Monday, September 29, 2008

A Getaway...

My friend Aubree did this post yesterday and I thought it was so creative that I stole it from her :)

If you could have a week to yourself, an entire week with no one but yourself, what would you do? You wouldn't be allowed to feel guilty about leaving your family because in this scenario they are having the time of their lives without you and money would be no object and calories would not count. I know, perfection.

This is what I would do:


I would go here:I would sit here:
And probably here, too:


I would eat lots of this:


And this:


I would go on one of these:
And try to find a herd of these:

And try to catch one of these:

I would pack lots of these:
And one of these:





***
The cabin at the top is Thistle Dew Cabin in the Grand Tetons, the tipi is totally right beside it, and you can bet your sweet bippy I would spend at least one night sleeping in it.

Quick

How did your favorite football team do this weekend and who is your mortal enemy?



Author's Note: We are talking both College and NFL, also the mortal enemy can be your football rival or your actual mortal enemy. Whichever.

Friday, September 26, 2008

T- Minus Less Than A Week.

A week from now, I will be IN INDIANA visiting our awesome friends, the Spicers!!! I am so very excited and I just looked around my house and realized that I'm not adequately prepared to be gone for a week.

Things left to do:

~ Collect a few more "entertain the kids on a 16 hour long road trip" items

~ Call my grandparents to request Ham Salad...mmmm....Ham Salad.

~ Start making packing lists according to weather reports (honestly, and dorkily, my favorite part of a trip is checking how different the weather will be from where I am).

~ Wash and clean out my car, change the oil, and make sure it's ready for the longest trip it's ever been on.

~ Get my hair cut. Maybe. Dave wants me to cut it shorty short again, and I'm thinking about whether or not I am willing to sacrifice pigtails for shorter drying time. It's a tough call.

~ Get my fall clothes down from the attic and pull out all my long sleeved tshirts. I LOVE fall weather :)



That's probably all. What about you guys? Will any of you be traveling soon? What is your favorite part about preparing for a trip? Do tell.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

You Knew It Couldn't Last.

Thanks for the "Dude, that sucks" remarks. It's good to know I haven't totally alienated every reader by delving into such potentially icky topics. I swear up and down that this blog will not turn into The-Unsinkable's-Hormonal-Rants-Made-Public blog. While amusing, that probably wouldn't be very productive and I estimate I would lose every male reader within a month. And you guys are just too adorable for me to run you off with my lady innards talk. So, you can rest assured that I am indeed feeling less morose today and the information/emotion dump was totally what I needed.

Moving On.

What's that? You wanted a Thankful Thursday post? Well, I think that I can manage that.

1. I am thankful for you guys. You really are great. And a striking bunch if I do say so myself. And I do (you knew I would).

2. I am thankful that Dave will be home tonight!!! After three days in Phoenix, I am missing my pal and I'm ready to get some good snuggle time in.

3. I am thankful that THE OFFICE IS BACK ON TONIGHT!!!!! AAHHHHHHH. We all know I heart Jim (in a totally fake-boyfriend way) and I am so excited to watch The Office tonight I can barely stand it. I see combining this show with a Tall Caramel Chai Tea Latte, snuggling on the couch with Dave, and it being the most perfect evening ever.

4. Countdown to leaving Indiana: ONE WEEK. I know! It's crazy, and I would love to again spout of my love for all things Hoosier, but I think I've done that to death. Anyways, I would like to quickly tell my cousins that I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU!! (Karen, Colleen, Sierra & Patrick - we will have SO much fun.) I have the world's best cousins, and even though I am ten years older than the oldest (sigh.) we always have fun together and I am crazy thankful for them.

5. I am thankful that I'll get to see my Dad next Saturday!! I have a pretty great Dad and I don't get to see him much because we live forever long apart, but I'll get some good time in next weekend and I'm SO excited! Tot is also excited because she has assumed that whenever she sees a grandparent, she gets a present. We're working on this (ahem...Nana :) ), but Dad, you've been warned. :)

6. I am thankful that it shouldn't get to 90 degrees today. I will melt and die if it does.

7. I am thankful that Tot has learned to say funny things in Spanish. And by Spanish, I mean completely made up words or words that are definitely not Spanish. Example: "SILENCE! That means "be quiet" in Spanish, Mom." It definitely makes our daily exchanges that more interesting.

8. I am thankful, again, for how funny Tot is. Two days ago I made cinnamon rolls for breakfast and I told Tot that she could spread her own icing on hers with her little knife. She got all excited and then said she had to go to the potty. I assured her that the cinnamon roll would wait, so she ran off. Two seconds later she says "Oh Mommy, I made some pee pees in my underwear" all sad like. I told her it was no problem, but asked what happened as she was literally inches away from the toilet, and she said "I just got too excited about spreading all that icing on the cinnamon roll by myself." I understand, Tot. That icing is pretty tasty.



Well, I am, of course thankful for much more, but that will have to do today. I have a friend coming over to hang out this morning and a husband coming home this evening and I really must clean the house. Don't tell Dave, but I didn't do a stitch of cleaning while he was gone. :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Frustrated.

I'm frustrated right now. I'm frustrated because I'm not pregnant.

