Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Boys

I realize i've been posting a lot about knitting and spring cleaning and various other things but haven't given an update on the boys in a while. So on that note ......

As some of you know, we brought Houston to a speech pathologist back in January because we (and his pediatrician) were concerned that he wasn't talking much yet. He says a lot but most people don't understand him and it's frustrating for everyone. And because he is so much bigger than the average two-year-old, people think he is older and expect more from him. (if he keeps this up he is going to be VERY tall) She basically said he's a delayed talker and will probably need some articulation therapy when he gets a little closer to his 3rd birthday. Apparently he tries to use his lips to make sounds instead of using his tongue. She gave us some things to do at home to excercise his speaking muscles. My favorite is putting peanut butter on the roof of his mouth and watching him lick it off. Fun stuff! So now that you have the background .... here's the update: He is speaking much, much better. He's made amazing progress just in the past two weeks. People other than myself are finally starting to understand what he is saying and that is great stuff. He knows his colors now too, which I am very proud of. Part of his home therapy is to ask him lots of questions all the time that don't have just yes or no answers. So we talk about colors a lot and he has picked up on them very well. He knows pink, red, green, blue, purple, brown, yellow, orange and white. He can almost count to ten and he is getting pretty good at the alphabet. Oh yeah ... and he can do the Gator Chomp with the best of them. That's my boy! :)

Brody is 9-1/2 months old and weighs about 20 pounds now. For a baby who was 12 pounds at birth, he has ended up being pretty average as far as size goes ... but physical development has been a different story. He's been crawling all over the place since he was only six months old. He is pulling up on everything and he will walk across the room if someone is holding his hands. He is getting more and more confident each day and has started to pull up and then let go to stand on his own. He and his brother both love music. It's the cutest darn thing, I tell ya ... as soon as I turn on music Brody starts bopping up and down. He's loves to dance! And so does Houston. I'm looking forward to them being old enough to take some music lessons. We have a lot of instruments in the house and they both love them better than any of thier toys. Houston's favorite is definitely the drums but he also "plays" the keyboard and guitar just about every day. Brody loves the keyboard because it is easy for him to "play" some music on and he is oh so proud of himself when he does. He pushes the demo button on the keyboard which plays song for him and he sits there bopping up and down and clapping his hands. Too cute!

And speaking of the boys .... Brett is going to have his first night alone with them on saturday. It will also be the first night i've spent away from Brody and only the second night i've spent away from Houston. Don't tell him I said so, but I think Brett is in for a rough night. I feel a little guilty about leaving Brody since he is still nursing but I know he'll be okay. He eats plenty and really doesn't nurse that often. He does like to have his milk in the middle of the night though ... which is where it's going to be tough for Brett. He doesn't nurse to sleep though, he prefers to rock, so that makes it easier for me to leave him. Houston always nursed to sleep so for anyone else to get him down for the night, or even for a nap, was quite a chore. You may be wondering where i'm going without my family in tow so I suppose i'll fill you in on that as well. I'm going to a knitters slumber party! How cool is that? (i'm easily amused, can you tell?) Knitting, wine, chick flicks and female friendship ... does it get any better than that??? Oh yeah ... and add some Gator Basketball Final Four action! :)

Monday, March 26, 2007

A Borrowed Quote

My knitting friend, Lorena, has a random quote on her blog every day and I just couldn't help borrowing this one: "Be stronger than your past. Wear your scars like a warrior; not like chains around your neck." - Dylan Horrocks

Love it.

Favorite Knitting Accessory

For Secret Pal 10 we were asked to blog about our favorite knitting accessory, so here it goes ...

First off, I don't have many knitting accessories to speak of. I have a cable needle that I still haven't used, a row counter that I still haven't used, and a retractible tape measure that hangs around the neck. One of these days I'm going to get a pair of those handy little folding scissors that also hangs around the neck. Until then I will borrow someone else's at SnB or use my big scissors while at home. That being said, my favorite knitting accessory has to be the retractible tape measure for two reasons.

1. I like to knit patterns that tell you to knit until item measures X number of inches versus having to count rows. The tape measure is right there for me when I need it.

