Dear Friend

Dear Friends,

If any of you have read the Love Languages Book you would know that Christmas is a special time for one love language. The Gift givers. I like that one of the biggest seasons of the year is dedicated to my love language. I love getting things for people. I would be Santa Claus if I could. When people tell me they don't like giving presents I never quite understand what they are talking about. Do you not love other people? Don't you look at anything and have it remind you of someone? Do you never listen to what other people like? Just ask yourself- what would make them happy? I like to get people presents that remind me of them and that they wouldn't buy for themselves. If I have a hard time (JEN R.) then I just get them something I want myself. Lucky for me I want A LOT of things. I think it's pretty hard to get me a present I don't like. Actually I think it's only happened once or twice, because the presents were REALLY REALLY TERRIBLE.
This year we are trying to teach Danielle to give other people presents. Mostly to distract her from just wanting everything in sight. We went to Target the other day to pick a present for someone else's birthday and she wanted to get them a tiny little car and get herself a powered bike and a Princess doll assortment and some candy and another doll and I didn't even go near the other aisles. I guess she has a long way to go in the think about others department. It just doesn't excite her like I was hoping it would. I like her complete lack of ability to think of what other people would like. We asked her what to get her gymnastics teacher. He gets a sit and spin according to Danielle. She wants one as well.

The rest of you can expect ponies. My Little Ponies. For every holiday ever. I do love me a my little pony. Unless you are one of the select few- then you might want a princess or a Pinkalicious book.

I think I'm starting to understand how parents sometimes give children's toys for birthdays.
But I still feel like a hairy ball toy is a gag gift.


Modified Thanksgiving Menu

Since everyone in my family is now sick I have decided to revise my Thanksgiving menu.
For Me: Peppermint Popcorn I made with Claire. Lots of it.

For Everyone:
Saltine Crackers
Pedialyte Popsicles

Last time Danielle had to flu she got REALLY dehydrated. I've also never dealt with a breastfeeding baby who has the flu- I was doing really good trying to wean him and he isn't keeping much of anything down so should I keep trying to wean and throw more saltines at him? Because this baby DOES NOT CARE for saltines. I read this article about how you should continue breastfeeding so the push to wean is going to get moved back again. Do you ever feel like life looks at your well made plans and laughs at you? It took me such a long time to come to the decision to wean Mark and I've been so wishy washy about it. How. When. Where- these questions are much less solid than it was to decide to breastfeed. I had to work so hard to be able to do it I never thought about how it would end. Although just like with breastfeeding I appreciate the crap loads of unsolicited advice I've received. he he- and the solicited advice. why is it that the people who are the most opinionated and pushy are the one's you don't actually ask?
Overall I think Mark has moved backwards in terms of weaning- from 4 times a day back to I don't know how many but I know I've done three loads of throw up laundry today. John has also done some, before he joined the sickies.
My kids are so sick and sad. Danielle wanted me to hold her but at one point she smelled too bad so she got to take a bath first. Danielle learned to swish water around her mouth to get the bad taste out. she wanted to go to bed tonight. She also made it to the bathroom several times to throw up and I'm really proud of her. Mark has had several baths.

Oh well- it gives me more time to make the rainbow jello Danielle wanted, and explains why I felt so sick all week. Sometimes when you think you could be accidentally pregnant it is really the flu. Other times just your standard monthly crazy paranoia.

Still good to keep lots of pregnancy tests on hand. and Saltine crackers.


Christmas Lists

I'm convinced that Christmas lists are the best thing ever invented. For example at Macy's you can go drop you letter to Santa off and tell him what you want- there is a big mail box. So for the last little while every time Danielle has asked for something I tell her she should tell Santa what she wants.
The other day John sat down with Danielle to write her Christmas list.

Danielle's Christmas list so far:
Tree House
5 pinkalicious bocks. No 6. or more.
Toy Trap with Woody and Buzz
A Meal at Mc McDonalds
A Scooter Like Penny's
A Girl Hat
A pop up fire truck and American Girl dog (added a few days later as she looked at a catalog)

I loved her descriptions- and that I knew what some of the more cryptic toy requests were.
Too bad she's not going to get that tree house though- we drew up some basic plans and priced out the lumber at a little over $1000.00. Maybe I'll draw her a picture of one.
She is also helping us pick out toys for other people. She wants to get her gymnastics teacher a sit and spin. And for her best friends? that's right- Ponies. or Pinkalicious.

We may or may not have read pinkalicious right before she wrote her list.


