Monday, December 28, 2009

Today Is My Birthday

I decided I will eat what I want today, so I started off with hot creamy coffee, tamales and a fried egg.  I think this is a good start to an indulgent day.  I am not normally a person upset by birthdays or getting older and today is no different, but 37 feels strange to me, I'm not bothered by it, but I'm still feeling it out in my head.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve - Afternoon

The dishwasher is running, the laundry is running, the beds are made and the counters are wiped down. We baked 3 dozen peanut butter cookies and 20 largish gingerbread cookies.  I haven't iced them yet since it requires running the handmixer for about ten minutes and Will is napping on the couch. Outside it is cold and blustery - it has dropped nearly ten degrees since noon. Bella is napping, Jacob is semi-napping, the fire is going.  I am beginning to think I am addicted to Cutie oranges.

Christmas Eve - Noon

We did the crazy thing and headed out to do a little last minute shopping, we went to Famous Footwear to get Bella some shoes, and to Target for bananas and to TJ Maxx to pick up a sweater for Jacob. That sounds like a lot but these stores are all in a row in one shopping center. It actually was not too insane out there but I could tell it was really building up by the time we were leaving. I'm glad to be back home with nowhere else to go today besides church tonight. Now Bella is eating lunch, Jacob is watching The Cat in the Hat and I'm still working on baking.

We all know that technically there is no mention of animals around the manger in the Christmas story. And yet....

Christmas Eve - Morning

Making cookies and talking on the phone with car insurance people. I have finished making the gingerbread dough and it is in the fridge for the next few hours. Now I'm working on the Peanut Butter ones. Kid's and I are still in PJ's. Will is at work half day.

Last night Jacob and I got into a car accident when the family behind us hit our Mazda from behind at a stop sign.  We are fine and car isn't bad.  

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Unrealistic Christmas Wish List

Will and I usually do a nice joint gift at Christmas time. For instance this year we got a gas log set for our fireplace. We went ahead and got it this past weekend and I love it. The gas logs are very relaxing, warming and romantic, especially with the Christmas tree and mantel all decorated. So I’m very pleased & blessed.

Still, it’s Christmas-time and I think it is fun to make a wish list. Most of these are dorky, frivolous, expensive or random, so it’s unlikely anyone would ever buy them for me and I know that realistically I’ll probably never save up and buy them for myself either. No, it’s just a pretend wish list that I had fun making:

1. The Chosen Collection, the complete collector’s box set of all 7 seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
2. Star Trek The Next Generation – Complete Series
3. The One True Ring. Yeah, the one from Lord of the Rings. I’m a dork, I know.
4. The Arwen Evenstar Pendent. More dorkishness.
5. Hand made Ficarre hair clips.
6. Tall, supple, black over the knee boots
7. A stainless steel bread maker
8. A stand mixer with all kinds of hooks and the pasta making attachment
9. An artista 630 Platinum Quilter’s Edition Bernina sewing machine.
10. A set of French Copper Cookware
11. A leather bound bible
12. A Kindle Wireless Reading Device

I know the real meaning and spirit of Christmas is not about anything that can be wrapped or placed under a tree (although it was wrapped and placed in a manger!)

I think I’ll end with a quote I came across during service on Sunday night.

“The things, good Lord, that we pray for, give us the grace to labor for” – Thomas More.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Weight Watchers Update

It has been one month since Will and I started on Weight Watchers.  We both already look and feel better. I've enjoyed learning new recipes. My grocery cart looks completely different than it did a month ago; full of fruits, veggies, and things I have never bought before such as capers, anchovy paste and bulgar.  It gives me a great deal of satisfaction to make healthier meals that are tasty.

One drawback is that it is harder to coupon now. I buy brands that are lowest in fat whether they are on sale or not; and I am buying more whole foods and less prepared foods. You don't find coupons for vegetables, ground turkey or brown rice as often as you find coupons for other things. The upside is that the things I am buying tend to cost less anyway.

Some people on Weight Watchers eat a lot of what I call gimicky foods, for example cheesecake or chips or other foods that are magically low in points. When I check the ingredients though, I don't see a lot of food in those foods. We have tried a few things, such as frozen meals for the work week and some chocolate chip cookies, but for the most part we are eating foods that are naturally better.  When we do have the higher calorie splurges, we like the real thing, only we'll have less of it, less often.

