Saturday, August 30, 2008

Pray for Kelly

Please keep Kelly in your prayers. She is delivering her 6th child sometime today (or tomorrow). She was induced early this morning at 34 weeks because of high blood pressure.

She has VERY difficult and dangerous pregnancies but has remained open to life in an amazing way. She is a faithful Catholic homeschooling mom who suffered brain damage (and almost died) during the birth of her 5th due to high blood pressure. (and had scary pregnancies 2 - 4 as well)

Please pray for her and her sweet Gemma who should be born sometime today. thanks!!

ETA: Gemma was born via emergency c-section this evening and is doing well. Please keep them in your prayers as Kelly recovers.

Friday, August 29, 2008


I've been overwhelmed lately. Things need to change in my life, but I'm struggling with figuring out how to make the necessary changes.

Over at Prevention, I wrote a post about dealing with stress. All of the things I mention are things that lower my stress level . . . but I'm still struggling. Mainly because I'm not doing those things!

My oldest said to me the other day "Mom, I don't know the last time I heard you laugh!?" I know that's not the type of mom (or person) I want to be.

Time to log off the computer and put into practice my own advice!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

coloring sheet

I printed out some coloring sheets to go along with our mammals unit. We're learning about unusual mammals - like the platypus that lays eggs. I found a coloring page of a platypus but it wasn't anything more than a shape, so I printed out another one that was cartoon-y. N just came up to me and said "Um, Mom, why did you give me a character platypus? I want a picture of a realistic one!"

I printed out the boring (to me) picture and he was pleased.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Do You Like Pizza?

My husband could eat pizza multiple times in a week, and I think my boys would happily join him! I enjoy a good pizza as well, and my favorites are the ones my husband makes for us at home. He often grills them outside to keep the heat outside, and we top them with all kinds of yummy ingredients.

Check out my post over at Prevention to read more about it!

Some of What I'm Reading

I've been busy at the library the last couple weeks! Here are a few of the books I'm currently reading. I stash books all over the house, in my purse and in the car so that wherever I find myself with a free moment I can read. Now that L nurses less frequently, I don't have as much opportunity to read.

Help for the Harried Homeschooler: A Practical Guide to Balancing Your Child's Education with the Rest of Your Life by Christine Field. I've picked up a few good tips from this book, and I'm sure I'll pick up a few more. The book is easy to skim and read bits and pieces from.

Raising Puppies and Kids Together: A Guide for Parents by Pia Silvani and Lynn Eckhart. I actually got a number of puppy books from the library, but this one has been most useful for me. I've raised a puppy before, and actually remember quite a bit more than I thought I might. I didn't have any kids the last time I raised a puppy, however! This book has lots of great tips for raising puppies alongside children and wonderful ideas of how to get them to play together well. I highly recommend this to any family adding a puppy to their family with children.

Renegade Writer: A Totally Unconventional Guide to Freelance Writing Success by Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell. I'm trying to gather information from many sources about pursuing a freelance writing career. I am also trying to balance learning about the process with actually DOING it. This is a good book, and I wish the library had their query book . . . but maybe I should plan a bookstore visit in the next week or so.

Redwall by Brian Jacques. I'm reading this book aloud to the boys as our evening read. I had heard good things about it for a couple years now, but was sick of reading about mice after the Ralph Mouse series and Tale of Desperaux. The boys are really enjoying this book. I think there's a lot of violence in it, but the lines of good and evil are pretty well drawn. The hero and his companions are likable, while the villains are definitely not. There are plenty of moral lessons woven throughout. I'm glad I didn't read it a couple of years ago when I first heard of it, because I don't think the boys would have been ready. As it is now, I still question some chapters and am glad I can edit while reading aloud. While I know the boys will want me to start the 2nd book in the series, we're going to read The Borrowers next.

Everything is non-fiction at the moment, except for the read aloud for the boys. I usually have one or two novels in the mix, but I guess nothing caught my eye recently. Well, that and L believes that all the books in the library are there for her to unshelve. That makes it hard to browse!

