Saturday, January 30, 2010

Happy Birthday to Howie's Boy!

Today is my nephew, Elliott's FOURTH birthday! Its hard for me to believe this little guy is already four and its hard for me to remember my life without him. He is such a wonderful boy, nephew, cousin, & friend. In honor of E's birthday I wrote him a poem with his name....I think these have a "specific" name maybe its Haiku. All of you teacher friends of mine let me know what this is called....

Energetic and full of life.
Lights up the room with his smile and big brown eyes.
Intelligent! You should see this guy put together 600 piece puzzles.
Outgoing personality. He's never met a stranger!
Thoughtful. He is always concerned about other kids & adults wellbeing.
Tugs on his Aunt Howies heartstrings!

Happy Birthday Elliott! We love you!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Prayers for Ruey

Today Ruey (my psuedo grandmother...I mean my grandmother) is having her hip replaced. This is the second time surgery has been scheduled. The first was cancelled because she had anemia. Because I have been sick I decided not to go up to the hospital to see her. I would feel terrible if she got an infection or something. She called last night and was getting settled into her hospitality suite. This morning Zachary and I have been praying for our Rue Rue. Z's excited because her doctors get to wear a mask and gloves. If you have a second or two please pray for my Ruey today. I hope she the surgery fixes her aches and pains and that she has a speedy recovery. We love you Ruey!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mom's Intuition

Zachary's Humidifer......We have learned to love this guy because he makes all of us feel so much better.

As I have mentioned in previous posts we have had a "virus" for over a week now. Zachary and I have been up coughing, with high fevers, and other symptoms. Kevin and I took him in to the walk-in clinic that our pediatrician's office (they have it 365 days a year 9-11am) on Sunday morning. Z did not see his regular pediatrician but one of the ones in the same group. This is when he got the "virus" diagnosis. After two more sleepless nights and fevers of 103 degrees I felt like I needed to call the doctor's office again. Fortunately we got in that same day...did I mention I love this office? After Z's doctor thoroughly examined him he was stumped. Obviously there was something that was causing this high temp for 7 days. Z's chest sounded clear, he did not complain of a headache (sinus stuff), and his urine sample showed no signs of an infection. Z's doctor strongly recommended that we get registered into the hospital for a chest x-ray. In my head I am thinking....we are exhausted. I did not want to sit in anymore waiting rooms let alone walk though one medical building over to the hospital to be sent to several different departments. I remember saying a little prayer that we could just make it until 6. That we would have enough energy to walk, enough energy to negociate with Z that he had to have an x-ray, etc. Well, the Lord took good care of us. Everyone was super nice to us. Z got a roll of stickers from every person we meet (pre-admission lady, radiology receptionist, radiation tech, etc.) I will say that Z did a perfect imitation of a mule when we approached the large x-ray room. He stopped dead in his tracks and was not walking into the room with the "big machines". After promising Z a reward sticker he agreed to have his "picture taken".

We survived. We made it home. Kevin picked up $1.99 Happy Meals. We. Were. Pooped. At 5:30 Z's pediatrician called to tell us that Z's x-rays confirmed pneumonia. For those of you that have followed me on this blog for a while know that in November I had pneumonia for a month. I NEVER THOUGHT my three year old would get it.

As hectic as this week has been I am SO thankful that Z only has pneumonia. It could be SO MUCH worse. I am thankful that I can care for this little guy. I am thankful that my husband comes home from work and relieves me for an hour or two. Lastly, I am thankful for a mom's intuition. You know that gut feeling that something else is going on with your child and that I needed to call the doctor again. God is good! Thank you for praying for all of us!

Our pharmacy on the ledge is back.....just so you know those pink amoxicillin bottles are stored in the fridge. I just put it up there for the photo of the day shot. Thank God for Walgreens1

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Battling sleepless nights!

