Monday, November 30, 2009

The Perils of Dog Ownership

Wee little doll, in wee little bed, in wee little house.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

And Fin

We're done with what turned out to be a really relaxing weekend. A couple of Ikea trips (have to take advantage of the use of a truck while my brother was here). A few toy stores, a couple of big stores (but not until today) so I could get a few electronic items for M and my adopt-a-family that I can't get at local places.

All in all, I'm pretty pleased. I even managed to get some crafting all done.

The only thing we didn't do is put of the tree, because my living room is now filled with flat pack Ikea boxes. It won't be for long, what we can't setup now will be moved. We got a new entertainment center setup that fits our odd stereo equipment, our old house, and maybe in the future a better TV. We also got more book shelves, because we own far too many books.

So, this week maybe I get up the tree, maybe I do not. Next week I won't for sure. I will be taking my MIL (along with my SIL & niece) and M to see Cinderella at the Children's Theater. Wish us luck, it will be M's first trip to a show.

I am also doing something I don't believe I said yes to. I am volunteer coordinator for the No Coast Craft-o-Rama at the Midtown Global Market. If you haven't been there, why not? It is great vendors in a great setting. (one of my favorites Harrilu will be there) I am also desperate for volunteers. I can't offer much in return, except maybe to know my real name and hear all of my awesome jokes about it. If you are interested, please email me. Please. Otherwise, stop and say hi, I'll be at the front table most of the weekend.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Keep Your Family Close

I very nearly forgot to post because today my brother came to visit. On his way down to Rochester to look for a place to live. Work has given him a promotion, and a transfer, and he is getting out of our home town. When the house sells, all of our connection to it will be gone. (except a little land my mom has in the country) It is odd, but a good thing. He's 29, wants to have a family and a career, and neither would happen in Fungus Flats. (his name for it)

So, today we went shopping for stuff we needed his truck for, and then hung out and had a good evening. Tomorrow, more of the same. It will be so nice to have him living closer to us. M for sure will love it, seeing as she has claimed him as her's and her's alone.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Local Friday

Today I stuck to my commitment and shopped locally for the day. I went to three of the five great local toy stores that we have. I commented about my trip on Twitter and someone responded that they only have one where they live. I realized how lucky we are in this area to have so many great choices.

I went to Wonderment and Creative Kid Stuff in Linden Hills (South Minneapolis) as well as Kiddywampus in St. Louis Park but as Katie mentioned, there is also Peapods in St. Paul (source of many of M's toys) as well as The Green Goober also in South Minneapolis. Beyond toys specifically, we also have great kid's bookstores. (Wild Rumpus, Red Balloon, and I am sure there are others I haven't found)

If you want to go to as many cool stores for kids in the smallest space, Linden Hills (Wild Rumpus, Creative Kid Stuff, Wonderment) in Minneapolis or Crocus Hill (Wonderment, Creative Kid Stuff, Red Balloon and Peapods just up the road) in St. Paul are the best. However, if you love custard and hat Wisconsin (sorry, couldn't resist) right across from The Green Goober is Liberty Frozen Custard.

I'm lucky, and I know it. I only have a few things I need to get this year that require either going online or going to a larger store (mostly electronic items).

Thanks to everyone who has shared their local favorites. Keep doing it, and I'll keep linking. Just give me a URL or name. Small businesses thrive on word of mouth, and putting it in writing on the Internet may drive more business their way, making them that much stronger.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I am thankful that this year I managed to go through a holiday with in-laws pretty damn well.

I am thankful for a husband that always drives especially since I am always worn out from family things.

I am thankful that my daughter took a nap (that it took both of her parents laying in bed with her to take) since someone scheduled Thanksgiving dinner in the middle of nap time.

I am thankful that M has great cousins and a great aunt and uncle and that the cousins get along so well.

I am thankful that it is over, because while it was fun, I like being home.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Now on to setting up the Christmas tree.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What local places do you love?

I should have reminded everyone of this again, especially with IComLeavWe going on, but I was apparently too caught up in my own pity party to remember.

I am giving away a book. One Yard Wonders. Written by my friend Patricia Hoskins, owner with her husband Matt of the amazing Crafty Planet and her friend, Rebecca Yaker. All you have to do is tell me something original that you like. Post about it, even better. Comment here, really good. Email me, sure that works too. I'll post it over there on the side bar. Does it have to be local to where I am, heck no.

