Monday, December 22, 2008

My daddy is famous......sorta

My mother called me a little after nine last night. I cringed. That's a late call and those can never be good. Not to mention I had just gotten Little D to sleep. Thank goodness he sleeps like his daddy. Anywho, my mom tells me to turn the television to channel 2. That's all she says. Mmmmmmm k. I click over to channel 2. I decide to go ahead and hit the record button. Hey, ya never know, right? This is the story that came on.

My parents live in Troy. They have lived there for twenty plus years now. My dad started volunteering at the fire department over ten years ago. My mom got the crazy idea to make him a Santa suit a few years ago. Around this time, you can find my dad at the local preschool and some fire department events as a "Santa Helper" as my kids call him. He really enjoys it. He loves kids. He's got to be one of the best dad's and papa's around.

I thought it was awesome that the city was able to rally and get so many things together for this family. This is truly what Christmas is about.

The kids thought is was sooooooooooooooooooooo cool that their Big Papa was on t.v. AND they got to see their dad's fire truck. LOL. They are so funny. They didn't want to tell anyone at school about it. They weren't sure if other kids know that Santa has helpers, so they didn't want to spoil it. Awww........they can be sweet.

Removing crayon from clothing

When I typed "How to remove crayon from clothes" in Google, I found several answers. Once again, I wasn't about to brave the wind or the crazies at the store, so I needed to use what I had on hand. If you don't have the exact brand I used, I don't think it will matter. Of course, I could be wrong.

Step 1. I treated EVERY single red area with Shout stain remover. I didn't have much left in my bottle so I was only able to do a pair of Tater's jeans, Grace's shirt, D's work pants and Little D's shirt. Let this soak for about thirty minutes.

Step 2. I grabbed some dish detergent. I believe mine is Ajax. Yeah, that's right. It's the cheap one. It still works and I'm not allergic to it. Palmolive is a little pricey and gives me a rash anyhow. LOL. Soak the spots with dish detergent.

Step 3. I decided to work the detergent in with my fingers. I'm not sure if this is actually necessary, but I figured it couldn't hurt. Make sure to put one hand behind the stain (if you just start scrubbing away, you will actually cause the stain to seep through to the other side of the item). Let sit for 10 minutes.

Step 4. Wash the clothing in the HOT water cycle. I'm pretty sure this is the most important step to this whole process. Use extra laundry detergent.

Step 5. Check clothes for stains. If stains are gone, go ahead and run through a rinse cycle to get out the extra soap. If the stains are still present, repeat the process.

I was able to do this just one time and I had pretty good success. Little D's shirt has a tiny bit of red on it, but it is barely noticeable. Seeing as how he will probably outgrow the shirt in three days anyway, I'm not too concerned. The crayon came completely out of everything else. I have not gone back to the store yet to purchase more Shout. I still need to work on the rest of the load that is newly colorized. I have high hopes. One site said to use WD-40 on the clothes too. I can't imagine the stench this would produce. Thank goodness this method worked out for me.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dryer tips

Obviously, first and foremost you should always check pockets to make sure they are empty. Being slightly lazy, I do not always do this. Shame on me. I will give you a couple of tips on cleaning out a nasty dryer. In the past 4 months I have had gum (not my family's fault) and crayon in my dryer. I'm becoming an expert. LOL. Thank goodness for the Internet. I know there are many ways to skin a cat, but these are what I used and what worked.

1. Gum on dryer drum
First, I tried just scrubbing with a wet rag. This did nothing at all. I thought I might be able to scrape the gum off, but I had no such luck. The next thing I tried was a dryer sheet. You need to turn your dryer on high for about 10 minutes. Grab a dryer sheet and run it under water. Scrub the drum of the dryer with the dryer sheet. I was shocked at how amazingly simple this was. I didn't really even have to scrub.

2. Crayon on dryer drum
The first thing I tired was a Magic Eraser. These things work for a lot of things and several websites recommended it. The Magic Eraser was less than magical. It did absolutely nothing. I was going to try WD-40 but we did not have any and I was not about to take Little D out in this blustery, cold weather. I decided to try nail polish remover. Just for fun, I poured a little bit in the drum. The crayon came off INSTANTLY. I ended up using a whole bottle because that one little crayon made a HUGE mess. To make sure I removed it all, I threw in an old white towel and turned it on high. I checked it after 15 minutes and the towel had no pinkness at all!!! The drum has the faintest hint of pink, but nothing like it was. I should have taken a picture. It was on every square inch.

