Thursday, April 28, 2011

one rotten dog for sale (not really)

Photo by Parker, see his foot there on the right?
OK, so you know I have this pug who I love/hate. Max. He was my first baby. I took him everywhere and dressed him up gave him fries when I picked up McDonalds for my big tall hubby. I took him to the annual pug gathering in Cincinnati. I walked him a lot. Bathed him, brushed him, treated him to new toys, all that good doggy momma stuff.

Then we had a baby (Zoe). He took it pretty well. He was still an ok dog. Well we had two more babies (Parker and Tanner) and he became more and more of a dog and less of a baby. My love for Max has not diminished, but my patience has. I know have less time to devote to my pup but I still take him places, give him baths, brush him, give him toys, (no more fries because he has "bowel problems") just not quite as often.

I think he senses my frustration. Do you think a dog gets so "pissed" at you that he will actually go and show it in your house? Max has started to pee in the kids' rooms. Sometimes on their toys or in the closets, always when we are outside playing. OK, I know I used to let him out there with us but my annoying neighbor throws his compost on the ground (not in his composter that is three feet away- a whole different post some other time) so I cannot let him outside freely. He runs over to the neighbor's house and chows down on all that trash and then his "bowel problems" manifest themselves all over my house. We aren't allowed to have a fence because we live on a golf course (golfers have to have access to your yard in case a ball finds its way in!) so I am stuck.

I swear I just want to scream when he does this (sometimes I do!). We have been gating off the upstairs but let's face it, I have three kids (and a big tall hubby) and sometimes they forget to close the gate. So I have one rotten dog for sale but not really because I would kind of miss his snorting self. Grr! That is me growling, not him.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

watchin' my weight Wednesday + random stuff

Lookie at what I got! Woo! My very own cycling shoes. I have wanted a pair forever but they just always seemed like such an extravagance.
I was at the bicycle shop with my mom a month or so ago (she was buying Parker a new bike- isn't she sweet?) and I saw these on the 50 % off table. I kept looking at them, even tried them on, but I didn't get them. I thought it was crazy to buy a pair of shoes for a workout I do once a week! My mom told me to get them but I just couldn't do it. She surprised me by getting them for me a couple weeks later. (told ya she was sweet) I finally got a chance to go to the shop and get the pedal clips installed. Now I can ride with my feet locked into the pedals at my spinning class. Oh my goodness, what a difference! I swear I would have never believed it if I hadn't tried it myself. I wore them to class Tuesday and I cannot wait to go back next week.

Now I want to get my real bike fitted with pedals so I can wear these outside too. I am hoping to do this after the baby is born. I am scared to ride my real bike outside with my big belly. I know people do it all the time but I am so afraid of falling. I don't mind waiting a bit. These were just the inspiration I needed to keep exercising as I get bigger, and bigger, and bigger, and bigger....

A song for you to add to your workout playlist...
I am not a huge Boss fan but I love this song. Obviously when I run it is really inspiring but I love how it builds faster and faster at the end. Plus, when he says, "whoa-oa-ooooh" I just want to sing out loud with him. I probably do sometimes, sorry YMCA friends (or neighbors). If you haven't seen this in a while, watch, is it me or does Bruce seem cuter now that I am older? I never saw his cuteness when I was young. Hmm, just wondering.

Now some random stuff:

Today I am......

soaking clothes in Oxiclean, stains don't stand a chance against me!
eating gobs of Tums because apparently I cannot eat broccoli without feeling like I ate it all day and all night! Heartburn stinks.
taking this glucose test tonight at the doctor. When I was pregnant with Zoe, I remember thinking this was a test to take towards the end of pregnancy and it seemed like I would never have to drink this stuff. So when they gave it to me at my last appointment I almost choked. Really? It's time, already?!
Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Some Easter pictures

Thought I'd share some Easter pictures with you...

Tanner is enjoying his first peep. (my favorite Easter candy) For some reason, he is always on the kitchen island counter. I swear I pull him off there ten times a day.
I think he likes it!
Here they are dying eggs. I swear, I almost FORGOT to let them dye eggs. What the heck kind of mom does that? I felt terrible. And do you know how hard it is to find organic, cage free, white eggs? I never found any. We used brown ones. Believe it or not, they turned out really pretty. Kind of vintage looking, almost Martha-ish!
Tanner was an egg dying maniac. He was dunking them faster than I could keep up. We colored 24 eggs. What in the world will we do with all those eggs? Good thing everyone around here likes eggs (and no allergies!).
Here we are at the in-law's house trying to get a family photo. (Can I ever get a picture without a pug butt in it?!) Notice how I am trying to hide behind the chair. *read more about this below* This was the best one we got, not saying much, I guess it is better than none. Please ignore my overgrown hairdo, need a cut bad!

