Monday, November 23, 2009

Still Thankful

Yeah, I missed a few thankful days. I've been busy. You know those kind of days where you KNOW you had a lot going on, but not a whole lot to show for it? Those are the kind of days I've had. To catch up, here are a few things I'm thankful for:

1. When my kids take naps at the same time. It doesn't happen often, especially now that Tralee doesn't nap, but when they DO happen to both be sleeping. . . HEAVEN!!!

2. My Grandpa Milt. He and his wife, my Grandma Pauline, took my mother under their wings when my mom was in her twenties. They considered her an adopted daughter, and have been a part of my family ever since. Many of my fondest childhood memories involve Grandma Pauline and Grandpa Milt. I am so thankful for all they did for me and my family growing up. Grandpa Milt passed away on Sunday. My thoughts and prayers are with Grandma Pauline and the rest of the family. He will be missed.

3. I'm thankful for a clean house. My house isn't clean at all. In fact, I would be embarrassed if anyone saw it right now. But, having it be so messy makes me realize how grateful I am when my house actually is clean.

4. Baby wipes. Those little guys work wonders. . . and not just on babies' behinds. Seriously, they get stains out of carpets pretty well too.

5. Magazines and catalogs. I love getting my magazines in the mail, and whenever the Pottery Barn catalogs find their way to my mailbox, I get really excited. I've NEVER purchased anything from Pottery Barn, but I like to get inspired by their catalog.

6. I'm grateful for a husband that I can say things like this to, "Honey, do you see this dresser in the Pottery Barn catalog? Can you make it for me, only in this color, and I want it to fit in this space. Thanks." Then, I'm grateful that my husband can actually make the thing I want at a fraction of the price Pottery Barn charges. :) How lucky am I?

That's all for now.

You might not be hearing from me until after Turkey Day. So, if not, I hope everyone has a VERY happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

11.20.09 Thank you very much

1. Memories from when we were just married. We had our tiny little apartment, we were busy with work and school, but life was GREAT! It's true you know, you really will miss "those" days.

2. The way that Hunter just goes for it when he rolls from tummy to back. He's so committed to the roll. He tilts his head back, and the weight of his head propels his whole body over.

3. How excited Tralee gets to see other children. She loves to play with kids SO much, and is eager to make friends. I really need to find a play group or something for her.

4. Dreams of the future. My future is such a happy, comfortable, pleasant place. I hope you can all come and visit me there in 5 to 10 years.

5. My Friends DVDs. I love that show. It never gets old. I started watching one of my Friends dvds last night when the kids were asleep, and Jim was watching sports on the other tv. It was a nice way to unwind at the end of the day.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

11.19 Thankfuls

I am thankful for:

1. My childhood. I had a great one. I hope my kids are left with great childhood memories.

2. My dishwasher. I HATE doing dishes, having a dishwasher makes it so much nicer.

3. The nice family at Petco. They had three little girls around Tralee's age. They were at Petco for the same reasons Tralee and I were: To look at the doggies and kitties. Tralee really hit it off with their little girls, and they ended up running around the store together giggling, jumping, and laughing. When we were all leaving, their grandma was buying her granddaughters gum and candy out of the 25 cent machines. I didn't have any quarters and Tralee was waiting for her turn to get some. I started explaining to Tralee that we would have to get a treat another day when their grandma handed Tralee a quarter as well. SOOOO nice. It's little gestures like that that just make my day! I love nice people.

4. Learning something new about Jim I never knew before. For instance, he used to melt chocolate and marshmallows together in the microwave, put them in the freezer, then put his concoction in little baggies and sell them for .25 cents each on the playground. When I asked him what he did with the money he made, he said he would go to the store and bought chocolate. What a funny kid he must have been.

5. When my babies are both asleep for the night. I love to be their mom, but it's so nice to have a little time with my hubby, or to myself when they're both down for the night.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thankful For . . . .

Today I'm thankful for:

1. A talented husband who can build things like this:

Jim designed and built all of the cabinets below. . . just to show a few of them.

I like the glass criss-cross windows in this one. Simply lovely.

