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Friday, February 29, 2008

6 months old

Well, I was going to talk about the sun and the sand, or lack there of, but since I finished yet another layout last night, I decided to show that off instead.

I also decided to start sharing my view of the layout and what I like most about it. What I like most of this layout is the buttons and how they bring the eye to the main focal photo. I have hundreds of buttons... have I used them so far? Big negative. So now I can check that embellisment off the list. I also love the second focal photo. The expression on Little Man A's face is priceless! How could you not love that face?!

Well, my goal is to have his album complete by the time we leave for our cruise next month. I only have 6 more layouts to finish in the next 15 days. I think I can do it!

Let me know what you think of the layout!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

One more done!

I am really excited about this layout! In case you couldn't realize by all the '5's, this is Little Man A's 5 month layout. I have to admit, putting these layouts together have been a real challenge for me. Not only do I have to find a new and creative way each time to put 12 or more photos together, I have to come up with a new way for me to include the journaling without hindering the look of the design. So, here it is and just to let you know.... the journaling is behind the far left photo. Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Am I a wimp or what?

Okay, I'm not sure what's happened to me. I mean, I never used to sob to commercials or emails. But it seems ever since I had Little Man I've been doing nothing but sobbing. Is it the hormones? All the excess should be all gone by now. Is it the weather? Not like I haven't experienced this type of weather before... or worse for that matter. Well, then what is it??

This is the email that I received from a friend that really got me thinking.... what the hell am I crying about?? I guess this is just what happens when you become a mother. You just get extra sensitive. And if you aren't that way and you are a mother... well, then maybe it's because you're still working and I'm totally isolated here in my house. I don't know.

So, enjoy the e-mail. Hope you don't cry like I did.


"I was privileged to take a photo of "Five Generations of Women" shortly before my 93 year-old Grandmother passed away last year. The photo, shown above, features the hands of my Grandmother, Mom, Sister, Niece and Great-Niece. While I can't take credit for the idea, I was so happy to have had the suggestion & capture this moment. It inspired a friend of mine to do something similar which turned out so beautiful and a special keepsake prior to her father's passing."

Grandma, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. She didn't move, just sat with her head down staring at her hands.

When I sat down beside her she didn't acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if she was OK.

Finally, not really wanting to disturb her but wanting to check on her at the same time, I asked her if she was OK. She rais ed her head and looked at me and smiled. "Yes, I'm fine, thank you for asking," she said in a clear voice strong.

"I didn't mean to disturb you, grandma, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK," I explained to her.

"Have you ever looked at your hands," she asked. "I mean really looked at your hands?"

I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point she was making.

Grandma smiled and related this story:

"Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life.

"They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor. They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back. As a child, my mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots. They held my husband and w wiped my tears when he went off to war.

"They have been dirty, scraped and raw, swollen and bent. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son. Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special. They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse.

"They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger when I didn't understand.
They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day when not much of anything else of me works real well these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer.

"These hands are the mark of where I 've been and the ruggedness of life. But more importantly it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when he leads me home. And with my hands He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hands to touch the face of His Son Jesus......."

I will never look at my hands the same again. But I remember He reached out and took my grandma's hands and led her home.

When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children and husband I think of grandma. I know she has been stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God I, too, want to touch the face of God and feel His hands upon my face.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Nothing Better to do... actually I do.

So it seems over the past week while I have been busy putting a brochure and a business card together, I was tagged. Not once, but twice. First by Kiki like a week ago. Then by Wenderina on Friday.

I could have been a smartalic and posted back that none of the books I've been reading lately even go up to page 123 since they include, but are not limited to, Fred and Ted Go Camping, Peter Rabbit's Happy Easter, Flap Your Wings, and Are you my Mother? But I didn't. Instead, I grabbed the two books on my bedside table that I am going back and forth at night... to help me get to sleep... but it's not working.

So here are the directions:
1. Pick up the nearest book ( of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people & post a comment here once you post it to your blog, so I can come see.

Book #1:
"Richard Earl Evans," Jacobi announced. "AKA Red, Boomer, Duke. Don't feel insulted if he doesn't stand up and shake hands."

