Friday, December 31, 2010

So long 2010, so long.

I am not going to do one of those year in review type posts because frankly I am lazy. But here is a brief summary.

January-February: All day sickness. Fun! Trip to San Diego. Awesome. Trip to Arizona. Awesome with a side of I *hate* Delta.
March-May: All day sickness. Fun! Hints of Spring make me incredibly happy. One last snow storm. Snow melts. Spring comes with a vengeance. Golf course opens early. boo. I mean, hurray! Say good-bye to diapers. Hurray! Say good-bye to the Civic and hello to the Swagger Wagon. Hurray?
June-July: HOT. with a side of swollen feet. Olive turns two. Hurray! CSA delivery every Monday makes me giddy. Humid. Hot. Humid. Mmmm, malts.
August: HOT. Month of anticipation. Humid. Nausea returns. Due date comes and goes. Pen pen a len len is born. Hurray! Swollen feet and nausea go away. Hurray!
September-October: Unseasonably warm. Love every minute of it. Fall leaves. Pumpkins. I give up dairy. boo. Halloween. Boo!
November: Spud and Katie's wedding. Hurray! Cold creeps in. Thanksgiving. Yum! Snow!
December: Cold. Everyone else gets snow but us. Cold. Everyone else gets snow but us. Cold. SNOW!! Cold. Christmas. Remote car starter! Hurray! Warm. Rain. Pouring Rain. Sump pump runs. Snow=gone. Rain turns to ice. boo. 

To sum it up, 2010 was an amazing year (aren't they all?). Certain parts I could have done with out and certain parts I wish I could do again. But all in all it was a good year and I enjoyed the heck out of it.

So long 2010, so long.  Or, in the words of Olive, "Good-bye, good-bye, good-bye!" 

Here's to a wonderful, fabulous, joyful, peaceful, amazing 2011!  

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Snow day!


We finally got our share of snow! It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Story of Christmas. According to a 2.5 year old.


"Once upon a time there was a Daddy boy and Mama girl and their names were Other Grandma* and Jophes. They had some friends that were boys or girls, a puppers, a horse and some sheep. And a cow with a bell that says "ding-dong, ding-dong". And they had yummy foods to eat for their breafkast. And then Baby Jesus came out of Other Grandma's tummy at the hospital and she had yummy cookies and water in a straw cup. And then Baby Jesus was a big boy and he loved me at Sunday School because the Bible told me so.  And the ankle's name is...Mae-mae. The End."

Not bad, eh?





*Other Grandma is my mom, whose name is Mary Jo. See, it all makes sense! 

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's that time of year again.

Christmas card time! 

I love getting holiday cards in the mail. Ok, I love getting mail period. But I especially love holiday cards. I love that little glimpse into my loved ones lives. And I love the wide variety of cards and letters we get. We showcase them all in our entry way and they make me so happy whenever I see them. I always take a minute to look at the smiling faces and read the letters of love and friendship.

Some people go all out and send a card, photo and hand written letter where as others send a simple card of love and holiday cheer. We tend to go the simple route and order photo cards with our (hopefully) smiling faces on them. Here is a look at our Christmas card picture past:

2007
 2008

 2009

 2010's fabulous photo is yet to be determined. But I do know that I will be ordering my Christmas photo cards from Shutterfly. I use them for all of our photo card needs (they have adorable birth announcements!). Here are a few of the designs I am considering this year:

They also have some great photo gifts I have been eyeing up. Wouldn't you love one of these mugs with our smiling mugs on it?! (And a little chocolate never hurts!)
 Whatever your holiday card needs are this holiday season, check out Shutterfly to see all that they offer. You won't be disappointed! 


Hey Bloggers! Would you like 50 free Holiday cards from Shutterfly? Check it out here: http://bit.ly/sfly2010

baby Prodigy DVD Re-Draw

Since I never heard back from the original winner, I drew a new name for the baby Prodigy DVD giveaway. 

Jess you are the new winner! Congratulations!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Winner!

Soooo I just realized I never picked a winner for the baby Prodigy DVD giveaway! I was out of town for my brother's wedding and completely spaced it! Sorry about that!

Without further ado, the winner (thanks to Random.org) is h2babe! Congratulations! Please email me (ljotritabaugh at gmail dot com) with your name and mailing address. Thanks!

Thankful Thoughts.

Today, on this day of Thanks Giving, I have much to be thankful for. I have an abundant life full of love, laughter, happiness and joy and I know that I take it for granted more often than not.

So in the spirit of the day, I am trying to focus on those things rather than the fact that my house is a mess, I have yet to make my two side dishes, Blogger is being wonky and not letting me start new paragraphs,  my two year is being, well, a two year old and this mega snow storm was anything but mega (nothing is more disappointing than a promised snow storm that doesn't deliver. NOTHING).

I am thankful for:
~My family and friends and their love and support.
~ My health.
~A roof over my head and food on my table
~My husband and all that he does for me and our family. I know this is something I take for granted on a daily basis and for that I apologize. Thank you for everything CT. 
~My beautiful, amazing daughters who remind me everyday how to love and laugh. And be patient. Some days are better than others, but at the end of the day I love you both more than I could ever imagine and for that I am thankful.
~My other child, Jacob P Jones, whose soft ears and blue eyes are like Prozac to me on the days that my patience is worn thin.
~Dairy-free baked goods. Enough said.
~ My husband's job and the fact that it allows me to stay home with the girls. I can say this in November, ask me in August and my sentiments might not be so loving. ;) 
~The internet. I know that sounds incredibly shallow and ridiculous, but without it I would not be able to stay in touch with family and friends who are far away. And I'll be honest, sometimes the internet is my sanity saver.  Facebook, The Bump, Craigslist, Allrecipes, CNN, Amazon, YouTube, Hulu, Pandora, I love you all.

