January 31, 2011

Handle a curve ball?

Spunky has a cold. A nasty, snotty, mucusy, not-sleeping, coughing, junk of a time cold.

It sucks. Or maybe it blows. Or maybe it's just stuck where it is.

Yeah, that's it.

Her cold is just stuck. She can't blow it out and the snot sucker (aka aspirator) is seemingly torture and not worth using more than once a day.

It's a curve ball to my tighly planned week. Grrr.....

So now I have a back-up plan for two days and I'm hoping that plans after Thursday can go as planned. I'm not pleased to have to change things, but I gotta take care of my kidlet. It's part of my job as a parent!

I'd love to say that I'm managing it gracefully but that would be an outright lie. I'm frustrated with being unable to go and do the things that I'd planned and was looking forward to. I'm exhausted from not hardly sleeping for the past 4 nights while trying to help Spunky sleep. She nurses all night which isn't a big deal so much except that when she sleeps, she wants my back and when she wakes she wants my front. It just makes quality sleep not possible. Oh well, the choices I make as an attached parent! Could be worse!

I could have a snotty little kid who I wasn't nursing and had to actually work to help her be more comfortable! But since she's a breastfeeding kid, it's relatively easy. Curve ball handled!

See a new side?

It was shown to me!

Go get your mind out of the gutter... I'll wait.


One of my favorite people of all time has started a blog! We've been friends for years, have vacationed together and have pretty much supported and laughed through all life has had to offer thus far. Her C-man and Sparky are nearly the same age and we've commiserated and rejoiced as they've grown and developed together. Sparky has a picture of C-man on her wall and asks to see him every so often and I get all wistful to see them too. I miss my friend.

I don't get to see her nearly as often as I'd like to and for some reason her e-mail bounces anything I send directly to her. I actually had to set up a separate e-mail mostly just for e-mailing her!

I've thought that I knew my friend really well and then this past week she surprised me! She started a blog (which isn't really too much of a surprise), but it's her writing style that was a whole new side of my friend! I knew her education and some of her work history since that's how we met after all, but I've only seen her write grocery lists, work reports, thank you cards, holiday cards, etc. I might recognize her handwriting if asked, but her narrative style.... never would have guessed it!

It was just a pleasantly surprising bit of news last week. I also love that instead of identifying herself by where she is in life as so many of us bloggers are prone to doing, she identifies with where she started. So, head on over and visit margie's daughter at Strange Days Indeed. She's just an awesome person and poignant writer!

ps did you notice that I can now spell check and include a link! Turns out it was the browser Hubs had installed for me.

January 26, 2011


I met a lovely friend for dinner!

That may not seem so novel to some, but I haven't met friends for dinner without my kidlets in um... 2 years? A little less than that, but not much less.

One of my favorite friends recently finished her graduate program (Congrats!!) and e-mailed me saying she was trying to catch up on what she had neglected during her schooling. I haven't been as on top of our friendship as I could have been either unfortunately. Fortunately, ours is a friendship that picks up where it was dropped and time doesn't matter so much.

It was just so nice to spend time with my friend as an adult and without having to monitor kidlets while trying to eat my dinner. I love the kidlets, but occasionally, it does me some good to hang out with people that know me prior to my mom life.

After a bummer of a week across the board, it was just the reset that I needed.

Now the trick is to making it a standing "date" so we don't go so long between seeing each other and so that our friendship doesn't keep getting dropped. It's not fragile, but it is valuable. I'm just not in the habit of dropping things with value.

January 18, 2011

Get punched in the gut?

Figuratively, but literally might have been better.

I said something unnecessary. Imagine that. Then I had my ass handed to me after a big bite was taken out of it. I’m just feeling like crap and wondering what I did in the world.

I’m not all “but I’m the victim” on this, but come on people! Seriously???  Please don’t read into what I say and attach your own meaning without knowing or asking what I mean. I’m a pretty open book most of the time. Feel free to ask so I can correct your assumptions about what I mean because you’re wrong.

