Wednesday, June 17, 2009

That's My Peanut

*Note: I will be employing some creative spelling throughout this post, so as to discourage visits from unscrupulous individuals. That is all.*

It is not, evidently, only grown men who are fascinated with their reproduhuctif orginn. My son, two and a half years old, has often found Mr. Winky to be a source of amusement. (Any of you mothers who have boys can surely attest to this fact. It's a great bath toy- you can squeeze it, pull it, make splashes with it, and if you're REALLY lucky, you can make liquid come out of it into the bathtub and make Mommy squirm because she just cleaned the bathtub this morning.)

Anyhoo. A few days ago while I was changing his diaper, he grasped himself (which is not unusual) and asked very matter-of-factly, "What's THAT?" (Up until now, he was quite happy with the mere existence of it. Never before had he inquired as to the appropriate word to use when referring to it.)

Because I try so very, very hard to be grown-up and mature about such things, I very matter-of-factly informed him, "That is your pea-niss."

This new information delighted my son. When he has new information, he enjoys proclaiming it loudly. A shout arose. (This is not "creative spelling," this is what he actually said.) "THAT'S RIGHT! THAT'S MY PEANUT!"

I, of course, just about fell down laughing. This only made it worse, because next to loudly proclaiming new information, his favorite thing in life is to make people (particularly me) laugh. So of course, every time he has a diaper change, he starts yelling, "My PEANUT! MY PEANUT!!!!"

This evening, he was sitting in my husband's lap watching TV and drinking milk out of a sippy cup. He squirmed a little bit, accidently kicking my husband in the "peanut." My husband made a sound expressing discomfort, and Kiddo laughed. My husband said, "No son, that's not funny."

Because I have such a highly developed and sophisticated sense of humor, I said, "Sweetie, you hurt Daddy's peanut." My sweet little boy, having learned that when he is hurt he will get a kiss, feels sympathy for my husband and wants to make Daddy feel better.

I have never seen my husband twist himself up in such a formation before.

It was highly entertaining.


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Photo Contest: Faces


This is my entry for A Cowboy's Wife photography contest: Faces.

My son Chris was eating some ice cream and was just looking so cute, I had to snap some photos of him! I did some minor post-processing on this, a little color adjustment and I added some edge vignetting.

Do you have a great photo of someone's face? Join in the contest!

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Wrong Doily

Hello! How's everyone? Wow, it's been a MONTH since I've updated!! Here's what's been going on.

I am working full-time at a local bakery/cafe which sells bagels, pastries, sandwiches, salads, and soups. I go in every morning at 5 am. Yes, you read that correctly. 5:00 in the morning. Dark and early! My duties include setting up the bakery window so that all the pastries look too good to actually EAT (before I worked here, I thought the display pastries were fakes!! Little did I know...) fill the bagel baskets, arrange the bread on the shelves, make orange juice cups, fruit cups, and yogurt parfaits, and most importantly, ensure that everything is on the correct doily.

Yes, there is such a thing as the wrong doily. As I found out when I tried to put the wrong doilie underneath the Caramel Brownies. There's also such a thing as too many doilies. Those things stick together like the dickens. Pain in the rear ends, they are, especially when you're wearing gloves to keep the pastries sanitary and you can't feel if you have 1 or 17 doilies all stuck together. Heaven forbid you get CAUGHT placing more than one doily on a basket or tray, because then you are RAISING! OVERHEAD! EXPENSES!

Anyhoo. I go in at 5 am, I leave between 11-noon, pick up Kiddo from daycare, we have lunch, sometimes go for a swim, then it's naptime for BOTH of us. So while it stinks that I have to go to work so early, it's GREAT that I get to spend most of the day with Kiddo and that I get to take naps again! I love naps. Especially when I have only gotten 4 hours of sleep the night before because my body is not yet accustomed to rising at 4 am, necessitating an earlier bedtime. I require "allergy medication" to help me fall asleep at night, and then coffee in the morning and throughout the day is ESSENTIAL to maintain the eyes-keeping-open-thing. So now I'm the cliche druggie cashier. Better hope I don't spit on your cherry danish. Hah.

Anxiously awaiting school to start again so I can go back to being the evil substitute teacher that sends kids to the office for looking at me wrong. By the way, one of those kids came into my bakery/cafe and ordered a cherry danish. On a day when I had only gotten 4 hours of sleep the night before.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Then and Now


April 2008: 1 1/2 years old. We just moved into our house, and for the first time, you had a backyard to play in! Once you discovered how much freedom you had, there was no stopping you. Running, jumping, climbing, hopping, any kind of motion is what you loved. You haven't been still since.


April 2009: 2 1/2 years old. You are now speaking in full sentences. Your favorite movies are "101 Dalmatians" and "Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius." They are the only two things in the world that you will sit still for. You are so tall, everyone thinks I'm lying when I tell them you're still only 2 years old. You've figured out that if Mommy starts counting to 3, you'd better do what she says or you'll get a smack. You've also figured out that if Mommy tells you that you have to go to your room for a time out, that if you immediately give her a hug and a kiss she will soften up and let you off the hook.

