Friday, June 26, 2009

Who you gonna call?


My twins have recently discovered what their sister already knew. Ghostbusters is a fun movie to watch. Tyler was completely mesmerized the first time he saw this movie. He sat in front of the boob tube watching every scene and soaking it all in. Jacob is more like his daddy and watched but also had some important playing to do. (Michael is always doing something, he's not really one to sit still for very long.) Little did I know, that even though he didn't watch every scene like Tyler did, Jake was still taking it all in as well. They have watched it several times since we bought it last week and they ask to watch it every day. Tyler got up this morning and said "I need some chocolate milk, can we watch Ghostbusters today?" At least he's got his priorities straight. ;o)

Last night when I got home from work both boys were running around the house in the fire helmets that came with their Halloween costumes from last year pretending to be the ghostbusters. Eden would come down the hall pretending to be a ghost and the boys would chase after her until she would turn on them and chase them back to the kitchen. I wish I had gotten the camera out. I was working on the pictures of the family that I talked about a few posts back, so I didn't stop to take pictures of my own kids. (Kinda makes me feel like a sucky mom now that I think about it.) They would come and hide by my leg and plan what they were going to do. "The marshmallow ghost is going to come and get us and we are going to blast him with our croc guns (they had their shoes on their hands as "guns") and then we are going to run to safety." "Be careful, he could be anywhere" and then Eden would jump out again and the squeals that normally make me want to scream myself were so joyful that I had to laugh along with them. It's not very often that all three of my kids are getting along well enough to play together so it was a nice reprieve from the norm. Of course, it didn't take long before they figured out it I thought it was cute and then it turned into a squeal and run and be really loud and run into things kind of deal where they were trying to hard to make it cute and I had to make them all settle down. But it sure was fun while it lasted!

Here is a picture of another time that all three were playing well together. They are all growing so fast!

Friday, June 19, 2009

"GO BACK!!!!"

I have three beautiful kids. If you want to see pictures of them there will be a couple in this post and there are several in previous posts. I love my children beyond words, but sometimes, they really REALLY stress me out.

I worry about my kids all the time. None of them eat very well and unfortunately, that's kind of my fault. I don't eat very well either. They are a chicken nuggets crew. That's pretty much all they like, chicken nuggets, sugary cereal, and cereal bars are about all they want to eat.

Tonight, I fixed tacos. Tyler loves tacos. He calls them taco tico's. Any place that sells them is also referred to as taco tico's. It's pretty adorable to hear him say it too! Anyway, sorry, I got a little off the point here. Tonight, I fixed tacos and Eden and Tyler ate them (Eden without to much fuss) and so that leaves Jake. Jake sat at the table and played with his food for quite some time, then he decided to dump the hamburger out of the taco and just eat the shell, then decided that he didn't like the shell and so he threw it away. Before he threw the thing away, we discussed getting ice cream at the Zesto's. Who doesn't like ice cream right? Occasionally it's worth it to bribe them if they will eat.

Well, here's the thing, we went to Kohl's so I could get a new swimsuit. (We're going to Holiday World for Father's Day) and I told them when we got in the car to start home, if you are good and you don't yell and fight you can have ice cream. Do you see where I'm headed with this??? LOL You would have thought that I asked the earth to stop spinning, my boys absolutely cannot keep their mouths shut or their hands to themselves. So, when we got to the Zesto, I ordered for Me, Michael and Eden and here are a few pictures of Jake's reaction to be denied ice cream for breaking the rules!

Tyler just kind of sat in the seat and whined about not getting any, but Jacob was totally ticked off and informed both me and Michael that he hated us, we were both stupid and that we had to go back. It went a little like this.

Michael: Here you go Eden.

Jake and Tyler: Where's mine?

Michael: You didn't get any, you didn't eat Jake and you didn't listen Tyler.

Jake: (as we pull out of Zesto's) I WANT ICE CREAM!!! at the highest possible screech he can muster.

