Wednesday, September 26, 2007


A news story I came across today. I have to say, I like that she won. If she wants to continue to breastfeed, she really can't go for 9 hours without it. Nice to see courts supporting her decision to do that. If you ask me, the fact that she is taking a medical licensing exam when she has a 4 month old might not be the wisest choice she could make, but that's another blog for another day.

Child Drowning Prevention

We are rarely around water here in Colorado, but if we had a pool in our backyard, I would get my kids into this. Just the video made me cry watching it. Incredible how they can teach such tiny kids to be safe. They have instructors all over the nation.

Monday, September 24, 2007

On playing outside

Hannah requested we go outside today. I don't really remember the last time she asked.

It's funny. Of late, I have not thought of myself as a particularly outdoorsy person. In the past year (or two!), we have done more tv watching than I care to admit. As we were playing outside today, I was thinking of all the things my siblings and I did outside as kids. When I was really young and we were living in California, we would spend hours outside - chasing chickens around the backyard, working in the garden, digging "streams" with the hose, riding bikes on the patio...the possibilities seemed endless. When we moved to Colorado we lived for a year out here in the forest before moving into town. We had an "Indian Camp" complete with teepees made out of small fallen trees and old sheets. We also built a stage by nailing boards between two trees and throwing sheets over it for curtains. We would take our old red wagon and give each other "tours" around the five acres. When we did move to town, I would spend hours in my garden.

So, not only have I been missing the outside, I've been missing my own creativity!

When I got pregnant with Hannah and then had to recover from the c-section, it changed the way I related to the outside. Suddenly everything seemed uncomfortable and full of germs. Even the way I moved seemed to change. Does anybody else relate to this? I became an old lady! :)

Add to all of this a dumb fear I have always had of looking silly or undignified, and you have a recipe for someone who does not spend much time outside. I think one of the most profound things on TV is Bert and Ernie. They have this one episode in which Ernie is talking to an elephant on a banana. He encourages Bert to try it. It goes something like this:

B: I don't want to. I'll look silly.
E: Silly's fun, Bert!
B: I'm not really good at that kind of thing.
E: Just try it.

I can relate. When did I become so self-conscious?

But today, we just went outside and we played. I taught Hannah to catch a ball (well, I taught her to hold her hands and arms close together so I could strategically drop the ball in her arms. Ya gotta start somewhere!). I gathered up some of the millions of pine cones and threw them toward one area so we can actually mow, and the girls can walk without tripping. Hannah picked at the bark on a tree - the first time she's ever seen that. Audrey looked at pine needles. We discovered a feather on the ground. I showed Hannah how to blow a dandelion puff. We picked wildflowers. We enjoyed the clouds and sunshine.

And I gotta say, this beats being a grownup any day. I'm never going back.

To do this week

-Replace burnt out lights on both cars
-Get new mascara
-Hang up curtains in Living Room (half off at Target!)
-Go to the Happy Apple Farm. Pick apples. Have fun.
-Hang out with friend Tara A, coming to see Dr P, all the way from CA.
-Paint bathroom
-Buy bird food and put up feeder
-Teach piano
-Have mom's group at my house
-Grocery shop
-Organize closet space in our bedroom
-Go to sister Holly's house to check out the wedding dress she designed and is sewing.
-Other boring things: pay bills, return stuff we decided we don't want, install carpet tack strip between hall and bathroom, put door closer thingy on back screen door, take DishNetwork equipment to UPS, find a Pooh costume for Hannah (they're going to be Tigger and Pooh)...

Got my work cut out for me, ya think?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

This is my Autumn impression

I gotta be honest, there is nothing in me right now that wants it to be fall yet. Like, at all. Last winter was really tough for me, having a tiny baby and a toddler, and it was FREEZING cold, and there was snow on the ground for like 2 months solid and that never happens here, and I seriously think I might have had that S.A.D. thing...

But, I'm making a batch of these right now. And, if there's one thing I like about fall, it's pumpkin spice anything. Add chocolate to it, and you've got a winner for sure.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Did you know that even if you have adopted, or allowed your milk to dry up, you can still breastfeed? I came across this really interesting page today that tells how to reestablish milk supply after it is gone or almost gone. (It also has links to lots of other fascinating info!)

I have so much sympathy for women who have had a tough time breastfeeding - all odds are against them in our culture. It seems like MOST women have never seen it done. I had the blessing of growing up with it in my home and in my extended family. I remain convinced thus far, that anyone who wants to can breastfeed IF they find the right support system. Even if you have to start from scratch, it can be done!

