Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ken You Dig It?

Want to know how to breath new life into a pile of matted-haired Barbies?  Add a Ken doll...Well, not just one Ken. We learned all too quickly in a house with 3 Barbie playing gals that fights happen when there is only one Ken to go around. (I'm sure HE enjoyed being the most sought after toy by plastic girls and real girls alike.) Last week, we added a few more Kens to the mix.  The fighting stopped and now the Barbie to Ken ratio has shrunk from 1:20 to about 1:5.  Not as bad.

View IMAG0355.jpg in slide show
"A Barbie Trip to the Movies"

We received a ton of our Barbies (and Moxie Girls/Liv Dolls/Disney Princesses--the OTHER Barbie-esque dolls in our collection) as gifts.  The number of Barbie/Barbie-esque dolls continued to multiply while our solitary Ken basked in the abundant amorous attention of all his new gal pals. This just wouldn't do, besides the CONSTANT fighting between the girls about who would get to play with Ken--headache inducing to say the least--I was just cringing at the dynamics of the "play" that was taking place: "Ken" snubs "Ariel" for a date with "Fashionista Barbie."  "Dog walker Barbie" prepares for her date with "Ken" while "Belle", "Tiana", "Gymnastics Barbie," "Merlia," and "Barbie Mariposa" sulk in a jealous pile nearby.  "Ken" lines up "Babysitter Barbie" "Snow White", and a bald "Liv Doll" and "can't decide" whom he would rather whisk to the beach in his pink convertible.  Enough already! 

Populating the Barbie pile with a few more Ken dolls seems to have done the trick. We are up to 4 "Kens" now: Beach Ken, African American Beach Ken (Whom the girls named "Rock" for some reason) and two "Fashionista Kens": One in skinny jeans who (Sorry, Bud) resembles my brother and another blond with a "Justin Bieber Do."  Pickings were slim at the K-mart.  I'm not a huge fan of the Kens with real hair--they just look ridiculous...but they have done the trick: Fighting eliminated. And less bachelor-rose-ceremony-drama-type playing with the Barbies. A win-win for everyone except our original "stud" Ken, I suppose.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

THIS is a tablespoon, Folks!

One Tablespoon of the DELICIOUSNESS known as Nutella on a Dixie "Cake Plate" with a plastic spoon to show scale.
Yes, I too needed reminded of this: A tablespoon of Nutella looks like the above picture. It doesn't anywhere NEAR resemble half of a 13 oz. jar.  Oooops.  I forgot.

So those of you who read my blog regularly, and yippee there are those of you out there, know that I have tried over the last few months to do a little thing called "Weigh in Wednesday" where I blog about my weight loss progress over the previous week, talk about what worked, what didn't etc.  I basically was writing it as a way to keep myself on track and keep me accountable to loosing the post baby weight and then some.  I was off to a great start, but alas, you may have noticed that I haven't posted a Weigh in Wednesday for awhile.

The lack of WIW posts coincided coincidentally with my discovery of Nutella (where have you been all my life frenemy?)   It took me a while to try Nutella, although I'd heard about it years before as I was embracing my hidden inner Italian Cooking Goddes and listening to Giada go on about her childhood memories of eating Nutella slathered on a piece of bread as an afterschool snack. I imagine it's been sitting on the shelves for at least 30 years. I only recently have seen a commercial for it on TV.  But what got me to buy it was my mom telling me that she was enjoying a jar of it...It's only 10 more calories than a serving of peanut butter, she said.

Um...I'm slightly addicted to it.  It is like eating heaven on a spoon. I do let the kids have it once in a while but mostly I hoard it for myself and as they are drooling before me I say something along the lines of: This is MOMMY's peanut butter.  Or No, you CAN'T have any because there isn't enough for everyone (and Mommy needs her fix).  If this is bringing on visions of a Lord of The Rings, Shmeegle (or however you spell it) type episode,  It isn't THAT bad. I wouldn't throw myself into a fiery pit for the stuff...but I may scratch your eyes out for it...maybe, probably, okay I MIGHT (I will).

