Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Really Good Story About A Really Bad Morning

I had a terrible morning. I realized I had screwed up an Etsy order so I had to frantically remake a grey diaper cover into a brown diaper cover and have it shipped no later than one o'clock to ensure that it arrived on time for my recipient's photo session. I put Beatrice down for her morning nap and prayed that God would have her sleep until I was finished with the cover. As I began to crochet, I realized that I was going to run out of brown yarn. I began praying and believing that God would work a miracle and make my yarn last. I mean if Jesus could feed 5000 with five loaves and two fishes, surely God would let me make one measly diaper cover out of barely enough yarn. Just as I was coming to the end of the yarn, Beatrice woke up. She slept 22 minutes and my diaper cover was halfway complete. I began to get angry.

It was 10:30 so I decided I had enough time to make a quick run to Hobby Lobby for more yarn. I got Beatrice up and we left. On the way, I prayed that my yarn would be available and that it would be on sale. We got there and went to the needlework department. Among 500 varieties of yarn in the tweed section sat an empty hole. That empty hole was supposed to house my barley brown yarn. Instead, it was empty. I stared at the empty space and thought about what the appropriate response should be. Do I give up and go home and refund my buyer's money? Do I cry? I decided to get angry with God. "You've got to be kidding me, God," I fumed. "This isn't just for me, you know. Someone is relying on me and I need Your help." I knew I was treading on thin ice taking it out on Him but I felt let down. I decided not to give up hope quite yet. I ventured to another craft store close by.

I said the same prayer about my yarn being in stock and on sale before I walked in. Beatrice and I made our way to the yarn and saw the tweed display. They had tons of my brand all out in the open. I saw the browns and started scanning for barley. Nothing. Nothing but another empty hole where barley should be. I started getting teary eyed because this really wasn't about me. I wanted to make this person's baby the perfect accessory and photo prop. If I were waiting on something for Beatrice to arrive, I would be terribly disappointed if I got an email saying "sorry, I ran out of yarn." Not very professional or courteous.

So I got back in the car and started crying angrily at God. "See God, I can't really trust you," I thought. I didn't dare say it. "Why don't you care about this when it's so important to me and this other person?" I knew I had no right to think that because God has proven Himself faithful time and time again in my life, but I was upset that He seemed to be ignoring me.

I went to the last craft store in town and told God that this was it. I went to the yarn section and lo and behold on the top shelf was barley tweed. In abundance too. I began crying. "Why did I ever doubt you, Father?" I prayed. "Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!" When I got the register to pay, the clerk pulled out a coupon and I got a 50% discount. Yep. God had answered my prayer in entirety.

I got in my car and started sobbing. I felt so guilty about getting angry with God and ultimately, not trusting Him to pull through for me. Often I think of God as my heavenly Santa Claus sitting up there waiting to give me anything I ask as long as I am a good girl. When the first store was out of my yarn, I pouted and questioned why He would do this to me. I'm good after all. And I asked. Shouldn't He give when I ask?

I love that God cares about even the smallest details of our lives. Not completing the brown diaper cover wouldn't have been terrible. I already had a grey tweed one made. But He cares about the little things in our lives as much as the big. And I love how He does things His way. Making me drive to three different stores was probably to teach me that I really can trust Him with my life because after each failed attempt, I became more desperate for His intervention. And a little lesson in patience probably was due too.

So I finished the diaper cover without any anxiety about anything else going wrong. I figured God had shown me that He had plans to prosper me all along (Jeremiah 29:10-12). It was mailed on time and will be there on Saturday. I needed a reminder that I can trust God with all of the concerns of my life. Even the yarn ones. He is Faithful and I love Him.

Another crappy part to my morning was my toe. I hung my little piggy on the door frame in the pantry and I'm pretty sure I broke it. It is all swollen and purple and I can't bend it. But thanks to Christopher Moltisanti of Sopranos fame, I know that there is nothing you can do for a broken toe except let it heal. I will however, be praying for a speedy recovery. Because God cares about toes too. And I love that I referenced The Sopranos in a post about God.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef

Feeding Beatrice has been a source of great stress for me since she arrived. It's the most basic of parenting responsibilities, yet it has been the thing that I worry about the most. I stressed about producing enough milk to keep up with her and feeding her often enough. I stressed about when to start solids and making sure everything that she ate was organic and made by me. I stressed about her getting enough and then her getting too much. Feeding her has been stressful, to say the least. And really for no good reason other than this is my first time making sure someone else doesn't starve to death. So, you know, I don't want to screw up.

