2011 Year in Review

It seems everyone is doing their New Years posts so I may as well, I haven’t written anything new in a while anyway.

With the major vehicle repair in 2010 (replaced the motor), we spent most of that year struggling to get caught up. We were quite anxious to welcome 2011 and the fresh start it would bring.

Most of this past year has been smooth sailing, maybe a little too smooth. Here we were sitting on our high horse not understanding some of the choices people around us were making. We’d gotten cocky, and the worst part about that is that I know better. Karma is ALWAYS watching me and if she thinks I’m even a little too full of sh*t she slaps me hard with a dose of reality…and she did.

As you know, in September my husband quit his job to start his own business. It’s no secret I was nervous but he had lots of leads and the experience neccessary so I chalked it up to just not liking the whole idea of “owning your own business”. I prefer the stability over the independence. Well, needless to say it didn’t work out. Not that it couldn’t have but with his being the primary income, 3 kids (and pets) to feed, and all the monthly bills, we couldn’t afford to wait for it to take off. Add to that the holidays when people aren’t doing much business at all (except in retail) and the fact that my husband is NO salesman (which happens to be one of the things I love about him) you can imagine how little was coming in. We decided to give it 2 months and as long as he was at least making what we had to pay out each month then we’d consider it a success. But those months went by, and then another one too. All the leads fizzled out. I had to apply for assistance and medicaid for the kids, and had it not been for the help of family and a neighbor who hooked us up with her church, the kids may not have had a Christmas. It’s been a humbling experience. If there’s anything I can take from 2011 it is that, I needed to learn that we’re not better than anyone else and need to remember that before passing judgement.

2012 has potential. Chris is starting out the year with a second interview with a local company and if that doesn’t work out he’s submitted a dozen or so other resumés and applications, hopefully ONE of those will result in something good soon. In the meantime, I’ve been spending time with the kiddies who have been gems during this whole experience. They’re not begging for new toys like before, they aren’t whining over dinners they “don’t like” like they were. They seem to have matured because of this and I couldn’t be happier with the young ladies they’ve become (they still fight with each other though, we can’t expect miracles). Not to say they’re being tortured! They still have more than enough entertainment around here! The Zelda torch has been passed on to Riley who is eating it up. I think she’s enjoying being the “game master” of the house nowadays. Milla is all about all the sewing stuff she got for Christmas, maybe she’ll get good enough to start making us clothes…we may need it (just kidding!). It’s nice to see her with a passion for something that didn’t come off the wake of her sister’s hobbies. Link is talking up a storm! He was so excited about Christmas that for sanity’s sake we couldn’t put any presents under the tree until the last minute because he was unable to ignore them, and forget patience! That is not a word in his vocabulary! He was so excited Christmas Eve that he woke up at 1am and stayed awake until 8am! We had agreed to sleep in until 7 but by 5:30 I was telling daddy to get up because I couldn’t take it anymore 🙂

All in all it’s been a great year. I wish it had ended on the same high note it started on, but I doubt any of us would have appreciated it. I’m all about life lessons. Sometimes you believe you’re a good person who always does the right thing and then you get a glimpse of your reflection and even though you aren’t “bad” you can still be better. I always aim to be better. So thanks 2011 for all the lessons I’ve learned, the family I feel a deeper connection to, new friends I’ve made, and Cross Point Church for ALL you did.

Happy New Year everyone! Party like it’s your last New Year’s ever (because according to the Mayans, it just might be ;))

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Didn’t he just have a birthday last year?

The date is set, the pavillion paid for, the facebook event invitation posted, the (expensive) decorations ordered…this party is at the point of no return!

Minor set backs of course. First of all, I thought I was so clever, had the perfect date figured so that (thanks to conflicting custody arrangements) everyone had their kids on a specific day. I only had two weekends in June that this was possible, the first and the last. I went with the last. Now I’d given myself almost 2 months to plan the perfect train party for my (turning) 2 year old son, I thought I was so ahead of the game! I was wrong! I had my dates screwed up and NO ONE else had their kids on the last weekend! Panic mode! Can I still get the park with the train? Will they have any open pavillion’s the 1st weekend in June especially with only 2 weeks notice? Will everyone still come?! Luckily they did have an opening for the first weekend in June. Not only for the time I had originally gotten but now the train is FREE rather than costing the $125 an hour it would have any other weekend (it’s the first weekend the train runs so it’s free all day. Of course that means it’ll be busier but still, free > $125!) So a bad turning into a good, things looking up…

