About Me

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Married to GI Joe, and the Mother to GI Joe Jr (whom is currently addicted to the Wonderful World of Superheroes), I'm a WV Hillbilly plunked down in a subdivision. I have a backyard garden, crazy neighbors, and a goofy dog that we love on Tuesdays. We love to travel and explore new things, so feel free to browse our life. Sometimes it is exciting, most of the time it is just life. But we are having a good time at it.

Friday, December 31, 2010

2011....how I hope that you don't suck

2007...The Husband left for Iraq and I was left to deal with being a full time mom, full time dad, full time housekeeper, full time dog letter-outter, full time employee with a long ass commute for a year.  Other than our son being born...2007 was pretty much a suck-fest on most accounts.

2008...The Husband came home and we struggled with getting to know each other again, I had a fight with an ENT and turned his tail into the State Medical Board, got our son's ears semi straightened out, got my head out of my butt and started feeling semi-normal again.

2009...I thought things were going great...The Husband had reacclimated to civilian life without IED's, and The Toddler was growing and doing great... until our company did a huge round of layoffs.  After the scissors hit the floor, they picked them back up and whacked salaries and laid in furlough schedules.  We sucked it up, we dealt with the blow.  We mourned the losses, and we cut back.   We managed to get what we could out of the year.

2010...I went to a nutritionist and pleaded for help and got the 'stop dairy' speech...The Toddlers ear infections came to a screeching halt... our company was able to hire people back but we still didn't get our salaries back...I still had a job...and things went along pretty darn good.  I have discovered that I am probably premenopausal and am learning to cope.  All my scans and pokes came up negative in the long run.  Not too shabby.  We bought the pop up camper and rented premium sites at the campgrounds and rubbed elbows with the big boys that had indoor bathrooms.  We welcomed a nephew and some new cousins...we said goodbye to friends and family.

For 2011...I am hoping for stability, joy, happiness for my friends, and for me to get myself together and my head on straight for more than ten seconds.  I want The Toddler to have a great illness free year, and for The Husband to stay stateside. 

I would also like to drop that damned 20 pounds that I keep yakking my mouth about.

PS...isn't it sad that my boss gave me a wonderful bottle of champagne for Christmas, and The Husband and I didn't even chill it?  We know we are going to snore the New Year in...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Biting him in the butt...

The Toddler is fully potty trained.

Bless all the potty training videos, books, stickers, toys, trips to Toys R Us, Potty Cakes (yes, we would have a birthday cake on Friday night at dinner if he pottied all week at daycare). 

I've cleaned poop out of floors...been hit in the chest with a wayward spray...had to wipe down the walls in the bathroom countless times...its been interesting.

I'm confident now, that he is 3 1/2 years old, that we are FULLY potty trained in this house.  Everyone potties where they are supposed to.

One problem...

They put the big picture of the character on the little boys' underwear...ON THE BACK.

Yes folks...they put the BIG Lightning McQueen, and the BIG Mater, and the BIG Yoda...on the butt.  Where the kid can't see it.  Ever.  Unless you stand the little dude on the sink and he can turn sideways and sorta see his favorite character.

We've managed to stall The Toddler from wearing his undies backwards with the picture on the front, for nearly a year now.  There have been some battles...but nothing major.

But tonight...he's pickin' his britches...cause he HAD to wear Lightning McQueen on the front.  Huge fit...and I wasn't ready to do the battle tonight.  Just let him wear them backwards.

It's biting him in the butt...literally.

So his undies look quite inappropriate from the rear...and he's done nothing but tug and pull at them.  Everytime I look at him playing on his train table, he has his hand pulling his undies out of his crack and shaking his leg.  

Wedgie boy...I am betting he won't do this again once I get them off and get his Overnight Pull Up on. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Thank You.

Thank you very much for the $XX you gave me for my graduation.  I really appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Thank you very much for the gift off of our wedding registry.  We really appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Thank you for the baby gift.  We really appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Thank you for the baby gift.  We really appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Thank you for the baby gift.  We really appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Thank you for coming to my birthday party and bringing XYZ.  I really liked it.

In under one minute, I managed to write out six Thank You notes.

