Thursday, December 31, 2009

last new years eve..

All I can seem to think about today is what I was doing last year on this day.

Last year on this day I was in the hospital.

  • I was waiting (impatiently) to have Jack.
  • I was scared.
  • I was nervous.
  • I was happy.
  • I was MISSING MY GIRLS sooo badly.
  • I was hoping and praying for a high platelet count.
  • I was hoping and praying for him to "catch up" quickly.
  • I was hoping and praying that nothing was wrong with his belly.
  • I was hoping and praying I'd get to see my LAST baby before anyone else in the family (no such luck).
  • I was hoping I could handle 3 babies in less than 4 years.

I have no idea what 2010 is going to hold for our family, but I do know that we have been very blessed during 2009 and that's all we can really hope for.

Monday, December 28, 2009

everyone else is doing it

Since everyone else is doing it, I guess I'll do MY Christmas recap with a few of the million pics I took. :D

Well, we have definitely had a BUSY last 5 days. AWESOME, but busy.

Wednesday, we went to this free family event that was sponsored by the local churches, called "The Arctic Express". It was fun and the kids had a really good time.

Thursday we had some fun checking out the lights (see the video in my last post), after opening some new Christmas PJ's.

Christmas day was awesome, of course! We did just what we ALL wanted to do. We stayed home and enjoyed the day playing with toys, visiting with family and eating! The kids LOVED all their gifts. We had a yummy dinner, of which, there were NO leftovers! (I'm thinking about going and buying another ham so we can have some "leftovers" lol).


Saturday morning Josh's dad brought gifts over and we had a nice Christmas visit with them.
TANGENT:I think that my father in law is the best "receiver" of gifts that I know. No matter what it is, he is always so thankful and appreciative of it. I know that's a strange thing to say, but I always think of that because I hate when you think you got someone something they will like and they are just like "eh". He is never like that. He always recognizes the work that was put into something etc.





Also Saturday afternoon was my dad's family Christmas party which was lots of fun. There were quite a few people missing, but also some out of towners that got to be there, so that was really nice.


Sunday we went to my moms house for our Christmas visit. We got to see my Grandma (first time since June) so that was really good. And everyone got some really nice gifts and had some good food.
So the next couple days are going to be spent finding places for the new toys, getting rid of some old ones and catching up on the laundry (for me) and playing with new toys and watching new movies (for the kids). I hope everyone had a WONDERFUL Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Some awesome Christmas Lights

video

This year, we spent our Christmas Eve checking out the Christmas lights around here (after putting on new Christmas Eve jammies :D). A couple of houses were AMAZING and I took a video of the one house. Enjoy!

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Not wrong, just different

  • Why do some people have the "my way or the highway" mentality? Just because something is different, doesn't make it wrong.
  • Why do I HAVE to do things the way you did them?
  • Why must everything I do be taken as a personal insult?
  • When will it be OK for me to raise MY CHILDREN, MY WAY?
  • Why would a 40-something woman liken herself to a 90-something great grandmother, just to prove a point?
  • Why would a grandma THREATEN to move 12 hrs away from her grandchildren, or never get them Christmas gifts again just because she can't get her way?
  • Why would someone accuse her own daughter of not loving her?
  • Why would someone keep herself from seeing her own family on Christmas out of sheer stubbornness?
  • Why would someone who supposedly "hates" the way her mother acts, act THE EXACT SAME WAY?
  • Why, would you act like a petulant child because everything can't be the exact way you want it?
  • Why wouldn't you just enjoy the second best option and make it as nice as possible?

These are the questions plaguing my brain for the last couple of days (among many others). I guess there are some people that I will never understand. People that need to control everything and everyone and have everything THEIR WAY, or just not at all. I feel like I can't make everyone happy, no matter what I do. So I've chosen my children, my husband and myself. I've chosen our happiness over hers. And I still feel like a failure. But I'm a failure either way, so...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Best Christmas Movies

I've been called a Christmas fanatic, a Christmas-aholic and a Christmas freak (upon many others, I'm sure lol). So I'd like to share some Christmas wisdom. And what do I know more about than Christmas?...MOVIES of course! So here are some that I watch at Christmastime (or all year long lol). They aren't in any particular order, just what I thought of when I started typing. If you feel that a grave miscarriage of justice has been done because I've left off one of your favorites, let me know, I may have just forgotten it because I've had a long couple of days. And also, if you haven't see ALL of these movies...WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR...CHRISTMAS?! ;-)
Christmas with the Kranks
The Santa Clause
Elf
The Polar Express
Miracle on 34th St (the original, but preferably in color)
A Christmas Story
Planes, Trains & Automobiles
The Family Stone
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
A Christmas Carol
National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
Home Alone (I will include 1 & 2, but NOT 3)
Frosty the Snowman
A Charlie Brown Christmas
It's a Wonderful Life
The Family Man
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Jingle All the Way
A Christmas Carol (the one with George C. Scott. all others suck)
Deck the Halls
Jack Frost
Scrooged
Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer
Comfort and Joy (this a made for TV one, but it's one of my faves)
Twas the Night Before Christmas (the animated one with the mice and the clock)
Annie*
While You Where Sleeping*
Serendipity*
The Holiday*
Last Holiday*
Love, Actually*
We also like to watch some religious ones at Easter and Christmas. Some of our favorites include...
The Greatest Story Ever told
The Passion of the Christ
The Ten Commandments
Merry Christmas!!
*These are not necessarily Christmas movies, they are just set at Christmastime and I always watch them at Christmastime.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

"normal" is over-rated

I've never liked the word "normal" and I try desperately not to use it, ESPECIALLY when talking about my kids. My mom used to say "why can't you just be normal" to me all.the.time and it really hurt because I look at people and don't really think ANYONE is normal, right? I mean what is normal?

However, I am not ashamed to say that whatever normal is, my sweet, wonderful little Jackson, is not. He's got these little "quirks" (that's what we've decided to call them because it's less hurtful than "omg that kid is freaking weird" lol).

Example #1 hugging/petting/chasing the vacuum cleaner. Often, if I've misplaced him, I can go into my closet and there he is laying on the vacuum sucking his thumb. Then he'll sit up all excited, petting the vacuum, practically begging me to sweep the floors. And of course I give in (our floors have never been cleaner, btw).

