Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hi, I'm here to pick up the copies of the National Enquirer that I special ordered.

This afternoon I went to the PX down the road to pick up a Western Union and as I was waiting for everything to go through a man who strongly resembled Bill Cosby , came to the counter holding a National Enquirer and his wallet. I chuckled in my head thinking, "You came to the PX just to get a National Enquirer?" No judgement here, it just struck me as odd. I mean, I understand people purchasing just the New York Times or something like that but running to the store to only pick up The National Enquire without anything else seems....wasteful? I don't know. National Enquirer and popcorn would make way more sense to me.

Anyway, the cashier asks him if that's all he's purchasing (probably also wondering why he's not getting popcorn) and he says no and that he's there to pick up his special order that's come in. She asks him what  his name is and what he ordered and he gave her his name and told her 3 copies of The National Enquirer. In response she said, "3 copies of National Geographic????" <---Now wouldn't that make sense? But no, he told her again, The National Enquirer.

This is super cereals. I'm here to pick up my special order.

So, as I'm standing there waiting for my Western Union to be processed I start wondering why on earth, Bill Cosby needs, in addition to the one in his hand, 3 more copies. Maybe his nephew or grandson is the half alligator, half Bat Boy, half Man-Bear-Pig (am I using fractions correctly?) on the cover and he needs copies for all of the family!!!! How amazing would that be?!?!

That's my nephew!

I start thinking about being nosey and asking him why he needs so many copies but what if his reason isn't as interesting as what I've imagined it to be? What if he just buys it to line the bottom of his pet cockatoos bird cage because it absorbs the smell of poop really well?

I can't have the strangest thing of my day be made only averagely interesting with a perfectly reasonable explanation so I choose to forgo the questions and stick with my imagination. It's the only way I can adventure these days as a stay at home Mom ya know?

Monday, August 29, 2011

a bad cookie habit

I have a bad habit that I know I'm not alone in. That habit is coming down with cookie making fever and eating the dough before the cookies are done which can end 3 different ways.

1. Code Red Sugar Coma: I have eaten so much dough that I don't even cook one cookie. I just put the dough in the fridge for later.

2. Code Orange Sugar Coma: I have eaten too much dough but I'm still able to muster up the energy to  bake a couple of cookie sheets worth and put the rest of the dough in the fridge for later.

3. Code Yellow Sugar Coma: I ate just one spoon full of cookie dough so I feel fine and I'm cooking all of the cookies but I've satisfied my cookie craving so now I'm uninterested in baking and the cookies that started out the size of a silver dollar are now as big as a dinner plate because I just want to get everything baked and over with.

However, today's baking experience has been a bit different. A couple of weeks ago on Pintrest I found this lovely recipe for pudding cookies and I've been using some self control to abstain from making them.

Well, that and I've been on a toffee-popcorn kick so my sweet tooth was being fulfilled. So I lied, it had nothing to do with self control.

Anyway, today I finally decided to make the cookies. I softened the butter, put the eggs in warm water to get them to room temperature, had to borrow a half cup of flour from my neighbor and then, finally got all the ingredients mixed together nicely. During this whole process I remember thinking, "That's a lot of flour!" (4 1/2 cups) and "That's a lot of eggs!" (4 eggs) but I just shrugged it off because I was trying a new cookie recipe and my cookie making has never really gone beyond the back of a Nestle Toulouse package. <---That was said in my best Phoebe Buffay voice BTW.

As I'm staring down at this gigantic bowl of finished cookie dough I realize that it's...well.... a lot of freakin cookie dough, just like I was thinking as I was putting the ingredients together. So I go to the blog page I'm reading from and in teensy letters, below the recipe it says, "this makes about 8 dozen cookies".

After I put my eyeballs back into my head I thought. "Challenge accepted."

