Saturday, February 28, 2009

C. Beth Podcast

It's Saturday.  I should be organizing paperwork so I can do my taxes.  Instead I decided to start a podcast.  

Every week(ish) I'll record one of my posts from that week, and podcast it.  You can subscribe or just listen to it, by clicking here:  C. Beth Podcast.

I know, I know, the whole "C. Beth Podcast" thind doesn't really make sense; it should be "Hear Beth Podcast."  But I wanted it tied to the blog name, so there ya go.


P.S.  Anyone want to come up with a bit of music for the beginning and end of the podcast?  I'll advertise your blog for free if I use your free, original music....  Let me know!

Building the faith of a child

As my heart has prayed and pleaded for Clark (see the previous post), I've been thinking about faith.  This blog has readers of various faiths, so I like to let you know in advance when I'll be blogging about my beliefs as a Christian.  This is one of those posts.

The title of this blog post has a twofold meaning.  In seeking to build the faith of my child, Chickie, I find myself also building more of a childlike faith in myself.  A faith consisting of simple truths.  There is nothing wrong with the complex questions I often have about faith, but the Bible puts a high value on childlike faith, and I want more of it.

Yesterday before Chickie's quiet time (formerly her nap), I prayed for "Mr. Clark" and explained to her that he is very sick.  She had lots of questions, which I tried to answer in simple language.  And not wanting her to worry, I assured her, "You know what's great?  God has Mr. Clark and his family in his hands, and he's taking care of them."

And though I was trying to bring peace to the heart of my child, I also found myself feeling a greater peace in my own heart, as I focused on that simple truth.  Not knowing the future, I can focus on what I do know--God's got Clark in His hands.

That is a truth that I hope builds the faith of my child.  And it's a truth that builds childlike faith in me. 

Edited to add:
I just received this e-mail this morning.  It was written yesterday:

"He was stable thru the night and actually seemed better today. [His parents] went to a mtg with his doctor who is the head of the bone marrow transplant team.

HE was much more optimistic than the other doctor who had given Mark the "prepare yourself for the worst" speech. He even acknowledged the negativity of the other people on the floor but said he didn't see it that way since Clark had come this far and in his words "I am amazed he is still alive after all he has been through." So he said they will continue with a "full court press" to sort out each and every issue and fight it accordingly."

Thank you all so much for the prayers for this teenage boy!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Again...please pray

Last month I asked you to pray for Clark, the 16-year-old brother of a friend of ours (Tiffany, who went to the Capitol with me Monday.)  He has cancer, had a bone marrow transplant, and has been dealing with his body's rejection of the marrow.

He has taken a serious turn for the worse.  The doctors say that his body is shutting down, worn out, and that he is expected to pass away very soon.

If ever a miracle was needed, it's now.  Please pray with us.  Thank you.

Endangered species

News Release

February 26, 2009 05:00 AM CST

Addition to endangered species list announced

Associated DePressed

BLOGOSPHERE, USA (AD) A new addition to the endangered species list has been announced today.  The species Chickieo Nappius, known to laypersons as the Chickie Nap, is decreasing in number at a rapid pace.

Napwatcher C. Beth bemoaned the alarming trend.  "Just three years ago, we'd see numerous Chickie Naps every day," she said.  "Then we'd see just a couple a day, and for a long time, Napwatchers could count on seeing one Chickie Nap nearly every day."  Between choking sobs, C. Beth continued, ", we're lucky to see a few Chickie Naps a week, and this week so far we've tried and tried, but haven't seen any.  These Naps are dropping like flies.  It's alarming, and heartbreaking."

The Chickieo Nappius is seemingly being replaced by the new species, Chickieo Quiettimens, or Chickie Quiet Time.  "It's a pleasant species," C. Beth explained, "but when you've been a Napwatcher for years, it's hard to fully enjoy Quiet Times.  I guess once I get through the grief process, I'll adjust."

No one seems to have a good explanation for the anticipated extinction.  An expert explained, "These Napwatchers just need to get a grip; this is part of the normal Circle of Life.  I mean, haven't they seen The Lion King?"

Because there seems to be no way of stopping its rapid extinction, the Chickieo Nappius is likely to soon be placed in the same category as dinosaurs and dodo birds, though the Chickie Nap will certainly be the most-missed of all of them.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Musings of a (fill in the blank) mommy

Do you ever read a blog and feel like the writer's life somehow seems so much more together than yours?  I do.  Of course, blogs don't really tell us that much about someone's life...only the parts that bloggers choose to expose.

A few weeks ago, Jonah Lisa wrote an excellent (and very funny) post about this topic here.  I wrote this comment on her post:

Think anyone on my blog would appreciate pictures of both pairs of pants that Chickie has peed in today, as well as the blow-out poopie diaper Zoodle had, and the blow-out poopie Pull-Up Chickie had? And all this before 12:30. It's been one of those Real Life days here.

