Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Well. So. That whole posting-all-month thing didn't exactly go as planned.

However, it's not like I wasn't thankful over the last 10 days. Rather, I had so many things to be thankful for--so many wonderful visits with relatives, comforting home-cooked meals to take pride in and to enjoy, the pleasure of watching James' face light up again and again and again when, for example, he would wake up in the morning and remember that GRANDMA AND GRANDPA ARE HERE, and of course the giving and receiving of helpful handy gifts, to name a few.

Thus, in all the hubbub and mayhem and fun, the blogging thing sort of went by the wayside. However, I am happy to report that we are all well and happy and looking forward to what the new year will bring us. This past year has been a whirlwind of changes for us--starting out with taking care of new-baby Tyler last January, and culminating in an unexpected cross-country move. We cannot WAIT to see what's in store for our future!

Happy New Year, everyone! See you around. =)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Night of Peace

Today I'm thankful for the chance to be lazy. We've been running around like mad trying to get everything ready for our holiday guests, and we had our first celebration on Saturday. So tonight I'm glad I can just sit here warm and snug in my new robe and blanket and veg. Starting tomorrow, things get crazy fast! =)

Friday, December 19, 2008


Ben says he's thankful for Zelda. I'm not particularly thankful for it, but I'm thankful for his input...(It's a video game.)

Today I'm really thankful for new friends and for how happy James has been the last couple of days getting to play with KIDS! There is one boy in particular, named Evan, who is very sweet and fun and who we played with yesterday AND today and then the whole rest of both days James asked if "Kevin" could come over and cook, or read books, or see James' trains or see how James made a fire in the backyard or play outside get the idea.

It is so nice to see him so excited and happy again.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Time Travel

Well, I missed posting yesterday. Of course, I seriously considered writing a post about how I was thankful for my newfound time traveling abilities and then dating it Wednesday, but finally decided against it. I was too busy getting ready to celebrate my husband's birthday, and all the Christmas guests we're about to have, and I'm proud and happy of that fact.

Today I'm especially thankful for my wonderful husband. He's kind and sweet and thinks I'm fun and beautiful and smart and perfect and I couldn't love him any more than I do. He makes me laugh and I love all the time we get to spend together. Happy birthday, honey!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Whining in Disguise

I don't really know what to say I'm thankful about today, specifically. I'm generally feeling very thankful to have the life I have now and to be blessed with all the wonderful circumstances of my life as it is today.

However, I'd like to be feeling thankful for my good health, but my sore throat will NOT go away. I'd like to feel thankful that James is feeling good and happy but last night he could NOT go to sleep and today he threw up a little bit. Although I think that's just because he was rough-housing with Ben a little too much, still, no fun. I'd like to feel thankful to have a warm and cozy place to sit and type but...oh, wait, I guess I do have that, as long as Ben doesn't get up. It is FREEZING in our house, because it's freezing outside, and because it costs an arm and a leg to heat this huge house and we're not used to that and neither is our wallet.

So today I guess I'm thankful for the cold weather. It's been a long time since I've gotten to see snow on the ground....and today, I got to see something on the ground that looked like snow. It was a very small amount and at first we weren't sure, but lo and behold, it actually was snow.

And yes, James and I have done a lot of ice skating outside today. So he fell asleep pretty easily tonight. Too bad I can't keep up the activity level because of this sore throat and everlasting cold.

Ah, well. Ben is bugging me to go play internet games with him, so it's back to the TextTwist we go. I'm very, very thankful for such a fun and silly husband, that's for sure. =)

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Good Day Today, Gromit*

We got the couch today. Granted, they told me it would be delivered between 1:36 and 3:36 and it was a lot closer to 5:36 when they got here, but we got our couch. Then we had a delicious meal of Chinese food brought to us by our friend Kenny. James and I cooked oatmeal cookies for dessert. We had a fire and some tea and then James and Kenny ran off and played while Ben and I just sat on our new couch. So tonight I'm feeling thankful for this day, just in general. Today was a good day.

Also, though, I feel grateful for the unexpected--like the fact that James ran around our couch yelling, "Mommy! Daddy! It's a circle! I running in a circle!" for AT LEAST 10 minutes in a row. And now he's exhausted.

Ah, bliss. =)

*I have Wallace and Gromit on the brain, as Ben and James watched one of the shorts yesterday. Sorry if that made no sense to you non-WG-fans.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

New Couch!

