Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Favorite things

Her constant companion

Because who needs a baby book when you have a blog?  

Sophie is two and a half years old. That "half" seems so important - not a young, just-turned-two, but not yet almost-three. She is perfectly, exactly two-year-old two. The silliness, the occasional tantrums, the strong will, the defiance, the laughter, the repetition, the "why"s, all of it. It's time for an update of Sophie's Favorite Things!

Curious George. She has a minor obsession with this show.

This song:
Chocolate Milk
Grapes and strawberries and oranges
Playing with our dogs
Hello Kitty
Having her fingernails and toenails painted
Her friends
Bunny!! Always her most favorite thing
Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That
Helping to cook
Washing her hands
Ring Around the Rosie
Swimming (in a "swimmoot)
Playing on the playground

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

None of your business

Yesterday at work I stopped in to use a staff restroom that I've never been in before. On the back of the door was a printout of the often-repeated Regina Brett column, 45 Life Lessons. (It has been since updated with "5 to grow on.") Much of the list is good advice, a bit is trite and almost cliched, like a grocery store greeting card. One line really stuck out at me, though.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

What a difference from how most of us think!

We want to be liked. When someone doesn't seem to like us, we can drive ourselves batty trying to figure out why. We spend so much energy dwelling on how other people view us, and how to change those opinions that we don't match our own views of ourselves. But you know what?

It doesn't matter.

It might not be anything we CAN change. And really, why worry about it? Just like it's none of my business how Sally feels about Sue, or how Sue feels about Bob, it's also none of my business what opinions anyone else has of me. (I of course exclude family and close friends - but would hope those have favorable views of me. If not, I would hope they would try to work things out.)

Sometimes people just don't get along. Don't take it personally.  It is such a relief to not have the burden of strangers' (or acquaintances') opinions weighing on your already-full shoulders. This concept relates to an article discussed on a local morning radio show recently, 15 Things You Should Give Up to be Happy.

It all comes down to one simple concept: Let it go.

I tried this out recently, too. One person in a group I couldn't get along with? Hidden. People in my Facebook friends list that are not really friends? Unfriended. And I admit it, at first I felt awful. Guilty, even. As if they would even notice! But why let myself feel stressed about it? It is time to take control of my own peace. I'll be doing more, too. I've thought about closing my Twitter account. Realizing my first thought to that was "what will the people I follow and the ones who follow me think?" further illustrates my need to let go. Most of the ones I interact with there are also on Facebook. Or Pinterest. Or Instagram. What would I be missing? I can't think of a good answer.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fall is almost here!

It's that time of year again - my post dedicated to being a couch potato!
The Fall TV season is almost here - just one more month (or less in some cases) and we will have new episodes to watch! So, in honor of the occasion, here are my top four shows I'm eagerly awaiting (in no particular order).

1. Dexter
OhhhhMG that finale! Talk about taking your breath away! And the trailer that's been released is only adding to the feeling. It's back September 30 on Showtime.
Cannot. Wait.

2. Castle
Our whole family loves this show. And the new season premieres on September 24 - my husband's birthday! Great present. Another show that ended with an "OMG!" but this time in a good way. Castle and Beckett, together at last, spawning the worst couple nickname ever. "Caskett" just is not right. I'm anxious to see how the characters, namely Beckett, deal with what happened.

3. Bones
Booth and Brennan are together. They have a baby. Max is babysitting. Then, bad guy is after Brennan, she goes on the run with the baby for safety, and a bomb is planted in their house. What next?? It looks like September 17 is when we find out.

4. Doctor Who
Sometime in early September, no one seems to know exactly when, the Doctor will return to our lives. This is a show I started out watching on Netflix just to see what all the fuss was about, and soon was hooked. And now my oldest daughter is, also! She's also using Netflix to catch up.

Also on my can't miss: Criminal Minds, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Big Bang Theory, Glee.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Who broke my baby?

Free image courtesy of
This is me today. Ok, it's not really me, but it's how I feel. But she looks more awake than I feel. For some reason, Miss Sophie was awake and ready to play at 4:45 a.m. She is NEVER up that early. Ever.

It started with her waking me up asking for George (Curious George, her current favorite). I grabbed my phone off the nightstand to see what time it was. Um, no. I don't like to even acknowledge the existence of that time. I told her it's bedtime. "Why?" Because it's nighttime. "Why?" Go back to sleep! (Cue thoughts of the Samuel L Jackson-narrated audiobook) Requests for George turned into "Want locket-milk (chocolate milk) and cee-ral (cereal)" No. Shortly after - "I gotta pee!!" She went into the bathroom, but turned on the fan instead of the light, which scared her. So, I had to get up and help her. Back to bed? If only...