And how about his...uh...foot fetish(?). Most babies have a "lovie" of some kind. A blanket or stuffed animal that catches their eye around 9 months of age. Jack...nah...none of those were good enough. For Jack, it's socks. yep, any old sock, will do (clean, of course). If he's crying, you hand that boy a sock and he'll immediately put his thumb and half of the sock in his mouth and he'll be asleep in no time.


This one is a two-fer because you can see the sock in his hand and he's also under the Christmas tree which is his new favorite place.

He thinks it's hilarious to growl at people (me mostly). He'll hide behind something and I'll hear him start "grrrrrr" and then he'll peak out from behind whatever it is and laugh his little head off.

And last, but not least, he sleeps like this....

It's total cuteness, but ohmehgah he's a cranky little guy when he wakes up after being in that position for an hour.

We've talked about it and decided that if he ends up like that kid from "the middle" we're going to love him just the same. ***the saaame*** (sorry, you'd have to have seen the show, to think that's funny but i couldn't resist).

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Nutcracker

One of those awesome traditions that comes with Christmas, is that my mom takes my sisters and I (and next year the girls!) to see the Nutcracker Ballet at the Palace Theater (which is soooo gorgeous and filled with awesome history BTW. if you ever get a chance to see anything there, do it!). It was awesome, as usual. However there was a slip-up that involved a male dancer, a female dancers head & a wall. yah. I would have LOVED to be backstage after that one....LOL.

I can't wait to take the girls next year. Sophia was DEFINITELY not ready for it this year and I didn't want to take Maria without her, so we just decided to take them both next year so they can really enjoy it. I don't want to be like the crazy people that bring babies to the ballet and then of course, they scream and are miserable the whole time. And it always amazes me how many people get there late. Ugh. It's so obnoxious. People pay good money to go there only to miss the whole first act because people are late and can't find their seats. Then their kids scream, talk, whine etc. through the whole thing because they aren't ready for it. blah :-P. I told my mom that when we are rich we'll by 3 rows of seats then we wont have to worry about the people around us LOL.

So, here are some of the pics I got. We always take a pic of us girls and this was the first time I took any during the performance because I was never sure how they would come out without the flash. But I have to say, they are pretty good and next year I'll probably try to take some of the parts I missed this year. Some of them are kind of blurry because they were moving so fast, but otherwise good. A bunch of the costumes were new and a few things had been changed up, so that was nice. Also, this year we were in the balcony, which we actually liked better than the floor seats we usually get. I got another ornament...and yes I forgot to take a pic of it, sorry. All around it was a really great day with the girls.






I can hear the music in my head when I look at this pic.


Everyones favorite "the big dress lady".



All of the "toys".




These two were definitely the best we've ever seen





This was all the leads getting flowers at the end.












Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mid-preschool crisis

So, I'm pretty sure that Maria is having a midlife crisis...or mid-preschool crisis as it were. It seems like the last couple weeks, whenever we talk to her about something exciting that's going to happen, she's running down all the possible ways it could go wrong. This morning I said "why are you so worried all the time. just enjoy life, like the rest of us. you're going to give yourself an ulcer" To which she began asking "what's an ulcer? why i gonna have one? I don't want to have an ulcer..." (good one, Renee!)

Example A:
Me: If we get enough snow, we can go out and sled down the hill! :D
Sophia: YAAAAHHH!!!!
Maria: But Mommy, we don't have enough "slides". And there's not enough snow. I don't want to fall out of the slide. It's too cold so my hands will get cold. I can't find my gloves or my hood. Where you put my snow pants?

Example B:
Me: Do you guys want to go see Santa!?! :D
Sophia: YAAAAHHH! I wanna see santa and his beard! (said more like bird) lol
Maria: OK. But how we gonna get there? He can't talk because his beard is on his face. You tell him he have to wear pants* and his hat...and his coat. But he can't have a beard because then he can't talk.

Where, oh where, did my innocent child go. Over night, she's turned into a 45 yr old man who needs Cymbalta.**



*This is because my little prude did not take too kindly to the Rockets, during the Thanksgiving day parade, only wearing "santa's shirt, but not his pants and I don't want to see their knees". yah...I suppose that one could have been Example C.

**Don't worry, I would never put my child on drugs. :D

Monday, December 7, 2009

Best Christmas Tree EVER

Ok, IDK if that's actually true, but it's what my mom says EVERY.SINGLE.YEAR. so I feel a need to keep the tradition alive.

As I was thinking about what to share with you all today, I remembered that I hadn't shared the pics of our tree with my blogger friends who are not also my facebook friends.

We went to a different place this year to get our tree, and I think it was a winner. It might be our new "place". However, the girls did not feel that the woods surrounding this particular tree farm were adequate for their urination needs and they refused to go, even though they swore they could do it, pulled down their pants and squatted....for a full 2 minutes...in the cold....true story. Aaaanywho, needless to say, they each put about eleventy billion ornaments on the same branch which brought the bottom half of the tree to the ground, so momma had to help them out a little bit with their dispersment lol. And then Josh came lifted them up so they could put some on the very top, which they just loved. They did the same thing last year, so we were not all that surprised. And when they do it next year (plus 1), we wont be surprised then either. One of those memories, I just love about the holidays. However, teaching Jackson that crawling all the way under the tree and subsequently sit up and/or grabbing anything he can find, is not a good idea....not one of my favorite memories from this year. Though, when he's 15 and wont let me kiss him in public, I'll probably cherish it. Until then we have a tree that is strangely bare on all of the very bottom branches. Well, enough of all that. here ya go...

Josh and I joked that the light in this pic was God saying He approved of our choice. lol






They've been sitting there or in the chair beside the tree or in the loveseat beside my Christmas village, just watching. I love it. Simple pleasures, I guess.


And the finished product....basically. It's one of MY Christmas traditions to rearrange the ornaments all season long (It must be genetic because my mom does it too).


Oh and for those of you worrying (I know it was keeping you up at night) over the family pic in the last post...we "sort of" solved the problem. You'll see if you give me your address so I can send you one. :D






Sunday, December 6, 2009

christmas pics, NOT for the scrapbook

I'm not ashamed to say, I'm having a shitty day. Ohmegah...now, I'm rhyming.

