Thursday, September 30, 2010

What I need to see right now

and what also, incidentally, won 3rd place in the "Black and White - Things" category of our town's fair Photography contest. (I changed it to black and white before I printed it out, this is the original, a page from my bible).

Friday, September 24, 2010

5 Things I love Friday

1. Amazon's Universal Wishlist
COOLEST. THING. EVER. you know how when you have to supply a Christmas list to your family around the end of November, and you think "I had so many good ideas a couple weeks ago but now I forget" and then you end up asking for giftcards and kneesocks? Well, no more! (unless you wanted kneesocks, that is). Amazon itself is fantastic, but they have a button you can add to your favorites that will (once you create a wishlist on Amazon) let you add items to that list from ANY WEBSITE. Found a sweet pair of shoes? select the color and size and add it to your wishlist. Found a movie on eBay you really want? add it to your wishlist. You can go onto Amazon and search for any public wishlist by the person's name, and when you see an item you'd like to buy, just click on the item name! if it's from another website, it'll take you straight there and presto! It's that little moment of "oh, I could really use one of those" and now you can track those moments all in one place! I should be getting paid to plug this, because I'm doing a pretty darn good job. But it is just that nifty. Besides various random things (like a pink nalgene bottle) I have things on my list that I haven't been able to find anywhere, so I'm letting Amazon track it for me, like curtains for Dominic's nursery and my discontinued dishware pattern. I check it every couple days to see if the curtains and dishes have become available!

I totally came up with this fabulous idea for a website, googled it to make sure no one else had it, and found that someone else had already thought of it. This website lets you plug in the ingredients you have in your kitchen and pantry and will spit back recipes that you can make with what you already have! It splits them into categories (entrees, deserts), and lists what ingredients you need if you happen to be missing any. You can even sign up for a username and password (which I didn't do yet) but I'm sure that lets you keep a virtual pantry that you can keep updated, and you can even save favorite recipes! How cool is that?

3. Friends
we suddenly (after a several month dry spell) have a ton of plans with lots of friends and family in the next few weeks! barbecues, baby showers, dinners, birthdays, I love it! and of course this is the month where all the towns have their street fairs, ours starts next week. I really hope they have a Merry-Go-Round, I want to take ZaZa on it!

4. Our Rec Center
A friend of ours who works there asked me to be her partner for this challenge that the Rec was doing, so for the next 6 weeks not only do I get to do fun challenges (some physical, some around the community) but I also have access to the amazing gym facilities for only $20! (the cost of the Dynamic Duo challenge). and the winners get to split a cash prize! I haven't yet decided what I'll do with it if we win, but I'm thinking either Bogie's birthday present or a trip to see one of my girlies. It's nice to be able to get out of the house for something other than church or grocery shopping, and I fully plan on taking advantage of the gym if I can.

5. Coffee
I just discovered this coffeehouse right down the street, it's super cute and the coffee was amazing! I bought half a pound of their House blend, now I just need to get some creamer and I'm all set for a couple weeks of caffeine. hallelujah. I really want to go there for lunch some time, the owner (a cutie-pie of a girl who couldn't have been much older than me) gave me a take-out menu with my coffee and the food looks really good. There was also a certain item for sale on their shelves that (if it comes in a certain color, which she is looking into for me) would make a great Christmas present for my mother-in-law! But don't tell her, shhhhhhhhhhhhh.
Who wants to go to Lunch with me???

Monday, September 20, 2010

Not Me Monday

So one of the blogs that I read regularly (MckMama) has this thing called "not me monday" where you confess your less-than-stellar moments of momhood/wifehood/life in general in a tongue-in-cheek tone. Up until a few weeks ago I only read them, I never participated. Well, I finally decided I would do one and was quite excited for that following monday...and she didn't post one. So when the next monday rolled around I was again excited to participate...and she not only didn't do one but revealed that she felt her little meme had run its course and was going to discontinue doing it. Needless to say I was pretty disappointed but didn't want a perfectly good draft to go to waste, so with full credit going to MckMama for her idea, here's my Not Me Monday post:
Mckmama- Not Me Monday

I did NOT make a bag of steak fries at 11:00 at night because I'd forgotten to eat dinner in the melee of getting a 2 year old and a 5 month old to bed. I did NOT then forget to put the leftover fries away and leave them on the table, and most certainly did NOT let my 2-year old find them the next morning and eat them for breakfast.

