Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Back at Work

Well, today is my first day back at work, so naturally, that means I have all day to work on my blog! Hooray! Now, I don't really like the sidebar being over there on the left, but when it was on the right, you could barely read my posts because they faded into that pink background. So we'll try this for a while.


Oh, being back at work. Feels so good! Nick was joking around last night about Warren taking his first steps today while I'm here. Ya'll, he's BIG. He's tall! Of course, I got two shorties, so maybe my standards are a little different, but he seems really tall to me. In one aspect, I hope he IS tall, but on the other hand, I'll feel bad if he's taller than Scott, his big brother. You know? I mean, Nick doesn't mind being short, but most guys aren't quite as well adjusted as Nick, right?


And look at these cheeks!
And what's Ava been up to lately? Well, she loves what we refer to as 'big girl school' and I think she enjoys the fact that she only goes every other day, that way she still gets plenty of time with her 'babies' Warren and Scott. By the way, she now changes Scott's diapers, and takes him to the bathroom to try and potty train him. SHE'S THREE AND A HALF YA'LL. But, she just really wants to be a mama I guess. Must be because she has such a great mama to look up to :)




Here's what she's doing when she's not mothering her siblings- dressing up in all the pieces of clothes that she can get her hands on. Isn't she the most darling child you've ever laid your eyes on? You can admit it, I won't tell your kids you said so.


I think the pink socks make a nice finishing touch. Are all kids so picky about their socks, by the way? She only likes ankle socks (she occasionally makes an exception in the name of Dress Up) and they have to be perfectly placed, centered on her toes, no fuzzies inside to irritate between her toes, lined up on the heel- you name it, that girl has a specific demand. Kinda strange. But it's her only attire demand, so I'm grateful. At least she doesn't demand to go to Target dressed all crazy like some girls do! She'll wear whatever we lay out, just as long as her socks are perfect.


Scott is hitting the terrible twos with full force. And I cringe because I now know that the terrible threes are even worse! But we are trying to work our way thru it, and the better his vocabulary gets, the better we can train him and guide him the way we would like him to go. So that's helpful. Here's a pic from BWW, my favorite (pre WW) restaurant. Not the greatest pic, but it's all I see here recently. Trust me, he's just as cute as ever!
All right, back to work. A few dear patients of mine passed while I was gone, so that's disappointing that I couldn't be with them, but alas, life goes on. One of my regulars is here today and I think two more are going to be in my room next Wednesday, so I've at least got that to look forward to! I just love my job, have I ever mentioned that? It's hard to explain to anyone who doesn't do oncology on a day to day basis, but this is definitely why I was called into nursing. As Beth Moore would say, I was put here for this purpose. Ohh, I gave myself goosebumps!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Now if I Could Just Get This to the Top...

Got it! Guess it's not pale pink, it's cream. My favorite color! Hooray! Now for this header...
Bear with me. I'm trying to get a cuter background and header, and I can't seem to figure it out without Nick. Why is the area I'm typing on such a poopy color? It's supposed to be pale pink!

My Most Prized Possession

Baby Asleep in Crib Upstairs? check
Big Kids Asleep in Beds Upstairs? check (or at least, in their room with no loud noises coming thru the monitor)
On Track With WW Points? check
Work Out Completed? check
House Picked Up in Pristine Condition in Case Agent Calls to Show? sorta check

Why's that 'sorta check' good enough? Because that first couple has verbally agreed to our terms and they're supposed to do their paperwork this evening!!! HAHA!!! I don't want to jinx it, but if this goes thru, we will have sold our house in under a week!!! Wow. They want us out by June 30th, so our 4th of July vacation that we've been planning with my parents is gonna need some adjustments, but still. AWESOME. And they're paying what we asked! So while I will miss my gorgeous, clean house, I will not miss having to clean it before I dash out the door 'just in case'.

