Full weekend + MMMM

OK, I have roughly 23 minutes to bang out this post. My students are meeting in the library today to talk about research and I want to get there slightly early to grab a coffee. Anywho, our weekend was pretty dern good, I’d say. Ash and Ell went to lunch and a movie Friday since he was off school (some kind of Fall break?) then they picked me up around 3. I got a brief nap in, got the other kids, then took Elliot to a birthday party. It was pretty fun; had it at this coffee shop on the other side of town. They say they are pretty slow on Fridays so they host parties. Elliot had a good time, I know. I spent most of the time chatting with one of the other boy’s mothers, who is friends with Elliot’s best friend’s parents. So that was pretty cool.

Woke up bright and early Saturday and got Isaac to team pictures by 7:45. His game was at 8:30 and after, we went home, then back again at 10:30 for Ell’s pictures and 11:30 game. Sheesh. We went home for all of 45 minutes before Ash took Isaac back out to another birthday party but Ell and the baby and I got to rest.  I made dinner in the evening and we walked the dogs and cut the boy’s hair. I was pretty darn exhausted by the time 9 o’clock rolled around, I can tell you that. It was a looong day.

Sunday was cool in the AM – about 45 – and I really appreciate how clean the air feels. I got some house chores done and by 10, we were at Costco. Another busy day but not as bad, I made lunch, and did laundry, and napped briefly. Ell and I went to Petsmart and Publix in the afternoon and then the boys played outside while Ash mowed the lawn and I put BG to bed. All in all, a great weekend. Busy but nothing crazy or bad happened so you know, I cannot complain one bit!



OK so songs that get stuck in your head.

The first one is a song my kids have sung at this church daycare they go to. We’re not super religious but it’s a good foundation for them. But anyway, this one is always stuck in our heads!

I picked this one because my kids tend to sing this over and over if they hear it.


Friday Five – Making decisions and getting moody

Five Thoughts:

Five Thoughts:

  1. I have a better outlook on today. I was devastated about the Todd decision yesterday, mostly because he doesn’t seem like he’s in that much pain so putting him down is not the right call at this point. The problem comes in when you think about spending a lot of money to essentially decide when your dog dies. Again, no more pets after these go. It’s not a position I want to be in, with something else’s life. BUT, Ash and I decided that we’ll go the opthamologist route and see how that goes. I can afford it, for now. I was feeling so down about this but he and I talked a long time last night (late into the night, like 1:30) and I feel better. Sometimes we do that: just talk about things we’re dealing with or other random stuff. When you have kids, those conversations can’t happen all the time. But it’s nice when we do have them.
  2. I just called to make an appointment with the doggie eye doc and she made me feel a lot better in that she said he’d lose vision in the eye before anything else dire happened. I can live with that.
  3. I have been trying a variety of remedies for my upset stomach (which has been going on for about two weeks) and now I am worried I am overlapping too much: Kefir, peppermint essential oil, apple cider vinegar. To be honest, I think I stressed myself out SO much about possibly behind pregnant that I upset the natural order of things in my body, and it is still trying to recover.
  4. I am sad that I have not yet begun to feel the Fall/October spirit. It’s my favorite month and I haven’t even put out decorations. They’re in the garage so my usual excuse is that the car’s in there. But it hasn’t been in there for over a week! Maybe tonight I can muster the energy and find time to get them out. Once the house is decorated, I’ll probably feel it more.
  5. I need to NOT look at food pins on Pinterest today. I am going super bland as to help my belly and this banana and apple sauce pale in comparison to some of the amazing foods I see on there. Sadness!

Five Photos: (Because I haven’t taken many pics lately, I am going to show you five pictures of foods that look better than this banana.










Hard decisions

Todd was our first baby. We got him when Ash and I moved into a townhouse together – our first time not living with roommates. He’s been with us through so much: the births of three kids, a couple moves, everything. I admit that I paid less and less attention to the dogs as the children took over more of my life. But I still fed them and gave them good places to sleep and took them to get their yearly shots. Last visit, they told me he had glaucoma in one eye and it was developing in the other. Just two weeks later (and having been on a medication) his one eye has not improved. Now they are recommending another medication… that costs 100 bucks. So they have given me options: pay for these two meds (roughly 122 bucks/2.5 months), take him to a doggie opthamologist ($150) and see if they know of any other drugs, or the ultimate sadness: euthanize. I feel God-awful going that route because he still has so much energy. I feel like that’s just mean. But perhaps it is the humane thing to do. I don’t feel as if he’s really in a lot of pain though, which is the biggest problem with the disease.