What are you reading right now? Any recommendations to give me? Any good novels in your pile?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ad Perk

Have you visited Ad Perk? I first came across the site because they were giving out free subscriptions to Parents if you watched a few ads for J&J products. My subscription hasn't started yet, but I received an email to watch some ads for Sears for a $5 gift card a few weeks after I earned my magazine subscription.

The gift card came today, so I know they're a legit site. They're giving away subscriptions to Ode and Field & Stream at the moment -- but more magazines are shown as "coming soon!" Although, what do I know? Maybe your hubby would LOVE a Field & Stream subscription for Christmas this year?

It really didn't take long to watch all the video ads (maybe 15 minutes?) and I was very interested in the Sears appliance ads, actually. It made me want to remodel our kitchen pronto!

If you're like me and don't like to pay for magazine subscriptions (but LOVE to read magazines), this is a great site to sign up with.

Monday, August 25, 2008

St. Bartholomew's Feast Day

Yesterday was St. Bartholomew's Feast Day, and also N's baptismal day. We always celebrate the kids' baptismal days with a small celebration. The big highlight for them is that they are allowed to choose a cake to have with dinner.

N was very excited to choose his cake, and spent quite a bit of time agonizing over his choices at the store bakery. He was insistent that the cake be kept a surprise, and that nobody except him & me could see it before dinner. He finally chose a 1/2 sheet carrot cake. I had the bakers write "St. Bartholomew's Day" on the top of the cake.

My parents and sister joined us for dinner last night, and when I put out the cake, I asked N -- "So, why did you get to choose this cake today?" And he answered "Because it's my baptismal day! This is the day I first became Catholic." And then I asked "So, why did we have 'St. Bartholomew's Day' written on it?" And he answered just as clear as day "Because I was baptized on his feast day. AND because Bartholomew is the other name for N!"

I was so proud of him for remembering all that and stating it clearly at the dinner table. The rest of my family doesn't practice their faith and it was a joy to see my son be a witness to our faith.

When I was pregnant with N, my mom suggested many names -- few of which DH & I considered. One of the names she did suggest, however, was Bartholomew, so I like to tell her that she had a hand in naming N. He actually wasn't named until after he was born -- we had 3 or 4 different names we were considering and it wasn't until we met him that we knew what his name was. This was unlike C or L, who were named well before birth.

(I don't write out my children's names to avoid google searches on their specific names together. But, if you know who Philip hung around with in John's gospel, then you know N's name!)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

invisible pool sharks

We play a silly game with the kids in the pool. We'll go by and pinch them (lightly) and then feign ignorance and say "Hmmm, must be the invisible pool sharks!" It's very silly, but it always cracks them up. They like to turn it around on us as well.

Tonight, the kids and I were in the pool. C swam by me underwater and gave me a little pinch. He surfaced a few feet away and said "Mom! I felt a nibble. I think the pool sharks are at it again! Did you get bit?"

It was so funny that he thought it through and carried the joke that far. It couldn't possibly be him since he also was bit! I just love watching their senses of humor develop.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Review: Green Works Dishwashing Soap

There isn't a day that goes by that I'm not washing dishes by hand. While I've been trying to teach the boys to handle this chore, it still falls to me most days.

When Mom Central asked if I'd be willing to try out Clorox's new Green Works Dish Washing Soap, I jumped at the chance. A few months ago I reviewed some of their other cleaning products and was happy with the results. We still use them regularly because I like the fact that they are all-natural and non-toxic.

The dish washing soap is similar to the other products, in that it is all-natural and non-toxic. I like the fact that all these cleaners are made using plant-based ingredients derived from coconuts, as well as essential oils. In addition, all of the products are made from biodegradable ingredients, are packaged in bottles that can be recycled and not tested on animals.

The soap worked just fine! It suds up nicely, but the bubbles don't seem to last as long as other dish soaps. It cut through the grease when we had spaghetti and meatballs the other night, and left my dishes clean and sparkly.

The sample bottle I received was the original scent, which is relatively neutral. There are other scents available: Water Lily, Tangerine, Free & Clear and Simply Lemon. I'd like to try some of the other scents because I like fruity dish soaps. (I don't know why?! But a nice scent makes washing dishes somehow easier.)