 I hadn't over done it on the dough, I was feeling only a little sugared out so I threw a few fist pumps in the air and started dishing out the dough on to those cookie sheets like a maniac. After the first three batches I started getting a little edgy though. I only have 2 cookie sheets and one only fits 6 cookies on at a time. Every time I put a new batch in the oven I went back to the gigantic bowl of cookie dough and contemplated "The Giant Cookie".

 Then I started feeling more than a little edgy.

"Why does it look like that giant wad of raw dough is growing? It looks bigger than it did 2 dozen baked cookies ago."

I really just wanted one damn cookie. Or three......

I just wanted to satisfy my cookie craving!

Now, almost 3 hours later the last batch is in the oven and I'm ready to sit down and put my feet up but my son has been napping this whole time and as soon as I put my feet up he will wake up. As soon as he wakes up I will have to leap across the living room and hide all evidence of cookie making because if he sees even one crumb than he wont eat anything but a cookie. And since I'm tired from baking I don't have the energy to chase around a toddler who is flying on a sugar high. Do you see what an ugly cycle this is?

I'm never baking stupid cookies again.

PS. in case you are wondering how the cookies turned out. They are the prettiest, most deliciously textured chocolate chip cookies I've ever made.

But they're still stupid and I still hate them.

Updated for pictures:

Do you see that sneaky little hand?

He approves!

Friday, August 26, 2011

let's celebrate at Mundaka

Andrew and I are going out tonight to celebrate 10 years together (5 years married September 22nd) and while I suggested Lalla Grill, AGAIN, he suggested Mundaka and I'm not going to argue with him! We went to Mundaka last year for our anniversary and I've gone once or twice before that with my friends and we've never been disappointed. Mundaka is a teeny, tiny, eensy, weensy resturant in Carmel, California,(46 seats to be exact) just 20 minutes south of where we live, and it serves authentic Spanish tapas.

I've tried several things from their menu but my favorites are the goat cheese and almond stuffed- bacon wrapped dates, the Patatas Bravas which are potatoes cooked in duck fat served with aioli, and the lamb slider that is tiny and yet so rich that I can only eat half of it.

Mundaka, like my other favorite restaurant (Lalla Grill) serves foods that are made from all locally grown and organic produce and livestock. Or to be more specific:

 "we believe in serving “real” food only. YES: fresh, local, organic, biodynamic, free-range, line-caught, sustainable, fair-trade, home made, from scratch. NO: antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, high fructose corn syrup, artificial anything"

Not only is the food as pure as it can get but it's beautifully plated and the ambiance of the restaurant is wonderful and cozy and personal. It is decorated with recycled and salvaged items from buildings that were torn down in San Francisco and houses that burnt down in Big Sur.

The prices are very reasonable in my opinion. You are paying for the purest, freshest foods cooked by professionally trained chefs. You can get tapas or a large plate and it ranges from $2.00 single tapas to a $42.00 plate (steak). Most plates are in the $5.50 -9.50 range.

If you are looking to have the experience of Mundaka without spending too much, than  I recommend eating a light meal before going to the restaurant and choosing some of the smaller plates they have to offer. They will serve you a delicious plate of complementary toasted baguette with tomato and garlic butter with your meal as well. It's heavenly.

If you are eating on a weekend night call for reservations. And if you are having a romantic dinner for two you might get lucky and be seated in the most intimate spot in the restaurant. A tall cubby under the stairs with a curtain that they welcome you to pull together for more privacy.

How can a dining experience get any better than that?

*pictures came from the Mundaka web page photo gallery.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Darlyn Jeanne

Starting as early as grade school I remember kids having to leave school  for a few days to attend the funerals of their grandparents. The older I got the more frequently it happened and I told my friends, "I'm sorry for your loss" but had trouble feeling empathetic since it had become such a common thing. Even though I watched Nini, (my Moms, Mother) struggle with Leukemia practically my whole life, and even when the prognosis was at its worse and I worried, I never truly accepted that she was going to die. And she didn't. At least not from the Leukemia.

