Friday, October 29, 2010

Dishes? But I want to save the world!

I don't really want to save the world but it was a catchy little title, don't you think?  I had to repost this from The Feast of Booths that can be found in my side bar under Soul Food. 

It's quite timely... probably more often than you think.

"Fretting makes us important. Say you're an adult male and you're skipping down the street whistling "Last Train to Clarksville." People will call you a fool. But lean over to the person next to you on a subway and say, "How can you smile while innocents are dying in Tibet?" You'll acquire a reputation for great seriousness and also more room to sit down.

Tragedy is better than comedy for self-dramatization, as every teenager knows. Think how little attention we pay to a teen who's bustling around the house with a big smile on his face, greeting parents and siblings with cheery salutations. . . . Actually, we'd pay a lot of attention and rush him to the drug detox center, post haste. But you know what I mean. Would you rather star in Hamlet or Three's Company?

Being gloomy is easier than being cheerful. Anybody can say "I've got cancer" and get a rise out of a crowd. But how many of us can do five minutes of good stand-up comedy? And worrying is less work than doing something to fix the worry. This is especially true if we're careful to pick the biggest possible problems to worry about. Everybody wants to save the earth; nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes."

―P. J. O'Rourke, All the Trouble in the World

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pork & Hominy Stew OR Posole Variation

On Friday, I made a yummy meal that we will be having again.  The original recipe can be found here.

If the link doesn't work for you let me know and I will send it to you in an e-mail.  It was pretty yummy.  A friend asked if it was posole.  I will say that growing up in New Mexico I wasn't a huge fan of posole.  Maybe it's because it generally is made with red chile and I am not a fan of red chile.  I am a green chile girl through and through.  So, after reading a true definition of posole I would call this a variation of posole.

I opted for the easy way out and used canned green chile instead of prepping our fresh which is crazy hot.  I wanted Miss L to be able to eat some, too.  However, with my modifications it was still pretty spicy.

Here are my modifications:

  • 2 small cans of chopped green chilies
  • I forgot the cilantro but will remember it next time!
  • I had a bigger can of hominy and just used it all.  Totally fine.
  • Because I had more hominy, I used a bit more salsa verde.
One time saving tip that I will remember is that if I cannot find meat that is already cubed at the store I will have the butcher do it.  With two little ones around this step was a bit much for me.  Remember to have your meat partially frozen to make it easier to cut.

Also, I used the "World Table" salsa verde from Wal-Mart.  It was pretty good over all and I wasn't disappointed at all.  Take that as a good recommendation when in the store.

So, there you go!  Enjoy!

Friday, October 15, 2010

25 Things You May Not Know About Me

1. I am a saucy girl. You know, I like some sort of sauce with just about every food

2. I came in second place at the school geography bee when I was in middle school thanks largely in part to “Where in the World is Carmen San Diego.”

3. I once had pet mice for a school science project that actually made it to the regional science fair.

4. I have a knack for keeping fish alive for a very long time. There was one exception and I feel horrible for traveling so much with him. (Yes, for a time my fish were well traveled)

5. I got frost nip (a step before frost bite) on my hands my senior year in college. I still feel the effects from that and I am not sure that it will ever go away. Oh well.

6. Never did I miss a varsity football game (home or away) in high school – insane, right?

7. With that, I was the only four-year letterman in football my senior year. So, yeah, it was a little awkward when the coaches presented me with the biggest trophy on the table at the award ceremony. :/ ha! (I lettered a total of 16 times in high school, including my academic letter)

8. My college degree officially was: Bachelor of Science in Physical Education with an emphasis in Athletic Training. Basically involving the watching of a LOT of sporting events and practices. I loved it. Oddly enough, I rarely get to watch any sort of sporting event anymore. Somehow I am still able to keep up on most team that I am interested in – college, not so much into pro-anything.

9. Some of the most interesting stories about college come from being a Resident Assistant in the dorms. Oh my!

10. The best part of living on the third floor of dorms is messing with drunks outside by pointing a flashlight around their feet. They never think to look up. It’s great entertainment when stuck in small town Nebraska for the weekend. Yes, I really did this.

11. I always thought that I would be the mother of all boys. I think God has something else for me to learn and I love it.

12. I almost drowned in a pool when I was taking lessons with my daycare center. I slipped off the steps and no adult noticed. My friend Jimmy, who also couldn’t swim, reached as far as he could and pulled me back to the stairs. That’s when the adults finally noticed what happened. I got back in the water that day and I still LOVE to swim. Although, the ocean sometimes freaks me out if I get too far out.

13. Once my friends timed me on how long I would laugh. I forgot what I originally was laughing at and kept laughing at the fact they were timing me. This went on for 15 minutes. For real.

