2013/02/24

Weekend in review

Here's what we did this weekend -

Friday was my birthday so I was pleasantly surprised by Philip having all our laundry and the housework done by the time I got home from work.  We then went and ate steak at Click's in Pawnee with the soon-to-be birthday girl Jenny, Brynn, and Dustin. Click's is one of those places that every time we go we think, "Why don't we come here more often?"

Afterwards we went and ate the cake that Annie had picked out for me.  We used all of the candles that she had purchased too and the amount of smoke after blowing the candles out was similar to the smoke you see someone on a desert island sending out a call for help....



Saturday Annie had a birthday party to attend at a gymnastics place so she was able to burn lots of energy and re-fill the tank with her second piece of cake in two days.

We then went to celebrate Jenny's birthday by eating nachos and cupcakes.  When we got home and I contemplated ways to get organized while I sat on the couch and carried none of those grand ideas out.

Philip and Annie were much more productive as he showed her how to shine shoes, because he unlike her mother does a good job of keeping up a spiffy appearance. 


Annie is always the willing helper.



Today we went to church and after class Philip and I had toddler nursery duty during services.  The hour and 30 minutes with eight 2 & 3 year-olds reaffirmed my admiration for those who teach pre-school.



It has been a great weekend - Philip was able to take a break from studying since he has two of his CPA exams taken and he doesn't start on the review for the next one until tomorrow, I wasn't really able to take a break from studying but did anyway because I figured the birthday counted for something, and we were blessed with gorgeous weather and fun times with family and friends.

2013/02/21

Signed by Annie

Today is National Card Reading Day.  I kid you not.  How do I know this?  Because I work with some very funny people who know a lot of mindless trivia & one such person shared this with me today.

Annie made cards for us today & here is her lovely signature. I love the fact that everywhere we go she points out A's and says "There's an Annie 'A'!" Nothing like thinking an entire letter belongs to you.

2013/02/20

Go to the mattresses

Since I moved into my own duplex eleven years ago I have slept on a full-sized bed.  This bed was incredibly large compared to the twin bed I'd always slept in.  My dearly departed favorite dog Ara (dauchsaund) and I thought we were sleeping in the lap of luxury on that bed and we both could take up as much room as we wanted.

Fast forward four years and I acquired a new dog Asher who didn't seem to take up to much additional space (dauchsaund chiuau mix) so the bed still suited all of us fine. 

A year later Philip and I got married which decreased the size of the bed but there was still plenty of room. Plus, the bed remained fantastically comfy and we all enjoyed having Philip around so it was an easy accomodation.  Of course there have been a few times in our married life we were made fun of for sleeping in a full sized bed but it worked for us - we both had room and I always thought to myself that my grandparents slept on a full their entire married lives so what was wrong with us sleeping on one?

Anyway, moving along 6 years, puppies now both gone but a small toddler often joining us in bed at night (who sleeps as if she was making a snow angel) the bed has begun to become crowded.  Yes, I know I have a previous post about enjoying having baby feet in my back and it is very sweet and fun to cuddle together.  However, the aforementioned baby feet are at least twice that size with much longer extremities and while one can live without sleep as I have gotten older it's not a pretty picture for those around you to have to live with (literally and figuratively).

I think Philip and I both realized there was a problem with the sleeping situation when back in August while we were at Disney World in our hotel room with 2 queen-sized bed Annie came over in the middle of the night and crawling in to our bed said, "It's cold in that bed over there by myself!" To amend this problem we worked on Annie's sleep habits and while she doesn't join us in bed the majority of the time, when she does all 40 inches of her really make for tight quarters. (In addition to the various small toys or books she decides to bring with her on her venture into the bed.)

The time has come for us to move on to a larger bed.  Not necessarily because at times Annie joins us but more because all of our faces light up with great joy when we know we are sleeping at a hotel because of the fantastic bed we will rest on with ample room to stretch WHILE in bed.  Philip and I have decided that we will pass the obvious upgrade to the queen size and go all the way up to a king size.  Looking at dimensions the other night this is going to give us a crazy 26 extra inches in width and 5 inches in length (which will keep Philip's feet from hanging off unless I over-do it with the pillows as I have a tendency to do).

