Thursday, March 31, 2011

Good things DO last

I had such a fantastic time visiting with my parents.  They are so awesome to have flown out here all the way from Texas to see us.  When they are here, things just seem right, ya know?  
They have a nice calming effect on my life.  I don't know why.  I've been married and out from underneath their roof since I was 19.  This "calming effect" should have transferred over by now, dontcha think?  It hasn't.  I think that it might have something to do with being attached at the hip, or something of that nature.  
This give me certain super happy spurts throughout the year when I do get to spend time with them.  Either here in California, or at their home in Texas.  To be honest, I would rather spend time with them in Texas, but I have 3 punk-a-roos now, and traveling there more than once a year is a little out of our price range if ya know what I mean, Jean.  

During their most recent visit, I put a hold on blogging, of course, and spent some much needed time with them. Soaking up all their super cool vibes.  We went to the park, shopping, eating out, visiting the CA Science Center and the Natural History Museum, the hubs and kiddos took my Dad to Disneyland for the first time in his life, 
Yes, that's my hubby flashing the horns 

and they did lots of cuddling.  Them with my kids, not me with them. 

 Although, I have not outgrown the occasional hug attack on my Mom.  She likes it, I know that she does   :-)  I also got some relief from la bambina numero tres.  My Mom stepped in anytime that she needed to be fed, changed or put to sleep.  Mom was there with open arms as if it was the last time that she was ever going to hold my baby.  The best part for me, though, was seeing my Dad play with her.  
He is so funny, because he has never, nor will he ever, stop making baby sounds to infants.  It is the cutest and funniest thing.  He has funny little nicknames for each one of his Grandpunks.  Something along the lines of:  Scoob, Bubbs, Booger, get the picture.
All in all, it was an amazing visit with them.  Someone I know posed the question, "Do you ever go a day without missing someone?"  I would have to say no.  I sure don't.  I miss my Texas family every single day, and I think about them multiple times a day.  I don't know why, but God found favor in me before I was even conceived, and gave me the most wonderful family.  My family is full of love, acceptance, generosity, and is drama-less.  When I hear others talk about how messed up their families are, I can't help but thank God in that moment for the family that he has blessed me with.  On that note, "Thank you, Big Guy, for my family and the love that You surround me with when I am in their presence."

Friday, March 25, 2011

Natalie's Sweet Iced Tea

So many people throughout the years have had the pleasure of drinking my sweet iced tea.  Tea is not hard to make, but it is easy to screw up.  Here is how I make my sweet iced tea.  Enjoy!

Natalie's Sweet Iced Tea

5 regular sized, black tea bags 
10 cup coffee maker yes I said a coffee maker
1 cup of good ol sugar
1 gallon pitcher

Step 1:  Fill up the coffee pot to the 7 cup mark with water and pour it into your  coffee maker
Step 2:  Take the 5 tea bags out of their wrappers, and put them in the coffee filter section of your coffee maker.  Make sure that strings and papers to your tea bags are hanging out of the coffee filter section.  
Step 3:  Turn that coffee pot on, gosh darn it.
Step 4:  Once the tea is finished brewing through the coffee pot, let the tea steep in the coffee pot for 
15-20 minutes.  
Don't jump the gun here and get antsy.  Let it sit for a while and marinate.  It makes a me
Step 5:  Pour the 1 cup of sugar into the gallon pitcher.
Step 6:  Pour the tea on top of that sweet sweet sugar and stir it around until the sugar is dissolved.  
Step 7:  Fill the rest of the pitcher up with water.
Step 8:  Drink that yummy goodness on ice!  

Your welcome, people!  Love you!

PS:  Day old sweet tea is the BEST!  So if you want to make this a day ahead of drinking it, then go right ahead and do that.  No one is stopping you.  

Monday, March 21, 2011

They're coming!!!!

If you look real close, you can see that my Mom has her eyes closed.  Muahahaha.  Don't hate me Mom!  I love you!
My parents are coming to visit on Thursday, and I can't wait.  Well, my kids can't wait either, but who cares about that.  The most important thing is that they are coming.  
They are flying alll the way from Texas to see us.  I had the pleasure of seeing my Mom when I had my #3, but she left all too soon because she had to get back to work.  My Dad, bless his heart, just couldn't take not getting to see la bambina.  Not that I can blame him, I mean, my #3 IS pretty yummy.  
Just look at those cheeks!  How could anyone resist, I ask you?  You can''s impossible!  

Okay!  Lets get back on track here, folks!

When they get here there are a few things that will definitely happen.  
#1 Tons of hugs and kisses..and then more hugs...and then more kisses
#2 Eating out, because that's just what we do
#3 Going to the California Science Museum
#4 Watching a lot of TV
#5 Walking to the park
#6 My parents will sleep in my bed, and we will bunk up with my kids
#7 My kids will get toys out the whazooo.  At least that's what they think will happen.

