Monday, May 31, 2010

Monday Micro: Crochet

Saturday a friend from church hosted a "Craft & Chat" night. Several of us ladies got together to eat and chat, and my friend taught some of us to crochet. When I was a little girl, I learned to do a chain stitch (just a long line of crochet stitches, not good for anything unless your Barbie needs a scarf!) Saturday I re-learned the chain stitch and also learned to do a single stitch and a double stitch.


My stitches are very loose, but that made it easier to learn. It was really fun! Yesterday I picked out some pretty yarn and let Chickie pick some out too. I think I will start out by making scarves for us, and if I'm still interested in this craft, I may branch out from there. It's an inexpensive craft, so I feel "safe" trying it out without any obligation to continue if I end up getting bored!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Six Word Saturday!

It's that time again...Six Word Saturday! To find out more about 6WS and to participate, check out Call Me Cate's great blog by clicking the button below.

My words:

It's all about perspective and attitude.

If it had been 73 degrees/73% humidity during one of my March runs, I would have been complaining. (I like it to be about 50 degrees for my ideal running weather!) But after recent 90% humidity, today's weather felt wonderful. I was just so thankful to be outside! Earlier this week I was relegated to indoor running at the gym--boring! My perspective has changed, and my attitude was great.

Now I just need to adjust my attitude so that I can enjoy the indoor running as much as possible, since I'll be doing quite a bit of it this summer!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Wedding ring mishaps

The Engineer and I had been dating several months and, though we weren't engaged, we were talking about marriage. He took me to northern California to visit his mom and stepdad. (His dad passed away before I met him.)

"I have my mom's old wedding and engagement rings," The Engineer told me. "If you want to, you can see them when we visit. If you like them, we can use them. But don't feel obligated; if you don't like them, I'll buy you something else." I nervously and excitedly agreed.

The big ring reveal came...


...and I immediately loved the ring set. The style--classic yet not old-fashioned, simple yet not boring--suited me wonderfully. The diamond is not huge...but probably quite a bit bigger than my husband-to-be would have been able to afford; he was still paying off college back then. And since I didn't know The Engineer's dad, I have always liked wearing this ring set that connects me to his parents' happy marriage.

We had the rings sized, and I not-so-patiently waited for the big question, which he finally asked. After a four-month engagement, we were married. I still love my rings (though I should have gotten them cleaned before snapping that photo!)

I'm actually lucky to still be enjoying these rings. Four months after our wedding day, I accidentally put them down the garbage disposal! Thankfully the disposal was only turned on for a very short burst. The rings were bent and scratched a little, and the large diamond fell out. Miracle of miracles, I retrieved it, and after an awkward confession to my new husband, we took the rings to a jeweler for repair.

The jeweler suggested that I get all the small diamonds re-set; the prongs were wearing down. My mother-in-law had worn the rings for over 25 years. "Prongs eventually wear down, and you can start losing stones," the jeweler explained. We agreed that the reasonable cost of re-setting diamonds was far preferable to the high cost of replacing diamonds!

I was remembering this whole incident--which took place almost exactly 10 years ago--yesterday. A friend posted on Facebook that the diamond from her engagement ring had fallen out. She hasn't been able to find it, and she is of course quite upset. It just so happened that earlier in the day I'd had to run an errand next door to a local jeweler, and I'd noticed the sign in their window advertising free ring inspection and cleaning.

I'm going to take my rings in soon to get them cleaned and inspected. I'm going to specifically ask the jeweler when the prongs need to be replaced again. In fact, I can tell that some of the tiny prongs on the small diamonds are wearing down.

So if you get one lesson from these ring stories, let it be this: If you have rings with stones in them, get them periodically inspected. (And if you get one more lesson from these stories, let it be this: Don't crunch up rings in a garbage disposal, especially not when you're newly-married, and especially if the rings came from your husband's much-loved mother!)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Parenting is gross.

In the last week, I have...
  • Cleaned up pee that was spilled from the toddler potty onto the carpet, and that splashed on both the furniture and my face. (Don't ask.)
  • Cleaned poop from the carpet. And a towel. And a shoe. And underwear. And a toddler potty. And little bottoms. And little legs. And my hands.
  • Bandaged a kid's bloody toe (with the nail bent back by a closing door.)
And in the last few months, I have...
  • Cleaned up a child's pink vomit from the carpet, my clothes, my skin, and my hair.
  • Wiped noses countless times.
  • Taken rectal temperatures.
There is only one conclusion to be reached.

