Monday, June 29, 2009

Happy sigh

Ahh. Good hubby. All he needed was a good kick in the butt. We fought all day Friday and Saturday but he has come around.

Last night we had a romantic dinner and evening and cuddled all night long even though it was hot. He let the kids sleep in this morning because he is off today and he is washing the remaining dishes from dinner and also folding laundry and running errands like bill paying. He is also running the shoot Friday that I will miss so all I have to do it plan it and then he has to do all the sweat work.

Wonderful. Good hubby. Keeps telling me today how much he loves me and appreciates how hard I work - he even bragged on Alina's room to his co-workers yesterday in front of me. Funny how a few words can change everything and make me want to pull out the china, light candles and turn on mushy music.

He is also driving my neon until he gets it fixed because he didn't realize how much it bothered me. He is also returning that video game and buying the sequal one he knows I already like. He is also letting me go bra and undies shopping with our next commission check! (woohoo! I need some of those! Alot of my bras are litterally falling apart, and those that aren't are too big because I'm not nursing any more and that makes a HECK of a difference)

All I had to do was tell him how upset I was and suddenly the world is right again. Good Hubby. *happy sigh again*

It's funny though. He was telling me that he looked up stuff on the internet about how to make your wife happy and one website had a suggestion from a married man who said that you should spend at least one night at home with your wife and kids every two weeks. He said he knew this is a hard thing to do but you just got to take her into consideration and one night without the guys at the pub is something you'll learn to live with. GEEZ!! I would litterally go insane married to that guy! One night every two weeks? Are you kidding? The good Lord above did not create woman to stay at home with the kids, woman was created to be man's counterpart! THAT MEANS YOU HAVE TO SPEND TIME WITH HER!!!!! LOL! The good thing is Brent knows this and he shared this advice because he thought it was hysterical.

Ahh. So much happier today. I don't know but something about my hubby telling me how much he loves me alot today has made me feel so much better.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Why does it seem men always ruin our days?

Last night I went to bed late, with a migrane, and the only thing I was excited about was the way I'd painted Alina's walls. I put a bunch of dragon flies and Butterflies on the 2 walls that don't get murals. I also added a few tiny ones to her flower picking mural. I think its super cute.

This picture is what the butterflies and dragonflies look like. I bought these guys at Walmart for 46 cents a piece and copied them in huge form on her walls.

Brent made a new york style pizza. It was pretty good - there was way too much cheese on it (the recipe called for a whole pound!) and I didn't eat much because cheese is super filling and my head hurt too bad. Alina thought it was fun to get in my lap and hold my food and try to feed it to me like we feed her or Raziel :-) this was super cute too.

But by bedtime, I was hot and tired and grumpy because Brent hadn't been excited about the decorations. I was also irritated because I still have alot of work left in Alina's room - much less the rest of the house. Brent never seems to be interested in it at all. Brent came to bed moaning and groaning because I didn't like his pizza and I didn't play this video game with him that he got just for me and I didn't brew tea before we came to bed. I offered to go make some and he said not to bother with it because it was late anyway. He wanted to be all cuddly and mushy and I didn't want him to touch me - I wanted to sleep! So, at 11 at night he decided to have an important conversation with me about how horrible his day was and how hard he tried to keep the house clean and it was a mess anyway. I don't even care that its a mess- its always a mess when he watches the kids. I don't know what his problem is but he never keeps it clean!! Its either that he doesn't care or is just downright not capable. I don't know what his problem is at all but it bothers me and I hadn't even said anything about the mess but he was making it out like I had raised hell about it and oh gosh he's so sad because he just can't keep the house clean or get anything done.

He doesn't do freaking anything! He watched the kids at the in-laws yesterday so they could help him out. He also played his video game for 2 hours. He also made pizza. That's it. He works his job and fixes the cars when they break if we have money. He drops the kids off at the sitters in the morning. THATS ALL.

Do you know what I do every day? I get up an hour before I have to leave so I can feed and dress the kids and get them ready for their day so that daddy can sleep a half hour longer because what takes me 10 minutes takes him 30. I then go to work and work for 9 hours at a job where I also organize our film work and make contacts and work on getting us more jobs and contracts for making more money because we never have enough. I pick up the kids on the way home and then I make dinner, clean the house and put the babies down, and sit and talk to my husband about how hard his day has been and how awful he has it at work and how this happened or that happened and then we watch tv and he goes to sleep and nine times out of ten i stay up and clean more.