The past four days have been stressful, sleepless, and exhausting. Zachary and I still have our virus. We are coughing round the clock, suffering from moderate to high temperatures, and are very cranky. I hate to complain because I know several people who would do anything to have a baby, I know families who are praying that their premature baby survives in the NICU, and I know there are a lot more needs in Haiti than there are at our household. With that said, it sure is hard to be a mommy. Times like these make me more appreciative of all the times my mom and dad stayed up with me when I was sick as a child. While I am exhausted and frustrated from this virus I am thankful that we have physicians that will treat us when we call, that we have health insurance, and that I work at home. While the laundry, cleaning, and other daily tasks are being overlooked. I am thankful that Z and I can rest together on our couch. I found this poem online and I wanted to share. I am thankful to be Zachary's mom. Please say a prayer for us that we will get back to normal soon. And when we do I am not going to take for granted how good we usually feel. Thanks!
Here's a pic of me and my little boy....when are are feeling better. Wishful thinking!

Before I was a Mom
Author: Unknown

Before I was a Mom I slept as late as I wanted and never worried about how late I got into bed.
I brushed my hair and my teeth everyday.

Before I was a Mom
I cleaned my house each day.
I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom I had never been puked on.
Pooped on. Spit on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts.....
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom
I never held down a screaming child so that doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom
I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put it down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom
I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much before I was a Mom.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Kevins brother, sister-in-law, and our nieces recently relocated to Virginia. We can't wait to head out East to see them. We were thrilled when we all got some Virigina Tech gear for Christmas. Thanks Jeff & Kathy for the Hokie gear!

Friday, January 22, 2010

They are going to wake me up!

Zachary for the most part has always been a good sleeper. He has slept in his bedroom since the first night he was home in the hospital. I always thought he would sleep in a bassinet (borrowed from Melody) in our room for the first few months. But the first night we were home with him my mom was staying with us too. She & I took the master bedroom so that Kevin could get a good night sleep in our guest bed since he had to work the next day. Within minutes of my mom & I laying our heads on the pillow she said, "we will never get any sleep with him in here". He hummed so loud and never stopped. So we put him in his crib that first night. Funny thing is we could still hear him in the master bedroom with the monitors off. I never used a baby monitor because I knew if I could not hear him humming, something was wrong. Come to find out that is a sign Zachary had/has acid reflux. Go figure. Anyways, back to my original story.

Recently Zachary has gotten himself into a strict nightly routine. He flips out if we don't do all of these things in this order. Can you tell he is a child from two very type A personalities? Poor kid, he gets it honestly.

This is Zachary's nightly routine: (I'm starting to realize this parenting thing goes by way to fast so I want to document events like this).

First we potty, take our fluoride vitamin, and then brush our teeth.

Then we "cross of the day". My Aunt Ann & Uncle Wayne gave this John Deere Calendar to Z for Christmas and he LOVES it. He will not allow you to skip this part of bedtime.

Then we get in bed. He picks 2 books. I read his selected 2 books and then he gets a bible story. We pray. I tuck him in. I must say, "Snug As A Bug, In A Rug" or it doesn't count. And then it is bedtime. He is not allowed to get out of bed...unless he has to potty again. He is only allowed to call me back into his room 2 times. Usually he has to tell me something. Basically its his stalling tactic.

Tonight when I went back in he said, " Can you remove those animals up on my shelf? They are going to wake me up."

I kinda chuckled and then said, "nah they are not going to wake you up. They are "stuffed animals".

Zachary was very stern and asked me if I would please take them off the shelf and take them out of his room.

So I did. Here are the photos of this scenario. I often wonder what this guy is thinking. As soon as the animals were removed. He was out. Goodnight!

Here is his shelf before removing the animals and football that were going to wake him up.
Here are the animals in our living room.
The empty shelves.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


So I have to tell you about my crazy, blessed day. All week I have been battling a virus. I hate when medical professionals use this term because basically there is no treatment. I have been fighting fatigue, a sore thoat, aches, chills, major head congestion and a fever. I was praying my husband and son would not get it but low and behold Zachary got it. Here is a run down of my day yesterday.

