Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sick week
I don't believe in fate, luck or karma, but I have been saying quite a bit that our family  has been SO healthy for SO long. Well Tuesday night I got the full blown stomach flu and was up all night feeling horrible.  I took the kids to school the next morning and came back home and started getting horrible stomach pains that didn't go away.  I sweated and was in pain for about 5 hours when I thought something was really wrong. So I called Mike and he came home and we called my doctor. I hadn't been able to drink anything all night and I was super weak and she said go to the E.R.  Yuck, I haven't been to that place since i was like 8 years old and broke my arm.  Turns out it was just stomach flu but those nice ER people hooked me up to IV fluids and gave me nausea medicine and morphine for the horrible pain I was in. Yikes, I've never had morphine and let's just say I wasn't feeling anything by the time we got home.  Three days later I'm still getting my legs under me.  Thursday night Mike comes home sick and Friday Taylor was very feverish and sick.
Hannah is holding out strong and healthy.

That's me trying to get work done and not feeling so great.

My new office
Okay on to better things.  Our home office which I will call MY office since I work in it, has two desks, one for me and one for Mike.  His computer died at least 8 months ago and he never uses his desk, so for 8 months that side of the room has been collecting dust.  We have no plans currently to fix his computer so after a little suggesting and begging, Mike took everything off the desk and now I have claimed the office as mine (Mike doesn't like to hear that part so honey if you're reading, just skip this part) and have two desks.  So I re-organized everything (even the closet), and here are some pics of my new space where I have room to spread out on my new desk.  Yeah.
Two desks, I love it.  I couldn't get the whole other side of the room in which had my credenza and bookcase.

A place to sit in case I have company.

More lost teeth
Hannah lost another tooth while she was at the dentist. The hygenist was flossing and out it came.  She gets to go to the orthodontist for a consult since she has lost three teeth on the bottom and two have grown in and taken up the entire space.  We have no idea where that third one will pop up at so she will have two teeth pulled.  Ug. I hate dentists, and Hannah is very frightened about any medical although the girl has had nothing done to her except her kindergarten shots that she still relieves like it's a nightmare gone bad.  So Mike gets to take her to that appoinment, and I will miss out on the freaking out.  I don't want my anxiety to rub off on her.  The first time we ever have to take her to the emergency room will be, um very interesting.
In case you can't see, she lost the upper right-oh those crooked little teeth! I better start saving up for those braces now!
She was so funny the night she lost her tooth.  She wrote the tooth fairy a series of notes, asking what her favorite color was and what her house looked like among other things.  She was very surprised the next morning to find $3 and a note saying she liked blue because it rhymes with 'I love you'.  That tooth fairy!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Eight years ago I brought home a sleepy, black-haired baby girl that loved to snuggle.  What a contrast to the little person she is now-always talking, moving and living life colorfully (literally always coloring and drawing).  She still does love to snuggle though.  It is fun to mark these milestones as they grow and this year we focused on her.  Her partying started at school where we served up cupcake pops for her treat.  Hannah worked beside me for over two hours (!) creating our little masterpieces and was so proud that the principal, office ladies, librarian and gym teacher got one.  She loves to share.

Awhile back she got to decide on a friend party at home where she could invite kids and we would do party games, etc. OR she could pick two special friends and do an outing.  She picked two friends, much to my surprise, and we had them over to play, then we went to Bounce (an indoor inflatable play-place), then on to McDonald's for lunch.  Hannah got to pick everything.

On her birthday, her Dad took us all out to breakfast and she got to open one gift-a fashion book where she can make her own creations!

Then we had a family party that night.  She chose meatloaf, mashed potatoes, rolls, peas and a fruit salad.  I made this fabulous 6 layer rainbow cake, it was quite the colorful dessert! She got barbie clothes and Easy bake mixes from her cousins and a bean bag & Kidz Bop CD from Grandma-exciting stuff!

Hannah took this picture-she is loving the horses!

I always worry in the back of mind, often, if my children are spoiled.  Do I do too much for them, give them too many "things" and not enough of my time or teaching them about the world around them? I realized with this birthday of Hannah's just how much these little people really love to have someone notice them, listen to them and let them make choices.  She got a few gifts from us but I think what she really enjoyed was that we celebrated her.   She wasn't spoiled with "things", she was given events that told her how much we love her, and how much she means to us.  I spent a lot of time in the kitchen this birthday making her cake and those cupcake pops and it was a little tiring but I understand how temporary all this is.  When she's 13 she won't get to take birthday treats to school or be impressed by a rainbow cake, so I am taking full advantage of this window of opportunity.  Next up is Taylor's birthday!  We'll see what he picks :-)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I read an interesting article in the paper today that had some really great ideas about better parenting.  Maybe if more families did some of these, our youth would be a little more respectful and not so self-absorbed. Just saying. I highlighted the ones I really liked, and I deleted the ones I didn't :-)
I think I will work on #2 with my kids, and definitely #9 & 11.  It's important to remember to take time for ourselves and our marriage when parenting.

