Monday, October 29, 2007

It's Fall, Y'all! (CLOSED)


And the winner is: Marie at Memarie Lane! Congratulations!

I thought I'd participate in this carnival over at Rocks in my Dryer, because I can be creative at times, and I like making things for people.

Okay, I like making CARDS for people.

One lucky person is going to win 20 (yes, 20) handmade cards. You decide the sentiment (birthday, anniversary, thank you, baby, etc.) and color scheme, if you have one in particular you like. I have a bunch of supplies, so if you're really picky, you can even choose the paper and embellishments. If you trust me enough (and why shouldn't you?), you can even leave everything up to me. Multiple designs are a possibility (as in, who needs 20 anniversary cards?).

We'll talk details later.

I will even include the envelopes.

Whoo hoo! What a deal! Envelopes!

If you've ever made cards before, you know that envelopes are a HUGE deal.

I'll pick one random winner on Friday, November 2nd, and post it here. Please check back to see if you won.

No duplicate comments, please. I will delete.

This contest is open to residents of both the United States and Canada.

Good luck!

These are just a few of my favorite designs. The pictures don't really do them justice and I don't have a scanner.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Empty Fridge

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I planned our meals so precisely this week that we literally have nothing left in our fridge that will spoil before we return from Texas!

Am I a master meal-planner, or what?

Okay. It was kind of a fluke; but I did purposefully refrain from grocery shopping this week so we would be forced to empty the fridge by today. I only bought a half-gallon of milk.

I need my milk for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Today, I didn't even get it for breakfast. I grudgingly selflessly let Cinderella have it.

Sigh. I miss my milk.

Anyway, back to my genius fridge...

My fridge is empty. I threw a few things away, like some celery and some Jello. I froze some things, like some spaghetti sauce and 4 slices of bacon.

Cinderella and I are eating the rest of it for lunch.

Cinderella is having the other half of her sandwich wrap from yesterday (we finished off the bread 2 nights ago), the applesauce she didn't finish last night, and some of the Jello. I'm having the last yogurt that wouldn't make it until we returned, and half of an orange left over from a few days ago.

Not our typical lunch, but it works.

All that remains in the fridge are some eggs that are good for another 2 weeks, a block of cheese that's never even been opened, lots of condiments, and 2 apples.

The apples might not make it. Cinderella and I may just eat them while we finish cleaning the house.

Yogurt and half an orange aren't going to last me much longer than a few hours. I'm going to need to eat again.

Yes, again. I'm a nursing mom; I need to keep my reserves full for Sleeping Beauty.

Great excuse, huh? Works for me!

It feels good leaving the house with an empty fridge. I feel content and satisfied that nothing will spoil while we're gone.

The only downside of an empty fridge now is that it's still empty when we return.

I really dislike grocery shopping as soon as I return from a trip.

There's not much worse than having to get back in the car as soon as you've finally gotten out of it.

I suppose we could go shopping as soon as we get back into town, but that means dragging the kids to the store after they've already been in the car for at least 4 hours.

We've tried it before.

It's not pretty.

I guess for now, I'll just continue to revel in the knowledge that I have an empty fridge to come home to: no rotting food; no bad smells.

Except the litter box.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Luggage Count

We are FINALLY on our way to Texas this Saturday! We're driving to Bremerton tomorrow night to stay with my in-laws, so I've been frantically packing for the last 2 days.

Here's our luggage count, so far; keep in mind I have to pack 2 adults, a preschooler, and a baby:

2 full-size suitcases

2 small suitcases

1 small bag full of whatever doesn't fit into Sleeping Beauty's suitcase

1 backpack full of things for Prince Charming and I do to on the plane

1 backpack full of things for Cinderella to do on the plane

1 diaper bag for Sleeping Beauty, which is also my purse

1 Pack 'n Play for Sleeping Beauty to sleep in, with a changing table

1 stroller

1 car seat for Sleeping Beauty (we're getting a booster seat for Cinderella with the car rental)

1 laptop computer for Cinderella to watch movies on

That's far. This is also in addition to whatever my in-laws bring for themselves (yes, we're going with my in-laws).

Traveling with kids is exhausting!

And we haven't even left the house yet.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

How to Tell You Haven't Gotten Enough Sleep

1. Your first thought upon waking is, "When can I take a nap?"

2. Your 5-month-old is playing next to you in bed, and every time she flails her arms you wake up.

3. Your 3-year-old comes in and asks you a question; you answer her, but she insists you didn't say anything. You realize you answered her in your dream.

4. You ask your 3-year-old to play with her sister while you roll over for a few more minutes of sleep.

5. After playing with the baby, like you asked her to, your 3-year-old says, "Are you getting up soon, Mommy?" and you think, "When did you get in my bed?"