Tyler: I want ice creeeaaammmmmm! in the saddest voice almost at yelling level (I actually felt pretty bad for him because, well, he did eat.)

Jake: STUPID DADDY!!!STUPID DADDY!!! STUPID DADDY!!! GO BACK!!! GO BACK!!!! YOU HAVE TO GO BACK!!! (at this point, I know I'm a terrible mom for doing it, but I start laughing)

Me: You guys have to learn, Mommy and Daddy are the boss and we have to hear what's going on around us when we're driving, and also, if you don't eat, you don't get a treat.

Michael: (giggling)

Me: (giggling)


Me: Babe, take some pictures of him so I can post them on the blog.

Michael: Ok. (laughing at this point) *click* *click*

Jake: (starts kicking at the seat) DON'T TAKE MY PICTURE DADDY!

At this point I start laughing hysterically. He threw such a fit and all I could do was laugh. I guess if I hadn't laughed about it, it would have made me cry. It's about a 5 min. drive from Zesto to home when there is traffic and by the time we got home, I was still laughing and my stomach had started hurting.

Tyler did get a few drinks of Daddy's milkshake once we got home and he sincerely apologized to Michael by saying "I'm sorry I didn't listen daddy. I'm sorry. I love you too." He always says I love you too, even if he says it first. If he doesn't say the word "too" he substitutes the words mommy, daddy and sister or Eden. It's completely adorable. Just like it melts my heart every day when I leave and Jake says, in his sweet little voice, bye mommy. I love you. Have a good day. Tyler says all of this too and then tells me to drive careful.

I guess the moral of the story is, that for every outburst that makes you think you'll lose your mind, there is a sweetness that keeps you sane.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I've decided it's time!

Today I called the doctor's office to schedule the dreaded "yearly exam" that all women love to hate. Yup! That one girls! Cold @ss Duckbills and all.

I have been meaning to make this appointment for some time now but keep putting it off because I hate ALL doctor's appointments. I know I'm not the only one who feels this way but I can tell you that my first "female" visit was with an old man and conducted during "that time". Pretty traumatizing for a 16 year old. Ever since then, I have hated going to the doctor and while I was pregnant, you get used to the monthly, then bi-weekly, then weekly onslaught of uncomfortable visits to the point where it's no longer a big deal. I've heard from most women that once you go through child birth, the rest of these visits are nothing and all modesty is lost. I beg to differ. I did get used to the visits as I said before, but now that my kids are 8 and almost 4, I am right back to hating these visits.

It's actually been almost two years since this visit and part of the reason for that is because at the last visit, we found a lump in my left breast and I had to have it checked out. It was staying sore, (the fact that two little boys love to run and head butt me on a regular basis only made this worse) so we decided to go ahead and remove the "mass". It was biopsied and as it turns out, not cancerous, THANK YOU GOD! :o)

Now, almost two years later, that same breast is staying sore and is more tender during "that time" so I want to get it checked out.

I also scheduled this visit because I believe that my hormones are out of whack again. I say again because, before I got pregnant with the twins, I had a hormone imbalance and had to take medicine to return my progesterone to a normal level. The reasons I believe that I am out of whack again are as follows:

1. I am tired all of the time.
2. I am easy to anger.
3. If I'm not angry, I'm on the verge of tears.
3.5 I go from really happy to really sad in a millisecond.
4. Normally, I am not overly sensitive. My feelings get hurt, I deal with it, I get over it quickly.
5. Recently, I have had several episodes where I have had my feelings hurt when it was PERFECTLY CLEAR that I was being teased and should not be taking offense. I believe myself to have a pretty good sense of humor and can normally laugh at myself. I knew I was being teased and could not stop being "bitchy". I had to walk away before I could let it go and when I did, I had to cry about it and call my best friend. Thank you again Billie. I don't know what I would do without a friend who's been through some of this $hit too and is my voice of reason!
6. I am having a really hard time keeping my patience with the kids. I know that they are just kids, being kids, but it doesn't seem to matter.
7. I am easily distracted and I'm having a difficult time staying on task.
8. I am constantly worried that someone is mad at me. I worry that I haven't had as many comments on my blogs, I worry that my boss is on the verge of telling me to stick it even though he tells me almost daily he doesn't know what he would do without me. I worry that I'm driving Mike crazy and he will finally get fed up and leave me even though I know beyond a doubt that he loves me madly. I worry that I am ruining my kids and they will need therapy for the rest of their life once they reach adulthood.

