There are a lot of decisions to be made lol. Most of them require a bit of thinking time. And others are just wait and see.

One of the one that is hardest for me is the decision on what to do with Bubba. We (me and the girls) love the dog, but Shea and I are coming to the conclusion that Kathleen (and myself) are allergic to him. Not specifically to him, or to dogs in general but to dog dander. We didn't have issues with Diamond, sure she shed like crazy so that kinda implies that we aren't alergic to dog hair. Bubba on the other hand has always had really dry skin, and dandruff. Black dog, white flakes everywhere, hard to miss lol.

Since we've gotten him I've been told I have allergies, and so has Kathleen. In May I'll have been taking Zyrtec for a year. We've had him since December of that year prior. He'll be 2 this Octoberish. I really don't like the idea of having to get rid of him, but if it comes down to Kathleen's allergies and him I'm going to have to choose her over him. Her health is more important.

Our insurance isn't going to cover allergy testing for her I'm sure. I'd feel 100% more comfortable with the decision if we really knew for certain it was the case. But insurance sucks. We might get better soon, but it all depends on Shea changing jobs in the near future. Shea isn't sure we should wait that long. But I also believe another month or two isn't going to make the girls anymore attached then they already are.

And this is only one of those fun decision to be made. Fun Fun!

Okay it's very much my fault for the girlies wanting to listen to it. I watched My So-Called Life this past week. And it brings back memories from college and one of the song's played in the series is I wanna be sedated by the Ramones. It was also played by a band in Reality Bites - one of the movies we saw at school in a dinky little room on campus for free. Was awesome time.

So I started listening to the song and now the girls really want to hear it over and over and over again. And it must be this version on you tube.

Had a headache for most of this week. Probably due to the pollen count and stuff. I'm taking my allergy meds, but it still isn't helping. Shea says I should go talk to the doctor. I'm hesitant to do so.

There are a ton of things I should do, need to do etc, but I'm in an eh mood. Don't want to do anything. Well the one thing I want to do I have no inspiration. I have a hankering desire to code something but I have nothing to code and I am not in the design creative mood. I have no inspiration to come up with some design.

I'm just in one of those moods. It happens fairly often. And really I don't know what to do about. My parents will be here in May, hopefully that will help. But I'm sure this will pass before then. It comes and goes. And really gets annoying.

*sighs*

It's getting warm down here. It's been in the 70's for over a week, and we are running the air conditioner every night. The windows in the living room and office are open and it's cold in the morning, but that's only relative. The house stays chilly through out the day so I end up in a sweatshirt all day but it's worth it.

We moved our computers to the bedroom to prepare for the incoming heat. We spent an hour or so cleaning up the bedroom to do that. It still needs a little work, and then I really need to buckle down and clean the entire house before it gets too hot.

I also need to call the AC people to come see if they can tell us what is wrong with our AC unit and how much it'll be to fix it. We probably won't run it much this summer but it'll be nice to have if we have company which we are planning on having this May. My parents are coming and we are excited. The girls are making plans already lol.

It's always good to see my parents, I only wish we could make it home more often. We will enjoy their visit muchly but it's not the same as going home. Probably won't be this year maybe next year will make it up in the summer or over winter break. Kathleen starting school will limit the times we can go.

March 1st starts pre-registration for Kindergarten. I have to make a phone call tomorrow to see if I must take my Kindergartner with me or not if I don't then I will just take the little one to fill out the paper work. Registration is in July for like two days. fun.

They are growing up so fast. I'm so happy to see Kathleen doing so well, even though it's a fight to make her stay at school. She likes it, but she doesn't want to leave me. I haven't been nearly as present as I could have been with her outings and the like because I want her to learn to be with her friends with out me.

Kathleen has her first birthday party this Saturday. I have to remember to pick something up for the little girl. It's at the skating rink so it'll be nice to take the girls. Even if it's an extra $4 for Sammi to skate, it'll be good.

We'll probably take the girls skating again for Sam's birthday just the two of them with the passes Kathleen got for her birthday. Hopefully they will have a good time.

Last Saturday was an interesting day. We got up at 7am to get ready, I had already packed everything except the things we needed in the morning. I had made a list so I wouldn't forget important things like the girls antibiotics. We left around 7:55am to go get the little cakes Shea's Mom wants us to pick up. They weren't done but I had forgotten my phone so Shea waited for them to be finished while I went home to get my phone.

