Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Lot of Really Important Information

A collection of nothing and everything. Kisses.
  • Can we band together to make oil pulling go away? Even though it's technically right up my alley given my propensity towards things like vinegar as a cure-all/do-all and food being medicine and all the other hippie stuff, I just abhor it as a concept and it makes me want to curl up and die like an inchworm each time I see something about it. Today a marketer sent me something about it No, Marketer of Oil Pulling, no.
  • We visited Santa (at Macy's 8th Floor Display in Minneapolis, per usual) and I decided that Husband-Raj-Max (this new name is not working out for anyone, is it?) and I should jump in the picture to keep Lily appeased and that was a mistake. I now don't like this picture at all, especially because I made the poor fashion choice of a white top (am lumpy-looking like Cream of Wheat) and I'm sitting (so further lumps) and I'm angled towards the front so extra large compared to all and womp, womp. So this years Santa picture will remain Secret Santa for now, only to be exposed on our fridge.
  • Back in high school, when I was a senior and my brother was a sophomore, we often arrived very early to school, like 45 minutes early. This seems like an odd phenomenon in retrospect, but I also used to wake up at 4:45 AM to do AP Biology homework my junior year of high school so I guess it was just how I was? Which seems so strange. (Related: I thought high school was a far bigger ass-kicker than college. High school was multiple hours of school then hours of homework PLUS multiple extra curriculars and jobs and such. College was a handful of classes and lots of napping and one easy-ish job and extra curriculars that involved wooing boys and eating pizza.) ANYWAY! The point. So my brother and I were dropped off so early that we would be the first to make footprints in the snow as we walked in. (There was always new snow. See: North Dakota winters.) We would either choose: The Ethan Frome (drag one leg behind you while maintaining regular footprint with opposite leg) or The Alternating Pigeon/Ballet (a few steps with your feet aggressively pointed in and then a few with them dramatically in first position).  Then we would get inside the school and not talk to each other for the rest of the day.
  • It occurs to me now that while I was playing snow games with my younger brother as a senior, Husband-Raj-Max was being voted prettiest or most sporty or biggest womanizer or something. It is best that we met later in our lives for all involved.
  • I have another story about the high school. In 1996, when I was a sophomore and my sister was a senior, there was a terrible blizzard and school was cancelled midday. My dad came to pick us up in his Lincoln, a car which he had super randomly purchased from a used car lot. The entire inside was covered in a one inch layer of royal blue velvet. Apparently that was his mid-life crisis car. Again, I am losing track of the story. Okay, so it's horribly snowy and it's the kind of snow that is actually tiny pellets of ice that attacks everything and turns the world into ice. #YesVeryArendelle I saw my dad pull up to the roundabout and I carefully made my way to the car, grabbed the door handle and then straight up slipped and slid UNDER the car. One second I'm a normal high schooler wearing my best Calvin Klein jeans and nowhere near enough winter gear and the next second I'm laying on my back under a car. I was totally fine but HORRORS HORRORS DID ANYONE SEE ME DO THAT ZOMG. I scrambled into the car in a cloud of shame. Two minutes later my sister came out and did the exact same thing. It was the best of times and the worst of times and it was G-D funny, for sure. Then we drove home and probably slid into the ditch a few times because that was how life was for us country kids in the winter. No stories about uphill both ways because Fargo has nary a hill to be seen for miles around. 
  • This seems like a good time to tell you that I'm so un-used to any variation in elevation that I get very scared about parking on any sort of an incline and I can barely handle driving up anything mildly steep and HOW DOES SAN FRANCISCO EVEN WORK?
  • This morning Oliver told his preschool buddy's dad that his dad is a fire fighter. That is not true.
  • Also this morning, we were looking at baby pictures of each of the kids (somehow there was a spare hour of time to fill this morning before school drop offs...sigh and also: why?) and we got to a picture that was just of me. Bella stopped Oliver from advancing to the next picture and turned to me and sweetly said, "I know you will want to look at this one for awhile." LOL
  • Let's talk about periods. You: NO. Me: YUP. Okay, so I recently became a woman. I mean, my period is back. This is months and months earlier than with either of the first two (maybe because of my copper IUD? Or because Lily is just smaller and less night-needy and therefore less nursing?) and I can't say I'm a fan. Of course, 8 months out is pretty good so I shall not gripe further. Since I've only had about 5 real periods in the last six years (insanity), I have not branched out to the new fangled diva cups. Dare I give them a go? Feedback, SVP. In then meantime, every kids favorite forbidden toy, tampons and other feminine supplies, are back under the sink, ready to be unwrapped by the dozen, doused with water and tossed about. Modern day pig bladders, I guess.
  • Ok, must wrap up this finely crafted piece of literary brilliance as I have some Shutterfly calendars that won't make themselves. No siree, they won't.
  • SHIIIIIT. Lily is done napping and the calendars have not been calendared at all. Ruh roh.
Ethan F.
(Mr. Frome if you're nasty)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

