Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Moms I Need Some Playdate Ideas!

So my lovely blog readers.  It is official.  It was official in my mind last week when I posted about it, but it's finally official between me and boyfriend both.  I officially broke up with him tonight.  He has not been fully on board with all of it.  He for some reason thinks that we should stay together and continue to be unhappy and perpetuate this forever and ever I guess. 

But... I am putting My Best Life and my happiness first and knowing that although it will be a very hard transition and they will be very sad about it, I am ultimately putting my kids' happiness first.  I'm sure that won't make sense to some of you, and I'm sure that it will make sense to others.  I know that there are a lot of people who believe you should work things out for your children no matter what (we weren't officially married but we may as well have been, and he is the father to my son and my daughters consider him a step-father) but I feel like I tried and tried and tried probably way longer than I would have to make it work because of the kids, and now at this point I feel like it is going to be better for my kids to have a happier mom who isn't arguing all the time.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on that little conundrum, ladies!  :)

OK I need to talk about something happier.  I am very excited about something else going on in my life!!!  I have (I think... crossing fingers nothing changes between now and Saturday!) successfully planned a playdate activity outing between my 2 daughters and 1 friend each.  This may sound like something goofy to get excited over, but I promise you, it's exciting to me and will be sooo exciting to them!! 

Because of Liv's ADHD she has always had a little bit of a problem in the friend area (she's only 6... there's hope for her yet... but it's what we've dealt with up until this point.)  She is friendly to EVERYONE but has trouble understanding boundaries and with impulse control so she can sometimes be a little off putting to other girls her age who tend to be more reserved in their playing together.  This in addition to the fact that we've never really lived near a lot of kids her age so she hasn't had the chance to meet neighbor kids and that kind of thing have prevented her from having too many playdates.  And the ones she has had have been just a few random last minute things at my mom's house where she gets off the bus from school and where a girl in her class lives near.  And she and this girl fight like cats and dogs most of the time.  LOL.

Ava has the total opposite problem.  Everyone LOVES Ava at preschool.  Everyone wants her to be their best friend, wants to sit next to her, wants to come over to her house or her to theirs, etc.  It's a little hard because Liv of course notices that and I know she wishes that kind of thing happened to her more often.  My fingers are crossed that it yet will... But I digress... Anyway... Ava is closest to one little girl in her class and the two of them are always asking for playdates.

So because my girls are only about a year and a half apart there is a lot of sibling rivalry there.  Although I could plan separate playdates I really don't feel like dealing with the fallout of only letting one of the girls invite someone over.  (Neither of them have ever actually had an official playdate at our house now that I think about it!)  So I thought I would invite Ava's best little friend and the girl that Olivia sits next to in class who appears to be the one she plays with the most over for a playdate.  And then I started worrying about the sets of 2 arguing with each other or worse still, Livs friend glomming on to Ava (which has been known to happen) and Liv getting her heart broken.

So my solution to that was that we are going to have an "outing" playdate!  I haven't fully decided yet what we're going to do.  I know going out for pizza is going to somehow be involved.  :)  Aside from that I'm still undecided.  I am debating on what we should do... either a movie, or possibly bowling, or possibly some sort of arcade type thing... or something else all together?  I'd LOVE to hear your suggestions, blogger!

I am really excited about the playdate no matter what we end up doing.  I'm so excited to do this for the girls and I really hope that it is only the first of many fun friend activities and playdates that we have in our future.

Obviously things in my life are going to be harder from now on, but I'm ready to take on the challenge (I think!).  I've been a single mom before with a 2 1/2 year old and a 1 year old and it was nearly impossible.  Now I'm a single mom of a 6 1/2, almost 5, and almost 1 1/2 year old.  It seems like a task too daunting to even try to figure out how I'm going to do it at this point.  But we'll muddle our way through it until we get a new groove going in our life.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I've Been Gone But Now I'm Back!

