Friday, June 27, 2008

Tomorrow is the big day!

I was all prepared to give you a sneak peek at my outfit, but my camera is not cooperating. :(

On top of that, riding in the vehicle from 3:30 am to 11 am this morning has made my ankles nice and swollen... not good for a sneak peek photo of my shoes. :)

Yes, we left our house at 3:30 this morning! UGH!!!

I slept a little off and on on the way down, but only in about 20 minute intervals. Every time I got settled, I felt an apologetic tap on my shoulder....

B: "Jen? Chandler needs another movie. I'm really sorry."

B: "Jen? I'm sorry. Chandler needs a drink."

B: "Hey. Jen? I'm sorry to bug you again, but I think Riley needs her paci."

B: "Jen? When you get a chance could you get me a drink and give me a foot massage?"

Ok. That last one I totally made up, but after being disturbed so many times I actually thought it was a real possibility! :)

None of it was actually Brandon's fault... That's just the life of a mommy on the road. (sigh)

So, we arrived at 11:00. We had lunch. We "rested". We went to the park. We chased the girls... literally chased them. We came home. We had dinner.

My mom, Chandler and I went to Target to pick up some new white sandals for Riley. While I was there I got an awesome pair of Red Patent High Heels. SUPER CUTE!!!

While we were at Target, my mom called my dad to ask a quick question.

Here's what I heard from her end of the phone...

Mom: "What?!?"

M: "How did that happen?"

M: "Oh my goodness!"

M: "Wow!"

M: "I hope you guys put her in bed."

Ok, so at this moment I'm having visions of broken collarbones and bloody faces.

Here's what actually happened.

Riley was playing with my dad's cellphone.

A minute later his phone rings.

It's 911. They were calling to make sure that everything was ok.

My dad then explained that his granddaugher must have accidentally called 911.

They hang up.

A few minutes later. A knock on the door.

It's a cop. Verifing that everyone is ok. :)

**Note to self: If my children ever accidentally call 911... Explain what happened then IMMEDIATELY get dressed so that I will be presentable when the kind police officer shows up at my door. :)

Welcome to the 1st day of vacation!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The countdown...

Less than 4 days.

I will be reunited with my high school pals in less than 4 days.

I had a much "deeper" post developing in my head, but I think I'm going to keep it light for now. :)

For those of you who are just dying to know, I found a dress to wear to the class reunion on Saturday night. TJ Maxx. $24.99.

I also found a few other things I just couldn't live without... now I just need to decide which of my new outfits I will wear to the festivities on Saturday morning. :)

I'm really looking forward to seeing all of my "clique" from my high school days.

It has been 10 years since I've seen most of them, but I was able to catch up with a few back in March of 2006.

So, here's a flash back to good old 1997. (Please forgive the clothing... it was tacky day. One of the MANY theme days during homecoming week.)
The people in this photo may wish bad things upon me for posting this, but I think I'm the worst looking one in the photo and if I'm ok with it, they should be too! :)

left to right (back row): Heather G., Kimmy, Shakira, Kristy, Vince, Heather H., Steven
left to right (front row): Amanda and Me

Here are the girls I was able to catch up with back in March 2006.

left to right: Christina, Heather G., Kristy, Crystal and Me

I'm pretty sure this weekend will include laughter, laughter and more laughter.
I'm also sure that between Kristy and myself there will be hundreds of photos taken!

Brandon may want to gouge his eyes out and rip his ears off of his head by Saturday night, but I know he will be a trooper. :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Happy Anniversary Brandon! I love you!!

This is us last Friday night at Amber's wedding.

This is us seven years ago - June 23, 2001

Don't we look really young?? Especially Brandon. He says being married to me and having 2 daughters has aged him! :)

We went out on Saturday night to celebrate. (Brandon is at the softball field tonight playing a double header. Obviously Brandon wasn't on the team back in 2001 or we probably wouldn't have set our wedding date for June. :) He would have insisted that we get married after the season was over so he wouldn't miss any games!)

We had dinner at Logan's. It was yummy and we were stuffed... maybe because we ate 3 desserts! Don't worry... they were "Mini Bucket Desserts". Only about 5 bites in each. :) They were delicious and we seriously over ate!

After dinner we had a little time to kill before our movie started so we ran over to Target. I tried on a few dresses (without success)... I'm looking for something to wear to my "business casual" high school reunion this coming weekend. Any suggestions????

We headed over to the theatre to see The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.
I really enjoyed the movie, but I still think The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is my favorite. I LOVED Edmond's character in Prince Caspian. I wish he had played a larger role. When we read all of The Chronicles last summer I remember Edmond having a larger part, but I guess the movie script was written to focus more on the tension surrounding Peter and Caspian (really the tension between Peter and everyone!). I didn't really care of the corny one liners. I don't remember there being as many in tL, tW & tW. The "love story" between Susan and Caspian was ok. In the book he takes an interest in her, but I don't remember it evolving the way the movie played it out. I won't spoil it for those of you who haven't seen it yet. :)
But GOOD NEWS (for me anyway)... If The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is anything like the book at all, Edmond will play a much larger role. :)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

All About Me from A to Z!

Heather tagged me and everyone else on her blog roll for this little All About Me survey...

A: Attached or single? Attached to my husband for 7 years this coming Monday, June 23rd.

B: Best friends? Brandon. :) After Brandon, Amy ranks pretty high on my list of friends I can count on, complain to, and look silly in front of!! :) She does work out with me 3 times a week... we've had plenty of opportunity to look silly! :)

C: Cake or Pie? Cake. I love cake.