The main thing I miss is coffee creamer. 3 tablespoons of coffee creamer equals a packet of oatmeal or a grilled chicken breast, or a salad with roast beef and dressing, in other words I was drinking an extra meal or two every day. So yeah, I quit doing that and am back to drinking coffee the way I did in college - with just a 1/2 teaspoon of turbinado (raw) sugar. Still not calorie free; but waaaay better than what I was having before.

I have lost 8 pounds and Will has lost 15.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lord Have Mercy

Poblano peppers are not especially hot to eat. At least not to me, I like hot. However, the seeds and membranes are very fiery if you handle them and then rub your face. I washed my hands afterwards, but didn't wash well enough I guess because my lips, and eye lids suddenly started burning. You know how something can hurt so much it makes you mad? Well I gave up proper cussing when the babies came along so now I curse like an old guy. So my eyes are on fire, tears streaming down my face and I am TICKED! So I'm googling blindly by touch (thank you 7th grade typing teacher!) and shouting "Heck and Damnation!" at the top of my lungs. The last time something hurt me this bad there was a new child to show for it. By the way, in case this ever happens to you then you can rinse with cold milk, water doesn't help at all. I fully realize that at some point in the future my two year old is now going to shout "Heck and Damnation" at a very inopportune moment. But seriously, I do the best I can. The other day Jacob was with his Dad and they went outside and Jacob turns to Will and says "Dad it is cold as crap out here!" Um yeah, I wonder where he heard that???

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A couple more snow pictures

We didn't stay out very long, we don't really have the right clothes for playing in the snow. (For instance we don't have any mittens, I just don't see a huge need for mittens, but maybe we should get some, just for the three days when it does actually dip down into cooler temps.) I love the expression on Bella's face, she looks as though she up to something!

Here is Jacob, he was in the middle of some lengthy explanation about something. "So you see, Mommy..." or perhaps "Actually..." Both children are in a phase this week where they are starting every sentence with the word "Actually".

Me: It is time for dinner, go wash hands. Jacob: Actually, I already washed my hands.

Me: What color is Zoe? Is Zoe orange? Bella: Actually, Zoe is pink. (Bella struggles with her colors a bit, Zoe wears a pink dress so Bella says she is pink). I think the way they say it is kind of cute. It gets less cute after about 8 PM though.

I got out the two hats that my sister in law made for the kids last year, one is blue with flowers and bear ears, the other is UT colors with Bevo ears. (Isn't she talented?) For whatever reason each child really wanted the other child's hat. So Jacob's is a little small and Bella's is huge. The snow accumulated on the slide, so they thought it would be fun to slide down it. Bella did not realize that it would be slicker than usual, she zipped down so fast she landed flat on her back in the snow right when I snapped the picture.

I didn't get the uber cute brother sister snow shot I was hoping for, but truthfully it was slushy and cold and we all agreed it was much nicer to be inside, warm and dry, enjoying the snow through the window!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Winter Wonderland

This is our backyard at 9:10 AM, 39 degrees Fahrenheit , it was snowing but you can't tell. This is our backyard at 1:17 PM, 32 degrees Fahrenheit, what a difference a few degrees makes! Here is Lady, she has licked the snow, barked at the snow, run in the snow and posed for pictures in the snow but so far she will not wee wee in the snow.

It's Snowing!

OK, so it is still about 40 degrees so it isn't sticking, but the air is full of flakes. I'm working from home, if it starts sticking (when it starts sticking) I am going to get the kids home from school in time to play in it. They missed it last year, it was a school night and we got home very very late. I'm determined they won't miss it again! I have tried to take pictures but it doesn't show up, but it is really coming down in big chunks. Hooray!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

