Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A day in the life of Leah..

Hello All! Today we have my beautiful friend Leah.  She hosted the Creative Every Day Challenge that I started and failed miserably in November.  She has an incredible gorgeous baby girl, Annabelle, she used December 12th as her day in the life!

5:45 Annabelle is awake. I slide out of bed, change her super wet diaper and bring her into bed with me to nurse.

6:30 I nudge the hubster awake. A is tapping his arm and talking to him too. She's in a great mood this morning. All smiles. We hang out and chat for a bit. I tell the Hubster how he talked in his sleep last night. He said, "I'm trying to anticipate the Cowboys waking up." Some strange dream combination of the Giants-Cowboys game and A waking up I guess.

6:45 Hubster takes A downstairs. I sleep a little bit more.

7:15 Get up, get dressed, and do an exercise DVD. I both like and dislike Jillian Michaels.

8 I can hear the Hubster skyping with A and his brother in NY. Jump in the shower. Get dressed.

8:20 Hubster and A are outside the bathroom door. I let them in while i brush my hair. She's reaching for me, so I grab her, get hugged and get my shoulder gnawed on. Go downstairs to grab a balance bar and a seltzer. Have A wave bye to daddy cause it's nap time.

8:30 Read a few stories (big red barn, yummy yucky, moo baa la la la), nurse a bit, and then lower her into crib. That was easy (for a change!)

8:45 head downstairs with video monitor. Clean up kitchen.

9:07 Talking with the Hubster before he heads to work and I see A is awake. Already? Arg. I give it a few minutes, then head up. Diaper change and belly kisses.

9:20 Nurse, check email on phone

9:45 Play time on the floor. Sit, stand, scootch, roll around.

10:15 Time for solids. She has a few bites of banana, but mostly spits it out and then yells to be taken of the chair. Ok then!

10:30 A few minutes in the exersaucer while mommy runs to the bathroom, then back on the floor. She wants to be held. I sing some songs and play with her on my lap.

10:45 A is rubbing her eyes. I think I'll try for a nap. Back up to her room, read some stories (counting kisses, peek a who, barnyard dance) and nurse her to sleep. She’s in her crib by 11.

11 I hop into my studio and turn on the iron. While it heats up, i put together an order of one calendar and two greeting card sets. Then I use the iron to heat set the onesies I made last month and never got around to finishing. I take the crinkly plastic packaging for the art order downstairs to finish up, so I won't wake the baby.

11:21 I'm filling out the address form and seeing a new order has come in, when I hear her start to cry. These super short naps are not good for either of us. I give it a few minutes, but she isn't going back to sleep.

11:30 Get A up and dressed. Aww, she looks so sweet! We play on the floor for a few minutes, I throw in a load of laundry, take her picture in her chair, then bring her downstairs.

11:45 nurse

12:10 No time for lunch, so I grab a balance bar, bundle us both up and head off to baby music class.

12:30 She's all serious at first, but slowly warms up and enjoys playing bells, sitting in a make-shift ball pit, and getting bounced around. Her favorite part of class is the story, the bubbles and getting a turn on the keyboard. She'd hit the keys and then leans back and claps. So cute!! I buy a couple of the balls she loves playing with in class to wrap up as Christmas presents, then head back out.

1:45 Home again and A is clearly sleepy. I grab some water and we go back up to her room to wind down. We read a couple stories (curious George and dr. Seuss), nurse a bit and she's asleep by 2:05.

I basically goof around online during this nap. Feels good to take a break.

2:50 A is up. Much more reasonable nap, but she's a little crabby, so she probably could have slept longer. Diaper change. Laundry in the dryer.

3:00 Solids time! I make a snack for myself (cheese and crackers) and oatmeal for her with leftover banana from this morning. She eats it all up, but also yells a lot. I think her teeth are bothering her. It’s a good thing this bib has a catch-all tray at the bottom to collect all her drool!

3:25 nurse

3:50 Put A in the exersaucer and talk to her while I empty the dishwasher.

4:00 Talk to Hubster. He has to finish a proposal, so he'll have to work late tonight. Bummer.

4:10 Put on a baby signing DVD. I don't know if it's helping her learn to sign, but she sure does love it! The songs are insanely catchy.

4:30 Put away laundry while A plays in her play gym

4:45 Head back downstairs, play on the floor, sing songs, tickle her belly

5:15 Make a bottle, feed her and have a snuggle

5:30 Play on the floor.


6:00 Check my email and see I have another art order and one of them is an older piece that I need to find in my art files. I take A up to the studio to try and find it, but it's hard to do one-handed.

6:15 Change her diaper and put on her pajamas. Have some quiet playtime in her room.

6:30 Read some stories (good night moon, the very hungry caterpillar, on the night you were born), nurse a little then put A in her crib with a couple kisses on the cheek.

6:45 Back to the studio to track down the purchased art.

6:55 Found it. Phew! Work on wrapping up a couple pieces, so I can mail everything tomorrow.

7:30 Talk to Hubster. He's still working. I'm starving, so I use leftover chicken breast to make a sandwich.

8:00 Check some things online, then put together a greeting card set order and the mailing label for the new order.

8:30 Respond to a few emails, relax

9 Hubster is home and exhausted. We should go to bed, but he wants to hang out and unwind, so we put on the Next Iron Chef competition from the dvr.

10:30 in bed.