The next post will be about removing crayon from clothing. Believe it or not: you can get crayon out of clothes! I know, I was shocked too.

Hurry up all ready

This weekend needs to wrap up really quickly. Before noon, someone managed to burn Ramen noodles in the microwave, leave a crayon in their pocket while doing laundry and our sink is apparently leaking. I took a break from crying and scrubbing to vent just a tiny minute. Yes, I'm a crier. I can't help it. Well, off I go to scrub some more. I'm sure there will be crying involved. Maybe tears are a good stain remover????? :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Target shopping online

My kids received a Christmas present early from my parents. They each got a Target gift card. Of course, they want to spend it immediately. Duh. I told them we would look on-line to see if they had any free shipping deals. Well, they did on clothes but not toys. Thank goodness Grace is getting older so buying clothes is the "cool" thing to do now. Little D needs clothes and really doesn't play with his toys. If you don't know anything about toys know this, infants and toddlers LOVE the boxes the toys come in more than the actual toy. Seriously. He plays more with his books than anything else. Tater has quite a few clothes that were given to us so it is harder to convince him to spend his card on clothes. A word to the wise, never leave the computer unattended when you are ordering items online. If you do, be sure to double check your order. Apparently Little D decided that his sister needed 2 of the same shirts. I was a moron and didn't double check my order until I received the confirmation email. Its just as well, without that extra shirt, I wouldn't have had $50 to qualify for free shipping. I have a niece who wears the same size as Grace, so she will be getting the extra. I was able to find shorts for Little D for next summer. They were only $2.99 each. Sweet!!! Then I wondered if I could find some sort of online promo code. I just Googled "Target promo code". Several coupon sites came up. The best deal I found was save $7.00 when you spend $70.oo. I clicked the link which directed me to the Target site. Luckily all of my items were saved in my shopping cart. I was able to get the $7.00 off plus free shipping on the clothing. Let's not forget, a gift for my niece!. I was very pleased.


1Tech Deck Street Spots - Hubba Hideout" Spin Master Toys; Toy; $12.99
1 Cherokee True White Toddler Boys S/S Polo with Back Art - 2T" Apparel; $1.74
1 Cherokee Hill Country Green Toddler Boys' Solid Woven Short - 2T" Apparel; $2.99
1 Cherokee Moss Olive Toddler Boys' Solid Woven Short - 2T" Apparel; $2.99
1 Cherokee Classic Blue Stone Toddler Boys' Denim Short - 2T" Apparel; $2.99
1 Cherokee Dirty Dark Stone Toddler Boys' Denim Short - 2T" Apparel; $2.99
1 Circo TB Harvey Plaid Skate Brn 6.5" Apparel; $7.49
1 Xhilaration Brn Girls Fatima MJ Wedge - 4.5" Apparel; $8.49
1 Circo Medium Wash Girls' Denim Jean - 12" Apparel; $9.99
2 Xhilaration Spanish Brown Girls' Pintuck Knit Top - L" Apparel; $11.99
1 Nerf N-Strike Recon CS-6 Dart Blaster" Hasbro; Toy; $15.99
Subtotal of Items:
$92.63
Shipping & Handling:
$18.29
Promotion Applied:
-$7.00
Free Shipping:
-$13.89
Shipping Savings:
-$2.36

-----------
Total before tax:
$87.67
Estimated Tax:
$3.72
Total spent: 91.39 on gift cards, nothing out of pocket. That's not too shabby. I can't complain. I do wish that I could get Tater to appreciate the value of a buck. He is still young though. I will keep working on him. Sigh.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Merry Flippin' Christmas

D sent me an email from work. He received word that they will be cutting salaries starting January 1. Awesome. The sensitive and emotional side of me flipped out. I started crying. A lot. I understand by doing this the company will save $200 million dollars and that not many people will lose their jobs. This seemingly came out of left field. D had heard NOTHING about this. Couldn't they have told us 2 weeks ago when D was deciding to go ahead and get the "cancer" insurance? (I am very high risk for skin cancer, so he figured it would be a good idea.) Should we go ahead and try to put our house up for sale and move into an apartment? My hours were cut at work recently. How are we going to do this??
The rational side kicked in after about an hour. Yes, it is going to be difficult. Yes, we will have to cut some things out of our lives. We don't spend a lot of money on extra "stuff"anyways, but if need be, we can cut our satelite package, home phone, etc. We don't NEED these things to have a good life. I am thankful that as of now, D and I are both still employed. I realize that there are several million people who are out of work with no hope in sight. I am extremely thankful for that and have prayed every night expressing my gratitude.
We don't know what is going to happen during these financially difficult times. I take solace in the fact that D and I will go through this together. We will work it out together. We will do whatever it takes, aside from stealing.
I was done feeling sorry for myself before I even went to bed. Yes, it's unfortunate, but it could be MUCH worse. For everything I have, I am thankful.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Chimichangas

