***Written by suggestion and with permission of Brent

I have officially diagnosed my husband with TRD (commonly referred to as "terd"): Tupperware Replacement Disorder. Seven...the number of times I have had to buy tupperware, gladware, ziplock containers, whatever you want to call it in the past two years. And, I don't mean I've had to replace a few items. Brent has totally wiped out our inventory of tupperware...6 times and counting. Brent can NOT keep up with it. Here's how the latest tupperware episode went:

Wednesday, August 19th--I give Brent leftover something or other for lunch
Monday, August 24th--Brent decides to finally remove it (the dirty, unrinsed tupperware) from work and bring it home
Thursday, August 27th--MORE THAN A WEEK LATER I sit down in the passenger seat in the Camry and my feet turn over a tupperware container. Juice spills out on my feet. You can imagine how that smelled as it saturated the carpet. Another container thrown away, and coincidentally the last container of the 6th set of containers we have purchased during our marriage.
Tonight--Guess what's on my grocery list? You guessed it...tupperware. However, I've learned my lesson. Instead of buying the good stuff that holds up in the heat of the dishwasher, I bought Food Club brand because I know that in about 2 months, I will be OUT of containers for leftovers and will have to replace them.

In the event that we are out of tupperware, or our ONE container is not clean, Brent often suggests that I give him a bowl...the real kind...and cover it with plastic wrap. Really? I'm not giving anyone with TRD 7 times over a real bowl.


It's a girl!

Lillian Reese is her name. We don't know what we are calling her yet (Lily, Reese, or Lily Reese). I'm all about a double name and Brent is completely against a double name, so we'll see what happens! She is named after my deceased grandfather's mom, Lillian. I never knew her, but she raised a wonderful man and he was a wonderful grandfather to me. The picture above is of Pop Pop and me Christmas 2007, right after Brent and I got engaged. He passed away in April of that year. Please ignore the bad picture quality and the shiny glare in my eyes. I've liked the name Reese for at least a year and knew I wanted my first daughter to be named Reese. But, since it's one syllable it needs to be a middle name (in most situations). I also wanted to use a family name. Lillian is what we liked the most, and really the only name that worked with Reese from both sides of our family. As it turns out, my mother-in-law, Teresa, is frequently called Reese by her dad and brother, so I guess we are using two family names. Brent didn't like the name Lillian when I first mentioned it to him (we were going with Madelyn Reese at the time) but now that it's official that we are having a girl, he LOVES the name and he is already wrapped around her tiny little fingers. She was 13 oz. on Monday and her heart rate was 148. She is about the size of a banana (in length). Sorry we haven't been keeping up with our family food portraits...it's just like housework, once I get behind a little bit, I'm completely unmotivated to catch up and I get even further behind. I'm not a quitter though...yet. Maybe we'll find time this weekend to catch up...maybe.

And for the poll results...

Looks like the SUV won the polls, but they are now closed. We originally anticipated it taking longer to find what we wanted...we have until September 10th to turn in the lease. I appreciate everyone's educated comments, suggestions, advice on the issue. Your comments were all considered when making our decision and the decision has finally been made. My father-in-law is a car salesman and found us a fabulous deal on a....VAN! It's a 2005 Honda Odyssey. Not only is the price just right, we are getting brand spankin' new leather, new brakes, new tires, and of course it will be shiny and clean when we pick it up Tuesday. We wanted something that was probably too large now, but that we could grow in to, at an affordable price and this particular van was right on the money. We looked at plenty of SUV's, but none of them ever felt like they were the right choice. If we went with an SUV, it would have to be a large SUV (ex. Ford Expedition or Toyota Sequoia) and quite frankly, I'm so short, I would need stairs to get a car seat/child in and out. It wouldn't be practical for me. And as far as my reputation goes...as my Cohort C girls know (because I always drive my mom's or grandmother's van when we go on trips together)...I've already proven that I can be a cool mom in a van. My mom and both grandmother's drive vans and I think they are pretty cool moms. So I know Lily Reese will be a happy camper :)


What would you do?

Brent and I have to get rid of one of our vehicles. While it makes complete sense that we would be getting rid of our 12 year old, 240k mile, rusting, permanently dirty, paint chipping, no more clear coat, full of character and surprises car...instead, we are getting rid of the 3 year old, mint condition SUV. Why? It's a leased vehicle (which we will NEVER do again) and it's due back in September :( I have loved it, but hated the ridiculous payments. I am happy to say that we made our final payment this month and it passed the final inspection...so no more of our money will be flushed down the toilet for a car that was never really ours in the first place! Obviously, we're in the market for a new car. And with a baby on the way, we've been looking into "family cars" a.k.a. large SUV's and, need I say that horrible "v" word that screams MOM? Brent has been convinced for a while that a van is the best investment. Before baby was on the brain, I had my heart set on a new model Camry since 2007 when they came out. I figured when my Camry finally died, I could afford a used 2007 Camry. My precious 240k car is still kickin' and it may look awful and really embarrass me in nice neighborhoods, but I'm dedicated to a Toyota Camry because mine has never caused me any issues...mechanically speaking. I've finally become okay with another larger sedan, such as a Honda Accord, Nissan Maxima, or Saturn Aura. With a baby on the way, I'm thinking less of what I want and more of what will work best, all the while trying to remain a "cool mom." So that's where your opinion comes in. I'm in this for the long run. I don't want to buy a car now, pay it off in 2-4 years then buy another one. Once it's paid for, I'm driving that thing 'till it's useless. We went to CarMax tonight and vetoed a small SUV, like the Saturn Vue, even though I really like the looks of it. A small SUV is about the same size as a large sedan, and after a dog crate, a schizo dog, stroller, pack -n- play, suitcases, baby food, diapers, toys, beach chairs, floats, you name it...there won't be any room to breath. The choices are large SUV (Toyota Highlander or 4Runner, Saturn Outlook/GMC Acadia, Honda Pilot) or Van...there, I said it...a new model Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna. Here's my thoughts:

Cool mom (esp. in the 4Runner because the back window rolls down...I've always loved that)
Room to grow
Room for vacation
Can get one with 3rd row if needed
Not as easy to get car seat in and out

Not a cool mom
Plenty of room, especially if the seats fold into the floor
Easy to get car seat in and out
Can serve similar to a truck if all seats are laid down
More room to grow than an SUV

Please vote in the poll and feel free to list any comments. Thanks for your input :) I guess my real need is for you to tell me that I can be a cool mom no matter what I drive.


Long overdue for a post

It was brought to my attention today through a conversation with my BFF that I haven't updated my blog in a while. Then we determined that neither one of us can complain about each other's blogs because neither one of us update often now that school has started back. I'm sent on a guilt trip every time I open my fridge...I see a turnip, bell pepper, and heirloom tomato staring at me because they are waiting in line for their portrait session with the VK family. I just haven't had the time. Really, Brittany, you haven't had the time to take a few pictures? It's true. I LOVE my new job...LOVE LOVE LOVE it! But it sucks all the energy out of me. I'm out of bed by 5:15 in the morning, back home in time to cook dinner, clean up, make lunches for tomorrow, then it's off to bed to do it all again. I'm exhausted at the end of the day. And I know that with the state my body is in right now, sleeping is far more important than a few pictures with food. But I will get to them, hopefully before this turnip turns black (or whatever color they turn when they are rotten) and mushy. Brent really wants to throw it away, but I won't let him. I'm determined to get a picture with that thing, no matter how nasty it looks. Updates: I feel the baby move everyday. I have felt what I think is a kick...my mom thinks it's a little early. But it's definitely been a poke of some sort. I find out on Monday (24th) if it's a blue baby or a pink baby. I use those terms because I always prayed for a blue baby when I was a little girl and I got a brother when I was 6...who, by the way, started college today! Woo Hoo! We (Brent and I, not my brother and I) have names picked...a girl name for sure and a few boy names we are undecided on. I'll let you know after Monday. Sorry for the lack of updates. Be looking for one on Monday!


Week 16 Family Food Portrait

It's a Black Friday every Saturday.

This past weekend, my mom's side of the family went to my grandparent's house to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. We all went up Friday night so we could get up early (6 am)Saturday and go to the Collinsville flea market...yea! I've never been before, but my Aunt Sandra and Uncle LaDaryl (haha, I hope I got it right this time) go frequently and always find great bargains. Normally I would care about bargains, but for my first trip, I was looking for blog fodder.

It's a Black Friday for Rednecks every Saturday. Just like the malls, you can get there as early as 4:30. You can't even SEE at 4:30 in the morning! How are you possibly going to shop outdoors? You can buy anything here: produce, strollers, axe handles, axe blades, toiletries, cereal, clothes, paintings, four wheelers, shoes, any tool you can imagine (Earnest keeps 'em in a barn), dogs, chainsaws, farm animals, designer purses and sunglasses, knives, swords, Amish soaps/honey/jam, and of course, people's junk that they want to get rid of.

I felt like I was in a Mexican marketplace: crooked shacks placed in about 6 narrow rows on unlevel gravel/dirt and LOTS of people. We only walked about 3/4 of the way down each row and I didn't really know why. Uncle LaDaryl informed me that the top of the rows housed all the animals. Becaues I love animals, I thought, "Oh how cute, I want to go up there!" It's not "cute" animals, it's animals waiting to be slaughtered for dinner later in the day. That explains why I saw so many people carrying live chickens in potato sacks. There were plenty of cute dogs, though. Hopefully those were not being bought for dinner. I could have spent the whole morning playing with all the puppies. But I couldn't trust the handwritten neon signs that told me they were up to date on shots. The sign should have said, "We didn't fix our dog, and now we have a lot of puppies. Please take them home." Some of the booths had so many puppies in one crate and they were literally sitting on top of each other, just crying for someone to take them home. I felt so bad for them, but with a baby coming, Sanibel has enough jealousy to deal with. I also came across a booth with a carseat! Covered in MOLD. Someone sarcastically suggested I get it, and I replied, "It's got mold all over it!" The guy behind the booth yelled back, "Shutup, it's only 50 cents." And Ben, in all his wittiness, said, "You won't be the one riding in it." I can buy a coke for 50 cents that's not going to give my baby respiratory issues, no thanks. One thing I saw that I thought was SO clever, especially for our poor child that will be so confused about what team to pull for during the Iron Bowl...a homemade outfit for a girl. Half in Auburn and half in Alabama. I would have bought it, but I don't know what Baby VK is (August 24th, I will!) and it was a teeny weeny outfit that wouldn't fit the baby when football season rolled back around. That was the extent of my morning at the flea market. Did I buy anything? Yes, a bottle of water and an avocado...for this:

My family with Mom and Pop. Mom (grandmother Mom, not mother Mom, it's confusing) is holding the avocado. This was after our dinner at Canyon Ridge in Rising Fawn, GA. We came back to their house and had wedding cake from Edgar's...yummo! Thanks to Samantha (Pop's GPS), who kept taking us in circles, it only took us an hour to get back to their house after dinner. Happy Anniversary Mom and Pop! We love you!


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