Yes, I am venting.

Wanna know why?

The husband and I have given eight milestone gifts this year.  Two weddings, four babies, a graduation, a big preschooler birthday party.

Out of those eight, we have received TWO Thank You’s.

Yes, I am keeping tabs.  Because it has become a freaking trend.  The first two, I kind of swept to the side.  Then I started noticing that no one seemed to feel the need to acknowledge receipt of a gift.

My three year old sends out Thank You notes for birthdays and Christmas.  He signs them in crayon...of course I write them out, address them and mail them...but geez.  

 I’m curious as to why a high school graduate, a newlywed that knows better, three sets of parents to-be that know better, and a mom of another preschooler cannot for milestone events.

We took the time to pick out the presents and put thought into them. 

The baby gifts were the most fun. 

The preschooler was the biggest pain in the tail.  Along with the huge party that was thrown.  But The Toddler had fun.

The wedding gift was easy….online baby!

The graduation gift was cash, and not a small amount…in a card.   Hand delivered to the mom.

But no one has bothered to acknowledge them…no one.

I even went so far as to email the bride about her wedding present to ‘make sure it was delivered…’  ‘Yes, it was delivered…thanks!’

That doesn’t freaking count.

I took the time to write out Thank You’s for graduations, wedding, baby…

It’s manners.  It’s etiquette.  It’s the proper thing to do.

You sit down with a stack of Thank You cards…write out ... “Thank you for the set of potholders.  We appreciate your thoughtfulness”  Big whoop.  Not hard.  Slap a stamp on it, and be done.

And one of them was my very own sister in law. 


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Holiday Heartburn and Creepy Movie (ie..Toy Story 3)

For anyone that hasn't seen Toy Story 3, please stop here so that I don't ruin the surprise for you.

If you have seen it, or don't care either way...this is the most freaking creepy movie ever.

Between the half blind baby doll that cries and calls for her Mama...to the weird mean teddy bear...and the whole Lord of Flies mentality they have going on...to tying up Buzz Lightyear...the whole prison/Shawshank Redemption bit...it was a little too much for me.

And here I was, before we started the movie, telling The Husband to 'wait a minute, I want to watch it too!' as I cleaned up breakfast in the kitchen.

I should have found something else to do for two hours.

I don't like dolls...think they are creepy.

There is one very creepy doll in this movie.

I don't like clowns...think they are creepier.

There is a one very freaking creepy clown in this movie.

It's just weird.   I don't want to watch it ever again...no thanks.  Hoping The Toddler was not a huge fan.  I really don't want to watch it ever ever ever again.  Yuck.

I even turned to The Husband halfway through and asked if he was creeped out... his words  'uh yeah'.

And the whole layers upon layers of guilt for throwing broken toys away. Gee thanks.

I'd rather watch HappyFeet again...not really...but close.

And as for the heartburn...I'm sick of Holiday Food now.  We ordered, we picked up, we ate it...and we ate it again...and we ate it some more.   I pawned some off on the neighbors...and we still have more...  I think I'll order a pizza or something tomorrow.

My awesome homemade Christmas Morning cinnamon rolls were not good (I will not be posting pics of that fail)...so I started the day with Crack Cookies (my co worker makes the most amazing sugar cookies that are so addictive I've named them Crack Cookies) and coffee..a lot of coffee...and it was cool.

But Christmas was awesome...The Toddler finally got the whole Santa thing this year.  His Elves spent three hours last night putting together the big whopping train table and track...and he was thrilled...when we had to roll him out of bed at 8am.  He's played all day.  Singing the Thomas theme song over and over... 'They're two, they're four, they're six they're eight...'

And it's snowing.... *sigh*

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Santa goes to the ENT too!

So yesterday, we journey to the ENT to have the left tube dug out of his ear...where it was apparently just rolling around in there.  My son kept telling me he had a ball in his ear...really? 

Why we couldn't turn him upside down and let it just fall out is beyond my comprehension. 

Just kidding...sorta.

Sitting in the waiting room...dealing with the weird kid that wouldn't leave my child alone...and guess who walks in?

Well, if you read the title you'd know.

