Friday, 29 February 2008

When Emus Attack

Have you ever googled when emus attack? No? What, you may ask, would prompt such a search?

Welcome to my day.

We were not, per se, attacked by an emu, but rather challenged by one in a really scary way. Yes, we were at the zoo, although it would be perfectly acceptable narrative to have this happen to me somewhere else (at least in the scope of events in my life, since really strange things tend to happen to me). BUT, at the zoo, it happened. Emus are huge birds with really big sharp beaks. The enclosures at our zoo are not enclosed, but rather habitats that you walk through on paths with no fences. The animals are usually indifferent and off the path, but not today. Today, the emu would not let us pass and was charging us. Quick thinking on our part, allowed us to get out BUT STILL......zoo staff snickered and mocked me a little. They said it must be mating season but I looked it up and that doesn't start until April. Hmph.

Then dearest husband mocked me A LOT. Not funny. Ok, maybe a little funny NOW, but not at the time. And, dearest emu, I plan on tracking down an emu burger and gleefully eating it so ha ha.

Actually my day started out pretty good, bacon and eggs and a lovely breakfast. It was when we headed out that I slipped on the stairs and into an icy puddle (ow) and then underestimated the time it takes to drive to the mall with the carousel (which was beautiful, Lil'Bug rode a dragon, a gazelle like goat, and a horse). We arrived late, but enjoyed immensely the company and the playing. We lunched and had fun walking and then snacked on a pomegranate smoothie, yum. The Lil'Bug wanted to go to the zoo so we invited our friends along. 39 degrees outside, 2 feet of melting snow, and a sugared up tot? Yeah, let's all go to the zoo!

Emu "encounter" aside (need I say that Lil'Bug thought the whole thing was so very awesome and joyfully expounded on the experience from her point of view when Daddy got home from work?), she splashed in every ice slush puddle she could find until, "bugs are stinging my feet, help help!"

????? I removed her shoes, icy and wet. No bugs. No bug bites. She was just articulating the stinging cold of wet, slushy puddle feet. Yeah, kid frostbite starts as stinging. Duh. Oh, and I get the mom of the year award for letting my kid splash in ice slush puddles while shod in canvas sneakers. I know, brilliant.

So home we went. What a day. Despite all the zoo drama I had a wonderful time with Laura (LifeDreamed) and her K.- thank you lady! I wish I had brought my camera.

Negative Feelings

I have been harboring some negative thoughts and feelings and it's time to cut anchor.

Mostly, I have found myself judging and resentful toward people I know I admire, but have somehow let me down. Other moms, making their way in the world, just like me. Today, I found myself verbalizing some of these feelings to a friend (and spouse) and it was awful. It felt bad to me and the kind ears listening. I am so sorry.

Upon reflection, perhaps this is but a step in my journey. I realized quickly what these feelings were doing to me and once I was home and in the quiet, I understood them better. It is easier to feel put out and judgmental than to work at friendships with people who are living different lives than what we choose. It is not about homeschooling or not, believing or not, mindful about food or not- the root of it all is my creating walls to protect myself from the vunerability of friendship. In reality, I am still hurting.

So, while I am cutting anchor to the feelings and letting them go to sea, I am swimming back to shore to the picnic.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Baby Update- Bye Bye Belly Button

26 weeks and my belly button is getting tiny (that's what Lil'Bug says). I can't see it. I realized that all of the mirrors in our home show only chest and head. Ha. Anyway, it's gone! Whoo hoo a milestone!

Also, I am working hard at training for birth. Yoga, stretching, kegels, squatting. I only do about 20-60 minutes a day but boy am I sore. That means to me that I need the exercises.

This week I am craving Oreos. Yuck. I am not giving in. Ok, I did a little and had an Oreo ice cream sandwich and it made me feel really sick. What I learned from Lil'Bug's pregnancy was to figure out what about the food I was craving and find a healthier medium. So fried pies became egg rolls because I wanted the fried crispy part. What about Oreos can be translated into healthy? Yeah, beats me.

Tomorrow I am making egg rolls from the cabbage I grew last summer and froze. Yum. I'll post the recipe. I make them with ground pork and curry. Delicious. (But not Oreos......) I am thinking about adding spinach. Has anyone ever made eggrolls with the spinach AND cabbage?

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Dinner A La Complication

Things that went wrong today with getting dinner ready.......

Lil'Bug was upset that we ran out of yellow apples. She cried. What does that have to do with dinner? She left the fridge door open and I didn't notice for an hour or so. Dinner must be made with food that would otherwise spoil. Hmmmm.

Made Lazy French Bread from scratch. Simple enough recipe but......drumroll please.....after a perfect rise and punch down and rise I went to preheat the oven and it wouldn't. (sigh) Dearest walks in and tries to save the day. It took all three of us to figure it out and fix it. That was neat. Someone had knocked into the dial and a wire thing came unplugged. Plugged back in and everything is awesome. Except.....the bread is starting to fall? Yikes. Hopefully it will be ok.

Lil'Bug decided to mop the kitchen floor with dish soap. Super slippery. Good thing my balance is awesome with giant kitchen knife. No fatalities or injuries, but close. Too close. Sitting down now. There is still a wee bit of numbness in me limbs from the panic. (Say that like an Irish marm for the full affect....)

So recipe for tonight's soup?
Leftover ham roast boiled until it fell apart and made a good stock.
1 bag of frozen Italian Blend veggies
Leftover potatoes
1 cup of Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup of cream

Served with bread. Bread that was too dough-y and was missing something in the instructions, I think. Surely it can't be my mad kitchen skillz.

Disappointing Endings

This week I have read both Grimpow by Rafael Abalos and the Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards. Both well written, incredible novels.

Except for one minor problem.

The endings. The last chapters. In both of these books the last chapter felt forced, like a neat a tidy clean up of all loose ends. I hate that.

It has been a while since I've read anything but Juvenile fiction chapter books so to read through hundreds of pages of gripping well told storyline only to emerge from it disappointed was, well, disappointing.

Perhaps it is me. Has anyone else read these?

Monday, 25 February 2008

Finally, Yum

Finally we got these made.

CI's yellow cupcake, cream cheese frosting, filled with raspberry jam (our own!). Lil'Bug added the sprinkles.

Photo Challenge 8- Emergence


It's a vocabulary lesson and a photo challenge! :)

And we're back.....

I took a blogging break this weekend. I was tired, had a headache, and nothing to say that was nice. Yes, nothing.

It started with a playdate that took a sour turn on Friday (Lil'Bug has discovered the amazing hurtful power of name calling) and the weekend went into a downward spiral from there. I maintained my "gentle" well into Saturday but then I was too tired and started yelling and crying too.

