Friday, July 29, 2011

Today I Looked at Recipes.

I've probably already mentioned this, but I have a hard time cooking the same thing twice.  I have a binder full of recipes that turned out really well when I tried them.  I write in all my cookbooks so I know which recipes were yummy, but I rarely repeat them.  I just love the experimentation of a new recipe! 

I'm pretty sure that of all the recipes I've shared on this blog the only one I've used multiple times is the chocolate chip zucchini bread.  I'm assuming that when my kids are older I'll be repeating their favorite meals.  But, then again, maybe not.  Maybe they'll love the variety of eating different things.  Anyways, I get most of my recipes from, magazines, and the few cookbooks I own. 

And this is where I reveal some of my nerdiness.  I adore cookbooks related to books I've read.  I'm TOTALLY gonna be looking into all the books in this list.  I'm sharing the ones I own and love to pull out occasionally and pour over them (along with a giveaway).

(i got this book as a gift when i was 8 or 9.  i didn't actually cook something out of it until i was married!  source.)

(another gift from my youth.  i have misplaced my copy and hope it turns up soon!  i'm not sure it's in print anymore.  so used would be the only way to get it.  source.)

(the most recent addition to my collection.  it is aMAZing!  the pictures, the history, and of course the recipe for candied citrus peel.  source.)

(i don't know if I should add this to the line up since I, technically, stole it from my mom but she never read it anyways.  and i did.  well, i never actually read the story, but every recipe i've tried from this book was/is excellent. especially the blueberry-raspberry pound cake, which i tweaked and it still came out perfect!  the gal who wrote this book is the blogger of orangettesource.)

I'd like to share this fun with you!  So consider this #7 out of #10 of my Summertime Giveaways!  Whomever wins gets to choose one out of these four cookbooks.  I might as well let you know that though I'm not giving away my own copies, you will most likely be getting a used copy from the local bookstore or  To enter, just be a follower and leave a comment!  Open internationally, of course. 

Oh and this giveaway ends Tuesday evening (August 2nd). 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Today I Looked at Animals.

We went to the zoo.  It was the first time I've ever seen Ash be interested in the animals there.  Today was also her first time ever finishing an entire hamburger (Wendy's).  She also had her first taste of Jelly Belly beans (Britt did too).  I dressed the girls up sooooo cute in new clothes that I'd completely forgotten about.  I bought them months ago thinking I'd use them for pictures around Father's Day.  Obviously never happened.  Then I proceeded to remember the camera after I'd already left the house and was rushing to catch the ferry.  I convinced Tony to take pics with his camera but he didn't take many and these were the only two that turned out.  Ash is NOT posing, though it looks like she is.  It was a lovely 78 degrees today and I kept my sunglasses on and my water bottle tipped so no headaches!  YAY! 

Ash at the Zoo
(ash had just climbed through a log at the zoo playground)

Britt had her first taste of water park.  They have a very small section at the playground in the zoo where water shoots out of the ground randomly.  Well, I think it was random.  The kids that were playing there were jumping up and down so maybe that helped trigger something.  Anyways.  Britt watched the kids for a bit and then decided she was going to run around, jumping up and down too.  I took her shoes off and watched to see how she felt about the water.  Note:  she's not a fan of the sprinkler at home.  The first jet of water came up right in front of her.  She watched it until it stopped and then hop-stepped right over (and on top of) a bigger nozzle.  This time the spray shot up and got her right on the side of her head.  She was super surprised and didn't know what to do for a few seconds, before high tailing it out of there.  I laughed myself silly. 

Britt at the zoo
(britt, sitting in a hippo at the zoo playground. some dad, whom she ran past, commented that she looks like snow white. i thought he was odd until i pulled up this pic. now i can totally see it. haha!)

It was fun.  We saw just about everything and luckily saved the playground for last.  Both the girls threw major tantrums when we finally scooped them up and put them in their stroller.  Britt quickly decided to drink her water bottle, but Ash kept right on howling.  I asked her if she wanted to go to the car or go find some more animals, also letting her know that if she wanted to see more animals she would have to stop crying.  Tony was highly disappointed when she immediately stopped her tantrum and said she wanted to see more animals, because then we had to walk over to see the sharks (he was hot and tired and wanted to leave).  Haha!  So, we watched the sharks for a few minutes and then went to the car.  :)

Boy!  I am outta shape!  You wouldn't believe all the huffing and puffing I was doing just walking all over the zoo.  I need to make myself walk everyday.  It's just so booooooring!