"This is what you thought I meant by no contact?" I said, looking cross but inside delighted that they had brought him in.

From 2nd Chance by James Patterson (part of the Women's Murder Club)

Book #2
Most of the cases of death and injury were caused when a child became entrapped in an area between the mattress on the bed and the attached bed rail, according to the CPSC.

But isn't it dangerous to put a two or three year old in a bed without a rail? No, it isn't.

From Toddler 411 by Denise Fields and Ari Brown, M.D.

And the following people are tagged:


I only tagged 3 people, because well, the other people on my blog list have already been tagged and it wouldn't be fair to tag them again.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Military Life

Oh, the life of a military wife. Either it be Marines, Air Force, Navy, or in my case, the Army you know what I'm talking about. I really don't even have to elaborate for you to even comprehend. But, for those of you who are not in the military career... let me explain.

When I signed up (no pun intended) to be a military wife, I was expecting the life of luxury. I would reside in Hawaii amidst the wildly colorful bromiliads and banana trees. I would sit on the beach sipping from a coconut and watching my child (okay, children were not in the picture when I married my husband) making a sand castle by the water's edge. We would go to on-post parties with other families and play tennis on the weekends (or just explore the islands).

Fast forward 10 years, and I'm stuck in Virginia. Before this, we lived in Minne-snow-da! Where thankfully we are NOT anymore - especially with 43 degree BELOW zero temperatures! And that's not even the wind child factor! Before that, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Don't get me wrong, there are up sides to being a military wife. I get to go to places, like those mentioned above, that we would never consider. Why I considered Minneapolis??? I have no idea. But I do have to admit I did meet some wonderfully, interesting people. That's the other plus to tagging along with the Army. We have been extremely blessed with the people we have met along our travels. Especially in Pittsburgh where my across-the-hall-neighbor chiropractor and his wife (girlfriend at the time) took me in like family while my husband was deployed to Iraq. I honestly can say if it were not for those two people, who thankfully we still keep in touch with (because let's face it after spending a year with me and my dog and my three cats, we're family whether you like it or not!), I would not have been able to handle that deployment.

Then we come to the people we have met here in Virginia. At first, when we visited the D.C. area to scan the neighborhoods for places to live, we looked at purchasing/leasing a townhome. Thankfully, I say that now, it did not work out. The place that did work out, which we totally skipped that weekend, was a dream come true. Not because of the actual place, although it was a very nice place to call home, but the people who lived right next door. And across the street. And two doors down from them. Because of these three families, I made it through the end of my pregnancy and beginning phase of mommy-hood.

Since last summer, two of the four families have left our little "home town". We purchased a duplex, only 15 minutes away, and another family purchased a beautiful home 15 minutes the other direction. Last night, three of the four families got together at their new home for dinner and a playdate. As I watched Little Man A playing with his little friend "Bruce" and baby "Amie", I thought about the military life. That unfortunately, this is going to come to an end.

By next year, we will be probably be on to the next chapter of our lives someplace else. Little Man A will have to meet new people just as his mom and dad will. It actually made me sad to think that Little Man won't have lifelong friends that he gets to grow up with over the years. Yeah, sure those families can come visit us where ever our roads take us next, but it won't be the same as to call them on the phone and ask, "Can Bruce come over to play?"

I know we'll all gain more friends along the way and that I know God (although I am not that religious) put us here for a reason. I just hope that where ever we do end up, either it be in San Antonio or not, that Little Man meets new friends quickly and doesn't forget about the ones he's met in the past. Because good friends really are just an extended part of your family.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The name game

So for the past couple weeks now, hubby has been helping me in any way he can to get me started with my new business. I do have to thank my friend again for giving me that extra boost. So if you want to thank her yourself, visit her at A Parently Speaking and go check her out with little Bruce. Of course the other person I have to thank is my wonderful and amazing Aunt Wenderina, who said I should really start a scrapbooking business this year. I know, other people have mentioned it before, but it didn't really hit until she said it last year.