I know.

We're fast approaching topics I don't discuss here because while I like to be friends with all of you (even you lurkers - hello there!), there are certain things that are still private. This is SO one of them. However, I'm just so frustrated and well, irritated, that I feel the need to vent it all out and so I'm breaking all of my own rules. I've never been a particularly private person (yes, you can all laugh now) because I always feel better after sharing. I always feel better once whatever I am mulling over is out there in the open. I know not everyone is like me, and I know that some people are intensely private over this kindof thing and that's totally cool. But for me, this helps. It helps more than just putting it in a private journal or sharing it with a friend or family member over coffee. I can't explain it, but whatever I am feeling frustrated over, getting it out here makes me feel like I can move on.

And just so you don't have to wonder about how to respond, let me tell you the exact words that I need to hear.

Dude, that sucks.

That's all. No more, no less, no promises from God or anything else. Just those words alone. I find that giving people exact phrases to say lessens the likely hood that they will say something that will inadvertently make me irritated or sad or cry. No one means to, but a hormonal woman is a tricky creature at best. Also, I just forced my mom to tell me that this morning and it was hilarious, so I thought I would keep it going.


Dave and I have been wanting to have another baby for a few months now and it's just. not. happening. I had Tot and Little David without even blinking. Dave and I were that couple that used to joke about me getting pregnant if he just walked near me. When we first got married, we both wanted two kids, then after Tot we wanted four, then after Little David we. were. done. I was exhausted beyond belief, Dave was in a job that sucked his soul, and Tot was coming into her "personality". Another kid was SO not on the table.

But then things calmed down. Which got me thinking about how cute they were when they were small, how much I loved being pregnant (most of the time), and how I just really, really, didn't want to be done having kids. Dave SO did not agree. So we talked for a few months, and then for a few more months, and then for a few more months. We went back and forth with him not wanting anymore, then me not wanting anymore, then him holding a baby at church and wanting just one more, and me holding a baby and wanting just one more, then the kids being awful and we swore up and done we were through, etcetera etcetera etcetera.

And then, we agreed. We want one more.

I have to say, that first month I wasn't even concerned. I just knew I would be pregnant. After all, it never took more than less than a month before, right? My brother and his wife are the same way, and my parents were the same way. Just a family full of Fertile Myrtles. I started planning due dates, planning which kids would share rooms, what things I would do differently, what I would do the same. The whole time just knowing that I was pregnant.

But I wasn't. Then I wasn't again. Then I wasn't again. Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera.

"Dude, that sucks." Seriously!!

And now, here I sit. Still not pregnant, irritated with myself for assuming that such things were a given, irritated at my bunk lady parts, and trying (trying!) to keep a clear head about this. I know all the answers. I know that when God wants Dave and I to have another baby - we'll have another baby. I know that this is all a lovely lesson on my drastic need for control in all aspects in my life. I know that lots of people have trouble after never having trouble at all, and I know that just because it's taking longer than it did (and it still hasn't even been that long) that it doesn't mean it's not possible. I know that giving God control over this and not worrying is the right thing to do. I also know that I have a tendency to be dramatic in less than dramatic circumstances.

In my head, I know all these things.

But in my heart, I am frustrated.

"Dude, that sucks!" I know, right??

I have two beautiful, healthy, children whom I adore (even if they make me a little nutty), I have a superfab husband who loves me, even through my neurotic and obsessive tendencies, and I have friends and family who know just what to say to make me not worry. I've gone large amounts of time, lately, not thinking about babies, pregnancies, or anything else reproductively related and I've been fine. I've given it over to God in prayer and Dave and I have been completely happy and not concerned. This hasn't been a specter looming over my head making me unable to think of anythings else or find joy regardless of the outcomes. Despite my irritation, I've been able to let it roll off of me and not worry much and I've even been able to joke about my "barren womb" ("Hi, I'm Chandler, I make jokes when I'm uncomfortable"). I've had lots of fun the past few months (can anyone say BIRTHDAY PRESENTS??) and I've not worried the time away.

But today I am frustrated. Today, I just want the waiting game to be over. Today, I want to be done thinking about this. Today, I want to not have to have this in the back of my mind each month. Today, I just want the conclusion, not the "joy in the journey". Today, I want to wallow in the irritation until my fingers get all pruney.

"Dude, that sucks."

For real.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I Would Love To Be Clever Today But...

I'm just so tired. So tired.

Last night Cheryl and I went to the Just Between Friends Volunteer Presale. I scored some awesome (awesome!) deals like:

1. 7 (seven!!) pairs of Carter footie pajamas for Little David - $5

2. 1 London Fog winter coat for Taylor (in great condition) - $4

3. 11 books (2 of which were by my FAVORITE kid's author, Sandra Boynton) - $5

4. 4 totally cute long sleeved tshirts for Little David - $1 a piece.

5. 1 pair of freakishly adorable boots for Tot - $4



I know!! What steals! What deals! I totally scored and I'm feeling great about having all of the Fall/Winter shopping done for the kids. But after such a shopping high, I am now completely wrecked. We didn't get back to my house until close to 11:30pm (seriously.) and I just can't do that anymore. I woke up with such a killer headache and a serious desire to stay in my jammies and get Chick Fil A for lunch.