The idea is that in this tight economic time, instead of supporting the big box retailers and a craziness that has left people dead (last year a security guy at Wally World), that you can focus this black friday on supporting businesses in your community. Not giving up on the post Thanksgiving kick off to the holiday shopping, but maybe doing a bit more in your own hood.

The book I am giving away, autographed by the authors. Purchased with my own money because well, I just think Trish and Rebecca are that kind of awesome. Also, my copy of the book, the one I have been using to make oodles (we're up to two) of cute little fabric houses out of, not autographed. I saved that one for you.

PS. Thanks everyone for the comments on my last post. Proof yet again that the Internet rocks.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


30 Day Shred, level 1, weights for most of it, up to 5 lbs. Need to get the 7 lb weights.

I'm soft, squishy, I need to get back to every damn day.

I ate chocolate today, swore I wouldn't, did it anyway. Damn you chocolate.

This hurts, it sucks, I want it to feel as easy as it did this summer.

Something is missing, I'm filling in holes with food again. Have to figure this out, or else.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Weight of the Matter

For those who are regular readers, you may have noticed that I haven't blogged much recently. Yeah, there is a reason for that.

First, some excuses. Vacation, sick, feeling better, signed up for gym, got an influenza like illness (ILI).

However, for the past couple of weeks I've been going to the gym twice a week, as well as getting out for a walk this last weekend. (absurdly nice weather for late November) I've managed to even jog a little, just like I was before I got sick. My walking pace this last time out was better than I think I ever managed when I was walking in late summer. So, that's good, right?

However, weight still creeping up. Only like five or so pounds, but still, annoying and pants tightening.

Excuses again? Sure. Vacation, Halloween candy, when you're sick nothing tastes good so you eat everything trying to find something that tastes good, and oh yeah my CC # changed because of a fraud thing and I sort of let my food tracking site lapse.

My whole adventure in weight loss started last year when I lost five pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas without really trying. I can't go back on the progress I have made. For one, I gave away all of the clothes that were bigger than what I am wearing right now. Also, I did make a commitment to be a healthier me, for my daughter. A even got in on it and has been going to physical therapy to get his back in order so we can do more active things as a family. Also, I would like some more help with chores around this place.

So, it is nearly Thanksgiving. Here are my resolutions. Start tracking my food. Work out at least three times a week, trying to get back up to four or five after I finish holiday present making. Umm, if I don't blog about how great it is going, someone call me on it, OK?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fruits of My Labors

This is a post mostly for my friend Pusher. These are the Brussels sprouts I grew. We finally harvested them today, I just couldn't wait any longer. They were so tiny (apparently they don't like fighting for sun with a summer squash on steroids) but because of the freezes, they were so sweet. I could have eaten all of them myself, but I had to share with A and M. I even saved a few for tomorrow at work.

You have to grow them next year, dear. They are seriously easy.

In case you haven't noticed, I'm doing IComLeavWe. Hosted by the wonderful Melissa Ford. I can honestly say I wish I didn't have to know who Melissa was. Not that she isn't entirely wonderful (she is, I met her this summer at BlogHer) but because it means that in my case, so many of my friends have struggled with fertility issues. It seems entirely unfair because I should have, and I got lucky. Based on everything I know now about my health issues, it is especially true. I introduced myself to Melissa this summer because of one friend (one of A's old roommates) and then found out weeks later I should have gotten another book for another friend.

Those two friends are both dealing with stuff so serious, so crappy, that if it were me, I am not sure it wouldn't have broken me, at least a little. However, they are so brave, so gracious, and they deserve to not have to go through what they are going through. Ladies, I'm thinking of you, a lot. Nothing but positive energy in your general direction.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Holiday Card Rejects

Not sure I have the winning shot yet, but I at least got ones that would work.

I swear, as she gets older, it gets more complicated. It was easier when she just sat there. Now I have to wrangle her, and the dog, and neither one of them listens unless you dangle a cookie in front of them.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Things I Love Right Now

Hoodie with built in fingerless glove things. I may not be able to run outside (too dark) but it is nice for typing in the cold office.

I finished my MIL's yearly calendar. Always a challenge to make sure I get a balance of grand kid photos in it, and I'm done, and they are balanced.

Lists. I made one of my holiday tasks and it isn't so bad for just about Thanksgiving.