All in all, we will have a grand ol time.  Unfortunately, they will have to leave eventually.  Now if only I could cram myself into their suitcase, and fly back with them.  Hmmmm.  Is that possible?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Girl Day

On occasion my daughter and I will have what we lovingly call a "girl day".  These are times where we are able to get away from the nose picking boys that we live with, and have a little alone time.  I surprise her with our girl days because, lets face it, there are very few surprises in life these days.  I took her to Disneyland.  The last time that we went to Disneyland together was over 2 years ago.  We have annual passes, but I was pregnant way back when and couldn't go on any of the rides.  Bummer, I know.  
I picked her up from school, and pretended to be running errands with her.  She was excited to run errands with me, but when she realized that we passed Target, the grocery store, and any other places that I run errands to, she got a little anxious.  I then had to tell her where we were going just to shut her up.  Needless to say, she flipped her lid.  
The day was perfect, aside from the crowd.  I mean, I felt like we were playing human bumper cars, it was so packed with people and strollers.  On top of that, there were a lot of sections of Disneyland that were under construction for what ever reason.  So we, meaning the crowd, were being herded like friggin cattle into narrow sections of the walkways.  It was a little annoying, but we did not let that deter us from our objective:  TO HAVE SOME ROCKIN GIRL TIME.  
We rode the following rides during the 6 hours that we were there:  the Monorail in and out of Disneyland, Toon Town's Gadget roller coaster, Columbia ship, Thunder Mountain, Snow White, and the Carousel.  We also watched the Star Wars Jedi Training thingy over there in Tomorrow Land.  On our way out, we waited in line for 45 minutes at the Gibson Girl Ice Cream shop for some awesome waffle cone action.  It WAS amazing!  Granted we didn't ride much given the amount of time that we were there, but all the lines were over 45 minutes of waiting time.  We decided to duck out early and not wait around for the fireworks which we've seen a million times before.  She did, however, get a toy.  We have never gotten our kids toys from Disneyland before because they are so stinkin over priced.  
Here she is with her gosh darn toy that she wouldn't stop bugging me about:
Today has taught me something.  If you have multiple kids, then it is imperative to spend some alone time with each one of them.  This makes them feel special and it reminds them of how important they are to you.  Some kids can start to feel lost when there are a lot of siblings around.  Especially when a new baby is added to the family.  I am constantly holding, feeding, changing, or trying to get my littlest one to sleep.  My poor daughter is told to wait a minute or do it herself multiple times a day.  
When we left Disneyland today she told me twice that she loved me and that she had so much fun with me.  This warms my heart so much, and it makes me want to already plan our next Girl Day.  

Thursday, March 17, 2011

10 Things: Duchess Edition

My Dog!
10 Things About Duchess:
  1. I got her for free from a family that had 4 lap dogs, and her owner lady decided that she didn't like "big" dogs.  Her loss!
  2. She was extremely over weight.  We're talking 20 or so lbs. here, people
  3. She's 7 years old which makes her 49 years old in human years
  4. She scared off the gophers that tried to live in our backyard by sticking her large melon down their gopher holes.  Thank you very mucho!
  5. I constantly trip over her because she follows me around the house.  Even when she's asleep, if she hears me get up and go to the bathroom, she will then proceed to follow me to the bathroom.
  6. She gets scared when the electricity goes off in our house.  So scared that she will try, by any means necessary, to get out of the house. For instance, she tried to claw her way of one of our windows and ruined my aluminum blinds.
  7. She doesn't jump up on people, or on the furniture.  Score!
  8. She will climb out of the upstairs windows when we leave the house, and jump off of our roof.  She's done it thrice.  Thank goodness for the veterinarian who lives across the street who assessed her potential injuries for freeeee.
  9. She sleeps in my son's bed and gets her nasty hair EVERYWHERE. 
  10. When she goes all day without being fed, she will eat the trash in my bathroom and get toilet paper and other "special" things all over my bedroom floor.

Despite her retardedness, I still love her.  She's mine, and I would never give her away in the Penny Saver like her previous idiot owner did.

Monday, March 14, 2011


I've got a helper!  Horray!  Victory!  
When my #2 found out that my #3 was going to be a girl, she freaked out.  
We purposely brought her along for the ultrasound, and when the technician announced that #3 WAS a girl there was a sigh of relief in the room.  #2 insisted that I have another girl from the get go.  If my #3 was to turn out to be a boy, then my #2 was going to run away from home.  Not really, but she would have at least threatened it.  
Ever since #3 was born, my daughter has been nothing but a big helper.  She wants to help with the diapers, feeding, and the holding all the time.  I  can even count on her to sit next to the baby when she is fussy and give her her pacifier whenever she spits it out.  Love it!  She is so in love with her little sister, and it is the sweetest thing.  So far, having 2 girls has been such a blessing.  We will see how I feel about that when my #3 is older and they are arguing over clothes and other petty sisterly things.  

