Monthly Archives: September 2012

Whatever Wednesday- dreams and writing them down

I often tell the story of when I was dating and how I kept running into Mr. Wrong. I was tired of wasting everyone’s time, especially my own from boredom and wishing I was with Sydney and on a stupid date. What did I want in a guy? What made Mr. Right? So, I wrote it down. Not six months after that, I met the epitome of my list. We dated five months and I realized I needed to update my list, and seriously reevaluate my wants in a man. Six months after that, I met Jeff. So, when I want something badly that is important to me, I write it down. I’m a huge believer in the power of your words. Spoken word is powerful, but so is the written word. Because of this, I am desperately trying to say only positive and uplifting things. It takes practice and all of my skills were put to the test while dealing with a full out tween meltdown yesterday. It was like something out of a horror movie, but for the first time, I didn’t lose it. We are human, and sometimes the best we can do is try again next time. I didn’t have to do that. I was able to live up to my expectations of staying calm, positive, loving, and comforting. I was still firm, but I wasn’t psycho mommy. Man, sometimes they push my buttons. Not this time!

Wow- I digressed badly. Today is about me writing out what I want. First, let me say how grateful I am for three healthy children, a husband who does 80 loads of laundry a day, and precious Reno Bean. Beans, glorious Beans, my favorite Wee-ner (dog). Everyone in my home has a song. That is one good thing I have from my childhood. Again, bad digression! There are things I want, like my swimming pool equipment updated, pool resurfaced and crack filled with epoxy, tiles replaced, and deck sprayed with a substance that makes it bearable in the 150 degree Texas summer. I want to pull down the awful wallpaper in my downstairs bathrooms and paint. I want to paint the downstairs bedrooms. I want a new dishwasher and the electrical fixed over my stove so I can get a new built in microwave. I want my outside refrigerator to be my inside one, or get a new inside one that has working ice and water dispensers. I’d like a sleep number bed or Temperpedic. I want wood floors in my dining room and dining room furniture, namely chairs for the table we have in there. I want a new vehicle for Jeff. I want to clothes shop for the kids and me without restraint. I’d like to buy all organic and minimally processed foods. I want only grass fed beef and free range chicken. That is the STUFF that I want. Oh yeah, and a mommy makeover. The plastic surgery kind, not a trip to the Lancome counter at Macy’s.

Here is the intangible- I want to get Making Whoopie up and running. I have started my business plan, looking at the cost of rent, remodeling a leased space, food costs, taxes, permits, marketing, etc. I am looking at other business’s numbers to include in my business plan. I’m looking at start up grants and how to get investors. I’ve gotten my tax ID, assumed name certificate and resale certificate when I buy supplies. I just need to sit down and put it all together. We will do this! I know a few restaurant owners and want to talk to them about how they started up. I am also applying to Cupcake Wars, so maybe I’ll get a boost there. That scares me, but it is time to go to the next level. I know I won’t make millions, initially, but I want a shop different and diverse enough to make a comfortable living while spending more time with my children and husband.

I want to be a Certified Bradley Birth teacher, too. I want to teach natural child birth classes and would love for Jeff to be involved to give the male perspective. He can tell the dads about the consequences of texting during labor without muting the phone. He can tell them how to deal with someone who cries over Budweiser commercials and Hallmark cards. I think since he’s such a guy’s guy, he’d be a perfect partner and would really appeal to the dad dudes. I’ve wanted to do this for awhile, but it is pretty expensive to get certified. It is also a bit of a time commitment to get certified and student teach. Aren’t three unmedicated births to babies almost nine and ten pounds each enough qualification? And, I didn’t drown Jeff’s phone or throw it when he was texting like a teenager. That should be a qualifying factor, in itself. I am so passionate about my birthing experiences, that I want to share that with others who are interested. I know it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but for those interested, I want to be a part of the process. I am sad to think that I’ve had my last baby. But, I’d love to be involved with other families planning their births. Not sure if I could be a doula, but I can teach and share my experiences all day long. My biggest accomplishments are my three natural child births. I am very proud of my big babies, and how Jeff delivered Easton. Unfortunately Q was a little trickier, but that is a story for another day. When my two dreams collide, I will teach classes at Making Whoopie, in the evenings. We also host tea-party themed baby showers, and birthday parties. I am full service!

