Tuesday, November 30, 2010

change of plans....as usual. :)

I am starting to think that just the thought of having to watch Tate for a couple of days makes the Burback family throw up. Ha. Not really, but last time they had to watch him, the day before I had to drop him off, Cassie got the stomach flu worse than she ever has. My plan was to drop Tate off tomorrow and I find out that the stomach flu is in their home AGAIN! Ugh. I leave for Florida and Sean works the next couple of days. We called anyone and everyone we knew who could watch Tate (which isn't many people considering most people have jobs and half of my family is in Florida!) and no luck finding anyone. :( Sean is one of those employees that is completely against calling into work. He never does it. He will go to work when he should be sick in bed. Good thing he has an amazing immune system and hardly ever gets sick. He knew that he didn't have a choice here though, we just cannot intentionally expose Tate to the stomach flu and we knew that there was no one else to watch him.

So, Sean contacted his boss and let her know that he needed the next couple of days off and now he'll have an entire week home with Tate one on one. Tate will be sad that he won't get those couple of days with Brigg, Lani and Ayla to play with, but I'm sure he'll have fun at home with his daddy.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sarah Palin's Alaska

Call me crazy, but I like Sarah Palin's Alaska.
I didn't watch it in the beginning, but caught up this weekend.
I am a fan.
Of her AND the show!
It makes me want to visit Alaska.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

What's on my mind tonight?

Hmmm...what's on my mind tonight? Well, I DO NOT want to talk about the embarrassment that was the Hawkeyes this evening, but am happy to have watched the Florida State Seminoles KILL the Florida Gators tonight!

I am getting so excited to leave for Florida in a few days! I'm chomping at the bit to get down to some WARM weather and have a fun time relaxing with my mom. No worries of making plans or taking care of a child. I'll miss my boys, but it will be a nice break. :) I think Sean's kind of excited to have close to a week off to relax and spend time with Tate one on one as well.

I have a lot on my list to do before I head out for Florida, but nothing too overwhelming. I wanted to make sure there was enough time before I left to really soak up some time with Tate. He is going to spend the first 2 days at Cassie and Paul's because Sean is working, so that will be fun for him to get time with the kids to play.

Can you believe it's almost December? I feel like it was last week that I was saying, "I can't believe it's almost November!" This time of year...well, life in general just flies by! I love the Christmas season. I don't do Black Friday shopping, but this year I headed to Family Christian Friday morning to take advantage of a few amazing deals they had on CD's. I bought a couple Christmas CD's and then a couple non-Christmas CD's and couldn't be happier with them! I needed a couple of Christmas CD's and I got Casting Crowns and Chris Tomlin (2 of my favorites) and have been listening to them in since Friday morning when I bought them. :) Oh how I love Christmas music!

Tate and I baked chocolate chip cookies today and I swear they are half gone! Sean LOVES them (if you read the 100 things about him below, you would know that. :)) and he's known for his appetite. They aren't going to last long. MMMMM...they're good. I'm not a big cookie maker normally, but there is something about the holidays that makes me want to bake cookies. I will be making these Coconut-Butterscotch Fudge Cookies that I made for the first time last year and were a HUGE hit and then maybe I'll try and make a couple of new cookie recipes.

And those would be my thoughts for this cold evening.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Where do I even begin?

We had the BEST day!
I honestly cannot remember the last time we had such a great day.
We woke up and watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Tate was amazed by it all!
Then we got the Christmas stuff out and set up the tree!
Tate was a huge help this year and he was in the height of his glory. He wanted to do the tree all by himself!
He did a great job!
He took the job very seriously...

He loved the angel at the top of the tree...

Then, Tate and Sean wrestled around and played for hours!

Then we showered at about 3pm and headed out to our Thanksgiving dinner at Golden Corral.
Okay, so I could totally do Golden Corral for Thanksgiving every year! It was super delicious, and inexpensive...no preparation and no clean up! Sweet!
We all ate really well. Tate loved it too!

