Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tales from the Supermarket

Scenario: Mommy pushing Luke in the grocery cart as we make our bi-monthly trip to the grocery store.

Conflict: Since we've been going every two weeks, coupon clipping and meal planning, my grocery list is brand specific, extensive, and takes time to complete.

Reward: If Luke is a good and patient boy, he gets a donut, which is universally referred to as a "treat" in our household.

Humor: While picking up Aunt Jemima pancake syrup, which I had a coupon for, Luke snatched the oh-so-precious grocery list from my grip and began "reading" the paper in total jibber-jabber.

Wanting him to feel engaged and helpful I asked him, "Luke, what's next on our list?" He responded, "Num, num." Now, the next thing on my list was a block of Crystal Farms mozzarella cheese, but hey, in Luke's world "num num" should have made the light go off.

Taking my chances I asked Luke what else was on the list..."treat," of course ;) .

Friday, September 26, 2008

Agenda Lost

We've been sick...all week. Between the daily rain and general displeasure at the thought of getting dressed and leaving the house, Luke and I are on our last leg trying to keep entertained. Fortunately Luke has been an angel these days and has demanded little of me. Halfway through the week we managed to get to the library for some new books, but I now have no voice to read them aloud. I called in to work tonight, something I never do, and am just hoping that this isn't a sign of what's coming this winter.

In my spare time I'm doing what any other sensible new home owner would be doing, spending endless hours on the internet looking up paint colors and toddler bedding. The toddler bedding is easy, because anyone who knows Luke knows what makes him the happiest in the world--dinosaurs. I managed to find a sheet set that wasn't too scary or obnoxious, and thought cool bedding would be good motivation for Luke to sleep in a big boy bed. The paint is more tricky because I'm dealing with a type of home we never thought we'd get, that is, new, modern and bright, as opposed to the older, classic homes with character that we looked at all summer. Now, instead of reds and browns I'm leaning towards light greens and soft yellows. Of course, we can't even get into the house right now, but it's still fun to dream.

Another not-so-great companion of sickness is its ability to throw off our wonderful routine. I haven't cooked all week, the produce is going bad, the pork loin is still in the freezer, and the take-and-bake pizza and lunch at McDonald's are making me feel all my effort to get on track has been wasted. But, a wise mother told me to expect these things to happen, to plan for them, and not to beat yourself up when out of necessity a week of dinners and laundry go down the toilet.

From a Hesitant Homemaker in Minnesota with no voice but a need to communicate somehow.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Guilty Pleasures

Just when I thought it was lost for good, just when I thought we'd be forced to buy another, I found it. After months of agonizing searching, Friday nights with mediocre comedy, and movies that just didn't stack up to the competition, it's finally here.

I'm talking about Anchorman, of course. Where was it found? In the bottom of a forgotten-about toy box...of course.

I want to scream it from on top of a mountain, but I don't have a mountain. I have a computer and a blog. Stay classy, cyberspace.

Home Sweet Home

We have a house! This is the fourth home we've attempted to buy, but through no fault of our own the previous three haven't worked out. Unknowingly, we saved the best for last and are very excited for everything to come. The pictures are off the internet now and we don't close for a couple weeks, so I don't even have a picture to share, but soon enough they'll be plenty.

It is a buyer's market, but it's a myth to think that it's an easy market. The best homes are bought fast, and you can't take a day off in your search for those homes, because they're gone in a matter of days, sometimes less. We saw our house on Saturday after it being on the market for a day. By Monday there were six offers on the house. The same situation happened to us last month attempting to buy a similar home. In that case we came in second of six offers. We learned a few things through the experience, and when this opportunity came up we were going to use everything we learned to win the bid. It worked.

The next couple weeks will be filled with phones calls, oven shopping, and packing up the pieces of our lives assorted through in three different home generous enough to store our stuff during this transition. We are excited, scared, and thankful...but mostly excited :) .

Language Barrier

Should I be worried? My son can't say simple words and phrases necessary for communicating effectively with me and the world around him. However, yesterday in the middle of a Melissa and Doug puzzle, he pointed to a flying dinosaur and said "Pterodactyl."

My conclusion. Far-fetched, but a great excuse for the language gap and puzzle obsession.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


The hot rollers actually worked! They did require a little time and effort, i.e., warming them up, putting them in, and waiting for them to cool. However, it was a welcomed change from my daily ponytail and took much less time than if I'd have to curl my hair or blow-dry it to make it curly. I was a little reminiscent of a Texas prom queen, but no one's perfect. 

Final Verdict: Very pleased, will make my life easier, will make getting ready for church faster, will be therapeutic when after sixty straight days of a ponytail I feel so frumpy I start to dress like one of the Olsen twins. 

