Hey, It's Jade!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Going The Distance



I wrote the following for a contest on Dallas-Fort Worth Moms Like Me.  It's to win some sort of Going The Distance (the new movie with Drew Barrymore and Justin Long) prize pack, but mostly I just wanted to write it out anyway.

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I suppose you mean for us to write about our long distance ROMANTIC relationships, [the contest said to write about a long distance relationship you had/have] but I'm gonna go a different direction (as I've never actually had a long distance romantic relationship) since it doesn't necessarily specific that intent.
In 1997, the internet was still relatively new to most people.  I was a sophomore in high school, and none of my friends had the internet, let alone email addresses, instant message or social networks back then.  So I ventured out into the world wide internet in search of ... whatever there was.  I had AOL, so I started checking out some of the AOL chatrooms available.  I frequented a few rooms and made a few acquaintances I chatted with on a regular basis, and one of those acquaintances had an acquaintance - and when we were introduced, there was an instant connection.  No, not a romantic connection... I already said my story isn't like that - but a definite friendship connection.  We were the same age, Christian, into music and despite all of the things we didn't have in common...we still just really hit it off.  We pretty much became inseparable.  Or... as inseparable as you can be when you live 1,400 miles away.  She lived in California and I lived in Texas.  That didn't really stop us, we chatted every day, emailed back and forth when we weren't online at the same time, we talked on the phone as well.  We went through a lot together... the rest of high school and all that drama, graduation, jobs, loves and losses, Y2K!, me getting married. 
We finally met in person in 2003...six years after meeting online!  She flew here and stayed with my husband and I.  We showed her all around the area, went to all the tourist sites and fun stuff!  I'm sure we were both nervous at that first meeting, even though we had known each other for 6 years already, meeting in person is something completely different.  But we hit it off, even face to face.  We had a great time.  About 6 months later, my husband and I went to California and she returned the favor of showing us around.  Had a great time there!  Sometime after the birth of my first child, we sort of lost touch... the chatting stopped, the emails were few and far between, we just both got really busy with life.  But, when my schedule at work changed and hers lined up with it, we once again found ourselves online at the same time and were able to chat (not on AOL this time, but thanks to Gmail and it's implanted IM!). 
We've rekindled our friendship and chat  and text pretty much every day again... it's just like the old days only we're 12 years older now!  I have two children and she is getting married next year, so we have a lot to talk about!  I hope and pray that somehow I will be able to make it to California for her wedding, as I can't imagine not being there for my BEST FRIEND on her big day!  It's amazing that someone who lives 1, 400 miles away and that I've only seen in person twice, could feel so close and so special to me, but I can't imagine life without her!

P.S. I LOVE Drew Barrymore.  Just sayin'.

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And, guess what?  I totally won the contest today!  Haha!  Thanks, dallas.momslikeme.com! I got a promotional prize pack from the movie with all kinds of silly stuff, including the movie soundtrack.  Granted, only 4 people entered, but hey... that's awesome.  Hahaha!

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Good Guys...actually are good!

Favorite summer season show: The Good Guys


It's hilarious. 
It's filmed here around Dallas-Fort Worth.
I have a couple of friends that have made cameos in it. 
But mostly... it's hilarious!  There isn't really any other way to describe it, ya'll.
You can still watch most of the episodes at Fox.com if you missed 'em.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Prestonisms on Measurements & Eyesight...

Preston got out his tool box and was playing with the tape measure.  He turned to me, held up the tape measure and said (very matter of fact, of course), "Mom, you're 50 meat-eaters tall."
"Meat-eaters?  Really?" I giggled.
"Yes, meat-eaters.  Just kidding.  Dinosaurs are really big so you're only 2 meat-eaters tall."

x

The other day Michael was trying to show Preston, who was sitting right next to him, something on the laptop.  Michael was trying to adjust the screen so Preston could view it.  Preston sighed, "Dad, it's just not see-able in my sight."

[Preston used to have his own Xanga page where I kept track of his funny business.  The kid is so smart that  when he does misspeak it's usually hilarious.  Or sometimes he's too smart for his own good.  Since I've moved over to Blogger, I'll just post his new Prestonisms here.]

