Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Another NaBloPoMo down!

NaBloPoMo is always an interesting exercise.  I feel like I do a month or so of posting and maybe come up with one or two really good posts.  Sorry, ya’ll, to be subjected to the rest of them.

I like the exercise though.  I like that it forces me to think about something and to write everyday.  I’ll do it again for sure, but not next month.

I did something different this time around that made all the difference for me, even if it wasn’t reflected on the blog.  Since NaBloPoMo is hosted by Blogher.com now, I decided to become a bit more active within that community.  I spent some time browsing other blogs that were working on the NaBloPoMo goal.  I came across some of the most amazing people.  And I feel like I made some connections with a few kindred spirits.  I’m so in love with the blogosphere these days.  Its like this grand reminder that humanity can be pretty awesome.  Which is good, because the world is kind of full of reminders that humanity often sucks.

Anyways, until my next NaBloPoMo I’m gonna focusing on writing and working on blog posts everyday, even if I don’t post one everyday.  Less pressure, but still some pressure.  And then I can spare my readers (ye few) all of the lame in between posts. 

Practice makes progress. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

A Possible Move. (Subtitle: I can’t live here forever.)

Its very possible that we will move again.  We want to buy a house.  Renting is fine, and we’ve been grateful to do it, since we haven’t been in the position to buy.  But, this summer we might be able to.  We might also decide to wait ‘til next summer so that we can have an even better deposit, but I think we’d both prefer sooner to later.  We’d really just love to have a place of our own. Also…

When we move, it is very likely we’ll move to the neighboring town.  Buena Vista, VA (I totally included the link for that, even though its not working.  It seems like evidence of what I’m about to talk about.) has some great things going for it.  But it’s a small town.  And I am NOT a small town girl.  I’ve tried to be, but its just not me.  It never has been.  I love me the lights and noise of a big city, and kind of long for it.  But I did try.  Tried really hard.  For the first 4 months or that we lived here I think I actually convinced myself that I liked it.  Told myself it was quaint and fun.  But the fact is, even though it’s a great little town, with some great people in it… it is still a very, very little town.  Lexington, VA is only 6 miles away, is the county seat, is busier, and just has more.  Its still a relatively small town, but I think it will suit me better.  I’m still gonna feel isolated because all the places I love to go and shop are far away, but I think it will be better there.  William can keep the job he loves and I can have more things to look at.  I’m hoping that will be a good compromise between me being miserable in a tiny town and him having to look for a new job. 

So, in short, we might buy a house in the next town over. 

That is all.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Simple Woman

Find it HERE.
FOR TODAY:
Outside my window... Its entirely too warm for the end of January/beginning of February.  I freaking finally get out of Florida and am still having a crappy winter.
I am thinking... that it is kind of awesome not living in Florida during an election year.  At the beginning of 2008 I thought it was exciting.  By November in 2008 I thought I’d poke my eye out if I saw another attack ad or got one more pre-dialed phone call.
I am thankful... for half.com.  I am getting paid to clear up some space on the bookshelves.
In the kitchen... we had an exciting week-end that involved homemade almond milk and the best homemade falafel ever.
I am wearing... my warm fluffy robe.
I am creating... curtains.  I finally started a project this week.  I’m determined to get all my curtains altered and finished before we decide to move out of this house.
I am going... slightly insane.  Just slightly.  I blame the Things.
I am wondering... if I’ll ever have a dishwasher again.  I miss having one so very much.
I am reading... Inkspell by Cornelia Funke and The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.
I am hoping... to get some things cleared out and organized over the next couple of months.  I’ve been watching a lot of Hoarding and I just don’t want it to be me one day.
I am looking forward to... spring break.  But it feels awfully far away.
I am learning… more about my sewing machine.  It does some fancy stuff.
Around the house... I’ve created yet another chore chart.  I think I just like to find excuses to play with excel.
I am pondering... taking some art classes.  I wish I could draw.
A favorite quote for today... “Always desire to learn something useful.” – Sophocles
One of my favorite things... is eating hummus.  Which I did with dinner.
A few plans for the rest of the week: same ole, same ole. 
A peek into my day...
This picture is from a year ago when we were with my family in Orlando.  Look at how tiny Thing 2 is!!!  And his fuzzy little head!
087

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Can I get some help with this?