Friday, September 19, 2008

October Road

I first read Story of a Soul as a freshman in college. I labored through it, and didn't understand most of what I was reading. I kept the book at school with me for the next two years, and during the fall of my senior year I picked it up again.

The second time around wasn't mundane or difficult. Instead, I was inspired, enthusiastic, and a thoroughly changed person. I carried it around with me, finished it and started right back up again, and re-read the same simple passages over and over again while contemplating their rich meaning.

I've since read many other fantastic spiritual books, but every October I return to one of the staples of my faith--Story of a Soul, the autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux. It's a great preparation for the significant coming months--Advent in November, Christmas in December, and then Lent and Easter in the Spring. Then, at the end of every summer and the beginning of a new fall, Story of a Soul emerges again, each time revealing more than it had during the previous read.

Once October hits and I pick up my loved book again, I'll be happy to share some of those passages which have touched my life. Although, if you've read the manuscript, I'm preaching to the choir, but perhaps you'll pick up it again with me.


I have fallen in love again. I have fallen in love with a nameless, faceless, tiny person. I have fallen in love with someone I have not seen, have not touched, have not held, but I have heard.

I have fallen in love with a heartbeat. Although weeks from viability, months from birth, and years before he or she can tell me back, I have fallen in love, and I'm in awe.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Risky Business

I caved. I was watching the Tyra Banks show this week in a fit of napping denial and saw a segment about a woman with hair JUST LIKE MINE. Specifically, frizzy, out of control, and desperate for anything that works. They hair-sprayed her hair and then put it all up in wide-barrelled hot rollers. Her hair came out smashing. Of course, that meant that today in Target I bought wide-barrelled hot rollers anticipating the same carefree results.

I'm taking a big risk. I have an appointment in an hour and I have hot rollers in my hair. This could spell a bad hair disaster. I'll let you know how it turns out. Just don't knock on my door.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Home Buying

This process continues to exhaust me. With interest rates dropping to ridiculous lows everyday, Mark and I are eager to make a decision on a home. After one dropped offer and a flash sale where we came in second of six other offers, we are still without a home of our own. The home showings continue, the nights spent number crunching and listing searching goes on, and we are left wondering where our house is.

Through this experience I've learned a lot about compromise, expectations, and the difference between laminate floor and carpeting costs. I have a hunch our search will soon come a halt with a combination of the interest rates and eagerness of sellers to get their home sold before the dead of winter hits. Fortunately for us, we're in an ideal situation.

After cramped apartment living, my mind is busy dreaming of a bedroom for my little boy decorated with the trains and dinosaurs he loves. I'm busy dreaming of a nursery for our next one with the matching crib bedding I wasn't able to use for Luke, and a changing table and rocker all in the same room. I'm dreaming of a kitchen with a dishwasher, more than a foot of counter space, and cupboards that open and close without a struggle. I'm dreaming of a Christmas tree, Easter eggs, birthday parties, and breakfast on the porch

It's all been exciting, stressful, and sometimes frustrating, but we're getting there.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


What we know about the sock monster:

1. Baby socks get lost mysteriously

2. The sock monster seems to catch his socks somewhere between the washer and dryer cycle.

3. The sock monster doesn't like to catch two matching socks. He prefers one sock per set, thus making every sock in the drawer and mis-match.

4. The sock monster is seemingly invisible.

5. We thought, until today, that the sock monster ate the socks he caught. We were mistaken- He hoards them behind the crib.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lessons Learned

I will not wait for the first snowfall to buy boots and a winter jacket for my son.
I will not wait until all the leaves are off the trees before I realize that Luke has no warm clothes for the upcoming season.
I will not spend another winter with no boots for the baby because they were sold out everywhere.
I will not buy the absolute last jacket and snowpants on the rack within a tri-county region simply because I did not plan.

I'm going today.

But let's face it. This is Minnesota. It could snow tomorrow. At least I'll be prepared this time around.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fashion Victim

This is my purse, and yes, it's awesome. I love it. It's probably my favorite purse of all time.

This is the inside of my purse. Not quite as glamorous. No Kleenex, no hand sanitizer, no ibuprofen or any other practical purse-user necessities. However, I'm stocked with dinosaurs, a giraffe, a plastic spoon, a stick of gum, a Michael Jordan action figure, Thomas the Train, and of course, a huge tube of Vaseline (that's for me). Yeah, me and my purse are pretty cool.

Friday, September 5, 2008

No Clever Title, Just A Gross Story

I spent much of my time in college studying psychology of human development. I took class after class about Pavlov's dog, Piaget's learning stages, and endless others with different views about the stages of infants and children. Distinguishing each of these psychologists from their differing theories was quite difficult. I used note cards, color codes, rote memorization in order do well in my classes. Some of these theories, such as positive reinforcement, come in handy in my life today. There was one kook, popularly known as Freud, who gave me a little understanding yesterday after a blog-worthy situation.