I'll continue to use this soap, and buy more when we run out. I feel much better rinsing natural ingredients down the drain, instead of chemicals!

Thanks to Mom Central and Clorox for letting me try this new dish washing soap!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I realized just the other day that my boys have big boy feet now. They're no longer the chubby baby feet that they had for so long. I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but tonight I was looking for a picture and came across this one of N. He still had baby feet 2 years ago . . . but today they are definitely longer, slimmer and not nearly as kissable as when they were tiny.

At least L's feet are still chubsters!

Healthy Habits in Kids

Over at Prevention, I posted about how I know my kids have healthy habits. Check it out and leave a comment there because it looks like they're now allowing them!

How do you instill healthy habits in your kids? Any tried and true tricks?

special intention

Could you please pray for a special intention of mine? It could potentially cause some changes for our family, but I think we'd come out the other side in better shape.

thanks :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

bulleted update

I thought a bulleted list would be a fast way to remember all the things I have going on right now!
  • I'm still walking most mornings. I've missed a morning here and there, but my goal was to walk 4 days/week and I have definitely met that. I haven't let the heat keep me from walking outside, and blogged about some tips to exercise in the heat over at my Prevention blog.
  • We start homeschooling tomorrow. I'm ready, Colin is ready, Nate wouldn't mind if summer vacation lasted until October. We have a pretty full schedule ahead of us, but I think it'll be fun. Hopefully L will continue her good afternoon nap.
  • In addition to my Prevention blog, I've been seeking out more freelance writing work. I need to devote quite a bit of time to marketing and networking, but I can see it gaining some momentum and that's exciting!
  • The tenant in my parent's condo gave notice. I manage the condo for my parents, and I'm itching to get in there to see how much work needs to be done before it can be rented out again. Anyone looking for a 2 bedroom/1 bath in AZ?
  • I decided to continue leading mom's group at my church this year. It'll be the 4th year and I have gained some sweet friends from the group. I like to have the topics planned out for each meeting until the new year, so I have to sit down and plan that out. Unfortunately, to fit into my schedule better I changed the day -- and lost 3 of the moms I could always count on to come to meetings. The group had dwindled to 4 of us -- so that means I'll probably be starting from scratch again. That's okay -- I still believe this is an important ministry for our parish.
  • L is a typical 15 month old -- into everything, very vocal and easily frustrated. She doesn't want to ride in a stroller or be fed or do anything that may appear slightly dependent. It's a bit exhausting, but exciting to watch!
  • Beulah is fitting into our family nicely. The boys are great about helping make sure she gets outside often and we're working on her nipping. We are crate training her, and she's doing wonderfully -- very few accidents in the crate and we're all doing a good job of noticing her cues to get her out before she has accidents in the house. She's a sweet thing and I'm happy we decided to adopt her.
I know that there's more, but my brain is feeling addled tonight. Lots of stresses . . .

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Amazon Prime

Last month, I blogged about how I save money shopping at Amazon, including using their Prime shipping membership. Right now, they're offering a FREE one-month trial of Amazon Prime.

The benefits of Amazon Prime are:

1. Unlimited FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of Items
2. Overnight Shipping upgrades for only $3.99 per item
3. Shopping with no minimum order size
4. Ability to share benefits with up to 4 household members
and right now . . .
5. 1 Month Free Trial

After the free trial period, you'll pay around $80/year. The free trial gives you a chance to see how it would work in your family, and if your purchases make it worthwhile. I easily save that amount in shipping gifts throughout the year, since our family is all over the place.

I also love the fact that there is no minimum order - so I can order that amazing toy that is on clearance for $3 and really only pay $3! I save plenty in gas since I don't have to run around town trying to find gifts and even necessities (like diapers!)

Give the free trial a try-out!

cleaning microsuede??

Help! Any tips on cleaning microsuede? When we purchased this couch, I was told I could clean it "easily with just a wet rag!!" Well, 3 kids and lots of playmates later I have splotches that I want to disappear.

Any tips? thanks!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

shaved ice!