5 Random Things

After that latest round of Week in the Life posting, I had to go underground for a bit. I was feeling a little over-exposed or something (or simply tired of blogging). But I'm baaaaack and here to take part in the most precious and important type of blog post: the meme. Tagged by Andrea of Mama in the City.

I am supposed to write 5 random things about me, but I daresay I have covered pretty much everything over the years so I will just do random things in general. But should you want some specific "about me" info? How about this pre-kids 100 things about me post from 2008.

1. First we have an update on Oliver and swimming lessons. So you may recall me writing about the fact that he sobbed through his first couple lessons and basically called out for me the entire time and it was HORRIBLE. We have persevered and happily the crying got less and less each week until the past two lessons where there has been NO CRYING! And even better he is making strides and putting his face in the water and all that. We still drop him and Bella off with the teacher and then go and hide but hopefully we can stop doing that soon enough, too. Yay!

2. Lily continues to be a non-pooper, although it's improving a bit. It's the opposite of my other babies so it's very confusing to me. We have had some success by adding in a daily dose of flax oil (which I have to give her in a medicine dropper since she is still anti-bottles and has yet to figure out sippy cups), daily infant probiotics, and regular pediatric suppositories (a few times a week, but they do not always do the trick). I'm also erring on the side of limited/slow introduction to solids, which means she is mostly just getting pears, prunes, or maybe some green beans, until I can get her going at least three times a week. And I also try to do pear juice or prune juice but we have to basically squeeze a bottle of it into her mouth or use the dropper No. Any other tips from been-there-done-that parents?

3. Last weekend I finally shredded up all those financial/personal info documents that had been building up for almost a year (or more likely - I would bet they have been building up for 7.5 months...i.e. since Lily was born). It ended up being a full garbage bag full of paper shreds to be recycled. However, Bella nearly wept at the thought of me chucking the bag in the recycling bin as she insisted she needed them for art projects. And no, the option of me shredding paper on an as-needed basis would not do. As I watched her plea her case and amusingly lug around the huge bag of paper shreds over her shoulder a la Santa Claus, I was reminded of just how great and frustrating parenting is all at the same time. KIDS, man.

4. I purchased some actual grown-up winter boots. I had been wearing either some ill-fitting lace-up boots that I bought in 1998 (Candie's brand, mind you) or some crappy faux Uggs from Target that got my socks wet nearly every time. Since winter is obviously going to continue to happen every year (alas...), I decided I might as well make it a little more tolerable this year so that means I'm finally getting proper boots, snow pants and additional pairs of warm socks (and Raj-Max-Husband is doing the same). So please meet my new boots:

They are cute enough that I will probably wear them to all things for the next six months, but they are also waterproof and good for playing in the snow and all that. So! Sexy snow bunny, here I come!