And yet when people read my blog tomorrow--which is going to be the muffin recipe I made for lunch--they'll think, "Wow, she really has it all together, with all that home cookin'." They can't see the dirty dishes in the background and can't hear my frustrated exclamations when I have to change a kid's clothes again.

So I've been thinking.  The subtitle of this blog, "Musings of a happy mommy," really doesn't give a comprehensive picture of who I am.  Maybe I should make it more accurate.

Let's see...
  • I have very small children, and sometimes their tiny little fingers really know how to push my buttons.  I can be a very frustrated mommy.
  • When, planning a blog post, I take pictures of things I cooked, I have to be very careful of what's in the background, because more often than not I'm a cluttered mommy.
  • I love when 8:00 rolls around and both kids are asleep, but I never know when one or both of them might be up in the middle of the night.  This can result in a sleepy mommy.
  • There may be a lot of parenting books out there, but we all know there's not a one-size-fits-all how-to manual.  On days like yesterday, this leads me to really question my parenting decisions, and I am an insecure mommy.
  • I like to post recipes I've had success with.  What you don't see are my overcooked, undercooked, or poorly-spiced food experiments.  Sometimes I'm a kitchen nightmare-creating mommy.
  • Often my introverted side takes over, and I turn into a hermitish mommy.

Wow.  With all that, should "happy" even still be there?  If all those negative adjectives really describe me, how in the world can I be happy?

Because for every negative, I could add a positive.


I guess the creativity outweighs the clutter, and being healthy must affect me more than being hermitish, because even with plenty of imperfections, I'm still, generally, a happy mommy.


But do me a favor....  When you open my blog tomorrow and look at its subtitle, just remember all the extra adjectives that should be there.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My two little lobbyists

I headed down to our state Capitol today with Chickie and Zoodle in tow.  We went with my friend Tiffany and her beautiful, two-month-old baby.


We were there to visit the offices of state lawmakers, to encourage them to vote for a bill that will help midwives to better serve mothers and babies in our state.  A midwife assisted me when Zoodle was born, and I love the standard of care given by midwives.

We first met for breakfast with other families in our group.  It was really great to see so many women wholeheartedly supporting midwifery!


Chickie and Zoodle did great, even though it was a long day.  Chickie found a "walking stick" when we were making our way back to the parking garage.


Zoodle was tuckered out by the time we finished.


I thoroughly enjoyed this.  Other than voting and writing a few letters, I haven't tried to be personally involved in the legislative process in the past.  I was surprised how fun it was to speak out for an issue that is important to me.  I think I will do it again--hopefully with the help of my two little lobbyists.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday Micro: Academy Award Poetry

I used to watch the Oscars,
And root for films I liked.
(Titanic disappointed me;
When Crash won I was psyched.)

Now, bringing kids to cinemas
Elicits groans and frowns.
But I don't need to see the films--
I watch the Oscars for the gowns.

(And wasn't Marissa Tomei's fabulous?)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Happy Sunday


My Mmmmmmuffins recipe also works with blueberries instead of apples.  And if you have a spouse who doesn't like nuts in his baked goods and you want to be extra-nice, you can exclude them as I did.

(Yeah, I know, he'd better have a lot of good qualities to outweigh the nut thing.  And he does.)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

We forgot to tell you...

Last night I went to bed early.  The Engineer was hanging out with a friend, and at 10:22 the doorbell woke me.  I staggered to the front door, figuring for some reason he couldn't get in...and nobody was there.  I opened the door into the garage and the overhead garage door, and his car wasn' there.  It freaked me out and really messed up my sleep until he came home a little while later.  Now, to be fair, I might have dreamed the doorbell.  But if I did, it sure was vivid and convincing.

It reminded me of a crazy housesitting experience I had one summer when I was home from college.  Some good friends of my parents were going out of town and needed someone to housesit, to watch their cat and dog.  Being a poor college student, housesitting was a great way for me to supplement my meager income, and to get a little bit of private time when I was staying with my parents for the summer, so I agreed to do it.

The first day I was there, I went out the front door for a second...and discovered it's one of those doors that opens from the inside even if it's locked from the outside.  I guess they forgot to tell me that.  A neighbor helped me remove a screen from one of the windows, which thankfully wasn't locked from the inside or outside, and I got back in.

Later, I started noticing a couple of very odd things.  There were drops of blood on the tile floor.  There were also thin, little streaks of blood on the wall of the hallway.  Ew.

After puzzling for awhile, I discovered the source.  The cat had this big, bleeding thing on her side.  With wide eyes, I resisted my gag reflex and called the owners.

"Oh," they said, "We forgot to tell you.  The cat has a bleeding mole."  Now, calling it a "mole" is like calling a tumor a "pimple," but...okay.  I'd deal with the blood.

