Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lap time is so short lived...

Something hit me tonight.

Weary, emotionally spent and physically exhausted after dealing with a strong-willed two year old and the rest of my gaggle, I was so ready for bedtime to come.

I needed bedtime like a heroine addict needs their next hit. I could feel it in my bones...bedtime had to come.

And it did. Just like it does every night...but something different happened tonight.

Tonight, as I was getting my Baby Girl ready to tuck in, I asked if she wanted to rock-a-bye. To my surprise (and delight) she said yes.

Baby Girl is NOT a snuggler...she's getting better, but she's not what I'd call a "warm fuzzy". As she lay against my chest and I rocked her by the light of the moon...I realized that this lap time is too short.

I could hear The Pal bustling around after baseball and I thought about how truly short lived our time is to have our children on our laps.

Developmentally, of course...but even more so, logistically. I look at my bigger kids and think how much I'd love to bundle them onto my lap for a snuggle...and sometimes I still do (well, not the Pal...he doesn't like lap time too much anymore! ;)...but it's different.

A baby fits so well in your arms, a two year old fits so well on your lap, a four year old can still swing it, but by six it gets a little awkward...legs are too long, bodies too big. So...logistically thinking...I've got about two(ish) years of "real" lap time left.

Two years.

That's it. (Oh, come the tears...)

I hope and I pray that I will be the mom that my kids feel comfortable sitting on my lap until they are 80. Scratch that...make it until they're 60...I think I'd be too frail to have them sit on me if I were pushing 100.

Tonight...I soaked up my lap time. As much as I was looking forward to "me" time, I took those extra minutes and I loved up my baby...and when she told me "I wanna go nigh-nigh" I reluctantly laid her in her bed.

Imagine my joy when she looked up at me with those baby blues and said, " 'nuggle me, Mama?"

And guess what I did?

I 'nuggled that babe to sleep. Then I dried my tears, and kissed her soft cheeks goodnight.

Talkin' Shop...What to Bring to the Hospital.

Mornin' friends!

Shall we talk a little shop over our coffee this morning? I thought maybe I should touch on "what to bring to the hospital". Whaddya think?

Well...I guess no matter what you think, you're stuck with this! ;) think it's "time"? Or, maybe your water broke? Perhaps you're just checking in for your induction?'ll probably have packed a bag.

Depending upon which baby this is for you, you will likely be either A. laden down with three large bags (one for each of you), a car seat, a cooler full of snacks, a radio, a camera, a video camera, the baby book, a diaper bag (in addition to the other large bag already packed for the baby), and the kitchen sink, OR, B. yourself, perhaps one small bag that includes what you, your husband and your baby will need while you stay at the hospital.

Can you guess which scenario is the sweet young mother?

Lemme give you a hint...*whispers* it's NOT "B"!

Never fails...when a set of first time parents come for the birth of their sweet little babe, they are ultra prepared. They have read "What to Expect" and every other pregnancy book out there...they've taken the lists from those books and compiled them so as to make sure not to forget anything.

And, they live across the street from the hospital.

I'm here to tell you what you really need to birth your baby. (You know, besides a uterus, contractions and a vagina. ACK!!! There's that word again! I hate it almost as much as "meme"...but, in all reality, you don't really even need that. A vagina...not meme.)

Scrap those "how to books" and listen to your Mama, you hear?

Alrighty then...

When you arrive at the hospital you will need yourself. Your husband or boyfriend or labor coach would be helpful too, but not necessary. Trust me...many a babe has been birthed without a labor coach.

When the babe arrives, you can send your labor coach out to the car to fetch your belongings...which should fit neatly into one...yes, ONE...suitcase, bag, duffel, whatever.

You are probably thinking I'm crazy, sweet young mother, aren't you? Well...listen to me. Please. For the sake of your love's back and sanity...listen. to. me.

Yes, listen to me when I tell you that as much as you'd like him to stay and love on you and the new babe, your significant other will love you even more if you let him leave to shower and change and freshen up, and maybe even take a poop at home.

