Friday, April 30, 2010

The Dream Home

I wanted to put these in order for you, kinda like a virtual tour...but Blogger is a pain and I am lazy.

So here is The Dream Home. Move in will be in 3 weeks.

This is the side yard. (There are 20 more acres that look just like this)

Front porch (Hello rocking chairs and sweet tea!)

View from the front porch

Back of the house (I love the concrete porches here)

Dining room

Living Room (and a partial of Buzz)

Entry way (Love the natural light and light fixture - Both Belly and Buzz make an appearance here)

Met some of my neighbors. I think we will get along great. They have kids too.

This is the street leading to the house

Another pic of the street.

The front of the house and Buzz being a nut!

Hello kitchen...I love you.

Breakfast nook and one very happy Bitsy

There are more pictures that aren't being published here due to the fact that I am an idiot who can't seem to use a flash.

Picture a jacuzzi tub on a pedestal with a step up...

Picture 3 upstairs bedrooms for the kids that are just the perfect size...

Picture an upstairs kids bathroom that is blue and covered in fish stuff (ick...but the kids like it)

Picture a master bedroom that has two huge windows and a tray ceiling with two (yes..TWO) walk-in closets.

Thank you for taking this little tour with me and THANK YOU for praying along with me that this would be a reality!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Five Question Friday - Vloggin

Link up at My Little Life with Mama M

How To UnInstall IntenseDebate & Disqus

So you decided to forgo the usual commenting system that Blogger offers and get all fancy with IntenseDebate and/or Disqus.

Is it working fine for you and you really like it? Disregard this post then.

Not working? Readers complaining? Slow load time? You found the right spot for help.
First step, go to the InstallDebate/Disqus website and perform the uninstall function. Remove widgets.

Yeah...that didn't work did it?

OK, now you can email support or Twitter to see if someone will walk you through the steps. IntenseDebate will contact you through Twitter like a knight in shining armor offering to hold your hand and slay the ID dragon.

They will ask for your "expanded html" and then send you a uninstall patch back. Yup, that doesn't work either. You get all kinds of messages like "not parsed well" " must be followed with "" or ">"
Don't bother trying to find and fix these "not parsed well" codes. Even using Ctrl+F it is not going to end me. You will probably have restless dreams at night seeing html codes while standing naked in front of your old high school class.

The following steps can be avoided as well:
  • Calling your mother and crying about it. Sure she loves you and will fix anything wrong in your life, but this is outside her area of expertise. She will tell you however to make sure you have on clean underwear (which doesn't help, but will make you feel refreshed.)
  • Applying for a handgun permit and threatening your computer interrogation style (toothpicks under the keyboard keys doesn't seem to be effective either. You are dealing with a "unbreakable" force
  • Wine and Advil. This is only going to cloud your judgment and reaction times. You need to be clear headed and fast on your feet.
  • A priest. While dousing your computer with Holy Water may seem like the only way to rid yourself of the "Commenting Entity", it is well known that electronics and water don't play well together.
  • Begging and pleading with your html to just parse and be done. Computers have no "sympathy programming" and I am pretty sure it is laughing at you anyways.
The only way I found to rid yourself of the IntenseDebate/Disqus commenting system. Is to nuke your whole html code that you have probably spent hours working with (or paid someone to do for you) and go back to a bare bones template with no edits.

Now that you have cleared everything out (and probably gotten really sick at your stomach for doing it) you will see that you still have all your content, but no design, widgets or anything that makes it yours. You will have to rebuild it at this point.

Congratulations you have slayed the mighty IntenseDebate and/or Disqus.

What was that you said? You don't have a comment link at all under your posts? There are a couple of easy fixes for this.
  • Go to your Settings and then Comments. Make sure everything is enabled to make your comments show up in this area.
  • You can also go to your post and hit edit. Once you are in edit mode, go to "post options" (that's in the little frame around your post at the bottom) and you will have an option to enable comments.
I wish you the best of luck and we have all learned something from this, haven't we??

Don't do that again.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Raw(e) - Red

Today I am linking up with Sailor & Co to participate in her Raw(e) Carnival. The rules are you must take a photograph and post it unedited in the category of the week.

Today's category is "Red"

Our Ordinary Times

Ordinary Times by Marie Bellet

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Craigslist - A Unique Buying Experience

Bitsy is finally at the point to where she needs a highchair and some other assorted baby need (momma want) items. You would think that since this my 3rd child in 4 years, I would have some of these things. Not so much.

Being the ever frugal homemaker, I did what any self respecting coupon clipper would do and checked out craigslist. I adore craigslist, but sometimes the ads, items and sellers make it an interesting experience to say the least.

My first highchair inquiry was with a gentleman of unknown origins (meaning can't spell and use basic English correctly)

Me: I read that you have a wooden high chair for sale on Craigslist. I would like to know the condition of this item.

Him: It is in well condition to sale. (Well condition? So...does this mean good? Cooked well done? It used to be sick?)

Me: Can you tell me a little more about this highchair?

