Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Woolen Nightmare

Beware: This is what happens when you wash wool in hot water and then throw it in the dryer. These used to be Helmut and my size sweaters.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hayden's Birthday

I was going to make a post about Hayden's birthday with tons of pictures of the party and everything that followed, but my actual camera isn't working and I keep getting the beach ball of doom when I try to upload the pictures to my computer. So instead I'm going to give you this picture with Hayden riding his birthday present, and a little explanation of our day.

Saturday we had a party for Hayden at an indoor play place, which was really fun and he had a great time. It was a morning party which meant me dragging myself across the floor and plunking in the car, forgetting to put on my make-up (which FYI is pretty embarrassing when you already look half asleep because you ARE ACTUALLY half asleep). When we got there I gulped down large amounts of coffee and SOSed my friend to bring me make-up, but unfortunately she didn't get the message....The coffee worked wonders though and I quickly forgot my ugly face and had a great time too. I'm not absolutely positive, but I'm fairly certain I didn't stop talking until we left 2.5 hours later, at which point I caught myself rambling about absolutely nothing to Helmut in the car on the way home and finally stopped.

Hayden just happens to share the same birthday as another girl in our church. Last year we didn't have a party for Hayden, but we attended a party for this little girl on his actual birthday. It was almost like having a party for him but with her getting all the gifts. Ghetto? I think not. It's AWESOME. This year she came to our party in the morning, then we attended hers in the evening. I should also mention that at last year's party Hayden was AWFUL, and I was so depressed (PPD) that I almost cried in front of everyone at least 25 times.

This year was completely different. Hayden was a changed kid. He played all the games, followed instructions, sat in a chair like a real human being, and ate his cake with a fork instead of smashing it all over his face. I was so proud my face was shining like the sun and I couldn't stop smiling. I felt so happy I was able to do what I do best: give out lots of unsolicited advice.

Don't get me wrong, this doesn't mean I've forgotten last weeks "runaway incident." In fact I think I'm permanently scarred from that. I'm going to need therapy to get past it....and a masseuse, turns out carrying a 40 lb kid on one hip and pushing a stroller while shooting laser beams from your eyes and having steam from your white hot rage coming out your ears does bad things to your back. I haven't been able to sit comfortably for a week.

Conversations with a Three Year Old: Men

Me: "hehe, look it's a macho man." ----->
(pointing to a man with tattoos, a muscle car and loudly playing music).

Hayden: "A nacho man?.....

Oh a macho man tehehe.....................


Don't ask me how he knows what a macho man is, I promise I've never used that word in front of him before.

Image courtesy of

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Conversations with a Three Year Old: Goodies

Me: "Hayden, NO MORE candy."

Hayden: (pulling out a lollipop) "Okay, OKAY...this is the last time."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Story

Okay, I'm ready to tell what happened. You'll probably laugh when you read this and think what a sissy I am for freaking out so much, but here you go:

We went to the park to enjoy some of the nice weather. While we were there some kids came along and showed Hayden a little snake they had caught. It was really cute and Hayden was enthralled. He proceeded to follow them around the park mimicking things they did and said, climbing whatever they climbed and chasing them whenever they would run away. I sat on the park bench next to Mariah, who was munching snacks in the stroller, and thought how adorable and outgoing he was.

Then one of the kids decided to leave. She started walking across the park to the basketball courts and soon after the other kids followed her, including Hayden. There is a large expanse of grass between the park and the basketball courts, followed by a small expanse of grass and the exit. The whole park is fenced in and only has 3 exits. It's about 2 acres. Once he got to the basketball courts I hollered at him to come back. I'm not sure why I thought he would listen, that was my first mistake. Then he ran to the farthest exit, still following the kids. I hollered much MUCH louder thinking surely he wouldn't actually follow them out of the park, that was my second mistake. Soon he had exited the park barely giving me a backward glace as I screamed at him to come back (literally screamed, in fact I'm pretty sure the whole county heard me). By this time I had thrown his tricycle into the back of the stroller buckled Mariah in and was running full speed across the park screaming for one of the kids to grab him before he got away. I could no longer see him as he had run past some houses that were blocking my view and continued down the street amidst traffic. I left Mariah stranded in the stroller at the side of the park and ran down the street to where one of the kids had caught him and was holding him down. I grabbed him and carried him back to the park to get Mariah, all the while fuming and ranting about how naughty he had been.

It was a long LONG walk home. I often marvel how when I am at my breaking point with him, God inserts a long walk or a long drive to help me cool off before I have to discipline him. I did spank him for it, and I was still a little angry, but not nearly as angry as I was before a 1/2 mile hike pushing a stroller with one hand and carrying him with the other.

So that's it. I'm still traumatized and haven't taken him to the park again....or even on a walk. So now not only are we not going shopping together, but we are not going ANYWHERE, AND I'm seriously considering pre-school. I'm not sure how much more of the constant daily naughty stuff I can take before I lose my mind.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


It has been raining quite a bit here the past week so we've been staying in the house. This afternoon it stopped raining and the sun came out, so I decided to take advantage of it and take the kids to the park.....and that's where I have to stop, because the story that follows is still so traumatizing to me that I can't write about it. I thought I could, but i can't. You should know: everybody is okay, and nothing truly bad happened, just some of Hayden's antics that scared me out of my wits. I'll tell you tomorrow.

In less dramatic news, today marks the first day that Hayden voluntarily played by himself in his room with the door shut. Up until today he has never wanted to be out of my site or play by himself, but he finally realized that the only way he'll be able to build a train track that lasts long enough for him to drive a train on, thanks to Mariah, will have to be done in private. He played in there for about half an hour and all I could think of was how quiet it was in the house. I hope this will be the first a many peaceful afternoon play times. I did read that the closer a child gets to their 3rd birthday, the more their imagination takes off and they begin to play better alone. I guess he's right on schedule.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Hello, my name is Kari and I'm a sewingaholic. It's been 3 weeks since I've seen the light of day. Just kidding. It hasn't gotten that bad yet. I have spent the past 3 nights sewing continuously until midnight. Who knew sewing could become an obsession? I just wish the stuff I was laboring hours and hours on actually looked cute.....or fit somebody. The first dress I tried to make turned out disgustingly awful. I'm tempted to make Mariah wear it anyway just because it took so much work, but it is truly hideous....I blame the pattern, clearly it doesn't have anything to do with my lack of sewing prowess. The second dress I attempted took me 5 hours to make and actually turned out stinking cute....if only it wasn't 3 sizes too big. Oh well, maybe it will fit next summer.

I've been meaning to get an Etsy store set up this week, but got a little side tracked on the dresses. I'm still working on perfecting the boots and at the rate I'm going they'll be absolutely perfect just in time for summer. wah wah wah. I found out too late that since the government passed all those manufacturing laws last year on what you can and can't use for children's clothing/garments, that I can't use buttons on them as decorations. I'm going to design my own flower pattern and use those instead I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Anybody have any ideas for other alternate decorations for them?

