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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dinner Revelation

Last night at dinner, Tom was trying to convince Will to eat his food. Tom would dangle one piece of chicken over Natalie and say, "Here little Birdie! Here little Birdie!" and she would bite. Then he would dangle a piece of food over Will and say, "here little Froggie! Here little Froggie!" Will would grin and take a nibble. The whole meal went on this way. Then Will suggested he feed Tom.
"What kind of animal am I, Will?" asked Tom as Will dangled a piece of food over his head.
"You are a dolphin, daddy!"
"Oh, okay! So Natalie is a birdie, you are a froggie, and I am a dolphin! What is mommy?"
"Mommy is a WHALE!"
Out of the mouths of babes....

Monday, July 20, 2009

Kitchen Remodeling

As many of you may have noticed, I have been slightly MIA lately. We moved into our house, and then a lot of things happened all at once. We started remodeling the house and in the middle of tearing down wallpaper in our dining room we received a call from my parents informing me of my brother-in-law's brain tumor.
David remains so amazingly positive, and I read his blog to be UPLIFTED which I think is incredible. summarizes his condition better than I ever could. He starts his treatment very soon if he has not already. Please keep him and my sister Amy in your prayers! Thank you.
So, the day before I left to go be with my sister and brother-in-law in Minnesota I found out some interesting news. Yes, baby number 3 is on the way and I am due February 16th. Thankfully, this wretched morning sickness did not kick in until I returned from Minnesota. I am just starting my 11th week. I have been so sick but am hoping it will start to get better soon, so that I can be a better mother again. Will's new favorite question is, "and you're gonna throw up?"
Now, in the midst of all this "throwing up" we have been remodeling our kitchen. I thought I would post some "before" and "during" pics. I will post "after" pics when it is completed.
Here is the kitchen before. We just finished tearing down the wallpaper, replacing all the appliances, replacing countertops and replacing the hardware. Yes, I helped.
Here's an upclose of the granite we chose. Chris Yaughn (Yaughn Countertops) did a great job with the counters. I could not be happier! You can see where we still need to tile the backsplash.
My new sink and faucet make me so happy.

It has been hard to steam down the wallpaper without bringing a little drywall with it. Oops.

It is coming together though and even though my walls look atrocious at the moment the kitchen is so much prettier already.

Here is my new stovetop range. We had to modify the cabinets to put this in. We have purchased a wine chiller to put in the hole where the old oven was.

Now I just can't wait for the painting to begin!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Too Smart

My little man Will turned THREE a few weeks ago. He literally found independence overnight. It is like he woke up on this third birthday and said, "from now on I will do EVERYTHING by myself. I am a big boy now!" My husband and I have had to rapidly adjust to this new found independence and help foster it. At first we resisted a little.

"Um, Will what are you doing with a chair pushed up to the refrigerator? The milk jug is too heavy for you!"

"You can't get ice by yourself! "

"Get down from that counter, you are going to fall."

But, I am happy to say we have figured out that it is best to just let him try and guide him along the way. Things also stay a lot more peaceful that way as he will fight us all the way if we try to hold him back.

Today, Will was resisting taking a nap. We had been back and forth about it and after 30 minutes of lying awake in his room, he came out and announced he needed to get a cup of water. I let him climb on the counter to get his own cup. I let him get his own ice. I helped lift him up so he could fill his cup with the filtered refrigerator water. Then, I gently tried to ease the lid onto his sippy cup so it wouldn't slop. Big mistake!

"Mommy!!!!! I want to do that by myself!!! I can put my own lid on!"

"I am sorry Will, I was just trying to help. Is there ANYTHING that you think you CAN'T do?" I asked, slightly exasperated.

He grinned a sheepish grin. "Yes, " he nodded. "I don't think I can TAKE MY NAP!"


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Standing Firm

I am sitting in the ICU waiting room at Mayo Clinic next to my little sister Amy who has been enduring the greatest trial life could offer. Her response to the information she has been handed continues to amaze me. Her faith transcends explanation. Holy is the Lord God Almighty.
David had his functional MRI done yesterday. The consult yesterday was in a nutshell this: it is an inoperable tumor because removal would cause him to lose all ability to speak or to understand speech and language. All of David's God-given talents lie in his communication and this has struck at the core of who he is. From the human perspective, it is not a good diagnosis to receive. He had a biopsy done this morning to find out if it is actually malignant and if it will respond to chemotherapy.
Amy has stood in the face of this and smiled. When the doctor was telling us that he was sorry he could not remove the tumor, she was staring into his eyes smiling. Seriously, SMILING??? He looked at her and said, "I don't want you to leave here with ANY misconceptions that what I am telling you is a good thing!" I think he was slightly frustrated by the fact she did not seem to hear anything he was telling us. The truth is, she was staring at him with her face as set as a flint. She believes without a shadow of a doubt that God can HEAL David if He decides to have mercy. She believes she has been called to stand firm and stand in the face of all poor prognoses and believe that God is greater than we can imagine. Medicine is good and useful, but God is above it all. We pray to God for His mercy, His compassion, and a LONG LIFE FOR DAVID. Praise you Jesus!! Please join us in praying for his recovery. And we will keep smiling for him.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Faint at Heart

Have you ever wished that reality was just really a bad dream?
I have been needing to write this post but am struggling with what to say. Here goes! I received a phone call on Sunday from my parents that went something like this, "Honey, we just wanted to tell you that David (my brother in-law) hit his head last night, passed out this morning at his conference in San Francisco and had a seizure. He is in the hospital at Stanford and they believe he has bleeding on his brain. Please pray for him." My thoughts were, okay, he'll be fine. But a seizure is never a good thing. Really, bleeding on his brain? I hope it's not a brain tumor.
The next morning my dad called, "Honey, I hate to tell you this but the MRI showed that David actually has a brain tumor." Not possible! He's 27!!!! Punched in the gut. My poor sister! What now????
Well, to summarize, NOW has included a flight from San Francisco to Minnesota where he'll be treated at Mayo Clinic. He meets with the neurosurgeon at 6:45 a.m. tomorrow morning and they will hopefully establish a treatment plan. I am planning to go be with my sister at some point...just waiting for direction on when is best.
The bottom line. Their faith in God has stayed so incredibly strong throughout all this that I am truly amazed by God's mercy and grace. I have felt so sad and worried and sick to my stomach, even though I truly do have peace that God is in control. I need prayer that I can rest in God and stay positive and strong for my sister. My sister's blog was so encouraging today. Check it out.
Thanks for listening.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

One Last Night

Tonight is the last night I will sleep in this house where I have spent the last 3 years with my babies. My first little duckling came to this house with us when he was 2 weeks old. My second little duckling came here from the hospital. It is the closing of another chapter. I know we are on to "bigger and better" but I cannot help but feel nostalgic about the memories that I hold so dear to my heart. This little rental house has been so good to us and it really did feel like home. I hope that the transition of making the new house our "home" will come easily. My children seem to not be having ANY difficulties with the new house.
"I don't want to leave the new house to go back to the old house mommy!"
"But Will, we need to go back there to sleep one more night..."
"But I can't mommy. I need to be at my NEW house!"
"Will, we have to go back to the old house to say goodbye and to collect our things. You don't want to leave all our belongings at the old house do you?"
"Okay, mommy. And then we will have the Monster Truck tomorrow that will take my bed to the new house? And I can take everything on the MONSTER truck?"
"yes, Will. We will have a monster truck tomorrow to take our things to our new house."
Moving truck, Monster truck....what's the difference?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Gradually Moving

