Friday, February 27, 2009

Read Me Days 4 & 5 I skipped a day. I'm blaming it on early labor, kidney stones, & the fact that a pipe broke in our basement Wednesday night and left 2" of standing water in my basement closet. It's a good excuse, right?

I knew you'd understand.

So, anyways, here are two books for the last two days of Read Me Week:

This book is intended for ages a bit older than my girls, but they love it nonetheless. Kai, in particular, is fascinated by science and biology so this book has been great to explain some of the answers to the questions she comes up with. I love Usborne books because they are so educational but in an interactive way that really engages my kids. It's been a great addition to our homeschool library and I highly recommend it for kids as young as 3 since even Ivy can now recognize some of the body systems and what they do!

For the last book, I asked Kai to pick out her favorite book so I could recommend it and this one is all her choice.

This is another great book we picked up on a trip to Hawaii and bought pretty much solely because it had Kai's name in the title. It turns out it is a great book about being brave in scary situations and recognizing when some things just seem scary because of your imagination. I like the little honu (turtle), Kai, because he is a nervous guy in the beginning who finds that he isn't such a scaredy-honu after all and saves his friends by being courageous. It's a great bedtime book for kids of all ages.

So, there you have it 5 of our favorite books to read lately. Here's your last chance to give your recommendations for your favorites kids books! What's next in your kids reading pile?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Read Me Day 3

My girls will be 3 and 5 in the next couple months and we've mostly waited until recently to read chapter books to them. To be honest, I'm not quite sure when the ideal age to start chapter books is, but it just never occurred to me to try until recently.

But, given the success we've had reading these books I think it possible I could have started this much earlier with them. They LOVE listening to these books before bedtime.

For Christmas our good friends, Dewde & Dewdette, gave our girls their new favorite book:

Do yourself (and your kids) a favor and skip the junior novelization of this book. Our friends gave us the original version and not the "film" version and I'm so glad they did! The vocabulary is a little more complex and it doesn't exactly read like a little kids book but I think that is one of the best things about reading it to little ones. It stretches their understanding of the written word and gives them new words that they might not encounter on a daily basis.

And, oh, the story. We are loving it. Of course, it is another one of those stories that celebrate being unique & reaching for the seemingly impossible and I just think kids can't hear enough that it is okay to be themselves so I loved that. But, other than that, it is just a beautifully written and romantically told story that will be as enjoyable for adults as it is for kids.

We haven't seen the movie yet because we're waiting until we finish the book, but it gives the girls something to look forward to when we're finished reading it.

What literary or children's classic were you thrilled to see your kids enjoy? What are some book selections you've found that can be enjoyed by adults and kids, alike?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

P.S. It's Read Me Day 2

Despite the drama, I'm continuing on with Read Me week and my promise to blog my family's favorite kids books.

Book #2 is:

(image from JacketFlap)

Most people know how I feel about the Rainbow Fish book. I'm not a big fan of encouraging kids to give up what makes them unique and special so they can have more friends. Call me crazy, but I think we need to do more celebrating of the things that make us different. Not more compromising of those unique traits.

So since I have such strong opinions on the topic of celebrating our differences, the story of Humu is right up my alley. We originally bought this book on one of our trips home to Hawaii to see Thomas' family. I've never seen it in a bookstore on the mainland though the link in the title takes you to the Amazon page and I'm sure most bookstores can order it for you.

It is a great kids book about Hawaii's state fish the Humuhumunukunukuapua'a (yeah, that's really the name and I swear I double checked the spelling!). In the book the little fish, Humu, realizes he is more colorful than all of his other friends. He is upset that he doesn't look like everyone else and makes a wish to be the color of sand so he isn't different any more.

But, he does so without telling anyone and when his friends find out they are sad because they know his colors are part of what make him such a special fish. They tell him that it was those crazy colors that made him special because they made him unique. Realizing he made a mistake, he wishes for his colors back and with the help of his friends he gets back the beautiful colors that made him so different. In the process Humu realizes that it is those things that are uniquely individual about someone that make them who they are and they should never be wished away.

The illustrations are beautiful and the story is such a great celebration of individuality that it has instantly become a family favorite. I highly recommend picking it up and reading it with your kids!

