Checklist is running

My checklist is running, and my time is running out.  As you are getting to know me, you will probably notice over a period of time… that when it comes to planning a trip… I tend to lean on the side of procrastination !  Hey, I get it all done… it’s just more of a last-minute finish.  If you want me to get ready at a specific time… you better give me a shorter deadline!

Today was one of those mornings that I knew I better make my checklist complete.  No, not everything done on it, but one of those checklists that all of these things need to be completed before I walk out the door at the end of the wk.

Really the only things I got checked off today was..

1.  cancel Endo appointment

2.  suspend Winder Farms ( I am so going to miss this milk while I am gone)

3.  suspend paper

4.  book Sean’s plane ticket (American Airlines won on the price game for this trip)


I am sure that I should have had so much more completed, but I just don’t feel like doing any of the other 37 things to do and the 4 returns to the stores.  This is the reason why nothing gets done until the last-minute! 

Oh… I got all the laundry washed, it’s just none of it is put away… so that will be 2 more things done!

I love…making my lists to get things done, but I always make a daily list and then a before x date list.  I always get the x date one done, it just takes me till about 5 minutes before I walk out the door to get it done.  I don’t stress I just finally buckle down.  Why don’t I just buckle down early and get it over with and then it will be done?

Sean just got home a bit ago, and asked if we could sit down and figure out what our path is going to be… my thought was…really???  when I drove it in 2009.. I went online just before walking out the door plugged in Ohio to Las Vegas, looked at the 2 directions and said “well it’s winter so the southern direction looks better”  and that is the way we went!

I am excited to get on the road, am I excited to be going on the road with a 3 yr old (still potty training) and a 1 1/2 yr old who doesn’t like to be confined?  Nope… but hopefully they will love looking out the windows!  I am packing lots of movies, the DS games.. not quite sure what is going to keep Schyler happy, but I am sure we will figure out something.

Anyone have any great ideas of places to stop between Las Vegas and Dayton, Ohio?  I am all up for some suggestions, and we are of course traveling this wkend just in time for the 4th of July wkend!  Hopefully there won’t be to many crazies on the road! 

Please keep our safety in your prayers, and maybe pass some good thoughts to me that my checklist keeps running on a shorter scale!


homeward bound

Homeward bound can mean a lot of different things at this point in our lives.  Home part is a bit confusing these days, but I think each place we have been we have and will keep leaving parts of ourselves, leaving each place still a home of ours forever.

Susan (mother-in-law) left just a bit over a wk. ago.  I have still been talking with her almost daily on the phone.  It’s funny how close that we have become since Jaden was born, actually it helped a lot when he was born.  Though last year is when our friendship began.  However, I never really counted their house as a home of my own.  I count them as my family, just not as my home.  The comfort of it all has not completely sunk in I guess.  However, I really miss having her here to visit with each day, I do wish that they lived closer.  It would be nice to have them as a normal part of our lives, a bit more often!

My dad left just a wk. before Susan came for a visit.  This is such a bitter-sweet conflict, as I am sure you know by some of my posts.  I love my dad, and he has been one of my best friends for many years.  Doing his finances as in how deep I dove in this time… has put somewhat of a wedge between us.  Just like any couple who divides money.. my dad and I have struggled with me taking over his finances… I like to stay on a budget and anything extra goes to paying extra towards a bill and when the bills are paid off then you can save to play.  My dad on the other hand believes in the ” I want to play, and if I have anything left over I will pay”  yep… we don’t agree at all when it comes to money, therefore the stress that I hold and the stress of not playing, continue to out way each other.

Then my mom… Yes she surprised me with a wonderful gift at Christmas… a visit!  I was so shocked, that I was just…… loving it.  Since then, she has told me that she could not visit any time soon because of my grandparents (also mentioned many times in previous posts).  Everytime I turn around she is saying that she does not have leave from work, but my sister says that she is taking off to travel and for headaches and my grand parents dr. appts.  Well, I guess you have to do what you have to do. 

