Friday, July 30, 2010

My name is Melissa...

...and I have a produce problem (cauliflower, broccoli, bell peppers, grapes x2, celery, carrots, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, nectarines, peaches, bananas, spinach, green onions, oranges, lemons, avocados, and probably something else I can't see amongst the many produce bags

Or maybe it's a yogurt/egg problem (18 yogurts, @ 4/$1, 2.5dz eggs @ .99/dz!)
I won't bother to mention the 36 boxes of raisins I snagged, nor the 6lb turkey breast for $1.39/lb. I'll also leave out the 10 32oz cans of sliced peaches I had to fit on the bottom of the cart. Let's face it, when I find things on sale, things we FLY through around here, I buy in BULK. Now if only I had a systematic way of organizing it all, I'd be set...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

They tried to make me go to rehab, but I said...


ok, well the rehab part isn't true.
But the NO NO NO part is as true as they come.

I feel like that's all I say these days. Every time I turn around I'm saying NO to something. Here I though I had my house reasonably well baby-proofed (and maybe I really do) but still, my 14 month old will find something to do that is most certainly off limits.

Take, for example, this morning. Levi has taken a particular liking to grabbing onto his high chair tray (from the floor) and hanging on it like a monkey. Surely, it will eventually break, so this deserves a no.

Similarly, he is determined to climb up onto the "oven door" on his play kitchen. Again, it will eventually break, and I'd rather it not. So, that's another no.

We go into his room so I can put away laundry and he takes all of his books and throws them on the floor. not necessarily a no, but I am SO TIRED OF PICKING THEM ALL BACK UP! I swear, I do it at least 5 times a day. As I was picking them up this morning he took the opportunity to empty his clothes drawers. He's lightening fast, Lightening I tell ya.

I could go on to explain how he's decided that ear-piercing screams are allowable whilst in the high-chair for any amount of time beyond 2.5 minutes. I could also lament about the significant increase in really annoying whining we've seen. But I suspect any of you with children will tell me that every kid in the universe does these things. I'm sure you'll tell me he's testing his boundaries, trying to figure out cause and effect. He's figuring out what kind of responses he gets from his actions.

And believe you me, he's figuring that out right quick. If only it could sink in faster.

I case you didn't know, let me tell you that Jonathan and I are not the types of parents to pat our disobeying child on the head, remind ourselves that boys will be boys, and send him on his merry way. We firmly believe that if he's old enough to pitch a fit (which he does, in full-toddler fashion now, on the floor) he's old enough to receive a punishment. As toddlers have especially short memories, we usually opt for a quick switch to the back of the thigh for blatant disobedience, (like the "I know I'm not supposed to do this, but I'm gonna look right at mom and do it anyway" kind of disobedience) and a separation from the family for tantrums (i.e. if you're going to scream, you'll scream in your crib, not at the dinner table). And I'd have to say, both of those things work really well - in the moment.

The trouble is, neither of them seem to carry over. What I mean is, my son could have been punished for, say, smacking the TV with a toy yesterday, and he'll go right back and do it again today, and tomorrow, and the next day. It's like he never stores it away. It's INFURIATING! I know learning is a process, but JEEZE LOUISE!

All that to say, this little "exploring my boundaries" thing our son has going on is driving me NUTZ. I'm sure you're looking at your screen right now saying things like "oh, you just way, it gets better when they can talk back to you!" and "That's NOTHING, he's not even TWO yet!" and believe me, I'm trying to put this all into perspective, but it's truly exhausting, and I feel like the bad guy ALL-DAY-LONG.

I'm coming to find that the only real solution is to get out of the house. He's so much better behaved when we leave the house. He doesn't try to climb up on tall objects, doesn't topple over chairs, doesn't even really fuss. I spend so much less of my energy fighting him, and so much more playing with him. Oh yeah, and when we're out, he actually plays with toys. Go figure. At our house he usually stares at them as if they aren't even there. Maybe he's just bored.

But then again, maybe it's not boredom at all, maybe it's just the familiarity of home as a "safe" place to test things out. And I get that. I know that's necessary and good. But man, I sure wish I didn't have to say "no" so much.

Monday, July 26, 2010

NOT ME Monday

Not Me Monday is a blog carnival that was started by THIS (very pregnant) blogger. I think it's hilarious, and if you do too then you should join me in this guilt relieving practice - it's cathartic.