D: Day of choice? Saturday. Brandon is home and we don't HAVE to do anything if we don't want to... of course we usually end up cleaning the house, working in the yard, or running a few errands, but we don't HAVE to be anywhere if we don't want! :)

E: Essential item? Diapers! If we get low on diapers I start to worry... "what if Riley gets a stomach bug and goes through the last 20 diapers in one morning????"

F: Favourite colour? Green. Oddly enough most of my house is painted in shades of brown... from Chocolate brown in my kitchen and hallway to a creamy Caramel brown in my living room.

G: Gummy bears or worms? Bears. I'm with Heather, "I just object to eating anything worm-shaped."

H: Hometown? I think I'm beginning to consider Cleveland home now... It has only been 10 years. It's probably about time. :)

I: Favourite indulgence? Eating out. I would eat out every meal if I could. :)

J: January or July? My birthday and Chandler's birthday are both in January, but we normally do vacations in July so either one if fine... I hate to be cold so the sunny days of July MAY outrank the birthdays in January.

K: Kids? 2 lovely (on occasion) daughters! :)

L: Life isn't complete without....? Brandon and my girls

M: Marriage date? June 23, 2001.

N: Number of brothers & sisters? I have 1 younger sister

O: Oranges or apples? both, but we buy more apples. the girls have a hard time eating oranges without making a mess!

P: Phobias? bugs, snakes, spiders, mice. being confined to a small space... ugh!

Q: Quotes: "There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it." ~A Chinese Proverb
"Life is tough enough without having someone kick you from the inside." ~Rita Rudner

R: Reason to smile? My kids make me smile every day!

S: Season? Fall

T: Tag 5 People: Kristy, Christina S., Emily S., Amy Beth, and Debi

U: Unknown facts: I got into a "fight" in high school and got suspended for 2 days and had to fulfill 2 Saturday clean up campus days. A terrible injustice! Wrongly accused. Probably depending on who you ask. :)
**Note... this WAS an unknown fact because it is NOT something that I am proud of.

V: Veggie? Broccoli... mom, can you believe I just said that???

W: Worst habit: I'm a serious procrastinator!

X: X-ray or Ultrasound? Ultrasound. X-ray implies that something is broken! :)

Y: Your favourite food? Homemade mashed potatoes with extra salt and butter, please!

Z: Zinc or sunscreen? Sunscreen.

There you have it.... Get to writing girls! :)

Friday, June 20, 2008

One of these things is not like the others...

Notice anything strange about this photo?
Maybe one black flip-flop and one brown flip-flop.
That's what I get for buying up a bunch of Old Navy flip-flops in various colors while they were running a 2/$5 sale last year!

I normally do not have a hard time telling the difference between brown and black, but I must have been in a hurry and didn't bother to check them... they both feel the same on my feet. :)

So how long did it take me to realize my error??
Well, I left the house at 11:00. We ran a few errands, the girls and I got haircuts, and we headed home.
I kicked my shoes off in the hall (don't tell me you've never done that) on my way to lay Riley down for a nap.
I cleaned the the living room and worked on folding some clothes.
I swept and mopped the kitchen floors. (I must have been really focused not to notice my feet while sweeping and mopping!)
On my way back down the hall way (after having walked past my shoes at least 20 times) I slipped my shoes back on and headed to my room.
I stopped at my closet to toss my shoes in and THAT'S WHEN I NOTICED!
I double checked to make sure that I had not left a lone brown flip-flop in the hall... SURELY I HAD NOT GONE AROUND TOWN IN MISMATCHED FLIP-FLOPS!
Sadly, the other brown flip-flop was found in his appropriate place in my closet! UGH!

When Brandon got home I slipped the mismatched pair on to show him what I had done... he laughed at me. I expected nothing less. I would have laughed at him had he done it!

Fast forward to Brandon's double headed at the ball field last night...
We get out of the car at the ball field after enjoying dinner at Chick-fil-A.
I look down and yell, "BRANDON I DID IT AGAIN!!!!"

Apparently, I FORGOT that I was wearing one black and one brown flip-flop and didn't change into a matching pair before leaving the house for dinner!!!

Father's Day 2008

I got a little behind in downloading my photos. Here's a Father's Day recap...

We had Brandon open his gifts on Saturday night. I knew Sunday had the potential to be busy between church, naps, and various other things.
Riley was already in bed so she missed out on the presents... It was probably better this way. She had been grumpy all day!

Brandon reading his Coupon Book that Chandler made at the YMCA.

Opening his shirt from the girls/my parents :)

His totally cool/amazing/awesome UGA watch from his equally cool/amazing/awesome wife. :)
Yes, Brandon wears his watch on his right arm... I know it looks wrong, but he's left handed so it works for him!

Chandler showing off a little artwork

Sunday afternoon Brandon and I cleaned out the inside of both vehicles. A daunting task that I had been dreading!! Now it's done and they look great. It's been almost a week and we've managed to keep them clean. :)

The girls enjoying some Capri Sun and a movie while we cleaned the vehicles.
Again Riley is not wearing pants... I didn't realize it, but apparently she spends many days "pantless".

My little Artist!

Last Saturday morning, while Brandon was cutting the grass, the girls and I headed out for a little fresh air.

Riley decided to show her artistic side...
(Click on photos to enlarge)
**Yes, Riley is in her pajamas! Well the top anyway...

"Please don't disturb me. I'm creating!"

"Hey guys! Come look at my art!"

"Do I have a little something on my face?"

"Looking for inspiration!"

"I bet you never thought to use your front door as a canvas!"

"Here mom! Your camera needs a little color!"

Peeking inside to see what Chandler is doing... "Maybe she'll bring me a juice box."


