Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cutest Bug Ever

This is my first time posting something for Wordless Wednesday. Head over to Five Minutes for Mom to check out more pictures...

Monday, April 28, 2008

Cautiously Optimistic

A week ago we resumed potty training Catherine. I am cautiously optimistic that we're going to stick with it this time. Only because this time around she's actually using the potty and not just waiting until naptime to let it all out. She's wearing underpants all the time except for naps and nightime and the occasional outing, for which we don the annoyingly expensive pullups. I am more likely to risk taking her out in underpants than Matt is - especially if Catherine has recently peed and pooped.

At this point I am pretty much taking her to the potty everytime - just trying to help her develop the habit of going. As soon as she sits down she still says "it's not working" just because she doesn't pee right away. I have to talk to her and distract her and then she gets this look on her face and says "it's working". So cute! Only once or twice has she taken it upon herself to go to the bathroom by herself - it's very much us reminding her and taking her. I've realized that she will almost always say no if I ask her if she needs to go. I really don't remember when Ella got to the point where she would tell us she had to go before we reminded her? Anyone else out there got any input on that? Because that's the part I totally forget - in fact, it still feels like we're reminding Ella to go to the bathroom - but 90% of the time she goes without any prompting. When can you consider your child potty trained? We've only had a few accidents but, like I said, her accidents tend to happen when we forget to take her, or make her, sit on the potty.

In other happenings, my mom is here for a visit for a few days this week and our dog Goldie came along to visit as well. The girls were so excited to see Goldie for about five minutes. It's so weird to have Goldie back, even if only for a few days. I feel like I spent the past few weeks slowly getting used to not having a dog back in the house and now she's here. I hope that no one gets confused by the visit and the girls allow Nama to take Goldie home with her. As bad as I felt about letting her go, I've realized that it is for the best especially now that the weather is warming up and the girls are in and out of the house all day long - too many chances to get out for our escape artist!

Well I'm off to finish laundry and start on dinner. I'll probably take a detour via my bedroom and end up reading a book instead! At this point I'm cautiously optimistic that I'll end making dinner eventually.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

And the winner is....

I used to pick me a good random number and the winner was #99!

The lucky winner of a Rachael Ray cookbook and yummy monster cookies is Stephanie.

Yum-monster cookies!! I'd love to try the cookbook out too. Thanks for the giveaway.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway - feel free to stop in and visit anytime!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What goes around...

I've been doing a lot of weeding over the past few weeks to clear our flower beds for the actual flowers. I've never minded weeding - I find it rather enjoyable to yank those weeds out by the root and clear the space for something else to be planted. Now, I don't enjoy it so much in mid July when it's 90 degrees and the flower beds are out of control and everything needs cut back as well as weeded. My love for weeding only lasts through the cool spring months.

A significant story from my younger days (I have to be as vague as possible, because I really can't remember if I was in grade, middle or high school) involved weeding. My mom is quite the gardender. She's always adding perennials and shifting them around from one season to the next. In fact, I remember my dad saying telling us "your mother rearranges her flowers the way most people rearrange their furniture." I also remember that after our 1-2 week long vacation at the Jersey shore we would all spend hours weeding the day after we got home. And then there was the weeding incident. My mom had put me to work weeding one her flower beds located in the corner of her fence. If I can recall correctly, I wasn't too excited about it. I had a paper grocery bag pretty much filled with weeds when I got to some white weed like flowers that were growing into the fence and on the other side as well. I finished off my weeding with a bang and pulled them all out as cleanly as possible. Since that was the last of my weeding those white flowers were arranged at the top of the bag - as if I had gone grocery shopping and bought some flowers as well. My mom came over to check on my progress and was completely horrified to see her Shasta Daisies that she had been grooming for a few years, displayed so lovely in a bag of weeds. I know she yelled at me and I think there were some tears in her eyes. I responded with, and I quote "You care more about your flowers than you do about me!" (That settles it, I had to have been a teenager!) and ran off quite dramatically. Two things...first, I swear I didn't know they were special flowers - they were growing into the fence for goodness sakes! Two, I never was asked to weed again. Honest, a totally unforeseen consquence to my actions.