Edited to add:  Okay, I just found the artist’s description of this picture.  Its kind of genius.  So, I’ve included his description of each person in the number list below. 
I feel like I watch a lot of TV, but I just don’t know who all of these people are (click the picture to see the original at its source):
image
1. Dwight Schrute, Dwight (The Office)
2. Caprica, Battlestar Galatica (I was given this one, I had no idea.) Caprica 6 (Battlestar Galactica)
3. Dr. Gregory House, Dr. House (House)
4. J.D. from Scrubs, JD (Scrubs)
5. Tobias Funke from Arrested Development (thanks Sara!), Tobias (Arrested Development)
6. Tina Fey. What’s her name in 30 Rock?  Liz Lemon (thanks Sara!), Liz Lemon (30 Rock)
7. ?, River (Firefly)  (I should have KNOWN that!)
8. Jack from LOST (thanks Sara!), Jack and Vincent (LOST)
9. Doctor Who (thanks Sara!), The 11th Doctor (Doctor Who)
10. The guy from Breaking Bad (thanks Sara and William, but does someone know his name?), Walter (Breaking Bad)
11. The guy from The Walking Dead (thanks Sara! Does anyone else know his name?), Sheriff (Walking Dead)
12. Sherlock Holmes from the BBC show (was given this one too), Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock)
13. Dexter (thanks Sara!  I thought this might be the case, but have never seen it and wasn’t sure.), Dexter (Dexter)
14. Barney Stinson, Barney (How I Met Your Mother)
15.  Britt from Glee (I though the chick from Heroes first but was corrected), Quinn or really any other cheerleader from (Glee) and honestly could be Claire from (Heroes) if you'd prefer
16. Jeff Winger from Community (thanks Sara!), Jeff (Community)
17. Sheldon?  from Big Bang Theory, Sheldon (Big Bang Theory)
18. Spock, Spock (Star Trek:TOS)
19. Chuck, Chuck (Chuck)
20. Someone from Madmen maybe?  I haven’t seen the show., Don Draper (Mad Men)
21. ? I thought maybe Sidney Bristow, but that might be the spy association because she’s talking to Chuck…?, Sydney Bristow (Alias)
22. Buffy, Buffy (Buffy the Vampire Slayer
23. Bill from True Blood (I guessed True Blood, someone gave me the name Bill.  I’ve never seen that show either.), Bill (True Blood)
Also, thanks to Sara for pointing out the Tardis in the window, which I know is from Doctor Who.  Does anyone know what the other things in the window are?  I think one is the Enterprise.
About the window and animals in the room, the artist said: Window: TARDIS (Doctor Who), USS Enterprise (Star Trek), Galactica (Battlestar Galactica), Serenity (Firefly).
Also, the dog is sorta supposed to look like the dog from Frasier, and the cat is sorta like the one from Sabrina

Leave me a comment if you know who these people are!!  I’d love to fill this out.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Mint

This is a public service announcement. 

Over the last few months, I’ve been using Mint.com to help us organize our finances.  At first it was really depressing.  Zeros without anything in front of them are sad.

But, regardless, I really like the site.  Mostly because it organizes everything for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still using my own spreadsheets.  I have several.  I love spreadsheets.  But, with the aid of Mint.com I’ve been able to set some goals (both short term and long term) and track the progress towards them.  I like pulling all of the information from all of our accounts into one place so that I can see the big picture and how it looks for the monthly budget.  Its like a fitnesspal or sparkpeople site, but it’s a diet plan for your bank account. 

And the website is free.

And they are totally not paying me for this post.  (Although the could if they wanted to.  I wouldn’t mind.  And they should KNOW I could use the extra income.)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Once upon an allergist visit

So, we took the Things to the allergist yesterday.  It was really uninformative.  Mostly.

With Thing 1 we have been most concerned about the rashes he’s been getting.  We explained to the doctor when we got there that we are suspicious it is the pine needles in our back yard.  He gets the rashes when he plays outside.  He didn’t get rashes all summer, even though he played out there for hours every day.  In the fall, after the two evergreens we have in the back yard shed themselves all over the place, he started getting rashy after being back there for short periods of time. 

They didn’t test him for pine.

He was tested for the most common allergies, plus several molds and other random things.  He tested negative for all of them.

She gave us a steroid cream and an anti-histamine to administer when he gets the rash.  Which I guess is just about what they would’ve done if had been tested for pine and was positive for it.  It just would have been nice to know.

With Thing 2 the big concern was the constant runny nose and the frequent ear infections.  (While we were there the doctor checked his ears and found he actually has another ear infection RIGHT NOW.)  Since I’d read that 79% of ear infections are caused by food allergies, I was really anxious for them to check, you know, food allergies.  I could only talk them into checking milk.  So, he was tested for the most common allergies and for milk.  He was negative for all of them.  After just having learned that he had an ear infection, I wasn’t surprised that he was wasn’t allergic to milk.  Because, you know, we’ve been dairy free for several weeks and he STILL got another ear infection.  That was obviously not the problem. 

But now I’m left wondering what IS the problem.  These frequent ear infections are going to have to be addressed.  And if we can’t figure it out soon, we’re gonna have to get tubes put in or something.  It could be that he’s just got little collapsed canals in his head and so they keep getting infected.  Whether it’s the canals or the allergies, I’m sure its something he will grow out of, but in the mean time the doctors just keep shoving antibiotics at him.  Which I hate.  If he was allergic to something (and I think he is because his nose is ALWAYS running) and I knew what it was, we could just avoid that thing.

I can still keep looking for answers on my own. Since I know its not dairy, I need to start thinking about what we can eliminate next. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Longest.Day.Ever.

