Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree.

Here, let me blow the dust off for you.*gently blows the fine layer of dust that has settled on her poor neglected blog*

Crap, that didn't help. *breaks out the Dyson hand dryer (do you know what I am talking about? Those bad boys are intense!) to blow the thick layer of dust that has settled on her poor neglected blog*

Much better.

Hi. How's it going? Long time no blog. Because I am awesome like that.

So, it's Christmas time! Yay! And here's a picture of our tree! Double yay!

Don't mind the bare spot in the middle. It's actually a blob of ornaments, candy canes and pipe cleaner creations. And it's beautiful.  Almost as beautiful as the homemade tree topper. Nothing says Christmas like a paper plate festooned with a glittery foam star, ribbons and neon pompoms. We don't hold back when it comes to decking the halls, baby. Full glitter ahead!

Anywho, hi. I am alive. I am not in jail for selling my child to the gypsies. I know you were worried.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Manic Friday.

Emphasis on the MANIC. 

Let me start off by saying, I love my children. So much it hurts. And I am so blessed in so many ways.


Today is one of those days where I honestly wonder if my three year old is possessed.

One minute she's happy, joyful, bubbly, ecstatic!!! Puppies and rainbows and rah rah, YAY!!!!!! And then BAM! She's a screaming, crying, flailing banshee from the depths of the underworld.

Ok, that may or may not be an exaggeration. Leanings towards NOT.

The logical, level headed, intelligent side of me knows this behavior is very typical of a three year old. I get that. Really, I do. Testing boundaries, asserting independence, learning to express emotions, yada yada yada. yada.  Roger that.


And you know what really gets me? She is an exact carbon copy Stubborn? Check. Emotional? Check. Quick temper? Check.  Except I am the adult here. I *should* be able to regulate my emotions. I know how to express my feelings in ways that do not involve kicking/screaming/throwing. But yet that's where I end up 95% of the time. Arguing with an emotionally charged preschooler about something that is not worth arguing about. Throwing the adult version of a three year old tantrum. Issuing empty threats that I KNOW I won't follow through on. And the super stellar part of that? She knows it too. So we end up screaming at each other, crying and stomping around until one of us ends up in our room for some quiet time.


Once the storm blows over, we're back to love fest 2011.  She tells me things like "Mama I love you as much as a rainbow!" And I feel horrible for yelling and threatening to sell her to the gypsies*. And we hug and cuddle and love and go on with our day. Until...BAM!

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Until she goes away to college. And then we can do this all via text.

*Note: I don't actually tell her I am going to sell her to the gypsies. I only dream about it during quiet time.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Eleven in '11. The Update.

Someone asked me today how I was doing  on my Eleven in '11 goals. And I realized I never got around to posting an update. I meant to update on my progress back in June. Oops. Better late than never.

I have to say, I haven't done too shabby.

I give you Eleven in '11. The Update. 

1. Learn to sew. Yeah, haven't done this. I have been knitting more, does that count? No? Crap.

2. Run a half marathon. If my back/knees/feet will allow it. If not, then a 10K or two. Heck, 2 miles might be pushing it. We'll see. Maybe I should just say start running again. Have not a half marathon. BUT I did TRY to get into one. Just didn't happen. This year. I did however, run a 5k. I am calling this a success. I would really like to run on a regular basis so I am going to continue working on that.

3.  Eat clean/less processed food. We don't eat much as it is, but I would like to cut it out as much as possible. This is definitely a success. I still enjoy a bag of Frito's as much as the next person, but we have definitely cut back on our processed food intake. Feels so much better to eat fresh/homemade food. More work but worth it. 

4. Learn to drive a stick shift. Negatory. Still time.

5. Exercise DAILY (pretty sad that this is even on my "to-do" list) Mostly yes. Sometimes it's something little like push ups and sit ups while my computer is spazzing and sometimes it's bigger like a workout dvd or walk/run. We re-joined the gym, so hopefully i will be getting my sweat on more regularly. 

6. More positive, less negative. Thoughts, actions, people, feelings, etc. Check. Feels good. And not only am I trying to be more positive in general, I am more accepting of the negative/crappy. It is what it is and nothing more. Sometimes you just have a crap day.

7. Spend less, save more. Done. We have never been huge spenders but we're more conscious of our spending habits now. We also set up an automatic daily deduction from our checking to our savings account. It's not much but it adds up quickly. And to be honest, we don't even miss it from the checking account.

8. Volunteer. Work in progress. I am on my MOPS Steering Comittee and plan on volunteering at Olive's preschool. I would also like to do some sort of volunteering around the holidays.  
9. More meal plans. Less grocery shopping. This is hit or miss. We go in stretches of being really organized and well stocked to total chaos and scraping the bottom of the barrel (or fridge) to throw something together. Could be better.

10. Take golf lessons. Maybe. Still undecided about this one. This got the boot. See below.

11. Enjoy the crap out of each and every day. Life is too short not to. You betchya. Life is good.

So all in all, I'm not doing too bad. And there is still time to work on some these. 

How are you doing on your goals/resolutions? 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bah Humbug.

I have Christmas on the brain. In a huge way. Visions of stockings, presents and reindeer dance through my head. I found myself singing Christmas carols in the shower this morning.

I don't know what my problem is. Forgive me Fall, for I have skipped over you completely and wished for snow and Christmas cookies.

To combat this problem and get myself in the Fall spirit, I am now going to post a few fall items that caught my eye recently. Because I can't be posting Christmas stuff yet. yet...