Jokers tried to snag my washer and dryer though. Let me tell you a little something about my washer and dryer. I am NOT a domestic sort of gal, but there's just something about me and laundry that just go well together. It's my THING. So after we had Ava, and I was working twelves and only able to do laundry once a week, we traded in out stackable apartment machine for the mac daddy washer and dryer set. My washer is 4.7 cubic feet. Now, most people don't know that that's just about as big as it gets. There's this new one I saw at Lowe's just yesterday that's 5.0, but that's the biggest ever, and it JUST came out. The electrolux, with Kelly Rippa, is 4.7, and they still advertise that it's the biggest. And mine's a top loader that works like a front loader, which means I don't have to crouch down to put my clothes in.

Now, you're thinking, this is a ridiculous post, who cares about her washing machine? I DO!!! THEY DO NOT CONVEY, I made sure our realtor understood that. I have to have them, and I'm not paying another two grand for new ones. I have three children, that's AT LEAST three outfits a day, more for the baby, plus three pairs of jammies, plus crib sheets, Ava's sheets, burp clothes, blankies, towels, dish towels, and washcloths. On top of mine and Nick's clothes. And, with my beloved washer and dryer, I continue to do laundry once a week. I usually wash on Sunday nights into Monday mornings, and I do THREE LOADS. THREE LOADS!!! Lights, darks, and towels, burp cloths, blankies, etc. Let me just say it again. Three loads a week, for a family of five, with three kids ages three and under. I don't care how silly you think this is, this is a BIG DEAL. And those sneaky little buyers aren't gonna pull one over on me!

Man, ever since I started blogging, I've tried to think of a way to sneak my beloved washing machine in here...you just don't understand. I would drag that sucker out if our house caught on fire. I just love it. Love, love, love it. All right. Now back to my actual children, they're waking up. I'm a little sad that all my laundry is done, talking about it makes me want to go give it some love.

Monday, April 27, 2009

WW Update

If anyone is interested in how Weight Watchers is going, it sucks! I'M STARVING. I mean, starving. And our membership starts up at the Y tomorrow, I'm too hungry to work out! I don't know how I'll handle that. And ya'll, hungry equals cranky with all the Zandees. Sigh.

We have given the first couple who saw our house our counter-offer, and we're sitting around waiting for their response. Our realtor says they seem like they really want it, but really, of course he's gonna say that. We didn't have anyone come look at it yesterday, and we only have one later today. It kinda breaks my heart to think that people wouldn't want my house...I've put a lot of time and effort and careful thought into it! And Nick-forget it, he's broken his back on this house. So everyone should want to live here!

Braved the commissary with the boys today. We dropped Ava off at preschool and headed straight over to beat any crowds. Scott was so good- he just rode in the spaceship cart and ate a snack and drank his water and talked to me. And I used the Moby for Warren, who just slept the entire time. So that was nice. Of course, I didn't buy anything good, because everything I love is like, twelve points. Lots of fruits and veggies. So even though I'm cranky and hungry, I'll be healthy and my skin should look awesome, what with all the water I've been having to drink. Ugh.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Couponing

If you wanna know how to save money this week at Harris Teeter...here's one scenario.

Initial Price: 35.54
VIC Savings: 10.07
Coupons: 19.03

Out of Pocket: 6.44

Here's what I got. Not that much for 35.54 (remember, Harris Teeter is like, the most ridiculously overpriced grocery store in Hampton Roads) but a lot for 6.44!!!

-2 bottles Kraft salad dressings: originally 2.82, but BOGO, plus coupons made it... negative 9 cents a bottle!!! I can hear my mom rolling her eyes and saying 'no way' so seriously, I have the receipt! BOGO made it 1.41, and my coupons were 1.50 each. And the girl TOOK both, but only scanned one, so I was THAT WOMAN who went back in and tied up the manager at customer service for my buck fifty back. Hey, buck fifty's a buck fifty! But I digress.

-2 cannisters Skippy Peanut Butter (the big guys, not the tiny ones I got stuck with last time) regularly 4.49, BOGO plus coupons made it...$1.45 each. And truthfully, we don't need it and I have no idea how much it costs at the commissary. I was just in a shopping mood. But it really is a big jar, 28oz. Can't imagine I woulda got it for 1.85 at the commissary (they don't double coupons.) At least, that's what I'll be telling myself.