5. A post called "Golden Repair" by All & Sundry about was one of the more brilliant things I read lately. The way she tied it into how her own mistakes have made her better in the end resonated with me very strongly. A mini-quote:
Kintsugi or Kintsukuroi is the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with lacquer resin dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. The words mean golden joinery, or golden repair.
Do you see the glory in the bowl’s faults? How nothing is disguised or hidden, but rather brought into the light and made beautiful? How the bowl is stronger, thanks to the cracks that once broke it apart?
 Isn't that so striking and lovely? I want to get some Kintsugi pottery to keep that reminder visible in my life.

I tag all who want to be tagged!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

These are the Days of Our Lives: Fall 2014

27 participants this round and all from 'Murrica. I need to include my usual urging for readers to leave comments and for bloggers to consider turning off any extra commenting steps for a day or two to make the commenting process easier. These posts are a lot of work and comments are so nice to get.

**Bloggers featured here: if you would prefer I use a different picture just let me know! I always mean to tell you all that you can tell me which picture to use but then I forget because my brain is a sad, sad thing these days.**

Without further ado, in the order in which I received them (with the multiple day people being moved to the top)...

Frugal Vegan Mom

The Oregon Tale

Payette Pigtails
Sunday Monday-Saturday

Sinking into Motherhood

Live Inside My Bubble




South Carolina



New Mexico

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Week in the Life: Fall 2014 (Friday)

One last day to get me those DITL links, friends! (Okay, if you are under the gun you can still get them to me by Wednesday ;)

Friday, October 31: Halloween!
Max (formerly known as Raj) = 40
Laura = 34
Bella = 5
Oliver = 3
Lily = 7 months

Thank thee lord it is the last day!

The kids are so excited when they wake up since it's finally the big day. My MIL sent cards to the kids so it was nice to have a little bonus surprise for them in the morning.

We remove the last loop from the chain Oliver and our sitter made as a count-down to Halloween.

Oliver gets stuck...again. "Mommmyyyyyyy!"

Two funny kid sayings from the morning:
1. Oliver and I are cuddling in the bed with Lily in the morning and he looks at Lily's mouth and then looks at me and says "Her lost her teeth. Her swallowed them." Haha.

2. I was telling the kids about a dream I had where Oliver was driving my van (as a three year old).  Bella announced that it would of course be safer for her to drive than Oliver. Of course!

It's another Lily scream-fest morning but I'm better equipped in the sense that I was planning on it being like that.

Drop Bella at the bus and Oliver at preschool and then come home and get Lily napping. Ahhhhhhhh! So so so nice to be in my house when it's quiet. It's a morning where I should be tackling things left and right (chores, blogging catch-up, all the to-dos that don't get done like finding someone to clean our gutters or getting our internet bill figured out) but I am so very exhausted and worn down after this very busy week and also crappier than usual sleep. So I am kind to myself and relax.

Lily's up 45 minutes before it's time to get Oliver so we do a quick trip to Lund's to restock our eggs and milk. I also pick up sushi for a treat for the kids to have before trick-or-treating.

Lunch is reheated taco-seasoned ground beef, rice, and peppers (I keep several lunch portions in the freezer) with salad and salsa.
Oliver cries and cries about not getting sushi right now.

Get Lily to nap and once again attempt (and fail) to get Oliver to nap.

We cuddle and I manage to get the most flattering picture of me from the week ;)
I would love to just relax and let Oliver watch a show but we only have a small bit of time before we need to head to Bella's school for their Halloween party. I'm getting a solid case of "Too Much Halloween" at this point and we still have this party, trick-or-treating and then a neighbor's party tomorrow. Too. much.

Wake up Lily early from her nap. Poor kid - so many short naps this week!

Max gets home (he took a half day!) and we arrive in Bella's classroom. Very cute to see her in her school environment. They do a mini-parade around the admin people's office area...and get more candy. WHY WHY WHY?

