Tami's Page

The life and times of a nifty chica in South Carolina
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It was pretty doggone fun if you ask me. Judging from Tristan's difficulty getting up this morning (not to mention my own) I'd say he'd agree. We started off by going to get their pictures taken at the studio. They have this adorable pumpkin patch and take a pic for free with a donation to Harvest Hope food bank of 3 items. So we took 6, and waited in a long line. I always love those Harvest photos. Tristan was a knight and Ashton was tinkerbell. (You'd laugh Jen9 b/c it's the exact one you wanted to bid on. Mom had it and she loved it b/c it spins around.)
Anyway, then we picked up Dawson from daycare and went trick or treating at Publix. It's very fun b/c it's all games, and you don't just win candy. They loved it. We came home and ate dinner. I didn't fix all nutritious b/c I really wanted them to get something on their stomachs before eating candy. I fixed chicken hotdogs, french fries , mac and cheese. mother of the year, huh? I forgot to eat myself, so that did backfire later, but oh well.
Tristan helped pass out candy while the little ones finished eating. Jenne stopped by with her kids so we Trick or treated about 3 houses around here and she got some pics. We went to mimi's so she could get pictures and met Drew. We TOTed about 6 houses in her neighborhood, before Dawson had to pee. We all went back and they played with play dough. Drew really wasn't into TOTing, and my crew liked it ok, but liked playdough better. Walt showed up, so I left the little ones and took Tristan to help me pass out candy. Tristan was so excited about this job that he couldn't stand waiting on the porch even. He went to the street's edge to make sure he didn't miss anyone. LOL! He loved his job.
About 8:30 we went to a nearby church that was having a fall festival and wanted to do a hayride. It wasn't over until 9, but they were packing up the jumping castle, and I was so sad. As it was, we caught a hayride that was a blast! The pastor was pulling a trailer filled with hay using a 4 wheeler. He went all through the bumpy land, and then back into the woods where he shut off his lights. It was really fun, although my back is feeling it this morning! Tristan discovered someone making cotton candy, so I distracted the little ones with popcorn and they never noticed his treat. Then we got on the last hayride of the night and headed home.
Although I basically have an eat it until it's gone policy with Halloween candy, we did have to stop at 9 so they could settle in for the night. They did pretty reasonably with their candy I think. They all were very willing to share, not only with me but with each other. And not just the rejects either . :-) I read them a few books (non scary halloween ones from the library) and they bathed. Poor Tristan went to bed with his head wet b/c this morning you couldn't get his hair to stay down for anything LOL! A very fun night by all.

For those of you who have known me since Tristan was an infant, I'll give a report. For those of you who don't, long story short is he's had horrible teeth all his life. Crown at age 14 m. Probably 5 crowns before he was 3. Tons of fillings. Serious stuff. Had horrific white coat syndrome from all the trauma, and basically couldn't stand the dentist until we got the boot from our practice for me complaining a little too loudly. (Wanted our regular lady dentist, got her dad who is a grouchy old fart.) We got the only other dentist office covered by medicaid. Ok, so we're in a very crowded overbooked office and can only go on Thursdays, but they are superior!
We switched here a year ago, so it's our 3rd visit. Ashton has gone twice before today as well, given Tristan's teeth history. She's clean as a whistle. They don't let you go back with your kids. If you must go back, then you go in a private room, which is what I did with Ashton the last 2 times. Today, she went back with the dental hygenist, told me bye, and climbed up on the chair. There's this big window where anyone who wants to watch can see what's going on. Ashton and I waved back and forth. I made faces. It was great. Tristan was right next to her, so I could see them both. She put on sunglasses (pink, of course) and opened her mouth. They cleaned her teeth and gave her a clean bill of health. No need to return for 6 months. My big girl!
Tristan, who is almost 5 1/2, has been to the dentist maybe 12 times. He has never experienced fear at this office, unlike the others. On our first visit, he had one repair to do. The dentist gave him a $2 bill :-) Now he has 6 permanent teeth, and his 6 yr molars are in. No cavities! Woo Hoo! He got a school ID made which has his picture and finger prints which he was showing everyone. Most were joking that he had a drivers license. He was so proud of it, he showed every hygenist he could find. All were so respectful and commented nicely. The dentist commented as well. Now he has a room full of teeth to inspect, and he takes the time for Tristan to give him a hug. Tristan asked him if he would remember his picture, and the Dentist asked the hygenist to take a photo copy of it and put it in his file so indeed they would remember his picture! I was so impressed. I think I'm going to write them a letter.
So a clean bill of health from both my kids, and children who love going to the Dentist! What more could you ask for? Believe me, having it the other way is the pits!

My Car died on the way home from church today. It lived a long and wonderful life. It has 181,200 miles on it. I've never had any problem with it before this summer. I've never had to do anything on it other than change the oil and tires. This summer my radiator hose has been leaking water, and my car has been burning oil as most older cars do. Just this week it started making funny noises and we knew it needed a few repairs.
On the way home from Church today it died. It couldn't have been a more ideal time. My Mom , Walt, Ashton and Drew were coming up the interstate about 15 cars after me. Tristan had stayed with Aunt Lydia, which actually gave me room (between 2 carseat so it was tight!) to squeeze in. Any other time I'd have been alone, with the kids, without a cell phone. I swear the angels were holding my car together until the perfect time. It died right before my exit and Walt and I were easily able to tow it to the house which was only 1 mile away.
It's a 1991 Mercury Tracer. I bought it used from my sister. I've had it paid off since Tristan was born - over 5 years ago. Walt is looking to see if he might be able to fix it. But if it costs a couple of hundred dollars, he can buy a used one off the lot for the trade in value, so we could possible get a temporary one for the same cost. Probably the cost of one car payment for most people :-)
Walt's rather upset it died, but I'm still amazed with what a great car it's been and how long it lasted. He's been looking at trading in his truck for a van on the lot. His truck has really held it's value. We owe like $8700 and trade in value is nearly that. (Loan value is $10, 500) Our extended lease is up next month I think, and we'd owe $3000 in mileage overage. Walt's Dad may have an old truck Walt could use. It looks like it's all working out :-)

My birthday was yesterday! I can't believe I'm 33, but whatever. Mom took me to lunch that was yummy.
Otherwise the day went well except for a durn Doc appt where they tried unsuccessfully to take blood. I am a horrible blood giver, and we struggled forever only to get 1/4 a vial. The nurse then threw it away! I could have strangled her! She said it wasn't enough! I didn't care. I begged her to see what they could do with it. There was no way I could stand sitting there another 4-5 minutes with a tourniquet only to not get enough blood again. It sucked and I was furious.
I did get to go to a consignment sale and get Ashton a few winter dresses. I had $20 credit by bringing racks, so I only spent $11 out of pocket :-) They're really girly and long sleeved so I hope she'll wear them. Actually I hope she'll wear some pants or leggings this winter or our selection will be sparse. LOL!
I went to a friend's surprise 30th bday party. It was pretty good. Only problem is people were supposed to bring food, and most didn't. There's usually a ton of food. We didn't eat before going. So about 9:30 when Tristan was running on only chips and cake, we had to leave. He was breaking down into tears over the littlest thing. This family needed some protein. But pretty fun party.
Walt got off work early to spend time with me. Of course he got home at 11 pm and I was too pooped to party. I told him it was nice he got off, but I'd been up since 6:50 am and I was going to bed. This morning my family gave me a present. It's a portable cassette player with headphones. I needed one b/c I've been using the machines at the YMCA and it helps pass the time :-) Good birthday in general. I'm much too young to be 33 though!

