Sunday, April 30, 2006

Back to normal

Tomorrow it is back to normal for me. No more staying up late, watching bad daytime TV while the kids are napping, and seeing my beautiful girls every single day when they wake up. After a wonderful week off from work I go back to work tomorrow. So back to my schedule of out the door by 5:15, yes that is 5:15am, and back home by 6:00pm. The girls are in bed by 8:00 at the latest. During the week I only see them about 2 hours a night.

What is wrong with me? Why am I doing this? Well right now it is what is paying the bills. I am thankful that I am able to work and that my husband can stay at home during the day to watch the girls but it breaks my heart on a daily basis. Cat will ask me almost every night if I need to go to work in the morning and why can't Daddy go to work and I stay home. The girls love their Dad, he takes them to fun places but I am the cuddler, the crafter, and the gardener parent. These happen to be big on my kids list especially the cuddling part. So for now I try to make the most of the time we do have which is what this last week was all about. We went to the zoo, met some dinosaurs in Berkeley (not the professors), did some delightful fingerpainting, planted some new flowers and did lots and lots of cuddling. I took a nap with Cat everyday while we were on vacation. When she would wake up we would read stories and have a little 1:1 time playing outside.

So tomorrow it is back to normal, back to my buddies on the bus and train, back to my co-workers (who are just a little on the needy side), and back to my nights with the kids. But for this last afternoon I am still a stay at home mama and they are waking up from their nap. I think a walk before dinner is in order.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

It's Me


Since I hadn't posted any pics of myself yet I figured I would grace my site with a youthful me. I was happy driving along in my ladybug mobile.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Chocolate now please

Do you ever have those nights where you have the sudden urge for chocolate. I am not picky, right now any chocolate will do. But the kids are in bed and hubby is at a gig and as far as I know there are no chocolate delivery services in Portland. So instead I am trying to convince myself that graham crackers will satisfy my sweet tooth. No deal.

Update 4/29/06: I thought ahead and purchased chocolate today. Once the kids were in bed I settled on the couch with a delicious Toffee Crisp.

Some fairytale

Tonight was movie night in our household for myself and Cat. Most Fridays you can find the two of us watching a movie in the family room. We usually let Cat choose something at the video store and since she has been loving all things "fairytale" lately this week she chose "Beauty and the Beast." As I was sitting there with her watching the movie it really started to bother me that Belle had no mother. Not just that she had no mother but that there was no mention of her mother, at all. What happened to her?

I know that Disney gets a lot of crap for killing off moms in many of their movies (Bambi and Nemo) but are they to blame? To be fair they killed of Simba's father, equal time for the sexes I guess. Fairytales have been spreading the dead mom stories for a long time. Usually the mother dies and the father feels guilty for not having a mother for his children so he ends up remarrying and she ends up being the queen of all bitches, i.e. Hansel and Gretel or Cinderella.

I think what makes me so sad about all of these fairytales is that the princesses (because according to Cat they are all princesses) all seemto carry on without a mother or with, even worse, the evil stepmother. All they need is their prince to make their dreams come true. Am I over reacting to this? I think it just bothers me because I am a mother, and I want to make a difference in my daughters' lives. I want positive mother fairytales for my girls, and not just a fairy godmother. Hmmmm, maybe the fairy godmother actually represents the ghost of the dead mother. Okay, that is just way more than I wanted to get into with this post.

So to sum it up, no more dead mom's in my kids' stories, they have had their share and now lets move on to happy families.

Fabric Friday




I have come across this fabulous website, Kitty Craft. They have some of the coolest fabrics, especially kids fabrics. These two are a couple of my favorites. It was hard to choose one fabric this week.

I have also been into Japanese craft sites lately, which is where I stumbled across Kitty Craft. There are some amazing craft ideas coming from Japan, just check out the books that they offer. I can picture some great quilts coming from these fabrics.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Traveling, maybe it is not so crappy

Well the second part of our journey to Cali was great. The girls were great, we made great time, and the weather was great. All in all it was great, great, great. A much welcomed change to the first leg of our trip.