Now obviously, this is an abbreviated list, but you get the point. I am blessed. Abundantly blessed.

And now I need to get my thankful butt in gear. Hope you all have a Thanksgiving full of love, family and food!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

International Superstar

I meandered over to my blog stats page this afternoon to see what kind of traffic I have had recently. Not that it matters, I just find it interesting. I don't really expect people to read the nonsense I write and the fact that people do kind of blows my mind.

Anywho, I noticed there was an "Audience" tab so I clicked on it and it brings up a list of countries that the people who visit this blog come from. The United States is the most common but get this. Just this week I have had people click on my site from Canada, Denmark, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Iceland, Japan, Georgia, Russia and Latvia! How crazy is that?!

I am sure most of you got here by some random mistake, but hey, I'll take it! 

So now I am curious, how did you get here my international friends? I mean, besides the draw of the superbly witty and eloquent writing...

I want.

Have you heard of PlasmaCars?
 
They are super cool ride on toys that are powered by turning the handle back and forth. No batteries, pedals or gears. These bad boys can go up to 6mph! And they can hold riders up to 220lbs so mom and dad can get in on the action too.

I have always been intrigued by these cars and know that Olive would love one. Ok, I would love one.

I bet you would love one too! So go enter to win one over at The Eco-Friendly Family

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bite Me. Part 2.

So apparently Olive felt that cutting molars wasn't enough on her plate so she added pink eye (both eyes), an ear infection (both ears) and a cold to the mix. I think she was trying for chicken pox too, but no such luck.

And being the lover that she is, she spread the cold love to Penelope. And me.

All we need is love people. And hand sanitizer. And tissues. Lots of tissues. 

Keep your fingers crossed that we are all healthy and in tip top shape when we jump on a plane to Virginia Beach next week for my little* brother's wedding! We can't have one of the bridesmaids and the star of the show flower girl sniffling down the aisle! (I will be sniffling no matter what. Me + weddings = lots of tissues.)







*And by little I mean, he's 24. And 6'2". So really, not that little. But to me he will always be a little twerp who puts ice cubes down the back of my shirt and throws me off the dock. Because let's be honest, he was bigger than me when he was like 8.

SSOF: Weekly Check-In

Sadly, not a whole lot to report.

Still doing daily stretching, ab work and push-ups, but that's about it. But I have to say, I am proud of myself for at least doing something! And the number on the scale hasn't gone up at all so that's always a good thing.

I've decided I need a personal trainer. A kick ass personal trainer. That makes house calls. And will say things like "Get off your butt you lazy bum! Drop and give me 20!" or whatever it is kick ass personal trainers say.

But until I win the lottery that's not going happen. I need to be my own kick ass personal trainer.  So, "Get off your butt you lazy bum! Drop and give me 3!"

Actually that's a good idea, ass kicking. Great way to warm up those leg muscles.

And speaking of warming up, my cookies are done. :) 

Until next week, keep on keeping on.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Molars. Bite me.

Olive is sprouting some major chompers right now. Poor girl has a molar that can't decide if it's coming or going. Makes for a very "ouchie mouth".  Too bad we're fresh out of brandy...

In other news, Penelope was *thisclose* to rolling over! She rocked herself up onto her left side and then decided being an over achiever did not suit her personality so back to her tummy she went. 

Big doings in this house, big doings.




 


Friday, November 5, 2010

Baby Prodigy DVD Review and Giveaway!

The wonderful people at baby Prodigy recently sent me three of their educational children's  DVDs to review. And by recently I mean three months ago...sorry guys! They were very understanding about the whole "just had a baby and completely spaced it, sorry!".  Baby Prodigy was started by a mom with a colic-y baby who was looking for something to help calm and soothe her baby, so I am sure she understands the chaoticness that having a newborn can bring to a household!

Here is a little info about baby Prodigy;

"The Baby Prodigy Company is the award-winning creator of infant developmental products that provide parents with quality, educational entertainment for their children from birth through the years of early childhood. Baby Prodigy products, along with main character Dookie Duck™, utilize music and colors along with playful puppets and animation to captivate children of all ages. Currently, Baby Prodigy products include award-winning Videos, DVD’s and classical music CD’s. Many more projects are in the works for this fast-growing children’s entertainment company, including collectible stuffed toys of their characters."


I have to admit, I am not a big advocate for kids watching TV or videos. I hate that they get sucked in and pretty soon they are in the Twilight Zone with no idea what's going on other than what's on the TV. That being said, I am a huge advocate for quality, educational material, especially for young children. And if that is in the form of a DVD, then I am willing to look at it with an open mind. So my trusty research assistant (aka Olive) and I took some time to sit down and watch these wonderful DVDs. They were a nice treat on a few rainy, cold days we were stuck inside.


First up was Baby Preschool. This DVD is geared towards children 1 year and older. Olive really enjoyed watching it! The two main puppets Dookie Duck and Dottie Duck were her favorite and she kept asking  "when are those guys coming back?" whenever they weren't on the screen. She loved all the music and colors as well. I liked that the DVD has a viewer interaction element to it. They ask questions to the viewer about what's on the screen or going on in the story.  It did a great job of keeping her attention without causing her to zone out.


We also watched Baby's First Words 1, which is geared towards children 6 months and up. While it is geared towards a younger audience, Olive still enjoyed it. Once again Dookie and Dottie Duck are here to entertain and educate the viewer. This DVD also has great classical music, colors, familiar toys and objects and engaging scenes with puppets. The main focus is to introduce familiar words such as plane, dog and flower. The words are introduced with a sight word, pictures, animation and toys. Olive really liked saying the vocabulary words with the narrator and talking about all the different representations of the words (toys, picture, puppet, etc).


