Saturday, October 29, 2005

Argh! My parents and little brother are coming to visit today so I was using Emma's naptime to run around and quickly clean. I was getting lots done when the doorbell rang and, of course, woke Emma. I politely told the guy that, no thank you, I was not interested in hearing about bible prophesies. Grrr. Although as he was walking away he did turn around and mention that he liked the "Human Milk for Human Babies" sticker on my car. After that I forgave him a little bit. Now Emma is back to sleep, but she's on my lap, so there's not much cleaning going on. I'm making a sign for that stupid doorbell today!

Steve is talking to some guy next week about a new job. This new position requires at least 50 hours a week. If it really was only 50 hours a week, that would be great because it's way less than he works now. Unfortunately, I have a sneaking suspicion that it would end up always being more than that. Plus the job requires 25% international travel. Him being gone one week a month is no big deal, but I'm not so sure I want him gallavanting around the world without me. He's pretty excited about the whole thing, but me, not so much. He did say that it's more likely Ems and I could go with him when he travels, which would be incredible, but I'm skeptical.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

A friend who is a fabulous photographer recently took some pictures for us. I saw them today and, even though she did a great job, I'm a little bummed about the way they turned out. Emma is frowning in every single one. She looks like some little grumpy girl I don't even know. I did, however, come to two realizations after looking at these pictures.

1. I have got to stop biting my fingernails. My hands look terrible. I've stopped a few different times before with the help of some stuff called Nail Biter by Sally Hanson. It's really super nasty and you brush it on your nails as a very effective deterrent. The problem is my bottle is gone and I can't find the stuff anywhere anymore. I looked online and it's only available from companies in the U.K. Do they think only the English bite their nails?

2. I want to learn to take better pictures. We have a pretty good camera and I don't even make use of most of it's features. After deciding this, I requested several photography books from the library so hopefully soon I will be some sort of photographer extraordinaire. Or at the very least maybe my pictures won't suck.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The dogs are at the groomer today. I'm always a little sad when they're gone because I know they're miserable, plus the house seems empty without them.

Since the dogs are gone, I thought it would be a good day to clean the carpets. Our carpet was almost new when we bought the house and we managed to ruin it in a little over a year. Emma, Steve, and I spill our fair share of stuff, but at least we don't sneak out there to pee in the middle of the night like the dogs do. Well, like they used to. Ever since we realized what they were doing, we make sure to close the door to the bedroom at night. Anyway, after repeated and failed attempts to steam clean, we discussed tearing up the carpet and polishing the hardwood underneath. Today, however, I decided to give it one last try...except instead of using that worthless (and toxic) commercial cleaner, I made a handy little mixture of vinegar, Borax, peppermint EO, and hot water. And...the carpet looks fabulous! 95 percent of the stains came up, plus the place smells wonderful! It's like we have a new living room! I'm so excited!

I don't recall ever having been so elated about autmn, but I am enjoying it SO much this year! We've been walking twice as far as usual lately because I can hardly force myself to go back in the house. The smell, the crunchy leaves, the brisk air...ahhh. This is cheesy, but I feel like with autumn came the anticipation of so many great things to come: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, big chunky sweaters, yummy food, lots of hot tea, giving gifts, family visits, Ambassadors of Harmony concerts, playing in the snow with Emma, the ski trip, etc. I can't wait!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I'm forever ruining recipes by trying to make them healthier. Just as I was about to give up on making a healthier cookie, I found this recipe. We made them today and they are pretty gosh darn yummy! Of course, they're not exactly good for you, but if you're going to eat cookies (and I am), why not eat some that aren't 100% junk?

The other night Steve and I were, um, discussing the amount of time he spends at work. I insinuated that his job as an auditor is more important to him that his job as a husband and father. I'm feeling pretty guilty about that now, so when Emma wakes up, we're going to drive to his office and leave some cookies, a picture she painted today, and a note thanking him for taking care of us in his car for a surprise.

Monday, October 24, 2005

I finished dyeing the remainder of our prefolds yesterday. They look so pretty! Emma had a good time this morning playing in a sea of colored prefolds.

