Thursday, November 12, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
So, on Friday, we traded in the 2005 Ford Freestyle for a 2009 Toyota Rav4 Sport V6.
Since we didn't want to wait until possibly December to take delivery on a customized Rav4 from Japan, we went with something that was in stock on the dealer's lot. Some of the features of this particular Rav4 are: a power sunroof, a premium stereo/XM Radio, all weather floor mats, an iPod audio input, and 4WD on demand.
We're still getting used to it - it rides a LOT differently than the Freestyle did. The Freestyle was heavier and cushier. It's very nice to have a new car warranty again, though. We are really hoping that we'll get more reliability out of Toyota.
We felt kinda bad as we drove our Freestyle down to the car dealer though; kinda like we were losing a friend. We really really loved the Freestyle.
I am thinking that we'll really really love our new Rav4 too, though. :)
Friday, August 14, 2009
to our nation's leadership:
I'm a home grown American citizen, 53, registered Democrat all my life. Before the last presidential election I registered as a Republican because I no longer felt the Democratic Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. Now I no longer feel the Republican Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. The fact is I no longer feel any political party or representative in Washington represents my views or works to pursue the issues important to me. There must be someone. Please tell me who you are. Please stand up and tell me that you are there and that you're willing to fight for our Constitution as it was written. Please stand up now. You might ask yourself what my views and issues are that I would horribly feel so disenfranchised by both major political parties. What kind of nut job am I? Will you please tell me?
Well, these are briefly my views and issues for which I seek representation:
One, illegal immigration. I want you to stop coddling illegal immigrants and secure our borders. Close the underground tunnels. Stop the violence and the trafficking in drugs and people. No amnesty, not again. Been there, done that, no resolution. P.S., I'm not a racist. This isn't to be confused with legal immigration.
Two, the TARP bill, I want it repealed and I want no further funding supplied to it. We told you no, but you did it anyway. I want the remaining unfunded 95% repealed. Freeze, repeal.
Three: Czars, I want the circumvention of our checks and balances stopped immediately. Fire the czars. No more czars. Government officials answer to the process, not to the president. Stop trampling on our Constitution and honor it.
Four, cap and trade. The debate on global warming is not over. There is more to say.
Five, universal healthcare. I will not be rushed into another expensive decision. Don't you dare try to pass this in the middle of the night and then go on break. Slow down!
Six, growing government control. I want states rights and sovereignty fully restored. I want less government in my life, not more. Shrink it down. Mind your own business. You have enough to take care of with your real obligations.
Why don't you start there.
Seven, ACORN. I do not want ACORN and its affiliates in charge of our 2010 census. I want them investigated. I also do not want mandatory escrow fees contributed to them every time on every real estate deal that closes. Stop the funding to ACORN and its affiliates pending impartial audits and investigations. I do not trust them with taking the
census over with our taxpayer money. I don't trust them with our taxpayer money. Face up to the allegations against them and get it resolved before taxpayers get any more involved with them. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, hello. Stop protecting your political buddies. You work for us, the people. Investigate.
Eight, redistribution of wealth. No, no, no. I work for my money. It is mine. I have always worked for people with more money than I have because they gave me jobs. That is the only redistribution of wealth that I will support. I never got
a job from a poor person. Why do you want me to hate my employers? Why -- what do you have against shareholders making a profit?
Nine, charitable contributions. Although I never got a job from a poor person, I have helped many in need. Charity belongs in our local communities, where we know our needs best and can use our local talent and our local resources. Butt out, please. We want to do it ourselves.
Ten, corporate bailouts. Knock it off. Sink or swim like the rest of us. If there are hard times ahead, we'll be better off just getting into it and letting the strong survive. Quick and painful. Have you ever ripped off a Band-Aid? We will pull together. Great things happen in America under great hardship. Give us the chance to innovate. We cannot disappoint you more than you have disappointed us.
Eleven, transparency and accountability. How about it? No, really, how about it? Let's have it. Let's say we give the buzzwords a rest and have some straight honest talk. Please try -- please stop manipulating and trying to appease me
with clever wording. I am not the idiot you obviously take me for.. Stop sneaking around and meeting in back rooms making deals with your friends. It will only be a prelude to your criminal investigation. Stop hiding things from me.
