Sunday, September 30, 2007

Not your grandmother's quilts

Ya'll have to check out this site. I'm not a quilt-y kind of person, either making them or sleeping under them. But I stumbled upon this site today and I believe I could easily change my tune. If I could afford said tune-changing. These quilts are so beautiful, they look more like art than bedding.'s nice to dream anyway.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The boring post: every blog needs one

If someone called me today who I hadn't spoken to in a week and said "hey, what'cha doin?" I'd have to say NOTHING. This week has been totally uneventful, a good thing I suppose. We did take Alex to the doctor for his 2-year check-up. He couldn't be more normal. I asked the doctor if he could do something about that high-pitched, siren-like sound that Alex is so fond of lately but he just looked at me funny. The little guy is in the 97th percentile for height and 75th for weight (are you snoozing yet?)

Beyond that, we visited the McDonald's "R" Gym yesterday after MDO. Crowded and crazy as usual. We did have an "awww" moment when a little boy took Alex's ball from him. Mickey swooped in and told the other little boy "hey, he was playing with that." Then he took the ball from him and gave it back to Alex (all the while holding on to his own, of course). My hero!

Oh, and I'll leave you with this Overheard from Mickey: the other night he was half asleep when I went to check on him. He rolls over and says "...mamma I need a hig and a kuss..." Of course, honey.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Biggest Loser Update #1

I posted earlier about my entry in the Biggest Loser contest at my gym. Yesterday was our first weigh-in, only they did a test including blood pressure, heart rate, weight, height, a couple of measurements and the dreaded body fat percentage. With those things as factors, my "fitness score" is 54 on a scale of 1-100.

The winner of the contest will have the highest increase in fitness score over a period of eight weeks. Eight, grueling, no-donuts-after-Mother's Day Out weeks.

The good news? I have been sticking to my workout and eating plan for nearly two weeks. Almost 14 days. Part of me wants to get up from the table and say "okay, I paid my dues and it was hard. Where's my goal weight please?" But I know it's gonna take a lot longer than that. Drat.

Visit me next Tuesday for another update.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Time out

I've taken a bit of a time out for the past few days; honestly I just haven't felt much like writing anything. We had a death in our family a few days ago (out of privacy to those directly related I will hold the details). It's so hard to imagine anything else being important, so I chose to not post anything at all.

I will resume regular stuff tomorrow night. And tonight I'm praying their family will draw on God's strength as they cope with their loss.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The road to "loser"ville

So getting Alex out of bed as I was writing that post earlier eventually led to a trip to Super Wal-Mart for...the horror...both "Wal-Mart" items AND groceries. Let me just say, I only have two kids and one cart is barely enough when you need room for gallon jugs of milk, diapers, a roast, and a three-year-old who likes to stack groceries.

Okay, here goes. I'm committing myself to blogland about my latest endeavor to lose weight. I'm sure this time is different than all the other times and I'm going to stick to my plan. (A little de ja vu anyone?)

I posted a while back about joining a gym, which I've been using regularly for two weeks and I love it. I had been trying to get active by walking in my neighborhood a few times a week, but working out in a gym environment is more motivating. So far it's been great. I go on MDO days and before Pete and the boys wake up on the other three days. Theoretically.

So this gym is getting ready to start a "Biggest Loser" contest next week. I'm in it. I'm in it and I want to win it. It's only eight weeks long, not enough to lose all the weight I want to lose, and the prize is only $100. But I'm trying to tap my not-really-very-competitive side and use this as a starting point for my ultimate goal.

The first weigh-in is next week. I don't know if they weigh weekly or not. If they do, I'll post my loss (and it WILL be a loss). Now don't be silly: you're not going to see how much I weigh out here. Even Pete doesn't know that (and even if I posted out here he still wouldn't know). Anyway, progress is more important than numbers. So that I will post every week. I believe this contest even has challenges like the real Biggest Loser.

So here I go...the next "Biggest Loser." But if they make me wear spandex I'm out.

