Wednesday, June 30, 2010

how i spent my summer vacation. the final installment

day 3. remember how i said that the final day couldn't get worse? uh huh. and i promised i would eat my words. because i am really hungry. OBVIOUSLY.

we wake up, and after sleeping on cots AND a thermarest, i actually got a wonderful nights sleep. i woke up to the birds chirping and slept in until 8:30!! that never happens. i never get to sleep in at home, so the fact that i got to sleep in and then get up and drink coffee while the baby continued to sleep, meant that this was going to be the best day ever.

we decided to pack up before it got hot so that we could sit around and relax afterwards. we start folding chairs, and tarps, when the ants start biting. i got 6 on one foot, 4 on the other, 4 on my chest, and on my tush. fire ants in georgia are, in a word, ruthless (monday night, my foot was swollen so much, that i couldn't bend my ankle).

by the time we're packed, it's about 10:30 and we just decide it's time to go. we enjoyed our trip, but i think we were all ready to get outta dodge and get to our a/c and showers we didn't have to wear shoes in to, especially since now i can't put my shoes on.

last time joel and i camped on this lake, we wandered into augusta and found a shane's bbq. this was our plan today, too. after packing the cars, we would head into town for lunch before making our way back home. we were the last to leave and rather than take more time taking a shower, joel decided to go jump in the lake to cool off. he came back, toweled off outside of the car and then got in.

we get all the way to shane's's where it gets dicey. we pull into the parking lot, and start looking for joel's shirt and wallet. our car is, like, a mess, so it's frustrating trying to find anything in there, but he KNOWS for a fact that his wallet and shirt were on his seat when he got in the car.

yes, they were in his seat when he grabbed his towel. he opened the door, then put his wallet in his shirt. then put his shirt on the roof. then toweled off. then.......crap.................

remember when joel put the camera on top of the car? and i drove around for 40 minutes with it up there, wondering where the camera went? and then i found it wedged in between the roof and the roof rack? well, this isn't like that time. this time, the shirt and the wallet were NOT stuck between the roof and the roof rack. or anywhere else in or on our car, for that matter.

we turned around and flew back towards the site in silence. i knew the minute either of us started talking, it wasn't going to be pretty. we get back to the campground and both get out and scour the site. when we don't find it there, we drive slowly down the road sweeping back and forth, hoping to see a dirt colored shirt, or a more dirt colored wallet. about halfway down the small road leading to the campground, i see his shirt in the grass!! i pull over and joel leaps out of the car. he pops back up in the window a few seconds later, showing me the shirt, holding it up by the shoulders. now, i could care less about this stupid shirt, which is why the grin on his face makes me want to slap him. there is no wallet. just his ugly, brown t-shirt. so he climbs back in and we keep going.

at this point, i assume the wallet has been picked up, and someone is having a good time at the corner store buying $4 fuzzy navels. but we keep looking anyway.

about 1/2 a mile down the road, i think i see it and slam on the brakes and swerve off the road. joel gets out again, sprinting down the road. i watch in the rear view mirror as he bends over, picks the thing up, and then hangs his head and drops his shoulders. all i can think is that it's NOT actually his wallet.

he turns around and holds it up and informs me that it IS, in fact, his wallet, but there are no cards in it. we walk up and down the street, assuming someone took the cards and threw the empty wallet out the window.

but then, from the side of the road, we see the stack of cards, splayed out through the grass.

we gather up the cards, and get back in the car.

surprisingly, on the way home, we talked about how much fun the weekend was. yes, despite the rain, the wind, ant bites, more rain and lost wallet, we actually had a really good time. on the way home, we "debriefed" about how we could make the next trip better. um, how about we check the weather, spray for bugs and not put valuable things on the roof? or, better idea, how bout we go to a holiday inn. yeah. that sounds good to me.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

how i spent my summer vacation. part 2.

our first day of camping ended with all of us and all of our things being soaked. we all went to bed around 1 am, to the sounds of rain pelting the tent.

because the baby's pack n play got soaked as well, she ended up sleeping on a mat on the floor. with me. which means i got about one solid hour of sleep. because at 2:30, she started crawling around the tent. and didn't go back to sleep until 4. when my bladder decided it needed to be relieved. then, our dog puked in the tent. and then got OUT of the tent and disappeared. so i finally went to sleep at about 5:30am. when the sun came up.

and boy did it. saturday was a BEAUTIFUL day. we got up and started dragging all of our stuff out into the sunshine. we got in the kayaks and canoes, blew up all the floats, and got to relaxing. it looked like this day may actually shape up to be pretty nice.

at about 3, we decided to head into augusta, so joel could turn in one of his papers, which he would need the internet for. and guess what? starbucks just started offering free wi-fi. yep. that's our excuse. it definitely wasn't because we packed instant coffee that joel brought back from haiti that tasted like dirt. or that starbucks is notoriously cold. or the plethora of yummy goodness that comes out of there magic blender. it was because he needed to submit a paper. and only starbucks could help us out with this task.

we start to head back after our short (3 hour) excursion to "submit joel's paper", and we see the clouds start to get dark. right over where our campground is. oh heck. here we go again.