The third DVD we were sent for review is titled 30 Minutes to a Quiet Baby. This DVD is geared towards babies 3 months and older. So for this DVD we also enlisted Penelope for her input. Penny is only 2 months old, but she seemed to be attracted by the music and colors on the screen. And it must work to quiet a baby since she fell asleep about 4 minutes in! Olive liked the simplicity of this DVD. She liked dancing to the music and talking about the toys and animations on the screen. She also got really excited when she heard some of her favorite songs like "I'm A Little Teapot" and "The Itsy Bitsy Spider".

I can certainly say that the baby Prodigy DVDs were a hit in this house! We still won't make a habit of watching TV, but if the need arises, I know we can watch any of the baby Prodigy videos and see quality, educational programming. That won't lead to the Twilight Zone...

You can buy baby Prodigy products on their website and at Toys R' Us. DVDs retail for $12.99.

Or you can enter to win a baby Prodigy DVD set right here!

baby Prodigy has graciously offered up a DVD pack containing the same DVDs I reviewed for one lucky reader!

Mandatory Entry: 
Tell me who you would give the DVDs to if you won! 

Additional Entries:
Leave a separate comment for each entry.
Make sure to include your email address on all comments so I can contact you if you are the winner.
  • Follow my blog (current followers count too!)
  • Follow Some Sort of Nonsense on Twitter
  • Like baby Prodigy on Facebook
  • Follow baby Prodigy on Twitter
  • Blog about this giveaway with a link to this post
  • Tweet about this giveaway with a link to this post

Winner will be drawn November 19th. Open to US mailing addresses only. Good Luck! 

    Land of 10,000

    hits! The hit counter just rolled over to 10,000!

    Thanks family and friends and random internet strangers! I feel so loved! 

    SSOF: Weekly Check-In

    So this week was not quite as successful as last week. But i am trying not to be too hard on myself and just accept it and move on.

    I haven't done a Bootcamp video since Saturday, but I have been doing daily stretching, sit up and push ups.Well, I've attempted to do push ups. I can do about 5 "girl" push ups before my arms turn into wet noodles. But considering I'm holding or carrying around a 13 pound infant most of the day, I figure my arms are getting a fairly good workout. Not to mention lugging her around in her carseat, iy ya. I should be able to lift cars with one hand pretty soon. (I'm talking Smart cars, not Escalades.) Just call me Hulk. 

    I am quite excited to tell you, dear readers,  that sometime in the near future I will be reviewing an ab workout/fitness program that guarantees results. I can't wait to try it out!

     And on a very unrelated note, did you know that Oreo's are dairy free? Which is kind of gross if you really think about it, but awesome for those of us who are avoiding dairy! 

    Mmmm, oreos. Now if only Oreo Blizzards were dairy free....hey, a girl can dream can't she?!

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    Help! I've fallen

    off the wagon and I want to get back on! 

    This cold has seriously knocked me on my butt. I need to pick myself up and get back to it. Now, who is going to come over here and make me do it? 


    Bring cookies!

    Friday, October 29, 2010

    SSOF: Weekly Check-In

    Week two of this little experiment I am conducting. And I am happy to report I am still on the wagon!

    I am keeping up with the Busy Mom's Bootcamp, doing (at least) one video a day. I've also added in this Pilates Ab Workout. The videos are great because they are short enough that I can do one or two while the girls are napping. But they are still a great workout!  I know it will take a while to see results, but I am definitely feeling "the burn". 

    I haven't been doing much cardio this week, but don't worry I have a good excuse. No really, I do. Two actually.

    1) I have a horrendous cold that has settled nicely in my chest. And throat. And nose. And ears. And head. I am a hot mess. Literally.
    2) The weather has been as horrendous as my cold. Between the 50 mph winds, pounding rain (and SNOW) and temps in the 30s, we haven't left the house much this week!

    I am hoping I can get over this cold sooner rather than later and get my cardio on. Olive is big into running laps around our kitchen, living room and dining room, so there is always that option.
     
    So long story short, week two was a success (in my mind). On to week three!

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    SSOF: Weekly Check-In

    (Some Sort of Fitness)

    I am proud to say that I got a workout in today. Albeit a short, 10 minute workout, but a workout is a workout. 

    I stumbled across the Busy Mom's Bootcamp over at Babyfit (by Sparkpeople!). It is a workout program that consists of doing one 10 minute (or less) workout video per day and five 30 minute cardio sessions per week. Throw in some healthy eating and voila! I am back on the wagon! Ok, not yet. But the intent is there...

    I started with Day 1: 10 Minute Cardio Kickboxing.While it was not the hardest workout I have ever done, it did get my heart rate up and yes, I broke a sweat. I also pushed Olive in the cart at Target while carrying Penny in the Ergo, so I am counting that as additional cardio. Baby steps people, baby steps. 

    The idea is to follow the workout for four weeks and you will see results in all major muscle groups. And considering the workout videos are only 10 minutes long or less, I really have no excuse for not doing them. Unless I am too tired. Or hungry. Or it's too sunny out. I kid. 

    Kind of. We'll see.

    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    Reflections of Motherhood

    A friend* sent this video to me today. It's too good not to share, enjoy!






    *Thanks Kristin!

    Once upon a time,

    long, long ago, I had abs. Granted, they were no 6 pack, but I had pretty nice definition. A combination of running, yoga and ab work left me with a strong core that didn't look too shabby in a swimsuit. 

    Then I got pregnant. And my stomach swelled with the miracle of life. I gave up a nice hard stomach for a big round stomach that elbowed me when I was trying to sleep. It was beautiful. 

