Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wordless Wednesdays - But They're Cousins...

...(not so) Identical Cousins

Love & Shipoopies,

Monday, June 28, 2010

Oh Where Oh Where Has Our Leslie Gone...

I really never intended to disappear.

Not even for a day, much less a week!!!

Life, my friends, has just gotten the best of me lately. I have truly been overwhelmed at times, and just busy living life (and away from my computer) at others. Since last Monday, I worked a lot, ran a ton of errands, drove late-night from north of the ATL to central Alabama to my parents' place, sang at a hometown festival, visited with loads of people (but mostly my brother, sister in law, and darling niece), and then began preparing (and stressing) to take my mother and father to the hospital for her to have surgery. For the most part in those situations, I can compartmentalize the worry and stress and focus on the to do lists and planning. (I get THAT from my mother.) However, during prayer in church Sunday and again a couple of times with no lists to be done while AT the hospital, my heart, spirit, and brain got active (as opposed to my hands) and the Daddy in me would come out. I'd start on the "what ifs" and quickly pray that none of them happened. Tears would start and I'd have to quickly divert myself to a TASK!!!

Surgery went well. She's doing fine and will hopefully be coming home tomorrow.

Big sigh of relief.

I assure you I did NOT cry most of the way home from the hospital tonight (about an hour) when I could finally let myself absorb and release all the stress I had been hiding from myself! (Well, maybe that's a lie.) Shew - If you REALLY need to, you can deny a pretty good amount of worry and stress. Just beware because eventually, it WILL surface. :)

I decided as I pulled off the interstate in my hometown (not my current abode) that a homemade ice cream, fresh peaches kind of peach milkshake from a local market was necessary to soothe my soul. Diet be darned! I've been doing pretty well - saving points, using food treats sparingly, learning to use things OTHER than food to cope with life, BUT if I'm thinking about my Mama in pain or life without her, ice cream is NEEDED.

Now the ice cream is finished; some laughs were had with my big brother and his sweet wife; tears of joy and silliness were experienced watching our 2 two year olds play together; checked in with Daddy (who is still at the hospital); and I'm eating some of the world's BEST boiled peanuts (hands-down. I swear.) while watching a great comedy re-run.

I'm always a little amazed at the end of a day that COULD have turned into something terribly traumatic, when life is simply back to normal. It takes no time for you to realize the world is actually still spinning and you're expected to hop back on it. And you CAN hop back on it. God has sustained me through one more day. He brought me loved ones to be with me and loved ones to take care of things for me in my absence. He showed me someone sitting in a surgery waiting room alone and made me, yet again, so very thankful for my enormous, rambunctious family, that I will never have to be alone in such a stressful situation. He sent a sweet aunt and cousin to help the day be fun for my sweet baby so I didn't have to worry at all about her. He gave me the joy of coming home after crying on the road to the hysterical laughter of T and Carly-boo playing together in the bath. He surrounded me with comfort all the day long - like a giant hug from him.

I am so grateful that he loves me enough to hear a prayer that goes something like, "I KNOW I'm supposed to pray for YOUR will and I truly want to, but since you know this anyway, you should know that I WANT your will to be what IIIIIIII want this time, please." :)

And can I just say that there is nothing I want more at the end of a stressful, exhausting, draining day, than to walk in and see my baby's eyes light up at the sight of me and her letting me hug her for as long as I want before putting her in her crib. The circle of Mommies and their babies...

On a MUCH lighter note, last Sunday, my little one was so scared of the swimming pool that she would only let ME hold her - not even her Daddy. She wanted to be as still and dry as possible and still call it swimming.

Then her same-aged cousin did the equivalent of a triple dog dare! Carly-bug got on her water wings and (at 20 months old) went down the big pool slide all by herself. T watched for a few and then said, "Mommy, I side?"

Our second day in the pool with Carly, with our new waterwings (a better fit and just like Carly's), I very quickly heard, "No, Mommy! LET GO!"

These two girls are gonna be funny through life - encouraging each other - in good ways AND bad I fear. :) tee-hee!

Love & Shipoopies,

Monday, June 21, 2010

Free 4 All Winner

I'm a day later than usual getting my winner up.

I apologize.

We were out of town...

out of state...

on a FABULOUS vacation!!!

Now, onto business!!! I used to generate a winner.

