February 28, 2009

Give love, get love?

Listen - if you are easily offended by Christian perspective - please do us both a favor and click that little "x" in the top right corner. Go ahead, do it now. Save us both the drama of huffing and puffing when you cannot resist the urge to comment by the end of this post.

Anyone still there?

Whew. Two of you. Well, grandma always said to give it your all, even if only one person stuck around to hear it.

Do you like that window display? Isn't it cute? It was taken at a mall near our home on Valentines Day. Actually, if you read along the bottom, you can see what store it's from. Big name, eh? We weren't in the store. AB was waiting outside of the store while I used the ladies room. When I came out - he had a pondering look on his face. Conversation went like this:

AB "Look at that window...tell me what you see"

CB "Aww...a heart...."

AB "Keep looking, babe"

CB "Ummm...clothes...that I can't fit into...ummm....a heart...whatamImissinghere....ummm, mannequins..."

AB "The heart"

CB "k....what about it?"

AB "those are condoms"

CB "WHAT? SHUT UP YOUR MOUTH!?!?!?" squinting to take a closer look. Can't see so jumps down off the bench and walks over to the window.

AB "see. told you."

CB "What in the FRIG? Who in the... What in the wild, wild... Are they...did they....seriously? Seriously?

AB Eyebrows raised. Chagrin on face says it all.

CB "I'm gonna have to take a picture of that. Because I can't believe it." Whips out camera and takes several pictures until employees start giving me the stink eye - probably thinking I'm admiring/stealing their idea for another store window.

Need a better look? (click to enlarge)

Practice safe love, everyone. That's right...YOU. Practice it. Aren't you so freaking glad that they were there to tell you that? Doesn't it just warm your heart, through and through (in case it didn't, they have created a "heart" for you) to know that the Ar***mani company wants you to practice "safe love". Not only you - your 14 year old impressionable son needs to know too - while he's shopping. For clothes. At the mall. He needs a heart of CONDOMS hanging in a store window in the mall and a little note from a billionaire reminding him to have some safe "love". Not just you, but your 12 year old and her 11 year old friends who are walking through the mall shopping. What about your little 7 year old in 2nd grade.? Sounding it out on the window - she can read, you know?

"Praaackkktiss ss-aaa-fu ll-uuu-vvv. Mommy, what does that mean?"

"ummm, it means to...uhhh....be careful...who...I mean, errr....what you...I mean...be safe when you love someone a lot...a whole lot".

"Oh. Like I love you, Mommy?"

"No sweetie...like...umm....well...like Mommy loves Daddy."

"Are you praktissing saafe luv?"

"No honey...not anymore...I mean, yes but, well no. I mean, that's why we have you. Because we're not practicing anymore"


"Do you want ice cream?"

You know what...I'm sick of this crap. No wonder people freaking home school their kids. You can't get away from this stuff. It's on the street, it's all over TV, it's in books, magazines, nightly news...and apparently now it's in the store window of the mall.

Things I don't want to hear:
  • Without safe sex practices we would have unwanted children, more disease, more problems, more issues, etc. (Don't get me started...couldn't we avoid this by not having casual sex?)
  • You're kids will find out eventually. (Yes, and I'd like some say in when and how that happens, if it's alright with the media!!)
  • You're burying your head in the sand. (No, I'm trying to raise children with values and morals - seeming more and more impossible in this culture)
  • If you don't like it, don't shop there. (Thank you, we don't)
  • Why would you discourage safe sex? (I wouldn't....I would discourage stupid sex.)
This is not a case of me not realizing that my children will be exposed to and completely saturated in an oversexed society. This is not a case of me wanting people to die of Aids. This is not a case of me burying my head and not wanting people to practice safe sex.

This is a mother who would like to find AN OUNCE of redeemable innocence that I can pour into my children. If you want to have sex, fine. If you want to have safe sex. Fine. If you want to talk about it, fine.

But could you avoid dumping your over-sexualized crap all over my kids when their still playing with dolls and playing hide and seek? Could you avoid putting sex in my kids faces when their 11 and 12 and figuring out who they are?

Could you please have the decency to respect that MANY OF US would like to be able to walk down the mall and not have to be visually smacked with 100 condoms hanging from the rafters of a store window. I mean, where is the sense of ANY propriety?

You can argue with me until your blue in the face. But don't bother. It would never change my perspective on this.

We've killed off a whole generation of innocence with our overt propaganda and stupid agendas.