Ripe pears. I haven't had a good one in years, but the ones I got ripened perfectly. Yummy.

Sleeping in. I get to on Sunday.

The Internet. I was able to easily see that M's Ped had H1N1 vaccine and could schedule online without a phone wait.

Tall sizes. I love not having the arms of my shirts be short. I am an orangutan, just like my dad.

Weekends. Another day of work would have sucked.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

'Tis the Season

For as long as I have wanted to be a parent, I have wanted to pass on to my child the enjoyment I have for doing things for others.

When I moved back Minnesota, I began really participating in community giving for the first time as an adult. I am sure that people are generous in NYC, but I never worked at the companies or hung out with the people who did that kind of stuff. When I moved back I didn't have the money, but I had time and organizational skills. Fortunately that was what the first company I worked for needed. Ever since then, I can't imagine not participating in adopting a family at the holidays. As of last year, it is now two families. I organize the family adoption at work, as well as adopting a family at home. This year will be the first year that I will be able to get M involved, and I am really looking forward to it.

I've already started planting a few seeds as we get ready for the season. We've talked about how we need to go through her toys to clean out her room and to give them to boys and girls who don't have toys. It will help clean things up before we add more at Christmas, help with next years taxes, and start teaching her to give. I was also able to ask for a family this year that has a kid closer to her age, to let her help me pick out gifts. The little girl in the family we adopted is 5 and loves Dora, so that shouldn't be a problem at all.

As she gets older, I have more ideas of how we can help teach her lessons about the importance of looking beyond your own needs. As someone who calls herself an atheist (though it is more complicated than that one word) it is something that I'm especially sensitive to. For the sake of starting a discussion, what do you do to help teach those lessons to your children? When did you introduce it?

I've listed a few of my favorites organizations, both local and national, along with some ways to get kids involved.

Toys For Tots - Without question, one of the coolest things that Marines do. If this year is like past, their largest need is for toys for teens, and the very small. Even picking out your baby's favorite toy and giving a new one to the organization is a way even the smallest can get involved.

St. Anne's Place - This is where we adopt a family from. Both St. Anne's and Ascension place serve homeless women and their families. They are looking for everything from small personal care items, to people to adopt entire families. Other local organizations are Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army. Both are national organizations that run similar programs around the country.

Feeding America (Used to be Second Harvest) - In a nation with an excess of calories, it amazes me that so many, especially children, go hungry. If you donate food, make sure that it is as healthy as possible. Don't donate anything you wouldn't feed your own family. In the Twin Cities, Second Harvest has people working at the farmer's markets to encourage people to donate fresh produce to local food shelves.

PS. For some cool ways bloggers are giving back, see this recent post by Mom-101.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Potatoes and Cheese is Heaven

I'll spare everyone more gushing or talk of how I spent my whole night working on a present for M. (I did) Instead I'll talk about dinner. Yummy, Ukrainian dinner.

Growing up I had the privilege of know Peter Ostroushko. One of the many great local folk musicians. If you listen to A Prairie Home Companion, you know he regularly sits in with the house band. Growing up, via Peter, my family would go to the Ukrainian churches in NE Minneapolis for Friday lunches where little old ladies would make pierogies and borscht. Pierogies (or varenyky) are little dumplings of goodness. As far as I'm concerned, the only kind is potato and cheese, but they do come in other varieties. They are one of my favorite comfort foods, that I don't have the energy to make regularly (lots of rolling out and stuffing).

While Friday afternoons I am usually at work, I can still get my fix at Kramarczuk's (just don't ask me how to pronounce it). They are part deli, part meat market, specialty bakery, and well, love. They have everything from a huge selection of home made sausages, to Szegedin Goulash (a pork product and sauerkraut dish that defies a good explanation it would seem seeing as I can't write one). They have German and Eastern European sweets and condiments, fresh bread and a pretty stellar butcher selection.

They are one of my favorite local eateries. They've even inspired me to make our holiday meals more interesting. Christmas day dinner at our house is usually some adventure in ethnic cooking. We've done German, Spanish, and well not sure what to call it but it involved beef, and blue cheese, and walnuts. It was good.

So, where do you like to eat? What is your favorite comfort food?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Best thing ever to happen to fabric hoarders...