First things first - I did NOT spend the very first of my waking moments bathing a toddler with poop caked to the insides of his legs and around his middle. I did not follow that up by emptying his sleep sack (which certainly did not lead me to believe he had been literally swimming in poo). Knowing these things happen, I did not run out spray-&-wash attempting to clean the 85 million things that were covered in feces - I plan better than that and always have a spare bottle on hand for such events.

Knowing that my son was getting cranky, and would not particularly enjoy his evening bath, I did not suggest that his father bathe with him. No. It would be inconsiderate of me to ask my wonderful husband to get all wet in a tub filled with 2 inches of tepid water just so I wouldn't have to deal with a whiney 14 month old. I'm certainly not that inconsiderate.

I did not let Levi play in guacamole last night at chipotle. Enough said.

While attending the beautiful farmers' market in the Haymarket this weekend, I did not take full view of all the wonderful, brightly colored vegetables, the sweet corn, fresh tomatoes, and squashes, lettuces & asparaguses (Asparagai?) and yet come home with a bag of cookies to show for my efforts. wow. You've got to know I'm more health-minded than that. Seriously

Speaking of cookies, I did not bake a double batch of Jonathan's favorites (oatmeal-chocolate-chip-walnut) only to find my tender jaw could not handle their firm texture. I am now not lamenting over the fact that they are now truly for him - even though I made sure they were MSPI safe for ME. I'm also not bitter.

I did not realize this weekend that in the two years I've lived in this house, the basement toilet has been cleaned ONCE.... by my mother... just after Levi was born. He's one now.

Noticing that Levi was copying words we were saying to him for a few moments last night, Jonathan did not say say a word we'd rather he not repeat. Of course, Levi did not repeat said word. I did not laugh like a little girl.

Aaaaand I'm sure there are many more, but enough about me. What have you NOT done this week?

Friday, July 23, 2010

My picky toddler - among other news

I have come to the conclusion that "toddler" must be Greek for "picky eater" - or at least Latin for "I'm going to ignore anything that looks healthy for at least the first 125 times you put it in front of me, then I may miraculously decide I like it".

In my great wisdom, I have also discovered that if you offer your toddler a food you don't want him to eat a whole lot of because it really isn't that healthy (think chicken nuggets, hotdogs, etc) it will quickly become his FAVORITE food. You know, the food you put on his tray dead LAST, so he'll have the motivation to at least pick at something remotely nutritious.

My toddler is offered a WIDE variety of foods. In general, I offer him everything we eat. He has a bit of an odd circumstance because he's dairy and soy intolerant, so I must be careful to assure his calcium/protein/calorie/fat needs are met without using cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, milk, tofu, etc. This limits me a little, but not all that much.

My problem (the problem of EVERY toddler mother in the UNIVERSE, I'd bet) is that one day he'll eat his whole wheat bread drenched in olive oil (gotta get that fat!) and the next he'll turn his nose up to everything but pears. It comes to my attention that this child was WAY better nourished as a 7-month-old who would eat anything I fed him from a spoon. Not so any longer. Spoons have gone the way of bibs. Do you follow?

Take heed moms of smaller babes: get that balanced diet into them while you can, because I am here to tell you that these little people develop a WILL of their own. They also develop taste preferences and (more importantly in our case) texture preferences. They do things like put food in their mouthes, chew it, and then spit it out and hand it to you.

And that is the end of my picky toddler rant.

In other news, Levi and I visited the pediatrician for the umpteenth time this year. After a 3-day fever, Levi developed a spotty rash over his face, chest & back. To make matters worse, my temp is also sky-high. Poor hubby returned home last night (after having arrived at work that day at 3:00am, mind you) to two sickies with grumpy attitudes. our WONDERFUL pediatrician (actually, she's a PA, but I much prefer her to the docs at our practice) assured me he had a normal virus. Apparently some kids break out in spots when their fever breaks. The spots mean the virus is over, and no longer transmutable.

Great news for him. The rest of the household will be in a wait-and-see mode.

