Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tender Moments ~ Monk Style

Yesterday afternoon was a bad day for me. I'll admit...I was a grouch. I was irritated over lots of things and I just didn't want to deal with anyone.

So. I went into my bedroom with Charlotte and locked the door. Oh yes, I did. I needed to think quietly and I also didn't want to spew my venom on anyone else. In other words, I gave myself a timeout.

I knew Hope was having a hard time as it grew closer to bed time. Madgirl bathed her for me and put jammies on her. I heard her get upset over something random and Maddie finally brought her to my door. I relenquished my solitude and let her bring Hope into me.

Maddie left and I held Hope, laying across my lap. I looked down at her and smiled. She smiled back through that silly pacifier. I leaned forward, close to her face and I looked deep into those hazel green, tear stained eyes and my heart just burst with love for this child! And so I started this conversation:

Me: Hope?

Her: Hmm?

Me: Mommy loves you so much.

Her: (something muffled from underneath her pacifier)

I thought I heard what she said, but wasn't sure. So I said,

Me: What?

Her: Booger.

Me: What?

Her: Booger.

Me: Mommy has a booger?

Her: Mmm hmmm.

Me: Thank you, Hope.

Her: Welcome.

And there you have it friends. Another conclusion to .... Tender Moments ~ Monk Style.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Because Sharing is Nice

You all should know by now that I luuuurrrrvve to bake! I heart baking. Well, except when it's stinkin' 253 degrees here ~ which it has been for the last month! I haven't had the time or the air conditioning to handle one of my favorite pastimes lately. And honestly, I do believe I audibly heard my bee-hind thank me the other day!

(Okay, maybe not audibly. That may not have been the best choice of words when speaking about my bee-hind.)

Anyway, I'm always looking for new baking resources, ya know....cause I like to mix things up a little. Get it? Mix things up a little? Mixing = Baking?! I'm so punny ~ I really do crack myself up sometimes! ::deep sigh::


I stumbled upon this REALLY awesome baking blog the other day on total accident because I was doing a search on Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies. Oh dear friends, the gold mine I stumbled upon! It's called Joy the Baker and this girl is F-U-N-N-Y! And she has some crazy mad baking skillz AND she's self taught! I wanna marry her. Okay, that's just weird and a little sick, so I'll say I want to be BFF's with her. Go check her out ~ well not like check HER out, but you know....her BLOG!!

And just because I love to share and you all are always so nice to me... here's the recipe for:

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

-1 egg
-1 c. sugar
-1 c. smooth peanut butter
-1 tsp baking soda (optional, but I'd recommend it)

Mix together, roll into balls (about 1 tsp size), do that fancy little crisscross design on top with a fork and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Cool on wire racks and then enjoy delicious peanut buttery goodness. It makes approximately 2 dozen.

And for good measure (Get it? A baking pun again? I'm just full of zingers today!) I put 3 little milk chocolate chips on top while they are cooling because nothing in the history of the world beats the marriage of peanut butter AND chocolate! Deeeee-lish, my friends!

And no. There is no picture. Why? We manage to eat them faster than I can photograph them.

Maybe next time.

Go see Joy. It's worth it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Pretty in Pink (Eye)

So, I've been a mother for going on 18 years now. In all those 18 years we've had various disease and illness of the garden variety around here. You know, things like stomach flu, Chicken Pox, Roseola, Selective Hearing...oh wait...that last one probably doesn't technically qualify as a disease.

But it is, my friends. Oh, yes. It is.


This morning sweet Charlotte woke up her usual happy self. It didn't take me long, however, to realize that her eye was not it's usual happy self. Crusty, red and watery, it was. I immediately had that sinking feeling in my gut. Could it really be pink eye? None, and I do mean NONE, of my children have ever had pink eye! How on earth did my almost 8 month old get it?

(It's those nasty shopping carts that are dirtier than toilet seats, I bet!! But I use this kind of cart cover, so I don't really think it was that.)

Now Pink Eye is not to be confused with Stink Eye. Stink Eye would be the look I give my children when they are irritating me. Or Monk gets it when he tells bad jokes. Monk gets the Stink Eye a lot. The Stink Eye has been caught on camera, but the guilty photographer, whoever they are, is forced to erase the picture lest they get the dreaded Stink Eye of Death. You do NOT want me to give you the Stink Eye of Death. It's not pretty, my friends.