Parenting is gross.

So next time you hear parents waxing poetic about their children's melodious laughs, sweet kisses, and brilliant milestones, just remember this: We're really just trying to distract ourselves from all the gross stuff so we can make it through 18 years without going completely nuts.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ballad of a teething kid

Zoodle's cutting another tooth. At times like this, he undergoes a temporary personality change...particularly at bedtime and naptime. If normally-even-tempered babies and toddlers could put into words what they feel when they're teething, I think it would go something like this.

Ballad of a teething kid

Daddy, I've heard you,
I've heard you brag.
And Mama, you've smiled
From behind a diaper bag.
"Our child's so sweet,"
You tell one and all.
But I'm gonna throw you
A baby curve ball!

I gotta bad fee-eelin',
Just sends me ree-eelin'.
Don't know why I hurt,
Why I drool on my shirt,
All I know is I cry
And I just don't know why.
Will I ever feel better again?

From almost day one,
I slept through the night,
Went down for naps
With barely a fight
But Mama, that's past,
Like a beautiful dream.
Now every night,
I'm going to SCREAM!

I gotta bad fee-eelin',
Just sends me ree-eelin'.
Don't know why I hurt,
Why I drool on my shirt,
All I know is I cry
And I just don't know why.
Will I ever feel better again?

Daddy, you wonder,
Is your sweet baby gone,
Replaced by this monster
Who fusses 'til dawn?
I'd wonder too
If I wasn't so busy
Chewing my fingers,
In a terribly tizzy.

I gotta bad fee-eelin',
Just sends me ree-eelin'.
Don't know why I hurt,
Why I drool on my shirt,
All I know is I cry
And I just don't know why.
Maybe soon I'll feel better again.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The "art" of summer running

This is me, running outside in April:


I'm thinking, "Oh, it's nice to be out here! The weather is great! I feel sorry for those people who run on treadmills. They're missing the wonderful opportunity to discover their cities on foot! Ahh, life is good!"

This is me, running outside in late May:


I'm thinking, "This air is so humid. It's thick, actually thick, to breathe it. This is gross. Disgusting. I'm miserable. And now the sun comes out from behind the clouds? I can't deal with hot sun right now! That just makes me mad!"

So yesterday I joined a local rec center, where I'll have access to a treadmill and indoor track. Yep, for much of the summer I'll be one of those poor runners, working out inside instead of exploring the city around me. And boring indoor running sounds positively divine after the 90% humidity in which I ran last week.

So hopefully, this morning, this will be me....


Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday Micro: Sunday with Little Sis

One of our local Holiday Inn hotels hosted a cool event yesterday for participants in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. They gave us access to their 6th floor rooftop pool, showed us a movie in their theater room, and provided hamburgers and fries. (And these were delicious burgers--huge, and complete with bacon!) Everything was free of charge.

It was a really fun, relaxing event. The general manager doesn't work Sundays, but stopped by the hotel to say hello to us. He informed us they'll be hosting this event every Sunday until the hot weather is gone (several months for us!) Little Sis and I are planning to go again in two weeks, and hopefully several other times this summer.

This type of event doesn't give a company lots of positive press. Holiday Inn just wants to use their resources to give kids fun, memorable experiences with their mentors. I'm touched and impressed.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Six Word Saturday!

It's that time again...Six Word Saturday! To find out more about 6WS and to participate, check out Call Me Cate's sixy blog by clicking the button below.

My words:

Yippee, a new computer that works!

My computer was dying a slow death. I could still use it, but it had gotten slow enough to make me want to tear my hair out at times. My new one (from Puget Systems) came on the Fed Ex truck yesterday, and it's so speedy! Very exciting! (So far I like Windows 7 too.)

Friday, May 21, 2010

If you exercise, check out this site!

Do you exercise? If you do any sort of working out--weight training, DVD workouts, running, cycling, swimming, etc.--DailyMile is a great way to track your progress!

