12/24/15

How Jesus and Santa Wound Up in the Same Story at Our House


I was that child in preschool. You know, the one who says “Santa isn’t real!” Yes, in preschool. *FYI, my parents were called about it. Haha.

My Dad told me at a very young age the truth about Santa. He used to tell me that he thought it was wrong of him to lie to me, but it gradually turned into something so much more.

Growing up, and even to this day, nothing Santa Claus is allowed in my parents’ house. At first I agreed with the logic. We don’t want to contribute to the "fake" story because it might take away from the true meaning of Christmas. Obviously, Jesus Christ is the reason we celebrate Christmas. That being said, for those people who do not believe in God or Jesus, I’m not sure why they celebrate, and for that matter they probably shouldn’t. It’s a religious holiday to celebrate the birth of our Savior… it’s not about Santa, or presents, or family. *Yes, it bothers me that atheists celebrate CHRISTmas. But, it's not my place to judge.

As I got older, things got uncomfortable when it came to Santa and Jesus. I tried to explain to my friends and coworkers why we do nothing “Santa.” Even when I moved in with Gene, I still didn't (he was a good sport). No cards, decorations, no stories, etc. I always watch the movies, but that was only happening once I moved out really. Anyway, people used to almost snicker about it. Like we were wrong to not participate in the whole Santa gimmick. Mind you, this was well before I had even thought seriously about having children. I just brushed it off, but it kind of hurt each time it happened. It’s just how WE do the holiday.

My Dad got a little crazy with it later down the road. “Rearrange the letters in Santa and it spells Satan. Santa was created by Satan and it is a way to take the holiday away from Jesus.” I get it, I do, but I’m not sure I’d go that extreme. He once was on the verge of telling all the kids in line to see Santa that he wasn’t real. To hear him tell story he did tell them, but I don’t know that he would actually do that. I mean, he has a heart so I wouldn’t think he would devastate the children like that. However, now that I have children, it’s a constant battle with his truth telling. Emma came up to me just last week and said “Pawpaw said that Santa is bad!” When I confronted him he said “I told her that he’s evil because he is.” Don’t get upset, his heart is in the right place.

But here’s my “beef”: Without getting into the whole “she’s my child not yours, so it’s not your place,” because I don’t necessarily feel that way, I feel like all we are doing is confusing her.

Her friends and the teachers at school are all telling her he is real. If we go around telling her that he isn’t, what is she going to think about Jesus? Here we are telling her that Jesus is real, and how He was born to save us all, yet she can’t see him in person and we read about him in a Book. See where I’m going with this? "If Santa isn’t real, is Jesus?" I can see the question brewing. How would I be able to explain that to my three year old?

So, for now, I’m allowing Santa. I’ll tell her the truth one day, and why we went along with the whole “Santa thing” in the first place, but for now I’ll let her buy into MY VERSION of it all. You see, I’ve told her a different version of the story, and I show her pictures that I come across of Santa worshiping Jesus so that she can see it with her eyes. It’s important to me that she knows why we celebrate Christmas and why we give each other gifts. I want her to enjoy the holiday and enjoy it for the right reason. I don’t want to fill her head with doubt.   

For those of you curious about my version of Christmas, here it is:

Christmas is a birthday celebration; we celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus. But because Baby Jesus isn’t here with us, we give presents to the people that we love or that have taken care of us in a way (think teachers, mailmen, neighbors, etc.). Plainly said, we give gifts to each other because we can’t give gifts to Him. One day, a long time ago, a man named Santa wanted to make sure that every good boy and girl got something on Christmas morning for Jesus’ birthday, so he brings one present to each girl and boy who loves Jesus and does the good things that Jesus would want us to do (pray at night, be good to our parents, don’t be mean to friends, take care of our belongings, etc.).

And that’s it in a nutshell. We’ve always had a birthday cake and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus every Christmas, and this will also help Emma understand that it’s His birthday we are celebrating. The gift from Santa won’t be wrapped under the tree, so that she understands the wrapped ones are all from us, not from Santa. I’ll set up the manger Christmas morning before they’re up and I’ll let her put Jesus in his bed (it’s breakable so I don’t dare put it out now). I’ll make sure that we read the story of Baby Jesus and Christmas so that she knows it’s not all about the presents she is getting. I’ll basically do whatever I can to make sure she knows why we do all of it.

Now, my Dad will still be hard-headed and try to assure us that his way is the right way, but I will continue on and do Christmas exactly as I’ve outlined. My girls won’t lessen their chances of going to heaven just because of a "man" named Santa bringing a toy. Gene and I will continue to teach Emma and Alice about Jesus and when they’re older and can understand more we will tell them more stories of Him and how it all relates to their lives and the world today. We are doing the best that we can right now, and I’m pretty sure that Jesus Himself would be happy about it.  

I hope that you and your family have a very Merry Christmas, and that you also share the story of Jesus’ birth with your loved ones.




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12/23/15

The Last Month, In a Nutshell


Whew! What a month!

Well, you haven’t heard from me, like REALLY heard from me in quite some time now. A month I think. It’s been a doozy. Let me fill you in on everything I’ve been up to.

I had a week-long vacation in November, and I planned on doing a lot of stuff with my blog then. However, as it goes for me, everything fell apart. That first Friday night, once it was officially my vacation, I turned on my laptop to nothing. A blank screen. The thing was completely dead. Not powerless dead, but dead-dead. Go figure.

Saturday night I took it to Geek squad, and I’d be paying so much to have it looked at that we’d be better off buying a new one. So we did. And we had them transfer my stuff from the old one to the shiny new one. I didn’t get my computer back until Tuesday night! I got home and went to get onto the internet to do a blog post, and wouldn’t you know it, our router died. I bought a new one on Black Friday, the hubs got it up and running on Saturday, and we had plans all weekend. So not a single blog post, or anything really for nine days straight.

Thanksgiving was good. We went to the Lococos’ house to eat Thanksgiving dinner and play games. It’s always such a good time. I love that family! But of course, my Mom and I have a standing tradition to go Black Friday shopping (which is now on Thanksgiving). It’s a good thing I see that side of the family a lot, otherwise it would really stink to have to leave them.

I went to the ballet for the first time. It was beautiful! I was seriously mesmerized the entire time. It was also my first time at the Fabulous Fox Theater (or at least that I can remember). It would be so neat to go with Gene sometime. Make a fancy date night out of it. Dress up, get dinner somewhere new, and see a show. Wishful thinking with only one date night a month.


My Dad’s birthday came and went on December 2nd. I can never pick out anything good for him, so of course I got him something he didn’t like, and it’s sitting in a bag waiting to be returned or exchanged. He never really seems too thrilled with anything I get him, but maybe he’s just a bad gift receiver like me. Even if I really love something, I don’t think I ever express it the right way. Maybe it’s that “resting bitch-face” I have.