I'm not going to blame Nutella for a weight gain over the last 3 weeks or so...even though it does call my name from the pantry, and relentlessly speaks to me from the counter, and begs me to just grab a spoon and dig right in and then like the frenemy that it is stabs me in the back from the garbage can...

I was going to go on and on today about the American skewed view of portion size...but you guys probably already know that we have been turned into people who have no idea what a tablespoon looks like, or a quarter cup...and don't even get me started on an ounce. (I hate when they give me a portion size in "ounces".  How, for the love of God, am I supposed to measure that out without feeling like I'm in a lab and should be wearing a white coat and goggles or something?)  And that there is a mass conspiracy to make us fat, and unhealthy to line the pockets of some fat cat who could give a rat's bum about anything else but making money.

Instead I wrote about Nutella. Go figure.

For those of you wondering...I'm up like five pounds over two weeks...Eeek.  Time to get back on track and dig out the tablespoons and the food diary.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Awful Truth

So THIS is what happens when you don’t live mindfully:

Last night Jim and I were going over the budget, crunching numbers with an eye on the future.  Closing coming up and the fact that our 2000 Honda Civic’s days are numbered has us wondering what and if we can afford a newer vehicle soon.  Since we were going through the finances with a comb, I couldn’t resist the chance to go through the check book and add up all the eating out we’ve done this summer…my current register only goes back to mid June which I should probably be grateful for, because what I found was enough! in three months we managed to spend over $600 on eating out and that’s just what was in the checkbook.  Many times we ate out, or take out, and paid cash for it! So who knows what the actual total is?!?

So, what else could we have done with $600 plus?  Hmmm…We could have bought a new mattress, which we really need.  Or a new dresser for the girls clothes, which we also need. Or a new bed for Olivia, since she will need one soon. Or we could have socked it away, which would have been nice. Or started a Christmas fund with it. OR?

I hate shopping. I must not have gotten the gene that allows you to enjoy spending money on things for yourself, or your home, or others (although I don’t have as much trouble shopping for others) I don’t mind grocery shopping because I deem that a necessity. But I can’t make myself like any other type of shopping. Instead of relaxing me or making me feel good, it stresses me out. I may have mentioned before, that this is how I shop:  I walk around the store for an hour picking up things that I want or like and as I stroll I talk myself out of buying them and end of putting back (or wanting to put back) almost everything I pick up. I always think about how I could be putting the money to good use somewhere else.

Not sure why I DON’T have this problem when it comes to shelling out money for eating out.  I guess it goes back to thinking: Well, we NEED to eat.  If I’ve had a busy day, or we are out and about during a meal time, or if I just don’t feel like cooking, well we must EAT! 

By the way, Since it’s starting to get chillier I’ve been scouring my drawers for some warm clothes and (uh oh) I don’t have anything. (going back to my dislike for shopping) So yes, I’m wearing maternity clothes today. I’m embarrassed to admit it. It isn’t that we don’t have money to buy new clothes. I just don’t want to.  Even though it is completely justifiable, even though Jim would say I don’t have to justify it. I still get stressed about it.  You know those people that say oh, I got a great deal on these shoes or this top or this purse? I secretly strongly dislike these people because I don’t see those deals—probably because I don’t shop often enough to see the sales--  I almost always pay full price for things and my inability to add up the savings makes me crazy.

I know, I’m nuts. It isn’t just the spending money thing that makes me hate shopping so much—there are other reasons, but this post would go on forever if I analyzed them all. It’s enough to say, I’m nuts.  So I’ll just hike up my maternity jeans and shut up!

WELCOME NEW FOLLOWERS! I'm looking for some fun and interesting blogs to follow, so post a comment, Follow Me, and I will come on over and check you out!!


Friday, September 17, 2010

The Little Things

Can I share with you something that totally gets on my nerves?