14. At the ripe ol’ age of 31, I have had surgery on both of my knees and will probably need more. Awesome, I know.

15. I love to scare people (I double over laughing) and I think it’s really funny after the initial shock when others scare me – as long as it doesn’t play off of fears that people have. I just like jumping around corners and such. My favorite “scare” came from Samuel Withem (he was maybe 5?) a while back… we both laughed really hard. These are also my favorite videos on America’s Funniest Home Videos.

16. Monet is my favorite artist.

17. Ansel Adams is my favorite photographer. I know, so cookie cutter, right. But I am generally drawn to black & white. But, I would rather flip through a photography book rather than paintings…but I can totally appreciate paintings as well. I’m not a total cultural ignoramus.

18. My first opera was when I was a freshman in college and it was Carmen. Do you ever forget your first?

19. One of my favorite books is “The Education of Little Tree” – for a variety of reasons, including sentimental.

20. I don’t like cooked fruit which in turn means I don’t like most pies, cobblers, or crisps… it’s would be easier to tell you what pies I do like – chocolate and pumpkin (I know, strange) There was once recently a fruit crisp I did like, the first one ever, but I didn’t want seconds. If this makes me un-American for not liking apple pie, then so be it.

21. One of my favorite things to do is to get my wedding ring cleaned – shiny things make me happy.

22. During the last part of my pregnancies coffee tastes horrible! Yes, even my beloved iced coffee. But as soon as those babies are delivered I think my body realizes it needs the caffeine and we are back in business and things taste “normal” again.

23. I’ve never met a potato that I didn’t like. Well, except that one time at Wendy’s. Fries are my favorite. You will know you rank pretty high if I share mine with you. My friends show me love by giving me what’s left of their fries… even when I am full. Ha! “Hi, my name is JMC and I have a potato addiction.”

24. My Husband is the best thing about me.

25. I am really fine with not using my college degree. I learned a lot of life lessons during my time in college and there are certainly parts of my degree that I can use in everyday life. Seriously, though, I wouldn’t trade my life right now for anything. I am blessed beyond measure.

(Originally poted on my FB page)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Father Figure

A few weeks back a friend of mine posed a question about children's programming that included a father figure.

I was floored.

We are just entering into children's programming and I must admit that was not something that I had really payed much attention to as I saw a few different episodes of programming.  Oddly enough, I was only really exposed to those that DID have a father figure.  Well, minus Sesame Street -- which is a whole different

One program, Calliou, has an involved father figure.  The marriage is valued and you see love and admiration between the parents.  You also see multi-generational living, which I love, because the grandparents are involved.  It's not the best graphics but I love it's innocence, imagination, and of course the family dynamic.  Two thumbs up!

Another program was, Sid the Science Kid.  This is from the Jim Henson Studios (think Muppet's, etc).  I like this show in general for older kids.  Miss L likes the music in general when they sing.  While the dad is n-involved here he is made out to be a big goof-ball.  It's sad really and it was something that I had picked up on while watching before the "father figure" question had been put forth.  There is even a song about how cool the mom is when Sid and his mom are driving to school.  Catchy, yet odd at the same time.

The show, Arthur, was put out in the conversation but I never have seen it.  Are there others that you out there in blog world can think of as well?  I think about this more as I watch different programming or think through movies that we might let the girls watch in the future.

As for Sesame Street, that is more of a community living.  Back when I was watching Sesame Street for my own "educational purposes" there were more family units involved which have since gone to the wayside only making appearance once in a very great while.  On top of that, if you didn't know about it from back in the day you may not put it all together.  However, there is some other education value as we are seeing Miss L interact and even start to count along... even if it usually is only to three and we still have ten lemons left to go! ha!

The lack of fathers in our programming is telling of our current society.  Think back to programming, children's or otherwise, father's were present, normal, involved, fun, etc.  They were heads of their household showing leadership, decisiveness, and manhood.  They generally were not mamby-pamby men.  I am thinking even I love Lucy, Leave it to Beaver, Happy Days, Brady Bunch to name a few.  Oh how far we have come from that time period it seems... and it wasn't all that long ago!

Art imitating life or life imitating art?


Thursday, September 23, 2010

She's Here!

Well... she's been here for almost a month now.  She arrived about two weeks after my last post.  If I thought I had issues with blogging BEFORE two kids I am not sure what will come of this space.  A ghost town along side the information superhighway?  Maybe.  Or things will just be sporadic.  It may be best to just have this e-mail you when I update :)

Just for clarification, these are not her feet.  I am pretty leery of posting photos of my children on the Internet anymore after stories from friends and Facebook fan pages.  If you want to see family photos (and I am not opposed to having people I know on that site) let me know and I will invite you to where we have our photos hosted.  It's free for you but I can control privacy a whole lot better there. You can just look around to your little hearts content. ha!

