Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Weight Check Wednesday

Down a pound.  Don't ask me how.  I have no idea what it is that I do all day, but I whatever it is, it's not 'work out' and I literally cannot find time to do it! The only time I could squeeze it in is after the kids go to bed at eight, and one night I did that and then I couldn't sleep until after one.  So that's not really a viable option.  And please don't you dare suggest I get up earlier and do it in the mornings.  I'm already getting up at five thirty!!  Maybe once Nick gets home and can take care of the Morning Nightmare, but until then, I need every second of sleep I can steal.

The awesome news is that, according to my progress reports, I haven't gained since June 29th.  I've stayed the same on three separate occasions (gag me) but I haven't actually gained in two months! So that's sort of cool. And, with this pound, I met my fifteen pound mini goal.  That I set for myself to meet by August 3rd when the boat was supposed to get back, but WHATEVER, right?

My new mini goal is ten more pounds before I get on that plane to Hawaii.  I was going to say another fifteen, but with yet ANOTHER underway in there, plus Thanksgiving and Christmas, I think ten is a little more manageable.  You know?  That will put me at thirty pounds.  Thirty one actually, with  thirteen left to goal.  Ugh.  BUT that will also put me closer to Daisy's birthday, and I don't know about ya'll, but there seems to be the tiniest bit of magic going on as they approach that twelve month mark, the weight seems to melt off a little easier for those few weeks.  So I think it's semi manageable.  Although I will say that since I delivered Scott, I've never lost those last five pounds, you know?

Anyway.  That's my update.  One down this week, twenty one down total, and I lost that fifteen I wanted to lose while they were gone.  Can I help it if they stayed gone too long? That's not the same as cheating!!

In other news, I don't really understand how I can be TWENTY ONE pounds lighter (bear in mind that my two year old weighs only twenty FOUR pounds!!!) and still be holding my breath to zip up my jeans.  Do my ears look skinnier? Is my head more slender? Where EXACTLY were those twenty one pounds hanging out? Ugh.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Well, last week wasn't good eatin at the Engelbrecht house.  We ordered a pizza twice, had leftover pizza twice, had cereal twice, and ate McDonalds once.  Not good.  I had a menu planned, I just didn't feel like cooking.  Ever.  Which was weird, because I usually enjoy  cooking.  It had a lot to do with the fact that my kids were climbing the walls for some reason, and like an idiot, I snapped that 'if you do that one more time, you're not watching TV for FIVE DAYS!!!' And then they did it again.  So I had no choice but to follow through.  Gag me.  Why don't I threaten 'if you do that one more time I'm going to lock you in my room with endless hours of mind numbing Noggin so that I can lay on the couch and read in peace!!" That's my new plan.

So.  The countdown is on.  I can't say when, but we should have a daddy in less than a month!! For a few weeks anyway.  BUT I'm trying not to focus on the fact that it's going to only be a few short weeks and focus instead on the fact that at least he'll be here for a little while.  I just wish they could figure out a way for the subs to have phones and internet so we could skype every other day like everyone else in the military.  I mean, sure, that would totally negate the whole 'ohh, let's be a big secret so no one knows where we are' and all that, but still.  Wouldn't  it be fun to talk to Nick every once in a while? Or at the VERY least, get an email more than once every ten days? I'm just saying.

Sometime next week, we'll make our paper chain for when Nick is coming home.  I have to wait because I don't think the kids can handle TOO many paper links, but I want them to have something to look forward to.  I did it when my mama was coming and they seemed to really like it.

So, I just have to keep my head above water for the next few weeks.  Certainly I can do that.  I mean, it's already been four months, what's a few more weeks?

Don't answer that.

So here's my plan.  Gotta take it one day at a time.  Pick up the house, brush the kids' teeth.  Drive them to school.  Work out.  Pick up.  Go get them.  Pick up.  Make dinner.  Pick up.  Bathe them.  Yuck.  Put them in bed.  Pick up.  Read.  Go to bed.  Repeat.  So maybe that's taking it one hour a time.  Even better.

Monday: fish and rice

Tuesday: meatballs.  Scott's request.  Don't let that fool you, it's not like I'm rolling out homemade meatballs and marinara from scratch.  I buy a bag of frozen turkey meatballs, stick them in the crockpot, cover them with two jars of Newman's Own, and go on about my day.  The kids can't get enough, and I like it because, duh, it's the easiest meal on the entire planet.  Sometimes we don't even make noodles! But we will on Tuesday because they have soccer and they'll want a second dinner when we get home.

Wednesday: rotisserie chicken.  And probably more rice.

Thursday: leftovers (Read: McDonalds after soccer.)

Friday: rice balls.  Anyone want the recipe? It sounds gross (balls?) but they're very good.  Rice, ground beef or turkey, sauce...very good.

Saturday: something from the freezer, probably either PW chicken spaghetti or PW chicken pot pie.  I have an entire freezer full of PW.

Sunday: unsure.  I used try to do crockpots on Sundays because of Bible study, but we don't have it, so I might try something else.  Who knows.  From here, Sunday seems like an eternity away.

So, I'm sure you've noticed everyone around the internet telling you to watch Soul Surfer because it's SO GOOD.  Well, I just want to put my two cents in.  First, I cannot STAND it when people say 'two sense.' Does that even MAKE sense? It's CENTS!!!  Second: WATCH SOUL SURFER.  IT IS SO GOOD.  And if you're sitting there and you start to think 'no way could she surf like that with one arm' try and stop yourself because the actual Bethany is the stunt surfer for the actress playing her in the movie.

Yes, you heard that correctly.

In other news, we will not be frequenting the beach when we get to Hawaii in one hundred and twenty one days.  That girl was just laying around on her board chatting with her bestie and a shark swam up and bit her arm right off.  Seriously.  No thankyou.

Also, if you have not started reading Game of Thrones, I don't think we can be friends anymore.  Robin talked me into it, and I've read sixteen hundred pages in the last three weeks.  Umm, that's a LOT of pages, even for me. I can't even put my finger on what it is that is so amazing about these books.  I just LOVE them.  I read all day on Saturday.  I'm not exaggerating.  I read.  All. Day. Long.  And last night, I just couldn't put it down, so I stayed up past two.  ME!!!  I finished the second one and read the first few pages of number three.  I don't know what I'm going to do when I'm done with number five, because apparently it took him six years between five and six.  That seems a little excessive.  Then again, what to I know, right?
I dont' love this cover because to me, that is NOT Ned Stark.  Ned Stark is WAY hotter.  And more awesome. At least until they lopped his head off.

