Friday, February 29, 2008
(If any of you are looking for a good study, or are having struggles with your faith, or are looking to grow, or just love Beth Moore, I highly recommend this study - click on the link above for more information.)
I've come to realize that one of the biggest hurdles I will have to overcome in my struggle to trust God more is dealing with the wait-and-see's of life. The times when I know that God has a specific purpose for what is happening in my life...but I can't see what it is. The times when I know what I'm supposed to do...but I'm not sure where to start. The times when I feel like there's more to the story...and I have to wait for the answers.
Patience has never been my forte. Ever. That can be excused in a child, to a certain extent, but you know what? As an adult, I'm still very impatient. Nothing frustrates me more than to be behind someone driving 43 mph in a 45 mph zone. I love Christmas, but the anticipation it all drives me batty. I think I was pregnant with Wendy for about 27 months. That's what it felt like anyway. (I wonder if this could be why my girlie is so impatient? Nah...)
As I'm learning more about God, and more about myself, and learning how to believe God instead of just believing in God, my impatience is definitely rearing its ugly head. There are some things up in the air right now, with finances, living situations, family planning, etc. James and I are working together to figure stuff out, but once you do all you can, you simply have to sit back and...wait.
And as I type that, and admit to you the struggles that I have with waiting, I can feel God's peace gently settle over me.
And so, there is hope. I will make it through the waiting. And it will be worth it.
Isn't our God fantastic?
I'll leave you with a little music from my boys:
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wendy and I were waiting for James after church last night. She wanted to run like a hooligan, and I wanted to keep her a bit more in control, so I was holding her hand. She decided to play and swing from my hand, and I let her. She thought it was funny, and then she got cranky.
Not thinking too much about it, I pulled her back up and we went on. Then I began to notice that every time we touched her right arm, she cried. When Grandpa gave her a hug, when James tried to get her attention, and when I was putting her coat on. Hmm.
We drove home, and she fussed a bit in the car. We got home and took her coat off, and her whole right arm, from above the elbow to her wrist, was slightly puffy and red. Uh oh.
We made our first ER trip last night. After an exam by a nice doctor and some radiographs, Wendy was diagnosed with Nursemaid Elbow - a dislocated elbow. It had worked its way back into place before the doctor saw her, but there was some residual swelling and pain.
I'm giving myself the Lousy Mother of the Year award because I knew this could happen! I knew someone whose 3 year old daughter dislocated her elbow under almost identical circumstances. I just never thought it would actually happen to Wendy. So no more swinging by the hands, no more picking up by the arms, and now we even have to be careful putting on her jacket. If it dislocates once, it's much more likely to happen again. Sigh.
The good news is that she's fine this morning. And I hope we never, ever have to make another nighttime jaunt to the ER!
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Kneeling pad (or old towel)
Whatever the case, I know this:
Anyone who has ever read this blog knows that I have a toddler. Her name is Wendy, and as of yesterday, she's 17 months old. She is my biggest source of joy, and my biggest source of frustration. She was an early walker, taking her first steps at 10 months, and hasn't stopped walking, running, or climbing since. Developmentally, she's ahead in the motor skills department.
However, she's a tad behind in the verbal development department. She understands most of what we say, and that's great. The problems come when she really wants to make her own opinions or desires known. She tries, and points, and says, "Di?" When we don't immediately respond in the desired manner, she gets frustrated, and can throw a fit of frightening proportions.
Don't get me wrong, she does say words, real, recognizable words - but only maybe 10. So as you can imagine, there are many situations for which she just doesn't have words.
Here are some things that have helped us cope with young toddlerhood:
1. Sign language. Wendy doesn't know much, but she knows some key signs - more, all done, milk, bye-bye. These are simple to learn, and have helped tremendously, especially at meal time.
2. Being firm. Even though she gets frustrated when she can't communicate with us, we've been trying to teach her that throwing a fit is NOT the answer. Throwing the fit will only get you ignored, or worse, put in time out. She can calmly try to get our attention and try again, either with signs or with toddlerspeak.
3. Distraction. When she's just being a bear, and insisting on her own way (whatever that is at the time), I can usually distract her fairly well. I get her baby doll and a book, and I sit in the rocking chair and quietly read to the baby doll. By the end of the first page, Wendy is beside me, listening and looking at the book.
4. Letting her help. She's already a big "helper." She tries to help me unload the dishwasher, and put the groceries in the pantry. This helps her feel big, which is a big deal for budding Miss Independence.