Tristan is loving school! Today was the first day I took him to breakfast and didn't stay. He sat by his best friend from 4K, Megan, and the cafeteria worker offered to walk him to class yesterday. Poor Tristan doesn't dig the breakfast at all. 9 out of 10 times he has cereal (which he doesn't eat), toast (which he takes 2 bites of) and milk. They have a hot breakfast, but we always seem to miss it! This morning we came 10 mins earlier than usual, and still missed it by 1 or 2 kids. :-( I guess we need to get up earlier still. Tristan had awakened this morning excited b/c we had a successful crab shell switch this morning. This is our first successful one. We've lost 2 crabs to crawl out of the shell, but not go into a new one. It was Silly Sally- I named her this b/c she only has 4 legs instead of 6 and walks very wobbily but we love her anyway. So Sally's shell was plenty big, but it got a crack in it which turned into a hole. I guess she was getting too exposed and moved out. Now I think we should call her Smart Sally. :-) Anyway, Tristan was excited about Sally, and jumped out of bed. Guess we need good news every morning and I need to get up without hitting the snooze on the alarm.
Tristan joined the swim team. Yes, you heard me right. We got a 50% scholarship to the YMCA. My kids love to swim and are good at it, so I wanted them to have access to an indoor pool all winter. This Y is awesome. Plus it has free childcare from 8-12 and 4-8 Monday - Friday. I actually got to put them in and get a shower alone LOL! Anyway, the scholarship extends to activities, so Tristan decided he wanted to be on swim team. It's only $20 a month, and he has practice 2X a week! To try out he had to swim the entire 25 yds without stopping. He'd never even been to a pool that big. I got in and he swam to me the entire length! Yesterday at his first practice, he did kickboards, and fun stuff, then swam the entire length 3 times!!!! He's not graceful, but I figured this would be great for him health and weight wise. Plus he LOVED it! I'm so proud. :-)
Ashton is also a great swimmer. She has this floaty suit she's been in since 15 months so she swims unassisted in that. Well, on Sunday we all ate lunch together at my Mom's pool. Drew had his suit on, and jumped in the water. Ashton didn't have hers on, but was inspired to jump in the deep end as well. I ran fast as I could ready to jump in shoes and all, when I noticed she was treading water right at the surface. She wasn't phased at all! We were all highly impressed. I knew she could swim a few strokes in a regular bathing suit in a shallow depth, but I'd never seen her tread water. She had definitely built the swimming skills and muscle strength from her experience in the floaty suit. I think if she's tall enough next summer, she might swim without one.

We've started going to Chick Fil a Kids night on Tuesdays. They have a special where you buy any adult combo (nuggets one is $4.50 ) and you get a free kids meal ($2.19) so that alone is a good deal. We meet my SIL and my nephew, and sometimes my sis and other nephew. They give out balloons, do face painting, have this cow bean bag toss and sometimes have special events like a tour of a firetruck, or hugs from the cow mascot, ice cream sundae night where you make your own, stuff like that. My kids love it!
Anyway, I decided to take the kids tonight like usual b/c I needed them to burn energy and to kill time before the new early bedtime. I bought a nugget meal and gave it to Tristan , got Ashton's free, and had a coupon for a free cool wrap with purchase of drink. So $5.75 for 3 people's dinner. We turn in our free toy for ice cream, so it's really quite a steal. They had a carnival night. In each happy meal was 5 tickets. The kids could earn prizes by popping balloons and getting the prize sheet out, turning a wheel for free prizes, or tossing bean bags for prizes. Tristan got 1 Chick fila cow pencil, one chick fila ruler which has a cow puzzle on it, coupons for free drink and free brownie, and a cow beanie. Ashton got a cow beanie, free drink & free icecream coupons, a free chicken sandwich coupon, and a grand prize of one of the larger football holding beanies. It was fantastic. We stayed there over 2 hrs and I was dragging them away.
Tristan saw a boy who had been there the week before. Now Tristan is an incredibly friendly guy, so he had asked if the boy wanted to be his friend. Well Anthony remembered Tristan and came up to him asking if they could play again. Tristan was thrilled. They played all in the tunnels, and Tristan helped him win his prizes. The Dad and I chatted a bit. I was *so* ready to go, but I didn't want to deny my son a playmate, especially one that sought him out. They're planning on being there next week, so hopefully Tristan will have a regular to meet. Going there with two 2 yr olds isn't exactly the max fun you can have.
Tristan is loving school. We got everything straightened with his teacher thanks to the speech teacher. Kg Teacher told me that Tristan is sweet and loving. He just needed alot of work on his grammar. You know, substituing me's for I's and such. She said the speech teacher will help her find ways to specifically work with him that will encourage him. She apologized for her poor choice of words (baby talk) and I feel good about everything. He will ride the bus home tomorrow which is a blessing. I'm tired of having to load a sleeping Ashton into the car only to wait in line for car riders to be picked up. The bus will come home before I usually leave for pick up as he's the first stop and only 1 mile from the school . :-) We're not ready for am pick up. 7 am is just too early. And getting to school by 7:10 is a crime IMO. I don't mind our special time in the morning while I help him get in the breakfast routine and spend a few minutes getting off to a good start.

Tristan started Kg on Wed. I like the change in schedule in our house, but getting up that early is killing me LOL! He's in bed by 9:15 so this is a great change. But we've been getting to school by 7:30 and that's rough. I like his classroom. It only has 16 kids! It's a small room that wasn't designed for Kg. He has to go down the hall for a bathroom, and that's a problem as well. He rushed to the bathroom once, and didn't quite make it. Poor fella. I'll send a change of clothes to keep in his cubbie and we should be ok.
I was walking to introduce him to the cafeteria and he handed me his bookbag, and ran into the bathroom. Except it was the *girls* bathroom LOL! Then I hear " Mommy, please come wipe my butt" and I realized we have a few things to practice still. LOL! He loved the cafeteria workers. Tristan is quite the hugger, so he hugs every adult so he's pretty well known already. Lately he's taken to giving people pennies, or stickers and saying " This is so you'll remember me." Silly boy! Yesterday he pulled off a vinyl stripe from his tennis shoe and gave it to the Principal so he'd remember him. ROTFLOL! The Principal has been there for 30 years and he was so confused LOL!
Yesterday there was a situation that really bothered me. As you know, I got Tristan in 4 Pre K in the public school specifically so he could get speech services. He has some really significant speech issues. On pronounced one is substituting "t" sound for the "K" sound. Like he was showing everyone his new Hotwheels bookbag saying " Loot" instead of look. (sometimes it's Woot, instead of look.) Anyway, I was speaking to his teacher at pickup, and she said they're really having to stay on him for his "baby talk". I was confused. She said basically She and the Teachers Asst correct him all day, and now the kids have started to correct him too. She said it was a discipline issue and I needed to stay on him at home.
I was livid. I called her later for clarification, and it became clear to me that this lady was clueless! I asked her specifically what she meant by "baby talk". She said he says "oh tay" instead of OK. I'm sorry, but this is not baby talk. Sure a baby might say oh tay, but his is a disability *NOT* babytalk! And while I will help him say the correct pronounciation, I will not ride my kid all day and steal his self confidence! As for the other children correcting him, she needs to nip that in the bud. She said "you know how kids are." Um , that's not good enough! She has told me that it's a discipline issue, so why is she allowing other kids to discipline him? I'm afraid she's the one singling my son out to be made fun of.
I called his new speech teacher. Fortunately we took the time to meet her and create a relationship during Open House. She agreed that the teacher was misinformed and she would address these 2 issues - #1 it's not baby talk, #2 other kids should not correct him. She also said that his teacher is a wonderful lady who wouldn't intentionally hurt anyone, and certainly didn't try to upset me. I have the feeling we'll talk again on Monday. I'm very pleased to have our own advocate, and one who was willing to listen to my anger and fears after school hours. I think we'll get it resolved asap.
As for Tristan, he doesn't notice any of this. He loves school, his teachers, his classmates - the whole thing. He's so much bigger than everyone else that his speech really stands out. I sure hope this is not an ongoing issue because Tristan is desperate for the companionship of children that school provides. He was so lonely all summer even though we had regular playdates. He really needs the speech therapy.
I'm pleased about the small class size, and I love the school. I do think we'll get this issue resolved and it's probably best it happened at the beginning of the school year so we can nip her thinking about my son in the bud. Here's to a smoother school year.....

