Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Life with Boys

Posted by Mandy at 7:06 PM 0 comments Links to this post
You know you have a four year old son when:

Reason #31

You forget to look before sitting on the potty and end up with a wet hiney. This is not due to him forgetting to put the toilet seat down, but instead due to him forgetting to put it up when he was last there.

When a quick stop the the toilet results in you needing to shower.. you know you have a four year old son.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Please Help

Posted by Mandy at 7:08 AM 7 comments Links to this post
If I ever needed help in blogworld, it is now. I've created a website for our dog pound, though it won't be just for dogs in the pound.. it will eventually be for nearly every homeless dog in our area. For now.. just the pound and the dogs I'm fostering.

The link is: and I would greatly appreciate any and all of you posting about it, putting up a permanent link on your blogs, ANYTHING to spread the word.

The pics of the dogs are not right now what I want them to be, but time was not my friend so quick shots through the kennels had to do. I plan to go back and get the dogs out for better pictures, but I will need mucho help. There are so many of them and only one of me.

We really need to try to help these poor dogs find homes. The city does what it can with our pound, but it's not a happy place to be. No grass, dirt, sun, or warmth. Concrete floors and freezing temperatures are what each of the dogs on this website are faced with day in and day out. My heart aches each time I leave with one or two dogs and yet cannot take them all. Please, please help!! Anything you can do to advertise for this website will be greatly appreciated. If even one of these sweet dogs can get a home because of our community pulling together for the cause.. it will make me very happy.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

New at the Moss House

Posted by Mandy at 3:01 PM 0 comments Links to this post

If these aren't the cutest faces you've ever seen on a pup.. then send me pics to prove it! I rescued four Boxer mix puppies from the pound last week.. one already has been adopted and we are fostering the other three. They are ADORABLE! Floppy ears, huge paws, wrinkly foreheads... it doesn't get much better than that! They are all males and they are quite young.. probably only around 8 weeks old. Interested? Know someone that is? Email me at so we can get these adorable little guys into great, loving homes.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sometimes Corporate America Gets it Right

Posted by Mandy at 2:47 PM 1 comments Links to this post
In response to our newly inaugurated president's vision of a country that is ignited to dig back into community service, Star Bucks is launching its "I'm In" campaign. It's really a great idea, and it is so refreshing to see Big and Rich America trying to encourage positive changes in this awesome land.

The campaign is pretty simple. Go to any Star Bucks and fill out a pledge card. The pledge you are making is to perform 5 hours of community service in any volunteer manner you choose! Filling out the pledge card earns you a free tall brewed coffee... pretty sweet deal.

I'm not sure if or how they can actually track IF the people are doing their pledged community service hours, but hopefully this will spark a lot of us to look for ways to better our own communities.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Not an Early Riser

Posted by Mandy at 11:02 AM 1 comments Links to this post
Since the day I was born, I have been one of those people that really likes to sleep in. Sleeping in post children comes to staying in bed until around 8:30-9:00am. Pre-children, I could easily snooze until lunch time. Ahh... the relaxation...

I have been struggling lately with the getting up early for school routine. After two weeks off for Christmas and other random days since (like MLK day yesterday), the days the kids have school just makes me groan. Even with going to bed pretty early last night, the alarm clock going off still made my head ache and the dread set in.

"It's still dark outside.. I could sleep for at least another two hours.."

Once I literally drag myself out of the covers and drink my version of a morning cup of coffee - Coke Zero - I'm ready for the day. As tired as I am at first, I am happy to report that I tend to be a really go-go-go person once I'm out of bed. It's a good thing with the schedule I keep. Perhaps I keep the schedule that I do because I enjoy running all day?

This morning Madison and I both sat on the couch together, both trying to muster up the ability to get out of our PJs and into some actual clothes, when I said,

"Oh Madison, I'm so sleepy! I'm already ready for Spring Break!"

She replied,

"I'm so sleepy that I'm ready for SUMMER Break!"