What have we done??

To your kids and mine...

February 27, 2009

One giant step for motherhood

I resigned from my job yesterday. To be with him. Clarify: to be more present with him. Tried cutting back to part-time in October, but it wasn't the right solution.

Seems like our family is about the undergo some interesting changes...we'll leave that to God.

Either way, we're feeling a gentle peace that we've made the right choice. Counterculture though our decision may seem to some.

I'm so very happy that I get to make Quint and Keira (and...who knows who else down the line????) my full-time job, and that I have a husband that supports me so much and encourages me every step of the way.

I've never not had a job. Not since I was 15 and got a workers permit. This is a first for me and I'm so excited to try on this new hat.

I just overheard Anton on the phone telling one of his best friends..."Christie's got a new job...she's going to be a stay-at-home Mom!" Love him.

Thank you, AB - for being who you are and reminding me when it matters so much what an amazing man you are. Thank you for gently pushing me to to trust, and to step out in faith. For letting me take my time to decide what I wanted to do, and then for praising me when I came to my decision. Thank you for loving our kids so much that there's nothing you want more than for me to spend my time loving and nurturing them - even if it means sacrifice on our part to make that happen.

Friends, this is a good day...

February 25, 2009

Do you think they meant "Terrible One's"

I'm not even playin' ya'll. This is nuts. For the past month, maybe a little more, we've been experiencing mass hysteria daily as Tiny Terror, aka "Q-man" wreaks his special brand of havoc on our home and, oh yeah, on my nerves. Frazzled doesn't cover it.

Let's break it down, shall we? Oh come on, what else have you got to do...laundry? Dishes? Leave em...they'll wait while I give you my own laundry list of crazy.

Most of the day is spent in an emotional and mental war of the minds. Headstrong toddler versus pig-headed Mommy. Cranky/whiny 1-year old versus now even crankier/whiny Mommy.

If he doesn't get his way - LOOK OUT. My people, run! You better make for the hills, because stuff is about to be flying around the room. If he wants your cell phone, and let's say...you don't want to envision your cell phone in 60 pieces - and so you say "no" calmly to this tiny cute boy - expect the immediate reaction of him falling on the floor, sobbing, wailing, maybe even hitting if you're in close proximity. (oh yes, I just said "hitting") He will then re-attempt to gain what he wants (add infinty) until you either cave (rarely) or he wears himself out having a tantrum (likely), or you are sucessful in distracting him with something else (not likely).

This event unfolds many many times a day with each thing my independent exploring all-boy curious little wonder comes across and decides he must either possess or conquer. Folks, it ain't pretty.

  • He climbs onto and stands on chairs, rocking chairs, tables and side tables
  • Pulls DVD's and books off the shelf in chubby handfuls
  • Turns on and off the TV over and over and over
  • scopes out and finds all remotes and quickly changes settings and channels
  • steals cell phones and calls Tokyo
  • throws books and toys out the dog door in large quantities
  • Crawls out the dog door himself
  • throws books and toys into the kitchen and laughs hysterically
  • pushes his grubby fingers through the screens when the windows are open
  • manages to get into the garage by cleverly figuring out how to open the door
  • pulls paper out of my printer and throws it around the room
  • empties any garbage can he can find
  • or...dumps over the kitchen garbage can. TONS of fun.
  • throws toys, shoes, calculators and anything else he can find into the garbage - never to be seen again
  • Runs away from you, every chance he gets (especially in public)
  • Runs from you in the house, finds the closest room, and slams the door - locking himself in until one of us come and open the door. He will literally go into our room, close the door, enter the master bath, close the door, enter the master closet and close the door. It's like a maze trying to find him
  • Opens the lid of the toilet. We'll leave it there.
  • Eats the dog and cat food every chance he gets
  • Puts his hands and toys in the dogs water bowls
  • Throws food, plates, bowls, cups, forks and spoons from his highchair - every meal
  • Turns his head in a huff if he doesn't want to eat what you want him to eat
  • Seeks out the cat to pull her tail and slap at her. Don't worry - I don't let him ever get close enough and neither does she
  • Tries to eat rocks everytime he's outside
  • Picks up picture frames and throws them
  • Pushes his rocking chair and rocking horse over and claps
  • Pulls dishes out of the dishwasher and strews them around the kitchen
  • pulls the standing lamp over
  • Pulls on the living room drapes
  • throws the cushions off the couch
  • pulls the diapers out of his diaper can
  • throws his shoes in hard to reach places
  • pulls his nightlight out anytime he is in his room
  • unravels toilet paper
  • dismantles my bathroom basket of hair products into the bathtub
  • removes shoes and socks EVERY. Single. Time. he's in the carseat
Let me point out to you, before those of you that will - think that I'm raising a completely spoiled brat. First, I think so much of this is his inherant need to explore and conquer. I get that he's curious. I get that he's learning like a crazy sponge. I don't just "let" him do any of the above. It's just that he moves from one to the next, while I run frantically around behind him saying "Quint, that's a no-touch" and "Quint, we don't do that" and "Quint, what are you doing?!?!" and "Seriously?? Seriously???" and "Mommy is losing her mind today...please don't touch that..." I could keep going, but you get it. I'm not just letting him run rampant. He just moves from one bullet point to the next and starts all over when he's finished. My days are full of those bullet points lately.

