Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

From the child that will not nap, not now, not ever, not with the threat of no trick or treating, not with daylights saving time ending, not even to give her poor mother a little sanity. Nope, not her.

However, she loved being a spider yesterday and if I had thought of it, with a proper hat and those Babylegs, she could have been an awesome Spirate (spider pirate of course).

Have fun, be safe, don't give hard candy to those under three (hello choking hazard) and offer up some allergy friendly stuff too.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Funky Town

I seem to be coming out of the funk I am in. Perhaps it was finally paying a bit closer attention to when I was supposed to take the Metformin, the encouragement from Alexa that it will get better, or, I dunno, the sun. (note to self, make sure you get some sun this winter, you'll thank yourself later) No matter what, while my stomach is still far from normal, just a couple of days of paying a bit closer attention to what I eat and when I eat it in relationship to the meds has meant wonderful things, like not getting debilitating stomach cramps that turn me into a witch at brunch with my in-laws. (which I am hoping to heck I hid well)

I'm still a bit spacey from the fumes, or just my general not feeling well, but that isn't anything a few good lists can't solve.

While I'm going into great depth about my stomach, I suppose it is time to admit to not having exercised in a month. The scale is proving this to me. I have not been sneaking out in the middle of the night while sound asleep to work out like I had hoped. It started with vacation, then the three week cold from hell, and then it isn't light enough to go outside and I feel like crap all over again. So, I've been bad. While I haven't had a complete relapse, I need to turn this around, and fast. Schedule willing, I'm joining a gym. I just need to chat with A about what nights he can pick the kiddo up from daycare so I can get my arse to the gym, on the way home. Honey, if you're reading this, I promise to put something good in the crockpot so you barely have to work to feed the kid, promise.

Remembering that writing is supposed to be my cheap therapy has been good. I feel more clear headed getting to do a brain dump every night. I guess that going into the stress of the holiday season, NaBloPoMo would be a good idea. From the "where do we go this year" to the photos, to the gift and money BS, it is always stressful. So, I'll be signing up to follow the herd for November. However, anything anyone want to know more about? I know that is terribly narcissistic, but I'm a leo, I can't resist.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Big Girls Don't Take Naps

M is giving up her naps. Well, at least at home. Daycare seems to still be able to use group think to get her to sleep, most of the time.

We knew this was coming before we made her give up the Nuk, I guess I just hoped she was kidding. She isn't. Saturday it took her almost two hours to calm down and finally sleep. We let her sleep for half an hour and then made her get up. Sunday we finally gave up and let her watch the end of the Viking's game. (while I tried to sleep on the couch myself)

Perhaps the most disturbing development is that my dad says that I gave up napping around the same age, as did he. He said we both slept better at night, just like M does when she doesn't nap. While I am sure that I will miss things like grocery shopping alone, crafting, and "adult entertainment", having her sleep better at night wouldn't be a bad thing. As it is, if she naps, it takes her almost two hours sometimes to fall asleep.

We'll still try to make her nap, especially if we know she'll be up late, but it just isn't worth fighting it if she won't go down. Besides, I sort of like the absolutely loopy way she sings when she's really tired.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

So that explains the burning feeling.

Another week of next to no writing, but at least this time I know why. I finally figured it out.

Back in September during my regular visit to the endocrinologist, I got a new prescription. Metformin. It should help with my insulin resistance, and thus help with my weight loss. They start you off slowly, working up to a pretty large dose. For me, the payoff is not having the afternoon snackies when my blood sugar and hormone levels get all out of whack. Well, it would be if I didn't feel like puking all the time. I'm only at three quarters of the max dose and already I want to die. Horrible cramps, nausea, and a general lack of will to do anything.

Here's hoping that it goes away eventually. Since I figured it out, and finally went and looked it up, I have a few things I can try to make it better. Cross your fingers and hope that they work, will ya? Otherwise, I'm back to dealing with fighting off the urge to eat all of the chocolate at 2 PM.

