Thursday, February 26, 2009

Crazy Randomness

I know, I'm way behind on my blogging. But my internet is finally fixed and I'm caught up on some other stuff (sorta) so I should be back on track now. Yay! I know you're all super excited.

So here are some random things that I've been meaning to share:

  • Last week, I bought the latest CD by Gary Allan. I must admit, I have a bit of a crush on him (hubby knows, don't worry). And I love his CDs. They are never a waste of money. Unlike some artists, he never disappoints. I have yet to find a song on a Gary Allan CD that I didn't like. Yeah, they are that awesome.
  • The commercials for that new show Jockeys on Animal Planet make me want to pull my hair out and throw things at the TV. I refuse to watch the show based solely on that fact.
  • My children crack me up! Jacob informed me last week that "pregnant womans can't remember anything" (his exact words) and Caleb let me know that if he doesn't get a wife and doesn't learn to cook it'll be ok because he'll just eat out (Pizza Hut on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; Burger King on Thursday; McDonalds on Friday; and he'll grill steaks on Saturday and least the kid has a battle plan).
  • My dog snores louder than my husband.
  • I am huge and totally ready to pop this kiddo out so I can be normal size again.
Yeah, so I think that pretty much covers it for now. Hope you all are doing well :)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hopes for My Kids

As I get closer to the arrival of our new kiddo, I have been thinking a lot about my hopes for my kids. Every parent wants the same basic things, like happiness, for their kids. Here are some of the other things I hope for my kids:

  • they grow up knowing that it's ok not to like me all the time but that those times when they like me the least are probably the ones in which I am loving them the most
  • they know how to do their own laundry and cook at least one impressive meal
  • they get their daddy's math and science abilities but my appreciation of literature and arts
  • they learn from my mistakes but still make their fair share because some of the best things in life come from mistakes
  • they all find love
  • they learn that money can't buy them a lot of the important things in life
  • they let their actions speak louder than their words but never fail to speak up for themselves or those who don't have a voice
  • they find a way to support themselves that they are so passionate about that it doesn't even seem like work to them
  • and finally, that they know that no matter who they become as they grow up I will always love them and will never regret making them the center of my world

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Why I Hate Cable Companies

A few weeks ago, we had a major ice storm here. It took out a bunch of trees which in turn took out the power and cable. Our cable came back on a day or so after the power, but it has been flaky ever since. The TV works pretty well, but the internet has been horrible. It will work for five minutes and then cut out for hours or an entire day at a time. So, of course, I call the cable company. They tell me that a tech will be out within a few days to check it out. Well, two weeks later, I have yet to see a tech. So, I cuss and kick and scream, then calmly call the cable company again. I am informed that the previous work order was cleared because they included us in an outage area. At this point, I want to throw myself on the floor like a three-year-old kicking and screaming. However, I remember that I am 33 weeks pregnant and would never be able to get off the floor so I restrain myself. The guy on the phone says that he has pulled up the service from our house and that in fact 2 out of the 3 signal levels are out of range and that will cause intermittent service (DUH, I just told him that). He's going to put in a new work order (great, because that worked out so well last time) but it's going to be TUESDAY before someone can get out here. I calmly explain (and by calmly I might or might not mean hysterically) that I reported this two weeks ago and I'd really appreciate not having to wait a whole week more to get it fixed. He nicely (with just a hint of annoyance) informed me that he could not override the system (dang it, I should've asked for a manager...but I hate being that person) but that I could contact the billing department and ask for a credit once it is fixed. I'm so irritated with the service right now because it makes it difficult to complete my homework, my oh-so-important blogging and my shopping for Kacey. On a positive note, though, I just managed to get the internet to work long enough to order this crib. Yay!