After visiting in 2009 while I was pregnant with Schyler.  I have not really wanted to visit back home.  Yes, I want to visit, but when I sit and do a reality check on everything, I know that I won’t be happy with the after effects.  I miss everyone so much… I guess the main question is…

Do I want to live with regrets?

When I left Ohio, I was at my wit’s end.  I was getting near my mark in my pregnancy, where they were not going to let me travel, Sean was coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, and my grand father was killing Jaden’s little self-esteem at 4 yrs old.  He was just tearing him down to the point that my little boy almost could not breathe (I surely held my tongue a lot, so that I would not show disrespect in their home)  However now.. with them having dementia and Alzheimer’s I wish I would have said something instead of holding onto all the anger that I have.  Yes, I am angry at myself for allowing it to go on, and letting it go for so long… but now I have to swallow my pride and take a plunge…

As you know I don’t have the best record on relationships… not that I won’t give it my all…. I just at times have a hard time continuing to turn my other cheek more that 3 or 4 times.

So….. I have talked with my sister, my husband, and Susan.  I have decided to pack it in…. I am going to leave here next Friday and on a road trip with the kids to Ohio.  It will take a few days to get there, but I think it will be cheaper than the plane tickets!  And most importantly… Schyler has never met my grand parents. 

I know that they are not the same people that they were when I was growing up.  I know that they are not even the grand parents that I had in 2009.  From what I understand.. sometimes Papa confuses my mom with her brother.  My mom lives with them and her brother lives in Florida.  He also has a friend ” Big Boy”  who my mom thinks is also herself.  There are also other health issues that are arising.  However the big news of the wk…. My mom finally bit her emotional bullet and put my grand father on medication for his dementia.  I am sure that this will not only help him, but relieve some pressures off of my mom.  And my sister will be a little less… hindered when my mom leaves town, like she does.  So for everyone involved this is going to be a big plus.  And my mom’s sister has also finally stepped up to the plate and told my mom when she needs help to let her know that she will be there.  This is nice because my mom has not had a relationship with her for more than 20 years.

Anyways, I have not decided how long I am going to stay… i just know that I need to take the kids back to at least meet my grand parents again, before they are so far gone, that they won’t have a clue who they are at all… and my sister has also been very verbal to me that they may not know me.  I am a bit worried don’t get me wrong… if nothing else I know my grand mother will know me… she still recognizes my voice on the phone without me telling her who I am.  I was never really close to them…but I do love them.. and it does hurt me that they are having to go through all of this.

Being far away and gone you do blink and years pass, I just hope that others take the opportunities that they get to go back home and visit…Cause it is just a blink and everything changes.  I don’t regret waiting so long to have children, I don’t think my marriage would have made it had I had children early on.  At times though I look at my kids and wished that they had just met one of my other grand parents that I lived with… not only would it have thrilled my MawMaw to no end to have a great grand baby, but she would have swallowed up every moment that she would have had with one of them.  So know this, I want each of my children to get if only 1 moment with the ones that are still with us… I want them to get it!

So homeward bound I go.. next wk… Ohio here I come with my critters!

My favorite towel bag



This is my favorite towel bag.  No, I did not buy it to put towels in!  I bought it for my car to put the misc. things in, and for when I go shopping and have all those little plastic bags flopping around the back-end of the Yukon!

As you can see, it fit 14 regular towels and 2 body towels.  Can’t say anything but… I love this bag!  My sister is a consultant for Thirty-One.  It’s just like any other at home party catalog you can look and order from.  Of course everything looks great in the pictures.  This company does not have a large line, however many different color options for each item, so when looking at the catalog, you may see something you don’t like and then the exact same things a few pages in, in a different color that you absolutely love.

My bag is a brown color.  Nope did not order that one.. I had ordered a black one, with white polka dots!  And absolutely love that color, because I have other items that I bought in the same color, however I guess before mailing it to me, my mom decided that she loved my black with white polka dots more than her brown…. so I got the brown!  It’s ok, I just ordered more… 3 to be exact, but 2 of them are brighter colors… almost a hot pink (June special)!  I think the girls are going to love them!