We tried out a few names like:

Little Scraps {of Life} - This one was my favorite. But too many blogs and websites use this term pertaining to scrapbooking or anything else for that matter.

Little Bits {of Life} - someone had something very similar for a blog and website.

Bits of Scraps - same thing... too many references online.

But one, really stood out....

So without further ado, here is my new business name:

◆Scraps 2 Remember◆

I am in the midst of putting a brochure as well as a website together. I'm not sure I'm going to really promote things until April since we are going on a cruise next month. But, if any of you out there are interested in having a work of art made with your photo memories, please feel free to contact me at:



Thursday, February 21, 2008

My fortune

So yesterday, I ate one of the leftover fortune cookies from our Chinese dinner the other night. Here's what it said:

Ya think?!?! I don't think I needed a fortune cookie to tell me that, but thanks anyway!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Enjoying the little moments

Since hubby had a long weekend, it's easy to keep Little Man busy. On Friday, since the weather was nicer here, we decided to venture to the park. As did several other families, but this made for some additional entertainment for Little Man. It's just amazing how he can people watch for such a long time. Granted I know it's also the age, but he really does take after his father in this department. Hopefully, this means he won't become a police officer.

Little Man has also taken a real likely to his Legos that Granddad got him for Christmas. I didn't think that he would be ready to play with these, but I've noticed him really improving the skill of snapping the pieces together. Ten minutes into playing with them, he starts to get frustrated and starts throwing them. So he turns to the one thing he really loves...


Saturday, we had Little Man's 14 month picture taken at a local Picture Me studio in Wal-Mart. I really didn't have the perfect shirt, so we made sure to leave earlier to browse through Wal-mart. Every 18 month shirt that I tried on him was really too big. So instead of purchasing a 12 month shirt (which fit him perfectly)... we borrowed it. Yes, I'm a redneck and put an unpurchased shirt on my child to have his picture taken for 10 minutes and then put it back on the shelf. I know for a fact that hundreds of other people do the exact same thing every day. I can only imagine how many people put the shirt on the child and then walk out the door without paying for the shirt. That I would never do. But let me tell you. Between the shirt, his smile, and the big football in the picture - it's a really cute pose. I'll share that when we get them next month.

Later that afternoon, we hung around in bed watching tv.

This is the way every Saturday should be spent. I can't wait for the days when he crawls into bed while we're still sleeping and just wants to cuddle and watch tv..... not at 4am of course.

Sunday, we traveled to Toys R Us because they have a great sale this week with Fisher-Price toys. Unfortunately, it's actually on their INFANT toys, so we ended up not getting anything for Little Man. I was really bummed that I missed that all important word (infant) because I was really excited about the possibility of finishing Little Man's Christmas/Birthday shopping for this year. I'm trying to be good about presents and have shopping done by this summer. Whether or not it will work, I'll let you know. But I know several people who take advantage of after season sales and really get great deals.

In the afternoon, we had a lesson on how to smell things rather than put them in his mouth. I got out my lotions and perfumes....

It was a nice quiet moment.

Then, to end a great weekend, we had an enjoyable evening with friends on Monday. Little Man shared his toys very nicely and he even let little Bruce borrow his beloved train. We have a back-up so he forgot about the circumstances 5 minutes later. I was also able to finally show them their completed scrapbook, so if she's okay with it, I'll be showing off some of those layouts.

All in all, it was a really good weekend.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Apparently, I really don't double check my spelling mistakes. Actually, the spelling was fine... if I was intending to say "Better"! But, alas, I wasn't. So thank you, dear husband, for pointing out my misspelling....

5 days later!!

Oh well.

Yeah for Disney!

Well, I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. My hubby and I had a long, wonderful 4 day weekend with Little Man A!! I was planning on showing you some of the highlights from the weekend, but instead I wanted to show off something else. Another layout!! Can I just tell you how estatic I am about finishing yet another one!!

So for your viewing pleasure, here it is:

Tomorrow, I'll tell you all about our weekend. And then, later in the week, I'm going to share with you my new business name!

