Thursday, September 30, 2010

C. Beth's Law

C. Beth's Law:

As children get older, their tantrums become less frequent but more dramatic.

And for you visual learners....


I know this isn't the case with all kids, but it is with Chickie. I think the tantrum she had last night stole a month's worth of my patience and energy. Thank goodness we don't have nights like that very often.... I'd be at a funny farm.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010 long will I be smarter than them?

Chickie scares me.

She's sweet and smart and fun, and I really enjoy her. But she's also got an independent streak a mile wide. It bothers me, and scares me, that she seems to be trying to figure out just how much she can get away with.

Our current issue is that she goes into her brother's room when he's trying to sleep. She goes in there very quietly, and she stays quiet while she's there. I can just imagine her little mind thinking, "Mommy won't be able to hear me this time!"

But if he is still awake--or she wakes him up--he protests. Loudly enough for me to hear. The kid likes his sleep, and he gets pretty indignant when his sister messes with it.

Even if Zoodle stays asleep, though, I have my secret weapon. When Chickie pushes Zoodle's door open, his white noise machine gets louder. I've started recognizing that sound, and I know it's time for me to climb very quietly upstairs, catch Chickie in the act, and give her a consequence. She's spending a lot of time grounded in her room lately.

The reason this secret weapon works is because I'm smarter than Chickie. It's quite convenient, being smarter than your kids.

So what happens when she gets older...and suddenly Mommy isn't smarter anymore? Honestly, it scares me. I'm sure I'm not the only parent who worries that a child's rebellious tendencies at age four will get ten times more serious by age 14 . I was a compliant child. It's hard enough for me to handle her preschool rebellion; how would I deal with teenage rebellion?

I know--it's silly to worry. She's four. All I can do is try to be consistent, try to teach her what's right and give reasonable consequences for the bad decisions--and the good ones--she makes. I've got to take it day by day. And I'll pray. A lot.

And hopefully most of her independent nature will eventually go in a positive direction, with her being a leader instead of a rebel.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

This week's $100 Visa gift card giveaway!

It's time for this week's $100 Visa gift card giveaway, from BlogHer & Kellogg's! Be sure to hop on over to my giveaway blog for this week's post about our family's weekend morning/breakfast routines.

On the run on the weekends

Monday, September 27, 2010

Open for business!

Whew--my Etsy shop is finally open! You'll notice there's a new widget on the right sidebar of the blog where the newest listings will show up.

Another great way to keep up with what's happening at C. Beth Crochet is to "Like" it on Facebook. On both Facebook and my Twitter feed, I'll post occasional discounts!

And of course, you can just check out the Etsy store itself. Click the button below to get there!


Thank you all for your support in this new venture! I'm already having fun!

Monday Micro: Grand opening soon!

My sales tax permit came in, and I'll be busy getting my Etsy shop stocked today! I'll let you know when it's time for the grand opening of C. Beth Crochet.

And here's a sneak peek at my newest design...


A 3-6 month old baby will look very cute in this pastel yellow hat!

Stay tuned....

Saturday, September 25, 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:

Five miles, no shoes...woo hoo!

Okay, I know a lot of my Six Word Saturday entries are about running. It's because on Saturdays I do my "long runs," and I tend to be pretty excited and in love with the world afterward! The five mile barefoot milestone is one I've been really looking forward to. In my mind it means I'm truly doing "long runs" again, though a marathoner might disagree with my definition of "long run"!

It was a good run, and I continue to feel that a long run is an amazing way to start off a weekend. Especially if that run ends at Starbucks!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Two is enough

The Engineer and I decided a long time ago that we'd try for two kids. He'd always wanted one or two, and I'd always wanted at least two, so it seemed reasonable to settle on the number we had in common! We were very blessed not to have too much trouble having those kids on about the timeline we'd wanted.