So, with a fever, and a recovering toddler, I shall be off to the grocery store this afternoon. Wish me luck.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Thursday, July 21st; 7:00pm

Mommy: 102.0
Baby: 102.6
Daddy: Has his hands full

Plan of attack: Motrin/tylenol+flexeril, liquids, sleep & prayer. House arrest.

aaaaaaaand I would like to personally thank the academe (of Teague and Rachael Blaske) for the kind nourishment and care they lavished upon us sickies - before we knew we were really this sick, of course.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A post in which I will be opinionated

This was an issue that, at first glance, appeared completely unimportant. I gave it little thought. I shrugged my shoulders and decided that my mind and energy would be better focused elsewhere, like on the determination of what vaccines I would give my child, what dairy substitute we would use (Hy-Vee rice milk won, in case you were wondering) and what if any vitamin supplement we'd give him. All, if you'll notice, pertaining to Levi's health.

It was not until his first birthday that I was faced with a seemingly simple decision: whether to keep him rear-facing in his car seat or turn him around to finally face forwards. Of course I'd turn him around. It was a rite of passage. It was an honor due him at his ripe old age of one. He'd surely enjoy the car more, be easier to entertain, and certainly easier to see in my rear-view mirror. Without a doubt I'd turn him around. The law states that at 20lbs and one year of age, I am perfectly allowed to do so. So I will. And I did.


Over his birthday weekend I had to swap the carseat into hubby's compact car because or Forester was full of lumber and drywall. He would fit rear facing (RF) in the Geo, but not comfortably, so I turned him around for our quick trip to the store. I was just certain he loved it. Who wouldn't after looking out the back window and seeing the world fly by for a year.

That afternoon at Levi's birthday party a number of mothers began talking to me about the benefits of a RF carseat. I brushed it off. Remember in the past how I've talked about our own need to "protect our own experiences", our own choices? This was one of those circumstances. In my effort to protect the decision I'd made, to prove to myself that I'd made the right one, I ignored them.

But as the night wore on I became more and more unsure of what I though was a rite of passage. While doing a little research the next morning I came to the following discoveries, the collection of which convinced me that keeping Levi in RF position was not only to be my decision, but also part of my duty to responsibly protect him.

  • Motor vehicle injuries are the number one leading cause of death in children under age 14
  • When a child is in a forward-facing seat, there is stress put on the child's neck, which must hold the head back. The mass of the head of a small child is about 25% of the body mass whereas the mass of the adult head is only 6%
  • Spinal cord injury, one of the most common injuries sustained by forward facing children in harness restraints, can cause temporary or life-long paralysis, or death.
Of course, all of this is null and void if the car seat in question is not properly installed. It would be better to have a child properly restrained in a forward facing position, than to have them improperly restrained in either position. Would you believe that a full 72% of car seats are improperly installed? Furthermore, would you believe that not all car seats fit in all cars? More important than the direction the child is facing, is most certainly the correct fit and installation of both the seat into the car, and the child into the seat.

But back to my quandary. When faced with what one mother told me ("the direction the child faces can be the difference between whip lash, and a broken spinal cord after a head-on collision," The most common type of collision, accounting for 96%) I couldn't put my son's perceived desires above my responsibility to protect him any longer. If I watch him like a hawk in the bathtub (drowning is the 2nd leading cause of death among children), and cut his food into bits so he doesn't choke; if I lock up the household cleaners, and store medications up high, why on earth would I knowingly expose him to the risk of paralysis?

Furthermore, if turning him forward is only a matter of what I assume will be his added enjoyment of car rides, what kind of parent would I show myself to be? One who diminishes safety in the name of fun? In that case, why should I require him to wear a helmet when he rides in daddy's bike trailer? The majority (85% of parents) don't make their kids wear them after all. And bike accidents are so much less common than auto collisions. Why does it even matter? I say this mostly in Jest, we all know why we make our kids wear helmets. We all have the "what if" scenarios go through our heads and they almost undoubtedly lead to a feeling of tremendous guilt on our behalf should the unthinkable happen.

So what if the unthinkable did happen?

I'm praying it won't. And I'm sure you are too. But I'm also going to keep Levi rear facing to the full capacity of his restraint - likely past his second birthday.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

How to know you're a native washintonian, transplanted to Nebraska

In case you have trouble identifying yourself, here are some clues:

  • When you see the abbreviation "NE" you think it likely means "north east"
  • WSU obviously stands for Washington State University (where's Wichita again?)
  • When someone complains about "traffic" you tell them they haven't experienced traffic unless they've sat somewhere on the 1-5 corridor between 4-6pm on a Friday, or sat on US26 between Pullman and Colfax after a home game.
  • You don't recognize it's raining until it's done so for at least a couple hours, or maybe a few days in a row
  • Humidity makes you gasp and ask the nearest person if the world is about to end
  • You declare that the person who designs Nebraska license plates should probably keep their day job.
  • You wonder when the Midwest will grow up and sprout some mountains
  • People chastise you, and sometimes even laugh, for the nalgene bottle you carry around with you everywhere - on it's own REI carabeaner no-less
  • You wonder "Who is Dorothy Lynch?" and "What is wrong with the bright red hot-dogs"?
  • You are amazed that there is actually a "minimum speed" posted right along side the speed limit on the interstate
  • You grab your family and start digging a sub-basement at the very thought of a tornado
  • You shop at Hy-Vee, close your eyes, and imagine you're at Safeway
  • You shop at Super-Saver, close your eyes, and imagine you're at Winco
  • You recall your parents telling you they paid more than TWICE for their home what you did for yours - and they bought theirs 20 years prior
  • You think there really could be a small club for Subaru Forester owners, all of whom could fit comfortably in the local highschool gym
  • People ask you what this "north-face" thing is all about, and why you and your husband both support them
  • You frequent FOUR different health-food stores and STILL cannot come up with the variety of edibles found exclusively at Trader Joes (and yet you're hopeful that the rumor about one being built 45 miles North, in Omaha, is true!!)
  • At times, you begin to wonder if "culture" means much more than yogurt
  • You DREAM of the day when Clearwire comes to the middle of the country.
  • You laugh under your breath when you hear what your friends back home are paying for gas - (and cars - and houses - and food...)
and last but not least (as I'm SURE I'll continue to think of these throughout the day)

  • You LONG for the Puget Sound, the crisp waterfront air, the Cascade mountains, to whom you bid farewell last Christmas and vowed to return the following year.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Call me a Cotton-mouth

No, not the snake.

I mean literally, a cotton mouth. As in, a mouth full of cotton - or at least I was.

Yesterday I faced my arch-nemisis. The person I dislike visiting the very most. As kind as he may be, as congenial and sweet, you wouldn't think I'd have any problem with him (especially for as short a time as I've known him). But you have to understand my background with people in his position - Dentists, that is.

When I was a young kid, maybe 5 or 6, a dentist placed sealants on my teeth. Apparently sealants are supposed to keep sugars and other foods from decaying your teeth - especially in childhood. Well, they didn't work out so well for me. You see, when the sealants were removed by a new dentist they revealed numerous cavities which had been "trapped" underneath - holes like swiss cheese" I was told. This new dentist (who replaced the previous sealant-placing dentist that transfered to oral surgery) was from Finland. Upon seeing me for the first time (at age 13 I think) she informed me that I would need approximately 13 cavities filled.

I did not like her. She was rough, gruff, and didn't talk much. When she did it was very difficult to understand her. To this day I'm not entirely sure that everything she "filled" was a cavity. Never-the-less, fill them she did. That involved about 6 weeks of dental appointments, two cavities filled per week. Each one included it's one shot of Novocaine and the anxiety which precipitated and followed it.

Fast forward about 4 years and I found myself at another new dentist. We left "Dr. Yanks-a-lot" as we referred to her in our family, and settled with a great family dentist whom we still affectionately refer to as "Dr. Darrel". The unfortunate circumstances which brought me to his office were that "Dr. Yanks" had goofed on a number of my fillings and they were not effectively staying in place. Big problem. So, Darrel corrected them, gently. I would say he had to re-do no fewer than half of them. The Novocaine was just as anxious of a process as always for me, and with horrible TMJ issues throughout high school, none of it was a barrel of monkeys, but at least he talked me through it, he was understanding and empathetic.

So, with so much in my dental history I have maintained me epic fear of mouth-needles. So much so, in fact, that I demanded to be "put under" for the removal of all my wisdom teeth. All ONE of them. I was scared crapless.

When we moved to Nebraska we put off dentistry a whole year. By the time we got in for our first NE cleanings, I was pregnant and therefore ineligible for x-rays. 6 months later I was still pregnant. When Levi was born both of us skipped yet another year of dentistry, until about a month ago when I had some significant tooth pain (which ended up being referred jaw and sinus pain) and went in for x-rays. Turned out I had two obvious (yet small) cavities. Great.

I was hoping that my 3:20 Tuesday appointment would never come. I wondered if by some mighty twist of the galaxy we might actually skip Tuesday afternoon and progress right on into Wednesday. My hopes were shattered. I went into the dentist office and they injected me with not one, not two, but three doses of Novocaine, numbing my entire mouth so as to take care of both cavities (which were on separate sides of my mouth).

