Monday, January 26, 2009

Storm of the Century

Okay, so it's not quite the storm of the century, but we haven't had an all ice storm in a couple of years...I think I was pregnant with Dalton the last time we had one of these. Now, I never used to take precautions or try to gear up before hand, but now that we have two small kids with us...well, I found myself getting ready for it...and I succeeded!!

I went to the store last night for a few staple items. Toilet paper, milk (I'm sorry, but I just can't go a day without milk!!), oatmeal, batteries, a good book, and a few other items. (I'll explain my choices momentarily, keep your pants on!)

The meteorologist called this one spot on. It was projected to start with freezing rain/sleet today around noon (which the first drops fell about 12:30 here). It was projected to last all day (which it has), all night, and most of the day tomorrow. So far everything outside is covered in about 1/4 inch of ice. EVERYTHING. Trees, bushes, driveway, road, car (because we have too much junk in our garage right now to park both cars in there!). Chris almost got into an accident three times on his way home from work. I am so glad that I'm not working and did not have to pick up the kids from a sitter, and then drive as a nervous wreck with the kids in the car.

So I made very good use of my day in preparation for the storm (aka impending doom). Started simple by cleaning the house and doing laundry. We are expected to get nearly an inch of ice, which means that tree limbs will break and land on the power lines and we will lost electricity, and they say if this happens we can expect to be without power for at least 3-5 days. So had to do laundry and make sure that all available blankets were clean. Also had to clean to make sure that we don't trip over something in the dark and break a leg or arm or neck.

I got up in the attic and into our camping gear and got down the lantern and that's been charging all day. Charged up the little portable DVD player (that's not a necessity, just fun). I have also gathered up all the flashlights in the house and put them along with all the batteries all together in one spot so we don't have to search for them. I talked to the neighbor about the possibility of us taking some of his wood. (Of course we ran out of wood this year, and if we don't have power for days we need some sort of heat for the kids. Fireplace; yay!) Made sure we had plenty of propane for the barbecue, then made a list of things that we can easily cook on the grill. Chicken, veggies, etc. And lets not forget about roasting marshmallows in the fireplace!!

If things get really bad and the pipes freeze (which is SO unlikely to happen) I filled up several gallon jugs of water so that we can boil it for oatmeal and heat it for Jackson's bottles. And of course brush our teeth and make sure the dogs and cats have water, too.

And tonight...I made homemade banana bread! Yum! Something we don't have to heat up or cook, just eat it as is. There were six lovely bananas gone bad on our counter, so I have one loaf in the oven baking now, and when that comes out, I'll bake another one. Oh, and the house smells fantastic too!!

So I think I'm going to climb up in the attic again and get down the air mattresses, so that if we have to sleep in the living room in front of the fireplace, at least we'll be marginally comfortable. Maybe not too terribly warm, but at least we won't get up with massive back and neck pain! And, I am looking forward to tomorrow when I can go out and get some fantastic pictures of the ice encased branches, bushes, etc. So I think we're ready!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


It's been a productive week or two!! I did go back to work for a couple of days this week to train a couple of people that just started in my old department. I didn't particularly want to, but we desperately need the money. And it meant leaving the boys with a sitter for two whole days. So by the time I got home in the evening and we got dinner on the table, there was hardly any time to spend with the kids, which just reinforced the fact that staying home with them is absolutely what I want and need to do.

So in addition to working a couple of days, I helped Chris bottle his beer over the weekend. His newest batch is a dark chocolate beer with vanilla, and of course he kept saying "Come smell this!!" and then when I did, all I smelled was, well, beer. I didn't smell any chocolate or vanilla, just beer.

We borrowed a bottle capper thing (I have no idea what it's actually called) from a friend. We have one, but it isn't that great and was hard to use. So we borrow one, which of course I can't use at all. That thing took some serious muscle to actually get it to seal the cap to the bottle, which of course Chris had to show off while doing.

Isn't he cute pretending like it's hard for him, too? Apparently, I'm just weak! Chris also labeled all the beer bottles, which he hasn't been doing in the past too much. His dad (shout out, Dennis!!) got him a subscription to an online label production website sort of thing, for Christmas, so of course he had to create his labels and get them all on there.