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Dude Who Must Be a Christian...

I got called a dude today.  Ok, she didn't use that word exactly.  Here's what happened...

Preston, Callen and I were shopping for groceries at Aldi.  Callen was in his sling on me, and Preston was sitting in the front part of the cart, helping me get the items loaded onto the checkout belt.  I was trying to get stuff up there as fast as I could with one hand (the other hand was holding Callen in as I bent over to grab things, 'cause he was wiggling around, trying to escape any way he could) all the while trying to get Preston to stop putting the heavy jars and cans on top of things like veggies and bread. A little, old lady came up behind us in line and smiled at Preston, who was closest to her.

"Are you helping your daddy out with the groceries?" she asked sweetly.
"Umm, that's my mommy!" Preston answered, though the woman obviously did not hear him.  I just kinda smiled and kept piling groceries up.
She spoke again, "Are you a big helper for your daddy? I bet he really appreciates that."  This time I looked up at her very directly, and gave her a nervous, little chuckle and said "Yeah, he's a big help."  Once again, I don't think she heard, or it didn't register.  Preston just looked at her.
She came around to the side of my cart and asked "Do you think your daddy would mind if I helped you out?"  She looked at me and asked, "Do you mind?  I can help you out here."
This time I spoke clearly and directly to her, "Oh, that would be fine with me, thank you for the help!"  THIS TIME SHE GOT IT!
"OH!," she said, "You're the mother!  I'm so sorry.  I just... the hair, I couldn't tell. I should have known because you were carrying the baby like that."
I finally got the groceries piled up on the belt (yeah, this was a big shopping trip) and while the guy was checking out the items, I pulled out a card I recently made with the Shear Hope website on it.  I turned to her and said, "Here's a card with a website you can check out, it'll explain why my hair is so short, because I shaved it for a cause."
"Oh, no thanks, I don't plan on cutting my hair," she answered.  Wow.
"No, no, I wouldn't ask you to do that.  It just explains why I did.  I shaved it for...," I tried.
She didn't want to take the card. "Oh uh... I already have a hairdresser, thanks."
I kinda persisted, "No ma'am, this is about the Cancer Ministry I shaved my head for."
"Oh, I see.  That's... nice."  She said some other stuff about her daughter-in-law helping to organize a walk against Cancer, and by this time I had paid and was through the checkout.

 I can't really blame her for thinking I was a dude.  When I got home, I looked at myself in the mirror.

I did look pretty dude-ish today.  No makeup, no jewelry, dark colored shirt, the baby was in the sling in front of me so she couldn't tell I was a woman.  I wasn't greatly offended or anything, kind of expect that sort of stuff to happen.  Especially now that my hair is growing out and I can't really do much with it to make it look any different.  The same thing happened the first time I shaved my head for Shear Hope.  A guy came into the office, I had my back to him, and he said "Excuse me, sir."  Then I got up and turned around, with my preggo belly and all and he was like "Oh, sorry about that!"  Haha.

It gets better...

One thing about Aldi is that you sack your own groceries after you check out, and since I had soooo many groceries it took me a while (again with one hand 'cause Callen was being so fiesty!).  So, she came back by me and apologized again for mistaking me for a man.  She also said, "Can I help you?  I just feel for moms who are out here with their little kids in the heat and all trying to get all this done.  It's hard."  I declined her offer this time because I was nearly done anyway.  Somehow, as we were both sacking our own groceries next to each other, it came up that her husband used to work nites and I told her mine currently does and how we get outta the house so he can sleep.  She asked if Preston would be starting school soon.  I told her we were going to start homeschooling. Again, she had a surprised look.  Then she said "Well, you must be Christian then... it's usually Christians who homeschool their kids."  I just laughed to myself, 'cause, man, this lady was a real piece of work... no political correctness for her!  Haha.  "Well, yes we are Christian," I answered.  Honestly, it was a pretty hilarious encounter, definitely made the shopping trip a bit of an adventure.