But I was concerned--in fact, I think I expected that after a time, I'd feel that "baby fever" again and would want a third. And I knew if that happened, it wouldn't be fair to expect The Engineer to change his mind, since we'd agreed on two.

To my surprise (and relief), as Zoodle has gotten older, I've felt more content, not less, with our two kids. My 2 1/2-year-old is gaining more and more independence, and I like that. I like knowing that he and Chickie can play together upstairs without too much supervision. I like that he doesn't need diaper changes. I like that he can feed himself. And the next level--the one Chickie has reached--is even better. She dresses herself, can get her own fork out of the utensil drawer, and has even learned to hang up her clean dresses.

As much joy as I got out of the baby years, I just really don't want to do it again--the diapers, the unexplained crying in the middle of the night, the nap that's messed up on Sunday morning at church. I don't even really want to breastfeed again, even though that was such a special part of my relationship with my little ones.

Two just feels right for us. Now, if God surprises us (and it would be a big surprise!) with another one, I'll be happy (and a little freaked out), and overall it'll be wonderful. But I don't expect that. It just feels really good to be content with these two awesome kids, to feel that we're moving on into the next phase of our lives as parents, with kids that will be in school before we know it.

Photobucket Photobucket

What about you? If you want to share, I'd like to hear about how you feel about the number of kids you do or don't have.

And if you'd like to read the thoughts of my friend Call Me Cate on this topic, click here. She doesn't have kids and has an interesting, funny perspective.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

zipfizz giveaway!

Recently at Costco someone was giving out samples of zipfizz. Contest Closed.

I saw that it was an electrolyte drink (made from a tube of that powder dissolved in 16-20 ounces of water), and I knew I needed more electrolytes for my longer runs, so I tried it.

I don't drink Gatorade (eww, eww, blech!!), and am not too fond of Nuun (another dissolvable electrolyte drink marketed to runners), but this stuff tasted good! I picked up a box of 30 for $27.99 ($37.99 on Amazon.) The next time I was at Costco I saw that they were having a sale--$5 off each box--so I got three more boxes. The Engineer and I are set, with zipfizz coming out of our ears. (Well, not literally; that would be gross.)

But even the 120 little tubes of zipfizz we've bought may not last that long; we both love the stuff. I have to stop myself from drinking it on a daily basis; I don't want to waste it, so I generally save it for days that I'm running and need the energy (long runs, and some shorter runs), or days that I need a pick-me-up. Sometimes I only use half a tube, dissolving it in about 10 ounces of water instead of the 16-20 ounces required for a full tube.

Zipfizz is marketed as a drink that provides electrolytes, vitamins, and energy. Energy? I drink decaf coffee because I despise the jittery feeling regular coffee gives me. But zipfizz gives me energy and somehow doesn't make me jittery. It does have caffeine in it, from the guarana plant. (Maybe that's better than caffeine from coffee beans?)

But zipfizz's big selling point is that it's got tons of Vitamin B12. When people are having energy issues, they get shots of B12. So maybe it's the B12 that makes us feel so good; I don't know--I just know both The Engineer and I love the lift we get when we drink zipfizz. And I don't know if it's a coincidence or not, but during my last two zipfizz runs, I've been surprised at my pace--I was a lot faster than I expected based on my level of effort.

The Engineer stays away from most artificial sweeteners, but he likes zipfizz despite its sucralose and xylitol. Because it doesn't have "real sugar" in it, it's only 10 calories. With the caffeine and artificial sweeteners in it, however, I don't let my kids drink it. (More for me!)

If you want to know where to buy zipfizz, click here for their store locator. Or just get it from Amazon (who totally has better deals than the zipfizz site.)

Anyway, zipfizz doesn't know me from Eve, and has nothing to do with this post. I'm just getting hooked on the stuff and wanted to share. So I am sharing--literally!

