Monday, March 31, 2008

Rice That Is To Dye For...

Okay, I'm sorry. I've just been dyeing to do that. No, seriously. I'll stop. It's late and I think I'm exhausted from spending the day pulling up carpet, padding, staples and nails All.By.My.Self. I'll post pics of that tomorrow.

For now, check out this fun craft that I finally figured out how to do. Colored rice! I've been wanting to do this forever. So I made three batches tonight after the girls went to bed since tomorrow is a "home" day and I'm trying to do more open ended and non-plastic fun. It works for pasta too (so fun to string up on yarn for necklaces and bracelets) and you can do as many colors as you can think of. It's fun, easy, cheap and great for sensory experiences, pre-K math concepts (i.e. measuring, more than & less than), imaginative play and more.

Want to give it a shot? It's so simple.

1/4 C. Alcohol or Vinegar
Food coloring
Rice or Pasta

Add alcohol and food coloring to plastic ziplock bag. Add enough rice so that the rice is moist but not completely soaked. Shake up in the bag. Pour onto cookie sheet and dry in oven at 200 degrees for about 30 minutes (or air dry).

**updated: I LOVE this! The girls have been playing with the rice for the last 45 minutes. They are quiet. They are happy. And they aren't even watching TV! Granted, I will be cleaning rice off my floor for a while this afternoon, but that is so much easier than cleaning sharpies off children or my good make-up off the bathroom floor or whatever else they tend to do when looking for a creative and/or sensory experience!**

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I've learned to knit (albeit badly)

Okay, so don't judge my skills too harshly. I taught myself to knit this weekend using some online instructions. I was hoping to make a dishcloth, but my needle gauge was too big and I cast on too many stitches and didn't have the patience to knit it as tall as I had made it wide. But, here it is. My first piece of knitting ever. A bit too widely woven rectangular wash cloth thingy. Still, I love it as if it were perfect and I can't wait to knit my next piece!

Kai's fortune...

tonight at the Chinese restaurant said, "A short stranger will soon enter your life with blessings to share."

Hmmmm...

Saturday, March 29, 2008

If you're thinking about renting The Mist this weekend...

have someone punch you in the stomach and then take a 126 minute nap. I promise you'll enjoy it much, much more.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Is it weird...

that I love it when pin pads at stores call it my "secret code" instead of my pin? I just get the biggest kick out of it...

Things I've had to say this week.

I've taken my friend Chris' advice and will be trying my level best to post these on Fridays. I can almost always guarantee at least one something ridiculous. Got something ridiculous you said this week? Share it in the comments! (This definitely does NOT only apply to parents. I have said some pretty ridiculous things to grown adults!)

Please take your toes out of your mouth.
We don't put stickers in our eyelashes.
Take that tree limb out of your mouth.
Walk away from the rotten egg.
We never ever ask people whether they are a boy or a girl.
I said, TAKE THAT TREE LIMB OUT OF YOUR MOUTH!
Because it's Easter and Jesus wants you to wash your hair!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Our new playroom...


yeah, I know the picture kind of sucks, but I didn't have the patience to take a pic with my digital camera and spend the time importing it. I will take a better one and post it only because I know Thomas will freak out when he sees such a crappy pic on the site.

Anyways, here's our playroom make-over. It's a creative and unconventional new look (painted sub-floors and a towel stapled to the fort as an awning) but I think it works. The girls love it and I am actually really enjoying hanging out in the new room.

So Kai isn't the only one?

I read this article today about "Spirited Kids." I now feel less wrought with worry and more hopeful. Any parents out there care to comment on strategies that have worked with their "spirited" kids?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Super Spam: Deals from my spam box.

Subject: Become a CSI Thomas!
Inside: Become a forensic scientist. Class Starting soon!
It only takes one class? What a deal!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I'm loving Finger Knitting


I learned this last night in an attempt to learn a finger exercise that would help develop dexterity in Kai's little hands. I've heard knitting is an excellent pre-writing exercise for children (especially those who seem to be ambidextrous like Kai) and I thought this would be a good way to teach the basic concept before introducing needles and also keep her little hands busy.

So, I read a simple WikiHow to Finger Knit and now I'm hopelessly addicted. It is so easy and super relaxing. I made a little scarf-let for Kai this morning and she was pretty interested in the whole thing. We even put it on her hand for a while and let her do some of the "knitting."

Anyways, if you're looking for a fun and relaxing new craft to try I highly recommend checking this out!

Simple solution.

About a week ago I posted a blog about my daughters' playroom. More specifically what it was about it that was causing them to avoid it like the plague. I took it down not long after posting it 'cause I started to suspect what the problem might be. Some google-fu soon confirmed my suspicions.