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Fun of Grocery Shopping

I think some warning system goes off whenever I go to Wal-Mart and all the stupid people are released from the local Stupid People Home. I have compiled a list of all the stupidity that I deal with:

  • People hold up all traffic waiting for a person to back out of a spot rather than parking in the one two spaces back. Apparently, burning those few extra calories will kill them.
  • There is always some woman trying to free a stuck cart rather than taking one from the neat line that the nice greeter lady has created. It never fails that I have to jump out of the way of the suddenly freed cart.
  • Seriously, who thought that putting the McDonald's right next to the entrance was a good idea?! The line always stretches past their door and those seeking their daily dose of sodium and fat don't move to let shoppers into the store. (Nevermind that if shoppers don't get in to shop, the store closes and there goes their fast food mecca...)
  • The middle of the aisle is not the place to catch up on all the gossip with your long-lost best friend. MOVE!
  • Don't judge what is in my cart. Last night, a woman with an overflowing cart full of junk food and frozen meals actually had the nerve to tell me that organic milk was a waste of my money. (Maybe her taste buds are so damaged that she can't taste the difference, but I can)
  • If you don't know how to operate the Self-Checkout (or if you have been drinking excessively before your shopping trip), step away from it. Also, if you have 500 items in your cart, stay away from the Self-Checkout.
  • The middle of the exit is also not the best place to catch up on all the goings-on in the backwoods with your long-lost Aunt Velma. MOVE!
  • Do not block the exit and then look at me like I've lost my mind when I politely say "Excuse me" and expect you to move your conversation slightly to one side.
I deal with this nonsense every time I go to the store, yet I still go...maybe I'm crazy...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pork Chops (but no applesauce)

My internet is still being flaky so I wasn't able to post this yesterday. Oh well, at least I can get it posted now :)

My kiddos are not super picky eaters, but they have their moments. One food that I can pretty much count on them always eating is pork chops. However, I had run out of ideas for how to prepare them. The other day I was reading one of my cookbooks, Paula Deen's The Lady & Sons, and found a really fabulous recipe for Barbecue-Style Pork Chops. It seemed a little bland for our family's taste so I added a few things, adjusted a few things, and the boys (including the hubby) loved them. The best part of this recipe find is that the sauce is great for more than just chops. I made ribs on Sunday and used this sauce. I think I may try it out in the crock pot on a roast too. Sooo, what are the details of this fab new recipe, you ask? Well, here you go:

14.5 oz crushed tomatoes (original recipe calls for whole tomatoes crushed, but these work better)
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 small onion, diced
1/2 tsp black pepper

Mix all ingredients.

If making pork chops, brown center-cut chops in some oil then place in a 13x9 dish. Pour sauce on top and bake for about 45 minutes 350 degrees.

If making ribs, place ribs in a dish, cover and bake at 250 degrees for an hour. Then pour sauce over top of ribs and bake for another 30-45 minutes.

Like I said, I haven't tried it on a roast in my crock pot yet, but I'll update you when I do.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Parking Ridiculousness

Anyone who has ever lived on a military base knows there is a lot of ridiculousness involved. I am sure there are very logical reasons for much of this, but that's not going to stop me from complaining.

Being that I am 32 weeks pregnant, it is getting a little harder for me to get around. It's just part of the whole being a woman gig. Normally, I just accept that I am moving a little slower for the time being. However, today it was rainy. Let me tell you, being the size of a small elephant, moving at the speed of a snail and getting soaking wet is not my idea of a good time. Anyhoo, I had to get some groceries this morning. So after dropping Jacob off at daycare, I stopped at the commissary. I generally don't shop the commissary because I hate the whole concept of baggers working for tips only (but that's another rant), but I decided to make an exception today. They open early for shoppers only buying a few things so there were very few people there. The parking lot was virtually empty. I parked and proceeded to make my way to the door. As I waddled along, I realized that I was passing spaces that were empty and frequently are. These have lovely little brown signs informing passers-by that they are reserved for the big cheeses on post such as the commanding general, sergeant majors and the like. My question: do these guys actually use these spots? Which led me to the thought that these guys supposed to be leaders in the Army meaning that they should be physically fit (or at least capable of walking from the back of the parking lot to the front door of the commissary). From there I spiraled into frustration. Finally, I ended up at the front door, soaking wet and frustrated, with yet another reason not to shop at the commissary.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Who Thinks of this Crap?!

