Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New red coat!

John's dad sent me money for Christmas. I have to say, money is always a great gift. I like opening special presents that were picked out specifically for me. But money? It is a guaranteed success every damn time.

At first, I planned on saving my money. But it was calling my name. Every morning it taunted me. It alternated between telling me to "Go buy a new coat!" and "Go get your hair cut and dyed!" This morning I finally caved and headed to the mall. After looking for TWO years, I found a winter coat that I actually like. And it is red! I have never owned such colorful outerwear. I think it looks pretty spiffy...

And the lining in the hood is super cool...
I think I am in love.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Weaning myself off Christmas

Christmas is a powerful force in my life. It encourages me to spend frivolously, to eat plentifully, and to be lazy. And frankly, I am sick of it. I am counting down the days until the new year.

Christmas is a crazy time. Trying to balance finances and gift giving can be a challenge - even for the best coupon clipper. Although I tried desperately to keep spending under $200 this Christmas, my husband blew the budget. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my new Sony Reader. I have already downloaded 17 books to read! I just wish we could have spent less on gifts and spent more on paying off debt. Not to mention that my gift to him now seems lame in comparison. I kind of feel like I should go buy him something cooler.

Christmas has also encouraged me to eat like a pig. I had this really great plan, which involved lots of baking for my neighbors. Unfortunately my kids wouldn't stop puking, so I thought it might not be wise to give our entire block virus infested cookies for Christmas. But I had already purchased a shitload of flour and sugar for delicious cookies. So, being the fatty that I am, I went ahead and baked lots of cookies for my little family to enjoy. And I made fudge too. I have been gorging myself on sugary crap for over a week. I can feel myself getting fatter.

And finally, Christmas has encouraged me to be a lazy bastard. I was so sick of scrubbing vomit out of carpets, that I decided to take a few days off from my normal cleaning duties. After all, it was Christmas. I deserved a little break too - right? But now things are just gross. Toys everywhere, sticky coffee tables, overflowing laundry hampers. Ugh. There is so much to do. I don't even know where to start.

So, I am looking forward to making a fresh start on Friday.

Monday, December 28, 2009

What I didn't mention...

The entire week leading up to Christmas was miserable. John, Porgie, and Izzy all had a puking/diarrhea virus. NOT GOOD. I tried to pretend that everything was fine, because I wanted Christmas to be great this year. But things just kept getting worse and worse. On Christmas Eve, we ended up at the doctor's office. By that point, Porgie had been vomiting for four days. I was terrified that she was going to end up in the hospital with dehydration. The doctor seemed to be afraid of the same thing. He prescribed her an anti-nausea medication, which worked wonders to help her keep down liquids.

Although we got the puking under control, Porgie was a nightmare on Christmas day. She was being really mean and selfish. She wanted to play with all of her toys and all of Izzy's toy too. Whenever he picked up a toy, she would basically collapse into a pile of mush. Tears, snot, crying - the whole nine yards. It was soooooooo incredibly frustrating. I felt bad for her because I knew she was sick, but I couldn't let her ruin Izzy's Christmas too. So Porgie spent a large amount of her day in Time-out. She even had to go to bed early for being mean. Poor kid.

And when the day was finally over, John and I settled down on the couch to relax. It was very nice, until I heard a gagging sound. I ran back to Porgie's room and found her vomiting a fountain of mashed potatoes. It was everywhere - blankets, pillows, sheets, carpet, walls. FUCK! After I cleaned her up, she didn't settle down and fall asleep until after 11pm. No resting and relaxing for mommy and daddy.

So, Christmas was the exact opposite of everything I wanted it to be. But I did get an AWESOME gift. My husband is too good to me.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Traditions

Now that the kids are getting a little older, we have been trying to start some fun holiday traditions. I had heard from several people that Macy's in Philadelphia had a very nice Christmas display and light show. So, one weekend we decided to catch a train over to Philly to partake in the festive activities.