I know this may be small beans for some people. This might be just a walk in the park for others. But to me, dental work drudges up a veritable LIFETIME of anxiety. I shake. I tear up. I nearly pass out. And yet, I get it done. Why? well, quite obviously because if I put it off, there will simply be more work to do down the road. It's a downward spiral.

Needless to say, I take impeccable care of my teeth, but with as many fillings as I have (and, mind you, fillings don't last forever, eventually they must be re-filled) I'm pretty much set for a lifetime of annual dental appointments. like "more than just a cleaning" dental appointments.

So when I said on facebook yesterday that "I would prefer labor pains to Novocaine injection and dental work," I meant it. Labor pains are dull, not sharp. They come from your strong, muscular core, not your sensitive gum tissue. Labor pains produce a beautiful baby and come from 40 weeks of anticipation. Dental work produces an ugly filling and a place in your mouth that is no longer bone. Labor is hard, but it makes you stronger. Needles in your mouth make you numb, unable to eat, and temporarily incapable of making any normal facial expressions.

So, call me a big baby, but I would rather birth one than have needles in my mouth. Any day of the week.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Not Me Monday

Happy Monday
Unlike YOU, I never do anything I end up regretting, or otherwise wishing I hadn't done. I'm completely perfect in every way (just like Mary Poppins), so it should come as no surprise to you that I did NONE of these things over the past week:

Last week I certainly did not find out that after having avoided the dentist for over a year I have two cavities. And nay, neither of them needs a crown.

I did not chastise my husband for teaching our son that a Zebra says "hee haw". I mean HONESTLY! everyone knows what Zebras actually say... right?

In my pointless attempt to encourage Levi to sleep past 6am, I most certainly did not dissallow his morning nap on Saturday. I did not also keep him up until his regular bed-time having only had a 90 minute afternoon nap. He also did not awake chipper at 6:00am on Sunday morning

I did not become embittered in my heart towards the two-year-old in the sunday school room at church when I personally wittnessed him maliciously push my sweet baby over (through the one-way glass window in the foyer). My son is a tough boy who can fend for himself and I would NEVER baby him. Nope, not me.

I did not begin to regret introducing the slide to my dear 13 month old after the umpteenth time he wanted me to lift him up and send him sliding down. I'm a patient mother, and I want nothing more than for my child to enjoy his toys to the fullest.

I did not roll my eyes as I saw my grown husband chasing my son around the house at 7:00am with a squirt bottle full of water - both of them squealing with laughter.

I did not break the needle on my sewing machine while replacing the velcro on Levi's diapers. After all, who uses cloth diapers anyway - archaic. (I did not use disposables this week to avoid the liqui-poo problems we've been having)

I did not buy 30lbs of ground turkey to take advantage of a $1/lb deal. That's WAY too much meat to buy at one time. I also was not given a bizarre look by the butcher at the point in time when I did not buy said meat.

I was not just a little thrilled this morning when Levi snuggled with me in our arm chair for 20 minutes after we got out of bed. Fully awake, and all snuggly.

I did not avoid cleaning the George Foreman (again) for over a week. Yuck. Those of you who know me, know that my kitchen is always clean. Always.

I did not become so loopy after taking HALF of the oral surgeon's recommended dose of Flexerol that I attempted to cut said (tiny) pills into quarters, leaving me with completely un-even doses. I'm far more careful than that with medication. I did not also attempt to then cut them into thirds when I found that a quarter just wasn't quite enough.

Finally, Levi has not been napping (his second of the day) for over 2 hours now . My child simply does NOT do that. All the other children we know have PERFECT sleep schedules, and mine is the only one who does anything quirky.

What have you and your family NOT been up to lately?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday Morning Ramblings

It isn't even Sunday afternoon yet and already I'm dreading the week to come. Well, I suppose dreading isn't the right word, but I'm certainly not looking forward to it. A week without our daddy round is a rough week indeed.

