Sunday, January 29, 2012

How Many Black Widow Spiders Does It Take To Make An Infestation?

The area near our house is no stranger to Black Widow spiders. Heck, I used to walk home from middle school through what the paper said "looked like a cotton field" from all the spider webs. (From the ground you couldn't tell. It's amazing I was never bit!) We only live a mile away from the school, but I had never seen a spider at the house. Until last year.

This was October 23, 2011:

That is a Black Widow spider just hanging out and living in the twins outside playhouse. The same playhouse that I've let them get in a thousand times. I have always glanced in there looking for snakes ('cause we get those all over out here) but never close enough to inspect for spiders. Why would I?? You better believe I do now though!

I have been more diligent about checking things out before the kiddos play in them now and hadn't seen another one until today. Ricky and the twins were playing outside on the trampoline and I was working in the yard. Like I said, I'm always very careful about snakes. Those buggers scare the crap out of me. I don't want to come face to face with one accidentally. If I did, I probably would end up accidentally stabbing myself with my pruning shears while fumbling in my attempt to dash out of there! I clear up the area around the a/c unit without incident. Then I weed-eat around our cement area. My last area of trimming before getting out the lawn mower was going to be under our pavilion. We haven't been under there since the summer so I figured it was about due for a little clean-up.

I assumed there would be something creepy-crawly mixed up in our pool cover that had been lying on our outside table, so I flipped it over quickly and carefully. Nothing popped up or flew out so I got a little closer for a better inspection. That's when I saw the fat black body. I yelled for Ricky to come over and confirm what I already knew...Black Widow. Ricky sends me into the garage to get some Raid and I took that opportunity to grab my camera. While I was out there taking some photos, they weren't really turning out all that great. It was buried a bit in the shadows (where they like to be). Plus I wasn't getting close enough, 'cause you know, SPIDER!

So, I told Ricky not to kill it until I got back. I ran inside and grabbed my step-dad's telephoto lens to see how that would work. Much better!

Here's what I discovered today:

I think I have about reached my limit for Black Widows. I don't know what number my limit is, but I know it's close. I am about ready to concrete in our whole yard and put it in a bubble. With snake and spider repellant everywhere.


I'll leave you with this:

Monday, January 23, 2012

Bullet Post

  • I have a blog post in mind that I want to write about. But I can't seem to find the time to write it properly. Hopefully I'll get the chance today to finally sit down and get it written.
  • Ricky and I were supposed to start P90x last night. But the file was the wrong type to play from our external hard drive so we couldn't do it. I do have the discs for it somewhere around here. So, instead of just slacking off, we turned on the X-Box and played a little Zumba Kinect. It was a lot of fun. It wasn't nearly as fun as attending one of Aimee's classes, but it was a fun workout. Especially fun since Ricky has almost zero coordination. At one point while we were doing grapevines and punches, he turns to me and with complete seriousness says, "I apologize in advance if I punch you." We had a few close calls, but both of us came out of our workout uninjured.
  • I like to take the weekends off from the mountain of housework that I am constantly doing throughout the rest of the week. But I'm beginning to think that may be a bad idea, 'cause every Monday my house looks like two little Tornado Twins took it over.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

P90x Day One

Tonight Ricky and I will be starting P90x. Already my brain is making up excuses not to get started. I really think it's the anticipation of something new. Just going to forces ourselves to do it. I'm sure it'll get even harder once the pain is brought. But after that it should be easier. At least that's what I'm saying out loud to drown out the inner voice in my head. I'll update tonight with how it went.


*UPDATE* Went to Wal-Mart today and bought a pull-up bar, 8lb dumbbells for me and 20lb dumbbells for Ricky. I didn't really want to spend any money on this, but it was going to be impossible for us to even do P90x without these things. Investment in health, I guess?

*UPDATE #2* Ricky and I decided to start our workouts on Monday, January 23rd. I would try to argue and say that I'm not doing this just because I don't feel up to it tonight. But I totally don't feel up to it tonight. And Monday sounds like a good starting point. Crap. I already feel like I let our Sore Muscles group down. This sucks.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Work-Out Partner

After the kiddos went to bed tonight, I was writing down my schedule for tomorrow on the big board. Ricky came in and asked me what P90x was. I told him it was the exercise set that I was going to start tomorrow and then I told him about the Fit Test that I did today. And by "told him about the Fit Test" I mean, "told him to do the Fit Test so he could see what I was talking about". He actually did fairly well. And did as good or better than me in everything. After the Fit Test he offered to do P90x with me after the kiddos are in bed.

Here are his starting stats:

Fitness Stats
Resting Heart Rate: (Gonna have to get this tomorrow morning)

Pull-Ups: 1 (We don't have a way to do them, but he said he can do at least one)

Push-Ups: 4

Toe Touch: +8" (He's bendy)

In & Outs: 1

Wall Squat: 1:16 (He said he was only going to :45 'cause it hurt, but I kept taunting him and he stayed longer.)

Bicep Curls: (All we have are 5 lb dumbbells and I knew that wouldn't be enough for him. So, we'll have to do these later.)

Body Measurements
Weight: 167
Weight Goal: 150

Waist: 33 inches
Waist Goal: 31 inches

Hips: 40 inches
Hips Goal: 40 inches

Chest: 36 inches
Chest Goal: 36 inches

Right Arm: 13 inches
Right Arm Goal: 13 inches

Left Arm: 12 inches
Left Arm Goal: 13 inches

Right Thigh: 20 inches
Right Thigh Goal: 20 inches

Left Thigh: 19 inches
Left Thigh Goal: 20 inches

Body Fat %: 17%
Body Fat % Goal: 15%

It's Worse Than I Thought

Not feeling too confidant about starting P90x after doing the Fit Test. I know these numbers are only going to get better, but I think this may actually kill me. Seriously.

Resting Heart Rate: (Gonna have to get this tomorrow morning)

Pull-Ups: 0 (I know I can do zero, even if I had a bar. But I will at least attempt when I get the opportunity.)

Push-Ups: 0 (I have never been able to do a single push-up. But I was able to do 10 girlie push-ups. That counts, right??)

Toe Touch: 0" (I was just able to touch my toes)

In & Outs: 0

Wall Squat: 0:25

Bicep Curls: 25/5 lbs (Had to wash the blood off them. 5lbs is the heaviest I own.)

So, there ya have it. I'm like a sloth posing as a human.


Body Measurements & 'Before' Photos

When looking at numbers and photos like this, I have to remind myself that one year ago I weighed 200lbs. So these numbers were higher a year ago. I actually look better than I did a year ago. And hopefully, a year from now I will be able to say the same thing about today.

Weight: 163
Weight Goal: 130

Waist: 35 inches
Waist Goal: 30 inches

Hips: 42 inches
Hips Goal: 40

Chest: 40 inches
Chest Goal: 40 (Boobs, please don't leave me!)

Right Arm: 13 inches
Right Arm Goal: 13 inches (Not sure what to put here)

Left Arm: 12 inches
Left Arm Goal: 12 inches (Arms different sizes? WTF?)

Right Thigh: 22 inches
Right Thigh Goal: 22 inches (Again, not sure about goal)

Left Thigh: 22 inches
Left Thigh Goal: 22 inches (At least my thighs match!)

Body Fat %: 33%
Body Fat %: 33% (What is it even supposed to be?)

Before- Front View

Before- Side View

All the stretch marks, wrinkles, creases, and what-nots are all thanks to the Twincesses. All the fat is thanks to all the bad things for you that taste so delicious.

I can't believe I'm about to post these photos on teh interwebz. *closes eyes and presses 'publish'.

*UPDATE*: I just noticed that I am wearing a hot wing eating challenge winner t-shirt. While it really is Ricky's shirt (I can barely handle a lot of pepper on my food) I do see the irony.

I Must Be Out Of My Mind

Today I am going to do my Fit Test to see where I am at to start P90x. I am both excited and terrified to begin this program.

November 2010, I joined a gym and began taking Zumba classes. It was so much fun. But our mortgage went up $110 per month for the foreseeable future so I was forced to quit the gym. (Honestly, I don't know how we manage to make it with that increase, but that's a discussion for another day.) I have posts on here about my experience with with Zumba. And it was wonderful! Given the opportunity, I would join up with the gym again and continue Zumba classes. I miss them so much. Mostly because our instructor is just awesome.

Even after quitting, I kept in touch with my Zumba instructor and her sister on Facebook. And recently, I began reading her blog, Very Best You. She and her husband just started P90x too. Her sister had invited me to join her husband's Team BeachBody Challenge but I kept putting off getting the information and when I would remember I wouldn't have time to look into it.

Last night, I finally remembered and had an opportunity to look at the video link I was sent and got more information about it. I won't be joining in on the official Team BeachBody challenges because I cannot afford the nutritional supplements "Shakeology", but I have joined their Secret Facebook Group for motivation and coaching.

I have a dentist appointment today at 10am, so this morning I am going to do my body measurements and when I get home, I will do as much of the Fit Test as I can. I won't be able to do things like Pull-Ups because I lack a pull-up bar (not that I could do one anyway. Seriously, even since elementary school, I have never been able to do a single one.) Next time I go to Sam's house, I'll try out Josh's bar in their room, or try them at the playground (as suggested by my Zumba instructor. Genius!)

I'll update this or make a new post including my 'before' photo and my Fit Test results.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Day Olivia Sent Emma To The Emergency Room

I thought that today was going to be a typical Lazy Saturday. I was wrong.

The day started out like any other day. The kiddos came in our room around 8am and kept shouting, "It's sunny-day! Get up! Let's play a game!" Their game of choice this morning was Hide and Seek. So, Ricky and I told them to go ahead and get started. It was taking a while to get out of bed, though the both of us were already awake. The kids kept coming in and out of our room whining about a necklace that they both wanted to play with.

Next thing I know, we hear a blood-curdling scream come from Emma in the living room. Ricky and I get in there and Emma's face is pouring blood from above her right eye. I picked her up and sat on the couch so I could see what was going on. On the floor, our area rug was all messed up and next to it was a purple 5lb dumbbell. I asked Emma what happened and she said, "Olivia hit me with that! *points to dumbbell*". I yelled at Ricky to get a washcloth so that I could wipe away some of the blood running down her face. It was everywhere. Dripping on her night gown, all in her mouth. I knew the gash was there on her face, but there was so much blood in her mouth that I thought she got hit there as well.

I got her cleaned up as best I could with blood still dripping. Ricky and talked for a few minutes about whether or not we thought she needed stitches. We decided that I should take her next door to see Grandmother and see what she had to say about it. I got our jackets on and we ran next door while Ricky stayed home with Olivia.

It had stopped pouring blood when we got next door, but it was still bleeding to where we had to keep the washcloth on it frequently. The first thing out of Emma's mouth when we got there was, "Look what Olivia did!" It was in that moment, that I knew she was going to be okay. Grandpa cracked a joke saying, "Don't you know you're not supposed to use dumbbells? Tell your sister she needs to use smartbells next time." Emma didn't find that funny at all. Grandmother and Grandpa suggested that we go ahead and take her to the ER to get it checked on so it wouldn't leave a scar. It most likely would be fine without stitches, but the placement of the potential scar may make her self-conscious later.

So, I ran back home with her and told Ricky what they said. He agreed. I called my mom to meet us at the hospital, and Ricky stayed home with Liv again and called his family. Before we left the house, I had Ricky snap a few 'before the hospital' photos.

Once at the hospital, it didn't take long for her to be called back. They ended up putting Dermabond (superglue) on it instead of butterfly clamps or stitches. She put up a bit of a fight and it got in one of her eyebrows. When it was all done, she asked to see her face in a mirror so I took her photo and showed it to her on my phone.

After that, they took her to Radiology to have a few head x-rays to make sure she didn't have any skull fractures to go along with her facial laceration. Waiting on the results of the x-ray was actually the longest wait of the morning. Everything came back normal so we were discharged and went home.

The rest of the day was business as usual around here. We had to keep telling her to stop running around and playing so much. Honestly, I'm surprised that it took us 4.5 years to make it to the ER for a sister-inflicted head wound. But I'm so thankful that it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Three Projects Down...About A Million To Go

I have kind of an obsession with photographs. I love taking them. I love looking at them. I love framing them. I am even working on, what I call, my Massive Photo Project. (That's for another blog post soon.) So, I really wanted a nice gallery wall to display some of my favorite photos of the twins. Monday, I made this a reality. It's still a work-in-progress, but I like the way it came together so far.

The plan is for me to keep building upon it, but I'm not sure exactly where I'm going to go with it. I guess that will just depend on the size of the photographs I print. I'll let Future BritneyMarie deal with that one.


