Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NaBloPoMo 2.0 Complete

Yay! Year two is complete. I would love to say I am a changed blogger for it but the truth is, I am still full of the same old crazy as usual. It did seem like it went by a lot faster this year than it did last year. Not sure if its because I just feel more comfortable posting or if I am more interesting this year than I was last.

Stop laughing.

Done? Ok. Here is to year two! Who else made it and who didn't? How do you feel about it?

Dancing Fools

This cracks me up. One, because that is the song they chose to dance to. Two, because D really gets into it. Maybe he will be a dance instructor when he gets older, no?


Monday, November 29, 2010

Mini Me

Who does this look like?
Little Me (1982)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Where Are You Christmas?

No really. Where? This bah humbug thing is really starting to bother me now guys. Like, seriously. Why can't I find the happy Christmas spirit this year? Why is hiding? Why is it bothering me so much?

I feel like little Cindy-Lou Who. Only, a little less patient. I think maybe I am psyching myself out about it now. I am trying so desperately to feel it, it is slipping farther and farther away. I was talking to Tommy about it today and he is feeling the same way. He blames it on me because I am usually the jolly elf getting everyone excited and pumped up. Not this year though.

Not that I am dreading Christmas. I found out this past weekend that my sister is going to be able to come home for a few days and that is huge for me. I am so excited about that it just makes the absence of the Christmas spirit even more obvious I think.

I just keep hoping that it will find me. You guys hope for me too. I promise I will stop complaining if I can find it so you better hope hard. Harder. Heh. Ok, just keep your fingers crossed for me then.

How do you get in the Christmas mood? Are you there yet?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday


Yep. I am one of the crazies that went out last night. I've been doing it for over ten years and haven't missed a year. Sorry naysayers but you just can't beat the deals. Here is a breakdown:

Started in my first line at 8pm at Toys R Us for their 10pm sale. Then to Wal-Mart at midnight. Ran home for a couple of online deals. Then Target at 4am. Sears at 6am. Home Depot at 6:30am. Bed, Bath & Beyond at 6:45 and Big Lots at 7am.

Think I am crazy? Consider this:

I am two or three people away from being done shopping.

Everything I bought was at least half off. Most things were more but the best was 90% off.

Now, considering I bought no electronics or computers, here is the kicker for me:

I saved over $375.

Still think I'm crazy? Well, you are probably right but I am okay with that. Sorry but I'm not rich and that money saved on things I would have bought anyway will be useful elsewhere.

Luckily for me, I have very rarely run into the craziness some people talk about. For the most part, the chaos is very controlled and people are usually pretty friendly. The stores are always prepared for and deal quickly with the line cutters, rudies, etc. So, its nothing but fun and deals.

Oh, and exhaustion*. I'm getting too old for the up all night shit. I felt like I had been in a bar fight last night. No word on whether I won or not but I would like to think I did. Not that a little exhaustion will stop me next year.

What about you? Did you go out? Get good deals?

*Hence the ramblies. Forgive me

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful 2.0

T. He works so hard, so we can have whatever we want or need. I am blessed to be able to stay home with my boys and I know it.

My D. He is my little man. He keeps me on my toes and keeps me moving, but he also keeps me smiling. Mr. Chill for the most part except goodbyes. He hates goodbye. D loves with his whole being.  He never forgets a face or a friend. He sees no enemy, no danger. So brave, almost to a fault, he has never been afraid to climb to the highest point in a room and jump from it. He loves for you to wrestle with him but he is cool with chillin' on the couch all the same, as long as you are close. He is his little brother's hero. He has been so completely amazing with K I don't even have the words to express. It makes me all misty just thinking about it. He is just an amazing little boy and I am so thankful for everything he has given me in life.

My K. My little snuggle monster. He brings a whole different dimension and view on life to our little family. He loves to be held and snuggled. Not a baby on the move like D was, he is content to sit in your lap and snuggle into your chest for long periods. Happy go lucky until he isn't anymore and then out comes Mr. Hulk baby. He is energetic and very much the entertainer. He loves to sing and dance. He loves to be laughed at. He is much more conversational than D was. Almost more than is. My little chatterbox from the very first day. My squeakers. His personality is sharp and vibrant. He is a go big or go home type of kid. From screaming to falling to kissing and singing. Like I said before, he idolizes his brother. If his brother has it, he needs it too. If D does it, he has to try. Thank goodness he is more cautious than D though or he would end up in some hairy situations. K is dynamic. He is my little monkey and I am so thankful that he loves me as much as I love him.

My health. I am very lucky to be around considering the heart problems and general lifestyle I have lived. Now, My body is back on track and I don't (usually) have to worry about tachycardia or blood pressure. I almost never get sick. Of course when I do, its a doozy but for the most part, I am very lucky.

Coffee. The elixir of life here recently. I would be one cranky, tired Mama without it. Its probably bad to be thankful for something so small but thankful I am.