It is official. One project and I am totally in love with One Yard Wonders. Not that I really doubted it. I know the authors and some of the contributors and I know that they are great artists, and great teachers. However, I reserved really writing about it until I was able to do a project from the book. As you can tell, that took all of like four days. (I got it late Friday) I also have plans to make more of them, because I love it that much. Pretty sure next on my list is going to be the hotdish holder. You know, for the potlucks at work. This is Minnesota after all. M has requested a twirling skirt, the book offers two. I want an apron, there are many options for those as well.

I collect fabric, and while I am sure my husband loves it taking up room in the basement, this book is my first real chance at actually starting to use some of it. Finally.

Still not sure if it needs windows on the outside. I'm thinking yes, but I need input. The roof is made of multiple scalloped "tiles" though it is hard to tell in the photo.

I was not compensated in any way for this post nor requested to write about it. I shelled out my money for the book, that was how much I really wanted to be able to write about it without having to put it on a review blog. Don't expect this to be the last post about projects I've made from it either.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Too much fun for blogging

Wow, I'm just cranking out the barely a post posts.

Tonight's near failure brought to you by the cloth dollhouse, via UK Lass in the US, via One Yard Wonders (with multiple alterations by me, the person who has trouble with authority patterns).

Seriously cute, but too large of a headache from giving up caffeine to bother with the camera. Besides, it isn't done yet. The little girls in my life (and boys too, since it would make a killer barn) have yet to know what has hit them.

ETA: Oh, what the heck. Please ignore the bits inside, that is the roof, windows, and spool of thread. Also, totally not edited.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Difference of a Day

Last night was a hard freeze, so everything changed in the garden.

Some of the drops from yesterday were still there, but frozen.

The kale is really dark now.

I may be able to still harvest some of the tiny Brussels sprouts. They are small, but should taste amazing.

Well, it used to be lettuce. Now it is just pretty.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

End of the Gardening Season

I love cold crops, and how they hang on so long. It has been mild, so the kale is still OK, as are the Brussels sprouts. It rained last night, leaving some pretty cool photos.

Head of the brussel sprouts with the flash on.

Kale with the flash on. It went from having green to being all dark purple. I tried to take some without the flash, but it was so dark, I couldn't get the shutter speed fast enough or stand still enough.

Brussels sprout head without flash. The rain drops were just amazing. It was so still and the rain was so light and steady that they were everywhere.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A 12 Step Program For Etsy Addicts

I really should be doing the dishes, but so I didn't have to watch/listen to a movie that just wasn't my thing, I just spent two hours basically browsing Etsy.

Damn that place is addictive. It is a good thing I'm poor. I've said it on Twitter and I'll say it again here, they need to figure out how to do gift certificates. Seriously. Because if my MIL could do that she would already have a list from me. She doesn't because I can't come up with more than like six things. I guess that means I am blessed and lucky that there is little I need. Sure, I want things, but they all cost a lot or are on Etsy.

I am so glad it is Friday. I finally feel human, I have no guests, no plans, and I can actually do some crafting cleaning. Right, that is what I should be doing. We'll just ignore that I finally got my copy of One Yard Wonders (sold out multiple times at Crafty Planet just in the last week, but I know they have more now), OK?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Doll Carriers for Everyone

So apparently that header brought out a lot of opinions in people.

For those who are interested, it was a pumpkin, from when we went apple picking in September. There were a lot of them that were like that, but I'm not sure why. I meant to have the header up before Halloween, but well, you know how that went.

The new one was taken downtown Minneapolis, of all places. I love finding bits of green (now yellow) in the heart of the concrete.

Here is the finished doll carrier, being modeled by M and Sock Monkey. I still need to make at least one more, and I may make a couple, since I am enjoying perfecting different parts of it. So, M, my niece, maybe a little girl's who's birthday party we're invited too in December.

We even introduced M to the concept of good behavior for gifts at Christmas. Sort of a roundabout way that she'll get a carrier from Santa if she is good, and this one is for her cousin, but it works.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Post is a Post Right?

I would have a post, I would have a header that isn't creepy (according to my mom) but I spent all night sewing doll carrier #3. #2 was sort of a bust, basically a try out for #3 which I now need to get M to try on and then take away from her, despite the fact that it is PINK! and GREEN! her favorite colors.

Pictures coming when I trim off all of the threads.

