Saturday, June 30, 2007
Violets are blue.
My teacher makes us clap and sing.
Sadly, that is true.
We were required to order this phenomenal book of poems. All of the poems have been read by Garrison Kellier on The Writer's Almanac, which is a show featured daily on NPR. Several of us had high hopes for this class. I was a little intimated because I don't care all that much for poetry, but I was ready to be challenged academically. This teacher is good. Not great, but good. He's definitely teaching to the primary teachers in the group, which is what I am, so that's good. But he reads all of the poetry in a sing-song voice with the SAME. EXACT. INFLECTION. Help me. He likes to do clap-and-snap poetry so the children learn a beat. I have never done that with my kids and really, really doubt I'll start now. It's just not my style. I wanted to learn about different styles of poetry and how to use them for instruction. I'm holding out hope that that will come sometime during this class. We meet tomorrow (Sunday) and then again the last weekend in July. He might just redeem himself.
I hope ya'll are having a more exciting weekend than I am. Please tell me about it.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Check out Kyla at The Journey (see my sidebar). Say a little prayer for KayTar as she's experiencing some new and unusual symptoms. It sounds like the Tar family has a great pediatrician who is ready and willing to go back to the drawing board to figure out what the cause of KayTar's condition is.
Head on over to Christina at Momology to read about fun trips with Nadia. I so wish Nadia and M could be real life friends.
Stacy at the Land of K.A. took a day off work. You should stop over there to see what she did for her precious blondie daughter. She's totally creative, ya'll. You'll be so impressed.
My friend, Melody of Slurping Life, is busy this week moving her family to their new home in a new city. They're leaving the country behind for a more suburban life. I can't wait for her update to see how everyone is adjusting.
See you on the other side of Sunday. I'm off to bed with rhymes in my head.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
"New biper, peese!" (holding the back of her dirty diaper)
"Mer!" (cat. We think she's saying Meow.)
Bocha--any dog (Our dog is Mocha)
Me: M, please pick up your books.
M: No, Bocha.
Me: M, eat your sandwich.
M: No, Bocha.
Me: Did you play in Mocha's water?
M: (shaking her head) No-oo, Bocha.
She blames EVERYTHING on Mocha.
More funny examples to come. She's beckoning me from her crib. Mommmmm=mmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Here are some of the highlights from the Fall-Winter Collection 2007 catalog:
1.) Amazing, incredible hostess sets.
2.) New In Line Colors. They are fresh and trendy--so fun! I think Soft Sky might be my personal favorite.
3.) There is a new Neutrals: Basic Gray. It's beautiful.
4.) SU! has designed three new collections: Boho West; Tapestry, and Corner Office. Here is the description in the catalog:
"We're excited to share three exclusive collections inspired by this season's hot new design trends. Each collection features products that coordinate in color, texture, and theme. Choose your favorite style and see how easy it is to capture today's trends in your own artwork."
Each collection has a color theme, coordinating stamp sets and accessories.
5.) Some of the new sets are ABSOLUTELY incredible. There is certainly something for every one in this catalog. The variety is top-notch. For those that have the set Loads of Love, there is now a boat set (Boatloads of Love) that coordinates. Also, at the bottom of many of the pages in the Idea Book, SU! provides the information for the "extras" that were used to create the projects. Now it is so easy to see what you might need to recreate a project! There are some great new alphabet sets.
6.) For the first time ever, SU! is offering textured cardstock!!! I can't wait to get my hands on some for my scrapbooks. It's only sold in color family multi-packs (12x12), but I think it's going to be a great thing.
7.) SU! has outdone itself on the patterned paper this year. It will take your breath away.
8.) I have fallen in love with the Simply Scrappin' Kits. How amazing to have everything together for you, waiting on your photographs.
9.) As soon as you get your catalog, look for Accents and Elements, pg. 178. Amazing.
10.) Chipboard, chipboard, chipboard.
11.) Three for You Punch Box
12.) Pretties Kit (pg. 188) A MUST HAVE.
13.) Rhinestone Brads and Build-A-Brad
14.) Crop-A-Dile I can't wait to show you this handy tool. Ironically, I just ordered one on E-Bay. If I'd known SU! was going to offer it, I would have ordered through them. It's the tool you just can't live without.
