Monday, November 30, 2009
I have been out of work since May 2008. I was laid off after being at a job for 6 months. Money became tight, but with the help of unemployment insurance, we were able to make ends meet. I stopped receiving unemployment in May 2009, and we have been living on student loans and the small amount Steve makes as a graduate assistant. But alas, the financial despair is ever so present. We will not get the school loans until after all of our bills are due in January, and could possibly be evicted. We are trying to work with our landlord, but the money is due when the money is due. To be honest, I have been racking my brain on a way for me to earn these funds, and short of doing something illegal or immoral, I've got nothin'.
My sister has cancer, and will likely not make it too far into the new year. We have never been close, and sometimes she is difficult to deal with, but she is still my sister. She has two children who will have to grow up without their mom. And my parents. Why should they have to bury their 30 year old daughter?
My dad recently had triple by-pass surgery. He began having chest pains and went to the hospital. He never had a heart attack (thankfully), but it has been extremely stressful time. I am thankful that he made it through. He is mending well, and is getting more and more strength every day. I am helping him and helping my mom around the house so she can focus on her work.
I miss my husband, although he is in the last week of classes and has 2 weeks of exams before the semester finally comes to an end. I am hoping to be able to spend some time with him in December, but he will need to go visit his Dad and stepmom as well as his grandparents.
I am ready for some good to come along. I want to have a real celebration, not just celebrating the positives of a bad situation. I know a celebration is a celebration. We are celebrating that my dad made it through his surgery so well. We are celebrating that we have today with my sister (and with each other for that matter, as we are not promised tomorrow), but I want to have a joyous occasion that does not have sad undertones. While we are celebrating each day with my sis, we are also mourning that this might be her last Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. My family just needs some pure joy, happiness, or vacation from reality.
How do we get that?
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Sweet Potato Pie
1 cup sugar
1 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato
¾ cup evaporated milk *
¼ cup milk
¼ cup butter, melted
2 tsp. vanilla
10 inch pie shell, unbaked
Preheat oven to 400°. Beat together eggs, sugar, and sweet potatoes. Add milk, butter, and vanilla. Pour into pie shell, and bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Then reduce heat to 325° and bake for 30 minutes more. When knife inserted comes out clean, the pie is done.
*¼ cup evaporated milk and ½ cup dry sherry may be substituted for ¾ cup evaporated milk.
We top with homemade Whipped Cream or Syllabub:
½ pint whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar
Place mixing bowl and beaters in freezer to chill at least 30 minutes. Make sure whipping cream is very cold (but not frozen). In a mixing bowl, beat whipping cream and sugar until peaks are formed.
Syllabub is Whipped cream with 1/2 cup dry sherry added. Make whipped cream and carefully fold in sherry.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
2 cans cream style corn
1 cup milk (evaporated may be used)
2 tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp salt
2 heaping tbsp flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix all ingredients well and pour into greased 9X13 glass pan. Bake at 350 for about an hour, or until set. Recipe can be doubled. This recipe cooks better when it is shallow in the pan. If might fit into a smaller pan, but it will take longer for it to cook and set.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
It's beginning to look like FALL around here! YAY! The leaves are JUST beginning to turn. In about a week or so, it is going to be absolutely GORGEOUS around here. It is a little bit cooler this week, and I hope that it stays that way.
I have really been in the mood to make some fall/winter type meals – like Chili and Shepherd's pie. YUMMY!!!
Damn fire ants. I went to take the garbage out with my slippers on, and stepped right on a swarm of fire ants (no, I wasn't looking for them, so I didn't see them). Those things HURT like the dickens. My foot is swollen, and I have HUGE bites on it.
Also, damn crickets. We have been plagued all summer with some crickets chirping right outside our bedroom window, now they are on all sides of the house! Daddyman usually sleeps with a pillow over his head, because he isn't able to sleep with all the loud noise. The other morning, when the kids got up super duper uper early, Daddyman tried to stretch out on the couch with Jack, and was unable to sleep with all the noise the crickets were making. I'll be glad when it gets cold enough for them not to be around as much! I just don't want them in our house. Isn't it bad luck to kill a cricket?
Jack is an extremely PARTICULAR person. Sometimes he has a hard time using his imagination. He LOVES to color. Actually, that is an understatement. He absolutely ADORES coloring. He spends a lot of his day coloring. He likes for me to print out pictures from the internet of things from Disney and PBS Kids as well as Superman, Batman, and Spiderman. The thing is, he can't color Spiderman green. He HAS to color Spiderman exactly the way he is supposed to be colored. He is constantly asking me to look up a character online so that he can see what color a shirt or shoe is, because he doesn't remember ALL the colors. It is almost obsessive…
We get a lot of telemarketers calling. I have been meaning to add our number to the national Do Not Call list, but I keep forgetting. When we lived in Indiana, we had a GREAT statewide Do Not Call List, and only a couple of telemarketers could call (like for Police or newspapers). It was great! I really miss that, and other things from when we lived in Indiana. I miss Papa Murphy's pizza (take and bake, really inexpensive!)
I'm done with the randomness today…
Have a great week!
Sunday, October 4, 2009
As for Daddyman and myself, I am still winning. I beat him again this week. Whoo hoo! He had a really rough week with byes and injuries, so I am sure that I will be caught in the near future.
And the Redskins?
A win is a win, right? I guess, even if the team that wins looks worst playing than a team that has lost. Such is the story of my beloved Redskins. They won (barely), but they still don't look very good when they play. They don't seem like they are a team, they are just individuals playing as individuals for an individual purpose. There doesn't seem to be any cohesiveness amongst the players. It is time to come together as as family of sorts, and get the job done. The most successful teams are ones that act like a family. That's not to say that there won't be some fights and some disagreements, but when push comes to shove, they are in it together for the long haul.