When I was pregnant with C, I craved crushed/shaved ice. There was a roach coach (truck that drove around and sold meals and drinks) that came every morning near where I worked. I would have them fill their largest cup with the most perfect (to me!) tiny crushed ice. I remember it cost me a quarter, and some days I would order 2 cups and put one in the freezer for later. (yes, I probably was anemic . . . I craved ice during my pregnancies with both boys.)

It was never enough, though! I remember stopping at Target one night on my way home and buying an electric ice shaver. I enjoyed shaved ice all the time, and my DH was sweet enough to make it for me whenever I asked.

C will be 8 in November, and that ice shaver still gets quite a bit of use in our kitchen! It may be one of the most used gadgets I own, in fact. When we got home from coach pitch this morning, I pulled it out and made a big heaping bowl of crushed ice and drizzled Gatorade over it for us all to share. It was the perfect treat after a blistering hot morning at the ball field.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Review: Suave Hair Products

Mom Central and Suave teamed together to send out a variety of hair care samples to help us have great summer hair. I was excited to receive them, as my hair was dry and dull after months of swimming. I had tried a couple different shampoos this summer, and was just about to try another one when the samples arrived.

I immediately decided to try the Vibrant Shine Shampoo and Conditioner. After just one wash, my hair was definitely softer. After a couple days my hair was sleeker, softer and easier to manage. I know I sound like a commercial, but it's true! LOL! My husband usually uses whatever I have in the shower, and he liked the fact that it didn't have a flowery or fruity scent. He says "It just smells like shampoo."

My sister colors her hair, so I gave her the sample bottles of Color Care shampoo and conditioner. She has long (middle of her back) hair that is very thick. She was happy with both products and said that she would probably buy additional bottles once these were empty.

I also received a bottle of Professionals Extra Hold mousse, which did a nice job of holding shape in my hair and help smooth out the flyaways. It also worked great to spike N's hair!

I shared the can of Extra Hold hair spray with a neighbor who said it worked great for her! She had never tried Suave products before, because she thought they wouldn't work well because they weren't expensive. She was definitely pleasantly surprised!

All the Suave hair care products we tried cost less than $2.50 a bottle. They are definitely a great value (and who can't use a great value these days?) and provide excellent results. The products can be found at drugstores, grocery stores, and mass merchandise stores.

For more information about Suave's hair care products, check out their website! I would have linked to each product, but their site is set up as frames so I wasn't able to link to individual pages.

For some great summer hair care tips from Luke O'Connor, celebrity hair stylist, click the button below and continue reading!

Shine Through Summer
· Chlorine from the pool can quickly turn hair dry and dull. Look for hair products specially-designed to infuse shine. Also, blow dry hair from roots to ends, making sure you do not ruffle your hair. By doing this, you'll keep the cuticle of your hair lying flat, thus reflect more light and producing more shine.

Don't Let Your Hair Fall when Temps Rise
· Hot summer weather and humidity can cause your hair to lose its shape. Apply a little mousse to damp hair to add body and help control your style. For added fullness, flip your head over and blow dry the roots. When you flip your head upright, your hair will be at maximum volume.

Hold That Look
· Heat and humidity can be tough to battle, and here's where the right hairspray comes to the rescue. To keep a soft, full, long lasting look, use an extra hold hairspray and keep the can 8-10 inches away from your head while spraying all over. This allows the fine mist of spray to penetrate the roots and hold the hair in place.

Make Summer Styling Smooth Sailing
· Frizzies and fly-aways suddenly appear during the summer months with humidity at an all-time high. Achieving frizz-free hair starts in the shower with a shampoo and conditioner specially formulated to fight frizz. When blow drying hair, again be sure to blow dry from roots to ends to smooth the cuticle.

Fight the Fade
· Have color-treated hair? Lock in your color and keep hair healthy during the summer by protecting your hair with products designed to fight the elements, such as color-protecting shampoos, waterproof gels, and UV protectors.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Over at Prevention, I wrote about some of the ways I keep motivated to continue exercising.

What keeps you involved in an exercise program? What kind of goals do you set for yourself? What kind of rewards do you dangle?