15.) Ribbon, ribbon, ribbon, and more ribbon
Woohooo!!! I love new catalog time!!!
Monday, June 25, 2007
Sunday, June 24, 2007
M is having a total speech explosion right now. She is learning the relationship between words and objects, so she's constantly labeling things (touching a flower and saying flower; holding a purple bottle and saying purple). She's also really enjoying language. She laughs at certain words and repeats them over and over again. She loves to sing and screeches her favorite words in the songs. She's a teaser. She'll "hide" and then jump out to "surprise" you. She thinks that's hilarious.
Yesterday we were eating lunch as a family. She was sitting in the big girl chair beside me and H was across the table from us. H and I were discussing the meaning of life or something equally important like the grocery list when we noticed that M had her fingers spread wide open covering her eyes so she could see between her fingers. When she caught H's eye, she screeched "Pee-boo!" Then she laughed my most favorite belly laugh and covered her face again. It took us about 3 seconds to realize she was initiating peek-a-boo with H! We laughed, so she did it again. And again. And again. H played back. This memory will be one of my favorites.
Most of M's cd's are in the car and we listen to them endlessly as we run errands. One of M's favorite songs on her kid's CD is "Ring around the Rosies." The version on her cd says:
Saturday, June 23, 2007
I know you are sick of hearing about the gym and my newfound love of all things healthy. So, I'd like to discuss scrapbooking. I love it. If you are a scrapbooker or if you are thinking of becoming a scrapbooker or if you used to scrapbook and have not in a while (ahem...Christina) or if you've never considered scrapbooking, I think I've found a great product for you. But first let me ramble for a while. I'm a hot/cold scrapbooker. I'll do it religiously for a while, then get tired of having my junk out, so I'll pack it up and put it away for a while. By while, I mean months. Weeks. Just depends on what else is going on in life.
I sometimes get out of touch with the current trend. Sometimes I don't care for the current trend, so I stick with my basic, simple style. Every now and then I turn out a pretty fantastic layout.
Whether I'm hot or cold, I always enjoy reading Creating Keepsakes ( http://www.creatingkeepsakes.com/) Magazine and Simple Scrapbooks (http://www.simplescrapbooksmag.com/ ) Magazine. (I'm getting to the great product in about 2 seconds.) While purusing my May copy of Creating Keepsakes, I discovered that Lisa Bearnson, Ali Edwards and some other famous scrapbooker are creating monthly kits that include albums, layouts, embellishments, and tons of ideas. I was intrigued. I got on the website (http://www.lisabearnson.com/kotm/) and was impressed with the versatility of June's kit. So, I ordered it.
It arrives Friday afternoon. As soon as I opened it, I realized that it's amazing. Each layout is sealed in it's own bag. There is a hinged clipboard for display. There is a booklet with page ideas. Each page is multiple layers. There are a variety of embellishments. I haven't opened the bag with a layout yet, so I can't attest to the quality of the paper. Truthfully, it's probably not the nice thick paper I love to buy at the scrapbook stores, but everything is already cut. DID YOU HEAR ME???? Everything is already cut for you. I don't have to cut mats or title blocks or ANYTHING. That in itself is worth a lesser quality paper. I don't mean that the paper isn't good. But the cardstock isn't Bazzill, which is top of the line.
The other thing that got me about this approach to a monthly kit? There is no committment. I was a member of a scrapbook club, but you were charged almost $40/month and you had to cancel your membership to take a break. With Lisa Bearnson's approach, you order only the kits you are interested in. So, if my budget is tighter one month, I won't order it. Or if the kit is something I'm not interested in, I won't order it. But I have the freedom.
I also like that there are several samples with each layout idea on the website. Ali Edwards also posted some of her examples on her blog. Speaking of her blog, can I mention that I thought I'd died and gone to heaven when I realized ALL. THESE. FAMOUS. SCRAPBOOKERS. HAVE. BLOGS. But not to worry. I really like you all more. A lot more. I mean...you're real people and you're my blog friends.
Check it out and let me know what you think. Please.
Just a disclaimer: Since my local scrapbook store closed, I'm thirsty for supplies. The amazing scrapbook store in Atlanta is 2 hours away--not something I could do every weekend. If you have a local store, I highly encourage you to support it. Then again, one can never have too many supplies!!!
