Monday, August 31, 2009

Pudding for Mindless Monday

Here are pictures of Makayla and Blaine enjoying their pudding! Children can always find pleasure in the simplest things! :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Two Year Old Tantrums

My son is only 18 months, but he is already going through the terrible two's. If he does not get what he wants he throws an AWFUL fit. You moms know all about it. The head goes back and the kicking and screaming begin. My son will even through himself on the floor! My husband and I often carry him out of places like we are caring a sack of potatoes under our arm, because it is the only way to control him so he doesn't hurt himself. I try not to care what others think, but you should see some of the looks we get when we do this! If we are at home we simply place him in the middle of the floor where he cannot hurt himself and let him finish his tantrum.

I am writing this post to see if any of you have any ideas on dealing with tantrum. My daughters NEVER through fits like this and she was never so violent with her tantrums, for example biting, hitting and scratching. We have thought about time out, but I am not convinced he will know what the time out is for yet. Any help would be appreciated.

Hope you all have a good weekend! Talk with you on Monday!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Walt Disney World

This week's Travelin’ Thursday will tackle the big challenge of taking kids to Walt Disney World. We made this trip last December right after Christmas and I spent about 2 months preparing. At the end I'll provide links of a few pages I found helpful.

Let's first talk about packing. I found this on another site, but it was a God sent during our trip. I put each of my children’s clothes into a Ziploc baggie. I labeled each baggie with the date and the child’s name. It was perfect! I just pulled out the baggies for the next day each night when we were so exhausted we couldn't even think and we were ready to go. In addition we had our son with us who was 9 months old. The baggie clothes helped because we were able to through in backup clothes into the backpack easily. Each baggie included a complete set of clothing, bib, outfit, underwear, etc.

Our second "ingenious" idea had to do with food for our son. At the time he was on cereal mixed with formula. We bought the Take and Toss bowls with lids from Wal-Mart. Then we put in the premeasured amount of dry cereal and formula into each bowl. You can find water anywhere, so we would just mix to the consistency that was good for our son when he was ready to eat. It worked out GREAT and made feeding our son so much easier!

Now let’s look at tackling the parks. I first went to the Disney website and figured out which parks had extended hours on which days. We were bound by time and could only spend one day at each park, so I wanted to maximize the time we had at each park. Once I determined which park we were going to on which day, I found the specifics on the park.

I found maps of each park, and researched the Fast Pass, standard wait times, and general flow of the rides in the park. Here is a link that talks about the Fast Pass

I put all of this into an Excel spreadsheet with several tabs. Each park had three tabs. One tab had the park map, the next tab had the ride order I thought we should use while at the park, and the final tab a list of places to eat, what they served and rough pricing. I would also note show times and try to work that into the schedule.

I just realized this is a HUGE topic. For the next four Thursday's I will focus in on each park and give my top picks for rides, how to navigate them, and specific links of sites that talk about each park! To finish off here are a few pieces of advice.

1. I would recommend 2 days or more for each park. It is tough to get it all in one day.
2. Get the whole family involved in planning. Figure out what each person wants to do and make sure you make that a priority. There is nothing worse than going and missing out on the one thing someone wanted to do.
3. Even if your child is 5 or 6 years old, be prepared to either bring or rent a stroller. Our daughter was nearly 6 and walking and walking was just too much for her. Plus it gave her a place to take a nap to rejuvenate.
4. Fast Passes are a BLESSING! For those rides where the wait times are crazy, get a Fast Pass. Also if the wait time is not too long right now, but you know you want to ride twice. Leave someone line for the ride and have another person go and get Fast Passes for the rest of the group for a later ride.
5. You can only get another Fast Pass every 15 - 30 minutes, so keep that in mind while you are navigating the park.
6. Use child swap to ride the “grow-up” rides. Don’t miss out on your favorite ride!

Here are a few links:

Hope you enjoyed this blog! Got questions...just ask I'd be happy to answer! Have a GREAT Thursday!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Why Adopt an Your Next Pet?

This addition of Why Wednesday focuses on the issue of adopting a pet versus buying one from a breeder or pet store. This is a topic very near and dear to my heart as I am very involved with a local sanctuary and see the hundreds of animals neglected and abused. Here is my list of reasons to adopt an animal:

1. Mixed breed animals tend be in better health and have less health issues than pure breeds. This can result in fewer vet bills and a longer time to enjoy your pet.
2. There are TONS and TONS of animals surrendered to shelters and sanctuaries every year. These animals are loving pets that have been left behind by either a required move or an inability to care for the animal.
3. When you adopt you are saving a life! Most shelters are forced to euthanize animals when their space becomes limited.
4. You can choose what age and often the level of training. When you adopt you can pick a puppy or a 5 year old dog who may be leash trained. The options are often endless.
5. Adopting is a BIG cost saving option. Most pure bred puppies cost in the hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Adoption fees are often between $50 and $200 and INCLUDE spay or neuter.