For my friends, my saving grace (you know who you are)! In real life and online, I really do have the best friends a girl could ask for. I seriously don't know how I would make it without them. They keep me sane, listen to my ramblings and keep me in place. They make me have fun, even when I don't feel like it. They keep me grounded and I am so thankful for their grace.

For a home, clothing and food. For all the good things and bad. There just isn't enough thanks!

I hope all of you have a very Happy Thanksgiving. What are you looking forward to the most?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday- Blast From the Past (Thanksgiving)

D's First Thanksgiving- 2007

D at 1 year old- 2008

D at 2 years old- 2009

K's First Thanksgiving- 2009

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holiday Craftiness

 Ok, so the holidays are coming if I am ready or not. So, I thought I would share a few of my favorite homemade type gifts with you. These are all things I have made myself so they are legit. Heh.

Anyway, homemade is cheaper and more meaningful to the recipient so try a few out. Let me know what you think about them and if there are any you would like to see or try out! I haven't added all of the ones I have, just a few of my favorites.


For your lady friends. Well, and possible male: These are awesome big batch crafties so make some for all your lady friends. Yes, even your mother in law.


Bath Fizzies (This is the most complicated but it is also the one that people usually love to get the most.)
1/2 cup citric acid, dry powder
1 1/2c baking soda
2 tsp coconut oil (or any other emollient oil like almond, avocado or apricot kernel oil)
1/4 tsp fragrance or essential oil
Food coloring (if desired)
Paper baking cups or silicone mold

First you need to make the base mix, to do this sift together the bicarb soda& citric acid in a large dry bowl. Transfer 1/2 cup at a time to another dry bowl, to this add any dried flowers, glitter etc. Set aside. In a small bowl mix together 1/2 teaspoon at a time of almond oil, 6- 8 drops of your chosen essential oil& 6 drops of food coloring. Pour the oil mixture into the 1/2 cup of base mix& mix quickly before it starts to fizz. Combine with your fingertips until all color is evenly distributed. Wipe a little sweet almond oil inside your molds. Fill the molds with the mixture, packing it in firmly. Repeat this process with 1/2 a cup at a time, otherwise it fizzes up and is not as nice a result. You can also use different colors and scents this way. Leave the bath bombs to set for a few days. When set lightly tap the mold and ease out gently or just give away in the paper cups.


Bath Salts
3c epsom salts
1 drop food coloring (if you want)
2 drops scented or essential oil (I like peppermint or lavender best)
Mix. Put in container.


Salt Scrub
2 cups sea salt
1 1/3 cups aloe vera baby oil (regular works too)
8 vitamin E, capsules
2 tablespoons honey
Scent if you want it

Mix. Put in container. 


Brownies in a Jar
2 1/4 cups white sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans or chocolate chips
One quart jar

Pour and press sugar into a clean and dry one quart jar. Add cocoa powder and press down firmly. Pour in chopped pecans or chocolate (you can leave this out if you want, making sure they are evenly layered in the jar. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Pour into jar and seal.

Attach these directions to the jar: "Empty mix into large bowl and mix thoroughly. Add 3/4 cup of butter or margarine and 4 slightly beaten eggs. Mix until completely blended. Spread batter into a lightly greased or sprayed 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) for 30 minutes or until done. Cut and eat." (Of course you can use your own words but don't forget to give them the directions and don't change the important stuff).



For the kids: These are all great for a playgroup type exchange or even just your relatives. You can make a ton of these things pretty cheaply so be sure to make some for your kiddos.

Cooked Play Dough
(Most like regular play dough)
1c flour (not self-rising)
1/2c salt
1c water
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1-1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Mix in saucepan over low heat until rolls into a ball. (It does not have to heat long.) Just keep it in an airtight container. If you need to make different colors, add food coloring while mixing over heat.


Peanut Butter Play Dough (For kids over 1 year)
1c creamy peanut butter (Not the natural kind, its too oily)
1/4c honey
1c instant nonfat dry milk*

Mix together until smooth. The end.

*Obviously if your child has nut allergies this one is a no-no. I have heard of people substituting flour for the dry milk for allergies but not much can replace peanut butter.


Homemade Sidewalk Chalk Recipe (This one is messy. I don't recommend letting younger kids help with this one.)
Two parts plaster of paris
One part water (or even just a little less)
Coloring of some sort (I usually use tempera paint or food coloring but you could really use anything.)

Measure the plaster of paris into a bowl, then gradually add warm water, stirring to combine. Add coloring, then allow mixture to thicken. Add water or not to make it the consistency of thick frosting or glue.

Now, you can use pretty much anything as a mold. When I did it, I used soap molds but you can use paper towel rolls or muffin pans or ice cube trays. You get the idea. It will take it a few days to harden so it just needs to be something you don't use all the time.

Important: The dust of plaster of paris can be bad for your lungs. Read the box.