Jeff and I are truly blessed, please don’t think I am complaining or being a brat. I am simply writing what I want in my perfect world. What do you want? What stuff would enhance your life? What are your life goals? How are you going to get there? I am going to keep doing the little things, like working on a business plan and trying new recipes, until I get where I want to be. And, I’m going to keep writing it down and sharing my dreams. In the mean time, I am going to count my blessing and be thankful for what I do have.

My Daily Prayer: Dear God, please touch our current leaders and our future ones. Please guide them as to how to run our country. Please give them wisdom, patience, tolerance and courage to do what is right and not what is politically correct. AMEN!

Daily Thanksgiving: I am thankful Jeff does 80 loads of laundry a day.

When I have Kardashian Kash: Making Whoopie will go global!

Making Whoopie Flavor of the Day: Pumpkin- it is that time of year! Keep an eye out for our seasonal pumpkin flavors on our website.


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Tuesday Book (and more) Club- Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

We’re well into our second week of following the directions of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and I have three happy children. Well, my oldest had a meltdown yesterday, but overall they are better rested and on a pretty strict schedule. This book not only changed the sleeping habits of the baby, but for all of us. Jeff still goes to bed too late, but he’s had over 40 years of little sleep. No changing him now!

I refused to let my baby cry it out. But, after reading this book I thought I’d give it a shot. It is not his only option, but I have tried everything else and we’ve established some bad habits that need to be broken “cold turkey”. Nothing else worked and I had two other poor sleepers. Apparently, I am not doing something right. I really thought I had children who didn’t need as much sleep as all of the books said. After all, we’re all different, right? Not when it comes to sleep. Kids and babies need way more than eight hours a night. They need at least ten-twelve. There’s a reason teens sleep until noon! And if I had it my way, I’d get ten-twelve hours, myself. I barely have time for seven-eight most nights.

Baby Q now takes a regular 9AM(ish) nap each day and another one around 1PM. They’ve gone from maybe thirty minutes to at least an hour, if not two. I then put her down for the night between six and seven depending on after school activities and if she’s falling asleep in her high chair at dinner. She cries for five minutes and rolls around for another couple and then flips onto her belly and goes to sleep. That part was really easy to establish. The hard part is not going in there when she wakes up. We’re teaching her to soothe herself and go back to sleep. Furthermore, we’re teaching her that it is bed time and not time for Mommy and Daddy to come in there. This is the hard part! She is doing really well with the early wakings. She fusses for a few minutes and goes back to sleep. The hard one is in the middle of the night. Is she hungry or just in a bad habit of waking up? We try to give her a bottle if it has been four or five hours since dinner, then we let her cry if she wakes up again. The first night she cried an hour, forty-five minutes the second night and I have no clue about last night. I am getting used to her waking up and I’m not as disturbed by it. I am extremely sensitive to my children, but there are some things that I need to let them figure out on their own. Good sleep habits are one. We’re getting better every day.

Easton began to wake two to three times a night and crawl into bed with us. After reading this book, I realized he needs an earlier bedtime. I cannot tell you how convenient it is to just put him in my bed and let him watch Disney Junior until I can get the kitchen cleaned, lunches made, house picked up, etc. Jeff is busy doing the daily 80 loads of laundry and we’re both dealing with Syd trying to help her with homework or keep her on track with chores and homework. But, we decided that the family getting more sleep needs to be a priority and we have pretty much stayed on track with the boy. The girls are a little tougher. He only wakes up if he has to potty. He just doesn’t realize that’s why. That is a whole different self-help book series! Now, when his one show is over, he comes and finds me to tell me it’s bedtime. Before he’d cry and beg for one more show. Not even two weeks and we’ve changed our nighttime routine. Sweet Bud is so easily adaptable.