Maybe he does more than I think but today I don't see it. Sunday? My day off? I'll take the kids to church in the morning, make them lunch, put them down for naps, mow the lawn, wash dishes, clean the mess they made yesterday, feed brent's dog and make dinner then listen to him tell me how hard his day was. Oh, and find a cute way to celebrate Father's day which is a week late because I had to drive for 9 hours with 2 babies and no A/C last sunday. Maybe, if there's time, I'll even paint the last mural on Alina's wall, or paint the 4th wall of our bedroom but probobly not because I also have laundry to wash and fold and put away and a table to clear and a floor to scrub.

I know I love him but today I can't help but want to scream and tell him he's forgotten to thank his wife for all the hard work she does.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Show us Where you Live Friday!

Ok so today I am doing the Show Us Where You Live Friday at Kelly's Korner. I saw Helen Joy doing it and got super excited so this is my first week! (Note to normal blog followers: scrapbook day has hence been moved probably to Tuesdays)

Today is Master Bedrooms.

This is the beautiful dresser that I recently acquired when a woman came into my place of work and ended up giving me all sorts of furniture. I just moved it into our room and I think it's lovely. Brent wants to paint it but I think it really goes nicely with the orange.

This is my nightstand. Hubby has a matching one and lamp on the other side of the bed. I want to recover the lampshades but am not sure I want to have zebra for all eternity. I'm thinking about leaving the beige shade uncovered and unify the brown with the orange and black but I'm not so sure. You can also see the window fan in this photo. Our central air is broken and so we use fans and window A/C's. It's actually a very low electricity bill and it's not too hot.

paintings I did displayed on the wall

More paintings on the last unpainted wall. I don't know what to do with all the paintings I have. Brent loves them but I don't want to hang them all... the space looks cluttered when I do.

This mural is literally on the wall - it's possibly the best thing I've ever painted. I love the texture on it, and I love the location - being right between the two windows - because it's so perfectly framed by the room itself.

and this is the pile of paint supplies because I'm not done painting the room yet.

Our bed - I'm also ready for a makeover here... I want something I can alternate out to - maybe a big white comforter or a big black one... I get tired of zebra, although this bed set was a gift from my hubby and I don't want him to think I don't like it anymore, I just would like to change it every once in a while.

And this is why I didn't take a full room shot -- it's really quite a mess!! I wanted to share today but I didn't want to clean until 2 am!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

What a wonderful Provider! (part 2)

So a few days ago I posted about how much God has blessed me in tithing, and I figured for some reason that He was done blessing me -- boy I was wrong! Here's some more things He has done lately to bless our finances.

So remember the day that I ran out of gas and got to the gas station anyway? I forgot to mention at the time of my post that I dropped my debit card on the ground and didn't notice. For some reason, I felt very strongly like I'd forgotten to put the lid on the gas tank which is something I never ever forget. I fought in my head for a minute or two and finally just opened up my door to check it for good measure. Gas tank closed? check. Debit card on ground? Also check. I never would have noticed that.

Saturday I got a phone call from citifinancial. Brent and I have been slowly paying off a consilidation loan from them for the last 3 years. Well, (stupid, I know) we got back into more debt since that loan and we've had that payment as well as other credit cards and such, and so we finally consulted a lawyer/credit debt resolution company and we make one payment to them a month and they pay off our credit cards and loans and such. (different from a consolidation loan because they actually make the payments instead of paying it off all at once. this will build our credit instead of just clearing it.) Well, citifinancial basically said that they wouldn't work with them till I made one more payment because I'd just resigned the loan for a better rate and basically that I hadn't made any payments on the new loan. Once I made the first payment they'd take payments from the other people. Well, problem being I was already locked into and had already paid $360 to the credit counselors and Citifinancial wanted another $260. This wasn't happening until we got paid, but when I got paid I had to spend more money on food than I thought I would so I planned to pay it with the check we just got today. Well Saturday they called me to say that if I didn't pay it that day they were taking me to court over it on Monday. I freaked out and tried to call them back and work things out. I spent an hour and half trying to call them and waiting and waiting and crying trying to figure out what to do. Then, out of the blue, the home office called me - I hadn't thought to call them. They were just checking up on me and they took a post dated check from me and guess what else!!! The payment was only $223 instead of $260. They stopped the legal action because they had a permanent payment in place. And, now that they have that payment, they are going to work with the credit counselors.

Then, today my boss came to visit my store. I'd been bugging my previous supervisor about a raise for some time, but that guy got demoted and removed from supervisory status and the owner is now my boss. I sent an email to him about 3 weeks ago just mentioning that the previous guy had promised me a raise after my 90 days was up and that I'd really appreciate it if he'd review my salary. I didn't write him again because I didn't want to be annoying the owner of the company and signer of my paycheck so I just left it to God. Today when my boss came he gave me a raise of $1 an hour. This is an extra $160 a check!

