Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sticking to Tradition

I like to make pies. But just mostly do so once a year in November. Sometimes maybe a strawberry pie in the summer, but mostly just Thanksgiving.

I realize tonight I should really practice more than once a year. My crust tonight is less than perfect. Which makes me grumpy. I'm using them anyway because I don't have the heart (or time...or energy...) to make them again. So my pumpkin pie crusts are TOO crumbly, but hopefully the wonderful filling will make up for the crust dust.

Making the same pies as last year.

And this one here.

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I Can't Say I'm Not Disappointed

I'm still very excited about the upcoming launch of the website

I think it's such a great idea. A way for moms to connect in a local site, I think it's going to be so much fun!

But I'm not going to be writing for them.

I had written a rough draft for what would have been my first post, possibly going up in February. I saw the editor's finishing touches and thought it was a pretty good post! Then I saw my name at the end. And my kids' names. And my husband's name...

And it hit me.

I can't do this.


So I wrote the editor a "WE NEED TO TALK" email and declined the offer to join the mom bloggers. I was bummed. Beyond bummed. I felt bad too, that I was leaving this editor, someone I had fun getting to know through emails, without one of her mom blog team members. I know how unexpected changes at work can create stress.

It just all came to me at once. I am a teacher. My husband is a school administrator. It occurred to me that I can't really be putting myself out there like that. Not really. What if I write something that ticks off someone off? What if someone creepy uses that public forum to "find us". What if, what if, what if. I know it stinks to think that way, but I have to think that way.

I have to maintain a certain objectivity and a very high level of professionalism in my career. The Hubs' too.

This tiny blog right here has been no problem, writing for a local site that is sponsored by our city's newspaper? Way too public for this mama.

So here is where I'll stay. Tiny. Non-monetized. Opinionated but semi-anonymous.

My future career as a famous blogger ended before it even began...

I'll leave you with my first post that will never be:
I tell people that being a mom is my very favorite thing I’ve ever done. And it is.

But it’s so much more than that, isn’t it?
There’s the wife part. The teacher part. The daughter-sister-aunt-cousin-friend-niece-granddaughter part.
The cooking, the cleaning, the driving, the planning.
It can be a lot at times.
Writing, for me, has been a great escape. A place to hide. Because where better to hide than on the Internet?!
Honestly, I find comfort in the company of others. But I don’t always have the time to actually spend WITH others. So if I can reach out — from home, in my jammies — why not?
I started blogging three years ago on a complete whim. I was completely hooked.
Blogging has been a constant for me over the past three years. It has been therapy. It has been a hobby, a distraction, an outlet. It’s been a way to catalog precious memories. Even sometimes to vent.
I am here to share those same moments.
Because sometimes there is just nothing better than being able to hear from someone else that they know exactly what you are going through, in good times or bad.
That’s my favorite part of blogging. And what excites me so much about What better place to connect with other Omaha moms?
So join me here. Join us here. It’s bound to be exactly what you’ve been missing.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Our Library

This morning I spent some time taking the Halloween and autumn books off the shelves. Back into the fall decorations tote they go. Every year I pack up the seasonal books with the decorations, it's like getting new books every year when we bring them out. It's a little tradition I started with our Christmas books when B was a baby. And one of my favorite parts of our seasonal decorating.

I also set out our new books, a new addition to our Thanksgiving books (I noticed we don't have many of those), a winter book, and a wordless book that I've been wanting to get.

I also took some time to sort books, to get them back with their friends. I like to sort them by type, so we can find the ones we want to read easier.

It occurred to me that I may have a slight problem. An addiction, perhaps. So be it. I love books!

It all started with the gorgeous dollhouse bookcase my dad built and my mom painted for B and brought to my baby shower. It cried out to be filled with board books. I obliged. As she grew, so did our collection. She's got two shelves now in her room to hold the books. I couldn't leave out our second child, so our little guy got some shelves of his own, which we moved the board books to and also new boy-themed books.

I wonder what we'll do as the kids get older? When these particular books are not what they want in their rooms? I guess I'll have my own collection. I don't want to even think about that right now!

Books everywhere! I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Three-Year Old

One night recently we took a trip to the store while big sister and dad were at volleyball practice. I totally gave into his enthusiastic request and put two quarters into the Winnie the Pooh ride before even going into the store. It wasn't a bribe for good behavior. Not a reward for anything. Just some fun. Right there in the store entrance.

The time will come when he won't want to go on the log ride with Pooh. When the happy theme song and gentle rocking ride will not amuse him. That day looms large for me.

He still enjoys the preschool shows. Cartoons about super heroes frighten him. He finds Oscar the Grouch even just a bit frightening if he's being mean to Elmo.

The day will come when he's a GUY. A boy who's not scared of the bad guys on shows. A boy who won't pride himself of retelling the story of Adam and Eve after Sunday School and a boy who won't think that a bath is the funnest! thing! ever!
If there's any way to prolong the inevitable, I'm all for it. He's my little guy and I can't help it, I just want to keep it that way.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Other Side of This Coin

I can't seem to ever find the balance. As I feel so good about being ahead of the game this year with holiday prep, my home seems to have exploded. Every toy, every wrapper, every piece of clothing - clean and/or dirty, is piled around my home. Messes, messes, everywhere.

So I feel great about the holidays in my mind, I have a great imagination...but the home in my reality?!

Is a dump at the current moment. Fit for a health dept shut down.

Off to do the laundry, dishes, pick up, wipe up. You name it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Have you ever..

Poured the end of your bag of tortilla chips into a bowl with the rest of the jar of salsa? And eaten it with a spoon like a bowl of cereal and milk?