5. Letting Daddy step in. Sometimes when Wendy is pulling out her Toddler Princess attitude, all it takes is a word from Daddy to turn things around. I don't know why, but a Daddy's displeasure is much more powerful than Mommy's scolding!
These things may not work for your toddler, but they work for mine! Do you have any other suggestions I should put to use?Head over to Rocks In My Dryer for more great tips!
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Wendy is 17 months old today, and I need your advice. Her pediatrician told us back at her one-year visit that it would be best if she is weaned off of the Binky by 18 months. By 18 months. At the time, it seemed like we had a long time to figure it out. But now? It's, um, NOW.
Wendy didn't even take a Binky until she was about seven months old. It quickly became indispensible. We can do without it during the day, but when it comes time for a nap or bedtime, the girl wants her Binky.
Have any of you successfully weaned from a pacifier? Do you have any suggestions? Anything at all? Please?
I've heard about giving the Binky to the "Binky Fairy," but Wendy just isn't at that stage yet -she wouldn't understand. I just don't know what steps to take, other than going cold turkey.
Any ideas? Please share...
I spent all of last night flopping around in bed like a fish out of water, thinking, "If I fall asleep now, I'll still get six hours...five hours...four hours..."
And then I gave up. Inevitably, I'll be perfectly sleepy and ready to go back to bed about ten minutes before Wendy wakes up.
Monday, February 25, 2008
I did better this week, accomplishing 2 of the 5 things on my list. I consider that a success, especially since Wendy was sick for several days and we were all sleep-deprived. The most important thing is that I was able to resume daily Bible study. So far, so good.
Here are my goals for this week:
1. Make the transition from disposable to cloth diapers! We've ordered the cloth diapers, and they should arrive in the middle of the week. I'm excited and apprehensive. If we can make it work, it will really help out my monthly grocery budget!
2. Make first batch of homemade laundry detergent. I found a recipe online, and found the ingredients at Kroger. I'm going to give it a try - if it works as well as the reviews indicate, this will be another source of big savings for my grocery budget.
3. Hang dining room valance. I'm going to keep including this until it gets done!!
4. Get house completely clean. I mean the downstairs; the upstairs is a whole different problem. I've had a lot of trouble keeping to a housecleaning schedule, because I'm not starting with a clean house. I think if I can just get it clean, I can probably keep it clean as long as I stick to the schedule.
5. Organize linen cabinet. It's all a big jumble!
Thursday - dinner at Mom & Dad's, TBA
Friday - meatloaf, mashed potatoes, peas
Saturday - chicken spaghetti casserole
Sunday - leftovers
Saturday, February 23, 2008
And I realize that it's called "Baked Potato Soup" and I use mashed potatoes. It's all in the interest of convenience. If you are baking potatoes anyway and want to make some extra to use in this soup, then do so, by all means. But you don't have to bake potatoes for the soup to taste great - it tastes the same either way!
4 large potatoes, chopped, boiled, and mashed
(You can peel the potaoes if that makes you feel better. I leave the peels on.)
2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup butter
6 cups skim milk
salt and pepper to taste
2 green onions, chopped
2 cups crisp-cooked, crumbled bacon
1 cup fat-free sour cream
5 ounces low-fat cheddar cheese (shredded)
Melt butter in a large saucepan. Slowly blend in flour with a wire whisk. Gradually add milk to the mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in salt and pepper, and simmer over low heat, stirring constantly. When milk mixture is very hot, whisk in mashed potatoes. Add green onion, sour cream, and bacon, whisking well after each addition. Heat thoroughly. Add cheese a little at a time until all is melted in.
When serving, if you feel inspired, you can put a small dollop of sour cream on the top & garnish with cheese, bacon, & green onion. There are no rules with this soup.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
This time of year, when it's still cold outside but visible signs of spring are appearing, my thoughts always turn to home improvement. I'm not sure why that is, but contemplating plans for the spring and summer months sure helps with the February blahs!
This year the planning will be a bit different, since we're in the midst of a Total Money Makeover, but there are still some things I'd like to do. I'd like to grow some vegetables this year. Not a full garden, because I can never keep up with one when it gets super-hot outside. I'd like to grow tomatoes, zucchini, and maybe some cantaloupe. Maybe some pumpkins for the fall. Nothing too major, and nothing I'll feel guilty about not weeding when summer comes and it's roughly 150 degrees outside.
Anyway, getting fluid into a sick baby, even if it's only a teaspoon at a time, works for me! Head over to Rocks in my Dryer for more tips!
