Tuesday, December 30, 2008

perfection

It's been so nice having my teacher husband home for Christmas break. Yesterday, we puttered around the house all morning. By afternoon, the kids were spiking dangerously high cabin-fevers.

Once everyone was bundled into their snow gear, we packed up the sled and went to The Hill.

My husband had suggested I go and grab a coffee to sip while waiting in the car with the sleeping wee babe. So I did. He had to twist my arm pretty hard. Because I only *kinda* like coffee.

Ahem.

I also grabbed a book to read while I waited. In case I got bored. What was I thinking? Getting bored while watching my kids {stare death in the face} race down the big hill?! I had the best time watching them go down and then scramble to make it to the top of the hill again....slipping and tripping all the way. They would alternate going down all together...daddy in the back, steering like a mad man. The two big kids together. The big kids alone.

When they had had enough, they made their way back to the car with big smiles and pink cheeks.

It was the perfect way to spend the afternoon.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

random today



Today, I got to go to the store. ALL BY MYSELF. Alone. (There were other people in the store, it wasn't 4 am or anything.) But I was not with anyone personally. My children were home. With daddy. And! I only received one phone call! One EMERGENCY call. From my girl. About paper. About what kind of paper would be okay to use with a wiggly headed pen.

~~~~~

At first I wandered the aisles just enjoying the atmosphere. The muzak. The freedom.

And then, I started making new year's resolutions. About fiber. About adding more fiber into my family's diet. My husband is going to be SO thrilled to hear this important new development. I took my time reading labels, and filled my cart with all sorts of wonderful beans. Black beans! Refried beans! Kidney beans! Chili style beans! Ay, caramba! I also loaded up on ground flax seed, to sprinkle into everything I make. And, I bought some toilet paper. You know, for after the beans and flax seed.

*cough*

Then! I started thinking about new things. Trying new things. Getting my family to try new things. Getting my family to try new things without them knowing they are trying new things. (See ground flax seed above)


In the spirit of trying new things, I bought this:



It is not delicious.

I'm hoping to fare better with other new things.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Let the record state....

....that "letting your wife sleep in" does not mean you bring the baby to bed, place him between you, and coo back and forth for a half hour---while every now and again said baby tries to nurse from the back of his mama's head.

Just sayin'.

And Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 19, 2008

snow day















We're enjoying an unexpected day off. The snow has been angeled. The crockpot has been souped. The living room has been Come-On-Ring-Those-Bells-ed.

My littlest is asleep in the swing, while my biggests are completing circuits and playing with assorted motors, gears, wires, and batteries with my super hero.

I'm eating the baklava and toffee that was supposed to be taken to parties that have been cancelled. It's a good day. A good good good good day.
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

the Nativity

My daughter has been in charge of setting up the Nativity each year at Christmas.

After which, she is in charge of playing with the Nativity until it's time to put away.

Playing with the Nativity is one of my favorite memories of being little at Christmastime. So when my girl first wanted to play with these figures a few years ago, I begrudgingly relented. These were a special gift from some special friends. I really like them. A lot. Really a lot.
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And I knew what could happen if I let her play with them.
.
This could happen:


The sheep has suffered a leg fracture.



Both of the donkey's ears have been broken off. More than once.



One of the wise men has broken his gift....


....and lost his head. More than once.
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But, it's been worth it. These are just things. Special things. But things. I can replace them.
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I can't replace the memories that my {even special-er} little girl has made - by being allowed to play with Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus. The Story comes alive. Which makes it completely, totally, and wonderfully worth it.

Monday, December 15, 2008

'rithmatic

I often wondered just how math would fit into my daily life when I was little and forced to endure the subject until 10th grade. My mind is wired to enjoy learning only about the things that matter. To me.

Frankly, I never cared how long it would take for train A travelling at 50 mph to reach Syracuse if it had to stop in Toledo for 20 minutes on Thursday at 8pm. Mind you, I might be inclined to figure it out if I were waiting in Syracuse at the depot and train A was delivering me a caramel latte. Personal relevance.

I was in the grocery store this morning. Today was one of those days that makes me wish I would have paid more attention.

If a megaroll of toilet paper equals 4 regular rolls, and a pack of mega rolls contains 6 rolls and costs $7.49, while a 12 pack of double rolls is $6.37 - but they aren't quilted, and package of 12 single Basic rolls is $4.99, however the triple rolls are no longer available, and the store brand of doubles is quilted but not on sale.....which package should I buy?

My mind started to hurt right there in the aisle.

And I bought the mega rolls. But only because I don't have to change the roll as often.

So there, Mr. Taylor.

Friday, December 12, 2008

a "held baby" lacks motivation

That's what my daughter's doctor told me when she was around 6 months old. I think she was encouraging me to put her down a little more often, but her words had the opposite affect on me.

I'm a baby holder. I LOVE to hold my babies. And rock them, and sniff them, and sing them little songs.

And if holding them keeps them from finding the motivation to crawl, or roll, or walk, or get older, or become independent, well, then, you had better believe that I'm going to keep on holding on.

It didn't work with the other two. Neither had any problems mobilizing. Am I deterred? Ha! I don't give up quite that easily.

In fact, I might just keep this one in a papoose until Kindergarten. Do you think he would be teased if I dropped him off in a back carrier?

Hmmm.

Monday, December 8, 2008

different reality

You know, I used to have all these notions about what my life would be like. I had a plan for the way my twenties would unfold, and the way my thirties would follow.

My reality is totally different than that. Completely. In every way.

This morning I conversed with a room full of mommies about our children and the habits of their bowels. Over coffee.

Now, I'm baking bread, and eating truffles. With more coffee. (I don't like bon-bons.) (It's decaf.)

And, believe it or not, this all feels so right.

Who knew?

For real.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

The bear went over the mountain.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

*something catchy about the horse leaving*

I'm trying to come up with some clever way to announce the departure of the Trojan horse that ruined my hours upon hours of computer time last week. Leaving me unable to check my bank statement every fifteen minutes.....nearly silencing my out going email, and halting almost all the other very important things I do while I'm online....unfortunately, it's a Sunday. And I can't think cleverly on any day that ends in "day."

At any rate, he's gone. It's gone. My computer is clean and fresh and shiny and new. And I am able to check my bank statement, send emails and all the other important things I do while spending quality face time with this screen.

But, you know what that sneaky horse gave me? A little gift. Extra time. Who knew there could be so much extra time?

Not I.

Until last week. When I was rendered silent. And I liked it. I found I really like to sit and snuggle my wee babe and look at the tree. And drink coffee. And eat Hershey's Bliss Creme de Menthe Meltaways.

So what's that saying about looking a gift horse in the mouth?

If I could look my gift horse in the mouth, I would give him one of these.

Monday, December 1, 2008

My computer has a horse

A Trojan Horse. I've always wanted a pony. Never a horse. And certainly not a Trojan Horse.

Thank God for brother-in-laws that know how to rip apart a computer....and put them back together again.

Am waiting for the fresh new model. So it might be a little quiet over here for a few days.

The moral of this story is: when you wish for an animal, please be as specific as possible.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

In case you were wondering...

...if my son ever loses his hand in a freak crocodile accident, he would like a pincher, in stead of a hook, for his prosthetic.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