No, the years went by and even when the doctors gave her 6 months or a year she still pressed forward. She never complained, she was always on her feet, working hard, meeting new people, making new friends, calling and writing her friends and family, sending out care packages, reading book after book, and finishing her crossword puzzles. She was truly taking advantage of ever precious minute she had and I think that for every minute she cherished, God gave her another minute to live.

 When she passed away I didn't really confide in my friends and the amount of grief I showed in front of my family has been limited. Because of this I feel like I have yet to come to accept that my Nini is gone.

Since she passed in early April of this year (from a sudden onset of congenital heart failure) I've written my Grandfather several letters, never thinking much about addressing only him in the letters. But today I wrote only his name on the envelope and the emotion flooded over me.  Henry drew some great pictures today and I took the one specifically for his Great Grandfather, wrote a letter from Henry and put it in the envelope and then the thought of how much joy Nini would have gotten upon opening the letter came to me. She would have outwardly exclaimed how brilliant Henry is! She would have looked at it and been able to see all of the possibilities for Henry. She would have written him back with a picture that she drew herself. Something wonderful.

Anyone who knew my Nini would know that her loss was not hard just for her family but for every individual that she had come across. I like to believe that every person that Nini met was influenced in some way by her, whether it was a big or small way, and I know that those that were have passed something of her along to each person they have come across. Her kindness and generosity was infectious.

Nini was special to me. She was more than my Grandmother. She was my friend. I told her about my worries and my struggles because she would promise me that despite the mistakes I made, I was still a person that was worthy of wonderful things. She never let me leave her presence without re affirming my self worth. "You are beautiful inside and out.", she would say. And there was nothing patronizing or obligatory about the way she said it. I could see in her face and feel in her gentle touch that she thought the world of me.

I am sad that my son will not know her the way that I did but I am hoping that if I can be, even just a little like who she was, that he will know her through me.

Monday, August 22, 2011

negative calorie foods and the pros and cons of juicing.

I've been seeing a lot of talk about negative calorie foods lately. I've known for a while that celery was one but didn't realize how many wonderful tasty negative calorie foods there are. Negative calorie foods are foods that burn more calories when digest than they contain.
Check out these yummy negative calorie foods:

I like green smoothies/juice because it allows me to get my daily intake of fruits and veggies quickly. Most of the time I make my own green smoothies, but lately I've been drinking this stuff:

However,1 serving (8oz), has  27 grams of sugar!!! This is all natural sugar but after I saw that I decided to look up the pros and cons to juicing and came across this article from Food Republic. In it they say, " because juicing removes the fiber from fruit and veggies, your body absorbs fructose sugar from fruit juice more easily and this can upset blood sugar levels." so this leads me to believe that if you juice all of those lovely negative calorie foods listed above that they will cease to be negative calorie foods as your body wont need to work as hard to digest them. No wonder I feel so lethargic after drinking it.

Since I eat other fruits in addition to my green smoothie during the day I have to be careful about my sugar intake. Most people can pretty much ignore what they take in as far as natural sugars go but I shouldn't. I am insulin resistant so not over doing it is important. I try to keep my added sugar intake at about half of the daily recommended intake (40grams) and be reasonable about the amount of natural sugar I ingest. I don't want my insulin resistance to turn in to "diabeetus" ya know?

After spending a reasonable amount of time researching all of this I think I'm going to stick with eating all my fruits and veggies whole and just stay with my daily dose of Chlorophyll in liquid form.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Let them adventure, let them discover and then, if need be, take them to the doctor.

I love visiting with my friend Desiree. I dont' know if she will remember this but I first met her at a photo shoot that my other friend, Margaret, arranged for a bunch of girls. Desiree introduced herself to me in a way that would make me love her pretty much instantly. She said with her thick Mississippi accent, "Hi my name is Desiree, spelt like desire but with and extra E, last name Cantu like, "You can too" but with a T U".

