29 September 2010


I'm gonna come on out and say that I do not ever want to "renovate" a house again.
There. I said it.
Truth be told, we'll probably have to do the same thing in WV but at least we'll have this house sold (hopefully) and the only thing on my mind will be the massive amounts of snow piling in around our house. That and the drive to the nearest Walmart for the gallon of milk we don't have.

And here are reasons 1-a billion why I want to say NEVER AGAIN.

  • Random door hanging out in the bedroom. (Plus all the stuff piled on top of the armoire)

  •  Tools, tools, tools. In the kitchen. 

  •  Ladder waiting to be climbed on.

  •  Painting supplies. Plus fabric softener for the wallpaper disaster.

  •  A smidgen of Stuart's garage. I dare not go out there.

  •  Shop vac next to the table.

  •  More working accessories on the table.

  •  Nail gun lazily left on the floor.

  •  Lots of home improvement store bags. Lots.

  •  A hammer and an electric screw driver. Totally at home where they are.

  •  A new door for Tyson's room. But no casing.

Saying goodbye to this house just can't come fast enough. But for now it's DIY central.

27 September 2010


Stuart leaves for West Virginia in one week.
A week from today.
Next Monday.

26 September 2010

Work Day 2

I think I may have mentioned that we are moving.
Maybe you heard that.
And you might also remember that Stuart starting renovating the boys' bathroom in January.
The 15th to be exact.
But I'm not counting.
So with the looming deadline of Sunday, October 3, we have been quite busy. 
Plus the added factor that I still have two more shifts at work, makes everything seem to be overdrive.
And knowing me, you might have guessed that I am freaking out. 
Like F-R-E-A-K-I-N-G out.

I sat down and calculated the number of full days that we have left before Stuart has to leave.
Five full days to work on this house.
Yesterday was day 2.
{slow breath}

Here's the bathroom as of 7 am this morning.
No biggie. 
Just a few thousand things left to do in there.

Here are my lists.
Need I say more?

This is my contribution to "let's get this house sold."
Taking down horrendously ugly wallpaper.
In the kitchen and our bathroom.
Too bad I have no desire to paint over it now.

 You might have noticed the single item crossed out on the list.
Base molding.
That's right.
The wood floors are now officially complete.

And if you're wondering why I don't have adorable pictures of the boys with their perfect little cousins, that's because Tyson got a nasty stomach bug on Thursday and spent all day on Friday (from 3 am on) vomiting. 
Fun times.

25 September 2010

My Boys

finding a geocache
on a lovely fall morning

24 September 2010

Her Couch

23 September 2010

Caution: This video is NOT for the faint


1 day till the boys get to meet their newest cousin
2 pull-ups left till we run out
3 shifts left at work
4 pieces of mail in the mailbox today
5 hours of sleep till my shift tonight

21 September 2010

And this is going to be my new home

oh my....

Face Time

20 September 2010


Pray Until Something Happens



Here are the facts:

Job Title: Environmental Health and Safety Specialist
Job Description: ??? :)
Location: Lane Lew, WV
Population: 406
Start date: October 6, 2010

The logistics of the next few weeks are still up in the air and my anxiety level is still at an all time high but I am so beyond relieved that this job came into play (and it was something very unexpected and most definitely a God thing {with the help of some a very special person}).

BTW, did you notice where we are moving to??

19 September 2010

A Little Something

18 September 2010

Good Job Washington Post!

By Carolyn Hax
Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Best friend has child.

Her: exhausted, busy, no time for self, no time for me, etc.
Me (no kids): Wow. Sorry. What'd you do today?
Her: Park, play group . . .

Okay. I've done Internet searches, I've talked to parents. I don't get it. What do stay-at-home moms do all day? Please no lists of library, grocery store, dry cleaners . . . I do all those things, too, and I don't do them EVERY DAY. I guess what I'm asking is: What is a typical day and why don't moms have time for a call or e-mail? I work and am away from home nine hours a day (plus a few late work events) and I manage to get it all done. I'm feeling like the kid is an excuse to relax and enjoy—not a bad thing at all—but if so, why won't my friend tell me the truth? Is this a peeing contest ("My life is so much harder than yours")? What's the deal? I've got friends with and without kids and all us child-free folks get the same story and have the same questions.