I like the cabinet color in this one. Very cool. Jim also did the shelf above the fireplace. We have one like it as well, only ours is red.

They say a house doesn't start feeling complete until the cabinets are in. That's my hubby's job. Making the home complete with his beautiful cabinet work. He's so talented! He does it all, designs the cabinets, builds them, stains and paints them, and installs them. It's all a labor of love. He loves what he does, and I'm grateful for that. I can't wait for him to design and build cabinets in our dream home someday. He's already built the cabinets in the home we're in, and they're awesome. I'm so lucky to have such a talented guy around!

2. Getting all the laundry done. . . FINALLY!

3. Hunter's chubbiness. The kid is a little chunk and I LOVE it.

4. Tralee's excitement about playing with other kids at the park. She needs to play with friends more often. I'm afraid I can get rather boring for her.

5. The fall. I love autumn. It's my favorite season. In fact, when I was younger I wished my named was Autumn. I love the scenery, the smells, the crispness in the air, the colors, sitting inside sipping on hot cocoa while the wind is blowing. It's all so lovely.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thankful -- Now in Technicolor!

Here's today's list.

Today I'm thankful for:

1. My brothers. Jimmy was your typical big brother growing up. He teased me to tears, but if anyone else messed with me, he became my protector. I looked up to him growing up, and I'm so proud of him today. He's a great daddy, and when he sets his mind on something he REALLY wants, he won't give up until he has it. He's also incredibly kind and thoughtful. My other brother, Todd has taught me so much about being patient, kind, loving, and compassionate. I ache for him to be happy. I know someday he will have his mansion in the sky. I hope in the next life, I'll be able to sit down, and REALLY have a GREAT conversation with him. Todd also helped me know that Jim was the guy for me. Most guys I dated didn't know how to act around Todd so they would get really awkward when they first met him. I can't really blame them, it can be a lot to take in. However, I wanted the guy I married to have NO issues with me having a special needs brother. When Jim first met Todd all my worries were put aside. Jim and Todd hit it right off, and Jim knew exactly what to say, how to act, and treat Todd like a his brother.
2. I'm grateful for the following pictures of my mom. Isn't she a fox? P.S. She says wigs were "in" back then. The picture where she has an afro-thing going on, yeah, that's a wig. The rest are all her! She still has the prettiest hair. She's NEVER dyed it! NEVER! It's still pretty much the same shiny brown it is in the pictures below. Go MOM!

I love the shirt she's wearing.

Nice wig

My mom and me. And, by-the-way, Hunter looks A LOT like me as a baby. I just realized that when I was looking at this picture.

3. Can you tell I'm thankful for old pictures tonight?

4. I'm thankful for these photos of my dad
He was a cute little kid. I think his grandkids inherited a lot of his good looks.

My parents met in the army reserves. It's fun to imagine them back then, just a couple of youngsters fallin' in love.

See, they look good together. I'm glad they decided to make it offical.

5. I'm grateful for the wonderful family history I have. There are so many stories (good and bad), so much love, a little heartache, and so many blessings. I'm really grateful to be part of it all.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Today's Thankfuls

Today I'm thankful for. . .

1. Jim and the two hours of sleep I got this morning. Hunter DID NOT sleep last night. Maybe he's starting to teeth or something, but he was up all night. I wasn't feeling my best to begin with, so the no sleep thing was AWFUL. Then, at around 6:30am Jim took over. He pushed back his install for later in the morning, and watched both kids for me while I slept for two hours. He closed our bedroom door and kept all little munchkins away from me. I swear, those two hours of sleep were HEAVEN! Absolute bliss. Jim's awesome!

2. Good friends. The kind you can tell anything to, and they don't judge you. They're just your friends, ready to listen, and offer help or advice when needed.

3. My sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law. All of Jim's siblings and their spouses are awesome. I never felt awkward or in-lawish around them. They just took me in as one of their own, and I love them for it. My brother's wife is also awesome. It always seems like we have a lot to talk about when we're together. She's so comfortable to be around, and a lot of fun. She's also an awesome mommy.

