Tuesday, January 31, 2012

69 Degrees In January!

Yesterday was 69 Degrees, which is simply unheard of for January 30 in Nebraska, until Nebraska. Actually, Chris' car read into the 70s!

Asher and I went outside right after lunch, riding bikes, playing on the plasma cars, and playing in the back yard on the playset. He even invited his friend Cameron over to play. They were wild, like they were caged animals finally getting out of their cages to play.

We loaded up and went to Walnut Creek to play at the playground for a bit. The boys took their toy guns (I know, I know, but it was all in good fun and they were never inappropriate) and ran around the playground equipment. We arrived home around 3, just in time for the girls to walk home with Cameron's parents.

Chris and I took turns going on a run while the kids soaked up the sun. Cameron went with his parents while his sister Zoe stayed behind to play. The road the jeep, roller skating, played with chalk, and anything else they have wanted to play with but did not want to when it was cooler out. Really, we could not ask for a better winter.

For dinner, we celebrated Alivia's book report success (and that she went first) with a promised treat to Freddy's. I believe this was topper of a beautiful January day!

We have survived January. I do fear February and March, however. But, it is one less month that we have to endure winter.

I look for the good news wherever I can.

Asher and his friend Cameron (Cam is shooting me!).

Hanging around Addison (in short and no shoes in January! Love it!)

Ring around the rosie

I find this scary...

Monday, January 30, 2012

8th Catholic Wedding Anniversary

Tomorrow Chris and I will be married 8 years, at least in the eyes of the Catholic Church (12 1/2 in the eyes of the law). So, Chris recruited his Mom to come and watch the kids for a couple hours so we could go to dinner.

By dinner, we do not mean anything fancy. On the heals of Chris' news, we did not want to go anywhere remotely fancy. Actually, I was not even sure if I was up for eating (Drinking sounded better! And, I have not done much of that since college! Scary, I know). We ended up at Panera where we thought we could sit in a quiet spot and talk. Low and behold, a large group plopped down next to us with their little baby. Yes, we moved. I wanted QUIET!

It was not the date night we had envisioned, but at least we were able to talk a bit uninterrupted. Two hours later, we were at home in time to put two of three kids to bed. Hopefully, sometime soon, we can take a real date, spending real money, and have some real drinks (diet Pepsi does not count).

8 years, 3 babies, living in 2 homes...we have done quite well for ourselves. Who knows what the next few years bring, but it looks not to be boring to say the least.

Bad News Friday

Friday seemed like any other day. We got up, did our thing, Daddy came home from work, we went to Family Zumba followed by the traditional pizza for dinner.

But, it was not a typical day. Chris had a sudden urgent meeting at work. He and his buddies wondered if it was one of those meetings. You know, like the one he had January 2 years ago, just a month after we moved closer to his work. In that meeting, they told Chris he had 3 months to work and then find a new job or 6 months to work at base, then find a new job. Luckily, he had ties with someone within the company who hired him (and saved us!).

Well, it unfortunately was one of those meetings. He has a few months, then they just don't know. He is being moved to a different division within the company (along with others in his division all under the same boss) under a contract that ends in June. When that contract is up, they just don't know what will happen, what will open up, or what will not open up. Really, we are looking at this as he has until June or he is unemployed, more than likely.

This is different than the last time. Chris walked over to talk to the guys where he worked before his last switch 2 years ago. He found all 40 some employees gone! Where did they all go?! He is guessing some to base, some perhaps relocated, some let go. There was only one guy that he was aware of let go in his current division. It just does not look good. Besides, they do not treat employees very well...and we are tired of it! Chris is the breadwinner, and we really can not live on my PRN nursing status where I only work when needed (and when I feel like skipping a night of sleep). My job is either feast of famine.