My kids had way too many toys. In my attempts to keep them occupied at all times, I had overstimulated their senses and created a room that was too much for them. They couldn't play in there because they were too busy tearing the place apart. So, this past weekend I did what is absolutely the most counterintuitive thing for a mom who is desperate to have her kids happy and entertained. I cleaned out the playroom and I got rid of toys. I got rid of bags and bags of toys. I eliminated whole bookshelves of toys and activities. I left them with simply dolls and a doll bed, dress up clothes, a kitchen and food, and a dollhouse. That is all. And I added a new element. Play silks.

I read alot about Waldorf education and the theory that children need to use their imaginations more and rely on "entertaining" toys less. It made total sense. So, for Easter the girls got play silks. They're basically just 34" x"36" satin fabrics in various colors. So far they've become dresses for the girls. Blankets for the babies. The blue one has become a swimming pool. They have been super hero capes. They have been table cloths. They have built tents. They have been anything the girls can imagine.

I love to go in the room and see them sitting beside a blue piece of satin on the ground with sunglasses on and their baby dolls beside them with them telling me they are at the pool with the kids. I love seeing them put the babies on the fabric and teach them how to swim. I love seeing them absorbed in a make-believe world for hours. It is teaching them to use their imagination and see things that could be instead of things that are. I think that is what we all need to do from time to time.

Since the transformation of our playroom the girls have played in their room nonstop. Where before I couldn't even get them to go in there, now they ask me nicely to go read in another room so they can play alone in there. I feel transformed. And I am excited to continue to apply the theories of Waldorf education in our home and see the difference it makes to my girls.

It occurs to me, too, that perhaps I should apply this same theory to my own life. Simplicity is never a bad thing, is it? Maybe I should go through and throw out some of my own toys.

Total Truth Tuesday: This one's gonna hurt...

I am your fat friend.

Okay, there I said it. It took me two days to write and 45 minutes to post. It took me 28 years to admit it and say it out loud. I am your fat friend and I'm okay with that.

It's funny because when I was a kid I always pictured myself as the fat sister. I had some adult relatives call me thunder thighs at the age of 8 and the mental image of myself just stuck. I look back at pictures of myself at that age and I was absolutely average sized. I wasn't even a bit pudgy really. I was an average little girl. But, the damage had been done. And, I've lived with that idea of myself my whole life.

Two kids and a complicated medical history later, I'm the heaviest I've ever been. And, no I don't love it. But, so what. I've decided that starting today I am no longer going to hate myself because of a number on the scale or the size of my jeans. It's not worth it. And it's not accomplishing anything. In fact, it hasn't been until recently when I've decided to stop hating myself and start focusing on health that I have actually started losing the weight.

But still, this whole weight thing is bugging me. Not for the obvious reasons though. More because of the way people feel they have the right to talk to you about your weight when you are heavier than average (or actually as heavy as the average American). Last week I was at the doctor with my mom and he was getting her medical history. He asked her about the health of her children to get an idea of issues she might have passed down. She mentioned that I was her daughter and without even so much as a word to me or even having officially met me he said, "Okay, so are they all overweight like her?" And I thought. Really? Is that really how we treat people now? Would he say, "Do they all have bad teeth like her?" or "Do they all have B.O. like her?" Doubtful. But my weight seems to be everybody's business. If I say that it is because of a medical reason, does it seem less despicable to him or others? In fact, it does. But, since I don't feel like investing in a "I'm fat for medical reasons" sign I guess I'll just have to put up with comments like that.

I ended up having an appointment with that same Dr. against my better judgement and he went on and on and on and on about how society will always treat me with contempt and disdain and hatred and prejudice because of "my size". He said I should remember than underneath all of this is a beautiful person. Let me say that again, underneath all of this is a beautiful person. That stung. It really did.

But, you know, regardless of how I feel about my health and my body, I have to remember that this body carried two precious girls and a baby that is already with God. I have to remember that this body is my badge of motherhood. I love it no matter how much I don't always like it. Because, you know, I have two little girls who will be looking to me to figure out their own body images. They deserve to have a mommy who doesn't complain about big thighs or wide hips or baby belly or whatever else she thinks is plaguing her. Because they need to know that these areas are not where their beauty lies. They need to know that, though they should work to keep their bodies healthy, their beauty, their value, their worth all come from some place deeper within themselves. And they'll never know that unless their mom figures it out first.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Why did I wait to listen to this?


I pre-ordered the new Jack Johnson CD "Sleep Through the Static" and downloaded it the day it came out. That was a month ago and I've only just listened to it for the first time today. This CD is awesome.

Today was a weird day. Full of crazy mix-ups and some emotional highs and lows. But, this CD was a perfect soundtrack for the day. I think I waited just to have the right day to sear this music into my mind.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Long Weekends are like houseguests...

which, according to my grandpa, are like fish. If they're around one or two days too long they start to stink. This weekend is on the verge of being too long, but thankfully tomorrow we join the real world again.