Sunday morning my dearest let me sleep in and played with kid ALL morning. That was so awesome. We recovered nicely and this week has started out lovely. My sister surprised us with a lunch treat to a gaming place that is like Chuck E Cheeses without the scary animatronics. Lil'Bug is surprisingly accurate with the water sniper game. No, really. I mean, she's 3! As a young girl I had good target accuracy too, but not until at least 6 or 7.

So then we came home and dearest headed off to band practice. Lil'Bug and I watched a movie (The Last Mimsy), she took a bath, and after she helped me get a ham roast in the oven. Delightful.

She confided in me that she is really worried about being a big sister. She is worried that I won't come help with her nightmares anymore and that she'll have to give up her toys. I reassured her, I think.

Anyway, I'll post the photo challenge and some stuff in a bit.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Tagged by CenterDownHome

If I were ...

... an ice cream flavor, I'd be Apple Mint. I read about Apple Mint ice cream in Redwall. They make it with mint leaves and real apples and real cream. I would love to get the Kitchenaid ice cream bowl for my mixer and then try this out. It sounds creamy, fresh, and yummy. Most people would crinkle their noses at it for its weirdness. Yup, that's me.

... a fried food, I'd be a Natchitoches Meat Pie. Never heard of it? I hadn't either until our honeymoon in New Orleans. It's a pastry crust filled with spiced ground meat (pork and beef), red and green peppers, onions, and stuff- then deep fried. Cajun, filling, and suprisingly compact.

... an extreme sport I'd be a house painter on a three story Victorian house in tornado season in Iowa. Yup. Done that. Doubt it is a sport? Try it and then get back to me. In fact, the season's coming up and I have extra paint brushes....

... a retail store, I'd be an antique and oddities store. Does that count? I could spend hours wandering the isles of places like that.

... a vegetable I'd be a kohlrabi. These little veggies are hardy, will grow almost anywhere, and look like they are from Mars. Yup, that's me!

... a fruit, I'd be a raspberry, still warm from the sunshine and wet from the morning dew. Not over ripe, just a little tart, and full of seeds.

... a building, I'd be an old historic stone church with twisting spires and hidden alcoves. I'm still exploring all of my own mysteries, faith, and beauty.

... car, I'd be a 1971 VW Super Beetle. Parts of the axle duct taped, high maintenance, good gas mileage, and really fun to drive.

Not tagging anyone, but I'd love to know some of these things about all of you!

Wednesday, 20 February 2008


Today served as a reminder for me as to how far I've come.

10 years ago I thought breastfeeding a 1 year old+ was yucky, co-sleeping was dangerous, and the no vaccine crowd was a danger to our society. I was the one who made nasty comments in public about people who did these things.
10 years ago I preferred boxed food and felt a little sick even thinking about food from someone's garden let alone eating it.
10 years ago there was no way I was changing my name when I got married. Hyphenated maybe.
5 years ago I had a closet full of harsh cleaning chemicals that I used without gloves.
5 years ago I put down my pen and camera and pursued a career instead.
4 years ago I was still pretty sure that food labeled "organic" was a scam and it was the same food as the other but with a higher price.
4 years ago I was warned away from La Leche league when I probably could have used their support more than most.
4 years ago I trusted most advice anyone gave me.
4 years ago I didn't know how to change a diaper.
3 years ago I worked full time with a newborn baby in daycare 9 hours a day 5 days a week.
2 years ago I worked part time with an infant then toddler in daycare.
2 years ago I started to help in our garden and kitchen.

Now I prefer fresh food even over organic produce, even better picked right off the vine in my own back yard.
Now I understand what pesticides and hormones and preservatives in food did to my body.
Now I understand the importance of community and finding support for my choices.
Now I can change a diaper (though I have not in almost 2 years), kiss a boo boo, and change a load of laundry at the same time.
Now I work at home and not when I should be present for my family.
Now I question what we use as cleaning aids in our home and on our bodies. I am working to not have anything in our home that would kill us or our pets or our garden.
Now I seek out my own answers, co-sleep, breastfed a 2.75 year old who weaned herself, I vaccinate but question when it is necessary.
Now I homeschool.
Now I can cook to feed my family and understand the basics of kitchen chemistry and have only a 5% chance of starting a small kitchen fire.
Now I honor the commitment made to my husband and family by taking his name and making it my own.

It did not happen overnight. It did not happen upon the birth of my first daughter. It is still happening now. I am evolving into the mother and wife that I want to be and finding all the best parts of me once left abandoned. I am working towards gentleness for my family and myself.

Too Cool, Old School

Today is tax day for us, we gather up all of our many, documents and head off to an accountant. Life should be much simpler than it is, but alas. So, while celebrating the day we find out how much money we loaned to our government at a rate of 0% (ie, our refund), Lil'Bug asked us what taxes are.


I know what they are, but how do I explain to a three year old? So, my explanation was as follows: Mommy and Daddy give a lot of the money we work really hard for to some people. Those some people decide how best to use it; some of it builds roads, some pays for police and fireman, some helps pay for other kids to go to school, some helps "the sad babies"* get doctors and food, a lot pays for soldiers and wars, and a lot pays for the work that the some people do to decided all of these things. That's the sum of it.

* "the sad babies" are who we also donate clothes and toys and food to, she decided they must be really sad if their mommies and daddies can't get them clothes and food and toys.

She crinkled her nose at me. Thought about it for a bit and then responded, "I saw a fire once. We need firetrucks. I have too many toys anyway." Huh. Ok.

So since I was sharing our kitchen table wisdom, I thought I might also share our unexpected science lesson for the week:

"I want cheerios!" Lil'Bug can be a bit cranky, so imagine this as a grumbling demand and not a joyful shout.

"Ok, let me just get the milk," I said.

"No, I want cheerios with water."


"Yuck. No," said Daddy.

"Hmmm. Why not? Sure you can try it in a little cup," I pour a bit and put water on it.

Crunch. Pause.

"Mama, why is it yucky?"

"Milk is a colloidal suspension. Water is just a liquid. So, milk has all these tiny good things floating in it that make it harder for the milk to make the cheerios soggy but plain water doesn't. Make sense?"

She looked at me. She looked at the milk, "Cool. Old School." She opted for the bowl of cheerios with milk BUT only after she ate all of the contents of the small cup with cheerios and water.

Lessons learned- the science of liquid AND a lesson in parenting. What if I had just said, "No, yucky. Because we said so. Deal with it kid."? There was no harm in what she was asking to try. If she's asked to eat laundry soap, then I would have said no, but cheerios and water? Let her see for herself why we think it is yucky and explain to her a bit of science. No harm, LOTS of learning. As a bonus, her day was brightened up and she lost her case of the grumps. Discovery and joy can do that to a tot.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Technology Woes

It figures that when I finally make time to sit down and attend to my online classes, the college's network goes wonky and no one has access to anything. When will it be fixed? They don't even know what happened as of yet. I called about 5 minutes into the panic. The online classes AND campus email AND payroll are all gone according to the hyperventilating helpdesk guy. He's got it way worse than I do is my guess.