Next we headed to the Quad Cities Festival of Trees.
I cannot even begin to explain what a great time we had. Tate was like a different child. I don't know if it's because he had such a great day and was in a great mood or if it was just a fluke. All I know is that all of his nervousness, timidness, fear and dislike of the camera was GONE...completely gone! It was so amazing! We waited in line for Santa Claus and he was actually excited to go sit on his lap...no hesitation whatsoever! It almost made me cry. For many of you, this wouldn't be so world shaking, but for us it was. Seriously, Sean and I were all smiles and just kept looking at each other like, "what's going on?! Who is this kid?!!" We were elated to see him so joyous and free of his fear and just happy. I don't know what caused it, but I wish I did so that we can see this side of him more often. We were talking about how it's been at least a year since we've seen Tate like this. My heart was racing in excitement and joy for him the entire time we were there.

Needless to say, I have LOTS of pictures of the night! :)

Tate walking up to Santa...

He immediately hopped right up onto Santa's lap and shook his hand!

He smiled for SEVERAL pictures...

He LOVED Santa and hugged him unprompted!

Santa asked him what he wanted and he immediately said, "I want a Wii!"
Um, he might be disappointed on Christmas morning when there isn't a Wii under the tree. :(
Santa said, "I am going to write something on your hand."
Tate said, "OKAY!" and put his hand out!

Then he watched intently as he wrote SANTA on his hand.
I think he would have sat on Santa's lap for hours had we let him.
We had to say, "okay, Tate, tell Santa goodbye!"
He waved and said, "bye bye!"
When he walked up to me he said, "Santa loves me!"
So cute!

He was on cloud nine and willingly let me take a ton of pictures of him.
He and Sean posed for me behind these snowmen...

and then the reindeer...

Then we went and looked at all the trees.
Tate was dancing to the singers singing on stage and ooooing and ahhhhing about all of the trees and the big choo choo train. He was so happy that when Sean sat down, he climbed onto him for a huge hug! Good thing I had my camera ready at all times!

Then I passed the camera to Sean and sat down by Tate so he could give me a hug too! :)

Look at him and the joy on his face!
This makes my heart beat out of my chest when I look at it.
I wish I could describe properly what this night was like for us.
I know it sounds silly, but when you have a child that is soooo fearful of EVERYTHING, it is just such a gift when you get these kinds of moments...and we are so blessed we got THIS side of Tate for an entire day!

Not only do they have trees decorated, but they have tons of doors decorated.
I especially loved this one in the theme of peacock feathers!

This tree was AMAZING!
It was HUGE (as you can see) and it was solid stuffed animals!
You can hardly see Tate at the bottom of it...ha.

He is my heart.

We were just so overjoyed and proud of how Tate did at the Festival of Trees that when we left, we told him how we were so proud of him and because he did such an amazing job, we would take him to one of his favorite places...the Rainbow Bridge.
I had to take a few pictures with the flash on so that you could see his cute face!

But I can't go to the Rainbow Bridge without capturing how fun and colorful it is!
I love how Tate is just a blur in this picture...he was dancing like a wild man while we were there.
He was saying, "dance with me, mommy and daddy!"
Of course, I obliged...Sean however did not. :)

He wanted Sean to sit down on the floor and we didn't know why.
Then all of a sudden, he tackled him with a HUGE hug and kept doing it over and over.

He could hardly contain his joy all day...

More love for Daddy...

I am so thankful for today.
I am so thankful for my son.
I am so thankful he was able to fully relax and enjoy his whole day!
He said several times today, "This is a happy holiday!"
Yes it is Tate, yes it is!

This gift from God was the best gift I could have imagined getting today.
It was like a miracle from Him.
He can do ALL things and I am so thankful He did this for Tate today.
Why these burdens Tate deals with on a daily basis were simply lifted from him today, I may never know, but I pray that days like these will happen more often!

100 Things About My Husband

It was so fun doing mine, I asked him if I could write 100 things about him. He agreed as long as he did it with me and could approve all of them. :) So here they are...