Which I did.

We call this "Good Day".

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Letter To My Former Favorite Starbucks Drink.

Dear Tall Peppermint Java Chip Frappachino,

Friend, we've been together a long time. It's been you and me for at least 3 years and I don't know what I would have done without you. That cool, crisp first impression, the way you always perked me up and drove me to keep moving on, no matter the circumstance. I've told countless people how important you are to me. I've even blogged about you! Surely you know how much you mean to me. You've gotten me through those tough times when I was pregnant and exhausted, when the kids were teeny tiny and I didn't know if I'd make it another day without going some kind of crazy. You were always there for me. I'll never forget that.

However.

I think we've reached an impasse in our relationship. I just think we both want different things, you know? You have this rich, decadent lifestyle going on and there's totally nothing wrong with that, I'm just wanting to move in a different direction. Of course I'll still see you! How could you even think I wouldn't? I just won't be around as much. Maybe once or twice in the summer.

No, there's no one else. Really. I'm just wanting to have a little alone time.

Seriously.

Okay, there is someone else. We've only just started to hang out more, it's nothing serious. Really, it's no big deal. It's just, well, you can be a little frosty sometimes and...no, no I understand that's just part of who you are and I know how you feel about me...I just need a little more warmth.

Well, fine. It's a latte. Are you happy now? I didn't want to make this into some big thing, I was trying to be nice. I'm seeing the Tall Chai Tea Latte, no fat, sugar free syrup. I just...connected. I'm sorry if this hurts you, but that's just the way it is. Shut up about their name already, okay? That's not who they are! They are much more down to earth than you are making it sound. I'm not trying to be some one else, I just need a little change. A calmer partner. A warmer, maybe better for me relationship.

Anyways, I'm sorry to do this, but well, it had to be done. I'll see you later, okay? We'll keep in touch.

~UK

Friday, September 19, 2008

Avast!

Avast maties! It be Talk Like A Pirate Day and The Unsinkable Pirate Izzy The Off-White (My Pirate Name) is having herself a bit of a jolly lark.

Gurglin' Anne Marie Cook (The Tot) and Little Davy Jones (Little David) will be joining me this year in celebrating a day to embrace our inner pirate and go on all sorts of adventures. We'll be reading pirate-y stories, eating pirate-y food, playing pirate-y games, and of course, going on a Treasure Hunt. Later this evening we'll even be having a pirate party! (No worries, pictures and a more extensive blog to follow, I've got to get going or my kids will make me walk the plank!)

So join us for Talk Like A Pirate Day 2008 and have your self a salty day!

~
The Unsinkable Pirate Izzy The Off-White

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I know! Two days of thankfulness - what a bargain.

Today I am thankful for:

1. The fact that I am not dead right now. This morning at 9:15 the kids and I decided to take a walk to the park with our neighbor and a friend of hers. We do school at 10, so we would have plenty of time. TWO HOURS later and a very sore Unsinkable later, we are home. Yeah. There was much stopping and starting for kids that were crying, a much longer walk than I anticipated, and a wagon that was full of 70 pounds of toddler. I'm lucky to be alive. Also, lucky that I can just push school back to 11:30 and it not be a big deal. I've got an in with the principal.

2. The weather - again! It's only 68 degrees right now and I am LOVING it. I've got my window open and my bottle of water (trying to replenish all that sweat), the kids are watching Dragon Tales (thank you, PBS) and I'm good to go.

3. The fact that as soon as school is over and naptime begins, I'm getting back in my jammies and calling it a day. The kids have been in their jammies all day, but then again, they are wearing sweatpants and tshirts so it's not altogether noticable. Have I mentioned I love homeschooling??

4. Pizza Rolls. After all that hard work, I feel the need, the need for junk food.

5. David working from home. This morning we all had breakfast (insanely good homemade oatmeal. I am a star.) together and listened and danced to "Free Bird" on my iPod. Now that's what I call family bonding.

...


...


...


Okay, I am thankful for a whole lot more than that today, but my brain has officially turned off. I'm going to go get a snack and then start school. Let's hope Tot's brain isn't turned off, too :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Finally.

I'm breaking out a Thankful Tuesday, because this morning is just so utterly pleasing that I can't help but be thankful. I am thankful for:

1. It being a crisp 53 degrees out. My windows are open, we are all in snuggly jammies, and it finally, finally, feels like Fall.

2. My Unsinkable mug that Scott and Cheryl got me for my birthday last year. It's holding some steaming coffee at the moment, and as soon as I can figure out how to make a chai latte, it will be holding that. It's the perfect size, has the perfect handle, and it's in the cutest colors. Strong.

3. My iPod. I've got Chris Rice's The Living Room Sessions playing right now, and it never fails to put me in a relaxed and peaceful state of mind. The cd is all old hyms played on one piano in Chris Rice's living room and the arrangements are gorgeous. I call it my Happy Music, because that's what I put on every time I get too irritated or stressed and every time it calms me down.

4. The sweat pants I'm wearing. They are snuggly, they are warm, and the are from Old Navy so they are also super duper cute. I. love. sweatpants.