I know some of you are set on having a specific breed, and I can understand that. Please know that most breeds have a rescue of some sort. For example, there is a local rescue in Colorado for Saint Bernards. Check on the internet and see if the breed you want has a rescue and consider going there. Your local shelter may also have that particular breed.

On a personal note my in-laws bought an Old English Sheepdog from a breeder in Canada. Not long after they brought him home, he had to have hip surgery. He wasn’t even 2 years old! The vet told my in-laws that the problem with his hips was most likely due to inbreeding practices. This is a very unfortunate circumstance and an indicator that some people are just in the breeding business for money and have no regard for the animals themselves.

Below is a picture of all of my adopted critters!

For any of you considering a new dog or cat or rabbit or bird or any pet, please make adoption your first option! And as Bob Barker would say, "Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered." Hope you are all are having a GREAT week!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mindless Monday (Makayla and Clyde)

I thought I'd start mindless Monday and just provide some of my favorite pics of my kids. Here is one I just love of my daughter Makayla and one of our dogs Clyde. This picture was recently used in a magazine featuring the healing powers of companion animals. Enjoy! Hope you had a good Monday!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Dealing with the Argumentative 6 year old

I am sure that I am not the only one with a 6 year old that thinks every subject is a debate. My daughter Makayla is constantly arguing with my husband and me over even the simplest things. We tell her five more bites at dinner and she says how about three. We tell her to go get her shoes on and she begins a dissertation on why she can't and how long it will take her. We couldn't take it anymore and have instituted the following rule. When she argues with us, she pays us $1.

Please note that Makayla gets money from her grandparents and other family members all the time. At the beginning of this week she had over $60. I say had because since then she has lost $19. I thought we were making progress until she had a total melt down at the restaurant last night and lost $8 at dinner alone along with TV for a week.

She is pretty stubborn, but I think last night let her know we were serious. I'm sure when she has to take the money out of her piggy bank it will hit home. That is what helped the last time. I hope it does because I would like a peaceful weekend.

If any of you reading this have the same issue, I'd love to hear your solutions!

God bless all of you and have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Greenville, TN for Travelin' Thursday

So this time I actually got the post put on Thursday. Yea for me! I'd like to feature the small town of Greenville, TN this week for my Travelin' Thursday. You may ask why and so I'll tell you. This is the home of the national historic site for our 17th president Andrew Johnson. As I was driving back to Nashville at the end of my last business trip I stopped to see this WONDERFUL historic site.

There are four key locations to visit at this site. The first is the house that Andrew and he wife lived in before he became president. You are able to walk through the ground level and see in the basement. Across the street is a modern building with a short video about Andrew Johnson's life, a small museum with many artifacts and discussion about his presidency. However, the BEST and most interesting item in this building is the actual shop that Andrew Johnson ran his tailor business. It is absolutely fascinating to see this building just as it was over 100 years ago.

The next stop is Andrew Johnson's home that he lived in before and after his presidency. You are able to tour the ENTIRE house. It is a guided tour and the guides know just about everything there is to know about the Johnson family. The most interesting part about this portion of the tour is that the home was in the Johnson family until around 1950. At the time in which it became a national park the direct descendant of Johnson gave the tours herself!

The final stop at the national park is the national cemetery. It is best to drive to this location and there is some parking near the top. The cemetery is beautiful and Johnson's monument is impressive. I spent several minutes there in complete silence, enjoying the view and the fresh air.

To top it all off, IT IS FREE!!! Even the guided tour! If you are in Tennessee I highly recommend you make time for this stop in your plans. It will take about 2-3 hours to complete the visit. This timeframe also depends on when you get there and when the guided tours are scheduled for. You may need to wait around until the tour starts. For more information visit the website:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Starting First Grade

My daughter starts first grade tomorrow and I can't believe how much prepartation goes into getting ready for school. The class list alone it CRAZY! There is so much stuff and it all has to be labeled. I think I spent over an hours with a fine point Sharpie labeling away. But now it is all done. The backpack is full, the school clothes and shoes have been purchased, and we have started to implement the school time bed routine. My baby is ready to go to first grade, but what about me, am I ready for her to go to first grade. I don't know about you other moms, but kindergarten was tough for me, even though I am a working mom. I have to admit that I cried the first day of school seeing my little girl with her backpack in hand and climbing on the bus. I thought that this year would be easier, but as the day nears I might have been wrong. There is something about first grade that has me just as emotional as last year. Maybe it is that this is where the real learning begins. The classroom will not be focused on socialization, but rather learning math, science, reading, spelling, and all the other subjects.