SIGH. I just hate having to debate this; that his life is in my hands. I am sad and angry and I keep saying to myself how I am NEVER getting pets ever again. Some day, maybe. But will it ever get easier? No, probably not. Maybe some day when the kids are all moved out and it’s back to just the two of us, we’ll want that companionship, that reason to get up and take a walk every day.

My parents bought a beagle when I was about 14 and I remember when they had to put him to sleep. My father is a man of few emotions and I have never seen him cry. My mother said he cried on that day. When we had to put Iggy down two years ago, it was insanely hard. I cannot even believe I was present in that room as the life left his body. And that is what I keep thinking now. Can I handle that again? I almost wish I could just take him to the vet, say goodbye, and walk away. I don’t know if I can. With Iggy, he was practically gone by the time they injected him. With Todd, he’ll be full of life.

At this point, I am pretty sure that I will commit to the money for a little while and see if it works. It would be one thing if he was in poor health but he’s fine otherwise. I don’t want to spend the money, and Ash will say I’m being irrational, but I think that for now, that is what I can handle.

Wednesday Hodgepodge – Trees, Leaves, Football, and shtuff

1. Are the leaves turning color where you live? Have they begun to fall? Will you have to rake when it’s all said and done? Is that a chore you love or loathe?

They are, but they will get better all through October. We took a walk last week and here is what they looked like by a pond we pass: 

I used to hate raking! A few years ago we cut down most of the trees in the front yard (mostly because they were Sweetgums and dropped these horrible spiky balls of DOOM) so now, we don’t get too many leaves. There’s one tree in the front that does shed but we left it and I am glad. We rake them up and let the kids play.11180434406_43f356246e_z

2. When did you last shake like a leaf?

I have only ever felt really shaky once, and that was when I recited my vows to Ash at our wedding (nearly nine years ago). But I think within the last year or so I got shaky when I had to get on a class about being slackers. I get nervous when I have to ream them a new one.

3. After 20 seasons with the NY Yankees, Derek Jeter played his last official game Sunday afternoon.  Jeter has been described even by opponents as a class act, both on and off the field. The NFL is back in action this month too, with several players in that sport also making headlines. What are your thoughts on athletes as role models? Should a professional athlete be expected to act as role model or is that going beyond their job description? What responsibility do the organizations these athletes work for have when it comes to dealing with off the field behavior? Discuss.

I do wish that children did not look up to these guys as role models or heroes but the truth of it is: they don’t see the bad stuff most of the time. Nor do they see anything but what they do on the field/diamond/court, etc. I know at least for my boys (who don’t really idolize any players, but have friends who do) they are thinking about how great those guys play a sport they love.

However, I think it is these guys’ responsibility to behave themselves, not because they’re in the public eye necessarily but to me, they are being paid millions of dollars; the least they can do is act reasonably well. At least like a responsible adult. I am not one to begrudge them a good time but don’t beat your kids beyond what will make an impact and don’t knock out your wives/girlfriends. To me, it seems pretty cut and dry, and maybe that is very narrow minded of me, but that is how I feel.

4. What season of the year is toughest for you in terms of your health? Why?

I typically have a lot of issues in early Spring. When it starts to warm up and the rain sets in, all the mold and spores and junk just kill my respiratory system. But I still love the newness of Spring!

5. The top six healthy food trends of 2014 according to Eating Well are-

clean eating (more veg, less meat, less sodium, limit alcohol and processed foods)
trash fish(you know those fish that are caught in fishermen nets and thrown back? It seems chefs are finding creative ways to make them more appetizing)
cauliflower (the new IT vegetable)
kaniwa-(essentially baby quinoa, so like quinoa only smaller)
fermentation (think pickling only with twists on flavor we’re not accustomed to)
community supported farming-(farms operating with community support/membership)

Okay-so how many of the healthy food trends for 2014 have you experienced, encountered enjoyed? Any you’ve tried and said ewwww? Any on the list you’d like to try before year’s end?

