Saturday, July 31, 2010

Days of Play--Indoor rafting

What to help build your child's imagination and understanding of cause/effect relationships?  Try this!

All you need is a laundry basket.

Put your child in the laundry basket.  Push them around the floor, rock them back and forth, go fast and slow, smooth and rough, and make 'em crash.  Pretend they are white water rafting or pirates at sea on a windy day.

Exercise for you. Fun for them!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Date Night In--Movie Night Marathon (for 2)

What's better than snuggling and watching a show?  Snuggling and watching 3 shows, of course!

You'll need:
  • an air mattress
  • pillows
  • blankets
  • snacks
  • drinks
  • dim lighting
  • 3 movies
What to do:
  1. Get the kids in bed.
  2. Get in your (sexy) jammies
  3. Pop some popcorn
  4. Dim the lights
  5. Turn on the shows
  6. Snuggle and enjoy!
Here are movie series you might want to try:

Silly Trio:
  • Dumb and Dumber
  • Austin Powers
  • Spaceballs
RomCom Trio:
  • Notting Hill
  • When Harry Met Sally
  • 10 Things I Hate About You
Old School Trio
  • Pretty in Pink
  • Say Anything
  • Better Off Dead
Action Trio:
  • Italian Job
  • True Lies
  • Entrapment 
Sports Trio:
  • Rudy
  • Field of Dreams
  • Hoosiers
Of course you could go with a "series" theme and watch:
  • Oceans 11, 12, and 13
  • Star Wars (old or new)
  • Twilight series (BTW, if you can pull this one off your hubby must REALLY love you)
  • James Bond series

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Things I Love: P90X

Matt and I started P90X in June.

For those of you who don't know, P90X is a 90 diet and exercise program that utilizes a series of home work outs to pump you up!

Check out the before/afters of these "ordinary" folks!

Matt and I are in our second week of phase two and we are loving it.  Don't get me wrong, it totally sucks.  We don't get to eat cheesecake or ice cream and our abs are burning and sometimes my arms are so tired I can barely wash my hair, but we love it.

I hope I have the courage to post my "before" and "after" photos when it's all said and done but no promises :)

Even without the photos, I can tell you that by the end of phase 1 (28 days), I was down 7.5 pounds, down 2.5% body fat, down 1.5 inches around my chest, down 2 inches at my waist, and down 1.25 inches around my hips.  Even though the measurements were down, down, down, I was not.  In fact, I feel amazing!

Even though I don't necessarily look forward to Tony Horton's constant babbling or the intensity of the program (7 days a week, 1-2 hours a day), I do love that it is a different routine every night (so I don't get bored and neither do my muscles).  And I love, love, love the way I'm lookin' and feelin'.

Inevitably someone is going to e-mail me asking if we are doing the diet portion.  Yes, we are because if I'm gonna bring it, I'm not gonna bring it half way!

If you are ready to bring it, and I mean, REALLY WORK and bring it, I highly recommend this program!

(P.S.  I suggest getting weights.  If you buy BeachBody bands you'll be okay but Target brand bands don't have enough tension and you won't get the results you want).

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What I Think About--The Life of Pi

In February my sweet friend Beth loaned me The Life of Pi by Yann Martel.
I'm going to digress here.  You know how Anne of Anne of Green Gables always talks about "kindred spirits"?  Beth is one of my kindred spirits.  We are stay-at-home, politics following, history nerd moms.  And she has great taste when it comes to books (and food and clothing).  I've loved every books she's loaned me.  Our books are our dear friends.  She is my dear friend. 
Back to The Life of Pi.  This book came into my life at an odd time.  A fellow in our life group suggested I read it a day before Beth gave it to me.  Random?  Coincidence?  Who knows?  Anyhow, I had the book on my shelf since February.  I started it and longed to finish it but my semester of school was particularly grueling and I never got around to reading it ...until this week.

I finished The Life of Pi on Monday.  Never before have I experienced a crisis of faith that was brought on by a piece of fiction.

