Saturday, February 28, 2009

Grace in Small Things - 38

1. Big dogs

2. Jedd playing a princess board game with the girls

3. Cold medicine

4. Layers and layers of quilts

5. Soft tissues

Friday, February 27, 2009

Grace in Small Things - 37

1. Our first small group was not so bad

2. Buttery popcorn

3. My new iron bird from Target

4. Elliet's baby-crazy friend. She said she wished she could be Ellie because she has baaaaaby at home. Then she gave Ziva her bottle. So cute

5. New sunglasses

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Grace in Small Things - 36

1. Ziva just went to sleep without being swaddled. And it only took 30 minutes...

2. The windows are open and it smells like Spring. Winter is fighting for the rest of the week but TODAY it's Spring

3. There are little green things poking up out of the flower beds

4. Elliet agrees that Arthur has a bad attitude, especially with his sister

5. I filled the van's empty gas tank today for $31

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Grace in Small Things - 35

1. Sleeping an extra 15 minutes while the girls watch tv out in the living room

2. Kenai felt so special getting her hair cut and stares at her new 'do in the mirror

3. I ate the mcmuffin this morning but not the hashbrown or the cinnamon melts. Progress. Of course, then I ate no less than SIX of those carmel Girl Scout cookies. But I did that instead of tossing the baby which is what I wanted to do so...progress?

4. Joining Weight Watchers. This gives me hope so it is a grace

5. I love watching President Obama signing stuff because of how he holds his hand

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Grace in Small Things - 34

1. It's Pancake Tuesday! Pancakes for dinner!

2. I went to the gym when I really didn't want to. And I enjoyed it

3. Paid off the MacBook today

4. There's still 2 1/2 seasons of Angel that I haven't seen

5. Fred. I can't explain it. I just like it. Especially when he rescues the "neighborhood squirrel-things"

Fred discovered via Schmutzie
at MamaPop

Monday, February 23, 2009

Grace in Small Things - 33

1. Fresh grated ginger

2. Getting the mail

3. Elliet was being silly singing Single Ladies and changed the words to "If you liked it then you shoulda put curtains on it"

4. Tonight is not my night with the baby

5. Jedd made cookies with Kenai

Modified Mullet

Yesterday we were playing around in the living room waiting for Elliet's friend to pick her up for Awana. She has been going with another friend on Wednesday nights and LOVES it. This time she was going with a different friend at a different church. I don't know exactly what they teach but Jt says it's cool and she can now recite John 3:16. I'm sure because I looked it up...

Anyway, we were distracted by Elliet's shrieking while I was tickling her when Jt says, "Where's Kenai?"
That's NEVER good. Kenai in a room alone + quiet = bad news. Every time. Yesterday was no exception.

Can't tell? Not sure how bad it is? Here it is with the back pulled up.
You know what it looks like don't you? You've seen this 'do before, you know you have. Not sure where?

It's the modified mullet ala Michelle Duggars

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Grace in Small Things - 32

1. Painting the girls' lips with robin eggs

2. Graeter's mint cookies and cream ice cream

3. Girl Scout cookies

4. What did we do before NetFlix??

5. Compliments on how well-behaved your kid is

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Grace in Small Things 31

1. Coffee with a good friend (hi Corrie!)

2. The Pioneer Woman's love story

3. Suave kids 2-in-1 shampoo. Especially the coconut

4. A new bloom on my gerbera

5. Freshly shaved legs

Friday, February 20, 2009

An Anniversary of Sorts

One year ago today we started our Wednesday morning in a tiny room.
Waiting, waiting, waiting.
Grandpa and Auntie Em came and went.
And we kept waiting.
She didn't really know what was coming. How could she? We knew, as much as we could know, we knew. She played with a Little People princess set.
The night before we had bathed her with the special soap they gave us. When we got up in the morning, I carefully put her hair into pigtails. I used the special, grippy barrettes I had bought for just this occasion. I tried to get all her hair pulled up away from her neck. In vain it seems, since they shaved the bottom few inches of her hair anyway. Kenai and I had taken a tour of the pre-op areas about a week prior and they told me that we would be with her until she fell asleep. But this morning, they didn't have a room open for that and would have to wheel her in to the operating room wide awake and without us. It was hard to leave her there but the nurses were so great and she seemed okay saying goodbye to us.
Then we waited some more.
Waited and waited and waited.
Great friends came when we weren't expecting them and it was all I could do to hold it together. Two guys Jt works with came and prayed with us. As it got closer to the time she was supposed to be done two girlfriends came. One had a big envelope full of stickers for the girls. They're still using those stickers.
Then they came out and said she was done, she was headed to ICU and everything had gone well. When we finally saw her she had tubes coming from everywhere. We had to tell a doctor to stop bumping her bed. She was in so much pain.
Today, Kenai still holds her head a little to the right. Every now and then she says she can "feel it in there" while holding the front of her neck. She's been in physical therapy and has come a long way. She does exercises when we remember every night that strengthen the trapezius muscles so that the muscles in her neck can relax. She wears her collar each night that we remember (we're not bad parents!) which helps her neck remember where it belongs...I think. Okay, I made that up.
Anyway, we're one year out and light years away from February 20th, 2008. For newer readers, this is what they did to our baby, barely three years old:



Grace in Small Things - Triple X

1. Red Squirrel french toast

2. Zoboomafoo, one of the few kids' shows that I can tolerate. Okay, okay I like it

3. It's Friday

4. The girls got all pruny in a bubble bath today

5. The theme song for Weeds

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Grace in Small Things 29

1. The point in a workout where you go from "Wow, this is hard" to "Oh my god! It's buurrning!"

2. Two showers in one day. It's usually a chore just to get one shower

3. Eggplant. The food and the color

4. A lady waiting at the crowded Olive Garden offered her seat to an elderly woman

5. Etsy seller PrettyFlamingo makes these little felt animals. They are seriously cool

New Button

There's a new button over in the sidebar. It will lead you to a new blog, "Violence UnSilenced" and you really should give it a look. The creator describes Violence UnSilenced as:

shedding light on the epidemics of domestic violence and sexual assault by giving their survivors a voice

I am not one of the uber-brave who will share a story but I will Take the Pledge to "hear and honor" what other survivors have to say.
Go and do likewise.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Grace in Small Things 28

1. Wearing my new shoes. I kept looking down at my feet all through the day. Weird, I know. But look!

2. These big group sings they do on Idol serves only to make me hate ALL the contestants. You might think that doesn't fit on this list but I enjoy it so it does so shut-up.

3. The Easter candy is out!

4. Beer. Recurring theme? Get used to it

5. Ziva's eating is driving me crazy but she enthusiastically finished some pears today

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Grace in Small Things 27

1. Candy. I LOOOOOVE candy. Everybody already knows this. When I had gall stones my dad said it was probably really a sweeTart stuck in there

2. The Office. There are so many things I love about that show

3. Seacrest OUT! I wonder what he thinks of his character and if he takes himself seriously

4. New, totally hot gym shoes

5. Jillian Michaels. She's killing me but she's good. Really, really good

Monday, February 16, 2009

Grace in Small Things 26

1. I just watched last week's Grey's and Hey! Liam Finn!

Hey Liam Finn.
photo from BBC

2. Ziva seems to be back to sleeping through the night

3. Stumbling upon a firefighter training exercise

4. Chicken Pad Thai from Thai Express

5. A laundry pile beaten into submission

The Ultimate Comfort Food

Chicken Dumpling Soup

**WARNING** While this recipe is definitely good for your "heart" it may not be good for your heart. Actually the only thing that may not be good for you is the white flour biscuits coated in white flour. In my home, white flour = devil's plaything.

The night before:
Put a whole chicken in a huge stock pot filled with water (sometimes they put spare chicken parts inside the chicken so get those out first). Add some carrots, celery, onion if you like them, and a little salt and pepper. Put the lid on and set it to a strong simmer for a few hours until the chicken is cooked. Strain the broth into a container and put it in the fridge. There's a lot so I usually use a gallon size pitcher. Let the chicken cool all the way. You do NOT want to do this with a warm chicken. Get all the meat off the bone and toss the skin and bones in the trash. Put the meat in the fridge for tomorrow.

Today's the day:
Get out the chicken broth you made and skim the fat off the top. I'd tell you a good way to do this except I haven't found one yet. I ALWAYS lose a lot of the fat back into the broth. Wash and chop a bunch of carrots and potatoes (the potatoes are optional and you should opt out if you're going to freeze some of this 'cause wow, potatoes do NOT freeze well). Put the broth in your big stock pot and bring it to a light boil. Add the carrots and potatoes and cook for a little while til they're just soft. You may find you need more broth so go ahead and add whatever kind you like from the store. It's only important that most of the broth is homemade. While that's cooking you'll need to do the dumplings. You'll need refrigerator biscuits but not just any kind. It has to be these:
I've only ever found these in the four pack which is okay because you'll want to use at least three tubes. You'll coat each biscuit with white flour and roll it out. Thickness depends on your taste, I roll mine to about the size of a frozen waffle. Then I cut them in quarters. Coat them really well with flour as this will thicken up the broth just right. Once the veggies are nearly cooked bring the broth to a high boil and start adding the biscuit dough. Put in two or three pieces at a time to avoid getting them stuck together and wait just a few seconds between. Give it the occasional stir to keep the biscuit pieces separate. If your pot is cheap like mine, you will get stuff stuck to the bottom so try and give it a light scraping each time you stir. Once the biscuits are all in and it's all boiling together, add your frozen peas and then your cold chicken. Turn it down to a good simmer and you can cover it if you want but I'm not sure it matters. Once everything is heated through, it's ready. You should probably add a little salt and pepper.