John Rosemond: Resolve to be a better parent 
With the start of a new year, I'm proposing a number of parenting New Year's resolutions for my readers to consider. The list is by no means comprehensive. It's just a good beginning on what is probably a much-needed family revolution:

1. We will not throw expensive "event parties" for our children on their birthdays. Instead, we will confine all birthday celebrations to our family, including extended family. We will keep it uncomplicated: a special dinner of the birthday boy or girl's favorite food, a cake, the obligatory song and a few simple gifts, mostly clothing or other useful things.

2. We will spend at least as much time helping our children develop good manners as we do helping them get good grades in school, which means we will cut back significantly on the time helping with the latter (in consideration of the fact that good manners, which are expressions of respect for others, will take one further in life than will good grades). Each week, we will work on one specific social courtesy, such as saying "excuse me" when you walk in front of someone.

3. We will show our love for our neighbors by properly disciplining our children, insisting on proper behavior and reprimanding immediately (even if that means in front of other people) when they behave otherwise, and on those occasions we also will insist they apologize appropriately.

4. If we have not already done so, we will assign a routine of daily chores to each of our children (at least those who have reached their third birthdays), and we will insist that said chores be done, and done properly, before they engage in recreation or relaxation.

5. When our children ask us for cell phones, we will tell them that they may have cell phones when they are able to pay for them as well as the monthly bills.

6. When our children complain that they are the only kids who don't have cell phones (and do chores), we will tell them that learning how to be different is character-building.

7. Our children will not be able to order customized meals unless we take them to a restaurant. At home, they will eat what we are eating, and they will sit at the table until they are finished. We will do this so that when they are invited to eat at someone else's home, they will be the best of guests.

9. We will put our marriage first and our children second ... for their sake as well as ours. They will revolve around us; thus, they will not grow up thinking the world revolves around them.

10. If I am a single parent, I will take good care of myself for my sake as well as my children's. I will have an active, adults-only, social life. I will take plenty of personal time to simply relax and do those things I like to do. I will do all of that so that my children will not ever think the world revolves around them.

11. We/I will put our/my children to bed early so that we/I can end each day reconnecting as a couple or relaxing as a single.

12. We will eat as a family around our own table at least six nights a week.

13. We will keep afterschool activities to a minimum, and only let them enroll in activities that do not prevent us from delivering on number 11.

14. Instead of buying our children expensive things, we will help them develop hobbies and take them to museums and on trips.

15. We will do all of the above so that when they grow up, they will have wonderful memories of their childhoods and raise our grandchildren in a manner that honors us.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I can't even believe another year has gone by. I say that every New Year..time goes quickly.  I do not make New Year's resolutions, but a fresh start does have me thinking about some goals for the new year.
Some ideas for 2011: I would like to make this blog more of me.  Include more recipes and food-like stuff because I really love recipes, cooking and well..eating.  I also love taking pictures and home decor and design.  So maybe I will work on a new blog layout and start including things like that.  I also have some financial goals because you know how much I love that Dave Ramsey guy and I would love to start seeing even more progress in that area.  I would like to physically challenge myself to something like a strenuous hike during the summer, or increase my strength training a lot.  Sticking with P90x might do it. I would also love for Taylor to start playing the piano..I think he has agreed to a lesson with me soon.  I believe I can start him on it for about 6 months-1 year and then he might need a teacher to keep going. I only took it about 3 years and my memory is fading fast..anyway....
Those are just some ideas to get me started. 

One of my immediate goals is to make this cake for my Hannah Banana's 8th birthday party in two weeks.  Isn't it pretty? I think she'll love it's rainbow bright colors. But, how would you serve it?

 We rang in the New Year with a little family party. Everyone got to pick one "party" food and our menu was: pizza rolls (Taylor's choice), Mini corn dogs (Hannah's choice), taquitos (Mike's choice) and because I was doing all the cooking I added three choices (heehee): roasted shrimp, 7-layer dip and summer rolls.  The summer rolls were just like the ones you order in a Thai restaurant with rice paper wrappers and everything.  So delicious. 

We had brownies and ice cream, made by Hannah, then we played a nearly 3-HOUR game of Monopoly which Taylor won.  That boy was buying property, putting houses on them,  and causing us all to go bankrupt.  It was hilarious.  Do I see the makings of an investment banker? 
oh those boys and their mock fighting

nearing the end of the game, down to two and still standing (notice taylor's pile of money)
No this isn't a very flattering picture of me but Hannah took it on New Year's Eve and I have to say her composition is getting much better. I might have a budding photographer!

We put on our glow-in-the-dark jewelry, watched the ball drop from New York and went to bed finally.  I was about dead from an earlier round of P90X with Mike.  We slept in late the next day thank goodness.

I AM kicking the new year off with the launch of my new site for my business.  I wanted something really simple, like my business name, but for some reason it took a long time to get there.   I could drive myself crazy trying to get my portfolio pictures right (they have an annoying white background that doesn't want to come off for some reason), and re-writing every page and obsessing about how the blog part isn't exactly right.  When you are a small business on a budget paying thousands to have your website exactly how you want it just isn't in the cards. Anyway, if you are even interested now, go here. I am offering a give-away and sending out a million e-mails to everyone I know for a "sale" this month and to get traffic to the new website.  That is pretty exciting and will hopefully generate some new business.  I also put Simply Graphic up on Facebook and have to remember to go there and update it.

So happy 2011 to all of you, I hope your year had a fabulous start!