Sunday, November 30, 2008

So, it turns out I'm a bad mommy blogger...

Well, I had intended to schedule something (anything) to fill the last, oh, 5 days, but I dropped the ball. In a major way. I mean, I didn't even let you all know how thankful I am that you stop by here and read about my crazy life on a daily basis.

(And I am, BTW, very very thankful for my commenting blogger friends and quiet lurking friends who come by to see what's going on at Land of Lovings!)

Instead, I hung out with family, largely ignored my blog and Twitter and Google Reader, finished Twilight, started New Moon, and ate WAY too much food.

But, the good news is I'm feeling relaxed and revitalized and I have lots of fun stuff to post about and I promise to be a better mommy blogger through the rest of the holiday season.

And, just wait until you see my Total Truth Tuesday this week. Sweet Merciful Lord, it is guaranteed to make you feel like a domestic goddess compared to me. I swear!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Total Truth Tuesday

If you know me in real life, you've probably asked me the question everyone asks a pregnant woman as far along as I am, "So, have you guys come up with a name?"

And, I can guarantee you that you've gotten this answer from me, "Um, well, it's just been really hard for us to settle on a boy name. I had plenty of girl names, but boy names are just harder for me."

That was true for a while. I did have only girl names picked out. But, that is not entirely true anymore. And, it's high time I fess up.

'Cause I do have a boy name picked out. Have had one for a couple of months now. And every time I go into my little "speech" about not exactly knowing a name yet, my husband looks at me like I've completely lost my mind. Because he knows the real truth and he can't figure out why on earth I keep saying that.

We're not the type to keep secrets about the name. I have never had any intention of keeping a secret because, well, I am notoriously horrible at keeping secrets. I don't even like to keep secrets. And even if I were going to I'd just tell people who asked that we're keeping it on the DL. But, I don't. Instead I'm evasive slightly untruthful telling a total lie.

So, here is the real truth. We have picked a boy name. And it's one that I absolutely love. Thomas came up with it and it is just so perfect. But, it is a bit...unconventional. I mean, we're not naming him Moon Unit or Dweezil but it's just got the potential to be received by blank stares and crinkled up noses. I'm not keeping it quiet because I'm embarrassed of it because that couldn't be further from the truth. I'm actually just hesitant to tell anyone because I love the name so much I can't bear to have anyone say anything ugly about it.

When we picked Arema Kai and Ivy's name pretty much none of my family liked either. They just thought they were too different. In fact, one family member (and you know who you are) thought Ivy sounded a bit too much like the stage name for an exotic dancer. Poison Ivy, she said. She joked that I was limiting her career choices by giving her that name.

And, this name is only slightly more different than those names. So, I've kept it quiet and been hesitant to reveal it to anyone. I guess I'm just thinking that once they see a cute little baby and we announce the name they'll be less likely to stomp all over the name. They'll be respectful and kind and, you know, make fun of it behind my back. That is something I can deal with.

That does beg the question, though, what is your policy/procedure on naming babies and name sharing before the birth? Have you chosen to share and regretted or kept things secret rather than subject yourself to all those unsolicited opinions?

Friday, November 21, 2008

How Mobistories saved my day. (GIVEAWAY!)

I got the opportunity a couple weeks ago to check out and review Mobistories. Mobistories are virtual books for kids that you can buy and have stored on your computer, iPod, or iPhone. I kept meaning to try them, but was behind so much on everything that I forgot. Not exactly a shining endorsement of my reviewing skills, but I'm just keeping it real, people. That's the way it goes in this mommy's life sometimes.

Anyways, this week we were refinancing our house and had no one to watch the girls when we went to the closing. So, guess what distraction my scattered mind came up with? You've got it, Mobistories.

Okay, so truthfully, I was a bit skeptical. I wasn't sure a "virtual" book would be able to hold their attention for long enough. My girls do seem to have the attention span of one of those cute little spider monkeys that come dance for pennies with that organ grinder at the mall. You know what I'm talking about, right?

But, I downloaded 4 of the Mobistories books and had them to keep the girls occupied. And, amazingly, they loved them so much they kept asking all day to watch different ones.