I am really proud of the kids' clothes this year. I picked them out all by myself. Usually my mom generously buys them outfits on her spring trip to Florida but this year she bought them some more casual stuff. I was totally OK with that. I appreciate all the lovely things she buys them and it was kind of fun to pick stuff out myself. That is, until Monday evening, when I realized none of them had appropriate shoes to wear (or clean ones for that matter!). It turned out fine, Target to the rescue. Thankfully they had sizes for all three of them, that is usually not the case.

Why oh, why is it so impossible to find age-appropriate clothes for an 8 year old girl? I mean, every dress I looked at was something I wouldn't want a 16 year old to wear and shoes, forgettaboutit! They had higher wedge heels than I would wear. I searched and searched and found an appropriate dress and sandals at Target.
Boys are so much easier to dress. Khakis and dress shirts rule. I wanted to get him a vest or a tie but nothing matched this green checked shirt and I loved it so. He looks cute, right? That kid has had a lollipop in his hand for three days straight, he loves them so he is very blissful.
And this guy, was he ever proud of his tie! Holy moly, he was about to bust, he couldn't wait to be dressed just like daddy and he wants to wear it to school. Isn't that sweet?
Northern Ohio is not a good place to have an Easter egg hunt. It is always cold. For the last few years we have had snow but this year it was torrential rain instead. I don't know which is worse.
Yes, the kids are wearing their jammies. They couldn't wait to find the eggs the Easter bunny left for them.
**OK, here are some more unsolicited pregnancy comments from people we encountered on our recent family visit. These are not edited and I won't tell you who said them, just know they all stung and hurt my feelings and made me want to smack people. Hard.**

1. Wow, is the doctor worried that you are that big already?
2. Are you going to go for #5, like Kate plus 8? I know you love her.
3. I was big with my last baby too. Don't worry.
4. I thought you said you were working out while you were pregnant?
5. You're due in July, how are you going to last that long? You are really big.
6. It is going to be fun to see you swimming this summer.
7. You're lucky, your face doesn't look too fat.
8. You just gained weight all over huh? That's better than just your belly I guess.
9. It seems like you are so much bigger this time around than you were with the other kids.
10. I'll bet you can't wait to go back to Weight Watchers.

I promise you, I am not making these up! My relatives actually said these to me. These are just the things I remember, there might have been more but I am mentally blocking them.

Remember what I said before... only tell pregnant women that they are "so small" and they have the most beautiful hair and skin you've ever seen. Anything else is just plain mean.

Forgot to post these yesterday:

My things to do this week:
  • get out summer shoes/put away winter shoes
  • get out bigger clothes for Tanner
  • drop off Goodwill items
  • get clips put in my new cycling shoes
  • clean house and catch up laundry
My menus for this week:
  • spaghetti (request from kids) and broccoli
  • tacos (another request)
  • chicken quesidillas and rice/beans
  • egg salad sandwiches (adults) and boiled eggs and fruit (kids)
  • spinach and mushroom frittata

Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday stuff

Easter came and went with a flash. I swear, it just flew by. We were visiting family in northern Ohio and it was cold and rainy. We had a nice visit.

But after our drive home, my house looks like this...

Easter candy and treats and stuff. Everywhere.
Kid bags of "stuff" everywhere. I'll probably end up putting this "stuff" away too, grr.
Loads of laundry. Lots of loads. Tons of shoes to put away, why the heck am I the only one who sees this as gross and annoying?
Look at my Easter cuties. I love them all dressed up almost as much as when they are all dirty and grimy. (as always, there is a nosy pug in my picture... looking for a dropped jelly bean probably)
I will post some more tomorrow but I start to break out in hives and have a racing heart beat when my house looks like this. Have a great day Bloggy Mommas.

Friday, April 22, 2011

my little bunnies

I hope everyone has a great Easter weekend!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Don't you just hate mornings like that?

So yep the rain has me waaaaaaay behind schedule which really gets my panties all in a wad but now I am have to take another kid to the doctor today. (We were just there Monday for pete's sake!) Doesn't he look so happy about it? (Actually this was from our zoo trip and he was irritated with me because I didn't have an endless supply of juice boxes for him to slurp in one gulp after we visited every animal.)

Anyway, he has an ear-ache and I just know it will turn into a situation requiring surgery if I don't take him today. Well, maybe not surgery but a trip to the urgent care at least, I'm taking him just to be safe. BUT it is wrecking some serious havoc on my "things to do list" for this week, two doctor visits in one week of terrential downpours, I need a vacation!

So I was going to share about the kids coloring eggs but I had a situation this morning that seemed tons better. It involved me sitting on the potty. It's not that kind of story so bear with me.

