Saturday, January 31, 2009

More Therapy


(By the way, TMI stands for "Too Much Information". You have been warned!)

Remember all the delicious foods that go along with the holidays?

Yeah. Me too. I remember them. I ate them. ALL of them. Seemingly nonstop for nearly a month.

Don't misunderstand... I enjoyed myself!


Of course...having ingested vast amounts of holiday goodies left me with some very much unwanted weight. This weight prompted me and a friend to begin a search for a garment. One such garment that might help to shield our excesses from the world until we were able to rid ourselves of it!

This search led us to Spanx.

We perused the site but I was a bit scared, so only my friend made the order.

When the package arrived at her house, we were eager to see what was inside. Imagine our surprise when she pulled it out and realized it was crotchless!

Not since our high school days, when my friend and I went into a Frederick's on a dare had I beheld anything sans crotch. AND since there was nothing even remotely sexy about this garment, I was intrigued as to why that important area was missing. As we read the tag, I began to realize that this was to aid in the responding to calls of nature. In fact, the tag actually said something along those lines. This garment was made so that it did not have to be removed when going to the restroom.

Well! I am here to tell you... Do NOT believe the hype! Whatever you do, EVEN IF YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT, do not -- I repeat, DO NOT -- attempt to use the restroom while wearing the garment. According to my friend (who shall definitely remain anonymous), it will NOT end well.

My advice: just let your fat roll show until you get motivated enough to get rid of it. I can assure you, I will be employing this tactic from now on!

So after I got down rolling around on the floor, laughing at my poor friend as she shared her traumatic experience with me, I am currently seeking therapy to deal with my new found fears of both restrooms and shaping garments. Will keep you posted.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Blow the Whistle

So January has officially kicked my arse. Someone, please blow the whistle! I’m ready for a new month.

Can it be that it is only Thursday?


January is the hangover that all the fun you had December gives you.

February... now that is a good month!

It starts out with a very important holiday... Ground Hogs Day! Whoo-hoo!

Then, of course,we are on to Valentines Day. That glorious hallmark holiday designed to remind our tired suburban husbands that they love us. "Hey Honey! You Love Me!!!" (BTW, I live in the city proper, none of that suburb junk for me!)

Then we get President’s Day! How can it get better than that?

February is such a cool month that it can’t be bothered with days that start with 3.

I can’t wait till February.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Of all the food items to be next on the this-could-kill-you list: peanut butter!
Probably three-quarters of my eight-year-olds protein comes from peanut butter. Her actual peanut butter is not yet on the recall list, but I’m watching that list closely. E’s whole universe may fall if she can’t have her daily peanut-butter sandwich.

For those of you who also are concerned about which peanut, peanut butter and peanut paste products are on the ever-growing list of foods recalled due to the possibility of salmonella, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has posted a searchable list of products, and they promise to keep the list updated.

Please keep in mind that this list seems to be changing hourly. Just because something wasn’t on the list yesterday doesn’t mean it won’t be there today.

BTW, all peanut butter used in Girl Scout cookies (for the bakers in my area -- MN) have been cleared as being okay.

Endangered peanut butter—what’s next?! If Kraft recalls Macaroni-and-Cheese, my children will starve!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Look Closely

Look closely... the little boy fell asleep reading his precious Elmo book. Too funny! He is out cold, but the book stayed propped open between the crib bars. I have a similar pic of E doing the same thing (sleeping while reading) but I can't find that pic right now -- that was pre-digital.

Kind of reminds you of this...

or This?

Thanksgiving Divorce

My neighbor sent me the following email and as my husband and I discussed it -- we said that with four kids, we hope we don’t have to resort to the following when our kids are grown.

Thanksgiving Divorce

A man in Jacksonville, FL calls his son in San Diego, CA the day before Thanksgiving and says, "I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; forty-five years of misery is enough."

"Pop, what are you talking about?" the son screams.

"We can’t stand the sight of each other any longer," the father says. "‘We’re sick of each other, and I’m sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Denver and tell her."

Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone. "Like heck they’re getting divorced. I’ll take care of this!"

She calls Jacksonville immediately and screams at her father, "You are NOT getting divorced. Do not do a single thing until I get there. I am calling my brother back and we will both be there tomorrow. Until then, don’t do a thing! DO YOU HEAR ME?" and hangs up.

The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. "Okay," he says, "they’re coming for Thanksgiving and paying their own way."

Monday, January 26, 2009


Favorite quote found on a fellow parent's blog:

"This blog will be my children's evidence when they sue for emancipation."


Sunday, January 25, 2009


No big political statement here.

No Bush-bashing, or Obama-worshipping here.

Whatever your political affiliations are, today is the first day of a new administration and change is in the air.

So as we return to life-as-usual today, with all of the challenges and frustrations and realities that come with it, I just thought I’d put up an image from last night that kind of put a lump in my throat. It is a picture of two people who have found themselves poised on the brink of history, embracing each other and dancing. It was a sweet, human moment at the end of a long, often-divisive campaign and it just felt kinda hopeful and… I don’t know, I just wanted to share it with you guys!

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Yo ho ho!

Is there anything Americans love more than pirates? Zombies, maybe? Why isn't there a movie about zombie pirates? It would make a killing. Oh, look!

Now, I know piracy is having a resurgence and is becoming a bit of a problem to freight ships, especially off the coast of Somalia, but these pirates are difficult to acknowledge, and frankly, I don't care for them.



Let me think about it... Still NO!

Everyone knows we want our pirates...
Sure. I guess so.

Even better.

Absolutely! Yes! Savvy!

If you are the kind of salty dog who likes her pirates running away from an alligator with a clock in its belly, have I got a children's movie for you! (HELLO?! Disney's Peter Pan)


Friday, January 23, 2009

I'll Send You Her Therapy Bills

I've noticed a trend lately when folks lay eyes on my four children together. It usually goes something like this:

Person: (gushing) "Oh, wow! Look at that -- red hair?! Oh my! Two? Three? You have THREE children with red hair? That is so unique and they are so beautiful! You know that, right? Just darling!"

Me: "Yes. Thank you! All of my children are awesome in their own ways."

Person then turns gaze towards H, and then in a less exuberant voice: "Hi there, H! Darling curls! You must look just like your mom!"

Me: "Um...yeah. She does have some of J's best features. Don't you love her darling curls and gorgeous brown eyes?! I always wanted to have brown eyes."
That's it. Just great. Folks tell us how pretty the red hair is, and then totally leave out that part when pointing out H's appearance. My poor beautiful child! Rarely does anyone remember to compliment her after seeing the other children's red hair. Seriously, while I would never emphasize a need for beauty in order to be successful (as a mother of three daughters, I really want to be a part of killing the stereotype that women need to focus on beauty), I worry that if this trend continues it might begin to affect H when she's older and understands any inadvertently inferred connotations.

I know that I would start to feel inadequate if someone close to me was constantly praised for her beauty while I was given a passing remark about a family resemblance. Even with constant self-esteem building, it might be enough to put a dent into an armor of confidence.

Often any comparison between E or G and H is said without as much... excitement? or as if there's another message hidden underneath? I can't be sure. Maybe I'm totally reading into something that is more shallow than I thought.

Either way, if H looks like her mom, that is a good thing! H sports a lovely olive skin tone that will keep her from burning in the sun, unlike me and the other wee ones -- who look out a sunny window and turn pink. It's possible she'll keep her mom's curls, too.

Hopefully these specific conversations will fade away as H gets older and people are more careful with their words, as we all are with other adults. And despite who looks like who, all of the children will continue to be valued at home for their personalities and accomplishments. In our house there is no "step" sister - just three girls and one boy who are treasured because of who they are in total. HRB, I love you (and E, G, D) with all of my heart. You guys are the biggest blessings God could have ever given me.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

More Things I Am Working On In 2009

Writing more, right when I have the impulse and fresh inspiration, rather than waiting for a "good" time.
This one is kind of a no-brainer for me, although I've been struggling with it forever. I lost the impulse to grab those little funny moments or things that touched my heart and bring them here, to the place where I can point the kids and say, "See! I totally was mother of the year that year" or "You did too color on every wall in my house at age 3!"