And by the way, is just generally a fantastic resource when it comes to breastfeeding.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Football season is here part 2

So, I guess this post really struck a chord with everybody. I have to say, I was shocked at the sheer volume of replies. OK, so there were like 10. But that is a new record for this blog. :)

I have a bunch of thoughts, and they don't seem to follow any kind of progression, but I'd like to share them anyway.

If you didn't read Leslie's comment toward the end, you should. I think she hit the nail on the head. We need to know that we are important enough that our husbands will defend time with us like they would defend their time watching a game. As I thought through that, the times when I have been most cranky about Nick watching a game have been times we have not had enough quality time together.

Our lives have to be balanced. I think that means different things for different families.

You guys should all come over next time Nebraska is on tv. It'll be fun. I know it's a drive for some of you. I don't care. :)

I'm not sure I will ever get to a point where I get involved in the games. Nick's not even sure he wants me to. He told me last night that he feels like my disinterest keeps his interest in balance. I did, however, walk by a sports apparel store in the mall today. Nick has been talking about how he wanted a new Nebraska t-shirt to wear during games. So, I got him one. It made him laugh. Watching games...not so much. Buying clothes? I can handle that one! Ha!

A Book Meme

Marianne tagged me for this book meme. Hmmm... Hopefully I can find the books I have recently read. And incidentally, what's a "meme" and why is it called that anyway?

My currently reading list:
"Keep a Quiet Heart" by Elizabeth Elliot
"Awaken the Giant Within" by Anthony Robbins
In Style, Real Simple, Cottage Living, Better Homes and Gardens magazines

Total number of books in my library:
I have no clue. I have two full bookcases, and another half of one with music books

Last book finished:
"Parenting Isn't for Cowards" by James Dobson
"The Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey
"Becoming a Chief Home Officer" by Allie Pleiter
"The Book of Numbers" by Moses

Last book bought:
"Lifegiving" Tammy Maltby

5 Meaningful books: (Bible aside)
"Till We Have Faces" by C.S. Lewis
"The Power of a Praying Parent" by Stormie Omartian
"Lifegiving" by Tammy Maltby
"The Red Tent" by Anita Diamant
"What Our Mothers Didn't Tell Us" by Danielle Crittenden

5 Favorite Books:
My favorite books are the meaningful ones, but I will add:
"The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett
"Prescription for Nutritional Healing" by Balsch

5 others to tag:
I can't think of anyone else who will do it...SaraW?

On discouragement

This was on Jana's blog today:

"...the Bible declares from beginning to end that faith is the law of the spiritual life, and that according to our faith it always shall be and always will be unto us. Then, since faith and discouragement cannot, in the very nature of things, exist together, it is perfectly manifest that discouragement must be an absolute barrier to faith. And that where discouragement rules, the converse to the law of faith must rule also, and it shall be to us, not according to our faith, but according to our discouragement.

In fact, just as courage is faith in good, so discouragement is faith in evil; and, while courage opens the door to good, discouragement opens it to evil...

Discouragement flies where faith appears; and, vice versa, faith flies when discouragement appears. We must choose between them, for they will not mix."

-Hannah Whitall Smith

I've never thought of it that way before - discouragement is faith in evil. It is believing that evil has more power to win in my life than good does. Really, it is believing that God is not powerful enough to be in control. This is one of those "retrain your mind" things. We have to decide how we're going to think.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Football Season is here

I have a confession to make: I have a love/hate relationship with football. Okay, so it tends more on the hate side than the love side. Every fall, I am torn.

On the one hand, I love my husband very much, and he loves football very much. Somebody remind me of the algebra illustration that I cannot remember here. If (something) and (something) then (something)=(something) :) At least it should.

Anyway, I grew up in a home where we did not watch sports. My dad enjoys them, but never really followed a team, and neither of my brothers caught the bug, whatsoever. In fact, the thought of Ryan or Nathan sitting in front of a game is humorous to me, come to think of it.

Nick, on the other hand, is from Nebraska. Nebraska is the world headquarters of college football fans. There is nothing like a Nebraska fan in the world. Seriously. When we go back there to visit, the streets are literally empty if there's a game on. Football is what men, and women for that matter, do. When Nick calls his parents, the first 20 minutes are usually a debate about what player is doing well this week, or whether someone will be well enough from their injury to play, or chat about some new exciting recruit. To be honest, I tune it out.

Thankfully, I have a husband who is incredibly understanding about this difference in our cultures. When he watches a game, he will usually chase the girls around the living room, change diapers, referee arguments, and even interact occasionally. He does not yell at people (or at the tv. :) Now that we have DVR (this is BAD - incredibly addictive!) he will even "pause" the game and deal with a crisis. Happily, I might add.