P.S. Hayden's 3rd Birthday is this weekend and we're having a party on Saturday for him. If you haven't gotten an invite email me! I couldn't find everyone's email addresses and have lost the ability to write with a pen.

P.P.S I know the picture at the top totally makes me look like a grandma.
Image courtesy of heartsandhome

Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas Spectacular

Decorating for Christmas with little kids is so much more fun and exciting than decorating by ourselves was. I was moved to tears several times just seeing how excited Hayden got over the Christmas tree (and not just because I'm PMSing....okay, probably mostly for that reason). I put the Christmas lights on the tree, we plugged them in and for the next hour Hayden ran around the house exclaiming "Happy Christmas!" to everyone and everything, including his stuffed cat. Then he sat down on the floor in front of the tree and said, "it's wonderful," in hushed tones. It was so sweet I completely forgot the hot chocolate throwing incident from yesterday and the unwrapped toilet paper filled bathroom incident from this morning.

This afternoon I made some sugar cookie dough with visions of him and I bonding over a fun activity. Something new and exciting that we had never done before. I imagined how I would role out the dough for him and he would use the cookie cutters to make cute little shapes, then together we would place them into the oven while exchanging secretive smiles. I think I failed to remember that he is only two. That was probably my first mistake. Maybe that dream works with a 5 or 6 year old....who knows I'm not there yet. What actually happened was more like this:

Me: "Hayden, let me role the dough and then you can cut the shapes...."

Hayden: "Can I have a bite?"

Me: "No, we're going to cut shapes and then bake them and eat the cookies."

Hayden: "Can I have a bite now?" (reaching...)

Me: "No, just wait!"

Hayden: "I WANT A BITE!" (reaching and grabbing)

Me: "Put that back! wait till we cut shapes!"

Hayden: "I want another bite."

Me: "How about we cut shapes?"


Me: (sneaking a bite for myself), NO!..............................okay.

It ended with me frantically cutting shapes so there would at least be some cookies, while Hayden gobbled his weight in cookie dough and plain flour. I guess we're just a cookie dough eating kind of family.

Unless you want to be very stressed out, annoyed and have your little imaginary dream shattered I'd say It's always better to go into activities with a 2 year old without any preconceived ideas of how it will go. Lesson Learned.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


This is Helmut's dad (Abuelito) with the kids right after they woke up from a nap....Hayden has on his super grumpy face unfortunately.

What's for Dinner

Mexican food, prepared by Helmut's mom. From top left working clockwise: Corn Tortillas, Carnitas (because Helmut can't remember the name), Queso, Salsa Verde, and Pico de gallo.

The In-Laws

We spent Thanksgiving weekend in Mexico visiting Helmut's parents. This is a view of their house, which Helmut's dad built mostly by himself.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Day I that Nothing Got Done (Unless Random Vacuuming Counts)

The past few days I've been feeling a bit under the weather. A whole bunch of weird stomach trouble and some pain and nausea, and then some more pain and blah blah blah it's really boring. I've been spending all my spare time laying around the house on whichever horizontal surface is the closest to where the kids are playing. Mostly floors....but when I'm lucky, the couch. As you might guess in all my laying around nothing has gotten done. Not a single thing....except dinner that one night. There are piles of laundry so high that at any given moment we may experience an avalanche and you may never hear from me again....not to mention the stack of dishes that await me in the sink.

This afternoon I was feeling a bit better and decided to make some headway in the massive amounts of cleaning that need to happen in order to make this house livable. As soon as the kids went down for their naps I dug in and started organizing and cleaning stuff. About 5 minutes into my cleanup the doorbell rang.....sending shivers down my spine.

I'm not sure why our house is a target for door-to-door salesmen and Jehovah's Witnesses. I try to make it look as inhospitable as possible. I've even contemplated leaving a sign outside that say's "Uninvited guests are UNWELCOME, if you proceed to ring the doorbell and wake a sleeping child I will toss one of a dozen dirty diapers at your head..." or something equally unfriendly but I'm too afraid to put off the neighbors or our actual friends by it. That said I turn people away weekly. I always feel terrible and very guilty for not buying whatever they're selling, and I've told the JW's multiple times that we're Christians, but they keep coming back. So when the doorbell rings I usually get nervous, have sweaty palms and hesitate to answer it wondering if I just pretend I'm not home if maybe they'll go away.

So this afternoon I went to answer the door, ready to face the incredibly awkward situation that inevitably follows such an excursion only to find a vacuum cleaner salesman. He went through the usual spiel to which I repeatedly shook my head no and tried to close the door. That's when it happened....

Vacuum cleaner salesman: "but Miss, if you let us do our presentation not only will we shampoo your carpet for FREE, but we'll get to go on a trip to Las Vegas! You can help us do this!"

Me: "So if i let you shampoo my carpet for free, you'll get to go to Las Vegas?"

VCS: "Yes, we have to do a certain amount of presentations for this company and then they will give us a paid trip to Las Vegas."

Me: "How many presentations do you have to do?"

VCS: " (long pause) 24."

Me: "Okay, but I promise I'm NOT GOING TO BUY THE VACUUM."

VCS: "That doesn't matter, all we have to do is the presentation, it only takes 20-30 minutes."

Me: "Okay (grudgingly opening the door)."

I let them come in gleefully imagining how the carpet would sparkle after they shampooed it for FREE not knowing i was signing away the next 2 hours of my life to watching a vacuum cleaning demonstration. That's right, TWO HOURS. By the end of it I had stopped watching and started doing the dishes and making dinner. I felt bad, REALLY I did, but my kids were starving and my kitchen was a mess and what kind of vacuum takes 2 hours to demonstrate?

One the up side of this the girl doing the demonstration was really nice. I did enjoy talking to her quite a bit and hope that she does well in college....and no it wasn't my gabbing that kept her so long, her vacuum broke. *Guffaw*

And to answer the unanswered question that's floating around in your mind from the first paragraph, no I am absolutely NOT PREGNANT....I took another test just to be sure.

Monday, November 23, 2009

An Epic Journey


Okay, so I know 13 months isn't record breaking or anything, but for some reason I'm more excited about Mariah walking than I can remember being when Hayden took his first steps. Maybe it helps a little that she went from only crawling to walking as if she's been able to do it for a long time and has been hiding it from us all. So I've decided to dedicate this post to shameless bragging. Normally I try hard to hold back because frankly, when people brag incessantly about their children's accomplishments it tends to make me want to vomit. A little bragging is okay, multiple daily brags however are overkill. No, I'm not bitter about anything, stop giving me the evil eye, you've all felt the same way, just admit it! I digress.