What did we learn? Kids are much happier if they are fed and not tired. I know it is easier said than done. But as a parent I often find myself willing my kids to "just deal". Wanting them to just be happy even when I know they won't be. I end up making myself incredibly frustrated even though I know what to expect with them. It is a viscious cycle.

The kids are great and I want them to act like little kids even if it does get me frustrated. "Do you need to poke your little sister in the forehead when she is trying to fall asleep?" I know that sooner rather than later there will be much bigger issues to be frustrated about.

Back to our travels. We are having a great time down in the East Bay. My husband grew up here and even though he loves Portland he still misses this part of the country. If you have not been down here before, I highly recommend a vacation. At least for me, I enjoy visiting more than living here. Might be the whole cost of living thing that gets to me.

We met up yesterday with my dearest friend and her family at the Oakland Zoo. We were roommates in college and have kept in touch ever since. I was there when her son was born and we are really trying to keep our kids close. I think we are succeeding:


The Oakland Zoo was great, the kiddie rides, the train, and the kids zoo. Fun was had by all and we will probably make it a regular trip on our visits.

Having a great time on vacation (staying up late, grandparents watching the kids, not waking up at 4:30am) but also anxious to be home again. Tomorrow we are off to meet some Berkeley dinos at the Lawrence Hall of Science, the kids don't know yet so it will be a fun surprise.


Friday, April 21, 2006

Fabric Friday



I couldn't decide on just one so I thought I would show the whole selection of new Amy Butler fabrics that are coming out very soon (mid-May is what I heard). All the patterns come in other color schemes but I happen to be liking these two very much. The one on the left is from the "Forest" collection and the one on the right is the "Belle" collection. I have been an Amy Butler fan for a while so I am just loving these new designs.

Traveling with kids = Sucky suck suck

Every time we are about to embark on a trip with our kids I have to get myself pumped up for it. I am my own personal coach telling myself things like "it won't be as bad as last time" or "Aly is a much better traveler now, I am sure she will fall asleep in her car seat when she gets tired" or, my favorite, "I know that Cat will just leave Aly alone if she starts to fall asleep." So was it better this trip than trips in the past? Well the weather was nicer than our last trip to California during Christmas, but the kids were awful. Aly whined almost the whole way, she refused to go to sleep in her carseat, and Cat poked and pinched her way into a new seat on the second half of our road trip tomorrow. We warned over and over again and yet that little 3 1/2 year old of ours could not keep her hands off of Aly, I know she is adorable but still give the child a break.

New plan for tomorrow on "Road Trip: Part Two", Cat goes in the back seat, Aly in the middle seat and me playing referee somewhere in between. I will be dishing the snacks, handing out the Groovy Girls (Cat and Aly both LOVE them) and reading the stories so that they are entertained all the way to Grandma and Granddad's house.

Anyone have any great ideas for traveling with two kids at this age 3 1/2 & 1 1/2? I think it is just going to suck for a while no matter what we do, but maybe there are some fabulous suggestions out there.

When we finally got to the hotel tonight, we got the kids in bed as quickly as possible, cracked open a beer and toasted to part one of our road trip. We managed to remain civil to each other, we got here without harming anyone, and now we can sleep.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Suri with the fringe on top

Supposedly the fringe is beautiful dark brown.

I am sure you have all heard about Suri Holmes Cruise by now, but did you know she has beautiful dark brown hair and big blue eyes? Well supposedly she does. And did you know that Suri means pickpocket in Japanese? (Note to Tom and Katie - might want to check out more than one baby name book next time.) Plus, the biggest kick in the pants of all time, that Brooke Shields gave birth to her daughter right down the hall at the same hospital on the same day. Coincidence? I think not.

But there is one thing that I am still trying to understand about this whole thing. Why is it not okay for Brooke Shields to take anti-depressants to deal with her post-partum depression? And why is it not okay for Mama Katie to speak to her new baby? But it is okay for her to have an epidural? I have nothing against epidurals and fully endorse the use of anti-depressants if you need them (I need them-inside info there) and talking to your newborn child. After all the crap he raised over controlling your depression with anti-depressants and that Scientologists don't use things to control pain, he is now okay with an epidural?