Leah Piken Kolidas is an artist living near Boston with her husband, their 7 month old daughter and their four crazy cats. She blogs at CreativeEveryDay.com and sells her art at BlueTreeArtGallery.com

I told you her daughter was gorgeous!!! ;) Thanks again Leah.  You should check out Leah's blog and her art, it's as fabulous as she is.  What do you grab for a quick meal on the go?

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Magic Room

Jeffrey Zaslow has written a book capturing women and their families as they embark on buying a wedding dress / marriage at a small town shop, Beckers Bridal, in Fowler, MI. 

As soon as I saw this, I had to read it.  I went to Becker's to try on dresses for MY wedding.  While, I did not end up getting a dress there, I will say the shop is super cute and completely overwhelming with the amount of gowns!  I think I tried on 3 or 4 there and wasn't impressed and so we continued on to a couple other shops before I found my dress.

The book talks a lot about 'the one.'  I just never got that feeling, yet I completely adored my wedding dress.  I just never got the tears or breathlessness that others talk about.  I just though, hey it's what I was looking for, I look good in it.  Hmm, works for me!  But, I'm not a romantic.  I'm a realist.

"Couples are more successful in marriageif they see themselves as helpmates rather than soulmates. " pg. 20

I really agree with the above.  So many people stay single because they are searching for a 'soulmate' or someone who will knock them off their feet.  But marriage isn't always rosy and romantic.  It's work.  It's sharing the same ideals and goals.  It's supporting each other.  It's teamwork.

The book jumped back and forth with telling the history behind Beckers, statistics about marriage / women/families, and individual brides.  The beginning started out kind of slow but by the middle I was engrossed.

An Excerpt from the book's website

One hundred miles northwest of my home, in a tiny, rural town with one stoplight, I found a place where 100,000 daughters, along with their mothers and fathers, have found themselves reflecting on the word “love.”

It’s a place where, every day, parents can’t help but be enveloped by a swell of emotion as they think back to the love they felt when their daughters were little girls. They think ahead, too, contemplating the love needed to carry their daughters onward from here. These parents know the disappointments and betrayals associated with the word “love,” especially these days. They know the losses that define life. Still, most make their pilgrimage here with a sense of hope and optimism.

My favorite sections where when he talked about the individual brides and their journey to Beckers.

It was a quick read and I would recommend it to those who've made the search for a wedding gown, those who've dreamed of it and those who like the history of a place and a thriving family business.

I was given this book through Crazy Book Tours and all opinions are my own. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

State of Wonder - Last Discussion

Well, I can certainly say I did not see this book ending the way it did.  I didn't even think anything of how it was going to end or suspect even when I soo close to finishing.  Of course, I have to nitpick, the how does the Amazon trial end?? The second whole purpose of the book (the first being to find Anders) was to finish that damn trial and then there was no closure.  No, just no.  I did not read that lovely written book to not have closure.  Though, it did sum up my initial thought that Dr. Swenson was an ass.  And poor poor Easter. Oh my heart.  And I want more details from Anders please and thank you.

"She was unnerved by Dr. Swenson's repeated references to "our delivery" date and the letters from her dead friend that she found waiting in her bed at night."  pg. 293

1. What do you think of the ethics of infecting the men of the tribe with malaria for a coke?

I personally disagree with the practice.  If the Lakashi could communicate with the doctors and if they understood malaria and what could happen, then by all means if they volunteer, sure, but in the situation where they cannot effectively communicate all of this then I do not support it.

2.  Speaking of ethics, what do you think of how Dr. Swenson ran things in the Amazon? Was it like the Wild West every man/woman for themselves or was she really reckless?

I think she was very reckless and that someone needed to pull in her reins.  I understand her viewpoint that nothing would get done and people would get in her way, but she was very unconventional and I think she needed someone to tell her no.

3. Barbara Bovender, one of Annik’s caretakers/gatekeepers tells Marina, “She’s such a force of nature. . . . a woman completely fearless, someone who sees the world without limitations.” Is this a fair assessment of Annik? How would you describe her? How has the elderly doctor’s past shaped the person she is and the choices she has made?

I think she was stubborn, smart, full of herself and very narrow minded on her project. 

4. Should women of any age be able to have children? What are the benefits and the downsides? Why does this ability seem to work in the Lakashi culture? What impact does this research ultimately have on Marina? Whether you are a man or woman, would you want to have a child in your fifties or sixties? How far should modern science go to “improve” on nature?

I do NOT think a woman of any age should have a child.  It is not fair to the child when their 80 year old parent dies when they are 2.  In the Lakashi culture it worked because everyone took care of everyone and they were in the middle of the Amazon with NOTHING else to do. I would not want a small child in my 50s or 60s.  I do not want one in my 40s.  They are a lot of work and tiring.  It wouldn't be fair to the child.

5. Would you travel into the unknown of the Amazon?

That is one place I have no desire to visit.

6. What is your opinion of the choices Marina made regarding Easter? What role did the boy play in the story? Do you think Marina will ever have the child—one like Easter—that she wants?

I think she was very limited in her situation seeing as how she had no way to communicate but I really don't see how she was going to get out of that situation any other way.  I feel bad for Easter.  Everyone he cared about him, abandoned him.  I thought it was hysterical she was trying to remember what he was wearing for a 'wanted poster.'  Delusional.

