Friday, December 29, 2006

Feeling Better

In the middle of the night Thursday night, I woke up and realized that I felt totally better. Thank God! I got up and got a big glass of water and some applesauce and ate and drank as much as I could. On Thursday, during the day, it was difficult not to worry about getting dehydrated, because I felt so bad, and was losing lots of fluids. I am just glad it was not worse. I mean, the girls could still have been sick, and I could have been dealing with 3 people and spontaneous bodily fluids, instead of just me. I could have had a terrible headache or other thing that could have made me feel 100 times worse. As it was, my stomach was very distressed, and I was exhausted, but I kept pushing fluids and trying to eat and drink clear foods and drinks. And I napped a lot. (Thank God for all those Strawberry Shortcake DVD's the girls got for Christmas, too). I was concerned about the effect on the baby, too. Thank God it was not one of those viruses that lasted a week. I really believe God helped all of us recover very quickly, and that He protected us from much worse.

Now there is just the rest of the things to catch up on. Got the dishes caught up today, but because of all the distractions dealing with people not feeling well, I still have to finish putting away Christmas gifts, and unpack bags, catch up on laundry, etc. Well, it could be worse. Thanks to everyone who was praying for us this week.

I am very optimistic about baby coming and the new year. Husband and I have a lot of work to do before the spring school semester starts. We got the girls new desk/furniture sets, so now we have to rearrange furniture to make room.

We were excited to find this set that was normally around $150 marked down to $40. We also may need to buy a new bookcase for the children because we are not sure where we will put all the books they got for Christmas. But, hey, that's the kind of problem I like to have.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The good news is that we are having a boy. The bad news has been that my husband got food poisoning from the local KFC Friday before Christmas. And then my children, starting with the oldest got a totally unrelated stomach virus starting Monday night while we were still at my parents' house. Apparently today is my turn. Been doing my best to rest & keep fluids down. Was hoping to avoid it like I usually do, especially considering I am about 20 weeks pregnantYou can pray for me if you want. I think I will need a vacation after this

Friday, December 22, 2006

It's A..........

And, yes, that is my baby. What a cutie!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Reflections on Motherhood at Christmas

I am getting very excited about Christmas, my ultrasound, and getting ready to visit family. Last minute shopping, wrapping presents, trying to catch up on laundry, dishes, bag up the garbage....

I am also finding it difficult to slow down and reflect on why God sent His son. He said, Peace on Earth, Good Will Towards Men. Babies being born are almost always good news, though at times controversial. Some people are not happy with the birth of a new baby, like the king when Jesus was born. Can you imagine? When Jesus was around 2 yrs old, the king sent out soldiers to kill all the little boys of that age, trying to kill this one child. Now that is crazy, and mean-hearted.

Sometimes people are not happy with an unexpected baby, or one that seems to disrupt plans like school or work. Sometimes babies are born to irresponsible and neglectful people. Having a baby is a wonderful and awesome responsibility.

I have friends who cannot physically have a baby, and I see their grief as they watch growing families around them. There are those who have continued miscarriages and live with a silent grief. May God comfort all those who mourn.

I take being a mother a wonderful gift and serious responsibility. These children are put into my care to raise and love and teach. I try to imagine how young Mary felt about baby Jesus, and the weight of that responsibility. I mean, giving birth to the Messiah, the Saviour of the World, God who became man? At one point, as baby Jesus is growing and the Magi have come with their gifts, the shepherds have come and gone, it says something like, "Mary pondered all these things in her heart." She took time to consider. Maybe she wondered why God had chosen her, and if she would succeed in being his mother.

Sometimes I feel the same with my children. I am thankful to be chosen to be a mother, and sometimes I wonder why me, and not others. Then I think, well, I will keep asking God for wisdom and love and patience for my children. I will do my best to teach them the truth. I am sure that is what Mary did, too. So today, I will try to practice putting my trust in the One True God and be thankful to Him, even if my list of stuff to do seems overwhelming or distracting.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Can you believe it is already December 14? Well, I am 18 weeks pregnant today. Only two more weeks to the halfway mark. I have been feeling baby move off and on, and have been for a couple of weeks. Since I felt baby so early, it is not every day, so it is a great surprise when I feel movement. My ultrasound is scheduled for next Friday morning, December 22. You guys can pray that I can drink all that water and hold it, and not cry or have an accident (like I almost did last time with Little One). That 30 minute ride to the doctor's office last time during my pregnancy with Little One was excruciatingly long. My husband teased me that maybe we shouldn't bring the girls this time in case I am a grump and intolerable like I was the last time. Maybe I should just go buy some Depends and not worry about it. ha ha ha. Yeah, last time, I just about peed all over myself, and then when we got there, I ran to the bathroom and peed a little to keep myself from going all over myself. I mean, pregnant women are not designed to drink 32 ounces of water and then hold it for one hour. Even after all that drama, apparently there was still enough fluid in there to get a good ultrasound for Little One, and we didn't have to reschedule. But man, how embarassing. The ultrasound tech said I wasn't the only one, but that didn't make me feel any better.

So we will be looking for girl or boy parts. And then, once we know, then we can start discussing names. Long Haired Daddy and I have found that is a more peaceful way to go for us. Name picking is serious business around here, very serious.

There are no pictures of pregnant me yet, and we didn't even get Christmas pictures made yet. For those you who are family who usually get Christmas cards, they are still coming. My printer is out. Well, and those pesky family pictures. Long Haired Daddy is like one of those cute little bunnies that sits perfectly still and then you try to pick him up to give him a carrot (or to schedule family pictures) and he bolts. Well, not really. It kind of feels that way, though. He is cute, anyway. :) I am kind of toying with the idea of waiting for the ultrasound and then finishing the letter/card, but am undecided.

My parents and my husband have given me an amazing early Christmas present. They are paying for a cleaning lady to come and help me one day a week. It has been great so far, and I have a feeling I will be needing help even more when I get bigger and bigger and won't be able to pick things up or see my toes next spring. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. The girls are so excited when she comes, and they help her clean, too.

Today, the most pressing thing for me to tackle is about 200 loads of laundry. In the grand scheme of things, laundry is easy, no big deal. Not like terrorists or war in Iraq, or dealing with losing your home after a hurricane. So I try to press on, and be very thankful.

I am thankful we have a home, and clothes, and that we don't have to wash our clothes in a river where we bathe, go to the bathroom, and get our drinking water. I am thankful my husband has a good job, and he works very hard. Lots of people are dealing with getting downsized or laid off right before Christmas, and I hope and pray that God meets every need they have. I pray that each of us will be God's hands and feet to get help to those who have needs. Sometimes they are hard to spot. They hide very well.

There are those who have lost loved ones this year, and will be alone. God help us to see them, and help them feel included.

I am very thankful that a baby was born in Bethlehem who is our Savior and Messiah. I am glad that a person named Jesus was born. I am glad He was a Jew, and I am glad that the Jewish people are God's chosen people. I am glad that the Bible says that the Jews will always be His chosen people, and that they will never be forgotten.

There is only one God. One true God. He is a God who wants us to talk to Him and be like Him. If you want to see the nature of God, look at Jesus. Jesus went around healing people, feeding people, teaching people. He didn't go around saying, I want you to be lonely. He didn't say, I want you to be sick or feel so crazy that you hurt yourself. He didn't say, I want you to have nothing, and never have any food. He didn't say, well, the things you have done are so bad that you never have a chance to know God's love. When he saw people with needs, he had compassion on them. He did what he could to help. He fed people, he healed people, he helped people. He told them they were forgiven, and greatly loved by His Father.

It is good news to know that God in heaven is not out to make us sick, hungry, lonely, crazy, homeless or anything like that. When Jesus was born, the angels said something like, Peace on earth, Good will towards men.

I struggle with being selfish, lazy, impatient, complacent, blind to others around me. I am human. We are all like that. We all have faults. My desire is to have my eyes opened to others around me. I am glad each day is new, and there is good news to tell. I am glad that I am growing and changing, and God has given me the ability to have compassion and look outwardly at people in the world. He created us to love and to sacrifice for others.