And so the countdown begins...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Update on Broken Toddler

Posted by Mandy at 9:41 AM 3 comments Links to this post
Our whirlwind of a week is finally over... did everyone around the world hear my huge sigh of relief when my husband walked into the house Friday evening? I heard angels sing!

Samuel is doing much better. His pain seems to be much much better and as of today he's no longer even on Motrin. So far, he's shown no signs of needing it. He's being his usual self! Running, spinning, falling on his broken arm... Thankfully he's so young that he's healing at a rapid rate. The brace that he's in is wonderful because we can easily remove it for quick baths and then re-wrap it once he's out and dry. Even with that, it is getting so stinky already. Do you know how much an 18 month old can get on an arm wrap within one day? He's supposed to wear this thing for 4 weeks! Yuck!

We've seen our family doctor and she said he looks great - considering. We go to an orthopedic specialist on the 26th to re X-ray his arm and make sure it is healing properly. It seems to me that if it is not healing properly in two weeks time.. it will be quite an ordeal to make it heal correctly?? I guess they are not too worried about due to the type of fracture it is.

Thank you all for your kind emails, comments, and phone calls! When you're alone with a broken toddler.. it is extremely helpful to have so much support! Hearing another adult's voice or reading their words means everything when you're on child-overload!

On a different note, we had an amazing weekend! Since Samuel was running all over the place, we took up a ton of friends on their offer to all meet in Little Rock for a night of fun while my mom kept the kids. We ate at a fantastic Hibachi grill (and I was the only woman that would try to catch the food when the chef threw it.. missed all three times!) and then headed to Willy D's. That's a great place to go hang out! It's a dueling piano bar... which kind of sounds like a classy kind of place.. HA. No... it's loud, crazy, and lots of fun! These guys, and girl, were so awesome. They play almost any song you request, no sheet music, and perform all at the same time. I hurt from laughing all night!

We topped it off by all staying at the Marriott afterwards. We nearly took up one whole wing of the third floor! Can I tell you how good it feels to wake up and not have to immediately jump out of bed because of a fussy baby, or starving children? Oh.. the joy. By the time we packed up and were in the car to go get our babies, I definitely was missing them. One evening away is all I needed to completely be ready to get back to being Mommy again. Walking into my mom's front door to have all three of them shout "MOMMY! DADDY!" was awesome! It's so good to miss them every now and again.

Clayton and I have decided to try to go out for a night or two like that at least once every couple of months. One grand thing about my kids getting older... my anxiety about leaving them overnight is gone! I know they're fine - I know they're being spoiled rotten and eating all kinds of candy - and I know that I'm going to be a whole new mom after some time away. Not to mention, it's darn fun to just go out with my husband!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Toddler With a Broken Arm

Posted by Mandy at 8:10 AM 10 comments Links to this post
Yes.. you read that correctly. Samuel, my 18 month old tot, fell off of my bed last night and fractured both of the bones in his forearm. (as if one bone wasn't enough?) After an hour straight of hysterical screaming by him, and crying by me, I got Lee Ann to come sit with my big kids so I could take my poor baby to the ER.

Clayton is gone for training all week, OF COURSE, so I was so thankful to have friends that could help me. Being home alone with the three kids is challenging enough at times, adding a baby with a broken arm doesn't make my life any easier! Ah well... what are ya gonna do.

The ER trip was the first I've ever made with my kids. That's quite a feat I suppose... three kids, 7 years of parenthood, and only one ER trip. I was afraid that I'd get there and look like an idiot.. all upset, swearing he was hurt, only to have nothing be wrong. However, I'd have preferred that to the shock I got when the X-rays showed his little tiny bones out of place in there. Ugh... it's so sad. I feel awful. I was putting clothes in the washing machine when it happened, I wasn't even there. Wasn't watching him. Didn't prevent it. Talk about Worst Mom of the Year. I didn't even know he was on my bed... Madison had to bring him to me with him screaming in pain. Can we say guilt like never before?