    After Olive was born I told myself I would get back to the gym/pavement/yoga mat. Yeah, that never happened. I would get in a groove and hit the gym 3 times a week or do a workout DVD at home a few days a week and feel great. But then life would get in the way like it always does and I would fall off the proverbial wagon. And since I was never really all the way into the wagon anyway, it was never a hard fall. More of a soft bounce and I would quickly forget I was ever on the wagon. So my core stayed a bit on the soft side with a bit of it's former definition. And I was ok with that. Kind of. Sort of. Well, to be honest, I was lazy and just didn't care.

    And then I got pregnant again. And once again my stomach swelled with the miracle of life. And I gave up my soft, once hard stomach for a big round stomach that knocked me on my butt for 20 weeks with horrendous "morning" sickness. And again, it was beautiful. Albeit, pukey.

    And when Penelope was born, I told myself I would get back to the gym/pavement/yoga mat. But this time I am serious. Stop laughing. 

    No really, stop it. 

    I want a strong core and back that supports my body and doesn't ache all the time. I want to get rid of my jelly belly*. I want to be active and move my body instead of making excuses or say "meh, there's always tomorrow".  I want to get rid of the arm flab that is starting to develop. I want to get rid of (or at least lessen) a bit of the pregnancy jiggle that seems to stick around. I want to have better eating habits. I want to feel strong and confident.

    Why am I telling you this? Well besides the fact that I like to listen to myself talk (you know what I mean), I am doing it to hold myself accountable. If I put it out there on the internet that I am serious about getting back into shape, there is no going back. Because let's be honest, once something is on the internet, there is no taking it back (which is why I am so glad I wasn't on Facebook when I was in college...).  

    So, my dear readers, I am asking for your help. I am going to write about my health/fitness/exercise accomplishments each week. A bit of a check in, if you will. If I start slacking, make sure you get on here and give me heck for it. And if you want to join me, feel free to comment with your own fitness accomplishments. 

    There. It's out there. On the interwebz. No going back now! 

    Now, off to the gym! 

    Ok, not really. But I do have two sleeping babes, so I am going to do something active. I wonder if folding laundry counts as aerobic exercise....







    *Yes, I realize I just had a baby 9 weeks ago. I am not expecting miracles here folks. Slow and steady wins the race. And a pair of Spanx never hurts.

    Wednesday, October 20, 2010

    Milk. It does a body good.


    Breast milk that is!

    Penny went in for her 2 month check up today. She weighed in at 12lbs 8oz and is 24" long! As Olive says, "She's growing, growing, GROWING!" 

    Friday, October 8, 2010

    Enter to win an ERGO baby carrier!

    Sadly not here, but over at The Crafty Nest!


    We loooove our Ergo and use it daily for dogwalks, running errands, walks to the park, festivals etc. Both Chris and I find the Ergo to be much more comfortable than other soft carriers we've worn. Plus it can carry kids up to 40lbs, so one carrier will last you from the newborn stage to toddlerhood! (Is toddlerhood a word? It is now!)

    Head over to The Crafty Nest and check it out!

    Thursday, October 7, 2010

    Tuesday, October 5, 2010

    I'll take Pillow Talk for 500 Alex.

    "I Thought I yelled at someone's third day cattle feed."

    What is things my husband says in his sleep.

    Ding ding ding!

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    Sunday, October 3, 2010

    I have a confession to make. . .

    I like beets. I would go so far as to say I LOVE beets.

    It feels really good to have that out in the open. You see, I've always thought I disliked beets. I have even boldly claimed I HATE beets. I wouldn't even try a bite of anything beet related because I was so certain I hated beets.

    And it's all my brother's fault.

    Once upon a time, many moons ago, in a galaxy far, far away, he made me eat a beet. And not just any beet, a pickled beet. But not only that, he tricked me into eating it. He told me the purpley-red gelatinous looking round slabs on the table at Thanksgiving were jellied cranberries. I ADORE cranberries (yes, the purpley-red gelatinous looking round slabs from a can). So I was all over those "cranberries" like squirrels on a bird feeder. 

    Needless to say, one bite in and I realized I had been had. Duped. Punk'd (Except this was in the early 90s and Punk'd wasn't even a twinkle in Ashton Kutcher's beautiful blue eye). 

    So from there on out I was a hater. A beet hater. Can you blame me? 

    Fast forward 20 years or so and I am now a proud member of a CSA that has a bountiful crop of beets! So I swallowed my pride (fear?) and forced myself to eat beets. And they were good. Excellent. Amazing! 
    What is the point of all this random rambling you ask? Well nothing really, other than to say I LOVE BEETS!

    Here are a few of the recipes that cultivated my love affair with beets:

    Grilled Beets- Peel beets, slice, drizzle with olive oil, s&p to taste, wrap in foil, grill on med until tender and delicious. 45 minutes or so.  (throw in some sliced onion too if you're so inclined)

    Enjoy!

    Saturday, October 2, 2010

    What is the point of. . .

    having a box of Kleenex in the back window of your car?

    Do you reach back there while driving and grab a tissue when you need one? Or do you pull over, get out, get into the backseat and blow your nose? Why can't you keep the box of tissues in a more convenient place?

    I don't get it.




    And there's a random bit of nonsense for your Saturday.

    Monday, September 20, 2010

    The Perfect Fall Soup

    It's like a sweater for your stomach. Warm and comforting. Without the annoying scratchiness.

    Just go make it. It's amazing, I promise. And who doesn't want a sweater for their stomach?