We took the Things to see an allergist today.  Since we had to drive an hour away to Roanoke to get to the allergist, we decided to hit up a few other places in town and make a day of it.  Its always nice to leave the podunks and get into “the big city”.
ANYWAY, we left this morning around 9:30am.  We got back around 5:40pm.  I had a meeting at 6:00pm.  I got home at 7:00pm, ate dinner, helped get the Things ready for bed, and then left for another meeting at 8:00pm.  Got home around 9:45pm.  Then had to put Thing 2 to sleep ‘cause he’d refused to do it without me.
Now I’m just kinda sitting around and staring into space and thinking, “Oh hey.  NaBloPoMo.  I should blog.”
It’s a good thing not everyday is like this.  Tomorrow had better not be.
PS Will update on the Things’ lack of allergies and why they may or may not be experiencing health issues tomorrow.  Maybe. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I must be more careful…

Tonight at dinner we had some noodles.  Thing 2 gleefully plucked some off of his plate and placed them in his hair.  I laughed.

Big mistake.

There was a lot more of putting the noodles in the hair.  Thing was, he was just so cute and all excited about it.  I kept laughing.

I know, I know.  I couldn’t help it.  I knew it would go no where good.

Thing 1 started putting noodles in his hair. 

You’d think it be less cute on a 3 year old.  And it kind of was.  But, he had this expression his face that was so desperately cute.  It was all full of eagerness for me to think he is just so funny too.  Which, quite frankly, was just so funny. 

It reminded my of this guy in college that really liked me, but that I had no interest in “like that”.  Thing was, the guy was SO. FUNNY.  Seriously funny.  Like a stand up comedian that is ‘always on’.  And when he talked I would just laugh and laugh.  And one of my best friends (a guy) kept telling me that I NEEDED to stop laughing at his jokes because it was sending the wrong message.  And albeit we can debate the live long day about whether or not laughing at a joke should be considered flirting, fact was that this guy WAS interpreting all my laughing as flirting.  I tried so very hard not to laugh at his jokes.  It was impossible.  And it just made things awkward.  Awkwardness that this guy usually dispelled by telling a joke.  It was a vicious cycle.

Anyways, that’s how I felt tonight at the dinner table.  I did a lot of laughing tonight about my Things putting food in their hair. I will see more of this in the future, and it is my own fault. (Although it will be significantly less awkward than with the guy in college. Mostly it will just be messy.)

Monday, January 23, 2012

I’ll get to that later.

Today’s Prompt: What have you recently started that you know you'll finish?
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
I have a 3yr old and a 1yr old.  I’m fairly confident that I’ll finish this blog post.
I probably shouldn’t let the chaos of two toddler boys keep me from even starting new projects, but I do.  Its because of the fear that I won’t finish said projects and then I’ll be one of those people whose home is filled with unfinished projects.  So instead I’m the person with no projects.  Lame.  This also means my home, that I’ve lived in for about 9 months now, is largely undecorated.  Its sad.
I need to start a project.
I do at least, have my book blog now.  So, that’s given some purpose to the time I spend reading.   So, there’s at least one hobby.  *whew*

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Simple Woman

Find it HERE.
FOR TODAY:

Outside my window... Forecasted rain. No forecasted snow.

I am thinking... that I’ll back date this post, so that it appears I posted on Sunday.  Its Monday and I forgot to post yesterday.  But if I backdate this post, and then post again today, NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW!
I am thankful... for my warm fluffy robe

In the kitchen... we need to do some post week-end clean up.

I am wearing... my warm fluffy robe.

I am creating... a list of things that I should get busy creating.

I am going... to hopfully get a referral to an allergists for the Things this week.

I am wondering... when I will stop waking feeling tired.

I am reading... Inkheart by Cornelia Funke and The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. 

I am hoping... that Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close comes to a theater near me soon.  I really want to see that movie.

I am looking forward to... reading Inkspell by Cornelia Funke.  I’m almost done with Inkheart. 

I am learning… that this too shall pass.

Around the house... the Things’ toys are finally organized and sorted into boxes.  Most of the boxes are hidden in a closet they can’t get to.  I’ll do some rotation every couple of weeks.

I am pondering... making myself go to bed earlier at night.  Its so hard because when the Things are finally in bed I like to enjoy the quiet for as long as possible.

A favorite quote for today... “A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It's jolted by every pebble on the road.” –Henry Ward Beecher

One of my favorite things... reading all day.

A few plans for the rest of the week: nothing grand. Hopefully a trip to Roanoke to see an allergist.

A peek into my day...
Stroller 2
I’m selling this stroller.  Anyone want to buy a stroller?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Dear friends who have private blogs,

I have lots of friends who have private blogs.  And I totally respect that.  There are a lot of reasons to want to control what you put on the internets.  In many cases I would even recommend having a private blog, depending on the circumstance.  I just have one major problem private blogs. 
There is a serious lack of RSS feed.  I cannot follow your private blog on Google Reader.  I have to just remember to check it.  And I remember to check the private blogs I like to read about once a month. 
So, even though I respect and understand your blog privacy, I wish your blog wasn’t private.
That is all.
Here is a cute picture:
DSCN1615

