Friday, September 30, 2011

Weekend Reading: Stuff I'm passionate about! 9/30

Here are some of my favorite finds I've found this week.  I'll be honest, this week I've purposely picked things that I'm passionate about!   Enjoy!

Womens healthcare: Rebekah shares how Moon Cups are helping women burdened with horrible obstetric fistulas in Ethiopia.  Fistulas are quite often caused because many young girls' underdeveloped bodies can't handle labor and during the prolonged labor, they suffer tears in their rectum or bladder.  It causes them to leak urine or feces, leaving not only a stench, but it also leaves many women paralyzed and ostracized.

Baby-wearing: Vanessa at Jewels & Treasures has a giveaway for a Mei Tei carrier!

World milk-sharing week this week: Jennifer's son is born still and in spite of her tragic loss, she spends her days postpartum pumping and donating her breastmilk.

Happy weekend and happy reading! 

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

How to store bulk grains, beans and rice

I love bulk foods!   Buying things like rice, oatmeal, quinoa, and dry legumes can add up if you buy them pre-packaged by the pound. 

But, if you are thrifty, you can save a lot of money by buying foods from the bulk bin, reduce packaging waste and still have food that tastes great! 

At a local grocery store, one pound of pre-packaged steel cut oats costs around $4.  I buy my steel cut oats for about $1 a pound, which is a significant difference to say the least!

I'm a grain addict, and love to
make my own cereal, so I'm always buying new grains. 

The problem I encountered was storing all those grains.  I wanted something attractive and I didn't want to have to spend lots of money on plastic containers that were plain and boring.

I decided to recycle old jars I had collected and cleaned.  Jars from salsa, pickles, applesauce - anything! 

Here's what I did....

First, do something with the jar covers. 

-Paint 'em, cover the labels with marker or Mod Podge some decorative paper over them.

Decorating jar covers to store bulk food in.

Second, name your grain.

-Print off the names of the items you're storing using cool fonts (you can download awesome fonts for free here), or find some other way to label your jars. 

Third, decorate!

-Mod Podge, paint, magazine clippings, chalkboard paint, tile, anything! 

(Pssst....I save many of the cards I'm given and re-purpose them for projects like this.)

Lastly, DISPLAY!

Stored bulk rice, grains and legumes

Happy bulk food storage! 

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: I drive!


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

If you see a zombie mom...

*this was written on Monday, but in my zombieness I didn't get this published until today, Tuesday*

If you see a zombie mom, that'd be me.  Yep, hi there, I'm sleep deprived! 

And if you see a zombie dad, that's be my husband.  He says hello.

Forgoodnesssake, you'd think we had a newborn baby in our house, but no, we're actually the parents of an almost 15 month old little girl.  She's super cute.  Really, she is. 

She's also getting her molars, which makes for interesting sleep.

On top of that, we decided that since she's teething this would be an awesome time (sarcasm font) to see if she would possibly take a bottle in the middle of the night from her Dad, instead of me breastfeeding her. 

"What a horrible idea!" you say.  And I know that.

But see, it's actually a good idea because we're trying to get away for a night or two for our 10 year wedding anniversary coming up in a little over a week.  In order for us to 'get away', we need to leave our daughter overnight with someone else.  She still sometimes wakes in the night to nurse, so we wanted to see how she'd fare with a bottle at 5 AM from this someone else. 

Let's just say it wasn't good. 

I "slept" on the couch last night, while Dallas got our bed all to himself, something he probably enjoys because even though he is the largest member of our family, when the smallest member of our family joins us in bed at night, she takes up half of it because she insists on sleeping sideways.  She also insists on kicking him in the face (which, is hilarious), so a night with the bed all to himself is almost as grand as the Vikings winning a football game.  Obviously, neither happen very often.

This picture accurately depicts the average husband/wife bed....

And then you throw the kicking face toddler in there and it actually looks like this...

His lone enjoyment of our bed lasted for, um, maybe 15 minutes when the baby started crying way earlier than her normal middle of the night waking time.  Of course, my Mom Alert, which can standard with the growth of my uterus, kicked in and I laid silently on the couch, listening to the lil' drama mama in the room next door.  I really, really, really just wanted to solve the problem with my, Hello!  I have the answer!  We can ALL be happy again! 

But I stayed out of sight on the living room couch.

The good news is that she did take the bottle.  The bad news is that she screamed for two hours before, after and during, resulting in zombie mom and zombie dad.

I guess this could quite possibly be called a 'real parent' now that we're finally experiencing some sleep deprivation.  We've been spoiled rotten and she's always been a great sleeper, so we actually got more sleep during the newborn stage of parenting than ever before in our lives!