Soap Crayons 
Ivory soap flakes (These work best but you can use any bar soap and just grate it up)
Food coloring
Water
Ice cube trays (plastic works best)

Pour 1/8 cup of warmish water into a bowl. Add one cup of the soap flakes. Mix them slowly until you have a very thick paste. Add food coloring to suit your likes(don't have to use much and it will dry slightly darker than it looks wet). Shape into ice cube trays or just make balls with your hands and put on wax paper.  Let them dry for a few days before popping them out of the ice cube trays or handling the balls too much. Takes 3 or 4 days to dry completely.


For the grandparents/ keepsakes: Here is where I get all crazy and complicated on you guys. good news is, if you have made it this far, you can do these too. I'll include pictures if I have them.


Snowman Hand Print Ornament
Plastic ball ornament (Obviously a darker color is best but try to get a matte finish too.)
White paint
Black sharpie
Colored paint pens

Set up your area first. Paint on a plate with paintbrush, baby wipes for hands (especially with toddlers), several balls and the little tray they come in or something to dry them on upside down. Now, gather up your little one. In my experience, its best to do this part quickly, while talking in up beat tones talking them through what you are doing. It should be over before they knew what hit them. Anyway, paint the entire palm and fingers with white paint. Be careful not to get too much on there or it will not look right (it may take a few tries to get it just right). Have them grip the bottom of the ornament, trying to just make it a quick grasp and release so it doesn't smear. See the snowmen? Cute, right? Let the paint dry and then decorate your snowmen with your paint pens how ever you want.



Memory Ball
Ball ornament (plastic, matte is best but glass works)
Sharpie

Take the ball and write this year's family memories on it. Don't forget the date. Hang on tree. Do this every year to create an awesome keepsake for your family.


Hand Print Tree (This is cute on a t shirt or shopping bag or anything cloth really)
Green fabric paint
Yellow fabric paint
Red fabric paint
Brown fabric paint
Cheap sponge (cut one rectangle for the trunk and one star)

Prewash and iron the fabric you intend on putting this on. Same with the hand print ornament, get your space ready. I suggest doing a dry run with your child's hand to see about how big you are going to make your tree so you can center it easier. Ok, when you are ready, make a brown trunk at the middle bottom of where you plan to make the base of your tree. Now, make four, green hand prints palm side towards the top of the fabric, centered and overlapping over the top of the tree trunk. Slightly above and centered over that, make three overlapping hand prints. Then two, then one. See the tree? Let the green hand prints dry and then add your star and use their fingers to dot ornaments on the tree with other colors if you want. You can also use puffy paint to make garland and such but its really cuter the less you mess with it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Imperfect

Before T and I started dating many moons ago, we worked together as servers in a tacky steakhouse. You know, the kind where you throw the peanuts on the floor? When ever we worked together, he would make me a paper rose out of the little beverage napkins laying around. Usually just a single rose and would hand it to me or stick it in my apron as I walked past. It was corny but a sweet gesture on busy nights and something I got used to.

Then he quit. He moved on to work for another restaurant and I barely ever saw him. Occasionally he would come in to visit all of us and every time I was there, a single paper rose. If he forgot, I would tease him about it and it would be sitting there waiting the next time I walked by.

Then I quit. Moved on to other ventures and never looked back. I thought about him every once in a while, wondering what ever became of him and his paper roses. The few times I went into the restaurant he had quit the tacky steakhouse to work for, he was never there. Eventually I just gave up. Like you do when you figure you will never see someone again.

Then we did. We ran into each other a year or so later and it was instant sparks. We were engaged within 6 weeks and married in a year.

That was a little over six years ago and there have been many paper flowers along the way. Birthdays, babies births, date nights. Fewer and fewer through the years. They have almost stopped. We have been busy with lifes ups and downs and those paper flowers have taken the back burner.

Until this week. One night, Tommy brought home a bouquet of paper roses. White and papery in a plastic kid's cup. They were all perfectly formed and arranged in their "vase" when came through the door and thrust them at me with out pomp. I smiled and gave him a hug. Thanked him, put them on my nightstand and then went on about bathing the boys.


After the boys got out of the bath, T was getting them into their pajamas while I caught up on some email when K carried the bouquet of white paper roses in to me and dumped them in the floor. Crumpling a couple as he stepped on them to crawl up into my lap. T picked them up and rearranged them back in their cup and placed them back on the nightstand, where they belonged.

The next morning I woke up and rolled over face to face with the paper roses. Mostly perfect and beautiful with a few crumpled and stomped on mixed in. I was struck with how much that bouquet of paper roses represented our relationship. Not just the memories associated with the paper roses and their significance but also the imperfect bits.

Our marriage has been filled with beautiful, pristine paper roses. Two gorgeous little boys, good times, lots of laughs and fun. Working together to make our lives better and our marriage stronger.

Lately though we have seen our share of imperfect, crumpled roses. Thrown down in emotion and stomped almost flat.