We have a commuter train a few blocks from our house, so it is actually really convenient to take the train to the city. The kids were beyond excited. THEY GOT TO RIDE ON A TRAIN! If you aren't aware, that is like the coolest thing to EVER happen to a kid. Honestly, Porgie and Izzy liked the train ride more than the actual Christmas exhibit.

Here are some pictures of the kids on the train (Izzy looks mad, but he was actually in a pretty good mood that day)...



The lights and Christmas tree...
The Christmas display depicted various scenes from the story A Christmas Carol. The characters were animated. It was really cute...









The line was insanely long, but we still had a great day. We'll definitely be going back again next year. If you live in the area, I highly recommend it. And here is the best part - it is FREE. Nothing beats free.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My favorite flavor is Key Lime Pie.

When we first moved to New Jersey, my family talked endlessly about the possibility of us moving back to Kentucky. I always acted like it was an option, but honestly, I have no intentions of ever going back to KY. And I don't really want to stay in NJ either.

Don't get me wrong, Kentucky and New Jersey are both great places to live. But I have it stuck in my head that I belong in Vermont. Why? Well remember that show Newhart from the 80's? I took a liking to the characters and setting, and decided that I would move to Vermont one day. And now that I am an adult, I can't shake the impulse to daydream about Vermont. Did you know that Vermont is one of the least populated states? AWESOME. I need a little more peace and quiet in my life. Did you know that Ben & Jerry's is headquartered in Vermont? DOUBLE AWESOME. I need a little more ice cream in my life.

Of course to make me miserable, my husband has decided that he does not want to move to Vermont. He claims that it will be too cold. He is such a pussy. Instead, John talks about moving to California (SNORE). I have absolutely no desire to move out west. Oregon sounds kind of nice, but not nice enough to move across the country for.

To prove that I am right and John is stupid, I did an image search of the word Vermont. This was the first image on the page...Then I did an image search on the word California. Look what I found...I win. Vermont is a better place to live. What? You don't base important life decisions on Google image searches?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The white stuff

As you might have heard, it snowed on the east coast. I mean it REALLY snowed. We got at least 24 inches. Unlike most adults, I actually love the snow. I forced my children to go outside and play multiple times. They were all, "It is cold and wet out here." And I was all, "IT IS SNOWING! WOW! ISN'T THIS FUN!" And they were all, "Ummm...I guess." But don't listen to the kids - it was definitely fun.

I took some pictures to document the snow's progress...
Saturday, 8am

Saturday, 12pm

Saturday, 3pm

Saturday, 6pm

Saturday, 9pm

Sunday, 8am

Fabulous - right? Look! Our patio chairs are almost completely covered!

Here is a picture of my husband shoveling the driveway...I can't remember the last time I've seen this much snow. AMAZING!

And finally, here are some pictures of my sweet babies playing in the snow...



Friday, December 18, 2009

Mrs. Weepy McWhinypants

This morning was tough. Izzy woke up at 6:50, which isn't a huge deal, but I get irritated if he wakes up before 7am. So instantly, I was in a pissy mood. At 7:30, I hopped on the internet to check my email. John had forwarded a statement from our insurance company, stating that we owed $250 for Izzy's 2-year well check-up. WHAT THE FUCK? Well visits and immunizations are covered at 100%, so I called Humana. They claim that our pediatrician is no longer an in-network provider. OH MY FUCKING GOD. If you are a long time reader, you know that I just changed our pediatrician a year or so ago because of the same situation. I'll be honest here, and tell you that I cried when the representative told me this information. Porgie is only 3 years old and I have to switch her doctor for a third time. It just really pisses me off. We can't develop a rapport with her doctor, because every year our insurance company forces us to switch practices. I am angry and sad about the whole thing. I called my husband to vent about the situation, and he hung up on me. Why does my husband always decide to be an asshole when I really need him to be supportive? I cried again. Then I went to Target with my sick children and spent way too much money. And now I feel really bitter and angry.

But to brighten your day, I am going to share this AWESOME link with you. Your child will flip out. Porgie watched her personalized video about 50 times last night. Hope your day is better than mine.