No matter what, I promise this week to be better about writing. I have so much I want to write about. I still haven't posted about my applesauce making, my holiday gift making, or the fact that my two and a half year old seems to be giving up her naps. (dammit) Oh yeah, and I'm joining a gym. Woo hoo!

Did you know it is ridiculously close to Christmas? So much to make, so little time.

Happy Monday tomorrow!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ooo, look, pretty.

I'm still not feeling very much like writing, so I guess I'll just start and see where this goes.

I wish to heck that I could write about work, but I can't. I will say this, we are currently under major remodeling and I just need to make it through until the end of the month when it is done. Work leaves me feeling sick, home is a bit better, weekends are much better. One more week of this, then I think I will be able to breath again.

Preschool seems to be going well. M has backslid a bit on the potty front, but some issues are to be expected. I'm trying hard to get us out of the house faster in the morning, which is a challenge because of you know, transition issues. All because she just doesn't seem to want to let me go. I'm not one to push it, knowing that before long she'll be rushing me out the door. I'm doing my best not project any of my fears about rejection from my peers on to her. However, I know it is hard being the new one. They have their own cliques and groups, and she's still adjusting.

Traditional gender roles seem to be more defined at this age. M however is not. She likes her dresses, but she likes her legos and trucks too. Having been part of one of the first generations raised by feminists I am starting to have a deeper appreciation of what those challenges were. I, unlike some, don't think femininity has to be given up to be a strong woman, but I don't think the Disney princesses are advancing the cause much either. I suppose I should figure this out before too long. I think that is a good subject for another post.

Speaking of that, I do know there are a few people that read this, and while I'm not always the best about commenting everywhere I read (hazard of perhaps filling my life up with too much, or being lazy) I would love some comments. Not to beg or anything, but I could use some fun or silly right now. Leave me your best joke? Or a link to something pretty? I'll go first, here are a few pictures from the past month or so.

June bug husks (I think) on the tree in my brother's front yard.

Goat's Beard lichen, in Itasca. Amazing creatures, a symbiotic relationship between fungi and alga that has been around pretty much forever.

One terribly adorable puppy we saw at the apple orchard awhile back. He was not supposed to be doing that, but I only halfheartedly tried to stop him.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tiger, Bears and Brother's Oh My!

I just realized that it is Sunday, and I've barely posted this last week. It has been, without a doubt, a cruddy week. Because I can't write about work, and I needed so much to just deal with how crappy it has been, I apparently clammed up, both here and on Twitter.


It has not been uneventful. There was the furnace that stopped working, and then started again. That has nothing wrong with it. At least I have a supply of space heaters now. Of course I can only run two at once because my house is wired all messed up. M gets a space heater, we do not.

Then well, work. That is it. My job is still lovely, unfortunately, people are human. I include myself in that.

This last week was the transition week to Preschool. It went well, she is fitting right in. It helps it is a class that has remained somewhat constant for her. She has talked about all of the kids when they moved up and she is happy to see them again. Friday we topped off her week by going to the circus. I chaperoned despite knowing that she would ultimately misbehave for me. She did well, the other girl in my charge did well. I was conflicted. I knew that at two and half I can't really explain the issues with the circus. So we went, and I know that conversation needs to happen at a later date.

I atoned myself, a little, by going to Zoo yesterday with my brother (in town for the weekend). M had a great time, we got to see two of the bears "hugging" as well as some tigers up close and personal. Seeing every animal lounging in the spots of sun (easy way to find the ones who like to hide on a cold day) while enjoying spacious environments made me feel a lot better. It was also nice to see M wear out somebody other than me for a change.

I'm trying hard to just make it through the weekend get the laundry done, and brace myself for what will be another rough week. M still isn't sleeping well, she's skipping naps, work will be nuts, even before I miss out on sleep, and well, you know, life.

At least my cold is gone and I can start working out again.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Giraffes and Rocket Ships

I'm pretty sure my love of wood is genetic. Oh, stop it with the dirty thoughts.