Friday, January 20, 2012

A shout out to a rock star 7th grade English teacher

This is a prompt from earlier this week: Tell us about your first teacher who was important to you.
The first teacher that was really important to me was Mrs. Quinton in the 7th grade.  Albeit, I didn’t know it at the time.  At the time I thought she was hard and that I had to work too much for her class (admittedly, it was nowhere near the amount of homework kids get these days.  but that’s a whole different topic.)  What I learned later in life was that she was teaching me valuable—very valuable—skills.  She taught me how to write a paper.
It seems simple, I know.  When I was writing papers in high school, I always got good grades on papers.  And I put way less effort into them than my classmates did.  WAY less.  It wasn’t that I was so much smarter.  Mostly I thought I was lucky. 
Then I went to college.  And in a freshman class one of my teachers spent the whole first week of the class teaching us how to write a paper.  The whole time I was bored out of my mind thinking, “Is all of college going to be just like the 7th grade?”
It wasn’t until a few years later, maybe even in grad school, that I realized not everyone had been taught these skills in middle school.  Apparently a lot of people make it to (and then through) college (and often on to grad school) without being able to formulate and support a proper thesis.  Weird for me to be in grad school helping friends edit their horribly, horribly written papers, since I’d been doing it right since 7th grade.  It seems like something a graduate student should be able to do.
This has been driven home repeatedly being married to an English professor.  William sometimes shares with me papers that his students have written.  They are mostly ridiculous.  The abominations of the five paragraph essay that he is subjected to over and over again can be really depressing.  Clearly, middle schools across the nation need more Mrs. Quintons.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Interview with Thing 2, 2012

I, obviously, created these answers for Thing 2.  I think its pretty accurate though.  It will be fun to compare to future ones future ones anyway.

In case you missed it, check out Thing 1’s from yesterday.

AllForTheBoysMyInterviewWesley

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Interview with Thing 1, 2012

I got the idea for this HERE.  The goal is to do this every year.  It will be fun when he can start writing the answers himself. 

I asked John these questions and did my best to not lead him to any answers.  I did have to rephrase a couple of questions so that he could be grasp the concept.  For example, “My favorite memory” turned into “Something fun I remember”.  Some questions he just didn’t get.  He just couldn’t grasp why you would pick a favorite movie.  I don’t know if its because he thinks all movies are good, or he just hasn’t seen enough to get that there can be a preference for one or two.  Either way, the answer written was the answer he gave over and over again, no matter how hard I tried to get something out of him.  I did my best to write the answers has he said them, including punctuation. 

There are a few other things you should keep in mind has you read through this:

  • He doesn’t own a pink shirt.  Apparently he’s undecided as to whether or not he needs one.   
  • Leah is his cousin.  He adores her.
  • He is, of course, currently 3 years old.
  • I had no idea he had a super hero persona.  I’m pretty stoked to find that out.
  • He does have a scooter.  He was not currently playing with it.
  • By “school” I think he means writing letters.  Practice is a word I use a lot when we’re doing that.
  • Lunch at our house usually is pretty awesome.

AllForTheBoysMyInterviewJohn

I’m going to do one for Thing 2 tomorrow, but of course will just be answering for him.  I think it will still be fun.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Thank you, Hershey’s

So, I filled the Things’ Christmas stockings with Hershey kisses.  We had so many, really, that it took us a couple of weeks to even get to them all.  A week or so after Christmas, we started opening some kisses that were pretty disgusting.  They were totally oxidized, and crumbly. 

I sent an email to Hershey’s to complain.  (I told them the kisses were from a Christmas past.  Long past.)  I got the nicest email in response explaining the nature of chocolate and what happens if it ages or is not properly cared for.  The email expressed regret that the store distributing the candy that I purchased was likely not following the instructions sent with the product on how to best care for it.  I was told I would receive compensation in the mail.

Today I received a coupon for $4.00 off a Hershey’s product.  BEST COUPON EVER!

I am now enjoying some mini dark chocolate candy bars that the Kroger store paid me $0.37 to take off their hands.  So, also a big shout out to Kroger for dispensing overage as cash.

That is all.

Monday, January 16, 2012

I have a dream…

“Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person... is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

“Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Simple Woman

Find it HERE.

FOR TODAY:

Outside my window... Lots of my friends across the country are getting loads of snow.  I’m getting NONE.  I feel disgruntled about this.

I am thinking... it’s probably time for Thing 1’s 3 year check up.  You know, since is 3rd birthday was almost a month ago.

I am thankful... for a husband that loves to cook and does it well.

In the kitchen... there is not enough chocolate.  I need more chocolate.

I am wearing... a blue blouse.

I am creating... a list of things that I should get busy creating.

I am going... to lunch with my family tomorrow.  Its so nice having a 3 day week-end!

I am wondering... how many more times we’ll watch Tangled before the Things tire of it.  I’m not complaining.  It’s a great movie.  Just… you know…

I am reading... Ink Heart by Cornelia Funke and The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.  I just finished Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, and you can read my review HERE.

I am hoping... to get Thing 2 sleeping with Thing 1 soon.  Instead of sleeping with me, of course.

I am looking forward to... an extra day off tomorrow!

I am learning… more about that old adage about the things you can’t control.  You know the one.  How does it go?  Whatever it says, it means you gotta let that stuff go.