Today I'm thankful for a place to sit and that's comfortable, or, in James' words, "Come-see." One that looks nice and doesn't have to be held together with diaper pins like our old futon.

That's right, yesterday I forgot to mention that we bought a new couch! Yay hooray!

I happen to also be proud of the fact that this is a big deal for us because it's one of the very few big-ticket-type things Ben and I have ever bought new. And we have lasted with just that lumpy old futon for a looooooooong time, so we deserve something nice and cushy.

Apparently, according to the recorded announcement I got on the phone, it will be delivered Monday between the hours of 1:36 and 3:36. If they come at 3:37....they'll be in big trouble with me! ;)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Texty and Twisty

Tonight I'm thankful for some time alone with my husband after the little guy goes to bed. Ever since we moved I've been pretty much going to bed at the same time as James (and yes, that is an 8:30 bedtime for me, thank you very much), and that's been helping me since I've been exhausted with all the moving drama.

But now, things are smoothing out, I'm feeling much better, and James is asleep and I'm not. Whee! Adult television shows* and TextTwist, here I come.

Yes, when we have alone time we play TextTwist together. That's right, you heard me. IT'S FUN!

*By which I simply mean to say NOT TOY STORY.

Friday, December 12, 2008

So Long, See You in the Morning

Tonight I'll be thankful for a good night's sleep. It's been a very long day and I'm tired.

(It was a good day. Just looooong. And I'm so ready to sleep! Yay weekend!)

Sweet dreams, everyone!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ha Ha Ha

Today, as James and I headed to pick Ben up from work, I turned on the radio. We were listening to a radio show where the topic was "things you do on company time," and call-ins included someone who slept on the job with a towel and a bottle of Windex in hand; someone who watched movies and old re-runs of Law and Order on her desktop while supposedly working; and, naturally, someone who gave herself a 45-minute pedicure "on the job."

Then someone called in to say that they had witnessed someone sitting at the reception desk of a hotel and using a flat iron to straighten her hair. The jockeys started talking about how one of them had a flat iron in her desk drawer for when she went out to dinner events straight from work or whatever, and also in case of "weather like today, when it's so humid I have no chance of my hair staying straight all day."

I about ran off the road. THIS is humid? Was she SERIOUS? My cracked and bleeding hands didn't think it was very amusing. I still can't decide whether A) she was joking, B) this show was taped in July or C) that girl's hair would react to "humidity" in the Sahara.

Whatever the case, tonight I'm thankful for a good sense of humor. If I didn't take my semantics so seriously, I might say that that was ironic.

As it is, I'll just say it's improbable that anyone can consider this weather to be humid, and that my skin is the ultimate proof of lack of moisture in the air. Good grief!

...Speaking of semantics, for a good linguistically-related laugh, see The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks. For a plain old good laugh, see Cake Wrecks. Ah, the hours of laughing at my computer screen. Bliss.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Little Helper

Yes, I'm going to be reduced to bragging about my kid again. Yes, I'm too tired or too lazy or too child-obsessed to write about something else tonight. Probably all three. And no, I don't feel bad about any of it! The Kid is too cute for me to care. Also, the sinuses. And the sore throat. Oy vey.

Anyway, today I was thinking about how much James loves to help. On any given day, he helps with just about every item on my to-do list. One day he'll help me put the laundry into the washer and turn the button, then help me put it into the dryer and turn the dryer on, then help me fold the laundry (well...."fold" is a loose approximation of what he does), then help me put it in drawers....or on the floor, which is where most of it lives now, since we haven't yet figured out whose clothes belong where in the new house.

The next day he'll help me unload the fresh clean dishes from our DISHWASHER (and let me tell you, after 3 years without one, how sweet it is...) and then rinse and reload and push the start. And he'll help me chop vegetables and boil water and whatever else we have to do for dinner. And he'll set the timer and help me sweep the floor.

Or maybe he'll go outside with Daddy and rake leaves and then bring "sticks" in and help make a fire. And then he'll measure the flour and sugar and cinnamon and vanilla and whatever else we decide to put in our cookies if we're baking cookies that night.

He is a gem, ladies and gents. While it may be true that all these chores now take quite a bit longer for me to finish than they did pre-Kid, I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

My Weather WonderKid

I'm so tired today I can barely see straight. Breathing through clogged sinuses is EXHAUSTING!