The drive over was rather uneventful, except that place we wanted to eat breakfast at didn't open up until 10:45am, it was a little after 8:30, so that wasn't going to work. We eventually found a place to eat and and made it to Mobile. The hotel room wasn't ready yet so we headed over to the coliseum where the ball was. We helped a little with things, and watched the emblem practice.

We went back to the hotel to Shea's parents room it was on the second floor. When we were leaving Samantha let go of my hand as I stopped to talk to some family members. The doors shut and Sammi went down. Thankfully Shea was on the first floor to find her there because no matter how many times I smashed the button to go down it still didn't open the doors, it just went down. I heard Samantha cry on the inside but Kathleen let out a scared cry as she knew her sister was trapped. We showed her that Sammi was safe in Daddy's arms and when we made it down the elevator she hugged her sister so tight. Sammi still tells me Mommy I don't want to go in elevators again.

I only lost Samantha once. She had wandered back to a friend who watches them once and a while. I was thankful that was the only time she wandered from me.

We watched the 2pm parade and the girls got pelted with beads a number of times. They didn't really like the parade after that. But they did manage to get some things.

At 6pm we got ready for the party in our pretty dresses and Shea in his tux. We had an issue after getting ready with Shea disappearing on me and me getting upset but it's important not to dwell on it. So I won't reiterate it here, needless to say we finally got together in time for formal pictures with the Queen to be made.


Note: these pictures were taken at home before the ball.

We sat back down after pictures and waited for about an hour for the show to start. Samantha started to fall asleep them but their aunt took her for a walk and that seemed to help keep her awake. At least until it got dark and she had to be quiet. She started nodding off in their lap, so I took her to mine to see about keeping her awake, it was over for her she was out. We moved over to the eldest nephew, who had agreed to carry her up on to do her part in the show. She flopped around and was a big hit with the crowd. She stayed asleep the rest of the time.

Kathleen got to dance with Daddy and she wanted to dance with me, but we really needed to get Sammi from their uncle and head home. I promised her we'd dance at home. I've yet to fulfill that promise but I will. She was such a good girl there I am very proud of her. Of both of them, they did a good job of behaving.

When we got back to the hotel room I woke Samantha up taking off her dress. I was afraid when we went to bed that she'd be up all night, but she wasn't she curled up and pretty quickly went to sleep, everyone was exhausted. That was the start of the first bad night Shea had. A cold snuck up on him and he had a miserable night.

The morning came and we packed up and helped pack up the in laws massive stuff too, and then we went to breakfast before coming home.

All in all it was a good time. We enjoyed it. We probably won't do it again very soon, but we'll see. It's not our cup of tea as they say.

I saw that one of my friends had joined The Amazing Month of Writing so I decided to check it out. For the month of March the goal is to write 1000 words a day. Much like NaNoWriMo it's all about the writing. But this is not so much as writing a novel but just writing consistently and with a goal.

So I go with it this month and hope I can pull 1000 words a day out between blogging, rps and writing I have some work I want to do on my first chapter of Reveal, and to rewrite the second chapter based on a new idea. But that new idea requires an outline rewrite - at least in the first part of the story.

Maybe with this goal of 1000 words a day I might actually start blogging regularly. Tho I really don't have much to say that isn't about my kids lol. So not sure how interesting it is. And unlike a friend of mine I really don't have much opinion about the things going around me so that's not an option. I know there are a lot of things around me I should care about -health care and so many other things but not really interested.

Today's count is at about 500 at this very moment, and continuing to grow as I finish this post lol. 1000 words across the things I want to do should work for me. Hopefully I can do this entire month - weekends will be hard but I will try.

Two days ago Kathleen went to the doctor to find out she had strep throat. Yesterday we did the same thing with Samantha. At 9am she passed out on the bed while watching TV. That's off even for Sammi. When I went to check on her she felt warm so I called the doctor to see when we could walk in. It would have to be that after noon but we got in so no big deal.