5. That the kids are soooo grateful for the awesome breakfast I cooked. So grateful, in fact, that they maybe took two bites, one of which they spit out. It's it fantastic that they don't want to be greedy? Hmph. Anyways...

6. That today, I'm going to speed through my chores and Tot's school, and I'm going to really start getting my Fall preparation done. I'm going to get the clothes down from the attic, get Little David some new jammies, have the kids try on their Winter things, make the new clothes list, check their shoe sizes for new shoes, and maybe some other things. I do love a good list making session!

7. For the Just Between Friends sale! I'm hugely thankful for this giant consignment sale because it lets me get some brand new/almost brand new clothes for the kids for very little cash money. People from all over the area take their kids clothes and price them themselves, and then for three or four days you can comb through racks and racks of clothes. It's like a really, really nice all kids garage sale. Sometimes, the clothes have never been worn and you get them with the tags still on. Last year, I got an out fit for Little David (dress pants, dress shirt, tie (tie!) and sweater vest) that still had all the tags on it saying it was $20 for less than $5. I found a pair of $30 Ralph Lauren jeans for Tot (seriously, $30 jeans for a THREE year old) for less than $5 as well, which is less than I would pay for jeans at Target. Anyways, as you can tell, I'm pretty geeked. They have these sales twice a year and I save all the kids clothing money and get all their seasons clothes in one fell swoop. I won't be able to do as well this year, since Tot is getting so big (sob!) and they don't have as good of a selection for bigger kids, but I'll still do good enough to get 1/2 of her clothes there. Wow. I really just talked a long time about that sale.

8. I'm only TWO AND A HALF WEEKS away from my trip to Indiana!!!! I'm so very excited. You all know how I feel about Indiana, and now our really good friends, The Spicers, live there as well so now I have even more reasons to get excited about visiting. I've still got lots to do, including make packing lists and such (oh the lists!) but that will just make the time fly by!


Okay, I really meant for this post to be short and sweet because I really do have a lot to do, but you are just so cute this morning that I couldn't quit typing to you! Seriously, have you done something with your hair? A new shirt? Cause you are fabulous, friend. Just fabulous.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Happy Birthday, My Tiny Tot.

Last night, I said goodbye to my Three Year Old for the very last time.

As I said Good Night to Tot last night, and told her that when she woke up she would be FOUR I sat there and almost cried. A year ago last night she was two. She still had that roundness of toddlers and babies, a distinctly chubby face. She still wore diapers and was in a tiny toddler bed that still looked crib-like. She couldn't spell her name, or ride a bike. She couldn't say all her ABC's clearly and she couldn't count past ten. She still woke up all the time during the night, and she cried until I came and got her.

But not now.

Now, my tiny baby is FOUR. You can not look at her and call her a baby or a toddler. She is a kid. Now she can not only say her ABC's and count to ten, she can say entire bible verses right and left and write her name and other words.

She has run past so many milestones this year that it makes me dizzy. There are so many things that are just done now. I can always teach her more, but some things are just over. She's potty trained, she's in a twin bed, she sleeps through the night. She feeds herself and she can tell me exactly what she does and does not want.

As I left her room, I went to Dave and sat on the bed and just started talking and talking about how incredible it was that we had a FOUR year old. Five years ago we weren't planning on having kids until at least 2006. And here we sit with a FOUR year old and a two year old, and wondering if maybe we want more. Five years ago, Tot wasn't even a thought crossing my mind, and today I can not picture my life without her in it, without my daily thoughts revolving around her.

Inevitably, I started to think about the day she was born, and how exciting it was. I wasn't scared, I wasn't worried, I was just so very excited. There were so many things to do, so many things to experience. I couldn't wait to nurse, to bathe her, to rock her to sleep. I looked at all the little baby things and just about burst I was so happy.

And then, at 7:12pm on September 15th, Taylor Dawn Chapman arrived. Within hours, we were calling her Taylor-Tot, and within days she was The Tot. She was herself from the moment we met.

In the midst of all the remembering, I pulled out Tot's baby book and Dave and I flipped through it, laughing at the pictures of me pregnant, of her birth announcement, and of her first Christmas and other firsts. We looked in the back at the "After The First Year" section, and I reread the pages we had entered on her First Birthday, her Second birthday, and her Third Birthday and smiled at all the changes that had happened. As I flipped the page to enter her Fourth Birthday information, my breath stuck in my throat.

There was no Fourth Birthday page. The Baby Book was over.

I sat there and cried. And cried and cried and cried, because no matter how much I wanted it to be otherwise, the printed proof was right there in front of me. Those precious baby and toddler years that I adored, were over. Over so fast. Over before I could blink. And no matter how thrilled I am with my Tot, no matter how much fun I have with my big girl doing things that only big girls can do, there is a part of me that grieves the loss of my baby Tot time. That can not believe all that is over. That desperately wants to go back and relive it all over again, just to soak it all up even more. That wants, just once more, to be rocking my little newborn baby, nursing her in the middle of the night and wondering how on earth I could love someone so very much.

Sigh.