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Where I find myself....

I love Target!
I do.  I would go there every day if I could.  I love their purses, shoes, women's clothing, children's clothing, and their Up and UP brand for everything under the Sun.  I go there first for everything.  I'm not trying to get them to sponsor me however, if they did then that would be awesome.  I am telling you that if you don't shop there then either you live very far away from a Target or that something must be missing from your life.  
I especially love it when there is a Starbucks inside of the Target.  OMG!  That might be my little slice of Heaven right here on Earth.  There is nothing sweeter well okay there might be sweeter things than walking around Target by myself whilst sipping an Iced Venti Soy Chai.  Sigh!  Just the thought makes me want to cry. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

A little pampering....

Don't mind the retarded phone pic and smudgy mirror
Today I got my hair cut.  I know...I know...big deal.  Well for me it is.  I haven't had my hair  cut since December 8, 2010.  The fact that I can remember the actual date is really really pathetic and sad.
These days I haven't had any time to myself.  I mean NONE!  I am surrounded by my children for all but 8-10 hours a day.  The 8-10 hours that they are not smothering me is spent sleeping.  Don't get me wrong, I love love love my kids and they make me so happy.  However, I AM a human being, and most human beings need a little alone time.  So today at 9am, I hopped in my car all by myself, and drove 15 minutes to see my friend Amy.  Amy is awesome!  She's little, funny, cute, and she cuts my hairs real nice.  I got to spend a good hour sans children, and it was perfect.  I think that I should do it more often.  Maybe next time I'll go to the book store and read a book BY MYSELF.  I could go to Starbucks and have some chai BY MYSELF.  Or, or ooor, I could got shopping for MYSELF BY MYSELF.  What a neat concept.  
 Now I have to sit down, talk with the hubs and work something out with his schedule, so that I can have some alone time on a regular basis.  The fact that I have to do that is, again, really really pathetic and sad.  
I dos what I gots to dos.  

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Aunt Lucy's Fancy Beans

I'm not a huge bean eater, but this side dish is so amazing.  

My Aunt Lucy whips this up during the holidays every now and then, and I loves it.  Hopefully, she wont object to me sharing it with the World.  If she does, then whoooops! 

It's sweet and slightly tangy flavor goes perfectly with almost every type of American meat dish.  Give it a whirl!   

Aunt Lucy’s Fancy Beans

4 onions, sliced in rings (or less, I used 1 & ½ medium onions)
½ lb. Bacon diced
1 lb. Burger (beef or vineson)

Fry above ingredients and drain

¼ cup vinegar
¼ tsp. Mustard
¾ cup brown sugar
Add 1 can of the following (drain well):
Kidney beans
Navy beans
Butter beans
2 cans of pork and beans

Bake for 1 hour at 350 or heat in a slow cooker on high for 3 hours

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Just one of those days

I'm having "just one of those days" today.  
2 out of 3 of my kiddos didn't sleep very well last night, so that started my day off pretty stinkin early.  
Bummer #1.  
When I woke up I stubbed my toe on my bed.  
Bummer #2. 
 Then upon emptying the dishwasher, I kept dropping my clean cups and utensils on my dirty floor.  
Bummer #3. 
 As I poured my son a cup of milk I dumped the milk all over my dirty floor.  Thus making it even dirtier.  
Bummer #4.  

Can you see where this is going?

I took my kiddo #1 to the doctor and hit my head on my car door whilst putting my #3 into the back seat.  
Bummer #5.  
When I was paying for the doctor's services I bent over to sooth my infant in her car seat.  Upon standing back up, I hit my head...again...on the Doctor's counter.  
Bummer #6.  
Then I had to explain to the office assistant that I was fine, and that NO I did not need a nurse to take a look at my head.  

Why do we have days like this?  Most days are dandy and klutz free.  What makes us have bummer days?  Are the stars aligned just right to the point where the Universe knows that today is "just one of those days"?  Is there anything that I can do to prevent said days from happening?  Stay in bed? Hide under my covers?  Pray?  Chant?  Rearrange my furniture? Walk around my house with burning sage?  Seriously, some people do that.  I really want to know.  I'm getting kind of sick of having days like today.  It's embarrassing and it hurts...a lot.  