I love Christmas because it helps me remember that there is a God who cares about us. I like what my dad says about peace and being excited about the season, and hoping that people will say cease fire and call a truce. It is good to stop fighting and think about how we can show love to others.

Exciting things are going on, and also scary things, in the world. I hope you have a reason to have hope and to celebrate. If not, I pray that you will not give up until you find that Hope, because there is someone who cares about you, probably lots of someones.

The Lord bless you and keep you, The Lord make His face shine upon you, and give you peace.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I Love Peep

Well, it may be Little One's favorite show right now, but I just love Peep. I have always really loved shows with good opening songs or theme songs. I love to sing along. This one comes on at around 7:30 am on TLC, and we have been watching every morning. Little One and I sing it together. I like singing it to her. It is a great song to start the day! I love, love, love it. Click here to listen to it and to see the opening sequence.
Peep Opening Song

"Well, it's a sunny day
I feel brand new
There's about a million things
That I could do!
Would you like to
Do them, too?
Well, it's a big wide world
And it's waiting for me and you!

Let's look around
What will we see?
Round every corner a discovery!
There's no place I'd rather be!
Oh, yeah
Well, it's a big wide world
And it's waiting for me and you! "

On a similar note, if we are watching Mr. Rogers, if I am not singing along with Mr. Rogers, Dancer Girl always says, Mama, sing.... so cute.

I hope you have a wonderful day!

Monday, December 04, 2006

My Sweeties

Two of my babies. Aren't they sweet?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Happy Birthday, Brother

Look at that smile! I don't think it has changed in 37 years! Happy Birthday, Brother! I love you soooo much.

This is good old 1970, and my brother was 11 months old, and there is Motherkitty. I am there too, in Motherkitty's belly, probably just about as big as my new baby is now. I was born in 1971 and he was 1.5 years old when I was born. He has always been a good big brother. I always remember playing together, and don't remember fighting at all.

I will be 16 weeks this Thursday, almost halfway through my pregnancy. Only 24 weeks left. I have a doctor's appointment on Thursday and they will probably schedule the ultrasound then. So you guys start thinking of baby names....

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hip Hip

I just got $95 worth of children's books for only $35. That's pretty cool. I ended up selling enough books to get a bunch of discounts. So if you ever get a chance to do an Usborne book party, go for it. They have bunches of cool kids' books.

Also, I gave away 2 kittens in 2 days. Only 2 more little ones to go....and 2 big ones (but that is another story). Also on the cat front, I am wondering why my just spayed mama cat is looking pregnant. It is kind of weird.

So mom and dad, my living room is still clean and so is my kitchen. The kitchen table is filled with school workbooks, pencils, and crayons, but that is ok with me.

We are going on a field trip tomorrow to visit a local airport. I am sure the girls will love it. Sweet husband is taking off work to go with us, too. Bonus.

One week til Thanksgiving. You guys ready??????

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Living on the Edge

So yesterday was a day of living dangerously for my 2 yr old.

The first story is about the potty. She spends a lot of time in there. I can sit here at the computer and have a direct view into the bathroom, so I don't have to be in there the whole time, but I can go help when needed. So she runs in here, crying and saying something unintelligible. I finally figure out she is saying something about there being a red light on the wall.

Apparently while she was going potty she was fiddling with the knob on the bathroom wall heater. We never use our wall heaters because we have central heat/air, but we have not removed all the heaters. So I taught both of them early on, Don't touch, Danger, the whole bit. Told them what they were and why we don't touch them.

So anyway, she is sitting on the potty about 6 inches from the heater, and turns that baby on full blast. By the time I got in the bathroom, it was glowing red-hot. No wonder she was scared. Not to mention the wonderful smell of burning dust. I called both children in there, and asked who did it. No one, of course. Eventually the 2 yr old told the truth.

So thank God she didn't put her hand on it. I know lots of people have heaters like this in their homes and children learn to leave them alone. I also know it is a risk having them in every room, not being used. I also like the idea of having them as a back up in case something happens to our heat/air unit in the middle of winter (ok, I know it doesn't really get that cold here in Kentucky...)

So I felt good. No one got hurt. I handled it pretty well. I didn't lose my temper. And then, of course, I get back on the computer. Sometime later, I get up to check on the girls, make lunch, something (that part totally slips my mind). I walk around the corner of the hallway, and there sits my 2 yr old sitting in my bedroom doorway, happily playing with my pincushion. Thank God all my pins are the kind with little round white heads. The 5 yr old was sitting nearby watching. This alarms me more than the bathroom wall heater. She had a lap full of pins and was happily pulling them out. Thank God she wasn't eating them.

This time I stayed calm for a little while, while I was putting the pins back. I kind of had a hard time getting her to sit still, so I could find all the pins. Some were in her clothes and some were on the floor. I let the girls feel how sharp they were. Of course my two yr old, who was probably sitting there for 10-15 minutes completely still before I got there would not sit still for me so I could put the pins away.

I guess I should say that my girls usually are very good and don't get into things. They don't usually write on walls, rip books, climb cabinets, or anything like that. They don't get my lipstick and paint themselves red. They don't find the scissors and cut each other's hair.

Usually. So 2 in one day threw me off a little. But now my radar is up. I should have seen the warning signs. A few months ago I found a carefully drawn zig zag line drawn in ink on the wall behind my husband's chair, about the height of my five year. There was one more wiggly line above that, about the height my 2 yr old would be if she were standing on the chair and leaning over the back to write on the wall. (it is still there if you want to come and see it). I also found a couple of days ago, a carefully colored red crayon picture(or should I say scribble) on the side of the TV set, also by the 2 yr old.

Oh, well, kids are going to be kids. After my heart started beating again, after the pincushion incident, I think we did something really calm, all together.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Happy Monday

My husband took my computer for a few days to defrag, update virus software, etc. etc. So I have been out of the loop for a little while. It is so funny how dependent I am on the computer. I would wake up in the middle of the night, walk in here, see no computer and then go back to bed. Ahhh, sleep, that's what people do at night. Doesn't seem to matter much to me. Even if I get plenty of sleep, I still feeling sleepy all afternoon.

No nap today, as we are going to a dental hygenist visit for Dancer Girl in a few minutes. Both girls like to go to the dentist. Must be the free toothbrushes. Too bad it is a cold rainy day. Yuck.

Hope you guys are having a good Monday

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

11 6/7 Weeks

We just came back from our second prenatal visit with our OB. I will be 12 weeks on Friday, which marks the end of the first trimester. Our next appointment is in 4 weeks, during the first week of December. At first this pregnancy seemed to be going by ever sooo slowly. Now it seems that the rest of the year and the second trimester will just zoom by. We will have Thanksgiving before my next doctor visit. We heard Baby's heartbeat today. It took a long time for the doctor to find it, and I joked that Baby was hiding out. He called the Baby a little stinker before it was over. That was sooo funny. All my prenatal labwork came out fine, and they didn't even have to up my thyroid medicine.

It seems so winterlike today, though it was still in the 40's. It was very breezy and cloudy, typical fall weather. We went to lunch at a new pizza place and when we got out, there was a white van parked next to ours. For a sec, I thought it was a sneak attack from Grandma and Grandpa. :) Then I noticed the license plate, wrong county. It was still pretty funny, same color, same make and model, right next to us.

Happy November, everyone. The countdown to Thanksgiving and Christmas and Hannukah has begun.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Grandmas

I woke up this morning very early after a very interesting dream. I dreamed that my husband's grandmother, Grandmomma (Violet), was in Hammond, Indiana on Alice Avenue. This is where my Grandma (Sara) lived. Violet went to Sara's house and brought back a newspaper that was tied up with string or twine. She brought it to me. One of the headlines said something about Calumet City, but I didn't open it. In the dream I could see Grandmomma turning the corner and walking all the way back down the street. I didn't open the newspaper, but woke up after that.