But no matter, my Four Year Old Tot is tugging at my sleeve asking for me to make her some Oatmeal and if she can have cake and maybe go ride her new bike after breakfast. And that means it's time to shake off the mood and go have a fabulous Happy Birthday with my Tot and soak all of this kid time up as much as I can before I blink and she's a teenager.

Happy Birthday, Tot. Mommy loves you.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Interview With The Tot

You hear me talk about her. You hear the stories. Now, she speaks directly to the waiting populace. That's right.

Tot Speaks:

What is your real name?
TaylorChapman

Where do you live?
um...a brick house.

Can you be more specific?
um.. in Texas!

What is your favorite place in the house?
Hmm..my room. Because it's yellow. Pink and yellow is my favorite color.

Who are your parents?
Mom and Dad. Kristen and David Chapman.

What is the best thing about Daddy?
Kissin' and Huggin'.

Anything else?
Bones.

What?
We have bones, you know (pointing to her elbow).

Why is that your favorite thing about Daddy?
What?

Okay. Moving on. What is the best thing about Mommy?
Hair. Because it's black. Also, my foot very hurts. That's a bad deal.
*she calls every hair color black. She's not actually completely color blind.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
A singer. Ohh! oooh! A princess singer. I love princess singers.

What is your favorite thing to eat?
Pretzels and Chicken nuggets. Those are my favorite foods.

Why?
Because they are so yummy, but they don't give me energy. But they still taste good.

What is your favorite thing to do outside?
Spin around! Ring around the Rosie and jump rope!!

What is your favorite Bible Story?
Jonah.

Why?
Because he has a bad person like Goliath.

Jonah does?
Oh, no. David does. Goliath scares God's people. And he has big mean energy.

Wow, like a bad aura?
Yes. What's aura mean?

Nothing, Mommy's just trying to be funny.
Hm.

Is there anything you want to tell all the people on the internet?
Mommy the best girl!!

Seriously?
Yes, that's my favorite Mom.

Sweet. I didn't even make you say that.

***

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Laundry, Bloody Laundry.

Today is Laundry Day. I'm bolding that, because it's not just a laundry day, it's a do every single load in the house because there isn't a stitch of clean anything here day. Even the sheets that were freshly washed on Tuesday are now dirty because every bed got wet in last night. Not even kidding. Little David's diaper leaked, Tot had her first accident in two weeks in her bed and then came to sleep in my bed, where she proceeded to have her second accident and then she laughed. Nothing like waking up to "Um, mommy? I peed in your bed. Sorry. Hee hee hee." Sigh.

So, I am ensconced in cozy pants today, and a cozy tshirt and (surprise) a headband and a ponytail (please don't come over unannounced today - I truly look terrible) and I am slowly making my way through what will probably be eleventy thousand loads of clothes.

Which brings me to Thankful Thursday.

Today, I am thankful for my washer and dryer and new laundry detergent. If I have to do laundry at all (which, Dave informs me, I do) then at least I don't have to hand wash it, or hang it up to dry, and at least it smells pretty awesome. As opposed to yesterday, when the smell from the laundry pile was overpowering.

Author's Note: The title is not referencing any blood on our laundry, no worries, no one has been maimed. I just started singing Sunday, Bloody Sunday and then during my tasks it somehow morphed into Laundry, Bloody Laundry, and now I can't stop singing it. Poor Bono.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Privacy? Escapism? Whatever Works, Yo.

Today I came to a conclusion. I need to shower. Regularly. Every day.

This probably isn't the world's most shocking conclusion, and some of you are probably nodding your head and saying "Thank Heavens some one finally told her. Girlfriend was starting to smell a bit...off color" (note: I would love to say "Girlfriend" more, but alas, I sound dumb when doing so. This also applies to "Chica" "Sister" and "Girl"). But really, today I finally realized that I had to get this to happen some how.

While I do shower, and often, it is never at the same time, and there are definitely days when it just doesn't happen. Most of the time, it's because I know that I will never be able to slip into my bathroom unnoticed and will certainly receive visitors who will use this time to dig through my make up, lick water off the floor, and throw things into the toilet while I watch, unable to do anything with any relative speed.

It's a harsh reality.

But today, today I found my answer. And my answer is PBS and a door lock.

After our walk this morning I was feeling a little gamey, what with the recent rain and the moisture hanging in the air like a curtain. So when we got home, I got the kids out of their adorable raincoats, and set them in front of the TV with PBS on, playing some show that I don't remember. And all of a sudden I thought "This is it! This is my time! Quick! To the Batcave!" (I always talk to myself in exclamation points). So I ran to the bathroom and then realized that as soon as the water started they would know. They just would. I walked up to the door to the master bedroom, I stared at the lock and thought "Well, it's not like they could get into any worse trouble than they normally do." and I locked it.

Quick as a flash I hopped in the shower and knew that regardless of what was going on outside of my room, be it fighting, biting, kicking, screaming or breaking, all I could hear was the sound of steaming hot water washing my tension away. No worries, no stress, just complete silence. Perfection. I turned off the water and stepped out of the shower straining my ears to hear if World War III was indeed breaking out in my living room in reaction to my audacious door locking.
Silence. Sweet silence.