There are just some things that aren’t open for discussion with people below a certain threshold of importance to me. Arrogant as that sounds, it’s true with no apologies about it.

And that line was crossed in a pretty big way. It’s just an issue and a struggle and I kinda just want to tell someone where to stick it.

But that’s not really what I mean.

I appreciate constructive criticism and opportunities for growth as a person. I just struggle with character attacks and feeling like I’ve been told that my values are wrong. Nope, sorry. My values are mine. That’s off limits. What I said had nothing to do with someone else’s worth, it had to do with my own values. I’m entitled to them as is every other person in the world and the entirety of history. Grrrrr…..

So again, where are my values and how much do I want to let someone else impact them and what I do about them? Do I want to give someone else that power? Um…. Easy. Nope.

But, the flip side of that is that I’m me, always will be and I’m not going to deny myself. That doesn’t make for a happy or productive me. That makes for a bitch which I’m not. No more letting someone else make me feel like I am or tell me that I am. I know better and I know me.

January 16, 2011

Say thank you?

I returned a favor that I've benefitted every day of my life so far and will continue to benefit from for the rest of my life.

I have these wonderful grandparently people in my life that I am so blessed by. My genetic grandparents lived far away when I was growing up. Enter in the kind neighbors. They helped raise all the kids in the neighborhood. They invited us over for dinner and were understanding when we didn't like what they had lovingly made. They helped entertain us during the summer and gave our parents much needed breaks. They loved us and took care of us. They told us as we grew when we were screwing up and not to be brats.

Sometimes we listened and became better people. Sometimes.... we didn't.

I know that I'm indebted to these wonderful people. That's not lost on me. Every so often I get an opportunity to say thank you in little ways. For Christmas, Grandma M said she hadn't been able to do her usual cookies and canning for Christmas baskets. I let her know that it was okay and then I gave her some of what I canned this summer.

I also knew they didn't have a wreath this year. So I got one for them and had a little helper deliver it to their porch with a decorative bow on it that I'd made. It's not much really, but it's a little way that I can show my appreciation.

I was talking to Grandma M recently on the phone and she mentioned the wreath to me. She was pumping me for info and trying to see if I was the one who provided it for them. I simply told her "You and Grandma R have done a lot of really nice things for a lot of people over the years. Maybe someone just wanted to return the favor." I think she knows it was me.

I can never stop telling them thank you though. It's my obligation and right to tell them that they had a hand in helping raise me when my parents didn't know what to do with me anymore. I was a total pain in the ass. Anybody surprised?

January 15, 2011

Get it right?

I listened to my kids even though they weren't saying much.

We had a rough afternoon at our house. Spunky has been a finger sucker since birth and we're trying to encourage her to stop. We've been passively trying for awhile, but this weekend we decided to try to actively encourage her.

Enter nap time with two tired kids, one of whom didn't see me much this morning (Sparky went to get an oil change with Hubs). A bit of a recipe for not-good-ness.

We start nap routine same as usual. All is okay, but not great. Sparky is all wired up and not in control of herself. While trying to help her with that, Spunky gets more tired and more insistent that she receive milk. Now. No, 20 seconds ago. Okay, bad route. Redirect, get both kids latched, having milk. Everyone calms down a bit. Spunky unlatches, says she's done, starts crying in her effort to not put her fingers in her mouth. I try to console her and Sparky gets a bit upset because she still wants more milk. Okay, okay. Trying trying. Turn towards Sparky, get her latched, Spunky proceeds to air every single greivance she's ever had against anything. Loudly. Sparky takes issue with this and hurts me. Okay, now I have two tired kids, one crying, one mad at me, and I'm in pain. Not awesome.I try to tuck in Sparky and tell her good night. She's not having it. She wants me. She starts to cry. I pleed with her. Spunky gets in on it and starts wailing. We all end up in a pile of tears. Sucky sucky time. And it sounds like I got it all wrong to this point too probably. I certainly got some parts wrong. No doubt about that.