Here it is:

No it isn't my yellow 70's style counter top (we won't even go there).  It's those little plastic pieces that litter my counter. They are from the yogurt the kids ate for lunch and the icing from the toaster strudels for breakfast.  I hate those little plastic pieces!  There are a couple of reasons why I don't like them.  First of all, I don't like ripping them off in the first place...because if the machine didn't punch the slit on correctly then they are impossible to open. So instead of taking .5 seconds to rip through, they take at least a full 5 minutes as you try to first rip it with your fingers, try your teeth, and then hunt for a pair of scissors to get the job done.  If that isn't annoying enough, then you are left with these little plastic pieces which sometimes get stuck to plates, fingers, the counter, the floor, your bare foot, but mostly just litter the counter top.  They are hard to pick up, they seem to multiply exponentially through the day and they make me feel like a slob. I can manage throwing away the icing packets and the Gogurt tubes but these little top thingies?  GRRRR. They are a pain in the butt! 

On to something I love:

Last night after I fed her for the last time around 10pm and settled her into her bassinet by the bed, Jim and I listened to her babble and "sing" for at least an hour in the dark!  I loved a couple of things about this.  First, of course, it is just so darn cute to hear her little voice and get the feeling that she is "practicing" and "trying new things" and "figuring how her voice works". I just smile thinking about what she might be thinking when she holds a long note and makes her voice go up at the end...like she is having a happy little conversation with herself.   The second thing I love about this is that as Jim and I lay there trying to fall asleep I had my arm thrown around him and when Chloe would make an especially cute or funny sound I could feel him laugh a little. Neither of us said anything.  I wouldn't know that he was laughing if I didn't have my arm around him. I just loved sharing that moment. 

Another thing that I love is that I can write about this moment and describe it, and when it is long forgotten for its seeming "ordinary-ness" I can read it here on my blog and remember it and recapture the magic...And I love that,  way more than I hate those little plastic thingies.

 I'm blog hopping this week! First time in a long time!! JOIN ME!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Good Steward

First off, I'm trying to be a "good" blogger and post more often than once a week. But I also need to use my time more wisely than I do.  I have a heavily scheduled life right now, so there aren't many down time minutes to spare.  Which is fine...I think I need to be a little more regimented so that I can get things done...

So, we are going to move, the kids started school and dance, Girl Scout Daisy troop will be meeting soon, family stuff is being planned (annual pumpkin patch trip, chili party), Parties will be attended, Church groups and functions are starting to go full swing, Jim is working like crazy--and so am I, There are upcoming doctor's appointments on my mind--so with all this stuff happening I get kind of scattered thinking about and answering e-mails and remembering to keep Jim informed about what is going on here, there, and everywhere. I try to keep a main calender where I put everything that needs to be remembered i.e. If Jordan wants to pack today, How much do I weigh, Farm pick up day, Jim works OT, Book club, Send snack for preschool...everything. I'm sure many of you have a similar calender or some such organizational tool.  Still some stuff gets forgotten.

This week. I am focusing on being a good steward of time and resources. Well, I'm starting kind of small...With regards to time, I am using my phone's timer to allot 15 minute increments to get things done. So many times when I am working on something (especially blog, e-mail, or other online adventures) time gets away from me. For example, as I shuffle through the paper clutter amassed in my mail slots I stop and ponder some child's artwork, or page through a catalog and before you know it an hour has passed. 

With regards to resources, I'm focusing on electricity and money.  Every time I think about it I run around the house and shut off lights and electronics that have been mindlessly left on as we wander from room to room from activity to activity.

In the money category, I am focusing on giving up eating out.  This means planning meals that I will make even when I don't feel like cooking.  I read a little blurb a few weeks ago--don't remember where, sorry-- that said (I'm paraphrasing) that when at the grocery store, never feel bad about spending money on a quality ingredient, or splurging on a craving, because eating a home is ALWAYS less expensive than eating the same thing at a restaurant. So basically, if you want it at the grocery store, and it's gonna stop you from eating out one meal, than you should get it.  I like this way of thinking.  And I'm scared to add up what we've spent (and wasted) at restaurants over the last year, but I KNOW that this little piece of advice is true.