I have been sucked into the moving vaccuum. I wonder when if I will come out unscathed. I am not sure where we live right now and neither does my 2 year old. We are somewhere in the middle. Packing the current house, closing on the new house, painting rooms, and moving pieces of our current life into our new life has been all consuming.. I am really tired tonight after painting all day and all evening. What a fantastic workout! I think I may have burned off a few pounds of fat just today, which would be really exciting! Maybe I will burn a few more pounds off tomorrow. I swear, if I worked this physically hard everyday I would be as thin as Gwyneth Paltrow in no time!
The thought occurred to me today how "virtual" our life is in this day and age. Our lives just do not require the physical labor that our bodies were intended for, thus the majority of us are overweight or out of shape. Instead of getting a workout by milking Bessie, washing the laundry on a scrubbing board, kneading bread, planting a field, etc...we have to create exercises to "work us out" or hire a trainer to get us in shape. Then, because our husbands are so bored with lack of adventure, danger, threat, or conquest we sit down and watch shows such as"24" on television to simulate action packed adventure. It is kind of funny when you think about it. I do like my virtual reality that poses no real danger to me or my family. And I am not exactly ready to give up my washer or dryer just with the hopes of getting in shape. Although it could be a very successful diet plan for people! Maybe I could write a book. I guess I will just have to keep going to the gym a little longer.....AFTER the move.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Will's favorite television show on is "Go, Diego, Go!" If you are not familiar with Diego then I must explain that there is a pair of very mischievious monkeys on the show named The BoBo Brothers. They are always causing trouble and their infamous line is, "Sorry!! We didn't mean to do it!" They sort of sing song the "so-rry" part.
Recently, Will's apologies to anyone in our family have started to imitate these characters. His apologies now sound like this,
"So-rry!!!! I didn't mean to DANCE!!"
It's pretty hard not to laugh. I mean, I know dancing was something I wasn't allowed to do growing up but we've sort of moved past that as a family. Will has no idea that he has the last part of the saying wrong, and I don't really want to fill him in on our little secret. It just gives me a chuckle everytime he thinks he's being a little bit sassy.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hodge Podge Procrastination

I am so excited to move but in an effort to put off packing, I have been piling many different unnecessary projects on myself and enjoying them all thoroughly. Most project ideas stem from my excitement about redecorating things at the new house.
Today, though, I felt a little overwhelmed about finishing things I have started, so I stopped in the afternoon and gave into a craving. Nothing like chocolate brownies in the afternoon to reenergize you when you are overworking yourself. Not a better food to throw you off your diet either. Ghiradelli brownies are, I believe, the best brownie mix in the world. I ate half a row and could throw-up now, but my chocolate craving is satisfyingly under control for the moment. I probably will end up indulging myself again until I am sick with my husband tonight while watching American Idol results show! Go Adam!

Here is a sampling of what has been keeping me so busy lately that I haven't even had time for my most favorite thing....blogging!
Despite the dread I feel toward packing, we did end up organizing and packing part of the garage last weekend. Natalie took advantage of the situation. She likes to entertain herself when we are outside working. I am not even sure what happened to her clothing. We don't usually make a practice of running around outside in a diaper at our house, but she sure did look cute. Maybe we should do this more often!

Natalie found and reached the kleenex box off her stand when she was supposed to be taking a nap. Boy, was that a mess to clean-up! Shredded tissues in every crevice of her crib and surrounding floor! I guess her runny nose was REALLY BOTHERING HER.

I just HAD to make a new wall hanging for Will's room. This was my first time with hand embroidery. Now I wish I had scripted his name! Oh, well. I think I am going to make and airplane and train to hang with this (ecause I need more projects). I am also going to buy ribbon to attach to the back and hang the picture from to add a little zing!

I am repainting bookshelves that were in our living room. They were white. They have been primed and are going to be painted bright blue tomorrow to go into Will's room at the new house. He has so many books they are bursting out of every drawer in his room, and he loves them all. He is so excited to have a bookcase to put them on! I am excited because our new living room has built in bookcases!

I also spent all day yesterday making a present for my nephew which I will have to reveal pictures of later lest my sister read this blog and see what I made. Tomorrow, I have a packing date with my friend Laura who is super organized. Maybe that will jumpstart my motivation! I think I am dreading it because I know I need to get rid of some stuff and I hate making those types of decisions. I would rather hold on to every unnecessary item in the world. I am the ultimate hoarder and procrastinator. I'll keep ya posted on how it goes!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A New Place to Call Home

You all have been asking, so here is a glimpse. The home we are purchasing and closing on in 3 weeks. Isn't it pretty?

I can't wait to have a big back yard with a fence....

and one of my favorite rooms of this house is this little sunroom. I am sure I'll be reading lots of books out here in my abundant spare time.

It has 4 bedrooms so we will officially have a guest room again. Hallelujah! I can't wait!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My strawberry woes

I realized something about myself this week. I seem to be really great at coming up with brilliant ideas but really bad at following things all the way through to the end. I sort of get ahead of myself. I have about 6 projects waiting for me to complete them. That's exhausting me just to type.
My biggest disaster of yet was my strawberry jam. Lets just say it didn't turn out as pretty as the picture. My first batch of 3 jars turned out perfectly. I made them with the regular sure-jell the day I picked my berries. The other 8 jars I made with "reduced sugar" sure-jell. I am sure it would have turned out fine if I had READ THE DIRECTIONS before I got started. I mixed the sugar into the berries instead of cooking it on the stove with the sure-jell. And, sure enough, my jam did not set. I kept waiting an extra day to give it more time to set. And then I sort of forgot I had 8 jars sitting on my dining room table. And then, I remembered and thought I should dump it all into a pan and try to cook it to help it set. How many days had it been since I made the jam? Maybe 5. I opened up a jar and phew!! Rancid! So, now I have 8 jars of fermented strawberry jam sitting on my dining room table that I don't have the heart to pour down the drain. Would someone please come help me?
I think I am going to go pick strawberries again tomorrow.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Little Distracted?

Have you ever felt THIS ADD?

My thoughts:
Oooh, I know! I will sit down and blog about what a disaster of a housewife I am.
I settle down in the chair and turn on the computer. Hmmm, coffee sounds really good right about now. I put the computer down and head for the kitchen. I see Will's pillowcases on my kitchen table. Drat, I forgot all about putting them in his room. I pick up his pillowcases and head to his room trying to not wake him up when I open the door. I wonder if the strawberry muffins I just slaved over are done baking yet? They smell really scrumptious! I walk back to the kitchen and check on the muffins. Just a few more minutes. Now, to the coffee maker. I glance in my kitchen sink. Oh, shoot, that sweatshirt needs to be washed! I keep forgetting! I grab the sweatshirt I dyed this morning that has been soaking for hours out my kitchen sink and carry it dripping wet to the laundry room. I move the childrens clothes from the washer to the dryer and then start the sweatshirt in the wash. Okay! Finally I can go finish my blog! Settling back down on my chair I think, "Now, how about that coffee?" Oh, that's right. I FORGOT TO MAKE IT!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Glories of Small Town Living

I never thought I'd admit it, but today was one of those days where I truly appreciated living in a small town. This morning we decided to try out the local farmers market that started here last summer. One of my new resolutions is to try to support local organic farmers. It just doesn't get any better than that! Anyway, within about 3 minutes of being there we saw about 5 of my peeps all separately doing their thing, and we saw a few of my husband's friends as well. It was pretty funny, but I really liked it. It made me feel a part of things. That often happens to me here whether it be at the gym, the supermarket, the post-office. It is really nice to have people to say hello to along the way of running my errands.
I always thought when I lived in L.A. that I really enjoyed the anonymity of it. Occasionally I would run into someone I knew, but so rarely. There were always people around you, but everyone was minding their own business and just doing their own thing. I was used to the feeling of privacy that provided. A celebrity could walk by and half the time I wouldn't realize it. For real. One time Paula Abdul almost knocked me over coming out of a bathroom when I was 9 months pregnant. She grabbed my arm and apologized. I still didn't realize it was her until I got back to the table and was informed by my husband that it was her.
Here it takes about 12 hours for a rumor to spread and everyone knows everyone else's business. I have to admit I am a little afraid of that, but, so far, it hasn't bitten me yet! KNOCK ON WOOD. The flip-side of that is that when you are truly in need, people are aware and jump in to help. So, here's to small town living. I am growing to love it which is actually shocking to me!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Running Away

"Will, get back up to the table right now!"
"Mommy, I say you can't yell at me or I'm gonna run away!" Did my TWO year old just threaten to run away????
"Did you just say you are going to run away?"
"Yes, I am gonna run away!"
"Where are you going to go?"
"I am going to go to the living room so I can hide!"

Okay, phew. At least he isn't packing a bag yet. I remember the time my sister Lisa decided to run away. She was probably 3 or 4. She packed her suitcase, stormed out the front door, and made it to the neighbors yard before she decided to head back home. Short trip. My mom was waiting for her at the door and when she checked to see what Lisa had packed in that little suitcase of hers she found only several pairs of one item....Underwear. Apparently, my sister knew what was most important in life. Clean underwear.