Picture this: I am sitting there, just peeing, no biggie. No one is awake yet. So I think, there is my awesome book just waiting to be read. I love books that start out with a cute southern woman throwing peaches at other people, they just make me want to stay up all night reading! I just thought I'd rest there for a minute and read a couple pages. I'm enjoying a page when out of the corner of my eye I see something moving. I try to ignore it, I don't have my contacts in yet, just glasses and I swear I don't see as well with them. Probably just a dust bunny, you know I hate cleaning my bathroom.

A couple paragraphs later, I see it again. It is a big old daddy long leg spider crawling up the wall. I am trying so hard to ignore that guy. I hardly ever get uniterrupted reading time. So what if I am parked on the pot to do it? It is nice and quiet in there for a change. I read a few words and daddy is getting close to my towel that is hanging their waiting for me to shower up. OK, so I look around for a weapon, this book is really good, I just want to finish the page! All I have is a bookmark. Not exactly lethal.

Just in case you are wondering, tossing a bookmark at a spider does not do ANYTHING to keep him from climbing in the towel you plan on using after you take a shower. So I think, fine daddy, I am strong, I'm not afraid of you, I want to finish this darn page and my big old pregnant butt is going to do it! I try to keep reading. Then, daddy decides the floor is where the action is. He begins to make his way down the wall.

Still trying to finish the page about painted lady houses (which I love by the way) and daddy is almost to the floor. I look for another weapon. The empty toilet paper roll, that will do it! Yes! (By the way, I think I am the only person in my house who knows how to change those darn things, drives me batty!) I throw it at him. What do I think it is going to do scare him under the crack in the door? I don't know. I throw it anyway.

Just in case you are wondering, tossing an empty toilet paper roll at a spider does not do ANYTHING to keep him from inching closer to your foot as you try to read a stinkin' page in a book! I am determined to finish this page. Stubborn is a word I would lovingly use to describe myself, in case you are wondering. I finish the page (super funny by the way, I want to go on but...) and daddy is missing. OK, I am not "scared" of spiders but they do kind of creep me out. I don't want them climbing in my hair or on my feet or anything like that so I am kind of panicky.

I jump up as fast as I can with a 20 pound belly jutting straight out in front of me and frantically start looking on my legs. Do you think you'd feel a daddy long leg spider on your legs? Would it tickle? I don't see him but I throw my book across the floor, I don't want him on that either by golly. I spot him making a break for it, he kind of blended in with our floor tile, oh no you don't buddy! I grab my weapon of last resort, my slipper, and mush him. Sorry to all you spider savers (I usually save them and take them outside if the kids see them, but on my own I am a ruthless bug smasher!), he had tortured me for at least 3 whole minutes, I felt he had a good death.

Now I am all bummed out, I missed out on my only 5 minutes of peace for the day, I'll probably have to read that page all over again, and now my slipper is tainted with spider guts. I am pretty sure I pulled a valuable muscle jumping up off the potty, I mean really, preggo women should not be jumping up from seated positions! And I have guilt over killing the innocent daddy long leg guy, he probably was somebody's daddy!

Don't you just hate mornings like that?

Here is the book I am trying to read... better luck next potty break.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

watchin' my weight Wednesday

This is one of my all time favorites for running. I know, I know, I am not running right now. I quit a couple months ago when things started getting bigger and more awkward. But I still love to have it on my playlist. Every time it comes on I fist pump, I can't help myself. Have done it for years, even before Snookie and Vinnie did! I also love the original surfer song by Dick Dale (I think that is his name) called "Miseralu" (not sure of spelling). It is in the "Pulp Fiction" movie, it's that really cool guitar in the beginning. Anyway, I think anything by the Black Eyed Peas are probably my favorite exercise music. I didn't realize that until I started sharing these here. :)

True confession time:
I haven't worked out since Sunday. Argh! Seriously. We have been having storms every. single. night. Thunder, lightning, hail, pouring rain, wind, the whole thing. Last night the tornado sirens were blaring. All of us were in the basement for over an hour. Not fun. Tanner does not sleep through storms at all. Not even a light rain. If he hears the wind blowing, he goes crazy. He won't go back to sleep or even stop crying. Soooooo, I have had no sleep since Sunday night. I cannot get my big, giant pregnant self out of bed to exercise at 5:30 AM. I even skipped spinning! I hate that. Spinning is my favorite. I am hoping to go to bed early tonight and get up tomorrow. Each day is a new day, right?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rain rain, go the heck away already!

Our Yoshino Cherry tree- just like the ones in Washington DC, only smaller (not sure if I spelled it right- sorry)
We are having so much rain it is ridicuous. It is really causing havoc for me. Seriously. I have so many errands to run and so many weeds to attend to, that I just cannot do because of the terrential downpours we are having, every, single, day. I took this picture of our cherry tree (we've only had it two years so it is a baby) on the one afternoon that we had sun in two weeks. We have had some crazy thunderstorms too, Tanner and Max (my supercute/annoying pug) cried all night long last night, I was really grumpy this morning after no sleep.