Josh and I were picking at each other this morning. Then we try for the SECOND day in a row to get a family pic in front of the tree, and for the SECOND day in a row, Sophia absolutely refuses to smile, which, of course, lead to tears, tears and more tears. Ugh. TURD! It's not exactly something that happens in the blink of an eye, ya know (getting all 5 of us bathed, dressed in dress clothes, hair done, makeup done, posed, tripod up, etc., etc....). So, doing it two days in a row is a HUUUUGE PITA. So Whatthehellevah! I give up for the day. I totally understand that it's not even 5:00p, but, I'm throwing in the towel of this day. Josh just said "well, we can try again tomorrow". I really admire his sticktoitiveness. He really is the yin to my yang. lol
So this is what we ended up with...





I'm actually thinking of just sending this one out since the rest of us look good.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

music to my ears

So, I'm pretty sure that my parenting skills are mildly successful. The older they get (obviously) the more things that come up. HOWEVER if you start things when they are young (like respect for everyone and everything, manners, sharing etc) they will carry over to when they are older. I know I was not the best kid when I was growing up, but I would never have spoken to my mother the way I've heard some children speak to theirs. It made me so proud to see that Maria got the highest score on "respect for others" and "respect for property" on her evaluation at school every month so far.

So, back to the point of all of this. We have been working on "taking turns" because as every toddlers knows...everything is MINE! lol. So I've sort of just eliminated the issue. If they start fighting over something, I take it. And I tell them that when they learn to take turns they can have it back. And ohmyword, I think it's actually working. It's been about two weeks (of being CONSISTENT) and this morning when I was barely opening my eyes I heard this beautiful exchange between my girls....

Maria: Today is you're turn to get the pop-tarts, Pia.
Sophia: Thanks Mia.
Maria: Yesterday was my turn, so today is your turn.
Sophia: Today is your turn to have the princess cup.
Maria: YAH! Thanks Pia!! You have the princess cup tomorrow.
Sopha: OK Mia.

It's like music to a mothers ears :D

Thursday, December 3, 2009

baby bunching

I love reading blogs that are informative and helpful. This is definitely one of those blogs.

http://www.babybunching.com/

When you are blessed with three children in less than 4 years, like we have been, you are in a totally different subset of parenthood called "baby bunchers". There are things that you have to be equipped to handle that someone who has three children in 6 or 7 years, would never think of having to deal with. You don't have an older child to hold the hand of one of the younger ones. You don't even have one child that is old enough not to hold your hand in public. And yet, amidst all your blessings, you were not blessed with that third arm everyones always talking about.

You can't just go out to the mall, on a boring day, with that cute little bundle tucked in the stroller, like you could when you had one (or even two). Actually, the phrase "boring day" hasn't even entered your mind in the last 4 years except to be on your Christmas wish list.

Even being at home and doing everyday activities (like eating dinner) can be extremely...well...eventful. Getting a break is rare (unless you have awesome parents, like mine, who are happy to spend some time with their Grandkids). Because finding someone capable of replacing you, is...well, not an easy task. Not everyone, can handle the crying, fighting, whining and all-around neediness that are included in the job of taking care of 3 children under the age of 5.

Having an "outside job" would be laughable. So you have to cut corners and make sacrifices where you can, and accept that things aren't going to be like they were when you were dating. And why would you want them to be? Even through all of that craziness and stress we wouldn't change our lives "back the way they were" for anything in this world. Because that would mean cutting out the best part.

Would things be easier if we had 3 or 4 years between our children? Of course. But there isn't anything in this world that is worth having, that is easy to get. (Didn't a great man say something like that once?). We didn't decide to have our kids less than 2 years apart (with about every pregnancy complication known to man, and a total of 4 months in the NICU) because we thought it would be a piece of cake. (Obviously) We did it because we knew it would be difficult, but we also knew we could make it through together and we'd be an even stronger couple (family) for it. And we knew it would be SOOO worth it to have these wonderful children in our lives forever.

Baby bunching, is not for the weak. It is not for the selfish or the impatient. It's not for everyone, but if it is for you, it's incredibly rewarding. And if you are blessed to be a baby buncher (by choice...or not), I highly recommend http://www.babybunching.com/ to help you out through the journey.



Monday, November 30, 2009

Perfectly Imperfect

I was thinking the other day (actually it was just five minutes ago, but as every stand up comic knows, it sounds better as "the other day") about how some people focus soooo hard on trying to be perfect and making everyone in the world believe that they are so perfect and everything in their life is so perfect, that they miss out on how perfect, being imperfect, is. Life is a lot easier, the more you are yourself, and the less you are...well, a lier.

I know that my marraige isn't perfect. We fight. OF COURSE we do! Everyone fights. I would be worried if we didn't. So why should I pretend that we don't?

I know my kids aren't perfect (well they are perfect to me, OF COURSE ;-)). But they act out. They are bad when I most want them to be good. They have recently taken to talking back a little...er...more than a little (thank you preschool). Why can't I admit that they aren't perfect all the time and ask for suggestions from other moms with perfectly imperfect kids?

I haven't always gotten along with my in-laws. I really don't think that's something I've cornered the market on....and definitely not in THIS family. They've made me cry and they've made me laugh. Just like my family has. Things got a lot easier when I stopped trying to be the "perfect daughter-in-law" and just started being myself and admitted that our relationsip wasn't going to be perfect, but we all wanted to at least try to make it work.

And more than ANYTHING, I know that I AM NOT PERFECT. I have made many, many, many mistakes in this life and I KNOW that I will be making a million more before it's over. What is so wrong with admitting that? Isn't that what blogging is about? Isn't that what FRIENDSHIP is about? Admitting when things are shitty and getting support from other women who are also perfectly imperfect, and have gone through it too.

Who wants to read a blog written by some self-important, narcissitic, bitch, who thinks the sun shines out her ass? NOT ME! I want to read (and do read) blogs written by women who have stuff go wrong in their lives and can laugh at themselves and their family and friends. Can make fun of how life just isn't perfect. My parents told me to do my best and if I screw up, laugh it off, dust myself off and try again. It doesn't just pertain to falling on your ass in front of the most popular boy in school (which I did...in a skirt...yah). It pertains to marraige, and parenting and friendships and LIFE. Why can't some people get off their high horses and start being HONEST...to EVERYONE? It might make things a lot easier on this family.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I wish...

A list of things Maria has said she wishes for this week.

I wish I could be a fireman like Gramma "Murty".

I wish I could have a real giraffe and ride him.

I wish I could be a pirate...argg!!! (with one eye closed and a fist raised in the air).

I wish I could have a camera and take "picca's" like you.

I wish I could have a preeeetty ring like yours.

I wish I could be a kitty cat.

I wish I could be a mommy and have a daddy like you. (by "daddy" she meant Josh. She was saying it b/c we were hugging in the kitchen and he said "I love you" to me).

I wish I could go ice skating like those boys (the ones in my Christmas village).

I wish Daddy didn't have to go to work. (followed by Josh saying "well mommy can go to work and I'll stay home. To which she said "NOOOO I wish Mommy AND Daddy didn't go to work and stay home with us!...So I think her basic wish here is for us to win the lottery lol)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Best Thanksgiving EVER

Not the greatest pic of Josh or I, but overall it's a winner since 2 out of 3 of the kids are looking AND smiling. lol Also, notice how good Josh is getting at his modified smile.


I really, can't explain what was so awesome about it, but it really was the best one ever. Ok, I can't say that. I have to say the BEST one ever was the one 7 yrs ago. Which was the day after my first date with Josh and I couldn't stop thinking about him all day and wondering if he was going to call

Ok, back to this year....I feel like every year I just can't make everyone happy, least of all, MYSELF. (shocker!) And then some years Josh's mom has to work so we don't even get to see her or their family, which sucks. And I always feel like my mom is just NEVER happy. No matter how much time we spend there or what time we plan to be there, it's just NEVER right. Which is extremely frustrating when you are dragging a family of 5 all over town (3 of whom are under the age of 5). I usually end up feeling like we just shouldn't do it at all.

However, we lucked out this year. My sister had to work until 3 so we weren't going to eat at my moms until later. Which meant we got to spend a full 3 hours with BOTH families. I got to watch the parade (which has always been my favorite part of the day!) And we got to eat at both houses without feeling like we'd just eaten enough for 10 in a 2 hour span of time. It was just a really nice day. We got home at a decent hour. Put the kids to bed and watched a Christmas movie together. Perfection.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

No easy way to say toothless

There isn't an easy way to say this...my husband is a hill-billy.

Ok, so he isn't REALLY a hill-billy (does that have a hyphen b/c it's looking kinda weird both ways...). Aaaanywho. The day after we started getting over the swine flu (also known as the worst diet ev.ah.) He started complaining of his front, top tooth hurting. I was like "Wah? front AND top? No, no, no. That can't be." He says "yes, dear wife. front AND top. it hurts like a mo.fo." (yes we are THAT gangsta).

Of course he makes his way to the ONLY dentist that will take him before the world ends on 2012. (please don't get any ideas about my Mayan calendar worship, I actually think that is a bunch of nonsense). So he goes there and comes home in full fledged tears. and toothless. which one of those things is worse, because I honestly can't decide which one needs to be in all caps since they are both so freaking shitty. The girls, sweethearts that they are, got all upset because he was so upset. I get all upset because he looks in the mirror and gets EVEN MORE upset. So I start yelling obscenities at God...or the ceiling (because I'm still slightly confused on whether He is everywhere or just...UP). Anyway, I was a bit irate at our "bad luck" that after 5 years I am still desperately trying to call "bad luck" and not "God hates everyone in this house and is trying kill us". But the basic jist is that when he was a kid he cracked it and all this time it has been dying because it was never fixed. So it chose one month before Christmas to officially "give up the ghost".

This is the point where I would normally "insert photo here". But, sorry, I promised I wouldn't show anyone any pictures. Which I find sort of funny since he's walking around like that, sooo...?? Anyway, I promised and I respect him, so you'll just have to imagine it. Or don't. Yah, DON'T.

So here we are...trying to make jokes about it to keep upbeat. The good part is....he's got a place for straws? Hey, I'm trying here people!! Actually it has been sort of funny since I convinced him to speak with a southern accent to "complete the look". He's definitely getting better at it. LOL.

Ok seriously we are just kinda waiting until we get the money for a new tooth. yah. those things are freaking expensive. So there is a slight chance I'm going to have to get a job on nights and weekends and NEVER see josh and the kids. Yah a big ole (:-P) on that, but it would just be temporary. Honestly I don't know if I could even find a job since it's been almost 5 years since I worked and even then it was during the day because I was a phone answerer extraordinaire. And there is NO WAY I'm going to work during the days and have the kids be raised by someone else. Josh and I decided 5 1/2 years ago that we wanted there to always be one of us home with them and we aren't about to change it now, when they need me the most. So I really don't know what's gonna happen with that. Either way it takes 2 weeks to get the "flipper" back (yes, that is what it's called...listen, I don't name the things, I just buy them). so my dreams of family Christmas pictures are pretty much shot. Which reminds me of another thing Joshy's working on...smiling without showing any teeth.

I wish I was kidding.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Christmas Questions

We've been gearing up for the Christmas holiday in this house. Josh has the benefit (ha!) of being married to a self proclaimed Christmas freak! I love everything about it and I refuse to wait until after Thanksgiving to start the fun. Sooooo in the preparations, I have had to answer a few questions from the girls. The best of which came from Maria... "How can the reindeer fly if they don't have any wings?" The second came from Sophia..."Is it time to go to Christmastime NOOOOW?"

Oh and as an added bonus Maria tells me this "hold on Mommy. I gonna go get my costume so I can be ready for Christmas" She comes back wearing a jack-o-lantern headband and proclaims "Now I'm ready for Santa!" I think we have a little work to do before we are ready for the upcoming holiday season.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

So, I'm totally out of things to say because in case you've been living under a rock (or you aren't friends with me on facebook), and didn't know, we have all been battling the swine flu for the last 8 days and counting. But I feel that I've been a totally neglectful blogger, so I have to give you something. This was from Danifred. One of my favoritist bloggers on the block because she so real and also has a great sense of humor. I am nominating anyone else whose blog has been suffering lately. I say we all band together and blame the economy (never ourselves ;-) So the deal is you can only use one word to answer. So here goes.

1. Where is your cell phone? questionable
2. Your hair? messy
3. Your mother? difficult
4. Your father? asshole
5. Your favorite food? chocolate
6. Your dream last night? weird
7. Your favorite drink? water
8. Your dream/goal? peacefulness
9. What room are you in? living
10. Your hobby? scrapbooking
11. Your fear? loss
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? secure
13. Where were you last night? home
14. Something that you aren’t? thin
15. Muffins? chocolate
16. Wish list item? lottery
17. Where did you grow up? uniontown
18. Last thing you did? cleaned
19. What are you wearing? pajamas
20. Your TV? madagascar
21. Your pets? outside
22. Friends? supportive
23. Your life? stressfull
24. Your mood? irritable
25. Missing someone? nope
26. Vehicle? love
27. Something you’re not wearing? shoes
28. Your favorite store? TRU (lol yes, that is as pathetic as it sounds)
29. Your favorite color? blue
30. When was the last time you laughed? yesterday
31. Last time you cried? weeks
32. Your best friend? Versailles
33. One place that I go to over and over? walmart
34. One person who e-mails me regularly? step-dad
35. Favorite place to eat? SUNNY'S!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

hearing is in the ear of the beholder...

....or something like that.

We've had a few frustrations over at the McDonald household due to a "promise" I made to Sophia. It's easy to get things mixed up in a 2 yr olds head.

I say....."You can't go to Preschool until you are potty trained"
She hears...."when I get potty trained, I will get to go to Preschool."

So these last couple weeks that she's been potty trained have been frustrating for the poor girl. I keep trying to bribe her (yes, I know!). I've been buying all these books to give to them for Christmas. So the last two days, I've given her one when we get back home. Pretty soon I'm gonna run out of books! lol. So I'm looking for something to get her into, that she will see as "school". A friend of mine suggested the Library. So, I'm definitely going to look into this! It'll be especially good for her, since she is such a little reader. (which reminds me, I'll have to post the video of her "reading" her favorite book that she has memorized.)

Poor Jackson, has been working on these teeth for.ev.er. I really wish, for everyones sake, he would get them already. Drool and tears everywhere. We're gonna need a raft pretty soon ;-) lol.

AFA Maria goes, she's spectacular! Joshs aunt and cousins were in this weekend to go to the "joke", and I was soooo happy they got to come over and visit beforehand, since the kids and I weren't going. So his youngest cousin, Hannah, was teaching the girls all this sign language. I can't even remember all of it, but she did and I guess she taught it to her class yesterday at school. I was so proud of her. :D I swear, they know what they are talking about when they say "their brains are like sponges"! They remember EVERYTHING. It's so amazing to see them learn something new. Even when they are little and first standing up for the first time, like Jack. It's so awesome to see the surprise on his face when he realized what he did. I just love, love, love it! :D

Thursday, October 29, 2009

That's what I like about you

***baby, this is us.



I like a man who's crazy about me
I like a man who can live without me too
That's what I like about you



I like a man who will lay down beside me
I like a man who will stand up to me too
That's what I like about you



Don't want a man to be my twin
Under my thumb, under my skin
Don't want a man like a shadow on the ground
With nothing else to do but follow me around



I like a man who will cry on my shoulder
Who don't mind if I cry sometimes too
That's what I like about you



I like a man who can make it happen
Who can get me laughing when my whole world breaks in two
That's what I like about you



You can be soft, honey, you can be strong
Maybe that's the reason we get along
Everything you do, you do just right
You're tender in love, tough in a fight



I like a man who will lay down beside me
Stand up to me, cry on my shoulder
Crazy 'bout me, can't live without me too
That's what I like about, can't live my life without
That's what I like about you

happy birthday!

So Josh's birthday is in a couple days. And in light of this event, I'm going to share with you, the reasons we love you so very much....
  • You play with the girls every night. When I look out the window and see you teaching something new to those girls who adore you so much, it melts my heart.
  • The aforementioned "playtime" gives me some time to relax every night.
  • You do the dishes every week, because you know I hate the handwashing.
  • You compliment my cooking. And not just now that it's good, you did it when it was horrible...practically inedible. It tells me that you care about my feelings and I love it.
  • You actually WANT to go Christmas shopping for the kids every year and you actually get mad if I do it all myself.
  • (Jack) "You give me a bottle in the middle of the night when I'm hungry."
  • You dance and sing and act silly with us.
  • You and I love each other more and more every day, inspite of EVERYTHING that we've been through in the last 7 years.
  • You tell me I'm beautiful when I'm in sweatpants and a t-shirt and havent showered in two days. I know you don't mean it, but I love that you say it anyway.
  • (Maria) "you kick my ball way up in the sky and I catch it"
  • We talk about our future together and what it will be like when we have 10 grandkids and we're sitting on our front porch rockers watching them play in the yard. I love that you get the same pleasure out of a simple life that I do.
  • You know what I'm thinking before I say it.
  • (Sophia) "you play train track in the basement with me"
  • You cried when you heard "it won't be like this for long" for the first time. (and you will kill me for saying that!)
  • (Renee) "You're the cheese to my macaroni".

Monday, October 26, 2009

the secret to potty training

I feel pretty confident sharing with you all the secret to potty training. Yes, folks, you heard right, I have the secret, after potty training two children. ;-) I know this may be hard for you to believe, but it's true. I don't know why all those pediatricians who write books never called me to ask about it, because I've been sitting at home for the last 4 1/2 years waiting. So here goes, the secret to potty training is....DON'T RUSH OR PUSH! Right around 18 months, we all start getting antsy about the amount of money we're spending on diapers or how disgusting it is to change a 2 yr olds poopy diaper (which makes no sense at all, b/c it isn't any MORE disgusting than changing a 2 month olds diaper). And we read the books and listen the Dr. who all say "any time you want to you can start potty training" and "MOST children are potty trained by age 2" (which I find to be total crap b/c I hardly know of any kids that were PT by age 2).