Now the research has begun to find the perfect bed.  I was talking to Jenny about this and she told me that while shopping for a new mattress of her own she'd been informed by a salesperson that if your mattress was a color that meant it was one of two things.  Old or poor quality.  The mattress we sleep on is a lovely shade of pink so clearly this upgrade is warranted.




2013/02/16

It's a good day to be a cowboy

Today we went to bedlam basketball and brought the two cutest cheerleaders with us. Great game - both teams played well & both girls cheered hard so here's hoping for an early bedtime...

2013/02/14

Have a SUPER Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!  Annie has recently begun talking a little bit about and dressing up some as a super-hero.  So naturally super-hero Valentine's were the go-to option for this year because phases fly by quickly with kids and you have to get on board or pray fervently this one goes quicker than most if it is undersirable one such as throwing themselves on the ground every time something doesn't go their way.

Thanks to my friend Shannon for the great design of the super-hero tootsie pops.  Annie said to me, "My friends are going to think this is really special."  How could they not?  Everyone would like their own personal super-hero, right?

I'm sorry to report that crossing one's eyes does not give you x-ray or any type of super-hero vision.


I know this one is blurry but I like the fact that there is a close-up of her hand.  I'm her mom, every appendage and feature is sweet to me.


Another photo to show the Valentine but I like the hands in it the most.  They are losing the baby fat chubbiness they use to have.  :(  I do think she has potential to be a hand model though (that Seinfeld is a hilarious episode by the way).  Fortunately she was not blessed with her mother's man hands that no amount of fancy manicuring can make look good.


This one was probably caught while she was blinking or trying to say something but the expression cracks me up (and makes me a little sad - she looks so grown up!)


Enjoy your day - may many Cupid's arrows hit their target!

2013/02/13

Snow, snow, snow!

 We have had a very mild winter this year.  Today we finally got a little bit of snow.


 There were huge fluffy flakes that basically melted as quickly as they landed.


Not enough to make the snow angels Annie has been practicing inside for a couple of months, but enough to make tracks.  Annie is making the most of what there is.  



P.S. The outfit and hair were coordinated and styled by the model in the pictures.  

2013/02/11

Weekend review

Friday I woke up afraid I might be coming down with strep and as only an Oklahoman named Sweet Brown could say so well "ain't nobody got time for that" so I went to work and courteously warned everyone to stay at least 8 feet away from me. After work I picked Annie up from school and we came home and made sugar cookies because a good cookie solves a multitude of problems.

We then babysat my cute little niece Brynn while Annie broke in her mermaid dress-up outfit. This outfit was something she had been requesting for awhile and when it came up as a deal on Amazon, I thought, "why not?"  I'll tell you why not, that one wearing shed more (sequin) scales than Daryl Hannah at the end of the movie Splash, and that has not been the only wearing throughout the weekend.  Oh well, you win some, you lose some (as far as costumes go, as a housekeeper I'm on the losing end, every time she puts the Sleeping Beauty outfit on we have glitter adorning every surface she comes in contact with, but she loves the way she looks in it and there are few things better than seeing her face when she feels like a princess).

Which led us into Saturday where I spent parts of the day picking up sparkly purple and green sequins.  It also consisted of laundry, short periods of study, and finishing up and mailing Annie's valentines at the post office that will soon no longer deliver mail on Saturdays (another late breaking news update).  Not really an exciting day but a welcome break from the activity of the week and the Cowboys won so there was happiness throughout the land.

Sunday consisted of church, roast, homework and studying, life group, and Downton Abbey.  This is the only show I watch on a regular basis or keep up with at all unless you count the Fraiser re-runs I turn on at night.  Let me tell you this show has had me on an emotional roller coaster since I began watching it a little over a month ago.  Yes, Philip and I have a tendency to consume a TV series about every three years or so in the course of a week (or in the case of this one a weekend) and we caught up with this one just prior to (and actually we were about an episode behind) the third season starting.

