Archive for November, 2007

Saturday Excitement!

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

My big excitement for the day (so far) is this:

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You ask what is exciting about this? Well, my momma bought me this way cool metal vase thingy when she was visiting us in Antigua. I loved a lot of what this store had – I browsed there often (it was also pretty close to the bakery that had the awesome banana bread so I walked past it often). I’ve been looking for something just right to put in it since I’ve been home. I haven’t found anything that seemed right – wasn’t even sure what I was looking for. These flowers aren’t IT but they work – mostly because I got them on clearance at Michael’s for $.50 a stem. I love a bargain! So if you are wanting any silk flowers go check out Michael’s this weekend.

Anyone checking out the background of some of the photos I post (I do it – love checking out other peoples’ homes), has probably noticed I have a lot of silk flower arrangements around my house.  My mom does most of them when she visits because she has a good eye for it.  I love flowers – not in a flowery wall paper or floral dress kind of way but in a if I had a million dollars there would be fresh flowers all over my house all of the time kind of way.  They just make me happy.  But my frugality won’t allow me to buy fresh flowers often.  So I enjoy my ever lasting silk arrangements.  But they have to be the right flowers – bad silk (or ack worse yet, plastic!) flowers are not a good thing.

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The NY Times did a series on international adoption this week. I enjoyed reading it – some from the parents’ perspective and some from the adoptees’ perspective. Click here to read it.

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Our plan is to check out one of our state parks today but Steve is taking a nap. Poor guy is wiped out from all the hours he has been working. I won’t wake him but if we go, at least I’ll have some nice photos to post tomorrow.

Cop Out

Friday, November 9th, 2007

Stupid NaBloPoMo…I got nothing today. But feel obligated to post since I signed up for the stupid thing.

* Ads are probably still coming. I’ve been too lazy to figure out how to get them on the blog.

* Sabrina’s afternoon grumpiness has benefited a bit from an earlier bed time but this has resulted in her waking up 1.5 hours earlier. This makes her non-morning person mommy grumpy.

* Sabrina has suddenly decided she hates baths and doesn’t particularly like meat. She’s always been a fan of both in the past. Now she screams bloody murder during her bath – the neighbors probably have Children Services on speed dial at this point. And the only way I can get her to eat meat is if I give her only meat at the beginning of her meal and then fruit and veggies after she has eaten most of it. I’m also trying some other forms of protein. Her newest is chickpeas. But I have to take the outer peel/shell/whatever it is off or she sits and picks it off each chickpea and the meal takes 2 hours. (If you roll the chickpea between your fingers under water it will come right off in case you are curious what in the world I am talking about.)

* I get my husband back tonight. He’s been working very long hours for the past couple of months on a project and he tells me those crazy hours end tonight. Woohoo! I’ll be glad to see him roll in before Sabrina’s bedtime next week.

* That’s it. Have a great weekend. I’ll see if I can be more interesting tomorrow. But don’t bet on it.

Let’s Pretend

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

The coolest thing has started to happen in the past few weeks.  Sabrina has started to pretend.  Grandma was the first one to point it out when she was visiting.  She pretends to pick something up and hand it to you and then takes the imaginary item back.  I just thought she had dropped whatever small item she had found before she tried to hand it to me.  But after watching her with Grandma, we realized she was pretending.  It is so fun to see her starting to play in new ways.  She will pretend to take food out of the bowl on her activity table and eat it.  She will pretend to drink out of the mustard and ketchup bottles that came with her little shopping cart.  And she will talk to her little stuffed animals and dolls.

I forget sometimes how fast she is learning.  If I try to play with a toy with her or play a little game with her and it is above her level, I often don’t try again for a month or so.  I forget that a week can make a real difference in her skills at this age.  I sing “If you are happy and you know it” to her but she never joined in on the clapping – this morning she started clapping along with me.  Poor child – probably decided to clap to drown out my bad singing.

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Memo to the old man at Sam’s Club

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

Dear Kind Sir:

I tend to cut those from the older generations a bit of slack when it comes to asking politically correct appropriate questions.  I know your generation doesn’t always think about the “right” way to phrase things.  You seemed to be a nice man who was genuinely interested in my daughter so I continued to smile, if somewhat stiffly, when you asked “What is it mixed with?” after commenting she was beautiful.   I explained that my daughter was from Guatemala and you said your daughter was considering adopting from Central America because she had spent a bit of time teaching in Costa Rica.  However, I do believe I should expect some manners from your generation so when I answered your question about why we decided to adopt, I played dumb and answered the question I was comfortable answering – why we chose Guatemala.  But instead of taking the hint, your reply “No I mean can’t you have children of your own or what?” led my smile to turn a bit frosty and my “Maybe, maybe not but we decided adoption was right for our family” was much more polite than what I was thinking.  I hope if your daughter does adopt, she teaches you a better way to communicate about such things in public.  And I’m sure she wouldn’t appreciate you telling random strangers in Sam’s Club that she can’t conceive.

But thank you for your interest in my daughter.