Ooohhh blog.  I have neglected you the past few days.  Please forgive me.  I have been very sleepy, very busy, and very just kind of... blah.  The first week back at work reeaaaalllly drained me.  By Friday I was wondering... how the heck do people make it through the day without naps?  I have to tell you, if I had to rate my top 10 favorite things, naps would take up two of the spots.  Couch naps (my fave) and bed naps (sometimes just too perfect).  I didn't get to take any naps this week.  :*(  That's me... shedding a little tear. 

The aftermath of ice-pocalypse still remains.  The sidewalks have a pretty continual layer of about 4" of ice on them and no matter how often someone (generally my mom or dad) shovels and salts my front steps (the infamous steps that I slipped on to begin with 6 weeks ago!) and walk, it still quickly builds up again.  Either we have more freezing rain and snow and freezing rain on top of that, or the constant icicles that hang from my eaves drip and freeze instantly.  It's been SUPER fun.  Whenever I leave with my mom she practically carries me to the car.  I don't know if it's more because she's just worried about my well being or that she can't bear the thought of having to help me so much again now that I am almost healed.  LOL

I've been trying to stay away from my house as much as possible the past few days.  The girls were at their dad's last night and as it happens they had a sleepover planned at my mom's tonight and my dad wanted to keep them Thursday night so that has been helpful.  They've been here most of the time through the day but gone at night.  They love "sleepover parties" (as they call them) with Grammy or Papa so that is great.  Ever since my official last straw, boyfriend still hasn't actually left.  He just comes home and goes upstairs and doesn't talk to anyone (not even the kids) and avoids all confrontation, but he doesn't leave.  Hence me trying to stay away from the house.  I am really not wanting to have to deal with that situation more than I already have... I guess I've been putting it off (obviously I've been putting it off for well over a year now... but even more so these past few days.)  A fellow blogger posted the funniest comment on my last post about making sure he doesn't slip on the ice on his way out the door.  LOL!  My mom would LOVE that comment.

The girls cheered at their little youth association basketball game today.  That never gets old for me, I swear.  It's just so funny and cute to watch these little girls do their cheers.  And Ava cracks up anyone within shouting distance because her little 4 year old body, having been told that "cheerleaders are loud so the boys can hear them while they're playing" screams the cheers out way louder than everyone else on the squad.  And it's hilarious.  Love it.  :)

This is the halftime show.  LOL.  If you start with the tall girl with glasses in the back my two are the blond in front of her and the brunette in front of her.  Smiling and cheering.  So freaking cute!  :)  It's unfortunate because the uniforms are SOOO cute but for some reason they all didn't come in on time and something went wrong with the order so they ended up cancelling the order and ordering these little t shirts and shorts last minute.  They're still cute but... it's not exactly the full effect.  Olivia cheered for football last year and the youth athletic cheer association uses the same uniforms for every sport, every team, so as to keep costs down for the parents, so this is what they all would look like if they were all in uniform:

I know, right?  :)  I just break into a huge grin whenever I see one of these pics. 

The girls made cookies last night at a "sleepover party" at Grammy's.  I was there for a little bit with Brody but we couldn't stay too long... Brody is a path of destruction and also a carbo/sugar freak so he basically just spent the entire hour we were there trying to barrel through everything in an attempt to get to the cookies.  I was there long enough to decorate a few cookies, though.  As I was messily (not on purpose) frosting a cookie I looked around at what we had produced so far and said, "How in the heck do people do this and make it look nice and neat?  We are clearly not that talented."  Not that this was news to me, but it's just kind of funny to see our cookies knowing what people with that talent can do.  My mom noted that we won't be opening any cute cupcake or bake shops anytime soon.  LOL

So back to my blog's whole raison d'etre.  Because of a mixture of my ridiculous sleepiness, my ridiculous situation with boyfriend, and the 82,000 other things that have been going on the past few days I haven't posted in 3 days.  So let me catch you all up a little bit on what I've been doing to Live My Best Life over the past 3 days. 

Thursday I started organizing a "cookbook" or sorts of some yummy looking healthy recipes I've been collecting lately.  It seems like I'm always seeing something in a magazine or online and tearing it out or printing it out and then losing the scraps of paper within about 7.5 minutes.  And I have a bunch of cookbooks that I find a lot of recipes I want to try but when it comes down to picking something to make for dinner I never know what recipe I found in which book so I just end up not looking for anything at all and sticking with what I know.  But I really need to expand my repetoire.  I need to find more healthy meals that taste good that I can get the kids to eat and also things I can eat myself that won't throw me off my goals. So I got myself a nice little photo album... you know, the old kind with the sticky pages?  And I started filling it with different recipes.  I went through my cookbooks and just tore out what I wanted to try and found some of the others I've been holding back and stuck them all in the book.  I'm keeping it out on my counter!  I need to try and make myself use it!  :)

Friday (and actually a little bit on Saturday) I worked with my mom on the project that I'm keeping a secret from everyone for the time being.  We actually made quite a bit of good progress and also found a few more options that might help make it work out for me.  I know this is all very cryptic but I'm very anxious about this falling apart before my eyes so I just really feel like I need to keep it under my belt for now.  But I am spending quite a bit of time working toward this goal so I have to update my blog in some way so you don't think I'm just shirking my committment!  I'm really hoping to be able to say more within the week, or maybe 2 on the outside.  I also am hoping that is not serious wishful thinking on my part that things will fall into place that quickly!  :)

Saturday (in addition to the "secret" project) I spent some time reconnecting with a couple of my best friends.  I am so lucky that I became close with a group of 7 other girls when we were in high school and to this day, all these years later, we are all still very close.  All but one of us actually still live (or live again) in the same town where we went to school, but we still don't get the chance to see each other very often because of our lives... kids, jobs, kid's sports and activities, relationships, etc... keep us pretty busy but I really cherish the few times when we get to get together and catch up some.  And I know all the other "girlies" feel the same way. 

Today probably the biggest thing I did to Live My Best Life was to stay away (for the most part!!) from the cookies we made last night!  LOL  Actually that's not completely true.  The best thing I did  for myself today was to thoroguhly enjoy moview night with my kiddos.  Yes, the Super Bowl was on tonight.  No, I didn't watch it.  No, I don't care.  :)  When I picked the girls up from my mom's this morning they were very excited to tell me that Enchanted would be on tv tonight and Grammy told them they could watch it and, could they? could they?  LOL.  So I made dinner for the kiddies and we all got our jammies on and hunkered down  for a pretty cute movie.  Even Brody was "enchanted" by it a little bit.  (hahaha sorry about the awful pun!)  The girls really loved being able to stay downstairs with me in the living room and watch a movie together. That made it realy great for me.  :)

OK in closing... Glee tonight was AWESOME... except that I'm not at all thrilled about this Finn/Quinn developement.  I'm team Finchel all the way!!! 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ice-Pocalypse, Concrete Corn, More Sick Kids, And Major Life Changes. All In A Day's Work.

Last night I couldn't sleep because all I could hear was the crackling of the tree branches around my house with the weight of the ice on them and I kept hearing branches and limbs fall.  I was so worried a limb would go through my roof into one of the kids' rooms I couldn't focus on anything other than that.

I did get about 85% of my taxes done.  I'll be getting back a little less than I was hoping but... I'll readjust my plans for it a little and move on!  After I did my taxes I flipped back over to the old blogger and checked my feed of all the awesome blogs I am loving.  I had decided not to do a blog hop this week because my Internet connection seems to be moving at a total crawl and flipping through all the sites and trying to read their posts and comments and follow is just nearly impossible at this speed.  I want to be able to take my time and get to know each of your lovely blogs a little and really sink my teeth into them and it's very frustrating not to be able to do that because our ridiculous Internet service provider (that has a monopoly in my area so I'm pretty much stuck with it) tends to suck most of the time lately.

BUT I digress... On the feed I noticed a blog hop called "Where in the World are You" and I thought... this sounds interesting... I clicked and read about this hop that's been going on for several weeks now and I just loved the idea.  The people on the hop tell you where they're from and some interesting facts about their location each week.  I instantly thought that was a fun and great way to get to know your fellow bloggers a little and learn some great little trivia tidbits (I love trivia! LOL) sounded like too much fun. 

