How did I get so blessed?!

Thursday, October 29, 2009 11 Comments A+ a-

In the past 24 hours...

Thursday, October 29, 2009 4 Comments A+ a-

Some of the things heard in our house these past 24 hours.

“Hudson! Do not lasso your baby sister!”
(I never thought I’d say those words, not in a million years.)

“Mama, I’m not really awake yet.”
(Yes, Paige, I can tell by the fact that you’re lying in a heap on the floor.)

“Reagan, we do not suck on Gracie’s chew toys.”
(Ewwwww, gross!)

“Seriously?! Seriously!!!”
(Upon hearing the news that school was closed, but Mommy still had to go to work.)

And last, but certainly not least…

“Mama, you pretty.”
(And my heart melted into a puddle on the floor. I will forever treasure that moment, my little man.)

1st Snow Day of the Season

Wednesday, October 28, 2009 1 Comments A+ a-

I still had to report to "my other job" this morning, even though the school district had already called a snow day. *Sigh* But we are being sent home early and in exactly forty minutes, I'll be picking up these beautiful babes and heading back to our home to cocoon ourselves there.

In the mean time, my mom is making Puffed Wheat Balls with the kids and they're having a blast eating, cooking with Nana, and overall, making a big mess. Aren't they the cutest?!

I'll be sure to add the Puffed Wheat Balls recipe to the "What's For Dinner" site soon. Another family favorite...

Warm, Cozy Tuesday Night

Tuesday, October 27, 2009 3 Comments A+ a-

The Taste of Home Cooking Expo was not to be for this mama. Yesterday Hudson woke with a cold and I followed suit this morning. (It’s a conundrum, is what it is. He never got the H1N1 flu but caught a cold? Go figure.) I was still going to try and make it, but then Reagan started sounding congested and I decided that a night at home was just what the doctor ordered.

So here I sit. All three kiddos have been read to, prayed with and prayed over, and tucked into their beds. I have folded numerous loads of laundry and now I don’t feel the slightest bit guilty over spending some time on the internet for a little while.

It was a good night; one of those nights where you feel warm, cozy, and so very blessed. Jon is on snow patrol today, has been since noon and won’t get home until midnight tonight. This is my first “winter widow” night of the season and I’m preparing myself for many nights like this to come. When the rain started falling late afternoon and the sky grew dark, I turned on the fireplace and lit a few apple-cinnamon candles. Devyn and Hudson were playing together on the computer, the sounds of Disney channel emitting from the speakers, and Gracie lay at their feet chewing on a rawhide bone. Reagan kept me company upstairs while I prepared a simple meal of macaroni and cheese. Sometimes it’s the simple things that make us feel so very blessed.

That moment came when I glanced outside after dinner and saw the thick, white flakes floating to the ground. It was so dark outside, but the inside smelled of apple-cinnamon candles and the fireplace cast such a warm glow over our home. And in that moment, a whisper of thanks for the comforts of home floated from my lips. There is nothing I need other than the basic needs of my loved ones being met. We have a roof over our heads, food in our bellies, and laughter to enjoy. It was/is a good night.

In other news, we (as in the four sisters) are very excited to present something that we have been working hard on for a few weeks now! You may have noticed the button in the upper-right corner, a button that says, “What’s For Dinner”. Feel free to click on it. It will take you to a new blog that the four of us have collaborated on involving the sharing and exchanging of recipes. The idea started when Courtney requested some crock-pot recipes on her personal blog and she got a number of new recipes to try. We wondered if we could find a central place to keep our recipes and exchange new ones. Thus “What’s For Dinner” was born. We hope you’ll find it as useful as we do and we hope you’ll feel free to share some of your own recipes with us as well. We look forward to any, and all, feedback.