since I'm making fun of other people....

I was remembering today how shy my older sister used to be growing up. (Not any more...she was struck by lightning in her teen years, and did a complete 180.)

((Okay, so she wasn't struck by lightning, but she did do a 180.))

One winter afternoon, a little girl was waiting for her great grandmother (Granny) to collect her from kindergarten. Now, Granny was starting to lose her vision---just a tinch---not enough to keep her from hopping into her huge Cadillac (in THE MOST ladylike fashion) and running any and every errand.

Granny didn't usually collect this little girl (we'll call her Donna Doonu) from school. But this day, Donna Doonu's mom was busy with her other little girls.....for a reason I don't recall. Donna Doonu's mom called Granny. Granny was more than willing to lend a helping hand.

So, Granny pulled up to the front of the school. She walked up to the school and looked for Donna Doonu. She didn't see her. Anywhere. Hmmm. Well, that's curious.

There was a little girl all bundled up on the stoop watching Granny look for Donna Doonu. Granny noticed this little bundle and asked if she had seen Donna Doonu. Um. No. The little girl shook her head. She had not seen Donna Doonu.

Well.

Granny asked if this little girl would go inside and look for Donna Doonu. The little girl nodded. She walked into the school. Looked around, and came back out. Nope. She shrugged.

Huh. She must not have seen Donna Doonu inside.

With Donna Doonu no where to be found, Granny went on her way.

Then the little bundle walked home. 7 blocks. Past 2 of the biggest scariest dogs on the planet. The bundle didn't usually walk home 7 blocks past 2 scary dogs, but this day she had to. She had just sent her ride on its way, because she was too shy (and polite) to tell Granny that she was Donna Doonu.




Can I just say, that my most favorite part of this whole entire memory, is the fact that my sister actually went into the school to look for herself? :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

laughing at you, not with you....

My boy and I were playing the opposite game.

I was getting tired of the same old, up/down, near/far, open/closed, blah blah blah.

I decided to mix it up a little.

What's the opposite of chicken?

Yellow?

Turtle?

Elbow?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I'm tired.

My wee babe is a pretty decent sleeper. For the last several weeks, I've been getting at least one 4 hour stretch at night. Which is way more than I ever got with my older kids when they were teeny. However, when the other two were younger, life was slower. We didn't have to rush off to school in the morning. Sleeping late meant we were up in time for lunch. Now....now life is busier.

Life begins at 6:30. (which is cruel and wrong)

Last night, my dearly beloved was losing his wheels around 6:30 pm. We were chatting on the sofa, when he started to glaze over. His eyes closed. I stopped talking. He said, "I'm still listening."

Sure you are.

I let him doze, and got the big kids to bed.

One little big kid had a lot of trouble falling asleep. He found lots of things to worry about. "What if we have 50 kids, and we don't have room for all of them?" Followed by, "Can we pray about it?"

Certainly, "Dear God, thank You that You already know our future, and that You are in control. Thank You for always providing exactly what we need, when we need it. Help us not to worry."

Between the biggest big kid thinking about scary pumpkin faces, and the littlest big kid worrying about how all the beds would fit into our little house, it was after 9 pm before everyone was settled. Girl in her bed. Boy in my bed. Dad still on the couch. Baby in my arms.

By 10, baby had made his way into the bassinet, and I snuggled next to my sleeping boy in my bed. I left Daddy where he was...thinking that a 3 1/2 hour nap would make for a fitful night of sleep...and secretly thinking that if he were to get 12 hours of sleep, it would give me all sorts of leverage for the next few days. (mwahaahahahhahaa!!)

Morning came REALLY early today. Like 4 am. Do all these people hate me? I was able to sneak in an extra 20 minutes of rest after settling the baby, waking the husband and before getting my girl off to school.

It was on the way home from the drop off, that I decided it was a good time to run to the grocery store. Which we did. And then we got home and I looked in the mirror.

It's too bad it wasn't October 31st.

I'm going to take a nap.

Monday, November 17, 2008

curtains

When my crew was away, after I switcherooed and painted, I made a couple of curtains for my dining room. Dining area. The space near my table and chairs.



I found these table cloths a few months ago on clearance at Target. They were maybe $3 a piece?

I ripped them in half, stitched a seam on the ripped end, ironed them, pinched them between drapery clasps, drank a sip of coffee, and slid them on a rod.



(table cloths as curtains....it's how I roll.)


They're just a wee bit shorter than I would like, but who wants to rehang the drapery rods? Not me. There are already 50 holes up there that need to be patched, and if I lowered said rods, one would be able to see the folly of my hammering, screwing, etc.
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This way we match. Me and my drapes...waiting for the flood. (My pants are a bit too short. Not tall enough for talls, a bit too tall for regulars....a post for another time.)
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Oh! And! I wanted to mention a few bloggie giveaways....
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Amy over at who lived in a shoe is doing a candle giveaway.
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And Mrs MK from Mrs. MK's Musings is giving away a beautiful scarf.
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If you should win instead of me, I will be happy for you. (But only if you send me gratuitous chocolate.)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

a few of the murals...


They don't feel quite "done" to me. I need to go and get a few more colors to push the contrasts a little....but, here they are just the same.

Monday, November 10, 2008

when the cat's away...

...the mice will rearrange and paint the bedrooms.

My husband took the two older kids up to his parent's for the weekend. I was so lonely! But, my wee babe, some good friends, and a fun project helped make the time pass more quickly.

I swapped the kids rooms, and painted the boys' room yellow. Added a few trucks around the top in my first and last attempt at wall mural-ing. They turned out okay, and I know that neither one of the boys will care if they look a little crude. I'm hoping.

My crew returns today, and I can hardly stand it. My apron strings are simply not elastic enough to stretch so far.....I hope they enjoyed their one and only trip with out me. I'm kidding. Or maybe not.

Friday, November 7, 2008

overheard

playing the rhyming game
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
her: cat

him: bat

her: no, I was thinking of something else

him: but bat rhymes

her: think "hhhhhuhhh"

him: hat

her: Yes! Hat!'

her: Isaac

him: Mysaac

her: Mysaac isn't a person's name or a real word

him: nothing rhymes with Isaac

her: Yes. Visaac.

him: Visaac isn't a word.

her: Visaac could be someones name.

him: *an angry growling sound*

her (moving right along): Zachariah

him: *walking away, no longer willing to be wrong every time*

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ah, the joys

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

ornaments with my girl


We needed a little project the other day. So, we raided the potporri stash, added little brass eye hooks and some ribbon. It's so much fun to see what she puts together. I can't wait to put them on my tree.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

and the hormones?!?

I was really feeling like I had my act together last week. The bigs are still on their schedules...life is rolling right along for them. They are in love with their new brother, and I have willing baby holders constantly at the ready. It's great. Life is good.

I was feeling like I had beaten the blues. This third time was really charming. I was on. my. game.

But then....

....then something clicked...and the floodgates opened. And have only been half shut ever since.

This isn't super huge, but I never know when I am about to start blubbering like a baby.

In church, one of the worship leaders was having a moment...she was getting emotional. I had been fine two seconds before, but once I saw her, I started crying. (I'm not certain that I left the service with any eye make-up still attached to my face.)

Just after the song ended, we were asked to take a moment to greet those around us. A friend was sitting in front of us, and when she turned around to shake my hand, she asked how I was doing. I couldn't tell if it was an "I know you just had a baby, and am being thoughtful" or a "You look like a total basket case, what has happened to your eyeliner" kind of inquiry.

And then, the other night, I flipped on PBS and was excited to find Anne of Green Gables. BUT! It was only 10 minutes before the part where Matthew dies. Gah!