Kathleen had an eye and ear exam at 1pm so we just stayed for a walk in appointment for Samantha. Kathleen's ears are fine so no damage done to the ears with her extended fluid on her ears. Yay! But her eyes not so much. She passed the first test, but the one where she had to tell the nurse what letter or number she saw she couldn't make out the letters. I don't know if she didn't know the name of the letter or if she was being too shy or if she really couldn't see it. They were blurry to me when I went in to see and can see how she might have problems, but I was wearing my glasses so I know it's possible I need an update. The nurse will call eventually after the doctor sees the results and we'll probably get a referal to an eye doctor that deals with children. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

After Kathleen's tests we sat down to wait. As a walk in I expected to wait forever, but we were the first ones there and early too boot, and we got called back right away. Needless to say we were home by 3ish I think. Sammi refused to let them take a swab of her throat. It ended up the nurse pinning her down and me trying to keep her hands away from her so the nurse could get the swab to test. It came back positive.

Both girlies have strep. But it's not something I worry over that came around supper time. Sammi wouldn't eat. She had a bought of diarehha earlier and was a lot too warm. I gave her her medicine when she crawled into my bed I knew she'd fall asleep, she'd almost fallen asleep on her desk when she sat down there. She fell asleep and was awake by 9pm - hungry. I stayed up with her and fed her and made sure she was ready to stay in her room so she didn't wake Shea up. During those 3 hours while she napped I worried. When she woke up hungry she and was more back to herself so I didn't worry all night long like I had anticipated.

I guess it's true you learn something new everyday. Yesterday was no exception. Thursday after school we went to Walmart for groceries. We got in the car, and Kathleen started complaining about stomach pain. She went pale white and then got sick. There was little I could while I drove the car. But it turned out she was fine after that little episode. She ate lunch with out issue and was up and playing around as soon as we got home. No more problems.

That was until she started complaining about a headache. For the next few days she'd mention to me she had a headache. I gave her some Tylenol we took a shower etc. But the next day she'd still say something. It was nearly so bothersome until Sunday night when she complained a lot. And was up almost all night because of a headache and what I believe is a fever. Why do I say I believe is a fever? Mostly because I'm cold by nature, I very rarely even hit normal body temperature when I take my temperature normally. And the girls they run hot like their Daddy. But I know the girls heat level compared to mine in most cases. And Kathleen felt warm, much warmer than she usually does. I worried about her all night and pretty much resolved to take her to the doctor that night. Not because so much of the fever but the fever with the combined headache.

Shea thought it was a good idea as well. We took her in as a walk in and didn't spend all day there, thankfully. But we found out that Kathleen has strep throat. The doctor told us sometimes strep presents itself as a headache and stomach pain. I took her in mostly to check her ears to make sure they weren't the cause of her headache, only to find out its her throat.

Little did I know or even suspect that it was strep, so after many kisses later, it's possible that everyone in the family has strep or had it. We really don't know where it came from. Possibly from Shea's work since there hasn't been a recent strep case in daycare in a while.

Today I have a sore throat. Yay me. I will watch to see how it progresses for the day, and we'll see how it goes. I need to watch Sammi as well, it's really difficult to tell when Sam is sick, she shows no signs of it ever, and she rarely complains. Well that's a lie, she complains every time Kathleen does, so I can never tell if she really has an issue or not. If I still have a sore throat tomorrow I will most likely go to the doctor on Thursday or at least try to. Tomorrow I can't as our new stove will be delivered sometime on Wednesday.

Whelp today we pre-ordered Rift. We both really like the game. It's a throw back to Dark Age of Camelot and Warhammer with lots of WoW thrown in as well. I hope that the end game is worth it. I wasn't happy with WoW end game. But then I'm not a raider anyway. I can't say I'm a PvPer either but the end game in Dark Age of Camelot was much better than it ever was in WoW. DAoC at least was a dynamic game play.

I have heard rumors that they may end up making an open world PvP area for the PvE. Personally I think that is a much better end game than just doing raid after raid. I'd rather chase rifts down and fight bosses there than do the same content over and over again. But that's me.

I do very much enjoy Rift's public group system. There is no yelling for invites or having to know someone to get in on the action. Its just a click of the button away. Join a rift raid and then leave to go to the next one. Really awesome game play if you ask me. They have IDs just like WoW where you form your group(s) before hand. I'm sure there are raid dungeons as well I just haven't gotten that far yet lol.