I stayed in bed a little while longer, thinking about my Grandma for a few minutes. Thinking about her last days and weeks, and things that happened. I thought about my Grandpa, too. I stopped to think about that particular semester in college. It seems that after we got back to Kentucky, it was very hard to concentrate and go to school that fall. Learning to live without my Grandma was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. It changed my whole life.

My Dancer Girl is very very softhearted. She cried when her favorite cat died. She cries every time she thinks of a friend of my husband's mom who died of cancer pretty suddenly (we were going back to visit one more time, but were too late). She had only met this lady a few times, but she thinks about her and remembers her. When we found out she was sick, Dancer Girl prayed every day for her. She cried hard the first time she saw Pollyanna (you remember the sad ending, not knowing whether she would be able to walk again). She howls and cries and becomes pretty inconsolable. I know in the big perspective of life, there are some members of my husband's family, his great grandmothers, especially, who might be almost done with their journeys here on earth. I try to imagine how I will console her, and help her remember loved ones.

We try to make the most of our time and stay close and connected to all these grandmothers. I am very thankful they are close and my children know them. Now I pray they will live long enough not only to meet new baby, but for my children to really remember them and make some really great memories.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

IQ Test

Here's a one-question IQ Test to help you decide how you should spend the
rest of your day:

There is a mute who wants to buy a toothbrush. By imitating the action of
brushing one's teeth, he successfully expresses
himself to the shopkeeper and the purchase is done.
Now, if there is a blind man who wishes to buy a pair of sunglasses, how
should he express himself?

Think about it first before scrolling down for the answer.

He opens his mouth and says. "I would like to buy a pair of sunglasses."
If you got this wrong - please turn off your computer and call it a day.
(I've got mine shutting down right now.) just kidding, I actually figured it out.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Newton's Laws and Pregnancy

"Every body continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a straight line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed upon it."

Well, now, that is just funny. I was thinking about Newton's Laws as I was finally loading the dishwasher today. And as I was finally loading the washer with dirty clothes.

"Every body continues in its state of rest." Well, that describes me lately. I have been soooo tired. I feel as if I am going in sloooooow mmmoooooooooo------tttiiioooonnnn. This seems to be what pregnancy does to me in the first trimester. I feel like laying down to take a nap all the time. Going to bed early.

"....compelled to forces impressed upon it." Ha. Well, mostly those forces are Dancer Girl and Little One. Today, finally the forces turned out to be..... no more clean bowls or spoons.

Well, I know that is not a point that most of you get to. I hope to God you will never know the feeling of digging around to find one more clean bowl. Whatever.

So, now you know. And now I feel better. Tomorrow I will have clean spoons and bowls. I feel that now that I have started, tomorrow will go more smoothly. More dishes will get washed and more clothes will get clean. I am feeling pretty optimistic. And pretty sleepy, too, now that I think about it. And, I do know that there is probably at least one sentence in every paragraph that begins with "and." And that's really annoying, isn't it?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sherlock Holmes Stories

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of wine they laid down for the night, and went to sleep. Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend."Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see."Watson replied, "I see millions and millions of stars.""What does that tell you?"Watson pondered for a minute."

Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is all-powerful and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you?"Holmes was silent for a minute, then spoke. "It tells me that someone has stolen our tent."

got that from here, though I am pretty sure it was forwarded to me in my email box some years ago...

That said, I really like to read Sherlock Holmes stories.....
used to watch the series on Sunday mornings as a kid with Basil Rathbone. Man, I really liked that guy's name. Silly, huh?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Thank You

I just wanted to say thank you to my mom and dad for all they did for me yesterday. Mom cleaned and scrubbed my kitchen, including dishes, while Dad and I loaded up his truck with our old carpet from the living room and an old cabinet with rusty nails.

A couple of weekends ago I came home from my Aunt's birthday celebration (Abandoned in Pasadena), my husband had surprised me by ripping up the old carpet in my living room to reveal beautiful hardwood floors. The cabinet was on the back patio and was leftover from when our A/C had to be replaced due to lightning strike and therefore we had to replace our old fuse box and the electrician said the cabinet over the fuse box had to go.

Anyway, Dad and I took all this stuff to the local dump/transfer station while my mom loaded my dishwasher and worked on my kitchen. When we got back, we all went to a local pizza place that has a huge kids playroom with balls and a slide, etc. After we got back to my house, my mom cleaned and scrubbed my laundry room, which is where the kittens and the really gross cat litter was.

I woke up this morning, started some laundry, unloaded the dishwasher, and started to put away all the clean dishes all over my counter and in my dishwasher. I know I may have seemed stressed and ungrateful yesterday, but I wanted to let you know that everything you did is greatly appreciated.

I found out last night that the girls and I are going to get to go see my husband's grandmothers on Friday and Saturday. One of his grandmothers has early Alzheimer's and her health has fluctuated a lot recently. She was in a nursing home for a while but now is living near my husband's uncle. His other grandmother is in really good health most of the time, even though she is 90. We don't get to see either one very much, so these will be really good visits.

The point is that it will be good to be able to leave for a couple of days and know that because of my parents' help I won't be coming back home to such a huge mess. I always tease and scold my mom because if she starts cleaning she just takes over and won't stop and talk and visit or anything. I keep telling her, Don't wear yourself out. Please stop so we can visit. This is why most of the time I don't let mom clean when she visits. We kind of have a truce. When I let her clean, she cleans and cleans and cleans and won't stop. And then there are visits when I say, Mom, you can't touch anything. ha ha . I know that is very hard for her.

Mom and Dad, I love you very much and know you would do anything for me. I really appreciate that and am glad that God chose you guys as my parents.

Go here to see a couple of pics of our family from the 70's. For whatever reason, good ol' Blogger won't let me upload them, but my dad has them here....

The first one is me when I was about Dancer Girl's age, standing at the door waiting for my dad to get home from work

The second one is my mom and my brother when he was about 11 mos old. Since my brother and I are only 18 mos apart, technically I am in that picture too, in Motherkitty's belly.

Check out my dad's sideburns and my mom's cool square glasses.

love you, mom and dad

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Beware the Quik Pirate

So,what happens when you spend the afternoon cleaning your room and reorganizing your bedroom closet? Apparently, this.....

The girls are in the bathroom right now washing themselves off. I came into the living room and Dancer Girl was holding an open container of Quik, the powdered variety, and Little One was standing in front of her literally caught brown-handed. Dancer Girl claims it was all Little One's idea. Maybe the fresh blueberries all over my kitchen floor earlier and the experiments with the leftover sugar cookie dough in the fridge (how did they even find that? I thought no one but me knew it was in there.) should have warned me of bigger things to come. But I was distracted. A girl with a mission.

For any of you who know me and have been to my house, my bedroom is the room you would not dare enter. After my closet was emptied after last year's tornado drill (another story) and becoming a refuge for my husband's poor old falling apart favorite old gold $15 yard sale recliner, well, my room, was pretty much un-navigatable. Well I am not sure that was spelled right, but anyway, you could barely get in the door, and there was a path to the bed, and that was it. No kidding.

So today was the day. The girls are on Fall Break, and the urge hit me. Here are pictures of my closet and my dresser (both after pictures of course). There are no final big pictures yet, because, though I am almost done, I had to stop to deal with the chocolate pirates.

Seeing them obviously in the middle of their chocolate endeavor would usually make me mad and time-outs would be doled out to everyone. But today, I grabbed the camera and decided to blog about it. After all, it is always a good day when I clean my room.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Duchess' Date with Destiny

Well, today is the day I have been waiting for a long time. Duchess' trip to the vet to be spayed. The first time I wasn't fast enough = 3 tabby kittens + 1 white one. The second time she escaped when I answered the front door. My friend delivering girl scout cookies felt bad too. I never told her she got my order wrong, Tagalongs are just not the same as Thin Mints. So she was outside a measly 24 hrs., and her babies were just 8 wks old at the time, barely weaned. So I kept her in another 3 wks and lo and behold she was pregnant again. How embarassing.

