Sunday, February 28, 2010

What's in your bed?

I remember the days when it was just my bed and my blanket. This morning I woke up with a hockey puck, a mini metal slinky, and a bike helmet.... yes a bike helmet! Em was up at 6am again this morning and I guess she thought a great place to hide the toys Ryan wanted was in my bed under my blanket between my head and my knees. The slinky scared me, the puck hurt, and the helmet flat out freaked me out and got me out of bed. So much for mom's day to sleep in!

For the record tonight Ryan is sleeping with about 25 small lego's, a squirt gun, 2 blankets, 2 pillows, a body pillow and a duplo truck. Might as well sleep on a bed of nails... Lego's hurt!

Emmalee is sleeping with so much stuff I can't find her! She has a body pillow, 2 bed pillows. small Veggie Tales pillow, 7 princess dolls, 3 full size blankets, her blankie (aka: the rag) 4 other baby blankets randomly placed, a huge dumbo, a huge stitch, and a back rest. This was just what I could see with out lifting the covers... I am too scared to know what all is in there.  Oh, and I failed to mention "Desiree the Dino" her pink, singing and dancing Dino that randomly plays "please don't stop the music" through the baby monitor all night long. awww, nothing makes you sit straight up and feel like the bad music gang is breaking into your house like Desiree the singing and dancing Dino!

So who is ready for a sleepover?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

deals, steals, and free meals (part 1)

I am often told "you always find the deals" or "how do you do ____ for so little money?" I thought I would share a few of my hot spots, tips and rules for saving.

For years I have been living on plastic and now I have made it my goal to be 100% debt free and have a years pay in savings as well as life insurance and college savings accounts by 2020. I call my mission 20/20 vision! So far we are doing well. In four months we paid 10,000 in debts, lived well, and I am still unemployed. (It makes me sick to think what I could have done / and where my full time pay went.)

When I started mission 20/20 there were a few things I had to come to terms with. 1. I am not "to good" to go anywhere. 2. Not everything in my house has to be top of the line brand new. 3. Wear it out or use it up before you toss it out. 4. Everything has a value, stop giving everything away and start selling them. 5. If you can't buy it with cash you don't NEED it.

Next I had to do some research.
1. I joined sunshine rewards, a website that pays you for shopping, taking survey's and playing games. I HIGHLY suggest you join too This wesite saved us 300.00 on airfare alone on our last Disney trip. Plus I love being able to shop online and know I am getting the best deal and then get paid for it on top of all of that!
2. On facebook I joined the group "Pocket Your Dollars" Carrie lives in the twin cites and is committed to saving even more money then me. Randomly during the day Pocket Your Dollars shows up in my news feed with a great offer. There is also a website for pocket your dollars but I prefer it in small doses on facebook.
3. I now get the newspaper on Sunday's for the coupons. The press offered me Wednesday,Thursday, Friday,and Sunday for 13.00 for 52 weeks.
4. I joined the "live like no one else" forum. This is a group people in debt digging their way out just like me.
5. I check the thrift stores before I go shopping.  

I will break this down even more in my next few blogs, but for now I need to go to bed so I can get up and go to work in the morning... another piece of my 20/20 plan.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Lenten Update

I thought you all might like to know how well we are going on our Lenten goals ...

I am pleased to announce Emmalee has failed horribly at at giving up sleep. Thank you to the "slimers" in her nose and a daily dose of cold syrup she is back to sleeping threw the night. However she has officially given up naps (I think)

Last Thursday night we took Ryan to Wal-Mart to fix the clothing status. Yes, I know I work at Gymboree, but really who has $50.00 for an outfit? and have you seen the boys clothes? Not much green and for sure no Disney or Batman! We hit the jackpot! Jeans were on clearance for $7.00 a pair. (I bought for 2 sizes) and shirts for $5.00 galore. We now own plenty of Toy Story, Phineas and Ferb, Batman and green shirts.

For me... well I am doing very well at spending money and sleeping very little.

Yea for Easter... please get here soon!