Sincerely,

The Young Whippersnapper who didn’t throw the 10 lb can of tuna at your head

The monster within

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

My beautiful child?  For the past 3 weeks, between 4pm and 5pm my beautiful child loses her mind.  Prior to 3 weeks ago, she might get a little cranky in the evening but I could cope with it.  But now?  She is a brat.  If I don’t hold her, don’t hold her right, bump her, tell her no, tell her yes but don’t meet the need fast enough, or look at her wrong, she lays on the floor and sobs.  It is lovely.   It is frustrating because I know what is wrong – she is tired.

Since we’ve been home, Sabrina has taken only 1 nap a day.  We tried the 2 nap schedule while in Guatemala and it was a constant fight.  Once we switched to 1 nap, the struggle ended for the most part.  She usually takes a 2 hour nap in the middle of the day.  Since she has started the 5pm monster, I’ve tried going back to 2 naps a few times.  That results in a pleasant child in the evening but one who refuses to go to sleep until 9:30pm.  That isn’t a particularly good solution.  (She normally goes to bed between 7 and 8 pm.)  My only other idea is to put her down earlier – between 6 and 6:30.  I’m afraid that will result in a child who is up at 6am (she usually is up between 7 and 8am) and just gets cranky earlier in the afternoon.  This would also mean that Steve wouldn’t get to see her before she goes to bed.

So I’m left with a cranky child from 5pm until bedtime.  I am really hoping it is a short phase.

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In other news today, Sabrina and visited the new Whole Foods that just opened.  Holy craziness!  Even in the middle of the afternoon it was mobbed.  Lots of neat stuff – I certainly couldn’t afford to do the bulk of my shopping there but it is fun to go in and buy a nice cheese or nice loaf of bread and browse around.  They put it in a really congested spot and built a parking garage across the street because of lack of parking – not exactly convenient.   The street around it is lined with some neat shops but I imagine that I wouldn’t want to get within a 3 mile radius of it on the weekend.

Weekend Wrap-Up

Monday, November 5th, 2007

I made kick ass chili last night.  No, I’m not going to give you the recipe.  Partially because there is no recipe and partially because chili is one of those things people get passionate about – I don’t want to come to blows over chili recipes.  I will give you a general idea of the ingredients:  tomato sauce, onion, garlic, jalapeño or other hot pepper, ground beef, ground pork, a couple of chili seasoning packs (1 tex mex and 1 hot), brown sugar (have to have a little sweet with my heat), ground cayenne and chipolte pepper powders, 3/4 bottle of a good beer, and black beans (not a fan of kidney beans).

But almost better than my chili?  The Amazing Race premiered last night!!  There are only a few reality shows I watch – Project Runway, Top Chef and the Amazing Race.  I LOVE the Amazing Race.  So I happily ate chili and watched the Amazing Race last night.  Did I mention I LOVE it?  Steve always jokes about us trying out.  I don’t even think that is funny.  I love to travel but I hate the act of getting from point A to point B.  I would totally end up sounding like Flo from one of the early seasons (she whined “L-e-n-n-y” all the way across the world).  Or I would try to pretend to enjoy the running from airport to car to village to airport and about 1/2 through I would have a total meltdown.  No thanks.  I’ll just sit on my couch and watch other people do it.  It would be completely amazing though.

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Steve is concerned that Sabrina isn’t walking yet.  She turned 14 months old yesterday.  I’m not worried in the least – she is on track with everything and will walk when she is ready.  But Steve wants to help her so he spent all weekend hunched over doing this:

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And why don’t they make one piece sweat suits like that in mommy sizes?  I swear I wouldn’t wear it to the grocery store – strictly at home.  But doesn’t it look warm and comfy?

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And finally…some fundraising to bring home some precious babies out in blog world.

Matt & Jenny recently brought home Eliana from Guatemala.  Sabrina and I had the pleasure of their company for lunch in July – they are incredibly wonderful people!  They have decided to adopt 2 little ones from Ethiopia and are doing a neat raffle in addition to some other fund raising.  They are raffling off a different Longaberger basket every day in December.  Does everyone know Longaberger or is it a region specific thing?  They make awesome baskets that are highly collectible and pretty pricey – and they last forever.  The company also has the coolest office building I’ve ever seen (it is based not too far from where I grew up):

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I almost drive off the road every time I drive past it because I can’t stop gawking at it.  Go here to learn more about their raffle.

AND

Julia and Holly promised us the mother of all raffles and they have delivered!   They have set up 15 different prizes to choose from when you enter the raffle – with lots of amazing prizes.  The raffles benefit Sig and Krystal.  Sig is working to bring home Tarana on the heels of Abby’s adoption.  Krystal is trying to bring home brothers from Guatemala – but they didn’t plan on adopting 2 when they started!

If you are able, go help out at one or both of these fundraising opportunities.  If you aren’t, go check them out and keep all of these families in your thoughts.  I am so amazed by the generosity and creativity of others in helping other adopting families.  It makes me very proud to be a part of this community.

Recipe Sunday

Sunday, November 4th, 2007

Corn Pudding Bake

This is major comfort food in my world. This recipe is courtesy of my mama.