Emma has a funny habit of saying "HUH?" after we say something to her. It's very similar to Steve's wonderful great uncle, whose ears apparently don't work as well as they used to, because it's hard to get a sentence out without him yelling "HUH?" in the middle. We joke that she's been spending too much time with him. Every day, we have many conversations that go something like this:

"Do we need to change your diaper?"
"Do we need to change your diaper?"
"Do we need to change your diaper?"
"Do we need to change your diaper?"
"Do we need to change your diaper?"
"Do we need to change your diaper?"
"Do we need to change your diaper?"
"Do we need to change your diaper?"
"Do we need to change your diaper?"
"Do we need to change your diaper?"
"Do we need to change your diaper?"
"Do we need to change your diaper?"

Next time I'll have a different line; hers is always the same. What a goofy kid.

My car, which was terrible to begin with, just got a little worse. My lock on the passenger side broke, so now I have to unlock the car on the driver's side, then walk around and put Emma in on the passenger's side, then walk back to my side. Normally not such a big deal, but not so pleasant in the rain. Especially when you figure that the rain has already been pouring into my car from the leaks in the roof, permeating the air with a damp mildewy smell. Lovely. I SO want another car. I always swore I'd never drive a minivan, so I am somewhat embarassed to admit that I've had serious minivan envy lately. I see those moms walking out to their vans in parking lots. The vans' doors are already open, beckoning to the mother and her children with the promise of plenty of space and good safety ratings. Then I am there, in the next space over, trying to fold myself into the miniature backseat and get Emma safely in without bumping her head on the ceiling. As we rattle out of the parking lot in my little matchbox, I look longingly after that minivan mom, gliding smoothly and comfortably out of the lot. Sigh.
So remember how I was talking about that yummy tea? Well tonight I made Steve try it, and his response was, "Ew, this stuff sucks." So, consider yourself warned. Now, I promise I won't talk about that tea anymore. Well, unless there is some truly amazing pomegranite tea incident.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

I am sorry to always be blathering on and on about Emma's cuteness, but I have got to tell this story. Tonight we were doing puzzles in her room. She took two of the pieces and laid them on the floor, saying "night night". Suddenly she jumped up with the pieces and left the room. I stayed behind to clean up the other pieces. After a moment she came back in and pulled on my hand, saying "night night" over and over. She led me into the bedroom, where she showed me this.She had put them to bed! She crawled up there and kissed them both, then insisted we leave the room and turn out the light. How precious is that?

Let's see...Friday night Emma and I went to JoAnn's and got some great, fun, cheap stuff. Then we went to this great Mediterranean place for dinner. Steve got home later in the evening. This morning we all went to the pumpkin patch at Crown Center. Steve had to work there as a volunteer and Ems and I hung out and did pumpkin patch-y things. We ate lunch at The Cheesecake Factory, then Steve went to work. He got home tonight at around 11:00, beat me at Scrabble, and went to bed. He said he will be at work already when Emma and I get up tomorrow. Grrr...

Oh yeah, Emma has always been scared of horses and ponies, but today she did the pony ride at the pumpkin patch and was a very brave girl!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Remember that bedroom that I was going to paint this week? And the curtains I was going to sew? Well, for your amusement, here's what I accomplished.
Plus, for your viewing pleasure, a picture of the World's Cutest Kid.
I'm pretty sure I have temporomandibular joint syndrome. Meaning, in case you're not familiar with that term, that I have jaw issues. For the past few months, my right jaw has been pretty much sore all the time, and I also have some popping and cracking going on. Lovely, huh? I mentioned it to my dentist last time I was there, and he said my bottom molars on that side look like they've been worn down due to excessive grinding. Weird. He suggested that maybe at my next appointment, which is in March, they make me a bite gueard to wear while I sleep. Now I'm thinking I'm going to go back for that sooner, to avoid more damage to the hinge and gliding joint in my jaw, as well as my teeth. Plus it's just getting on my nerves. I just looked up teeth grinding in my wonderful Smart Medicine for Healthier Living book. The fancy word for teeth grinding is bruxism, and the resulting condition is that long term I wrote at the beginning of my post. The book describes a bunch of symptoms, most of which I have. There are various helpful herbs and supplements listed, and I think I will give some of them a try.