Around the house... we did a lot of cleaning this week-end and its so nice.  If only it would always stay like this.  I know it won’t and I blame the Things.

I am pondering... what life will be like in 2, 4, 6 years down the line.  Its fun to watch the Things grow.  Also fun is the idea of not having toddlers anymore.  Just sayin’. 

A favorite quote for today... “Don't try to make children grow up to be like you, or they may do it.” –Russell Baker

One of my favorite things... is raw cookie dough.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Fun day tomorrow, doctor’s appoints, otherwise all the normal stuff!

A peek into my day...
DSCN1654

Saturday, January 14, 2012

One week later

We’ve been dairy free for a week now.  I had some cheese this morning, but otherwise I’ve mostly been without dairy since last Saturday.  And I have a confession to make:

I feel kind of awesome. 

I’m not sure its helping the Things at all.  Thing 1 is still getting rashes and Thing 2 still has a runny nose.  But I’m doing GREAT. 

I’m not looking to cut out dairy entirely, because I mostly feel the same way about animal byproduct as I do meat.  But, I’m taking this month of feeding my Things a dairy free diet as an opportunity to permanently cut way back on our dairy.  I think it will just be better for us (as well as the entire animal kingdom and the planet) in the long run.

I guess I can let myself watch Forks Over Knives now.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Like unto the Mountain Weasel

Okay, really there are a lot of animals that spend adult life in solitary, but who doesn’t want to be a mount weasel?

Sometimes I think other animals in the kingdom just have things figured out better than we do.  Today I’m thinking of animals that, when they reach adulthood (or the point at which they no longer need to be cared for by a parent) they stop associating with other animals of their species.  The live alone, hunt alone, eat alone, sleep alone.  I get that this is a lot of alone, and perhaps it would be lonely.  But it is safe.  There is no denying that.  Sometimes I long for such a life.

I don’t really have the desire to be that alone, but I sure am so tired of witnessing how awful human beings are capable of treating each other.  I get especially disgruntled when it comes from a certain type of person.  Like when a serial jerk behaves like a jerk, you just think, “Oh look, the jerk is being a jerk.”  Its hardly a shock and that’s the type of person you can learn to be careful around.

But sometimes it’s the most unlikely people.  The people that make you think they care. Christians, seriously, are the worst.  Especially because, if you are also Christian and you think you know what they believe, you’d think you were safe with them.  With all their talk of Christ and Loving One Another… you know.  I feel especially disenchanted with people from my own sect of Christianity. I have been burned, hurt, slandered by, gossiped about and hated on more by people of my own faith than all the other people I know.  I have become so disgruntled by the way these people so consistently treat each other, that I’ve found myself disassociating myself with the sect in general.  See how I’m even avoiding mentioning which sect that is here?  Because I know as soon as its said, people are going to assume that I would behave a certain way and believe certain things that are not a part of who I am.  Its very frustrating.  I used to be proud of my religion—because I used to believe that we were a people that didn’t just say we followed Christ, but actually lived it.  But any more I’m just embarrassed.  I hold to it (I still go to church every Sunday and am very involved and I love being there most of the time.  Hopefully the people I think are my friends there really are my friends.) because when it comes to actual doctrine, it is what I believe (or at least closest to it).  But when it comes to mythology and culture…  there is a lot about it that leaves me feeling unsettled.  And like I said, the way these people are willing to treat their fellow human beings just really embarrasses me. 

My favorite quote of late is from Ghandi:

“I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
How very, very true that is. 

To be fair, my particular sect are not unique among Christians in their inability to behave as the One they call their Savior has asked them to behave.  And its likely a problem among other religions as well.  Which does nothing to help my faith in mankind. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Republican Primaries

Honestly, I oscillate between being fascinated and totally bored with the 2012 elections.  Sometimes I build these blog posts in my head about what’s going on, and then by the time I sit down to write them, I decide, like I said, that its totally boring.

We’ll see how this one goes.

The Republican party is in a sad state right now.  Its kind of depressing to watch them kind of decide that they sort of support the guy who they’ve been trying not to nominate for a year now.  Poor Mittens.  Candidate after candidate has flared up and flared out and there he remains, much to everyone else’s chagrin. 

It is looking, though, like he’ll actually get the Republican bid.  I guess.

I’m just not sure what to think of that.  I’m usually very good at predicting political election outcomes.  I’ve got a great record.  And not just when it’s the result I want – like I how I knew Obama was gonna win the last presidential election.  I also knew that Kerry was not gonna beat Bush the presidential election before that, as much as I might have hoped otherwise.  And living in Florida for the last gubernatorial election, I knew that Skeletor  Lord Voldemort   their love child Rick Scott was gonna win, even though I knew that’d be a devastating thing for the state.  (It has been, but I don’t live there anymore so I think less about it.)

But this time around…  I guess I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Mitt Romney didn't get the bid.  And that whoever it does go to beats Obama.  At this point, these things seem highly unlikely.  The Republican party is just too much of a mess.  But the base also stopped dwelling in the same universe as the rest of us somewhere between McCain naming Sarah Palin as a running mate and the dawning of the Tea Party.  So… its just hard to see where this is going to go. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Frog Dress

Today’s prompt: Tell us about your earliest school memories.