So my issue is, I am a grouch. I cannot figure out for the life of me why it frustrates me so much that he likes this. Yes, it is time out of our weekend, but it's not THAT much time. Every time he watches a game, I wrestle with my attitude the entire time. I go into martyr/feel sorry for myself mode. I hate that I am so stinkin' selfish about it.

Does anybody else deal with this? This is like the one thing Nick ever asks for himself...

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Nothing very useful to say today, feel free to skip this one. :)

-Unpacking is mostly done. Done meaning the boxes are out of the house (except for our bedroom). Now the garage is another matter altogether. But, my living room looks pretty today!

-I have potted flowers on the front deck/porch thingy. This makes me smile.

-Yesterday I figured out how to change the broken tail light and turn signal in the Jetta. Go me!

-Tonight we are going to choir. I am so very much looking forward to this.

-Anyone know how I can get my 1 year old to quit waking up at 3:30 every night? She STILL does this. I nurse her in my sleep and wake up with her kicking me or whacking my face a few hours later. I would just let her cry it out, except then she wakes up Hannah and they keep EACH OTHER up. Sigh.

-My parents get back from their trip in four days! Several times a day, I go through this with Hannah:

H: Where Mama? (I'm mommy, gramma is mama)
Me: She went bye bye on an airplane.
H: Where Papa?
Me: He went bye bye on an airplane.
H: Where Amy?
Me: She went bye bye on an airplane.
H: Where Nathan?
Me: He went bye bye on an airplane.

At this point she will ask where the kitty is (at gramma's house), where Disney and Bella (gramma's dogs) are, (they're at gramma's house), and then begins to go through Daddy, Holly and David, Ryan... Then sometimes we start all over with Gramma again. She misses everybody!

-I made rice crispies treats last night. Nick and I are addicted to these, I have to admit. Whole Foods has kosher (and gluten free!) marshmallows, and puffed rice made with brown rice. I know it's probably not much better for us, but it makes us feel better. We can finish the entire pan in two days between the two of us. It's bad.

-I'm playing the piano for a wedding on Saturday. Nice. Easy money! It's amazing what people happily pay for an hour of your time when you play well. I have been so glad, over and over again, that I did not quit piano lessons when I was 10.

-I got new makeup the other day. About 6 months ago, my body decided to outright rebel when I so much as touch anything with soy in it. Seriously. Eating it makes me sick as a dog, and I get an itchy rash on my elbows and knees. It is SO weird. Wearing makeup or lotion with it burns like fire and eventually makes my skin red and swollen. Therefore, my choices for cheap makeup are limited. (Read: nonexistent) However, I found Origins. It's not cheap, but it's not horribly expensive either, and they use very few nasty chemicals. Most of their stuff is soy free and paraben* free, and it smells SO good.

*I have decided to attempt to avoid parabens if I have the choice. The article I linked says nothing has been proven and I don't go overboard. I do however, want to make the best choices possible.

-Have I mentioned we're going to choir tonight?

OK, off to do something more productive.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


If you're a mom, make time for this article today.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Audrey's Birthday

I found the camera cable this morning. The third time I looked for it. In the computer bag. Where it belongs. Sheesh.

So, I know several people who have recently thrown beautiful, creative first birthday parties for their kids. This wasn't that. Signing a year lease 4 days after Audrey's birth timed our move perfectly. But, to make myself feel better, I told myself multiple times, "She will not know the difference, unless I get all upset about it. Then she will know something is up." We did what we could, and we had fun, and I didn't kill myself over it. I suppose the cute party will have to come next year.

With that disclaimer, here are some pictures. Like everybody always says, I can't believe my baby is one already...

Friday, September 7, 2007


This is a subject that is currently close to my heart. I thought I would offer some of the tips I'm using. Maybe they can be useful to you as well!

1. I read a Feng Shui article in a magazine once. Feng Shui is HUGE on decluttering. It said something like, "Go around your house, touching everything in it. Ask yourself about each item, "Do I love this, does it make me smile? If the answer is no, throw it away." After having a good laugh about the way they said it, I have applied that principle ever since. If something makes me feel sad when I look at it, or if it was given to me and I have no use for it, or if I bought it and no longer need it, I throw it away. I DO NOT throw away things that have meaningful sentimental value. I have to be careful about this, because I tend to throw away too much and then I'm sorry later. You may lean in the opposite direction - be aware of how much you need to/want to get rid of.

There is no reason, for example, for me to have 3 sets of measuring cups. 2 of them I think I bought at the dollar store when I got my own apartment in college. I have Tupperware ones I got as a wedding present. There. 5 more square inches of cabinet space.