Twelve, unprecedented quick spending. Stop it now. Take a breath. Listen to the people. Let's just slow down and get some input from some nonpoliticians on the subject. Stop making everything an emergency. Stop speed reading our bills into law. I am not an activist. I am not a community organizer. Nor am I a terrorist, a militant or a violent person. I am a parent and a grandparent. I work. I'm busy. I'm busy. I am busy, and I am tired. I thought we elected competent people to take care of the business of government so that we could work, raise our families, pay our bills, have a little recreation, complain about taxes, endure our hardships, pursue our personal goals, cut our lawn, wash our cars on the weekends and be responsible contributing members of society and teach our children to be the same all while living in the home of the free and land of the brave.
I entrusted you with upholding the Constitution. I believed in the checks and balances to keep from getting far off course. What happened? You are very far off course. Do you really think I find humor in the hiring of a speed reader to unintelligently ramble all through a bill that you signed into law without knowing what it contained? I do not. It is a mockery of the responsibility I have entrusted to you. It is a slap in the face. I am not laughing at your arrogance. Why is it that I feel as if you would not trust me to make a single decision about my own life and how I would live it but you
should expect that I should trust you with the debt that you have laid on all of us and our children. We did not want the TARP bill. We said no. We would repeal it if we could. I am sure that we still cannot. There is such urgency and recklessness in all of the recent spending.
From my perspective, it seems that all of you have gone insane. I also know that I am far from alone in these feelings. Do you honestly feel that your current pursuits have merit to patriotic Americans? We want it to stop. We want to put
the brakes on everything that is being rushed by us and forced upon us. We want our voice back. You have forced us to put our lives on hold to straighten out the mess that you are making. We will have to give up our vacations, our time spent with our children, any relaxation time we may have had and money we cannot afford to spend on you to bring our concerns to Washington . Our president knows the right buzzword is unsustainable. Well, no kidding. How many tens of thousands of dollars did the focus group cost to come up with that word? We don't want your overpriced words. Stop treating us like we're morons.
We want all of you to stop focusing on your reelection and do the job we want done, not the job you want done or the job your party wants done. You work for us and at this rate I guarantee you not for long because we are coming. We will
be heard and we will be represented. You think we're so busy with our lives that we will never come for you? We are the formerly silent majority, all of us who quietly work , pay taxes, obey the law, vote, save money, keep our noses to the grindstone and we are now looking up at you. You have awakened us, the patriotic spirit so strong and so powerful that it had been sleeping too long. You have pushed us too far. Our numbers are great. They may surprise you. For every one of us who will be there, there will be hundreds more that could not come. Unlike you, we have their trust. We will represent them honestly, rest assured. They will be at the polls on voting day to usher you out of office. We have cancelled vacations. We will use our last few dollars saved. We will find the representation among us and a grassroots campaign will flourish. We didn't ask for this fight. But the gloves are coming off. We do not come in violence, but we are angry. You will represent us or you will be replaced with someone who will. There are candidates among us when he will rise like a Phoenix from the ashes that you have made of our constitution.
Democrat, Republican, independent, libertarian. Understand this. We don't care. Political parties are meaningless to us. Patriotic Americans are willing to do right by us and our Constitution and that is all that matters to us now. We are going to fire all of you who abuse power and seek more. It is not your power. It is ours and we want it back. We entrusted you with it and you abused it. You are dishonorable. You are dishonest. As Americans we are ashamed of you. You have brought shame to us. If you are not representing the wants and needs of your constituency loudly and consistently, in spite of the objections of your party, you will be fired. Did you hear? We no longer care about your political parties. You need to be loyal to us, not to them. Because we will get you fired and they will
not save you.
If you do or can represent me, my issues, my views, please stand up. Make your identity known. You need to make some noise about it. Speak up. I need to know who you are. If you do not speak up, you wil l be herded out with the rest of the sheep and we will replace the whole damn congress if need be one by one. We are coming. Are we coming for you? Who do you represent? What do you represent? Listen. Because we are coming. We the people are coming.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I'm actually not a morning person, either. Tell that to my body as it wakes up at 5 am repeatedly.
Anyhow, I finished off my delicious loaf of pain rustique last night, so when I wanted a toast a few minutes ago, I couldn't find anything I wanted.
So I went to peruse my cereal shelf. I don't eat cereal much either - like maybe 10-12 times a year. For some reason, most times the cereal or milk or combination of the two doesn't agree with my tummy.
But I have this.
And it's soooooo good. I am eating a bowl right now. Not sure if it's considered breakfast, as I've already been up for 3 hours, but it is only 8 am, so I guess today I am having breakfast.