Its the mix of those things. The beautiful roses and the ugly roses that make us work. That make us, us.  The fragility in the balance that makes me wonder sometimes though. The ability to look past the downtrodden rose and see the pristine ones shining through is solely on my part. I want this to work. To make those perfect roses appear more often than the damaged ones is the goal. Not something that I claim to be easy, hence the mix.

I guess the thing I came to realize more than anything is that sometimes you have to work harder at keeping the roses intact. Sometimes it doesn't work. The roses can be made easily and readily but keeping them beautiful can require some work. Unattended roses, when paper or in the mind, can become sad and warped. Imperfect.



So here is to striving for a mix. Not perfection. Not imperfection. A mix. Crumpled paper roses to make the perfect ones stay perfect.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Coming Around

On fall. Now that its almost over. I was driving back home this afternoon, down the interstate and noticed the leaves. Finally changing to all the pretty colors. Its snowing already where my sister lives and we are just now getting colors.

I think that may be part of the issue with me this year. It sucks that our fall is so lame. It sucks that it never snows. It makes it really hard to enjoy the seasons for me. It just supposed to go along with the excitement and the build up.

Last year we got lucky. The leaves changed and were gorgeous. It was cold by Thanksgiving and we had a couple of good snows.

I am not holding out hope for this year. Its still in the 70s the weekend before Thanksgiving and the trees are pretty much doing the same old get brown and drop off thing they usually do.

Its messing with my mojo, yo.

Maybe this week will help. I am going to spend as much time as possible outside and trying to enjoy the last of the warm weather for the year. Well, hopefully the last of the warm weather. Surely it will cool off soon and I will be bothering you all whining about the miserable cold and snow.

A girl can dream can't she?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Car Seat Conundrum

Ok, here goes. We all know how much safer rear facing in a car seat until the limit of the seat is, right? No? Well, it is safer. Like a lot safer. Even if their legs are touching the seat, even if you want to see their face, even if you think they want to turn forward (never understood that logic. How does your kid know their seat even turns around unless you do it?). It is still safer, especially under the age of two, for them to ride facing the rear of the car. Period.

Even the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests leaving your child rear facing for as long as the car seat allows. Leaving your child rear facing until the one year mark and 20 pounds is the rule but it is the minimum. Your toddler and preschooler are at  a greater risk the moment you turn them forward facing if there is an accident. In some countries the standard is to keep children rear facing until age 4 or 5 and incidentally they have the lowest fatality rates in car accidents.

Now, those are the facts. Here is the conundrum part:

My D faces forward. He has since he hit 33lbs at about 20 months and hit the weight limit of the Britax he was using at the time for RFing. He has always done fine with facing forward. It freaked him out a bit at first but otherwise, he has been fine.

He was facing forward when we had our wreck this past winter with no ill effects. He wasn't sore or injured at all in what was a pretty bad wreck (both cars totaled).

The thing is though, it is always in te back of my mind. That he is safer rear facing. I always promised myself and my boys that I would keep them facing that way until it was not possible any more. Which I did with D at the time.

Here is the catch though, when we had that wreck, we replaced the car seats*. We replaced them with fancy ones that rear face until 45lbs. Which, for some people, is a really big kid. Not around here though. D was almost 40lbs at his 3 year weight check.

So, the fact that he could go back to rear facing has been nagging at me. He is happy facing forward, but he has had to ride in K's rear facing seat a couple of times when K wasn't with me and he was fine with that too. He is only about 6 or 7 lbs away from the weight limit, but he has reached the age where he is growing much more slowly.

Do I turn him so he is safer? Or do I not worry so much? Leave him or turn him? What would you do, given the facts and the situation?**



*Please, if you are ever in an accident, even minor, replace your car seats. Your insurance will cover them and it is so dangerous to reuse them.


**I should add that I don't care its not the mainstream thing to do. People stare at me and mumble about my choices all the time anyway so thats not a concern.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mommy Confessions

Render Me Mama


Ok, so we all have them. I have decided its time to stop keeping them to myself in hopes that other mommies will realize that none of us are perfect. Here are my dirty little secrets for the week in hopes it will encourage me to be better. What are yours?

~ This week I wasted paper. More specifically, I wasted a new roll of perfectly good paper streamer. It was one of those days where they were all over me. All over me, the sofa, the curtains, the walls. You get the point. I needed a few minutes to sit down, check email, breathe and the like so I went to the pantry to the magic distraction box (If you don't have one of those, I highly suggest it) and there it was, sitting on the top of the bin. I handed it to D and he knew just what to do. He took into the living room, called K over and they unrolled and demolished that streamer like it was Christmas and there was a prize inside. When there wasn't they just proceeded to tear the stream into tiny little pices and throw them in the air like confetti. A waste? Maybe. Bought me half an hour of uninterrupted peace though, didn't it?

~ K, my hulk baby, is a terrible clutz. He does fine unless he tries to get going to fast or is looking somewhere else while walking the other way. He is just.. clumsy. Like his Mama. The thing is, when he realizes he is going to fall, he lets out this scream. Its a terrified, unreasonable scream like he is falling off a building. I'm talking he is screaming before he gets half way to the floor. Par for the course when you just happen to be K but I have to admit, it makes me laugh. Like a lot. Of course, I would never laugh if he was hurt or in danger, but when he trips and lands on his hands and screams like a banshee just bitch slapped him, its funny.