Zero the Hero

In case you didn't know it last week was the 100th day of school. This house was fully aware. At school Zero the Hero came to visit. Which meant the next morning we were awaken to Ryan standing on our bed saying you have to get up early to be a hero. Oh, and you have to exercise! This was followed up by a series of push ups on the bed and then jumping jacks while screaming 10, 20, 30, 40....etc. I said no 1, 2, 3, 4....etc. and was quickly informed those aren't zero's hero numbers! If you ever wanted to know what it would feel like to sleep on a waterbed I highly suggest having a 100lb kid do jumping jacks on your bed. Needless to say our hero succeed in turning all of us into hero's by getting up early.

As soon as I figure out how to post pictures I will post Ryan's picture with Zero the hero.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Emmalee's 3 year check up

Today I finally got around to em's 3 year check up... only 3 months late. One of the reasons I was kind of avoiding this appointment was this was the appointment that informed us the Ryan had "special needs" and we would have to start testing. The only reason we went now was because as Em put it... "Slimer moved into my nose!" so why not knock out two birds with one stone, right?

As we were called back to the room Emmalee turned up her charm and the batting of the eyelashes began. She weighted in at 38 pounds and measured 37 3/4. The first thing I thought was 2 and 1/4 more inches till she is 40in for Disney! (I am warped!)

Next it came to the eye chart. Suddenly Ryan's experience with this "test" flashed back to me. "he doesn't talk".... "no he can't tell you that is a circle" Em on the other had twirled a circle and said "no that's not a circle it is an "O" because there is no middle" needless to say she passed with flying colors. We got into the room and she pushed herself up onto the table like she was doing the vault event in the Olympics and the nurse said, "well I guess I don't have to test her upper body strength." She hopped down and we started more test's Ryan failed at.... and she soared at. The nurse said "Can you stand on one foot?" Not only does she stand on one foot she proves she could also be in the figure skating competition at the Olympics by sticking her arms out and her leg straight behind her. Her next figure skating move was twirling a few circles without falling on the ground. Finally came the big test to go for the gold ... could she jump with both feet off the floor. Success...and she had to show off that she could jump on one foot too.

The nurse left and gave her a pen to draw on the deli paper on the table. Emmalee left a nice picture of a rainbow, some clouds, her hand traced, and my hand traced. When the doctor came in he was very impressed.

Let me tell you about our doctor... well, you see he was MY doctor as a child. I am use to the normal routine of screaming at the poor old man who can no longer hear. Many of Ryan's doctor appointments went like this:
Dr: do you have any other concerns?
Me: yes, he isn't talking
Dr: He seems to be walking well to me
Me: no, TALKING while using my hand to illustrate talking
Dr: Oh I don't hear him talking, what is wrong with his talking?
I was so excited today to see he had hearing aids! one for each ear and a special stethoscope with increased volume. I few times I found myself talking slow and screaming. I am sure he thinks I am a crazy mom with mental issues!

As he examined her she was an angel no problems and perfectly healthy. Then started the mom questions:
Dr: have you started potty training?
Me: yes, done
Dr: does she wet the bed?
Me: nope never has
Dr: does she have a hard time going to bed?
Me: no she puts herself to bed at about 8:30
Dr: Is there anything she can't do
Me: nope, but I wish there was... like open the closet door so she can change her clothes 12 times a day!
Dr: so she dresses herself?
Me: yep
Dr: Do you have support in raising this child? mental, physical, financial?
Me: Huh? yes, she has a dad and my family lives close
Dr: Do you want papers on how to receive any government assistance during these tough times?
Me: nope we are fine
Dr: The nurse will be in shortly with her shot

a few minutes pass and the nurse comes in

I know the routine. Slap her down on the deli paper. Pull the pants down. Pin the arms. Then WAM she will be saying "that lady hurt me!" and she gets a sticker. I was right on except for one thing... she cried a tiny bit. She never cries. As the stab comes she says "ouchie, ouchie, ouchie and the tears started coming. Then she says "I need my special wampie" (grandpa) So, we left the office but stopped by the sticker station just one more time before going to get a special wampie kiss.

biggest successes of the day: She is healthy, She is Olympic bound for gymnastics or figure skating and oh ... I didn't cry!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I should have been fired for that

I recently read the blog of a man doing youth ministry for 40 years and he blogged all about the dumb things he had done in ministry that thankfully he hadn't been fired for. Which got me to thinking thank God I can't be fired for being a mom.