When it was Maria, I didn't worry as much because she was so delayed with everything else and mentally I didn't feel like she could even comprehend it. So yes, she wasn't PT until she was probably 3. And we worked on it FOR.EV.ER before that because she didn't "get it" ya know. She was spending half the day on there and if she went it was shear luck, not because she knew she had to. It was stupid. Why didn't I just wait until she was ready instead of forcing it because I was ready. Because once she was ready, it was the easiest thing ever. We took a break and went back to it and that time, she got it right away and it was fun and she felt good about herself, etc.

Which brings me to Sophia. We had tried this before with no luck. she would pee on the floor (yes, you heard right) while she was waiting to get her diaper changed. The girl COULDN'T hold it. So why on earth, did I (and everyone else) push her so hard to go on the potty? We did that for a week and I just said "no. I'm not doing this. I'm not going to spend weeks and weeks fighting with her over something so stupid" So, I just dropped it for a month. This time when I put panties on her last week...pure perfection! She came to me about a half an hour later and said "mommy, I think I need to go pee". And it's been like that ever since. I have never in my life heard of anyone having such an easy time. Yes, she's 2 1/2 (ok, more like she'll be 3 in two months...) and I've been berated by people about letting her wear diapers this long, but at the same time...THERE WERE NO FIGHTS! there was no frustration (from her OR us). It was not a struggle, it was just the natural progression of things. The way I look at it, I have enough things I need to fight with them over, I really don't want to add another. I mean, I don't advocate people waiting until the kid is in kindergarten or anything, I just think that you know your child and you know when they are able to understand certain things and I have a very hard time believing that that is at 18 months. In my opinion, it is the parents who are trained, not the child. It's like how my mom always asks Maria if she needs to go (like right after she eats, etc.). It's stupid. SHE knows if she needs to go, and SHE will tell YOU. I am not trained, she is! I can't ever remember asking Maria if she needed to go. And I have never once this week, asked Sophia if she needed to go. I have relied solely on her telling me and she hasn't had a single accident. Ok, I take that back. The very first day I forgot to put her diaper back on her for her nap and she couldn't get herself situated on the potty before she went a little bit. But otherwise, she's been golden! And I swear, I'm doing it this way for Jack too. If it's worked for 2 out of 2...it's gotta be right...right?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

in case you missed it

Here's a little cuteness to brighten your day :D























Friday, October 2, 2009

Is 12 days a sabbatical or a desertion?

Hey everyone! I know I've been awful lately. Mostly that is because all that is really on my mind lately is political corruption and government reform and I don't want to become one of THOSE bloggers who can only talk about one thing and that one thing usually gets people all hostile and pissy. Sooooo that has lead to some dead air (or keyboard....or screen?) on my part and I apologize. Another little bump in the road is that my camera...or my cord...or my computer is being a jackass lately and wont upload my pics. So I feel like I'm a little disconnected on that front.

Nevertheless, we've been doing pretty well in the McDonald household. Jack is EVERYWHERE which is awesome. He keeps himself entertained and is soooo much happier. I can't believe that he's (technically) 9 months old (yesterday). I can't even see that little 4 lb 7 oz baybee I delivered on that wonderfully, stressfully New Years Day. OooooKkkk that's enough of a trip down memory lane for now.

We've all been sick (some more than others) and we've all done our share of complaining (some more than others). But we got over it without any meds (woot woot!) and Maria only missed one day of school. It was on that day, that I fell in love with her preschool schedule being Mon, Tues, Wed, on and Thurs, Fri off. It was really nice that she had 4 days straight (well, 5) to just rest at home.

She's been doing really well with the preschool and she's picked up some WOOOOONDERFUL new phrases and a WOOOOOONDERFUL new attitude. Yah....it's been great having to say the phrase "I am your mother, you don't talk to me that way!" 156465435 times a day. :D My mom said to me today "maybe she just needs a little refresher course". I laughed out loud because it sounded like we were a mafia family talking about putting a hit out on a member that was getting out of line or "going off grid" as they say on TV.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Night Terrors

This is mostly for my reference so that I can remember perfectly what happened. I'm always afraid that I will forget something important and this important.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_terror

In the last 6 months Maria has had probably 3-4 Night Terrors (I only recently was able to put a name to the situation). Thursday night, though, was something I've never seen before and hope to NEVER see again. I would say Josh and I (and Maria) slept a total of 1 hr the entire night.


She went to bed at 8:00 like usual and probably fell asleep within an hour. But by the time Josh and I went to bed at 10:00 she was a hysterical, inconsolable, mess. She was screaming, drenched in sweat, her heart was beating out of her chest. Her eyes were bulging out and darting around the room and she was acting like I wasn't even there. She was shaking uncontrollably and pointing on top of her dresser. The only thing I could understand that she was saying, was "swiper!" (from Dora). I swear it was like she was "possessed" as dumb as that sounds, it's what it looked like. I held her for a while until she got calmed down (about 15 minutes). I went back to bed and within a half an hour she was screaming again.

This time it was bugs. She was going crazy in bed slapping her legs and all over her bed. Kicking her sheets and throwing everything. Josh was with me and he picked her up to hold her and she started hitting him and screaming "bugs get out of here" (as if he were a bug). It was the same thing with her looking around us, but not AT us. She wasn't really awake but she was just going nuts. She had woken up Sophia so we decided to put her in our room so we could console her easier. Josh put her down and got her some new clothes (she was DRENCHED). I thought she was walking behind me, but when I turned around I saw her walking pressed up against the wall (like there was something on the floor). She then started jumping over what I can only imagine were "bugs". She really did see them all over the house. Then about halfway to our room, she fell to the floor and started hitting her legs and screaming that the bugs needed to get off of her. This went on for a while in our bed. I was holding her when she sort of calmed down a little and she said "why all these snakes in bed with me?" I said "what snakes hunny?" and she said "right there" as she pointed right at a space between her and I and the blankets. I just started crying. I felt like she was going crazy. I didn't know if she was awake or asleep or something in between, but it either way, it didn't seem "normal" (for the record I HATE the word normal so I hesitate to use it here about my baby).

It went on all night she would sleep for about an hour (or sometimes less) then she would be up for anywhere from 15 minutes-2 hrs screaming about things that weren't there. At one point she wouldn't stop screaming at me to close the door so "that horsey can't get in here to poop on me!" (I am not sure if that one was a "nightmare" or a "night terror" b/c she acknowledged I was there and she was speaking fairly clearly).