I remember napping in preschool, but that’s not interesting.  What is interesting is my only kindergarten memory.  My mom put me in a dress printed with frogs.  I, apparently, hated that dress.  I may have cried all the way to school because I was so upset to be seen in that dress.  Then when I got to school, I hid under a table and would not come out.  The teachers didn’t know what to do.  They went and got my sister out of her 2nd grade class to try and help get me out.  No good.  My mom had to come get me. 

I have no idea what I had against frog dresses.

Thank goodness for the prompt, because I almost forgot to post today. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sometimes its nice...

to have a cop out post that just includes a giveaway. Tomorrow I will be more interesting.
But, you will love me for this post if you win an iPad or a Kindle Fire. You know its true.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Victory Day

Today was awesome.  You should have seen it.  The Things played well, and were happy.  I did dishes, and laundry, and I vacuumed among all the other cleaning up I had to do. I fed them 3 healthy (dairy free) meals.  I exercised.  I also got a lot of work done (the kind I actually get paid for) and felt pretty stress free for the whole day.  I’m mentally preparing myself for tomorrow, because no way am I having two days like this in a row.  Am I right?

Today’s Prompt: What is your earliest memory?

I’m pretty sure it’s my 4th birthday.  Or at least the birthday party.  I remember the apartment we were living in.  I remember that I was wearing a purple dress I was excited about.  I remember lots of people being there and I remember knowing that they were there for me.  I feel like it’s a pretty good way to start my conscious life. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Simple Woman

Find it HERE.

FOR TODAY:

Outside my window... we’ve got a neighbor making a lot of noise.  Loud banging sounds.  I’m a bit worried about what might be happening.

I am thinking... about going to bed early.  Tired.

I am thankful... for the internet.  What did parents do before the internet?

In the kitchen... dairy free, ya’ll.  Dairy free.

I am wearing... why am I always wearing PJs when I typed this up?

I am creating... pfft.  I’m just trying to stay sane.

I am going... to bed soon.  Did I mention tired?

I am wondering... where this show Once Upon A Time is going.  I like it, but I need some quicker development.

I am reading... same books as last week. 

I am hoping... to finish both those books this week.

I am looking forward to... the 3 days week-end next week-end.

I am learning… something new every time I watch NOVA on PBS.  Have you seen that show?  Its wicked cool.

Around the house... it’s a mess.  I give up.

I am pondering... listen, I’m too tired to ponder.

A favorite quote for today... "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
- Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

One of my favorite things... is when I come home and the Things faces are in the windows and they are so happy to see me.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Normal life.  It’ll be busy.

A peek into my day...
FALLEN TREE

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Brighter

In case you missed this little gem in the comments of my post yesterday, I’m sharing it here:
“I know, I know - motherhood is eternal and the most important job, etc. but it's hard to find time to ponder that truth when I can't even go to the bathroom by myself.” – Christine
That about sums it up.  Thanks for that Christine.
I also really enjoyed this post that someone shared with me on facebook.  There are some good lessons there.  Its really exactly what I would’ve written if I were clever enough.
After writing that post yesterday, however, I stumbled upon a post from a mother who, it sounds like, was having a day very similar to mine.  But, she chose to make a list of all things that went right instead of my approach.  I felt… humbled. 
Lots of things go right every day.  Not the least of which are the smiles, hugs, kisses, and giggles that I am treated with all the time.  Just before writing this post Thing 2 was sleeping on my lap and Thing 1 was sitting next to us on the couch.  Thing 1 would periodically reach over to stroke Thing 2’s hair or gently pat his back or kiss him on the cheek.  It was just the sweetest thing ever.  And it totally makes up for the fact that right now he is standing in the doorway of the kitchen shouting “I want banana!” over and over again.
Yesterday and today we made the rounds of shopping and are totally prepped for a dairy free week.  I bought TOFU, ya’ll.  Its maddness.  But, I’m excited to see if this improves my Things lives and health. 
(I also bought some cheese.  I will eat it when they aren’t looking.)

Friday, January 6, 2012

*sigh*

Today is one of those days that I had make myself a to do list so that I could focus on everything that needs to get done.  (Lest you think I have strayed, writing this blog was on the list because of NaBloPoMo.)  It is a quarter to noon and I have finished… nothing.  I’ve started several different things, but have yet to actually cross something of the list.  What I have done is:

change diapers

fed children

filled sippy cups

manage tantrums

wipe noses

fed children more - I think the Things are having a growth spurt

assisted naps

retrieved toys from underneath the couch

managed more tantrums – please make the whining stop

soothed owies

read books

fed children more

more tantrums – which I’m managing less and less well as the day goes on.

Not to mention the 1,000 times I’ve had to stop what I was doing to notice something, fix something, reach something, stop someone from reaching something, etc. etc.

And now its time to make lunch.