Here's to a better week ahead.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
What can I say? The Redskins decided that after 19 consecutive losses, the Detroit Lions deserved a win. That would be a fair and true statement, EXCEPT the 'Skins actually looked like they were trying.
A lot of the faithful and loyal Redskins fans are in utter shock. Some are just tired of this attempt at greatness each year, that ends up in utter failure. Some blame head coach Jim Zorn, but the Redskins have not shown any greatness in quite some time. So what is it? They have a TREMENDOUSLY talented team, but some how, they can't hold it together.
Daddyman has finally beaten me this week...and in good fashion. I don't wanna talk about anything futher, let's just say he is enjoying this win. That's OK honey, I let you have one.
I am UNDEFEATED in the Momspective league. I have some work to do this week in order to continue my streak.
In other news:
I took Jack to UNC-Chapel Hill Ortho yesterday, and he got casts put on his feet to help lengthen his calf muscles and heel cords so that he stop walking on his toes. He is adjusting quite well. I am sure I will have some pictures for tomorrow's Wordless Wednesday.
My mom has been growing some hot peppers to make pepper vinegar. She has been letting them sit on the vine to get hot (they have turned red, but she is still letting them get a little hotter). My niece and nephew have been wanting to try them all summer long, and finally, Mom didn't stop them when they went to pick a pepper. Hannah took a bite, and immediately went to get a paper towel to try to wipe the hotness from her mouth. She then went to get the thermometer to check the temp in her mouth, because she was SURE that it would be hot. Don't think she'll be eating any more hot peppers.
Have a blessed day!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I grew up in eastern NC, and their brand of BBQ. To Eastern North Carolinians, BBQ is made from pork, and has a vinegar based sauce. Mostly, the sauce is vinegar, a little sugar, crushed red pepper. Some doctor it up with some other spices, and still others let hot peppers marinate in their vinegar to give it some heat. To accompany our BBQ, we usually have Brunswick stew*, slaw, hushpuppies, and banana pudding for dessert. Some people stray away from these sides, but that would be my favorite BBQ plate.
A few weeks ago (while in Richmond with Mama), we bought some country-style pork ribs that were on sale. Since I GENERALLY don't eat meat that has bones attached (no fried chicken for me! I know, I'm not very southern, am I?), I didn't know how to cook these ribs. So, I decided I would get some ENC BBQ sauce, and put the ribs in the crock pot. I left them on low all day (you know, low and slow), and by dinner time, house smelled WONDERFUL, and the pork was, as my mama would say, "Out of this world!" I threw together some Brunswick Stew*, and we had a pretty good meal (even if we didn't have slaw or hushpuppies).
When Food Lion put them back on sale this week, I bought some for the family (although I knew the kids wouldn't eat it). I put them in the crock pot with some Uncle Yammy's BBQ sauce. Again, I made some Brunswick stew*, but this time I also made some homemade Macaroni and Cheese. Daddyman thoroughly enjoyed the meal!
Now Daddyman has an affection for Western NC BBQ, which is very similar to the rest of the country, in that a red (tomato/ketchup) sauce is used. We have tried a BUNCH of tomato based sauces, and I have two favorites – Sauer's and Stubbs. I just recently discovered the Sauer's, and it is a bit spicier than your normal, grocery store brands. Our other favorite is red sauce is Stubb's. It has a good flavor. I am able to doctor just about any kind of BBQ sauce to suit our needs, so I buy what is on sale.
When we lived in Indy, the closest thing we could get to ENC BBQ was GT South's. They had pretty good BBQ, and they had their tomato-based BBQ sauce on the side. Once, I brought it home, and kind of made my own vinegar-based sauce. Well, ok, I didn't KIND OF make my own sauce, I ACTUALLY made my own sauce. It wasn't as good as some bottled stuff I get around here. For years, and years, and years, I got George's BBQ sauce, which is made in Nashville, NC. It is WONDERFUL. However, I recently discovered Uncle Yammy's sauce, which is made in Greenville, NC.
*You're probably wondering what Brunswick stew is. When we lived in Indy, I learned that not everyone knows what Brunswick stew is. I made it for some co-workers once, and someone called it chicken chili. I just about busted a gut laughing so hard. Anyhow, Brunswick stew is a thick vegetable stew that usually includes, beef, pork, chicken, tomatoes, corn, and butter beans. It wasn't until I was older that I actually got Brunswick stew with pork and beef in it, I had just had it with chicken. It is sooo yummy, and filling on a cold, winter day. Here's the recipe:
(3 ½ - 4 lb) chicken fryer, boiled, and boned (2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts boiled in 2 bouillon cubes may be substituted)
2 cups reserved chicken stock
1 can butter beans (lima beans)
1 bag frozen small butter beans
1 can tomato soup
2 cans diced tomatoes
3 cans cream style corn
Salt and pepper to taste
Place chicken, tomato soup, stock, frozen butter beans, and tomatoes in large pot. Mash 1 can butter beans and add to pot. Cook 1 ½ - 2 hours, until stew starts to thicken, stirring occasionally. Add corn to stew and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cook 30 minutes longer, stirring regularly (to keep the stew from sticking to bottom). Dried potato flakes can be used to thicken.
Hope you enjoy!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
So, I have started using baking soda and diluted vinegar to clean things around the house (not together, of course). This is supposed to be better for the environment, and better around my kids – no hard chemicals or fumes. But, every time I use the vinegar/water spray on my counter tops and table, I think that someone is cooking BBQ in my kitchen.
Unless you were from North Carolina (Eastern NC, specifically), you probably don't think that is funny, but when I said it to my mom, she laughed out loud for 2 whole minutes. You see, in Eastern NC, we do not use a tomato/ketchup based BBQ sauce. We only use a vinegar based sauce to flavor the meat. But that is an entirely different post all together.