That’s it for me. I think I’m going to put The Proposal in the DVD player and watch a new crush (Ryan Reynolds – sigh) from the comfort of my bed. The perfect end to a perfectly good day. Aside from being sick and all…

Sunday Tidbits

Sunday, October 25, 2009 2 Comments A+ a-

My baby girl, the one that is just days shy of ten months old, took her first steps yesterday. We were sitting in Devyn’s room when Reagan stood up from a sitting position, then took one step, kept her balance for 20-25 seconds, and then fell.

She did again later that night, this time increasing her progress with two steps. Ahhhhh! She is growing up way too fast!

Do remember when I made this stocking for Devyn? I had big plans to finish Hudson’s stocking too, but I think I was overzealous. That, and someone got into the itty-bitty sequins and other elements, and lost everything. Then we all know what happened last year.

So when I saw the stocking Courtney finished for our niece, Elliana, I got all motivated again.

Guess what I found on Amazon today? It’s perfect for our little man, who is all about sports. I guess it was almost divine intervention that I wasn’t able to finish the first stocking for him, huh?

I imagine I’ll do Reagan’s stocking next year. I learned my lesson. Gotta stretch these things out and have realistic expectations. Or I’m just lazy. You pick.

On Tuesday night, I’m attending a Taste of Home cooking expo with my mom and sisters. I just started receiving their magazine this year and haven’t yet attended one of these cooking expos before. I’m really looking forward to it! It should be a good time.

I’m also very excited about something that I’ve been working on with my sisters. I can’t wait to tell you all about it… but all in good time.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Not-So-Helpful Internet

Friday, October 23, 2009 1 Comments A+ a-


Dear Online Customer Service Representative of a well-known office supplier,

I’m sure you’re trying to be helpful; really I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt here. But the instructions you are giving me are of no help whatsoever. The button you said existed, does not in fact exist. I’ve looked… ten or twelve times… Yes, I’m fairly internet-savvy. I’m pretty sure I’m following your directions precisely. And no, for the fifth time now, that button does not exist.

What’s that? You can’t help me? You can’t access my account settings? I need to contact my account manager? Isn’t that you? I see…

Thanks anyway, Mr. Online Internet Guy. It’s been fun!

Customer Jenn

Do you think the office will notice if we have nothing to print on?


It's a Small, Small World

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 4 Comments A+ a-

Yesterday was an oddity of sorts, but in order for you to understand it, I need to back up a few months ago…

Out of the blue, my husband got a call from our local Ace Hardware store. They wanted to make sure that we’d received the reimbursement on our credit card. We had no idea what they were talking about and the clerk insisted they had the right couple. “Jennifer [middle initial] [last name],” the clerk said. “This is you, correct?” Yes, that’s my middle initial and my last name but we haven’t been to Ace Hardware in months, let alone needed a reimbursement on our credit card. (Folks, I don’t have the most common name. Its not Smith or Jones or White, it’s a pretty specific last name.)

I drove down to the store to take a look at the credit receipt and sure enough, printed under the signature line was my first, middle initial, and last names. But definitely not my signature! At this point, I’m assuming some sort of identity theft has taken place and go to the internet to do some research. (Which by the way, it’s kind of scary how much information you can get online about someone. It’s downright creepy, in fact.) I soon learned that there was another woman who lived in my (very small) town with my exact name, not just the same middle initial. First, middle, and last names all matched. And to top it off, we were born in the same year, with her birthday just a few months before mine. Very weird…

And my poor family and friends had to listen to my ranting and raving about my concern of identity theft. But after my research, I was fairly certain that this was not a case of identity theft, just weird coincidences that put two women with the same name, in the same town.

Fast-forward to yesterday.

I went to MOPS at a local church in my small town with my sister, Christine, and I was so excited to catch up with some of the women who are becoming fast friends. We sat down to breakfast when Katie ran up to me and excitedly shared that a woman with my same name was there too!! At this point, I was just excited beyond words as I couldn’t believe I was going to finally meet her, the woman who shared my name. So Katie brought me over to her and I introduced myself.