When she started running up and down the hall playing with the dogs, I gave in and took her to the living room. I turned on Curious George (thank goodness for DVR) and made her a cup of chocolate milk (I use sugar-free chocolate syrup, and it gets her to drink her milk, don't judge). I went back to bed, hoping for more sleep. Nope.

"Mommm-eeee! Momm-eeee!" I get up again, and go down the hall. The dog had gotten on the couch with her (he's not allowed) and was apparently licking her toes. I knew there would be no more sleep, so I gave in and made coffee, put on another episode of George, and took my shower. She finally fell back asleep later for another half hour (when it was time for me to get ready for work, of course), and woke up just as happy and playful again. Which I guess is a good thing, better than being whiny and crankypants because she's so tired, but oh em gee child! Mommy doesn't have enough energy to play when she's woken up that early.

I might have a nap for lunch today.

On another note, her love of Curious George has allowed me to do more with her hair. As long as he's on tv, I can do whatever and she's fine with it. Here are the past three days' hairstyles for her:

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Politics suck

It's that time of year - political ads are oversaturating our televisions. Everyone wants a sound bite from the candidates. Interviews are everywhere, and the talking heads are going non-stop.

I'm over it.

Where do I stand? I stand out of the way. I don't belong to either party. I've taken the "Which party do I identify with" quizzes like crazy and get the same results every time: 50% each side. So I choose which issues matter the most to me, and vote for the candidate that agrees the most with me on those issues. Democrat, Republican, Independent, whatever.

Ultimately, I think they're all the same, though. Different labels, same results. Nothing changes. And with the abundance of 24 hour news channels, it's a never-ending stream of chatter ranting and raving. Which reminds me - yet another reason why I hate Fox News. (For many others, watch this documentary.) My husband had the channel on earlier this week. In the morning, the people who yell at each other across the table were saying that unemployment was worse than ever, the economy was getting worse every day, and it was all President Obama's fault (although they can't be bothered to refer to him as President. Have you ever noticed that?). In the evening, on the same channel, another one of their talking heads was saying that the economy was better than it had been in years, companies are hiring again, jobs are increasing, the housing market is improving, and consumer spending is up. Wait - doesn't that directly contradict what his coworkers were saying earlier that same day? Yes it does.

Anyway, I will definitely be glad when the election has come and gone. The political character assassinations won't end completely, but at least it will be a little better for a couple years.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Billboard to the world

Billboard generator at
This is the billboard I would make if I could put one up for all the world to see. It's a message we all need to hear.

You are beautiful.
You are marvelous.
You are precious.
You are the whole world to someone.
You are loved.
You are cherished.
You are worth it.
You are perfect.
You can do whatever you set your mind to do.
You can reach your dreams.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

You'll watch this more than once

I must share this amazing piece of K-pop. I have a friend living in Korea and she shared it on Facebook yesterday. It. Is. Hilarious. For real. Some of it is pure awesomesauce, some of it is insanity, some of it will make you look at it as if looking at a person with three heads. And you will laugh out loud.

You're welcome.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Conversation with my grandmother

Today's post comes from a prompt from I have their writing prompts app on my phone and was swiping away, going through my favorites to see what stuck out to me. Then this one came up, and I just had to use it. It's a phone conversation with a relative who has died. I immediately thought of my grandmother (Mema) who died five years ago this November. She never got to know about Sophie, whose middle name is my grandmother's name in her honor. Enjoy, and I'll try not to cry as I write.

Hi, Mema. I just called to see how you are doing. It's been so long since we've gotten to talk and I miss you like crazy still. So many changes have happened since we last saw you. Emma is so grown up. I can't believe she's in high school already! You would be so proud of her. She is a smart girl.

You have a new great-granddaughter, too! Her name is Sophie Inez. She is just as wonderful and amazing as Em was at this age. You two would have so much fun together! She loves having her nails done. She also loves singing, and would love the billboard song you used to sing me when I was little. I wish I knew the words, because it's a great song. I also think your vegetable casserole would get her to actually eat broccoli.
I think about you all the time. So many times I want to ask you about something - tell me about the Hindenberg disaster, how long do I cook a dish or what measurements are used for the ingredients, what do you think of this outfit, or my hair? We have restaurants that you would love and it would be so nice to take you to lunch again.