Then we order the deco… I had the best theme picked out, a “Two Two Train” party. What could be more perfect for a toddler turning two who absolutely LOVES trains?! I also had a coupon for the online company we were ordering from which happened to expire after hubby’s pay day so another lucky break. Two problems. First of all, remember I’ve changed the date to two weeks earlier, so now by the time my order gets here and I get invites mailed everyone will have like 2 or 3 days notice! Hence the quickly thrown together facebook invite. The other problem is that part of what I loved about the theme was that the gift boxes came with train whistles. Sure the parents may hate me for them but it went with the theme. Of course by the time we placed our order the whistles were not available and they replaced it with “glow putty”. HELLO?! This company obviously has NO experience with kids! Not only do their gift boxes (for a 2 year old theme mind you) say “for ages 3 and up” but have they ever seen kids with putty?! I personally have had 2 blankets ruined by silly putty. I have half a mind to toss it when it arrives. When I realize this I start to panic. Chris to the rescue! I swear this man needs a cape. I must have an “I’m gonna die if this isn’t exactly how I envisioned” face because before I say anything he says let’s just order the whistles from amazon, which he did and totally saved the day (well, the gift boxes at least) 🙂 Plus we ordered (from a third site) a dozen train conductor hats to go in the boxes because I HAD to have them (yes, he asked if they were necessary and yes, they were).

So now I await the arrival of 3 packages from 3 different companies for the perfect decorations and party favors. We still don’t have the food and cake ordered yet but we’re going to do burgers and hot dogs so no worries there and the cake just needs a few days notice so, piece of cake 😉

The big birthday present… We found it today at Toys R Us. A train table. We spent a half hour there letting him play with it (daddy stayed with him while I did other shopping) and we literally carried him out of the store kicking and screaming! Our son is no angel, but he has NEVER thrown a fit like this. It was the saddest thing we’d ever seen. It did confirm the fact that we picked out the PERFECT gift for him and now I know I will get countless hours of “free” time at home because I know he will be safely occupied.

So in the end, party planning is exhausting! I may gain a few more gray hairs, pack on another 5lbs (being generous), and lose my mind in the process but the day will come and go and we will have great pictures (carefully editied) to show what a perfect event it all was 🙂

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Christmas Blog

OMG…some idiot is outside lighting fireworks at freakin midnight! The girls JUST fell asleep…

But that’s not why I’m writing this.

So yeah, I know, I’ve been neglecting all my friends and I suck… OMG, if this asshole doesn’t stop with those damn fireworks… ugh, anyway…instead of sending out a bunch of messages I figure I’ll just post this [impersonal as it may be] blog to catch up those of you who actually read my senseless ramblings.

are you serious? He just lit like four in a row. I hope he blasts his fucking finger off!

Ok, let me go back to my happy place (where fireworks and balloons do not exist) and fill you in on our Christmas.

Christmas Eve

Considering our custody arrangement, I’m beginning to look forward more to Xmas Eve than Xmas day.

So Christmas Eve we invited my family over for a big dinner. We started doing a “secret” (I use the term loosely considering there was mass confusion and it wasn’t much of a secret after all) Santa gift exchange which works out VERY well! Our family is growing quickly so it’s much nicer to buy one gift for one person than cheap out on a bunch of little things for everyone (kids excluded of course).

First we had this big traditional dinner. I made a turkey and no one got sick (at least not that they told me. I can cook it’s just that I’m super paranoid about cooking poultry). Mom brought ham, my sisters made some great vegetable dishes (I actually ate green beans. Not of my own free will of course. I believe Mandy would have killed me had I not tried them, and since we still hadn’t opened gifts yet I figured I should just do it 🙂 I will say, they were good for green beans) My brother-in-law Rob became my personal savior by bringing wine 🙂

Gifts were great except that what I suggested my step dad get Chris for the exchange, gave away his main Christmas present from me which he wouldn’t open until the next morning. But oh well, I think he knew he was getting it anyway 🙂

The girls were tired of course (having just come home from their dad’s) which led to a few meltdowns about not being allowed to eat cookies while they waited for dinner to be done and then not wanting their dinner anyway, followed by a full blow hissy fit over the fact that Riley didn’t get a cookie after dinner (at 7:30) and now wants it at 9:30 on her way to bed, and let us not forget the arguement over why the can’t sleep on the couches tonight instead of in their beds… It was rough 🙂 Santa(s) eyes were closing and presents still need to come out of the attic, from under the bed, and out of our closet before morning. Luckily the shot of Benadryl she DESPERATELY *cough cough* needed kicked in and she was out. I have no idea what time Chris and I actually got to bed but we were dreading it thinking the girls might actually get up early…HA!

Christmas morning

I naturally wake up about 8am anyway but when I did and I didn’t hear the kids I went back to sleep. At 9am Milla walked in as cute as could be and says, “thanks you for my bike” I have to tell you, this child melts my heart more and more everyday. She has the cutest conversations I’ve ever heard 🙂 So we say “you’re welcome” and ask if Riley’s up yet? She says no so I tell her to go get her and tell her it’s Christmas morning!! Riley seems unimpressed. It may as well have been a school day for as fast as she got out of bed.