Cutting out the gratuitous profanity in my daily speech.
Oh my &@#*@&!!!@! This hard for me. I am fluent in profanity, and I've become lazy in my descriptive language, often slinging in a salty phrase instead of actually making my brain find something better. I cuss in front of kids too much - and while they can conjugate my most commonly spewed oaths (who's a good mom? WHO?) I'd rather not have them be THOSE kids on the playground.

Taking my health seriously - both emotional and physical health.
I'm tired of being exhausted, mentally and physically, and carrying around a bunch of excess body fat. Our family's lack of daily exercise is taking a toll. Stay tuned for more on this.

Putting my responsibilities to my family and home first, at least most of the time.
I know this should be a big DUH but I am not always a fantastic multitasker. Sometimes, I say yes to too much and then I tend to just put out the closest fire... rather than systematically trimming the vegetation and watching the sparks to prevent the fires in the first place. I have a good start on this, but it is a daily struggle.

Writing real, honest-to-God LETTERS to people who I love but am lazy about staying in contact with, monthly.
Despite my endless championing of keeping in touch, I have been lazy about reaching out - and am realizing how silly it is to waste such emotional energy missing these friends. I just need to pick up a pen! Couple that with the fact that I tend to save letters in a special box in my home, and email just stays in cyber-exile, I think a real letter or card means more. And I'm going to send 'em.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Vinegar - Multi-Purpose Stuff!