So what should I do with the time? It is not like it's a get out of jail free card since I will have to make time for the work later and that's a bugger. I am considering what I will have to do later and do it now so I can just switch the tasks and not get behind. Problem with that is I am all tuckered out and I use the sit down and grade as my physical down time. Argh.

Also, when will Blogger get the spell checker to work? EVER? They should just take the function down if it is never going to work again.


Last night was Bradley class. We did an encouragement exercise and went through the stages of labor. Lots of questions were asked by us and other students. What can go wrong, what steps lead up to interventions, etc.

After class, Dear Husband and I spent a little bit of time in the car driving to get Lil'Bug from Nana's house discussing things. He was concerned that I am over analyzing what went wrong with Lil'Bug's birth and blaming myself for things beyond my control. ???? So we talked. My memory is pretty fuzzy about that day's events, it was interesting to here it from his perspective. The summary of it was this: the fibroids did horrible things that made the chemicals and muscles in my body not able to function in accordance. Labor was impossible with no dilation and zero effacement and yet strong hyper contractions. Add IV chemicals to the mix and it became a dangerous situation. We made the right decision to C-Section to end up with us both healthy.

Does this mean that early on I could have done things differently to have a better outcome? Maybe. The fibroids were pretty established when I got pregnant. I ate well, but not as well as I now know I could have. I didn't exercise, I didn't inform myself of all the possibilities. I simply paid for things that I thought would safeguard us from intervention due to statistics. In reality, nothing could have. Perhaps if I had been informed better I would not have had such postpartum guilt. Perhaps.

Perhaps it is time to release those questions and move on.

The encouragement session was lovely. My husband is amazing and entertaining. When it was my turn to say nice things about him, it all came out wrong. So I will restate it here, for the record:
1) He's been wonderful about helping with meal planning and paying attention to the details. Variety and nutrition have been very important and having a second set of eyes on my weekly plan has really helped. As a bonus, he picks out the most awesome fruit and veggies and knows when they are ripe (I don't). Plus, he helps cook and doesn't complain when I try something new.
2) He is good about taking Lil'Bug out for Daddy/Daughter dates and giving me a chance to catch up at home or work or just rest. We have a tricky balance here of housework and my teaching online and Lil'Bug and Husband taking classes and playing in a band so our partnership is the key to what makes the balance work.
3) He reminds me to do my exercises and helps me to remember to take breaks. He's done his reading too. Every book I set next to the bed for him to read has been read. He's also been amazing when I get emotional and worried and freaked out.

I'm not including here the one thing I said he could do better. We all do that same thing at our house, and it was unfair for me to bring it up in class. I am sorry dear.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Photo Challenge 7- Local

What is your local view? What does local mean to you?

This one was inspired by our farm visit last week as I realized that even here in Iowa the view out the window changes every so many miles. We've also been talking about local food systems, wildlife, and businesses in our conversations online- the threads of discussion embedded the word in my mind for contemplation this week.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Farm Day

We visited a friend on her CSA farm yesterday. Wow. What a treat! Her daughter and Lil'Bug are pretty close to the same age and temperament. This meant that the first hour or so of them getting to know each other involved crying, throwing things, and more crying. Then they warmed up to each other and played pretty well.

I got to talk food, diapers, babies, houses, schoolishness, farming, etc. Good times that. Before we knew it, it was time to go. A very good day indeed.


Ok, so I've mentioned my aversion to telephones and now I should probably answer the question, eh?

When I was a kid my parents used to make me call to make doctor and dentist appointments, get information on classes (that I'd never get to take) etc. I was so terrified that I'd make myself a script to read and then notate and fill in the lines where the receiving person would respond. I'd do this with friends too as a teenagers, especially boys. The script helped, but to this day, I'd still rather not initiate phone calls.

As an adult, I worked at a call center for a bank's division of credit fielding angry calls from customers about their credit cards. Headphones that streamed calls in non-stop. If I turned it off for a moment, my time card was docked. There were ways around this, but really it was 200+ calls in 8 hours. Oh, with the mirror in 1/4 cubical so we could make sure we smiled while conversing with the "customer". I lasted about 4 months until another job offer came in. I can't believe I lasted that long, but the pay was ok and the benefits were good. Still, soured the whole phone thing for me even more.

Then we went wireless at home. Cell phones = dollars per minute. No problem, until my new job required a lot of phone based networking on my own time. For some reason I really enjoyed that. It was mostly talking old houses and preservation stuff, so I was in my groove when the calls came in. Generally, I did not make calls.

Suddenly, I was this mom who loved to talk on the phone. I mean I was really in love with it. I talked on the phone with friends multiple times a day despite the fact that I saw them a good portion of every day. I was on the phone with someone, work or not, almost 10 hours a day. Seriously. You know the moms who chat on their cell phones while pushing their kids on swings at the park? That was me. One day Lil'Bug, at 9 months old, started holding things up to her ear and babbling into the pretend phone and then turning away from me when I tried to play with her. Message received.

The thought of talking on the phone while trying to care for my family and home just took on a whole new feeling for me. I resigned from many things and scaled back a lot, almost to nothing.

So, the effects of this are pretty evident. I work and network mostly through email, but not everybody does or even checks email daily so sometimes I miss out. Some people get really offended when I email them back after they've left me a phone message. There is also a level of intimacy that people gain chatting on the phone, but for me I get distracted and feel like I'm not giving my all. So, I make due with the technology that suits me best when I have time to attend to it. I also blog so I don't end up repeating the same stories about our day to the many long distance relatives who do call. We all still get to be connected and they even have said they like the almost daily log with pictures better! :)

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Happy My Valentine

In a chat today with a friend who married her high school sweetheart too, we reflected on how lucky we all are 12 years later.

I dated losers and jerks until I met my husband at age 17. We were friends first. He was sweet and kind and opened doors for me. He read the same books I did and would talk to me about them. He bought me milkshakes to cheer me up. One night he picked me up from work in a blizzard and asked if I had even seen a certain painting. No? Want to? Off we drove at midnight, 4 hours in a blizzard to Kansas City. All this before our first kiss.

Once that happened we were inseparable. I can count the days we have been apart the last 12 years. He is a wonderful father and husband.

Before we were married he decided to do everything he could to get me through college, even if it didn't work out between us. None of our friends really understood that. He was devoted to my happiness and that was an amazing thing. Even now, he may make jokes about my massive student loan debt and itty bitty income, but never in a mean way.