Gene and I went to a concert on a Friday night. It was a pretty good show, but I worried about my Dad watching both girls. He had watched Alice already for a few hours, then we dropped Emma off with him so that we could head straight to the concert. I worried about him being overwhelmed, so much so that I could barely enjoy myself. I probably won't be doing that again. But, the first few people/bands were pretty good! Can't remember any of their names, but I do remember that the last band was Three Doors Down and I was less than amused. I made Gene leave at the fourth song that was heavy stuff; I didn't have the patience to wait for their oldies.

My Dad and I sold his signs at a craft fair one Saturday morning. It was the first one they ever had there, but it was a great turnout! And we did a pretty good job money-wise! I'll definitely do it again next year. I like doing those things. 

We have a Secret Santa thing going on at work (Wednesday of this week is the last day for it), and I drew someone I really know nothing about. I also don’t like to ask for hints, but instead I creeped on Facebook to kind of get an idea what she might like, and I just kind of flew by the seat of my pants. I hope I didn’t screw up too bad. I like the way we do it; it’s one day each week, for four weeks. The first week is something edible, the second week is something DIY (a lot of people cheat and buy a craft), the third week is something $5 or less, and the last is a $10 gift. I mean, I gave all stuff that I would have liked to get, so hopefully she liked it too.

A few coworkers got together for an “Ugly Sweater Party” at Trainwreck at Westport. It was a great time, but unfortunately everyone bailed by 9pm. Boo! I guess I had bigger expectations. I was ready to go all night! It was definitely a change from our Crown Vision all-nighters 8 years ago. It was easy to drop $100 in one night with those crazies. I guess we’re all too old now. Or maybe too broke during the holidays.


I went to my first professional football game! I’ve been married to a sports fanatic for over ten years now, and this was the first football game he has ever taken me to. I guess I thought it would be louder and more of a to-do (like maybe what you see on tv), but it was half-empty and the “fun stuff” was sub-par. It was still great to get to experience it for the first time, and the nachos were super yummy! Almost better than Busch Stadium nachos. I said almost.


My cousin’s little boy had a bowling birthday party a couple weekends ago. It was so cute. The kids all played in the arcade, ate pizza, and bowled seven frames. Haha. They couldn’t even keep their focus on bowling long enough to finish an entire game. Their patience was tested though by waiting for eight kids to take turns, so I can’t blame them. I had thought about doing that for Emma’s fourth birthday, but now I’m second-guessing it only because of that fact. We’d have to only put like three kids on a lane to make it go faster. Then how many lanes would I need? Oy. I’m seriously teetering on Chuckie Cheese!

Then there was the Morris Family Christmas brunch, which is always a good time. We got to catch up with each other, and see those family members that you only see at the holidays. Everyone got to see Emma and meet Alice, and we played “Rob Your Neighbor.” The gift I took was a hit – a Selfie Stick. Haha. I took home a set of greeting cards, an ornament, a bottle of wine, and a puzzle (I may have claimed Gene’s gift). Emma got some chocolate coins too, which she immediately ate in one sitting. All in all, it was a good time.


Alice had her 6 month check-up last Monday. She’s nowhere near as big as Emma was, but she’s still a big girl. Something like 76th percent for weight. She got all of her shots, including a flu shot, and hated every second. I do have to say again that her doctor is phenomenal. Well, he’s both her doctor and Emma’s, and he’s very holistic which means he tells me not to use Vicks, or Tylenol, or cough medicine, but he knows his stuff so I usually stick to what he says. He reassured me that the lump in her chest is completely normal and will be there until she’s into Kindergarten more than likely. He told me all about what it is, and it made me feel so much better to hear it all from him. It was a good visit. I felt so bad for Alice though with all of those shots, and then I had to send her home with my Mom so that I could go to work. She probably hated me that whole day. FYI - she is a full crawler now, can pull up and walk herself with help (think couch, walker, etc.), she's eating yogurt bites, and so much more!



The Pinterest party that a lot of us girls do annually was last Thursday. It was okay. I don’t really fit in anymore. I mean, all of those girls are such close friends because they go out with each other all the time. I can’t go out like that anymore, so it has really put a damper on my friendships. I can never even join in on the conversations because I don’t know the people they refer to, or I can’t judge a person’s character enough to joke or kid with them. This might have been my last year doing that since I don’t really see my free time expanding anytime soon to better those relationships. And let’s face it, even if I do get more free time, it would be used to do things like see movies, get pedicures, try new restaurants, go to the mall… things like that. My days of hitting up the usual bars on off hours are over I think. I sometimes miss it, but I also miss all the little things other ladies (without young kids) take for granted. 

Saturday was our big Puder Family Christmas at my parents’ house. I had a prior engagement that morning, but as soon as I could I headed to help Mom with the preparations. My Mom and I are nothing alike. I enjoy hosting parties and don’t find it stressful usually; okay, maybe mildly stressful sometimes. But my Mom, man she gets so stressed out over the silly stuff. Her house is always so clean, but she has to deep clean it top to bottom for an entire week beforehand. Then, she worries about what people want to eat, what they want to drink, having enough, etc. I’m the type of person to make sure you can’t see my dust bunnies, clean the toilet well, and then the food and drinks I buy are what you get. Haha. If my house wasn’t so teeny tiny with a torn apart basement I would just have it there. But I couldn’t, so my Mom was in hell and I was there to feel her wrath. We survived though. Barely. ;-)

And here we are at Christmas week. I have a ton of presents to wrap still, and one more thing to find for my Dad, but overall I think I’m in good shape. The annual Christmas Eve Lococo Bash is always a highlight so I’m really looking forward to that. Again, I just love that family! I’ll make a special breakfast Christmas morning, we will open presents and place Baby Jesus in the manger under the tree. Then, after all that is said and done (and who knows, maybe even after naps), we will head on over to my parents’ house to do it all again. It’s sure to be a long and drawn out, semi-boring day. But, it’s not about fun or presents, right? Right! It’s about Jesus being born to later save us all.




Can you just imagine being Mary? You had a baby boy who will grow to be the Savior of us all! I don’t know that I would even feel allowed to reprimand him if need be. Or was he even a typical little boy? Okay, I’m off topic.

Needless to say, I’ve had a lot going on and I’m looking forward to having some downtime after the holidays. I don’t have plans yet for New Years Eve, but Gene and I were going to have our date night that night. Although I haven’t even heard of anyone making plans yet, so who knows, maybe we will do our own thing, or maybe cancel altogether and do date night another time.

So that’s it. My last month in three pages of 11 sized font. Good thing I took out all the fine detail, otherwise you’d be reading for an hour I’m sure!


Are you as busy as I have been?   

Emma and Alice having fun!

Emma's Preschool Picture


Daddy and Alice playing!




12/7/15

Incredible Pizza Company for Toddlers | Review

I posted a while ago about how much Emma enjoyed herself when we took her to Incredible Pizza Company in South County. I had a few responses about other kids enjoying it too, but one stood out to me; a Momma friend said that she didn't know it was for children of Emma's age (she too has a child around that age). That sparked my interest even more for reviewing this location. I want other Moms out there to know that they can take their small children there for a good time.