In his own home.

(At this point in this post you will look at your husband and say, "Hon, this weirdo says you will appreciate leaving me and the baby in the hospital to go home to shower. Is that true?????" And of course he will tell you, "No. Never, sweety. Ever. Never ever ever never would I want to leave you." And then he'll secretly hope that you take my advice and let him leave. I know this stuff. Trust me.)

Back to what you, a small bag for you ('cuz you'll be letting your love leave to go home to change and shower...) that includes the following: clothes to go home in (again, I need your trust in something. Bring maternity clothes. You'll be happier in "too big" clothes than you will be in "dang, I totally thought my fat jeans would fit me and they don't and now I feel flabby and sad" clothes.'s a good thing.), clothes for the baby to go home in (including blankets), your toiletries, a camera, and a car seat (but, really...that doesn't need to be brought up until after the baby is born.).

If you wanted to, you could throw in a good nursing bra (contact me if you want to know my faves...), perhaps your breast pump, and maybe some hard candy.

Oh, yeah...and chocolate for the nurses. Bring food for the nurses, and you'll become the floor favorite.

Anything else you've got packed isn't really necessary. And, besides...your love will be running home to shower and change, so he can just grab something from home if you decide you simply can't live without it, right?

That's what I thought.

P.S. judging. Okay?



I'm gonna tell you a couple more things I snuck in my pillow (can't leave home without it), a magazine, and I'd totally bring my laptop now that I have one.

But that's IT!! (I think...)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I am a Photoshop Flunkie.

I need help.

I need a transfusion of braincells. Anyone willing to donate?

I've always said that a woman loses 25% of her braincells with the conception, gestating, and birth of each child. So...let's do a little math equation...

Me + 5 children - 25% of braincells x 5 = erm...ahh...well, I can't figger it out. I've got nuthin' left up there!

I downloaded the "fully functioning" trial version of Photoshop last night. I eagerly anticipated it's installation and watched that little blue bar get bigger and bigger and the time tick down.

Then, I opened it.

And, already I was stumped. I couldn't figure out how to open a photo!!

Oh, fer Pete's sake!! (Um..."place"???? How 'bout "add" or "open" or "click here to upload a photo"???'s "place". Dumb.)

I tried three times. I failed miserably twice...and came up with this on the third:
(can someone tell me why this photo look so wonky? It doesn't look "rough" like this in Photoshop...)
And, the before:
Oooooh, big difference huh? Wow. I feel tho thmart.

I need to go back to Picnik for a little self-esteem boost. And, I need some chocolate. And, maybe a glass of wine.

(And someone to kindly take me through Photoshop Elements step. by. step. Please and thank you.)

I'm gonna miss this...

Somedays, when I'm faced with this:

I wonder when it will get easier. I wonder when my days won't be filled with needs, demands, requests and chaos.

And then I realize...

I realize it'll all be gone too soon.

And I can wait forever to have "too soon" arrive.

"Tho the days seem long,
The years go fast."

-Author Unknown

Monday, June 28, 2010


I hate it.

I hate being judged. I hate being critiqued. I know it makes a person better, but I'm such a softy...sometimes I just can't bear to hear that I suck.

It's why I kept my blog to myself for so's why I still don't shout from the roof tops that I have this goofy little blog.'s what's been holding me back from showing you what I'm going to show you.

I have recently re-fallen in love with photography. I have always loved photography...I would imagine the fabulous shots I would get of abandoned barns and rickety old buildings. I dreamed of capturing phenomenal shots of my children to decorate our walls with.

It's what's driving me to become a better photographer...and not just a "picture taker".

I was playing around on Picnik the other day (which is really just a catch 22...lets you do just enough with your photos to make them better...but not enough to make them fantabulous! Now I want Photoshop even more than I already did...)...anyway, I was playing around...and these are just a couple that "spoke" to me.