Eventually, Spunky and I leave the room, I nurse her again and she falls asleep. Probably out of exhaustion more than anything else. She was so tired but only slept for a small fraction of the time she should have. I'm not sure if Sparky ever fell asleep. She got some rest and we all got a break from each other so the day could continue.

We went to a friend's house to hang out and play. Two tired kids in tow. Yummy dinner, good company, better mood for us all, and some physical play for kidlets. Okay, things are definately looking up. So here's where I really got it right. I would have loved to stay and hang out with friends. But, I knew by sound in another part of the house (Hubs was with them) that it was time for the kidlets and I to head for home. They weren't crying or anything like that. They were just.... tired and letting me know.

I pretty much bailed on Hubs after making sure our friends would get him home and got the kidlets straight home. Then, it was smooth sailing. Both had a little bit more dinner, a book before bed, some milk and cuddles and then to sleep. There may be toys and books all over the place, but I don't care. I listened to what my kids needed and responded. They let me know it was time to go without a tantrum or any backtalking and then were pretty stinkin' cooperative once we got home. My adrenaline from the afternoon is now back where it belongs and tomorrow is a new day. I don't always get it right by any means. I know that. Today, I got it wrong first. Then, I learned from badness and got it right. My kids benefit from that today and into the future. I'm celebrating this little victory since I know I don't always get it right but I know I did this time. It feels good and resonates as right in my bones. Yeah me. If I do say so myself! :)

January 11, 2011

Get a bit depressed?

This isn't all woe-is-me. No worries.

Basically, I have an aquaintance that I've known for 10+ years. She and Hubs are Facebook friends and he told me recently how her status updates and most of her posts are about her pride in her heavy weight.

Don't misunderstand, I'm a big fan of people accepting their bodies and being proud of who they are. I'm also a big fan of people at least trying to be healthy. Making an effort counts even when success is slow to come. I'm not a nutritionalist or dietitican and don't have an ideal weight in mind for her. But there's a point when someone is visibly much too heavy for their frame and she's at that point.

I'm a bit doughy and could definately stand to loose a bit of weight, but I'm trying and have lost some. I'm trying even though it's a bit slow going. I'm setting the example for the kidlets that taking care of my body is important. Yeah, I eat chips and other misc junk foods some of the time. No lies about that! I'm nowhere near Biggest Loser contestant status though. Aquaintance.... could be Biggest Loser.

It's lovely that she's proud of herself. It's depressing to me that she no longer is trying to be a healthy weight for her family. Makes me glad she's not having kids and setting the example for them. It's just depressing that this strong woman has opted not to do anything about what may very well kill her. And that is the really depressing part.

January 9, 2011

Fall in love today?

Short version? I said one word to Hubs and he smiled.

Longer version...

I made tapioca for Sparky and Spunky the other day. It's organic, coconut and all sorts or healthy for my kids. It also has no sugar so it's nothing like the tapioca pudding that I like. Tonight, Hubs was willing to make tapioca for us with all the sugar it's supposed to have. He brought each of us a coffee cup with some tapioca in it while I was watching Desperate Housewives (guilty pleasure!). As I had a sleeping Spunky in my lap and was very carefully taking slow and non-dripping bites over her, I turned to see Hubs well.... um... shoveling his into his mouth.

He had his cup about 3 inches from his mouth and was moving his spoon back and forth faster than a hummingbird's wings. Cup mouth cup mouth cup mouth cup mouth. He was moving faster than I can type that. I just looked at him until he glanced my way, which took a moment while he was shoveling his pudding. When I glanced back, I simply said "really?" He smiled and responded "but it's just so good!"

Call me smitten!