Then there’s the Sydster. She told me that she’s actually falling asleep within thirty minutes of her 8:30 bedtime. She says that she doesn’t feel like she’s falling asleep in class, and her headaches and stomach aches are gone. I am enforcing this even on the weekends until we can really establish a good routine. It will take longer to undo the years or bad sleep habits, but I cannot wait to see how this changes her moods and meltdowns. Mondays are tricky. She has choir and doesn’t get home until 9:15. This week I had her do her homework, shower and all of her chores so that when she got home all she’d have to do is brush her teeth and get into bed. Well, that didn’t happen and it was probably closer to 9:30-9:45. Yes, that is only an hour, one time, but with years of bad sleep habits we need consistency. She does not handle change very well. She is not one to just go with the flow. By the following Wednesday, we had a major meltdown, complete with tears, and complaints of not falling asleep easily. I put her to bed at 7:30 to get caught up and reestablish our pattern. Next Tuesday, I’ll just put her in bed at 7:30 to make sure this doesn’t happen again. She is going to grandma’s this weekend, so we’ll probably spend the week undoing all of the fun. I think we can, I think we can, I think we can. Sunday will be an extra early night. Sorry to force something so uncool upon my girl, but it’s better than her melting down in public! Meltdowns are not cool at all.

I highly urge all parents to read this book. It talks about ADHD and how it may be related to sleep. There are so many things related to sleep and this book covers most scenarios. It is good for babies and big kids. I found it on Amazon for like $4 after shipping. I will gladly lend my copy to anyone who has a tough child and wants to see if getting a better night’s sleep will help with his/her mood. Just putting the kids to bed 20 minutes earlier help most kids fall asleep easier, quicker and sleep longer and better. I moved my bedtimes up a full hour and it has been awesome. The only downfall, which is a big one, is that I only get a few hours a night with my kids. And, Jeff doesn’t get to see the baby at all on the nights he works at STAGE. But, the days when he’s home with her, she’s well rested and a super happy girl. It is so worth the trade off. Besides, one day we will be self employed and have more time with our children. This is just temporary!

My Daily Prayer: God, please walk us down Your path, gently guiding if we get off course. Please open our eyes, ears and hearts to You. I pray that I see where You are leading and not get off track onto my own path. Your path is much easier and fulfilling! AMEN!

Daily Thanksgiving: I am thankful for an uninterrupted night of sleep or an uninterrupted nap of at least an hour, when I can catch one.

When I Have Kardashian Kash: I hate to admit this, but I probably won’t see mornings anymore. I’d rather stay up late and get up late, but who knows. I am not a fan of 5 AM, but it is a very quiet time of day and not hot.

Making Whoopie Flavor of the Day: Amish Paradise. Original chocolate cookies and vanilla crème filling. Get little QTs, Big Whoops or a Whoopie Cushion (birthday cake sized!). I’m hungry just thinking about them.

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Manic Monday- Waikiki Nail Spa

Thanks to one of my neighbors, I have started an incentive program with my older children in which they get marbles for doing chores, helping around the house without being asked, good grades and all sorts of good stuff. They lose some for talking back, tattling, screaming, not listening and not doing chores or moving slowly. Both Syd and Easton have filled their first jars and won a trip to get nails done, and a Spider Man web-shooter, respectfully.

Last Tuesday, Syd and I went to Waikiki Nail Spa for her marble prize. They have a weekday special where you can get a mani/pedi for $30 and kids under 12 are $25 plus they get a design on their big toe. I was also talked into a $10 brow wax. The lady tried talking me into a lip wax which really makes me paranoid. Last time I checked, there was nothing there. I keep asking Jeff, but he assures me I’m still ‘stache free. Please tell me if I’m in ‘stache denial. I will wax that mess off. Nothing like going to the salon for the ladies to point out my gray hairs and making me question facial hair. I do know I have gray hair, but come on man. No need to make a profit on my insecurities. Oh wait, that is how they make their living! Please just polish my toes and let me think I’m not bad for having three kids and being in my thirties. Don’t shatter my fragile self image, please! I will tip more if you make me feel beautiful, just ask Jeff.