I'm so excited I can barely stand it!

Tootles for now!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Help! I'm turning into Better Crocker

Yes, that's right. Apparently all this staying home and trying to save money has really turned me into a Better Crocker. The other day while I was at Sam's Club picking up more bananas for Little Man A, I saw some 5 inch cakes for Valentine's Day. For $7??! I can make my own, I said. And so I did....

Isn't it lovely?? A strawberry cake (with vanilla pudding to make it more moist) and white frosting (don't worry - I didn't make the frosting). And yes, I used a template to make sure the heart shape on top was perfect (that's the OCD kicking in).

And, on top of that...

For breakfast, I made heart-shaped pancakes!! (Mmmmm)

And for dinner, I made meat loaf with twice baked potatoes.

What's happening to me???

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Another one complete

Happy Valentine's Day!

For all you people out there who are interested in my scrapbooking, here is another layout complete for Little Man A's scrapbook! This time I tried scanning the pages and piecing them together on a Mac pages layout.

Hope you like it as much as I do! Only 8 more to go!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I have a disease...

And I think I gave it to my son.

It's not a serious or even life threatening disease. You may have heard of it:

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD.

Okay, so it's a disorder not a disease.... whatever.

My husband kids me about this ALL the time. Well, I think I may have given it to my son so I'm certain that if scientists were trying to figure out if it was geneticly linked... I can give that answer with a "That's affirmative, good buddy!"

Similar to AmyBow, she has a disease where she cannot procrastinate. Even if it means leaving the teeniest, tiniest task for her husband to do. Mine, I have to have things cleaned all the time. It definitely makes for an easier night once Little Man A goes to bed, but sometimes it can get just downright tiresome.

Well, yesterday I tried another "fun" activity from the Toddler Busy Book.... letting your child pull tissue out of the box. Yes, it can get messy, you will be wasting an entire box of tissue, but it's suppose to bring hours (okay, maybe 20 minutes) worth of fun for your child. I had just finished with a box of tissue, so instead of using another new one, I decided to put pieces of toilet paper in there (Little Man A wanted to help pull it off the roll anyway).

I gave him the box, full of about 20 small squares of toilet paper and waited. I showed him the first piece and was expecting him to just rip out every single piece. Instead, he just looked at it. When I showed him there was more inside.....

He proceeded to put the pieces back in the box!!

Lately, it seems as though he's been extremely helpful around the house. Every single day, after we are done eating at the dinette table, I push all the chairs in. The other day, he helped me push them in!

When I told him it was time for splish-splash time, he proceeded to put his blocks away in the correct box!

Not that I'm complaining. I'm sure this is just a phase. But I have to admit, I really like it! Maybe all my little habits are actually wearing off on my child.

Now, if I could just work on my hubby. (hehehe)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bananas- Good for you Fruit

Little Man A loves bananas! And when I say love, I mean L...O...V...E !!! Over the past week or so, when I get a banana for his breakfast or just a snack, he wants the entire thing. If there is the slight chance that he didn't finish the banana, we put it in a baggie for later. When he sees the baggie for the following meal, he quickly grabs it off the table and tries his darndest to open the bag.

So in the spirit of learning something new, I thought I would do a little research about bananas. Besides knowing that they are good for you and contain lots of potassium, I wanted to know more. So here you go, a little biology lesson all rolled into one!

--Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple and red. There is a cultivar or variety of bananas called "Ice Cream" or "Blue Java" It has a bluish cast to the unripe fruit, usually 7 to 9 inches long, is quite aromatic, and is said to melt in the mouth like ice cream. Bunches are small with seven to nine hands. (Someone find me this variety!! I can only imagine the reaction from Little Man A to a banana that tastes like ice cream!)

--Bananas are grown in at least 107 countries.

--Bananas may also be dried and eaten as a snack food. Dried bananas are also ground into banana flour.

--The domestication of bananas took place in southeastern Asia. Many species of wild bananas still occur in New Guinea, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

--The banana plant has long been a source of fibre for high quality textiles. In Japan, the cultivation of banana for clothing and household use dates back to at least the 13th century.