I admittedly have been sort of bad about processed foods and beer. However, I love veggies and try to get them in. There’s a few community farms around here where you can basically rent farming space and people all tend to the land. I am really really considering joining. I could get the boys to help and we don’t have to set aside a place in our own yard. 

I am all for trying to new things that will increase the value of my life so I’m game for these.

6. In seven words or less, bid September adieu.

Football, school, hectic life, started getting cool

(throw a hand wave in there to say goodbye, I guess :) )

7. What’s something on your October calendar that makes you happy just thinking about it?

Well, it would have been the Luke Bryan concert but we were unable to make that work. So in general, there isn’t anything, really, that is making me happy, other than just football games and my mom possibly coming up on the 17th. Ash’s office does a charity bowling even that is always pretty fun, it is happens right around our anniversary.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I got caught up writing yesterday and didn’t get nearly enough papers graded to stay on track. But at heart, I AM a writer and when it hits, I have to go with it. Sometimes forcing myself to work on existing pieces can be so painstaking but when the inspiration hits and my fingers fly all over the keyboard, magic happens. I mean, great things just appear and I am impressed with my own brain for producing such gold! I felt very productive, having complete about five or six entire pages of actual substance. But, today, I have got to force myself to grade papers. It’s going to be a loooong day.

Random Tuesday


  • I spent a bit of time Monday looking up the differences between America and Australia. We showed the kids Crocodile Dundee on Friday and I told them that I’m sure the country is not entirely like that. But then I realized that I had forgotten nearly all of what Bill Bryson wrote in his book, In a Sunburned Country. THEN, Sunday night, on House Hunters International, they followed a British family looking to relocate to Australia and I found myself wondering just how similar it is to England. So, I stumbled upon this website and I am happy to say I am a lot more educated now. Aside from little to no seasonal changes there, I think I’d like it.
  • I like how Sunday was National Drink a Beer day and Monday was National Coffee day. I also think it is silly that there are so many designated days for things that don’t really matter. I agree that it’s kind of fun but also, useless. Things like that, I’m torn on. Frivolous but fun. Hmm….
  • At one point on Sunday, without really realizing it was beer day, I had a travel mug still half full of coffee when I decided I’d open a beer. Didn’t even really think about it but I was combining those two days.
  • My back is still kicking my ass; still just sore all over, but I have got to get back to working out. I hate figuring out when it is time to just say screw it and get back to exercising.
  • A few years ago, I dabbled in some Fanfiction writing (no, I will not tell you where to find it; suffice to say it is damn good ;) ) but so I got a new review on a story. While I was on the site, I decided to look and see what people had been writing lately and got sucked into a story (Bones, if you’d like to know) and it was really good! And then I got to the end and it was a TBC…. to be continued. NOW I understand how my reviewers who beg me to finish feel. Now I feel like I should try and finish up. I mean, truth be told, I have a couple characters who have been perpetually stuck in a rather vulnerable and probably uncomfortable position in the bedroom for a long time. Poor things…
  • I just finished my breakfast and I am still hungry. This is problematic, no?
  • I have to walk across campus so here’s a picture of smoking hot Mario Blanco. You’re welcome.bd25ae3c66022bee4ef9b2fa33a8652f

MMMM + The merry-go-round never stops

Good morning, folks. Welcome to Monday, though it is dreary one here. I guess I should not complain because it was supposed to rain all day Saturday and it did not, thankfully. We had a lot of outdoor activities that day.

A mountain of work was heaped onto me around 1 on Friday afternoon so while Ash took a half day to himself, I worked my ass off. But that was fairly rewarding. I left only a little early and got the kids. I don’t really remember anything we did that night. My stomach hurt and I was still stressed out that I may have been on my way to kid #4. UGH.