Now add in the temper tantrums, the independent nature and strong willed streak, and stir in the crying and whining - I'm just saying...

Before I get rolled eyes or unwarranted advice, let me clarify:

  • I love Quint from head to toe - more and more all the time
  • He is sunshine in our life
  • He makes me laugh
  • I love being his Mommy
  • I could eat him up
  • He's a pill
  • He's all boy
  • I need stock in Excedrin

*Anonymous - it's tongue in cheek. Jeesh, lighten up. Of course it's parenting...hello? Duh? Making a big joke here about crazy one year old behavior...

And second, you'll note I did say that I didn't really want unwarranted advice, (guess you just couldn't help yourself, eh?) and third...you're IP address is soooo cute! Thanks for that!! I love knowing who says these things...

Third, could you read someone elses blog from now on? No, seriously? Really. I insist. Bye now. Buh-bye.

February 22, 2009

365 days ago...

...we saw his face for the first time. Here we are a year later, and it is amazing to me how our lives have changed in the past twelve months. From seeing his little face, to preparing to meet him, to holding him for the first time, and now...to learning more and more about him every day and falling in love with him every minute. It's remarkable the difference a year has made...

To my LID buddies...be encouraged. It truly does happen - take heart and be comforted.

Lord, thank You for sending Quint to us. For knowing so well exactly who we needed and for loving us enough to entrust him to our care. We pray that his life will be a blessing...to those who know him, and more importantly, to You, Father. We know he was Yours before he was ours and that he will always be Your Child first. May we daily be reminded of what a gift we have truly been given ~ In the precious name of Jesus ~ Amen

February 16, 2009

What do you do all day that makes you so tired, anyway?

This is priceless! You can click on the picture to enlarge it and read. I'm telling you right now, it completely summed up for me why I feel like I never have time to do what I think I will or want to do. Thank you - someone who said it for me better than I ever could have!

Moms, enjoy!

February 15, 2009

Last Two

Menus for the last two days of Nuttin'

Breakfast - Cereal
Lunch: Egg Salad Sandwiches
Dinner: Steak and Fries...mmmm

Breakfast: Banana Bread (homemade by yours truly - first time...and yum-o!) Scrambled eggs and bacon. Love breakfast when AB is home...

Lunch: Egg Salad Sandwiches/ leftover Chili, etc. etc.

Dinner: Valentines Dinner was a treat! We used a gift card to a local upscale Italian place, and had a wonderful time out and about by ourselves. We enjoyed our meals tremendously and they had a live jazz band, which was absolutely lovely.

Afterward, we stopped by the mall and I made my way to my favorite paper store. They have every kind of note card/paper product that you can imagine and it's just a dream for me to sift through each and every little corner of that place. On the down side, we only had about 15 minutes until closing by the time we got in and got to the store, so I just browsed quickly with my $50 giftcard burning a hole in my pocket. I've been sitting on it since November...ugh! I so badly wanted to get something fun, but I just felt so pressured to hurry up and get out. Anyway, I decided to wait until I would have more time to browse, but AB had fun snapping this pic of me oogling all the paper goodies. It was fun to shop...I gotta tell ya...after thirty days of nuttin - it was really fun...even though I didn't get anything at all.

Another post for today under seperate cover - 30 days of Nothin' is O.V.E.R....!!!!!

February 13, 2009


Could you get any work done with this face around? I'm just sayin'...

Off to play.

February 12, 2009

2. M.o.r.e. D.a.y.s.

Ugh! Two more...two more...I can do this...two more days left in 30-days of no Chipotle. eerrr...I mean "nothing".