I'm only going to discuss our most recent visit there (which was only our second time).

I looked up the hours of operation ahead of time, and saw that they opened at 11am on Saturdays. We decided to avoid the rush and the nap time meltdowns, by arriving right when they open. Well, low and behold, we were later than 11... I'm still not a pro at getting both kids out the door in a reasonable amount of time - something always happens. Not to mention is was raining outside and Emma had to play with her umbrella for a while.

We had to wait in a small line once we got into the establishment (even though the line was small, it was an exceptionally long wait... speedier staff would be helpful). Once up to the counter, a young man helped us decide the best course of action for what we wanted to achieve that day - lunch, go kart action, and games being our top priorities. We went with an eat and play combo at the price of $23 and change, and an extra buffet for an adult. We had started with just $40, so we had him add the rest to the game card. Once it was said and done we had two adult buffets, two kids buffets (although Alice didn't eat), four attraction passes and $14 and change on a game card. Not too shabby for a family of four with a $40 budget!

Once we got past the front counters, it was just a short trip through the buffet area before we reached the arcade. Lots of lights all over the place, but it was pretty quiet in there since we were one of the first few. Emma headed straight for her favorite thing - the go karts. We walked to the go kart counter and it was unattended. There was a sign on the table that said go karts start at 11:00 am and run for 15 minute intervals, every 30 minutes. That didn't sound right to me, but after I found someone to help me, I discovered that the sign was for weekdays only, and on weekends go karts don't even start until noon for some reason. Bummer.

We filled our time with lots of games. We started in Tiny Town. It's games just right for toddlers. It seems as though Tiny Town doesn't get as much attention as the rest of the arcade, because there were two games broken, and two that had "issues" with them. But other than the broken ones, Emma was completely oblivious to the "issues." They do have an area that they can climb up into as well (this is free), but Emma has never been big on heights so she went a few feet in and came right back out. The games in Tiny Town were $0.50 or $0.75 each, so your money lasts longer in there and the games seem to last longer as well. There's one that you even get a printout of your coloring page and a picture of the artist. Cute.

The "big kid games" started right outside of Tiny Town, and progressively got more difficult as you headed to the other end of the arcade. I found that there were not many games that offered a lot of tickets. Maybe I should reword that... they offered lots of tickets, but were nearly impossible to get. I would normally expect this, but for a kids establishment, I would have thought they would give you more. But, kids don't see that. Only the parents. ;-)

There are tons of claw games which we love, but they are very difficult and were $1 or more per try. I did see a girl walking around with one toy from each machine, so I guess it just might not have been our day. Very cute toys and stuffed animals in them... not the cheap stuff.

We took a break from the games and we headed to the buffet to eat. Tons of options here - Salad, Pizza, Hot Dogs, Chicken Bites, French Fries, Soup, Tacos, Nachos, Dessert, Ice Cream, Slushies, Tons of Drink options, etc. Emma loves salad, so she had lots of it, some pizza and some chicken, and then way too much ice cream, slushy and lemonade. At this point, I could just picture the sugar meltdowns that will happen when we try to leave. Haha.

After lunch, Alice fell asleep and we headed to the go karts again. The line was long and slow. It took about 40 minutes for Emma and her Daddy to get to ride. Emma loves go karts. If it wasn't so busy we would have used all four attraction passes right then and there. But, after the first time, I couldn't wait through it all again.

We played more games and looked at all the other attractions which were either too "big" for her or too busy at that time. Bowling, bumper cars, a 3D real-life type of ride. I cannot wait for her to get bigger and be able to do those things!

We were already an hour past nap time and running out of money, so we decided to go ahead and cash in our tickets for some prizes. After all the games we played, we only had 120 tickets. I didn't really see anything exciting under 100. Another bummer. I let her pick them herself (even if they were silly). She felt like a big girl shopping for her own things. It was too cute.

Walking out, we saw that a balloon artist was there making animals for tips. So we stopped and he played a little trick on her and then made her a balloon bunny rabbit. He's there every Saturday afternoon and he's great with the kids.

Emma had such a good time. I'm telling you, for the little amount of money we paid, our family of four (counting Alice who is 5 months old) spent three hours having a great time. Emma is still talking about it!

I'm sure we will go back numerous times. Maybe even have a birthday party there if Emma wants. I just love to see her happy, and this place does it.

If you have children 2 years and older, you should give it a try! You don't have to eat there, you can just play, but why not eat too because the pizza is soooo good!

LIMITED TIME OFFER - Get a 99 cent All-You-Can-Eat Buffet with a $15 Game Card Purchase at America's Incredible Pizza Company. Not valid with any other offer or discount. CLICK HERE!

I received a gift card to this establishment to visit and review. I was asked to give my honest opinion and have done so above. My thoughts and views have not been swayed, and I was not told to give a positive (or negative) review in any way. I received this opportunity through US Family Guide.

12/2/15

My Christmas Wish List - 2015

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas songs on the radio, holiday displays in all the stores, pretty twinkle lights on houses... I'm as happy as can be! I seriously walk around humming Christmas songs all day. My Dad always says that people who hum songs, that don't realize they are doing it, are the happiest people. 

I don't feel like I'm a picky person at all when it comes to receiving gifts. Granted, my husband is I think the worst gift-giver ever. Even with hints he never gets it right. I keep telling myself that it's the thought that counts. Yes, it's the thought that counts. Haha.

We all know that the true meaning for celebration is Baby Jesus, right? Good. Now that we got that out of the way, I wanted to share with you my Christmas Wish List. *This is just a short list of the many, many things I would like (but don't necessarily need). Hahaha!

1) Wide-Calf Boots. I'm usually a fan of grey boots, and suede-like ones as well, but this year the brownish ones caught my eye. I like this pair from Famous Footwear because it's basic and has a feminine touch with the gold accents. Not to mention it's wide-calf so it would fit my "Morris" legs. I don't care to spend too much on shoes, and especially retail, so I'd wait for a good sale to come along to get this pair. 

2) Silver Statement Necklace. I think I might have an addiction with Charming Charlie. It's a good thing I don't live close to one (closest is West County I think)! This necklace would be perfect for New Year's Eve, or really any holiday that gives you a reason to get dolled up. 

3) Blanket Scarf. I'm not usually one to keep up with trends, but I like this one! A giant scarf, some with fringe, that you can wrap around your neck or wear as a shawl. The plaid patterns seem to be very stylish as well. This is another Charming Charlie find.

4) Tiffany & Co. Ring. Is this pink color not gorgeous?!?!?! Oh I love it. It's a bit out of our price range, but a girl can dream can't she? That Tiffany & Co. really knows what they're doing. 

5) Long Dangle Necklaces. Okay, last Charming Charlie one. I own one loooooong necklace, and lately I've been loving it. I really like the look of it with blazers and sweaters. I wouldn't mind one or two more to mix it up a bit. And let's face it, Charming Charlie has the right prices for women on a budget like this Average Momma.