My appointment is scheduled for next Monday at 10 a.m. I will post again and let everyone know if the tenderness is another lump forming, whether or not the Dr. thinks I'm out of whack again and any other findings of interest after my appointment.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday with the kids.

Today turned out to be a better day than it started out to be. First off, I didn't sleep well at all last night. We had a doggie friend stay the night and basically we were trying to see if the little dog would get along with Lita, our dog. Let's just say they were not best of friends. Lita was very jealous and any time that the little dog would get close to one of us, Lita would butt in and growl. We even had a few "snapping" matches where they show their teeth and use that Yipping bark.
On top of this excitement, the boys didn't sleep well last night, I went to bed late and ended up falling asleep in their bed. The boys share a full size mattress and they sleep in it like this.

Now add me in between the two and it becomes a not so comfortable situation. Needless to say, I got very little sleep.

Also, when the kids got up this morning they both wanted milk as usual. Tyler likes chocolate, Jake likes strawberry, and normally I don't mind getting it for them. Guess what. This morning, we were out of milk. The kids got up before 7:30 this morning and Michael definitely handles getting up early better than I do, and well, He got to sleep through the night, no boys in the bed because I was with them. When the kids got up, I went to my bed and tried my very hardest to ignore them, and get some sleep. They were loud, whiny and would not listen for ANYTHING! After an hour and forty-five minutes, I finally gave up, went and got my shower, and took the kids with me to return the dog to my sister-in-law who is trying to find it a good home. Michael helped his nephew remove a tree in his yard today and that's why I took the kids with me. On our way home, we picked up two gallons of milk (which will be gone in less than four full days) and stopped at the MickeyD's to pick up some breakfast.

After breakfast, I put the boys down for their nap,(it was around 11) ended up laying between them again, and they might have slept for an hour. A good nap for the boys to be refreshed and in a good mood requires at least a two hour stretch. They got up grumpy as ever and still whining.

After Michael got home, this is what we did.

Michael loves kids and anytime he sees pictures on a job, our kids tend to come up. Michael is the reason that Krista at one of the company's he works at got a Digital SLR. He told her how great the pictures turn out and she has a little girl. They even took a class together last fall that was supposed to teach them the basics on settings and f/stops and how to take a really good picture. Notice I said supposed to. I know Michael wasn't overly impressed when the instructor suggested that any flaws in a picture can be fixed with Photoshop and proceeded to evaluate the pictures taken and tell you how to fix them with the program, instead of what to change in the camera settings.

But I digress, we went to Krista's home today to take some pictures of her family, which has just been expanded with a new baby boy. Here are a few of my favorite shots today. I would love some feedback.

I've left the pictures exactly like they were taken. I want to crop a few of them to fix them up and edit out the cars in the one, but I think that these turned out really good along with so many others. These are just a few of my favorites. The one on the stack of towels is so sweet in black and white.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Valuable time spent together.

Michael and I started Tae Kwon Do together three years ago. It's hard to believe it's been that long. The boys were 9 months old when we put Eden in what used to be called Tiny Tots at the school where my Best Friend Billie's youngest, David, was taking the class. I was sitting there with Billie one night shortly after Eden started taking classes and I don't remember if it was me or Billie but one of us said to the other, I would totally do this if you want to try it out.

