Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sweet Potato Pie

This recipe has been passed down through my grandmother, whom I called Sancy. She was an excellent cook, and I am honored that I have her recipes.

This is a Thanksgiving classic, and Sancy would always make it with the variation at the end. And she would serve Syllabub with it, which is basically whipped cream with sherry in it.

Sweet Potato Pie

3 eggs
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.

Alli C

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

A few weeks ago, one of the professors Daddyman works for got us tickets to the ECU/Navy football game. Since the boys had never been to a game, we thought it would be great fun (and it was!). ECU got beat up pretty badly, but the overall experience was great. The boys walked and walked and walked to the stadium and them walked some more to get to the very top of the second tier. Hemi got so tired that he took a 45 minute nap during the first quarter. My only real complaint was that the PA system was EXTREMELY loud. We were close to the speakers, and the noise level bothered Jack a lot. He was a trooper, and hung in there with us. I think he had a great time.

Here are some pics from that day.

Alli C

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween

If you follow me on Twitter, you know by now that my boys decided to go as Imagination Movers (a show on Disney). Jack wanted to go as Mover Rich (he's a drummer, and dark haired, and his favorite). Hemi wanted to go as Mover Dave (he plays bass, and is laid back like Hemi, but also wears a red hat). I scoured the internet for costumes, and found the only ones I could find were on the Mover website, and were $100 each! That was WELL out our price range.

So, I looked through stores to see if I could find regular clothes that could be transformed into Mover jumpsuits. No luck there either.

I was stuck.

I thought about sewing outfits, but was nervous about making a shirt with a collar. I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to create an outfit good enough to pass for Mover jumpsuits. I studied collars on shirts, and then made a prototype. It worked! So I decided I would try my hand at it.

It was not easy, especially with no pattern, but I think they turned out great (not perfect, but great!)!

Alli C

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I'm Better, but not where I want to be

I'm still struggling. I have taken some of my meds, but it is not in my system like it should be. I have just about decided to go to a doc-in-the-box some time next week, just so that I can get some more meds and be a better me.

The problems and struggles will still be here, I know this. But I will be able to handle them a lot better and with more grace than I am right now. I hopefully will have more patience my children, and help Jack manage his sensory issues better. And a happier Mommy and Jack will mean a happier family all the way around.

For right now, I am holding on to EVERY teeny, tiny piece of good that happens. Tightly.

And in the midst of this, I am taking stock in what makes ME happy, and trying to incorporate that into our daily lives. For so long, I have neglected who I AM. I am rediscovering myself. Listening to music I like, instead of just the kids' music in the car. Singing loudly to my favorite songs. Music has always been an important part of my life, but it sort of slipped to the background.

I do feel a little selfish adding so many things about me to our lives, but my kids need to learn that my needs and desires are just as important as theirs.

Things are looking a little better, but not where I want them to be.

Thank you for the kind words and prayers. You are great.

Alli C

Monday, October 11, 2010

Where I am

I am depressed. I have chronic depression, but it has been controlled for the most part with medications. I have a bottle of about 20 Prozac, but I am trying to space it out because I do not have insurance, am not eligible for Medicaid, and don't have the money to pay to visit the doctor (even a doc-in-a-box). To make things worse, I am diabetic, and am having some issues related to that, but there again, I am not able to see a doctor.

We have no money. To the point I am wondering how I am going to pay for Halloween costumes and Christmas presents. I have 2 pairs of pants that I can wear during the winter. I have TONS of tops, but no bottoms. Everything else has been worn to the point of having holes that can't be fixed. The kids have clothes thanks to their grandparents.

In addition, to all of this, I have a special needs child, who is driving me UP THE WALL. I know that my lack of patience is due to depression, money worries, and little sleep. I get a few hours of respite a week for my special needs child, but I still have a neuro-typical child that is not eligible for respite. My respite hours are spent running errands that are not as easy to do with Jack. My kids don't respect me. They don't listen, and they are constantly hitting each other. I know I am not doing enough for him on a daily basis. I am just overwhelmed by it.

My house is an absolute WRECK. It is cluttered and DIRTY. I have never in my life been in such filth, and yet I am unable to get it clean. I feel paralyzed, overwhelmed, and exhausted. I don't know where to begin. I know that if I do clean something, it will be dirty again in about 20 seconds.