Don't grow up too fast, sweetheart. Let me hold on to these moments forever.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Bunch of Stuff

Wow, it's been awhile since I've updated! Thank goodness for Twitter, otherwise I would have no idea what is going on with all of you. Here is a Bunch of Stuff for you to read and comment on.

Bunch of Stuff #1

I gave up. We put the crib back together. Months ago, Kiddo learned how to climb out of it so we figured we'd convert his crib to a toddler bed. For months, he has chosen to sleep on the floor. Along with that choice came the realization that nothing was or could keep him in bed, so he will play for hours, getting more and more tired, more and more overstimulated, until he doesn't know what to do with himself. It is making us exhausted as well. Last night, I had Hubby put the crib back together. After about 15 minutes of screaming, Kiddo finally went to sleep. Maybe he just wasn't ready to make the transition. I'd certainly appreciate any insight into this. How old were your kids when they switched from crib to toddler bed? Any tricks to help keep him in his bed? Short of removing all of his toys from his bedroom or putting him to sleep in the guest room (which, while empty of any "toys" is full of interesting and various things for him to make mischief with,) I've run out of ideas. This is going to become a problem quickly because of...

Bunch of Stuff #2

Most of you know that I am a substitute teacher. I often tweet about what my students are doing. However, school will be out soon (end of May for us here in Florida,) and I would need to find something else for the summer anyhow. I went ahead and got started looking, and starting in May, I will be the receptionist for LA Fitness. The early morning shift. 5 AM. Super early. (Do people actually go work out at 5 AM? I guess I'll find out.) Anyhoo. Hubby sometimes loses patience faster than I when it comes to Kiddo's sleeping habits. I will be going to bed at 8:30 in order to be up by 4 am, so it would be REALLY great if we could get Kiddo into a better bedtime routine since Hubby will be handling it himself. (Prior to the "big boy bed" we had a fairly good bedtime routine established for 9 pm. That's what worked best for our family.)

Bunch of Stuff #3 "A Really Expensive Trip To the Beach"

A few weeks ago, we decided to go to the beach with some friends. Very spur-of-the-moment. The beach is a little over a half-hour drive. We didn't bring much in the way of drinks or snacks, since usually beach trips with Kiddo don't last more than an hour. On our way, our friends call us and ask if we can bring some "adult beverages." We COULD have turned around and gone home, since we have some in the fridge. We COULD have filled up our own cooler with ice, drinks, and grabbed some snacks on the way. But we didn't. We pulled into a 7-11, and purchased grown-up beverages, snacks, a styrofoam cooler, and ice. Added up to nearly $40. !!! We arrive at the beach. It's crowded because our beach is a prime location for collegiate spring-breakers from up north. Hubby drops me off to find our friends while he drives around to find a parking space. In the process, he does something unpleasant to my gear shifter and the head breaks off. $165 dollar repair plus 3 hours in the waiting room. Oh, and the parking meter expired so we got a $25 parking ticket.

So what was supposed to be a quick trip to the beach ended up costing me $230. Gah.

Bunch of Stuff #4

This is a good one. My uncle was diagnosed with colon cancer, and it spread to his liver. He has been undergoing chemotherapy, and after his last scan, it was discovered that he is COMPLETELY CANCER FREE!!! Hallelujah!


That is all for now. Have a lovely day!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Photo Shoot: Color

Just playing around in my backyard before doing a photo shoot for a friend's son.



Oh, in case you're interested, I've started another blog which will be for my photography. You can find it at:

http://jenniferleephotos.blogspot.com

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Why I Love Photoshop

Photoshop is the digital photographer's best friend.

Last night, I was asked to do some photography for our church's 40th anniversary celebration. Many of our former pastors came for the evening, all the musical groups of our church performed, and we had a lovely dinner served outside under a twilight sky.

But this is why I love photoshop. I can take a snapshot of people, like this:


and with a few adjustments, I can make it look like this:



Hm. For some reason, the photos look slightly different in my web browser than they do in my Photoshop window. Something about 'color spaces' I think, but I'm not real sure. (Carrie, can you help me with this? How can I make it match?)

Anyhow. I was able to lighten the eyes, whiten the teeth, smooth out the skin, and get rid of a weird shiny bright spot that was in the gentleman's mouth. (The flash must have reflected off of his tooth or something. I dunno.) I also was able to tone down the sunburn on the gentleman's neck and chest.

I'm new at this, but I'm having fun!

To see more photos from this shoot, please visit my gallery at http://jenniferlee.nextproof.com

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Photo Shoot: Rainbow Sherbet

Who would have thought that the simple act of eating a bowl of ice cream would be such a great photo opportunity?





I'm offering free photo sessions to friends and family, as I'm trying to get set up doing photography professionally. I'm always complimented on my photos, and when I go to professional photog's websites, I look at the pictures and think, "Hey, I could do that." So I'm trying to set up a portfolio so that it will appear that I have all kinds of professional experience. :)

Do you live near me? (Coral Springs, FL.) I'd be happy to come do a photo shoot for you, too!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I'm Ba-ack!