Last two days menus -

Breakfast - Cereal and bananas
Lunch - Beef & Cheese taquitos (frozen)
Dinner - It's not delivery, it's....you got it - DiGiorno!

Breakfast - Cereal and bananas again
Lunch - Beef with Wild Rice and Barley stew, biscuits with honey butter
Dinner - A treat! We were treated to dinner at TGI Friday's by Anton's employer. Fun! (but honestly...kind of interesting that the food was once again, just ok. Hmmm, wonder if there is a lesson there about convenience?)

Not much else to tell...my heart is still a little bit on the previous post from last night.

Two more days...

February 11, 2009

Changing Channels

Have you seen Castaway with T. Hanks? He's stranded on a desert island for four years. He's got a pocket watch with a picture of his fiance and a small flashlight. At night, he sits in the dark facing the open pocket watch and turns the flashlight on and off...on and off. Just so he can see her face. So he can be reminded of her.

We have a baby video monitor with cameras over both Quint and Keira's cribs. I keep it on and by my bed every night, so that I can check on Quint if he cries. Since he rarely ever wakes up, I mostly just find myself watching the monitor to see him sleeping peacefully, or admiring him, thinking of our day together, and reminding myself how lucky we are to know him and to love him.

This week, while laying in bed doing that very thing...my hand reached over and switched the channel to Keira's room. I don't know why. There was her crib reflected in the monitor, lit up by the small nightlight in her room. There was her blanket, her tiny pillow, her bear. But no Keira to watch sleeping peacefully like big-brother. I switched the monitor to A/B - where the channels switch between the two cameras every 7 seconds. Quint, sleeping and beautiful. Keira's empty crib. Quint...breathing steadily, shuffling around a little bit. Keira's lonely blankie and bear in the quiet of the room. Quint, warm and cozy in his footie pj's. Keira's bed - empty. I just stared at the screen, unable to look away. Lying there on my pillow watching the screen switch back and forth and wishing that I could see both of my babies in their beds.

I don't know why, but it hurt my heart to see her bed. I guess I get through most of my days by putting all my energy and focus into Quint and the here and now. And I think that's the right thing to do - because it's useless to worry and fret over something I have no control over whatsoever.

But for this night, it hurt. And I suppose for a change, I just wanted to allow it to hurt. I wanted to see her crib and remind myself that she's not there now, but will be. I've had to put my feelings for Keira on such a high and dusty shelf just to get four years down the line from where we started - that I sometimes forget that her room is actually that...her room.

When we decided to adopt from Africa, I felt like I was betraying Keira somehow. Of course, instead, I was actually giving her a lifelong sibling and someone by her side who could truly understand where she was coming from. But at the time, my feelings were so raw from wanting her home, that I couldn't get past my guilt. Somehow, the healing that took place when I held Quint for the first time - well, it really put a salve on my tired heart. I guess ever since then, I've just been busying myself with the ins and outs of my fast paced days with a toddler. Falling in love with a little boy I never thought I'd have. All part of God's plan for our family...

But in the back of my mind, or rather my heart - there she is. Waiting and waiting, just as before to come home and be real to me. Not just a closet of beautiful clothes, or an empty crib...but to be my little daughter who I've waited and wanted for so long now. There she is, on the monitor...on the B channel. Waiting for her momma to look out for her, even in the wee hours of the morning. To see her sleeping and make sure she's snuggly and peaceful, just like brother.

Knowing that Keira Joy is born and in China even as I type this...knowing that she's breathing and eating and sleeping...but not in her bed where mommy can watch her and know she's safe from any harm...

It just hurts sometimes.

Soon enough it will all be a memory...

February 10, 2009

On the Menu - Day 20sumthin - 4 days left

For Tuesday ~

Breakfast - Cereal. Schmereal.

Lunch - A weird combo of pb& j and cheese, crackers, salad, turkey...don't ask. It was a free for all - grab whatever, we're in a rush, kind of day.

Dinner - Homemade Mac n Cheese, homemade creamed corn, and Anton's amazing pork chops. This meal was off the hook!

February 9, 2009

Three days gone, running out of numbers

First - I'm running out of graphic numbers for these posts. I could go look em' up, but frankly I'm tired and cranky and don't feel like it. I'm still sick and AB is working late hours almost every night this week. Which means, in the middle of a busy work season, and a sick season, I'm single-mom'n it. People - I have limits. Numbers for the post are hardly rating. Did I mention my dog threw up three times today? Good times. Oh yeah. Good times.

