Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Only My Mom

Last evening TJ and I had a "mommy and son" date night at home. Ayron was at an auction for work so TJ and I took the opportunity to hang out. I turned off the TV, and turned on the radio and we worked on some Christmas projects.

As we were cleaning up our mess, TJ ran into the living room to dance, did a funky move, and fell on his stomach. He came back into the kitchen and told me, "I hurt my tummy." I thought he fell on a toy and bruised himself. I gave it a quick kiss and sent him back to dancing.

About 20 minutes later my mom stopped by with a blood pressure cuff (thank you cruddy family genetics for my blood pressure issues). I had just taken the cuff off when TJ walked over to me and I noticed he was bright red. I thought maybe he was trying to poo. As I was getting ready to usher him into the potty, he spewed. I mean like a volcano (sorry if you have a weak stomach). My mom stood up, had a helpless look on her face and then just started to laugh. I am not kidding you. My mom, one of the most compassionate people on the earth, stood there and laughed as my son covered me in a pile of half digested cheese, bologna and crackers. I then began to gag (I was covered and SOAKED), which only caused my mom to laugh harder!

It took us both a minute to get our wits about us. I was finally able to stand up and usher TJ into the bathroom. Mom stripped us both down and threw us in the shower, the whole time, you guessed it, LAUGHING! I managed to send 2 texts to Ayron before getting in the shower informing him to get home quick and help! By the time we got out of the shower, Ayron was already home and cleaning up the mess. We did have one causality in the process, our satellite remote! We happened to have an old one and called dish network to have them walk us through programing it. The tech was like, "why not just use the old one?" Ayron said, "My son just puked all over it and frankly, I don't want to touch it." The tech said, "Oh.....gross."

We spent the rest of the evening (till close to midnight) trying to comfort TJ (who got sick 3 more times, but thankfully we were prepared and had a bucket right by him). I still can't believe my mom laughed. All she could tell Ayron was, "I just started laughing." Great mothering skills there mom :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Never Grow Up

I recently checked out Taylor Swifts new cd from the library. I am really not a big Taylor Swift fan, but wanted to see what the hype was all about. I came across the song Never Grow Up and while I know Taylor doesn't have a child or who her motivation was when singing this song, it made me think of TJ.

Never Grow Up

Your little hands wrapped around my finger
And, it's so quiet in the world tonight
You're little eyelids flutter cause you're dreaming
So, I tuck you in
Turn on your favorite night light

To you, everything's funny
You got nothing to regret
I'd give all I had, honey
If you could stay like that

Oh, darling don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up
Just stay this little
Oh, darling don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up
It can stay this simple
I won't let nobody hurt you, won't let no one break your heart
And no one will desert you
Just try to never grow up, and never grow up

You're in the car on the way to the movies
And, you're mortified
Your mom's dropping you off
At fourteen, there's just so much you can't do
And you can't wait to move out someday and call your own shots
But, don't make her drop you off around the block
Remember that she's getting older too
And don't lose the way that you dance around in your PJ's getting ready for school

Oh, darling don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up
Just stay this little
Oh, darling don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up
It can stay this simple
And no one's ever burned you
Nothing's ever left you scarred
And even though you want to
Just try to never grow up

Take pictures in your mind of your childhood room
Memorize what it sounded like when your dad gets home
Remember the footsteps, remember the words said
And all your little brother's favorite songs
I just realized everything I had is someday gonna be gone
So, here I am in my new apartment
In a big city, they just dropped me off
It's so much colder than I thought it would be
So, I tucked myself in and turned my night light on

Wish I'd never grown up
I wish I'd never grown up
Oh, I don't wanna grow up
Wish I'd never grown up
Could still be little

Oh, I don't wanna grow up
Wish I'd never grown up
It could still be simple

Oh, darling don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up
Just stay this little
Oh, darling don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up

It can stay this simple
I won't let nobody hurt you
Won't let no one break your heart
And even you want to
Please, try to never grow up

Oh, whoa
Don't you ever grow up
Oh, whoa
Never grow up
Just never grow up

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

1 Cookie, 2 Ways

I stumbled across an amazing cookie recipe. I made it for the first time last night and well, darn it, they are tasty! Here is my proof. My mom, who NEVER eats raw cookie dough, was caught sticking her finger into the batter! I tried the first version last night and you better believe I am going to attempt to make the second version tonight! So here it is!

Version 1: Vanilla with Chocolate Chunks

Ingredients

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
2-1/4 cups flour
1 pkg. (12 oz.) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks

Directions

HEAT oven to 375°F.