I am also addicted to the internet. Twitter and Facebook especially. Again, it is due to the depression. But Twitter is my whine-fest. I can fuss about anything bad going on with my day/life. But that isn't who I really am. I feel like I have been an upbeat kinda gal, and lately, everything is SO negative. And as soon as I decide that I am going to have a positive day, and only speak positively, something happens and I slip back into those negative tweets.

I want to be my jolly, non-overwhelmed self again. I don't like being who I am right now. Something has GOT to change, but I just don't know WHAT or HOW.  If you are so inclined, please pray for me.

Alli C

Monday, October 4, 2010

Chocolate Whipped Cream Cupcakes

Chocolate Whipped Cream Cupcakes

1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix (recommended: Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe)
1 1/3 cups water
3 large eggs whites
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Line 18 muffin cups with papers.

Mix ingredients together until well blended, about 2 minutes with electric mixer. Use about 1/3 cup of batter for each prepared muffin cup. Bake until pale golden on top - about 15 mins. Let cool.

In a separate bowl, mix together 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, 1/3 cup confectioner's sugar and 3 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder on high with electric mixer. Mix until soft peaks form.

Spread chocolate whipped cream on top of cool cupcakes.

Alli C

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A few steps back

The last few weeks have been pure torture. We had a trip to Richmond, followed by a visit from my mother in law followed by another trip to Richmond. Jack did NOT transition well between any of these things.

Jack does not like riding in the car. Looking back, he never has. But that is a story for a different time. Hemi usually falls asleep pretty quickly, and Jack and I have a 3 hour conversation. I take that back, he usually has a 3 hour monologue. He will ask me questions, and as I am answering them, he is asking about something completely different.

He also gets riled up easily at my mom's house. There are 4 kids in the house, and things can get wild pretty quickly. He doesn't sleep well there either. After about 2 nights of no sleep, he usually gets uncontrollable. If we leave after dinner to come home, he'll fall asleep for about an hour. He sleeps so much better once we get home, although it takes about a week before he gets back to normal.

We have been home 2 weeks, and yet we are no better off than before the start of all of the travelling. He is spinning a LOT more, he's jumping around, hitting, kicking, being rude, saying inappropriate things, as well as others. I have been trying to provide sensory input, but to no avail. It just gets him so hyper, he cannot be controlled. He doesn't listen, even if I stop him and have him look into my eyes. The other day, we got out an office chair, and I spun it around as fast as I could. He would laugh, and laugh. He took turns with his brother for about 30 minutes total. We took a break and did it again for another 30 mins, and he was still just as wild. He was hitting Hemi, running through the house. About the only thing that will calm him down is watching TV (with a blanket on him of course). I just don't want him watching TV ALL the time. I have tried engaging him, but he is very beligerent, and oppositional. I have tried to direct him into other activities, but to no avail.

Also, in the middle of all of this, he has fallen back into old behaviors. Well, he has begun to oppose once tolerated noises, such as the vaccuum, mixer, and can opener. All of these were things that used to freak him out, but he begun to tolerate the noises.

We have been adding things to our schedule in the last few weeks, and I think he is still adjusting to this. I truly want to get into a better routine. Jack was accepted into a local program for Therapeutic Horse Riding for kids/adults with special needs. He has had one lesson so far (10 total for 30mins each), but he absolutely LOVED it. I am not allowed to go to the barn, or watch him ride, which is hard for me, but they have a trainer and at least 2 volunteers to help him.

Hopefully, we will get into a better routine soon. We will begin to receive Respite later in the week, which will help. Not only will I get a much needed break, but they will work with him on his behavior. They are going to set up a token board for him to earn his rewards. Which will come home with us to use here.

We have taken a few steps back, but maybe we're finally going to get back on track.

Alli C

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What I didn't plan for

Today was a busy/rough/strange/exhausting day. I woke up in a bundle of emotions, and ended up crying by myself in the kitchen. Then I got a phone call from a local radio station stating that I had one dinner and a movie as a member of their Fan Club (but that is a whole other blog post).

Then, we had OT for Jack and Speech Therapy for Hemi. Both appointments are at 9, in the same office, and even down the hall. We stayed to chat with one of the OTs for a few minutes. As we were leaving, there was a man on a riding lawn mower riding by the doors, and Jack refused to go outside and started screaming. So we waited for a few minutes as the man finished his mowing, and we were off to the car.