This momentous occasion took first took place on Saturday and totally made up for the fact that i had spent all night Friday spewing my guts out (for lack of better words). I am most excited about taking her to the park to play now, because she will no longer have to crawl around in the dirt....and hopefully that will also mean she will find less cigarette butts to chew on.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Conversations with a Two Year Old: Cars

Hayden: "Look Mommy, what's that?" (pointing to a Volkswagen Beetle)

Me: "That's a car."

Hayden: "No Mommy, that's a RACE CAR!

Me: "?!?!?!"

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mater face

Look closely at the face of the little car...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Silent Motivator

I should preface this post by saying I accidentally consumed a large amount of caffeine a few hours ago and have spent the last two hours talking to anyone that would talk to me, text me, instant message me or even look in my general direction. I'm also contemplating a midnight run (even though I loath running as a form of exercise) and thinking about doing some Pilate''s time to get my abs back.

That said:

I went out for coffee with a friend tonight. We meet weekly to talk about our ups and downs of the week and pray for each other. Since I've been on a diet I've been making this my bonus night where I am allowed to drink something "special" from the coffee shop menu. I usually stick to decaf tea or hot chocolate, but tonight I was feeling risky. I decided to go for a non-fat, DECAF, caramel macchiatto.....and while you're at it give me a medium, it's a better value. I think it was about halfway through our 1 hour meeting that I realized they accidentally messed up the decaf part. All the sudden I was talking nonstop at a speed I didn't know was possible, completely unable to stop the flow of words that were coming out of my mouth. I could even feel my face getting hotter (probably because my mouth was moving so fast). We wrapped up our meeting and I literally skipped and twitched my way out of there and drove home, where I chatted off Hayden's ear and made small talk with Mariah until I realized it was way past there bed time.

I wonder if I'll ever sleep tonight. Now would probably be a good time to give the house a thorough cleaning.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Boots in Progress

Okay, so it's about time that I show you what I've been up too. These are some pictures of the boots I've been trying to figure out how to make. I've revised them from the original pattern about 4 times and I still think they need some more revising before they could be sell-able. What do you think? Opinions? I would LOVE [read: tolerate] constructive criticism. As you can see Mariah wasn't to happy about getting her picture taken this morning, so that's the reason for the random shots of a mini baby tantrum....

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tantrum Week and the End of my Sanity

I don't want you to get the wrong idea and think all I do is complain about my kid's tantrums.....but seriously. SERIOUSLY. This has been a bad week for tantrums. I have also made a secret pact with myself not to take the kids shopping again for a long looooong time. I know i make this pact with myself weekly, but this time I really mean least until we need groceries again. Our last trip to the grocery store was a nightmare of horrendousness that I have since blocked from my memory and now I can't even tell you what happened. I just remember distinctly that it was BAD....oh wait, yes i remember how it ended: with Hayden laying on the floor in the vitamin isle as Mariah screamed and writhed in my arms, while I desperately tried to ask an associate where they kept the teething tablets.

Since then we have been to the store again only twice, both times we went to the fabric store to feed my ever expanding addiction to sewing....yes, i'm still doing it, I'm obsessed. Before you know it I'll be teaching 4H classes and making my own slip covers. The first time wasn't so bad, both kids behaved pretty reasonably and we made it out with most of our dignity. The second time I hoped would go like the first....especially since we were going to be meeting friends there. Now, maybe I just lack in the patience arena...that's very possible, but for whatever reason I had almost lost my mind by the time Hayden begged to go to the potty for the 5th time in less than 30 minutes. I won't go into detail...because it's painful....but let's just say we got out with much less of our dignity than I had hoped.

In other news, I've taken to growling like a bear when angered and the kids have picked up on it. They both think it's hilarious and Mariah frequently imitates me. I'm sorta glad they don't realize how angry I am when I'm doing it, hearing little giggles helps me to diffuse.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I was going to use tonight's post to show you my shoe sewing progress, but when i got all my ugly little shoes together and tried to set them up to take pictures Hayden woke up from his nap, threw a colossal tantrum and I decided in order to avoid further tantrums I would lure him into a good mood by taking him to the park.

So far I've had absolutely no luck with the shoes. They're so ugly I can't even give them away. I did make some boots that turned out pretty cute....well, not the first pair. I'm not sure if I'll ever figure out how to make them cute enough to sell, but I am excited about giving them out as baby gifts. Tune in tomorrow for some pictures.....because I'm pretty sure you've been waiting your whole entire life to see a bunch of pictures of gag worthy shoes.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Baby Shoes and Why Target Brand Pregnancy Tests are the Devil

Sorry I have been neglecting my blog. I have been sewing shoe after shoe in the attempt to figure out how to use my sewing machine and make a baby shoe that is actually wearable. There are little brown shoes littering the living room floor and not a single one of them even fits Mariah....not to mention how NOT cute they are. Apparently my sewing skillz leave something to be desired. I am learning though, and having a surprising amount of fun doing it. I've never considered myself to be "crafty," in fact, years of motherly encouragement and repeated attempts to even LIKE knitting had me giving up on myself, but i'm realizing that sewing is completely different and for some reason that i can't put my finger on i'm actually liking it.

In other news that deserves to be written about, I almost found out I was pregnant on Thursday. I had been feeling really tired for a few days, and add to that a few other unmentionable symptoms and rather than sweat it out I decided to take a pregnancy test....not to mention how much I enjoy peeing on sticks. If those things were cheaper I would buy piles of them just for the pure enjoyment of taking random pregnancy tests. I'm not sure where this fascination comes from, I hope for Mariah's sake it's not genetic. Off to target I went and bought myself a box of pregnancy tests. I should mention that I didn't really think I was pregnant....I mean, the possibility was there, but lets say it was only 2.3%. We have been unbelievable careful since Mariah was born, shell shocked into not wanting another baby just yet.

We put the kids to bed, then I took the test and sat there waiting for my answer. Two minutes later I was still sitting there, staring at the test window and trying to decide if a very very verrrry faint line was a mistake or if I could actually be pregnant. These things don't lie right?? I've read it's almost impossible to get a false positive, but HOW IN THE WORLD COULD I POSSIBLY BE PREGNANT?! I followed that performance with two heart attacks, a shudder, some tears, frantic praying, and then many feelings of guilt over how the baby would feel if it ever found out my initial reaction to it's presence. I laid in bed trying to go to sleep, but unable to think about anything accept how that test couldn't be right. Finally I got up the nerve to ask google about it. Google knows, people. Apparently I'm not the only one who has gotten a false positive from target brand pregnancy test. It happens ALOT. In fact, there are so many people complaining that I'm surprised they haven't done something about it yet.

I read multiple stories about women who have fertility problems taking them and being overjoyed thinking that had finally gotten pregnant, only to find out later from a doctor that the test was wrong. Reading those heartbreaks and disappointments was convicting. I know that if I were to get pregnant now I would love the child unconditionally, as I love my other children, but ideally for the sake of my sanity I would like to wait 5-10 years.....or at LEAST 2.5.

That information obtained I waited for the morning and then peed on another stick just for fun....and too add yet another false positive to the pile. I then thumbed my nose at target brand and went on to tell the story to a couple of friends thinking it was funny. Neither of them thought it was funny and both insisted that I take another test to be sure. I bought the expensive brand the second time around and came up with a NOT PREGNANT on the first try.

For a tightwad I have spent an awful lot of money on pregnancy tests this week....about 22$ to be exact....22$ that i could have been blowing in Etsy's general direction.

Never buy store brand pregnancy tests when you want to know the truth the first time. Lesson Learned.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Home Remedy's: Colds and Flu

Cold and flu season is upon us, so I wanted to share my favorite home remedies and homeopathic stuff just in case you've never delved into that arena.

I used to scoff at the use of homoeopathics thinking that naturopathy was just a bunch of herb growing hippies, and since nothing is actually "scientifically proven", it was just another way for people to make money. Then I had my second child, fell into depression and developed a bulging disk in my lower back. The bulging disk kept me from being able to bend forward more than about 1/2 inch. This meant that I could not lower my newborn baby into her crib. The closest I could get was about 2 inches above it while kneeling (it was a portable crib), i then had to drop her the last 2 inches. I know it sounds like torcher to the baby, and she hated it, but i did try to make the bed very soft (even though that's forbidden these days). At the time i had no other options, no one to help me except my husband at night when he came home from work. After spending a few weeks in agonizing pain, i relented and went to a chiropractor. Being new in the area i accidentally went to a chiropractor that also practiced kinesiology....or muscle testing. I thought he was a little insane and maybe a slight lunatic, and most definitely a tree hugger.....maybe i still think that a little bit. His supplemental remedies however did heal my back. Not only did they heal it, but made it even stronger than it was before.

Since that experience I've been back to that chiropractor many times looking for advice and recommendations on all sort of things....and for the record he was the one who told me to take Enzymes for my daughter's colic (best remedy OF ALL TIME, works after 2 days if you're breastfeeding). I guess what I'm trying to say is if you've never tried this sort of thing before, keep an open mind. Here are a few of my favorite remedies:

Congaplex by Standard Process: This is a vitamin supplement for kids and adults. It can be taken daily or as needed when you get sick with colds, flu, whatever. It will even get rid of an ear infection as fast or faster than antibiotics. We have used this twice when Hayden has had ear infections. It's also recommended for kids who tend to pick up EVERYTHING (sickness related) as it helps to build up the immune system.

Apple Cider Vinegar Cough Syrup Recipe:
1-2 teaspoon Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (it should be a cloudy brownish color)
1-2 teaspoons honey
8 ounces of water

Mix together and drink every 2-4 hours or as needed. You can also substitute apple juice for the honey and water If you're baby is less than 1 year old. I've found this remedy works better than absolutely any cough syrup I've ever tried and is a WHOLE LOT SAFER. If Hayden has a bad cough I give this to him 2 times during the day and once before he goes to sleep. It gets rid of the cough so he can sleep great and get better more quickly.

Hylands Flu Care for Kids: These are supplements for kids and adults alike to help minimize the aches and pains associated with the flu. Note: It is not a fever reducer like tylenol.

All of these items can be googled if you want to buy them....or if I'm lucky they will appear in the advertisement section at the bottom of this post and you can buy them through there. Apple Cider Vinegar can be found at most grocery stores in the vinegar section.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Etsy Revealed: The Never Ending Addiction

Okay, So tonight I got suckered into looking at cool Etsy stuff again. This time it was uber cute little girl shoes. I don't think I'm a very creative person, or very crafty, but now I'm determined to learn. I talked myself into buying a pattern to make little baby shoes. Little babies don't need shoes, so who even knew there would be an industry there, but whatever. I bought shoes for my babies, and I'm sure other people will too...So, now i will have a new hobby. I will be called "Shoe Maker," or more specifically "Baby Shoe Maker." If you have had a baby, are planning on having a baby, or may even become pregnant in the not so distant future I will probably send you free baby shoes as a promotional gift. BUY FROM ME ON ETSY....errr, i guess i better figure out how to use the pattern first.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Culinary Delights

So, I'm back on my diet today and determined to finish it this time which means that at 8:44 pm I'm starving and sitting here browsing on my computer looking at this and drooling. Holy frijoles i want all of those dishes available to me upon my waking. As I was browsing through i happened to see THIS.....the infamous Butternut Squash Crab Bisque recipe complete with dazzling photos. Attempt it if you dare and then come back and tell me how it went for YOU.

I also just saw this, *guffaw* that would have been helpful to know beforehand.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Double Standard

"Sonny, get that dirty bike out of my kitchen! ............right after i take this quick photo.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Soup Du Jour

Helmut and I are kinda obsessed with Whole Foods Market.....okay, maybe not so much Helmut as me. I LOVE that place. I LOVE the food they make, and I'm especially in love with they're hot soup selections. After sampling most of them I fell head over heals in love with their Butternut Squash Crab Bisque. It's delightfully creamy and surprisingly sweet. I quickly became an addict and went from getting it once a month to getting it bi-weekly. That's about 16$ a week on soup.
I'm a big cheapskate so when I saw that figure and realized I was potentially spending 64$ a month on soup I decided to look for an alternative. Why not make it myself? Then I could eat it every day if I wanted and save LOTS of money. That was before I tried to peel a butternut squash.

I wouldn't classify myself as a "beginner" in the kitchen, I can work my way through a recipe, but for some reason this recipe had me chopping off fingers left and right. I'm lucky to have hands left. By the time I was done "peeling" the squash I was almost left with bloody stumps, of course it didn't help that Mariah was crawling around under my feet just daring me to step on her tiny fingers. She also must have sensed my desperation because she kept clinging to my legs and crying until Helmut finally came over and picked her up. I'm pretty sure I snarled and/or made evil eyes at everyone in the house, a few of the stray cats....and maybe even some flies before I finally finished making that soup. Four hours later I ended up with a humongous 25 serving pot full of Butternut squash crab bisque that nobody wanted but me.

Helmut forgot to tell me how much he hates crab, and I was afraid to give the shell fish to Hayden and Mariah for fear of a freaky allergic reaction. I ended up eating a couple of bowls and "saving" the rest in the fridge for a few weeks until I had the heart to dump it.

That brings me to today. I decided to venture another soup creation. This time one of Helmut's known favorites. Pasta e Fagioli from a friends recipe book which incidentally is available online. I'm happy to say that this time was quite a success. Every one loved it, Helmut especially. There were no chopped off fingers to contend with and I did all the chopping during nap time and successfully avoided the clingy leg syndrome.