As I was nearing the end of the Couch-to-5K program, I started using DailyMile, and immediately loved its mapping feature, which I use to see how long a running route is. I can either plan a route before I run, or come home and enter the route to see how far I've gone. I always keep my maps visible only to me and my Daily Mile friends, to protect my privacy. That way my neighborhood map isn't visible to the whole Internet! DailyMile also calculates my running pace for me, when I enter the route and a time, and even estimates the number of calories I burned on a run.

I also use DailyMile to record any other exercise I do. At the end of the week, DailyMile sends me a review of my training. While DailyMile's software is probably most useful for those who do workouts that can be tracked by the mile (like running, walking, or cycling), it's still a great community for those who work out to DVDs or who lift weights.

Yes, I called it a "community." DailyMile is also a social network. I haven't used the message board there, but I bet it would be a great way to get feedback from others who do the same types of workouts you do. I have "friends" on DailyMile, and it's so encouraging when my friends post a quick note telling me that I did a great job on a run! I also love seeing what others are doing. I usually work out alone, and DailyMile helps me to feel I'm part of a community, all of us working to improve or maintain our fitness levels.

Exercise journaling is frequently recommended to those who want to get, and stay, fit. DailyMile provides an easy way to journal, with the added benefit of real people who want to support you. I even automatically share my running workouts with my Facebook friends!

Best of all, DailyMile is 100% free. I'm not sure how they manage that, since the site doesn't seem to have ads on it. But hey, I'm not complaining! (By the way, they aren't paying me to write this either. I'm guessing they don't have much of an ad budget!)

If you're interested in DailyMile, click on the icon below. And be sure to let me know if you're going to sign up!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cute or ridiculous?

Thanks to another blog, I became aware of a new product:

Yep, they're Huggies diapers made to look like jeans--complete with faux pockets and faux brand label! The aforementioned blog thought they were ridiculous. But I'll admit it....

I think they're adorable.

They're being marketed as a good thing for kids to wear in the summer, and I agree--they're much cuter than a normal diaper, for a kid who's toddling around in the heat without pants on.

Are they impractical? Sure. But most of us occasionally venture into the realm of impracticality with our babies! If your baby doesn't have hair, she doesn't need a hair bow. If your infant isn't walking, he doesn't need shoes. If your toddler isn't carrying around spare change, she doesn't need pockets in her jeans. We buy those things because they're cute. So if Zoodle wasn't potty training, I'd consider buying some denim-look diapers! (Especially since, at least on Amazon, they're the same price per diaper as the non-jean ones, when comparing similar-sized packages.)

The only review on Amazon (when I checked Wednesday afternoon) was from a die-hard cloth diaperer, riled up by a company who has the audacity to try to make cute disposable diapers (and by parents who dare to use "paper" diapers at all!) Well, I'll admit, cloth diapers these days usually have the corner on cute. But for parents who have chosen the convenience (and expense) of disposables, it's kind of fun to have an option that's fashion-forward!

So, what do you think? Cute or ridiculous? (And you can be honest.... I'm not going to be wearing them!)

Disclosure: I'm not being paid to blog about this product. I'm not even really reviewing it, since I've never tried it!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Recovering control freak

A couple of days ago on Twitter, my friend amandab33 asked how potty training was going. I responded,

Up and down! It's a process, and as long as I don't take it too seriously I feel good about it. :)

In many ways, I'm a pretty laid-back mama. But sometimes, my inner control freak is triggered. Potty training is one of those triggers.

Chickie has been mostly potty trained since before she turned three, but she has had difficulties with getting fully potty trained (though she's getting close these days!) I do wonder if I caused some of her issues, by pressuring her too much. Who knows?

What I do know is that regardless of whether or not my attitude changes her actions, it definitely changes my perception of her actions. When I'm being pushy and control freaky, I get majorly stressed out. When I let go, and remember that it'll happen when it happens, I can enjoy life without being so distracted by the unfinished potty training process.

Sunday I realized I was turning into a potty training control freak again, with Zoodle. I don't want to make that mistake with him! So the last few days, I've been focusing on taking it less seriously.