Kids Corner

Another project that I wanted to tackle was an area for the kids to keep their school things. The way our house is set up, there isn't really an area for one of those locket type school organizer things that are all over Pinterest.

Since school began, I had the kid's backpacks hung on a wreath hanger, just one on top of the other. Their jackets hung on the doorknob of the same door. And their school work went into my massive paperwork pile on our kitchen bookshelf.

I had heard about Command Hooks from a lot of organizing blogs that I read, so I was dying to use the ones that I picked up. I figured, using them to hang the kiddos backpacks would be perfect! I hung them low enough for the twins to be able to use them by themselves. I knew I wanted to put their names above their backpacks, but I was having trouble figuring out how I wanted to do it. Using wooden initial letters crossed my mind, but we are already using those in their bathroom. Then I thought wooden letter full names, but those are in their bedroom. Then I thought, 'Photos!' I searched my computer for a good face shot of them, but all the really good ones were being used in our living room! Then I remembered Photoshopping some chalk names that my Sister-in-Law had written back in 2010. I printed them, framed them and hung them up.

Every time I walked by the new area, I kept feeling like something was missing. So, I ran into my craft room, took down the cork board and hung it up above everything. On it, I hung their classroom news for the upcoming week, left a space for homework to be done, and then hung up their traffic light behavior chart from the week before. It all fit perfectly! One last sweep of the living room reminded me of their home behavior traffic light, so I moved it to their area and was done!

My grandmother had given me a rolling kitchen rack to use for all my baking supplies, but they were beginning to overflow on it. So I cleared it out and decided to use it for the girlies. The top has a tupperware container for their papers that come home. The first shelf is for home workbooks and classroom library books. The second shelf is empty until I can think of something useful for it. And the bottom shelf has their lunchboxes.

Here it is all together.


We've Had It Over A Year...Probably Should Get Started

August 2010 Ricky and I purchased our first home. Up until now I've shied away from doing any sort of major home improvements/decorating because I'm not used to something like this being 'mine'. Anytime that I would want to do something major, I would think about how I don't know what I'm doing, and I would feel like I needed to enlist someone's help. I often would ask for help from family and friends, but the timing would rarely work out and nothing would ever get done. The only thing that we have done in the last three years was paint the walls, and we didn't even get them all done before we moved our furniture in. The blue painter's tape is still up in our kitchen from 2008 when we moved in to rent!

Thanks to Pinterest I have had quite a bit of motivation to get some things done around this place. I finally made my mind up that I was going to renovate our house by myself (with Ricky's help, of course!) If something went wrong, I'd learn how to correct myself.

So, with a lot of pinning and searching, I decided that the first problem/project I wanted to tackle was our overflowing dvd collection. I wanted to have a ceiling to floor shelf built. I went around to some stores to price racks and they were in the hundreds of dollars and they wouldn't even hold much. We already have two $300 500+ dvd racks and we still needed more space. So, a few days ago I let Ricky in on my thought process. His first reaction? "You know I'm not a handyman, right?" Ugh.

I gave him my 'We're going to do this and it will be awesome, or we're going to do this and learn from our mistakes, but either way we're going to do this' speech. Eventually he came around. So, we started measuring and determining exactly what we wanted. While the kids were at school on Tuesday, I started with the stud finder and began marking all the studs and drawing level lines for Ricky to put the brackets on the wall.

That night, Ricky and I went to Home Depot and got the brackets for the wall, shelf brackets to go on them, and one piece of wood to get one shelf done to see if it would even work. I was so pumped to get this project underway that I just went into the paint cabinet in our garage and picked the spray paint that we had the most of. Luckily, it was Flat Black. And I started to get to work:

And so did Ricky:

Seven brackets later, we got our first shelf up!

The more we thought about it, we really didn't like the fact that the shelf was made of two boards put together. We weren't convinced of the stability, so Wednesday, we made a second trip to Home Depot and got 4 boards cut to the full length of the shelf. Again, I painted them black and we got them hung up.

The next day, I headed out to Home Depot at the beach to get some more brackets, since we had purchased all the ones that the store in town carried. I also got 4 more boards to finish up the last rows. Unfortunately, they came up 5 shelf brackets short, so we weren't able to put up the bottom row, but it still looks pretty darn awesome.

Not too bad for our first project, eh?

-Britney Marie

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Other Funny Things *December Edition*

*as heard from the other room*
Ricky: *in Skeletor voice* "You'll never escape Skeletor-Dad!"