Oh, and I realized today that I never clarified, for you guys, that my original guess at my baby's due date was wrong because I forgot that they count from the first day of your last period (when you're actually not pregnant, which doesn't make any sense).  Shortly after writing that I got online and typed in my conception date and whatnot and it came up with January 20th.  Which is my actual due date, which the ultra sound confirmed.   :)  So, first I was wrong.  Then I was right.  Does that make sense?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Today I'm Pregnant (Journal Part 3 and Final Entry).

So this is it.  This wraps up the journal I've been writing and saving.  Anything else I have to say about my pregnancy will just be said when it occurs. 

Today I discovered Maple & Brown Sugar Life Cereal.  Oh My YUM!!!!!!  I won't even tell you how much of it I've consumed today.  It's soooooo goooood!

Anyhow, the last of my 1st trimester journal and a picture of me when I was pregnant with Britt:

Third Trimester - Preggo with Britt
(this pic was taken at the baby shower a couple of friends threw for me.  it was a book shower.  we received many beautiful, new books for our growing collection.  it was awesome.  here i am admiring the cake another friend made.  i was a little less than a month away from delivering britt-britt.)

July 5th.
I feel better with each day. I did my best to stay out of the sun and shade my eyes today and that made a huge difference in keeping that headache away. I may not have been updating about the headaches. They seem to be brought on by the bright light and heat, but mostly the light. I hate them. Headaches make it impossible to focus on anything else. I tried to go without a nap today, but my body wasn't having it. I crashed at 5pm. Thankfully I was in Mom's house with the girls, so my kids were attended to. Maybe I should stop trying to cut the naps out of my schedule. They make a huge difference in my energy level.

July 6th.
I keep forgetting to take my prenatal. I stopped taking it at night because it really does make one sick on an empty stomach and I'm finding it increasingly more difficult to fall asleep quickly. Boo. I've discovered that if I take it right after a breakfast, I feel fine. But, I'm usually pretty preoccupied with two little munchkins right after breakfast, so I forget. I've decided that I'll be sharing my secret (this pregnancy) once I have hit the second trimester, which is 14 weeks. **sigh** You have no idea how hard it is for me to keep secrets!!!

July 14th.
So, I haven't been so great at updating this journal. I guess that's because there isn't usually much of anything new and different to say. Well, I went to check out Swedish Midwifery yesterday and I have found my place! This time for real. I loved it there. I really took to the midwife who met with me. Her name is Lisa. We talked forever and she didn't mind at all. **thumbs up** Bad news? I've gained 10 pounds in 2 months. **droop** And based on how my clothes fit, every ounce of that gain is in my belly. Laaaaame. I'm sure it's because I've been eating more protein and probably more food in general. When I feel really crappy I eat only enough to get by. When I feel great I eat normally and smart. When I feel sort of gross and/or tired, I eat everything to try to feel better. Hence, the enlarged buddha. Plus, with no energy I have completely let my exercise go. I did walk for a bit today, but that's a first in over a month. So, at this point I have spilled the beans. I was planning on announcing my pregnancy (to you, my dear bloggy friends) with this journal I've been keeping but the 30 Day Challenge just led right into the unveiling so perfectly. I really am torn. Weird how I want to tell everyone and at the same time, no one. I wanted to be able to say, "Hi! I promise I'll do more interesting posts from now on because I am officially in the 2nd trimester and am no longer sick and how TONS of energy!!! Woohoo!" But, I'll hit my second trimester in a week and a day and I'm still feeling yucky (though, if I'm honest it is improved). My midwife did recommend me getting a dating ultrasound because even though I'm SURE of when I ovulated and conceived, my cycle doesn't quite match up with the dates. So even though I'm 99.9% positive I'm right.... I could be wrong. Which would mean I've got a week or two longer before I hit the second trimester. And if that's the case? Boooooooo!

July 19th.
Today I felt like a butterfly, awakening in its chrysalis. I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. This has been a very dark tunnel, let me tell you. Today, I started cleaning my house for the first time in over a month. I know that is awful and disgusting, but it's true. I have had no energy and I've felt disgusting/sick/retched/depressed. I was even ambivalent to it all. Tony tried to clean up every once in a while, but it's really not his talent. But, I felt a shackle fall off today. It was wonderful. I still had to chew gum while changing poopy diapers. I still had Tony clean out the fridge (I couldn't even talk to him about it without gagging repeatedly). I still had to pee a lot. I still succumbed to an afternoon nap. But, I totally felt different today. I felt mostly normal! I cannot even begin to tell you how depressed I will be if things go back to crummy tomorrow. I NEED to be on my way into the 2nd trimester! I need it baaaaaad. I want to be that butterfly coming out of the chrysalis.