--Banana fibre is also used in the production of banana paper.

--One large banana, about 9 inches in length, packs 602 mg of potassium and only carries 140 calories. That same large banana even has 2 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber.

--Vitamins and minerals are abundant in the banana, offering 123 I.U. of vitamin A for the large size. A full range of B vitamins are present with .07 mg of Thiamine, .15 mg of Riboflavin, .82 mg Niacin, .88 mg vitamin B6, and 29 mcg of Folic Acid. There are even 13.8 mg of vitamin C. On the mineral scale Calcium counts in at 9.2 mg, Magnesium 44.1 mg, with trace amounts of iron and zinc.

So there you have it. All the information you wanted to know about bananas and more. And here for your viewing pleasure is Little Man shoving a large piece of banana into his mouth. Yummo!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Definitely searching for my balance

Lately, I've started to wonder about the title of my blog. Why did I pick this one and am I really living up to the name? Some people say, "Who cares what your title is?" And they're right, as long as I have fun documenting my daily life with Little Man A to either 1) get things out of my head (too many things up there anyway), or 2) some way for me to write things down for A's scrapbook later.

Well, over the past few weeks, I have definitely been living up to my title. Not only have I been dealing with a temper trantrum throwing 13 month old (14 months old in 3 days!), I've also been trying to keep the house in order, groom my poor cocker spaniel who hasn't been touched with clippers since November, do our taxes (we need the cash!), run errands after Little Man A goes to bed, finish Little Man A's first year scrapbook, and last but certainly not least, put a scrapbook together for a friend of mine.

Yes, I am trying to start a small scrapbooking business where I sell pre-made scrapbooks. My friend actually approached me about putting a scrapbook together for her because one of her beloved dogs was deathly sick. Since she has asked me, I have to note, that her dog is recovering miraculously from Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (her body's own immune system is attacking her red blood cells and her body is not able to regenerate them fast enough therefore making her extremely weak)!! It was originally going to be strictly about her sick dog, but when she found out she was on the up and up track, she decided to include both her dogs. Not only that, she of course had pictures of her beloved "Bruce" with each of her dogs as well. (Happy First Birthday, Bruce!)

I am actually quite impressed with myself. When she asked me to take on this project, I have to admit, I was nervous on a few levels.

1. Her only seeing a few samples of my work, I wasn't sure she would like my style of scrapbooking. I had seen the pages she had designed digitally... although they were fabulous, it would not have been anything I would have thought to pick out myself. I just don't think I have the creative level to be able to come up with some of these layouts that are published in magazines.

2. I wasn't sure if I could get it done within a reasonable amount of time. Only having nap times and at the end of the day, I needed to go through a couple hundred digital photos (which actually was a lot easier than going through hard copies), coming up with ideas for layouts, purchasing the paper and hoping that it would go with the photos/style/theme of the photos, actually putting the layouts together, adding journaling... it's a long list.

And, 3. I just didn't have the confidence in myself since I had been out of the loop for so long. I would make excuse after excuse during Little Man's first year growing up not to scrapbook. Here I am, not able to even finish my son's first year... and she wants me to put a scrapbook together of her two dogs??

Well, I did it! During the process, I was able to decide which photos to use, design layouts for each one determining the number of photos, pick out paper, put the layouts together, and use lots of products and even designs and styles that I hadn't used before. And I did it all in two weeks!! That's 10 layouts in 4 days!

So I want to thank you, dear friend. This has been a wonderful challenge to show me that I could/can/will be able to take on this new episode of my life. So I will keep everyone posted as to how things progress and hey if you would like to see some of my work... just stay tuned!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

My own belly laughs

Kiki posted some cute belly laughs from a video clip on Friday that explained why parents just don't need to buy expensive toys anymore ... just use newspaper! And boy, did it make for a good Friday for some people.

Well, I have my own silly giggles right here. For some reason, Little Man A got the sillies the other day around lunch time. Sometimes, if I find the right word, he doesn't stop laughing. That particular day, it was "boof". Kind of like when you say "booffalo" (or atleast that how I say it).