Your turn, what books celebrating individuality and uniqueness does your family love?

And the worst part is that it's not cute or cuddly...

Yesterday I tried to have a baby.

I woke up feeling just a bit off. By 10 am I was having cramping. By 1:00 I was having stabbing pains and contractions. But I waited. Because I didn't want to be one of those crazy preggo moms (a.k.a. me in both previous pregnancies) who went to the hospital for every little thing. Plus this one is on me, folks, so when I'm paying I want to make sure I'm paying for the baby and not false labor.

So I took a bath and waited. And they got worse. MUCH WORSE. And then they were 15 minutes a part. And then 10. At which point I went to the doctor. Because something was clearly up. From there they went to 7, 5, 3 and that is when they wheeled me into L&D. Because I was clearly having a baby.

The doctor told me they'd have the C-section that night because it was more dangerous to stop labor at this point than it was to continue. I, of course, called all my family. But, the doctor on call that night had different ideas. And she gave me two shots of terbutaline and stopped the contractions.

But the pain just wouldn't stop. And oh. my. Lord. did I want to punch the nurse when she asked if I thought it was a pinched nerve. A PINCHED NERVE??? No. It wasn't a pinched nerve.

Once the contractions stopped, though, it became very obvious what was causing the pain because it was (unfortunately) a very familiar pain when separated from the pain of contractions. Kidney stones. No, that just doesn't do it justice. It was FREAKING KIDNEY STONES!!!

Oh this cruel, cruel body of mine.

They sent me home with one measly percocet and instructions to stay hydrated. And within 5 minutes of getting home I passed the stupid thing.

Thomas dared me to take a pic and blog it, but the truth is I like you guys too much and I want you to actually come back here again in the near future and pictures of kidney stones probably wouldn't guarantee the future of our relationship, right? I didn't think so.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Read Me.

This week is apparently Read Me week here in the South which as far as I can tell is one whole week dedicated to reading books to your kids and helping them learn that reading is cool.

And since we're all about reading being cool here in the Land of Lovings I thought I'd spend the week reviewing a few of our favorite books for kids. Come by throughout the week and check out which books we're enjoying and leave suggestions of your own favorites!

So, without further ado, our first selection for Read Me week is:

Junie B. Jones

I know these books are a bit controversial for some moms. Junie B. Jones is, after all, a bit of a troublesome little Kindergartener. But, as it just so happens, I have a soft spot in my heart for troublesome Kindergarteners so we quite enjoy these books.

Junie B. doesn't teach kids perfect grammar or manners. And she's a no wallflower, that's for sure. But, she's hilarious and adventurous and a hysterically funny read. Both Kai and Ivy are glued to the book series and look forward each night to seeing what crazy feat Junie B. will pull off next.

I'll even admit that there have been nights when I've read more chapters than I promised to read just because I'm curious to see what is going to happen next. Which is more than I can say for some of the other kid's chapter books we've read around here.

There are tons of books in the series for every occasion and the series is also available in box sets so I highly recommend picking one up and diving in to the crazy adventures of this even crazier kid!

Now it's your turn. What books are your kids (and you) enjoying?

Friday, February 20, 2009

What no one tells you about the birds and the bees.

Here's what no one ever told me about the "Birds & the Bees."

No one ever told me that I should pay close, close attention to what my parents said about this because someday as a result of the Birds and the Bees, I'd have a daughter of my own to explain it to and no freaking clue how to do it.

No one ever told me that said daughter would start asking about these important things before she even reached her 5th birthday.

No one ever told me that it would be so hard to answer questions like, "Why is our Rooster riding piggy back on our hen?" and "If they're going to have babies, which one of our (8) hens is our Rooster married to?"

And, most importantly, no one ever told me that these issues would come up at the most mundane times and render me completely speechless in 5 o'clock traffic.

So, now what? With a baby on the way and a barnyard harem in the backyard how on Earth do I explain to my 4-year-old exactly what is going on with the whole reproductive process in a way that doesn't guarantee her a spot on a therapist's couch in 10 years?

Here's where I come to you for some help. Because somehow I woke up one morning to find myself swimming in the deep end of the parenting pool completely unprepared!