These days, feeding Beatrice brings a different sort of stress. She refuses all purees, yet is very selective on what table foods she will eat each day. Some days she loves grilled turkey and cheese sandwiches. Other days, she gags down every bite of whatever she loved the day before. It is becoming a challenge to feed her a balanced diet. One cannot live on milkies, Cheerios and bananas alone. Can they? Plus, you should see the floor surrounding the high chair after a meal. It is a war zone of toast bits, grape halves and scrambled eggs. JD says he cannot be apart of mealtimes anymore because the mess is unlike anything he's ever seen.

I totally get why parents end up with kids that only eat macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and fruit snacks. Getting them to eat something nutritious is hard. Heck, getting them to eat something different is hard. I really want Beatrice to like healthy foods and be willing to try new things. But I really don't want to be the mom that has a freezer full of chicken nuggets and cheese pizza because her kids won't eat anything else.

So for now I will keep offering her healthy options and pray that her little taste buds adapt. We have a no juice rule, she's never had sugar or sweets and she eats several fresh vegetables and fruits a day. I think we are on the right track. Now if I could only teach her not to throw everything off of her tray when she's finished, I will count that as success.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bad Guys Are Winners

JD and I went to see a movie today. The Town was awesome. I am not a chick flick kind of girl. The more action and shooting, the better. So this movie was right up my alley. And I really like bad guys in movies. I'm always hoping that they get away with whatever crime they are committing. As long as it's not murder or torture or serial killer crap. And if they're cute, that really helps too. In this movie, the bad guys were bad. They robbed, they stole, they beat people up, they broke laws. And they were cute. I loved it. I won't give away the ending, but it was EXCELLENT!!!

The bad thing about these movies is that afterwards, I want to go on a crime spree. I want to rob banks and sell drugs and be bad. That's a problem. I never do those things nor have I ever done anything close to them, but watching bad guys makes me kind of want to be one. I limit my action movie watching because of this....But if you can handle it and not be tempted to lead a life of crime, see this movie. If you like action packed, shooting, crime-filled movies with little romance and just a few bad words, then you will love The Town. I begged JD to drive home like he just robbed a bank but he wouldn't. Goody two shoes.

Also, can I just say how awesome it is to get away in the middle of the afternoon with your honey sans baby? It was so refreshing to have adult fun out and about without Cheerios or sippy cups. I get it. I get why getting away every once in awhile is important. 

Monday, September 27, 2010


What do you do when your baby is happily splashing around in the tub after hair, tummy and toes have been washed and rinsed when all of the sudden, the splashing stops and the tub goes still? And you see it. You see your clean baby playing in a tub of water and ........................................................................................................................................................................................wait for it..........................................................

You scream of course. And call for your husband who holds the wet baby up so you can get the residual poo off of her sweet little bum. And then you stare at the tub and wonder how in the heck you clean that up. Fish out the poo first? That requires touching poo water but if you drain the water first, you run the risk of poo clogging up the drain. Either way you gotta touch poo water so basically, you're screwed. We opted to drain the water first and clean the tub after the crime scene dissipated a bit. Actually JD cleaned up while I slowly dressed Beatrice in the other room.

After eleven months of all sorts of poo encounters, I have never not known what to do. Until tonight. Poo floating in a tub with a clean baby is out of my realm of expertise. Thankfully, JD was quick to act and the situation was under control in a matter of minutes before anyone got hurt. Beatrice was not fazed.


Have you ever met someone or a family that made something regularly that seemed pretty special-occasion to you? Like finding out your neighbor makes homemade ice cream every Sunday or your sister in law makes creme brulee on the regular. Scrambled eggs were like that for me. My mom never made them growing up but my best friend's mom made them every weekend. I thought that was amazing.

It's always so interesting to find out what special thing people make that seems so extravagant to me. What is worth digging through the pots and pans to find the butter warmer that would never see the light of day in my kitchen to someone else? What treat is a regular at one person's house that requires time consuming prep work that I would never do?

