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.