Sunday Thoughts

Well this week I took baby Mark home from church early. He always freaks out a little. I am torn between feeling like I should go to church no matter what and feeling sad for my baby. People that are super active at church always say you just go and walk the halls and it is practice because you aren't getting anything religious out of it. Sometimes I would rather just let him sleep in his bed and not deal with a screaming overtired baby that won't eat and won't fall asleep.
Although I am always proud of myself when I go. I think going to church is the right thing to do and it is always a struggle for me so I get confused. Church is complicated. Mark always seems so overwhelmed.

Which brings me to the perfect mom for the week. Brooke has informed me that I don't have to quit the series- which brings me joy. I am building what I would look like if I was a perfect mom. The perfect mom breastfeeds. Carlie and I had a perfect mom moment when we both breastfed at the Jewish Deli in Scranton. Went off without a hitch. We used nursing covers. I felt like Superwoman.
Sorry people, it is true. The perfect mom is a breastfeeding mom. A while ago people thought formula was better and then really wealthy parents were ending up with babies that didn't do as well because they could afford formula. Then the La Leche League formed to help support women and educate them about how much better it is for babies. I feel like now my generation is experiencing another backlash from extreme attitudes about nursing. I guess some don't capture the vision of the nurse in. I didn't know this but my sister told me nursing wasn't protected everywhere. I don't know if the breastfeeding promotion act passed. I do know that feeding babies is a super hard topic. I went to a La Leche League meeting after I had Danielle with my sister in law. The women seemed really closed minded and I remember Kathryn saying it isn't always realistic to feed in the first hour- some women have premature babies or have children go to the NICU and they are given bottles. I guess the women who have had problems like that don't end up at these meetings because no one knew anything about it. It is tragic that there is so little information about how to succeed when you have difficult situations.
This week was a bit of a breastfeeding disaster. Mark is teething so he was trying to bite me. Also no more eating in any room but his bedroom. with no overhead light. and no noise. and lots of attention and positive affirmation. no yelling for him biting me (hi have you ever been bitten while nursing- how do you not at least shout a little when the little teeth draw blood?)
I couldn't quit. My only official ex friend quit over a bite. Did that seriously influence my decision? Shameful.
I don't know how I feel about the perfect mom just nursing in public- my baby won't do it. Too overwhelming. So we have to sit in the car or the bathroom if he is hungry. Also he hates nursing covers.
And I thought I got to have opinions.
If you search for breastfeeding in Twitter people complain about mother's breastfeeding in Burger King and some moms ask questions and are proud to be an uncovered breastfeeding mom. So polarized! Seriously though the next day I searched for it when I actually had a question someone was flooding the feed with what looked like porn links. boo on twitter- obviously not the place to go to find advice I am new and still learning how to search.

Breastfeeding makes so many mother's feel guilty I can understand the guilt- you are letting someone close to your privates and if it doesn't go well it is hard not to take it personally. The first time I tried to feed Mark rice cereal he seemed to like it and I felt a little betrayed- after the blood and infection how could he like that bland crap? Oh sometimes I feel the crazy overprotective parent welling up. He now eats one meat a day. He doesn't like pears. I am going to start making my own baby food but that is a different perfect mom post.

Our society is lacking really good breastfeeding support. A middle ground that takes in that breastfeeding involves two human beings. I liked a blog post from the rambling renovators about breastfeeding. People don't always realize how important it is to support each other. I've read a lot about breastfeeding and been to lots of lactation consultants. Some are good, some are not. There is a woman out there called the breast whisperer. Maybe if I had met with her I would have been able to breastfeed Danielle. I am desperate to succeed as a breastfeeding mom. My friend Jen asked me why.

Well Jen- the perfect mom would do it.


SnowMG and Family Photos

We finally got some of the snowstorm. Day one we took family photos outside. I only got my boots because that's really all I could get. Danielle loves playing outside in the snow. I think it might be above her head today- they worked yesterday for over an hour on building part of a snowman and John shoveled the walk and the driveway. I guess the wind undid that work. The snow doesn't stick together so Danielle still hasn't seen a snowman- but she does like to throw snow balls.
It's nice to have John home. I am super worried that our power will go out like so many people around us. I guess people here are probably better at having an emergency supply because they actually sometimes need it for a few days.
I am seriously considering buying a generator. and an SUV, but that is nothing new.

I guess I won't be doing my running today.