I figured that somehow the cat was rubbing along the wall in the hall, too, though the blood there seemed a bit high.  A couple of days later I discovered the true source.  The dog, a large labrador puppy, had a little scratch on his tail.  As he happily lumbered down the hall, his wagging tail would hit the walls on either side, knocking off the scab and painting the wall with small, distinct brushstrokes...uh, tailstrokes.  I'll give the owners a pass on this one; I don't think they were aware of it.

On my last night there, I was in the living room when I heard the distinct sound of the front doorknob turning.  It was locked, but my heart stopped.  For some reason my first call was to my dad, who of course said, "I'm coming over; call 9-1-1."

I explained to the 9-1-1 dispatcher what had happened, and she immediately sent over a couple of police officers.  I warned her that they might find my dad outside--being a good daughter, I wanted to prevent him from being tackled and arrested.

When the officers arrived, they searched the premises and found no one.  Not having heard anything since that first doorknob rattle, I became convinced maybe I'd imagined it.  Embarrassed, I told them and my dad I'd be okay.

A couple of days later, after the owners had gotten home, I stopped by to give them their key.  "So," Mr. Homeowner said, having talked to my parents, "I hear you had an issue your last night here."

"Um, oh, yeah," I stammered.  "I don't know what happened."

"Well," he said with a smile, "We forgot to tell you, sometimes the cat puts his paws on either side of the doorknob and rattles it."  

Oh.  I felt vindicated that I'd indeed heard something, even if that "something" was an attempted feline burglary.

Remembering this story, I'm given some insight into the ridiculously-detailed, typed instructions I leave for our housesitters.  I really don't want to forget to tell them anything.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Of toilets and texts

I'm not much of a "texter."  (Is that a word?  It is now.)  I don't even have an unlimited texting plan for my cell phone.  That means every text I send or receive costs 20 cents.  Which makes those (illegal!!) spam texts ultra-annoying.  I mean, 20 cents is not enough to get me to call T-Mobile and ask them to take the charge off, but it is enough to send tiny little spurts of angry smoke out of my ears.

I'd like to use texting to communicate with The Engineer throughout the day when he's at work.  You know, "What time u coming home?" or "Pls keep funny farm on speed dial 2day 4 me."  Problem is, his company uses Verizon for their company plan, and the cute, nerdy, glasses-wearing guy and his "network" are nowhere to be found at The Engineer's office.  ("Can you hear me now?"  "NO!")

But I have friends who text regularly, and every so often I communicate with them that way.  It actually fits my phone-hating hermit tendencies pretty well.

So a couple of weeks ago after church, I went to a popular burger place with a bunch of friends.  By the time I got there, the line was ridiculous, and Kenny offered to order for me.  Kenny is a good friend and happens to be our pastor.  

I gratefully accepted--I was carrying Zoodle, and The Engineer was home with a sick Chickie, so I was glad not to have to stand in line.  Besides, my morning coffee was catching up with me.  I gave Kenny my order plus a to-go order for The Engineer.  I put Zoodle in a high chair, left him at the table with several from our group who had already found seats, and headed to the restroom.

Just as I was about to grab toilet paper, my phone beeped letting me know I had a text message.  So I grabbed it out of my pocket and checked the message.

I read, "I forgot did the engineer want mayo or mustard?"

I quickly typed a response.  (Okay, not that quickly, to be honest; my texting is the phone equivalent of hunt-and-peck.)

I had mixed feelings about that little bathroom conversation.  I mean, it was great he could contact me, because let's face it, personalized condiment accuracy can make or break a burger.

But is it just a little weird to be texting about burgers while I'm sitting on the toilet?  I mean, it's definitely better than a true phone conversation with the awkward flushing sounds in the background.  But still, I was texting about lunch, in the bathroom, with my pastor on the other end of the phone.  Is that breaking some unwritten commandment?

I guess my struggle is a sign that I'm no longer in the same generation as teenagers, who would certainly, instinctively, know the etiquette of toilet texting.  Maybe if any of you are reading now, you can school me on this delicate, important issue.

And for the record, The Engineer's answer will always be,


Thursday, February 19, 2009

An adorable giveaway from Isabella

Isabella over at the fun blog A Look on the Random Side is giving away a totally adorable handmade elephant--you'll even get to help pick the fabric. Click on the elephants below to head on over there and enter--and be sure to tell her that C. Beth sent you because if you win, I do too!

The winner will be chosen Saturday, so be sure to enter ASAP! Good luck!

Getting Zoodle dressed

Thank you all for the encouraging comments on yesterday's post.  I will respond to each of them personally later today.

Yesterday when I got up (having written the "Motivation" post the night before), I was happy that Zoodle had given me a good night's sleep.  I expected my energy and clarity of mind to be back.

I started dressing Zoodle.  As I was trying to maneuver him into a position so that I could finish pulling up his jeans, I realized they were actually Chickie's jeans, complete with pink embroidered flowers on the pockets.

Of course, I guess that's an easy mistake to make with blue jeans.  But when I got the jeans off, that excuse went out the window.

On both of Zoodle's feet were Chickie's bright pink socks, placed on his feet and neatly cuffed by Yours Truly.