Saturday, August 08, 2009
Friday, July 03, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Before I was a Mom,
I never tripped over toys
or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not
my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.
Before I was a Mom,
I had never been puked on.
I had complete control of my mind
and my thoughts.
I slept all night.
Before I was a Mom,
I never held down a screaming child
so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night
watching a baby sleep.
Before I was a Mom,
I never held a sleeping baby just because
I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop the hurt..
I never knew that something so small
could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom..
Before I was a Mom,
I didn't know the feeling of
having my heart outside my body..
I didn't know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond
between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small
could make me feel so important and happy.
Before I was a Mom,
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth,
or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom.
Obama cuts missile defense spending.
I understand the concept of an arms race. I understand that some people feel that by continually working toward building up our own defenses, we are perpetuating the concept that the enemy must build up its offensive arsenal. This creates an offensive-defensive cycle that continues over and over again. The Cold War was essentially an arms race, and we shouldn't go there again. Anyone remember the music video for "Land of Confusion"? Go check it out on YouTube if you don't.
But why cut the Missile Defense Agency program budget by $1.4 billion? Shouldn't we at least maintain the currently budgeted R&D efforts currently underway for improved detection and defensive technologies? I'm talking about defensive efforts here, not offensive.
People argue that to have an emphasis on defensive efforts implies there are offensive efforts in the background. To imply there are offensive efforts motivates the countries that are known threats to the USA to also bolster their offensive efforts.
It's a tough, multi-faceted problem to solve. But I'm not sure that cutting defensive research spending is the very first step that should be taken.
And how is the world not in an uproar over North Korea launching this missile? They have been defiant and provocative through stalled talks etc. And now the UN is talking about giving them an "out" instead of forcing a new resolution.
There are countries in the world who hate us because we exist. They hate the ideas behind our society - liberty and justice for all. Some people think we can diplomatically solve these issues. If we show our soft belly and become peaceful, friendly America, then maybe the madmen will stop making nukes and aiming them at us.
Some people think these small countries led by madmen who hate the US are actually scared, deep down, to use a nuke because we will wipe them off the map. Uh.. hello? Martyrs, anyone? Didn't the terrorists flying the planes on 9/11/01 die for their cause?
I am wondering if we get hit by a nuke if Obama will fight back.
Maybe he'll try to "use his words".
It's going to be a long 4 years.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
First things first. I did not vote for Obama. I am not someone who toes the Party line - I am an independent voter, and I vote for whoever I think will do the job the best. I felt pretty hopeless with this past election, though. I think both McCain and Obama chose poor VP running mates. I felt like this election only gave us the choice of choose the least worst candidate, rather than the BEST candidate.
THAT being said... I tend to have conservative leanings. Not so far conservative that I am comfortable with everything the Republicans stand for, but also, not so liberal that I am at all comfortable with standing with the Democrats. There's never a good option for middle-grounders.
OK. So now you know where I lean politically. I would say that I am fiscally conservative, progressive thinking for creative issue resolution, and very patriotic, especially for being a transplant. Maybe even to the extent that I may be considered insulting to my Canadian roots. But I *get* this country, I understand the how and why behind the stereotypical American attitude (as perceived from the outside), and I identify with it.
Ok. Obama's speech. This is an article that Fox put out that brought up every point of Obama's speech I had concerns about.
Yeah, don't get me started on the media one way or another. That's a whole other debate. You can come to whatever conclusion about me that you want based on which network's analysis that I chose. :)
Here are my comments on some of the points brought up:
1. Obama talking about only helping the people who accidentally got into the housing crisis, rather than the ones knowingly making bad choices or overstating their income to qualify for financing they couldn't afford: "I think it's just simply impractical to try to do a forensic analysis of each and every one of these delinquent loans," Sheila Bair told National Public Radio.
Hmm. How about using tax returns as the "proof" that they meet or don't meet the criteria to recieve financial aid? It seems to me that the IRS has some pretty handy proof already available. No forensic analysis needed.
2. OBAMA: "And I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it."
This is not as cut and dry an issue. Theoretically I don't think the big three should be bailed out. BUT, the trickle down effect of a total collapse of the domestic car industry probably would be catastrophic. HOWEVER, I don't agree with the current method of bailout. I used to work for a county's property tax supported children's services agency. The hoops and paperwork required of the agencies funded by us to keep their funding contracts was definitely bordering on a hardship at the worst, very time and budget consuming at best. However, because of public funding, there needed to be absolute accountability. Why is it that the government can freely throw around our money with almost no accountability, yet a poor struggling children's service provider with a $10K annual budget and a bunch of good-hearted volunteers barely make ends meet on a regular basis and we scream if they spend money on office supplies? I just don't get it.