If there was one lesson I had to take away from this experience it would be: always buy your soup from Whole Foods....JK, always make sure your family can eat what you're going to slave 4 hours in puddles of sweat over. Lesson learned.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Diet Log: This is Getting Old

I've completely lost count of the weeks that I've been on a diet. I keep them marked religiously on the calendar as which days I have done it and which I haven't so I have a pretty good idea of how this month has gone.....bad. The good news is, I haven't gained any weight back, the bad news, I've starved half of the month and not lost a thing.

I'm not really frustrated, because this time around I figured out pretty quickly that mediocrity would not get results. The other times I've done this I must have had a faster metabolism....or been eating much less than I thought, because I was able to get away with little cheats. This time it's not happening, if I even make eye contact with chocolate cake I will put on a few pounds (who knew cake even had eyes??). Having visible proof of my lack of discipline (the calendar) helps with keeping the frustration at bay, but not the annoyance, lack of self-respect, impatience, or disgust with myself.

Seriously, how hard is it to stick to a diet for 3 more weeks? THREE MORE WEEKS?!!??!

On a good note, I went to Old Navy and tried on a bunch of clothes yesterday, and they've either made their sizes bigger (which wouldn't surprise me), or I'm much smaller than I think.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Etsy Revealed: Size Does Matter

A few weeks ago I had my very first experience with Etsy. It started off with a mission to find an over sized purse that could double as a diaper bag, and ended with 3 different purchases and many "hearts." If you've somehow managed to avoid Etsy thus far a "heart" means you're partially in love with an item but unable to overcome the sizable price tag, so you save it in your favorites section and hope that someday you'll amass a fortune large enough to buy it.

In case you're wondering just what did I throw my money at, I'm going to tell you:

1) The purse (duh, you knew that already) 32$

2) A nightlight for Hayden's room 13$

3) A romantic little necklace 23$

I stopped there because I wanted to see how things went before I made any further purchases....and because I was broke.

My purchases trickled in over the following three weeks. The first one to arrive was the nightlight. When i saw it in the picture I envisioned it being about the size of a tea cup. Maybe a tad bit bigger.....with a plug. What I got was a very tiny Lego sized (but none the less cute) nightlight, with batteries. Unbelievably adorable, but unusable (Etsy please don't send a crafting mafia after me for this review!).

The next item to arrive was the cute little necklace......"little" being the operative word here. In the picture I saw the model was supposedly wearing a 15 inch chain, with the necklace falling in the mid section of the woman's chest. I'm fairly certain that my neck is normal sized, average at the very least, and the necklace nearly chokes me. On the bright side, it's still very pretty and I wear it anyway....choking hazard and all.

Pictured below:

The last item to arrive was the over sized purse. While being a little smaller than I had envisioned......(it does NOT actually fit my personal chef) it is still very nice and is actually my favorite of all the items I have bought so far.

If you every do decide to shop Etsy, be sure to read EVERY DETAIL of the item description, including the measurements, and then you may want to actually measure them out to get a real idea of the item's size. NEVER rely on the pictures. Pictures tell lies....lesson learned.

On a side note: I just noticed the place that sold me the necklace is going to be having a sale. I'm sorry to report I will be ending this blog prematurely so i can go and heart more items.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Terrible TWOS

It's weird when I look back on the day at all my "grievances" and realize how small and mundane they were (ok, i take that back, i just reread this post and I'm still irritated by everything that happened). This afternoon I was ready to blow my top...I almost did several times, and I can confirm at least two occasions where i was literally shaking with wrath at atrocities committed by Hayden's hand, but if i told you what they were you would probably shake your head at me for getting so bent out of shape about them...not true they were really that bad.

But in the interest of being honest....and venting I'm going to tell you anyway. Let the head shaking and finger wagging begin.

It began at the grocery store, a happy outing with friends where Hayden proceeded to run helter skelter around the store, grabbing at the glass bottles of salad dressings....and/or ANY glass bottles, laying on the floor again and again and again, and making loud "whooping" noises until at last my patience ran out and I made him sit in the basket of the shopping cart as a punishment to him....and me (because once in there he squashed all my food).

Then it progressed to nap time. On most days this is a pretty easy venture. Today EVERYTHING was working against me. Nap time with two kids is very different from nap time with just one. It's a carefully orchestrated feat to be pulled off by only the most persistent and bull-headedly stubborn of parents. In order to get both children napping at the same time every afternoon, I have to wake them up at certain times every morning, (Hayden 8:30; Mariah 9) and Mariah must wake up from her morning nap by 12pm. If those things happen then I have a 95% chance of getting them both to go to sleep at 2pm. I put Mariah in bed, get her cozy, and then leave and do the same with Hayden, then I lie on the floor next to him until Mariah stops crying (don't feel bad, Mariah has always cries at nap time, regardless of whether i rock her, bounce her, do cartwheels or magic tricks for her, nothing works) and Hayden falls asleep. Then I'm golden for almost 2 hours.

On the way home from the grocery store Mariah fell asleep....for 15 minutes. When we got home she woke up and I thought she might go back to sleep so i put her in her bed and got Hayden in his bed. We both lay there for the next 30 minutes listening to Mariah alternate between playing in her crib to screaming like a wildcat. Finally we all gave up and I decided that it was in every ones best interests to skip nap time for now.

The next several hours included, Hayden throwing random stuff into the toilet, which i had to fish out with my BARE HAND. Hayden beaming his best friend in the face with a railroad track (sorry M). Hayden throwing a ball and knocking over a soda which gushed all over my arms, the carpet, and the furniture. Putting his hands in his spaghetti and rubbing it on his face, throwing spaghetti on the floor, wiping spaghetti on my arms, splashing gallons of water out of the bath tub, throwing a tantrum for having to pull up his own pants after going potty, and many more delightful incidences which i have happily blocked from my memory.

By 3pm I was cramming chocolate in an effort to avoid a total meltdown (like that ever works?!) by 6pm I had caved on my diet and was stress eating spaghetti, by 6:30 I had given myself a time-out, and by 6:45 when Helmut got home my rise in blood pressure was easily viewed by the bulging vein in my neck.

Now the little angels are happily asleep in their beds and I have had a few minutes of silence to collect myself and pick my brains up off the floor and have decided that I want a massage.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

1 Year Old

My grown up little nugget.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I was going to make a post about how much I loathe hooded T-shirts and tissue weight T's, but my sarcastic abilities have checked out for the night. Consider yourself warned.....or informed...or lucky.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Dangers of Caffiene

You know how most people get friendlier after a couple of drinks? Caffeine has a similar affect on my body. If i have more than 1 small cup I quickly become chatty and overly outgoing, energetic and .....different. The experience ends with my over activeness spiraling into irrationality and usually ending with really unnecessary tears. For these reasons i limit my caffeine intake to at most 1 small cup a week.

After talking with a friend last night and deciding to make a early morning play date (10am is early for us), I decided that this morning would be the best morning for drinking copious amounts of coffee...or indulging in that iced mocha, so that I would be able to have the ability to actually speak in full sentences with her, instead muttering the usual unintelligible strings of dialogue that get me by during most mornings.