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
So we're headed to the doctor this afternoon. On the one hand, I don't want anything to be wrong with her. On the other hand, I want them to find something we can treat. I get really frustrated with the random viruses that make her so sick with no real treatment available.
Sigh. I'm sure I'll let you know the details. The last time I took her to the doctor in a similar condition, they put in a urinary catheter to check for a bladder infection - even though I was across the building, I could hear the screams. Sigh.
Update: We saw a different doctor today - after all, what child on the planet gets sick when their doctor is actually working? Wendy got a head-to-toe checkup, and other than a temp of 103.5, everything was normal. That means most likely she's got her first icky stomach bug. Grandma and Grandpa are on their way over as I type with Pedialyte, crackers, and the spare blankie - the one we keep at home got a wee bit puked on.
I didn't want it to be just a virus, because I wanted something we could actively treat. However, she slept all the way home from the pediatrician (40 minutes) and since returning home half an hour ago, she's been playing and eating and drinking. Maybe it was a curative doctor visit.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Let me start over:
Hello, Monday! What a bright, sunshiny morning! I have many things to accomplish, and a fresh new week in which to begin. Though I'm tired, Wendy's ailing, and we're a bit behind, we can make it through. With prayer, God's grace, and a little gumption, we may be able to implement the new household schedule!
When I said I was behind...seriously, I'm way behind. Of my five things listed last week, only 1/2 of one got done. Yikes. I'm going to re-state a few of last week's goals, and adopt them for this week:
1. Resume daily Bible study. I'll be starting an online study called Believing God, by Beth Moore. It's offered through LifeWay Christian Resources, and I think it'll be really good!
2. Clean out microwave, refrigerator, oven. Yuck. Must be done, or the mutated life forms that emerge might take over our house.
3. Hang dining room valance.
4. Put all laundry away! I have three laundry baskets full of clean, folded clothes. Why can I never just get them put away right after I fold them?!
5. Sort Wendy's clothes. I really need to see what she's got in terms of spring/summer for this year, and for fall/winter next year. I like to shop the end-of-season clearance sales.
Wedneday - Pork chops, peas, mashed potatoes
Thursday - dinner at Mom & Dad's - to be determined
Friday - Smoked sausage, mac & cheese, broccoli, applesauce (one of James's favorite meals)
Saturday - Baked chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans
Sunday - leftovers
Sunday, February 17, 2008
We get to church, and my parents hand us a check that we weren't expecting.
There's an announcement in the bulletin for a potential bring-Wendy-along temporary kind of job.
And the lesson? About financial stewardship.
Hmm. I think we have some thinking and praying to do.
And I think, just maybe, God was tapping on my shoulder, and whispering in my ear, "TRUST ME."
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Andrew's Sour Cream Peach Pie
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
5 Tbsp flour
1 - 29oz. can of sliced peaches
Cinnamon and Sugar mixture to taste.
In medium bowl, stir together sugar, sour cream, and flour until creamy and smooth. Add cinnamon and sugar if desired.
In 9" pie pan, lay bottom crust. Add drained peach slices. Spoon sour cream mixture over the top. Add top crust and seal edges. Cut vent holes in top crust. (Andrew cuts it into a smiley face.) I always sprinkle plenty of cinnamon & sugar over the crust, just because it's yummy.
Bake at 450 for 15 minutes.
Lower heat to 350 for an additional 45 minutes. Let cool and serve.
Friday, February 15, 2008
That may not sound like much to you, but my munchkin is almost 17 months old. In that time, James and I have not had a date. At all. Period. I have not been to a restaurant without a high chair, bib, wipes, sippy cups, toddler forks, gigantic bag, and lots of noise/mess/chaos. I told James not long ago that it isn't really advantageous to me for us to go out with Wendy - I mean, sure, I don't have to clean, but instead I've got to juggle keeping her fed/amused/quiet with my own eating, and somehow manage not to tick off all the other restaurant patrons. No, given the options, I'd rather eat at home.
But today, for our child-free few hours, we're going to a big people restaurant. Like big people. We can just tell the hostess, "2 for non-smoking," instead of, "2-plus-a-high-chair, non-smoking." We will be able to peruse the menu. We will be able to talk without being interrupted. And the talk will be more substantial than, "Did you see where her cup landed? Can you hand me the wipes?"
This is big, people.
There might even be hand-holding.