All Things Bright & Beautiful

When you are a Mommy you end up doing things you never thought you would do. Like taking stool samples. Blech. So Bella has had tummy issues and the doctor wanted me to submit a stool sample. So we went home and waited. And waited. But she didn't go. So I sent her back to school. She was fine for two days, but then tonight she had a bad diaper again. So I got the kit and did what I needed to do. As I am putting the lid on the sample jar I notice something sparkling at me. At first I thought maybe it was Edward Cullen, there in my bathroom, arriving to rescue me from the ickiness of stool sampling. But no, it was actually glitter. Yes, glitter, all in her poo. GLITTER for pete's sake. I don't quite know what she got into that she ingested so much glitter (this wasn't just one or two pieces) but I guess I'll be having an interesting conversation up at the school tomorrow.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Pablo Picasso said “I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of money”. Me too! I long for a simple life, a simple budget. It is that time of year again, where William and I both have what is termed Open Enrollment at our places of work. This is a time when we look over our work benefits and decide what we need and which combination offers the best advantages at the best price. A time to think about those things we never really want to think about such as life insurance, health insurance; basically all the ways in which things can go wrong in life. Like everyone else, we try to find the balance between adequate coverage in the event of the unexpected, yet not over buying on things we might not need. This is a time of playing “what if” for the year ahead. What if one of is laid off? What if Jacob needs glasses? What if someone gets really sick? How much do we want to save? Tithe? Spend on Christmas? All of this has me thinking about the parable of the talents, Mathew 25:13-30, where the returning master says to the servants, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful in a few things. I will put you in charge of many things.” So often I think I fail in doing small things rightly, I think who will see? Who will notice? It’s just this once. It isn’t that any one choice is some huge sin, for instance buying more expensive convenience foods or letting a lot of receipts and trash build up in my purse. It is the attitude of laziness in me, just an unwillingness to deal with things because I don’t “feel like it”. I don’t feel like entering all my benefits data into a spreadsheet and doing an analysis with Will over what is best for our family next year. A) It is boring and B) I don’t like thinking about all the things that could go wrong. But this parable shows that Christ Jesus calls us to do the most with what we are given, and only then can we be entrusted with more. I am mindful of times in my life when I had none of these decisions to make, because I had no money. I remember when I had a grocery budget of $50 a month and no car and standing in the rain and cold waiting for the bus. “New” clothes came from Goodwill and I came home each night to an answering machine full of messages from bill collectors. I also remember a time later when I had plenty of money and yet I cannot to this day tell you what I spent it all on! I actually don’t feel any shame about being as poor as I was; in truth I am more ashamed of those early years in my career when I had money but spent it unwisely. In ten more years, when I look back to now, I can only hope that I have chosen wisely with the resources God has provided.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Um, Anybody know what happened to November?

I look up and all of the sudden it is nearly Thanksgiving and I can't for the life of me figure out how we got here already! It's a mystery! What isn't a mystery is why I haven't been blogging, that would be because my dear husband has discovered Mafia Wars on Facebook. Insert wifely sigh. Honestly, I don't mind other than he hogs the laptop. I could use the PC, but it doesn't have all our pictures on it. So if you want to know what we've been up to this month here it goes - Renaissance Festival, as always it was wonderful, we had great weather, albeit just a tad warm. Bella really enjoyed wearing her fairy costume, it wasn't until later in the day that I realized she was systematically biting off all the beads along the skirt. I managed to stop her, but I'm not sure if any were actually consumed. Note this is another example of how you relax a bit on the second child. I wasn't happy about the beads but didn't feel like we needed to leave Faire to find the not-so-near-est ER either. They were very small beads. Gives a whole new meaning to "This too shall pass" doesn't it?

Jacob spent his day at the Faire as Keeper of the Map. He is really into geography and maps and globes these days. Google Earth is just a wonder to him. He did a fine job directing everyone, I can only imagine how he will do once he can actually read. When I see these pictures I can't help but reminisce a little bit. So bear with me while I walk down Ren Faire memory lane... Bella in 2007 -you can't tell it's at Ren Faire but it was!