We don't watch a lot of TV at our house and this is the perfect show to indulge in.  If you don't watch it and you are interested in high society in England in the early 1900's then this is the show for you.  If you are interested in the life of a servant of high society in England in the early 1900's then this is the show for you.  If you like to see how three sisters can be completely different then this is the show for you. If you like to hear an older woman pass judgement and speak her mind freely then this is the show for you.  If you like to sit on the couch on Sunday evenings and enjoy the final moments of the weekend then this is the show for you.

I will not get in to descriptions of the great characters or epic scenes because in years to come I'm not going to look back at memories and wonder about Downton Abbey but it is the perfect way to end our weekend.  Sundays are fun because we get challenged and encouraged through church and life group, generally enjoy some downtime together, and then close out it watching a good show that we don't have to mute when Annie is in the room or cover her eyes.

On to Funday Monday....with what thankfully is not strep but certainly is a persistent head cold.

2013/02/09

Organization and time management

I have a confession to make.  I’m obsessed with having freezer meals stocked up in my deep freeze at all times. 

Why? Well, there is a little background to this…

Throughout my life at different periods of times I’ve had varying degrees of organization and time management.  To my knowledge, my mother may know different, I’ve always been pretty neat and kept my room and living space tidy but that does not necessarily translate into organized.  My roommate in college Lauren and my sidekick in nursing school Brianne can attest to the fact that I never felt the need to plan ahead and study even though I knew from previous experience this was not the best method and caused me both emotional and gastrointestinal distress.  I was so bad at cramming before a test that I actually fell asleep during one final and the professor woke me up and said, “Miss Goodman, I believe we’ve done all we can here….” as he took my Scantron from me (which may or may not have had some drool on it).

Disorganization and mismanagement of time continued with me as I started out as a single girl on my own living in the city paying my own bills.  Remembering to pay those bills on time was a skill that eluded me simply because of my lack of organization and time awareness. In my defense I was working night shift for the first six months and basically remained a zombie during that time day or night.  Looking back I realize I wasn’t living beyond my means, I simply never remembered that they actually expected you to mail the check. 
My process was this:
1) I’d open my mail
2) Put all the bills in a nice folder labeled “BILLS” (because putting things in folders clearly means you are organized)
3) Put aforementioned folder in my office space on my computer desk
4) Receive a letter a couple of weeks later with bold bright colored letters and lots of explanation points that let me know a nice person would come to my house to discontinue my services unless I got their money to them pronto. 

Why I didn't just write the check as soon as I got the bill and put it in my mailbox to be picked up, I don't know but that was my process.  There were many faults with this process the major ones being that for-crying-out-loud-people-deserve-to-get-their-money-on-time and generally there were always extra fees and expenses involved which now made my one income household teeter dangerously close to above my means.  Thankfully now I’ve learned that direct deposit and bill pay are my best friends and so my “BILLS” folder has been moved to File 13.

Anyway, in the last few years I have become much better at maintaining organization and managing my time. (This is out of necessity mind you, I'd remain un-organized and bad at time management if my continuing education didn't pose a threat to human safety because I had no idea how to deal with the patient I was seeing due to lack of preparation or the fact that I have a small child that requires nourishment on a regular basis.)

Freezer meals have become a big part of my improvement in this area of my life. All frozen, some are crockpot meals that are thrown together and then just dumped in the crockpot before I go to work or others are meals I’ve already prepared and they just have to be thawed and warmed in the oven.  This makes it super easy to have a good home-cooked meal each night and doesn’t mean I’m in the kitchen for an hour after work (meal to table time this way is about 5-10 minutes).  Annie loves to help out in the kitchen but her attention only goes so long and so when I’m in there prepping and cooking for close to an hour and then cleaning up afterward I start to feel guilty about needing to spend time with her and Philip.  If I don’t cook or throw a boxed meal together I feel guilty about the saturated fat or over-processed food I’m serving to my family (unless we eat Braum’s cheeseburgers because that is nothing but happiness in every bite people).