One sturdy splint, a big ace bandage, lots of Motrin, and a daddy walking through the ER doors after rushing in from Little Rock... he's actually doing quite well. He acts completely fine unless he forgets he's injured and tries to push himself up or something with that arm. Then it's a gasp, a scream, and crocodile tears... from both of us. I really cannot stand to see him in pain like this. I just wish I could take it away!

I'm so thankful that if he was going to be injured, that we walked away with this and not a broken neck, a broken leg, or a worse break in his arm. In reality, it's not really a big deal... but when it's YOUR baby, it sure feels like one.

I have said since Samuel was a year old that he would be "the one" that would be the cause of the first ER trips and things of the sort. I never imagined it would happen this soon, though! Clayton headed back to Little Rock this morning.. and I need your prayers to make it through the rest of this week. Considering that I backed my van out into a deep ditch this morning while trying to rescue a stray dog and had to enlist many WONDERFUL people to get me out... I'm not starting out so hot! And yes, I cried over that as well. I think it's just too much stress for me for one week.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Canine Corrections - Dog Walking Service

Posted by Mandy at 10:56 AM 6 comments Links to this post
After my free trial week of dog walking, I've decided to go for it! I loved it, and so did the dogs and their owners. I'm trying to be as cheap as possible, yet still making it worth my time. I'm only charging $5 a walk. I aim for a minimum of 40 minutes of fast paced walking. If rain or bad weather prevents a walk, then there is no charge. If anyone is interested, drop me a comment or leave me an email at and let me know. I am currently offering three days a week - Tues, Thurs, and Friday. More days may come if necessary.

How cool to get to get some of my exercise in while hanging out with my favorite animals!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Do You Ever Look Back?

Posted by Mandy at 8:46 AM 2 comments Links to this post
I was thinking back on the past few years and realized that I have the ultimate journal right here on my blog. I went back through some of my old archives and laughed at some old things and cried at seeing pictures of all of my babies when they were much younger. I stumbled upon this post and remembered how hard my fitness and health life was for me back then. That was 2007, when Samuel was only a couple of months old. I had so much weight to lose. I felt defeated every single time I tried on a pair of jeans, stepped on a scale, or caved and ate way too much. I really thought I was just always going to be "that size." That post was the start of a slow turn around for me. Slowly I started exercising more, eating less, and eating better. I'm so glad I did. If I would have given up back then, I'd still be exactly where I was then - now. Actually, I probably would be up on the scale even more.

It can be so hard and so overwhelming to start a healthier lifestyle. (especially if your results are not immediate and occur over a long period of time - like mine.) But WOW. I had almost forgotten how it felt to be in that place in life. It's so much easier now! It's just a part of what I do and I rarely give it much thought. I'm excited about new exercises, new healthy recipes, and even going shopping for clothes. (boy.. that used to be so depressing!)

I felt the need to post this because I know that soon, the New Year's weight-loss excitement will start to fade. Will-power alone never keeps anyone on a healthy track. Determination is the name of the game. Self-control. Self-worth. Pride enough in who you are and your physical body to take care of yourself. That is so hard to conjure up for so many people. I know it was for me. When you spend so much time taking care of your family, working, rescuing others... there is little time to check on yourself.

So, if you're feeling defeated already or your momentum is starting to waver, pick yourself up and dust yourself off. So what if you don't want to exercise today? DO IT ANYWAY! So what if you'd rather eat pizza than baked chicken and brown rice... EAT IT ANYWAY. Why? Because you will love and thank yourself for it a year or two from now, and you'll feel awesome at what you've accomplished!

Friday, January 09, 2009

See What's New

Posted by Mandy at 8:51 AM 0 comments Links to this post
I made a trip to the pound last week to do a rescue mission on a Doberman. He had been there for around 4 months and no one would adopt him. I got in touch with a great rescue group in Oklahoma that has agreed to take him! I went to pick him up to do a behavioral assessment and decided to just bring him home with me.