Whatever Mr. Cruise, I am sure you love your fiance and your new baby girl. I will not judge you anymore, just a little confused by your behavior. If anything I am happy to see that you put Mama Katie's wellbeing in front of your own Scientologist beliefs and let her make the decision instead of you making it for her.

A meme, a nose picker, traveling, and apologies

This is one of those multi issue posts. I feel the need to send out my apologies to all of my intrawebs for not staying up to date on all of your blogs. With this new work schedule I have not quite figured out where the blog fits in. As you may recall I had this whole plan on how I was going to post and read my favorites on a regular basis, but this past week it has not happened. I leave the house at 5:15am and get home at 6:00. By the time the kids are in bed and I have done a few things it is time for bed. I am going to try to set up the time at work again to do this. I feel so frustrated when I do not get a chance to post on a regular basis.

So on with the fun.

First a fun little meme. I will not tag anyone it is just something I found via six and a half stitches site. Write a pangram, sign your first name or blog tag, take a picture and post it on your web. It always gives a little insight in seeing someone's handwriting. I dislike my own handwriting. I feel it is messy and a little disorganized, a weird mix of cursive and printing. There is also a flickr group you can load to for this. Kind of a fun little thing to do on a Thursday morning. So here is mine:



I am about to fill you all in on a little secret. My daughter Cat is a nosepicker. A drilling for oil nosepicker. She draws blood when she picks her nose. We have no idea how to stop it. It is something she does when she is sleepy and often does in when she is falling asleep at night. She sucks her thumb (an issue on its own) and then just starts picking away. Any suggestions? I thought about telling her that the more she picks her nose the bigger her nostrils will get. But that would just be mean. She might start dreaming about having gigantic nostrils and then just freak out in the middle of the night. Since she does this unconsciously I am just not sure how to deal with it. When we catch her doing it we just say "nose" and she stops. So now the world knows and she will probably hate me for writing this but she is still young and doesn't know any better.

We are off on a world-wind trip to Cali. "I'm going back to Cali, Cali, Cali, I'm going back to Cali, naw I don't think so". I remember singing that on my first trip to California when I was a freshman in highschool. I think I still have a crush on LL. Anyway, we are off to visit the in laws in the Bay Area. S grew up there and we met there and up until last year we had lived there. I moved down in 1998 from Washington. I miss our friends and some of the places we used to visit, Tahoe, Monterey, SF, Napa, Bodega Bay, but I love Portland so much. I really can not picture ever moving back there, but you never know. Never say never because when you do you will almost always end up eating your words. So we will be down there for a few days. My in laws have DSL so I will be able to post a few times, hey I will actually have some time off to be a blogger! Woohoo!

So my entry back into blogging has begun after a short little hiatus. Also check out Zee's Clippings. She is my new intraweb friend living in AZ originally from Rio de Janeiro and will hopefully blognap "life in mamaland" and make it all beautiful for me!

Monday, April 17, 2006

New Look - Still Under Construction

I am working on a new design. I have some other things to add so right now this is a work in progress. I will get my links back up and add some other graphic elements.

Let me know if you have any issues opening up the page or if things look strange in your browser. I will have a grand opening once I make all of the changes, but for now just be prepared for my site to look a wee bit different.

Muddy

I am having a very muddy day today. You know those days where you have all of the ideas floating around in your head but when you sit down to write about them they just seem to disappear? Do you know what I am talking about?

I believe this muddy syndrome stems off of our exciting Easter yesterday. Well it wasn't that exciting, it was just tiring. S was out of town at the coast for a gig and he didn't get home until yesterday afternoon. My parents were in town visiting and getting the kids completely hyped up. My parents have that way about them. They love playing with the kids but the kids get so overly excited that they tend to hit melt down about 30 minutes after waking. Too many things to do, look at, or talk about not to mention the choices of activities presented to them. So you top that off with a nice helping of chocolate marshmallow rabbit first thing in the morning and it makes for a long day.