So, if you are interested, I'll try to tell you what it's about.  It's about this pretend country, and all these people who want to be king.  Except that's not what it's about.  It's about the Stark family, and how awesome they are, and how everyone else is totally badass or evil.  It's about a nine year old girl who's taking people's heads off (sort of) left and right because she wants to get home and she's willing to do whatever it takes to get there.  It's about a fourteen year old girl who wants to win back her honor (and her family's claim to the throne) and she's almost as badass as the nine year old.  Who's brother is one of the kings the fourteen year old will have to kill, by the way.  And then, my favorite parts, it's about all these strange things that are happening on the other side of the Wall they built to separate their pretend country from The End of the Earth.  It's sort of creepy since he's only fourteen or fifteen nowadays, but I'm pretty sure Jon Snow is my soul mate.  Aside from Nick and Professor Snape of course.  When I'm reading, I just pretend he's older.

That's not very helpful, I know.  It's just really hard to explain.  And I can't even tell you to grab the book and read a few pages and you'll be hooked because in the beginning, it's VERY intimidating.  We're talking DOZENS of major characters, unknown geography that's central to the plot, confusing words and made up animals (at least, I think so, what the heck is a capon? Is that a real thing?) and some unsavory rapes and brutal sex scenes.  But.  Once you get into the thick of it, you won't be able to put it down.  Like I said, sixteen HUNDRED pages.  In three weeks.  Yes, it is THAT good.

In fact, I need to go read a few hundred pages right now.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Yada Yada Prayers

I have seventeen things on my to-do list today.  Which might not be a lot for normal people, but it's a WAY lot for this gal.  And I'm not in the mood to do ANYTHING.  The girl from two doors down is over, so all my bigs are entertained, and the baby is sleeping off her five am wakeup, so I have free time. And I don't want to spend it 'unloading dishwasher' or 'putting away clothes' or 'clearing counter.' So I grabbed my pen and squeezed 'put up blog post' way at the top of the list. Ha! Take that, ambition! I outsmarted myself.  Now I can sit on the computer wasting time AND check something off my list!!! I'm so clever it's scary.
This totally craptastic weather can't keep us away from the beach.  Take that Guam!
Unfortunately, now that I'm here, I can't think of anything clever and witty to say.  Sorry guys.  Oh, I do want to say (this was actually part of the post that I had to delete for fear of hate crimes being committed on me for speaking my mind about the state of things...) that I REALLY big super appreciate all the prayers.  So I'll try to think of what I said earlier...

I'm sure that ya'll remember when I asked for prayers.  It was right after we found out that this was going to be extended to a five month underway, but before we found out that after they finally get back from the five month underway, they're going to turn back around and go back out for another month, bringing the grand total to six and a half months before they're back for good.  How many times can YOU put the word 'back' in one sentence? 

When I learned this, I asked ya'll to pray for me.  Then I asked my mama's Sunday school class to pray for me.  Then I asked my pastor and his wife to pray for me, and then I said heck, why not get the entire team involved and I filled in the form on the bulletin at church for the prayer team to pray for me.  Then I asked strangers I met at the commissary to pray for me.  I could go on and on and on.  And on.  

And apparently, every single one of you did it.  How do I know this? Well, I'll tell you.

When the guys were gone for five short weeks last November, I sort of had a breakdown.  Like, seriously.  I considered walking in to mental health and asking them if they could get DCS involved to take my kids while I tried to find some sort of inpatient care.  I don't know what my problem was, but I wasn't handling ANYTHING very well.  Like, unable to perform activities of daily living.  For you non nurses, that's things like EAT BREAKFAST and BRUSH TEETH and COMB HAIR.  They're the basic things you have to be able to get through, to be a member of this society.  So when I say it was bad, I'm not having a pity party or  trying to make you giggle.  IT WAS BAD.
And this time, they've been gone for four months already.  And I'm TOTALLY FINE.  Yes, I'm overwhelmed.  Yes, I cry almost every day.  My house is a wreck, we eat either cereal or pizza most nights of the week.  We watch WAY too much tv.  Two of my four kids are actually crying and carrying on like a bunch of fools at this very minute.  But I feel...at peace.  I really, truly do.  There is not a doubt in my mind that I will survive this.  I am calm (on the inside) and just...at peace.  I don't know how else to describe it.  
And it's the kind of peace where you just KNOW it's from God.  There's just no other explanation.  So thankyou.  From the bottom of my heart.  I would be on the fifth floor (in fact, I would have been there a long time ago!) if it wasn't for all ya'll.  BUT DON'T STOP!!! I have a hundred and twenty three days left on this rock (but who's counting) and then an eight hour flight with those stinky kids to get to another remote island without my mama for at least a year. So keep 'em coming ya'll!!

This is the baby that Nick left.

And this is the big girl he's coming home to.  Except she'll be even bigger because we've got more than another month left.

Yes, he did see her for three days at the end of April and three days at the end of May.  THOSE DAYS DON'T COUNT.  He still had to work.  If anything, those days made everything that much harder.  I can't speak for other Boat Wives, but I, for one, would rather they slept on the boat when they're in port for anything less than three weeks.  I'm just saying.  It confuses the kids and makes it THAT much harder when they leave again.

I guess she actually sort of looks the same.  Those pictures are deceiving.  She is COMPLETELY different.  I mean, hello, she's SITTING UP in that picture.  She 'talks,' she eats solids, she rolls over, she army crawls...she's a totally different person nowadays.  PRAISE THE LORD.  I don't think it will come as a shock if I tell ya'll that I am not the Number One Fan of the helpless baby stages.  In fact, it's safe to say that I HATE the helpless baby stages.  Give me an eight month old and I am GOOD TO GO.  
Hello.  I have a personality.  I don't just suck the life out of your soul while giving you absolutely nothing in return, like one of those sucky two month olds. 

We're having the tiniest snaggle in our schedule here lately.  Daisy June still has the sweetest disposition on the entire planet, and she could care not one iota less when her schedule is disrupted.  It's me who freaks out.  She's slightly more cranky than normal if she skips a nap, but it's nothing to write home about.  Me, on the other hand? I am a total wreck.  With everyone else, I've used that 2-3-4 schedule and it's been practically flawless.  Wake up, play for two hours, sleep.  Wake up, play for three hours, sleep.  Wake up, play for four, sleep through the night.  But with taking the kids to preschool, that middle three hours of play gets stretched to between four and five, giving us a LATE afternoon nap (usually three to five or four to six) and then she does NOT want to go to bed when I'm ready for bed.  Which is sort of a bummer.  BUT we're pushing through.  I still hardly ever leave the house, so her morning nap usually goes off without a hitch.  I have to get groceries on Thursdays, and if I need regular Wal Mart stuff, I try to do that on Monday mornings, after her nap and before I get the bigs.