I was feeling really good about my decision, and enjoying my latte immensely at the park when all of the sudden I noticed a pregnant woman with a small child. My first thought was "that is the most beautiful pregnant mom I've ever seen (seriously she looked just like Heidi Klum!)," and secondly, "I SHOULD TOTALLY INTRODUCE MYSELF AND MAKE SMALL TALK."

If you're one of my friends, or you know me at all you have probably noticed what an intense introvert I am. I spent years trying to come out of my shell and become "outgoing" until I read a book on personality types and realized introverted is just a personality type and inside I'm never going to really change. So i stopped trying. Embrace the inner introvert people. I digress.

I realized at the time it was the caffeine kicking in and I promise I tried to keep myself from blurting out my life story, but before I knew it an opening came and I found myself giving the details of both labors, the ins and outs of transitioning from 1 kid to 2 kids (a subject I should NEVER be allowed to talk to pregnant moms about), my phone number and offering to babysit her unborn child. I'm pretty sure I freaked her out. I honestly didn't mean to be so overpowering. I swear it was the caffeine. On any other day she would have been lucky to get a unseeing stare out of me.

I wonder what would happen if I drank caffeine every day?

Monday, October 19, 2009

More Kids?

Saturday was Mariah's 1st birthday. I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand I couldn't be more excited that my baby is growing up and I've survived a WHOLE YEAR with two children, but on the other hand I'm sad that the little baby stuff is over. We haven't decided yet whether or not we're up for having any more kids. I think the past year was a little traumatic for Helmut and I and we may be experiencing some Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I have a permanent bulging vein in my neck, and Helmut gets the shakes at night. Just kidding, but seriously, it was a rough year. I never envisioned the transition being so difficult.

That said 12 months old is a bewitching age for me. Mariah has reached a semi-independence that is heart melting and adorable. When I look at her chubby little cheeks and cute little face I remember why I wanted to give Hayden a "little friend" at this age. It's taking most of my will power to resist making a similar lapse in judgment the second time around (well, not really a lapse in judgment).

Have you ever made a baby connection? It has nothing to do with the cuteness of the baby. I've held lots of cute babies, but only had this phenomenon happen twice so far, once when i held my friends 2 week old baby for the first time (MP I'm talking about Juliana), after which i immediately became pregnant with Hayden. The second time happened about 2 months ago, when another set of friends welcomed their 5th child into the world. I went to visit them at the hospital and I was able to hold the baby in my arms and in that moment I realized that I might be okay with having another child. Something about holding that newborn baby and looking into his eyes began the healing process in me for all the terrors that were last year's transition. Up until that moment I had been firmly set against having anymore kids, thinking there was absolutely no way my sanity would stretch any further, but apparently there is.

If there is ever to be another Granda, I think it will have to wait 3-5 more years. Of course accidents happen, but if we ever decide to do this again i want to be more prepared, and I want to kids to be old enough not to FREAK OUT.

That said, thanks to all my Texas friends who kept me from the loony bin. This has been a year I will NEVER forget.

Friday, October 16, 2009

"Fake" Jack

Two years ago we had a cat named Jack. He was cool, aloof, even tempered, and an all around nice cat. Then one day he went missing. We looked around for him for a couple of weeks and then gave up on ever finding him again assuming that one of our crazy neighbors had catnapped him. A couple of months later we decided to go to the local pound and see if he might be there....and he was! We paid the adoption fees and brought him home, this time with a chip in his ear with our address so he could never get lost again. Three days later I realized that the cat we had adopted, while looking exactly like the old Jack, was not in fact our cat. oops. On retrospect he did seem a teeny tiny bit more playful than our Jack and I swear his eyes looked a little "crazy". I just thought he was tired of being cooped up in the cages at the pound. Having already planted a chip in his ear, we felt we couldn't really take him back, so instead we dubbed him "fake" Jack and kept him. We never did find the real Jack.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Diet Log: Blargety Blarg

I guess it's time for an update on the diet front. I've been avoiding posting an update lately because I haven't been doing so good. I still have 6 lbs left to lose. I was REALLY hoping to be done with this before Mariah's first birthday, but unless a miracle happens I'm going to miss my target by at least 3 weeks. I have been told by a few people that you have until the babies first birthday to lose the pregnancy weight, after that you're just considered a slacker. A chunky slacker. A chunky lazy slacker. Blarg.

The good news is I can now easily fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans again. That's makes it very tempting not to just give up and accept the extra least until I'm done nursing at which point I plan to starve myself just because I can. I've been pregnant and/or nursing for 3.5 years now and have not had the luxury of being able to skip multiple meals and voluntarily starve. I also look forward to caffeine binges and the occasional diet drink.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Swine Flu

Well, I think it's safe to say we've had our show down of the Swine Flu (H1N1). All in all I'd have to say it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. It's been going around our development the past few months and this past week it showed up at church and Hayden brought it home with him. So far he's the only one who's had it, which also surprises me. I had thought it was so contagious that everyone it touched would get the plague. At least that's how it was being portrayed on the news. Talk about melodramatic. That's why I don't watch the news anymore, if I did I would probably be terrified that my own shadow was going to abduct me.

I did stop by my favorite pharmacy for some remedy options though. They showed me several things that I could use at home:

1) Hylands Flu Tablets - which happen to work really well on pain relief.
2) Boiron's Flu Remedy - which i haven't tried, but the woman explaining told me that it's similar to a flu vaccine except that you orally take a much diluted version of the flu, and supposedly it works very well.
3) Probiotics - my own idea.

So, if you've gotten yourself all worked up about the horrible HORRIBLE plaque-like swine flu, just relax, for us it wasn't even as bad as the regular flu's....or that horrible flu I got last year. That one was WAY worse. MEMORABLY worse. Why didn't they document that one?!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sweetie Pie

I've always said she's sweet enough to eat...hmmmmm.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Heated Debates and MSG Facts

I originally wrote this post a couple of years ago but thought it important enough to share on my new blog. This past week I've been reminded of this stuff through reading of the Nestle Family boycott from a fellow mom blogger. I've been inadvertently avoiding all Nestle products just to avoid the MSG content, but now I see there are so many more reasons why they should be avoided. I have absolutely no doubt that MSG is the underlying cause behind the nations obesity epidemic, the rise in cancer and heart disease and the general poor health of Americans today, but for some reason no one appears to give it the proper credit....or any credit. After researching my brains out about the stuff I came to the conclusion that it would not be something I would ever voluntarily feed to my children or family. That is the primary reason we eat organic food. NOT because I am a sold-out organic lover, but because over the past 2 years of reading product labels I've discovered that products labeled "organic" generally have the least amount of preservatives and some prepared foods do not contain any MSG so i feel i can safely feed them to my kids.