Anyway. One trip to the doctor confirmed my suspicions and my sweet Charlie is now a confirmed Contagious Germ Carrying Nemesis. Or at least that's what the other girl's think. We now have Pink Eye to add to the list of disease and illness my children have had over the years. But this one, not unlike the stomach flu, is one infection I do NOT want to get!

Not necessarily because of the crusty, itchy, watery eye aspect of it either. If I get it that means I have to throw out ALL of my eye make-up and start completely over!!!

Wait a minute... ::thinking:: ::conniving:: ::evil smiling:: :: light bulb shining brightly::

That would mean I would have to buy ALL! NEW! EYE! MAKE-UP! Aw, darn! I would haaate to have to buy all new eye make-up!! ::double crossing fingers behind back:: Maybe this means that I'm just gonna hafta take one for the team, ya know?!

Wow. I digressed so badly on this one....

Anyway, here's my sweet baby with her weepy little eye, that actually doesn't look that bad in these pictures. But it gives me an excuse to show my little weepy eyed cutie, so why not!

Pink eye_0007

Pink eye_0008

(note to self: when letting the baby play with your lens cap as a bribe to look at the camera, chances are, after they've pounded it on the cement 852 times, you're gonna need a new lens cap)
Pink eye_0006

Pink eye_0001

Pink eye_0003

Friday, July 24, 2009

No Excuses

That would be for not posting anything all week! OY! And I call myself a blogger!

Honestly, not too much blog-worthy news has been happening in these here parts lately. Unless, of course, y'all would really like a whole post devoted to Charlotte's new habit of biting me while she nurses. I think it's fair to say that I might title it something like:

YEEEOOUUCH!!!! or #%&*#*$@*!!!

Oh, I kid on that last one. Mostly.

Anyway, I'll tell you a little bit of what's been going on in my little pea brain and that might explain why I've been a little Out 'o The Loop lately. In bullet fashion, of course!

  • Schooling decisions have weighed heavily on me lately and have consumed my emotional tank for the better part of 3 weeks. I'm just not sure that in this juncture in my life that I am best suited for homeschooling. In other words ~ my nerves are shot! So. The decision has been made for Olivia to homeschool (1st grade work is not that difficult) and Grace will go to a local private school. Maddie will be homeschooling, but most of it will be through a homeschool enrichment program and independent studies. I may devote an entire post to this later, but for now I simply don't have the emotional energy to do so.

  • My photography business is not very busy at the in...almost nothing. And I think I'm okay with that at the moment. BUT there are lots of decisions to be made concerning that as well. I'm not the most technologically advanced person on the block and some of the computer related stuff involved just frustrates the living daylights out of me. It has been very hard to find learning resources for me ~ as in, actual physical human beings~ that would actually teach me some things. This frustrates me to no end.

  • Along those same lines, I've been debating about hiring someone to design a photography blog (mostly so I can quit fighting with blogger myself!!) for me and closing up Monk'swife altogether. I would still be here, but everything would be on the photography blog. I would still tell stories and updates, etc (oh wait, that would be if I ever, you know, actually wrote on the blog!)..., but there would also be photography related stuff on there as well. Because y'all, I really hate having two blogs. It's not fun. AT. ALL.

  • My roots are showing and this makes me especially grouchy. I need a color and highlights in the most awful of ways, but there's this little thing called....M-O-N-E-Y that has been rather scarce around here lately. That would be because of broken water pipes, birthdays, broken air conditioners and the impending tuition that is coming upon us. I have come to realize that my hair related issues may be on the brink of total disaster. It's a sad, sad day in Monkville.

  • Harley the Beast will be finding a new home shortly. I think. I put him on Craig's List and had several people interested in him. The first family, who would have been perfect, fell through. I'm still waiting to hear from the second guy. The emotional toll this dog alone has taken on my life has been just short of mind bending. He's not a bad dog per se, just high maintenance. And OH. THE. HAIR. this dog produces!!! I absolutely cannot wait to be free of this hair producing machine!

  • And lastly, I've just been in a funk. A depressing funk. When I'm in these sorts of funks I either write a LOT or I don't write at all. I bet y'all can guess which one I'm in, huh?