So that's the finished product!! It will all sit in the cupboard for a few weeks to carbonate, and then it will be ready. Funny, I think it will be ready to open on Super Bowl Sunday!!

Something else we got done this week was re-upholstering Dalton's little stool. Well, my stool. Whatever. My dad made me this stool when I was four years old, and after Dalton started walking we replaced the fabric on it to be more kid friendly. It's even inscribed on the bottom of it.

So we replaced the fabric with this super cute jungle animal theme when Dalton was itty bitty. Then Dalton had one of his famous "incidents" and the fabric was pretty much ruined.

Do you see how it looks all greasy and gross in the middle? This was from the "incident". So over the weekend Dalton and I went to pick out new fabric, and got some new batting, and fixed it right up. With race car fabric, of course!!

So, I would bet money that you are wondering what kind of "incident" Dalton had to make the stool so gross and nasty...I bet you're thinking that maybe he spilled food on it. Or maybe he dropped a drink on it. Oh, no. If only it were that simple!!

Chris's dad and step-mom came to visit at the beginning of December. Of course we opened all our Christmas presents while they were here. They live in California, and here we are with a new baby, so we won't make it out there. One of Dalton's Christmas presents was a bottle of blueberry soap. It's smelled delicious. I really could have eaten it right then and there (even though I don't like blueberries!). Our visit with them ended too fast, as usual, and they went home. A few nights later, Dalton had gone to bed and came out around 10:30 pm. His pajamas are unzipped and he says:

"I can't zip my pajamas up."
Me: "Why did you unzip them?"
Him: "Because they're wet."
Me: "Did you go potty in your jammies?"
Him: "Nope."

So he comes over, and I'm feeling his jammies, and of course they're wet, just like he said. But then I smell something. Something good.

Me: "Dalton, why do you smell so good?"
Him: "I didn't do nothing!" As he starts to back away from me.

Well, let's just see exactly what he "didn't do".

In his room, he had dumped the entire bottle of blueberry soap. All over the carpet, all over his stool, and on some of the toys.

It probably wouldn't have been so bad if he had just dumped it in one spot, but of course it trailed all over the room!!

I knew that if we left it, it would stain the carpet with no hope of ever coming out, so we proceeded, for the next three hours, to clean the carpet. We have a small spot cleaning machine, which we started out with. But the water reservoir isn't very big, and boy, howdy, does that soap bubble up a lot! We were having to run and clean out the water reservoir every two minutes, so we ended up just dumping water on the spots to keep them from drying and then sucking it all up with the shop vac. Of course, at one point, Dalton informed us that the clean up was "taking forever". don't say!!

So that is why the fabric was all nasty!

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Incident

I am forever glad that I have turned Dalton over to my "evil ways", as Chris likes to call it. Dalton loves animals every bit as much as I do, and I do need him on my side because Chris isn't too crazy about them all. However, sometimes Dalton takes his love a little too far...

We were pet sitting for a friend last week. Her kitty is sixteen years old or so, she has no teeth, and was sick with an upper respiratory infection. She needed antibiotics several times a day, and it was more feasible for us to keep Clara here to medicate her rather than me go to her house all the time. So one Friday night, she comes to stay with us for a week. Clara's mom brought over a HUGE crate for her, along with her litter box, and blankets and a bed and all that good stuff.

When she first came in, we set her up in the garage. We have three dogs and four cats of our own, all in the house, along with two additional kitties that I'm fostering. We all figured it would be less stressful on Clara if she were in the garage. On Sunday, we decided to move her into the house as it was supposed to get very very very cold, and that wouldn't be good for her as she was already sick. After much debate on where to put her crate, we decided on putting it in Dalton's room. The kids rooms are the only two rooms that our cats don't go into, so we figured it would be less stressful for her. I figured I would see how it went with Dalton...he has a habit of opening the crates and letting the animals out, which is fine, but I didn't want our animals to pick on the new kid in town.