Also, this is why shaving my head for Shear Hope has been so awesome, so eye-opening.  I thought it was funny, and I wasn't offended at all.  But a lot of women who have lost their hair because of chemotherapy or alopecia deal with this kind of stuff every day!  They're run down from all the medications, treatments, etc., just trying to get through their day and the last thing they want is for someone to call them a man! 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How To Be Alone

I saw this video posted on Girl's Gone Child, and found it pretty interesting.  I think most of us struggle with being alone, even when we're not.

Definitely worth watching...



It's beautiful, intriguing... and very Canadian.  I mean that in the nicest way, I swear!  Anyway, it got me to thinking.  Being alone with yourself is an interesting thing.  I'm not talking about feeling left out or being different, really... I'm talking actually being all by yourself and being OK with it.

My college years were very lonely for me.  I was working a lot at my call center job and I commuted from Fort Worth to Denton every day to attend UNT.  I had my parents and I was surrounded by people in classes, at work, on the roads, but really it was just me for the most part.  That 30+ minute drive every day left a lot of time for me to be alone and think.  That wasn't a big deal, I enjoyed the peace... the time I had to pray, listen to music, daydream.  Because I didn't live on campus, I often found myself with down time between classes.  I explored Denton (a little, always a little nervous to venture too far as I'm horrible about getting lost!), went to eat, to the mall/stores, etc.  I started out getting food and just sitting and eating in my car because I didn't have the nerve to sit at a table by myself.  I eventually worked up the nerve to do just that, but it never felt comfortable.  I always tried to hold my head up high when I was walking around stores or even campus, but I was self-conscious and awkward, completely lacking confidence.  I don't know why either.  I grew up an only child, you'd think being alone would come naturally to me.  I would see other people sitting alone or walking around with such confidence and wished I could be like that!  Why can't I just be alone with me and be OK with it?  I wasn't comfortable in my own skin, with just hanging out by myself and making the most of it, it just didn't feel right to be alone.  I mean, didn't God say "it isn't good for man to be alone?" 

As I got older I started thinking about what it was going to be like living on my own.  I never found out!  I went straight from living with my parents to getting married and living with Michael.  I'm not sure how I would have handled it.  Would I have embraced the solitude and eventually enjoyed myself?  Or would I have always felt awkward?  Guess it doesn't matter now... not with a husband and two kids!  I do enjoy the time I get to myself, like right now, when it's quiet and peaceful and I can do what I want (I should be sleeping!) and have "me" time.  But my two boys are safely and sweetly tucked into their beds, so I'm not alone.  And I know it.  It makes a world of difference.

Being alone is hard.  It's not usually fun.  Most people who feel alone don't WANT to be alone.  But it isn't all bad either.  Like the woman says in the video, "Cuz if you're happy in your head then solitude is blessed and alone is okay."

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Don't Bother In The First Place...

One thing I'd like to suggest to people who are considering kids... don't bother decorating their room, your room, the living room or the kitchen for that matter.  Once the kids come along there's no reason for style or decor... it's going to be an explosion of blankets, clothes, toys, exersaucers that take up your entire living area, etc.  And when they're old enough to be mobile, it's even worse, so... don't bother doing any decorating, just start with blank space and walls and see what happens over the course of a few years.  Maybe if/when they're off to college, THEN you can decorate your house.  But not too long after that... come the grandkids.

Monday, August 16, 2010

A fresh start?

I have been blogging on Xanga since 2003.  Many a milestone has been logged there on that site that no one uses anymore.  I don't want to completely abandon it because I like having my past archived, and often find myself perusing page after page of old blog entries.  It's interesting to see the person I was back then, and where I am now.  But I am definitely in the mood for change, so... here I am.  I tested out Wordpress.  I dabbled in tumblr.  And those just didn't do it for me, so I guess I'll just go ahead and use this blogger account I've had for a long time.  I used it to keep a blog roll for myself so I could keep up with other people who have blogs all over the place.  Might as well put it to some real use, eh?  We'll see.

I brought over some recent posts from Xanga (since March anyway).  I feel like the birth of Callen and me becoming a SAHM has really sparked some change, so... we'll begin there.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Callen Levi - 5 months old!