My Baby Girl...

Okay...I'm a big girl. I can handle this...

How can I make these better? What are your photography tips?

The Outlaws...and Breeding Cows.

I experienced something the other night that I can honestly say I've never ever experienced before. Interesting stuff...

Let me tell you a little story.

This, is BIL #1 (not 'cuz I rate my BIL's according to's just that he's the oldest of my husbands brothers...well, all siblings, actually...). BIL #1 has a way with cows.

BIL #2 (ha!! Fitting for him...#2!!) and my hubby raise Red Angus beef cattle as a hobby. Part of raising said cattle is...well...making more cattle. Phrases like, "I might be late...I hafta breed a cow" are entirely normal around here.

Only thing I'm a city girl. Well...a "recovering" city girl! When my hubby convinced me to move to the country, I had no idea what I was missing! But, never in my life have I been witness to a "cattle conception".

And, I had my chance last week. (Warning...the following photos may be graphic to some viewers...and may invoke many questions by small children if they happen to see them...continue at your own risk or something...)

This is BIL #1...preparing his "effects":

This is BIL #1 up to his biceps in...well...ahem:

And that's where I wanted to go up to that sweet red cow, pet her and sooth her and speak to her woman to woman.

She looked at me with her big brown eyes...and I didn't have the heart to take anymore photos. Poor girl. least she'll get a sweet little red cow out of the deal (or bull...but, I still call 'em all "cows").

'Cept for this guy:

"Mickey"! Ha!! Don't let the name fool ya. He ain't no mouse, that's for sure! Dude is HUGE!!!

Anyway...I no longer have any desire to see a cow be bred anytime soon.

But, the "unbreding", I'd LOVE to see! All those cute little calves...and I haven't been able to see one...NOT A ONE!! birthed yet. Oh, the inequities of life...

I am a woman on mission to watch a baby calf be born (let's just hope I don't forget my camera!!)!

Do you...

Notice anything new around here???


Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Late Night Date...

Seems these Sunday dates get late, sometimes!

I spent most of today at, probably, the most gorgeous home I've ever stepped foot into. Puts my dream house to shame, really.

I didn't want to leave...I kicked and cried and clung to the door jamb as they shooed me out the door. I made my body limp and chanted "HELL NO, I WON'T GO!!!"

Then, I sat on the front step until I got hungry and had to leave to eat something before my blood sugar plummeted and I got all crabby. Now, I'm picking the splinters from the door jamb out from under my fingernails.


But, anyway...enough about my's time for this week's date!

I am pleased to announce our Date as:

I'm Andrea, a southern newlywed married to my handsome handyman. I enjoy all things crafty and cheap, DIY, Southern favorites, cooking, and OK State football. Join me as I learn the ins & outs of married life, DIY, and eventually mommyhood.

She is the MOST amazingly crafty person...and I want her as my best friend! Stop on over there, see what she makes and tell her Mama sent you!

See ya in the am!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Five Question Friday! 6/25/10's Friday!!

I'm feeling a good weekend comin' on...a massage with my bestie tomorrow, a grad party, some photography and nuthin' but family...oh, and Five Question Friday to start it all off!!

Welcome! If you've never participated before...jump on in!! You'll enjoy it, I promise! Scouts honor. *raises two fingers*

I was thinking of vloggin' it today...but there are just too many links/YouTube videos I want to include...and I'm quite certain you don't want to hear THAT much singing from me. (*whispers* Trust me! You don't!!)

Let's get started, shall we?!

Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post. Answer them, then c'mon back and link up! If you don't have a blog, but would like to play along, feel free to leave your answers in the comments of this post, or any post along the way!

Questions for Friday, June 25th (TWENTY-FIFTH???? When did that happen???): (Special thanks to Jill [whose question I chose, 'cuz I know the Crayon Wrangler vlogs and plays instruments...hint hint...], inspiration from Liz, inspiration from Pam, Emily, and Luis! If you'd like to be linked in a future Five Question Friday, c'mon over to my community and offer up your best question suggestions!)