What went fantastically right and/or horribly wrong in the Birds and Bees discussions in your own life? Did your parents shove a book at you to read or scar your for life with an overshare? With your own kids, when did you get into the whole thing and how did you explain it in a way that answered questions without giving them more than they were ready to hear?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

This is what FEAR looks like.

Alternately titled:
Photographic proof that I am a total coward.

This is my husband and me as newlyweds having a "wonderful" time on the Chattooga. Hooray for white water rafting.

This is my husband falling out of the boat at the scariest part of the river. (Notice his foot in the water right beside his oar?)

This is what my face looks like when I sense immediate danger for myself my beloved husband.

I've never claimed to be a brave woman.

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

Wish I were here...

Today instead of spending my time on a tropical beach drinking fruity cocktails and watching my children frolic in the sun, I am tackling my least favorite household project:

Cleaning the kids' playroom/bedroom

I can't tell you how much I loathe this job. It will include (but not be limited to):

  • Picking up at least 1200 kids books and arranging them on the bookshelf by classification (soft cover vs. board book) and size only to have them all end up on the floor by 5pm.
  • Finding at least one discarded pull-up under the bunk beds after ranting (yet again) that all diapers go in the trash every single time with no exceptions thankyouverymuch!
  • Discovering that Barbie and her stylish friends own more shoes than everyone in my house combined. And that none of them are a complete pair.
  • Throwing away no less than 3 dismembered Dollar store "Barbie" bodies and worrying about why it is my children insist on murdering their dolls in this cruel way.

So, what I could use now is your tips for cleaning playrooms and keeping them clean. Got any nuggets of wisdom to make my job easier when I tackle this in the future??

To see what other folks are tackling this Tuesday head over to 5 Minutes for Mom!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Let's get down and dirty.

Okay, so I know that I don't have to spill any dirty truths until tomorrow. But, I just have the need to get something off my chest. And, so, if you are a male and/or you know me IRL you may want to stop reading now. Really. Unless you want to know more about me than you probably should.

Here's what I want to know today. Ladies who are pregnant or who have ever in your life been pregnant could you do me a favor? Could you raise your hand if your pregnancy hormones ever made you have the libido of hormonal 18-year-old boy? Because everywhere I turn I see that stereotype in the media and I'm starting to feel like maybe I'm missing out on an important benefit of pregnancy.

Actually, to be more accurate, my poor husband seems to think he is missing out on a major benefit of pregnancy.

Though my theory is that finding a pregnant woman with this particular pregnant symptom is kind of like finding a unicorn please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Valentine's Day, as a result, is a day of undue pressure on those of us preggo chicks who are not hormonally crazed in a good way. It's just not fair.

To make things worse, did you know that they make things like this? Talk about pressure!

So, can you guess how Valentine's Day went down at our house?

Here's a synopsis:

Scene: Valentine's Day night. Living room sofa, 11:00 pm.

My sweet husband, snuggling up to me on sofa: "Hey, baby. Happy Valentine's Day. Did you like your flowers?"


Me: "Speaking of babies, when are you going to paint the baby's room? And I'm starving. Could you grill me a steak? Also, is it like 150 degrees in our house or what? Crap my left butt cheek has fallen asleep again. Could you move over? Is our couch made out of cotton balls or something 'cause suddenly it is all lumpy and out of shape. It's probably the fact that I'm huge, huh? I'm ruining the sofa from sitting on it. Do you think I look huge? Don't lie. I can see it in your face. It's not really fair to judge me right now, okay? I am, after all, growing the son you've never had. Just get off my case already."

My sweet husband: "Huh? Um...your hair looked really pretty tonight at dinner. I love you."

Me: "Yeah, well I guess that is what happens when you get a chance to take more than a 30 second shower and actually wash your hair. I know I've let myself go, alright? It's just hard to take time to get ready during the week when I'm constantly getting the girls ready and taken care of. Can't you just pretend not to notice?"

My sweet husband: "Um...I think I'm gonna go to bed. I love you, though. Okay? I really do. I mean, if that's alright with you."

Me: "Fine. Lay the guilt trip on. I wish for just one moment you could feel how I feel so you would understand why I'm not all lovey-dovey at the drop of a hat. I know what married couples are supposed to be doing on Valentine's Day and I'm sorry. But, you know, I'm not some Stepford Robot Wife so just cut me a little bit of slack."

At which point my sweet husband slinks away to the safety of another room.

End Scene.


Yeah, I'm a heartless wench. Really. And feeling hideously guilty for not being a better wife lately. And also I'm kinda not into, well, you know, marital congress at the moment what with all the pressure of a 6 lb. baby simultaneously sitting low in my belly and kicking me in the ribs. Thank God my husband has the patience of Job.

Friday, February 13, 2009

One down. One to go! **updated**

We had a big night at the Loving house.

Last night, for the first time, Thomas pulled a tooth. I mean, he actually pulled the tooth out. Oh, we've lost teeth before. We lost two in July. But this tooth? This tooth was stubborn. And hanging on by a thread. And giving mom the heebie-jeebies with every wiggle it got.

Thankfully, Kai is easily bought off. All it took was the promise of Tooth Fairy loot and a Popsicle and she was on board.

There was plenty of cringing and freaking out and wincing and Kai was actually a little bit nervous, too. But a bit of embroidery floss (purple - of course!) and a few good yanks on the thread and we had lift-off. Literally. It flew across the room and caused a bit of drama, but it was out.

Thank the Lord.

It's next door neighbor is pretty darn loose, too, so I'm imagining we'll be seeing him come out this weekend though hopefully he'll pop out the old-fashioned way. In an apple. Or, better yet, a Sugar Daddy candy bar.

The very best part of all this?

The Tooth Fairy actually remembered to come this time! I must be getting the hang of this mom thing after all...
(Head over to Life is Sweet to see other "Best Shots" of the week!)


So, it turns out we didn't have to wait long at all. Last night after a poorly planned leap from bunk bed ladder to "thinking chair" Kai managed to actually knock her other tooth right out. Let me just say, there was LOTS more blood than the first time but the tears disappeared as soon as her dad reminded her that it meant she'd get more $$ from the Tooth Fairy.

Now, she's got the adorable lisp of a kid who has no front teeth. Which means her dad and I have to try our best not to giggle everytime she exclaims, "Theriothly Guyth!" I need to capture that on video for posterity...

Last Minute Valentine

If you're anything like me you sometimes have a hard time getting into the "spirit" of a holiday until, oh, you know, a day or so before. As a result, I've managed to collect quite a few cool last minute holiday crafts that can be done with little or no prep work.

That's what happens when you're the Queen of Procrastination!

This year we made these great little heart shaped fragrance stones. They're perfect for leaving in clothing or linen drawers. You can even leave them out in a nice little bowl to add a subtle fragrance to a room.

We made hearts for Valentine's Day and used regular food coloring to make them pink, but the great thing about these stones is they can be whipped up easily for last minute treats for any occasion! Wrapped up in little bags and tied with raffia or twine they make pretty little gifts.

Have fun!

Fragrance Stones

1-1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup salt
1/4 tsp. cornstarch
2/3 cup boiling water
1 T fragrance oil (we used Rose)
Colorant of your choice

Mix all dry ingredients. Heat water in a Pyrex cup in the microwave or on the stove. Add the f/o and the color to the water. Stir water mixture into flour mixture. Mix as best you can and then knead the dough with your hands. At this point you just want it to look like pie or cookie dough. Roll it out about a quarter of an inch thick. Cut into shapes or use cookie cutters. Another option is to stamp the flat shapes. Let the dough stones dry. They get hard as rocks and will last for months.

(I found this recipe online ages ago so unfortunately I can't give credit where credit is due. But, just wanted to note that this isn't a recipe I came up with...)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Why I can't turn my back on my kids

Or, What My Kids Are Doing While I'm Blogging Watching Dr. Phil Cooking Dinner

Turns out while I'm busy being productive, my kids are busy being productive, too. Building obstacle courses that include what they called a "high dive." They reassured me it was completely safe to jump from the top of that upturned bench 'cause they had plenty of pillows around.

Sounds reasonable to me.

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

Total Truth Tuesday: You tell me...

For this week's edition of Total Truth Tuesday, I want to know what you think. So, you guys give me the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Seriously, I can take it.