Cooking Lessons with Maunifa

My friend Maunifa is from Syria. She is super awesome because she is bossy and opinionated. I like bossy people. She seems to think I need someone to come and clean my house every week. I totally agree. Also I shouldn't eat salad dressing because that makes you fat. And one day a week I should put my kids in daycare so I can have a day to myself. I wish I lived in her world.
Maunifa loves to cook. She is teaching me.
Carlie tells me that good photos make a good food blog. Since I am not a food blog I don't have to take great food photos, but really food is one of my major loves in life. I think about it probably about 60% of the time. Or more. The first time Maunifa cooked for me she made something with rice and lamb and okra and a spice mixture she made herself. I was almost as excited as I was about the turkey at the Nelson's house. I LOVE TURKEY. Needless to say I have a huge mom crush on her- who just makes Syrian food every day? Someone from Syria. This is food I would pay a lot of money for in a restaurant. She is teaching me how to make it. Next week I am going to get a lamb at the Arabic store. I don't know how I feel about it- since I wish I was a vegetarian I decided to never eat lamb again- then she fed me something wonderful and now I ordered some. That 7 year long fast ended soon.
It is good for me to have to prepare the foods though- that makes me want to eat meat less. Just imagine if I had to hunt the animals or clean them. I would never eat meat. I think our society let's us be more emotionally detached from food with our production and food supply.
The last Syrian Meal- Falaffal and pitas with onions, lettuce, tomato, and a mixture of parsley tomatoes and other stuff. Quite healthy.
except the deep fried part. Maybe I need a deep fryer. Everyone seems to have one- just like everyone has a crock pot. Or a dirty festering stink pot, as I like to think of them. How else can I deep fry my falaffel and cook my lamb for four hours- then act like I just whipped it up in no time. Also how the heck do you spell falaffel? falafel falafal fallafel whatever.



babies don't like to cooperate for pictures at the same time.
mark has discovered that his tongue is very fun to stick out.
classic Mark and Elijah- except they aren't trying to eat each other's hands.
Carlie got them matching shirts- next month we get to see Christina and her baby with the matching shirt.

This morning Carlie left after a week long visit. I think it was pretty brave of her to come because we don't know each other super well. She called me when Mark wasn't sleeping at all and volunteered to come help. I cried.
I didn't realize how overwhelming it can be to have children with no family around. Some people say that two children is much easier than three. My kids seemed to be determined to never be awake at the same time. Two children is Much harder than two. It seems so easy to take care of Danielle if Mark is taking a nap- until he is completely nocturnal and I don't know how to fix it. That child needs one of the most rigid schedules I have ever seen. Who knew that some babies loved schedules and needed things to be quiet. He is pretty sensitive- going out too much or playing too much is way to stressful. So pretty much the opposite of my last baby.
I like how my dad told me that one more is always harder, if it be two or five. We moved here and I have been dealing with postpartum depression and the adjustment to medical school and two children. I finally got insurance approval to cover my medicine this last week. And Mark turned five months old.
Carlie's visit was different- we did projects and she did all the dishes and cooked. That woman can plan a menu. We stayed up and talked about babies. I got to take a nap every day and go to the gym. It felt like family.
The feeling of family is so important. These are people who will always be there. My sisters and I used to talk all the time and go to the bathroom together. We would talk with a towel in our laps. I like them to come over and talk to me while I do chores. Sisters can help you mop your floor. My sisters know the checklists my mom used to use to see if we were done with our chores. they clean a bathroom the right way. We can sit on the couch most of the day and not feel bad.
My sisters work. I haven't seen them since I moved here. My mom has never seen my baby. I always imagined she would come and help clean my house- I always assumed that was the plan. Life hasn't really cooperated though. I never really thought about my husband's family in all my dreams about family. I didn't' imagine my mother in law helping me with my new baby. I thought my siblings would be having babies the same time I was. In my dreams I didn't know the people who would somehow always be pregnant the same time I was. At first I resented how they seemed to take away from my special moments- I'm not the first to have a child and everyone else is having a baby the same week. They didn't do things like my family did-like gossiping about each other constantly and talking on the phone for hours a week. They don't really care about presents. They aren't the people who were there for my first heartache.
My reality about family is different than what I imagined. I may not have parents that I can visit for Thanksgiving. Maybe someday I will though. Carlie's visit and Brooke's experiences recently have made me think a lot about the power of women. Women are family. Family helps you when you need help. Family talks to you about life.
I am grateful that Carlie is in my family too.