Friday, June 22, 2007
Well, friends, I had my first session today. I can barely walk now. I'm telling you...the man was trying to kill me.
It gets worse: I was sassy to him. I wasn't very nice during the session! What in the world!?!?!
Example 1: Meeting in the office
Trainer: Are you nervous?
Me: Yes, very.
Trainer: Don't be nervous.
Me: I won't be nervous if you'll stop intimidating me.
Example 2: Learning about the treadmill
Trainer: Have you used this before?
Me: (thinking: didn't I already tell you that I've been here 6 times already!?!) Yes, I know how to use this.
Trainer: Well, your goal is to walk at atleast 3.0 miles per hour.
Me: I can already do that.
Trainer: Oh, okay. Well then, your goal is to walk at atleast 3.5 miles per hour.
Me: (sounding frustrated) I can already do that.
Trainer: Okay. Then your goal is to build up to 4.0 miles per hour. So, today you're going to walk at 3.7 for 15 minutes with the incline at 3.5.
Me: You've got to be kidding me! 3.5 incline is going to kill me!
Trainer: We're only beginning.
Me: I quit.
Example 3: Conversation about throw-up
Me: I hope I don't throw up.
Trainer: Are you going to throw up? I don't want you to throw up.
Me: Then we'd better stop because I'm going to throw up.
Example 4: Stairs
Me: Do you have children?
Trainer: Not yet.
Me: When you do have children and they are in second grade, I'm going to take revenge on them for this torture.
Trainer: Laughed at me
What in the world??? I'm generally not a sassy person. I sounded like a petulant child! I'm rather embarrassed with myself.
Maybe I'll call and apologize. After my long, hot soak in the tub and after I slide down the stairs on my bottom. On the other hand, maybe I should wait until the pain in my legs subsides so I won't apologize through my gritted teeth.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
So, today's show was about childhood obesity. I wasn't an obese child. H wasn't an obese child. M is definitely not an obese child. But I was completely and totally convicted by the show. Dr. Phil's statistics were staggering about childhood obesity and the problems that are associated with it. Dr. Phil was reading a list of foods one family was feeding their child. He named grilled cheese sandwiches, PB&J and on and on. Some of the foods he listed are M's favorite foods! Not that I think I'm raising a child who loves junk food. I try not to keep too much junk food around the house.
On the other hand, I must be vigilant in my quest for healthiness. My plan must include my daughter so that I teach her healthy habits. Dr. Phil said that the biggest role models for children are, first, the same sex parent and, second, the opposite sex parent. This can not be a household of "do as I say, not as I do." I must walk the road I want M to walk. The training must begin now so that healthy habits are a way of life for this family.
Now a question for you. How do I balance this quest for healthiness? How do I make sure that it does not become an obession? For example, I am enjoying going to the gym in the mornings after breakfast. Well, Tuesday mornings are story hour at the library. Do I take Tuesday morning off from exercising so M has a chance to visit with other children or do I exercise? Do I try to cram several activities in one day and do both? I could exercise after H gets home in the evenings. I don't want my desire to become healthy and lose weight to interfer with the activities that my family enjoys doing. Has anyone else struggled with this? Any suggestions?
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Just so you know, Nona won. Hands down. And I think she had a good time. When H asked her if she'd like to bowl, she declined.
Nona, you've made M proud.
I needed to make a few apology cards tonight. This is such a basic, but quick, design. The picture is sideways, so you might have some trouble seeing it clearly. All products are Stampin' Up! I made a pocket card using brilliant blue cardstock and stamped circles on the front of it. Then I stamped so very and sorry in brilliant blue on white cardstock. I trimmed them and put them on orange panels (the one at the top of the card has small circles stamped on it and is torn). The red panel fits in the pocket and says sorry at the bottom right corner. I'm going to write my apology notes and get them in the mail tomorrow.