The big kid

We finally did it. We (and by we, I mean John) converted Porgie's crib into a daybed (AKA - a big kid bed). I am not one of those overeager, in-tune with her baby mothers. You know, the ones who potty train at 18 months and transition to a regular bed at age 2. No, I am the mother who completely ignores the fact that her child is getting older (hence the reason that until last week, my 3 1/2 year old was unpotty trained and sleeping in a crib). I would have been perfectly content to let her sleep in her crib until she was 18 years old. Actually, I never even asked my husband to convert the crib. He took it upon himself to do it while I was grocery shopping last week.

At first I was a little weary of the whole situation, but Porgie has proven to be a super star big kid bed sleeper. She LOVES her new set-up, and she has been sleeping great. I thought she might roll out of bed, but she hasn't (so far). I have a bed rail left over from our co-sleeping days, but there isn't really any room to attach it.

Here is a picture of my big kid in her big kid bed...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My crappy life

We are sick. My babies have the runniest noses you have ever seen. Snot drips like water from Izzy's nostrils. It is both incredibly disgusting and incredibly sad to witness. And the real kicker is that I am starting to feel crummy too. No one ever gives mommy a day off to rest and recuperate. Also, I have a weird rash on my hands. What the hell is that all about?Don't you feel sorry for me? Well you should, because thanks to our crappy immune systems, we are missing the opportunity to meet up with REAL LIVE blog buddies. So today, I am going to pout and cry about how horrible my life is.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Complaining about kids

I know that they call it the "terrible twos," but honestly I did not expect my son to suddenly be such a pain in the ass. Izzy is proving to be a very difficult toddler. He can scream. I mean SCREAM. He wants to do everything by himself. And he screams if he can't accomplish the task independently. He doesn't like to nap anymore. And he screams for an hour everyday from 1pm to 2pm. EVERY DAMN DAY. He is obsessed with wearing Porgie's bathing suit from last summer. And when I try to dress him appropriately, he screams. I have been tempted on more than one occasion to just let him wear the fucking bathing suit to the grocery store (Of course, someone would call CPS on my ass. Can you imagine? A 2 year old little boy wearing a pink bathing suit outside in the middle of December.). And finally, he has gotten really bad about biting. Where in the hell did he learn this behavior? And more importantly, how do I stop it? Izzy is driving me insane. Everyday we face the same battles. He never seems to learn his lesson. Time-outs are useless. Yelling certainly doesn't work. And there is no redirecting his behavior - he is a stubborn little thing.

Now let me move on to Porgie. OH MY FREAKING GOD. The child has learned how to change her clothes - the whole nine yards: shoes, pants, socks, and shirts. She changes her clothes approximately 583 times per day. Every time I turn around, she is wearing a different outfit. This is one of the most annoying phases we have been though. I love that she can dress herself, but the laundry is overwhelming. I have a mountainous pile of laundry sitting in my basement right now. And even if I washed it all tonight, I would have another huge pile by tomorrow evening. She literally wears her entire wardrobe in the course of one day. It has gotten to the point where I have considered putting baby-locks on all of her drawers.

This post doesn't really have a point, so I am not really sure how to end it. I just wanted to let you know that I suck at this whole parenting thing. And my kids are annoying. The end.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My amazing, beautiful, brilliant daughter

This is going to be a lame "look at how amazing my kid is" post. Sorry in advance.

A few years ago, Porgie was obsessed with crayons. She literally spent hours coloring every day. She did this for almost a year. Then suddenly she didn't care about coloring anymore. She liked to draw on her chalkboard or on her dry-erase board, but she rarely colored. Last weekend Porgie picked up her crayons and started coloring again. And I am just amazed by her skills. Look how well she stays in the lines! And look how well her colors match the actual colors of Abby! Isn't my baby girl amazing?



Monday, December 14, 2009

I am retiring my boobs for awhile

Have I mentioned that Izzy recently weaned himself? No? Well, he did. And surprisingly, it wasn't a big deal. With Porgie, I was pumping 6 or 7 times per day (which was hell on earth). I decided to stop when she turned 6 months old. It was a very difficult transition. Although she didn't seem to mind the change in milk, I was an emotional wreck. I cried and cried and cried. I felt guilty. Incredibly guilty.