BEAT butter, sugars, dry pudding mix and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Add eggs and baking soda; mix well. Gradually beat in flour. Stir in chocolate.

DROP teaspoonfuls of dough, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheets.

BAKE 8 to 10 min. or until golden brown. Cool 3 min. on baking sheets. Remove to wire racks. Cool completely.

My Changes
I used real butter. I only ever have real butter in the house around the holidays. Nothing makes the best pies, cookies, desserts like real butter!

I started by dropping the cookie dough on the sheet, but decided that the "peaks" were getting brown faster than the rest of the cookie. I then started rolling the dough into balls before placing them on the cookie sheet. This allowed for a more even browning on the cookie.

Next time I might actually use chocolate chips instead of the chunks. Don't get me wrong, I love chocolate as much as the next gal, but some of the cookies were full of chunks and hardly any batter.

Version #2: Chocolate with White Chocolate Chunks

Ingredients

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 (3.9 ounce) package JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
1 (6 ounce) package BAKER'S White

Directions

HEAT oven to 350 degrees F.
BEAT butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Add dry pudding mix; beat until well blended. Add eggs and baking soda; mix well. Gradually add flour, beating after each addition until well blended. Stir in chocolate.

DROP tablespoons of dough, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheets.

BAKE 10 to 12 min. or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 1 min. on baking sheets; remove to wire racks. Cool completely.

My Changes

I DO NOT like white chocolate. Heck, it's not even really chocolate! I have decided to use Reese's peanut butter chips instead. Who doesn't like chocolate and peanut butter?!

I plan on rolling the dough into balls before baking like I did with the "vanilla" version.


Ayron loves the holidays because that is the time I really hit the baking hard. I will try just about any cookie, pie, cake recipe I can find. He is always my guinea pig and it's not like he minds!

Monday, November 22, 2010

4 Years Have Passed

In some ways 4 years seems like a lot of time. Other times, it seems like such a short span. 4 years. 1460 days, or 35,040 hours, or 2,102,400 minutes. December 7th will always hold a special (is it odd to call it special?) day in our hearts. December 7th is the day that everything changed.

http://amrac.blogspot.com/2006/12/terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-day.html

Every year I blog an update on or around December 7th. Partially for the semi driver, who witnessed the crash, who I hope still checks in, and mostly for me. Now that this blog automatically uploads to facebook, I really can't be sure who reads it. Heck, Nikki might find it, or McKenna (my niece), Cindy (Nikki's mother), or any other host of family and friends. While I am not going to seek them out and say, "Hey read this." I am not going to try to hide it from them either.

For those of you who didn't know about the accident, or had never read my updates, here they are, in chronological order.


http://amrac.blogspot.com/2006/12/randomness.html
http://amrac.blogspot.com/2006/12/amen.html
http://amrac.blogspot.com/2006/12/amen-part-ii.html
http://amrac.blogspot.com/2006/12/devery.html
http://amrac.blogspot.com/2006/12/moving-on-up.html
http://amrac.blogspot.com/2006/12/moving-on-uperdown-part-ii.html
http://amrac.blogspot.com/2007/12/what-year.html
http://amrac.blogspot.com/2008/12/how-long.html

This year has brought about more changes for our family and yet some things will stay the same. Nikki and Phil were able to settle a lawsuit with the trucking company. It is nice for her to have some closure. While the whole process drug out a year longer than we had originally planned, it is nice to know that it is over, to a point. Nikki will always have to live with the results from that day, but her attitude about the situation could not be better.

Thursday night I spent the evening browsing ads with Nikki and just talking. I missed doing that and it was nice to just chit chat with her. She showed me the file boxes her attorney had given her, and the pictures from that day. I was awe struck when she showed me the picture of the semi. The inside picture of her car got me. You could see blood on the seat and I had a flashback to that day. We had just picked up my two oldest nieces from school and when were pulling out of the school, we saw the wrecker with Nikki's car on it. I had to swallow my vomit. Seeing that picture caused the same reaction. We ended the evening by watching a video the attorney had made for the mediation. We all went to the basement (Nikki, Phil, the girls, Tom, Jo, My mom, Ayron, Taylor, and Myself) and watched the 20 minute video. It was amazing to see the accident reconstruction and how everything actually played out that day. I was doing fine until I looked over and saw my two nieces crying, then I lost it! I think the only one who didn't get misty eyed watching the video was Nikki! Hearing her old voice got me too!

I am still amazed that she is here. No one should have survived that accident. Thank goodness for her hard headed and stubborn personality! I jokingly held up a picture of the front end of the semi and told my mom, "Look what Nikki's head can do to a Mack truck! What can your head do?" Nikki laughed, and I knew then that it was ok to go ahead and finish this post.