"Don't ever change. Don't ever change."

I had just gotten my act back together for the closing credits, but then cried because Anne and Gilbert were walking away, in a field, with his horse, and he had given up the Avonlea school for her....and I was crying because I know what comes next. So I cried that she would break his heart. And then I cried because she would break her own heart. And then I cried because I know it all ends up happy in the end. Or at least at the end of Anne of Avonlea.

Do you see what's going on here? I am all over the place!

How soon until normalcy finds me again?

I'm going to have to steel myself for a while. And purchase some waterproof makeup.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Time has sprouted wings...

Even now...the last two weeks have flown.
Slow down.
Slow down.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I've got no words

Well, that's not true. I have words. But they are still a bit jumbled and crumbly.
So please, check out this site for a wonderful (TRULY!) fairy tale. It will make your day.
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Sunday, October 19, 2008

He's here!

Whew!

I'll fill in with some details later. He's wonderful. Perfection. We are all completely smitten.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

delirium

Logically, I know that this baby will get born. Eventually. But there is this tiny little part of my brain that has developed a silent and internal form of tourettes.

"You will be pregnant forever!"

"There is a conspiracy against your birthing process at the hospital!"

"They are shipping in all the pregnant women from the surrounding communities for the specific purpose of keeping you pregnant!"

"Some of those women aren't even in labor!"

"You should sneak into the hospital, find that crochet hook and break your own water!"

"Eat an entire bag of potato chips!"

"This baby is going to come out the size of a toddler!"

"Bwuahahahahaaa!!"

I'm trying to silence those thoughts through prayer. And baked goods.

Last night, my husband took the kids for a little drive, and I sat and rocked and read aloud from Psalms. My God is good. Not because He does what I want Him to. Because He doesn't. He is good because He is good. I'm going to place my trust in Him and His plan. His perfect timing. I just need to replace those crazy thoughts with good thoughts. True thoughts.

Everything will be alright.

God can move whales. (Thanks, Auntie Cook!)

Monday, October 13, 2008

still waiting....

...I keep getting bumped from Labor and Delivery. My hospital is full to overflowing with mama's going in on their own. I'm starting to get a little skittish. And crazy. Patience has never been my strong suit. It stinks having to practice patience now. I just want to hold my baby.

Off for a 10 mile jog....or something.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

It's good to have friends

Especially friends that make you cookies to keep you occupied while you wait. And wait. And wait some more. And then gouge out your eyeballs. And then eat another cookie.
Today was going to be the day. Maybe. I was scheduled for an induction, and then got a call. The L & D is filling up, and I'm going to have to wait.

My first thoughts were those of ugliness towards all the other ladies hogging up all the spots. Or just the one taking up what was going to be mine. Selfish whale. (Pretty ugly, I know. And hateful. And horrible. I am trying to feel bad about feeling so mad.)

My reaction has been pretty humbling. What's my problem? These women are having babies! Bringing wonderful new beings into this world. I should be glad for them. Not jealous. So what if I have to wait until Christmas for my own baby to find his way out?

The world does not revolve around me. The L & D isn't mine. I can't control everything, even if I try. Why do I keep trying? It only makes life more stressful.

I'm trying to use this as a learning experience. An experience that will help me to place my trust in The One who does have control. The One who knows how this will all play out. The One who loves me and knows what's best and sees the whole big picture.

(Would it be wrong to pray that over half of the mommies there would be sent home because their labor turned out to be false?)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

have you met my children?



I don't know if Rosemary Wells has been spying on us, or if this dynamic of older sister/younger brother is typical in every house. Both of my kids love watching this show (in the form of checked-out dvds from the library). And I think they like it, in part, because they can relate so closely to the characters.

The other morning, I was in need of a nap, so I popped in a Max and Ruby in for my boy. We laid on my bed watching the movie, or, he laid and watched and I laid and slept. I was awakened several times to him talking sternly to the television. "Ruby! He doesn't WANT to play that game!" I'm sure he was commiserating with poor bossed around Max. Not that Max is miserable, or that my son is miserable, but....they're definitely both bossed around.

And for some reason, the unseen parents strike a chord for me. I'm certainly not absent, but there are many many days that I feel sort of obsolete. Unnecessary somehow. My girl can hold down the fort pretty well. She's at the age where she handles most of their squabbles. There are times when he will ask her for help instead of me. I love that they have each other. And that I will always be reminded of these days when I see those two little bunnies.

Monday, October 6, 2008

7 pm bedtime

The best gift I've ever given myself is an early bedtime. For my children.

Last year, Kindergarten really kicked us in the pants. The big girl lost her wheels right after dinner time, and the boy, who had begun to phase out napping, began to wane as well. How do you get from diner at 6 to bedtime at 8 when everyone starts freaking out at 6:30?!

You don't.

You move dinner to 5, and bath time to 6:30, and bedtime to 7. One night. And then the house is quiet. And morning is early. Which is nice. And you love it. So you keep doing it over and over and over again.

But what about summer vacation?! Doesn't summer vacation mess everything up? Ah. It could. If you let it. But you don't. Why? Because, your wheels fall off at 7:05 pm, and you need a little peace and quiet so that you don't become a drinker. So you sell your kids the story about how WONDERFUL it is to go to bed when the sun is still up. See? You don't even need a night light! It isn't dark and scary! Woohoo!!! And they eat it up with a spoon. And the house is quiet. And morning is early. Which is nice. And you love it. So you keep on doing it over and over and over again.

Huh?!?!

I tell you. It's a slick deal. At least it seems to be a slick deal. And then you remember that in a few short days (God willing!) a new person will be entering your family. And this new person likely has not received this early-to-bed-memo. And so you try to relax. You've done this all before. It's all good. You can coax this newbie into a routine. It might take 4 years, but it will happen. Soon. Hopefully.

Hopefully.

Soon.

Friday, October 3, 2008

ramblings from an empty mind

So, I was remembering the other day...

...you know, when your baby is born? You spend some time in the hospital. And that baby is outside of you now. And you feel SO SKINNY. (Relatively speaking, naturally.) And, like if you really wanted to, you could totally run around the halls. Without having to hold onto your tummy--the way you had to when you chased your other kids around when afore mentioned baby was still in utero. You could probably even do cartwheels if you were so inclined.

And then, you uploaded your pictures, or had them developed, and you were shocked (SHOCKED!) at what you really looked like. As in, not like the skinny woman you felt like, but like a bloated whale that had been punched in the face. (Especially those pictures taken RIGHT after the birth.)

...am I the only one with that experience?

Which is why, THIS time, I'm bringing my full arsenal of beauty products. (Vanity?) No cameras will be permitted until I've put my face back on. Of course, I will go in with my face already all put together. I'm not sure what it is about labor that makes my face fall off completely. Again, maybe this is an issue only for me. (But then again, I've seen pictures of other women, immediately post delivery, and they look different. I mean, they still look beautiful, in a granola sort of way. But they don't look like their normal put-together-faced-self. You get me?)

So, I've got my make-up at the ready. I wonder if the hospital would allow me to use only candle light in my room? I'm thinking that candle light would really be the most flattering.

Of course (!!!!!) the baby comes first. Always. Always. And my primary concern is with him. And his well being. Can I say that I am so embarrassed that I've written all these paragraphs about something SO TRIVIAL AND SUPERFICIAL? I'm horrible. But am I normal?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

fifty-five years ago, today...

...she had a son.
~~~~~~
Happy Birthday, Dad.