We are not a religious family, but I like to think of myself as being spiritual. For me Easter has always represented a day of peace. Relaxing and being with your family. That is not the case when you have two kids under 4 years old that do not have candy on a regular basis. They become whining and clings and on a hunt for more and more candy. So I am seriously starting to rethink the whole Easter basket thing. At least for a few years. There is no reason why my 1 1/2 year old needs a chocolate bunny. It just makes her into a spaced out kid within an hour. I decided that next year the Easter Bunny will deliver fresh produce with the eggs. Wouldn't that be nice?

"Here Cat come eat your fresh bunch of carrots, the EB picked them from his garden just for you."

"Here Aly come have some yummy radishes, they are just as red as those jelly beans but they are much better for dipping in your ranch dressing."

Maybe I can do that now before my children catch on to the crap I am dishing them.

Now that I rethink this, I wonder if the real reason I feel muddy is because I ate too much candy myself. Now I am cranky and sleepy and can't think. Maybe I need those carrots and radishes to make me feel a little more normal? Or maybe I could just stop by the store on the way home for all of the 50% off left over candy they have. If I do you will be seeing another muddy response tomorrow.

Did I say I can't think today? Mmmm this chocolate bunny sure is good!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Fabric Friday


Paris Ville is such a cute fabric, I just love it so much. I am picturing a little tote for taking to the farmer's market, a cute patch for a quilt, or if done right a super cute sun hat for the girls. Oh, how I love to dream of what I could do with all this cute fabric.

I just noticed that I managed to say "cute" four times in this post, oh, make it five.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Things I Love Thursday

6 things about me, whether you want to know or not

Sunshine Scribe tagged me and since it is the first time being tagged since starting my blog I figured I would oblige. So here are six things about me:

One - When I was a kid I was positive that Darth Vader lived under my parent's bed. I would walk past their bedroom with my left eye closed just in case I saw him crawling out from under the bed to get me. Don't ask me why I thought by closing my eye it would stop him from getting me but it helped to calm my fear.

Two - The song that gets stuck in my head more than any other is the theme to "Sanford and Son," do you need me to hum you a few bars?

Three - I love Spaghettios, the plain kind. I don't have them that often and my husband refuses to buy them for me, but when I have a craving I can just bring my kids with me to the store and the clerk assumes I am buying the Spaghettios for them.

Four - The very first concert I ever went to was when I was in 13. My friend and I went to see the Beastie Boys. This was in their "Fight for Your Right to Party" days. I wore my best jean miniskirt and Generra sweatshirt (do you remember the kind with the people lined up across the front?). They had girls in Go-Go cages and were spitting beer all over the audience. I thought it was great. Our parents even let us go by ourselves. I don't think they realized the crowd that was going to be there.

Five - When my best friend and I were in the 4th grade we skipped school one day so that I could teach her to ride a bike. We spent our lunch money on candy and when we got back to my house no one was home. However our plan was foiled, like all good 4th grade plans are eventually, when her dad came home for an early lunch and he drove past her as she was riding my bike down the hill. We were so happy that she had learned to ride a bike, but not too happy about her Dad catching us. She was grounded for a month, but I told my parents that I tried to get a hold of them to let them know we missed our bus but that no one was answering the phone (what a liar I was). My parents believed me but her's did not believe her, mainly because her mom was home the whole time we were at my house. The whole incident freaked us out so much we never skipped school again. Okay, maybe one or two more times, but I called those "sick days" in high school.

Six (finally) - I have always had a mad crush on Steve Martin. I think it is the white hair, or maybe the banjo playing, or the fact that he is an amazing novelist and playwright. I just love him.

Now here is the fun part, I am supposed to tag 6 people (who haven't been tagged yet), and leave them a comment that I have tagged them. Then they need to leave a comment after they have finished. Remember if we do not band together on this the blogs as we know them will all come crashing down around us. So we really must all do our part.