So, Will isn't quite to the point of leaving the house in his frustration at me, but this morning I had a glimpse of what is inevitable. His strong little will is most assuredly going to result in him packing a suitcase one day and leaving me a nasty note to let me know how he feels. I did this to my mom at age 9 and fully intended to leave the house in the dark on my bike until my 2 year old brother stopped me. He called my name right as I headed down the driveway and my mom realized what was going on. Thank God for His intervention. I shudder to think what might have happened.
Today was one of "those" types of mornings. I felt irritable and PMSey and Will was definately pushing my buttons. I hope to never really nag at my children so much that they really do want to run away from me, even if it is just to the other room. It was a little wake-up call and I had to do an attitude adjustment. Needless to say, the rest of the day went great and I had a good laugh over the incident.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Too Much To Do!

My sister asked me last night if I am manic right now or something. It is a legitimate question. Here are all the things I have done and I am trying to tackle simultaneously.

1. We picked 3 large buckets of strawberries yesterday because just 1 or 2 wouldn't have been enough to keep me busy for a week. After we picked the first two I just COULD NOT RESIST picking more of those ripe, large, juicy berries and Will was having so much fun, I paid an extra $6 just to pick another huge bucket. I am cursing at myself now as I have cleaned 2 of the buckets, made 11 16oz. jars of jam, froze a few bags, made smoothies with some, made strawberry shortcake last night and have a bowl full of strawberry puree in the fridge. I still have a LARGE bucket full worth of strawberries sitting on my counter. For Heavens Sake! No wonder my friends asked me yesterday what on earth I was going to do with all those berries.

2. I have an etsy shop ready to open with several handmade items. Just need to sit down and open the shop. First, I need to come up with a name. I am a little stumped on that one. Bratalie Natalie?

3. I have a new idea for another etsy shop that I think will be hotter than hairbows. More to come on that idea. I have not completed all of my handiwork, but the shop will be up soon and I'll be sure to let you all know! I devoted all of Monday to creating this new idea and need to devote a few more afternoons to it.
4. I am trying to mentally redecorate an entire house. Have you ever tried to redecorate an entire home all at once? It is ridiculously unnecessary. I just cannot shut my brain off. I realize we need to take it one room at a time, but I have spent hours perusing magazines for ideas for our new home so I can pick my paint colors. I am addicted. We move in on the 26th of May.

5. I am in the middle of creating a wall hanging for Will's room. It is so cute. I will post a picture as soon as it's done.

6. I found and bought two amazing, matching midcentury modern upholstered armchairs for my new living room. I need to have them reupholstered.
7. I ordered fabric to reupholster my dining room chairs. Online it looked like perfect fabric for my dining room chairs. When it arrived I realized the print is too big for my dining room chairs and the fabric is more perfect for my new living room chairs. What do you think? I think it will look "anthropologie"ish.
This just skims the surface of what has been going on in my life the last two weeks. I am so scattered with all the creative planning that I am exhausting myself. All of this is a reason I have not been writing. I haven't been able to slow my brain long enough to think about my writing.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Testing Mommy

"Will, Ooooh, please don't bash your car into the wall!"
"Natalie, don't push out the might hurt yourself and the screen..."
"No, don't write on the wall with mommy's eye liner!"
"Where did you find that bubble marker? You can't color the floor with that!"
"What do you mean you were swinging from the curtains? Is that is how you pulled the entire rod, screws and all out of the wall and chunks of plaster with it?"

Ever since we decided to turn in our notice to move out of our rental home it is like our children are on a mission to do irreconcilable damage to it. I am so scared we won't survive the next 30 days without losing ALL of our security deposit. It is kind of funny. It is like they KNOW that we are trying to be extra careful. They have definately become cohorts in crime lately. Their favorite new hiding place is in our empty fireplace. I am a little concerned about this as our new house will actually have a woodburning fireplace. Our current home doesn't even have the logs and it is not connected to a gas line so it never concerned me to much if they played around it. We will have some explainin to do when we move!
Today, Will sat in the fireplace eating his reward for taking his nap and following his sleep rules. I looked over to see him slipping Natalie his m&m's. She was in chocolate heaven. She kept reaching for more. "Will, don't feed Natalie your m&m's. She is too little!"
"Oh, okay mommy" Then he would pretend to drop one within her reach and she would snag it as quickly as she could. I gave up. My 3 year old outwitted me.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A New House?

The last week has been a blur. The biggest decisions are facing us and my stomach is a knot of gurgling anxiety this morning. To be brief, we decided a week ago that all fingers were pointing toward purchasing our first house. In a flurry we met with the mortgage broker, searched the town over with our new realtor and on Friday decided on a house we both loved. Negotiations took place over the weekend and today is the day to sign the papers. We had our moments of cheering and hugging and planning. Then the anxiety hit my husband and I don't know what to do. Is it a sign from God or the normal reaction to being the sole provider in a household and fearing the "what ifs"?
What if:
-his job transfers him in 6 months and we have to resell too soon?
-we can't resell and we're stuck with a mortgage and rent somewhere else?
-the housing market continues to decline and we lose a ton of money?
-we're paying more than we should for the neighborhood it's in?
-we don't buy and continue to rent only to be here for 3 more years and lose out on a huge opportunity?
For some reason, I have had peace and have not felt this anxiety. I am aware these questions loom, but I don't fear them. I don't know if it is because of my personality that LOVES to dive headfirst into things without thinking things through, or if it is God given peace. I hope it is the latter!
Update: We signed the papers this morning so as long as the inspection goes through, the house is ours!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

To Create the Hair Bow

Thanks for all of your inquiries about hair bow making! I have just been teaching myself through tutorials online, and yes, I use a hotglue gun! I do use a needle and thread for part of the process as well. I found this great site which taught me about the standard bow and the korker. There seems to be plenty of other ideas on there too! I also used this site to learn how to line my alligator clips. Happy Bow Making!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Chocolate Bliss

Has anyone else eaten too much chocolate today?

I realize chocolate is not the purpose of Easter Sunday but somehow it managed to work its way into our home and there are remnents of it everywhere! My 2 year old finally ate something other than chocolate at dinner tonight. All he could talk about was his Easter Bunny Basket. We did not put candy in his basket. He received a few books and miscellaneous train stuff. He does however have chocolate from the THREE easter egg hunts he has been on in the past 4 days. I am not sure he gets the point of Easter yet. I tried to be all Spiritual with him to try to help him understand but he just said, "Oh" and then asked for more candy. Natalie is catching on as well. She had a Hersey's Kiss crammed in her mouth, aluminum wrapper and all and screamed when I took it away. I am trying to help eat all the stuff up so we can get back to healthy eating again soon. It is a tough job, but somebody has to do it!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Hair Bow Mania

My daughter is modeling the first hair bow I have ever made. I made it yesterday afternoon and have made about 6 other types since . Each one gets a little better than the one before. I am really excited! I think my husband is alarmed that I have a new addiction. At first I think he was excited. Then I noticed him nervously asking, "So, ummm...are you working on hair bows again right now?" My 2 year old insists on sitting on my lap the whole time. That does seem to affect my ability to get it all straight. I have been keeping him busy with clothespins. Hobby Lobby has a new daily visitor. Me. Though I think they all shudder when they see me come in with my troop. They have figured out there is going to be a loud toddler running and a crazed mama chasing.
Ooooh, I also made a Hair Bow Holder on Thursday. I will post a picture of that tomorrow!

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Joys of Shopping in a Small Town

Have you ever spent an hour in TJ MAXX with a 3 year old, a 2 year old, a 1 year old and an 11 month old?

