Friday, June 27, 2008

Firsts For Me

Yesterday, I experienced some firsts because Dawson had to work late.

I borrowed my parents' car and loaded up both boys, by myself, and went to the chiro! It was the first time that I had gone anywhere by myself with the boys (besides a walk). I just have not had the opportunity to. I have to say that I did pretty well, and I am very thankful that Brady is a great listener and helper too!

Since Dawson was working late, I also had to put both boys to bed - this was a little tricky and I have to say that I did not enjoy it. The baby will not nurse with someone else in the see, that person is so interesting so he would rather look at them. So, I set up Brady with some Cheerios, grapes, milk and the movie Cars. I figured that all of those items would keep him busy while I nursed the little guy and put him to bed. The baby did not get in his whole feeding, but would not drink anymore, so he went into the crib and then cried because he would keep flipping on to his stomach and he has not learned how to flip back (he actually is a side sleeper a lot of the time).

So, it kind of went like this, get Brady's teeth brushed, go in and flip the baby over, change Brady, flip the baby over, get a book for Brady to read...ok, I am going to try and nurse the baby a little bit more!!! So, I went in and he nursed for a while longer. I had to sequester Brady into the hallway (and he was not allowed to talk or laugh - b/c that would get the baby's attention and he would quickly detach - OUCH!) or he was allowed to go into his room.

Finally, Brady went into his room and I finished nursing the baby while hearing things falling in Brady's room (Oh, Lord, what am I going to find!). So, the baby got full, I put him in his crib, he smiled and eventually drifted off to sleep. Then, it was time to finish up with Brady.

I went into his room and found him building towers with his blocks - phew!! So, I changed Brady's diaper, we read a book together, and he went to sleep very easily also.

I made it through it, but it took about 2 hours! I could not believe it! Where did that time go! I so appreciate Dawson's help with putting Brady to sleep!

Where's Indigo and Violet?

On Wednesday, the boys and I spent the day at my sister's house, which meant that they would be taking naps there too. We have not spent a day at her house in a very long time, so when Brady went into his cousin Jeter's room to sleep, he got so excited...

"Letter's on my wall" ( and he went and spelled Jeter's name)

There's rainbow! There's Tigger! There's...etc.

He looked at the rainbow that was painted on the wall and pointed at each color while saying, "Red, orange, lellow, green, blue," (pause as he looked at the purple and said), "Where's indigo and violet, Mommy? Where are they"

So, I had to explain that Aunt TCC had combined them and just made a purple color. That seemed to satisfy him.

I was amazed!!! He truly amazes me daily, and he is only two and a half!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Refresh and Renew

Lately, I have felt really tired and a little worn out. I suppose that feeling is somewhat normal with having a 5 month old, a two year old, and getting to bed too late and getting up too early, but it is not the way that I like to live my daily life. I am sure that having the return of the ants in our kitchen did not help things either. It seems that every year in June, we have ants that find their way into our kitchen! This year, Dawson got rid of them very quickly. However, all of our pots and pans were taken out of the cabinets, and he took out some of the shelf liner off that I had down. So, I have to put new shelf liner down before I put the pots and pans back in there, and I just have not made the time to do, the pots and pans remain on my dining room for another day. I'll get the kitchen back in order this weekend - last weekend, we were "fighting" off the ants.

Well, this past Monday I was thinking about how Flylady uses Monday to do a Weekly Home Blessing Hour - which is not detailed cleaning, but she suggests that you do the following and spend about 10 minutes on each task: vacuum, dust, mop, clean mirrors and doors, purge magazines, change sheets, and empty all trash. I was sitting on my bed with the baby and thinking about how my house could really use this and my thoughts began to drift, swirl, and go in another direction.

The words refresh and renew came into my mind. I thought, oh yes, this is what I need and this is what my house needs too! My physical house that I live in definitely needs to be taken care of, cleaned and tidied up, but so does the spiritual and emotional part of me as well. So, I thought about how I need to start reading in the Word again - even if it is only one or two verses. I need the Holy Spirit to come and renew and refresh me daily. So, I have started reading in my Bible again and it is good. The Lord has also been showing me areas in my life that He desires to work in and change and bring all of the healing that I need. So, I am willing and I desire to be refreshed and renewed . I am thankful to be on this journey with my Lord.