we pull up just in time for the wind to start. this time, we got smart. we brought all the chairs into a tent, lined the fronts of the tents with coolers and bricks (where the crap were those bricks yesterday!?), and rolled all the stuff we wanted to keep dry into the middle of the tents. we took everything down that could blow away, and then we climbed into the tents and sealed them up tight.

and the rain came.

fortunately this time, it let up after about an hour, and stopped completely after another 30 minutes or so. the boys were able to actually start a fire, and we busted all the food back out.

while our tent held up like a champ, and stayed relatively dry, my dad's tent on the other hand, didn't make it out so well. all that stuff we spent the entire day drying? soaked again. sleeping bags, sheets, clothes. even their cots had puddles on them.

note to self: if a company specializes in tents, they probably make a pretty good one. if they specialize in, oh, say......jeeps, well, their camping stuff is probably alright. in ideal conditions. monsoon rains and high winds? not ideal. you get what i'm trying to say? moving on.

dad decided that the holiday inn was more his camping style and they hightailed it out of there after our hot dog and baked beans dinner. which worked in my favor. i am not above sleeping on a wet cot.

after a good nights sleep, and somewhat dryer conditions, the final day has GOT to be better. really it can NOT get worse.

stay tuned as i eat. my. words.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

momma's munchies!

it's monday again, so you know what that means. time to go to the grocery store. not my most favorite thing. but that means i get to eat. which IS my favorite thing.

in the spirit of the season (that being summer) and the upcoming holiday (that being independence day) i thought i'd share a little grill loveliness. plus it's the theme for momma's munchies over at waking up williams.

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so here is a yummy burger recipe that i like to claim is from joel's repertoire. but really it's on the back of a bag of sargento cheese.

Zesty Chipotle Cheddar Burgers



Combine ground beef, 1 cup salsa, 1/2 cup green onions, 1/2 cup tortilla chips, garlic salt and chili powder in large bowl. Shape beef mixture into 8 patties, 4 inches in diameter and 1/2-inch thick. Preheat grill or broiler.

Grill patties, 5 minutes each side or until no longer pink in center (see below). Grill or lightly toast hamburger buns. Top patties with 1 slice cheese before removing from grill or broiler; let melt.

Place patties on buns. Top with remaining salsa, tortilla chips and green onions.

that's it! wonderful yumminess on the grill. seriously, these are some of the best burgers ever. hope you enjoy!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

how i spent my summer vacation. part 1.

i know i said my life wasn't that interesting. and i really meant it. i wake up, have coffee and breakfast (usually greek pomegranate yogurt with granola on top) , play with the baby, do some chores (maybe), eat lunch, play, eat get it. i play and eat. it's rough. i promise.

but it seems that i catch up on the weekend. this weekend, we went camping. we packed the car to the gills, strapped on the canoe and kayaks, and hit the road for some old fashioned summer fun.

once we got to out site, we realized how incredibly awesome it was!

THAT is where our site was. uhhh huh. we had our own little peninsula. beach all around, water all around. red ants all around. wait. i'm getting ahead of myself.......

day 1-set up camp. hit the water.

we set the kids up with a ride, and they get to it. for the next few hours, we paddled and swam and generally just relaxed. because that's what you DO on a camping trip.

even the dogs got in on the fun. poor duke didn't want to get left, so he was hauling butt to get out there. good thing he had a life jacket.

this day could NOT get better.

which would prove to be a true statement.

in the words of jo dee messina......

bring. on. the. rain.

it rained. and it rained. and it rained some more. before i get too much further, let me interject with a little nugget of wisdom. setting up a shelter DURING a thunderstorm? not an easy task. when camping, one should set this up BEFORE the rain comes. setting up a shelter in the rain is NOT, i repeat, NOT relaxing. or awesome.

but taking pictures of other people setting up a shelter is a ton of fun.

so, it's 6:30 pm. we're out on the water, lighting is striking. the words "should we go in?" get brought up. we meander back and about the time we get all the boats on shore, the wind starts and one of our tents blow completely on its side, and the others are practically horizontal. so we all start running around, trying to secure anything and everything that isn't already nailed down.

for some reason, maybe because we thought the storm would pass quickly, no one thought to put things in the tents, or cover things up. so when the rain started, it should be no surprise that everything got soaked. all the chairs, benches, food.

the forecast was 95 with a 30% chance of rain. 30%!!! this was not "30%, scattered showers" rain. this was torrential downpour, monsoon rain! (ok, i am exaggerating. a little) and it continued to rain for the next 6 hours.

most people would be discouraged by this. not us.

stay tuned for part 2. because, this HAS to be the worst of it. right?

Thursday, June 24, 2010


there are no words......
(except the ones in captions. really, did you think i would TRULY not have anything to add?)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

not for the faint of heart......

y'all remember this??

that was a bad day. the culmination of all the things i hadn't thought bothered me. mostly, a hormonal overreaction about how i feel like i have lost my autonomy, waaa, waa, waaa. BUT there was something else going on. yes, not all of my problems come from a single source.

i have a hard time compartmentalizing, and when a bunch of things go wrong in different arenas in my life, i lump them all together and just kind of freak out.

what on earth am i talking about, might you ask?


if you don't know, about 4 years ago, we bought a condo in hawaii, COMPLETELY renovated it (like, floors, tub, toilet, all appliances.....everything), and lived in it for about 2 years, the market tanked, we lost a LOT of equity, and then got orders to move to georgia. so we rented it out.