Monday, September 29, 2008

And so, we wait

Ah, this waiting game. I'm trying to remember how much easier a baby is when it's on the inside. And trying to be patient.

I don't do patience well.

But, then I remember...even though, my mother told me that one forgets the pain of childbirth shortly after....I wasn't blessed with that kind of amnesia. I remember. All too well.

So, I wait. Anxiously. Excitedly. With trepidation and nervousness. And I look forward to the moment...that sweet sweet moment...when he'll be placed in my arms...and the pain will have all been worth it.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

quotable

When you grow up with three sisters, you develop a different taste in movies than that of a man that grew up with three brothers. Just sayin'.

I've been s l o w l y introducing my spouse to the movies that I grew up with. The movies my family quotes. Movies that threaten his manhood. Kind of. But not. But a little. This man has known me for over 15 years. He's probably seen 5 of the 30. (To his credit, most are several hour marathons.....Anne of Green Gables & Avonlea, Sound of Music, etc.)

My kids have had to endure more of them. Because they're little. And I'm the boss.

I've had a lot of movie quotes rolling through my brain these last few days. (There really isn't much else going on up there.)

Some favorites....there are probably only 5 other people that will appreciate these:

"How long are you going to be gone this time, Fathah?"

"Woooahhoooow!!!!!."

"Stop all this rhyming I mean it."

"Heidieeeeee, hurry back!"

"Let it be written, and let it be done."

"Azzzzzzzzz yoooouuuuuu wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiishhhhhhh."

"Twenty. Pounds. Of. Brown. Sugar."

"Come here little fellah. I wouldn't hurt you."

Were we the only ones? Does your family quote movies?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Well, that was disappointing

I was thumbing through an old church cookbook this morning...trying to find some new and fresh ideas to add to my repertoire.

I found this recipe for Granny's Double-Grain Bread. The very last sentence in the directions say that this bread is great toasted for breakfast. I like things that are great toasted for breakfast. I had all the ingredients. I went to work. Mixing. Kneading. Waiting. Punching. Waiting....


...after the second rise, I was to form the dough into two separate balls on a cookie sheet.

Check.

I let them "rise" until doubled...only, they didn't double up. They doubled around. Into blobs. Not wanting to take the time to reform them and let them rise once again, I went ahead and baked them.


(It's okay to laugh.)

They look interesting enough. They taste fine. But, they're not what I was expecting.




I cut them in half and put them in my cake dome. (Which is where I put all baked goodies. It's fun to look at them on my counter. It reminds me that one day a week, I can pull my act together. Accomplishment. Etc.)

I'm trying to find "the lesson" in all this. Something about how things don't always turn out as we think they should....

Friday, September 19, 2008

One Decade

10 years ago today, I married my high school sweetheart.

It was the best decision he ever made. :)

I like to look back and see how God has steered us along the path that's brought us to where we are right now. It's not the path I imagined us taking.....it's even better. I wouldn't change a thing.

Instead of spending this weekend clad in a bikini on a Mexican beach (as I had tentatively planned 9 years ago), I'll be wearing panel pants and a stretchy shirt - belly up to the booth at our (MY) favorite Mexican restaurant. Where I will be able to drink the water.

We'll clink our nachos together and toast the many happy years to come. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

frugal living tip #3 ~ better than cheap


What's better than clearance? Better than bargain? Better than bottom dollar?

Free.

Free is always better.

My favorite things to decorate with, especially in autumn, are ditch weeds. As in, weeds I pick out of the ditch. I dry them out just a bit, mostly to make sure the bugs have fled, and then poke them in wreaths, vases, my flower boxes, pumpkins....whatever suits my fancy.


The colors are perfect, and the price cannot be beat.






(It's best to bring along a{n almost} four year old, armed with his Swiss army knife. And don't be afraid to make him walk towards them first. He won't flinch if you should scare up a ruffed grouse.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

the mom voice

This morning the kids had a few minutes to play before heading off to school. I love to eavesdrop on them. It's so much fun to hear how their minds work. Gives me such pleasure that they get along so well. Most of the time.

My son is usually in charge of playing the poisonous snakes, crashing vehicles, wild animals, etc. He is the bit that interrupts the wedding ceremonies, the storm upsetting the calm. He's a brother. It's his job to unsettle things. My girl has known him the entire time he's been alive, so she embraces this. She works him in to the scene. It's choreography. It's beautiful. It works. Usually.

Today, was a good day. A bit different. For whatever reason, he had to be the Mom AND the poisonous snakes. My girl's character called for the Mother, and my boy answered using what he deemed an appropriate Mom voice. It was very high pitched, syrupy sweet, full of love. (Which is exactly how I sound...it wasn't surprising that he drew inspiration from what he knows.) *snicker*

A few moments later, he was relieved of his Mom-playing-duty...so that he could fully focus his energy on the snakes. Now it was my girl's turn to be the Mom.

This time, when the Mom was called upon, however, the voice had changed. A lot. Now the Mom was angry. Crabby. Bossy. Short tempered. More Wicked Step-Mother than Loving Doting Mother. It stopped me in my tracks.

Now, if my boy was using me as the example for the Mom, who was my girl using? A neighbor? A teacher? Someone from a movie? I just can't figure that one out. Very curious.

(I can't help but feel like a personal conviction is knocking on my door. I think I'll have to send it across the street.)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I'm tired

So tired...but somehow, I have all this energy.

Energy to dust under beds. And clip kiddie toe and finger nails. And bleach every bleachable surface in my home. To organize the basement. Again.

I feel like a walking contradiction. One that has to go to the bathroom 50 times a day. And 50 times a night.

At least the bathroom's clean.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

remembering

On Friday, September 7th, 2001, I was on my way to an evening design class. The road I was on had a series of synchronized lights...the kind where you could get through all of them if you pushed it, just a little. The car in front of me was getting us through them...we were nearly at the end of the set, when the last one turned yellow. The gal in front of me stepped it up, and so did I. I reached down to grab something out of my back pack and looked up. She was hammering her breaks. I hammered, too. But it was too late. The roads were just a little wet, and I rear ended her.

I got out of the car in a panic. Was she okay? She was okay. I was a wreck. I was crying. I felt horrible. Her lovely car had one little schmick in her bumper. My neon was a crumpled up mess. I called my dad, who was also, conveniently, my insurance agent. He arrived. The police arrived. My husband arrived. I couldn't stop crying.

The poor sweet lady I ran into was so lovely and gracious. She reassured me that everything would be just fine. It was so bizarre. When all was said and done, my husband drove me to my class. My neon went to the shop. The nice lady drove herself home, with my insurance information. The police gave me a ticket, because insult and injury go hand in hand.

The next morning, I woke up very stiff. And emotional. I was about to grab a handful of Advil, when it occurred to me that something else was rather amiss. I took a test. It had two lines.

I did not take the Advil.

The rest of the weekend went by with me in a state of shock and a state of shock.

That next Tuesday, I said goodbye to my husband as he left for his daily college routine. I was getting ready for classes in the same way I always did...breakfast at the coffee table while watching Good Morning America. A plane hit the World Trade Center. Watching in disbelief, a second plane hit.

What is going on?

What is going on?

I watched until I had to leave to get to class. On the drive over, the radio spoke about the Pentagon. All the pieces were beginning to come together.

I parked my husband's truck in my parking lot, and began the 7 block trek to the Apparel, Textile, and Interior Design building. Something hot began to pinch my arm. A bee. I was being stung by a bee. It made me angry. I stepped out of character and squished it with my hand.

I ruined my car. We were having a baby. Something horrible was happening in our Country. I got stung by a bee.

I made it to class, and there were only 2 other people that showed up. Everyone was moving around really slowly. Televisions all around campus were tuned into live coverage.

I went to grab a coffee. Brought it back to the studio, and decided to work on my project. As I rendered the office space I had been working on, life felt very different. What am I doing? An Interior Designer? How do we change the world? What kind of world is this to be bringing a baby into? My arm hurts, stupid bee. What do we all do now?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

emotional much?