Him: Wooden is the chair and it is high. (I am conjuring up images of a wooden chair getting high in a back alley at this point.)

*call terminated*

Next up is the Three Musketeers lady. "All for one and one for all"

Me: I read that you have a wooden highchair for sale and I would like to know it's condition.

Her: It's condition is good, but I also have a crib, mattress, hat rack and rebuilt 454 big block engine.

Me: OK, well I am only interested in the high chair.

Her: I am selling all the items for $800 cash.

Me: How much would you just sell the high chair for?

Her: I really need to sell all the items so they go as a group. Can you pay $725?

*call terminated*

Then we have Mr. Turn Anything Into Something Useful Guy

Me: I read that you have a large, sturdy 2 compartment white toy box for sale. Can you tell me of its condition?

Him: It's in very good condition and all the racks inside have been removed.

Me: It has racks inside?

Him: It did, but I removed them along with the vegetable crisper and ice maker.

You also get Mr. Creepy Come To My House So I Can Lock You In The Basement Guy

Me: I read that you have multiple baby items for sale, what is the condition of the high chair, exersaucer and toy box

Him: I can't explain it to you. I would prefer you come and look at them.

Me: Could you send me pictures of these items instead?

Him: I would prefer you come look at them in person. I carry them in a large van and can meet you tonight around 11pm behind the abandoned warehouse that is 50 miles outside of town.

*call terminated*

I finally have secured a high chair from a seemingly nice woman who didn't mind bickering just a little. I'm still sending my husband to pick it up. He is a lot bigger than me and harder to fit in the trunk beside the big block engine and Rolex copies.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Power Over Fear

With young children and sometimes some adults; fear is blinding and crippling. Often times the fear of something is so extreme that explaining what is feared is impossible. In parenting, I believe in giving my daughters the ability to not just confront their fear but to have power over it.

Buzz and Belly are terrified of bugs. Despite it being a bee, ant or butterfly, the fear is there and it is intense. Yesterday we were doing some cleaning and Buzz caught sight of a beetle. While I agree that beetles are one of the more unattractive of the bugs with their shell backs, beady eyes and creepy bug legs; I know that they are harmless. Buzz doesn't agree with the last assessment.

She began screaming hysterically. The Head Crayon thought it was best to just tell her to get over it. The tears and hysterics only increased. While The Head Crayon was correct to tell her to let her fear go because there was nothing to be afraid of; it didn't stop her fear or reaction to fear. Fathers are afflicted with the male syndrome of just stopping the issue at all costs. Mothers have the woman syndrome of analyzing, discussing, obsessing, exposing and discussing some more when faced with an issue.

There are two ways to conquer a fear. Facing it head on with knowledge or having power to control the thing that you fear. Since getting out the encyclopedia and researching insects with Buzz was out of the question, I chose to give her power.

I found an empty spray bottle and without her knowledge filled it with water. I then presented the bottle to her and proclaimed it to be "Bug Spray." Buzz was now armed with a power over what she feared. The screams and tears stopped promptly as she began squirting her bug spray in the general direction of where she saw the beetle. Although the fear remained in a small form, she was able to control it and her reaction to the fear. Instead of being reactive, she was being proactive.

In what ways do you help your child with fear?
What are some ways that you have conquered fear in yourself?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Friendship and Happiness Delivered

Ever had a day that you open the mailbox and jump/dance around? No, I am not talking about the times that there is a wasp or a spider in there, but when there is really cool stuff waiting for you.

Today I opened the mailbox and found 2 packages. The best one was from our friend Kate. I wish I had thought to take a picture of the packaging. It was so sweet with the best card inside! She made Bitsy a special blanket! How cool is she?!?

It's Bitsy's favorite color and soooo soft! It was approved right away by a cuddle and some nuzzling! She is now taking a nap with it, because she wouldn't let it go.

Bitsy tested and approved!

My favorite parts of the blanket are the fact that it says "I love Canada" all over it. We will always remember Kate's love that she put into the blanket. If that wasn't enough... look at this precious tag she sewed inside!

Kate, Your sewing was wonderful, but the thought behind it has made it a piece that will be treasured for many years. Thank you so much!

Next in the mailbox was a "Family Stone" necklace that I had won from Chocolate Silver Designs. I had been wanting some piece of jewelry that symbolized my three girls and winning one was icing on the cake! (Just in time for Mother's Day too....although, Honey...this does not excuse you from buying me a gift!)

It came in the cutest little box wrapped up in ribbon (once again, forgetting to take a picture of the packaging) with a nice card including some business cards I can give to my family and friends (cause I know they are going to want one of these!) It's the sweetest necklace ever and I adore that my girls' birth months are displayed in these pretty charms!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Five Question Friday - Vlog

Join in 5 Question Friday with Mama M at My Little Life

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Blissfully Unaware

Blissfully unaware.

That describes my elderly father-in-law with Alzheimer's perfectly. After my mother-in-law sent him at 7:30am to get her a sausage biscuit from Hardee's, he showed back up 8 hours later with the sausage biscuit in a sort of "Ta-Dah" moment.