Here's the recipe we use, but I like it better without the egg: http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/tapioca-pudding-50886.aspx. I don't like the taste of eggs so then there's nothing that resembles a fried egg in my sweet pudding, but it does leave it a bit runnier FYI.

January 6, 2011


I’m not really sure that I have yet to be honest, but I’m trying.
In December, someone had the audacity to say that Christmas isn’t a religious holiday anymore and that it’s now about spending time with family (and they continued, but I had already tuned them out). Um… excuse me? Are you crazy? I know you must be. It’s called CHRISTmas, not familymas.
I’ll be one of the first to admit that many a marketing department has done an amazing job of trying to strip religion from Christmas, at least in the US. But not in this household. Not happening Hallmark. And I won’t apologize for that either.
I’ve toyed with the idea of no longer giving gifts to those who do not celebrate for religious reasons. I’m still not sure that it’s not a bad idea for me as an adult, but it’s not the example that I’m going to set for my kids.
We tell Sparky that the reason we give gifts is because it is Jesus’s birthday and we normally give people gifts for their birthday. Since there’s a little bit of Jesus in everyone, then we get to give presents to everyone and we might get some too. That’s the shorter version, but needed to be repeated for anyone late coming to this post.
So, what would I be teaching my kids if I ignored the Christ in those who don’t believe in Christ? That’s pretty judgmental and what I consider to be a pretty bad example. So, for now, we’ll do gifts with the knowledge that we’re giving the gift to the Christ inside the person whether they recognize it or not.
Religion is a personal choice and I don't actually care what others choose. But, Christmas is a religious holiday and there’s no way around that. Sorry folks. No actually, I’m not sorry about it! I’m glad it’s a religious holiday! I’m sorry that some people are deluded enough to think that it’s not.

January 5, 2011

Get Out?

I strategically gave Hubs snowshoes for our anniversary. A little sneaky, yes. Totally worth it, absolutely!
We went this week before he had to go back to work after his Christmas break and it was so fun. We only went for about an hour, but that was just right since Sparky was walking the whole time and Spunky was a bit cranky.
We then asked our families to give us some of the stuff to help us go like a parking permit and a gift certificate for a snowshoeing excursion. Fun fun!
Hubs and I both grew up downhill skiing and I started doing cross country in college. It’s still something I enjoy, but it’s pretty intimidating with Sparky and Spunky in tow. Literally. That’s how we’d have to take them. Next time we go snowshoe (next weekend?), we’ll take the tow-mobile with us and give it a shot. That will let us go for longer and further and hopefully work out well. The trail we took last time was very tow-mobile friendly so I’m optimistic. We might end up just leaving it in the car and if we’re able to use it, great. If not, no worries. Sparky loved snowshoeing and Spunky is happy to hitch a ride most any time.
I blew out my knee running in college (took like….. 5 months to even start to heal), so I don’t anticipate downhill skiing really being in my future which makes me a bit sad. I’d like to take Sparky and Spunky, but maybe that will be a way for Hubs to bond with our kids. Maybe I’ll be the one to take them cross country. Snowshoeing can be our family activity!
No matter how I look at it, we now have some really reasonable ways to get out and be active even when it’s beyond cold and I just want to snuggle under a blanket and eat popcorn. Getting out and bundling up is a much better example for my kids though so, out we go!

January 4, 2011

Get Grossed Out?

This isn't graphic or anything, don't worry. But, it's still makes my stomach churn.

Hubs brought in the mail tonight and there was an ad for Denny's. Hubs and I both saw the same thing on the front. It's their fried cheese sticks inside a grilled cheese sandwich. Hubs just called it a heart attack. While I saw the same *blech* factor, I decided to look it up. And that was how I got grossed out!

Here's a link to their nutritional information: http://dennys.com/en/page.aspx?ID=23&title=Nutrition+%2b+Allergens. I don't eat at Denny's often or anything like that (maybe twice in the past 4 years), but I now have zero intention of ever eating there again. I really appreciate that they have their nutritional info available online, but wow. My body deserves better than that.