I also found out today that a man Brent and I asked to come and work on our movie shoot with as a photographer is still looking for what he calls a "video partner." Basically, he takes pictures at wedding and events, but he wants to get hooked up with someone to video tape it and cut together a nice DVD. Well, "coinsidenatly" Brent and I happen to own a very high end camera and Brent and I happen to want to do that sort of thing and I happen to be off most Saturdays - and all Saturdays by 5 and I happen to have a flexible co-worker so I can change around my schedule and I happen to have PTO that I need to take 60% of by September. Bill (photographer) wants to see some of our work and if he likes it, we'll go in full partnership basically and Brent and I will get to film all we want to for his existing customer base. Bill is rated one of the top photographers in Chattanooga and already has a customer base of over 1,000 people. Essentially, if this works out, Brent and I have waltzed into a goldmine doing exactly what we need to be doing - advancing our business in the way of camera work - and making a ton of money. Videographers at a wedding make anywhere from $200 - $2000 per job. I'd love to make $2000 a day on the side! What a way to pay off our debt and have some shopping money!!!

Oh, yeah. And the commission I make this month that was supposed to suck so badly because we missed our objective? Yeah. $375. I can handle that.

Needless to say (again), I will be tithing regularly. It amazes me that something so small can block or open the flow of mercy and blessing onto my poor little financial situations. It's so strange to me that God - the almighty most powerful (etc) - would care enough about me to have someone call me and take a post dated check, or have my employer give me a raise, or help me realize I dropped my credit card. Why would He care enough about me to do all that? It's simply incredible and I am going to stand up in church and give testimony to His faithfulness this week. I never thought a $15 tithe would change so much for me.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Alina's Big Girl Bed

so I usually don't post twice in a day but I've got so much to say today!!

Saturday I decided to decorate Alina's room and Raziel's room and get them started as rooms that are fun and reflect personalities instead of just being spare rooms. Alina's room is already painted, although I need to finish up the butterflies and flowers I'm adding and do the mural on the third wall. I put that yellow bookcase (see last post) in there and I'm going to add her a dresser (also see last post). I think I want to decorate her lamp with flowers too.

But, the big thing that we did was took the crib out of her room and put a big girl bed in there for her. Alina was so sad when she saw me taking down her crib. She told me that it was her bed and not to take it away. She cried some. I sat down and talked to her about it. I think she was afraid she wasn't going to have a bed at all! Basically I am tired of having to let her out of her crib in the morning just so she can play in her room. I told Alina that she was getting a big girl bed, like Marissa (a girl whose mother watches Alina regularly). Alina cheered up some at this prospect. She helped me move the bed in and we put sesame street sheets on it with a winnie the pooh pillow and a veggie tales blanket. I know it doesn't match but she was excited and that's what I had lying around so it worked!

The first night she slept just fine. She got up in the morning and I was already awake in the bathroom. I heard a knocking on the door and figured it was the front door. So I went to go see who it was and no one was there. It took me a minute but I finally figured out that Alina was trying to get out of her room! She knocked again and I opened her door. She was thrilled. From this point forward she has napped and slept in her bed every time and she gets up when she wakes up and comes to find me or brent immediately. She has not realized that she can just play in her room and make a mess, and this is a good thing for the time being!

I plan to get a bed set sometime soon that will match her room and any variety of characters she'd like to incorporate but until then it will do. I already have sesame street sheets and my parents sent a matching comforter so I'll just clean it well and make some sesame street pillows and I'll have a full set! I'm so excited.

I took Alina's crib and put it in Raziel's room - making his crib into a permanent changing table (since it's the less sturdy of the two and Raziel is pulling up on EVERYTHING now!). I moved the rocking chair into his room as well and a toy shelf with the infant geared toys. I'm going to take the clothes cabinet from Alina's room and put it into his room for his clothes since she is going to have a dresser now. I am so excited to have nice furniture for their rooms!

What a wonderful Provider!

So I have alot to talk about from my weekend. The post for today is about God's provision for us lately. I have to tell you the whole story.

A few weeks ago, our pastor gave me a book about managing your money and the top mistakes that Christians make that keep them in poverty. Well, I was interested because I'd definitely say that Brent and I are currently "in poverty." So I read it immediately - even at the stoplight before I got home from church. I had been raised to put Godly ethics into my lifestyle in my money as well as other things, but for some reason I was not making any progress. We always seemed broke, and when we weren't broke, we were spending alot of money to fix things that broke (haha).