Sunday Thoughts: Crazy Mom

Today was an interesting day. I let Mark take a nap this morning and missed church. I was going to go with John to the tough mudder to see him run. He finished and I'm super proud of him. You should look at the run HERE.
I was going to go with him- my friend said she would watch our kids the whole time (Hello HUGELY Generous) and we brought them over. Then I started feeling bad. I'm still breastfeeding mark so I guess this would be like weaning him. He usually wakes up at 4 in the morning to eat- but twice last week he waited until 8. I missed my baby after only an hour. We didn't end up driving up early because someone needed a ride the next morning- so I started regretting my decision to go- we could have dropped them off the next day- we didn't need to make someone else watch them right away. I kept asking John every ten minutes if he thought the kids were OK. I wanted to call my friend and ask if Mark was being too hard. I thought about bringing him to the race the next day. outside all day rather than with friends probably wasn't the best idea ever.
My friend didn't beat me up when I called past midnight and got our kids.
because I had a meltdown. John didn't get back until around 8 tonight so that would have been long but I bet the kids would have survived. I just didn't know if I was ready to wean Mark so suddenly. of course now I decided to wean him next week during Thanksgiving break. I just didn't feel ready because I hadn't PLANNED it. I knew Danielle would be having the time of her life with her friends but I wasn't ready to leave Mark.

The most surprising thing was how crazy I felt. I felt horribly guilty. I tried to convince myself I was worried about Mark or my friend being upset but it was really about me. I need my kids to be around. I have a hard time when they are gone. Not to play with friends or if I need to run errands for a few hours or go to the gym, but the idea of being gone a whole day terrified me. Maybe I can blame the breastfeeding. I wonder if I am just crazy or if a lot of moms go through this crazy guilty attachment.
I tell myself it was OK since Mark had a fever this morning. It went away with Tylenol and he doesn't have it anymore. Really I just realized another thing about being a mom- I feel like I have this hormonal physical connection to my children. We worked in the yard today- the three of us all bundled up planting bulbs. Or playing with the dog- Mark loves it when Austin plays ball with him. I'm still not quite sure why I stayed home or if I'm going to turn into one of those super protective crazy stalker moms someday- but now I understand them a little more.
which might not be a good thing...

have you ever realized your concern about your kids was more about you than about them?


What did you Do today?

Today I was going to be able to see in the dark with my super power night vision, but it ran out of batteries. Luckily Danielle came to the rescue with imaginary batteries which Mark also received so he could help us rescue puppies in the basement.
I also realized why it WAS a good idea to make a pile of all my pants and jump in them. pants can be just as soft as pillows if stacked properly

The ladies at gymnastics were having a competition about who had the child with the biggest feet. I totally lost that one- the kid who won had clodhoppers sized 11.5. I'm not sure why they were competing about that, but I also lost the "I don't buy my child nice shoes" contest. You can imagine my sigh of relief when another child walked in wearing sparkly sketcher twinkle toes. Just moments before these beautiful shoes were the victim of being called 'canvas shoes I could make with a bedazzler"
by big feet's mom.

I'm not sure why some mom's like to make everything into a competition, but it was funny today.
sometimes it's had to have such a worldly and stylish child.
but someone has to be her mother, and I'm glad it's me.


Challenge Myself

child update- mark has been walking for two weeks now. So different than Danielle! I think she walked 5 months earlier than he did. Kiddos are fun- Danielle saved her allowance and bought a pillow and carried it with her everywhere for a few days. Like a security blanket.

Well it's been a month and I haven't posted every day.
But the month of positive posts is over. When it comes down to rainbows ponies and unicorns it's time to stop. Plus my aunt told me I'm more negative when I'm positive so... I have to say I have had more negative thoughts this month than ever before in my life. Now that I've decided it is over I am thinking positive things again. Like that I LOVE antibiotics. I am convinced that whoever invented them is going straight to heaven. I had a sinus infection this week and I was mean to my mom while she visited because I didn't feel good but now I think I will be able to sleep without pain killer and sudafed tonight. I am so happy about getting medicine. I'm happy I went to the doctor and got medicine. I am happy that when I went to the dentist they told me I don't have any cavities. I'm glad my mom got to come visit because I missed her.

We did all sorts of projects- if only my mom lived close to me I think my productivity would quadruple. Plus she was making bread with me, which tasted fabulous.

Well this positive blog post for a month has been a little bit more challenging than some of my other challenges- but it's my first on the good old family blog. the other challenges I've done are the challenge to make something every day and the challenge to make a treasury every day. I finished the make something every day challenge after 28 days- Like February you know- and I am on day 22 of the treasury challenge- a treasury is a collection of 16 items on Etsy that go together. That's how they pick what items will be on the front page- every hour etsy picks from a member curated treasury and those items are on the front page. I think it's interesting to see what I'm drawn to.

I already have an idea for my month challenge next month. I got the idea of Christine Smith who used to live in this area but moved to Delaware- she did it for a while.