Sunday Thoughts

Today John had the barfies so I went to church with Carlie under the pretense of playing the piano for nursery in John's place.
not so much.
I went visiting teaching today.
Seriously why do I visit teach only people who have cats? Why do you not vacuum when you have cats?
Speaking of People with Cats, Carlie is visiting me. When I say visiting I mean she is cleaning and cooking and I have been taking naps and exercising all week. Pretty much she is saving my royal bottom. (call it royal in regards to it's girth.)

I've decided to start building the perfect mom in my mind. This fantasizing can be part of my Sunday thoughts. I am going to ask people to write about things like guest bloggers. So I stole some thoughts from an email from Carlie and am publishing them without authorization.


You asked about my cloth diapering system. I love my diapers. They are a specific type of cloth diapers called pocket diapers. This is the brand: ....They'll fit him until he is 35 lbs because they have snaps that change the size of the diaper. Pocket diapers comprise of an outer diaper shell that serves as the way to fasten the diaper to the baby with velcro (no pins!) and as plastic pants. The pocket diapers have a nice flannel layer that touches the bum that keeps the baby dry. Then, there is a pocket where you insert super absorbent micro fleece panels that soak up the pee. I also use flannel baby wipes and a homemade mixture of water, baby oil, and baby soap to wipe up messes with. These are awesome because one wipe will usually do the trick for one big poo, and you get it all in one swoop.

When I take off a diaper, I always disassemble the diaper right then. So, I take out the soil insert and fold that with any baby wipes into the outer shell and store them in my diaper pail. I just picked out a dry pail from babies r us. Every other day or sometimes every day, I do a load of diapers. First, I do a cold wash with 1/4 the manufacturer recommended detergent, and then I do a hot wash with 1/4 the recommended detergent. I always do an extra rinse. Right now with the breast milk poo, I just put everything straight into washing machine. So, I don't rinse the diaper in toilet water. When Elijah starts on solids, I'll invest in a diaper sprayer and experiment with disposable diaper liners. And, I might have to consider stink control more with the diaper pail, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

I had a bit of a learning curve with the diapers. At first, he had a bit of a diaper rash which really frustrated me because I was so proud of my non-chemical diapers. You have to be careful using diaper creams with the diapers because it affects how absorbency of the diaper, but I used some reusable diaper liners and fought off the rash just fine. I realized the problem was my detergent. You have to use detergent that is free of everything like enzymes, dyes, etc. I finally found some at the local organic store. Ever since I switched detergents, I haven't had a problem with the rash. Also, occasionally, the diapers get saturated with leftover ammonia or detergent, so you occasionally have to strip the diapers. I do it by soaking the diapers in bleach or oxyclean for half an hour, and then washing as usual.

The other problem I kept encountering was leaky pee...which sometimes can be caused by oversaturated diapers that need stripping, but it was also how I was putting the diaper one. I have to make sure everything is folded down and lined up, and then they are amazingly spill free. I feel we've had relatively few leaky poo diapers, so they do happen but even the biggest poos are well contained.

I found this Q/A section helpful when i had confusions about my diapers:
I think the hardest part is getting the laundry done, but I decided that I never have to fold the diapers and my drying rack is always up in my nursery, so I dump the inserts straight into the drawer from the dryer, and I often take the outsides straight from the drying rack. This probably seems lazy and occasionally I will fold the diapers for special occasions. So, even on my worst days, I've managed to stay on top of the diapers. I do have a box of disposable around for outings and when I am stripping all the diapers, but we need them only rarely.