He had no recollection of where he had been and was blissfully unaware that he had the whole family driving the city looking for him, the Police Department searching and a sausage biscuit spoiling on the seat beside him.

I believe we have finally convinced my mother-in-law that he does not need to be driving under any circumstances. Unbeknown to us, this is the 5th time this has happened in just this week. He generally found his way home in around 2 hours previously. This time it finally got serious in her mind. She did not want to tell the Police that he had Alzheimer's because she knew this might lead to them forcing him to relinquish his driver's license. I had said before that I believed she did not want it to come to this because it forced her to accept that she could no longer depend on him and would feel isolated by her age.

Ever since she made the decision to suspend plans of moving in with us permanently there has been increasing issues. In addition to his disappearances, she has had to be hospitalized on 4 occasions in the past month. We have yet to understand the nature of these hospitalizations because she will not share information with us. Whether or not this is because there is nothing wrong or because there is something wrong and she doesn't want us to "worry", we don't know. We only know that sooner or later they will have to accept that no matter how much they want their independence, their hands are being forced to make the choice of depending on someone else. While I understand that this is a incredibly hard issue for them to face, it IS something that they need to face before something more serious happens.

I am thankful that he was safe and in a way I am thankful that he was blissfully unaware. I believe that although Alzheimer's is a crippling and depressing disease for everyone involved, the actual person with Alzheimer's is most of the time blissfully unaware.

What are your feelings about people with Alzheimer's being "blissfully unaware"?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hey YOU!

If you look right over there in the sidebar...I'll will notice another community to join called "The Fencepost" It's different than my "Crayon Community" because there is actually people talking in there...ahem *bitter*....seriously though, it's different because it is a united effort among three different bloggers (Me Me Me...I am one of the three!) to create a better, more interactive and friendlier community.

The other two bloggers are Mama M and Kate. You'll remember Mama M from the Five Question Friday thing that I do on....yup, Friday. Kate is the internet bully...I mean great lady who hosts Beth Moore Bible Studies and has perfect hair *jealous*

So, hop on over there and join up *drink the koolaid* and start participating in the forum *drink it quickly* getting to know other bloggers *ignore the dizziness and keep drinking* and maybe even win some cool prizes! *Rinse your cup out now...I am not your maid*

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Package

Somewhere a gagillion posts ago, I talked about how we are teaching the girls to save money. They have a little piggy bank and when it gets full, they are allowed to buy a toy of their choosing. They get their money by the way of *gasp* manual labor, so each cent is treasured and respected and it seems as though the money is spent wisely.

Several days ago, Buzz placed her first online order. She had been wanting a V-Tech Laptop and finally earned enough money to get one. We marked the day of delivery and she would check the calendar every day to see how much closer it was.

Today was the day! (Insert the Hallelujah chorus here)

She waited by the front window like a dog waiting for its master to come home. Every time she heard a car approaching, she would get excited (thankfully she didn't piddle on the floor) and jump around, screaming that the mailman was coming. For 5 whole hours she held vigil.

The UPS van finally pulled up in all of its brown glory. (Another Hallelujah chorus here)

I opened the door and we walked out the greet him. He was just pulling the box out when I called out a "Hey there" and explained that this was her first delivery of something that was hers. He caught on real quick and made a huge production of telling her, "Oh look what I have here. It's a box just for you! I saw your name on it and couldn't wait to bring it to you!"

She beamed brighter than a new penny.

He found some scrap paper in his pocket and had her "sign" for her package. She (with a little prompting) shook his hand and thanked him for bringing it.

He beamed brighter than a new penny.

She carefully carried her package inside and announced to Daddy and Belly, that her new 'puter was finally here (Belly had one in there too....couldn't leave her out!) For the past 5 hours she has carried that thing around like The Holy Grail. She almost wouldn't take a bath for fear it would be out of her sight. As I type, she is sleeping with one arm around it.

Besides it being just a really neato awesome's very educational. Within minutes she was working on her spelling, math and problem solving. It's a little louder than I would prefer, but with the way she cheers herself on...I guess it needs to be pretty loud.

2 V-Tech LapTops - $45
2 day express delivery so we knew when it would arrive - $10
Seeing the pride on Buzz's face as she received the package she had worked so hard for - Priceless

Post It Note Tuesday

Want to play along? Click the button at the top and link up!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Welcome To Crazy Town, I Am The Mayor

This past weekend was crazier than a Chihuahua peeing on a Bulldog's house. It started on Friday when my sister dropped off her three kids to spend the night. I adore my nieces and nephew, but combining them with my kids is like those baking soda volcanoes you make in Science class. It's loud, explosive and bound to be a little messy.