~ Still not excited about the holidays. Still no clue why. Somebody smack me.

~ D loves the grocery store. No clue why but he does. Every time I tell him we are going there, he gets all excited and pesters me about when we are leaving until we do leave. You would think I would learn but I don't. Last night, in fact, I was headed out to the grocery store at bedtime (Crazy!) and his daddy was going to put him to bed. D came to give me a kiss before his tubby and I let the G word slip.

"Mommy is going to the grocery store, I'll come kiss you when I get back."

Big mistake. Tears welled up in his eyes and he begged to go with me. Worst. Mommy. Ever. I ended up promising him we would go today and first thing he said out of his room this morning was "Time to go to the Grocery Store!". All will be right again after we go I suppose but next time I am going to tell him I am going to Disney World. I think he would be less disappointed.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Its official!

Render Me Mama is now a .com address. Phew. That seriously took some work. I was not prepared for that shit. In theory, you click the thing, sign up for your domain and in a few days time, Voila! You have your domain.

Not for me. Surprised? Then you must be new here. Welcome.

It took almost a week, lots of tears and nasty emails to my domain people, more tears because you can't just email blogger (how much does that suck??) and then more nasty emails. It worked though, eventually.

Anyway, yay for me and RMM! Now though, I feel the need to order new cards with the new address and email on it. Someone stop me. Or don't. What do you think?

Oh, and also: I got rid of the Intense Debate commenting system which was another whole drawn out, crazy process. Its gone though and good riddance! I don't think any of my commenters had issues with it but it caused nothing but problems for me as an admin.

so, here is to changes and restoration!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Rain, Rain


Don't go away. I love gloomy days. Not in an Emo, depressing kind of way. More like low pressure. I don't feel like I have to do anything when its gloomy out.

I can just sit on my duff and drink coffee or watch movies with the boys. We create a magical land of dinosaurs and race tracks in our living room. We take long naps and bake cookies.

Whatever it is we do, we do it in our jammies and without feeling guilty about the things we should be doing. The laundry will wait, the dusting can sit until tomorrow. Today, we play and snuggle and nap.

I really could use more days like today. Rainy and gloomy and lazy and perfect.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lazy Sunday

It has been fabulous. We spent the morning sitting around watching Peanuts on the television (thank you Netflix for Wii!) then sat out in the yard for most of the day. It was nice to have somewhere to sit and just chill while the boys wreaked havoc on the yard and each other. We definitely need more outside toys though. Its supposed to rain the next few days though. Fine with me.







Saturday, November 13, 2010

It WAS a Good Day



Until the clumsy struck my poor baby. Again. He was running through the living room, tripped on his own feet and hit the floor with his face. It was a pretty classy maneuver. He is okay though. The worst part was us holding ice on it. A little booby helped that right up though and he was back to running around like a little wild man. Any one know how to teach my kids some grace?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Holidays? What Holidays?

I can't get excited about the holidays this year. Its bothering me. I am usually excited about Thanksgiving at least by now if not so excited about Christmas that I can hardly contain myself. Some years I am so excited about Christmas before Thanksgiving gets here that I am totally burnt out on the idea by the time the holiday actually gets here. 

Not this year though and I am having a hard time finding something to blame. I got a little excited about some of the deals on toys that I have found but I just can't get into the spirit. 


I am not even excited about the food people. Thats crazy talk for me. I am always excited about food. 


We usually decorate for Christmas the weekend before Thanksgiving but in this mood I don't even want to think about dragging that stuff down from the attic. We just put it up there.

I am really hoping that something happens soon. Keep your shit crossed people. Otherwise this is going to be a long winter. 




*By the way, my site is still transferring so if you try to visit and it doesn't come up, don't worry. You can always reach me at rendermemamadk@gmail.com too.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mommy Confessions

Render Me Mama


Ok, so we all have them. I have decided its time to stop keeping them to myself in hopes that other mommies will realize that none of us are perfect. Here are my dirty little secrets for the week in hopes it will encourage me to be better. What are yours?

~My boys love the vacuum. K loves to ride the vacuum. Or at least attempt to. D loves to run through the house screaming like a maniac on fire while I do it. Because of this, it offers a great distraction on days when they start to lose their shit for various reasons. This week, they are both going through a growth spurt. They are extra hungry, extra sleepy, extra cranky. Both of them. So, need less to say, I have the cleanest carpet in Georgia this week. 
~I have done all of the holiday shopping I have done so far with the boys in tow. K is too young to know or care. D however, has unwittingly tested and fondled all of his presents already. At least I know he will like them?