Greetings from the Pillow Triumvirate

I thought the idea of a pillow triumvirate was super clever the other night as I fell asleep. I love sleep and I love pillows. Someday there will be an all body pillow- so you can lay on your side and put your arm out and have it be high enough that you shoulder never hurts.
get on that, people! I remember my brother in law has a sleep disorder so he had those elevated pillows like fancy ones that I look at in sky mall. They looked awesome. Jealous! Awesome like after you have a baby and get to move the hospital bed all around so your head and legs are elevated but you are still laying down and your arms get to rest on those awesome side parts. Give that bed a better mattress and I might have a hard time leaving the hospital. I guess I shouldn't be jealous but if I was my sister I would totally try to take naps with my husband's fancy pillows. Which is rude.
I dreamed about my etsy shop last night. I worked on listing new prints for a while after baby went to bed. His schedule is switched around but I still find myself getting lots of energy after about 10PM and I can't really fall asleep. I guess after over 6 months my sleep schedule doesn't want to budge. Danielle seems going through the infant adjustment period. Since they were never awake during the same time Danielle didn't do much at first. People would ask me how she is adjusting and I would say that there wasn't too much difference. Of course even then that was a lie but Danielle seemed to like the baby and that's what people are asking right? She likes to need food every time I have to feed the baby and she likes to climb all over me too. Danielle has also learned something from Mark: screaming. Mark has this hideous pig squeal cry when he is mad. Maybe it is less effort since Mark seems to be all about conserving his effort. Enter Danielle screeching every time we put her in bed. Also not sleeping. How can a child possibly stay up until one in the morning and still wake up at seven? I'll tell you what, they are super grouchy.
And I of course am super paranoid about her being obese so I am trying to get her to sleep more. and we have started mandatory- run around the house five times before we do anything else times- OK she runs all day but I feel better about it and since I have to run with her she likes it. maybe this will help her sleep. She is UNBEARABLE when she doesn't sleep. I read an article about childhood obesity being increased in children who watch more than two hours of television and get less than ten hours of sleep. Terrifying. And what kind of mom lets their kid watch more than two hours of television a day? So we've been limiting it and Danielle has been painting with her aqua doodle a lot. It's nice except for the inevitable- Aqua doodle soaked with a whole cup of water and left on the coffee table which is peeling from the water- tragedy. So sad. Here's what we are doing about the sleep problem
1. we got her a lamp (she likes to have the actual light on but doesn't sleep and she will scream for hours if she doesn't have enough light on account of the monsters)
2. We don't play too much for two hours before bedtime. as in we encourage her not to run around.
3. We moved bedtime to 8:00- no later
4. She has a regimented nap about 12:30 after lunch- she only sleeps about half the time though.
5. I have been putting lotion on her more- she had sores on her legs from scratching yikes!
6. We re-washed all her bedding just in case I accidentally washed it with a non scent free detergent. Danielle has sensitive skin.
7. No candy after the afternoon. Oh clever Danielle you are getting around this one all the time.
8. The bedtime routine has stayed solid.
9. No TV in the evening.

also I moved brushing her teeth to a non-bedtime activity and have started a daily 30 minute reading time so she doesn't think you only read when it's bedtime. Yesterday wasn't perfect with the reading time but she took a nap and went to bed. When she tried to wake up at 11:00 PM John told her he would take the lamp if she couldn't go back to bed and it worked instead of invoking the toddler wrath.

I am trying to stop threatening her with bedtime. I wish someone threatened me with bedtimes some days.



The last few weeks have been a little rough in the Madsen household. For instance, today Danielle had three victories over mommy. My victory was getting her to take a nap- in your face Danielle. Probably not the best thing to tell a child.
Right now baby Mark is asleep- I think for the night. He will wake up again around one in the morning, then at five and finally for the day at seven. I think our friends Mike and Diane helped by watching Mark in the morning. He wakes up and after trying to keep him away during the day I just couldn't do it some mornings. I usually want to sleep all weekend. Well on Sunday I got to sleep but baby Mark didn't. Thrilling.
It's nice to have friends who seem to like babies. I thought I was just feeling pretty bad from lack of sleep but after Mike and Diane left and I threw up a few times I called the doctor. A new breastfeeding milestone for me was getting my first breast infection. Since I pumped with Danielle I didn't go through teething and getting sore again. I don't know if it is normal to have trouble at teething but Mark has been quite the fussy boy. I was feeling guilty that John stayed home one day and then Thursday Melissa came over and watched Danielle and cleaned my house. Seriously? how nice is that?
I always thought I wanted lots of kids but it seems so hard. I don't know how people do it. I miss living near my family when I am sick. Carlie is coming out to help me next week even though she has a baby- so nice. I am excited to see another squishy little baby and let John catch up on school (hopefully).
But in the positive news I ran 4 miles last Saturday and I am still alive. NOT DEAD FROM RUNNING THIS WEEK. Shocking I know- I took a few days off for the breast infection but I am still training for my half marathon. Danielle is loving our new favorite treat of carrots and hummus. When she can't climb up on the counter top and get the nutella out and hide under the table and spread it everywhere.


