Thursday, December 22, 2011

Did I accomplish all of my goals for 2011?


Actually I did slightly better than I thought considering this year did not turn out the way I had thought it would.  Meaning:  I had no idea we would be moving, let alone moving twice!  Yikes!  So, I feel like I can't be too hard on myself.  Then again, is that just me making excuses for myself?  You be the judge.

To read my goals, click here.

1. To print, label, and organize all the photos that are on my laptop and place them in photo albums.
*SIGH*  I'm so disappointed in myself, so lets just not even talk about this, OK?

2. To learn and use baby sign language with Parker
I actually did this!  Parker can sign the words:  milk, more, again, please, love, and all done.  Now that he is starting to talk more I don't really push the sign language.  Really there is one other sign that I would like to begin using and that is the word, "help".  I think that one would come in handy!

3. To use coupons
I do occasionally use coupons.  In fact, I've even began shopping at my local Homeland because they double coupons daily!  However, I haven't been printing coupons from the Internet or actually buying the Sunday paper to get coupons.  My mom has actually been helping me with this goal!  If she gets the Sunday paper, she saves the coupon section for me and gives them to me whenever she sees me.  Since I don't see her on a regular basis, I don't get coupons all the time.

4. To paint all the closet and bedroom doors in our house
I did this!  And just in time for us to sell our house!  ;)  Take a peek for yourself:  Don't the doors look better white?
Our master bedroom the day we bought the house.

Our master bedroom right before we sold the house.  Much prettier with white doors!

5. To bake a pie.
Sadly, I didn't do this.  But, now that we've moved back to Oklahoma I have visions of both my mom and my grandmother actually helping me bake a pie.  Doesn't that sound like a lot more fun?

6. To contribute more to my family financially
This is a tough question to answer.  If I want to get technical, I've actually cost our family more money than I have made us.  How is that?  Well, I started selling real estate again.  Which means I had to catch up with my continuing education ($100), then I had to sign up for the MLS and the Board of Realtors ($765), order business cards and car magnets ($135), purchase name riders for my For Sale signs ($85), and then I just had to pay my dues for membership for 2012 ($749).  So far I have had one sale and my commission check was $645. You do the math. 

7. To learn how to make spoon and fork jewelry
I didn't do this.

8. To begin working on my book again
I didn't do this either.  But, I did read the few pages that I had written...does that count?

9. To host a few more Bling On A String trunk shows

10. To finish The Harry Potter series
Finally!  Right when I was beginning to mentally beat myself up, the last thing is something I did!  Does it really count though when I was in the middle of reading the last book when I added it to my goal list?  At this point, I'm going to say YES!

Tons of Fun!

I would guess that is how Parker would have described this past Monday.  I was determined for my little boy to see Santa Claus, even though the closest mall is an hour away.  Luckily we needed a few items at Home Depot, so Greg was able to be persuaded to go on a day trip.  First, we had a delicious lunch at Cheddars.  We sat right under neath the cool big fan that seems to be the trademark at any of the Cheddars I've ever ate at.  Parker saw it and said, "Ohhhh!"  Our table also happened to be near a big fish tank.  Parker was fascinated by all the fish and was constantly leaning over in his high chair so he could see them. 

After our yummy lunch we headed over to Home Depot to get the few items we needed.  From there we were off to the mall!  I didn't have plans to do any shopping, I really just wanted Parker to see Santa and that was all.  We arrived at the Santa station a little after 1:00, only to find a sign that read, "Santa will be feeding the reindeer's from 1-2:30.  That didn't go over too well with Greg.  He instantly began naming off all the things he could be doing instead of walking around a mall.  I suggested that we just walk around and see what stores were in the mall to kill some time.  Sadly, there are not many stores in that mall at all, but we did come across one "store" that caught our interest. 

It was one of those kids arcade type places.  The bonus was that they had a huge room full of several different inflatable bounce houses (the kind I always hated when I was little).  Greg instantly turned into a kid again and said, "I don't mind killing some time in there.  Parker will have fun in the bounce houses."  We asked how much it cost to get in and were stoked when we found out that kids under 2 were half price, and adults got in for free.