**My comment notification e-mails aren't going through. If you commented and I didn't respond, I'm sorry! Hopefully it'll fix itself soon!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
I really should have posted these links earlier in the week. A couple of my favorite bloggers are in Uganda this week, seeing firsthand the work that Compassion does for children there. You should read the posts, look at the pictures, pray for these children, then go sponsor one (or more.)
Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer
Sophie at BooMama
Seriously, go read their posts from the last several days. You will be touched and motivated. And it's OK if you cry a little when you read the stories of these children & families...I did, too.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
As the cost of diapers increases by the week, and my girlie is nowhere near potty training (she's only 16.5 months), we are planning to switch to cloth diapers very soon. I may have tried this from the beginning, had it not been for the horror stories my mother and others of her generation have passed down.
I asked one of my friends from college for information, since she exclusively used cloth diapers for her daughter who is now almost completely potty trained. She had some excellent suggestions and references for me. After reading and researching, I'm excited to make the switch as soon as our budget allows!
I thought I'd pass this along for any of you who have considered cloth diapering and don't know how to start, or who are looking for ways to save money/help the environement.
First, I'd suggest checking out the tutorial at Jillian's Drawers. This easy-to-understand tutorial goes through reasons for using cloth, how to start, how to clean, cost comparison, and many other things. It's really helped take the anxiety out of it for me!
Next, Abby's Lane has a great selection of cloth diapering products - whether you're interested in prefolds & covers, AIOs, pocket diapers, or swim diapers. (See? Before I read that tutorial, none of that would've made sense to me.) They also have free shipping on orders over $50.
It's a good idea to check out Diaper Swappers as well; you can get gently used cloth diapering products here. This would be an especially good idea if you're not sure what style of cloth diaper you'd like to use. Buy it used, try it out, and go from there.
My experienced friend also recommended that I start with minimal supplies - a dozen prefolds, a few different styles of covers, and a pocket diaper or two. That way I won't be stuck with something I really don't like.
I hope this information will help you! I'll be sure to post more once we make the switch - I can't wait! (WFMW is usually posted at Rocks in my Dryer. Since Shannon's in Uganda, Melanie of Don't Try This At Home is guest-hosting.)
Previous WFMW posts:
Getting your digital pictures printed
Creating a closet
Diaper bag supplies
Keeping track of medication
Easy meal ideas
Using tomato paste
Monday, February 11, 2008
This evening Wendy was trying our patience. She has fully entered toddlerhood, and, during the waking hours, is never still for more than a few seconds at a time. Instead, she is constantly climbing, dancing, falling, stomping, climbing more, throwing, giggling, and running. This has complicated our evening Bible reading. Gone are the days of rocking her while she drowsily drinks the last bottle of the day, her Daddy's deep voice filling her ears with the word of God. No, now we just try to keep her in the same room with us during our reading.
Tonight our reading was interrupted twice because Wendy is fascinated with cups of water. She climbed up onto the couch and grabbed my cup of water, sitting on the end table beside the couch. (In her defense, I was using a Veggie Tales cup.) Lacking the motor control necessary for the task, she tried to take a sip, and instead doused herself, the couch, the end table, and the Kleenex box on the end table. This resulted in tears, a gentle scolding, an explanation of why we don't grab Mommy's cup, and a resumption of the reading.
Not two minutes later, her little hand shot out, grabbed the cup again, and instantly upended it, narrowly missing the digital camera and cell phone I hadn't yet put away. The look on her face was one of shock. The tears were almost instantaneous. And as I reached for her to give her a swat on the bottom and a not-so-gentle scolding, I said, "Why do you have to make things so difficult?"
I have said that to her before, and every time, it makes me think of God, our Father, watching the things we do. He has given us guidelines, blessed our lives with material things, and granted us the pleasure and support of family and friends. I know that there are truly difficult decisions in all of our lives that must be dealt with, but the majority of the decisions are pretty simple. We either do the right thing, or we don't. We either abstain, or we do the wrong thing. That's pretty basic stuff.
When I said that to Wendy, and imagined God saying it to me, over and over every day, I was reminded of Hosea 11. I was fortunate enought to take a Bible class at Harding entitled, "8th Century Prophets." It was taught by Dr. Dale Manor. I didn't really know anything about the subject or the instructor when I signed up for the class; I chose it because it was an evening class, freeing up my weekdays, and my best friend and her husband were taking it.
Hosea is like many other books of prophecy in the Old Testament. God's people were led astray, and must be brought back and/or punished. It is a recurring theme throughout the Old Testament.
