Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ella jokes

Brady gave Ella a rubber chicken about a month ago. She LOVES it. Sometimes it snuggles her to sleep. I don't know - my kid is weird.

Today she came into the kitchen and said:

"Mom! Why did the rubber chicken cross the road?"

"I don't know. Why did the rubber chicken cross the road, Ella?"

"To get to the rubber side!"

I laughed out loud. My almost-four-year-old is telling funny jokes. It is just another sign that she's getting bigger and smarter everyday, and that someday soon she'll not be my baby girl anymore. That all makes me sad. But seriously? "The rubber side?" Funny!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I am special

Ella's first day of preschool.

On Tuesday, September 2, 2008, Ella started preschool. It was a very big deal in our house.

Her and I had gone to Prince of Peace Community Early Learning Center the Thursday prior to get her paperwork and take a quick tour. She didn't want to leave. "I want to stay and learn!" she said over and over again. I thought it was so cute that she wanted to stay and learn, not stay and play.

We went shopping that weekend for a new outfit for the first day of school. She picked out a cute jumper and I found socks to match.

We got up very early that Tuesday. Brady had stayed home that morning from work so he could go with us to her new school. It became a family event - everyone to the preschool for Ella's big day!

She was so excited when we arrived. She wasn't nervous or scared at all! After we signed her in and took her to her classroom, she washed her hands, gave us hugs and kisses, and just walked away to start playing with her new friends. Wow. She didn't linger or hold onto my leg like I thought she might. She just walked away like it was no big deal.

And it has been that way for the last 3 weeks. Every Tuesday and Thursday I sign her into school around 8:30. We go to her classroom - The Purple Cat room - where she washes her hands, gives me hugs & kisses, and then just walks away.

I'm glad she is enjoying preschool so much. She has learned "Criss-cross applesauce" and has been a "Lights off/on" helper. She has learned a few new songs, and made some new friends. I'm so happy that she gets to learn and play somewhere other than our house.

I didn't put her into preschool expecting it to be a big learning experience for her in the sense that she'll be more "book" smart when she leaves. I put her into preschool so she could gain socialization experience. And POPCELC was not the preschool I expected my kids to go to. I did not want them going to any sort of religious school. However, I didn't have any other option.

Well, that's not true. I could have tried to put her into the preschool through the school district, but she never would have been accepted; she's too smart. I didn't realize that because it's a free program, they take the kids that need the most help first. Ella would have tested above their standards. My other option was to have driven Ella to C-U a few times a week, wasting time and gas just to keep her out of the religious hoopla of Prince of Peace. But I think that at this age, the Bible is just stories, and she'll be in kindergarten soon enough.

I also think that her being in preschool will be good for me too. I'll get to meet people in my town. People who obviously have a child the same age as Ella. She'll be invited to birthday parties and hopefully play dates as the year goes on, which of course means that I'll get to interact with other parents - adult conversation is always a good thing for me.

So although this preschool was not my first choice, I think it was a good one. Ella's liking it. I'm liking it. I know it's only been a few weeks, so I won't count my chickens....but I've got a good feeling about the whole thing!

Here's a few pictures from Ella's first day of school:

Ella & Daddy

Her teachers - Miss Jennifer and Miss Regina

Mommy & Ella after school

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I've been Whipped!

I didn't eat peanut butter for a very long time. I was convinced that because it had so much fat in it, it had to be bad for me. Now that I've got kids, it's become a staple in our house, and I'm actually eating it on occasion. I usually buy reduced fat peanut butter because, well, I want to cut those fat grams whenever possible.

I have been buying Jif Reduced Fat Creamy for a while. I really have no preference - I buy what's on sale and tastes good. I like this peanut butter. It spreads very easily.

Last week I was looking over the section of P.B. at Wal-Mart while on my weekly grocery run. I came across this peanut butter - one I'd never seen before:
Peter Pan Whipped Creamy Peanut Butter. Whipped. Creamy. "Well, this has to be loaded with fat!" I though. I turned the jar around and read the nutrition facts. 12 grams of fat for 2 tablespoons sure seemed like a lot, so I grabbed the Jif to compare. I was shocked. The Peter Pan brand had the same amount of fat grams as the Jif, and yet it had fewer calories! This whipped miracle had less sodium, carbs and less sugar than the Jif! I'm all about giving my kids less of all of those things - and me, too. I put the jar in the cart and was excited to get home and try my new find. Weird, I know. Who gets excited about peanut butter (who blogs about p.b.?)

This new stuff is actually really good! It was a little odd spreading it on bread - that whole "whipped" consistency takes some getting used in those yogurts.....but it was very good. I think I'll stick with this one for now. (Until I find a p.b. with only 8 grams of fat!)

Let's talk.

Grayson is starting to say more words. Well...I know what he's saying, even if no one else does. He now says "car," only he sounds like he's from Boston. He's just a cool kid with an accent!

He answers Diego and Dora all the time. Of course he's usually saying "no" but I don't care. It's talking and it makes me happy. He says "map" when Dora asks what she needs...again, he's got an accent.