D has been begging me since last month to make these things. They really aren't anything fancy. My family does love all things Mexican though. I make a menu at a month at a time, and every Monday is devoted to Mexican. Bear with me. The picture is AWFUL. I'm not the greatest photographer in the world, but I want to be one day. This really isn't a healthy meal....at all. I mean, it's fried. I say everything in moderation. I used smaller tortillas, so just eating one and paring it with a salad would be a great idea. To cut fat, you can use black beans, fat free cheese, fat free sour cream, etc. Or you could leave out all the extras too. This meal is so versatile.


Chimichangas

1 pound ground meat (turkey, chicken, beef)

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 small onion, diced

salt and pepper to taste

flour tortillas (any size is fine, just depends on what you want)

Oil for frying


Optional Toppings/Fillings

Salsa

Cheddar cheese

Black beans

Refried beans

Lettuce

Tomato

Onion

Guacamole

Sour cream
Preheat a skillet over medium heat. Preheat a skillet or pot with about and inch of oil over med-low heat.

1. In a preheated skillet, toss together onions and garlic over medium heat. Cook until onions become transparent. (This doesn't take too awfullying long, so you will want to babysit this. Plus, if you burn the garlic, you have to start over from scratch.)


2. Add ground meat. (I always use turkey. I started purchasing it because it was cheaper and healthier and now we really don't care for ground beef. LOL.) Cook until meat is browned through. While cooking, break up with spoon/spatula. Remove from heat when done.


3. Wrap tortillas in damp paper towel and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. (It is necessary to heat them up first so they are easier to roll and fold.)


4. Add any fillings you would like. This time around I added about 1 tablespoon of refried beans, 3 tablespoons of cooked turkey and a pinch of cheddar cheese.
5. Fold the tortilla. I tried to find a good diagram on how to effectively fold a tortilla and this is the best I could do. It's apprently from a shirt. LOL. I also secure the "flap" with a tooth pick so that it stays flat. (This is not necessary. This is just to calm my OCD.)

6. Gently place the chimichanga into the oil. Cook until golden. Flip to the other side. Remove from oil. (The trick to keep it from becoming too greasy is to make sure the oil is up to temp and not to over load the pan/pot. When the temperature of the oil drops, the food soaks in more of the oil.) Remove toothpick when slightly cooled.

7. Garnish and plate the chimichanga. (The kiddos love this part. They add only the extra stuff they like and they feel like they accomplished something huge!!) I typically add lettuce, tomato, black beans, onions, a tiny bit of cheese, salsa and a tiny bit of reduced fat sour cream.

8. Eat it up!!!

Ruling: Everyone loves these. D wants them every night of the week, but I am mean and refuse to feed him fried food every day, or every Monday for that matter. The only down side to this meal is reheating. If you nuke the chimichangas, they will not be crisp. You could easily pop them in the oven or even a toaster oven to achieve that crispness.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Watching down on them.