July 22nd.
My midwife called to let me know that she got all the paperwork from Pacific Midwife and she noticed, from the blood work that I had done, that I have hyperthyroid! I'm now on Synthroid for it and am soooo upset that the first midwife I went to never said anything about it! Not treating hyperthyroid during pregnancy can cause the child to have a lower IQ! Not a good thing to miss. I'm sooooo glad I went with my gut (and my ND's urging) and kept looking for a different midwife. I really hope everything is ok with my baby and that he/she hasn't been damaged. This could explain part of why I've been so depressed, lethargic, and apathetic. It would also explain the greasiness and hair loss.  Totally worth going through all that if it was because the baby was taking up everything from my thyroid and leaving me nothing!

July 25th.
I am in my 2nd trimester now! The ultrasound today confirmed it which means I can share my news with everyone (pretty much already have). They couldn't tell the gender, but that's ok. We'll find out at 20 weeks. As for how I'm doing physically, as long as I keep food in my system I feel pretty darn good! The gag reflex is diminishing (thank heavens!!!). I don't have to nap as much and I am getting more accomplished around the house. Now I really have no excuse to not add the exercise back into my daily routine.

July 26th.
My midwife called this afternoon with the results from my ultra sound. In other words, what the ultrasound technician didn't tell me.... I have partial previa. But based on what I've read (and the tone of my midwife's voice), I'm not worried. It will most likely correct itself. Worst case scenario would be if it doesn't correct itself, I'd have to have a c-section because a vaginal delivery would most likely cause me to bleed to death. But, like I said, my chances of this correcting itself are high. **thankful**

Hope everyone is having a lovely summer!  Can you believe it's almost August!?!?! 

P.S.  I just now found out what treacle is.  I've seen it referred to in many books but never wondered what it was until today.  Never had it before.  Have you?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Today I'm Pregnant (Journal Part 2).

Hi!  I went and had acupuncture done today and it was lovely.  I will be keeping it up throughout my pregnancy.  It's great medicine.  Relaxing AND energizing. 

And now, onto part 2 of my 1st trimester journal!  Warning:  This section is a bit of a downer.  June was the worst month ever.

Third Trimester with Ash
(just for fun: a pic of me, pregnant with ash and in my third trimester)

June 1st.

Felt even worse today. Bummer. I met one of my midwives today and it was a nice appointment. She let me know that a lack of morning sickness is not a bad sign, but that morning sickness is a good sign because it's all good pregnancy hormones that cause the gross, ill feelings. If that makes sense. But, looks like I'm not going to get away without some yucky nausea. Boo.

June 2nd.

Well the cravings have certainly set in. Ever since Myrnie mentioned Kim Chi on her blog, I've been craving it hardcore! So, when I saw it in the grocery store I bought it. I ate it right out of the jar! I've never been brave enough to do that! It was gooooood. I also made some Thai food. It was weak.

June 3rd.

More Kim Chi. Yum Yum! This time with salmon and brown rice all wrapped in yakinori (roasted seaweed). Tony took me and the girls out for Indian dinner. I got curry. He got his usual favorite. I was unimpressed. Thankfully I filled up on the samosas I got for an appetizer. I tried Tony's dish because I was starting to suspect that my taste buds think everything is bland. Sure enough! I usually find the Hubster's fave Indian food to be yummy and flavorful.  This time it wasn't.  Bummer.  Guess my body wants lots of strong spices and acids, or something. I wonder if I should get some pickles. I'm pretty picky about pickles on a normal day though....

June 4th.

Took the girls to the beach. Got a sunburn. Hope that's not any more bad on top of pregnancy. I was stupid to not put on sunscreen. Craving a Chicago-style hot dog baaaaaaaaaaaaad right now!

June 7th.

You have no idea how much I want to tell you all now that I'm pregnant. I feel like my posts have been shabby, at best, lately and I assuming it's because I'm always tired and feeling sick. I forgot how crappy the first trimester is sometimes. I really got spoiled with Britt because I seriously wasn't that sick. I didn't feel great, but I wasn't like I am this time around. I'm so sick of the nausea. Ugh. It's like having the never-ending flu! I'm going to have to get creative though, because I honestly don't DO anything these days except the very basics. Every. Single. Day.  Makes for a very boring daily journal. Oooooo! I know. I'll try to be religious about Steppin' Out Saturdays - which, technically, gives me a freebie during the week because I told myself I'd only blog five days a week (thinking it would be the weekdays). Then I'll do giveaways on Fridays. It'll have to have a theme because I don't want to set up an expectation. Something like, my top 10 favorite things I could live without. I'm obviously not going to giveaway loved ones! Haha. If my math is right, I've only got 6 weeks of being sick left which means the giveaways will go on longer than those 6 weeks, but that's ok. 10 is a more rounded number than 6 (to me). This makes me feel so much better! **sigh of relief** I cannot WAIT to share these entries with you guys! :)

June 8th.