Looking back at this I may think, what’s the problem with having plenty of meals stocked up?  Yummy home-cooked food in no time = win-win for all involved. Except for the fact that I used the word “obsessed.”  A truer description there could not be.  At this time we have over 20 meals frozen in our freezer and I am reluctant to use them.  Every time I take one out I think, “Surely I could make something quickly when I get home so we don’t have to use one up.” How silly is that?  So now we’ll only have 19? Last weekend I prepared eight meals in about 45 minutes (yes, I have this down to a science) after our bi-weekly grocery run and then I even made a few frozen breakfast items too.  (the breakfast is because it is Annie’s favorite meal, right behind snack, and I’ve hung my head in shame more once with the creations I’ve assembled for her in a pinch a few mornings) and still every time I pull something out to use I cringe.

Hopefully admitting this is the turning point – pretty much it has to be because we are running out of room. We already have some of the frozen pork from the half hog we bought last year and our beef supply courtesy of the 3g Ranch in the freezer so it’s not like I can continue to stockpile. 

To make matters worse, we had teriakyi beef, beef enchiladas, king ranch chicken, chicken chili, scalloped ham and potatoes, chicken curry, beef fajitas, chicken tetrazinni, baked ziti, ham and beans, fettuccini alfredo, and salsa chicken to choose from the other night and I went with making grilled cheese and tomato basil soup (from a can, shudder in horror if you must) to save a freezer meal which defeats the whole purpose behind the freezer meals.  True to form my loyal and sweet diners both said to me “Thank you for supper” as they sipped their soup and dipped their triangle sandwiches. 

That had to be the lowest point - talk about heaping burning coals onto one’s head…needless to say we’ll be eating beef enchiladas tonight…


2013/02/08

Cool cats

Have you heard the news?  Probably, because it came out a couple of days ago and I'm doubtful anyone is coming here to seek up-to-date news.  Anyway, classic Monopoly (these days there are many versions) has ousted the iron as a playing piece and has added a cat figurine.

You can read more about it here Cat Monopoly piece.

I'm not a cat fan by any stretch of the imagination so this change isn't really that exciting to me.  My distaste for cats basically comes from the fact that they seem so stuck-up.

My feelings for cats is not a secret so my sister Jenny made a point to make sure Annie had plenty of items of clothing as a toddler that had cats on them just because she's funny like that.




(Apparently, these were all "cool" cats as they are all wearing what appear to be sunglasses.)

The great thing about sisters is they know you better than you know yourself and while I don't like cats, Jenny knew I wouldn't hold out on using the clothes so I guess everyone won.

2013/02/07

Habit forming

This is the fifth time I have posted this week since returning to blogging.  Yes, I realize that is a lot but I'm wanting this to become a positive habit so I'm trying to do it daily at first so that when I don't do it I think, "Hmmm, something is missing..."

It really only takes me about 15 -20 minutes and I do want to have a record of the fun stuff and some of the day-to-day mundane things that go on so that in years to come I and my family can look back and smile even wider about the good times we've had.  Life gets busy and moves quickly and I find this is a good way to slow down and look at how great it actually is.

Blogging, journaling, and scrapbooking (basically anything that is record keeping of memories) has always fallen to the wayside on my list of priorities but every time I review the stuff I put down I love having it.  Hence my desire to make this last.  Hopefully in a year I can look back and see that I kept up with it even if it was with some irregularity.


2013/02/06

Pout pout fish

At the Norwood household we have a conundrum.  When Annie first began talking I'm sure she said the "Mama" and "Dada" like nearly all children but her first really decipherable word was "Elmo."  She said it clear as day and said it often.  In fact there were many times she would just say, "Elmo, Elmo, Elmo, Elmo," over and over because she apparently liked the way it rolled off her tongue.  The funny thing about all of this is at the time she didn't watch TV at all and had never seen said character. Upon further investigation we figured out that at her school there was one two inch Elmo figure that they used during group time to associate with the color red. 