Man, 5 months already?  I know I say that every month, but geez... sooooo fast!  I'm trying to remember what he's started doing this month, but it all kinda runs together.  He's rolling over for sure.  Blowing raspberries, and grabbing hold of anything that dares come near him!  I've given him some rice cereal, which is LOVES!  He is so interested in everything we put in our mouths, he wants it all!  He still nurses ALL the time, such a little piggy!  He slept for 8-9 hours straight three nites in a row, I was hoping that'd be his new normal, but it was only those three days.  It's still not bad even when he wakes up usually, though, 'cause he'll eat and go right back to sleep.  So... I can handle that.  He's developed a big belly laugh... especially when Preston is being crazy or Daddy makes funny noises.  Example:


He's so stinkin' adorable, it's hard not to just stare at him all day. 

Sooo sweet!


Blowing raspberries, he's always a slobbery mess!


In the 'bus' (Preston's driving), they're both making crazy noises at the same time. What a duo!  Haha!


Happy boy playing outside.

Rice cereal!


Love my boys!!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

This is love...


Funny faces in a dirty bathroom mirror.


And eight poorly pedicured (and extremely white!) feet in the soft grass on a summer evening.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Happy Birthday, Old Man!

I'm married to a 32-year-old man!!!  Michael's birthday was yesterday.  Preston and I made him a Mint Chocolate Chip & Vanilla Icecream Cake.  It was a lot of work, lots of layers involved - freezing and waiting and whatnot - and then it pretty much tasted like Mint Chocolate Chip icecream.  Coulda saved myself a lot of trouble just serving him the icecream straight up.  Oh well, the thought counts, right?  And it looked nice!



And my attempt at getting a nice photo of my boys all together, resulted in this:

LOL!  Seriously, wow.  Preston would not just look at me without making mean faces, so he got scolded and this is the picture I got.  Yep.

We ended up dropping Preston off with Grandma & Grandpa Clark to spend the nite, then Michael, Callen and I went to Celebration Restaurant for dinner (yay birthday coupons!)  It was kinda weird being there with just a baby, reminded us a lot of when we went there right after Preston was born.  The food was yummy as usual, LOVE that place!  After dinner we had to go clean the church... did that till 2am, then home for bed (at least for me).  Not too much of an exciting birthday, but I guess that's what happens when you get old.  Haha!

We got Michael a book he said he would like to read (y'know, if he ever got around to reading), the Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant.  I also happened to win him Texas Rangers tickets for all of the remaining home games this season!  I sign up for all kinds of things all the time and never win, so when the email came in saying I had won... I really didn't believe it, and was very suspicious of the whole thing.  But turns out it's true!  Woo hoo!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Preston update at... 54 months?

Preston made me breakfast the other morning!

I woke up because I thought I heard the baby fussing.  But he was asleep, it was the tv.  Preston was up, sitting on the couch, watching Boo.  I *think* he had just turned it on, but he informed me that he had been up for "hours!"  He also said, "Your breakfast is over there, I made Poptarts!"  I panicked for a second 'cause he's always wanting to use the toaster.  But there was an unheated Blueberry Poptart laying at my place on the table, and remnants of an eaten Poptart at his.  Whew!

That boy is growing up so fast!  He can easily help himself to snacks (even when I tell him not to).  He can get to anything in the kitchen (yikes!). He quite often gets up in the morning and sets about making himself a PBJ sandwich... only he isn't strong enough to open the jars so then he comes to wake me up.  I get into the kitchen to find all of the necessities out on the table (peanut butter, jelly, bread, and KNIFE!).  He's also very helpful at getting things for me when I'm tied down with Callen.  He enjoys helping entertain Callen, as best he can, so I can take a potty break.  We are still dealing with some out-right defiant behavior.  There's a lot of whining and crying on a regular basis.  But I often have to remind myself "he's only 4!"  Sometimes he acts so big, it's easy to forget that.  Then he reverts to 'acting his age' and it throws me off. 

He's done so well with reading this summer.  He still needs help with some words, but overall he can read to himself (and Callen!) just fine.  I laid off the writing for now, not doing anything regularly at the moment... will probably start up in a few weeks as school is starting for everyone else.

