Pretty pretty princess

Elenore’s most recent thing is that she drapes everything she can get her hands on around her neck. Its the most adorable thing.

It started out with the dog’s choke collar (the metal ones that look through a hoop to make it fit around the dogs neck), she walked around for days with it draped around her neck. Then she found my necklace, then it was the tinsel  from our Christmas Tree, and most recently it has been clothing. If it can drape around anything, it winds up on her neck.

Another new Elle ism is that she LOVES apples. I was eating a whole apple the other day and she saw me eating it. She watched me intently for a good 5 minutes and then stole it from me. She then proceeded to eat the apple like I was for a good hour! She worked it all the way down to the core! haha She cried when I took it from her and the poor thing didn’t understand that there was no more apple! I think if I had let her she would have gnawed on it all day long. :p

Here are some pics of her new draping technique LOL

Elenore 14 months 006

Helping mommy decorate 002Helping mommy decorate 001

I can text him?!

With Matthew being in Intel since before we were married, I have just come to accept that you can’t call them, text them, or even hear from them during the whole work day. People would ask me what he does and I would respond with “I’m not 100% positive about everything he does, but I know he briefs pilots and people on current events, and on missions” and when I was told that it would drive them crazy that I couldn’t talk with him about his work, I always said how I never knew it any other way. He loves to say stuff like “if I told you, I would have to kill you”. LOL

The big joke is that an Intel guy could really get away with cheating since; as wives ,we never ask them anything or question them when they have to go somewhere for work, or they can’t tell us what they have been doing. I know mine would never cheat, but it really shows you the way that our marriage has worked for the last 4 years. (4 in December! NUTS!)

I had friends whom their husbands could call and text them all day, and when I was surprised that they could do that, they thought I was the crazy one. (granted their husbands are Security forces and Comm, but still)

So I’m sure you could understand my surprise when I suddenly started receiving texts from him during work hours. The first time I got one, I was like “Are you at work?!” It was thoroughly baffling that I could send him a text or CALL him (!) and have him respond! Wow… This is what its like to have a normal work scenario! haha What was the change? Well, for one apparently the last few months of living and working in Mt. Home he suddenly realized he could email straight to my phone (haha leave it to my husband to be so far behind the times) and then now that he is working here in Goodfellow, he has more opportunities to text me. He still can’t have it when he is actually working, but there are more moments during the day where he has his phone and can respond to me. (He is now a Intel Instructor) This is really nice! If I need something I can actually ask him! Nuts…

Another baffling, but awesome thing about now being a Intel Instructor’s wife? He comes on ON TIME! Wow… I have gotten so used to 12,13,14 hour work days, that when he started walking in at exactly 3:30-4, I didn’t know what to do with myself… Who knew that you could actually have more than a few hours with your husband before he had to go to bed at night! Crazy.

 

This Intel wife is going to soak up this attention! Its really nice 😉

 

My personal bullying experience

Something has really been weighing on my heart lately, bullying.

More and more often I have been hearing and seeing mothers complaining that there is nothing that they can do for their children when it comes to bullies. I have seen this first hand it is brutal. A parent knows something is happening but has no idea how to handle it. The school system has made it just as bad to be the bullied as it is to be the bully. A student defends themselves (which we all know is what should happen, that is how bullies are stopped, they are stood up to and it stops) and suddenly they are made out to be just as bad as the bully. So you tell your children to not defend themselves (That wont be happening in this household) and to go to a teacher or someone in authority. They do nothing, and the bullying continues.  Or the opposite happens, you tell your child to stand up for themselves, to fight back. And suddenly your kid is labeled as “fighter”, a “bully” and the school turns on them. Your child is now the one being suspended and the bullies continue to do what they do best, at school, bully. Why are there bullies at schools? Because the schools make the kids scared to defend themselves and in do that protect the bullies.

There is something seriously wrong with that and it needs to change.

Or (this one is really close to my heart since it happened to me) a kid is made an outcast because of something they did. That is just as bad as being bullied.

For me it was breaking up with my current boyfriend. All my “friends” decided my reasons for dumping him were not legit enough for their taste, so they tore me down, isolated me, and just made me feel like I was the scum of the earth. In a span of 24 hours I lost all the friends I had. Suddenly I was walking to classes alone, I had no one to talk to, I walked by my “friends” in the hallways and they were talking to my ex boyfriend. I felt like I had no one. Then to make matters worse my family (not knowing what happened, or the pain I was feeling) started to joke that I was a “heart breaker”. It was all in fun, but for me as the person it was directed at, it felt like they were attacking me.