~We have lived in this house for 6 weeks. One of the main reasons we decided on this house was because of the fenced, grassy backyard for the boys to play in safely. We were so excited that they would have a yard. I realized yesterday, we have taken advantage of it exactly twice. The first time was shortly after we moved in and had some friends over. The second was the day our patio furniture was delivered the week after we moved in. Even today, I took the boys outside to play but we went out front so D could ride his tricycle. 

~K ate a bug. For real this time. I squished it on the floor of the garage with a shoe, went to get a paper towel and came back to no bug and a toddler with a disgusted look on his face. Apparently garage bugs aren't tasty. Who knew?

~I let my kids have some of the raw cookie dough from the cookies we made. Shock! Horror! Guess what? It was worth it. Seeing the look on D's face. K didn't care for it but D was immediately hooked. His eyes light up when he tasted it and he smiled his sneaky, happy smile. 


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Just an FYI

Things may look and feel a little weird around here for a bit... If you have any problems contact me at rendermemamadk@gmail.com

Mommy Needs Coffee

Ever have one of those weeks where you feel like you are running in circles? Where you are doing the same set of five things over and over? I woke up this morning thinking that was me this week and then I realized it was only Tuesday. Damn.

It has already begun. The Christmas crazies are out in full force. The road by the mall was packed and overflowing this weekend and it will only get worse from here on out. Soon people will be crowding the stores and getting ugly with the store clerks and each other. As prices fall, the looneys come out.

I meant to be mostly done with shopping by now. That didn't happen. I am mostly done buying for the boys though. That is the crazy part. People get really nasty with each other over kids toys this time of year. I wonder why that is. Like little Lanie will be happier about her Barbie if mommy goes to jail for it.

The pre Thanksgiving sales have been pretty damned good this year too and that has helped. I have to admit that I am one of those people that generally tries to get things on sale but if its not and I want to get it for my kid, I don't care how much it costs. So far though, I have saved over 80 bucks. Not bad, right? Been using Target's price matching policy against them. Turns out they will honor the Toys R Us holiday toy book prices and then take the Target toy book coupons on top of that. You didn't hear that here though. Or maybe you did. And?

I got up this morning to a messy house for the second day in a row too. I hate that. I have been so good about keeping things picked up since we moved. Here is the thing though, I get tired of picking up after Tommy. I don't mind picking up after the boys and myself. We are here all the time and make the majority of the m mess. However, T's mess just makes me bitter. Its not really even that he is messy but he leaves stuff sitting around and doesn't take the trash out even after I have asked him a million times in two days. Something we need to work on.

So, I have been running and shopping on top of all the regular fun of being a mommy and keeping house and all that jazz. So, needless to say, Coffee has been my best friend come morning time lately. Sometimes afternoon time too. Its funny to me (and my mother) because I didn't used to be a coffee drinker at all. Maybe a couple of cups a year. Then came Starbucks and I got used to it. Then I got pregnant and was breastfeeding. Then I got pregnant again and was breastfeeding. I didn't drink anything but decaf for almost three years but it has slowly gotten more and more necessary for me to have coffe in the mornings. I supposed that is why its so bad for you. Addictions of any kind are bad. At least I am not craving Heroin or something though.

So, if you can't tell by my rambling this morning, things are just a little scrambled this week. Or at least this morning. Coffee is my crutch. What is yours? 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Music Monday




 Music is a huge part of Tommy and I's relationship. Its something we bonded over in the beginning and still connect with now.  I will be posting the lyrics to a song and what it means to me every Monday (hopefully). At least until I run out of interesting things to say (Or I forget). Make sense? Feel free to do your own but please link back to me and add your site to the comments below!


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Love the Way You Lie by Eminem Ft. Rhianna





Been awhile, no? I haven't been posting MM because I didn't have much to say regarding music and such and didn't want to fill feeds with gibberish. This song though, I have some things to say. If you don't know the song or haven't watched the video, I suggest you do that first.

First, I love the rhythm of this song. I admit it, I sing and dance to it in the car. Its catchy and has that mix of rough male vocals and sweet, dreamy female vocals that get into my head.

BUT. It bothers me. The lyrics bother me to my core. Especially given the young audience that most of this type of music reaches. Abusive relationships are not something to be glorified. Especially by a woman that barely escaped one herself. Women should never give the idea that its okay for a man to treat a woman like crap. To blatantly threaten her and say these types of things. Even for the sake of art.

Also, The truth is, women hate the way you lie, Mr. Mathers. Lies in a relationship are the number one way to kill it. Even little lies. Trust is not something that should be discounted or toyed with. To me, a lying man is an abusive man. Lies do nothing but hurt and it is a conscious kind of hurt. Not okay.

Then there is the video. It got some flack when it first came out and I didn't see it so I just kind of ignored it but then it came up in an auto rotation on YouTube a few weeks ago and I watched it. I can see how people were upset now. Not only do they describe domestic violence but they decided to show it. And make it all sexy like. "Look, this is how sexy looks, young minds!", "Almost punching your girlfriend in the face makes for great foreplay!". Or not.