He's not ready to use the potty away from home yet. He is scared to poop in the potty and prefers to wait until he has a diaper on at naptime or bedtime. When I don't frequently remind him to go potty, he is more likely to have an accident.

And yet he pees in the potty more often than he has accidents. He really dislikes peeing in his underwear when it does happen. He's gotten good at going to the potty and immediately peeing instead of just sitting there, waiting. He is excited about the rewards he'll get for pooping in the potty. He likes his new underwear.

In other words, he's a 25 1/2-month-old kid who's doing great with potty training, for his age! He'll figure it out and be perfectly trained eventually, whether it's a month from now or three years from now.

If I can relax and continue to let go of a timeline, I might even enjoy the victories along the way! (Hmm.... I'm pretty sure that applies to other aspects of parenting too....)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Just call me Ms. Wimpy Legs

Runners come in all shapes and sizes. When I see women who run, I must admit I'm envious of a particular sort. This runner has gorgeous legs with defined muscles that give her the perfect shape. Her legs have beautiful, solid curves due to the perfect development of her quads, hamstrings, and calves. She usually even has lovely, olive-colored skin or a beautiful tan that would hide any cellulite if she had it.

I think I was kind of hoping that running would make my legs look like that. (Well, except the dark skin; I'm at least sort of realistic!) Instead, as my legs get stronger, they just seem to get...



Sigh. I suppose I should have expected that. My body isn't prone to very many natural curves. Don't get me wrong, I really love my body, and I love how it works with me in my quest to be more fit.

But while I do need to give up that dream of having pefectly-sculpted legs, I've found out how important the quest for strong legs should be.

Recently, I've been having some occasional knee pain, and I wanted to figure out how to fix it before it became a real problem. So I consulted Dr. Google, and came to the conclusion that I probably needed new shoes.

I've never been properly fit for running shoes. When I'd been running for about 2 1/2 months, my feet started aching, and I talked to my husband (who's been running off and on for about 25 years) about what my first pair of real running shoes should be. He looked at the wear pattern on the soles of my shoes and suggested a particular type of Asics, a type that would help correct my gait. I found a great deal on Amazon and ordered my normal size.

Well, the shoes came, and while they felt more supportive than my other shoes, they were a little tight on my pinky toes. But I kept them. They stretched out, and while they are still a little more snug in that one area than I'd like, they've been pretty comfortable for running. But I have just kept wondering, What shoes should I REALLY be wearing? What would they tell me if I got fitted at a running store? I became convinced I was probably wearing the wrong shoes.

So when I saw that the wrong shoes can contribute to knee pain, I headed down to a running specialty store that's renowned in my area, and told the expert there that I thought I needed new shoes. He had me jog, walk, sit, stand, bend my knees, and bend my toes. And he told me,

"You're wearing the right shoes. You just have wimpy legs."

Okay, those aren't the words he used. He was far more tactful. In fact, he was so helpful and friendly that it didn't sound like he was criticizing me when he explained that the quads and hamstrings need to be strong to support the knees correctly. Since I'm a pretty new runner who has just fairly recently been increasing the distance I run, my legs just haven't been quite strong enough to handle that, and my knees have been giving me some warning signals. He talked to me about doing strengthening exercises, and about protecting my muscles by taking a ten minute warm-up walk before I even start jogging.

Yep, I'm Ms. Wimpy Legs. It's time for me to really focus on strengthening my upper legs when I do my at-home exercising. On the one hand, I was relieved not to have to spend $100+ on new shoes! On the other hand, strengthening muscles is harder than spending money, so I've got some work ahead of me.

And on another hand (yes, I know that's three hands), I think that a salesperson who tells me I don't need to buy something that I specifically came to buy, is pretty awesome. When my shoes really do wear out, I'm looking forward to visiting the store again to find my dream pair of running shoes. This store has proven itself to me!

And on yet another hand (or foot, or whatever), my smart husband rocks for getting me into the right shoes. If he could just share some of his leg muscles with me, he'd be perfect. I'm just glad he loves me when I'm Ms. Wimpy Legs, and that he'll love me when I do my exercises and become Ms. Strong But Still Skinny Legs.