Leave a comment here telling me when you need electrolytes or energy, and you'll be entered in this giveaway. The Grand Prize will be three tubes of zipfizz, in the three flavors we have (Grape, Pink Lemonade, and Orange Soda.) Yeah, I know that's not really that Grand of a Prize, but hey, it's coming out of my own pocket, and I'm on a budget! Two First Prize winners will get one tube, in a flavor of your choice. That's three winners! Even if you have terrible luck on online giveaways, maybe this time is your time!

Just to make it fun, your entry is worth TWO entries if it's in rhyming poetic form. Entertain me!

I'll randomly pick the winner next Thursday, 9/30, and will announce it by Friday, 10/1. Good luck!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Skinny jeans

Okay, so I know "skinny jeans" have been all the rage for a couple of years now. But they're for teenagers, right?! Well, lately I've noticed that some 30-somethings have successfully adopted the skinny jean look. Then I was at Target and saw some cute ones on sale for $15. So I grabbed them and when I got to the register, realized I'd forgotten to try them on. (But let's be honest, with two kids in tow sometimes returning clothes is easier than getting a fitting room anyway.)

I got home and gave them a try....


...and you know, I like them! I won't be giving up my bootcut jeans any time soon, but these will be a nice option in my wardrobe. I'm not even sure I'm wearing them with the right type of shirt, but if the fashion police cite me, I'll just tell them I'm making my own style!

I may not look 16 anymore (and don't really want to) but I suppose I can get a few fashion tips from those young 'uns. (Of course, they really got the "skinny jean" tip from my generation, so I guess we're going full circle now!)

So, ladies, what do you think? Are any of your jeans slim all the way down? Or should skinny jeans stay in the '80s and '90s (or on girls born in the '80s and '90s)?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday Micro: Cakeasaurus!

I had the true pleasure of making another baby shower cake this weekend! The hostess requested a dinosaur theme.

(Click to enlarge.)

The cake said, "Welcome, Baby Smithasaur!" (Except the last name wasn't "Smith.")

My favorite part was the dino baby hatching out of his egg, gazing up at his mama.


I used a doctored-up cake mix, and the cake was really good. The recipe I used is called Not-So-Plain Vanilla Cake. Wilton Buttercream and my Marshmallow Fondant completed the picture, and the fondant turned out even better than last time.

I usually don't mind my cakes being cut, but for some reason this time it made me just a smidge sad. Nothing a good slice of cake couldn't fix though!

Saturday, September 18, 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 awesixome blog by clicking the button below.

My words:

"Heigh ho, to Starbucks I go!"

When I started running barefoot and in minimalist shoes I had to cut my mileage way down, and I've been gradually building it back up. Today my "long run" distance is long enough to get me back to my favorite post-run Starbucks location! (I've run to Starbucks a couple of other times recently, but it was a closer location I don't like as much. Clearly we have too many Starbuckses to choose from.) It's not that far (4.3 mile run) but I'm happy I get to do my favorite Saturday routine of running, enjoying alone time at Starbucks, then getting picked up by my family.

I gotta finish getting ready, and then I'm off!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Superhero! (In other words, slow news day!)

My friend Sasha wrote on her blog yesterday, "I read the other day that everyone has a superpower. We're all superheros! I am Spreadsheet Woman."

Super spreadsheet skillz...useful indeed!

So I'm ready to take off my mask (which is actually just dark undereye circles) and admit that I am actually...

ZYX Woman!

I realized that since my superpower is so eminently useless, I should at least get some pleasure out of sharing it with you! So without further ado, here I am...ZYX Woman in action.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My (not so) secret nighttime cough remedy

Tuesday night, Chickie came into our room in the middle of the night to sleep on her magic couch. Usually that's fine; she doesn't disturb us much. Last night, though, she started coughing...and coughing...and coughing. It sounded like a dry cough, the type you get when your throat is all tickly. I couldn't sleep well through it, and she obviously couldn't either.

So I tried a little trick with her--something I read who-knows-where that has proven successful for me when I've had those irritating, dry nighttime coughs.