So I am tagging:
City Slicker Mom
Sofrito Gringo
Chichimama
Nonlinear Girl
Mommy on the Verge
Super Mom 04

They may have already been tagged as I was writing this, but hopefully I am the first to nab them.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Mama Land - the beginning

I have been reading a few posts lately about why we choose the names we do for our blogs, both Sunshine Scribe and Stephanie posted today on this very subject. So why did I choose Life in Mama Land? Well originally I was going to call the site Cat and Aly after my kids and because it reminded me of that 80s show "Kate and Allie". But then I realized that really I wanted to have this blog to talk about the things I deal with as a mama and not just my kids, no matter how wonderful and beautiful the two of them are, and believe me they are the cutest things ever.

I picked Life in Mama Land because when I was just trying to become pregnant for the first time I found this group of wonderful women who opened up this new world to me. The first group that I was involved in was called "Hip Mamas to Be", we met on Babycenter when we were all trying to conceive. We were from all over the country and one of us was even living in South America at the time. We had all different religious, political and cultural beliefs yet what tied us all together was this want to be mothers and to be the best mothers we could be.

So we are all living in Mama Land, it binds us all together. Once you decide you want to be a mother whether trying to get pregnant or adopting you are making a conscious decision to put someone else's well being above your own. When it finally happens and your baby is put into your arms you begin this emotional struggle on how you can take this precious child, take care of them as best you can and yet not lose yourself. It often feels like a limbo land, not sure what to do all the time but just going with your gut, trusting your feelings and trusting your child, that is when you are in Mama Land.

When I had my second child Aly, who is now almost 20 months old, I began to search out another group of women who had two children and in my case two girls. I stumbled upon City Mama and I loved the honesty that she portrayed on her own blog. Our girls are pretty much the same age and when I was researching moving to Portland she offered up so much information about the city and all the great things there are for kids. She is celebrating her second blogiversary (is that a word) and she continues to be a blogging inspiration.

As I was thinking about this topic today I was looking over all of the blogs I have on my blogroll and there are so many different moms out there. I have Republicans and Democrats, Pro-choice and Pro-life, Christians and atheists. I think that is the coolest thing ever. I don't judge people if their beliefs differ from mine, because it doesn't really change the fact of whether they are great mothers or not, all that matters is that they love their kids.

So with that out of the way I figured I would introduce myself a little better. My name is Heather, I grew up in Seattle, moved to the Bay Area in 1998 where I started dating my soon to be husband. We married in 2000 and moved that same year to Sacramento where we lived until last summer when we moved here. While living in Sacramento I worked for 4 years on a contract with the State of California working on policy and communication issues for a water quality agency. We had our first daughter Cat in 2002 and our second daughter Aly in 2004. We are currently living in Portland and plan on staying here the rest of our lives. I have a BA from Evergreen State College in Natural Resource Policy but am currently working as a project coordinator with an engineering company. We will not be having any more kids and are happy with two girls. My parents have been married almost 36 years and remain an inspiration, they are still in love and are the best grandparents. I have one younger brother who is very different from me, but I love him with all my heart. My husband is a working musician, he plays the saxophone, and is a SAHD, he has more patience then he gives himself credit for being home with the kids all day. He was an elementary school band teacher before we moved here and hopes to go back to teaching once the kids are in school full time. We have a black lab named Mojo, who we adopted back in 2001 and was our practice kid. He is so great with the kids and lets them climb all over him. I am a Democrat (most of the time), pro-choice, and do not attend church but I do study religions of the world and if I were to pick one it would most likely be Buddhism. I love to knit, sew and garden when I am not hanging out with my kids. My husband and I also used to kayak a lot before the kids came along and as they get older we plan on getting back into it again, we have even considered getting a canoe to use as a family.

Anything else you guys want to know about me? Just ask, I would be more than happy to answer.

Sicky sick sick

I am sick and unable to perform my normal motherly duties of cuddling with the kiddos, because if I do, and believe me they want me too, I am afraid they will get what I have. Let me use a few key words here: Vomit, bathroom, fever, chills, tired, cranky. If my kids get this I will be even more cranky than I am right now. And I am very cranky right now.