He came up to me yesterday, leaned his body against me, grabbed my arms and put them around him so I was hugging him. He then said, "Ugh." I, of course being a great interpreter knew he said "hug." I almost cried. It was so cute. Add the fact that he loves to kiss, and I'm now getting plenty of hugs and kisses from both my kids! It's moments like that one that make me glad I'm a mom!

On a side note - Ella's been adding syllables to some of her words. She likes the word, "fart." I don't care - I like the word too. Lately she's been saying stuff like, "Mom! Grayson farteded!" or "Daddy fartededed." She's never really added the "did" sound to her words, and I'm sure it's just a phase. However, I think it's cute, so I'm not stopping her.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Last week I went to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things. I saw that they had the printer that I'd been eyeing and that it was on sale, so I bought it. I asked Brady to hook it up for me. He never got around to it, so I decided to try to do it myself.

The first thing that weirded me out was that there was scotch tape over the top where the box should have been closed with packing tape. When I opened the box, I noticed that the cord was very dusty. "This has been used," I thought to myself.

I pulled out all the paperwork and cd's that came in the box, and everything just looked odd. Then I pulled out the printer and wouldn't you know it! The fucking thing was used! Not only was is filthy, but it wasn't even the same printer! I purchased an all-in-one, and this was just a plain old printer. I was furious!!! All I could think was, "Seriously? What a bunch of fucking assholes!" Yet, at the same time I thought, "but they sure did a good job."

I called the store, and asked customer service if I could bring it back. Artie (I made her spell her name) said it was fine if I had my receipt. I was sure to write her name and the time that I spoke with her on my receipt. I didn't want to take it back and them tell me that I was stuck with this piece of crap. Although, seriously....Wal-Mart will take anything back.

Looking back on it, I remember thinking something seemed odd about the box when I took it off the shelf. But I was in a hurry and Grayson was acting up, so I put the thought to the back of my head. I should have listened to my gut.

I did take the printer back yesterday, and I had no trouble returning it. In fact, Artie was there to share in my pain. It took 3 customer service people to ponder the craziness of it all, but I now have my HP Photosmart C5240 All-in-One printer, and I've already become a printing fool! Yay!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A day at the orchard

I have been working like a mad woman these past few days to get all my items prepped for the One Week Boutique sale. I made over $200 in the spring sale, and I'm pretty sure I'll pull in more for this one.

Since I've been so busy, I haven't been doing much with the kids. They've watched a little too much television this week and I'm trying not to feel bad about it.

Yesterday was such a lovely day, that I decided I couldn't be selfish and make the kids stay inside. I took them on a trip to Curtis Orchard after Grayson's nap so they could get some sillies out.

Ella was excited to pick apples that she insisted I make into a pie. I've never made a homemade pie - so I think I'll give it a go....with a store-bought crust.
After picking apples, Ella pretended to be an airplane as one was flying over us.

Ella stops to observe a dozen or so butterflies that covered the path.

After apple picking, I let the kids roam free in Munchkin Land. It's one of the few places that I can let G loose and not worry about him running away. I have sworn off parks for the time being. In fact the word "park" has become one of the bad 4-letter words in our house. As much as I'd like to take the kids, it's too hard. I think he just wants to get as far away from me as possible!

This is the kitty that all the kids were fighting over. It doesn't look too friendly, but was actually a very cuddly kitten.
I had no idea G knew how to climb this type of slide and go down all by himself!

It felt so good to enjoy the great weather with the kids. I know they had fun, and with every trip we take to C.O., we always leave with fun new memories! (This time we left with 2 bags of apples. I made apple crisp today - super yummy!)

Saturday, September 6, 2008


After what has felt like forever, we finally got a new computer! I'm super duper excited! Seriously! You people have no idea! I can finally start putting pictures on the Internet right after taking them! For a long time I was just taking them with my phone and sending them to my e-mail then saving them on the computer then uploading them to the Internet. What a pain in the ass!
I bought some super expensive photo/video editor that I'm pumped about too!
So watch out people! I'll have so much stuff on here you're going to get tired of stopping by!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My history of friends, or lack thereof

I never had a problem making friends. In kindergarten I knew children from my neighborhood, so I wasn't walking into the classroom that first day feeling like a complete stranger. In the second grade our school district changed and my grade school was in my tiny town where only local kids went to it. (We were a county school system.) This of course meant that I saw the same boys and girls every day for the next 3 years. In 5th grade, all the kids from the other towns in the county came to our school for the year, prepping us for the move to junior high, at another school in another town. New kids meant new friends.

I played sports, both in school and over the summer. I was in all the clubs. I was a social butterfly. I was by no means "popular," though. I was from a poor family, and when you live in a small town (population 850), everyone knows all your secrets. After second grade I gained a bunch of weight and had to get glasses. I was not an adorable adolescent. Yet I still had lots of friends. Because of occasional teasing, I developed a very tough side. I had a "smart mouth," and many times would speak before I thought. And yet, I still had lots of friends.