Today the man of the house left at 5:30am to go take part in this race (a duathalon) in Fremont. I suspect he'll return home around 2:00, or thereabouts. Tomorrow he'll need to be at work by 3:00am to meet the milk truck and spend the rest of the day making cheese. Wednesday will be a repeat of Monday. Cheesemaking makes for a long week for all of us. Lots of early-to-bed, early-to-rise, lots of whining from a toddler who gets bored of his mother after 12 hours of playing what-shall-we-do-next, and lots of chores put-off, dishes & laundry building up. Lots of stress. For everyone. But in the midst of it all, we are quite aware that we are not among the many in our country to whom unemployment benefits were recently NOT renewed. So I shall keep my lip buttoned and pull myself up by my bootstraps. Or, as my mother put it, I will "dig down" and trudge through.

Yesterday (before the reality of the week ahead became clear to us, around 5:00pm) was lovely. I made the decision to experimentally withold Levi's first nap in hopes that he would take a longer second nap (which he did not, he took a normal 90 min. nap which started and ended WAY earlier than usual) and potentially sleep in later this mjorning (which he most certainly did not) Never-the-less, He was mostly cheerful until dinner time. We went to the farmers market, got cookies at the Cookie Co., built towers out of pots and pans, and soaked ourselves at Trego Park Sprayground...

...which brings me to my story of the day. So I'm sitting at the park, on the ground away from the water. My husband is running around chasing our toddler. A woman sets up camp beside me with about 5 kids. Maybe 6 (all between 2 & 9 years of age). She looks to be their grandmother, but how am I to know? She looks a bit disorganized, appears to be frustrated with some of the children, and basically sets them loose. One is in a stroller. After a moment she comes over to me and says "say mam, could I please borrow a diaper?", Sure. No problem. And then she goes on to tell me (unsolicited, I assure you) that the father of two of the children was murdered, which is why she has custody of them. She's fostering two other children, and the final two were in the custody of their grandparents until they died recently. Sheesh! this woman has her hands FULL! No wonder she's a bit discombobulated.

But that's not all. Then another woman approaches me and asks me if I wouldn't mind keeping an eye on her two grandchildren while she ran to her car to "get some drinks". Sure, no problem. I have to admit, for a few moments there I wondered if she was actually going to return. It's amazing how many generalizations I so quickly make based on a person's appearance, or apparent social status. But, after what seemed like an unrealistically long time (for the stated trip to the car) Grandma returned. She parked herself on a bench all the way across the playground from me, but 10 minutes later she came back over, 7-up in hand. "Here", she said, "this is for keeping an eye on my grandkids." and, probably because the look on my face was one of surprise, she added "it's unopened." I was quick to thank her.

It becomes more and more obvious to me every day that Jonathan and I lead privileged lives. My own social construct is such that I pass quickly judgement upon those who seem to be "lesser," (i.e. less educated, less socially aware, less sophisticated etc.) When in reality, they just have less (less money, less opportunity, less positive influence, etc.) When will I ever learn? I am a work in progress, that is to be sure.

And now Levi is down for the morning nap that I deprived him of yesterday (because honestly, I REALLY needed some quiet time, knowing there will be precious little of it in the weeks to come). The saga of the loose poop continues, in case you were curious. I feel like we've regressed to the point we were at before he started solid food (mucus and all), but that's probably a touch more than you wanted to know. It's just frustrating. And messy. And maybe that's why it bothers me so much. That, and the fact that I can't "figure it out". I hate it when I can't make sense of things. I may consider putting him in disposables (gasp!) for the coming week or so to save my sanity while Hubby is oh-so-busy and I temporarily become the two-in-one parent from dawn to dusk.


I should share, though, that my I have seen a HUGE improvement in my jaw since I started doing the exercises the oral surgeon gave me, and also started taking the flexerol (a quarter of his recomended dose). Big PTL there. I mean, I'm not entering a jerky eating contest or anything, but at least bread and salad are back on the menu and I can take a break from smoothies and steamed broccoli.

Enjoy your weekend, friends. And may the next one come quickly!

Friday, July 9, 2010


Does the title explain it?
If not, maybe the photo will.

My husband had been eyeballing "The Last Airbender" ever since seeing the first trailer a few months ago. Knowing that our son would not sit quietly through a movie (insert laugh of extreme understatement here) I sent him off to watch the movie, in the theater, alone.

This concept is not foreign to us. Remember, Jonathan sent me off to see the film "babies" alone. Contrary to my suspision, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Peace and quiet. Ahhhh.

So off went my hubby to see what he imagined would be something hundreds of times better than the cartoon we had watched while babysitting the Moore's youngins. So was it? well, you'll really have to ask him, but the impression that I got was that it was a decent movie that lived up to his expectations. It didn't exceed them, but at least it met them.