I woke early Saturday morning and took a pregnancy test; NEGATIVE! Yay! I could go on with my life. And I did; I made breakfast and started cleaning and getting us ready for the 11:30 football games. Both boys’ teams won, which is excellent. Ell got a co-pull on a flag so that’s cool. I feel like he could do bigger things if he wasn’t overshadowed by the boys who have been on this team the last two years. Maybe next year. We had lunch and took naps before going back out to Hayden’s birthday, where they had a water slide and all the kids had fun. The adults mostly watched the nail-biter of an FSU game. We managed to eke out a win but man, it was nerve-wracking. That night, Ash and I watched Homefront, that Jason Statham movie. I tend to fall asleep in that situation (later at night, movie on, blankets) but I managed to stay awake… until I drifted off ten minutes from the end! Ugh. Oh well. It was a decent movie.

Sunday, I swear to you I did not sit down (if you don’t count driving in the car) until after 12:30. I just started doing stuff right from the get-go: getting bagels, making spaghetti sauce, laundry, etc. When I finally plopped down on the couch to watch football, it was magical. What I figured out this weekend is that my back feels better when I am up and about. If I sit for a while, it gets stiff. So, that means being at work is annoying. I will have to stand frequently. As always, I have a ton to do today but I am in a much better mood this week, despite the back pain. So, yay!





Yay for freebie weeks! This first song I just learned about because a friend of mine posted on FB that he thought this was an instant pop classic. I’m not sure I agree but I do like it.



And this second song is an oldie but a goodie.


I’ve been finding it hard to blog this week; my mind is preoccupied. This entry will detail some personal stuff and be a bit complainy but maybe what I need is to write it out.

I know I mentioned it briefly before but I have messed up my hormones. Baby D was born in August of ’13 and I breastfed her like my other two. In late May, my period returned, which is a relatively “normal” amount of time. But then I had another one about two weeks later. Ugh. Then, it waited a normal month, I had one, then another two weeks again. But after that, I went to the doc for my annual. Though I told him about the irregularity, he said it was not unheard of. I trust my doctor and do not feel like he was blowing off my concern.

While I was BFing, I was on the mini-pill, birth control specifically designed to not diminish your milk supply. After my annual, he put me on the normal BC because I was weaning anyway. I was halfway through a pack of mini-pills but he said to start the BC. I was down to one feeding a day with her when she got sick: throwing up all night. The following day (this was mid-August) I fed her every 3 hours for the entire day and into the evening. Since then, I have not had a regular cycle. The doctor still contends this is normal but I’m starting to be suspect.

If for some reason I have become pregnant, then birth control has failed me when it never has before. I don’t feel pregnant but I am having intense back pain. My entire back from the bottom all the way up through my neck is sore. It’s a horrible feeling to be uncomfortable no matter what I do. It’s causing a headache too so that stinks. Last night I was convinced I had a migraine because I had so many similar symptoms. I woke up feeling fine aside from the back pain. It’s beginning to frustrate me more than I can explain. I hate medical issues when the answer is not clear. No one can say, “Oh, that’s the Flu, here’s some meds.” I’m not one to run to the doctor right away so I am just stuck.

I’m going to take a pregnancy test just to ease my mind. I have to know one way or the other. If you’re on birth control and not having periods, well, then, there must be some kind of medical miracle shit going on!

Meanwhile, an Advil took care of some of the pain but it’s still uncomfortable. I’m a mom and can’t just hang out on my back all day so I have got to get this fixed. If I still feel like this Sunday, I am going to Urgent Care and see if they can at least do a preliminary Xray.

So that’s what I’ve been dealing with this week. I’m tired and pushed to my utter limits and I have no end in sight. We have football and birthday parties for weeks and weeks and all I want is to feel normal again and take a damn nap.

Wednesday Hodgepodge – Fall, falling, fell

1. It’s fall. Y’all. My favorite season of the year! What’s something you love to do this time of year that makes you feel it’s officially fall? And unrelated to that, do you ever say ‘y’all’?

Without being too cliche and saying going to the pumpkin patch – which I LOVE to do – I will say that I like putting out my Fall decorations. I have quite a few cute things that I add around the house. Here’s just one example:6153953863_d2deccc244_z 

Making my house FEEL like it is Fall makes me very happy.