As I grew older and more life opportunities came our way, my friends and I developed new friends and shed some old ones. It's inevitable. Some of my best friends ('cause when you're young, all friends are best friends) became just friends. No more BFF, or BF, just F. But that was ok too, because I still had lots of other friends.

In college I lost touch with most friends from high school. I found a few really good friends, and then joined a sorority and gained 30 "sisters." It was a great time. I'm not saying that just because I was in this group of women that we were all friends; there were plenty that I didn't like at all. But again, I had lots of friends. I was a theater major. I developed my theater friends. I made friends with the gays, and then I had my gay friends. I had my work friends from Lowe's. I had friends coming out the wazoo! There was always something going on, and I was never alone.

Then I graduated and moved back home and in with my mother and her boyfriend, who is now my step dad. They had moved to a town 40 minutes from where I grew up. I knew no one. I had to drive 30 minutes to hang out with my friends from high school, who at this point consisted of Troy and Dianna. I got a job in a neighboring town at a gas station and thanks to a theater friend from college I made a few new friends in this new town. I started to hang out with 2 regularly - Christie and Amery. We were constantly out together. We karaoke together, we went to summer softball games together; Amery and I played on the same team one summer.

I started dating Brady. This meant I was now hanging out with his friends too. By this time, I was in beauty school and had friends from there that I hung out with too. We were an on-again, off-again couple. After a year of this, I got pregnant. Of course, this meant that I wasn't able to do the things I had been doing. No more late nights at the bar, no more sports. Unbeknownst to me, this now meant that I'd have no more friends.

I had quit beauty school and started substitute teaching, which I liked much more and one day I hope to teach my own classroom. I had quit the gas station. I lived in a different town than those people I had called friends. No one came to visit, but they were always asking me to "come into town" to see them. With the exception of Troy and Dianna, I only had my family and Brady. A few other friends lived far away - no occasional get-togethers with them to catch up on old times. I was basically alone.

One month after Ella was born, we moved to St. Joseph. A new town in a new area and we didn't know a single person. This was so depressing. I gained back all of the baby weight I had lost in that first month. There was nothing to do. It was November, so I couldn't take my newborn to the park to socialize. No one came down to visit except my family. I was the only one of my friends who had a child, so now we didn't really have much in common.

I put Ella in daycare and got a job thinking it'd help me make friends. I had never had problems in the past making friends. That plan didn't work. I decided to stay home with E so that I wouldn't miss out on her major life accomplishments. I got pregnant with Grayson. At this time I still only had a few friends. Seriously. I could count them on one hand. Sure, I had "Friends" on Myspace, but really, most of them were acquaintances at this point.

I joined a mom's group thinking I'd have no problem making friends. Again, I had never really had problems in the past making friends. And I thought for sure this would be easy in a group of women who had most of the same issues and daily routines that I had. I've been part of this group for about a year and I think I can count the number of friends I have on one had. I don't even need all my fingers. I don't know why I set my expectations so high. Just like in school, there are cliques. I'm not saying I want to be part of a clique, but it'd be nice to have a circle of friends. I don't have that right now. I occasionally get together with people for playdates, but because of Brady's schedule and until recently the lack of babysitter, I don't get to do any adult-only activities. When I do have a chance to talk to other mom's, we get so easily distracted by our kids that our conversations are in pieces.

I'd like to think that I'm a great friend. I'm nice and giving, I'm funny and considerate. I used to be smart, but the kids have sucked away most of my braincells. I am one of those people who believe that if you are going to be friends with another person, put 100% into it. If you can't do that, then what's the point? I return phone calls and I invite people over. But when I am the only person doing this it makes me wonder: Do these people really want to be my friend or are they just being polite? I feel like I have a lot to offer as a friend, but no one gets to see this because no one has given me a chance. It's really depressing to live 2 hours from my family and they few friends I have back home. It's very depressing to live here, feeling so alone. I just keep trying and trying to fit in somewhere. I'm 30 years old! This shouldn't be so hard!

I realize that this whole post sounds like, "Oh, poor me!" But isn't that what my blog is for? To express myself - good things and bad things? So if you're reading this, don't take it too personally. I'm sure you don't fall into that category of "not really a friend, more of an acquaintance."

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Another day....

Both Ella and Grayson have been sick for 3 days. At first I thought it was just allergies, but now I'm thinking it's a cold.

Tuesday was Ella's first day of preschool. I'll blog about that tomorrow (when she's in school and it's just me and G at home). But I must say that I did feel horrible for her to be all snotty and sneezy the first day of school. So she's been taking medicine and of course getting lots of rest.

Today we had to run errands and one of them was to get her Halloween costume.

She's gonna be a cute monkey. And warm too!

Late this afternoon, I went into her room to check on her. She was asleep just like this:

Of course I moved her to her bed right after I took her pictures! Poor thing. I hope she's feeling better tomorrow. I'd like for her to have a good time at her new school. Plus, I don't want the other kids to think she's gross because she occasionally has snot come out of her nose when she sneezes. She could be emotionally scarred for life!