Santa...and Mrs Clause!

Apparently Santa had an ENT type emergency and had to stop by, in full regalia.

The most awesome part...he kept up the guise the whole time.

Santa's hearing aid may have flipped out...or a kid may have stuck a candy cane up his nose...I have no idea.

But they played along with the kids in the waiting room.

And that was just freaking awesome.

Of course it really didn't make up for the screaming fit that was thrown by my very own Toddler when the tube was literally plucked out of his ear...but that is a whole other story.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ohhhhh....just go suck a candy cane...

The Holidays seem to bring out the jolly in some people.

The rude and impatient in the rest of the people.

I ran into Mrs. Rude and Mr. Impatient with their child Unhappy today while waiting in line for pictures with Santa.

You see, we go to the same Santa every year.

Yes, it requires an hour drive north to the mall that he works at.

I have a photo of The Toddler with this Santa for every Christmas he's been here.

For his first one, he was only four months old...and quite adorable.  Santa cuddled him right up, The Infant gave us a surprised expression, and we were done.

The second year, The Husband and I had to get in the picture too.  He was having it no other way.

Last year...The Toddler was not cooperating AT ALL.  NONE OF IT.  We tried every trick known to man to get him to smile.  My pic is of him with his head thrown back, Santa looking at him like he had lost his mind, and my son is NOT AMUSED.  It's hilarious...and I bought it anyway.

I was really stressed about this years photo.  Was he going to cooperate?  Was he going to pull a Toddler Tantrum?  Were we going to walk out with yet another FAIL of a picture?

If we did, it was still going to go in the photo album anyway...cause dang it...he's gonna see it when he is sixteen.

So we arrive.  Santa opens at 12p.  It's 11:55a.

It's raining.

There is a line outside the storefront that he is going to be at this year.  Under and awning of course.

We are number 4.

Behind us, in a matter of seconds, we go to number 18.

And all, but one infant girl, are boys....very active boys.  Not kidding.  It was like all the parents of boys decided to do this RIGHT NOW.

We get inside...Santa makes his big arrival...does a few magic tricks, then settles back in his big ol' chair and receives his first customers.

My son watches with wide eyed wonder. 

It also didn't hurt that Santa pulled Rudolph's nose out of my husband's ear either.

I smile at other people's children sitting on Santa's lap.  Everyone is dressed in their sweaters and corduroy pants.  My son has on the jeans that he despises because I refused to have his picture done with him in sweatpants, clean socks, clean underwear, and his brand new Lightning McQueen shirt...there was no getting him in a sweater, tie, or dress shirt.  I tried.  He's lucky he's not in his pajamas.

Number One finishes, they take the picture.  The Elf checks out Number One's parents while Santa receives Number Two, and talks to them during the lull.

Mrs. Rude (who was Number Seven by the way) starting getting antsy.  I guess her son, Unhappy, was not amused at having to wait his turn.

She asks my number...I told her Number Four. 

She huffs.

Then she paces...stepping around the photographer, around us, in front of us...etc.

Unhappy is whining.  My thought...Child...you're a little too old and too big to be whining about waiting.  Suck it up.

The Toddler watches the proceedings while being held by The Husband so that he can warm up the whole Santa thing.  

I'm glaring at Mrs. Rude...who has now been joined by her husband Mr. Impatient.

Now they want to know why more people aren't working? 

What is taking so long?

How much longer are they going to have to wait?

Why isn't there something for the kids to DOOOOO while they are waiting?

Blah blah blah blah.

I tuned her out...seriously woman...go suck a candy cane or something and just shut up.   Each child is getting about a full minute to two minutes with Santa before the picture is done.  Your precious Unhappy child is going to get his time.  Chill.

Number Three let out a wail of epic proportions.  I had to laugh.  Been there, and done that.

Then it was our turn....

I will admit.  I have a Santa phobia.  Hated him as a child, and own no Santa decorations, gift wrap, cards, ornaments...nothing.  But I do adore this Santa.   He probably is pretty cool to hang out with and have a beer or two.  He is retired Air Force, and I thought that was hysterical when I found that out.  You see...I chat with people.  And the first year I took The Toddler to see Santa, The Husband was in Iraq and we had a few moments to chat while waiting on the pictures to print.  No one else was in line...he's a nice guy.