Here is a picture of me and Michael when we were just starting. You start with a plain white belt, we are wearing the first earned belt and testing for a yellow belt. Billie is at this test as well but in the line of students in front of us for this test. Every test after this one, Master Bertrand would line the three of us up so that you could see the form in perfect sync with each other. We practiced together and would come home after each test and look up the moves for the next form, so excited to learn the form before the following Tuesday's class. Bill Thomas affectionately referred to us as the "Over Achievers".

This is Eden testing for her "Green Stripe" in Tiny Tots. After the students graduate from the Tiny Tots class they are allowed to study to earn color belts. In Tiny Tots, they add a stripe to the White Belt. Eden is currently a Red Belt. This means that she is three belts away from becoming a Black Belt. Michael and Billie earned their Black Belts earlier this year. I made it to a green belt and was having a lot of trouble doing the stances for the forms because of my knees hurting so bad. I went to see the orthopedic surgeon who replaced mom's knee and she told me that I have early onset osteo arthritis and a grade 3 condromalaysia in my left knee. (In layman's terms it basically means that I have little to no cartilage left in my knee, aka my knees are totally screwed!) She told me that most exercise helps conditions like mine, however the constant twisting of the knee required in a tae kwon do stance was causing more damage and therefore I had to quit. However, I'm extremely proud of Mike and Billie for their accomplishment!!! and I'm pretty proud of myself as well. I have a pretty great round house kick!
I am also proud of Eden. I'm not sure that she is still so excited about taking the classes but she is very good at the forms and can break a 1" thick board with both a kick or a "hammer fist". This translates into being able to break a rib in self defense. I hope that she will always practice enough that she will always be able to protect herself.

Check out this picture of Billie breaking two 1" boards with a punch. (FYI, this is a very VERY difficult break, a black belt tested just a few weeks before this test and could not accomplish this break, I mention this because black belts are more advanced in their training and even after several tries, she still did not manage this. Billie broke these boards on the first try like she was simply punching through paper!) Shout out to my girl! I LOVE YOU SISTA!!

Here is Michael breaking a board with a back kick. This is also a difficult break. You have to spin around fast enough to site the boards then place the kick just right so that they break. Billie and Mike both did this break as a requirement to earn the black belt after kicking into the air across the floor 100 times. Billie almost passed out from the exhaustion. Luckily she had her best bud there with her big mouth screaming at her "come on girl. YOU GOT THIS!!!"

Bill Thomas and Joel Evans are the black belts standing with Mike and Billie. They were instrumental in helping them achieve their black belts. We love you guys!

Since I couldn't do Tae Kwon Do anymore, Michael and I have tried to find something that we both enjoy doing together. It took us quite some time, but in the last year, we have both discovered a love of taking pictures with a DSLR camera. We went to Las Vegas two years in a row for spring break with Billie and Jason, and Michael isn't a gambler so we took the digital Kodak Easy Share camera that we had. Michael got a pretty good picture of the strip at night, but it was just a "snapshot" quality picture and he just wasn't happy with it.

Here is the picture. I actually thought it was really good and I had Jennifer, (my brother's wife) help me turn this into a background for my MySpace page that I used when we were counting down the days on the second trip out. When we came back from the second trip Mike was so frustrated that he couldn't get the picture that he wanted, he took the money that he didn't gamble, and bought our first DSLR. We bought the Canon Rebel with a 18mm - 125mm kit lens. Michael likes taking landscapes and interesting scenes. He has a wonderful eye for what is "unique" and takes really great pictures. I love Macro shots. You guys have already seen several of the shots that we have both taken. Our ultimate goal is to capture a really great, tack sharp picture of the Louisville skyline at night. We are still trying. You wouldn't think that it would be that difficult of a job, but, the conditions have to be just right and there is definitely a "sweet time" and the river has to be almost perfectly calm. It's not very often that the river is calm enough to capture the reflection of the skyline like we are wanting. So, all three of our kids ask us on a regular basis if we can go to the river.