Let me just warn you: I am in a mood today. Anything that follows should probably be taken with a she's-pregnant-grain-of-salt.

So, here's my question...Who thinks of some of the crap they advertise on TV? Seriously! The Snuggie? Been living under a rock and missed out on this little treasure? Well, it is a wearable blanket. If you ask me, it looks like some sort of outer space monk's outfit. Who was sitting at home eating cheetos in a bean bag chair and came up with that brilliant idea, I'd like to know. Of course, with my luck the hubby has ordered me one for Valentine's Day. (We are talking about the man who thought that the Lethal Weapon DVD set made a fantastic Mother's Day gift.) At least it comes with a free book light...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Valentines Cards

Normally, I am sooo behind the power curve when it comes to stuff for the boys' classes. But today, I am actually ahead. I just completed the Valentine's cards for their classes and I must say they turned out pretty darn well. Even the hubby thinks they are cool. I deserve a Mother of the Year Award (or at least a pat on the back for finishing something more than 10 seconds before putting Caleb on the bus)!

Last week, I was surfing some of my favorite blogs (because I had finished all the other important tasks in my life and was in no way procrastinating) and found this post over at Tip Junkie featuring this idea from another blog. I thought they were super cute and a good way to use some of the colorful paper I have sitting around here. So on my trip to Target last night, I picked up a few bags of suckers. The hubby is off being an automotive god at a friend's house and the boys are enjoying the warmth outside, so it was a perfect time for me to knock out the oh-so-fab cards.

Here are some pictures:

See, pretty cute and I am pretty proud of myself for being ahead of the curve (for once)....

Friday, February 6, 2009

Cheap Green

Like many families, we don't have a lot of money. What we do have, I attempt to stretch as far as possible. I have heard a lot of people say that they would love to be more friendly towards the environment but they feel like it will cost them too much money. So I have put together a list of my favorite five ways to go green on the cheap. Seriously, these things will cost you less than $10 and many will end up saving you money in addition to giving you that warm fuzzy feeling that comes from knowing you did good!

1. Buy a 6-pack of CFL bulbs (the crazy looking spiral ones) and replace 6 of the light bulbs in your house. The 6-pack is around $10 and you will end up saving over $200. Plus you won't be changing bulbs as often because these last way longer meaning you will have time to go spend that $200 you'll be saving.

2. Stop using paper towels. I know it sounds hard, but you can do it! You don't even have to buy anything to do this one. Grab some old t-shirts and cut them into rags. The great thing about these homemade rags is that you can customize them to whatever size you use the most. Don't have any old shirts to sacrifice? No worries, just take a trip to your local Goodwill store. Not a fan of the shirt idea? Ok, just pick up one of those multi-packs of washclothes at Target or Wal-Mart.

3. Donate anything that can still be used to a local charity such as Goodwill, the Salvation Army or a woman's shelter. Clothes, shoes, books, magazines, kitchen stuff, almost anything....It's the one-man's-trash-is-another's-treasure concept. Donating costs you nothing, plus if you donate enough and get receipts you can deduct these on your taxes! Don't forget to shop at these stores too! You'd be amazed at some of the stuff you can find. (I've bought clothes for the kiddos at our local Goodwill store that still had tags on them!)