Daddyman reads my blog, but doesn't give me any comment love (all comment love is welcome). We occasionally talk about it (my blog), but he never says that what I write makes him LOL. Then I got to thinking, what would make him LOL? Especially at school? So, this is completely for him – I'm the nurse…
And if any of you ACTUALLY GET this, you might be in the running to be our new best friends!!!
DUDE! My mom got Daddyman and me 2 tickets to see the Redskins host the Cowgirls on December 27! We are so excited! We have been to a preseason game for the Redskins at home, and we have seen them play in St. Louis (when we lived in Indy), but we have never been to a regular season home game for the Redskins. We have some points for a free Marriott stay, so we are going to be spending the night in the DC area after the game (it is supposed to start at 8:20PM).
My fellow blogger Julie @ Momspective had a unfortunate accident cell phone this week. Please stop by her site Momspective and see if you can help her.
I have the sweetest little boys. Jack was especially sweet this morning. When he got up, he gave me a hug and told me, "I love you Mommy. You look beautiful in that blue shirt." I have on a plain blue T-shirt and sleep shorts.
OK, time for the randomness to end. I will catch you next week with another installment of total random thoughts…
Monday, September 21, 2009
What a day in football! The Redskins won…it was an ugly win, but a win none the less. The Cowgirls LOST the home opener in their new-bigger-than-anything-else-in-Texas stadium (OK, so it was to the Giants, but it is a LOSS). The NE Patriots lost to the NEW YORK JETS…THE NEW YORK JETS!!! Carolina Panthers are 0-2, although Jake Delhomme looked a lot better. Let's see if his change in momentum can change the rest of the team. I hope so (although I am a die-hard 'Skins fan, I root for the Panthers as long as they are not playing the 'Skins).
In fantasy news…
It is week 2, and I have been brought down off of my first week winning high. I still have a chance to pull out a win in the Momspective II (MII) league, but it all hinges on Joseph Addai (RB, Indianapolis). In the Momspective II league, my opponent has Joseph Addai, and if he gets more than 11 points, I am toast this week.
In my league with Daddyman, I played the Philadelphia defense against the New Orleans offense, and that cost me a quite a bit of points. Drew Brees had some great numbers, and I think he is the one to watch this year. Otherwise, I got kicked around this week by Daddyman's team. It has been BRUTAL, but I have a chance to pull it out if Joseph Addai (RB, Indianapolis) and Dallas Clark (TE, Indianapolis) can get me some points. I am hoping that Peyton will be throwing a few TDs to Clark, and Addai will get a few yards, but not a LOT (remember, my opponent in the MII league has him). Man, I hope I can pull this out…
I had some pretty poor performers, and I am going to have to re-evaluate this week. This week, I am going to be looking at Defense/Special Teams. In MII, I have the New England Patriots as my Defense/Special Teams. I may be analyzing this too much, but I am not sure that NE is the best defense any more. We'll see what happens this week. I am going to look into injuries, and make a think about changing out my defense. I am going to need to pick up an additional Defense/Special Teams, as bye weeks start in week 4.
Here is a schedule of the bye weeks:
Week 4: Cardinals, Falcons, Eagles, Panthers
Week 5: Bears, Packers, Saints, Chargers
Week 6: Cowboys, Colts, Dolphins, 49ers
Week 7: Ravens, Broncos, Lions, Jaguars, Seahawks, Titans
Week 8: Bengals, Steelers, Chiefs, Patriots, Buccaneers, Redskins
Week 9: Bills, Browns, Vikings, Jets, Raiders, Rams
Week 10: Giants, Texans
Have a good week everyone!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
OK, so it is official, I beat Daddyman in a head-to-head competition this week! Yay me! We have great competitiveness, and he was not a happy camper that he lost to me in the first week. He kept explaining that since I had Drew Brees (QB for New Orleans, who had a MONSTER week last week), I naturally won. It didn't hurt that I had the Philadelphia Defense that also had a MONSTER week against the Carolina Panthers.
I also won in my first week in the Momspective league. This was an exciting week for me! I love to play games, and LOVE to be aggressively competitive.
Now I have turned my attention to this coming week, and what my match-ups are. In the Momspective league, I am looking at the offensive-defensive match ups. It is important to see how a defense will play against your offense. If your QB or WR is going to be playing against a GREAT defense, that is able to stop passing or gets a lot of sacks, you might want to choose a different player. In my case, I have the Jay Cutler (Chi), Eli Manning (NYG) and Matt Ryan (Atl) as my choices for QB this week. Jay Cutler did not have a good week last week, and is going against the Pittsburgh Steelers defense. The Steelers are a decent defense, and this choice is risky…you just don't know what's going to happen. Eli Manning is going against the Dallas Cowgirl defense. This too in my opinion is risky, as Dallas and NY are division rivals, and NY likes to run a lot. When Eli passes though, and connects, it will be good. I am going with Matt Ryan again this week. He is going against the Carolina defense, which has issues. Atlanta has a good offense (including Matt Ryan), so this is my best option this week.
It is important that you do your homework on your players…especially QBs, WRs, and RBs. You can kind of skate through on Defense/Special Teams, and Kickers. No one likes kickers or punters any how…unless it is Hunter Smith of the Washington Redskins. On Sunday, he was the holder for the kicker, Shaun Suisham to kick a field goal. He picks up the ball, and runs it in 8 yards to score a touchdown leading into the half. The 'Skins were down 17-0, and they needed that boost tremendously.
Tell your hubby about your pick for QB this week, and have a discussion about it. If you do your homework, it will be a good conversation. Then watch the stats on Sunday (During Game Breaks, Half time, and scrolling at the bottom of your TV screen). You can discuss which QB is having the best day, and who is having the worst.