that was the easy part. since then, it's been a bit of a nightmare, balancing living so far away (a 10 hour plane ride, 6 hours time difference, across the continent AND the pacific. you get it. it's far), having a new baby, and dealing with life in a new place, PLUS being LANDLORDS (what an ugly word, am i right??). in april, by some divine intervention, we decided to get a management company, to take some of the stress out of it. i call it a divine intervention because a month later, this happened.

the main line into the house backed up with sewage, and FLOODED the whole condo. with poop.

that's our hallway. joel, the craftsman that he is, mitered those corners and laid that floor himself. we actually did ALL off the work ourselves, which kind of makes this even more devastating.

this WAS our guest room. the floor swelled and bowed from all the "moisture", aka poo water.

by the way, has anyone ever tried dealing with a home owner's association? what about HOA insurance? and, by the way, did i mention the 6 hour time difference? yeah. it's been a fun month or so. fortunately, we have AMAZING insurance, and an awesome property manager, or else i really might have lost my mind.

open mouth, insert....BUG!?

my life is really not that interesting. lately, though, we have had some.....share worthy events. i don't pretend to think that everyone cares. my mom does. she cares about everything i do. she even wants to know when i vacuum my floor. and you'll see why when i share this story.

have i talked about my crippling fear of bugs? let's go there for a minute. i have a crippling fear of all things creepy and crawly. actually i kind of have a lot of silly little fears. and i am pretty sure they are all self inflicted.

let me explain.

anything with more than 4 legs, and 2 eyes is just unnatural. as is anything with less than two leg (unless it's supposed to have two legs, but by some unfortunate event, no longer does.) i don't know exactly when i concocted this theory, but i think it was around 10th grade.

living in hawaii only served to exacerbate that fear, when, after having lived there for maybe 2 months, a centipede the size of a ruler came crawling towards me. (i'm getting the creepy crawlies just THINKING about it. blaaah). one of the worst "episodes", if you will, was when i went to put the cover on the grill one night, and as i tossed it over the top, i spotted a centipede that was maybe 4 inches long and half an inch wide. i stood, LITERALLY unable to move in the yard for a couple of minutes. i started crying, because i could. not. move. i am so not kidding.

so, bugs. me. not a match made in heaven.

well, last night, my brave-to-a-fault baby decided to find a little creepy crawly and PUT. IT. IN. HER. MOUTH! right about the time joel was wrist deep in raw meat.

here's how this unfolded-

i'm cooking, joel is slicing, bella is crawling around getting into trouble. usual scene. i wash my hands, go pick her up and sit down in the rocker to cuddle a little. she smiles with that wide open mouth smile she has and curled up on her little baby tongue is BUG!! it's one of those millipede looking things. the ones that curl up and have lots of little legs. i don't know where it came from or how it got in my house, but there it is, inside her mouth.

in about 1/100th of a second all these thoughts start flooding my mind about her swallowing it, or getting bit (i don't even know if those things bite), then how it would feel in her mouth, then how terrified i am of bugs, HOW THE H AM I GOING TO GET IT OUT!?!?!

now, let me remind you that not only do i teach lifesaving, but i also greatly stress staying calm in an emergency.

but not when it's my baby. and she has a BUG IN HER MOUTH!!

so what do i do? run around screaming, of course! what any good mother would do!

bella is unphased, until i stick my finger, wrapped in a paper towel, in her mouth and try to pull it out. and it goes over to her cheek (why do babies have such small mouths anyway!?!?) then i stick my finger in there and it is on her LIP! (HER LIP!!!!) so i knock it off onto the ground. then i pull her to my chest and say, "i'm so sorry! i'm so sorry! i'm so sorry!" over and over again, until she stops crying.

dramatic? yes. have you met me or my child? we are, in fact, quite dramatic (though i am trying to rise above that, and doing it with flying colors, i might add).

most people who overcome fears talk about a catalyst moment that propelled them through their fear and they walked away from it and never looked back. was this my moment? not. even. close. because today i saw another one of those bugs (can someone please tell me where they are coming from!?), and i snatched bella off the ground, put her in her pack and play and started vacuuming.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

putting the ME in momMe

cute, ain't she?

that devilish little smile. she is a little devil, that is for sure.

8:30am, i hear her squawking over the monitor. usually i hear her rolling around a little then start crying. but not this particular morning. this particular morning, it sounds more like she's fake crying.

like "waaaa" ::looks around to see if anyone is coming to get her:: ""waaaaaaa" ::looks around again. still no one?:: "WAAAAA!!!"

but never a real cry. just like she is yelling, "hey mom! get in here and see what i just learned!"

so i go in, and see her.....doing this. and grinning ear to ear. like the little stinker she is.

i hate to admit it but, while i am overwhelmingly proud of my little munchkin, i am also terrified of her new confidence in her ability to pull herself up. and now shimmy across the furniture. this means a lot. it means she is growing up (way too fast) and it means more bumps and bruises. it means more frustrated wails when she gets "stuck" half way up on the couch. it means more baby proofing. and it means less autonomy for me.