I had my first experience of parenting an older boy. Tristan has always had what I call space issues. He's pretty darn huge, and also fairly self centered when it comes to things he's interested in (going to the bathroom, reaching a slide, getting a good view) so he sometimes gets into the personal space of others. Last night we practiced with a hula hoop teaching him about space and how when you sit down you can't sit on someone else, even a little bit LOL! Anyway, Saturday night in a quest on a piece of playground equipment, he bumped another kid. The kid was probably 4 and although Tristan is only 5, he looks much much older. My friend calls him the Gentle Giant, because he isn't trying to be mean or a bully, but he does seem to plow things in his path a bit. ANyway, this boy's older brothers were furious. They easily could have beat Tristan up. Fortunately they came to get me instead and while Tristan was readily willing to apologize, the boys really wanted to force one out of him. One told him exactly what to say in repeat after me style, then told his younger brother to accept. They actually were fairly mature about it, but it could have been a bad scene. It's scary to think your child could actually be at the beating up stage of life. *Boggle* Being a girl that was never a fear of mine.

We went to a local park and had pizza and a movie. The movie was willie wonka. There was hardly anybody there. Probably b/c it's a holiday weekend, and maybe the choice of movie. (I know that's why SIL and my Mom didn't go). Anyway, we went to develop relationships with some of the members. I work every sunday and Walt brings the kids, so there's not alot of socialization time other than those I work with. It was outside at 6 pm but the movie couldn't start until closer to 9 as it was dark.
We all ate pizza.There was about 40 people there and 20 pizzas LOL! So for $10 a family we got all the pizza we could eat. At the end we got 4 full pizzas to take home. They were throwing them away! So we got a steal. LOL! Guess I have a ready made supper for the park tomorrow night LOL! Before the movie. we visited, sweated, played volleyball and basketball. Our pastor Kevin was Tristan's best friend for the night. It was funny seeing them buddy up on the volleyball court. Tristan turned to him and said "That team is the bad guys" and Kevin said," no they're good too, but not as good as us. Encourage them. Tell them 'good try' when they hit it." Rotflol!
They gave chocolate bars during the movie. Ashton slept in late, so she hadn't had a nap. She got her chocolate and was like night and day. She ran around this kid who was laying down watching the movie. She must have circled him 50 times LOL! She couldn't sit still. I really didn't know how drastic it would be. She rarely has chocolate, and doesn't do caffeine. Crazy girl!
Fun night!

I have this t-shirt that reads " Gymnastics is life. The rest is just details." I got it when I worked at some junior olympics gymnastics competition. I am a gymnastics fanatic. I lived and breathed being upside down as a child. I was pretty good too. I was fortunate enough to go to the only high school around that had gymnastics as a class. We would work out daily, and have after school practice until 5pm 3 days a week. It didn't matter, I loved every minute of it.
Ashton seems to have this propensity towards gymnastics. She hangs from these rings we have on our swingset and does all sorts of fancy legwork. We have this firehose that's rigged as a swing hung over a tree. It swings incredibly far - over our neighbor's fence through 3/4 of our backyard. When Ashton is on this swing she sometimes lets go and swings with her arms stretched out beside her (yes my heart does drop, but she's totally comfortable and confident). Sometimes she hangs on and leans her head back as far as she can go and points her toes out straight in front of her in perfect trapeze artist form. This girl has just got to be in gymnastics!
So I sign the kids up when I got my tax refund. Fortunately I signed them up before figuring where the money was going or it wouldn't have gone there. Tristan's camp this week took place from 9:30 - 11 am. 1 1/2 hrs, 4 days a week, and $35. A little over $8 a class, not bad. Both kids are taking Thursday Gymnastics classes at the same time. $75 for 8 classes. I was fortunate to get Ashton in a toddler mom and kid class, while Tristan does a bigger one. However, I didn't realize Ashton's class is only 30 min! And they started early (according to their clocks) , so we were there 5 min late. I started getting all analytical and chincy. $9 for the class. $4.50 for 15 mins. $1.50 for that 5 min we were late. I can feel the anxiety rising LOL!
But the girl experienced sheer joy in the class. It was all about walking the balance beam, and jumping on all sorts of equipment, and swinging on rings, and hanging on bars and she couldn't get enough of it. I actually considered signing her up for the Monday class as well, until I got all analytical about the cost. She would yell in exhileration after each jump off the bars, or beam. She loved it!
Tristan attended a camp all week and had a great time. He's not what I'd consider gymnastic material. But the workers seemed to like him, and we started out the summer getting up early. (the goal is to get up at 9 am in June, 8:30 in July, and 8 the first week in August before school starts and we have to be in the seat at school at 7:45 am.) He's begged to go to sleep each night. With the swimming 2X a day and the gymnastics he's really getting a work out! I'm trying to figure out how to get us going next week. I'm leaning towards an am bike ride at the school grounds before it gets too hot. We'll see...
Tristan got his first ribbon at the end of camp. He felt so big and accomplished. Walt has experienced some father guilt as his best friends son of the same age has athletic trophies! I know part of our non participation has been the cost, but Walt definitely needed to work with him on his skills. Honestly, I think he has a propensity towards soccer, but we'll see. Tristan is digging gymnastics for now, and I hope to continue if I don't start freaking over the cost. To think I used to feel guilty for charging families in a rich private golf community $4.50 for a 45 min class!
Still I'm really glad my kids finally have something fun to participate in .

It's been a while since my last update. I am feeling so much better! Thank God for antibiotics! I went to my regular Doc and she gave me a shot in the butt and a prescription and voila! I'm a new woman! I could just sing! There's been alot happening since my last update.
First of all, we have a new family member! Charlie Car Head (yes he's a crab!) We were reading all the insert info about what a crab should be doing, and durn it, ours did not exercise often and needed company. So we took Tristan's birthday money and got another crab. Charlie is teeny. I swear he's about 1/10 the size of Billy Bob the Builder Building Head Crab Head. He was $3 at the pet store, and he's everything our paper says they should be. He scurries around all day. He climbs this tiny tube all the way to the top. He just goes goes goes! We LOVE him! I think Billy is just a great grandpa crab. Now we're gonna have to get a friend for Charlie b/c Billy just isn't the company he'd need LOL!! Anyone want a dud of a crab?
I went to my first weekend away last weekend. Walt had the kids and I left on Friday afternoon and came back about 27 hrs later. Walt did great with the kids! Ashton still nurses, so he stayed up with her until she crashed standing up leaning on the bed LOL! They all did well. Probably better than me LOL! It was a women's weekend out in Charleston with ladies in my church. It would have been better if I'd have actually known anyone for more than an acquaintance. I roomed with total strangers. But I still enjoyed it. It's funny when you're always surrounded with kids how you're longing for quiet. Then when I had the alone time, I longed for companionship. It's also weird when you get to the state where you're replacable. You know, it's nice to leave them, but also nice to be needed. Ashton was very happy when I came back and we basically went back to normal :-) Tristan did fine as I knew he would.
This weekend we did our first swimming of the season. It was a little cold - not the air but the water. The air is up to 90 degrees, but the water was still chilly. We've been 3 times so far. The first had alot of choking and sputtering as they got used to swimming again. But they don't care if it's chilly. They just want to swim! We'll be doing more of that real soon.

I am so sick and tired of being sick! It's getting sooooo old. I have the energy to do like 1 thing a day. You know, one load of laundry. One set of dishes. Take the kids somewhere. Everyone is suffering. Walt is so sweet! I had this project of data entry for a friend (paying job) and he stayed up phenomenally late helping me with it. I had long gone to bed. Anyway, he had to then get up at 8 am and help my sister move! She's unloading a van into storage here, and living in Jacksonville for the summer with a friend. I've had Dawson Sunday night (he stayed with Mimi from 10 pm - 7:30am), all day yesterday until about 6 and again today. He's fun and Ashton adores him, so that's good. At least she has a playmate, but I'm still beat! All day I cough and wet myself. I'm off the allergy meds b/c they make me feel *worse* but I'm beginning to think the allergies have deepened into some infection or something else. I have been sick for a month now, and that's just too long. Anyway, Walt helped me, so I decided in return I'd devote 4 hrs to get this pig stye into shape, regardless of how I feel. Ashton has a playmate to occupy her, so it's not like she'll be tv propped or pull at my leg all day. And what's one day in my life, right? I can nap with the kids if I have to (so far I can't make it through the day without at least a cat nap for energy.)

