Showing posts from July, 2009

It's hard to see that I'm 32

Today is my birthday. Husband woke up early and bought me a fancy coffee and donut just like he said, and even though those make me smile, I certainly am not winking at it. In true ironic form, this morning my left eye is nearly swollen shut a little on the gooey side and all because even at the age of 32, I'm still a major dork. I had good intentions. Last night before bed I thought to myself, "I don't want to wake up on my birthday with make-up gunked on my eyes or running down my face" so I used extra soap to get it all off. Using soap on my eyes isn't something I normally do, as I soon found out that gunky eyes is really the better way to go. Somehow, the soap went directly INTO my eye and pretty much dissovled every bit of natural eye-juice and I'm almost positive burned a large hole in the ol' eyeball as well. Not a great way to say goodnight, and after attempting to flush out my eye and putting in allergy drops (because I didn't know what else t

Pre-birthday Small Successes

Tommorrow is my big day of the year, when my husband gets up early to get me fancy coffee and donuts. I am showered with love from everywhere, even though I don't really ask for it. Birthdays are the perfect day for feeling special, and for letting someone know just how special they are. So this week, my small successes are not my own, but instead they belong to some special people that I know. 1. J.S. traveled cross country in a minivan. With two small children. 2. J.H. is supporting breast cancer and walking in the 3-day walk in Cleveland, even though she isn't really ready for it. 3. E.M. learned to play one of her mom's favorite songs on the piano. and why not, 4. K.M. got another year older.

Late summer wouldn't be the same without it

August 8th is officially "sneak some zucchini on your neighbor's porch day" but I'm celebrating a little early this year. A friend recently bestowed upon me some lovely zucchini before leaving on vacation, and I thought that there would be no better way to use this gift than to dig out my grandma's recipe. The paper, a photocopy that is held together by yellowed scotch tape has her very distinctive handwriting. I'm pretty sure that handwriting lessons were pretty strict back in the 30's, because it seems that most older women have the same handwriting. My grandma's, however, has lovely capital B's and lower case s's. We closed the vault on grandma's ashes just last week, so I think it's fitting to bake her recipe this week. And if anyone drops some zucchini on your front porch in the upcoming weeks, I offer this recipe for you to try. I'm planning on eating a slice or two and playing some Solitaire, in honor of the woman we all love

Another one bites the dust, and won’t pick it up

There are few things as humbling as a major appliance going on the fritz. In fact, I think the only thing that would set a family further into mass commotion would be two appliances going out at the same time, which is what just happened to us. The washing machine had been on its way out for quite a while. Apparently the way I do laundry, affectionately known as the “stuff it in because why else would it come with a setting for extra large loads” method really does a number on the spinning mechanism after 10 years of use. With even the smallest amount stuffed in there, the washer would start its routine ca-chunka-chunka dance across the laundry room floor with each load. I’d walk in to rebalance it for the third time only to find my five-year-old son doing his very best to hold a full washer from moving with all of his 38 pounds. Even after a few repairs, I was told that it was a goner. It took only a few loads of my husband witnessing this ordeal until he declared that we were ge

In the background

This morning as I sit and type There's a banana sitting, over-ripe, Next to the coffee pot and such. I just can never have too much. The kids are all finished eating Oatmeal covers the baby's seating. It's on her clothes it's in her hair. I love that it is everywhere. The dryer hums, the grass in long, Spongebob sings his favorite song. I wonder about the news today... I wouldn't have it another way. My birthday is creeping up so slow, Gray hairs always remind me so. The kids, the man, the bills, the mess. It's the color of a mother's stress. Today when this post is through We'll venture out with errands to do. Shopping with three kids is tough, But I just can't seem to get enough. Overworked, underpaid, I admit the beds are never made. Someday I'll look back on this rhyme, And miss every minute of this time. ~~~Originally published at .~~~