Great Uses for Vinegar
Borrowed from

  • Hair rinse - Vinegar neutralizes the alkali left by shampoos.
  • Window cleaner - A quarter cup in a quart of water makes a good window cleaner. Additional Tip: When you use vinegar in your water to wash windows, dry with newspapers. Your windows will sparkle!
  • Air freshener - Use 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 tablespoon vinegar and 2 cups of water. After it stops foaming, mix well, and use in a (recycled) spray bottle into the air.
  • Chewing gum dissolver - saturate the area with vinegar. If the vinegar is heated, it will work faster.
  • Stain remover for stains caused by grass, coffee, tea, fruits and berries. Soak clothing in full strength vinegar.
  • Corn and callus remover - soak a piece of stale bread (a cloth would probably do as well) in vinegar, and tape it over the callus or corn overnight.
  • Remedy for age spots - Mix equal parts of onion juice and vinegar and use it daily on age spots. This will take a few weeks to work, just like its expensive relative from the store. [ABL: Seriously, if someone tries this and it works -- let me know. I don't think I am brave enough to sleep with myself with how awful this would smell...!]
  • Kill weeds - Pour white vinegar straight from the bottle on the weeds and grasses that come up through the pavement. Pour it on and let set a couple of days and the weeds will die back and wont reappear for several months. This may take a couple of applications to work but is enviro- and pet-friendly.
  • Fights ice & frost - Wash your windshield with vinegar in the winter to help keep ice and frost away.
  • If you have a septic tank, use vinegar instead of harsh chemicals to clean the toilet bowl. Let it set overnight if you can; it will help keep germs down.
  • Soft hands? Spray your hands with a mist of vinegar, or dip them in vinegar and dry after washing dishes or having them in soapy water to keep your hands soft.
  • Pet Odors - Mix equal parts of vinegar and water together to take pet odors out of carpets. Find the spot, and saturate it with about 1 1/2 times the original volume. Let set for awhile then blot up. Repeat if your cloth is very dirty after blotting. I make sure to turn on a fan and open a window, especially for large spots! It can be very smelly.
  • Varicose veiens - Splash vinegar on your varicose veins. The vinegar is supposed to reduce the veins and relieve the pain and swelling. Of course, you might smell like a tossed salad!
  • Sore throat - Use 1 tablespoon vinegar to an 8 ounce glass of warm water for a sore throat. Gargle every hour and swallow after gargling. I got this from a Vermont Folk Medicine book by D.C.Jarvis many years ago. If started at the first hint of a sore throat, it always works, usually within a night's sleep. I don't mind the taste, but some children might.
  • Lice - If you take warm vinegar and put it on the hair, and also take your nit comb and dip it in the vinegar. As you run it through the hair it helps remove the nits. It is supposed to be able to help break down the glue the nits use to stay attached to the hair.
  • Icky odors - Set a container (shallow bowl) of vinegar throughout the house to absorb unpleasant odors. Works great on burned food odors. *Do NOT use styrofoam.* It will soak thru it. Added by another reader: Put vinegar on white bread around a house to get rid of smoke smell fom a fire.
  • Remove wall paper - You can use vinegar to remove wall paper. It is a snap. First remove top layer of wallpaper. Then spray vinegar on and let set for a minute or two. Then pull backing away. Scrape excess glue off wall. Wipe remaining glue off with vinegar and rinse with water. You don't have to use harse chemicals and it is cheap, cheap, cheap.
  • Vinyl floors & dust mites - Add 1/2 cup vinegar to a gallon of water to keep your vinyl no wax floors clean and shining. A reader adds: Not only does it keep the floors shiny but it kills the dust mites! great for us since we have severe allergies.
  • Meat tenderizer - Add a tablespoon to water when boiling ribs or meat for stews, and even the toughest meat will be so tender you can cut with fork or will fall off the bone.
  • Hiccups - One teaspoon to one tablespoon of cider vinegar gets rid of hiccups.
  • Calcium deposit build up - Use full strength and allow to set. Time depends on condition.
  • Sunburn Remedies: At bedtime, cover sunburns with a towel soaked in water and vinegar and try to persuade the victim to sleep this way. Younger ones, of course, will have a struggle with this, especially because of the smell! Put vinegar in a spray bottle and spray on sunburn. It soothes for quite a length of time. Just like store bought stuff. A reader wrote this: I used this on my son when his legs were sunburned. I used half and half which was half water and half vinegar. I saturated tea towels in it and layed them on his legs and he said it didn't smell too good but it sure took out the burning. You must do this several times but it works and then it gives you a nice tan.Vinegar will take the sting out of a sunburn - just soak a paper towel and apply to burn. Smells bad but, hey, if you're in pain, who cares?To relieve swelling and fluid from too much sun, mix a paste of baking soda and apple cider vinegar and apply. This reader says it will draw out the fluid.
  • Sore muscles - Use 2 cups of cider vinegar in the tub to soak sore muscles and add potassium to muscles.
  • Lime deposits - Heat vinegar to boiling point. Then poor over your fixtures that have deposits of lime.
  • Cloth diapers - Use a cup of vinegar in two gallons of water in the diaper pail to neutralize the urine in cloth diapers. It also helps keep them from staining.
  • Coffee pot cleaner - Fill the water reservoir half way and run the coffee maker as you normally do and then run it once full of water and the coffee maker will be spotless. (Well, cleaner anyway.)
  • Athlete's Foot - I read in a magazine that you should soak in full strength vinegar to rid youself of the problem Something was said about it changing skin ph so that the fungus could not grow.
  • Keep a spray bottle of 50% vinegar, 50% water near the laundry station. Spray it on stains before tossing the clothing into the washer (just as you would a commercial spray stain remover).
  • Note: A reader cautioned against using vinegar with bleach because it produces chlorine gas, so I asked about it on our chemistry guide's forum at He said that, while the mixture does produce chlorine gas, using a few drops at a time (to rinse hands or counter, as opposed to gallons) as a spot neutralizer would cause no problem.

Monday, January 19, 2009


"Tell me and I forget.
Show me and I remember.
Involve me and I understand."
- Chinese proverb

To celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, please listen to his "I Have A Dream" speech. You have most likely already heard it, but really, truly listen again...