Those of you who regularly participate in my giveaways, I feel the need to say...


(Is anyone guessing who the winner's gonna be yet?)

That's right, folks! It's #14 -- STACEY from McCrakensX4!!!

That girl has apparently made a DEAL with!!!

Stacey, can you email me your address again, please? I think I have it, but after vacation, I'm not sure I remember where it is. :) haha!

Happy Monday, everyone! Back to normal blogging tomorrow!

Love & Shipoopies,

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Free 4 All Fridays - It's SUMMER!!!

Is it Summer where YOU live?

'Cause where WE live, it's in full-swing. We've broken out the swimsuits. We've reached the point where heat indexes are over 100 every single day. Our lows are now higher than winter highs. Heck, our lows are higher than my highest thermostat setting during the winter! IT.IS.SUMMER and IT.IS.HOT!!!

We've broken out our sandals (and put them on ourselves)!

If you live below the Mason-Dixon (oh yeah, we count ourselves differently when it comes to temperatures and humidity - for you yanks and Westerners that don't know), there's no denying Summer once it's here. (And I ASSURE you that it's LONG before the first official day of summer.) Might as well embrace it, love it, and enjoy it (with an ice cold drink, sunscreen, some shade, and a fan of course)!

In that vein, I thought I'd help one of you ladies (or guys?) embrace the Summer that's upon us!


There's a straw handbag (lined in some cute pink fabric), a cute pink cooler-bag, a fabulous pink sunhat, a cool water bottle (with a freezable center so your drink stays cooler longer) and (because, as anyone who knows me will tell you, I am a bit of a sun-safety FREAK) my favorite non-greasy sunscreen!

If that doesn't get you ready to deal with the heat, I don't know what will!

So how can YOU win these wonderful gifts?

1.) Leave me a comment telling me your favorite Summer activities.

2.) Follow me and leave me a comment telling me you do.

3.) Go visit Mimi at He & Me + 3 and leave me a comment telling me you did.

4.) Blog about my giveaway and leave me a comment telling me you did.

5.) Promise me in a comment you'll wear sunscreen during at least ONE outdoor activity this weekend. (I wasn't kidding when I said I was a sun-safety freak!)

Love, Shipoopies, & LUCK!


On the Road Again... Well, for the first time, really.

That's right, folks! We're actually GOING on vacation! (Not just from my blog because my internet's been out for days on end, but actually visiting something other than my couch!)

HOWEVER, thanks to my beautiful iPhone, that doesn't mean that I'll be absent for tomorrow's Free 4 All Friday (which is being held right HERE!). Never you fear, bloggy-friends (and Mimi)! I'll have the post ready to go before I leave my house so all I have to do is hit "publish" to get this great prize out there... and this one's a GREAT ONE!!! Hint: This one's ALL FOR MOM!!!

Are you jittery with excitement? Mouth watering?

You should be!

Love & Shipoopies,


Wordless Wednesdays - CLASSY!!!

(You KNOW my Wordless Wednesdays are NEVER wordless!)
*Pardon the fuzziness. This was captured via my iPhone and 2 year olds are NOT still. Still worth posting.*
Tucker is starting to *ahem* DRESS *ahem* herself. :)

Love & Shipoopies,

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

When did this HAPPEN?!?

I was watching Tucker play this morning. She played pretend with her car, showing me "the mommy". She climbed OVER her Lego table on her belly with her bear in her mouth, rolling off the other side to immediately plop in front of her "computer" to name some animals for me.

That's when it hit me.


I mean, it wasn't YESTERDAY when she was born or anything (although, let's be honest moms, each time I sneeze, I feel it might as well have been yesterday).
But I swear that yesterday, she was still a baby! I don't mean a teensie-weensie, depends on you for every single need kind of baby. (I'm not in COMPLETE denial.) But she was still a baby. She was using a word here and there. She still had food restrictions based solely on age. She got confused by playing pretend. She was unsteady on her feet.
But today, she's talking pretty much exclusively in sentences. She's using her imagination regularly. She's tried peanuts. She's climbing over stuff and not busting it!
She's a full-fledged kid.
I'm a little sad here and there about her growing up, but mostly I'm delighted a thousand times a day by something new, bright, or funny that she does. I am delighted by how intelligent she is, how curious she is, how adventurous she is, and how independent she is... well, ALMOST always.
Love & Shipoopies,

Monday, June 14, 2010

Meme Monday - "Be Nice, Thunder!"