Have a good week!!!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
I am now back home for a short while. YEAH!!! I love being at home. I could stay in the house for a week (longer without kids). I have so much to clean right now, that I might be home for a whole week. We have so much "junk". I need to go through it to see what needs to be pitched, donated, or sold on eBay. I am having clutter issues...
I need satellite TV or cable, but I would really prefer DirectTV so I can get the NFL Direct Ticket. Daddyman and I had it a few years ago (before 2 kids), and it was AWESOME. I kind of didn't appreciate it when we had it, but I would now. Hell, I would settle for some ESPN, Disney channel, and Noggin. Living in the boonies and no satellite/cable, we get SQUAT on the TV. We can't even get ABC. We JUST were able to tune FOX in, but I had to put the antenna on a Goldfish box, an Accounting book, and an Amazon.com box on top of the entertainment center.
As you might remember, my 4 year old has a little girlfriend at the the babysitter's in Richmond. Last Thursday, he told her goodbye for a while. Miss Robyn reported that Jack told his gf that it would be a while before he would get to see her again. Every time I mention her name, he gets this goofy little smile on his face. It is kind of precious.
Jack is really a sweetheart. At least once a week he wakes up to tell me he had the best dream. When I ask what it was about, he says that he dreamed that he loves everyone in the whole world, even Hemi (his brother). He is usually very joyful on those days.
Have a happy week!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I am still in Richmond trying to help Mama tie up some loose ends.
My niece started 1st grade today. Henrico county public schools start the day after Labor Day (I think it is a state law). Can't wait to hear how it was.
My sister has an appointment with her oncologist tomorrow to get the results of the latest bone marrow biopsy. I am sure I will have some things to blog about once that appointment happens (stay tuned!)
I am going to get to see some family members I haven't seen in a few years this week. I am really excited about having time with them.
Oh! my 41/2 year old son has a girlfriend. She is 7. She is a newcomer to our babysitter, and Jack talks non-stop about her. The other morning, he came down the stairs and the first thing he said was, "Mommy, it's going to be a good day today, Lily is going to be at Miss Robyn's house!" It is sooo cute. He gets this little almost embarassed smile on his face. He is probably going to be upset when we have to leave her and go back home.
Toy Story and Toy Story 2 are going to be re-released in 3-D starting October 2. My boys saw the commercial for the first time today, and both of them are totally stoked! (OK, is stoked still a cool word to say, or am I really lame?)
Also, Little Einsteins has a new movie coming out today, and I will be going to get it soon as a late birthday present from Grammy. Hemi doesn't know about it, and will be really excited when he gets to see it.
OK, so have a good day, that is all the randomness I can think of.
Monday, September 7, 2009
AAHHHH, there is a crispness in the air. School is back in session. The NC State fair is around the corner. It is fall, my favorite time of year.
Oh yeah, I forgot. It's FOOTBALL SEASON!!!!!
WHOOO HOOO!!!! HELL YEAH!!!! HOOOORAYY!!!
Can ya tell that I LOVE FOOTBALL! Specifically the Washington Redskins, and the NFL (but I don't mind some ECU football too!).
We are dedicated, loyal, enthusiastic Redskins fans. Well, anyone who says that they are a true Redskins fan is dedicated, loyal, and enthusiastic. Daddyman has been a Redskins fan for his whole life. I was converted when I met Daddyman. For my safety, and the safety of my children, I will not reveal who I used to be a sometimes fan for. Daddyman has been such a die-hard fan, he put his name on the list for season tickets. Right before we were relocated to Indianapolis, Daddyman was informed he had been selected to get season tickets. What a disappointment.
When we got to Indy, Daddyman decided that he would get the NFL Direct Ticket, so that not only could he watch every Redskins game, he could watch ALL NFL games. In order not to become an NFL widow, I WATCHED football with Daddyman, and learned more than just the basics that my mom had taught me growing up (aside: she had learned about football so that she could talk to the guys in her office-she was the only female). Now, there were times when I would nap for an hour or so during a game, but I would wake up when things were getting good, and I don’t think I EVER slept through a ‘Skins game.
While I was working in Indy, some of the guys in the office started a fantasy football league, and allowed me to join. Even though I hadn’t played before, I did pretty well against the guys. I have played in several other leagues since then.
This year, Daddyman and I are playing against each other in our own private league. This should prove interesting, as we are both competitive. He has a lot more knowledge than I do, but I intend on kicking his butt all over eastern North Carolina. We have had our draft, and I think that my team will be a force to be reckoned with this year.
I also have a team in the Momspective II league through ESPN. I am excited about this league too, as it will be against other moms and women. Since I have played fantasy football before, and have a good understanding of things, I’ll be sharing my tips each week. I’ll also be celebrating my victories, and sharing my frustrations. ‘Cuz I’m good like that.
This Thursday, be sure to check your starters to make sure everyone is you have starting is physically starting their game. It is important this week that you make sure you check it prior to the Tennessee @ Pittsburgh game. If you have a player scheduled to start in the Thursday night game, and you cannot bench him after the start of the game. During a regular week, when games are on Sunday and Monday, it is a good idea to check your players after Thursday afternoon (this is when each team releases their injury report stating if a player is out, doubtful, probable, questionable, or injured reserve). If a player is listed as probable or questionable, the team can make a game time decision, and you would need to adjust your roster within the last hour before kick-off. The pregame specials on CBS and Fox will keep you informed, and you can also tune into ESPN for SportsCenter to get the latest info. You can also tune into www.espn.com to get up-to-date information.
Good luck in your first week as a Fantasy Football team owner!!!
HAIL TO THE REDSKINS!!!!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
I mistakenly thought that ideas and blog posts would just POP into my head, and then magically appear on the screen. WOW, I WAS WRONG (OK, now note this day, and print this page...I admitted I was WRONG).
The best bloggers out there (well, the ones I have found) plan out their blogs, and some even pre-write them and have them scheduled to upload. I have also found, that I don't tell a story as well as I thought I should. Most of the bloggers (again, the ones I have found), can tell a story with all of these details that you read for like 5 minutes (or longer). I tell a story in like 5 sentences.
I have often thought about an exercise that my senior year english teacher had us do. We were to keep a journal. It would be for her eyes only, no classmates were going to be getting these to read. Most of the time, it was just for her to see that we had completed the assignment, not necessarily if our writing technique was good. Also, she would give us a subject to write about, but periodicaly, she would let us choose. The first exercise that she gave us, was for us to "brainstorm" and write down everything that came to mind. EVERYTHING. If it was something about ***, we were supposed to write it down.
I have thought about having such an exercise to see if it will work now. I hope it does, or you just might be looking at this post forever!
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Daddyman and I did not plan on having Hemi when we did. He was God's gift to us. And what a great gift he has been!
Hemi's pregnancy was a lot rougher on me than Jack's, but I think it was because I got pregnant so soon after having Jack. I have diabetes, so any pregnancy is high risk, but it was even more high risk because of getting pregnant so soon. I had to have weekly doctor's appointments throughout the pregnancy, and was even sent to a pediatric cardiologist to ensure that Hemi's heart was alright. I did eventually have to go to the hospital twice a week for non-stress test, and to the doctor's office once a week.
Everything about him was perfect, except he kept trying to escape early. I went into labor at 30 weeks, and began to have some bleeding, so we ended up in the hospital overnight. The contractions were stopped, and I went home. Again, at 35 weeks, I went into labor again, and was given the choice to have him, or stop contractions and wait. I chose to wait because I wanted him to be as developed as he could be. I knew that if he was born early, he might have some problems, and have to stay in the NICU. I wanted to do whatever I could to prevent that. So, I was released from the hospital, and put on bed rest. That is hard when you have an 18 month old at home. Finally, at 37 weeks, an amnio was done to see if Hemi's lungs were developed (and they were).
Henry McAllister was born at 8:16 am on August 29, 2006 weighing 8 lbs. 6 oz. and 21 inches long.
Friday, August 28, 2009
But now I am back!!! I am at home for the time being, and now that we are into our routine again, I am beginning to add exercise to it. I did walk 2 miles this week, I just didn't have the motivation to walk any more. I am going to recommit to walking. Everyone I have talked to has said that exercise helps relieve stress, and Lord knows I need to relieve some stress. Please stay tuned for some fabulous tips, and maybe even a recipe or two to help you along.
Let's get moving!!!!
Have a great week!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
She was very prim and proper, and she thought that at age 56, she was way too young to have any grandchildren. She decided that I would either call her Grandmother, or Frances (her given name). I attempted to say "Frances" and it came out "Sancy". Well, it stuck. For her, it was good because it didn't REALLY sound like a old lady's name such as Nannie, or Nana, or Granny or something, and it also wasn't formal like Grandmother.
She was a "cool" grandma. She was definitely NOT one to sit around knitting or crocheting. She went on trips...lots of trips. She travelled all over Europe to Italy and France and Great Britain (and I think she went to Yugoslavia). She went to Asia to China and India. She also went to New York quite a bit. There was a group of people from the small town we are from that would rent a bus (kind of like a Greyhound), and they would travel to New York to see shows and go shopping.
I think that her favorite place was the beach. Atlantic Beach, NC to be specific. My extended family would gather for at the beach and vacation together. We would either stay at the Oceanana or rent a house/duplex in neighboring Emerald Isle. She was always looking for an excuse to go to the beach for a quick weekend, or longer. So it came as no surprise to us when she purchased a trailer on a strip of land right next door to the Oceanana, a place our family had stayed for years. She would move down to this trailer (single-wide) in June, and stay until Labor Day. She even had her mail forwarded there.
The summer before my senior year in high school, Sancy invited me to come and spend the summer with her at the beach. I got a job at Roses, which is kind of like a Wal-Mart, but not really. At the time, there was no Wal-Mart in the vicinity of Atlantic Beach, so Roses was where most people bought their sunscreen, water toys, and beach chairs. I worked most of the summer, and got a few days off to spend in the sun. I had a blast with some friends I met at work.
Sancy was a strong woman. She liked to be in control of things (kind of sounds like my mother, and myself). I asked her why she didn't remarry after my grandfather (Butter, as he was affectionately known) passed, and she said that she didn't want to give up control of the car keys, the checkbook, or the thermostat. Later she added she didn't want to give up control of the remote control. And as I have learned being married, sometimes you have to give up control of one or more of those things (at least temporarily).
A friend of mine recently lost her grandmother, and I was reminded of what a gift grandmothers (especially mine, and hers) are to us. I miss Sancy a lot. It is hard to believe that she has been gone for over 3 years. I think about her just about every day. She was a powerful force in my life, and I still ask myself WWSD (What would Sancy Do?) in certain situations.
There will never be anyone like Sancy.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Last week, Jack went to Vacation Bible School with his cousins, Hannah and Drew. At first, Jack was a little hesitant, but he warmed up to it quickly. On Sunday, we went to church for the VBS wrap up. The kids got up and sang some of the songs they learned during the week. It was soooo cute. We decided to go up to the altar for special prayers for my sister. I leaned down and whispered to Jack that we were going to do this, and he asked, "Is it going to hurt?" I had to contain myself from laughing out loud.
Grammy and Hannah were watching a clip of a movie on TV, and there were two people kissing, and Hannah said, "Grammy, I'm not supposed to watch this am I? There are people really smooching on there." That just really fractured my mom.