6) Pilot G-2 07 Pens. I am a pen snob. I only care to use a "G-2-oh-7" pen, as I call them. Pilot makes their G-2 pens in various "thicknesses" but I really like the 07 one. I had purchased a pack like this about 2 years ago, and wouldn't you know it, they all "walked off."  I also like to have multiple colors because I use checklists, and move products, and it's helpful to have multiple color options. Also, if you're a note-taker, it's easy to switch up thoughts or subjects on the same page by switching colors.

7) Sharpie Markers. I have this weird obsession with Sharpie markers. I don't even really have a use for them, but I want one of every color, in every thickness. Hahahaha.

8) Pioneer Woman Cookbook. This lady can cook! And her recipes aren't "weird" or impossible. I pin as many as I can on Pinterest, and I've made almost all of them. But, unfortunately, a lot of her recipes aren't public and you have to buy her cookbooks (which are like $25). I'm kind of cheap with stuff like this, but I figured if someone buys one for me, that would be okay, right? ;-) Seriously though, if you haven't tried her recipes, you should!

9) Tongs. I need a good pair of cooking tongs. Not metal, but silicone. This pair is a Rachel Ray version found at Target, and it's nice because you can set it up off the table because of the "feet" or put it on the side of a pot. They also don't lock which is nice for an uncoordinated person like myself.


There you have it! A little peek at the things I'm wanting this year. I might just do up a list for the things that I want to get the girls this year too. It's so difficult to find gifts for your children sometimes. 

Do you think there's anything I should add to my wish list? Do you have a wish list of your own? Tell me in the comments! I love seeing peoples' personalities through the gifts they'd like to receive! 


MERRY CHRISTMAS!
REMEMBER - JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON

12/1/15

Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker at The Fox | Review

My best friend Holli and I decided to have a girls night out on Monday, and we went to see the Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker. This was both of our first times to not only see a ballet, but to see anything at the Fox Theater. We really enjoyed ourselves.


The Fox Theater isn’t hard to find. It’s right off of Highway 64 on Grand Boulevard. Of course, it was half raining out, and dark as could be, so there was traffic everywhere and since we had never been before we were clueless for where to park. Our 38 minute drive ended up taking us an hour. But, we made it nonetheless.

The Fox at Christmas time is beautiful! I’m sure it is all year round, but with all of the lights and festive decorations, it really shines. When we walked in, they had images of the ballet flashing on the screens above the bars, and a table in the middle set up for souvenirs. We made a pit stop at the restroom and then headed to our seats. *FYI, the bathroom was just as majestic as the rest of the Fox!

Our seats were pretty close to the stage, and we were dead center. I was really excited. It was almost elegant in there. In fact, it WAS elegant. The ceilings were adorned with jewels and elaborate artwork and what looked like empty wading pools of water. There were pillars on the sides of the large outer walls, and the stage curtain had a print on it that was detailed and elaborate. Just being there made me feel… special.

The ballet was about to begin, and they announced a “pre-show” of the prima ballerina and a local cellist. It was called “The Swan” and it was beautiful. She was so graceful and delicate; on her toes the entire time. At that point, I knew I would enjoy myself.

The ballet began and it opened with a man (the Uncle) and his toys. He was like a magician. He made the toys come to life. Let me tell you, it has to take some skill to both act like a toy and dance ballet at the same time. It was awe-provoking.

Next there was a party where a little girl (Masha) received a Nutcracker doll from her Uncle. I was expecting the nutcracker to look like, well, a nutcracker. Instead, to me he looked like a toy soldier. Anyway, a little boy broke the toy, and that night, in her sleep she dreamt about the doll coming to life.



There were rats with a Rat King, snow legends, emissaries of Spain, Africa, Europe and Russia, and lots and lots of dancers including a swan made of two people. It was captivating. There was never a dull moment, and I found myself tapping my foot along to familiar melodies like the Waltz of the Flowers. I wonder if the dancers are as delicate in real life as they are on stage.

In the second act, one couple seemed to steal the show, and it wasn’t the prima ballerina (although she was the best to me). This couple was one of the emissary groups and they did tricks that you’d see on X Factor or something. It was crazy. How they get their bodies to move that way and balance on each other is beyond me. There was one point where I thought I saw the woman’s foot turn completely around! They received the loudest applause of the night.

The prima ballerina was by far my favorite. She was probably up on her toes for 90% of her performances. I can’t even imagine the strength she has, or the amount of pain she can withstand! All I could do was stare at her feet the entire time. She was wearing a beautiful tutu with jewels in patterns all over it and a tiara that glittered in all of the spotlights on her. What word can describe her and her performance? Beautiful just won’t do. Exquisite. Heavenly. Immaculate. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.


One of the best parts of this ballet was the children. Yes, the children. This production gets in touch with a local dance project in the city that they are in, and local children join in on the performance. It was cute to watch the children of all ages. The times they’d forget a step, the way their short little legs looked extremely cute doing little toe-taps, the gleam in their eyes as they enjoyed themselves, and the way the Russian dancers guided them and enjoyed their company as well. There was one point where I teared up watching a little girl pulling a sheep up and down the stage as she danced ballet the whole way. It was the sweetest thing, and made me think of my daughter doing something like that one day.

When it was all over, and the performers took their bows, they received a standing ovation. It gave me goose bumps. There wasn’t one slip-up, one error. It was perfect and it showed in that applause at the end. I would love to see this ballet again. I would make it an eventful night, dressed to the nines, and invite friends and family to attend as well. It truly is something that will stick with me for a long time.

I hope that you get a chance to see Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker when it’s here again. It won’t disappoint.


*We weren’t allowed to take a camera in, so I had to rely on my phone and the pictures aren’t very good. Sorry I couldn’t show you more.


I received two tickets, free of charge, to see this performance and give my honest views and opinions. I was not encouraged in any way to give a positive (or negative) review. I was given the opportunity through US Family Guide.

11/28/15

Metal Prints - Perfect for ANY Photo | Adoramapix Review

I was fortunate enough to be selected to review a product that Adoramapix offers. I had never heard of this company before, and I was intrigued. After I read about the product, I thought I'd check it out for myself, and boy am I glad I did.

If you're like me, you don't have many pictures hanging around the house because honestly, who has the time to go out searching the surrounding areas for just the right picture frame for the photo that you have in mind? I know I don't. A couple of my friends have canvas prints, and those are great and all, but I find that it's a product that is seen everywhere. I like to have items that stand out. Afterall,  following the birth of my first child (back when I still had time for fun projects), I turned our hallway into a beautiful collage of her baby pictures. FYI - even after having a second child, all the pictures and decorations are still the same as 3 years ago. Mommy fail.

Adoramapix offers three types of prints. Something for everyone, huh?


I received a Metal Print.


Wouldn't you know it, this is the perfect solution! No frame and something unique! I was skeptical though... I'll admit it. I had this picture in my head of a tin sign. You know - thin, heavy, glossy, with a bumpy texture to it. I actually almost backed out of it thinking that I wouldn't like it. I'm glad I didn't though!

