See what I bought? And other news.

Look on the sidebar on the right. See what I bought? A shed! I know I am grownup when I get giddy about a new shed. You see I needed to make space to park another car in my garage. Another car, you ask? Why yes, another car. She's a beautiful 1979 Camaro Rally Sport and I promise to tell you all about her soon. Just know that I feel like the coolest girl in the world when I drive it and all the boys drool.

In other car news, my mom get a new car this Saturday. She's been so sweet to let everyone drive it around. If I was a single gal or didn't need more then 2 seats I'd run out and order one to be shipped all the way from Germany.

That's right! She got a Smart car! This isn't her actual car, nor is it her actual horse. Not that she as a horse. But this is exactly what her car looks like. Isn't it, um, cute? Like a roller skate on steroids. It looks super small, but it's actually quite roomy on the inside. When I get out from driving I'm amazed at how small it is when I have so much space inside. It's so much fun to see people stare and point and laugh. Have you see these in your neighborhood? Have you driven one? Ever even heard of one?

Tomorrow, Labor Day, I plan to help my dad put the rest of my shed together, finish cleaning out the garage and count down 48 more hours till I'm the ripe 'ol age of 31.

Happy Labor day!


Big boy school

Last week Jackson started his first day of preschool. Let me be clear, it's actually preschool, not daycare. Jackson's dad insisted on daycare. Fine with me because I'm not paying the almost $800 a month it costs.*

Today I dropped him off and the other kids were sitting down practicing Spanish. Now, I'm all for learning other languages, but does anyone really expect a bunch of 18-month-olds to start conversing in another language? Sure, sure I know, kids that age learn that stuff fast and now is the time to teach them. But I just hope that Jackson doesn't start referring to things in Spanish because his momma knows maybe 4 Spanish words and 3 of them aren't kid friendly.

The other thing about this particular preschool? They do fundraisers. As if they don't get enough money from the tuition. I was slightly shocked when I looked into Jackson's cubby (he has his own cubby!!) and saw a packet with information about raising funds for the school. Call me lazy or whatever, but I have an 18-month-old, do they honestly think I'll have time to fundraise? Let's be honest here for a moment. Even when Derick did fundraising in elementary school I was too lazy to do much other than tell Derick to hit the grandparents up.

Seriously though, I like his preschool. It's really close to my work, they have a curriculum that's age appropriate for each age, they let me use cloth diapers with Jackson and I'm allowed to bring him his lunch and snacks. Some other schools were really strange when I asked if I could bring Jackson's lunch and snacks. They would only let him eat what they made which consisted of frozen fried chicken nuggets, pizza, hamburgers, french fries and a vegetable and fruit thrown in for good measure. None of these, I'm sure, were as nutritious as what I can make at home. The teacher seems really nice and they have a great outdoor area to play in. I even get a daily report on exactly what he's been doing. It was so cute to see his first!! ever art project.

Oh boy, my babies are growing up and learning new things every day. Every day they get a little older and little closer to being independent. It's exciting and sad all rolled into one. Every day I love them a little more and want to make them be little kids a little longer.


*I'm very fortunate that Jackson's paternal grandma and grandpa offered to pay for preschool. Otherwise I'd have to sell a kidney or a lung or crack.


Welcome home Degmeister.

My 13 year old is on the skinny side (NOT his mother's gene's) and I think as he's getting older he's starting to feel a little anxious about it. I didn't think it bothered him that much until today.

He went to get a smoothie at a local smoothie making store and got something called 'The Hulk'. He tells me what's in it, vanilla ice cream, some nut something or other and a weight gain protein powder.

Not five minutes after he tells me what's in the smoothie he turns to me and with a very serious face says...

"Mom? How long does it take for the weight gain stuff to start working?"

It nearly broke my heart to explain that it doesn't work quite like that. But after much talk about how he could gain weight the right way he decided to come work out with me tomorrow.

Man I'm glad he's home.


Story Time, part 3 : Remember the kids? The ones on the block?

You can see part 1 and part 2 here and here.