This is a question for those of you who've been pregnant. Did you get a humongously STRONG sense of smell? I swear this 3rd pregnancy it has been worse than ever! I gag and retch at most everything. I get into my car and think I'm going to pass out and everyone else is sniffing and assuring me they smell leather seats and that's it. I think my house smells nasty. No one else does. I think mom's cat smells disgusting.  I'm the only one who thinks that. Everything stinks! I have to chew gum when I change my babies' diapers because I seriously will throw up if I don't have a more pleasant taste/smell to focus on.  It's bad. My husband laughs at me and rolls his eyes like I'm over reacting.  But, it's not like I'm choosing this!  I had lots of garlic in my dinner tonight so now my own breath makes me want to keel over.  Sorry, again with the TMI.  Anyways, surely I'm not the only one who is like this?  It was bad with Ash too, but like I said, I was totally spoiled during my pregnancy with Britt.  I forgot how terrible having the nose of a bloodhound can be. **sigh**  This first trimester really can't pass too quickly.  I know I'm supposed to enjoy each day, but it's a challenge when everything smells bad, tastes bad, and I'm walking around with the flu 24/7.  Sorry about the complaining, but what good is a blog if I can't get in an occasional vent? Thanks for listening/reading. :)

June 16th.

It's been a while. I had a pretty rough week. A lot of gagging. A lot crying (me AND the girls). I think my lack of energy and attentiveness has been hard on Ash and Britt. It doesn't help that Britt is cutting another tooth. **sigh** I've recently discovered that if I eat more protein, I feel a lot better. The challenge is finding ever new sources of protein since eating the same thing more than twice makes me feel ill too. Only about 5 weeks left to go! **groan**

June 18th.

So - I've decided to look for a new midwife. Is it too much to want someone I really click with? Not just someone I think is nice. Is that a totally unobtainable desire? I hope not because I'm going to look for her until I find her. I just love our ND. She is specializes in pediatrics, post partum, women's health, urology and lactation too! I wish she was a midwife because I seriously love her stinkin' guts. I want to feel that way about my midwife. Am I out to lunch? We shall see.

June 20th.

Visited my ND today to talk about what I should be eating in the first trimester and what supplements I should focus on. Tomorrow will be my first time getting acupuncture, but she assures me it will work wonders. I hope she's right! I'd love to start feeling better before the first trimester is over!

June 22nd.

The acupuncture was relaxing, but then I got a killer headache later on that same day. I don't think they were related. It was really hot and I probably didn't drink enough to compensate for the heat.

June 28th.
I feel sorry for my husband. He pretty much only sees me at my worst. I get up in the morning and make sure I have a good breakfast and then that seems to help keep the nausea at bay until around 4pm (assuming I get a good lunch in as well). So, he gets to hang with a sicky, fatigued wife who just wants to blob around on the sofa or go to bed. I know he's doing his best to be patient and kind, but it's gotta be so frustrating! And, get this, I tend to feel really gross on the weekends too! It's really not fair. But, only one more month to go! Then the nausea will fade away and I'll get a little more energy. I cannot wait.

June 30th.

Not sad to see June on its way out. Longest month of my life, I swear! So - I've got my mornings and afternoons all figured and, for the most part, I feel good. Tired, but good. But when I want to just lounge on the sofa and watch a movie with my husband.....spladah! Back comes the sick stomach and gag reflex. Dumb.

To be continued.....again....

Monday, July 25, 2011

Today I'm Pregnant.

Haha!  Of course I already spilled the beans with the one picture a little over a week ago, but still.  I am officially in my second trimester so I am officially sharing my news.  Sorry about not posting the next giveaway last Friday.  I had a full weekend, so I think I'll wait until this upcoming Friday to put it up.  Y'all don't mind, right? 

I've been keeping a bit of a pregnancy journal since I found out I was preggo.  I, obviously, never posted it but kept adding to it when I felt like writing.  I'm going to post it in three segments so I have it and for those of you who are interested, you can see what the past 2 months have been like for me. 

I'll get back to the 30 day challenge later.  :)

May 17th.
I have had oily skin and hair, an extra poochy tummy, on and off again anxiety, and even a little bit of a temper for the past 2 weeks. I thought the oil was because of a slight rise in temperature. The tummy because I like my treats. But I couldn't figure out the emotions.

Well, today I took a pee test. I really needed something to blame for feeling so weird. Now I do. And I feel so much better. It's nice to know that all this bizarre body stuff has a reason. A good reason!  I'm pregnant with Baby #3!!!

I think we're having a boy. Tony thinks we're having a girl. It'll be interesting to see who is right.

I'm on the search for a midwife. A midwife who will be cool with me getting an epidural. **laugh** If my math is correct, Hubster will be getting a baby for his birthday next February. :D We'll see!