In Hosea 11, however, God speaks of Israel as a beloved child. The imagery is beautiful, and heartbreaking, and convicting. It is directed specifically at Israel, but I can imagine that God feels the same about each and every one of us, every one of His children who stray.
1 "When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
2 But the more I called Israel,
the further they went from me.
They sacrificed to the Baals
and they burned incense to images.
3 It was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
taking them by the arms;
but they did not realize
it was I who healed them.
4 I led them with cords of human kindness,
with ties of love;
I lifted the yoke from their neck
and bent down to feed them.
5 "Will they not return to Egypt
andwill not Assyria rule over them
because they refuse to repent?
6 Swords will flash in their cities,
will destroy the bars of their gates
and put an end to their plans.
7 My people are determined to turn from me.
Even if they call to the Most High,
he will be no means exalt them.
8 "How can I give you up, Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, Israel?
How can I treat you lke Admah?
How can I make you like Zeboiim?
My heart is changed within me;
all my compassion is aroused.
9 I will not carry out my fierce anger,
nor will I turn and devastate Ephraim.
For I am God, and not man -
the Holy One among you.
I will not come in wrath.
10 They will follow the Lord;
he will roar like a lion.
When he roars,
his children will come trembling from the west.
11 They will come trembling
like birds from Egypt,
like doves from Assyria.
I will settle them in their homes,"
declares the Lord.
At the beginning of the chapter, two specific things are mentioned - sacrificing to Baals and burning incense to images. Even a casual Bible student would know that those two things are specifically forbidden; we are to have no gods except the one true God. We are to worship no other, sacrifice to no other, and revere no other. That much was surely made plain to the Israelites, and yet, time and time again, they fell into the same traps of paganism and idolatry.
"Why do you have to make things so difficult?"
The imagery in verse 3 is so touching and so bittersweet. A loving father, holding chubby toddler hands and gently leading so a beloved child can learn to walk. That same child, scornfully turning away in defiance, not even acknowledging the gifts of the Father. How many times are we like that child? How many times do we refuse to acknowledge God's hand in our lives? We claim our victories as our own, not giving credit to the One who gives us everything.
"Why do you have to make things so difficult?"
God contemplates the destruction of Israel. If His children will turn from him, there will be no forgiveness. And yet, in verse 8, God speaks of His children with yearning. How can I give you up? How can I let you be destroyed? God's compassion for His people changes everything; instead of destroying them, He stays His hand, and leads them to safety and rest.
We are God's children. He loves us, and gave His only Son for us - and yet we frustrate Him to no end. We ignore His dictates. We take credit for His deeds. We tune out His voice. We go against the things He has taught us. We see the way He has prepared for us, and we stubbornly go in the opposite direction.
But God, our Father, shows us infinite grace, infinite compassion, infinite mercy, and infinite love. He has more patience than we can fathom. He knows every part of us, even the sinful thoughts we don't act on, our pettiness, our selfishness, our laziness, and our greed - and he still shows us that grace, compassion, mercy, and love.
"Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name..."
Here are the things I'd like to accomplish this week:
1. Get back to my daily personal Bible study. It's been weeks. And I had only been doing it for a couple of weeks at that point, so it wasn't really a habit yet. I'm planning to take my quiet time when Wendy first goes down for her nap.
2. Hang dining room valance. We've only been in our house for a year and a half - it's about time I put up the valance. I've had it for months. All I need to do is iron it and hang the rod.
3. Clean out fridge, microwave, and oven. If I wouldn't be totally shamed at my level of housekeeping, I'd post pictures - seriously, it's icky.
4. Clean our room. We've got this gigantic old wall unit thing in our bedroom. It's huge. It used to live in our living room and hold all of our TV stuff, pictures, games, puzzles, CDs, and stereo equipment. Like I said, it's a big piece of furniture. In our current house, it works best in our bedroom, but it's definitely a clutter-catcher. I need to clean it out, sort through the stuff, and get it organized.
5. Sort Wendy's clothes. It would be good to know where she stands on 2T things, so that I can shop sales for next winter's clothes. I'm going to try to cut back on the sheer volume of her clothes, so I need to have a good idea of what she's already got.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
And boy, am I amused.
The author, Julie, has a daughter who is 20 months old. Wendy is almost 17 months old, so the similarities are plain. Her stories about her daughter were making me giggle so much that the cats thought I had finally lost it.