I’m trying not to getting frustrated—more frustrated—as the day wears on, but man alive I’m exhausted for someone who hasn’t even “done anything” yet.  I could finish my list in the space of an hour if everyone could leave me alone for just that long.

I’m living day to day on the hope that this will get better as my Things get older.  There will come a day when I’ll get, like, a whole hour to myself, right?

BTW – this post took me 10 minutes to write, what with all the interruptions.  At least I can cross something off the list now.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Food is meant to keep us alive, not kill us.

Someone said that in the comments of a recent blog post, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.  Today, I’ve been thinking about it A LOT.

My Things have been SO sick repeatedly throughout this cold and flu season.  Its making me crazy.  Making me especially crazy are the three ear infections that Thing 2 has gotten.  The kid is miserable and I *hate* giving him antibiotics.  I was talking with some friends last night, and they started talking about different things that they’ve done or heard about to prevent ear infections.  This really got me thinking.  One friend talked about how she gives regular low doses of antihistamines to her child who was prone to ear infections, and he doesn’t get them any more.  Another friend mentioned a couple of other people she knows who eliminated milk, and so haven’t had further issues.  I’ve been thinking a lot about food allergies/intolerances and my Things because they get random rashes and, of course, they’ve been sick for like 5 months straight.  So, this conversation really struck a chord with me.  Eliminating a common food allergen and treating with anti-allergy meds?  There is a theme there.  I did a little bit of research today and, lo and behold, 79% of all ear infections can actually be blamed on a food allergy.  Most commonly milk.  79% ya’ll. 
Its possible that Thing 2 is prone to ear infections because his tubes are small, collapsed, the glands are too big, etc.  There are lots of other valid reasons.  But they are all only 21% possible.  Since I’ve been wanting to explore allergies anyway, I think I’m going to head down this path and see where it takes us. 
So, now begins my rant on how frustrated and overwhelmed I feel.  I checked with the boys’ insurance and to get an allergy specialist we need a referral from our doctor and then the insurance has to approve the referral as “medically necessary”.  Trying to get zofran during my last pregnancy has left a really bad taste in my mouth about what insurance companies deem “medically necessary”.  I’m about 99.9% sure that’ll get us no where real fast.  Well, probably it will go no where real slow.  I’m not even going to try.  (insert rant about how ridiculous health care is in America)

We can’t afford to pay an allergist out of pocket, so I’m left to figure this out on my own.  I’ve been researching on and off all day and am feeling a little less overwhelmed than I did at first.  I’ve decided we need to experiment with milk first, because it is the most common food allergy that causes ear infections.  And it will be the hardest to test.  Milk junk can stay in your system for two weeks, so we need to go without it for a long time before we can reintroduce it and see if it’s a problem.  3 weeks?  Maybe a month?  And William and I have to do it too, mostly, because I can’t keep dairy from the boys while I consume it in front of them.

*sigh*  I love cheese.  LOVE. I’m going to miss it ever so much.

I also ran across THIS ARTICLE.  Dare I try this method?  I just don’t know if could get the boys to sit still for a whole minute will I count heartbeats…  14 times a day.  It would be interesting though.  And so helpful in deciding what foods to try and eliminate.  I think I’ll try.  Maybe.  Should I do that before eliminating milk?  That’d give me another week to eat cheese…

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Salt Tossing

Today’s Prompt: Are you superstitious about beginnings? Anything you do to start out on the right foot?
No. 
I think this kind of thinking comes from a thought theme that people tend to gravitate towards.  The idea that there is a solution or a key that will set everything right.  The fact is, there is nothing you can do to at the beginning of something that will guarantee that the end result is what you want it to be.  Every life’s journey comes with a risk.  And even if you hop on your left foot and touch your nose with your right hand and spin in a circle…  that risk is always going to be there.  You just gotta start out with the best intentions and do the best you can.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

On Meat

I’m totally ignoring the prompt for today, since it is something about New Year traditions.  I don’t have any besides taking the Christmas d├ęcor down.  So the topic for today is:

Meat is murder.  Sweet delicious murder. 


I’ve had a lot of conversations lately about eating meat.  Or not eating meat.  It is has come up so often and with so many different people that its gotten kind of weird.  Its seems to be a hot topic lately.  Which is good, I suppose. It is something people should take about more.  Americans are far too ready to put food (or “food”) in their bodies without really thinking about it.

I’m a proud omnivore.  Humans are animals and part of the food chain.  Animals in the food chain kill and eat each other.  It happens.  We may not have the claws and teeth of full blown carnivores, but we do share several characteristics with other omnivores in the animal kingdom.  I don’t care to delve into the details of our teeth or gut functions—but I’ve done a fair amount of reading on it and feel satisfied that it biologically makes sense that we would occasionally eat meat.

The key word, for me, is occasionally.  Most people just eat way to much, in my humble opinion.  And I used to be one of those people.  A few years ago my husband and I watched Food Inc. and it totally changed our eating habits.  It didn’t make me go vegetarian, but I haven’t eaten fast food meat since watching that documentary.  And now, we only buy beef that is organic and grass fed and chicken that is organic and cage free.  These labels are tricky, because you have to divine discern who is being sneaky about it (if a chicken is “cage free” for 10 minutes a day, that counts, right?) and who is really treating their animals well.  From what I’ve researched, the key is finding meat that is antibiotic free.  The reason animals are given antibiotics is the disgusting conditions they are farmed in.  If they are antibiotic free, then they have to have been humanely raised, or they would be totally diseased.