I guess what it really boils down to is in my mind she is only about 2 years old and the time has just gone to fast. I'm sure you all remember your parents complaining about time flying and as a kid you thought could it go any slower. It seems you were always anxious for the next thing and it just couldn't come soon enough. Whether it was Christmas, or vacation, or our birthdays we just wanted it to get here and the time seemed to crawl. I didn't notice a shift in how quickly time passes until I had my daughter. From that moment forward it just seems to be moving 10,000 times the speed of light. And so in the end I think this is my real struggle. Not necessarily with school, but with the fact that my little girl is growing up too fast and I feel like I have missed out on so much, even though I've made every effort to move my schedule around her important events (track day, concerts, ect.)

For all of you moms, I'm sure you an relate. I sympathize with you and I will make sure to cherish today and to take in all the special moments with my children while trying not to let financial concerns and other "grown up problems" interfere in this joy. God bless all of you!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Edmonton Travelin' Thursday (on Saturday)

I am finally back home again after a long week in Alberta Canada. I wanted to start a "Travelin' Thursday" post, but Thursday came and went before I could. Sooo, we'll make the first "Travelin' Thursday post on Friday (well I guess technically Saturday as I look at the clock and it is past midnight.)

This first post will focus on Edmonton, Alberta Canada. If you go to Edmonton you MUST go to the West Edmonton Mall. It is touted as the largest mall in North America. The mall includes a water park, amusement park, ice skating rink, a sea lion show, two miniature golf courses, and hundreds of stores. It also has its own Bourbon Street with several restaurants, and two separate food courts. I would plan at least one day at the mall if you want to actually see all the stores and experience the rides and attractions. For those of you with kids, I'd suggest the "Please Mum" store. They had some of the cutest clothes and I just loved the name of it, so clever. I also stopped by a store called I believe it was called "Homestead Creations". This is a must visit, especially if you are a dog lover. This store had hand painted and hand crafted items for just about every breed of dog and all the work is done in Canada. It was GREAT! For more information check out the website

That concludes the first Travelin' Thursday post. Let me know if you liked it and if I should continue this on Thursdays. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Why Wednesday...Why Choose a Tubal Ligation?

I have seen wordless Wednesday, but I'd like to do a little something different and have Why Wednesday where I probe a question. This Wednesday's question..."Why choose a tubal ligation?"

WARNING: If you do not have children and are considering it and don't want to hear any "horror stories", don't read any further!

Let me start with a little history. When I gave birth to my daughter the delivery was VERY difficult. My daughter was experiencing fetal distress and so the doctors decided to induce. I went to the hospital and they began "the drip". After some time the doctor came in and "accidently" broke my water. At that point I was telling the nurse to get the anesthesiologist out of bed NOW for my epidural, and because the nurse deals with crazy pregnant ladies all day, she does. Once I got my epidural, I was doing well. Then they said it is time to push, and so I did. Well I was unaware that the nurse kept calling and calling the doctor and she didn't show up until after my daughter had crowned. Well I was tearing terribly and they had to also do an episiotomy in order to get my daughter out. Well with one big push she was out and the cord was around her neck, so they rushed her down to the NICU and my husband went along per my instruction (as he wasn't sure whether to stay with me or go with our daughter). Anyway for the next 20-30 minutes all I heard was sutures, gauze, sutures, gauze, "Come look at this cut..I've never seen one like this before", and "Where is this blood coming from". Needless to say I was getting a bit worried. In the end it turned out along with all the tearing (of which some of the stitches ripped out a few days after I got home) I had also broken my tailbone with delivering my daughter.

Needless to say when I got pregnant with my son, I went to my NEW doctor with this story and convinced her that I needed a C-section, which I got and recovered from so much more quickly than my version of natural childbirth.

Before having my daughter and the time in between having my children, I was on the pill. I have a terrible time on the pill. The hormones affect my thyroid, I am sick all the time, and in general I just feel awful. In addition I have very sensitive skin and so any kind of male contraceptive is a NO GO for me.

So with all of these factors plus the fact that financially 2 children is all we feel we can support and raise properly, my husband and I decided on a tubal ligation. The doctors were able to deliver my son and perform the procedure at the same time, so there was no additional cost or "downtime" for me.

I do not believe that a tubal ligation is for everyone. Do I wish some days that I did not have one? Yes, especially when my best friend told me she was pregnant. I got a pang of sadness knowing that I would not experience that again. However, after that bit of sadness, I felt better because I knew it was the right choice for me and my family.