The real question is, why am I grinding my teeth all of a sudden? Am I stressed about something and don't realize it? The only thing I can think of that really bothers me is Steve working so much, but as far as stressful times in my life go, this is not one of them.'s a mystery, I guess.

Do you ever have days when you eat and eat and never feel full? Yesterday, I ate nonstop all day long and today I am crazy hungry again. Last night I made four pumpkin pies (my version, which is really just a super healthy and yummy snack) to give me something healthy on which to snack. Two are already gone! Eek!!

Steve will be home in five hours!! Woo-hoo!!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The tea I was raving about is not what I said it was. It's actually Moroccan Red Pomegranite. Well, I was close anyway.

Today I got a package from Dharma Trading Co. and it was filled with those little puffy packing peanuts. Only there was a note inside explaining that they were made from the starch from corn and potatoes and are completely biodegradable. You can toss them in your sink and dissolve them with water, or you can throw them on your compost pile. How cool is that? The note said they were about twice as expensive as regular styrofoam ones, which makes it even more cool of Dharma to do that. Good for them!

I've been on a co-op binge lately. In the last month, I've joined co-ops for Pedoodles (twice), Tom's of Maine, Burt's Bees, LLL books, Sigg bottles, BabyLegs, and - coming soon - some more Dharma stuff. I've also participated in four swaps. Oh, how the mailman is going to love me!
Emma and I are weird. She was up until 1:30 tonight and I, of course, am still up in these wee hours of the morning. We were supposed to have a park playdate tomorrow at 11:00, but the other mom emailed me and cancelled because of the rain. I am secretly glad (although not so secretly anymore, I guess!) because now we will not have to get up in time to go. Are we destined to go through our whole lives waking up and going to bed four hours behind everyone else?

OMG, I have discovered the BEST tea! Rooibos Red Pomegranite by Celestial Seasonings is wonderful! Drinking hot tea is always soothing, but this stuff brings the experience to a whole new level. Mmmmmmmm...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I've tried to set up our house so that it's a "yes" environment for Emma, but I often still feel as though I'm saying "no" to her all day long. "No, don't dump the box of spaghetti on the floor." "No, don't get the trash out of the trash can." "No, don't throw crayons into the toilet." "No, you can't climb on the table." I read a blog entry today that made me think about this whole thing. Clearly, she can't throw crayons in the toilet, but I'm going to make an effort to always say yes when I can.
Emma is getting sneaky. She's always throwing her food to the dogs, even though she's not supposed to. Now when I see her about to do it, I say "Emma, no!" and she'll excitedly point to and name something on the refrigerator - to distract me - and then still toss the food on the floor with her other hand! Luckily I am clever enough to see through her little game! :) The bad thing is that I'm always giving my own food to the dogs. I'm trying to stop, or at least be sneaky about it LOL, so Emma will forget how much fun it is. I'm sure the dogs don't appreciate it, though!

I've been working on painting the bedroom, but it's coming along slooooowly. Painting with a toddler running around is, impossible. There is no way I'm going to have it finished by the time Steve comes home. On the bright side, I love the color I got. I wanted a bright, but calming green color. A lot of the light greens were kind of minty looking and I didn't want that. While trying to decide on a color, I was desperately wishing for someone else's opinion (other than Emma's), but it turns out I made an okay pick.