4. and Tralee loves both of these internet sites. She especially loves the Curious George games on PBS and pretty much everything on Starfall. I love these sites because it's a nice way to pass some time with Tralee, and they're educational. We started with learning the letters and their sounds on starfall when Tralee was around a year, and she knew most of the letters before she turned two.

5. Books. I love to read. I haven't been lately, unless it's to the kids. My excuse? I'm busy with the munchkins. I just got Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South. I'm going to find the time, and read it. Can't wait! I hope it's as good as I remember it being.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thankful for. . .

1. Pumpkin pie. Jim's been asking for me to make one, so I took out my pureed pumpkin (that I made myself) and whipped one up for dessert. Yum.

2. Broccoli. It's the only veggie I can get Tralee to eat on a consistent basis. She loves the stuff.

3. Spaghetti. So easy to make, and so tasty. Plus, Tralee loves it. She gobbled a whole bowl down at dinner tonight, and then ate three heads of broccoli to boot.

4. Falling asleep on the couch. It feels so good to do. Why are couches so nice to fall asleep on? The only hard part is making yourself get up to go to bed.

5. Washable paint, markers, and crayons. Kudos to whoever came up with the formula to make these art supplies washable. Tralee wore a new shirt today. I noticed she got blue paint all over it. I didn't freak out because, I knew it was washable paint. Hooray!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

So Grateful!

It's easy to be grateful when you have a GREAT day! I LOVED today!

Today I'm grateful for:

1. Flea Markets. We went to one today. I love them! I also love garage sales and thrift stores. I love the idea of an item having a history, and inviting that item into your home to continue on its journey. I think used items like furniture, jewelry, clothes, etc have more character and they're unique. The desk I'm typing on was found in an old house. Jim refinished it, and I LOVE it! Here's a photo:

Anywho. . . I went to the flea market thinking it would be nice to find a nice piece of vintage jewelry. There were several booths full of jewelry, but a lot of what I liked was way over my price range. Then I found a booth full of jewelry. It was totally disorganized and I had to dig through tangled jewelry, but the prices were right on! After digging for a few minutes, I finally decided on a nice necklace. I'll have to post a picture later.

2. I'm also grateful for coupons. After the flea market we made our way to Pojo's. It's kind of like a Chuck-E-Cheese type place. We've never been, and we had a coupon for pizza, drinks, tokens, and ride tickets all for $15.00. I think we would have spent somewhere around $30 to $40 without the coupon. HOORAY!

3. I'm grateful for going out of business sales. I'm sorry for the company that had to close down, but grateful for the thrifty deals. I hit up a local Rite Aid that's closing and everything was 50% off. PLUS they accepted coupons on top of that discount. Everything was pretty picked through, but I ended up with some VERY thrifty deals. I got 12 cartons of Mentos gum for .25 cents each. We're gum chewers around here, so I was pretty happy about that.

4. I'm grateful for a husband who makes me laugh everyday. Seriously, not a day goes by that he doesn't put a smile on my face.

5. I'm grateful for the internet. You know the reasons, it's so nice to have!

There you go!

Friday, November 13, 2009


I fell off the grateful bandwagon, but I'll get back on. . . right after I vent for two seconds.

I've had a couple of "those kinds of days" in a row. Nothing major. Just a whole bunch of little things that built up. One of them being the fact that I spent two and a half hours at the doctor's office with the kids, because they skipped over our name by accident. They were really busy, so I figured they were just running behind. After an hour of waiting, I finally went up to the counter. They looked confused, made a phone call, and twenty minutes later the nurse came to apologize that she skipped over us. Lovely. At this point you would think they would try to hurry along and get us out of there ASAP. Nope. I sat in the examination room for another half hour waiting for the doctor. Two and a half hours later I left with two crying children (one was beyond bored, hungry, tired, and cranky, and the other was ticked off for having five pricks in his leg) and I too was on the verge of tears.

I know this ordeal is so trivial. I know there are REAL problems out there, I know I shouldn't let it get me down, but it did. I'm a lightweight when it comes to trials, but I'm working on it. Thinking of things to be grateful for sure helps!

