Thursday, May 29, 2008
She eats everything we offer her -- with the exception of vegetables these days. You can see her to the left after enjoying a triple berry smoothie!
She isn't walking, but can stand on her own and does a fair share of deep knee bends. She spreads her legs so far apart when she stands that as she tries to move forward, she falls to the floor. We're just waiting for that first step, and I know she'll be running before we know it.
She can climb up stairs with no fear, and laughs hysterically from the top and waits for someone to bring her back down the steps.
She loves to look at books and to have books read to her. She especially loves books with flaps, books with photographs of babies, and a Care Bears book that has a moon that lights up when pushed.
She doesn't sleep through the night, but I'm trying hard to help her do so. She outgrew the co-sleeper that was attached to her bed, so DH put together one of our cribs. It's in our room (we don't have a room for her -- and the real estate market crash means we have no equity left in our home which has put a damper on our plan for an addition -- our house lost over $50K in value in the last 6 months . . . ), but a few steps away from our bed. She starts out the night in her crib, but ends up in our bed between 1 and 3AM. Unfortunately, that means I usually end up with 25% of my body hanging off the bed and waking up with a crumpled spine. This is the first time we've had a toddler and haven't had an extra bed in the house -- with C & N I was usually sleeping part of the night in our spare bed. I'm not sure what the answer is, but it may involve me sleeping on the floor for the next couple months.
We are trying to enclose our back patio to make room for our office and then give her a room of her own. Unfortunately, we can't afford to do even this at the moment. If we do that, I will move our futon back from my parents home and put it in her bedroom and we'll have an extra bed again!
But, back to my youngest! She is finally over her illnesses over the last month -- (ear infections and then a staph infection) and is much happier.
She nods and shakes her head appropriately. She waves. She uses the sign for "finished". She uses a sign for "yes" (which is similar to finished, but she uses only one hand.) She grunts a lot to express her desires (see video here.) She's a very friendly child and interacts with most people who come in contact with her.
She loves all types of music, including N singing to her. She bops her head and dances along whenever she hears a beat of any kind.
It's so much fun watching her grow and learn new things.
1) 4 LETTER WORD: moan
2) BOY NAME: Mark
3) GIRL NAME: Millicent
4) OCCUPATION: mortician
5) A COLOR: maroon
6) SOMETHING YOU WEAR: make-up
7) BEVERAGE: mojito (yum! I haven't had one in forever, though)
8) FOOD: marble cake
9) SOMETHING FOUND IN A BATHROOM: mail ( what? you don't wander in to the bathroom while reading your mail?)
10) A PLACE: Minneapolis
11) REASON FOR BEING LATE: moving slowly (my kids, not me usually)
12) SOMETHING YOU SHOUT: MAMA IS TIRED!
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Being Born Is Important
~by Carl Sandburg
Being born is important
You who have stood at the bedposts
and seen a mother on her high harvest day,
the day of the most golden of harvest moons for her.
You who have seen the new wet child
dried behind the ears,
swaddled in soft fresh garments,
pursing its lips and sending a groping mouth
toward the nipples where white milk is ready
You who have seen this love’s payday
of wild toil and sweet agonizing
You know nothing else was ever so important to you.
You understand the payday of love is so old,
So involved, so traced with the circles of the moon,
So cunning with the secrets of the salts of the blood
It must be older than the moon, older than the salt.
This article examines the way 2 of our potential candidates in the U.S. perceive life. There are many issues in this election, but I think that voters should be educated as much as possible about the beliefs of those being elected.
I'm exhausted and sleep deprived this week -- and also very busy with 3 active children -- but I wouldn't have it any other way. They are a blessing in my life. It is my privilege to raise and nurture them. And, I feel sorry for those who do not see new life as the blessing that it is.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
I had it on my netflix queue for a while, and was pleased when it showed up in my mailbox last week. I took the time to watch it last weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a wonderful movie -- full of strong messages of family, love and life. The characters were beautifully written, and well acted. I cried and I laughed, and I came away from the movie feeling good.
There are so many little decisions we make throughout our life that shape the paths we follow. While we don't really know how any single decision will impact the rest of our lives, when we look back we can start to pinpoint those critical choices. This movie does a fabulous job at showing how true that is.
It also shows how important a single act by a single person is. A simple act of kindness, a belief in the goodness of another, a willingness to share a story -- all those things can impact others in amazing and wonderful ways. I can look back at my life and remember those people that have had an impact on me. Some are no longer part of my life, and some were only part of my life for a brief moment, but they helped shape the person I am today.
