February 26, 2011

Ready to be Home

What a great week.  Sure, we had our ups and downs, and ohmygoodness YES we did get a bit tired of each other from time to time in this one condo, but overall I am going to have a lot of very fond memories of this vacation.  I hate that I had to leave my job & students to come here (taking three personal days and one day of leave without pay to do it)...but when we got hit with Snowmaggedon in January and lost a whole week of school, winter break was taken from us.  I could have stayed home and worked while the rest of the family came here to Myrtle Beach, but I am so glad I didn't.  Yep, there's gonna be a lot of work to do to catch up with what was missed while I was here, but its worth it.
Andrew turned FIVE years old on Thursday (the 24th). Celebrating his birthday at the beach was just wonderful for him.  He was so excited and is still talking about how he's "a whole hand" now, and "so much bigger than Hannah."  We spent the day at the Aquarium here, then went to lunch at Sticky Fingers (yum!).  Thursday night (after naps, of course), we grilled hot dogs and hamburgers and enjoyed his birthday cake (a cookies & cream ice cream cake from Wally World).  Side note:  I think I have gained back all the weight I had lost before coming here.  Jillian stayed in the suitcase the entire time.  I have been a bad girl and I have a feeling Jillian will not be happy with me.  I'm scared to get the DVD out again.
I do have to say, though...I am so ready to be home.  I miss my bed, I miss my dog, I miss my three kitties.  I miss my messy house and all its imperfections.  I miss my routine.  Its HOME.  Dorothy really hit the nail on the head when she said, "There's no place like home."  Its nice to take a time-out from the day-to-day routine and enjoy a vacation with extended family, but home is where the heart is.  (Man, I am full of cliches today, huh?)  Anyway...
For now, I am enjoying the peace and quiet (Chris and kids are napping, and both of his brothers have headed back to their respective homes) and looking forward to a quiet evening of dinner, movies, and getting packed to head home tomorrow.  Its been fun, but home is waiting.

February 23, 2011

That's What She Said.

Oh my gosh.  If I had a dollar for every time I've heard (or said) that phrase in the past few days, I would have PLENTY of money to go blow at Kohl's.  (Kohl's is my own personal Disneyworld.)  Seriously, my brothers-in-law are hilarious, but Jason has had me laughing more this week than I have laughed in a long, long time.  Man, I love to laugh...

So, anyway, Myrtle Beach is great so far!  We haven't done a *ton* of running around, but we have sure had a lot of fun.  We got here @ 6 pm on Sunday night, so we basically just hung out, got settled, then put the kids to bed.  We watched a little TV, talked to Jason & Lesley (Chris' brother and wife), played with Reese (their 1-yr-old son) for a bit then hit the sack ourselves.  Jane & Wayne (Chris' parents, aka Mamaw & Papaw) are not staying here with us...They drove their camper down so they are staying at a local campground which is really nice.

Since it was all a bit new to Andrew (and Chris was snoring), I slept in the twin bed next to Andrew in his room.  Chris slept in our room near the pack-n-play which held Hannah.  I did not sleep well, being that it was the first time I'd been in a twin bed in I-don't-know-how-long, so Monday was long and tiring.  We went out to the lake (pond?) here at the condo complex to feed the ducks, geese, and swans, which the kids loved.  The kids and I went to the playground, Chris, Jason & Wayne went to the tennis courts to play for a bit, then it was time for lunch and naps.  Woot!

After naps, we all went to Jane & Wayne's campground to visit their indoor pool.  The kids LOVED it.  I *so* need to get them swimming lessons this summer so I can not be as worried while they are splashing and enjoying the water so much.  After wearing ourselves out swimming, we drove around and checked out the strip.  We have seen (not gone in, but seen) all kinds of interesting places...Dirty Dick's, The Gay Dolphin, Captain Poo's, Big A$$ Sandwich Station, Suck Bang Blow (this is apparently a biker bar...nice.), and The Beaver Bar.  We were told Myrtle Beach was a family-friendly place, but I'm not so sure!  (Just kidding!)  That night, after the kids were in bed, we all stayed up to play Give & Take (one of our favorite card games), and we laughed more than we actually played, I think.  I swear we broke the record for the number of times a person could actually say "that's what she said" in a couple of hours' time.

On Tuesday, we drove around some more and ate at a great little out-of-the-way place -- just us and Mamaw.  It was a beautiful day so afterwards we went to play on the playground at Jane & Wayne's campground. The kids had a ball and, once again, wore themselves out!  Naptime was nearing, so Chris took the kids back to the condo and I took Jane & Wayne to Kohl's for their first.ever.visit.  It was awesome.  I racked up on summer clothes for Hannah, a couple of last-minute birthday gifts for Andrew, and a couple of things for myself.  Jane racked up as well and is now just as enamored with Kohl's as I am!  Yay!  A convert!
Today we went to a local zoo...just me, Chris, and the kids...and we had a great time.  Uncle Timmy (Chris' brother) arrived late this afternoon, just as we were pulling up, so Andrew is beside himself with joy.  Uncle Timmy is great at fighting and playing with Andrew, so he loves him to death.  It was hard, but we finally got the kids down for a nap.  Now Chris & the guys are out on the town at an awesome place called The Beaver Bar.  I am worried they may not make it home. :)

February 20, 2011

CVS Sunday!

I am so excited...As a newbie to the whole couponing thing, this is by far my best visit ever to CVS!  (Yes, we drove to Myrtle Beach today, but I just *had* to stop at CVS to do my thing!)  Today I got the above pictured items for a grand total of $7.35! I left with $2 in Extra Care Bucks (ECB) to use next time, so its kinda like paying $5 for it all. Here's how it went:

1st transaction
1 tube of Colgate Total toothpaste ($2.99)
Palmolive Dish soap ($0.97)
-$1 ECB from last visit
-$1 off coupon for the toothpaste
TOTAL: $2.24
Received $2 ECB

2nd transaction
1 tube of Colgate Total toothpaste ($2.99)
-$0.75 off coupon for the toothpaste
-$2 ECB (just received)
TOTAL: $0.45
Received $2 ECB

3rd transaction
Herbal Essences shampoo ($2.99)
Herbal Essences conditioner ($2.99)
-$1 off coupon for the shampoo
-$2 ECB
Received $2 ECB

4th transaction
Purex 3in1 laundry sheets ($3.99)
-$3 off coupon
TOTAL: $1.27

And I still have the $2 ECB to save for next time!  Woot!  I know others do so much better, but I'm still proud of myself.

OH!  And...I entered a contest a while back on Coupon Geek's blog to win a Bob Harper (Trainer Bob from The Biggest Loser) workout DVD and I won!  Woohoo!  Now I have another workout to do to kinda "mix it up" so I don't have to spend too much time with Jillian.  Not that I don't love her, but...yeah.

So not only am I at the beach, but I had a good shopping day and won a new workout DVD!  All in all, a fabulous day if I do say so myself!

February 19, 2011


Ugh, I have been suck a slacker lately and its making me miserable.  I went almost an entire week without exercising because of running around here and there or just flat out being lazy.  I got back into my routine on Wednesday night when I went to Zumba, but didn't have time Thursday to hang out with Jillian.  I *did* get some quality time with her yesterday, though, and yes...it darn near killed me.  WOW. She must have been really mad about me not watching her DVD for like a week because she was so tough!  Anyway, I promised her I would take her to the beach to make up for it.

Yep, we are headed to the beach for a week.  Myrtle Beach, SC, to be exact.  WOOHOO!  I am very excited.  I am NOT excited that my Mid-Winter Break was taken away because of Snowmaggedon 2011 (whereby we lost an entire week of school and the geniuses in the county office decided we'd just cancel the Feb. break), but at least I have an INCREDIBLE principal who understands that travel arrangements had been made and no refunds could be attained.  So, here I am, using up all my personal days and taking one day of "leave without pay" to go on a great trip with my hubby, kids, and in-laws (Chris' mom and stepdad, Chris' brother Timmy, Chris' brother Jason, his wife Lesley, and their son Reese).  Its gonna be crazy and loud, but a whole lotta fun.  I can't wait to see what happens.  Andrew & Hannah can't wait to see their Mamaw & Papaw, and I know Chris and I are hoping to have at least one date night ALONE while we're up there.

So anyway, that's what's going on.  I've been a slacker as far as working out and blogging (two things I enjoy IMMENSELY and always make me feel better), but I'm taking both my laptop and Jillian DVD to the beach with me, so there will be no excuse to not keep everyone posted on the insanity as it happens. :)  Have a good week, y'all!

February 11, 2011

Another sign I'm getting old...

So I was at Zumba on Wednesday night and we did a new routine to Ke$ha's "Tick Tock."  Yeah, so I've never really listened to the lyrics to this song, but as I listened and danced, I caught some disturbing thoughts running through my head.  Thoughts that made me think, "WOW.  I am old."

For example, here's the first verse and my thoughts about the words:

I wake up in the mornin' feeling like P Diddy, (who?)
Got my glasses, I'm out the door, I'm gonna hit this city.
Before I leave brush my teeth with a bottle of jack 
(Oh, now that is SO bad for your teeth!  I am horrified.  What must her dentist think??)
'Cause when I leave for the night I ain't coming back. (Huh?  Out all night?  What about sleep? I can't stay up past 11 pm!)

And the second verse:
Ain't got a care in the world, (wow, that must be nice) but got plenty of beer, (Yuck.)
Ain't got no money in my pocket but I'm already here. 
(Umm, how are you paying for the beer?)
Now the dudes are lining up cause they hear we got swagger,
(Ohhhh, that's how you're getting the beer...I see.)
But we kick them to the curb unless they look like Mick Jagger! 
(Seriously?  Mick Jagger?  I could think of *so* many more beautiful men.  Oh, wait...you were just trying to rhyme.  Ah, I see.)

So, yeah...Apparently, I am not only OLD but also crazy, because there I was trying to make Ke$ha lyrics make sense.  Next week I will just Zumba and not pay attention to the words. 

ETA: I totally can't stop thinking about how she's brushing her teeth with a bottle of Jack.  Ugh.  That is just so bad for her teeth.  Someone needs to tell her dentist.

February 10, 2011

A Phase?

Dude...don't tempt me!
GAHHHH, Hannah has me so bewildered lately.  I don't know what the heck is going on most of the time.  She's happy-sad-happy-sad-happy-sad-happy-sad...you get the idea.  I never know if I'm coming home to a happy or VERY sad baby.  I can tell by the way Chris picks up the phone (as I call him the minute I get in the car to leave the school) whether its been a good or bad day.  She is *so* very demanding.  And emotional.  And stubborn.  Not like anyone else I know....


So anyway.  The biggest problem she has lately is the separation anxiety or mommy addiction or whatever the heck you wanna call it.   When I get home its al mommy-mommy-mommy and the SECOND I try to go make dinner or - God forbid - talk to Andrew or Chris, there's a complete and total meltdown of the highest degree.  I'm currently banished to the upstairs to hide in our room because she's much happier and calmer if I'm not down there.  Gah...I want to be with my family but I don't want to make her miserable!

I feel like I've traumatized her by going to work or something.  Honestly -- it kind of makes me worry that I've scarred her emotionally by going to work!  She's great when she's at preschool and home with Chris.  Once I get home, though, she's so freaked out by my being out of her sight...I try to hold her, snuggle her, kiss her, be with her every minute I can before she goes to bed, but its never enough.  I even hold her on my lap when I go to the bathroom!  Its ridiculous.

Its as if Hannah has a bottomless love tank that cannot be filled.  The more time I spend with her, the more time she wants with me.  I feel awful for Andrew because I know he loves his time with me as well, but he's so mellow he's not going to throw a tantrum about it, therefore he doesn't get any time (at least, not until Hannah goes to sleep).  Its kind of like that saying, "the squeaky wheel gets the grease"...Its so unfair and I don't know how to make it right.  Sigh...

I'm just so overwhelmed and worried that there's something more going on with her.  Maybe its just a phase?  A phase that's been going on for more than two and a half years? 

February 8, 2011

Reasons to Smile

 1.)  Hannah's silly little self.

Hannah has finally discovered the joy of hair bows.  For two and a half years I have been trying to control her unruly hair with a bow or two, and she has steadfastly refused.  Today a good friend gave me a huge bag of bows that her girls had gotten too big for (or their hair had gotten too thick for), and when Hannah saw them she went crazy.  She LOVED them and insisted that I put as many in her hair as possible.  I just LOVE this girl's strong will and creativity (for today, at least!)...

2.)  Andrew's love of snuggle time.

I love when he cuddles up in the bed with us after his bath, in those moments when Hannah has already gone to bed and he has the two of us all to himself.  I love the way he props himself up in our bed and chillaxes with us for a bit before he heads to bed himself.  GAAAHHH, I love that kid.

3.)   A new kitty who fits in as if she's always been here.  Despite the potty issues we've had, she's a sweet kitty who is so patient with the kids and has been a good companion to our black kitty, Buddy (who still misses his best friend, Toby).  We have a LOT to be grateful for.  Life is GOOD.

February 7, 2011

Back to the Land of the Living

Whew!  After four days of feeling H-O-R-R-I-B-L-E, I am on the mend.  Not 100% yet, but getting there.  I actually went to Zumba tonight, too, which I thought might wear me down and make me feel worse, but actually energized me and made me feel better. :)  Heehee.  Funny how that works.  Being sick, I hadn't exercised since doing my 20 minutes with Jillian last Tuesday, so I am definitely feeling it, but its nice to get that endorphin release that comes with good, fun exercise.  Tomorrow its back to Jillian, and I will be trying the move up to level TWO.  Finally.

I might need this book.
 In other news, the new cat has presented a bit of a problem.  Maggie either does not know how to use a litter box, or is having such tummy troubles that she can't get there in time.  (I mean, the cat was starving...she might be having a bit of trouble adjusting to having access to cat food on a regular basis.)  We've been finding messes on the carpet, which SUCKS.  We had a horrible time keeping the house clean of Toby's messes for about a year before he died, so we do NOT want another cat who's going to be causing that kind of problem.  Buddy (the black cat) and Rosie (the dog) love her, and the kids absolutely ADORE her, so we can't totally kick her out, but still...yikes.  I am going to try putting her in the laundry room for the night with a litter box and see if she goes in it.  We tried that on Saturday night and it went very well.  She did use the box (no messes!) and went all day Sunday with no accidents on the carpet.  This morning, however, there was one in our room, and Chris told me there were three more throughout the day.  Ew.  Can't deal with that.  So, sweet as she is, she might have to be more of an outdoor cat until (or unless) she gets the hang of using the box and/or her tummy gets settled so there are no accidents.  Yes, I am a sap and I refuse to make her go outside in the cold, rainy weather.

School is great.  The kids all seemed happy to see me after me not being there for two days last week.  That was kinda nice.  Andrew & Hannah are happy that I can cuddle them more now and have more energy to play/talk/read/obey their every whim. :)  Chris is certainly glad to not be quite the single parent he's had to be the last few days.  He may whine and fuss a bit, but really...he's a great guy who does WAY more for me and the kids than the average husband/father.  He's a keeper, for sure.

February 5, 2011

Happy Pills

Time for complete honesty.  Here's what's up.  I had a really hard time after Hannah was born.  It was so bad that I mentioned it to my doctor at my 6 week postpartum checkup.  She prescribed Zoloft at that point and, two and half years later, I am still taking the stuff.  I have tried to stop cold turkey (BAD idea), and I've tried to wean myself off of it...Neither worked.  Lately I have had some pretty bad episodes of depression so I've sought out a Christian counselor to help me deal with the everyday stress of life but he can't really help with the medical side of things.  Today I went to see an MD who, in the mere 30 minutes I spent with him, helped me gain a whole new perspective on the medication thing.  So many people think its a sign of weakness that I have to take this medication daily but, as he put it, if your body needs a synthetic thyroid hormone - like mine does - you take it!  Apparently carrying and giving birth to a girl can mess with your seratonin levels.  (I didn't know that!)  If a person is predisposed to depression (and I believe I am), the hormonal changes can cause the brain to stop producing adequate levels of seratonin.  Also, my hypothyroidism can definitely contribute to depression, so its important for me to keep close tabs on my thyroid levels and keep my meds adjusted.  So here I am.  The doctor doubled my Zoloft dosage and wants to see me again in a month to see if things are better.  I feel positive about it and I hope that my sharing the honest truth helps somebody out there feel a little more normal.
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February 4, 2011

New Addition

Before anyone freaks out, NO I am NOT pregnant.  Heck no.  If something like that were to happen I wouldn't be able to post because I would be passed out from shock.

No, the addition I am speaking of has come to us in feline form.  She appeared on our front porch last night, much to the delight of the kids (especially Hannah).  We fed her, of course...poor thing was starving and so skinny.  She ate and ate, and we fixed her a soft blanket for a bed on the porch to help her stay warm.  Go ahead and say it...We are SUCKERS.

The cat is certainly no fool because she stuck around through the night and when I woke up this morning (I stayed home another day to try to get over this crap) the cat was in the house.  Uh oh.  Once the cat gets inside there's no going back.  Our other pets were curious but have so far gotten along with her quite well.  Andrew called her Maggie this morning, and the name has stuck.

She is currently curled up on our king size bed next to my husband.  I guess its official.  She's now a part of the family.  Welcome, Maggie.

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February 2, 2011

The Sickies

I feel like I need to be running around shouting "unclean! unclean!" like they did back in Old Testament times.  I've been pushing and pushing myself to keep going and now here I am knocked on my butt.  My voice is practically gone, and I am achy and have a sore throat and a sinus headache you would not believe...Ugh.  I have a feeling I am going to have to bite the bullet and call in sick tomorrow.  Boo.  My first sick day all year.  I've had perfect attendance this year and I'm really quite proud of it.  To have two small children who go to preschool and still be able to go to work every single day is an impressive feat for me.  Last year we had to deal with ear infections, the swine flu (Chris AND the kids had it), and an appendicitis scare from the hubby that ended up being a diverticulitis attack.  It was rough...I was out a lot.  So far this year...nothing.  (Of course, now that I type this, we'll ALL be sick.)
So anyway...I think tomorrow I may stay home, try to rest and recover, and hide from the kids.  My theory is that the more I try to just push through it, the longer this crud will stick around, therefore the longer I will continue to feel like poo.  I'm hoping a day of rest will help me feel much better and get me back to normal so I can help Chris get the toys put away (our house seriously looks like a ToysRUs exploded in here) and give him a break.  Lord knows he needs it, too.
Pray for us, y'all!
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