Pancakes are our regular indulgence. I never remember making them growing up. When JD and I got married and he asked for them all the time I thought, "whoa buddy, that's a lot of special to be had more than once a month." But we made them every weekend. And now that Beatrice is here and eating what we eat, we make them several times a week. They're our special-we-don't-care-how-many-dishes-that-cannot-go-in-the-dishwasher have to be washed, we're making pancakes because we love them.

This morning we had these. And they were delish.

The Wisdom of A Duggar

Have I mentioned how much I love the Duggars? They are fascinating to me. The way they have managed to raise nineteen kids that all love the Lord and each other is inspiring to me. Not one of those kids is rebellious or disrespectful. They are kind and hard-working. They never complain. But what amazes me the most is that Jim Bob and Michelle rarely spank or discipline their kids. Or even raise their voices. At least not on camera. Instead, they encourage and praise them for the right choices they make. They believe that praising positive behavior is just as valuable as correcting bad behavior. And because the praises feel so much better than the correcting, they have found that their kids respond better to that than constant correction.

I haven't had many situations where I have needed to correct Beatrice. There has been the occasional fingers going for the electrical socket crisis, but after a stern "no, no, no," we move on and "discipline" is over. Except now she totally wags her little finger back at me and says "nah, nah, nah." Stinker. But even without many opportunities to correct, I already know that I am quick to discipline. It's probably due to the way that my parents raised us. There was little opportunity for second offenses with them. You screw up, you got spanked. And while I do remember getting praised and encouraged for doing right, I remember the spankings way more which leads me to believe that it happened a lot. Probably more than the praises.

I think the Duggars are on to something. They must know what they are doing since all nineteen of their children are well-behaved, kind and respectful. So once again, I find myself asking "what would Michelle Duggar do?" I am striving to be meek and soft spoken and a good example of a godly woman to my daughter. And for me, that starts with less moments of losing my temper and more moments of encouraging everyone in my home when they do good. I'm a work in progress. But I think Michelle Duggar would applaud my efforts. Or at the very least, encourage me in my endeavor.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fall and Some Random Things

With fall officially in session and the weather finally cooperating, Beatrice and I had to welcome the season the best way I know how: shopping! After snuggling in our jammies all morning to keep warm (it was in the 50s, brrrr), we got showered and headed to my favorite shopping area in the city. I was prepared to buy myself something pretty from Anthropologie, but instead I bought a bunch of organic fruit at Whole Foods. And this.

It's the Souper hand-held hero. With a spoon head. Beatrice thinks it's funny. I think it's really cool. I'll definitely be doing some Christmas shopping here.

We shopped til we dropped. Not really. But Beatrice did get an organic vanilla teething biscuit to keep her quiet since we don't have pacis anymore for being a good girl.

We came home and cooked a hearty cold-weather-meal for daddy. Chicken and dumplings, mmmm. With homemade buttermilk dumplings hand-rolled and cut. I outdid myself. 

I had a helper though, thankfully.

We ate, we threw out the potted petunias to make room for the mums, and we read bedtime stories.

It was a great day and a great welcome to the new season. Happy fall!

Friday, September 24, 2010


JD worked regular hours all week so we have had a blast living like a family with a daddy on a normal schedule. We've had lunch dates with grandmothers and shopping trips and everyone sleeping under one roof at the same time. But, the most monumental thing to happen all week: I weaned the paci.

I hate pacifiers. I vowed never to allow my child(ren) have one. To me, they seemed like the lazy way out. Weak parents use pacifiers. Parents who don't have the endurance and strength to outlast their kids turn to the paci. Before you get offended, I totally am was that parent. Pacis are sleepsavers, sanitysavers, and sometimes they are lifesavers. I get why parents use them and I get why parents dread the weaning process because no matter how much they love them, babies love them more. And my baby loved hers. But every time I saw her sucking on her pacis, it was a reminder of how I caved and gave in. They taunted me.

So I weaned cold turkey. The first day was rough. Beatrice cried for an hour and twenty minutes for her first nap, then 30 minutes during the second. By bedtime, she was getting used to the idea and cried for 5 minutes before falling asleep and sleeping 12 hours. The next day, she never cried. It was over. Paci weaning was not as bad as I thought and I am so glad I did it.