Hello, blogfriends! I've been enjoying the real world for a little while. Here's what I've been up to during my break from the intertube-twitterbooks.


Disney World! We live in Florida, so we have a "seasonal-annual" pass. We can't use it during the busiest times of the year, but who wants to go to Disney World when it's super-crowded anyhow?


Chris was so star-struck that he couldn't take his eyes off of Mickey Mouse! He's just grinning and giggling and grinning some more.


Hubby and I ALL BY OURSELVES. My parents live near Orlando, so they kept Chris for a night. Hubby and I stayed in a hotel and got to enjoy the Magic Kingdom and Epcot Center by ourselves- like WE were the kids! It was lots of fun. We were able to go on all the fun rides that Chris was too short to go on.

I will never, ever, get tired of the sight of the castle all lit up at night.


We've also made a few visits to a local attraction called Butterfly World.


Beautiful, no?

Oh. And I've been working a little too. Not getting much housework done, but working. And trying to get Chris to settle down for the night. Lately, he's been staying awake until midnight. He started climbing out of his crib, so we took the side off and made it into his "big-boy" bed, but he would have none of it. He would climb down and sleep on the floor. So we made a pile of blankets for him to sleep on. He did all right for a night or two, then he realized there was nothing physically restraining him to his bed, so he would stay up and play with his toys for hours.

Just a few moments ago, I posted on Facebook about the trouble I was having, and one of my friends told me that she started putting her son to sleep in his pack-n-play. So I went and got it, set it up in his room, and he laid right down and I haven't heard a sound! He even said "thank-you" to me when I put him in!

We'll see how long this lasts.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Adventures in Eating

Setting: backyard patio, sitting at the table for dinner

Time: 7:00 pm

Characters: Kiddo, a 2 1/2 year old boy and his mother

Plot Synopsis: the mother is trying to feed her son a hamburger and fries.



Kiddo: More fries, Mommy?

Mommy: Eat some hamburger, and then you can have more fries.

Kiddo: More fries!

Mommy: No, first you need to eat your hamburger. You need some protein!

Kiddo: (pointing at cut-up pieces of hamburger) Protein?

Mommy: Yes, your hamburger is made of protein.

Kiddo: (still pointing at cut-up pieces of hamburger) Protein, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen...

Mommy: (falls off the chair laughing, then runs off-stage into the living room and tells her husband all about it. The two share a laugh. Mommy returns to the patio.) Are you going to eat your hamburger?

Kiddo: All done! (Kiddo gets down from his chair, takes the hamburger bun inside and drops crumbs all over the newly-swept kitchen floor.)


End scene

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My House is Haunted

But not really. I just get startled sometimes. Here's why.

Our computer is in the back bedroom of our house. There is a mirror on the wall directly opposite the door. Across the hallway from the bedroom door is the door to the bathroom. The light from the bedroom hits the mirror, which goes out into the hallway, and reflects off the bathroom door.

The bathroom door is in my peripheral vision when I am sitting at the computer. If my head is turned at just the right angle, I see this mysterious light in the hallway which sometimes appears to move.

Then I look up, startled, and realize it's just the light bouncing off the mirror into the hallway.

Then I laugh at myself for being ridiculous.

There is no ghost in my house.

There IS, however, a leprechaun who lives on the top of my refrigerator, where I keep the bread, and throws the loaves of bread down at me when I open the fridge door. This leprechaun has followed me to four different houses now. A bread-throwing leprechaun. Yes.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

In Which I Become Sentimental



You are my joy. You are what makes my smile appear. You bring giggles and happiness into my very soul. I fear that my heart may one day burst with the love that fills it up with every beat. I love you with a love that is fierce, a love so powerful it defies even the strongest enemy to lift a finger against you. A pounding, wrenching ache fills my being when I am away from you. What greater pleasure and purpose could exist in this world than to be the mother of YOU, you precious, priceless, miracle? No greater accomplishment can dare to be perceived than that which results in watching and contributing to your growth and your life.

I am in love. I am besotted. I've got it bad.

Just let me have one more day to be your everything, as you will always be everything to me.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

No singing, Mommy!

I've told you once or twice that I am in a rock band.

I sing in this rock band, and occasionally play the keyboard.

I love singing. I sing every chance I get. In the shower, making breakfast, (no I don't make breakfast while in the shower. Pay attention to the commas!) in the car, everywhere.

Even while listening to Kiddo's music. He loves a particular Veggie Tales CD that I keep in the car just for him. He calls it "Bob and Larry Songs." He asks for "Bob and Larry Songs" every time we get in the car.

(I'm sick and tired of these Bob and Larry songs now. I think I need to go find some more kid-friendly music.)

Anyhoo. I was singing along with Bob and Larry, and so was Kiddo.

Then, in between a verse and a chorus of "Who Built The Ark?" I heard a tiny voice from the backseat.

"No singing, Mommy."

Friday, February 27, 2009

Feeling Sad

I am fortunate. I have a job that allows me to be flexible and spend several hours a day with my son. He's not at daycare all stinkin' day long, only to come home, eat supper, take a bath, and go to bed. My workday is over around 3:00pm.