Bella in 2008

Jacob in 2004 (Sling)
Jacob in 2005 (hat) and 2006 (on Daddy's shoulders). Aw! I love Ren Fest, and it was even more special this year to have my Mom and Randy and Aunt Leaf, Uncle Bob and cousin Luella, join us. I know my Mom has more awesome pictures on her good camera, so be prepared for a few more later!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween 2009

One thing I'm learning is that holidays are a big deal when you are five. Jacob was really into decorating the yard this year, so we picked up a couple of family-friendly decorations.
We also carved pumpkins. Actually, I carved pumpkins. Neither of my children were as excited about it as I thought they might be, they did not want to get their hands messy! Jacob is quite fastidious and Bella took one look and said "Ew, that's yuck!".
At school on Friday they had a big party, wore costumes, marched in a parade and ate a lot of junk food. Naturally, the children were rather tired and, um, horrendous on Friday night. I gave them a warm bath, a bowl of cheerios and then put them straight to bed.
(Sidebar, I am supposed to write down words of advice this week to a couple at our church that are having their first baby. I think I would tell them, when your child is really tired and grouchy, give them a warm bath, followed by a bowl of cheerios and then pop that baby into bed. Even if it is 6:30 PM. It is OK every now and then. They will not be off-schedule or malnourished. Really. They will wake up rested and pleasant the next day.Trust me.) Here is Jacob with his school pumpkin, and his afternoon teacher.
Halloween day was bright, crisp and lovely. We cleaned house, took naps, rode bikes and I went to market. In the afternoon we played outside in the backyard. Jacob was feeling photogenic, Bella, not so much. She's been dealing with allergies, not sick sick, just enough to not be at her best. (I'm sort of in the same boat myself!)
After an early pizza supper we got ready to join some family friends in Trick-or-treating. Our village within our neighborhood was pretty disappointing last year as far as families participating in Trick or Treat. So this year we met the Ruckers and let the kids all go together. They had a total blast. The first few houses Will went up to the door with them, but after that they had the hang of it and even Bella would march right up on her own while we waited at the end of the sidewalk. We brought a wagon and Jacob kept leaving his candy bucket in the wagon, he would ring the bell, yell "Trick or Treat!" and then have to say "Hold on!" and come running back to the end of the sidewalk for his bucket. Jacob was Scoobie Doo so there were so many grownups that would say "Hey Scoobie!" and he kept saying "Zoiks" when he saw something scary!
It is hard for me to get the camera settings right for Trick or Treating and kids who are running; my sports setting doesn't have flash and my nighttime portrait setting is so slow that they turn out blurry. So, the ones up by the doors Trick or Treating didn't come out great (maybe Theresa got some?) but here are the kids in their costumes.
Scoobie Doo
Mini Mouse

And here is one of Will, in his King costume (ahh back when I had time to sew!) and me. Can anyone tell who I am supposed to be? Hint: My shirt says "Stupid Lamb". LOL, it was totally a last minute thing, but with my hair style I was suposed to be Bella Swan from Twilight! The Scream character is Theresa's neice, she's 13, she "got" my costume....

Family shot:

Kids on the way home, totally worn out.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Last we spoke, Bella had strep throat. Thursday night of that week, I had a bad sore throat, luckily it was not strep but I still required antibiotics. Tuesday of this week, Jacob woke up with a fever. The fever got worse and worse. By Tuesday night it was 103.7. We took him in and they said it was just a virus. No meds. Wednesday night his fever was back up in the high 103's. Thursday it was back to the doctor, where we find out that he has pneumonia. Oh and he started throwing up. It was just once, probably too much medicine on an empty tummy. Thursday night the dog woke up at 1:30 AM and threw up EVERYWHERE. Yeah. So it's been a rough week. For good news, Bella has stopped biting. Her potty training has sort of taken a backslide, I think she can only exert so much self control at once! So between Jacob, Bella and the dog - there's been a lot of laundry being done around here. I think Jacob is on the mend, but he still coughs terribly and is running a slight fever. Although it is lovely outdoors, we have been mostly inside watching movies, trying to keep him from over exerting himself. He missed trick or treating at the old folk's home and on Monday he will miss going to Old McDonald's farm too. And out trip to Dewberrry farms of course isn't happening either. Luckily he doesn't know about any of those activities that he is missing! Ramble, ramble. I think we are going to go out for a drive, just get out of the house for a bit.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