Here's what Chandler was doing while Riley spent AN HOUR (I've never seen her stay in one place for so long!) on the front step creating...

Being a princess. I know you are probably surprised! :)

Even a princess needs her daily bike ride.

Yes, we have 1 bike, 2 tricycles, and a red wagon in our driveway... don't you?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Post #101 Calls for a Makeover!

Some of you may know that I have a LONG to-do list for fixing up our house.
Not all of them are super expensive projects, but they are all pretty much time consuming.

We've done a TON of projects since we moved in in October 2005, but I've still got a few more tricks up my sleeve... I've just been putting them off!
(Maybe I'll post some before and after photos of the projects we've already done... be on the lookout!)

Well, BooMama is going to motivate me!

She is encouraging us to do an HGTV style makeover...


Here's the idea...
You make a list of home repairs/changes/improvements/projects that you would like to complete.

Here's what I would like to accomplish...
1. Paint our guest room
2. Re-hang all wall decor
3. Purchase and hang faux-wood blinds
4. Change out the light switch and switch plate
5. Cover the headboard

Here's the catch...
That's 5 weeks. That sounds like a long time, but we'll be gone for a week AND I have 2 children to watch during the day!

Wish me luck! :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

100th Post!

I had all kinds of great ideas about my 100th post.
I thought about doing a fun giveaway... maybe a Starbucks gift card, a funny book about being a mom or maybe giving away some more hairbows, but here we are... the 100th post completely snuck up on me (is snuck a word?? spell check doesn't think so!) and I have nothing for you. SORRY!

But really that's been the kind of day we're having here....

I forgot to mention in Riley's 15 month update that she got 2 shots. The Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (I think that helps with something that could cause meningitis) and the Diphteria, Tetanus & Pertussis Vaccine aka DTaP (I think diphteria complicates breathing. I know what tetanus is and pertussis is whooping cough... i know that much!)
She was supposed to get a Hib vaccine, but they are running low on it in our area for some reason. They'll get her caught up at her 18 month appointment.

Riley has never had a reaction to shots (for that matter neither has Chandler), but today she is running a fever and is really clingy.
This is pretty much how the day is going.....
*She ate some yogurt for breakfast.
*She came to the computer and stood by me with her head in my lap while I checked e-mail.
*She sat in my lap to watch Sesame Street.
*She had a few grapes, a few baby carrots and some milk for lunch.
*She seemed to still be hungry so I tried giving her slices of avocado... that didn't go so well.
*She got a bath... the result of the avocado not going so well! :)
*She laid on my bed with me and Chandler and watched "Wonder Pets". If you've never seen "Wonder Pets", I recommend it. It's cute, but not too obnoxious. We rented one of the DVDs last week for Chandler.
*She sat in my lap while I sent a few e-mails.
*She "brushed her teeth" on the bathroom counter while I put fresh pjs on her.
*She went down for a nap... begrudgingly

I still have not had a shower and Chandler is still in her pjs...
We might just stay that way the rest of the day. :)

Once I was sure Riley was down for the count I decided to catch up on my blog reading. I found these two quizzes and thought I would try them out...


Created by OnePlusYou


Created by OnePlusYou

They are much harder than I thought they would be... try them out. See how you do and let me know! :)

There's your "Jennifer has made it to her 100th post" fun.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Could I BE any more excited???**

Ok, maybe if I had just won the lottery, but this is pretty big on the excitement scale....

Nope, Riley is not potty trained at 15 months... that would be exciting.
Nope, I'm not pregnant... that would be a little overwhelming!
Nope, neither Brandon nor I inherited a large sum of money... but it would be nice.
Nope, an anonymous donor did not pay off our student loans... any anonymous donors out there reading??

(That's the University of Georgia for you non-collegiate sport folk.)

Of all the sports on TV, College Football ranks right up at the top (along side Major League Baseball) on my favorites list.

The only college football game I've ever been to was Georgia Tech vs. Duke in 19?? Dad? I'm sure you remember the year. :)

Brandon has always been a big UGA fan and I just assumed that having lived in GA his whole entire life that surely he had been to a game. Nope. This will be a first for both of us.

When I found out that I had won them I actually danced in my kitchen! I danced! For those of you who know me, you know that's a big deal since I DON'T DANCE! :)

So now you know where we will be on September 6th. The Alumni Section on the south end of the field (aka the shady side of the field... thank goodness!) watching the Dawgs whip up on Central Michigan.

The Family September 2007

My precious little UGA fans. :)

**I hope everyone could hear Chandler Bing reading the title of my post as ONLY Chandler Bing could! :)

****UPDATE: I just wanted to let you know that these were not FREE tickets... I hope you don't feel deceived!

I won them on ebay. I didn't have to pay a crazy amount of money. If I had wanted to watch the Dawgs whip Tennessee (boo Vols!) I would have had to pay over $500 for two tickets! The tickets for Central Michigan didn't drum up the bids that some of the others were so I was able to get them at a good price... Don't forget who my husband is... if I had paid too much then he would have made me list them on ebay to resell them! :)

The WINNING THE TICKETS part was winning the bid.

Riley's 15 month stats...

Riley had a well baby visit today.

She is currently 32.5" (90th percentile) and 20 lbs. 10 oz. (25th percentile). Long and skinny.

Her doctor says everything looks good.

I'll try to take a 15 month photo tomorrow. :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

The first fruits veggies of our labor...

We have PRODUCE!
Brandon and Chandler picked our very first veggie last night. A squash.
I know my mom and dad are thinking, "Has Jennifer ever even tasted a squash??"