At the pound he was a bit nervous, but showed no signs of aggression. He loaded up into the back of my van with ease and rode quietly the entire way home. Once getting here he let me get him out and lead him around the yard. I put him on a run leash (not being sure how he'd act with our other dogs.) and he found the dog house, hulled himself inside of it (it was raining) and immediately started snarling, growling, and barking aggressively at Clayton and me. YIKES! He had a quick change of personality! I had to come inside and think of how to handle this dog. I had to figure out what the problem was.

I went back out with him the next day and made a slight bit of progress when I discovered that he would not growl at me if I had food. The next day it was nice and sunny outside, so I spent the day with him. I figured out that his problem was not aggression, but fear. I avoided eye contact with him, and walked almost backwards towards him (giving the minimum amount of energy to him) and I kept a large walking stick with me to help me appear more powerful. IT WORKED! He came right out of the doghouse, sat beside me, and has been a completely different dog since. He loves us now! He loves to be walked, he loves to have a good scratch behind the ears, and he even likes the other dogs! (he hated the other dogs at first.. again.. just afraid of EVERYTHING.) How funny to see a dog that most people would be completely afraid of, be completely afraid of everyone and everything around him. Poor guy.. he has so little life experience. He's made awesome improvements already, and I know that this rescue group is going to get him an amazing home! The guy that's going to foster him and I have been in touch and I'm so happy to see that he uses the exact same training methods as me. I'm so happy for Foster! (that's the Dobe's name now.)

While I was there to get Foster, I had to snatch up a puppy that looked a bit sickly, too. Madison has named her Casey and she's just a floppy, silly, bouncy kind of girl! I'm not sure what breed to list her as... obviously a mixed breed, possibly a hound of some sort? Anyone got an idea of what this big pawed, floppy eared, long legged girl may be?

Her belly was VERY bloated when I got her and I noticed you could see her spine and hip bones - she's very underweight, despite regular feedings at the pound. WORMS. I wormed her and by the next day she looked much better. Her stomach size decreased by at least half, and today, she looks normal. She's eating like a crazy dog so I'm sure her face and body will fill out soon. I hate how their faces have such a alien like, deformed look when they go without food or are sick like that. We'll have her all beautiful in no time!

These are the new additions at the Moss house! Spread the word about Casey to anyone that you think might like to have a fun-loving pup!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Wish Me Luck

Posted by Mandy at 3:38 PM 4 comments Links to this post
After resting yesterday, I am back at it tonight. I will be tackling Bob Harpers Biggest Loser Workout: Bootcamp. I did the 'easy' workout from the options a couple of days ago, due to being way too sore after Jillian kicked my rear the previous evening. Tonight, I'm going to try not to flake out and do the intermediate workout. I thought I was pretty in shape.. but apparently I don't know the first thing about REALLY lifting weights and REALLY doing cardio. If you're sitting on your behind reading this.. the least you can do is drop and give me 20; in honor of the torture I'm about to endure.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Perhaps I'm Crazy

Posted by Mandy at 8:57 AM 4 comments Links to this post
My brain is always thinking of new ways to make my life crazy. I've been pondering this one idea for a few weeks, and I think I might try it out. With all of my clients, through Canine Corrections, I constantly stress how important exercise is for their dogs. Without proper exercise, most dogs lack the ability to accept discipline and to stop unwanted behaviors. I am all too aware, however, how busy everyone is. When you leave for work it's dark outside, when you get home, it's dark (and freezing) outside. That kind of schedule doesn't leave much time for long walks with Fido.

So, this brings me to my insane idea. I'm thinking of offering dog walking services to my clients! Is that crazy or what? I can see it now - me being dragged down the track by a pack of wild dogs. I do think I'd love giving it a try, though! I've already emailed two of my favorite clients, that live in town, to ask if they'd let me give their dogs a trial run, for free, for a week or so. I've got to see if I'm really up for such a thing! If I can pull it off, and they notice a difference in their dogs, the I might just go for it.

By the way, my good friend Taylor James is working on a business website for me. He's also the one that designed and printed my oh-so-awesome business cards and posters. Once it's up I'll put the link here and you can get a better idea of what exactly I offer.