Around this time we also got a call to show the house three times that day (I may or may not have good news about this ;) )with the first showing being within 30 minutes of the call. I have discovered that having older children is very handy when you have a bunch of things to get done at once. I got out my whip and lion tamer's chair and put them to work getting the baby ready, leash on the dog and clean some glass. I was trying to get all the kids out of the house, the husband and the dog; when the first viewers were on the front porch.
Since we had to be gone from the house for about 4 hours, we decided to drive up to The Dream House and look around the property. It's about a hour trip and let me tell you...6 kids, 2 adults and a dog in a minivan is not conducive to The Sobriety Wagon. Once we got there and everyone had their legs stretched and wiggles out; we got back in the van and looked for somewhere to eat. I preferred somewhere with a drive through trough and an interior car wash...but we settled for some burgers and fries. Holy Cow...preteens can put away some food! As we were starting to pull out of the driveway, our dog flipped out.

He jumped around the crowded van and ended up getting his leash caught around Buzz. It took picking him up and almost choking him to death to get the two unraveled. Buzz got some nice bruises from the incident (the kind that you don't want to take her out in public because of what someone might think) The Head Crayon got a fingernail ripped off and there was some biting going on. I believe all 6 children were screaming at some point, dog barking, husband shouting orders and me...I was making some kind of weird instinct whimpering. There ended up being blood everywhere and one of my nieces took to being the Florence Nightingale of the group and passing out bandages to the wounded soldiers.

We got home and everyone had to take their baths. I stood outside the bathroom door doing something that I swore I would never do.
You got 5 minutes, soap it off and get out!
Bedtime was an interesting affair as everyone wanted to sleep (insert weird typing sorry!)
on the special bounce bounce bed (blow up mattress) Once it was decided who would sleep where, the whole house got really quiet and I finally took a breath.

I am Mayor of Crazy Town.

BTW...I am having a giveaway.
Does this strike your fancy? Click the giveaway tab

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Ultimate After Party Party

I had so much fun at the Ultimate Blog Party 2010! I attended the live event in which our questions were answered about blogging and then I hit the Twitter event (which I am not really sure what happened as it all just blurred by me and made my eyes cross)

Just when the bean dip is starting to crust in the crock pot and the balloons are losing their air, we make it to the After Party. That's right, it's a party after the party. Do these gals at 5 Minutes For Mom know how to party or what?

I found a metric ton of new blogs to read and my blogroll is feeling like a greedy tick on a hound dog. There are so many fantastic blogs out there, but three that are new to me and are just wonderful are:

Five Amazing Minutes

I Don't Believe In Grammar

Life Without Pink

I enjoyed everyone's visit to my blog and am still working through all the comments. I hope you stick around cause I have a great giveaway coming this next week, plus a review with some discounts for you (haha...that rhymed!)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Five Question Friday

Visit Mama M at My Little Life to join in on Five Question Friday

Patience Patient

I really thought after I had The Scribblers that God didn't need to teach me any more lessons in patience. Just the fact that I am not popping Excedrin Migraine in a Pez dispenser, or beatinf my forehead into all the door frames should prove that I have really learned this patience deal.

I was wrong. I still need lessons. I am still a Patience Patient.

This house selling/buying business has pushed my patience level to the red zone of the pressure valves.

The theory from the reports coming out of the news and from Realtors is that once this April 30th deadline for the Homebuyers Tax Credit expires, that if a house hasn't sold it very well might not. Then there are the grumbles of interest rates's just not a good market to sell.

So I have been praying. I know we are supposed pray "Thy will be done" but OMGoodness that is hard when you really want something. Not only that, but how do you pray with true honesty on something like this?

Dear God,

I really would like my house to sell and buy that perfect house that I found...but thy will be done and I will glorify you no matter the outcome. Well honestly, I am going to be a little ticked off...Ok Ok...a lot ticked off. But then, you already know that. You see God, I am not trying to be selfish. It's not just for me that I want this house. I want the house for the kids so they can live in the country, go to smaller schools and have room to run. I want the nice kitchen...I didn't fool you did I? But it's for the kids too. I know I am supposed to pray for your will to be done...but can't this be your will? Can't you work with me here and get my house to sell? I know you already have my life planned out for me, you know every hair on my the way...what's up with the gray ones? What did I do to get those? Alright, off subject...back to your plan for my life. Can this house buying/selling thing go under free will? Can we go that route? I know better than to make deals with you...let's be honest...that deal I made about passing my SATs and tithing 40% for 10 years didn't work out to well, I am sorry about that. So I am not going to make any deals. You know my heart, I really want this house and I want mine to sell. This may not be your will and you may have something better for my life. So, if you don't have this house thing in my life plan, can you at least let me know somehow that there is something better so it doesn't sting quite so bad. Did I mention that I am going to be mad for a while...I hope you are OK with that, because I am human and selfish. OK so we are good now? Right? Amen.

I just don't know a better way to pray about these types of things to someone who is omnipotent and knows my heart. It does me no good to lie and say I understand; He knows better. So I am trying to just see Him as The Healer and me The Patience Patient.