I can tell you that if ever ponder a good way to finish the tortilla chip pieces, this is it.

Not that I've ever done anything like that. Not me. I am much too much of a lady.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Inspiration Can Be EXPENSIVE

I have a goal to stay on it this year. To shop ahead, get things bought and wrapped and be ready for whatever party comes my way. That's right, I'm ditching my procrastinating ways this year for the holidays (she says boldly, trying to stay in character).

Last week, the kids' holiday outfits arrived that I ordered from Children's Place online. I used google to find a discount code so got a great deal. Their holiday line is super cute this year, just the kind of plaid, red, sparkley goodness that we like around here. No running around finding holiday outfits, they are already washed and waiting in the closet. I can't even link to our little guy's actual outfit because it's out of stock, I actually bought the stuff on time this year instead of being frustrated in December when I can't find the sizes!

This past weekend I ordered gifts for everyone in the family from and then emailed the Hubs, who was in Kansas cheering on our Huskers, and told him that both of our gifts are ordered and would be wrapped and under the tree as soon as the tree is up. Unorthodox? Yes. But very fun, I'm getting just what I asked for! Hubs said it's not much fun, that I bought my own gift. I told him he's more than welcome to go out and choose something to add to the pile if he would like. I'm generous like that.

Today I took a solo trip to a big box store and bought up the rest of our kids' gifts. Itunes gift cards for our $10 grab bag gifts. Simple and quick. Ready to go. The gifts are hidden away, to be wrapped on another day when I get another chunk of alone time. I've got tape and bags and wrapping paper already purchased.

I also bought flour, sugar, cans of the different milks, chocolate chips, chocolate squares, etc. I should be able to bake just about any recipe my heart desires. I already know I'm making lots of Beck's snickerdoodles this year. They're quick and best when eaten fresh, so I'll make 'em and take 'em all season long. Yum.

Tonight I had the kids do letters to Santa with images I'd found for them to glue on their letters, based on what they'd already told me they're going to ask for. Might be helpful for Santa, just in case maybe he's already finished shopping for what he knew they'd want.

I feel so on it. I'm not waiting until the perfect moment to get things done. No big long list of what to do. No waiting for the perfect price, or waiting in a one hour line for the perfect price. Just getting things done. I know this may be stuff that normal people do all the time, but it's so not me.

So it may have cost me a big chunk of change right now, but come December, I won't have much left to spend. It's exhilarating, this working ahead stuff.

My goal is to really be on break when our winter break starts, rather than running around like crazy for the first two days leading up to Christmas. This year I just want to sit back, watch snowflakes out the window, and sip cocoa. Maybe write some letters and remind people they are loved. Breathe. Pray. Be.

So it's resolutions come early this year, and so far, I think I'm getting it!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


His sister is on a play date this evening and his dad is home with a strained back. I decided we'd go out to eat. Just the two of us. A date. The three-year old and me.

He was reluctant at first, when I called it a date. He said, "But I don't want to marry you." Not sure where he was going with that one, I assured him (with a very bruised ego, he used to always want to marry his mama...what happened?!) that we would not be getting married.

We went to our favorite neighborhood Chinese restaurant, Bobo China, for crab rangoons, soup, and lo mein.

I cherish those moment when I get a little 1:1 time with my kids. Their personalities shine without the push/pull sibling communication going on.

There was no rush, we lingered and chatted.

My eyes wandered across the restaurant to a booth where another mother and son sat. He was about 14 and was passionately telling her a story about his day. How a teacher had wronged him in full detail.

My mind flashed forward 10 years. I wonder how my little guy will look. Sound. Will he tell me stories about his day? Will he still join me for crab rangoons after a long day?

I've said it before that it is my goal that he not be a jackass. Above all, I think keeping up with those dates and those talks will help him grow into the kind of young man I hope he will be.

I looked in the rear view mirror on the way home and thanked God for my son. For our relationship. It is those connections that make everything else worth it. To quote one of my favorite movies, my cup runneth over.

and over and over again...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Just Drink Water

Coach used to tell us that pop dehydrated the muscles. He preferred if we didn't drink it at all. I drank clear soda in high school, but nothing caffeinated.

This article makes me want to recommit to a no soda policy. Seriously.
What Soft Drinks are Doing to your Body

I don't drink a ton of soda, but have been known to buy a can of Coke on a particularly sluggish afternoon. I also tend to order a Dr. Pepper when we have fast food.

How hard is it to order water? Or even iced tea? Apparently pretty tough because my default is SODA.

I gave up the diet stuff when I was pregnant with #2, convinced that aspartame is evil. I still pretty much think so.

What I love now is a real cola. Pepsi or Coke. Mmmmmmm.

If something so simple as cutting out pop can help with my brain, muscles, and bone? Count me in.

I know the article isn't rocket science. It isn't really all that new of information, just a reminder.

It's time to give up pop or Coke or soda or whatever you call it!

So what about you? Can you give up the good stuff?


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Our Pumpkins

Why did I think that by saying "No messes." that the three-year old would know to put a FINGER into the finger paints? B did much better, so I guess six is the magic age for understanding that concept. Although his blue pumpkin turned out just fine too.

While I cut up our jack-o-lantern, the kids painted theirs.

B likes to help scrape out the insides. Little man says "That smell makes me SICK" so he opted out of the pumpkin guts scraping activity.

As the kids get older, it's the little traditions that feel so right. That bind us as a family. We are approaching some of my favorite times of the year. And what means so much to me is that word. Family.

I've been feeling so crumby for well over two weeks now and I can still say with complete sincerity that I am blessed. So thankful for my family.