One of my favorite "mom should have been fired" stories is really about my best friend Angela and her son Jackson. Angela owned her own store front when Jackson was a baby. It was not uncommon to see Jack in his walker roaming the store on a daily basis. As you walked into the store it was a small ramp up to the store. One day Ang had a great idea to push Jack's walker down the ramp for a fun ride. She was smart enough to think to shut the front door before sending him down so he didn't roll right out into the street. However, she didn't think about the force of him rolling and slamming into the shut door...yep she should have been fired!

When Ryan was very little I had bought something at the thrift store that didn't fit in my car (surprised, I know) and I had to borrow my dad's truck. Well I started the truck to warm it up, tossed all my junk in the front seat, buckled Ry in his seat and went to go around to hop in only to find out the doors had locked with the keys in... and Ryan in. Yep, I locked my kid in a running car for 30 minutes.... I should have been fired!

Amazingly the day Emmalee should have fired me also happened in the car. She had just moved up from her baby carrier to her car seat. Keith told me he put the car seat in the the van. I thought he had buckled it all in... nope. Emmalee was safely strapped in her car seat as we took the turn at Dale and Minnehaha on our way to daycare when suddenly the whole seat went sideways and forward and landed wedged between the front seat and the seat next to her as she hung on to the straps holding her in. Needless to say Thank God the car seat straps worked and yes, I should have been fired!

So spill it... what should you have been fired for? or from?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Why is it called Love and Laugh Everyday?

I have been asked a few times why is Love and Laugh Everyday the title of your blog? So I thought I might as well blog about it.

Yes, I do love my kids and they do make me laugh everyday but this summer it was really hard for me to love and laugh everyday and it was something I had to force myself to do. You see April 27th I lost my job as a full time youth minister in Edina. This was a job I gave my heart and soul to over and over. All though this was extremely painful it was nothing compared to what God has put on my plate since.

On May 29 my grandpa Krieger was admitted into the hospital for side effects of his radiation. I was so thankful to be able to visit him in the hospital and then at transitional care whenever I wanted and I never had to worry about work. On June 17 he left Good Sam's transitional care and moved into Rosewood Estates assisted living because we were told he had 6 months to live and this is where he wanted to be. This day I laughed! I never laughed so hard. More jokes were cracked in a one hour registration session then I think the staff had ever experienced. His first night in his new place he stayed alone and I came and gave him his meds at midnight. The next five days I spent every day and night with him. Sadly he didn't get his 6 months, he got 6 days that even thou they hurt I love those days. As he was dying he was reliving his whole life as a painter. Two of my most memorable laughs came when he asked me to paint. So I stood at the wall and fake painted but then he told me "you got your hair in the paint and the job won't be done in time now because you have to wash your hair" and When I was painting the wall maroon and again I was not doing a good job. The paint wasn't covering and I had got it on the trim so he told me it was time for me to "give up painting" On June 22, at 10:55pm he finally gave into his fight and past away.