The post that wasn't...

I'm working on a post that I...

Wow, I swear, Alex just at this second woke up. Back later.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

WFMW: the "locking" diaper

If your baby can't resist the urge to pull the tabs on his diaper (and allow it to fall to the floor and then run around the house laughing) simply turn the diaper around and put it on so the tabs are in the BACK.

For the past six months Alex has confounded us with taking his diaper off at very inopportune times, especially after we put him down at night. And so many times I'd like to let him roam the house in just a T-shirt and diaper, but inevitably I hear the rip and rip of the diaper tabs and then the chase is on. I hadn't yet resorted to duct tape...

Then the other day I was talking about my dilemma with a mom-friend and she said she used to turn their daughter's diapers around and it worked great for her. It has worked beautifully for us, too.

Diaper reversal Works for Me! For more tips that will change your life, visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.

Monday, September 17, 2007

In my quest to never pay for a birthday cake

I love birthday cakes. I love to look at them and I love to eat them. I love to have my cakes and eat them, too.

I DON'T, however, like to pay for a bakery to make them. So until my boys start asking for a sculpted volcano cake or a Lightning McQueen car made completely of chocolate, this frugal mom is making their cakes. I figure twice a year I can push my creativity to its very limits and still come up with something that won't draw snickers and tastes decent. Here's this year's attempt at Alex's cake for his Blue's Clues party:

The pawprint is blue sugar, sprinkled onto a template I drew on a piece of paper. The M&Ms around the side are his new tradition (see last year's cake). The cake is chocolate; I used the very simple recipe on the Hershey's Cocoa can. The frosting is another simple recipe I already had. The beauty of the whole thing? I had all the ingredients already in my kitchen except the sugar and M&Ms, which cost about $6 together. Compare that to the $26 that was quoted to me for an official Blue's Clues cake and I think I successfully beat the system.

(Unfortunately, the system still won in the birthday gifts department...)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

To Alex on his Second Birthday

Happy 2nd Birthday, Alex! Today we will celebrate with all your favorite people, except Joe from Blue's Clues. You will have to settle for watching him and Blue several times a day and listening to your mommy sing "Mail Time" over and over because she can't get it out of her head.

Hmm, what to say to you on your 2nd birthday. How about you go get potty-trained, okay? Talking in words instead of squeals or cries would be nice. And learn to buckle yourself into your carseat like your brother. You could get a lot better about sitting still at meals so you can get out of that highchair and sit at the table with the rest of us. And that crib of yours? Say your goodbyes... Oh, and the BITING. WHEN will you outgrow that?!

Wait, sorry, son. I'm doing it again. I'm wishing you to grow up even faster than you already are. With growing out of those things, you'll also start growing out of your baby face and into a little boy's. You'll grow out of a language of babbling that is truly like music to me and your dad. You'll grow out of that cute way you rattle off the names of your family in a way only we can understand. You'll also probably grow out of that long wispy blond hair and into a more grown up style. And you'll find a more boyish way to run across the yard instead of your "baby charge."

So I take it all back, hon. You grow up at your own pace. And keep reminding me by the look in your blue eyes how much I need to remember even the little things that don't seem as important as your birthday. Just keep doing what you're doing, sweet boy. Happy Birthday.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Middle Name Meme

(For a great definition of "meme" go here.)

Melanie tagged me today and what Melanie wants, Melanie gets.

You have to post these rules before you give the facts.

Players - You must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don't have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.

At the end of your post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag.

D -- DREAMING about my next vacation on the beach. With or without kids. If kids are with us, we'd have a full-time nanny with us, too. Heck, we'd have THE nanny, as long as I'm dreaming.

I -- IDENTIFYING the areas of my health that need attention. It didn't take me a lot of time to do this. Maybe someday I'll blog that journey...

A -- ALLOWING myself to make mistakes from time to time. I usually judge myself too harshly. But maybe that's a little harsh.