I have learned about a lot of things medical. Yesterday, I made up a new song - "The small bowel's connected cecum. The cecum is connected to the large bowel." I could go on, but you probably don't want me to.
OK, so I am writing this pretty late in the day, and I just learned the Brett Favre is meeting with the Vikings, and thinking about coming back. WTH! This is CRAZY. He needs to STAY retired. Don't come back, PLEASE. I am sure that I or my husband will write more on this later, so stay tuned!
Have a blessed day! Today is looking great for me!
Friday, August 14, 2009
Another tool that helped me was writing down everything that I ate. It was a chore, but it made me accountable, if I didn't eat within my points range. I could also go back and revisit the journals to see when I had a big weight loss. Once I stopped journalling, I noticed that I would sneak food, and forget to count my points. That's when the weight came creeping back.
TIP OF THE WEEK: Caffeine can make you bloated. Add a cup of non-caffeinated, sugar-free liquid for each cup of caffeine you drink. This will help you flush out the caffeine in your body. (Please note I am not a nutritionist or doctor, this is just something I have noticed in my own body).
Have a good week!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Elizabeth's nurses have been passing on that Elizabeth has a sister who asks a million and one questions, and may ask a question 3 or 4 times until she fully understands what is going on. Elizabeth's sister also likes to know all of her blood numbers, her vitals, and if any extra pain meds have been given. Elizabeth's sister will not wait for a nurse, and will use the termometer on the wall to ensure Elizabeth has no fever. Elizabeth has a sister who sits in there CONSTANTLY, and occasionally tweets and blogs from the hospital room in her gown and gloves (which is not an easy task).
Elizabeth has a sister, that even though things have been rocky between them, loves Elizabeth very much, and has been completely changed by this experience. Elizabeth has a sister who will continue to ensure that Elizabeth is comfortable. Elizabeth has a sister who will keep an eagle eye on her to make sure that no small symptom goes unnoticed.
Elizabeth has a sister who prays that Elizabeth will make a full recovery and be able to enjoy life again. I am proud to be Elizabeth's sister.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
If you have seen me tweet in the last week, you know I am typing with gloves on, as my sis is in a contact precaution room. It is not total isolation, but we have to be careful around her. Let me tell you, it is REALLY, REALLY hard to type with gloves on, but I think I have gotten used to it.
My kids love to sleep in their diaper/underwear, because that is how Daddy sleeps. They also like to run around the house with no clothes on.
My sister used to get a new baby doll or Barbie, and the first thing she would do, is strip it, and it would be naked forever.
I had so many random thoughts that I thought would be good for this post, but now I can't remember ANY of them. I am getting old.
I love chocolate. I think that I want chocolate cake...with chocolate icing and vanilla ice cream. Or a warm brownie with vanilla ice cream on it. This is the first thing that has even sounded decent to me in so long.
OK, I think that is enough randomness for one day...until next time...
Sunday, August 9, 2009
I have been in Richmond for 10 days now, and it doesn't look like I'll be home any time soon. I have had the kids with me, but Daddyman has stayed back in Greenville in order to try to find a job, and take care of some things. We are used to being apart, as he used to travel quite a bit with his job, but this separation has been different. Being away from him has been really rough for me. He is my bestest friend ever!! I miss talking to him. Yes, we have spoken by phone, but it is not the same as seeing him, and talking to him. We can't cuddle if I am sad about the situation at hand. I love feeling his presence when we have conversations. We have some really great conversations, too. Especially if we are in the car for an extended period of time.
I think though, that this separation has reminded us how much we love each other and how much we rely on each other for support. It is times like this when I remember why I love him and why I married him. I truly treasure his friendship. Thank you Daddyman for being my friend, and my partner through life. I love you so much.
Friday, August 7, 2009
I will tell you that I have not been able to get in my water, and I have not been able to exercise. I am a little disappointed, as I had begun to notice some muscle tone in my upper arms and thighs, and now I am losing it. I have also pretty much stopped eating. I am an eater, but when I get extremely stressed, I don't eat. I drink. And I have had tons of Mt. Dew and Starbucks to get me through. I do try to eat at least one thing a day, so I am not passing out on the hospital floor. I haven't been pushing the water because you have to de-gown and go down the hall a ways to the restroom. And my sister's condition has been bad enough I didn't want to leave her that often.
I know, I know that I have to take care of myself. It is easier said than done sometimes. I am committed to getting back on track once we get this situation under control.
TIP OF THE WEEK: Portion control - 3 oz of meat is the same size as the palm of your hand.
Have a great day!
Thursday, August 6, 2009
My nephew Drew is 4 (he would tell you he's 4 1/2, but whatever). He was home sick with my mom last week, and they had to stop by her office for a few things. He saw the letter "T", and he said, "Grammy, did you know terd starts with the letter T?"
We were eating a meal that one of the parishoners from Mama's church had brought to us. It was a chili-mac meal, and my older son wasn't eating it. I could not get him to even try it. Finally, I said, "You know, if you eat the beans, you'll fart." That got him eating!
My nephew Drew wiped his face on my mom's shirt. Mama told him not to wipe his face on her shirt, and he replied, "But I didn't wipe my face on your shirt, I just wiped my nose!"
I guess this is going to be the Drew show today! One day this week, he sneezed into his elbow, and said, "Grammy, I blessed you in my elbow!"
My niece (who is almost 6) has a special words for boobs - nickels!
Have a great day!
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
My sister's most recent infection battle started last week, and has been very scary for us all. I dropped everything on Thursday to go to her and my mama to help any way I could. My mom is caring for my niece and nephew, who are almost 6 and 4 1/2. We spent the weekend figuring out what was going on with my sister, and on Sunday we went to church. I was pretty hesitant at first, but I am now glad I went.