That being said, here are my gratefuls:

1. I'm grateful Hunter is a happy healthy six-month-old. His current stats are:

18.11 lbs -- 75%
27.25 inches -- 80%

2. I'm grateful that Tralee was SO obedient at the doctor's office. She was so patient, and really only had a meltdown at the very end.

3. I'm grateful for my trials, I know they're meant to test my patience and faith. I know I've grown because of them. . . although I'm obviously a work in progress.

4. I'm grateful for Clementine oranges. They're back in season baby! I love those little, juicy, orange balls of deliciousness. I could probably eat a carton a day if I let myself.

5. I'm grateful for the staff at my local Walgreens. They're SO friendly, nice, and helpful. They always help me get the BEST deals and are super coupon friendly. I LOVE them there.

I'm doing a few more to make up for yesterday. . .

6. I'm grateful for online stores. If I need some retail therapy I go "shopping" online. I say "shopping" because I hardly buy anything, instead I like to fill up my online shopping cart with whatever I want, then delete it all before I'm done. It's a lot of fun and doesn't cost a dime!

7. I'm grateful for old friends I re-connect with online.

8. I'm grateful for SUPER crafty, amazing mom's blogs. It's so fun to get inspired by their creations.

9. I'm grateful for my parents. They're GREAT parents. They love their kids a lot, and since I'm one of them, I really appreciate it.

10. I'm grateful for photography. Other people's photography inspires me. I enjoy looking at photography websites and blogs. I love looking at cameras and camera equipment I want to own someday. Someday I would really like to own a nice camera and learn how to be a good photographer (maybe even take a class). Until then . . .

11. I'm grateful for my little point-and-shoot that gets the job done.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Here they are. . .

Here are my gratefuls for today:

I'm grateful for. . .

1. The blocks Jim made for Tralee. We played with them this afternoon, it was fun.

2. The fact that Hunter is getting over his cold

3. Hunter's smiles, especially when I'm bouncing him on my lap while singing the jumping bean song. (Don't worry if you're thinking, "Jumping bean song? What's that? How come I've never heard of it?" I made it up.)

4. Getting Tralee's toys organized today.

5. Disney soundtracks. Tralee will sit or dance in her room while listening to her favorite Disney songs for quite some time. The other day, while the opening song from The Lion King was playing, Tralee dug around in her toys until she found both of her lion stuffed animals. Then I held Hunter in the air and said, "Simba." After I did that, Tralee wanted a turn. As soon as I set her down, she grabbed both of her lion stuffies and took turns holding them in the air while majestically whispering, "Simba." So fun.

On to the next. . .

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Today. . .

I'm grateful for:

1. Nice moms who talk to me at the park. It's always nice to have someone to talk to while your child is running amok.

2. Laughing. It's great to laugh at and with your kids.

3. When Tralee actually obeys the first time. It's rare, but when it happens, it's GREAT!

4. A Halloween balloon that occupies Hunter for several minutes at a time so I can get other things accomplished.

5. Being content. Today I realized that there are SO many things I could be freaking out about right now, but I'm not. I think I'm becoming a little less high strung, more thankful for my blessings, and understanding that a lot of things are just plain out of my hands. Life has been challenging this past year, but I really believe I'm a better person because of it. I'm a happier person.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring. . .

Monday, November 9, 2009

Thankful for. . .

Jim's cousin Amberly has challenged her blog readers to name five things they're thankful for everyday during the month of November. The response has been great. I'm having a blast reading people's thankful lists. I'm a little behind -- I blame the Swine Flu. No, I don't have it, and no one in my household has it (knock on wood), but it seems an easy scapegoat now-a-days. So, I'm blaming H1N1 for my lack of thankfulness for days 1-8 of November.