One Christmas, many many years ago, when I was around age 11 or 12 I asked for a New Kids On The Block tape. (I'm not going to link to who they are, because if you don't know who they are then turn around and go back to the plant you came from.) Those boys were all the rage then and I was desperate for a tape so I could listen whenever I wanted to without waiting for the radio dj's to tell me it was time to hear The Right Stuff or Tonight or Hangin' Tough. There was no such thing as You Tube and I couldn't record live MTV back then. I must have asked a million times for this tape and my parents had to have known I was desperate for it.

I was so in love with NKOTB. Weren't most of the preteen and teenage girls in love with them? I'm sure I wasn't the only girl who tore out magazine pages and stapled and/or taped them up on my wall and even ceiling*?

I never did get to see them Boys in concert in person, but I remember my parents ordering a Pay Per View of a live concert. I gathered all my little girlfriends and we watched Joey with his smooth moves and Donnie with his baggy jeans tearing up the stage. I still have the VHS tape of that concert sitting with the rest of my ancient VHS tapes.

But back to that requested Christmas gift.

Christmas morning came around and as I opened presents I anxiously waited to get my tape that I'd requested. I knew it had to be in the pile of presents. It just had to be. And it was. I was so elated and couldn't wait to go in my room, shut the door and listen to it.

After we cleaned our wrapping paper mess and wished each other Merry Christmas I went away into my bedroom and popped my BRAND NEW! tape in my tape player. I remember laying in my bed listening to each song. It was like they were singing to me. Especially Joey, he was my favor tie. I could pick out his nasally, young kid voice in each song. I willed myself to cry because I knew that would make me a true fan. One that would stand the test of time. I would always be a loyal fan and I would ask for the NKOTB bed sheets and pillow cases because I was a real fan.


I'm mildly embarrassed to admit that I made myself cry to a NKOTB tape. But I remembered this story just yesterday and I've never ever admitted it to anyone. Much less the entire INTERNET.

You see, my 31st birthday is quickly approaching and one of my oldest friends, Juanita (Hi, Juanita!), brought me an early birthday gift and I bet you can guess what it was. It was the NKOTB greatest hits CD. I nearly fell on the floor laughing when I opened the gift and it reminded me of being a crazy pre teen/teenager who was NKOTB's biggest fan. As I drove home from work yesterday I put my new CD in the CD player and started jammin' to these songs. I made sure that when I pulled up next to someone on the road that I turned it down a tad because I didn't want someone to hear me listening to NKOTB. I guess that's not the measure of a true fan is it?

But I've had fun listening to my CD and being surprised with myself that I remember most of the words and I can still recognize Joey's, sorry Joe's, voice in each song. Even Jackson likes my new CD. He'll be mortified when he gets older to know that he was totally car seat dancing to Hangin' Tough.


* When I moved out of my parent's house at the age of 17 my brother and dad spent hours upon hours peeling tape off the walls and filling in holes from the staples. I hear they cursed me all the while.


Please disregard this post

Hi, Internet! Guess what? I have nothing of substance to say. Seriously. You probably don't care to hear about how my youngest son threw the biggest hissy fit OF HIS LIFE today. TWICE. He's an early achiever, this one. Reaching for the terrible two stage a tad early. Suck.

You probably don't care that I spent a small chunk of change on school clothes for the oldest son today. I blindly bought him stuff that I liked and I hope he likes the stuff I bought. I almost wish his feet would shrink because men's shoes are so expensive considering how hard he is on them.
Chances are you could care less that I've been cooking and baking like a fool lately. I made a version of vegan goldfish crackers that Jackson inhales. I also tried my hand at broiling Tempeh with homemade BBQ sauce yesterday. I've been cooking so much lately that I acquired a NEW! FANCY! knife. It's so sharp and my knife skills are so bad that I routinely cut myself.
Do you care that I'm taking another vegan cooking class tomorrow? Breakfast foods! Also, I may sign up for the next one, too. It's all about dessert. We all know that dessert is the most important meal of the day, so you see, I cannot miss this class.
Um, do you want to hear how much I just love my new niece? She's cute and pink and even her farts are cute.
As if you want to know, but Derick comes home from his dad's Wednesday!!!!! I haven't seen my oldest son since school let out for the summer. I miss this kid. So so so much.
Not that it matters, but I got a Wii Fit a few days ago. Technically it's for me, but because I'm being a genius mom, I'm wrapping it up and giving it to Derick for his birthday celebration dinner we are having when he comes home.
Also, I know it makes no difference, but did you know that an Olympic sport is jumping on a trampoline and doing flips? I had no idea. I'm sure there's a level of skill there, but jumping on a trampoline and doing flips? Really?
Lastly, have you seen this website? You insert your picture into old yearbook photos. This shit cracks me up:


She has a little piece of my heart.