yep. i said it. i am a selfish mommy who would like a little freedom. it's a sad fact of reality that balancing the tables between "mommy" and the person i used to be is almost a full time job in and of itself. before i got pregnant with that little lady, all i wanted was to be a mommy. i had many hats i wore-wife, daughter, friend, athlete, swimmer, teacher. but the one i wanted more than any of those (except maybe the wife-daughter-friend trifecta), was mommy. and this was compounded by the fact that i couldn't be a mommy right away, and even more so when i saw all the people around me having babies.

and i LOVE my new job. i don't even want to call it a job, because it makes me so happy, and no job is as rewarding or beautiful or magical as being a mommy has been.

but now, since bella has found this new "dangerous" activity of scaling the couch, and, her favorite, the glider ottoman, which often sends her sailing across the floor as i leap up to catch her, i find myself having fewer and fewer moments truly to myself.

honestly, there are ways to solve this problem. put her in the pack-n-play, put her in her excersaucer, but about 10 minutes in to either of those activities, she finds herself unable to go anywhere, and she starts screaming. i don't know about you, but the sound of a screaming baby kind of puts me on edge. the kid does NOT like to be confined. i don't blame her. like my husband so aptly pointed out, "you wouldn't like it if you were tied up and stuck in a fence either." he was actually referring to our old dog daisy who was an escape artist, but it is still fitting.

i am not complaining. really, i'm not. i am the first one to encourage her to keep going, and grab the next rung higher on the motor skills ladder. but i definitely think i underestimated how much that would cost me.

::insert ooey gooey mommy feeling, that makes you go awwww.....::

i wouldn't change a thing. i just have to get a little more creative.

Monday, June 21, 2010

i'm NOT a dip. i just LOVE dip's. you know, the ones you eat.

i'm joining in on a yummy little thing over at waking up williams, called momma's munchies. i am always looking for some yummy recipes to add to my repertoire.

today's theme is "dips". you all know about my OBSESSION with some hummus, right? well, i am obsessed. i buy them 3 at a time, because i usually eat the whole tub in like, one or two sittings. true story. i'm pretty ashamed of that, but whatever. it's yummy, and not entirely bad for you. so get over it.

BUT i LOVE dips. *note to self-host a dip party. where everyone brings dips. and then leaves so i can eat them all. yes. good idea.* that said, i am excited to share a dip that i LURVE and get a bunch of new recipes in return. win, win.

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so here goes. my FAVORITE olive dip (because, i love olives):

1 cup black olives (pitted)
1 cup green olives (pitted)
1 cup kalamata olives (pitted)
2 garlic cloves, peeled
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil

(easy, right, 1, 2, 3)


combine olives and garlic in a food processor. pulse to chop. add vinegar and olive oil. blend until smooth. refrigerate for one hour prior to serving (if possible).

pairs well with stacey's pita chips. or by the spoonful scooped right into your mouth.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

father's day, take 2

"wanna know how you can make a light grow out of your head,
so you can see in the dark, bella?
grow up and eat your vegetables!"

for father's day, joel got satellite radio. and spent the entire day making it look really cool in his car (a.k.a. come up out of the ash tray. ya, it looks much better than it sounds).

joel is a man's man. a gadgeter. a big thinker. he is a big boy. he loves all things science, outdoors, and sporty. he also has a slight bit of OCD, if you want my opinion.

once he starts something he HAS to finish it. like this radio. see, he is also trying to finish his masters by july, and he still has several papers to write. BUT he was so excited about this radio and making it pop up from the ash tray, that he spent the whole day trying to get it to work. at one point, he "took a break" to go to the store and get something to help him finish. then he "took a break" to clean up his area. so he could keep working.

we'll call this, stick-to-it-iveness.

and i can already see bella learning this. she has great stick-to-it-iveness. like when i put her bottle full of water down in front of her, and she spends the next 45 minutes, chasing it around the living room.

she is bound and determined to get it. just so she can try to bite it, and send it flying again. hopefully she keeps that ambition for the rest of her life. i hope that she gets these amazing traits from her daddy, and i'm sure she will. because she loves her daddy.

Friday, June 18, 2010

whistle stop

whenever we move to a new place, our favorite thing to do is travel around and explore, like we are tourists. especially when we have visitors. remember our "three hour tour"? well, when we FINALLY found a place to put in our canoe, it was in a little town called juliette. which HAPPENS to be where they filmed fried green tomatoes. so we had to go back, and having joel's mom and dad here was the perfect opportunity.

and of course, while we were there, we had to stop by the whistle stop cafe for some fried green tomatoes. i had the "bennett's bar-b-q". now, if you have ever seen the movie, you know about this famous bar-b-q. i almost didn't order it. because, you know....**spoiler alert** bennett is ruth's ex husband who gets....cooked. and served at the revival. as bar-b-q. well. it was good. and i am pretty sure that they ran out of the original flavor long ago. **spoiler over**

we ate, and walked around the sleepy town (which consists of one street). if you ever make your way through, make sure to stop at the little shop at the end of the street that carries wines from the habersham winery. and try the sweet muscadine. it's yummy.

and, stay off the railroad tracks, mmmkay?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

father's day, take 1

i have a confession. father's day leaves me dumbfounded.

first, a little history. so father's day "started" in 1910, but didn't become officially recognized until 1972. on the other hand, we officially celebrated mother's in 1910.

now don't get me wrong. mother's are pretty darn important. i mean, without mom's, well. none of us would exist. of course, without dad's none of us would exist either.