Monday, October 22, 2007

Confessions of a Modern Mama

Cinderella was bottle-fed and tried solid foods at 4 months old.

Sleeping Beauty is breastfed; she is 5 months old and has yet to try solid food.

I am completely comfortable with nursing her in public.

I nurse/rock/sing Sleeping Beauty to sleep. I did the same with Cinderella, minus the nursing.

Cinderella sleeps just fine on her own now, thank you very much.

I co-slept with my girls for a few months after they were born.

Sleeping Beauty still naps in my bed.

I use paper diapers, preferably Pampers, but Kirkland is good, too.

I use commercial baby food, though I will make some of my own this time.

I try to limit TV time to one movie a week for Cinderella, ideally.

I went back to work 5 months after Cinderella was born; she came to work with me and a few ladies took turns watching her for me while I worked mornings. The next year I went back to work full time for 2 years.

Cinderella spent 2 years in full-time daycare in someone's home. She thrived in daycare!

I am currently homeschooling her for preschool.

She will go to a public school for kindergarten.

I taught Cinderella delayed gratification. Because of it, she can wait days for something promised to her.

I do NOT let my babies cry themselves to sleep. I can't do it. I couldn't with Cinderella and I don't even try with Sleeping Beauty (not that I let Cinderella do it for more than 10 minutes).

I wear my babies.

I am okay with hand-me-downs.

I immunize, but I don't do flu shots.

I try to avoid medicine for the girls, but have no problem using it.

I have used Benedryl on Cinderella while traveling, but only when she was sick.

I use household cleaners, but not when the girls are around.

I have overstressed the importance of being aware of dangers; because of this, I can completely trust Cinderella to be by herself, even in the front yard (don't worry; I don't leave her alone in the front yard, but I could). Despite this training, she is not timid; she is cautious.

I let Cinderella choose her own clothes for the day, even if that means pairing a purple Easter dress with striped pink tights.

I have no problem dressing Sleeping Beauty in blue.

I have no problem dressing my girls differently, though I'm not opposed to matching outfits.

I limit Cinderella's sugar intake and make her eat fruits and veggies.

I don't cater to Cinderella's food tastes. She eats what I eat, unless it's too spicy; only then will I make her something else to eat.

If she doesn't finish her dinner, she gets it for breakfast.

I use "time out" as a punishment, though I do spank on occasion (I threaten it more than I perform it, and I don't threaten it very often). No, I don't beat my child; it is done in love (threaten, question, perform, question again, hug/cuddle). I have spanked in anger before.

Cinderella plays with Barbies, and I'm okay with this.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Musings on Being 29 1/2, Part 2

So I rambled on in my last post about how my life is different than I thought it was supposed to be.


Well, I suppose I can't really say that since I don't have anything to compare my actual life to.

I suppose I should simply say I'm satisfied and content with the direction my life has gone.

True, I don't have a career, but I'm working towards one. It's not necessarily my passion, but it is something I have proved I can do competently.

I have two beautiful daughters with hopes of having a third child in a few years.

I have a wonderful husband in Prince Charming, and we've shared 7 years of marriage, instead of only the two we would have had if I had followed my plan.

Assuming Prince Charming would have been the man I married if I had waited.

But that's a discussion for meta physicists, or space-time-conundrum people.

Anyway, I like my life.

I like my home, I like being a mom, I like being a wife, I like my city (most of the time).

I haven't got anything to complain about.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Musings on Being 29 1/2, Part 1

When I was in high school, and my first 2 years in college, I had my life all planned out.

Of course, nothing is as it was supposed to be, which is both good and bad.

I had always imagined my life would be vastly different from the one I now lead. I planned on marrying at 28, waiting 5 years to have my first child, then waiting another 2 to have my second and and final child.

I planned on having a career first before marrying.

That's it. That was my plan.

Specific, but missing a lot of details.

The details came later, obviously, but not how I thought they'd fall into my overall plan.

I was married at 22, not 28.

I worked a job for 7 years, but never planned on making it my career.

I have two children, so far; I'd like another one. The first two are 3 years apart, not 2.

Now, I'm a SAHM, which I swore I'd NEVER be, and I'm loving it.

I also thought I'd still be thin, and stylish, and well-traveled.

I thought my boobs would always be their cute, perky, B-cup selves.

That was a great fantasy!

I'm not thin anymore. I'm not fat, but I look like I've had two kids. I'm definitely not stylish; I'm comfortable.

And those cute, perky B-cups? Gone forever.


Instead I have voluptuous, saggy, larger-than-a-B-cup boobs. They are working boobs; definitely not for show anymore.

Not that I'm anyone in my house is complaining.

Especially not Sleeping Beauty, or Prince Charming, for that matter.

I've barely traveled anywhere. I've never even seen the Midwestern states, let alone the rest of the world.

"Someday," I keep telling myself. "Someday."