2. It serves as a great distraction for the boys. When i'm knitting and they are trying to pull on my yarn all I have to do is hand them the tape measure and they are entertained for a good ten minutes, allowing me to finish the row i'm working on before stopping to attend to their needs.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Double Jogging Stroller

So we have this new sidewalk really close to our house that goes all the way into town. I want to start walking again but find that very difficult to do with two little ones. So ... i'm looking for a double jogging stroller. If anyone sees one for sale at a consignment shop or in the paper or at a yard sale ... anywhere but brand new at a regular store ... let me know please. Ideally I would like one that converts to a bike trailer but i'll settle for one that doesn't if it's cheap enough.

Spring Cleaning Question

Okay, so i'm in serious spring cleaning mode right now and can't seem to ration out any brain function for anything but that topic. Have you ever realized how much emotional baggage there is tied to old stuff? Here's a question for you. What is one thing you have never been able to get rid of, even though you no longer have a use for it, and why? I'll go first ...

My dearest aunt, my Aunt Ellen, died 15 years ago from cancer. I have a sweater that I bought on a shopping trip with her about 18 years ago. I can't seem to let go of this sweater even though it's been at least 10 years since i've worn it. I feel like i'm letting go of her if I let go of the sweater. I realize I feel this way about a lot of things. Holding onto things has become a way of holding onto the past for me. This is why i've decided to do some major spring cleaning. I feel like I can no longer grow as a person until I allow myself to let go of some of the baggage from the past.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Spring Cleaning

So I made it home on monday and it only took about two hours for the clutter of the house to start getting to me again and for my ever-growing "to do list" to start following me around the house. My secret hopes of Brett having done some serious cleaning while I was gone were thwarted pretty quickly upon walking in the front door. But ya know what? It's all good because I am a woman on a mission.

Even though I didn't get to do even half of the stuff I wanted to do while down in Bradenton, I did make some serious decisions about the state of my life. I didn't get to see all the friends and family that I wanted to see. I didn't make it to the gym even once. I didn't get to read my latest book on decluttering. I didn't get to do our taxes. I didn't spend any noteworthy amount of time knitting, aside from finishing the bunny on my first two days there. In fact, I'm not really sure what I did in that many days aside from some thinking. Well okay, I changed diapers and fed the kids and rocked to sleep and gave baths, etc. Can't get away from that stuff no matter where I go. Kids still require being taken care of.

One really good thing that came from my time away is that I was able to think clearly without the clutter of my life invading my thoughts and emotions. And this is what I decided ... it has to go! All of it. I'm tired of so much stuff staring at me in every room of this house. And mostly, i'm tired of feeling bad about myself every time I walk in my bedroom and see the piles of clothes in both closets and both dressers and not being able to find anything to wear that makes me feel good about myself. I've had two babies, large ones at that, and apparently i'm not going to be that little size 6 again anytime soon. And ya know what ... if I am then halla-frikin-luya ... i'll go buy some more clothes that fit the thirty-something Celena vs. the ones that fit the twenty-something Celena. And i'll be much happier for it. I don't know why I have held on to all of these "phases of clothes", as I like to call them. I realized something this past week about myself and I think i'm going to be a much happier person for it. I tend to hold on to things as a way of holding on to the past or of holding on to something that I wish were true about myself. Time to let it go and start living in the reality of NOW.

So .... i've been going like a mad woman for the past day or so in our bedroom trying on every single peice of clothing and pair of shoes that I own. Here are some things that i've noticed:
1.) my feet have grown a 1/2 shoe size longer with each pregnancy
2.) my feet are wider than they used to be which, for me, is not good
3.) i was holding on to over 20 pairs of shoes that i can't even fit my feet into anymore
4.) if i haven't had a reason to wear a pair of shoes in the four years since i've moved back to florida ... then i don't need those shoes anymore
5.) the floor of our closet actually matches the floor in our kitchen and dining room .. who knew?!
6.) there's a reason i always feel like i don't have anything to wear
7.) dog hair travels farther than i thought ... i'm sure the dogs don't spend time in our closet yet i swept up an amazing amount of hair from under my shoes
8.) i can no longer successfully walk in high heels and therefore find no reason to allow them to clutter up my closet floor