Then there is a little bit of time before they parade through several classrooms so the teacher reads a book. Bella asks permission for her brother to sit on the carpet with her and the teacher says it's fine. (Family was encouraged to dress up, too, so of course Oliver is rocking the dragon costume again!) It's very sweet and at one point Bella even puts her arm around him. Such touchy-feely little ones we have...just like their daddy. The kids are always reaching out to hold hands with their friends or hug them hello or goodbye. Stinky mommy (moi) avoids hugs from anyone who isn't my immediate family.

After the kids parade around the school for a bit they get settled back in their classroom for their party which mainly consists of doing activities at a table and then rotating around the room. Bella asks that we leave because she is a big girl and wants to be alone. A little unexpected but I am fine with respecting this request and it will be honestly easier than managing the other two kids during this very tame and quiet party (Oliver could have joined in but I felt a little awkward since there were only a couple other younger siblings there.) So we decide to take Bubby to Starbucks as the grown-ups are really wanting some caffeine. Since he had already seen the cookie Bella was going to get at her party (not crazy about the cookie during a day of candy but whatever...I feed her well at home), we make the questionable decision to give him a cakepop. This is a very sugary week!
Max gets a frappuccino (his usual),  I get a tall blackberry mojito iced tea (I wanted less caffeine and something non-dairy) and we also get Oliver an ice water. Oliver keeps shaking his drink aggressively in the same manner that Max shakes his frappuccino aggressively after each sip. (This frappuccino shaking behavior drives me INSANE IN THE MEMBRANE. Apparently a co-worker mocked him for it and I found that validating and also delightful.)

Max and the two young kids go back to the house and I head back to the school to get Bella as we had discussed earlier but at this point she has changed her mind and wants to stay and take the bus home (half the kids just went home with their parents after the party). She starts crying and I can tell how overwhelmed she is so I make a deal that we can stay 10 more minutes. The kids are watching a SchoolHouse Rock episode and I play on my phone for 10 minutes and then Bella is much more ready to leave.

Get home and I take a nap with Lily and it's heavenly. I LOVE napping with my children. It's hands down one of my favorite parts of parenting. This is also why Max and I don't really care when kids come into our bed in the night - it's nice to snuggle them.

Get out the sushi to feed the kids. Each kid only eats about 3 pieces since it's a little spicy (it's essentially a spicy tuna roll). Max and I eat the rest.

Then I fix them a bit more sustenance - cheese, apple slices, peanut butter.

We are all kind of grumpy at this time and snapping at each other but we soldier on. It's Halloween! Let's have fun, dammit! I insist the kids get into their costumes so I can take photos while it is still light out. I know Max is annoyed by this but hopefully in the end he sees the value of getting these pictures.

The kids watch a little bit of a show while I get set up for the trick-or-treaters. I wanted to make sure to have non-food treats this year in addition to candy.
Last year I asked Max if we could do solely non-candy treats for trick-or-treaters and he thought that was straight-up crazy. I may get my wish next year given the crazy amount of candy we acquired at various events!

It's beer o'clock for us. I bought Blue Moon thinking that sounded good but I quickly realized my taste buds have outgrown the flavor at some point. Or maybe I only like it as a draft beer? Or...quite possibly...maybe I have only had it when I was already 2 beers to the wind so I am misremembering liking it.
It is finally dark enough and we set out!

It's pretty chilly and there are only a handful of kids out at this point since it's still early. We see a fellow Elsa and that Elsa says, "Hi Elsa!" to Bella. I'm glad all these little Elsas like to see each other, versus feeling mad that everyone is in the same costume.

Ok, I must address this little bit of insanity that we encountered. The cul-de-sac the next street over had this crazy party going on. They had one of those big warming lights like you would find at a bar patio and a fire pit and a whole bar set out in addition to food in the middle of the street. They also had a movie projector set up in a front yard showing Avatar.

