Saturday, May 29, 2010

Days of Play--Nature Walk Collector

The days are finally starting to feel springish .... hopefully I didn't just jinx us, Wyomingites!.

It's time to get out of the house.

Grab a sack and go on a walk.  Let your kids lead--you follow.  Encourage them to explore their surroundings and to "collect" things on the walk (though this might be a good time to explain that it isn't neighborly to collect flowers from other people's gardens).

When you get home, get a strong piece of cardboard and glue.  Have your kiddo turn the collected stuff into a piece of art.  Display it for one week.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Date Night In--Star gazing

When the kids are in bed, sneak out into the yard or onto the patio (if you live in WY take lots of blankets and make cocoa).  Spend some time outside star gazing.  Lay on your backs.  Hold hands.

When Matt and I do this we like to play "Would You Rather ..."  This is silly and easy to play.  Simply come up with two options and your partner has to answer.

You can be:

  • Silly--"Would you rather kiss a monkey or a mouse?"
  • Adventurous--"Would you rather climb Everest or do a shark cage dive?"
  • Gross--"Would you rather eat my booger or one of the kids' boogers?"
  • Sexy--"Would you rather kiss me in the car or in the rain?"

Another fun gazing ideas is to wager how many shooting stars you'll see.  Who ever is right (or is the closest without going over--Price is Right rules all the way, baby!) gets a foot rub for the same number of minutes as there were shooting stars (4 stars=4 minutes).

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Things I Love--Being Okay with NOT being SuperMom

Today's edition of "Things I Love" was penned by a friend (which leads me to another point--I love guest bloggers.  Want to join the fun?  E-mail me at

Rachael is the mom of two little girls, Emily and Jane, and a devoted wife to Chris.  She is the witty one in our local mom's play group.  In her "spare time" she bargain shops for rugs to replace ones that her daughter spilled bleach on and entertains her facebook masses with her humor.

Enjoy Rachael's words.  Surely you'll see why we love NOT being SuperMom and why I love "UltraMom" Rachael!

Rachael with her daughters Emily and Jane (neither of whom were named after literary icons).

As a woman, I fill multiple roles. Every woman does. I can proudly claim the titles “wife”, “mother”, “daughter”, “sister” and “friend”. But one title has eluded my capture these many years.  Despite my best efforts, I am not a “super mom”. Oh how I long to be called super. I dream about getting shirts, mugs and cards for mother’s day emblazoned with the words “Super Mom”. But super I am not. Why? I do not hold down a full time job.
Come to think of it, I kind of see the point of view of the world when they label me “Just Mom”. After all, I can’t think of anything less super than being so covered with oatmeal, snot and mystery liquids that my original clothing choice doesn’t make it past 9 a.m.. 
I certainly don’t feel super when, after feeding my toddler and my preschooler, I finally get to sit down to lunch and my toddler makes a deposit in her diaper. While changing her diaper, my preschooler will inevitably yell, “Mom, I just pooped! Come wipe me!”. By the time I return to the soggy bowl of cereal that is my lunch, the smell of feces lingering in my nostrils, I am feeling about as far as super as it gets.
The other moms at the mall don’t see me as super when I am wildly chasing after one child while trying to get the other child to come to me voluntarily by yelling at the top of my lungs (this never works, by the way).
I am sure that there are many days my excellent husband doesn’t see me as super when he comes home from work to a blubbering mess of a wife who can only blurt out the words, “tantrum… vomit… blowout… carpet… ruined”.
It’s no mystery to me why my cape, tights, “S” emblem and red knee high boots aren’t in the mail. It’s because kids don’t use labels like “super” or “stay at home” or “ultra mom” (This is what I am really longing to be called. Think it will catch on?) because I would like to believe that there are moments when my kids think I’m super. They think I’m super when I take them to the Children’s Garden and they get to take their time exploring. They think I’m super when I make a birthday cake that loosely resembles their favorite cartoon character. They think I’m super when I find a favorite lost toy or am able to produce a comforting blankie at a crucial moment. They think I’m super when I cure minor injuries with Band-Aids, popsicles and snuggles.  If my kids had their way, they’d be throwing oatmeal at the Super Mom uniform every morning. And that’s what really matters.
Something tells me that when I go back to work in a couple years and the world finally admits me to the Super club, I won’t feel any more super than I do now.  In fact, I have a sneaky suspicion that the veteran moms are right and I will someday look back on these years at home with my kids as the best of my life. Of course, by then, my fading memory will have wiped out all the bodily fluids and tantrums that marked these years. When my kids are grown and moved away, I have a feeling that all I will remember these years for the time I got to spend with my children. I will think of golden days at the park, first steps, first words, playing princess, reading books and singing songs. I will remember my children seeing snow, blooming flowers and helium balloons as great miracles. That’s super enough for me. Even if I don’t get to wear a uniform.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Summer Fashion Resource