In the last post we had a baby pool going and there was one response there and there were several on another social networking site.  Here is what was posted:

Tessa - August 24, 7lbs 12oz, 11:30 PM
Luma - August 26, 7lbs 13oz, 4:00 PM
Actual - August 27, 6lbs 9oz, 7:09 AM
Lisa - August 31, 7lbs 11oz, 4:30 PM
Renee - September 2, 6lbs 14oz
Beth B - September 3, 7lbs 3oz
Alaina - September 4, 7lbs 2oz, 7:01 AM
Mom - September 9 or 10, 6lbs 10oz

Overall, my sweet friend Luma wins the pool and a little something fun.  Technically we went beyond her guess but I was in labor on the 26th and she is the closest overall.  Alaina was the closest on time (good job!) and my mother-in-law was the closest on weight.  Maybe we'll do something for the others.  We'll see.  But for now...  CONGRATS LUMA!  ha ha ha!!
One or two people have already asked for all the gory details of the birth story (I know, Tessa!) and I need to write it out anyway for the baby book.  So, if anyone else wants to know let me know and I will send it to you.
I have other posts rolling around in my head but for now... I must go grocery shopping.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

20 Months, 35 Weeks, and a Baby Pool

Today, Miss L is 20 months old.  It's hard to believe at times.  It's funny to look at her newborn pictures and try to remember that baby.  She is full of personality!  My favorite thing is laughing with her when she gets up in the morning or after nap.  She's usually quite happy.  I love watching her want to help me around the house -- it doesn't matter what we are doing she just wants to be a part of it all.  What fun adventures are in store next?  I love being  a mom for sure!

Today, I am also 35 weeks along in my pregnancy with Miss A.  There have been times that I have thought that this pregnancy would NEVER end.  I think part of that comes a) we found out super early that I was pregnant and b) the valley heat really sucks it out of you!  So, here we are.  We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our newest addition.  It is thrilling beyond all belief that we have this little blessing coming now.  At the same time it's incredibly scary.  You know, it's a mixed bag of wonderful emotions.

While some folks would say that we probably have another 5 weeks in front of us we could easily be heading off to the hospital next week.  You see, Miss L was born at 36 weeks to. the. day.  There was no medical reason that she came early other than she was ready.  We have heard and read that many mothers tend to deliver around the same time.  Yes, I know there are exceptions to this.  We have also read that breech babies can come early for whatever reason.  Miss L was breech which resulted in a cesarean section.  So, while we know we could be waiting another 5 weeks for Miss A's arrival we are just getting prepared for an early visit from the stork.  I think I will pack the hospital bag tomorrow. ha!

So, I thought a baby pool would be fun!  Leave your guess for date and time -- and guess her weight, too.  Miss L was 7lbs. 6oz for a reference point.  We may have a gift card incentive to a favorite coffee place if you play along...ahem.  :)  My due date is officially September 15 for those that want to know that information.  I will post this on another social networking forum so you can enter there if you want... but only enter once, please. 

Oh, and of course, we will keep you updated as to when she arrives!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hesistant Hostess

Before I got married one could generally find anywhere from one to thirty college students in my apartment on most nights of the week.  Even on and off during the day a few would stop by if I was home to kill time before or between classes. 

I like having people in my home.

That hasn't really changed much but the dynamic of life has changed a bit.

When I got married we were part of a church that showed hospitality in a way that I had never seen before.  It was beautiful, generous, lovely... and, well... sometimes a bit intimidating.  Not that any one of these families imposed certain expectations on my but they were my own self-imposed expectations and thinking that I needed some serious observation lessons before attempting any of these shin-digs.  I would see women under such grace feed 15 people for a sit-down lunch/dinner and it seemed like it never phased them.  Scary!  At the time we also lived pretty far away from most people in our church family and in my mind I thought that it would be a great imposition for them to come all the way down to our home.  Sigh.  I think we had three households from church in our home.  The rest were a fun family that lived relatively close, family, and a neighbor.

Now we live pretty close to just about everyone in our church, family, and other friends.  In my expectations I didn't want people to see all of our moving boxes, then there was the "legitimate" excuse of morning sickness, or I want to get this or that project done.  Well, boxes are removed, morning sickness gone, and projects completed.  No more excuses.  You can insert my anxiety sky-rocketing here as Husband talks about having this or that family over. 

Again, it's not that I don't want to spend time with these people it's my own self-imposed, unrealistic expectations of what needs to be presented and done for these people.  Yeah, no aroma of grace there!

This last Friday we had a lovely family over in a very impromptu manner for dinner.  In the midst of my third trimester I am moving slow and trying to keep things simple and the oven off as much as possible.  Let me note that this family is quite hospitable and the wife is a whiz in the kitchen.  I told her basically that we were having pasta salad and I whipped up another cool salad type thing to eat with chips.  The pasta salad was even from a box but we love it and I added a few extra things to make it a bit more "hardy."  They brought a couple of things to share as well which was great.  Husband bought a bottle of wine home which I think can make any meal better.  ha!