We got up (at 2 a.m.), and I quickly brewed some tea (using microwaved water.) I used white tea (very low caffeine, mild flavor). If I'd had some mint herbal tea I would have used that. I gave her a spoonful of honey to eat and stirred another spoonful into the tea. When it had cooled a bit, she drank it, went potty, and we headed back to bed.

And the coughing stopped entirely.

I'm pretty skeptical of many home remedies, but this is one that's worked for me pretty consistently. I'm thrilled it worked for her too. It sure made a difference on our energy levels the next day--not being awake all night thanks to that cough!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Score 1 for The Engineer

Recently I was gone in the evening, and I arrived home to a blessedly peaceful house with both kids sleeping. Zoodle had been having some sleep issues, but he was doing just fine that night.

Zoodle still loves his binkies. These days, binkies are for bedtime and naptime, so he's always excited to get them when those hours roll around. He likes to sleep with as many as possible--one in his mouth, the others in his hands.

The Engineer confided in me, "I told him if he got up for any reason except to go potty or because it's morning, I'd take a binky away. He did get up and I had to take one away, but after that he stayed in bed."

Brilliant. An immediate consequence is great for my 2-year-old, and this is one consequence that he doesn't like! This technique is working really well. We haven't had to take away more than one binky on any night. We aren't implementing this plan in the middle of the night (at least not yet), but it's working great for bedtime, and I'm starting to use it at naptime too.

Part of me says, Ooh, but this won't last forever. What happens when we decide he's too old for bedtime binkies? But I've learned a few things in the last 4 1/2 years of parenting, and this is one of them: Nothing works forever. So you just do what works at the time, and figure things out as you go along.

Hooray for a smart, creative husband! And hooray for sleeping children!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

$100 giveaway, and Etsy shop update!

It's that time again! Hop on over to my giveaway blog to enter this week's $100 giveaway sponsored by BlogHer and Kellogg's!

Also, I thought I'd have my Etsy crochet shop open by now, but for various reasons it's taking longer than anticipated. I'm working on it, but it may be a few weeks. I need to wait for a sales tax permit from my state, and need to make sure other details are taken care of.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday Micro: Chickie the gymnast

Tonight Chickie is starting her first "extracurricular activity." (Is it still extracurricular when she's not in school yet? Eh, whatever.) She'll be going to a gymnastics class, and she is very excited!

So last week we bought her leotard at Target. The cost of the leotard, the cost of registration, the cost of the class...all worth it, just to get this photo:


I don't know whether the skills will come easily to her, or if they'll be challenging...but looking at that stance and that smile, I'm proclaiming her to already be a champion!

Saturday, September 11, 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 Caterrific blog by clicking the button below.

My words:

"Can I guess why you're here?"

That's what I asked the police officer who pulled me over last night. He let me guess...and I was right.

Earlier, I'd been stopped at a red light, and I'd noticed that only one of my headlights was reflected in the truck in front of me. Literally ten minutes or so after that, I got pulled over for that darn headlight(or is it a headdark when it's burned out?).

As I was sitting in my car waiting for the officer to write me up, I realized my state inspection expired on 8/31. I must have been having a lucky night--not only did the officer fail to notice the expired inspection; he also only gave me a warning for the headlight. Whew! Time to take care of both of those issues before my luck runs out and I get a real ticket!

Friday, September 10, 2010

A great morning...scrubbing toilets

Many mornings in my house go like this:

The kids get up. I get up (or I come home from running.) I turn on an educational cartoon for them. I sit at the computer and check email, blogs, etc. We grab breakfast while I continue to spend time on the computer. At some point I take a few minutes to read my Bible and pray, and then it's back to the computer. Finally, I realize it's late morning and I've done very little that's productive. My energy is low from so much time sitting and staring at a screen. And I need a shower.

