Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ooooooh. That Makes Sense.

Ya'll know how all I've been able to talk about is how tired I am? Well, it hasn't gotten any better, and I think I finally figured out why...

I've gotten Miss Lily Ruth to take longer naps, and the new white noise machine seems to make a big positive difference in the quality of her overnight sleep. She seems to be doing much better in general. Her good nature has resurfaced, and she has energy in abundance. This may be why I am still so dang wiped out.

I wake up each morning full of energy and smiles. We start off compatible and agreeable. Then she starts acting her age. She's not being ugly or 'bad', she's just being (almost) 2. It's exhausting. requires 20 times more effort than normal. Nothing can just happen. There's either a discussion, a negotiation or a battle of wills depending on the issue. It takes us a minimum of an hour to get from bed to car. Even if there are no tears (a rare occurrence), there is drama.

Today, we woke up, had breakfast and began to get dressed. I needed to shave my legs. It wasn't open for discussion - it had to happen. I ran a small amount of water in the tub, and double-checked with Little Lil that she had no interest in a bath. I hopped in. She freaked out. She didn't want a bath, but she no longer wished to be wearing her pajamas. I stripped her down, and sent her into her room to 'get dressed'. I shaved so fast that I'm pretty sure there's still soap behind my knees.

While I was in the tub, Lily Ruth made her sartorial choice. She wanted her jacket. That's it. Just her brown zipper hoodie. She wanted it on and zipped. Other clothing was NOT an option. I picked out her outfit, and left the room with it. She sat on the floor (in her jacket) and cried (tearful incident #1).

I went to get dressed and do the bare minimum to my hair and face. She came along and started muttering about wanting to help. What she really wanted to do is sit in my sink and spray water all over the counter. Um, no. Not today, thanks (incident #2).

I finally got her into clothes - with her jacket over them (#3). I had on clothes, too. Amazing. Then we just had to fix her hair (nooooooooooooooooo! no chongos!!! *wild head shaking*), put on shoes and socks and find an acceptable sippy cup - *pant, pant, pant* - and we were out the door.

A quick stop for coffee and juice, and we made it to our friend's house. Lily is enthralled by her friend's baby sister. Today, the baby kicked Mama's coffee onto Lily's arm (#4). It was also all over Lily's shirt, so it had to come off and be replaced (#5). We rejoined our friends, and Lily immediately tripped and whacked her face on the baby's exer-saucer (#6). It was downhill from there. She absolutely could not get control of herself. I put her in time out (just to calm down). She came out for about 30 seconds, then put herself into time out. I waited a minute, then went in and found her still crying. I rocked her and offered her options. All were met with hysterics. She finally began screeching 'NO MAMA NO MAMA NO MAMA NO MAMA', so I put her down, told her that I loved her and walked away. Soon, she (tearfully) appeared and asked to rejoin the group... and immediately freaked out again. We thanked our hosts, and (still crying, yet saying her goodbyes :-/) got into our car. It was only 10:45, and I was so tired that I almost started crying.

Instead, we went to the zoo and found our groove. Fish have healing powers, ya'll. So do hippos, elephants and tiny parakeets that eat nectar out of your hand and perch on your head.

Thank you, zoo. I love you. I may bake you a cake or send you a bottle of wine... probably the wine. May I have a glass?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Opposites Attract

Lily Ruth has been excited about opposites lately. Her first favorite pair was 'hot' and 'cold'. She picked up the signs from Baby Signing Time: Volume 4. She would point at her cup of ice water or juice and say 'COOOOLD' while doing the sign. Then she would point at my cup and say 'coffee HOT' while doing the sign for 'hot'. Then she would get super-duper-silly and say/sign that her water was hot and Mama's coffee was cold. That cracks her up every time.

Lately, her favorite pair is 'stop' and 'go'. We do a lot of our traveling on residential streets. Lily yells 'STOP!', and I am able to oblige. Then she very seriously intones 'GO'. This goes on for as long as we're driving down quiet streets. It gets sillier and sillier as we continue on.

Today, we had gone through 3 or 4 rounds of Stop and Go when Lily piped up with 'Oh Mama, you're so nice!' What a DOLL! I told her that she was nice, too. Then we went and got coffee so we could play Hot and Cold :-P


All this talk of backseat driving reminds me of a tale from days of yore...

I was still in my twenties. My best friend Wendi had a baby of her very own, but I was perfectly content to be childless. We spent a lot of time together (as best friends do), and most of that time was set to a high-volume soundtrack. We loooooove us some loud music!