I'll call again soon. It's nice to hear from you. I miss you and I love you.

Update: Through the miracle of search engines, I found the words to the billboard song she used to sing to me!
As I was walking down the street
A billboard caught my eye
and what was on that billboard will make you laugh and cry

The wind and rain had come that day and washed it half away
And what was on that billboard was what i have to say

Come smoke a Coca-Cola
Drink Ketchup cigarettes
See Lillian Russell wrestle with a box of oysterettes

Meet pork and beans tonight in their final fight
and John Browns lecture on polio right

Simonize your baby, with Hershey's candy bars
And Texaco's a beauty cream that's used by all the stars

Bay rum is good for horses
It is the best in town
Castor oil cures the measles pay five dollars down

Teeth extracted without pain for a half a dime
Big bens are selling now a little out of time

Doctors say that babies, should smoke 'til they are three.
And people over 65 should bathe in Lipton tea
With flow-thru teabags
Cause everything they have sags 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sacred gifts

Free image courtesy of
The wonderful book Spin Your Story from Kind Over Matter asks the question "What are my sacred gifts?" It's a question we should all explore from time to time.

So what are my gifts? Good question. I have a hard time answering questions like this, both because I tell myself that I don't make a difference, and because I'm afraid of sounding vain. Also, I can't think of anything. So I asked my husband.

Here's his list of my gifts: I'm a good mother, good at drawing, and writing. Good list.
My list?
Making yummy things in the blender
Making cakes - maybe? Maybe I'm deluded and should be featured on CakeWrecks. Who knows.

The real question, though, is what do I do with my gifts?  What do I put out in the world to help make it a better place?

A very good question, indeed.

Monday, August 6, 2012

I did it! Pinterest ideas

Last week was insane. All four of us caught a nasty stomach virus that has been going around, and then we had to work like crazy to get our house ready for a fifth person to move in for a while. My sister in law is staying with us until she finds a place to live here. Our house isn't made for five people, so we had a lot of work to do. I had also been trying to organize our pantry, both because it needed it and to check all labels for food dyes. I had seen an idea on Pinterest, using magazine files to hold the aluminum foil/plastic wrap/etc boxes in the pantry, and thought it was really smart. I took it a step further, and used Command adhesive strips to mount them on the cabinet door. It works! It's so much easier to see what we have now, and to access the boxes. I discovered while doing this that I had an empty box of waxed paper in the cabinet (gone now) and two partial boxes each of two different sized zipper bags! I combined the boxes and gained even more room that way. I couldn't see all that when they were on a shelf.

I also tried another idea, although I didn't take a picture of this one. Instead of putting them in the dryer, we hang swimsuits and bras over the shower rod to dry. Also wet towels after swimming get tossed up there. I've been redoing our bathroom a little at a time, and when I installed the pretty new shower rod and hooks, I moved the old one to the back of the shower. It's high enough to not interfere with showering, and no drips on the floor!

I also made hummus for the first time last night. I found this recipe on Pinterest, and knew from my pantry cleaning that I had a can of chickpeas. It looked easy enough, and how hard could tahini be? I found a can of it at Fresh Market, and picked up a lemon. Everything else I had on hand already. I put the drained beans and lemon juice in the blender, and then opened the tahini. It was not what I expected. The top half was liquid, and the bottom half was a HARD solid mass. The label said that separation is normal, and to stir thoroughly before using.


I tried stirring, and bent the spoon. I scraped the stuff into a big mixing bowl (the can was not big enough for proper stirring) and attacked it with a wooden spoon. Then a meat pounder. The liquid did turn the proper color, but there were many stubborn lumps that I just couldn't get out. And the solid part was STICKY. I finally emptied the beans and lemon juice from the blender into a bowl and put the tahini in the blender to mix. That worked! I poured it back into the can, and the rest went smoothly. Beans and juice back in the blender, followed by 2 tbsp of tahini. The recipe said 2-3, and I guessed there was about a tablespoon still in the bottom of the blender, so I improvised. Added in the cumin, garlic, and the reserved bean juice, and pureed until smooth.

I tasted the hummus as I was putting it into a container, and was very disappointed. It was quite bland. I packed some for lunch, though, and it was much better. The flavors just needed time to blend together. Now that I know what I'm doing, I'll definitely make this again!

And just for fun, a picture of Sophie brushing her teeth, all by herself. Notice where she's standing to reach. This would be perfect if she could get back down by herself. I just love her cute little toddler legs!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone