Thursday, February 28, 2008


I finally added a blogroll for all the feeds I read! :) phew, that was time consuming... I probably spend just as much time reading blogs as I do writing them. I am completely obsessed with the blogosphere as of late. Which is seriously interfering with my packing ;) But there are sooo many good blogs out there! If you don't want to get addicted, please don't check any of them out ;)

The cool thing I've noticed lately is all the giveaways! What a great way to get traffic to your blog and who doesn't love giveaways? What a wonderful way to promote a product or business. I will totally do this once I set up my Etsy shop! I started it almost a year ago with every intention of listing lots of cute crocheted items for baby... but then got sidetracked *with* babies ;) But I plan to give it a real go here once we get settled after the big move. I'll be in a much better position to do it then.

5 Minutes for Mom had a great list of giveaways on their blog, so check out that link. And Judith Shakespeare is giving away a really cool T-shirt on her site: The Only Thing I Know
Happy Blogging!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Myspace and kids...

Funny that I had just blogged about letting my 10-year-old daughter have a myspace page... and feeling that it was harmless if I kept close tabs on her. I had also downloaded the myspace IM program for her. And that was the mistake. I set it up so that only people on her friends list could contact her through the IM program. Somehow 2 people that she didn't know sent her IM's.

Now, when she first started using computers at school I sat her down and talked to her about entering/giving out personal information. When we set her up with a laptop and wireless internet connection in her room I had another discussion with her about never giving out any personal information. When I set up her myspace page I had yet another talk with her about never giving out any personal information. I mean I *really* had a talk with her on all these occasions and explained to her the dangers of giving out information. Also, on all these occasions we discussed *never* talking with anyone online that she didn't know.

Thank God I was checking her myspace page and messages every day. I noticed that she had a friend on her friend's list that I didn't know, and didn't approve. And this friend was from the state that we are moving to. I knew she didn't know this person. I immediately went upstairs to ask her about it - and of course as soon as I walked in the room I could see her close out of something on the computer. So I asked her about this friend, and after much nonsense talk I finally got out of her that it was someone she was talking to through the IM program. She believed that it was another girl of 11 years old who lived close to the town we are moving to. Which meant that she had divulged this location to this person. This person IM'd her, which means that somehow they got around the block on it (supposedly only people on her friends list could IM her)... so it could not have been some 11 year old girl. Luckily I had the IM program set up to log IMs. I looked through their conversation and saw that she had given out her name, her age, where she lived (just the state) and where she was moving to (and yes, she actually named the city, which is a very small town)! While I was going through her IM logs she got an IM from some supposedly 17 year old boy in Jamaica, who she had apparently been talking to when I came up to her room. She knew that what she was doing was wrong. She had also given that boy her name, age and state and on top of that had asked him what else he wanted to know!

Needless to say, I pulled her wireless card out of the laptop faster than you can say wireless. And unfortunately for her I am deleting her myspace page. And I'm deleting the IM programs from her computer. She's not getting the wireless card back until after we move. And when we move her computer will be downstairs within constant supervision.

The horrible thing is that I thought I was being careful. I thought I was checking up on her enough. I thought she would be able to handle herself appropriately. I thought I had talked to her enough and stressed to her enough the importance of not giving out personal info and not talking to people she didn't know. This really goes to show that you just can't be too careful. And I need to do much more work with her on being careful in this world.

Tuesday Toot

All of my Tuesday Toots (for the next couple of weeks anyway) will probably have something to do with moving. Surprise. This week I actually have a list of accomplishments! :)

  1. I got a bazillion phone calls made! Called all the utilities for the new place and called all the utilities here. Called all the places to change our address or filled out online forms...
  2. And... I got almost all the dishes done!!! Now that one is the most amazing. OK, I still have one thing left to wash - the roaster that's been sitting there since I don't even want to say when... If it doesn't fit in the dishwasher it takes me a while to get to it.
  3. And... I got at least 2 loads of laundry done!
  4. And... I was showered and dressed by 10am! (I think I'd been in my pjs since friday).

I had a busy day! Now I really need to get my butt in gear and start *really* packing! We have maybe close to 40 boxes packed. I'm guessing we'll have at least 100 total (and that's a modest estimate). 8 Days and counting!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Princess, Princess, Princess

Let me just start by saying how much I really hate all the princess stuff out there. And how much my 10-year-old daughter loves it, and wants everything princess she sees in the store... Of course I flat out refuse to buy her any of that garbage. I'm sure she feels slighted. But I really think it's awful. I am all for my daughter having confidence in herself and I hope to try to foster that in her - but all the princess stuff goes well beyond the realm of self-confidence. I do not want to raise a spoiled brat princess. Of course she thinks we won't let her get any of that crap because we don't think she deserves it or something - and every time we go to the store I have to explain to her that we don't think she's bad, we just hate the idea behind the princess stuff...

Imagine my dismay when I find she's changed her myspace name to ~*~*~Princess~*~*~ and her headline was even worse it said something really close to "I'm a princess and na na na you're not" or maybe it was "don't you wish you were" - anyway it was awful!

I know, I know - you're all thinking what is a 10-year-old doing with a myspace page? In January, when we were visiting relatives in Iowa, her two older sisters and several of her cousins were gathered around the comupter checking their myspace pages... they are all just a little older than my daughter. I figured it was a good way for her to stay in touch with them. I just explained to her that I was doing something special for her that was a privelige. I set her account to private and I check up on her everyday. I'm very viligant about that. I've told her that I need to approve any friend requests, and that she is not to communicate with anyone she does not know. If she does, I will cancel her account immediately.

Anyway- back to the princess... so how did I handle it? I showed my husband, and he said send her a message, tell her I said she can't use that as her name... what a guy :) I don't have to be the bad guy this time ;)... so I sent her a myspace message: to "Ms Princess... dad does not want you to be using the name princess. we don't think it's cute. find something original. and I really didn't like your headline - it makes you seem way too full of yourself. You should try to be modest. I don't want you sending the wrong message to people. Remember, this is a privilege." (I had to take on some of it - didn't want to blame dad for everything) She had her name and headline changed within 5 minutes. It was really close to bedtime, and when she was going to bed I could tell she was mad and put off with us. I had a nice talk with her and re-explained the whole princess thing... explained humility and being humble... because really, I know that she is a good person and not full of herself in that way. As a matter of fact, when I emailed her teacher about us moving to Iowa, she emailed back about how much she would miss M, and how wonderful a student and person she was, said she had a big heart. And I know that is her. She does have a big heart. I just hope she gets over the Princess fad soon! I think that when we get to our new small town Iowa home I will get involved with the community and drag her with me to do some kind of charity work or just some kind of volunteer work in the community.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Is it Funny??

D's new phrase... "Is it funny?" Been going strong for at least a week now. Not quite sure where he got it from - either from us telling him he's not funny when he's doing something naughty (like spitting out his food) - or he's just now getting to the point where he recognizes when something is funny in a cartoon. He just started laughing at certain points in his favorite cartoons - like when Dorie starts talking Whale in Finding Nemo (I think that was the first time I heard him laugh at a cartoon)...

Anyway, his new phrase is getting quite annoying. Imagine this: 8+ hour trip of "Is it funny? Is it funny? Is it funny? Is it funny?" He would just be giving it up after a 20 minute stint when someone would laugh, which would renew his interest in the phrase and he'd be on it again for another 20.... then he'd forget about it until he spit out his cookie or squirted his juice... "Is it funny? Is it funny? Is it funny?"

I do think he's really testing out the concept. When he laughs at the tv he will turn and ask "Is it funny?" When we got stranded in a motel in Iowa this weekend he was messing around with the dresser, hiding his cars in the drawers and such and finally pinched his poor fingers in a drawer. My husband asked him "Is it funny?" The poor little guy shook his head and said "No, not funny!"

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday

A 2fer this time.

Windblown Ice A big copycat ;)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tuesday Toot

Small toot today ;) I actually accomplished quite a few small things today. I finally ran my dishwasher!!! :) I'm so behind on household stuff. I've been so preoccupied with trying to find a place to rent for when we move (2 weeks!!). Finding places in small towns really sucks!!

The funny thing is that the place I tooted about finding a couple of weeks ago went out of the running and then came back in and that is where we're going. We sent my sister-in-law to go look at it - she gave a horrible report, but did not take any pictures like she was supposed to. If she would have it would have saved us soooo much trouble. The landlord had not yet had a chance to clean, paint and re-carpet. So we ended up taking the 8+ hour trip (even longer with the aftermath of the Iowa blizzard coming home) to look at a few things for ourselves. The one we were really going to look at was not good. We were desperate enough to think about purchasing a home on contract until we had enough time to get financing... anyway, that house was in a town that was pretty run down. Not to mention the cracked foundation, the very cheaply done remodels, the fact that the house appeared to be seperating... ugh... the worst was the bubba neighbor who leaned out the top of his broken door with a beer and then let his dogs out... I would so not want my children to live next door to a guy like that...
The second house we looked at I wouldn't even let my dogs live in. That town was even more run down. There was boarded up houses less than a block away. It was beyond horrible. And that's what we imagined when we got the report from my sister-in-law about the house she went to look at. Out of desperation we called that lady back and asked her if we could go look at that house. Of course it was short notice, so she couldn't meet us and said that we could go peek in and see the downstairs. It was not bad. We could tell that really it just needed cleaned up. The previous tennent had left a few things, and it really just needed to be cleaned up and repainted. The floors weren't even that bad. It was certainly in liveable condition. Unlike the other two we looked at. And the town is so worth it. The town has a really neat business district. There are no run down neighborhoods in the town! I'm really happy that we went down ourselves and looked at the place. We ended up getting stuck in the area because of the blizzard and were able to meet with the lady and look at the place. So everything turned out great.
We found out today that the place was surely ours and so my other accomplishments were getting the utilities called and getting the school called! :) Small things, but good things :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Who's the Ham???

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Tax Refund! Woo Hoo!!

There's almost nothing better than the empty splurge when you get your tax refund! :)

We went right out to Wal-Mart and spent about $850.00!!! OK, so $600 was on this here laptop that I'm typing on. Which I didn't really need, but it's pretty nice. And it's got Windows Vista Home *premium* vs. home basic (they all suck, but at least the premium has the cool switch between windows that they were advertising and I was so disappointed about not having when we got our new desktop last year with tax refund).

But the rest was $100 on movies and $100 on pure junk. The one necessity that we did manage to get in the cart was dog food. And of course snacks for M to take to school. Because we know that's an absolute necessity. The junk was all sweets! We had a shopping cart full of movies and candy! But ya just gotta splurge once in a while. We ate the sweets all the way home :) D ate about 2 1/2 of those new oreo cookie cake things - his eyes started glazing over and he couldn't finish the last one... I ate 3 of the oreos, a cream horn and a reeses peanut butter cup and then felt like I was going to barf! So naughty of me. I switched to Diet Coke a few weeks ago, in a sad attempt at losing some baby weight gain... Honestly, I already lost all the weight I gained with B. I only gained about 20 lbs or so. But I still hadn't lost most of the weight I gained with D. I gained 60 lbs with him!! And had only lost about 25-30 of it before I got pregnant with B. Anyway, who cares. It was tax refund day and I was in the high of the moment. It only happens once a year thank god!

Almost forgot what I was really going to blog about ;)
We were all ready to walk out the door to go meet my husband to do our splurge and I leaned down to pick up baby B in her car seat... of course she had pooped. Go figure. So I asked M to keep an eye on D while I change the baby since he's in the kitchen ready to walk out the door. I'm changing the baby and I hear M "no D don't do that," "D stop that," "D get off the floor," about 20 times in 2 minutes (exaggerating for effect I'm sure), then I don't hear anything so am relieved. I finish changing the baby and walk into the kitchen to find D STANDING on the kitchen table!!! I yelled "Holy ******insert very bad word here*****" and then M walks out of the bathroom "what?" as if nothing is going on. Man did I yell at her. She knows better. If I would have known she wasn't going to watch him for 2 minutes, I would have put him back in the living room where I could watch him... ugh!! Then in the store, I was wearing the baby, the husband was pushing the cart with D. Husband turned to grab cram horns, I was grabbing some cookies, M was oogling the food and D says "sit down" and of course I turn around and he's standing in the cart basket! Thank God he's still yelling at himself. It took him all of 2 seconds to stand up like that. And the belt was on him pretty tight.

This morning B had a major poop through. We haven't had a poop through in almost a week, but today more than made up for it. I picked her up to change her and thought she had wet through the diaper... nope it was poop. Not only did it seep out up her back, but all down her leg! It was awful!! I've never seen a poop through that bad before!
Now that I've disgusted everyone, I really have to do some laundry and start packing for our big move!!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

More on Eating Issues

My 10 year old daughter is not the only member of this household to have eating issues. Many of you with toddlers will know exactly what I'm talking about... ugh!
My toddler, D, will eat maybe a handful of foods. I talk to everyone I know with a toddler and hear similar issues (and it seems to be mainly boys). I vaguely remember my sister, T, talking about her Dr telling her to quit giving my nephew hot dogs all the time. Apparently that was all he wanted to eat. 2 of the ladies at the butcher shop also have similar eating issues with their toddler sons. Can't get them to eat squat.

It is so completely frustrating!! I remember thinking my sister was stupid for giving my nephew hot dogs all the time, but now I can totally understand. Once you find something they will eat, it becomes the back up, always on hand food. I always give him whatever we are having for dinner, but have one of his staples on hand for if (when) he refuses to eat what we're having. I try to plan meals around what I think he will eat. But then he will eat something one time, but not the other! The kid eats so very little it's amazing he's still gaining weight! I talked to the dr about it and she didn't seem to be concerned. And it seems pretty much the norm with others I've talked to. I don't know how many times I have made him 3 or 4 different things for lunch or dinner... only to have him refuse everything.

He spends more time playing with his food and throwing it. All I can say is thank God I have dogs!! Otherwise I would be sweeping and mopping the kitchen floor three times a day! For a while I thought the dogs were part of the problem, so I kenneled them while he was eating. That didn't work either. I just had 2 dogs whining their butts off because of all the food on the floor.

He loves to toss food to the dogs. He loves to see how fast they run to catch his droppings. His new thing is chewing up his food and then spitting it to the dogs. So disgusting, but I can't get him to stop. There's no way I would go eat in a restaurant with this kid! I can just imagine - he would throw his chicken over his head, it would hit somebody and we'd be asked to leave.

A guy I talked to has a toddler boy who has problems with seizures. They have him on a special diet to try to control the seizures - he has to eat what they give him and he has to eat all of it. I can't imagine. You just can't *make* a toddler eat anything. Believe me, I've tried. I don't know how they do it.

I'm all out of ideas on what to offer D to eat. His staples used to be mac & cheese and spaghetti o's. But now he only eats mac & cheese half the time and refuses to eat spaghetti o's. He will only surely eat mashed potatoes, garlic bread and stuffing. Sometimes he will eat chicken nuggets (very rarely any other form of chicken), refried beans (sometimes he will even eat taco meat), rice, lasagna, spaghetti, other pastas (as long as it doesn't have too many veggies in it). I can't get him to eat any veggies or fruit (except bananas). He does pretty good with breakfast though. He will always eat yogurt and most of the time bananas and fruit bars. He will always eat his marshmallow cereal (but only the marshmallows). Of course I can't get him to eat any of the chewable vitamins... I need to get some liquid vitamins.

Well, he'll be eating his mashed potatoes tonight...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Tuesday Toot!

So here goes my first Tuesday Toot! Exciting ;)
We found a house to rent in our relocation area! My husband and myself, along with other family members and various other people had been looking and searching on the computer and in papers for a house to rent in the area where my husband got a new job. We were starting to get desperate! We had done exhaustive searches in the area and were coming up with big blanks! We were looking for at least a 3 bedroom, as we have 3 - sometimes 4 children (not to mention tons of stuff!!). No one had a 3BR house anywhere close to the area! I just made a list of all the small towns within 30 miles and started calling all the city halls! It finally paid off last night. We finally got a line on a 3BR house (with lots of space) that hasn't been advertised - it's in a small town about 23 miles from where my husband's new job is. The town actually has a school about 7 blocks from the house :) And it has a business district and a grocery store!!! :) I'm so excited! We will be living in a bona fide town! Right now the town we live in has a population of 96. There is nothing here for miles. The closest grocery store is 25 miles away. The closest Wal-Mart is about 30 some miles away. The school is 25 miles away. My daughter M has to ride the bus for 2 1/2 hours a day. I so did not want to get into the same position with our relocation.
I'm tooting my own horn here because I found some persistence!! :) And it paid off. Maybe I'll try to be more persistent more often...
I'm just so thrilled now! The big move is finally sinking in and becoming a reality now that we have a place lined up.

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