With Izzy, breastfeeding was so easy. He loved to nurse, and I loved our bonding time. I talked about weaning him several times over the past year, but when he requested to nurse, we always nursed. It was beautiful, and I loved every second of it. I know I sound corny, but it is true.

About two weeks ago, Izzy refused to nurse one morning. The morning was his favorite time to nurse, so I thought his behavior was a little odd. He continued to refuse to nurse during the entire week. He has taken a few days off before, but never an entire week. To my delight, I never became engorged. It was almost too easy. As of today, Izzy hasn't nursed for two week, and everything seems to be fine. He is happy, and I am happy. No guilt this time. Just fond memories of our two years nursing.

My big boy

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Are men even capable of saving money?

My husband is an annoying creature. As you know, we are not going back to Kentucky for Christmas this year. In order to save money, I have been searching high and low for lightweight and thirty gifts. For example, I bought some really cute clearanced necklaces from Coldwater Creek. The necklaces cost less than $10 a piece, and they will be relatively inexpensive to ship.

Now my husband claimed that he wasn't going to buy his family anything for Christmas this year. I persuaded him to at least buy something for his mother and father. For weeks, he has been dragging his feet and hasn't purchased them anything. He mentioned buying gift cards, but I don't really like that idea. When you send a gift card, I feel like you have to give at least $25. That is $50 for just his mom and dad. I bought some really cute gifts for SEVEN people for a combined total of approximately $50. So obviously, my way is better - right?

I was trying to help John think of some thirty gifts this afternoon. John's mother has specifically requested chocolates in the past (and he bought her expensive ass Godiva). So, I suggested that he buy her another box of chocolates, except maybe something on the cheaper side - like Hersey Pot of Gold. He got all pissy and flat out refused to buy her cheaper chocolates. Instead, he wants to buy her buttercreams from this EXTREMELY expensive local specialty store. I wanted to scream "ASSHOLE, YOU ARE NOT SAVING MONEY WITH THIS IDEA. YOU MIGHT AS WELL SEND THE FUCKING GIFT CARD." Why are men so fucking stupid? I understand that it is the holidays and maybe I am being cheap, but I would like to spend about $200 total this Christmas. Why is he so unwilling to help out? John's mother is not a fancy woman. I can guarantee you that she would like the Hersey chocolate just as much as the fucking outrageously priced buttercreams.

Since having the argument about chocolates, we have been fighting all day. I am counting down the hours until Monday morning.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Visiting Santa. Without tears!


Last weekend we visited Santa at the library. And to my surprise and delight, Porgie hopped right up on his lap. She was a little nervous, but she managed to tell Santa what she wanted for Christmas. In case you are wondering, she asked for a purple kite. What the heck? I am hoping she forgets about the purple kite, because it is highly unlikely that a kite will be under the tree this Christmas. Goofy kid!

Since having this picture taken, we have also visited Santa at the mall. The mall picture is HILARIOUS, but I haven't had time to scan it into the computer yet. Have your kids visited Santa yet?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

FREE MONEY! I swear! Would I lie to you?

I wanted to give you guys an update on the Swagbucks situation here in Cakerwakerville. In a little over a month, I managed to accumulate 135 swagbucks! Because it was a better deal, I decided to cash in my points for $15 in Amazon gift cards instead of Target gift cards. So, after a month of simply doing internet searches through their site, I earned $15! How awesome is that? FREE MONEY! Just in time for Christmas!

If you have already signed up or are planning on signing up, I wanted to share a link with you. The site We-Love-Swagbucks alerts you to new codes that can be found on the Swagbucks widget, toolbar, and website. It is such an easy way to earn more points, I thought I would share this tidbit with all of my internet friend:)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

One of the many skeletons in my closet

I don't know my father. I have never seen his face. I don't know what his voice sounds like. I have never held his hand or kissed him goodnight. I have never known a father's love.