But still, I hate being away from my son. HATE IT. My heart breaks a little bit every morning when I leave the house before he's even awake. By the time I pick him up and get home, I'm exhausted from working a full 8-hour day, so I don't feel like he's getting the best attention from me. All too often the TV goes on, just because I need to sit down and put my feet up. (I'm a teacher- on my feet most of the time.) He wants to play and run around, but I simply can't do it. Not immediately after getting home.

I hope this will only be for a little while. I'm a mommy and I belong with my son.

I try to be grateful. This job is truly a blessing for my family. But it also stinks.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thinking About Verbs

I'm thinking about verbs today.

I'm wondering why some verbs are used the way they are.

For example, the verb "take."

Why do we say, "I'm going to take a nap?" It's not like I am going to physically lift up a nap and remove it from it's current location and proceed to relocate it to another place. The same with "take a bath." Uh-oh, watch out, stand guard over your tub, because someone is going to TAKE A BATH!!!

Now the phrase "take a meal" makes sense to me. Particularly if you are actually, physically, taking a meal to someone who is sick or has just had a baby or something. Also the phrase "take a time out" because you are taking TIME away from another task. That's perfectly OK.

Yes. These are the sorts of things I think about during the day. Particularly while I am taking a dump.

ROFL!!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Blog Post In The Making

Good afternoon!

I am looking forward to when Kiddo wakes up from his nap. We have a very important errand to run in preparation of friends over for dinner this evening.

I have to go to the store and buy beer.

We don't need anything else. We did our weekly grocery shopping the other day. I called Hubby to ask if there was anything we needed for tonight's dinner, he mentioned a few things that we needed but said he would stop at the store on the way home and get them.

Except for one, because they need to go in the fridge and get cold.

That's right. Beer.

So I'm going to walk into the grocery store in the afternoon with a toddler, and all I'm going to buy is beer.

I eagerly anticipate the strange looks I am sure I will be receiving from other Grocery Store Patrons and Grocery Store Employees.

How can I make this even better?

Oh, I'll also buy a lottery ticket.

*giggle*

Monday, February 23, 2009

Adventures in Toddlerhood

Last night at 11 pm, Kiddo came out of his room with a distressed look on his face and a strange white substance all over his hair and clothes.

He urgently cried out, "On the floor! On the floor!"

I went into his room, and very eloquently proclaimed, "Oh, s***." Hubby came in after me. This is what we saw. (If you can hang on to the end, it's VERY sweet! Just under 2 minutes.)


video

In other news, I have been taking Kiddo to a local attraction called "Butterfly World." The place is incredible. Supposedly one of the largest (if not THE largest) butterfly sanctuaries in the country. It's kinda pricey if you only go once, but I purchased an annual pass. (Once you go twice, it has paid for itself. It's been two weeks and I've gone twice. How's that for a bargain?) Anyhoo. Kiddo likes to go in and chase the butterflies, climb up onto the benches, and run across the bridges and go up and down the steps that lead through the garden. He also loves exploring the bug museum. His favorite part however, is the snack bar at the end where he can get a popsicle. (And Mommy can get an iced coffee!) They also sell butterfly plants and seed packets so people can start their own butterfly gardens. I've purchased several seed packets and I've set up a mini-greenhouse in my laundry room which has a very sunny window. I'm hoping in about 3 months or so, I'll have some nice-sized plants to set out in the garden just as our rainy season begins. (Our area is on water restrictions, so I'd rather wait for our daily rains to help the new plants become established. Otherwise I'm limited to twice a week waterings, and new plants need more than that.)

Here is a photo of Kiddo enjoying the "furniture" at Butterfly World. (This photo was taken in the aviary, where there are several species of hummingbirds that flit around like crazy!)



Isn't he just the cutest thing?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Troubled in mind

Thinking about something which could have significant impacts on my family.

This thing would benefit my family greatly, but could possibly hurt a friendship.

You see, the house we are living in right now we are renting. We have a lease/purchase option, and we are scheduled to buy the house next summer. We have already agreed to a price with the landlord- who happens to be a friend of the family. Thus the problem. We have just found out that our city is offering an incentive for people to buy homes in foreclosure. The house across the street from us, with one more bedroom and is waterfront property, is in foreclosure. The city will give you 40% with the promise to stay in the house 5 years. With the city incentive, that effectively means that the house across the street from us would cost us half of what "our" house will cost us.

If we hadn't been friends with the landlord, there would be no trouble. We would just say we had found a better situation and be done with it.

But we ARE friends with the landlord. He really did us a favor by renting us the house, when he could have sold it for a much higher price last year.

What to do?? Continue renting and then buy the house next year, or break our lease with our friend, buy a house NOW and have a mortgage that will be half of what it would be otherwise??!!

Please pray for clarity of mind and wisdom in decision-making.

Thank you.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New Header

Is anyone having trouble with this page loading now that I've put a photo in the header? Please let me know if it looks all wonky.

The photo is of a hibiscus that I am growing in my backyard. I plan to let it get a little bigger in the pot, and then later this spring I will put it in the ground in the butterfly garden I am planning.

That is all.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Have a heart, Mom!