Ok, so I'm working on this outrageous pile of dishes. I can't remember being this sick for this long, except for when I was pregnant. I seem to catch some awful cold each pregnancy and it doesn't go away for weeks - *BUT* (and this is a big but) people feel sorry for you when you're sick and pregnant. Like neither Walt nor my Mom would let the dishes go this long without helping while I'm pregnant. But it's kinda like I'm being lazy or something, and I promise I'm really trying. I can make it through the day if I take a few excedrin miagraine tablets. Ok, so back to my story. While doing the dishes this morning, I opened up a cup that had milk in it. I swear to you, it made cheese. It didn't even stink. It just was cheese. Ewww, I know. But maybe making cheese is really a simple process LOL! No, I didnt eat it or serve it to my kids. But it made me realize, even if I feel crappy, I really need to stay on the dishes LOL!

Tonight I took the kids to the Relay for Life for West Columbia. It was so awesome! It's an all night (7pm- 7am) relay where teams walk around the track (to music) and raise money for Cancer. It was all really heart wrenching to me with my friend's masectomy happening so recently. Instead of being incredibly sad, it was like one big carnival. The reason we went was they were going to have a new firetruck, police vehicles, tours etc... It was so much more though! There was a jumpy castlee that the kids participated in unlimited for $1. My old high school had the best exhibit. It was a fishing theme, and they were trying to raise $ by really cool kids activities. They did a 50c fishing game where they each got a bag full of goodies (candy, balls, car etc...) They took a polaroid of Tristan's face in a lifesaver background (help be a lifesaver against cancer). Then they had this fishing game where for 50c they fished in a pool getting fish that have either 1 or 2 prizes on the bottom or a star. Tristan got 2 prizes (bubbles, and a water gun) then he got a star! He won this *HUGE* ball. Tristan had been playing with one of the high school students by tossing and kicking this ball back and forth, so it has great memories with it. He was so thrilled!
Then on the way out, there was a balloon guy who made them cool hats - with a flower on Ashton's and an airplane on Tristan's. The whole night was so fun for them! I loved being a part of something so good and seeing everyone trying to make a difference. I might take Tristan back tonight after Ashton goes to sleep.

Allergy questions resolved!!! I've been struggling with allergies this season. It's unlike anything I've experienced while not pregnant. I always get these horrific colds while pg and can't take a darn thing to make them better, and this reminds me of it. I can barely talk b/c my throat is hoarse from coughing all night. I can't breathe. My nose runs all day or I'm so stopped up I wish it would run. Annoying to say the least. I scheduled an appt with my Doctor (after taking the kids last week and realizing it definitely was the pollen). I've been taking Allegra daily and it's not doing squat. So I've been dipping into the kids and dh's medicine. You know, taking his flonase. Sips of Tristan's Zyrtec. And still feeling awful. And I HATE drugs, so you know it was bad LOL! Anyway, the doc asked my my dose if allegra, was it 180mg twice a day? Ha! It was only 60 mg once a day. No wonder it didn't do squat! So now I'm on allegra D - 180 mg 2X a day, and flonase. I'm worried my milk will dry up, but not as worried about that as I am about feeling like this the rest of the season. I'm happy I should be normal soon!

It's very interesting being poor at tax time. I've actually never been there. Well not since I was a graduate student, and then without any assets tax time was simple. But being food stamp level poor is a new thing. It all goes back to when Walt started a business in Columbia, and we moved from Savannah for it. The business took a long time to get the taxes done, so we all waited for our info and had to extend to the Oct 15th deadline. The company tax person had my returns, and just didn't finish them. By November of 99 Walt left the company and our taxes never got done. Up to now we took our taxes to our guy in Georgia, and it was difficult being on our own.
We refinanced our house and used the collection of tax papers to qualify, even though our taxes weren't done. Well so then I did my 99 taxes, but didn't file since I hadn't done my 98's. Then my 00. And now that 01 is due on Monday, I've been in a tax crunch! I've been doing back taxes like a wild woman LOL! I got the usual back in 99, you know, the whole $1000 or less deal. But man when you're poor with kids, you get some serious chunk of change back! I assumed since we hardly put any in, we'd break even. But there's enough to pay off some borrowed money and have a back up savings account. God is good!
I'm just waiting on the IRS to fax me copies of a few 1998 w2's that have gotten lost in the shuffle, and I'm done. Well except for finding a Ga state return. LOL! Durn Walt worked there just enough to make me file there too :-)

On a different note, poor Tristan is home from school sick for the first time. I think it's the pollen and his allergies. While it's more than the usual crankiness and runny nose, he suffers and the pollen is awful! He's had a fever and basically spent the rest of the day Wed in bed. Yesterday he was feeling a bit better, but relaxed and watched tv. I hate to say it, but it sure was nice for me while doing taxes. But I hope he's well enough to go to school today. Poor kid! He's been so sweet. When I picked him up from school on Wed, he said " Mommy, are you so glad?" I'm thinking, no I'm not glad you're sick. "What should I be glad about?" "Mommy, are you so glad I didn't throw up in your car?" LOL! Poor feverish guy! And then there's the talk to Papa " Papa, I'm a widdle bit sick but a whole lot feel better". Of course he got his appetite back last night and ate us out of home, so I'm guessing he's on the mend. :-)

Wow it's been a while since I've posted. I've been so swamped! We had Tristan's birthday party last Saturday. My baby is 5!! Anyway, it was a bugs theme. It went wonderfully! We had bugs decorations everywhere. I had this huge 5 lb bag of gummy worms that were all over. We had worms in jello too. Those worms were yummy :-) Anyway we played pin the bugs on the spider web. The winners got their own tarantula to take home. We had grasshopper races using pillow cases. Then we used the pillow cases for the bug hunt. Krystle and I filled 85 eggs with colored plastic bugs, glow in the dark bugs, and gummy worms. The kids had great fun finding and keeping them. :-) We later had a pinata. It was a recycled one from last year (with bugs glued all over it) because my bee hive caved in :-(. (I made a really cool one from paper mache' but we fiddled with it too much).
My friend Ruth told me I set the standard too high, but I like doing parties. Everyone seemed to have a great time. After some of the crowd left, the kids drove the Barbie jeep and the kawasaki motorcycle around and around for like an hour. Good thing we don't have much grass LOL! Every kid was coated in dirt, but had a good time. We have a butterfly "cage" which is made of net. We kept finding caterpillars and put them in it. Tristan would be opening presents and would stop to view a bug. After everyone left, Ruth and Dave and the kids stayed for dinner. We loved having a chance to just hang with them. All in all a wonderful day!

There's so much to say. So much has happened. I'm on a sort of emotional roller coaster right now. My Mom went to visit a friend in the hospital. She's 26 with a 4 yo daughter and had a brain tumor. When they found out, they gave her 1 week to get her affairs in order and to spend with her daughter. She didn't. She thought then she wouldn't be going into the surgery having faith and being positive. And she died. I weep for her daughter. I'm so so sad she didn't take the time to make a video tape that her daughter could treasure. It's all such a tragedy.
Then there's my friend that I see regularly. She's 30, nursing a 19 mo, and just had a masectomy. There's no breast cancer in the family. she noticed the lumps while pg. She didn't have to fully wean before the surgery, but she will before the 6-9 m of chemotherapy. It's all so so sad. I mourn for her loss.
I see all these things and they remind me that I'm blessed beyond belief. Being poor and struggling still is blessed compared to losing relationships. I need to treasure those things I have and enjoy those I love. If that were me with the 1 week to prepare would I be happy with how I spent my time? Would I need to save all this clutter? What really matters? I hope I can change my ways..