Rift has an infinite potential in characters but I'm sure they'll cookie cutter it eventually. This this and this are the best and this is the best layout for it. I've never been good with the whole cookie cutter specs. That is how all games end up being in the end. I just want to play the way I want to lol. So leave me be.

We are trying out a guild at this time on Keenblade Shard called Retribution. So far it's okay but we've not been on when they've done any guild stuff so not sure if they are just a tag to our name or not. But the people seem nice enough. We'll see as things go on I guess.

We canceled WoW and will be playing Rift when it goes live March 1st. We pre-ordered the digital collectors edition, it was worth the ten dollars to get extra bag space and a free mount on character creation. The physical one wouldn't be worth it but eh, it's all good. I'm only concerned about not having a copy of the game on CD so that we can reinstall on a reformat or new computer. But I'm sure I'll figure something out soon enough on how to remedy that situation.

I am doing much better today. Thanks for all the stories and encouragement, they do help. One really great thing happened on Tuesday. Kathleen's ears had no fluid on them so that relieved much of my tension. It didn't remove the quarter issue and I'm really not sure why I'm not a major mess.

Sammi was given chewable elax yesterday and passed a bowel yesterday and one this morning. No quarter, but for some reason I'm not panicking. Talking with a friend I think I just over worried myself and now I'm numb to it. But I have Shea and he's grounding me so I bug him to keep checking Sam's tummy but all seems well. Tomorrow if she poops I'll probably be a lot better.

I'm still not sure if I'll be completely worry free with out a chest x-ray but we'll see. She's doing well, she's pooping if she keeps doing so I'll probably ease into being okay with.

Thing is we don't really know what she swallowed. I assume it was a quarter. She said she swallowed money. And the only money I knew she had was a Quarter and that was what Shea said that Kathleen had given her a bit earlier. I don't really know but I'm fearful something will go wrong. I'm just not in overdrive. This is a much more manageable fear. I think it was everything just piling on me at once. Kathleen's ears have been plaguing me for a while.

So on top of all this everyone is getting sick. I have a cough and sore throat and tons of sneezing. Sammi has a majorly runny nose, Kathleen has a cough and Shea is feeling off as well. We potentially might get snow, it's cold enough north of us to get sleet/ice rain mix etc, but not here I don't think. The big pink mass heading our way is well north of I-10 and we live south of that. So doubt we'll see anything tonight/tomorrow. But Thursday they are forecasting snow.... SNOW. It has snowed all of once since we moved down here, and that was Christmas my first year here lol. So we'll see. I'm not overly eager for snow, but I would really love to see the girls reactions to snow and playing in what limited amount they get. Yes Mom I'll take pictures and probably video it if we get some snow to play in!

Today I'm completely and utterly exhausted. I have some major Mama Worries and combine that with lack of sleep and I'm a royal mess. Here's the story.

Samantha swallowed a Quarter on Sunday. She's breathing, eating and drinking okay, so we did nothing. Shea and many other reassured me that she'll be fine. With the first real issue down I can live with it but not we are in a holding pattern waiting for the quarter to pass. I don't do so well in holding patterns when it comes to my kids or anything really.

So I woke up yesterday with my typical nervous stomach and the day went from there. I did manage to eat more food that I had anticipated but still think I'm going on a nervous stomach diet.

Last night I didn't sleep well, and it wasn't just worry of Samantha, it started out as worry over Kathleen. She has her yearly check up today, and she's been complaining about her ears. Now I don't know if they really hurt or if it's an excuse to stay home from school or not to go to bed, but either case the doctor is going to say there is more than likely fluid still in her ears. And I know it's going to look like I'm a bad Mom, but the thing is. It took them a month to get me a number so I can take out a loan. And it took me another month to have extra money to make this appointment. But what worries me most is that even if she gets fluid who's to say when they fall out we have figured out why she has so many ear infections in the beginning. It's probably allergy, but she's been on allergy medicine since she last saw the ENT almost everyday (which was Dec 9th). So almost two months of childrens Zyrtec and Nasonex. With no help to the ears, does this mean we have to do something else we can't afford other than tubes. I mean sure we treat the symptoms but what's the cause she's not that sick in my opinion.