So this time, after a litter of 6 kittens, she is tired and I am tired. I have kept them locked down in the laundry room. Unfortunately, she doesn't like being cooped up, and hasn't been taking care of her kittens this time. Well, my mom and dad came to the rescue and took 2 pretty little white ones when they were only 5 weeks old, that's Dolly and Loretta, see Motherkitty and Tomas (scroll down to oct 4, i think). Their other kitty Tiger Lily is Duchess' sister.

So 2 days ago, I go in the laundry room, and I see the huge cat litter container pushed away from the cat door and it takes me only 2 seconds to realize that Duchess has escaped. Only then do I think back and realize how quiet she had been lately. Insert Scream here. Noooooooooo! Luckily, I go to the front door, open it and there she was. But, I swear, she looked pregnant already. Not really possible unless she escaped another time that I don't remember before she weaned her babies.

Mom and Dad borrowed my cat carrier so it will be an interesting trip down the road with the kitty. I do have a cat harness and leash that will work on her (and yes, when we were first married, our first kitty Leah, BigFat Kitty, was an inside cat, and we took her outside on a leash).

Anyway, I think we will all be relieved when it is over. Duchess will be able to go outside again, and I can have my laundry room back. Husband will be glad not to have to scoop cat litter (since I am pregnant, can't do it anymore). Now I will just have to finish giving away all her kittens...I have 2 male 5month old tabbies, and 4 6week old kittens (2 white males, and 2 tabbies-1male and 1 female). After we give away those 6, we will only have Leah, Duchess, and Duchess girl tabby, Tiger Girl (who will be due to be spayed next month) God help me.

Friday, October 06, 2006

I Think Someone is Drinking my Tea

I just sat down for a minute to check my email. I could hear the girls in the other room, doing those things that sisters do-- sing, dance, play, fight over books. I briefly saw them for a few minutes because they both decided they had to go potty at the same time (my bathroom is straight across from the room where the computer is).

So when I heard the clinking of the spoon, that is when it dawned on me....oh,yeah, my cup of tea. Well, by the time I get back in there, I am more than sure that there will not be much tea left in the cup. Well, at least they are quiet. They are watching one of Dancer Girl's favorites, The Parent Trap (she likes both, but her current favorite is the new version). She is always holding up a DVD, say something like My Big Fat Greek Wedding(another one of her favorites), and I hear her saying, "Sister, don't you want to watch this? You do? ok, I'll put it in." The whole time we all know the Little Sister really wants to watch the Wiggles. Little Sister is 2.5 and can be encouraged to say anything. I am trying to teach Dancer Girl about leading questions, and encouraging her not to take advantage of her sister.

So anyway, I am sure my tea is gone. Clink, clink, clink, slurp, slurp, slurp, I hear.

As Motherkitty always says, "Mom's tea is the best."

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Mom and Daughter Night

Last night turned out to be a nice quiet night around here. After a busy day of running around-- to story hour, trip to doctor's offices to get prenatal care started, lunch, out to a music rehearsal, then back home. Little One hasn't napped in the afternoon in a long time (I gave up trying long ago), and on some nights she goes to sleep as early as 7 pm. Well, today she must have been really tired because she has been asleep since 6pm, and only woke up briefly before going back to sleep.

So Dancer Girl and I had a snuggly evening watching a movie, eating ice cream, playing Go Fish, painting our fingernails and toenails. It seemed to go by very quickly, but it was very nice just having time with my oldest daughter. She is 5 now and is very busy and growing so fast.

I think back to when she was an infant and how attached to me she was. She was an avid nurser and her favorite way to get to sleep, apart from nursing, was to be danced to sleep. No rocking or sitting still for her. Not much singing either. She just wanted to move, move, move. I have to add that she was very particular. It had to be human hands. The very lovely swing that was a gift for her was barely used. You would think she would have loved it, but no.

So it wasn't very long before I learned to use the sling someone had given me. Little Dancer Girl was so happy snuggled up to me. And there she stayed until Little One was born. Dancer Girl was so happy to share mommy and her milkies. I tried really hard to keep up snuggle time with her, but you know how that goes. Besides, she was too busy running, spinning, & dancing....

So tonite was nice. It was sweet to have my big girl snuggle with me on my lap, having big girl conversations.

Anyway, I suppose I must go back to bed, though I am not sure there will be any room. As usual, both girls ended up in my bed, and if I looked right now, at least one will be sprawled perpendicularly. At this point, sweet husband and I don't worry about it too much, though I am sure there is some clucking, finger wagging, and head shaking going on out there. Those babies are only little for so long, and they grow up so fast. I am going to let mine snuggle as much as they want, for the time being.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Well, every time I go outside I see spiders, spiders, spiders. My husband has been finding brown recluse spiders at his office for at least a month now. In my yard I have seen at least 5 of those yellow and black garden spiders (agriope, i think), almost as many of those spooky looking cross or orb spiders, some wolf spiders. Yesterday I found a black widow spider on the children's little red wagon. That is the second one I found in my yard this season. What is up with all the spiders? I am getting really good at getting spiders off the swingset, big ones, little ones, pretend ones. Well, I am not sure what I have done, but my yard seems perfectly suited for gobs and gobs of spiders this year. I have found out it is not a good idea to google pictures of spiders right before bed. Mostly, as long as they leave me alone, I leave them alone. It is the dangerous ones I don't like, and the jumping ones, and the ones with big staring eyes....

anyway, just venting what is on my mind....maybe all the yucky spiders are at my house and will stay out of yours.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Well, I wanted all of you to be among the first to know...

guessing a due date in mid May 2007, and maybe 4 weeks along right now.

The girls were sooo excited they were jumping up and down screaming, "We are going to have a baby! We are going to have a baby!" Little One was saying, "I'm going to be a big sister! I'm going to be a big sister!" And she has made it clear that she wants a girl baby. Dancer Girl says she wants both. Little One just said that she wants 2 babies just in case the first one is a boy.

A couple of minutes later, Little One (I guess I will have to change that) said we needed to go to the hospital to get the baby. So cute, she is 2.5. Dancer Girl said she was "100% three times excited" about the baby. We are, too.

Right now, he or she is about 4-5 weeks, as shown below.

"The embryo?s tiny heart begins to beat by day twenty-one. The brain has developed into 5 areas and some cranial nerves are visible. Arm and leg buds are visible and the formation of the eyes, lips, and nose has begun. The spinal cord grows faster than the rest of the body giving a tail like appearance which disappears as the embryo continues to grow. The placenta begins to provide nourishment for the embryo." So the baby already has a heartbeat, probably, though it would be too early to be heard on a Doppler.

We would appreciate your prayers as baby grows. We are so excited, thank you for sharing this with us!

To Motherkitty and Tomas, congratulations! We know we will probably be getting a late night call from you. Long Hair Daddy took above picture & suggested I blog about it to surprise you guys. I took the test later Thursday evening right after we ate. We will see you tomorrow. The girls and I are so excited about our trip across the state to celebrate Abandoned in Pasadena's birthday. She is my Dad Tomas' sister.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I have been thinking, thinking, thinking about Corrie ten Boom, and the post I wrote. I have been mulling over and over her words that said, "a wise hand put it there (a stone) so that you may take a good look at it". Well, I cannot certainly wholeheartedly agree with that, and I wanted to make it clear. I totally feel that if, for every trial and trouble and anxiety you have, you take it to God, He will direct you and give you peace.

I totally do not think all trouble and bad things that happen come from God. I have come to realize that at least for me, the question of why bad things happen is not relevant to how I handle it. For me, in the long run, it does not matter at all where the thing that is causing me trouble comes from. It only matters what I do with it. I think that it is this part of the stone devotional that clicked so much with me. I could hypothetically do something really wrong and it would cause me trouble. Some bad person could hypothetically do something to me or my family and it would cause me trouble. Some good person driving carefully at the stop light could cause my "trouble" if I am being impatient and not loving or rushing around not on time. The rain could fall when I wished for sun, and I would feel troubled. Now not all of these things would necessarily be considered stones. However, if they make you or I stumble, it could be a stone in our path.