Did I waste my education?

I was having a conversation with a good friend a while back about the value of educating a woman who will eventually stay at home with her children. It was an interesting discussion, completely amiable, between a SAHM and a working mom. Both mothers of daughters.

Through this discussion the question was asked, "Is there any point in going to college and spending money on an education if you're planning to stay at home and raise kids?"

At the time, I couldn't really articulate my thoughts eloquently on the subject. When it comes to debating a topic, I know two speeds. They are: politely restrained and out for blood. Just ask my husband. He'll be glad to tell you which speed is my favorite. (Hint: It isn't restraint.)

And since this is a very good friend and truly was a friendly discussion, I didn't lock and load and throw all my effort into this argument.

But, this was certainly not the first time this conversation has come up in my life. A year or two ago I was given a child-rearing "manifesto" by a more conservative friend. In no uncertain terms, it stated that girls should not receive education beyond high school since the Bible "says" women are to raise children and care for the home. (Click here to read my opinion on that myth.)

I realize people on both sides of the educational fence could say I wasted my education. Some feminists might say I am wasting my education by staying home with my kids when I could be "contributing" to society. More conservative folks would ask why I bothered to go to school and get "educated" when I clearly should have been pursuing more domestic training.

But, here's why I think it is important for a woman to be educated whether or not she plans to stay home later with her children.

1. Things don't always go according to your plan. Have you read this guest post on Rocks in My Dryer's website? It is a beautiful and heartbreakingly honest post from a self-described "wife without a husband and mother without a child." A woman who planned to get married and have children. And a woman who found that life had other plans. Imagine if she had decided to forgo education because she planned to have kids one day.

2. There is more to learn in higher education than academics. I think higher education can mean a variety of things. I want to make this part really clear, I don't believe an "education" has to mean learning in a traditional college setting. But, I do think attention must be paid to learning things about the world outside. Whether it be apprenticing or traveling through Europe or mission trips or a traditional college degree or anything in between, learning about other people, places, and cultures is important. How can I, as a mom, impart a sense of wonder about this big huge world to my children if I've never seen how big it is? I was an English major in school. Not necessarily the most practical of degrees. But, is what I learned wasted on my time at home? Of course not. I learned about people, relationships, history, art. I got the opportunity to travel and live abroad for a short period of time. I learned self-reliance. I learned to be a part of a community. All of these things are an important part of raising thoughtful, articulate, and well-rounded children. For that reason, I cannot look at my education as wasted.

3. Perhaps most importantly, being a SAHM means so much more than just staying at home. Whether you like the term SAHM or Homemaker or something loftier, you have to recognize that this "job" entails much more than sitting on the sofa watching kids play all day. Yes, there are days when I color in coloring books or play Barbies for 80% of my day. And, of course, there are times when my days feel like nothing more than glorified babysitting. But, my job is much more like family CEO than anything. I balance the books and manage all the bills. I am responsible for finding educational and entertaining activities to keep my children happy and busy. I am a conflict negotiator between two emotionally high-strung and often irrational individuals. I am responsible for making healthy meal choices for my family (which may occasionally include cupcakes for breakfast, but, hey, I'm doing my best here!). I am wardrobe consultant, hair stylist, laundress, housekeeper, teacher, chauffer, accountant, event planner, cultural ambassador, Sunday school teacher, and more. And I am better at all of these things because I didn't simply give up on learning about the world after high school.

Perhaps what frustrates me most (and tends to make me feel the most self-conscious of my decision to stay at home) is the notion that I am "just" a mom. The notion that I am wasting my time, my education, or my resources on my children is a frustrating one for me.

And, if you're saying to yourself, "me thinks the lady doth protest too much" - well, you're probably right.

I'll admit that, some days, I am my own biggest critic when it comes to convincing myself I'm not wasting away at home. But, in my (albeit rare) moments of clarity, I know that my education ultimately contributes to my ability to be a good mom to my kids and that, in the end, the only thing I'm really wasting is the time I spend worrying about what other people think about my choices.

But, what about you? How do you feel about higher education and raising children? What would have done differently in this particular area? What are decisions are you thankful you made?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Spring Fever

The recent warm spell here in Georgia has brought out the Spring fever in our house. Couple that with the euphoria that comes from the massive boost in egg production from our chickens and we've caught the self-sustaining bug again. And that means it's time to get our garden started.