JD asked me why I did it so soon. "She's still a baby," he said. Beatrice is a very strong-willed child and I knew that if we waited, she would protest more the bigger she got. Plus, I really didn't want a toddler walking around, mumbling with a pacifier in her mouth and with her on the verge of walking very soon, I knew we didn't have much time. So I did it. And it feels like victory. Bye bye, pacis. Hello big girl.


Every now and then, I catch the crafty fever and cannot crochet/make stuff enough. That is what happened to me this week. I have been working on new patterns and fulfilling new orders. It is so fun, but I have neglected some things, the blog included. I am going to make a tab up there under the header to display the things I have made and things that are for sale in my Etsy shop.

Here are a few of my latest creations.

Diaper cover:

Bomber hat:

Newsboy cap:

There are several other winter hat designs and an afghan for Beatrice's birthday that I am working on too. Needless to say, there is a lot of yarn around here. I've decided with Christmas around the corner, (3 months from tomorrow) I am gearing up to mass produce my little hats and things to make some extra cash. And the first thing I'm gonna buy are these. To match Beatrice's first pair of shoes bought this week.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Random Thing of the Day

I have a hatred for insects, reptiles, and some amphibians. I also have an irrational fear of them. So I kill them. Insert Psycho slasher sound effect here: EEK EEK EEK! But when I kill them, I have another irrational fear that they will come back to life. So I kill with a vengeance. I squash, I smoosh, I drag until I see a trail of guts, and then I flush. Because in my mind, if I don't completely destroy the devil-bugs and leave any part of their slithery bodies intact, they will come back to life to crawl on me. I think that's where my hatred/fear stems from: I believe that their sole purpose is to crawl on me and creep me out. If bugs would stay away from me and my house, I wouldn't be compelled to kill. Let that be a warning, Bugs.

Last night before bed, I saw a devil-serpent-millipede-y thing on our ceiling. JD was already asleep and I don't kill bugs that could possibly land on my head, so I had to wait. First thing this morning, I hunted for that bug. Beatrice and I found him on the stairs. So I did some exterminating, but not a complete job with flushing. I had to put Beatrice down for a nap first before I could finish him off. The whole time I was in her room, I just knew that bug was twitching itself back to life and that I had to hurry before it escaped from off the bottom of my flip flop. Does that make me crazy?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Random Thing of the Day

Not long ago, JD and I got in a fight about something so insignificant, I don't even remember what it was. But in typical JD-Aly fashion, in order to make up we had to hash out every offense endured since the last fight. After a few you-never-listen-to-my-needs here and some why-do-you-have-to-always-bring-up-the-pasts there, we finally got to the real issue and reached a resolve. Marriage is fun. Somewhere along the journey to the resolve, I told JD that he doesn't woo me anymore and how that makes me feel, blah, blah, blah. Then, he tells me that I don't make spaghetti enough. I'm serious. In the middle of a real fight where we're working stuff out and opening up, he tells me that he's hurt because I don't make spaghetti more often. He loves spaghetti and apparently, it is also his love language. So tonight I made spaghetti. With love. And fresh garlic. It was yummy and made my honey feel loved. I think. He totally passed out on the couch afterwards so I'll take that as a sign that he loved it. And that he loves me. Because nothing says love like a sink full of dirty dishes. And spaghetti.


Friday, September 17, 2010

I'm A Superhuman

There's a running joke within my family that everyone who bears the name "K" has superior genes. My maiden name has been disguised to protect the innocent from internet psychos. Everyone on my dad's side of the family is a natural athletic superstar, has a genius IQ, and is in ridiculously good health/shape.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B: click to enlarge

Exhibit C:

Things come easily for "Ks" because we're naturally superior. Even when we get sick (which is very rare), our "K" genes attack illnesses Kung Fu style without medicine or trips to the doctor. Our bodies were built to trample weaker specimens and our brains were built to conquer the world. We're not boasting. We can't help it, we were born this way. And we always use it for good, not evil, if that makes you feel better.

When I was pregnant with Beatrice, JD and I knew that she would probably look like him. After all, he has all of the dominant features: black hair, black (soul-less) eyes, olive skin. But lo and behold, his dark, dominant features were no match for the superior "K" genes. She looks just like me.