They are pretty cool, too, because they come up full screen on your computer and have the printed words (just like a book) but with narration and music. I love the subject matter, too, because I was able to get one about "stranger danger," one about jazz, and even one about conservation. In case you're curious which ones I got, I dowloaded Ella Elephant (all about jazz and learning to scat), Stranger Danger (informative and not scary for kids), Salsa for Kittens & Puppies (a latin themed book), and All The Way to the Ocean (teaching kids about why littering is bad).

I actually really loved that they have lots of different books with varied cultural origins and even different narrators' accents.

And the best thing? Mobistories is offering each reader a chance to try $10 worth of books for free! Head over there, pick out some books, and then just enter the coupon code 211A at checkout for your free books. This isn't a free trial either. It is a full-fledged giveaway so you have nothing to lose by doing it. They even have a free book available for download, too, so be sure and add that to your order! Do it soon, though, because the offer expires December 31st, 2008.

If you end up going over and getting some, come let me know what you think. I'm definitely planning on getting a couple more to add to my iPod to have on hand for those days I'm sitting in the doctor's office with two unruly bored preschoolers and I'd love to know what other books you've tried!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Kai-versations: Just another day in my life...

Here's what happens when you teach your children to pray. They want to pray about everything. They ask God LOTS of questions and have the most random (and adorable) conversations with Him. And since you teach your kids that God is a friend who loves them, they don't see any reason why they can't talk to Him all the time. You know, just like any other friend. And so they do. Which may or may not lead to some crazy moments in public.

Case in point:

The other day while shopping for Thomas' birthday present at the local electronics store, Kai looked at me and asked:

"Hey, Mom? How are grocery carts made?"

Since I don't have a degree in engineering, I couldn't answer this question. The nice gentleman standing beside us glanced over and gave me a sympathetic smile. I stumbled through an explanation that I didn't know and we'd have to look it up when we got home. Drama avoided. Or so I thought.

But, Kai had other ideas.

"I know!" she exclaimed "Let's ask God how they're made. He'll know."

(By the way, why do my children have to make embarrassing requests at FULL VOLUME when we're in public?)

"Great idea, Kai," I said. "You can do that when we get home."

"No, Mom. You do it. Now. Ask God how grocery carts are made."

I tried to explain that I was picking out a gift for her Dad and would do it later. What I really wanted to say is that it is not really "socially acceptable" to have conversations with God about grocery cart engineering in the aisle of an electronics store. But, I didn't go into it. Instead, I looked around (noting the proximity of the man who had been eavesdropping earlier) and quietly and as discreetly as possible said,

"Um...God? How are grocery carts made?"

Kai impatiently (and loudly) asked, "What did He say Mom? Did God tell you how grocery carts are made?"

Having heard my question for God uttered out loud, the man standing near us changed his expression from a sympathetic smile to an amused and slightly alarmed stare. But, I quietly explained to Kai that God told me He'd explain it to me later. Which, on a side note, made me worried that I'd get struck by lightning for lying to my daughter about what God had "told" me.

But, Kai yelled excitedly,

"Wait, Mom! I think God is telling me right now in my ear!"

Both I and the fellow shopper near us would have dropped dead from shock had she actually then been able to give an explanation of what God "told" her. But, luckily, she just smiled about what God was telling her and never asked again about the origins of grocery carts.

And, the man beside us, got to walk away thinking he'd had the chance to shop beside real life religious fanatics. I'm sure that story got told to someone at the dinner table that night...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Saw this at the Hawaiian Farmer's Market last year...

For more Wordless Wednesday, head over to 5 Minutes for Mom.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Excuse me a moment while I say...

Happy Birthday to my husband in a mushy lovey-dovey post.

i carry your heart with me
e.e. cummings

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)


Happy Birthday, my love.

There is no one I would rather travel this
crazy journey with.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tales from really stupid advertising...

Oh, Motrin. In case you hadn't heard, women have earned the right to vote, speak before being spoken to, have a growing influence on this crazy "new" thing called the internet, and even make up a HUGE portion of your consumer base.