Below are also some great links to websites that help us look at diversity in different ways, incorporate equality in our lives, or combat stupidity.

The Working Group (fighting hate crimes):

The Center for Diversity Education:

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hair Continued

Got my hair cut. I am not a fan of it. It's not the same as the pic. I guess the good thing about hair is that it grows so bad cuts don't stay forever, right? ... Right?!


Whoo-Hoo! Toby and Tyler are engaged!
We are so very happy for you guys.
Enjoy the journey!


I am undecided on what to do with my ever shrinking hair (meaning, I keep cutting it shorter and shorter). I just haven't found *the* short cut for me yet. I really like short hair. I think it makes me look younger, trendier and not so soccer-mom-ish, but it's a bummer to take the time to get into the salon on a regular basis and seriously, who can afford to go ever three weeks?!
This is what I really want to do, but I am not half this sexy or confident and would I actually look a fraction of this adorable or be able to style it?
What are your thoughts?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Top 10 Reasons to LOVE Minnesota Winter

10. There are no mosquitoes.
9. You're so busy worrying about your car not starting, you don't have time to worry about anything else.
8. All the sissies leave for Arizona.
7. If you carelessly leave meat in your car, it will freeze and stay fresh.
6. It's not as bad as a Manitoba winter.
5. There's always the thrill of skiing downhill or unexpectantly being totally out of control as your car slides down an icy road.
4. Bundled up as they are, kids can fall down 3 flights of stairs and not get hurt.
3. There's ice fishing in a -50 degree wind chill, knowing that someone, somewhere is flabbergasted at how hearty we are. (Translation: STUPID)
2. Anything is better than a humid Minnesota summer.
1. Knowing that the rest of the country is looking at us in total amazement, saying, "Why in the world do they stay there?"

Friday, January 16, 2009

100 Things

100 Things

1. I am female.
2. How am I doing?
3. I live in the Midwest.
4. I have 4 kids.
5. Between my three pregnancies, I gained and lost a combined total of over 100 pounds.
6. I deserve plastic surgery...
7. My husband disagrees.
8. I have a third nostril. Really...
9. Not really, I just wanted to see if anyone is reading this.
10. I have two sisters.
11. My mother was one of five siblings.
12. So was my father.
13. I can juggle. Actually, not real stuff, just schedules.
14. My middle sister and I tried to convince my baby sister she was adopted.
15. We were almost successful until she ran crying to our parents.
16. Then the sh*t hit the fan.
17. Serious drama.
18. My mother smokes.
19. So does my husband.
20. It sucks, please don't smoke.
21. I was never going to date a smoker.
22. The one time I broke that dating rule, I ended up marrying them.
23. I live in an old house (1890-something).
24. I promise you -- it is so NOT "charming".
25. Plus it is pretty darn cold in the winter.
26. I have lived here (in this town, not in my blog) for four years.
27. I love living in the city proper.
28. Cul-de-sacs in a suburb are my idea of hell on earth.
29. I am addicted to HGTv.
30. My sister taught my three year old to say "butt-flapper".
31. Yep. I said "butt-flapper".
32. I tried to teach her "toot".
32. I hate cold weather.
33. I don't get out enough.
34. I wear glasses.
35. Never contacts.
36. I drive a mini-van.
37. But my daughter no longer plays soccer.
38. So I guess that means I am a not a "soccer mom".
39. I like it.
40. I love the smell of fireplaces.
41. I am not a fan of shopping.
42. I go on a scrapbooking retreat weekend every May.
43. May 2009 will be my third year.
44. We scrapbook and eat.
45. A lot.
46. It's a lot of fun.
47. I want to go to scrap now.
48. I was an under-achiever in high school.
49. Wish I could say that now.
50. I am unable to say no to new projects.
51. This is half-way to 100.
52. Seems like a good place to take a break.
53. Maybe not... I have never broke a bone.
54. And I am okay with that.
55. Wish I knew how to use Photoshop.
56. I've never been in a car accident.
57. That's a lie.
58. I rear ended a truck once.
59. The only damage was his trailer hitch popped a hole in MY car's bumper.
60. Thankfully he didn't file a claim.
61. I don't like seafood -- except for shrimp.
62. I'm not much fun to eat with at the beach. Well, I can usually find something I like.
63. Did I mention that I love shrimp?
64. I am allergic to fresh cut grass.
65. I never had to mow the lawn as a child because of that.
66. Seriously, it brings on a full blown allergy attack.
67. Wheezing included.
68. I am not big into jewelry.
69. However, if you want to give me some, I won't turn it down!
70. I no longer drive too fast.
71. I had over 8 speeding tickets in less than 2 years between ages 18-19.
72. Since my children were born, I'm chronically late.
73. My husband is not.
74. I am envious.
75. I can be very impatient.
76. I love volleyball.
77. I don't really have one best friend.
78. I'm don't really like breakfast food.
79. Unless I'm on vacation.
80. I totally need a vacation.
81. I'm afraid of sharks.
82. I have never swam in the ocean.
83. That is not really by choice.
84. I love to travel.
85. My husband does not.
86. He will only go to Vegas.
87. I don't usually like pictures of myself.
88. That is not usually a problem.
89. I am always the person behind the camera.
90. I swear too much.
91. Yes, I am well aware this is not 100 things.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Going Wild