Close to home, we rode by a multi-car accident that had just happened. My sweet, sweet boy Jack said, "Mommy I hope everyone is alright. Can we pray for them?" I melted right there in the car, and encouraged him to pray. He said a sweet, sweet prayer, and I thanked God for him.

Later on, we went to the pediatrician for physicals. Jack needed one so that he can start special horseback riding lessons next week, and well, Hemi just turned 4 so it was time for a visit. I was nervous about taking both of them at the same time, as they both want to be the center of attention and tend to fight a bit. Also, Jack has issues sitting still, and waiting would be hard.

So, I packed and arsenal of things to keep them busy. DVD player, iPod, Leapster, Vtech, coloring books, and crayons. I also packed some juice and snacks just in case. The wait in the lobby was a little longer than usual, but once we got called back, we were moving. Both boys were weighed, measured, and blood pressure taken. Hemi did fine with the blood pressure, but Jack had some issues. He started getting anxious, and didn't like it squeezing his arm, which made it squeeze it harder because his pressure was going up. I literally had to get into his face and make him take deep breaths and physically keep him from trying to remove the blood pressure cuff. His pressure was up slightly, but not enough to warrant another try with it (side note: our pediatrician's office is PHENOMENAL with Jack's Aspergers and trying to keep him even keeled).

Finally, it was time to wait for the doctor, but there were no open rooms, so we sat in the hall on benches. Both boys fidgeted wildly, and I let them. They never got too loud, but I didn't try to make them sit perfectly still like I normally do. I was able to fill out the paperwork about their development with little problems from either of them. I had warned Jack (but not Hemi) that the doctor was going to have to look at his private parts. I find that if I prepare Jack for EVERYTHING, he is able to cope better. The doctor was heading into an occupied room, and stopped to speak with the boys. Hemi proceeds to tell the doctor that she is going to be looking at Jack's wee-wee. And the doctor informs Hemi that she's going to look at his too. He wasn't too excited about that.

We went through both exams, the doctor asked tons of questions, and we went through the list of concerns. Private parts were briefly looked at, and no one freaked out. Then the biggie: both boys are in the overweight category. I knew that Hemi was overweight, but Jack has always been thin for his height. Now, he was officially overweight. The pediatrician had the nutritionist stop in for a bit. I was wanting a consult with a nutritionist since they are both basically vegetarians, and I worry they are not getting the nutrients they need. While she was in the room, the nurses came back with shots for my baby. 5 of them! Hemi had the DVD player, and Jack was supposed to be playing the Leapster. The nurses got the shots together, and started them. I was holding Hemi's top half down, and he started screaming (as I was prepared for).

What I wasn't prepared for was Jack totally flipping out. I mean, a meltdown like I had never seen with him. He had his hands over his ears and was screaming, "Get me out of here! I have to leave! Please, STOP! Stop, you're hurting him!" It was a cross of being concerned for Hemi's safety and not able to handle the noise and chaos. Both kids are screaming, and crying. Neither is consolable. Jack yells at me, "Why did you let them give him shots!" It really bothered him. And the poor nutritionist is still sitting there witnessing it all.

And I am about to lose it.

But some how, I didn't. And with much consoling, and a family hug, and kisses, the boys finally calm down. They turn back to the DVD player, and I can finish the convo with the nutritionist. We came home and I have been a bumbling idiot, and have not been able to put two thoughts together. Hopefully some sleep will help me process it all, and feel better about it.

Alli C

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Preparing for a Hurricane

With Hurricane Earl being on its way towards NC, I am once again reminded of how to get prepared for a hurricane. I have a few suggestions for anyone in the path of Hurricane Earl to become prepared.

1. The day/night before the storm hits, be sure to shave. This goes for ladies and gents. Should a hurricane make a direct hit in your area, you may not have access to a shower for a few days or even a few weeks. You don't want to have 2 or 3 days (or weeks) of stubble hanging on because after a hurricane, it gets HOT! You are going to want to be in as little clothing as possible, and you don't want your 4 year old asking what that black stuff is under your arm.