Holiday Hoopla

Growing up, Christmas was an affair at our house. The tree, decorations, and lights went up the day after Thanksgiving. Dad would climb into the attic and pass down those terrible looking red plastic candles, curse while we untangled the lights, and mutter under his breath while we fluffed the artificial tree in an effort to make it look like it hadn't been shoved in the back of the shed for a year. Christmas music would be played and mom's carmel corn making process would begin. But that was ages ago.

I have to wonder what began to dampen our holiday spirit. My paternal grandmother died right before Christmas my freshman year in high school. The holiday's just weren't the same. We didn't drive up to her house after Christmas Eve service and listen for Santa on the police scanner. Then 3 years later my parents got divorced, and a year after that by maternal grandfather passed away. It seemed like the holidays were only a curse.

All of that still seems like ages ago, and I have my holiday spirit back, but it's a new spirit. I no longer freak out about buying the perfect gift for everyone. Why? Since when is finding the "it" gift the reason for the season? I know my view changed on December 6, 2006. That is the day my sister in law was involved in a horrible accident (I will blog my annual update later). We realized that Christmas wasn't about the presents, but about spending time together as a family. Even if it meant eating crappy hospital food.

2 years ago, Ayron and I (along with TJ) were asked to play Joseph, Mary, and Baby Jesus at our New Hopes Christmas Eve service. It truly was a life changing moment. Sure, we were on stage, but we were in our own little world and something hit home. The holiday is about HIM not us.

Our family (both Ayron's family and mine) has decided to shift the focus of the holidays. We spend time together, simple as that. Sure, there are some small gifts involved, but nothing like it used to be. I am grateful for that. I didn't want my children growing up thinking that toys were a staple at Christmas. We keep the budget REALLY small (I will probably only spend around $150 - $200 for everything) and just enjoy the time together. I happy that my kids will grow up not knowing any different.

I am also happy because I no longer spend the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas frantically searching sales and wrapping presents. I spend my time with my son making ornaments and baking cookies.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Adventures in Cleaning

I often wonder why I even bother cleaning my house. With a husband, son, and dog, it hardly stays clean. Last night I decided to tackle the beast we call an "office." The goal is to turn it into Isabella's room, so I figured last night was as good of a night as any to attempt to unearth the desk. Tj is normally a great helper at cleaning, not last night. Here is a photo (and video) show of our adventures in the office last night.


The "Before" shot. I can't remember the last time I actually was able to work at that desk.


What's wrong with this picture? Scooter actually whines when TJ shuts himself in the cage.


I had been talking to TJ and realized that he wasn't responding. I turned around and realized that he had disappeared. I found him in the living room watching tv.

The "after" shot. I ended up finding a big box worth of things that I need to scrapbook, now if only I could find the time!

video

My next project is the closet in this room and the hall closet. Maybe I will attempt one of those tonight, or maybe I will be happy that the office has been cleaned and the desk has been found.

Dancing Duo

Today Taylor is at my friends house (Leah). Leah has a son who is 6 weeks older than Taylor and they always have a blast together. I love when Leah watches TJ because I get a ton of videos and pictures throughout the day. Here is what I have gotten so far.


video video

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Second Super Supper

I just made a great dinner, I don't mean to toot my own horn, I'm just saying....it was quick, easy, and soooo tasty!!!

1 C. veggie broth (I used Chicken)
1 T. butter/margarine
1 garlic clove chopped
4 green onions, cut on the bias
3/4 C. quick cook couscous
1/2 red pepper, sliced thinly (I left this out)
1 jar (6.5oz) marinated artichoke hearts
1 pkg. of cooked chicken strips
Feta Cheese
Olives

In a small sauce pan combine the broth, butter, garlic, and green onions. Bring to a boil. Add in couscous and remove from heat. Let sit for 5 minutes.

While the couscous is cooking, saute the red peppers in 2 T. of the artichoke marinade (just the juice, not the artichokes...yet). Add in the artichokes and cooked chicken along with 1 T. more of the marinade. "Cook" until heated through.

Put a spoonful of the couscous on a plate and top with the veggie/chicken mixture. Top with feta cheese and olives (to taste). We also drizzled Tuscan House Italian dressing over the entire thing.

This meal took all of 8 minutes to make! The most time consuming part was waiting for the broth to boil so I could add in the couscous!

The original recipe said it served 4, but I would say it serves 2 1/2. We had a good amount of the veggie/chicken mixture left over, but not a lot of couscous. It was DELICIOUS!!! My proof? TJ ate it!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

DWTS What The Heck?!