I've gushed about The Good Life for Less before and Jill's done it again!

If you need to know the summer fashion must-haves or 37 outfit ideas, check this out!

$4 is a bargain!

What I think About--Letting Go (advice appreciated!)

I’ve become monster and I hate it.  I am angry, hateful, and spiteful (I'd include a photo here but really, it's not pretty).  That is not me.  The root of all this is a very unhealthy and dysfunctional relationship.  In fact there is a person who watches this blog not because she wants to be a part of a loving community or values my thoughts but because she is  “checking up” on me.  This letter is directed toward that person.  I’m sorry to use this public venue for such a private conversation but all other attempts of communication have failed.  I’m desperate.

I ask that in all this, you will pray for this woman to fully accept the love of Christ and to find her security, esteem and value in Him alone.  And I beg that you would pray for me. Specifically pray that I would continue to be loving and compassionate even to this person who hates me.  Please pray that I would release my anger to God and be only who He wants me to be and trust that He will work in and through me—even in this yucky situation.  Please pray that God will redeem this relationship.

Dear You Know Who You Are,
I don’t even know enough about you to know if you liked Friends but there was an episode where everyone is slowly finding out about Monica and Chandler.  Rachel and Phoebe mess with them and keep saying, “they don’t know we know they know we know” (if you need comedic relief—especially after reading this--click here).  Anyhow, you’ve been “watching” this blog silently for months.  You don’t know I know that you know about this blog.  But I do.

I do not deny that I have hurt you in the past.  I’ve gossiped about you and thought bad things about you.  I’ve enabled your bad behavior and have not held you to high standards.  I’ve apologized.  I’ve tried to include you in special events and outings.  I’ve called, sent notes, sent e-mails, sent gifts, texted, and invited you to my private family blog.   You do not talk to me.  You have gone out of your way to intentionally hurt and ignore my family and me.  You’ve accused me of seeking to harm you and isolating you but you have taken no responsibility for your actions.  This relationship is dysfunctional and emotionally abusive. 

What I have to say today is: ENOUGH.

Since January, though arguably for the last ten years, I’ve been trying to find the Biblical balance between forgiving you “70x7” and guarding my heart.  How many times am I supposed to forgive someone who doesn’t seek forgiveness or change?  How many times must I turn the other cheek?  At what point does placating your actions hurt you more than me?  This is a sticky slope.  What I’ve come to realize is that forgiveness frees me. 

Please forgive me.

I forgive you. 

Though I love you for who you are and where you are, I love you too much to let you continue down this destructive path.  Like a woman who leaves an alcoholic and abusive husband until he is sober and has demonstrated change, I am leaving this relationship until you are able to show “fruit in keeping with repentance” (Luke 3:8).

I am making a choice to respond—not react—to you.  You may choose to not deal with your issues but I will not continue to expose my children or myself to the wake of chaos that follows your lack of self-control. 

I am building a boundary.  This building is not a wall but a fence.  The gate is open for you to come through when you chose. 

Of course my great fear, perhaps the greatest fear of anyone who has been in this position is that you will never walk through the gate--that we will never have a relationship--that I won’t know your children and you won’t know mine.  Scary as this thought is, I must lean on this quotation, “Sometimes, the hard truth is that they will not talk to you anymore, or they will leave the relationship if they can no longer control you.  This is a true risk.  God takes this risk every day.  He says that he will only do things the right way and that he will not participate in evil.  And when people choose their own ways, he lets them go.  Sometimes we have to do the same.”