My son is eating his lunch, picnic style, in front of the television. Where I'll let him stay until we leave for the playground to meet a friend. Normally, I try to limit the television watching....but today....today, I need it. Why? Because I'm a crier. Why am I crying? Because I am tired. And hormonal. And I don't want him to know that he made me cry when I "made his sandwich wrong." Because no little boy should see his mommy in tears over something SO RIDICULOUS.

Now, I didn't go and make him a new sandwich. He's eating the wrong one. And he's not complaining anymore. Which is good...because it really hurts my feelings. I can't tell you how embarrassing that is. I cried today because my son didn't want the peanut butter to touch the jelly.

This could get scary when we pick up his sister from school. She's got some attitude we've been working on......I may need to wear my sunglasses from here on out.

Lord, help me. Or at least, dehydrate my eyes.

Monday, September 8, 2008

nesting, nesting....one...two...three

What is a gal to do...when she can't sleep...can't nap...because every time her body slows down, her mind starts making a to do list? A list involving things like: wipe down floor boards and bleach all vent covers and wash hallway walls and poke random flowers into flower boxes so the world doesn't realize you're too lazy to water

Well...this gal gets busy washing clothes. Of course, she doesn't do any of the things that she's got on her mental to do list. That would make sense. Nothing this gal does these days makes sense. Not one thing.

But! The laundry is all done. Every last stitch. The baby clothes are all ready to go. Washed and sorted by size and type...folded and put into dressers and under bed storage bins.

And things are being thrown away! Lots of things. Things that were being kept because "one day" they would be needed. Broken things that were going to be glued onto other things. Toys with "only a few" {key} missing or broken parts. Clothes with stains that were going to be dyed...or something. All the cluttery bits and baubles....gone! Gone with the wind. Or at least gone with the garbage man. Bless him.

I've entered a dangerous zone. My husband is thrilled. The two piece vase with a huge chip out of the top corner, the one you couldn't tell was broken if you angled it just so, got pitched. After 7 years and 4 moves. It's gone. Good riddance!!

It's sad that I've clung to all this garbage. The pile of donatable goods is pathetically small. The stuff I've hung on to isn't even worth giving away. It was that junky!

As the nest gets more and more sparse-ish, my shoulders feel lighter and lighter. I'm freeing myself from the obligation of repurposing every piece of cast off castoff-ed-ness. Traveling light. It feels nice.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Things not to say to a pregnant woman

"So, when are you going to pop?"

"I hope there's twins in there!"

"You're only (insert number here) months along? You look like you could be due any day!"

"Wow! You are getting huge!"

"You look SO uncomfortable!"

"Whoa!"

......this list could go on and on....if you've ever been pregnant, I'm sure you've heard your fair share of stupid comments.

::::::::::::::::::::::::

On the other hand, please feel free to say any of the following, at anytime, to a pregnant woman;

"You look SO great!"

"From behind, I can't even tell you're expecting!"

"Is your face getting thinner?"

"Are you sure you're eating enough?"

"Honey, you should be eating more ice cream."

"Your walk looks so normal, without a hint of waddle."

(I've not heard the above, but am making a mental note to say these things to the pregnant women I encounter from here on out.)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Picking and choosing

We've been very careful this year with our schedules. Last year was full and fun...but pretty heavy on the full.

We did Wednesday Night Church Activities. My daughter was in ballet/tap/jazz. My son and I took a class through the school district. We did a kid's/mom's group at my church. Sunday school. Coaching. There were barely any days that were strictly ours.

I don't like that feeling. I can't handle a full schedule. I need breathing space. Space for inviting friends over to play. Or to meet for coffee. Or to just sit home and Norman Rockwell.

You know?

So this year, my daughter chose to do tap only. (woohoo!) We're not going to be a part of the Wednesday Night crowd. (Which, I must say, feels really strange, but I sigh a relieving sigh just thinking about it.) We'll do the kid's/mom's group, but not the class through the district. My husband will still coach, but without all the extras filling up our evenings, we'll be able to go and cheer his team on....or not..... Sunday school won't feel like "one more thing." Our weekends won't be quite so "precious," as there will be plenty of family moments during the week.

I know that once this new baby makes his appearance, I'll need the breathing room. We'll have more family time. More free time. More.

It feels so right. So. Right.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

sunday

Is it quite possible, that they will always get along this well?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

domesticity

Cinnamon bread...for breakfast and lunch and snacks...

Tomato sauce...from the neighbor's tomato bounty. Cooking down, cooking down. Smells wonderful.

Friday, August 29, 2008

scrub...crunch

scrub, scrub, scrub...

crunch, crunch, crunch...

scrub, scrub, scrub...

crunch, crunch, crunch...

:::

He's in the bathroom, scrubbing the shower.

I'm sitting here, eating chips.

This is the life.

I should be pregnant forever.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

uh oh

...well, it's happening again. I've grown out my hair. Not on purpose, really. More as an after thought. When my hair is short, I dream of having it long, so I can pull it up into a fun style. And when it's long enough to fit into a pony tail, that's where it goes. Not into a lovely up-do....more of a haphazard sloppy bun, circa 1995.

It's only been a few weeks since I could pull it back. It doesn't all stay in....the haircut I had prior to the grow-out was an inverted bob. So there are stray pieces of random length hairs that work their way out of the 1995 sloppy bun. It's not lovely. It doesn't feel lovely. But, it's off my neck, and I don't really care.

But, I should care! I'm going to start caring again. Soon. Maybe.

I'm feeling like I need a change. Like the messy bun isn't all it's cracked up to be. I think of how fun it feels to have a new cut, how fresh and alive your head becomes. It's when these dangerous feelings come to the surface, that my fingers start eyeing the nearest scissor. And then I take that scissor and treat my head like a topiary. Only, I don't know what in the world I'm doing. And afterwards, I'm thankful that the messy look is still sort of hanging around.

I haven't gone Edward Scissor Hands on myself just yet, but I am dangerously close to doing it.

I may just have to rearrange bedrooms again just to keep my mind off of attacking my hair.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

frugal living tip #2: the weekly dinner plan

A few years ago, I REALLY tightened the grocery belt. It was amazingly easy, and totally saved money. For whatever reason, I loosed the belt, and fell off the frugal wagon.

I managed to grasp hold of the back side of the frugal wagon last week, and am hoping to propel myself to the front of the frugal wagon right away. I'll be dressed as Laura Ingalls Wilder. My husband, will be Manly. (Because he is really manly.) Our children will be riding in the covered portion of the wagon. Our wagon will not tip over and catch fire, because Mary will not be with us--wearing her glasses, and we will remain on a road free of bumps.

Still with me?

*cough*

My plan is to re-implement my weekly dinner plan. The only rule with this dinner plan is that my Manly is not allowed to complain about what I feed him. He is only allowed to make complimentary remarks about the deliciousness of each dish. When he gets a case of the crankies, I will impress him with all the details of my fantastic frugality. I will bring up our budget and show him just how much I am saving. He may then lift me in the air and twirl me around and around and tell me how much happiness I bring to him. (It's something he does all the time anyway....it's totally in his character. A blessed man is he.)

Wow. My blood sugar must be off today or something.

To the weekly dinner plan:

Monday- every Monday is breakfast for dinner night. Eggs. Toast. Sausage. And sometimes Pancakes. (This is the kid's favorite night.)

Tuesday - every Tuesday is meat and rice or potato and veggie night. Chicken, beef, pork...whatever's on sale. (Make enough meat to save for Thursday.)