I guess what I want to leave you with is what my doctor told me when I said I wanted a tubal after my C-section. She said, "If both your children and your husband were killed tomorrow, would you want to start another family someday?" I thought about this and decided that even if that did happen, I would like to adopt children, but there would be no more pregnancies for me.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Guilt, Guilt, and More Guilt

So if you are a mom you know guilt. My cousin at Confessions of a First Time Mom also wrote a blog about this recently and not to copy, but I had to put my own spin on it. Her post was about mommy guilt and this week I have lots of mommy guilt because I am traveling again. I was only home for one week and then back out again. Please know that I plan my own travel schedule and then now I'm sure your saying then why complain. Well, let me explain. The reason that I have planned my travel so close together is because I want to be home for my daughter's first week of school. So I have guilt about not being home with my son and daughter this week, especially since as my son gets older the more he realizes when mommy breaks out the suitcase she is leaving.

But, I have more than mommy guilt this week. I also have wife guilt. I am not sure how to describe this, but I feel badly that I have to leave my husband to take care of my two kids alone. Although he knows this is part of my job, it doesn't make his "single parent" weeks without me any easier and I feel guilty that I have left him. To top it off I also feel guilty that he doesn't get enough time to do the things he wants to do. It always seems like we have something to do or the kids have an event or something. I have decided on this trip that I will try extra hard to find time to take my kids, so that he can work on the stuff he wants to work on.

Finally I have, I don't know what you would call it, I guess it would be financial guilt. For those of you who know me, you know I can't pass by a casino and not go in. I LOVE to gamble. Right or wrong, it is something I love to do. Well....there is a casino in Edmonton, which is where I am this week. So, of course, I went in. It went quite well, I put a 20 into the machine and when I was done I got 85. You are saying, "Why do you feel guilty?” Well if I'd have left it at that I would not have any guilt, but I just had to go back. I said to myself that machine will pay more. So I went back to the same machine and lost 20. Then I thought better try another machine and see if I can win back my 20. Well as you guessed all I did was lose another 20. Finally, I thought well what difference does it make and lost ANOTHER 20. So as I left the casino all I thought about was what I could have done with the 60 I lost. Diapers, dog food, on and on. So more guilt!

I don't have an answer for all this guilt, but it must be part of being a mom and a wife, but most likely it is just part of being a woman. I don't expect a solution or sympathy; I just wanted to share my "guilt" story with all of you!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Why Did I Start a Blog?

As I write my first post I keep asking myself, why have I done this. I believe the answer is to put my feelings and experiences out there for others to get validation and possibly help those in a similar situation. The secondary reason is to discuss the decision to have a tubal and the feels that result once the decision and procedure have been completed. Before I begin all of this I should probably tell you all a bit about me, so when I begin my regular posting you will know all the players.

As I said in my "About Me" section, I am a 31-year old working mom. I am a marketing chemist for a company that customizes gas chromatographs (Wasson-ECE Instrumentation). So some of your eyes have already glazed over, all the fancy language above boils down to I sell scientific equipment to mostly chemical plants and refineries. My job includes travel, so you will often see posts about the places I'm traveling to and my experiences. I have two children. Makayla is my 6 year old who is getting ready to start 1st grade and Blaine is my 18 month old son. My husband, Chad and I have been married for 12 years this December.

In addition to my two legged family, I have three dogs, two cats, and a horse. All of these animals are VERY special to me. Our first "children" were Bonnie and Clyde. Two mutts adopted from the Denver Dumb Friends League. Bonnie is a border collie/Rottweiler mix and Clyde is a beagle/Bassett hound mix. They are both 8 years old now and my son LOVES Clyde. After Bonnie and Clyde, we got our cat Paxton. He is a quirky FAT cat and we love him. After we got Paxton, my mother-in-law rescued some kitties from her mother's garage and Makayla fell in love with one striped kitten, so we added Moxie to our family. She is a real sweetie with the exception of her drooling problem when she purrs.

In March of 2006 when we moved to Wellington I began looking for somewhere to volunteer to work with horses, because I LOVE LOVE LOVE horses. I found the MOST WONDERFUL sanctuary in the world Denkai Animal Sanctuary and they had a horse called Black Magic. I began visiting the sanctuary and working with Black Magic who was a 3 year old without ANY training. I will get into her story another time, but in October of 2006 I decided to board Magic at a facility near my home and now she is mine! She will be featured, I'm sure, in several posts.

Finally, Denkai rescued a group of Saint Bernard puppies and I fell in love with one that looked like a little bear. We adopted him and Walter is our youngest at 2 years old.

As you can see my life is quite full and very busy. I look forward to posting and sharing my life with all of you! Please be kind in your comments. I try to follow a rule my mother told me as a child, "If you don't have anything kind or constructive to say, don't say anything at all."

Thank you for reading my first post, I promise the others will be shorter. ;)