Thank you Andrea, for telling me about this wonderful bag!  It surely is my favorite towel bag!

Marked impression

Have you ever met one of those people?  You know the ones, the ones that you might meet them with a quick “hi” and then move on at some party, cause…well… it’s crowded, you’re just not one of those people who put’s themselves out there like that?  And then months pass and you have seen the person here and there and wave or nod, or say “hi” in passing.  However… they just have made an impression on you that keep you a bit intrigued?

I was at a birthday many months ago now, of a neighbor child, and there was another family from around the corner, that was there also.  The lady is very nice, a genuine smile (not one of those fake ones that is put one with a force),just a very pleasant lady.  Then I find out from Jaden that her son is in his class, and I see her at the school here and there, and then when I pick Jaden up from school, her kids are getting off the bus, so we wave.  And this is how it has been going.

Then this was the first wk of summer school for Jaden, and of course you never really know whose children are going to be attending, right?  And I really only have 2 friends from the school.  Well, the same lady walks up to pick up her children to and we started talking while we were waiting.  One thing led to another… and then… she offered to bring Jaden to and from school everyday.  Wow.. my first thought was..”I really don’t want to put this lady out,she has 4 children of her own.”  So anyways I kept talking with her and then I talked with the counselor at the school, and said that Ms. X will be picking Jaden up from now on and bringing him to school.

On Wednesday after school when she brought Jaden home, Jaden did not do anything but drop his bag and then leave to go to their house with them, shortly after He and Ms. X’s son returned to go swimming in the blow up pool that I had filled, and made plans with Ms. X for them to swim.

Yesterday Ms. X, I invited into the house because she had noticed the Paper Illusion in my entry way.  She was asking about it, so I continued to show her the other colors throughout the house.  Seems like every area of the house appears to look different even though the paper throughout is the same 3 colors.  Needless to say, after taking an impromptu tour of the house (which luckily wasn’t in too terrible of shape) she invited me over to her house to look at her colors and see what we could do paper wise over there.  She thought that maybe I could help her….

When we got over to her house as walking in the door, she let me know that she had not dusted or done her normal cleaning since her surgery from April.  I was thinking… can’t be no worse than mine… but just smirked.  I walked into her beautiful home.  Now… as I told my sister, I could have licked the entertainment center and still felt like I was sterile.  Her house is beautiful!  Everything having its place, now don’t get me wrong.. you know some people houses they just don’t look like they are lived in when their house is really clean.  No, their house is clean but you feel at home, you know comfy, and welcomed.

So I have done nothing but think and contemplate over this….. she told me that she cleans each level every other day.  Now, we have the exact same house…3200 sq ft. of house.  She only has 4 bedrooms where I have 5, so truthfully that is one less room I have to clean on a normal schedule, because my 5th is a master that only visitors get to go into!  So I only really clean that room when people are coming!  (oops told a secret)  So say today, she cleans everything down stairs (blinds, floors, kitchen, living, formal living (theirs is an office type area with a door, mine is my gym room but open to the entry), formal dining (mine is toys, bear, piano room), entry, laundry room and finally the bathroom.  Then the next day she goes upstairs, where the loft and bedrooms are.  And then the next day back to the downstairs and so on.

So… I can not tell you what kind of impression that she left on me….. she is a mom of 4 children, she sounds like she is very strong in their church dedicating a lot of time to the ministries there, having a clean home, and giving to the community…. how can you get all of this done? 

Ok… so I keep saying that I want to get back into going to church regularly, we start going and then something comes up so I skip a few wks here and there.  Then the house… yes, as much as I say I clean and I really feel like that is about all I get accomplished with nothing to show for it but more toys laying everywhere.  I really don’t have a routine… I have different lists that I make up every day, and I feel accomplished when I get to mark at least 75% of them off!  I was taking Jaden back and forth to school (unloading and loading the girls constantly) but she offered to take him to and from now.  So right now my routine has been, to get up, get ready, get Jaden ready, get him out the door, clean, do laundry, play with the girls, feed them, change some butts, and clean some more till Jaden comes home.