So at like 3 am I typed up this great little post about my location (Ohio!) and included lots of funny and cute and interesting and weird little facts about Ohio.  And even though my Internet was barely moving I managed to include several pictures of the things about which I was writing.  And I finished it at like 4 am.  And then I promptly lost it.  LOST IT!!  I don't even know how that's possible because blogger saves everything automatically like every 3 seconds but... it was gone.  UGGGHH!!!  So I went to bed.

So here's some very very abbreviated fun fact about where I'm from.  I'm from Ohio.  It's cold here.  We're the Buckeye State.  We have lots of cornfields.  We even have one that's made of concrete.  It's supposed to symbolize our agricultural roots that have been overtaken by urban scrawl or something like that.  I would post a picture but again... not enough Internet speed.  I promise I will try and post it someday soon... For now just try and picture that you're driving down a road full of office buildings and you pull up to a stop light only to see a giant field of diagonal rows of like 10' tall ears of concrete corn sitting next to you.  It's kind of surreal, actually.  So that's the best I can do right now for fun Ohio facts.  Sorry no pics or anything more exciting.  :(

We're in the middle of ice-pocalypse 2011.  Tomorrow will be the 3rd day of no school this week (officially 3 days over our calamity limit for the year already on Feb 3) and it's something like 7 degrees outside and the ground and trees and cars and everything else in sight is covered with about 4" of ice.  Which is super fun and not at all anxiety-inducing for someone who's spent the past 6 weeks dealing with and recovering from an injury that was caused by ice.  So I'm really loving it.

In other random news... Brody has a fever again.  103.6 tonight.  His nose hasn't stopped running for about 4 solid days.  And of course the stinkiness from a couple of days ago.  I don't know what to do with the boy.  The doctors keep just saying there's nothing wrong with him.  Clearly there's something wrong with him.  I don't know.  :(  My poor baby.  I hate that he doesn't feel good so much.  I wish I had better answers.

Also... remember the post a couple of days ago about the little secret thing that my mom and I started working on the other day that would be such a huge step towards Living My Best Life?  Well we made some serious progress in that area today.  I got some troubling news and some very good news sooo.... who knows.  But it's a very far out of my reach concept for the time being so... I'll just leave it at that for now.  I'll keep you updated!

And finally... I think I finally fully committed to kicking boyfriend out tonight.  I think I officially reached my limit.  There is a lot I haven't mentioned about boyfriend but obviously you know that there have been some serious major problems going on.  I do classify myself as a "mostly single mom" after all.  And boyfriend has been in the picture for nearly 4 years of my 6 and nearly 5 year old's life not to mention our 1 year old.  So there are clearly some issues there.  I've tried to kick him out probably 2 dozen times before... and he has always talked me out of it.  Or just refused to leave until I gave in.  I won't dwell too much on such a downer subject but... truthfully I know that this is a GIANT step towards Living My Best Life.  It's something that I've needed to do for a long time but I've been scared to stick to my guns about it because I always feel like, a "mostly single mom" is still not a "completely single mom," and I've been there before (actually, in both categories... ex-husband wasn't much of a help either) and at that time I only had 2 kids.  Now there are 3.  And a bigger house.  And more bills.  And a million other reasons that have kept me scared.  But safe is not happy, and happy I am not.  I'm on my way there, and this will help.  I know I'll be a little sad about the end of something that has been such a huge part of my and my kids' lives for the past 4 years but... I know it's for the best.  It's been a long time coming and it's time I stop letting fear control my mind and do the right and best thing for me and for my kids. 

OK that was a big downer.  LOL.  Sorry!!  Let me leave you with this... Greys and Private Practice are finally new tomorrow night!  Are you as excited about that as I am?  Can I give any more proof as to how little it takes to excite me in my life??? LOL  Good night!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Work Stinks. So Do Sick Babies. They Stink. Literally.

Well these past couple of days have been a big dose of reality smacking me in the face!  I went back to work yesterday, and after having been off for 6 weeks recovering from the torn ligaments in my foot, I am quite literally... exhausted.  I went back Monday and if you read my last couple of posts you know that I didn't get much sleep Saturday or Sunday night.  And Monday is my long day at work.  Blah.