I have been trying to practice a good reaction to trouble, instead of looking for a place or person to place blame. If you really thought something was God's fault, would that change your responsibility to act like a loving, patient, forgiving human being? I have come to find out that it doesn't for me.

In fact, there is more peace in my life when I quit trying to figure out if something bad is from God and instead try to focus on what He would want me to do in that situation, whether it be to speak up, be quiet, walk away, choose not to be offended, be patient, or just wait. It is quite difficult to actually believe that He truly truly cares about the little things in life, but He does. I want to show God's love everywhere, at the stop light, at home, at Wal-Mart, at church. I want to be the same person everywhere I go. I want anyone looking at me at the stop light to see a patient loving person, and not a grumbling, sour, impatient one (this is one reason my husband and I do not put bumper stickers on our vehicles, but that is another post entirely--it is not God's fault that His children act very ugly sometimes).

For me, my reactions always begin with my thoughts. That is one reason I like to meditate on the word of God. One of my favorite verses is the "think on these things" one (Philippians 4:8). Think about it, if you or I only thought about things that were lovely, pure, virtuous, good, etc., would there be any room for negative thoughts which would surely lead to something done or said that would be regretted?

KJV: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

So, when I come to a stone and take it to God, sometimes I find that I put it there by my own words and actions. Then, God help me tell the truth. Maybe I spoke ugly. Maybe some ugly things in my life are due to my own inaction or action.

The good news is that I have realized that I should give myself a new start every day, to forgive myself, and give my self grace. To give myself some love and patience that I do not deserve.....because God has already forgiven me, and He waits every day for me to ask Him for help at every stone, in every situation. I hope you give yourself some grace, too, and trust Him to help you because He is an ever present help in time of trouble. (psalm 46:1)

Friday, September 15, 2006

Corrie ten Boom's Opinion Means a Lot to Me

Yesterday did not go exactly as planned, but it was good. I ended up at gymnastics watching Dancer Girl(which I rarely get to do), while Long Haired Daddy took Little One to the store. We ended up having a nice family dinner with Uncle Brent. This post really has nothing to do with that, though.

On some days, I skim through a devotional by Corrie ten Boom called This Day is the Lord's. I like this devotional because they are short and can be read quickly, say, like when you are going to the bathroom. The bathroom is my hiding place. ha ha.

Ok, for those who didn't get my joke, Corrie ten Boom also wrote The Hiding Place, which is her true story account of her time in a concentration camp. Though she and her family were Christians, they helped many Jews to escape from Hitler's grasp, though they were punished themselves. Those who bless the Jews will be blessed, and those who curse them will be cursed. It says so in the Bible, though I don't remember exactly where. Some industrious person out there can look it up for me.

Anyway, today's devotional was really good. Here is an excerpt.
"Do you think that any stone or obstacle on your path is there for no reason at all? Whether it be ugly, big, or small, you must believe that it has to be just where it is, but certainly not to hinder you from getting on, certainly not to weaken your courage or strength. A wise hand put it there, in order that you might take a good look at it and then talk about it with God, asking Him what He wants to make clear to you by it. And if you meet God at every stone, then every stone will bless you.

These trials are only to test your faith, to see whether or not it is strong and pure...I Peter 1:7 (Living Bible)"

That said, I do not think every bad thing is from the hand of God. The Bible is clear that the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but God wants us to have an abundant life (from John 10:10). Also, it says in Psalm 91 that he who has his hiding place in God will be guarded by angels, who will keep your foot from being dashed against a stone (my paraphrases).

Even so, what Corrie ten Boom says has weight with me. Think about it, how can a woman who survived life in a concentration camp come out and say that our trials are blessings from God? She saw and survived horrible things, even the death of her sister in the concentration camp. If she can put her trust in God, even through all that, it gives me courage to do the same through my small daily trials. It is always good to get a bigger perspective.

By the way, if you have never read The Hiding Place, I highly recommend it.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Happy Thursday!
We have had a busy day so far. We went to art class from 10-11. The girls want to have a picnic so we will be going out in the backyard to play on the swingset and eat PB & J. Sweet husband, on his way to work, said that he would take both girls to gymnastics this afternoon. What a surprise. Dancer Girl's class is two hours, but I bet I will be the one dancing. Two hours alone in the house. Woo-hoo! I had better make a good dinner for them. Now I am off to play and think, think, think, as Pooh would say.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

9/11 Tribute

I don't know why, but blogger put my tribute post on 9/9, instead of today. Scroll down to read it.

So what were you doing on the morning of 9/11/2001? I was sitting on the couch, nursing 5 week old Dancer Girl.

to read other tributes by other bloggers, go here

Other family bloggers who wrote a 9/11 tribute that I know about are my mom, writing a tribute to Cynthia Wilson at Motherkitty, and my aunt, mom's sister, who wrote one to Catherina Nardella at Mrs. Greenthumb. My dad wrote about 9/11 on Sep 8, aka Tomas. I am sure there might be more, but that was all I know about at this point. Pretty heavy stuff. This is a wonderful project, a good way to get to know the people who perished more, and remember them

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Good night, all

Hey, just wanted to wish you guys and girls good night and sweet dreams. We are brushing our teeth, picking out bedtime books and clothes for church (which usually doesn't happen til the last minute, btw, ha ha).

Though at this point, I think it going to take until the morning for Dancer Girl to pick something out. First she comes out with a basket. Then we spend the next five minutes remembering what she went to her bedroom for. Then, she brought out the thickest long sleeve dress she could find. Then we spent five minutes on, so I could show her the forecast, 84 degrees. Finaaalllly, she comes out with something to wear that I like. I know it is not all about me, and lots of times I just her pick our own clothes. I just don't want to hear the "I'm tooooo hot, Mama" whiny voice.

Now, it's on to reason # 557 why I don't want her to wear her beach flip flops to church. And you know, I really don't care if she wears flip flops. It is just that she can't keep them on her feet. I have enough stress without having to get everyone's shoes back on every time we go somewhere. Because you know, if Dancer Girl's shoes come off, then Little One takes off her shoes, takes the laces completely out, takes off her socks, tosses them into the nether world which is the back of our Big Green Van. Which brings me to why I really like velcro. Or should I say, hook and loop tape, or whatever is the most politically correct thing to say right now. I just don't like re-doing things I have already done. Getting children ready to go somewhere is not like any other check things off as you go lists. Just estimate any amount of time, and multiply by at least 3, and count on doing everything on the list at least twice. Most of the time.

So now, it is 20 minutes later, and I am not getting ready for bed, I am still blogging. And they are whining and pleading, and the 2 yr old is saying, "I'm ready to go to sleep now", among other things. So enough of neglecting my motherly duties to worship at the altar of blog land.

Anyway, I just wanted to say good night, and I was thinking of you.

9/11 Tribute for Gregory Wachtler

This is to honor Gregory Wachtler, who was age 25 when he was killed on September 11, 2001 in the World Trade Center on the 93rd floor of the North Tower due to a terrorist attack. He worked as a research associate for the Fred Alger Management company. Gregory was a resident of Ramsey, NJ. He liked to play basketball with his friends.Here are some thoughts from a co-worker.

Because he was avid participant in blood drives, his friends, family, his company, and many generous donors raised enough money to purchase a Bloodmobile in his honor and in honor of all those who perished on 9/11. Here is an article about this. Gregory's parents, Paul and Nassima Wachtler of Ramsey, teamed together with Community Blood Services to collect 15,000 pints of blood - the same amount that was lost that fateful day when 3,000 perished. As of February 2006, they reached an additional goal to raise enough money for an additional bloodmobile, which will be known as Gregory's Bloodmobile and will bear his likeness as an incentive to other young people to make blood donations a part of their lives.

Gregory is an alumni from Rutgers University, who also honored all those lost in the 9/11 attacks. Here is an article about another blood drive in Gregory's honor at the Rutgers Student Center.