Okay, so there were 2 mommies. I was one of them. Brandy was the other. My 2 year old went so haywire in that store that I felt like I had all 4 or maye even 50 children I was handling.
"Will?? Where are you?" I called. No answer.
"Will! Come back!" hoping he would have a change of heart and quit hiding in the racks of clothes.
"Will!!!!! I CANNOT SEE YOU!!! WHERE ARE YOU???" nothing.
I started running through the store unable to see or hear him anywhere. Panic was setting in and i felt like I might hyperventilate. What if someone were to snatch him? Finally, Brandy called me back that he had returned to our cart.
This scenario was on repeat. I tried putting him in the cart. He climbed out.
I tried holding him. He squirmed away. I let him walk with me and then he would suddenly lunge military style under the racks and crawl away as quickly as he could. I caught him by one limb. I took him to the toys. There is only one thing for me to look at by the toys. Okay, so two things. Toys, which I am not going to buy, or children's clothes, and inevetibley once again I bought HIM a new shirt. That's because the childrens clothes are right by the toys, and I felt like shopping. I think I have discovered why my children have so many new clothes and I do not. It is because stores that sell childrens clothes cater to children. Both my children do great when I am shopping for them. It is like they know, "Hey, I better behave if I want something new!"
If I ever even spend 10 minutes shopping for myself all holy mahem lets loose. Needless to say, I bought a dress for myself too, but didn't even try it on. I saw it as I left the store, hanging on clearance for $20 and thought, "hey, I can try it on at home in the peace of my own bedroom without my child crawling under the dressing room walls to 'see the lady next door'."
Needless to say, I was sweating, out of breath, frazzled and more than distracted when I got them out to the parking lot. Thinking, and maybe even muttering out loud, "Why do I do this to myself?"
"Will sit down in the cart while I put Natalie in the car!"
"Will, SIT DOWN!" as I buckle Natalie.
I hear a male voice in the distance, "Looks like you've got your hands full!"
Oh, gosh. Did he hear me yelling? "Yes, I do!" I responded as I looked up into the face of my husand's boss and his wife. Does the pavement open up and swallow me in it?
I smile, try to quit breathing heavily, and put on the best face possible in light of my current embarressment.
"He sure is adorable!" he says of my 2 year old. He is? I feel confused about who he is talking about. Oh yes, that's right. He IS adorable. They just didn't see how he was acting for the last hour.
"Oh, can we see Natalie?" They rush to peak in at Natalie. All I can think about is my FILTHY car and I want to apologize but feel frozen in place. I have been meaning to take it to have it detailed for weeks, but that too feels like too much work to get the carseats out with both kids at the carwash.
It was great to see them, but I did let my embarressment sort of get in the way of my sociability. They probably were wondering what was wrong. Nothing is wrong. I am just a disorganized and frazzled mom who does her best to put on a good face at all times.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Back to Reality

Reality bites. Or so they say! I would say the last two days have been my first readmission into normalcy after 2 1/2 weeks of play. Cleaning my house and buying groceries is not my number one idea of a good time and that is how I have been spending this week.

Our trip to California was immediately followed up by a 9 day visit from my mama. I meant to blog, but she would have probably been the topic every day so I decided to wait. I mean, we had a great time, so I do not mean that to insult her. She is just such a prime target for me to tease. Something about her constant analysis of my life. I love her so much, but she always gives me a good amount of material to write about. Sorry mom! She was absolutely wonderful with my children and so much fun to have at our house. The perfect guest! We took a few day trips and just tried to soak up the time together.
One of our activities on a rainy day involved me teaching her her how to use Facebook. I could writie for a week on the process of teaching her how to use it, but in the end she became a TOTAL addict. I could hardly pry her away from the computer the last few days she was here. Another reason I did not blog.
Cackle, cackle, giggle, giggle. "That is sooo funny!" she exclaimed.
"What is funny, mom?"
"Oh, Rebecca said she is cleaning her oven and it smells really bad!"
I read that a few days back and didn't find it that humurous, but whatever floats her boat.
"The funny thing is, she was cleaning it at 10 pm!"
I smile, but am thinking I don't see the humor in that either as that is exactly when I would probably find time to clean my oven.
Anyway, it was fun, and I am totally to blame for her new addiction.
She called me when she got home. "I don't know. Your dad has already given me all the warnings about how some people find it 'very addicting' and 'there have been young people giving it up for lent'! I just hope no stalker finds me by hacking into my profile and tracking me down in my hometown!" She has been very concerned about the security of facebook. enough about that. I have to clear the cobwebs out of my brain from all this fun and get my writing brain back on. Until tomorrow.....

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rollercoaster Ride

We are officially back from a wonderful vacation in Los Angeles. I miss it already! There have been so many funny stories I wanted to blog about, but alas, we did not take our laptop with us, so now I need to dig into my brain to recall all that I wanted to share.
One day last week we took the morning to show our cousin Lizzie who traveled with us the Santa Monica Pier. She convinced me to ride the rollercoaster with her. I was actually pressuring her to ride the rollercoaster because I hate the dumb things. I literally have a phobia of rollercoasters. I scream, hyperventilate, and cry when I try to get on them. Anyway, she convinced me and seeing as I have actually ridden this "kiddie coaster" before and survived, I decided to give it a whirl again.
After it started to pick up some speed, I started screaming. When the tiny hill came, I shouted, "Here comes the big hill!" and I put my hands over my head and let out the most cathartic scream. All the while, Lizzie was doubled over laughing until she was crying. I don't even think she realized the rollercoaster was moving because she was laughing so hard at me. Now, I was seriously scared. It was the biggest adrenaline rush for me.
The woman sitting a few rows in front of us thought I was screaming to be funny. She turned around and said, "Now that was some good screaming!"
"It was authentic!" I hollered back. She looked confused.
Fast forward a few days to our plane ride back to Savannah. From Houston to Savannah we were in a small aircraft with 1 seat on the left and two on the right. We hit bad weather. We were riding a strong tailwind all the way into Savannah and shaved an hour off our flight! But, the whole time was this incredible turbulance and it felt like the aircraft was being tossed to and fro. Ummmmm.....rollercoaster? Yea, I would say so. My son was drooling and ready to puke at any second, crying that he had a tummy ache. I was holding him wishing I could just put my arms up over my head and let out the cathartic screams the entire way home.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

OH, California, California, California, Ohhhhhh...

Have you ever found preparing for a trip to become so vexing that it almost makes it not worth it to travel? I did say "ALMOST".

I have had the "California" theme song from The O.C. stuck in my head all day. I spent the 2 last days packing and preparing for our trip to Los Angeles. We leave bright and early in the morning, at like 4:00 a.m., and I am too excited to even think about going to bed. Packing turned out to be a little bit of a struggle. I am sort of in-between sizes right now and I just need to have at least one good pair of jeans to take with me on this trip.
A few years ago, when I lived in L.A., I spent a good deal of money on this very hip pair of Lucky Jeans for my mom for Christmas. She was sort of worried about wearing them because they were "low-rise" and a bit longer than other jeans she owned. They looked great on her though, and I was satisfied that I had given her a "great gift!"
Fast-forward to October 2007 when I was 18 weeks prego with Natalie and running out of clothing that fit me. My mom lovingly handed me down the pair of Lucky Jeans I had given her because she no longer wore them.
"Mom, what happened to the hem on these jeans?"
"Oh, they were too long so I cut them off."
I looked at the frayed hem and decided to take them off her hands anyway. No use letting a pair of Lucky Jeans go to waste, but I was a little perturbed she had chopped them up. I think what happened was she got confused about whether it was still in style or not to have cut off jeans with a frayed hemline. And I quote, "I wasn't sure whether it was still the style to wear them that way, so I went ahead and cut them off. I remember you girls used to do that!" (in her defense my mom does generally have GREAT style so I think her brain was telling her that she had ruined these particular pair of pants and she should just get rid of them by passing them onto me!)
These particular pair of jeans are the only pair that fit me well right now. I have been rolling them into capris to hide the fray, or just wearing them promising myself to take them and have them altered. If any of you have noticed the fray and wondered about it, you now know the secret. No, I have not been trying to bring back any outdated fashion trends.
Yesterday, as I packed for this trip, I got the bright idea that I would just hem these jeans myself since I now have my sewing machine out and working. Well, let's just suffice it to say that I apparently don't know how to hem jeans. They certainly don't look like they do when you buy them from the store. I only did one leg because it looked bad enough that I didn't want to waste my time mutilating the second leg. Maybe I will just go the rest of the way and make them into cut-off jean shorts so I can really make sure everyone thinks I am stuck in the 80's. If I wait long enough maybe it will come back into fashion.
Anyway, I guess I am now officially out of jeans! Maybe I will find a special new pair on my trip.

For those of you wondering how my preparation extravaganza finished off:
a. I lost a total of 4 pounds instead of the 8 I was trying for, but hey, why not aim high, right?
b. My acne is gone and my face is starting to glow again.
c. I have a dress to wear to the wedding that I actually feel good in.
d. I bought new make-up and I feel pretty again.
e. My hair is recently highlighted and my teeth are clean and white again.
f. My workouts have dwindled in the last week because of all the preparation I have had to do, but I feel in tremendously better shape already, and can't wait to get back to my routine after vacation!
I also have the plan to dress my kids up so cute that noone really notices me, but just focuses all their attention on them!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pearly Whites

Do you floss?