What do you do when the children are climbing the walls with energy but it's entirely too cold to go outside and you are too poor to bring them anywhere? I guess you allow the kids to run wild while you try to make dinner or pretend they are not destroying the house and while you pretend, they stumble upon old Halloween costumes hiding in their closets -- which turns out to be a great idea and keeps them entertained for over an hour. (For non-parents: "Over an hour" is an ETERNITY for children to keep themselves entertained.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


E grabbed my camera and took some pictures of her favorite, if unwilling, subject. She did a pretty good job, wouldn't you agree? Ole truly is a great furball. Very kind with the wild, not always gentle children. We lucked out with him.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Seriously, does anyone know a good, reliable and CHEAP plumber? We are seriously in need of a plumber in our poor, run down house (specifically in the kitchen). However, we are so very dirt poor and would really prefer to use a plumber referred to us by a friend.

If you know someone... or know someone who knows someone... PLEASE email me. You rock!

Deeper Significance

In our day-to-day lives, toilet paper is pretty inconsequential. It's just a little thing that we rarely give any thought to, unless we run out at an inopportune moment.

A few years ago, my attitude toward toilet paper shifted just a little bit. The change was spurred by a random thought Husband shared with me one day. (He does this a lot, but for some reason, this one really stuck with me.)

So let's look at toilet paper a little more closely, shall we? What IS the deeper significance of toilet paper?

Well, as Husband so accurately pointed out to me - having toilet paper is a sure sign that you are doing just fine financially. First of all, you have the money to purchase something that is just going to be flushed down the toilet. Secondly, if you have the need for toilet paper, that means you are adequately nourished.

It's kind of silly, isn't it?

Yet, it really has shifted my perspective. I am now more likely to pay attention to inconsequential things that I'd otherwise take for granted. I see reasons to be thankful for small things beyond just their intended purpose.

I don't know... maybe you have to be familiar with both sides of the financial fence to have this mean anything. Then again, maybe not. I think we all could use more thankfulness for, and reflection on the little things in our lives. After all, those little things add up to a pretty big total. And being conscious of that definitely works for me.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

In Touch

I have to admit to being totally behind the curve on social networking technology. I hear people speak about Twitter and Facebook and My Space, etc and until this morning, I had NEVER visited any of the above. I am quite shamed by this fact, but in my defense, Husband has all but forbade it because he says lots of social network websites are littered with virus. Of course, since Husband is a techno/IT genius I definitely trust his opinion and we do have a lot at stake -- if our home computer network were infected... he would have my head on a platter. He needs to have access to his work, etc.