As a result of our soundtrack, Wendi Lady's wee one (the Princess Autumn Lee) could (and often did) sleep through anything. The sounds of our music and our voices had colored her life from day one, and she seemed pretty happy with her lot... until that fateful day when the Princess was around the same age that Lily Ruth is now...

We were driving along, singing at the top of our lungs, when a sound intruded. 'Did you hear something?' 'Maybe.' We turned down the stereo, and there it was - 'HEY!' We looked at each other. 'Did she just yell 'HEY' at us?' 'HEY! QUIET!' We almost peed ourselves giggling as we began to turn the radio back up. 'HEY!... Quiet!' This time the 'quiet' held the waver of tears. Our poor Princess. She had finally developed an opinion, and we were ignoring it. We spent some time discussing various compromises, but she's pretty much an All Or Nothing Girl (wonder where she gets it...), and could not be swayed from her vote of 'QUIET!'. It's a shame that she was so clearly out voted...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Oh How Time Flies and Hops and Dances

Last Easter:

This Easter:

same intense look, very different stage of mobility :-P Also, this year there was a definite focus - CANDY!

WE had a small egg hunt at home as well. Those eggs had no candy. Mama is tired of the Candy Tyrant. Those eggs had stickers, dinosaurs and goldfish crackers. Guess what? They were just as exciting!

Oh, and there was DANCING!

Lily Ruth luuuuuuuvs dancing. And egg hunts. And candy. And plush purple monkeys. And imposing her will on all those around her (currently, she wants me to pat Lucy to sleep - wait, she's changed her mind. I do it wrong).

Monday, April 25, 2011


This has been a strange morning. Well, to be honest, it started out completely normal. It got strange around the time that Lily Ruth announced that she needed a diaper change.

I quickly realized that said diaper change was going to be one of those moments that not even a mother could love. I decided to do a moderate clean up followed by a bidet-type rinse under the bathtub faucet. To that end, I started the water so that it would be warm for my Darling's bum. While I ran the water, Lily Ruth came running in babbling and gesticulating wildly. The only thing that was clear was that I needed to follow her.

She bolted for the dining room with me in hot pursuit. We found Bing in Hunting Mode. I asked Lily Ruth what he was doing. She muttered something about 'bug'. I hauled the cat out from under the buffet, and prayed fervently that I wasn't about to come face-to-face with a giant mutant roach. I wasn't. It was a bird. That's right. A bird. In my house. Under my furniture. Oi.

I now had the triple task of reassuring the toddler, blocking the cat's access and catching the bird. As triple tasks go, it fell somewhere between 'piece of cake' and 'dammit'. I finally wrangled the bird into a corner, threw a dishtowel over it, and released it outside. It was then that I realized how said bird had gained access to our humble abode - I left the door to the garage open so that the damn cat could get back in. He bolted into the garage when I went out to empty the dryer. It's been pretty hot here, so I didn't want him to be trapped out there. He must have brought the bird back in with him :-/

Bing and I discussed why it's a bad idea to bring prey into the house. Well, actually I lectured him on why it's a bad idea to bring prey into the house, and he ignored me. Lily Ruth and I finally got around to that diaper change then finished our morning ablutions.

As I went about my normal 'we're leaving the house, let's restock the diaper bag' routine, I opened the door to the garage again. Bing bolted out there AGAIN. I rushed after him. Before I could grab him, he skittered up over Mt. Junkmore and hopped up on top of the extra fridge. From there it was a short leap into the attic crawlspace, and he was Gone, Daddy, Gone. I was stunned. I guess I now know where the bird came from...

Lily and I made a few half-hearted efforts at calling him back before we left. No luck. I left the door cracked again in case he made it back down.


I started looking for Bing when we got home. I checked all of his favorite spots and the extra weird spots that I have found him in on occasion. No Bing. I went out into the garage and called for him. No Bing.

I made Little Missy some lunch, and we ate while watching and discussing Sesame Street. Then Lily Ruth went into her room for 'mimi's' (Spanish slang for sleep). Once she quieted down, I thought that I heard Bing. I began softly calling to him, and searching the closets for trap doors into the 'attic' (that's in air-quotes because our roof is so flat that we do not have an attic. Just a space barely large enough for the air conditioning ducts...). No trap doors. No Bing. I finally sucked it up and climbed up on top of the extra fridge so that I could poke my head up and see where he had gone. That was creepy and disheartening. Almost nowhere to go (unless you can squeeze like a cat), and lots of old rat poison trays. Fantastic.