My personal guarantee: this will cure what ails you.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Grace in Small Things 25

1. Someone I met on Facebook needed a cell phone and we happened to have one for her. so. that was fun

2. A new bath seat for the baby. it's going to make bath time SO much easier

3. A new hoodie

4. Both the girls in new gym shoes. so cute

5. Narrowing out house hunt down to two neighborhoods

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Grace in Small Things 24

1. My husband has no stones! Er, kidney stones that is

2. A new friend at school who arranges playdates and takes the four-year-old to the potty. TWICE

3. Billy. Billy as crazy and even Billy as cop with bad hat-hair

Dude. Put your hat back on.

4. The tax return's higher than we thought!

5. Cheesecake (one of them had to be food)

The Kind of Shower That's BYOB

Even though I have 70 blogs in my reader right now I could probably count my real favorites on one hand. One of my real favorites is The Redneck Mommy. This lady is freakin' hilarious and a truly amazing individual. Her life has included the most tragic of tragic stories but here she is, blogging funny. This fine lady's family just got a little bigger so the internets are giving her a shower. Redneck style. No, not in the lake and not involving the garden hose. My contribution, this confession of redneckery.

  • I have bathed in a lake
  • I can bait my own hook (but I don't)
  • I once had a cardboard window in my Ford
  • When the apartment management cited me for said window, we spray painted it black
  • I once put a dish towel on a baby, diaper style
  • I know that hitting a deer with your car = free meat
  • I have more than two tubs of cool whip in the freezer
  • I look forward to teaching my girls to belch. Just like my mom and aunt taught me

Friday, February 13, 2009

Grace in Small Things 23 - the Alone in a Hotel edition

1. The realization that we're really not missing anything by not having cable

2. My own bed

3. Breakfast delivery

4. Nobody needs anything from me for the next 20 hours

5. The broccoli cheddar soup from Panera that stayed hot until I got up to my room

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Grace in Small Things Part 22

The other night I was leaving for the grocery store after a particularly rough day. Jedd says, "You're coming back right?" I was like, "Man, wouldn't that be awesome? If I just didn't come home? I could go stay in a hotel BY MYSELF?!" I nearly started crying. Tonight Jedd gave me a Valentine's gift of a night by myself at the Marriott. Tomorrow night! WOW.

1. I'm so glad I'm not the only fat person at the gym

2. Bananas have to be the easiest healthy food in the world

3. Bungalows

4. Thinking about what books I'll take with me to the hotel. I've been reading Jen Lancaster's Such a Pretty Fat and Anne Rice's Called Out of Darkness

5. When my dad used to come home from fishing and clean the catch. He would always dig through the stomach so we could see what the fish had eaten

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Grace in Small Things - 21

1. Birthday cupcakes

2. The word nefarious

3. My Ikea lamp

4. Joss Whedon - more specifically, every damn thing he does

5. Omelets made with entirely too much cheese

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Grace in Small Things XX

1. Went through every page of this website tonight (it's not that big) and it's AWESOME

2. The way Ziva grabs my face all sweet-like and then unhinges her jaw and lunges like some kind of a vampire

3. Coin fountains

4. Lightly burnt popcorn

5. Patrick Jane, and his hair

Monday, February 09, 2009

Grace in Small Things #19

1. The fight for equality presses on

2. A presidential press conference that's actually interesting

3. Doing the day backwards - watching tv with the occasional break for housework

4. Flossers. I really wouldn't do it without them

5. Puffy, delicious baby cheeks

Freedom to Marry Week

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 08, 2009


What she meant to say!

Grace in Small Things - 18

1. Watching our really special girl finally get her really special day

2. Sleeping in

3. Finding a backup when I thought I lost our photos

4. My red curtains

5. Chris Martin's eyes. Wow, who knew?

Grace in Small Things #17

1. Sending two of the kids home with their grandparents

2. Actually being sad to see them go

3. Leftover birthday cake

4. Seeing someone for who she really is now that she's sober

5. Friends from college -13 years ago- who get together for our kids' birthdays. Something about becoming adults alongside your friends is cool