Exhibit D:

This morning, something really scary happened. I heard Beatrice wake up so I got out of bed and walked to the bathroom. The next thing I know, I am lying on the floor in between our dresser and bed. I blacked out and fell on my arm and butt, hard. When I came to, I was shaking and convulsing like I was having a seizure. I couldn't move my arms or legs. I called for JD but he was already there. The loud thud prompted him to come running. I was completely dazed and confused. He helped me up and got the baby while I climbed back in the bed. It scared the crap out of me because I'm a "K", nothing like this has ever happened to me.

I called my brother who happens to be a doctor.

Exhibit E:

He reminded me that Dad had a few episodes much like mine due to low blood sugar. It is a hereditary ailment that he suffers from as well. He explained that our metabolisms work more efficiently than anyone else's, therefore we burn more calories just by existing (it's got to be our large, genius brains that require so much fuel). Basically, we are superhumans and our metabolisms prove it. I was told to eat simple sugars every couple of hours and to take it easy. I took that to mean eat everything in sight all day long. What? Doctor's orders.

I'm going to have blood drawn on Monday to get checked for anemia. I'm not worried. My "K" genes are going to prevail. I am a superhuman. It's in my nature.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Can you spot the bananas?

Let me help you.

Beatrice has learned what all sorts of things are. Ask her where her toes are and she points right to them. Her head? She pats it every time. Hold a banana and she freaks out, pointing and shouting "nanna, NANNA!!" She is so smart, it makes my heart swell with pride.

When I asked her if she wanted strawberries with lunch today, she saw them and started shouting "NANNA, NANNA!!!!" And then when I ate an apple for a snack, "nanna, NANNA!!"

She thinks all fruits are nannas. Sigh. I still think she is a genius.

Burton Street

In the Historic Downtown district where I live, there are glorious old homes that have been converted into apartments. Some of the homes from the exterior look to be dilapidated. But behind uneven porches and chipped paint, these diamonds in the rough are coveted by students, professors and lovers of unique architecture alike. These apartments are hard to come by because when you find one of these gems of your own, you stay forever.

I had one of these old beauties. Three in fact. My mom and her husband own several historic properties and rent them out for a living. After living in the dorms for a bit, I bargained with my parents to let me rent one of theirs. The house I lived in had three apartments in it: a studio, a one bedroom, and a two bedroom. I lived in them all.

Living in an old home is very different from living in new construction. There are the uneven hardwood floors that always leave one table leg two inches off of the ground. There are gigantic windows that are painted shut and require custom length drapes. There are gas furnaces that churn and moan melodically in the winter, heating those ice cold wood floors that aren't insulated because insulation didn't exist 60 years ago. At least that's what my mom told me when my feet turned blue every winter. There are claw-foot bathtubs underneath huge, individually paned picture windows. There is the wonky electrical wiring that guarantee to power down the entire place every time you dried your hair. There are the ancient walnut trees that tower over the driveway and hurl walnut shells at the hood of your car while the birds sit in the branches, crapping on your car. Crapping so much that it looks like someone attacked your car with a paint gun. Ahhh, memories. But you get used to it. Because no matter how many little annoyances (quirks, I like to call them), you can't get fourteen foot ceilings with transoms above every hand-carved door leading to fireplaces in every room in an apartment complex. It evens out.

My mom fixed up what needed fixing and helped me acquire some antiques. My place was cute and quirky; it was all me. I had friends over whenever I wanted, but I spent many a night holed up in my place dreaming of my future and what my life would look like when I grew up. I hoped it would look a lot like Burton Street.

My best friend also lived in a spectacular house across the street from me. Her place was even more glorious because it had everything mine did PLUS it was on the second story, so it was like living in a tree house. We both had private backyards that I grew a vegetable garden in and huge front porches that we filled with potted plants and rocking chairs. It was picturesque. Except that it wasn't exactly in the safest of neighborhoods. You see, Burton Street is smack dab in the middle of the hood. My driveway connected to the street behind which fostered subsidized and government housing. In the four years that we lived there, we witnessed a meth lab explode, numerous drug deals transacted in my yard, and even a knock on the door from a total stranger asking us to hold his dope while he was in Afghanistan. We declined.