We've discovered over the past few weeks, through several summer thunderstorms, that Tucker is pretty scared of thunder. We've talked her down from sheer panic into merely extreme trepidation. She questions us about it regularly through each storm and for a bit after each one. (She also woke up crying about an hour after going to sleep last night - a rarity - and the first words out of her mouth were asking about the thunder. Poor thing.)

It got me to thinking about fears. We all have them - and they're all different. I, personally, am not scared of thunder. Tucker's fear, however, is very real to her.

What are YOUR fears or the fears of your kids and how do you deal with them?

Love & Shipoopies,

Friday, June 11, 2010

Terrific Two!

Sometimes, a mommy just HAS to show off. Today's my day! :)

*Please feel free to stop watching this one around the 1 minute mark. We were trying to get her to sing "Brother John", which she knows, but she wasn't having it today.

Couldn't you just EAT HER UP?!? Oh how I love her!

Love & Shipoopies,

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I'm sorry, WHAT?!?

I'm curious.

Does anyone else watch commercials with a "what's the hidden catch that they are hiding in their specific language" eye?

I mean things like when you hear (or see at a store) "$5 and up" (intended to draw you to all of the amazing stuff for $5), do you think, "Ya know, a $5000 piece of merchandise fits that qualification just as easily as a $5 item"?

I do. I'm constantly finding language that was intentionally developed to trick people into the AMAZEMENT that is their sale/product/service, when what they're telling you really isn't worth a hill of beans.

Here's my latest favorite. (And I love it so much that I might have mentioned it before. I'm not sure.)

HD Vision Sunglasses - sunglasses that give you HD QUALITY when you look at the world.


It's your EYES, people!

High definition was developed for our televisions and other viewing apparatuses to help what we watch there look more like REAL LIFE. When you're using your EYES to look at your REAL LIFE, it's already high definition, unless you have vision problems. And if that's the case, these glasses aren't going to fix those.

Seriously!!! People, use your BRAINS!!!

I especially love the guy who, upon trying on the amazing HD glasses, says, "They're amazing. I can see the sky, that cloud, the ocean. It's so clear. They're really just amazing."



What are YOUR favorite advertising claims?

Love & Shipoopies,

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

This weekend, our dear one turned TWO. We had a "Fun in the Sun" party and it was MUCH fun (and much sun, thankfully). We had sprinklers and a moon-bounce (on loan from my step-sister-in-law), barbecue chicken with all the fixin's, and Nana (my mom plus her impromptu helper, James, one of our neighbors/friends) put on a pretty fabulous bubble show with some BIG bubbles. Now, the day DID include our besties leaving town the day before to witness the arrival of their first REAL niece (as Tucker is only play-pretend niece), two of our 2 year olds (including Tucker) getting eyes FULL of bubbles, and the birthday girl vomiting on me (all OVER me to be more precise) in the middle of the kitchen during the party. It wasn't the BEAMING success I always plan for, but it was lots of fun, filled with lots of love, and we ended the day with a smile and laughter!

*Hats off to our dear Carly Marie (one of our flower girls many years ago) for these AMAZING cupcakes!*

We practiced and practiced blowing-out that candle. She did it willingly and perfectly every single time! But once there were 30 some-0dd people WATCHING her, she wasn't the LEAST BIT interested in attempting it. :)

She WAS, however, quite interested in the juice boxes. (She NEVER has undiluted juice, so I figure all that sweetness might have contributed to the sickness - that and the likelihood of ingested bubbles. Not winning "Mommy of the Year" for either of those, but...)

This borrowed bouncy was a HIT, I tell you! Thanks, Uncle Torey, Aunt Hailey, and Aiden for letting us use it (and Paw and Nona for bringing it to us)!

The sprinklers were a source of many a squeal (as I always remember them being from my own childhood)!

The poor girl was worn OUT by the end of present-opening. (I'm sure the tearful bubble eyes and throwing up contributed quite a bit to this - as did the delightedly watching the older kids run about the whole party.) :)

So we said goodbye to our guests half-asleep on Mommy's shoulder. :) (Which was JUST FINE with me. tee-hee!)
On Sunday morning, her ACTUAL birthday (and BACK in this outfit, not STILL in it I swear!), the balloons were only half-floating, putting them at the perfect height for a little punching practice for Tucker. Boy did she have fun!!!