Being a work-at-home-mom means that my house is my office and my home. I work here and I play here and it is here that is causing me a lot of stress. So ... i must do something about it. Nobody can fix it for me. Brett can provide some moral support and some childcare but aside from that it's all on me. Miss Nancy is having a yard sale on saturday so I have some serious motivation to get as much done by then as possible. I'm not going to kill myself over it so I have a prioritized list starting with the things that bother me the most. That would definitely be my clothes and shoes. Shoes are done and clothes are about 1/4 of the way there at this point. I'm having another cup of motivation, oops I mean coffee, while I sit here taking a break and blogging about my spring cleaning ... and then i'm back to it.

I set up a system that seems to be working rather well. You see, I usually have a problem with organizing and clearing-out because I just don't have a good system to follow and my brain just doesn't work like that. I've read several books on the subject and i'm finally picking up some things that work for me. Here's how I'm going about it:
1.) break down major task at hand into small, manageable list of areas that i can cross off as i go
2.) start with a small list item ... good for motivation
3.) pull everything out of said list item area and put it on the bed
4.) go through each item and ask "does this make me feel good?"
if yes, try it on, if still yes then put it back in closet/drawer
if no, put in yard sale pile
if i have to think about it for more than 30 seconds after putting in on then it goes in the "bin of contemplation" ... to be dealt with at the end of the list

With this plan i've sent at least 30 pairs of shoes, 15 tank tops, 10 pairs of shorts, and 10 pairs of pants to the yard sale pile. The bottom hanging rack in my closet, which was a single list item, now has one lonely tank top hanging on it ... and that makes me feel way better than looking at the 15 that used to hang there. I think i'm going to put an "everything's a $1" sign on it all at the yard sale, in hopes of selling it all. I really don't care how much money I make. It feels good just to get it all out of the house. And what doesn't sell i'm going to send to the consignment shop I have an account at and what she doesn't want i'm going to donate to Hospice. And whatever money I do make i'm going to keep to do some more thriftin' and find some clothes that fit me now and make me feel good to see them in my room.

It's absolutely amazing to me how much stuff I am now able to let go of. Who knew clothes carried so much emotion. Or is it just me? Anyhow, i'm allowing myself to let go of the time and place associated with each item of clothing and it feels good to do so. I never realized how much all of this stuff was weighing me down. I'm not sure what turned on the light either. Like I said earlier, i've been doing a lot of thinking lately. I guess I just finally figured some stuff out. A lot of it has to do with trying to hold on to who I am now that I am a mom before anything else. I've been struggling with myself emotionally and with the loss of independence and time for myself that comes with having children and I realized I needed to make some changes. That's a big part of the reason I decided to head down to Bradenton for a while. I needed to remove myself from my every day life as much as possible while still caring for my children so I could get a grip. I did not like the person I was becoming but i'm happy to say i'm feeling much better about the situation.

I've realized that if I can't change something about my life at the moment then i'm just gonna have to change my thoughts on it. And on that note, now that i'm recharged with motivation, oops ... I mean coffee ... back to that pajama drawer. :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Kenny Chesney Concert???

My sister-in-law has four tickets to the Kenny Chesney concert in Jacksonville on April 21st. She is selling them for what she paid, $326 for all four, which includes all the taxes and fees. Let me know if you are interested.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Me & Rach

Okay, so I just typed this whole big post about what happened yesterday and about us coming home today and apparently blogger ate it. Bummer. I'll have to share the beach/shoe story later. We're finally heading home today and i'm ready to get to it. I really miss Brett and I know the boys do too. We're stopping to see Rachel in Palm Harbor and then we'll be on our way back to LC.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Some Fun Websites to Share

Warning Label Generator

Web Sudoku


We did some more thriftin' on wednesday and I scored some great stuff. I got the best buddha statue for only $3. He's so freakin' cute and he's going right in my living room. Got some clothes for the boys and some great vintage t's for me. And some Gap pants and another purse (that i don't really need... i think i have an addiction to hand bags).
Brody was no longer amused with our shopping adventures and was getting quite fussy. I wanted to try on some clothes so I let him play in my purse in the dressing room. He had a blast ... and made quite a mess. (note to the germaphobes out there ... yes, he is sitting on a not-so-clean dressing room floor in a thrift shop ... i know it looks kind of gross but it's good for kids to fight off germs and build up their immune systems)