But then Samantha woke up at 1:30a ish crying. She said something bit her, and was crying about a lost toy. I asked her where it hurt she pointed to her butt. Then I asked again a few miniutes later and she pointed at her head. I think she was woke by a nightmare and she was being overly clingy. There is no way I could sleep in her room and I couldn't leave her and I was already beyond tired from worry over Kathleen. I now piled worry over Sammi on top of that. So I did the only thing I could do I brought her into the bedroom with me. I laid her down and felt her tummy. I thought it was hard, but it was probably because she was coughing or something cause Shea felt it and thought she was okay. He asked her if it hurt here and she said yes. He rubbed her head and asked that, and she said yes. Same with the legs and feet. She has a habit of just saying yes or no to whatever we ask no matter what her real answer is unless it's something she really wants. So we went to sleep.

Kathleen woke up alone and so she came to sleep on our floor but I still got very little sleep as Sammi couldn't get comfortable. She tossed and turned for about an hour and a half. Around 3:30ish I nodded on and off until 4a. After Shea left for work I got a few hours of sleep until 6:30a when my first alarm went off. I tried to doze from there but I kept waking up ever few mins in a jolt of panic.

I am a worried mess and I know I shouldn't be, we are doing the best we can but that doesn't mean I don't worry any less.

Heat is one of those things you take for granted when you have it and miss it terribly when you don't have it. Two nights ago I noticed (but didn't say anything) that our heater seamed to be acting up. It didn't kick in after being on. I didn't think anything of it. But it didn't come on the rest of the night either. It got really chilly in the morning and through out the next day. Thankfully I tried the heat in the morning and found it wasn't working. Shea looked at it but we couldn't afford for him to stay home. So he went to work and called his Dad to get his AC guy to come take a look.

Kathleen went to school and Sammi and I stayed home to try to stay warm. I ended up going to Walmart with the girls after I picked Kitten up cause Sammi and I needed a bit warmth. We looked in the toys and sports area for starter skates just to see prices but they didn't have any. We then picked up some McDonald's so the girls could have a warm lunch instead of just sandwiches or cereal. Warm was better than cold since we still hadn't gotten any heat. We came home and the AC guy came and found the problem. It was the ignitor/glow plug was cracked and thus not working. He went out picked up another one and then we had heat.

It really was amazing how cold it was. It was so cold that after I got warm after a hot shower how my body just released all it's tension. My back and legs were killing me. A little stretching and Aleve helped me get to sleep.

I am thankful we have such great family (on both sides).

Kathleen's birthday party was today. We had two kids from school and the Uncle's and Aunt's and cousins and of course Mam and PawPaw. It was a nice get together for Kathleen she got to play with two of her friends from school and the little boy that came was even very friendly with the girls.

The girls got the beginner skates and Kathleen did really great on them. Samantha usually went with someone but she'd let go of their hand once and a while. The other two started out with normal skates and they didn't do so well but their parents went to get them some beginner skates and they did great after that.

Kathleen said her classic "Oh My Gosh" when she opened a lot of her toys. She loved things she got.

It wasn't until the limbo that I fell. Against my better judgment I went with Kathleen and in my attempt to go under I fell. Yay me! I didn't go under again I'd had enough limbo lol. After our last round through I was talking with Kathleen and trying to do too many things at once and I fell. I mean I fell. Right smack on my hind end and my wrist of course you always land on the palm of your hand and jam your wrist. My palm is bruised and my butt is sore. But it was fun. Everyone had a good time. I am glad that she had a few friends show up.

Last night I walked away from my stove while I was heating up oil to drop rice into for Mexican rice. And I forgot I had done that went back in a few minutes later any my kitchen was on fire. I backed up out of it yelled fire to Shea and proceeded to look for the fire extinguisher since I knew it had oil in it I wasn't about to drop it in the sink and add water. Thankfully only the pan was on fire. The microwave door is slightly melted, but I'm pretty sure it's still in decent shape. Its just one expense will have to do if we want to sell the joint lol.

Today I set down to the task of cleaning the soot off of everything in the kitchen. The oven corner no longer looks like a black hole, while not 100% completely clean it's better than it was.

Shea's always telling me I'm going to set the house on fire. Yesterday was almost one of those days. The only damage other than smoke damage is the microwave. Though I might be down another pan we'll see after I clean it out.