Wednesday - every Wednesday is pizza night. Either homemade, or frozen. It depends on my level of June Cleaver-ness for that given day.

Thursday - each Thursday, the left over meat from Tuesday is combined with veggies to make a soup or stew, served with from-scratch-biscuits...regardless of the level of June Cleaver-ness. Biscuits are too easy not to go through the extra effort.

Friday - every Friday is pasta night. Spaghetti, hot dish, what-have-you. This must be made using only ingredients on hand. Sometimes this tastes great. Sometimes this is horrible. Either way, everyone ends up full. Especially if you can crank out a few bread sticks or some garlic toast as accompaniment.

The weekends are freebies. We'll usually treat ourselves to a dinner out at least once, and often throw in an extra pizza, since everyone likes pizza.

Lunches are usually either leftovers, or sandwiches. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

If you are looking to trim the fat from your grocery budget, I highly recommend this method. You'll always know what's for dinner. Even the pickiest of Manly's can be won over when they see the dollars saved.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

frugal living tip #1: Rice

One of my favorite ways to extend the serving capacity of a dish is to add rice to it. Brown rice. Full of fiber. (I'm loving me some fiber these days.)

I stumbled upon this "trick" a few years ago, when I first ventured into the land of stay-home-mothering. Having not gone grocery shopping for days, and needing something to feed to dinner guests that evening, I shopped through the cupboards looking for anything that would prevent a shopping trip. (A game I like to challenge myself with far too often. Sometimes it results in new favorite meals....sometimes not.....sometimes it results in new least favorites.)

I had one pound of hamburger, some spaghetti sauce, a million noodles, and enough flour etc. to make a loaf of bread. Spaghetti and meatballs with bread. Perfect! Knowing that the noodles and sauce would be sufficient, but that the meat would not, I had to come up with a way to stretch out that hamburger, or go to the store. (and lose the game? NEVER!)

I have a good meatball recipe, and knew that adding the bread crumbs would stretch it a little. Then it struck me....I could add some rice to bulk up the mix. Could it work? Why not! So I cooked up some brown rice, mixed nearly equal parts rice and hamburger to bread crumbs, eggs, a splash of milk and some seasoning. I let them simmer in the crock pot with some spaghetti sauce all afternoon, and they were great! And MORE than enough for us plus guests. AND! I didn't end up running to the store.

Grocery store: 0 Me: 1 (what can I say? I'm just a winner by nature.)

From that point on, I've been using {brown} rice to extend all kinds of meals. I usually cook up several servings at a time, divide up random portions in freezer bags to be used as needed. Rice is great with chicken, in almost all soups, mixed in a meatloaf or burgers on the grill. And rice is not expensive. At all. It's a great way to sneak in fiber, as long as you're using brown....which tastes great, make the switch today.

So my tip for today, is to add brown rice to everything you make.

Wait. Not everything. Not cookies or cakes or coffee....use discretion. And if you come up with a new favorite dish, please, let me know. I'm always looking for new favorites.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

everything changes

My little family will soon experience some changes. Baby number three topping the list. We're all very excited about all the newness that he will bring.

For the last two years, I've been doing "daycare" for one little boy. He is just a bit younger than my son, and the two of them share a neat relationship. He would only come for the afternoon, and napped a fair bit of the time he was here. The kids would all eat lunch, take naps, and then play for a while before his mommy would come and collect him. He fit into our daily routine so nicely. Tomorrow will be his last day with us, and for that, I'm feeling some heart pangs. Soon, he and his family will move several states away. (sniffle)

We will definitely miss spending time with that special friend.

Now, daycare isn't something I'd ever thought I would venture in to. I don't feel like my personality can handle lots of kids. But, God really lead me into our previous situation, and provided us with the perfect family, and a nice boost to our income.

I am hanging up my daycare hat, and with that, closing the door to that income. So, now, I feel compelled to tighten the purse strings. To make the most of our money. To penny pinch. To find deals. To rid our budget of unnecessary expenditures.

I'm on a mission. Watch out! I'm determined to keep us on track financially....maybe even squeeze more out of the turnip than we did before, when we had more at our disposal?

I would love for my family to embrace contentment. For my children to learn financial responsibility. For our savings to grow, and our debt to diminish. To remain faithful to tithing. To be an example. Above all, to glorify God in the way we live our lives. He has always provided. He continues to provide.

As we practice good stewardship, I'll be sure and share the aspects of frugal living that I find helpful. I'm sure we all could use a little boost to the bottom line. (Not to be confused with bottom...I do not need any boosts to my bottom, thankyouverymuch.)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

on the playground

I brought my kids to a playground on Friday morning. It was the perfect day to be out and about. The sun was warm, the breeze was cool....and we had the place all to ourselves. For awhile. It was blissful. My kids enjoyed each others company, and I used the moment for some quiet time with God.

Seriously, it doesn't get a whole lot better than that. A caramel latte would have topped off the morning PERFECTLY.

After nearly 30 minutes of alone time, another mom pulled up. The doors of her SUV opened and two small children spilled out. They ran over to the play ground. I'm guessing they were maybe 3 and 4. But, frail. The younger's steps were carefully measured on the shifting sand. The older walked much in the same way. They were awkwardly attempting to climb the steps leading up to the slide. I wanted to wind them up in bubble wrap.

Mommy never stepped foot out of her big rig. There were times when her children were well over 50 yards away from her, and out of her sight. So I kept them in mine. I was trying very hard not to judge her. Maybe her back had gone out? Maybe she couldn't walk? Who knows. All I could see were her two young children feebly wandering around the swings, slides, and a host of other playground equipment. After about 20 minutes, they were beckoned back to the vehicle, and off they went.

And that's when the daycare kids started showing up. More SUVs, with dozens of kids. The childcare providers sat at the picnic table farthest away from the jungle gym. Every once in awhile they would holler at Cooper and Bentley. In the most unloving of tones. It made me sick. I wondered if Cooper and Bentley's parents knew they were being spoken to like that. I'm sure Daycare Lady uses an entirely different voice around Mom and Dad.

I couldn't help but feel badly for these poor children, being watched by such crabby ladies. I couldn't see any of them being naughty or doing anything out of the ordinary for children on a playground. And yet, the only words being spoken to them were sharp and angry.

This was out in public. In front of other people. Can you imagine what it looks and sounds like behind closed doors? These Daycare Ladies were very normal looking. Young and stylish. The kids were well dressed and the vehicles they came in were all new.

I'm not sure if I even had a point in sharing this....

Please, though, if you have a child in daycare, drop in and see them unannounced. If they're going to the park, show up there and linger in the background for awhile. You don't want some crabby two faced woman "caring" for your child while you are at work. I'm pretty sure these people show their nicer side when the parents are around. I can't imagine any parent in their right mind allowing their beloved offspring to remain in such an unloving atmosphere.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

getting ready

This one is for mine...


...imperfect stitches from anxious hands....

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

on a Wednesday

I'm going to be a paint artist when I grow up.

Monday, August 11, 2008

no news would be good news

The media. Can you sort through it? What kind of filter does it take to find out the truth about current events? Seriously!

I don't care about Bradgelinla's babies. I don't need hype and drama. Give it to me straight. I don't care about personal interest stories. I don't need a Hollywood minute. I don't want to walk away from a news program (or article) knowing for whom the reporter and editor and producer will be voting. I don't want spin. I don't want bells and whistles. And for the love of all things Holy, please, make sure the anchor woman is dressed professionally. There is no place for decolletage in reporting. It doesn't matter to me if the reporters are attractive. I would like for them to be able to read the teleprompter. Is that too much to ask?