For Shame

Of the twelve songs I found on Wikipedia named Shame, I have had four of the containing albums. OK four in my home, I think Claire was the actual owner of the Smashing Pumpkins album. Oh I don't really like them- did Jessica Simpson seriously date super old Billy Corgan? Yuck. on so many levels.
Many people tell me that I should not be ashamed of being depressed, or tired, or feel bad and compare myself with other people. They tell me to have hope. I like these people, because they seem to like me. They are trying to help me feel better, which makes me feel both better and ashamed that they think I need to feel better. I don't know if I am really insecure and feel bad about myself compared to others all day long- but I do know a LOT of people who are better than I am at many things. I know the world would probably be a better place if we could all just accept each other. I guess.
It makes me sad though. I have long been a proponent of Shame. You might say it is bad and not to compare, but every time I think of the spotless house of my friend it makes my kitchen get just a little bit cleaner. And when I think of little Claire prancing as she runs on the treadmill (I am sorry Claire but you prance when you run. It is adorable) I try to go just a few more steps and wipe the gasping grimace off of my face.
Shame really is one of the only reasons I do several things, including-
1. put laundry away in the closet. It is shameful to leave it out.
2. Eat any healthy food. I think I would gorge myself without society looking on.
3. Comb Danielle's hair- she really doesn't like it but that fuzzball in the back from her rubbing her head on her pillow looks terrible.
4. Shave my legs. Wait I don't do that very often.
5. Try to say positive things on my blog. I am ashamed of being someone who complains ceaselessly.
6. Refrain from sharing stories about dietary distress or ask inappropriate questions.

I wish that more people had shame about their dietary distress. Really woman- did you want to tell me about how bad your diarrhea was the other day? Or your personal infection? I didn't want to know. Also I think people should be ashamed of thinking they are better than everyone. If I was better than everyone I would write lots of witty comments about the stupid things other people do.
I think the main reason people ever do housework is shame. If the least rewarding regular activities are shame driven then this activity is purely motivated by shame. My mother taught us a great deal of shame. If you bathroom is dirty, you should be ashamed. If you leave dishes in the sink, you should be ashamed. If there is a dirty diaper or other piece of trash on the floor, you should be ashamed. If you never mow your lawn, you should be ashamed. If you garage is full of dog bones, you should be ashamed.
If only shame had figured more into that last one....
The world is full of shame. There are lots of blogs that capitalize on shame. yes their lives are happier and brighter and better than yours. My friend Harley says those blogs are bad for women. I guess comparison is hard on us. I secretly love it though. It's like an ongoing personality quiz where you get to compare answers and decide which is best. Women think of lots of things to compare notes about- and they have lots of good ideas. Plus with all their sponsors I can learn about the things I need to make my life brighter and more beautiful. Shame might be responsible for introducing affordable lines of beautiful fashion and art. I want the items- and I want to be famous like them so I can get them for free. sigh...
Maybe improvement should come from within. Maybe Shame brings fleeting progress and joy. My theory is that shame is a stepping off point. Actually cleaning your house is important, even if you just wanted it to be cleaner than your sister in law's house.
So this week I am going to recognize my shame. I am ashamed to let Danielle watch very much television. I am ashamed to still be tired after my baby is over four months old. I am ashamed of having laundry on the floor of my bedroom. I am ashamed that I never make my bed.
Let's all have a little celebration of shame. This week we can all think a little bit more about what other people would think. Then you can blog about it.
Whoever had the most shame wins.
In other news baby Mark got his first tooth Sunday. He is so sad to be in pain. Also he sat in a chair today and sucked on a little piece of ice through a baby food net. super cute people. super cute.