The way I see it is if the Government (i.e. our representives, using our money!) is going to bail out your business, then you need to make your finances open and the bailout money cannot be used for pay raises, jets, new wallpaper, or any other non-crucial detail. Being bailed out is being given assistance to make necessary ends meet to stay afloat long enough to remain fiscally solvent long-term. Not a free ride on a spending spree to last another year before you bankrupt anyway, because you planned to and didn't save yourself. Grr.
3. OBAMA: "We have known for decades that our survival depends on finding new sources of energy. Yet we import more oil today than ever before."
OK. I know we need to make money, and that we sell our oil as part of doing that. But WHY WHY WHY when gas was almost $5 a gallon, did we not look at investing in our own refining capacity and use our own natural resources rather than exporting them to other nations, and maybe even re-importing them back (at who knows what prices) to use? I just don't get why if we have it, we don't use it here on US soil. What happened to Buy American?
But that's not the only issue. There are a finite number of barrels in our reserves and in the ground. I know that it's a LOT right now, but we are gonna run out someday. We need to smarten up and not only be more efficient with what we have, but develop other technologies. Everyone complains that none of the other technologies are efficient, that they are too expensive to do long term, yada yada yada. But why are we so focused on ONE technology at a time? Why can our "hybrid" cars make use of MULTIPLE technologies? Solar paint, regenerative braking, water/hydrogen, lithium batteries, gas, wind, etc.? Why *just* electric vs. gas? And why aren't we developing safer nuclear technology and thinking of ways to use the waste rather than storing it to be solved by our children?
Enough on that issue.
4. OBAMA: "We have already identified $2 trillion in savings over the next decade."
THE FACTS: Although 10-year projections are common in government, they don't mean much. And at times, they are a way for a president to pass on the most painful steps to his successor, by putting off big tax increases or spending cuts until someone else is in the White House.
Obama only has a real say on spending during the four years of his term. He may not be president after that and he certainly won't be 10 years from now.No comment needed - Obama is only good for 4 years right now. If he does well, he might get 4 more. If his policies do well and the budget gets balanced, maybe he will have effected real change. But there are a LOT of meaningless points brought up like the above about savings over a decade.
5. OBAMA: "Regulations were gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy market. People bought homes they knew they couldn't afford from banks and lenders who pushed those bad loans anyway. And all the while, critical debates and difficult decisions were put off for some other time on some other day."
THE FACTS: This may be so, but it isn't only Republicans who pushed for deregulation of the financial industries. The Clinton administration championed an easing of banking regulations, including legislation that ended the barrier between regular banks and Wall Street banks. That led to a deregulation that kept regular banks under tight federal regulation but extended lax regulation of Wall Street banks. Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, later an economic adviser to candidate Obama, was in the forefront in pushing for this deregulation.WHY, regardless of deregulation, are these banks not being held accountable now? ESPECIALLY the ones being bailed out? What's so bad about accountability?
6. OBAMA: "In this budget, we will end education programs that don't work and end direct payments to large agribusinesses that don't need them. We'll eliminate the no-bid contracts that have wasted billions in Iraq, and reform our defense budget so that we're not paying for Cold War-era weapons systems we don't use. We will root out the waste, fraud and abuse in our Medicare program that doesn't make our seniors any healthier, and we will restore a sense of fairness and balance to our tax code by finally ending the tax breaks for corporations that ship our jobs overseas."
We'll see. Sounds good-intentioned, but we'll see. GO OBAMA. :P
7. OBAMA: "Thanks to our recovery plan, we will double this nation's supply of renewable energy in the next three years."
THIS, I'd like to see. It's a nice idea, but I can't see it, unless it's mandated.
8. OBAMA: "Over the next two years, this plan will save or create 3.5 million jobs."
Can this actually be measured? I'd like to see his metrics. And I find it interesting that even though the economy's issues are all interrelated, a lot of people don't make that leap. The bad economy was caused by the housing crash... people's ARM and balloon payments came due, they couldn't afford them, they started losing their homes. Then because they couldn't buy things, like new cars, the industry started to suffer. Then retail started to suffer. Because the spending economy was suffering, the job market began to suffer - no sales means no money for payroll, so people get laid off. This whole economic thing is a HUGE issue, but I don't know exactly how much I think the government should be involved in the minutae. There is a risk of the government getting too big for it's britches, too - and regulating our lives.