Tacoma, Wash.

"Internet Searches?" "Relax and enjoy?" You're funny.

Or you're lying about having friends with kids.

Or you're taking them at their word that they actually have kids, because you haven't personally been in the same room with them.

I keep wavering between giving you a straight answer and giving my forehead some keyboard. To claim you want to understand, while in the same breath implying that the only logical conclusions are that your mom-friends are either lying or competing with you, is disingenuous indeed.

So, since it's validation you seem to want, the real answer is what you get. In list form. When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention, from getting them out of bed, fed, clean, dressed; to keeping them out of harm's way; to answering their coos, cries, questions; to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys, and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest-to-be-declared-essential piece of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books at the library; to enforcing rest times; to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too hungry, tired or bored, any one of which produces the kind of checkout-line screaming that gets the checkout line shaking its head.

It's needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15.

It's constant vigilance, constant touch, constant use of your voice, constant relegation of your needs to the second tier.

It's constant scrutiny and second-guessing from family and friends, well-meaning and otherwise. It's resisting constant temptation to seek short-term relief at everyone's long-term expense.

It's doing all this while concurrently teaching virtually everything—language, manners, safety, resourcefulness, discipline, curiosity, creativity. Empathy. Everything.

It's also a choice, yes. And a joy. But if you spent all day, every day, with this brand of joy, and then, when you got your first 10 minutes to yourself, wanted to be alone with your thoughts instead of calling a good friend, a good friend wouldn't judge you, complain about you to mutual friends, or marvel how much more productively she uses her time. Either make a sincere effort to understand or keep your snit to yourself.

Write to Tell Me About It, Style, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071, ortellme@washpost.com.

17 September 2010

Happy Birthday Tyson!

We love you more than anything Tyson!
Happy Birthday big boy!

16 September 2010


So, Tyson's birthday is tomorrow.
Tomorrow my baby will be five.
One, two, three, four, five.
Using all the fingers on one hand.
How can this be???????

And it just so happens that I work this weekend. Stinkin' work. Anywho, Stuart and I decided that it would perfectly acceptable to celebrate a day early and so set our sights on today. But then this came in the mail yesterday:
We couldn't not let him not open it, so quickly we formed a new plan-celebrate 2 days early!

Mimi made Star Wars cookies! Aren't they adorable?! She bought the cookie cutters here because after reading the magazine a bazillion times, Tyson declared he had to have them.
Tucker woke up and was pleasantly surprised.
We purchased the cranes for last Christmas, but they didn't arrive in time so we thought we'd save them for some later date. I guess we forgot them for Tucker's birthday and Stuart "found" them last night. Tucker was pleased as punch to also get a present.

And Legos....

Why is there are partially done pink cake in my fridge? Because Tyson wanted one. Duh!

So birthday central continues today and tomorrow. :)

*pardon the crazy outfit that Tyson is wearing. He clothed himself and is all about brown and/or camouflage shirts. The shorts, well that's just straight comfort.

15 September 2010

We Have a Problem

A poopy problem to be exact.

Just what you wanted to read huh?

Since birth, Tucker has always made things more complicated. After Tyson's cruising thru all milestones, Tucker simply crashed into milestones. Never a dull moment with that boy. Potty training has been no exception.

I know that I have taken a more relaxed or slow approach to potty training, but again, Tyson absolutely sailed thru it and I thought that by waiting a bit longer and having the encouragement of his older brother that Tucker would also sail thru this endeavor.

Boy was I wrong.

For Tyson gum and ice cream did the trick. Tucker wanted nothing, except a bicycle helmet (like his big brother). So that quickly became our turning point and viola!, he went both poopy AND peepee in the potty! Yea!

But he wasn't doing too hot at nap/bed time and we opted to save all the sheet washing and put pull-ups on him during those times. No big deal.

Tucker's been doing great for several months.


But then, we regressed.

A BIG regression.

For the past couple of weeks we have notice that Tucker has been pooping in his pull-up during nap time. Again, nap/bed time has always been an issue so we didn't think a whole lot of it at first. {plus I think something was going on in his tummy so....anyway, I won't go there with y'all} Sure enough, Stuart and I started tracking the number of times Tucker was going poopy in the potty during the day-NONE. He was ONLY going in his pull-up.