Spread The Love

One of my favorite pregnancy theories is that whatever your worst character trait is will explode in pregnancy. Let's say you are naturally not a morning person- you really should just stay home and not inflict yourselves on anyone. If you are naturally melodramatic you will get right on the crazy bus.
My sister in law Brooke accurately noticed what I already knew- I am unkind when pregnant. My first pregnancy I called my mom up every week or so and just fought with her. I would try to pick fights with people. All those unresolved feelings and issues from my entire life apparently needed to be dealt with. Except the ones that are really deeply buried, I just cried about those ones. OK maybe I should have been taking something to take the edge off of life, but I found myself having to make personal reminders not to share all the disparaging thoughts I had. Especially since there was NO WAY I could take the kind of heat that I wanted to dish out.
Turns out being very tired has a similar effect to being pregnant.
This morning John went and got the baby when I asked him to and then handed me a poopy baby in the dark. I was not pleased. I guess I wasn't polite when the light didn't instantly go on after I asked him to turn it on, so John left the room and I was left to change the diaper and feed the baby. Then I went downstairs to try to play with the baby since we are trying to switch his sleep schedule and it was officially daytime. I found where John had started to sleep. I tried to discuss if we should keep Mark up. Turns out John was sort of sleeping, but I still tried. John offered to take the baby but I didn't respond fast enough and he disappeared to sleep upstairs. Mark pooed as John walked away. All over his outfit and the changing pad and me. A lot of the time even if the baby hasn't pooed on me I feel like someone must have.
I was so angry I had to do something about it- so I constructed a clever twitter response, thanking John for his offer.
totally awesome- I'm glad I found twitter.
1.5 hours later I know it was rude, but I knew that when it happened. I guess I wanted to blame John for the baby waking up before I was ready and having a blow out all over me. And being grouchy when he wakes up and calling me out on not thanking him for getting me the baby.

When you are tired enough the whole world is just a little bit more annoying- like the kid I watched yesterday who wouldn't stop talking to me the whole time. Seriously I don't want to talk to a kid about his potty training experience for two hours. And stop telling on Danielle, because it makes me want to let her do things that I normally wouldn't since I can't abide tattle-ing.
The week before John's tests I try really hard to be nice and let him study. This attempt probably only produces a semi polite and tolerable human. I know I shouldn't say mean things about my mom being stressed at work but I do.

I call this spreading the love. I know that I don't really need to take out my feelings on people (especially my mom it turns out). It's like people who freak out when they have PMS- are those feelings less valid?
I just do my best to remember that the first time I think them and have overwhelming feelings of being wronged I need to shut up and wait. Sometimes it's just the fact that after one night of four hours of sleep and one of two I am looking forward to another night of four hours of sleep. All the gratitude and charity I've worked so hard to get seems to fly out the window.
I realize what I am made of, and at 7 in the morning today I'm not made of anything good.
Lesson of the Past
pregnancy + me sharing my feelings = not good.
John + waking John up = not good.
sleep deprivation + twitter = not good.

and it took A LOT of thought to come up with this theory. I bet other people haven't thought of it yet. or something like that.
Mark is talking and being super cute. His hands are thrilling. It's these cute things that I wait for. And Danielle waking up.



Baby Mark loves to eat his rice cereal every day which is super cute. He wants to eat rice cereal at 8:00 P.M. Turns out baby Mark is in love with a schedule. He has finally settled down a little after over four months.
So we are recovering from never sleeping. I organized the basement in that hazy week. and made some new blankets for the shop. I really like the blankets with grey in them. This month I made a goal for selling things in my etsy shop for the first time. Not doing very well so far. I don't know anything about sales goals but I am trying to get the shop more organized and have set up a few wholesale orders. I was thrilled when a repeat customer asked me to make a blanket for a girl with brown in it. Then I realized I didn't have any brown minky. The fabric came today and I already made a blanket. It is slow going with the kiddos.
In other news I got a Cheryl & Co catalog. I get these every now and then and I LOVE reading them. OK I don't think you can exactly read catalogs but I want things on just about every page. For example they have sugar cookies for Valentine's day that I think look pretty tasty. I would eat them. I keep thinking John might want some cookies for his birthday. I carried the catalog for a while and wondered why I got them at all. They are not really helping me want to eat healthy food. I realized why we got these catalogs yesterday- Christina sent us brownies from them when Mark was born. Fantastic present. and I was using a cutting mat she gave me for my birthday while I was sewing. She also got us an aero grow for Christmas. It is one of those herb growers with mini lights so you can have herbs year round- do you know what I am talking about? I have secretly always wanted one but would never buy myself one. Now I own one. Thrilling.
Good presents. The cutting kit she sent me was one I used all summer when she gave it to me- one of the best presents ever. I like presents that you want but wouldn't buy for yourself- like fancy foods from catalogs. Or indoor plants. My attempts to grow herbs didn't go very well, and is laying under the snow in a lovely planter. I also like presents that end up being super useful- like the cutting kit. Actually I love getting fabric and sewing things. I need to sew Mark some more bibs now that he is eating. He gets food all over himself because he doesn't quite know how to eat. Danielle never let us feed her without screaming nonstop. My kids are so different, and cute.
Now I will have to go set up that Aero grow as soon as the kitchen is put together again. Or maybe if it is ever put together again.