So guess what happens when you decide to air a potentially offensive "mommy" ad where the speaker basically says babywearing is something we do just to look like an official mom and thank God we have Motrin to save us? The Twitter world goes nuts with mommy bloggers reacting to your ad and telling all their readers that Motrin is no friend of moms.

Beware the mommy bloggers, Motrin. They can be an unforgiving bunch.

And, since I am always an advocate of letter writing I had to let Motrin know what a bad move their ad was. And if you think it's a crappy ad, head over here and let them know for yourself.

Check out my letter below:

Wow. The new Motrin "babywearing" ad is beyond offensive. Couldn't your ad people do better than that? Or are you actually trying to alienate a whole demographic of people?

What's next? Breastfeeding is "supposedly" good for babies but we moms really only do it for attention. So, take Motrin when it starts hurting.

Or maybe, Raising toddlers is a pain in the butt and I only do it for the tax break so when they get on my nerves I take a Motrin to feel better.

If you guys play your cards right, you could actually turn this into a whole "Being a mom is miserable and thankless but knowing I can take Motrin makes it worth it" campaign.

Yeah, that might play really well.Link

Bravo Motrin. You just lost one family's business for sure.

Go here to see the ad that's causing all the fuss.

And check out what other mommy bloggers have to say here at Perfectly Natural.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Saturn/GM Ride and Drive Event

Tuesday night I got the chance to chill at Atlantic Station with some of Atlanta's coolest blogging ladies after driving around the city in new Saturns.

Click here to head over to my review blog and see what I thought of the Atlanta area Ride and Drive event sponsored by Saturn/GM and Blogher!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Preschool World View

Warning: This "wordless" Wednesday is totally wordful. I apologize for breaking the rules. I just can't seem to do wordless to save my life this week.

Last week Kai and Ivy played with my camera for about 2 hours. I told them they could take pictures of whatever they found interesting and cool. Here are 5 of the over 100 pics they took around the house. I have more pictures of dirty laundry than I could ever imagine. But I'll spare you from seeing those. Still, I do love seeing the world from their perspective.

Not sure I want to know why she's holding her nose...

Self-Portrait (foot)

Guess Barbie got her family's portrait done...

What is more fascinating than a shoe closet?

And, now for my favorite. My bathroom. Seriously? And, what is with the 4 books lying around my bathroom? You'd think Thomas and I do nothing but sit in the bathroom and read novels. Classy...and, unfortunately, totally untrue.

For wordless posts from blogs that can actually manage to follow the Wordless Wednesday rules head over to 5 Minutes for Mom!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Escape from the 1960's

This weekend was such a whirlwind. We're getting ready for a big Thanksgiving practice party (more on that later) and parties like that always remind me of everything that needs to be done in our house. Couple that with a serious case of preggo nesting and we've been quite the productive family the last couple weeks.

And my favorite thing is doing make-overs on a budget because it forces some serious creativity.

This last weekend we made over our terrible straight from the 1960's bathroom. The counters were original to the house (built in '67) and most of the fixtures were from that era as well. I couldn't handle it one more second (there's that preggo nesting coming into play) and we couldn't afford to overhaul the bathroom completely either.

Here's our before:

Sorry for the terrible picture. It's one we had left over from the previous owner's real estate info. Just in case you thought that clock was my idea, it wasn't. And it didn't stay in the bathroom. Who needs a clock in the bathroom anyways? That seems like a lot of pressure to get things done quickly...

Anyways, it's a little difficult to get a good pic of the interior because of a funky angle. But, you get the idea. Boring. Even a little ugly. And, unfortunately, the counter top isn't nearly as hideous in this pic as it is in person. But, with a new coat of paint, some inexpensive curtains & fixtures from Ikea, we turned that into this:

We hung the shower curtains from the highest point on the wall in an attempt to make the room seem taller and added the pop of orange on the curtain sash and a small medicine cabinet to make things a little more interesting in there.