Now, that's not a description of every morning, but lately it's been way too many mornings. It's really a depressing way to start the day! I end up feeling lazy and unproductive and anxious. I feel guilty for all the screen time the kids and I have had.

Yesterday morning, the kids got up and both wanted to hang out in my bed. We all stayed there, while I kept my eyes closed and spent some time praying. It was nice...a peaceful way to start the day.

I'd had a particularly lazy week, and I knew the kids were in bad need of a bath, so we got out of bed and immediately headed into the bathroom. We all took a bath.

Then I got dressed, got Zoodle set up with some granola bars, and began cleaning the bathrooms. I made a point not to turn on the computer. At some point I fed Chickie too, and kept cleaning. I folded a load of laundry. I finished the bathrooms.

I started brewing some coffee, and meditated on some Scripture, praying a bit more. Then I sat down with coffee, breakfast, and my computer.


It was a wonderful way to start the day...doing the things that needed to be done first, instead of the things I just wanted to do. I felt productive. I felt good. When I'd been on the computer for quite a while, I knew I wanted to do something productive again.

And I realized, I need to make this a habit...starting my day productively. It's important to me to have "down time" throughout the day. My day ends late, with dinner and dishes, so I need free time in the middle of the day. But when I start my day with "down time," it tends to start on a "down note!"

I don't want to make this some sort of rule that I can't ever break. That's not the idea. I just want to make a habit of doing things that help me to live more happily. So hopefully when this post is automatically published at 5 a.m. today, I'll be enjoying my last hour and a half or two of sleep...and then I'll get up and get moving!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Online popularity and self-worth

Yesterday I posted photos of the various hats I'm going to list on Etsy. I wanted to give blog readers a chance to call "first dibs" on any hats they wanted to purchase. By early afternoon, when no one had expressed interest in purchasing any of them, I was getting depressed.

And it hit me.... God has given me intrinsic worth as a unique human being. My worth isn't tied to how many crocheted hats I can sell. My worth isn't tied to how skilled I am at making hats. I enjoy this new hobby. I know that I make quality items. I hope I can make some money.

But people buy and don't buy handmade items for many reasons, and the cuteness and quality of the hats are pretty far down on the list. Does someone need a hat? Is it in their budget? Will it fit? My hats may sell quickly, and they may sell slowly, and they may not sell at all...and whatever the results are, I enjoyed making those hats. And I'll do well if I can learn not to take my sales figures (high or low) personally!

When I realized that, I felt a sense of relief and of renewed confidence in my worth as a person, apart from my accomplishments. Then it hit me, there is a lesson here for us bloggers too.

People visit blogs for a multitude of reasons, and some of the reasons don't even have anything to do with how well-written or well-designed the blogs are.

Our "blog stats" don't reflect on how worthy we are as people or even as writers. (I stopped checking stats months ago. It's been very freeing!) If we enjoy blogging, that is its own reward. Feedback and readership are wonderful things, but someone with 20,000 daily readers has the same value as someone with 2 daily readers.

If you'd like to, please join me today in making this commitment: We'll try to remember that we have worth as people, and that our worth isn't tied to how "popular" we are on the Internet. Maybe if we can consistently believe that, our non-Internet lives will stay a lot happier too!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Drumroll, please....

....I'm almost ready to open my Etsy shop!

But before I list all these, I'm going to give you all "first dibs." Check out the photos and prices below. These will all be listed on Etsy in another day or two, but until then, if you want any of them, just...
  • Comment here, "reserving" the hat(s) that you want, AND
  • Email me at so that I have your contact info.
Note that I have comment moderation turned on, so on the off chance that two people request the same item before I've moderated comments, the first person will get it. I'll still handle these sales through Etsy, but instead of listing "your" hat for general sale, I'll create a custom listing for you so no one else can snatch up the hat you request.

I'll be taking custom orders too, so if you see any of these that you like, and you want one in a different color or size--or if you have another pattern in mind altogether--let me know! And even if you don't plan to purchase, I'd love to hear your feedback!

