!! But also, sweet, sweet Barnum is now 3 years old with every one of his natural teeth. At our recent dental visit we were given the good news that CAPS ARE NOT IN OUR FUTURE!!! I have the Lord, crazy regimented dental hygiene and XYLITOL to thank!!


PARENTS OUT THERE....PLEASE make note of these AWESOME products!! Tooth Tissues can be used BEFORE your little baby even has teeth. Oh what I would have given to know this with Barnum! Praise the Lord I know it now and can use them with little Bailey. FYI...Bailey is 10 months old and the proud owner of 14 teeth!!! He LOVES his little Tooth Tissues!!






Also, Xyli-Tots Lollies make the PERFECT sweet reward for your older kiddos!! I was introduced to these last month by our dentist and was happy to find them at our local Health Food Store.

Here is to healthy teeth and gums!!



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The WorldWide Web

A couple of weeks ago the facilitator of my Bible study emailed me an AMAZING-INCREDIBLE devotional she happened onto through a google search. Her search was "days are long, years are short." She was referred to a blog by Mama Hen. Mama Hen was encouraging her readers to check out a devotional she loved at this Internet Cafe. This particular devotional was written by one AWESOME lady who the Lord has put in my life through a Mommies and Mentors group.

SOOOOOOOOO. All of that to say.....a search on the WORLDWIDE WEB tied three local yokels together!

This devotion is an encouraging reminder of how well and how much we are loved by our Heavenly Father. It is written by an author who has been blessed with captivating eloquence!! I urge you to check out more of Missy at her blog. I know that it will make you want "to clap your snotty hands together!!!"

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Barnum!!!

Three years old. My baby is three years old!! It absolutely amazes me!!
It has been a quick and CrAzY three years full of long days, even longer nights and much love. I can't even begin to describe the happiness his two dimples bring me!! Barnum, you are a heavenly treasure here on earth! What a privilege it is to be your mommy!! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE you and I will ALWAYS be in your corner!! God Bless you baby boy!!




A post regarding ALL of the Birthday mayhem will follow shortly!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Barnum Meets Annabelle

My little Barnum will be turning 3 in three days!! 3 years old!! What a wild 3 years it has been! In prepping for his BIG day, I have been sifting through old pictures. I stumbled across a series of four that MUST be shared. This series is from Barnum's first meeting with my friend MOT's Annabelle. He was 3 months old at the time.

Huh? You want us to hold hands?


OK. Gimme your hand.


LOOK MOM!! I'm holding her hand.
GOOD GRIEF!!! SHE ISN'T REAL!!
Barnum began demonstrating his dramatic genius at the ripe old age of 3 MONTHS!!!
OK, OK. In his defense, this was a pretty mean trick his mommy and MOT played on him! MOT's idea of course ;)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Working Uninterrupted

I have been holed up in my bedroom ALL day trying to attain 20 hours of continuing education. I must obtain these hours by Nov. 30 in order to keep my State and National SLP licenses. Due to the gravity of this situation, The Strong Man agreed to take the day off so that he could wrangle the kids while I worked uninterrupted.

So far I have NOT clocked one CEU hour but I HAVE: plucked my eyebrows, taken a leisurely bath, dyed my hair, surfed the Internet and reorganized my closet. It is now 6:oo PM. I'm feeling CRUSHED by the pressure but I have to blog this VIP matter first!!


While surfing Etsy (and Lord help me if you don't know about Etsy!!), I stumbled onto this:





The cutest Felt Circus Elephant you've EVER SEEN!!! Thank you Tangarang for the DIY instructions!!! Get to sewing people!! Sweet Bailey's 1st Circus Spectacular is in 1 1/2 months!! There will be one on EVERY TABLE!! Do you hear ME? EVERY TABLE!!

Tangarang also linked to this which I found interesting. Today was my 1st quick glimpse at her site but it was definitely marked as a fave and I look forward to getting back soon.

Now back to the CEU's.....