So, SHHHH! Don't tell him, but I signed up on Facebook today in a effort to get in touch with this century, but more importantly to connect with a few long lost friends.

I hope this works and I really hope I don't regret it (by causing some virus or something equally disastrous.)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

"Pizza" Be Ever With You

During the hectic rush of Christmas, I did the big 'no-no' - I tried to scrapbook in front of the kids - during the time I should have been spending with them!

While scrapping, all the wee ones were sitting at the table playing with play-doh. I barely talked to them, because mostly they were playing amongst themselves. I didn't really feel the need to interrupt with my blabbering!

I have no idea what G had said up to this point (and really there is no telling) but I did suddenly distinctly hear her say,"And he will be called Prince..., God, Father, Prince of Pizza."

I didn't look up at all. I about peed on myself, but I didn't look up. I said, "You mean 'Prince of Peace'?"

She said, "Yes! Prince of Pizza. Only cheese, please."

Seriously? Pizza vs Peace? Do I need to say more?

Friday, January 9, 2009

For the Women In Your Life

I stumbled upon this accidentally. It is so important that you listen to this and remember the blessings of friends in your life!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

That's Good Advice!

I have been trying to begin potty training G and D. It's such a challenge. Patience is just not my strong suit.

A couple of weeks ago, a wonderfully, blissfully ignorant (childless) friend was going to have her three year old niece overnight, actually for an entire weekend. Her niece is also in the process of potty training. Said friend told me she was a bit worried about the situation because her niece is so strong willed and isn't a fan of the potty training thing. Since she asked for advice, I offered helpful tips -- along the lines of “POTTY TRAINING IS SO HARD! GIVING A TODDLER CONTROL OF ANYTHING IS A NIGHTMARE!”

Friend was very encouraged. I think I’ll put that pep talk on DVD and make millions.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Gluten Free Dessert

It's hard to find a dessert that's as budget-friendly as it is beautiful. Pavlova is easy and elegant--and all without gluten! Or so I have been told. Here is a recipe that I was given that is supposed to be fail proof. I haven't tried it yet. I am a bit afraid... I will let youknow how it turns out.

1. Whip until foaming: 3 egg whites at room temperature plus 1/4 tsp cream of tartar.

2. Whip in 3/4 cup sugar by the tablespoon until stiff peaks form.
3. Drop dollops of meringue on parchment-covered baking sheet, making a nest 9" in diameter.
4. Bake in preheated 275-degree oven for 1 hour.

5. Leave meringue shell in closed oven for an additional 30 minutes. Handle with care.
6. Fill the inside of the nest with flavored whipped cream, Cool Whip, or even ice cream. Layer with whatever fresh fruit is on sale.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

2009 Project

I have decided it would be a fabulous, phenom idea for me and the family to keep a "weekly blessing / gratitude journal" in 2009. It has been a looooong time since I have maintained a commitment o a journal. I don't really count my blog and I am not sure why. I guess, to me, it isn't so much a journal, but a peek into my world for others.

I always kept a journal as a young adult. Ever since I was a little girl I have loved writing and did it often. Writing of any kind -- lists, stories, plans, etc… just the act of putting the pen to the paper and producing words was (and continues to be) very cathartic to me. It feeds my soul.

As a matter of fact, writing and publishing a novel is on my dream bucket list -- which reminds me, that is actually something I still need to write out.

I am getting off track. So I love to write, including writing in a journal. I probably have 10 journals that are not quite filled, but almost are.

Does anyone keep a Blessings journal?

We will see how I do with it. I should do fairly well. I only have to write in it once a week and after a few weeks I should be in the habit, right? Maybe I should write it on my calendar for the same day each week, so I don't forget, because that will be the reason why it doesn't get finished is that I forget about it.