mom's seem like the obvious one's to celebrate. they labored, and delivered, and nursed, and rocked. they are usually the one's who go to sleep late and wake up early, who get up in the middle of the night. who kiss boo-boo's and pick us up when we skin our knees.

but dad's. dad's scare the monster's from under the bed. they teach us how to ride a bike, and throw a ball. and take a ball to the shin, with dignity. they show us how to be a team player, and how to sacrifice for the good of the team. for the good of the family. they teach us humility. they wrestle and play. dad's are the one's who teach us how to be kids. how to live in the moment and enjoy every bit of it.

i am so thankful that bella has such a wonderful daddy. he will most definitely teach her how to be a kid. and she will be one of the coolest kids i know, because she will have such a great example (yes, sometimes i feel as though i am a mother of 2!). he will teach her how to change the oil in her car, how to change a tire. he will teach her how being gentle can be the same thing as being strong. and he will teach her how to love and laugh.

dad's are such amazing people. i cherish my daddy and want nothing more than to make him proud. i can't wait to see how bella and joel's relationship evolves over her life. bella already adores her daddy. when he walks in the room, you can see it all over her little face.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

6 months.

bella is half a year old. HALF A YEAR! where did the time go??

THAT'S where the time went. the kid has changed so much in such a short time. now, i know, EVERY child changes a lot in the first year of life. but, you see, this is MY child. and my child is the most precious child in the world to me.

today was bella's 6 month visit, which means.....more shots. she actually did pretty well, and "told" the doctor how much of a big girl she is. she showed her all of her "tricks", sitting up, standing up, "walking", crawling. the pediatrician was impressed. (can you tell that i am a LITTLE proud of her??).

dear bella,

this month, well, this month seems like a big month for you. you are cutting teeth, you are starting to learn BIG milestones, like walking (while holding on to mommy, of course) and crawling, and EATING! food has become your new favorite thing and you are eating so many fun foods! last night you tried squash for the first time and enjoyed it so much. your new funny thing to do is blow your food on to mommy. mommy doesn't think it's funny. but it makes you laugh.

this month is fathers day, and your daddy is wrapped around your little finger. i hear him talking to you and "teaching" you life lessons, already. you are such a lucky girl to have a daddy who is fun and funny and loves you so much. he is going to teach you how to do so many awesome things!

on your 6 month (half) birthday, i want you to know that i am so proud of you. you'll hear this constantly for the rest of my life. because for as long as i live, i will always have pride in my heart for the person you are. you are the best thing i have ever had a part in creating.

my mommy always told me she was proud of me. at the time, i didn't understand why she was proud that i struck out. 3 times. or lost a game. or had a fight with a friend. she would hug me and say, i am so proud of you. and i would probably roll my eyes and say "mooooom" in that way that only a pre-pubescent girl can. and you will do this too, i am sure.

but now i understand why those things made my mom proud. for one, EVERYTHING i did, and will do, makes her proud. but now, looking at you, even when you are doing something silly, or trying to grab my computer, or chasing the dog, or biting my face (which you do a lot by the way. i'll remind you of that when you're older), i think, that's my kid, and she is so special. then i tell you to stop, but under my breath i am giggling at how smart/funny you are. this may become a problem in the future, when i am trying to discipline you for sassing back to daddy at the ripe old age of 2, but for right now, i like to think you are perfect.

things are moving fast little girl, and i wish every moment that i could stop you from growing up, and protect you from the craziness of this world. but i know i can't. i know i can't stop you from living. and i want you to see the world. i want a lot from you, but what i want most is for you to be a strong, happy, God fearing, beautiful person. and i can't wait to see what type of person you will become. i love you so much little girl. more than you will ever know.

happy 6 months, baby. now, slow down please. mommy can't keep up.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

quit playing games with my heart.

i love games. all kinds of games. sports games, mind games, card games. but mostly, i love board games. i'm pretty terrible at them, but i LOVE sitting around a table with a bunch of friends, competing over a piece of cardboard. it's just good, clean fun.

this is our game closet. yep, we have an entire closet dedicated to games. the lower shelf is full of puzzles and we have a whole cabinet full of card games.

and these are the newest additions to our collection. found them at yard sales. $5 for all 3. this is definitely my favorite way to obtain games. for cheap. and with games going for $20-$30 each? this is almost literally a steal!

while we were in hawaii, we used to get together with a WONDERFUL group of people to have "game night". this was one of my favorite things to do (other than swim, surf, tan, get the point). and i have a favorite memory to bestow upon you as well.

our game nights always turn into a "battle of the sexes". this particular night, we were playing cranium. the MOST fun game ever. it was 2 of us (ladies), against 4 of them (men). all i can remember is one of our clues for a club cranium was "the rolling stones' and as i rolled a fake stone through my legs, my partner in crime guessed it correctly, putting us, in cribbage terms, in the "double skunk" position.

now, usually, when the boys win at....anything, they puff their chests, pump their fists and strut around like they just won the FIFA world cup. but this time, THIS time, the girls STOMPED the boys. and as we jumped around, high fiving and hooting, the boys sat, arms folded across their chests, pouting.

so our victory turned in to us saying, "sorry. you guys played well. we don't have to play anymore if you don't want to". and we put the games away, and ended the night on an awkward note.

i recall this PARTICULAR game night, because it illustrates a beautiful point. it's all fun and games, until the girls stop letting the boys win.

something like that anyway.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

taking it back to the old school.