Over the last year or so our friendship has really grown. The other day while we were visiting with each other we were talking about how as children we were often dirty, barefoot, climbing trees and well, just all out adventuring. We both had swampy areas by our houses and were cringing about how we used to adventure into them barefoot, touching squirmy reptilian things. Ignorance is bliss, we agreed. If we had thought about the leeches, malaria(?), salmonella, etc., we probably would have been terrified. My grandparents used to live in Monroe Louisiana and next to their house was a pond that they took my brother and I to swim in. Years later when my brother and I were older we were both horrified to learn that that pond had snapping turtles in it. My toes curled up inside of my feet just thinking about it. Again, ignorance is bliss.

But back to Desiree and I. We laughed about a woman who was concerned that Desiree was letting her daughter climb so high on one of the jungle gyms and asked Des, "What if she falls?" To which Des replied, "She will probably get hurt and then I will take her to the doctor." I laughed because it's exactly what I would have said. I let Henry climb play and learn to discover what his body is capable of. What I'm having problems with is him picking things off of the ground. I need to get over it. Obviously, I can be reasonable. Cigarette butts, needles, etc. are off limits but feathers, mud, rocks, bugs and all that fun stuff should be discovered. I have to remember that just because I don't like having dirty hands now doesn't mean that he shouldn't be able to play in the dirt. I loved to play in the dirt as a kid! I remember it well. If he catches something icky like lice, or a cold or whatever it may be than we will make a trip to the doctors. I would rather have a child with an adventures spirit than a child that is terrified of germs and of getting hurt.

it was hard for me to let him play in this stinky mud but he loved it.
If I can't catch him then he falls. I let him get scrapes and bruises and bumps on the head and then I kiss him and if need be take him to the doctor. He will learn to be careful but confident. He will learn his limits and hopefully with a little encouragement stretch those limits and do amazing things. Desiree and I care about our children's safety. Absolutely. And anyone questioning that will swiftly meet a knuckle sandwich, but we also care about our children's sense of self. We want them to challenge themselves and discover new things on their own so they can feel the sense of pride and confidence that comes with it.

Here is a picture of me at 2 years old. I'm the little one on the left with a cast on my leg. I just asked my Mom how it happened so that I could get the story right as I tend to mix up memories or make them up entirely. I remember wanting to do a cartwheel on the deck railing like a gymnast would on a balance beam, and falling off. My Mom came out to find me crying and took me to the doctors. My leg wasn't actually broken although that's the easiest way to explain the cast. Apparently when I fell the skin that surrounds the bone separated and filled with fluid and blood and a cast was needed to help it heal.

While my Mom never encouraged me to get on the railing and I'm sure she was hurting and worried for me and I know I was hurting, I'm glad that she still allowed me to be adventurous. I still went on to do gymnastics, climb trees, jungles gyms and more,(climb on top of refrigerators to eat cakes reserved for bakes sales), and when I got hurt, never once did I question whether my Mom cared about me. I still trusted her and felt safe with her even after my fall. I need to remember that Henry will get hurt but he wont blame me. He will seek me out to comfort him and if I do it correctly he will get up and carry on.

after sliding face first down a cement side walk.

The proof is in his smile.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

iSpy bag redo and a day of relaxation and movies

Last night I re-did Henry's iSpy bag, (transferred everything to this completely clear pencil pouch) and today he's played with it several times and really understands how the game works which is very pleasing.

Today has been a laid back movie day. I woke up easily, feeling great, drank my green smoothie, ready to take on the day and then threw up. I have no idea why. I feel fine now and even ate a large brunch two hours later. But I have been feeling a little tired and lethargic so I'm chalking it up to some kind of bug and taking it easy. The weather here has been dreary the last two days after one day that actually felt like summer around here. Monday was beautiful and warm and I'm hoping to have a few more days like it before we move. The movers are coming to pack our things on the 22nd of September, just over 5 weeks away and I'm starting to feel a little weepy over it. As much as I love Washington and miss it and all of my family there, I've never been happier than I have living here.

I got out of my shell and made several friends just one month after getting here, who I have come to love like family. And though the weather is often cloudy I appreciate the very moderate weather and the beautiful ocean and mountains. There isn't much to complain about living here. The grocery prices are a little high but that has been my biggest complaint really.