That night, I cut Jonathan's hair. I offered to let him keep it this way, but he politely declined. Hey, who wouldn't want to be married to an Air Bender? I mean really.

I have come to realize that it is difficult to type (let alone think) while listening to a toddler crying over the monitor - a toddler who is increasingly trying to forgo this morning nap business. As "morning nap" (maybe I should re-name that, "morning crib time", nap suggests quiet, which it is not) shortens, so do my blogs. Funny how that works.

- M

Thursday, July 8, 2010


This is my newest dollar store find.
And what do you think we use this is for?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Under the influence

I will take a moment hear to briefly explain my appointment with the oral surgeon yesterday, but I must prefacec this by saying that he perscribed me a muscle relaxant that has not worn off yet. I took half (yes HALF) of the recommended dose last night because I have a track record for being very sensitive to medications which may make one drowsy. Needless to say, I'm drowsy. And I took that HALF pill last night at 8:30pm.

(when I first went into labor my MW gave me an ambien pill because I needed rest and hard labor was FAR off. She sent me home. The nurse told me to take the pill there in the hospital and then to make my way home - hubby driving of course. I warned her that when I've taken ambien the past I've only been able to take HALF a pill, because a whole will make me hallucinate. She said it would be fine. Silly me, I believed her. Before I even got down the elevator I was walking like a drunk. A pregnant drunk. My husband was actually asked if I needed a wheelchair. Contracting, drunk looking, overdue woman . But man, did I have the best 4 hours of sleep of my LIFE.)

So, went to the oral surgeon. He said that with physical therapy for my jaw (i.e. exercises he gave me) and this daily muscle relaxer, my jaw could return to normal. Essentialy there's a protective miniscus which sits between the two jaw bones, and mine is out of place, allowing the two jaw bones to rub together. Ouch. It also sits in the way, which keeps my jaw from opening to its full capacity.

I've got double vision. So, I'm going to stop there.
Stay tuned. More to come.

Monday, July 5, 2010

4th of July Weekend

I have so many photos of this past weekend, it's hard to know where to start. Of course, blogger makes photo uploading a MAJOR pain in the petute, but here it goes!

We started our weekend on Friday by visiting the Trego Park Sprayground. It's like a playground, only there are guisers all over the place that go off at random times. Very fun! I
didn't think Levi would be that into it (considering the trouble we've had getting him to get NEAR the sprinkler) but I was oh so wrong. Glad I had some extra clothes for him in the car,
otherwise we would have taken home a few gallons of water.

Saturday morning we went to the Farmers' Market down in the Haymarket and explored the inside and outside of the firetruck that was parked there. Levi was quite enthusiastic about all the buttons, and dials.

Sunday (after I completed my *mighty* toilet repair - see previous post) we headed off for Seward. I had no idea that "America's Official 4th of July City" was right in my backyard - er - 35 minutes away.

We were there specifically for the parade, but ended up staying for the BBQ as well. The parade was great (nothing nearly as quaint as the Johnson Parade, but who can beat that?) but Levi loathed all the noise. This kid is remarkably sensitive to loud noises. I do believe ALL of the emergency vehicles stationed within a 100 mile radius of Seward came to take part in the parade, and ALL of them had their sirens on. Levi hated them - as shown below.
But we really did have a good time, and there was a lot to see. We would have stayed longer but I hadn't brought a lot of food for Levi and there wasn't anything there I could really feed him. As of late, he's been racting to something in his diet and I can't put my finger on it. At first I thought it was melon, then oats, but now I'm wondering if it might be eggs. So, needless to say, he's off of all of those at the moment - ingredients included. It gets harder and harder to get him not only the calories he needs, but also the variety.

I'm giving him rice-milk in a sippy cup at meal times, but that's so deficient in calories, fat and protein, that I don't know if it's even worth the calories. What I mean is, it might be better off to fill that belly with more caloricaly dense foods, than allow it to fill up on rice milk (even if it is calcium fortified - the reason I gave it to him in the first place). He still nurses though, so I'm not terribly concerned. I just wish I could figure out his loose poop.

Like how I kept that part about poop short and sweet? Thought you might appreciate that.

Hope you had a wonderful 4th, I know we sure did.

Consider the toilet FIXED

This is the inside of my toilet.