I do have to give major props to Zombie Dad; two hours of a screaming 14-month old in the middle of the night is really equal to about 8 hours of sceaming baby in the daytime.  Yep, in the realm of parenting, nighttime woes are quadrupled.  My husband gets major points for last night for dancing with her, singing to her, cuddling her, bobbling her around and just all around loving the little zombie creator who did nothing but scream at the sight of him. 

We're going to try it again tonight, but so far the jury in our house is saying that it looks like India might join us for our anniversary trip because we definitely don't want this zombie-ness to consume another family member!  ;-)

Stay tuned for more Zombie Mom and Zombie Dad....

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Molars give rare moments!

My daughter is getting her one year molars and in rare form, she fell asleep on my chest.  I love these moments!


Monday, September 19, 2011

Not Me Monday!

Not Me Monday is back!  In an effort to share our imperfections as moms and laugh about it, I bring you a few things that I DID NOT DO. 

Not me.

Nope, I didn't use my shirt sleeve to dust my entertainment center.  Nope, I surely got out my dusting mitt and did it properly, NOT with my shirt sleeve.  Not me, I'm not lazy!

I definitely didn't yell "Those eggs are organic!  They aren't going to waste!" when my daughter threw her scrambled eggs on the floor because she was sick of them.  And I definitely didn't eat them off the floor because of the fact they cost $2983.38 per egg. 

And I didn't feed my daughter a dinner of cheddar bunnies, string cheese and frozen blueberries because her Dad was gone, I had leftovers and I was too lazy to fix up anything else.  Most assuredly, I didn't feed her that meal on top of a Rubbermaid container because I was was too lazy to toss them in her high chair.  We already went over the fact that I'm not lazy.


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Thursday, September 15, 2011

I enjoyed every minute!

For the first half of last summer (2010), I was pregnant.  Hot.  Sticky.  Swollen.  Uncomfortable. 

The next half of the summer I had a newborn baby.  Milk everywhere.  Bleeding.  Postpartum belly.  Little sleep. 

It wasn't a horrible summer by any means, but I think it's safe to safe I enjoyed every bit of this summer in order to make up for last summer! 

Summer is my favorite season: water activities, HEAT, sunshine, minimal clothing, warmth, bonfires, yummy food, camping, everyone's more laid back, gardening, running around barefoot, going on walks, amazing fruits and veggies, and tons of fun gatherings with friends and families!  Love ALL of it. 

Instead of being depressed that it's now freezing here (goodbye, garden) at night and is now sweatshirt weather, I want to thank God for a great summer!

Summer 2011

The beginning of our garden...

My first 5K....

We served out community with many of the youth from our town for one week....

Happy 4th of July....

India turned ONE....

I went tubing down the river and tubing behind the boat several times...

                                               (no picures, sorry!)

India's first swimming pool....

I entered a swimsuit public pics of that though. If you really want to see, contact me and maybe I'll let you see them for a small fee! ;-)

We had a great time camping at a music festival....

Flying over the beautiful lakes of MN with my Dad....

Starting to preserve and eat my garden's produce...

We went to the county fair...


Beach time....

Lazy afternoons laying in our yard....


Good times with great friends (the same ones that ran the 5k)....

Preserving TONS from our garden....

Goodbye, summer.  I wait eagerly for your return in 2012!! 


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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: The last of summer

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 years ago today...

10 years ago today, I was preparing for my joint Bridal Shower with my soon-to-be-husband. 

I was so excited.  I knew many people from our very supportive church, in which my husband was the youth pastor, were planning on joining us in this celebration of our upcoming marriage.  I couldn't wait to celebrate with friends and family!

I was also anxious to get married and be with the man I loved, with the wedding just a little over 3 weeks away.  My fiance and I were planning on getting together that day and planning our honeymoon.  We waited until close to our wedding date hoping to get something cheap to Mexico.

But things turned from joy to unknown and concern for this young, rural MN girl.  My Mom woke me up on the morning of September 11, 2001, and said, "Genevieve, our country is in shambles!"   I don't know if I will even forget that sentence leaving her mouth and the feeling of my stomach leaving my abdomen as she said with such seriousness the atrocities that were taking place. 

I called my fiance, Dallas, at work and asked for details.  All news (and rumors) spread faster than any other piece of information we've ever heard.

Dallas' Mom recorded the news for us throughout the day so we could see it, as my family doesn't have TV. 

That night, we still had our wedding shower.  I think more people came that night to our already packed gathering for the closeness of the church community and to share their thoughts, worries and concerns. 

Many people left our wedding shower and waited in line for gas that night, as the rumors that gas would either skyrocket or not be readily available were running rampant. 

It was unknown. 

Everything was unknown.  We were all in the same boat.

For the first time, the rural Minnesotan girl was in the same world of disbelief as the top military General; even as the President.