May 18th.

I got in contact with a midwife at Pacific Midwives. From what I could tell from our short convo - she's awesome. She and her partner deliver at hospitals, as well as home. And they are cool with epidurals. They don't give magnesium just because someone has high blood pressure and very rarely at that. She said that they can work with me to start doing things now that will prevent the pregnancy-induced hypertension that I got in the third trimester with both of my last pregnancies. Yay! My first appointment is June 1st. **excited**

May 19th.

I'm soooooooo tired today. And peeing more (I know, too much information). But I'll take both of those in greater doses to avoid morning sickness. I had it BAD with Ash. It was lots better with Britt, but still not totally perfect. My sister, Kara has been preggo 4 times and she almost never gets morning sickness. Super jealous.

May 20th.
I feel like I ate too much today. Ugh. I don't want to buy into the whole eating for two this time. It's not even accurate. The amount of additional calories you are supposed to eat is about half a donut more. So why do I feel like wolfing everything in sight today? Also, I gave up the no-poo thing. My hormones are so out of whack so it's a terrible time to try something that may leave you a bit greasy-headed for up to 6 weeks. After 5 days I couldn't handle it so I did some research and found some shampoo that isn't chock full of chemicals (which, was my main concern anyways). But it doesn't get rid of build up so I've had to use regular shampoo once to combat that problem. On the upside, despite the recent crop of zits that have taken up residence on my face, I don't have to wash my hair more than once every 3 days (as opposed to 2), now that I'm using shampoo again. So, it's all good. :)

May 21st.

Hungry, Hungry Hippo!
That's me.

May 23rd.

I did a little exercise today. I'm going to try to do a little bit of exercise everyday and then add more once I'm past the 1st trimester. I think it may help keep my blood pressure down this time if I can manage to do 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least 5 days a week. **fingers crossed**

May 30th.
I've been a little bit worried about not having any morning sickness. Some people don't, but I've also heard that it can be a sign of an unhealthy pregnancy (the kind that end with miscarriage). I'm going to be talking to my midwife about that on the 1st, for sure! I must say that I do feel extremely tired today (could be due to being up past 1am finishing "Enna Burning") and I feel a bit icky (though not nauseated). We'll see. I've been peeing a lot more (which is a pain in the middle of the night).

May 31st.

I spoke too soon. Have definitely had a bit of a queasy stomach, along with fatigue and dizziness. Bleh.

To be continued....

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Today I Read.

It's a rare day when I don't read something.   Actually, I can't remember any day that I haven't read.  It's who I am!  I read articles online, books by the stacks, blogs, the newspaper, magazines, catalogs and cereal boxes.  I see words and I read them.

Day 23 of the 30 Day Challenge:  A picture of your favorite book.

You should have seen how big my eyes got when I read that I was supposed to have a favorite book.  I didn't actually see how large my eyes got, but I felt how dry they got.  Then it was **blink blinkity blink**  I don't have ONE favorite book.  I don't think I have a favorite anything.  There are too many wonderful things to enjoy in this world!  Why pick just one?  I can't even get the same thing at a restaurant just because it was wonderful.  I have to keep trying new things!  Even if there is the chance that I'll get some real duds.  I can always come back to the best occasionally, but the quest for another favorite must go on!!!

So - in order of when they popped into my head:  SOME of my favorite books -

(Little Women by Lousia May Alcott.  source)

(Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery.  source)

(ANYTHING my Madeline L'Engle. source)

(The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare.  source)

(Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell. source)

(Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  source)

(The Dark Is Rising series by Susan Cooper.  source)

The Golden Compass Trilogy (controversial, I know!), more commonly referred to as His Dark Materials trilogy.  source)

(The Magic Circle by Donna Jo Napoli.  source)

(The Nancy Drew books by Carolyn Keene.  source)

(The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mar Twain.  source)

(The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.  source)

(The Meet Samantha series; Meet Kirsten series; Meet Molly series; and Meet Felicity series (I'm an original four sorta gal and they totally lost me when they strayed from the historical girls and started doing dolls of today.  puh-leeez.  source)

(Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith.  source)

(Ronia, the Robber's Daughter by Astrid Lindgren.  source)

(Any fairy tale illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman.  source)

(Dragon's Milk trilogy by Susan Fletcher.  source)

(The Ancient One by T.A. Barron.  source)

(The Adventures of Tintin books!!!!  I think I read all of them.  source)

(Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.  Pretty sure that if my parents had read this first, there is no WAY they would have let me read it at 12, but they didn't and I did and I read it at least 4 or 5 times.  source)

(The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. source)

Do you think it's sad that all my favorites are the ones I read while I was growing up?  Seriously, nothing I've read in the past decade has been better (though I did enjoy Harry Potter, all things Shannon Hale, and Aviva Jill Romm, who writes non-fiction).  Are books just getting worse or were stories simply more magical back then?