So, everything is on hold. I picked up shifts at work (meaning no more sleep) so we can build more savings in the event of Chris losing his job. The housing market is not good here, where we have watched our friends house in our neighborhood just sit on the market. We do not have some grand movie room, a 5th bedroom, or a wet bar (we rarely drink...so what would we do with it?!), all things that people are looking for in their home around here, it appears. So, our house may sit on the market for a while if it comes to that. Meaning, we better be prepared. Chris' dreams of getting a new car for his birthday (along with his kayak) are on hold, while our vacation plans to Disney next winter seem to be stuck at just that, plans. We have heard about how bad the economy is, but now we are seeing it first hand. President Obama has cut Chris' field and the department of defense down to nothing. So, Chris will definitely be getting out of the government contract work. Chris has had 3 jobs (within his company) just since Obama took office. Let's just say I am not sporting an "I love President Obama" t-shirt.

So we are entering 2012 foreseeing a big year of change. Chris will for sure be getting a new job, his first he starts on Wednesday within his company. His next...??? We just hope he finds one locally and saves us a move. But, with that said, he has no choice but to apply everywhere in the next few months, and he will take the best offer in the best location, Papillion or not. Moving is definitely not our first option. But, we have to be realistic. Chris works in a big company with many employees who will be out looking for similar jobs to Chris.I am not sure our area has THAT many openings, many of which are probably being filled by ones cut before Chris.

So, let's go job hunting. Fun. I will be looking for a full time job as June approaches if nothing else has turned up. I do not want to have a full time job if Chris finds one as I do not know where Chris' job will be located, and we need someone to care for the kiddos. So many unanswered questions.

In the mean time, I am Chris' headhunter. I don't know what he does exactly, but I kinda have an idea of what he wants to do in his next job. So, let's see what I can come up with and where and when. Now all we need is some good luck.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Best Home Made Pizza!

Okay, I do believe we have found the best home made pizza! To top it off, it is easy to make! And, mmmm! Here is the link for the recipe. Try it out and enjoy!

PIZZA RECIPE from Laurenslatest. Love her blog!

Chris had to add onion and forgot to take a picture when it was cooked. But, here it is!

Another Lost Tooth

Alivia has had a loose for probably 6 weeks or more. She rarely wriggles it, like most kids do, and really hates to see the teeth go. It is weird, right?

Well, it was hanging on by a thread Monday evening when she brushed her teeth. I encouraged her to pull it out, and she quickly whined that it would hurt. She insisted on leaving it alone.

Bedtime came and her tooth still hung on. Within a half hour, however, Alivia came downstairs with her tooth in hand. As it turns out, she sneezed and the tooth could not hold on. How funny! Alivia has now lost 4 teeth! The tooth fairy was very ill prepared, and gave her a $2 bill for this tooth. Alivia had not seen a $2 bill and thought that was pretty neat. Whew!

Here is Alivia minus one more tooth...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Young at Heart

Funny, until a couple years ago, I never really thought I was old. I did not even think about it. Maybe it was because I was too busy with little kids to even worry about it.

Now, I feel old, and it sucks.

I no longer share my age, although most people already know that I am older than they are. Actually, I only have one friend that is my age and one friend that is older than me and the rest of my friends are younger. Those facts make me feel even older. I can not find anyone my age to relate to this aging thing with.

I mean, gray hair. Yes, I have a lot of gray hair. But, this started in my 20s. I can blame my genetics for that a bit, although my Mom blames my teens. Who knows, I have it. It is costly to cover up in the salon, so I color with box colors mostly for lower maintenance.

Wrinkles, I have a few. I try not to look in the mirror anymore. Lucky for me, the mirrors in our house are awful, so I can not see myself anyway. I really noticed my self loathing when I took selfies on the 365 project. Gees, I looked bad. I looked worse with lack of sleep, which seems to be happening more and more. Gees, aging sucks. I guess that is why there is make up.

The only thing I have control over is staying in shape. That is why Chris and I beat our bodies working out. We want to look good naked for one (ha ha), and working out keeps us young. We also have 3 kids to chase after, so we can not afford to be couch potatoes!

So, you can call me old all you want, but I am young at heart. I may not look like I am 18, but I feel like I am. And, who knows, I can probably even run faster than I did at 18!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Music That Makes Me Run

Nothing can actual MAKE a person run, I realize. With that said, I do have some songs on my iPod right now that make it difficult to just walk. These are a few of my favorites, no judging.