Fabulous Fall Finds
(you can find all of these and more on my Pintrest boards.)

pumpkin pie cocoa.

spiced pumpkin cider.

scarf wearing 101.

colorful napkins.

fun (if somewhat confusing) scarf diy.



Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Weekly CSA Love

I didn't post our CSA love last week because I forgot to take a picture before I divvied it up (we split with another person). Well guess what? I forgot this week too!

But I will forge ahead without a picture. I hope you'll forgive me.

This week's delivery included:

Tomatoes-will definitely be making more of this soup. holy yum.
Peppers-hot and sweet. green and purple.
Carrots-HUGE carrots. HUGE!
Beets-itty bitty tiny beets. adorable.
BLUE potatoes-awesome
Salad Greens

Last week's delivery was pretty much the same. With the addition of a giant jar of beautiful, glorious, amazing HONEY. So good. So, so good.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Weekly CSA Love

Remember the first few weeks of our CSA delivery when the box was pretty sparse?

Yeah, those days are behind us. This week's box was chock full of goodness. 

This week's delivery included:
Tomatoes, tomatoes and more tomatoes. Red, yellow, orange and green. Lots of salsa and tomato soup in our future (and freezer!).
Peppers. Sweet and hot. 
Beans. Green, purple and the creepy purple stripey ones.
Cucumbers. Mmmm....pickles.
Carrots.  Fresh carrots are the bees knees.
Swiss Chard. The rainbow variety. So good. I will be making a giant pot of Sausage and Greens Soup tomorrow. Can't wait!
Summer squash. We've been tossing these bad boys on the grill with a splash of olive oil and S&P. yum.
 And last but not least....BEETS!!! For a girl who used to hate beets, I am so excited to see them this week! I LOVE BEETS! (I should get myself a bumper sticker)

Olive, looking for the perfect "Olive sized tomato"

Monday, September 12, 2011

Me + Heely's = Recipe for disaster

Or is it? 

A month or so ago I was hooked up with a free pair of Heely's thanks to a blogging campaign via Business 2 Blogger. They were looking for bloggers who were interested in trying Heely's and I thought, what the heck, why not make an absolute fool out of myself on the internet! Woo hoo!

I don't know about you, but when I think of Heely's, I think of tweens zooming around the mall (aka "heeling"), not adults. But lo and behold, Heely's come in Men's and Women's sizes too. Just think of all the family skating you could do! Your kids will LOVE it! Or not. They might be mortally embarrassed but at least you'll have fun in the process.

The shoe I received is tan canvas with a dark brown accent. You can pop the wheel in and out making the shoes very versatile. And remember, there is a time to heel and there is a time not to heel. Playing outside with the fam? Time to heel. Dashing through Target while wearing your baby in the Ergo? Not the time to heel. Although it would make those shopping trips so much quicker. But, not so safe. Basically, use common sense as to when the appropriate time to heel is.

Once I received my Heely's I have to admit, I was a bit apprehensive. I was having second thoughts. I am about as graceful as a giraffe on a slip slide (why a giraffe would be on a slip and slide, I don't know). But really, I had no choice. I had said I would do it, so there was no turning back now. So I slipped them on and away I went!

 (A shout out to Moms RUN This Town!) (And yes, I am skating on my porch. It was raining!)

Well kind of. It took quite a bit of practice and almost falling on my face before I was able to skate a short distance. And I only made a minimal fool of myself. Ok, a big fool. Not gonna lie, it's harder than it looks. But once I got comfortable with rocking back onto my heel to skate it was a lot of fun! My husband only laughed at me once. Or twice. Or maybe I told him to go inside and leave me alone (I think he's jealous). The how-to videos on the Heely's website were a big help in getting me started.

The Heely's website has some great info on safe skating as well as instructional videos for basic skating and trick skating. If I were a tad more coordinated, I would so try some of the tricks. But alas, I am not, so I will stick to basic skating. Still very fun!

All in all, I had a lot of fun playing around with my Heely's. I never would have thought they had options for adults, so it was great to try them out first hand. They would make a great gift for the budding skater or skater wanna-be in your life.

Check out the Heely's website, Facebook,Twitter or YouTube to learn more.

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Heelys Wheeled Shoes for free in conjunction with Business2Blogger for the purposes of trying them out for this review. That being said, this review is my 100% honest opinion of this product - I  was not paid for my reviews or opinions.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Then and Now.

Ten years ago I was in my second year of college. Staying up all night and rarely going to class. Living in the first of many rental houses. Sleeping off hangovers and eating frozen pizza on the kitchen floor with my roommates.

Today, I am married with two children. We own a house, a dog and a mini van. I am up all night with a baby who thinks sleeping through the night is overrated.

Ten years ago I woke up late and ran out the door for class, American Lit II.

Today, I woke up early, got myself ready and then the girls, and raced out the door for the first day of Sunday school.

Ten years ago I heard a guy on the radio say that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York. I thought he was joking.

Today, I didn't hear the guy on the radio talking because I was too busy answering the million questions a three year old can throw at you in a 9 minute car ride.

Ten years ago I walked into my classroom and the buzz of conversation. Plane crash, attack, New York City, terrorist were all I could make out. Chaos ensued as we gathered around the nearest TV.

Today, I walked into a classroom and the buzz of preschoolers, singing and snack. A different kind of chaos ensued.

Ten years ago my heart raced and my stomach sank as I watched the footage of the plane crashes and realized it was not a joke.