My father only lived 10 minutes away, but he never came to see me. My father paid child support for 18 years, but he never once requested a visitation. When I was a senior in high school, my mother sent my father a picture of me. He returned it and asked not to be contacted again.

By and large, his absence and unwillingness to love didn't bother me. I never knew what it was like to have a father, and it is hard to miss something you've never had. As a teenager, I likened it to being born without your eyesight. It is almost impossible to pine over something you've never experienced. The idea of a father sounded great, but it was just that - an idea. Not my reality.

Now that I am an adult, with my own children, I sometimes feel a simmering of emotions under the surface. As I watch my husband play with Porgie and Izzy, and I often feel a twinge of sadness. Why was I so easy to forget, to brush aside, to dismiss? John loves our children with every fiber of his being. Why didn't my father even want to see my picture?

Although I have no intentions of contacting my father (EVER), I do sometimes wonder what he thought about me. What were his motivations for ignoring my existence? Does he regret his actions? Has he told his other children about me?

I guess my curiosity stems from one simple question - How can a father not love his child?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Snow!

Last weekend the weather became cold and nasty. It was sleeting all day on Saturday, and when we awoke on Sunday we were graced with a dusting of snow. It was really exciting - just ask Porgie and Izzy...





Monday, December 7, 2009

A hat!

So, I have been really busy lately. Of course I am a boring stay at home mommy, so my version of busy and your version of busy are probably not the same. I am usually "busy" when I create projects for myself - like painting a room or baking cookies or going to the Aquarium. Last week I was chatting with a friend via email. We were talking about her awesome new knitting skills. She recently made a hat! I was jealous of her skills, so I decided to try my hand at making a hat too.

For those of you who don't know, I taught myself how to crochet about 3 years ago. I chronicled the process on my blog. For evidence go here and here and here. I am really good at crocheting baby blankets and scarves. Everything else is a challenge. I tried making a hat a few years ago, and I failed miserably. Fast forward to Friday. I found an adorable pattern for a hat and decided to try again. For the first hour, I kept screwing up and unraveling my creations. But then something clicked in my brain. Suddenly the pattern made sense, and I started making progress on my very first crocheted hat!

The pattern I had was for a newborn, so I decided to add a few stitches to the pattern so that the hat would fit my kids' ginormous heads. This plan did not work out very well, because the end product was a huge ( I mean HUGE) hat. It was even too big for my head. I guess I got carried away with adding extra stitches.

Determined to make a presentable hat, I started over. And this time, I came out victorious! It is a little misshaped in the back, but I am still super proud of my hat...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Special

Porgie's first Christmas ornament...

Izzy's first Christmas ornament...

I find that the older I get, the more sentimental I become. If anything were to ever happened to these ornament, I would cry. They are precious and priceless to me.

Did you buy special ornaments to commemorate your baby's first Christmas?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Before you know it, I'll be eating 3 day old doughnuts from a dumper

I have a question. Do you eat expired food? When I was a kid, if something expired, we instantly tossed it out. My mother treated expired food like poison. Of course I internalized this, and quickly tossed out any food that was expired.

But recently, I realized that this habit is incredibly wasteful. So I did a little searching online, and discovered that expired food isn't actually bad for you at all. According to the Food Standards Agency, "Best-before is an indication of quality rather than safety. Eating food past the best-before date does not necessarily put someone at risk from food poisoning." I read another article that said, "Expiration dates do not refer to a throw away date. Once the food passes the expiration date, food quality slowly diminishes. This does not mean that expired boxed food has suddenly become poisonous, it just means that cereal that is 6 months past the "Best By" date is not quite as crispy or fresh."

So I have a new policy. All dairy products are thrown out within a day or two of their expiration date, but we are using canned goods and dry goods that have recently expired. I use the term "recently" very loosely. Just last week I found a can of expired Ghirardelli cocoa powder in the cupboard. It expired in December of 2008 (how in the hell does anyone forget about chocolate for a whole year?). I just used it to make muffins this morning, and they tasted great. I haven't died yet, so I think we are safe.

How about you? Do you eat expired food?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Better

We did the picture thing again. Things went much smoother this time around...