I wish I could say that was the end of my hurting but it goes on. From here on my dates all get very fuzzed. About two weeks after my grandpa died I recived a phone call from my mom that went something like this: "Hey were going to stop at grandma's and bring her some ice cream because she doesn't feel well and hasn't eaten all day." I say, "Okay, call me when you done and let me know how she is." fifteen minutes pass and my dad calls "ya, grandma is really weak but we are going to tuck her into bed and she says she will be fine." I say, " just take her in to make sure." he says, "well we called the clinic and they said to take her to ER but she doesn't want to go" at the same time in the background I hear "Gene, I need your help" two minutes later dad calls back and says "she just blacked out so I called 911, you can come over if you want" I live very close to my grandma's apartment building and in fact I followed the medics and led them to where they were going. After many tests at United it was determined that I non-drinker had liver diease and was bleeding internally. She had never been to a hospital before or taken any medicine at age 91, in fact two days prior she drove to the store and picked up her groceries for the week. She was very scared at United so I stayed with her everyday and my mom stayed every night. After seven days they told us to take her home to die. So that's what we did. The day she came home she was walking and needed a small amount of help in the shower. Slowly she went downhill and nine days later, On July 24 at 5:47pm, she past away in her apartment right where she wanted to be. I have many days now where I wish I could hear her "give it to me straight" and make me laugh it off.

We joked that I needed a job because I was going out of the business of death. This was a very hard time on my entire family so I did what I do best. I planned a trip to Disney World for us four and my parents from November 4-14.

I few days before we left I got another dreaded phone call telling me grandma Krieger wasn't feeling well and it would be helpful if I could come out and convince her to go into the hospital. When I arrived I hear the words I was dreading for the first of many times that night "I am fine. I am not going anywhere." After much arguing we finally convinced her to go to St. John's. She had some test run we learned she had A-fib. (an irregular heart beat) Although she was very upset with us she had to stay the night for more tests and eventually a pace maker. A few days later she blacked out in the bathroom and when she was found by the nurse they did X-rays and learned she had cracked her neck. We left on our vacation and shortly after we left she moved into Good Sam's transitional care and was doing great. She had lost her back pain she had for so so many years, she was able to walk stairs, and she was really ready to live pain free. On our last night in Disney we had dinner in Japan and before our 75min dinner started I had texted with my aunt and learned grandma was released and they had to go threw the cub drive thru for meds. stop at the bank and Aldi's and then they would be home. As we finished our meal I checked my phone for the time and saw I had missed a call from my aunt by 10mins. By the time connection was made all we knew was that she had a massive heart attack at her front door and was not doing well. We flew home the next day and went straight to the hospital. She was on life support and still in her neck brace from her earlier fall. We learned the medics had paddled her back to life three times between when they got to her house and when they got her to St. John's. The family would have a very tough decision the next day. The decision was made to take her off life support and she died very peacefully on the morning of November 16. Watching a sports game is no loner as finny without her brilliant commentary and my body isn't as warm without her knitting.

I am so thankful for my grandparents. I am thankful I spent time with them, and I always told them I loved them. I am also thankful for my family who relive the stories with me so I can laugh, even on the tough days.

Who knows whats next on my plate but no matter what I know two things will always be on my plate love and laughter.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Goodbye Toon Town Fair

As many of you know I am obsessed with all things Disney. In fact in one point and time this whole blog was going to be dedicated to Disney. Well I scrapped the idea of doing all Disney all the time, but there are somethings I just must share.

Today is a very sad day for me, and yes I cried. (for real) Today Mickey's Toon Town Fair closes forever. I know your laughing at me... and I am okay with that.

Mickey's Toon Town Fair has not always been Toon Town Fair it was originally used for Mickey's 60th Birthday Party in 1988. There were no permnet buildings at the time just tents to make you feel like you were attending a special party. "Mickey's Birthdayland" helped attract people who were waiting just one more year (the year MGM, now Hollywood Studios would open) for their family vacation. Well it was such a success that the party couldn't stop after the 18 planned months of Mickey's 60th Birthday. (BTW this is the LAST birthday Mickey will ever celabrate. Disney doesn't want people to thing Mickey is old, rather he is cool hip and relevant) The area was then renamed Mickey's Starland in 1990. Starland was to be centered around the famous after school cartoon line up of Duck Tales, Gummi Bears, Goof Troop etc. At this point and time the number one complaint of guests was that they were not able to have a meet and greet with Mickey. At the same time guests were no longer visiting the Starland part of the park. So Disney had to make changes quickly.