Fast forward to 2008 and I'm cleaning out my flower beds. Perhaps this picture will explain better than I can...
In the middle of the picture is a medium sized green leafy plant. To the left of it is a teensy tiny green leafy plant. I was soooo sure they were weeds - but luckily Matt reminded me after I had only weeded one that he was pretty sure they were flowers. Then I realized that I had weeded out the beautiful blue Columbine that is in it's second year and yields an early Spring bloom. I immediately felt a connection to my mom's grief over the loss of her perennials so many years ago, although mine was free of an dramatic conflict because I had done it myself. Apparently my mishap at a young age worked in my favor because my weeding was pretty ineffective and the plant (the one on the left) has already started growing back.

I still love weeding. But I'm a bit more cautious about it. In fact I am pretty sure I have given a number of weeds a free pass in the past week or so because I'm just not convinced they aren't a beautiful flower. I can only imagine how wonderful my flower beds will look this July!

Thanks for joining me in this journey into my past and then right back again into the present!

Monday, April 21, 2008

More about me

I was tagged last week by Suzy of Pris Place and I figured since I'm obsessing over this Bloggy Giveaway this week, now would be a good time to post something easy. Although, I have to say that finding 7 Random Things about myself wasn't too easy...

1. I have double jointed toes. I can curl my toes completely under and walk on them. It is my deepest wish that one of my girls would inherit the freaky toe gene as well!

2. I think sandwiches and salads taste better when someone else makes them. I could sit there and say exactly what I want on it or in it and it would still be better if I didn't make it.

3. I have a tendency to be shy and insecure. It's something I grew out of as I got older, but that shyness is always lingering - sometimes I am afraid I might come across as unfriendly but it's usually because I'm feeling unsure in the situation. Other times I might just be in a bad mood or something. But let's say it's shyness most of the time!

4. There are certain foods that I don't like (mushrooms, any type of shellfish) not because of their taste but because of their texture. I really can't get past the way it feels in my mouth to figure out whether or not I actually like the flavor.

5. I read at least, at least, one book a week.

6. I hate unloading the dishwasher. I don't mind loading though - just the unloading.

7. I have a hard time only doing one thing at a time - for instance, while I am typing this I am clicking over to links on the Bloggy Giveaway and entering various contests. I am also updating my movie list on my sidebar. I'll get to the book one - I just can't keep up with it. I think from now on I'll only add books I've read (all of the ones on there so far).

So that's 7 random tidbits of information about me. I won't tag anyone in particular, but if you do it, let me know so I can make sure and check it out!

Also- make sure you enter my giveaway - post below - I'm giving away cookies and a cookbook. Check out the Bloggy Giveaways that is currently going on. There are some awesome prizes this time around!

Bloggy Giveaways - cookies and a cookbook! CONTEST IS OVER - WINNER WILL BE POSTED

Happy Monday morning everyone! I've decided to jump on board with the Bloggy Giveaway carnival this time around. I love baking and cooking so I'm going to give away to one lucky person a batch of my favorite cookies and Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Get Real Meals cookbook.

The cookbook is full of recipes that are designed towards "eating healthy without going to extremes." You might want to make one of those meals after enjoying a few of my On the Trail Monster Cookies. These cookies are full of goodies - peanuts, m&m's, raisins, oatmeal - and oh-so-delicious! They are monster in size and in taste!

Sorry to my international bloggers -due to shipping costs, this is open to US Residents only. You do not need to have a blog to enter, but make sure you have your email visible or in your post so I can contact you. Only one entry per person please! The giveaway will end April 25th at 10pm EST. A winner will be randomly selected and then posted here on the blog.

Head back over HERE to check out hundreds (and I mean hundreds) of other giveaways! And have a great week!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Office fans

So did anyone else out there give a little squeal of delight while watching last night's episode of The Office? Or perhaps two squeals!!!??? I thought the entire episode was great - mostly because nothing super crazy happened - the ordinary antics of The Office are what make it so funny.

A few of my favorite moments off the top of my head...

Kevin threatening to quit over the walk to work....and basically every line he had tonight (which was more than usual)

Michael's Oscar Mayer Weiner lover comment

Michael and Phyllis and her professional softball player friend and a rowboat

Creed on the phone with Pam - everything he says cracks me up

The look on Toby's face when Michael says he wants to get laid

Anything else....hmmm. OH YEAH!!!! Jim and Pam's engagement conversation was killing me - in a good way! And then at the end when he got down on bended tie his shoe! How awesome was that!

Last week's episode was good, but I enjoyed this one more - mainly because last week's was more dramatic and cringe worthy (still hilarious) and I tend to like the episode's where not as much happens, but you get small significant developments.

I know a bunch of you are Office fans - so stop in and let me know what you've thought of the past two weeks!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Such strong convictions

Tomorrow night will be Ella's final swimming lesson. I'm not sure if she's learned alot, but she did volunteer to "go under" a few weeks ago. That is a huge milestone for her, but unfortunately the thought of doing it again upset her to the point that she barely got in the water at the next lesson. But now we have a nose plug (water up the nose is her biggest concern and I'm not sure if the instructors are teaching how to avoid that.) so she's pretty psyched!

I just had to post that picture above. It's not a very clear shot, but it captures Ella in her own world - if I had to guess she was probably singing or talking to herself as she walked along.

Anyway - in honor of six (hopefully) successful swim lessons, I'll share a brief story/conversation that took place between a few lessons ago.

I parked the car at the community center and as I got out I was hit with a smell that was reminiscent of
the unfortunate incident I had in the yard with the girls a few weeks ago. You know, the one with the dog poop? As I opened the door for Ella to get out, I immediately began a quick survey of my clothes and shoes (shoes especially!). Right away she commented on the stinky smell. By now I realized that all the landscaping was freshly mulched and I pointed it out to Ella and explained where the smell was coming from.

She held my hand as we walked towards the building. And then said "Momma, I thought you pooped in your pants!"

I burst out laughing "Ella, why ever would you think that?"

To which she replied, "I don't know mom, I just felt it in my bones."

So good to know that she has such strong convictions

Thursday, April 10, 2008

bits and pieces

Updated: The link from the Today Show now works

I'm sitting her just killing time until I can watch The Office. I figure now's a good time to throw out some random thoughts and updates while I wait!

First of all - thank you all for your kind words in regards to my "get in shape girl" post. I have to let you all know that after I had Catherine I remember meeting with my midwife for my post partum checkup and we were talking about weight. I wanted to lose a certain amount of weight to be where I was before I had the girls. When I told her the number she said that was a good weight for my frame. So I feel like it seems reasonable for me to want to lose that weight and it's stuck in my head that that is what I should weigh. Everyone else I know loses all their baby weight, plus more! But also- it's the way I feel when I'm not toned at all - I just don't like it. I like feeling in shape and strong - but too often I feel lazy and tired. Enough about me - let's talk about those of you who also had Get In Shape Girl sets! The theme song or catch phrase has been in my head for days now. I wonder if anyone can find their(or their sister's) old set? Perhaps they were not the type of quality toy that was worthy of being saved over the years!

Secondly, can I say how happy I was all day today?!!! It was gorgeous all day long - I just wanted to soak up the sun and be outside as much as possible. After a park trip and picnic after Ella's school, we got home around 1:30 and Ella was insisting it was hot enough to get the pool out. I said no, of course. Luckily the pool is hidden away in storage because if not, I am pretty sure she would have found a way to get it out, blow it up and fill it with water all in the few minutes it took for me to go inside with all our stuff. Instead I came out and they were in the back yard, with the hose on, spraying each other. Completely dressed of course. The environmentally conscious decision would have been to turn off the water, but instead I grabbed the camera and took pictures! I'll post some soon. Afterwards Ella was cold and begging for hot chocolate. I told her she just proved my point that it is too cold to go swimming in April.

Thirdly, anyone else out there checking all the bottoms of your plastic bottles and containers for the number 3,6,and 7? What do you all think about this? I did throw out some items today that had #7 on them because two of them were kids' cups and I figured there was no reason not to, even though these studies about the chemicals won't be able to show long term effects for another 20 years of so. I watched this video on the Today Show and they referred people to a website that is sometimes hard to get through to because of the high traffic volumn. You can get a safe plastics guide there which is pretty informative.

Finally....hmmm...I forget. Oh well, perhaps it important enough to warrant it's own post!
I'm off to hang out with my friends from The Office. Enjoy your evening!

Monday, April 07, 2008

get in shape girl!

So it's Spring. I know it's been Spring for a few weeks and it's only 45 degrees out, but it's April and we are forecasted to have three days in a row when the temps break into the 60's - so there's no more denying it.

I love Spring, I really do. I love being outside again and actually feeling warm when the sun is out (For the last month, anytime Ella sees it's sunny out she gets all excited, thinking that summer is here!). But along with warmth and outside play and planting flowers and vegetables comes the nagging thought that won't go away... "I'm going to have to wear shorts soon. And not too long after that I'm going to have to wear a bathing suit."

My exercise regime hit a low over the past few months. Shorts wearing weather just seemed so far away and I figured that by not running I would avoid any possibility of those pesky migraines. I honestly can't remember the last time I ran - perhaps a mile or so in February? So I've decided to double my weekly workouts! I've been doing a step workout once a week, so that means I only have to do something one more and I'm good to go.

Actually I do want to start getting back in shape. I liked how I felt when I was running - I liked that I was pushing myself and getting my heartrate up. I don't know if I'll be getting to the place that I was but I have started walking again and doing yoga and yesterday I did Billy Blanks Bootcamp for the first time in 2008. Today I'm having a hard time standing and sitting. Other than that I'm fine.

When I'm having a hard time motivating myself I just picture myself in a bathing suit (I actually tortured myself a bit too much and I actually tried one on. It was too much to take in and I don't plan on putting myself through that again for at least another month or two.) I am also considering ordering an incentive suit - one that will encourage me to firm up and lose a few pounds. When I told Matt that he wondered if perhaps I wouldn't fit into the new suit after I lost weight, i.e., it would be too big! I loved him for that because it helped me realize that the likeliness of me buying a bikini that become too big for me is probably as likely as me permanently losing the five pounds that I've been complaining about for two years. Hey, I'm trying to be realistic here. Shouldn't stop me from wanting to get in shape, just maybe will stop me from heading over to jcrew.

I'm also trying to figure out how to eat healthier. I really don't want to diet, but I do know that my body frame probably could stand to lose a little weight and that won't happen by just exercise. Lately I've been feeling yucky if I eat late at night so I've decided that my goal will be to be done eating at dinner and avoid those late nights splurges. I love food and I love sweets and I'm prone to just snacky because something is in front of me - eating right is much more of a challenge for me than exercising.

Finally I've got to start becoming comfortable in my own skin. I have never been comfortable with my body and how it looks. I never felt skinny in college, but I look back at pictures (bathing suit ones even) and wish I could have appreciated it and realized that I looked good. Man, it is hard to even type that because I never let myself believe it. If it was a challenge accepting myself then I can't even begin to describe the challenge it is for me now. But I do know that it's got to be part of the exercising and eating right package.

How are you all feeling as Spring is starting to draw us outdoors? Anyone else nervous about bathing suit season? If you're not, please tell me your secret - I've got two months to learn!

PS - Anyone else have the Get in Shape Girl equipment as a youngster? I believe my set had ribbons!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

a great reason to be pray -UPDATE

At the end of January I posted about a blog I had been reading called Confessions of a CF Husband. Short story - blog is written by Nathan sharing about his life with his wife Tricia, who has Cystic Fibrosis and their baby girl (born at 24 weeks) Gwynneth. They are an amazing couple - Nathan shares his heart so openly - whether it's about his love for God, Tricia or their baby - it's hard not to be touched by his vulnerability and also his strength, as well as Tricia's.

Here is a link to a news story that the local ABC station did on them. I hope you would take a few minutes to watch it - it's worth it and it gives you a clear picture of why their life is so compelling.

After recovering from the birth of Gwynneth, Tricia has slowly been making progress towards getting back on the transplant list - something she needs in order to survive the year.

Just a few minutes ago I read on their blog that they got the transplant call and a set of lungs were donated that are a match and the surgery is a go! Tricia is already in surgery at this moment. Her family won't know anything until the surgery (double transplant, btw) is finished, another 7-9 hours. I urge you to take just a minute to pray for a successful transplant for Tricia and for comfort for her family as they wait. Also - go to their blog - - and read up on their life. If you feel brave - post a comment- Nathan has said a number of times how encouraged and blesssed by the number of people praying for them.

It's amazing how we can have this sense of community with people we'll most likely never meet in real life - God takes this crazy internet thing and uses it connect people all over the world and form a virtual web of support for those who are in need. Pretty cool stuff. I hope you'll join me in praying for this family. Thanks!

UPDATED: Tricia's surgery was successful and now she is in the midst of a long recovery process. Continue to check out Nathan's blog for further updates. And, of course, keep praying!
Also - Nathan himself stopped by and said thanks - just shows how much he appreciates knowing that people are lifting Tricia and Gwyneth and himself up in prayer.

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