We can't all look like we belong on the front of a fitness magazine, but I'm actually thankful that there is a beautiful variety of runner body types...and I'm thankful to be a unique part of that variety!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday Micro: A reminder

One of my dad's cousins passed away about a week and a half ago, at the age of 59. His wife posted this on Facebook yesterday:

Let the life of Gary be an example and reminder to all of us to live every minute to its fullest.
Be kind, caring, honest, and happy,
no matter what mountain is before you.

I didn't know Gary well at all, but I was touched hearing about the service, and what an incredible man he was. I just love this blog post my dad wrote about it--if you have time for more than a "Monday Micro" blog post, click on over and give it a read.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Thursday night Zoodle woke up six times (not including the once or twice he woke before Mommy & Daddy went to bed.) The Engineer discovered at about 1:30 a.m. that Zoodle had a fever, and yesterday morning the doctor confirmed another ear infection.

Ouch. I can tell it really hurts. My normally happy guy has been so grumpy, and--forgive the cheesiness of this statement--but when his ear aches, my heart aches. Listening to him cry also zaps my energy. Combine that with the rough night; and even appropriately rainy, overcast weather; and I'm sitting at the computer at 1:46 p.m., sleepy.

Thankfully Zoodle went down very willingly for a nap. I love his peaceful nap pose, with that little bum in the air.


So Mommy came down to the computer, and what did I do?


Okay, not really. I totally staged that picture. But it's what I feel like doing, and I think for the rest of nap time I'll veg on the couch and watch a TV show, and maybe even snooze a little.

Parenting a sick kid can be hard. But I sure am glad I have the privilege of doing it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

BIG Lisa Leonard jewelry giveaway!

Lisa Leonard Designs is doing a BIG giveaway--4 of her handcrafted items, plus 2 $100 gift certificates! Check it out here.

Also, I do have a "real" blog post today about the joys of potty training....

"I want my diaper on."

Zoodle has been showing plenty of classic signs that he is ready to be potty trained. Here he is last week, happily sitting on the potty, while enjoying a lollipop and watching TV:


These little happy potty times were starting to be productive more and more often. So I decided that Wednesday was the day we'd start potty training in earnest.

There are plenty of potty training experts out there who have specific plans for how to do it effectively, even in three days...or one day! I actually don't want to put that kind of pressure on myself. I've learned I stay more sane if I can let go of a timeline.

I'm using a mishmash of different techniques such as potty time in the living room in front of the TV (a brilliant suggestion from my friend Amy); plenty of diaper-free playtime, M & M bribery (oh, I mean rewards); and good, old-fashioned playin' it by ear.

Some experts say all diapers should be taken away at once, but I'm still putting him in diapers for bedtime and naptime, and in Pull-Ups for trips away from home. It may mean we have a lot longer until he's truly diaper-free, but that's okay with me. I don't want to deal with messes in the bed, carseat, and grocery carts! I do hope to be able to take him places in underwear soon, but sleeptime diapers don't bother me too much. He'll eventually figure out that part!

So, how is it going? Well, Wednesday was so-so. We had four incidents of peeing on the carpet, and four in the potty. Zoodle was not happy and kept insisting, "I want my diaper on." He also did not want to wear his new Lightning McQueen underwear. He seemed out of sorts, and I'm pretty sure he was thinking, "Come on, Mom, we had a good thing going! Why'd you have to go and change it?" Despite his resistance, I was fairly happy with how Day One had gone.

Thursday Zoodle still kept asking for his diaper, but things turned around after he took a good afternoon nap. He decided in the evening that he wanted to wear underwear, and we began alternating between naked time and underwear time. He had zero pee pee accidents, all day! Pooping may take longer to master, but I did manage to catch him mid-poop and get him on the potty just in time to prevent a really messy underwear accident. Hopefully before too long he'll purposefully sit on the potty to poop.

In other's going really well. And I am so glad. Every kid is different, and Chickie has taught me how little control I really have over this process! I've been really hoping that training Zoodle would be easy. We've probably still got plenty of bumps along the road, but I do think the process with him is going to be comparatively simple.

Today is the first potty training day when I'm planning to be home all day long, with no need for public Pull-Ups. We'll see how our big boy does.... Wish him (and me) luck!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Well, since you asked...

In her blog post yesterday, Call Me Cate asked, "What do YOU order online?" Her list of recent Amazon purchases was pretty interesting, so I thought I'd answer her question.

First, though, I'm going to admit something. I've placed 39 orders with Amazon in the last six months. Some of them contained multiple items. Of course, that includes Christmas, so that's not too bad. Right? Right?! Ahem. Here are just some of the things I've bought:
Thankfully, as I look through this list (and the complete list which includes a lot more items) I don't regret very many of the purchases.

I do love Amazon, but I have to be careful. It's just so easy to order something, get it with free shipping two days later (with my Prime membership), and not realize how much money I'm spending.

I've actually only had two orders in the last 30 days, and I wonder if I should contact UPS--you know, to let them know I'm still alive. I'm sure they're worried, not delivering multiple packages per week to me.

What sorts of things do you love buying online?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Chickie's plans for the future (video)

I hardly ever post videos on my blog...only when I really think it's worth watching. I think you'll enjoy this one!

As one of my friends pointed out, Mommy and Daddy may have trouble affording this girl's education....

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day Dinner

For Mother's Day we went to dinner at Romano's Macaroni Grill.


We had a fantastic, super-nice server, Jarod.


Jarod is the type of server who asks if you want the Meditteranean olives with your bread, and you find yourself happily ordering them even though you'd have never thought of it yourself. (They were yummy!)

Jarod is also a sci-fi geek. (And you all should know by now, "geek" is a compliment around these parts.) Despite the hustle and bustle of the Mother's Day crowd, Jarod still managed to find a couple of minutes to chat with us about science fiction. The Engineer and I loved meeting someone who wasn't confused...or amused...that we like the old show Babylon 5. (Jarod, you're even cooler than the Vorlons!)

All four of us had juice to drink.

(The grown-ups' juice was of the fermented variety.)

My lasagna was really good. I loved the fresh basil on top. I think I may need to do that next time I make lasagna.


Macaroni Grill is really a good place to bring children (though our kids would have preferred McDonalds!) Zoodle had cheese pizza, and Chickie ate an impressive amount of spaghetti (both from the kids' menu.) Gelato kept them content while The Engineer and I had chocolate cake. The kids were happy through most of the meal.

Photobucket Photobucket

Macaroni Grill has paper covering the tables, so kids (or creative adults) can draw with crayons while waiting for food. The Engineer noticed the Italian food-themed hue names of the Crayolas.


With a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old, dinners at restaurants without playscapes can be dicey. So it was a treat that we all actually enjoyed this Mother's Day meal. I hadn't been to Romano's Macaroni Grill in a few years, and I hope we don't wait so long until our next visit!

Disclaimer: Romano's Macaroni Grill didn't pay me anything to write this blog post. But Jared did comp the decaf coffee I had with my chocolate cake. He said he comped the coffee because we were being so awesome, but I think it's because
he's so awesome. Thanks, Jared!

Monday, May 10, 2010

And the winner of the blogiversary giveaway is...

...Sandra from Add Humor and Faith...Mix Well!

Sandra is a wonderfully sweet, encouraging blog reader and blog writer! Her comment was chosen randomly, but she deserves the win, with all the kindness she's shown to me. Congrats, Sandra!

Monday Micro: Krazy Krustless Kids

Last week I made the Vermont Cheddar Cheese bread from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. It's an awesome recipe--both delicious and easy. (It's just the Master Recipe with some shredded cheese thrown in. I like to sprinkle cheese on top before baking too.)


With crusty artisan bread, of course the crust is the best part. Add crispy, baked cheese to that crust, and it's even better. But I have typical children--they just don't like bread crust. (I should be concerned about their senses of taste, but hey...they've eaten boogers. I already knew not to trust their culinary preferences.)

So when Zoodle wanted some of this bread recently, I came up with the perfect solution. My plate is on the left; his is on the right.


I said the solution was perfect...not pretty!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Becoming a mother

On my first Mother's Day, in 2006, I read this at church:

Last year on Mother’s Day I’d known for three days that I was going to have a baby.
This year on Mother’s Day my baby is exactly four months old.

Oh, how things have changed…in a year.