So back to bed for me. I was up early checking my work email making sure they are surviving without me. They are, but barely.

I also want to point out that this gets added to the pro for working instead of being home with my kids. I can actually have a sick day. When I was home and I got sick it was a whole lot of PBS kids on the TV and me laying on the couch trying to convince my kids that Mama felt fine, just a little tired. Our kids do not watch that much tv and so if I put them in front of the tube they knew something was up. I love that my husband is here to take care of me and the kids. He is so great, plus me being sick disrupts his plans as well, so I especially love him for being so compassionate.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Does my butt look big in this blog?

Seriously, does my blog look weird today? If I check it on Firefox it looks fine but that is on the 19 inch monitor. If I look at it on my laptop on Internet Explorer it looks weird. The posts look fine, it is my links over on the right hand side that are a little kadiwompus (how do you spell that?). They don't show up unless you scroll all the way down to the very bottom of the posts. So does it look okay on your computers? If not then I am going to do some editing to figure it out.

Also since I am fairly new to website design are there any great books out there that could help me teach myself? Please delurk ok, help a fellow blogger out.

Update:Okay, I can't figure out how to make it look normal on Internet Explorer. I will have to check out some of those books you guys suggested. Thank you for your suggestions, as a relative newbie to this whole blogging world I appreciate all your help. Which brings me to another issue: Blogger vs. Typepad(or other blogging site)? I know many people who hate blogger but love typepad, what do you think?

Friday, April 07, 2006

Working Mama - Pros and Cons

Cons:
Don't see the girls or S as much as I would like.
CommuteVery male dominated work force, not many other women to talk to.
Miss being home.
Not doing what I really want to do.
No time to start my own business.

Pros:
Money
Time to myself to think.
My co-workers are very nice.
Did I say money?

I was thinking about my job today and what I liked and didn't like. My pros and cons are so boring, mainly because my job doesn't bother me. What bothers me is what I am doing. I want to be doing something that I love. Something that makes me think, where I have the flexibility to create my own schedule. I often do overtime in the evenings after the kids are asleep. I would love to find something where I could use that time as regular working hours. Right now my job just pays the bills and makes the time pass. It doesn't challenge me and it doesn't allow for any creativity. It is just a B-O-R-I-N-G job, but at least I am working with some great people.
  • What do you like about being either a working mom or a SAHM? If you could be doing anything what would it be?

I did propose a new work schedule to my manager today and he said I could start next week. So on Monday, I will start going in an hour earlier and that will give me every other Friday off, as long as I agree to be on call for questions. I don't have a problem with that because any extra work I end up doing that day will be charged as overtime. I am looking forward to hanging out with the kids and it looks like I will be setting up a regular Friday afternoon playdate with a couple other mamas from our preschool. I am hoping this gives me a little extra family time that I need.

Fabric Friday



I almost forgot to do my fabric selection for "Fabric Friday". Don't forget the 40% sale at Fabric Depot is today and tomorrow (even on their website) so check it out.

This fabric is called "natural tree rings" and I love the little flowers, acorns, and twigs that are interspersed throughout the fabric. It comes from Martha Negley Design, her other fabrics are beautiful as well. I like the combination of modern and country in this print.

The S Word - or what I learned from my brother

The other day my daughter Cat uttered the S-word for the first time. Now this is not the S word many of you are thinking of, but for me, at least, this one carries much more weight behind it. Cat called her sister Aly... you're waiting for it aren't you...stupid. Granted she does not know what this word means, and neither does her 19 month old sister. But the fact that she said to her sister "stupid Aly" when she was doing something she didn't like leads me to believe she knows it is not a nice word. We had a talk with her and explained what the word meant and she was really sad. She went over to Aly, gave her a big hug and said "I love you so much". Now I like that phrase much more.