Oh.. My.... Goodness!!! My friend Melissa called me about her neighbors across the street having a yard sale. They were putting their stuff out early, and she bought a double stroller for $5, and she said I would rack up. So I drove over at like 9:30 pm and racked up! Ok, so I got this Fisher price house - just like the one we sold for $50 at our garage sale (b/c we needed the $ and Walt was gonna build her one) - EXCEPT this one was an indoor one and was in perfect shape. Ready for this? $10!!!! I got a ride on motorcycle that works for $5. A kitchen with utensils for $5. A quilt rack for $2. A Fisher price farm for $1 (including animals and the farmer). a booster seat for $2. A heavy wooden onion and potato box that has a decorative front and is so cool (I've wanted one a long time) - $2. I got Walt and Tristan an electric air hockey table to go in Walt's newly set up garage ($3). It was unbelievable! Anyway, for $36 I got a truckload of stuff - less than we originally got for the house alone! So Cool!!! And she let me write a check. AND she delivered it to my house! Unbelievable!!! God was really looking out for us :-) :-) :-) Tami, going to bed happy tonight.....
I was away from my kids the longest I have ever been in my life. I left the house at 7:45 to go to Dad's to help him in the office. I came home close to noon. Tristan was away at school, and Ashton nursed to sleep. Then I headed out to take my leftovers from the last consignment to an adult/ children one. This one I tag there, and they price. I left the house about 1, mailed some packages, and then wasn't done tagging my 160 accepted items until 4:45! I got home after 5 pm. My Mom had come over, and poor girl thought she would be home at a much more decent time. She'd been at my house since 11 am!! (Walt was there before that).
Well Walt started another rearranging project. Right when we're starting to get it together, he takes down all the shelves and is gonna work on putting them in the playroom. Everything is, once again, a total disaster. I think when life gets crazy (like consignment stuff everywhere) he likes to build. He feels productive or something. LOL! Anyway, I'm a little stressed, once again, by the mess. But man, my kids sure are getting used to me not being around! On the good part, besides my consignment earnings this week, I earned $60 selling diapers, and $107.50 for working for my Dad. Good week money wise. Too bad Walt isn't bringing enough home. I'm expecting an $800 check soon from the last consignment (will go towards Feb house payment) and who knows this last one. I wouldn't be surprised if it is another $800 :-) As for the adult/ kids ones, well, I don't expect as much from them. But since I made $300 at the first one, $800 the second, say $200 at the adult/kids ones, I could easily make $2000 this season. That would rock :-) Tonight I'm bringing Greek salad to Mom's and she's getting pizza. I'd love to chill, but looks like I'll be helping Walt. shrug.

Well I turned in my final stuff for the consignment. I brought at least 100 more outfits, and lots more toys. I want this stuff out of my house! Flylady here I come! My house is still basically trashed, but now I can concentrate on getting it together. I straightened our bedroom last night, as that really is the most important room in the house. I'm so looking fwd to full time mothering again, instead of pricing like a wild woman. Tristan doesn't have school tomorrow so we'll probably go to the zoo and have a great time!
Now the consignment presale was tonight, and I earned a pass for volunteers. It's always fun to shop. Much more fun to save money doing it. I didn't have much to spend, but man was it fun! Ok so I hit the motherlode on one thing. There was this Little Tikes Doll house. It's not the huge one. It's kinda medium to small, but it has a place to park a van. I LOVED it, and figured it's worth alot. They were only asking $8 for it! So I get there an hr early and wait in line, but there's still probably 60 people in front of me. I really wanted the dollhouse, but someone swooped it up right away. Well Tristan was very upset that he had to go home with Daddy and Sarah got to go to the presale, so I promised him I'd take him on a special date later that night if he had a good evening. So we went back together, and someone had just put back the dollhouse! I guess they had spent too much $. Ok so it had the house, the van, a john deere tractor with pull behind attachment, a high chair, the model kitchen (like the real sized one), a baby car seat, a chair, a brother, a sister, a baby, a Mom, a Dad, and Grandma, Grandpa and a dog!! Only $8!!! Ashton is ecstatic, and I'm sure I can make some money on ebay with it later. So cool!
Ok, so Tristan picks out this monster truck thing. It's $4 and has 2 monster trucks, 8 pieces of track that have holes, and obstacles and such. On one spot it uses batteries to have a crash on a pile of rubble. It lights up and makes crashing noises and is really cute. It works great AND the person included a brand new 4 pack of energizer batteries! That was worth the $4 right there! It was a lucky night for us :-)

I have stress induced insomnia. I've been up since 3 am and finally agreed that once 4:20 hit, I'd get up. My house is really cold without the heater on, but my warm bathroom is helping a bit. I take a load to the consignment sale tomorrow, and then a final at 6:45 on Wed. I have a LLL meeting in the morning, then lunch, then take a load, and then work for Dad. I sure could use the time to work! Anyway, I've been cleaning out the shed like crazy. I've priced close to 200 items in 24 hrs. I've got some clothes, but I've been working on toys and other stuff. I know toys will sell well. Walt came home from work early and cleaned some of my stuff with a toothbrush - good fella! Of course I had to go to the grocery at 11:30 pm b/c I forgot to use my WIC checks. We've been without milk for forever, but I didn't have time to stop and go.
Ashton had a WIC appointment yesterday. Tristan is being released from the program after this set of checks. I know we can live without the 5 gallons of milk, but we'll really miss the cheese, juice and cereal. Of course now that I'm doing ww points, I won't miss the juice as much. I can't believe my son will be 5 in 3 weeks! Amazing! After WIC, Ashton had someone from the STAR program come over and work with her. Ashton was totally charming, which was funny to me as she doesn't warm up easily to strangers. She'd met the lady a few weeks ago when we signed on the program, and basically told her good bye as she was ready to have her Mommy for herself LOL! Ashton LOVED her toys she brought. She brought a popup eggs toy where you manipulate the button to get the eggs to hatch. She also brought a mirror that Ashton loved looking at herself in. She'd laugh each time she looked. Then she'd say "I'm so funny!" LOL! Great program. I can't believe it's free. Plus she's given us books each time, and a notebook with nursery rhymes and will give work for the next month until she comes. And they're starting a playgroup for 2 yr olds every Monday from 10-11 am. I'm pretty excited that she'll have another opportunity to play with kids.
On a selfish note, I've lost 17 lbs! I haven't been journaling b/c I've been so busy. Admittedly I didn't eat a ton today with being so busy, but generally I've been eating well. Of course last Friday Mom took us to Ci-Ci's pizza and I overdid my points. Actually, I liked the flavors of the pizzas so kinda at the tops off without fully eating the crust. Still went over points, but it's not like I ate a full 6 slices. And that bbq pizza was the best pizza I've ever had. I almost didn't try it b/c it sounds gross. BUT oh my goodness! And there was a balloon man there. He made awesome balloons for the kids at $1 each, and he was so friendly and nice. He does bday parties for $65/ hr. The Ryan's balloon guy starts at $110. We don't have $ for it, but it sure would be a nice present from Grandpa. Then again Walt said he just needs to learn how to do it LOL! Like the man needs to work more (then again, this would be a paid position). OK time to decide to either work or go to bed. I hope you all are sleeping well!