We CAN'T go back to that. We just can't.

We've begged.
We've bribed.
We've pleaded.
We've kept him up during nap time.
We've sat with him in the bathroom for 45 minutes.


I don't know if it's just a mental thing now; if he would just go on the potty one time, he would remember that it's ok. But it's not like he's afraid to use the potty at all. Peeing in the potty has been great. No accidents there. It's just the poop.

Oh the poop. We just can't get away from it.

14 September 2010

A Good Reason

Tucker: Woody's in jail.
Me: Why's he in jail?
Tucker: 'Cause he stole a car.
Me: Hmph. Well, that's a good reason.

13 September 2010


If I'm really honest, truly honest, I would tell you that I'm scared s*%#less about our immediate future. Truthfully, I don't know what we are doing. And all I want to do is scream and cry and shout and figure it out.

Stuart graduated August 5. I am beyond proud of him and know that he and we have worked really hard and sacrificed a lot to get him to this point. BUT it's now September 13 and he still has no job. Gulp.

While Stuart was in school, I started working to help supplement his income from the GI Bill. My thought was this working thing was only temporary and as soon as Stuart graduated, he would get a job lickidy-split and I could go back to being a stay-at-home-mom. The reality is that this hasn't happened. Not only has Stuart not gotten a job, but there have been no offers (well there was one but it wasn't something that would work).

He first interviewed with a bank here in WF on June 2. While this was a great starting point, it turned out that the job was completely based on commission; and since we want to have a little more stability than a commission-only income would offer, Stuart turned the job down.

Then came a lot of excitement from some opportunities with another company. Stuart first interviewed with this company on July 16 and quickly a flurry of activity started. Lots of cities were thrown into the mix, lots of driving, lots of rearranging schedules and figuring out who would watch the boys and lots of interviewing. Great things were said from the company-"you're going to work for this company," "you are our best candidate," all things that have kept Stuart single minded on this company.

But the reality is: Cresson-out, Centerville-out, Midland-out, Carrizo Springs-out, Farmington, NM-out. So all this time and money and energy and focus on one company seems a bit useless.

And the bigger reality is I don't know what we are going to do. My job has been a blessing but it can't sustain us. This job worked because of the combination of incomes. We have lasted the last 5 weeks but where are the next 5 weeks going to come from?

I hate this feeling. I hate feeling anxious. I hate not knowing how or why. I hate that this is happening to my mate. I hate that we have to admit that we floundering. I hate, I hate, I hate this.

The reality is that I don't know.
And I just don't know what to do with that.

*This was really not supposed to come across as a pity party or look how bad our life is. I'm just tired of having all these feelings bottled up.*

11 September 2010


There are so many things I remember about September 11: the shocking devastation, the eerie silence that seemed to take over one of the noisiest cities, the bodies that fell, the towers falling, the hours of watching and praying. But most of all I remember the overwhelming pride in our country and those that serve to protect it day in and day out.

The Lord bless you and keep you!

10 September 2010

I could use

more of this
and a lot of this

08 September 2010

A Letter and a Birthday

Dear Jennifer,

Happy Birthday! It seems like just yesterday that we were all in San Antonio gathered at grandma's house celebrating all the September birthdays.

There's so much I wish to share with you. Stuart got out of the Air Force last summer. He is so much happier now and finally feels like he can "breathe" again. Since getting out, he became a full time student at Midwestern State University. While this decision was not easy for us, it really was the best (and I kind of think he enjoyed the unemployed life). He graduated last month and I couldn't be prouder of him for all his accomplishments. So now all your children have graduated from college. I know that you are beaming with pride!

The job hunt has not been easy but I know that God has a plan (could you put in a good word that he gets a job soon though?).

Tyson is growing into a mini-Stuart. He spends hours building and rebuilding Legos and can not wait till next year when he can go to school. Stuart passed on his knowledge of everything to Tyson and it just makes us all laugh at how much Tyson really does know. He lost his 1st tooth a couple of weeks ago and now tooth #2 is loose. Oh, and he turns F-I-V-E next week!