'cause i'm an old fool, who's so cool.

no?? ok. little kim, i am not. (but i wanted to be when i was in high school. true story)

but there is a reason or the "throw back" reference. i'm talking cloth. i'm talking diapers. that's right. CLOTH DIAPERS!

we've been doing them or about 6 months now, and while i don't consider myself an expert by any means, i do have an experience. and i think it's time to share it!

first, let me say this. cloth diapering is not for everyone. but, if you decide it IS for you, just know, it. is. awesome. it does take a little time, it's a little bit of an investment up front, and it can be a little strange. at first.

BUT once you get into a routine, it takes just as much time as doing your laundry. which you do anyway. and in reality, it takes less time than laundry, because, well....they're easier to fold (i've been told i'm crazy for folding them, so save even more time and don't fold them!)

there IS a little investment up front. depending on which brand you get, your needs and how many you buy, they can range anywhere from about $150-$350 for a set. but considering that 2 years worth of diapers can cost up to $3,000 (more or less depending on your baby and the brand you use, but this is about average), you would be saving much more than you would be spending. of course these numbers are relative. i am assuming you change about 5-8 diapers/day. but if you have a second child, there is no upfront cost. you have a full set of diapers ready to go.

and the strangeness wears off. pretty quickly. i mean, baby poop is baby poop. whatever it's in. the first time your little bundle has an explosive poop up their back, and you have to wipe it off of them, the crib, the sheet, the get the idea. poop is poop.

so on to the fun part. there are a ton of different kinds of diapers. it can get a little overwhelming once you start looking in to it. you have to figure out what diapers fit your needs. that said, i am not going to go on a tangent about all the different diapers there are. there. are. a. TON.

BUT i will share what WE do. because we LOVE our diapers. first, we did a bit of research and saw that fuzzibunz one size seemed to be a pretty good way to go. they adjust to go from newborn to potty trained. the leg area can be made smaller or larger by adjusting the elastic in the leg. and the waist area can be made smaller or larger too. they are super cute, and easy to use. (because when you have a squirmy baby, you can't do complicated. ) so we got one of those.

a friend of ours suggested using smartipants. these are also adjustable to fit from birth to potty trained, but are adjustable in a different way. the buttons go up and down the front, so you can make the whole diaper smaller that way, and the flaps have extra snaps on them, so you can OVERLAP them. this may not seem like a big deal. but it is! i wish i had known about these before we had bella. i used 'sposies for about 6 weeks, because most diapers are not really newborn friendly. they claim to be, but they usually can't get small enough. especially if you have a baby who is under 7 or 8 pounds. but these, well, they get tiny.

we also tried sunbaby diapers. mostly, because they were pretty cheap. these we like. the liner separated, but they still work. and the e-bay seller was really awesome and helpful and refunded the money for the ones that were defective. so i would buy them again, even though they weren't my favorite. customer service is so important, and i love supporting small "mommy" businesses.

finally, we have a handful of gdiapers. these are designed to be "hybrid" diapers-they have disposable liners, and reusable covers. but you can also use reusable liners. these are the CUTEST diapers i have EVER seen. seriously. and i got them for travelling, thinking that it would be easier to flush a liner, than keep a stinky diaper in our car for up to 6 hours. and in theory, it should be. but in practice.....well.....notsomuch. the inside of the liner breaks down almost immediately when it hits the water. which is awesome. the outer liner? it kinda hangs on for dear life and swirls around in the toilet. not really functional. especially if you run across a low flow toilet. clogging someones toilet is not good etiquette. if you know nothing else about good manners, you know this. but the reusable liners are not so bad. you can reuse the cover and just switch out the liners, which does make it kind of easy. and.....well....they are SO cute!

as for liners-most of the diapers we bought come with liners. but if you want more (and i suggest you do get more) the fuzzibunz one size liners are my favorite! they are small and compact but very absorbent and fit in the gdiapers better than their liners do. go figure.

phase 2? washing. we'll save that for another day.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

karing for keegan.

so i know i said yesterday i would comment on rabbi shmuley's....umm....ignorance? or stupid opinion about breastfeeding. but i found something better, and much more deserving of my time.

keegan. he is such a cute little boy. he has been through so much. there are a lot of people trying to help his family, and you can read about that here.

i hate reading blogs about sick babies. it makes me sob. i think about those poor little babies and it breaks my heart. but it also makes me happy to see people helping people who need it. especially when the people who need it are little babies. keegan is sick, but he is one lucky little boy, because he has a family who is doing everything in their power to help him.

read his story. pray for him and his family, if nothing else. or share these links out and get the word out to help little keegan!