Here are some excerpts that I found especially amusing:
"Then came Saturday (hereafter known as black Saturday) when I realized that my daughter had in fact not learned to aparate from room to room, she had merely learned to hug the corner of the crib and swing her legs over the railing to freedom. She had also picked up the useful skill of turning a doorknob and opening her door. (Who taught her to do this?!! Has she been sneaking out at night to attend secret Baby Club meetings? What other tricks does she have up her fuzzy-pink-polyester-sleeper sleeve?)." from "She escapes!"
"Just for good measure, after you've been properly bandaided and cuddled and set free again, wait until your mom is busy wiping bloody spots off the floor and go fall down the stairs. Make sure you don't hurt yourself, but give your mom's friend a good healthy complex. She'll think her house is a death trap. I'm sure she'll be ready to invite you back again real soon." from "How to make a lasting impression."
Don't take my word for it - go check her out yourself!
I've really enoyed reading these blogs on a near-daily basis. So congrats, y'all, and pass the award along!
Saturday, February 9, 2008
I think the majority of my personal struggles can really be summed up in a lack of trust. Phrasing it that way opens my eyes to my own limitations and sinful nature. I am selfish and arrogant, and think that I can handle anything life throws at me all by myself, thank-you-very-much. Be it depression, unhealthy lifestyles, financial difficulties, or struggling to conceive, I somehow think, deep down, that if I can just figure out what to do and how to do it, the problems will be solved.
A mindset like this is a perfect path to disappointment, unfulfillment, dissatisfaction, and dismay. I can't do it on my own. I can't figure it out on my own. I can't even figure out the next step to take on my own. Because you know what? I was never meant to do it on my own.
When God created us, He didn't make us perfectly capable. There are some things we just plain can't do. Instead we are to do the best we can, and constantly seek His will and His guidance through prayer and study. We are to TRUST GOD.
And if I can manage to do that, instead of trusting my incompetent self, I'll be much better off.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Anyway, the shopping trip was successful, and on the way out I stopped at Starbucks. Because, well, you just have to stop at Starbucks when you're leaving Target. I don't go to Starbucks that often, and I'm still in search of the perfect beverage, so I never know what I'm going to order.
I stepped up to the counter, and the nice girl said, "Good morning! What can I get for you?"
My eyes were darting back and forth over the menu, and I said, rather hesitantly, "I'd like a non-fat latte with the sugar-free hazelnut syrup. Oh, and a cheese danish."
What?? The girl looked at me, smiled, and rang up the order. All the while, I was thinking, "That's just ridiculous. A non-fat sugar-free latte and a cheese danish?? Talk about your basic conflict of interest!"
Those of you who know me in real life know that I'm quite overweight - and now all of you who don't know me in real life are shocked that I'm not 5'11" and 110 lbs, nicely tanned and with long blonde hair. I know, I'm shocked, too. :-) Anyway, I am fully aware of my health risks, especially since diabetes runs in my family, and especially since I had gestational diabetes while carrying Wendy. I know this. You know what I also know? I know I love cheese danishes.
I've joked with people that I wouldn't have trouble with my weight if food didn't taste so darn good. But seriously, if they could make a pill that would make everything you eat taste like, I don't know, canned spinach with no seasoning, I wouldn't have any trouble losing weight. Instead, my world is filled with homemade mac & cheese, brownies, mashed potatoes, bacon, peanut butter, and other assorted yummy things. On the canned-spinach-tasting diet, I could probably get completely in shape within 9 or 10 months. In the real world, however...sigh.
Oh, and just so you know, the people who make bras are not kind to women who are overweight without the bonus curves. Everyone expects that if you're overweight, your cup size should go up accordingly. Well, that may be the rule for the general population, but there are a few of us out there who are overweight and yet small-chested. It happens. It's very unfair. So someone should make bras that will fit us.
I'm getting off my soapbox now. And I'm really glad I didn't make those chocolate chip cookies I considered yesterday. If I had, I'd be polishing them off now.
Just thought I'd share!
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
I have interviewed Julie Scott, or Burgundy Skies, of the group blog Pererro. Julie has had an interesting life, with a somewhat convoluted path. Without further ado, here's the inside scoop:
1. If you had to pick one thing that initiated your change from "liberal, neo-pagan, feminist, druggie, wiccan-high-priestess" to "conservative, Christian, post-feminist, clean and (mostly) dry stay-at-home mom" what would it be? What was the catalyst for the change?
