Friday, July 30, 2010

Kindness Pays Off!

The girls and I were bumming around the house this morning when some weird stranger came knocking on the door. I'm always a freak whenever someone knocks on the door because most of our company is the kind that just comes right it! So when I saw this strange man, I grabbed my phone (just in case!) and with a pit in my stomach, opened the door.

The man said, "So, I have a really big favor to ask." I'm thinking "What in the world do you want????" I then noticed that his truck said "Dog Control" so I figured he worked for the town and wanted help finding a lost dog. Then he said, "My grand kids are up from Utah and I want to take them on the river walk today but I have no wagon. Do you know where I could find one to borrow?" Right next to him sat my wagon. I mean, seriously, what was I supposed to say? I was kind of apprehensive and then he passed me his card and told me that he worked for the village and all of his information was listed there. So, without really thinking or anything, I told him he could have the wagon for the day as long as it was back this evening. I honestly didn't doubt that he would return it. I guess I'm just naive. When I told John, he was completely shocked that I would be so trusting and he honestly couldn't believe what I had done. There's a cop for ya! Lol

We left for a birthday party this evening and when we returned, the wagon was on the porch, parked safe and sound. On our front door was a nice note that said, "Thank you for trusting me!" And inside an envelope was a gift card for a free large pizza at the pizza shop in our town. I couldn't believe it! When I loaned that guy our wagon I really just thought that I was doing him a favor.. Not that I was going to receive something in return.

I hate that this world is such a cruel and mean place that we have to even bat an eyelash before loaning something to someone. Ya know? I tend to be WAY to trusting and it hasn't come back to bite me yet.. It's actually continued to be rewarding! But maybe John's right? I probably shouldn't trust just anyone. Even so, I'm really glad that I could help that guy take his grand kids on a walk! :-)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Kid In A Candy Store

Since John became a cop (almost 5 years ago) he has had to order all of his police gear online. It's not quite the same as being able to go sift through things in a store to find exactly what you want. So when his brother (who just graduated from the academy) found a police store about an hour from here, they were pretty excited. Today we hopped in the car and went!

From the sounds of this magical place, I was expecting a huge warehouse that was filled with all manner of police stuff. I got one part right... It was filled with police stuff but it was NOT a warehouse. It was this tiny place that had anything and everything that a cop could ever want or dream of. Seriously, John could have spent $500 in there without even blinking! We were there forever and I was feeling kind of claustrophobic but there were tons of cops in and out of there and I basically sat in a chair for like 2 hours and listened in on everyone else's conversations. What else was I to do? Oh yes, and I also helped pick out boots. I was very helpful, if I can brag! Lol

John walked away with an awesome new flashlight that holds a charge for like 12 hours and only takes 90 seconds to recharge. He felt bad spending the money but his flashlight now isn't working consistently and when you work nights, you NEED a light! He also had to buy a new thing for his gun belt to hold his new flashlight and then some new boots. I basically had to BEG him to buy the boots though because again, he hates spending money on himself. I was so happy when we walked out of there with things for him! It took some effort on my end but it was worth it!

The police store was kind of like a version of my personal hell... The bathrooms were "manly" (AKA... Filthy!), there was nothing pretty to look at (other than pink handcuffs!), and there were nasty, hairy dog beds (but thankfully NO dogs today). However, I was feeling so happy to be doing something for John by being there with a happy heart. How many times has he sat outside of the dressing room while I've tried on 12 different pairs of jeans? Or how many times has he walked through Target with me just because I like to look? It was so nice to "give back" to the man who does SO much for me to make me happy:-) He was completely in his element and I was thrilled to see him doing something for himself for once.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Let Her Be Little

My day started this morning with Brooke wanting to wear her bright yellow shoes. More than anything in the universe, that was her one desire. Now, I'm all for snazzing things up and these patent leather crazy yellow shoes are cute sometimes... Provided that they are matched with the perfect outfit. However, when they don't exactly match the outfit that she's wearing, I have to kind of think of ways to distract her from them. This morning, though, I just let her be 3 and ya know, it felt good. I'll admit that the shoes weren't horribly mismatched with her outfit but they wouldn't have been my first choice. That didn't matter though. She was proud that she had chosen her shoes.