OK, the last post was kind of a downer. Sorry about that. I did want to jump back on and just say that over all we has a great weekend. Friday night all four of went to see Where the Wild Things Are. (mini review: It was beautiful and poignant and very very sad and plotless and did I mention SAD? and I don't mean "sad" like in the way where I am being sarcastic, I mean like you want to go home and bawl your eyes out at the hopelessness of life and the human condition when it is over. Like Leaving Las Vegas only with Luckdragons or something) OK, but it was still the first time to ever go out to the movies as a whole family and that part was way cool, like being a family with slightly older kids sort of opens the door to a whole new dynamic of hitting the food court and a movie on Friday nights. And I got to "people watch" my own family while they sat all in a row eating pretzels, very cute. Saturday Jacob went on his first extended bike ride with his Dad, by extended I mean like 30 minutes and leaving our culdesac and actually going off to other parts of our village. Cool. Saturday afternoon we went to a birthday party. Sunday we slept way in (as in didn't make it church and we go to the 11 o clock service for Pete's sake!) and decorated our yard for Halloween and rode more bikes, and made cookies and played with marbles and it was a great, great weekend.

All About Bella

I had a girl and Bella was her name since she turned two, she's never been the same Oh I love my Bella, oh Bella oh where can she be? In case I haven't bragged enough on her in the past - Bella was an easy baby. She ate well, she slept, she was never clingy, she has always been bright, happy go lucky. She could go anywhere,all day and be fine. She could eat or nap a bit early or a bit late if needed. Flexible. She was a flexible child. To be perfectly honest, I always kind of felt that I was owed a flexible one, for all his wonderfulness, flexible is not a word I would use for dear Jacob. He was, and remains my "schedule" baby. OK, so what happened? When Bella turned two, like literally within a few weeks, she has become demanding, upset, furious. In short, a perfectly normal two year old! She has cried more in the past two months than in the whole rest of her life combined, and I am not exagerating. So, this past week she had strep throat. And she has been crawling out of her crib so we have her sleeping on the floor until the extra part to turn her bed into a toddler bed arrives. (For some reason it takes 3 to 4 weeks for it to be made and arrive. I was like what? Do they have to grow the tree or something?) So it may be that she isn't sleeping all that great, on the floor, with a sore throat. And all that vocabulary I've mentioned? Well, it has been replaced with unintelligible whining. If you ask her a question she makes this whining grunting sound that sounds like "Nyah" and if she does speak it is to say "Stop it!". Oh she still has moments of bright happy sweetness. Just now, at the end of a super long day of crying and whining and "stop it!" she says, "Night Night Mommy, I love you!" and it just refreshes my soul. Dear Lord, Bless all the children and the parents tonight. And keep me thankful and patient. Amen

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Family Portraits

Last time I blogged, Jacob's tooth was just barely hanging in there. I was hoping it would stay in for our family portraits on last Saturday, but it was not to be. The night before, we went to Fiesta Azteca for dinner. While biting into his tortilla, Jacob's tooth came popping out! He was a little upset because it bled, but also kind of excited. Will and I looked at each other and laughed, and then Will says, oops, guess we should have had mashed potatoes instead! You would have to know Jacob's personality to know why we are very low key on things like the Tooth Fairy. Totally new concepts are not his idea of a good time. He had a lot of questions before finally conceding "Well, OK but she better not wake me up!". He didn't like the idea of his tooth being under his pillow so we put it on his nightstand where we assured him she would find it no problem. The next day we had our family pictures taken. I feel they came out really well, although our person didn't seem to get the lighting quite as nice as the last time we went.

Got to love the outtakes:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

In his own time

Jacob does things when he is good and ready and not a moment before. He rode his new birthday bike a few times, but it was fairly tentative. He couldn't get the hang of pedaling, you know how you sort of tilt your foot to angle the pedal the right way so that you are putting downward and forward pressure on the pedal? Well, he couldn't get it, like he wanted to move his feet up and down instead of elliptically. So he would get on but go really slow, and you know how it is, the slower you go the less you can steer and the more you wobble. So he would wobble, and then he took a couple of spills and didn't want to try again for a few days. Today I just casually mentioned, "Hey want to ride your bike?" and he says "Yeah!" then walks over to it, gets on and just takes off and rides non stop at warp speed for the next half hour. It was so neat. There is nothing in the world as awesome as seeing the look of pure joy and freedom on your child's face when they take on something really new and master it. His wiggly tooth is still hanging in there, getting looser by the day. The new tooth is coming up behind it, so he looking like a shark right now with sort of a double row of teeth. I hurried to schedule new family portraits this weekend because I really wanted one more set of him with baby teeth still all in. Somehow it just seems like a big deal to me, like once they get snaggly toothed and then they get those big grownup teeth and they really aren't toddlers anymore. I'm always wistful about milestones, excited, but a little taken aback by how fast time goes by when you are raising little ones. The other night we were at the mall (getting shirts for our picture) and Jacob got tired and asked me to carry him. I did, for a bit, just because I still can, you know?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Jacob's 5th Birthday Video

I had a lot of fun making this video, I hope everyone enjoys it.