Right now I'm dyeing some prefolds. I've dyed some in the past and they turned out well, but I must have done something wrong this time. The ones I'm doing now are quite possibly the ugliest color I've ever seen. They are supposed to be chartreuse, but are unfortunately some nasty brownish grayish green color. Bleh.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Check this out. You can sign up at this website to track your blog visitors. My last 20 visitors:

October 17, 2005 8:13 pm: Blue Springs, Missouri
October 17, 2005 5:40 pm: Kirksville, Missouri
October 17, 2005 2:49 pm: Toronto, Ontario
October 17, 2005 1:16 pm: Chicago, Illinois
October 17, 2005 12:25 pm: San Clemente, California
October 17, 2005 11:45 am: Overland Park, Kansas
October 17, 2005 7:39 am: Bonner Springs, Kansas
October 17, 2005 7:36 am: Kirksville, Missouri
October 17, 2005 6:46 am: Windsor, Ontario
October 16, 2005 9:31 pm: Kansas City, Missouri
October 16, 2005 7:31 pm: Hartford, Connecticut
October 16, 2005 7:26 pm: Brisbane, Queensland
October 16, 2005 6:43 pm: Ft. Saskatchewan, Alberta
October 16, 2005 6:02 pm: St. Louis, Missouri
October 16, 2005 5:33 pm: Bellingham, Washington
October 16, 2005 2:22 pm: Kirksville, Missouri
October 16, 2005 1:06 pm: Clemson, South Carolina
October 16, 2005 11:23 am: Kearney, Missouri
October 16, 2005 9:59 am: Blue Springs, Missouri
October 16, 2005 12:51 am: Palm Desert, California
October 15, 2005 9:55 pm: Appleton, Wisconsin

It appears as though I may have a stalker or two in Kirksville! ;)

Here is my map.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

I am super tired. Yesterday we got up at the crack of dawn to go volunteer at this 5K run to benefit a local charity. We got there and drove around for quite awhile trying to find the race setup. Turns out...duh...the race was today, not yesterday. This morning, once again, we got up before the sun and drove 45 minutes to get there. At least today we weren't the only ones there! It was actually pretty fun. We had to stand on the course and direct the runners which way to turn. Emma was with us, waving and clapping, and many of the runners huffed and wheezed about how cute she was as they passed.

This week while Steve is gone, I'm going to work on a project to surprise him. My problem is I can't decide which project to do. I'm for sure going to sew curtains for the bedroom and make a (hopefully) cool wall design using our photos. I'm also either going to paint the bedroom or the bathroom. The bathroom would be quick and easy, plus we already have the paint. Also, I can only paint while Emma is asleep and painting the room in which she is sleeping could prove to be quite difficult. But, even though it makes way more sense to do the bathroom, I'm probably going to do the bedroom anyway. Since I'm already doing the curtains and some decorations, I think it will be more satisfying to just do the whole thing.

I'm planning on making a wall collage with black and white pictures. I'd really love to use pictures from our wedding, but I don't have any digital ones to use for copies. Argh! I will probably end up using pictures of Emma, just because that's really all we have. Our entire house is filled with pictures of her adorable little self, why not fill the bedroom with them as well?

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Steve is back!!! :) It's so nice to have a whole family again. When he gets home I feel this tension that I didn't even know was there lifted off of me.

I've been feeling frustrated lately because our house is always a mess. Granted, I'm no amazing housekeeper, but the fault is mostly Emma's. She can take a spotless room and trash it in under three minutes. Today I was trying to get the house all clean for Steve's return, and she did her best to thwart my efforts. For example, I completely cleaned the kitchen. A minute later I asked her to go in there and throw something in the more minute later I went in to see what she was doing...the towel on the stove had been thrown on the floor, she'd removed about half the contents of the trash can and thrown them on the floor, plus my cookbooks were strewn about on the floor. The dogs were happily eating things that had been thrown out of the trash, namely used muffin cups, and spreading pieces all over the clean floor. Sigh. I don't know what I can do to have a cleaner house, besides clean it from top to bottom every night after Emma goes to bed. We all know that's not going to happen!

We have to be at some KPMG function tomorrow at 7:45am so I better be off to bed.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

We had a good day today. We went to Deanna Rose, which is a children's farmstead with animals, trails, playgrounds, etc. Other than just the general coolness of Deanna Rose, two extra cool things happened while we were there. First, I saw a woman on a bench nursing twins! Definitely not something you see every day, and definitely cool! The second cool thing was that I ran into another mom who looked vaguely familiar. She asked me if I was in KCAP, and it turns out we met each other at a vaccination meeting right after Emma was born. She said she has seen me and Emma on our walks because she lives in my subdivision, right around the corner! She has two little girls, one of whom was born the day before Emma. We exchanged emails and are planning to hang out.