I'm thankful the fire extinguisher worked. I'm thankful I caught it before the pot holder and apron next to the stove caught fire or the cupboards above the stove. I said I needed to do a deep cleaning well now I'll be cleaning a lot more than intended in the kitchen. I'm not sure I can get all the crap off of the top of the cupboards smoke related or not. It's just not easy to get elbow grease moving up there on a ladder or the counter. But I'm going to wash down all the walls to be best of my ability and scrub my cupboards and make sure my kitchen gets a deep clean. I then really need to do the whole thing to the girls bedroom next.

I need more cleaning supplies tho and possibly a mask so I don't die from the fumes of the cleaning chemicals. Though I will probably use vinegar in most places - but bleach is a must in the kitchen.

One hell of a way to start the New Year -I don't recommend this method of jump-starting your New Years Resolutions.

After thinking about things I decided on a few specific things I need/want to do this year.

  • Write 2500 words a week (or 500 words for 5 days each week)
  • Create a postcard/brochure for my freelancing business
  • Find a job
  • Buy an exercise bike (and use it!)
  • Expand my WordPress knowledge
  • Try to make sour dough bread
  • Fine new and creative ways to each well on a small budget
  • Try some new vegetables
  • Learn more jQuery
  • Reduce Allergens in my house/Deep Clean the House

You will notice that I do not have Lose Weight on my list of things to do this year. Most notably because while I do have a goal, it is not the goal I wish to acheive so much as a healthier me. So the things on my list are meant to make a healthier me and in turn hopefully lose the weight I want to.

Last year I made 2 sets of Resolutions - one about me and one about my freelancing. I can't say I did then or even that I feel like acomplished goals there but I'll go thru and reflect none-the-less.

I did buy a scale with out batteries and use it regularly, not that I lost any weight per-say. I did purchase EA Active, Kathleen loves the roller blading jump, but the whole batteries dying and needing to recharge kinda through the whole using the Wii to exercise off. I did manage to cut out the soda for a while, but I started again and well I've pretty much resigned myself to having to exercise to get any weight off. We don't eat bad, yes I could do with out the soda but the caffeine is a hard drug to kick lol.

As for my freelancing, I stopped working for HIT in March cause they didn't have enough work to go around. I didn't make any WordPress themes that were for clients. With out proper direction it's difficult for me to do so. And I did not learn anything new with .net. However I did figure out a direction I want to go with my freelancing - WordPress "expert". I'm pretty much going to focus on WordPress. I have recently worked on custom post types in various forms. I have one paying client I used two custom post types on their new site, one database personal project I took on for Dragonmount's White Tower RP Group. I also utilized custom posts for my own portfolio.

So all in all not a very resolute year, but it was a decent year.

Yesterday I got an email from a man (I assume it's a man) about a PHP Programmer job opening up in Mobile. I checked out the website that was in his signature, but the job was not listed so I had no more information on it. This morning I checked the site again and it's listed today. The pay is decent enough to make some money and pay the things I need to, but it depends on the location of this company since the company I'm looking at isn't the company I'd be working for, this is a recruiting company so not sure how this is going to go.

I have a phone call with them this morning at 9am. Hopefully the girls will continue to watch TV peacefully for the next hour or so so I can get through this with little interruption. But we'll see I doubt it will be that way once the phone rings. It never does.

I'll post again once I've gone through this phone call.

Serious Eats - Starter Along - Sourdough Series was a good read, now I think I'm going to put it into practice. The cold weather has made me think that baking on a regular basis would be a good thing. So today I started my own sourdough starter. This will hopefully help in the keeping the house warmer as well as make the house smell good and have some good bread to eat from. Should be an interesting experiment. I'll let ya know how it goes.

Imagination –noun
1. the faculty of imagining, or of forming mental images or concepts of what is not actually present to the senses.
Dictionary.com

Creativity –noun
2. the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination: the need for creativity in modern industry; creativity in the performing arts.
Dictionary.com

Two seemingly close meanings and yet when I look at my children I see them as too completely different things. Sure they are concurrent but they are not the same.

Kathleen is creative beyond all things. She loves to make things whether its with paper or with her toys. She loves to build, draw, color. She has a desire to figure things out.

Samantha just loves to play. She lets her imagination do the work. She is currently playing with wooden letter blocks a trailer to a car and several other things, and she's talking, they are talking. They can't do these things in real life, but they are doing it for her.