2. When did you last have a falling out with someone? Has it been resolved?

There are a number of friends who have come and gone from a circle of people I know and if they have moved away, I have not spoken to them. It’s not necessarily intentional but we didn’t make any efforts to stay up with each other.

3. A song you love with the word ‘fall’ in its title?

I really like this one, but there are so many more out there:

4. What’s something you’ve recently let ‘fall by the wayside’?

Sadly, reading! I got a newish book from one of my favorite authors and I read maybe 5 chapters before just running out of time. I think about it often but I just cannot make time in the evenings to get back to it.

5. When did you last attend an event, read a book, watch a movie, try a new recipe, or visit a shop-restaurant-tourist attraction that fell short of your expectations? In what way?

We saw “Lucy”, which was written/directed by the same guy who did “5th Element” and it was God-awful. That was a disappointment because “5th Element” is good.

6. Describe a time you said or thought, ‘The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

Ha! I say this every time Elliot does something super similar to Ash, because he definitely demonstrates the most like behaviours.

7.  Was today better than yesterday? Why or why not?

So far, today is… less eventful than yesterday but everything has been kind of crappy for a few days now. For now, this day is going better but it ain’t over yet!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

It’s about to get crazy busy; this coming Saturday begins 8 weeks of football games for both boys. Half of them are at the same time and the other half are back to back (8:30 and 9:30, for example). It’s going to be a long season and one made busier by a plethora of birthday parties but we’ll make it through. The one thing getting me by today is the fact that it’s cool out today. OK, cool for North Florida. Still only 70 and breezy at noon? That’s amazing, you guys. Another upside is the meds Todd needs for his glaucoma are half as much at Costco. Yay! If the bottle will last him roughly 3 months, it’s only going to cost me about 7.50 a month to medicate him. This is totally doable. Elderly dogs, man.

Todd, before his eyes got all milky looking:3601254735_f07c27b0d9_z

Random Tuesday – Of Fall and football and back aches



  • As I mentioned yesterday, less than stellar weekend. Isaac isn’t spazzing out about the splinter anymore and we’re getting Ash’s car fixed but man, I am due for some good news here. Do you ever get like that? Where you feel like you’re waiting for something great to happen?
  • I am truly in a funk. When I get like this, I usually want to escape; have a drink or go out with other adults. But I don’t even want that. I don’t know what I want!
  • I will say, we had a nice night last night. We got home and worked out then took everyone to Isaac’s football practice. Isaac did really well, baby girl was happy, and Elliot got over his nervousness and played with this other little girl that was hanging around. We missed practice the last two weeks due to rain so maybe this is the change. At one point, it clouded up like it might pour but instead, it just got super windy. We were bombarded by pine needles – it was some serious wind – but it never did rain.
  • It’s the first day of Autumn! I am eager to do some cleaning up around the house and outside. I did take down quite a bit of the overgrowth in the backyard and some of the front area’s weeds. If I can find some time this weekend, I will get rid of the rest of the weeds and buy some damn mulch, do my best to keep the weeds and vines away.
  • Not that I have become a hardcore geocacher now but I am considering buying a handheld gps. Does anyone have one/recommend one? My phone works fine but I have a feeling the actual dedicated device will be a lot better.
  • Did I tell you that we’re probably going to an FSU game? I asked a friend of mine in Athletics about tickets in general and she offered to gather some for me for the Boston College game. I am pretty stoked and so is Isaac. Though I took Elliot a couple years ago, Isaac has not been. I got him all hyped up on Osceola:
  • My mother got all sad yesterday about me not being able to compelte today’s them for #our_everyday_moments on Instagram, which is “grandparents”. I want to tell her she can come visit but we are inundated with football and birthday parties and I don’t want her to feel like she’s getting the way, though I doubt it would be like that. Sometimes dealing with family is hard. :(
  • My back is hurting a lot today (probably from 21 Day Fix) so I put on this Thermacare thing. thermacareWhen I bought it, I didn’t realize that size small wasn’t referring to the size of the actual area of the heating stones, as it used to. It used to come with adhesive but now it comes as a wrap that goes around your entire abdomen. Small is snug, as it should be, but it squishes out my post baby belly fat in gross ways. Ugh.
  • I’m off to listen to more James Taylor – I’m on a kick – and work on the Spring schedule. Hope everyone has a great Tuesday!