So, for the money it was not bad. I messed up my toe as soon as I got home, but that was my fault. My mani lasted a few days, and I need to get it redone. Syd’s lasted about a day, but she is a very active kid. The salon was very clean, the staff friendly, and the foot rub was wonderful. Other than questioning my facial hair, it was a really great experience. I will go back, but maybe get a different lady who doesn’t think I need to be waxed.

My Daily Prayer: Dear God, please give me the wisdom to know how to raise my children and the strength and courage to use that wisdom. Thank you for giving me the perfect partner and parental balance to achieve Your way. Amen!

Daily Thanksgiving: I am thankful to see Sydney sing at the opening ceremony of the Texas State Fair on Friday with the Dallas Children’s Chorus! (Come see us!)

When I have Kardashian Kash- I will have someone iron the household’s clothes. That is one chore I don’t mind outsourcing!

Making Whoopie Flavor of the Day: Chocolate with salted caramel. MMMMM…salted caramel. Makes everything not just better, but improves the whole day. Yum!

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Family Friday- Bedtimes

What kind of sleep schedule is your family on? This is really new to me. I have always let my children stay up later so that I could get some quality time with them after homework and school. And, with so many activities and homework, it’s hard to go to bed at a normal hour. At the recommendation of a neighbor, I bought a book which I will review on Tuesday. Not only is it helping me to set a schedule for Baby Q, but I am learning about the needs of my older children that I didn’t know about.

My mother always says that my children don’t get enough sleep. Sydney has never been one to nap or go to bed early. She is emotional, but not one to meltdown due to being tired. When we went to Disney a few years back, she was able to go from park open to close with energy to spare. I thought she didn’t need much sleep. She only complains about stomach aches and headaches, something her doctor said was normal for her age. Turns out that is due to sleep deprivation. So, we now have an 8:30 bedtime. Yes, even on the weekends. She says she just lays in bed until ten, so why bother moving up the bedtime? I read that by moving it up, it will help the over tired child fall asleep easier. Last night was the first night she didn’t fight me on her new baby-like bed time, but I am waiting to ask her about her quality of sleep until this is well established.

On paper, this seemed very “duh”, but it is such a difficult change. Jeff doesn’t see the importance since I’m the one reading about the reasons, and Syd complains that she just lays there until ten or later. Easton was hard too because he wants one more show and doesn’t want to pee-pee before getting into bed. Well, after four or five days, last night I had no complaints! Easton was even in the middle of a show and didn’t argue. Sydney seems to fall asleep earlier. Q is going down without too long of crying, but that is still a work in progress.

I can’t wait to revisit this in a few months. Easton started waking in the middle of the night two and three times, which is what I read as an indicator of a too late of a bed time. I cannot tell you how nice it is to have an hour or two of quiet time in my home. I really enjoyed having my kids up and watching a show or reading, but I have and will have more quality time when we’re up. And, maybe this will help Sydney not be easily stressed, meltdown prone, and have so many aches and pains. I never noticed a problem when she was younger, but it is getting worse and worse. But, now I have a game plan! I am shocked that no doctor has mentioned the sleep factor. I am so thankful I read this book.

Now there’s sweet Baby Q. She’s never been a big napper, so we thought she was a junior Sydney. She slept through the night at two months old. She started waking up too much a few months ago, and Jeff and I still haven’t caught up on sleep. I am more of an attachment parenting type of person, but then quickly realized that I need her to have her own room and I need a little space. I guess I’m not the hippie that I thought I was. And, we’ve even started letting her cry it out. At first it was in 5-10 minute intervals, but now we put her in bed and let her go until she falls asleep. That may be the hardest thing I’ve ever done and against my every instinct. But guess what? She’s sleeping longer. Now, we’re trying to let her cry it out when she wakes up at night. Anyone who knows me know how I am a hard sleeper and how much I love my sleep. I was up listening to her cry for an hour. I went in half way through to see if I could soothe her, but think I undid the progress I had made. I really hope that this book is right and that after a few days it will start to pay off. I cannot take much more of this. Everything I have read has changed my mind about letting her cry and figure it out, but man oh man is it hard. I hate it. I am crying just thinking about it! But, if this works I may actually consider a fourth child if we can implement the sleep schedule from the beginning. May consider it, but don’t tell Jeff.