N -- I try to NEVER lose sight of what's important. One of my best friends likes to say "...but in the big scope of life, does it really matter?" Helps me not shudder when Mickey is running around an indoor play area with no socks on.

E -- ENJOYING my boys. Especially the little moments, like Alex snuggling me when he wakes up. And Mickey squealing on an incredibly big swing at a friend's house today. I want to remember those moments forever.

Now I'm tagging one person for each letter of my middle name.

Brittany at Back for Round II

(hmmm, now here's where it gets interesting. I really don't have a lot of bloggin' friends. I'm a wallflower in blogland, and I suppose here is where it's most obvious. My "tagging one person for each letter" requirement is now shortened to "tagging one person." Thank you. Now go feel sorry for me... Brittany, when you're finished with the meme maybe you can tag EIGHT people to make up for me being the social outcast.)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

"I'd like to thank all the little people..."

Alex fell down in the kitchen tonight. He somehow stumbled and I have no idea what he hit, but it was enough to put quite a mark on his eyebrow...not a gash but a lot more than a scratch. A "scrash."

Alex is a strong almost-two-year-old. And when he's mad, the strength doubles. And when he's mad and hurt, the strength triples. Factor in I was by myself at the time and I have very inquisitive Mickey at my side, and I think I deserve the Mom of the Day award for getting a Band-Aid placed right over the wound. Complete with Neosporin. I raised up from him victorious, like a rodeo-er after hog-tying a steer in 12 seconds...

Here are the before-and-after's:

Not bad 'eh? He was very curious about it at first, then I showed it to him in the mirror and that was pretty much it. He didn't try to get it off at all.
So, I'm waiting for my award. (tap, tap, tap) What? Excuse me? There aren't any awards for being a mom? Wow.

Rembrandts in the making

As promised, pics of the boys' foray into fingerpainting. Somehow the deck where the art lesson took place remained clean!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Planning ahead: Happy Fourth of July!

I got my L.L. Bean catalog in the mail today.


It's only September 11 and the arrival of this catalog makes me feel inadequate since I haven't even thought about Christmas. Or Thanksgiving. Or Halloween (sorry Mel).

But I suppose I'll be drawn out of summer and into fall anyway, kicking and screaming the whole way. I did send the boys to Mother's Day Out this morning in pants and long-sleeved shirts. But I protested by wearing shorts and a T-shirt.

The good news? It is finally cool enough today for fingerpainting on the deck after MDO. Not fingerpainting the deck, but fingerpainting while sitting at a table on the deck. And...probably...fingerpainting the deck. Check tomorrow for pics...

Monday, September 10, 2007

A hard lesson I didn't have to learn

Saturday we visited some friends to watch football. It was raining hard when we arrived and we shuffled the kids inside to avoid getting wet, without even glancing at their backyard swimming pool (actually we were too busy trying to get a look at the playground-quality outdoor gym they'd just built).

These friends have twins: a boy and girl who are Mickey's age (almost 4). As soon as we hit the door the expected chaos ensued and the toys came out, with Alex trying to keep up as best he could. The four adults settled down to watch the game and yell at the TV.

Pretty soon, I said to Pete "where's Alex?"

"I don't know..."

I calmly got up and went to kitchen area near the back door where we'd entered the house, and panic rushed over me.

The door was unlocked.

Almost instantly I laid my eyes on Alex, who was wandering about in an adjacent room. He hadn't yet been attracted back to the door, the door he could have easily opened and stepped out, putting him about ten feet from the edge of the pool.

The possibilities didn't register with me at that moment. I noticed an open child-lock on the door and engaged it, and bolted the door, too.

The rest of the day was uneventful. The kids played and football continued.

Then the magnitude of what could have happened started building up, and I nearly got upset just sitting there watching football. I thought about all the times I'd heard about pool accidents with toddlers, and thought to myself what a negligent parent that child must have had. Surely they must have been white trash or drunk or abusive. And here Pete and I sat...none of those things, having made the same mistake with our own children that one of those parents might have made. Only we were lucky. We were proceeding along with our day as planned, instead of asking ourselves how we could have been so stupid.