Playing with bats, no baseballs required

I was a bumbling nerd of a highschool senior, walking into my very first scholarship interview at The College of Wooster. I sat down in the chair, wondering if the professor would notice that my right armpit sweats a little more than my left and that my face and neck made “cherry tomato” seem like a dull, blah color. She quickly welcomed me and then leaned back in her chair and said, “tell me what you know about bats.” My mind raced because this was an English professor and I didn’t think she was really asking me about anything scientific. I wanted to say that I spent countless hours as a child, sleeping on our pontoon boat, nestled deep inside my sleeping bag while the bats dive bombed all around us. I wanted to tell the stories of being at Girl Scout camp and choosing my canvas tent by the number of spiders versus the number of bats. I wanted to say that I always loved how bats pretty much have thumbs, and that if I ever met one who was ready to converse and not give me any disea

A photographic record of my perfect day

It's not too often that the calendar comes together in a sort of perfect way. There's always something getting in the way, and as a mom I am usually the one staying back. But not today. Today was a completely selfish day, which is something completely selfish and wonderful. I know these things are about as few and far between as Haley's comet or waking up to a houseful of children cleaned, dressed and fed, so I took the liberty to record the day in photographs... Up early and out the door, driving in the husband's jeep and leaving my mom-mobile, with all of its trash, carseats, diapers, and kid music behind. Off for my adventure at the NRA's program called Women on Target, a day of shooting instruction that introduces women to guns. Sleepy eyes were quickly remedied by... ritual stop at McDonald's for a McGriddle. If you've never had one, you are missing out. It's like someone too every single tasty flavor at the teeny tiny top of the food pyrami

Why my blog posts haven't been so great of late

I'll be the first to admit that I've been neglecting this blog, writing, and the computer in general. My inbox in bursting, my digital to-do list a virtual mile long. And all for this very reason: Summer is fun. Kids are fun. Dirt is fun, mud is better. Thank goodness for these long, long days and hoses.

Introducing The MommaVlogs!

A mom-writer/publisher/everything friend of mine is launching a new site! is a place for moms who blog and vlog to network and chat. What's a vlog? Video blog. In an effort to help a friend, I had my daughter video me this evening making these lovely flower dolls (care of Karen Geiser's creativity and classes). After just arriving home from a day of family reunioning, twirling a jump rope for 2 hours and following distant relatives into the wonderous Cascade Park, this is not my best movie by any means. But that doesn't mean that mom bloggers and non mom bloggers alike shouldn't zip over to ! I think it'll be a really fun place to share and network. The community of mom bloggers and writers is such a great one, and even though we are always emailing and reading, we never SEE or HEAR each other. What a great way to make a fabulous community even better.

New summer food pyramid for busy parents

There are a lot of things that make the summer different. Warmer weather, higher temperatures, and of course, empty schools. And empty schools mean one thing: copious amounts of children at their homes, causing chaos and confusion in their mother’s lives. Normally I try semi-hard to feed my children semi-healthy foods. There’s always a fruit or veggie around, but don’t hate me because we eat white bread and rice. During the school year there is routine. Wake up, eat cereal. Pack lunches, eat balanced meal. Nothing else to do in the winter but cook a flavorful and nutritious meal for dinner. There are homemade cookies and breads and popcorn popped on the stove all the time. But in the summer, there is fun to be had, lawns to be mowed, and creeks to be played in. And for me, all of this trumps the food pyramid, unless the food pyramid is something we build out on the back deck or jump off of at the park. We are constantly on the go and out the door and that means less planning for mealti

Small Successes

This week I'm inviting any readers to list one of their successes here as a comment. I know personally I've had the kind of day that doesn't feel like I've succeed at much of anything, one of those worn down days where I want to just snuggle up on the couch and fall asleep...and it's only 4:30 in the afternoon. My accomplishments for the day are: 1. Let the baby eat a bowl of oatmeal without any help. Normally I would be all over her, so that the oatmeal wasn't. I had to let go. I did. Then I cleaned. 2. I tried a new recipe for dinner and it was pretty good. Walnut pesto over fettuccine with fresh basil from the garden and a homegrown salad. Putting in the garden this year has really made me happy. 3. Despite the fact that I was really, really tired, I played Monopoly Jr. with the kids. I will, however, admit to cheating at the end so that my money pile would mysteriously dribble away to nothing...