The concept was cool but the execution kind of pissed me off. I would have had zero problems with it had they been in someone's front yard (or even better - a backyard or in a house). But with the way they were situated smack in the middle of the street, you were unable to avoid walking through what was essentially a private party. A very showy private party. Also, their house lights were on so you would go to ring their doorbell and no one would answer but someone at the party would eventually shout "Oh - the candy is over here!" So then you would have to walk to their party. One dude said "Hey, you are double dipping!" to Bella when she walked up to him (since he was holding candy) because I guess the other candy bowl was his, too? And then he said something rude to her when she mentioned how good the food looked, "Not for you, kid!"  That gave me mama rage.

Seriously, WTF were they thinking!? Of course kids aren't going to understand that the food wasn't something they could have (and I bet some adults got confused, too!) I felt offended on her behalf. Then Oliver went running for a large clay pumpkin that had a fire going in it that was set up on the edge of the party (WTF WTF WTF. A fun looking fire + kids in costumes = NO) and I had to stop him from LIGHTING HIMSELF ON FIRE and at this point I just wanted away from the nonsense. Husband was kind of oblivious to what was going down as he was chatting away with one of the party goers and they had offered him a mulled wine drink (so they were kind of offering drinks to people if they were in the group long enough but damn awkward and very "cool kids table" of them). Annnnyway. Clearly I'm a party pooper!  (Except I'm guessing other parents would be similarly bugged by the whole thing? And once I explained to Max about the rudeness to Bella and Oliver running to touch the fire in the pumpkin I think he could see my point at being bothered by it.)

We did a couple more house nearby (and I must add that these neighbors seemed less than impressed with what their cul-de-sac people were up to..."Do they really think people are going to stand outside in the street and watch a movie when it's in the 30s?") and then we headed back to our place to dump and sort the candy stash (a lifelong favorite part of Halloween for me). We let each kid eat a piece of candy or two.

We got the kids out of their costumes and into their skeleton jammies and they LOVED handing out candy. It was their favorite part and it was super cute to watch them. I put Lily to bed and sadly missed a slew of people I would have liked to see - oh well, next year!

Max and I realized we were pretty darn hungry at this point and he reallllly wanted pizza (as I did, too, although I knew my stomach wouldn't be so happy) so I gave in.

Once it arrived the bigger kids were jumping up and down and asking for some so I gave each a tiny half piece and they took one bite before losing interest. :)

By 8:30 or so we seemed to be getting no more trick-or-treaters (it was really cold to be out all that long) so we put the big kids to bed.

Then Max and I attempted to watch the new Zach Braff movie but I realized after 5 minutes that I didn't have in me to watch a movie. Pretty sure I was sleeping by 9:30!

And now I'm finally DONE with this WITL. YAYAYAYYYAY!

Few random thoughts after the week:
  • I'm glad I committed to doing this even though it's been a ton of work. It went much better and more smoothly than the last WITL in terms of how our days went (we were sick and dealing with major grumps and tantrums and lingering winter weather last time around).  I also feel we got lucky with the fall weather this late in October!
  • I think it's high time I do the actual true FODMAP elimination diet for a few weeks to really pinpoint my intolerances more accurately. It's becoming less and less "worth it" to deal with the stomach symptoms in exchange for eating fun foods like pizza. I"m also finding my symptoms are much worse since I have been cutting out quite a bit of the symptom triggering/problematic foods.
  • I never got around to mutu-ing (ab workout) or walking even once this week. I can see what pockets of time are available for doing that but at the same time I can see why I'm not easily making the time. However, prioritizing exercise would do a lot for my mental health so I think I have to get it done. Then I won't be so drained mid-day perhaps. 
  • Once all the candy had been acquired (there was more at the party the next day!), we let each kid pick 25 pieces and the rest (a Target bag full) has already been donated. I'm not a super anti-candy person, but when there is so much around I find that I eat it (and then feel sick and gross) and it also make for tons of candy battles. Plus I'm not down with artificial food dyes, so begone candy! See you next year (and also at Christmas and Valentine's Day and Easter and... ha...)
  • I think I went to 9 grocery stores for one reason or another this week. I'm a maniac.