Friday, February 06, 2009

Grace in Small Things - Day 16

1. Okay, today, right now. This just isn't working for me. My husband is sick. He's sick in the kind of way that could be nothing or it could be something and we won't know for a little while. Tests have to come back, new tests have to be ordered. I have a finely honed ability to remain completely calm on the outside when shit happens. When Kenai had her first seizure I was a rock. I was totally calm. On the outside. I took care of her the right way. I immediately had Jedd call 911. When I was pregnant and had symptoms the whole world relates to stroke I was serene. On the outside. I bragged to my friends about how I didn't cry when I was arrested. Even after they moved me out of holding and into a cell of my own. Holy hell was I freaking out. When someone broke in to our apartment and held me at knifepoint? Well, it's silly how proud I am of how the first thing I did was yell at the guy to "get the fuck out" And when the dog came in, I snatched the opportunity to put distance between myself and the intruder. Then when it was a month later and I still could not sleep at night, I took calm, reasonable baby steps. I made myself sit up all night in my room instead of at the table where I had a view of both the front and back door. Then I closed my door and stared through a crack in it all night. Then I turned the lights off. The point is, I can maintain my outward calm. But the truth is that I have to remain calm on the outside because I'm afraid that if I don't, I'll really lose my shit. I've always feared I would lose my shit in one way or another. But I have no idea what that even means. So you see, I'm not brave or calm under pressure, I'm just great at faking it. So I'm chill right now. On the outside.
On with the list. It's pointless if I can't do it now.
We have access to good medical care and the insurance to cover it

2. Kenai will be one year seizure free in March

3. Three perfect little girls

4. A clean bathtub

5. Grilled salmon

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Grace in Small Things - 15

1. I am grateful that this long ass day is coming to an end

2. Frozen broccoli

3. Obvious foreshadowing

4. The Facebook 25 Things list. I have enjoyed every one I've read

5. Full coverage swimsuits

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Grace in Small Things #14

1. This video sorta makes you want to get your kids high...

(via Lemondrop)

2. A seven-day forecast with no snow

3. Pistachios in the shell

4. Every single week when LOST ends it takes me by surprise and every single time I let out an involuntary "AUGH!!"

5. Fuck You, Penguin -hilarious

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Grace in Small Things 12+1

The number 13 is bad luck you know...

1. Spending time with a friend, even if she wears you the hell out

2. Costco*

3. Good tires

4. New craft supplies for the kids

5. The countdown to the fourth birthday party**, five more wake-ups! four more wake-ups!

*Holy crap, Costco has $50 in Godiva gift cards for $30. Godiva, People!
**She really is excited but Kenai has had a bad dream every night this week. They each echo a theme of birthday disaster, like the one where Kerewin ate her birthday cake. Sweet.

Thirty Days, Shmirty Days

So, remember how I was gonna start working out? And how I did the 30 Day Shred and it was really hard? Yeah. That was the last time I worked out. I'm trying to be really laid-back about this goal of losing weight/living healthier. Obviously.
I am so terrified of failing at this endeavor that I'm giving myself a LOT of room for the little failures. I am one of those people who tends to turn the smallest offenses into major transgressions. Like I can't just have one Little Debbie, I have to go for the two cream pies plus some cinnamon hearts TKO. I feel like if I'm gonna cheat, I'd better make it worth it. Where "worth it" apparently means "nauseated". It's kind of like when I used to smoke and every time I thought about quitting I would smoke an extra pack or so that same night. Something in my brain is saying, "Let's get while the gettin's good!! woohooooo!!"
My brain also can't seem to make the connection between what I'm putting in my mouth right now and the fat that shows up a little later. This one time won't matter. It's not this one meal/heart attack in a paper bag that's gonna make you fat. Except it is and I just can't seem to internalize that concept.
My tendency to overeat feels like an addiction. I've experienced addiction before and I really think that this is exactly what I am dealing with now. Only they don't make a patch for this. Solutions tumble through my brain over and over (hypnosis, overeaters anonymous-do they have those?, accupuncture, whatever) and I've decided that I'm just going to try everything until I find the thing that works for me.
I tried the Shred and while I'm not giving up on it, it is not the right thing for me right now. So now I'm moving on to the YMCA. I toured the local Y on Saturday, the last day for "no joining fee". A couple of years ago I dropped about 25 pounds going to Curves. I like the workout but the hours make it impossible for me to get there. The Y has childcare! classes! a pool! This one even has an indoor waterpark and when the kids see it they will absolutely shit themselves freak out. My hope is that working out will help me eat less. In the past I've found it easier to modify my diet when I am exercising. If the eating doesn't work itself out my next step will be Weight Watchers. I think the meetings will make all the difference for me.
So I don't think this is the last time I will fail. I will give up on more workouts, I will eat more than one treat in a sitting. But the difference for me now is that I will keep going. Each transgression is just a blip, just a small lesson not a reason to give up.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Grace in Small Things - the dozenth

1. Cooking with veggies someone else cut up

2. Eating food we cooked ourselves

3. A baby that thinks I am hilarious

4. Gum

5. Spotting Gordon Gano as a frequent extra on random tv shows

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Grace in Small Things Eleven

1. Medium's coming back!

2. Buying new t-shirts, I love t-shirts

3. Getting them on the cheap at Kohl's

4. BLTs

5. Bacon goods