Still no Bing. I have 'heard' him twice more and hefted myself up on the refrigerator once more. Now I'm freaked out and bruised up AND I still can't find my cat. This is no good, you guys.


One hour later: HE'S BACK!!!! I was sacked out on my bed trying not to feel hysterical about my cat when I heard a noise that sounded an awful lot like a cat jumping down from the attic to the fridge... I raced to the garage, and THERE HE WAS! He's already back to doing what Bings do best:

I guess it's finally time to fix that hole leading into the 'attic', eh. Nothing like a 'my cat might be trapped, injured or eating rat poison' incident to jump start some long overdue home improvements...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mama + Lily Ruth = Overload

Yesterday was... bleh. Lily Ruth woke up MAD again. She remained sullen until we got to Parent's Day Out. She brightened briefly when presented with the opportunity to sit and have agua and Goldfish with her friend Sydney.

According to her caregivers, she was bright and sunny all day, but refused to eat. When I picked her up, she was in the process of refusing a snack. She DID, however, see Miss Helen try to sneak her treat bag into the diaper bag. This caused a demanding of 'TREAT!' I was unaware at the time that she had not yet eaten any actual food, so I handed her a piece of candy, and gathered her things. When I suggested that we leave and 'go see Mama's friends' (I needed to run over to my place of employment), she lost her cool. She managed to smear chocolate on one of the few nice shirts that I own (despite having just cleaned her hands), snagged said shirt, and knocked the very heavy diaper bag from my shoulder to my elbow - causing a brightly burning pain in my right arm. *sigh*

We finally made it home, and got out our new paints! As I had supposed, being able to liberally apply color holds much more appeal than scrubbing faint pigments out of cheap watercolor wells.

You can slap 'em on the paper OR apply them directly to your torso...

You can stick the brush into your mouth then freak out because it tastes like PAINT...

or you can paint quietly after smudging Mama's camera lens... the options are endless really.

Sadly, painting ended in a meltdown screaming fit of 'TREEEEAT!!!' over and over and over. I let her know that she had to eat some real food before treats would be available. I even listed all of the yummy options. No dice. She screamed about treats off and on for almost an hour. I ignored her... because that's what I'm supposed to do when she acts like that... I hate it.

At any rate, we made it through dinner, and Miss Cranky Pants went to bed at 8 - with no protest.

Over the course of the day, I spent some time thinking about why my baby girl and I have been butting heads so dramatically this week. I think that it's my fault. I think that she's waaaaaaaay overtired. I've been so all-fired determined to keep her busy, that I may have run her into the ground. I drag her out of the house every morning, and we run errands almost every afternoon. She has recently started begging me to stay home. It's time for me to listen.

We're going to stay home today and tomorrow unless she requests to leave. So far, we managed to sleep in 2 extra hours (a record! We both desperately needed it!!), and are still in our pajamas. We've had breakfast, danced to Abba, watched Dinosaur Train, done some crayon art, and experimented with different methods for drinking juice...

Through a towel is not terribly efficient, but it sure is fun!

Next, we're going to eat lunch, read books then TAKE A NAP. Both of us.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

One. Of. Those. Days... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

So, yesterday completely conspired against me. Yesterday was a jerk - just sayin'.

I woke up because Lily Ruth was shrieking 'Mama!!!!! Mommmmmyyyyyyyyy!!! Mom-eeeeeeeee!' right. in. my. face. It was kind-of downhill from there. She earned a time-out before we even got out of bed by attempting to hurl herself off of the bed backward in a fit of temper.

There was a short-lived upswing as I readied myself to leave the house. My hair was clean and moderately styled. My skin was clear-ish - or at least better than it has been in a while. Yaaaayyyyyy.

Then I tried to get dressed. I was so bloated that every single clothing combination that I tried made me look 6-7 months pregnant. I ended up in jeans shorts and a maternity t-shirt. Strangely, the maternity tee made me look less pregnant than my regular clothes. See what I mean? Jerk.

We made it to Michael's for some kid-friendly acrylic paints. I'm not ready to invest in the liquid watercolors, but I wanted to give Lily Ruth a chance to really put some paint on a brush - or even her fingers! We also stocked up on stickers. The thick foam kind since Darling One's tiny fingers have a hard time getting the flat ones to rest sticky-side down on paper.