I am not a Darwinist.... but why is it that we as a society can't let the people who are DELIBERATELY STUPID flounder around? We've created a must-have culture, people who don't know how to sacrifice or scrimp and save to get what they need/want. We have a culture of waste and greed, and now we're paying for it. It offends me that I must daily make choices to sacrifice things that are important to be fiscally responsible, while other's who don't *want* to be fiscally responsible can easily open credit cards, spend to oblivion, and then declare bankruptcy over and over and over again, with no REAL effect that changes their behavior. And we, the responsible ones, are bailing them out, over and over again. It's gotta stop.
I'm really getting sick of giving the government so much of our money to mismanage and pass out like bonuses to the irresponsible.
Please keep in mind my rant is directed to the willfully irresponsible - not the victims of the labor market conditions that are now making some of the most difficult choices of their lives. We are living about one or two paychecks away from homelessness ourselves. Our retirement funds have all but disappeared. We are managing, but we are not well off enough to be able to spend money without being concerned about where we're spending it. Health insurance is a HUGE concern to us. Our sky-high rates go up almost 20% annually. That's really REALLY hard to take. We are fortunate to be blessed with Ian having a wonderful job that provides enough for us to pay for our expenses, and hope that he can keep his employment.
I should probably end this incomplete rant before I blow a gasket. I don't know how to fix our problems and I don't think anyone has the answer. All we can do at this point is hope that Ian's job lasts through this economy and try to make good choices for our present and future, and prepare for the tight times.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
I haven't suffered from this kind of insomnia for YEARS. Since 1996, as a matter of fact.
Since we have all been sick and gotten our sleep/wake cycles screwed up, I cannot seem to fall asleep. This is the third night in a row where I am completely and utterly exhausted, but my brain won't shut off.
Now a couple nights ago, I was pretty sick and had a bunch of sore joints and tense muscles etc. So I justified taking a leftover painkiller (from postpartum recovery), and it worked like magic and I was out for about 7 hours.
I cannot, however, justify taking painkillers (that I am almost out of) to fall asleep. I also know that Benadryl does not work for me. And I am reluctant to take anything strong enough where I will be groggy and unresponsive should Kaylee need me.
Not sure what I'm going to do about this, should it last. I'll have to check out options at the drugstore as well as seeing about locating melatonin locally to get my sleep back on track.
The bad part about this insomnia is that after about 2-3 nights I develop sleep anxiety, and then I cannot fall asleep unless it's daytime and I dread going to bed and then I stare into the dark for hours. Obviously this will not work for us, as Ian's normal pattern is to sleep in the morning and be awake at night. That's not happening right now, but it will likely resume over the next week. So I need to be able to get up in the morning.
Ugh..... It's only 1:40 am right now. I was still awake at 8:30 am this morning. I napped until about 11:30, and have been going all day. I'm so freaking tired... *sigh*
Off to try bed again. This will be try #2 for the evening. I already went to bed at 10:30 and stayed there until 12:30.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
You had that Fisher Price Doctor's Kit with a stethoscope that actually worked.
You owned a bicycle with a banana seat and a plastic basket with flowers on it.
You learned to skate with actual skates (not roller blades) that had metal wheels.
You thought Gopher from Love Boat was cute (admit it!)
You had nightmares after watching Fantasy Island .
You had either a 'bowl cut' or 'pixie', not to mention the 'Dorothy Hamill'. People sometimes thought you were a boy.
You had rubber boots for rainy days and Moon boots for snowy days.
YEAH! You owned a 'Slip-n-Slide', on which you injured yourself on a sprinkler head more than once.
You owned 'Klick-Klacks' and smacked yourself in the face more than once!
Your Holly Hobbie sleeping bag was your most prized possession.
You wore a poncho, gauchos, and knickers.
You begged Santa for the electronic game, Simon.
You had the Donnie and Marie dolls with those pink and purple satiny shredded outfits, or the sunshine family
You spent hours in your backyard on your metal swing set with the trapeze. The swing set tipped over at least once.
You had homemade ribbon barrettes in every imaginable color. (Oh yeah!)
You had a pair of Doctor Scholl's sandals (the ones with hard sole & the buckle). You also had a pair of salt-water sandals.
You wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder really bad; you wore that Little House on the Prairie-inspired plaid, ruffle shirt with the high neck in at least one school picture; and you despised Nellie Oleson!
You wanted your first kiss to be at a roller rink! ---- yes it was!
PONG! ('video tennis' ) was the most remarkable futuristic game you've ever heard of !
Your hairstyle was described as having 'wings' or 'feathers' and you kept it 'pretty' with the comb you kept in your back pocket. When you walked, the 'wings' flapped up and down, looked like you were gonna 'take off' .
You know who Strawberry Shortcake is, as well as her friends, Blueberry Muffin and Huckleberry Pie.
You carried a Muppets lunch box to school and it was metal, not plastic. With the thermos inside some were glass inside and broke the first time you dropped them.
You and your girlfriends would fight over which of the Dukes of Hazzard was your boyfriend.
YOU had Star Wars action figures, too!
It was a big event in your household each year when the 'Wizard of Oz' would come on TV. Your mom would break out the popcorn and sleeping bags!
You often asked your Magic-8 ball the question: 'Who will I marry. Shaun Cassidy, Leif Garrett, or David Cassidy?'
You completely wore out your Grease, Saturday Night Fever, and Fame soundtrack record album.
You tried to do lots of arts and crafts, like yarn and Popsicle-stick God's eyes, decoupage, or those weird potholders made on a plastic loom.
You made Shrinky-Dinks and put iron-on kittens on your t-shirts!
You used to tape record songs off the radio by holding your portable tape player up to the speaker.
You had subscriptions to Dynamite and Tiger Beat.
You learned everything you needed to know about girl issues from Judy Blume books. (Are you there God, It's me, Margaret.)
You thought Olivia Newton John's song 'Physical' was about aerobics. (what?? its not??)
You wore friendship pins on your tennis shoes, or shoelaces with heart or rainbowdesigns.
You wanted to be a Solid Gold dancer.
You drowned yourself in Love's Baby Soft - which was the first 'real' perfume you ever owned.
You glopped your lips in Strawberry Roll-on lip-gloss till it almost dripped off.
Monday, February 09, 2009
We all got sick on Friday.
Kaylee was a little feverish and sneezy on Friday and by Friday night she was full blown sick.
Ian was full blown sick.
I was only a little sick. Then.
But now, Monday night, I'm feeling worse and worse. I've been the one that survived the weekend taking care of everyone else and trying to keep the house from exploding. I even did 5 loads of laundry (well, "did" is relative - they're washed and dried and sitting here in baskets waiting to be folded and put away) and cooked TWO pots of soup.
Of course, I was delirious and in need of a nap both yesterday morning and this morning.
Anyhow, Ian is almost back to normal now, and Kaylee appears to be mostly better as well.
Poor little thing - it's so hard for babies. She was stuffed up, coughing, sneezing, and feverish for two whole days. All I could do was give her lots of snuggles, some Tylenol to keep the fever down, and put a vaporizer in her room.
Tonight I soaked all her plastic toys in bleach water and ran all her pacifiers through the dishwasher. Then I took bleachwater on a rag and wiped down the door handles and kitchen surfaces to try and get the germs dealt with.
And now I'm starting to get sick. Dangit.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Kaylee ended up liking most of the stuff we tried. Well, let me rephrase that. Kaylee did not spit out most of the stuff we tried. I can see, however, that she prefers vegetables over fruit, and perhaps sweet tastes over tart or bland.
When I tasted her foods to see what they were like, I thought they were vile. Well, not entirely. The squash, sweet potatoes, applesauce, and pears were tolerable. The colors of the veggies were a little surreal though, which I blame on the processing during canning.
So after debating on the cost and the taste, I decided to make my own. It would be cheaper, have NO added preservatives (even the natural ones, like citric acid, change the flavor considerably, and I want to know what she REALLY thinks of the foods she tries).
I went to the grocery store and bought some beautiful vegetables: butternut squash, sweet potatoes, string beans, and carrots. I then proceeded to cook them, puree them in the blender, and spoon them into an ice cube tray to freeze into individual 1 oz. portions, which I then put into ziplock bags.
Now all I have to do is take out a couple cubes and nuke them for one minute and stir. And they taste AMAZING! Kaylee loves them and opens her mouth really wide and starts freaking out if I'm not fast enough with the little food shovel.