Well the first thing listed in the book was tithe. I thought about it and honestly couldn't remember the last time Brent and I had tithed. I personally felt like we never had enough money and that God would understand I was doing my best. I skimmed past the section reading on to the other 49 biblical reasons for poverty and discovered that Brent and I were very good about all other 49 things -- being responsible, don't borrow money from loan sharks, don't loan money just give it, be generous, feed the poor, etc. I was eagerly hunting for something to pop out that said "HEY! here's the fix! here's the solution!" Well. I got nothing. We practiced every guideline for having a financially blessed life that was in the book - I even get up early and don't sleep away my day!! The only thing we weren't doing was tithing. So, I took it to heart and laid out a fleece. Basically, I told God my budget this month and informed Him I had no extra money at all but I would tithe at church on Sunday and we'd go from there (LOL i know). It wasn't ten percent of our income, it was only $15 - but like I said, it was a fleece. God didn't convict me otherwise so that's where I started.

Well, life got very tough. Sunday Brent and I were down to our last $50 till payday (this thursday). I had to travel to Augusta to take Alisha home and I had a bad tire on the Neon so I was going to drive Brent's car. I got a phone call from Brent when I was just fixing to leave to go out for the morning and he told me he had a flat too and they couldn't repair it because the hole was too big. Off to Walmart I went, freaking out, ready to tell God the deal was off and I was never tithing again. When I got to Walmart I called my Dad to see if he could help us out at all on gas money so I could buy a tire. Not only did my Dad pay for my new $50 tire, but he also gave us another $100 to make it through the week. God provides.

On top of this -- I've been looking at furniture on Craigslist and Freecycle. I watch Kelly's Korner "Show us where you live" every Friday and see the beautiful houses that all these women have and I get so jealous, thinking "if only I had that kind of money, or time, I'd have a house like that." I decided to start trying to find old furniture people wanted to get rid of. Maybe I'd have to recover it or repaint it, but I'd do what I needed to because that would be cheaper than buying it.

Not a week after I started looking, I had a woman come into my store who needed her phone fixed. I fixed her phone and didn't charge her anything because of the nature of the repair (we weren't really supposed to help her) and she was so happy. While she was in the store she mentioned she'd been garage sale shopping recently and I expressed my frustration when garage sale shopping. I couldn't find furniture at a reasonable price. She asked what I was looking for and I said that I'd specifically looked for a bookcase last time and the only one I found the lady wanted $20 for it. I didn't buy it because I could get it at Walmart for that much!!! The woman in my store said she'd just had a yard sale and had a bookcase that she marked all the way down to $3 and no one would buy it. She said I could have it if I came to get it. The bookcase is beautiful. I painted it yellow and put it in Alina's room.

Then, not even 3 days after she was in the store, a lady named Jennifer came in just to look at buying a new phone for her existing service. We got to talking and I again mentioned how hard it was to find furniture at a good price. I'd just been pricing dinning room sets on Craigslist and the cheapest set I found was $1500 and only had 4 chairs. Jennifer told me that she had sold a furnished house and the people didn't want the furniture. She was paying $100 a month to keep it in storage because she didn't need it and she couldn't sell it, and didn't have time to really try. She was just about to haul it off to Salvation Army but I was welcome to come and have however much of it I wanted. Excited out of my mind, Brent's grandfather and I went over to the storage unit Monday morning at 10am and I figured I was just going to get a dresser or desk or something of that sort. God had another idea in mind. Jennifer basically furnished my entire house. She gave me a full dinning room set - 6 chairs and a solid hardwood table (cherrywood or oak maybe - dark and pretty), 2 chest of drawers, 2 desks, 2 bookcases, a shelf for my bathroom, and metal shelves for my shed. She's also going to go home and see if they are going to keep a bedroom suite that they have and give it to me if not -- this includes a queen bedframe and headboard with 2 matching dressers and a vanity set with a mirror mounted on it.


As if all this was not enough, I rushed out from the shoot last night to get the babies when the sitter suddenly needed to leave them and drove out to Dalton and came back and didn't have my purse. The car was empty and had absolutely no gas. I got all the way back out to my house and I decided to get up early in the morning to make sure I had time to get gas even if the car broke down. Well, I woke up at 7 this morning, showered, dressed, etc and was ready to leave with Brent following me but he was sick and puking everywhere. I chose to leave by myself and pray my car to the station. And - what do you know - God provided again. My little car made it all the way to the station and didn't run out of gas!