Even after getting him in the right socks and pants, I still grabbed a cute pink shirt and started to get ready to put it on him, before I realized my mistake.

I'm writing this on Wednesday night, and I think I'd better go to bed.  Otherwise tomorrow I may try to put his hair up in pigtails while I give him some sort of bright pink choking hazard to play with.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Motivation (or the lack thereof...)

Zoodle's been having trouble sleeping, and he's been a little extra-fussy.  I'm guessing it has to do with teething.  Of course, that's been my guess every time he's had sleep issues for the last six months, and the poor kid is still toothless.  But maybe this time I'm right....  Zoodle is nine days short of the age Chickie was when her first tooth popped through (a day before she turned 11 months old.)  With Chickie, I started to wonder if she'd be gumming her burgers and fries in high school, but this time around, I realize he will cut those teeth.  Eventually.

So I'm not getting the sleep I need, and it's really affecting me.  I had a little revelation recently:  More than anything else, my level of motivation to do things I don't particularly like (cleaning the house, for instance) is tied to how well-rested I am.  (Well, I guess that's actually the second-most influential factor.  The best way to light a fire under me is to tell me you're coming over in 30 minutes.)

So on a day like yesterday, when we'd let Zoodle sleep with usthe night before  in an ill-fated effort to get Mama more sleep?  Well, by dinnertime I did get the laundry done.  We even took a little walk.  And other than that?  I got caught up on a lot of online reading about a couple of TV shows I'm into.

Realistically, I know that doing the dishes is more important than trying to figure out what the big surprise ending on The Bachelor is going to be.  But my energy just is not there.  I feel guilty about wasting my time, at the same time I'm justifying it by telling myself I need the rest.

Clearly, the solution is to go to bed early.  But I treasure that time at night, kids in bed, when I either hang out with my husband, or do something I want to do.

What seems to affect your motivational level?  And how do you get past it when circumstances conspire to put you in that sluggish mode?  I need some help here, because it doesn't matter how charmingly I beg....  That dishwasher refuses to unload itself.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday Micro: Hi!

I wave at him with a big smile and an enthusiastic, "Hi!!"

He holds up his little, chubby hand; looks intently at it; and opens and closes those five perfect fingers.  I watch his face break into a wide smile.

And I wonder if a first-time marathon runner's pride and delight could be any greater than the pride and delight of Zoodle, mastering the art of waving hello.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My three Valentines...

Valentines Day 2009...

Opening presents from Grandparents...


Very first Ring Pop...


Kisses for my man...


Climbing on the slide at the park...


Running and jumping with Daddy...


Racing to the car...


Discovering Zoodle likes salsa...


A blanket fort in the living room...


Forts are good for playing in...


...or reading in...


By the time we get past the holidays plus our anniversary and Chickie's birthday, we really don't feel like doing a big Valentine's celebration.  So February 14 this year may not have been a day of pure romance, but it was a day of pure love...

, and my three Valentines.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Jewelry winner...and a Lisa Leonard coupon code!

It's time to announce the winner of the adorable Lisa Leonard Designs necklace!

There were 153 entries.  Numbers 1 through 122 were comments on the post, and numbers 123 through 153 were extra entries for those who referred friends to the contest.

I used's Integer Generator, and here was the result:

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2009-02-14 16:21:46 UTC

Congratulations to commenter #35, Teresa!  Teresa, please e-mail me at cbethblog(at)gmail(dot)com so I can get you in contact with Lisa!

And I've got great news for everyone who's in love with Lisa Leonard's jewelry!

Lisa has made a coupon code available to C. Beth Blog readers, and it's for 20% off!  Just go to Lisa Leonard Designs and use the coupon code momsrock20.

Happy shopping, and happy Valentine's Day!  I'll leave you with the funny acrostic poem that Teresa wrote in her winning entry:

Beautiful little creature
Into the tree you fly
Rising into the sky
Don't make a mess on my car

Flame's fun day

At naptime and bedtime, I tell Chickie a story about Flame, a fictional orange bear.  Sometimes she even tells the story for me.  Stories about Flame are usually actually stories about Chickie.  By talking about what Flame did all day, we can review how Chickie's day went.

Last night, I said, "There was once a bear named Flame."  I looked at Chickie.  "What did he do?"

The little wheels in Chickie's head began turning as she mentally reviewed her day.  "He went to the library!" she said.


"Oh, how fun," I said with a smile. "What else did Flame do?"

"He went to CBS [CVS Pharmacy] and got pawish [polish] for his toes!"



I started to say somehing about that being fun, but Chickie interrupted excitedly.

"And his fingers!" she added.


"Wow," I said. "It sounds like Flame had a great day."

Chickie smiled and completed the story. 

"I had a great day too!"



Happy Valentine's Day!  I will post later today announcing the winner of the necklace, so if you haven't entered, you may still have time.  I'll put a note in the original post letting you know when voting has closed.