1. His name is Sean Patrick
2. Age 34
3. Favorite color is red
4. Favorite sport to watch is football
5. Favorite sport to play is golf
6. Favorite season is fall
7. Favorite tv show is How I Met Your Mother
8. Favorite band is Stone Temple Pilots
9. Favorite athlete is Ken Griffey Jr.
10. Favorite baseball team is Boston Red Sox
11. Height is 6'3"
12. Favorite holiday is New Years Day
13. Sean went to Grandview University
14. Sean is a registered nurse
15. Went to UNI
16. Has a degree in Geography as well
17. Favorite non alcoholic beverage is unsweetened ice tea
18. Favorite beer is New Castle
19. Favorite liquor is Maker's Mark
20. Favorite foods are French Dips and Meatloaf
21. Sean hates corn, peas and beets
22. Sean loves the Iowa Hawkeyes
23. Sean loves the Florida State Seminoles
24. Sean loves to wear a suit
25. Sean hates jean shorts
26. Favorite song is Plush unplugged (Stone Temple Pilots)
27. Dream car is a Ferrari 430 Spyder
28. Favorite animal is a cheetah
29. Sean was a track "star" in high school
30. Sean still holds a Colo-NESCO school record in track
31. The first time Sean carried the football as a running back in high school, he broke his hand
32. The second time Sean carried the football as a running back in high school, he fumbled it (this was the play after he broke his hand)
33. Sean only carried the football as a running back in high school two times
34. Sean's favorite number and his number through high school is 34
35. Sean doesn't chew gum (unless I make him because he has stinky breath)
36. Sean's favorite candy is a snickers
37. Sean claims he almost has died from choking twice...once on a chocolate star and once on a pickle
38. Favorite game is Trivial Pursuit
39. Sean believes all things in life can be related to a Simpsons episode
40. Sean shaves his head 3-4 times per week
41. Sean shaved his head the day after our wedding and hasn't grown it out since
42. Favorite NFL team is Tampa Bay Buccaneers
43. Favorite coach is Bobby Bowden (FSU)
44. First concert Sean went to was Metallica
45. Most recent concert Sean went to was Mercy Me and Jeremy Camp
46. First car Sean drove was a 1984 Chevy Cavalier
47. Sean was dropped on his head once when he was a baby
48. Sean fell down a flight of stairs before he turned 1
49. Sean just recently learned how to pronounce the words Massachusetts and Philadelphia (probably because #'s 48 and 49)
50. When Sean was 5, he had a broken arm and the chicken pox at the same time
51. Sean saw the ocean for the first time when he was 26
52. Sean's first time out of the country was on our honeymoon
53. On our honeymoon, Sean got 2nd place in a belly flop competition
54. On our 10 day cruise for our honeymoon, Sean gained 20lbs
55. Sean's first and only surgery was an appendectomy last year
56. Sean despises country music
57. Sean has only lived in 4 cities...Colo, Cedar Falls, Des Moines and Davenport
58. Sean grew up on a farm
59. Sean is the oldest of 3 kids
60. He has 1 brother and 1 sister
67. Sean isn't allergic to anything
68. Sean RARELY gets sick, but when he does, he is a HUGE baby
69. Sean's only thrown up once in his life (that wasn't alcohol related)
70. Sean is super competitive
71. Sean loves red wine
72. Sean hasn't owned a winter coat for 10 years
73. Sean grew up Catholic
74. Sean would love to travel overseas to London and Sydney
75. In the US, Sean would love to travel to NYC and Boston
76. Sean's favorite place he's traveled to was Aruba
77. Sean wore braces for 1 year
78. Sean says he should have worn braces for a lot longer
79. Sean's favorite card game is Rook
80. Sean is planning to go to Anesthesia school in the near future
81. Sean's favorite dessert is chocolate chip cookies
82. Sean has an unbelievably large appetite
83. Sean doesn't drink pop more than a couple times a year
84. Sean tells people he's named after Sean Connery, but it's not true
85. Sean's original major at UNI was education
86. Sean has no tattoos
87. Sean played trumpet in high school
88. Sean wishes he could play guitar
89. When Sean was 25, he got staples in his head because of an accident at work when he cut his head open.
90. Sean USED TO be able to dunk a basketball
91. Sean doesn't like raspberries
92. Sean has a fear of deep water
93. Sean has a fear of heights
94. Sean is addicted to maps
95. Sean has a major crush on Halle Berry
96. Sean's favorite actors are Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino
97. Sean considered being a meteorologist in college
98. Sean hates domestic cats
99. Sean's dream job would be to be the voice on movie trailers
100. Sean's high school nickname was Rotis (as in rotisserie chicken because he had chicken legs...and still does!)