Funny what a $15 tithe will do in the way of provision.... Needless to say my fleece was answered in amazing ways and Brent and I will be tithing regularly.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Alina's Favorites

So today I am digital scrapbooking Alina's favorite things to do! Maybe you can get to know her better through this :-)

Alina's first favorite is playing with her aunts and cousins. She has a big family and loves to spend time with them. This picture is at the cabin Brent's grandfather rented for the family at New Year's 2009. She is so sweet here, poking her little tummy out. She was fascinated by the fact that she was so much higher than everyone and that she could see the top of Mommy's head.

Secondly, Alina loves books. Books about anything, as long as they have pictures. She specifically likes her Grover book about the monster at the end of the book. She also loves Veggie Tales books and books with animals (usually alphabet books with a lot of pictures). In this picture, Alina is sharing her love of reading with Raziel. It impresses me that she loves to read at such a young age!

Alina's next favorite thing to do is to watch movies - specifically "pirates" (Veggie Tales Jonah), "Ninja Turtles" (The teenage mutant kind), Sesame Street and Blues Clues. She loves to curl up in mommy and daddy's bed with her little brother and "snuggle" while she watches TV.

Another thing she heartily enjoys is "cooking." Brent's grandparents gave her a mini working microwave for Christmas this last year. It makes beeping noises, turns the little table inside and even lights up when its cooking her play food. This is a long time favorite of hers and everything she owns has been cooked at one point or another - be it play food, stuffed animals, Bob toys or even shoes and clothes.

And, it's no big surprise that she loves video games. She has a strong leading example in her daddy on that one. Last night, she got so angry at Alisha because Alisha took the controller from her. Alina started yelling and crying because she was trying to play Spiderman with her daddy. (Of course I was cooking so I don't really know what transpired because I will always hear the prejudiced version) But in retrospect to the fit she threw, I thought it was actually very sweet because Alina's not even actually playing, she just thinks she is and she sits on the couch with Brent playing Spiderman.

And like any good little girl, Alina loves to talk on the phone. She likes to talk to her Nene, Daddy, and Baba mostly. And, when they are not available for conversation, she regularly calls Grover, Bob, Junior and Mr Snuffleupagus. It's very sweet and she loves to converse about things like her brother or what she has done that day.

And this is another one of her favorites. Yelling, screaming and making noise in general. Gee... wonder where she got that ;-)

And her last favorite thing to do is Story time. Every night, she no longer wants mommy to rock her and sing to her. She wants her daddy (or sometimes mommy) to tell her a bedtime story. Most of the time, she wants to hear a story about the Grapes from Veggie Tales. And most of the time, she will tell you a story back. It never makes sense, but its very sweet. She's getting so big.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Raziel's big mess!

Brent and I went out last night, compliments of Alisha who provided both child care and the funds for our dinner-and-a-movie date. It was wonderful - I can't remember the last time we had dinner and a movie. We ate at Chili's (had the oddest waitress EVER) and then went to go see Wolverine (which was really good!)

When we got home I gave kisses to my babies who were already in bed because it was like 1am. Alina woke up and snuggled with me for about 5 minutes and fell back asleep. It was so sweet and made me feel wonderful that she wanted to snuggle with me even though she'd already been in bed for several hours (since 9pm). I kissed Raziel and closed his door too, not noticing that which had been left in his crib.

What, you ask, was left in his crib? Oh, only a jumbo size economy pack of 500 wipes. Why is this a problem? Because by morning time when I went in to give him his morning bottle, Raziel had successfully both opened and strewn the entire package about his crib. There weren't any wipes left in the package when I got in there. I wish I'd taken a picture but I spent too much time picking it all up and was 5 minutes late to work anyway.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Imitation they say is the highest form of flattery. I have noticed - particularly since my last post, that Alina makes a point to imitate me in everything possible. This came to me during church as almost a word of knowledge or wisdom... I'm not sure what you would call it.

Alina imitates me constantly. She is not old enough really to feel stupid or be ashamed because she is mimicking me. She is not old enough to think she isn't cool or feel dumb because she thinks she isn't good enough. She just watches me and does what she sees me do.

Christ calls us to be like little children. It's here that I think it important to point out that he says children, and not infants or babes. Babies do not know/aren't capable of making decisions for themselves. They can't decide what they want to wear, what they want to eat, or where they'd like to go. All those decisions are made for them by their mother/father. They are slaves to what you think they should do and the needs of their bodies (because they can decide when they are hungry!)

We, as children, make the decisions that infants cannot make. We decide to imitate those whom we desire to be like, those that we think highly of or spend a lot of time with. Christ wants us to imitate Him. To imitate him, we have to watch him and do what he does. We have to spend time with him and pay attention. We also have to get over feeling uncool or "not good enough" and just do what He does. We also have to decide to imitate him. If we can be childish enough to follow willingly, and mimic Him then we will become like him and start to look like Him.