We had a grand time in fellowship which is really what the evening was all about.  The kiddos had fun playing and we let them all stay up after their bedtimes.  While talking with the wife she appreciated the fact that I didn't put on any "airs" in creating my pasta salad.  She got a good laugh when she inquired about the recipe and I told her, "It's my Aunt Betty Crocker's recipe." All with a smile.

We talked about hospitality and what it means to have people in our homes ever so briefly.  I realized in our conversation hurt that had been extended to her because those who have been in her home and experienced her gourmet side think they have to return the same when they come over.  NOT SO!  Yes, she has special gifts in different areas as I have gifts in other areas.  We learn and grow from each other.  It's not about the food but what happens around the food.

It was a good learning experience for me on a variety of levels.  Even in letting her help me in the kitchen while being 7 months pregnant I learned it really is okay to let your guests help.  It was the least stressed I have been in a "hosting" situation in a long time.

So, with that we have another household coming next weekend for lunch... in the midst of a crazy, filling-up-fast, getting-ready-for-baby kind of schedule.  Family and other friends, too.

Even while having an extra tabel in the front room while we are trying to sell it.  Yes, the house was clean but there is grace even in that.  Not everything was totally in it's place.  A toddler lives here and it was obvious.  But that's okay... we live here, it's not a showroom.  More on these other aspects later.  But I am not quite so hesitant a hostess anymore.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Two Girls, Two Rooms

One of my sweet friends asked me to blog about my final decisions to put Miss L and Miss A in their own rooms for the time being.  So, here's a bit of my thought process and those with other experience can share, too.

The reality is that Miss A probably will not go into her own room for at least a month or so after we come home.  Mostly for my own sanity she will be in our room.  Hopefully, she will "probably" be sleeping through longer stretches of the night by then, too.  It will really come down to how long she is actually sleeping through the night, if I am getting much sleep while she moves and coos, and ultimately if she keeps Husband up at all during the night.  He has to function at work, you know.  He doesn't have the option to stay in PJ's or have Grandma come help him, or take a nap at work.

When we do move her we realize there may be several trips in during the night to check on her, feed her, or any number of other things.  Knowing that, we also want to preserve Miss L's sleep schedule.  Sometimes she is totally "out" if we walk into her room at night.  Other times she will wake up right away as soon as the door knob turns.  We are not sure how sensitive she will be to Miss A crying so some of this is based on unknowns that could surprise us when Miss A does come on scene.

So, with that we decided to keep them in separate rooms until they are basically on the same sleep schedule which could be when Miss A is about 18 months old.  It's not very long in the grand scheme of things.  Husband likes the idea of our kids having their own rooms -- he and his brother always had their own rooms.  This is fine if the Lord should decide that we are done at two.  However, should there be more... :)

Even if the Lord says, "two is it" we may still move them into a room together.  They are so very close in age that it wouldn't make that big of a deal.  Then we can reclaim our guest bedroom.  Granted, we don't have a ton of visitors as most of our family lives nearby now.  However, it's nice to have the option.  We do have plenty of floor space and air mattresses are always an option.  We can also create a makeshift guest room if need be in our office or in Miss A's room by moving the girls together (or Miss A to our room) for a temporary fix.  Options...always options.

We will move the crib to Miss A's room this weekend.  I am on the search for a changing table and will make that a one-stop-shop for changing both girls.  Seems easier to have it in Miss A's room at this point in time.

Okay, there you have my pretty simple thought process.  I know quite a few others have put their kiddos together from fairly young ages.  I would love to hear especially the how's and why's.  Usually the "why" is because...well... that's the only option really.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010



In some sense it seems like a foreign concept to me and at the same time a very true reality.

I made the comment to Husband the other day that I think that I have more of a nesting urge with this pregnancy than I did with my first.  He thought it was the other way around.  However, I think that the things that happened (and current tasks at hand) in each situation have been very different and that effects how we perceive it.

Either way, I am totally in the midst of it right now.  Although, I will say that while I have things to do and want to do certain things my motivation can quickly go out the door.  Or little things become big things and that is all I can focus on.  And even worse, sometimes other things completely get neglected because I am focused on this other task or thinking about it, etc.

Things are coming together, though.  Much to our surprise (and my great hesitancy) Miss L moved to a "big girl" bed on Saturday night.  Quite on a whim, I must say.  She has done remarkably well!  So, we will be moving the crib to Miss A's room.  We found a great deal on a new-to-me glider as my other one broke. (That story for another day.)  I am still trying to figure out the changing table configuration.  I just want one changing area for both girls.  I think I have it down.  So, there are just a few little things to get both rooms ready for different changes.