I realize I forgot to give an update on Tristan. They sent the urine sample to the lab and we haven't gotten the results back to see if it's a UTI. There were no immediate signs of one, but they're still checking. What she did find was that he has severe allergies and needs to be on meds. She said it could cause him to wake often , thus sleep deeper and therefore could wet the bed. Fortunately it was only that 2 time occurance. He's back on Claritin, and he's improving in all areas. I know I'm glad we looked into the medical route before assuming he was doing it on purpose. That doesn't mean he'd rather play than go potty, but he's going of his own volition and we're rarely having accidents since being on the meds. So good news!
I've also been paying close attention to the "accidents". I often see wet pants *after* he goes to the potty. I'm pretty sure he either doesn't finish before pulling up, or doesn't shake, or just gets in a hurry. We've been working with him on slowing down. Walt has shown him how to "shake" but he hasn't quite gotten that. We also have to remind him to pull his pants down. You're definitely gonna get wet if you don't pull them down enough. So I'm not as worried as I was. Looks like things are resolving themselves. :-)

Ok so I work really hard to get to go an hr early for presale night. We load and bring 6 racks to the consignment. This is no easy task. Then I also volunteer for 2 hrs at the end, basically to gather my belongings early and once they're cleared it's easier to organize the rest. Anyway, it's hard work for the priviledge of getting the "advantage".
So it's at 5:45 pm, and Walt's supposed to come home to get the kids. I wait, and I wait. I start freaking out. Finally at 6 pm, I load them up and go. Now I've lost a good 15 min of the prime time and prime reason for doing all the volunteer work and loaning. I'm fuming. I mean I'm so mad my face is red LOL! I say to myself "Walt is a dead man!". I try not to take it out on my kids, but really tables and tables of toys is not the place you want to be bringing them! They really were fine, except my blood pressure. But I was so mad. All the good girl stuff in 2t and 3t were gotten. I got Ashton a shirt and an after bath towel ( a hooded ladybug). Now granted, Ashton can live without more clothes. But still I worked hard, I like to get the chance to purchase kwim?
There's one lady I like to buy from for Tristan's stuff. She has all gap and gymboree. Her sets were $10, so I couldn't get any (maybe half price if any are left). But good old mom got 3. She doesn't have the $ right now, but $10 isn't bad for these sets in great shape kwim? I did buy 3 items of Sarah's for the discounted price (40% off the tag) so I am happy I at least got something decent (two gymborees and a disney store).
So I spent $35. Actually that's not bad for what I got. For Tristan - 2 gap shirts, polo style ($2 each), a pair of pokemon sandals ($1), a muppets classic video ($3),a brand new dinosaur in an egg puppet for the science museum ($3), a little tikes space station ($3 - this is really cool but come to find out my Mom already has it so I'll probably resell it), some space people to go in it ($1), and a fishing around game ($3). This game was about the worst thing with them being there. Tristan kept playing the music over and over. Oh and when he was home with Walt, of course he poured water into it. I hope it still works after it's been draining all night. (Gotta love that supervision!) Just because it's got fish, doesn't mean you have to have water....
For Ashton I got a Carter's shirt ($1), a ladybug bathtowel/ robe ($3) and a vintage looking shorts set ($2). She picked out a Barney video ($1). She also got an adorable pair of Circo sparkly shoes ($2 - she loves sparkly shoes). She also got a brand new in the package hair scrunchie hanger ($1) This is cool b/c it's a round type hanger that unhooks at the bottom so you can organize the hair scrunchies and I considered getting one before.
For them both I got a Discovery toys Itsy bitsy spider game ($3) and a "bag of treasures" ($1). This bag was really good, as it has a couple of veggie tales chick fila toys, a McD toy owl from Pooh, goofy and Mickey McD toys, a Stuart Little doll and the taco bell dog LOL! I figure we can decide what we like and sell the rest back.
Anyway, it was fun, but would have been more fun if Walt had just told me he couldn't take the kids. He had a meeting with the Governor's chief counsel, so it wasn't like he was lollygagging around. Still I don't ask much of him. I'd have certainly made other plans if I'd have known he couldn't help. At least I'd have taken the kids earlier.
I guess it's a mixed blessing b/c I didn't need to spend more than $35. Heck, I didn't have that to spend really. But my stuff was selling like crazy! I sold my jogging stroller that I bought at the last consignment and never used. Plus I made $9 more than I paid for it LOL! I saw my stuff in everybody's piles! Anyway, two people seperately came up to me and asked "Are you number 820?" LOL! Do I need to change my number? I had gotten a good deal of new stuff from Kmart when they were having their blowout clearance sale. I mean shorts and shirts for 70c each. So I resold them for a profit, and people were excited to get new with tags stuff for the price of some people's used stuff.
I marked my stuff cheap this time. We call it my SRS (Sh*t reduction sale). I have too much stuff LOL! I would look at an outfit and say "would I be happy making $2 on this?" so I'd mark it for $3. Since most people mark their high, or too high, my stuff has cleared out . And since I had like 450 clothing items, um, it really needs to LOL! I've still got to get my crib over there, and hopefully that's a profitable sale. They said they needed one, and Lord knows I don't need to store this one anymore.
So I have one more that I tag myself. I've still got clothes yet to tag. But mostly I have toys. And I get 65% of the profits on this sale, so it's a good one for putting toys. As for clothes, the more exposure the better. If you have 600 clothing items, you really need as many potential purchases possible LOL!
Good news is once the last one is over, I can still take my leftovers to a mall consignment. They price it themselves and it goes down to 85%. Last time I had 85 items in it, and only got back like 15. I didn't average but about $1.50 an item, but it was a great SRS. LOL!
The main thing is, I've got to clear this stuff out. Got to! Walt is feeling done having kids, and I'd say (besides financially) the state of our house is a main reason. I told him I don't feel done, but if our life continues in this chaos, there's no way I can handle more. I say "I" because Walt is there so little to contribute to the parenting. Heck, I only need him a few nights a year for consignment stuff and he couldn't make it last night. Still, I can't imagine never having another baby. One of each is good, but It can't be over already. It just can't be. I know God is the God of Peace and not disorder, so I'll have peace with whatever else happens. We've just always said 4 kids, and stopping at 2 just doesn't seem right. Plus my kids are growing up :-(
I register Tristan for Kindergarten today. *Boggle* I can't believe my son is that old. Well he's still only 4, but Kg with full days. Well I try not to think about him having to be there at 7:45 am (he doesn't wake up until 10 am usually). We'll just enjoy this good life while we have it. It is good. Messy, but good.

I'm in a post consignment slump. I put in 513 clothing sets the first one. It was a bonus, b/c it was a new consignment. Now my real one starts drop off today, and I just have hardly done any prep for it. I'm burnt out! I can't do 8 hrs a day on it anymore, so I've done so little. Of course I have like 400 left from the last one so it's not like I have none LOL!! Anyhoo, there's this adult and children's consignment. I just packed up a buttload of stuff, and took it there. They're super picky, but between my two loads, they still accepted 186 outfits, and 6 pairs of shoes :-). And I'm done with them. I don't have to price or anything.
I probably have a good 10 more hrs of pricing of my leftover clothes, and durn I've got to find my maternity stuff LOL! But I have my first drop off today, and my last Sunday night, so if I can get my mind back into it, I can put more stuff in. I have one final consignment on March 12th, so there's still a little time. I just need my energy back, and my focus. It's been cold, and we basically don't run our heat, so where I was working gets too cold to work. And Walt got home at 11:30 last night, so I didn't get to work like I wanted. But I did take my stuff and cleared out alot, so I guess I shouldn't feel like I did nothing. It's really too bad I don't have a digital camera. I could have work for myself all year LOL!
Then there's Tristan. He's sure been having a tough time. He's been wetting himself daily. I couldn't figure out if this was a medical or discipline issue. He's also been super emotional. I mean dropping crying at the slightest provocation. I took him to the doc yesterday, and we were there over an hr (with nothing to do) with a packed room. It would have still been 40 mins (one doc called in sick) so we left. We'll get him tested for UTI this morning. If he's not physically ill, then we've got to figure out what the heck is wrong. I'm rather worried. And if it's him just acting out, goodness am I in for it. We've tried this sticker chart. Depending on his behavior 3 times a day. He usually gets one in the morning. And this one includes getting a stamp at school. But in the afternoon or evening he rarely gets one. If it's not working, we've got to do something else.
Plus he's up to 70 lbs. I'm getting rather worried. One of his prerequisites of a sticker is not getting food without asking. He's doing better, but he's still getting it. Before I'd find him with whatever he could round up in the fridge. He had a storage place under the couch cushion where I found butter! Blue sprinkles, and a pack of valentine cookies - gross! Once I walked in on him eating mayo. gross! And once he had pepto bismol ( I don't think he got far with this one). I've been working alot of my consignment stuff, and Walt still isn't home much, so I can't watch him every second. I try to keep healthy snacks for grabbing. Lately it's those giant pickles. They're low in calories (high in sodium though). He'll eat raw carrots, and bananas. But still I'm concerned at his boredom eating, if it's not true hunger. I asked at his 4 yr check to get his thyroid checked, but they don't do that extensive testing on 4 yos. I got my chiro to do a check, and he said his thyroid was fine. Still I'm concerned.
I signed Walt on the same HMO as I'm on. He wasn't able to find a doc that took our insurance, and voila one day later I got him an appt with a really close doc. I'm curious as to how he's doing. Working 100 hrs a week can't be good on him. Walt's 37, soon to be 38. Both his great grandfather, grandfather and father had heart attacks at 52. His father survived. If we had money I'd send him to the chiropractor often, but we haven't even paid February's house payment.
Things are looking encouraging with his company. They're putting out some info for an investor. www.----.SC domains are selling fairly well, but to get all over the state they need money for an advertising campaign, say nothing of a regular paycheck. Prayers. welcome.