Wow, that was fun! His seem to be more interesting then mine!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

100 Things About Me

Just a few (well, 100) things about me that you may or may not know.

1. My name is Jennie Amanda
2. People always call me Jeannie
3. My name is not Jennifer...just Jennie
4. I am 30 years old
5. I have been married for 6 years
6. Sean and I got engaged after dating only 7 months
7. We have a 4 year old son we adopted at birth
8. I would love to have 4 kids
9. We will likely only have 2 or 3 kids
10. I have had 8 cars
11. Of my 8 cars, 6 have been Toyotas
12. I lived in Minneapolis for 1 year
13. Aside from 1 year, I have always lived in Iowa
14. I am a Hawkeye
15. I like most reality TV
16. I do not watch horror movies, they scare me
17. I know how to crochet
18. I love to cook
19. I met Sean at a bar
20. I don't drink anymore (aside from wine maybe once every couple months)
21. I started a small photography business a couple of months ago
22. I wish I was more green
23. I hate cucumbers and olives more than any other foods
24. I love Cherry Coke
25. I used to ride horses and showed English
26. I want to own a horse someday
27. I am allergic to cats and dogs
28. I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (which is why I couldn't get pregnant)
29. I have had 5 pets (3 hamsters, a lop eared bunny and an Australian tree frog)
30. I am a cosmetologist
31. I can say the alphabet backwards
32. Football is my favorite sport
33. Green is my favorite color
34. My first job was at Taco John's and I started when I was 16
35. I love God
36. I pray several times a day
37. I want to read the whole Bible, but haven't yet
38. I could eat Mexican food every day and be happy
39. I could eat sushi every day and be happy too
40. I am a super emotional person
41. I cry at commercials
42. English was my favorite subject in school
43. History was by far my least favorite subject in school
44. I was a cheerleader for 2 years in high school
45. I've never had braces
46. I just got glasses 5 years ago
47. Until 6 months ago, I'd never broken a bone
48. I have a few tattoos
50. I had my eyeliner tattooed on about 7 years ago
51. The first concert I went to was Garth Brooks
52. The second concert I went to was Smashing Pumpkins
53. The last concert I went to was Winter Jam which is all Christian artists
54. I am terrible at saying "no" when asked a favor
55. My love language is "words of affirmation"
56. I am a night person
57. I am not a morning person
58. I am a "talker"
58. I love milk
59. The Food Network is my favorite channel
60. I cannot stand the texture of cotton balls
61. I like the smell of gasoline and permanent markers
62. I have never liked beer
63. I love card games
64. I check approximately 20 blogs regularly
65. I am the youngest of 3 kids
66. There are 3 1/2 years between my sister and I
67. There are 10 years between my brother and I
68. I don't tan
69. I burn after about 10 minutes in the sun
70. I hate roller coasters
71. I get car sick
78. I get migraine headaches at least once a month
79. I love getting mail...aside from bills
80. I love cruises...I've been on 3
81. I love to shop
82. TJ Maxx, IKEA and Target are my favorite stores
81. Aldi is my favorite grocery store (for the price!)
82. Byerly's (they had them in Minnesota) is my favorite grocery store (for the selection)
83. KLOVE is the radio station I listen to
84. Sean and my birthdays are both in September
85. Sean and my anniversary is in September
86. Fall is my favorite season
87. I had my tongue pierced...twice (the first time it closed up)
88. I now can't believe I ever pierced my tongue
89. I once threw up on a carnival ride
90. I hate getting gas in my car
91. I don't like butterscotch flavor
92. I am a pack rat
93. I don't like the Lord of the Rings movies
94. I don't like the Harry Potter movies
95. I don't paint my nails...I like it when I do, but I'm too lazy
96. I've never had surgery
97. I can play the flute
98. I am addicted to dishes
99. I love to write
100. I love getting comments on my blog posts (hint, hint) :)

If you ever gave to the Water For Christmas Campaign

Or even if you haven't...watch this video. This is a well that the Water for Christmas campaign funded in Liberia. We are blessed to help, but also to see the faces of the people we provided water to. This is what it is all about.