-2 tubes Colgate, the good stuff, the kind we like (we're very picky when it comes to toothpaste) regularly 2.76, BOGO plus coupons made it... negative twelve cents a tube!!!

-2 tubes Pillsbury pizza crusts, not on sale, 2.49 minus coupons made it...$1.69 each. Surely woulda been cheaper at commissary, but I can never find it there! And we need it for dinner Tuesday.

So that's what I did during naps today. And, for the very few of you who haven't heard our shouts of joy and amazement, we put our house on the market Thursday night, had a couple come look on Friday evening, three more couples thruout Saturday, and the original couple made an offer Saturday night! It was less than we're comfortable taking, on the very first offer, so we countered by just a tiny bit, and we're waiting to see what they say. With the market the way it is, we're totally willing to work with them, we just want a tiny bit more than they offered. And they have a dog, eww, which just makes me cringe when I think of him tearing up my backyard and peeing on my carpets!!! But alas, I am learning to let go. It's hard! I love this house! I just hate Norfolk. We'll see, we're literally sitting around waiting for the realtor to call us back. Fingers crossed!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Weight Watchers

So I've even lost a tiny bit of weight since my post partum appointment, so that's cool. We're starting at one eighty one ya'll. They were super nice to me at the meeting, and it was cool to see all the products laid out. I decided not to go to the one in the church that I tried (once) after Ava, and instead I went to an actual Weight Watchers center. The receptionist weighed me, and you can't see the scale, and when I asked her what I weighed, she said that they don't say it out loud, but she printed it out on a sticker and put it in my book. Well, after I filled out all my paperwork and sat down, I couldn't find where she'd stuck it! I went thru that book a zillion times, I finally had to get up and ask her! She kinda laughed at me, but in a nice way. I got all the books and tracking notebooks (that's what this meeting was about, the importance of tracking. There was this really annoying lady there who kept saying that she never cheats, and she tracks everything blah blah. Why are you coming to the meeting if you're already perfect?) and I gotta get my dear husband to put the computer versions on my phone, and then I should be good to go! At two pounds a week, best case scenario is hitting my goal in about five months. In my experience, it'll be more like seven. Nine months up, nine months down. It's true, Angela!!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Frustrated

So I thought that while Ava was in preschool, I'd have all this extra time to get everything done. And, in theory, I do. I'm back in the house by eight forty five, and I don't have to leave again until twelve fifteen. That's what, three and a half extra hours with only two kids, one of whom is immobile? So what's the deal? House: still not clean. Closets: still not organized. Scott: still not potty trained. I always wondered what it is these SAHMs do all day, and I thought that now that I finally am one, I'd get in on the secret. I STILL DON'T KNOW!!! On Tuesday, I literally didn't sit down once, and I didn't do anything!!!

Most of you who know me know how much I love TV. I mean, I love TV. Before Ava, I could just watch it for hours and hours. And after Ava, I got a tivo, so I could still watch it for hours and hours, but I got to watch exactly what I wanted, when I wanted. The point is, I have seriously cut back on TV. Like, maybe only one show a day. Well, besides Jeopardy. And I used to watch probably five a day! So I made this HUGE (for me) sacrifice to gain more time, and it didn't even do me any good! I still don't have time to scrapbook, or read as much as I want to, or play Yatzee or Harry Potter Scene It with Nick. And getting pics off my camera in into Walgreens? Forget it, I give up. No one even looks at the photo albums anyway.




And Warren! He STILL won't sleep thru the nigh. Ugh. Big kids go down at seven thirty on the dot and sleep till about six, so they're totally out of the picture at night. THANK GOD. I hear about people with toddlers still getting up- I'd be up on the fifth floor ya'll. That's the psych floor for those of you who don't work at NMCP :) So we cuddle and play with (sleeping) Warren from seven thirty till about ten, then get him into his jammies (nightgown) and put him down with one last bottle. And then he's up at two, down around two thirty. Up at four, down around five. Up at seven, and then the big kids are up, so he's up for the day. THAT'S NOT GOING TO WORK FOR ME FOR MUCH LONGER. Yes, Nick is very helpful with the two o'clock feeding and all. But it still wakes me up. And that hour at four...my goodness. I know that all babies are different, but I wanted one like Scott! Wasn't anybody listening when I put my order in?