But, my favorite part is the new finish on the bathroom cabinet. Did you realize you can paint your laminate countertops? It's true. You can put a new finish on almost anything with the right process. For countertops, all you need is a quick sanding with some rough grit sand paper, a couple (or 3) coats of paint, and a thick coat of polyurethane and voila a new counter top without all the bad fake marbling that came with a 1960's counter top. I LOVE the way it turned out:

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Where debit cards go to die.

Have you ever wondered what happens inside an ATM machine? I guess I always thought they were just a big glorified computer/calculator with a mini vault of money inside. But, I was oh so wrong.

So, in case you ever wondered, I thought I'd tell you what really goes on inside an ATM machine. Say, in the case of a person who accidentally leaves their debit card inside.

That way if you are ever on the phone with your mother trying to work out dinner details while simultaneously refereeing a fight between two kids in the back seat, driving through an ATM, and gestating a boy child you will know what happens when you take your money and receipt but fail to retrieve your debit card.

From what I have gathered, here is what happens. The debit card in question gets sucked back into the ATM of doom and is photocopied for record keeping purposes. It is then unceremoniously shredded to death thus relegating the card holder to a 3 week sentence of debit card free living. Those photocopies are kept in a drawer for an unsympathetic bank employee to rustle through before giving the news of said shredding to the hysterical debit card owner who may just so happen to be driving through rush hour traffic on a very busy highway.

That is what happens. It is not a pretty thing.

So, R.I.P. beloved debit card. Sadly, you are yet another casualty of this preggo brain. You will missed every single day for the next 3 weeks until your blessed replacement comes my way.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Total Truth Tuesday

I'm late in posting, I know. But, I've been oh so busy voting (yeah!) and napping (double yeah!) because, you know, voting for two really takes it out of a person.

Anyways, my Total Truth this week is kind of ridiculous, but I'm wondering if I'm totally alone on this one.

My truth? I am completely clueless about why people use a top sheet when making their bed.

For the record, my mom is cringing right now. But, it's true. The top sheet? It baffles me.

I mean, I know what a top sheet is and I know how it works. At least in theory. But, seriously, what is the point? First of all, it is thin and flimsy and it's not like it keeps you warm. But more, troubling to me is that my kids always get tangled up in them and they end up in a ball under their comforter at the foot of the bed. And, if I'm being totally truthful, the situation is much of the same in my own bed.

Am I the only person in America who can't actually manage to successfully use a top sheet? If I have a big cozy comforter is it even really necessary to have one?

Actually, for a while I put a top sheet on every time I made the bed only to fish it out from the bottom of the comforter each night before going to sleep. It annoyed me. And I resented it. And then I had this revelation. Just because the rest of the world uses a top sheet successfully doesn't mean I have to. So I broke the rules and quit using them. Because I figured out that it's my house and, as it turns out, I make the rules and that means I can skip the hated top sheet.

And now my mom may quietly cry tonight because she managed to raise a daughter who can't actually successfully make a bed the right way, but at least I will sleep like a baby knowing I won't be strangled in my sleep by a rogue top sheet...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sssshhhh...Don't tell our neighbors

We just got 4 new hens and a beautiful red rooster. I think chickens may very well be addictive.

Obligatory Halloween Post

I know every mommy blogger in the blogosphere has posted on this so if you've O.D.'d more on Halloween pics than you have Halloween candy I apologize for adding to it.

But, my kiddos, well, I sure do love 'em. And I can't resist sharing their Halloween pics.

So, without further ado, I now present Kai as Cleopatra:

And Ivy as the loveliest mermaid in the sea:

And what would Halloween be without our traditional Halloween shot? We trick-or-treat every year with some friends from our first ever small group Bible study. We all had girls born within about 6 months of each other (twice) and looks like we're doing the same with boys. We've got one little one already here (the most adorable Halloween hot dog you have ever seen), one little boy on the way (ours), and one baby that has yet to reveal his/her gender (no pressure, Katy!)

In fact, just for fun I'm gonna post a Halloween retrospective so you can see our little ones in all their adorable glory!



Big Sisters

Little Sisters


Next year, we'll have 9 kids on those stairs. Good thing it's a pretty long stairway!