Friday, February 13, 2009


We've had some good food and drink in the last week.  Since I can't invite you all to come have dinner with us, the least I can do is share our most recent recipe and wine finds, right?

Pot Roast
My new favorite roast recipe is the CrockPot Lady's Java Roast.  It was so easy to put together.  I didn't even thaw the roast first, and I cut the veggies into big chunks, so that part went quickly.  And the flavor--wow, different than any other roast I've had, and possibly my favorite roast ever.  The Engineer had three helpings!  

Note I made a couple of big changes to the recipe.   I eliminated the mushrooms (since I can't stand them) and added red potatoes.  And I didn't have any cream cheese, so I used sour cream instead, and I loved the tang it added to the sauce.

The Cinnamon Sugar Cookies I found on are similar to Snickerdoodles--especially if you roll the dough balls in cinnamon and sugar, as several of the reviewers on All Recipes suggested.  That's what I did, and I fell in love with these cookies.  The texture is amazing.  I'm glad I froze half of them--let's see how many days I can wait before thawing the rest!  

If you make these, start checking them at 8 minutes if you want softer cookies.  I actually liked the crispier texture since they aren't dense at all.

I have heard that "boxed wine" no longer automatically equals "poor quality wine," so we checked out the boxed wine section at a grocery store recently.  We came home with Black Box Wines Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon (2007.)  I'm not exactly a wine connoisseur, but I have to say The Engineer made an excellent choice.  I'm loving this cabernet, and the price is amazing--at $22.99 for a 3-liter box, that equates to $5.75 per 750 mL (the size of a standard wine bottle.)


Bon appetit!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

E-mail I got today...

I find the second sentence of this e-mail true...but also really funny.


Hello C.Beth,

I read your blog posting on your product, and wanted to thank you for linking to us and for the compliment.  It is VERY important that people know about nasal irrigation in general, as it can quite literally change their life.

Please let me know if you have any further questions on the proper usage of the  Neti Pot.


Travis Head

National Sales Manager

(570) 647-1531 office

(570) 352-8706 cell


Himalayan Institute

952 Bethany Turnpike, Honesdale, PA  18431-4194


That's what we're all about here on C. Beth Blog...keeping you informed on nasal irrigation and other life-changing topics.

I was thinking of a few other things he could have said in the e-mail but didn't, such as...
*(After offering help on how to use it) "Wouldn't want you to get another ear infection--ever heard of reading directions?  LOL!"
*"Next time you blog about us, please don't include any marijuana references."
*"Can we use the photo of you using the Neti Pot, on our homepage and all our marketing materials?  I've never seen someone look so attractive using a Neti Pot."

Encounter at the grocery store

Chickie is very curious.  Good thing in general, bad thing when I'm in a hurry.

When I was visiting my parents, I took the kids to Wal-Mart Supercenter to pick up a few groceries.  Chickie was walking instead of riding in the cart, and she was in prime question-asking mode.  She saw some pipes (plumbing, I guess) in the corner of the dairy section.  "Wha's that, Mommy?" she asked.  "What's that?"

"I don't know, honey, they're some sort of pipe," I said.  "Come on, let's keep looking."

A male shopper overheard our conversation and decided to answer her question.

"That's where the boogie man hides!" he said with a smile.  When Chickie appeared not to hear him and I (pointedly) did not respond, he repeated his statement.  "That's where the boogie man hides!"

He looked at me, laughing.  I didn't join in the laughter; I simply moved on as quickly as possible, glad Chickie doesn't have boogiemanophobia. 

I could really turn this into a massive vent post, but I don't even think I need to.  I think it all goes without saying.  (But if you want to say it for me in the comments, by all means, please do!)


Are you going to watch Survivor tonight?  Remember, my in-laws' good friend Ben will be on it.  You can see Ben's bio here.  The newspaper in their town did an article on him--it's pretty glowing for an "objective" article, but I still really enjoyed it.  And The Engineer and I had dinner with him and The Engineer's parents a few years back, which pretty much means we can claim him as a very close friend if he wins a bunch of money, right?

It premieres on CBS at 8:00 Eastern/ 7:00 Central, tonight.


29.  Swiffer & refills
30.  3 novels

I did it!  I offered my last two items yesterday!  That means I used Freecycle to give away 30 items in 30 weekdays, if you don't count days I was out of town.  I do still have to take some stuff to Goodwill that wasn't claimed.  I still have way too much stuff so I'll keep Freecycling.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ears & Oops

I went to my doctor yesterday.  She currently has a med student following her.  The doctor put the little ear scope thingy in my ear, looked at it, and immediately said to the student, "Ooh.  Come here.  I want to make sure you see this."  I may not always understand "doctor-speak," but I'm pretty sure that when the doctor considers your condition to be a great learning experience for a med student, that's not a good thing.

So I got an antibiotic for a very impressive-looking ear infection.  And I also found out through some Googling that some of the ear infection may have been my fault.