I threw on my clothes, towel dried my hair and put it in my ubiquitous pony tail (does anyone even know what my hair looks like down??) and I was out the door. And what did I see? Two very quiet kids watching PBS, all calm like.

Now, that works for me. Everyday. PBS and door locks, friends, write it down.

***

For more Works For Me Wednesdays, go take a looksee at Rocks In My Dryer!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

God Must Love Me

Since Sunday morning, Tot has been horrible. I mean, ship-her-off-to-China-because-I'm-done horrible. Most days I deal with her pretty well. I mean, it is a truth universally acknowledged that my Tot is "strong willed" on the best of days and "an absolute beating" on the worst, and I usually just roll with it. But let me just say that the past few days have definitely fallen under the "an absolute beating" category.

Before I go on, I would like to set out a disclaimer. I adore my Tot. L-O-V-E her. And I genuinely like her, too. I like the person she's becoming. Even on the worst of days I never wish she was anything other than herself, I never look at parents with better behaved children and wish Tot was like that (although, I have been known to see a child acting particularly well and asking the parents "What is that even like??). I know that God has given her these....um...strong traits because He wants her to be something strong later in life. At some point, she will need this spirit - who am I to extinguish it? But oh, the harnessing of such energy is exhausting.

Which brings me to Sunday. On Sunday, Tot surpassed even her own standards by making me stop the car not even 20 feet out of our driveway to spank her, getting reprimanded in her Sunday School class (that is taught by my friend Cheryl, who knows Tot and thank heavens has lots of patience with her), getting kicked out of Kid's Praise for inciting a riot with four other kids, refusing to nap at her grandparents house, making Dave stop the car twice on the way home to spank her (seriously), and spending the rest of the evening in a power struggle with us using both yelling and whining to try and get her way.

And that was just Sunday. I just won't talk about yesterday.

So this morning, I woke up feeling much like I had been in constant battle for the last two days. I was exhausted from lack of sleep (because guess who decided that she could force herself awake to prove a point to Mommy?) and tired of constantly disciplining. It is incredibly draining to feel like you are only able to be negative all the time, no matter how positive you try to remain. I've been praying my guts out, trying to keep an even keel with Tot, trying to discipline with love and effectiveness, and by this morning I was just plum wore out.

So, the kids got dry Fruity Pebbles in front of the TV for breakfast, and I threw on some probably dirty and definitely wrinkled clothes and prepared for another day of battle. I could already hear the kids fighting over stolen cereal (one guess who the perpetrator was). I was looking around the house and seeing piles upon piles of laundry that needed to get done and the rest of the house was equally in shambles - the price of focusing on a kid gone wild. After thirty minutes of basically just refereeing the kids and not getting anything productive done, I called an audible and forced the kids into the wagon to walk around the block and get some air. It looked like rain, but I didn't care. The kids got in their raincoats and I got the umbrella and off we went.

I'm pretty sure than anyone who passed me in their car could see the bone deep exhaustion on my face. I usually try to put forth some effort to put a positive spin on things, but I was just done. You wouldn't think after a fantastic birthday weekend, filled with breaks from the kids, that I could possibly be so tired, but oh I was. Two days of constant, non stop tug of war with the Tot had left me dry. Oh, and did I mention Dave is in Arizona. Yeah, talk about the best time for no back up.

Anyways, so there I was, walking around the block, trying to pray out my issues and get the kids to stop fighting and then God sent me an angel.

I saw my good friend and neighbor, Joy, drive past me and she stopped and said "Hey! I dreamed about you guys last night. Do you need me to come over with some tea and talk?" And of course I was all "Dude. Yes." She said "Usually when I dream about someone like this, God is telling me that that person needs something. I'll meet you at your house." And so I said sure, and cried as I walked back to my house.

We got to my house and Joy said "Okay, I was getting the impression that you needed some help with laundry. Where do we start?" Seriously. So, we started folding towels and talking about our kids and how she had been right where I was about two weeks earlier and totally felt me and we put new sheets on the beds, picked up around the house, drank tea, and prayed. And while I am still tired, still unsure about how to harness all this Tot energy, I feel so much more able to keep on keeping on. It is incredible how much good a helping hand and a sympathetic ear can do.

Like I said, God must really love me.

Monday, September 08, 2008

When The BlogRoll Is Called Up Yonder

Hey Friends! In the spirit of redesigning my blog, I thought that I would also update my blog roll. I'm going to attempt to make it a separate page so that I can include more than ten or so people and some other blogs/websites that I enjoy and that I think you will enjoy as well. It will be simply fabulous. Then maybe after all this redesigning I can get back to writing posts that have actual content. Wouldn't that be a nice change?

On that note... I'm setting out an open invitation for the blog roll. If you would like me to include your name on the roll, then I would like you to be on my blog roll! Email your name and blog address to:

unsinkablekristen(at) gmail(dot)com

(I know! Such a fancy email address!)

I'm going to try to get this up by this weekend, so that's the deadline for submissions (I know, like there's going to be a stampede - LOL).

***

On a totally unrelated note - the kids are in bed, Dave is in Arizona, I've got Season Three of The Office ready to start and some popcorn going, and I've just realized that I'm out of Diet Dr. Pepper. What a cruel twist of fate.