I think the reason why this bothers me so much is that if someone is called stupid, or treated like they are stupid, after awhile they start to believe it. This happened to my brother. I really believed my brother was stupid, but not that he was stupid intellectually but just stupid in the way he acted like a typical annoying little brother. In this day and age he probably would have been diagnosed with ADHD, but that was not the case back in the early 80s when he was starting school. He had a really rough time and instead of trying to figure out what the true cause of his problems were his teachers told my parents things like "he just doesn't seem interested" or "he doesn't pay attention" or "he is just a distraction from class for the other students". Inside he felt like something was really wrong with him but on the outside he never talked about it. He stopped going to school when he was a junior in high school and self medicated himself with alcohol and drugs. Over the years my parents tried everything to get him to talk, to help him, to get him in counseling, anything they could do. It was so heartbreaking to see the kid grow up to be a man that just didn't seem to care.

Things are good now and we have learned a lot from his experience. I know signs to look for in my own kids and their Uncle J will be there to give some first hand accounts of what can happen if you start believing what others say about you and stop believing in yourself. I was the complete opposite of my brother, I always had a job, did well in school, didn't party all that much. In my mind I just figured my brother was going through a phase and that he would grow out of it, well that isn't always the case. I love my brother, he is incredibly smart, he now loves to write and reads all the time, and he loves my kids. He spoils them rotten at Christmas and birthdays (but J please no more Pony spa islands) and always wants to talk to them on the phone. He is amazed by how much they grow, and I think he is also amazed that they love him so much.

So what finally turned my brother around? I don't know if it is coincidence but it occurred around the first time he saw Cat as a baby back in 2002. At that point she was a very high needs baby, had to be attached to me at all times. But he wanted to hold her even if she cried. Well, he did and she didn't cry, she just stared at him as if she was trying to memorize his face. Everyone else, even my mom, couldn't get her to settle down, but my brother had the magic touch and ever since then Cat and Aly have both loved their Uncle J, and Uncle J has loved them.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Waterbridge


Have you seen this? As one guy at work said "it is geeky engineering cool".

Blogging Resolution

I have a new blogging resolution starting today. I will use my morning commute to compose my posts, then when I get into work I will paste them into http://www.blogger.com/ . I can check up on other sites during lunch, make comments during my afternoon break and then think about ideas on my commute home from work (I have over an hour commute each way, so believe me I have some time to think.)

Why this new resolution? Well, I have begun to stay up much later than I should to make sure that I post. In return I can barely drag myself out of bed in the morning to go to work, let alone stay focused throughout the whole day. I have become addicted to this blog. I used to write in journals all the time during college, when I was dealing with stress, it was a natural way to get out all my feelings and work through any issues. I have found that after starting this blog I have not felt as stressed about life, work and the kids. I think that is why there are so many mommy blogs out there, we mamas are able to find our voice again. I am so happy to have found this community, not just of mom blogger but of all bloggers in general. Everybody sing … "God Bless the Blogging World, Sites that I Love". Okay back to my point, I find that I have become a blogging advocate with my friends. So far I have not converted anyone, but my husband has started a site on http://www.myspace.com/ for his music since the many bands he is involved in all have myspace sites that he can link up to.

So how do you fit in blogging with life? Do you find yourself wanting to check on other blogs throughout the day? Do you write when the kids are around? Or do you wait for a quiet moment to yourself. What is your blogging style and how has it changed your outlook on life?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Random thoughts - birthing babies, great idea and self portrait

This whole thing about Scientologist mamas birthing babies silently is just freaking me out. Sure maybe it works for some women but if anyone told me during labor that I had to be silent, well I would have slapped them, and I am not a violent person.

I was not a screamer during child birth, but I definitely did quite a bit of moaning and grunting. Labor should be about listening to your body, doing what you need to do to get that baby out of you and if that involves talking than just do it. It is an amazing experience and somehow by making the whole thing silent is just really freaky to me. It seems so cultish, think Rosemary's Baby. If you are currently pregnant do not watch this movie, I made that mistake at 7 months with our first daughter. Anyway, for some reason I picture Tom Cruise as the appointed Prince of Scientology sent out among us mortals to find a woman suitable to be the mother of his offspring (meaning she must be taller than him). She is impregnated with the hopes that her child will become the next L. Ron Hubbard. Anyone else feel that way?