I want to keep going, so I know that I have to constantly motivate myself to get going.

social butterflies

It's been a busy few days, but wonderfully so. My cousin and 2 aunts flew in Saturday morning to celebrate my dad's (their uncle/brother's) 60th birthday. It was great fun seeing them, as I haven't seen my cousin in many years, and while I've seen my aunts more recently, it's still been more than a year. We've visited museums, gone out to eat and hung around my pool to the enjoyment of everyone.

My cousin had to leave early Monday morning, one aunt left early this morning, and my other aunt leaves late tonight. It has been wonderful being able to re-connect and spend time with them. It is so hard living far away from family, and weekends like this past one remind me of that. I wish we had more money and the ability to travel freely, as I would love to spend more time with all my family . . . but since we're all far-flung it would mean traveling the country from one side to the other!

Tomorrow, a dear friend and her family are coming to visit. She moved away a couple years ago and we lost touch, but she found me again when she knew she was coming back to town. I also invited another friend and her children over, because we had all met at the same mom's group years ago (N wasn't even a year yet.) While the 2nd friend is local, I haven't seen her for over a year (shame on me!) and haven't even met her new baby (who is probably 6 months now?!) I can't wait!!

And, then on Friday we're planning to get together with another good friend, unless she goes into labor and then we'll see her a few days later and meet her new daughter. She's due any day now, so any plans with her are on a wait and see basis.

After this busy, social week we will hunker down and get started with schooling next week! The boys started their enrichment program today and we actually did some schooling on Monday . . .but we're not officially starting until next week. I also have some freelance work to get finished up with, a few queries to send out, and some office organizing to complete!

Monday, August 11, 2008


I love to nap. I have always loved to nap . . . and think that the best vacations include plenty of napping time!

I wrote some tips for napping over at Prevention . . . plus there's a cute picture of L gracing that post :)

Friday, August 08, 2008

Meet Beulah!

Our 9 yo boxer, Julianna, died about a week before Lydia was born. The boys wanted a new dog right away (Mom . . James Herriott says that you should replace a dog right away when one dies!) I said that we had to wait until the baby was over a year, that I wanted a puppy and not an older dog, and that it couldn't cost us much.

L is 15 months old. Yesterday, this puppy literally showed up on our doorstep and she was free. Her mama was bitten and killed by a rattlesnake, and left a litter of 6 week old pups. The owners are friends of our neighbors and the owners just couldn't care for all the pups so they were giving them away. She met all the requirements I had laid out, so how could I say no?

She's very sweet so far, and the boys are beyond thrilled. She's an Australian cattle dog, which is the breed of dogs that DH grew up with. She's named after Hank's girlfriend from the Hank the Cowdog series.

DH & I weren't exchanging gifts this year for our anniversary . . . but we added to the family which seemed very appropriate for our anniversary.

Happy Anniversary to Us!

This isn't the best picture from our wedding day. This picture was taken at the end of the night -- and you might be able to see how tired we were. 11 years ago, we married at a beautiful church in West Allis, WI and then had our reception at Mykono's Restaurant (no longer there) which was across from State Fair Park.

We chose to marry this week because the State Fair was going on and we thought it would give out of town guests something else to do while they visited. Just as dinner was being served, B leaned over to me and said we should run across to the Fair. I looked around at all the people with their dinners and thought "How could we leave?" B insisted and we decided to run out the door. My brother came with us and we ran across the street to many calls of "Congratulations!!" while I'm holding up my long skirt. They let us into the fair for free, and then they let us ride the ferris wheel for free as well.

It is a magical memory! After the ride, we went back across the street and nobody even missed us!

Eleven years later, and my dear husband still encourages me to push myself and not hold back for fear of what others might think. It's been a wonderful ride, and I can't wait to see what the next eleven years has in store for us!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Mother Talk Review: Dangerous Days of Daniel X

James Patterson has written another young adult novel in the hopes of hooking young boys into reading. The main character has superpowers -- the ability to create things out of nothing and shapeshift.