Disney settled on the idea of Toon Town Fair were everything was bigger then life and centered around The Fab Five's trip to the county fair after growing all their veggies. Toon Town Fair opened on October 1,1996, the same year as Disney's World's 25th anniversary. As you first enter you see Pete's garage (aka the bathroom) with fine details including the drinking fountain hooked up to an oil can. Up to the right you can go to Goofy's Winsere Farm and help Goofy crop dust his plants in his plane that goes terrible wrong and ends up going right threw this barn. (This is a children's roller coaster) Across the street you can walk threw Minnie's Country House. This house is so much more to us crazy Disney people. All the pictures on the wall are cels of past animators who have past away. You can press Minnies answering machine and hear a very special message. As you leave Minnie's house and look across the street you will see Donald's boat (S.S Daisey) dry docked but springing water leaks out all over it. Right next to Minnie's House is Mickey's Country House which again is filled with great Disney details and special additions. Once you are out the back door and into Mickey's garden you are only feet away from Mickey's judging tent and your chance for a Meet and Greet. Here is where so many dreams come true.

You maybe thinking "thanks for the history lesson ... and why did you cry about this?" Well here is why: January 1997 was my very first trip to Disney World. Toon Town was only 4 months old and I can still remember walking threw both Mickey and Minne's houses with my dad behind me with the video camera. We were all in awe of the awesomeness. I clearly remember waiting in line in the judging tent watching the cheesy cartoons. Then the doors opened and Mickey was standing there in his overalls with a giant blue ribbon pinned on him. I chocked back my tears and knew I would never forget that moment. October 2002 was my honeymoon and as Keith and I left the judging tent I was holding in my tears, (again) The Walt Disney World Express steam train pulled up and blew his whistle at the same time my dad called to see if I had met Mickey yet and I couldn't hold back the tears anymore. I sat on a bench and cried my eyes out because I was drowning in everything Disney and I couldn't be happier. I had these same feelings the first time I took Ryan, Emmalee, and my nephew Dylan to meet Mickey. My other memory from Toon Town is Ryan on the Barnstormer. He was so scared of the roller coaster. I can still hear Ryan's deep uncontrollable laugh from the first time Keith and Ryan rode the Barnstormer and his fist words were "can we do it again right now?" When we took Ryan for his free before three trip Keith and ryan rode this ride over and over. On our last trip in November Ryan had no interest in the Barnstormer but rather rode Everest at Animal Kingdom. Sadly Em was a bit short to ever be able to ride the Barnstormer.

I know Disney always does bigger and better but I hope when I go back in 2012 (when all the toon town / fantasyland changes will be complete) I will be able to create new wonderful memories in new amazing lands.

Good Bye Toon Town... Thanks for the great memories.

Disney Trivia of the day: How many Steam engines are at the Magic Kingdom? Can you name the steam train(s) at the Magic Kingdom? The answers will be in the next blog.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday / Lent

Today begins the wonderful season of Lent. Historically people give up something to remind you of Christ's suffering's. Well both kids decide they are old enough to give something this year.

Emmalee choose sleep. As of day one she is doing great! She was up at 1:00am asking to watch "her movie called UP" and at 4:30 she came and stood next to the bed and shouted "cock-a-doodle-do mama" I tried to get her to lay down with me in bed but she is such a great Christian she didn't want to give in on the first day of Lent. Needless to say I was not planning on giving up sleep but may have to due to default. For the record she is currently running around in her swimsuit just like any other normal day so I am not so sure this is a sacrifice for her but I can promise you this is a huge sacrifice for me.