That said, he's alway been by best friend. We've grown together, though we are different people than when we were at 19, we are still interesting to each other. That's pretty neat.

Happy my Valentine. I am so glad you are mine. :)

Thursdays Part 2

We missed library day. There was a setback with making lunch and it was ruined so I had to make something else and by that time, we missed the library thing. So of to swimming we went. It had been a while and I forgot what a joyful swimmer Lil'Bug is. She did her "dangerous" tricks and dove to the bottom of the pool and back. She practiced swimming to the side and back, about 12 feet. Laughing and singing the whole time. We pretty much had the pool to ourselves until 1:30 when a mass of homeschool families descended in, or rather the kids did since the moms were outside in the lobby watching through the glass wall.

After swimming and to allow time to dry off, we checked out the new kid gym. It has kid sized and safe workout equipment. Funny thing is, since I am only 4'10" (ish), regular equipment has always been a pain for me to use. This set was perfect. I showed Lil'Bug how to use each one and then we exercised together. Very cool.

She fell asleep on the way home but woke up soon after. All I wanted was a spinach salad but my spinach is missing. I know we bought some at the store last Saturday and I haven't used the new one yet, but I cannot find it anywhere. So I made my salad with Belgium Endive. It was a bit like iceberg in flavor, which to me is unappealing, but served up ok in this pinch. I used bacon, apples, Parmesan, and Caesar dressing. Pretty simple, but not as yummy as my spinach salad.


Today Lil'Bug got up way too early.

I had to drag myself out of bed and follow her downstairs to relieve daddy in time to get ready for work. I still feel run over. Lil'Bug is so full of energy it is spewing out of her ears.

And so the day started. I did the rounds, made the beds, unloaded the dishwasher, reloaded the dishwasher, and went to change loads of laundry only to find that overnight they had mildewed? Huh? I thought that only happened in the summer time! Gah. So now I am rewashing instead of folding and I feel totally off track.

I have papers to grade that will get done today. Today is IHE's new library day and we wouldn't go but for that I left my only pair of scissors at craft day and I NEED them back ASAP. I hate our downtown library and that's where it is at. It is also swim day. If we opted out of swim day we could go to game day. Why is Thursday so popular for group activities with homeschoolers? Swim day is what Lil'Bug has her heart set on so that is the direction we will head after library visit BUT it means we have to pack a lunch and find a place to eat it before swimming.

Bright side is that now, except for the two loads of laundry pending, the house is tidied up and dinner is a simple 20 minute deal. Tonight we shall make cards and I shall finish up the grading for the week. Sometimes busy days get more done in less time. Now, off to pack a lunch.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Yoga 60 and Menu

I did the whole entire yoga routine, all 60 minutes of it. There was only one pose I couldn't do because my crappy folding chair is the wrong height. Whew. I am zonked and a bit sore and a lot thirsty, but I feel warm and comfortable despite all of that. I also played different music and muted the DVD- the instructor on the program's voice annoys me and my thought was that if I eliminated that I might stick it out longer. Yup. I love the soundtrack to The Piano, by composer Michael Nyman. Lovely.

So the question came up again this week about how and what we eat around here, how we have time to make stuff from scratch, ect. So I thought I'd post our menu for this week:

Sunday: Turkey, mashed potatoes, peas
Monday: Class night, so we ate Planet Sub's food
Tuesday: Whole wheat penne pasta with sausage meatballs and shredded parme and garlic bread (supposed to be Green Bean Schezwan, but missing beans)
Wednesday: Turkey, broccoli (w/ butter, pepper, and lemon), yams (steamed)
Thursday: Steak, acorn squash, snow peas
Friday: Fish (Cod, baked) and crispy oven fries w/ Cajun seasoning
Saturday: Chili

Lunch (Dearest either takes leftovers from the night before or a sandwich fruit combo):
Sunday: Soup, spinach salad
Monday: Cheeseburgers and apples
Tuesday: Cheese Noodles (Parmesan Fettuccine w/extra Parmesan and peas), leftover Planet Sub, chicken nuggets
Wednesday: Leftover pasta and meatballs w/fruit and milk
Thursday: Spinach salad with dark meat turkey
Friday: Peanut butter sandwiches and yogurt (leftover yams)
Saturday: Chicken nuggets with leftover oven fries and

Breakfasts are rotating with one or more of these elements:
Oatmeal with added fruit like apples, raisins, dried cranberries, and/or bananas
Scrambled Eggs with bacon or sausage
Cheerios with milk and fruit on the side
Whole wheat toast with peanut butter and/or raspberry jam

Sometimes I have oatmeal and make bacon too. It depends.

Snacks involve fruit and sometimes peanut butter on one slice of bread folded like a taco or yogurt with fruit add ins. If we are on the go, I slice up fruit and/or put a dry mix of raisins and pretzels and whole wheat goldfish together. Fruit this week included:
Strawberries, grapes, apples, tangelos, cantaloupe, bananas and frozen blueberries.

We drink orange juice, whole hormone free (and local) milk, tea, and water. Dearest also drinks cherry cola and coffee.

Every week I plan the meals so we have a variety of meat and vegetables and fruit. My protein counts are about 110 each day. I drink about 3.25 quarts of fluid, mostly water and whole milk. Desserts are for really special occasions and Lil'Bug can have whatever fruit whenever she wants, usually it is an apple.

So what we eat really isn't that different or odd, just planned and mindful. We eat locally raised, hormone free beef and pork, hormone free chicken, and local hormone free milk. (See a pattern?) We have noticed a difference in our health since we've opted out of hormone laden meat, most significant for me is the reduction of fibroids both in my uterus and breast tissue and I no longer have calcium knots in my hand and toes and ear cartilage. Medical studies have shown links to the artificial hormones to these medical conditions and some cancers.

So there's the details of our food week. Tomorrow I shall post a recipe! :)

Another Baby Update

We had a scheduled Midwife appointment for the glucose test. She's in a new office with new staff and the staff scheduled it too early. I have to wait another 4 weeks. Fine. Lil'Bug wore her doctor coat and everything and was a cute little doll asking questions and ready to help. We did find out why I feel so different in the belly though, the baby is now head down instead of sideways. No wonder I feel so much lighter in the belly- different muscles are being strained. I also talked with the Midwife about my daily food log, she was impressed at my protein counts but reminded me to drink more water because that much protein (which is needed for the baby and placenta) can damage my kidneys. Yike, that's good to remember. Today I will stop and pick up a stainless steel canteen.

So that's what's kicking!