Up until a couple years ago I was under the impression that Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) (nicknamed “cancer fertilizer”) was only found in chinese food. After doing some of my own internet research I’ve found that it’s in nearly everything that comes in a bag, box or can. Sickening huh? All this time I thought we were eating an MSG free diet when in truth we are being inundated with the stuff. I’m doing my best to get the word out without freaking out, so I’m making a post about it for everyone who’s like me and just didn’t know.

Want to know what’s causing obesity in America?

Trying to eat an MSG free diet? It’s a lot more difficult than you think. There are a few websites out there to help. I’m including the list of alias names for MSG for anyone that it might benefit…..

The following are a few products that ALWAYS contain MSG:

  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
  • Hydrolyzed Protein: (plant, vegetable, any kind)
  • Sodium or Calcium Caseinate
  • Autolyzed Yeast, Yeast Extract
  • Yeast Food, Yeast Nutrient
  • Textured Protein
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Monopotassium Glutamate
  • Gelatin

The following products may contain MSG or create MSG during processing:

  • Natural Flavors, flavoring, flavors, natural anything flavor
  • Bouillon or Stock
  • Broth (chicken, beef, any kind)
  • Carrageenan
  • Whey protein, whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate
  • Soy sauce, soy protein isolate, soy protein concentrate
  • Malt Extract or Flavoring, Malted Barley
  • Maltodextrin
  • Anything Protein fortified
  • Anything Fermented
  • Anything Ultra Pasteurized
  • Anything Enzyme-modified

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Butt Paste

What happens when you ask a 2 year old to go get his shoes out of the

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Human Alarm Clocks

Somebody needs to inform my 11 month old and 2 year old that I will be happy to assist them with all their night time needs and early morning wake up but i will require a platter of egg, bacon and cheese taco's, a super-sized latte, and some brownies....and even then i will probably still resemble this:

Last night I went to bed with a headache. I even took some Tylenol because i thought it would help and put me to sleep. It didn't. I lay awake for another hour until Hayden came in and helped himself to the middle section of our bed. I then spent the next 7 hours fielding blows to my face and back. I miss the days of the crib, when he couldn't get out and he slept good every night by himself...and when i didn't wake up in the morning with a black eye from where my 2 year old kicked me and socked me with his stuff cat. Seriously, is he training to be a ninja in his sleep? On a side note: maybe i should stop showing him Kung Fu Panda before bed.

Mariah also decided to join in the fun by randomly waking, screaming and thrashing around when i picked her up (usually a sign that she's having an allergic reaction to a bug bite). I responded with my usual reaction to a random midnight wakening which is to mutter curses and swears under my breath and shake my fist at the sky....not actual curses and swears, just the words "curses" and "swears." By morning i was so grouchy that when my husband made a comment about leaving for work, I almost spontaneously combusted.

There are no sick days as a mom. I think that's the most difficult part of being a mother for me. Sometimes i just want to sleep of a bad night but i can't. I do have to give Helmut some credit though, since we don't have any family around us he really does step up and give me a break when I really need it. As the morning progressed things got better. Two cups of hot chocolate later and I was able to stop my seething and start in with the annoyed sighing (a step up I assure you). All's well that ends well right? I sure hope tonight goes better though. I would just hate to burst a blood vessel from a dramatic rise in blood pressure tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I broke out the juicer last week for my innocuous stomach pains, and it appears to have worked. I haven't had any pain since i drank the cabbage juice more than a week ago. I still want to punch myself in the face for not doing it sooner. Eight weeks of unnecessary pain just because i was too lazy to go in the garage and dig in a bunch of spider infested moving boxes for my juicer....cabbage juice cures ulcers - -Lesson learned.

Since the juicer is sitting on the counter now I decided to make use of it and get rid of as many vegetables from the fridge as possible, so today Hayden and I mixed up a little cabbage-carrot-celery cocktail for lunch. As you can see in the picture he stole one of the carrots in the process.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Conversations with a Two Year Old: Vegetables

Hayden: Mommy, I want to go to the store.

Me: Why?

Hayden: To buy some vegetables for dinner.

Me: Oh (!!!), what kind of vegetables?

Hayden: Cake...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Etsy Revealed

I've got to make a post tonight if for nothing else than for the sake of getting my face off the front of my blog. Maybe Mariah's not the only one who is camera shy...

I've been fighting the pull of Etsy for a while now since I first heard of it at the very beginning of Mary Pat's Etsy career. My reasons? Time and MONEY. It takes a long time for me to find anything that I like and even more time to find something I would be willing to pay boutique prices for. I mean, who wants to pay boutique prices when you can just go to Wal-Mart and get it for pennies....Joking, JOKING....put your shirt back on. Since Meichiko is getting ready to open her store in a few days, her excitement has been rubbing off on me and I finally went and had a look around last night.

The Mission: New Diaper Bag (that doesn't look anything like a diaper bag).
Price Range: 20$-30$ ( I know I'm cheap)
Time Allotment: 30 minutes

Here's what I found and bought:

Courtesy of Christystudio

I'm totally in love with it. It's so big I can fit my own junk, diapers, wipes, and probably several boxes of crackers a hoard of sippy cups and my own personal chef.

Here are my stats:
Diaper bag that doesn't look at all like a diaper bag: Score
Price: 31$
Time: 20 minutes to find and another hour ogling all the other bags in the store.

Etsy 1 - Kari 0

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Camera Shy

She would not look at the camera, period. Also, sorry the first
picture you see of me on this blog has to be make-up less. If I wasn't
so tired tonight I would shamelessly photoshop the heck out of it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Curious George: The Dark Side

A couple of months ago we axed our cable and stopped watching all the normal programs on television. I used to be glued to The Biggest Loser, Top Chef, and ANYTHING on HGTV. Hayden's shows of choice included Curious George, Word World and most other PBS cartoons. We thought that by getting rid of TV we would spend more time outside and doing creative things rather than sitting around zoning out. We didn't want to get rid of everything however, and Hayden was pretty addicted to his daily Curious George, so i went on and bought all the CG videos I could find so he wouldn't start feeling deprived....or whatever a 2 year old feels when they lose their tube watching privileges.

For the past two months now he's been watching George almost exclusively. For a time I marveled at what a good role model that little monkey is. He eats fruits and vegetables for snacks, he recycles, and he's Uber polite. All around good stuff. I failed to notice his monkey antics until recently.

Our last couple of trips to the grocery store have been a nightmare for me. Hayden runs away, grabs stuff randomly, grabs random people, shouts at the top of his lungs, and is generally embarrassing to shop with. At one point a few weeks ago when he was laying in the shopping cart using my expensive organic loaf of bread as a pillow and the organic avocados as a foot rest while simultaneously throwing a tantrum and ripping apart my cheese i decided to suspend all further shopping privileges for him. That worked for at least 2 days before i ran out of groceries and had no choice but to take him on another equally pleasurable shopping trip.