Then, we had my nephew's birthday party tonight and Brooke wanted to wear her insanely huge (but adorable) tutu. Guess what... I let her! I'm not going to lie... I was happy when she decided to take it off about 10 minutes through the party but at least she got to assert her independence. She also enjoyed the attention of everyone complimenting her tutu! Lol

Brooke is starting to more and more want to have a say in the ins and outs of her day... How she wears her hair, what shoes she wears, what clothes she wears, etc... You get my point! I try so hard to remember that she will only be 3 once and this is her only childhood. Life is too short to waste time worrying about bright yellow shoes or enormous tutus. These are lessons that I am slowly learning!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Widing Down

This week has been an absolute whirlwind. We've been getting home so late that the girls have been going to be late, thus waking up late. We were so wiped out that nobody was up until 10 today! By the time we did what we needed to do this morning, it was time to put Adrienne down for a nap and then head right back up to the church and do it all over again. I am just thankful that it's only one week out of the year!

Tomorrow night we will end the week with parent's night at church and I am SO excited to see Brookie do her little presentation with her class. My mom and John's mom were her teacher this year and they did an awesome, awesome job with the kids. Brooke, along with the 5 other kids in her class, has had a really fun week of it and she learned so much. It's so funny because she was the only girl in her class and the boys are SO ROUGH but she's so dainty. All the workers kept telling the boys "ladies first" so by the end of the week Brooke had become quite spoiled. Lol. She's in for a rude awakening!

The dinners all went off without a hitch and everyone enjoyed them. It was so nice because people kept bringing fresh veggies from their gardens so I was able to utilize those each night with the dinners. It was fun getting creative at the last minute! Tomorrow night I have to cook dinner for parent's night but then I'll be off the hook until the next church function. I think we'll do NOTHING next week and it will feel like heaven to be home.

I'm sad that John has to go back into work tonight and I feel bad that he got no time to rest during the past couple of days. Poor guy! Hopefully he can catch up on his rest next week. He is one tough cookie!

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Longest, Hottest Week

This week our church is doing its yearly Vacation Bible School (VBS) and every single year, it just so happens to be during the HOTTEST week of the year. I love how that works out! Lol. We don't have air conditioner in the church so you pretty much sweat the whole time but it's just par for the course.

We have a lot of hungry kids that come so we have always done dinner before our VBS each year. I've been cooking those dinners since I was 12 so I signed up again this year. I have wanted to say no for the past few years because it's so hard on the girls to have to be there so early but it's not so bad. Besides, it's only for a week and I don't think that that's too much to ask! I honestly LOVE to do the food and am always happy to cook for others so it's nice to be able to do that. Cooking the food is very challenging because I feed the kids and all the workers (about 75 people) on a meager budget of about $200 so I have to be selective in what I make. Last night was homemade chili with nachos and cheese and tonight was homemade mac and cheese with watermelon. The rest of the week will include sandwiches with chips and fruit, hot dogs and hamburgers, chicken and biscuits, and PIZZA NIGHT (courtesy of everyone donating money to fund that). I love to make a dollar stretch and it's fun!

On top of my job, John is in charge of doing the games and recreation portion of VBS so he's really busy the whole night. It's difficult because he usually sleeps until 3 or 3:30 each day but I've been having to wake him up an hour early to get me to up to the church. We don't get home until almost 9 and then he has to leave for work at 10. I feel so bad for him! Thankfully he'll be off tomorrow night and the night after that. Relief is on the way!

So yeah, it's a hot, long, tiring, and exhausting week but it's rewarding and worth all the blood, sweat, and tears. The girls each have a little class that they go to and they're having a blast so thankfully they're not complaining. And if my babies are happy, SO AM I! :-)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tom Boy

Adrienne is seriously such a rough little girl and is the exact opposite of my dainty, timid Brooke. She is turning into quite the Tom Boy!

For starters, she is tough as nails. She fell down face first on the sidewalk the other day and skinned her elbow and knee but just got up and kept going. She also barely fussed when she got her fingers smashed in the door yesterday! It's like nothing phases her.

She's becoming such a bully too which I obviously don't like but I'm working tirelessly to teach her to be kind. Poor Brooke was standing on a chair helping me cook this morning and Adrienne stood on the ground and tried to bite her leg over and over. When that didn't work she started head-butting her repeatedly. This is the way she handles it anytime somebody has what she wants. She just learned how to say "please" using words (she's known how to say "please" in sign language) so I'm constantly reminding her to ask for things and I'm hoping that it will redirect some of her frustrations. Although it's not nice that she's mean to Brooke (or her cousins at times) it's kind of comical to watch her because she thinks she is so big and tough.

Adrienne is also very "athletic" already. She carried around John's basketball tonight and kept throwing it and did REALLY well. She can also kick a ball with great coordination and gets it pretty far. I think I'll be going to many of her sports functions when she's older!