All went fine...until one night. Dalton typically gets up once a night crying (night terrors?? not sure). It's about 2:30 in the morning and I hear him start crying. So I get up and go into his room. It's dark (we had another "incident" with the fish, and he died, so the fish tank light wasn't on...but I digress) and I feel around in his bed but he's not there. I feel around the top bunk, and he's not there either. So I'm trying to find him...I know he's in there, I can hear him wailing more and more loudly now, but I just can't seem to find him. So I turn on the light...

Dalton is in the cat's crate. With the cat. And somehow managed to lock himself in there. That's not the best part...just wait!! He's completely disoriented. And then I see it. Before Dalton fell asleep in the crate with the cat and locking himself in there, he decided to dump the cat litter box...half in the crate...half on the carpet. He also felt the need to dump the cat's water dish...and food bowl. So here's Dalton, laying in this crate (with poor Clara curled in his lap sound asleep) in the midst of half a box of cat litter and water and food. Oh, and let's also notice Dalton's pillow in the crate too, because, you know, logically, you can't sleep without a pillow!!!

At this point he's just so upset, and dirty, and it's still 2:30 in the morning, so I pull him out of there, change his pajamas, wash his face, and settle him into bed, where he promptly falls fast asleep. I don't want to wake the whole house by turning on the vacuum cleaner, so left it for the next morning. And of course, poor Clara had to potty during the night, so she the litter remaining in her crate, which was, of course, on top of her bedding. Screw the vacuum...I pulled in the shop vac and just vacuumed the whole mess up. Then spent a while washing all her bedding and moving her to our bedroom.

So, as for Dalton's punishment, he wasn't allowed to watch any cartoons, and he wasn't allowed to play his Computer Cool School...which is educational, but it's fun none-the-less, so it was off limits. And this type of punishment really just punishes us, so of course he then proceeded to get into more stuff through the day and thoroughly bug the living day lights out of me all day!

Looking back at it now, I wish that I had taken pictures of it, because sometime down the road, we'll be telling him about this and he won't believe it. But I was so irate at the time, I just couldn't do anything but clean it up while seething with anger and disgustment!

So, last week, I was a bad mom, a bad pet sitter, just all around bad, bad, bad. I guess it's just all in a day's life as me...

Friday, January 16, 2009

My Favorite Dalton Quotes

Dalton has kept me laughing all week long, and some of the following are my favorites:

"I'm Daddy, because I'm trying to work!"

"Go away Daddy, I'm trying to learn."

Dalton: "Mommy, I want to go on an airplane."
Me: "And where are we going to find an airplane?"
Dalton: "At the airport!"
Me: "Oh, well, tickets cost money and we don't have a lot of money right now."
Dalton: "I have my piggy bank."

I was telling Chris that it wasn't fair that our health insurance didn't inform us that they weren't going to cover Jackson's Synagis vaccine anymore, and Dalton says, "Life isn't fair, mommy."

Playing Dalton's new Computer Cool School...
Me: "Ooooh, Dalton, there's alligators in the river! Watch out!"
Dalton: "Don't worry, mommy, they won't hurt you."

Dalton is helping me feed a cat that we are pet sitting, and she gets canned food, which our cats don't get.
"Mommy, this isn't food, this is poop..." Well, yeah, I guess it kind of does look like poop.

"Beer makes water." I have no idea where this came from or what in the world he was talking about.

Dalton walks blindly into the living room with his shirt stuck on his head, covering his face. "Mommy, can you help me get my shirt off, because I have a big head."

Dalton: "I want to go to work with Daddy."
Me: "You wouldn't have any fun."
Dalton: "Yes, I would."
Me: "Honey, it's not like it was at Halloween. They don't wear costumes everyday and hand out candy."
Dalton: "Oh, I'm not going to eat candy, I'm going to work."

"Mommy, can I jump on the couch? I promise I won't break my head open."

And there you have little comedian!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I want to take a minute and just say how much I appreciate my mom. She has always been there for me, and for most of us kids, and no matter how much I used to complain about her and how mean she was and how I never got to do anything fun.... well, let's face it, that's just so not true!