"You have the most beautiful teeth!" commented Donna, my lovely dental hygenist as she finished scraping the last bit of who knows what off my teeth this morning.
"Thank you! I keep thinking I want veneers because of the white spots." (a suggestion of my sister's when I was home last.)
"Oh, you hardly notice those, sweetie. You were blessed with great teeth!"
"What about the fracture lines you noticed last time? Do I need a bite splint?" I have been grinding, chewing, clenching my teeth at night for who knows how long.
"A bite splint could only help you. Let's ask the dentist."
He came in, "Perfect teeth! A bite splint? I thought you already had one?"
"I did. I lost it."
"What type of splint was it?"
"I don't know. I never wore it. And then my husband accidently threw it out when we moved"
"Well, I recommend that if you get another one, that you start by wearing it!" He grinned.
Perfect dental check-up, as usual. I left feeling guilty. No reprimanding me for not flossing ONCE since my last appointment. They didn't even notice. No notice of the fact that I didn't brush last night (or many other nights) after eating popcorn. How disgusting. I am sure there had to be a few kernals lodged in my gums. But, no. "Perfect" was the response I received.
I called my husband on the way home.
"I need a bite splint but it is going to cost $430.00 and insurance doesn't cover it!"
"How about you just go to walmart and buy a mouthgard that you boil on the stove and bite into? That should protect your teeth while you sleep."
Great suggestion. I was annoyed.
"How about you have your root canal done in a back alley somewhere?"
Yes, I said root canal. They keep threatening that he might need one. He takes PERFECT care of his teeth. Brushes, flosses, rinses constantly. He is convinced my teeth are going to rot out of my head. But "perfect" is all I ever hear. Good genes I guess. I am not complaining. But I do sort of want veneers to cover the white spots. Is that vain? And I do need a bite splint for my TMJ. I just need to not lose it this time around! And I promise to start flossing everyday like a good girl!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Gratitude Attitude

So I started following this new blog Dude Where Am I? As part of lent, she has started a Monday gratitude list, and I feel compelled to follow suit. I make fun of my life, but I truly have much to be thankful for and think it is great to sit and reflect on that once in a while. So, today, here is what I am grateful for! Pass it on. Would love to hear what you are thankful for too!

1. My washer and dryer. Though I hate laundry, I love it alot more with my current washer and dryer than I did when I had to truck through the apartment complex hauling load after load. I love the sound of clothes tumbling in the dryer. I just dread folding them!

2. Natalie's kindermusik class. That one hour a week for just her and me is so special. I can tell she loves it too. I get lots of hugs and kisses in that class.

3. My husband's job. Thank you Lord that he is able to provide for our family and that most days he is happy doing it.

4. Naptime. I cherish the 2 hours of silence in the afternoon.

5. My mom is coming for Natalie's birthday. Yay!

6. Airplanes. One that is taking us to California on Thursday. Isn't the gift of flight a miracle in itself?
7. Will's love for his silky bear. It makes my heart smile when he has to find his "Silky Bear" before bedtime.
8. The rain. Spring really is here!

9. Friends who have 3 year olds as lively as mine.

10. Chocolate cupcakes. I had the most delicious one today. Thanks Brandy!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Most Perfect Dress

How do you know if you've found the perfect dress?

"What am I going to wear to the wedding?" has been the big question on my mind lately. I have a closet full of several size 6 dresses that no longer contain my ample bustline and overall post-baby cuvasiousness. Plus, none of my dresses are exactly red-carpet worthy, except for maybe one that was passed down to me by a friend and has already been worn to a zillion christmas parties full of the same crowd that will attend this wedding. I have been on the hunt for the perfect dress for the past month.
"Oh, honey, that dress is just GOOOOORGEOUS on you!" purred the shop owner.
"Ummmm...yes," I startled as I realized she was peaking through the crack of my slightly opened dressing room door. "But," I hesitated, "it doesn't exactly zip up!"
"Oh, that is a shame!" she scuffled away to go help a more worthy customer.
"C'mon, let's go" I said to my trusted friend who came along to give me an honest opinion.

My husband has never had trouble giving me an honest opinion about dresses. After I purchase them, I do a fashion show for him and he either gives me a thumbs up or a thumbs down. The last wedding I had to purchase a dress for, I struggled with what to wear. Thank God he was there to save the day. He firmly told me to RETURN the dress you see below, lest I show up at the wedding looking like a shamrock.


So you can see, though I have always thought I had great taste in clothing, and I love to be on the cutting edge of fashion, sometimes I am a bit delusional about how things look on me. I think they look better than they do!

So, after weeks of uncertainty about what will be appropriate for this upcoming wedding in Beverly Hills, CA, today I found the MOST PERFECT dress. I am in love. It is a beautiful blue strapless silk and is completely red-carpet worthy. Not that it needs to be, but I could totally see a celebrity wearing it. It is gorgeous. And it fits like a glove! Perfect.
I found this dress in 20 minutes while my husband waited in the car with my sleeping son. Natalie was in the dressing room throwing around hangars and entertaining the staff. But, even the pretentious women working there concurred that THIS was indeed the right dress. And, it zipped up!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Who am I?

I found this quiz at loren christie's blog Since I've always been a big Jane Austen fan, I decided to take the quiz myself. Here are the results!

I am Marianne Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

You are Marianne Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are impulsive, romantic, impatient, and perhaps a bit too brutally honest. You enjoy romantic poetry and novels, and play the pianoforte beautifully. To boot, your singing voice is captivating. You feel deeply, and love passionately.

My husband will be happy to hear of my results!

Morning Cup a Joe

Is there anything in your life that is WORTH the fight every single day?

"How many cups of coffee did you have this morning?" I asked my husband as I felt the last drip slide out of the pot into my first cup.
"Three. Why?"
"Because this is my FIRST cup!"
"Well, that's because you use that HUGE cup!"
Tom boycotts my huge cup. He sweetly pours my coffee just about every morning, but very rarely will he give me the "huge" cup I like. He claims I steal all the coffee that way.
Yes, we fight over coffee. MmmmHmmm. You heard me. Coffee! It all started when I was pregnant and could not have caffeine. We made half-decaf every morning, and I allowed myself a cup and a half. My husband had the other 3 cups in the pot. Now,Tom fully believes he will always be entitled to his 3 cups, and I firmly believe that all bets are off now that I AM NOT PREGNANT ANYMORE!

In fact, since coffee technically makes me a better mother to his children, shouldn't I be entitled to the three cups?

I know what you're thinking. Why not just make a second pot? That would seem like a compromise, I suppose, but I hate cleaning out the coffee pot. All those grounds everywhere. I also feel incredibly guilty when I make a second pot of coffee in the morning. I mean, how bad of a coffee junkie am I that I need to make a second pot just for myself? How supercharged or superstressed do I really need to be in the morning? Well, with the lack of sleep from getting up with 2 children, I feel I need a jolt in the morning, and I do have a sense of entitlement when it comes to coffee.
I developed my love for coffee from my mother. She romanticised having coffee. It was comforting to come home to the coffee brewing in the afternoon. My grandmothers house is the same way. Her house just smells like coffee. Still, when I go home for a visit, there is nothing better than sitting in the living room lazyboys sipping coffee while chatting with my mom. Coffee feels like family to me.
A few of my friends have said, "Coffee just tastes better at your house." Maybe they sense my love affair with coffee. I mean for a whole year I ordered coffee from Pete's Coffee in California just because it was my FAVORITE. I wanted my house to feel comforting like a coffee shop. I'm surprise I didn't get up and bake biscotti every morning or something. Finally, I decided it was an expensive habit I needed to break, when I could buy Starbucks at Sams Club for half the price. I still miss my Pete's!
I make my coffee incredibly strong which I think makes it taste better. My dad won't drink it if I make it. It's the only way I like it. And I guess my friends like it too!

So, don't ya think my husband should surrender one of his cups of coffee in the morning? Or since he has to go to work all day, should I just surrender and make more when he leaves?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lessons in Applique today

Do you get nervous when you attempt something for the very first time?