I went to the visitation for the parent who passed away. My friend H also went. She had the child in her class also. I have known the family for four years. Tater was in the same preschool class. I had their son for about a year and a half. This family is one of the sweetest I know. They always had a smile on their faces. They truly cared about everyone. They doted on their son. Love just oozed from their pores. I know it sounds a little to perfect, but they really are. They gave gifts to the entire staff at Christmas time. They came to my baby shower. They insisted that Grace come to the birthday party for their son. They even wanted to pay for my meal. These are people that nothing bad should ever happen to. But we know that's not how this world works.
I noticed on Wednesday that the little boy was not their yet. It was very odd. They always arrived at the same time. If he was sick, they would call and let us know. I would of course offer well wishes. I don't want any child to be sick. The phone for the preschool rang and I saw mom's name on the caller i.d. I won't go into specifics about the call. It seems so personal. It was a moment of vulnerability that I was apart of. I would feel like I were exploiting it if I wrote it down. I know it sounds odd, but I'm so damn sensitive sometimes.
I really didn't believe what I had heard. I do that a lot. It's a defense mechanism. I go through denial, until I have absolute proof. I do it with a lot of things. I just kept thinking I misunderstood her. I just saw him yesterday and he seemed fine. He was sweet as usual. We all took it very hard. I can't imagine losing my husband just a couple of weeks before Christmas.
It instantly brought back a memory for me that I seemed to have misplaced for several years. Next week marks the tenth anniversary of my uncle's tragic death. He was struck by a motorist while he was training for an upcoming cycling competition. He did everything properly. The driver just wasn't paying attention. Accidents happen. My three little cousins lost their father 9 days before Christmas. I can't even imagine the pain.
I keep replaying the last few conversations I had with the father. I started to wonder: do we subconsciously know something is going to happen. The father made a point to stick around a couple of weeks ago and tell me how much he loved us. He gave us the greatest compliments. It was very sweet. I thanked him profusely. My uncle for the first time since his first child was born had all of the presents purchased. They usually waited until the last minute. It's probably just a coincidence.
I have been to several funerals/visitations in my life. Why is it I never have the right things to say? I don't want to say too much and put my foot in my mouth. Thinking back, this is the first time someone has passed away and I had just spoken with them the day before. My uncle I hadn't seen in a couple of years. My grandparents, great aunts, great uncles.
I know things happen for a reason. I know that this father isn't suffering anymore. I know that life is short. I know that terrible things happen to great people. I know that life, and death for that matter, aren't fair. Every kiss is that much sweeter. Every "I love you" is that more heartfelt. Every embrace lasts a second longer. Every lesson I teach my children seems that much more important. I want to leave my mark on this world. That will most likely be through the people closest to me: my children and my husband. If I can instill all of the knowledge and love I have to share, then a piece of me will always live on and hopefully always be in their hearts.
C, I pray for your wife and your son every day. I know you have gone on to a better place. I know that you won't spend another day in the hospital suffering. I know you are watching down on them, smiling. May your love and your spirit give them strength to get through the coming weeks. You will always be in our hearts.













The day before the big day.

Where should I begin??? I guess I will start with Thursday. The lovely ladies I work with got together and got D and I a gift. I was really touched. They did not have to do that. They are all having some financial difficulties, but they wanted to do something for us. I cried. Just a little though. My boss let me go home so that I could get to work on some things. I was crossing items off my list when, Little D decided to help me out. Apparently, my phone needed a bath. In the toilet. I went into the bathroom to put something away. I didn't shut the door all of the way. I also was not aware that Little D had my phone. I hear him say, " Uh oh." He does this all of the time. So I really didn't think much of it. Then about 5 seconds later I hear a huge splash. He slam dunked the phone into the pisser. Crap. Well, thank goodness there wasn't any. Luckily, we always have a couple of spare phones lying around just for this occassion. My good friend H came over later Thursday evening to help me finish up my to do list. She is such an awesome girl. I am so lucky to have her as a friend. Seriously. She watched the kiddos for me so I could go spend some time alone.
I had kind of been in a funk all day. I was just really quiet and not myself. I was trying to hold back the tears. They eventually came. It was about 9 Thursday night. I was talking to my mother about how happy I am and how lucky I am. I lost it. I felt better when I was finished though. I finally made it to bed around 11. This is VERY late for me. I need my sleep. I'm a big baby. Speaking of. I almost forgot. Little D woke up the exact moment I put my head to my pillow. CRAP. I think he had a bad dream or something. I was finally able to put him back to bed at 1. Who needs a good night's sleep any ways???

Next post: The bid day, finally.

Go, Shawty, it's your wedding day.

It wasn't what we had originally planned. I pictured myself walking down the aisle in an ivory colored gown. Things changed and we decided why not just elope??? And why the hell wait??? It was still a great day. Marriages at the Justice of the Peace are very clinical. In and out. Wham, bam, thank you, Ma'am. They schedule two to three couples a day. It takes all of 10 minutes. I cried. I'm a big baby. I smiled a lot. D had tears in his eyes. The day we never thought would come, finally did. Thank goodness!!! We invited everyone back to the house for a dinner prepared by me. Yummo. When the parents cleared out, we hit the bar. These are only a few of the pics that I could put up. I didn't know that alcohol + camera= very naughty pictures. LOL. We had a GREAT time. I don't remember having that good of a time in a bar ever. I want to find an excuse to do it again!!! Here are a few pics. I don't have any pictures from the ceremony. I hope to be getting some from my father-in-law.

Smoochy face

D and our neighbor T


D thinking he's soooo funny.