Of course on my first day back I would get a call about a sick kid.  This time it was Brody.  He was causing quite the "stink" at "baby preschool."  They called after his 3rd "incident" (it's a 3 strikes and you're out policy there when we're talking about this kind of illness! LOL) asking him to be promptly removed.  Actually that's not true.  They're so freaking sweet there they are always like, it's ok, no rush, get here when you can, we totally understand... I could not love this place any more, I swear.  Anyway... I couldn't very well leave work early on my first day back soooo... it's Grammy to the rescue!!! 

Mom went to pick up the kids and cracked up... Brody was in what she called "isolation" in the 1 year old room... separated from the other kids trying to minimize the infection possibilities!  She said the whole school stunk... apparently Brody wasn't the only one afflicted.  Although with Brody, I'll be honest, on any given day I don't know if you'd be able to tell the difference from his normal ridiculous stinkiness to actual sick stinkiness.  That boy is something else, I'm telling you.  He defies the laws of nature.

So back to a sick baby again.  He goes through bouts of feeling better and then needing to nestle in with mommy for long periods of time.  When I got home from work this afternoon he had been asleep for about 2 1/2 hours.  I waited and waited for him to wake up and finally at 530 I threw in the towel so he wasn't up all night tonight and had boyfriend wake up Brody.  He was less than thrilled to be pulled from slumber.  I can dig it. 

Here's a funny thing about Brody... I don't know if any of you have babies that are strangely addicted to sweepers of all kinds but... mine is.  He got one of those Laugh and Learn vacuums for his birthday and it fast became his favorite toy.  He loves to walk around the house pushing his little sweeper.  It has 3 different settings on it, music, learning, and one that sounds like a real vacuum.  He gets really ticked if it's not on that one.  He doesn't mind the other settings if he's sitting down playing but when he's ready to sweep... it better be on sweep sound setting!  And if it's turned off (this toy can get pretty annoying!) he gets really ticked. 

He likes to "sweep" with his little vacuum at any given time, but especially if he sees someone else using the real vacuum.  Then he runs and gets his and follows them around.  Cute.  But this cute little habit has quickly become a weird obsession.  He LOVES the real vacuum.  If he sees it he goes crazy trying to pull the plug down and start pushing it.  I have had to relocate it from its previous spot tucked between a shelf and a wall in the dining room to the mudroom.  Oh and he loves brooms.  The kid has a serious thing for brooms.  He's constantly maneuvering himself around the gate to get into the mudroom to get one of the brooms and then he walks around sweeping.  He does a pretty good job, to be honest!  Or he tries to get the vacuum.  It's a constant struggle with him.  I'm pretty sure he wants to be a janitor when he grows up.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.  I'm just surprised that he's found his life's calling at 15 months old.

So anyway back to tonight.  He was mad about being woke up.  He got a little happier when he laid eyes on the broom.  He went right for it.  He was smiling and giggling and, well, sweeping.  Boyfriend tried to take the broom away from him only to be met with screams and wails and tears.  He got so upset.  He ran to me... still holding the broom.  I tried to pick him up to comfort him but he wouldn't release his grip on the broom.  So I just picked it up with him.  That's when I noticed that his fever was back and he decided since I picked him up he was going to start the "snuggle in with mommy" session of the evening.  But he wouldn't let go of the broom.  No matter how hard anyone tried.  So I held him, and he held the broom.  Weird kid.

Here is a pic of the little weirdo.  Boyfriend took the pic with my cell.  He clearly is not a photographer. 

Anyone else have babies obsessed with something strange like brooms and vacuums?  I'd love to hear about it!

OK well I have to stop blogging to get back to my main task of the day: my taxes!  I am hoping to get them done soon and hoping to get a nice big fat return.  Or at least a pretty decent sized one.  Filing my tax return is today's step towards Living My Best Life.  A lot of people take their return and go on vacation or buy new furniture or something else along those lines... Since my divorce I've used mine to supplement my income.  I take a little of it off the top for some extras and put a little bit away for our big summer vacation and generally have to use some of it to catch up on some bills... but most of it goes in the bank to be divided up over the next 12 months to add to my income.  I wish I could use it for something much more fun, like... a big down payment on a nice new minivan... or... 6 big vacations instead of 1... or... I don't know... anything.  But to me, it's income. 