    Sausage and Greens Soup
    (Adapted from my CSA newsletter, not sure of the original source)

    1lb ground sausage
    Garlic to taste (I used 1 giant clove)
    1 large onion (chopped) (I used 1/2)
    8c. chicken or veggie broth
    3-4 c. diced potatoes
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 can evaporated milk (I omitted this because I was planning on freezing it. But then we ate it. oops.)
    3-5 c. fresh chard (roughly chopped)

    Brown sausage in soup pot and drain all but a spoonful of fat. Saute onions and garlic with sausage in reserved fat until soft. Add broth, potatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are soft. Add milk and greens. Cook until tender. Freezes really well, just omit the milk and add once you defrost and heat the soup to serve.

    3 out of 3 diners gave this soup two thumbs up. Well actually, one of the diners gave it a peace sign. I don't know if that means the soup was groovy or she was telling us she is two. Regardless, she downed a whole bowl.

    The next time I make this I will include the evaporated milk. I know it will be creamy and delicious. I am actually concerned it would be too rich...we shall see! Enjoy!

    Saturday, September 18, 2010

    Break out the baby book! Penelope's first...

    cold. boo.

    Poor Penny is a coughing, sneezing, sniffling mess today. Lots of mama milk, cuddles and love are on the agenda. I wonder, if I have chicken noodle soup for lunch, will she reap any of the cold fighting benefits? Hmmm.....well, if nothing else, it will help with my sore throat and stuffy nose.

    Lesson of the week? When you have a sick toddler in the house, pretty soon everyone will be sick. But can I just say that Olive is an awesome nose blower? Quite impressive.

    Off to love on my baby Snort*.

    And speaking of baby books, we should probably get one for Penelope! Not that we really filled Olive's out. . .it's the thought that counts right?! 




    *Kudos to you if you picked up on the Are You My Mother? reference.   ("You are not my mother. You are a scary Snort!" Love it!)

    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    Holy Gas (Relief) Batman!

    (Ok, I really wanted to title this post "Holy Sh!t Batman!" but decided against it.)

    Penelope is a gassy baby. Extremely gassy. From both ends. Clearly, she takes after her father. 

    Except sometimes the gas gets stuck. And stuck gas = a very unhappy baby. And by unhappy I mean a screaming, writhing, beet red, arched back, stiff bodied baby. No fun. No fun at all.

    We tried gas drops and Gripe Water with little relief (But we still LOVE gripe water. It works miracles on run of the mill gas pains, fussiness and hiccups).

    Then we found Hyland's Colic Tablets. And wow do they work. Dissolve two little tablets on her tongue and 5 minutes later she's a rootin' tootin' poopin' machine. It's actually quite amazing how well (and quickly!) they work. And a tooting pooping baby is a happy baby. And a happy baby makes a happy mama. Plus they are all natural which is always a good thing in my mind!

    Hopefully this gassy phase will pass as Penelope's digestive system matures, but for now, we're keeping a supply of 'Gas Tabs' on hand (Not to be confused with 'Tooth Tabs', Hyland's Teething Tablets which also rock our socks off!).





    I am writing this product rave because I want to spread the good word about Hyland's. No one at Hyland's paid me to write it. Heck, they don't even know who I am.










    Thursday, September 9, 2010

    Sugar and Spice and All That is Nice

    Growing up, I always dreamed of being a Mom and having children. I know to many, that may sound lame or not very inspiring. It's certainly not the most glamorous job out there and definitely not the highest paying. But for me, it was what I always wanted.

    Never once in all those years of dreaming about cuddling, loving and changing diapers, did I picture myself with a daughter. (Let alone two daughters.) It was always little boys who wore overalls, got dirty while playing and loved to wrestle. Girls seemed kind of daunting and scary. I just couldn't imagine having to play babies and doing hair. And don't get me started on the mom/daughter dynamic. I wanted to avoid all things girl. The thought of anything pink and frilly made me break out in a cold sweat.

    But then along came Olive. The sweetest little girl that stole my heart as soon as I laid eyes on her. All my visions of boys vanished from my head. That is, until I realized she loves to wear overalls, get dirty while playing and LOVES to wrestle, all while wearing hair clips and taking care of her babies. My pretty, little spirited girl gives me the best of both worlds.

    And pretty soon I was pregnant again. And the visions of a little boy started to dance in my head again. Except, I was kind of hoping for another little girl. A sister for my big girl. I always wanted a sister. I have two brothers who are great, but, they're no sister. Instead I had a BFF who was (and still is) pretty much my sister. And I wanted that for Olive. But the real sister deal. Even Olive requested a sister and INSISTED that Mama's baby was going to come out a baby sister. I hoped she wouldn't be too disappointed if it was a boy.

    But lo and behold, that's exactly what she got. A sister. A beautiful, spirited little sister. Who will most likely wear overalls, get dirty and like to wrestle. But if not, we will love her just the same. And of course, just like her sister, she looks pretty darn cute in pink.

    I am now the mother of two amazing girls. With closets full of overalls and little pink clothes (and even some pink overalls!). And I couldn't be happier.

    Who would have thought?

    Wednesday, September 8, 2010

    I need something to read.

    And am coming up blank. I don't want to re-read anything on my shelves. Nothing is jumping out at me on any of the best seller lists.  

    I feel like I haven't read a good book in a long time. And that makes me incredibly sad. I don't like feeling sad. Especially about reading. I need to read like I need to breathe. I won a reading contest in 2nd grade for crying out loud (and won a free trip to ValleyFair. and got to meet some Vikings players. Couldn't tell you who. It was second grade. I didn't know squat about football. Oh wait, i still don't. Go Broncos!).

    What are you reading right now? Inspire me. I need to breathe again.

    Person who recommends a truly amazing read will win a virtual high five from me. Much better than meeting random NFL players.

    Wordless Wednesday


    Thursday, September 2, 2010

    Well now I feel like a slacker.

    Very creative way to document the journey of pregnancy. (you might want tissues handy. Or maybe it's just me.) 



     And I was proud of myself for taking (almost) weekly belly pictures....