I was shocked when I opened the box, to see that it was nothing like what I imagined! It doesn't reflect much light, it was smooth as can be (moreso than a print from a store like Walgreens), it was light yet durable, and it stands out about a half inch from the wall. It's awesome! *There are multiple options for hanging, and if you choose another option, it might not stand out from the wall like mine does.



I decided not to hang it in the hallway, but in the dining room instead. I had bought some photo hangers from Michaels (I have no idea what those are actually called), and I thought I might showcase my Metal Print a little bit. What do you think? I thought about buying small picture frames and antique "trinkets" to hang around the print. I don't have an interior designer bone in my body, so it might look ridiculous, but I'm loving the picture nonetheless.


As for the picture, I had my bestie take some simple family pictures for our Christmas cards. They aren't professional, and my hair could look better (not to mention Gene has a goofy smirk), but the kids look beautiful and it was in our budget.


In all seriousness, this is a great gift idea! The quality is immaculate. If you're looking for something unique, especially for a parent or grandparent, this could be perfect! Also, they are extremely affordable! While I was browsing all the choices, I was amazed at just how affordable they are.

Right now, get 35% off of all Metal Prints through 12/15/15 using the promo code: pxusfam35m

Let me know what you think of our photo! More importantly, let me know what you think I should do with the space around the Metal Print!

I received this product at no charge, in exchange for my honest review and opinions. I have not been influenced in any way to give a positive (or negative) review.


11/12/15

It's Time for a New Vehicle... dun dun dun

I have been procrastinating about getting a new car for a long time. My husband and I paid my car off a couple years ago, and I vowed to keep it until I no longer had an option.

Well, it hit 200,000 miles, has another chip in the windshield, is missing lots of chrome detailing outside, has a million door dings, has super foggy/cloudy headlights, has something broken with the windshield washer stuff, the A/C went out for good, the heater doesn’t blow out very well and you can’t run it while stopped, the air bag light is on, it leaks oil somewhere that isn’t easily accessible (and it smells like it’s on fire all the time)… you get where I’m going here? I’m the main driver for our two kids, and who knows if my car will mysteriously explode while I’m driving them to their Grandparents’ house. I also have this fear that whatever is wrong with the air bag will cause it to go off while I’m flying down 367 on the way to work. So, I’ve decided to bite the bullet and get a new [to me] vehicle.

Which brings me to my next dilemma; what do I get? I say “I,” because I never really had a say in the 6 vehicles Gene has had since we’ve been together, so I’m not giving him a say now. Yes he has had 6 cars since we’ve been together (Grand Am, Eclipse, Scion xA, Sonata, Baja, Magnum), and I’ve had four (ZX2, Santa Fe, Navigator, and then HIS car became mine, which is the Sonata I have now). Why he gets all the new vehicles is beyond me.

So I kind of made a list in my head of all the things that I want. And I took into consideration the fact that I’ll probably keep the car for the next five years at least, so I want it to “grow” with our family too. I listed it out – third row seating, multi-zone climate control, power locks, power doors, DVD player, CD player, FWD (or AWD). Then, one morning while I was attempting to get Alice out of my car, in a too-tight parking spot, without hitting my door on the car next to me, it dawned on me. This happens far too often, and there’s only one thing that will work to fix it. Sliding doors. Which, you guessed it, can only mean a minivan.

So there we are. I have officially become that Mom. The one that throws her coolness out the window to be the Mom that is all about practicality and efficiency. I could it even look at it as, “what vehicle could give me the most ROI?” Duh. A minivan. It’s not always about money when you’re looking at ROI, it could be calculated in fewer headaches, time saved, less stress. It’s a no-brainer, much to Gene’s chagrin.

We started looking online about a week ago, and lemme’ tell you that minivans are expensive!
To get the van that I’m wanting, I’d be looking at a 2008 model. Man, I didn’t want to get a new vehicle that was that old! Then you take into account the miles, the damage to the inside (because kids have no sense of value in this regard), the damage to the outside, the tires, the features… Ugh. It’s almost like we have to go over our budget an extra $3,000 to get anywhere near what I want. Am I that difficult?!?

Here are the two I’m leaning towards:

Dodge Grand Caravan


Chrysler Town & Country

Both of these have a lot of the same features, but the Town & Country usually has the wood trim and bits of chrome; it's a little more "classy." I found one in the blue color above, which I really liked at first, but I'm worried that I'll get sick of it. I had that blue/purple Santa Fe and by the time two years hit I was over it.

Anyway, we’ll get one soon (hopefully), and if I’m lucky I will be very happy with it for a nice long time. My friend jokes with me that I’ll need the little soccer sticker on the back window. Ha! In a way, I’m terrified to lose that piece of me that always said “I will NEVER have a minivan,” but the Mom in me is so excited to have this family vehicle for my kids! And to think, five years ago I was even saying "I'll NEVER have kids." Everything changes... and most of the time, for the better!

Do you have a minivan? 
Did you go through the same struggles? 
Do you have any advice for what to look for in a van?  


Wish me luck!

11/9/15

Look Out World... I'm Back!

Well, did you miss me?

Who knew having a baby and a toddler at the same time would be so hard?!? Turns out the toddler isn’t much help around the house. Haha. Here are the more recent pictures of the two:




You’re probably wondering why I have a new look for my blog. And a new name. Here’s my story in a nutshell:

One day I noticed that the majority of the blogs that I read about other moms out there, are either wealthy moms, stay at home moms, or both. I found myself wondering why I read them all the time; I don’t relate to them – I work full-time, I don’t take my kids on trips through the week, we don’t belong to clubs, we can’t afford to take vacations, and we just do the “normal” activities on the weekends (or we do all the chores that we didn’t have time to do through the week). Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to follow them and read their blogs, but I was at a loss for where all the “average” moms were out there, going through the same motions as me.

It dawned on me as I was running on fumes the other night after working all day, making dinner, putting away dinner, running a load of laundry, giving both girls baths and then doing our whole bedtime routine, that THIS is why there aren’t many bloggers out there like me… there’s not enough time in the day! I mean, I’m living proof! I went from blogging twice a week, to once a week, to twice a month, to once a month, to never.

I know some of you feel my pain. By the time I’ve done my daily routine, I’m found sitting on the couch watching Frasier at 9:30pm trying to keep my eyes open long enough to get through the day’s Instagram posts. I usually never make it and give in to my tired eyes. Lucky for me though I get to wake up at 2:30am every night, so I can usually finish my scrolling then (yes, it’s sarcasm, although I shouldn’t be like that because I love my time with the little one). And the weekends are jam packed with fun things so that I can experience my child’s happiness too. So, where am I supposed to fit in the time to post all the “mom things” when I don’t even have the time to vacuum?