Parker hadn't had a nap yet (and this is the kid I keep on a tight schedule, so being up at 1:30 with no nap is not normal for him!) so when we first placed him in a bounce house and Greg and I jumped up and down he looked at us like we were crazy.  That is, until Greg took him down a big inflatable slide!
Look at that smile!
From there, it was game on!  We ran, jumped, climbed, and went down lots of slides.  They had one of those big jungle gym type things that you see at Chuck-E-Cheese's.  Basically there is a lot of climbing and crawling to finally get to a big slide.  We did that several times.  Obviously I wouldn't let Parker do it be his self, so either Greg or I would be in the lead, then Parker would be in the middle, and the other adult would bring up the rear to help push Parker up if he needed a boost.

He loved climbing!  This is when he was getting tired and needed some help from daddy.

After climbing on the jungle gym for what seemed like hours (but in reality was only about 30 minutes) we went back to tackle the bounce houses again.  We found one with an itty bitty steep slide in it and Parker LOVED it!  Greg and I would take turns as to who would be at the bottom of the slide so we could each see his huge smile.  Once he would reach the bottom he was instantly signing "again" and we were more than happy to accommodate! 

Towards the end we showed him that not only could he slide in the bounce house, but that he could JUMP!  Parker has never tried to jump at home, but he did great in the bounce house!

Look at that grin!  PRICELESS!

We left shortly after so Parker could see Santa.  We were tired, happy, and agreed that it was by far the best $4.00 we've probably ever spent!  It's safe to say that we'll be going back.

By the time Parker got to sit on Santa's lap, he was one tired little boy. And rightfully so, since it was 3:30!

So tired he could barely keep his eyes open!

I actually expected him to cry when we sat him on Santa's lap since he was so tired.  The picture that I was given to take home with us has him looking at the camera, but he looks totally spaced out!  I'm OK with it, though!

                                                              MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Traditions

I have to admit, even before I got married, I longed for the days when I could begin my own family holiday traditions.  Call me sappy; I'm OK with it!

I know this may sound tacky, but I love going to the movies on Christmas!  Maybe it's just because I'm such a movie lover, but there are usually several movies opening on Christmas Day, and the theatres are always packed.  Now that Parker is in our lives, I think it will be several years before we can continue with that tradition; and I'm fine with that!  However, now that Parker has blessed our lives, these are some of the fun Christmas traditions I hope to keep up:

The Christmas Count-Down Calendar.  This was Greg's when he was a little boy.  His grandma made it, and I love that now Parker gets to use it, as well.  He already knows what I mean whenever I say, "Do you want to do your Christmas calendar?"  He eagerly holds his hands up so I can lift him up to see it.  I will point to the day that it is and say the numbers aloud.  Then I'll grab whatever Christmas tree ornament is in that day's pouch, and will lift it until it barely peeps out of it's hiding spot.  Once I move my hand out of the way, Parker excitedly pulls it out.  He loves examining each days ornament!  After he has thoroughly examined the goody, I hold him up and let him place it on the tree.  Obviously I have to pin it for him!  On Christmas Day he will be able to pull a Santa Clause out of the pot under the Christmas tree.

Another Christmas tradition I plan on starting this year is allowing Parker to open a gift on Christmas Eve.  That gift will be a new (yet freshly washed) pair of pajamas for him to wear to bed that night.  These are his Christmas Eve pajamas for this year.  I actually purchased them the day after Christmas last year for a mere $2.00!

For the last few years, I have bought a Christmas tree ornament that reflects something that happened in our family the previous year.  For instance, last year I bought a "Baby's First Christmas" ornament.  This year I opted to use something even more personal for our yearly ornament.  I placed Parker's first pair of walking shoes on the tree.  I need to see if there is a way to actually get them preserved as an ornament.  My mom bronzed a pair of my first shoes and they are on a plaque.  I don't really want to have a plaque of Parker's shoes sitting in my house, so I think the Christmas ornament idea is pretty neat!  As a bonus, Parker loves pointing at the tree and exclaiming, "Shoes!"

Those are a few of my Christmas traditions.  As Parker gets older I plan on adding more traditions, including ones that involve the true meaning of Christmas.

What are some of your Christmas traditions?

He made the list!

The "nice" list, that is!

At least, that's according to Parker's sweet niece, Zoe, which means it must be true!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A few hours left for FREE SHIPPING!