We actually had a great weekend. A nice day at the park on Friday where we sat around in the sun like we were spending the day at the beach except, you know, without the water and salty air and relaxing sound of waves crashing. Then the girls went to sleep early and we spent the evening drinking wine and eating delicious Mediterranean food with some very good friends. We got rid of grody carpet, redecorated the playroom and had an Easter feast complete with obligatory egg hunt. It was a perfect weekend but we're all starting to get a bit bored of each other so it's time for Thomas to go to work and the girls to go to school and me to do whatever it is I do all day. Still, I thought I'd share a few pics of our fun weekend...





Mission Completion!


We finished it! I wish the pics had come out better because it really does look cool. We just need a cool shag rug and we're done. We've moved all the kids toys in since this picture and it livens the room up considerably. We got this futon at Ikea this weekend 'cause Thomas' dad is coming to visit in May and we want him to have a place to stay (not to mention, I always did want the playroom to be a place I could cuddle up and read while the kids were playing!).

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A cool, but pretty crunchy, site...

I am getting sucked into some organic, hippie mothering stuff. I can't help myself. Of course, me being me, I'll never be able to fully embrace one way of living. I more like to graze a bit from different lifestyles. But, still, I found a pretty cool site in case you're interested in some natural mom stuff...

Check it out!

Finally, some words...

yes, we've been a little video heavy lately. Sorry, but we've just rediscovered how fun it is to do these videos with the girls.

Still, I wanted to post some pics of a project we're working on this weekend. It's still a work in progress but I thought I'd post them anyways. Basically, when we bought this house it came with some super grody carpet. Our plan was always to get rid of it right away but then life kind of happened and we didn't get a chance to do it right away. We got pricing to do hardwoods and well, it will be a while until we can afford to that. So, in the meantime we've chosen a less conventional idea. We're painting the subfloors. My sister, Tara, was the first person I knew to do it and it turned out awesome. So, I'm thinking it is going to be a good temporary solution because, the truth is, I couldn't live with that carpet one more day.

We started with the playroom and we'll do all the rooms eventually, but I thought I'd post some pics of our work in progress...




Now all we need to do is pull out staples and paint the floors with some floor paint. We're off to Lowe's now and we'll update with pics as soon as it's done!

Super Secret Dance Society: Audition One

video

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Preschool Vlog: Artists are cool

Well, you can see who is the true video master of the Loving household. Thomas just had to upstage me with the coolness of his vlog direction/production. Enjoy. It's way better than the other!


video

The New Gnarls Barkley

video
The new Gnarls Barkley dropped yesterday. Groovy.

Works for Me Wednesday - Crafty Control


If you know the Loving family then you know we love us some craftiness! We have a well-stocked craft bin. In fact, our whole house sometimes functions as a craft bin. And though we're not the most organized of individuals we are constantly trying to figure out uncomplicated ways to organize our life.

One of things I've found that works for me is using kitchen organizers in the craft realm. Dish racks, in particular, make excellent craft organizers. This one cost all of $4 at Wal-mart. The utensil cup keeps markers, crayons, and sticker sheets while the dish dividers are perfect for keeping the coloring and activity books in place. They even serve to keep the art work filed nicely as well. Of course, if you're like me it may take more than one of these to keep it all together but at $4 a pop that's a pretty small investment. The other thing we've found useful is silverware organizers. These are perfect for keeping markers, pens, pencils, paint brushes and other art supples in an easy to find spot.

Anyways, in the craft realm that's what works for me. To find out solutions to all sorts of other cool and random things, visit Rocks in My Dryer for Works for Me Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Preschool Vlog

Kai is pretty curious about all things web related. So, I thought I'd let her have a vlog of her own. That way she can tell you, from her perspective, what's going on in the Loving family.

We recorded the first one today. I love how she goes from dental hygiene expert to motivational speaker to personal letter to her Grandpa. I don't know whether she fully grasps the concept of the vlog (she's not even 4 yet), but I think it's just as coherent as that "leave britney alone" pyscho on youtube.

Check it out....

video

Happy Awkward Moments Day!

Apparently today is Awkward Moments Day and since I have plenty of those I thought I'd observe this very special holiday by sharing one of my awkward moments. Here you go:

My wonderful, outspoken grandma was commenting on a friend's decision to get married very young. She said matter of factly,

"Well, I sure hope she isn't getting married just to have sex because, let me tell you, sex and Europe were the two biggest let downs of my life."

Awkward...Hilarious, but awkward.

ooh, I have to add one more on Thomas' behalf. This one is so funny.