I know a lot of people probably thing I am overreacting or blowing it up but they aren't me, are they? For me, this song takes it too far. This isn't a song about overcoming abuse, this is a song about why abuse is acceptable and worth sticking around for. To me, that is a bad message. A bad message for kids, for teens, for people who may be in an abusive relationship already. Its hard enough to walk away and break the cycle of abuse without someone serenading them and showing them that its somehow sexy.

Like I said before, I like the rhythm, I like the song but I don't like the lyrics. As a man with an abusive mother and a woman that was beaten by her boyfriend to the point of hospitalization, they had the potential to reach a lot of hurting people but this is what they chose? Hmm.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Family Time

It's been a nice weekend. T was off, so we tried to cram a ton of stuff into it, which of course resulted in all of us being totally exhausted.


Saturday, I woke up mostly unable to use my right arm. Something in my shoulder had twisted or popped and I could no longer raise my arm without pretty significant pain. It made things pretty interesting. Especially getting dressed.The pain had mostly subsided by this morning but it still hurts to raise my arm over about shoulder height.


Eventually, we took a trip to Toys R Us to look around and get some ideas for Christmas. Turned out they were having some kind of huge holiday kick off event and it was mad busy but we got out of there with some cool samples, a present for D and lots of great ideas. Turns out the thing I was thinking of getting as D's big present, they had out as a floor sample type thing. He played with it for almost half an hour in the store. Which is almost unheard of for him. Now I just have to figure out how to pay for it.


After a quick lunch, I took the boys home for nap time (which apparently turned into complete hilarity on T, which I found a guilty kind of pleasure in) and then went to Target.


Alone. As in, by myself. Does it make me a bad Mama to admit it was bliss? For an hour I wandered around, touching things I had no intention of buying. Putting them in my cart, only to abandon them later in another area of the store (Sorry Target people). Lots of glass candle holders and fragile looking knick knacks. Things I normally wouldn't bother looking at, much less pushing around in my cart for any length of time.


Eventually though, I got bored and started missing the little monsters. Well, that and the frantic text messages from T informing me of the nap time drama unfolding at the house. So, I went home and we got us all packed up for the next adventure.


Next thing I knew, I was driving my Chrysler minivan through a cotton field in the middle of nowhere, one handed with my family and in laws in the back, on the way to a bonfire for my husband's step sister in law's mother's 50th birthday party. Still with me? Yeah, that was fun. Then a few hours later, I got to do it again.  


We had a good time though. It was bitterly cold but the fire was warm. We went on a hayride too through the fields and looked at the stars. I had forgotten how many there were. Gorgeous.


It was nice seeing T hang out with some of his high school buddies too. He loves to cut up and have a good time and it was nice to see him let loose. He is so shy around people he doesn't know well and so its hard for him to make new friends. Sometimes old friends are just what the doctor ordered though.


Anyway, today we got up and went to a jump house to let the boys play and we ended up all playing until we were exhausted and breathless. Turns out bounce houses are good exercise for adults too.


Then the normal things again: Lunch, nap, dinner. I went out during naps again but the boys played nice and took a good nap and I was rushing around so it wasn't as relaxing as the day before. Got a lot more done and sometimes that is what is important. I'm feeling it now though. Being in constant movement for two days. I'm exhausted. The boys are exhausted. Tommy is exhausted.


Tomorrow though, its back to the same old grind. T goes back to work. I go back to the laundry and cooking and cleaning routine.


This weekend was much needed. A little time to reconnect and find our family groove again. T working so much has taken a toll on his relationship with the boys and with me. Not been a good few months. Hopefully soon things will settle down but first we need to make it through the holidays as a united front. Hopefully this weekend helped secure that front. We will know soon. Thanksgiving is coming up fast. Are you ready?



Saturday, November 6, 2010

Long Winterly Night



Fall sneaked up on us. Warm and toasty last week, cold and snowy this week. It sleeted yesterday here in the ATL. Unheard of this time of year but it happened.


Tonight, I am sitting here on front of a bonfire somewhere way out in the sticks. Normally I hate being out this far but it feels good tonight.


Maybe its the fire.


Maybe its the feeling of the calm before the storm of the holidays.


Either way, its nice. Welcome fall. Nice to see you again.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Playground Dos and Please Don’ts.

Some of you know this already, but I was a preschool teacher, elementary school aid, elementary school after school teacher and a nanny for many years before I became a mother myself. As a matter of fact, I have been dealing with children in a supervisory type situation for more than half my life. Scary, right?


Anyway, needless to say, I have seen my fair share of playgrounds in my time. Along with that time, I have seen many playground follies and bullies as well. Some parents don't seem to ever read the playground rules signs. Even if there isn't one, there is a list of unsaid rules that kids should follow. These are basic facts of life and safety that should be common sense. However, some parents don't seem to be aware of these, so I thought I would put the top 5 out there.