2. Booze. Wine, beer, straight hard liquor. You won't have a blender to make margaritas with the power out. This will help you keep your sanity while your kids are running wild in the days following the hurricane. You won't care if it is 95 with a heat index of 110 if you have several beers. Side Note: If you live in a college town, you might want to get your booze early. Especially if you live in a college town that is known for their drinking/parties (ECU).

3. Refills on birth control and/or condoms. There's not much to do when the power is out and the TV/computer/internet don't work. Especially after the sun sets and the kids go to bed. Lots of hurricane babies are born in May and June. Of course, if you want a new little bundle of joy, you can skip this step.

4. Fill up the bathtub with water. Besides flushing after your normal business, you will need to flush after puking your guts out from too much booze.

And that my friends, is how you prepare for a hurricane.

Alli C

Monday, August 30, 2010

Better than Whoopie Cake

This has to be my husband's favorite cake. And he doesn't like cake.

1 German Chocolate or Devil’s food cake mix (made according to directions in a sheet cake pan)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 jar caramel ice cream topping (Mrs. Richardson’s is the best)
1 jar hot fudge ice cream topping (Mrs. Richardson’s is the best)
1 package toffee bits
1 container Cool Whip

Prepare chocolate cake mix according to directions in a sheet cake pan. While cake is still warm, poke holes throughout cake with wooden spoon. Pour milk over top of cake. Then pour caramel sauce and hot fudge sauce over cake. Cool cake completely in refrigerator. Once cake is cooled, sprinkle toffee bits over top of cake (saving a few for decoration). Add Cool Whip and top with remaining toffee bits. Refrigerate. Serve with ice cold milk.


Alli C

Friday, July 30, 2010

I have learned, but very slowly

I was very prepared for Jack's SPD diagnosis. I had read some symptoms about it, and KNEW that he had it. What I have learned since is that he he has an understimulated proprioception (which is how your body moves through "space"). He craves swinging, moving, bumping into things. I hadn't really noticed it much before, but now my eyes are open (most of the time) to reading his cues. If he is really "high" and sort of moving around the house in an out-of-control manner, I know that he needs some sensory input. I don't always pick up on it until he has been "WILD" for 30 minutes or more.

I have learned a lot about what he needs for sensory input. We have been to the OT once, and he fell in love with this plastic box that was filled with dry beans and macaroni noodles. The OT put in some plastic bears and had Jack dig in the box for the bears. I have since filled a plasic storage container with dry beans and macaroni. I was able to find a package of 8 plastic frogs at the Dollar Store, and that has worked good. Hemi enjoys playing in it as well.

I have learned that Jack likes to have a blanket on top of his legs (at least) while he is doing quiet things (watching TV, coloring-sometimes, playing card games). I have also learned that this keeps him from getting "too low" or zombie-like. If he does get too low, he over compensates for it and seems like he is wild. But it is just his way of waking up his body.

I have also learned that it is going to take me a while to completely figure Jack out. I know a lot about him, but there is more to learn. And the things I already know will change. But that's the same with any child, right? They all change. And that's what I've learned.

Alli C

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

This is a Crepe Myrtle flower (from the tree) that we found at the park the other day. I love Crepe Myrtles!
Alli C

Monday, July 19, 2010

Another hurdle

I have not been writing as much as I'd like. In fact, I haven't been writing at all. Hence the 3+ month hiatus I have taken from this blog. I am now ready to share with the world what I wasn't able to face.

In February, Jack stopped eating foods that he usually ate. Normally, this wouldn't be an issue with a kid, our taste buds change. But Jack is an EXTREMELY picky eater. He doesn't eat hamburger or other meat except chicken nuggets, and in February he decided he only ate chicken nuggets from McDonald's. He only ate yogurt and granola bars. For like 2 weeks. I picked him up one day, and noticed that he was lighter than I remembered. I weighed him and he had lost 2 lbs. That isn't a lot, but for a tall 5 year old who is already underweight, that is MAJOR. So I started scouring the internet for ways to deal with a picky eater, and found a website about Sensory Processing Disorder. I looked at the symptoms, and it was like reading Jack's life story.

Everything from being scared of public toilets flushing (in the beginning he would run and scream from the bathroom in terror) to screaming at the top of his lungs because he got a scrape on his knee. He is very uncoordinated, and appears very clumsy. He walks on his toes (even after have casts on his legs on two different occasions). He craves very sweet foods, and is EXTREMELY picky in what he eats.