Now, my ears have been stopped up on and off for weeks due to allergies.  Then I got that cold last week, with all the sinus congestion.  So I may have just been fated to get my first ear infection in decades.  But I also may not have helped matters by using my Neti Pot wrong.  That's what I get for not carefully following directions.


If you decide to use the awesome Neti Pot, do as I say, not as I do, okay?  Here's the thing.  After using the pot, you have to blow your nose.  And you should blow out of both nostrils at once.  Holding one nostril (like I regularly do) can force the salt water and mucus into an ear tube.  And there's a chance that contributed to my ear infection.

Please don't let this scare you from using the Neti Pot.  I'm going to keep using it, just making sure I do so correctly.  Here is a great link:
Instructions & a video from the Himalayan Institute (who made my pot)

Now that Chickie and I are both on meds, hopefully our family will be totally healthy soon.


In case you missed it, check out my thread from yesterday about a really awesome jewelry giveaway right here on C. Beth Blog!  Click on the birdie:

By the way, the winner must have a mailing address in the US or Canada.


Freecycle Resolution Update:
24. Tons of clothes from my closet
25. Post-partum jeans that are now too big (yay!)
26. A suit I was given from a Freecycler that was too small for me (not claimed, will take to Goodwill.)
27. Hangers (will take to Goodwill)
28. Coupons from Sunday papers

Only 2 more until I make my goal of 30! I'm behind on my 6 week goal, but if I don't count my vacation time I think I'm pretty much on track.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Lisa Leonard jewelry giveaway!

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.  (Anna L.--you just barely commented in time!  Good timing!)

Lisa Leonard has provided a 20% off coupon code to C. Beth Blog readers, so even though it's too late to win this necklace, you can get a discount when you purchase one of her great pieces!  The code is "momsrock20" and it should be good until at least mid-March 2009.


Last year around Mother's Day I discovered Lisa Leonard's handmade jewelry.  I hinted to the Engineer that I'd like one of her necklaces.  And by "hinted," I mean that I showed him exactly which necklace I wanted, told him what text I wanted on it, and placed my hands over his on the keyboard as he ordered it.  Okay, I didn't do the last thing, but I did answer questions as he placed the order.  I loved the "surprise" gift, and we were both happy.

Since then I've followed Lisa's awesome blog, and I've blogged about her jewelry a couple of times.  I know some of you have ordered her handmade pieces too.

So imagine how excited I was when she contacted me...and offered to do a giveaway for you, my fantabulous readers!

Woo hooooo!

I chose the adorable "little lovebird necklace" for this giveaway.

From the description on Lisa's website:  "This one is so cute, I can't stand it! A 1" sterling oval pendant is sweetened by a tiny bird with a heart wing. The word 'love' is stamped around the bottom of the oval, or choose your own word, up to 10 characters. Strung from 18" fine link chain with a cream freshwater pearl. Perfect!" Hopefully you will win...but if you don't, you can purchase this necklace at the "Something Inspired" page on Lisa's site.  And there are so many other gorgeous pieces!  Check it out--your wish list will be delightfully long.

Here are the rules:
  1. To enter, just leave a comment here.  Any comment will do, but maybe you'd like to entertain me by writing a haiku about why you'd like this necklace.  (In case you haven't figured out by now, I get a kick out of haiku.  It's a poetry form short enough that even with two kids I have time to read one.)
  2. You can win extra entries by encouraging your friends, family, blog readers, etc. to enter this contest.  In their entry, they need to let me know that you referred them...and you'll get an extra entry every time someone does that.
  3. I'll announce the winner (chosen randomly) on Valentine's Day--this Saturday.  Make sure either you come back to see if you won, or that I have a way to contact you (by linking to your blog, or leaving an e-mail address.)  
  4. Winner must have a mailing address in the US or Canada.
Good luck, and be sure to check back on Saturday to see who won!  And a big, huge THANKS to Lisa Leonard for her generosity!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Quick update

Since so many of you were nice enough to express hope that Chickie and I would feel better, I wanted to post a quick update.  I am doing so much better today and even have some blog post inspiration ruminating in my brain!  I took Chickie to the doctor today and got a prescription for antibiotic for a sinus infection, so hopefully she'll be on the mend soon, too.

Thanks for the prayers and thoughts!  See you tomorrow...with that exciting giveaway announcement!

Guess what's coming up?

A really awesome giveaway.  I think a lot of you will be excited.  I'm partnering with another blogger again on this one.

It'll be announced soon...hopefully tomorrow.

In the meantime, my cold or whatever it is has gotten worse, and Chickie is still sick, and The Engineer is going out of town today (thankfully just overnight), so I'm giving myself another day off from writing a meaningful blog post.

Hopefully I'll be back to my normal "happy mommy" place soon!