Growing up, some of my earliest memories are of my dad's wood shop. On the commune that I grew up on (my parents would have me say "intentional community", but commune is more funny) dad's shop was out in the woods, over the fallen log that the grouse thumped on, and perched on a hill. I could probably walk to path to get there in my sleep, nearly 23 years after we moved away. There were shelves of tools, a treadle wood lathe on the far side, and nearly every non electric wood tool you could imagine. I help sharp draw knives and rasps far before they were age appropriate toys. I loved the wood shop quarter in school. I got an A.

Even as an adult, I've been drawn to woodworking. I've made bandsaw boxes, sculptures, and am the proud owner of a tidy little collection of tools myself. I can safely say, of all of the kinds of sculpture out there, wood is one of my favorites.

When M was born, I didn't get many wood toys for her. The problem with having a dog that loves to chew on wood is that blocks just don't have the same appeal. However, I'm pretty sure that if the Little Alouette toys had been available, I would have considered duct taping the dog's mouth shut. (kidding nice people at PETA) As it is, I'm trying to not order one just to sit and fondle it all day long.

I "met" Amy through the Citizen of the Month great interview project, but it wasn't until I got a chance to touch her wood (sorry, it is just too easy) at BlogHer that I really fell in love. I bought a cute hippo toy for my friend's baby, and it has taken me three months to give it to her. I just didn't want it to leave me. It wasn't until my niece's gift arrived that I could bring myself to do it. I had better make another order before Christmas, for me, just so I can part of the adorable farm set.

As if I didn't need another reason to love them, they've got both a Pirate and an Ninja set. (just how much of a geek do you have to be to get that?) Now, I'm partial to pirates, but I think I may be in love with the giraffe and rocket ship too much. What do you think? What does my cube need?

Disclaimer: My gushing about this was purely my idea. In fact, I had to ask Amy if I could grab some of her adorable photos, otherwise she had no idea. I just really really love her stuff. She's also a kick ass blogger.

Photo credit: Little Alouette, all rights at the discretion of the owner.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Mother of the Snow Day

It is October 12th. It is SNOWING! (sorry for the alarm, but this, this is not normal, even for the frozen tundra)

The following is what my daughter will be going in to school with today, a snow day, in OCTOBER!

  • Half of her winter jacket from last year. I found the liner, but not the outside. I have absolutely no idea where the rest of the jacket is. I have searched everywhere. I could have just gotten her another one from Target late last night, but I figured this year, we'd get her a more cold tolerant jacket, you know, maybe by November.
  • Snow boots from last year. Thankfully Target shoes run large, so they still fit. This year I was planning on getting her a better pair, so she could play more in the snow. You know, in November.
  • Snow pants from last year. Well, at least they were big last year and have adjustable bib overalls this year. Sorry to daycare for the fact that they'll need to adjust them. I just found them this morning while getting ready to go.
  • One pair of "really they only are for looks" mittens. I was going to knit her a wool pair. Likely still will. These were all I could find, unless I wanted her in mismatched maybe too small mittens.
  • Her new hat! Well, at least I got one thing right.

I really hope I'm not the only parent who barely got it together for this one. Her teacher tried to make me feel better and say that maybe they'll just go for a skyway walk.

At least I found enough to buy me some time to find her a good jacket and boots. On a related note, I also need some winter clothes for myself. My new as of last Christmas down vest is too big, my big winter coat fits, but I still need a mid weight jacket for fall. (well, maybe, if it still happens) I think I've lost enough to justify the expenditure. Especially since while I WILL lose more weight, my arms aren't getting any shorter, and that usually determines what size I've worn in outerwear. Damn the orangutan arms I got from my dad.

Friday, October 9, 2009

And One Naked Horse

That, that is a picture of my wonderful two year old daughter from this morning. She is holding on to a fifty dollar bribe. Well, it was worth fifty bucks when wearing all of the clothes that I was guilt tripped in to buying it. OK, so maybe there wasn't so much guilt as well, sincere hope that the more money I put in to it, the better this would go. Yes, I am in complete denial, why do you ask?

M starts transition to preschool on Monday. For the last two months we have been talking to her about how "big girls don't need Nuk's" and that when she is in preschool, she won't need a Nuk anymore. I even brilliantly (I thought) started talking to her about how we would give her Nuk to my friend Trish's baby. Nuk's are for babies, and she was no longer a baby.