Poor woman! I am fairly certain that she had no idea I existed, even though I knew plenty about her, and I’m sure I scared the bejeebies out of her. I tried explaining why I knew when her birthday was, about the research I’d conducted, my fears of identity theft, and though she smiled politely, I’m pretty sure I freaked her out. And I’m sure it didn’t help when another friend ran up to her afterwards and said, “So you’re the girl that stole Jenn’s identity!” It was said in a kidding manner, complete with a friendly smile, but I’m just not sure if the other Jennifer [middle initial] [last name] will be coming back. I sure hope so… it’s not everyday you get meet someone with your exact name.



Redeeming This Monday

Monday, October 19, 2009 10 Comments A+ a-

It has been the Monday of all Mondays. Everything that could go wrong, has. And then some.

By 9:00 this morning, I had cleaned up a pee spot from Hudson, cleaned up a whole box of goldfish crackers that has been dumped on the floor, then cleaned up a pee spot from the puppy. (Did I mention that we shampooed the carpets from the honey incident?)

It was the kind of morning that had me near tears.

Nerves were frayed, emotions ran high, and I may or may not have yelled repeatedly for obedience. Which only created more tension, furthering the downhill spiral of our Monday.

I piled all the kids into the van to take Devyn to school, her first day back after missing two and a half weeks. And I poured my heart out to God, complete with apologies, knowing that I had done my part to create this stressful environment. We said our goodbyes to Devyn and on our way back home, I vowed to redeem this Monday.

We walked into the house and the first thing I did was put on a CD that Mom had given to all four of us girls "just because". Sing Over Me is fast becoming one of my favorite CDs. Worshipful lyrics set to light, soothing tunes instantly transform our home to one of tranquil and quiet. I'll say it again, soothing.

I put a pot of water on the stove, then knelt down next to my little man. My Hudson, who'd had a really rough morning; my Hudson whose main love language seems to be quality time. And I know if I don't give it to him often enough, the result is a cranky, disobedient child. So we knelt side-by-side and played with matchbox cars while waiting for the water to boil. 20 minutes made all the difference, his smile spoke volumes about that undivided time with him. And really, who doesn't love playing with cars.

Even now, I'm lying with a sleeping Hudson, listening to the rhythm of his breathing. And the soothing sounds of that CD is still playing over us. This Monday HAS been redeemed and I'm going to see that we remember this day as it is now.


A Honey of a Spot

Friday, October 16, 2009 7 Comments A+ a-

It’s never good when your husband thrusts your baby at you and says, “Taste your daughter!”

I looked at him warily, wondering if he’d lost his mind, and then glanced at my baby girl who had droplets of something on her cheeks and on her forehead. A quick assessment of her hair showed more droplets hanging off fine hair. Yet, I still wasn’t brave enough to actually taste it. My initial thought, “Oh geez, did Gracie pee on Reagan?” A quick sniff assured me that no, it wasn’t pee, but I couldn’t place the scent.

I looked up at Jon, “What? What is it?”


An about face to find Hudson across the room.

“Did you do this?” I asked him.

He shook his head slowly. “Nooooooo. Devyn.” Which obviously was the wrong answer, seeing as how she was spending the night at my parents’ house. I burst out laughing as I noticed his sticky hands and face; the obvious culprit to the crime.

Into the tub went the two children and scrubbed clean of their sticky substance.

When Gracie finally came out of hiding about a half-hour later, it was obvious that Hudson had gotten to her too. Fur matted with honey, and incredibly sticky paws. Another bath.

Soon Jon and I were sticking to the floor, and we noticed a honey trail leading from the kitchen to the front door and back down the hallway to the master bedroom. The handrail leading to the basement was covered in honey as well. I scrubbed everything I could and we’re still finding new spots of honey. Guess what we’re doing this weekend?!

There’s a moral to this story. Two-year-old boys can’t be left alone, even for five minutes.