    Tuesday, August 31, 2010

    So You Think You Can Dance?

    Well, I KNOW I can't! But that doesn't stop me from dancing up a storm at weddings. Or having dance parties with my (two!) favorite gals. Or jammin' in my van vehicle to "Mama's dance music". 

    And like most people I know, I wish my life was one giant musical. Complete with backup dancers. And singers. And spandex. And leg warmers. And Patrick Swayze, John Travolta and Kevin Bacon in tight pants. 

    But alas, it's not. So instead I must live vicariously through the dancing talents of others. I stumbled across this gem today on Dooce. So kick off your Sunday(Tuesday) shoes and enjoy. 

    Friday, August 27, 2010

    Introducing....


    Penelope Jane! 

    Penelope Jane was born Friday August 20, 2010 at 1:01pm. She weighed in at 7lbs 15oz (same as Big Sister Olive!) and 20.2 inches long. Full head of dark hair just like her sister, although not as thick.

    Our labor and delivery experience was incredibly fast and intense. Contractions started at 2am Friday morning (thanks Mother Nature for the amazing storm!), they were intense and purposeful from the start. 5 minutes apart, lasting 60-75 seconds long. All in my back. Not what I hoping for!  By 4 am I couldn't relax through them while lying in bed so I got up and sat on my exercise ball, rocking and swaying through the contractions. The lighting and thunder show outside was incredible! It seemed as the storm grew in intensity so did my contractions. Chris got up around 5 and got ready for work completely oblivious to the fact that I was not in bed with him (he is a DEEP sleeper). When he came downstairs and saw me sitting on the ball in front of my computer (I was timing the contractions online) he was a bit confused. I was in the middle of a contraction and couldn't talk to him so he glanced at the screen and saw an ad for an iPhone on the page-he thought I couldn't sleep so I came downstairs and was looking at new phones, lol.

    He had to go into work for awhile, but was home by 7am. Olive woke shortly after that and started pacing around the house with me. The only way that I was finding any relief through contractions was by swaying back and forth or leaning against something and rocking my hips while singing "I am a Hollow Bamboo" (blessingway song from yoga) in my head. So she was following me around doing the same thing. But instead of singing in her head, she was chatting away about going to grandma's house because Mama's baby was coming out today and she was going to be a big sister TODAY. She was so excited and oblivious to my discomfort, it was perfect. By the time my mom came to get her it was 8:30 and contractions were starting to get closer and closer together (3-4 minutes) and were making me nauseous. But given my labor experience with Olive (~60 hours of labor with 2.5 hours of pushing), I didn't want to go to the hospital and sit around or be told to come back later. Around 10:30am, I started to think I couldn't do this anymore and was really starting to doubt myself and my body. I knew that things were getting serious, so we headed to the hospital.

    Checked in around 11:15 am and I was at 6cm! I was starting to think I wanted an epidural (HATED it with Olive, but the back labor was starting to get the best of me) and told myself to wait until they checked me again and then I would decide. Well they checked about 45 minutes later and I was 9cm! Even if I had wanted it, there was no time for an epidural at that point. By 12:30 I was ready to push. I started out pushing on my side with Chris holding my leg up for me. The pain in my back was fierce, but I kept telling myself it was pain with a purpose. I tried to focus on staying relaxed and in control of my breath. With every contraction I visualized being in nice, cold Lake Superior floating through the pain and pressure. I also pictured the baby coming out and being placed on my chest and how amazing that moment would be. 29 minutes later, there SHE was! (Chris and I were both shocked that it was a girl!) They placed her on my chest and I was immediately in love. And shocked at how clean she was! 

    We cuddled and loved on each other and after a little while (I had no sense of time by this point) they asked "Dad, do you want to cut the cord?" Which Chris responded to "No, Dad does NOT want to cut the cord!" He does not do well with blood or medical situations and was feeling a bit overwhelmed by this point. So I cut the cord! Very cool. Then they took Penelope over to the warmer for few minutes to clean her up and do vitals, etc. They were so great about being quick and getting her back to me to breastfeed. She latched on immediately and happily sucked away for a good hour or so. She was very alert, taking everything in. While she was nursing, I delivered the placenta with a few good breastfeeding uterine contractions. It was in great shape and all in one piece. With Olive it would not come out, needed MORE pitocin and lost a lot of blood, so I was happy that that part of delivery was different too.

    I was up walking around, peeing and showered about 2 hours after Penelope was born. I felt great and was actually worried that something was wrong because I was feeling so well! We had a little more downtime before both of our families showed up to shower us with love. It was long, exhausting day but a truly amazing experience that I am so grateful to have had.

    It is hard to believe she is already a week old. We are adjusting well to life as a family of four and life is good. Who knew I could love another little being as much as I love my first little being. I am so blessed!

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010

    Never too young to get the words...

    wrong.

    You know how there are those songs that everyone gets the words wrong? Or make up their own lyrics to because they're not really sure what the real ones are?

    Well apparently that skill starts at a young age. Here are a few creative lyrics I have heard Olive singing lately:

    "Mama Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down.

    Mama Bridge is falling down, my pair lady."



    "Have you ever seen a Wessy, a Wessy, a Wessy.

    Have you ever seen a Wessy, go this way or that."

    (What makes this so funny is that my brother's name is Wes.)



    "Where is Thumbkin, where is Thumbkin?

    .......Milk and Pie, Milk and Pie" (run and hide)



    But yet she can sing the chorus to Madonna's "Hung Up" spot on. What can I say, she has great taste.


    Monday, August 16, 2010

    CSA love

    We love our weekly CSA delivery. Seeing that wooden crate crammed full of beautiful summer veggies, fruits, greens and herbs just puts a smile on my face. The possibilities are endless. You can be a purist and eat everything raw, fresh from the earth. Or spend hours in the kitchen lovingly creating gourmet dishes from your bounty. 