From the greatest among us to the least, we didn't know what this catastrophe meant or how it would impact us as individuals, how it would impact our country and the effects in would have on the world for years, even generations, to come.

Were there terrorists among us?  Were more planes to be comandeered? How many lives have been lost?  How many more lives will be lost? Could we expect war on our territory?  What about biological weapons? Are we safe?

9/11 is a day that will be forever remembered by most of us who read this blog entry.  But yet it seems impossible that an event that stirs so many emotions in us, many of those feelings still raw, leaves the majority of our children reading about it in their history books and someday saying, "I remember my Mom talking about that - it happened a LONG time ago."

This morning, I watch my little girl play on the floor, oblivious to this infamous day, the pain it has caused, the global repercussions, the sacrifice, the anguish, the forgiveness, the love, and the opportunities.  I want to share with her this day; I don't want her to forget.

Never forget.

Where were your when you heard about the events of 9/11?  How do you teach (or plan to teach) your children about this day?

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Friday, September 9, 2011

5 Question Friday! 9/9/11

Hi my friends!  It's Friday, which means I always try to have a special treat for you!  This week is Five Question Friday....Enjoy and be sure to link up!

1. What ringtone do you have on your cell phone?

Um, something boring and standard that is on the phone.  Yeah, before I had a baby, I had time to download cool Black Eyed Peas or Gwen Stefani songs, but now the only songs I'll probably download will be stuff like "If you're happy and you know it" and the Backyardigans theme song.

2. What is your favorite memory from this summer?

The first weekend of the summer was super busy, but amazing.  I ran my first 5K and did way better than I expected, which was great.  Also, the weekend of India's birthday was pretty cool!  :)

3. Paper books or ebooks?

Paper.  Mainly, because I'm super cheap and ebooks are spendier than paper books. :)

4. If you could have one home upgrade what would it be and why?

Oh gosh, where to begin.  First, our house is great; very liveable and comfortable.  I don't want to complain or seems greedy when in most of the world, 4 or 5 families would live in a house the size of ours.  But, I have dreams of renovating our basement, but I think my first choice would be a patio in our backyard and a fence.  Inside of it all, our own, private, little utopia.  Fruit trees, grape vines, a hammock, a bountiful vegetable garden, a fire pit, lots of childrens playthings and even a little above-the-ground swimming pool.

5. When was your first serious boyfriend/girlfriend?

Um, pass, please?  I don't know how to define serious because once you're married, that's the ultimate of serious.  Everything else seems pale and paltry in comparison. 

So I guess my relationship was Dallas was my first serious boyfriend. :-)  There.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

I take her for granted

A couple I know lost their precious baby boy this week.  Devastating. 

My heart aches and breaks every time I hear these stories no matter if it's a good friend or someone I've never seen because it would be one of the most crushing circumstances that we can imagine as mothers. 

So, I cry and I hold my baby close, smell her head, kiss her a million times, apologize a billion times and ask God to help me remember what a blessing she is.  And I pray for those who are hurting because of such a traumatic loss.

It's easy to take my daughter for granted in the routine or even difficult moments.  It's easy to yell at her, sigh as she ruins one more thing, lose my patience as she cries and whines at my feet, curse under my breath as she arches her back in a tantrum, and ignore her when 'I have things to do'

I have many friends who have lost children and would love to have even a few hair-pulling moments with their child right now....if that meant having a few more minutes with their precious baby.  I don't want to forget what a gift she is, to thank God for this little person and be grateful for this beautiful piece of my husband and me.


-the sweet smell of my daughter's breath
-her little and big tooth bite
-when she pulls close to me and kisses me
-her chubby wrists
-the endless sounds, shreiks and shrills
-her signs, communicating her needs
-how she dances the instant music turns on
-her whisper voice
-her call for 'Mama' - "mamamamamamaaaa"
-the way she walks around the house, calling for me, not satisfied until she's right back at my side
-her smile when I hide my face
-her sleepy eyes while she breastsfeeds
-her smiles and giggles when she breastfeeds
-how she has been a little ham since forever
-the way she mimics everything I do
-when I whisper in her ear that there is nothing she could do to make me love her less and she giggles
-the way her lower lip quivers when she cries
-her excitement when Dada comes home
-the way she tucks her lip in
-how she opens her eyes wide and says 'Oh' as soon as she wakes up and many times thereafter
-her desire for comfort
-how she takes apart and climbs on everything
-how she MUST have a baby in her arms at all times
-how she signs 'baby'
-her inhale giggle
-the way she says and signs 'outside' - "ouss-ide"
-her smart mind
-the smell of her head, it's delicious
-her proud smile - big and cheesy
-how she MUST as 'was sat?' (what's that) a hundred times even when she knows full well exactly what it is
-the way she explores everything
-her wispy curls
-how she pats my back as we cuddle
-her tiny tears that take a lot of emotion in order to appear
-when her little hands find their way to my mouth
-her shreiks of glee as she is the center of attention
-bright blus eyes that love me
-when she wears tight shirt or pants and I can see every roll
-the way she makes friends with EVERYONE by yelling 'hi', flashing a big cheesy grin and waving
-when I ask her if she's Mama's baby and she shakes her head and says 'yah'
-the way she says goodbye to al her new friends by blowing kisses and waving 'bye'
-her nekkid body
-her big hugs
-the way she runs away from my laptop when she gets caught pounding on it
-how she thinks she's hilarious when she signs 'potty' and makes the SSSSSSSSSSSsssssss sounds