Well, here’s the answer… I’m going to post whenever I can. That’s it. Here and there.. So, don’t expect a blog every day. Some weeks might have one, some might have more. Some might not have any. I’ll post on Instagram and Facebook almost daily, and my Pinterest feed will stay current on all things “working mom time-savers” and “kid crafts that don’t take a ton of effort.” Hopefully, while I probably don’t offer many tips on how to not break down into tears when your toddler has their fifth tantrum in Target, I can offer a little peace knowing that you’re not alone. There is another Mom out there walking on egg shells around her three year old. There is a Mom out there who also washes one bottle at a time because she doesn’t have the time to do them all at once. There is even another Mom out there who looks longingly at the couple noshing on Margaritas and street tacos while you’re stuck eating a cheese quesadilla that you didn’t want in the first place but ordered for the child who is now refusing to eat it but wants Daddy’s chicken taco instead. Yes, they are out there.

I won’t be able to give you tips on Mom clothes (unless you want to know that the six pairs of shoes I own are flats), and I’m not the right person to ask about the sauces that go best with a Quinoa salad, but I can tell you that you should find a way to hide your shoes (all of them) in your entry way, and Spaghetti O’s only need to be nuked for about 45 seconds to be just right to eat right away. Hahaha. In all seriousness, I’d be happy to share my preferences for baby necessities (the snugga-bunny swing is a sleep-saver), or how I juggle my time between work, home and everything in between, or even if you just want advice on what to look for in daycares if you’re looking to go back to work!

We are a blue collar family, living in the ever-changing Midwest. We aren’t fancy, and we are kind of a hot mess the majority of the time. But we are the norm… we are average. 

I am, The Average Momma. 



**THIS POST WAS MY 100TH POST!!!**

10/26/15

New Blog Coming Soon!

Hello Everyone!

I'm excited to announce that after a long hiatus, I will be returning with a new blog... coming soon!

So, stay tuned for more about The Brink Family!

Jenni

4/9/15

My Eventful (Hospital) Monday

Monday was an eventful day. Lemme’ back up…

On Sunday morning (which was Easter), I spent the majority of the time in the kitchen. I made a French toast bake the night before that I popped into the oven, I was unmolding the Jell-o eggs, and making almost a dozen deviled eggs (or should I say almost two dozen because I halved them; not sure on the correct term there). After breakfast I showered and got ready for the day. The last thing I did to get ready was try to squeeze into some maternity jeans that I got for $5 at a consignment sale, that were clearly too small for me.
Right before we go to walk out the door, I remind myself to pee first (because let’s face it, I go every half an hour and who knows if I’d be in agony on our 15 minute car ride). Low and behold, what did I see when I sat down??? Blood. I panicked for a bit. “Is that really blood? Could it be something else? When did I feel the baby move last? Oh God, has she moved all morning!?!”

I ran into the bedroom and laid on my side (well-known position to feel baby kicks) as I called the OB’s emergency line. My message to them sounded something like “My name is ___, date of birth is ____, I’m 30 weeks along and I’m bleeding. It’s old blood, not fresh, but I didn’t have this with my first one. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do from here.” As soon as I hung up I felt the baby kick. Whew!

Not even 30 seconds later, the phone rang and it was a doctor out of the office (there are three doctors at the location I go to). I’m sure she heard the shaking in my voice. She asked me a lot of questions about my recent activities, and I think all of them were “no.” I then explained that I overdid it at the zoo the day before (felt some cramping and pressure in my abdomen; almost like I pulled a muscle), I was on my feet for a few hours Saturday night as well baking an Easter cake, and I did some hopping around the house squeezing into a too-small pair of pants just 20 minutes earlier. She said I shouldn’t be too concerned and bleeding is normal during pregnancy, much to my surprise. I thought maybe early on, but this late?

She told me to watch for fresh blood, or more of it. She said I need to take it easy and stay off my feet. Watch for pressure when I’m standing or walking (ummm, I’ve had that for MONTHS now), look for changes in my body like swelling, headaches, fever, etc. That was it. The rest of Sunday was boring really since I couldn’t do much. Everyone all day was all “don’t pick her up, don’t walk down the stairs, sit back down and take it easy…” It made things pretty dull for the most part. I did get to catch up with Aunt Sharon, and it was nice huddling around the dining room table watching Emma open all her eggs.

By Sunday night, most of the bleeding had stopped. Whew! Just a blip.

Monday morning, the blood was done. No more. Yay! I got ready and went to work. It seemed to be the start of a great day. However, I parked in my normal parking spot, walked inside the office building, set my stuff down, and I felt a lot of pressure. I actually felt it once I got to the top of the hill outside, but once I reached the top of the stairs I was dragging! I swear a foot could have been out or something. I went to the restroom, and the blood was back… and intense!

I got done what needed to be done right away, and then I called the doctor around 10:30 am. She said I should go to the evaluation unit on the maternity ward level of the hospital. So at 11:00 am I left work and headed there.

Once I got to the hospital, the evaluation unit was closed. CLOSED!?!?! I went to the maternity ward, and they said that since they didn’t have any patients, they closed that unit and they admitted any patients going there, into the ward instead. Oh joy. So I got to wear the great hospital gown, got a bed and room all to myself, hospital bracelet and all. At that point, I knew it would be an all-day event.

The nurses moved quickly since there weren’t many women there that day. By 12:30 pm I was already having the speculum test done to check for fluid and such. It was at that time that the nurse made a comment something like “wow, that’s some different blood.” To save you the gross details, I'll just say that it was stringy at this point. The nurse kept asking me to cough (and that hurts when the speculum is there and all), and she noticed that when I cough I bleed more. At that point, she had to leave the room and call the doctor to let her know what she saw.

She came back about 45 minutes later, and let me know that my bag of waters wasn’t broken at all, but the bleeding and the amount of blood was puzzling everyone. So I needed to have an ultrasound done. It wasn’t a surprise though when she told me it would be at least a three hour wait to get in for the ultrasound since there wasn’t anything life-threatening going on.

I updated everyone on my status, and Gene felt bad that he wasn’t there with me so he left work and got there about 2:00 pm.  I watched some good tv until I was wheeled away for the ultrasound. A student doctor followed us to watch, which was fine by me, and actually worked out better because they looked the baby all over to show her all the organs and everything on the baby. Hey, if I’m going to pay out the wazoo for this ultrasound, at least I’m getting some good looks! We even got to have a couple 4D images of her!

The fetal-monitoring doctor came in and talked to me about the possibilities. They didn’t see any clotting, and nothing going on with the placenta or cervix. I asked how they could tell about the back side of everything and that’s when she told me that she can’t. At 30 weeks, the baby is too big and the bones are no longer frail, so they are unable to see through her to the back of the placenta. So she said that there was a chance that there could be a small detachment on the back that we wouldn’t know about. That had me worried.