Despite our currently blissful weather pattern, this is Georgia we're talking about and we've been known to get a random snow in February and we can't quite risk getting the garden into the ground quite yet.

(image from
So, this weekend we picked up one of the Ultimate Growing Systems and a plant growing light bulb from Home Depot and we're getting our garden started in the basement so we can plant it outside once the weather becomes a bit more predictable.

We've got room in this kit to get 72 plants growing and since it magically self-waters the plants all we have to do is make sure they get the right amount of light and when our official spring season arrives we'll have our garden on the right track.

So far, here's a list of our 2009 garden plans. We'll be growing:

*Green Beans
*Banana Peppers
*Bell Peppers

To find out what other projects moms across the blogosphere are tackling this week, head over to 5 Minutes for Mom's Tackle it Tuesday!

Cheaters Tortilla Soup

One of my preggo cravings this time around has been Mexican food. Actually, more specifically, the HUGE bowl of chicken soup from the Mexican restaurant that you can get for $3 and feed your whole family with. Yeah, I can eat that all on my own in one sitting. Don't judge me.

Unfortunately, my husband loathes this particular type of food so getting to the restaurant to get some has not been without drama. But, in my first trimester there were several nights the only thing I could stomach was the "chicken soup" from our local El Azteca.

I just wish I'd had this recipe then, because this is the easiest and most delicious cheater's Mexican Chicken Soup I've ever had. Definitely not any kind of authentic recipe, but I'm not pretending it is. It just hits the spot when you're craving some good easy chicken soup with more of a Mexican flare.

So, I thought I'd post the recipe for you in case you find yourself pregnant and about to inflict bodily harm on someone because they are refusing to take you to get Mexican food no matter how badly you want it and you need some other way to fill the craving. Not that it has ever happened to me. **ahem**

Mexican Chicken Soup (adapted from Real Simple recipe)

1 12-ounce jar salsa verde
1 lb. cooked chicken
4 cups chicken broth
1 and 1/4 cups water
1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
2 green onions, chopped
2 cans Ro-tel diced tomatoes (undrained)
fresh cilantro, chopped
2 limes, quartered
No Yolk noodles
2 avocados, diced
salt (to taste)

Empty the salsa, broth, water, and tomatoes into a large saucepan. Cook 2 minutes over medium-high heat, then add the onions, cilantro, and cumin. Bring to a boil. Add cooked chicken and limes. Add noodles and allow to simmer until noodles are soft. Top with avocados and serve with your favorite side dish!


Friday, February 6, 2009

Things I've had to say: The Bathroom Edition

Potty seats are NOT hats! Take that off right now!

No you absolutely cannot ever pee in our cups at home. I mean it!

No, the baby definitely doesn't go through the poopy maze (intestines) before he comes out.

Can I please, please, PLEEEAAASSSEE go to the potty in private?!?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Better late than never, right?

I've (finally) drawn the names for the Skinny Nut Giveaway and have sent emails to the winning commenters. Sorry it took me so long to get that together!

If you've received an email about the giveaway, just drop me a note with your address so I can forward them on to the great folks at Everybody's Nuts and Wonderful Pistachios who will drop your snack packs in the mail to you ASAP!

Thanks to everyone for participating in the giveaway!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Work that Wig

Every year after Halloween I buy all the discounted wigs I can get my hands on. Because my girls love them some wigs. And here's the photographic proof:

LinkFor more Wordless Wednesday, head over to 5 Minutes for Mom!

Works for Me Wednesday

According to my mother, I have been an insomniac since the ripe old age of 2. So, it's no surprise that my kids have inherited that gene.

Cruel? Yes. Surprising? No.

But, I have found at least one fool proof method for getting them to sleep even on the toughest of nights.


Okay, I'm kidding. But, not totally. See, on nights when they seem like they will never get to sleep I employ a little bit of relaxation therapy. Start with some soothing music. Add a bit of back patting. And top it off with the most important step of all: the power of suggestion.