Of course, being 29 1/2 isn't all bad, but that's a subject for another post.

For now, I'm just going to wallow in the knowledge that my life isn't what I thought it would be.

Sometimes it's good to wallow; it makes us appreciate what really IS and not what was supposed to be...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

WFMW--Bunk Bed

This is going to be a short post. I'm tired and on the verge of being cranky.

Cinderella has the greatest bunk bed. We got it from Ikea. Ours is white.

It converts from a bunk bed to two single beds.

We bought it when I was pregnant with Sleeping Beauty. If she had been a boy, we would have had two beds, one for each in their own separate bedrooms.

Since she is a girl, we now have a bunk bed for her to share with Cinderella.

In the same room, of course.

Check it out! We really love the bed! It has beautiful lines and the white is very clean-looking.

For more great ideas, check out Rocks in my Dryer.

Too Tired to Blog

Sleeping Beauty didn't nap. Too much poop. So tired. Didn't get anything done until Prince Charming got home. Lost my school work. Going to watch Heroes online then go to bed.

Tomorrow's got to be better, right?

Wishing I was the Queen...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Queen for Half an Hour

While I was in Seattle last week, my wonderful dad treated me to a pedicure.

Ahh! Bliss!

I needed it so badly! I get terrible summer feet from walking around barefoot, plus I still had paint on my feet from painting my bedroom with chocolate.

I love pedicures!

I was feeling so pampered, so relaxed, so Queenly!

Until the lady ran her fingernail right down the middle of my foot.

Just thinking about it sends shivers down my spine.

Have I mentioned before how extremely ticklish I am? No? I'm VERY ticklish!


There went my relaxation. After that, I was wary of being tickled again. So wary, I couldn't fully relax again.

Oh well. I still enjoyed my pedicure, still felt like a Queen for half an hour, and now I have sexy red toenails.

In fall.

It's only 60 degrees out during the day. It's definitely not sandal-weather out here anymore. No one will see my sexy red toenails.

But me.

And Prince Charming.

I suppose that's all that really matters. Just knowing they're there makes me smile to myself and say, "I have sexy red toenails under those socks and slippers!"

It makes an otherwise dreary day seem so much brighter.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

WFMW--Childproof Markers

As I was getting everything ready to head to Seattle today, I packed these markers for Cinderella to use in the car. These Color Wonder markers from Crayola are the greatest markers ever for wherever you are that you don't want marker ink everywhere.

Or for the child that insists on coloring on everything except paper.

Fortunately, Cinderella is not one of these children, but she does tend to drop her pens quite often while riding in the car.

These markers are perfect for the car because they only write on special paper; they leave no markings anywhere else.

Yea, Crayola! Great product!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Sleeping Amongst Chocolate

Here's our scrumptious new bedroom color!

We went from this:

To this:

Yummy, huh?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Weekend Warriors, Bedroom Edition

Have you seen the show, Weekend Warriors, on HGTV? It's a show where people take on a home-improvement project that can, supposedly, be completed over the weekend, and ask HGTV to film them.

The projects are never completed on time.

And it's all filmed for posterity's sake.

Prince Charming and I took on our own weekend warrior project in our bedroom, only ours was quite a bit more manageable.

We painted our bedroom.


We've been talking about painting our bedroom for years, and have finally done it!

Part of problem of choosing a paint color is that we have two sets of bedding: one for spring and summer, and one for fall and winter. Of course, both sets of bedding are completely different.

Anyway, we finally chose a color: it's called truffle.

That's right: I now sleep in a chocolate bedroom.

Well, I don't sleep there yet. The smell is still too strong. Hopefully we'll be back in there tonight.

I'll post before and after pictures once we get our room back together. It's an absolutely gorgeous color! And with our white furniture? Scrumptious!

The only bad thing that happened was that I stepped in the paint.

Yep. You heard me right. I stepped in the paint. Not just paint that had dripped on the drop cloth.

Oh no.

I stepped right into the paint pan.

With my bare foot.

It was so funny! And to tell the truth, it was quite a pleasant feeling. Cool, silky, and smooth.

Not that I would recommend stepping in paint.

Just, if you ever happen to do so, know it's not so bad.

Friday, October 5, 2007

A Huge Belated Thank You

Thank you so much to everyone who left a comment on preschoolers and airplanes. I really appreciate all the input you gave. It was a huge help and a huge relief knowing that my thoughts on entertaining Cinderella were on the right track.

I'll let everyone know how it went when we get back in November.

Now I just have to think about packing. Lots and lots of packing.

Fortunately, we don't leave for another three weeks.

Lots of time to think and plan.

Unfortunately, I won't pack until the night before, even with three weeks to plan.

Sigh. Some things never change.

Once Again, Another Recipe

This is what we had for dinner last night. It's one of my favorites and again, oh so easy! This recipe is also from Cooking Light.