Yes, I've tasted it. Do I like it? No, but my new favorite cookbook, "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfeld has several recipes calling for squash puree so we planted squash.

Chandler refuses to give me a real smile these days. Instead she flares her nostrils and looks just past the camera. It's driving me CRAZY!!!

Here's what we've planted this year...


(Rounded leaves are cantaloupe. Pointed leaves are cucumbers.)

Yellow Squash

A zillion tomato plants.
I have no idea how many we have.

Bell Peppers and Banana Peppers.
I can't tell the difference in the leaves. Maybe it's because they aren't doing so well!
This is our first year planting peppers... It may be our last.

Same story here. They don't seem to be doing so well.

Cucumber and cantaloupe have done well every year. We usually end up giving quite a bit away because we can't eat it all before it goes bad.
Last year we had a drought so the tomatoes didn't do so well. The lack of rain didn't seem to bother the cantaloupe and cucumbers. :)

Sunday night we had a TERRIBLE storm. We aren't sure we got that much rain in our area, but the wind, thunder and lightening were intense! Brandon even got up to check the news to make sure we weren't in the middle of a tornado.

This is what I found Monday morning...

That huge tree fell. It's one that I had been worried about for some time. Mainly because it could easily take out our bedroom or even worse, the girls' bedroom! When I told Brandon it fell he was only concerned with his garden! :)
It's currently hung up in surrounding trees. We aren't sure if it's "our" tree or if it belongs to the owners of the wooded lot. Brandon seems to think he can take care of it... I would like to call a tree service and have it removed.
Any suggestions???

A new/old post

My friend Amy Beth over at Ministry So Fabulous! wrote a blog about her jealousy of the Mom/Kid cart at the grocery store. (**You know, the extra large cart with extra seats for the kids... the one I HATE to push, but it is becoming unavoidable!) No, she doesn't want the cart for the extra grocery space... She wants the kid that goes in it! :)

Well Amy Beth, you are more than welcome to borrow Chandler and Riley on your next Wal-mart trip! :)

This is a post I wrote at 34 weeks pregnant with Riley. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Current mood: uncomfortable
Category: Life

Brandon and I have recently been discussing Wal-Mart and have come to the conclusion "if you can't find it at Wal-Mart, you probably don't need it."

Today I've decided that that statement is oh so true and applies to childbirth as well.


First of all it is 23 degrees today here in good ole Cleveland, TN. Why in the world did I think that today would be a good day to go do some serious grocery shopping?? Because Brandon got paid this morning and we are completely out of food.

Second, I have been saying for the past month that I would not be returning to Wal-Mart without Brandon's help.... yeah right!

Third, Chandler is in the "I really want to help you do EVERYTHING, mommy" stage. Some days that's good and other days that's not so good. It's good when I need something off of the bottom shelf and I can't bend over that far because of my ever growing belly... but it's bad when something is on the top shelf and she gets upset because I got it rather than trying to lift her up so she can get it.
The desire to "help mommy" wears off about the time we pull into our driveway and it's time to unload all those groceries (which have managed to grow heavier and heavier on the ride home). I don't know what part is worse... getting them out of the back of the Explorer and into the kitchen or trying to pick the bags up off the kitchen floor to unload them.

It takes me an hour to get all the shopping done (if I race around like a crazy woman) and then it takes me 20 minutes to get all of the groceries into the kitchen and the cold stuff into the fridge and freezer. Then it takes me about an hour to recoup and catch my breath before unloading all of the non-perishables. By the time I get the rest of the food put away that's 3 hours of my day!!!

Ugh! Just thinking about this trip and my 3 hours of "pain" makes me need to go lie down.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Talk me some questions...

My family has heard this quite often.
Chandler will get on the phone and say, "Grammy? (Squire?) (Erin?) Will you talk me some questions?"

Basically she is requesting that someone ask her questions about a particular topic (selected by Chandler) and she will give the answers. OR... she'll ask you questions about a preselected topic.

**You need a little background before my story.... Chandler likes for me to tell her stories about Granny (my great grandmother) and Paw Paw (my grandfather). Both of them have passed away. I believe I was 8 when Granny died and I was 12 when my Paw Paw died.
Her 2 favorite stories are about Granny's red car and her magic "red light changing powers" and about Paw Paw's enjoyment of Pickled Pig's Feet! I showed her some pig's feet at Wal-mart last week. She was pretty grossed out and repeatedly asked, "Why would your Paw Paw want to eat pig's feet??"

Today on the way to the Y she says to me...
C: "Mom? Can you talk me some questions about dying?"
J: "Why?"
C: "Just please!"
J: "OK. Any particular dead person you want to talk about?"
C: "No, just talk me some questions."
J: "Well, lots of people have died. You know my Paw Paw died. My Granny died. My Gran and Pa died."
C: "I wish I could meet your Paw Paw." (Actually she calls him Pa Pa)
J: "Well, you will get to meet him in heaven."
C: "But he doesn't know me."
J: "Well, he knows me and he will be excited to find out that you are my little girl."
C: "What will he say when he sees me in heaven?"
J: "He'll probably say, 'Chandler. I've been waiting here a long time and I'm so glad you have come to see me.'"
C: "What else?"
J: "He might say, 'Chandler. Let's go fishing.'"
C: "Ooooo. I love fishing!! What else?"
J: "Oh! Maybe he'll say, 'Chandler. Come over to my house for lunch and we'll have pig's feet!'"
SILENCE from Chandler
J: "You know all about how Paw Paw loved pig's feet."
C: "Mom?"
J: "Yeah?"
C: "Could you pack me a hot dog instead??"