If you haven't already seen Bella, I highly recommend that you watch it. I think you'll be glad you did!
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Mom Central and Ragu sent me 2 pouches of their new Ragu sauce to try out on my family. We love to eat noodles, and spaghetti sauce is a staple in our pantry.
Even though there are 5 in my family, we're not all big sauce lovers. My oldest son LOVES noodles, but doesn't like any tomato sauce. My middle child likes to eat noodles with or without sauce. My youngest would make a huge mess, so I avoid sauce on hers at the moment. My DH likes a lot of sauce. I prefer just a light tossing of sauce. SO, I was excited to see that these pouches have 3 servings of sauce in each package. That seemed like just the right amount for my family! Usually, we open a jar and have it for 2 or more meals.
There are 3 flavors -- Garden Veggie, Tomato Basil and Tomato, Onion & Garlic. We tried out the Garden Veggie and Tomato Basil. The package directions state that it takes 90 seconds in the microwave, and I found that to be true! I was afraid there might be some tomato splash in the microwave, but there was none.
The flavor was good, and not any different than the traditional sauce sold in glass jars. The amount was perfect for my family. I didn't have to dirty a pan, because we poured the sauce from the package onto the noodles. It saved a few minutes of preparation and clean-up, which is always nice in a busy household!
The Ragu website has some quick meal ideas listed which gave me a new idea for rotisserie chicken! We tried it for our 2nd pouch and I know that I'll make it again for my family.
The pouches have about half the sauce as the glass jars, but seem to cost the same. Ragu was on sale at a local grocery store this week for 3 / $5 -- for both the jars and the pouches. I have to admit that I bought the glass jars since it meant I will prepare 2 meals for the same price as one pouch.
My other issue is that the pouches seem completely un-recyclable. Glass jars can be reused for various purposes and also recycled in certain areas. These pouches are strictly one use items. I think the extra cost could be justified if they could figure out a recyclable package.
Except for those drawbacks, I enjoyed trying out this new product. I think I will use it in my "new baby dinner baskets" for small families. I may also put a few in my sister's Christmas stocking next Christmas (she lives alone and would never get through a full-size jar!) If the price is right, I will throw a couple in our pantry as well for those desperation nights when I need to put dinner on the table in the absolute fastest amount of time possible.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Especially when I am mindlessly surfing because I am trapped under a feverish child and the darn music starts playing and startles her into waking up. I never re-visit blogs that play music. I often turn my speaker off so I don't know usually, but DH must have been using my laptop recently and turned the speaker back on.
It's happened to me twice this morning :( I know some people love that feature, but I find it one of the most annoying things on the internet -- right up there with internet ads that talk out loud!
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
They left late last night to return to AZ, and landed around 7:30 this morning. My DH went to pick them up, and locked the keys in the running van when he hopped out to help them with their luggage. They're waiting for AAA as I type.
When I dropped DH off at the airport a month ago to return to NC, somebody hit our van. I think we'll try and stay away from the airport for a bit now!
My dad had planned to stay in AZ until July, but I'm not sure what will happen now. My mom has to return to WI for work and my dad will likely need surgery for his gallbladder. They don't have doctors out here, so they need to make some decisions about whether to find doctors here, or have my dad return to WI.
I'm asking for prayers for my dad and my parents -- that my dad will recover and that they will be able to discern the best options for his health care. They had a trip planned to Vegas this weekend, but I don't know if they will still go with all that has gone on in the last week.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
He has had a love of construction vehicles for most of his life, so when I saw this cake in a recent Family Fun magazine, I knew I had to make it for him this year! He loved it, and I'm happy with the way it turned out.
N has an enthusiasm for life, boundless energy, a positive spirit and a deep love for his family.
He has a strong attachment to a scruffy stuffed lamb named Mickey and has an imaginary friend named May who has been part of his life for as long as I can remember. He & his brother also have a very elaborate imaginary land that they play in called "MickeyLand" where the most amazing things occur (like a real dinosaur park, and the ability to fly!)
He loves to snuggle and is free with hugs and kisses. He has to be on the move at all times, and doesn't have much patience for anything that requires him to sit still. He loves to dig in the backyard and build small structures.