I seriously need to re-read all of these books.  I wonder if they will stay favorites the second (or third) time around.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Today I'm Jumping Ahead.

Days 20 & 21 of the 30 Day Challenge: A picture of somewhere you'd like to travel & A picture of something you wish you could forget.

I pretty much already covered the traveling stuff with my post about what I want to do before die.  The only thing I can think of that I'd like to forget is past relationships with ex-boyfriends.  And obviously it would be highly inapproriate to post their pictures. 

So, skipping forward to Day 22 of the 30 Day Challenge:  A picture of something you wish you were better at. 

Volleyball Sept. 12, 2006 260
(no one I know.  source)

At first I started thinking about all the crafty and artsy things I'd like to learn and do well: knitting, drawing, painting, writing, sewing, etc.  To be honest, if I would simply spend some time at each of these, I probably would be better at them.  Then I realized that what I really wish I could be better at, that no amount of practice will ever truly help...... Sports. 

Team sports, specifically.  Volleyball, basketball, baseball, tennis, etc. 

I have tried just about every common sport and have never been athletic or coordinated enough to be a wanted person for anyone's team.  I'd LOVE to be able to go out and play ball with my husband and brothers.  Not only do I want to be able to play and be good at sports, I'd like to LIKE sports.  That's gotta be such a great bonding activity for couples that both enjoy sports!  I wish that were me.  Not to mention the calorie-burning which sport playing brings about!  But, that is soooooo not me.  Just the thought of playing sports makes me feel lethargic. 

When I was in my late teens/early twenties I would play sports with friends anytime an opportunity presented itself.  Needless to say, I was the one who kicked the ball into the other team's net, bounced the ball into the net instead of over it, fouled the other player, double dribbled, and got struck out everytime.  So, after a decade of that, I have called it quits.  Can you blame me?  I'm just gonna stick to Skip-Bo.

And when I'm done having babies I'm gonna get back into snowboarding.  That I can get good at!

And now, **drum roll**  time to announce the winner of the silver earrings!  Milk and Honey Mommy said, "Jamie, You sound like me. I wear the same earrings all of the time (I never take them off); little gold hoops so the silver ones would be a nice switch. I do love earrings, but I would be more of a collector than a wearer only because I would forget I had others.  That Ash makes me laugh. Britt sure knows how to enjoy some good food."  

Congrats!  The hoops are yours! 

Again, thanks to all who played.  :)  Only 4 more giveaways left!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Today I Looked For A Specific Picture.

Day 19 of the 30 Day Challenge:  A picture of you when you were little.

Me in a really old school walker

I knew that I had this picture on my computer somewhere.  It's took over 20 minutes for me to find it.  The reason why I was looking for this particular scan is so I wouldn't have to go through my manilla envelope of baby pictures and scan a fresh one.  I think it would have been faster if I hadn't decided to be lazy!  Total back-fire.  Sorry about the poor quality.  I think I'm about 9 months here, give or take a month.  I believe that is the pig that I was constantly trying to fit (yes, the entire thing) into my mouth.  According to the story, I got very frustrated by my not succeeding but never really gave up either.  Haha.  Babies are funny!  Though, I'm not sure I've changed much.  With the whole not giving up bit anyways.

P.S.  Those of your who commented on yesterday's post.  Thank you!  Warmed my heart, lifted my spirits, and made me feel hugged and sooooo not alone!  Thank you!

P.P.S.  You have until tomorrow night to enter my current summertime giveaway

Monday, July 18, 2011

Today I Thought and Worried.

Day 18 of the 30 Day Challenge:  A picture of your biggest insecurity.

Well, to be honest, I seriously considered posting a picture of my belly.  I've never had a super flat tummy and I've always felt insecure about it, but to be frank - I couldn't care less about it right now. 

walking at the park
(ash, when she was learning to walk.  9 months.)

My biggest insecurity is probably my mothering.  I'm forever stewing and fretting.  Am I doing this right?  Do they get enough protein?  Do I give them too many snacks?  Am I too soft on them?  Am I too strict?  Did I give them enough attention today?  Should I be teaching them more?  Am I setting the right example?  I really didn't mean to yell..... Do I spend too much on their clothes (yes)?  How can I help them overcome their challenges when my own seem so insurmountable?  I failed at potty training.  Am I going to fail at everything else the first time too?  Should I give in or not?  Is this the battle I should pick or lose?  I forgot to call her doctor about that question again!!!!  Why can't I remember anything?  Should I be giving their days more structure?  Am I doing enough?  AM I enough?  Am I really cut out for this job?  This is a lot of responsibility!! 