Every single minute of her life, this life, is a gift.

India trying to wear my flip flops. :)

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: A girl & her Daddy

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Weekend Reading: Stuff you don't want to miss! 9/2/11

I hope everyone has an enjoyable, safe and relaxing holiday weekend!  Here are some fun and interesting reads for you!

Of Interest:

Christie shares on why she doesn't spank her children.

Are breastfeeding mothers more aggressive than formula-feeding mothers?

Jamie asks: Who Told You?

3 high school boys flip a burning pickup truck to save a pregnant woman!  Amazing!

Elizabeth Esther throws out her $150 Citizens of Humanity Jeans, a COACH purse, and more.  Find out why.

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

I've Got Baby Fever!!

Look out, sweet husband, I've got a baaaaaddddddddddd fever of the baby sort.  I think it's best you not come home for a while because this could be contagious. ;-)

I was browsing pictures of India as a baby, looking at how tiny and squishy and soft and relatively still and semi-quiet and delicious smelling she was when my uterus starting crying like a hungry baby sparrow, "Give me another baby!  I'm emmmmppppty"!

While I told my womb to hush, I remembered that India is still many of those things, and I don't want to miss a moment with her right now, wishing for something more.  But at the very same time, I'm not ashamed to admit I've had moments of Baby Fever ever since India turned one. 

Before that, I was right in line with my husband, who wanted to wait until India was at least two before we even considered another child.

I find myself telling Dallas, "When we have our next baby..." or at a garage sale saying "I'm buying this for the next baby".  I'm sure he's getting sick of it.

I miss planning the logistics of a new child, reading birth books, rubbing and praying over my belly, cleaning every single thing the baby will touch like a germophobe, washing little baby clothes and diapers and being woke up in my sleep by little fluttery kicks.

I love and miss the little coos and the breastmilk drool and the little burps and the rooting and itty bitty clothes and the naps and the first smiles and, and, and, everything about having a little, new, fresh baby. 

For a moment, I even missed being pregnant.  That is saying a lot because pregnancy was not kind to me.  
I miss this.  I could just eat her right up!

But then I have moments where I'm a bit overwhelmed with the constant whining and yelling at me while she traipses after me and/or hangs on my leg at home.  And the embarrassing meltdowns in stores all because she can't hold the baby in the cart we just passed.

And I think, "Could I really handle another child?  What would I do with a baby while India screams bloody murder in Target because I won't let her out of the cart to terrorize another child in a cart?  And what if the new baby is crying too?  Will India finally learn not to be so dominating towards other children or would this baby suffer Shaken Baby Syndrome from India's aggressive behavior?  Can I really keep my calm while India tantrums because I told her 'no' for the 1000th time today and won't let her play trampoline or parachute with my laptop and the new baby screams to eat?  Could India handle sharing me with another sibling?  More like, could India handle sharing my boobs with another sibling?  Can I handle parenting India (who is very spirited) and not give the new baby Bouncy Seat Syndrome?  What if this baby is full of energy and opinions like India?  Can I keep my sanity?"

 But then, once the storm passes with a big hug and a million kisses and cuddles from my sweet girl or she does something adorable, like kiss the flowers and then feed them to her doll and while saying 'eat', I revert back to "You know, with the next baby, I want to try this...." and "What do you think of this name" and "I think India would be nice to a baby".

I know many of you have more than one child and it's a breeze for you.  Just humor me for a moment and think back to when you only had one kid.  Did you think about the same things?

No matter what, I know that God is good.  The deepest part of my being knows that.  He will not give me anything that I can't handle and when I'm tempted to respond with anger and rage, I know He provides a way for me to avert from sin.  I know He has the best plan for my life, my husband's life, and any of our offspring's life.  In Arabic, it's said Inshallah or if God wills it - meaning the ultimate of hope and trust for a possibly difficult endeavor.

Is it always this way? Once you've experienced pregnancy, will you always miss little, itty, bitty babies?   How far apart in age are your children and do you like their age difference?

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