Without malice, without ill-intent you must know that I am letting you go.  You are free of your imaginary competition between us.  You are free of any social obligations to my family or to me.  You are free of having to pretend for my sake--for anyone's sake.  You are free to find who you are and how you fit into the world without comparing yourself to me.  You are free of any burdens or expectations put on you by me.  When it comes to my family and me, you are free!

But know this, I love you.  I desire a loving and healthy relationship with you.  I want you in my life.  I want you to be a member of my blog community.  I am crying as I write this.  When you are ready, if you are ever ready, I am here.  Henceforth the fence will be up but the gate will always be open.

70x7—but with boundaries,

What I think about relationships is that they need boundaries. How do you balance guarding your heart with the need to forgive?  Am I right in distancing myself from this relationship?

Advice ladies, advice.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Too Clean Tuesday--Remove Hair Spray Residue

On the Where is the ME in Mommy Facebook page, dear friend Heather asked, "What is the best way to get icky sticky hair spray off bathroom doors and walls?  (Have I even mentioned how much I love your questions and comments?)

Great question and here's my reply:

There are a couple of options for removing hair spray residue. 

  • The strongest option is to rub or spray isopropyl alcohol on the wall with a cloth.  Rinse.   Then wash the wall with dishwashing soap (such as Joy or Dawn). Rinse and dry. Though this technique is the strongest you must be careful because the alcohol can remove paint!
  • Another option is to make a mix of 1 cup fabric softener to 2 cups of water. Spray onto wall. Wipe. Rinse. Dry.  By the way, this will make your room smell divine.  Want something else to do with fabric softener?  Check here.
  • A final option is to make a paste of baking soda and lemon juice and water and rub it on the wall. Rinse and dry.

I've heard of people using kitchen grease spray removers (such as Formula 409), Scrubbing Bubbles, vinegar and Mr. Clean Magic Erasers to clean hairspray goo but I can't speak to how these work since I haven't tried them.  I urge caution :)

What have you done to remove hair spray stick from the walls?

Have a cleaning question?  I'd love to share my thoughts!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Stork Report!


The airspace over my house is STILL a "No Fly" zone.  All trespassing storks will be dealt with harshly (read: gunned down).

Sorry to disappoint you but my big news has nothing to do with being on the nest.  I love my beautiful children and I have enough (at least right now).

Is the suspense been killing you?

Are you dying to know my dirty little secret?

Here it is .....


You didn't think I'd just blurt it out ... did you?

There's lots of talk about God's gifts and I believe all of it.  Early on in my life I knew my gift was teaching.  I taught before I was a mom.  As a mom, I teach about 18 hours a day (you know how that goes).  For my "me" time I've been continuing my education--doing what I can do to be a better teacher.  But something seemed to be missing.  I love my husband.  I love my children.  But I also love teaching.  I knew I didn't want a "regular" teaching job because I didn't want to be away from my children 40+ hours a week. 

So I prayed something would come my way.  Shortly after I started praying, a position teaching history at a local community college opened up.  The position hadn't been open since I moved here four years ago.  Was this a "sign"?  I applied.  For various reasons, this job didn't work out.

But while Job A wasn't working out, Job B came at me from no where!  They sought me out.  They contacted me.  They offered me the position (turns out word of mouth is pretty darn powerful).  I wrangled with the offer. It involves a commute. It involves being away from my kids several hours a week.  It means change and I'm not one of those people who loves change (though I'm also not one of those people who freaks out when Facebook moves the "log out" button!).  It means finding child care that meets my standards (which are pretty dang high).  It means adjustment, and being out of my comfort zone, and being more committed and being in a position   where   I    might       F   A   I     L.

I took it.

Starting this August I will be a part-time professor at our state's only university.  I'll be teaching methods to education students entering phase II of their teacher preparation experience.  

I'm thrilled.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

What's Cooking

We've had a few hectic weeks with Matt traveling for a trial and a nasty little spring cold that made our diets consist mainly of chicken broth and crackers.  That being said, we didn't do last week's meal plan and will, instead, be eating it this week.

Please check here for the meal plan.

Have a great week!