*watching 'Deadliest Warrior'*
Me: "That guy looks pretty."
Ricky: "What?"
Me: "That guy looks like a girl. He's pretty."
Ricky: "I'm not calling a guy pretty."

*after weighing himself*
Ricky: "Ugh, 165lbs"
Me: "Here, this should make you feel better."
*weighs myself*
Me: "Okay, maybe not 167lbs."
Ricky: "That should make you feel good, I'm only two pounds lighter than you."
Me: "Yeah kinda."
Ricky: "Just means I'm gettin' fat."
Me: "Gee, thanks."

*Watching Next Iron Chef*
Me: "See, her butt is huge!"
Ricky: "I'm sorry, I forgot to look at her butt. I promise I will look at her butt the next time they show it."

*Mom and twins are playing with a cap gun*
Mom: "Okay, no laughing when I kill you."

Funny Things My Kids Have Said *December Edition*

Olivia: "Mommy, make me a mustache." *hands me purple play-doh*

*Emma reciting out loud what she is pretending to write down*
Emma: "Dear Mommy. I love you. Love Daddy."

Olivia: "I want a cheese sandwich."
Me: "We don't have any cheese?"
Olivia: "That's okay, Mommy. I'll have a butter sandwich."

*Emma opens a drawer and hits me in the knee.*
Emma: "I'm sorry I hurt you, Mom. Let's go bowling."

My kids look like they got dressed in the dark. Emma is wearing a Penguins jersey, blue jeans that are too big and ugg boots, with fur rolled down on one side. Olivia is wearing a Batman shirt, grey sweat pants and Justice League sneakers.

Olivia: "I wanna go see Batman."
Emma: "He's at the cave."
Olivia: "I wanna go see LarryBoy."
Emma: "He's at the cave with Batman."

Me: "What do you girlies want to do today?"
Emma: "I want to go to the store to get some juice."
Me: "What are you going to use to pay for the juice?"
Emma: "Mommy."

Me: "We're going to have lunch with Aunt ******, Uncle *******, Baby *******, Grandma and Daddy today."
Emma: "Oh, that's wonderful!"

Emma: "We have to make marshmallows with snores!!! Dad! Make a fire!"

Olivia: "Somebody stinks."
Me: "It's probably one of the kitties."
Olivia: "It's probably Emma."

Olivia: "We have to go to Gabriel's Park to see Santa!"
Me: "Santa is back at the North Pole getting ready for Christmas next year."
Olivia: "We have to go to the North Pole!"
Me: "But it's too cold there."
Olivia: "We have to get our jackets on!"

Olivia: "You'll shoot your eye out, kid. Ho ho ho!"

Emma: "The Grinch is going to steal all our stuff for Christmas. He's gonna steal all our panties!"

Emma: "Mommy, can I have a cookie?"
Me: "Yes. *takes her to the kitchen to get one of the cookies they made yesterday*
Emma: "I can't eat those cookies!! Those are Santa's cookies!!"
Me: "I think Santa will be okay if you eat one of them."
Emma: "Nope, they're for Santa."
Me: "You sure you don't want one?"
Emma: "No, they're all for Santa."

Emma: "I want 20 teeth out so I can get my prize!"

Olivia emerged from our bedroom. I had been out here on the computer for an hour. I didn't see/hear her come out of her room. Neither did Ricky. Must be a magic door or something into our room. Best guess is that while we were brushing our teeth, she came out of our room and got under our bed. Then she fell asleep under there. Then when the phone rang it woke her up.

*looking over my shoulder while on Pinterest*
Emma: "It's Wonder Woman!"
Me: "Who's that? *pointing to Christopher Reeve*
Emma: "Superman!...Where's Batman on here??"

*points finger in my face*
Olivia: "I command you to stay here!"

Emma: "I wanna go to the toy store."
Ricky: "Yeah bro?"

Olivia: "It's still snowing! Yipee!"

Ricky: "Who wants to take naps?"
Olivia: "Me!"
Emma: "I don't like naps."

Ricky: "It's not funny. Pooping your pants is not funny."

Olivia: "I love The Smurbs!"

Emma: "Mommy, my best friend is Olivia. Who's your best friend?"
Me: "Aunt Deidre."
Emma: "No, you're best friend is Dad."