Now that I type it all out, it sounds perfect.  So what's the snaggle? I don't really know, but there's something that's not right, trust me.  It doesn't help that she fights her naps now.  JUST LIKE WARREN.  And I went off the deep end when Warren did it! I'm trying to keep calm and carry on.  Or, as Pinterest says, keep calm and carry a wand.  Or, keep calm and marry Ron.  I could go on and on.  And on.  So I stick her in bed and she screams for a while, then what? Do I count from when I put her in there, or when she finally fell asleep? If I count from when she fell asleep, sometimes that will make for a three hours PLUS nap.  If I count from when I put her in there, sometimes she'll only actually get forty five minutes of sleep.  It sucks! I guess the only solution is going to come when she finally stops the fight, right? If she's still crying herself to sleep by the end of next week, I'm going to have to find a new plan.  Gag.

Update: I put the big kids down (doesn't that sound like I took them to the vet and had them euthanized? I did not do that.  I put them in bed for naps) and was rocking Junebug and she was flipping over and clawing my shirt and acting a fool, so I stuck her in bed.  Twenty minutes ago.  And haven't heard a peep from her.  Today puts us at five days of crying it out during naps, so I'm going to count it as a tentative victory.  Five days seems like a lot for me though...

So, guess who can army crawl all the way into the playroom (or kitchen, or bathroom, or any bedroom...) and get whatever toy she wants, then bring it back to the rug and gum it till it's a wet sloppy mess? I'll give you a hint.

It's this girl.  And the boys HATE picking up a train and discovering that it's soaking wet.  It REALLY grosses them out.  Hopefully the take home lesson from this will be PUT AWAY YOUR TOYS.  I have a feeling they won't get it though.

In other news, I went to the kindergarten peek in the other day, met Ava's teacher and got to show her her classroom.  It was AWFUL.  I cried.  And cried and cried and cried.  It wasn't AS bad as I thought it would be.  There's still lots of toys, and a mat for circle time.  She'll be at a table, not a desk.  Her teacher seemed all right, but my friend had her last year and the teacher told her her kid needed to be on meds.  If she tells me that about Ava, I'll cut her face.  You mark my words.

Now I'm wading through the guilt of The Bus Ride.  I want (NEED) Ava to ride the bus.  I don't want to deal with that carpool line, and I don't want to have to either drop the boys off at the butt crack of dawn, then hurry back down to drop off Ava, or drop her off first and then get the boys to school after classtime has started- I want them to get to play on the playground for a while before they get stuck in their chairs all morning.  So, I want her to ride on the very first day, or else I'm afraid that she'll never want to ride.  She's VERY excited, and even though I warned her, she says she won't be upset that a lot of other mamas will be in the classrooms with their kids on that first day.

How can I NOT be there on the first day? If Nick were here, I'd stick her on the bus, then race down to the school and still meet her in the classroom.  But he's not, so I'm stuck with the boys and the baby, and there's just no way for me to go into the classroom even if I decided NOT to put her on the bus.  I'm scared to death that someone is going to tell her she's dumb, or ugly, or mean, or too skinny, or too fat, or any one of a million bajillion insults.  Or tell her that she needs to watch shows that I'll NEVER let her watch.  Or teach her swear words, even though she sort of already knows them all.

She's my baby.  And I've been babying her, so she's actually quite immature, and sweet and innocent.  And I don't want some raggedy, sassy, skimpily dressed future star of 16 and Pregnant to make her feel like that's not okay.  You know?

Great.  Now I'm sick to my stomach about it.  I better close this out and go order my homeschool supplies.

Keep praying.  Please and thankyou.

PS Fifty bonus points to anyone who gets my title reference!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Weight Check Wednesday

Down one point five! Hooray! I sort of thought I'd be down a full two, but whatever.  I am also claiming a Non Scale Victory because when I put on some pants the other day, I could button them up without wanting to kill myself, so double hooray! I'm still not able to get into the Biggest Clothes I Thought I'd Ever Have to Buy from after I had Warren, but whatevs, I'm getting there.  Inch by painful inch.

If you're wondering why I haven't been blogging lately, it's because I am SUPER pissed about that stupid godforsaken boat, and I'm afraid once I get going, I'll say something that will get either me or Nick in trouble.  Not legal trouble, I would NEVER say something that would put the guys in danger, but personal life trouble.  After twenty nine years of voicing my opinions to anyone and everyone and having to pay the (unfair and completely inappropriate) consequences, I've decided (at long last) to just keep my opinions to myself and just nod my head an smile like a good little sheep when important people are around.

But.  If you are interested in my rants, leave a comment, maybe I'll write up a private post for Super Awesome Gals of Blogworld.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Weight Check Wednesday

Down half a pound.  This is REALLY starting to piss me off!!! I have over twenty five pounds left to lose!! Well, twenty five point five, but 'over twenty five' sounds more dramatic.  And you know how I love drama.  I wanted two pounds a week.  When I saw that probably wasn't going to happen, I made peace with a pound a week, figuring by Daisy's first birthday, I would have done it.  But half a pound?!?!?! That'll be ANOTHER year, meaning she'll be eighteen months!!! That's not fair!!! Those stupid bags of Halloween candy I ate last year should have had some sort of disclaimer on them.  Warning: If you eat this bag, plus four more, it will take you eighteen months to lose the weight.  And then, as Angela pointed out (thanks a lot loser) it's not like once I FINALLY reach goal, anything awesome and magical will happen.  I'll still have to eat properly and exercise, or else I'll just pack on the pounds again.

And ladies? A world where I can't eat oreos and cold pizza for lunch isn't really a world I want to live in.  You know?

All that being said, I didn't track more than three bites this week.  I did drink a lot of water, and I guess I can thank that little fact for the barely-there loss I did experience.  Wed and Thur were great, I worked out and tracked, even though I wasn't eating that well.  Then I got sick, and just sort of laid around all weekend and Mon and Tues.  Not a great way to lose I guess.  But it's a new day, and a new week, and I'm going to track every single morsel that crosses my lips.

Ooh, want to see something? At first, I was too ashamed of my ultimate nerdiness to show this, but then I figured, hey, I'm not the one who invented it, so there is at LEAST one other person out there as nerdy as me.  And if there's one, maybe there's a few more.  And so I decided to share.  This is a water checklist.  Because I am OBSESSED with checklists.  I make checklists for EVERYTHING.  I just LOVE to check things off.  Take out the trash.  Empty the dishwasher.  Shave legs.  I'm addicted.  That feeling you get, when you cross something off? I think it gets me high.