So, anybody have any opinions about any of this? Anybody totally ticked that I want to shut down this blog and combine it into one big one? Anybody want a post on the Booby Biting Baby?

Anyone? Anyone?

Bueller? Bueller?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


It's here. The big 2. Her 2nd birthday.

And I don't know quite how to feel about it.

Her birth story is here, here and here, so you can read of her amazing beginning to see how it all began. But today? While I'm rejoicing in my sweet little girl, I'm a little sad as well. How come, why for?

Well. She's not 1 anymore. I'll never, ever, ever, ever get to have a 1 year old Hope ever again. That year is gone. And while I'm happy and thankful for every day with Hope (as with all my children) it just seems to get harder, as I get older, to watch them grow up. My Boy will be 18 in two short months, so I know all about this whole time fleeting thing.

It's a bummer.

I wanted to get some pictures of her last night so I would have official documentation of exactly how she looked the day before her 2nd birthday. It didn't go as planned. She was grouchy and whiny and just wanting her daddy.

I pulled out the Birthday Tutu thinking I could coax out her inner girly girl and hoping for an attitude adjustment. She wasn't buying it. I moped. I then put the tutu on Charlotte and tried to play the jealousy card. Nope ~ she wasn't born yesterday and I should have known better than to encourage jealousy. Bad Momma.

Then all of sudden...::blink of an eye::...she decided she wanted to wear it. On her terms. As usual. Oh I fretted here and there and all about, y'all. She simply couldn't look like that for her 2 year old birthday photo that was going on the blog! I couldn't have it! No shirt, birthday tutu pulled up under her armpits, hair hanging in her eyeballs and that blasted pacifier stuffed firmly in her mouth.

Then I smiled. It was her. That's her. That's my Hopey. Day in and day out. She's not prissy, she's not super girly... shoot, she's downright crabby most days, so this mood fit her perfectly.

And here she is...MY perfectly disheveled, lovable Hope... wearing the birthday tutu on her terms...

Hope 2_0070

Hope 2_0068

Hope 2_0073

This little girl is a smart one. And she gets the best of this Momma sometimes. God gave me Hope to teach me more patience. I'm failing miserably.

Last evenings events reminded me of her birth.

When I look back at her birth, the first word that comes to mind is intense. Her birth was very intense. My water was broke for 38 hours before I actually went into labor with her. Again, her terms. Then, when I did go into labor we found out a few hours in that she was posterior. Difficult and intense.

(When I think of a good word to describe Hope ~ intense comes to mind!)

Then God's grace abounded and she was born! Oh! The joy in that single moment! And the pain and intensity and difficulty passed away and I forgot.

(Well, not completely. Posterior babies are not something you totally forget. But I mostly forgot. :) )

That's how most days are with Hope. She can be difficult and taxing and more than likely on my very last nerve, then all of sudden, something will happen and God's grace will abound. She will smile, giggle or do one of her crazy antics ~ even just watching her sleep ~ all of these things make me forget.

I forget all of her irritations and I'm just thankful. Thankful that I have her here with me, healthy and whole. Thankful that God chose me to be her mother. Just thankful that I have her.

When I was putting this post together she was crying screaming while walking through the house. Monk was trying to settle her and take her to bed away from me so I could finish typing. She came crying into the living room and just kept saying, "Momma". I'll admit, I was irritated with her crying and the whining she had been doing earlier and I really just wanted her to go to bed. Monk came and got her and took her into the bedroom where she really began to do some lung exercises.

Then it hit me. She was crying because she was tired...stumbling tired....BUT...she needed ME. Plain and simple. Just me. I went and got her and she snuggled up next to me, with her hiney in the air, and fell asleep. Just. Like. That.

I looked at her long and hard and then you know what I did?

I forgot.

Happy Birthday my precious Hope. July 15, 2007 will always be one of the best days of my life! I love you.

Hope 2_0078

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Blessed and Bouncy

I SO love Facebook.

I know there's a lot of people who think it's a waste of time and trust me, it can be a BIG time waster. BUT...

(Everything before the BUT[t] is bologna!!)