Note: Useful things do not necessarily have to make you smile for you to keep them. I do not advocate throwing away your dishwasher, no matter your feelings toward it.

2. Put same-sized objects together. They fit better and take up less space.

3. Utilize containers - glass bowls, baskets, lazy susans, vases - anything can be used to group things together and keep them looking neat

4. Keep your focus - what is important? For me, I love books. I also love to have people over. Therefore, I am not likely to get rid of many books, except on paperbackswap. I also want to keep most of my duplicate dishes because they will allow me to entertain. I do not spend a ton of time baking, so some of my baking stuff can go. We only have two bedrooms and therefore don't need 5 sets of extra sheets in the linen closet. At the very least they can go into storage in the garage for the day we have a guest room (or when the girls want to build forts with them in a couple years!).

5. Clothing - they say if you haven't worn it in a year, you never will again. Take it to Goodwill. Your kids will be mad in 20 years when you say, "I used to have one of those" about something they would DIE to have. But really, do you have space to store it for 20 years? The kids clothes should be packed away in boxes for future siblings or sold or taken to Goodwill once they are too small. Allowing them to stay in the drawer just complicates getting them dressed (and keeping the dresser drawers closed!).

6. Toys - Are there pieces that end up all over the floor, never used for their intended purpose? Are there things your kids are bored with? Pack them away for a month and begin rotating the toys. Every month when you bring out the old stuff, put away different ones. Voila'! New toys every month.

7. If you don't know where to start, set your timer for 15 minutes and do SOMETHING, anything! If you are still overwhelmed when you're done, set the timer for 15 minutes and rest. Then set it again and work for another 15 minutes. Or, just keep going. If I can get into cleaning mode, I can change the world in the course of an hour. :)

Alright. Gotta go use some more of my own advice! Happy decluttering!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A cottage of your own?

Anybody want to move in across the street from me? The neighbor (who I gather just bought the place) just told me they're putting it up for rent soon. 2 bed, 1 bath, 650 sq. ft., $650 a month neg. There's a little fenced yard with a very old-looking shed made out of logs behind it. In my book, a million times better than a 2 bedroom apartment, and probably cheaper! I would add a pic, but I can't find my cord for the camera... Arg.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Kyla nominated me for the Rockin' Girl Blogger award. Thanks, Kyla. Now, I'm aware that half the blogosphere has one of these, but it's still special to me... :)

So, I'm nominating Flo, whose creativity and opposite political opinions I appreciate, even though we're never met. I would love to read a post about your political perspective, Flo. I'm terribly curious! :)

And elixir, whose real name I'm not sure of, but I have been enjoying her thoughtful posts for the past couple months.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Well, we're here

The past few days have been a whirlwind. Tonight we're having my family over for birthday cake for Audrey before my parents and youngest siblings leave for CA for 10 days. We worked our tails off since Friday, and there is still much to be done. We also have yet to clean the townhouse and check out with our old landlord. Seeing as how the girls are still sick with colds, not quite sure how I'm going to get that done.

I was thinking today, as I worked on putting away the endless boxes of stuff into the very limited space in the kitchen, that I believe contentedness must be practiced. Here's what I mean: we have looked forward to moving to this house for months, really. Back in February we began looking for a place to live. This is where we ended up. There are so many things I love about it. As I walked through this poorly cared-for cottage, I saw a place where we could thrive, even before it looked like such a place. When it comes down to reality though, sometimes the piles of boxes and lack of space threaten to crowd out the hopes and dreams. Do you have any idea what I'm talking about?

Honestly, I could probably move to a brand-new, huge house and still find something to be upset about. I think most people could. So, I want to learn to be content here. Here, with the toilet that Nick has made three (so far) trips to Lowe's for the stuff to fix it. Here, with the lack of closet and cabinet space. Here, with the carpet that is less than perfect. Here, with...fill in the blanks.

I was thinking of the Rich Mullins song, "One Thing."

Everybody I know says they need just one thing
But what they really mean is they need just one thing more
Everybody seems to think they got it coming
Well, I know that I don't deserve it, still I want to love and serve you more and more
You're my one thing

You're my one thing
And the pure in heart shall see God

And then, there's Phil. 4:11-13:

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

And THEN, there's 2 Peter 1:3:

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

So, if I know that God has given me everything I need, and that it is possible to live in contentedness, I'm determined to find it! I have always loved the idea of having a simple life - not needing much to be full of joy, hospitable, at peace, and able to live within our means. So, this house is a gift from God to me. Without being forced to, I'm not sure I would ever learn how to live that way. Watch me learn!