Now there's a difficult one. I've been trying to document this change in my "My Life (or something like it)" series, and if there is one thing I've learned it's that change for me is more a process - and a really long term process at that. I suppose you could say the major players were God and David. I can't really narrow it down more than that because I think God put David into my life, but it was also through David that I learned that God loved me, even if I was a neo-pagan with a substance abuse problem. If I had to pick an event, I'd probably say my near death experience, because there's nothing like coming out of an alcoholic coma to find the only people that helped you were your crazy Christian friends to make you really reassess your priorities.
2. What is the last book you read? Did you like it? Why? Should I read it?
Well, I'm currently reading David's 3rd or 4th draft of his ambitious Sci-Fi/coming of age novel, but that's nowhere near publication yet, although I am enjoying it.
The last published novel I read was "The Way of a Man with a Maid". Yes, I liked it. Both for naughty reasons and because it IS really well written Victorian fiction. However, I suggest you skip the last section. Really, unless you are already a fan of Victorian erotica, you should probably skip it altogether and go read some Jane Austen instead. If you are not a fan of 1800s literature at all, well, then... I can't help you. I love the stuff.
3. If you could take a 2 week vacation anywhere in the world, where would it be? Who would go with you? What would you do?
That's a tough one. If it was truly anywhere in the world, I think I'd go on a mad plane trip to as many fabulous locations as I could squeeze in to two weeks. If I HAVE to pick just one - I'd really, really like to on a walkabout in New Zealand. Of course David and the Boo would have to come with me. We would hike through the beautiful flora and fauna of New Zealand, take pictures, sample local foods, and have a grand adventure.
4. List the ingredients in the perfect sandwich.
This might just be impossible. Next to bananas, sandwiches are probably the world's most perfect food. How else can you devour all the food groups at once? Unless it involves mayo or Kraft American cheese, I've rarely met a sandwich I didn't like. I think I can narrow down the field, though.
Hot - Fresh from the oven French bread, the spiciest mustard you can find, lean pastrami cut paper thin, and thick slices of Sonoma pepper jack.
Cold - Authentic San Francisco sourdough bread, Dijon mustard, thick sliced beefsteak tomatoes, pan fried center cut bacon, sliced avocado, and oven roasted turkey breast in nice thick slices.
For some reason, I hate mixing cheese and veggies on a sandwich - I hadn't noticed until now, but I usually have one or the other, but not both.
5. You just woke up, it's 9 a.m., and you have an appointment at 9:30 a.m. What's your strategy for getting there on time?
Well, that depends on where it is, doesn't it? We live relatively far from anywhere - even trying to make it to the nearest grocery store by 9:30 would be pretty pointless if I've just woken up at 9. So, I guess there is no strategy. I'd call whoever it is that I'm going to be late to meet and find out if it's okay if I come later or if I can reschedule the appointment. My husband is notoriously unconcerned about actually getting places on time unless it is going to cost him money not to be there, and I've found that the attitude is contagious.
6. Early Bird or Night Owl? Have you always been this way? Why?
Both. In a perfect world I would sleep from about 10am - 6pm. I consume large amounts of caffeine to get through a normal work day schedule. I think I always have because that's the sleeping schedule I've always adopted when left to my own devices (i.e. over summer vacation). I blame genetics - my dad appears to have similar circadian rhythms.
7. What is one thing you would not eat at a dinner party, even if your hostess had painstakingly prepared it just for you?
Anything with onions. If I eat them you will not see much of me at the dinner party, and the hostess will probably have to hire a haz-mat crew to clean her bathroom afterwards.
8. Do you buy organic products? Why or why not?
Sometimes. I'm kind of a lazy whole foods person. If it's there I'll buy it because I hate the idea of eating something I can't pronounce or my food having weird chemicals in it, but not so much I'm going to put a whole lot of effort into it. (Also, Twinkies are yummy.)
However, I do go out of my way to buy organic whole wheat spaghetti because it's healthier than regular pasta and once you get used to the taste, regular pasta tastes pretty bland.
9. When you were 9 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Oh gosh. Why 9? 9 was a bad year for me. My dog died, my best friend moved away, one of my other friends was taken out of school by child services because her dad beat her, my mom had breast cancer, my dad gave me my first shot of whiskey (yeah, that was a great year to introduce me to that!).... I think at 9 I had way too much to think about in the present to even consider the future. Besides, I already had everyone telling me what I should be when I grew up - my dad wanted me to be a poet, my choir director wanted me to be a musical theater star, my teacher wanted me to be a famous writer, my aunt wanted me to be a teacher...