Even with all of the crackheads be-bopping around outside of our houses, we never felt unsafe. Jamie and I watched out for each other from across the street and we had a great neighbor that looked out for all of us girls on Burton Street. George was always tinkering on old cars in his backyard and would intimidate the drug dealers from coming through my driveway. He was always out back or sitting on his front porch in his robe. We're pretty sure he never wore anything under that robe but we never dared glance there to find out. Shudder at the thought. He nicknamed me Strawberry Shortcake because whenever I baked something, I always brought him a plate. I later found out that he is diabetic and lost a foot due to complications after I moved out. I probably should've brought him more fruit and less desserts....oops. There was a community on Burton Street and even though there was profuse crime all around us, it was apart of the community that we loved. We embraced it. I'm kidding. It scared the crap out of us. JD had my house regularly patrolled and I was no stranger to the 9-1-1.

I loved Burton Street so much that when I got engaged to JD, the only hesitation I had was leaving it behind. I plotted how I could convince him to sell his new construction townhouse and move into my mom's 60 year old rental. You can imagine how that went over. It was sad packing up and leaving. So sad that I waited until the last possible minute to begin the process. It was a single defining moment that propelled that process along. My neighbor that lived in the connecting studio had bulimia. I listened to her wretch her guts up all day and night. One day, I came home from work to find little bits of carrots and lo mein noodles covering my slanted hardwood floors. She backed up the septic and her barf exploded in my apartment. After that, I was ready to move.

JD helped me move everything to his place the week of our wedding. He didn't understand why I would ever miss $400 electric bills and pocket doors that were always off track. He saw an old house that needed work while I saw a beautiful, quirky home. It was my home. After I moved, my brother and sister in law moved in for a few years. They loved the same things that I did about Burton Street. They are gone and now another friend lives there. There is something special about that place that draws people to it and makes them want to stay forever. And I'm pretty sure it's not the crack. 

My living room

All of my furniture was hand-me-down antiques from my mom and grandmother. That green velvet couch was awesome beyond words. 

My bedroom

complete with glass tiled fireplace.

I never knew what to do with the second bedroom. 

I ended up doing Pilates in there.

That mammoth brown thing is the Warm Morning gas furnace. It roars warmth. 
I wish I had photos of the dining room and kitchen to share. Isn't it darling?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Excellent Wife

She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27

It is no secret that I strive to do my best at my new gig as stay at home wife/mother. I soberly accept my responsibilities within my household as if they were mandated to me by a human resources supervisor and not just optional activities that I choose to or not to do each day. It is also no secret that I don't always keep the most organized house. I clean and cook and do the laundry, but there are still piles of mail on the kitchen counter, books that need to be put away and my dining room table is covered with coupons. My to-do list never fully gets done. I attempt much but complete little. Sigh.

During my morning devotions today, I read through Proverbs 31 and came across the Excellent Wife. This woman is super woman. She wakes before her family and prepares the meals for the day, she invests her money wisely, she is charitable and kind, she brings honor and pride to her family and works really, really hard all day long. The proof is in her arms (v17). As I read about her, I compared my day to hers. While there are some similarities between us, there are far more differences. Double sigh.

Laziness is not the culprit. Time management may be a contender, but I think my major hurdle at being like the Excellent Wife in Proverbs 31 is that I have this notion that I need or deserve "me time." I love it. Every nap Beatrice takes I complete the most pressing chore, then I rush to the computer to read/comment on message boards, play on Facebook or just zone out for half an hour. Once she's up, we play and carry on like usual. And nighttime is worse. After she goes down at 7:30, it's like I punch the clock. I am done for the day. If there are dishes in the sink, I clean those but everything else waits until tomorrow. I spend three hours crocheting, reading or playing on my computer. It is glorious, but it is also a waste of three hours that could be put to good use for my family. I am also a huge nerd if all I want to do with three hours of free time is crochet, but I'm okay with it.

I don't remember my mother ever resting. She was busy all day. At night while we were watching T.V. or playing with my dad, she was folding something, baking something or preparing lunches for the next day. And she never complained about needing a break or having "her time." She was content and happy in her work.

I had a conversation with my mother in law about how unfair it is that when JD has a day off, it truly is a day off from work. He rests, he watches football, he does whatever he wants. I complained how I never get a day off. There are no weekends in motherhood. She agreed, but then told me "that's the way it is with wives/mothers Aly." And she is right. Why do my mother and mother in law get this but I do not? Why do I feel the need for all of this "me time?"