Tonight Emma and I went to a Holistic Moms Network open house and I officially joined. I'm trying my best to have a healthy family, and I need those meetings to keep me on the straight and narrow!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I am happy to report that Emma is back to her cheerful, nutty self. She was a little fussy this morning, but was much better by the afternoon and we ended up having a great day. She didn't go to sleep until after midnight, but I was so relieved that she was feeling better that I didn't mind.

We had the yummiest dinner ever. I made macaroni and cheese, but added broccoli, peas, and some red pepper to make it a complete meal. I used whole wheat flour, whole wheat pasta, half cow's milk and half soy and it was fabulous! Mmmm...I'm a sucker for cheesy stuff.

Here she is enjoying one of her favorite activities.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Well, those morons at the AAP have struck again. Of course it won't change anything in my house, but I'm sad for those babies whose parents listen to this crap. Sadly, for so many, parenting has become about following "guidelines" unstead of following instinct. Anyway, I think they forgot to mention in that article that in many countries, such as Japan, co-sleeping is the norm and SIDS is almost non-existent. Information on that can be found in this article.

If anyone reading this wants doesn't understand why anyone would still choose to co-sleep (ahem, grandma :)), please read this.
Emma has been crying nonstop. The only explanation I have is that she's teething, although it's never been like this in the past - not even close. Last night she kept waking up crying and saying "ow, ow!". Poor girl. Poor me. Yesterday I gave her some Tylenol, which helped somewhat. Then today I gave her three separate doses of it. I hate doing that but she's clearly miserable (and driving me crazy!). I just hope she's feeling better soon.

Our house is a wreck. I'm hoping that some little elves sneak in tonight and clean it. If Emma is still feeling bad tomorrow, that's the only hope I have for it getting clean. It's not looking too good.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Why is it that if I lay down in the afternoon, I will almost certainly fall asleep, yet at night I sometimes lay there forever, wide awake?

Emma has not been herself lately. For the past few days, she's been completely irrational and, to be honest, not much fun. It's been one tantrum after another. This morning we were going to get in the shower. She was holding a doll and, as I explained that dolls don't need showers, I gently pried the doll from her iron grip. Whoa. She threw herself on the floor in a fit of rage, screaming hysterically. She didn't get over it for a long time and I never got a shower, which is why I am a complete greaseball now. Then later she was eating some tuna casserole for a snack, but she kept throwing it to the dogs. I asked her to stop, and when she didn't I went and took her plate away. More fits. Just as she was getting over that one, she decided she wanted to go outside. We had already been outside at the park for a long time so I tried to distract her. She hopefully brought me my shoes and when we still didn't go outside, another tantrum. An on and on, you get the idea. I hope this is just a little phase as I am unsure of what to do to help her deal with her frustration.

On a happier (and much cuter) note, she is really papa's girl lately. In the morning as soon as we wake up, she runs into the office looking for Steve and saying , "Papa?" I wish he could be there because she always looks crestfallen when he is not. He will be out of town the next two weeks and I guess we will both be missing him like crazy. :(

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Autumn has arrived...and quickly! Yesterday morning we still had our air conditioner on, this morning I turned on the furnace! This afternoon Emma and I are going to put out our fall/Halloween decorations. We're also going to bake some butterscotch cookies for Steve's dad - what a perfect fall afternoon! :)

Yesterday we went to that hayride thing and it was really cool. There was a big play area with slides and tunnels and mazes made out of hay bales. There were also different animals to see. We got to see a bunch of piglets nursing, which was very cute. Emma loved petting the bunnies and little pigs, but was terrified of the bigger animals, like the ponies and goats. She'd point to the ponies (who weren't much bigger than her) and excitedly say "horse" but as soon as we'd start walking towards them, she'd run away saying "ow...ow...ow". What a nut!