I am a fan of Dancing With the Stars. While I am a bit confused as to why Bristol Palin made it to the finals, I am not as outraged as this guy.

I do wonder if she would have made it as far as she has, or even on the show, if her last name wasn't Palin and if her famous mother wasn't always captured in the audience.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

No More "F's"

I read this article this morning and I am slightly torn.

At my program, we also don't give "F's." Our mentality is this, we don't' get the world's best students, and that is ok. Often times our students will "give up" and take an "F" so that they don't have to put forth any effort. Not on my time!

You have to prove to me you understand the material before we move you on to the next assignment/chapter/class, etc. In fact, our students are not allowed to move on in their work until they earn a 70% on their work. If we allowed our students to fail, they would fail on purpose just to get done with the class. I have a freshman now who keeps asking, 'Can't you just let me fail this math class so I can move on?' Heck no! If he fails it now, he's just going to have to retake it at his public high school. At most public schools the student would fail and no one would bat an eye. Thus he would be pushed along in the system having never actually learned the basic math skills. Not happening with me! I always tell my students that learning is like building a house. You have to have a good foundation before I will let you put up your walls, roof, etc.

We don't give "I's." Our kids have to keep working on their class and complete it before we will move them on. If that means we have to rewrite some of our curriculum, then we do just that. If we need to alter our teaching approach, we do just that.

I do agree with the line about how the focus is on sports and not academics in some high schools. The term is STUDENT athlete, guess which comes first in my mind? I am not against sports, don't get me wrong. But I don't think a student should be passed on in a class just so they can play in Friday's game. What are we teaching the students then? It's ok to give up on your academic work because sports will always be there for you? How many athletes are able to actually turn pro and be successful? I always tell people that I don't care if TJ get's a sports scholarship or is asked to go pro, but I will stress the importance of his education first. Take the scholarship and get a degree, then go pro. That way, should an injury occur, he will have a decent education to fall back on!

I am curious what other teachers and/or parents think about the no "F's" thing. "F's" were not acceptable in my home growing up. I remember bringing home a "C" in Algebra II and fearing the wrath of my parents. I struggled so hard in the class and was happy with a "C," but my parents knew that I wasn't grasping something and wouldn't let me move on until I had retaken that semester. So the next year I retook that semester, and I am thankful I did. I was able to keep my academic honors diploma and actually understand the material! So what do you think? Are "F's" gone forever?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Super Supper

I am not one for following recipes, unless I am baking. We have been in a dinner rut lately so last week I spent a day surfing the web seeking inspiration for this weeks meals. I played around with a recipe that was called "Easy, Cheesy Tortellini Bake." The name is a bit misleading because, well, you never actually BAKE the thing!

20 oz package of your favorite refrigerated tortellini
26 oz jar of your favorite marinara sauce
16 oz jar of your favorite Alfredo sauce
12 oz of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed "dry"
Mozzarella Cheese
Parmesan Cheese (I used the shredded kind and it worked well)

Cook the tortellini according the package directions. While the pasta is cooking, in a sauce pan mix together the two different sauces and the spinach. Bring the sauce to a simmer and let it simmer until it is hot all the way through.

Drain the pasta and mix with the sauce. Pour into a greased pan (couldn't tell you what size of casserole dish I used....I know it was bigger than an 8x8 though!). Top with a mixture of the mozzarella and Parmesan. Mix enough cheese to cover the top of the pasta.

Broil the casserole for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the top turns a nice golden brown.

To be honest, when I started mixing the sauces I became worried. My morning sickness is back and just the thought of a marinara mixed with an Alfredo sent me running for the bathroom. It was delicious! I did take a picture of the dish, but am currently too lazy to get the camera, plug it in, download the picture, upload the picture to the blog, yada yada.

This made enough for 4 people with enough left overs for maybe 2 people. Keep in mind I have a husband who is close to 7 feet tall and could out eat an army! We served it with a nice salad and it made an awesome dinner!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Some People Shouldn't Be Parents

I was just forwarded an email. Normally I hate forwards, having to scan through all the email addresses of the recipients before me, just to get to a stupid "Email this to everyone you know within the next hour and something good will happen" crud annoys me. This one cracks me up.

I don't know how many of these pictures were retouched, but I am willing to guess some were NOT retouched. I am not claiming to be an excellent parent and I never will be, but I am pretty sure I would rank better on a parenting scale than most of these people.


Are they protecting him from rain, wind, bugs, or fresh air?

I firmly believe in the caption of this photo.

This is wrong on SOOO many levels. She is WAY to young, terrified (check out her face), not wearing eye or ear protection...Father of the year award right there.