Today is my beloved girl's birthday. About this time two years ago I had just reached my midwife, and was in the serious throws of labor. I had asked my mother to bring me lemon yogurt, but she was garage sale-ing and didn't realize time was of the essense. After all Tristan's labor was 26 hrs, and my waters had only been broken for 3 at this point. Who would have known that by 10:21 am Miss Ashton would be born.

I love this spunky little child. She puts up with no guff. She's tough. She's sweet. She's truly lovely. And she cracks us up nonstop. Last night she was singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. It went like this " Twin-ul lil star, what are you, you are. up sky, up sky, twin-ul lil star, what are you, you are. Mommy, I did it!!" I wished our video camera wasn't stolen :-(

Her birthday party was Saturday. We had a princess party. Everyone came in dresses and feathers and with shields. WE couldn't find our horse on a stick (head was missing) but we did find a buffalo to ride. Ashton wore a little Disney princess sweater with a matching silvery skirt and gold glitter shoes. Thank goodness she didn't ask for her "pretty". It is missing, but its also a size 6, cut at the sleeves, and the tulle is pulling off. She looks cute in it, but it's definitely ratty. So she looked more elegant, even though I should have put a onesie under the sweater instead of a shirt that kept pulling up.

Grandma, Katie and Krystle came with Kellis and Mackenzie. They came about 11:30 am and stayed until 9:30 pm. Fun! It was pretty cold, but the party was half in and half outside. Jenne has some cute pics at www.mynx.com/waters/princess.

I typed this long thing of joy that my crab was found! It never showed up and can't be found,so I'll announce it here. Billy Bob the Builder Building Head Crab Head Tiberious Waters is alive! I quit looking for him after a week. I was too afraid of finding his shell and a dead Bob falling out. Well after being MIA for 2 weeks, I caught him scooting across the play room at 1 am. Walt had started rearranging the toys and must have disturbed his happy home. We're so thrilled to have him back. I just hate how he gets no exercise in his cage. I'm already feeling the urge to let him out again. I just can't sit there and stare at him for 20 mins until he decides to move. I was so afraid he'd have no water. He's a scavenger, so I was not afraid he'd starve, after all Tristan spills daily in there LOL! Anyway, I truly feel blessed we have our crab back :-)

Secondly, I am still a loser. I've lost 2 more lbs, for a total of 14 since Jan 21st. I'm beyond psyched! From 174 to 160! At Ashton's birthday party I bend over to pick up a toy, and a friend said " you really have been losing weight" LOL! I'm truly not worried about my butt, but my stomach and chin are greatly improving. Points are so simple. Why didn't I do this eons ago?

Thirdly, Jenne is my HERO! I don't have time to write more now, but birthday pics that she took are on this link. Kudos to Mynx!
I'll try to get back to write about the party, but we have some visitors from the local school district coming over to work with Ashton and I need to straighten up. It's a free program, and they come to your house and work on age appropriate skills for an hour. Plus they have a playgroup once a week where you can use their manipulatives. It's not for slow children either. They were just as thrilled we were involved b/c they need kids to be able to renew their grant next year. Win Win situation and I'm psyched! Until then....

I so love the family bed, and boy do I need a digital camera. Tristan has a toddler bed beside ours. Basically he'll stay in it if the room is warm enough and he doesn't knock his fitted sheet off his bed (thus sleeping on cold plastic). Anyway, it was Ashton doing the gymnastics last night. I woke up and her head was down towards the foot of the bed and her feet on my pillow. Then she rolled over and rested her feet on Tristan's shoulder. Her leg was draped across his arm and just happily resting there. Cracked me up. Neither of them awoke. I have awakened to them holding hands though, which I thought was too sweet! There's room on the bed if Tristan stays on his. Otherwise, poor Walt is squished to smitherines.

Speaking of Walt, he has gotten on a purging mode. IT's unbelievable! OUr back yard has looked like Sanford and Son forever. Well he finally got sick of it, and has hauled off 4 trailer loads full of crap off to the dump! I've been in the purging mode as well., but currently I'm purging for consignment sales. I currently have 250 items washed, hung, priced, and grouped by sex and size. I'm impressed with myself, but I still have weeks worth I could do. I hope to make some decent $. WE sure need it! Anyway, once this consignment is over, I'm gonna do a Mom's morning out at my house. My back yard can finally handle it (no more fears of boards with nails, etc...). It looks so good! Flylady says you make more $ by having less things. WE've always hoarded stuff "in case" we need it. BUt if you think of the hours we waste searching for those things, that could be money making hours! And now with the ability to have kids in the back, I can make some decent money. Things are so looking up!

It's consignment time again. You know, that time twice a year where I clean out all my garage sale finds and spend 8 hrs a day washing, hanging, sorting and pricing like 500 items of clothing. It's an all consuming process, especially when dh is rarely home. I really enjoy doing it though, especially once I get past the stress point. I love the touch of clothing. When I'm pricing it, I can enjoy it again. It's funny, I have no joy in my clothes. Well one pair of soft soft pj's I got for christmas, but otherwise nah. Then again, I'm hoping I can get beyond the sweats look with my current weight loss. I'm down 12 lbs - thanks to my ww buddy, Heather. I love being able to write her a couple of times a day to let her know what's going on. And the accountability is the key for me. And it's working, so that's awesome!

I went to a baby shower yesterday for another friend Heather Steele. It was all my favorite foods, so it was quite the challenge to not gorge. I did well, but basically I was done eating for the day around 4 pm. LOL! But you know what? My body was ok with that. And it's good to remember I'll be able to taste these foods again. I used to eat like I'd never see it again. Anyway, this is a really crunchy crowd of ladies. Most belong to the Columbia LLL group ( I go to Lexington LLL). There were slings everywhere, and I swear like 10 gals were pregnant. And ooh the food was good. Oh wait, I already said that. ;-) So we chatted and ate for like 2 hrs. I took Ashton b/c I figured she'd have more fun there than sitting at home watching tv with brother (yes, this is how Daddy watches him much too often). There was a moment where I regretted that decision, but her being cranky and demanding for 20 min out of the 3 hrs we were there was not too bad at all. I'd take her again :-)
Ok so my favorite part of the shower was when all the ladies brought beads. We went around first and introduced like this " My name is Tami, daughter of Jean, Mother to Tristan and Ashton." So bonding. Then we talked about the bead we brought her, and what it symbolises (mine was aqua reminding me of the peaceful ocean and wishing her a relaxing birth). Ruth made a gorgeous bracelet out of the beads. Truly lovely. Then we took yarn and wrapped it around our wrists a couple of time before passing it on, creating a circle in the room. This symbolic gesture was really so cool. Then we cut the yarn and everyone made a bracelet to remind us of Heather by wearing until she gives birth. Thank goodness she's due in 1 1/2 weeks LOL! It was so touching and special. Makes me want to hang out with these ladies more often. :-) It's not often you can be a part of something so bonding and so womanly. :-)