... the fact that I have reconnected with SO many old friends has just made it priceless! It has opened up a whole new world for me and I LOVE that about it. I also love that I'm friends with some of you! How cool is it that I'm friends with people I've never met in Real Life! Love. It.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I reconnected with a good friend of mine from years ago. Her son and My Boy were great friends and we lived around the corner from each other. They moved and as circumstances would have it, we lost touch. Facebook reconnected us. How cool is that?

Anyway, one of my friend's Facebook updates mentioned her giving away their trampoline for FREE to anyone that wanted to come pick it up.


I was ALL over that one my friends! You have no idea how long and how badly my girls have been wanting a trampoline! F-O-R-E-V-E-R, if that gives you any idea. So, Monk and I headed over to my friend's house (which was only 15 minutes away - pathetic, huh?) to pack up the FREE trampoline. It was SO MUCH FUN to see my friend again!

After loading it up we came home and put the thing together at 8 o'clock at night. We were still sweating bullets if that gives you any idea of how hot it was! Unfortunately, it was too late to jump by the time we got it together. SO. They had to wait until the next evening. (It's too hot during the day and the black bouncing area will literally sear the bottoms of your feet!)

Apparently I should have washed it off before letting the girls bounce! They were filthy! But had SO much fun!


..and a different perspective...


You would have never known that this dirty little thing had never been on a trampoline. She owned it.


And if there were ever a picture that could sum Liv up in one shot ~ this one's it...


And Sis? Well. This was about as wild as she got...


Well, that is until I asked her to smile. Then she did this...


Oh, yes. Blessed and bouncy. That's us.

Now let's see how long before I have a post titled Our Trip to the Emergency Room.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Mini Update of Sorts..

No, I haven't kicked the bucket since turning 40.

Yes, I have taken a Mini Bloggy Vacation this week. I can do that now. Because I'm old and crotchety.

No, I haven't forgotten about Strolling Down Memory Lane. I realize I stopped at 18 years old. Do you suppose that was a Freudian Slip of sorts?

Yes, I will continue the stroll ... hopefully beginning Monday. It's a bajillion and one degrees here right now and that makes me mostly just want to lie around drinking sweet tea and declaring loudly, "Could it get ANY hotter?".

But before I finish my mini vay-cay, I'll leave you with a brief smidgen of what happened this past weekend...

Do you know why this truck had to be summoned?


...and can you guess on which day it had to be summoned??



Oh yes, my friends. If you guessed that my air conditioning went out ON the 4th of July ~ aka my 40th birthday party ~ then you were very correct, indeed.

It was 104 degrees outside that day. My house? That was FULL of people? Only a hot and sticky 84 degrees!!

Despite the sweating though, it was a fun day FER SURE!

And 40?

Well ... it ain't so bad. Except for the crotchety part, that is.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

We Interrupt This Program Stroll...


Due to technical difficulties ~ as in, I have no technological prowess whatsoever ~ I haven't been able to finish working on our stroll down memory lane. Don't worry, I'll make it happen, it'll just have to be when Monk can start scanning pictures for me again.

What's that? Why does he do the scanning and not me?

Well, that would be because of the 3% rule.

What's that? What's the 3% rule?

(Do ya wanna smack me now for all the "what's that?" cracks??? You do, don't you?)

The 3% rule is as follows:

Ahem. In order to operate anything, one must be 3% smarter than the object they are attempting to operate in order for it to work.

And now y'all know why I can't scan pictures. I ain't near as smart as that thar copy/scanner/faxer machine doo-hickey.

That and the fact that ours is so decrepit you have to crank it, anoint it with oil, lay hands on it, dance necked with rattlesnakes and then...

... it just might work.

Anyway, I'm sure one day I'll figure it out, but for now I just like to sit on the sidelines and cheer Monk along. Somebody's gotta tend the rattlesnakes.

Soooooo....hopefully tomorrow we he can get the pictures scanned and I can do an all out Power Post that will cover the last 22 years. I have the perfect title for it already:

From Fabulous and Fit to Flabby and Forty.

Do we really even need pictures for that one?

Anyway, I'm in all-out Panic Cleaning mode for the big ::whispering:: 4-0 ::stop whispering:: birthday party on Saturday, so I need to get to bed. Yes, how wrong is that that I have to clean for my own dang party. Some things in life just aren't fair. Like calories.

Before I close though, I want to leave you with the picture I took immediately following the one above...


Is it just me or does she appear to be chewing something??