1. Do you know how to play a musical instrument?

2. What is your pet peeve while driving?

3. Would you rather have a housekeeper or unlimited spa services?

4. Is there a song that you hear that will take you back to the moment, like a junior high or high school dance?

5. What song best represents your life right now?


1. Do you know how to play a musical instrument?

That's a big NO to the Oh!

I used to...with "play" being used very loosely here. I started off playing the clarinet in elementary school. I sucked. It was bad. My poor parents.

Again...I think I must've been axed from the will LONG before iCarly-gate.

In 6th grade, I thought it'd be a whole lot cooler to play the drums (it was...until I had to march with that sucker on...then it was nuthin' but a whole lotta HOT! And, that's not to be confused with HAWT.)!

In High School, yes, we had a marching band...and we weren't half bad, if I do say so myself! We did all sorts of moving our feet and shuffling around, all the while keeping a beat. For a clumsy girl like myself...I'm surprised I didn't kill myself doing it!

Well...actually...I almost did. Kinda.

In 10th grade, we went to LA for a parade (if my memory serves me correctly, Kirk Cameron was on a float just a couple in front of us. *swoon* Be still my teenage heart...or, wait...was it Joey McIntyre?). Part of the "fun" part of that trip included a trip to Arabian Nights.

Arabian Nights was (is? Is it still around?) this cool restaurant set in medieval times where you eat a whole Cornish game hen and watch dudes try to poke each other off their horses with a big long stick. Coolness...

'Cept, I was allergic to horses. Like...major. Think...I later carried an epi-pen, kind of reactions. Wheezy, difficulty breathing...the whole 9 yards.

So, I was getting all tight and wheezy in the arena, and my good friend, who was also allergic to horses but happened to have one, yes, just ONE, Benadryl with her that she took (and she didn't even offer to split it) ;), she and I kept going in and out of the arena...which apparently makes your reaction worse? (Or so I was told...)

Well, turns out, that at one point I was sitting down trying to catch my breath, and an employee sees me and goes to get the oxygen, the show ends shortly there after, and our band instructor files out and sees me sitting down getting oxygen (I think it was supposed to make the reaction better?).

They get me all squared away, and bring me back to the hotel where I call my mom who gets concerned...then I see my face in the mirror.

I looked possessed.

Never ever ever ever NEVER have I seen eyes as red as mine were. Were talkin' the whites, baby...RED.

I felt like a freak.

But, I lived...and that's what counts, right? Right??? Please, tell the 15 year old girl trapped inside of me that it didn't matter that I looked like a FREAK 'cuz I was alive. And that's what matters.

Please. Tell her. So she'll shut up.

Our trip ended, we went back home...

And I promptly quit band 'cuz I was really only in it for the trip.

2. What is your pet peeve while driving?

Whoa Nelly!! Don't get me started!

I've got a bazillion! Liz's original question was about walking or running when a car waves you through (as a pedestrian). It drives me BANANAS when people stroll across the I've got all the time in the world.

HELLO!!! I just did you a favor you inconsiderate dummy head!!! MOVE IT!

My biggest driving pet peeve, though? (Ooooooh, this one REALLY gets me...) Is when I'm at the tail end of a group of cars...and there is NO one behind me (OR, a really large gap) but yet some dummy head (probably the same one who strolls across the street when I'm nice enough to let them in...) decides to pull out in front of me.

If I had road rage, and I don't, but IF I did...I would yank that person out of their car, drag them back to mine and show them my van full of children (gee, wouldn't that be a great example?!), whose lives he/she just endangered.

Idiots. Be patient. Your time will come, and unless you are either A. Rushing to the hospital for some emergency or B. Rushing to the hospital for some your jets and wait your turn.

*stepping off soap box...wiping sweat from brow*

3. Would you rather have a housekeeper or unlimited spa services?

Wait...that's not fair!! SO not fair.