The funny thing is that while there are a gazillion things to still get ready there are toys strewn across my living room floor (with said toddler in the midst of it all) along with a pile of clean cloth diapers that she has also seen fit to play with.  She loves to play with the fluff... even when it has been put away.

Maybe more on all this later...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Water Ice

We made a super fast trip to Texas over the July 4th weekend.  We were there to see a dear friend installed as pastor of a blossoming mission church.  It was a lovely time rich with fellowship and new relationships.  While I cannot go into all of that here there was this one random blip in the weekend that took me back to the summer of 2004 when I spent 6 weeks in Ocean City, NJ.

You know those special things that take you back to a special time and they seem like the most amazing thing?  Then you know how sometimes you can partake in said special thing outside of the context of said special time and it's really not so amazing anymore?  Well, this was NOT the case with Rita's Italian Ice... or more fondly called water ice.  It's like a sno-cone but not that rigid.  It's smooth... like a slushie but... still not quite.  A spoon is generally required. 

Let's just say that I may have given Husband a slight fright as I gasped when I saw the sign on a building as we pulled into the hotel circle.  OH. MY.  I told Husband that we MUST go there at least once this weekend.  After Miss L went to bed we got the hankering for something cool and sweet.  Husband was going to go get it and bring it back.  I told him whatever flavor was fine as long as it was red.  ha!  He came back with Tropical Punch for me and Cookies and Cream for himself.  I thought his sounded strange for water ice but it was pretty yummy!!  A regular size is plenty! On the plus side it is super affordable... I think we paid $4.00 for the two of them.

Ahhhh... Delightful!

We wanted to go again but our schedule kept us running and eating at other venues.  However, there is rumor that Rita's could be coming to the Valley of the Sun in the next year or so!  YAY!  Husband and I thought it would be a good investment and half thought about the possibility of doing a franchise.  I will say that it was a fleeting idea...  fun in the moment but probably not for us.  So, we will wait until places open here and join my Ocean City buddy, Stephanie, at a grand opening.   

In all of this reminiscing... I had to look up the Polish water ice place that I also liked and found that it is pretty much just in three states on the east coast.  But if you are looking for another fun place try out TLC's Polish Water Ice.  If you happen to find yourself on the boardwalk in Ocean City, NJ you will find these places fairly close to each other... partake... in both!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Brand Name vs. Generic

Now, I am usually a girl who likes to find a deal.  I mean, who doesn't, really?  I have learned that store brand of anything can be just as good, if not better than the brand name product.  Not always but a good portion of the time.  And the pennies start to add up fast.  So, while I was looking through the baby section for some random item I was missing or needing in a pinch at Wa.l Ma.rt I stumbled onto a diaper pail liner that was said to fit my Diaper Genie Elite II.  It was also a good $2.00 cheaper.  I wondered what it would be like.  It claimed that it would hold more diapers than the brand's refill, etc, etc.  My hopes were high enough that I even purchased TWO of said product.

The verdict...

DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT!  This is where the brand name is much more superior than the generic knock off.  First off the brand name is a continuous bag that you "snip" as it fills up.  For whatever reason this system works.  The generic is just a bunch of bags that you drop in individually as you need them.  Ultimately, it's not as clean as the brand name. 

The big difference is the containment of smell. 

We bought this particular diaper pail on the recommendation of friends who have one.  They only use disposable diapers at night so the pail didn't fill up very fast.  They never had a problem with smell!  We found the same thing to be true of the diaper pail.  We were full-time disposable users for the first three months or so of Miss L's life when we switched to cloth.  We never had a problem with diaper pail smell even after we, too, became night only users of disposables (Well, and trips, too).  We threw in the dirty wipes, no problem.  Again, no smell issue... until we bought the generic bags.  I find myself emptying the container more often - so I don't think it will get near the number of diapers it claims it will hold.  I think it has something to do with the plastic quality and then how it is positioned in the container that effects the smell aspect.  I find myself tossing in baking soda to keep some of the smell at bay until we have a few more diapers in there that make it worth changing the bag.  Seriously, I have more issues with smell from this pail now than do with my cloth diaper pail... which really has no issue... odd, right? (Just another benefit of cloth... hee hee hee!)

So, there you have my review.  We will be going back to the brand name refill soon as I only have one more bag left to use.  I think I may have to track down my receipt and return the second refill.  That will teach me!  If I cannot return it I will find something else to do with the bags (maybe line my small trash cans with them?) because I will not be using them in Miss L's room anymore. 

I gave them the good ol' college try and they FAILED!