Flu 2009 Recap

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 5 Comments A+ a-

I managed to keep the fear and panic at bay for all of the ten days we were quarantined in our house. This is the plight and strength of being a mother; the ability to do what needs to be done, taking it one step at a time, without pausing to allow fear to become a stumbling block in caring for her loved ones. Yet in that same vein, the fear demands to be given a voice once the crisis has passed.

My moment came this morning, in the car, on the way to work. It was the first time that I’ve been alone for over ten days, without needing to issue medicine, or cuddle sick, hurting bodies. It was the first time that I haven’t been needed to run steam showers, or scold yet-to-be-housebroken puppies. My first quiet in which I wasn’t being called by someone to soothe or meet any one of a number of different needs. It was the first time I’ve been alone with my thoughts and I allowed myself to fully realize how scared I’d been during those 10 days. I could feel the emotions closing in, and I had to pull over to the side of the road, giving myself permission to vent all the exhaustion, fear, and relief.

Devyn had a low-grade fever throughout the weekend, and we had to admit that her cough was getting worse. After a consultation with an on-call doctor, I bundled her up and we were off to the local urgent care. Her initial pulse-ox reading was 84, and the nurse, certain that the reading was wrong, went for a second machine and a new reading. She clucked to herself when 84 came up again and casually mentioned that the doctor would be in. A quick text message to Mom reaffirmed that 84 was not a good reading… at all. When the doctor came in, he took a third reading of her oxygen levels. He rattled off a list of things, among them a nebulizer treatment and chest x-rays. Then decisions would be made from there.

The nebulizer treatment seemed to have no affect at all, and the physician decided the x-rays weren’t alarming enough to send Devyn to the hospital. So we were sent home with a new antibiotic and an order to watch her closely. I’m not sure either Jon or I slept very well that night. Jon took the shift until 1:30 in the morning, and I took over thereafter. Walking into her room every hour, standing by her side, waiting and watching to see a movement of any kind; kneeling by her bed, caressing her cheek with my hand; praying fervently for healing and good sleep; listening to her murmur and cough in her sleep; wanting to pick her up and hold her in my arms, just like when she was a baby; wanting desperately to make it all ok for her again. It was a long night.

Another trip to her regular doctor the next day, the third appointment for Devyn since this stuff hit our house. There was another initial bad pulse ox reading, wondering again if we were going to be sent to the hospital. Her doctor came in, looked at her chest x-rays, listened to her lungs, and took another oxygen reading. Her conclusion was that Devyn’s H1N1 (swine) flu had turned into pneumonia, but a mild case at that. In God’s divine hand, putting Devyn on antibiotics for her ear infection days earlier probably kept the pneumonia from getting worse than it did.

*Sigh* It was a long ten days, to be sure. I feel as though I fought a war and am coming out on the other side.

Jon is back at work; his coughing is growing less every day. There still seems to be fluid in his right ear though, and it’s driving him crazy not being able to hear. Reagan has fully recovered from the flu, and is back to smiling and practicing walking and standing by herself. I have an extremely annoying cough that loves to show up at the most inopportune time. And Devyn is getting better. I just got a call from Aunt Alli that after a three hour nap, Devyn is currently running around with Hudson and wrestling.

Here’s hoping that we got all of our sickness out of the way in one shot.

A mama can hope, can’t she?!


Flu 2009 Collage

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 3 Comments A+ a-

Here's what we were up to these past 10 days...


October 10 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009 4 Comments A+ a-

This is a lot of snow this early in the season; even for Colorado.


An Update

Thursday, October 08, 2009 10 Comments A+ a-

Yesterday I took Reagan's temperature and it was 102.1. I don't know what it is but a temperature in my baby sends me a touch into the panicky zone. I took a deep breath and gave her some tylenol. 40 minutes later, she still felt toasty. The thermometer read 102. So much for calm. I made an appointment with our doctor and immediately dumped her into a luke-warm bath, anything to get her temp down.