So thankful for the opportunity to help.

Water For Christmas well in Gbeivonwea, Liberia. from charity: water (special donors) on Vimeo.

Our Thanksgiving Day

I've never been much of a Thanksgiving person. I mean, I like it...it's just not been in my top 3 favorite holidays. Don't get me wrong...I LOVE food and I love spending time with family even more, but it seems that whenever we spend time with family, there's always good food. So it's like we get Thanksgiving several times a year! :)
So when we have NO plans for a feast on Thanksgiving Day, it's just not that disappointing to me! Plus, we celebrated already on Sunday with Sean's family and had a great time!

This year, we have NO plans for Thanksgiving Day. My parents are in Florida, my sister and her family are with her in-laws, Sean's siblings are with their in-laws, Sean's parents have plans with family, my brother LIVES in Florida and we are home. Sean is off work and we are super excited for our day! We will probably eat pizza or something and plan to spend the day putting up and decorating our Christmas tree. Then, we are going to the Festival of Trees here in Davenport in the evening. I don't do Black Friday shopping...in fact, you probably couldn't PAY me to go out to the stores on Black Friday! However, I AM venturing out to go to Family Christian on Friday morning. Not too early, but just when I get up and around. There are some extremely great sales on a few items that I was planning on buying anyway, so I am JUST going there...that's it, nowhere else.

Despite our lack of the traditional feast and extended family on the day of Thanksgiving, there will be no lack of thankfulness. I try and recognize every day of the year all of my blessings and all I have to be thankful for. In the midst of daily life stresses and chaos though, I don't always remember to focus on my blessings. I always remember to do so on Thanksgiving...so even though we won't be sitting at a big table with a bunch of family feasting on a turkey tomorrow, I will spend my day being thankful.

I could go on and on about all I have to be thankful for...the best family, friends, health, love, freesom and most importantly, God's grace and love that I do not deserve, but is given to me anyway.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Sean got called in for low census tonight so he didn't have to work!
Then, about 10 minutes ago, his work called him into work in the ER because of a large fire across the river from Clinton in Fulton, IL.
Apparently this fire caused the ER to be really busy.
Don't know the details.
Though I am bummed that Sean doesn't get to spend the evening with me like I thought he was going to, I am proud that he hopped right up, threw on his scrubs and rushed out the door to go help. He didn't even let out a single sigh of frustration, anger, annoyance or disappointment for having to go into work unexpectedly. He loves his job and he's good at it.
That makes me proud of him.

Cupcake Disaster 2010

My apologies to Sean's co-workers who were scheduled to work with him tonight, Kayla and Leah, Brigg, Lani, Ayla and The DeCooks.

You were all going to get a Thanksgiving cupcake delivery tonight.
And I can't even talk about it, it was a disaster and sadly, you will not be getting your cupcakes.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


We did Thanksgiving early this year.
We planned to fry a turkey...the BEST way to have turkey!!!!
The only problem was none of us had ever fried one before.
Other family members had always done the frying.

So here is the process in pictures.
The bird before...

Dropping the turkey...

patiently waiting while it fried...

getting our first look before we pulled it out...

We're happy with how it looks so far...

So it looks a little black...well, it's really black...

Seriously, it didn't TASTE black!
It tasted amazing and flavorful and MOIST!
So our first time was a huge success!!!

While the turkey fried, Sarah had a place mat craft prepared for the kids.
They loved it!

Here they are with their finished products.
Boys will be boys...they wouldn't just hold their place mats in front of them, they had to be silly.