Last year my time was my own.
This year my time is my baby’s.
Last year I felt important when I had a successful month at work.
This year I feel important when I comfort my crying baby.
Last year I changed my hairstyle every few months.
This year I change a diaper every few…minutes.
Last year I was proud of my tight abdominal muscles.
This year I’m proud of my baby’s tight grip on my finger.
Last year my husband hated pink.
This year my husband’s favorite outfit for our daughter is pink.
Last year we accessorized our home with fine art.
This year we’re accessorizing our home with brightly-colored baby gear.
Last year I was excited when I found time to take a vacation.
This year I was excited when my baby found her feet.
Last year a new guitar caught my husband’s eye and made him a stronger musician.
This year a new baby captured my husband’s heart and made him a stronger man.
Last year I had the freedom to think of myself first.
This year I’m learning the greater freedom that comes from putting someone else first.
Last year I thought of miracles in the theoretical sense.
This year I hold a miracle every day.

Happy Mother’s Day to every mother here. I’m so privileged to join you this year.

Motherhood has continued to change me over the last four years...and while being a mom can be frustrating, confusing, and challenging; I still absolutely love this phase of my life.

Happy Mother's Day to my mom, and all the other mothers out there. May you find joy in your mothering today, and every day.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Six Word Saturday!

It's that time again...Six Word Saturday! To find out more about 6WS and to participate, check out Call Me Cate's sixilicious blog by clicking the button below.

My words:

I've been blogging for two years!

And I'm doing a giveaway in honor of my two-year blogiversary! Be sure to check out my previous post to enter the giveaway.

It's my blogiversary, and I'm doing a giveaway!

I've been blogging for two years! Yippee! This is an exciting milestone to me!

One of the reasons blogging has been so fun to me is because I love having an audience. So this is a great opportunity for me to thank you for reading. You're awesome. (And if you comment, you're extra-awesome!)

To thank you in a more tangible way (well, one of you, anyway!), I'm hosting a giveaway. I'll choose the winner randomly, and announce who it is, sometime on Monday.

So, what's the prize? Well, it'll be some sort of baked goods. I'll work with you to find something you like, whether you want healthy (Slow Cooker Granola?) or decadent (Chunky Kisses Cookies?) I'll also spend a blog post promoting your blog, if you have a public blog.

To enter, just leave a comment here--any comment. (If you want to, ask me a question you'd like me to answer in a future blog post.) Make sure I have a way to contact you if you win.

Good luck!

The small print: Open to residents of the U.S., Canada, and anywhere else with reasonable international shipping rates--reasonable to be determined by me, so go ahead and enter if you're not sure! Blogs with "adult-only content" are not eligible to be promoted here. Have fun!

Friday, May 7, 2010


Have you ever heard this phrase?

I'm a woman. I don't sweat. I glisten.

I'm here to tell you this:

I'm a woman. And I SWEAT.

Here's me, after yesterday's run. I wish I'd thought to take this picture before I'd wiped the sweat from my face and recovered for a few minutes, but you still get the idea.


When I run,...
...I sweat. face gets red. hair gets greasy and frizzy.
...I stink.

And I'm claiming all of it--the sweat, the red face, the gross hair, even the stink. Because it's my body saying, "You've worked me hard today."

And in return, my body and mind reward me with energy. With happiness. With muscles. With a sense of accomplishment.

I can spend 15 of my waking hours controlling my sweat, making sure I smell good, and (when I feel like it), taming that hair and de-shining my face with makeup.

But for that other hour, bring on the sweat, and forget this "glistening" stuff. I've earned that sweat, and I'm owning it.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

All or nothing

A few things I've found to be true*...
  • My purse will either contain 12 writing utensils, or none.
  • When I shop for clothing for myself, I'll either find that nothing looks right (and I walk out disappointed), or everything looks great (and I have to leave some of the cute stuff behind.)
  • I either have more blogging topics than I have time to use, or complete writer's block.
What is your "all or nothing" truism?

*Okay, not really "true." Probably not even sort of "true." But every once in awhile it's fun to adopt a glass-half-empty attitude...especially if I get a blog post out of it!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Fresh-picked strawberries!