My 7yo is an avid reader, and is currently devouring "The Hardy Boys" and "Redwall." He's also waiting patiently for another "Captain Underpants" book. He loves to read, and a day doesn't go by when he hasn't spent a good chunk of time with his nose in a book. When he saw that I had a book to review, and I mentioned that it was written for young boys -- he was interested. Until he read the back cover, which stated that the main character's parents were dead. He put the book down and refused to even bother looking at it further.

My husband picked it up and read it through. He found it a quick read, with an okay story. Daniel is an alien-hunter, and the book is about his adventures. He said that if C could get past the first chapters, he might like it.

The chapters are short, which is similar to Patterson's Maximum Ride series. For a reluctant reader, I can see the appeal of short chapters. The writing isn't very sophisticated, and seems dumbed down over all. I don't necessarily believe that stories have to be dumbed down to appeal to a broader audience, but perhaps I'm in the minority.

I wish I could have given the opinion of my son, since he is the target market, but he wouldn't read it. If you have a child, who loves science fiction, but doesn't like to read much, this book might be a great fit! For our family, it was a little too dark.

Check out more information at the book's website.

Thanks to Mother Talk for sending the book for me to review!

Packing snacks

One of the ways I save sanity and money while traveling is to pack snacks. This prevents us all from becoming cranky because we're hungry, or spending too much on food that isn't very good anyway!

I posted about the snacks I usually pack over at my Prevention blog. I see that they're not allowing comments over there right now, but if that changes I'll let you know!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

World Breastfeeding Week

It is World Breastfeeding Week. I've been meaning to post this story about L, so it seems the right time to do it!

Whenever I have a book in my hand to read -- whether to myself or out loud to the boys, she assumes it's also time to nurse. I guess the habit has been ingrained since birth!

I still use the boppy. It's just easier. I know she's 15 months old, and the boppy is meant for newborns and infants . . . but you've got to see her dragging the boppy behind her whenever she wants to be nursed. It's just too precious!

Some think it's time to wean her (or past time) but we are just fine with our nursing relationship. She likes to nurse first thing in the morning, before naps and before bed. She'll nurse one or maybe two other times during the day, but for the most part she's much too busy to take the time.

I had bad advice with C and we stopped before he was a year old. I wish I knew more of what I know now, because I'm sure we would have nursed longer. N nursed until he was about 18 months old. He really only nursed at night by 15 months, and once he started sleeping through the night he stopped nursing.

Like most things related to my family, I did what I felt was best for MY family. My choices don't have to be the same ones that others make. There are so many ways to parent, and so many of those ways are wonderful. They are just different!

I do think that breastfeeding is a good thing and beneficial to both children and moms. I hope that I have offered the right amount of support to friends and family when they have been trying to make decisions in those early, crazy days of infancy and new parenthood.

But, most of all, I'm glad that I gave my children sustenance. It's my own little superpower in a way -- making milk!

Zenni Optical, Part 2

A few months ago I discussed my purchase of glasses for my 7yo son through Zenni Optical. We were happy with the service, quality -- and most of all the price!

As kids are wont to do, C broke the arm of the glasses from there. After a little research on their site, I saw that I could order replacement frames for 1/2 the cost of frames + lenses. A little over 2 weeks ago I ordered a pair of replacement frames, another pair of glasses for him (just in case we couldn't get the lenses successfully into the new frames) and a pair of prescription sunglasses for me. My total order was under $55.00.

The replacement frames arrived along with a small, 2 headed screwdriver. My DH was able to easily pop out the lenses from the broken frames and install them in the new frames. C was thrilled, because even though he initially didn't like those frames, they grew on him and he ended up liking them. The 2nd pair I ordered for him he also liked, and since his sister had broken the pair of clip-on sunshades from our original order, I ordered sunshades for this pair.

My pair of prescription sunglasses look pretty cute, and have a nice, dark tint (I chose 80% tint.) They work very well in the bright Arizona sunshine.

All 3 pairs arrived in hard plastic cases with a cleaning cloth. The cases aren't fancy, but definitely functional and I like the fact that they are hard plastic. It will keep my sunglasses much safer in my purse!