My foray back into the world of fiction is going well. I'm reading Flowers for Algernon, from the banned books list, and enjoying it immensely. I just requested Of Mice and Men, also from the list, to ensure that I don't finish this one and leave myself with nothing else to read.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Remember how I was complaining about the shipping costs? Well, this morning one of the mamas PM'd me to say she noticed the shipping was more than I'd quoted and she sent me an extra $5. What a nice gesture!

Last night I was trying to learn a little bit of html so I could change some things on my blog template. I IMed my brother to complain about how difficult it was. He managed to take enough time out of his statistics homework to tell me that he wishes he had my life. Because, really, I do have a pretty sweet deal going on here. For example, last night Steve was at work until 12:30, David (my brother) was up doing icky statistics and calculous homework, and I was just playing. My whole life is one big playtime. I really have no worries, no major problems. This morning Emma and I went to the library, went out to lunch, then came home and played in the backyard. When she wakes up from her nap, we're going on a hayride at a nearby pumpkin patch. All this while so many people are sitting at desks, making phone calls, driving in traffic...I am so very thankful that I have this life. Now, I'm off to make some hot tea and read a book!
Oh, no...

Which "Saved By The Bell" Character Are You?

Monday, October 03, 2005

I am terrible at guessing shipping charges. I sold a few things on MDC and quoted what I thought would be accurate shipping prices. As usual, I was way off. One mama paid me $5 for two shirts and the shipping. The shipping alone for that package was $5.50. Now, I'm not really out to make money. I mostly just want the things to go to someone else who can use them, but I don't want to pay for that to happen! The blame is only partly mine, though. There is this new guy at the post office who's helped me (ha!) the last two times I've been there. He is a Priority Mail nazi! I usually find out the different prices, then if there is a sizeable difference, I'll just do first class. If the difference is negligible, I'll go with priority. So this guy, at first he says, "Overnight express will be blah some ridiculous amount blah". Sheesh, buddy, I'm only mailing some diapers...give me a break! He then quotes me the priority price. I ask him what the cheapest option is and he tells me all the reasons why priority is better and that the difference is usually only about $0.10. Even though I know there is sometimes more of a difference, I wimped out and gave in to priority on the first two. Then with the third one, the $5.50 one, he distracted me by asking how old Emma was. While I was blathering on about her, he just weighed the package and sent it priority! I didn't notice until it was too late. I'm going to do my best to avoid that guy and his super long fingernails in the future.

Tonight I made an absolutely fabulous Tofu-Pumpkin Pie. Emma loved it! I also baked some Pumpkin Spice muffins, on which I am happily munching at this moment.

Steve is working late tonight. Poo. The good news is Emma already asleep and I have a night of FREEDOM!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Today we were all in the backyard and Steve had gotten out the mower to cut the grass. He had it on the fastest speed and, for fun, was careening around the yard gleefully. He started to chase poor Pax with it. As Pax was running for cover, Steve turned around to look at me and Emma joyfully, then smashed right into a tree! It was the most hilarious thing I've seen in a long time! The look on his face at the impact was priceless...we laughed about it for a long time. I don't know that the mower will ever fully recover, but it was worth it.

In spite of the lawn mower incident, I'm very proud of Steve. I'm always rambling about my opinions on certain things, such as breastfeeding, the family bed, vaccines, etc., and he just goes with it but doesn't really seem to care one way or the other. Well, a few days ago, I ran across this idiotic article and was upset that this woman is trying to turn the tragic dreath of a little girl into an attack on many unrelated things about which she clearly knows nothing. I read some of the more outrageous snippets to Steve. He got really upset, and rightfully so, but I was amazed to hear him rant for over twenty minutes about it. I had no idea he cared so much! As a former subscriber of the National Review, he demanded I write them a letter expressing my disappointment in their publishing it and refuting all the stupid points that were made in the article. I let it drop, but this morning he asked if I'd written the letter. I said no and he said that tonight we could write one together. Yay for Steve- my new little activist!

We watched Crash last night and it's really excellent. I highly recommend it.