It started the night before when a Lowe's Home Installation man called to see if he could come and install our new front door and basement window. I said, "Of COURSE...I have NOTHING to do tomorrow and my son will be in preschool." Famous Last words.

The next morning our phone rings at 7 am. I am brushing my teeth but I still answer. It is my mom asking me if I can help my dad out after I drop Zachary off at preschool.

I said, "well, I can but I have a Lowes installer coming at 9:30, what does Dad need?" Long story short, my nephew Elliott was sick and my dad was watching him while my sister was at work. But my dad had a doctors appointment at 10 am. So someone needed to watch Elliott for an hour. After a couple plan A's, plan B's, and then eventually plan C. My dad and I decided to meet up at Zachary's preschool so that I could take Elliott home with me after dropping Zachary off. Here is where Plan D comes in...I went to wake Z and he was sick. Fever, chills, and sore throat. So we hopped in my car. Stopped by Kevins office to pick up an extra carseat. Then picked up Elliott at preschool. Mind you Z did not go to preschool. When we returned we were all exhausted so we curled up on the couch with drinks, popcorn, and a warm blanket to watch Disney's channels newest cartoon, "CUGGINGTON". By this time I was eating my words about "Of COURSE...I have NOTHING to do tomorrow and my son will be in preschool."

Just as I got the boys settled the Lowes installer arrived. I think the boys tylenol was kicked in because they got a jolt of energy and excitement. I realized that I was going to have to keep the boys confined to my bedroom or else they were going to be in the way of the installer. After about an hour my dad joined us for the chaos and I began making lunch. I was glad Dad was there because he entertained the boys with a book or two while I could down my medicines and get food prepared. We had a great lunch and then it was time for naps. Elliott went home. Zachary rested (as much as you can with drill noises and such). At three o'clock our new door was installed. To say the day was a little out of the ordinary was an understatement. As hectic as it was it was a blessing....we got to have Elliott over for a playdate. I got to spend an hour or two with my dad. I got the new front door that we have been waiting on. My dad always says, "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans". Well today was just that. I doubt I will be using this sentence for a long time. "Of COURSE...I have NOTHING to do tomorrow and my son will be in preschool."

Here are some pics of the old and new door.

*On several occasions we have come home and our front door has been open. It has never latched very good. We also had issues with this huge glass opening because did not like how everyone could see in. JcPenney's helped with a velcro curtain but it was time for a new door.
Here is the few from the inside.
The new door...Zachary says it has a cage on it. It reminds me of the door on the Wizard of Oz where the wizard opens the little door to greet Dorothy.
Here's the view from the inside.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

No MOMS allowed!

Every night after dinner Zachary and Kevin have guy time. It has turned into a daily event which Zachary looks forward to every day. At around 3 o'clock he starts planning what Daddy and him are going to do. Usually it's football, playing trains, reading books, wrestling, or playdough time. As soon as the garage door goes up around 5:30 Z has to hide. He runs to a hiding place so that Kevin can find him. Then we sit down for dinner. Again all Z talks about is what he is going to do with his daddy after dinner. He chows down his food super fast and then he has to wait on Kevin to get done eating. As soon as Kevin finishes Zachary announces that I am not allowed to play with them. They either run downstairs or head to the living room to play. If I walk downstairs or are nearby to where they are playing Zachary will say, "No mom, its my time with dad". I am only needed if they need a drink or a snack. Other than that I am off duty. I use this time to pick up dinner, fold laundry, watch the news, etc. Its funny because all three of us look forward to this time of the day.

Here are some photos from the other night playing trains. These crack me up because Z asked me to get him some lemonade in his rocket cup. Then Kevin asked me if he could have some too. When I brought Kevin his in a "regular" cup Z was upset. He wanted his dad to have a rocket cup too. So here is Kevin & Z with their rocket cups.