So I'm off to turbotax to continue my return!  Good luck to all of you in your tax filing!  What do you all like to spend your return on if you get one?  I'd love to hear!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Vaseline Does Everything But Pay The Bills

Sooo here's what I got done on my "blog to do list" this weekend:  A whole lotta nothin'!  Well, a whole lotta not much, anyway.  I am ashamed to admit that I spent almost all day today with my kids and my mom and put off everything else.  Well, I'm not really ashamed to admit it because, don't we all need to do things like that once in awhile?  And my kids have really missed my mom so they were dying to spend some time reconnecting.  I told them I figured after one day she'd be ready for another vacation.  LOL

I did get a little bit done on the blog... mainly, I reached a goal of having 100 followers!!!  How cool is that???  It's pretty freakin' cool if you ask me.  I'm such a total nerd... all day long I was kind of sneaking glances on my phone as I was inching closer.  I don't know why it was such a big deal to me but it was!  I laughed and said, I'm famous!  LOL!!!  :) 

I am posting just a very quick little post tonight (this morning) because... I have to go back to work tomorrow!!! :(  I have been off for 6 weeks with my leg injury and just this last week, as I really started to finally feel and get around a lot better, it was starting to get nice.  :)  But I guess we all have to work sometimes.  I'm lucky to only have to work 3 days a week and 2 of those days are only for 6 hours so I know I should count my blessings.  That doesn't make it any easier to psyche myself up about going back, though!

Of course Saturday night Brody woke up at about 2 am and I never really got him back down until just before 6 am.  New teeth I think.  He's done things like this a few times over the past couple of weeks.  But this time I thought, of course my last chance for a whole night's sleep with some sleeping in time before starting back to work you would do this!  LOL. 

And there was no sleeping in, either.  He and I were asleep in the recliner this morning for a whopping 2 hours before Olivia woke up asking for some Vaseline to put on her chapped lips.  The girl's top lip is totally cracked and bleeding and she refuses to use chapstick, but she'll put Vaseline on it.  Yummy.  Whatevs!  It does seem to be working!  If you ask my mom Vaseline pretty much cures everything so... I guess this is just one more example of that!  In fact, 2 days ago, when I was begging her to let me put chapstick on her lip she was crying, pleading with me not to do it.  (She has a weird thing about creams and lotions of any kind... for some reason she feels sure that they are all going to burn or hurt worse than what I'm using them for.)  I said, I promise, it won't taste great, but it won't hurt at all.  At this Ava pipes in and said, "Olivia, it really doesn't hurt.  Remember when I had a sore bottom and mommy put Vaseline on it?  It didn't hurt and it made it all better!"  I'm glad we were at home for this exchange!  But I figured all of my 105 new lovely blog followers are now privy to information like this!  LOL.  And to round it out... Brody has a horrible diaper rash right now (normal... we go through this pretty much a few days out of each week and nothing seems to help) and Vaseline was my treatment of choice for that today, too! 

So after being up all last night, and no naps today (boohoo!!) I figured... I really need to be in bed by 10 tonight.  I've been off work for 6 weeks so tomorrow is going to be exhausting just because of that, but now I'm coming off a night with about 2 1/2 hours sleep total so I have to get a good night's sleep tonight.  Except here it is at 1 am and I just got home from my mom's about a half hour ago (I brought the kiddies home earlier and got them bathed and to bed at a more normal hour, don't worry!) so there goes that plan!