Finally we’re in front of the tree. Stockings first (I usually always forget these things which is ironic because they’re one of my favorite things 🙂 We bought WAY too much 🙂 There was stuff sitting on the counter because it wouldn’t fit in the stocking 🙂 Chris and I did one for each other too which I really liked. I haven’t had one since my mom used to do them up for us. She always did such a great job so he had tough competition, but he did awesome 🙂 Among other things, inside was the 1st and 2nd seasons of Rescue Me 🙂 he knows me so well It’s hard to tell if he liked his, he’s not really overly enthusiastic over anything 😉

The girls opened their plethora (I love that word, not to mention The Three Amigos was on recently) of gifts. I’m not even going to try to tell you everything they got, it’s just too much and honestly, I can’t remember it all. I will say it took me over 2 hours today to clean their room and put it all away though.

We didn’t have much time to sit and play though because we had to head over to Chris’ family’s house and have dinner with them. This is the first time I would met them. They were great! I may as well have been sitting down with my own family, which I love! 🙂 I didn’t feel like I was meeting “strangers” which normally terrifies me…I know right? Me,the girl who lived with the devil for 10 years can be terrified by meeting new people 🙂 but it happens, just not in this case.

We were having a good time, actually, a little too good because time got away from us making us almost an hour late dropping the girls off with psycho dad (I say this because you can imagine the texts I was getting because I was late…not that he’s EVER been late before right? Anyway…) So we came back inside the house that looked like the set of a tornado scene in a Hollywood movie (I use that description because I imagine they’re doctored up to look MORE disastrous in the movies…I don’t know, not much experience with tornadoes, I live in FL, we have hurricanes). We shoveled through the mess to get to the couches, which had to be cleared of debris, and there we vegged for the rest of the night. It may sound as though it were 10 o’clock at night but it was only 6:30 🙂 I’m old and I’m taking Chris down with me! 🙂 It could have been all the alcohol over the last two days but I try to never blame alcohol…it’s not it’s fault it’s so yummy 🙂

Which bring us to today. After some brutal texting back and forth the girls finally came home. I made a bigger deal out of it then I actually cared because I knew he was pissed at me for dropping them off late the day before, so I made it seem like I HAD to have them back at a certain time so he could have his revenge by keeping them later and it wouldn’t REALLY affect any plans I had. I think mostly he was mad because he got the girls bikes and [kid friendly] digital cameras too but they had already used up the good surprise on us that morning 🙂 sucks to be you dad!!

I guess that’s about it. I’m tired but wired so I can’t sleep. There’s no beer in the house anymore and I drank my last half glass of wine while shooting Yahoo pool with Max (which I won by default! I’ll still take it though :). So I’m sober blogging if you can believe it. Of course, I’m out of stuff to write about so…until I think of something good…If you made it this far, thank you faithful reader (yes I meant reader as in the ONE person who probably read this whole thing 🙂 My blog’s just aren’t as interesting anymore without all the drama in my life. It’s a good trade though 🙂

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. What’s up for New Years? Their dad wants the girls for NYE so it looks like we’ll be kid free this new year.

Oh yeah, I DID take pictures but we rushed out of Chris’ cousins house to get the girls back to their dad’s and I left the camera bag sitting on a chair 🙁 Who knows when we’ll get it back…sucks. Their new cameras were in there too… Plus, I can’t use my new digital picture frame either without one of the memory cards… Oh well, when I DO get it back, there will be Christmas pics to post.

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Happy Thanksgiving! 2007

I LOVE this holiday! It has to be my favorite, maybe because it’s the one everyone in my family celebrates 🙂

I’m just killing some time before I have to start getting all the kids (nephews who spent the night too) ready to head over to my dad’s. It’s going to be a big event today. My cousin just got home yesterday from Germany. He’s finally out of the Army, I’m so excited to see him!

I’m also excited my mom and step dad will be there too. This is probably the first Thanksgiving in YEARS I’ve spent with my mom and dad at the same time 🙂

Plus, my ex decided to schedule a vacation for this week, and this was supposed to be his holiday so now I get Thanksgiving AND Christmas this year 🙂

I also made an awesome chocolate cheesecake with a chocolate chip cookie crust (just THINKING about it adds 5 lbs to your ass) and even though Amy messed it up a little bit, I’m confident she can fix it…or I’ll kill her 😉 just kidding Amy, I have faith…and if not…I’ll still love you…eventually 🙂

So, I hope you all have a great day with your family, friends, or whom ever you’ll be spending it wth!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

18. things you can only say at Thanksgiving
1. Talk about a huge breast!
2. Tying the legs together keeps the inside moist.
3. It’s Cool Whip time!
4. If I don’t undo my pants, I’ll burst!
5. ! That’s one terrific spread!
6. I’m in the mood for a little dark meat.
7. Are you ready for seconds yet?
8. It’s a little dry, do you still want to eat it?
9. Just wait your turn, you’ll get some!
10. Don’t play with your meat.
11. Just spread the legs open and stuff it in.
12. Do you think you’ll be able to handle all these people at
13. I didn’t expect everyone to come at once!
14. You still have a little bit on your chin.
15. How long will it take after you stick it in?
16. You’ll know it’s ready when it pops up.
17. Wow, I didn’t think I could handle all of that!
18. That’s the biggest one I’ve ever seen!

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