Zachary loves his time with his daddy. I think Kevin enjoys it even more.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Elliott's Birthday Party

This past weekend my sister and brother-in-law hosted the best birthday party for my nephew, Elliott. Elliott loves all things Toy Story so Rachel chose everything around that theme. The party was held at a local bowling alley that had Glow-in-the-dark bowling. Here are the photos from the party. I am still in shock that my nephew is 4! We all had a wonderful morning celebrating Elliott!

Matt, Elliott, Aunt Rachel, and Baby Jerrytt. The birthday family!

Best friends and Cousins!

These little guys had the best time at glow-in-the-dark bowling. They were such a hoot to watch.
Here's E's Buzz was YUMS!
Gabe, Zachary, Elliott, and Sam

Elliott standing by the gift table

Blowing out the candles...nothing like your cousin jumping in to help, right?

The guys with their party sister found the coolest things for the guys. Buzz Lightyear socks which Z will not remove from his feet. A Toy Story notepad which Z carrys around to take our orders. An ornament, Toy Story gummy snacks, and the awesome glow in the dark shirts that our Aunt Renee & Uncle Mike made.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Meet my personal trainer!

Because I am really trying to stay motivated to achieve my New Year's goals. One of my goals was to work out 3 days a week. So far so good, however I realize I am only on week two. This week I have been on the treadmill, ellipitcal, and I have incorporated a new activity...a personal trainer. The best part about this trainer is he is free and he gets to burn off extra energy with me. Its a win-win situation. My personal trainer is my 3 year old, Zachary.

The other day we popped in one of our old DVD's "The Biggest Loser". I highly recommend any of the TBL dvds. It sounds silly but they really do burn calories and offer a challenge. My friend, Misty recommended them to me....Thank you Misty!

Here are our photos from my training session. I will warn you they are not pretty. In fact they are downright scary but since I am all about being real on my blog this is it. After our session we were both pooped! I learned this was a great way to survive cabin fever with a three year old. Z was tired too!

Getting started with our DVD...Bob is motivating us to get off the couch

Now we are jumping our imaginary jump rope.
Please note my trainer was also my photographer. Again these are a little scary!
Strength training
We are doing football drills.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cousins...Welcome to the bunch DUKE

I never really did a blog to welcome my cousin, Jen & Jack's baby boy. For those of you who live by me know that John Wayne "Duke" arrived on Dec 24th. He was the best Christmas present for our family for 2009. If you remember I did a blog about Jen & Jack when they were having their ultrasound. Check it out here.

I wanted to show you a picture or two of this special little man. Personally, in my opinion he looks a lot like his mommy, my Uncle, and his cousin Elliott. What do you think?

Duke (taken some time during his first week)

This next photo was taken almost 4 years ago of my nephew Elliott (3 days old)
Duke 2 weeks old...isn't he CUTE!
Elliott a week old...cheering on the Steele
I can totally see a family resemblence with Duke and Elliott. Just so Z does not feel left out. Heres a picture of him. Zachary no more looks like Elliott or Duke but he is just as cute :)

Zachary at 3 weeks!
I can't wait to get these little men together. My Pappy and Grandma Rachel would be so proud of their Great-Grandsons. As I get older I realize how much I miss my grandparents. I wish they were around to see all of us. They would be so happy. That's another post...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Come out, Come out, Wherever you are...

This week is blog delurking week. If you're out there reading and have never commented before, I would love to "meet" you! Feel free to delurk and wave hello - I was a lurker for a long time, too, so I totally understand where you are coming from. If you want you can share how long you have read this blog, how you found it, and where you are located.

Actually, I have a confession: I lurked/read two mommy blogs for about a year before I even started blogging. Now that I have my own blog I try to make comments on those blogs I read. I know I always love comments, suggestions, and advice on my blog so I like to reciprocate comments to other blogs. It's a lot more fun to get to know my readers and meet other bloggers. Hello and Welcome!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Perfume selection...Does anyone else do this?