This picture was taken with the Canon Rebel XT sitting on a tripod the night of the "hurricane" when all of the power was out on the Jeffersonville side but Louisville still had power.

Glenda has a picture of the skyline when the river looks like a perfect mirror reflection of the skyline.

Now we try to think of the best places to go to get really cool pictures. Eden and the twins have their own little hand me down cameras that each likes to use and we are starting them out young!

I saved the best picture for last. This awesome picture that we got from the Belvedere in downtown Louisville last night when Mike and I took the kids over and let them play while we shot pictures and played with shutter speeds.

I really hope that this will be one of those pictures you can click on and zoom in. There are so many cool things in this shot. The Belle of Louisville is reflected perfectly in the river, the headlights and tail lights making the light streams, the interstate signs are in pretty good focus, the arch of the 2nd Street bridge, and I love how the street lamps look like twinkling stars!

Monday, June 1, 2009

One busy weekend

So... my baby sister graduated from high school on Sunday. Saturday, we had the graduation party. Saturday, I discovered that I could never enjoy being a caterer. We had taco dip, hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, and macaroni & cheese. Of all the things listed here the potato salad was the only item I did not prepare. I was grill master and oven/stove top master. It was exhausting! But, it was also delicious. Even if I do say so myself! :o)

It's hard to tell it, but for the "Smith family" I post this picture so that you will know, when you guys come up for Christmas this year and it's at my mom's again, there will be considerably more room for the family to move around in. Michael is pretty much standing where a wall used to be, if you look above his head you can see the beam across the ceiling where the wall used to be. I can't begin to tell you how much fun I had tearing it down and mom is still in the process of getting it finished out. It is an awesome space and will allow us all to be in the same room without requiring us to sit in each others laps. Here are a few more pictures from the party.

The "gift" table. Gifts were mostly cards. Here's a pretty cool picture from the party. This is Allen, Jennifer and Nathan. Nathan is 2 now and this picture for the Smith's probably feels very much like a picture of Neal feels to me. It's nice to see a picture so you know they really are still alive and happy somewhere. It was really nice to have my whole family in the same place at the same time. I said Nathan is 2. I forgot to mention that he is as tall as my twins, who will be 4 in August.

Look at her face carefully and you'll see the red soda mustache. This is a picture of a child who has had one hot dog, God knows how many soft drinks and at least one slice of cake. Happy to be on a sugar high so that she can stay up late and PARTY!!! LOL :op

Sunday, at the graduation ceremony, the high school band preformed "Pomp and Circumstance" for the seniors. Our school mascot is a "Highlander". In my own school years we affectionately called the mascot a "fag in a plaid skirt". Not until Erin's graduation did I discover that it's actually pretty cool to have a bag piping highlander as a mascot, because it means you can have a bagpiper in your high school band. In this picture, they are playing "Amazing Grace" I don't know of any more beautiful sound than a bagpipe playing this song. The only thing is, I tend to associate it with a death, not a graduation. It was really cool nonetheless.

Here she is entering the gymnasium. If you look closely, you can see colored tassels around her neck. They were to recognize her achievements in Art. Erin is a very talented artist. She uses several different mediums and has won several awards for her paintings. She also has an amazing eye for photographs. Her and Louise would make a perfect team! Not that me, Amy and Michael don't take really great pictures too. :o)

And last but not least, here she is walking across the stage taking her final steps into adulthood.

OK. So I was wrong. I had to post this picture too. This is approximately 440 caps tossed into the air to celebrate breaking free of the jail that is high school. Congratulations Erin! I couldn't be more proud! Also, I don't know if you'll be able to zoom on this picture or not, but in the upper half almost in the middle there is a banner on the wall depicting a gorgeous Nordic type man. This is a much more attractive Highlander than the life size statue that we had back in my day who was indeed wearing that horrible, green and gold (school colors) kilt and toting around a bagpipe.