Then we went to Henry's house and tried to take a walk with Henry, his Mama (who Lily Ruth now calls 'Miss Kerrie' instead of 'Henry's Mama' - I know! Big Girl!), and his baby sister Lara (Baby Rara). It was hot. Damn Hot. I could feel my hair lifting up off my head in a frizzy, whacked-out manner. Baby Lara was also not a fan of yesterday. Our walk petered out in less than 15 minutes. We retired to the house for a rousing round (or 3) of 'MINE!!!', 'SHAAAAARRRRE!' and 'Nooooooooooooooooo'. Lily ultimately melted down completely and had to be removed from the area whist sobbing 'Uth zoo. Ish, Mama. Ish.' - Side note: Kerrie has confessed to truly appreciating stories that involve Lily Ruth not acting like a complete angel. They make her feel better when Henry has been acting like a monster-tot. I'm sure that yesterday's display filled her larder for the next rainy day.

Contrary to popular vote, we did not retire to the zoo. We went home for nap. She was so wiped out from the almost constant temper tantrums that she went down almost an hour early. I conducted some business (aka: purchasing Signing Time dvd's at over half-off!!) and started to wind down to nap as well. Then... THE DOORBELL RANG. I almost came unglued. The dog did become unglued. The poor guy trying to sell me on his tree trimming service left in a hurry. Lily Ruth woke up much earlier than she should have, and in a foul mood.

Ugh. Then it was grocery store, cooking and off to the Homestead for family dinner and garden tending. Lily Ruth kept up the nasty attitude, and I started to slide into exhaustion. If my mom was any less awesome than she is, I would have been in tears before we left.

Ya'll, I am so depleted! I am running on fumes. I get a full night's sleep every night... wait, I don't get a full night's sleep any night. Between the husband's snoring, the dog's random barking fits, and the baby's multiple (unmet) demands for 'Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama', and the massively unwelcome adrenaline rush that I get each time one of those things wakes me, I am awake for a good portion of the night. Then Madam comes into my bed between 5 and 6. I don't truly fall asleep again, and she gets up for good by 7 or 7:30. HEEEELLLLLP! How do I get caught up?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

More Weekend Tidbits

Lily Ruth amazes me. Have I mentioned that yet?

She was playing with Daddy's Fisher Price people and house. I finally convinced her not to peel off the almost 40-year-old paper serving as wallpaper and outside decals - gross. She took a tiny table and another (even tinier) piece over to Keely and placed them in between her front paws. Keely did her usual if-I-don't-look-at-her-maybe-she'll-go-away. Lily maneuvered herself so that she could make eye contact with the dog and said 'You're welcome'. I snorted.


She took Lucy's diaper off and announced 'Lucy diaper change'. Then she wandered off... and came back without the diaper. I found it in the recycling bin... at least it wasn't the (wet, stinky) trash. Lucy has been nude ever since. I'm not sure what the correlation is, but it makes sense to Lily.


She's big on dancing as of oh... always. The new part is that she now stands in front of the cabinet that houses the stereo and forcefully states 'moo-sic, Mama. Dah-sing'. Last night she bolted from her room (whilst nude) during a difficult pajama negotiation and headed for the back room yelling 'dah-sing!!! Dah-sing, Daddy!!!!' It was too cute to argue with. We had a round of nude baby and fully clothed parent dancing.


We went to a neighborhood parade yesterday. We got there early in order to procure primo seats. Our early arrival meant that there was plenty of time to search out dogs to pet. At one point, an (admittedly awesome) dog passed by. Lily Ruth popped up, headed out after the dog and said 'I chase dog' over her shoulder as she ran off down the street.

There was a slight delay in the start of the parade when a historical home on the parade route caught on fire. Calm down - it was a small fire. Lily was VERY excited about the fire trucks. We made several laps up and down the street to investigate. Lily and Daddy spent one of those laps warning folks sitting on the curb that a giant river of water was headed their way. Each lap thereafter was accompanied by Lily Ruth happily crowing 'water's coming!' at each person she passed.

She thinks that parades are just alright. The candy was a pretty good reason to stay, though...


I handed her a tiny juice box as we got into the car this morning. I would have waited, but she saw me try to sneak it into the diaper bag, and announced that she needed it pronto. When we got to the zoo, I found this:

Bangs styled by Apple and Eve (also known as 'Ernie Bert juice'). The bees were particularly happy with her today :-/

It's the little things, right?

Friday, April 15, 2011

YAY! Sprouts!!!

Ya'll every single thing that we planted has ALREADY SPROUTED!!! Look:



 raaaaaaaaadishes (in spades)!