Some Family Fun

I had some of my cousins over to my moms house last night for some family fun. I have a lot of cousins which made family events growing up a lot of fun. Robby (Eric's brother) and Jay (Lindsay's brother) were missing as were our cousins that live in Connecticut but we had a pretty good group here. We had a good time talking about all the crazy stuff that went on when we were growing up. The girls have always been pretty tame but the guys have been anything but. And now that we're all grown up we have a good time laughing about it all.

top row left to right: Eric, Donny, Traye, Tommy (my brother)

bottom: me & Brody (obviously), Tai (Eric's wife), Missy & Houston, Carly (Traye's daughter) and Illana (Traye's step-daughter)top left to right: Eric, Donny, Traye

bottom: Tai, Carly, Me & Houston, Lindsay, Illana

Lindsay and I went to college together and have always been very close. She was in my wedding (see earlier post). She's more like a sister and friend than a cousin. We were up until 3:30 am last night! I wish we lived closer to eachother and could hang out more often. Eric and I went to school together and even graduated from high school together. His mom also watched me, along with he and his brother, when we were little ... until we were old enough for school. Traye and I were also very close growing up and I was in his wedding. He's the oldest of the florida cousins and i'm the third oldest, Robby falling in-between in age. There are seven Anderson kids (my aunts and uncles) and all of them except for one live here in the Bradenton-Sarasota area. It was fun growing up with such a big family. That's what makes me want to have more kids ... almost.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Great Online Toy Store

I found a great online toy store and thought I would share.
They have all the great old-school toys. I want to get some Tinker Toys and some Lincoln Logs for the boys. I love toys that build imagination versus toys that over-stimulate the senses with bells and whistles and lights, etc.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

My Trip, My Life

Last night I met up with my friend Andy around 7pm at Perkins. Andy's wife was nice enough to keep the kids and let me borrow Andy for the evening and my mom was nice enough to keep my boys for me. Back in high school we used to go to Denny's and sit for hours and talk and talk and talk. Andy and I have been friends for a very long time. We sat next to eachother in 5th grade. I drove us to school during 11th and 12th grade. And now we have a blog together. We had a great conversation last night. I could hardly believe my eyes when I glanced at the clock as we were leaving and it was after midnight! It was a great evening with a great friend and I'm very thankful for it. It is so rare these days to get some uninterrupted time with a true friend. I wish I had someone take a picture of us but I completely forgot about it.

I went on a little trip down memory lane today and took some pictures to share. Houston spent the day with my mom at the pool and Brody and I drove around Bradenton and went thriftin' (thrift store shopping for those of you who aren't in the know). I still have a list of places I want to pass but I got a good start at it today.

Here's the Chili's I worked at the summer after my freshman year in college.

I drove by Bashaw Elementary School. I went here for 4th and 5th grade. I went to a private montessori school for K-3rd but entered the public school system when Bashaw opened it's doors in 1985. This is where I met Andy. I was part of the student body that got to choose the mascot for our new school. I'm pretty sure I voted for the Unicorns but we ended up being the Bashaw Bobcats.

This is the house that my grandparents (father's side) lived in when I was little, before the divorce and before my grandpa passed away. It is a shame to see how run down it is now. It used to be really nice.

And this is one of the big oak trees in the front yard that my cousin Erika and I used to climb in with our Uncle David.

I have more to share but it's late and I have a job I have to get finished and sent in. I'm kind of on vacation but not really. Unfortunately, I had to bring my work with me.

The Boys

The boys and I headed to my hometown of Bradenton last friday. Brett spent the weekend canoeing and camping down the river with people he works with and since I couldn't leave Brody for a whole weekend (nursing) I was not able to go. I figured instead of us spending the whole weekend at home alone, since we do that all the time anyway, we would go on a trip of our own. It worked out well too because I had a class reunion planning meeting and social and a baby shower all down here this weekend. It's been a busy but enjoyable time so far. I've had a lot of help with the boys which has been a much-needed change of pace for me. I love my boys with everything i've got but they are certainly a hand full. Houston and Brody spent most of saturday with my mom while I helped plan my class reunion and had some fun with some old friends.