I know I do. I am such a perfectionist and have such high hopes for how things will turn out. Sometimes that leaves me afraid to even try. Today I broke out of my comfort shell and decided to try to make a shirt similiar to the one I was about to shell out $25.00 for.

"What are you making mommy?" asked little Will.
"A cupcake shirt for Natalie's birthday" I absentmindedly answered as I attempted to sketch a cupcake on transfer paper I would use as a pattern for the cupcake applique. I was hoping it would turn out like I envisioned!

"Is that a cupcake mommy?"
"Yes, its a cupcake, Will"
"For Natalie's birthday mommy?"
"Yes, for Natalie's birthday..."
"For her shirt?"
"Yes, for her shirt"
"Look mommy, I'm cutting the ribbon!" I looked over to see him pinching the ribbon with his play pliers.
"What are you making mommy?" The questioning started over again. The entire line of questioning repeated itself again and again and again as I struggled to figure out how on earth to make an applique and make it look as good as the professionals. I think I kept answering Will with the same answers too. I was sort of distracted by my intense work. He just sat next to me and watched every step.
Finally he said, "that's AWESOME mommy!"
It's funny that a 2 year olds opinion could matter so much, but he made me feel really good about myself!
I even pulled out my sewing machine that I seriously have not used since I was 16 and took home-ec in highschool! I think the last thing I made on that machine was hair scrunchies and matching shorts for my cheerleading squad to wear to cheerleading camp. I was so cool. The scrunchies looked great with my big bangs.
So, today, I was shaking all over when I tried to run the machine for the first time. I think I thought it would bite me or something. I was having flashbacks to my home-ec teacher correcting my inadequate work and was feeling extremely insecure. I muscled through the anxiety though and did a few practice stitches. Yay! Success. I used the zigzag stitch for the first time in my life and thought it was so much fun! I am pretty happy with how it turned out too. Actually, I am amazed that it looks as good as it does considering I had no idea what I was doing! I just kept improvising and following a tutorial I found at this site.

I used calico fabric for the cupcake liner, terry cloth fabric for the icing, ribbons for the candle and flame. I zigzag stitched around the liner and the flame and then straight stitched around the icing and the candle. I am thinking the icing will look good even a little frayed on the edges to give the appearance of frosting! I can't wait for Natalie's birthday! She is going to wear the shirt with this darling tutu that was a gift from my friend Jean when she was born. I just love it! My friend Brandy helped me make a bow to match and I can't wait to see it all together!

SO, What do YOU think?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Where on earth are you hiding?

Today, while frantically cleaning my house to prepare for our church small group coming in the evening, my children were busy finding ways to amuse themselves that did not involve their toys. I had cleaned up all one million of their toys and threatened them every time they tried to touch them. They didn't care one bit. They were quite happy finding other ways to create mischief of every kind. Every few minutes a door would slam as they would make their way into one of the bedrooms and attempt to shut me out.
"Mommy, you get outa here. You gotta go." says Will.
Natalie grins,"Eeeeee!" Translation, "yeah, what he says mommy."

Since Natalie is not even quite a year old, I am not completely comfortable with leaving the two of them alone. In fact, I think its a REALLY BAD IDEA! I try NEVER to leave them alone because Will is not to be trusted around her. I mean, his favorite thing to do these days is push her down while she attempts to walk across the room.
"Oops, she bumped her head on the wall mommy!" Hmmm..I wonder why? Could it be because you found it necessary to push her head toward the wall just to see what would happen? What am I going to do with him?
Anyway, I do find it pretty cute that they both keep trying to find ways to be by themselves. In spite of herself, Natalie adores Will and follows him around. If Will isn't shutting the door, Natalie is, and typically they innocently play with books in Will's bedroom. I usually listen outside the door, wait a minute or two to give them a sense of independence, and then I peak in on them.

The door to Natalie's room slammed shut which meant the party had been moved and mommy was not invited. I waited a minute to check on them before I heard Will say, "Where Natalie go?"
I opened her door and peaked in to where they were playing. There was no Natalie in sight and no sound of her either. I called her name, "Natalie? Where are you?" Silence. Will was just standing there guiltily grinning ear to ear.
"Natalie hiding mommy!"
I looked frantically around the room because I did not trust that he hadn't pushed her under the crib or injured her or something, rendering her unable to make a noise. I glanced at the closet, worried that she had crawled in and something had fallen on her or something. She was just too quiet and I was seriously worried! Oh No! I am going to seriously regret ever letting them in this room alone together. It had only been a few seconds, but I had a sick pit in my stomach.
Right in the middle of her room I noticed Natalie's big green canvas Pottery Barn hamper was turned over. Now, I am not a detective or anything, but it was not extremely obvious to me what was going on. I should have figured it out more quickly, but Will loves to play with that hamper and frequently turns it over. I lifted up the hamper to find Natalie sitting there underneath it as quiet as a mouse with her legs crossed! It didn't seem to bother her a bit that she was sitting trapped in the dark like a wild animal by her 2 year old brother. In fact, I am pretty sure she was enjoying the game of "let's trick mommy!" Will was incredibly proud of himself! I did feel pretty stupid when I realized I had been outwitted by a 2 year old.

"You found Natalie mommy!" Apparently they have already learned how to play hide-and-seek and Natalie is the queen of being quiet while hiding. Goodness gracious. I am in trouble!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Freakin' Chickens Are Here!

How far would you go to keep up with the current trend?

She shot straight up in bed as her husband burst in the room exclaiming, "The freakin chickens are here!"
The What??? Now, if my husband were to say that to me I would be stumped. Did we order frozen chicken breasts from some company similiar to Omaha steaks or something? Did he make a surprise trip to Sams Club and bring home a box of chicken nuggets for the kids and can't find room in our overstuffed freezer? Is chicken code for friends who are afraid to enter our house for some unknown reason?
No. For my dear friend, her husband was being very literal. Ten baby chickens were delivered to their doorstep and though they were expecting them to arrive within the next few weeks they were just not exactly prepared for them to show up yesterday. The chicken coop is not complete. That's okay. The little chicks need to stay inside getting to know the family for the next month anyway. They will become like pets.
My friend does not live on a farm, or even in the country for that matter. Neither do several of my other friends who own chickens and collect their own eggs. We are talking about residential neighborhoods and downtown living. One friend even had a scenario where a few chickens escaped her yard and were running down the sidewalk of a main street in our downtown. Don't worry! She chased them down!
I would not know where to even begin with raising chickens. Have you ever heard of debarking a dog? I think I would have to have the chickens "debocked".
So, in L.A. the hippest people carry little purse dogs everywhere they go. Here, my friends proudly sport chickens. They don't carry them in purses, although that might be a fun trend to get started!
I know! I will borrow one of my friend's little chicks and take it with me on my trip to L.A. I 'll have a little chicken sweater monogrammed for it to wear, and I will carry it around in my purse with its little head poking out proudly informing people it's the "latest trend". Soon you will see on the cover of US Weekly "The Latest Hollywood Accessory! The monogrammed Chicken! See which celebrities are sporting this new look." If you happen to notice it laid an egg in your purse that is an added bonus! Mmmmm....breakfast!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Homeschool Gymnastics

Have you ever tried to teach nursing manners?

My 11 month old baby girl is the CLASSIC gymnast nurser I read about when I first started nursing Will. "Some babies will even try to perform a summersault without missing a suck" states Dr. Sears in The Baby Book. Ummmm.....yeah. I would say that is just about right. In fact, I am pretty sure Natalie has performed the feat.
Yes, she is a multi-tasker at a young age. She gets her workouts in while eating, and I pay the price. She literally stands on her head, kicks her leg over her head, twists her body around 180 degrees and changes legs all without stopping sucking. You would think this would hurt! I am a little frightened by the fact that it doesn't. I mean, what does this say about my body and the potential that it will ever go back to normal? I think we all know the answer to THAT question!

My mother saw Natalie performing these antics at Christmas and said, "Oh, I don't KNOW, honey! It was right about the time your sister started doing that I had to wean. I could not take it!" Now, I have to laugh that she was speaking of my little sister Amy because this is not the only way Natalie has been compared to Amy. I even constantly call Natalie "Amy" because she reminds me so much of Amy when she was little.
INot only does Natalie frequently perform Olympic Gold Medal worthy gymnastics while feeding, she also has very strongly stated a preference to one side. I could be comforted by the fact that only the right side of my body is being demolished. Instead, I am frequently complaining to anyone willing to listen about how lopsided I currently am. Really. It is not a pretty picture and I am about to go invest in one of those fake inserts to balance myself out.
In spite of it all, I am not planning to wean anytime soon! I really do love nursing my baby and she won't be a baby too much longer. It does make me wonder though, how exactly do you teach nursing manners? She is not a good pupil on this subject!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Take a Little Time for Yourself

Have you ever misunderstood your own mood?