Ready? Here's my stock! (Click photos to see larger versions.)

1. Red Button Hat (from the Durango + Robin's Egg pattern on Simply Beans)
One size fits most women, diameter approx. 19", 45 cm (meant to stretch)

2. Green Poster Girl Hat (designed by C. Beth!)
One size fits most women, diameter approx. 19", 45 cm (meant to stretch)

(Color is more accurate on first two photos. Also, note that this hat is meant to stretch; when unstretched it doesn't look right.)

3. Light Purple Butterfly Hat (from the Olivia's Butterfly pattern on Vallie's Kids blog)
Fits my 4 year old with PLENTY of stretching room, should fit most younger grade school-aged girls. Diameter approx. 17.5", 45 cm.

4. Teal Butterfly Hat (from the Olivia's Butterfly pattern on Vallie's Kids blog)
Fits 4 year old partially stretched, probably would fit most girls age 3 through 6ish. 16.75", 43 cm.

5. Beige & White Beary Adorable Hat (from the Beary Adorable pattern on Army of Owls)
Fits my 2-year-old and my 4-year-old. Body of hat is crocheted with two strands of yarn, so it's extra-thick and doesn't have as much "stretchibility" as other hats. Fits 2T-4T, possibly 5T too. Approx. 17.5", 45 cm.

6. Pink Diamond Baby Hat (designed by C. Beth!)
Should fit most babies from the ages of 3-9 months. Diameter approx. 13.75", 35 cm.


7. Teal Ruffled Beret (designed by C. Beth!)
Fits 4 year old partially stretched, probably would fit most girls age 3 through 5ish. 16.75", 43 cm.
$7.50 This hat is a prototype and isn't perfect. The ruffles on bottom aren't as even as I'd like. It's still adorable, but I've listed it at a low price because the craftsmanship doesn't quite meet my full-price standard!

8. Brown and Blue Ripples & Waves Hat (designed by C. Beth!)
One size fits most women, diameter approx. 19", 45 cm (meant to stretch)

Two options available--see both photos. I wasn't sure whether I liked it best with the first border or the second. If the buyer prefers the first border, I'll take out the horizontal stitches. I think they'll come out fine, but if it messes up the hat, I'll happily make another for the buyer.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Time for this week's big giveaway!

On my giveaway blog, be sure to enter this week's $100 Visa Gift Card giveaway, courtesy of BlogHer & Kellogg!

Today's "Mom's Breakfast Club" post is a recap of our vacation, with a silly poem and some pictures. So click on over and check it out!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Monday Micro: That's our boy!

The Engineer and I both love science fiction. The other day we started watching one of the Star Trek movies.

The opening credits and music began. Zoodle, sitting on the couch, began saying, over and over, "This is going to be amazing."

Later there was a scene with lots of big starships all together. We looked over at Zoodle, and he was grinning from ear to ear with two-year-old glee.

That's our boy!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Current thoughts on running barefoot

Yesterday was my second monthiversary of running barefoot.

Running on the beach in San Diego on our vacation recently

I'm going to admit something here: I got so excited about barefoot running that I was looking primarily at one side of the issue, instead of honestly doing research on all sides of it.

I'm trying to change that. Thanks to a fellow member of the Barefoot Runners Society, yesterday I read parts of this barefoot running thread from a podiatry forum. Reading what these podiatrists had to say about barefoot running made me realize they aren't just a bunch of uptight, orthotics-pushing nuts (as they are sometimes characterized by barefoot running proponents.) The doctors on that forum know a whole lot more about running research than I do, and they're worth listening to.