I had a dream about Ethan Zohn last night. Well it was this morning b/c I kept fighting waking up so I could spend more time with him. He's the Survivor millionaire, on fine looking human being, a soccer player (which I love) and most of all, he has integrity in a game where you don't find that much. He was my choice from about the 3rd week of the show, and that's probably the first time they did any sort of introduction or focus on him. He's quiet, he's thoughtful, he's kind, and he did nothing questionable. Plus he loves God and is a devoted Jew. I'm a Christian, so I have a certain fascination with Judiasm as it's the basis of my faith. I think I could be Jewish, so this was something explored in my dream.
So Ethan and I met and developed a friendship. That's what it was. There was no kissing, nothing else, but getting to know each other. He was kind in real life, and could be a good friend. But there are so many things that were fundamentally different that I'm not sure I could get past them. For instance, I could not circumcise another boy. That covenant with Abraham is so important to the Jewish tenant, but I just can't do it again. I'm not willing to move to Boston. I just can't hack the cold weather, and the crowded city. I don't want to convert, and I don't want to steal from him what was important. Plus, I imagine his mother is overbearing. ;-) Anyhow, I left the dream realizing that while you think someone is your "dream man" when you really explore the options, its most likely just not gonna work in your life. But I wondered why did I even explore?
I have a wonderful husband. I mean, truly a great man. We have so much more in common than Ethan and I. We will definitely be southerners. We love the water. We have two great kids. We have common goals. And we don't have to start over in a relationship. There's something so sound and so special to 9 years of being together. I would never explore other options, so it was interesting to me to do so in a dream. We've been going through a particularly tough financial year, actually few years. But it's brought us together. I'm working on my consignment sales which will clear out clutter in our house, and bring in some serious money, but it's very stressful trying to take care of a house and kids and spend 8 hrs a day working on clothes. Plus my stress has really limited our intimate times, not only physically, but the opportunity to just *be* and talk and share. I miss that, because we truly are best friends. Much better than Ethan and I could ever be. And isn't that what really counts in a relationship?

In 3 more weeks my baby will turn 2 yrs old. In honor of her upcoming birthday, I've answered a survey of questions about her. I'll post it here.

Favorite foods: apples, anything green (salad, peas, etc..), nonney (nursing)
Most hated foods: pepperoni, cow's milk
Favorite toy: all 4 teletubbies at once
Favorite book:Teletubbies book Shawn and Michelle gave her last Christmas
Favorite song: If you're happy and you know it clap your hands.
Favorite activity: swinging
Least favorite activity: riding on the back of Tristan's bike when he's going fast (he has a 2 seater hot wheel type)
Favorite place to go: Mimi's house
Bedtime routine: dinner, bath and books earlier, nurse to sleep
Sleep habits: good sleeper, maybe nurses once some time early in the morning
New accomplishments: singing songs. Recently she was singing "Bob the Builder" and we haven't seen it since October when we dropped cable.
Child is picky about: having her apple in a bowl, peeling her own banana, wearing shoes - This afternoon was the first time she plopped down and said "Mommy, shoes- and socks too" LOL!
Personality traits: spunky! She's getting tough with Tristan. She likes it the way she likes it. She thinks she can do anything 4 yr olds can, and basically she can. She's very sweet and loving, but she might kiss you one minute and tell you no to a hug the next. She's very bright and verbal so I think this contributes.
Favorite thing to say: "That tickles, hee hee hee, so funny."
Usually is wearing: 2 piece outfits or dresses. Can't stand having to unbutton to potty.
Friends: She can make friends with anyone, but her best play mates are older girls - in the 4 yo range. And she's a great player with them. She has two playmates who are 21 m, but she usually leaves them in the dust.

Anything else you would like to add:

Ashton is a joy. She's 180 degrees different from Tristan. She's tough. She doesn't take any guff (she's recently taken to pushing 65 lb Tristan out of her way LOL!) She's sweet and loving. She has her opinions, but she listens to directions well. She loves to swim and take baths. She can play on any playground equipment with Tristan. She tries to ride a bike like him. She pumps her legs while she swings. She loves to draw and paint. She hates to have her hair brushed, but lets me put it in ponytails. She's spunky, but needs to be with such a big older brother. We love her to pieces.

I started working at Walt's office 2 days ago. I am trying to help them get their big launch off of the .SC campaign. Work is not bad - answering phones and typing. Ashton was an angel and she was really excited both days when she got to spend a little time with her Daddy. I should get back pay when the $ comes in. The only problem I have is I left as soon as Tristan's bus came. I leave by 2 pm so I can get home. But it takes a good half hour each way to drive there, park in the parking garage, walk across the street, and unlock. So I lose an hour of my workday, and get no child free time (Ashton sleeping and Tristan at school.) So my work total is only 2 1/2 hrs but it take all my time. Maybe we'll do something about this. My Mom only has one more week of work. She might like to watch my sweeties a little. Heh heh.

We went to the dentist on Thursday- for the kids. Tristan loves his new dentist. It's amazing b/c he's had such trauma over his teeth. I'm awestruck that he loves going. Of course he had his own dental hygenist so he could talk her ear off. Ashton didn't enjoy it as much. We're on medicaid, so they take only medicaid on Thursdays and really overbook. We were there 2 hrs before they even looked at us. I'll remember next time to feed the kids first! She was so crashing and it was awful! But still like the dentist and my children were both CAVITY FREE!!! It's incredible that I can write these words :-)

How embarassing when your blog only contains vents! So today I will think of good things going on. First of all I have lost 3 lbs my first week of doing ww points, and it wasn't that hard :-) I am really able to handle it well, so that's great! And that 3 lbs must have come from my belly flab, hey couldn't have picked a better place myself! And Walt is home! HOORAY! Of course he woke me up at 7:30 after us talking until 1am, but nothing a little caffeine can't fix. I should start helping out at the office tomorrow, so that's kinda exciting. And it's getting consignment time, so I can start working through the clothes. I love looking at adorable clothes LOL!
And we have groceries in the fridge. This is great! I tried fresh garlic in my grits this morning, and it was heaven! mmmm!!! I should get $ from my renters in the returned check today in the mail, so we should have some $ in our account. Things are definitely on an upswing! :-) I think Ashton and I will go feed the ducks today. Let's hope it's not mating season.

What a mess of a day! My mother lost her job of 17 yrs. She's my rock and it's really hard when she's shaken. We probably owe her $1500 out of her meager savings. She's scared. 56 yrs old and having to start over. Terrified. I surely don't want her dealing with stresses like ours. He was gonna give the news on Friday, thank goodness I was cleaning the studio. Mom sure didn't need the weekend to cry herself to sleep.
And the renters - what a joke! I was a bit miffed by mom's situation, and our own, and called. I told them I wouldn't accept a check for a few months. He told me it was my fault it bounced b/c I didn't call before I put it in. First of all, I accepted a post dated check, called , then put it in on the date. He shouldn't have sent it with that date if there wasn't gonna be money in. ARGH! Then he had the gall to ask me Couldn't I give them any slack? Um, Hello. They'll be 3 months late in 3 days. He said I can redeposit the check. Let's hope it's good this time. Geesh!
On the good news, I went grocery shopping today. I need more healthy foods for Tristan to eat. So far he's eaten the bananas and carrots. That's good :-)
About this Flylady thing (www.flylady.net). I'm working so hard on decluttering, I just have so much to declutter! ARGH! I do this consignment to bring in $ (and it does bring in about $3000 a year) but it really takes over my house. I need a way to contain it so this doesn't happen. My life has got to run more smoothly!
Oh and renters. They regularly are late, and have bounced us checks several times. It's beyond frustrating. Thank God Walt's Dad loaned us some $,because after their 2 months late check cleared for the housepayment, it bounced from them. Unbelievable. So here we are with Walt working out of town for his brother (read no pay) helping finish a playhouse, we only have $21 in our bank. At least it's not in the negative. They've done that to us before. But still.
But I tell you I have an angel for a husband. A sheer angel. He comes in at 2:30 am from being in Georgia. He has to leave at 7:30 am to head back another direction out of town. Poor fella! Not only that, but he leaves me all the money he has to put into the bank so we won't bounce any checks. 10 twenty dollar bills that were his pay for last week, are sitting here for me. He's loaded up a cooler, and pb&j, and chips and whatever else he can scrounge so he doesn't spend any $ going out of town beyond gas. (Employer will fit the bill for the hotel). I can't wait to have him back. This is nearly 3 weeks of him not being around. He's gonna be so sore. I feel bad for him.


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