Being less wasteful, means being more mindful.  Being a Good Steward means living honestly with yourself, dealing honestly with others, and carefully and mindfully using time, talent, and treasure. And so that's what I am trying to do  this week. No doubt, things need to become more efficient around here...so when the timer goes off it's on to the next thing and I will turn off and unplug as I go!

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Best of Ava

Happy 5th Birthday Ava Tyler!  God, I love this kid!  She is so amazing.  Thinking back over 5 years with Ava brings so many crazy memories. From the very start, Ava's energy, determination, and stubborn streak were very apparent. When she was born, she had a shock of fiery red hair.  I always joked that it was all the Andy Capp Hot Fries that I ate while I was pregnant with her!  She had the chubbiest cheeks, and electric blue eyes, and that crazy red hair---it just fit her so well! 

She spent the first 6 weeks in NICU at Children's.  It was hard to hold her because she had wires and tubes everywhere.  I remember her being very strong. She could lift her head in those first few days!! She had a procedure done early on where they stitched her tongue to her lip so it wouldn't block her airway and she had to be sedated and kept in a twilight coma for a week so she could heal. I remember them saying that she was so strong she would try to "break through" the sedation. 

She was so stubborn! She had an oral aversion because of all these "bad" things that involved her mouth, so feeding her was a night mare. She would not eat!  It was such a struggle to get her to eat even an ounce at a time.  Success was measured in millilitres in those early months.  She made mommy and daddy stronger too.  I gained strength to advocate for her and speak up for us.  We learned not to take anything for granted!

At one year old, when Ava had her cleft palate surgery I learned again how freakishly strong she was. It took all of my might to hold her when she was mad as a hornet after surgery. She had to wear bands on her arms to keep her from putting her hands in her mouth and I remember being whacked with those things a few times! AND it HURT!!!

When Ava started to talk, all of her sounds were made at the back of her throat. She called me "ga ga" for a LONG time.  We called her "gwacky bird" because she reminded me of a bird and that's the sound she would make! She had speech therapy and I remember the first time she called me Mama.  I get tears just thinking about it. She would work so hard and was such a good little student! 

Enthusiasm is her middle name. She doesn't do anything half way. She knows what she wants and gives it her all.

Ava comes up with the craziest funny stuff. She is great at the one-liners.  I wish that I would have written down more of the funny things that she has said through the years.  She just cracks me up constantly with what she comes up with!

She loves animals. She has a special relationship with Kingston...he thinks she is a puppy and she lets him believe it.  The two of them together are nuts. He is constantly "playing" with her. And if you know anything about how dogs play with each other, you know that they do a lot of mouthing. So, yes, he is constantly "biting" Ava and knocking her down and she just doesn't care!!!

Ava dances and sings around our house constantly. She doesn't mind doing it in public either. At the Italian Day Festival this year she danced and sang with a giant blow up guitar--she had us laughing so hard.

All or nothing Ava.  I wouldn't change a thing about her!


(I started this post on Saturday...but never got to finish it)

I was three days engaged.  Dreaming and planning my walk down the aisle and beyond with the love of my life.  Who could know that that morning would change the landscape of our nation? Change us all in the blink of an eye? 

Remember how the flags flew? I had tears in my eyes for at least a week straight. In a time that was supposed to be hopeful, happy, and fun for me...my heart felt heavier. I was tired, frightened and couldn't really see beyond the moment.  I grieved for lives lost, innocence lost. I clung to loved ones.  We all wanted to be together, united.  Family was more important than ever.