Here are the conclusions I'm drawing about barefoot running and shod running in general:
  • There is not enough research to draw dependable conclusions about barefoot running or shod running, when it comes to injury prevention and performance.
  • Many runners successfully run in heavily-cushioned shoes. A small (and apparently growing) percentage of runners successfully run either barefoot or in "minimalist" shoes. If you're running without injury, I think that's or no shoes.
  • While there probably isn't one ideal running form for every runner, if a runner is injury-prone, it makes sense to evaluate his/her running form to try to find a form that leads to less injury.
  • We have bodies that are made to move in all sorts of ways. So if a runner wants to experiment with different running forms, different shoes, barefoot running, etc., that experimentation can be fun and worthwhile, if done safely.
  • Because humans ran for a very long time before shoes were invented, it makes sense that most of us are capable of successfully running barefoot, if we take time to develop proper strength and plantar toughness. Running barefoot is probably harder than it used to be, due to modern surfaces and modern transportation (resulting in less walking/running overall), so making the switch to barefoot running often requires a lot of effort. If modern technology (in the form of shoes or orthotics) helps a runner, there's nothing wrong with that.
And here are conclusions I'm drawing about myself as a runner:
  • I was having some recurring knee problems when I was running with heavily-cushioned shoes, striking the ground first with my heel. I know from the past that my knees tend to be one of my weak points, so I'm particularly concerned about protecting them. Learning to run with a different form (shorter strides, striking on my fore- or midfoot) seems to have helped my knees tremendously. Running barefoot or with minimalist shoes makes this form more natural to me. (Of course, after writing this, I had a run with an old knee issue cropping up. I slacked off on strengthening, stretching, and foam rolling while on clearly running barefoot doesn't give me an excuse not to work to keep my legs strong and flexible!)
  • With this different running style, I am more prone to developing (temporary) pains in the bottom half of my legs and in my feet. I think these are primarily beginner growing pains. But even if they continue, to me they're preferable to the knee pains I was having. Any runner can get injured; we all need to be careful and conscious--shoes or no shoes.
  • I ran with minimalist shoes (ZEM booties, made for beach use) when we visited my husband's parents. I really enjoyed the shoes' flexibility and the protection they offered. I also enjoy the unique freedom of being barefoot. I'm not sure whether, in the long run (no pun intended), I'll be primarily a barefoot runner, primarily a minimalist runner, or someone who does a lot of both. I'm pretty sure I won't go back to heavily-cushioned running shoes, but I won't rule that out entirely lest I have to eat my words!
I am a barefoot/minimalist runner. I just don't think that's the only way to run. I love running, and if you're a runner who loves it too, we're on the same page...whatever we wear or don't wear on our feet!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Inquisition (4-year-old style)

I'm glad my Chickie is so inquisitive.

Really, I am.

But she's at the age when she hasn't yet figured out that Mommy isn't omniscient. And so she asks question after question, many of which I just don't know the answers to.

Yesterday we were driving home from Costco, and I had on the local talk radio station, which she usually ignores. Except when she doesn't. The host was talking about a local story that, in hindsight, probably wasn't the best story for little ears to hear. Recently someone had a party at their apartment, and the poorly-built balcony collapsed with over 20 people on it. There weren't any life-threatening injuries, but a woman whose leg was broken has filed a lawsuit against the property owner (probably the first of many lawsuits.)

And the questions began. I won't even insert my answers in here; I want to finish writing this blog post before next week. I also won't include all the questions that Chickie asked; I don't have that much memory capacity in my brain. But here's a sampling....

"She broke her leg?"

"How did she break her leg?"

"Did she have to go to the hospital?"

"What happened?"

"Do we have a porch?"

"Did she fall on someone?"

"Did everyone there break their foot?"

"Is this (pointing to her ankle) a bone?""

"Was she a girl or a boy?"

"Where did it happen?"

"Was it here?"

"Why was it kind of far away?"

Finally I said, "Chickie, I'm not going to answer any more questions about this."

"What about questions about other things?"

I paused for a moment, considering that, then responded, "I'm sorry, but I just need to not answer any questions for a couple of minutes."

"What's a couple of minutes?"