Then, we got a date for preschool, and I started to panic. After all, do I make her give it up when she starts visiting preschool, or her first full week? Do we do it on the weekend? Why can't we just be done with this? Finally I realized it is just like a Band-Aid that needs to be ripped off. Better to get it over with. I worked late tonight so that was out, yesterday she didn't nap and I knew she would be tired, we just had to do it. She had started to freak out as she knew it got closer though. I realized we HAD to do something more than a wrapped up pacifier for a baby that will never see it because duh, it is a germy toddler pacifier. So, why not go for the cheesy option and get her a Build-A-Bear. She gets to pick out something she wants, I get to just get it over with.

So last night we made the trek to the closest one and began the process. I managed to forget that she can't make up her mind about anything lately. Mornings have been spent arguing about outfit changes after she puts in exactly what she wanted to wear. She wanted the dog, until she saw the other dog, (holy cow, steer her away from the "Jonas Bear" whatever you do) until she saw the monkey until she saw the horse. We finally made her choose between the monkey and the horse. Then on to the stuffing, where the stuffing machine scared the crap out of her. (oh, and she wanted the heart back out in the middle of the night) We also were shown the error of our ways, when asked if we had brought the Nuk with to pay with or put in the animal. (hello? That is brilliant, why didn't I think of that) Lest stuffing be the most traumatic experience, the "shower" to fluff up her new friend had her screaming and in tears (and so unfluffed she remains). I, in my blind determination to bribe her in to a smooth transition, said she could get clothes. What do you put a stuffed horse in, why a sparkly pink dress, undies (she asked where it's undies were after we got the leggings), pink leggings and little horsie Uggs, of course. Being a distracted and tired toddler, she couldn't pick a name for the poor thing other than the one already given to her main doll (and we really don't need any Digger confusion) A and I were forced into naming the horse Penny.

"Pick a Penny up and put it in your pocket, save it for a rainy day…."

I'd like to say that it worked, but I don't think we know yet. She was up for an hour and a half past bedtime last night and only fell asleep when I came in and rubbed her back while laying next to her bed (ouch). We're not entirely sure, but we think she was up very early this morning, perhaps as early as 3 AM, just laying bed undressing Penny. All that was left this morning was her pink bows.

Perhaps tonight will go better.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Integrity, It Lives Here

When the Blog With Integrity pledge first came about, signing it was a no brainer for me. Really, who doesn't want integrity. I was fresh off of an amazing experience at BlogHer and full of conviction. Then I wrote about the experience, got a lot of really amazing feedback, and promptly had no idea what to write any more. Especially when it came to blogging with integrity. Missy even asked me to guest post about it on her blog, and I just couldn't do it. The truth is, I wasn't sure what it meant for me. I needed time to figure it out.

I've been a major user of the Internet for a very long time. Back to the days when the Internet didn't have pictures other than the ones created using numbers and letters. I love the Internet. If I can't research it on the Internet, it really doesn't exist to me. I've been intentionally favoring businesses with a web presence for years. I trust the Internet. The Internet in return has been very good to me. I wouldn't have a career that I love it weren't for the Internet and technology.

Until recently, it never occurred to me that an opinion, specifically a blogger's opinion, could be bought. (I know, naive) Product placements in movies, never trusted, but blogs, blogs are honest person to person communication. It helps that the people who's opinions I love (Cool Mom Picks, Popgadget) are not, but I always assumed that any review that I read was an honest opinion. I was wrong. I know the pressure of providing for a family. I know that the way I was raised is not the same as other people. I know there are shades of gray in the world. However, I don't need to be one of them.

If I offer an opinion about something, I want you to know that it is my own opinion. I won't say I'll never do anything for compensation, but I will say that if I do, you will always know about it. You can know that I will not be bought. I value my words, they are my words. What I write about is far too personal for me to not own them. I trust you, the Internet, with a lot of what I feel and think, and I want you to trust me in return. Opinions here are that of the writer.