As I was pondering some of this on Monday, the baby decided that my sheets also needed some refreshing...he spit up on it!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Friendly Gardeners

Yesterday, my neighbor called and had a favor to ask see, the first owners of our house, planted a pint tree right on the property line, and it was growing into the her yard - kind of into their garden. So, she asked if I minded if she cut it back. Ummm, that took me all of 3 seconds to answer that one! Usually, I would think that your neighbor would ask you to take care of it...not to volunteer to do it! So, I said, "sure, it will be less work for Dawson to do!"

So, while I was taking care of the kids, and getting dinner ready, etc., she took care of the tree.

Then, when both of my kids woke up and I was trying to get the dinner in the oven, there was a knock at the door - I thought in my head, "you've got to be kidding me!" - the oven is done preheating, the baby is crying because I need to feed him, Brady wants to watch a video and now I have to answer the door!!! (I think that being tired may have caused some over reaction too).

Well, I opened the door and there was my neighbor - with a huge smile. I think that she is always smiling and laughing - she is fun to be around. Anyway, when I opened to door, she said, "Hi, it's your friendly gardener!" She then went on to let me know that they trimmed the tree back and that she planted 2 cherry berry tomato plants in an area in my back yard that she got from another neighbor - she watered it with miracle grow and put a little wire fence around it. I just could not believe that she did all of that for me! I was so amazed by her kindness! We had talked about where I would plant the tomatoes when I got them from the neighbor, but I did not expect her to do it for me! Oh, she also said that she pulled up a few weeds that grew back in the area that we weeded!

She really blessed me.

Today, I had a visit from my MIL, Nanny. We were talking and she asked how the weeding was going. So, I told her about all that my neighbor and I did, but how there is that huge middle area to do. So, do you know what she told me? She had brought over her gloves and tools and was ready to help me with some of the weeding! It is a little humbling in some ways to have all of these weeds to get rid of, but I am so thankful that the Lord has been sending some people over to help me out with it!

So, Brady went outside with her and was "helping" her and ended up coming inside to rinse his mouth...somehow some dirt got into his mouth! So, I did the best that I could to get most of it out...but some of it was not going to come out of the grooves of his teeth unless I brushed them or he ate lunch. I was getting lunch ready anyway, and they say that you eat about 20 pounds of dirt in your lifetime, I opted to not worry about the little bit that I could not wipe out. I figured that he would get a little head start with the 20 pounds! :)

I am so thankful for these two helpful gardeners that have helped me to begin to get my landscaping in order again. It has been a boost that I needed to continue to find the time to get out there and continue to work on it.

Any suggestions on what the best way(s) to keep the weeds from coming back? I would love to hear them! I am new to this gardening stuff - so, any suggestions are welcome! :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Review: Cascade vs. Electrosol

After we were married, Dawson and I lived in a one bedroom apartment that did not have a dishwasher. Sometimes we were really good at keeping up with washing the dishes, but there were times when we were lazy (I guess!) and the dishes would pile up, and the only way to get the dishes clean was to wash them by hand...however, one time we carted them over to my mom and dad's house to use their dishwasher! Washing dishes in a small kitchen without any windows was just not very fun - washing dishes is usually not very fun...unless you simply load the dishwasher, put in the detergent and press start.

Now that we are living in a house, we really enjoy that we have a dishwasher that does most of the dishwashing for us. I still (usually) wash my pots, pans and Cutco knives by hand, but thankfully it is not as much as washing ALL of the dishes by hand!

I was recently asked if I would do a review comparing Cascade Complete (liquid) with Electrasol (liquid). I agreed to do it and I decided that I would try to do it in the following manner: I did a total of 3 loads of dishes for each detergent, I followed the directions that they had on the container, and then I looked at the dishes afterwards to see if the dishes were clean and there were no spots left on the glasses and plastic.

What did I think?