Just thought I'd share. By the way, I used water from the cooking process in my vegetable purees, that way I figured I'd be using the vitamins that had leached out in the cooking process. Oh, I know some of them have oxidized their way out, but I can try and feel like I'm doing good, right? Besides, look at the amazing colors these veggies retained - the canned ones sure didn't look like this!
Also, just for reference, about 1 to 1.5 pounds of vegetable cooks and purees down to about two ice cube trays full, which in my case was about 32 cubes, I think. I'm not sure, since I don't have my trays in front of me.
I'm still working on what to do about fruits, but I think I'll be able to do some fruits the same way. I know for a fact apples and pears will work easily - just peel and cook and puree, not sure if I'll do bananas or just make a raw puree with a little apple juice for ease of blending.
Until next time!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
You know how if you have little girls, eventually there are so many little costumes and other little girl princess-y stuff that has sparkles on it, and how eventually you just get used to the sparkles kinda showing up everywhere? You see a glint of a sparkle in a sunbeam on the floor, you catch a sparkly glint on her cheek? You see a sparkle on the dog's nose? (Or so I'm told by my friends who have had little girls for a while....)
Well a couple weeks ago, I noticed my hands were slightly sparkly. As in, I'm not sure if they're really sparkly or not. As in, it looks like I accidentally rubbed some neutral eyeshadow on my palm sparkly. As in, there is a strange sheen on my hands sparkly.
I was completely confused. These weren't actual individual pieces of glitter that I had gotten into and were stuck on my skin. This was more like the metallic sheen of a powdered mineral. Kinda reminded me of pigment powders for mixing in a media to paint or emboss with.
So where could I have possibly picked up this sparkly sheen on my hands? And why was it so brilliant even after a whole day of caring for Kaylee and constantly washing my hands?
Well, I started to get suspicious and decided that it had to be something different that I had recently incorporated into my life.
Guess what I had just done a few days previously to noticing the sparkles on my hands?
I had been to the mall and wandered into a 3 for $10 sale on hand soap at Bath & Body Works. We love their soap (well, certain flavors of it, anyway) and about twice a year I go in and stock up.
My "normal" flavors are Mandarin Orange and Cucumber Melon. Just the plain anti-bacterial stuff, not the moisturizing cream stuff or the foaming pump stuff.
This time, I decided to shake things up a little and got a bunch of flavors and a couple different types. Since it's winter, and my hands look like reptile skin, I opted to pick up a couple of the moisturizing soaps. Oh, and since I love citrusy scents, I got Kitchen Lemon for the kitchen.
One of the moisturizing soaps smelled so delicious... Warm Vanilla Sugar... mmmmmmmm. My hands smelled like candy after washing them.
Sparkly clean, they are.
Now why would a hand soap include sparkly stuff? And what is this sparkly stuff? Is it safe to eat? For I am sure that as I prepare food or touch my face or eat that I am consuming sparkly hand soap residue. And you can't actually see the sparkles in the soap... it's more like it's just left on your hands.
So if any of you out there make liquid moisturizing hand soaps, maybe you can clue me in. Why is my soap sparkly?
Saturday, January 24, 2009
(FACEBOOK NEWS FEED EDITION)
BY SARAH SCHMELLING
- - - -
Horatio thinks he saw a ghost.
Hamlet thinks it's annoying when your uncle marries your mother right after your dad dies.
The king thinks Hamlet's annoying.
Laertes thinks Ophelia can do better.
Hamlet's father is now a zombie.
- - - -
The king poked the queen.
The queen poked the king back.
Hamlet and the queen are no longer friends.
Marcellus is pretty sure something's rotten around here.
Hamlet became a fan of daggers.
- - - -
Polonius says Hamlet's crazy ... crazy in love!
Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and Hamlet are now friends.
Hamlet wonders if he should continue to exist. Or not.
Hamlet thinks Ophelia might be happier in a convent.
Ophelia removed "moody princes" from her interests.
Hamlet posted an event: A Play That's Totally Fictional and In No Way About My Family
The king commented on Hamlet's play: "What is wrong with you?"
Polonius thinks this curtain looks like a good thing to hide behind.
Polonius is no longer online.
- - - -
Hamlet added England to the Places I've Been application.
The queen is worried about Ophelia.
Ophelia loves flowers. Flowers flowers flowers flowers flowers. Oh, look, a river.
Ophelia joined the group Maidens Who Don't Float.
Laertes wonders what the hell happened while he was gone.
- - - -
The king sent Hamlet a goblet of wine.
The queen likes wine!