***Disclaimer:  While we use disposables at night cloth can and is used by many overnight.  We are not that brave yet plus we recognize we have a very heavy wetter.  We value our sleep and did not want to experiment with that after Miss L was already sleeping 12+ hours a night.  We may integrate that option with Miss A but we will see how it goes and what we need to add to our diaper stash.  Also, others use cloth wipes with their cloth diapers.  I am so not there and like not having to rinse those off as well as a diaper.  I have found a system that works for me. :)  Props to the mamas that can and do use the cloth wipes, too.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Swim Time!

For awhile now we have wanted to enroll Miss L in swim lessons.  But life happened and we procrastinated until last week.  A swim place opened up about five miles from our new home.  The bonus is that it is an indoor pool so we can go all year long and avoid the desert sun beating down on us.  There is only one other little girl in Miss L's class which is nice.  She is a bit younger than Miss L.  The difference in how they acted in the water was enough to confirm to me that Miss A will start classes when she is six months old.  Yeah, that will be entertaining.  HA!  But I think it will go very well.

This is not to say that Miss L did not do well.  I think given the fact that it was her first structured lesson it went very well.  She has always loved the water.  She loves bath time, playing with a water balloon that Daddy gives her (especially after it breaks), washing her hands, and really anything that involves water.  Her lesson only really kind of started to fall apart when she had to go under water.  She wanted to play, play, play.  She was TOO excited when she saw the pool.  I now know for future reference we need to work on lesson stuff before we play.  It's good lessons for us both.  I'll keep you posted on how Miss L progresses... because I know you all want to know.  Oh, and Miss L cried and waved at the pool when we left.  She did NOT want to leave the pool.  The owners thought it sweet... I thought it funny... and sweet.  

This is really just a funny reflection of me when I was little.  I wanted to swim ALL the time.  Really.  You can even ask my godmother who the lucky one to take me swimming.  She used to have to bribe me with not going swimming if I didn't put my seat belt on.  It worked 100% of the time, I tell you.  However, I was not always a huge fan of bath time.  I would try to convince my dad that because I had gone swimming that day.  Chlorine kills everything, right?  Now as a parent I realize more why we need bath time after swimming!  Plus, the water does something to my skin now that I just feel super hot if I don't take a good shower after swimming. 

Weird, right?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It's Time for Saying Good-Bye

I debated whether to write anything about some friends leaving for a new adventure in life.  I was doing fine then someone (ahem, Luma) made a small post on her blog about the same family.  Needless to say, I got all chocked up.  Sometimes putting things in writing is good closure for the soul.  This family has meant much to us over the years but even longer to my Husband.  They have walked through some of the darkest hours of our lives and through the most gloriously happy moments -- and everything in between.  While I know that we will see them on and off over the years we do have the hope of Heaven.  But it's still hard knowing that they are no longer just five minutes down the road, smiling faces no longer will greet us in church, or an acknowledging smile of special moments when Be Thou My Vision is sung during worship.  It has been a hard thing to accept them leaving but in the midst of it all we have seem the Lord's provision for them and excitement for this new chapter in life.  Hard?  Yes.  Happy?  Sometimes.  Blessed?  Yes!  We are thankful for the seemingly short time we had with them.  I have to remember those words often.

Anyway, to kind of lighten the mood... only slightly... I remembered this song from The Muppets take Manhattan.  The Muppets are like Hallmark, they have something for every occasion... well, almost.  And, well, I love the muppets.  Of course, when I saw this video I started to cry.  I think I just came to the realization that they are gone (even though we will see them in a few weeks...sheesh!) and it's no longer an impending date of departure.

This has been a good way to process my feelings a bit... those that I didn't realize were kind of bubbling under the surface.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

When Your Baby Cries

We have been traveling quite a bit over the last couple of weeks.  We were in California with some friends for a weekend getaway, home for two days, and then we flew to Denver to celebrate Husband's grandmother's 90th birthday.  We just got home this last Tuesday.

Needless to say, it took a toll on us all on some level.

When Miss L has had enough she doesn't have the concept of self-control to just stick it out with a happy heart.  No, she will sometimes melt down, cry, and throw up her arms in frustration.  What she needs is some down time, cuddles with Mommy and Daddy, and ultimately a return to routine.

Well, I hate to admit it but I had a similar melt down during our trip.  I chose not to stick it out and have a happy heart.  Unfortunately, I did not exhibit a spirit of self-control and responded to a series of situations like my 18-month-old.  Sigh. 

It's not until I was able to reflect back on the trip that I really saw what maybe the Lord was trying to teach me. 

First, and foremost was my lack of self-control.  As if that isn't enough.  My feelings cannot control me but so often I let them.  I just needed to push through, accept help, and also communicate how I am feeling in a rational, non-emotion fueled manner.  Sometimes this is much easier said than done when one is six months pregnant and hormones are all over the place!

Second, the Lord was gently reminding me that I am not the same person that I was in college or the few years after graduating. (Thank you, Jesus!)  I could go, go, go, go, go... and then go some more.  I didn't spend a lot of time at home and the majority of the time I lived out of a suitcase.  No problem.