J: "Sure Chan. If they have hot dogs in heaven I'll be sure to pack you one!"

Monday, June 9, 2008

Real Life

Conversation with Chandler...

J: "We have to leave for VBS in a few minutes."
C: "Huh?"
J: "We have to leave for VBS in a few minutes."
C: "Now?"
J: "In a few minutes."
C: "Tonight?"
J: "Yes, in a few minutes. Chandler?"
C: "Huh?"
J: "Do you listen to me when I talk?"
C: "A little."

At least she's honest about it!

5 Days without Daddy: Day 5

With the excitement of Brandon's return last Friday I forgot to post our Day 5 recap... I hope I can remember everything!

No swim lessons on Friday so we were able to sleep in a little later and not rush around quite as much.
We met Ms. Amy at the Y at 11:30. I've worked my way up to 30 minutes on the elliptical machine. Not too bad considering we've only been working at it for 1 week (and last summer I only made it up to 20 minutes... my heart wasn't in it last year!).

After a good workout we ran over to Target.

Chandler was SO GOOD last week I felt like she deserved a small reward. She LOVES her Polly Pocket Disney Princesses and Sleeping Beauty's head popped off several months ago. She has been asking for a replacement for sometime, but we had not bought one yet.
I've been looking for a set that had Prince Phillip in it as well as Sleeping Beauty. I was beginning to think they didn't make them... I had seen sets with Cinderella & Prince Charming and sets with Belle & the Beast, but they were the only ones.

Last Sunday I happened upon the toys aisle... without kids in tow... I guess I was on cruise control :)
THERE IT WAS... Sleeping Beauty, Prince Phillip, the horse with the carriage... the whole set. AND THEY ONLY HAD ONE!!
So what did I do?

I left it on the shelf and hoped and prayed that it would be there the next time Chandler did something worthy of a reward! :)
I know, I know... the whole way out of the store I kept thinking, "Go back and get it!! You've looked for months and finally found it!" I convinced myself to walk away empty handed.

So, we walk into Target... Chandler thought I was there to look at shoes. :)

I looked at shoes and then we wandered over to the toy department. I walked passed the Disney Princess aisle and took a peek to see if it was there....


I stopped the cart and told Chandler about how proud I was of her. She was so very well behaved the whole time Brandon was gone. She helped with Riley. She helped with the puppies (for the brief time that we had them!). She was really working hard in her swim lessons. She had a great attitude all week (well 90% of the time, but she is only 5 years old!).

I told her I was going to get her a prize to reward her....

Her response...
"Thanks mom! Can I get the dancing Hamster??"

We walked down the princess aisle. I picked up the Sleeping Beauty set and she went nuts!!!

We headed home and she played with it for the rest of the day (and all Saturday morning, and all Sunday afternoon, and all day today... you get the picture!). Sleeping Beauty and Prince Phillip even took a trip to Wal-mart Friday night.

Brandon arrived home around 6:00 Friday night. All three of us were excited to see him.

Unfortunately, we had lots to do to get ready for the party on Saturday!
We ate dinner. Brandon cut the grass. The girls and I went to Wal-mart. BUSY, BUSY, BUSY.

Saturday after the softball party we took the girls to see Kung Fu Panda. There were lots of funny parts and only 1 or 2 things that I would have changed (they said stupid and sucks), but Chandler really enjoyed it and is now asking to rent it on DVD... I guess we need to try to explain the movie process... movie theatre, long wait, DVD.

This week it's back to the routine.
Swim lessons for Chandler and work for Brandon.
Vacation Bible School starts tonight so I'll be at the church working in the nursery (with Riley) while Chandler participates in VBS and Brandon plays softball. :)

Some day soon things will slow down. Hopefully!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

She makes me proud...

This is a blog that my sister will especially enjoy. :)

Chandler woke up about 10 minutes ago. She came shuffling into the bonus room to let me know that Riley is awake and that she is going to get her Polly Pocket Princesses and go watch cartoons.

She comes back only moments later and we have this conversation...

C: "Mom. You know what day is today?" (Translation: Do you know what day it is?)
J: "What day is it?"
C: "Saturday." Said with a huge grin... I thought she was going to say, "Softball party day!"
J: "Wow! How did you know that?"
C: "There's new cartoons on today." :)

We don't have cable or satellite so her only cartoon options are what our antenna will pick up. During the week all she is able to watch is PBS so on Saturday when all of the network channels have cartoons on she's in hog-heaven!

So there you go, Erin. A little flash back to the early to mid 80s! :)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Last family on earth...

Are we the last family on earth not to own an Ipod or MP3 player??

I'm about to pack up the girls to meet Amy at the Y. There are no swim lessons on Friday so the girls will go to the nursery for an hour while Amy and I work out.

If I'm going to make working out a regular part of my weekly routine I think I should be able to be entertained while running on the elliptical machine. Yes, I blame the media for my feeling that I am unable to workout effectively without entertainment! :)

Here are my options...
*Browse random blogs until I find someone giving one away in a contest. :)
*Start watching for sales. :)

I LOVE a sale, but who are we kidding... a free giveaway is AMAZING!

So what do you do to help "pass the time" while you are working out?? What helps you push yourself that extra .5 mile or the last 5 minutes in your workout??

Thursday, June 5, 2008

5 Days without Daddy: Day 4

No pictures again today. I lost my camera. I remember picking it up last night in the mad dash to get to church on time, but I haven't seen it since.
Maybe I'll get a new one... (please Brandon??)