Well, and do the dishes, sort of neglected those too.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Local, Original, Lovely

I'm totally stealing Robin's idea for a name for my little local holiday project. Likely the best part of this whole thing is seeing that the places I love, are the places other local people love, as well as finding new places. For instance, Robin's suggestion of Lily's, I would have never tried. However, seeing as Robin really does live a hop skip and jump away from me, it is close enough I really should. Who knows, I might even run in to her there.

I also realized in my rush to get the thing posted, I didn't put enough guidelines around it. My bad.

Post, email, comment, between now and the end of the month. I'll put links to your posts, your blogs, and the places you suggest (depending on how you send them my way) over there on the right. At the end of the month, I'll random number generator draw a person to get the book. And depending how productive the crafting is, maybe something else too.

In other not even remotely related news, I worked out. It has been... awhile. I apologize for falling off the wagon. However, know that I wouldn't be doing this if it wasn't for the fact that I do NOT want to let the Internet down. You rock, and my pants were getting tight again.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sock Love

In preschool, the rules have changed. Lovies are allowed. It would seem it is hard to stop the train that is a little girl with a love for her pink sparkling unicorn. They are played with in the morning during drop offs, then put away until nap time. (which my little snot still takes at school, damn you peer pressure) M's toys used to go to work with me, since they couldn't stay at school. Now they stay for the fun. I was pleased this morning that sock monkey got to go along for the ride. It was all because she wanted to take the doll carrier I had been working on (still incomplete), that sock monkey had so graciously been trying out for me, but I loved it just the same. You can still see some of the wear where she sucked on his tail when she was baby.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hi Ho!

I have to go to work tomorrow.

I used to say that I would make a horrible stay at home mom. It is the kind of rationalization you need to do when you need to be a working mom, but you would rather sit and cuddle a twelve week old instead. It is partially true. I would have a very hard time doing it, but as M gets older, it gets not nearly so bad. If I hadn't felt like death for part of the week, I could have even gotten in some work from home while she played. I hadn't realized how much fun it was going to be when she played on her own. We've even been forcing the issue a little by making her have rest time in her room when she normally would have napped. A couple of hours of forced book reading and quiet play has helped us all stay sane. Well, only as sane as I can be when her room is trashed at the end of the two hours.

Which is all to say, even with minimal TV (which I am totally justifying as my need to get some damn rest) I think I'm comfy doing true full on work from homes if I need to.

Today was a weirdly productive day. An overflowing wash tub in the basement meant I got some extra cleaning done down there (don't ask) and while M had quiet time I even managed to whip out a doll sling for my niece. M tried it on for me, but was not so enthralled with it that I can't put it away for a present later. I left out my sewing machine so I may even try doing another kind tonight. Maybe. I still have more laundry to do. I also tried to workout, but my card for Snap Fitness didn't work. I am extraordinarily pissed about this since I paid for six months a week and a half ago, but getting the sewing done help soften my attitude about.

The pretty fabric definitely helped.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Release the Hounds!

Today M and I celebrated ending quarentine with a shopping trip where I bled money in an effort to find a dress that would go with the dresses my nieces already have for holiday photos, and some good twirling dresses.

M continues to be a contradiction, and I couldn't be more proud. She loves dresses, and pink, and things that twirl, while loving robots, pirates, trucks and dinosaurs. I don't know how I've done it this far, somehow balancing the typical type girls at daycare (she was one of only three non princesses types in her class) with my, ummm, less than girlishness. She knows that there are princesses, but really, doesn't know much beyond what is on her pull-ups and that girls at school like them. We've tried to encourage anything that she has shown an interest in, regardless of the gender normally associated with it.

The shopping was good, if not well, expensive, but we found what we were looking for for the most part. It was so nice to be out of the house.

We ended the afternoon (after rest time, the new naptime) with a visit to see "her" Trish at Crafty Planet. She saw her on TV yesterday and was very excited about getting to see her today. Trish and Rebecca looked amazing, as always. I didn't get my (your) book, because they were nearly sold out and I didn't NEED it right away, but I understand it will be there soon. I did see parts of it including a small soft dollhouse (LOVE IT! M will be getting one for Christmas if I get up off of my arse) and an apron I need to make (I am a klutz in the kitchen). Seriously, you want to win this book, or buy it.

Side note, apparently the Barnes and Noble special version has five extra patterns. Not sure what they are, and while I totally would support buy it directly from Crafty Planet if you're local, hello, five more patterns. That would be 106.