The whole "fair and balanced" thing is ridiculous. We'll have some people way on the left, spinning the news their way, and some way on the right, spinning the news their way...then you can stir them together, and come up with a crude amalgamation of the two---the truth lying somewhere in the mix.

I'm sick of it. Sick of scare tactics. Sick of the morning news becoming more and more like a television tabloid. Sick of actors promoting their latest movies. Sick of authors trying to sell their books. I don't need Good Morning America telling me about the hot new look for fall. And when did we start wanting to end a news broadcast with a concert from the latest "it" artist? It's the news!

If I want a good recipe, I'll look in a cookbook.

If I want fashion advice, I'll pick up a copy of Vogue.

If I want to be frustrated, knowing less about the world, and more about fluff, I'll park myself in front of the television at 9am, 6pm, and 10pm.

If you know of a good place to find out honest and accurate information on the economy, national security, politics, and relevant current events, PLEASE point me in the right direction.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

more randomness

I caught the end of a PBS special last night. Songs from the Labyrinth. Oh my goodness. Mesmerizing. Sting sang 16th century songs to me for 15 minutes. STING! And then I had a moment. You know, one where your thoughts start to mingle from reality to irrationality? I have a lot of those moments.

Moments, where I'll be watching some period film, and the couple is in a boat, she's in a fancy dress with a parasol, and he is also dressed up, with his sleeves rolled up....gently paddling through the water. It's all so beautiful. So romantic. And then you think, "I wish WE would do that kind of thing." But, then it hits you...you have done that...remember?

Remember on your honeymoon when your beloved paddled you around the lake? But you kept telling him to stay closer to the shore? Because you were mentally calculating how far you would be able to swim with him under your arm should your boat have capsized and your new husband been knocked unconscious? Or the time he took you and the kids out in a canoe down the 2.5' deep river, and you almost had a nervous breakdown when the kids would look out over the side of the boat, causing it to wiggle? Because you were mentally calculating how you would rescue all of them if the canoe had capsized and all of them been knocked unconscious?

Well, while Sting was singing to me, I was having a moment. What if we (my husband and I, not Sting and I) would sing like that to each other? Wouldn't it be romantic to be in some castle in Ireland, with my long hair (that I don't have) braided down past my waist, and my flowy gown blowing in the gentle breezes? I singing to him, and he singing to me? I contemplated that for a little while.

But then, reality started to creep in. My husband is no more likely to sing to me like that, then he is to wear tights. And do I really want him to? No. Why? Because, it's girly. I didn't marry a girly man. I married a man. One that can squish bugs bigger than a quarter with his bare hands. If he were girly, who would kill the bugs?

Who would build the fence?

Who would work so hard so I can be home with the kids?

Who would balance out all my irrational romanticized thoughts and daydreams?

Not Sting on PBS.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Crock Pot Orange Chicken

Will you please make this for dinner tomorrow?
Let me just tell you....it's good. SO good. I've sampled it 4 times already, quality control--you know, and it keeps on being good. And not poisonous. So, it's what's for dinner.

And! It's easy. But it tastes complicated. Sort of....

Here's the deal, in your crock pot place;

6 frozen boneless-skinless chicken breasts
1 bottle of soy sauce
1 jar of orange marmalade
2 tsp cumin
salt
pepper
1/2 cup water

Let all that simmer for several hours on high heat, shred the meat, and turn to low heat.

Then, add;

1 pkg frozen broccoli
2 large carrots, cut into slivers (julienne, if you're fancy)
cooked brown rice (enough for 6-7 servings)

Allow to cook for another hour or two on low.

Taste one bowl.

Taste another bowl.

Taste a third bowl.

Serve.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

staying home

I'm in a bible study over the summer with an awesome group of moms. Tonight's topic promises to be interesting. It takes a close look at "working moms"...not directly insinuating that God wants all moms to stay at home.....but leans in that direction.

I'm excited to hear the opinions of these women. We all have different experiences. Some work. Some stay home. Some work from home. Some want to stay home. Some want to work. And all of theses women know how to peacefully debate and discuss. I love the dynamic. The group has been such a safe place to vent and seek advice, to ask for prayer, to ask for clarification....I wish everyone could experience it. And I wish it would go on and on and on.

Anyhow, this last study has really prompted some deep thinking. Do I think God wants all mothers to stay at home? I don't. Do I think God wants me to stay at home? I do. At least for now. Do I want to be home? I do. Have I always wanted to be home? No. I was going to BE SOMEONE. Not that a mom isn't someone....but it wasn't on my radar when I had mapped out my future in the career of my choice. Motherhood was something I was going to think about after I became bigtime and hotstuff. But then I gave birth to bigtime and hotstuff.

So what's my take on staying home? I think that it falls into the category of personal convictions. I think it's a personal choice. A personal conviction. If God is prompting you to stay home, then stay home. If He's prompting you to work, then work. It's something to be decided by a husband and wife....for the good of their family.

Right now, this is where God wants me to be. But, just because He wants me here, doesn't mean He wants you here. And I would never try and push that on anyone. I haven't been given the job of handing out convictions.

I'd love to hear other's thoughts on this topic. Care to share what you think?

Monday, August 4, 2008

edjamucation

I was sorting through some books today. I stumbled upon an old poetry book from my freshman year of college. Flipping through it, I remembered just how much I loved that poetry class. It felt classy. Collegiate. Mature. All the things I had wanted to be at the time.

I had highlighted 435,605 poems in the book. Looking back, many of the poems I loved were lovely. There are still a few that stick out as favorites. But, now, I can like them for no good reason. There isn't a professor helping me decide which ones speak my language. One that I love today...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)

This Is Just to Say 1934

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And one that I will always LOVE. Is right here.

I guess I've made it. Classy. Collegiate. Mature.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I am not...


I sorta freaked out just a little last night when I tried to catch up on a few of my favorite blogs.

98% of them wouldn't open for me. I tried this one, and couldn't open it, either. Did a little extremely low tech searching to find out what the deal was...turns out a bunch of blogspots, bloggers, and typepads were being labeled as SPAM.

Well!

I never...!

Especially if you consider the whole you are what you eat thing. No thanks.

Friday, August 1, 2008

hypothetically speaking...

A mom that finds out she's gained almost as much in the past two weeks as she has in the last 7 months at her 30 week prenatal ob check-up may, or may not, try and serve her children this for lunch:




...and she may, or may not, eat a big slice of this, (by itself):

Thursday, July 31, 2008

true colors

When we brought our second child home from the hospital, our first born went into full time mothering mode. She was only two and a half...but going on 24. She just loved her brother.

She loved to be near him. She loved to help. With everything. She was great. Still is.

For a long time, her love would bubble up out of her....like when she'd hold his little hand, her hand would be gentle, but the rest of her body would wiggle and sometimes she'd grit her teeth and tense up her neck and head. Trying so very hard to be careful with him, when you could see that all she wanted to do was squeeze him as hard as she could.

Things were very normal and lovingly for a good long while. Several weeks into the game of sibling hood, she helped me lotion up her brother after his bath. There was this moment, so tender, so sweet and loving, when she leaned in really close to him and whispered in his ear,

"One day, when I push you down the steps, Daddy will give you a BIG hug!"

*the record screeched to a halt*

Cough, choke, snorkle.

We had a talk about appropriate things to do with a baby. How fragile they are, and how much care we need to give them. With all those cautions and lots of prayers, time marched on in a normal fashion.

Only from that point on, we established regular date nights with Daddy, girls only shopping trips, and other big girl things to put the focus back onto the most important person in her life. Herself.