MMMM + weekend of sheer bad luck

I waltzed into the weekend in a great mood, despite being grumpy all week. In fact, I began multiple entries last week wherein I detailed my grump. Alas, none of them ever got published. The week was insanely busy and I just did not have time. I high-tailed it out of here soon after getting work done Friday; we worked out then went to Cracker Barrel. The plan had been to see Maze Runner but the time we wanted cost 14 dollars. It turned out it was because it was in IMAX but the automated stand to buy tickets did not indicate that. So we ended up seeing Expendables 3, which wasn’t bad! A lot better than the second one, that’s for sure. So we got the kids and I went to the store and it was a nice night.

Saturday began cool and I felt super motivated, crossing things off my list left and right (WD-40 squeaky cabinet, wash towels, etc.) About 8 or so, Isaac was just walking into the living room and he somehow got this insane splinter. I have no idea where it came from; all I can surmise is it might have been some kind of organic material from the kids’ shoes. It was deep in the center of his foot, causing a ton of bleeding… and we could not get it out. He was in utter breakdown mode and wouldn’t even be still long enough for us to poke at it. So we cleaned it and put a band-aid on and let him relax.

Around 9 , I went out to chop down the overgrowth on one side of the yard; Ash and Ell came out to help cart it away. When it got close to 10, I had to call it so we could at least get ready to take Elliot to football. It was clear Isaac wasn’t going. So, Elliot gets in the car in the garage and Ash is going to take just him. Ell forgets his water bottle and Ash instructs him to also take something else into the house. Elliot leaves the car door open, Ash doesn’t look and tries to get ahead by backing out, then… BAM! Side window shattered, door jacked up, metal frame for garage door all bashed in. After Ash came to terms with the fact that he was in a hurry and just made a mistake, we cleaned up the millions of tiny pieces of glass, got the door shut as much as we could and bungee corded it, then we caravanned to Honda. Sure, we could have called Geico and gotten a guy to look at it, only then to be sent to their approved body shop, etc. Or we could get it started on Saturday. I do still think I will file a claim for the window. I thought it was only for windshields but on their app, there are options for all the windows/glass.

SO, Ash had called the garage door guy and he decided he still wanted to go to this card tournament he’d already signed up/paid for. I was a little annoyed but what good would his staying home do? I dropped him off and still got the kids lunch. The garage door guy showed up soon after and managed to bang the thing back into shape and replace a few parts. Ash is mad about how much I paid but I don’t think it was that much. Oh well; we all make mistakes, right honey? ;)

After naptime (well, Elliot and I worked on this science thing he has to do), we headed out to pick up Todd’s meds. Oh, did I mention that? Todd, our 10 year old Boston Terrier, has glaucoma. Wee! His meds run me about 20 bucks a month, so I won’t complain. But I will be looking to see if any pharmacies in town have it cheaper. After that, we returned to Tom Brown park to look for that kids only geocache that we couldn’t find before. Turns out we were looking on the wrong side of the path. We also interrupted this young couple’s quiet time on these little benches. The girl was breastfeeding what had to be an infant no more than three weeks. And we’re all chattering and looking for this damn box. BUT, we did find it and the kids each got a Pokemon card, spurring them into this excitement about buying more.

Luckily, Ash won his tournament and was able to get a ride home. Which was excellent because I was flat out exhausted by the time he got home (9:30) and the FSU game was on. I also stayed up to watch said debacle and was sleeepy Sunday morning. That day began a whole lot better: we went to Jenny’s (the exception to “good” being that Dakota spilled my just delivered hot coffee but no one got burned.) We took a long walk and the air was cool and I got lots done. But again, I was exhausted. I went into the weekend with a great many plans but some stuff just did not get done. And I have come to terms with that.

This week’s theme is all about songs you might hear in a stadium/at a football game. Since I am owned by Florida State, here are a few from our famous Marching Chiefs.

FSU warchant!

Another of our chants!


Despite charges of pedophilia, Gary Glitter is a classic in stadiums!