How do you pray in a situation where you want His will to work for you?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Real Moms Of Genius

(In the spirit of "Real Men Of Genius" by Budweiser)

Today we salute you Super Craft Making Mom.
(Super Craft Making Mom)
The days are filled with glue, glitter, foam, clay, paint and pompoms to keep your children busy.
(Mom...the baby has clay up her nose)
You work diligently trying to come up with crafts that use up that last 3 inches of aluminum foil and 6 dried out lima beans.
(If it doesn't go on your craft throw in back in the pot for dinner)
You somehow find a way to make even a simple paper clip cute
(wonder if you can sell it on Etsy)
We lift our glue bottles to you Super Craft Making Mom
You have shown your children that a little glitter and tape can change the world.
(Quit huffing the glue tired mommy)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Guest Blogging

Today I am guest blogging over at Lessons Learned. Come check me out over there to find out the lessons that I learned in blogging.


Are you still there?

First, did you notice my new blog design (No? Better have your eyes checked) I got it from Lindsay over at Blogaholics Design (button is in my sidebar) I had been contemplating a new look, but held off because I didn't think anyone could please me. I did NOT want a cookie cutter, scrapbook on caffeine look. After sending Lindsay a brief email, she had this design ready in no time. It was like she was in my head...scary actually. She made my design match my personality and my blog content AND...AND!!!...she did it for a reasonable price. Seriously...REASONABLE (Like, you feed a family of four for less than what she charges!) There were a couple of little things that I wanted to change and she made the changes swiftly and painless. Lindsay is just the nicest gal you could ever want to meet and a complete pleasure to work with. I highly recommend her! Go check her out now! I know she won't disappoint you.

Before you go, I just have to show you some new pictures of The Scribblers.

Buzz and her Easter bunny (and the little sisters' bunnies too)

Buzz and her best friend in the world

Momma and Buzz goofing around

Great GooglyMoogly...I got a pic of the 2 year old smiling! Score!

The only one who understand her 2 year old angst

My temperamental angel. smallest Scribbler

I love when she looks so serious

Cuddling the only one who can't run away from me.

Thanks for stopping by...Toodles!

An Impact Is Felt

After the NY Times published THIS article that caused "mommy bloggers" around the world to unite against the attack of the importance of their voice; someone has finally gotten it right.

Diane K. Danielson of Forbes writes and article titled "What business can learn from 'mommy bloggers"

She praises "Mommy Bloggers" for:

They have a collective voice and are not afraid to use it to tackle corporations. Take the Motrin Moms, for example, who got McNeil Consumer Healthcare to stop running an ad that they found condescending. Imagine if that clout was used to demand they promote more women into higher management? Or to elect more female politicians?

They've built a powerful network. The Mommy Bloggers seem to be more about supporting one another than competing with one another.

They've convinced corporate America that women are an important voice when it comes to kids and products aimed at their demographic. Now that we have women giving opinions from the outside, perhaps they can help us get more women on the inside.

They've developed their own flexible employment. Yes, these women are building their brands around the fact that they are parents. But at the same time they are selling ad space and products via blogs and affiliate programs.

They are learning marketable skills. Sure they are not making the huge salaries, but they are developing skills beyond what traditional unemployment outplacement services are offering. Technology, blogging, Web design, video editing, marketing, communications, PR, advertising, writing, journalism ... Yep. They're doing it all and learning it all.

They are making the world a better place. The transparency they are bringing to child care and product safety and the rapid dissemination of information is a huge benefit for all. They are not making decisions based on shareholder value but on their own personal values.

Thank you Diane for recognizing this hard working group of women!

Missing Dad - Dealing With Alzheimer's

Nervously pacing the floor.
Watching the clock and adding up the hours, minutes and seconds.
Calling family members to aid in a search.
Wondering when do we ask the police to search.
Driving the streets, looking in parking lots.
Fearing the worse.
Praying for the best.

Sounds like the typical scene for when a child runs away, right?

What do you do when it is not your child, but your elderly parent with Alzheimers?

You do the same things, but now it is taken to a whole new playing field. Unlike with a child roaming the streets; the elderly parent sometimes still has a driver's license and no one notices an elderly person unless they are streaking naked and babbling incoherently.

Last night, my mother-in-law sent my father-in-law to pick up some chicken for dinner at a store that is only about 10 miles away that he has driven to countless times. After about 2 hours, she called me to let me know that he hadn't returned. (I have strong feeling concerning how long it took her to call me, but that's not really important) My husband immediately took off to go look for his dad, even making the comment "Well, when I ran away from home or was late; he looked for me."

He drove the streets near his parents house and finally found father in law's car still sitting in the driveway (at this point their house has sold and they are there supervising the packing and moving. Of course, if you can't supervise yourself, then yeah.) He finally found out that his father had indeed left to go get the chicken, but then became confused as to where he was, drove around for several hours and finally found home.