We had these friends from small group who bought a beautiful newly built home in a neighborhood that was undergoing an economic renaissance (read: the ghetto was getting a make-over by young adventurous people). Thomas' cousins had recently made a similar move into a really bad neighborhood. Same thing. Beautiful new home. Totally ghetto surroundings. Thomas, in his an attempt to reassure our friends said, "Well, it couldn't be any worse than the ghetto my cousins moved into. They had crack dealers and prostitutes on the streets!" The awkward moment came when we went to visit our friends for the first time and realized his cousins lived directly across the street. We ran inside trying to hide from his cousins so our friends wouldn't realize Thomas had said these things about their neighborhood! They eventually found out and stayed our friends anyways, but it definitely made for an awkward moment!

Care to share one of your awkward moments?

From Fugly to, well, slightly less fugly

So, it's no masterpiece but it is a temporary solution. I'm in the process of deciding what to do with it. I am currently debating spraypainting it a fun color (if I can figure out what to do with the padding inside) or a few other cool paint things. The sharpies won't stay on for long. I can tell some of them are already rubbing off in places. But, I had to do something last night or I wouldn't be able to sleep. The boot is too ugly to be believed.

Anyways, here it is. My hippie boot. "Make poetry and love and peace and happiness." Now, if only I could get my kids to follow that motto instead of making messes and tantrums and fights and insanity. After that, I just might tackle peace in the Middle East...

(By the way, can anyone tell me why every time I take a picture with my MacBook camera everything is a backward mirror image? Not to be stupid, but I just can't quite figure it out) THANKS MAC GURU AND FUTURE BROTHER-IN-LAW JARED FOR HELP WITH THIS!







Monday, March 17, 2008

Update...


So, I had my appt. with the Dr. today and it went really well. I got some good news and some bad news.

Good News:
I don't have to have a screw put in my foot! Yeah!
Other good news, I don't have to have a cast! Double yeah!

Bad News:
I have to have a super ugly and hard to camouflage walking boot (see above pic). Honestly, I think I might rather have had a super cute purple cast than this yucky thing. At least I could hide the cast with leg warmers and cute socks. But, sadly, I am stuck with this thing.

The other good news, though, is that I won't have to wear it too long. And he said I can start walking on the boot as soon as my foot stops hurting. That coupled with the news that I can now start using only one crutch makes for an excellent office visit! I'm as happy as I can be with a broken foot and super relieved that I won't be scheduling a surgery any time soon!

Thanks for all your good wishes, prayers and dinners! We are so thrilled to have such amazing friends!

Find the Fracture


Can you spot the fracture? We're clearly not orthopedic experts, but we think we might have figured out where it is. Anyone care to shed some light on the location of the fracture? I'll know for sure tomorrow afternoon but I'm terrible at waiting for these kinds of things...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Super Spam: Deals from my spam box.

Subject: Gays Gone Wild

Are you fo' real!?

Super Spam: Deals from my spam box.

Subject: You are nominated for a Bachelors

Body: Do you want for a prosperous future, increased money earning power, and the respect of all?

Obtain degrees from Prestigious non-accredited Universities based on you life experience.

U N I V E R S I T Y D I P L O M A S

I can't resist sharing this story...

My sister and brother-in-law live in Cabbagetown and were lucky this past weekend not to have had any significant damage to their home from the storms. It was definitely a scary experience for them but they came through it pretty much unscathed. Their neighbors, however, were not so lucky. The area had some pretty substantial damage and it was heartbreaking to hear stories of what happened to the historic homes there.

There was, however, one story that was just too ironic not to share. A neighbor of my sister lived next to an empty lot. It seems she is the self-appointed neighborhood watch of the street and all-around Cabbagetown busybody. The empty lot next to her had several trees on it. And apparently one 300 year old tree. Unfortunately, the man who purchased the lot to build on it didn't realize the "historic" nature of the tree. But, when he tried to cut it down to build his home she promptly took him to court and sued to have the tree preserved as a "historic" tree thus making his property worthless and effectively making it impossible to build on that lot. Then this weekend during the storm, that very tree fell on her house and smashed her roof. Thankfully, she was okay and her house was actually fairly undamaged which she attributes to the tree's thankfulness to her for saving it(hmmm, really?). But, the story was too irresistible not to share...

I **heart** you North Fulton Regional Hospital

Okay, so I know North Fulton Regional Hospital is not the best hospital in Atlanta. I know there are nicer and more prestigious hospitals around. But, whenever there is an emergency I always go to NFRH for one key reason. They have, hands down, the best patient care I have ever experienced. This last trip to the ER was no exception.

When I went the other day I ended up having to go by myself. And as is typical for my luck, I had to park in what was literally the furthest parking place from the ER entrance. I hobbled bitterly up the HILL in the rain to the entrance and thought this was probably the start of a horrible ER experience. I anticipated long lines, grouchy nurses, shoddy care and just a generally crappy experience. I've never had an experience like this at NFRH but I figured with my luck I would this time.