Josh is a man and men are inherently impatient and unsympathetic so he lost his temper at around 4:30 and went to sleep on the couch because (I quote) "what's the matter with her, she can't tell the difference between a dream and reality" to which I said "obviously NOT or she wouldn't be screaming at me to save her from a horse that's waiting for her in the living room, because I closed the door and apparently horses are like vampires and they have to be invited in! (yes, I saw fit to add a little of my usual sarcasm into the situation at this point...hey, that's just me without any sleep recalling my days of watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

From the moment she "woke up" (I use that term VERY loosely here) she was telling me how tired she was. She basically layed around all day watching TV drifting in and out of sleep. At around 11:00, she asked to take a nap. She was back there for about an hour and a half before it started again. This time I went back there to see the "usual" NT activity and she was also swatting at bees, while Sophia yelled at her "there's no bees in the house Mia! Bees live outside!". I held her for awhile and she eventually calmed down (about 15-20 minutes).

Last night was only twice (yes, in this upside down world I am living in, 2 psychotic terror-filled episodes deserves the word "only"). I'm not sure what they were about though because they were brief and she didn't say any "actual" words.

I'm not sure what (if anything) we can do to stop them. I've read some things that say they will "grow out of it" and some that say that's crazy and lots of adults still have them. One important thing I've learned today is to not say "it's only a dream. it isn't real" (which we were saying), because to them, it IS real and it just makes them more angry. I might try a lavender and chamomile candle (for 2 hrs burn it in her room with the door closed, then blow it out when she goes to bed) and I think on days she has school, since she doesn't get a nap, she will go to bed at 7:30 instead of 8:00 because I've read that if they get too tired, it makes it worse. Also, if they continue too much longer (at this frequency) I may look into getting her in to see a neurologist because a friend of mine read that they might be linked to underdeveloped brain cells. (which might be related to her sever prematurity) Thankfully she doesn't yet, seem to remember any of them. I am just praying that continues so that she doesn't have these memories that are so terrifying.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

it's gettin' ugly...

By "it", I of course mean the situation this country is in.

What's funny is that the people who voted this clown into office AREN'T PAYING ATTENTION to what is happening.

Van Jones is "gone", but the problem there is that his ideology is still HERE! Obama says "look at the people I surround myself with". So that's what we're about to do here today. These are some quotes taken directly from the people that NO ONE voted into the white house. These are the "czars" Obama has brought in to "tweak" the CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (and these do not include the disgusting things Van Jones has said)

Cass Sunstein (regulatory czar):
"Animals should be permitted to bring suit, with human beings as their representatives, to prevent violations of current law."

"A legislative effort to regulate broadcasting in the interest of democratic principles should not be seen as an abridgment of the free speech guarantee."

"I have argued in favor of a reformulation of First Amendment law. The overriding goal of the reformulation is to reinvigorate processes of democratic deliberation, by ensuring greater attention to public issues and greater diversity of views."


Mark Lloyd (diversity czar):
"In Venezuela, with Chavez, is really an incredible revolution - a democratic revolution. To begin to put in place things that are going to have an impact on the people of Venezuela. The property owners and the folks who then controlled the media in Venezuela rebelled - worked, frankly, with folks here in the U.S. government - worked to oust him. But he came back with another revolution, and then Chavez began to take very seriously the media in his country."

John Holdren (science czar):
"A program of sterilizing women after their second or third child, despite the relatively greater difficulty of the operation than vasectomy, might be easier to implement than trying to sterilize men. Indeed, it has also been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society."

******"The fetus, given the opportunity to develop properly before birth AND given the essential early socialising experiences and sufficient nourishing food during the crucial EARLY YEARS AFTER BIRTH, will ULTIMATELY develop into a human being"

Ezekiel Emmanuel (health advisor):
"When implemented, the complete lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged 15-40 yrs get the most chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated"

Hopefully by tomorrow, I will have ready a blog that outlines exactly what it is that scares me so very much about what is going on right now. It isn't because I'm a Republican. IT IS BECAUSE I AM AN AMERICAN and I don't believe the Constitution is "an old piece of paper written by some old rich white guys a bunch of years ago".

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Nun too exciting...

Well nothing really exciting is going on around here, but I will keep you updated anyhow. So here goes.

The world is going to hell in a hand basket. (No, I don't actually know what that phrase means so please don't ask)

Jack is crawling. (Yes, it's official now)

Maria is so stinkin polite it's killin me! (And she's heading off to school...again. And I will be bawling my freaking eyes out...again)

I'm having another garage sale this weekend. (Well, I almost HAVE to since according to "Candy and friends" I am just a lazy SAHM who doesn't contribute to the family and is a financial burden on poor, poor Josh)

I've started a delayed New Years resolution (Since last year I was a little busy...ya know, giving birth and all). I've been trying one new recipe every week. And it's actually going really, really well.

I may have cured my momma. (Ok, well technically a new Dr. that was referred to me by a stranger who is now our hero, may have cured my mother. But I feel that I am, at the very least, indirectly responsible for the aforementioned curing)

We are paying off HALF of our debt tomorrow. (well just the credit card kind. But that is the very worst kind, after all)

I am 3/4 finished with all of my canning. (18 quarts of green beans, 6 quarts of corn, 12 quarts of spaghetti sauce, 6 quarts of tomato sauce. All that's left is apple pie filling and applesauce)

Unfortunately that about wraps it up.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I hate to get political, but....

I can't remain silent today. My main problem recently is that no one will take these questions (posed by Glenn Beck) seriously. People just brush us off without actually LISTENING to what is being said/asked. No one has refuted the disgusting facts that this man is showing. He's waiting, and so is the country. Please actually LISTEN to what he's saying. Don't just disregard him because he's a Republican. Look at the ACTUAL FACTS. You wont be able to defend obama if you do.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9JyFPdHZR0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjkhB7lYgKk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMAIFC9_Zws

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GR8Cy0ljiHE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iq9YlEaFrqc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQKQsxS6q3Y

Please start paying attention to what is happening to this country. Obama is tearing this country down peice by peice. He is making his own rules and deciding who should and shouldn't follow them. He is doing this with the help of admitted Communists and Socialists. He is taking away FREE SPEECH! He wants to control which opinions are put out there. IT IS WRONG! No matter what way you look at it. I get it, though. You didn't want another Republican in office. But why didn't you LISTEN to what obama was saying during the election. He said this is what he would do. And now look at what you have done by electing this man to ruin...er...run this country. Is this really the change this country needed? The answer is NO!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

i'm still here

This is basically just me saying that no, in fact, I have not died. I know I've been awful lately. I had so much fun to share and just got sooooo busy with everything and haven't had the time (yes I know that sounds extremely lame). All I can say, is that if you have received a blog comment from me in the last week, you should consider yourself very special. I have been canning and freezing and just all around getting ready for fall/winter. Also prepping for another garage sale (hoping to make even more than last time...which I am aware is asking a lot). I have another day of canning spaghetti sauce going on tomorrow. Hopefully it will be a bit easier since Josh will be here to help me.