Freud's developmental stages revolve around bodily functions. From birth to adulthood, the stages are: Oral, Anal, Latency, Genital. For educational purposes, the first two are the quickest stages and are over by the age of five or six.

Yesterday before naptime I changed a dirty diaper and put Luke in the crib. Twenty minutes later he was fussing in the crib and calling for me. I opened his bedroom door and saw a diaper on the floor and a bare-butted baby in the crib. Pulling the child out of the crib and storing him in an empty tub while I assessed the damage, I quickly saw evidence of the second Freudian stage left behind in the crib. Only slightly freaking out, I pulled all of the wet and soiled bedding out of the crib, grabbed the baby out of the tub and then put him back in after discovering that he was also covered in the second Freudian stage.

Taking naptime very seriously, both for Luke and myself, I improvised a crib sheet with a fleece blanket, cleaned the child and put him back down for a nap. I'm hoping this isn't a sign of things to come, but just to make sure, Luke's going to wear a romper for his nap today.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What do you do...

...when your two year old tests you?
What do you do when you call his name and he runs the other way?
When you try to pick him up and he goes limp?
When you ask him to hand you something and he throws it across the room?
When he colors red crayon all over the window after specifically telling him not to?
When you finally spank him and he's up to the same shenanigans ten minutes later?
When you feel like an ineffective mother and fear destined to have naughty kids?

What's happened to my perfect, sweet little boy? The boy who showered me with hugs and kisses from morning 'till night? Who made me deliriously happy with his laughs and smiles? I try to give him a stimulating environment with colorful, creative toys. I give him attention when he needs it, I play with him on the floor, and make him play on his own when I'm busy, but I must be doing something wrong! I always follow through on discipline, and I never let him get away with defiance, and yet, here I am with a defiant two year old who knows the rules and breaks them anyway.

I'm hoping this is just a rough few days and not a new stage. Then again, maybe I've had it too easy for too long. Maybe I have too many expectations for a boy just over two and just need to have more patience. Maybe he's just two and I'll have to deal with it.

On a positive note, because I hate sounding negative when life has given me so many blessings, Luke goes to bed perfectly every night with a kiss on lips and a blessing.--yesterday he took a four hour nap! Still, this mom business is tricky stuff!

A Rant and A Rave

Did you watch the RNC speeches last night? If not, this one by Fred Thompson is incredible. When it began, I was convinced I'd lose interest, being that I admittedly am not that interested in John McCain, but as the conservative nominee I should be supportive. Afterwards I thought, for the first time in this election, that Senator Obama doesn't stand a chance against the magnitude of Senator McCain. I would encourage you to watch this speech, it is quite moving.

More than a veteran, more than a war hero, more than a prisoner of war, a senator, or any other of the hats that Senator McCain has worn, he has proven to me that his outstanding conviction is unlike anything I've seen in any other candidate--and that's something I trust.

The media covered a controversial debate recently where Senator Obama was asked a question about when human life began. His response, "above my pay grade," is still being discussed. Senator McCain's response "at conception," while blunt and bold, showcases firsthand his convictions. This single question tells me all I need to know about Senator Obama, not simply because he's pro-choice, but because of the lack of conviction, uncertainty, and pragmatism behind his answers, which to me, just make him another slimy politician.

Senator Obama has a 100% pro-abortion approval rating from NARAL and Planned Parenthood. Never has he voted to restrict abortion, and even supports the infanticide of children born alive after failed abortion. As a senator, deciding when life began certainly wasn't above his pay grade. Now as a presidental nominee, his conviction seems to have left him. He won't stand confidently behind the votes he cast in the senate, and we on the other side are supposed to sift through his muddled conviction.

I understand that being a POW does not in any way qualify someone to president, but it certainly does reveal character (Thompson). To defend your country's honor in spite of torture and fear of death reveals a lot about the kind of man you are. On the other hand, to cower behind your decisions with fear and lame answers simply reveals a politician looking for gain.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I did it!

I went shopping today and got every single item on my list--enough to feed our family for two whole weeks. This is no easy task with a busy two year old in tow, but a bribe of a fresh donut seemed to do the trick as Luke got squirmy in the frozen potato isle. My coupons saved me over $35, and I'm quite proud of myself ;) . 

Dinner tonight was a success in that it was planned, prepared, and took little mind effort. Tomorrow's should be even easier, as the trickiest part of cooking is figuring out what the heck to make. But our fridge is stocked, including two gallons of milk, and a gallon each of orange and apple juice. We'll see how this transition works, but day one is already helping me feel refreshed. 

Now I can sit back, relax and watch the RNC...aahh!