If you want to be nerdy (and healthy!!) with me, follow this link.  I scaled it down in PSE and printed four to a page, so I could have an entire month on one sheet.  But they're pretty little that way.

I have also downloaded the Jillian  Michaels' 30 Day Shred.  Which brings me to a question for any fit people out there.  Usually, back in the day, when I would 'lift' I would be sore the next day.  Like, unable to sit on the toilet without someone to help lower me down, unable to raise my arms to wash my hair, that sort of thing.  But that rarely happens anymore!!! I 'lift' to the point of exhaustion, I literally CANNOT preform another rep, but after a few hours, I'm sort of fine.  So, does that still count? Am I still toning my muscles? When all this fat finally melts away, will I unveil nice long, lean muscles? Because if not...I might be throwing in the towel.  Fat people can be happy too.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Menu Plan Monday (And A Recipe)

First the recipe.  Now, this was FABULOUS.  I would never post a recipe that was nasty, or totally sucked.  Trust me.  Here it is right quick.

From: http://tried-and-truecookingwithheidi.blogspot.com/2009/09/crock-pot-burritos.html

-1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained
-1 envelope taco seasoning
-2 cans refried beans
-1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
-3/4 cup water
-Flour tortilla
-toppings of choice (lettuce, cheese, sour cream,     
        salsa, black olives)

Mix first 5 ingredients in a greased crock pot. Cover and cook on low 6-10 hours. Place in flour tortillas with your choice of toppings; roll up, and enjoy.

Now.  I started with half of a chuck roast.  I can never find the butcher here, so I just buy straight off the shelves, and they're always like six pounds.  So I cut them in half and eat one and freeze the other.  So I had about two and a half pounds of chuck roast and I stuck that in the crockpot with the tomato sauce and taco packet and water.  I think I could have put the beans in right then too, but I wanted to make sure I could shred the meat, so I waited.  I cooked it on low for about six hours, then shredded all that beefy goodness and added the beans.  The kids ate theirs plain, I had lettuce and sour cream, and LOTS of franks.  It's a little bland and could use some oomph, but my kids are sissies and won't eat ANYTHING remotely spicy, so we'll be sticking to the original recipe here.

I can't vouch for how it tastes with ground beef.  When I get Mexican, I like to order it with shredded beef ALWAYS, so I didn't even want to try it with ground beef instead.  BORING. But this version, with shredded beef? Well, it was so good that I needed more for lunch today, and since Scott ate the entire pack of tortillas, I heated it up and just ate the filling straight out of the bowl.  Mmmmm.

And for our very simple, unimaginative menu this week (Mama's tired) here you go.

Monday: fish and rice.  I'm 'cooking' this as we speak.  Frozen tilapia filets in the broiler, basic white rice in the rice cooker, broccoli steaming on the stove.  This meal took me all of five minutes to 'cook.'

Tuesday: rotisserie chicken and rice, either leftover from tonight or I'll throw some more in the cooker.  Have I written an ode to my rice cooker yet? I should.  If you don't already have one, GET ONE.

Wednesday: leftover (cereal, or maybe if there's any chicken leftover, but I doubt they'll eat it if there is.  They're such snobs.)

Thursday: breakfast (I'm doing these super cute hashbrown egg nests thingies, I was supposed to do them last week but something came up...)

Friday: five spice pork kabobs.  I WILL be back to post this recipe, we made it when my mom was here and it was FANTASTIC.  And some more rice.  Sigh.  I'm going to be fat forever with all these carbs.

Saturday: lemon chicken

Sunday: I froze some taco soup last time I made it, so I'll reheat that in the crockpot for after Bible study.

What are ya'll eating this week? If you need some inspiration, head on over here for tons of FREE ideas!

Friday, August 12, 2011


-Wanna know a secret? The playroom used to be a HUGE stress for me.  We had a 'one toy at a time' rule, but you can imagine how that worked with three kids.  So eventually, every single toy we owned would be out (and we own a LOT of toys) and I'd finally say they had to clean it.  So then they would try, but the couldn't, and they'd be playing instead, or just ignoring me, and without fail, it would turn into a screaming match that ended with me whooping Scott, scaring Ava half to death, and cleaning the entire room by myself after they went to bed.

Enter the most genius suggestion in the history of ever, brought to you by my very own Mama.  Make 'one toy at a time' an ACTUAL rule.  So I did.  Duh! I put all their bins (we use separate bins for EVERYTHING- legos, trios, trains, train tracks, dolls, doll clothes, and on and on and on.  For a disgusting woman who never ever cleans, I'm actually VERY organized, believe it or not.  I just really  hate mopping.) Where was I? I put all their bins in the closet, and bought locks, and locked the doors.

Easy peasy! I left out about twenty books (I cannot, in good conscience, restrict reading in any way shape or form) a few color wonder books, and five color wonder markers.  Um, and the rocking horse because it won't fit in the closet.  And their table and chairs, because duh, it's a table and chairs.  And this wooden thing with beads all over it, that you run the beads up and down? But everything else is in that closet.  They want legos, I'll get that bin out.  They want trains, they pick up the legos and I'll trade.

No one (not even Scott!) has tried to open the closet.  No one (not even Warren) has complained that this sucks and that they want their toys back.
Closet's a little messy.  That's why they invented closet DOORS.

Methinks they were as overwhelmed (if not more so) than I was about the whole shebang.

In the interest of full disclosure, I do allow Ava to keep two babies, most of her doll clothes, her baby crib and swing, and her art desk and quite a few supplies in her bedroom.  She knows that if her room is messy, it's all getting locked back in the closet, and so far (it's been this way since mid June!!!) she's been perfect.

-I never really get into the whole 'artwork thing.' In fact, I throw most of their 'artwork' away.  Don't bother with any hate mail- with my kids, the psychological damage of me throwing out their 'artwork' is the LEAST of their worries, you know?

That being said, Warren made this at school this week.  Don't you just want to EAT IT UP?!?!?! I want to paper mache the balloon so that I can keep this FOREVER!!!

I can't get enough.  Every time I look at it I smile.  I do have a box with the artwork that doesn't require airquotes, the stuff even this cold hearted ice queen can't bear to part with.  But I can't put it in there yet, I have to have it on the counter until that balloon deflates.  Maybe I can buy a lifetime supply of black balloons and just keep making new ones....hmm...

-After buy approximately nine million bras over the last fifteen years (what can I say, I was a late bloomer.  In fact, it's going to take a board certified plastic surgeon to finish, ah, blooming me) I have FINALLY found THE ONE.  THE bra.  It. Is. Perfect.

This is the tag.  Not sure why it's blurry.  I chickened out and couldn't post a picture of the bra, even the website one with the model.  I guess I really am a prude at heart. 
For me, at least.  It's got a little padding, a lot of lift, AND it really and truly WILL NOT SLIP.  That's my biggest issue.  I don't know if I have weird shoulders, or maybe it's my bad posture or what, but my straps are CONSTANTLY slipping down over my upper arms.  And that ain't helping in the whole lift department, or the bloom department either.

The straps (and the BACK! Don't even get me started on bras that ride up when you raise your arms to get something out of the cabinets!) have a tiny bit of plastic or silicone or something magical that sticks to you.  It's that simple.  I thought it would be horribly uncomfortable, or hot, or irritating, but it is NOT.  You don't even notice it after a few minutes.  What you DO notice is the fact that your straps aren't on your biceps.  And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is AWESOME.

I've tried everything, I really have.  Victoria's Secret, every brand at Macy's, GapBody- you name it, as long as it was under a hundred bucks, I've tried it.  And for me, this is the best.  AND I found it right here in little ole Guam, at the nex.  Then, after I realized how much I loved it, I went back to get another one and they didn't have it anymore.  Naturally.  So I ordered a stockpile from Amazon.  I heart Amazon.

Here's the link to the website.

-I got my very first sunburn last week.  Yes, I'm twenty nine.  Yes, I've been living on the equator for the past eighteen months.  What can I say, I just don't burn.  Every now and then, I'll have red skin when I get home from the beach, but after I go to bed, I wake up with nice bronze skin instead.  Yes, I know I'm going to be wrinkly or get skin cancer.  I do put sunscreen on my face whenever I lay out, and my daily moisturizer has spf in it, as does my makeup.
But a sunburn? That is NO JOKE.  It was red, and stayed red for two days.  THEN, something worse happened.  It itched.  Not just a regular outside itch, it felt like the inside of my chest was crawling with some sort of prickly legged bug.  That doesn't even begin to describe the agony.  I thought I was going to die.  I was actually sobbing, the itch was just BRUTAL.  I can't think of any way to convey what I was feeling, so you'll have to use your imagination.

So I cried for about an hour.  It hurt to much to actually scratch, and aloe wasn't helping, so I tried google.  And as usual, google did not let me down.

Vinegar ya'll.  Google said to spray it on with a spray bottle, but I don't have any spray bottles laying around (what is up with people having something as odd as a SPRAY BOTTLE on hand?!?!) so I soaked some paper towels in every day white distilled vinegar, and man alive.  It was heaven.  Instant relief.  I left it on for about forty five minutes.  I went to church smelling AWFUL, but I didn't care.  By the end of the service, the itch was creeping back, so I raced home to put some more on, and again, it was heaven.  I did it three times on Sunday, and that was it, it was gone.

Not it's peeling.  And leaving big white splotches.  I look like a burn victim.  I will always be using sunscreen for the rest of my life.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Truths for Mature Humans

I found this on pinterest and loved it so much that I need to devote an entire post to it.  Mom, family who just read this for pics and updates about the kids- ya’ll just skip this.  This is JUST about this brilliant little…what’s the word? Pin? Board? Thingie that I want to have professionally framed? You decide.

So, we’ll start with number one.  I promise that (I think) I’m not going to do EACH AND EVERY ONE.  Today.

Number one.  While I don’t think she needs to wipe my computer (alls I do is stalk people’s blogs and facebook and stare at pinterst) but I do worry that either Angela or I will get murdered and then some poor CSI will die from boredom as he has to sift through endless hours of our boring, pointless, endless texts.  We text for probably two hours total a day.  At the very least. I can just see that CSI crying, wailing “This is the most BORING murder victim in the HISTORY of murder!!! I want someone to murder ME just so I don’t have to read any more!!!”

Number two.  So true.  Then you have to decide: keep going and never ever give in, or admit you’re wrong and deal with it.  I have to admit, unless it’s my dad, I usually just keep going.  Never give up!!

Number three.  I don’t remember EVER not wanting to nap.  A high school boyfriend once got really mad at me because LITERALLY my favorite thing to do was sleep.  And sleep I did, all the time.  I still love to sleep.

Four.  Seriously.  I recently found out that someone who occasionally reads my blog is worried that I might drown my kids.  Perhaps this could have been avoided with a sarcasm font? Listen up, because I won’t say this very often: I love my kids.  No sarcasm.  I love them to pieces and wouldn’t want to carry on living without them.  I just wish they weren’t so damn loud.

Six.  Always hated cursives, still do, and even more now that it really truly  has become obsolete.  Here’s hoping they finally stop doing it.

Seven.  Seriously.

Nine.  I can.  It was early February, 2005.  The day before I got pregnant with Ava.  It’s all been downhill since then.

Eleven.  When I worked on 4J, this would happen to the entire staff, at the same time, almost every night.

Fourteen.  That means I will never BUY this.

Sixteen.  What a waste.  And OF COURSE, the day you leave in jammies and your hair sticking straight up, you see EVERYONE.  Absolutely everyone.  OF COURSE.

Seventeen.  I actually have a girl’s number stored, just in case she ever calls, so I can ignore it.  That’s pretty sad.

Twenty.  I also wish your realtor would tell you that it’s pretty ghetto and not show you the house.  I’m just sayin.

Twenty one.  Dirty Dancing anyone? Rewatched it with Angela in junior high or high school- yeah, she’s getting an abortion from a diry, back alley doctor, ladies and gentlemen.  I’m pretty sure I saw that movie when I was eight.

Twenty two.  AND I’ve passed this on to my children.

Twenty three.  Or put on makeup.

Twenty four.  Sadness and hunger, anger and hunger, loneliness and hunger, happiness and hunger…

Twenty six.  I learned how magical this was when I lived in Norfolk and used a tunnel twice a day for five years.

Twenty eight.  And slutier, and meaner, and worse dressers.

Twenty nine.  In junior high, in math (can’t think of that dang teacher’s name!!!) I was leaning back and she grabbed my chair and pulled, like she was going to tip me over.  She didn’t.  But my heart actually STOPPED BEATING.  Lesson learned, I never did that in her class again.  What the heck was her NAME?!?!?!

Thirty one.  And, after I look down and actually SEE what time it is, someone will ASK what time it is, and I’ll just stare at them blankly because I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA.