Also, we stopped by a freecycle unschooler open house and struck gold. Lil'Bug got a pair of ice skates and an ocean life book and I got enough new books to keep me reading for the next month! Very cool. We also got a make your own fancy paper kit. I can't wait to play with that one! I'll post a picture later of the loot.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

New Categories

Last night I got the most amazing collection of recipe ideas for pregnancy eating, two of them actually printed out. Yum. So I am starting a new category for recipes. Later tonight I will post some, but I'm also adding the label to previous recipes.

Why I Never Made it To Medical School

I wanted to be a trauma surgeon. I wanted this at such an early age that at age 11 I read an EMT training manual and passed all the practice tests in the back. I doctored animals. At 13, I took basic first aid, at 14 became a hospital volunteer and shadowed the unit nurses and doctors.

Then, I saw blood. Lots of it spurting out of a patient all over the floor. And I saw how people die when they have AIDS. And suffering that couldn't be helped. I was never the same. In the end, I am glad I worked as hard toward the goal as I did so early because I learned so much about myself and my own capabilities. I now have skills many other don't.

But still. Now I can't even watch ER without a little anxiety. So why am I sharing all of this? Last night, during birthing class, a guest speaker Midwife brought a placenta in a bucket. A real, only 24 hours old, placenta.

I didn't realize this at first, I thought we were going to see a plastic model. When they started to arrange the plastic floor mat, I made a joke about the "no BBQ snacks during class" rule (all white furniture and carpet). Ok. Once I realized that what I had said was so TOTALLY inappropriate for what was about to be presented, I went from my usual pasty white to beet red and was mortified at myself. Yup, leave it to me to say the most tasteless thing ever. Gah. In a room full of pregnant people too. Geeze.

So then the paper was laid out and the Midwife lays out the organ. It was huge and bloody and I braced myself for biology lab smell. Surprisingly there was no smell. We learned about nutrition and how protein intake affects the organ, cultural practices involving it, that humans are the only mammal that doesn't eat it, and some of the complications involving placenta in 3rd stage labor. Whew. Seriously, why don't more people take this class? (The picture below and on the left is just a Google search find. Even though I had my camera with me, it didn't occur to me to take a picture.)

The question occurred to me at the end of the presentation to ask, "How do they remove the placenta in a C-Section?" I almost wish I hadn't asked. Flash back of all things awful. The answer is that the surgeon, or whoever, uses a gloved hand and scrapes it out with his or her fingertips. Then Dearest volunteered the memory of when he saw this happen. I just didn't really know that.

My reflections on the class? The placenta was from a successful VBAC. Wow. The original cord had a true knot (that part was cut off?) and we learned about that too. We also shared recipes and talked nutrition some more. It was the first time I really thought about how my nutrition might have impacted my last trimester with Lil'Bug and led to the C-Section. She was 9 lbs 6 oz when she was born and I had mega fibroids restricting contractions. Nutrition has helped me this time around manage fibroid growth and keep June Bug's projected birth weight normal. Not just eating well through pregnancy, but eating well the past 4 years, better even the last 3. So, that's about it.

Also, apparently I am OCD about menu tracking and food log. I was not the only one who tracked foods, but ingredients and protein counts too, but in great detail daily. I also do the exercises daily, though the yoga for 20 minutes only twice a week. I am working on that.

If I hadn't said this before: Thank you Sarah, for linking to the classes on your website and mentioning it on your blog. I never would have found it otherwise and it is an amazing experience.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Birthday Parties Part 2

My birthday, 31st, is this week.

What does this mean to me exactly? Nada. I don't measure age by chronological years, but ability, experience, and readiness. This quirk of mine is really getting me in trouble when I try to sign Lil'Bug up for stuff to do locally. They go by birthdays. Period. Bah and unfair. There was a preschool we once considered because they set their admission criteria by ability and not age. She was ready for enrollment at a little less than 2 (potty training, walking, language skills were all included in the criteria). Still, I was unsure that it was the right place for her even if it was more right than other places.

We all gain understanding and experience at different time from different things, why does a yearly marker matter so much? Why is it so important that so and so is 5 and her friend is 12? Obviously, there are unhealthy relationships at all ages and, as parents, we have to be careful about some friendship parings but overall there are times when multi age groups are ideal and healthier than age segregation.

So, back to the birthday thing. I usually forgo parties and revelry for a quiet night at home. Presents at our house are given year round, as delight driven instead of event driven (though we do still do major holidays for kid and others). Birthdays growing up for me were complicated, as I was an odd duck at school, parties were either parents did the inviting or no one showed up. Neither was pleasant. I didn't even go to my sweet 16 because I was not even asked who to invite and no one on the guest list was anyone I knew. It wasn't about me. I'm not really a party person anyway, the noise freaks me out a little (image crowded mall at Christmastime effect).

I bought myself a gift this year, a necklace. Husband replaced some small kitchen stuff for me and we bought a Wii. So it feels like I am rolling in new stuff without having a big to do. My favorite birthday ever was the trip to Lincoln we took in 1998 where Dearest Husband bought my wedding ring from an antique store in the Haymarket district. He gave it to me then as a birthday present, promising to propose later. His reasoning was that I could keep it if something happened, where just an engagement ring has to be returned. Also, he wasn't ready to propose yet. I was cool with that, sort of. It all worked out. My other favorite birthday was my 28th, when Lil'Bug was just a babe. We stayed at home. New baby cuddled with me on the couch. Lovely.

This year, we are just too busy to do anything at all for birthday. We have stuff to do- doctor appointments, play dates, swimming time, field trips- every single day of the week. I actually love busy weeks, since they feel like more gets done and with us out so much, the house stays tidier.

Today we are of to an unschoolers open house/freecycle day, then a craft activity at the library, and after that Lil'Bug goes to grandma's while we head to Bradley class. Yippee!

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Photo Challenge 6- Cherish

In honor of the calendar's theme for the week.........


In a quiet contemplation I realized a couple things: I am over complicating.

What that means to me is complicated, go figure.

In my search to find homeschool community I subscribed and became active in 3 local groups and a couple yahoo threads. I did this to test the waters, but I don't easily let go of things even when they are not working out. They are not working out. I jumped right in to planning and organizing and yada yada. In all but one group I was made to feel silly or excluded because my kid is only 3. All but one. Tag alongs that age and younger are welcome, but I don't have older kids so she's not a tag along and therefore not welcome? Huh?

So why do I keep going at it? Why not only go and pour energy into the one group that has always welcomed us with open arms? Why face the anxiety whenever this issue rears its head? Just to test myself? Bah. Release.