Re-usable lunch baggies

As my mother and her mother would say, I've been "tinker-farting" around with these lunch bags lately. Last year I made a trial one for my first-grader, and I'm happy to say that besides a little fringing at the edges, the whole thing stayed perfectly intact. We used it over and over and over again for sending little snacks in her lunch box instead of wasting small plastic baggies. Not to mention, the snazzy pattern really brightened up her lunch box! This latest set is constructed much better. I hope to someday post the pattern, not that you really need one to measure the size of sandwich you want. They are cotton on the outside and nylon on the inside, and believe it or not, I wash them in the dishwasher. Mediocre seamstresses unite and cook up a batch of these yourself! Or maybe I'll get the urge to sew up a bunch and you can find me at the farmer's market one sunny Thursday before school starts....?

Here's a wild idea

The Wilderness Center, local nature hangout and all-around very cool place, now has really neat podcasts. Click on the image to check them out-- what a great resource to learn about local nature and get a little closer to what's around you.

It would be broccoli, but...

So much for the good camera. I have two digital cameras: one that is very pricey, fancy, and complicated. It takes marvelous pictures. The other I got free with some credit card points and the pictures are very so-so. For that reason, I have typically used the freebie one for throwing in the purse on outings so that I don't have a 10 pound bag of lenses dangling off one arm. The heavy-duty one I use for special photos, like the one of my children holding all of the broccoli that we harvested from our garden yesterday. It was beautiful. Living in the woods, our garden is small but mighty and we picked three lovely heads of broccoli yesterday. I posed all three children in front of the garden, each holding a head as if it were a bouquet of roses. The boy didn't even give bunny ears. The baby smiled. It was practically a photographic miracle. I snapped about 7 shots, and wouldn't you know that every single file had an error on the camera. Couple that with the big dinner of fre

How to maximize your amusement park memories

It’s as traditional as potato salad at a cookout, the summer trip up to the mega amusement park. We had the excellent pleasure of venturing to Cedar Point for a mini-getaway for the extended family, braving the crowds, the prices, and the heat, all in the name of a little fun by the lake. Who doesn’t have fond memories of going to amusement parks? Waiting in lines for hours just for that thirty second thrill that was so worth it. Getting sunburned and eating cotton candy. Spending three weeks allowance to play the water balloon game just to win a stuffed animal the size of a stick of gum. Coming home with legs and feet so sore that your mom poured you an Epsom salt bath out of the kindness of her heart even though she told you that fashionable shoes were going to hurt to walk in all day long. Yet somehow, even after barely leaving the parking lot, the bad stuff disappears and you’re left with a gaggle of good memories. Sure, my feet were sore and my shoulders were peeling, but I had a

Small Successes!

I'm exactly 1 hour and 29 minutes early this week for my Small Successes! (If anyone is wondering just what the heck these are, click the logo. Or I'll just tell you. Three small accomplishments in your life to make you--or at least me-- not feel like I run 97,032 miles and not gotten anywhere.) 1. Marched for the library in the Orrville parade with two kids who didn't whine for a single second and didn't spend $4 on a fried pickle at the carnival. 2. Visited two absolutely lovely families and their homes in one day, giving me plenty to reflect upon over the holiday weekend. And, I might add, only got lost one time thanks to Gordon (my GPS) who doesn't know his way around Wayne County which is pretty fitting since we gave him an Aussie accent... 3. Baked 3 different types of cookies, only leaving one batch in the oven for 30 minutes while I talked to the neighbor. Also discovered a new recipe for butterscotch cookies that I'm pretty sure I've completely fall