He is extremely helpful, and will be the first to volunteer when help is needed. He often runs through the house when he hears his name called, and shouts "At Your Service!!" when asked to complete a task. When L was born, he put himself in charge of making sure I always had a drink so I could have plenty of "mommy milk."
His brother is his best friend, and he can't fathom the idea of spending much time apart from him. He has told me all year that the only reason he bothers with the enrichment program is so that he can spend lunch and recess with his brother. He is the first to jump into my husband's arms when he comes home at night to welcome him home.
Six years ago we welcomed him into the world and I'm grateful to be his mom!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
- L had her one year checkup at 8:15. She weighed 19lbs 8oz, which puts her almost in the 25 percentile -- which is perfect for her. I can't remember her height, but that was also 25%, as was her head circumference. My only concern was that her soft spot is still very noticeable, but the doc was not concerned.
- Attended our final church mom's group meeting until the fall. We had one new mom attend! woot! Every time I think of dissolving the group (I started it 4 years ago), something happens to make me keep it going.
- Came home and nursed L to her nap, until I shifted wrong and completely startled her awake. Attempted to get her back to sleep for too long and finally gave up.
- Made my bed.
- Threw L's laundry into the washer.
- Researched some information for my parents and left them a message.
- Went to the grocery store to purchase the decorations for N's construction truck cake. (come tomorrow for pictures!) Picked up milk and a few other necessities, but L hates riding in the cart so I didn't get much. I usually shop with my sister so one of us can carry L.
- Filled up my gas tank. OUCH. $3.49/gallon. On Saturday I paid $3.45/gallon. I went 12 days before I needed to fill up, but then we did a lot of driving this weekend and the station on Saturday would only let me put in $50 worth of gasoline.
- Paid a local bill. I wish they would accept payments online, as this is the only bill we have that I have to actually write a check!
- Stopped by the post office to mail back netflix movies.
- Wrapped N's birthday gifts (he turns 6 tomorrow.) He's getting a sewing kit (the boy has been asking to learn how to sew for way too long! I found a cute kit discounted 80%), a model car (I should link to them, but don't have time right now. They're really neat!), and a monster truck Wii game. He should be happy. I also got him a ukelele (he wants a guitar), but the string is broken and I haven't had a chance to return/replace it.
- Emailed an ebay seller regarding an item that is slightly defective. DH got me a photography backdrop so I can stop borrowing my friend's. I was excited, but there's a smudge on the white side :(
- Watered the potted plants.
- Threw L's laundry into the dryer.
- As soon as I hit publish, I'm headed off to pick up the boys from their enrichment program. This is their 2nd to last day of the school year, and I know they're excited!
When I get home, I need to get started on creating N's cake, put away L's clothes, make a couple phone calls, write a couple thank-you notes for L, clean the boys' bath and sweep the kitchen floor.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
Fun! What struck me as funny is how few I read as school assignments -- even though I was in honors English classes throughout most of my school years. I was also struck at how many I read simply because they were in my home growing up -- thanks to having a father who was an English major, I guess!
BLUE: Books I've read
GOLD: Books I've read as school assignments
GREEN: Books I will likely read in the future
RED: Books I started to read, but never finished
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Life of Pi: a novel
The Name of the Rose
Pride and Prejudice
A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
The Time Traveler's Wife
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Reading Lolita in Tehran: a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked: the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian: a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible: a novel
Angels and Demons
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D'Urbervilles
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Sound and the Fury
Angela's Ashes: a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States: 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots and Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake: a novel
Collapse: how societies choose to fail or succeed
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics: a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: an inquiry into values
In Cold Blood
The Three Musketeers
Sunday, May 11, 2008
It was a lovely day. We had a brunch and then had cake for L. Since she was sick on her birthday, this was her first cake and she thought it lovely. I'd upload some pictures, but my hard drive is dangerously full and I need an external drive to transfer my ridiculous number of pictures.
Then, we had dinner outside and N had his cake. We picked both cakes up from a local store because yesterday was crazy busy and I knew I wouldn't have the chance to make cakes. N's cake had a military theme and he loved it! There was a small tank, helicopter and armored vehicle sitting on top of the cake.
My boys made me beautiful artwork and cards and also got me a yellow rose bush, 2 ice plants and an oregano plant. They got me another rose bush about 3 years ago and it blooms beautifully year round.
I'm exhausted right now and am looking forward to snuggling down with L & my DH to watch a movie. I hope everyone else celebrated a lovely Mother's Day!