I just wanted to post and say that yesterday and today I, with the help of my awesome mom, worked on something that if it comes through... which is a HUGE HUGE IF... I mean, like 1000 pieces have to fall exactly into place for it to work out... but if it does, it will make a HUGE HUGE dent in the Living My Best Life plan.  I don't want to say what it is just yet because I'm so afraid that if I say it out loud it will be jinxing myself and there are so many obstacles that need to be overcome I figure jinxing myself shouldn't be one of them.  But I do want to let you know that hopefully I have something BIG in the works... but please say a little prayer for me or send some good vibes my way because I will really need it!!!  I should know more soon if there's any progress on this, and I will let you all in on it as soon as I feel like it's safe to talk about it!  :)

OK so I'm off to bed... big day tomorrow!!! I'll let you know how my first day back goes! 

I have some pics I want to post, but for some reason my Internet connection has been in serious need of help these past couple of weeks and they're not loading.  I will hopefully get them on once I get (unnamed cable company that I really can't stand....!) to come out and hopefully get things working correctly again!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Grammy's Home!!!

I have lots to do on my blog... one of my main goals today (this weekend!) is to figure out how to get to reply to the great comments you all have been leaving for me.  A lovely blogger sent me an email showing me how to do it but as I skimmed over it I thought... I'm going to need to look at this again when I have more time.  LOL.  I've never felt so computer illiterate than since I've started my blog!!!  Anyway... that was just one of the things I had on my "Blog to do list" for the weekend and I hope I get that and at least a few more done.

But... Grammy's home!  Yay!!!  I wasn't expecting her home from Florida until tomorrow but she decided to come home a day early and I'm so excited!  She's already been over this morning for a long needed and missed chat (the phone just isn't the same!) and to get reconnected with the Brodster (he was so excited to see her... she's been gone for a month but he actually saw her car come up in the window when he was playing and started to jump up and down!).  She made Brody lunch and put him down for a nap and she's going to go with me to the girls' basketball (cheerleading) game this afternoon and we're going to check a few things out later too. 

I'm so happy to have my mommy, the best grammy, my best friend, back in town.  I know she needs and much deserves these long breaks she takes (the next one is not too far away... she leaves again for 6 weeks in the middle of March!  That will be a tough one!!) but I really miss her, and the kiddos really miss her when she's gone.

As a (mostly) single mom I really do rely on my parents for a lot of help and I thank God every day that I am lucky enough to have such amazing ones.  I know there are a lot of moms out there, both single and coupled, who either have moms and dads that don't offer much support, or have moms and dads that are too far away to help much, or have moms and dads that aren't around anymore at all and when I think of how much harder, and how much less rich my life would be without my wonderful mom and dad, I remind myself of how lucky I am. 

Are any of your kids as addicted to Grammy as mine are?  LOL.  Ava actually could hardly talk to my mom on the phone while she was gone.  Every time she'd get so excited to talk to her and then when she'd hear her voice she would break down into an inconsolable crying mess.  It was so heartbreaking to go through!  And I know it was really hard on my mom to have her heart pulled out from a thousand miles away like that. 

We tried video chatting a few times but for some reason since Dell replaced my entire hard drive and mother board last month I can't seem to get the microphone to work right so it ended up being more trouble than it was worth.  We'd have to call on the phone at the same time so she could hear us and we'd hear her through the phone and then in speaker through the computer like 3 seconds behind.  Hilarious and chaotic.  LOL.  And every time Brody would see her talking on the computer screen he would climb all over me trying to grab her out of the screen!

SOOO I'm going to hopefully have enough time to get a few more things done on the old blog this weekend but I'm super excited to have something so great tear me away from it a little bit!!  I'll check back in later and let you know what I got accomplished today towards my goals and anything else interesting that happened.  :) 

Getting My Foot To Work Again And Other Random Events Of The Day

So I had my first physical therapy appointment today.  Here's what I have to say about it:  Yuck. Ouch.  Blech.  That basically covers it.  It was kind of interesting; I did learn a lot about my injury and how I'll be building my strength and motion back up.  But aside from that it was like... please quit pushing my foot in all of these directions that it doesn't want to go... But Dave the executioner had his earplugs in.  Or he just didn't care.  Whatever.