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Main Event:  Pentathlon
Contestants:  Mothers of sick children
  1. THE WIPE:  Contestant must wipe the nose of a child whose head is shaking and jerking at near-lightspeed.  Extra points for getting snot on tissue instead of all over child's face.  Penalty for accidentally scratching child.
  2. THE TEMP:  Contestant must try to get an accurate reading of a child's temperature.  Obstacles include child's inability to keep mouth closed for more than 0.5 seconds [oral option,] or child's attempts to roll, shake, shimmy, and wiggle [rectal option.]
  3. THE EWW:  Contestant must change a baby's diarrhea-filled diaper [or a toddler's diarrhea-filled Pull-Up, in very advanced levels of play] without losing her own lunch.
  4. THE DOUGH:  Contestant must empty wallet as quickly as possible by racking up doctor bills.  Extra points given if doctor uses common phrase, "It's just a virus," making visit utterly meaningless.
  5. THE TRANSLATION:  Contestant must listen to child's cough and determine whether it is wet, dry, whooping, barking, productive, getting better, getting worse, frequent, occasional, raspy, wheezing, or any combination of the above.
Readers, with your help, perhaps we can make this a decathlon?  Looking forward to your additions to the list of events.

And looking forward to Chickie getting over a bug she's having trouble shaking!  Don't worry, I'm sure "it's just a virus."

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Pot really helps with cold symptoms

A Neti Pot, that is--what kind of pot did you think I was talking about?

In case you don't know, a Neti Pot is this little pot with a spout that is used to flush out your nose and sinuses.  It sounds weird and gross and kinda is, but it really works.  I used it twice yesterday, and both times it helped relieve my sinus pressure.

Best of all, I look incredibly attractive while using it.


For the record, my husband, who graciously took this picture, thinks I'm a total freak for posting it online.  He's probably right.

But...I'm a freak whose sinuses don't feel like they're going to explode.

P.S.  On 2/11 I'm posting an update on this with important information for protecting your ears while using a Neti Pot.  Be sure to check out that post if you are planning to try this!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Photo Extra: Pigtails

These little beaded rubber bands bring back such memories of my childhood!


(Psst--found 'em at Target, Goody brand.  Package contains seven pairs in various colors.)


So, I have a cold (thanks to my kids, who seem to think their germy snot is an affordable, convenient hand moisturizer.)  And I firmly believe that when I spend all day blowing my nose, what I'm actually blowing out is little bits of my brain, because my mind is in that fuzzy mode...not exactly condusive to blog writing.

So I will be back with brilliant--or at least bearable--blog posts when my brain cells regenerate.


Oh, by the way--on the left hand column of this page, down at the bottom, are all the blogs you suggested I check out, on Wednesday's post.  I'll be looking at all of them.  Thank you for all the suggestions!


23.  DSL modem/wireless router

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pardon the pink....

Some guy named Cupid forced me to put a Valentine's header on the blog. I couldn't say no; he had these arrows with him, and those suckers are sharp. But I did make sure there was plenty of black so that pink-haters will keep reading. Hey, it's just for another week and a half or so.

Rock a bye baby...

...on the red moose.

We have a red rocking moose from IKEA, and Zoodle smiles as soon as I put him on it.  He's even learning how to rock back and forth, slightly.  


(And his sister loves to "help.")


Wednesday, February 4, 2009


This is really, really funny.

Oh, and, uh, yeah, it's dangerous and distracting.

But still...very funny.  (Push the Play arrow on the bottom left.)

Good thing the fine could be up to $250. That'll really deter those hackers.

Whatcha readin'?

You've seen that I have a pretty long blog roll (in the right hand column of this page.) And it probably doesn't need to be any longer. But I do enjoy venturing out into the blogosphere to see what else is out there.

I'd love it if you'd comment today, leaving a link to a blog that you enjoy reading--one that isn't on my blog roll. "Sell it" to us--let me and the other readers know why we might enjoy your recommendation. Feel free to link to your own blog--but please list one that's not yours, too!

Looking forward to the responses. Thanks in advance!

Edited, 11/12/09
I checked out your recommendations, and below is a list of them, with my five-word review of each blog.