However, I prayed hard for Andrew's next station to be Georgia and in 5 months we will be settling in and I am excited for a new adventure! I'm thankful too. I just need to remember that when I start complaining about the heat and humidity.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I spy bag

I found the instructions for this iSpy bag on Pintrest but the original blog and post was done by Mom's Crafty Space. I liked her idea of hot gluing the ribbon to the zipper. That was my main concern in making this for Henry because I knew if he open up the zipper the mess would be epic. Honestly, Henry couldn't care less about....oh hey, as I was writing that he doesn't seem interested he suddenly took an interest in the bag. Well, isn't that they way it goes.
The only thing about this bag that I'm not fond of, at least for Henry's age and abilities, is how small the window is. I went to Target and bought some really cheapo clear pencil bags for .69 cents each so I think I'm going to redo his bag in one of those.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fire! Muwhahaha!

Aren't these flash cards cute? They are Earth Vocabulary Flash Cards by Mr.Printables and they're free!

When I showed Henry the picture of the flame he said, "Hot!" He didn't know the word fire because I always called it danger and hot. So the day I made these I taught him the word fire which he then repeat with squinted eyes and a menacing voice. "Noooooo." I said. Not "Fiiiiiiirrrreeee." Just, FIRE. And danger!"
Is it a boy thing to find fire so fascinating? He hasn't really seemed too interested in it until I taught him the word and then it ignited this primitive intuition about how powerful it is. Or at least that's what his borderline creepy little voice seemed to tell me.

Anyway, I printed these adorable flash cards, rounded the corners and laminated them. I also added the hole and the ring so that they will all stay together. Just click the word Mr. Printables above to go to their page. They have abc's and number flash cards as well as lots of other great teaching printables.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


This picture was taken from the burger. website.
We ate out for the second night in a row. We usually don't do that but we went for a late afternoon drive and ended up in the Santa Cruz area. We knew traffic would be bad on the way home and that Henry would be hungry and past his bed time so we had to stop. And where do you stop when in Santa Cruz for a good meal? Well I'm sure you can go to a lot of places but we like to go to burger.


That's what it's called. Just burger., but it's more than just a burger place. It's a place to go when you NEED not just a regular hamburger but a hamburger sandwiched between two krispy creme donuts. Or a burger covered in chili sandwiched between 2 whole grilled cheese sandwiches or.......Well, here, I'll just list the menu.


all burgers served medium well. burgers are dressed with market fresh lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and our special house sauce. your choice of Humboldt grass-fed beef, Diestel turkey patty or our House Made veggie patty. burgers are served with a sampling of shoestring fries or sweet potato fries.
  • the burger.  $5.75
  • the Dude  $7.25  …  avocado  l  bacon  l  jack cheese
  • the Chuck Norris  $7.25  …  jalapeno  l  jack cheese
  • the Notorious B.I.G.  $7.25  …  bacon wrapped burger  l  baked beans  l  cole slaw
  • the Syd Barrett  $7.25  …  mushroom  l  swiss cheese
  • the Mike D  $6.75  …  house made veggie patty  l  jack cheese
  • the Jello Biafra  $6.75  …  house made veggie patty  l  jalapeno  l  jack cheese  l  donut bun
  • the Hank Wiliams Sr.  $7.75  …  onion rings  l  bacon  l  cheddar cheese  l  bbq sauce
  • the Chili Burger  $7.75  …  housemade chili  l  cheddar cheese
  • the Snooki  $7.75  …  a chili burger between two grilled cheese sandwiches
  • the Phatty  $7.75  …  a bacon cheeseburger between two grilled cheese sandwiches
  • the Redonkadonk  $8.25  …  the Phatty with grilled spam
  • the Kim Kardashian $13.50 … a double Phatty
  • the Luther  $6.75  …  a bacon and american cheese burger between glazed donut buns
  • the Johnny Marzetti  $7.75  …  a burger with house made mac n’ cheese and tomato
  • the Spicoli  $7.75  …  topped with fries, swiss cheese, guacamole and japapeno aioli
  • the Adam Sandler  $5.50  …  sloppy sloppy joe’s
  • the Pink BRGR  $9  …  house ground wild salmon with lemon dill aioli
  • the Monroe  $7 … a burger topped with artichoke hearts and aioli
  • the Dolly Parton $8.50 … our double burger
  • the Bluto Brutus $11.25 … our triple patty burger with a fried egg
  • the Lowrider $ 6.25 … a burger topped with pepper jack and house made salsa
  • the D.A.C. $ 7.25 … a burger topped with bacon, smoked cheddar, BBQ sauce and jalapeno aioli
  • the Jake Blues $7.75 … a bleu cheese and bacon stuffed burger
  • the Ah – Hee burger $9 … house ground sushi grade ahi tuna with cilantro chili limi aioli