Which leads nicely into your next question...
10. What kind of dreams do you have for your children?
I don't. I catch myself doing it every once in awhile and then I stop myself. My dreams are for me, my child is free to dream for herself. Besides, my daughter is a huge dreamer - I'd hardly want to limit her. Her current plan to be a robotics engineer/farmer/veterinarian/famous philanthropist is already far more ambitious than anything I could come up with and I say more power to her. (She's even got it worked out that she will build robots on her farm while tending to her own animals and using the profits to set up a charity organization to help the poor.)
11. What kind of old woman will you be one day?
Hopefully the kind that looks great for her age, goes on hikes in the foothills, dances with her husband, and keeps her nose out of other people's business, but is always ready to drop everything to help a good friend.
I was worried about Matilda, the outside cat, but she's on the front porch wondering where her breakfast is.
Thank you for your prayers - it was a stressful night. It's never good to hear the weather people say repeatedly over the course of several hours that your town is right in line for a direct hit with a storm with winds >100 mph, 2" hail, and multiple spots of very strong rotation. Scary.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
And then, to the west of us about a hundred miles, is big, thick line of angry reds and deep purples. A solid line. Did I mention it's a thick line? That line isn't going to miss us. It's going to hit us. In an hour or so. Yikes.
We have discovered that our town does, in fact, have tornado sirens. Or maybe that should be singular, siren. We live less than a mile from the two schools in town, the fire department, and city hall - and yet we could barely hear the tornado siren. We live directly across from the elementary school - wouldn't ya think they'd put a siren near the school?? I sure would.
I have always had a fear of thunderstorms. I spent many a summer night tucked under my Dad's arm in bed, convinced that the lightning was going to shoot through the window and set the bed on fire. Or the wind was going to blow the roof off. Or other such calamities. The advent of easily available radar has really helped my fear of storms...except on nights like this, when I have so much to look forward to...
Here's to a sleepless night. Hope things are calm where you are.
Monday, February 4, 2008
Today is the first day we've all been well. And so, today I deal with the aftermath...the toys that didn't get picked up, the tissues and half-drunk tea, the sweaters and afghans that were pulled on and then pulled off of feverish bodies. And the kitchen...sigh. Sometimes I despair of ever having a truly clean kitchen.
In the midst of this, Wendy has apparently outgrown her morning nap. She's only taken afternoon naps for the past three days, and even those haven't been very long. This makes me very sad. I'm not ready for her to be done with her morning nap!! I really look forward to those couple of hours of peace & quiet...I guess I'll learn to manage, as all mothers have since the beginning of time!
I guess my whole point in sitting down to write today was to give an update. Not only have we not tried out the new schedule due to illness, but the schedule will have to be revamped, if Wendy is really going to give up her morning nap. Sigh. As soon as I get the house/laundry under control, I'll work out a new schedule, and we'll give it a go.
Friday, February 1, 2008
As a result of my muddle-headedness, I'm going to take a break from my normal enlightening, thought-provoking, soul-searching, epiphanizing (I don't know if that's a word, but if not, it should be), captivating writing, and instead post about some things I like. Enjoy.
First of all, I came across this video today, and I don't quite remember which sequence of links got me there. Anyway, it's a toddler girl in trouble. While my girlie isn't quite communicating that well, yet, I can totally see her in this same situation. Especially when the Dad asks if she thinks it's funny, and she nods...
Second, have you seen this? It's a thing of beauty, my friends, the kind of thing that housewives and SAHMs dream about. Makes me wish, even though I know we can't afford it, that our Old Faithful would kick the bucket. No diamonds or furs for me, please - a high-efficiency, water-conserving, chip-resistant, front-loading wonder is the way to my heart!
And third, Ranch dressing. I'll spare you and not have a link for this one. This only comes up because the only thing we have in the house for dinner is frozen pizza, and we're out of Ranch dressing. Prior to college, I would've thought that was no big deal, but in post-Harding years, it's a tragedy. Pizza must be served with Ranch dressing - it's an unwritten rule.
Fourth, Scrabulous. I use the Facebook application of Scrabulous to play online Scrabble with friends from around the world. The great thing about it is that you don't have to be online at the same time; games can stretch over the course of several days. Also - if you're not on Facebook, you should check it out. I've reconnected with so many friends from college and even high school of whom I had completely lost track.
And now, dear readers, I must away, to preheat the oven for the Ranch-dressing-free frozen pizza. Yum.