I meant to post this yesterday and then something came up....but, I'm offering a twenty-four hour coupon code for free shipping at my etsy store. And, the coupon actually expires today at 5:00 P.M. CST, but since this is being announced so late I will extend the coupon to 8:00 P.M. CST. Just enter coupon code 24HOUR at check out. All sales will mail out on Friday, which means it should arrive in time for Christmas! Head on over to and shop til your heart's content!

Monday, December 12, 2011

20 Months Old

It just hit me that this post is beginning with the number 2! *GASP* Before I know it I'll be planning a second birthday party. My little boy has really begun playing with toys more this past month. He was recently given a Little People barn and he loves playing with that, as well as a toy tool set. He also loves playing with balls and flipping through books. I have to be careful when he has books all to his self though, because he likes tearing them up and eating them as much as he loves looking at them.
I wrote in my last month old post that he began watching Sesame Street. I should probably clarify. The DVD that we have is an Elmo DVD, so technically he loves ELMO! He can spot anything elmo related a mile away! In the morning when I get him out of his crib he has three things that he immediately asks for: Dada, Billa (what he calls our dog, Shady. Long story as to why he calls her Billa), and then MELMO (elmo)! I should probably get a back-up Elmo DVD because we would have a problem in this house if something ever happend to the one we have. We celebrated Thanksgiving this past month and went and stayed with our Aunt Jackie. Parker had so much fun! She had a lot of different toys for him to play with. He also got to play with his sweet cousin, Hillarie. He gave her lots of hugs and affection.
Parker has really mastered feeding his self well with utinsels. He loves using a fork and has also gotten much better with a spoon. In fact, this month I finally began letting him eat his cereal without helping him. He used to turn the spoon over, but that is no longer an issue. I can't complain that my son is a picky eater. He is generally a very good eater! Luckily we are not vegetarians, because he loves meat. His favorite meats are ham and hamburger meat. I know that Parkers vocabulary is expanding but I proabably won't remember all the new words he can say. Some of his newest words are: walk, knock, phone (wone), and turtle. I am also continuing to work with him on his body parts and he has recently learned where his cheek, chin, and fingers are. I put up our Christmas tree one evening after Parker went to bed. The following day I decorated it while he was napping. He was so fascinated by it once he woke up. I only decorated the top half that he couldn't reach. He is constantly putting anything and everything into his mouth that I didn't want to risk him putting an ornament hook in his mouth. After the newness of the tree wore off he has pretty much left it alone.
This past week we had our friends Randy, Shannon, and Braxton down to visit us. Parker was thrilled to have a kid in the house to play with. I use the word "play" lightly because there is such an age difference between them that they actually don't really play well together. But, Parker loves watching him and is thrilled to have him around. We went to a circus one night and it's safe to say that Parker was fascinated by what he was seeing.
A few days later I took the boys to a Christmas parade. They had a blast! There were two motorcycles in the parade and Parker would point at them and say, "bike! bike!" I think we may have a future biker on our hands! I am 20 months old today! I weigh 26.2 pounds!