It worked. Temporarily. On our way to the doctor's office, I had a fairly good idea of the diagnosis. Devyn and I had symptoms of H1N1 (the swine flu) all day Sunday and Monday but I didn't take us in. We seemed to be managing it at home, which is what everything was telling us to do. Then when Devyn's teacher called to let us know there was a confirmed case of H1N1 in her class. I was even more sure that's what we had.

Jon fell victim to it on Monday and in his usual stubborn ways, refused to admit it. Even though I could toast a marshmellow on his forehead, "it was just a cold". He was the worst of all of us.

Dr. Susie looked at Reagan, her ears, listened to her chest, and checked her oxygen levels. All clear with the breathing and chest. But then the official diagnosis. H1N1 flu and an ear infection in both ears. A prescription for Tamiflu and an antibiotic and we were finally on our way. Two drug stores later, and still no pediatric tamiflu in stock. (This city has been nearly wiped out of Tamiflu.) But the last one offered to compound the adult stuff for us. I smiled a tired and exhausted thanks.

Jon and Reagan's temps finally broke during the night. Could it be true? Were we finally on the mend?

Oops! Spoke too soon.

Devyn woke from her nap, crying and in pain. Her ear was hurting her and she's never had an ear infection in her life. A second trip to the doctor in two days, confirmation of her first ear infection. And a trip to our third pharmacy. They had the antibiotic but not the ear drops. *Sigh* What's a mama to do? Peruse the homiopathic section and cross her fingers it'll help Miss Paige.

Tomorrow we'll have been quarantined for almost a full week; not leaving the house except for doctor visits, medicine runs, or food. I won't lie, I'm going a little batty. And I'm also exhausted. I am praying for a complete and total recovery for all of us! Even if it means secluding ourselves for days longer. Whatever it takes!

There you have it, our past week in a nutshell. I hope you don't get this stuff because it is one nasty virus!!


Super Stuff

Tuesday, October 06, 2009 4 Comments A+ a-

I've been without a computer for over a week. Its in the shop, aka my coworker is working on it. I've been shut-in the house since Sunday. And I'm going a little stir-crazy. My only link to any adult conversation is through the phone, mostly my mom and sisters, wanting to know if we've keeled over and died yet. (Just joking, sort of.)

We've been hit with the crud in this house. And not just any ol' crud, this one decided to move in and make themselves at home. We're on week three of passing this stuff around. Its hit me twice, and along with Jon and Devyn, I'm also currently a victim to its fever-chills-coughing-sore throat ways.

I'm seriously going a little batty, what with the medicine, and the parenting, and the wanting to die, and trying to feed the kiddos, and oh yeah, did I mention house-training a puppy?

Ok, I'm done complaining now.

Onto the Super stuff.

I have SO many stories to share with ya'll but they'll have to wait until I have a computer again. (A girl can only do so much on her blackberry. Well, a lot actually.) But I digress...

After dinner tonight, Devyn and Hudson decided to play Super Spies. Reagan and puppy, Gracie were also corralled into playing too. Against their will, I might add. But it was too cute not to capture it with pictures from my phone.

One is the Super Spies driving their Super Mobile. I even had to draw a steering wheel for them. As you can see, Super Baby and Super Dog were in on the action too.

The second is now the wallpaper for my phone. This was taken as the Super Spies moved into their Super House (aka underneath the table). Oh my loves! They make me happy.

As I finish up this (quite) lengthy post, the Super Spies have since been kidnapped by monsters and I hear Super Baby crying. Duty calls.



Saturday, October 03, 2009 4 Comments A+ a-

It snuck up on me this time. Not necessarily on Jon; he's been watching me very closely since Reagan's birth. To the point that it was driving me crazy. He'd pounce on any symptom (real or imagined) and ask if I was feeling all right. I'd roll my eyes, sigh, and answer that I was fine.

And truthfully, for the first eight months of Reagan's life there was no post-partum depression in sight. Of course, I'd been on Z*loft since I was eight months pregnant. A precautionary step to avoid the deep depression I had after Hudson. And it seemed to be working.