My things to do list is not getting taken care of because a lot of the things I want to do involve me running in and out of the car carrying things. I don't know about you but lugging boxes and stuff in the pouring rain is completely un-fun and downright frustrating. Today, I had to go to the post office and CVS and wouldn't you know it, Tanner took a big old stinky in CVS. I had to pick up Parker and drive 20 minutes home and there was no way in you-know-where that I was going to smell that the whole way home (pregnancy sniffer runs on supercharged for me every time!). So, I had to change him, in the pouring rain, in the CVS parking lot. That was it. I said, forget it. I am going home and I did (after I picked Parker up of course) and now I am just puttering around my house trying to decide what to tackle first. I tried to pull some weeds yesterday and my feet were sinking in the beds from the over-raining, hopefully not because I am so freakin' huge! So weeding won't get done for a couple days either and it really needs to be done. Don't you just hate it when your plans for the day are all wrecked. I was looking forward to a really productive day and hoping to cross lots off my list. Ho hum, that's life I guess.

I know I'll be praying for rain in a couple months when our yard is dying and I am too fat/pregnant/sweaty/uncomfortable to water things so remind me of this when that time comes. Thanks.

Monday, April 18, 2011

ABC's of me and Monday stuff

My favorite healthy blogger Tina, at Carrots-n-Cake, had an "ABC's of me" post and I thought, how cute? How clever? How easy. I can do that too! So I did.

Here goes...

A. Age: 29 in my heart but my "official" documents say 37 (what makes them official anyway!? Age is a state of mind!)

B. Bed size: Queen. But I long for a king, I am married to Big Tall Hubby, I just won't give up my iron bed that I wanted for my entire life and BTH was kind enough to let me get when we got married.

C. Chore you hate: Cleaning the bathroom, so icky, I do it only when they start to look like the ones you stop at on a long trip, well maybe sooner than that. Hiring a cleaner for bathrooms would be the first thing I purchased if I won the lottery, after a Corvette of course.

D. Dogs: Dogs!?! I have a pug that I love/hate. I love him but he has lots of accidents on the floor which I hate.

E. Essential start to your day: A shower, make up, and about three giant glasses of water (a potty break shortly after!)

F. Favorite color: pink, but I love all colors

G. Gold or silver: Sliver

H. Height: 5’2”

I. Instruments you play: I used to play the cello, but I don't anymore, I keep thinking I will take it out and try it.

J. Job title: Mommy, wife, and wanna be professional crafter/organizer/writer, former teacher

K. Kids: Three plus one on the way, yikes! Lord, help me.

L. Live: In a suburb close to Cincinnati, my house is for sale in case you are interested! Golf course, 4 bedrooms, exquisite landscaping, all brick exterior, hard wood floors, high ceilings, tons of woodwork... I am beginning to sound like a realtor.

M. Mom’s name: Sophia Jane, isn't it pretty?

N. Nicknames: My mom calls me "Toots" or "Tootsie" but "Jenny" is my official nickname since I am really "Jennifer."

O. Overnight hospital stays: Just for my birthing experiences so far, I think I stayed a week or so when I had my tonsils out when I was five, I ate potato chips right after the operation and I was not supposed to do that, but I don't remember it. I remember being in a giant crib-like thing and hating every minute of it.

P. Pet peeve: mean people and disorganization

Q. Quote from a movie: “I like your sleeves.” From Napoleon Dynamite.

R. Right or left handed: Right.

S. Siblings: None, but I always wanted a whole bunch.

T. Time you wake up: Sometimes 5, sometimes 6, sometimes 7, depends on the day of the week and what workout I am going to do (or skip!)

U. Underwear: Any kind that covers my big Greek butt. Thongs only when I am going somewhere where people might be looking at my butt and making comments about it later, like a function for Big Tall Hubby's work or a reunion.

V. Vegetables you dislike: None, but I don't really like peas all alone I like them in something like soup.

W. What makes you run late: Usually, my family, they are always looking for a toy or something they want to take with them. (Like a toy, a wallet, a set of keys, if they listened to me and put them away, we'd never be late!!!)

X. X-Rays you’ve had: I had a really cool one when they took my wisdom teeth out, it was of my whole head, 360 degrees. I also got to see one of my dog once when he ate something he shouldn't have. It was so neat to see his organs and his bones that go all through his curly tail.