Amalah Hilarious mom (caution: adult language.)
Bring the Rain Wonderful heart...prepare to cry.
Children's Book Reviews Great for bibliophiles with kids!
Coming to You from the Land of Ahhs... Fun, random, happy mommy blog.
Crazy Aunt Purl Oh, wow, SO, SO funny!
Crazy Mom Quilts Makes me want to knit!
Diane's Addled Ramblings A mom's beautiful, heartfelt thoughts.
dooce HA! No wonder she's popular!
Doodlebell Seven Kids? Wow...and how?!
The Eleventh Great writing and great heart.
Eternal Lizdom
Liz is just plain wonderful!
I want these pretty things!
Geek Mom MashupThis totally makes me smile!
In the Mind of a ThirtySomething Mom Mommy, Tweeter, and fun blogger!
Inspiration for DecorationGorgeous! (Definitely NOT my house!)
Jess in MomlandGood blog--deserves more readers!
Life in London After 70Beautiful writer, photos, and blog
Little FootstepsBeautiful, meaningful, and honest blogging
Lovely ListingFrighteningly, awesomely funny. And REAL.
Making it LovelyYes, it truly is lovely!
matt, liz and madelineIt's heartbreaking. But it's beautiful.
More Wine PleaseHonest blogging from a mom
Notes from Around the BlockA Writer. And she's funny.
Oh Happy DayPretty stuff. Yummy stuff. Ahh.
The Pioneer WomanOh, yum, yum, yum, yum.
Raising FiveMommy blogger, makes me smile.
SarakasticReading it, laughing out loud.
The Spiteful ChefYummy recipes, funny commentary? Cool.
SouleMamaEarthy, beautiful, envy-producing knitting
Stuff White People LikeWow, totally funny, sarcastic blog.
The Smitten ImageMakes you wanna visit Canada!
a thousand wordsScrapbooking and decorating--really cute!
Tom's UpdatesEncouraging story of surviving cancer!
Wife in the NorthGood writer blogging everyday observations
Women in the ScripturesInsights from an LDS mom
writing as jo(e)This writer makes me smile.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Chickie likes asking, "Why?" these days.  So I have a few "Why?" questions for her.

1.  Why, when you came up to me yesterday and saw my bottom at your face-level, did you feel the need to bite it?  Keep in mind, this is the same bottom that caused you so much curiosity the other day.  You really wanna bite that--even through my jeans?

2.  Why are two of your favorite TV characters Caillou...and House?

3.  Why do you love french fries and hate mashed potatoes?

4.  Why would you get up at 3 a.m., drag your little potty around the house, and use it as a stool so that you could turn on lights?

5.  Why do you insist on wiping your snotty nose on my arm?

6.  Why can't you just give in to some peer pressure?  (Pooping in the potty...all the cool three-year-olds are doing it.)

7.  Why, despite all this, have you captured my heart in a way you'll never understand until you become a mom?

Monday, February 2, 2009 Dunkin' Donuts coffee

I was running an errand with the kiddos today and passed a Dunkin' Donuts.  It's funny to me that their new(ish) logo prominently features a coffee cup, not a donut.  Funny--and smart, considering that coffee is trendier these days than high-calorie donuts are.

Seeing that sign, the coffee craving lurking in the back of my mind came to the forefront.  So when I passed the DD shop again on the way home, I went through the drive-through and ordered a small decaf latte.  At $1.99, it's not a terribly expensive craving to indulge.

I got to the window to pick it up and was greeted with, "That'll be $1.08."  I said, "$1.08?"  And the friendly DD employee informed me that from 2-5 p.m. during the month of February, small (12 ounce) lattes are a buck (plus tax, of course.)  Nice!

So when you've got a mid-afternoon coffee craving this week, indulge it, for a buck.

P.S.  I hope this is company-wide...but I'm not sure.

Monday Micro: Socks

A conversation between Grammy & Chickie on our recent vacation:

Chickie:  What's on your socks, Grammy?

Grammy:  (Looks at the socks, which have black spots on them)  They're cow socks, Chickie.

Chickie:  Oh, I have animal socks too.

Grammy:  Oh...really?

Chickie:  (Examining her solid white socks) Yeah.  They're sheep socks.


19.  Book
20. Baby bouncy seat
21.  Baby play mat
22.  Toy for non-mobile babies

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Lived in

When The Engineer picked us up from the airport Wednesday night and took us home, it was a pleasant homecoming.  He'd worked very hard to tidy up the house, and I was able to smile and feel home instead of being overwhelmed with what I'd need to do the next day.

Then Thursday my two adorable little daily hurricanes made landfall again, and I found myself looking around, groaning at the mess.  Often I feel so unsettled just with the everyday stuff that ends up all over the place when small children are in the house.

But that day I started trying to look at that stuff differently.  My house is not going to look like a model home most of the time.  Even when we tidy up, it will quickly get untidy again.  What I'm realizing, and trying hard to internalize, is this:

It's okay for a house to look "lived in."

My life feels unsettled when I'm cluttered, and in realizing that over the last few years, I've become somewhat better at reining in the clutter.  But now I am challenging myself to learn to be at peace even when my house looks like a house where two little kids live.

It's disgusting if I go a year without cleaning a bathroom.  It's not disgusting to have children's books strewn about.

It's unsanitary to leave dirty dishes on the countertop for weeks at a time.  It's not unsanitary to have a stack of mail on the table that I haven't gone through because kids have needed me.  Or even because I chose instead to read a few blogs.

And while it's a good thing for kids to have clean clothes to wear, it's okay if I've gotten so busy that it takes a few days to get all those clean clothes folded.

I'm realistic--I know I'm not going to have a perfectly tidy house most of the time.  So hopefully just by changing my viewpoint, my emotions will follow (eventually,) so that I won't feel so unsettled when the house that we live in looks lived in.