I found this list of victims from 9/11 that were alumni of Rutgers University, including Gregory Wachtler. Four alumni were on board Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania. One alumni was aboard Boston Flight 175 that crashed into the WTC. Thirty-two Rutgers Alumni died in the World Trade Center on 9/11, and two alumni family members also died in the World Trade Center that day. That is almost 40 people, and those are just the ones related to Rutgers University, somehow.

The goal of the terrorist is to make us say, I am afraid. Well, I say, I will not fear, but trust in my God, who is my refuge and strong tower. I will not be afraid. God's Word in the Holy Bible says that "the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I [Jesus] came that they may have life, and have it abundantly" (John 10:10, NAS version) . What those terrorists did was definitely stealing, killing, and destroying innocent lives. They destroyed the life of Gregory Wachtler and thousands of others.

That morning on 9/11/2001, I sat on my couch nursing 5 week old Dancer Girl. As I watched the news, I cried and prayed for hours. On that day, I did not know Gregory Wachtler, or anyone else in those towers or on those planes. Well, Dancer Girl is 5 now and someday I will sit her down and tell her what terrorists are, and how unlike our God they are. A God of life and hope and mercy.

I pray that we will become consolidated in our beliefs that no one trying to follow that which is good and right will participate in or endorse any behavior that leads to stealing, killing, or destroying any human life. God gives us mercy and grace, and I think every human is due our respect and prayers, especially the victims. Also, I say, pray for the terrorists. Apparently they are clueless, if somehow they can wholeheartedly believe that the death of humans is for God's glory and will lead people to know Him. God have mercy on their souls, and may they turn away from the ways of destruction and death, and turn towards life, mercy, and peace.

Gregory Wachtler gave of his own blood countless times so that others might have health and life. Leviticus says that "the life of the flesh is in the blood." (Lev 17:11, NAS). Terrorists took away the lives and spilled the blood of thousands. May we not be wasters and destroyers like the terrorists, but givers and promoters of life like Gregory.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

My Life is a Musical

long labor day all gone alternator loads of laundry rustic nina replica surprise sleepover dozens of dishes crunchy colorful cereal arid astilbes drilling dentist kitchen kittens clothing consignment lincoln logs stretched out slinky slept through story hour television turn-off full of leftovers fridge coloring book crayons happy handwriting busted balloon broken barrettes more mathematics silly songs brimming bookshelf possible playdates rolling road trips breezy barges untangled yarn unfinished hide-and-seek scavenger hunt

finding myself breaking into song....where are we going? Down by the riverside....

next time won't you sing with me

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Here is a montage of the girls and I my husband made of us. He was working on a powerpoint presentation for the first day of his fencing class. That's foil, epee, and sabre, not barbed wire or white picket.....

My husband learned how to fence at the local university through their Fencing Club and has been teaching the class at the university for 10 years now, or 21 semesters, as he would put it. Click the fencers above to go to a What is Fencing? website.

Someday I will post more fencing pictures. Somewhere I have some cute ones of Dancer Girl when she was smaller fencing, and some of my husband.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today is your birthday, Dad, and we have been thinking about you all week. Every day when we do our calendar activity, Dancer Girl counts the days til your birthday, and then counts the days til your party. We are so excited about your party.

I have been thinking about the day you were born, and naturally I was thinking about your parents. I was thinking about your mother, and how much you must miss her. I think about about how much you missed. Then I think about your Grandmother, and all the family who loved you and took care of you. I am thankful for your Grandmother, and all the aunts and uncles, because they were your parents when your parents couldn't be there. I don't care how many times you may have felt left out or forgotten as a child, you are not forgotten now. We are not forgetting you. We are not forgetting your mother and father. I thank God for them, because without them, I wouldn't have you, and neither you nor I would be here.

Every day, I have been thinking, what special thing can I do for my Dad for his birthday? I have come up with a couple of ideas, but have not settled on anything yet. I guess you will find out :) when we see you. But I wanted you to know I love you, I think about you every day, and I am glad you are my father.

You have taught me how to be an artist. You have taught me how to see the beauty in many things. I have learned the value of working hard and doing your job with integrity and to the best of your ability from you. I have learned patience and unconditional love. I like how you wake up and look at the new day as a wonderful thing, and look for love and beauty in it. I am glad I have had a father, many children have no fathers. I am glad you and mom are still married. I am glad you value your marriage and your children. That is a valuable gift to me. I know there are many more things you have taught me.

I remember you and I sitting in a doctor's waiting room. I remember you showing me how to draw a flower. I remember you drawing me pictures to color like these. I remember you helping me learn how to write. I remember you playing with us in the yard. I remember you jumping into city lake to rescue me when I fell in. I think I was only 3. I remember thinking, Wow, Dad must really love me. Thank you for all the wonderful memories.

Thanks, Dad, for being there for me. Thank you for loving me, my husband, and my babies. I love you. Happy Birthday!

you can go to my dad's blogs(check his profile for all of them) Tomas, or to the wonderful family pages my dad has made to learn more about him and our family.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Quick Response from Quaker

Here's what I got in my inbox:
We're sorry your family did not enjoy the Quaker Instant Oatmeal Fruit and Cream Variety Pack, and was not pleased with the ingredients used in this product as well. For your dissatisfaction, we are sending a full value replacement coupon for that box in the U.S. Postal Mail. This coupon should arrive in seven to ten business days.

Each of the ingredients in a product is selected carefully based upon the flavor, texture and appearance that it provides. Nutrition, health concerns, and flavor stability are also considered. Federal laws regarding the use and labeling of all ingredients are followed carefully. Nonetheless, we are sharing your comments about the ingredients with our product development team.
We appreciate your business, KittenYarn, and hope you will continue to use our other products. We also invite you to visit our website at for information about all of our oatmeal products.

Quaker Consumer Response

Thank you, Quaker Oats. That certainly gets you points. Thanks for listening and responding quickly. Just thought you guys ought to know....

Silly Cartoons

Just spent a few minutes reading silly cartoons, trying to find something funny to post today. A couple of them were cute and I chuckled at them, but alas, you can't see them, because they were not free.

You can google, "cartoon of the day," and look around, and blow about 10 minutes. If you don't want to waste 10 minutes, you can just read the silly joke I read on the package of instant oats (see, I guess you can find value in anything, ha)

Why do hummingbirds hum?

(I will give my mom about 5 minutes to answer :) , then I will post the answer in the comments). Sorry for the non-entertainment provided here today, just wanted you to know I am still here. Quite busy with school and home, etc. etc. I skim everyone's posts, mostly no time to properly comment.

Garfield found here

Friday, August 18, 2006

Take a Deep Breath

Well, we all made it to Friday. Whew! I woke up this morning a little more stressed this morning. So I remind myself to take a deep breath. I stop to blog a few minutes and remind myself that some things are out of my control (cats getting hit by cars, children waking up early, husband working overtime). And I think about the things that are in my control. The plug for the television set. The pull cord for the drapes that let in the morning light. My ability to feed the cats so they stop meowing SO LOUDLY, and therefore lessening the chances that Little One wakes up.

I find myself this morning tip-toeing around, trying to get things done before Little One wakes up. Once she wakes up, then there's breakfast to be made, and another day of what I call toddler negotiations. For whatever reason this week, Little One has stood her ground, and not much has been able to motivate her to do the simplest things she usually does with joy and gusto. Things like going potty, putting on her velcro light-up Strawberry Shortcake sandals, talking in complete sentences. Now I know she is barely 2 and a half, but this kid talks up a storm. So I don't feel bad making her say, "Help, please" instead of incoherent babbling, screaming, and crying. So this may be one reason to add to the stress pile this morning. Oh, if she would just sleep until 8 am. (ok, stop laughing at me, I mean it)

The other stress was that I have known all week that today was garbage day and this week I had to deal with something really gross (alert: graphic story ahead. If you are eating your breakfast, you may want to skip to another blog and come back later. I wouldn't want anyone hurling their oatmeal...oh, wait, that was last post).

Over last weekend (Saturday afternoon, I believe) we had to deal with a white kitty dead on the road around the corner. So here's how it goes....