Monday, June 7, 2010

sleep?! my old friend! how i have missed you!!

sleep and i got reaaaaaal tight last night. see, that little monster that stays in the bedroom beside us? she slept for 12 HOURS last night. yep. she did wake once, at 2. but considering she went down at 7, that's not that bad. and then she slept until 8!! i almost didn't know what to do with myself!!

that's all i've got for now. i'm still stewing on this little nugget. so stay tuned for my opinion on stupidity. i mean. because my opinion is what's important here. really.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

::knocks on wood before writing one. more. word::

because bella is asleep. and has been asleep. for 30 minutes.

why is this so amazing? well let me start at the beginning (as all good stories do).

at the ripe young age of 6 weeks, bella started sleeping AWESOMELY. and i got cocky. she would go easily to sleep after a bath and swaddling session, and would STAY asleep for 6-8 hours. then she would barely wake up to nurse, and would go back to sleep for another 6-8 hours. she continued to do this for the next, oh......14 weeks! so i became spoiled. i assumed that it could only get better. boy was i wrong.

at around 4 1/2 months, we stopped swaddling. now this could be the culprit of our sleeping demise. but the kid was moving WAY too much to stay swaddled. so we unwrapped her for the last time one morning, and never looked back.

and this was our last easy night. i'm not sure of the exact moment she stopped sleeping well, but a few weeks later, bella had a sweet little visitor who decided to pop in. yes, her first tooth.

fast forward to last week. you all remember my little "breakdown"? well, that was my turning point. i realized that i don't HAVE to have sleepless nights along with frustrating days. i CAN have a baby who sleeps right, allowing me to sleep right, allowing my days to, well, NOT be awful.

so i started researching (because that's what i do best!). i looked up every kind of sleep training i could think of. "cry it out" sounds so sad. but these other mamby pamby ways were not going to get my stubborn-as-a-mule child to go to sleep (what can i say, she gets it honestly. from her father ).

so i talked to a few people, read a few experts, and figured out what would work for us. tonight is night 4. night one was a little rough. she fought like a champion. methodical in her madness. we talked to her, sang to her, shushed her, patted her back, put her on her tummy, etc. and she cried. SCREAMED. for 2 hours. until we reluctantly gave in and rocked her to sleep. i know, i know. don't pick her up, but i'm telling you-the kid was purple she was screaming so hard.

night 2, we spent a little more time "winding down" and she only cried for about 20 minutes. we came in at about 5 minutes, reassured her, sang to her, rubbed her back. and then, suddenly.....asleep. i checked on her after about an hour, still asleep. she woke up at 3:30, but this was welcome after the last few weeks of waking up every two hours!

night 3 was even better. she went to sleep after about 5 minutes and woke up only once at 4:30.

tonight though. tonight, bella got it. this is where that whole knock on wood thing occurs. see, i laid her down, told her goodnight, kissed her, and left. no noise, no crying. she laid there for a few minutes then WENT. TO. SLEEP. i know. a-mazing. now, if she STAYS asleep, this will be the greatest night of my life! and if she wakes up like this in the morning

we will all be happy.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

train's a comin!

so, about all that fun we had last weekend. i know i said i would get to that (and i had every intention to do so quickly), but i kinda had a bad day. followed by a frustrating week. and well. i didn't feel like talking about fun. or, not fun, either.

but now i'm in a better mood and well, it's almost been a week.

monday morning was cloudy and cool and looked like it would rain. so what do we decide to do? go out in it. with our handy dandy gps. for a little more geocaching. because we can.

but first!

a pit stop at chick-fil-a, to try the new spicy chicken sandwich! now let me start by saying, joel is claiming that this was, in fact, his idea. see, he worked at chick-fil-a while in college, and he would tell them, "you really need a spicy chicken sandwich! you have every other kind of chicken sandwich, now you need a spicy one!"

we were sitting around a few weeks ago, and the commercial came on. you know, with the cows? and the alarm? "sound the alarm! moooooOOOOOOOOOOO!" yeah. that one.

joel immediately got online and made his "reservation".

then we hit the road and got to caching.

the first one was a success. the second and third ones? notsomuch.

but the 3rd?? well.......

this picture is worth 1,000 words.

but of course i have more.

this was labelled, "georgia's largest ammo can". i think that might be an accurate description. this picture was taken from the road. about 50 yards away.

oh. side note. the pictures? yeah. we were lucky to get them. you see, that second cache we stopped at? i waited in the car with the baby, so i handed joel the camera. it was on a river, so i thought he could get some pretty cool pictures while he was hunting. after a while, we couldn't find the cache, so we counted it as missing, or washed away, and moved on to the next one.

at the third one, i asked joel if he had the camera. "nope. i gave it back to you." he says. so i check the car. not in there. then the explorer. not in there either. my pockets? nope. his? nope. baby bag? you get where i'm going with this. joel tells me not to worry it's in one of the cars. he's sure. and he's even more sure it's in my car. because he gave it back to me.

we get to the really big ammo can and i MUST take a picture of it! seriously. that thing is awesome. joel reassures me it's fine, we'll find it later, in the mean time, we'll use the camera on the gps (because EVERY electronic has gps nowadays. except for the iPad. but that's another story).

on the way back to the car, i just can't get over that missing camera. see, i don't remember him giving it to me. and joel is really bad at putting things down and forgetting about them. i am SURE he put the camera down on the bridge and left it there.

i'm starting to get a little angry now. but as i'm walking back to the car........

i see a cord hanging down from the roof rack. and a little blue peeking out under the bar.

yep. it's the camera. on. TOP. of. the. car.