Anyway, to facilitate her love of this character we got her a few Elmo videos (which she would only watch for about 10 minutes but she was all kinds of excited when that furry red monster made an appearance).  Well, anyone who has had any exposure to Elmo in the last decade knows that he has a goldfish named Dorothy.  This led me to the brilliant idea of getting her a Dorothy of her own.

At the time we bought two goldfish because it seemed cruel to take one from a school of 30 to swimming alone.  However, Dorothy was destined to go through life solo because shortly after getting them home the second fish was dead. Really it was a sad state of affairs because that fish never had a name, or perhaps we were calling them both Dorothy not to confuse Annie, but anyway, the fish was disposed of (there is a story there for another time) and the other remained.

Fast forward two years and here we are. (Pardon the murky water and poor photo quality, she does not like to have a clean tank or her picture taken.)


What once was ample space - the Walmart salesman informed me at the time of purchse that goldfish only have a 5 second memory so they rarely get bored or tired of their home (and who am I to question his expertise?) - is no longer true for our pet.  Dorothy has grown too large for her environment and as Philip eloquently stated "I'm pretty sure if we had an open tank we'd have found her flopping on the floor beside it." She has tried numerous times to jump out of the top even with the obvious lid barricade. Sadder still are her attempts to just give up and end it all by shooting to the top of the small tank and plunging at break-neck speed the short 10 inches back to the bottom, which if you deduct her length it's actually about 4 inches. This dramatic scene always ends with a small rock being jolted by her weight & her swimming around a bit disoriented for a little while. 

Enter the conundrum - what do we do for this depressed fish?  I have no desire to upgrade to a larger tank.  I never thought the fish would last past the Elmo phase (which was about a year) so we'd have this small aquarium we could just quietly put away until Annie wanted one for her college dorm room.  Her home has been on my kitchen cabinet for 2 years now in addition to the functional kitchen items on my counters and I'd like to keep as few things up there as possible. Philip has taken care of Dorothy by feeding her and turning her light on and off every day so because of their bond he is opposed to my ideal of just setting her free (i.e. all drains lead to the ocean).  Of course there is also Annie who doesn't really take notice Dorothy that often but if she was to suddenly disappear she would definitely realize it and even worse if it was a tragic tale our sweet little girl might be scarred for life and we definitely aren't going to do that (intentionally, there is no telling what some of our novice parenting has done without us being aware).  So here we are....

The one idea I have:
- Remove all extra stuff (fake coral and vegetation) from her tank but that would make it even more boring.
- Drop her in a horse tank at the 3g Ranch to grow as large as she'd like

The two ideas Philip has:
- Bigger tank
- Find her a loving home

As condundrums go around our house I'm pretty sure Dorothy will remain (you do have to hand it to her, a goldfish living that long deserves a little respect) in her current habitat to live out her days because problem-solving is not what I do best.



2013/02/05

Good intentions

In all honesty I got up this morning to catch my clinical log up-to-date.  A clinical log is something for school that is similar to chiggers in the grass during the summer. It's all fun in the sun until you get home and have to chart it. Which in the case of chiggers would be to realize that now you have unsightly red welps on your legs that are going to itch unless you paint them with nail polish (I don't believe that is advice from anyone but an Old Wife but it worked and very quickly).

I am not getting to said clinical log though because the goofy circle (not rainbow wheel - if that comes up you might as well surrender) that says it's loading is spinning like crazy and not getting anything done.  Of course when I go to sites like Yahoo, Pintrest, or the blogs I read they load right up which I guess means it was not meant to be for me to get up and get ahead of the sun this morning.  