Tucker is, well, Tucker. He's finally talking more but can still take out a wall if he wants to. He's almost as big as Tyson and already wearing a bigger shoe. He adores Tyson and only wants to do what his big brother is doing. Having Tyson go to school is going to be a major adjustment for him but I think it will be good to have some one-on-one time with my baby. His hair is still red (one of the only things he got from me) and he has the temperament to go with it. We're desperately trying to hurdle the potty training mark, but true to form, Tucker has put up quite the fight.

We added another dog to our house and I think you would laugh at her just as Stu does. Her name is Scout (after the International Harvester Scout II that Stuart has been working on for the last 3 years) and she's a Great Dane. I know, I know. We just love big dogs. Turbo's doing well but sometimes he likes to remind us that he's still top dog.

I have been working at the ER in the hospital for over a year now. I love my job and it has been a blessing to be able to supplement our income while Stuart was busy getting educated. Working nights has not been easy but it kept the boys out of daycare and allowed for both Stu and I to do what we needed to do.

We moved off base and bought our first house in September of 2008. We love having our own space but we also miss being able to call the housing office if our AC breaks or having someone snake our kitchen sink for free at 10 pm.

We miss you so much Jennifer. I wish I could hug your neck one last time or tell how you much I love you. I wish you could see the boys and Stuart. He really misses you.

So on your birthday, have a chocolate cake (with real sugar) or even two!

We love you.

07 September 2010

More Countdowns

3 days straight of rain in the forecast
8 days till the 8th month mark for bathroom renovations
10 days till Tyson's 5th birthday
32 days till Stuart's 32nd birthday
33 days since Stuart graduated and still no job
115 days till my 30th birthday
119 days till Christmas
123 days till our 8th anniversary

06 September 2010

Labor Day OR Squirrels in your pants

Tucker Dancing from Clarissa Doss on Vimeo.

Um, Squirrels in your pants. :)

04 September 2010


Well, this one helped.
And this one just said, feed me.

03 September 2010

My house is out to get me

Again, let me reiterate that I hate bugs and critters and varmint and things can go boo in the night.
Pretty much if there's a phobia connected to a _____, I am petrified of it.
I am so not kidding.

My husband has been so kind over the last eight years to not throw this fear in my face (for the most part). He's never chased me around with something in his hand. He's never made me touch something just for the sake of making me do it and then laughing at me. He's never left something out for me to stumble up upon and jump out of my hair with fright. He's a good man.

Unfortunately, I have two little boys. And they have not gone thru the rigorous training that my dear, sweet husband has. Plus they're little and oh so cute.

And my house? My house wants to destroy me. Literally. My house does not give once ounce of care about me. Remember the uninvited guest? Or the, {taking a breath} the mammoth cockroaches? All part of this houses funny way of turning my life inside out and laughing at me.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Our newest debacle happened this morning.
The boys had just woken up and I turned the tv on and went into the kitchen to put some breakfast together.

Tyson: Mommy, there's a worm.
Me: What?
Tyson: There's a worm.
Me: Huh?
Tyson: A WORM. On the tv!
Me: What in the world....
{screaming and running into our bedroom to rouse Stuart from precious sleep}
Stuart: gmhhjodmfuhojoas
Stuart: {slowly getting up}
{gingerly making his way into the living room}
Tyson: Daddy, there's a big 'ole worm on the tv!
Stuart: Cool buddy!
Stuart: Oh wow. It's a slug. How in the world did he get in here?
Stuart: Wow, look at all those snail trails. He was having a good 'ole time on the tv.
{pulling out a step stool and flashlight}
Stuart: Wow, look honey. He was all over the place.

proof of the fun this guy was having

the offender
(I kinda wanna gag just looking at this)

Seriously house, why me?!

02 September 2010

But he won't say his ABC's

While running errands this morning, Tucker started shouting out some of the establishments that we passed:

the ice cream store {Dairy Queen}
the corn dog store {Sonic}
Mac-Dohn-oles {Mickey D's}
Eat Fresh! {Subway}
the eggplant store {Chili's}
the fish store {Long John Silver's}
Target {Target}
the pet store {Petco}
the castle {Best Buy}

Apparently we go out to eat way too often.


01 September 2010


September 17