The priest at Mama's church, St. Thomas Episcopal in Richmond gave me a message from God. She told this story about Franciscan Friars from Chicago who took a pilgrimage from Roanoke, VA to Washington, DC (read full version here). On this journey, they did not take anything with them except the habits on their backs, wool blanket, toothbrush, water, a change of underwear, and a cell phone (for emergencies). They were going to rely on the kindness of strangers to feed them and give them shelter. They were going to completely trust in God to provide for them. They traveled with so little, so that they would have more for God.
They completely trusted in God, and God provided for them. They did talk with lots of people, and witnessed to them, and gave advice where appropriate. One woman, whose adulterous husband had thrown her (and their daughter) out of the house and on the street came across the Friars and stopped to speak. The daughter found a soda and a chocolate bar to share with the Friars. As the conversation was winding down, the woman gave the Friars her last few dollars. She wanted to learn to trust God, and this was her beginning.
This is my beginning (well, maybe my re-beginning). I am re-learning to trust God. I am reminding myself that He has a Perfect Plan, and that my imperfect mind might not understand right now. He will resolve the financial issues that surround my family. He will wrap my sister in His arms and take care of her. He will provide for our needs and sustain us all.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
Friday, July 31, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
I ask that you pray for Stellan, MckMama, and the MckFamily. They are wonderful people, and really need your prayers. You can follow MckMama on Twitter, and her website.
Lord, please heal Stellan's heart, and give him the strength to get better. Please hold him in your hands, and make him well. Please guide the physicians to do what is best, and give them the wisdom to help him. Give MckMama and Prince Charming the strength to keep going. Please comfort them and give them peace. All this we ask in Christ's name. Amen.
Hug your children a little more today, and be thankful that you have healthy children. I am very thankful for my kids, and that we are all healthy.
Friday, July 24, 2009
That put aside, I am going to stick by my routine. If you have been following me on Twitter, you know that I have been doing the Leslie Sansone walking DVDs. As of Thursday, I had completed 7 miles of walking this week. For someone like me, who is OBESE (not fat, but OBESE), walking 7 miles in addition to the normal activity is quite an accomplishment.
I have also been trying to add more water and less sugary drinks, which I am greatly accustomed to. I have not been able to give up my morning 2-3 cups of coffee, but I have been drinking either water, or Crystal Light the rest of the day (another aside - unless of course my blood sugar drops, and then I have had something with sugar in it).
I have a weightloss goal of 100+ pounds. That is a lot of weight, and I am trying not to think about how much that really is. I am trying to take this one day/one week at a time. There are several reasons for doing this.
1. I am tired of being fat. I have been fat most of my life.
2. I want to get my Type 2 Diabetes under control. If I lose the weight, and stop eating/drinking the sugary, fattening things, I might be able to control it without the use of drugs.
3. I want to do more with my boys, and that means I have to get my energy and confidence up.
Stay tuned to see what happens next week.
Oh yeah, I forgot. Each week, I will give you one or two things I have learned over the years during my many attempts to lose weight. While these are things that I KNOW, they are not always things that I follow.
This week's TIP: 3500 calories = 1 pound. If you decrease your caloric intake by 3500 calories (or increase your caloric output or exercise), you will lose 1 pound.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Parmesan Chicken and Rice Casserole
1 lb. chicken breasts (diced)
1/2 C - 3/4 C parmesan cheese
2 cans cream of mushroom
envelope onion soup mix
2 cups rice
2 cups water
Olive oil (to cover bottom of pan)
salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
Put Parmesan cheese in a ziploc bag along with chicken, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Close the bag, and shake until chicken is coated with cheese. In a medium skillet/saute pan, heat oil over med/med hi heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring and turning as to not burn cheese. In a bowl, mix cream of mushroom soup, onion soup mix, and water. Once chicken is done, put soup mixture, chicken, and rice in a large casserole dish with cover and put in microwave for 12 minutes. If your microwave isn't big enough, you can bake at 350 for 30 minutes. When the casserole is cooked, stir and let sit for 5 minutes.
Hope you enjoy!!!
I am writing a cookbook, so look for it in the near future (in time to give for Christmas!)
Friday, July 17, 2009
I have tried (and succeeded) to lose weight in the past. I have used Weight Watchers as my support group. Right now, I am not able to go to WW meetings, but I feel I have a great support group online. I am hoping that eating a little better (well at least a little less), hydrating myself properly, and exercising will give me the extra energy that I am looking for. Every thing I have read and seen has said that my energy and focus will be increased. If that is the case, well bring it on!
I have weighed myself this morning, and will weigh myself each week to track my progress. While I won't be letting you know how much I weigh, I will let you know how much I lose (or gain or stay the same). Check back on my progress each week!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
This week I felt like I had hit the jackpot of couponing. I got several WONDEFUL deals.
Finish brand dishwasher packs (I chose the 40 gel packs, orange scented) were on sale for $3.49, and low and behold, there was a coupon in the paper for $2.50 off! I got the 40 gel packs for $.99! And they will last me a while, as I usually only run the dishwasher every other day. Also at Target, I got 200 flexible straws for $1.00 in their See, Spot, Save section near the front. Every once and a while, I will allow the boys to choose something out of the dollar bins as a treat. It keeps them occupied, and I don't have to quarrel with them over whether I am going to buy them a new toy. Usually, before we even walk in the door, I will tell them that we are not getting anything extra today, that we have a list, and Mommy is going to stick to it.