Not only am I going to make excuses, but I'm going to cheat a little too. You see, I was going to do another blog post about a yummy recipe I discovered, but instead I'm combining my recipe post and my thankful post into one post to save a little time. So here goes:

1. I'm thankful for my Moosewood Cookbook (it was a wedding gift), more specifically for page 5's recipe for Gypsy Soup. Oh my goodness!!! This soup is SOOOO good. It tastes like fall in a bowl. It's colorful, spicy, and warm. Plus, it's called Gypsy Soup, that in of itself, makes it awesome. The cookbook describes it as "a spiced and delectable brew of Spanish and Dickensonian origins." Plus, not only does this soup taste fabulous, it's really good for you too! Here's the recipe:

3-4 Tbs olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 cups chopped, peeled sweet potatoes or winter squash
1/2 cup shopped celery
1 cup chopped, fresh tomatoes
3/4 cup chopped sweet peppers
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (I use canned garbanzo beans so I don't have to soak the chickpeas)
3 cups stock or water (I used 4 cups, otherwise my soup is more stew-like)
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp basil
1 tsp salt
dash of cinnamon
dash of cayenne (I use more than a dash)
1 bay leaf
1 Tbs tamari (If you don't have it, a decent soy sauce will do)


In a soup kettle or large saucepan saute onions, garlic, celery, and sweet potatoes in olive oil for about five minutes. Add seasonings, except tamari, and the stock or water. Simmer, covered, fifteen minutes. Add remaining vegetables and chickpeas. Simmer another 10 minute or so -- until all the vegetable are as tender as you like them. Stir in tamari.

Note: The vegetables used in this soup are flexible. Any orange vegetable can be combined with green . . .for example, peas or green beans could replace the pepper. Carrots can be used instead of, or in addition to the squash or sweet potato. Etc.

2. I'm also thankful for my newest recipe for beer bread. It's so easy, and so good. Plus it pairs up nicely with soup. All you need is:

2 c. Self Rising flour
1/3 c. sugar
1 can or bottle of beer
You can also add some shredded cheese, or flax seed meal like me.

Bake it at 375 for 45 min-1 hour, or until it isn’t doughy in the middle

Doesn't this look nice to come home to? Jim was sure thankful.

3. I'm thankful for Tralee's new sheets. They're so cute and comfy.

4. I'm thankful for my clearance finds at Michael's crafts. You can't beat thirty cent play dough. Thirty cents has brought Tralee MANY hours of happiness.

5. I'm thankful for Tralee's pictures of our family. Our eyes are huge, noses small, and mouths a bit forlorn, but overall SOOOO cute! Not bad for two years old.

HOORAY! There's my five for today. Hopefully I'll keep up with it. If not, you'll know it's because of the dreaded Swine Flu that I'm behind.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Wish

A few months ago Jim took Tralee out on the deck at night, pointed to the first star they saw, and started repeating the nursery rhyme:

"Star light, Star bright,
The first star I see tonight
I wish I may, I wish I might
Have this wish I wish tonight."

When Jim finished the poem he told Tralee to make a wish. We've repeated this poem a few times sense, and always end it by telling Tralee to make a wish.

Flash forward to today.

Jim was going over shapes with Tralee before he went to work. My mom sent a Halloween care package, and in it she sent colorful lamented shapes she made. First Jim held up a circle and asked, "What's this?" Tralee answered, "Circle." The next shape was an octagon to which Tralee said, "Ah-ah-gone." We made our way through square, heart, and rectangle. The next shape up was a star. Jim asked, "What's this?" Tralee paused and thought for a minute. Finally she remembered and answered,

"A wish!"

So, just so you know, in our house, stars are now called wishes. :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


We had a lot of fun this Halloween. Friday night we went to a party. Saturday we went trick-or-treating. Sunday (I know it was past Halloween, but it was still the Halloween weekend) I made pumpkin pie from SCRATCH!! I'm talking, I hallowed out the pumpkin, roasted it, pureed it, and mixed it up into a delish pumpkin pie. I also roasted the pumpkin seeds. (Can you tell I'm a little proud of myself?) The pie is now gone, there are a few seeds left, so really, all we have to show for our super-fun weekend are these pictures and videos from trick-or-treating. Enjoy.

Hunter the frog. He kicks his little legs like a froggy swimmin'.