My mother in law tried to cover for the "forgetfulness" by saying he had thought the chicken place was on another main street, so it was no big deal. I am not sure, but I feel as though her not acknowledging him having Alzheimer's is a way of not accepting her own demons she is facing in her later years. He could remember that he was lost, but still seemed a little "disoriented about where this chicken place actually was located. You might think this is no big deal; as people forget locations all the time, but we are talking about a small town that they have lived in for over thirty years. When she tried to prove his memory was still good by asking him the locations of other places, he passed with flying colors. She seemed to think that this proved it was an honest mistake and not his Alzheimer's getting worse to the point he needs to have his license taken away. Having done some research into Alzheimer's, I understand that his ability to recall these places is typical. It is accessing his long term memory which will remain intact for years while still having Alzheimer's. It is the short term memory that he was relying on to drive to the location. He was in "the moment" and that is when the brain has a "short circuit glitch" He had been doing fairly well on his medication and seemed to be improving, but Alzheimer's is a progressive disease and each stage is a little more severe, yet stays subtle in its change until it is too late.

I think there comes a point when even the spouse of the one with Alzheimer's tries to dismiss it. I feel it is because when they get to the point of having to acknowledge it as becoming more severe, they have to look at their own years that they have left. They want everything to be normal and continue to live like independent adults. No longer can the spouse even be trusted, as they will ask the one with Alzheimer's to do things that they are no longer capable of; putting themselves and others in danger. Unlike someone with a physical disability, the one with Alzheimer's can't regulate their own behavior of what they are no longer capable of.

If you have or are currently around someone with Alzheimer's, what were some of the behaviors that started when you realized that they were now becoming a danger to themselves and others?

(By the way, The Head Crayon's vlog is still waiting to be done. He got called in to work Saturday and Sunday, but promises to get it done as soon as he has had some sleep.)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Having The Breast Intentions

*This is the last day to ask my husband any questions you want. He will be doing his Vlog tonight. Visit the community to see that thread and ask your questions.

Alright ladies, we are going to tackle a little bit of a tougher subject today. Tougher than removing that yellow newborn poop from a white onsie. We are going to talk about "having the breast intentions"; meaning we are going to talk about breast feeding and formula feeding.

Oh, I just saw all those hackles rise and the defense mechanisms go up.

I am treading on thin ice on this subject, because there is nothing that can get a group of mothers stirred into a frenzy like how they feed their baby. (I am assuming that we can play nice here though, so while you may disagree with the content or the comments, let's do it in a manner that is respectful and'kay?)

Breast is best.

We all know that and nobody knows it more than the formula feeding mother. Just look at the first thing written on the back of a formula states "breast milk is best". Seriously, it does. The formula feeding mother doesn't need to be told that though. It comes with animal instinct, which we all have. We understand that our bodies are created to produce the milk our infant needs. Sometimes, that old body or our lives just won't cooperate though; despite our "breast intentions".

When my first two daughters were born, I was determined to be a breastfeeding mother. I had a supply problem that couldn't be fixed with drinking more water, taking vitamins or prayer. I had to resort to taking Reglan to build a supply that would provide my newborn with enough breast milk. Once my daughters were about 3 months old, I could no longer keep up. I had to start supplementing with formula. When my last daughter was born, the milk gods has smiled on me. I now produced enough milk to not only feed my newborn, but probably about 3 others. I nursed and pumped and stored what I could. It didn't last long though. My milk didn't dry up like with the other two; the schedule that I had with 2 active older children, my in-laws living with me, the house being on the market, etc. stopped the breast feeding. No matter how many times I would lock myself in the room to nurse/pump; I was always interrupted by some kind of emergency.

I began to build up a lot of stress. Massive stress (have you seen my hair...I am going gray. OK that's hereditary, but I like blaming the kids.) The stress came from not being able to nurse my infant. Worrying about the "bonding", the "nutrition" and what exclusive breastfeeding mothers might say if they saw me in the store purchasing a can of formula. I doubt there would have been a firing squad, but one can never be too careful.

I believe this is where the defensive nature of moms comes in. Breast feeding and formula feeding moms are all the same. All they want is to provide the needed nutrition for the baby and have the bonding time. Our animal instinct feels that the formula feeding isn't quite right, but we feel forced to do whatever we have to for our babies to thrive. When we feel cornered by the breast feeding opinions, we strike. We feel the need to over explain our choice and defend it with a ferocity.

This is where moms need to learn to unite. Our "breast intentions" are all the same, but what we are capable of is often different. Formula feeding moms can still bond with their infant without the breast. Providing nutrition, having "skin time", eye contact time...we can do those things just the same. The uniting factor is we all love our babies and want the very best for them. We will do whatever is necessary to provide for them to the best of our abilities. Whether that is fighting a store for the right to breast feed in public, buying donated breast milk or buying a can of formula. Moms, let's unite in our common cause and not tear down one's personal choice. Chances wasn't their personal choice, but what they were left to deal with because of their physical ability or living situation. Let's embrace each others as mothers who love our babies.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

5 Question Friday, Ultimate Blog Party and Friday Follow *Whew*

Much like the time that my 2 year old jammed a bunch of toys down the toilet...this Friday is FULL!!!! We have 5 question Friday with Mama M, the Ultimate Blog Party 2010 with 5 Minutes For Mom and Friday Follow.