Thirty two.  I can sleep through a snooze like no one’s business.  Freshman year of college, the fire alarm was going off.  And I just kept right on sleeping.  A fireman actually CAME IN and patted the bed.  I did hear him open the door, so I pulled my legs up.  I was on the bottom bunk, and he didn’t come all the way in.  I guess you get fined if you stay in during a drill, but that’s dumb.  Even dumber? I had no idea it was a drill.  I could have died from my own laziness and stupidity.

So.  Is it just me, or is this thing BRILLIANT? Not my post, but the thingie, the black picture with the Truths on it.  What the heck are you supposed to call these things? How about poster?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Weight Check Wednesday

Down one point five! Hooray for me.  Although I'm not sure how that happened.  I HAVE been working out, which is great, but I've been eating crap.  Not crapola crap, like my favorite diet of McDonalds (do ya'll say mIcdonalds, or mAcdonalds? I say mAcdonalds) and Taco Bell, but just no fruits and veggies, none of my strawberry and spinach shakes, and absolutely no water.  I can hear my mama across these six thousand miles of ocean and dirt, "Jennifer! You won't lose weight if you don't drink your water!" I know, Mom, I know.  I just HATE water!

Anyway, so the workouts are OBVIOUSLY helping my mood, which is a great accomplishment seeing as we're smack in the dredges of the rainy season and I hardly ever see the sun (more on that later) but I just know if I would eat better, I would be even MORE less crazy.  I don't dare say NOT crazy, but certainly less, you know?

About the sun.  I always thought I liked dreary weather, and I suppose I still do.  There's nothing like curling up with four thousand pages of Game of Thrones and reading away a rainy day, especially here in Guam where it rains AND it's still nice and warm.  Not a fan of cold.  HOWEVER, apparently once you have kids, they don't think it's super fun to lay on the couch and be quiet while you read four thousand pages of Game of Thrones.  Who knew, right?  Hmm.

So I know we are going to a boomer next (well, let me say this, if Nick does NOT go to a boomer next, he will not have a family to go with him.  I will stay married to him and love him forever, but I will do it from my mama's living room.  I'm done with fast attack life.  I don't even care if you send me hate mail, I've done two tours and had four kids on fast attacks- I AM DONE. I told him to tell the detailer that if he doesn't get a boomer, he's getting out.  And really, this is all a moot point <you know, like a cow's opinion> because he HAS to do a boomer next anyway, but you know how I like to have something to worry about) what was I saying?

Oh yeah, sun.  The boomers are in Washington State.  Actually, I don't think you're supposed to capitalize the State.  Washington state.  Is that better? And apparently, in Washington state, they NEVER have the sun.  I've wanted to move to Washington absolutely as long as I can remember, seriously.  It has HONESTLY been a lifelong dream.  So what if we FINALLY get there, and I go crazy? I never believed in all that seasonal affective disorder hoopla until LAST August, when I LITERALLY went eleven days without seeing a single ray of sunshine even once.  Now I believe it, whole heartedly.  Will exercise and a strict diet and occasional trips to a tanning bed be enough to keep it at bay? Will anti depressants help? I mean, obviously I understand that they can right the wrongs of the chemicals in my brain, but it's not like they can create a tiny little sun to follow me around...

What am I talking about? This is Weight Check Wednesday, I have this whole post planned!! So, back to that.  I did a new workout video today.  Not to get off on ANOTHER tangent, but have I mentioned that Netfilx finally streams to Guam?!?! AND it happened to coincide with Nick getting this newfangled AppleTV (I thought he'd be coming home with an ACTUAL television, but apparently it's just a tiny little black box.  Who knew?) and so Netflix just comes through that (magic) and I can watch anything! Well, anything from 1992 to 1999.  Nothing new, and nothing cool.  And if you rent something from iTunes, it takes three hours to download.  What the heck? But I'm not complaining, because they have a lot of tv shows, and ALL the kids' shows, so I hardly ever even have to turn the cable on.

ANYWAY, I did this new workout video today, a cheesey wanna be boot camp workout.  I just love cheesey workout videos!! And is this just me, but tell me- do you ever do a new workout and totally realize that what you've been doing for the past few months is NOT a workout? I was gasping for breath, my arms were BARELY moving at all, and I still had twenty minutes left.  Of a twenty eight minute video.  Does that happen to ya'll? Because it happens to me almost every time I start a new routine.

But it was a great mix of toning (which I LOVE to do, believe it or not) and cardio (which I have SERIOUSLY been slacking on, even with that elliptical right next to my bed.  I'm just so tired! I don't even watch tv that much anymore, I spend literally ALL day taking care of that blasted baby and driving the bigs around) so it was pretty perfect.  Hopefully doing that all week will kick me into the one sixties. I've lost eighteen pounds since I started in March, and I'm one measly little pound away from my ten percent.  ONE POUND!! Actually, not even an entire pound, POINT NINE!!! Ugh.  I just want to be able to wear my Fat Clothes, the ones I bought after I had Warren, when I thought I was as fat as I'd ever be.  Yes, ladies, I am still FATTER than I was when I was AS FAT AS I'D EVER BE.  I gotta say, I don't really understand why they can't take care of this while they do my tummy tuck boob job butt lipo. Doing all the work to lose the weight BEFORE I do it just seems a little silly.  Can't they suck out thirty pounds? I have a healthy heart, I'm sure I'd be fine...

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Another week? Really? Riddle me this.  My weeks are FLYING by.  Like, seriously, every time I wake up, it's Thursday again.  And yet...I'm not making ANY progress on my calendar.  I feel like I flipped over to August years and years ago, and we're barely a quarter of the way through.  Isn't this CA-RAZY? Is it just me? As usual?

Anyway.  Here's what we'll be eating this week.  And I'm happy to report that we did not have cereal for dinner even one time last week!!! HIP HIP HOORAY! That means if I get bogged down this week, I'll feel even LESS guilty than normal when I serve it up!

Monday: fish (for us, this means tilapia, either in the broiler or on the grill) and rice.

Tuesday: crockpot baby back ribs.  Assuming I can find baby backs at the store.  And I'm more of a country style ribs gal, so this will likely get changed last minute.

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: breakfast and fruit, assuming they've got good fruit at the store too.  And that's a risky assumption here on good ole Guam.

Friday: skillet lasagna.  Ava's favorite dish.

Saturday: HAHAHAHA! I'll get the kids a pizza or mac and cheese to eat while I go out to dinner and then to see The Help with some of the Houston Widows.  Do I sound excited? Because I am so excited I just might pee my pants.

Sunday: crockpot burritos, from a recipe I got on pinterest.  If it's good, I'll link up.  You know I'd never leave you hanging ya'll!