And making matters worse is that I feel like crap. I gained too much weight and I don't really know why, because I worked out well into January, which I've never done before. Nick keeps talking about my 'mom' jeans, and I have that big 'mom' pouch of skin under my belly button that I don't think is going to go away, even if I lose the weight. I've always joked about getting a tummy tuck, but now it looks like I might really look into one! Do you know how much they hurt? We used to get them every now and then when I was working on 4F and those women were in PAIN. I'm going to my first weight watchers meeting tonight, so hopefully that accountability will help out a little. My goal is forty pounds, which would put me back at one forty, which is still a good bit more than I weighed when I got pregnant with Ava. So that's my plan. And our Y membership starts back up on Tuesday, so I can get back into weight training (that's what I call it anyway) and swimming, if I can find a big enough work out suit. I just love to swim, I wish they had teams for grown ups!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Preschool

Well, after much prayer and discussion and luck, we have decided to enroll Ava in preschool. I know that 'stay at home moms' are supposed to stay at home with their kids, but remember, I don't feel called to be a stay at home mom. Our circumstances are just mandating it for now. And I will be working on Wednesdays, so I'll make enough money to keep her enrolled. I actually will make enough to keep both big kids in and then some, but we decided not to send Scott because they would be in the same classroom and we feel like Scott needs some alone time. And it'll probably be good for Ava to finally not have to share every little experience of her life with Scott.

So she's going to Wee Ones, the preschool at our church. She can go from eight thirty till twelve thirty, Mon thru Fri, but right now the plan is to only go Mon, Wed, and Fri. If she asks to go more often, we'll talk about it then. She gets to bring her own lunch, which she's VERY excited about (Fern provided meals and snack, and even FORMULA at our old daycare). She picked out a lunchbox at Target and then this morning she asked me for a few things in it. Carrot sticks, which is weird because we don't typically eat them. How did she know they're supposed to go in a lunchbox?

I thought that Scott would pitch a fit because he wanted to stay and play when we dropped her off, but he was totally fine with it, and I ran into Walgreens with just the little kids. Now, if you had told me four years ago that the day would come when I would be so grateful to only have to drag TWO kids into Walgreens, I woulda told you exactly how crazy you were. But today when I was driving, I was like, this'll be so easy!!! And it was. Oh, how my life has changed.

I was pretty excited to pick up some cleaning supplies for super cheap with sales and coupons, but I made a rookie mistake! Walgreens does RR, which is just a coupon you can use on your next purchase. Kinda like CVS's ECB, but not as cool. So I got two sets of things, hoping to get back two separate one dollar RRs. Apparently, you can only get one RR per transaction. So that sorta sucked. But, I did get these new scrubbing bubbles toilet gels that Nick hates for 2.50 each (should have been 2 dollars each) and two canisters of Windex wipes for 1.75 each. And they had some new shaving creams that when you buy it, you get the full amount back in RR, so it's free. Thank goodness my store was out, or I wouldn't have got it for free, and I don't really need it right now! Isn't it nice that the Lord looks out for you, even on silly stuff like that? I mean, the fact that He cares about the mundane things, just because you do, is really amazing when you think about it. Anyway.

Scott and I are enjoying some one on one time outside while Warren sleeps, upstairs in his crib!!! HOORAY. And he only got up for the three o'clock last night (Nick's feeding!!!) and then again for good around seven. We're almost there, I can feel it ya'll. Any night now.

And this afternoon, we have Scott's two year appt. I'm guessing thirty pounds, and thirty five inches. Maybe more like thirty three inches. We'll see. And then shots, eww. The only time I've had to do shots alone before was when Ava was one, and she barely noticed. But I have a feeling Scott won't be so accommodating.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Our New House

It's a little small for our big family...But the kids seem to like it! Thanks grandpa Kenny! They especially love the doorbell. Kids are strange that way. Scott refuses to use the door, and instead comes out that window onto the table...that'll be fun when he falls off. But so far, it's been a HUGE blessing, because they will play in it for EVER, as long as we'll let them! And they'll eat at that table and actually EAT, so that's always helpful. And on house news for real, Nick showed me some of the floor plans for base housing in CT, and I'm getting pretty excited! I just feel like a garage will be SO helpful...hope I'm not disappointed!