Preston still adores his Little Brother.  His favorite thing is playing in the floor with Callen.  They have so much fun.  Callen watches everything P does, and laughs and smiles so much when he's around.  I hope and pray that they'll always enjoy each others company this much!

 
He wanted me to put this flower in water (it's from off our tree, they're all over our yard), I told him I would take a picture of it 'cause it would last longer that way.

 

Just an average nite at the Clarks' house...


Oh, and Preston learned to whistle this week as well!  Go Preston!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Laughing at myself...

I've always been, or tried to be, thrifty.  I remember when I was in grade school and my mom wanted to buy me a new backpack for the new school year.  Most kids would want that, new stuff is great!  Not me, I was all "nah, my one from last year is still good."  I never understood spending more money than you had to.  I mean, I don't mind splurging here or there on fun stuff... but again, if there's a way to get it cheaper, why not?  Now that I have 'more time' at home, I've been working on the whole couponing thing.  I'm thankful there are blog sites that help, 'cause I'm not clever enough, nor do I have time and/or energy enough, to figure all this out on my own!

The other day, as I was driving from Albertsons  (where I scored 13 boxes of cereal, 6 boxes of PopTarts and 1 box of Nutrigran Bars for $12!) to church, I just started laughing at myself.  There I was with my score, but also dressed in my 'deal busting' finest.  EVERYTHING that I was wearing that day was new (yay, a new outfit!) but was also ridiculously cheap.  Here's what I was wearing...

$1 flipflops from Old Navy (w/coupon)
$4.99 Clearance jeans from Old Navy
$3 Clearance shirt from Target (that I also used a coupon on)
$2 cami shirt from Old Navy (w/coupon)
FREE bra and underwear from BzzAgent

$11 for EVERYTHING, and all brand new (not garage sale or thrift store - which I don't mind at all either).

It's the only way I can justify buying anything right now, it has to be super cheap!  We certainly don't have money to be buying new clothes!  Most of the rest of my wardrobe is similar (and always has been)... the jeans/shorts I've owned FOREVER so they've paid for themselves many times over, t-shirts I received from work for free, other clothes I've bought off the clearance rack

I'm not trying to brag or anything, not rubbing in my 'saving skills.'  Just making an observation to amuse myself when I read this post 5 years later or whatever.  Haha.  Hopefully in 5 years I'll still be raking in the super deals! =)  And I'm glad that being 'frugal' now days is a good trait to have, instead of always being considered a cheapskate. 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

July 2010 tweets to remember...

Jul 1st, 9:20am - As dreary as it is, I'm super thankful for the rain & clouds for days... I mean, it's SUMMER so anything that helps it not be 1,000 degrees!

Jul 1st, 11:39am -
Last day of swim class about to start! http://twitpic.com/21j3ju

Jul 3rd, 4:39pm -
Family got all swim suited up, arrived at the pool and there came a great rainstorm. Dangit.

Jul 3rd, 7:17pm -
No luck finding a family movie for all of us to watch, Preston REALLY wanted a Dora The Explorer vid... me = :::banging head against wall:::

Jul 4th, 5:08pm -
Happy Independence Day! http://twitpic.com/22hjt7

Jul 5th, 9:54am -
Monkey butt! :) http://twitpic.com/22omdi

Jul 7th, 12:29am -
Joy of motherhood #407: finding completely random items in your bed every nite. Tonite: Don't Break The Ice hammer & digital voice recorder.

Jul 7th, 10:53pm -
Yaaaaaay! I finally witnessed Callen roll over! He's been doing it for weeks, but never when I was looking!

Jul 8th, 11:38pm -
Nothing like 2 screaming/crying kids when all I'm trying to do is gather the trash. Holy heck fire!

Jul 9th, 5:13pm -
has THE best parents ever! Just saying.

Jul 9th, 5:53pm -
My cows like free food! http://twitpic.com/23v2t5

Jul 9th, 5:57pm -
My littlest cow is not as excited. http://twitpic.com/23v3vi

Jul 10th, 7:46pm -
Date nite w/hubby, exploring history in Arlington. http://twitpic.com/247n0u

Jul 11th, 11:15pm  -
Augh! Just unexpectedly found this in my bed. #fb http://twitpic.com/24l0gn

Jul 13th, 10:15am -
Callen, 4 mths: 14.5 lbs, 27'' and perfect. :)

Jul 13th, 1pm -
Mail call: Replacement debit card switching from MC to V, booo! But... free bra & panty from BzzAgentJono, score! Hahaha, that's awkward.