Second, there has not been nearly enough attention in the past three weeks given to the love of my life (ok, one of two). So let's just put it down for the record that the little boy in that picture right there, is in fact, the best boy ever - and ornery though he may be - he is the light of our life. That, and I love this picture of him. People, he's such a good boy. We love him to royal pieces. Couldn't imagine our life without him. Whew. That felt better.

Actually, I've been stewing on some good topics, so I'll be glad when this challenge is over just so I can get back to some juicy junk.

Let's talk about menus for the past three days - get that out of the way, so I can share a little bit of Valentines creativity with you.

Since we've been living la vida sicko over here - I'm going back three days ~

Breakfast - Green Tabasco Pork Chops and Fried Eggs. (You see, AB is home on the weekend...so err...I don't eat cereal...) You didn't think I got to be this LARGE by eating whole grain high energy breakfast bars, did you? Heavens, no! It takes concentration of the high calorie and red alert fat gram variety to look this good. Shoot.

Lunch - Well, let's chat. We were at the grocery store getting some groceries. Cuz, uh...that's what you do there. But at our grocery store, they sell ready to eat items too. And they...uh...have a little section of tables and chairs. And well uh...alrightweatesomepizza. There. But it was at the grocery store. Does that count? Sheesh.

Dinner - Grilled Sirloin Steak and fries. See pic above and kindly note that the steak pictured is for all three of us. Now let's chat again. First of all - AB makes the best steak this side of the River Jordon, on sale today, come on down. (If you don't get that reference like AB did not get that reference when I said it at the dinner table over said meal - then watch the opening scene to Aladdin, and you will) Second, steak and fries is to us as spaghetti is to most other families. We eat it weekly and sometimes more. Don't bother lecturing us on the condition of our arteries - it falls on deaf, if not somewhat "clotted" (heh) ears. Oh yeah. We're going out Red Meat Style, peeps. Bottoms up. (not literally...we prefer fillet)

Breakfast - Nuttin. Too early and we had to get to church
Lunch - Grilled Cheese. Mmmmm.
Dinner - Mexican Casserole. Just so good...sooooo cheesy cheesy yummy good. Straight past the lips and as I type this...already on my hips. To stay. For good. See what I mean...(below)

Breakfast - Cereal
Lunch - Mexican Casserole leftovers. See above for same description.
Dinner - Penne Pasta w. Marinara and Garlic Bread

So we're still on track, and can say with great conviction that we have not broken our commitment to not eat out (on our own dime) for 30 days. And here we are on the last five of them. Feels pretty good to know it's almost over. But it also feels strange to know that all bets are off come Sunday. We both have had some really interesting thoughts this month about how this challenge has given us new perspective, perhaps even helped us to see where we were screwing up over and over. The scary thing is that we can both see how living more and more this way would benefit us not just for now, but so much further down the line. Especially in this economy. No worries - I won't be turning this blog into a permanent 365 day challenge. (thankyoulordinheaven) But I think I'll certainly have some insight to share come next week. Standby for the epiphanies we have experienced. (snort)

Meanwhile, let's talk about Valentines. Love it. (no pun intended) Before 30-days, I picked up a couple things to help celebrate the season of L.O.V.E. and I'm enjoying having them around now that we're livin' frugal. Take a peak:

Little bit o' love in the kitchen. Cute wood cutout was $1 at T@rget. We have some cute pink heart towels hanging from the oven as well.

I got these little vases from the $1 section at T@rget as well. The ribbon was also from that section and is Valentines themed.

These two pictures highlight a little mailbox I got in the same dollar section. The mailbox was plain red, so I added a Valentines Scrapbook embellishment to the cover. It has a little "flag" on the side and you can see I've got a tiny Valentine inside for AB. Note cards were also from the $1 section. (good deals, I'm telling ya) Everyday this week, AB gets a mini-note of mushy-ness from Quint and Mommy. And he does the same. Hint. Hint. AB. I know you're reading this.
Point being: inexpensive ways to make Valentine's special. What is your Valentine's tradition? Do tell...I love ideas!