I'm glad my sweet Chickie is so inquisitive.

(Said through clenched teeth.) Really. I am.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Best birthday moment

There were a lot of good moments on my birthday.

Zoodle hugged me over and over saying, "I love you, Mommy," and "I like you, Mommy," a huge grin on my face. That was awesome.

But it wasn't the best moment.

A good phone conversation with my twin sister popped me out of my post-vacation funk. That was great.

But it wasn't the best moment.

The Engineer came home with dinner and flowers. That was so sweet.

But it wasn't the best moment.

No, the best moment came after I asked The Engineer, "Did you get cake?"

I'd specifically asked him to pick up a little cake. I'm the birthday cake-maker in our family, and I didn't want to make my own.

"Oh, no!" he exclaimed. He'd put so much thought into the delicious dinner and beautiful flowers that he'd forgotten the cake. "Do you want me to go get some?"

I smiled sheepishly. "Yeah," I said. "I really wanted cake." Then I had a brainstorm. "You know what you could do?" I suggested. "You could take both of the kids to the store, and I'll eat salad and drink wine and read a book in the empty house."

A few minutes later they were out the door, and my best birthday moment began. In fact, it was a lot more than a moment. It was about 45 minutes of amazing quiet in my own home. I hardly ever have my house to myself. It was even better than I thought it would be, sitting there eating delicious green salad and fantastic pasta salad, drinking wine and reading sci-fi in the place where I'm most comfortable, my home.

Spending time with family on my birthday was nice. But spending time by myself.... That was amazing!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hello, goodbye, hello, goodbye, hello!

A few months ago I happily said hello to a new computer.

A few weeks later, I foolishly left the cord stretched across the room. Zoodle caught it with his foot, and my new laptop crashed to the tile floor. The lid and liquid crystal were broken. As was my heart.

Okay, that's a little melodramatic. But I was pretty upset. Upset enough that I didn't even blog about it. I started using my old computer again, which has seen better days but works well as a backup computer.

I spent $48 to ship the laptop back to the company who'd made it (Puget Systems). (Shipping is already expensive, and when you put a ton of insurance on it, it's even worse.) The repair itself was about $150, and it took almost a month to get it back.

My computer finally arrived, and I was happy. (By the way, I love Windows 7. I had Vista for two laptops, and I was so sick of it. But Windows 7 rocks.) I took the laptop with me to see my parents, and used it a lot at their house.

Then we left for the airport, my dad kindly acting as chauffeur. It's a three-hour drive from Yuma, Arizona to Phoenix. When we'd been on the road awhile, my dad's phone rang. From the speaker, I heard my mom's voice:

"Ask Beth how she'd like us to get her computer back to her."

Aaaaaaaargh! I'd packed the cord...but not the computer. The only positive was that my carry on luggage was lighter (which you'd think I'd have noticed on the way to the car.) But the lighter weight wasn't enough to make up for the loss of my computer for another week and a half, plus the $48 it cost...once ship it.

My fantastic computer (which I should have signed up for frequent flier miles for all the traveling it's done), will be arriving again today. I'll happily say hello to it...and I hope there won't be any more goodbyes any time soon!

By the way, happy birthday to my mom! You know I turned 33 yesterday, and amazingly enough, my mom is turning 29 today! Wow!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's my birthday, and I'll blog if I want to!

Every year at this time, I think, "So, should I announce that it's my birthday on my blog? Or should I just mention it later? How do I handle this in a non-self-centered way?"

I tend to be a little too introspective.

But I realized, hey, this blog is about me, and what am I thinking about today? My birthday!

So, whatever the blog etiquette is...


We don't have anything planned. We didn't get home until after 8:30 last night, and The Engineer has a business trip tomorrow, so we'll wait a few days to go out a nice birthday dinner together. We already had an early birthay dinner with my husband's parents on Monday. It's fun to spread out the festivities!

I'm thankful to have been alive for 33 wonderful years!