My friend A. asked if we'd like to go to a nearby farm for strawberry picking Monday. So we loaded up Chickie, Zoodle, and her two kids, and took a drive. First we went to a renowned cafe for some delicious home-style cookin'. (Chicken fried steak, anyone?)

Chickie is two days older than E., and they have become good friends. In fact, apparently one of them proposed to the other one. (Who did the asking isn't clear, but they have both told us they plan to get married to each other. Chickie is happy with this arrangement, as the other boys she's wanted to marry haven't been too interested.)


By the way, Chickie and E. first met each other when they were five months old. Here they are, at Starbucks together.


I don't have any pictures of the strawberry picking since I accidentally left my camera in the car, but I was able to grab it afterward. Zoodle enjoyed a strawberry frozen pop made with strawberries picked right there (mmm!)...


...while Chickie preferred a mass-produced lollipop.


Between the strawberry picking (more like strawberry squishing for Zoodle) and the frozen treat, my little guy was red, sticky, and happy.


Next the kids got to feed some goats.



How could you say no to this face?


After that, we met the miniature donkeys at the farm, including a 2-week-old baby donkey! (What's the correct term for a baby donkey? Foal? Donklet?)


And we said hello to some beautiful horses.


Chickie and Zoodle got friendly with a ladybug...


...and then Chickie continued her friendliness, with a caterpillar.



At home, we ate strawberries. Lots of strawberries--by themselves, and in salad. For dessert, I wanted to make some strawberry shortcake. I remembered bookmarking this recipe for Hot Milk Cake from the blog Lynn's Kitchen Adventures. It's a recipe with deliciously simple ingredients, and it looked like it would be great for strawberry shortcake.

Unfortunately, I didn't grease the pan very well.



But remember when Mama always said that even broken cookies still taste just as good? (Well, at least my mama said that.) She was right, and it applies to hot milk cake too. In fact, smother it with fresh-picked strawberries and whipped cream, and it even looks good.


My husband, who isn't a huge fan of most cakes, ate two servings of strawberry shortcake and one additional serving of hot milk cake by itself. It was that good. (You should make it; you probably already have all the ingredients.)

Silly me, though, I forgot to read my Saturday blog post to Zoodle, so he didn't know I'd requested a boring, fever-free week. He ended up with hives and a low fever. I think the poor kiddo probably has a mild strawberry allergy. Or it could be the antibiotic he was on. We'll stay away from both potential culprits for now!

Zoodle was fine yesterday. Instead of strawberry shortcake last night, he had a modified version with frozen mixed berries.

Strawberry pickin' made for a long day, but a fun one!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ladies and gentlemen...your American Idol!

This morning I laid Zoodle on the floor to get his diaper changed and get him dressed. I unbuttoned and unzipped his footie pajamas while he craned his neck to watch whatever was on PBS Kids.

Chickie giggled. "He looks like a rock star!" she said. "Like on American Idol."

I smiled. "What do you mean?"

She explained, "Because part of his shirt is unbuttoned!"

Hmm, very perceptive, that girl. (And maybe still a little obsessed with shirtless males?)

So here he is, folks...your American Idol!


Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday Micro: Potty training

Zoodle occasionally shows interest in going pee pee in the potty, so I suppose we're in the very early stages of potty training. Last night he wanted to go, and Chickie was in the bathroom too. She wants to "help." Mommy's running commentary went something like this:

"Okay, Zoodle, here we go. No, Chickie, don't touch him there. Just let it out, Zoodle! You're doing great! No, Chickie, you don't need to 'squeeze it out of him.' Stop squeezing him! Stop it! Don't touch him. Just don't touch him. I'm going to have to make you leave the room if you don't stop touching him. You can do it, Zoodle! Did you do it? Okay, keep trying. No, you don't need to flush the potty unless you actually go pee pee. You want to go poopie? Great! Just push it out! All done? Okay, good try."

So do you think I really could leave the potty training to Chickie? I wouldn't mind passing along that particular responsibility....

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Six Word Saturday!

It's that time again...Six Word Saturday! To find out more about 6WS and to participate, check out Call Me Cate's rodent-fighting blog by clicking the button below.

My words:

Zoodle, can next week be boring?

And a bonus six words, by way of explanation:

Preferably no Poison Control or fevers.