Happy birthday to our sweet little booger bear! We love you so very much!
Love & Shipoopies,
Mommy and Daddy

Day by Day

5 minutes after starting my first call at work, suddenly both computers (if only you could see how ridiculous my desk is with 2 computers going and my working on both simulaneously) click off anything internet-driven. Internet DOWN!!!

I call my work partner to let her know and ask her to tell the boss, then I dial a local technician for my particular internet brand who happened to give me his card for "any future problems". He walks me through a few steps/questions and decides that it is most likely a local outtage and gives me the number to call to find out for sure if that's the problem.

I call. I work my way through the menus until I get a person ("Jane" who is obviously from India). After verifying my account and greetings, I tell her that I have already spoken with a local AT&T technician and he says that it sounds most like a local outtage. She says she will check that, checks it and says that no, my line is coming into my house just fine, so it's a problem with me, my computer, my line, etc.

Jane: "Let's try X."

Me: "Ok. (try X) It's saying Error ABC."

Jane: "Ok. Delete the X we did previously."

Me: "Ok."

Jane: "Ok. Now, do X again."

Me: "Without making any other changes? Just repeat the exact same thing?"

Jane: "Yes."

This goes on for SIX repeats of the exact same process with NO CHANGES made - and amazingly no change in results over the course of the next hour and 20 minutes. Then Jane finally decides to call a supervisor who, after keeping me on hold for about 15 minutes, informs her (who informs me) that SURPRISE!!! There's a local outtage. Then I spent ANOTHER 20 minutes on hold while they determined an ETA for the fix. When she returned, the determination was that they didn't have an ETA for the fix. (Glad I waited 20 minutes for that.)

No internet. (Day TWO with no work, thus no pay.) Three equally irritating and frustrating calls with equally clueless AT&T reps to be told new ETAs (each moving farther into the future) and that they have no information in India (dur) about why we're having an outtage here in my little town in Georgia.

Friday: Internet is FINALLY back up! I worked a day (begrudgingly doing the work after my impromptu vaca, but glad for the paycheck renewal and the not losing my job for internet outtages thing - ha!)

Saturday: Internet is back out. ETA for the fix? 10am the next day.

Sunday: Internet is still out. ETA for the fix? 4pm.

4pm - Internet is still out. ETA for the fix? 9am Monday.

9am - Internet is still out. ETA for the fix? 4pm

I call back. I get another random person and go through the basic info and then begin, "Ma'am, I understand that this problem is in NO way your fault and you have nothing to do with the speed at which it is resolved, BUT... YOU are the person they will let me speak to so I am going to express my frustration to you." And then I continued to do so. At which point I got, "Ma'am, if you can hold please for just 2-3 minutes, I am going to transfer you to my supervisor. I apologize for the troubles you've had." (How did the previous 4 times I vented this same mounting frustration not warrant the same response?)

Once I spoke to the manager, "Ian" (still in the Indian-based tech room here), I was told he was researching "the REAL reason for the outtage" and "the REAL ETA for the fix" and would call me back in 20-30 minutes. (This "REAL" info is as opposed to the lie they feed people who call in and don't complain loud enough or in the correct terms about the outtage, I suppose.)

The REAL problem is the same as the lie and the ETA is the same as I've previously been given. 4pm.

4pm - Nope. Still not up. (Please note this equals THREE non-working days for me, thus THREE days off of my paycheck.)

Blah, blah, blah. Yada, yada, yada. Another irritating conversation with "Ian's co-manager, Andy"...and I took my computer to our besties' (and two-street-away-neighbors') house and set it all up there so I wouldn't have to miss another day of work.

Of course, when I woke up and was getting ready to head over there, I checked and the internet was back up, so I went and got my stuff and reset it all here.

Now my iPhone has stopped responding to touch (and since it's a touch pad phone, this renders it completely useless). Super!

All of this is to say, "I AM SO SORRY FOR DISAPPEARING FOR MORE THAN A WEEK WITH NO NOTICE!!!" I have had withdrawls from writing and reading all my blogs!!!

More to come before the day is over.

Some of the ingredients: my parents, a new baby (NOT mine), toddler eyes (4 total) full of bubbles, projectile vomiting, and a birthday!!!

Love & Shipoopies,