Regardless of how much a child looks like a parent, most of the things that identify a child to their parent is mannerisms and characteristics. I want to be identified to my Father and I want people to look at me and see Him... That's the whole point, right?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Scrapbooking again!

Today I am scrap booking sweet things that my kids do that remind me of me or Brent. It's really cool to see so much of myself and of Brent in them.

Alina has the ability to fall asleep anywhere, just like Brent. She also requires being sprawled out, just like me.

Alina is not going to be bullied by anyone. She may be small but she is a fighter, just like her daddy.

She recently discovered the joys of "badump"ing down the stairs at her uncle David's house. I spent hours doing this as a child at my grandparent's house with my cousins.

Raziel is enthralled by movies, like both Brent and I are. He looks concentrated in this picture, like when Brent and I dissect movies and discuss take by take shots and how good it looks.

Alina loves salad. We can be eating pizza or mac and cheese or any number of other fun foods and if we are serving a salad, that's what she wants. This picture is at Cici's -- most pizza at eye level ever. She wanted a salad.

She is also an incredible little artist like mommy.... who loves spiderman like daddy!

This is my last one and my favorite of Raziel (I know there wasn't many of him but he's still little.) This jacket was Steve's (Brent's dad's) and we have pictures of him in it, we have pictures of Brent in it, and now we have pictures of Raziel in this jacket too. It's a little bit of history!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Home again

Well, we went to Sumter on the way home from Charleston to visit my grandparents. It was the first time they'd met Raziel. It was super sweet. My grandmother was so excited to play with him and feed him his bottle and burp him and all the works. She was adorable holding him. My grandpa - though not as spry as he once was - was also excited to interact with the kids and readily gave Alina 2 bowls of ice cream before I intervened. Can't blame him, he never gets to see her -- but, it was interesting... she was super sugar wired for the next few hours.

They had presents for the kids too -- which is Alina's favorite. Alina got a huge bag of children's books. She loves to read. She read the entire selection in the car several times. She read a few to my grandpa too. Raziel got the cutest little stuffed lamb. Alina stole it, and was given a teddy bear as a replacement when he started to scream. It's interesting -- he is finally old enough to realize something is his and she has taken it from him.

In the midst of it all, Alina has entered the why stage. Why is now the answer to everything! Alina, go sit down. why? Alina, get in your carseat. Why? Alina, what do you want for dinner? ice cream. no. why? you get the idea. I have tried saying "Z" like my mother did and that didn't work. She got fed up with that quickly but instead of giving up she threw fits. Well, I couldn't help feeling like I was antagonizing her so we are trying a new method. She gets 2 answers. Only 2. Alina, what do you want for dinner? Ice cream. No, honey. Why? Because it's not good for you. Why? There's too much sugar. Why? Alina pick dinner or mommy will. This has worked pretty well so far. I don't want to extinguish her curiosity or aggravate her, but I can't handle being asked why 24/7.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Tired and in Charleston

My beautiful precious children slept for the whole 8 hour drive and when we finally arrived in Charleston, they decided it was time to be awake. One of the downfalls of traveling at night is that I rarely get to sleep when we get to our destination. Today was no exception.

Alina snuggled with her daddy for about an hour. Brent was happy as a clam, he kept telling me that she snuggles like I do. Raziel stayed in his carseat for a while and just looked around. After 45 minutes of peace, it was over. Alina decided to start tickling Raziel. And, Raziel was no help. He started laughing and giggling. When I finally was able to break up the party, he was wide awake and ready to play. Alina was super grumpy because it was about 3:30am and she should have been asleep. I tried just letting them play, I tried ignoring them, nothing worked.

Finally I got mad and snapped the playpen up and put Alina down. I made a bottle for Raziel and tried putting him in a laundry basket. Well, that worked when he was a newborn but 8 months later, he's big enough to pull up on the side and tip the whole thing over. He did this about 4 or 5 times and I finally snapped him into his carseat and called it a night.

This only lasted until Timothy left at 5 am, then my parents left at 7 and Alisha left at 8 but oh well. Caffeine is a good thing.

Friday, June 5, 2009

My how they grow...

So here's a new thing I'm doing -- I am going to make a scrapbook page every Friday. Today's scrapbook page is of the kids.

This morning I was looking at pictures I have from when Alina and Raziel were each born and comparing them to current pictures. It's amazing how similar they look and at the same time, how incredibly different... they grow up way too fast.

This is Alina as a newborn. She's so precious and little. She had so much hair.

This is Raziel as a newborn. He's bald and already is laughing at the world.