I got a little choked up watching The Toddler walk up to that big chair.

The Toddler was escorted to Santa by The Husband, along with Flump, his stuffed elephant.  He sat nicely on Santa's lap, and listened to Santa tell him to be good and listen to his parents this year. 

And Santa did a magic trick for him...and he giggled...full out laugh.

And we got the picture!  Hot Damn!  Whooot!

And Mrs. Rude just huffed and continued to pace behind me while I checked out and collected my purchase.  And we strolled out with a thrilled Toddler and beautiful Holiday Photo.

I wish I had had a candy cane to hand her...secretly, deep down inside...I am still hoping her kid flipped out and she didn't get a good photo.

But I'm sure they made sure they tied up that line long enough for Unhappy to list off all of his wants and needs...and then complained all the way home because of the wait.  Well duh folks...it's DECEMBER 12th.  If you hadn't noticed...Santa's not around for much longer.  What did you expect?

Happy Holidays to all!

Drop a Toy in Toys for Tots!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sing along

Sing it to London Bridge along with me:

The freaking ear tube is falling out…falling out…falling out…
The freaking ear tube is falling out…my fair lady….

Yeah, you can stop singing now…cause I am having an anxiety attack.

12/4/2007 was my son’s first ear infection.  I remember it clearly.  It was a freaking nightmare to a new mom with four month old with a 103 degree fever at 2am.  I was terrified.

In a previous blog…from January or so of this year, I detailed out my son’s ear problems.  You can read it here.

I also stated that I bought an otoscope, and I check his ears at least once a week…sometimes even more.  That thing goes on all trips with us.  I would rather be able to take a peek in his ear and see what he is digging out rather than pay a copay for the doc to say ‘it’s wax’.   I also found the purple crayon well before anyone else did.

I am also a control freak.

So he’s been digging this weekend…hard.  Like really really rubbing his left ear. 


I take a peek.

Yup, that left tube is coming out.   I can see the other side of the spool. 


The right side is just fine.

At least that is rooting in our favor.

I mean, seriously, what’s the worst that can happen?

He can get another ear infection…a raging fever…rupture his ear drum AGAIN…be miserable. 

That would be number TWENTY THREE. 

Then we get to go through another round of waiting to see if he gets anymore.  And then having tubes put back in and Ciprodex drops, and all that jazz.  Just what I want to do over the holidays.

Or maybe he’ll never have another ear infection.  Since we stopped the dairy, things have been 3000 times better than the first two years.

So he goes to the ENT next week to see what is going on…probably have the joy of holding him down while they root around in his ear and dig the mess out. 


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday afternoon dinner rush...

Most Sundays, when I can and when I am in the mood, I put together two or three dinners and pop them in the fridge.  That way we are set until Thursday night...when we will then opt for the local Mexican restaurant that has the most amazing enchilada sauce...but I digress.

Today....my concoctions were poultry based.  They were on sale...so why not?

Dish #1:

Mexican chicken
Three or four chicken thighs, or whatever chicken you want to shred.  Boneless skinless chicken breasts do not work very well...they just don't have enough fat on them.

If you have more than three adults eating dinner, add a few extra chicken thighs.
One or two boxes of Spanish Rice (Rice A Roni is what I use)
One or two cans of Rotel or diced tomatoes.  If you use one box of spanish rice mix, use one can of tomatoes
Pack of fajita seasoning.  I used to use taco seasoning, but that was just too much taco taste.

Bake chicken thighs uncovered until done(I add a little Ms Dash Chipotle seasoning on top)usually 45 minutes at 350...allow to cool off enough to shred and debone.

Pour in your box (boxes) of spanish rice mix into the pan with the shredded chicken.

Add can(s) of tomatoes.

Depending on what brand you used, follow the directions on the back for the amount of water to add for the rice.  Usually, two cups per box.

Stir in fajita seasoning.

Bake covered for thirty minutes at 350.  Stir at least once if you can.