25 miles and two "check out the turbo, pedal to the metal" demonstrations later.

and here, i'll pause, so you can laugh a little (ok, a lot).

pause over. moving on.

our final cache of the day is at the railway museum in warner robins, right across from the base. as we are looking for the cache, we made this

can you see it? penny? railroad? train's a comin'? get it?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

yummy, yummy, yummy i got squash in my tummy!

it's here!!! my beaba babycook has finally arrived and i am like martha stewart at a chili cookoff. yep. i ran to the grocery store, bought a bunch of yummy veggies and then ran back home and got cookin.

oooooh snap. that would be some yummy sweet potatoes. the finished product-zucchini and sweet potatoes. in jars. mmmmmm.

so, i figured we would start with the zucchini tonight, seeing as bella is so over cereal. boooooring. last night when i tried to feed her, she gave me this look like....."you think i am eating THAT!? have YOU tried it??"

well, no, bella. i haven't. but you are SUPPOSED to like this.

::insert bella's eye roll, plus "gaah" sigh here:: yeah, my kid thinks she's a teenager.

so, zucchini it is. and boy was she lovin it. scarfed it down even.

joel said, "why are you posting that? it looks like her nose exploded!" well. that's true. it does. and considering she is sick.....that could be what all that green goo is.

nah, i'm just kidding. it's puree. i promise. wait.......yeah. it is.

one thing i never want back.

i have never been good with writing prompts. they usually inspire writers block, for me. but i was perusing the blogoshpere this morning and i saw this, and IMMEDIATELY i was inspired. because i have been wanting to write about this for a while, but just haven't so here it is:

“What did you once lose? Write about your search to find it again.”

my first thought was my mind, but i lose that on a daily basis and rarely ever find it again. but there is one thing that about a year and a half ago i lost, and now, have found again. my weight. i know, i know, "get over it already! you just had a baby" (um hello, 5 1/2 MONTHS AGO!).

i have never been a skinny minny, but i have never been what you would call fat, either. i've played sports my whole life, have always been active, and have never had a problem eating my veggies. i have, however always had a little extra cushion. i always tried to lose it, but mostly it was my bff and couldn't stand to go far.

so when we started trying to have a baby, my doctors kept telling me (as they did for EVERY health problem i struggled with) to lose some weight. so, joel and i teamed up and decided to lose some weight together. we did p90x and i successfully lost 10 pounds in a month!! now at that point, i only needed to lose about 10 more pounds to be well in the green. and then i got pregnant.

i couldn't do p90x anymore, but i did continue to walk, run, swim, hike and eat well (when i wasn't puking at the mere mention of anything made from an animal). as you know, the weight slowly packs on, but i was able to keep my weight pretty low, only gaining 25 pounds over the whole 9 months. after giving birth to an almost 9 pound baby, i had lost close to 15 pounds after the birth, and over the next few weeks dropped almost every single bit of it, again LOSING my weight. this is the one thing i don't mind losing! i'll lose it every day and never be sad.

but alas, the prompt asks for something you found. well i found my weight. yep, hiding in that stress-eating bowl of ice cream. i am a really good finder of this weight. i never lose it for long. it's much like the cat that came back. i shipped it to timbuktu, and it showed up the next morning.

maybe it's time i embrace it??? nah, i think i'll keep trying to lose this one thing. maybe one day, i won't be able to find it again.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

hitting the wall. it ain't no fun, letmetellyou

i was going to post about all the fun we had yesterday, and i promise, i still will. but today was a bad day.

today i hit my breaking point for the first time. today, i had a mini mommy break down.

maybe it's the 5 1/2 months of little to no sleep, but as i sat down in the middle of my half done pile of laundry, after my half done work out, to eat my half made lunch, as bella crawled all over my legs, grabbing for my sandwich, and duke laid his head on my shoulder whining for a bite, i lost. my. mind. i started sobbing out of control.

now you might be wondering why i was sitting on the ground eating. that would be because bella wouldn't stop crying unless i was sitting beside her on the ground. she cried while i made my food, she cried when i got up to get water, she cried when i went to the bathroom. she is teething and sick and i feel like an awful momma for even being frustrated, but the girl has been crying for two days, fighting sleep and nursing NON STOP.

i know there is a reason. she needs comfort, she needs her mommy. and i am her mommy, her buffet, her diaper changer/nurturer/comforter. but every mommy has their wall, and i hit mine hard.

i laid her down in her crib and begged her to go to sleep and take a good nap. and she did. (that will never happen again, i assure you.) i went into the living room, turned all the lights off, closed the blinds and sat in the chair, sobbing. quietly of course, so as not to wake the baby.

i LOVE my child. love love LOVE her. i may even be a little obsessed with the kid. she is the most precious, wonderful baby i could ever ask for. and i feel that way 99.99 % of the time. up until THISMOMENT i have taken everything in stride. being a mommy felt like the most natural thing in the world to me and i love it. but occasionally, it's hard. and it's not fun. and it makes me want to sit down and rock back and forth sobbing like a mental patient. queue today.

but i feel better now. there's a good thunderstorm going on. she is still sleeping. i've done a little yoga, prayed a little, took a little nap, finished the laundry and sat at the table like a big girl and ate the rest of my lunch.

i know this won't be the last time i freak out a little. i hope it's a long time from now. i also hope i get some more sleep in the near future. any ideas on how to fanangle that? i'm pretty sure asking her to sleep through the night won't work.