Well, life changes and so do we...

I am a creature of habit.  I love being at home.  I am growing more into the role that God has given to me.  I am a wife and a mom with different demands of my time than 5 or 6 years ago.  I cringe when people say, "I am just a wife and mom."  I think there is great value in being just a wife and mom (there are many things that fall under these very broad titles).  It's an identity that God created for me as a woman.  It is good godly work that God will see me through until the end.  It is a good work that He has started in me.

Like my daughter, I needed some extra time with my Heavenly Father (and cuddles with Husband), some down time, and a return to my routine.

My life is not boring by any means because it has routine.  It's good for me and for my household.  There is room for spontaneous things and we have fun.  Our household may not be the same as yours but that's okay.  We all reflect differect aspects of God's character and image.

There is more that I am thinking through and this isn't all that profound in the grand scheme of things but it's where I am at in life right now.  Husband is right, I need to give myself more grace in the things that I am growing in and learning about.  I will probably have more on other things that stem from this at a later time.

Until then...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Claim Jumper

I told you about a restaurant from our California adventure.  So, now I will tell you about one from our Colorado excursion.  However, this one I tell you about for a very different reason.  While the atmosphere is fun and the food is pretty yummy, you can visit this restaurant just about anywhere.  Actually, there is one less than three miles from our home.  For me there is some sentimental value in this place as some of our premarital counseling actually happened here. But I digress...

While in Colorado we found ourselves at this restaurant twice.  The first time because we just needed a place to eat when we got to town.  The second was because our extended family really wanted to go when plans to White Fence Farm fell through. (FYI:  I have never been to WFF)  This was the first time that we had been to CJ with Miss L.  We were promptly informed of a "baby plate" that was of no charge.  No charge?  As in free?  What?  It consists of a slice of turkey (I think it's a thin slice of what they have on hand for their turkey meal) two different kinds of cheese sticks, a lovely helping of their homemade applesauce and milk.  Because Miss L tends to have a slightly bigger appetite we just shared the rest with her from our meals because...well... the servings at CJ are substantial!  We ordered some veggies for Miss L one time but we found they were not quite tender enough for her and her lack of certain teeth.  But if someone else were to have them we can find some that were suited for her without the charge.

We had the same waitress both times we were there.  She was as great with our group of 20 as she was a few nights before with our group of five.  She was great with the kiddos, too!

Apparently, CJ is ranked one of the top 10 family restaurants by Parents magazine.  Not that I put a lot of stock in many things that come from Parents, but like anything, some good things can come from it, too.

Their other options for older kids meals were pretty good, too!  We will be filing this place as places to go when Miss A arrives and is ready to eat solid food, too.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Cottage

This last weekend we went on a little excursion with the "N" Family to San Diego/Coronado Island.  One of my and Husband's favorite places to eat breakfast is The Cottage in La Jolla.  OH. MY.  Seriously, you cannot beat the atmosphere or the food.  Breakfast is probably my favorite meal-type genre.  I think I could have breakfast for each meal of the day.  For real.  We have never had lunch or dinner at The Cottage but I am sure that they don't disappoint in that area either.  My favorite thing, besides the many varieties of eggs benedict, is the Southern California Special -- an omelet with bacon, guacamole, and some other yummy stuff.  It was fun to share this place with our dear friends the "N's."  Plus, we are not really souvenir people on vacation.  We like to find yummy places to eat and create memories that way and not accumulate "stuff."  Although, pounds may count for "stuff" someday.  HA!

However, we got an extra special treat this time around.  Our friend's, the "M" Family were the ones to introduce us to The Cottage.  They moved from the Valley of the Sun a couple of years ago and we have not seen them since.  I saw something about them possibly being in La Jolla the same weekend we would be there via her F.acebo.ok account.  I thought, "Wouldn't it be funny if we ran into them at The Cottage?"  I said as much to Husband just minutes before we arrived for breakfast.  Sure enough!  Just moments after we arrived and were waiting for our table we saw M & C with their three little ones -- two of which we had not yet met!  They were there for a wedding and visiting friends.  (We would run into his parents at church the next morning!)

Well, with all that said... fond memories are made at The Cottage and so are full tummies.  If you find yourself even remotely in the area of La Jolla, CA this is a must stop.  It's totally worth the drive.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

For Real?

As of yesterday I am 23 weeks pregnant.  I don't think that I am getting very big.  I'll have to post belly shots once I get a shower later today (impossible right now because our fun window installers from Serbia are here... that's another story.) 