I mentioned already about how terribly I slept last night. That started the day out on a GREAT note... please note the sarcasm! :)

Swim lesson at the Y. We were running late, but the other little boy in Chandler's group never even showed up so Chan got lots of one on one attention.
*She practiced floating on her back. She's ALMOST got it. She just needs to relax a tiny bit more.
*She jumped into the pool through a hulla-hoop. Yes, much like a circus act. :)
*She did the "backstroke" (or the pre-school version of it).
**Highlight of the lesson... the dreaded PVC pipe.
The teacher holds a PVC pipe vertical in the water touching the bottom of the pool (in the shallow end). The "swimmers" (if you can really call them that yet) take off the lifesaving swim bubble, grab a hold of the PVC pipe, take a deep breath and pull themselves down using the pipe. Now, Chandler is terrified of going under water so I was glad the teacher introduced this on the day that the other boy was absent. That ensured that Chandler had plenty of time to work up her courage. To my surprise it didn't take long. She would basically only go down till the top of her head was just barely under the water and then pop right back up (the whole thing lasted less than a second), but she did it SIX TIMES!!! I was SO proud of her.

We headed home after the lesson. Riley was cranky and Chandler got lots of sun at the pool this week so we took today off. :)

I forgot to mention yesterday that we are were puppy sitting. My friend Amy Beth is out of town for a few days and she entrusted us with her little puppies, Snuggles & Cuddles. We were supposed to have them with us from yesterday (Wednesday) till Monday. Unfortunately, it seems that Riley has a dog/pet allergy.
She was fine yesterday afternoon, last night and this morning, but just before nap time she started getting watery eyes, a light pink rash and sneezed anytime Snuggles got close to her face. I called Amy Beth and she was very understanding. She made arrangements for the little guys to be boarded so we loaded them up and took them to the kennel. Needless to say my girls were pretty upset with me. I was talking to my mom on the phone and telling her that I thought Chandler might be upset with me when Chandler confirmed with, "Yes mom. I am very upset with you."

After a tearful goodbye to Snuggles & Cuddles we headed over to McDonald's for a "pick me up" or a "throw up" which ever accurately describes your relationship with the big Mc D. :)
Chandler felt much better after some chicken, apple slices, and playground time.

We then hit Hobby Lobby and the dollar store for goodies for Brandon's Softball Team Party at our house on Saturday. Yes ladies. I know what you are thinking... "Her husband left her for a whole entire week and there is a party at their house on Saturday?!?!? The day after he returns home from having abandoned her?!?!? People are going to come into her house and she had NO HELP preparing for their arrival?!?!?"

In Brandon's defense, I picked the date of the party. I just had no idea (and neither did he at the time) that he would be gone.
I've done a little cleaning here and there... remember I scrubbed the bathroom floor on Tuesday night. :)

The girls are now snug in their beds dreaming about how only the meanest mom in the entire world would take two adorable puppies away after only one day having told them that they would be around for 5 days.


5 Days without Daddy: Day 3

No pictures today. Sorry!

I slept good Tuesday night. Went to sleep at midnight after scrubbing the bathroom floor. I think I slept most of the night. I tossed and turned some, but nothing too bad.

We got up Wednesday morning and headed out about 9:45. We made it to the Y with just a few minutes to spare.
Chandler had her lesson... apparently they did something new, but I was chatting with a friend from church and missed it. I guess Chandler will not be giving me a thumbs up for being a good watcher!

After the lesson she joined Riley in the nursery so Amy and I could work out.

While I was waiting for Amy, the friend I had been chatting with during the swim lesson grabbed me for a "pre workout warm up".
HA! We did 5 minutes on a stair machine... the machine had actual steps that moved on a conveyor belt of sorts... IT ALMOST KILLED ME!

Amy arrived and we did our 25 minutes on the elliptical machine, free weights and a few machines.

After working out we all headed out to the pool. THANK GOODNESS FOR MS. AMY!! :)

We had lunch poolside, Chandler swam her little heart out, Amy and I wrangled with Riley, and we chatted with a few other moms.

After about an hour and a half we headed home and Ms. Amy went to pick up their dog at the groomers.

At home, Riley crashed, Chandler had a snack and watched a movie, and I worked on getting all of our pool stuff washed and put away... a daunting task.

About 5:30 we started getting ready for church.
I had to meet a new nursery worker so she could fill out her employment paperwork at 6:00, teach the Cherub Choir at 6:30, and teach a summer class on scrapbooking at 7:00. I REALLY MISSED BRANDON TONIGHT!

I remembered at 5:30 that I forgot something I would need for my scrapbook class. We RAN (pretty much literally) into Wal-mart, grabbed what I needed and headed back out. I called the girl I was supposed to meet and told left a message to tell her I was running a few minutes late. The message on her phone was really odd so I began questioning if I had the right number.

We arrive at the church at 6:04. She was patiently waiting on my. I apologized and told her I called her. She opened her purse... she didn't even have her phone with her. I confirmed her number... sure enough, it was wrong.
We did a nursery walk through. We talked pay and scheduling and then I was off to sing and dance with my pre-schoolers.

Cherub Choir was a bit rough tonight. I was lacking the extra energy that pre-schoolers require and the majority of my 2-5 year olds were too tired to care if I was up there doing motions and trying to get them to participate! I had seen several of them at the pool today so I knew they were worn out!
I tried to end early, without being too early so I could set up for my scrapbook class. I normally end at 6:58 so I cut it off at 6:55 and tried to give myself 3 extra minutes to get organized. It didn't help!

I got the the room and set out my stuff. Apparently there was a curriculum thief so I didn't have a Bible story/lesson waiting in my room. Instead we did a meet and greet. More for me than the kids... I work in the nursery and preschool so I'm not familiar with the elementary aged kids.