1.  LMFAO - Sexy and I know it

2. David Guetta/Akon - Sexy Chick Okay, mine is the original lyrics, but Sexy Chick is what I Zumba to at the YMCA.

3. Lady Gaga - Edge of Glory

4. Maroon 5, Christina Aguilera - Moves Like Jagger

5.   Lady Gaga - You and I I will admit, I love my Nebraska guy, so this may have something to do with liking this one.
6. Ke$ha - Your Love Is My Drug

#6 is questionable. I repeat the ones I like a lot.

So, what's on your playlist?


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tag Teaming

Chris and I have been tag teaming this week. Being the only PRN nurse that does not have another job, I have been called into action this week. First, last weekend, the ONLY nurse staffed was out due to heart problems, so I worked. Again, same nurse, worked for her Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Yes, this meant that I was awake all day, all night, all day, all night. Okay, I did "nap" in the afternoon, forcing the normally non napping Asher to take a nap. He was such a trooper though! I could not have a better behaved little boy. But, come on, me sleepy! Today, after working last night, I went to Zumba just to wake myself up. Then, Asher and I baked cookies and ate lunch before taking a little nap. Now, I am off tonight before going back to work Friday and Saturday, off Sunday and Monday, working Tuesday and Wednesday (for another nurse out with health problems). So, as far as the universe is concerned, I am off the radar for a long while now.

So, Chris and I are tag teaming. We literally do a high five in the AM and he is off to work. He comes home and I drag my lifeless body up to try and sleep before going back to work.

I will never do this as a job when the kids return to school. Never. This is not fun. I am sick. I am tired. But, I will sure enjoy the new shoes I get after I am done next week!

I just have to keep thinking, "Mama gets new shoes, Mama gets new shoes!"

Why do I keep saying yes?!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fun Weather

We have had a mild winter, knock of wood, so far. I, for one, am absolutely LOVING it! 50's and 60's in January in Nebraska is unheard of! But, I am not complaining! Here are some pictures of our fun in the Nebraska January sun. Today may be cold...but it is to be back to 50! again by this weekend! Yeah!!

Room for one more??

Who needs snow we you can sled down the slide!

Sledding barefoot no less, in January!

A Day Off

The girls had a day off of school yesterday for MLK and for teacher meetings. It was nice to have them at home. Alivia had a sleepover on Sunday night, she seemed rested on Monday morning. We went to the YMCA for a while (I did my Zumba class), then back home to figure out what we would do the rest of the day.

The temperature was mild enough in the 40's that we visited one of the kids' favorite playgrounds for some fresh air. They had fun running our the playground. Back at home, they played outside on their jeep and bikes a while before Chris got home. What a wonderful day to have off!

Back inside, we decided to try out their new doughnut maker they received for Christmas. I followed the recipe that came with the maker. I made chocolate chip doughnuts with chocolate frosting and sprinkles. The kids liked them while hot. They taste more like baked muffins with frosting than a doughnut. After all, they are baked, not fried. But, it was still a fun thing to do on their day off.

After dinner and some time watching Netflix, the day off was over. Boo.

Asher and I have fun together, don't get me wrong, but it is always nice to have the girls at home with us. Especially when everyone gets along. We are already looking forward to their next day off.

Monday, January 16, 2012

My Soapbox...again

My name is Krista Austin.

It is not Krista aka, Bored; Krista, Childcare provider; Krista, Walk on me; or Krista, Drama Lover.

It is Krista.


If you read my "Just Sitting Here" blog, you kind of know where I am coming from.

This morning after the kids and I got back from a morning outing (the kids are off school today for MLK), I opened an email from the Mommy that wanted me to watch her son. Huh, I thought I had made it clear to her that I was no longer going to watch him. However, in her email, she said that she did not need me for January (on the original schedule she wanted me to watch him this Wednesday and a few other days yet in January) but did need some days filled for her in February. Again, just assuming I was sitting here doing nothing but waiting to watch her son, whom I have yet to meet.