As part of my rigorous, 28-day California preparation, I booked a facial at Serenity Day Spa hoping for a transformation of my blotchy, breaking-out skin. Plus, I had a gift certificate I needed to use. My facial was scheduled for this afternoon, and after a hurried day of going to the gym, running errands and taking Will to an afternoon birthday party, I finally left the children with daddy, so I could enjoy this much needed time for myself.
Now, I know what you are thinking! Oh, that sounds so wonderful! I would be in heaven! Yeah, that is what I was thinking too when I booked the appointment. So, why was I dreading the appointment all day? Yes, I just said DREADING. When I said goodbye to my children I felt anxiety about leaving them for the hour and a half I would be gone. I must be going cuckoo! As I stood there in the spa facial room and prepared to lie down, I realized I did not feel like being there at all. Why on earth?
Then I was hit with a revelation about what was wrong with me. I am constantly being touched all day long by someone, whether it be one of my children or my husband. I am tugged on, pulled at, bitten, kissed, hugged, loved on, and I enjoy every minute. My love tank is full. In fact, I am pretty sure it is overflowing. When I was single I really was not touched by anyone unless I was dating. I remember loving things like facials, manicures, pedicures, and massages partly because it provided human touch. Today, I did not think I needed or wanted ANYONE ELSE TOUCHING ME!!! That sounds ridiculous for someone as touchy-feely as me, but it was truly how I was feeling.
Guess what? I was WRONG. That appointment ended up being the most soothing thing for my psyche that I could have ever imagined. It was so stinkin relaxing, and I ended up feeling like I had died and gone to heaven. I felt all this tension melting away, and I started thinking of all these really nice things I should do for my husband. I thought, "Instead of henpecking my husband tonight, I should give him a facial! I bet that would make his year!" Yes, the facial was rejuvinating me alright! Since when have I had enough energy to even think of giving my husband anything above and beyond the ordinary? Middway through the appointment I thought, "Why on earth would I dread anything this wonderful? What was I thinking? I should have been so excited about this all week! I need one of these every day!" Nevermind the fact that my skin did feel so much better too!
The moral of the story is sometimes we don't really know what we need. I had no idea how tightly wound I have been lately until I started to feel myself unwind in that quiet, dim room. Sometimes as a mom it is hard for me to take time for myself because I am so attached to my children, but I guess I do NEED some mommy time. Oh, and my husband is happy now too, because YES, I JUST GAVE HIM A FACIAL.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Lack of Sleep

What makes people "know" they have had enough children?

Do you just feel it in your bones?
One of my friends said, "I knew when I held another baby and felt nothing. That maternal longing did not kick in."
Tom and I often talk about how convenient it would be to be done, but neither of us has that feeling like "this is it". We have always wanted at least 3 children!

I do have my moments of doubt though. Like the past 3 nights when Natalie does not want to sleep AT ALL unless she is in bed with us. And then Will decides to join the party at 4 a.m. because he wakes up out of a dead sleep instinctively knowing he is missing out on something. Jealousy takes over and he is pulling and wacking Natalie until I leave the room with her. In utter delirium I am stumbling around the house with her trying to decide if I rock her again for the 100th time only to lie her down and have her startle into a screaming fit. Or, do I take her to Will's room and sleep with her in there while he has comfortably taken over my luscious bed. Or, do I put Natalie in her bed and let her scream and then take Will back to his bed and let him scream while I drug myself and Tom?

Seriously people, there are moments when I really don't have enough arms, and I wonder how moms of twins do it. Adding one more to the picture sounds a bit insane to me. I realized today that I have not consistently slept through the night for over 3 years. I have had the occasional treat when a fluke happens and both of my children do not awaken. I have forgotten what REALLY being rested feels like!

My husband seriously struggles with insomnia, and I know I should feel tremendous compassion for him after he has a sleepless night. I guess in my own stupor I am usually pretty insensitive about it. "Oh, sorry honey. Natalie was up 3 times last night too!" Poor guy!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Little Decoration Never Hurt Anyone!

Do you ever wonder why Katie and Tom let Suri Cruise's bangs hang in her eyes?

I, for one, would just love to get a hold of her hair. Her wardrobe may be perfect and cost $1000 per item, but how about a little decor for her head?
One way the south definately differs from the two other places I have lived (Michigan and California) is the love of the Hair Bow! As southern tradition would have it, a little girl's head needs to be properly decorated and for some babies it starts particularly young. I personally fell in love with the hair bow concept when our nurses in postpartum were obsessed with making little bows and gluing them to Natalie's head. One nurse seriously made me 12 different hair bows in different colors and sent me home with lubricating jelly to apply them to her head. Yes, we started extremely young.

The craze continued from there when we received this headband bow as a gift from one of our friends. I literally wanted her to wear it EVERY day! To me, she looked like a little present that had been dropped on our doorstep. Or maybe she looked like a wedding cake, so perfectly decorated. I had to have more! It worked particularly well with her monogrammed clothing and bibs!

There was no end to the possibilities with her wardrobe. Soon, I was ordering all different colors of bows and headbands from this Etsy dealer. Here I am a yankee, creating my own little Georgia Peach.
She was a trooper and never fussed about her bows. As my brother-in-law said at Christmas, "I don't think I have seen that baby without a bow on her head since the first time I met her!" I am not sure he was complimenting us, but more seemed a little puzzled about WHY we would do this to our baby.

My mother never said anything. She would just promptly REMOVE the headband bow when she was holding Natalie and then tell me that Natalie seemed a little "uncomfortable" with it. That was fine with me. Not to be swayed, I just put it right back on!
There was the occasional carride where I would look in the review mirror into her little carseat mirror only to realize she had pulled the headband over her eyes and the bow was protruding from her FACE instead of her head! I do admit, I did feel a little bad about that. I mean, what had she been doing back there? I could just picture her pulling the band really far out and then snapping the bow to her face. Sometimes, I proactively removed the bow for carrides.

We have now graduated to clipping her bangs with the bows we have removed from the headbands. She is fascinated with her bows. She pulls them out, chews on them, and then tries to put them back in her hair. She hasn't quite mastered the clip though. We will get there soon, I am sure!
I admit, have wondered if I would look as cute in a hair bow as my daughter does? I mean, with her, it seems to cover any multitude of wardrobe flaws. Would it do the same for me? Then I watched American Idol last night and one of the contestents who has had obvious wardrobe issues told Simon that she was the girl who had terrible issues with style and did things like wore hairbows and leggings. I guess that answers that!

It should definately be reserved for our little girls, but here's to this southern treasure I am so thankful to have been introduced to. The delightful hair bow!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Workout Update

Have you ever felt THIS good?

Workouts have become so intoxicating lately that after I am done I am euphoric and convinced that if I look in the mirror partially naked, surely I will look like a supermodel on the front of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition! I guess the endorphins really do a good job at lifting my spirits and making me delusional. Maybe I should do a swimsuit photoshoot for a reality check.

I worked out this morning, took a shower, and felt on top of the world. I decided to wear a black sweater today that is still a little too small for me (for it is a Size Small!). I tried it on, recognized that it was hestitatingly covering my midriff, and decided to go for it anyway because I was so excited that I could actually squeeze into it. This is a sweater that I have not worn since before I became pregnant with Will, my first child. It felt like a major accomplishment even though it would definately look better on me when the love handles are actually gone, not just diminished. Oh well! I wore it proudly and just hoped that it wasn't TOO obvious that I was slightly poured into it. Plus, it was really, really cold here today and a turtleneck sweater just sounded appealing (minus the wind around my belly when the sweater crept up).

I forgot to mention that I did lose my 2 pounds last week and am on to week number 2 of my 28 day challenge! Next weigh in will be Thursday. Cross your fingers for me.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A girl or a boy?

Do you believe in JINXes?