Anyways. Enjoy the silly giggles! I sure did!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Click with your heart

Just wanted to share this website with everyone. I saw it in the Sunday paper in our issue of Parade magazine. Toni Braxton and Campbell's soup have teamed up with the American Heart Association and the fight against heart disease. Campbell's has pledged to donate more than $1.8 million over three years to the America Heart Association through "adDress your heart" campaign.

"Campbell invites you to join us in celebrating the energy, passion and power we have as women to band together and fight heart disease.

Too few people realize that heart disease is the #1 killer of American women and men. But the good news is that heart disease can largely be prevented. That's the goal of the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women movement—empowering women with knowledge and tools so they can take positive action to reduce their risks and protect their health.

Thanks to the participation of millions of people across the country since 2004, the Go Red For Women movement's signature red color and red dress have become linked with the ability women have to improve their heart health and live stronger, longer lives."

Visit www.GoRedWithCampbells.com, Click on this year's winning dress and for each click, Campbell's is donating $1 to the Go Red For Women Movement. This event lasts between February 1 - March 31 so click as many times as you can.

"Make a pledge...
To move just a little more every day.
To nourish myself with heart healthy foods.
To work toward a weight that's right for me.
To celebrate my birthday with a heart checkup.
And, most importantly, to be good to myself."

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Sleep before you Buy

A new novel idea... sleep in the house before you buy it! According to California real estate agents, this is the new trend. Apparently, thanks to the new "soft" market, lots of people are asking for a "test-drive" sleepover. Some properties that are over the $1 million price range have allowed this practice for several years, it now appears to be spreading to less expensive housing market.

Let me tell you, this is definitely something I would have considered before buying our current house. When we were considering purchasing this house, my hubby also thought that he was going to be eligible for a retirement bonus through the Army. Unfortunately, he didn't have enough years of Active-Duty time for him to be considered for the bonus. So, now $10,000 later in debt due to the house, we're trying to get by. But, if we had asked about this option (not sure that the dealer/owner would have gone for the idea - I can only imagine the liability aspect of it. I mean what if we trashed the house? Not that we would have, of course.) but atleast we would have been more aware of all the work that actually needs to go into this house to make it's value increase.

Oh well. You live and learn. We will definitely know better next time we go to purchase another house.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Pudding. A fun food!

A few weeks ago, I talked about how boring I was and how I decided to be adventurous and bring out the balloons. Only it didn't work. AmyBow with little LP, who had a blast this past weekend with a family project making their own background for their fish tank, gave me the idea to have fun with pudding. Add food coloring to the pudding and let Little Man A go.

Well, we did it and here are the photos to show the fun!

Daddy making pretty colors!

"I'm ready, Daddy. Bring on the fun!"

"Ohh! Pretty colors! Can I eat it??"

"Look! Yellow and blue make green!"

Yummy. Yummy. Yummy!"

"This is fun! Can we do this again?!?"

Although this was really part of his afternoon snack time, it did extend it to 45 minutes rather than 20 minutes. And of course, Little Man A had fun! So that's all that matters! Next time, I'll help him make the colors...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Any regrets??

I have a friend who is living the life right now. She and her boyfriend (would be fiance if his parents weren't paying for his college tuition and didn't like her enough that they would disown him if they knew she was living with him - it's a religious thing) are living in St. Thomas while he attends a pre-veterinary program at the University of St. Thomas. She? is living the life on the beach doing nothing. I first met her back in Minneapolis when I started working at Banfield Pet Hospital. We worked well together and she's the only one that I've really kept in touch with since leaving Minnesota.

Recently, her 5-year-old female cat was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer. They first discovered it, not knowing exactly what it was at the time, back in early 2007. In the past year alone, this cat has endured two surgeries, abdominal ultrasound, chest x-rays, and multiple blood work-ups. Because she has been able to go to the veterinary college at the university, she has been able to get all of this care for a fraction of the cost it would be here in the states.