My brother and sister-in-law welcomed their first child, a girl, into the world yesterday. Sadie was born at 3:49pm August 14th.

I cannot tell you how excited I am to have a niece. I fully intend to be Cool Aunt Kristie. It's my new title.
(See this spit up on my shirt?! I was the first person she spit up on. Oddly, I find that so cute. )

Welcome little Sadie. I think you stole a little piece of every one's hearts.
Cool Aunt Kristie


A personal choice.

I've thought of a million ways to start this post. I've stayed awake late at night running this post through my head. I've spaced out while driving to work while thinking about this post. I've agonized about this post. Now it's time to stop the madness and just post already.

This is not even an earth shattering post. But it kind of is. At least in my head, it is.

I decided recently to give Veganism a chance. This means that I will not consume any animal products at all. No meat, no milk, no butter, no ice cream, no eggs, nothing. It sounds extreme I know and it sort of is. Except that I have decided that my health is too important to continue to eat the 'normal' way I've eaten all my life.

To date I've read 4 books about the subject, researched online, taken a vegan cooking class, signed up for another cooking class, joined message boards and stocked my kitchen. And I think this is the best choice I've ever made. I feel energized and alert and healthier than I ever have in my entire life.

It's so overwhelming to make such changes in your own life. And I know it's been just as overwhelming, if not more so, to my family and friends. I know it's hard to understand for most people and even harder to accept. I've been asked so many questions, "what do you eat?", "don't you have to have milk to have strong bones?", "how are you going to get your protein?", "where can you eat out at?", "aren't you going to alienate yourself?". The list goes on and on. I have answers to every single question. More importantly I have educated, science proven answers for most of these questions.

I've worked hard to learn as much as I can and cook as many new things that I can to be a better vegan cook. It's like I'm learning all over again. The first time I cooked with tofu I hated it and promptly threw it out. The second time it was much better. I actually am looking forward to the third time I cook with tofu.

I have all the ingredients to make my own 'fake meat' and I'm actually really excited to try it. It's a good thing I love to cook and try new things otherwise I'd be living off of pasta and jarred tomato sauce all the time. Not that pasta and tomato sauce is bad, on the contrary, I have a new tomato sauce recipe that's simple and so good.

What I want most from this life change is a healthy body and a healthy relationship with food that's good for the body. I want to save a few innocent animals and maybe teach some people about what they are eating. I want my children to have knowledge and information so they they can make their own choices. I want to always keep learning and growing and evolving.

My grandma told me recently, while we were talking about me being a vegetarian, that once I stopped learning new things that you stop living. And she's right. This is my way of learning something new, something that will be beneficial to my health and well being. Something I hope people will support and encourage and be curious about. Something I think is right for me.


I've closed comments on this post because I don't want people to feel obligated to comment. On the flip side I don't want to see a lack of posts and worry that you all think I'm a total nut. If you'd like to discuss this further, I'd love to....you can e-mail me at sunflower99@swbell.net


I must keep in mind that he's only 18-months.

The other morning I got out of the shower, grabbed a pair of underwear to throw on and made my way to Jackson's room because he was shouting obscenities in retaliation to the fact that I'd ignored him while I was doing my daily cleansing ritual. The nerve of me.

As I walked in, he looked at my bare stomach, got a big grin and said BELLY! Yes, sweet boy, that's my belly, I said. I neglected to point out each individual stretch mark that he inflicted on me, but I haven't forgotten and intend to hold that over his head for a very long time.

Then he looked a few inches upward at my bare breasts, smiled, and said BA-LLOON!

I only hope he meant an inflated balloon.


People watching...

I am by no means a gym rat, but I do make an effort to work out every other day on a regular basis. I'm actually quite proud of myself for keeping it up, considering I never have before. Don't even ask me the money I've wasted on gym memberships that I didn't use.

One perk of working out often is the people watching opportunities. I've noticed some people at my gym that I just have to talk about.

I don't mean to judge other people who are working out beside me, but sometimes it gets boring running in place and watching Sports Center on all 5 televisions. Besides, I don't judge everyone negatively.