So, what's everyone else eating this week? I'd love for you to leave your link in the comments if you menu plan! If you need some ideas to get started, head over here for some inspiration.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Pool Fun

Yesterday Julie was gracious enough to invite us over to her pool, since we're not allowed in the ten million dollar base pool.  Okay, she was gracious enough to say yes when I invited myself over.  I used to consider myself a pretty dignified person.  No longer.  All dignity has gone out the window.  What can I say, I really wanted to work on my tan.  If you had told Past Jenn that one day I'd be inviting myself over to people's houses (LITERALLY) I wouldn't have been able to imagine it.
 But in my defense (as much as I can defend such an action) now that Warren is in preschool too, it's just me and Daisy.  I would NEVER have invited myself over with ALL my  kids.

Daisy June seemed to enjoy herself.  Have I mentioned lately that she is the PERFECT baby? She's the baby that you dream about when you first find out you're pregnant, she really truly is.  She's my reward for Present Scott and Past Warren.

One last complaint about my camera: see how it's all grainy? That's because I can't figure out the ISO.  You can either tell it to do auto, or pick.  But when I tell it auto, it's not auto, it's always like 2200.  Um, I was outside, in bright sunlight.  2200 is for like a piano concert when you're in the last row and the only light in the entire auditorium is a candle on the back of the piano.  What the heck?!?!

Picture Dump

Well it's seven thirty on a Saturday morning.  Daisy is asleep (she's pretty tired since she wakes up at four thirty every day.  Apparently, she got some sort of memo that zero four is the new Party Time) and the big kids (can you believe Warren is a Big Kid now?!?!) are playing in Ava's room.  Yes, they are not allowed in Ava's room.  In fact, they are not allowed to play in ANY room except the PLAY room.  But for some reason, they are ADDICTED to playing in Ava's room.  And they're being so quiet, I don't even care.

The kicker? I've got this great Alone Time, and my fricking ereader is dead.  So I can't read Game of Thrones!!!! ARRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!

Dammit.  Do any of ya'll suffer from Phantom Baby Cry Syndrome? I've had it for five years and nine months.  It. Sucks.  For example, I just had an attack after I wrote about Game of Thrones.  So I jumped up, burst into my bedroom...and woke up the baby who was FAST ASLEEP and completely silent.  I HATE that!!!

Anyway.  I'm getting the hang of my new camera.

That's a lie.  I hate change, I hate new things, and I desperately miss my old camera.  A part of me wants to take both cameras apart and put the new guts into the old body.  Think that would work? Ugh.  The new viewfinder is weird, I can't figure out what I'm focusing on, the white balance and ISO are ALL jacked up and weird, and I can't figure out how to get it into burst mode.

When you have a five year old, a four year old, a two year old, and a six month old...you NEED burst mode.  It's not a want.  It's not a desire.  It's not a 'gee, wouldn't it be great if we had burst mode?' It is a NECESSITY.

Hmm? Read the manual? What are you TALKING about?  Engelbrechts don't read manuals.  We just talk about what a pain in the ass something is for hours at a time.  Silly.

Anyway.  Here's the first pics I got off my new card.  Well, that's a lie too, it's the same old card.  But I had it in the New Camera, so that's what I meant.  Say what you mean, mean what you say.

Junebug is finally getting the hang of swallowing food instead of pushing it all back out.  She will NOT eat cereal though.  I hate baby food.  As soon as that chic (chick?) starts crawling for realsies, she's getting table scraps. I hate the little jars, I hate the plastic tubs, and most of all, I hate those tiny lids.  I have man hands.  I can't manipulate those tiny little lids.
The Awkward Phase Continues...

One night after baths.  Yes, I do OCCASIONALLY bathe my children.
Forgot to angle the flash off the Engelbrecht Foreheads.  Those things are like those giant signal mirrors they used in Lost.

I think Daisy June is afraid of Scott...

But sometimes she can't get enough!

She's been doing it for a while, but I sort of just now noticed.  I've been REALLY busy.  Reading Game of Thrones.  She can push up on her hands and knees and then rock back and forth.  All my kids mastered this at around six months, and then just sort of hung out there forever.  Crawling was a LONG way off.  And except for Scott, walking didn't happen until WELL after the first birthday.  I was pretty much in labor with Scott, BEGGING Ava to figure it out.
Those fat little arms are pretty strong!

And although never on the same day as the Bigs, I do occasionally bathe Daisy too.  I don't know why she still smells like a foot all the time.  She's too big for this tub, but she can't sit up at ALL, so I'm not ready to move her to the big tub.  And don't suggest one of those chairs, I hate those things.  Death traps.

 Man, I had something else I wanted to say, but now I can't remember.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pasta Fagioli Recipe

Oh my word.  I have to post this BEFORE we even eat it, it is THAT good.  It's finishing up simmering on the stove while my kids watch tv and terrorize the baby, and I've been eating it all afternoon and it is FABULOUS.  Yes, they were not lying, it IS better than at the Olive Garden.

I'm going to write it exactly like they wrote it, since it's so good, but I want to warn you- you need a HUGE pot.  I started in my 7qt crueset thingie, and it laughed at me and overflowed before I got half the ingredients in.  I've already frozen more than half (without the pasta, I don't like to freeze pasta, it's weird) and I'm going to have more leftovers than we'll ever be able to eat.  So next time, I'll cut the entire recipe by half, and still freeze half of THAT half before I add the pasta.

You. Must. Try. This.

For those of you in the real world, this would be PERFECT when it starts to cool off in the fall, with some nice crusty bread you can pull apart and smother with butter....mmmm. I miss seasons for that reason and that reason alone.

Pasta Fagioli
From Pennies on a Platter via Pinterst


2 tablespoons butter, divided
 (I'll do my notes in blue. I used a smidge more butter.  Like, double.  I like butter.)
1 package sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
 (I used a pound of ground turkey sausage.)
½ large (or 1 medium) onion, finely chopped
 (I used one large.  I like onions too.)
4 cloves garlic, minced (six! I am apparently addicted to overdoing it!)

4 carrots, thinly sliced

4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
 (I put all the veggies in my processor so they'd be super fine.  Read: easier to get into my kids' bellies.  They can't dislike what they can't see.)
28 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can white cannelini beans, drained and rinsed

64 oz. beef broth (I used about 52oz bc my things were 26oz each)

28 oz. can tomato sauce

2 teaspoons dried parsley

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon salt

4 oz. small dry pasta (I am going to be using a lot more.  Like, probably an entire box, for half of this recipe.  I have kids, and kids want noodles.  And I couldn't find the cute pasta she used in the pic (this IS guam) so I'm just using elbows.  BORING.)