My husband comes home with the bad news. He distracts the kids while I go out with bags and box to pick up kitty off the road. I set her carefully in the box with the bags on a table in our carport. Husband, who is the official digger and cat-burier, does not want to tell the girls, and has to leave to go back to work. So I think, and cry and keep it to myself all Saturday night and Sunday morning. After church, I tell husband, please can we tell the girls and bury the kitty. So we tell the girls (insert Dancer Girl, much crying). Husband goes back to work Sunday afternoon, still having no time to bury the kitty.

At this point I see lots of flies as I walk past the box. So on Monday or Tuesday husband comes home early to bury the cat. He is not happy with me because the cat is not actually in a plastic bag, but on top of an old vinyl tablecloth inside the box. So by the time he got to bury the kitty, the whole thing was not very pretty and did not smell well. So husband buries the kitty in a hurry, and because the whole thing is so gross, and smells so bad, he leaves the box and the tablecloth in the backyard near the burial site in a corner of the backyard. I am not mad at him, no ugly comments please, that is just what happened.

So here's the part that stressed me out. All week, I knew I was going to have to deal with that tablecloth and that box, because garbage day is Friday. I knew I would put it off til this morning. So picture me going about my business.....I wash my hands after going to the bathroom, glance out the back window to see my pretty flowers in the back yard.....and there is that box and tablecloth (on purpose I have not gone into gory details as to the exact state of the tablecloth). All week, I have not let the girls go in the backyard to play on the swingset, because of this box and tablecloth. All of this is silly, I know, but neither husband nor I wanted to deal with the little white squirmies. He reasoned that they would grow up and fly away.

So, then comes today. I wake up anxious and full of dread, knowing that today was the day. So I went out there (nothing touched with bare hands, mind you) and took care of it. It is done, the garbage is at the curb(insert multiple hand washings). There were no white squirmy things to deal with, though there was a lovely smell.

I suppose I must apologize for dumping this on you first thing in the morning. It is just that I woke up a little stressed (i know, i know, stress of my own choosing). The good news is that I more caught up with laundry than I usually am. There are only a few small loads to wash, and a few to fold and put away. We have had a busy and productive week at school. Some days I kept up with house things, and other days, they got left behind. I know I will feel better once I get the dishwasher loaded.

Isn't it silly how we let the external things in our lives control our stress and happiness? I say to myself, I will feel better when the dishwasher is loaded, when those clothes are put away, when the cat is buried. It is silly, and it is not. I actually find that I do feel better when I can see my counter tops and find clean underwear in my drawer. I feel better when there is nothing to trip over in the living room.

So again, I tell myself to take a deep breath. Though some of those things are in my control (laundry, dishes), there is no point getting yourself all stressed out before the day has really started. Um, I mean, myself. So I stop and think. What would God really want me to do today? What will the best things to do be?

get the family clean and dressed (including myself), feed the family good food on clean dishes, say Good morning with a smile and be glad to see them as they wake up, be patient with childish behavior (jumping, tickling, forgetting, going potty at all the wrong times at the wrong places, wanting Happy Meals every day, asking for every pretty doll on every commercial), sing songs to my family and with my family, play outside, let the children help fix the meals, let the children vacuum the floor (or clean the television screen or bathroom mirror) and not complain at how long it takes, read books, play games, get off the computer the first time my children ask me to, turn off the television, tell them the truth, etc.

I could go on and on, but this is my list for me. So, sorry for the gross story, but I really hope you have a good day. I feel better already.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Shame on you, Quaker Oats Company

First let me say that I LOVE oatmeal. Always have. My mom made mine with milk, lots of butter and sugar(thank you, Motherkitty). So here's the deal. My husband bought the girls some instant oatmeal in yummy flavors : Strawberries & Cream, Blueberries & Cream, Peaches & Cream, and Bananas & Cream.

So Little One picks Blueberries & Cream and I start to make it for her. As I stir, I peruse the ingredients list. Imagine my astonishment when I read that there are no blueberries in the Blueberries & Cream. That's funny, I think, what were those little dark blue things that looked like dried blueberries. Figs, I tell you! Ok, I give them credit, they did put some blueberry concentrate in there. Oooh. That was low on the list behind: "dried figs, dried corn syrup solids, modified food starch, sugar, dextrose, glycerine...." And then to make all that stuff, etc. blueberry-like they had to add "blue 2 lake" and "red 40 lake". Huh? How hard would it have been just to put dried blueberries in?

Ok, so know I am thinking, surely there are peaches in the Peaches & Cream. Nope. Dehydrated apples. Strawberries in Strawberries & Cream? Nope. "Sugar flavored fruit pieces": namely "dehydrated apples [treated with sodium sulfite to promote color retention], artificial strawberry flavor, citric acid, red 40". What? Where's the strawberries? Bananas in Bananas & Cream? This one was the closest with "banana flake powder."

To top this off, I went to the website for some info and found this in the FAQ:

Q: Are your oats organic?
A: No. However, it's important to understand that organically grown foods are not more nutritious or safe than foods grown using more modern agricultural practices. The same standards of nutrition and safety apply to both types of foods.
(emphasis mine)

What? Isn't is common knowelge that modern agricultural practices are filled with chemical fertilizers, chemical bug killers, and hormones, etc? How are all those things better for you than pesticide-free, hormone-free, other chemical-free food? Grrrr.

Quaker Oats, I am very disappointed with you. I am very glad that my children didn't like this very well. Dancer Girl thought it was way too sweet. You should have seen how big her eyes got when I told her she those weren't strawberries. That Little One wasn't eating blueberries. Sounds like deceptive advertising to me. Sure if you squint and look close enough on the front cover, in a font much smaller than the word "FRUIT," you will see the words "artificially flavored fruit pieces." Oh well. I guess this one gets a 2 thumbs down.

Contact the Quaker Company and let them know you what you think about this:

Call Quaker toll-free or Email Quaker (U.S.) or Email (Canada)

Later in the day update, after much rumination and meditation and discussion:
I also just noticed the amount of sugars (carbohydrates) in each packet of instant oatmeal. The low ones were 26 grams and the high ones 27. That is just about the same amount in only 8 oz. of Coca Cola. And we all know a can of coke is 12 0z., but still, that is a lot of sugar for a little bowl of oatmeal. From what I have read that is anywhere from 6-10 teaspoons of sugar per serving. This article states 10 teaspoons per 12 oz of coke. According this article, a big bowl of Frosted Flakes may have less sugars/carbohydrates than a bowl of this instant oatmeal. Would you make yourself a bowl of oatmeal and put 10 teaspoons of sugar on it?

Now don't get me wrong. I like Coke. I drink Coke. I gave my kids Fruit Loops for a snack today. It is just that sugar is so addictive. You expect the sugar in a coke or sugar cereal, not in your instant oatmeal, trying to pass itself off as healthy and full of fruit. That is the problem I have: this product falls in the same category as Fruit Loops, Coca Cola, Cocoa Pebbles, Big Macs, etc. to me. They can put what they want in the product, and let whoever wants to buy it. Just don't try to convince me that it is as healthy and good for you regular oatmeal with fruit in it that you added yourself. I send them a royal raspberry.

Ok, now I am done.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Birthday Pics

The first week of school has gone great! Dancer Girl and Little One have kept me very busy. Both are really enjoying school. We are starting to settle into a routine. It seems almost crazy but even with school I was able to keep up with dishes and laundry, more than usual it seemed. That is a plus. Dancer Girl's birthday celebration was fabulous. Yesterday, I finally cleared a path in my dining room, and got some of the pile of birthday things put away. Thanks to all who came. We had a wonderful time!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

First Day of Kindergarten

I am so proud of Dancer Girl. She just finished her first day of kindergarten. And when her Proud Long Haired Daddy asked her what she learned today, she told him a lot. She said today was August 8, she knew that the letter of the week was "Aa." She remembered that the season right now is summer. And she sang her daddy two songs with words in them starting with "Aa." She practiced writing, drew a picture, wrote a story, did a nature walk, did lots of math worksheets. She told her daddy that "Aa" is a vowel. This is the same girl who will go to get a pair of socks and come back with a new outfit on, and a deck of Go Fish cards(not a true story, just an example, mind you).