  • the Don Ho  $5.75  …  fresh pineapple and bacon aioli on hawaiian sweet rolls
  • the D.F. Wallace  $7.25  …  lobster and crab served on a new england bun
  • the Badabing Boy  $7.25  …  2 meatball sliders on a bed of garlic fries
  • the Kobe Sliders  $11  …  2 kobe beef sliders on sweet buns on a bed of tater tots
  • the Lamb Sliders  $9  …  2 topped with caramelized onions
  • the Wingnut  $5.75 … topped with grilled onions, bleu cheese and coleslaw
They also have hot dogs, pizza, sandwiches, salads, milkshakes and other desserts and 5 different kinds of fries. Their sweet potato fries are really tasty.

Today Andrew and I split a Monroe which has Swiss, artichokes and aioli on it. Oh goodness it was so good that I wish I had ordered a whole one for myself but since we ordered an extra side of sweet potato fries we were pretty satisfied.

My Dad is coming into town next month to be my driving buddy as Henry and I make the road trip back home. I was going to pick him up from the airport in San Jose and then get straight on the road to Washington from there but I'm thinking we are going to have to back track just a bit so he can have a burger to remember.

sinful and the Biebs

I picked out some nail polish last night after dinner at Lalla Grill (my wish was his command) and this morning I took some time to paint my nails. I always paint one nail in the store before I purchase a color and I picked several that were just awesome. Not only in color but in price at just $1.99 a bottle. Last night I bought two different colors by SINFULCOLORS PROFESSIONAL.  The first one, Dream On. A beautiful hot fuchsia-ish color. I also bought Midnight Blue which is the color that it sounds.

Here are my nails painted with Dream On.

And here is my ring finger painted in the Midnight Blue.

A tip for painting with the Dream On: It actually dries in a really cool mat texture so if you want the shine you need to add a top coat. I use Sally Hansen's Diamond Shine Base and Top Coat. I definitely put a base on my nails before using the polish. It helps keep the polish from staining my nails and it makes my polish last longer.

Did you know that on the East Coast ladies like to have their ring fingers done with an extra special polish or decals or rhinestones? A lady on a forum I was on talked about it and I gotta say, I like the idea so I'm sporting it today with this fancy color.

This sparkly color is called One Less Lonely Glitter, and is designed by Justin Bieber under Nicole by O.P.I. It was on sale for $6.50 at Target and I have no idea what the original price was. Probably around $9 bucks like most O.P.I. polishes. I poked fun at my late discovery of the designer of the nail polish but really, if Justin Bieber had any actual part in designing the polish, I would have to tell him good job. It coats very well and the color is pretty.

You know when the best time to paint your nails is? After you have done the dishes, showered, gotten dress and the kids are asleep. No smears here people!

Over and out!