This is by no way me saying one is smarter than the other or plays better or anything like that. I am just amazed that with the same set of toys and same upbringing how these two girls play so differently.

I was not an only child, me and my brother I think played in the same fashions. We had good imaginations, and we loved to play to the full extent of our ability playing with every toy at once creating dramatic worlds and "characters". I remember setting up cities with our fisher price people and the match box cars as their skate boards and scooters. They had houses made of blocks or just a rug that we designated as their home. These would stay set up for weeks on end as we played until it was time to clean our room.

It amazes me to watch the things they pick up from each other. Kathleen is learning to imagine, Samantha is learning to build things from her sister. But when left alone they go back to their roots and their natural modes of play.

I'll never forget the day Shea told the girls we were going to the store, Sammi just did not want to go, so he asked her if she wanted to go to the moon. She was of course excited. We got there and Shea exclaims "were at the moon get out!" Kathleen immediately says this is not the moon it's Jerry Lee's. She refused to take part in our "moon adventure" lol. But she went in arguing with her Dad the whole time about whether or not they were on the moon.

The girls wrote their letters to Santa, Kathleen wrote the whole thing with my help for letters.

I've attached Kathleen's letter so you can all see it for yourself.

It says "Dear Santa, I have been good. I want a Dora. Kathleen"

Samantha didn't write hers. She sat in my lap and I wrote it for her.

"Dear Santa, I have been good. Don't listen to my Daddy. I want Toys, a monkey and Cereal. Love Samantha"

While she was thinking about her list she paused dramatically Ummm, Toys,... um, with her finger to her lip... a monkey... um, Cereal.

She said she wanted cereal, I giggled.

We burnt the letters and they are now magically on Santa's note pad for him to read. I found out this was a British tradition, it's kinda cool, but I mostly did it cause it was what I did as a kid and enjoyed it.

Thanksgiving is nearly upon us and there is many things I am thankful for. Most of all I'm thankful I have two healthy little girls who light up my life as well as frustrate me beyond belief. I wouldn't have it any other way and of course my most loving husband whom I couldn't do any of this with out. He really does make my life so much better.

I am thankful for all of my family, immediate, extended or honorary. My only wish is that I could see everyone more often. My immediate family lives in three different locations, I have family in NY and in CO I wish I could see more often. I have friends who I consider family all over the world and wish it was easier to see them. But that is life we deal with it.

I am thankful we have a house and the money to pay for it, even if it's not enough to splurge on things we do get by and we are all happy, and that's what matters.

Thank you all for being part of my life and I wish the best for everyone.

I'm thinking about getting new pots and pans for Christmas. I am not sure exactly what I want, but I know I want a few things. I want them to be oven proof. I really want a steamer and a dutch oven. A large stock/pasta pot would be nice too, but any large pot works really for pasta.

I've found two online at Walmart that are in a good price range for me, that I think fit my needs, but I really am not sure what I want or if these are good brands. I'm going to do some more research on these particular brands but would love to hear what anyone has to say about them.

Kinetic Classicor 11 Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set

There seems to be a lot of good reviews at the sites I've seen, but they are all small in number like 3 or 4 per site.

Better Homes and Gardens 13-Piece Hard-Anodized Cookware Set

I can't get a picture of this one easily. The reviews are limited here as well. I'm not sure if this one is Teflon coated or not. Not sure I want Teflon or not.

I suppose I'll have to go see if they have any in stock at the store so I can see. I think I'm leaning towards the stainless steel set right now.

Kitten will be 5 next month. I'm still in awe of that. I'm not one of those people who sit and think oh my I remember when she was just this big holding out my hands to some small proportion she once was. I remember it, but it's not like yesterday.

Kathleen as a baby. You couldn't put her down after you fed her at night or in the middle of the night without waking her up. It became so bad at 9 months when Shea's son went back to his mothers we put the double bed mattress' on the floor and surrounding the bed with pillows on the floor. This just so I could feed her while she was laying down and not have to go through the motion of a short Mommy reaching down into a deep crib. Yeah that wasn't fun when she'd wake up and I'd have to rock her back to sleep all the while trying to keep her from waking Shea up. That transition made life so much easier.