So many changes were coming down the pipeline. So much seemed up in the air.  Later that year, doctors found a grapefruit sized cyst on one of my ovaries!  As we were beginning our life together, I was so scared that we would have trouble conceiving. (Funny to think about that now after all of my successful pregnancies).  At the time though, just like on 9.11.01, it seemed like the end of the world!

I am so grateful for my little girls.  When I look at them I see hope.  I am happy for the future. I am blessed because of them. I think that a common thought during that time was wondering how one could bring a child into this world so filled with hate and evil?  For me, it wasn't a question of how could you, but how could you not?  Children are innocents. Blessed. They remind us that good still exists. They show us true joy. They live their lives without care or worry.  They are hope. Isn't that what we need??  So, how could you not?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Confessions of a busy mom

I have fallen into bed completely exhausted after the last three days and have been having the best, deepest sleep I have had in a long time.

I have been running around like crazy, but still managed to make my bed! Yippee.

I have avoided the drive through lane even though a couple times it was pulling me like a magnet! Woohoo!

I was sad when I thought that in a few months Chloe will be eating baby food.

I have made a promise to start walking the dog regularly when we move...Poor pup has been a little bored lately.

I forgot to step on the scale this week.

I have remembered to tell the girls individually that  I Love Them at random points in the day.

While sad that Ava started her first REAL day of school today (because it means Summer is officially over and She, all of them, are growing up) I secretly jumped for joy at the idea of  3 hours minus two kids of unscheduled time! TIME TO BLOG!!!

We are getting closer to moving...I'm excited, nervous and spend many moments mentally decorating and furnishing and renewing the new house!

This is crazy, but I googled our sellers and found out that the wife has a blog and I anonymously followed her and have been reading about her adventures as she packs up and prepares to leave "our" house.... :) It's funny how many parallels I've found there!

I love how chubby Livi looks in her dance leotard and watching her prance has been one of the happiest moments of the week!

It just hit me that I forgot to take a picture of Ava today! OOOOPS! I took one of her at her Orientation on Wednesday, but I forgot to do it today on her *official* first day!

I would love it if someone decided to pay me to write and I could stay home and make some $.

Okay, I'm stepping out of the confessional now. Have a blessed Friday everyone!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Weigh in Wednesday: busy busy busy!

Happy to report that I finally have lost the vacation weight!  I'm down 9.8 lbs from the official start of the diet.  I would have loved to have been 10 pounds lighter by now, but oh well.

I am hoping to finally be able to add in some exercise to my day (which I have not been able to accomplish thus far. With the school year starting and less kids at home to entertain, I just might be able to find some time...but maybe not)!

Jordan's first day was today! Doesn't she look cute in her uniform??
She's a first grader this year. It will be an adjustment year for her. Not only will it mean a longer day for her (she did half day kindergarten) but it will also mean new faces to see and friends to meet as the half day and full day kindergarten combine.  She is really excited to get started! She was up at 6 am ready to go!!! :)

Here's another pic of all the girls before we loaded into the van this morning:

They are getting so big! I can't stand it!

Big changes coming down the pipeline!  We are most likely going to be moving this fall. We put a bid on a house and they accepted so now we've got a month or two of inspections and packing and planning and socking away every cent we can scrape up!  It's so nerve wracking to make such a huge purchase. I said to Jim, I'm pretty sure we can afford this, but you don't really know until you are in there making all the payments. I remember having these same feelings the first time around and everything was fine!

Reminds me of a passage from Matthew:
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

I reflect on this passage and it brings me peace and strength. It is one of my favorites! Also I think it keeps my hair from turning gray. Seriously, I have one gray hair and I can't explain it!  My dad started to go gray at 13 and my hair is dark like his...so  it's got to be the passage :) ...or at least the practice of the passage.  DON'T WORRY ABOUT TOMORROW. Live in the present. Care for the present. Be present.  And leave the worry to itself.  I believe it's one of the keys to happiness and a key to health and youthfulness. Which reminds me...I'm off to to think about my "happiness project."


Related Posts with Thumbnails