I responded stating that I understood I would not be watching him at all. I said that I guess I do have somewhat of a schedule I like to follow and do not like being emailed the night before to cancel (I HATE email and texting for important things and how would she have liked it if I emailed to cancel watching him the night before! That would be evil, right?!) and this just was not going to work out for us. I am not quoting my email, but that pretty much sums up what I said, but I was polite about it. At least I thought so. I signed my email kindly...Kind Regards.

She responded in bold, stating she did not like my tone and especially did not like my Kind Regards. What?! I typically sign my emails with Kind Regards. "Kind regards" is a polite way of ending an email. When you give your regards it means you are thinking of them. Kind regards means you are thinking good thoughts. What is wrong with that??!! COME ON!! What she was really mad about it that she realized (I would hope) that she was not considerate and that now she lost childcare all together. Then, she get all angry with the bold font and all. Did I mention that I despise emails for important things? Tone does not get misunderstood, typically, in actual conversation. My emails did not have a tone. After all, I am not stressed that she no longer has care for her son. That is for her to figure out. I was trying to be nice and considerate in the first place by agreeing to help out an acquaintance (at that!), and I got dumped on. So, I'm done. I have no room in my life for inconsiderate, dumping or drama. Remember, I give up family that do that, so I will definitely let go of someone I hardly know.

In my final email, I asked that she kindly (knowing she does not like the word kind) call me if she would like to discuss further. Funny, she says she does not have time for this.

Let's see, I believe that is what I said in my initial email to her last week when I said I would not watch her son...I do not have time for this.

My name is Krista. Period.

And, from now on, I will listen to my amazing husband's advise, say no, and "Unbelievable, this is why you don’t get involved with strange people." Gotta love him!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Addison's Half Birthday!

Addison age 5 1/2
 Yesterday Addison turned 5 1/2 years old! So, we celebrated her little milestone with a little present (a hat she picked out a Kajoma's), her favorite meal of chicken, and we had double chocolate cake. We like to celebrate half birthdays as it is just one of 2 days of the year that the kids can feel extra special.

Addison's favorites at 5 1/2 years old:
1.       What is your favorite color? Purple
2.       What is your favorite toy?  Cookie her Doggie and her BIG HUGE dog from Grandma Bet and Grandpa Bill.
3.       What is your favorite fruit? Green Apples
4.       What is your favorite tv show?  Curious George
5.       What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Peanut Butter Sandwich, Fritos, Greek Yogurt, To Go Applesauce, and a juice box.
6.       What is your favorite outfit?  Her Christmas Dress
7.       What is your favorite game?  Mario Cart
8.       What is your favorite snack?  Chocolate Animal Crackers
9.       What is your favorite animal?  Dogs
10.   What is your favorite song?  Sparks Fly (Taylor Swift) and Fireworks (Katy Perry).
11.   What is your favorite book? "Dog in Boots" by Greg Gormley
12.   Who is your best friend? Kate and Kaitlyn
13.   What is your favorite cereal?  Cocoa Pebbles
14.   What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play on the playset
15.   What is your favorite drink?  Apple juice
16.   What is your favorite holiday?  Fourth of July because it is close to her birthday.
17.   What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Cookie her dog and the Big dog "snuggles up to me"
18.   What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?  Eggs and Bacon and cocoa pebbles
19.   What do you want for dinner on your birthday?  Chicken Legs
20.   What do you want to be when you grow up? A mommy and a veterinarian 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Austin Family Album 2011

It is complete. I do believe this is a record! I have our family Album completed for the previous year by January 11!!

Here it is. Please do not let me know if I have errors because I already ordered it. It is captured forever now. :)

Gees, now I should get to the 365 album, then to finishing Addison's scrapbook (sigh).

Alivia's First Reconciliation

Yesterday after school, Alivia had her First Reconciliation or confession at our church. We had talked to her about this for a while, she had learned her prayers, and seemed prepared and ready.

Chris provided Alivia with a guide card to help her through her first time. We scheduled a private confession for Alivia and Father Vogel since we did not believe Alivia would do well in the crowded room with all the other kids (who knows, we may just do this for all of our kids!). I am so glad we did it this way, and we are thankful for Dr. Vogel for his time.