The watermelons and pattypan squash are sprouting as well, but their shoots are still so tiny that they aren't ready for their close-ups yet :-P

Obviously, the radishes need to be thinned out. If we do it tonight or tomorrow, I think that they'll still be tender enough to use in a salad. I'm thinking mango, avocado & radish sprouts with a citrus Dijon dressing... mmmmmmmmmm... 

How crazy is it that we may be eating something tonight that was an almost microscopic seed last week? God is great, you guys. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dinosaur Bones!

Yesterday was Lily Ruth's Fiesta party at Parent's Day Out. On our way there, Lily Ruth spied some giant wooden Pirana that are advertising a museum exhibit. We pass them at least 6 times each week, but she noticed them yesterday... go figure. She saw their pointy, spike-y teeth and announced 'DINOSAURS! 'Uth DINOSAURS!!!'. I reminded her that we were on our way to a party, but told her that we could go the next day.

Well, it's the next day. My budding paleontologist woke up CRANKY and whiney. I reminded her about the dinosaurs. This led to an increase in volume of the whining, and the addition of begging. Great.

It took us an hour and a half to get ourselves together and leave the house. Not a speed record, but not our worst time either. *sigh*

We finally made it to the museum. It was overrun with elementary school groups. I manhandled the stroller in the door, and paid the admission. We strolled into the foyer, and were surrounded by... DINOSAUR BONES! Lily Ruth was in heaven. She leapt from her stroller (well, really I unbuckled her then hauled her out like a sack of potatoes... potato, poh-tah-toe...) and darted around like a hummingbird  taking in the (4) dinosaur skeleton replicas and various dinosaur paintings.

Every two or three minutes, a new group of kids would flow around then past us. Lily danced and bobbed through them trying to make eye contact and happily parroting their phrases - 'Look at THAT', 'Oh, that's BIG', 'WOW! Dinosaur bones!' She quickly went into overload.

We eventually wandered upstairs, but mummies, Fiesta gowns and Indian artifacts just can't hold a candle to DINOSAUR BONES, so we went back downstairs. I tried to entice her outside. There are other cool things outside. Beautiful grounds. Interactive exhibits. A science 'treehouse' just for kids. They even have an exhibit that involves getting elbow-deep in water to study our river's ecosystem! No dice. We spent the remainder of our time circling the bones as Lily Ruth muttered to herself about 'T-rexsh' and 'tri-cer-tops' interspersed with roaring (by the way, it is IMPOSSIBLE to stand still when you roar, so photos are almost impossible):

Her whirling brain finally melted down, and she began to sob about dinosaurs and point in random directions. We left under the promise that we would return, and that we would have noodles for lunch.


Her reaction to the older kids reminded me of her first visit to a big playground. We had been to the little playground at the library many times, but this was a full-sized, VERY busy playground. It was a lot like our visit to the museum in that school buses filled to the gills stopped every 10 minutes and disgorged hordes of children. The activity and noise levels stopped Miss Lily Ruth in her tracks. She clung to me and stared. After a few minutes, she tentatively walked over to a piece of equipment and tried to join in. It took a while to insert herself to the action. The kids were quite a bit bigger, a lot faster and more agile than her, but she was in heaven.

She finally worked up the nerve to climb up to the spiral slide. I couldn't fit up there, so she had to go on her own. She got to the top, sat down on the slide... and froze. I couldn't reach her. I couldn't get to her from behind, and the top of the slide was over my head. She wasn't crying, but she wasn't moving. The line behind her wrapped around the structure, and down the side. Teachers were blowing whistles to call their students back, but there was no way that they were leaving without one last trip down that slide. Lily Ruth's wide eyes began to show signs of panic, and the kids behind her began to mutter.

I finally got the attention of the boy behind her 'Hey, would you mind giving her a little push to start her down the slide?' He looked at me like I had just suggested that he throw her off the Chrysler building and shook his head - 'no way'. The kid behind him snaked an arm around his side, and gave her a quick, gentle but firm shove 'no problem'. She sailed down the slide and grinned at me like the Cheshire Cat. I scooped her up and out of the way as children flowed down the slide and off the playground. My baby was one of the big kids.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Just A Nub

That's what I feel like. A small nub of myself. I am so dragged-out, drop-dead tired that I'm pretty sure Jesus drove my car home and not me.