Monday, September 21, 2009


I have a longer post coming soon about Jacob's fifth birthday, with a video and everything. In the meantime, this is just a quick update on two milestones going on around here. First of all today was Bella's first full day in big girl underwear at school. She has had several days where she has gone potty every time, all day, so I was instructed to please bring four outfits and four panties everyday, it typically takes the school about two weeks to have the little ones potty trained. Honestly it is a miracle! I imagine we'll be pull ups for outings and diapers at night for a while longer, but the end is in sight! Jacob's big news is this - today while I was flossing his teeth before school I noticed that one of his bottom teeth gave a wiggle! I thought for certain I would have another year or more before he lost any baby teeth but I googled and five is in the normal range! Holy Moly!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Shaun's Dad's Migas Recipe

My Dad came last weekend. We went to the Farmer's Market down in Houston on Saturday morning, then we took long naps and got up Saturday evening and went swimming. Sunday morning Dad made breakfast for me. This is his method for migas, the ingredients are standard, it is the technique that is unique and makes these a really special.
In a small skillet warm oil/butter.
Add two corn tortillas, torn into small pieces
Warm the tortillas through
Add 2 tablespoons diced green chilis
Add 2 tablespoons cheddar cheese
Don't stir, you want layers.
Crack two eggs and place carefully on top of the pile
Cover with a lid, lower the heat and wait
When eggs cooks to your liking (whites cooked, yolks runny for me)
pull the whole thing out with a spatula and place on a warm plate, add salt/pepper
Note - this method takes longer than normally cooking an egg, because you are steaming the egg. You need to use fresh corn tortillas and either green chilis or salsa because you need the moisture to steam the eggs.
Deliciousness. This solves the whole issue of how I like migas but they are always made with scrambled eggs, this lets you have that awesome yolky fried egg goodness and migas at the same time. The tortillas on bottom get crispy, the ones on top are just softened - it is very very good. Try it!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Lincoln Logs Update

I still haven't decided exactly what to do about the messed up Lincoln Logs. It just happened that earlier this week I scanned through Kingwood Yard and found a big set of Lincoln Logs for just $3! I went to pick them up and the Mom selling them was so nice, she was proud that out of 153 pieces she still had 147 after 4 kids! A HUGE accomplishment I think! And they are in perfect, clean condition. When someone is so nice and you find such a great deal and basically God just steps in and makes everything right, then it is hard to hold on to a bad attitude. I may let the guy off the hook, maybe. But then I don't want him to scam anyone again, so I have to keep thinking about it a little more. I also did some research and found out that one part of the junk set I got isn't so junky after all, they are what is called American Logs, and are older and more collectible that Lincoln Logs. Of course they aren't compatible with Lincoln Logs so I may just list them on ebay, but I at least feel better knowing I got something of some value, even if it wasn't what I thought I was getting. Eh. So I know I have gone on and on to friends and family way past the point of anyone's interest about Lincoln Logs. It is like getting married or having a baby, other people can only take so much! My co-worker looked at me and said "You do realize they just sell them at Target right?" - not everyone understands the thrill of the hunt or my inordinate refusal to pay full price for anything if I don't have to do so.