Friday, May 09, 2008
That sums up my feelings about Ocean Spray's new Cranergy drink. Ocean Spray sent me two 12oz bottles to try through Mom Central and I was thrilled to receive them. I really like cranberry juice, and I was eager to try this new drink spiked with B vitamins and green tea extracts.
It didn't disappoint. The taste is fresh, crisp and light. Each bottle had only 50 calories, thanks to Splenda, so I didn't feel a sugar rush / crash after drinking them.
There are 2 flavors -- cranberry and cranberry raspberry. I enjoyed both, but have a slight preference for the cranberry raspberry. You can taste a hint of the green tea, which I enjoyed. I often mix cranberry juice with iced tea as a drink, so it was nice to have it ready to go!
You can purchase it in a 46 oz bottle, or a pack of four 12 oz bottles. I picked up some at the grocery store this week and paid $2.50 for a 46 oz bottle. (I struggled with buying the smaller bottles and getting another 2 oz, or buying the larger bottle which used less plastic. I ended up choosing the larger bottle and less plastic.)
Thursday, May 08, 2008
In the last 2 weeks, 2 mothers in my local circle (friends of IRL friends) have died suddenly. Both mothers were younger than I am. One died instantly of a pulmonary embolism -- her husband came home and their 3yo said "Mommy stopped talking to me!" She was pregnant (that child died with her) and also had an 18mo who won't remember her mother.
Another mom was t-boned in her Suburban by a large truck. She is survived by her husband and 5 children. She initially survived the accident, but died from severe injuries after a few days.
While I know that people die every day, these deaths have been close to me. They have forced me to look at my mortality and attempt to embrace the thought of truly living each day to the fullest.
I have so many thoughts in my head, but I realize that if I died tomorrow, would my children know a tenth of what I thought of them and how much I loved them? Of course, my family would always tell them I loved them -- but I want them to know from me. I wrote brief letters to my 3, but I need to write more. I want N to know how much I appreciate his energy and his enthusiasm. I want C to know how much I appreciate his determination and his passion. I want L to know the details of her birth so she can have that information when she (God Willing) has her own children some day. I want N to remember how much he loved camouflage, construction trucks and non-fiction books. I want C to remember how much he loved reading, cartoons and snuggling. I want L to know how much her brothers doted on her as an infant.
There is so much to share, and who knows how much time to do it in. I can't put it off. I hope to be here to give my children these letters in the future, but in case I'm not -- I want there to be letters for them. I will write them. I will not let them wonder as adults what they were like as children. I will not let them ever doubt the immense love I have for them. I will not.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
It's sometimes hard to remember the true value of our parenting efforts, but she has done a wonderful job expressing it. Thanks, Kelly, for sharing it with the internet ;)
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
I have been overwhelmed with motherhood lately, and am hoping that by forcing myself to hire a sitter once a week I will regain some balance. I feel guilty over spending the money, and am guilty right now that I'm not being productive with my time -- but it does feel good to sit in here, listen to my children playing, and know that I don't have to come out for another 2 hours.
I told myself that I would use this time for trying to determine if I could make a go at freelance writing -- give myself some dedicated time to write, research, market, etc. Earning some money in that way seems to fill a lot of my (our) needs at this time, but it takes effort. I committed to 6 weeks of having a sitter; once a week for 4 hours. I do not want to squander away those 24 hours!
DH believes that just the fact of having a break -- of not feeling pulled in 3 different directions -- of being able to breathe and maybe talk on the phone without interruption -- is worth the money we're spending. He's worried that I've taken on too much these days between homeschooling and worry and just life. The dollars to pay the sitter are very dear to us, and so I believe that I better get every last penny's worth out of them! The question remains as what would be of the most value to our family?
Sunday, May 04, 2008
There are many different frames available -- ranging from $8.00 to $40 or so. That cost includes the lenses!! For an additional $4.95 you can add anti-reflective coating to the lenses, and for another $4.95 you can tint the lenses. I decided to order a basic frame for C, adding the AR coating. I found a pair that looked cute for $19.00. Shipping is a flat $4.95 for US addresses.
There are probably hundreds of frames to choose from! They divide them into a few different categories, to make your search easier. There are children's frames, women's frames, men's frames and even goggles.
Ordering was simple. I entered the information from his prescription into the online form with no problems. The only question was the PD (pupillary distance.) This information was not on his prescription, so I followed the directions on the site for measuring the distance between pupils. Actually, I made my DH do it because I'm not very good at spatial measurements.