The six-month mark loomed over my head, as the depression got so much worse at that time with both Devyn and Hudson. Yet six months passed without a bump and I breathed a sigh of relief. Whatever we did differently this time seemed to be working.

Two more months passed and Jon started begging me to call the doctor. "I'm fine," I'd reassure him. "I'm doing great." Yet Jon was insistent that I wasn't, that I was "off". I refused to listen, after all, who knew myself better than me?! So I'd had a bad day, we're all allowed a bad day now and again.

Soon my mom and sisters were asking if I was ok, wondering if something was wrong. I was starting to feel suffocated. "I am fine!" I'd shout at them. It was true, I'd tell myself. This is nothing like what I'd felt with Hudson. But no one was buying my story. Jon even went as far as to call my doctor himself. Yet when Dr. Susie called me, I reassured her (laughing the whole time) that I was fine, that Jon was just a little sensitive due to how bad it got with Hudson. She was doubtful, you could hear it in her voice, but she took my word for it.

Then this week it hit me, hard, right between the eyes. I was not so fine after all.

I was spacey, vacant, and all-together not with it. I'd misplaced my purse and didn't notice it missing until five days later. And I had no clue where it was. I was forgetting everything, even the dedication of my best friend's baby. Then the anxiety started, the smallest thing would send me into a whirlwind of worry. That one small thing grew in my mind until I was so overwhelmed that I was paralyzed by my worry. It was when Devyn shouted at me, "Mama, talk to me!" that I realized I had completely spaced out mid-conversation with her and had no idea what question she'd asked.

I called the doctor that very day and we agreed that my dosage needed to be upped. I've been on the higher dose since Wednesday and truth be told, I don't feel the difference yet. But that's to be expected, it can take anywhere from 7-10 days for it to take effect.

I can't tell you how thankful I am for a husband and family that are vigilant in watching out for me; who aren't afraid to call it like they see it, even at the risk of offending me. Truthfully, its not nearly as bad as it was with Hudson. Mostly the anxiety is what is paralyzing me, but there doesn't seem to be any true depression in sight. And I know I'll be ok, that's the beauty of having gone through this before. There is a light at the end of this tunnel. And I will come out on the other side.


Random Thought From Generation X

Friday, October 02, 2009 6 Comments A+ a-

It's Friday afternoon and the sun is actually shining today.  I would love to call it a day, run home, grab the kids, and play outside on the swingset all afternoon.  But alas, I'm at my other job today. 

So instead I want to share an email forward with you all.  It is downright hysterical!!  In fact, I had to share with my coworkers because I was laughing out loud and they all wanted to know what was so funny.



  • I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.
  • Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.
  • I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.
  • Is it just me, or are 80% of the people in the "people you may know" feature on Facebook people that I do know, but I deliberately choose not to be friends with?
  • There is a great need for sarcasm font.
  • The only time I look forward to a red light is when I'm trying to finish a text.
  • Was learning cursive really necessary?
  • I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.
  • Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".
  • How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?
  • Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using 'as in' examples, I will undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete idiot. Today I had to spell my boss's last name to an attorney and said "Yes that's G as in...(10 second lapse)..ummm...Goonies."
  • While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it...thanks Mario Kart.
  • MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.
  • Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.
  • I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.
  • Bad decisions make good stories.
  • Whenever I'm Facebook stalking someone and I find out that their profile is public I feel like a kid on Christmas morning who just got the Red Ryder BB gun that I always wanted.  546 pictures? Don't mind if I do!
  • If Carmen San Diego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring would probably just be completely invisible.
  • "Do not machine wash" or "tumble dry" means I will never wash this. Ever.
  • I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello?) but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?
  • Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.
  • Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from, this shouldn't be a problem....
  • You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you've made up your mind that you just aren't doing anything productive for the rest of the day.
  • Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't want to have to restart my collection.
  • I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.