I choose C. Both.


End of story.

I rest my case.

Case closed.


Okay, okay...

So...I think I'd go with the housekeeper. Since my house is in need of some major keeping...I think my husband would appreciate my decision.

In fact *insert devious grin here*, perhaps he would SO appreciate my selfless decision to go with a housekeeper, that HE would insist on letting me indulge in unlimited spa services!

Muahahahahahahaha!!! *strumming fingers together*

4. Is there a song that you hear that will take you back to the moment, like a junior high or high school dance?

Oh YES! Many!! The main one is this:

That song takes me right back to 10th grade(ish)...and one particular boyfriend that shall remain nameless for security purposes or something.

It really is an AWESOME song, isn't it?!

The other Angel Eyes, by Jeff Healey. When I hear that song, I am immediately transported to a hot, middle school gym where I am dancing (stiff armed) with some sweaty, teenage boy.

Ahhhhh...the memories...

5. What song best represents your life right now?

There's two...

One of which I'm sure will get a bazillion and one mentions today. Er...ah...wait. Do a bazillion and one people participate in 5QF? I think not.

Let's go with no fewer than 10 people will mention it...that's more appropriate. ;)

"It" is: Just Another Day in Paradise, by Phil Vassar! Like, totally, DUH! I think this song came out about the time Mr. Wonderful and I got hitched. It was like it was written for us!

Great tune...

My other pick would be "Wonderful World" by Louie Armstrong. I am hoping, that when my boys get married, our "Mother-Son" dance will be to this song.

Oh, great.

Now I'm tearing up.

(PS...You have GOT to click this link to see something totally amazing set to that song. I'm not gonna tell you what it is, 'cuz you'll think it sounds weird...but just WAIT 'til you see it!)


Alright, my dear ones...time for YOU to link up!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday Night 5QF Sneak Peek!!


It is GORGEOUSNESS here in MinneSOOOta...finally!

I am so happy that it is the weekend. SOOOOOOO happy...I worked 5 days in a row last week, which I know is what the rest of America does, but this chick ain't used to that!'s Thursday, which means it's time for the Five Question Friday Sneak Peek!! Remember, this is just the sneak peek at the questions...a head start for you to answer them and get your post all ready for the linky tomorrow! (Which I'll have up bright and early...promise.)

Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post. Answer them, then c'mon back and link up! If you don't have a blog, but would like to play along, feel free to leave your answers in the comments of this post, or any post along the way!

Questions for Friday, June 25th (TWENTY-FIFTH???? When did that happen???): (Special thanks to Jill [whose question I chose, 'cuz I know the Crayon Wrangler vlogs and plays instruments...hint hint...], inspiration from Liz, inspiration from Pam, Emily, and Luis! If you'd like to be linked in a future Five Question Friday, c'mon over to my community and offer up your best question suggestions!)

1. Do you know how to play a musical instrument?

2. What is your pet peeve while driving?

3. Would you rather have a housekeeper or unlimited spa services?

4. Is there a song that you hear that will take you back to the moment, like a junior high or high school dance?

5. What song best represents your life right now?


There you have 'em! See you back here bright and early in the am!

I'm in love...

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it, but I recently acquired a 50mm lens for my camera. (I totally had to sell myself for it...but nonetheless, it is now mine!! I am, however, a photo slave to my husband's business because of it...)

I'm in love. If I could marry it, I would.

But I can't, I'm already married. Speaking of love...I *heart* Tootsie Rolls. They remind me of my Sam's Club angel.

I totally LOVE the shots I'm getting...but, can someone explain to me what's up with this:

You know, besides "orbs" and possibilities of "paranormal activity" that are coming out of my tree stump?

And's not:

I'm cornfused. I don't get it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

When life gives you rain...

Play in the puddles!!

The end.

P.S. Wondering who won the Mr. Wonderfulest Contest? Click the link for the announcement!!


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