Ryan choose to give up his clothes. No, he didn't go to school naked but it was pretty close this morning. It went something like this:
Me: "Ry put your jeans on"
Ry: put his jeans on
Me: "why do you have them pulled up so high"
Ry: "I don't mama, I growed"
Me: "okay try these"
Ry: puts his jeans on
Me"button them up"
Ry: "I did"
Me: "come here let me make them as tight as possible with the elastic tabs. Okay what about this polo shirt?'
Ry: "Ya, (2 secs later) OUCH!"
Me: "what's wrong?"
Ry: "My head doesn't fit"
Me: "Oh sorry I didn't unbutton it (2 secs later) Oh, I did, I guess it doesn't fit"
Me: "What about this t-shirt?"
Ry: "Ya!"
Me: "nevermind your showing your bellybutton off"
Ry: "I can't just wear yesterday's"
Me: "no, try this button up dress shirt"
Ry: "It fits mama and my other shirts need to be sold to the other kids"

Thank God his socks and undies fit!

He got his snow pants on just fine but as I went to put his jacket on he said, "this one hurts my tummy on the bus. Can I wear a different one?" I am guessing when he sits this jacket is getting to tight around his stomach. I opened the front closet and the first one hanging there was a jacket I bought for him for next year. I bought it 2 weeks ago from Macy's during the "Go Red Sale" for $8.10. (still very proud of this purchase) Any way I tried it on him and it fit perfectly! It is TWO sizes bigger then his last jacket. Oh and I should add it is the same jacket as his old jacket because the world can only make so many green jackets. I would say Ryan is also an outstanding Christian seeing on day one he manged to give up 1 pair of jeans, two shirts, and a winter jacket.

As a good Christian I will give up plenty of money and suffer too this Lenten season as I am up all hours of the day and night shopping online for clothes for Ryan.

Thank God Easter is in six weeks!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Daytime TV

Emmalee has been home with Keith and I everyday since November and I admit about 90% of the time the TV is on. One of Em's favorite shows is Ellen. I have over heard her telling Ellen to "shake her booty butt" and scream "HI Ellen! I Emmy! I ova here!" as she waves wildly 2 inches from the TV screen and yes we hit pause on Ellen when she needs a potty break. I thought the worst thing she would pick up would be Ellen's habit of scaring people in the bathroom. However, I never thought about the commercials. Last week I caught her singing "Paw America is right for you, paw America" over and over. Then this morning with her hands on her hips she told Keith "We can approve your loan today" (of course pointing right at him by the time she hit the end of her sales pitch.) If she starts singing the 5-dollar foot long song or saying "You are NOT the father" I might have to re-think our daytime TV.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Macky Donald's Day

For three weeks we have been hearing all about Sasha, Ryan's girlfriend at school. Everyday Ryan wakes up and asks the same thing... "is there school today?'' If the answer is "yes" his reply is "I will see Sasha today." (with a huge smile) If the answer is "no" his reply is "can Sasha have a play date with me today?" We started off my saying "no, you can't have a play date because your room isn't clean and Sasha doesn't like messes" After two weeks that really didn't work anymore but Ryan never gave up asking everyday.

This past Monday was parent day at school and we got to see Ryan and Sasha in action. When it came to lunch he saved her a seat next to him and everyone knew to leave room for Sasha next to Ryan. Ryan opened her milk for her and he tried to open her uncrustable. One by one the teachers came over and asked us if we knew about their love. It was very cute. Sasha's parents couldn't make parents day due to work but I promised Ryan I would send a note home with Sasha. Monday night Ryan's dream's came true. Sasha's mom called and asked if Saturday at McDonald's play place would work for a play date. When Ryan learned of the play date you would have thought he won a million dollars. So rather then hearing "is there school today"? the question changed to "is today Saturday?" Well today was Saturday! Ryan and Sasha played side-by-side for an hour and a half.

Watching these two in action reminds you how simple love really is and we really are made to love one another... Happy Valentines Day... I hope all your dreams come true just like Ryan's did!

Friday, February 12, 2010

On Your Mark Get Set GO!

I have had this blog page for over a year. At first it was going to be a place for me to sell my kids old clothes then it was going to be about Disney World or thrifting but I realized I get the most comments on my Facebook status when I write about my crazy lovable children so that is what I will write about. I am not saying you won't hear anything about Disney World or my great thrifting buys but it will be about the daily adventures of a lovable five year old and a laughable three year old. I hope you enjoy it!

Have a wonderful Friday!