So, hopefully without burning bridges, I unsubscribed and downsized my profile on all but one group. I think it's the right choice for us and somewhere down the line maybe we'll step back in. The whole tag along logic thing is just too much for me to handle. It doesn't make sense. It is not fair. It is not "unschooly" group dynamic and I think that is the root of the problem for us. I just don't think Lil'Bug should be stuck with preschooler type activities if she is ready for more challenging learning. She's 3, but has mad verbal skills and can keep up with the 5-6 year olds. In playgroups that is who she plays with. I have a problem with age segregation on many different levels. It just seems so random, especially at that age where children all have varying skills and abilities and a brain spurt can happen overnight. Especially when we are life long learners and learning from life. I just don't feel welcomed in a group that doesn't welcome my child. I don't like that aspect of our society that separates our children from the world (and us) and designates things based on age instead of abilities.

I also have over complicated, perhaps defensively, my search for friendship. Instead of really making new connections and fostering them, I opted for group activities and hosting events. I think February and March will be a time for us to make more one on one play dates and really get to know people personally. This means, perhaps, that I should tidy the house up a bit. :) Lil'Bug prompted this by saying she doesn't want to just play, she wants to play with friends.

Then, what seems like out of the blue, I was asked to sit on a board for a homeschool advocacy/lobby group. Wow. I did serve on 3 statewide boards in my previous career and worked with non profits and marched our state capitol, etc. That's why I was asked, I'm sure. I know how it works and how to play the game. The thing is, I also know how much time it takes and how much time it takes away from my family. It is why I resigned from all the other advocacy work I did. However, this is important work and longterm. So this week, I am careful considering how that would factor with the baby on the way.

Friday, 8 February 2008

I missed it

I missed the Cloth Diaper Crowd's "garage sale". I am really bummed. I meant to go, I put it on my calendar, then the day came and went. Stupid calendar.

Really, what I wanted to do was see what was what. They have these fancy, just like disposables but you wash them, all in ones. Also, there are variations in between that and folded cloth squares. I just wanted to see and then maybe get some cheap diapers too. But, alas, I missed it.

Well, 4 more months to check it out!

Every Last Darn Thing in The Universe is a Unit Study

Everything has a bit of everything in it. Every discipline is interlinked with every other in some way. Like the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon. Maybe sometimes you have to stretch it, but not really.

Yes, my MA is Interdisciplanary Studies so I am a big fan of this idea.

Here goes a brief (very brief) explanation.....

Learning about a historical event/era:
Math- dates, statistics, maps
Science- depends on the event and could be chemistry, medical science, political science, psychology, agriculture, ect.
Reading- most documentation is in written form
Literature- related works

Start from the other end, a literary work:
The work itself, reading.
History- context of the author AND history of the era discussed/set
Science- again, depends on the selection. For example, a book set in the revolutionary war era could include all the previously mentioned sciences
Math- approach varies. With poetry, rhyme and meter. Economics and distribution if the book is a best seller. Statistics, maps, etc.

You could add architecture to just about anything. Or dinosaurs. Lil'Bug likes to add dinosaurs. :) And art. And physical activity. And theatre. And music. Oh and cooking! Do you get the idea?

So, this concept allows me to explore many things from many approaches. A couple months ago I read on a classical homeschooler's blog (scoured for hours to remember which one and provide a link, sorry!) that she couldn't figure out how to add science to her young boys' studies which is heavy on language and arts. I raised my eyebrows in wonderment when she came up with nature studies, drawings of wildlife, to satisfy this? That's a great idea, but so limiting! I mean, if you live and breathe you are walking science! If you eat. If you move. If you do anything at all, science is everything!

But so is math and history and architecture and and and.....

I am constantly seeing connections between disciplines, new ones everyday. My thesis involved art, architecture, history, politics, writing, psychology, sociology, city planning, anthropology, chemistry, math, maps, music, criminal justice, etc. That is why I had to go Interdisciplinary- my idea was to complex to limit, though ultimately I had to focus on three major ones to satisfy the committee. Thesis topic? One, solitary house on the National Register or Historic Places, the restoration of, the history of, and the people who lived in it.

So why limit learning? Why not embrace the complexity? Why not find that bit of passion that your kid has by exploring all angles of a thing, or at least more than one? I don't mean, create a formal unit study- instead just think about this concept when you start asking questions. Use those questions to fuel discussions.

Here are some links to make it interesting:

Strange maps. History, sociology, cartography, and art.

The science of cooking. Math, chemistry, etc

The history of food

Winter Blahs or Whoo Hoos

I don't have the winter blahs. I had the blahs in the summer.

Our snow total for the season is 39 inches, our average is 30. Heh. More snow on the way. I think this helps, keeps the view outside fresh instead of muddy and slow. If we were not on a rotating sniffle schedule, we'd being playing outside in it.

Yesterday was a blast. I learned much about Chinese New Year AND the friend which I have been navigating troubled waters about was there. Surprisingly, I didn't even tense up. It was awkward at first, but ended up relaxed. No, we will never likely be as close or trusting BUT at least I had no panic attacks and it was proven we could be civil if not friendly. For me, it was a big step in the release goal.

Lil'Bug made new friends, we saw friends we hadn't seen since park day, and we just relaxed. It was nice to attend instead of host. All said, our venture out into the snow was well worth it. Oh, did I mention there was a cheese ball? I love cheese balls.

More later.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

11 Inches of Snow

We got 11 inches or so. That was the official total and it matches up with what is cut out on the sidewalk.

We stayed in all yesterday, but today we venture out for a cabin fever busting craft day and Chinese New Year celebration. Year of the Rat, and all. We're meeting up with park day friends that we have not seen since warmer weather.

Last night was rough. I didn't sleep well. The exercises and yoga made me feel, well, normal instead of pregnant and I got very anxious about this. Why? It's my thing- over analyzing. Then I had nightmares about sitting on the baby, the baby being only 2 inches big, ect. Geesh. Silly. I finally got some sleep this morning, but only a couple hours. Dearest stayed home late and ate breakfast with us, reassuring me that the exercises were designed to make me feel more fit and not to worry. :) Ok.

We are going to start back up with swimming next week. This week is just too crazy.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Music Bit

Lil'Bug asked to listen to "real" music today, like in Daddy's truck.


She sang some lyrics. KMFDM. "La la la we don't care!" Hmmm. Note to self, talk to Daddy.

I played Gorillaz for her, selecting lyric appropriate songs. Interesting turn, this one's taste in music. :)

I am so relieved to have a break from Kidz Bop and Music Together. She said she is too!

What She Says To Daddy

I found this posted by my husband (re: our Lil'Bug) on a message forum he frequents, it was too funny not to share!

we get similar from lil

lil - "daddy! I need to tell you somethin'!"

me - "yes dear?"

lil- "um, well, actually, mama and I had a tea time today" x repeat a billion.


lil - "um, well, actually, starkitty doesn't like peanut butter. one time she ate some and she DIED!"

or my recent favorite -

lil - "Daddy pick me up and let me touch the ceiling!!"