Last year, AB and I received a gift card that we've been sitting on (so to speak) to a nice local restaurant. It's for $100. So, we're going to use it on Valentines Day - in keeping with the challenge and at the same time, treating ourselves to a night out. We were able to arrange a baby-sitter and have a nice gift card to our local movie theater. We haven't been on a date in four months. Need I say, we're excited? Of course, we'll probably be more interested in people watching through our meal, and will be dozing off during the previews at the movie, but silence and the comfort of it with someone you love, who knows everything there ever was to know about you? = priceless, people. Priceless.

Happy Birthday to my Sis, Julie today and to my neice Jenae on Friday! Love you both!

February 8, 2009

Is it just me?

Or is it going around?

No post this weekend because I'm:


for the 100th time.

and i know what you're thinking.

and i'm thinking it too.

(sick all the time)

i hate this.

30-days is still going strong - menus maybe tomorrow and an update, but no cheating has taken place.







February 6, 2009

22, 23 and TGIF

I can't make this long. I spend all day working from the computer. I spent so much time on this thing today, that little man was climbing the walls to get my attention. (poor guy!)

I wanted to post last night, but I just couldn't. I'm under a big deadline right now with work and it required all of my attention until the wee hours. Same thing tonight, but I just couldn't go two days without an update - lest some of you start assuming you could find me at the local "On the Border". (and come 7 more days, you just might indeed!)

Day 22 Menu:

Breakfast - Cereal. Cereal. Cereal. I luv cereal.
Lunch - Leftover Chili (and mister Q ate him a whole little bowl of it! - that cutie!
Dinner - AB made a lovely steak, with pasta and spinach. Sooooo good and filling. The steak was both seasoned to perfection and cooked perfectly. Best steak I've had in a while...

Day 23 Menu:

Breakfast - Cereal. Cereal. Cereal. I luv cereal. I also love the cut and paste feature.
Lunch - Beef and Cheese Taquitos w. sour cream. (frozen)
Dinner - We were on our own tonight, as AB had to work late. We stuck with Mommy's standby dishes: Grilled Cheese for Quint and Mac n Cheese for mommy. Boo!

I'm thinking the next two days will be better, since Anton will be around to make us some scrummy yummy dishes. Whahoo! I'm also thinking that if I can get this work project over with, I'll have more time to tell you all about my sucky tax return, my latest thoughts on motherhood and how they've morphed over the last year, and why I love Lost.

February 4, 2009

Yeah, yeah...ok...21

So we made it to 21 without spending...or "incident" as we like to call it. Here in the cocoon of 30 Days, I'm feeling more and more itchy to be done. I feel like it's so close I can taste it...err...smell it? I'm gonna have to stick with taste it. Yeah. Chipotle...mama's comin'.

I bet you're thinking I've learned nothing - but in fact, that is a whole post unto itself and I am giving myself the full 30 days to perspective-ize (not a word, but it is now) on how this process has impacted us for the good and not so good.

Skipping to the food part - here was today's menu ~

Breakfast: Cereal. I know you must think I'm either cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs or just a really bad creature of habit. But the truth is, I don't even really like breakfast. I'm not a morning person in the slightest small iota of a morsel and I prefer very much to have the blissful option of sleeping through the morning hours - traffic, school buses, coffee, morning papers, and all that AM nonsense that I like to be in R.E.M for. (zzzzzzz.....zzzzzzzz) Because I no longer have that option and since my son and his father rise with the sun - I must convert to eating the only meal of the day I am happily prone to skipping. So since I have to get energy somehow - I grab the easiest and quickest form I can find - and one that does not involve pots, pans, heat of any kind, and/or effort beyond open and pour then scoop and crunch. There. Got that off my chest. Whew.

Lunch: Picnic Lunch at AB's work - pics to follow because that little boy of ours is a genuine CUTIE.

I love this picture below - they were having an intent conversation as only a Daddy and his little boy can over a picnic lunch. Love it!

Dinner: Ok party foodies - AB is back! Take a gander at this one:

Let me describe this meal to you as only my pallet, which so very recently enjoyed the very plate of food you are gazing at, can. It was such good pasta. I could go on and on - but perfectly cooked and very slightly al dente. It was a garlic and herb blend from our local pasta store. (Yes, I said local pasta store) What? You don't have one? Seriously, pack up your stuff and move. Because this was some of the best pasta I have ever had - and I am a carb junkie. It was just so good. BUT: AB made this incredibly tasty chicken and lemon cream sauce to go with it. It was light and wonderful. Anton used the word "bright". And that was true...it was a bright flavor. Not to be forgotten was a dollop of AB's homemade Creme Freche. OMG. People. Seriously. It is not right that I get this food all to myself. Just not right. I swear to you - I can't make this crap up.