Friday, August 12, 2011

a great day to make up for past bad days and bad days to come

Today has been a simple and yet extraordinary day with so many contributing factors. It's Friday, it's pay day, I spent time with wonderful friends this afternoon and heard great news from my beautiful sister. I am trying out a new snack recipe, Henry took a long nap and is now playing nicely by himself and I'm thinking we should celebrate all of our blessings with a nice dinner out on the town. Last time I got to choose the restaurant and so I asked my husband where he would like to go tonight and no word yet. I'm secretly hoping he will hand the choice back over to me so we can go to Lalla Grill which has been my choice for the last 3 outings. It's just so yummy that I can't think of any where else I'd rather go.

First of all it looks like this:

This is the outside patio, the inside is just as wonderful.

And second of all their menu is wonderful! I have to admit. I've ordered the same thing every time I've gone but only because it's so amazing. I order the Carpet Bagger Steak Bites which are oysters wrapped in steak strips and a piece of bacon served on a bed of baby arugula with a honey mustard dressing and the combination of flavors really does it for me. Last time we went Andrew chose the crab cakes and we traded one for one and they were  just as delicious.

I have yet to try a dessert there but have heard wonderful things about it and I've enjoyed several of their drinks which are very creative and have cute names. The atmosphere is really nice and the servers have all been wonderful. The seating is comfortable and intimate and the food is decently priced. In fact you will pay the same for a crappy meal at Applebees as you would at Lalla's. Did I mention they buy and use local, organic produce and meats? And their kids meals are wonderful. We ordered Henry the chicken strips which were actual pieces of chicken that were breaded and baked and were so very tasty! No processed meats here! Everything is house made.

Well, my honey roasted chickpeas are almost done cooking. Just 10 more minutes for the honey to cook until it creates a nice shell and then we shall tastes the goodness. Hopefully!

*The above picture was taken from the Lalla Grill website.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

fighting the guilt of a lazy day

I've earned a lazy day this week. Especially after working "overtime" most nights in the last week. Yesterday evening I cleaned out and organized my craft storage room until 9:45. But no matter how much I've earned it I can't help but feel guilty about it anyway. Or maybe it's the fear of 1 day turning in to 2.

 I will give myself credit in showering and getting out the door before 10am this morning. I was planning on being naughty and making another trip to Michael's but last minute I went to Goodwill instead to see if they might have what I need first. They didn't but I got a few useful things.

The first good find was a brand new Dr.Seuss book, Fox in Socks. This is a Dr.Seuss book that I've seen but never read. Have you ever tried reading it? It's almost painful. My tongue and jaw were sore by the end and I'm pretty sure my son had a, "what the hell are you reading to me" moment. I did enjoy the challenge though.

I also purchased a cheapo place mat with a map of the world on it so Henry can learn the states, countries and oceans. The ladies that work in this particular Goodwill are nutty and nonsensical and extremely giving. I've come to love them. Today's nutty worker was checking out my items when she notice that two didn't have price tags. A brand new coffee mug and the cheapo placemat. She charged one dollar for the place mat and fifty cents for the new mug and I giggled in my head. It doesn't bother me. They've given me items for nothing before, (shhh, I don't know if they are even allowed to do that but they refuse to let me pay!!!) so I have no problem paying $1 for a place mat that is worth less than a 1ply piece of toilet paper.

My other purchase was a to-go coffee mug which was also one dollar AND pink, so double win.

The day is still young and my crafty bone is itching. Maybe I will get something useful done today after all.....

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Michaels, nap, beach, fingerpaints, the end

I wanted to make Henry's finger paints but a trip to the grocery store to get the ingredients I was missing sounded like torture and any excuse to go to Michael's is a good one, especially because the place is almost always a ghost town so I don't have to fight to get through the isles. We spent over an hour there while I placed a million things in my cart and then felt buyer remorse before I even purchased, resulting in taking the items out of my cart and leaving them in isles where they didn't belong. I'm sure this is frustrating for the employees but like I said, the place is a ghost town so I like to to think I'm keeping them busy enough to make their work day fly by!