My parents (Nona and OB) left this afternoon right before I put M down for a nap. When M woke up, we played upstairs for a few minutes before going downstairs. I knew she wouldn't understand that Nona and OB were gone. She rushed around downstairs trying to find them. When she couldn't find them anywhere, I told her that Nona and OB went home. She raced to the window and was crying "Nona, Nona, Nona" as she knocked on the glass. I just sat on the floor and cried a little--she didn't understand and it broke my heart that she missed her grandparents so much! I'm so thankful for the relationship they have. Not all children are lucky enough to have grandparents that roll around on the floor with them and laugh at everything they do or read to them for hours on end or play little finger games or enjoy a toddler's humor. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for being such amazing grandparents. M and I are very lucky. We love (and miss) you very much.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Tomorrow I PROMISE to post pictures of Nona playing the Wii. Bring tissue. You'll laugh until you cry.
Oh...Happy Birthday, Nona. I love you so much. You're an amazing mom. I love watching you in your new role as the grandmother to my daughter. How did we get so lucky?
Monday, June 18, 2007
Sunday, June 17, 2007
H got a Wii system, as promised, (will post pictures later) so he's happy. I'm so not a techie--I didn't know what accessories he needed, so we'll be making a Best Buy run sometime in the next week or so. I owe him a new game and probably some other really expensive accessory. He's totally worth it. H is a GREAT dad.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
1.) Shopping. The scrapbook store in Atlanta was AMAZING. I want to move myself right smack dab in the middle of the store and never leave. It was amazing. That's all I have to say about it. If you're lucky, I'll post a few pages I make with my new supplies. And, I'm a really lucky wife. H made reservations at my MOST FAVORITE RESTAURANT IN THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD FOR DINNER. Honestly, taking a 20 month old wasn't much fun, but I do adore fondue, so we had a great meal.
2.) Weight Loss. Since I'm beginning my third week of WW, I realize that the problem with my obesity is ME. Not the food. Fried chicken strips are NOT the only option on the menu. "Just one more" does NOT mean just one more--it means as much or as often as I want(ed). There is nothing wrong with any of the appliances in my kitchen or my ability to use them--well, okay, the second part of that isn't really true. I'm not much of a cook. I have an emotional relationship with food. When I'm stressed out, I reach for food. When I'm tired, I eat endlessly. When I don't want, am too tired, aren't creative enough to cook, we eat out. Not any more. Those bad habits are changing for once and FOR ALL. Being a working mother and wife is hard, but not hard enough to let it impact my family's health. I must get control of this. I'm raising a daughter. I don't want her to deal with the emotional toll obesity takes on a person. I'm tired of being the fattest person at the pool, the gym, the party, church, wherever. I want to be healthy.
3.) Melodee at The Amazing Shrinking Mom posted a great post about the new diet aid alli that is on the marker. (See link below) Truthfully, I'd consider taking such a drug. It would enable (note the term ENABLE) me to continue to live in my previous eating-out, bad-habit, lazy, crazy, anti-healthy lifestyle. Now that I've joined WW and a gym, I would never consider taking a drug. Walking two miles this morning at the gym fulfills a part of me that I didn't even know was empty. I can not begin to tell you the satisfaction I had when I finished today. When I started walking, I was a bit tired and really didn't want to commit to a long walk. I set the timer on the treadmill for 45 minutes, but told myself I could quit at 20. Who would know? But then I got to 10 minutes and was feeling great. Then fifteen minutes, had to take a pause to guzzle some water, but my body was humming from the exertion. I then decided to walk 2 miles, no matter how long it took. I did quit at 40 minutes, but I was starting to get a tad bit dizzy and was sweating very bad. I had also finished all of my water, so I felt that finishing 5 minutes early wasn't the end of the world. So, 3.5 weeks ago, I absolutely would have considered a drug. Now? Not a chance in ....well, you know what I mean. http://shrinkingmom.clubmom.com/amazing_shrinking_mom/2007/06/diet_aid_alli.html
4.) I know you want a M story. This blog is not all about me, after all.
Today we were hanging out with my dad's family in Atlanta. H brought dessert back with him from lunch and was offering everyone a bite. M was sitting with me across the room. All of a sudden, she was shrieking something at him, but I didn't know what she was saying. Then she jumped out of my lap and raced across the room to H. Then I realized she was saying, "BITE!" He offered everyone in the room a bite of his dessert except her! She was waiting patiently for his offer to her and when it didn't come, she made sure he knew it. Needless to say, she got a bite.