Today, my heart swelled with pride as I watched my girls play with their friends and sing songs of love.

Ten years ago I started to panic as I realized my mom was in New York City. And there was a plane crash. An attack. And I didn't know where she was.

Today, I calmed my panicking three year old and told her that yes, Grandma would love to walk to the coffee shop with us later this week and no, she won't be at the cabin forever.

Ten years ago I hit redial over and over and over again, willing my mom to answer her cell phone. Panicking a little more whenever my phone rang and it wasn't her. When she finally called me later that morning to tell me she was ok (and across the river in Newark for business training), I sat down and cried tears of relief. 

Today, I plan on calling my mom to tell her I am thinking of her but first I have to put someone down for nap,start a load of laundry and make lunch. If I don't get to it today, I know I can tomorrow.

I cry tears of sadness as I think back on that horrific day. But I also cry tears of gratitude. I was lucky. I received an "I'm ok" phone call. Thinking of all the people who didn't and never would, breaks my heart.

While I am different person now than I was ten years ago, I will never forget the thoughts, feelings and horror of September 11, 2001. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Yes, I am alive.

Yeah, yeah, I know. I am a horrible blogger. I don't know what happens. I sit down to write a post and then I get distracted. Or hungry. Or someone needs a snack (and yes, that someone is often times me). Or I am feeling uninspired. Or I end up wasting precious double nap time (extremely rare these days) watching pointless (but HILARIOUS) youtube videos. Like this:

Seriously people. That video never gets old. Never.

And this. This girl is adorable. And she's got Star Wars down pat.

Anyway, back to blogging. Or the lack thereof.  It happens. Sorry.

This week's CSA crate was chock full of beautiful veggies. Tomatoes, peppers (sweet and hot), potatoes, three different kinds of beans, peas, squash, cucumbers and greens. Our patience has paid off and we now have veggies coming out of our ears. Love it!

We've been making lots of salads with fresh greens and veggies, sauteing and grilling squash and potatoes and eating beans and peas raw. Olive proclaimed today "I love beans. The purple ones make my tongue feel happy". And I have to say, I agree!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Weekly CSA Love. Or not.

Due to poor harvestable options, we will not be getting our weekly CSA delivery today. Boo. Last week we received a small batch of lettuce, green onions and some more of those beautiful, scrumptious strawberries.

While this is disappointing, it is a risk you take when signing up. I can't imagine how frustrating and disappointing it is for the farmers. We'll keep our fingers crossed that the weather cooperates and the crops begin to flourish.

I know that bountiful baskets of goodness are in our future!

(CSA love from 2010) 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Weekly CSA Love

We got our first CSA delivery last week. Unfortunately we also had a pretty sick and miserable three year old on our hands so I forgot to tell you about it. It was a pretty slim box, salad greens and a few green onions.

But this week, THIS week, there were...

I love our CSA. Love it.

Especially when they deliver beautiful strawberries like these. So big, juicy and flavorful.

We also got:
  • Kale: Rainbow Lacinato
  • Salad Greens: Ruby Red Lettuce
  • Green Onions
  • Strawberry Rhubarb
  • Fresh Mint
Yum, yum!

Here are a few recipes I am thinking of trying with this week's bounty:

Sour Cream and Onion Kale Chips
Kale Salad
Minty Ice Cubes
Place 1-3 mint leaves in each cell of an ice cube tray. Fill with cold water and freeze. Or if you want a stronger mint flavor, fill with boiling water. Let cool and then freeze. Makes a nice minty addition to water, lemonade, ice tea or adult beverages. ;)

And of course lots of salads! Maybe with homemade Strawberry Balsamic Dressing. Oh who am I kidding, those strawberries will be gone before the morning! 

Monday, June 27, 2011

All we need now is some Bob Marley and brownies.

Penny loves her shrooms.

This recipe was a fan favorite with Olive as well. And mine too. I looove it. Even Chris, who doesn't really care for mushrooms, likes it.

And it's pretty quick and easy to throw together. Bonus!

If you have a little one who is ready to try something a bit more substantial (or a grown up who wants to try something amazingly good), give this recipe a whirl. It makes a great side dish! 


Sunday, June 26, 2011


Long time no blog! Blogger was being beastly and then life just kind of got in the way. Sorry about that.

Big doings going on in this part of the internet. 

Olive celebrated birthday number 3. 
 (Favorite gift? A nightgown. Clearly she is not my child.)
We had several small celebrations with different family groups. Fun was had and cake was eaten. Good times.

My dad got a new lung. Wait, let me say that again. MY DAD GOT A NEW LUNG!! How freaking cool is that?! We are beyond happy and so excited at what this means for him (and us).  Sorry no pictures. Everything went well and he feels great though!

Penny sprouted a tooth.

And then another. And is working on another. She likes to bite me with said teeth. It's tons of fun. She also hit 9 and 10 months. Which means she will be one in less than two months. *sob*

Let's see what else. Golf season is in full swing which means we see less of Chris. But that also means summer is upon us and we can be outside all day long! Yay! 

What was that? 

Hasn't it been cold and rainy here? High in the 40s? Gale force winds? Torrential down pours?

Oh yes, that's right. I must have blocked the last few weeks from my memory. It's always sunny and 70 in my mind. Or maybe that's San Diego...