7. How do you think the story ends for the main players? Marina? Dr. Swenson? Anders? Mr. Fox? Easter? The Lakashi?

I would like to think that Easter made his way back to Dr. Swenson and somehow made it to Minnesota to be with Dr. Eckman.  Marina, I picture her quitting Vogel and Mr. Fox and moving to a small town alone and taking up surgery/ob again.  Dr. Swenson, living until she was 90 and being a beeeyotch the whole time and getting the malaria vaccine marketed.  Anders adopting children from impoverish nations trying to make up for losing Easter.  Mr. Fox being old and stupid.  The Lakashi, I see them not even batting an eye when Dr. Swenson and her team leave and continuing to eat their tree bark.

8. What did you think of the night Marina and Anders spent together?

I think in those situations you need someone to be close and comforted with and you aren't even thinking about who it is with.

What did you think? I was pleasantly surprised!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

From Pin to Plate

I have an out of control food board on Pinterest and now that we have finally tried a few recipes I thought I would pass along some of my expert food opinions.

This past weekend I made these Baked Oatmeal Bars that I found on Kath Eats Real Food.

 ( Source )

So, mine did not look this good ha.  I used chocolate chips, a bit of brown sugar, flaxseed, chopped and chopped almonds for my concoction.  It is definitely very moist and muffin like, as the comments mention.  They were pretty darn good.  I even ate it in my mix of yogurt and fruit the other morning.

Sunday, I made Oven Baked Frito Pie for our football watching company.  This recipe came from Sweet Treats and More.

Source }

Well, this was just okay.  I think I was expecting more creaminess or something.  I like stuff with a kick and while I did use diced tomatoes with green chilies, it just wasn't AMAAAZING to me.  It did reheat nicely for lunch the other day.

At the beginning of football season, so waaaaay back in September I made a Baked Panzanella Caprese Salad from Iowa Girl Eats. 

{ Source }

OMG.  This was amazinggggg.  I cannot believe I haven't made it again since.  The mozzarella was soo good and the balsamic vinegar made it sooo sooo good.  I would eat it again for lunch any day.

Also in September, my husband and I tried Pull Apart Cheesy Herb Bread.  We were a big fail at it.  I don't know if it was us or the recipe, but it wasn't good and did not look good.  Big fail.

One random Saturday night we also tried Easy Mozzarella Sticks.  Yum  We used random old cheese sticks (god knows how long they'd been in the fridge!) and it was fantastic.  We even ended up doing fried pickles.

On Friday night, we made Taco Pizza. It looked delicious, sounded delicious, and somehow, it didn't look as pretty or taste as scrumptious as I was expecting.  I think I would add jalapenos, more cheese, more tomatoes and maybe a little less beans.

I'm pretty sure that is all I've tried.  There are a few others that I can't wait to try. 

Have you found any good recipes from Pinterest? Any fails?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A day in the life of LGLDVM

Happy Tuesday! Today we have LGLDVM, a friend I met through TheBump, who is currently pregnant with twin girls! 

I’m a veterinarian currently doing a residency and PhD in veterinary pathology. My days are highly variable and usually a lot longer than I would like them to be. I am also anxiously awaiting the birth of our twin girls and on the day that I wrote this, I was 27 weeks pregnant. I hope you enjoy a glimpse into my crazy life. J

5:00 am: This Christmas, I gave you my heart, the very next day, you gave it awa…

snooze, Snooze, SNOOZE!

5:30 am: Let your heart be liiiiight, from now on our troubles will be out of sight…

(Somehow setting my alarm clock to the Christmas station doesn’t make waking up any easier)

 Yaaaaawwwn, time to get moving. Today is the first day of painting. Tim and I (mostly Tim) have been working really hard over the past couple of weeks to prepare the house for a major makeover. Over the next week, almost every room will get a fresh coat of paint and the crappy plastic-wood trim and doors will also get coated in pretty white. I am so excited! The painters will be here at 8 am and we have a bit of cleanup and last minute things to do before they arrive. I start stripping the bed and throwing laundry down the stairs while Tim packs up the dog kennels in our bedroom and moves them down into the family room.

7:30 am: After taking care of the puppies, I get myself showered, dressed and off to work.

7:45 am: Starbucks MUST happen today.  I have a full day and I need fuel.  I order a tall Peppermint Mocha and a piece of gingerbread. Yum!

8:00 am: At work, coffee in hand, ready to go! First stop of the day is an hour-long session of ophthopathology rounds. We get together with clinicians from the hospital and go through a few recent cases. They give us a clinical perspective; we give them a pathology perspective and answer any questions that may still linger. On the docket today: Eyeballs from 1 Chinese water dragon, 2 horses and a cat. Very informative.

9:00 am: Surgical trimming.  I am on biopsy service this week. The first part of biopsies is trimming. I go to the cutting room to get a peek at my caseload. …Fingers crossed for a light day…  Only one case today! Woot!!  I take the biopsy specimen and trim it with a razor, then submit it to the histology department for processing.  I won’t get the slide back until tomorrow. Today, I’ll read the cases I trimmed in yesterday. Slides are ready by 10 am.

9:15 am: Since trimming was so quick, I have some time to kill before my biopsies are ready for the day. I get my computer set up and read through my e-mails.  I met with the medial illustrator yesterday about a few manuscripts I am working on. He sent me some information about my image quality and I need to get a layout for the color plate that is going in the first manuscript.  I play around in PowerPoint for about an hour and I’m feeling good about what I have so far, so I send it off to him. It’s a hit! Now I need to get the actual images together so he can crop them in and actually make the figure. First things first though, my slides are ready and I need to get through biopsies.