A month later she was walking around, it was truly amazing to watch her waddle from one place to another. Then comes Sammi and life took on a bigger meaning and she had to learn how to share, which Kathleen did really well. She wanted to help and since she was walking already it was a cake walk to take the girls grocery shopping by myself. I think that was one of my biggest fears with two kids. Not being able to go to the store when I needed to, to have to wait for Shea to come home to do it. But we manage to do it with out a problem.

Kathleen is now going to be 5 and I'm like wow, has it been that long already. I'm so proud of her. While we still have issues with potty training and various other issues, she's a great gal and smart and sweet. She's very loving and even though her sister and Bubba beat up on her she loves them to death.

It amazes me when she shows off the things she does in preschool. I knew she could do all these things, she just needed the right push. She doesn't like going to school, but she's always excited when she goes home, she always has fun and she does learn a lot. I am very proud of her. (Not that I'm not proud of Samantha lol, but this is about Kathleen hehe.)

I still am amazed when the girls call me Momma, Mommy etc. It's still really kinda unbelievable that these little ones are mine. They drive me batty almost every day but I wouldn't change it for the world. The holidays are coming and they are who I hold on to when I'm far from my family. These two are the world to me (and their Daddy too). I can't imagine a day without them.

First up, I've actually been doing really well this November with my NaNoWriMo project. I'm currently at 27,525 words and it's only day 10, not even half way through. I'd like to see if I can get 3K in today but we'll see. I'm having to wing it. I mean I know the ending but how I get there and the character plots need to be finished so we'll see how long it takes and if the word count makes it. I've not decided yet if I'll let anyone read it, we'll see. May have a few red pen it lol we'll see. It's a big floppy in perspective if you ask me, but NaNo isn't about editting or critiquing just writing, and that's what I'm doing. I'll probably poke at it after NaNo. I do like the story and the characters and I see ongoing stories, and there is tons to write before the story takes place too.

On to the kid updates. Kathleen had an ENT appointment yesterday, she still has fluid on her ears, but there is no infection so the ENT said to come back in 4 weeks. If the fluid is still there then we'll go from there. If she spikes a fever or complains she said to come in. I really liked her, she reminded me of a friend of mine.

I'm also not sure how much of her meds she's actually taken. I have 30 minutes in the morning to get the girls up and ready including getting Kathleen to take her meds. Which typically takes that long. So I'm multitasking. About a week ago i caught her puttign the liquid meds UNDER my bed, just squished it out. Today she squished it out behind my bed. I turned my back for two seconds to put clothes in the hamper and she did it - AND then she lied to me. She can't play the computer or the Wii today. Tomorrow morning should be her last meds, but I'm going to make her finish the bottle off, it's only a day or two more at most, but since I don't know if she took it all I'm going to finish it off. If she does it again she's going to be regulated to sitting in her room with just coloring books, toys and books to read. No TV might make her understand the importance of taking her meds even if the fear of the hospital doesn't scare here much, tho it still does lol just not enough to take her meds all the time.

Shea and I are thinking of doing a skating party for Kathleen's 5th birthday party. She really wanted a pinata, but I think she'd have more fun this way and also have more friends over this way as well. I hate to impose upon my inlaws for that many kids lol. What use to be called the Rainbow Skate Center on Highway 63 looks to be the best price for the number of skaters. Now just to find a good weekend and put a list of people together. I also have to check on birthday invitations and cake requirements at her school. As it wasn't in the handbook. We'll have to see how things work out in the end.

For the past few weeks I've had sitting in my cupboards the ingredients to make pepermint bark or what I hoped would pass for it. Yesterday I made it. It's pretty basic. I melted white chocolate in the microwave, I used the stuff that you use to make an "Almond bark" you can use the chips and would probably melt quicker that way.

I stirred in some pepermint extract into the white chocolate and spread it over a waxpapered cookie sheet and then added Andies Pepermint Crunch peices on top and threw it in the freeze.

About 30 mins later it was solid and broken up and put back in the freezer (mostly to keep it out of little hands too much lol)

Shea liked it. We have an easy to make Dirty Santa gift this year. Cool.

I'm gonna start my from scratch pizza tonight again too, it'll be a good day I think. We will be trying a bacon chicken ranch pizza instead of a typical peperoni one.