Let's just say we've been playing a lot of Candy Land lately. A LOT. 
(Notice the nightgown. She wears it 24/7.)
Which I am ok with. Actually, I kind of like it. I mean, who wouldn't want to go to the Candy Castle? King Kandy is kind of kute.

Clearly the recent bout of being stuck inside has left me delusional.

I think that's about it. So really, even though I haven't posted in over a month, I still don't have much to say. Huh.  Clearly, I need a life.

OH! I ran a 5k! 

I know! I am as surprised as you are.

It was a midnight 5k and although I was slower than molasses in January (or June with the weather we've had) it was a blast. It was a beautiful night (we were actually hot!) and there was a sprinkling of spectators along the way. I ran it with one of my BFF's and she didn't complain one bit when I slowed her down.

She was great at keeping me motivated.  Heck at one point she even smacked me in the butt to get me moving. I liked it. We're planning on doing it again next year. And looking into other 5k's to do this summer. 

I am still rocking my FitBit everyday. I love this little gadget more than I care to admit. I forgot to wear it a few weeks ago when I went out of town and I was heartbroken over the lost steps. Ok, not heartbroken but I was pretty bummed. If you like stats and/or need a motivator to get moving, FitBit is for you. So go get one and then we can be FitBit friends and compete against each other. Nothing like a little friendly competition to get your ass off the couch! (And no, I am in no way shape or form associated with FitBit. I just really like it!)

Well, I think that's it for now. What have you been up to my dear readers? Fill me in!

Hope all is well! 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I think I am in love.

Angela of Oh She Glows has done it again.

So good. So, so good.

Plus, Chris made them. So that makes them EXTRA good.

Photo courtesy of moi. You're welcome. Now, wipe the drool off your keyboard.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

It's in the bag.

I am a faithful follower of the blog Enjoying the Small Things written by the talented (and beautiful!) Kelle Hampton.  I love her frank, tell it how it is writing. And her photography is great. Doesn't hurt that her children are adorable.

I was reading her post today on her Bag of Tricks that she always has on hand for her girls. A bag that contains little trinkets and treasures that occupy, soothe and delight her girls. I am sure every parent has something similar and if not, should. Kelle then went on to talk about her personal bag of tricks and asked her readers to share what's in their bag of tricks. What lifts you up when you're down? What are those go-to things/places/people you can count on to bring you happiness?

For me it's chocolate milk. Plain and simple (and very sadly missed these days). If I am crabby, angry, sad, tired, stressed or just blah, a big glass of cold chocolate milk is all I need to bring me back to the here and now. It's happiness in a glass. Sanity in a glass. Love in a glass. Patience in a glass. Strength in a glass.

A few other things in my bag include:
Fresh air. Spring or Fall air is preferable but I am not too picky.
The smell of freshly cut grass
Gummy bears/worms
A good book 
Driving with the windows down and the music turned up
A spritz of my favorite perfume
Music. Lots of music
A walk or run with the company of a four legged friend
Tequila+lime+salt+good friends
and so much more. 

On this cold, wet, SNOWY spring day I needed to think about the simple, good things in life. Remember way back in January (seems like a life time ago!) when I told you my word for the year is abundance? The things I just listed are my daily abundance reminders. Every day items/occurrences that remind me of how abundantly full my life is. Full of life, love, laughter, challenges, struggles and triumphs.

Sounds like an excellent reason to keep Cheetos in the house. And tequila. 

What is in YOUR bag of tricks? 

I take that back.

Apparently Mother Nature didn't like the shout I gave her the other day. We currently have several inches of snow on the ground. 

But hey, at least the wind died down! 

Plus the snow moisture will give the grass a boost once it melts.

And it's made my 2.5 year old more willing to wear pants; "Uh oh, snow Mama! I guess I better wear pants today".

So take that snow, we're happy you're here! Ha!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Signs of Spring

There is no doubt about it, Spring has officially sprung.

We have tulips poking their heads up in the garden, chalk art gracing our sidewalk, the beginnings of a sand collection outside the front door where we dump shoes/boots after trips to the park, daily requests (if not hourly) to go to said park, windows thrown open to let in fresh air and spring-y smells and claims of "but I don't need to wear pants, it's SPRING out!".

Welcome Spring, we missed you. Now be a dear and don't go all crazy on us. And by crazy I mean daytime temps below 40, nonstop rain or (dare I say it?) snow. 

That's my girl.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Good clean fun.

A few weeks ago my good friend Dara (Hi Dara!) gave me a jar of yellowish, somewhat gelatinous, liquid. It smelled very clean and slightly citrus-y. It was homemade laundry detergent!

And get worked! Really well! Clothes came out clean and smelled great but without the overpowering smell that most detergents leave behind.  So I decided to whip up a batch myself. And we are now set on laundry detergent for the rest of our lives. Ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration. We may have to make another batch when we're in our 80s. 

It is ridiculously easy to make and cheap to boot. Like pennies per load cheap. Take that Proctor & Gamble. 

Dara found the 'recipe' on Nature Moms Blog.  Like I said it's really easy to make and it makes A LOT

Here's what you need:
1 bar Fels-Naptha soap (found in the laundry soap section)
1 c. Arm & Hammer WASHING Soda (Not baking soda!! Also found in the cleaner/laundry section)
1/2 c. Borax (same section)
5 gallon bucket
Clean, empty laundry detergent container
Essential Oils (optional)

1.Grate the bar of soap and throw it in a saucepan with 4 c. water over med-high heat. Stir until all the soap is melted.
2. Fill the 5 gallon bucket half full with hot water. 
3. Add the melted soap/water, washing soda and borax to the 5 gallon bucket.
4. Fill the bucket the rest of the way up with water. Give it a whirl, cover and let it sit overnight to thicken. 