Friday Preparations

John's birthday is Friday- what should I get him. He gave me a list yesterday. Here it is-

bday list 2010


iPhone 3G with no contract

a better weight bar

more weights

work out clothes

more 30 rock

pajamas for winter

A smaller backpack designed to carry a laptop

Awesome movies with german voice overs

Disney movies in german

Amazon gift cards

iTunes gift cards

I found a backpack at REI. It wouldn't get here in time. I wish there was a way to skip birthdays sometimes.

Oh wait- that is what gift cards are. Awesome- at least they will get here by Friday.

Or we could trade- I could get myself a bunch of stuff for my birthday and he could do his own. Here is my birthday list.

1. Insulation in the basement

2. Echino Japanese fabric

3. Minky fabric

4. Kate spade china setting

5. A new car. Just ask Sara to pick it out. (Ok I think it is a funny tradition to put a car on every present list. Probably it isn't.)

6. A serger

7. Something from Jonathan Adler

8. Tile in the kitchen.

9. mint meltaways. Santa did NOT bring them. I guess girl scout cookies are also good. I like the peanut butter ones.

10.White frames from the Pottery Barn.

11. Amy Butler Rug

12. Fleuvog shoes.

OK I don't know why it is so hard for John- just thinking of presents makes me want things. Oh wait- maybe he actually wants these things. I never catch him just filling up a shopping cart online to feel like he has things- if they are in my cart they are a part of me.

What in the world should we do for John's birthday?



1. Thanks baby Mark for sleeping last night. He slept from 1-5 and 5-I don't remember when. I had to wake him up to eat again. I guess he was tired from two days of us trying to keep him awake so he would sleep at night. The world feels a little better.
2. Thanks again for baby Mark eating his first real meal of rice cereal. He is teething and acts funny sometimes when he is eating so tonight I tried giving him cereal. It was so messy and fun. Danielle NEVER let me feed her. He was excited. I hope it doesn't upset his stomach. are you supposed to give them water if you are feeding them cereal? mark was super cute.
3. Thanks the Bachelor for keeping me company tonight. Seriously just when the flip flops and flannel disappear out comes the turtleneck. and the never ending chain of leather bomber jackets. I guess the same people who liked top gun watch this show. But I didn't like top gun....
4. Thanks Christine Jones Photography for sending two extra cards with my small order. TWO! I was thrilled. I ordered an iris print for our bedroom- and the other flower picture is one I took that is also on the wall.
5. Thank you Pretty Pea Pod for making Danielle such a fantastic purple panda hat. It is really well constructed. Danielle needs hats lately since it is FREEZING here and I love this hat- the picture is in the last blog post.
6. Thanks everyone who comments on my facebook updates. I know linking twitter and facebook is probably annoying, but I like comments. Also I love blog comments. Thanks to everyone who leaves comments
7. Thanks Claire for motivating me to run and being so positive even though I am terrible at it.
8. Thanks Zadyball for participating in the Etsy Baby shower. I can't believe how generous she was. She asked me the colors of our nursery and custom made Baby Mark and lion ball. Now it is available in her shop. Mark loves his toy- it rattles and has things for him to grab and suck on. The ears even crinkle. I am astonished at the generosity people have to help with kids and give presents to others. I love presents- especially this one because it was awesome.
9. Thanks Melissa for watching my kids on Saturday. John and I went to the vegan cafe and talked. After one of the worst parenting weeks ever it was nice to just be with my husband. Then I came home and MELISSA CLEANED MY HOUSE! I was thrilled.
10. Thanks Jen and Steve for playing games with us. and Kenny and Rivkah for playing and going to chuck e cheese. FUN TIMES!
11. Thanks Paula for watching Danielle and Mark so I can go to the gym once a week without kids.
12. Thanks everyone for supporting my etsy shop. I'm trying to earn enough to pay for our power bill this month. I don't know how to make goals or promote a shop like that so I'm open to ideas. This is my first etsy sales goal ever. Wish me luck! The baby shop has new items in it.

This last week was really hard and also really good. When you don't really sleep at night you get a lot done actually. For instance our basement is sort of clean and the upstairs is clean for the first time since we moved. I put up pictures on the walls. It's all starting to come together.
Mark wants to tell you that sometimes rolling over is so exciting you have to spit up.