For my birthday Kevin wanted to get me some new perfume. I ran out of perfume in June and have not had any since then. I know a lot of people do not use perfume or do not like it but I do. Even thought I am a stay-at-home-mom sometimes just spraying perfume on makes me feel better. Somedays I will not shower or put on makeup because we are staying in for the day but a little spray of perfume makes me feel clean. Am I crazy?

Kevin thought about getting me the same perfume that I have worn for years but I told him those smells were starting to "blend" in or get old. These are the two perfumes I have worn since I got married 6 years ago.

Ralph by Ralph Lauren (inspired by my old roomate, Rozzie)

Ellen Tracy perfume (Kevin picked this out for me when we were dating)

I really did not know what perfumes were out there and I told Kevin I wanted to pick it out. So he gave me money instead. Have any of you tried to pick out perfume lately? Man, it was hard. I wanted to avoid the overbearing sales people at the perfume counters so I waited until after Christmas. Zachary and I headed to a big name department store and started smelling all the options. Everyone of them started to smell the same. I even did the trick of smelling coffee beans between perfumes. I like clean, crisp perfumes. Nothing over the top or musty. I want something light and clean. Almost like you can barely tell I have put on perfume. A heard a lady suggest going to Sephora because they have a lot more options. So I went there next. I am glad I did. First, at Sephora they have A LOT of options. The sales person was not pushy and she was very helpful. She showed me about six perfumes that were in the crisp, clean genre and that were popular. I really did not care if it was popular. I have never been popular. Nor do I care if someone else likes what perfume I pick. I just wanted my husband to like it and myself to like it. Another bonus to Sephora is they will pour out some of the perfume into a spray sample for you to take them home and try them. Seriously I got three samples of my top three perfumes(I think she would have given me 6-10 samples if I wanted) to take home. I had so much perfume I really did not need to buy one. I took them home and used them for a week. Eventually I decided on these two. Having two of them gives me a little variety.

Escada Marine Groove...this one is really fruity and clean.

DKNY: Be Delicious This one is crisp and clean.

So there you have it my big adventure in perfume selection. I am set for at least a year or two. I am pleased with my selections. I highly recommend Sephora for your perfume. Even if you just want a sample of one for a special night or event you can get one for free. :)

**All the perfume photos were from Yahoo Images!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Trying to get organized!

Today I woke up on a mission. You know those days where you feel like you really want to get something done? Well that is how I felt. It does not happen often but when it does watch out. I was like a tornado through our home. Get outta my way...mama's comin' through and don't mess with me. We have a hall closet that has been leaking out into the hallway for weeks. The doors do not shut like they should and I have not been able to find what I have needed. It's been driving me crazy. So today was the day that the closet was getting an overhaul.

Here's the before photos....mind you I am embarrassed to show you how we have been living.

See the floor....all of that "stuff" was in the way of the door actually closing. AHHHHHH!
Here is the glorious after photos. I hated to walk past this closet the past couple weeks. Now I love to. I walk by, open the doors, and it puts an instant smile on my face to see an organized, clean closet. Lets see how many days it stays like this. Any guesses?

You can actually see the floor. I could put my vaccuum back into its original spot...its been living in our guest room since Christmas because this closet was so full.
Here are our "extras" know the extra soap, bathroom products, etc. When I see them on sale or have a major coupon I try to stock up. We don't have a pantry or a lot of cabinet space in our bathrooms so it goes in our hall closets. How come builders do not build enough storage space in houses?
Zachary's playdough toys are in those containers with the blue lids.

I know those boxes look like a mess...however the white boxes are empty gift boxes. I use them often. The other boxes are for items with a 2-3 warranty (phone, cable box, etc) so I can't throw them away, the cow is Zachary humidifier, and then we have his tractor puzzle.
Doesn't it look better?
I feel much better. Now time for some relaxation before I meet my sis, brother-in-law, and Elliott for some shopping and dinner at the mall. What a great day!