Honestly, I think it's because I am selfish. I have adopted the notion that I deserve to do XYZ (AKA me time) and if I can't do that whenever I want because of a baby, then I will do it whenever I want once the baby is asleep. And the result is a disorganized house and an undone to-do list. This is not a quality of the Excellent Wife.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think hobbies are bad or sinful. But when they interrupt the fluidity of a well maintained house I think it is time to reevaluate priorities. And nowhere in Proverbs 31 does it state that the Excellent Wife is only a blessing to her family after she has "her time." She works hard because that is the job of a wife/mother and she is blessed, revered and honored for it. And the joy in her life is not from having hours of uninterrupted time to pursue a hobby. It is from seeing the fruits of her labors at home and within her family.

I won't be giving up all of my hobbies, however in my pursuit of becoming an Excellent Wife I will be working on getting my house in order even if it means less "me time." I want to accomplish. I want to organize. I want to be excellent.

Monday, September 13, 2010

My Happy Place

After our first visit to the zoo a few weeks ago, I fell in love with the place. We bought membership passes and have been weekly ever since. I could honestly go every day, and would if we lived a little closer. I'm not sure what it is about going that makes me happy. It could be the awesome walking trails or being in the presence of rare and dangerous animals that make me realize what a special place it is. It could be the unlimited refills of Icees and cotton candy. All I know is that it is my new favorite place and I love going.

Yesterday we took my little brother with us. Having him along meant only one thing to me; the opportunity to finally get a family shot at the zoo. Instead we got a lot of pictures like this.

The whole album pretty much looks like this. I had to threaten him to stay out of them at the end of the day or else I would have nothing blog worthy to post. He didn't listen.

My girl loves the zoo as much as I do. She is content checking out the animals in her stroller while munching on Cheerios.

She points and shrieks at the animals.

Needless to say we don't get close to many for very long. This giraffe was practically at arm's reach when we first approached it but Beatrice proved to be too much for this graceful giant to handle. What a great photo this could've been.

So we improvised and got a great up-close with the Coke machine.

Oh and thanks for the family shot, Cole.

There will be many more visits to come. The zoo is my happy place and with unlimited visits for a year, I will be back often. And for the unlimited Icee refills.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pink Polka Dot Balloon Pom Birthday At the Park With Cake and Banner

We have approximately seven more weeks until Beatrice turns one. That means my baby will be a big girl. It also means, I've got a party to plan. She was born on Halloween but since we don't celebrate or want a black and orange themed party, I have to come up with some other theme worthy of our little girl's big day. It is no small feat planning a child's first party. 

When I was a kid, a typical birthday consisted of three-legged races, homemade cakes from your mom and goody bags filled with dollar store treats. The really good parties had a pinata and a slip-n-slide. These days, you're not in the game if you don't have a perfectly planned theme party complete with designer cake, decor and favors for your guests. I want to be in the game. 

JD and I have thrown out some ideas for her party. Here are just a few:


Complete with lederhosen, beer steins and schnitzel, this theme would fit in perfectly with the adults. Not so much with the kids. But how cute would Beatrice be in little lederhosen?! Much like JD here. Ricola!


Hunting season will be in full force at the end of October so we could all dress as land fowl and have a mock hunt. And JD has a mean turkey call that he's been working on. That man can gobble like a pro.

Tea Party

This is actually a great idea but it's too much for me. If we did it, I'd want to go all out a la Alice in Wonderland style and that would be too much to take on. Plus it would be really expensive because I would want real china and chandeliers and flamingos. You know, for the croquet.

The sad part is, those are really our ideas. We just don't know what to do. I have no problem with having an old fashioned birthday party with family and friends over for a homemade cake but we don't have enough room at our place to host the event. So we are having it at the park. And the pavilion needs a little something to pretty it up. It's basically wood planks and picnic tables. Our theme could be Birthday At the Park, complete with wooden planked pavilions and picnic tables. 

I have some inspiration. We shall have poms:

We shall have a birthday banner:

We shall have cake:

We shall have balloons:

And I plan to make most of it. Except for the balloons. Pretty sure that's impossible. My supplies are bought, ideas are fresh and I'm just about ready to begin preparation for my girl's Pink Polka Dot Balloon Pom Birthday At the Park With Cake and Banner. How's that for a theme?

Photo by photographer extraordinaire Sara Rose.