But I hope that doesn't happen, because I would really like to take all of the entries and make a beautiful mini book out of them. This seems like a good idea to me! I have a lot of blessings in my life.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Attitude is Everything

"There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
~ William Shakespeare

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act

So everyone has about the new Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act, right? I learned about this right before Christmas and it is just so depressing. In a nutshell, legislation was passed to protect children from unsafely manufactured toys, but it was poorly written and hastily passed. Basically, unless it is amended, the current act will likely put small businesses out of business and make handmade toys unavailable for sale.

Don't let them throw the baby out with the bath water! Save handmade toys!

Read all about it at Cool Mom Picks and here Handmade Toy Alliance and here at ETSY.

Please Vote on!

Thank you!


I love that my children love to read
and be read to!

Saturday, January 3, 2009


The children love playing the new game "Sorry Sliders" that E got for Christmas. Of course, when the wee ones are playing, they aren't following the rules, but who cares?! Rules were made to to be broken, right? (That appears to be my children's motto anyway.)

And much more importantly, it is something the three or four of them can do together without fighting for let's say... oh, at least, 2-3 minutes!

Friday, January 2, 2009


Well, 2008 has ended. Another year gone, another new year to celebrate, another chance to change life for the better.

I love making New Year’s resolutions. I always make a lot of them, which may seem foolish, but I figure, why not? It’s just so great that we are hardwired for this mentality of renewal at the start of a new year. Granted, come March, most resolutions are gone with the wind. But at least we can start out with good intentions. At least we don’t have to feel like we’re stuck in the situation we’re in. At least we have the opportunity—and the desire—to yearn for something better, and to do something about it.

There is power in positive thoughts, right?!

One of the cool things about being a parent is that we have to make resolutions all year long. We are in a constant state of self-improvement. Parenting can be a very fluid experience. We have to test what works and what doesn’t work, and adjust our behavior accordingly. And what works one day may not work the next. Thus, more adjusting. It’s exhausting, but we’re becoming better parents—and people—because of it.

I’ve decided to list my parenting-related New Year’s resolutions. It’s scary to write them down, because then I actually have to follow through with them. But I suppose there is no point in even having them if I had no intention for follow-through.

2009 New Year’s Parenting Resolutions

1. I will continue to read a bedtime story every night to each and every child before bed (instead of combining stories when I am tired or crabby.)

2. I will start teaching the children about the value and responsibility of money -- by setting a better example (Gotta stop the impulsive purchasing!)

3. When the wee ones make me angry, I will close my eyes and take a deep breath, rather than yell at the top of my lungs -- but to be honest, I may still yell a little after my deep breath. Is blunt honesty appropriate in a resolution...?

4. I will keep E continuously involved in extracurricular activities so she has a creative outlet for her immense energy.

5. I will not get caught up in self-pity about the trying moments of parenthood; instead I will count my blessings!

What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

Art of Procastination

Sometimes I have to just laugh at the situations I get myself into by putting things off. I’d like to say that most of the time the procrastination is a necessity–way too much going on in each overflowing day. I know I didn’t mean to just now today be sending my Christmas cards. The month just got away from me, right? (Actually, I have moved the Christmas card idea to more of a New Year card concept this year -- or I am toying with End of January-Winter Blues-Here's to a Great Year's-Beginning cards?)

Over the last year I made a promise to myself to start saying NO to anything that I’d normally say yes to. Somehow this turned out to me still saying yes to almost everything. In review, it's been a good thing. I’ve not looked back, it really was the best decision ever. New relationships, new opportunities to grow and test my comfort zone. I like being a “yes woman” if it means saying yes to life.

I am happy that I have made some life changes that others only think about making. I am proud that I have been sticking my neck out there, when so many times I wanted to just sit at home in my sweats and read about how life happened without me. Yet again.

So in this new year, I want to continue the Yes Year, but it’s definitely not been the “Git Er Done” year. I’m hoping to see some progress on that front next. I may have bitten off a teensy bit more than I can manage, but seriously... it's all about good time management skills, right?!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Find Me!

This is why I love playing Hide & Seek with D and G. I don't usually need to look very far.