First a little introduction for those who are new to Coloring Outside The Lines. I am The Crayon Wrangler. I am *mostly* a SAHM to 3 girls (4yo, 2yo and 3mo)...that's a whole lot of pink, lace, squeals and thrills. I have been married to The Head Crayon for 10 years and have co-owned a commercial cleaning business with him for 13 years (Yup. I married the boss. Easiest way to get a raise and some time off)
This blog was created 4 years ago at the birth of my first daughter and has slowly been growing up right along with all of us. I mostly blog about being a mom, throw in some humor, some religion, some work stuff, some family dynamic stuff....well, I guess you can say I blog about it all.
My quest in parenting is to teach my children to "color outside the lines", meaning to define who they are through their own creativity and to not accept the rules of what they have to be because of their gender, age or any other demographic that might label them. I am also on a quest to conquer the dust bunny king, eat a hot meal once a week and wrangle all the straggling crayons in the house.
You can find me on Twitter as well. I am the mom that twitters about how her kid is licking the fresh produce at the store so don't buy it, providing insight on how many oatmeal cookies are too many since they contain high amounts of fiber and losing my car in the parking lot.
I hope to see you around, just don't color on the'kay?

There is also PRIZES to win with this party (not the little baggy of candy and bubbles either) If I were to win, this is what I would have in my grab bag...

**GRAND PRIZE at the Ultimate Blog Party 2010 is a Toshiba Satellite L505D-ES5025**

3 – Win a $150 shopping spree at A Rocking Horse To Love.
Provided by: A Rocking Horse To Love
Follow here: 5 Minutes for Mom or Visit Our Fan Page: A Rocking Horse To Love

6 – Hand Stamped Personalized Necklace valued at $48 The Double Stacked A Lot Of Love.
Provided by: Kristen’s Custom Creations
Follow here: KLA Custom or Visit Our Fan Page: Kristen’s Custom Creations

19 – Prize package of preschool toys! KOTA & PALS HATCHLINGS – (PLAYSKOOL/Ages 3 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $14.99), TONKA CHUCK & FRIENDS CHUCK MY TALKING TRUCK (TONKA/Ages 3 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $34.99), PLAY-DOH Coco-Nutty Monkey (Ages 3 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $12.99), PLAY-DOH MINI BUCKET (Ages 3 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $4.99)
Provided by: HasbroFollow here: playskool or Visit Our Fan Page: Playskool

76 – One Sentimental Silver personalized “Silver Sweethearts” necklace. Necklace will be customized with two names or words to be selected by the winner.
Provided by: Sentimental Silver Jewelry
Visit Our Fan Page: Sentimental Silver

USC 10 – One winner will receive a beautiful handmade glass pendant with their choice of chain. The piece is made by me with care using glass and paper.
The design I will give away is called “Lilac“.Provided by: The Glass Polkadot Co.
Visit Our Fan Page: The Glass Polkadot Co.

97 – One winner will receive a beautiful handmade wire and colorful bead necklace from the mission-driven company, Ana Patricia!
Provided by: Erin @ Home with the Boys
Follow here: homewiththeboys

SEE...I told you there were some great prizes and those don't even scratch the surface of the prize list!!!

Now for 5 Question Friday with Mama M at My Little Life. Wanna link up to your own 5 questions? Do it HERE.

I know...dry your tears...there will be no Vlog this time. I wish I had a creative reason such as my webcam won't work, I can't upload my video; but the truth is I am too lazy to get it hooked up today and find a shirt without baby spit up on it.

So you'll just have to deal with the written word and imagine my accent saying it.

Here are the questions...

1. Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?

I would want "Me" to play me. I have been working on the part for 33 years now and I got all the lines, accent and body gestures down to a science. Nobody could pull off "Me" like me.

2. Did you ever go to summer camp?

Yes I did. I have some PTSD from it too. I was the kid that they sent on a "Snipe Hunt", put shaving cream in my hand, froze my underwear, etc. You know...come to think about it...I just can't talk about this anymore. I am getting sweaty and shaky just thinking about it.

3. What sends you running and screaming in the other direction?

Crickets. Of all the things in this world to be afraid of...snakes, spiders, boogey man, high calorie foods...I got plagued with a fear of crickets. The mind is a strange thing indeed. The thing about crickets is they are so durn unpredictable when they jump. One minute they are on the floor, the next minute they are in your hair.

4. What is something you do that drives your spouse nuts?

According to him: Talk. According to me: Nothing. I am perfect. (BTW, if you want to ask him this question yourself there is a thread in my community linked in my sidebar where he is answering YOUR questions on Saturday)

5. What is currently your favorite song?

Plum - Safe In My Arms. I sing it to Bitsy every night and I get the sweetest sleepy smiles. Well, except for when I hit the high notes. We don't really need to discuss the baby wailing and the dog howling though.

How To Sell A House - Lessons Learned

We have had our house on the market since October of 2009. Here are some things that I have learned.