My Daily Prayer: Thank you God for hearing my prayers and providing me with answers in the form of books. Please give me the wisdom to be what my children need and to teach them the skills that will benefit their lives. Amen!

Daily Thanksgiving: I am thankful for a weekend nap, when I can catch one.

When I Have Kardashian Kash: I will buy all of the children at the Balloon Festival, State Fair, etc, unlimited play/ride bracelets so that they may experience what is magical in childhood.

Making Whoopie Flavor of the Day: Red Velvet- no Red Dye 40 here and it is still delish and quite red!

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Thankful Thursday- Chores

I am thankful that my three year old is such a neat freak. I’d be royally screwed if he weren’t. He is all about doing it himself right now, and most of the time that is super helpful. When it is faster for me to do it for him, annoying, but most of the time it is a Godsend. I am super thankful for two kids that can do most things for themselves, and help me out when I am stuck changing a diaper, bathing the baby or anything else where I can’t turn my back for a second.

Easton picks up the living room every evening before we eat. He can’t help himself. He starts shaking if things are messy. He FREAKS out if Q grabs something of his because he doesn’t want her to slobber on it. The drool makes him nuts. And he doesn’t like that she can’t pick up after herself when she goes into his room. He’d rather they all play in the play room or in the living room. That doesn’t cause as much distress.

Syd is driven crazy that Easton doesn’t have any real chores. But he’s three! And, he has a daily to-do list. His list includes brushing his teeth, getting dressed, making his bed, picking up, feeding the dog, and not screaming. He generally puts up the silverware when she’s unloading the dishwasher. I’m not sure what else she wants. Syd’s chore list includes the same as Easton’s, but instead of screaming it’s crying, then there’s homework, make lunch, and has a weekly chore list of emptying dishwasher, pick up dog poo, empty recycle bin, clean glass tables, fold her clothes and clean her bathroom. Most days, she only has one big chore to do. Left up to her she’d do them all on Saturday and get nothing else done. She thinks she has a lot to do. And it’s not nothing. I want her to know how to do these things when she is working, in college, married and so on. I can’t tell you how many of my friends, myself included in some of this, don’t know how to organize, never make their beds and had to learn how to do laundry in college. I’m lucky to be married to a neat freak. Maybe that’s where Ebro gets it.

What chores do your children do? What did you do as a kid? Remember that the more you comment the more chance you have to win an I Heart Making Whoopie bumper sticker. We will be choosing a random commenter this week!

As a child I cleaned my room when I was told to, I made dinner when I was hungry if no one was home, made my own lunch and breakfast, folded towels or family’s clothes when I was told to, cleaned the kitchen when I was told to, and didn’t have anything super consistent. Sometimes I had a ton of chores, sometimes none. Sometimes my parents got mad that I didn’t do anything, other times things were fine. I had no clue what to do. I vacuumed pretty regularly and cleaned the kitchen every night, come to think of it. I don’t want Syd to have inconsistent rules or not know what the expectations are. I want her to know right now that leaving a trail throughout the house is no bueno. Leaving clothes on the floor or wet towels on the bed- nope! They have a place. I don’t want her to be shocked when I expect that from her at 19. She needs to know now. And same with Easton and Baby Q. They will have the same expectations. And if they want to give their allowances to each other to do the other’s chores, go for it. I don’t care- here is what you are supposed to do, just get it done without me having to remind you. It gets better and better every day, but sometimes I wonder why they don’t think they have to do anything to help out.

My Daily Prayer: God, please touch those in authority and give them guidance. Lead them down Your path and help them make good decisions. AMEN!

Daily Thanksgiving: I am thankful for my mini neat freak and my mini me.

When I Have Kardashian Kash: Right now I’m disgusted at the price of high fashion. I wonder if I’ll still feel that way. I’m okay spending a some money on shoes, when I have it, but thousands for a piece of clothing or purse seems redonkulous. I can’t wait to see if I still feel that way.