I LOVE family time! Seeing all of the kids together is so special AND seeing Pat and Linda surrounded by ALL of their grand kids is so fun!
When Tate and I said our bedtime prayers tonight, they were FULL of thankfulness. Wow, we are so blessed to have this amazing family and to think that in a couple of short months we'll be adding another little girl to the crew is so exciting!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

OHHHHHH, I get it!

So when you go to bed early, you can actually get up early in the morning and feel GOOD! Interesting concept!

I haven't felt great these last few days...sore throat, congestion, tired.
Tate and I were going to head over to the DeCook's for a play date for the kids and a chit chat date for the mommies. :) Some plans changed and that didn't end up working out which was actually kind of a blessing in disguise because I was TIRED by the time supper was over. Apparently Tate was too because at 6:45pm, he ASKED to go to bed! WHAT?!?! Okay! The only thing was, he asked if I would lay with him. He usually doesn't do this. I was tired, so I obliged. I think I was dead asleep within 15 minutes...for the night!

I just woke up at about 5:30am and feel refreshed! Still have a sore throat and congestion, but don't feel like my usual groggy morning self! It's kinda nice! I've already picked up the toys in the living room that were left out last night, eaten some breakfast, cleaned up the kitchen and am now just sitting here in silence drinking some tea and enjoying some peace and quiet!

Now if I could just kick this cold I have!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dear Santa:

I want these Food Face plates...I might want them more than I want anything else!
I mean, how FUN!

No more Pull-Ups!

As of last night, Tate is DONE with Pull-Ups at night! Woohoo! No more, diapers or Pull-Ups to have to buy! He probably could have been done sooner because I don't think he's woken up with a wet Pull-Up for about 2 months. In fact, he has been waking up in the night to go potty quite often. I can't believe that just under 3 months ago, he was still wearing diapers! Now he's practically a professional. :) My how things have changed in the last 3 months!

Watch, this post will probably jinx me and he'll wet the bed tonight! Ha. PRAYING that doesn't happen!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

AW Man, I failed again!

Mondays just get away from me apparently!
Here's our menu for the week...a day late.

Monday: We went out to the Filling Station.
Tuesday: Roasted Vegetable Pasta Bake (recipe to be added to my recipe blog soon!)
Wednesday: Homemade Pizza
Thursday: Chicken Noodle Soup
Friday: Tacos

Monday, November 15, 2010

Not going so well...

Tonight is just not going great. Tate has "woken up" twice with horrific night terrors. Ugh. It's heart breaking and I cannot remember the last time he had one. Nightmares have been common for him these last few day, but these night terrors are just so hard to watch. He's not really even conscious and usually flails his body all over his bed screaming bloody murder. I mean, his screams are piercing and if the neighbors heard, I really think they could honestly believe he's being hurt. It's scary. I hate it.

On top of it all, in the last couple of hours I've started to develop a sore throat. I better not be getting sick!

I'm heading to bed now...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

better, but still pink

Tate's eye is now goobery unlike earlier yesterday.
He is having serious trouble keeping his fingers out of his eyes...ugh.
HOWEVER, his eyes while still pink, look MUCH better!
The corners are now really red, but you can actually see a little white by his iris now on each eye.
If you click on the pictures, they will get larger so you can really see.

He is even starting to let us put drops in his eyes without crying!
This is a HUGE surprise considering how sensitive he is!
He says his "eye medicine" makes his eyes feel better.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pink Eye???

Tate and I are making a trip to the doctor today.
His eyes look AWFUL!
Red and swollen.
He had a small corner of his eye that was red yesterday and I thought maybe it was pink eye, but he has had no matting or anything...just red.
This morning he woke up with both eyes beet red and he's been rubbing them.
Still not really any matting or oozing though.
Can a child have pink eye without matting?
These pictures don't really show how red his eyes look.

And I am sorry, but this is just SAD!
Poor thing HATES going to the doctor and I wanted to avoid it, but I don't think that's a good idea. He was going to get to spend the evening with Leah, Kayla, Sarah and Mike tomorrow night and I don't want to send him there if he's got pink eye so I feel it necessary to visit the doctor. He'll be so sad if he can't go there tomorrow and I have a bad feeling he's not going to be able to. :(