I sat on the info for a few weeks, and prayed about it. I showed it to Daddyman, my mom and dad, and Daddyman's mom. Everyone was ho-hum about it, and like, "yeah, that sort of sounds like Jack." No one was as sure about it as I was, and that made me think that maybe I was over reacting. Finally, I got up the nerve to call the pediatrician to see if he could send us for a consult. I was lucky in that they had an opening that afternoon, and off we went. I took my paperwork with me, and showed it to the doctor. He looked over Jack a little, and did a neurological exam to ensure there wasn't something physically wrong with him. Then he left, saying he needed to go get someone smarter than him. A few minutes later, he walked in with his wife, who was the assistant to the Pitt County School psychologist. I told her briefly what I had told her husband, and she said that she would get us in as soon as she could. Within a couple of weeks, I had an appointment. No only was she the local school psychologist, but she was a professor at ECU. I figured we had a great person on our side, and I wasn't wrong.

In the initial meeting, I took Jack and Hemi, and she took some info from us. She got to see how Jack was unable to sit still for any length of time, and some of his peculiarities. She asked me what I wanted, and I said that I would like a comprehensive evaluation, just to see where we were. So, for several weeks, and a total of 8 hours, Jack was tested, and I filled out TONS of paperwork. Everything was asked from what my pregnancy was like to when he hit certain milestones. It was extremely hard to recall that information, especially when it was so long ago.

Finally, Daddyman and I were going for the official diagnosis. She went over the whole evaluation, point by point, and finally, at the end, we got the diagnosis:

Asperger's Syndrome

I was FLOORED. I was prepared for the SPD diagnosis, but not Asperger's. Asperger's is on the Autism Spectrum. My son couldn't POSSIBLY have an Autism disorder. I have grieved over this diagnosis. I know his prognosis is great, and that since we have caught it early, maybe we can correct some things, but there is no cure. I have also been a little embarassed. He doesn't do what other kids do, but now I realize that he CANNOT. Maybe in the future, he will be able to, but right now, he can't. The path I thought we were on is now flooded, and we have to find a new route. We don't know where we're going to end up. It might be in the same spot we thought 6 months ago, or it could be a completely different and maybe even better spot.

We have started Occupational Therapy as well as Behavior Therapy. The OT is GREAT! I am still on the fence about the Behavior therapist. Time will tell about that one.

Jack is supposed to start school in the fall, but since we don't know where we'll be in December/January, we are unsure if he will go this fall. We may wait until we move, and start him in Kindergarten there. He is extremely smart (his IQ is WAY high), and he placed out of most of the kindergarten material he was tested on. We don't think that he will miss much except for the socialization that he really needs. But he has a hard time transitioning into new activities, so we don't want to make things worse by putting him in school and then moving him mid-year. We are still on the fence about it.

We are learning what his sensory triggers are, and how to address them. I have a list a mile long on things he needs to make life easier for all of us. He is understimulated, and craves movement. He spins, dances, jumps, and bumps into things. He has meltdowns over things that seem small to us, but to him, they are major.

I have found some new friends online (and a few I hope to make real life friends) that have helped me along to this point. Some have just lent an ear to hear my vents, while others have offered suggestions and prayers. I am so glad to have these friends. Some of these friends have special needs kids, while some do not. I am grateful for all of them.

Alli C

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Pizza Dough

I tweeted about making homemade pizza dough, and was asked to share the recipe, so here it goes!

Pizza Dough (for the bread machine)

3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or olive oil)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
Dash or two of garlic powder/Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon dry milk powder
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon active dry yeast

Place ingredients into bread machine according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Select Dough cycle and press start.

Once the dough is finished in the bread machine, remove from pan. Divide into two balls, and roll out. I usually put oil in the bottom of my pizza pan prior to putting the dough in. Let the dough rise again prior to adding toppings. Add toppings and then bake at 400 about 10 minutes, or until done. Crust should be golden brown and cheese completely melted. Make sure that you don't put too many toppings/cheese in the middle, as the dough will not be as done as the outside crust.

My favorite pizza toppings are onions, green peppers, tomatoes, fresh mushrooms, pineapple and cheese. The boys of course don't eat cheese on theirs.


Alli C

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Daffodils!

These were taken at a local Daffodil field. It is about an acre of daffodils in the woods. It was so beautiful there. A sure sign Spring is here!