The lovely Patricia Hoskins and Rebecca Yaker.

Friday, November 6, 2009

There are days...

Today was a rough day. Most of it was good, and then it just fell apart into something as a parent and spouse I'd rather not go through.

Of course, no details, that veil of privacy that I must respect.

I was stuck for something to publish, so I went in and started looking at pictures. Who doesn't love pictures.

I found some of M, when she was a newborn. So small, all cheeks and big eyes. It seems so far away from the girl she is now. She's so tall, so wild, so independent. She demands so much. She is always bringing stuff up from days ago, and I can just see how her brain is using all of the downtime it has just to process everything she sees. She saw my brother two weeks ago and recognized that he was wearing the same shirt as my dad, who she saw two weeks before. When she saw my dad tonight (dropping off gifts to the sick house) she asked about the "green man" shirt. Yet she can misbehave, and not know why she's in trouble. She is so grown up, yet still so little all at once.

I know one of the challenges of having a kid who is big for their age is that other people expect so much more for them than their age allows. The hard part, the part I didn't expect, is that I do it too. I do it because she's so big, because she uses such big words, because I resolved long ago not to talk down to kids. But she's only two and a half. She's just babe. If I think she's asserting herself now, thirteen is going to be hell. Some days, hell some hours, some minutes, I look forward to seeing just how she'll turn out, and some times I'm scared as hell.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Crafting Agenda

I finally feel better. I should be crafting, working on holiday gifts before I wait until the last minute and just end up buying the damn doll carrier from Pottery Barn, but I'm not.

Instead I'm browsing Etsy and dreaming about what I would do if I had unlimited funds.

How about I lay out my holiday craft agenda instead of actually doing it. Making a list and planning counts as progress, right?

Doll Carriers for the preschoolers - I had planned on making buying one for M, but then my SIL brought up that her daughter might like one. Well, that just made it a challenge. I have yet to find a pattern for anything I really like online, so I went out and bought enough fabric to experiment with a few designs. They are all sitting in a bag on my kitchen table waiting for me to get it together.

Quilt for M - Not that she doesn't have a million blankets, but I had to take away the blue one my mom brought for her. It had been mine when I was little, made by my grandma Lila. It had a few naptime potty accidents and had to get washed, and is falling apart way to fast to risk that. I know it should get used, but maybe when we master this potty thing completely. Like when she's 12. So, I got cool fabric to make her a new quilt, just need to spend some time at Crafty Planet pinning it so I can tie it. If I have enough time, maybe I'll hand quilt it.

Knit Blanket for the youngest niece - This may turn in to a birthday present. Not sure if I'll get it done in time.

Sock Monkey for the youngest niece - Have got to finish this one. M and oldest niece already have them. A and his brother both got sock monkeys from their grandmother. I loved the idea enough to make them for the first two kids, now the littlest one needs one of her own.

Doll Clothes - This is for M and the oldest nice. Found this awesome idea at Dollar Store Crafts (amazing craft blog). Love that I can get some use out of M's old baby clothes.

It may not seem like much, but I am a wicked good procrastinator.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Green Friday

Before the plague descended on my house, I had this whole other idea of what I was going to do with NaBloPoMo. I finally think like I am well enough to get started on it.

Every year I wait with dread for the mass commercialism that is Black Friday. While I am all for finding a good deal, the absolute craziness that overcomes some people on that day confuses me. After all, is it really worth all of that stuff? People have died because someone wanted more stuff. However, I'm not really a person of extremes. I don't think that being a consumer is bad, I just think that more thoughtfulness in our consumption is warranted. Combine that with the need to support local and small businesses in this struggling economy and I came up with yet another answer among many about what to do on the day after Thanksgiving.

On the day after Thanksgiving (in the US) and perhaps that whole weekend, or the whole holiday season, support local and small businesses. We hear repeatedly how hard it is for small businesses during a down economy. When everyone is trying to get the most for their money, they have the hardest time trying to compete. What you do to support them has the most direct effect on your community. Supporting a local business owner means that the money they make goes in to paying themselves, or local workers, who then buy their gas, groceries, etc. in your community. Establishing relationships with local businesses pays off in all kind of intangible ways. Local businesses our support schools, sports teams, and charities. They may also become your friends, or introduce you to your future husband (that one is for you Kristen).

I wish I had a catchy name for it, but I don't. (anyone want to help with that?)

For the rest of November, and depending on how this goes, I will be posting regularly about some of the small businesses and local businesses that I love. Some of them I have already written about, some of them I have wanted to, all of them deserve it. My challenge to you is to do the same. I've seen the power that blogs can have when it comes to this. I know I've introduced some local readers to things in the area, and you could do the same thing. It doesn't have to be local, just a small business that you love. You know you have secret Etsy crushes.

This wouldn't be a good challenge without a prize, so I'm offering one. If you post, leave your link in the comments, or email me (ameliasprout at gmail dot com) and I'll link to it in this post and on my sidebar. Each post gets you one entry to win a signed copy of One Yard Wonders (which I am purchasing myself). Posts cannot be sponsored.

If you haven't heard of One Yard Wonders yet, it was written by local artists Trish Hoskins (owner with her husband of Crafty Planet) and Rebecca Yaker (of Sock Monkey Wedding Dress fame). I haven't seen it yet, but I have heard wonderful things about it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Wanted: Alone Time

The trouble with NaBloPoMo when you're sick is that well, all I have to write about is being sick.

M is cranky, I am cranky, I am still the most sick, A is still having to work a bunch, I am not.

I want fresh air, but I feel the need to be responsible and stay away from humanity.

I made the mistake of stepping on a scale, yeah, not so good. We're going for convenient and maybe tastes good these days, so yeah... and I haven't exercised because I had been sick, and then I was better, signed up for the gym, got the plague. At least I signed up for six months, got a month free, so essentially I am not losing money, yet.

Perhaps, tomorrow will be better. This can't last forever, right?

Monday, November 2, 2009


We'll call this week a forced vacation of sorts. Saturday night after a rockus night in public including those four houses, and a party, with other kids, M had a slight fever. 100.5 Which our Ped told us was the very edge and that she had to maintain it. When it really didn't return on Sunday, we figured it was a fluke of running crazy in a stuffed spider costume. While neither A nor I felt well, neither of us had the dreaded fever of flu. We did however decide to be safe we would stay home today. Great, until the feverishness came back. I could only pin it down at a little over 100, but we called the Dr, and they said come in, just in case it is strep.

It is not strep, it could be Mono, though she didn't think that enough to test for it. It is however an Influenza Like Illness. (ILI) The dreaded three letter acronym that gets us kicked out of daycare for a week.

Nice, eh?

So, instead of A or I dragging ourselves to work and trading days off with the kid, are both working from home (as much as we can) and enjoying a week of Sesame Street and PBS Sprout. We figure it is a courtesy to all of our coworkers, and since I'm still loving the naps, it is a good thing.

Wearing my mask at the Dr. So M would wear hers and in case I coughed.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sugar High

Things I didn't appreciate enough before having kids:

Sick days that were all about me.
Daylight savings time.
Taking Nyquil and just passing out.

Halloween was a success, except that we all seem to now have a cold. A was nursing something before, but when is the poor asthmatic not nursing something (side effect of having a kid). However, now we all are. Not a fever to be found in the bunch, but enough of "well, almost a fever" that we're all staying home to annoy each other tomorrow to be safe. I am, for the second time since September, cursing my parents for not having my tonsils removed, and I think this may be the year that I really seriously corner an ENT until they do it. It means dragging myself to urgent care every time I get a sore throat for more than a couple of days to establish history, and said urgent cares are full of flu patients, but I guess if that is what it takes. I would really love to be able to eat something with texture without screaming in pain. Also, hard to want to work out when you're in pain. Really.

Speaking of Halloween, I guess I'm like the most boring mom ever. We really don't let M have any candy. She gets the occasional M & M, ice cream every so often (five to six bites at a time), usually as a treat, and generally speaking pretty healthy stuff at home. Even if I wuss on dinner and head for a fast food joint, she usually gets some extra veggies at home. It amazes me that someone would give a kid who weighs under 40 pounds more than a piece at a time. Maybe it is just all of the diabetic nutritionist stuff I'm dealing with, but that would just do horrid things to your blood sugar.

I was lucky in that four houses was plenty for her. She got to enjoy some of it (M & M's emptied into her candy jar), and her dad and I may have offed the other ten pieces ourselves.

So, wish me luck tomorrow. I have every intention of making it a day about movies and snuggles on the couch. We'll see how that goes.