  1. Feet first down the slide, one at a time. So many kids need to hear this rule. If they are going up the slide, they face one of two outcomes. First, they will get kicked in the face by my kid coming down the right way. Second, they will keep the kid at the top from coming down at all. Now, which of these would you like to happen to your kid? Neither? Okay then. 
  2. No Pushing. Seriously, no pushing. Even if my kid pushed your kid first it is not okay for your kid to push mine down the stairs. I will deal with my child on the pushing issue, your 3 year old needs to back off.
  3. If the height limit is 40" and your kid is 5' 10", please for the love of all things Holy, don't let your kids play on that playground. 
  4. Watch your children. That seems like a big fat duh, right? Well, unfortunately some mothers seem to feel that if there are other mothers standing around, that they have it handled. I have seen so many kids get hurt because they were doing something dangerous while mommy had her face glued to her phone or a magazine. Sometimes the parents aren't even in sight. They go for a walk and leave their 5 year old alone on the playground. Kids need supervision. That is kind of the point of being a kid.
  5. No throwing mulch/ wood chips/ shredded tire material/ whatever the ground it covered in. Balls or other actual toys are just a hazard of being around playing kids and those are fine. Ground covering = not toys. It is there to protect the kids who are clumsy (like mine) or are doing dangerous things while not being watched. Not for throwing. Plus, for some reason, I always manage to get things in my eye that have been thrown by some one else's (probably unsupervised) little darling. Once, I got a wood particle under my contact lens. Not cool.
So, lets see if we can all abide by these okay? Simple enough, and keeps people from getting hurt, right?


Do you have any to add? 

    Thursday, November 4, 2010

    Mommy Confessions

    Render Me Mama


    Ok, so we all have them. I have decided its time to stop keeping them to myself in hopes that other mommies will realize that none of us are perfect. Here are my dirty little secrets for the week in hopes it will encourage me to be better. What are yours?




    ~ I ate the kid's Halloween candy. Now, that may sound like kind of a big duh but let me tell you guys.. I ate. it. all. Well, all the good stuff. I left the nasty cookies and cream Hershey's and the random suckers. It was calling to me from the top of the fridge in all its unhealthy, tasty glory. It started as a "I'll just eat the Reese's" then turned into an all day, all night pork fest where I only ate candy. Even the crap candy that was left was still calling me but I was able to look away.


    Next year I think I will have to have the kids hide the candy from me instead of me hiding it from them.

    ~ During nap time one day this week, I got the scare of my life. T and I were laying in our room talking while he was on a break between jobs when the doorbell rang. He jumped up and went to get it while I got some pants on to come out. It was the neighbors from across the street coming to tell us that D had opened his window and was making an attempt at escaping his bedroom window to the yard. Freaked. Out.


    I had tried to open his window before and I couldn't easily get it open so stupid me assumed it just wouldn't open. Or at least that D wouldn't be able to open it. I was wrong.


    Not only did he get the window open but he also almost got the screen out and escaped into the yard. Needless to say, his window is now blocked by his huge dresser and screwed shut.


    My mind has been buzzing with the what ifs since then. What if he had gotten out and gotten hit by a car? What if he had been taken? What if is a scary and terrible thing as a parent. Add in the guilt of having tried and dismissed the threat and I officially feel like the worst parent on the planet.

    ~ A little back story on this one: My mother stayed with us on Monday night. She does that sometimes when she wants to spend a little extra time with the boys. Also, I have mentioned a couple of times that D has started having a little anxiety and nightmares. Normal for the age, not worried about it, its only happened a couple of times. Also, also I had changed his sheets.


    Anyway, I let D pick out a movie for him and his Nana to watch while I made our dinner and he picked the movie "The Incredibles". Now, he has seen that movie a hundred times but not in a few months so I thought nothing of it. He seemed fine and watched the whole thing, in two parts because of dinner, and then we started getting ready to go to bed.


    When my mom went to tuck him in, he had a minor freak out about the sheets. He insisted I put the rocket ship sheets back on his bed or he was just not going to sleep in there. That should have been the first warning sign. Put the blankets and pillowcase back on and he calmed down and went right to sleep.


    About an hour later though, he woke up screaming in a complete, sweaty panic. I got up and ran into his room and he was sitting up in his bed, thrashing around and screaming at the top of his lungs. It was the kind of nightmare that he was having a hard time waking up from. It took about five minutes, a glass of juice and some serious snuggles for him to calm down. Once he did, he told me he never wanted to watch "scawy movie" ever again. I agreed whole heartedly and almost threw it in the trash as soon as I left the room. My poor bubs.
    ~ I hid in the bathroom. Again. This time in public. I was out with all three boys and seriously just needed a minute. Or five. So, I excused myself to "use the bathroom" and let T wrangle the two wild, screaming monkeys while I sat in the quiet bathroom and checked Twitter. It was nice but not long enough. Also: no candy.




    So, anyone else eat their weight in candy then nearly lose/ scare thier kid to death only to hide from them in the bathroom later? Or do I officially win Mother of the Year? Le sigh.

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