I got several unplanned for items which I now have a super secret plan for. In a few weeks my friend Margaret is coming for a visit and this will be the last time that our close group of four friends will be together for a long time. My family is being re stationed, Des's family will be re stationed before the end of the year and Margaret lives in Oregon as of last April. Poor Meghann will be left here without all of us. So I have a special night planned for my girls.

But back to finger painting. I will admit, as couch potatoes tend to be, I've been pretty lazy about teaching Henry new things. As a result, today, at 2.2 years old, he finger painted for the first time. He loved it and I loved it too. I even did a couple of paintings myself.

Here is my dear boy with his first painting. He looks proud doesn't he?

Our trip to the beach was kind of unsuccessful. I went to find some smooth stones and thought I went to a good beach to find them but I was definitely wrong. I think I need to find some river stones. Stones or not we had a lot of fun. Henry could throw rocks in the water until his arms fall off if I'd let him. I sifted through the course sand finding minuscule shells and beach glass. The weather wasn't too hot or too cold. In wasn't to sunny or cloudy and the wind was minimal so we had fun.

Henry played in the tidal pools. There were lots of little critters in the water.
Today was a busy and great day. Next up is bed time for Henry and a movie for me and the husband, in bed.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

i'm a night owl

I've been up since 6am, Henry napped 45 minutes and house work has kept me on my feet all day so when 4pm rolled around I was done. Tired, achy and sleepy. All good reasons to jump into bed and get a good, deep sleep. The problem is, I can't go to sleep at 4pm when I'm tired. I still have to make dinner, feed Henry, get him ready for bed and in bed by 7:30. Then I have to clean the kitchen, pick up whatever toys he didn't and finish laundry. By the time that's all done I've got a second wind that can sometimes last until 2am.

I get weird at night though. Maybe it's the silence in my home that causes it, but I get emotional, contemplative and a little kooky. I also dream up grand plans, most of which never happen. I write up weeks worth of meal plans and list names of future children and some times I dance alone. I torture myself on Foodgawkers and than wander drooling into my kitchen where I eat what ever is most likely to give me diabetes or a heart attack. I watch infomercials, facebook creep and consider waking up my son to play because he's so much fun late at night. In fact, he might be just like me. There are many nights when he will talk loudly in his bed until 11pm. He's perfectly content in there, imagining amazing adventures... I'm sure.

the simple things that keep me busy

I came across this daily page plan on Pintrest last week. The credit goes to Dani, at Lifes A Journal, who put it together and was nice enough to share it with everyone.

My favorite things about this sheet are the Hydrate and Don't Forget sections. I never drink enough water. My body is lucky if it gets 20 ounces a day, but seeing those little cups makes me want to chug, chug, chug so that I can check them off. Writing down everything that needs to be done as well as goals that I'd like to accomplish for the day has helped me stay busy. I can usually get 2/3 of everything on my to do list done within the day. As for the exercise section..... well it's coming along.

My friend Margaret and my sister-in-law, Lizzie both mention the Pintrest site to me but I didn't think much of it since I was on Stumbleupon, but last week I opened up Pintrest and I've been obsessed ever since. Being on the site is really motivating. There is very little negativity around and when their is, it's usually expressed with humor which I'm a fan of. I've tried 2 recipes I found on pintrest and 2 different house hold tips suggesting how to keep your grocery bags organized and easily accessible for re-using.

I didn't realize it was so easy to fold grocery sacks until I tried and the suggestion for an old baby wipes container to dispense them was perfect. This has made my life a teeny tiny bit easier so I appreciate it, even if it is something small.

This morning I used a great french toast recipe I found on Pintrest and was also happy with it. I guess technically I didn't use the recipe since it was in French but I went with the idea. I simply coated the toast in coconut after dipping it in the egg and the results were a wonderful mix of flavor and texture!

I'm a happier person at the end of the day after I've accomplished a list of things and tried new things, whether they are small things or big projects. Being a stay at home mom is wonderful but there are times where I miss the structure of working in an office and receiving a pay check. Improving my home and continuing to educated myself daily helps me to miss that less and less.