She has made such an impression on me that I want to actually set up some sort of routine.  I know I won’t live by a strict one, and I really don’t want to fail……..

Please leave me a note and tell me what has worked for you with the cleaning part!  How do you get it all done?  What helps you to succeed and what has not worked for you, if you think it might help me to get on the right path with time (house) management! 

I look so forward to hearing your imput!  And now I know that it really is nothing that you have to say or really do, to make a full impact, or impression on someone.  It’s not what you is how you do it, and who your are!  Which I think I do well on who I am, I just think I am strongly lacking in the home organization matter!  So with some pointers from anyone willing, I look forward to applying some notes, so that I too can maybe be able to make a Marked Impression with my home!

Rayne baby

My little Shyla Rayne is now 3 years old today.  3 years ago, in the early morning my first daughter was born.  Sean and I really had thought that we were going to have another boy, never did we really talk about having a girl.  Not that a girl would not have been welcomed but he has 1 sister and with his brothers having boys, and then us having Jaden… well no ultra sound was done to tell us otherwise.  Our little girl arrived early.

I was only 34 wks and 4 days with Shyla when she decided that her entrance into this world needed to be done in a very quick manner.  From the time of my 1st (extremely)small contraction to the time of her delivery was only 4 hours and 15 minutes.  After having pushed with Jaden for 9 1/2 hours of no drugs and then an emergency c-section, I was really not expecting a short quick entrance like Shyla had decided for us.  Not a bit shy at all like her name would say!

Being an early baby, you would not expect such a big girl.  Shlya met us at a whopping 6 lbs 3 oz.  She was so delicate…. a name?  No, she did not have a name for several days. Our family and friends all think we are crazy not having names ready or at least narrowed down.  I had a different girl name picked out that I had known since I was a child, but then decided I really wasn’t sure about the name Alivia Shylin.  We had picked out a boy name… Calin Rayne.  So after me looking on the computer from the hospital for names and in books, and Sean going to the library to get name books… which did not help us at all.  We decided after 4 days on…

We decided to meet in the middle…. The name Shylin, I loved.   So we kept the Shy…..and  so we have a combo name… Shy…S (starting for Sean)….and la (ending of Angela).. We  have both of us in her name and still got the Shy that I love….  then of course keeping the middle name we picked out of Rayne….  Our little Shyla Rayne is in a world all her own!

Shyla was my 2nd child, and born early also, with Jaden I did not get to see but a glimpse of his eye from about 15 ft away when he was born, and swooped away to the NICU.  Shyla upon Sean’s request (I had really bad postpartum when Jaden was born) after they checked her out, then they let me hold her for almost a minute.  This was probably one of the biggest highlights of my life.  Jaden was 3 days old before I was able to hold him… do you know how many dr. and nurses held him before I got to even touch him with 1 finger?  (please don’t get me wrong, I am very fortunate, and some people have it so much rougher..I do count my blessings and am not trying to step on toes) but… everyone I know talks about the smell of their newborn, and the first time that they touched them… me I did not get this, so when I did get to hold Shyla after about 10 minutes of her delivery… she was all wrapped up and her face was the only thing showing…. I just stared…I knew the moment would pass and they would take her away, and I did not know how long it would be, before I was able to see her again.

Well, the time was not long…. about 4 hours later, the nurse came to my room and told Sean and I that they were going to bring her to my room….WHAT??  I get my baby with me, instead of me going to the NICU?  Now that was fantastic… and they did a few minutes later, they brought her, they had already fed her a bottle to make sure that she had her sucking reflexes ( I was upset by this at the time cause I told them I wanted to try nursing her before she tried the bottle, and I felt that they once again overlooked something that I stated)  However if it meant that I got my baby with me instead of the NICU…. I will take it.  And after a while we started our routine.  The next night they did take her back to the NICU, because she had a 7 on her jaundice levels and they wanted to start treatment early… a few days of NICU turned into 9 days, because those lights for the jaundice make them tired and in return their eating slows down.  So, because her weight was going up, they wanted her to eat more, and at every feeding they upped what mile stone she needed to reach to come home.  Needless to say Sean lasted 1 wk, before he freaked on the dr.  And 2 days later she was allowed to come home, the dr. wasn’t happy about it but allowed her.