I give her allot of credit for being able to take care of all these situations with her cat. I'm also thankful of her current location during this stressful time with her pet. I mean, if she were back in the states and had to pay for the care that she is getting there, I'm sure she would be bankrupt by now. I'm glad that she is able to take care of it.

This whole situation also makes me miss working in the vet field. Our beloved cocker spaniel, Maggie, really needs her teeth clean again, but since Banfield in this region has increased their pricing to over $350 for the plan that includes the dental, we really can't afford it. Then I start to worry about our three cats and their vaccines (I don't even want to look at their teeth).

Atleast when I was working, some of that care was taken care of. Working full-time at Banfield, I would have qualified for three wellness plans that included dental cleanings and all of their vaccines. If only day care wasn't so expensive, I would have gone back to work a long time ago. Although I'm not too sure about that.

Regrets?? No. Although at times it has been hell raising Little Man A, I'm glad that I have been here for him. I feel as though I have a better relationship with him and I wouldn't want to miss all the small moments that I've been able to experience over the past year.

I love ya, Little Man!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Eating for Two

No, don't get excited grandma and great aunt "wenderina". I'm not pregnant. Lately, I feel as though I've increased my consumption of food... and here I thought I was doing good with my diet (although all the Christmas candy left behind doesn't help).

I knew that I would eat more while I was pregnant. I remember toward the end of the pregnancy, it wasn't worth going to an "All-You-Can-Eat" buffet because the damn kid was soooo big. I could barely eat a half-full plate of food before getting stuffed. Maybe that's why I only gained 25 pounds and lost it shortly after Little A was born.

Well, this time around I'm talking about eating more because my lovely child wants to feed me. Yes, I said that right. Lately, he's been finishing up his portion of the meal and then giving me the rest. Now mind you when it's a combination of food such as my wonderful homemade cinnamon apples, sweet potatoes, cheese pieces, cracker crumbs, and whatever else is on his tray, I don't even think twice about it. Today, for one of his snacks I gave him graham crackers with strawberry cream cheese. Yummo! It tastes like a strawberry cheesecake! Try it! Anyways, he picked up a piece and handed it over to me. With a face like this, how could you refuse??

I, of course, leaned forward, opened my mouth, and he plopped in the graham cracker. He was so happy with himself. And, in the attempts to teach him something during the process, besides the fact that it's fun to feed mommy, I signed "Thank you".

So, hopefully I'll still be able to fit into my little black dress for our cruise in March. Hopefully, it starts to get warm enough so we can really start walking outside. Or maybe I'll just start jogging with Little Man A during our daily walks.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Happy Groundhog Day!

"As I look around me, a bright sky I see, and a shadow beside me. Six more weeks of winter it will be!"

Punxsutawney Phil has spoken: we shall have six more weeks of winter.

Seriously?? When have we not had six more weeks of winter?? I decided to do a little research on a Saturday morning. Although I couldn't find some actual statistics about Phil's predictions (okay, I admit. It's Saturday morning - I didn't look that hard). But here are a few history facts about Groundhog Day and our favorite groundhog:

~During Prohibition, Phil threatened to impose 60 weeks of winter on the community if he wasn't allowed a drink.

~ In 1958, Phil announced that he was a "United States Chucknik," rather than a Soviet Sputnik or Muttnik that became the first man-made satellite to orbit Earth.

~In 1981, Phil wore a yellow ribbon in honor of the American hostages in Iran.

~Phil traveled to Washington DC in 1986 to meet with President Reagan. He was joined by Groundhog Club President Jim Means, Al Anthony and Bill Null.

~Phil met Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburg in 1987.

~In 1993, Columbia Pictures released the movie Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray.

~In the years following the release of the movie, record crowds numbering as high as 30,000 have visited Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney!

~Phil appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show in 1995.

~In 2001, Phil's prediction was shown live on the JumboTron at Times Square in New York City.

~Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell attended the ceremonies, making him the first sitting governor ever to do so.

Well, I know I was hoping for an early spring and apparently so were these guys:

Sorry, Buddy. We'll get out the bucket and shovel to play in the sand soon enough.