2 eggs (or 1/4 cup egg beaters)
8 ¾ oz can no-salt-added whole-kernel corn
8 ¾ oz can no-salt-added cream-style corn
8 ¾ oz package corn muffing mix (Jiffy)
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup fat-free yogurt
1 tsp chipotle pepper powder [or to taste)
Shredded cheddar cheese

Mix and put in greased 8 x 8 or 9×9 baking pan. Top with cheddar or any mixture of shredded cheeses you prefer. Bake 60 minutes at 350 degrees.

Tip – my cheese got a little too brown on top so if you don’t like it browned, you might want to add it 1/2 way through cooking. No photo because it wasn’t very pretty.

I also just realized when I was at the grocery store that I used regular sized cans (15 oz) of corn and cream corn when I made it.  It turned out and I liked the amount of corn so it works either way.

Weekend cuteness

Saturday, November 3rd, 2007

Some pictures of Miss Sabrina from the past week.

Her newest game – put something on the table and then reach up and get it back.

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Cheese!

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Sleeping Beauty

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I’m feeling like we are overdosing on the pink here.  I really don’t gravitate toward pink normally but when I was buying her clothes, I was trying to get a lot of pieces we could mix and match.  Pink was the one thing available in most styles so I ended up buying way more pink than I would have liked.  She’s cute no matter what color she is in but it is making me queasy!

Coffee and a Cause

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

It really is easier, as Carla often points out, to always enter a room full of strangers with your personal sidekick.  Self portrait before heading out this morning:

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I was invited to attend a lovely coffee/breakfast this morning. The attendees were Nashville bloggers who are mommies (I don’t think they all fit the category of mommy blogger). Meredith, who hosted us at her home, had a lovely spread of muffins, cider, coffee and other yummy stuff for us to enjoy. She brought us all together to chat and let our children play. I had a fabulous time talking with a wonderful group of women! I will link some of them once I get their addresses – but it was really a fabulous morning.

In addition to the bloggers, we also had a couple of women visiting from Boulder, CO. They, along with one of our Nashville bloggers, are from an organization I am great intrigued by after hearing a little bit about it. And how awesome is the name: Mothers Acting Up! It is an activism group but it is doing things in a better way. Many groups demanding change act from a point of anger – MAU wants to make activism a joyful thing. Their vision is:

We realize that we live in a world that does not prioritize or protect our children’s wellbeing and that this will not change without each of us finding the courage and commitment to speak out on their behalf. By mobilizing our gigantic political strength, we can ensure the health, education and safety of every child, not just a privileged few. Let us: whisper this to each other, sing it out in the streets, yell it from our rooftops, declare it in our houses of government: we will protect our children with our personal and political strength, wherever they live on earth!

There is a one woman performance here tonight at 7:30 by Beth Osnes (met her – very neat lady!) and a workshop for activism tomorrow morning at 9pm. Both are at the First Unitarian Universalist Church. After the workshop tomorrow they are holding a Girlcott (I love this concept). Instead of boycotting businesses that don’t do what we want, MAU supports businesses who do it right. A local coffee shop which uses coffee bought through fair trades is being girlcotted – basically everyone gathers there, fraternizes the business, and makes a show of what the business is doing right and why it should be supported. Love this idea. I’ve participated in my fair share of protests and they turn off more people than pay attention to the message. This allows the community to celebrate the businesses who support the “right” things. (Right being a relative term – right by our definition.)

I’m interested in learning more about this group because I like their style.

What have I done?

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

I did 2 things yesterday that I’m feeling a little unsure of.  No, neither involved Halloween candy…Sabrina had about 47 meltdowns yesterday afternoon and evening so even though I really needed chocolate last night, we didn’t take her trick or treating.  I see you all out there shaking your heads, rolling your eyes, saying “Not the beautiful Miss Sabrina!  She is always smiling!”  Oh yeah?  I’ve got proof:

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I figured rather than dragging that attitude around, I could buy my own candy.  But back to the 2 things I’ve done.  The first one is this:

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I gave into peer pressure (okay, no one said a word to me directly – but I know what you were thinking) and I signed up for NaBloPoMo.  For those who aren’t aware, November is National Blog Posting Month (so they came up with that awkward acronym to stand for that – I would rather just say National Blog Posting Month personally but no one asked).  Signing up simply means I’ve promised to post every day in November.  I wasn’t going to sign up because I don’t want blogging to feel like an obligation.  But I post almost daily anyway and if I don’t post everyday in November it isn’t like a group of angry blog monitors are going to come after me with rubber hoses, right?  Right?  Because I totally didn’t read the fine print.

The other thing?  I’ve decided to sell out.  You’ll soon see ads on my side bar.  Feel free to ignore them or read through bloglines where you don’t have to see them at all.  When I decided to get my own domain, we were hosting ourselves so it was practically free.  Now we pay a hosting service.  I may or may not make enough from the ads to pay for the hosting service – we’ll see how it goes.  Just pretend they aren’t there when they show up.


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