The next morning fill your empty laundry detergent container half full with the soap mixture. Fill it the rest of the way up with water. Add 10-15 drops of essential oil if you so desire. 

And there you have it, homemade laundry detergent! 10 gallons worth once it's all said and done. Make sure to shake it before each use as it kind of gels up. In our HE machine we use ~ 1/4 c per load. 

If you're looking for a homemade cloth diaper detergent, I highly recommend this one!
Do you use any homemade cleaning concoctions?

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Land of 10,000


Have you heard of the research that says we should all aim to take 10,000 steps a day?

In the 60s, a Japanese researcher was trying to come up with a way to improve the health and fitness of people in Japan.  He figured the average person took 3,500 to 5,000 steps per day. He reasoned that if they took 10,000 steps a day they would be healthier, thinner, happier and all that jazz. So pretty soon everyone in Japan was wearing pedometers and taking the stairs. Turns out he was right. The more steps people took, the more active they were and ultimately healthier (duh). Too bad it took the good ol' US of A a few more decades to catch on. But better late than never, right?

So what does that have to do with me? 

Last week I bought myself a fitbit
A nifty little fitness gadget that I had been eyeing up for a few months. It's a pedometer and fitness tracker that you wear every day. It counts steps, computes distance, estimated calorie burn and overall activity level. You then sync the fitbit to your computer and it uploads your data to the fitbit website. The website is pretty neat in and of itself. You can enter foods eaten, input additional activities or exercises, journal and more. There is an online community as well. 

You can also wear your fitbit while sleeping to track how well you sleep at night. Which is kind of a moot point for me at this point since Penny still wakes occasionally during the night to nurse. 

And my husband hogs the covers. 

And sometimes the dog goes ballistic at 2 am when a party bus unloads a few houses down and two guys start yelling at each other in the middle of the road as their friends egg them on while turning their music up even louder. 

(Wow. When did I turn into a crabby old woman who gets pissed at the shenanigans of the after bar crowd? Oh yeah, when I stopped being part of the after bar crowd. Kids will do that to you. And driving a mini van.)

Back to the fitbit. 

So the goal is to log 10,000 steps a day. Which kind of seems like a lot. Ok, it is a lot. Approximately 5 miles worth of steps. But I figured my step count had to be up there considering I have a child who never stops moving* and another child who can't quite move on her own. So between chasing and carting, I move around a lot.

Or so I thought. Turns out I take around 5,000 steps per day. Which is still not bad, but a long way from 10,000. Now I will say, the four days I have been wearing it have been pretty cruddy out so we've been in the house for the most part. I am sure once we are back to playing outside and our daily dog walks that number will be much higher.

But I would still like to increase my step count to get closer to 10,000 every day. Not because I think it's some sort of magical number but because the higher my step count, the more active I am (again, duh.). And coming out of this very cold, long winter I can use all of the activity I can get! I have gotten into the bad habit of plopping down on the couch and opening my computer anytime I walked by it. Not good for anyone involved. Not to mention my couch, the poor thing has a permanent Lindsay sized butt imprint on it. 

So with that, I am going to close the computer, get off my butt and do a few laps around the house cleaning up as I go. Not only has this little gadget motivated me to move, but my house will probably be cleaner. I said probably. Don't hold me to it. 

If you're interested in getting yourself a fitbit, you can order directly through the fitbit website or from Amazon or REI. (I got mine at REI using my member rebate, 20% off coupon and a store credit. Final price? Free. Score.) Word on the street, er, the interwebs, is that it's better to order from Amazon or REI. Quicker shipping and better return policy.  

How many steps do you think you take in a day? 

*I would love to strap a pedometer on Olive and see how many steps she takes in a day. Pretty sure she takes 10,000 steps before lunch.

I was in no way, shape or form compensated to write this review. The fitbit people have no idea who I am. The words are my own. Just like the butt imprint on my couch.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Just one of those days.

Today was just one of those days. You know, one of those days?

The kind of day where everything is.....perfect. 

Not what you were expecting, huh? Well believe me, I am kind of surprised myself.

Don't get me wrong, most of our days are wonderful and I really don't have anything to complain about. I have a lot to be thankful for and have been blessed with so....much in my life. So much love and family and friends and good things. I truly am a lucky gal. 

But some days I lose sight of all of that and can only focus on the not so happy. And granted the not so happy could be a whole hell of a lot worse, but still. It's hard to focus on the so much when you have a little person knocking you down and blowing you up with their incredibly intense and passionate way of being. And it's even more frustrating when you know that the reason they are so passionate and intense is because you. are. too.  So now not only are you extremely frustrated and pissed because this little person is defying your very existence, your extremely frustrated and pissed because you know she can't help it because she is a mini you.  So yelling and crying and stomping ensues until you both get it out of your system. And then you cuddle and wipe tears and whisper 'I'm sorry' and 'I love you' and all is well.

Today wasn't one of those days. Today was wonderful. Fabulous. Magical. Nothing exciting or extraordinary happened. But I think that's why it was so lovely. It was just extra ordinary. There was no yelling, no crying, no screaming, no "I DON'T WANT TO!!!!".   Just a nice day at home doing a whole lot of the usual. Playing, singing, eating, dancing, play doh-ing, cuddling, reading, etc. But the absence of yelling, crying, whining and hot tempers was like a breath of fresh air. Heck, I even got a workout in during pseudo-nap time. I am telling you, it was a great day. 