Anyway. Today I bring you the wonder of the weather man in all his pretend play glory. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

Monday, December 08, 2008


I am ever so thankful and grateful for the bounty of James' imagination, and for my own imagination as well. It is super-fun to get to play with him and see what he comes up with. Right now his favorite game is "weather," in which we are doing some other activity--usually sleeping--which we have to stop to notice the weather. IT'S RAINING! he'll tell me. Or GET UP THERE'S RAIN! WE NEED AN UMBRELLA! IT'S GOING TO THUNDER, THERE'S WIND AND LIGHTNING AND HAIL AND SNOW AND TORNADO!!!! And then we go back to sleep, or back to cooking up a vegetable stew or pancakes or something, until the storm intrudes again.

He also really loves to dress up and deliver the mail. We got him a mail carrier outfit on discount after Halloween, and he really goes to town, literally, delivering everyone some mail. Also, when we're not dressed up, when we just stop by the park on the way to pick Daddy up from work, we'll run from one end of the playground to the other, from the "pickup mail" point to the "delivery!" point, giving everyone the joy of mail. =)

It's so fun and so cute to get to hear what's going on in his little head, and to get to be part of his pretend world every day. Kids have the best imagination ever.

Then again, the other night I had a dream I was shopping for miniature furniture and there was a tiger loose in the store and I was trying to warn everyone and they were all, OH COME ON SUSAN HE'S A NICE TIGER WHAT'D HE EVER DO TO YOU. And then I went to the makeup ad beauty section where Paul Newman was trying out the newest line of lipsticks.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Dinner and a Movie

We went to dinner at a house full of friends tonight. We had a lovely pasta and salad meal, and James even got a few beans! (In case you've forgotten, beans are his favorite thing in the Whole Wide World. Ever.)

And then we sat around in the living room, watched Shrek 2, and decorated a Christmas tree. Also, James ran around with a couple of our friends while Ben and I got to sit and relax. Ah, the joys of having a babysitter. =)

So tonight I'm thankful for good food and good friends, and for my son having a wonderful night out with us. He should sleep well, and that will make me happy too.

Good night, sleep tight!

Saturday, December 06, 2008


Tonight I'm thankful for Good Health.

Isn't it funny how often we forget to be thankful for things until we have to worry about losing them? Luckily, this isn't anything serious for us right now--just that we're all fighting off a cold and I feel really draggy and exhausted and James' nose is pouring--but you know, I forget to be thankful for my good health a LOT. It's so easy to focus on the negatives, the diabetes troubles and the hormonal illnesses and all, but we are in general a very healthy bunch these days, and I am incredibly glad for it.

Now I'm gonna go drink my Echinacea tea and go to bed early. Sending healthful thoughts to you and yours~

Friday, December 05, 2008

Nothing says "thankful" like a random extra post


I am so very, very thankful for the progression of childhood language acquisition, which has caused James to tell me that "Mommy, it's nose-ing outside! Here comes the nose!*"

He also recently said, "Daddy, Daddy, play your target!" which tickled my funny bone a bit.

There are a million other cute fun funny things he says, but the amazing part is how much he can say now. He has a HUGE vocabulary and is always surprising me with how long his sentences are and some of the details he remembers. Like this morning, after the guy had come to check and see if the house needs foundation work, James told Ben all about it on the phone, including that "some guy came and looked at the house and said there's cracks in the windows."

Again, I didn't expect sentences like that for at least another 6 months...maybe closer to a year? Still can't figure out why I wasn't ready for this, but it knocks my socks off and is the coolest thing ever. I also love it when he tells me "Mama, I wanna read THIS book, it's so cute!" =)

*Note to readers: this was when we were "playing weather." It did NOT actually nose.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Letting It Go

Today I'm thankful for a little peace of mind.

It's been about 9 weeks since we found out we were moving, and since that day, I've been so anxious, tense, stressed, I've been having bad dreams, headaches, backaches, even chest pain at times from my back being so out of place. I've had a TON of bad anxiety dreams. I've yelled, and I am not often a yeller. I've eaten donuts. More than once. And before this, I have to say I'm having a hard time coming up with the last time I encountered a donut. I've even let my child have a piece of donut, and as a diabetic mom, I am understandably fearful of introducing those kinds of foods into his repertoire. Especially on back-to-back days.

But I never had the time and space to just sit down and contemplate the whole ordeal and how much has happened and how much our lives have changed and so on and so forth. Finally, I sat down and just cried for about 30 minutes, for all the tough and sad things about this move.