Why couldn't they just walk and push the stroller?
Does this zoo lack the "Don't Feed The Animals" sign?

I am speechless. The fact that the dad put the trunk cover up as a sun shade is a nice touch.


Maybe he is craving beer cheese soup?


So if they had twins would they have put the other child in the other side compartment?


I just pray she is a better driver than Jimmi Heselden.


Makes you wonder if he was conceived after watching that video...or maybe his parents "star" in the movie?


While your helmet will keep your head from being smashed, I'm pretty that coat hood won't do anything for your child.

I winced when I saw this picture. The caption got me too.


YIKES!


At a loss for words on this one.


Am I the only one who noticed the poor girls look of horror!



































Monday, November 08, 2010

$6 Education

Yesterday Ayron and I decided we wanted to go experience the liquidation sale at the old K's Merchandise building. It was not worth the $6 they charged us to get in! We asked Ayron's parents if they wanted to go along and since my mother in law was curious they came along.

We walked around the maze of craziness and pirated DVD's. We came to a both that was selling incense and smoking devices. One case had a HUGE sign that read, "For Tobacco Smoking Only." I looked at the display and laughed. It was full of crack pipes. I looked at JoEllen and said, "Tobacco my butt!" She said, "Well they are pretty, what are they?" I looked at Ayron, looked at Joellen and said, "crack pipes." JoEllen calmly replied, "Well I guess I've always wondered what a crack pipe would look like, now I know."

We didn't end up buying anything, but decided the whole trip wasn't a busy because we were able to education JoEllen on the use of a crack pipe.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Messy House

I may not have a spotless house, but I will always have time to play with my children.

I may postpone sweeping just so I can rub my dog's tummy.

I will always have dirty dishes in the sink, but my family will never go hungry.

I may have dust on my entertainment center, but there will be no dust on my books.

I will always have dog nose prints and finger prints on my door, but I will have a son (and dog) who love to discuss the great outdoors.

There will always be laundry to do, but there will never be a shortage of cuddle time for my children.

There will always be toys scattered around the room, but the "tickle monster" will never go away.

I will never have a perfectly spotless house, but I will always strive to have a happy family.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Traditional Family

Ok, so my crazy family is anything but traditional, but I like the craziness, keeps me on my toes! That being said, we had an ultrasound yesterday and it was confirmed. Baby #2 is a girl. Our mid wife had a sneaking suspicion from the start she was actually a "she" because this pregnancy has been so different from my first pregnancy. Last ultrasound she was able to catch a glimpse, but would only give us a 75% girl rating. Yesterday she gave us a 99% (she never gives 100%) rating. Seems we were the third girl ultrasound in a row they had that day and ours was the most obvious.

While I don't have a scanner, so I can't be one of those annoying pregnant ladies that posts every single ultrasound shot, just know that I do have all the ultrasound shots and 3 shots that prove she is a she.

The ultrasound also showed me measuring a week ahead of where I thought I was. They took the date based on her femur measurement, so we could just be having another tall child and her height is throwing off my due date. At this rate, looks like mid March we will have our new bundle of joy.

I jokingly texted my dad that I would have a typical family: older son, younger daughter, and dumb dog. He offered to send us his whiny Siamese cat, Morty. We declined (that cat whines worse than a two year old who was just told "No.").

I used to think keeping the name a secret would be a good idea, but I failed. After last appointment I told several people (including her namesake) the girl name we had picked out. We wanted to keep up the idea of naming her after someone like we did with TJ. Taylor's middle name, Josiah, is a family name on my side. TJ happened to be Grandpa Reeves's name. It worked perfectly. This time around, we struggled with a first name. Took us about a week (I know, that's not that long, but we picked Taylor's name in about 20 seconds, we just knew). So, come March, Isabella Dawn Reeves will be joining our family.

Isabella was the only girls name we could decide on. We can call her Izzy or Bella for short (and while I am a Grey's Anatomy fan, that was not our thinking). Dawn comes from one of my best friends Dawn Yingling. Dawn is a crazy character who lives life to the fullest and can make anyone laugh. She has been there for me since the 6th grade and it just seemed fitting to name Isabella after her. Dawn has already started in on creating her special nickname for Isabella.

Dawn wanted to call her "Mimi" (kinda like a mini me), but I shot that one down. All I could picture was that clown looking lady off of the Drew Carey show. So somehow we settled on Lizard. I have no clue how she came up with Lizard, but Lizard it is. Keep in mind Dawn (along with the help of my sister) came up with Tater Monkey for TJ, so I guess Lizard isn't that far out there.

So there, there is my annoying pregnancy blog for the month.