It became so bad that I would hide in the nursery with my mother and not go into the church services because “he” was out there with my friends.

The thing is no one every asked me why I dumped him. No one thought that maybe what they were doing was wrong. When I would say how I didn’t like that he was coming to church (he was atheist and was only coming because he knew it would torment me) my “friends” attacked me. Told me I was being a horrible Christan by not wanting  him to be going to church.

Well, I’m no longer a scared, isolated 15-16 year old and I will say it now. He was a jerk. That is why I dumped him. He loved to tear me down emotionally, and verbally. He loved to manipulate situations to his favor (which is how he turned all my friends on me, and I couldn’t do anything about it) and then turn them on me. He got his kicks out of getting into a fight with me and then making it out to be all my fault. I know now, looking back, that if I had stayed with him, it probably would have escalated and he probably would have physically abused me. Know why I know this? Because he was slowly trying to wear me down mentally and was slowly trying to isolate me from my “friends”. If I hadn’t been raised to be strong, I don’t think I would have seen it. But I did and I ran for the hills.

The saving grace for my high school self? A group of girls that were in my swim team lane. The same group of girls who then became my best friends. And also, ironically, my husband. (at that point, only a friend whom I loved and wanted it to be more than just friendship)

These group of girls saw right through my ex’s stories and manipulative musings and supported me. They were there to let me cry on their shoulders, loop their arms through mine when I walked by him and my old friends. Told me how stupid they were for how they treated me. They were a Godsend. I know that God knew exactly what I needed and sent me Paige, Gigi, and Nicole. We became joined at the hip, and we didn’t leave each others sides till College. I am still best friends with Gigi, she is Elenore’s Godmother. I will always look back at that time of darkness and see them, my beacon of hope and light at the end of the tunnel.

What did Matthew do? He was there when the worst and the darkest moment happened. We had been talking, more and more the last few months, and he knew what was going on. When that fateful Sunday arrived and my ex walked through the church doors like he owned the place, I walked up to my “friends” and told them I didn’t want him here, and a “friend” informed me how unchristian I was being, I ran from the church in tears. It was the finally straw. I knew that I had lost all of my “friends” and I was alone. After telling my mom what had happened, and then starting to leave, I past Matthew in the hallway. My mom informed him to follow me, and he ran after me. I don’t remember what he said to me, or really what I even said to him, it is all a blur of tears and agony, but he was there. Through it all, he sat with me. He got me to calm down enough to not kill myself when I drove home. Then when I did leave to go home, I didn’t feel like the world was all out to get me. I know had another reason to keep going, Matthew.

From that moment on, the Quad (my new group of friends) and Matt were the only reason I made it through. I’m fully aware of the fact that the people who used to be my friends, still believe they are my friends. They had no idea what torture they put me through. I have never told them how much they hurt me, and probably will never tell them. But it still feels good to say it on here. I was hurt in High school, and I wouldn’t have made it without my friends and my husband.

What makes me even madder is that this kind of thing is happening all the time in school and nothing is being done. What would have happened if I didn’t find a group of friends, or if Matthew hadn’t run after me? Would I be the same person today? Or just a shadow of who I am today? God only knows. But I can see why someone would think there is no way out and commits suicide. Or turns to crime to get attention.

This sort of thing even happened to my brother. He is such a strong kid, but the school and his peers did their best to try and break him. I am proud to say that he came out the other side stronger. But this kind of stuff should NOT be happening. Parents, teachers and the administrators need to be watching out for the isolated students, they should be defending the victims of bullying, not attacking them and punishing them. A student should feel comfortable enough to be able to defend themselves and not be scared that they themselves will be suspended. The security officers shouldn’t have vendettas against students and make them out to be criminals just because they “think” the kid did something. Or the kid defended themselves way to many times and now they have decided that the student is “trouble”

This is really messed up. I’m just glad I had such a good support system and that we (my brother and I) had my parents. Without them, I have no idea what would have happened.

Sleepless nights and motherhood

The last 2 days Elenore has been super sick. The poor little thing has had a runny nose, fever, and as of yesterday; a swollen face and gooey eyes.