This is Alina at 8 months. She is Raziel's age in this photo. I can see it - can't you?

And this is Raziel now, at 8 months. So different from his sister, so much bigger than her already.

This is Alina napping.... She never does this anymore :-)

And this is Raziel sleeping. He used to like napping....

and now, he just wants to be like his big sister.

And, here Alina is at age 2 1/2. Man, its amazing. I can't wait to see what Raziel will look like at this age.
It makes me warm inside.

Alina is sick today

I don't know what's wrong with her. Brent said she went into the living room and laid down on the couch and said her tummy hurt. This is nothing like Alina. She never lays down anywhere unless it's bedtime. She took a nap in the car while Brent was driving around town. She never sleeps during the day - not this early especially.

Brent is bringing her to me at work so I can talk to her and to him and see what we think. I don't know what's wrong with her but I'm worried. It's amazing how scared I can get as a worried Mommy. The simple fact that she's not feeling well and I'm not there to hold her makes me anxious.

Maybe she swallowed something poison... Maybe she ate a block or something. Maybe she has a virus. Maybe there's something the matter with her seriously.... I don't know....

I'll let you know though

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Girl Time

Last night, Alina and I made a deal. Since Daddy was going to be out late shooting a movie, we decided to have a girl's night.

We had triple chocolate ice cream for dinner and snuggled in mommy's bed until 11pm (bedtime is 9) and watched a Muppet Movie. We had sweet tea and snuggled and whispered about the movie. She calls Gonzo "Grover" because he's fuzzy and blue. She also was excited to see Kermit the frog in the movie. She was very excited to talk to me about miss piggy as well, whom she called by name.

Well, Daddy was supposed to be out til about 2am but got home at 11pm because none of the guy's actors showed up. So, he came in to me and Alina cuddling on the bed watching TV. I thought it was just the sweetest thing, really. She was so happy to spend time just me and her and I was glad to have time to focus on her.

This morning Raziel woke up and called for me. He stands up at the end of his bed and hollers just like Alina does now. I think its precious. Alina even crawled up in the bed and stood next to him and they both laughed and laughed until they fell over.

I may be tired, but I love my babies. They make my life wonderful.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

How do I save more money?

So Brent and I are broke, in debt and have bad credit. What do I do about this?

Step # 1 -- cut down on the outgoing money.
A) Save $223 a month by using a window unit A/C in the Living room instead of running central air.
B) Save $120 a month by switching Raziel off "Breastfeeding Exclusively" to "Formula Exclusive" at WIC.
C) Save $65 a month by switching to Sprint and having my bill paid by my employer. Better phones, more usage, more fun stuff to do, less money.
D) Start driving out to Walmart to buy groceries instead of paying too much at Food Lion. I probably save $50 a month this way.
E) Go to the women's center 2x a month -- I donate baby things I don't need like the bazillons of baby bathtubs I have or a few toys Alina has never played with and they give me diapers.

Step #2 -- increase income.
A) Complain to employer enough to where they give me commission a month
early. This increases our income by about $400-$500 a month if the month goes well.
B) Brent takes a promotion. He works an extra 6 hours a week and makes an extra 50 cents an hour. This increases our income by about $300 a month.

Step # 3 -- Insert Monkey Wrench
A) Rebbecca gets sick, now I pay $85 a week for child care
B) Someone steals my WIC folder and I have to buy milk eggs and cheese for 2 months (it's June so I have it again!)
C) Cars start breaking down. Pay $65 for Brent to get ramps and oil change equipment. Also pay for new spark plugs twice - $30, new oil pan $95, New spark plug wires and tools $85
D) Creditors start taking me to court over bills that have piled up and gotten way past due. Brent arranges to have our affairs resolved by a company called The Credit Exchange. We pay them $269 monthly and they consolidate our credit cards and pay the bills we weren't paying.
E) Husband gives away $100 to someone who he decides needs it more than we do.

So essentially, I am am behind on my house bill, cell bill and my electric. The only thing I have bought for myself in the last 5 months is a $3 shirt from Walmart and I spent $30 on my porch garden. I have rosemary, basil and tomatoes growing -- essentially to cut down on grocery expenses. We have about $60 to our name between savings and checking and we still have to make it to the 15th. My dad agreed to give me money for gas so I can still come see my sister graduate... and I borrowed about $200 from a paycheck advance place and I pay that back in 2 weeks. I don't know where I've gone wrong. I'm doing all I can to resolve the money problems and it seems God and my husband are not concerned and aren't helping matters...

Suggestions Welcome.