I just can't seem to get caught up. To make it worse, Parent's Day Out had their Fiesta party today, so I had to be there and participating instead of resting. By the time I got home and settled down, it was too late to nap. Also, PDO is closed on Friday due to the parade. I may never sleep again.

Can you come over and sedate me so that I can shut off my brain and rest? While you're here, would you be a dear and run a couple of loads of laundry through, tidy up the kitchen and occupy my toddler for a few hours while I sleep off whatever delightful narcotic cocktail that you brought over for me? Oh, and please make sure that it's codine-free? I'm allergic. Thanks. You're a Doll.

Lily Ruth likes jewelry, so when you get here, she can probably be bribed with something shiny. She also likes to claim mastery of all electronics, so you might want to lock your cell phone. OOOOH, or you could take her to the zoo. She likes it there...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Let the Planting Begin!

My mom and I finally made it out to start planting our little patch of earth. You may remember that mama had already turned the whole thing over with her pick and we spread all of our additives over the top. Well, that was intended to be day one in a two or three day gardening blitz that would immediately result in a planted and germinating garden. What actually happened was that life had other plans. We ended up taking an unintentional week (or so) off, but now we're ready to hit the ground running!

It was time to spade over the entire patch (my mom and dad did that part), then rake it all relatively smooth (that was our contribution - Lily Ruth has her own rake!).

Since we had already plotted out the basics of our planting plan, we were ready to start planting tiny seeds!

My grandmother had noticed that the local bird population was VERY interested in all activities related to the raised beds. This set my mama to thinking... and worrying. Since she's already half convinced that none of our seeds will sprout (silly mama!) she set about devising some sort of covering to protect our tiny seeds from greedy bird beaks and scratchy bird toes. She and her friend Diane decided that cheesecloth was a good plan. It would let light and water in while allowing plenty of evaporation and discouraging avian foraging. After we planted our seeds, we cut the cheesecloth into strips - which is a lot like cutting nylon pantyhose (don't ask), and I wouldn't recommend it as a recreation activity - and covered each row. I think it's working!!!

The seedlings are from Diane's garden. There are lots of pepper plants and two white Italian eggplants. As far as seeds go, under the cheesecloth there are cucumbers (bottom row), two kinds of zucchini (next 2 rows), three kinds of bush beans (left side), two kinds of radishes (above the peppers), and two kinds of watermelons along the top. The plan is that the vines will begin to grow, and we will train them over the edge of the beds so that the melons will grow outside the bed and not hog all of the room :-P

My dad also knocked together another raised bed for the beautiful tomato seedlings that Diane gave us:

Ya'll we're going to have SO MUCH YUMMY STUFF!!! Even if only half of what we planted makes it, we're going to be overrun (in a very good way) with beautiful fresh food!

Speaking of beautiful fresh food, my mom made an incredible cold salad over the weekend. I want to share it with you, but it's not much of a recipe, it's more of a concept. Since I didn't make it myself, I don't have quantities. I'm not convinced that my mama would remember the quantities she used, because she cooks by feel rather than by cup. It drives my grandmother crazy. Grandmother cooks by the recipe - period. I fall somewhere in the middle, but more toward mama's end. If she remembers the quantities, I'll update the post. If she doesn't, I'll make it again later and post quantities then :-) I just want to jot this down before I forget because it was so yummy!

Linda's Quinoa Summer Salad

cooked quinoa
chopped radishes
chopped cucumber
thinly sliced green onions
petite peas
cubed avocado
orange and lemon zest
orange and lemon juice
olive oil
dijon mustard

Mix all salad ingredients - reserving avocado until just before serving. Whisk together dressing ingredients and mix into salad. Chill. Just before serving, cube and add avocado. Voila!


The rest of the weekend was similarly productive. We got both cars washed. Lily Ruth played with her water table and babbled happily. She thought it was a hoot to be in the front yard with her toys :-)

Daddy Don also mowed the grass. Lily Ruth is over the moon about the lush quality of the front and back yards! In her eyes, Daddy is even more of a hero for providing such a great playground just for her. He also put extensive amounts of time into the pool. It may even be ready for swimming by next weekend! Now I just need to get my buns in gear and clean up the landscaping around said pool so that we can navigate the perimeter. Right now, it's a bit of a jungle. Perfect for curious cats and dogs playing wilderness explorer, but not so great for toddlers or bare feet. I'm hoping that writing it down will be the impetus that I need to actually get it done... wish me luck :-P

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Weekend Tidbits

I think that my mom and I might actually get our seeds into the ground today :-P We've been trying to coordinate this for two weeks, but life and extreme heat got in our way. The delay gave me time to get lots of fun seeds:

Cucumbers, heirloom melons (rainbow sherbet and moon & stars), zucchini (black beauty & Burpee's Fordhook), radishes (French breakfast & pink beauty) and patty pan squash. I'm very excited! Perhaps I'll draw a garden map for you once we get it planted...