As a mother there is nothing worse then seeing your child in pain or your child sick. Both scenarios are really heart wrenching. The first night was a night after a really interesting day, so I was already exhausted when Elenore woke me at midnight with a scream. That whole night is a blur of sweaty baby hair, lullaby singing, Advil, her rocking chair and praying for dawn to come so that Matt could take over. (Because of course, he slept through the whole thing… I think this is pretty common for dads LOL) I wont say that I regretted being the one that stayed up with her though. Even though she was sweaty, whiny, snotty, and a mini furnace, I love the fact that only I could make her feel better. Being able to hold her all night long, wrapped in her favorite blanket, and rock her is really calming.

Around 5 in the morning she allowed me to finally lay her in her crib and go get 3 hours of fitful sleep before she was up again at 8 am.

That next day our friends Nikki and Joe showed up with their two boys (one of which was being grumpy also) so we had a fun time hanging out and understanding each others tiredness as their newborn cried, and Elenore cried because she couldn’t really see, and couldn’t breath well.

The next night Matt had the brilliant idea that he would hold her all night. I, from the beginning, knew that it really was going to be a; hold her till I fall asleep and then Tracey takes over, scenario, but didn’t say anything. And low and behold, that is what happened. He fell into a deep sleep and then Elenore woke with a cry. That night was far worse than the first night. Elle had the shakes and couldn’t get comfortable or even sleep without me holding her to my chest.

That night was a blur of nursing, Advil, Elle shaking, singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and being WAY to hot to sleep. Even when Elle finally fell asleep and was not shaking, she took over the whole bed, and I was not able to sleep. Oh, the joys of motherhood.

Oh, and Matt slept the whole night through haha He thought (when I asked him today) that he had slept with her on his chest for hours. When I told him, it was more like 30 minutes, he felt bad. But all well, can’t control how deeply you sleep! haha

I think she is feeling better. I just laid her down for bed, and she didn’t fight me. I’m sending up a prayer that she actually sleeps for me. I don’t have Matt’s help in the morning. 😦

 

And Matt keeps reminding me that I want another one… 3 more actually… Yes, I am crazy. But I wouldn’t change this for the world! I love being a mommy.

The truth about co-sleeping hehe

 

 

Happy Turkey Day!

Today did NOT go the way we planned.

The plan was to get up, get ready, pack a over night bag and then drive the 5 hours to my cousin Amanda’s house for Thanksgiving. We literally were about to climb into the truck and leave, but first let the dogs out to go to the bathroom before we left. (The doggy sitter wasn’t going to be there till late tonight) Matt went and let the dogs in, I was grabbing my purse when suddenly we both noticed that Sugar was licking a lot. Finding it annoying, I yelled at her. When she lifted her head to look at me, I suddenly noticed that she was gushing blood from her belly and that there was blood everywhere! There went our well planned out day…..

We had to rush her to the emergency animal hospital and leave her there. We finally got her back around 4:30-5. The poor thing had to be sedated and stitched up. She is now one loopy dog. I am just happy she is ok and didn’t do serious, permanent damage to herself. Matt still hasn’t figured out how and where she injured herself in the backyard. Its a mystery.

So because I thought we would be in Richmond and were going to be spending the night, I didn’t have any Thanksgiving-ish food in the house. Matt first suggested we just go to Texas Roadhouse for dinner, but then he started asking for Pecan pie. With that in mind I suddenly had to run to Walmart (not a fun experience) to get the fixings for that. While I was there I went a head and bought pumpkin pie supplies also.

Our dinner consisted of: Creamy chicken,  fresh broccoli, mashed potatoes and sweet red wine. For dessert we had pecan pie and pumpkin pie. We are stuffed! Over all today was pretty awesome. It was actually really nice to be able to just relax and cook in my own kitchen.

Also, Elenore decided today would be a good day to be REALLY silly. She discovered that she can climb into her walker and push herself all around the house. She bangs herself into walls, chases the dogs (not so good today with poor sugar being loopy and in pain) and runs into mommy and daddy. She also found out it was really funny to try and trip mommy as she cooked (mommy didn’t find it as humorous).  Right as I type she is scooting backwards around the living room….

Life is never boring around here! haha

My first Paleoish Meal

Tonight we are  having Mexican Spiced Pork Chops, Quinoa (That’s ish part LOL), and Green Beans. I’m super excited to see if  my family likes it!