It was at this point that I realized George might have a dark side. A side i should have considered before letting my impressionable 2 year old watch him over and over. In addition to all his charming qualities George also climbs everything, frequently makes HUGE messes, and every single episode is based on how he colossally damages things and then learns how to fix them. I guess having my child model himself after a monkey isn't the best idea after all. ParentingFail.

We may be in the market for some new educational cartoons. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fun at the mall

What can I say, the race car was taken.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Diet Log: Ulceritititus or Something Else Equally Troubling

I completely lost count of what week I'm supposed to be on for my diet. Let's just say this is week 8 of 12. I had lost 14 lbs, up until my Dad came for a visit. We partied and at cheesecake like there was no tomorrow and I happily gained 2 lbs back. Since my Dad left I've been bummed out and as a result I broke my own cardinal rule and ate way more than any human being should be allowed to night. So I've had a few set backs in the past two weeks. I started over on Friday and have been doing okay since then. I appear to have hit a plateau which is unbelievably frustrating, but I've decided I would rather starve forever and remain at the same weight than slowly gain it all back.

I am starting to rave again at nights and beg Helmut to take me out for cheeseburgers and milkshakes. Today he told me he's pretty sure I must be pregnant again because the only time I crave cheeseburgers is when I'm carrying children in mah bellay (if that just went over your head you probably need to watch Austin Powers). My response: DO I LOOK LIKE I'M PREGNANT?! If I still do this diet must not be working or my husband has very little perception of my changing shape....or I haven't lost enough weight yet for people to notice...crap.

I also appear to have picked up an ulcer somewhere along the way. I'm not 100% sure that's what it is, but that's the easiest explanation for what I'm feeling. It's a steady burning gnawing pain in my belly that's been there for 7 weeks now. Some days it doesn't hurt at all, other days it drives me crazy. When my Dad was visiting it mysteriously disappeared for 2 weeks, only to start back up with a vengeance on Saturday and stay until this morning.

I found a home remedy for healing ulcers that involves drinking 1 liter of cabbage juice a day for 10 days. Up until this morning I found the idea too repulsive to try. I also had buried my juicer in a moving box 9 months ago and thought it would be impossible to find (note to self: don't pack your stuff 9 months before you sell your house).

After enduring the pain for 2.5 days [read: an eternity], I dug through the boxes in the garage, found my juicer and prepared a cabbage juice cocktail for Hayden and I. It was as awful tasting as it sounds. I downed 2 cups with only a little bit of gagging, while Hayden drank his, periodically letting me know how much he didn't like it. The relief was instantaneous. Almost unreal. I was so skeptical about the remedy that i could hardly believe when it worked. Granted the burning gnawing pain was replaced by a little nausea. It has been 12 hours now since I drank it and the pain is still gone. I had planned on drinking more tonight if it came back, but I guess I'll reserve that pleasure for tomorrow morning.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I have two things to say about this picture,

a) Mariah is wearing a sweater that my mom made for me when i was a baby.

b) This was taken a couple of hours after Hayden's rough and tough toddler playing style knocked over Mariah and she split her upper lip. You can hardly tell by looking at this picture though, I must have taken it before the majority of the swelling took place. Now she looks like she's had some professional work done. I'm talking lip augmentation people.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Having Babies Close in Age

I have five other brothers and sisters. Growing up my parents would give us little hints tips on making parenting easier, but at the time I didn't know that's what they were. I just thought they were annoying little factoids to be ignored. I also didn't know I wanted to have kids. I thought I would grow old as the uptight secretary... a notion I entertained for a 2 year period while working at one of the most beautiful, and poorly run camps in the world (they have since undergone some changes and from what I hear are now quite classy). So when they threw out the have-kids-2.5-years-apart-rule I happily ignored them.

After having Hayden I entered a phase of mothering ecstasy. He was such a sweet and perfect baby and my hormones were obviously drugging me into a utopian dreamworld. Helmut and I decided to ignore the have-kids-2.5-years-apart-rule, thinking the addition of a baby sister as soon as possible would only make things more wonderful, but I was wrong. Things are wonderful now, but for the first 6 months after I had my daughter I wondered if I would be able to live through stress of having two small children too young.

I've decided to make a pros and cons list for those of you who haven't had your second child yet and are thinking about it. There is so much controversy on this topic that I've decided not to give my actual opinion, but if you email me I WILL TELL YOU. Feel free to add stuff if you've already had your second, third or fourth, etc.

Pros of having kids less than 2.5 years apart:
1. They can share sippy cups.
2. They can share the same sized diapers.
3. Heck, they can share baby food (because the older child will want to eat baby food again once he sees his little sister eating it)
4. At some point in their lives they will become best friends and play well together (or so I've been told).

Cons of having kids less than 2.5 years apart:
1. Unless you're very diligent while pregnant with the second child you will be changing two sets of diapers every day.
2. Your older child will still be too young to have achieved the "independence" stage, meaning they will still want you to pick them up and hold them ALL THE TIME. This becomes a challenge once you have the newborn baby, especially if the newborn is colicky and WILL NOT LET YOU PUT THEM DOWN.
3. You will basically have two babies. One very big tantrum throwing baby, and one very tiny unable to do anything baby.
4. When you go to the grocery store (if you are especially gutsy) you will probably have to put the infant in a front pack, and the older kid in the basket of the cart, or put the older kid in the basket and the baby with infant carrier baby seat in the shopping cart. You will then have to try and squeeze enough food for the week around the infant seat without smothering the child within. This can be tricky. I don't recommend it. If you choose the front pack method your child will probably become so heavy over time that a trip to the grocery store will become akin to a 14 mile hike through the wilderness, but with less fresh air and more screaming.
5. The older child has still not mastered gentleness and kindness or bodily self control (especially if it's an overactive boy). This is especially scary around a newborn baby. What used to be cute little monkey-like antics are now scary-as-heck (I don't swear, but use your imagination) moments.

If you've already had your second child, and you're living through some of this list, I feel for you and don't worry you'll make it through. Things start to get easier around month 6. If you're absolutely bent on having kids really close, then go for it, this list will just give you a little heads up.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Self Pitty

My Dad was here this past week helping us get our house ready to sell. One of the projects he completed was a new deck complete with railing and custom made gate. It's really just a large outdoor playpen, but don't tell the kids that, they think they're free when they go outside.

I've been wallowing in the depths of despair all day, feeling keenly the absence of family around us. Our friends and church have been so supportive, but like Tamara says, even good friends can't replace family. Wiping away tear and moving on....

That said I wanted to take a minute to highlight some of the things that made me feel better on this dreary dismal day:

1. Sharing a Starbucks hot chocolate with my 2 year old.

2. Reading This, this, and this.

3. Watching movies based on Jane Austin books.

4. Eating my weight in Chocolate Chip Canolli.

5. Thinking about exercising. Not actually exercising, just thinking about it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mess Maker

My little mess maker in her first real pair of jeans.