Finding clarity in this has helped me clear up a few more things about my relationship with the Internet. I stopped following people on Twitter who just tweeted contests, or the same tweet over and over again about their blog. I removed a few contest only blogs from my reader. I try to keep any contest stuff out of my tweets (with a few specific exceptions), and I try to only link to my own posts once. I rarely enter a giveaway anymore unless I know something about the how's and why's of how it came to be (or it is for a million dollars or trip to Hawaii, because really, just for the excuse to dream). I am trying even harder to make sure I am supporting primarily local and independent businesses. This holiday season, I'm trying to do more handmade, even if I didn't make it myself. (something cool relating to that as soon as it gets here)

I will never be someone who makes a living through the Internet, unless you count the day job. I will never be a big name blogger, I don't want to be. However, I owe it to myself to live my life in a way that I can be proud of. This, is something I am proud of.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Knitted Together

It is no secret that I treasure the things my grandmother's made for me, and if it wasn't for some seriously poor fashion choices on my part, I'd still have things I made with my mother. It just took me some time to appreciate how cool all of those handmade things were.

I know my window with M is small. It will only be so long before all she really wants is a gift card to Limited Too and a Hannah Montana CD (though really I swear we are working on her having better musical taste). I want to make sure I make as many things for her as I can while she still thinks I'm cool.

While on vacation I picked up some fun (and machine washable) yarn in bright colors. Fortunately she loves it.

She tells everyone that asks her about it that I made it. She wears it at daycare, long after I've left for work. She always wants to know where it is. She was incredibly excited when I started using the rest of the yarn to knit a hat for one of her teachers. A parting gift for how much they've done for my M. She couldn't keep it a secret, so now they all know they'll be getting hats from me.

She's also started asking for the quilt I made before I got pregnant. My first quilt in a gender neutral set of sushi fabrics. She calls it her food quilt and when she's feeling bad she wants me to tuck her in with it.

Now, when her two'ness can be so much for me to handle, when I feel my fuse shortening every time she uses tears to get what she wants (she's so good at it too), I just remember that there will be a time when all I'm good for is the keys to the car and some money for gas.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Little Black Dress (and Red Patent Shoes)

So, the Target dress didn't end up being all that I hoped it would be. A will always give me an honest opinion, and while it may have been nice if I had kept losing weight, the reality was that this going on two week cold is still kicking my butt and it just wasn't right.

So, while he got a haircut and went on his own shopping excursion to Macy's, I packed up M and braved JCPenney. Their plus sized stuff all looked a little frumpy online, but I was hoping I could squeeze in to a size 16. I was impressed. They had a whole LBD section that gave me a lot to chose from so I could find the right thing for both my body and event. I ultimately went with this dress. I also got a backup dress that was safer, just in case.

A and I met back at home and compared (he also got an outfit and a spare) and he agreed that I had found the dress I had been looking for. Add to it a pair of Spanx high waist tights (yahoo!), and the fact that they still had the killer red patent peep toes at Nordstrom Rack and I found the perfect outfit.

The only downside, I could NOT find any of my makeup before we left. I am not a makeup person at all, but I can pull off a pretty good smokey eye when the occasion calls for it. Lip gloss is better than nothing, right? Too bad I always forget to reapply.

The picture really doesn't do it justice. I got compliments from everyone, including a bridesmaid who I didn't even know. (I knew none of the wedding party other than the bride, so there was nothing in it for them) It was the end of the night, we were about to go, I ate the cake, and I forgot to make sure that all of my little pleats were smoothed out before A snapped this. (thus the really dorky looking lighter black line) I guess that means it just barely fit. I just figure that means I will get to wear it more than once.

I can't thank Susan enough for encouraging me to take this kind of a chance. She helped me have the confidence to know that I could pull off this kind of a shape.

Now I just to get over this darn cold so I can get on with my goal of losing (a very petite) cheerleader. 56 or so pounds left to go.

I was not compensated in any way by the companies mentioned above. They likely have no idea who I am and didn't even ask that I write about them.