I have found that if I quietly and calmly tell them to relax each part of their body starting with their toes and working their way all the way to their head that by the time I get to their shoulders they are completely asleep.

It goes a little something like this:

"Relax your toes. Let the muscles relax and go to sleep. Your feet are tired and sleepy and they're falling asleep." It works like a charm. Every single time.

When I was a kid a counselor suggested I try this to get myself to sleep at night. Focus on relaxing each part of my body and feel myself falling asleep. It never worked for me. But, for some reason, the power of suggestion and the calming sound of someone's voice telling them to relax just puts my kids to sleep.

It takes about 10 extra minutes to do and I only really do it when I'm at my wit's end since I'd rather them learn to fall asleep on their own, but on nights when we're all about to lose our mind it is worth the extra effort and it's a heck of a lot better than spiking their milk!*

To find out what is working for other moms, head over to Rocks in My Dryer for Works for Me Wednesday!

*For the record, I would never spike my children's milk even if my grandmother does swear it is the best way to get a child to sleep. I'm fairly certain she may have pulled that on me when I stayed with her as a child and look how I turned out. Yeah, it's a warning people. Don't spike your kids milk. Or they may just turn out like me...

Total Truth Tuesday

Can someone please tell me who on Earth came up with the term baby "bump?" 'Cause calling what I've got going a "bump" is the understatement of the year, don't ya think?

So here's my Total Truth this week. This is me. At 32 weeks pregnant. Apparently gestating a single child the size of a small army of infants. Or at least that is what the strangers I see in public seem to imply with their "Wow! You're so BIG!" comments. And, for the record, if one more person tells me how huge I am you will be hearing about me in the evening news.

But here's the Truth part 2. And I swear I'm not lying. I have gained ZERO pounds this pregnancy. I swear. You can ask my doctor. Pregnancy is the one time in my life I don't gain weight simply by looking at or thinking about food. But, that hasn't stopped this mammoth belly from growing out of control.

So here you have it. The picture I swore I would never post. My 32 week belly pic.

Monday, February 2, 2009

To the friendly Jehovah's Witness who had to see me in my nightgown-

I appreciate that you want to save my soul. I truly do.

But, I'm pretty sure that obsessively ringing my doorbell on a Saturday morning when I'm trying desperately to clean up before my husband's family comes over is not the best time to do it. Especially when I'm still dressed in the one nightgown I own and not my usual yoga pants and T-shirt that I can often pass off as lazy day clothes and not pajamas.

Because when you show up on a Saturday ringing the doorbell of a pregnant woman who is flustered and irritated that her husband is off having a nice relaxing morning coffee and not helping clean up, here is what inevitably happens:

She will answer the door against her better judgment because seeing a strange man in a suit on a Saturday morning might make her think that it is something very important. She may even be so paranoid about owning chickens (and a rooster) and having been quoted in the paper recently on such matters, that she will think you are some kind of county code enforcer come to snatch her children's' chickens from them. Even though she knows that county code enforcers do NOT wear black suits.

Except maybe on days when they go out to witness to neighborhoods on behalf of their churches.

And so she'll hide in the dining room and insist her 4-year-old run and get her a pair of jeans to throw on with her nightgown so she can answer the door in something other than the Pollyanna nightgown she finds herself in. But, she'll forget that the differences in maternity jeans and men's jeans might be indecipherable to a 4-year-old. So, she'll end up wearing her husband's jeans with her nightgown when she answers the door for you.

And she'll be grouchy. Sweet merciful Lord, will she be grouchy.

But, most important, in her haste to put on the jeans over her nightgown she will forget something very important. Something she will not remember until after you leave. She will forget one of the most important steps in dressing one's self in pants.

She will forget to zip up her husband's pants.

So, while you are trying to witness to her and save a place in the sweet hereafter for her grouchy, messy self she will be flashing you a very undignified view of her undergarments that will be accentuated by the obvious Pollyanna nightgown poking through the aforementioned unzipped zipper.

And she will close the door after meeting you, realize the state of dress she was in, and go on to call her husband and blame him for all of this.

Because, after all, he was the one who was chilling at Starbuck's while she had no choice but to sleep in too late, fail to get dressed properly, and answer the door to a complete stranger. So, it has to be his fault, right? I thought so.