Y. Yummy food you make: Brownies and cookies.

Z. Zoo – favorite animal: Orangutans and chimps, plus my house is pretty zoo-like as it is. I love the zoo in general.

my things to do this week:

  • get Easter baskets together
  • make a basket for our family friend from the Dominican Republic and deliver to him
  • drop off Goodwill items
  • sell books to Half Priced Books
  • get clips put in my new cycling shoes!!!!
  • put away my winter shoes and get out my summer ones
  • pack/get organized for our Easter visit to the grandparents
  • iron a patch on a new pair of boy's pants (grr!)
  • buy the boys both new Easter shoes (forgot these!)
  • give myself a pedicure to go with those summer shoes!
  • order Easter photo cards and mail
  • get a gift for a friend's birthday this weekend and hopefully deliver to her as well (I'm going to be running around a lot this week!)
  • order book from the school book order
  • make an appointment for Zoe (she has an infected finger nail- how the heck did that happen!?)

my menus for this week:

  • deli subs and chips
  • hamburgers and homemade fries
  • spaghetti and salad
  • fish sandwiches and sweet potato fries
  • shrimp alfredo (didn't make last week)
  • BLT's and chips

I just noticed the amount of sandwiches (must be pregnancy cravings!:) )

Friday, April 15, 2011

Just call it a rollercoaster

Yesterday I was so down in the dumps it was ridiculous. Today, I am feeling better. What the heck? It's not like we won the lottery (wouldn't that be nice?) or I suddenly woke up to sparkly clean toilets (that would be nice too). I just woke up and felt better. Not sure why. Just call me/my life/my emotions/my pregnancy/whatever a rollercoaster.

Things that are making me happy today:

I only have two more tasks on my "things to do" list for this week, and I know they will be done today!

I saved over $70 at the grocery today! I love coupons!

I found a book that I think will become my new life manual. I cannot put it down and I finally feel like someone out there in the world feels the same way I do about being a housewife/mother. Check out her website here. I think I first heard about her from the Clover Lane blog we all know and love.

It was supposed to be rainy all day today but so far, no rain. Whoop whoop!

These guys have been playing nice all day and were very well behaved at the grocery today. A big victory for me.
I am loving Tanner's hair today. Just cracking me up. I know I have to get it cut someday, but it is really thin. Sometimes he looks a little like Gary Busey. I love him anyway.
The boys brought me "flowers" today. Aren't they sweet?
Have a happy weekend!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

ho hum

Ever have one of those days where you don't want to get out of bed? But you do anyway? You don't feel like doing laundry, making breakfast, tying shoes, or putting on lipstick, but you do it anyway?

How about one of those days where you are feeling so lonely and sad that just about everything makes you cry? Songs, commercials, memories, Facebook posts, pictures of your family...

Ever feel like you are like the hamster running on that darn wheel and you are never getting anywhere? Always with the mile long "things to do" list.

Do you ever wonder "why me?" And then feel bad when you realize there are so many others worse off then you?

How do you cope when you feel overwhelmed, under-appreciated, overly stressed, and just plain depressed? Even when there is no real reasons to feel this way? No real definite, put your finger on it reason.

Just wondering... I'm having one of those days but it is getting better... tomorrow will be better, I just know it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

watchin' my weight Wednesday

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I don't know about you, but I hardly ever get to watch tv. Sure it's on a lot around here (not that I like that- I prefer the radio) but hardly ever to what I want to watch. Big Tall Hubby has control of the remote when he is home, unless I beg him to let me watch some reality tv like Real Housewives, he usually picks stuff I would never watch, ever. Then the kids, well they watch a lot of PBS and stuff on-demand that I allow them to watch. As soon as I sit down (rare occasion!) to watch something, inevitably, someone is screaming, crying, bleeding, needing a drink, hitting someone else, generally doing anything to prevent me from watching tv. Kind of bugs me, a lot.

Monday, I was getting ready to turn the tv off after the boys watched "Super Why" and I happened to catch the beginning of "Ellen." I love her show when I get to watch it, maybe three or four times a year. Her opening monologue cracked me up.** She was talking about the warm weather and how everyone was outside exercising. Then she said why does everyone have to wear the skin tight spandex when they ride bikes nowadays (I totally agree- what the heck is that all about?!). And then she talked about how it must be the natural progression in losing weight. It went something like this: first you make a new year's resolution to loose weight, then you join a gym, then you get a yoga DVD and a juicer and then you ride your bike in spandex. I was cracking up so bad, I think I snorted, loudly, twice.

Isn't that so true? I mean, don't we all try all the latest gimmicks and products to be healthy? How about those bracelet things everyone is wearing that allegedly promote balance and improve your athletic ability. Big Tall Hubby and I noticed the only people we see wearing these in our area are the people who look like they haven't been athletic in a few decades. Anyway, I guess it is true that the only way to really be healthy is to eat the best foods for your body and be active, whether or not you choose to wear spandex.

