Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Political Overload

I will be very brief today, mostly because I'm in the middle of several projects...

Am I the only one who can't wait for this whole election mess to be done, already???????  Now, I realize that we've been getting it longer than most of you, because we, here in Iowa, are the host of the Iowa Caucuses, and all of the interested parties show up in full force to inundate us with political spin before most of the rest of you have to begin to endure it.  So I'm done with politics.  Totally over it.   I'm over the biased coverage, the lies, the attitudes, the platitudes.... I'm done.

Yes, I will be voting on Tuesday, and yes, I do have an opinion on who I think ought to win.  Those of you who know me will know where I stand.  I don't feel the need to fuel the fire by posting that here.

So enjoy the last few days of the campaigns, if that's your thing.  I think I'll just go back to cleaning my closet, if you don't mind...  Or maybe the litter box.  It smells far better than the rhetoric these days...  And I will contemplate how much better the world might be if all the money that has been wasted during the past few months of campaigning had been spent on an endeavor that actually accomplished something worthwhile.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Adventures in Blogging

I think I'm gonna try something. I think I may be crazy. No, I know I'm already crazy - but this just may put me over the edge. But I'm going to do it anyway. There's this little thing called NaBloPoMo.  It stands for National Blog Posting Month, which happens every November.  It sounds simple enough - one blog post a day, every day, for 30 days.  Several of my friends participated last year.  I did not, mainly because I was expecting a baby at any moment, and, well, blogging just wasn't at the top of my to-do list.  Go figure... *grin*

I used to write.  A lot.  After all, I *was* a professional student for a while...  But then life happened.  OK - kids happened...  And I've never really gotten back into the swing of it.  I do miss it.  There was a time in my life when I wanted to write for a living.  I'd like to reclaim that part of me that has been lost to mommy-dom.  But I do think that I might just be a better writer, now, having walked some of those roads, than I would have been back then.  Hey, I can nak, and type, with either hand.  Now, THAT'S talent for you...

So watch for me in November.  You know where to find me...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Summer memories...

Since the wind is blustering through the trees on this autumn afternoon, memories of a warmer day seemed appropriate... Taken at "Grammie and Pop-Pop's Beach" - Hilton Head Island, SC

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Special Birthday Wish

I'm sending lots of Happy Birthday wishes to my friend Suzy today, who is having to undergo her second chemo treatment for breast cancer on her 33rd birthday.  Talk about unfair!  She is handling the disease with her typical grace, poise, and attitude.  She's gonna kick this cancer --- just wait and see!!!!

And Suzy, I'll be celebrating with you in spirit, both now, and on your honorary birthday, too!

Happy Birthday, dear friend!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pardon me while I whine...

This is going to be a completely self-centered, whining, petulant post.  So feel free to navigate away, now.  I won't be offended, I promise.  

I am not happy with how I look.  I realize that, far from making me unique, this makes me one with, oh, say... every other woman on the planet.  Yet, this does not make me feel better.  I look in the mirror, and I cringe.  You see, I still have a few pounds of baby weight left to part with, not to mention the few extra pounds I put on after the m/c almost 2 years ago.  I have a wardrobe of cute clothes that I bought before we left Pittsburgh (can I tell you how much I miss the Talbot's outlet??? *sniff*) that I am only just now able to begin to squeeze back into.

Part of the problem is that I'm not exercising. *sigh*  I know...  know...  But face it - there's no money for a gym membership, and just getting out the door... Ugh...  I have a Nordic Track in the basement, and the cheat sheet from the Pilates class I took in Ambridge (Mary, if you're reading this, I *still* miss that class)... So I could.....  Motivation.  I just don't have it...

The other thing is that Hannah is still nursing.  A lot.  And I'm not one of those fortunate girls who loses while breastfeeding.  My body, for some strange reason, holds on to that extra padding for dear life, like some kind of outdated biological maternal safety net.  I begin to lose as they drop feedings.  I had begun to start losing again, after a plateau that lasted most of the late summer and early fall.  Hannah was eating more, and nursing less, and so I was down a few more pounds, and getting into more cute clothes.  But then, she started teething again - cutting 3 molars at once, and just doesn't want to eat much real food anymore.  So, it's back to all Mommy, all the time. *sigh*

I know in my head that it has always taken me right around a year to return to that magical pre-baby number.  But somehow, I always think that *this time* it will be different.  You would think, after going through this SIX times, that I'd wise up.  Call me stupid (hey, I prefer eternally optimistic), but it's not gonna happen sooner.  I *know* that, so why does it bother me so much????

And I am blessed beyond words to have a husband who, honestly, doesn't care.  As a matter of fact, he took me in his arms and chided me - "Babe, you're not 20 anymore.  It sucks, I know, but you're just not going to look like that ever again.  And you shouldn't want to.  You've had six babies.  How many women can do that?  You should be proud of that.  Every stretch mark, that pooch-belly, all of it - just makes you even more beautiful than you were when you were 21.  You're a woman now, not a girl.  And that is so sexy.  I think you are the hottest woman on the planet."

I love him.  He knows just what to say... **silly, slightly embarrassed  grin**  But honestly, I just don't see it.  I look in the mirror and I miss the cute, young thing.