On the inside of my rough, tough, and feisty little Adrienne is a precious little girl that gives me hugs and kisses on demand. She also loves to bring me books and sit in my lap to "read" them. Once I start reading a book now she closes it and says, "the end!" SO sweet:-) Her little personality is so spunky and uniquely her.

I wonder if Adrienne is so tough because she's the second baby or if she would have been like this regardless of her birth order? Sometimes I wonder if I smothered Brooke too much with sympathy every single time she fell down or whimpered and that's why she's so cautious and fearful of things? Either way, I'm not complaining about either of my girls' personalities. I think they are perfect and just the way that God intended for them to be! :-) It's just interesting to think about why they are the way that they are!

Friday, July 16, 2010


This lady has been coming to our church for a couple of months and she camps at a park in our town. I just so happened to run into her at the park the other day and she said that she was taking her motorcycle and going out of town for a while and then gave me the keys to her gorgeous camper and told us to use it whenever we like. Now if you know me you know that I'm NOT outdoorsy at all and to me, "roughing" it is a Holiday Inn. So yeah, the words "camping" and "Jillian" don't often end up in the same sentence/

John was off on Wednesday night and Thursday night and when I told him about this lady's offer he was all over it. He and his family grew up camping all the time... And I'm talking about tents here, not some fancy camper. Even though I would have (at the time) preferred to just stay in the comforts of our home, I told John we would go. So we went and had had lots of camp fires and just spent some time outside with family that stopped by. We took walks and let the girls play on all the playgrounds there. I enjoyed myself and am usually happy just being wherever my family is but I definitely got my camping fix for a good long while. Lol. The camping lifestyle is nice every once in a while but I don't see how people retire like that and spend all their days in a camper.

People at church kept telling me, "Jillian, you aren't going camping... You're staying at a hotel on wheels!" Lol. And seriously, I'm even laughing at how true that statement was. The camper had all of the amenities of home... Bathroom, air conditioner, shower, beds, TV, couch, etc.. so that was nice. It was also very comfortable and the girls slept great! We even went home for showers and for nap time. I'm not quite sure I could have tolerated camping FULL time for 48 hours. Lol

So we're home and I'm sad to see my husband go back to work tonight but I'm EXTREMELY happy to back into my big, spacious house. Lol.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

One Big Rash:-(

My poor Brooke has Fifth Disease which is basically one big rash all over her. After talking to the doctor and doing some research, I have learned that once the rash comes that that's the end of the virus and it is no longer contagious at that point. This rash could go on for up to 5 weeks so I'm frustrated for Brooke! Poor girl! She was running a low grade fever yesterday, along with being grumpy and miserable, and today the rash broke out full force. Like I said, she's not contagious but I feel like people are looking at her and thinking that she'll contaminate them or something. The rash is mainly on her face at this point so it's hard to miss.

My heart was breaking today because we were talking about her rash and not really thinking much about how she would feel and she started to act really hurt by it. Obviously at that point John and I stopped talking about it and went on and on about how beautiful she is. The doctor had told us that the heat from the sun or a hot bath would make the rash appear more and she said, "Did the doctor say that a nice warm bath would take this rash away?" Aw... It just broke my heart!

She just started to complain that her rashes were itching so the doctor told me to give her a half a dose of Benedryl. I was really anxious about that because of all of the past recalls on that stuff but both the doctor and the pharmacist reassured me. Not only that but I'm anxious about how it will impact her and make her feel tomorrow. I HATE how Benedryl makes me feel the next day. Ugh. We have to get up 2 hours earlier than usual for me to be at worship practice in the morning so I hope that we luck out and have a happy girl!

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Adrienne doesn't get this but I'm assured by the fact that it's nothing life threatening or severe if she does. As for me, my mom's pretty sure that I had it as a baby so I should be immune. I'm thankful for that!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Checking In

I know, I know... I'm not quite as faithful of a blogger as I have been in the past. Summertime is a traditional time of year for me to slump on my writing but who could blame me? I hate not recording all of our exciting days in here because, believe it or not, I like to read my past entries to remember the girls' different stages. It's a really neat thing to be able to refer to my blog!

It has been SO incredibly hot here so we've been spending lots of time in our pool with the girls. I heard on the radio that the average temperature for our neck of the woods this time of year is 68 degrees and it has been well into the 90's as of late. We're just not used to this! We didn't have AC's in our house because we really never had need for one last year... However, the heat got to be unbearable so we went to the store to buy some. Little did we know, finding them would be like finding a needle in a haystack. We checked about 30 different places within a 45 mile radius of us and everyone was completely sold out. I guess this is what would happen with snow shovels if there was a blizzard in California?? Long story short, I spent my day on Wednesday driving all over creation to pick up the AC's. I had called Target to inquire about if they had any in stock and they told me they had just gotten 6 so I ran there. When we pulled in the parking lot we saw people with them in their carts so I ran in and snagged the last one. I felt like I was on Super Market Sweep! We got another one from John's Uncle's work so we're in good shape now. I am so thankful to have some relief from the heat now and it was worth the trouble!