** I tried to find the opening monologue from Monday and I guess they don't post those. They totally should.

My workout song recommendation for this week: "I Wish" by Stevie Wonder. Here is a link. (Youtube did not have a video, just the song.) I love Stevie, this song is from his Songs in the Key of Life CD which is a must have in my opinion. You'd be so surprised at how many awesome songs he has made, you kind of forget. This was the song Ellen danced to on Monday, by the way. I love the dancing part of her show, probably because I dance around all the time too. It reminded me to add this one to my playlist. Great bass and trumpets throughout.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

to stage or not to stage

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Dear Bloggy Mommies,

Have you read this book? It is one of my kid's favorites despite the subject matter. Spencer is a little boy with too many toys and his mom forces him to give some away. It is a process that is painful and kind of gut wrenching but he does it. How in the heck do my kids like this? Love it in fact? I mean, my monkeys wouldn't even let me have a McDonald's toy for the Goodwill box? Big misers. Every time, no kidding, every time I throw out a toy or give one away, they come to me and ask for it. Even if it was broken beyond repair. How do they sense it? Does some little alarm go off in their head that says, "mommy, is throwing out that broken yo yo from three years ago. The one with the tangled string and half of the one side is broken. Go get it NOW! Quick before the garbage men come!" It drives me crazy.

So why the heck am I talking about my kids and their mounds and mounds of stuff? Well, Big Tall Hubby (BTH) told me about one of his co-workers who sold their house after having it on the market for.... one month. WTF? They live in a neighboring community with similarly rated schools and shopping areas so we don't think those were the deciding factors. They had a house that was smaller than ours but on a wooded lot. Hmm, could that be it? Not sure. Then his co-worker (she) told Paul how they cleaned out all their clutter, taking loads to Goodwill. I go to Goodwill once a month, the guy at the drive thru knows me by name for goodness sake. I don't think we have an overabundance of clutter, although I agree, everyone could do more with less. They took half their clothes and put them in storage so their closets would appear emptier. This probably helped but I don't think it is do or die as far as house selling. Our closets are all neat and tidy and well organized. BTH's looks like a store (his words, not mine!) because I am kind of a closet nazi. I get a little bent out of shape if things get to crazy in a closet. They have ONE child who is not even two yet, so totally no kid clutter (I remember those days!). I can't do much about our three (and plus one coming) compared to their one so more on that later. * AND they had a stager come in and set up their house. Could this have sold their home? Maybe.

We have been trying to sell our house for almost two years. Straight. We have tried it all. We have lowered our price, lots of times. We have open houses. We tried selling it ourselves to sell at a lower price. We have switched realtors three times! We have painted, updated, and decorated as much as we can within our budget. We made one of our realtors put our house on the front page of the realty section of the paper one week (he called in favors and he was really not happy with us but we were hoping it would work- obviously it did not!). We have listed on Craigslist. We have given flyers to businesses we frequent.

Just about the only thing we haven't done is to hire a stager. I think he/she would come in and tell us not a whole lot. There are a lot of things we could change at this point. I have a couple pictures of my kids around that I hide when we have showings. We put away almost all of our other mementos and anything else that has any kind of significance to us so our house will appear less "personal." We put out cookies and fresh flowers. We clean (well I clean) like a maniac. Most of our furniture is pretty new-ish so we don't have old shabby couches or chairs looking ugly. Our decor is more country, less modern than some like, but I don't think that makes or breaks us either. Except for Zoe's pink room, we have pretty much neutral colors throughout the house. If a pink room makes someone not want to buy our house than "forget them" as CeeLo says! Everyone wants that perfect house for rock bottom prices. No one has any vision or the will to do any work on a house anymore. I kind of feel like everyone (we have been in contact with) is kind of spoiled. I feel like no house is perfect, not even brand new houses. We have lived in two brand new houses and have had to do a lot of work to both.

So I am wondering, would you hire a stager? They can be pretty expensive. And frankly, who has the extra money for anything right now? After two years of this silliness we feel very much like victims and desperation is kind of setting in.

* My other question is how in the holy heck do you get rid of your kids' toys. I thought we'd be moved by now and we would have purged a lot of toys in the move. You know, blame it on the movers, "I don't know what happened to your broken roller skate, maybe the movers lost it!" But two years later, the mounds keep growing! Should I just go totally crazy, send them off to Grandma's house and load up some Goodwill boxes? Or should I have them help me? I know a "good mommy" would have them pick and choose and talk about each item but that makes me feel totally overwhelmed. I like the Grandma idea way better.


Jealous of all the other people who have sold their houses, Jenny

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday-everyone is back to school, woo hoo!

Finally, everyone is back to school which means I can get back to somewhat normal. As "normal" as I can be, hee hee! You'd think that having the kids home one week and big tall hubby home the next would just be smooth sailing, but it really threw me for a loop. I definitely like my routines and schedules.