This was Alivia's Guide Card:
My First Confession
1.       In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen.
2.       Bless me Father, for I have sinned. This is my first confession.
3.       These are my sins:
My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.
In choosing to do wrong, and failing to do good, I have sinned against You,
whom I should love above all things.
I firmly intend, with Your help, to do penance, to sin no more,
and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Amen.
5.       Lord Jesus, only Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner, Amen.
6.       In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen.
Thank you, Father.

Alivia did well. I will not post what she confessed as that is private, but she wrote down what she wanted to say. The only thing she had problems with was the Act of Contrition. She did not have it memorized. That is something she will be working on now before she goes to confession with me next. Chris also went through confession yesterday after Alivia was finished.
Congratulations Alivia. Now...onto the Sacrament of Holy Communion.
She was going to wear a dress, but we ran out of time after school! She looks so small here!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

January at the Zoo

Let me just point out that today was the first time I had ever been to the zoo when it was 50 degrees in January. It was beautiful! Asher and I arrived at opening, just the two of us. He was able to select where he wanted to go and what he wanted to see. We walked through a few indoor exhibits before making our way to the playground. Yes, Asher played on the outdoor playground at the zoo in January. Crazy, right?! I know, good thing we enjoyed it because I hear winter is coming back. Seriously, big bummer. If Nebraska winters were like this every year all winter long, I would stop begging Chris to move as soon as I got my first chill every winter.

Anyway, we had a fabulous day. Asher enjoyed the tigers (who were quite loud today for some reason) and the prairie dogs (who were also quite loud) most today. He REALLY wanted to see an IMAX again (we had seen them all already), but we had errands to run. So, I promised a return trip next week, maybe just to see the IMAX.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Just Sitting Here

I am a stay at home mom. What does that mean exactly? Clearly, I need to really point this out.

First, I started with Google, where else?
The MacMillan Dictionary states a Stay at home mom/dad is:
"A parent who stays at home to look after their children instead of working outside the home."

The highly accredited (ha) Urban Dictionary states that a stay at home mom is:

"A mother that stays at her home during the day. Unemployed, usually with the husband supporting the family.
The main reason for being a stay-at-home mom is to raise children better.
see also: soccer mom."
The same Urban Dictionary  had many other entries that I believe is more of the common belief of working moms/parents. I say this as an occasional working stay at home mom who has worked both sides, working full time with kiddos in daycare to quitting a nearly 6 figure job so I can raise our kids myself. Now I work on call as a nurse, believing some day my valued education may come in handy when I return to work, either as a nurse or back in pharmaceuticals.

This is one example of what someone believes how a stay at home mom should be defined,
"An unemployed woman who probably went to college (for no reason). She takes care of her house and the kids (who've probably never met their dad ) and thinks her job is one of the toughest ones in the world, because in her world, women don't work outside of the home. She thinks her children are precious angels who deserve only the best from the world." 
Everyone should believe their kids are precious angels!!
Why am I pointing this out, you may ask? Well, as a stay at home mom, I feel the need to defend myself occasionally. One, I am highly educated with my BS in Nursing and a MBA. I selected my role as a mommy, then decided I did not want my kids raised in daycare. I felt I was missing all the important milestones and moments. Kids are only small once. I can work later, I thought. I understand that not everyone wants to or can be a stay at home mom. I can do both (work and stay home) but I sucked at being a working mom. I was stressed out, felt I had to do laundry and clean the house on weekends, and did not feel I was getting the valuable time I wanted and my kids needed. So, we planned and I quit. 
I have been asked a couple times by working friends to be their fill in daycare. Last year I watched a friends little girl while her Grandma was a away. It went well, her mommy is a close friend, and the little girl was adorable and well mannered. But, I am not a daycare and I was just doing it as a favor to my friend.

I was put on the spot by an acquittance to watch her son a few times over the next couple months. Although I did not want to do it, I felt pressured. And, I can sometimes be nice and not know how to say no. I have not really ever met her son. Asher has not, either, but they are the same age and will be going to preschool together next year. So, I said I would do it. Today was to be his first day. So, I got up, worked out, showered, got the girls ready, woke and dressed Asher. Asher does not have to get out of bed and get dressed early in the morning. That is the joy of having Mommy at home. I raced to get ready for this boy's arrival before 8 sometime (his Mommy never confirmed a time and ignored my emails when I asked her about his likes/dislikes, a little about his routine, etc). Anyway, I opened my iPad to an email stating she found someone else for today. Someone free.


Thanks for the notice. I went to the store last night to ensure an array of lunch options, not to mention my crazy morning. I sent an email back stating, but I am not quoting, please respect my time and CALL ME and let me know when you are not coming as soon as you know explaining the chaos in preparing for him to come this morning. Seriously, how rude!! I believe, she is not happy that I am charging her $30 a day, which is not enough in my opinion. I can make that in over an hour if I wanted to work. But, I don't, I want to enjoy this last year and a half of being home with my son, alone. Play dates are fun for him, and I have no problem helping out friends (friends are the ones you know well and have met their kids). But, I  believe she thinks that I am just hanging around with my husbands money, and I have nothing better to do than watch her kid, watch her kid for free.

So, if you know a stay at home mom, she is at home, yes. But, be respectful of their time. Be considerate. Be kind. And, maybe, in return, we can help you out someday. But, our job is not to watch YOUR kids, it is to take care of our kids, our home, and our marriage. Whether you think that is dumb or not, that is my choice. If you need daycare, seek one out already.

Okay, BIG JUMP down from the soapbox. See, I am not just sitting here. Sigh....

...for more stay at home mommy blogging, see THIS.  

Oh, and lesson learned. Next time this comes up, I will just nicely pass. 

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Broken in 2011

I am working on the annual Austin photo album and came across a blog titled, "Broken" in September. "Huh," I thought to myself, "I did not break my foot in September."

In this post, I made note of all the things that were breaking in the Austin Household, the cell phone, the lawn mower, my laptop (that I have yet to replace), and the washing machine (funny, that seemed to fix itself). I ended the post with, "For now, we are thankful we are not broken."

Gees! I do believe I gave myself bad thoughts (or is this foreshadowing?!).

Good thing we are into 2012 and we are all healed. New phone, new lawn mower, iPad instead of a laptop (for now), and my foot is all better.

Interesting what you see in life when you reflect.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

December 2011 In Review

Happy New Year! Wow...what a wonderful month! Christmas turned out to be a fun time spent together this year. We stayed close to home, for the most part, playing, baking, and enjoying much family time. It was nice and quiet, just the way we like it. The girls and Chris got to take a much needed vacation from school and work, which was so nice! They kids had playdates, watched movies, went to the zoo, had sleepovers and even spent the night with Grandma Bet and Grandpa Bill! Hard to believe it is 2012...but we are ready for it. Happy New Year!

Now...sit back and enjoy some of our fondest moments of December 2011.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Winter Break

Winter break was over for Chris and the girls on Tuesday. Since then, Asher and I have been trying to get back some sense of normal. It is so quiet! I miss Alivia and Addison, and Chris too!

We had a fun winter break. We went to the Lincoln Children's Museum, the zoo, watched movies, visited family, and the kids even stayed over night on the farm with Grandma Bet and Grandpa Bill!

Last Friday, the eve of New Years Eve, the kiddos stayed with my parents on the farm. We drove out and Chris went flying first, flying all over the area. Meanwhile the kids, Grandma and I stayed back at the house. The kids played with Grandmas toys, prepped their room for the night (with toys no less) and caught up on our favorite cable shows. At the end of the day, the kids stayed behind while Chris and I went home to enjoy a night alone.

Okay, it was nothing major. We ordered pizza and watched a movie, Warrior. It was a very good movie. I am not one who likes fighting movies, but this one had a great storyline, too.  Anyway, it was a great movie without interruptions. We got up the next morning and ran together. This is something we never get to do, but Chris was sure I was trying to kill him. Now, he is out running my 4-5 mile route alone. Huh, I must have made him stronger!

Many playdates, late nights and family moments later, the break was over. Boo. Now back to reality.

I wonder how long it will take Asher and I to find it, reality that is...