A lot of the time I feel like the above.  But just as much as I feel inadequate, I also feel cool, calm, semi-collected and genuinely happy about my mothering and how my kids are doing.  It's definitely a merry-go-round. 

Current Giveaway

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Today I Wore the Same Old Earrings.

I have a fair amount of jewelry.  Some I've purchased and some was given to me.  Some if it is decades old and some is relatively new.  Yet, I continue to wear the same jewelry everyday.  I have sterling silver hoops in my ears, my wedding ring on my left ring finger, and a black hair band on on my right wrist (though sometimes it's in my hair).  I cannot NOT wear earrings.  I've always been this way.  Sometimes I'll switch things up, but for the most part I just wear my small, silver hoops and never take them out (not even to shower or sleep).  I love them.  They go with everything, keep my poor holey ears from looking naked (my mom pierced my ears when I was three and they will never close at this point, or I'd let them), and that is one part of being dressed and put together that I don't have to think about. 

So - this weekend's giveaway (#6 of My Unnecessary Necessities or Things I Love That I Want to Share with You) is a small pair of sterling silver hoop earrings.  Figured I needed to think about some things I love which aren't geared towards kids for a change.  :)  I just purchased them today from a vendor at the local Strawberry Festival.

For a chance to win: be a follower with a blog, leave a comment and want these earrings.  Giveaway is open internationally and closes Wednesday, the 20th in the evening.

And just for fun and since I haven't posted any recent pics of my kids, here are two photos we took while out and about at the Festival. 

Serious Girl on the Festival Ride
(ash wanted to get on this ride and though we got one shot of a small, little smile, this is how she looked for most of the ride.  she was so serious!  i caught her eye on one of the go-arounds and she cracked a half smile because i was grinning so big, but she quickly squelched it.  i told my mother about this later and she chuckled and said, "you were the exact same way as a little child.  if you were on a ride or doing anything else new and exciting you would never give anyone the pleasure of knowing you were thrilled."  haha!  i guess those things are genetic.  how funny!  if you look closely you can see me laughing at my youngling in the background.)

Sugar n Spice n Everything Nice
(we got several treats one of which was a elephant ear/churro type of thing called a tiger tail.  basically a Navajo bread rolled in cinnamon and sugar.  britt looooooved it.  as you can see she enjoyed it so much she rubbed it all over her face, her shirt, and even her hair.  she looks like she has a five o'clock shadow goin' on!  it wasn't much fun to clean off of her, but it was entertaining to watch her gradually devour it.  when i first gave it to her she dropped it on her stroller tray and rubbed her hands together in disgust at the texture.  then she tasted her fingers.  hahaha!  i could just see her thoughts, "this sand is.....GOOD!!!!!!"  oh, and she wasn't crying.  her eyes are always watering.  i think she's allergic to all the thriving grasses that are making me miserable right now.  poor baby.)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Today My Head Hurts.

I've been fighting a headache for over 24 hours now.  I feel horrible.  Once I get rid of it I'll post this Friday's giveaway.  Hope everyone is kicking off their weekend with something fun!  Or at least pleasant.  :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Today I'm Giving a Hint.

Day 17 of the 30 Day Challenge:  A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently.

If this picture explains a bit of why my posts have been a bit blah recently...well... then GOOD.  Now you know.  But I refuse to say anything else about it until next weekend.  When I saw the title for today's pic, my mind went blank except for this.  I honestly couldn't think of anything else that has been more huge. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Today I Mulled Over My Many Inspirations.

Day 16 of the 30 Day Challenge:  A picture of someone who inspires you. 

I draw my inspiration from so many different people and sources.  How could I ever choose just one?

Well, I think I'll go my sister-in-law.  I happen to have a cute picture of her with newborn Britt. 

Britt w her aunt

This lovely lady is a mother of three (soon to be four!) and is the kind of mom and wife and woman that I am working to be someday!  I'm sure a lot of her skills are natural-born talent, but the awesome thing about her is she is constantly adding to her increasingly long list of abilities.  Shall I list some of her awesomeness?  She is a wonderful cook, gives a killer haircut, is organized and clean, keeps her figure svelte, throws great parties, has amazing people skills, and always looks gorgeous and put together. 

See why I feel inspired by her?  She's a Super Mom!

Who inspires you?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Today I've Been Dreaming of Castles and Green, Rolling Hills.

Day 15 of the 30 Day Challenge:  A picture of something you want to do before you die. 