  1. 12 years after the initial construction, it is a good idea to spruce up the house and update major features for selling.
  2. Carpet, paint and new floor tiling is a wonderful selling point.
  3. Before the new carpet, paint and floor tiling has been installed; you average around 5 showings every week.
  4. Once the new carpet, paint and floor tiling has been installed, not one person will look at your house for the next 3 months.
  5. 2 children and one dog can ruin the whole look of new carpet in about 3 weeks.
  6. The new paint will hold up about one week past the carpet.
  7. Although you had initially packed up most of your knick-knacks; they will slowly find their way back into the house after it hasn't shown for 3 months.
  8. Once the carpet looks worn, there are scuffs on the paint and the house generally looks like it threw up; you will get 5-6 showings a week again.
  9. Around this time the season of Spring has shown up.
  10. Before you put your house on the market, you could mow the grass every 10 days to keep it looking nice.
  11. A Realtor sign contains some kind of fertilizer. Once planted in your yard, the grass needs to be mowed every 2 days to keep it from being as tall as the trees.
  12. On the day the laundry is to be finished and there are 6 baskets of dirty clothes sitting around, you will get a call that the house is showing in an hour.
  13. You can stuff 3 loads of laundry in the dryer and the other 3 loads will fit in the car.
  14. A loaf of fresh bread takes around an hour to cook.
  15. While you are kneading the raw dough, you will get a call that the house is showing in an hour.
  16. Go ahead and finish your bread, it seems that Realtors and potential home buyers enjoy having fresh bread while touring your house.
  17. Have an exit plan similar to that of a fire escape and drill the children every day.
  18. You will get a call that the house is showing in one hour, when the kids are muddy, need a nap, have Legos strewn across the floor or are in a uncooperative mood.
  19. Those three laundry baskets will come in handy that you put in the car. Throw a child, toys and dog in one and carry it to the car too.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

From Conception to Birth - A Blog Post Is Born

7:00am - Begin feeding the children and start to brainstorm about the day's blog post.

8:00am - Wipe down children and consider writing about the healthy benefits of cereal for breakfast.

8:20am - Realize you have been reading the nutritional information on the back of the cereal box for the past 20 minutes.

8:30am - Clean cereal off the floor and consider writing a post about how many times you have to clean a house in a day when young children are present.

8:40am - The thought that you will either appear to be a whiner, inefficient house cleaner or boring squashes the idea of a cleaning post.

9:00am - Sit down to check email, community forums and Twitter trending topics for a possible blog post.

9:30am - You have now been playing Farmville for 30 minutes.

10:00am - You have now been reading all the entries on Twitter marked #iwishiknew and laughing at the typos other people do.

10:30am - You begin a post about funny typos and quickly delete it before your readers start pointing out all your errors.

11:00am - Now that the children are done with the coloring, playdough and alphabet work, you begin lunch.

11:30am - After preparing pb&j, grilled cheese, fruit and more cereal. You consider writing a post on picky children and nutrition.

11:35am - You skip that idea because you would hate to admit you just fed your child a pudding, gummy fruits and string cheese for lunch.

12:00pm - Put down children for nap. Check out community forums for a topic idea.

1:30pm - You have now been in a debate about hummus, skinny jeans and the latest episode of Dancing With The Stars for an hour and a half.

1:45 - Children up from a nap, light house keeping and dinner preparation.

*The times not represented here are a blur of laughs, tears, food, baths, diapers, potty training, etc.*

9:00pm - Find a blog hop that only requires the use of a picture for a blog post.

10:00pm - Just spent the last hour looking at baby pictures and crying. Consider chocolate chip cookie dough.

10:15pm - Decide on a picture and try to get it to load. Shake fist at Blogger's uploading system.

10:30pm - Post done.

1:00am - Wake up and think of the best blog post ever. Chuckle to yourself over the popularity of this topic and imagine yourself accepting the Bloggy Grammy.

7:00am - Wake up and can't remember what on earth you were wanting to write about...go look for another picture blog hop.

(By the way...I couldn't think of a blog post today because I have oatmeal brain.)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

I have mentioned it before, but did you know about the FREE community that you can join which lets you participate in discussions, see new blog posts, tweets and so much more?


I am talking about it again, because The BlogFrog has been working their tadpole tails off and have grown their communities into full grown hoppin' frogs! With new options allowing for more customization, faster downloads and the ability to make your avatar look thinner (so I have heard!)

There are a ton of communities to choose from and you can join one, all or even make one of your own!

I have had a community with BlogFrog (right over there in my sidebar...join it if you haven't and be my neighbor) for many moons and have been blown away by their customer service! Not saying that I have had a lot of problems, but each time I approach them with an issue; not only is resolved quickly but they actually work with you to make your community better for your members.

So here is what I want from YOU. Join up with the BlogFrog and visit some communities (err...mine!) see what discussions are taking place, join in, start one of your own or even start your own community. This is a great group to work with for social networking!

You can check out the communities at The BlogFrog or join mine at The Crayon Box. I would truly love to see you there and help me make my community one hoppin' place to be.

Post It Note Tuesday

Click on the first post-it to join in on some Post-It fun! Create your own post-its and submit your link.
(Should have made this a Post It...D'Oh) Remember to visit my community in the sidebar to ask The Head Crayon (the husband) any question you want for him to answer on his first Vlog.


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