Buying meats this way is, of course, more expensive.  That is initially what led us to eating way less meat than we used to.  If we can’t afford to buy the grass fed beef, then we just go without the beef.  But the more we lived this way, the more it grew on me.  The more I’ve read about meat, its nutrients, and what we need from it, the more I’ve started to think that we really just don’t need it all that often.  Many, of course, would argue that we don’t need it at all.  I believe you certainly can get by without it, but it is a remarkably efficient source of protein along with a variety of other nutrients.  But when I think about that fact that I used to eat meat everyday, I’m totally weirded out.  I don’t know how I ever felt good about that.

I eat meat now *maybe* once a week.  There are a lot of weeks that it just doesn’t make the menu.  And I almost never eat meat when I’m eating out anymore, unless I know where the restaurant gets their meat.  Almost never.  Over Christmas I ate a Crave joint in Castle Rock, CO and while I was initially going to get a meatless sandwich I buckled and got the special at the last minute (how can you turn down tempura fried cream cheese?).  And as I was biting into the juicy, flavorful, succulent beef with unknown origins I felt pretty guilty about it.  I was so disgusted with myself I couldn’t even finish the burger.  Okay, that’s not true.  I didn’t finish it because it was huge and I was so full (I’d also gotten some loaded fries).  It was freaking delicious though.  And I would totally recommend Crave to all meat lovers, if only I knew where they get their meat. 

I digress.  The point is that I defend humans as omnivores.  I support and respect people who choose a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, but for me that’s too far down the spectrum.  There are a lot of products that I prefer vegetarian or vegan, because I think there is a gross over use of animal byproducts in our lives today.  But, I think you can be a meat eater and have respect for animals and of our place within the animal kingdom.  A little knowledge and awareness are required.

Monday, January 2, 2012

This again?

Okay, so I was just playing around on the Blogher site and was thinking it’s too bad I didn’t decide to do NaBloPoMo again this month.  I was wondering if it was too late to decide to do it since it’s the 2nd.  And then I remembered that I posted yesterday. Thank you Simple Woman!

So, I’m doing it again.  Its fun to do in November, and I think it will be a great way to start off the New Year.  I will likely rely on the daily prompts again—but I feel like that actually worked out really well in November. 

Today’s Daily Prompt: What did you do on New Year’s Day?


Nothing.  Seriously.  It was Sunday and normally I would’ve gone to church, but my Things and I were all sick.  We still are.  And William is too.  So, yesterday we kinda sat around all day.  I did some laundry.  William made fondue has is our New Year’s Day tradition.  But, yeah, for the most part, we rested.

I have to say, though, that it wasn’t a bad way to ring in the New Year.  We were relaxed (albeit the Things are a bit whiney when they are sick.  Especially Thing 2.  And in his case perhaps “a bit” is an understatement.), we were all together, and we ate good food.  There is not much more you can ask for.  I hope we get a lot more of that this year.  Minus the sickness.  (And the whininess.)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Simple Woman

Find it HERE:

FOR TODAY

Outside my window... Today was a blustery day, but pretty warm for Jan. 1. 

I am thinking... about my sick Things.  We’ve had a really rough cold and flu season.  I’m hoping they can get over their current colds (and a possible ear infection for Thing 2) and have some health for awhile.  They’ve just been miserable.

I am thankful... for a new year.  We’ve made it through another one intact, and I’m setting some nice, achievable goals for this year.

From the learning rooms… Thing 2 has come up with a lot of new words lately.  The most useful has been “All Done”. 

In the kitchen... We had our traditional New Year’s Day fondue.  I love chocolate.

I am wearing... PJs

I am creating... a syllabus for the adjunct class I’m going to teach at SVU this semester. 

I am going... to get caught up on the vacation laundry.  I swear.

I am wondering... why Thing 2 gets so fidgety in his sleep.  It causes injuries.

I am reading... Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson and Ink Heart by Cornelia Funke

I am hoping... we all feel healthy in the morning. 

I am looking forward to... the post holiday detox.  Life and food need to get back to normal.

I am hearing... Thing 1 crying.  And Thing 2 playing.  When these boys are sick they have the hardest time sleeping.

Around the house... the Christmas toys have been a big hit and so they are strewn about right now.  I usually pick up after the boys are in bed, but since they are not really in bed yet…

I am pondering... whether or not Thing 1 might have some kind of food allergy.  Or possible food coloring allergy.  I need to investigate.

One of my favorite things... curling up in bed with a good book when I’m sick.  Which I did this afternoon… but fell asleep about a minute into it.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Say good-bye to winter break.  The most awesome thing about being married to a professor is the time he gets off for holidays, but its so sad when it ends.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
DSCN1613
Who doesn’t love a chocolate chip pancake.  Am I right?!?

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