They wheeled me back to the room, and the nurse called my doctor to go over the results of the ultrasound and where to go from there. It was rather quick from there on out. She came back and said that my doctor thinks it’s my cervix and isn’t worried about the placenta. I guess it’s normal for your cervix to bleed (I forget the term they used to say that it bleeds a lot, it started with an “f”). I was told to watch for the same things, as well as others like vision impairment, contractions, etc. I have my standing appointment with my doctor on the 21st, so they said no “hanky panky,” no heavy lifting, no exercising (ha!), don’t stand too long, don’t sit too long, and rest while at home until I see her then.

I’ve been trying to take it easy, but it’s so hard! The baby’s room isn’t done, the house is a mess, the chores never stop, and I still have a full-time job of course! I have been doing things as normal since the bleeding stopped (Tuesday afternoon), but I’m taking breaks often to make sure that I’m not overdoing it. I have a cough that won’t seem to go away, so I cough most of the day, which pulls on my stomach muscles and for the last day and a half every time I walk on my right foot I feel a slight pull in my lower abdomen. But I’m really trying. I cut down my trips up and down the stairs at work, I take breaks more at home, I get up and walk more at work, etc.

I’ve got less than NINE weeks to go now, and as much as I want her here, this baby girl needs to keep cooking in there for now. I want her to come out strong!


So that was my eventful Monday. I forgot to mention that I couldn’t eat or drink the entire time in the hospital, so as soon as we left (5:45 pm), we hit up Olive Garden! Yum!

4/3/15

The Friday Four - 4.3.15 (and a pregnancy update)



LIKE – You’re going to think I’m nuts here, but I’m really liking spearmint ChapStick! For Christmas, my Mom bought me a three-pack of ChapStick as a stocking stuffer. One of the “flavors” was spearmint. Guys, it is awesome! The only downside is that I have no idea where to buy more. It seems that most places only have the original flavors (colors black, baby blue and red). I know what you’re thinking… “out of a two week time span, all she could like is ChapStick?” Hahaha, well, it’s that good!

LOVE – I love that I finally know that our newest baby will be a little girl. I’ve already ordered and received the decorations for her room, and Emma is already moved into her “big girl room.” She is surprisingly taking to her new room really well, but it’s still a long process because we are now fitting all of the stuff from her old room, plus all of her toys, into her new room. This is why we need to sell our house and get a new place with a play area. I digress. The baby girl’s room may just stay the white and sorbet orange it is now, but I’ll add pops of yellow and maroon. I started looking at decals tonight, but nothing is standing out for me yet. I hope to have it all done in the next couple weeks because I’m blowing up fast and getting uncomfortable.


WANT – I want a stinking snocone! On my birthday (March 28th), Molly O’s Tropical Sno in St. Charles was supposed to re-open for the season. I had every intention of hitting it up, but we never had the time. Then we were going to the day after, but after cake and ice cream with my parents, I couldn’t take any more sugar. So here it is, a few days later, and I still haven’t had my shaved ice. Can you just picture my sad, pregnant, no snocone face?

HATE – Remember how I told you about the “wonder weeks” in my last Friday Four? Well, we had like two or three awesome days in the last 2 weeks (all in a row), and at this point, if Emma was like 11 years older I’d swear it was that time of the month for her. She’s so emotional right now and I can’t tell if it’s her “cloudy days” or if it’s a growth spurt. She cried all the way to school this morning because it wasn’t her birthday. It all started because I asked her if she was going to have fun at the Easter party. So she says “Is the party for my birthday?” I replied “No, your birthday isn’t until July.” Cue the water works. Real tears here people; tears and uncontrollable crying. No binky could console her, and no matter what I said it just made it worse. I’m hating all of these rollercoaster emotions. I can’t keep up. I feel like this is what my husband felt like while we were dating right out of high school.


PREGNANCY UPDATE:

As of tomorrow (Friday), I will officially be at the 30 week mark. I’m in the last fourth of my pregnancy journey. Thank goodness!!! I set the date, and unless God has something else in mind, I’m due for a scheduled C-Section on Monday, June 8th. With that said, I’m actually only 9 weeks and 3 days away. Single digits!

I’m gaining about a pound per week. I feel like it’s more like five pounds per week though. I’m getting bigger (everywhere), my feet are growing/swelling, I’m out of breath a lot from the lack of room for my lungs, I get physically tired from the smallest of tasks (think grocery shopping), and I’m just all around uncomfortable. It was not like this with Emma at all. Granted, I ate a lot better and was hitting up the gym three days a week when I got pregnant. But, this big difference is making me very whiney and I’m not sure if it’s from the fact that I’m uncomfortable, or if it’s the fact that I have to rely on other people for so many things which I clearly hate.

Food seems to be my enemy. This baby (or my body) is wanting nothing but sugar. Cookies, ice cream, pasta, bread… anything that has a lot of sugar in it is unfortunately what I want. I’m still waiting for my glucose test results, but I can already see them being bad. I try to avoid it, I really do, but it’s like it’s all I can think about. Even when I think I’m being good, I’m really not. Those prepackaged oatmeal packs are so high in sugar content!

All-in-all, this pregnancy is pretty normal. I’m struggling to find words to even type out because it’s nothing new or exciting. I can say that Emma is very excited, but in an “I don’t really know this is real” way. She tickles the baby (my belly) all the time, says that the baby is laughing or happy, says she feels her kicking… but she’s just imagining it all. Or playing pretend. If I hold her in my arms, she will even yell “the baby’s coming out!” I don’t think she really knows there’s a baby in there, or that in nine short weeks the baby will be here and our worlds turned upside-down. In the meantime, she can keep kissing my belly and loving on her baby sister as practice for the real thing. ;-)



I think that while we wait out this last bit of time we have left, I will spoil Emma greatly. I want to enjoy this time together, before she’s no longer the center of my universe, but HALF of it instead. 

3/20/15

The Friday Four - 3.20.15


LIKE – I think I speak for everyone when I say that I’m liking this Spring weather! Okay, so today was chilly, and tomorrow will barely be better, but Saturday is supposed to be in the 70’s and I’m digging it! We've cleaned the back yard, we've played ball and catch, we've even BBQ’d a couple times already! I’m not sure if it’s the pregnancy in me wanting fresh air and sunshine, or if I have cabin fever, but I just want to do things outdoors. We went to the flea market last week, we had a garage sale the weekend before, and I even got sunburned! I’m just enjoying each nice day and can't get enough of it.

LOVE – I’m loving this new stage in Emma’s life. She’s very independent, and she’s choosing things for herself. Don’t get me wrong, she’s still clingy and needy (girl cannot play by herself for anything), but she wants to be involved in everything and have the opportunity to do things on her own. She can put her shoes on all by herself, she puts her own dishes in the sink, she picks out her clothes for the day and even knows when they don’t match! She gets angry if we don’t let her do things herself (tantrum waiting to happen), and she gets even more angry if she’s unsuccessful at doing it on her own. Even with the mini screaming fits if we forget to let her try, I still love that she’s growing up to be independent and is first to try things on her own before asking or insisting on help.