What did we do differently? Why was today so pleasant? I couldn't tell you. And honestly, I don't really care. I just enjoyed it and take comfort in knowing that there are more days like this on the horizon.  Who knows what tomorrow brings, but today was beautiful.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

World Water Day

Today is World Water Day. 

According to the World Water Day website: 
International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.
I said it last year and I'll say it again. Don't we all deserve a clean drink of water? 

Aaaand I'm back!

Missed me, didn't ya? 

Not really sure what happened or where my blogging mojo went, but for whatever reason I just wasn't feeling it. 
While I have been MIA, I have been busy. Doing what, you ask? Well pull up a seat and I'll tell you!

*Watching this cute chunk of love learn how to roll from her back to tummy. And getting thisclose to crawling. 

* Watching this spitfire of a toddler learn how to do and say all sorts of "oh my god my baby is so not a baby anymore" things. 

*Soaking up all the sisterly love that's going on in this house. 

*Welcomed my niece Ruby to the world! She is the sweetest little peanut!
*Made Spicy Thai Chicken in the crockpot (really good, not so spicy)
*Made Crockpot Fried Rice with the leftover Coconut chicken. (really, really good)
*Read the amazingly good book, One Day
*Knit myself a cowl 
*Started knitting a scarf for Chris. (A belated Christmas gift...from 2009. Better late than never, right?)
*Started running again. Woot woot!
*Stopped running again. Boo! (darn knees. and laziness. *sigh*) 
*Wishing and hoping for Spring and warm weather. 

I am sure I have missed a few things, but that's what's I've been up to. 

What's been going on in your neck of the woods?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Break out the air popper!*

Have you ever rented a Redbox DVD online and picked it up at a kiosk? No? Me neither. But you can try it for free by clicking on the link below (if it's your first online rental).
Why am I sharing this with you? Because I love you. 

Ok and because if you rent using this link, I'll get a free rental. But then you can sign up to get your OWN free rental. Winner winner chicken dinner! Er, free movie rental!

*What?! You don't make your popcorn with an air popper? You don't know what you're missing out on! I like to drizzle it with butter, add some S&P and chili powder. Or cinnamon if I am feeling frisky. Not that kind of frisky. The kind of frisky that makes me put cinnamon on my popcorn. Very different frisky**. 

Speaking of air poppers, I really want one of these bad boys
A microwave popcorn popper. No oil, no greasy bag, just toss in some popcorn and give it a whirl in the microwave. Works just like an air popper but I wouldn't have to worry about popcorn popping all over my kitchen when I forget to put a bowl under the popper. Not that I have ever done that (My four legged friend thought he had died and gone to doggy heaven). And you can melt butter in the silicone lid and it will drip onto the freshly popped popcorn. *drool* Here is a little video for your enjoyment. 

"That's what I'm talking about!"

**Frisky is a really funny sounding word. Frisky. he he.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I registered for a half marathon!!

And got denied. 


*heavier, longer, louder SIGH*

*and once get the idea*

Well that stinks. I worked up the courage to register for the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon and didn't get in. I know, it's nothing personal, just luck of the draw, but still. Talk about a let down. I didn't even know if I really wanted to run it until I found out I couldn't.  Boo, hiss and all that jazz. 

But I have decided I am going to train for it anyway. I honestly don't know if I can physically do it (bad knees, running affects my milk supply, yada yada) but I am going to give it a whirl. And if I find out halfway through training that it's just not going to happen, at least I won't be out the $75 registration fee. Silver lining? Sure. 

So, with that, I am formally announcing that I am training for a half marathon. 

Any suggestions on a training plan? I am going to look at Hal Higdon, Jeff Galloway and Garry Bjorklund's plans.

Wish me luck! 

(I wrote this on Tuesday and just realized today that it didn't post. I am having internet connectivity issues on my laptop. It's been a reoccurring problem since I got it in 2007. I think I got a bad Apple. boo.)  

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Family Traditions

(I will admit, when thinking about writing this post, this song popped into my head. And there it sits. On repeat.)

Our little family of four does not have many family traditions. But we are a fairly new family, so I think there is plenty of time to change that. The few traditions we do have seem to center around food and eating together as a family. Nothing wrong with that in my mind! 

Eating as a family is extremely important to me and we try to do so most evenings. I love the time to slow down and connect with everyone. It's our surefire way of making family time a high priority during our busy daily life. By starting this tradition with our kids at a young age (when they don't have a choice, ha!), we are hopefully showing them the importance and value in sitting down and eating together. And if we happen to be eating something fabulous that's even better.

Here are a few of our family traditions.

We make Aebleskivers for breakfast on Christmas morning. Love it. 

Four years ago Chris and I started the tradition of having crab legs for dinner on New Year's Eve. Love this too. 

Last spring we instituted Homemade Pizza Night on Friday nights.We got off track for a while but seem to be getting back into the swing of things again. Really love this. Even though my pizza is now cheese-less.

And the latest and greatest tradition? Sunday night Roast Chicken. We've only done it once or twice, but it was such a warm and delicious ending to our weekend that I think we're going to start doing it more often. And it makes the whole house smell wonderful (if you like the smell of roasting chicken and veggies).