2013/02/04

Six years and counting

Yesterday was Philip and I’s sixth anniversary. Being it was a Sunday we had actually celebrated the night before by going out to eat sushi. Annie has only ventured into the sushi realm once and it was not with great success so Jenny and Dustin kept her and proceeded to make her a playhouse out of a car seat box that now resides in my entryway. If you are picking up a tinge of bitterness you would be correct and this is only because Annie loves it more than the Fisher Price marketplace I spent too much money on a year and a half ago because it was something I would’ve loved as a child (albeit a child of 7 or 8, not 2 which she was at the time so maybe there’s hope).  I will admit the house is pretty cool with a door, window, and mailbox that actually function as designed, an overhead light, and details that include a ceiling fan, outdoor landscaping, and a family portrait on the wall.

Anyway, for the actual anniversary I decided to make us breakfast in bed.  This was at first going to be a covert operation but then Annie was tired and a bit fussy while taking her bath the night before so I clued her in letting her know that it was a surprise and secret for her daddy.  The excitement as Doc Holliday would say was more than she could bear.  She ran into the living room and jumped up on Philip ready to spill the beans. I  foiled her plans though by coming and saying “Annie remember it’s a secret.”  Which was a horrible move because then Philip, who obviously does not enjoy surprises, kept asking her what the secret was and after 15 seconds and my disappearance to the kitchen I heard her shout to him “We’re making brefast in bed.” (No, that is not a misspelling, at this point in life she pronounces it bre-fest because the –ak sound is not one she has mastered.)  I was not disheartened by the surprise being taken away though because this meant I could go ahead and get some of the preparation done before bed, and this was helpful because if I have a tendency to over-pre-prepare and the extra time allowed me to do so once again. Annie also made preparations and had her play tea set all ready at the end of the bed for full service the next morning.

So bright and early the next morning I made breakfast for 3 and woke Annie up to help deliver the not so surprising breakfast.  We went in the bedroom with me in pj shorts and a t-shirt trying my hardest not to spill hot coffee and her in her full-length Cinderella puffed sleeved night gown with her hair ratted up (courtesy of a night of sleep) because this of course was a formal occasion.  She dramatically fell on the floor from either excitement or embarrassment of the fanciness of the affair while I woke Philip up.  She then pretended that she too had been sleeping and this was a wonderful treat for us all.  I have to say it added to the effect and fun of the whole deal because she was terribly excited and kept saying “Happy Anniversary!” and “Thank you for my brefast in bed.” As we were finishing up she said, “Oh! Don’t forget about my brefast and tea.” Which meant Philip and I had to enjoy imaginary tea and hard plastic cookies.

The rest of the day went like Sundays do with church, a nice nap, time together as a family, and then the sudden realization that we have to get things together for the week ahead and ohmystarshowisitalreadyteno’clockandAnnieisstillup?  It was a fun day and hard to believe that six years have already gone by.  Philip and I had many plans and goals prior to getting married and others have been created as we’ve gone along.  God has blessed us beyond measure and now some of those plans are actually winding up.  Philip has begun taking his CPA exams, will start his job in August, I should be finished with my post-masters at the end of July and get my licensure and start a new job in the fall, and we have our sweet Annie.  Now it is time to start to work on the new goals so be prepared my friends as we do the same thing we do every night – try to take over the world!  All kidding and schemes for world domination aside, I’m so fortunate to have spent the last six years with Philip and look forward to many more.

2013/02/03

And we're back...


So it's been nearly 2 years and I haven't posted. In that time I went back to school, life got busy, & I just forgot about blogging in general. I did keep up with cute & sweet memories of life by typing them as notes on my phone. Then the other day I realized, why don't you just go back to typing these on a blog where it was more organized? Thus, here we are! (Yes, during my 2 years away I've acquired a use for the word "thus." Fancy, right?)

This blog is just a place for me to store memories so maybe I'll catch them up, and maybe I won't; but for now I'm going to try again.  (Disclaimer: this probably won't be the last 2 year hiatus knowing myself, but hey, it'll be fun to have small periods of life recorded on the World Wide Web).

To ease back into things here's an updated picture of sweet little Annie who is now 3 & continues to brighten each day in a special way for me...



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I'm blessed with fun days, happy moments, & precious memories...this is where I store some of them.