10:30 am: Reading biopsies. Just 3 cases to read, 7 slides total.  Since it’s the holiday, most clinicians aren’t seeing many patients this week.  It’s a nice bonus for me since my research really needs most of my time right now. I crank up the Christmas tunes and get to work. First case is a small mass on an American bulldog. It looked like it might be melanoma when I trimmed it in, so I am happy when I see on the slide that it is a benign vascular tumor (hemangioma).  Looks like they got it all, too.  Score 1 for the patients! Case 2 is equally positive. Breast cancer in a mixed breed dog. It looks benign and completely excised.  Score 2 for the patients! Let’s see if we can go 3 for 3 today.

Case 3 is a bit more complicated, a 14 year old Beagle with a rapidly growing mass that was diagnosed as cancer by another vet. I don’t see cancer on my slides, just inflammation. I’m always reluctant to make a call when there’s a disparity so I’ll reserve final judgment until I meet with the senior pathologist for the day.

11:45 am: Lunch time!  I brought a lean cuisine, but I really want Panera. Looks like I’ll be making a sandwich run. J  I got the asiago roast beef (with the meat cooked) and a mango smoothie.  Yummy!  I brought it back to the office so I could play on the computer for a bit while I eat.  I spend my lunch break surfing the interwebs and checking in on my favorite websites.

1:00 pm: Met with the senior pathologist to review our cases.  He agreed with all of my diagnoses. It’s a good biopsy day. No bad news today. When I first started reading biopsies, I had a really difficult time with it.  I felt like I was GIVING patients diseases. I would look at a slide and think ‘damn, I really don’t want to give this cat squamous cell carcinoma’.  After awhile, I have come to accept that I’m not giving patients anything.  I am simply diagnosing what they have. My job is not always a happy job, but I feel like it is so important to do the best job I can in order to ensure that patients are treated appropriately. Whether the news is good or bad isn’t up to me, whether the diagnosis is right or wrong is the only thing I can control, and that in itself is a challenge. (ok, off soapbox)

At this point, my back is killing me.  Up and down in my office, sitting up looking through microscopes for several hours and 2 babies pushing my belly out way further than it was ever supposed to be have all taken their toll. My pace is slowing down.  Fortunately, I can hang out in my office for a bit.

2:00 pm: I am back to work on one of my manuscripts. The images are all digital slides and radiographs. I need to hunt through and see if I have everything I need to make these figures great. Time to crank up iTunes again and get busy. These images are huge files (2-4 GB) so it’s going to take awhile for my ancient computer to process them.

3:15 pm: After an hour of fighting with my computer to acquire images, I’m not feeling so hot. I need to walk away from this for a bit, so I go to the lab to do some cell culture. I have 4 cell lines that need to be taken care of pretty regularly. They are all cancer cell lines that I use to study a virally induced cancer that happens in people.

4:15 pm: My back pain has now turned into front pain too.  I decided to call my OB to see if I should be concerned. The verdict: come in and see someone. I have an appointment for 5:30 pm.

5:30 pm: At the OB’s office. I ran home and met up with my husband so he could come with me. After some poking and prodding, it is decided that I am not in pre-term labor, so we head home, stopping briefly to get me some Ben and Jerry’s that will likely be my dinner.

7:00 pm: The painters did all the trim and doors upstairs and it looks amazing! The before and after pics are of the future nursery.  I am so stoked!  We opted for neutral walls and we’ll eventually put pink and brown polka dot decals up to give it some color. I can’t believe how different the room looks with fresh paint!

Hubby is having pizza tonight since my back hurts too much to venture into the kitchen and I’m snacking on a little bit of ice cream hoping that my stomach settles and I can eat some real food. I can’t remember the last time I had B&Js though so I can’t complain too much. We finish out the day all in the family room watching TV and relaxing. We’ll be sleeping down here since the upstairs is still wet paint.

In true pregnant lady style, I put on my PJs and curl up in my recliner around 8:30. Night all!

Thanks LGL! That was really interesting to read about the different parts of your job and I love the paint before and afters!

Does your job require you to make hard decisions?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

7 Pretty Things On Sunday

I am linking up today with Gussy, for her 7 Pretty Things Sunday Blog Hop.

1. This cute elephant from TheWoodenQuail.

2. This adorable bag from Peggy Ann Designs via pinterest. 

3.  Gorgeous Shappy Apple Dress.  

4. Ahh, I don't know what is cuter.  The headband, the baby or the bodysuit!

5. OMG.  I love 1 Cup Awesome and they have the best food recipes! I cannot wait to try this one!

6.She is gorgeous!

7. Love this girl! ;)

What are you finding pretty this week?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Lovely Saturday Morning...

On this bright freezing cold Saturday morning, we woke up to giggles and yelps coming from the little lady's room.. My husband went to retrieve her as I tried to wake my arm up that I feel asleep on after our 5:30 nurse and cuddle time, ouch..

I fed her and we snuggled for a few before we made the motions of getting up.  I made coffee, they settled in to toys and books and then we traded.  I sipped coffee, and played with the zookeeper as my husband whipped up some tasty pancakes, little lady's first time trying them.

We sat down to breakfast as a family, the little lady, devouring mushed up blueberries, some puffs, and bits of pancakes.  She was nothing like a lady, shoveling the food in my the handful.  Sometimes, I wonder if she thinks we will take the food away.  Then I get sad and think of other little kids who don't have food.  Not fair.  In between handfuls, I spoon fed her a pear& raspberry combo which she adored.

After eating, she dressed and I did dishes and folded laundry while she babbled and yelped in the living room at her dad.