Once again, a great experience! I will definitely continue ordering from this company in the future.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


L is sleeping through the night (mostly), but I kept finding myself waking up during the night and being distracted by various lights in our bedroom. It's almost silly how many things have lights on them, even when they are turned off!

DH laughed hysterically a few nights ago when he came to bed. He found one of his socks draped over the cd player (covering up the clock that is bright), another sock draped over the light on the answering machine, and a receiving blanket draped over the cable box and dvd player. I couldn't figure out an easy way to block the light at the bottom of the TV and decided I really shouldn't cover up the alarm clock.

While it might have been funny to DH, it was peaceful for me! I definitely have slept better the last few nights without all these extra lights brightening our room. I do have a Mobi TykeLight that is useful if I need to see something in the middle of the night. I like that if the light is on the stand, it is dark -- but as soon as it is lifted off the stand it gives off a glow.

I love the idea of removing all electronics from the bedroom, but DH wouldn't like that. It's one of those compromise things that are important in a marriage!


I started walking again last week, and am pretty proud of myself that I've stuck with it. Okay, it's only been a week . . . but I've walked every day (but one) and gotten it over with first thing in the morning.

It's hot, but as long as I walk before 9AM, it's not too bad. L is happy to sit in her jogging stroller with a cup of kefir and a cup of cheerios, kicking her legs as we bump along. The boys have ridden their bikes with me most days, and I even got DH to walk with us a couple days.

My hip definitely feels better, but my ankle is aching and swollen. I know that my ankle will get better as I build up more strength and lose weight again. I just have to ice it when I get back home to help the swelling.

This morning, I was ready to go and the boys were still asleep. I woke them both, and they declined to come along so L and I headed out. As I was finishing up my first lap (2 laps around our neighborhood is 1.9 miles) N was on his bike looking for me. He said "I didn't really understand what you said - but I DO want to walk with you." so he came along for my 2nd lap.

I've also been keeping a food diary and let's just say -- I'm going to be proud of the walking and deal with the food in another week or so! LOL! One step at a time . . . .

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Fall Ball

We started our 4th year of Fall Ball this morning! The boys are both playing coach pitch this year, which means I will have to stay at the fields 1.5 hours instead of 3! Yea!! (Last year, they were in 2 different leagues, so we were there for 3 hours.)

It was HOT!!!! at 10AM out on the field, but I remembered sunscreen and plenty of drinks so all was fine. I wish L would wear a hat, but she won't no matter how many times I put it back on her head.

The coach for a local high school brought a bunch of his players out to help with today's clinic. I was so very proud of N. He really paid attention to direction, did his best to follow the advice he was given, and he absolutely tried his hardest. I hope he gets a good coach this year, because I can see his skills really developing with good guidance.

C, on the other hand, didn't have the best attitude. He tends to be a know-it-all type of kid and he was quick to argue when offered advice, and I don't think he followed any of the advice given. He was snotty to his brother (which is completely UNACCEPTABLE!) and I left the field wishing I hadn't signed him up. He had spent a good portion of the summer insisting he didn't want to play. He changed his mind at the last minute (we didn't push it -- I was really okay with him not playing this year) but he has to change his attitude to continue. When his dad gets home later, we'll be having a nice, long conversation with him.

I think L will have fun this season wandering the ball fields. The boys will play Saturday mornings, and Monday and Wednesday evenings. I know she'll love all the people and the boys don't play until 7PM for their evening games so it won't be so very hot.

DH will be able to make the Monday games consistently, and will attend the other games when work permits. My sister usually comes out for a couple games, and this year my parents will be here for a few as well. The season ends in late September, and it usually seems over before it begins!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Summer Fitness Goals

I've recently started blogging over at about my fitness and health goals! My first post recently went live, and I'd love for you to visit and say "hi!"

I'm excited about blogging over there because not only are there a ton of great tools and ideas, but it'll help keep me honest and on track. I truly want to go into next summer quite a bit lighter and quite a bit stronger.

My goal for August is to start walking again. I've got a good start -- 2 days in a row now walking 1.3 miles and then spending an hour or so in the pool with the kids. My bum ankle feels better with just that little bit of exercise.
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