Now, before you start thinking "Wow, aren't you the little Susy Homemaker to whip up a roasted chicken every Sunday!" I promise you I'm not. Just ask Chris. :)  It's really easy. But doesn't it sound so impressive to say you're roasting a chicken for dinner? And it's sooo good! 

I found this recipe on Dinner: A Love Story and love it. It's a very basic recipe that you could spice up a little with different spices/herbs or veggies.  Tonight we are going to throw some beets into the mix. With a side of brussel sprouts. Because we're crazy like that. 

Perfect Roast Chicken
(Adapted from Dinner A Love Story)
6 potatoes (anything but baking potatoes), cut into chunks (I used baby red potatoes)
3 medium carrots, peeled, cut into chunks (All I had were baby carrots)
1 whole roasting chicken (organic if you can swing it) about 4 pounds (ours was around 3lbs)
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, pricked several times with a knife
1 small bunch fresh thyme (I also threw some Rosemary in)

Heat oven to 425°F. Arrange potatoes and carrots in a large oven-proof skillet (I used a glass baking dish) and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place in oven and roast for 15 minutes.

Rinse chicken under cold water (inside and out) and pat dry.  Rub chicken skin with butter and season with salt and pepper.  Fill cavity with lemon and thyme (and rosemary).  Place chicken over roasting vegetables and continue roasting until chicken is a golden brown and juice run clear when thigh is pierced with a fork, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove chicken from the oven, carve and serve. Enjoy!

What are your family traditions? 

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Charlatan's Boy; A Review

Thanks to Waterbrook Multnoham Publishing Group and Blogging for Books, I was recently sent a copy of The Charlatan's Boy to review. This book has rave reviews in many literary circles, so I was excited to get a copy. I practically pounced on the UPS man when he dropped it off. I tore open the package and started reading right there in the entry way (What can I say, I am kind of a book nerd). 


The Charlatan's Boy is a story about Grady, an orphaned boy who is raised by a traveling huckster, Floyd. It is unclear as to what his relationship to Floyd is and Floyd is tight lipped about Grady's origins. They travel the country together performing various acts that  play off of Grady's ugliness. As they travel and work together, Grady starts to understand that Floyd is a showman through and through and blowing smoke every chance he gets. Even at Grady's expense. Usually at Grady's expense. Grady begins to question his origins even more and question his relationship with Floyd. He has a longing to belong somewhere to someone. By the end of the book they have reached an inevitable crossroads in their relationship.

I soooo wanted to like this story and love the characters, but I just couldn't. While it is well written, I had a constant feeling of being unsettled while reading it. I felt like I was missing something and not getting the whole story. The characters were well developed but I just couldn't connect with them. I also had a hard time with the setting.  I never got a good sense of where they were or where they were headed. In the end I couldn't put it down...I just wanted to get to the end and be done with it.

Sadly, I didn't enjoy The Charlatan's Boy. Maybe if I read it again at a later time I will enjoy it more. Maybe I truly did miss something. Or maybe I didn't buy into the smoke and mirrors like everyone else.

Have you read The Charlatan's Boy? What did you think? Am I missing something?

I was given this book free of charge from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing group for the purpose of reading and reviewing. I received no compensation and the opinions expressed here are my own.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A case of the Februarys.

(Warning: This post is heavy on whining. You've been warned.)

Ugh. I hate this time of year. I am so over winter. The snow is dirty, hard and icy. The days are cold, grey* and flat. blah. 

And then we are blessed with a week of warm temps, melting snow and glorious sunshine. For a few wonderful days I feel alive again. Refreshed. Inspired. I drive with the windows cracked and smile. Maybe the end of winter's not so bad after all. 

But it all comes crashing down a few days later when the wind blows so hard the roof of the dog house ends up half way down the yard. And I have to chase the (huge) recycling can down the skating rink we call the alley. And it's cold. And grey. And flat. And blah. Times infinity.

I have a serious case of the Mondays Februarys.  

This time of year has me dreaming of warm weather, sunny skies and flip flops. Impromptu pic-pics. Long walks that end with ice cones dripping down our hands. Sleeping with the windows open. Waking to the sound of birds outside our windows. Being able to leave the house without taking 15 minutes getting jackets, boots, hats and mittens on. 


Anyone else feel this way? Are we too young to become "snowbirds"? I am an excellent Shuffleboard player.

*Is it grey or gray? I prefer the look of grey so I always spell it with an "e". Take that America.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Break out the cake!

 Six months ago my day started like this:

Four and a half hours later it had progressed to this:

And this is where we're at today:

Crazy, I know. In a lot of ways it seems like Penny was just born (and it seems like just yesterday Olive was born!). But at the same time we can't really remember what life was like without her.

At 6 months she is:
  • 18lbs 4oz
  • 27 3/4" long
  • a master sitter
  • a drooling machine
  • learning to sleep unswaddled 
  • sleeping through the night (for the most part. see above.)
  • cooing, shrieking and starting to "talk"
  • an occasional roller
  • enamored with her sister
  • not so enamored with the dog
  • a Sophie addict
  • adorable

Happy 1/2 birthday Pen Pen! Now, please stop growing up so fast. Thank you.

Blast from the Past: Olive's birth story

(I started this blog after Olive was born and never got around to posting her birth story. Here it is in all it's glory. Enjoy!)

(Written 6/20/2008)

An entry from Olive herself....

Friday June 13th 2008, a day we will always remember! But let’s start this story two days before on Wednesday when Mom started having contractions....