Also, I tried to take a nap with M in my parent's hotel room. She's not a co-sleeper, so I knew the task would be tough. She found it far more humorous to try to put me to nigh-nigh than herself. She would put her pacifier in my mouth, position her snugglies around me and pat me on the head while telling me "Nigh-nigh, Mummy" (that's her new word for me).
We're off to the big city of Atlanta for the day to see family and SHOP!!! There's a new scrapbook store that I am DYING to go to. I think H will take me if I ask real nice and say pretty please.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Second: My friend Melody ( http://slurpinglife.typepad.com/ ) posted a hilarious moving story today about how helpful her boys are as she is struggling to pack all of their earthly belongings for the big move. I laughed out loud and thought about happened this morning when M and I returned from the gym.
My parents are coming to town. So I feel the overwhelming need to clean my house (it really, really, really needed to be cleaned anyway). I thought I'd start in the upstairs bathroom while M played in her room. WHAT WAS I THINKING? Every now and then M will entertain herself for 1.2 seconds while I do something independently. Most of the time, she thinks I need her help accomplishing every task I attempt during the day: pouring myself some water, pouring her some muk (milk), going to the bathroom, writing the grocery list, picking out the groceries, preparing meals, taking her picture. Whatever I'm doing, you can bet your bottom dollar she's underfoot helping and offering her very vocal opinion. Back to cleaning the bathroom. As I scrubbed the tub, she played in the faucet and pointed to all of the spots I needed to clean. If I didn't clean it to her satisfaction, she would say, "No, Mama!" and point until that area of the tub was clean enough for her.
Where did this little clean freak come from? Her dad and I definitely DO not possess that gene. It must be recessive. Before too long, she'll be old enough that I can just hand her the scrub brush and cleaner and say, "DO IT YOURSELF!"
Ooopss..someone is knocking on the door. I bet my parents are here!!! SO FUN!
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
I guess because I'm not with M all day every day she seems to amaze me when we're together for several days in a row. Oh, how I yearn for the SAHM days...hopefully only one more year in the classroom then I can be at home.
Today we were on the way to pick up M's best friend, M, for story hour at the local library. That's right...two M's (Actually, there are four M's altogether). On the way, my M kept saying "More, Mommy, more." and pointing to the front of the van. I was completely confused because she had milk and did not have a snack. I told her that I didn't have a snack for her. "More, Mommy!" I finally asked her what she wanted more of. Duh. Should have asked that at the beginning of the conversation. (Keep in mind, we're communicating by mirror on a curvy road that goes OVER railroad tracks. It's hard to concentrate on a 20 month old AND driving!). M pointed DIRECTLY to the radio and said, "Loud." I promptly turned her music up. She clapped and laughed. All was well in the Benson van.
Lesson: When your kid is demanding more and you don't know what it is they want, ASK THEM.
A few words on story hour: It was awesome. My friend Susie (http://www.lovekampfamily.blogspot.com/) met me there with her two sweet kids. Today would have been more aptly named Music Hour. There was a lady playing her guitar and singing with the kids. They were even brave enough *gulp* to get out instruments for each child!!! It was crazy. WILD. CRAZY. But the kids had a blast. M danced some and waved her bells around. The other M was a little more reserved, but kept looking at me with a sweet grin. Susie's little boy, Noah, was a little overwhelmed, but he seemed to enjoy it. Overall, story hour was a success. You'll find us there every Tuesday morning.
Monday, June 11, 2007
This afternoon M refused to take a nap. She did, however, play quietly in her bed for about an hour and a half. When I went up to get her, she was eager (understatement of the day) to get out of her crib. I picked her up and noticed that she was making a rather particular clicking noise with her tongue and the top of her mouth. It sounded similar to a clock ticking. Then she started pointing to her UGA mobile while she continued to make that noise. I asked her if she wanted to see her dogs run (that's what H says when the mobile is moving). She nodded her head. It wasn't until I started to wind up the mobile that I realized she was using her tongue to make the same sound that the mobile makes when you wind it up!
Since she doesn't know the word mobile, she figured out a very clear way of letting me know what she wanted!
Harvard, watch out. We'll be applying for early admisison in about 5 or 6 years. I've got a child prodigy on my hands, people.