Friday, December 2, 2011

I'm surprised I haven't been fired

I began working at my real estate office in the middle of October. That means after four years of not being a member of the normal "work force" that fuels the economy, I had to scour through my closet and try on all my (old) work clothes. That was not a fun day. I sold real estate back in 2006-2007 and now that we have moved back to our home-state of Oklahoma I decided to get back in the game. My office is extremely small: there are three Realtors in the office, including me. What's common in a real estate office is a term called "floor time". This means if a phone call comes in about a property, or someone is wanting to list their home for sale, that particular phone call goes to the Realtor who is on floor time. In my office, we do not have a secretary. Instead, each of us stays at the office two days a week and works the floor. Since we just moved to the area, and since I don't know a lot of people, the days that I am on floor duty are spent scouring the internet and wasting time. Just kidding...I do try to make my days away from home and my toddler count! However, after only two weeks in the office, I was sure my broker was going to fire me. My second day on floor duty was on a Saturday. Saturday's are short days and we are open from 9:00 to 12:00. Greg had already agreed to do a job for someone that day and that meant I had to take Parker to work with me. On my second day. I had told the broker that I may have to bring him with me to the office occasionally but that I didn't want to make it a habit. She was totally cool with it, but I felt a little twinge of guilt for taking him to the office on my second day. Halfway during the job that Greg was doing he relized he needed to go to Lowes for supplies. He drove right by the office so figured he'd stop in and check on me. He was there maybe five minutes and wouldn't you know my broker walks in the door. There we were: me, my husband, and little Parker sitting down in the middle of a room strewn with plastic food. I groaned inwardly because I did not want her to get the wrong impression of me and I didn't want her to think that I didn't take my job seriously. Eventually Greg made the comment that he was getting hungry and when was I leaving. My broker over heard and said, "You can leave early if there's nothing going on." At this point it was 11:00 so I said, "Ok, thank you." She left prior to us and I quickly gathered up everything and the three of us headed out the door. I left my vehicle there and we made a trip to Lowes and then to Chili's for lunch. While eating my phone suddenly rings. It was my broker and the first thing she says is, "Are you alright?!" My response was, "I'm at Chili's in Durant eating lunch, so yup, I'm pretty good." Her follow up to that was, "Oh, well, I had to stop back at the office and your car is here, the office was unlocked, and there are a set of keys in the door. I thought you had been abducted." CRAP! My heart sank! I forgot to lock the door? I left the keys in the door? It was all rushing back to me. I had put the keys in the door (to save time) while Greg used the rest room. As I was loading Parker into his car seat I realised he needed a diaper change. I rushed back into the office, quickly changed his diaper, then went back to the truck to load him up. Apparently in my haste I forgot to lock the office door!! My broker said she was glad I was safe, but I couldn't help feeling horrible that on my second day I had done such a major blooper. However, my mistakes didn't end there. The following week I was rushing around the house before I went to the office for floor duty. I was running late (which stresses me out to no end) and I could not find my sentri card for the life of me. A sentri card is a credit card-looking device that Realtors in this area use to open lock boxes on properties. I didn't have any appointments to show properties, but I wanted to have it on me in case someone called the office and wanted to see a property. I finally convinced myself that I wouldn't get any phone calls from people wanting to see properties so I dashed out the door. Wouldn't you know, an hour after I arrived at the office my broker called and asked me if I could do her a favour and show one of her customers a property she had listed. My reply was, "sure if I can find my card." I'm not sure she realised what I meant, but I dashed off to my house first (luckily the house I was showing was only a mile away from my house) to search for the card....again. Ten minutes after I was supposed to be at the property to meet my brokers client, I still had not found my sentri card. Dejectedly, I called her to admit my fault. She sounded disappointed but told me to call her buyer to let her know the situation. I called the buyer...and received no answer. I decided to drive to the property with hopes that they were still there and I could explain what was going on. I pulled up, and saw a van a few houses down that was parked in front of another home that was listed for sale by another office. The lady in the van waved at me when she saw me pulling into the drive way, so I walked over to where she was. I explained that I had lost my card that would have given me access to the lock box and she said that I could ask the other Realtor to open the door for me. That sneaky little buyer had called the Realtor from the other sign and was planning at looking at two different properties with two different Realtors (that irriates me to no end, but she wasn't my buyer so I kept my cool)! Now, this is a small town, so word had already spread that a new Realtor was in my office. Believe me when I say that it was not a highlight of my career when I had to introduce myself to a Realtor from a different office and tell her that I had lost my sentri card, and could she please unlock the door so I could show the property to my broker's client. Luckily after that incident, things began running a lot smoother. Until a few days ago. I was in the office along with my broker. The Fed-Ex guy showed up to deliver a package and asked if the recipiant worked at our office. I looked at the name and told him that I didn't know who the person was and that it didn't belong there. So, he took it and left. My broker was on the phone when he came in. About twenty minutes later she asked if Fed-Ex was dropping off the package for her brother-in-law. Of course I knew nothing about it and had sent him off on his merry way. She said a few swear words and then set off on trying to track the fed-ex guy down. I have to admit, I didn't feel too bad about that since I had no idea she received mail for family members at the office, and the package didn't have our offices name on it. Like I said in the title, I'm surprised I haven't been fired. Luckily, today I had my first closing. I'm hoping that has redemed myself and now my slate can be wiped clean!