Monday, January 05, 2009

30 Day Shred - Review

Posted by Mandy at 8:04 AM 4 comments Links to this post
I posted yesterday about the two new exercise DVDs that I picked up from Wally World. Last night I decided to try the 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels.

First off, I love how the main menu is set up! It's clean and simple, very easy to understand. Often times newer DVDs have around 10 options to click on and it takes me forever to figure out which one simply starts the workout! Not a problem with this one. Even better, you get to select what workout you want to do! No kidding... it has three seperate workouts... for $9!! You can choose from option 1,2, or 3. Option 1 is the one you should start with, especially if you're newer to exercising. Once you can complete option 1, you move up the numbers. The higher the number, the more intense the workout. The coolest thing - each workout is only 20 minutes!

Ignoring the directions, as I always do in life, I went straight to workout 2. I was afraid this would be a workout that was way too easy, way too short, and leave me feeling annoyed I bothered with it. IT WAS NOT!

I loved this workout. LOVED IT. I could not believe how incredibly simple, easy to follow, yet completely muscle burning, heart-pounding, and sweat producing it was. The moves on this DVD were like none I'd ever done. It was a cool combination of some yoga moves with classic strength moves for strength, and for cardio it was really simple, non-dancy, moves that I sometimes wondered if I'd make it through! I love her 3,2,1 method. 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, 1 minute of abs... six times throughout.

I liked everything about this DVD. It has already become a fast favorite workout of mine. Jillian as an instructor is awesome. She's so honest, it's refreshing! She says stuff like,

"You only want to spend 20 minutes a day working out? Then you've got to WORK for 20 minutes.. NO REST!"

"This is not fun... but it works."

"You need motivation to make it through? Think of going jeans shopping! Or worse, bathing suit shopping!"

"This is your last section of cardio.. I want you to feel like you are gonig to DIE!"
(and I did...)

If you want a workout that's no nonsence and WORKS... pick this one up! You can die with me every other day.

Tonight, I plan to try the one by Bob Harper: The Biggest Loser - The Workout: Bootcamp.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

I Resolve To...

Posted by Mandy at 5:18 PM 7 comments Links to this post
If you're like me, each year you make a New Year's resolution that you really intend to keep, only to completely forget what you had even resolved to do (or not do) a few weeks later. This year, I've got my mind set! Though I have numerous personal goals, I feel that the main two will help me with all of the others. So, my two big resolutions for the year of 2009 are to:
1. Read the New Testament in a year. (see Lou's blog for a link to the reading plan.)
2. Get back to tough and regular workouts.
I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....
To help with each of these, I have a few tools. Tool #1 was given to me from my church on Mother's Day, along with all of the other moms. It's called The One Year New Testament for Busy Moms. It breaks the New Testament down into mini sections that only take about five minutes a day (or less) to read. If you do it each day (or play catch-up if you miss a day or two) then you will have read through the New Testament in one year. Pretty cool!
Tool #2 is actually probably going to end up being several tools. New exercise DVD's. I have quite a collection of great exercise videos and DVD's. From Pilates to Yoga, strength to cardio... I've got it all covered. The problem is that I've gotten really bored of most of them simply from doing them for years on end.
To my delight, I saw a $9 rack at Walmart full of exercise DVD's! All brand new! (at least to me.)
Tonight, after a leader meeting at church, I ran into Walmart, with all of my kids, just to grab one or two of them. In reality, I wanted them all! I settled for the two I thought looked the most legit. 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels and The Biggest Loser: The Workout by Bob Harper.
I'm going to tackle the Jillian Michaels one tonight. I shall report back, if I am able to move enough body parts to make it to the computer desk tomorrow. I wonder how many workouts a woman that's had three children needs to do in order to acquire a six pack like hers?

Is anyone else on the get healthy, fit, or lose weight band wagon now that the holidays are up and it's a New Year? Want to try out these videos with me while they're so cheap? I need a workout buddy.. even if it's purely cyber! My four-legged jogging partners only work when it's not raining.

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