(big sigh). I don't like to get dramatic for drama's sake. It's not my nature. But since I had kids I think about things a whole different way. I cherish every minute I have with these boys, in spite of my sometimes stressful days. If anything, this non-incident on Saturday proved to me that even though I try to do everything right for them, sometimes I fail. And that's a scary thing to think about...

Friday, September 07, 2007

Dear Other-Mart,

Today I ventured out of my comfort zone and went to the other-mart in town. You know, the one that years ago was a huge competitor of Wal-Mart, but now they seemingly eek by with a few locations here and there.

Anyway, in case anyone with any pull at all at Other-Mart may happen upon my blog at any time, here are a few tips for your store if you want to continue eeking in the world of discount stores:

-- CLEAN UP. The diaper section of my local Other-Mart looked like two rabid raccoons had gone to town on the packages. Open, torn, jumbled up...a huge mess. I finally located one apparently intact package and ran for my life.

-- CLEAN UP. Next I was in search of laminating sheets. After scavenging through a big bin of such items, amid Crayons, Post-Its, and Scotch tape, I finally found what I needed. I didn't bother trying to find the price since it was nowhere near its original home on a peg.

-- Can you widen your aisles in the Health and Beauty section just a smidge? My two-year-old's little wingspan was nearly enough to mow over every shampoo and conditioner bottle we passed. I might have spent more time browsing (and buying!) if I wasn't worried about the path of destruction I would leave behind.

-- As soon as I entered the store, one of your "associates" asked me if she could help me find something. "No thanks, I'm just getting started..." I told her. "Okay," she said, and handed me a slip of paper with some number written on it. "Please hand this to the cashier when you check out..." EXCUSE ME? Now Other-Mart wants me to help them evaluate their employees? Evaluate them yourselves please. Not my job. (And while I'm on the subject...I'm getting a little tired of stepping up to a credit card machine and being asked a question like "was your cashier nice to you today?" If my cashier gives me a receipt and bags up my stuff, that's nice enough for me. And those receipts that say "...go to ww w. whatever for a survey about your experience here today and you might win a coupon good for $5 off your next purchase of $1000." It's like they want some big long account of what happened when you bought a friggin' gallon of milk.)

Okay, that's about it for ragging on Other-Mart. But I think I will stick with my overpriced Target and out-of-the-way Wal-Mart for my next trip. ThanK you very much...

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Overheard: His job for life.

On the way to Mother's Day Out this morning, the conversation turned to some friends of ours who have a new baby:

Mickey: Mom, I want to get a baby.
Me: Well, when you grow up maybe you'll become a daddy.
Mickey: No, I can't be a daddy because I'll still be taking care of Alex.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Wherefore art thou, substance?

Scraping the bottom of the barrel again in blogland, people. I just haven't devoted a lot of time to writing would think that means I have nothing to say. Then I think back to my senior English class in high school and oh-my-gosh that teacher of mine had us writing papers every day. So since I'm a tad bit older now, that should mean I have even more to write about, hmmmm?

That said, busy yourselves reading the blogs of people who aren't trying to work a puzzle with their two-year-old and write at the same time... She'll have you laughing and crying. Quality stuff here...and cool design! What's it like to have that, Boomama? My niece who just graduated college and moved to New York City. Talk about ambition!

And when you're done with that, have a look at one of America's beautiful places, as it performed for us tonight:

(Panama City Beach, FL)

Monday, September 03, 2007

The mother of giveaway sites

Ya'll got to check out my buddy's site: Bloggy Giveaways. Shannon's the Pied Piper of mommy bloggers and surfers and Big Companies know this. They are showering her with stuff to give away for F-R-E-E. I believe she has a new giveaway every weekday!

A lot of items are kid/family oriented, but just recently she had some tickets to a concert out there. Bottomline: you need to check it daily to see what goody she has available. She chooses her winners by random drawing.

Good luck and let me know if you win something!