Quick!

What are you most looking forward to right now?

Author's Note: This can be anything from a special trip to what you are planning to have for lunch, just something you're excited about.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Ahoy!

First of all, a jillion thanks to everyone who wished me a Happy Birthday!! You guys are the greatest. I had a fabulous day and I had lots of sugar and candy. Which is why I am up so late posting and presenting you with a very new header!

Seriously, I had so much fun making the birthday one that I knew I needed to play around and get one for everyday. So, there goes the whole "picture of landscape" thing I had planned. :) I imagine the headers will change with the seasons, so look forward to many a cut out Unsinkable doing many a seasonal thing. Hopefully between now and then I'll get a picture where I'm not sipping a beverage, but we'll see. I think that's part of the charm.

Anyways, again, you are all the greatest and thanks for making me feel so very happy on my birthday :)

~UK

No Shame, My Friends, No Shame.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ME!!!!



That's right, friends. It's my favorite day of the year - MY BIRTHDAY!!! I do love myself a birthday, no matter the age, and I do love to celebrate. One thing I have learned from my many, many years as The Unsinkable, is that if you wait around for everyone to remember your birthday on their own it will be no fun. No fun at all, and some of your friends may just be bad with dates. Why go through all that? Why feel bad and then make your friends feel bad for forgetting. Nope, not for me. Instead I choose to loudly proclaim the day of my birth from the rafters of the blogosphere to unflinchingly solicit well wishes and cheery hello's.

I don't need presents or cards (although, let's be honest, I won't give them back or anything) but I do have to celebrate with my pals. And you are my pals, pals. You are simply fabulous, and I wouldn't enjoy my days near as much without you.

It's a good day to be Unsinkable!

Ps - How do you like the new header? Don't worry, I'll replace it with a picture of landscape here soon enough. We've probably seen enough of my head for awhile :)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

It's Annual Fall Preparation List Time!!

I know, like anyone but me even does this :). But anyways, for those of you who are noticing the crispness in the air and the slow but distinct takeover of the gray clouds, for those of you who are thinking of the power outages to come, the gloves and the mittens and such - this list is for you.

Last year I started this list in late September, and that worked well for me because in Texas if Fall arrives at all, it arrives one or two days a week until November and then it's something similar to Winter. Since the rest of the time we have rather pleasant, sunny weather, the sense of urgency to prepare isn't too strong. However, this Fall we are making two trips to very Autumn-y places and we are making them in exactly one month so my sense of urgency went into overdrive this weekend.

Our travels will be taking us to Indiana for a week (yea!) and to Colorado for a week (in prime leaf changing time) and the average temperature in both of those places will be significantly cooler than here. Whee!

Anyways, all that means that I have some preparing to do and how do I prepare best? With a list to work from. Oh? Do you want me to stop chatting already and get to the list? Well, fine then. Just trying to be friendly.

***

The List.

1. Fast and Furious Fall Cleaning - It is not a requirement to start the season with a clean house, but I do find that I enjoy it, nonetheless. I like Spring Cleaning, to get my house ready for the warmer weather of Spring and Summer, and I like Fall Cleaning to get the house ready for the cooler seasons of Fall and Winter. I like to look around and see a visible reminder of the changes that are coming, and let's be honest, it's loads easier to do all of the fun stuff when home base doesn't look like a playroom exploded all over the rest of the house. I plan to get the closets cleaned out, the clutter gone, and give everything a good washing. Does a body good.

2. Fall Decorating (!) - Obviously, this is one of my favorite parts. And with the house sparking clean, what better time to add some seasonal flourishes? I think I'll be replacing some of my decorations this year, though. A few years ago I got some great deals on cute fall stuff, and while most of it still looks great, I have some throw pillows and a blanket that have started to shed so much it looks like there are mortally wounded and bleeding orange and brown fuzz all over the carpet and couch. So, it may be time to look for some new deals. I may throw in a new wreath while I'm at it.... Anyways, the best part of Fall decorating is that you can do it for super cheap. Walk around your neighborhood and pick up acorns and pine cones and pretty leaves. You can put them in a clear glass bowl and call it art. I do all the time.

3. Cold Weather Preparation - Well, now the house is clean, cute, and probably smells good.
I find it so much easier to do what needs to be done when the house is in ship shape. It's now time to get to the practical stuff.

  • A. Clothing - Now we tackle the clothing beast. I start by going through all of the kids summer clothes and seeing what doesn't fit, what might fit next Spring, and what can still be worn through the winter in layers. The clothing that doesn't stay goes to Goodwill, the clothing that will fit later goes into a box on the top shelf of their closet, and the clothing that will still be work gets hung back up. Then I make a list of what I'll need for the cold weather. Currently Tot is sitting pretty good on winter clothes, but we'll probably need to get her a new coat, some new winter dresses, and some new shoes. Little David is growing fast, so he'll need a lot of new stuff. About this time, I pull down Dave's and my winter boxes from the attic and start airing stuff out and see if anything needs to go to the cleaners. I also look and see how I want to add to my wardrobe this season. I know, I'm so fashion forward.