I had a scrapbook layout for our first class all planned out. In my mind we finished it (or atleast got REALLY close) on the first night.
I never even thought about the possibility that I would have some kids in my class who can't write (they can write, just not very well)! That makes creating a scrapbook layout a little bit harder! :)

I did have a few girls (who will be in the 6th grade in the fall) who seemed to really enjoy the task and took their time to really give it their best.
We only got through step 1. We only have 4 lessons so we are really going to have to work hard!

Class was over at 8:00. I had some kids who didn't get picked up until 8:20 so I was chatting with them and packing my stuff. Then I realized, "OH! I haven't picked up Riley and the nursery workers are probably waiting on me!!"
Ms. Amy to the rescue! She got Riley while I finished loading all of my supplies. Then we both realized that neither one of us had picked up Chandler!
Amy got Chandler and I started heading to the car with all of my stuff.
We met in the hallway. Riley spotted Pastor Jonathan and really wanted to get to him. Further proof that she misses her daddy.

After loading everything in the car the girls got to play on the playground for a little while.

Riley cried when I took her from Amy.

I NEVER WANT TO BE A SINGLE PARENT! However, it has made me realize how much Brandon and I do to "tag team" the girls. I've become pretty dependent on that.

We came home and none of us were very sleepy yet. Chandler wanted a snack and a movie so we all sat down and watched "The Incredibles". After a few minutes, both girls were ready for bed.

I slept pretty bad last night. Mainly because Max, our normally sweet little neighbor dog, sat on OUR FRONT PORCH and barked at something for over 45 minutes. I finally turned on my computer and searched for our neighbor's phone number.
Yes, I called my neighbors who have a 3 year old daughter at 12:45 at night. It was either that or carry Max across the street at 12:45 and pound on their door until they answered. I thought calling was a better idea.

So here we are... Thursday. Brandon gets home tomorrow night!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Pillow Talk

In my excitement to go scrub the bathroom floor I forgot to tell you about a conversation Chandler and I had as she was laying in bed just before our prayers.

C: "Mommy? Were you proud of my good swimming today?"
J: "Of course Chandler! I was very proud of you! You did so good."
C: "Remember when I jumped off of that thing?"
J: "Yep. I remember. How many times did you jump?"
C: "Only three times. Did you miss it?"
J: "No, I saw you, but I just couldn't remember how many times."
C: "I saw you looking at me."
J: "Really? I gave you a thumbs up after you jumped the first time, but I didn't think you saw me. You were really good at jumping."
C: "I saw you. I gave you a thumbs up because you were really good at watching me."

Awww... It almost made me cry! ;)

5 Days without Daddy: Day 2

2 days down. 3 to go!

I slept pretty good last night. Unfortunately I didn't fall asleep until 1:00am. Once I got to sleep I think I only stirred a few times... Even when Brandon is here I don't sleep through the night, but at least I don't have to wake up every few hours devising an escape plan should someone break into our house or the kitchen spontaneously com bust in the middle of the night. :)

I woke this morning with a KILLER headache. The kind that you just know won't be affected by a few Tylenol. I slept as late as I possibly could then had to DRAG myself to the shower in order to get Chandler to her 10:00 swim lesson on time.

We made it to the Y with a few minutes to spare.

Riley isn't very good at sitting through the swim lesson so after she ate her banana I took her to the nursery.

Swim Lesson Recap:
She did AMAZING!
She's still having trouble "laxing" enough to float on her back. I noticed today that she will FIGHT to keep her ears out of the water. If you know how to float on your back you know you have to get your ears below the water to successfully float. I think she's fighting because of SO MANY ear infections her first year of life and the swimmer's ear she developed during swim lessons last year. NOTE TO SELF: Talk to her swim teacher before the lesson starts tomorrow.

Biggest accomplishment of the session:
She jumped off of the diver's block 3 times! Last year the distance between the diver's block and the water's surface made her really nervous... this year, no problem! I did notice that she hesitated slightly before her 1st jump. She said something to her teacher (I couldn't hear because I was sitting behind the observation glass at the shallow end of the pool). The teacher responded and then she jumped. Of course there was a guy in the water to help catch the kids who were nervous about jumping into the deep end of the pool!

Conversation at the end of the lesson:
C: "Mom! Did you see me jump in the deep water?"
J: "Yeah Chan! You did GREAT! I was so proud of you."
C: "It was a little scary, but my teacher said the boy would catch me."
J: "Yep and he did catch you."
C: "Well, not really. I went under water a little, but he touched my arms."
J: "Well, that just means that you didn't really need him to catch you. You did it all by yourself."
C: "Yeah, but I still want him to try to catch me. I'm going to tell my teacher that at the next swim lesson."

When Chandler's lesson was over, she and I head to the outdoor pool. I left Riley in the nursery. I still had my headache and I wasn't up for chasing both of them!

She found a friend with a "surfboard".

And some friends who wanted to play "Tag! You're it!"

After about 30 minutes, one of our friends showed up with her 2 little girls. One is Chandler's age and the other is Riley's age.
I had planned to leave after about an hour outside, but they were playing so well together (and it was nice to talk to another mommy of 2 girls the same age as my girls) that I hated to drag Chandler away. Instead I went inside and brought Riley out for a swim.
She did really well. She didn't wander quite as much as on Saturday, but I didn't get to sit very much!

Riley trying to figure out a CapriSun. :) She just kept squeezing it all over herself.

"I may be juice soaked, but I'm still cute!"