I am such a happy mommy right now. Tanner can officially say, "I love you." It just melts my heart so much. He says it kind of like, "I yuh you mama." Oh, so incredibly perfect. I say it to him about 3oo times a day just to hear him say it. Is there anything better? It definitely makes up for all the times I have to get up in the middle of the night to find his lost paci. :)
I yuh you too!

my things to do this week:
Pretty much repeats from last week... I am so behind on what I want to accomplish! Again, thank goodness spring breaks are over!!!

  • finish sorting pictures (only one more envelopes to go!!!)
  • order a few more pics from Walgreens (finishing up some projects, didn't get to do this last week)
  • mend two items: a pair of pants and a sweater (found two new ones but I did finish my projects from last week!)
  • clean my upstairs doors (major priority this week, I want to get er done!)
  • clean/purge from my cleaning cabinet
  • schedule a gutter cleaning
  • get Easter candy (yummo!)
  • place an Amazon order... been wanting to do this for a while, I have about a mile long list
my menus for this week:
I just realized I never made a menu for this week! Yikes. See what being off schedule does to me? It will be a week of stuff I didn't make last week and freezer/pantry meals. We'll do ok, definitely none of us will go hungry. :)

  • lasagna and salad (didn't make this last week as planned b/c I forgot to get ricotta cheese)
  • shrimp alfredo and roasted broccoli (planned for last week but never made it)
  • after that, not sure...

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pregnancy gives people brain farts

My cuties...

So lately I must admit my belly has well, popped. You gals know what I mean. Strangers can tell that I am pregnant, or they think I am hitting the M&M's really hard, either way, people can see a rather large bump.

I am 25 weeks along and the time is flying. I just realized I have to start getting ready for the next bambino and it is kind of freaking me out. I know I have had a long time to think about it already but still when reality kicks in, it is kind of scary.

I told you yesterday that I have been getting some strange and not so nice comments about our upcoming addition. I thought I'd share some with you, just because I know you'll be just as miffed as I was.

So my bootcamp instructor who is by the way, the sweetest guy ever besides my big tall hubby, has been calling me "mama" for a few weeks. That is not what bothered me, he knows my name but I think my new nickname is kind of endearing. Last week, we were doing some planks and I was doing a modified version that works my arms rather than my abs and he came up to me (in front of everyone) and said, "you ok?" I said, "yep." And then he said, "well, I know you have some extra weight there to hold up." OK, really bootcamp guy, (I know his name but bootcamp guy sounds funnier), do we have to point it out and say it loud enough for everyone to hear?! I am not mad at him but I was surprised, the guy is super nice and I think he must have had some sort of brain fart. His wife is in our class too so I am hoping she took him home and gave him a good talking to!

Then, Big Tall Hubby was talking to a guy from his old school who said, "I heard you have some news!" To which BTH said, "un huh, how about that!?" His buddy said, "does she ever put her shoes on?" Then BTH told me the conversation and I was a bit T.O.ed. Really? We have to reference barefoot and pregnant? Grr. I was not liking him (the guy, not BTH) very much. I still haven't gotten over that one. I was barefoot at the time, just don't tell him that!

Then, at spinning class, one of the regulars asked me if this was baby #2. I said, "nope, #4." He said, "GIRL, you are better than me. Good luck with that one (sarcastic tone, eyes bugging out) and call me in about 10 years, I want to hear all about it." Now that comment doesn't sound too bad but it was his tone and facial expression that did it. I wanted to punch him but class was starting so I just kept spinning. See, brain fart.

Notice all these comments are from men. Hmm. Men who have wives and children. So they have been through this before and I feel like they should know better. Shame, shame, shame!

Then, (my high school english teacher would love all these "thens"!) Parker's preschool teacher (a lovely lady by the way) told me I looked "great" and "so small!" I wanted to hug her. I think she is teacher of the year.

I know all of us have had strangers and friends make comments about our baby bumps so I try to keep that in mind when I see a mother to be. I only say how lovely she is and how tiny her belly is and "really, I can't believe you are that far along! You look fantastic." Who cares if it is true or not? Deep down we all want to believe others think we are beautiful and wonderful.

Have a great weekend. I am hoping for warm weather and sunshine. :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

watchin' my weight Wednesday- except it's Thursday

My guys at the zoo- checking out the elephants
Aren't they so cute? Sorry about the obnoxious recycling can in this one...

Will everyone please go back to school/work so I can blog already?! Just kidding. Big Tall Hubby has his spring break this week (kids last week) and he has been working on a big project for his PhD classes so I was away from the computer again. Actually, yesterday was one of those days. You know what I mean? I was spilling stuff left and right, dropping things, spending all day in the car running errands, eating goodness knows what because of all that running, finishing laundry at 10:30 PM so our bed would be cleared enough for us to actually get in it! Yep, one of those days.