On another note!

I received two different awards this week from friends and so I must at least share my good fortune and pass a little love back to them for having nominated my blog.

First, from Cora over at "Waiting for Little Miss What's Her Name" who kindly nominated Bushel and a Peck for the "Fabulous Blog Award". Thank you so much my friend! I'm so glad we've connected through this crazy blogger road map. I am honored to receive such kudos from you and appreciate the props mucho mucho!

Second, I also received a "Lovey Award" from Vickie over at "Our Journey to Jadyn Nicole". Thank you, thank you my dearest! It is a small world and such a wonderful way that we found each other. I can't wait to meet Jadyn! It's amazing the people you meet and find along this winding road of adoption and life, isn't it?

Here's the problem I run into with the awards. It is darn near impossible for me to nominate just 3 or 5 or 8 of you for these. I love so many of you and follow your blogs faithfully (despite being a terrible, terrible commenter). I hate breaking award chains for fear of bad karma, hurt feelings, or flat tires. But I just can't do it. I absolutely can't leave anyone out. It just kills me. Not withstanding the fact that if these two lovely ladies hadn't been kind enough to nominate others, then I could not be selfishly lamenting now about my woe. So, rather than nominate 5 or 8 - I'm just going to pick one for each and leave it alone at that. Picking five leads to eight leads to twelve and then I'm just listing my entire blogroll. I love you all!

For the "Fabulous Blog Award" I would like to send a shout out to my girl Eloise over at "Weasel's Journey". She is just a beautiful person with a beautiful family and so many rich stories to tell about their travels around the world. Every time she posts about another cool place they've been to, I feel like I've been there too after reading her blog. I just think she's the cat's meow! Also, meeting her and Dots at Meisey's homecoming was a very cool treat for my little blogger self! Hugs my sista!

For the "Lovey Award" I simply must give this to my gal pal Stephanie over at "Wises 3". Love her. Love her blog. Love her artwork and creativity. And love day-dreaming that we could travel together and lean on each other in China when our girls are handed over to us. That would be so freaking cool. Meanwhile, she is a lovey, and I'm so glad to know her - even if we are separated by 3000 miles. Big smoocharoonie SW!

Now, if you both play by the rules (which I shamefully did not) you must nominate some fabulous blogs on your own blogroll. You pick the number, but I think it's supposed to be between 5 and 8 nods. Either way, I award you just the same. Consider yourself duly awarded. Other than a graphic and knowing I luvs ya, I'm not sure what else you get, besides maybe a few extra hits to your blog as the curious wander over to visit you.

Meanwhile, I'm off to bed and day 22. Lord help me, I can hear Chipotle calling my name at 3am.

Seacrest out. (I'm so glad he doesn't say that anymore...it really was lame-o)

Speaking of American Idolfixedriggedshow - can you freaking believe whoseitwhatshisname last night blubbering and telling the judges what a hard life he's had and how singing is.... "It's on my skin and bursts out of me every time I'm on stage and I don't know why". Oh gag me with a spoon. I wanted to vomit into my hat. What's even worse is that his sorry stankin' backside is still around even after tonight when he was another pukefest with his drama for your mama in his sucky group. Was it just me? Did anyone else want to fast forward once he started crying again...I was in agony. Pure awkwardness. Shudder. But I love it!

February 3, 2009

Two thirds and just plain tired of it...

Gosh. For the first time in 20 days, I was really tired of this challenge tonight. Not just a little bit tired of it...a lot tired of it.

After spending a day dealing with my cranky teething toddler man, I decided we needed to get out of the house. So we took a nice long walk around the neighborhood. Wear him out a little, you see. Well, it worked and second nap came and went. But still, the need to get out came upon me and I decided to get creative.

We packed a little lunch for Q-man and Momma grabbed up a $5 gift card for Sonic that I had been sitting on since my birthday. I figured, heck - if we're not spending money, what can it hurt.