In less than 2 weeks, his glasses arrived in our mailbox. They came with a cleaning cloth and a plastic, hard case. He said he can see just fine through them. He wasn't thrilled with the frame when it was on his face -- which is the big problem with ordering frames without being able to try them on. They are cute, but different than the frames we bought locally. I think he'll get used to them -- and even if I order another pair, it's still $150 less than the single pair purchased locally. I also ordered clip-on sunshades for $3.95 which fit both pairs of his glasses. The clip-ons are not fitted to the frame, but will work just fine for our sunny Arizona days.
DH needs to have his eyes checked soon, and we will order glasses for him from this site. I think I'll order a pair of prescription sunglasses for myself when we do that. I was very happy with the service and quality.
Friday, May 02, 2008
I finally got antibiotics for an UTI I've been trying to fight on my own for a week. I was hoping to save the co-pay, but gallons of cranberry juice can only do so much, and I was in some serious pain.
L is on the mend, but still clingy and miserable. Her poor little face is swollen, her nose is congested, and you can tell she feels crappy.
The boys are STILL under the weather. We're coming up on a week now for C and a few days short of a week for N. They're both laying down for another nap as I type this. My boys haven't napped in YEARS, but they've napped almost every day this week. They're still congested -- and have I mentioned how much I hate mucus? bleck!!
DH is healthy, as far as I know. I haven't really seen him much this week because in addition to late sales calls, he taught 2 nights this week. We've talked on the phone. I think he's stressed, I know I feel stressed -- and we're not communicating well at the moment.
I threw my hat in the ring for a job that would throw our family into an entirely new routine. There's a possibility I could continue to homeschool, but I'm not sure. If it happens, I will have the summer to see how a schedule would shake out. I've been going through various scenarios in my head, but I may not even be called for an interview. It's just a waiting game now. With the economy's downturn, I don't think I'll have a choice but to start a serious job search in the next couple months if this doesn't turn out.
This project is clearly a labor of love by the creators, who you can find out more about here. They chose songs that they loved, and found local musicians to record the tracks.
It is full of mellow music, which is soothing. There is one instrumental track, and I found myself wishing that more tracks were instrumental. The songs were well-played and beautifully sung, but my oldest took the lyrics on many of the songs literally and didn't enjoy it. For instance, one song I really enjoyed was "Anything is Possible," but C insisted on listing all the things that really weren't possible. Part of that is his age, the rest is just his personality.
The songs were first made popular by The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell and others. To be honest, the only song I was familiar with was one by the Pretenders, but I wonder if my parents would recognize more of the songs. I'll have to ask them when they visit later in the month.
L (my one year old) enjoyed the music, as she is a budding music lover. You can see her listening to the melodies and bobbing her head when she particularly liked a song. I was hoping for more upbeat, dance type music, but this collection is a nice CD to play during quiet time, or when getting ready for bed.
There is a companion DVD that has all but a few of the songs from the CD. My boys (ages 5 & 7) weren't interested in the DVD, but they're not the demographic either, since it was created for ages 0- 5. L was slightly interested when there were babies on the screen, but she really doesn't watch TV. The DVD is packed away in my diaper bag at the moment, to be given to a friend whose toddler loves to dance and watch DVD's. I think they'll enjoy it.
I'm keeping the CD and have already copied the music to my ipod. I'm also going to keep my eye on their website in case they ever decide to make another CD with dance music from the 80's and 90's remixed for kids!
If you'd like your own copy, you can save 20% on your order by entering the coupon code "MotherTalk" at their website! In addition, from now until May 18th, all orders using the coupon code "MotherTalk" will be entered in a drawing to win a new iPod nano!
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Both her ears are infected, so we started a round of antibiotics. Her fever didn't break until this morning, and I've never seen her look so pitiful. She's finally sleeping peacefully and I hope she sleeps a nice, long time!
Both boys were also under the weather -- N went to bed at 4PM last night and didn't wake until 7 this morning. C went to bed around 5, woke for a few hours at 9, and then slept until 9. I hope all that sleep will kick whatever virus out of them, as they have felt pretty lousy. I just forced them outside to play in the sunshine.
I also have something going on, which I've been trying to cope with at home, but may need to make a visit to the doctor for.
Oh, she's awake already. So much for a long sleep.