My Valentine's Day has been pretty lousy. Sick child, hubby out of town, numerous instances of toddler bodily fluids spilling all over the place.

So I won't talk about it. Instead, I'll share a humorous anecdote with you.

Kiddo's new favorite snack is Chex Mix in cheddar cheese flavor. (Since some of my readers are international and I don't know if Chex Mix is in your countries, it is a mixture of a breakfast cereal, pretzels, and crackers.) Kiddo and I were sharing a small bowl of Chex Mix.

He found a pretzel. To his little toddler-eyes, it looked like a heart. And he wanted to share his snack with me.

He handed me a pretzel and said, "Mommy, have a heart!"

Awwww.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Michelle Obama ROCKS!

This morning I was watching a TIVO'd episode of Rachael Ray from last week. One of her guests was the man who has been Michelle Obama's hairstylist since she was 18 years old!! Here is what I love about Michelle.

Rather than waste our country's money on flying this gentleman into Washington DC to do her hair, he is going to be training local hairstylists to do Mrs. Obama's styles. I like that! While I'm sure the cost of flying him back and forth really wouldn't be a great deal for the President, I admire the fact that the Obama family recognizes that using resources wastefully is setting a bad example for the rest of the country. I know there was a big outrage regarding the amount of money spent on the inauguration celebrations, but I am still heartened by this.

I'm not sure I would be so strong if I were Michelle. The same hairstylist since 18?? He did her hair for her wedding. And now to be without him during her term as First Lady?

Mrs. Obama, I salute you.

You can see the video of the segment here.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Everyday Moments

video

This is just a short little snippet of my little boy playing in our backyard with his bestest friend. This is the corner of my yard which is irresistible to two-year old boys.

There is nothing extraordinary, stupendous, or even highly entertaining about it. It's just the sort of moment that gives a mommy's heart pure joy, but it's also the sort of moment that would most likely fade in my memory. So, unwilling to let a piece of my joy fall by the wayside, I recorded it, that I might forever be able to remember my little boy the way he is today. Happy, silly, giggling, and filled with puppy-dog tails.
I was just playing with our new digital camera (we recently replaced our older Kodak EasyShare, as it was dropped a few times and the lens had gone crooked. Plus, Circuit City is going out of business, so we scored an Olympus FE-370, 8-megapixel point-and-shoot for a VERY good deal. Anyhoo. I was just shooting pictures around the house last night for kicks. Hubby was cooking dinner (chicken alfredo pasta!) and the look of the light on the two pots intrigued me. I am very pleased with how well this camera took the picture!

Aweigh! Week 2

Surprisingly, I've had a successful week. I say "surprisingly" because I've been sick all week and only managed to work out once, but I still managed to lose 1.5 pounds. Yippee!!!! (Probably because I've had a pitiful appetite. Not eating will also do the trick.)

But anyway. There ya go. Yay me!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I Hope It's Not Too Late

I have only recently found out about the new law which is to go into effect on February 10th. It is called H.R. 4040, regarding the mandatory testing of children's items for lead and other chemicals. In theory, it is a great idea, but could potentially be devastating to the many people who make and sell handmade children's items. I don't personally make/sell anything like that, but I certainly enjoy purchasing a nice handmade item. Many people are urging us all to write to our Congressman. I have just done so. Here is a copy of the letter I have written: (the only difference is in the letter to him, I used my real name. And his. lol!)

Mr. Congressman,

Good morning. My name is Guinevere Meadow. I am writing in regards to H.R. 4040. I only recently became aware of this new law, and it may be too late for my opinion to do anything one way or the other, but I wanted to express my unhappiness with this law. While I understand and support the idea that we need higher standards to ensure the safety of children's products, I think this law is extreme and is going to hurt many people. For example, a good friend of mine sews cloth diapers, baby slings, and clothing items which she sells to supplement her family's income. I just placed an order online from another stay-at-home mom for a homemade knitted hat to give to a friend for a baby gift. In a matter of a few days, neither of these two women will be able to continue making and selling children's items. It hurts them, and it hurts people like me, who like to use handmade items when possible, but do not possess the skills necessary to produce my own. If I am going to spend money on something for a child, I would rather see that money go into the hands of another young mother like myself than into the pockets of multinational corporations who outsource work, taking away jobs from Americans, just because they can afford to have their products tested. I would like to see this law changed, to protect people like my friend who produce and sell handmade children's items. Is there way to re-word the law, specifying the number of items a company or person must produce, in order to require the testing? If an item is in MASS production, then yes, I think it should be tested. Not, however, a handmade cloth diaper or baby blanket. While I appreciate the dangers of lead poisoning that has occurred in some products, I really don't think that my child is in danger from a hand-knitted hat and scarf, or a wooden playhouse built by a retired grandfather. Please don't punish ALL makers of children's items for the mistakes of a few. Please trust the American people to make wise choices regarding the purchases they make for their children. I do sincerely hope that something can be done that will BOTH protect our children from truly dangerous products, but will also allow people like my friend to make and sell children's items.

Thank you very much for your time.

Sincerely,

Guinevere Meadow



If you haven't already, try and dig up the e-mail address of your Congressman. They want to hear from us. We are the ones who elect them; how can they know what is important to us if we don't speak up???

Monday, February 2, 2009

Happy Thoughts

After yesterday's rant, (which I have now deleted because it could possibly get me into trouble at work) I thought it was high time I put some happy thoughts up here.

Kiddo is growing and changing so much, I can hardly believe it! A few days ago, he started singing "Jesus Loves Me" without any prompting from us, and it was the sweetest, most beautiful thing I ever heard. He also sings along with his lullabye every evening, and it just melts my heart. He also puts his teddy bear to bed! He has fallen in love with a little teddy bear that was mine when I was a little girl. I named this bear "Radar" after Big Bird's teddy bear on Sesame Street, because I just adored Sesame Street as a little girl. Well, he has taken to this bear and now he calls it "Radar" too. I just put him down for his nap. As I covered him with his blanket, he pulled another blanket on top of "Radar," patted Radar's back, and said, "Night, night, Radar. Sweet dreams!"

We seem to have moved into yet the next stage of bedtime drama. Now that he is in a big-boy bed, he has learned that he has free reign of the house during the night. On more than once occasion, I've woken up hearing a door slam and discovering the living room light on. He'll tiptoe across the house, turn on the light, make his way to our room, see that we're asleep, close our bedroom door, and then go back to his room! There was one time that I didn't hear him, I just woke up in the morning and my room was shut and the living room light on, and he was there, fast asleep in his room. Last night, however, he kept coming into our room before we had gone to sleep. We had to take him back to his room 4 times. For our family, we have chosen not to practice co-sleeping, so we don't want him to come into our bed and fall asleep. As tempting as it was to just scoop him up and let him fall asleep with us, we know that it would only result in our having to break the habit later on. It is sweet that he wants to be with us, though. I keep telling myself it will only be a matter of time before he will be all grown up, and I'll be wondering where he is at night, worrying that he has gotten into trouble with some obnoxious kids. So for now, I'm quite happy to continue returning my devoted little son to his own room at night, assured with the knowledge that my little boy loves me to pieces.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Aweigh, Matey!

All righty. I'm participating in Cool Zebra's weight loss challenge which she has very cleverly named "Aweigh!" I'll be checking in once a week with my progress towards becoming a healthier me.

Personally, I can't stand it when a blogger starts blogging about nothing but their weight loss, so I'll keep it to a minimum over here.

Starting weight: not quite sure what to put here! My last "known" weight was 157, but I had been using my Wii Fit to weigh myself. Then our Wii went all screwy and we had to send it back to Nintendo to get the hard drive replaced. It just arrived back last night, so hopefully we can hook everything back up. This morning though, at Kiddo's doctor appointment, he refused to stand on the scale alone so they first weighed me while I was holding him, and then they weighed me by myself. According to THEIR scale, I'm 155, which is two pounds lower than what the Wii says I am, plus I was wearing heavy shoes and had just had a cup of coffee. (And I discovered that if you weigh yourself shortly after consuming a beverage, you WILL be a pound or two heavier. Depending on if you drink a "tall" or a "venti" coffee!!)

So anyhoo. I'll wait until I get on the Wii Fit scale again to post a starting weight so things will be accurate. I will tell you that I am currently wearing a size 12, and I would dearly love to be back to a size 6 like I was my first year in college.

My goals for this weight loss challenge: exercise more frequently and eat healthier foods. I'm gonna keep it simple this time.

Wish me luck! If you'd like to join in, hop on over to Cool Zebras. We'd love to have you!

Monday, January 19, 2009

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Here are some photos I've taken over the last couple of days. Most of you probably don't know, but I used to keep a photo blog. Photography has been a hobby of mine for several years. Since Kiddo has been born, I haven't been able to put the time into it that I used to. However, I've now realized that he makes a GREAT subject for some of my "serious" photography. Enjoy!


Here we have Kiddo enjoying his first box of "big kid" crayons. I just thought it was a little ironic to put a photograph of crayons into black and white. I'm weird like that.


And you see, I saved one and kept it in color!


We have a local nature area called "Tall Cypress Natural Area." Kiddo loves to go out there and run up and down the boardwalk. I like it for all the great photo ops.


Managed to catch a pensive moment. I'm not sure how I feel about this photo, because he really doesn't look like himself in it. But I like the expression in the eyes. I think I might go back and re-edit it. I made it a little too grainy. A softer look would be better. Thoughts?



These are called "Beautyberries." I had to keep Kiddo from picking them and eating them. I don't know if they're poisonous for humans, but I *do* know that all wildlife is protected in this nature area.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

When the dog bites, when the bee stings...

I got a bee sting yesterday.

Bringing the trash cans back up to the side of the house.

Where, evidently, a nest of bees has taken up residence.

I did everything you're NOT supposed to do around bees.

I screamed. I jumped. I flailed my arms wildly. I ran like heck.

One particularly enterprising bee found my elbow and stung it. Hard. It throbbed for hours afterwards. Thankfully, I'm not allergic to bee stings, so I only had to deal with a little discomfort for awhile.

I really hope none of my neighbors saw me and got it on videotape, because if they did, they will win $10,000 from America's Funniest Home Videos.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Multitask? Not so much.

Kiddo's in bed. Hubby's away for the weekend, so I have the house to myself. I decide to tidy up a little bit. I wander into the kitchen and decide to wash some dishes, since there are only a few there. Before I can wash the dishes, I need to empty the drying rack which is overflowing with dishes I washed earlier in the day. I put away a couple of pots, some silverware, and mostly plastic food storage containers. I stand up from bending over the cabinets when my eye falls on the laundry room. I remember that I have a load of towels and sheets in the washer which needs to go in the dryer. So I go in there and do that. I briefly consider putting another load in the washer, but decide against it since it would most likely sit in the machine all night and then I'd have to run it again, anyway. I leave the laundry room. As I cross through the living room to make my way back to the kitchen to finish the dishes, I catch sight of the counter which really needs to be cleared. There is food to be put away, fast-food containers from tonight's dinner of chicken nuggets and fries to be thrown out, and I really need to consolidate my stuff from two purses into the one that I know I will be using tomorrow. So I start to clean out my purse. While doing so, I find tickets to a local attraction stuck to the bottom of my purse. There's a raisin stuck to one of the tickets. Ew. I throw away the old receipts from the purse, pry the raisin off of the ticket, and transfer necessary items like wallet, keys, pen, and my ID badge for school into the other purse. Tickets in hand, I make my way back to my bedroom to put the tickets in my jewelry box, which is the standard place for me to store things like tickets. While I'm in my room, I pick up the clothes hanger that is on the floor from when Kiddo was playing in the closet earlier. I walk out of my room, and back to the kitchen. I wash the skillet I used to make my omelet this morning. As I stand there washing the skillet, I realize that I have taken a tour of my entire house in my efforts simply to wash some dishes. It then occurs to me that it would make a great blog post, so I put the one skillet into the now-empty drying rack, ignore the rest of the dishes, and come back to my computer so I can tell you all that I cannot focus on a single task, let alone try to multitask. It just ain't me.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Well-Intentioned Sandwich

Dear Guinevere,

I had the best of intentions. Really, I did. I know you have been trying to eat healthy foods, so I presented myself to you in the form of a Really Good Idea. It's not my fault that the apple was mushy. It's not my fault that you had the heat on the stove too high, so that the butter outside of me singed before the cheese inside got to that glorious state of ooziness which you love.

How could I have known pure maple syrup cooks faster than butter? If I had, I would have told you to turn the heat to a lower setting, so you would have been able to enjoy both the glorious oozy cheddar cheese AND the crispy crunch of the butter and syrup mixture you spread on the outside of me. Instead, you got singed syrupy-butter and lukewarm, indifferent cheese. And mushy apple slices in between.

We've been together before and things turned out fine. Don't give up on me, Guinny, please!

Love,

Your Sandwich, Grilled Cheese with apple slices on multigrain bread spread with a mixture of butter and pure maple syrup.

(at least the salad you ate alongside me was tasty!)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Experimenting

My apologies for my sarcasm in my previous post. I said much of the same things to the nice gentleman who was taking my fingerprints this morning, and he reminded me about Jessica Lunsford. Ouch. Sorry. Point taken.

Anyway, onto better, brighter, happier things. This evening I am trying a new recipe from Rachael Ray's newest cookbook. (I Heart Rachael Ray. Yes, she uses cutesy phrases and annoys the heck out of a lot of people, but if it wasn't for her, my poor hubby would still be eating canned Spaghettios for dinner every night.) Actually, I'm trying a combination of her recipes, as I realized that I purchased the wrong cut of meat for the recipe I wanted to try. I'm sure someone who knew a thing or two about cooking could make it work, but since I'm a dope in the kitchen, I have to try something else. Fortunately, also in her new cookbook is a recipe for precisely the cut of meat I purchased! So, I am using that meat recipe with the side dish recipe in the original recipe I wanted.

Are you with me?

If you have Rachael Ray's new cookbook, The Big Orange Book, turn with me to page 88. Three recipes for a complete meal of porkchops, sauteed veggies, and a yummy potato side dish. Then, flip back to page 262. Roasted Loin of Pork with Apples. Since I mistakenly purchased a whole gigantic pork roast rather than chops, I am going to prepare the meat according to the 2nd recipe and serve it with the side dishes from page 88. It's going to be yummy.

This is the first new recipe I've tried in a while. The economy being what it is, we've been sticking to very simple fare around here. Spaghetti with meat sauce. Baked chicken and potatos. The occasional frozen pizza. However, Hubby bought me this nice new cookbook for Christmas. The other night, I asked him, "Why do you buy me cookbooks if you don't me to use them?" He acquiesced.

So tonight, I am dusting off my apron, sharpening my big ol' chopping knife, and I'm gonna have me some fun in the kitchen.

On My Way

I am well on my way to becoming a productive member of society.

Scratch that. I HATE that term. It implies that the only productive people are those who are employed outside the home. That the only useful people are the ones who devote hours to someone else's agenda. (Although, it could be said that raising a child is devoting hours to someone else's agenda...lol!) It implies that men and women like myself, and like many of you, who so far have chosen to stay home to raise their children are unproductive. Anyone who has ever stayed at home with a child knows that such work is INCREDIBLY productive and rewarding. So let me rephrase myself.

I am well on my to becoming a taxpaying member of society.

That somehow doesn't sound so glamorous.

Anyhoo. Today I am having my fingerprints taken again for my new job. In the last 3 years I have been fingerprinted so many times it's crazy. While I admire the education and childcare industry for taking such scrupulous care to ensure that all workers have clean records, this is getting a little ridiculous. Surely, somewhere, my fingerprints are in a file. Can't they just dig 'em out and run a check again, rather than make me pay another exorbitant fee and drive 45 minutes away to some hole-in-the-wall post office again??!!

Ah, that's it. The exorbitant fee.

They want more money out of me. Of course.

On the bright side, once my fingerprints clear I will be able to begin work at a local Christian school. I got hired on as a substitute teacher. I was hoping for a full-time position, but it can be hard to come by teaching jobs in the middle of the year unless you catch someone going out on maternity leave. As it stands, there are way more of us who just graduated than there are pregnant teachers this month! So I'm happy to have a job at all, and it could certainly lead to a full-time position if someone DOES go out on maternity leave before the school year is over, or if someone decides to leave for next school year.

It's time to go be fingerprinted. Again. See ya later!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Dirt, You Suck!

You know you're all grown up when a new vacuum cleaner gets you more excited than your kids were on Christmas morning when they got their Wii.

I have been without a vacuum cleaner for a really long time. An infinity, if you will. It could be measured in eons, in fact. OK, I exaggerate- but it *has* been over a month since I have been able to vacuum my house. Our vacuum cleaner is perfectly good- we just needed to replace the roller. Trouble is, none of the stores around here that sell vacuum cleaners sell replacement parts. So while I was hemming and hawing for my husband to get around to finding the new part, over a month went by.

So like a very bad mother, I used my son's Wal-Mart gift card to purchase a new vacuum. My grandmother sent gift cards both for his birthday and for Christmas, which totaled $75. We used half of it on him for a basketball hoop, and the other half to purchase a new machine. We didn't really want to buy a new cleaner, because like I said the vacuum itself is fine, it just needs one stinkin' part, but Mamas, a Mama's got to do what a Mama's got to do. I could tell there was no way I was going to have a working vacuum cleaner in any reasonable amount of time. So I put my foot down and stole my kid's gift card made use of the resources I had at hand.

And a good thing, too. I just vacuumed my entire house. During the process, I had to empty the dirt container three times. Behold:

Ick.

What do you think, Moms? Am I awful in using my son's gift card to purchase something for the household? I prefer to think that I used the gift card to give him the gift of a clean house...especially now that he likes to sleep on the floor rather than in his bed. Yes, you read that correctly. We took the side off of the crib so he could have a big-boy bed, but he prefers the floor. Hubby made a little bed on the floor out of a pile of blankets. It looks much like a dog bed. But that's what he wants! At least I don't have to worry about him falling off the bed!


Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Quiet Day

Today is the first day in over two months that I have just stayed at home with my family. Since Thanksgiving, my mother-in-law was with us, visiting from South Africa. She is a very sweet woman and we got along fantastically, but I think you all will agree that it can be exhausting to have a houseguest for such a long time. She went back home on Sunday. I had a couple of days to be a hermit and hang around the house, but my husband had not yet had a chance to do so.

I feel a little guilty, because we had made plans with friends to go to the zoo today, since everyone was off work. But this morning was rough. Hubby and I were snapping at each other, we had to wake up Kiddo before he was ready, and you could just cut the tension with a knife. Hubby realized that we had not spent a day together just as a family for over two months. Every single day we have had an obligation. We never have a full weekend to enjoy, because we attend a church service on Saturday night, and then we meet with a small group on Sunday evenings to do a Bible study together. Those things are fantastic, but it makes for a very full week with little downtime.

So being the bad friends that we are, we called our pals ten minutes before we were supposed to meet them and canceled. I felt truly awful about that, but it was clear that we need to devote some time to our marriage. Hubby and I were both reduced to tears this morning, and we agreed that in 2009, we are going to make more time for each other.

I truly apologize to our friends. You could help slept later this morning if we had simply declined the invitation in the first place. We will make it up to you soon!

However, this day has been good for all of us. We played with Kiddo this morning. We made a trip to Best Buy to get some computer games to send to Kiddo's cousins in South Africa, and we stopped in at Wal-Mart to get a basketball hoop for Kiddo with the gift card my grandmother sent. This particular Wal-Mart didn't have what we were looking for, but there's another one in town that we know to be stocked with what we're looking for.

Everyone is taking a nap right now. I rested for awhile and read a few more chapters in my book, then decided to catch up on some blogigng while Hubby and Kiddo sleep. Then it's back to the Wal-Mart to buy Kiddo's basketball hoop, and then we're going to set up my camera and tripod and take some nice family portraits.

Tonight we're going to rent a movie and order pizza.

I wish days like this came around more often!