Okay, I've never been supersticious. Or so I have always proclaimed. I mean, as a Christian I have always had faith and don't get worked up about things TOO much. But you know those old sayings like, "bread always falls with the buttered side down"? Where did they come from? Personal experience tells me that whenever things can go wrong, they often do. Like when I told a story on Friday about my sister's embarressing step aerobics class experience only to be tripping all over myself the next morning at my step class. My step literally almost flew threw the air at one point because I could not get it together right.
I have been thinking, can we really impact what happens in our lives by having the wrong conversation or asking the wrong questions? Both times I was pregnant people ALWAYS worked one little innocent question into any discussion we had about the baby. The questioner would lean in and quietly ask the secret question...
"So what do you want, a boy or a girl?"
"Ummmm.....either one is fine! As long as they are healthy!" (Of course you have to throw the as long as they are healthy in. What parent would pick having an unhealthy baby over having the sex they secretly desired.)
"You don't have any preference?"
"I don't know....I mean there are advantages both ways," hesitating because if I even let myself go there then there are consequences.
a. if you say you want a boy and then you have a girl, for sure your girl will find out at some point in her little life that her parents REALLY WANTED A BOY and she will be in therapy the rest of her life!
b. If you say you really want a girl, you will have JINXED yourself and you will for sure have a boy.
So, anyone who has been pregnant knows in her heart that these are two very real implications of this question. But NOONE can resist asking. Including myself! I actually asked two different pregnant people this very question within the last two weeks. I thought to myself, "WHY are you doing this to them?" The question is irresistable. You think you are going to find out a really cool secret and then you can root for them to have sex a or b. Like we have a say in the matter. Like it hasn't ALREADY been determined! The pregnant woman is trapped by the question because there is really no right answer except the one including "as long as the baby is healthy". But somehow, in that situation, wrong or right, I find myself believing in jinxes without even knowing it.
So to any pregnant woman out there who has been asked that question and answered wrong, don't worry, we won't tell your child and we will still root for you to have your way!

Friday, February 27, 2009


Apparently the bad economy is truly affecting EVERYTHING in our lives. I was just watching the news and learned that DIVORCE RATES are dropping. Are you kidding me? The reason? People cannot AFFORD to divorce because they cannot sell their homes. Wow! I did not see that coming. They were interviewing couples who are coexisting in the same home until they can afford to divorce.
I know there are definately legitimate cases for divorce, and if you are going through that pain, I am so sorry! I also believe, in general, our nation tends to dive headfirst toward divorce when problems arise . "The grass is always greener"attitude instead of realizing you may be trading one set of problems for another. I pray that some of these couples who are forced to "wait" to divorce might find reconciliation with each other before it is too late.
It is weird, but as bad and scary our current economy is, I keep feeling it is having positive affects as well. Maybe not on our pocket books, but maybe on our spirit! I know it has made me think about what is really important in life! Our heads know, but our hearts don't always believe that materialism really does not bring happiness. That is something I have learned in the last 3 years of not working and not having anything I wanted at my fingertips! In many ways, I am much happier now. By the way, I learned the term for reformed fashionistas. Apparently, I am a "Recessionista". Love it!
So, here's to the recession! Let it work on our hearts and make us better people! So tell me, what do you think? Is the recession changing your outlook on life at all? Are you staying with a man you can't stand simply because you cannot afford to leave him? Is it helping or hurting your spirit? I want to hear.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bootcamp from You Know Where!

Several of you have asked me how my workout, weight-loss, facial, fashion, 28 day extravaganza is going in my preparation for my trip to Los Angeles. Well, let me tell you, I am getting nervous as week number 1 just flew by leaving me with only 21 days to create the "new me". My workouts have been very consistent which is unusual for me. I feel I am seeing some great results already! The icecream at night, however, has not stopped which I think might be affecting my 2 pound a week weight loss goal!
This week has been slightly different since my baby Natalie had a 103 degree fever. I wasn't sure, but didn't think it would be the BEST idea to take her to the gym nursery. I thought a few mothers might not appreciate me too much, and my poor baby would have cried the entire time wondering why her insensitive mother just dropped her off to a perfect stranger when she felt so terrrible.
After being couped up at home for a few days, last night I decided to go try the "Bootcamp" class at my gym after Tom got home. Not the best idea I have had in a while. I learned something very valuable about myself in this "Bootcamp" class. I was enlightened to the fact that my psyche could NEVER have handled the MILITARY! I seriously almost walked out of this class because I felt like crying the whole time.
As the instructor yelled her instructions at us and then said, "YES?? YES??? NO??" (what does she mean by this anyway?) I felt my anxiety growing. And then she would start counting down when we were jump-roping, and heaven forbid you were too out of breath to count with her at an audible yell or she would make you go another minute until you could sputter out the numbers at a decible she could hear. We were doing those leg lifts you do on the floor that burn your buns and legs so bad like from "Buns of Steel" or something, and she would scream at us "DO NOT LOWER YOUR LEG TO THE FLOOR AND DO NOT STOP!!!!" "YES? YES? NO???" I was seriously afraid that if my muscle did give out and my leg fell to the floor that she would call my name out and make me do another 100 leg lifts. Shear FEAR drove me to complete every unbearable exercise. I wanted to get up and run out screaming NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
I usually LOVE my workouts and the classes I attend. I guess I don't enjoy being motivated by fear. I just don't think I am massechistic enough to put my emotions through that again.

I will tell you what does motivate me to workout! Insults from my mother usually do the trick. She has tortured me with her innocent comments over the years. I knew I needed to start working out again, but the final straw was her response when I asked to borrow a sweater while visiting her over Christmas.
"Well, honey, its just that you are bigger than me now, and I am afraid you will stretch out my sweaters!" Because wool stretches really far and doesn't go back to it's original shape at all.
" DO WHAT????? Bigger than you???" Okay, I am still not over it. I have not been bigger than my mother since college when she was doing church aerobics and I had gained the freshman 15.
So, I finally convinced her to let me borrow this old sweater she had and when I came out to the kitchen with it on she said, "So, ummm, honey, do you LIKE the way that looks on you?"
"Yes, I do thank you!" If I didn't like it, would I be wearing it???
I joined the gym 2 weeks later and am determined to be so thin the next time she sees me that she says, "Honey, I just really don't like it when you get TOO thin! It worries me! I think your face looks better with a little meat on it. You know your face is long and your jaw is so pronounced when you get too thin!" Then I will know I have arrived at my ideal weight again!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

OH for the Love of Pink!

The other day while driving Will to his 2 year old tumbling class it occured to me that I was about to interact with a bunch of other moms, and I looked like I usually look at 5 pm after a long day of kids pulling my hair, drooling on me, wiping their noses on my shirt. I was disheveled to say the least! I did what every woman does when they look in the review mirror and realize they are as pale and worn out looking as their husband's oldest t-shirt. I pulled out lipstick. I didn't REALLY pay attention to the color nor did I look in the mirror while applying.
At some point during the drive, I looked back at Will. He gasped audibly and said, "Lookit Mommy!!! I LOVE your pink face!" I looked at myself in the mirror to realize that my flourescent pink lips were indeed making quite a statement against my pale unmade-up face. Emergency! Blotting tissue pllleeease!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cookies Anyone?

Have you ever been caught with your hand in a cookie jar? Last night after an exhausting hour of putting both children to bed and convincing my son he REALLY DID want to follow his sleep rules and stay there, I felt I deserved a reward of some kind. Abandoning my 28 day diet plan for just one little cookie seemed fair considering the circumstances. I mean, one cookie can't really hurt weight loss, can it?
So, as I stood there in my pantry, reaching my hand into the luscious bag of lemon cookies, BOOM, it all went black. Seriously, I am talking BLACK. I could not see ANYTHING. I felt like I had just gone blind or been struck by lightning or something. I was temporarily so confused until I realized we had just had a power outage and that I really hadn't just been struck by God for trying to eat one little eansy cookie! Apparently, I yelled to my husband, "Honey, I am stuck!" What I meant by that, I am not sure. I probably meant to say, "Honey, I am in struck by lightning!" I did not eat a cookie last night. I am not sure I will ever go near that bag again.
As for our power outage situation.....we lived by candlelight for 2 hours, dealt with 2 very freaked out kids for an hour of it, finally dozed off to sleep and were awakened by sudden bright lights and sounds that had all been left on. It felt like, "Let there be Light!" because it came on as suddenly as it went off. All in all we survived and other than the fact we missed an episode of "24" we were mildly entertained by the situation.