But I was oh so wrong! Everyone from the desk clerk to the Dr. was super friendly. They brought me back in less than 10 minutes and the Dr. saw me within 5 minutes of my placement in a nice, clean, private room with a TV. Before the first commercial break in the "Real Housewives of Yada Yada" I saw the mobile radiology unit and 30 minutes later I was getting my discharge papers. It all went pretty quickly but not in the "let's rush you out of here because we don't care about you" way. More like the "we totally respect that you have better ways to spend your time" way. And I really appreciated it. But, the icing on the cake came when it was time to go. I had left my crutches at home (because I refused to believe I had broken my foot) and the nurse who wrapped my foot offered to take me in a wheelchair out to my car. When we got outside and he realized it was raining and I was parked so far away, he took my keys and brought my car to the curb for me. He was awesome and it pretty much just topped off the whole experience for me.

I am officially NFRH fan for life.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Yep. I broked it.


5th metatarsal is broken indeed. So, I'm off to get a cast on Monday and (please cross your fingers this isn't the case) possibly schedule surgery to have a screw put into my foot. I really hope that isn't the case.

Thomas says he's never known anyone who broke their foot just walking. Unfortunately, it's not a distinction I have ever wanted...

The Real E.R. of Fulton County

An hour ago I was watching ER and now I'm in the ER. I have to say it is much nicer than the one on TV. I'm actually sitting in a little room watching TV. The doc said it looks like I broke my 5th metatarsal. Bummer.

Just so my foot isn't the first thing you see...



here's a pic of Ivylicious trying out my high heels. She's doing awfully well for a 2-year-old!

I'm on my way to the ER now so I'll update when I know whether or not I've broken it. Any suggestions for what color cast I should get if I did break it?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

More reasons to hate kickboxing...

Warning: Below is a picture of a bruised and unpedicured foot. Please forgive the state of this foot as it is generally pretty cute...

Here's what happens when you are generally clumsy and have sore and weak muscles from working too hard at your kickboxing class. You end up walking through the kitchen, tripping on your own feet, and (following a very loud cracking noise) landing flat on your face. There is some debate as to whether or not I've actually broken my foot and we'll know for sure when I go to the ER tomorrow. One thing is for sure, since I can't walk on it at all chasing the girls is going to be a very difficult task...

Things I've had to say today.

Here's a list of things I've had to say today:

"Macaroni is NOT a toy."
"Stop playing in the dirty clothes pile."
"Slapping your sister is NOT a game."
"We don't lick other people's food."
"You absolutely do not ever put your sister in a cage."
"Medicine is not candy."
"Yes, that's funny. But now put your underwear on the right way."

ummm...okay.

weird. weird. weird. weird.

I think the world gets stranger every day.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wanted: the perfect mommy job

Okay, I'm looking for a job with the following options. Anyone know where I can find one? (Besides Never Never Land?)

- Monday/Wednesday/Friday work schedule
- 9 to 5 workday
- telecommuting a plus
- willing to understand when kids are throwing up at home and I have to call in sick
- willing to hire someone who picked a major they liked in school and will forever have no idea what to do with it

See, I'm not that picky... Okay, maybe I'm asking a bit too much. Still, anyone know of anything remotely close?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Total Truth Tuesday - so totally late...

Geez...I'm really bad at this Total Truth thing. But, anyways, here's this week's truth:

I am horrible at quitting jobs and I have never quit a job in person. Outside the family business, I have held several retail or administrative job. I was even a preschool teacher for a while. And, I have quit every single job via email, voicemail, phone conversation, or letter. I am completely incapable of quitting in person.

It could be because I am, as my dad would say, "backward" or it could be (and most likely is) my irrational fear of confrontation and my inability to stand my ground. I have been talked out of quitting twice and can't seem to stick to my guns when faced with someone who is asking me to reconsider.

Anyway, it's nothing earth shattering but that is my secret. So, that said, what is the craziest way you've quit a job or had to let someone go?

I'll go first. The craziest way I've ever had to let someone go was to call the sheriff and have him remove her from the premises because she had taken over the phone system and was refusing to let customers talk to anyone in the company...

Boo Kickboxing! Boo!

Apparently spending an hour in Zone 4 yields tortuous results. I am pretty much incapable of moving at all today. Damn that peppy instructor for pushing me to this place.

But, despite the fact that I am walking around like an elderly woman in need of a walker, I will be back next week to kick kickboxing's butt!

What I never realized I pray for...

Last night at bedtime, Kai said an interesting prayer. Among her precious kid prayer requests, she mixed in the words, "God please be strong. And please God be powerful." I thought it was a pretty profound prayer for an almost 4-year-old because it occurred to me that this is something I pray for all the time.