Then another nursing and cuddle session and I headed down to the treadmill.   I did 1.8  miles in about 30 minutes by doing the weightloss plan 1 on a whim.  There were a lot of inclines!

Afterwards, I headed upstairs and the lady was sleeping so I hurried to shower and throw on lazy clothes.  Then I guzzled water, took some fenugreek and here I sit pumping and typing up the busy and fun Saturday morning we had together.

What did you do this morning?

Only 22 hours left to vote on February's Group Read on the sidebar!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

CD 2

Yesterday I started my first period since August 2010.


No me gusta.

It can go away any time now.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Day in the life of Heather...

Today, we have Heather from Learning to Laugh.  She has an adorable son, Drew and a smiley little girl Alynn who is a week older than Miss I.  She's far more productive and busy on a daily basis than me and I really have no idea how she does it!

Emily has asked me to describe a normal day in my life as a stay at home mom. Honestly, I feel like I am incredibly boring but hopefully someone will find my life to be slightly entertaining. I choose to share a Tuesday with you guys since that is our most eventful day.

5am: My husbands alarm goes off, quickly followed by my 2 year old Drew creeping into our room asking for milk. He would happily be up for the day, but goes back down when I ask him too. Alynn, our 7 month old hears us and wakes up for her first bottle. I feed her while Naythan showers.

6am: Alynn is back in bed, so I eat breakfast with Naythan and see him off to work. I than shower and get dressed.

6:45am: I sit down  with a cup of coffee to do school work. (Oh on top of being a stay at home mom, I am also a full time student.)

8:15am: Both kids wake up for the day so there is a rush to change diapers and get food into little bellies. I put on Dinosaur Train for Drew while I make him food, then we all sit down at the table and I try to feed Alynn her bananas which is no easy task while trying to keep Drew from feeding is syrup covered waffles to the dog. 

9am: Everyone gets a bath and dressed than Drew gets to watch a short show of his choosing while I check out facebook and message boards. He normally chooses Thomas the Train and I can only take so much shunting, buffing and bunting before I feel like shooting anything that even thinks about huffing or puffing,

9:20am: I turn off the show, set Drew up with a craft and run around the house like a crazy person trying to clean up. Drew will come behind me and undo most of the cleaning I just did until I give in and let him play in the sink which results in the kitchen looking like Niagara falls just had a baby. At least now I don’t have to mop. Alynn is crawling around and playing until I start the vacuum then she screams in terror until I pick her up and put her in the Moby.

10:35 am: the house is clean. I put Alynn down for a nap, set Drew on the potty, and we sit down to read a book.

10:55 am: Our speech therapist shows up and we spend the next hour on the floor trying hard to coax words out of Drew.

12pm: Alynn wakes up so I let her bang a spoon on her high chair while I make a salad for Naythan and I, mac and cheese for Drew. While I am busy in the kitchen, Drew is stripping off all his clothes and before I catch him he is peeing on the dog. I wrestle clothes back on him. Naythan comes home and we all eat together.

1pm: The kids and I sit down to read books or color since it is to cold to go outside these days. If it is nice we will head to the park to run off some energy for a while. Or we will go out the store. Something to get out of the house before I lose my mind!

3:30pm: Naptime. Thank God. Both kids go down and I sit in a quiet house. Or I will catch up on my shows. Play around online, do homework, talk on the phone and unwind.

4:30pm: I start prepping dinner. Skype with my baby sister or Talk to my best friend.

4:50pm: Alynn wakes up and we play together. We love this time because I can focus on just her and she can roam the house without worrying about being ran over by her big brother.

5:00pm: Drew is up and I start working on dinner while he plays with his sister and watches Dinosaur Train on Netflix. I love watching them play together. At least until he pushes her over which results in both kids crying.

6:30pm: Naythan is home from the gym so we all eat together. Once again begging and pleading with Drew to eat something other than hotdogs and cheese.

7:30pm: Start bedtime routines. Bath, books, bottle, bed. Alynn crawls around while Drew wrestles with his daddy. This is seriously my favorite time of the day. My heart melts every time I see them play together. All this time I am doing dishes and getting drawn into their games.

8:15pm: Both kids are in bed. I head to the gym.

9:35pm: Home from the gym to a quiet house. Naythan and I snuggle on the couch watching a NCIS.

10:30pm: Do more homework, play online, or fall asleep on the couch.

11 pm: I fall into bed, only to start it all over again in the morning.

I seriously love being able to stay home with my kiddos. They crack me up and I laugh all day long. I feel incredibly blessed.

Thanks, Heather! Have you gone back to school while working?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Treadmill Workouts

I am weird.  I like running on treadmills.  I have what I call a 'bounce problem' and prefer to keep it indoors ha.  Plus, I don't run in the cold, yet.  And, my available run times are late at night and I am not going outside where animals can run out and get me just to run.

So yeah, I like to use the treadmill.  I keep it 'new and fresh' by trying different work outs.  I run, I walk, I jog, I do a mix.  Right now I am loosely following through a 5 week to 5k plan I found in Shape Magazine from October? I think.  I am way behind my magazine reading

Anywhoo, I am preparing for a 29 day February Challenge of using my treadmill EVERY DAY.  Now, I know better than to run every day and walking can get a little boring so here is where I am asking for some help.

What are you favorite treadmill workouts? I use the preset ones, I find some from people's blogs but now that I am trying to put together a good mix of them before I start this in Feb.  I'd like some help from those of you out there who also don't like being bored on treadmills. 