Making Whoopie Flavor of the Day: Java Lana Chip Whoopies- Chocolate cookie/cakes filled with a Starbucks inspired filling.


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Whatever Wednesday- Sixth Grade Sydster

My Sydster is pretty innocent and sweet, still. I am not naive, I know my kid. She has not thought about boys much and aside from the occasional tween ‘tude, she’s pretty awesome. Fifth grade was challenging for us because her whole world got turned upside down: new baby sister, new house, new school, new everything. Once the second half of the year picked up and choir got busy, she did better. She needs a challenge. But, we survived the huge year of change.

And now we have another change. Middle school! OMG. I was a little nervous for my scattered girl to have to change classes and go to three different lockers. Don’t get me wrong, I really think kids need to be thrown out there and figure some stuff out themselves. Well, she did. She’s in honors math, PACE (Plano’s version of Gifted and Talented) and the highest choir in Dallas Children’s Chorus. This year is all about challenge. And you know what? Her backpack is still organized! That is a miracle. She’s not be late to any classes. She’s gotten 100’s on everything (I get daily emails from the Parent Portal!). The girl is kicking 6th grade’s hiney. I am so excited for her. We’ve had very few meltdowns, and none were school related. This is an AWESOME year so far. By far, this is the best start to any school year we’ve had!

And then there’s the boy. Yes, the boy. My sweet, innocent Sydster is sitting in advisory and at lunch with a boy. They walk the halls together, they hang out and wait to be picked up together. He’s invited her to a movie. The whole nine yards. And, he’s a cute boy who plays football. He’s not some band nerd or weirdo. So Jeff’s freaking out a little. I’m slightly amused because it is so out of character for her, but confused as to what is appropriate for an eleven year old. I’ve asked her not to name the relationship, and to just enjoy him as a friend.

When I was eleven I was not at a happy place in my life. I was a year away from moving with my dad, so my home life was probably not at a high point. I remember thinking boys were cute and talking to them on the phone, but not having anything reciprocated because I was trying to get outside attention too hard. So I am not a good barometer. I don’t know what is normal. Jeff tells me about what boys do at that age and part of me wants to smack him for exaggerating and the other part makes me want to lock my child up until I can arrange for her marriage at 36.

What is appropriate? I will not allow her to go to the movies alone. I’d go with. But, even better, I was thinking we have him over to our house and Jeff sit on one side and I sit on the other while they watch a rented movie. What would you do? What is your tween and teen experience? I remember being a teen, but I really hope that I am providing my daughter a well balanced home, and lots of love. She has lots of healthy male figures in her life. She has outside interests. I believe I am doing all that I can.

There’s incentive to replying to this post with your two cents! This week we’re giving away an I Heart Making Whoopie bumper sticker. The more you comment in our posts, the more chance you have to win. Good luck!

My Daily Prayer: Dear God, please help me to be the parent You want me to be. Please guide me to giving my children everything they need. Please open my eyes, ears and heart to them and to You! AMEN!

Daily Thanksgiving: I am thankful for a consistent schedule in which I can spend time with my children.

When I have Kardashian Kash: I will run background checks on all of the boy’s in my girls’ lives and probably have private detectives keep an eye out on them. For their own good. For my peace of mind. And I’ll have a ninja on call to stop anything before it can start. Yeah. Ninja.

Making Whoopie Flavor of the Day: Banana and Salted Caramel Cupcakes. Need I say more?


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Tuesday Book (and more) Club- Left Behind

I am still reading the Left Behind series. I think I am on the second to last book. I should be done, but life kicks in and with three kids, I don’t read as fast or as much as I’d like. I do read almost daily, but now that I have to be at work at 6:30 bedtime is going to come a lot earlier. But, with football here, I can read while Jeff watches the games, all of them, on every TV in the house. I am just not excited this year. I actually got upset that he was listening to a Boston College and Miami game on the radio. I usually don’t care. Maybe I have been pushed over my sports limits.

This is a neat series. It takes the book of Revelation and applies it to modern times (1990’s). It tells the stories of modern day plagues, what the antichrist may be like, natural disasters, the Rapture, etc. It is based on one of the creators’ Biblical studies and Revelation expertise. The other creator is the actual author. The two work together to create the story based on Biblical premises. It is such a great idea, and I’d be terrified of offending someone who didn’t agree. But, it is fiction, and it is a great story line.