I always pick out a tune of a song I like and change the words so that my kids have a lullaby all their own.  And hers goes to the tune of “Silent Night”  and her words are.. (must I even say that every child loves to have their name said and heard?)

Shyla Rayne

Shyla Rayne

I love you, just the same

when I lay you down to sleep

I pray that you, have a good dream

Shyla Rayne

Shyla Rayne

I love you!

So this is our small story, of one of my blessings from God.  And through everything Shyla is truly one of the lights of my world!  

Shyla, I love you and wish you the best 3rd birthday.  I pray that God hold you close and you stay in his will.  And that I will try to do my best each and everyday of my life, to let you know that you are my world!  Happy birthday baby ShyShy, my little Rayne baby!

Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey “Fully Charged” in Las Vegas

Last night was opening night, as we all know here in Las Vegas for the Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey “Fully Charged“!  I was already expecting to take my kids, but a oppurtuninty as mentioned yesterday, was offered for me to take my family.  And because of the timing of it all with Shyla’s birthday being today, we were also able to use it as an event to celebrate with her!

The pre-show was great, very crowded, lots of people on the arena floor, most people were fantastic, and the performers were the best!  The performers are so friendly and not just to the children, I am so glad that the seem to love their jobs, there is nothing like going to work everyday to be something that truly brings out the best in you!

They announced that the show will be starting.  We had not gone to our seats yet, but did know the vicinity that we were going to be sitting.  Don’t get me wrong… THE SHOW IS FANTASTIC!  The view that we had, is something that I will just hit on briefly.  We could see parts of most of the show, however with the kids being 6,(now)3, and 1 they needed to either sit on our laps or stand.  So where not to sit at the Thomas And Mack Center is towards the top.  If you are going to sit in the balcony area, please make sure to only purchase the 1st few lower rows, you will enjoy the entire show from that view (I think).  The high wire acts, I really could not see at all.  We were on the opposite side of the stage and extremely high.  I think if we would have been about 10 rows down, we could have seen it, with no issues at all.  So when buying your tickets, look at the seating charts and try to stay mid to low room!

The Bengal Tigers, were magnificent.  How one person can go into an arena of confinement with the confidence of a King, knowing that you are still the smaller of your followers, but contain the pride and structure of disciplining without any wavers… is VERY impressive to me.  There is no way that you could walk in there alone and have any lack of confidence, with all those animals, but still the respect of these Tigers show.  They open their mouth, get a bit feisty with each other, and still maintain full composure with each other… all I will say is… WOW!!

Asian Elephants… I think that this may have been Shyla’s area of AWE!    They came out a few different times throughout the show, it was great to see them a few times rather than just once.  And I should throw in that during the All Access Power Up Pre-show Party, they had an Asia one of the elephants demonstrate and paint a picture.  Then during the circus they picked a name and gave the painting to that person!  Again the demonstration of these magnificent creatures and their trainers was just beyond belief.  The discipline and concentration that they must have…..UMMm….(wish I could have an ounce of that).

The “Human Fuse”  yes again I was able to experience this.  If you were on the Las Vegas Strip on Wednesday night and able to experience this view…. well… it was nothing like the view that you were able to get from the circus.  Even though it is the same act… I guess the visual elements make the feeling so much more…. well… DIFFERENT.  To say that one was more exciting than the other??? Not really… The idea of being an uncontrolled environment with the 102 temperatures outside and the wind of the strip kicking up, makes the outdoors questionable, which ultimately build up your anticipation.  Then the indoor arena view, you get the ooows and the ahhhhs, the splendor of the lights and people doing the entrance… you know the full show experience… what is not to love about that!

I would truly recommend taking the family to this circus, it was a great experience.  I strongly recommend if they are offering the  All Access Power Up Pre-show Party, and the Animal Open House.  You will get an up close more personal view, before the show starts, which also adds to the $$ value to your experience! 