So off we went to the mall and started our time by playing in the kiddo area. He had a ball - until he remembered he was hungry - which led to a mini-meltdown. So we went to the food court and headed for Sonic. Now here's where my story takes a "tired" turn. After carefully ordering three items from the $1 menu, (a small tot, a jr. burger, a small drink...seeing a theme here?) I handed over my gift card, only to find out that it only had a few dollars left on it and that I would owe $.08. Fine. Whatever. Here's your $.08. As we sat down, and I began to nosh on my burger and tots, I couldn't help but feel sorry for myself. (insert chagrin and rolled eyes here). I was just so sick of this challenge, I could have puked. How silly was it that I carefully plucked through their stupid $1 menu and then couldn't even "afford" that? Even my attempt at being good, back-fired a little. And it left me feeling tired of it. Sick of trying to be good. Sick and tired of trying to figure out where our money goes every month (ahem). Tired of having to count out every expenditure and add up every penny. Just tired of it. I freaking have the money in my bank account to pay for a stupid meal at Sonic. I even felt a little self-conscience standing there at the counter and ordering so painstakingly careful while Quint whined and cried in his stroller. Just pitiful.

Once we finished eating, and I had some time to process how I was feeling - I did recall the real reason we are doing this. Because we spend too often, on too little, and have nothing to show for it. Because all those little swipes add up to an empty checking account. Not because we can't afford a burger and some tots...but because we can afford them that we all too often over-extend ourselves without even realizing it. The end of the month comes and we wonder "what the heck?"

Now we have an adoption to miraculously fund in the next six months, and if we don't suffer a little self-pity and strong willpower - then we'll find ourselves sitting out come referral time. And I'm not even kidding. The challenge wasn't just about eating out. It was about spending all the time - when there is likely no reason whatsoever to. And all that "no reason to" spending has really got to stop. Much better to say...bring our kids home. Or fund their college accounts. Maybe reduce some ridiculous debt that's just hanging on for dear life? But to look back and say..."yeah, we spent it on burgers and tots". Just pathetic.

Today's Menu: Sorry, once again - no pics. AB couldn't be home for dinner - so that's the reason I even had some gush to whine about above.

Breakfast - Cereal
Lunch - Egg Salad Sandwiches with Pringles. They were delicious!
Dinner - well, you already know - but burger, tots, and drink. Quint had pb&j with cheese and crackers

Ten more days and two thirds down...

February 2, 2009

Sorry, sorry...the days are getting away from me

I'm not used to posting daily - those of you who have followed for a long time already know this. I'm actually a little bit lazy in the blogger dept. so this is highly unusual behavior - for me to post daily. So, sorry, sorry, apologies all around...

I'm going to keep this short and sweet again, in the interest of time and taking me weary derriere to bed.

The last two days have gone by smooth sailing - no slip-ups or breakdowns.

Day 18 was easy, because I was feeling pretty miserable with this ugh I've got. I skipped church (oops) to get some extra sleep, which really did give me a boost. AB took Q to church and Mommy had some quiet time - it was really nice to sleep...I can't remember the last time I slept so sound, knowing that Quint was taken care of.

Yesterday's Menu ~

Breakfast: Nuttin' - slept through it - yaaay!

Lunch: Hotdogs and chili

Dinner: AB's 40 Clove Garlic Chicken - let me just say that even though I have no picture - this is the best stinkin' chicken ever. I can't even put it into words - you'll just have to trust me. And I'll get a pic next time. Ohhh, it's soooo good!

Superbowl was exciting, but I was truly bummed that AZ couldn't pull it out in the end. Boo hoo!

Day Nineteen ~

Breakfast: Cereal

Lunch: What a miserable joke. We tried to eat the rest of the frozen mini pizzas, but the crust was hard, and they were a little bit freezer burned. It just didn't work out. So we tried some hotdogs, but Q-man had a major meltdown and it was all lost appetite from there...sigh.

Dinner: I made chili again and cornbread (thanks, V! for the tip) and we took it over to a friend who is presently minus his other half. She's traveling on business and he's got the twin boys (under a year!). So we had a nice visit with him and we all loved the chili. Yum! And yes, in case you're thinking it, we have been eating a lot of chili lately - but what the heck - it's good!

I did make a trip to the grocery store today and spent $40. We needed eggs, bread, water, and some other small necessities. I was pretty proud of myself for getting out of there and not being tempted to invade their Valentines isle. Ok, I was tempted. But to help myself out, I didn't even go down the isle. Gulp. Can't say it wasn't hard to just look. But you and I know that looking would have led to the justification of 3lbs of devine chocolate in various heart shaped containers as a necessity. And you might even tend to agree with me out of pity or depending on the day/time of the month, right?

For those of you taking on the 30-days of Nothin' or Empty Pantry - please let me know how you're doing - I love getting your updates and seeing your progress!

Back for day 20 and some thoughts on the challenge...