Alli C

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Jack

Today is my Jack's 5th birthday! What a blessing and miracle he has been.

Daddyman and I tried for a few years to get pregnant, but being overweight, and having Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), it was impossible for us to get pregnant on our own. So we went to the BEST Reproductive Endocrinologist in the state of Indiana, Dr. Bonaventura. After many trials, there was much tribulation when I became pregnant with Jack.

My pregnancy with Jack was high-risk due to my hypertension (prior to pregnancy) and my Type 2 diabetes. I was monitored very closely by my OB and by an endocrinologist to ensure that both Jack and I were healthy.

Everything was great throughout the pregnancy, with no major issues. I never had morning sickness or Braxton-Hicks contractions. All of the non-stress tests were good, and at 36 weeks, I had an amniocentesis that showed that Jack’s lungs were not quite developed enough to induce labor. I was having some increased hypertension, so I was put on bed rest until Jack could be delivered.

I had a very rough delivery with Jack, and when he was born (via emergency C-section), he did not breathe right away. He finally did start breathing, but he never cried. We got settled, he went to have his bath, and began to have breathing trouble again. The pediatricians admitted him into the NICU until they could determine why he was having trouble breathing, and get it fixed. He spent the night and most of the next day in the NICU, but was soon released.

The first time I held him, I felt like my life was complete. Although I had wanted a houseful of kids, I was at peace with the fact that Jack might be my only child.

I am so blessed that God chose ME to be the mom of the wonderful, loving, creative, superhero-loving, beautiful miracle that is Jackson Stephens.

I love you, Bud, more than you will ever, ever know.

Jackson Stephens
3-16-05 6:23 PM
8 lbs. 6 oz. 22 in.



Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts - a little late

So I am just now getting my random on, and I have 10 minutes to get dinner on the table. Why do I always get the urge to write when it is most inconvenient? Why can't I write when the kids have gone to bed or when they are having rest time? That would be too easy. Oh well.
I have been dabbling a little bit in graphic design. When I say a little bit, I mean, A LITTLE BIT. I find it fascinating to do this. It is creative, yet so easy to fix mistakes. I have designed a 600x800 button type graphic to use for an Etsy shop I am going to start soon. I don't think I am going use it, as I have decided on a different name, but I am posting the graphic any how, just to get a little feedback.

The House episode that was on last night dealt with a blogger, who blogged everything. She had a significant other that didn't like that she posted EVERYTHING about her life online. She posted about fights they had, etc. I wondered if Daddyman was upset about my blog, but then I remembered that I don't post very often, so I didn't think he would have an issue with it. I will have to ask him later if it would bother him to put everything out there. Not that anything happens to us (well, except the fall out from bad decisions).

Lots going on in the next 2 weeks...lots of things to ponder, and I promise I will share soon.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

Busy, busy, busy. That is us these days. Also sick, sick, sick. The boys and I got sick while we were in Richmond, and have slowly been on the mend. We still have stuffy noses and coughs, but no fevers!

We have had a few doctors appointments for Jack in the last few days, and I will be blogging about it soon. I am still trying to wrap my brain around things, and want to inform family via phone before I blog about it.

I am so far behind in my housework due to being sick, it is appalling. Yet, I am still zapped from the cold that I can't seem to get it under control. Hopefully soon!

Yesterday, I had a pretty good creativity vibe going on, but didn't capitalize on it like I wish I could have. I hope that this afternoon will bring some quiet so that I can work on a few crochet projects. We'll see.

OK, that is all I have right now. I need to shower for our 2nd appointment of the week.

Alli C

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

I am in Richmond helping my dad take care of my niece and nephew while my mom is living it up in New Orleans. Ok, so she's not really living it up...she's been in meeting after meeting after meeting since last Thursday. She comes home on Wednesday night (really late). And I get to go home on Thursday...hopefully before snow starts. I DO NOT want to get stuck in Richmond in snow. I would really like to go home. I love visiting up here, but I know I will be needed again in the near future, so I'd like to stay home as much as I can.