My old-guy cat has a bit of spark left in him yet...

He cracked Lily Ruth up when we walked out the front door and saw him hanging out in the tree.


I haven't been able to get a picture of my baby girl smiling in FOREVER because she has decided that she hates the camera. I am sooooo thrilled to have this one!!!

Sweet goofy grin, playful glint in her eyes. Love it!


I'm not taking any pictures of it yet, but the pool is on the mend! Daddy Don has been working his patootie off trying to remedy almost 2 years of near-neglect. We will be swimming again soon!

In other swimming news, Miss Diana starts her swim lesson season next week. Lily Ruth needs a brush up on her skills and it's time for her to learn some new ones. Last year it was pool survival skills and learning to love the water. This is the year that she'll actually learn to swim. I won't be in the water with her this year :-( She'll be in the big kid class, and will have to sit on the step and wait her turn - this ought to to be good!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Simplicity of Thought

I've been thinking a lot about simplicity. I'm thinking about it for several different reasons, but they all keep coming back to one thing. I need to simplify, clarify and solidify my thoughts.

There is so much going on in my head right now - good and bad. It's so incredibly easy to let it all get snarled and out of control.

I want to DO things. I want to make something that starts as a spark of creativity in my muddled brain and is then translated into something made by my hands... but when your brain is muddled, too many 'great ideas' vie for attention, and you end up with this:

- yep. You really are looking at my kitchen table. Yes, there really are a dog leash, light bulbs, a coozie, and a stuffed rabbit mixed in with my crafting supplies. Not a place where creativity can be fostered or expressed.

Come to think of it, that table is a visual representation of my current thought process. You can see why simplicity is calling to me...

I want to SAY things. I want to write about all of my soapbox issues. I want to make myself heard as a woman, a mother and a smart-alec in her (late) 30s. I want to stand on my front lawn and crow my truth at the top of my lungs like the birds eating my grass seeds... damn birds... see - off topic in less than four sentences. Simplify.

What I really need to do today is to live in the present. What can I do TODAY? Well, today I can clean off my table so that my family can have a meal together. Today I can organize my supplies so that when the perfect idea finally makes itself heard, I can move forward with it instead of becoming bogged down in extraneous mess. Today I can take it easy on myself and make some space in my brain so that my thoughts can untangle. Maybe when they do, an interesting combination of words will rise to the surface. I'd love to tell a story...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

This Again...

03/26/10 3 weeks + 3 days
I hate to be one of those people (truly I do), but I just know that I'm pregnant. I knew the day after it happened. I'm not psychic (but how cool would that be?), I've become so ridiculously tuned in to my body since having Lily Ruth. It has been in turns cool and obnoxious that my body now basically sends me a text (or a telegram - singing and non) whenever anything related to my Lady Cycle occurs. I didn't ask for this skill, so it had better have some sort of handy application other than internal pregnancy test.

I've been dizzy and (TMI ALERT!!!) my nipples are sore again. Add in the fact that several dumb things have made me cry in the last few days, and I'm just sure of it. I won't buy a test until next weekend, but I'm SURE, ya'll!

Oh, so one of the things that made me cry - reading the website for a local midwife service. I'm totally going that route this time. They basically wrote out my birth plan and posted it on their website as their model of care. According to them, my second birth experience should be everything that I thought I was going to get the first time around, but didn't. I will labor in any position that I find helpful NOT flat on my back. I will not be tethered to an I.V. pole the entire time. I won't be gently or otherwise coerced into being drugged up for the whole thing (but it's an option). My baby will be placed on me immediately, and will remain there NOT taken from me and subjected to several hours of tests before being returned. Wow.

03/29/11 - 3 weeks + 6 days
I am in emotion overflow mode. Things that should be fine are tear or gag inducing. Examples: 1) I cried at mom's office. Granted, it was an important situation, but not one that should have elicited tears from me. 2) Watching t.v. - a cringe-worthy moment sends me into uncontrollable gagging. Soooo pregnant. Soooo hard to wait until Friday to take the damn test!