I love him, just a little.



Me and my bff H.




T and me





My other bff J and her honey, T






D's brother J and his wife C.







Thursday, December 11, 2008

Well, hello there.

Oh.my.gawd. Like, seriously, I haven't blogged in 4ever. Not really sure where the valley girl came from. Probably, my ditsy daughter. I'm not being mean. She is a ditz. Or maybe that is just how all little girls sound. Don't get me wrong: she's very bright, but she is a blonde. LOL. I kid, I kid. Anywho.....not a lot has gone on since I last posted. I think I will do a random post tonite, as it is late. I will have photos in the next few days....or weeks. ;)

-- Update on my fantasy football teams: I won in one league. It was a squeaker. The next round is against the guy in first. His team is going to kill me! Oh well, at least I made it that far. In the other league, I pretty much had my booty handed to me. I have one more week of torture against the same guy. I bet he's enjoying this.

-- Oh yeah!! I'm married!! We are finally hitchified. If you know anything about a marriage at the Justice of the Peace, you know that it is short and sweet. Just the way I like it. Plus, we saved a TON of money. I will have another post about this day.

-- Our work concert was last night. We had a fairly good turn out. The kids did a great job. Nothing beats wathching a bunch of youngsters on a stage hamming it up.

-- Tater's concert was tonite. It was very cute also. I hope that the pics turn out. We will see.

-- A parent of one of our children passed away. That was very hard news to take. This will also have it's own post, it rightly deserves it. I, obviously, will not reveal any names, just offer some thoughts. I pray for the family.

-- Remains of a child were found near the Anthony home near Orlando, FL. I hope they hurry up the results of the DNA so we can finally put that sweet little Caylee to rest. This will also have it's own post.

-- I'm gonna be an aunt again!!! My little bro and his wife are expecting their first child. I'm so happy for the both of them.

-- I finished shopping for the kiddos. I keep saying every year that I am going to get a head start and I never do. Maybe next year. LMAO!! Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure.

-- I secretly want it to snow. I know so many people hate the snow, but I LOVE it. I don't know why really. I think I was a polar bear or something in another life.

I believe that is it for randomness. I will upload pics soon and hopefully have more posts. I know you are anxioulsy waiting. I will leave you with this little incident that happened yesterday.
Tater: I don't like this top (the spinning kind). It won't spin enough.
Me: Is it a top or a bottom?
Tater: It's a top.
Me: Bottom is the opposite of top, remember?
Tater: No, TOP is the opposite of BOTTOM.
Me: Oh, that makes much more sense. So, you don't like your little top? What about big bottoms? (I realized after the fact, that doesn't sound right, but I was going with the opposites thing.)
Tater: Who has a big bottom?
Me: Well, I do, I guess. It's huge.
Grace comes over and wraps her arms around me.
Grace: Don't say that, Mommy. You shouldn't say things like that. You have perfectly sized bottom. It's not too big.

LOL. Seriously, I need to carry a tape recorder to catch all the silly stuff they say. I know kids aren't for some people, but I dunno what I would do without mine. I love those little knuckleheads.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Take that, son.

I should really be cleaning and what not, but I had something very, very important to blog about. I'm so excited!!!! I play in two fantasy football teams and I made the playoffs in BOTH of them. SWEET!!! D didn't make it in either one. LMAO. I will probably lose the first round, but that is ok. I'm thrilled to do as well as I did. It is so much fun to make those little boys angry!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

EEK!!

I'm getting married Friday!! Ahhh!!! I have been a bad, bad blogger. I have lots of excuses, none of which you want to hear. I will give a brief run down of what's been going on.
----got the marriage license
----made three birthday cakes in three weeks. I'm tired of cake
---- Grace started the flu bug
---- D got sick on Thanksgiving
---- Little D also got sick
---- Tater Tot got sick, but he was at his dad's
---- I was sick Saturday night/Sunday morning
---- caught awesome deals online since I was up with my sick son
---- cleaning the house for the mini reception on Friday
---- my mom had knee surgery and everything went well
---- Tater Tot swears he is growing arm pit hair (he's 5)
---- Grace didn't know that Waffle House serves waffles (her argument is that it's not really a hosue)
---- Little D is the meanest one year old EVER (seriously, very violent)
---- one year old + birthday cake= biggest mess ever
Well, I know it was a weak post, but I'm still drained from being sick and cleaning. I will stop being a baby now!!! I hope everyone had a great Turkey Day and I shall post again in the near future.