The Cascade Complete said that no prerinsing was necessary and to fill each well up with the detergent. What I found was that it was not able to get all of the egg off of the pan that I cooked with that morning and there were spots remaining on the glasses. The rest of the dishes looked clean, but I did not particularly like the spots on the glasses. I also felt that it was false advertising - I really should have prewashed the pan!

The Electrasol container said to pretreat food with the detergent and to fill both wells with the liquid. I had one pan that had some baked on barbeque sauce, so instead of scrubbing it off, I decided to do the pretreating that the bottle suggested. The result was very strange - most of the burnt part came off, and then some of it was still left behind. When I touched the part that was left behind it flaked off easily, but obviously it was not clean! Another thing that did not please me was that my glasses were not only spotty, but there was a white residue that was left behind on them.

I have to say that I was not happy with either of these products and will go back to using the dishwashing detergent that I had been using - which is Cascade (original) powder. I do prerinse if something is stuck on to the pan, but I do not rinse every dish before putting them in the dishwasher - that is the job of my dishwasher! My dishes have come out looking just fine with using this! However, if I had to choose one of these products or go back to washing dishes by hand, I would choose the Cascade Complete - I could live with the spots better than white grime on my glasses...however, I would rather not have the spots either!

One of my friends uses vinegar as her rinse aid in the dishwasher. I have not tried that yet - has anyone else? I would be interested to know your thoughts on that too!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Buy Dockers, Get Gas!

I heard about this great deal at Sears, from Money Saving Mom (that ends tomorrow) - buy $100 worth of Docker's merchandise (excluding shoes) and you receive a $75 Shell® gas gift card! The limit is one (1) request per person, two (2) per household, separate qualifying purchases on separate receipts required. You can read more about it here as well.

So, guess where we went tonight? Dawson has really been needing some dress clothes, and we always need gas for the car, so we headed over to Sears and completed two transactions! We also decided to sign up for a Sears credit card, and will receive a $15 credit on our first statement! I am SO excited about this great deal!

To make the deal even sweeter, the Bargain Shopper Lady directs you to this page which states that Sears will also mail you a $10 Sears gift card! I am going to print off a copy of that letter and include it with my other form - just to be sure that I know about it! That would be so awesome!

So, if your hubby needs some new clothes, you may want to drop by Sears tomorrow and pick out some new a Father's Day gift! :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Celebrating Six

Last Sunday was our six year anniversary! I think that it is amazing that Dawson and I have been married that long! Sometimes it feels like it has not been six whole years and other times it feels like it has been forever! :)

On Sunday, I was thinking back to our wedding day and remembering the different parts of the ceremony, picture taking and the reception. It was a beautiful day and we had a wonderful time. One of my favorite parts was the ceremony. I was not the type that had my wedding planned when I was six years old, but I always did dream of marrying the One that God had chosen for me. I cried before walking down the aisle, while walking down the aisle and during parts of the ceremony - not a hard cry (I did not want to mess up the make-up and I wanted to look pretty in the photos! I actually had given my dad and Dawson a hanky to place in their pockets in case I did cry - that was good planning!) fact, only one of my eyes had tears that came out of it. They were tears of joy - my dream had come true. Dawson was the One that I had waited 28 years to marry and to spend the rest of my life with! He is one of my promises that the Lord fulfilled to me.

Over the past six years, we have been through a lot - the tough times and the good times have brought us closer together. We now have two beautiful boys - and our littlest guy celebrated being five months old on our anniversary! :)

I am thankful that the Lord placed Dawson and me together as husband and wife. We are thankful for all that the Lord has done in our lives, for what He is doing in our lives, and for what is to come. The Lord has very special plans for us as individuals and as a married couple and I want all that He has for us!

And in Dawson's (paraphrased) words that he prayed on Sunday, "Thank you Lord for giving us the past six years together and we pray for a thousand more together!"

I love you Dawson! Thank you for all of the fun memories that we have had so far. I am excited to see all that God has for you and me! :)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Love Your Neighbor

I don't like to weed - it is not really fun, but Thursday night was different.