While I was starting with these exercises and complaining to myself about how much it hurt I was reminded about something one of my best friends went through about a year and a half ago.  She dove into a pond in a spot she thought was deep... but it wasn't.  She hit her head on the bottom and broke her neck.  It was so scary to get this news and to see her in the hospital dealing with this injury and so scary to think about how lucky she actually was and how so many people who break their necks end up completely paralyzed or even dead.  She was alive and they predicted she would get almost all of her movement back.  And she did.  And I went to the hospital every day I could to sit with her and keep her company and help her in what ways I could (limited ways since I was 7 and 8 months pregnant at the time) and watch as she started a grueling physical therapy process.  And I watched her take steps and then walk and then regain the use of her right arm (the worst affected area from the injury) and so many more miracles.  So I guess I should quit my bitching about some little therapy on my foot and be thankful my injury wasn't worse than it was.

So I have dutifully scheduled my PT appointments for the next 3 weeks out.  Yay me.  Actually I'm looking forward to getting the use of all of my limbs back again.  I'm not going to be able to Live My Best Life until I can get back to being a more mobile mom and also getting back to really working out again so I guess today I started on the first step towards those ends.  Oh btw the therapist told me that I had the most common orthopedic injury in America, and that most people who do this end up doing it 3 or 4 more times in their life.  What an inspirational speaker that one is.

After PT I was tired and sore and I came home to a bored Ava and a yet again not feeling well Brody.  Ava had picked out her own outfit while I was gone (a pretty common theme lately... I try to keep it slightly in check but the girl is quickly following in the footsteps of Punky Brewster).  Here she is checking out her handiwork in the foyer mirror. 

After a quick lunch (grilled chicken salad!) I got the Brodster down for a nap and was aching to do the same.  I set Ava up with some paints and prepared to rest a little while she did her magic, but instead ended up cleaning.  Not quite as relaxing. 

She's so funny when she's drawing or painting.  She won't let me look at what she's working on until she's done.  I convinced her to let me snap these pics of today by promising I wasn't actually looking at the painting I just wanted to get a picture of her doing it. 

So finally I want to talk about snacks.  I love em.  Seriously when I'm counting and watching what I eat I have to make room for several small snacks throughout the day.  Are any of you like this?  I'll eat less at lunch or breakfast or dinner to ensure I get a couple more snacks.  I try to make them pretty healthy and have at least one or two that are fruit, but I also need to have something salty and crunchy every day, particularly at night (particularly while I'm staying up until 3 am reading blogs....).

Tonight I tried something new I bought last week.  Orville Redenbachers Natural buttery salt and cracked pepper mini popcorn bag.  You know, like the ones that are the 100 calorie bags?  Except this bag is 200 calories.  Same size but twice the calories.  I almost didn't buy it when I noticed that but then I remembered seeing someone on Ellen once (I think it was Bob from Biggest Loser) showing Ellen all of these great healthy snacks.  There were several of the 100 cal snacks.  I don't remember what exactly it was but there was something that Ellen said something along the lines of, "this is so small though, and it's so good, I'd want to have like 2 or 3 of them."  And Bob said something like, "so what!  It's 100 calories!  If you want to have 2 once in awhile, have 2 and don't feel guilty about it!"

At least this is how I remember it going.  It's also possible that Bob said something like, "Ellen, NO!  Don't ever even consider having more than 1 of these snacks at any given time on any given day ever!  Don't you know anything about staying healthy?"  I'm not sure.  It's all semantics.  I guess it could have gone either way.  And let's be honest, it's not like Ellen couldn't afford much more than I could to have 2 snacks at a time but let's not dwell on that.  Regardless, I've decided that I'm not going to stress about a 200 cal snack as long as I don't do it all the time. 

ANYWAY my point in all of this is to say that... these salt and pepper little popcorn bags are AMAZING!!!!  I mean seriously good.  Everyone in my family loves popcorn like I love Diet Coke but I've always kind of been able to give or take it.  But I do like salt and pepper flavored chips so I thought I might like this.  And I did.  I highly recommend you go straight to your grocery store and buy a box of this yummyness.

I should probably mention that this is just my opinion of a snack I tried tonight.  I'm not getting paid by the Colonel to tell you about it's yummyness, I just felt the need to pass on a good find.  :)