WANT – My Mom and Gene keep asking me what I want for my birthday. They both know what I’m going to say – a new windshield for my car, a new shower for the basement, a new ceiling fan for Emma’s big girl room, maybe a new chandelier in the dining room… you get where I’m going here. However, both of them keep saying that they want me to have something for myself. It’s so hard because we need to do so much to the house and my car that I just think it’s silly to get something frivolous. Sure, I’d use a tablet for work as much as at home, but it’s not a necessity. My laptop may be slow as molasses, but it still works. I could desperately use a pedicure, but I could do it myself (okay, maybe not since I can barely touch my toes). So, how am I supposed to make that decision? How am I supposed to say, “Okay, I want this for ME, even though WE need these things?” Isn't that like taking things away from Emma because I want something for myself? I hear all the time, “you still have to do things for you.” And then you read in articles how it’s so important to not lose that side of you that was there before kids and adult responsibilities, but how is that even possible really? I just don’t know. Why is it so hard to spend money on myself???

HATE – I hate, hate, hate Emma’s “cloudy days.” I’m not sure who told me about this app when Emma was just a baby, but it’s called TheWonder Weeks. The Wonder Weeks is basically this: When your baby is having a mental leap (meaning any new brain development, like learning to pick up things, ability to stack things, etc.) they have “cloudy days,” as I call them, which means clinginess, crankiness and crying (the 3 C’s) . Once their brain is done with that task, they move on to “sunny days,” which as you can guess is happiness. According to the app (and the book I’m sure), the wonder weeks stop at Week 75, which is 17 months old. I swear Emma still has them though! About every 1.5 – 2 weeks she goes through this burst of unruliness that lasts 3 – 5 days. It’s like hell week. It’s filled with tantrums, screaming, hitting, hurting herself, and all around terror. She does weird things like scratch herself to the point of bleeding, or hitting her head, or pulling out her hair! She has even gone to the extreme of jumping in the air and landing directly on her rear end. She ends up with bruises everywhere, and bite marks, and more. I’m told this is normal (even by her doctor who I've ran to a couple times in fear of something more serious) and ignoring it is key, but if she ever did any real damage I’d never forgive myself so I feel like I have to react. I've tried putting her in time out in her room, sitting her in the corner, throwing away things she wants, taking toys away from her for a period of time, etc. I feel bad about it afterwards because I read that stuff like that causes anxiety, but HOW ELSE AM I SUPPOSED TO MAKE HER STOP?!?!? I’m just to the point now to where I can get stern with her, reprimand her somehow, talk to her, and it’s over in 5 minutes or less. But those 5 minutes are enough to make me bawl my eyes out. I even start to wonder if she’s going to be some psychopath killer when she’s older because she acts insane! People say that the 3’s are harder… well people, if that’s true, I may end up in the loony bin.

3/6/15

The Friday Four - 3.6.15



LIKE – I’m liking the fact that I can see 60 degree weather in the forecast! This cold weather has got me in a funk. I’ve worn my hair up for two weeks straight! I know, I know, the weather has nothing to do with me wearing my hair up, but it just goes to show that I’m in a “blah” mood about the everyday norm lately. Just think… 60 degrees, sunshine, outdoors with fresh air, taking the kiddo to the park, etc. I’m so excited! Starting this nice weather off, we have a garage sale at Six Flags to go sell at. Wish us luck because I need to get rid of some junk!

LOVE – Baby kicks! Little Baby Brink is just kicking away in there! And it’s not just kicks really – it’s flips and turns and stretches too! Honestly, sometimes it makes me sick to my stomach when I feel them doing their yoga poses. But, there’s no better feeling while pregnant. Just to feel this small child growing in your belly is such a blessing! I may moan and groan that I’m uncomfortable or tired, but this is such a joy that I wish fathers could experience as well.

WANT – Besides the obvious (nice weather and a bouncy baby), I want some Cardinals tickets! I am so excited to see our team play! Granted, I’ll probably go in April and be over it since this pregnancy has included hip and back pain along with occasional foot swelling. But, nonetheless, I’m very excited for our guys to get started at home! And for supreme nachos.


HATE – I hate that I am such a complainer lately. My poor husband has had to deal with me bailing on chores, nagging at him for not picking up my slack, my food cravings and then it not making the cut, etc. I complain to co-workers, my Mom, my friends… basically anyone who will listen. I’m not usually like that. I just hate that this pregnancy has been so icky and not glorious like it was with Emma. Maybe that means I will have an easy-going baby? Fingers crossed!

2/13/15

The Friday Four - 2.13.15



1.       LOVE – I absolutely loved the nice weather we had last weekend. It was so amazing to be able to get out of the house and spend a few hours outside each day. On Saturday, We went to the park for about 45 minutes, but with the wind it was still a bit chilly. So instead, Emma played the day away at my parents’ house – she dug in dirt, blew bubbles, played with the bubble gun, drew with chalk, and so much more! You’d think she would be too exhausted for anything on Sunday, but she played hard in the morning, and then we sat outside for lunch at DQ. She took a nice nap, and then we played indoors at home because she had a slight fever for some reason. It was a wonderful weekend, and I just wish that every weekend could be that enjoyable.

2.       LIKE – Food. Right now I don’t have much to look forward to on a daily basis, but I’m recently branching out and trying new things and new restaurants. It’s so exciting! No, it’s not as good as a rum and diet or Million Dollar Margarita, but it’s all I really have right now. This weekend is Valentine’s Day, so the hubs and I are going to Maggiano’s for the first time. I’ve scoped out their menu, and I am so excited!

3.       WANT – I want a tablet for work. I am the only one in my department without an iPad. Seriously. It has come to the point that pen and paper are no longer enough. I mean, come on, I shouldn’t feel left out because I haven’t jumped on the bandwagon, but I totally do. I’d really like a Surface Pro because it can do everything my computer could do (so I’ve heard), but who the heck had a grand to drop? Not me. I mean, I do, but I think I’d be sick over it for a long time. So, the plan is to sell all of our junk at the garage sale at Six Flags in March, so that I’m not using any of our usual funds to purchase something frivolous. We’ll see how that goes. Chances are I’ll get an iPad Mini simply because the cost is low. I’d still be happy with it though. :-)


4.       HATE – I hate all of the judgment swirling around about the people who are going to see the 50 Shades of Grey movie. Why does it bother me? Well, I feel that I have every right to go see it; I am a grown woman, who is going to go see the movie with her husband. I’m not going alone to have improper thoughts. I’m not going to watch the movie to become an adulterer looking for some S&M action. I’m simply going to see it because it is the type of movie that I want to go see on Valentine’s Day with my husband. Aren’t you wondering what the hype is about? Another point I have, is that there wasn’t even this much hype over the book, when the book obviously has more details in it (you can’t even make the WHOLE book into a movie otherwise it would be called pornography). I’ve even read articles that stemmed from peoples’ curiosity of the Duggars’ ability to abstain, that said that romance novels and erotica were the ways young women should explore themselves before they find their husband. Since when did we stop using our brain just because we read a book? I mean, people can still have values after they read this book… right? Maybe I’m wrong; I haven’t read it.