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sicky Poo

My boy

He's sick today.  Last night I looked at him in passing and noticed that his cheeks were red and his eyes were glassy.  It was within that split second of just looking at his cute face that I realized that he had a fever.  Insert thermometer here! 
102 degrees!!!
Poor bubbas!
I can't believe that I went all day without noticing that he didn't feel well.  He didn't say anything to me about it, but still I should have noticed earlier.  I felt like the crappiest-Mom-in-the-entire-world for about 5 minutes and then took action.
I immediately gave him medicine and sent him to bed.  He insisted that he wasn't tired, but I'm a mean Mommy and I force my sick kids to stay in bed.  
He's lucky that we have an iPad.  I didn't have an iPad when I was a kid and bedridden with the chicken pox.  Noooo!  I got to stare at my ceiling fan for days and days.  
He slept through the night, and I woke him up at 7am to take his temp again to asses whether or not he should go to school.  
102.6 degrees!!!
Poor bubbas!
I called his school, and canceled my plans for today to stay at home and nurse my boy back to health.  
He's loving every minute of watching Goonies over and over again, and completely missing out on school.  
I'm hoping that he gets better by tomorrow.  He, on the other hand, is hoping that he'll maintain his fever long enough to miss out on the remainder of 3rd grade.  
We shall see who wins this battle.  

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Night Light!

Here's my #3
She slept through the night for the past 2 nights.  Here's to hoping that she continues this lovely trend.  
Now if only I could shut off my brain at night too.  That would  be even lovely-er.  
You see, I'm on high alert, Mommy-mode.  This is a blessing and a curse.  
The blessing part gives me the ability to hear my children's cries in a sea of other children ie: Chuck E Cheese or the play area at Chick Fil A.  This also give me the ability to decipher a real cry from a "fake" cry.  So that I can quickly yell, "Get over it and stop crying!"  
However, this ability has cursed me because my brain is in the "ON" position at all times.  It thinks that every single grunt or murmur from my #3 is a gateway into Cryville.  This totally stinks because she is a very "grunty" baby and makes those types of noises when she is in the deepest of sleep.  Oy!  
I will constantly send my #3 mental messages at around 8pm every night.  These messages being, 
"Please please pleeeease sleep all night long!"  
I think that she is finally hearing them.  Either that or this lack of sleep is making me loose my ever loving mind. 
 I will hope that it's the former.  

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Memaw's Pineapple Dream Pie

This pie is so good.  When I say that I mean it whole heartedly...with all that I am...from here to the moon.....yeeaahh, you get the picture. 

 Seriously, anything that comes from my Memaw's recipe drawer is a winner winner chicken dinner.

This pie is the perfect Spring/Summer dessert, and EVERYONE loves it.  If you don't then something is wrong with you.  Unless you don't like pineapple or are allergic, then I digress that last sentence. 

Memaw's Pineapple Dream Pie

2 graham cracker crust pie shells 
That's right!  This makes 2 pies.  One for now, and one for late night snackin.
1 lg. Can pineapple, crushed, do NOT drain.
1 16 oz sour cream
1 lg. extra creamy cool whip 
If you can't find extra creamy, then regular does just fine
1 lg. Pkg. Vanilla instant pudding.

Mix four ingredients together until well blended.  DO NOT BEAT Use a spatula or large spoon here, folks.  Pour into pie shells and refrigerate until cooled.  Usually about 3 hours does the trick.  

Enjoy!!!!! and Your Welcome

Friday, March 4, 2011

Oooooh CRAP!

My Daughter:
There she be
She is a miniature version of me, I swear.
She is exactly what I was like when I was five. Sensative, caring, hilarious, tender, sweet, a social butterfly, and above all else....duhn duhn duhn...she's boy crazy!
Dear Lord, help us all!
See that little boy next to her in the picture okay you really can't "see" him, but you know that he's there!  We'll call him Booger Breath.  Booger Breath there is the topic of many a conversation when I pick her up from school.  Apparently, Booger Breath, likes to push my daughter and call her names.  Apparently, Booger Breath's favorite color is blue, and my daughter insists on wearing blue because Booger Breath "likes it".  
I am so rolling my eyes right now.  Worst of all, despite all of his efforts, Booger Breath can't stop my daughter from liking him.  This fact disturbs my hubby and I.  We've talked to her about this, and aside from Justin Beiber, Booger Breath is her new crush.  So this leads us to believe that at some point in our lives probably when she's approaching teenager doom we are going to have to pack up everything and move to a very rural part of the US just to get our daughter away from all Booger Breaths alike.  Or just lock her in a closet, and let her out when she's 25.  Which ever is fine by me.  

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hey There!

Well....hi there friends!  My name is Natalie.  It's nice to meet you.  I've never blogged before, so this is a stretch for my introverted personality.  Things in my life change frequently and I thought that chronicling it all in blog form would be interesting.  I have a lot of thoughts, seeing as how I'm a dreamer (BIG TIME!).  So I sort of feel sorry for all of you who might be interested in reading my blog.  Never the less, here we go!

This blog will consist of several things:

My kids

These little crazies are mine.  Yep, all 3.  

My family
Dreams of mine
Religious chit chat
Music that I love
and last but not least.....Random things that I stumble across that strike my fancy

So if this interests you, then I ask that you please stick around.  It will get better...I promise!