Chia – Day One

I have begun taking a dietary supplement called Chia seeds. Yes, it is the seeds that are used to grow Chia Pets, that ubiquitous White Elephant favorite. My brother began taking Chia to provide him with additional energy for running and he then shared them with my father who brought me some to try when he visited this weekend. Chia seeds aid in digestion and provide high levels of Omega. They also help with weight loss and help maintain a high energy level. They were a huge part of the diets of the Mayans and Aztecs. You can learn all about Chia seeds here: I have decided to try it daily for ten days and see if I notice any effects. Today is really the second day because I had some on Saturday but I’ll call it Day One anyway for the sake of blogging. Today I soaked 1 tablespoon of Chia seeds in 9 tablespoons of water and let it sit for ten minutes. This swelled up to make about a quarter cup of gel. I stirred this gel into my bowl of oatmeal. The taste was fine, a little nutty, but for the most part all I tasted was oatmeal. I wasn’t crazy about the consistency of it – the gel is kind of slimy and then the seeds are kind of – um – seedy. The seeds are very small, smaller than a grape seed, so you don’t really chew them. I’m going to experiment with how I take them and also when I take them to see what works for me. This morning I weighed 120.1 pounds. My goals are modest I think: I want to get down to 110 pounds and also to not feel crazy tired by 3 PM every afternoon. Often I am tired and crabby at the end of the workday and then I feel like my husband and kids get the worst of me, so maybe this will help. I’ll be writing future blogs to let everyone know how this little adventure works out!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Not so much.

I have been an avid e-bayer, craig's list, person for a while now. I have been both a buyer and seller and have never had a single problem.. sigh. I guess I was overdue for a dud. Upon receiving the package of what was supposedly Lincoln Logs yesterday, I had to write the seller the following: Dear klittle5727, Thank you for the prompt shipment of my item. However, I am extremely dissatisfied for the following reasons: 1. The entire package: box and logs, only weighs 6.5 pounds. The description clearly states 8 pounds of logs. 2. Of the contents only about 1/4 are actual Lincoln Logs. The remaining contents are as follows a)1/4 from some other NON COMPATIBLE set, b) 1/4 some type of homemade non commercial set, also NON COMPATIBLE with the true Lincoln Logs c) PURE JUNK. Broken, splintered, shards of wood. Something resembling molding used to trim floors or who knows what. I thought when the description said mixed sets that it meant mixed sets of Lincoln Logs, not mixed sets of junk. Lincoln Logs is an actual brand product name, if you aren't sure then you should put "unknown wooden building set" or something. 3. Lastly the box is full of spider nests and bugs. I would NEVER send someone a box of spiders, especially if I knew it was meant for a child's birthday as I told you. How hard is it to run the hose over it before packing it up? Honestly! A little dust or grime, I would expect but to pack up a bunch of splintered off molding covered in spiders and say it is Lincoln Logs is beyond ridiculous. I didn't even get 8 pounds of ANYTHING. I am a veteran e-bay-er with only positive feedback and I have only ever left positive feedback. While you state you don't take returns I sincerely hope that you will do the right thing in this case because what I got is unacceptable and could actually be DANGEROUS for my children. Here it is 2 weeks until my 5 yr old son's birthday and all I have is box of junk. I am crying as I type this, it is just unbelievable. I beg you to please do the right thing and issue me a refund or do something to make this right. Sheltie_Momma And the Seller's response: Maybe my scales are off they are old and they showed over 7.5 lbs. And we both know there was no spider webs as the pictures show and they also show mixed sets as states,, however i want you to bo happy as i when i buy an item.. Return to me and i will refund your purchase price less shipping as all others who offer refunds on ebay.. Sorry you are unsatisfied... The issue is that a refund in this instance doesn't really help - because the cost of shipping was so high, I would end up spending $28 for nothing ($14 in shipping each way) or else keep it for having spent $33. I'm so angry! Having slept on it, what I think I will do is measure out how many pounds the guy shorted me. And then say fine, you want to stand by your description - so "mixed sets" means some of them are homemade and aren't even compatible, fine. You want to say you said "old" and old means covered in spider nests and broken shards, fine. But you also said EIGHT pounds and BY HIS OWN ADMISSION I didn't get what I paid for, so I think I will take my purchase price per pound and tell him he should refund me by the amount he shorted me. I think it will come out to like $6 or so. I think that's fair and will free up a little money for me to go back out on the hunt. On ebay, all you have it your word, if you say something is 8 pounds then a person expects 8 pounds, it is simply unacceptable to say your scales are old! What? Then stop using them! Are you kidding me??? So...what now? Will I venture out in the wold of ebay or has it lost it's allure for me? I'm not sure yet, but this bargain hunting Mom probably won't let one bad apple keep me away. Logs in terrible,broken off condition: Spider nests Junk