When I am praying about something I am scared or worried about, I am really praying, "Please God be strong. Be powerful enough to take care of this." Though it occurs to me this is like praying for the sun to be bright, it is my underlying message nonetheless.

I am amazed at how often I ask for God's will in something and I am really praying for Him to be big enough to take care of the problem or issue at hand. The funny thing is when I heard her say those words I smiled in amusement because, I thought to myself, of course God is big and powerful! You don't have to ask Him to be that way. I guess now I just need to remember that the next time I'm in the middle of some big need...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Did I mention how cool my church is?

This was the opening song from last night's service. The message is all about how we long to be great. And what better way to illustrate than with our desire to be in a Rock Band. I have a whole new perspective on Guitar Hero after seeing it used in church. I guess I'll cut Thomas some slack on his playing...



Want to know what's even cooler? We've got some awesome friends who work there and get to be a part of making this happen. How cool is their job?

Yeah for Kickboxing!

I just spent an hour in Zone 4. I'm pretty freaking proud of myself.

Unfortunately, I may never be able to do another squat for the rest of my life...

A Domestic Fairy Tale


I was looking around my house tonight and realized I'm living a life I had never dreamed I would. When you're a kid, you dream about fantastic adventures in far off lands. You dream about the fulfilling work you'll do changing the world. You dream about a glamorous and exciting life.

You do not dream of playrooms overflowing into your hall or of doing laundry and dishes and cleaning bathrooms at 1:30 am. You don't dream about dirty sippy cups and crayon scribbles on walls. You don't dream about the inevitable clutter of a busy life.

But, it wouldn't be so bad if you did. Because, I must say, despite it's decidedly unglamorous nature this is an incredibly fulfilling life. It is not the jet-set life of a writer I had envisioned for myself and some people who used to know me think I've settled for less or taken an easier path. But, this is anything but easy and I can't help but think when I look into my daughters' eyes that this is by no means settling for less. (Though, I'll admit, before I had my girls I would have felt that way about others in this position.)

I don't think I am noble or righteous for choosing motherhood. I don't think women who pursue a career are less admirable than those who pursue a family. I think this is the right choice for me. And I think women have the right (and the responsibility) to determine what a fairy tale is on their terms. I guess right now, for me, my fairy tale is chasing preschoolers around and stepping on discarded toys on my way to the kitchen. And I fully intend to cherish every minute of it.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

I've officially decided...

that my all-time favorite movie fight scene is the ridiculous male cat-fight between Hugh Grant and Colin Firth in Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason. Who couldn't love a slap fight set to "I Believe in a Thing Called Love?"

Movies: we've been a watchin' em...

For some reason it seems like we've seen alot of movies lately. Most of these are DVDs because, well, we don't get out to the theaters all that often with two kids. But still I thought I'd give a quick rundown of the good, the bad, the ugly...

Here goes the list (not necessarily in chronological viewing order).

The Good
1. Michael Clayton - a fantastic movie! Definitely a must rent!
2. Becoming Jane - I (jenna) loved it! it was romantic and devastating and just a wonderful film.
3. 27 Dresses- super fun girlie movie. go see it with some girlfriends!
4. The Other Boleyn Girl - okay, I know what people are saying, but I really enjoyed it.
5. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford - a bit long in parts but still a fascinating movie.
6. Death at a Funeral - so freaking funny! Thomas and I both laughed so hard throughout this movie.
7. Stardust- fantastical and fun.
8. The Kingdom - nothing I expected it to be. it was engaging and action packed.
9. Juno - i know, duh! but, i wanted to prove that we do get to see cool movies in the theater every once in a while...

The Bad
1. Pulse - yes, we should have known better. But, for whatever reason, we didn't.
2. Feast of Love - depressing, irritating, and pretty freaking pointless.
3. Jumper - a 2 hour trailer for Jumper 2.
4. Dragon Wars - Thomas' review "uh, it was pretty much crap."
5. Good Luck Chuck - how can the women in this movie ever look their fathers in the face again? if you're not looking for a festival of gratuitous nudity skip this crappy movie. we didn't even make it halfway through.

The Ugly
1. Rambo 4 - if you like watching juiced up senior citizens channeling their roid rage and violently killing members of the international community then this movie is for you. however, if you've graduated from the 7th grade and don't think that stuff is cool anymore, well, then you'll probably want to skip it.

Friday, March 7, 2008

My sentiments exactly...

Kai's prayer tonight at bedtime:

"Dear Jesus, please protect Mommy and Daddy and Ivy. Please bless our small group family. Please make sure there are no monsters in Atlanta. Or bad guys. Or big rocks that will smash cars. And no big huge bunny rabbits. Amen."

Amen indeed, Kai.

Best Husband Ever!!!