So, let me describe some of the people I've seen recently...

  • The group of girls who never sweat. When I go to workout I get angry when I don't sweat. To me, it's a sign that I've done a good job, I've purged my body of toxins and I've gotten my heart rate up. But some girls? Never sweat. In fact, their perfectly applied makeup doesn't even run. Why are they wearing makeup in the first place? Sure I have some on if I've come straight from work, but not full blown MAC lipstick and liquid eyeliner.
  • The guy who knows he's hot. He struts in with his duffel bag jam packed full of stuff, presumably workout paraphernalia but never even opens the bag. Why? Because he doesn't need props to workout with. He doesn't need water to drink to replenish his excessively sweating body. He doesn't need a towel for previously mentioned sweat. He is just perfect right there running on the treadmill for an hour with a smug look on his face. When he's done running he walks out of the gym to go back to his hot guy world.
  • The 'needs-a-supportive-bra' lady. Granted she's an older woman who is in incredibly good shape. I spy her doing the group classes on occasion and my eye always manages to zone in on her massive chest that's bouncing from the floor to ceiling. I just want to take her some duct tape and explain this it might make working out a little more comfortable.
  • The kids. Oh, the kids. I suppose it's a nice thing to teach your children the importance of regular exercise by bringing them with you to the gym. But as a parent you must explain that some people are seriously trying to get or stay fit and that the kids must respect this. Please tell them that trying to bench press 150 pounds is not a good idea and may result in injury. Please tell them that giggling and pointing at people that are working out is rude. The least they can do is be subtle about it. And lastly, when the girls go into the dressing rooms and see a half naked women, tell them to be polite.
  • The buff dude who thinks he's the shiznit. You all know the one, the guy who lifts weights and stares at his increasingly large muscles and glances to see who's watching him so he can add another 50 pound weight. Ironically this guy has the largest gut I've ever seen.
  • The buff girl. There are two that I see often. One looks pretty slammin' if I do say so myself. She totes in two kids with her every time she comes in and I'd never know she was older than 25 or that she had school age kids. I aspire to look as awesome with maybe less muscular arms. Then there's the other lady. OMG, it's awful. She wears a tennis playing type of skirt with shorts underneath. I think she does this to womanize herself because her muscles? DUDE. They are enormous. I would not want to cross her in a dark alley. I know this is awful, but she often goes to the individual restroom area instead of the woman's restrooms in the locker room and yesterday I wondered if maybe she was a dude? I know, I'm going to hell for thinking that.
  • The lady who's severely overweight. There are a few of them that I've seen and those ladies kick ass. I am so proud when I see someone get out there and do what they need to do. Props to them.
  • And lastly, the older man. There is this guy who I've seen a few times. He's probably around 65 or so and let me tell you, he inspires me every time I see him. I once used a weight machine right after he did and I was quite impressed to see that he had the weight at over 100 pounds while I could only use the machine with 15 pounds.

I'm aware that someone at my gym has probably judged me. Chances are they judged me yesterday when I forgot to wipe down a machine that I sweated all over. And they probably judged me for blaring a Miley Cyrus song in my mp3 player. And I bet a few times I've been judged for not double checking my deodorant. It's all in good fun, though. At least for me, it is.


Story Time, part 2 : How I know there are angels...

When I was 18 my great-grandma passed away. She was ill for some time and it was not unexpected. Sad, but not unexpected. She lived a long, full life that I'm still learning about to this day. Unfortunately I don't have many memories of her and even less of her husband, my great-grandpa who had died when I even younger. I think that the following story will prove that I now have a memory of both of them that will last forever.

My mom and I were asked if we'd like to sing a particular song (which I can't remember the name of) at the funeral service. Of course, we said, we'd do it. My mom and I both are singers. No formal training to speak of, but we both love to sing and I think we both choke up when we have to sing in front of people. But this was different, we were honoring a lovely woman that deserved to be honored like a queen.

On our 12 hour drive to Missouri (where a lot of my family is) my mom and I practiced the song over and over and over again. We wanted the song to be just perfect. The only problem was that neither of us could nail an extreme note change. The song switches from really low notes to a really high note and it was impossible for us to get right. We sounded like drowning rats, it was awful. We had some good laughs about how we didn't think great-grandma would be impressed if we sang horribly at her funeral but we honestly just couldn't manage to make the note change sound decent. We decided that we would do the best we could and hope that no one would pay much attention.