Showing box weighing only 6.5 pounds (It should be 8.5 as the box weighs a half a pound!)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Jacob loves Lincoln Logs right now. We have one set, but it makes just one choice at a time, of three possible cabins, or of course whatever you can imagine on your own. Only there aren't enough to imagine anything really major and there certainly aren't enough to give some to your sister to share. So I went online to see what sets they had since certain people have a birthday around the corner. Oooh those Lincoln Log people make me so mad - all they sell now are sets. You can't get just one honkin' huge set to make whatever you want, instead it is all broken out, one set to make a cabin, one set to make a frontier store etc. Each with less than 50 parts. Each costing over $20 before shipping. Grrr. Finally I see a big one, like 150 parts, but oh wait - it is a collector's edition and costs over $100!!! Are you KIDDING me??? So, I check on ebay, and found just what I wanted, a big old mixed up pile of multiple sets! Hah! So I won the auction today for a box of over 300 assorted pieces for just $18, shipping wasn't cheap, almost $15 - but it is EIGHT pounds of Lincoln Logs!!!! It would have cost me a fortune to get this many all brand new. I can't wait to see Jacob's face when he sees all the logs we will have now! Now, we'll just have to get one of these...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back To School

Both children began the new school year today in new classrooms. Although they have been at these schools (two locations) since birth, there is still definitely a "back to school" vibe. Bella has moved to the big kid wing of the school into Sweet 250, big changes for her will include drinking from open cups, potty training and field trips on the bus. Jacob will be in Sweet 500, the last of the preschool classes at the school. For anyone wondering, he misses the cut off for kindergarten by 12 days and so will finish out one more year in preschool. No worries though, he stays busy with Spanish, Computers, Gymnastics, and Art in addition to a fairly rigorous pre-K curriculum. This weekend was tax-free weekend, both kids got some new shoes and were excited to get to class in their new kicks. "Hurry up and take the picture Mommy, I want breakfast!"

Bella's is TWO!

A giant rambling, picture filled post - all about Miss Anabel.
Anabel May turned two years old on August 13th, we celebrated several times... As I blogged about before her big, big present from Will and I was a playhouse for the backyard, I found one I wanted back earlier in the summer and since we knew we would be away at the beach we went ahead and set it up early. Plus it just seemed a shame to waste all those fun summer days with the playhouse packed away over technicalities :) Bella's Grandma and PawPaw came over early in the month to celebrate and shower her with presents, kisses and hugs. Our baby girl loves to doodle - so the easel and art set was the perfect gift. Actually it is a gift for me too - the two sides of the easel mean both kids play happily while I cook dinner - hooray for toys that keep kids busy and get their creative juices flowing!

On her actual birthday we went to the beach and to the pool, had a tasty lunch followed by cake and more presents. The bigger kids were very eager to help out with the candle and opening of the presents! Daddy and his TWO year old!!!

Early the next morning I took Bella down to the beach for a birthday photo shoot:

In case you are wondering, I am letting her bangs grow out - only a few inches to go and I can tuck it behind her ear, trust me I am counting the days! Also she loves the sand so much it was hard to ever get her to look up!

When we got home on our doostep were presents from Grandma Julie - so she had even more birthday! Is our girl loved or what! Thank you everyone for being so generous and helping us make her birthday special!

Last week, we had to do the not so fun part of turning two - check up and shots at the pediatrician. She seems very grown up to me all of the sudden - reading books in the waiting room.
Our girl is still tiny, she is 24.6 pounds, 31 3/4 tall - about 25th for weight and 5th for weight! But her doctor says she is just fine, we have nothing to worry about, just that she likely to be small like me as an adult.
She is doing great, bright, happy, easy going. She eats anything you put in front of her, except green beans which she says "ooh that's yuck". Bella talks us a storm, she speaks full sentences and quite a bit of it is understandable even by folks other than me! She loves her blankies, she has several in rotation. She steadfastly refuses to learn her colors but is learning her ABC's and some numbers. When she counts to herself she always says One, Two, Three,Ocho...She is brave and happy to set off on her own to check out new things. Happy Birthday sweet Bella - we love you!

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