I did also want to say a little bit about how awesome Josh and I have been doing these last few weeks. Are there things that I would change? sure. But when you get down to it, we are a good match. We complement each other. I am feeling really close to him lately and for some reason feeling like we have (finally) reached a point where we are in sync. I think we have spent the last 7 1/2 (yes 7 1/2!) years kind of fighting over the little shit because we didn't really know how to deal with all of the big shit. So instead of really talking about it, we ended up fighting over who didn't rinse out their dish or who fell asleep during the movie. Stupid shit! I know it sounds weird, but we are finally just learning to accept each others faults and knowing that we can't change them. When we went to our "pre-marital counseling" with the pastor before we got married (hence the name) he asked us a question that I have been thinking about lately. He said "What is it that bothers you about each other?" We gave our answers and he said "Are these things you can live with forever? Because they are never going to change. People don't change and people aren't perfect. You need to be able to clean up after each other and listen to each others mundane stories and visit each others families and all of that, and still want to wake up and do it again every day of the rest of your lives because that person is worth it to you. No two people are perfect for each other. The best we can do is to try to bring out the best in each other and to complement each other in the good AND bad times." We do that. 5 years ago we went through hell. A hell I wouldn't wish on my enemy and I remember fighting with him one day about the sandwich he brought me to the NICU when the real fight was about the fact that Maria needed surgery the next morning and I didn't know how to say "I'm afraid she's not going to make it". I didn't know how to communicate with him those feelings that were so important, so we fought about Arby's. I wish that we were as good together then as we are now. We would have made life a lot easier on each other. As much as I appreciated the silence at that time, there was so much that needed to be said and never was. We had been married for less than a month. We were young and we were SCARED. I wish I knew then what I know now. What I know now is that there is no amount of hell Josh will not go through with me. He will not leave me when things get tough. It is UNCONDITIONAL LOVE and it is amazing. He is who I will wake up next to when I am 90 and I love knowing that.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Camping cont.

OK, so I have been an extremely bad blogger for the last few weeks. Just the normal craziness+my inability to figure out a new way to upload my pics since my freebie photoshop thing is up+I'm too cheap/poor to purchase a new photo software. So I am back and if I do say so myself, better than ever. :D Anyway, I have tons of pics and stories to tell, so hold on to your seats, it's gonna be a fun few posts. I'm going to try to stick to one topic per day, but I'm not promising anything.

First things first. Camping. We went to West Branch Campground in Ravenna. It was nice because it was only about 45 mins away and it was a really nice campground. The sites are mostly really nice. A bunch of them, though were totally wooded so there was NO grass. My parents had the misfortune of having one of these sites, which was not much fun esp after the 12 hrs straight of rain we got the second night. But, to avoid this situation in the future, Josh and I drove around the campground before we left and marked on the map, which ones would be nice for next time.

Our tent was really nice and well worth the $150. We didn't waterproof it, but it didn't need it. After the aforementioned rain, we had only 1 teeny, tiny leak that caused no problems at all. It was also very roomy because it was a "cabin" style instead of the normal "dome".

This was where Josh and I slept and then Jack was in the Pack n Play. Our luggage and other gear is at the bottom of the pic.

Then the girls were in the other bed and our food and kitchen stuff was in the 3-drawer container and the black tote.


The girls brought bubbles, chalk, bikes, their balls and Barbies to keep them occupied

And they spent lots of time at the playground.

And of course the highlight was going to the beach :D This is my sister Erin with Jackson in his little "cabana" (which was awesome and also well worth the money, btw).


Sophia was not really sure about the water at first. But after an hour or two she was walking waist-deep in it.

Maria just loved the water. My sister Melanie took her out and was holding her in the deeper water and she was having a GREAT time. She is still talking about it today.


We did end up leaving a little bit early. We were paid up until Tuesday at 1:00p but we left on Monday at 8:00p. I think everyone was ready. We had all had our fun and were ready to go. It actually worked out perfectly though.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

camping is not for the weak

I will definitely say that camping is not for everyone. I once heard a woman we know say that her idea of camping is the Holiday Inn. And I would say that for those who feel that way....STAY AT THE HOLIDAY INN. LOL. It is a lot of hard work and it isn't fun every minute. But if you know what you are doing and you are able to work hard and still find joy in it, it's definitely worth the trouble.

We had a day where the kids did nothing but cry and we had 12 hrs of constant rain (thankfully it was over-night), but we still had fun. Maria FINALLY peddled her bike by herself. Both of the girls went in chest-high into the water and LOVED it. (which for some reason they never do at their Grandma's pool). They built sandcastles and played at the playground. Aunt Val taught the girls some Volleyball. Aunt Erin and Aunt Mel walked Jackson all over in his stroller. We had hobo pies and smores, and we melted styrofoam plates with steaks. I actually managed to get Josh to spend an hour with me playing cards and I read half of a book (Lord only knows when I will have the time to read the other half though lol). The tent didn't leak amidst all the rain...and MUD underneath. Josh did a little fishing (and a little "non-fishing" with the girls lol) By the end of the trip Josh actually said "I don't want to leave, I'm having too much fun." In the weeks leading up to the trip he was quite a fan of the phrase "this is gonna suck". So I was really surprised he loved it so much and was bugging me all the way home about when we were going to go again. I call that a success! I swear I have lots of pics, I just can't seem to get them uploaded onto my computer b/c my free 2 yrs of photoshop is up. So you will have to be patient with me.