/I pick her up, she touches the ceiling.

Me - "did you like that?"

lil - "It makes me feel like when I eat melons!"

Tuesday, 5 February 2008


Making progress:

I am experiencing quite a bit of anxiety over the Wii purchase. Sure, we made the decision for all the right reasons.....BUT.....

I grew up in a house with video games and violence and heartache.

I banished video games from my home because it was easier than looking at the big picture. Until this week I never explored this in my processing. I have always just said to myself, not in my home. I never related that we all had our coping strategies to deal with our childhood violent and unpredictable household.

My banishment of gaming is no less of a control issue. In reality games are a tool and we have worked hard to create a loving, gentle home. So I released that anxiety. I am also a little sad about the memories I explored today for meaning, but a little sad is way better than freaked out anxiety + 20 anger.

Tea time! Move on, clean cup!

Moving on, we made butter today in the food processor. That's how this place said to. Yeah, no. Next time I will use my mixer. The butter got too thick for the processor at one point; once it clabbered it was fine, but the heavy cream goo stage almost killed my new toy. Also, easier to move the bowl to drain the goo if it is in the mixer bowl AND since you have to use the bowl anyway for the end steps, using the mixer will mean less to clean up. Here's the pic:

We played pirates today. We kidnapped baby dolls and fed them chicken noodle (she doesn't say it noonel anymore...wahhhhhhh!) instead of dog hair stew and booger pie (what I told her pirates fed their captives, he he). Lil'Bug insists that she is a nice pirate. This is her ship and sail:

AND....that's pretty much our day. There was a dinner disaster where I had trouble cutting the roast up and splattered meat blood all over everything and then forgot to add water to the enchilada simmering beef mass (supposed to be strips) and so it is definitely not going to be ready for consumption anytime soon, or possibly just not for dinner tonight. Yup, that's just the domestic goddess that I am.

*edited to add: dinner was saved by some creative thinking on Dearest Husband's part plus a casserole dish. It was yummy, but too savory for my pregnant heartburn prone system. Gah. When did that happen? (Um, the prone to heartburn thing, I mean....)

Wii and Childbirthing

A two for one post.

We decided, with almost the same wording, to get a Wii. While I posted on my blog, Dearest Husband posted almost word for word the same thing on a gaming (RPG) forum the same inquiry. So, it is done. It is ordered. It will be about a month, but a good deal and no line waiting. He ordered the family pack and then we intend to get Endless Ocean too.

Ok, so then.....first childbirth class last night. Wow. Last time we took "Childbirth Express" through the hospital because we thought we knew a bunch already and we were really busy. I think we covered last night, the first of 8 classes, more than the whole class we took last time AND it was basically a meet and greet/ syllabus review. Geesh. We did physical exercise positioning too and I learned that I was doing the tail bone "wagging" thing totally wrong.

Dearest Husband kept me entertained. During the relaxation work we were instructed to work on a calming story that we share for him to retell to me. I looked at him with concern. "We don't have a story," I whispered and then tensed up. He leaned down and whispered in my ear something that I never expected. It was hilarious and I almost screeched with giggles. (Dearest, if you'd like to share, post it in the comments.) I love him. It was probably the only kind thing he could of said to relax me too.

I love the class. We are really getting a lot of information. Funny thing is- it is the only such class in Central Iowa and there are only 5 couples in attendance? How sad is that. I really wish we'd had this available to us last time, not that it would have changed anything but my attitude/guilt post op.

Blogger still is fritzy. Is anyone else having trouble?

Monday, 4 February 2008

Odd Bits

My crockpot manual says it has a programmable cooking setting for up to 26 hours. HOURS? What on earth would you need to cook for that long? Shoe leather?

Do you buy that the groundhog said late winter? (says she who is awaiting 6 inches of snow tomorrow afternoon......) Come on, Winter started like 2 months early! Surely that means early Spring, right?

What kinds of things would you suggest to help hand eye motor skills? (Lil'Bug is frustrated she cannot draw the pictures in her head or operate a keyboard mouse with this the excuse we needed to get a Wii? I know, she's only 3, but she's frustrated!)

Photo Challenge 5- Create

I know. Again, with the vague word. Do what you want with it! What it will mean for me this week is to document everything we create: art, food, atmosphere, friendship. I am having trouble this weekend and today with blogger- both the spell check and the photo upload are not working, so my Release photo will be released once I am able!

Busy-ness and Return of The Evil Sniffles

This weekend we had two birthday parties to attend, plus Dear Husband's band practice was moved to Saturday to accommodate Super Bowl Sunday. Oh, and all the times were the same. Gah. I worked out a plan so all could happen and we set to our day. At noon, the first call came in, party #1: birthday child is very sick, party will be rescheduled. Call number 2, birthday party #2: family member died, party rescheduled for Sunday. THEN Dear Husband became really ill and canceled going to band practice. Suddenly our super busy Saturday became a relaxed family day. Lil'Bug, not happy about another day of disappointing cancelations, asks to go to Grampa's house.

We did the kid exchange at the grocery store, took care of the week's shopping and picked up Pirates of the Caribean 2&3. Lovely. Except that Dear Husband was really sick, so I had to load and mostly unload/put away groceries (he did carry them from the truck to the front of the house for me). He said I could blog that because once I typed Johnny Depp pirate movies, no one would remember that he put his pregnant wife on grocery detail in the ice and bitter wind. Perhaps. He was really sick and I am not an invalid, just pregnant. He's still really sick. I get to kick back next to a steaming hot radiator with a nice cup of tea and blog while he had to shovel the walks and go to work across town.

Lil'Bug is sick again. Just when we thought she was over it, the same crud came back, complete with the red face rash and evil snots.

I'm posting the photo challenge right now. Then I'll go make butter.

Friday, 1 February 2008

Yoga, Art, and Friends

We did a lot of art this week. I still need to clean up the chaos, but it was well worth the time we spent together, creating.

This week something clicked. Many moms have been blogging about their young tots needing more attention, structure, activity, ect. This last month has been strained here at Chez Podkayne and I just wrote it off as post holiday burn out.

Hmmmm. I was wrong. Lil'Bug was bored. B O R E D. She needed to level up. How do I know this? She picked out Magic Tree House books and wanted me to read them to her. Now, instead of reading time lasting 3 minutes and then exploding in mutual frustration, she begs me to read more and more and more. She asks questions. She imagines her self in the story and makes new story lines. She tries to say the "big" words when we encounter them like sarcophagus. At the museum, she asked more advanced questions too. Board games have finally clicked with her as have computer games.

Another brain spurt indeed. Once I figured this out and engaged her, started strewing "better stuff" (her words), then the tantrums and grumps dissolved.