And I feel silly for feeling this way, b/c I know that there are people who are dealing with much more important things on a daily basis - cancer, infertility, job loss, housing situations....  All of which make my rant seem petty and small, and makes me seem ungrateful for the blessings that I have.  Perspective is a good thing.  But like I said, I'm being self-centered for a minute.  I'm not sure I like what that says about me, though... *looong sigh*

But when I look at my kids, it's all worth it.  Every single extra pound, stretch mark, and yes, even the not-so-perky girls.   I wold not trade it for the world.  I cannot imagine my life without them - nor do I want to.  So I just plug along, doing my best to accept who I am now, and to be the best wife and mommy I can be.  Even if it involves being a little extra fluffy.

Friday, October 17, 2008

My Top Ten List of Guilty Autumn Pleasures

OK, so I'm doing another list. Hey, they're easy, and fun! So if you're reading this, and you've got your own blog, make one of your own! Drop me a note so I can come read yours, too.

So here they are, in no particular order...
  1. I can get out the flannel sheets.
  2. Apple pie, apple crisp, fresh apple cider...
  3. Frost on the pumpkins, and the crisp, clear air.
  4. Pumpkin seeds!!!!!
  5. I have an excuse to make all those wonderfully tasting, not-so-good-for-you comfort foods - pot pie, chili, chicken curry, lasagne...  It's a long list, and I love to eat... *grin*
  6. Hot Chocolate, Chai, and Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte.
  7. Cuddling on the couch while watching Sunday afternoon football.
  8. I can get out my sweater collection!
  9. The smell of fallen leaves.
  10. Fuzzy socks!!!!!!!
So grab a cup of something warm, and snuggle up with your sweetie.  And Happy Fall!!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

Doin' a Few Shout Outs Today...

First, I want to give a well-deserved Shout Out to my brother, Jon, who ran his first marathon yesterday.  He finished the Chicago Marathon in 5 hours, 4 minutes, and 51 seconds.  Since I will never run a marathon,  I find his drive and determination impressive.  Actually, it's way more than impressive.  His team also raised over $300,000 for Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago.  WAY TO GO, Jon!!!!!!!

Next, to my friend Laura, for sharing this yummy recipe for Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins.  To. Die. For.  *drool*   If you've ever had Starbucks' version, these are just as good.  Only cheaper.  Which is also good.  No, better.  I think the next time I make them, I'll add nuts to the streusel topping, though. Pecans, or walnuts.  Not sure which...  I love nuts...  I also used one can of pumpkin, which is slightly less than the 2 c that is called for, and they still came out wonderful.  I am thinking that these will be on the menu for Thanksgiving morning...

And lastly, to my DH, Brian, for finally starting his very own blog.   Several people have been working on him for the better part of a year to test the waters in the blogosphere, since everyone loves his writing.  His blog consists mostly, of his messages from the church's weekly newsletter, but he occasionally posts a little something extra.  His recent post on the current economic mess as viewed in a Biblical light is quite interesting and enlightening.  And I did manage to convince him to post an actual pic of himself, and not his level 70 Dwarf Priest character from WoW... *sigh*

See, honey - I *do* update my blog!  Really!!!!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

15 Things I'd Like To Do, Someday

**stolen from Lori**

A random list...
~ Own a convertible (again)
~ Live in Britain
~ Ride RAGBRAI river to river
~ Have a waterbirth at home
~ Learn to sew, knit and/or crochet
~ Buy a designer pair of jeans have have them look HOT
~ Go skydiving
~ End hunger and poverty worldwide
~ Get all my electricity off the grid (solar, wind, etc)
~ Open a pastry shoppe
~ Go on an archaeological dig in England
~ Learn to take really good photos of my kids
~ Write a  book
~ Travel in Asia again 
~ Own a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle

Some of these are realistic - some are not.  Random, like I said.  But I'm in a random mood this evening. *grin*  And I'm trying to have a bit more fun with this blogging thing.  :-)

So enjoy!  And feel free to create your own list...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

First Words, First Steps

The last few weeks have been momentous ones in the short life of Miss Hannah. We have celebrated her Baptism, watched her progress from those first tentative steps to toddling across the family room, and heard her utter her first words. She actually started walking last month, just shy of 9 months. But she's gotten to the point of almost running this week - at 9 1/2 months. Early, yes. But she's got a whole lot to keep up with, and she does her best. She gets all kinds of encouragement from the older kids.

And her first words... She was experimenting with mimicking this summer - night-night, mama, dada, etc. But she now has several real words - du ~ duck, which means both "duck" and "bath" - one of her favorite activities, and voof ~ which applies to any and all furry animals. Odd, b/c we don't have dogs, just 2 cats. Still, everything is a "voof." Oh - I almost forgot one more - MMMMMMM ~ food, said particularly when she notices someone eating real food, and she decides that she wants some, too. She also uses this sometimes when she wants to nurse, but usually, her cues for that involve either a head-butt to my boobs or whimpering.

She signs, too - all done, please, and more... But I really need to be teaching her some other ones. She picks them up so quickly, and it's fun to communicate with her.

And just because I can (or more accurately, to see if I can), I'm including a video of Hannah's first attempts at walking. This was from a couple of weeks ago - around the last week of September. Excuse the fact that it's sideways. I couldn't figure out how to rotate it. I'm just beginning to shoot some video with my camera, and I haven't gotten to the editing part...

Thanks for indulging me!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

My oldest and youngest - Confirmation and Baptism...One joining the family of Christ, and the other maturing into adulthood. God is good...