My only complaint about the story is that even though some of the characters make mistakes, they are still goody-two-shoes once they get saved. That is great and all, but I want to see more of their human side. This book does a great job of showing some of the impulsive natures that humans can have. In some of the earlier ones, though, it was all I could do not to roll my eyes when everyone happened to be ultra virtuous before they were married. Yes, that is what you are supposed to do, but this is apocalyptic times! These people are new in their faith, and don’t have the self discipline yet. Or shouldn’t.

That is pretty much my only beef. My other one would be to make the evil one more evil, and not such a character. The writer does an excellent job of killing off major characters that the reader cares about. It makes you think, question your beliefs, and wonder if you have done everything you can to talk to your loved ones about not being Left Behind.

My Daily Prayer: God, please give me the words, strength and courage to tell my friends and family about You. AMEN!

Daily Thanksgiving: I am thankful that I can work at 6:30 AM to get off in time to go pick up my children from school.

When I have Kardashian Kash: I’d like to have one of those vanity mirrors with the TV built in so that I may watch the news as I get ready in the AM.

Making Whoopie Flavor of the Day: Salted Caramel. This is an awesome teacher’s gift. Drizzle it on ice cream, in coffee, dip pretzels in it, pancakes and waffle topping, or eat it with a spoon! We put it in the center of our chocolate cupcakes and drizzle it over our butter cream frosting. We also put it on our banana cupcakes, and it the center. YUMMO.

All this week, we’re picking random readers to win an I Heart Making Whoopie bumper sticker. Comment on a post and you may win! The more you comment, the more you are entered!


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Manic Monday- Ultra Brite Carpet

Have I told you about the green smoothie incident? I made spinach, apple, banana smoothies for Easton, Sydney and me. Syd put hers on the coffee table and Baby Q decided to pull it down and flung it all over my WHITE carpet. Then, as I was taking her to the bath, she kicked smoothie all over my walls. That’s Q, not Syd. Fortunately, it is paneled and just wiped down.

So, we looked for a Groupon, Living Social or coupon in the Ad Pages for carpet cleaning. After my run in with Zero Rez, I was not going back to them! I found a Sweet Jack ( deal for $45 for $84 worth of services from Ultra Brite Carpet Cleaning. I looked at their website and they have three packages, basic $28/room, middle for $35/room where they move light furniture, and gold for $46/room where they do the base boards, vacuum, move the furniture, etc. My nanny was home, so I told her that I’d like to do 2 mid-level cleanings in the living room and baby’s room. Or, do a gold and a middle. Whatever came out to $84. Or if they didn’t do the upper levels with the coupon, then they could clean three areas and to please do Easton’s room.

So I didn’t move any furniture. We’d used this company before and even the basic level, the guy moved my coffee table, and other stuff without us asking. The guy that came out this time kept getting on the phone with me and saying he couldn’t move furniture unless I had a package that included it. I said that I wanted that package. He said he couldn’t give it to me, but couldn’t tell me why. He said that his boss would call me and explain it. He later called and said that he broke a vase. I spoke to him or my nanny about 10 times for a simple carpet cleaning. And, the spot in the baby’s room was still there!

So, I contacted them. Then, Jeff called and left a message. They sure did schedule another appointment. The lady was super nice and apologetic. I still do not know why I only got two rooms, but they did come out a second time for no charge and it was good timing since Baby Q pulled down some coffee after we set the appointment! Don’t worry, I like mine cold!

I would use Baby Safe/Ultra Brite Carpet again. They are priced well, especially with a Groupon type of deal, and generally do a great job. I am sad that we had a bad experience, but I feel that if I were home it probably would not have happened. Every other company I’ve used comes in with a black light and tries to scare me into using their prespot-super-mega-costs-me-triple-my-quote services. Triple!!! So it is refreshing not to be scared into something I don’t need. It is nice getting someone that cares on the phone when something does go wrong. I will use them again and refer my friends and family.