I crap you not, Ava just wandered in and said "Man, that smells SO GOOD, when are we EATING!!!" It's good ya'll.  It. Is. Good.

In a large stockpot over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter.  Once melted, add the sausage, crumbling it as it cooks. Using a slotted spoon, remove sausage from pot and discard any grease that remains.
Melt remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in the same pot. Add the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery.  Saute over medium heat until the vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes. Carefully add the cooked sausage back into the pot. Add the can of diced tomatoes (do not drain), stir, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in the beans, and add the beef broth and tomato sauce. Stir in all of the seasonings. Turn the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat to low, cover, and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
Add the dry pasta and continue to simmer on low for another 30 minutes.

Dammit! After I posted, I added the pasta.  The reason they say to only add 4oz is because you ONLY NEED TO ADD FOUR OUNCES.  I added half a box (to half the recipe) and it turned it into just a pasta dish.  As opposed to a soup.  And my elbows were WAY WAY too big, you really do want those little tiny pasta circle thingies.  Dang.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Weight Check Wednesday

Ugh. Down half a pound.  Which would be fine, except I tracked EVERY SINGLE BITE that I ate this week, PLUS I came in with about twelve of my weeklies left.  So what the heck? I was looking for a ten pound loss this week.  Not a half pound! A half pound is stupid.  A half pound sucks.  Today is the original day I thought Nick was coming home (ooohhhh, Jenn From Before The Worst Summer in the History of Ever, you were such a moron.  Why would you EVER trust that godforsaken boat?!?!) and if you'll remember, my EASILY ATTAINABLE mini goal was to be at 168 today, standing out at the pier with all the other fit, tanned, toned wives.  Ugh.  I'm five pounds away.  Which, for normal people is a few weeks, but apparently, for me to lose five pounds, that's going to take three months.

If I continue at this rate, I will not have lost enough weight before we leave Hawaii to get my tummy tuck-boob job-butt lipo. Which I REALLY want to have done in Hawaii so I can recover in some hotel on the beach with a magnificent view I can look at through the windows in my vicodin induced daze.  I don't want to have to recover on my mom's couch, looking on the window at the house across the street where the baby that I used to baby sit has grown up and gone to college.  That might tempt me to take all the vicodin in the damn bottle and just get it over with.


Need a little more crazy? As ya'll know, Ava starts kindergarten on Sept 7th.  And, as much as I need her out of the house at preschool on a regular basis, I do NOT want her going to kindergarten.  I don't want her to be around other kids.  I don't want anyone to laugh at her, or hurt her feelings.  In fact, I don't even want anyone to talk to her, on the off chance that they say something I don't want her to know about, such as "Your mom is NOT the most amazing thing to ever happen" or "Dora is for babies, you should watch Skins on MTV like we do." Know what I mean?

I actually considered homeschooling, just so that she would never ever be exposed to any outside influence other than me, ever, for the rest of her entire life.

Then I realized that that probably wasn't very healthy, for me OR for her.  So I finally consented and my mom dragged me to the school (AGAINST MY WILL) to register her.  I still may keep her home.  It's a minute by minute battle.

ANYWAY, we had a date yesterday and this horrible stupid awful song came on my ipod and I just cried and cried and cried.  Which, by the way, Ava has recently decided is HILARIOUS, this uncontrollable sobbing that I do on a semi regular basis.  We were watching Toy Story 3 and all the toys were about to go into the fire and I was crying, which wasn't funny to her because she was scared, but then at the end, when Andy's playing with Bonnie and all the toys? Forget it.  I was a WRECK, and Ava was just LAUGHING away because she thinks it's so funny that I cry "when things aren't SAD!!!"

Yes, very funny Ava.

So.  The song.  Some of you know this about me, but those of you who just think I'm a big bully, sarcastic bitch who hates everyone and everything might be a little surprised: I am a Taylor Swift fanatic.  Not a fan.  A FANATIC.  I know (AND LOVE!!!) every single word to every single song on every single album she's done.  I. Just. Love. Her.  I love that she makes it a point to be nice, and clean, and wholesome.  I love that she KNOWS that five year old girls the world over worship her, and that she makes a conscious effort to DESERVE it.  She wants their parents (ahem) to WANT to let them listen.  She told Hoda on a today show thing that no, she's never drank, she's never smoked.  She has NO plans to stumble out of a nightclub with  no panties on, you know?  And that means a lot to me.

And come on, she uses a LOT of drums in her songs.  And you KNOW how much I love a good drum...uh, riff? Is that a word? I just love drums, what can I say.

ANYWAY, here's the lyrics.  If you're not a fan, it won't matter, but if you ARE a fan, and you have kids, and you're wearing mascara, do NOT google this on youtube.  Trust me, you do NOT want to hear it.

And she wrote this.  Someone else didn't write it for her to sing, she actually WROTE these words.  About her little brother, but still, it's pretty easy to follow along for when you have kids.

Your little hands wrapped around my finger

And it's so quiet in the world tonight
Your little eyelids flutter 'cause you're dreaming
So I tuck you in, turn on your favorite night light

To you, everything's funny
You got nothing to regret
I'd give all I have, honey
If you could stay like that

Oh, darling, don't you ever grow up, don't you ever grow up
Just stay this little
Oh, darling, don't you ever grow up, don't you ever grow up
It could stay this simple

I won't let nobody hurt you
Won't let no one break your heart
No, no one will desert you
Just try to never grow up, never grow up

You're in the car on the way to the movies
And you're mortified your mom's dropping you off
At 14, there's just so much you can't do
And you can't wait to move out someday and call your own shots

But don't make her drop you off around the block
Remember that she's getting older, too
And don't lose the way that you dance around
In your PJs getting ready for school

Oh, darling, don't you ever grow up, don't you ever grow up
Just stay this little
Oh, darling, don't you ever grow up, don't you ever grow up
It could stay this simple

No one's ever burned you
Nothing's ever left you scarred
And even though you want to
Just try to never grow up

Take pictures in your mind of your childhood room
Memorize what it sounded like when your dad gets home
Remember the footsteps, remember the words said
And all your little brother's favorite songs

I just realized everything I have
Is someday gonna be gone

So here I am in my new apartment
In a big city, they just dropped me off
It's so much colder than I thought it would be
So I tuck myself in and turn my night light on

Wish I'd never grown up
I wish I'd never grown up

Oh, I don't wanna grow up, wish I'd never grown up
Could still be little
Oh, I don't wanna grow up, wish I'd never grown up
It could still be simple

So, it's official.  Ava will NOT be going to kindergarten.  No way jose.