  • B. Bedding - I usually don't do this until later in the season, much closer to winter, because it stays warm here a long time. For awhile Dave and I would switch out our quilt to a down comforter, but now we just pile on more quilts and break out the flannel sheets. The kids get extra blankets put in their rooms, and I usually get the space heater out for Little David because his room gets absolutely freezing. We may not do that this year since he's up and in a toddler bed, so I may just have to make due with lots of long sleeved, cozy pj's and thick socks. We also break out the pj pants instead of shorts, and the long winter robes (I have the best winter robe). I never did get the quilt rack last winter, so this may be my year. Basically, we make sure each room is stocked with nice things to keep you warm.

  • C. House Stuff - Lastly, I stock the house. This is when I go to the stores and by tons of candles and matches, some for daily use (yummy Yankee Candles) and some for emergency use (the cheapest I can find). I buy up batteries for our flashlights and make sure they are working and in easy to reach places. I make sure the pantry has plenty of marshmallows and graham crackers and hershey bars. And yes, that is necessary. Dave will chop up the crazy amount of wood we got this summer from helping friends cut down unwanted trees, and I will be glad I don't have to do that. It's actually pretty awesome, because usually we just buy fire logs and that gets expensive. Last year we bought a truckload of wood for a much smaller cost, and it lasted most of the winter. This year Dave cut down so many trees that we don't have to buy any firewood at all, and we have plenty. I do love having a fire most nights, so this is pretty strong. Candles, Chocolate, and Fires? Now, that's a good Fall.

4. Holiday Preparation!! - Your Unsinkable does like herself a good holiday, so this is right up my alley. The Fall is chock full of great holidays (Halloween, Tot's birthday, Talk Like A Pirate Day) and while Christmas isn't in Fall, it definitely requires planning during the fall. This is when we start talking about Halloween costumes, stocking up on candy, eating all that candy, dashing to the store at the last minute to replenish the candy you ate, making Christmas gift lists, making Christmas plans, making Thanksgiving plans and menus, etc. Sigh, I'm getting a little hungry just thinking about all that candy. Apparently this is the time we start exercising, too, or I'm not going to fit into any of those Fall clothes I just pulled out.

5. The Festivities. THE. BEST. PART. Raking leaves, going on nature walks to pick up acorns, hayrides in pumpkin patches, picking apples, carving pumpkins, eating Candy corn, dressing up as pilgrims and Indians, baking pies an d cookies and bread, eating Candy pumpkins, covering up in blankets on long wagon rides, making leaf collages, and on and on and on. I do love Fall best of all (hey! that rhymed!) and each autumn I try to squeeze the most out of the short season as I can. I leave all the windows open and make sure that we can smell all the best smells and see all the changes happening around us. There really is nothing more fun than really taking the time to soak up a season.

And let's not forget that candy. Because candy is really what it's all about.

(Author's Note: It is my birthday tomorrow, and I will honestly and truly cry if you don't say hi. You will force me into the arms of candy and no one wants to see that.)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

In Honor Of Labor Day, Albeit A Smidge Late

Because who doesn't want to know this stuff??

How long were you in labor?


#1 (Tot) - 5 hours from induction to birth.
#2 (Little David) - Either 5 hours or 10 minutes, depending on how you look at it. I got to the hospital five hours before I gave birth, but they sent me home to sleep it off (yeah.) and I tried, but I woke up in active labor and Little David was born ten minutes after I got to the hospital.

How did you know you were in labor?

#1 - I was induced because of Pre-Ecclampisa three weeks early. I definitely knew I was in labor.
#2 - I took Castor Oil and the contractions started a few hours later.

Where did you deliver?

At the same hospital for both. LOVED it.

Drugs?

#1 - YES. I got the best drugs EVER and I swore up and down I would compose an Ode to my anesthesiologist. It was a pure delight. Like drinking hot chocolate on a cold day. Like getting a pair of warm socks when you're freezing. I have never felt so cold in my life and that epidural worked in sheer seconds and warmed me right up and numbed me right down. Perfection embodied in a drug. I felt so fine after having Tot I thought I could do it all again a second time in a few hours. I almost did a jig right afterwards. God Bless Drugs.

#2. No. No, I didn't. And it hurt. Oh, it hurt.

C-Section?

Au Natural for both.

Who delivered?

#1 - My lovely and supa fabulous man doctor. He's a gem.

#2 - My equally lovely and supa fabulous women nurses. Little David arrived ten minutes after I got to the hospital and my poor Doctor was running down the hallway as Bubba made his grand entrance.


With Little David I live-blogged my contractions (I am a slave to the internet) and if you had ever thought to yourself "Self, I sure do wish I knew more about the Unsinkable's last pregnancy!" well, my Xanga blog holds all the details. Go forth and learn. If I ever have another kid, you can bet your bottom dollar I'll be live-blogging the birth (well, without some of the squishier details, I mean, I love you all, but there are some lines). So, you have that to look forward to.

And also, if you ever wanted to spend hours reading labor stories, hitch on over to Rocks In My Dryer where all sorts of women are posting all sorts of labor stories. Good times, friends, Good times. I'll be back tomorrow with my Annual Fall Preparation List, so hold on to your hats and I'll see you this time tomorrow!