My Daily Prayer: Thank you God for showing me how to be a better person. Thank you for helping me treat others the way you want us to treat them. AMEN!

Daily Thanksgiving: I am thankful for being able to pay my outrageous electric bill. Summers in Texas are HOT and expensive!

When I Have Kardashian Kash: I will have my windows tinted to block out heat/UV whatever, have a radiant barrier put in to block some more heat, and have solar panels and a wind turbine to generate my own electricity. I will also have rain barrels to collect rain to water my many acres and for my llamas to drink. I am going to go green like crazy! Yes, I am kind of a hippie, but even though I’m all for leaving a small foot print, I’m even more for saving money and being efficient.

Making Whoopie Flavor of the Day: Lemon Curd- this is awesome on a muffin, used in your own baking, or eaten on its own. It is a delicious treat, like a jelly that meets a custard. Our curds are homemade with no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Look for it soon on! It makes a great teacher’s gift, hostess gift, holiday treat, or a sweet indulgence just for you. We use our lemon curd as filling in our lemon cupcakes, and mixed with our classic butter cream frosting for an extra lemony treat. Now we sell it on its own, too! We also sell salted caramel and lime curd. These are huge hits as teachers’ gifts.


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Family Friday- Back to School

What are your school mornings like? I cannot tell you how fortunate I am to have to just get myself ready in the AM. Jeff should get father of the year for running the AM household. Don’t get me wrong, it is still a ton of hustle and bustle in the AM, but I get to miss out on the checklist: hair?, teeth?, lunch?, homework?, flute?, etc. I try to get that all together at night, but my sweet Sydster is a bigger procrastinator than I am.

The only thing that hitches up my AM is baby Q. Fortunately, she is almost exclusively on solids. That will really help me in the AM when Jeff can feed her and I don’t have to stop down to do it. Sweet freedom! But, there’s the last minute frosting of cupcakes, if I have an order, shower, hair, makeup, finding something to wear that I haven’t worn lately, grabbing breakfast, coffee, make my lunch, get my computer, cupcakes/whoopies for work and trying to get it all out the door in two hands. It is a big deal getting myself out the door. I don’t know how I can get kids out, too. Fortunately, Jeff was made for me. Unfortunately, I don’t do anything the night before. And I wonder where Sydney gets it!

But the afternoons are my super crazy times. I have to pick up Syd from school, pay the sitter, feed the baby, snack the big kids, start dinner, write my blog, work on my book, make whoopies/cupcakes, drive to choir in downtown Dallas in rush hour (I’m in a suburb about 30 minutes north of Dallas), soccer, band practice, PTA, neighborhood mommy group/play group, book club, and take pictures of my latest and greatest culinary creation so that I can eventually give my website a much needed overhaul. Once I leave work, it is on and doesn’t stop until I drop.

Sometimes I have great intentions, but none get done. Sometimes I do more than I planned. Fortunately, I can spread most of that out over the week. I would like to incorporate exercise again, but West Nile is pretty scary over here and I don’t have the energy by the time I’ve wrapped up my chores and baking. I’d also like to watch TV, but I can DVR it and watch it when I’m up with Q or have nothing going on. I do make time to read just about every day. And, I do insist on cooking most nights. There are some things I can give up or slack on, but cooking most nights isn’t one of them. But, I do enjoy pizza night now and again.

My Daily Prayer: Thank you God for helping me focus on what’s important. Help me to be what my family needs. Help me to hear what they say, see what they need, and savor every second of childhood. AMEN!

Daily Thanksgiving: I am thankful that Jeff is a morning person. And that he’s organized. And that he does laundry.

When I Have Kardashian Kash: I won’t bite my nails because they will always be manicured. And if I do bite them, I can have them fixed right now.

Making Whoopie Flavor of the Week: Amish Paradise- chocolate cookie/cake filled with vanilla crème. MMMMMMMMMMM. So good, you’ll cry out “WHOOPIE!”

Want an I heart Making Whoopie bumper sticker? Comment on this blog and we’ll pick random readers to send Whoopie swag.

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