Here is one that I am going to do tonight, and I apologize if I stole this from your blog, I apparently didn't write where I got it from, but it was saved in a Word file I found this weekend.

Treadmill Workout – 40 minute
  • 0:00 – 4:59      5.0
  • 5:00 – 9:59      5.5
  • 10:00 – 12:00  7.3
  • 12:00 – 14:00  5.3
  • 14:00 – 16:00  7.3
  • 16:00 – 18:00  5.3
  • 18:00 – 20:00  7.5
  • 20:00 – 22:00  5.5
  • 22:00 – 26:00  7.5
  • 26:00 – 28:00  5.5
  • 28:00 – 29:00  8.0
  • 29:00 – 30:00  5.0
  • 30:00 – 40:00  3.5 (5% incline)
Are you taking part in any physical challenges?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Feb. Group Read - State of Wonder Ch. 1-6

"Hope is a horrible thing, you know.  I don't know who decided to package hope as a virtue because it's not.  It's a plague.  Hope is walking around with a fishook in your mouth and somebody just keeps pulling it and pulling it."  pg. 43

So to quickly recap, Marina is a doctor that works for Vogel, Anders is a doc that works for Vogel.  Anders gets sent to the Amazon, dies, and Marina is sent to the Amazon to track down Dr. Swenson.  Marina gets horrible nightmares and we end with her traveling down a river into the jungle.
1. Do you agree with Marina that naivete is key? That if we know how life is going to go we might never start the path we do take?

2  Did you anticipate Marina losing her luggage when she put the phone in her suitcase?

Personally, as soon as she did that I knew that she was never going to see that phone again. 

3. How would you describe Marina Singh

I would say smart, but completely lacking in how to deal with people.

4. Would you call the relationship between Mr. Fox and Marina love? Do you think they have a future?

5. “Marina was from Minnesota. No one ever believed that. At the point when she could have taken a job anywhere she came back because she loved it here. This landscape was the one she understood, all prairie and sky.” What does this description say about the character?

I personally feel like Marina should have gone back to Minnesota and told Mr. Fox to get himself to the Amazon if he freaking wanted answers!

Any thoughts, quotes, feelings that stuck out?

Next discussion will be January 27th over the whole/rest of the book!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Suggestions for February's Group Read..

It's that time of month again.  I know I mentioned that we might combine Feb/March, but I think I am going to do one book for February. ;)

Here is what we have already read...

State of Wonder
The Invisible Bridge
The Postmistress
The Scent of Rain and Lightning
Still Missing
The Sandalwood Tree
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
Something Borrowed
The Blue Orchard
Sammy's Hill
In the Woods
Shanghai Girls
The Weight of Water
Water for Elephants
The Color Purple
The One That I Want
The Secret Garden
House Rules
American Wife
Firefly Lane
The Reader
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
The Awakening
Pride & Prejudice
I See You Everywhere

Since February is so short, let's try to keep our suggestions under 300 pages.  Happy suggesting!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mind Mush

I was reading Beth Anne's blog the other night, Heir To Blair, and I was like YES! ME too.  I am so freaking busy these days, but I feel like I've got nothing to say/share about it.

I get up waaay earlier than I deem necessary, play with, feed and nurture a 7 month old, get myself ready for work, her ready for daycare, try to get in a pumping session, go to work, come home, play with her, feed her, make dinner, feed myself and husband, bathe her, read with her, put her to bed, get ready for the next day, clean up the house, exercise, shower, pump, try to catch up with friends/reading and go to bed.

That sounds super busy and it is.  I should have lots to talk about and share.  But when I get to the computer? My mind is mush.  My mind is mush as I write this and really don't know if I have a point besides, yeah, that's why I got nothing of importance lately.

Yeah, I have choices in life on how to spend my day, but honestly? I haven't had a full night of sleep since May 24th, 2011 and that was in a hospital bed with a sleeping pill 41 weeks pregnant.  Yeah.  I'm not working with a full deck of cards here anymore.  We won't even talk about how many pots of coffee I've tried brewing with either no water, no grounds or without putting the water spout thingie in the right spot.  It's not cool.  And I'm not complaining, just stating, that I have no interesting thoughts, or I do,but can't remember to write them down!

It irritates me.  I want to have thoughts of importance and say witty intelligent things.  I want discourse. But dude? I can't even hold a train of thought anymore.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A day in the life of Papps...

Happy Tuesday, today we have Papps.  Papps has been one of my online friends for over 2 years now and she has the most adorable baby girl, Amelia.  Hope you enjoy!

Hi everyone! I’m Papps from Our Arduous Journey. I decided to pick Tuesday, January 3rd to write about since it was my first day back to work after a 3 month maternity leave. Part of me knew what to expect since it had only been 3 short months, but now add a baby to the mix and it’s a brand new ball game.

5:00am- The first alarm goes off. It’s dark out and the house is silent. I hit snooze.

5:05am- Second alarm goes off. Hit snooze again

5:10am- Third alarm goes off…. I finally roll over, look at the baby monitor to make sure she is still sleeping, then roll out of bed and drag myself into the shower

5:20-6:30am- Grab cup of coffee and get ready for work all the while tip-toeing so I don’t wake up Amelia. I play on the Internet for a bit while eating breakfast, then pour one last cup of coffee and I’m out the door for my half day at work

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I should add I got myself a Christmas present.