I also did NOT grab the camera and start taking pictures instead of stopping my toddler from drawing with crayons on the coffee table because I was most definitely NOT thinking "Grandma would love to see this" and "they're washable crayons anyway, a Clorox wipe will take that right off".
I did NOT buy a potty seat and "big girl" undies in preparation for potty-training our 2-year old, and most certainly did NOT then chicken out and leave the potty seat gathering dust in the bathroom.

When it came time to rush-clean the kitchen before company came over, I did NOT grab all the dirty dishes on the counter and stack them in the bottom of the dishwasher, because I was most definitely NOT thinking "I'll wash them after they leave". I also did NOT procrastinate getting my daughter up from her nap because I needed a little more me-time, because I could NOT hear her bumping around in her room and tossing toys down the stairs.

I did NOT giggle at my 2-year old when she crossed her arms and yelled "that's IT!" because I wouldn't give her another animal cracker.  When she later walked in to see her brother playing with one of her toys (I would NOT let him play with her stuff) I did NOT giggle again when she indignantly said "hey, what's going on here?"

I would never do all of that. Not me!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Cloth Diapers Rock

When I was pregnant with my first child, there really was no question about what we would wrap on her teeny tiny tushie. Since my youngest sibling came along when I was almost 11, I learned very quickly how to manage cloth diapers. My mom used the old style, with the folding, the pinning, and the plastic pants and I didn't want to go through all of that hassle with my own kids. I was determined to use disposable diapers until my sister brought it to my attention that not only did people still cloth diaper, but the diapers had changed and become convenient and easy, just like disposable.
I was intrigued, especially when she told me that her friend who cloth-diapered found a kind that had snaps on the front that made them change sizes, and a baby could use the same diapers from birth until he or she was potty-trained! That sounded pretty sweet to me, so I checked out the website that she gave me:
On there I found my BumGenius 3.0 One Size diapers and never looked back.

I registered for diapers on the website  for my baby shower, I peppered my sister and her friend with questions about washing, storage, care, maintenance, I scoured CottonBabies' website for all the info I could find and I even bookmarked the website.The first diaper that I received was at a surprise baby shower, it was a white one all bundled in a neat little package with the doubler inserts.  Even those who knew about my decision to cloth-diaper were intrigued, and the bundle was quickly popped open and passed around the room as I was asked many questions (which I knew all the answers to thanks to  the website!) I received several cloth diapers that day and more in the mail later on. We supplemented those with a super-saver pack of 12. Since our first child was a girl I thought it would be cute to get all pink ones, not thinking that we might have more kids later on so needless to say, sometimes our 6-month old son wears pink diapers. On those days I dress him in his Orioles outfit to soften the blow to Daddy's heart.

I've learned a lot along the way, a lot more than I thought I would. I learned which laundry detergent worked best for washing them, I learned that the hotter the water (after the first cold rinse) the better they wash. I learned that even though you're shelling out some big bucks in the beginning to get a good stockpile of diapers, it's WAY worth it because you get to use the same diapers until the kid's potty-trained! (caveat: this is only because we got the one-size that has adjustable snaps, most cloth diapers you can't adjust them and you'd have to keep buying the next size up. To us, it made no sense to invest in cloth diapers if you had to keep buying more just like disposable). So more money up-front meant way less in the long run, and that's math that I LIKE to do. I learned that biodegradable diaper liners are amazing things once your baby's eating solid foods, it saves you a lot of icky work when you can just peel the liner and its contents out of the diaper and flush it away. The liners are also great for keeping rash cream off of the diaper, since the cream will interfere with the diaper's absorbability but our daughter inherited mommy's fair skin and gets pink at the drop of a hat.
My cloth diapers are amazing; they saved us money, I have a never-ending supply of diapers as long as I keep up with the laundry, I can rest easy knowing that I'm not adding to the landfills that are already full of (not-so)disposable diapers, and they even come in fun colors!
If I had to do it all over again, I would still cloth-diaper my babies (although I would probably buy all white this time).