See that blue disk? the one with the huge circular crack? that's what needed to be replaced. You see, when you push the flush-lever down, that black piece comes up to the blue piece, thereby unplugging the hole at the bottom of the tank allowing water to flow down into the bowl. Then, the black piece needs to go back down and plug the hole back up so this tank will fill. With the blue piece broken, that simply wouldn't happen. The black thing would get stuck up at the top and the toilet would continue to run.

So, I went to ACE and bought the piece below, an entirely new pump piece. All I needed was that piece off the top (not shown). I unscrewed it from the new one and put it where it belonged in the toilet.
Presto-chango. Toilet fixed.

Friday, July 2, 2010

There are many things more boring than bran

And I should know, because I love bran.
Here is the recipe for the (dairy free) bran muffins I made this morning for Levi to enjoy. Oh, well, yes, Jonathan and I will probably enjoy them as well

1C boiling water
3 C wheat bran (I use hogston's Mill)
2 1/2 C flour (I used 1C wheat, 1.5C white)
2 eggs, beaten
2tsp baking soda
1/2tsp salt
2C buttermilk (I used 2C almond milk plus 2 TBS vinegar to "sour" it.)
1C brown sugar
1/2C butter or shortening (obviously, I used shortening)

preheat oven to 400
Combine the boiling water with ONE cup of the bran. Let sit.
Cream the sugar and butter/shortening
To the eggs, add the soaked bran, the remaining bran, and the buttermilk/milk substitute
combine the previous mixture with the creamed sugar/butter and add the remaining dry ingredients.
scoop into muffin tins, filling 2/3 full.
makes 24 regular size muffins, or in my case, 12 HUGE muffins, and 12 mini muffins.
Alternately, you can refrigerate this batter and bake it as you need it. It will last about 4 days in the 'fridge.

Enjoy - pictures to come!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

fixing my pockets, among other things

...pocket diapers that is.

Yesterday I bit the bullet and attempted to remove the old, curling velcro from a pair of my Bum
Genius 3.0's and replace it with fresh velcro that came in the BG refresher kits I bou
ght not long ago. The instructions said to seam-rip the old velcro off, and sew the new stuff on. Piece-Of-Cake - right? Well, not really

You see, there are two sides to the velcro, a hook, and loop side. I had to carefully position them with the stretchy diaper tab in the middle without pinning them together. The biggest difficulty I had was keeping them properly ligned up while sewing them together. Have you ever tried to sew two pieces of velcro together? Well, let me be the first to tell you, it doesn't necessarily do wonderful things to the tension setting on your sewing machine. bulky bulky bulky.

I neglected to get "before" pictures, but as i have more diapers to "refresh", I will eventually be able to post a picture of what my unrefreshed diapers look like.

In the mean time, here's the finished product with new fastening tabs, and new laundry tabs (laundry tabs are the things you stick the fastening tabs to when you wash the diaper. If you don't stick those fastening tabs to something they'll fasten to anything they can find in the wash and you'll end up with a "diaper snake" when you go to put them in the dryer.)

In other news, in a grand attempt to get my early-rising 13-month-old to sleep past 5am, we kept him up until 9:00 last night. Praise be to God, he slept until 6. He woke up crying which tells me he wasn't rested. So, we'll do the same thing for a few consecutive nights and see if he decides that sleeping longer feels better. I'm also limiting his morning nap because his afternoon nap is beginning to shorten. This is all trial and error, I'm well aware; although I wish there was some calculation for making babies sleep when you want them to.

Lately, Levi and mommy have been having a great time hanging out with friends in the
sunshine. He's so active now, and so INTERactive that it's become loads of fun to watch him play with others. I know that all too soon he'll be grumbling when somebody takes his toys, but for now he's content to give and take and give and take. Very fun to watch.

Among the many things we've done recently are: visiting Prairie Land dairy's dairy days, going to the childrens' museum (LOVE our annual membership), Swimming in Rachael and Teague's apartment's pool, playing in our sprinkler, learning animal sounds, successfully using the potty chair (multiple times a day, although I'm under no illusion he is being "potty trained") and
enjoying calcium fortified rice milk with each meal. I'll have to post an update about our MSPI issues shortly - they are, for sure, ongoing.

I DID end up getting a new camera, without which this post would certainly be devoid of pictures. it's a Canon Powershot A3100. I was going to go with a cheaper model, but this one had image stabilization which I need. It also has a kid's & pets setting which allows you to take pictures of moving targets. Essential in our home.