03/30/11 - 4 weeks
I took the damn test. I couldn't wait. AND IT WAS POSITIVE!!!! A very, very, very faint positive, but a positive nonetheless. I called Don, but no one else. This go-round, we will not be spilling the beans until AFTER we hear a heartbeat. I'm going to test again this weekend then call the midwife practice to set up my appointment :-)

04/01/11 - 4 weeks + 2 days
I took another test... I know, I know. Money down the toilet (literally), and all that, but I COULDN'T HELP IT. It was another faint positive :-)

04/03/11 - 4 weeks + 4 days
I'm way more than cautiously optimistic since I had already started spotting by now last time around. I just keep thinking about this baby and much Lily Ruth is going to love having her very own sibling (instead of coveting Henry's sister Lara)!

This cycle feels different. I hope very much that I am right in thinking so instead of being possibly dangerously delusional. Having a positive pregnancy test the very next cycle after a miscarriage feels like tempting fate.

04/04/11 - 4 weeks + 5 days
I took another test (I had one on-hand - didn't waste anymore money :-P) and made an appointment with the midwife group. My expectation was that they would see me around 7-9 weeks. Well, when you choose a model of care that states that pregnancy is not a medical emergency but is a natural state of being, they do things a little differently. This group schedules their initial pregnancy appointment between 9 and 12 weeks... so I'll be seen at 10 weeks for my first appointment, and there won't be an ultrasound, just a doppler of the heartbeat. I'll go in again 2 weeks later for the ultrasound.

I am thrilled to be treated like a healthy person instead of a sick one, but I do have to admit that I am disappointed that I won't be able to see the baby immediately :-P

Now that I think about it, I am a little bit freaked out that I will go through the first 10 weeks of my pregnancy with zero medical intervention. I know intellectually that I will be happy, healthy and fine, but I am used to being dragged into a medical office on every possible occasion so that they can charge my insurance company. Time to shift my 'norm'.

04/06/11 - 5 weeks
I started miscarrying again tonight. No doubt about it.

It's time to take a step back and re-evaluate our position. Obviously, my body is not prepared to carry a baby for whatever reason right now.

It's strange. I had several moments of 'maybe now is not a great time to have a baby' today. Did my body already know? Lily Ruth had a meltdown and BIT ME hard enough to leave a bruise. Daddy Don was feeling blue because he hasn't taken an actual vacation in 3 years. He always works via laptop when we're away - it's been a bummer. I was feeling extra guilty about not being back at work and brining in more money... I think it's time to wait instead of time to push forward into 'WE NEED ANOTHER BABY' mode... because we don't need another child. The one we have is awesome. If we spend the rest of our lives with just her, that would be more than fine.

We can revisit this whole baby thing later if we get the itch. For now, it's time to be thankful for what we have, and look for ways to improve the time that we spend together. We can put some energy into the pool and the house and spend the summer entertaining. That's what we did our first summer in this house. It was such fun!

I've let myself become overwhelmed again. The house is a mess. This weekend needs to be a time to re-set my priorities and re-claim my home. Who wants to come drink cocktails with me while I clean?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


MY DAD IS O.K.!!!!! He's going to have to make some lifestyle adjustments (but frankly, we ALL need to do so...) like diet and exercise, but he's GREAT!


I don't know how you guys handle these situations, but I actually seem to become more calm after the doctor takes over and the procedure begins. I told my mom that it's like I don't have to be in charge any more. Perhaps the lesson in this is that we should be able to turn stuff over to The Big Guy in the same way that I turn it over to the doctors. That's what he wants us to do... why am I so convinced that I have more control than he does?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sweep It Clean

There is a cold front (rapidly) moving in. The wind is almost fierce and the temperature is dropping, but the light is still bright and sunny.

I have the windows and doors open so that Mother Nature can curl and swirl and blow through the nooks and crannies of my home and my head. I need for her to sweep out the detritus of negative thought and fear. I ask that she bring her fresh breath of life and light and love to our darkest corners. She's doing a pretty great job of it so far.

I also ask that you guys keep my family in your hearts and prayers in the next few days. My dad is going in for a tune-up. While we know that he is in incredibly competent hands (both physical and divine), it's still hard to stay focused and calm.

Simplicity. That's what I'm praying for.

Simplicity of thought so that we can stay focused on the love that we have for our family.

Simplicity of word so that we can clearly convey our love, our support and even our needs during this time.

Simplicity of deed so that we can accomplish the things that need immediate attention and leave the rest for another time.

Simplicity of breath so that we can breathe in the blessings of this day, and breathe out the things that we cannot control.