I hate weeds. I know that hate is a very strong word, but I think that I correctly used it in this instance. I don't like to look at them and they really take the beauty away from our flower gardens and other landscaping. I have not really had the chance to do ANY weeding in our yard...until Thursday night...and boy does our yard need it!!!

I decided to start weeding in the front of the house, because the weeds were not as bad as the back yard. As I started to weed, I suddenly hear a friendly voice start talking to was my next-door-neighbor! I thought that she was just coming over to talk, but then when I looked at her, I realized that she brought a bucket, tools and gloves! She came over to help me weed. Let me say that again...she came to HELP ME WEED!!! HOORAY!

That was a huge surprise and it was such nice company too! We talked the whole time and got the front done, one side of the house (and it was not the side that faces her house!), and then a section of the backyard...the worst section still needs to get done, but the sun went down and we had to stop weeding. We actually were weeding for a little bit with the flood lights on in the back!

On Friday, she surprised me with some flowers to plant in my front yard that she bought at Lowes! She was buying some for herself, so she decided to but me a few too! What a blessing!

I still cannot believe that she came to help me. She is definitely an answer to my prayers 2 1/2 years ago - we prayed that we would have great neighbors that we got along with, etc., and we get along with their whole family. They are so helpful and generous - they amaze me. It was really nice to get such a huge jump start on attacking those weeds. It made me feel like I will be able to get our outside looking nicer than it does at the moment - an almost 5 month old and a 2 year old can keep you busy!

I love my neighbor!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

SANDwiches, Elephant and Paper Towels

What do SANDwiches, Elephants and Paper Towels have in common...Brady has had something to do with all three!

On Sunday, we were over a friend's house for a bar-b-q with our Life Group. They have an awesome swing set with a slide and a sand area...and Brady was enjoying playing in the sand a lot! At one point he was laying on his belly in the sand and I was wondering, is he putting his mouth in it? However, I dismissed it, until he came over to me with his hand covered in sand and he was trying to get sand out of his mouth - but was really just putting more in! I had to laugh, I guess he wanted to know what a real SANDwich tasted like! It brought me back to my beach going days (when I lived on Long Island) - you always ended up with some sand in your mouth, however, I don't remember intentionally eating it! He was COVERED in sand, but he had a lot of fun! The bath took most of the sand off of him...there was still some left in his hair, but that has come out since then.

Last night, I put a wide headband in my hair before I went in to kiss Brady goodnight. When I walked in, he said "Mommy, you look like elephant"! I was trying to find the compliment in that, but I was happy that he was pointing at my head/hair and not my body! I had to hold in my chuckle a little bit while I asked him what he meant. He pointed at my hair and said something about me looking like an elephant. So, I guess my hair was sticking out a little bit and it looked like elephant ears??? I really have no idea, but it made me laugh. I was going out to CVS right after that, so I decided to change my headband to the thinner one that I was wearing earlier in the day - I did not want to continue to look like an elephant while I went shopping! :)

Today, I had a friend over and her little son suddenly spit up all over her! Poor little guy - and poor mommy too! So, I went and got some paper towels to clean up my friend's shirt and jeans - he got her good! (Thankfully, he seemed better within the following hour). I brought a roll of paper towel from the kitchen into the family room...and I left it on the couch - what was I thinking!!! My friend, her son, and my little guy went into the living room - Brady was going back and forth in between the living room and family room, and then he was suddenly quiet. Then I heard what sounded like tearing or something like that. I called to him, but then decided to go and see what he was up to. I was greeted by yards of paper towel - all over the family room and in the hallway! I could not believe it! I actually had to laugh - who needs a dog when you have a two year old! It was really harmless and did make me laugh a little bit, but I had to get serious so that I could let Brady know that what he did was wrong and not to do it again...but it was amusing in some way! I just could not believe that he did that! He is such a curious boy - I love the curiosity, but I know that it is something that I will have to direct!

I love both of my boys - they are so precious and I love being Mommy too - even when I have to clean up a whole roll of paper towel! (I just do not want that repeated again - then, it would not be that funny anymore!).

BTW - I had fun with the title of my post, "And Then There Were Three" - hee, hee, hee! I was hoping to "get" a few of you with that! Thanks for enjoying my humor! :)