Notice her red arm band? All kids 14 years old and under MUST wear an arm band to be allowed in the pool.
My friend with the 2 girls and I thought it was silly for Riley and her baby to wear arm bands considering the arm bands are to notify the lifeguards of each child's swimming ability.
Do you know any 13 month olds or 15 month olds who can swim?

We had lunch at home and then we all crashed for a good nap. I don't think Chandler actually slept, but she did lay down on the sofa with me while I dozed in and out.

Other than my headache which I still had at dinner time, the day was pretty uneventful UNTIL just before 7:00...

Chandler has a HORRIBLE habit of NOT FLUSHING THE TOILET! I don't understand why it's so hard, but she can't do it! I've reminded her time and time again that she MUST flush the toilet especially now that Riley can walk (I bet you can see where I'm going with this...).

Just before 7:00 Chandler was having a snack and watching a movie (I know, surprise, surprise!). Riley was wandering back and forth from her room to the living room. I could hear her little feet slapping across the hardwood and then the kitchen and then the sound of her hand dragging along the wall in the hallway on her way to her room.
A few minutes go by and I hear her laughing... no big deal.
I go check on her and she is in the bathroom with 2 HANDFULS OF PEE PEE SOAKED TOILET PAPER! I would like to tell you that I caught her just as she committed this horrendous act, but NO. She had already smeared pee pee soaked toilet paper all over the floor, the toilet and the tile walls. UGH! **Did I mention that I STILL have my headache?

So, my kids went to bed PROMPTLY at 8:00 with a stern warning to not even THINK about getting out of bed or calling me for anything other than vomit! :)
Ok, not really, but they did go to bed at 8 and I did tell Chandler that I didn't want her getting up.

I soaked up the water on the floor with the towels from their baths (yes, I washed all of the nasty pee pee toilet paper off of her!) and tossed everything that could be machine washed in the washer.

As soon as I wrap up this blog I'm off to scrub the bathroom floor. I planned to do it on Friday, but apparently Riley had other plans for me! :)

I know, at least it wasn't poopy toilet paper!

Monday, June 2, 2008

5 Days without Daddy: Day 1

Brandon is in Dallas. He left this morning at some hour way before the sun rose. His flight left Chattanooga at 6:00am. UGH!

So here we are.... 5 Days without Daddy.

How are the girls handling it? Chandler was so distraught this morning that she completely forgot that swim lessons started today. Pretty much all I heard from the time she woke up until we were getting her swim suit on was, "Mommy, I miss daddy so, so, so, so much." and "Mommy, I really, really, really miss my daddy."

Putting her suit on reminded her and she seemed ok THEN just as we walked out the door...

C: "Mommy?"
J: "Yes Chan?"
C: "I really, really, really miss my daddy."
J: "I know Chan. Me too."
C: "Daddy is missing my swim lessons."
J: "I know baby, but he will be back before your lessons next week."
C: "Can he come and watch?"
J: "I don't know Chan. We'll just have to wait until he gets back and ask."
C: "Mommy?"
J: "Yes, Chan?"
C: "Can you take lots and lots of pictures and send them to daddy so he can see me being a good swimmer?"
J: "Of course."

These pictures are especially for daddy...

I apologize for the quality... does anyone know how to successfully take photos in an indoor pool area???
Chandler's little head barely above the water!
They put her in the "most advanced group"... I think it was basically because she had taken lessons before and she was very comfortable in the water.

Workin' hard!

You may notice she is not wearing her "swim bubble" from last year. I sent her with it on, but they switched her to another one that had less flotation boards on it. The one she wore last year had 4 and it is for beginners. Today she wore one with only 2... she has advanced since last June. :)
I asked her teacher if I should take 2 off of her's and she said, "No, only take 1 off. She was a little panicky in the water."
OF COURSE SHE WAS!! She has only been in the pool once this year and then you take away half of her flotation safety belt!!

Waiting patiently for her turn... we have come a LONG way since last summer!

Trying to swim on her back.
She knows how to swim on her back, but the teacher was trying to get her to do the proper arm motions... she has trouble with doing the full circle rotations for some reason.

This was our conversation after the lesson...

J: "Chan! You did a great job! I saw you out there in the deep end swimming without any help from your teacher."
C: "No mom. I didn't do a good job. My teacher told me I have to lax."
J: "Lax?"
C: "Yeah, she said I'm going to sink to the bottom if I don't lax."
J: "OH! Relax."
C: "Yeah, relax."
J: "Chan. She didn't say you were going to sink. She said, 'You aren't going to sink, but you have to relax.'"
C: "Oh! But I didn't do very good."
J: "Well, you still have 7 more lessons to practice relaxing."
C: "Ok."

After lessons Amy and I worked out while the girls played in the nursery.
Chandler's class made "Chia Heads". I need to figure out what in the world I'm supposed to do with that thing!

After working out we had lunch with Pastor Jonathan and Ms. Amy. Chandler rode to Chick-fil-A with Ms. Amy. Amy told me that Chandler told her she really, really, really misses her daddy. :(

After lunch we came home and laxed. :)
Riley napped. I sort of napped. Chandler watched a movie.

I had a meeting at the church tonight with the Children's Leadership Team. The girls went with me... meeting and my kids DO NOT MIX! :)

How is Riley handling Brandon being gone? I didn't think it was fazing her, but it is.
At lunch and at the meeting tonight she wanted Jonathan to hold her. I felt so bad... there he was trying to do his devotion to start the meeting and Riley is wiggling all over his lap, slapping the table, and making all kinds of crazy noises!

Now it's 10:30 and I'm going to go lay in my bed an stare at the ceiling....
Please pray that I will be able to get some sleep over the next 4 nights. I really don't sleep well when Brandon is gone.

We miss you daddy!