Here are the recipes:

Mexican Spiced Pork Chops

4 Pork Chops
1 Jar Salsa

2 Tbsp. Cooking fat of choice
1 tsp. Chili Powder
1 tsp. Cumin
1/2 tsp. Oregano
1/2 tsp. Smoked Paprika
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
Salt & Pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 350 and begin warming a large skillet with the cooking fat of your choice. Mix all of the seasoning together and generously coat the each side of the pork chops. Once the oil is hot, sear the pork chops for a couple of minutes on each side. Cover the pork chops with the jar of salsa and move the pan into the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the pork is no longer pink in the middle. Serve with some fresh avocado and enjoy!

The cooked pork!

Pan searing the pork

Green beans!

 

And Quinoa

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1.25 cups cooking liquid

Instructions

  1. If you are working with unrinsed quinoa, you want to start off by soaking your quinoa. (You can buy quinoa that is prerinsed if you want to skip this step.) You can soak for an hour or more without a negative impact but 15 minutes will do the trick. After soaking, rinse for two or three minutes in a fine metal strainer. If you do not have a colander that is fine enough, you can line your regular colander with cheesecloth to get the job done. If you are using pre-rinsed quinoa you can skip this step.
  2. Add one part quinoa to one and a quarter parts liquid. As always, choose the liquid that best suits the dish you are making. Depending on the ad ins you are using, you may or may not use a bit more liquid. Bring to a simmer and then reduce to low. Cover and cook for between 30 and 35 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit covered for an additional five minutes. Fluff and serve. Your quinoa is now ready to be added to stir fry recipes, black bean recipes…your options are endless! If you are cooking quinoa in bulk and are going to be placing your quinoa in the refrigerator, you will want to know how to cool quinoa. The best method that I have found is to place the quinoa on a rimmed cookie sheet until it is completely cooled. Once your quinoa is cooled you can transfer it to a container for storage.

Results:

The final product!

The family loved it! Yippee!

Spa day, Thoughts, and Paleo

Today I had an outing with a group of women I met on a Facebook page I’m apart of. We all really needed a spa day and decided to spend a Saturday relaxing. It was amazing! Started out a Olive Garden eating really good food and chatting, then off to the spa where I got a hour long massage and a hand and food relaxation treatment. It was beyond relaxing.

After half a day of relaxation and no baby time, I found  myself really missing my daughter. Funny how that is, huh? After you have been away for a while, suddenly the baby you felt was going to drive you crazy, is crazy cute, and you can’t get enough of their attention. Yep, I really needed a mommy’s day out. Ha ha I came back ready to take on more mommy baby adventures.

After we spend some family time together and I got as much cuddles and kisses as I could from my baby, we ran to HEB to check out the prices for specialty food. For those of you that may have not seen my last post; Matt, Elle and I are going to try out the Paleo diet. That is where you don’t eat, grains, dairy, and try to stick to all organic. (even though, we are not giving up Dairy, we love cheese and milk to much, just going to go Organic on those) After we got over the sticker prices on some stuff, and was mildly relieved over the price of other stuff, we came to the conclusion that we probably wont be able to go completely Paleo. Its going to be more like 1/3 Paleo. LOL I’m going to try to get as close as I can, but some stuff we just can’t afford to have in our weekly food budget. For example: Organic Beer.

I was excited to find that HEB had Organic, Grass fed, Free Range Beef. Everything I was told was what we needed to be eating to be keeping to the Paleo lifestyle. Then I saw the price, $8 a pound! That is $5 more than what we are paying now! We can’t afford that, especially since we would have to be doubling our beef purchases to accommodate the loss of some our normal normal foods; like pasta and rice. That saddened me, especially since that is where tons of hormones are. I might buy 1 lb of the Organic beef and the rest non, just so we get some Organic beef, but we can’t do all. 😦  All well, we do what we can.

Another one: the special flours: Coconut and Almond. Coconut is over $6 for 16 oz, and Almond is $12 for 16 oz.. Ouch!  Solution?  I will not be baking as much, and we will not be breading our chicken as much. LOL I think we can deal with that. We don’t really need me to be making tons of baked sweets anyways.

Here is my final thought on the issue. Even though the prices shocked me, and Matt is not as enthusiastic anymore (haha), I’m still excited to try this out!

Here’s to life changes.

 

 

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