Meanwhile, on the other side of the house...
We've finally got some social smiling going on!!! Warren especially loves to smile at miss Ava Nichole, and let me tell you, she certainly thinks that she is Miss Thang when she makes him giggle! Which, of course, she is!!! Most of you know that I'm not a huge fan of this baby-baby stage, I'd much rather start with a rolly polly six or seven month old, so when we start hitting these milestones, it's like the sun breaking thru on the dark clouds for me! I know that girls are supposed to like little tiny babies, but please. Gimme a break. BORING! And those chicken legs...ugh. Like I said, gimme one with a little personality! Like this!

Cute Church Pics

I'm sorry, it's Sunday again? How can that be? It certainly hasn't been seven days since the last one...hmm. My weeks are flying by, but I don't seem to be getting any closer to getting the heck out of Hampton Roads! That's so weird. Anyway, I've been going camera crazy lately! Dreading the inevitable send-pics-to-walgreens-to-print-out-and-date-and-place-in-albums day. Or days, at this rate. Notice the lack of mama in these pics...
Thanks to gramma Terri for all these cute new clothes!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Warren Ray

Well, all those people who say that going from two to three is the hardest? They might be on to something :) I dunno though. I still say going from zero to one was the hardest! At least now I know that I WILL survive, and so will they, and life will go on, even if I don't take a shower and the big kids never get out of their jammies. Right? I mean, clothing is clothing. I'm responsible for providing food, shelter, and clothing, and as far as I can tell, jammies count.

Warren Ray, you poor thing. He has already spent more time in the swing than Ava and Scott ever did, combined. Granted, Ava never went in it, and Scott sat up so quickly that he tried to tumble out of it, but still. I feel guilty. And his totally cute nursery goes unused because I've got this ridiculous worry about him being in there all alone! We slept in the queen bed in Ava's nursery for months, and Scott slept in the mini crib (it's not a portable crib! it's a real crib!) in our room for about five months before we converted the office to his nursery, so I just feel like Warren needs to as well. But then I feel guilty that I bought the bedding and made Nick repaint the walls and redecorate the dresser.

He sometimes (frequently) has to cry and cry because I've got my hands tied up with the big kids. Now I know that letting your kids 'cry it out' is all the rage right now, and I even know one girl who claims that her PEDIATRICIAN told her to let her baby cry it out at night!!! But that's a different story. The point is, I do NOT agree with letting your baby cry. I mean, they're babies! They need you! So it just breaks my heart. Those of you who are thinking 'I've been around those Engelbrecht kids. All they do is cry!' let me remind you that there's a difference between crying and whining, between crying and throwing a tantrum. Yea, the big kids 'cry' a lot. So what.

So after those rotten big kids go to bed at seven thirty, that's when Nick and I try to soak up some one on one time with little Warren. Naturally, this is what HE wants to do for those precious few hours before mama and daddy turn in at ten...
Isn't that just the most beautiful little guy you've ever seen? Other than Ava and Scott, of course. And just for those who may feel like criticizing our family sleeping habits, Warren Ray doesn't sleep in our bed with us. Honestly. He's actually the first kid to not spend at least a night or two a week in that bed! I chalk it up to the fact that this is the first time I haven't been working the night shifts when we've had a little one this age! Nick just LOVES to snuggle up with his kiddos in his bed.


So that's a little bit of Warren's hectic life. Hopefully when he's older, he won't resent the fact that his mama was too busy to spend time with him!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Busch Gardens Last Monday

Well, naturally, it was absolutely gorgeous the week before my mother came, freezing and rainy the whole time she was here, and now it's creeping up to the mid seventies with not a cloud in the sky today, and she got on the plane this morning. But we did manage to get a little sun on Monday, and it was warm enough to just wear sweatshirts instead of winter coats, so we headed up to Williamsburg to visit Busch Gardens.