Kroger had a deal this week, that if you purchased 10 participating items, you would get $5.00 reduction in your bill (it equals to $.50 an item). So I went through the list, and my coupons, and got some GREAT stuff:
Sargento cheese (I love this stuff!) - 11 slices for $.99
Quaker granola bars - 2 (10 bars each) packages for $2.25 total
Kleenex (with lotion) - 2 boxes for $.99 each
Those were my BIG deals, but I bought 15 items (including bread and milk which weren't on sale) for $20.17 and I SAVED $17.12. Their sale goes until Sunday, and you can get their ad on the web here.
For me, this was a great deal week! I hope that I will be able to continue the great savings. I am finding that since we are post-4th of July and pre-Back to School, not a lot of stores are having absolutely terrific sales. I am going to keep scouring the internet and the papers for great deals. I will keep you posted!
Here are a few websites that I have found recently that give great tips:
Freebies 4 Mom
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
I have to admit, that this has been a hard assignment this week. I have been thinking about it since it was announced earlier this week. If you read my blog, you know that my life is an open book (or open blog).
3 things you didn't know about me:
1. I was laid off from my job as an accountant in May 2008, and have been unable to find a new accounting job. I have enjoyed my time at home with the kids, but I could really use a job right now.
2. My husband and I met in an online chat room in late 1997. We "met" in person in early 1998, and have been together since. In November, we will celebrate 10 years of marriage!
3. I have an ebay store - Best Friends Collectibles with my mom. If you click on the link to the right, you can see all of our items for sale. I am in the process of uploading the Christmas items, as well as other seasonal items.
Well, there you have it. I finally came up with 3 things you didn't know about me. If you do have a question for me, please let me know.
Monday, July 13, 2009
This is a quote from one of my mom's favorite movies, and it seemed to fit as to what I want this blog to represent. Life IS a banquet, but most of us don't take advantage of all that is given to us. I want to use what has been given to me (talents, family, opportunities etc.).
I also want to force myself to sit down and write the cookbook that has been in my head for 4 years. God gave me a talent to cook, so I am going to share my recipes (good, southern recipes passed down from my mom and grandmother).
I also want to treasure time with my family. ALL of my family, not just the ones that I live with. My sister has leukemia, and it has returned. She starts chemo again today, and she will also need a bone marrow transplant in the near future. I really hope that I am a match. What greater gift to give someone, than a second chance.
Thanks for reading, and join me again for more!
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Changing gears -Yesterday, Daddyman took the boys outside after their dinner so that I could get our dinner going. Jack wanted to play soccer. Apparently, Hemi did not. Arguing pursued, and Jack got in Hemi's face. Hemi slapped Jack across the face, and Jack screamed, "Look, Bi**h, I told you, we're not playing that game!" Hemi hauled off and slapped Jack again. Daddyman busted out laughing, and sent Hemi in the house for timeout. Jack was told that Bi**h is not a word that should be used EVER.
Over the weekend, the boys and I went to Richmond to visit with Mom and the kids. I was able to secure some Silver Queen corn (THE BEST corn in the WORLD!). We cooked it on the 4th to go with our hamburgers. Drew (my 4 1/2 yo nephew) ate the corn, and couldn't stop talking about how good that corn on the COG was. I tried to explain to him that it was corn on the COB, but he still liked calling it corn on the COG. I am still chuckling over that one!
Friday, July 3, 2009
***Hi! I am Alli, and I am a SAHM mother of 2 boys - Jack and Hemi. I am also a wife, daughter, sister, and follower of God. I am in the process of finding out WHO I am. I sort of lost myself along the way. I do know that I LOVE to cook, and LOVE music. I am also attempting my hand at creative arts. I have been inspired by other creative people in the blogger world to find something that I enjoy!***
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
The day after the yard sale, Steve's dad and stepmom came for a visit. We had a lovely time, and they brought some new toys for the pool. I haven't put water in the pool to swim since the new toys, so the boys came up with a new game.
Monday, I took Jack to the University of NC-Chapel Hill to see a pediatric orthodaedist. Jack has been walking on his tip toes for quite a while, and does it exclusively. He is able to stand flat-footed, however his foot and leg are not able to be in a 90 degree position. The muscles in his heel are extremely "tight". The doctors would like to put casts on his legs to force his foot and leg to be at 90 degrees. He has to wear them for 3 weeks (24/7). Thankfully, it is not something that has to be done immediately, so we can wait until after beach season before getting him fitted.
I am not sure WHAT I did on Tuesday. I think I did some housework and laundry. I rested mostly, as the weekend and the trip to Chapel Hill wore me out!
Today, I have been to the park for a short amount of time, the veggie stand, and Wal-Mart. I am so excited to have some Silver Queen corn. I haven't had any in a LONG time, and I can't wait to eat it. If you have never had Silver Queen corn, it is a white kernel, and is SUPER sweet. I think I got some pretty young corn, which in my opinion is better. I also got some tomatoes, blueberries, and 2 canteloupes. I have cut up one canteloupe, and we have been snacking on it this afternoon. Hemi fell asleep in the car on the way home, and didn't wake up too much when I brought him in. He took a pretty long nap, and had some cheese and canteloupe when he got up. Jack has been eating like a HORSE the past few days. I cannot seem to get him full at ALL. He is eating canteloupe and Papa crackers (aka Ritz crackers with peanut butter).
What a busy week! I am planning on taking the kids to visit with my mom, niece and nephew over the weekend. Mom wants us to take all 4 kids (ages 2 1/2-5 1/2) to Kings Dominion on Saturday. I have mixed emotions - 1. There are 4 small kids 2. It is a HOLIDAY, and the place will be PACKED!!!! I would prefer a less crowded place with that many kids, although it will probably be a lot of fun for the kids. Mom has taken my niece and nephew, and they had a blast. Steve will be home for this, as he has a test on Monday that he needs to study for. I'll keep you posted as what we end up doing. I am sure that I will have a TON of pictures.
Until next time - God Bless!!!