Here's photo from Saturday night. This is me with Larry (left) and Kris (right). These are two guys that I grew up with. We all lived in the same neighborhood and hung out together, rode the bus together, played basketball in my front yard, talked at school, all that stuff ... It was really fun to reminise. (i probably didn't spell that word right .. so sue me)

The boys spent the day with thier Pappy Tom and Grammy Lee on Sunday while my mom and I went to my cousin's baby shower. Houston went fishing for the first time on saturday and actually caught a fish. He's already telling fish tails too. It's the cutest thing, if you ask him about the fish he will tell you it was "this big" and even holds his hands up and spreads them out as if to show you just how big the fish was. I hope to get a copy of the picture soon so I can post it here.

Houston spent the day with my mom on monday and Brody and I went shopping. Apparently I had my proverbial head up my arse when I was packing last friday. That's what I get for staying up so late the night before. Friday was a very rough day for me. Brett was already canoeing down the river and I was trying to pack and load the car and take care of the boys ... which proved to be very challenging to do all at once. I was pretty good with all the extras like toys, the computer, my knitting stuff, gifts for the baby shower and bridal shower, beach bag ... all that stuff ... it's the clothes that I failed miserably at. I forgot to bring a nice outfit for both of the showers I have this week. I forgot my sneakers. I was folding laundry as I was packing and I had two piles going on my bed ... one was all of my clean undies that I was going to pack and the other pile was all of my sports bras and a couple pairs of undies that I don't really like. Obviously I meant to pack pile A but to my dismay I soon discovered (while getting dressed for the shower on sunday) that I packed pile B. I have more sports bras than I know what to do with (and no sneakers to go jogging) and no undies. That lead to a trip to target after the shower on sunday for some undie shopping. Then I also realized that I did not pack much to wear. So ... on monday Brody and I did some outlet mall shopping and I got an outfit to wear this saturday to Rachel's bridal shower. And while we're talking about what I didn't pack ... since I didn't pack any decent walking shoes, I went for a long walk today in my flip flops and now have sunburned toes and big blisters on the tops of my feet where the straps to my flip flops sit. Lovely!

Here's Brody on the walk ... he turned around to look at me through the back of the stroller and ended up passing out that way. He slept like this the whole hour that we were walking and when he woke up he had this big red line across his face from where his forhead was sitting on the edge of the stroller.

Houston decided to walk for the last half of our journey. He kept up with me really well and I was very proud of him. We were naming everything we could find. He is so funny. We talked about all of the houses and the mailboxes and he even learned what a fire hydrant was. We talked about what color everything was and how certain things were big and others were little. Then every time we saw another mailbox he exclaimed loudly "more mailbox". And every time we saw another house he said "more house". Too cute. His speech is getting better and better every day. I think this trip has been really good for him. Here are a couple of pictures of Houston on our walk.


I finally finished the bunny I was knitting for my cousin's baby shower. I actually finished it in the car in the parking lot outside of the baby shower. It turned out okay but I wish I didn't have to rush the finishing part. And I also wish I used a pattern that didn't require so much sewing. The arms and legs were fine, it was the head that was the problem and in the end it ended up being sewn on a little crooked. Unfortunately for the bunny, I didn't realize this until it was too late. Oh well. It's not as bad as it looks in the picture though ... the picture was taken at an angle I don't think the baby will mind all that much. I'm kicking myself though because when I was following the pattern and got to the end of the head I contemplated veering from the pattern a bit and making the head and body all one piece. Then I decided that I didn't have time to fool around so I figured I would stick with the pattern. Should have listened to myself. I used Bernat Soft & Chunky yarn which was okay, but there were parts of the yarn that were sort of ... fluffy, for lack of a better word. You can see this at the base of one of the ears. In the picture it acutally looks like I did a really bad job of sewing the ear on but that's actually how the yarn was at the bottom of the ear. I should have cut that part out but since there were other parts of the bunny that had that going on I thought it all kind of fit together. In hind sight, I think I was wrong.