Dear friend,

Dear Mom,

It is my pleasure to tell you that we have another sock lover in the family. Remember that one year that we had over 100 socks between all of us? I was really happy that I got 12. and I know to go after Christmas and get the socks on sale. I myself don't wear seasonal socks but my children can.
Danielle loves socks. She packages up all of her socks in a great big sock wrapper and carries them around with her. Or she puts all her money in a ball. It seems a little strange to have a sock stuffed with money in it- did anyone here see in living color?- but they really are a convenient change purse.
Sometimes I walk into Danielle's room and she is wearing all her panties and as many socks as she can get on. She needs several pairs for her feet and hands. Did you know that socks are the new gloves? really they are the same as mittens and there are lots more options.
I have to say though the other day when Danielle had socks on top of her footed sleeper I had a hard time not dying from how cute it was. I almost woke her up from sleeping, which is a horrible thing. I should know, right now I'm up in the middle of the night with her and she isn't feeling well. Maybe she needs a pair of socks.

Love this hot chocolate.
Love socks.- even if I wear them very infrequently. they make my feet feel sweaty.
Love you.

Lessons from Danielle:
Some days you need socks on top of your footed sleeper. For fashion.

sorry about the bad picture- the flash was necessary. She is sleeping on a mattress on our floor while my mom is here. Normally she sleeps like the dead- which is why I can take flash photos of her in the middle of the night.
If only Mark slept that way.

End Positive Post #21


Insomnia and Sick Kiddos.

Tonight Danielle and I are up. she has a cold. I have some weird pain in my face. Just the left side. I think it's my sinus and I just hope that it's not from my teeth. Se we are eating a snack and watching little bill on TV. Time to make my Christmas List!
Middle of the night Christmas Lists are the best. You can imagine how thrilled I was when someone asked me the other day what I wanted. It was my sister. Bless her awesome heart!
I find making a Christmas list almost as exciting as actually getting the presents- plus I get to spend A LOT more money on my imaginary list.

My Christmas List:
1. Darling dipping dishes from HopeJohnson on Etsy
2. Kate Spade China in June Lane Gold
3. Barnes and Noble gift cards.
4. Brown High Heels size 8.5. I can't seem to find a pair. With closed toes.
5. Minky Fabric from
6. Laminated Cotton fabric like Nicey Jane or Michael Miller or Amy Butler (or any cute oilcloth fabric)
7. Echino fabric I like SuperBuzzy to get it. I want some of the new ones SO MUCH. I don't have any of the Fall 2010 fabric and it makes me sad.
8. A Serger.
9. The Living Room Painted.
10. The garage painted. I know that sounds silly but I love the idea of a painted garage.
11. Stockholm products from the containerstore like the drawer.
12. A deck.
13. Amy Butler rug- Wallflower large rug. wow it's beautiful. and expensive.
14. To go to the Biggest Loser Resort. I've been watching the show with my friend Suzy and I think it would blow my mind. in a good way.
15. A bound cookbook with my mom's recipes- complete ones, not the drafts.
16. A white tub instead of the yellow one.
17. A stereo for the basement.
18. A new computer- with CS5 from photoshop- or lightroom.
19. A clean house that someone else cleaned.
20. Board Games. I love them SO MUCH.

End Positive Post #20


Positive Post #19 of 31

I think that asking if Christmas is coming soon is very positive. For example each day Danielle asks me if it is Christmas yet several times a day. I've decided to never shop in advance ever again. She really wants to open all her presents.

But you know what I really think all day long? I'll sum it up in three words:







and that's why Danielle and I get along so well.

End Positive Post 19 of 31


Positive Post #18

I was wondering...

End positive Post #18


Positive Post #17 Mom Style

First off I have to say that Halloween? The.Best.Ever.

If you want to get a piece of my "always in lounge clothes but never jeans" look, here's a little tutorial.


Step One: Go To JJill. Or all I have to say it- their sizing is pretty forgiving so be prepared to feel skinny. Even though really you are the same size. Anyway I like the wearever collection and I get black EVERYTHING. If you want to branch out- get gray.
This is really the key to my wardrobe- I have a lot of these pants but I like the flared leg and I am not super tall so I have to watch out for the fraying at the heel.

Step Two: Wear your pants everywhere. Let's say you want to grout the bathroom for example- just wear your black pants. Cleaning the kitchen floor with bleach cleaner? Leave those suckers on. Yard Work feels good in black pants, as does sleeping. Did I mention you can leave them on all day? But that would be gross, change into your other identical pair.

Step Three: Continue to use the pants when you get pink streaks from a bleach cleaner covered counter top. Act as though it is totally normal to have smears of white grout on your calf.

Step Four: Buy more pants, but don't get rid of your old trashed ones. That would ruin your mom style.

End Positive Post #17. I was going to post pictures but I decided not to so they can be a separate post tomorrow. When I find my camera and phone with pictures on it.