My super sweet husband went out last night and got me a gift card to Ulta and one to Sephora! I got to go shopping this morning for some brand new make-up and am starting to think maybe yesterday's events weren't so disastrous after all! Who knows, maybe I'll feel the same way about my hit and run tomorrow...

To the jerk who got away with a hit and run-


Thanks so much for backing into my bumper and taking off. I feel so much better knowing that your kids go to school with mine. I would have thought the parents at this school would have known better than to hit and run but apparently not. I sure hope you're teaching your kids to be more responsible than you are. I will think of you fondly when I am paying to replace my new bumper.

With the utmost love and affection-
The blue minivan parked near you at school

P.S. Just because you can afford a big huge SUV doesn't mean you're qualified to drive one...

Come on, really?

I've been trying to find some creative ways to celebrate Women's History month with a 2 and 4-year-old. It's been hard, though not impossible. However, I was bound to find some infuriating suggestions. None more so than this article. How do I hate these suggestions? Let me count the ways...

1. Barbies should never be an example of anything to young girls. Don't get me wrong. My girls have Barbies, but I've never said, "Hey Kai. Want to know what women are capable of? Check out this roller skating My Scene Barbie. Someday maybe you can skate for world peace in a short skirt and an over made-up face."

2. These are not women in history. These are mostly women's fashion history. "Nifty Fifties"? Really? That's all that we have to offer little girls?

3. Marilyn Monroe and Cher? These are role models for Women's History? I mean, I know we're not going to get a Helen Keller doll, but what about a Queen Elizabeth doll or some other strong female?

4. FYI: The Princess of the Nile, Princess of China, and India Barbies are all basically the original Barbie mold with a darker tinted skin and "ethnic" clothes. Nothing about them that even looks remotely similar to the physical characteristics of the cultures they are representing.

Okay, there's my rant. I love Barbie as much as the next girl, but suggesting them for a women's history lesson is pretty much the worst idea I can think of. Unless, I guess, I want the girls to think their greatest contribution to the world could possibly be through sparkle shoes and a midriff baring "police woman" uniform.

Lest you think me a mean mommy...

Here's a pic of the girls about 10 minutes after their bath/shower. They recovered nicely, no?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

@#!%$^&% !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I thought the girls were sleeping in this morning. I was thrilled to have been able to sleep in myself. So, when I got up at 7:30 and went into their bedroom to get them I was very worried when I didn't see them there. I was also pretty concerned when I heard them giggling from behind their closed bathroom door. I was absolutely horrified when I opened the door.


Yep. $300 of Bare Essentials make-up now adorns my bathroom rug (and unfortunately the arms and legs of my children). I wish I could say I was cool about it. I wish I could say I thought it was funny. The truth is, I cried. And I called my mom. Because I am a bad mommy. I'm still not over it and considering I do not have a stitch of make-up left I don't know that I will be anytime soon.

It's getting funnier the more I think about it. At least until I go into the bathroom again and realize I have no make-up left...

(well, thanks to my parents and some other concerned friends we deleted the picture of the girls moments after getting caught. it was adorable, but apparently the girls make-up application made them look like they had been pummeled by some mean abusive mom - which they absolutely were not. any purple and blue on their skin was the result of some very expensive eye shadow!)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

How nasty is your car?


Okay...since I didn't post a Total Truth yesterday we'll let this serve as a total truth. I just cleaned out my car today and could possibly need a Hepatitis shot now...

It was pretty scary to see what was residing in the car underneath all the books, jackets, and Happy Meal toys. In fact, I won't even go into all the stuff I found in there. However, I will give you a short list. I found:
  • Four pairs of girl's shoes (with a tootsie roll in one shoe)
  • Two pairs of my shoes
  • Several nuggets and french fries in various states of petrified preservation
  • One dried banana peel under a car seat
  • 9 (count them - NINE) sippy cups
And that is just the stuff I can tell you about. So, come on friends of the blogosphere make me feel better about myself. What is the worst thing you've ever found in your car?


You know you're out of shape when...

you find yourself out of breath and hurting from a water aerobics class. In my quest to find health, I took a water aerobics class with my mom today. It was much harder than I had thought it would be. The crowd was pretty much what I expected, pregnant women and little old ladies, but they seemed neither little nor old when they were schooling me in water exercises. I should have known I was in trouble when the little old lady who welcomed me to the class insisted I wear the ankle weights. I put them on because she had them on and, heck, how heavy could they be? Turns out, pretty heavy. It must have been painfully obvious because halfway through she came over and whispered, "You don't have to wear those just 'cause I said to. If it's too much for you take them off." As if that wasn't embarrassing enough, I actually did have to take them off before my calf muscles burst into flames. So, needless to say, I'll be going back to work it out with the adorable little old ladies (and one little old man) at the gym until I can at least get in good enough shape to keep up with the octogenarian athletic machines!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Help!