In other crafty news ... I got my Secret Pal assignment. How fun!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Personality Test

Interesting test here.


This guy should get an honorable mention in this years Darwin awards. (I think you have to actually die to win but i've seen them give honorable mentions to real idiots that just got lucky.)

A Nice Evening

Brett came home to take care of the boys at 5 yesterday. I went to accupuncture and then straight to yoga after that. An hour of accupuncture and an hour and a half of yoga ... what a great evening of doing something for myself. I love it! My accupuncturist is sort of like a therapist too. He'll listen to just about anything I feel like rambling on about and I learn a whole lot from him. He recommended a new book to me called "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle. I'm going to stop at a bookstore on my way south tomorrow and see if I can find it. I'm up for some good reading material. I really liked his book "The Power of Now". If you haven't read it, I would highly recommend it.
And yoga was great, as usual, even though I haven't made it to class in way too long. Sharon, yoga teacher extroidinaire, had us do an advanced version of triangle pose where one hand is behind your back and the other hand goes through your legs from the front to the back and you clasp your hands together ... very much like a pretzel ... and apparently not many people could do it. After class, the woman that was next to me said "I about fell over when I saw you do that! How in the world did you do that?". I told her that i've been doing yoga for about ten years now. "Ohhhh", she said.
Brett and I have gotten away from my scheduled "mom time" with all the holiday craziness and beginning of the year work overload and last night reminded me of how much I need that. We talked about it and we're going back to sunday afternoons, so I can go to SnB in Gville, and wednesday evenings, so I can go to yoga and accupuncture. I could get used to that! :)


See post below from February 26th for my SP questionnaire.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Missing Money

Check this out:

I actually found some money that the department of education owes me!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Mystery Project

These needles are driving me crazy but they are what I've got to work with for now and I have to get this project done by this weekend. Can you guess what it's going to be?

A Good Cause

Women’s shelters in the U.S. go through thousands of tampons and pads monthly, and, while agencies generally assist with everyday necessities such as toilet paper, diapers, and clothing, this most basic need is often overlooked. You and I may take our monthly trips down the feminine care aisle for granted, but, for women in shelters, a box of tampons is five dollars they can’t spare. Here’s some good news: you can help us contribute to rectifying this situation by making a virtual donation below! For each virtual donation, Seventh Generation will send a pack of organic cotton tampons or chlorine-free pads to a shelter in your state.

Fun at the Crews Farm

We had some of my mommy friends (and family) over for a potluck on saturday night. It was a lot of fun. The kids really had a blast and the mommies enjoyed some yummy wine. After dinner we hung out around the fire and roasted marshmellows.


Morning Hair

Friday, March 02, 2007


Houston wore underwear all day long yesterday without having any accidents! (and i'm sure he would be thrilled that i'm blogging about this) After some reverse progress in potting training he has now decided that he is too big for his pull-ups and wants to wear underwear and use the potty all by himself. I'm so proud.
He also wants to pick out his clothes, dress himself and put on his shoes without anyone so much as touching anything to even think about helping him. He will firmly tell you "No, I do" and run away from you. And aside from occasionally having his shirt turned backwards, he does a really good job. I told him to make sure the tag of his pants is in the back and that was all he needed. He gets it right pretty much every time. His shirt sometimes gets turned around as he is trying to find the armholes but then he won't let me touch him to fix it. He even picks out matching colored tops and bottoms. Does this mean he will have good fashion sense later on? Hmmm...

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Wrenda's Bags

Here are some pictures of the bags my friend Wrenda is making. She can make different sizes too if you just want a bag and not neccessarily a diaper bag. Aren't they great?

Firebird for Sale

2000 PONTIAC FIREBIRD, 75K mi, air bag, abs, ac, ps, cc, tilt, p/seats, p/windows, pdl, p/mirrors, T-Tops, Blue, 1 owner, Exc Cond., Monsoon Stereo...$8500
This car is in Bradenton but could be brought up this way. Contact me if you are interested.