Monday, June 1, 2009

For Helen Joy!!! My thoughts on Mommyhood

This is my thoughts on being a mommy and how it changes your life and your personality. It's mostly for my dear friend Helen Joy who is tired and worn out because her 4mo son Barclay is very fussy all the time. You are a different person as a mommy. Sometimes you might think this is bad, but lets just think about a few things.

1) Before you had your baby, would you ever think of hurting or killing someone that hurt you? Probably not. Now that he's in the picture, if anyone tried to hurt him you wouldn't think twice.

2) Before him, would you stay up all night feeding someone regularly? Probably not. Well, you might have gotten up once or twice to fix a drink or something if your hubby was super sick... but if he was just hungry you'd tell him to go make his own food unless you were feeling sappy. Now that he's in the picture, you do everything he needs regardless of your desire for sleep.

3) Before baby, you were probably reckless in some things. I used to speed and pick up hitch hikers. Now that you have him, you're more careful to protect both yourself and him because you know he needs you. I've learned that you have to put things into perspective.

Yes. You are a different person. A person that loves and cares someone very much and devotes a lot of her time to making sure he is okay. This is beautiful. This is what mommies were made to do. It's not the end of who you are, it's not that your personality and life have disappeared, it's simply that your life has changed. This change is beautiful. It has made you more responsible, more dependable, more trustworthy. It has made you ready to do things people never want to do, and think we're crazy for doing it -- change diapers, be thrown up on, clean messes, do laundry at 3 am.

And, whilst you may be tired and whimsically dwelling on times past, think of the things that you have to look forward to. He may not sleep now, and he may scream a bunch now, but Alina had colic at Barclay's age and I thought I'd never get through. Now she is a very particular, strong willed child, but she is obedient and smart as they come. Not a year and a half later, she has a favorite color, she has a favorite book, she has a favorite bedtime routine (and yes, she does go to bed without screaming). I don't know if the doctors will come up with anything, or have any ideas for HJ... they didn't know for me. But, I've discovered that all her fussy "hold me and don't ever put me down" was simply the expression of her little personality. She was demonstrating before she could talk that she had an opinion and a way that she wants things to happen. This may sound silly, but its amazing when you can put your finger on it and see that it's his personality coming out and shinning through that precious little face of his.

And, when your next baby comes along, you'll be able to see the stark differences between the two. Raziel never cries when I put him in bed, and he didn't cry in the hospital nursery either. Alina wouldn't let us set her down. Raziel laughs all the time and is anxious to get walking because he wants to explore everything. Alina preferred to watch the world from my arms, and give an ongoing babbly commentary of what she thought. They are different people and now that I've had 2 I can see Raziel's personality coming out and I can see when Alina was doing the same. It's hard to see through the tears, but there is a little man in there trying to learn how to express his wants and needs and opinions to you, and he is crying for you because he loves you and wants to be close to you. (not that you should always need to hold him by any means -- he will have to learn.)

This is exciting -- think of Barclay like a little lump of playdough. You may not decide what color he is or how well he turns out, but you do get to mold and work and put little details into his every day life that become a part of who he is in the long run. He will look back and see your fingerprints, just like you look back and see your mother's. You are all that he's got on the day-to-day basis, you are his primary look-to when he wants to learn something. And, when he gets bigger, he will ask you about things, ask you why, and want to know what you have to say about life in general.

Sure, you don't have all the freedoms. But you have this time to instill in Barclay who you want him to be -- and see where it goes. You have this time to take your personality and watch parts of it come out in your little boy because he will be just like you in so many ways because you are all he watches. Someone told me that a long time ago and I never thought this was true until I watched Alina start coloring and drawing. She is super artsy (like her mommy) and she lays on the floor on her tummy and switches her crayons for other colors often (also like her mommy). She is always so proud when she's done and shows me and wants to tell me everything that's in the picture. I love this about her and its just like when I show things to Brent.
And, he will also look more and more like his daddy in different ways. I've never been a giver. Brent gave $70 to a co-worker who needed it more than we did and I got upset because I don't know how we will pay the electric bill now! It's something we're called to do -- give -- but it's not my thing at all. I'd rather help you move your stuff than pay for your moving truck. And Alina will be the same as her daddy, God willing. She already picks flowers and rocks and leaves to bring them as gifts. She colors pictures and gets things at the store to give to various important people in her life -- nene, daddy, baba, etc.

It's crazy -- you can't see it until later, but Barclay is an itty bitty person in many ways and he has a great big personality that he's trying to express!

HJ -- you're gonna make it. And, when he gets a bit older, you'll have time for a life again, I promise. You're a better person as a mommy -- the same person, just more responsible. I promise. Love you bunches.