It will be interesting to see how the dynamic shifts with this next new baby. Both kids are much older now, and I'm hoping that rivalry does not begin to rear its ugly head again.

Time will tell.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

on gum...and noises...

Maybe it's the pregnancy? Maybe it's because I'm intolerant? Maybe it's because I'm just a snotty person? Who knows? I don't know why, but there is something about the sound that a person makes while chewing gum that makes me want to stab my ears with a pencil.

I'm rather sensitive to noises. Like the sound my younger sister makes when she eats carrots. Or the sound my husband makes while he eats potato chips. Or the sound any one makes while eating corn off of the cob. OR! Radio personalities that have dentures. There are specific qualities to each of those noises that make my skin crawl, and my insides to big for my outsides.

It's something I can't quite describe....and as I type this, I notice that I also hate the way typing sounds, too.

Am I normal? (This is not something I want anyone to try and answer. )

Anyhow....I was thinking today, about the brain surgeon, and how my level of annoyance grew exponentially in direct relation to the decibels of the smack coming from between her teeth.

And then I thought about when I was pregnant with my first child, and how I worked in retail. And how at Christmas, when the customers would be especially brain-surgeonesque in their wants, desires, expectations and gum chewing loudness.

Which prompted me to recall one specific brain surgeon that brought her return to my counter. From a different department. With out tags. Or a receipt. And was in a hurry. And was chewing gum.

And that gum of hers.....it started swearing at me. Not so that any one else could hear. It was just for me. My nerves swelled to 57 times their normal sizes, and tried to come right out of my skin. As she smacked and cackled and huffied and crankied at me, I tried to smile, and be polite, and not raise my hand with two fingers pointing at her, taking aim and gouging out her eye balls.

I didn't harm her. She made her return. I went to my boss and gave him my two weeks notice.

I didn't want to become fodder for a lifetime movie special.

I've yet to poke out any eyes (but for the grace of God.) And I'm still working on my noise intolerance. Maybe one day I'll become hard of hearing? Perhaps it would be best if I purchased ear plugs.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

To the lady in the express lane at the grocery store last night

Dear Very Important Lady,

I can see that you are someone to be reckoned with. And even though your casual clothing suggested otherwise, I'm guessing you to be a brain surgeon.

It was clear in the 5 minutes you spent in the express lane, with your 20 items (we all know they don't really mean 10 or less...especially for the most important people....with coupons) that you need to be readily available by phone 24/7. It must be horrible to have to be on your phone while you are shopping. And such a drag to be SO important that you can't even set your phone down while the check out girl rings you through. By the way, it was so rude of her to give you your total, and to try and tell you that you had $.09 off of gas. Couldn't she see you were on the phone?!

After your purchase was complete, none of us minded that you needed to organize your receipt into that special corner of your purse. And I can see that it's difficult to situate your wallet just right in that purse as well. Every thing is harder for me, too, when I'm trying to keep my phone pinched between my shoulder and my ear. It's an awkward dance. We all know that no one relinquishes their place at the cash register until they are completely finished with their transaction. I understand that, as a brain surgeon, you have an end of shopping regimen. A well orchestrated, slow motion process of putting all things in order before you are off on your way.

I do have one piece of advice for you. You know that gum you were chewing? I really think if you tried just a little harder, you could smack it much, much louder. Because we all know the REALLY important brain surgeons that need to be on their phone at all times chew their gum very loudly.

Sincerely,

The girl two people behind you with only one item

Monday, July 28, 2008

shop news

Getting ready to add some stuff to the Etsy shop. It's been a long time since I opened it....then put some things in it, and proceeded to give all those things as Christmas gifts.....

I've made a few lavender and rice eye pillows, shoulder pillows, and have some other special things in the works to be added this afternoon. Hopefully.

I figured, this time, I'm far enough away from Christmas, and may not be as tempted to give it all away, again.



It was so much fun to put these together. And the lavender was soothing, so I was centered and calm during the entire process. *wink*

Thursday, July 24, 2008

If you are a size small/medium...

.....will you PLEASE go and buy the shawl collar sweater at this Etsy shop?

I can't stand it! It's SO lovely.

And this quilt?!!? So much loveliness!!!

(and if you buy the shawl collar sweater, will you wear it in the fall, while you are sitting in your back yard, in the hammock, reading a classic novel, with chai tea in your favorite mug....um....a little whipped cream on top, and a sprinkle of cinnamon, while snuggled under that quilt? Thank you.)

oh, dear me

(cough)

I don't know if I mentioned pregnancy weight gain when I reflected on my last two pregnancies and their subsequent deliveries....and if I didn't, it was because, well, who wants to remember that? Unless of course, you are the kind of woman that only gains 10 pounds per pregnancy. And walk out of the hospital in pre-pregnancy jeans. (Which is unfair, mean, and wrong.)

((Unless, of course, that happens to me this time. In which case, I will be leaving the hospital in a bikini.))

Whew. Where was I going? Ah, the weight gain. With my first sweet bundle of joy, I gained my fair share of weight. That first trimester was a time of nausea. The ONLY thing I could stomach were fried mozzarella sticks from a Petro truck stop. I'm serious. So, not only did I not reap the weight loss benefits of early pregnancy food repulsion, I set a dangerous tone for the entire 9 1/2 months. Yikes!

Then, when the second pregnancy rolled around, I found Swedish pancakes were the cure for my morning (all day) sickness. Sweet little crepes drowning in a sea of butter and syrup. Oh be still my heart. And grow my thighs. So with that baby, good gravy! Hello, weight gain! And lots of it! (My only consolation, is that I have never weighed more than my beloved. He is such a trooper when it comes to sympathy weight gain. And I love him all the more for it.)

This time, however....this time was going to be different. I promised myself that I would be one of "those women." The kind that looks so good right after her baby is born you want to go up and spit in her eye. (Not that I would ever spit in some one's eye....I may WANT to, but I don't actually do that. Naturally.)

This time I rode out morning sickness with avocados and tomatoes. Remember? And up until two weeks ago, I had only gained 9 pounds. That's right! NINE! But then, something happened. Something called "The One Hour Glucose Test."

Having passed The One Hour Test in both previous pregnancies, I was not worried. Not even a little. So, the night before, I went on a date with my husband to a Mexican restaurant. It was fried and cheesy and wonderful. When we got home, I capped off the night with a slice of French Silk Pie. And then began to fast from 7 pm until morning.

I drank the yucky stuff, had my blood drawn, and went on my merry way. Later that day, I got a call from my Dr's nurse. "Your numbers were sort of high. We like them to be under 130-140 *pause* and yours were 163. You'll need to take THE THREE HOUR GLUCOSE TEST and we'd like you to follow a gestational diabetic diet up until that point, just in case."

It was at that moment my heart broke. My world fell apart. I became belligerent and manic. Almost.

Stink. So for a week, I followed the special diet of complex carbs, high fiber, and lean protein. It was physically painful.

Then came The Three Hour Test. (This time, I did not eat pie or Mexican food for my pre-fasting meal. I ate two eggs and dry low-carb toast.) And this time, I passed. And the world broke out in song. And I ate all the gestational diabetic forbidden lovelies that I could get my hands on.

The scary part is that I have not stopped eating all the forbidden lovelies. I don't even want to know what my scale has to say about it. I've got about 11 weeks to go, and avocados and tomatoes are no longer calling my name. Simple sugars and fatty meats seem to be singing my song. Those naughty things.

And! To make matters even worse, my husband has amped up his workout regimen, and is watching what he eats.

I better pack away that bikini.