Mom woke up Wednesday morning feeling sharp pains and a tightening feeling in her back...hmmm. She went to her weekly doctor’s appointment with Dr. Ulland and told him about it. He said that was  a good sign, but there was still no sign of progress. He also talked about something Mommy had been dreading.......inducing her to MAKE me come out. Since Mom had been diagnosed with Cholestasis of Pregnancy (unbearably itchy hands and feet due to high bile serum levels) a few weeks before, Dr. Ulland had decided that Mom needed to get baby out sooner rather than later. Since Mom obviously wanted to avoid being induced at all costs, Dr. Ulland ordered some more blood tests and said they would talk about it the following Monday after they got the results back.

That evening Mom and Dad went to Grandma Mary Jo and Grandpa Jeff’s house for dinner-spaghetti and meatballs, one of Mom’s favorites! Unfortunately she wasn’t able to eat much because the contractions had come back and were starting to become stronger and more painful-all in her back. So Mom and Dad headed home and Mom went to bed with a heating pad, tylenol, and her usual nightly dose of Pepcid AC. And as much as she knew she needed to rest, she couldn’t. Every 15-20 minutes a contraction would come and Mom couldn’t do anything to help relieve the pain. At 4:30am she finally figured out that being on the floor on her hands and knees seemed to help. And where was Dad during all of this? In the guest room where Mom sent him! She knew that her chances of sleeping were going to be slim so she sent him to the other room so at least HE could get some rest!

And it’s a good thing she did! Dad stayed home on Thursday and spent the day helping Mom get through the contractions that were getting longer, stronger and closer together- 20 minutes, 15 minutes, 10 minutes, 8 minutes..... By Thursday night they were anywhere from 4-10 minutes apart lasting about 60 seconds long. It was a very long day and they knew that the night would be even longer.

That night was the longest night of Mommy and Daddy’s life. Mom’s contractions were getting unbearable, but they weren’t consist in how far apart they were. Finally at 2:30 Dad called the on call doctor (not Dr. Ulland) to see if we should head to labor and delivery......he never called back. So Dad then called labor and delivery and they said to hold off until they were consistently 4 minutes apart or less. Mom was in tears at this point (maybe Daddy was too?) because she was in so much pain and it was all in her back, which she didn’t really know how to handle. In frustration she said “Oh I just wish my water would break so we could go already!” Lo and behold, at 4:30am Mom got out of bed for a contraction and felt a gush of fluid. It happened again and again for a third time. So Mom got in the shower, Dad called labor and delivery and they were off!

At 5:30am Friday the 13th, Mom and Dad arrived at the hospital and were admitted. Apparently it was a popular day to have a baby because at first the nurse wasn’t sure there was a room available! (Not what Mommy wanted to hear as she was rocking on her hands and knees in the reception area....) But they found us a room and Mom was examined and found to be 4cm dialated and about 75% effaced. So they quickly gave Mom some pain medication that would take the edge off the contractions and help her get some rest-she hadn’t slept since Tuesday night! While it did help, it wasn’t enough to make the pain of the contractions go away, so Mom (with Dad’s help) was still trying to find ways to cope with the pain- now with an IV attatched and numerous medical personnel in and out, including a med student who asked Mom a bunch of questions during the middle of a very intense contraction that she had already been asked by the nurse and the resident OB. Needless to say Mom didn’t have a whole lot to say to her....Dr. Ulland stopped by Friday morning to check on Mom and she was still at 4cm and he said that if she hadn’t progressed by that afternoon he wanted to started Pitocin to help get the process going. 1:00 or so, Mom got an epidural and a Pitocin drip added to her arsenal. Dad had to leave the room when the epidural was put in- he thought that was too scary to see. Mom said it didn’t hurt one bit, but she didn’t like not being able to feel anything from the belly button down. But at least she was able to finally sleep!

At 5:00 they examined Mom and said the words they had been waiting to hear all day- it’s time to start pushing! So at 5:30pm Mom started pushing, it was very hard for her to do since a)she couldn’t feel anything that was going on down there and b) she was so exhausted, she started falling asleep between contractions! Finally at 7:57pm, I decided to grace the world with my beautiful presence! Dr. Ulland pulled me out (after getting my one shoulder unstuck), flipped me over and announced “It’s a......GIRL!!” Everyone was so excited! I think Mom would have cried but her eyes were so swollen and blood shot from pushing she couldn’t!  Mom and Dad (and Dr. Ulland) were very shocked to see that I had a head of dark, thick hair and that I was so big!

The medical team was a little concerned because I wasn’t turning a nice rosy pink, (I was content to stay blueish gray) and I wasn’t making any noise. So after weighing me,7 pounds 15 ounces, they whisked me away to the nursery. Dad came with and was able to show me off to Grandma MJ and Grandpa Jeff and Grandpa David and Grandma Jolene. Needless to say they were thrilled to meet me! After a brief stint in the nursery where they warmed me up and finally got me to give a few good wailing cries, they brought me back to Mom. She was having a rough time too. Dr. Ulland couldn’t get the placenta delivered and Mom was losing quite a bit of blood. So they had to give her a shot to help her uterus contract and to help stop the bleeding. Finally, about 45 minutes after I was born he was able to get all of the placenta delivered. Dad was not in the room for that process, from what I can gather he doesn’t do well with blood.

After many long, hard hours for Mom and Dad they have said that I am well worth all the trouble I caused. We are all in love and can’t wait to begin the adventure that will be our life together, as a family.