4. Stop doing your dishes by hand. Seriously! Save your manicure and load up that dishwasher. An efficient dishwasher actually uses less water than doing dishes by hand. Not only will you save water (meaning your bill will go down), you will have fewer chips in your nail polish which will save you a little money too :)

5. Reuse plastic bags from the store. Put them in your small trash cans or any of a zillion other things. Read the side of Target bags, they give you ideas! Or better yet, spend a few dollars and get reusable bags for you groceries and other purchases. Also, Wal-Mart has bins in their entrance ways for recycling those plastic bags. If I forget my bags and am forced to use the plastic ones, I always take the ones I've not been able to reuse with me and put them in the recycle bin. (These, sadly, are never full.)

As you can tell, I am cheap but still manage to find ways in which to do my part for the environment. Hey, I'd rather my grandkids not have to wear 1000 SPF sunscreen just to look out the window :) Oh, and I guess a bonus tip is to pass these ideas along especially to kids. Going green doesn't have to cost you a fortune. It really is about changing habits. Kids have not developed the bad habits we have yet, so get them young and maybe the next generation will do less damage than we have.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Living with Martin

If you know him, you know that my hubby is a bit nutty. He is his own person and really does not care what other people think about it. Honestly, I know people say that all the time, but the man for real could care less what other people think about him. Anyhoo...his latest nuttiness comes in the form of a fascination with all things green. No, not like Kermit the Frog kind of green. I'm talking let's get crunchy and save the planet kind of green. Now, do not get me wrong--I have a secret love for all things green. (Well, guess it's not so secret now....) However, my dear hubby has taken it to a whole new level.

Recently, he discovered that we have a channel called Planet Green. It is now one of our top two most viewed channels (it falls in line behind USA because we....and by "we" I mean Martin....cannot live without 3 flippin' hours of NCIS every night). We are now watching shows such as "Total Wrecklamation", "Emeril Green", and "Living with Ed". There really are a lot of good ideas and things that are so easy to do that it makes you wonder why people seem so unwilling to go green. However, all the extra oxygen created by the green movement must have gone to my husband's head because the man has lost his danged mind (bless his heart).

Let me give you some examples of the madness I am dealing with here:
  • He wants to find a wrecked Prius, pull the motor and adapt it into one of his Jeeps.
  • He actually decided last night that cremation might be more green than burial, so now he wants me to cremate him when he passes on.
  • He wants to build a house when he retires from the Army that is entirely green...he wants it to be completely off the grid meaning that the house is completely self-sufficient when it comes to power and water supply.
  • Our big excitement for this weekend is a trip to the Whole Foods Market in Louisville. (Actually, I'm kinda looking forward to this one...)

So there you have it. More proof that my hubby is a nut, but I love him and I admire his desire to leave the world a better place. But I am kind of starting to feel like Ed's wife...the man needs to be supervised at all times (or I'm going to end up with a Prius motor in my Jeep and a football field of solar panels for a yard in few years)!

Monday, February 2, 2009

They Can't Live Without Me (Dang It!)

Yesterday afternoon was beautiful! After nearly a week of being cooped up in the house with cranky kiddos and a hubby suffering from a major case of cabin fever (seriously, he was worse than the kids!), I needed a break. So, I decided that I would indulge in a little retail therapy. I told hubby I was going out, hugged the kiddos and set off on my shopping adventure. Target has some good sales on some stuff I needed to gather up for little Miss Kacey Jane before she gets here, so I headed there first. It takes about 20 minutes to get there and I was in the store for about 40 minutes (hey, it could've been way longer!). As I was headed to my next destination (Old Navy), my phone starts singing. It was Martin. So, I answer (because if I hadn't, he would've set up search teams and I would've been hunted down, dragged home and locked away within a matter of minutes). I tell him I just left Target. Great but what he really wants to know is if I ever bought any black trash bags. No, I tell him. He seems annoyed by this answer. Then he proceeds to ask me if I am headed home. I'd been gone for an entire **HOUR** and he was acting like it had been days. Of course, I wasn't headed home but I decided to skip Old Navy, go buy black trash bags at Wal-Mart and head home before more desperate phone calls were received. I love the man and our kids, but dang it, can't they live without me for like 2 hours?!