Daddy and I took the kids to a place called Kangaroo Jac's in Richmond on Saturday. It is a huge office space filled with giant inflatables to bounce on and slide down. The kids had a BLAST! And I admit that so did I. I got to slide and climb with the kids, but adults were not allowed to bounce, which was alright with me. There was this really tall slide that all of the kids adored. Hemi wouldn't go in alone, so I got in there, and slid with them. For almost 3 hours, the kids climbed, and slid, and jumped, and bounced. We bought some really expensive ice cream for them, and drinks, but they were famished when we got home, and tired. We really had a good time!

For those parents with more than 2 kids, I applaud you. I bow down, and I kiss the ground you walk on. Taking care of 4 kids is a lot of work. And I only have all of them for early in the morning and the evening. During breakfast, I feel like a short order cook. Everyone wants something different, and they have finally started to be patient as I fill the orders of each kid. Dinner is a little better. I only accept orders for flavored milk. Then it is on to bath time, which is loads of fun. It is a busy and exhausting 20 minutes. By the time they get into bed, I am ready to pass out as well. Then there's laundry and dishes. I have not been as agressive on laundry, and my dad has been doing the dishes. I truly don't know how you all with 3 or more kids do it. I guess you adapt to make things easier, and with me only being here a week, I haven't had the time to streamline things. Even with things streamlined, it is still a big undertaking, and you have my adoration.

God Bless,

Alli C

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

I am in another mood of wanting to write, but not wanting to commit to it. So I am just going to let my mind wander and take us where it will.

The boys are fighting over a Little Einsteins globe they got for Christmas, and a stuffed doggy that Jack got when he was born. Hemi absolutely ADORES the dog, and Jack only wants it when Hemi has it. I can't find another one online. I found one similar, but it is like $10, and we don't have the extra cash right now.

I am playing Pandora the online radio station, and digging the Carrie Underwood they have one right now.

I am gearing up to go to Richmond to help my dad with my niece and nephew while my mom goes to New Orleans later this week (I know, right after Mardi Gras!). I have made my mental plans about packing, and will probably do it first thing on Wednesday morning right before we leave so that we have all the clothes washed.

Hemi is potty trained! Well, I guess he is potty trained. He is wearing big boy underwear, and has only had 1 pee pee accident and 1 poop accident in the last week. I am so excited! I still put a diaper on him for bed, because he hasn't quite gotten that down yet, but a few mornings he has woken up dry.

We also finally took the rails off of his crib and turned it into a toddler bed, finally. He does pretty good about staying in bed, and will take naps occassionally as well. I guess we are out of the baby phase around here. It is time to sell the pack and play, and any other baby items I have been keeping. We only have big boys in this house!

Alli C

Monday, February 8, 2010

Super Bowl Party 2010

During the playoffs, Jack became really interested in football. He wanted to play on our old school Nintendo 64 like ALL THE TIME. He watched football with Daddy, although he still doesn't understand it very well. We would watch the Colts, and explain that we used to live near Indianapolis, and in fact he was born there. Jack was SO excited when the Colts beat the Jets, and the "Zanks" beat the Vikings to get to the Super Bowl, even though he still got a little confused about why the Redskins weren't playing.

Daddyman and I don't go to or host Super Bowl parties, but we have "football" snacks and food at home. But with Jack so excited, and the Colts being so close to our hearts, I decided that I would make a big deal about it, and get the kids involved in picking snacks and decorating.

I found some NFL helmets to color here and here. So I printed some, and had the kids color them. I cut out some letters, and footballs, and we decorated in the living room.

As far as food, we had chili, potato skins, pizza, and for dessert, football shaped Rice Krispy treats. The boys saw this on the back of a Cocoa Krispy box, and I decided that it would be a good idea to attempt those. While I was making them, I gave the boys their own lump of treat mix, and they played with it and then ate it. I think that they turned out pretty good, although if I had a pastry bag and tip, they would have been a LOT better. The boys thought they were great!

The boys didn't have any Colts gear, so we made some ourselves with a color printer, iron on transfers, and plain white T-shirts. (PS, we had all the materials for the shirts and the crafts, so I didn't really spend any on the decorations).

Of course, the game didn't end as we would have wanted it. And it was hard explaining to Jack this morning that the Colts didn't win. He said, "But the score was 10-6! The Colts had more points." I had to explain that 10-6 was the score when he went to bed, and that each team scored more after he went to bed.

It was a little fun. A lot of work, but I think the kids (and Daddyman) enjoyed the treats, so it was well worth it.

Alli C