The king likes ... oh crap.
The queen, the king, Laertes, and Hamlet are now zombies.
Horatio says well that was tragic.
Fortinbras, Prince of Norway, says yes, tragic. We'll take it from here.
Denmark is now Norwegian.
1. I play bass guitar and piano.
2. I love driving motorcycles.
3. I am becoming more earth friendly/conscious every year.
4. I love being a Mom.
5. I love being a wife.
6. I get along very well with my parents.
7. I've lived in three Canadian provinces and two US States.
8. I haven't been to church for years, but miss it and hope to find another church that's a good fit someday.
9. I love big piles of clean folded laundry.
10. I have always wanted to take dance lessons; clogging, tap, jazz, contemporary, line dancing, and ballroom dance. Someday...
11. I miss living in the South - it's too cold here for most of the year. Even the summers feel cold to me most of the time.
12. I am addicted to Diet Mountain Dew and M&M's.
13. I love taking long road trips.
14. I hate everything about flying except being above the clouds. TSA is a joke, and plane crashes suck.
15. I miss having an aquarium and love staring endlessly at fish swimming around.
16. I love my kitties.
17. The only thing I miss from my pre-weight loss surgery life is the ability to eat ice cream. However, since ice cream contributed to my predicament and I love being thin (relatively speaking) now, I totally think it was worth giving it up.
18. I miss all our friends, but especially Matt and Jen. We need to get a duplex next time.
19. I love smelling all the stuff at Bath & Bodyworks.
20. I love sushi.
21. I love beer.
22. I hope to see Europe someday.
23. I love cruising.
24. I own an apartment building and am a co-landlord with Ian to two of the best tenants ever.
25. I hope we sell our house in Caribou before summer so we can take a vacation.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Rachael Ray has just walked into my life in the form of a 7 qt. round dutch oven. Enamelled cast iron.
The thing probably weighs at least 10 pounds empty. But I'm in love.... I can't decide what to cook first, so send me your ideas via comments!
Edited to Add: This pot is available from Amazon.com. I used rewards points to buy it, but I think it costs around $100. You can get enamelled cast iron for less, though - probably $40-$60.
I think I am going to do some kinda browning/braising dish - maybe a beef stew - first. :)
Monday, January 19, 2009
Anyhow, for any of you who check my other blog about my daughter Kaylee, you know what's been keeping me busy and occupied. Although I don't think that your child should necessarily completely consume you, Kaylee has at least 90% consumed me and I am totally OK with that. I think the reason I am OK with it is that I know it's temporary as far as time consumption goes - her needs and my time commitment to them will change as she grows... also, I have waited so long to have her in my life that I am really enjoying being totally committed to her right now. There's almost nothing in my life that one of her smiles or kisses can't fix.
Today it's snowing. We were supposed to get um, maybe 4 inches of the stuff. So far, I've seen about 6 inches and it's still coming down pretty good. The weather website has updated their forecast to say 4-10 inches... so I guess we're going to have the full Monty. It's pretty, and I'm thrilled that it finally warmed up to freezing (since when does freezing feel warm?) as the cold was pretty intense here for the last week or two... but I am DONE with winter. It might be one thing if we were into winter outdoor activities, but I think that living in Florida has changed that for me, forever. Of course I still have it in the back of my mind that we should run down to Mars Hill and go downhill skiing at least once before we move, but I don't know if that's gonna happen or not. Regardless, we are looking forward to getting the heck out of here in the winter.
I still feel a bit like my previous post - like I get frustrated at my productivity level, or lack thereof; but in reality, most days I am getting basic household chores done and tackling a little project or two. I am just entering tax season for now, which involves lots of sorting and filing, cursing about my lack of filing discipline in the previous year, resolving to file regularly in the current year, failing to file at all, and just generally hating filing in general. In reality, a whole year's worth of filing takes less than a few hours and I shouldn't fuss about it one way or another. I have always hated it at my jobs as well, so I shouldn't worry too much about it. I just feel momentarily overwhelmed when I have this mountain of tasks in front of me, and then I dig down into my firm resolve and start plowing through the mountain and before you know it, I'm on the other side! Yay! I can't wait to be on the other side!
Anyhow, I'm still here. I've been enjoying being Susie Homemaker and cooking lots of delicious things over the last couple months, and I'm really enjoying laundry, ironically. I think I'll get going for now, as I can hear Kaylee stirring in the other room and it's snuggle time, I think. :)
Until next time...