Before we left to load up on candy, Tralee bounced on Jim's Uncle's tramp. She kept saying, "Tralee's flying!" Especially when I doubled bounced her. I love that she thought she was flying. LOVED it!

Tralee the cowgirl, Jovie the princess, and Oakley the pirate warming up for trick-or-treating by jumping on the tramp

Our little froggy



Jim was a hockey player. He wore roller blades and everything. He couldn't get too far on them though, because Tralee wanted to hold his hand most of the night. . . unless of course she was getting candy.

Three little spooks getting some candy

Tralee became a pro at knocking, and ringing doorbells by the end of the night

I love the above picture. Tralee would often ring the bell, and then peek through the window until she saw someone coming. As soon as she saw that candy was on the way she would get really excited and often say, "I seem 'em!" Check it out on the video below:

Tralee always said "thank you" or "thanks" after I stopped recording, and after the people shut the door. We'll have to work on her "thank you" response being a little quicker for next year. :)

At the end of the night both kid-0s snuggled with Grandma Trish.

We had a blast trick-or-treating. First we went around with the Jacobs family. Then we split up so Jim could do some haunting at his Uncle's house. Turns out, by the time we got back to Jim's Uncle's most people were done trick-or-treating in that area. So, we got Tralee back in her costume and made the rounds. We figured if nobody was going around that neighborhood, there would be lots of people unloading their candy into our little horsey's bucket. We were right. She loaded up!

We had a great Halloween! Hope you did too!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Things I love

  • I love that Tralee says "fo" for nose.
  • I love that when I put my face close to Hunter's, he puts his hand on my cheeks and pulls me in towards his face until we're touching
  • I love how comfortable Jim is. Seriously, I sleep the best next to him. Tralee often falls asleep on him to. He was built for snuggling.
  • I love that all Tralee wants to eat right now is pancakes, or as she says it, "cancakes."
  • I love how Tralee hums little melodies throughout the day
  • I love that when Tralee counts she can't quite get past 11. It usually goes, "8, 9, 10, 11, 8, 9, 10, 11, 8, 9, 10, 11" until we say, "12" to help her out.
  • I love how Tralee is starting to sing along to her favorite songs
  • I love that whenever she sees someone on a show kissing, Tralee goes, "Oh. . . Kissum!"
  • I love that Tralee says "um" instead of the usual "ing" sound. For instance, "Tralee's eatum." or "Tralee's singum."
  • I love how when Hunter laughs his whole body shakes
  • I love when Hunter laughs and it turns into a high pitched squeal
  • I love that as soon as Tralee hears the door unlock each night, she drops whatever she's doing, and runs towards the door while yelling, "Daddy's home! Daddy's home!"
  • I love how Tralee loves to help me in the kitchen. She pulls up a chair, or sits on one until I drag her up to the counter to help me stir.
  • I love how whenever Tralee sees Jim and me hugging, she runs up to us and says, "Tralee the cheese!" Then we pick her up, stick her between us, and keep hugging while we all say, "Tralee's the cheese! Tralee's the cheese!"
  • I love how whenever I'm bending over, looking for something, Tralee climbs up on my back and starting singing, "Horsey Horsey on my way. . . "
  • I love how Hunter kicks and kicks and kicks those chubby little legs of his whenever he's excited, happy, bored, or angry
  • I love how when Corky and Tralee are playing tug-of-war with a toy, Hunter gets really worried about his sister and starts crying
  • I love how Tralee will follow Corky around, copying EVERYTHING that silly dog does, right down to licking our hands, sitting a certain way, or panting.
  • I love Hunter's toothless smile
  • I love how when I lay in bed next to Hunter, he immediately rolls towards me, ready to snuggle and eat.
  • I love how excited Hunter gets about touching things, his whole face lights up at the prospect of touching something new
  • I love hearing my children laugh with each other
  • I love how proud Tralee is when she shares with her brother. She'll run up to me after giving Hunter something and say, "Tralee share with baby!"
  • I love it when my children hold hands. . . melts my heart every time
  • I love when my whole family is in our bed, snuggling, talking, singing, tickling, and reading stories.
I love my life.
I love my family.