I would really like to travel.  When I was 20 I would have said, get married and have children.  I am, obviously, in the middle of living that dream.  When the kids are older, school is behind us, Tony's got his career figured out, and we have a house of our own, I'd like to travel.  Ireland is at the very top of my list (anyone else adore P.S. I Love You for its scenery?).  Tony wants to go to Italy.  Roaming all over Europe sounds fun and romantic.  There are also many places I'd like to see in the good ol' US of A too.  Such as everything historical on the East Coast, Nauvoo, Laura Ingalls Wilder's home, and anything Gone With the Wind-ish (is there such a place?).

Any other places you suggest I add to my list?

Oh, and the giveaway winner?  Well, according to (no I'm not gonna fork out the money to be able to post the picture proof - just take my word for it), that lucky winner would be the individual who said, "So much fun!!" 

Congrats, Ash!  Just send me message so I can order your choice for your girl and mine! 

Thanks for playing y'all!  5 fun summer giveaways down and 5 more to go!  Whew!  :D

Monday, July 11, 2011

Today I Gave Thanks for the Special People In My Life.

Day 14 of the 30 Day Challenge:  A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without.

There are several someones like that in my life!   Tony, Ash, Britt, my parents, and my siblings.  Basically, all of my family.  I think we've all had those thoughts about how we would ever go on if such and such a loved one passed away.  I know I have.  I don't mean to be morbid, but sometimes I worry.  My life would be so drastically altered.  Chunks of my heart would go with that someone.  I'm sure my imagination comes nowhere close to how devastated I would be.  To be honest, I usually change the train of thought when it goes there.  I have many friends who have lost children.  I am currently praying for friends who have just lost their wife and mother to breast cancer.  I am also praying for an older friend who is in the hospital.  He was on death's door last night but things are looking much better today. 

Life is so fragile.  We all take it for granted.  And that's a good and bad thing.  We don't want to be constantly worrying about when we are going to have to say goodbye in this life.  But we do need to remember how important it is to treat each loved one with love and respect on a daily basis.  We need to let the petty fights, frustration, and grudges go. 

I am simply posting more pictures of my handsome husband and sweet baby girls.

Lean On Me
(haha!  Tony was tired of pictures, his tux, and the reception in general)

(me and Ash when she was 4 months old)

Britt on a Camping Trip
(britt, w/ her daddy, at 5 months)

Also, my current summertime giveaway ends tomorrow.  Don't miss out!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Today I Played With Toys.

Dolls to be specific.  The three of us played with dolls while getting ready for our day and then later on, Britt and I used a little doll for a ball.  We have many different balls.  We just thought that throwing a doll around would be fun and different.  And it was actually Britt's idea.  I'm sure Ash would have greatly disapproved if she had caught us.  It's her doll.  ;)

I love toys.  Do you think I'm sort of stuck in childhood?  I love children's books, crafts, dolls, toys, clothes.  All of it.  Luuuuuuurrrve it! 

Today's giveaway is all about toys.  #5 of My Unnecessary Necessities or Things I Love That I Want to Share with You.  I'm actually pretty excited because it has given me an excuse to shop. Not a big shop.  Just a little shop, but still.  I've rounded up a handful of toys I thought were so cool or cute and the winner gets to choose!  I couldn't make the decision on my own if I tried anyways.  And whatever the winner chooses I'll probably also get some for Ash and Britt.  :D  To enter is as simple as ever.  You just need to be a follower, have a blog, leave a comment and want one of these toys!   Open internationally. 

(aaaahhh!  I just love all the crocheted and felted play food out there.  someday I'll learn to make my own.  here you have the choice of an apple, orange, grapes, strawberry or watermelon slice.  source.)

(a wooden whale on wheels.  perfect.  source.)

(this has gotta be the best way to encourage your kiddos to wash their hands ever!  unless they are afraid of lizards.....  source.)

(plush bird tag toys?  yes please!  anyone else have a baby that loved a stuffed animal for its tag?  these birds have a ribbon tag tail!  you get a random color combo here.  just one bird.  source.)

(it's teeny.  it's tiny.  it's purple.  it's a jellyfish.  it reminds me of that cute little squid in finding nemo that said, "aw!  you made me ink!"  haha.  source.)

(fun wooden cars.  bright colors.  the seller picks the color for you.  source.)

(every fairy princess needs a pink star wand complete with fuzzy pompom in center.  :)  source.)

(this made me laugh.  can you imagine how much fun it would be to watch your favorite littlest person sit and chew on this wooden cookie teether?  source.)

(i had sooooo many my little ponies as a kid.  and this talented seller redoes them into one of a kind treasures.  so beautiful!  source.)

(um.  this is just plain too stinkin' cute.  a felt froggy mask!  hahaha!  source.)

P.S.  I'm in love with Etsy too!

P.P.S.  This giveaway ends Tuesday, July 12th, 2011.  In the evening.