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Friday, June 8, 2007
Thursday, June 7, 2007
1.) Weight Watchers is a challenge. Not because I don't feel full. Quite the contrary: I'm stuffing myself with healthy choices. I'm having to work so very, very hard at breaking bad habits! Bad habits I hadn't realized I'd let myself get into. (bad grammar...no prepositions at the end of sentences, I know) I had lunch at Chick-fil-A twice this week. I'm so in the habit of ordering a number one combo meal with lemonade, that it was ODD ordering something else. I really enjoyed what I had. It just felt so strange ordering something different. Today I met my friend E for lunch at a quaint little lunch spot. I had to really think about what I wanted instead of ordering the normal sandwich and fries. I loved what I had. But again--had to be aware of that bad habit in order to break it. So, right now, losing weight is about breaking bad habits. I'm also trying to be more active. For some reason, my Miracle Mile DVD and the DVD player hate each other. The player won't play the DVD, so H is going to have to work on that for me.
2.) M. Wow...mothering a toddler is tough business sometimes! She is so funny and so full of life. Sometimes I just don't know what to do with her. She's so inquisitive. I never want to take that from her, but her "must touch" and "must help" definitely slow things down sometimes. I wouldn't trade her for anything in the world. I just wish I remembered a little better some of those child development classes I took. She has lots of words. Too bad she's the only one who knows what she's saying.
3.) I'm trying to train myself to work first, play later. I REALLY want to spend some time scrapbooking, but I want to get the house organized first. I worked really hard for two days, so last night I got out a few pictures to work with. This morning, my heart's biggest desire was to finish the page I started last night. I made the good decision to get a load of laundry folded, then washed a load of dishes, THEN I finished the page. It really did feel good to get a few household things done before I played--there were no clothes screaming because they were wrinkling and no dirty dishes crying because dried spaghetti noodles were crusted to them. I could relax and enjoy scrapbooking.
So, that's my random post. Pictures will come tomorrow of M at the pool and M helping me water the flowers. We're developing a little routine for our days. It feels good to have a flexible plan for the day.
1/2 c. frozen raspberries
1 small banana (or 1/2 large)
2/3 c. unsweetened pineapple juice, chilled
1/2 c. ice
2 tablespoons fat free vanilla yogurt
3 tablespoons wheat germ
1 tablespoon honey
Mix all together in blender and blend until smooth.
THIS IS AWESOME. M and I love it. I get most of it and give her a little taste every morning. I don't usually fill up when I drink something for a meal (slimfast, for example), but this fills me up and satisfies me.
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Monday, June 4, 2007
Sunday, June 3, 2007
Thankfully, M didn't grow too much while she was gone. Although her hair does seem a little longer. Not barrette long, but longer than it was. Maybe barrettes will happen sometime this summer.
I'm off to clean up. While I was in class this weekend, H shampooed the carpet in most of the house. He got 2 out of three rooms downstairs and the stairs and landing done. He got all the furniture back in place, so my goal this week is to get downstairs clean AND organized.
Saturday, June 2, 2007
Last night we had the opportunity to go see an amazing photography exhibit by a brother and a sister (8 and 9 grade). They are part of a mentoring project. A local professional photographer met them in their neighborhood, gave them nice cameras, taught them a few basic things and set them free. They took the most amazing photos of their neighbors and neighborhood. Did I mention they live in government housing? The sister said, "I'm so amazed by all the beauty I found in my neighborhood." Beauty, indeed.
Today we watched "Freedom Writers." Wow! Awesome movie about an amazing teacher. If you have ANY interest in education at all, this is a movie for you to see. It's a little extreme, but there are teachers out there fighting similar battles every day. We so often here how our students can't learn or they have obstacles too big to overcome. This movie proves that ANYTHING can be overcome. Our life circumstances do not have to define who we are.
On another note:
M comes home tomorrow. YAHOO!!! I miss my sweet girl!
My mom and dad have taught her lots of new things. She's saying purple, banana, ma'am...I'm getting all excited just thinking about it! I can't wait to see how much she's grown and changed in one week. It's been the LONGEST and SHORTEST week of my life. Don't call tomorrow night because I'll be snuggling with my girl.