Friday, September 10, 2010

If you build it, they will...protest

I would really like to know what the big stinking deal is with building an Islamic Community Center near the former site of the World Trade Center. I mean, I've seen people comment that it's immoral and unpatriotic. Seriously, folks? Do we need to go back to grade school and remind all of you what those two words actually mean?
First of all, just because the WTC was bombed by cowardly terrorists who happened to be Islamic doesn't mean that every Islamic believer is a terrorist. One purple elephant does not mean all elephants are purple. Timothy McVeigh was raised Roman Catholic, but I don't see anyone protesting St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church that's right across the street from Ground Zero.
Second of all, it's not like they're trying to build it ON the actual site of the WTC, it's several blocks away. Just how far away does it have to be before freedom of religion is acceptable again? How close is too close? Nobody is trying to disrespect the memory of the people that died that day, and even if they were I'm pretty sure they wouldn't be doing it with a Community Center, of all things.
Last I checked, being unpatriotic meant not supporting one's country and its ways of life. Oh, wait a minute, isn't America the "land of the free" where freedom of religion supposedly abounds? Someone please explain to me how refusing to allow someone to build a Community Center that will allow them to practice their religion as they please results in them being unpatriotic? If you ask me, the only unpatriotic ones here are the narrow-minded, hateful people who are trying to use a tragic event like 9/11 as an excuse to discriminate and pass judgement.
And you want to talk about immorality? I don't see anyone protesting the strip joints that are already in the same vicinity of Ground Zero. Where are the protests for that? Or the gambling establishments? or the bars? How is a 13-story building with a prayer room and a bookstore more offensive to the memory of those who died on 9/11 than drunks and strippers?
And the pastor who thinks burning the Qur'an is the right way to go about this? He clearly doesn't know the Jesus that I know. And in regards to his claim that Jesus would burn the Qur'an too: the Jesus that I know doesn't burn things for the sake of a political agenda, nor is he intimidated by a religion of differing claims. Jesus doesn't need to play offense or defense, he doesn't need to justify his existence or explain his actions. In my opinion, Jesus would be more inclined to go hang out with the drunks and strippers and show them God's love and the freedom it brings, rather than further an agenda of hate.
and that's my opinion on the subject.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Favorite Quotes

I came across a new one this morning and thought I'd share, and then I thought "why share just that one? Let's have a whole bunch of them and let others share theirs!" My Monday morning has already consisted of cleaning up poo that was not on a baby's bum, so I could use some good ones!

Here's my newest favorite (the one I just discovered this morning,) the last 2 lines of Sarah Williams' The Old Astronomer to His Pupil:
Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.

And on a more jovial note, Liz Lemon from 30 Rock:
I really don't think you want my advice, I had a 3 Musketeers bar for breakfast and this bra is held together with tape.

Those are two of my favorites, now it's your turn! What are some of your favorite quotes?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Favorite Things Friday

1. Chocolate Chip Cookies. I made a double batch tonight and got a fresh gallon of 2%. Best. Snack. Ever.
2. Batteries. They let me take videos of my beautiful little Destructo (ZaZa) and my plooshy-lipped little Boy Wonder. I like them.
3. The Time-Out Chair. It is rapidly becoming my good friend. and her worst enemy.
4. My sister-in-law. We had an awesomely long conversation the other day, she just plain rocks. I love you!
5. The Failblog. oh so funny and gives me a much needed pick-me-up. So Much Pun and Failbook are two of my favorites.