Then I meditated on letting it all go. And since then I have been demonstrably calmer and happier. No chest pain. No anxiety dreams. No drop-of-a-hat rage. Just peace and quiet and feeling so much more like myself.

So today I'm thankful for the chance to come to terms with the changes in our life and the new place we're in. I think I'm going to like it! =)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Holiday Baking

Today I'm realizing how thankful I am for all the baking that I get to do this year--trying out a bunch of new recipes and making a lot of old favorites, especially for friends' Christmas gifts. Mmmmm, my house smells so good, and the boy LOVES to cook, so we enjoy these days a lot. Another perk is that it keeps my house nice and warm all day!

As a little pre-Christmas gift to you, here's the banana bread recipe I love. You'll notice that my approach to recipes is a little....flexible. I have to attribute this to my husband, who over the years has taught me that even in baking, you have to use your own personal flair. ;)

Yummy Banana Whatever (so called because it can be bread, muffins...or whatever)

1/2 c. shortening, or butter, or whatever available substitute you might prefer

1 c. sugar (can be decreased if you use big or super-ripe bananas, or if you just don't like it as sweet)

2 eggs

1 1/4 c. flour

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

about 2 mashed ripe bananas

I usually mix the sugar, butter, eggs, and mashed 'nanas together first, then I add the flour, soda, and salt. Then....

Optional additions:

rolled oats (I usually add at least 1/4 c., sometimes up to 1/2 c., and it's still VERY moist, so you could do more)

walnuts (or some other kind of nuts that you might prefer--I've never tried others)

chocolate chips

flax seed

wheat germ

etc. creative!

Then cook it at 350 degrees F...until it's done. (The original recipe said to cook it and not burn it!)

It can take anywhere from 25 minutes to 70 minutes or so, depending which shape it's in, what container it's in, how your oven works, the altitude, etc. etc. It will turn much browner than you think it should before it's actually done (or is that just me?). It's done when you can stick a knife in the middle and it comes out pretty clean, rather than sticky. I usually make it in a glass loaf pan and set the timer for 35 minutes, then check it in 5 or 7 minute increments after that. My average baking time is probably 50 minutes, but it really does vary every time.


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

A little humidity, please?

I would be so thankful for some humidity right about now. I never thought I'd wish for THAT. After several years living through the ordeal of a North Carolina August, that month where you feel like you're drowning when you try to take a breath, I thought I'd be glad for a little dry air.

But my cracked and bleeding skin begs to differ. My skin looks like it's covered in a fine ash, but no, that's just really supercalifragilisticexpeali-dry-skin. Does anyone know what I'm supposed to use when applying the gentlest of lotions causes my skin to feel like it's on fire with the burning?

Vaseline? Olive oil? Any other ideas? Thoughts? Suggestions? Help!!!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Thanks, Internets!

So yesterday I did something truly crazy. I signed up to blog every day in December! (Aren't I nuts? Yes, yes I am.) The theme for this month is THANKS! so I figured it was a good time to test out the theory that the more you think on the things that make you happy and grateful, the happier and grateful-er you feel. Also, I probably feel a need to try to write more "writerly" posts this month since I didn't get through NaBloPoMo with the same feeling of accomplishment that I did last year. This last month hasn't really been a writing kind of a month...more of a barely-hanging-on-to-sanity kind of month.

Anyway. Speaking of sanity, one thing that I am terribly grateful for, that constantly gives me a sense of peace and sanity, is getting to read blogs about other people and how crazy and chaotic and fun their lives are too. Thanks, bloggy friends, for giving me a glimpse into your lives so I don't feel like I'm swimming in a vast lonely ocean of parenting and life. (Today I'm reading about children who don't nap, as my napless child is off watching Toy Story 2. Ah, the things we do for a little sanity.)

Also, I'm thankful for things like AIM and Facebook and MySpace, evil and irritating though they are, for allowing me a peek into the lives of far-flung friends and made it so much easier for us to keep in touch. I know this might surprise you, but I actually love Blogger for this very reason, as so many of my friends now have blogs and we can follow each other's lives and comment and it feels like I actually know some of what's going on with friends in an even more personal way than Facebook and such.

Anyway. Today, I'm focusing being thankful to my internets, and trying not to think about the tantrumy mess that might await me later this evening. Sigh. At least I know where to turn if that happens.