Okay, keeping in mind that the best creative ideas are stolen from someone else, I ripped this idea off from our church infant environment. We painted the tree and limbs and then affixed cherry blossoms I got from michael's. The problem? It's pretty obvious. Our tree doesn't have a top and I can't for the life of me figure out how to create one. I've tried drawing it on but my perspective is all off and I'm too nervous to try painting it yet. Any advice? ideas? Anyone willing to give it a try? Email me, oh, brave artistic souls... I'm dying to get this finished so I can attach some more cherry blossoms to the top and have it totally done!

Questions for the Church of the Big Bang

Why would evolution need to progress past a state of single cell organisms? This is survival of the fittest in it's purest form. All they do is consume and reproduce through mitosis, the main driving need in the evolutionary theory.

Why separate the sexes? If evolution is just concerned with propagating the species, why would a species with separate sexes out live or even evolve from organisms who can rapidly multiply more efficiently on their own? Doesn't having separate sexes slow the reproduction process down? Not to mention through mitosis the next organism knows everything the previous one knows, therefore the learning process is more efficient as well.

Emotions? Really, evolution grew a need for emotions? This whole emotional thing screws everything up from procreation to learning to violence and self-destruction. This seems to be an evolutionary barrier. You would think we, as evolutionarily superior beings, would have shed those bloody emotions long ago.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Take that fat!

I engaged in the most intense cardio-kickbox class today. It was excruciating but exhilarating at the same time. I knew I was in trouble 15 minutes in when I thought I would pass out dead from exhaustion and the super peppy instructor shouted "You can do it! Only 45 more minutes!" Though I found myself searching desperately for an escape hatch, she was actually right I could do it. And I did.

In the end, I burned 700 calories! It was a super kick-off to my newest quest for fitness. Now, if only I can get the guts to do it again next week...

Welcome to Women's History Month!


March is Women's History Month! I'm looking forward to talking to Kai and Ives about all the kick-ass things women are capable of and helping them to see just how special it is to be a girl. In the meantime, here's a little women's history fact to get you started:

Joan of Arc was the only person ever recorded to have commanded the entire army of a nation at the age of seventeen and led French forces to victories over the English at the age of 19.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

This is my PostSecret, too...


This is one PostSecret I totally relate to.
P.S. I'm totally addicted to this site!


@ the Park...

We spent most of the day chillin' at a local park. The girls had fun and it was great to spend the day in the beautiful weather!




Going down the slide together seemed like a good idea at the time...

but apparently it wasn't!


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Caught on Craigslist

Found this listing on the WANTED section of CL tonight. It cracked me up...


WANTED: STRIPPER POLE - $150

Reply to: sale-592xxxxxx@craigslist.org
Date: 2008-03-01, 5:45PM EST

PORTABLE OR MOUNTED NEED TO BE ABLE TO HOLD AT LEAST 250LBS. CALL ANITRA (404)XXX-XXXX.

Maybe it's me...

Watching my girls has taught me so much about life. Parenthood is pretty much the best thing that has ever happened to my spiritual life and it's beautiful to see how much God reveals about His love through my relationship with my children. It's equally amazing to see how I must look, as a child of God, to a heavenly father who watches me struggle with the most basic of spiritual issues...

The other day I watched Ivy try to change her own diaper. See, she's got this potty training mission she's on. She's trying to rush things a bit faster than I'd like so I've kind of let her figure some things out on her own in an attempt to stall her. But, try she does and so she attempted to change into a new pull up. But, she forgot a really basic step. She left the old one on. So, here she is, pulling up a diaper while wearing a diaper and failing miserably at the whole undertaking. And I am watching in amusement as she both tries to rush to grow-up and attempts something she simply isn't ready for. When she discovers it isn't going to work she throws the diaper down in frustration and does what I would probably do if faced with a comparable situation. She grabs a different diaper and tries that one instead. She went through 3 diapers before coming to me for help with the whole thing.

And while I thought she was pretty funny for not figuring the whole thing out sooner, I found myself considering how many times I've done the exact same thing. Sure, my failures or frustrations are much bigger (to me at least) but in the grand scheme of things I marvel at how God must view them in His infinite clarity and eternal perspective. I mean, when I try and fail to do the same thing over and over am I any different from Ivy trying to put her diaper on? Does it look any different to God when I try and rush something or fail to simply ask for His help in a difficult situation?

I ask myself, why do I not bring something to God immediately when faced with a seemingly unsurmountable situation? Because as a parent could I possibly have denied Ivy the help she so obviously needed from me? Nope. Never. What did I do when she came over to me for help? I took control of the situation and helped her work everything out.

I guess all that is to say that the next time I try over and over again and fail miserably I'll have to remember that maybe it isn't the diaper, maybe it's me...