John's been doing a crazy week of overtime. By the time it's done he will have worked 80 hours. New York State funds a program called Aggressive Driving in the summer months and the money is abundant so he usually takes it when he can get it. He's been working 8 hours of overtime and then going in for his regular shift. I appreciate my man who works SO hard but I must say, he's the backbone of this family and my best friend so his presence is missed when he's working. Of course with him working this much I also worry more for his safety. I don't want him to get so worn out that he takes less caution. I'm not saying he would purposely do it but when you get tired you just can't perform at your highest level.

Adrienne has been quite the case lately! She loves to throw things away and today I saw her throw her shoes in the trash. Oh my goodness! I have been tempted to just put the trash in a place where she can't reach it but I think that I should just TEACH her not to touch it. What life lesson will she learn if I just put it up? I don't know.. I tend to think that way a lot with parenting. Another weird thing that she's been doing is hiding things. A couple of weeks ago my debit card was missing and after looking and looking for days I was resigned to the fact that it was gone. That is, until Adrienne randomly came out of the toy room holding it. The same thing has happened with my inhaler and some clothes that I bought for my brother's baby. I can't seem to determine where her hiding place is but when I do, she's going down! She has also learned some new words this week so we're very excited. They are "bubbles," "smell," and "grammy." I love watching her grow!

Brooke has been a bit of a challenge lately. She is in that temper tantrum stage and it's very difficult to handle her at times. She never really went through the "terrible 2's" stage so this is my pay back. She really is a VERY good girl but her attitude gets her in trouble. Isn't it amazing how they learn to be sassy all on their own with no help?

Well John's off tonight and the girls are out so I'm going to enjoy a rare moment of solitude with him. We're going to watch Brooklyn's Finest. I'm not usually a fan of cop movies but we'll see how it is!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Target Steal

If you paid a total of $3.24 total for all the items below would you be disappointed? I know I wasn't! By using coupons and taking advantage of some sale items at Target, I pretty much robbed them. I'm ADDICTED to coupons!

As you can see, I got 2 boxes of Kellogs Extra Fiber Cereal, Ocean Spray Blueberry Juice (I like to mix it with plain iced tea. Yummy!), Dial Hand Soap, 4 things of Armor All Car Spray (Only 3 are pictured because I gave one to my mother-in-law), 2 Pepperidge Farm Deli Flats, and 2 Nivea for Men Shaving Creams. What an exciting day!!

I'm going to tackle the CVS deals tomorrow. I can't wait!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy July 4Th!

We have had a wonderful time celebrating this weekend! To top it all off, John just so happened to have these past 2 days off so we had a holiday that wasn't even remotely effected by police work. I love it when that happens!

Last night we took the girls down to the fireworks with John's family. It's the 7th year that John and I have gone there as a couple so it's always nice to kind of revisit that. It always brings back memories of being young and in love! They had a really cheesy little carnival but the girls enjoyed it so it was fun. Brooke got to ride some rides and eat some junk food so she was happy. We watched the fireworks and Brooke was mostly afraid of them (big shock, I know!) and almost fell asleep towards the end. As for Adrienne, she sat there saying, "Ooh!" and she did not want to take her eyes off of them. It was precious! I think I watched the look on her face more than the actual fireworks and the grand finale was seeing HER light up, not the sky. It was just funny to me how each of the girls personalities shined through in how they took the fireworks... One timid and one afraid of absolutely NOTHING. Lol

Today was a really nice day... We had John's family and my family over for a big cookout and pool party. We were just saying today that we really love how both sides of our family all kind of work together to form one big family. Everyone gets along and there is no "my family" or "his family." It's very special! We all go to church together, too, so that kind of helps I think. It was a really carefree afternoon with some awesome food, beautiful weather, and even better company. I absolutely LOVE to use our home for parties and I totally feel in my element when I'm cooking for and serving people.

As for tomorrow, my mom and I have a very special day planned (with the girls). My dad's in Puerto Rico and John has to work tonight so we're going to take a day trip to a little town about 2 hours from here and do some shopping and have lunch at the amazing Cheesecake Factory. I'm mostly excited to be with my mom though!

Happy 4th of July, everyone. Let us not forget the brave men who made this day possible for America and those that are fighting even now to secure our way of life. What an amazing sacrifice!