When my dad died, there were still four of us kids at home, ranging in age from seven years to seventeen years old. In order to make ends meet, she took a job at a hospital 40 miles from our house, working third shift. And then also delivered mail during the day. She worked non-stop to be able to provide for us, and make sure that our necessities were met.

And not only did she work two jobs, but she made sure that we got to do all the fun things that we wanted (within reason, and when feasible). She sat in the stands for every one of my brother's baseball games. She sat there and kept track of the runs, the balls, the outs, in her little book. She watched him hit home runs and watched him block kids running for home plate.

Mom came to the football games and watched as I performed with the band at half time. She came to all the band concerts for Christmas, year end concerts, and special concerts in between. She came to all of my choir concerts; Christmas, spring, and special in between. She let me take a private art course when I was in middle school so that I could learn to paint better. These classes were only around $40.00 a month, but for a single mom with multiple kids at home...well, that was a fortune! She paid for my band uniforms, paid for my choir dresses, paid for me to go to Chicago with the band, paid for me to go to New York City with the choir...

She sat with me so many times when I was sick growing up. Stomach flu, tonsillitis, and the ten thousand times I got strep throat. She sat with me on Christmas Day of my senior year when I had my tonsils removed. She sat with me at the hospital until 3:00 am the night that Dalton was born.

She may not tell us kids the actual words "I love you", but you can tell she does love us. In all the things that she's ever done for us. She comes to help us make the turkey when we host Christmas dinner...she comes to help us bake cookies. (No matter how hard we try to do these things on our own, they never turn out the same!! Mom must be present while cooking and baking if the recipe is to turn out right!)

Mom taught me how to change a tire. She taught me how to change the oil in my car. She taught me how to drive in the snow (when going down a hill on snow, always put your car in neutral!!) She taught me that no matter how much you tell someone how you feel, actions are louder than words. Mom taught me how to put out a grease fire (I'm really not the best cook!), and she taught me about wise financial decisions. She taught me that when you lose someone you love, life goes on. It may be painful every day, and you may feel like things will never get better, but you keep on living. She did NOT teach me about makeup, or boys, or frilly dresses or color coordinating, but she did teach me life lessons that will carry me through life and carry me through all my bad days, weeks, and months. And I love her for it.

I hope that I can teach my sons the same life lessons, and live my life the way she does. With pride, dignity, love, and little laughs here and there.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Life in General

So here is my first attempt at blogging...I'd like to say that I will keep it updated on a regular basis so as not to disappoint anyone, but let's face it. I'm a procrastinator and mostly technologically retarded, so I'm lucky to get this first one out here!

Jackson is getting SO big, every day. It's like I can see him growing in front of my own eyes. He's sleeping through the night, and when I say "through the night" I don't mean just six to eight hours. He sleeps better than me, better than Chris, and better than Dalton (who I thought was the best sleeper ever, until now). Jackson will sleep from 10 pm until 10 am, easy. I have to wake him up in the morning to eat. Now that's impressive.

Dalton is still incredibly, undeniably, in love with his brother. Everything that Jackson does is either funny, cute, sweet, or just plain cool to Dalton. I can only hope and pray that this continues until the boys are well on their way to being little old men. I can be in the other room and hear Jackson start to cry. And when I come in to get him, here sits Dalton either giving him a Binky, or singing to him, or rocking his little chair back and forth. I am surprised that there has been no jealously for the most part.

Dalton, of course, is still just as much a ham as he ever was. In fact, I think he's more of a ham now, because he plays it up for his brother! We're having fun everyday on his new Computer Cool School, which has fun games that he learns instantaneously. We still have fun with Daddy with pillow fights and building towers and pretending that Daddy is a giant that we have to get away from. And we also have fun when Dalton wants to blow dry his own hair, which seems to be all the time now. He is getting to be so independent, and hardly ever wants our help with anything.

I cannot even begin to describe how lucky I am to have this wonderful family that we have created. Who knew that I would be a pretty good mom, a decent cook, and a fairly good house wife??