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So I’m driving to work in my new car, loving having an automatic instead of a manual. I try to push back the thought of leaving my daughter for the first time, but it doesn’t work. The tears come pouring down. I know she’s in good hands since my husband is staying home with her, so that helps, but still hard.

6:54am- I arrive to work.  As I’m walking up to the entrance, I run into 2 co-workers who greet me with excitement. Man is it good to be back! I miss these people.

7:00am I start to unpack my boxes and put my desk back together

7:02am- I run into my neighboring co-worker who proceeds to give me a big hug and we chit chat while working/unpacking.

8:30-11am- Today is more of a free day to go through my 1000+ emails and get re-acquainted with my daily tasks. I also show off recent pictures of Amelia as I put them on my desk.

11am-1:43pm- I get home and my husband has Amelia down for a nap. We chat about my day at work and how their day went. I make lunch and fold some laundry

1:43-3:30pm- Amelia wakes up from her nap, I’m there to greet her. I shower her with kisses, play with her on her mat and change her.

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3:30-4:22pm- Amelia and I head off to the store to grab food for the next week or so.

4:30pm- We come home to a picked up house, I put away the groceries and play with Amelia a bit more before she goes back down for a nap at 5:30.

6pm- We sit down for dinner and watch an episode of Walking Dead (yes, we’re one of those who occasionally sit in the living room and watch TV while eating)

7pm- I do the dishes and get her bath stuff together while my husband plays with Amelia.

7:30-8:30pm- Bath time, bottle then bed for the wee one

9pm- One more episode of Walking Dead then off to shower!

10:42pm- I finally lay my head back down and it’s lights out.

Thanks Emily for having me share a day in my life!

Thanks Papps! The first day back after baby is a rough one.  Do you eat dinner at the table or in the living room? We are starting to eat more at the table with Isla but typically, we eat out in the living room.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

State of Wonder Update

So this is like a bajillion days late, but for all you playing along this month we will discuss chapters 1-6 next Friday, January 13th. Rest of the book / whole book will be January 27th. ;)


Wednesday, January 4, 2012


The following is going to be a dump/spew of words that I hope make sense.

I think mothers enjoy making other mothers feel like crap.  I also feel like mothers feel they need to defend their decisions when  other people make them feel like crap. It's quite stupid.

I'm all for breastfeeding  Dude, it's freaking cheap! I will support you and cheerlead you and say whatever I have to say to help you through it.  But if you decide to use formula? Who cares.  I will say I will not advocate for the formula until you've decided to do it yourself.  Why? There are far too many others who will push the formula and say, "It's soo much easier.  It's okay, I did it!"  With the first statement, that is a matter of opinion.  With the second statement, just because you did it, doesn't mean it is WHAT the other person wants.  And also, helping someone else make the choice to use formula because you did it, and need someone else to use it to feel less guilty? Not cool.

Now, in the above pretend scenario, you will have others who will judge you for going to the formula.  They will say things like, "Well, you have to do what's best for you and your family, "all the while, thinking, your poor kid.  But ya know what, it IS that persons decision to use formula, but when you make asinine statements like the one above, it just makes someone who already probably feels guilty or a failure WORSE.  I honestly think that line is one of the worst to be said.  Especially when followed by a smiley face.  (As per yesterday's twitter convo, I hate when people say a statement and follow it up with a smiley.  I may have said it makes me think the person is a smug bastard.)

Want to know another fun topic? Cloth diapers vs disposable.

Cuz ya know, if you use disposables you are clogging up the landfills, exposing your kids tush to chemicals, lazy etc.  Really?

How about you make your decisions and I make my decisions and Joe Schmoe makes his decisions and you just say GO YOU, your kid is alive, you rock! And I will say, GO YOU, your kid is alive, you rock! And Joe will do the same! And we can judge silently as opposed to using passive aggressive catch phrases? That way, people won't be afraid to help others and share their experiences.

Not everyone is confident in their decision making but they made that choice.  Support it or ignore it. The kid is fed and alive, that is always the goal. I get so angry for others when they are silenced because of the fear of other people criticizing their choices and they really need to be talking and asking for help as opposed to silently wondering what the eff they should do.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A day in the life of Amber!

Hey everyone! This was supposed to run last week, but with the flu and all the crazy that it caused I didn't have this up and going.. Thanks for being patient Amber! Today, we have Amber from Girl With the Red Hair!  I think Amber was the first person to comment on my blog, like ever.  And if she wasn't she was the first one to keep coming back! We found each other while reading blogs over at Glamour, and it's funny that I never go back there anymore, yet it introduced me to some great blogging friends!

Day in the life: Sunday, December 18
Hi readers! I'm Amber from Girl with the Red Hair posting for Emily's fun Day in the Life series. I did a weekday day in the life on my own blog a couple of months ago so I decided to do a weekend day for Emily's blog! This chronicles Sunday, December 18 for me :)

7:00 AM - dog wakes me up, I take her out to pee. I feel like a zombie since I was at a Christmas party until late the night before.

7:10 AM - crawl back into bed and plan to sleep for another hour or so.

9:47 AM - wake with a start, sun shining through my window. Crap! Slept way later than planned. Oh well.

10:00 AM - bring laundry up to my room, make coffee, stream Drop Dead Diva while I fold laundry and drink my coffee. Baked banana oatmeal is in the oven!

11:00 AM - sit down to eat my oatmeal and drink some more coffee. Still streaming Drop Dead Diva.