Then there's yoga. I've never done yoga before but my midwife suggested it as a low impact exercise and stress reducer. So I bought a DVD and started by just watching it. The next day, I followed along for the warm ups and then was pooped. The next day, Dearest Husband bought me a rug because most of it is floor work and my hardwood floors are frigid. I could then do about 25 minutes and then for the rest of the video I repeated the stretches.

My hands, for the first time in a long time, were not vampire cold. I felt warm all over. Circulation improvement indeed. Then I slept better than I have in a long time.

Still, I didn't realize how out of shape I was. My thoughts on exercise have always been away from "meaningless" machine workouts and more toward house work and outdoor play- like Karate Kid- wax on, wax off. Up and down the ladder, up and down the stairs. Go go go. But this yoga stuff is different. 1) It addresses stress and... 2) circulation 3) strength is built from poses not weights.

It feels right.

Also, many of the poses are exactly what the Bradley exercises are. I can barely do them, so it is good I have a foundation and guide to work from.

Then, the update on the play date on Thursday. I think it went well. Her daughter and mine played awesome together. We caught up. She made the tastiest blueberry banana bread. I was not stressed out before like I thought I might be, but a little bit after. Over analyzing everything, worried I'd said the wrong thing, etc. but that passed quickly. All is well.

Friday did not go as smoothly as I'd planned. We were supposed to go snowshoeing at 10am. Fine, I leave for all events like this about an hour early. We suited up, packed out bags and then I told Lil'Bug to find her boots.

Yup. No boots. Left in Daddy's truck the night before with her gloves. It's 30 degrees out and we are not going on an outdoor nature hike without proper raiments and footwear. So we headed out to the suburb where Daddy works and by the time we had acquired the missing gloves and boots, we were too late for the class about 30 minutes away.

Lil'Bug was devastated.

We headed out to the mall and the play place to try and find something closer for her to do. She was still sad and angry but felt better after a huge fruit smoothie. She hung out at the book store for a while too. Somewhere in there my throat became red, itchy, and inflamed and, well, I became nauseous and all that goes with that. We stopped by and visited Grampa before heading home, but by the time we got home I was out and out sick. Good thing we didn't do the winter hike!

Wow. Long post. Whew. Now I feel caught up!

Best Toy Ever....aka the cardboard box

Couple things. I know that it is a universal truth and all but......a cardboard box is the BEST TOY EVER. Lil'Bug's eyes lit up and she went to town, barely stopping to eat dinner. She eventually asked for duct tape and modifications (ie, taped secure with door cut out) AND she asked this of Daddy and not Mama, bah.

She imagined it was a house.

She imagined it was a car.

She went to outer space and visited the moon and Mars.

She packed her lunch. Chicken meat and milk and faerie sugar. The cow is a convienient container for milk, she explained that it stays fresh. LOL.

Then she decided I must be hungry too, so she raided the fridge for apples and pig meat (ham). Future farmer, that one.

She is too funny. She asked me to take her picture so she's always remember her friend box.

Ah, childhood.

The box is completely mangled by play now. Duct tape just will not save the day. I will be sad when it goes out on Monday to the great beyond of trash day.

Best toy ever for Mama? Ya, what came in the box. A 12 cup food processor, with a three cup insert for small stuff. Hello pizza night. Hello homemade butter. Pumpkin Soup puree? IN ONE BATCH! Wouldn't think 4 cups difference would make such a difference but it most assuredly does.

Memes coming out of my ears.......

I've been tagged for three (three times, though) separate memes. No joke. Here they are!

Laura at LifeDreamed and HK at MiniMemoirs:

(1) Link to the person that tagged you.

(2) Post the rules on your blog.

(3) Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.

(4) Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.

(5) Let each random person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their site.

1) I hate going to the dentist but not for normal reasons: the hygenist creeps me out every time by asking me questions about my husband. Like shoe and shirt size. Maybe it's just me, but I think that is weird.
2) I like to eat my amazing raspberry jam on ciabatta rolls- with pastrami. Yes, I know what pastrami is and no, it's not a pregnancy thing. I like fruit with meat.
3) I had purple hair when I married my husband. As soon as it is safe to (as in dyes harm babies in utero) I will again have purple hair. I mean, I teach online now!
4) I once had a nose ring, but I had to let the hole close because of an infection caused by almost frostbite. I still harbor resentment because I was driving home a drunk kid in his car in a blizzard and his stupid car (and the blizzard) had no heat or windows. I did the noble thing and was almost disfigured. Bah. Scar tissue makes it so it can't be redone. Again, bah. Also, exposed piercings in Iowa winters should switch to plastic studs, for those of you tempted.
5) I still own the brass unicorn I got for my 6th birthday. I also still remember the basic script of every fantasy I had of it being a magical item that would whisk me away to be a princess in a safe kingdom.
6) I don't sort spoons and forks. I had custom inserts put into my drawers for the sorting and yet I don't, I just pile them in. If you visit me, you can gaze upon the awesomeness of my organization skills if you need a spoon.... BUT they all match and so do my dishes (each other, that is).

I tag

Needleroozer: who tagged me for this one.......

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).

2. Open the book to page 123.

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the next three sentences.

5. Tag five people.

Everything's An Argument with Readings, 4th edition. My Comp II textbook. Not very interesting to read, but I'm grading papers all this week and it was the closest book to me.

Different universities have resolved similar conflicts in different ways. Some have enacted coded to protect their communities from forms of speech that are deemed to be insensitive to the feelings of other groups. Some have refused to impose such restrictions.

From an essay by Derek Bok about hate speech and vandalism at Harvard in 1991.

I tag Life dreamed, Mini Memoirs, MamaB, Wheelchair Mama, and Zamozo.

*Edited to add: Seriously, a meme I missed. Geeze. :)

Here are the rules:
1. You must post the rules before you give your answers.
2. List one fact about yourself beginning with each letter of your middle name. (If you don't have a middle name, use your maiden name).
3. At the end of your blog post, you need to tag one person for each letter of your middle name. (Be sure to leave them a comment telling them they've been tagged and that they need to read your blog for details).

I've done this one before, but things change, so here goes.
  • T: Talkative. I need to work on being a better listener.
  • H: Happy. Very happy. Thus far, the whole release thing is working for me in ways beyond what I expected. It takes quite a bit of work to let the angry eyebrows flutter away.
  • E: Expecting. Ha. That was easy.
  • R: Reader. I love to read. I get intensly wrapped up in a book until I finish it.
  • E: Eats everything. I am so hungry all the time now, even after I have eaten.
  • S: Sore throat. All this week. Does not go well with talkative. Perhaps it will help me be a better listener?
  • A: Still an APPLE lover. Yum.