I stopped at a "roadshow" clothing booth at Costco this morning.  The only reason that I stopped was because I recognized their brand name from a half-off company that was featuring them this morning.  They have clothes that you can wear while preggo and then can also be used when not expecting.  It's a pretty genius way to get more for your money.  However, they are a bit pricey.  Even at "half-off" as they were touting at Costco a frilly t-shirt was $28.00 and jeans were about $34.00.  While I was kind of eyeing certain pieces and "wishing" the sales lady kind of turned me off.  First, she was all up in my space continually getting closer and closer.  Not a fan when it's people that I don't know.  Then when she learned Miss L's name she compared it to the "S.ex in the Ci.ty" movie where some character had a daughter named "L" and the other was "R."  She then asked if our next would be named "R" and I said, "No.  Her name is 'A.'" 

So, here is the kicker...

When asking about my next baby she said, "Oh!  Really soon, right??"  If by soon you mean in 4 months, then yes.  If by soon you mean any day now... I think I shall knock you up side the head.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Chick Flick Cherry

Yes, I know that Mother's Day has long since passed but I am still enjoying my gift.  I am not a knick-knacky sort of person.  Give me something that is practical in that it will be useful in the day-to-day or that is consumable.  I will enjoy it for a time and then it will be gone and no longer taking up space in life.  So, when it comes to "minor" holidays I usually tell Husband that a pedicure or massage (or both) really are quite sufficient (actually, these work for me on "major" holidays as well!)  Nothing fancy but I get sheer joy out of the whole experience.

Last Mother's Day I went for a pedicure on my own not far from our old house.  It was fun to see other mothers there with younger daughters.  However, it was a group of ladies that represented three generation of women in their family that really caught my attention.  I watched as the older women laughed and chatted through the pedicures.  The two younger girls squealed with delight as they picked fun colors to paint their toes (they just did paint -- no spa treatment for them).  I delighted in this group and thought, "I want that." 

So, this year my MIL, myself, and Miss L went to the salon to have our toes done.  Miss L is in kind of a weird stage right now that painting her toes would be an interesting feat.  So, she just hung out with us and offered her toes to the nail tech from time to time.  It was cute.  I think that she will be old enough next year to have her toes painted.  Plus, we will have another little girl in tow!  I think it will be a fun tradition for us all.  Plus, we now have Mother's Day covered.  Husband's breathe a sigh of relief.  Not to say that my dear Husband doesn't do anything else... it's just not as big of a deal for us.

Anyway, I usually get a french pedicure when I get my toes done.  For some reason I opted not this time around and found a fun and beautiful red.  It was called "Chick Flick Cherry" which should then in turn tell you that it was an OPI brand nail polish.  ha!  They have the most creative names.  There used to be one called "You're Such a Kabuki Queen" which always made me smile.  I loved the "Chick Flick Cherry" so much that I was going to buy my own bottle of it but the nail tech (who happens to own the salon) gave me the bottle which was far from being empty!  Nice.  Now I can touch up my toes as needed.

On a random note, OPI and Dell have merged to create a new designer computer that I think is rather spiffy.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Before we moved I think of all the household chores I was probably the best at laundry.  However, I would say that now I am not so good at laundry these days.  In many ways, I think I am still trying to figure out my routine here in this new house.  Yes, even though we have been here for almost five months now!  My husband is tremendous in extending grace in the area of keeping our home.  I wish I was a graceful with myself as he is with me.  I will say that what has helped me in getting my wash routine down this week is that we started cloth diapering Miss L again.  That has to be done in certain cycles and I start working other things out.  So, I think I may be back on track with laundry this week.  Much to my husband's delight.  No worries though, he always has work clothes.  :)

Well, with that above rant there was a glimpse of sheer joy in doing the laundry today.  Miss L usually follows me all around the house as I do things here and there.  She especially likes to close any door or drawer that I open.  This becomes tricky when you are transferring wet laundry to the dryer.  I have been trying to tell her to put whatever item she has in the dryer.  No.  It usually ends up on the floor or a play thing for her for the moment.  Sigh.  We keep working.  Today I was moving diaper inserts from the wash to the dryer.  I said, "Put it in the dryer."  Gasp!  She put it in.  Was it a fluke?  Nope!  She continued to put them all in the dryer with the occasional wipe of the face because she likes that they are wet.  Silly.  It was great fun to be doing laundry with her.  Yes, even if it took me a bit longer than normal.  Such joy to see her learning.

However, as I reflect on this moment I realize it is a weighty moment.  It wasn't just a moment of, "Oh, I get what you are saying, Mama."  It was a moment of training her young heart and mind for the duties that she will someday have as a wife and mother.  I was reminded that I was her model of housekeeping (among other things).  Not something of perfection but a woman of grace and diligence.  It is convicting.  I don't want to teach her to beat herself up if things are not just so.  I want to teach her to work hard and give grace to herself in all areas... not just the laundry.

I have much to learn in order to teach.  Talk about some serious on the job training!