    We usually stick closer to the raw end of the spectrum. Because really, who wants to slave away in the kitchen in this heat? Except now the heat and humidity has broken, so I am not sure what my excuse is. 

    Here are a few of the things we've been whipping up with our CSA loot:
    *pickles (cukes, zucchini and probably some hot peppers)
    *Beet chips 
    *Sauteed greens (swiss chard, beet greens, cabbages)
    *Blueberry Muffins
    *Penne pasta with Beet Greens and Feta
    *Potatoes on the grill with onions and herbs
    *Salsa with fresh onions and jalapenos (no tomatoes yet!)
    *Green smoothies using whatever fruit we have on hand and a handful or two of greens (banana, orange, lemon juice and swiss chard today)
    *Big, beautiful salads with fresh greens and herbs

    But so far, my favorite CSA creation has been Chocolate Zucchini Muffins. Chocolate and vegetables. Moist and sweet. But not TOO sweet. Yum!

    Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
    makes 2 dozen

    3 eggs
    1 c. brown sugar
    1 c. applesauce
    1 c. vegetable oil
    1/3 c.  unsweetened cocoa powder
    1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    2 c. grated zucchini
    3 c. flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
    1/4 tsp ground cloves
    1/4 tsp ground cardamom
    Chocolate chips (optional)

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two muffin tins.  

    In a large bowl beat the eggs. Beat in the sugar, applesauce and oil. Add the cocoa, vanilla, zucchini and stir well.

    Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until just moist. Pour batter into muffin tins filling 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

    Enjoy!

    Sunday, August 15, 2010

    testing...

    hello? is this thing on?

    New phone new possibilities. and another way to waste time...better do it while I can. baby watch 2010 still in progress.
    Published with Blogger-droid v1.5.2

    Monday, August 2, 2010

    A little update

    Sorry I have been pretty nonexistent the last few weeks. The nesting bug bit me hard and will not let up. I have been cooking and cleaning constantly since my last post two weeks ago.  I've put away several meals in the freezer and vacuumed and dusted countless times. It's really annoying actually. As soon as I get a minute to myself I get this panicked feeling of "OMG the house is not spotless! What if I have this baby RIGHT NOW and the EMT's are all 'omg, did you see the dust on top of her fridge?!' ".  *sigh* 

    Well, I am in the final stretch. 38w3d today. I had Olive at 38w4d....trying not to think about that. But I have to admit it would be nice if this babe popped out sooner rather than later. The humidity is making me so sick and achy, no fun.

    Babe has definitely dropped, but not so much that I am feeling too much pressure. Just nice to have a little more breathing room! Although my heartburn is at it's all time worst...explain that to me.  I've been trying to keep up my walking and yoga, hopefully those will help babe settle in even lower.

    I have my 10yr high school reunion this weekend...will I actually make it? Or rather, do I actually WANT to make it, lol. Let's just say I am not feeling or looking my best these days. Which is silly and vain, but hey it is a high school reunion afterall!  And if I do go to it, I will have to find something to wear for the dinner Saturday night. I have trouble doing that when NOT pregnant. 

    Olive is driving me bonkers. I swing so wildly between trying to soak up every minute alone with her and trying not to sell her to the circus it's incredible. It's really starting to hit me how much our little family of three is going to change. Excited, anxious, sad and thrilled are all feelings I am feeling lately. But I suppose that is the life of a mother!

    She is big into "cuddling with Mama and a blankie", which is lovely and wonderful considering she usually hates cuddling (wonder where she gets that from?). But is somewhat of a challenge since my lap is pretty nonexistent these days. Fortunately she has settled for sitting next to me and cuddling.

    I think that's it for now. Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

    Saturday, July 17, 2010

    bebe-O Prenatal Vitamin Review

    Aw, look at that baby belly! I am currently 36 weeks along and my due date is just under a month away, eek! 


    I was recently sent a one month supply of bebe-O Prenatal Vitamins to review. I was very excited to try them out since a) I was out of my current prenatals and b) they are 100% all natural! 


    Obviously we all know how important it is to eat well, but this is especially true during pregnancy. But let's be honest, that's easier said than done! Especially if you are dealing with morning sickness, nausea or food aversions. At that point you are just trying to eat ANYTHING that sounds good and will stay put. And if that happens to be pizza rolls, lemonade and Reese's Puffs cereal, so be it. 


    Luckily the sick days are behind me and I try to eat well balanced, nutritional meals. Even so, taking a prenatal vitamin assures me that I am getting all of the proper vitamins and minerals that are so beneficial to my health  and well being. And more importantly, baby is getting them too! Bebe-O Prenatal Vitamins contain a 44 plant based whole-food ingredient blend, so you KNOW you are getting everything you need! And noe artificial colors, flavors or preservatives to worry about. 


    When I first started taking bebe-O Prenatal Vitamins, I was just starting my third trimester and I was feeling a bit...sluggish. Well after a few days of taking the vitamins, I noticed I was feeling more energetic and more like my old self. I thought it was all in my head until I went away for a long weekend and forgot my vitamins. That sluggish, slow feeling came back! So after that I made sure to take my vitamins every day and made sure to pack them for all trips away from home! 


    And get this, bebe-O Prenatal Vitamins GUARANTEE to relieve morning sickness! WOW!! I wish I would have known about them at the beginning of my pregnancy when I was suffering through all day sickness. 


    Here is a peek at the label from bebe-O Prenatal vitamins. As you can see, they are chock full of great vitamins and nutrients for you and your growing babe!