Jul 13th, 1:54pm -
Does peanut butter & crackers count as lunch? It's all Preston and I wanted, so we had it. So there. #CantTasteAnythingWhatsThePointOfFood?

Jul 14th, 12:33pm -
Trying really hard not to even LOOK in the kitchen, Preston is playing Play-Doh & there's MESS EVERYWHERE!!! But he's quiet & having fun.

Jul 14th, 9:40pm -
Had a fantastic outing with my fam: shopping at SuperTarget (Saving over $40 w/coupons!), eating free Panda Express & just having fun!

Jul 14th, 10:45pm - J
ust overheard during Preston's shower-bath: Swim duckies! Swim like the WIND!

Jul 15th, 12:41pm -
Look out world, I just dug my sewing machine out of the closet... feeling inspired (but can't find its accessories so gimme a minute).

Jul 16th, 9:20pm -
So, right now... I'm the only one in my family that has hair, but come 5pm tomorrow... http://www.shearhope.org

Jul 17th, 12:42pm -
Is it 5pm yet? I WANNA BE BALLLLDDDD! Lol, yeah, I'm totally ready & excited for the Shear Hope Event this afternoon!

Jul 17th, 7:17pm -
Well, here it is! Bald is beautiful. Thank you, Shear Hope! http://twitpic.com/26a9ut

Jul 17th, 11:49pm -
Great day: Shear Hope Event, Mexican Inn, @djdruemitchell & Manafest show + being surrounded by family & friends all day, amazing!

Jul 18th, 10:43am -
Even being bald and only having one kid doesn't help make it to church on time if you sleep in really late!

Jul 18th, 1:09pm -
This hairless head came in handy this morn at church w/no AC. http://twitpic.com/26k0zo

Jul 20th, 12:09am -
Two monkeys in my bed... At least one of us is asleep at this hour! http://twitpic.com/26xh5w

Jul 20th, 3:15pm -
Dear Anyone-Who-Lives-Up-North, can my fam of 4 come stay with you till October? Pretty please?

Jul 20th, 5:20pm -
Two monkeys in Callen's bed this time! http://twitpic.com/274elj

Jul 21st, 11:51am -
Bear-emy and Preston, lol! http://twitpic.com/27c8jf

Jul 21st, 11:21pm -
I have a lovely life... the baby one is drifting off to sleep in my lap while big kid is reading us a nitenite story. =)

Jul 22nd, 4:26pm -
Hey @PowerFm, I completely approve of the new Summer T. Love it! =) http://twitpic.com/27o67b

Jul 23rd, 12:07am -
It's quite impossible to put down a freshly bathed sleeping baby... until your foot & both arms fall asleep, then it's time to move!

Jul 23rd, 12:26pm -
Nom nom toes! http://twitpic.com/27xayj

Jul 24th, 12:26am -
The kids did so good while Michael & I cleaned the church, very proud of them for cooperating for 3 hours!

Jul 27th, 10:40am -
OMG! A new Super Why AND Dinosaur Train (or at least ones we've never seen)?!?!? Thank you #PBS! I have a happy 4-yr-old!

Jul 27th, 11:11pm -
I've got a thumb sucker on my hands! http://twitpic.com/29byqv

Jul 28th, 1:16pm -
Looking around at my trashed living room w/toys, books, blankets, pillows scattered everywhere... yep, I've got kids.

Jul 28th, 5:26pm -
My name is Callen & I'm an expert raspberry blower. http://twitpic.com/29jkwd

Jul 29th, 9am -
Wowzers! Callen slept NINE hours straight... NIIIINNNEEE!

Jul 31st, 2:44pm -
Preston is rowdy & loud, Callen is grumpy (wants to eat constantly, won't nap long) & hubby got up then went back to bed. Happy Saturday?