The show did take longer than we had planned, not really complaining…. but I thought that the “Fully Charged” would last about 1.5 hours and it did take a lot longer.  The show itself started at 7:30 and lasted until almost 10.  It just gave the guests more… bang for their buck… and then you add all the fun pre-show activities you have another 1 1/2 hours of entertainment! So to say that my family enjoyed their trip out on the town.. Yes would be the answer!

Now don’t forget to look at yesterday’s post, for great discount codes for my readers and for military families!

**I was given tickets to the show. I was thrilled to attend. Thanks so much for the chance to attend.**

Fully Charged!

Last nights event on the strip, was the first time that I had been invited to anything as a blogger!  Other than just being a 1st timer at an event, it was also my first time doing a venture out, without anyone that I knew.

You see, I don’t go places alone.  And truthfully, I find it hard to do much of anything completely alone.  I love security.. no, I don’t mean that you have to be bigger than me, or even stronger, all you need to do is have my trust.  Anyways long story short, I did my adventure, and I had a great time.  Yes, I missed my family, but hey… it was worth it!  This is what my adventure was…

Did you know that the Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus was in town?  “Fully Charged” is here in Vegas for the wkend!  Last night was their (what I am going to call a) pre-show performance.  It was on the Las Vegas strip in front of the Harley-DavidsonLas Vegas Cafe.  Yes they had to stop traffic (a few times in fact!).  Sorry there were no animals walking around last night, but there were still people juggling, and clowns, the ringmaster and our stunt guy!

Here is what I learned!!!

Brian Miser ” The Human Fuse” the guy on fire being shot out of what looks like a cross-bow!  This was about his 170th time doing this stunt, but only his 2nd time out of the controlled environment (circus environment).  Yes, the winds had kicked up a bit and the temperature was 102 when his in flight experience took place!  Yes this experience was very quick, it was only a few seconds that he was in the air, and the flight was about 60 ft I would say.  However, can you imagine flying in the air no strings attached?  Being shot like that?  What about just being on fire?  I thought that 102 outside was hot, but…on fire??  He went inside to cool off for a few before his stunt… Yeah…. I think just the temp. outside was hot enough!   Fantastic… absolutely fantastic.

Then the Ringmaster….. Brian Crawford Scott…. nothing but smiles from this guy!  He stated that he started in Musical Theatre, and auditioned for this part as Ringmaster of The Greatest Show On Earth® .  He said that he was the 36th ringmaster for the Ringling Bros.  Wow, 36th… I am sure that is an honor in itself.  Can you imagine, all the traveling that you do…. I am an animal lover… but not sure that being that close and personal everyday, and having to put on a smile at every moment would do me justice!  I guess it is just like any other job you have… you have to enjoy it, otherwise why do it?

FELD is the one who was working and setting up all of the media, and I had the privilege of working with Sean.  Thank you Sean, for the invite and the wonderful words of encouragement.  I so look forward to working with you in the future.

Tonight is opening night here in Las Vegas for the “Fully Charged” show.  I am so excited and the kids can hardly wait.  This will be my children’s first time seeing a circus, and Shyla will be turning 3 tomorrow, so she is saying “this is my happy day?”  she is asking if this is her birthday gift?  Everything is about her happy day.  So yes, this will be part of her “happy day”! 

We are meeting up with some of our friends for all of the pre-events.  The show will actually start at 7:30, but the attractions such as the Animal Open House  and All-Access Power Up Pre-Show Party are part of your experience with your ticket purchase, nothing extra to be paid!  So you actually if you want to take advantage of a fun-filled night, you can get 3 full hours of entertainment for the family!  And did I mention that opening night you can get balcony and plaza tickets for $10 each?  that is 3 hours for $10 per person!!

I also have discounts available for other nights! 

Military discount code:  ASY (this gives you $7 off, not sure if will work on all seating, but will not work opening night)

My readers discount code:  SuperMom5 ( you can not combine discounts, and again will not work on opening night.)