    (Image via bebe-O)

    So what is my verdict on bebe-O Prenatal Vitamins

    They rock! I highly recommend them! Thanks to bebe-O for the opportunity to review your amazing product!



    I received the above product in exchange for writing a review. The review contains my honest opinion and thoughts of the product.


    2 years, 1 month and 4 days.

    It's been at least that long since I have spent any length of time at my house by myself. Not that I am complaining, just kind of crazy (sad? amazing?) to think about. 

    Chris and Olive just hit the road for Grandma and Poppy's house....leaving me home alone for two whole days. Well, I am not truly alone. My original trusty sidekick, Jake, stayed home to keep me company. I mean, someone needs to be here if I spontaneously go into labor. He is going to have one heck of a time calling 911 though not having opposable thumbs and all. Maybe I'll smear peanut butter on the "9" and "1" buttons and hope for the best. 

    Wow, I don't even know what to do with myself. I have a cup of coffee, music playing that does not involve a bus, a farm, a black sheep or a creepy guy named Billy (seriously, have you listened to the words of the song "Billy Boy"? The man has a wife that is too young to leave her mother. . . )  and a quiet house.  

     I could clean. That was the original plan before Mother Nature decided to turn Duluth into a sauna. The whole nesting thing has kicked in and I have that feeling that the house needs to be in ship shape condition because the baby will be here ANY MINUTE. I couldn't sleep last night (damn you spreading pelvis! Don't you know this is the time I should be stockpiling sleep? Why must you hurt when I try to roll over, get out of bed, fall asleep, sit, stand, walk all of the time??) and seriously considered cleaning out the pantry at 2:30am. The fact that it is in disarray was all I could think of. Like, "OMG the baby could be here any day and I have boxes of pasta, pancake mix and cans of soup that are helter skelter on the shelf! EEK, what am I going to do!!" Fortunately (?) it was too painful getting in and out of bed, so I just stayed put....until my next regularly scheduled pee break (11:55pm, 2am and 4:06am). The 4:06am  thought was to clean the bathroom. But that would have involved going downstairs to get the cleaning supplies and then coming back upstairs to clean. And doing stairs at that time of night (morning) did not sound appealing. So once again I went back to bed. 

    But now I have two whole days to do all of that...my heart is racing just thinking of the cleaning possibilities! Or maybe that's just the coffee. Or the heat. Or I am going into labor...Jake! Get ready pal! 




    Monday, July 12, 2010

    I'm famous!

    I am a member of a blogging campaign site called Business2Blogger that connects businesses with bloggers in an effort to get the word out  about their business and/or products.  


    Last week in one of our email campaigns, I noticed that the lovely state of Minnesota was left out of the drop down menu of location options. I sent an email to one of the head haunchos at B2B and the matter was quickly resolved. 


    Well lo and behold, I opened my email this morning to find this:

    "Now don't hurt him, Margie.


    I gotta hand it to our friends to the north.

    No matter how I tried to exclude them, no matter how hard I tried to keep them down last week, they just kept coming at me, and trying to make me laugh.

    I'm talking, of course, about those jovial, wonderfully-humored, and easy-going...
    ...Minnesotans.

    You see, last week as we were proudly rolling out our new software solution complete with new Blogger Submission forms, we managed to omit from the list of states, you guessed it, Minnesota. And for any of you who do business with large numbers of people over the internet, you know that faced with an error like that, a few people generally freak out and let you have it.

    But not one flame was sent, not one person flew off the handle. In fact, you beautiful people sent me the funniest emails, and I needed to share a few:

    Lindsay from Some Sort of Nonsense wrote: "Any particular reason why us Minnesotan's can't participate? I mean, I know we like to eat random food on a stick and wear long underwear 10 months out of the year, but really, we're nice people."

    Mimi from Marvelous Mom Reviews wrote woefully, "Sigh...I'm feeling so left out. I'm sad to say, my state, Minnesota, isn't listed in the drop down menu. Poor Minnesota, always singled out. We're so COLD. Mosquitos are the size of Boeing 747s. And we talk funny."

    When I told Stacie from The Coupon Sista to just enter another state for the time being, she wrote, "Thanks, I enter another country, so I hope that's O.K.".

    And finally, a very maternal Angeleen from Accidental Reflections wrote, "Is this because Minnesota has some strange laws that don't allow you to operate? Or is it because you just don't like Minnesota? And if it is because you don't like it, I hope it hasn't done anything offensive. But if it has, I will have a stern talk to it using my 'mother as disciplinarian' voice." Naughty Minnesota. Naughty.

    Holly, Shauna, Arthur and I continue to try to make B2B better for all of us, and when you show the kind of patience and humor with us that you did here, it reminds us that there are really fantastic people we are working with, and for. You. 
    Jay @ Business2Blogger "

    Eek! That's me! Wow, I feel so special! :) 

    Monday, July 5, 2010

    Sushi on a Stick

    I am all for sushi, as a matter of fact, I love it! But I am not so sure about this....

                  

    Posted by Picasa

    Although, I have to admit, if I saw this at the MN State Fair, I would have to try it. 

    And now I want sushi.

    (image courtesy of Sushi Popper)

    Monday, June 21, 2010

    Woo hoo!

    I FINALLY got my blog background, buttons, links, archives, followers, and all that jazz  back. A little research on the Blogger help forums showed me the way. Apparently I am not the only one having issues with Blogger lately. Not cool Blogger, not cool.

    Coming out of the closet.

    If I were able to wear fabulously fashionable shoes, (damn you peg leg!) (ok, I don't really have a peg leg but I do have a stupid foot that does not like to wear anything but very flat, supportive (aka not fabulous or fashionable) shoes. *sigh*) I would so be doing this. But alas, my running shoes, flip flops and flats will stay in the closet... 

    (Image via Apartment Therapy)