Udon-Beef Noodle Bowl

8 oz uncooked udon noodles or wheat noodles or spaghetti
1 1/2 tsp bottled minced garlic
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
2 (14 1/2-oz) cans low-salt beef broth
3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp sake or dry sherry
1 tbsp honey
Cooking spray
2 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps (about 4 oz)
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrot
8 oz top round, thinly sliced
3/4 cup diagonally cut green onions
1 (6-oz) bag prewashed baby spinach

1. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain.
2. Place garlic, pepper, and broth in a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
3. Combine soy sauce, sake, and honey in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.
4. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and carrot; saute 2 minutes. Stir in soy sauce mixture; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add vegetable mixture to broth mixture. Stir in beef; cook 2 minutes or until beef loses its pink color. Stir in noodles, green onions, and spinach. Serve immediately. Yields 5 servings.

Here's how I make it:
*I use the precooked, heat-and-serve udon noodles you can find with the tofu. I cook them according to the package directions.
*Since this meal is slightly spicy, I add the seasoning packet when I reheat the noodles and reserve the broth for my daughter. I take some chunkies from the big pot, rinse them off, and add it to the reserved broth for her dinner.
*I don't usually have sake on hand, so I use sherry.
*I can never find 8-oz of top round, so I just use whatever kind of beef is available in around 8 oz. More beef works well, too.

That's about it! It's kind of like a soup, but more like a runny, chunky stew. So yummy!


Thursday, October 4, 2007

My Oh My it's a Meme!

I stumbled across this delightful little meme today and thought, "Wouldn't this be lovely to participate in?"

Okay, so that's not exactly what I thought, but I did think it would be fun.

My Alter-Egos

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME (first pet & current car):
Samantha Daewoo

2. YOUR GANSTA NAME (favorite ice cream flavor & favorite cookie):
Vanilla Snickerdoodle (not so sure this one is tough enough for a gangsta)

3. YOUR "FLY GUY/GIRL" NAME (first initial of your first name & first three letters of your last name):

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME (favorite color & favorite animal):
Blue Frog (won't have much of a career with this one)

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME (middle name & hospital where you were born):
Kristin Northwest (she won't be around very long)

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME (first three letters of your last name & first two letters of your first name):
Kalhi (this one is pretty cool!)

7. SUPERHERO NAME ("The" & second favorite color & favorite drink):
The Purple Margarita

8. NASCAR NAME (the first names of your grandfathers):
Hugh Robert (sexy!)

9. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME (mother's and father's middle names):
Carol Sidney (waaay too close to my sister's name)

10. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME (your 5th grade teacher's last name & a major city beginning with the same letter):
Weir Wichita (sounds like the name of a coven)

11. SPY NAME (your favorite season/holiday & flower):
Autumn Gerbera

12. CARTOON NAME (favorite fruit & article of clothing you're wearing right now & "ie" or "y"):
Mango Tankie (odd, but funny!)

13. HIPPIE NAME (What you ate for breakfast & your favorite tree):
Muffin Maple (ha ha ha!)

14. YOUR ROCK STAR TOUR NAME ("The" & your favorite hobby/craft & your favorite weather element & "Tour"):
The Stamping Lightning Tour

If you decide to play along, let me know what your alter-egos are called!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

WFMW--Backwards Day

My brother-in-law and his wife live in Austin, TX, where he is working on his doctorate in neural science (smart guy, huh?).

Anyway, we've been promising them a visit for 3 years now and are finally fulfilling that promise at the end of the month.

My question for Works-for-me Wednesday is this:

What are your suggestions for entertaining a preschooler on an airplane?

Thanks for your help!


For other questions and answers, visit Rocks in my Dryer.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Date Night Revisited

As I mentioned in my previous post, Prince Charming and I had a date last Saturday night. It wasn't much, but it was 1 1/2 hours without the girls.

That alone is a record.

We've gone hours without Cinderella, or two hours without Sleeping Beauty. We've gone to church without the girls when my parents last visited, but never this much time without either girl and JUST THE TWO OF US!

It was nice!

We dropped them off at our pastor's house and spent half and hour talking to him and his wife. We went out and had barbecue and watched some of the Husky game on TV. Then we went to B 'n R for ice cream.

That's it.

By 8:00, we were back at our pastor's house, where we sat around talking until 10:00. That was a mistake; Sleeping Beauty was exhausted. It was a nice visit, but for her sake, we shouldn't have stayed that long.

That was it. That was our date.

It wasn't much, but it was time without the girls.

It was nice enough to make me want to do it again really soon.

It was also nice enough that I can wait awhile until we do it again. I can live on the memories for awhile quite happily.

And yes, I felt like a Queen. With barbecue sauce on my face.