Nick and I have lived here for five years now, and we've only been to Busch Gardens once! It was a lot of fun, and if you bought a ticket, you can go back all summer, so hopefully we can try it a few more times when it gets warmer. I thought it'd be a letdown- after all, we visited the Happiest Place on Earth this summer!- but it was nice, and the lines were nothing like Disney. And did I mention... ELMO WAS THERE!!!








They just opened a new kids place, Sesame Something or other. All the characters were there, and Ava is this close to being tall enough to go on the roller coaster! Maybe by the end of summer...











We were tall enough to go on the water ride (the kiddos have to be able to take three steps, if anyone is interested in going. Three steps? Kinda random, but whatev...) AND, more importantly, you don't actually get wet. So that's cool.














This was some sort of hang gliding ride...if you were taller than a child, you had to sit in a regular chair though. Poor kids, their nerdy parents spoil all their fun!










This was a little circle roller coaster, Nick said Ava was crying because she was laughing so hard! Scott enjoyed it, but he was just a little unsure, especially when it was over and we were both too dizzy to walk!









We naturally rode the train not once, but twice...









Ava on the clydesdale's (sp?) ride...












My silly kiddos...




Nick getting ready for the 4D Elmo show... WARNING! It's one of the interactive things that puffs air and shakes your seat and TERRIFIES kids. At least my kids. Why don't I learn my lesson?!?! I have now, I'll never take them into one of those again...but I've said that before...








And two tired mamas at the end of the day. But it was a great day!!!




And Scott on the ride home!

The Greatest Show on Earth

I tried to keep the picture count down, but I couldn't, so there are twelve, so if you don't want our entire photo album, just skip this one! We went to the Ringling Brother's Circus at the scope yesterday and it was AWESOME!!! I mean, wow! I was a little worried, since PETA is headquartered here, that they would be picketing and throwing paint on us and stuff, but they were very mild and mannered- they just handed us a pamphlet while we were waiting to get into the parking garage. And then I felt a little guilty, because I'm sure they are cruel to those animals, and the animals don't even add that much to the show. It's the acrobats that are amazing! And I had to field questions from Ava about why that man was hitting all those tigers...but still, it was awesome! Here we are before the show.....notice my Moby wrap! It wasn't a phase ya'll, I love that thing!!!





The elephants in question...I never really liked elephants. They're so big, they just don't seem natural. But the kids liked it.

Daddy and Scott in the ridiculously priced hat that you had to get with a bag of cotton candy...but we'd already promised the kids we'd get the candy!



The acrobats...
The tightrope walkers...not in a million years for a million dollars would I even TRY this!!!


This was my personal favorite. They shot this married couple out of the cannons at sixty five miles per hour into these big inflatable things. Can you imagine? Can you believe I got this shot?

Ava and Scott showing their appreciation...



Ava finishing off my soda while we waited for the crowds to die out so we didn't get trampled...






And finally, what Warren did through the entire show. I just kept him in the Moby while I sat so that my hands were free to take pics and pass snacks to the big kids.
If you ever get a chance to go to the circus...GO!!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

New Scooter

One of the gifts my mama got for the kids was this really neat Radio Flyer My First Scooter. Highly recommend it if you have a little guy (or girl!) old enough to walk. Yes, I know they should be wearing helmets.

Easter Shots

We started Easter morning with an Easter Egg hunt! Good thing Nick was in charge. I laughed at him when he 'hid' the eggs in such obvious places, but then when it came down to it, Ava and Scott still needed some help finding them!





Here they are after they realized that the eggs opened and we had prizes inside...





Getting ready for church...


Here's a shot I snuck of Warren in the church...we were singing, so no one even noticed the flash. Isn't he just the cutest?






And here he is after he vommed all over that nice outfit and I changed him into his backup.




And here was the day before, dying a few eggs. Most of the eggs that we boiled never made it to the dye table because gentle giant Scott crushed them into slivers as soon as he got his hands on them.