My mom had forewarned me that during our singing she might not make it through because of the understandable amount of emotion, but that I would have to keep going. No pressure, right?

We finally arrived in Missouri and to the church where the funeral service was being held. Family members from near and far converged on this church. Friends and church family of my great-grandma came to show their respect. All tolled I'd guess there were around 75 people that came. So much for no one paying attention to my mom and I singing. I was a nervous wreck. I wanted to nail this song so much for my great-grandma. She deserved it and I just couldn't let her down.

The service started and it was a typical funeral with Bible readings and songs and talking about my great-grandma. As every minute tick-tocked by it was that much closer that my mom and I would be standing in front of these people singing our hearts out.

Soon, the minutes expired and it was our time to sing the much practiced song. We started out singing, both of us, and we did very well if I do say so myself. We had practiced enough to get the song just perfect, except that one note change that was coming up. About mid way through the song my mom stepped back and couldn't sing anymore. I had remembered that I needed to carry on and so I did. But that note change was coming up and I couldn't camouflage one voice if I messed up the song like I had done the hundred times previously.

One verse before that dreaded note change a man started singing along with me. His voice was loud and crisp and clear and beautiful. It was almost like he was singing into another microphone and I could hear his voice all around me. I relaxed some and kept on singing with him. I scanned the crowd in front of me looking for the man who was singing. Not one person was singing along with me. I glanced at the minister who was just a few feet away from me and he wasn't singing, either. I even looked to see if the organist, a woman, was singing. She wasn't singing either. Oh well, I thought, I'm sure it's someone in the crowd and I just can't see them.

The realization soon came that the difficult part of the song was coming up. Utter dread is what filled me. But when the note change came I got it! For the first time since I'd sang that song I got the awful note change and it sounded great. I couldn't believe it, I just knew I was going to make a total mess out of this lovely song.

The man and I finished the song, together.

After the service was over everyone went down a flight of stairs to the basement that was used for gatherings. We shared a meal and talked and remembered moments in my great-grandma's life. During the meal I asked my mom if she saw the man who was singing. She looked confused and said that she never did hear anyone singing except me. This was odd to me because she was standing less than 5 feet away from me, she had to have heard this man. I asked other family members, the minister and the organist and not one single person heard the man singing. One of my aunt's joked that maybe it was great-grandpa, although he couldn't sing at all. We decided that it must have be great-grandpa and that he acquired a singing voice while in heaven and he was just coming to help me out and to honor his wife at the same time.

I never did find one person that heard the man. And to this day I can still remember the sound of the man's voice and how loud and all encompassing it was. His voice surrounded me, physically and emotionally. He helped me make that note change and I just know it wasn't an earthly being that did it. No logical explanation could explain my angel that helped me sing that day.

I think I honored my great-grandma and someone honored me by helping me sing that song. My angel helped me. Wherever he is...


He's still my baby.

Eric and I took Jackson for his first haircut today. I hated to do it, but the poor kid was being poked in the eyeballs with the ends of his bangs unless we swept his bangs to the side which would stay put for all of 9 seconds.

My kiddo has a little mound of curls smack dab on the back of his head and I just can't bear to part with them so when the 'stylist' asked if I wanted to cut the curls off I think I may have yelled a little too loudly when I told her absolutely not. I may have also given her the evil eye for even suggesting that we rid my precious baby of his curls.

He did excellent and sat still for the most part. Which is more than I can say for the neighboring kid who was about the same age and getting his hair cut for the first time, too. Even watching Dora The Explorer on the tv wouldn't calm that kid down. My kid, though? Mesmerized by the tv. He's going to grow up to be a well rounded DVR-using adult. He's making me proud.

Did you guys know that now when you take your kid to get his/her first haircut that some places try to sell you baby hair gel? I wish I was kidding. Here's my thought, I love my kid and I want him to have fabulous hair just like the next kid but he still picks his nose and eats it. So, yea, I have no intention of buying $10 baby hair gel.

My baby is growing up so so fast. It's sad and exciting and nerve-wracking and lovely all rolled into one. You did good, baby. Momma loves you.