Early in the book it is said, "I have a story that will make you believe in God."  This book is not necessarily about religion (though the main character is a practicing Hindu/Muslim/Christian) but is more about the faith it takes to believe beyond what is seen.  In fact near the end of the book, the main character says, "I know what you want.  You want a story that won't surprise you.  That will confirm what you already know.  That won't make you see higher or further or differently."

Herein lies the problem.  The book is one long story but near the end, another story is told and the reader is left to decide for herself which story is real.  One is a story of confirmation. The other is a story of faith and when the pages ran out, I wasn't sure I had the faith to believe.

Of course I know this is a work of fiction but a huge part of me just needed "the answer."  I didn't want to be left wondering.  I wanted to know.  And that want has gone unfulfilled--in fiction and in life.

In some ways I've really just cast my frustrations onto the book.  In real life, my real life, there are questions I want answered--"Why is MY mom sick?"  "Why now?"  "Why does everyone insist that I make this petty relationship side issue THE issue of my life?"  These questions, these supplications, these frustrations, these prayers have gone unanswered.  And sometimes, I feel like I don't have the faith to believe that I'll ever know or understand or that I have the strength to keep moving in such turmoil.

Though the book brought out serious, deep emotions of fear and doubt, it also served as a reminder that the very things that challenge us ironically keep us alive.  Sometimes it takes being alone, and afraid, and in the dark, and out of control for me to step out on a limb and say, "Even if you are all I have, it's still more than enough for me."

Not having the answers I want keeps me dependent on the God who I trust. 

In many ways, The Life of Pi served as a great reminder of truths that have been obscured by my reality.

I can't recommend it enough.

Do you have a great read to share? Please do!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Blog got content (To the tune of Baby Got Back)

Here are some fun link love to blogs I follow.  Read my goofy poem and click on the links to find some good reads. You can thank me when you stop laughing. And no judging the rhymes!

Oh my gosh, girlfried.
Look at that blog.
It's so colorful and cute.
It doesn't look like one of those professional bloggers.
But you know, who understands those bloggers anyway?
They only write because, you know, they get paid.
But I mean this blog is so good.
I can't believe it's just so content-full.
It's like out there.
I mean wow--look.
It's just so awesome!

I like random blogs and I cannot lie,
You other readers can't deny
when a blog pops up that's just your taste
it puts a big smile on your face
You come undone--wanna follow that stuff
'cuz they ain't reviewin' no fluff.
Deep into the archives you're tearing,
You're hooked and you can't stop staring.

Hey blogger wish I could meet 'cha
but till then I'll stalk your blogger picture
My alarm goes off to warn me
to get up and read your posts to make my morning

O blogger witticism 
your words are gettin' under my skin.
Well write to me, inspire me
Cuz I'm a followin' groupie!

I've seen other blogs reveiwin'
the sweet giveaways they're doin'
They are hot and fab
but the content can be a little drab.

I'm tired of blog awards
trying to get readers on board.
Take the average reader and ask her style
The contents gotta be deep a mile

So bloggers (ya?) blogger (ya?)
Does your blog got content (hell ya!)
Write it up, post it out
all your followers gonna shout
Blogger got content!

Hope you find some good reads here!

Have a blog and wanna borrow my poem to spread your own linky love?  That's cool.  Just give credit where credit is due and grab my button!

Where is the ME in Mommy?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

What's Cookin'--7/26-8/1

Apparently I forgot to post our menu last week.  We were camping and filthy and rugged and blissfully away from all forms of electronics! 

Here's what we'll be eating this week (we are in phase 2 of P90X so we get more carbs!):

Monday--Orange Honey Teriyaki chicken with brown rice and steamed veggies
Tuesday--Lean beef roast with potatoes and carrots
Wednesday--Garlic Parmesan Chicken salad
Thursday--Fajitas on whole wheat tortillas
Friday--Spinach pesto over grilled halibut
Saturday--Cheesy Chicken breasts with rice and swiss chard
Sunday--Spinach lasagna with salad