I'm a little afraid to look at the Red Robin info now, but I've glanced at it when I've been there and know that their Garden Burger is a reasonable choice. Not amazingly great, but reasonable. I was there with a kid who ordered their pepperoni pizza recently (not Sparky or Spunky) and when I glanced, my entree was much lower calories than the pizza. The pizza was actually higher than an adult should really eat for their meal. Ugh.

I know different people eat differently, but for me, there's really a point when it's a disservice to make a body digest pure ick. Denny's, it'll be quite awhile before I see you again if ever. Red Robin, I think we need to take a break and have less often rendevous.

Poison Hubs?

He said it was poison anyway!

I made a new kind of fruit and nut bars. Hubs tried them and said "it's poison". That's our family way of saying that it's so good we're not going to let anyone else eat it. Just the same way that I wouldn't let my family eat poison. We're a bit lame, but I knew what he was saying and took it as a compliment!

Want to do it too? All the cool kids are.... ;)

Apple Raisin Pie
 1/2c medjool dates
1/2c dried granny smith apples
1/2c dried braeburn apples
1/2t cinnamon
1/4c raisins (next time, I'll only do about half this much, but that's personal preference as I don't like raisins very much)
1/2c walnuts

January 1, 2011


Yeah, I know. Funny right?

It's kinda true though.

Hubs and I have lived in our house for almost 6 years. Everything was unpacked within 1 year, but that doesn't mean we were settled. We kinda were, but there's always those little things that just don't have a place and adding a dog and two kids since we moved in required a bit of reorganization. Actually, it's a continual process of reorganizing. Hence, the relaxation lately.

I pulled everything out of every kitchen cupboard, drawer (except the junk drawer so far) and then put it all away in a way that made sense. Some things were donated, some things were put right back away, many thing were moved so they were with like items. It just feels nice to open the cupboard and have all the soup in one place and the junk food in another place. It makes it easier to make better food choices too.

Hubs helped with this bunches of course. We (okay, I) made a list of everything we wanted to get done between when Hubs got some time off for Thanksgiving and when he returned to work after Christmas. We're not all the way through the list, but most of the way. Every bedroom upstairs is organized and pretty to look at. My craft closet is slightly chaotic still, but I'll fix that when I put away the Christmas decorations this next week. Upstairs, is organized. Downstairs, many toys were stored away, the kitchen (as mentioned above) was organized and is now tidy.

Even the Harry Potter closet (the closet under the stairs) is tidy. It's also where the extra seats for my car are stored, but now it's tidy! In the kitchen, the junk food shelf is a mess (because we have way too much in it after the holidays), but it's also now 1 shelf in 1 cupboard. I can handle that. The junk drawer in the kitchen is an accepted way of life in my opinion. It would be wonderful to not have it either, but it's really convenient to have the spare keys, pens, stamps and gift certificates all in one place. Don't ask why that's convenient, but it is. :)

Downstairs, that's all that's still not the way I'd like it to be. There's a couple more days before Hubs goes back to work too so that might get dented and improved.

Upstairs, we have the "junk room" that we're steadily making progress on. The HUGE bookshelf is super helpful!! We're just chipping away at it and being much more discerning about what actually belongs in our house. Many things are going to the "regift" pile and the "garage sale" pile. That's growing exponentially! I should probably do a preview day for friends and family before we do a big public sale.

It just feels really nice to have our house finally coming together as a clean slate (literally!) that we can now decorate if we choose. There's only things hung on the walls in kid bedrooms and the powder room. No other rooms in the house. It feels weird to not have our wedding pictures around us or pictures of our kids on the walls.

So the list on the fridge is almost done. The yard clean up is on the backburner due to weather, but one more dry day above freezing and that'll get fixed I think. It just feels nice to have life tidy.

So even with the holidays and all the crazy that comes with it, I'm feeling fairly relaxed. It's nice for a change.
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