Anyway, so I love to talk about my love/hate relationship with being healthy and I am finding it so hard to not be discouraged about gaining weight. Now before you get all "but you are pregnant dummy!" on me, I know that but it is sooooooooo hard to gain weight and not feel guilty/mad/frustrated/gross even when you are pregnant. I mean, I am one of those gals who has not been blessed with the naturally skinny gene so this is hard. This has been a life long battle. Trying to be healthy and still enjoy life is tough, you know. I hate just giving in, losing control. To let go. To surrender to Mother Nature, scares the control freak in me to death. I always think, how can I get any bigger than this?! How am I going to lose this dang weight in a few months? Why did I eat that cookie? Does the doctor really have to weigh me? Didn't these pants fit last week? Did my arms just jiggle as I waved to my daughter on the school bus? The mind racing thoughts are so terrible and would make for an interesting session with a psychologist.

AND Big Tall Hubby is on a losing weight marathon. That is making it so much worse. I just see him cinching his belt and looking all skinny in the face and I feel a groan coming on, jealously stinks. He is getting smaller and I am getting well, huger. I am so proud of him. I am so happy for him. He got his cholesterol checked a month or so ago and his number were high, not scary high but so much so that our doctor said, "lose weight or you'll be needing medicine or worse." So I have been helping Big Tall Hubby by making more healthy meals and encouraging him to exercise more giving him lots of Weight Watcher tips and advice. He jumped in feet first. He is hardly snacking at all. I have to go to the store all the time to buy more apples! He gave up soda. He didn't eat any of the cookies me and the kids made last week or this week (who did!? I'll never tell!) He is doing so great. He has lost about 20 pounds so far. I mean, guys they just do a few things and whammo! They lose a ton of weight. Just stinks. For us women, I mean. See, jealousy is wretched.

Anyway, I am trying to enjoy being pregnant even with all the crazy comments people have said recently (maybe I will share some tomorrow). I am trying to give in to some of the baby's cravings, they are certainly not mine! ;) I am still exercising and trying to adhere to my Weight Watchers training and principals but by golly it doesn't make me any less envious of those who will be enjoying a skinny summer with their thighs not rubbing together!

Oh, a good song to download to your workout playlist...
"Brand New Day" by Sting
I was on the elliptical this morning and it came on and it was just like, "ahh" totally a refreshing, uplifting, love-the-lyrics kind of song. It has a slow build and I think it just fit perfectly to my workout this morning. In fact, I hit "repeat" and listened to it again!

you can see it here, really goofy video (sorry Sting, I still love you tons babe) but awesome song: Brand New Day

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hi y'all!

Wow, I didn't intend to take a week off from blogging (it is definitely a highlight of my day- I love catching up with everyone!) but having those three monkeys home all week with the temperatures lingering around 33 degrees made for a loooooooong week. What a crummy spring break for my kids. We were all excited to have a couple days of warm weather while they were still in school.
Then, kablamo! Rain, hail (see our patio!), and freezing temps.
We didn't get to play outside hardly at all. Well, we did, but believe me, I was sporting my winter snow hat and gloves (no kidding) and we played for 20 minutes at a time. I was really wanting to take them to the parks and do some yard work and clean up our garage but alas, Mother Nature thought differently.

Instead, they played with playdoh, painted a bunch of pictures, totally destroyed their rooms (but they were playing!), drove me insane (just kidding!), went swimming (yep, me in the indoor pool with all three!), went to the library, and got into the temporary tattoos, see...

Parker is looking a little like Dennis Rodman, but that's ok.

We finally had a warmish day on Sunday and we went to the zoo. It ended up being a lovely day. We bought a family pass this year so I'm sure I'll be sharing lots of photos this summer of us hanging out there. I love the gardens at our zoo so be prepared for lots of posed shots of my three cuties.
My things to do this week:
  • finish sorting pictures (only two more envelopes to go!!!)
  • order a few more pics from Walgreens (finishing up some projects)
  • mend two items: one of my produce bags and a sweater (lingering projects from a couple weeks ago)
  • clean my upstairs doors
  • clean/purge from my cleaning cabinet
  • pick up our taxes
  • schedule an air conditioner tune up
  • schedule our sprinkler system turn on
  • schedule a gutter cleaning

a lot of these are repeats from last week and before, with everyone home and no outside activities, it made getting any chores done next to impossible

my menus for this week:
  • grilled metts & brats with sauerkraut and beer baked beans (pregnancy craving!)
  • asparagus and sausage risotto
  • beef and broccoli stir fry
  • lasagna rolls and salads
  • shrimp alfredo