Uncover and bake another 15-20 minutes...remove and allow to cool and thicken.

Serve with sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes...etc.

Add  jalepenos, green peppers, whatever you chose to make it your own.


Dinner #2
Shocking Chicken

Basically a beer butted chicken...with Shock Top beer.  We didn't drink it all this summer, so bit by bit, I am working through the Newcastle and Shock Top.

Fire up your grill and get it to 450-500 degrees.

I have a fancy roaster thingy from Sur La Table, that has the 'can' built in the middle.  However, I have used empty green bean cans, or a black olive can once.  I don't use beer cans...they aren't substantial enough.

While the grill is heating...prep your bird.  Take it out of the plastic, rinse it out, make sure the innards are out.

Insert bird over can...small tip...do that on a baking pan, frying pan, something to catch all the drippings.  I set my roasting contraption over the wok pan that I never use, except for this.

I stuff the bird with sliced onions, celery and lemon pepper seasonings.  Sometimes a garlic clove or two...that's more with the Newcastle beer.

Proceed to slowly pour beer down into the chicken...trying to get the most in the can.  Pour some over the chicken itself...then rub the rest of your seasonings into the outside skin...carry out in your pan and place on grill.  If you are using an old baking pan, you can put it on the grill too to catch the drips.  I do not recommend putting your skillet or my wok on that hot grill.

Then just turn the bird around every thirty minutes or so.  Cook until done.  I usually end up cooking over 2 hours or so.  I am not playing with an underdone bird.

Take off grill and carry back in same pan...the beer doesn't disappear...that can will be full....and you'll make a mess...it just happens.

Carve and enjoy!

I have a boxed mix for a pineapple upside down cake that I will eventually get to...probably not today.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Life Skills

There are some things you realize, as you get older, and become a responsible adult...

The first questions you see to ask youself are:

Now how am I supposed to fix that?
Why is the sink making that noise?
Why is there water all over the bathroom floor?

Then you go searching for the phone book or Google.  Or a neighbor who has skills.

At some point, in high school or college, there should be a required life skills class.   Something.  A semester course that teaches you basic household wiring (I'm literally going to have to get an electrician in here to replace a blown outlet in my kitchen).   Or even basic household plumbing...replacing a faucet, or putting the guts back in a toilet...the mysteries of the plumbing aisle astound me.  How about a few days of sheet rock repair to allow you to do the job without looking like a five year old did it?  I'd love to know if 'that noise' coming from my kitchen sink is supposed to be there.  Or how to wire in a new dining room light that doesn't look like it is from 1993.  Or a garbage disposal.  I'd love to have a garbage disposal.  But then I realize I need to call someone in to do it, and then I just rethink the whole plan.

I mean really, they have a freaking cartoon character that makes home repair look easy!  Right now, The Toddler is watching Handy Manny.  It's like Bob Vila for the preschooler set.  And he makes me feel totally  inadequate.  He's a cartoon character with animated talking tools for crying out loud...and I feel like I am watching his every move to see how he does it.  He built a birdhouse today.  Complete with Cape Style upstairs windows.  Yeah.  Mine would have been a milk carton with a hole cut in it.

Back in my high school/junior high days...we took a one week course on gun safety.  Yes, we did.  It was rural West Virginia and a new program.  You had to have your Hunter Safety card to get your hunting license...so therefore they just brought it to the school.  It was handy.

We had a goofy shop class.  I made a potato bin.  It worked...sorta.  Yay.

Why in there could they not teach home wiring, plumbing, sheet rock repair, basic painting skills.  Some kind of home repair.  Something.  Something that you would USE in life.  Maybe not in Junior High, but definitely High School, or as part of every Major program in College. 

And add in a 'What does this Mean when my Car makes this Noise' class.  That'd be real handy.  

But then again, I wouldn't have realized the value of it.  I probably wouldn't have paid a lick of attention.   I would have been more concerned about the classes that I need to graduate and work in my field. 

Now they offer these classes, at a local community college, for a rather nice fee, at night...but I have a real world job, a long commute, a kid and no time.  *sigh*

Ha!  If I only knew then what I know now...which one class would have been worth more in the long run.

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