She and her teacher came up with a word list of words that start with "Aa." There was story time, and rest time at school. Dancer Girl's first day was a busy one, but very productive. And, I think she really likes her teacher :) ..... me.

Thank you to Long Haired Daddy for encouraging me to write about this today, and to be a teacher to my children. Even Little One was excited to do ABC worksheets, and drawing. She thought she was going to school, too. I couldn't be the mom and person I am without my husband's support. The best part is that it felt so good to teach the children today, and know that they were excited and happy to learn.

Friday, August 04, 2006

A Time for Dancing

As usual, I woke early and sit in the quiet dark of the house. This morning my thoughts are all towards my daughter. Today is her birthday. She is finally 5 years old. She is so beautiful and seemingly mature. She is learning to read, and loves to do math. Any time music plays, anywhere, she breaks into dance. This is why I call her Dancer Girl. Even when she was in my belly growing and growing, she seemed to wiggle, stretch, and twist. I will never forget that early ultrasound where she was jumping and leaping across the screen. Well, she has never stopped.

In fact, very soon after we got home from the hospital, I found that one of the only ways to get her to calm down and get to sleep was to bounce, sway, and dance with her. No rocking chair for her, too confining, she didn't like bumping her feet and head. I tell you, she couldn't be still. When I was pregnant, I always found myself standing and dancing, or swaying when music was on, I was so happy. I did this even in church. I would get out of my seat and stand in the back, where I had plenty of room, and dance as much as I wanted. Even to this day, if Dancer Girl comes to the big church service instead of her class, she wants to stand in the back and dance. And I let her.

So this morning, I am thinking of her. Last year, on her birthday she woke up to a bed filled with balloons (actually I did this on every one's birthday last year but mine, ha ha). That was so much fun. But this year, I am trying to think of something different to start the day. I am thinking of showing baby pictures, telling birth stories, and sharing the letters her grandma wrote to her when she was growing in my belly. And, of course, sing her all the birthday songs I know. That is pretty ambitious. I will probably just play it by ear.

I love parties, and of course my children have had big parties every year. So much fun. This year is no different. We finally settled on a flip-flop/hula kind of theme. I haven't had many RSVP's so I hope plenty of people come. Regardless of who comes, I know we will have a good time. For the party, we are making our own hula skirts. There are the leis, the flowers for the hair. We are going to make hula girl hand puppets. We even found a flip-flop cake at Wal-Mart. I even made flip-flop sugar cookies. You could kind of say that I have gone a little overboard.

Anyway, today will be a quiet family day about her. Ok, it will probably not be quiet. There will be lots of singing. There are two quotes (ok, there are not only two, do you really think Motherkitty could stop at only two quotes? just teasing mom....that means I love you, by the way) that my mom wrote in the letters to my daughter before she was born that really mean a lot to me:

"There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven: A time for giving birth, a time for dying; a time for planting, a time for uprooting what has been planted. A time for killing, a time for healing; a time for knocking down, a time for building. A time for tears, a time for laughter; a time for mourning, a time for dancing. A time for throwing stones away, a time for gathering them up; a time for embracing, a time to refrain from embracing. A time for searching, a time for losing; a time for keeping, a time for throwing away. A time for tearing, a time for sewing; a time for keeping silent, a time for speaking. A time for loving, a time for hating; a time for war, a time for peace." Ecclesiastes 3:1


The poet Carl Sandburg said, "A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on."

I love you, Dancer Girl, more than you know. I am so proud of you. I love to see you happy, and dancing. I hate to see you crying, and sad. You are a gift to me from God, another way God has chosen to say that he loves me. There was a time in my life when I didn't think I deserved to be a mother, a time when I thought it would never happen. But when I see you, Dancer Girl, it is proof of God's love and grace, just for me. And that is why part of your name means "full of mercy". That is one of the prayers that your father and I have for you, that you will grow up to be a woman who is full of mercy, love, and compassion for others. We love you so much. We love you more than 100, 000 million :)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A Girl's Thoughts About Rocks

Quote of the day:
Dancer Girl:
"Mama, I want to see a melted rock one day." Make sure you pronounce "rock" like "wok", in a little 5 yr old girl voice. When she said that, it took about 5 full seconds of digesting in my brain to realize she wasn't saying "wok", but "rock." I asked her what she meant, and she said, "Lava. It is in a volcano." Oh, lava, in a volcano. Of course I reply, "Maybe, someday," like moms do when their children ask nearly impossible to do things.

Anyway, she is technically 4.99, and not 5 yet. Friday is the official day. Saturday is party day.

So, back to this girl and rocks. She keeps saying she has a rock collection. She tells almost everyone she meets that she collects rocks. She has one favorite little black rock that she keeps losing and finding. She keeps it in the Big Green Van. The truth is, she and her sister try to pick up every little gray rock in every gravel parking lot they come to. People's driveways are not immune, either. Then you hear my voice, the mother: "Put that down. You can't just pick up rocks in parking lots everywhere you go. If you want a rock collection there are much prettier rocks ." etc etc. Yeah, that's me, dasher of hopes.

Well, anyway, I got the girl a bag of rocks for her birthday. Smooth, shiny rocks. Black ones, gray ones, white ones. I am hoping it will be one of her favorite gifts.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Five Things Meme

I got tagged by my The Four Bears....

Five things in my freezer: frozen french fries, Schwan's ice cream, ice cubes shaped like stars and beakers, frozen broccoli (with cheese of course), Rocky Road
Five things in my closet:Trivial Pursuit, yarn, memory boxes, sewing notions, empty scrapbook with box full of things to go in scrapbook adjacent to it :)
Five things in my car (Big Green Van): Goldfish cracker crumbs; Scooby Doo umbrella; unused sparklers from the 4th of july; pool floats; scripture memory songs; bag of children's books, toys, and dolls
Five things in my purse: sparkly lip gloss, Dragon Tales pull-up, Wal-Mart receipts, sippy cup, Water Babies sunscreen
Five things in my wallet: stamps, more Wal-Mart receipts, butterfly/flower checks, picture of Dancer Girl and Little One from 2004 (ages 3 and a couple of months), Red Cross Blood Type Card (o-)

The Chosen Ones :)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Saying Goodbye to Friends

Well, today was a really hard day. Dancer Girl had to say goodbye to this little girl who is her first best friend. She and her family are leaving for New York state at 7 am and we stopped by their house as they were packing the truck today for one last goodbye. We ended up staying four and a half hours.

Her mother and I were sent each other's e-mail addresses by the La Leche League. We both wrote desperate e-mails to La Leche when our babies were months old, asking where the closest group was to our city. Well, it turns out that my friend started her own group for nursing moms. She called it Mother to Mother. We e-mailed and met each other for the first time when Dancer Girl was 8 weeks old, and her daughter was about 6 or 7 months old.

So the girls have practically known each other their whole little lives. The Mother to Mother group still meets once a week, though my friend and I don't really go much any more. There is at least one Mother to Mother Group in another nearby city now too.

Our group focused on Nursing Moms Supporting Each Other. My friend called lots of companies and got lots of free samples and coupons. We started making free informational packets to give to local OB offices and the Health Department. My friend got certified as a lactation consultant, and became a resource for the local hospital when new moms needed additional help with nursing their newborns. We organized casseroles for the moms in the group during their first weeks home with their newborns.

My friend and her family has had a great impact on mine. I will miss her a lot. I am sure, however, that my daughter will miss her daughter more. There was lots of crying as I buckled the girls up in the van to finally go. Dancer Girl had to go back for second and third hugs before I could even get her in the van.

Both girls will be starting kindergarten this fall. It has been a long time since that fall day in 2001 when we met. I am happy because they will be moving closer to family and grand-parents, and I can see the benefits of that. I am sad because my daughter has a broken heart because she is losing a best friend and playmate. They will write, of course.

My prayers are for safe travels and for God to look out for them and direct every step in their lives. To my friends...

An Old Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.