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As I was riding from my home in the eastside over to where I work on the westside I began to think of a "job co-op". I like my job, my co-workers are great and I have no complaints, well maybe one little one, the commute takes too long. So as I sit on the MAX train and watch all the people waiting for their trains headed in the opposite direction I stumbled upon the idea of creating a co-op where people who live on one side of the Portland Metropolitan area but work on the other side could log onto a website to look for a similar job in the area of town where they live. This opportunity would be posted by the person that currently has that job but who liveson the other side of town from where he/she's job is. Does this make sense yet? I figured that I can't be the only one who likes my job, but hates the commute. There must be other people who live over on the westside and commute to the eastside, who love their jobs but just hate the commute, with the acceptance of their company we could provide a work exchange where we switch positions and stay in touch for the first few weeks to ease the transition. This would be a win-win situation. The company wins because it doesn't have to be left frantically trying to fill a spot for a position that they would otherwise have open if someone just up and left. Second, the company gains a fabulous employee who is much happier because they were able to reduce their commute time and spend more time dedicated to their jo B. Has anyone thought of this before? If not do you think it is a possibility?

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Self Portrait on MAX train 3/30

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

What's the deal with blog rolls?

City Slicker Mom brought up a very interesting issue in her post today. What is proper blog roll etiquette? You know the list of blogs you have on your side bar. Do you link to the ones you really like? Do you link to anyone that links to you? Do you keep someone on if all of a sudden you realize that their beliefs are not necessarily in line with your own beliefs? What if you delete someone from your list, are their feelings hurt? What if they are boring?

I am pretty picky about who I list, most of them are all daily reads for me. My new problem is that I am finding more and more blogs that I enjoy and I haven't been great about linking to them. The longer my list gets the less I will read on a regular basis. I have seen on some sites where people will set up their blog roll to be ever changing. This might be the way to go, but there is something to be said about having a super long list of blogs and supporting the blogging community?

I really need to set up my blogroll so that it isn't just a list of links, how long does this take to do? I would love to know when blogs have new posts on them instead of checking blogs over and over again.

What do others think about this issue?

UPDATE: I did it. I signed up with Blogrolling so we shall see how well this works. Stefanie says it is the greatest, so I am trusting her good blogging judgement.

Toddlers

Toddlers are great. I might take some flak for this, but I am not a baby person. I loved my kids when they were babies, cuddling, nursing, the cute baby noises, but I just love the toddler age so much more. Some people are great baby people and absolutely love the newborn age, maybe it was how my kids were as newborns, but I am just not one of those people.

Aly my 19 month old is changing everyday, all of a sudden every time she wants something she says "Please" and when you give her something that she is really excited about , in her case applesauce, she says "tank you, tank you, tank you, tank you". I just melt when she does this, it is the cutest thing in the world. I absolutely love the stage she is in right now. We went on a walk after dinner tonight and she loves picking flowers, chasing after her sister, waving to the doggies she sees, and running up to me to give me kisses. Her vocabulary has improved so much recently. I can ask her if she wants things and she will tell me yes or no. She sings songs all the time, our favorite one to sing right now is "Inch Worm".

But Aly is also a little strange. She has odd sleeping habits. She will not sleep with a pillow or any stuffed animals but she needs to sleep with a book (tonight it is "Grow Up"), one of her rubber ducks, her hair brush, and a plastic pony. If she does not have these items all lined up in a row in her crib she will pitch a fit. I try to give her something to cuddle with and she doesn't want to have anything to do with it, she will snuggle up with her baby hairbrush instead. She gives all these items kisses and then says goodnight to me as I leave the room. I usually hear her pushing these items out of her crib about 20 minutes later. So funny.

She is also entering into a little jealous phase. If she sees Cat giving me hugs she will rush over and try to put herself in between the two of us so that she can get some loving too. If I am playing with Mojo, the dog, she will come up and say "No Mojo" and push him out of the way. Mojo just grumbles and moves out of her way.

I love Aly, she is becoming her own little person and everyday brings us new adventures in Mama Land.