11:30 AM - time to start cleaning! I designated Sunday 'scrub the house top to bottom day' so I swept, vacuumed and mopped all the floors, pulled our couch and bed out and cleaned behind them, washed the walls, scrubbed the bathroom and vacuumed and cleaned the carpet on our stairs. This process took me just over 2 hours.

1:45 PM - collapse on the couch in a heap of exhaustion from all the cleaning.

2:15 PM - drag myself into the kitchen to make and eat a late lunch. Stream more Drop Dead Diva.

2:45 PM - think about the 7-9 mile run I was planning to do that day. Continue streaming Drop Dead Diva and eat some fudge.

3:20 PM - decide to get my butt in gear and take the pup for a hike since she's been cooped up in the house all day while I clean. Decide that a hike will suffice in place of a run.

4:30 PM - return from the hike. Make a grocery list and head to the grocery store to get some supplies for the week.

5:30 PM - pour myself a glass of wine and prepare to do some food prep for the week. Prepped teriyaki tofu for Monday night dinner, enchilada sauce for Tuesday night dinner, and made a double batch of dough balls to take home for the holidays (all from Mama Pea's cookbook).

7:00 PM - sit down to eat dinner. Two poached eggs on an english muffin and a glass of orange juice. Read blogs while eating dinner. It's my first time opening Google Reader all weekend so I have a lot of reading to do!

8:00 PM - park myself in front of the couch with a second glass of wine, a bowl of dough ball dough and start streaming Love Actually on netflix. Have to pause the movie several times to switch dough balls in and out of the oven.

10:30 PM - movie ends! I wake up two sleeping pets who are right on top of me because it's time for bed! Take the dog out to pee then do my getting ready for bed routine (brush teeth, wash face, put on PJ's).

10:45 PM - crawl into bed with plan to read for only 15 minutes.

11:15 PM - crap! Lost track of time because my book (The Book of Negroes) was so good. Time to go to bed, 6:00 AM is going to come early. Lights out!

Thanks for letting me share my day on your blog Emily!!

Thanks again, Amber! I really need to checkout that cookbook!

What do you do on a typical Sunday?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Better late than never...

Christmas 2011 went by in the blink of agh n eye! We had a very busy Christmas weekend filled with family, food, carols and presents! It was awesome.  We barely got any presents for Miss I and we didn't actually end up wrapping any for her, because it was kind of pointless, even though she loved the tissue paper and bags.  I figure we have a lifetime of spoiling her and she frankly, didn't need much.  And I will buy her other stuff as she needs it. 

Christmas Eve day we spent with the in-laws eating a yummy brunch and Miss I even got to try sweet potatoes with the good stuff on them, brunch dish and cheesy potatoes.  She also ate her mum mums and some applesauce. ;)  After stuffing ourselves we opened presents where some gift highlights for me were an appetizer cookbook, sweater/shirt, books (Cutting Stone & Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Little House on the Prairie Set), food processor and new hair curlers.  Miss I got some clothes, books and a Little People Zoo set up.

Christmas Eve night we went over to another relatives and hung out and ate some more food until Miss I was getting cranky so we brought her home to get ready for bed, had a photo shoot and then my husband and I opened presents that we got each other.

Christmas Day my parents and brother came over and spoiled Miss I.  She got more toys, clothes and books.  My parents very generously bought my husband and me plane tickets to accompany them on spring break this year. ;)  I am very spoiled.  We ate brunch dish and cinnamon rolls and then after Miss I took a nap we headed into my aunts house where we ate MORE food and visited with relatives until after 7.

Our house is a toy store and we have one happy little girl.  She was such a trooper with all of our plans and I couldn't have asked for a better 1st Christmas for my girl.  The only thing I would change? Get someone who could work our camera so we have a decent photo of the three of us!

How was your Christmas? Did you get any books? What was your favorite gift?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

My favorite books read in 2011

I think 2011 was a sad year for my reading.  I read 44 books (more than half-way down with the 45th but I am technical like that and will count it towards 2012 since the end date will be either today or tomorrow).  While, 44 books is amazing, especially with a newborn, I just didn't have any one book stick out so much that I would be like THAT was the best book I read this year.  I need to find some better books for 2012!

So here are the high-lights of my 2011 reading..

Laura Lippman's Tess Monaghan Series - I flew through the first 10 books and I seriously have the 11th on my bookshelf but have been swamped with other reading commitments to finish it.   I am also a bad reader to the point, that I don't even know if the next one (is there going to be a next one?) is out yet.  Tess is a former journalist turned PI, and she is pretty entertaining.

Tess Gerritsen's Rizzoli & Isles Series - I started in 2010 and then finished what was out through this summer.  I love them.  Basically, Rizzoli is a cop, Isles is an ME and Gerritsen writes some pretty grizly tales.  Also, now a tv show!

The Blue Orchard by Jackson Taylor - I loved this book! Honestly, it may be the best non-series book I read in 2011.  We read it as the May Group Read and I'm glad we did! Based on the stories of Taylor's grandma it is an interesting look into a nurse who illegally helped TONS of women get abortions in 1920s.

Still Missing by Chevy Stevens - Another, group read, this one kept me on the edge of my seat! It is about a realtor who is kidnapped and kept on a mountain for over a year and has a child with her captor.  She eventually escapes but the quest to find out who her attacker is what kept me turning the page!

Honorable Mentions
Dreams of Joy - Lisa See
The Sandalwood Tree - Elle Newmark
The Scent of Rain and Lightning - Nancy Pickard

What was your favorite book read in 2011? How many books did you conquer?