Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankfulness - Heartfelt and a little random

It is 1:30 a.m., so that explains the random part. The heartfelt part...well, truly, I am so very thankful...

For grace and forgiveness - not only for a God who forgives me but for a family that forgives as well when I blow it multiple times a day.

That my hubby doesn't think it's weird when I say, "Don't you wish you could shrink yourself and be transported into a little animated old-fashioned Christmas village, where it is so perfect and idyllic and serene?" And he shrugs and says, "Never thought about it that way." But he still loves me. And puts up with my obsession with animated Christmas villages.

For a baby girl whose giggle delights me like nothing else, whose eyes are the deepest of chocolate brown, and whose mind works a mile a minute and almost scares me sometimes with the speed with which it computes things.

For a family who will do anything for you.

For mashed potatoes. In which I plan to indulge in about 32 more hours. You can add stuffing and pumpkin roll to that list too. Oh, yeah. (I just realized this is the second post in a row where I have mentioned these 3 things. Maybe I've been thinking about it just a tad too much...)

That Savannah is now old enough to understand me when I yell, "Baby! Mama needs you to bring me some more toilet paper from the closet!" It's so convenient. And that might possibly be too much information, but come on, you know we've all been there.

For the ability to exercise. This whole knee thing scared me a bit, and also made me determine never to complain again about exercise. (You can remind me of that if I start getting cranky on my HFTH posts).

That His ways are not my ways. Oh, how I sometimes wish they were. Then I could avoid all of this pain, this uncomfortable place He has me in now. But He says to trust, and so I do. And I'm thankful.

For my chiropractor, the miracle-worker who makes my back feel young again.

For a hubby who wakes me up every morning to kiss me goodbye, even if I only have the presence of mind to grunt half-heartedly at him. He knows that this night owl doesn't have all her wits about her that early.

I think this is all the randomness that I can take, so...

I am thankful for all of you, my friends, both real and imaginary, whom I have built real relationships with. I appreciate every comment, every email, every prayer that I know some of you have offered up on my behalf.

I'll be absent from blogland for the next week or so. I know it's a day early, but...Happy Thanksgiving!!!


Friday, November 21, 2008

HFTH - Week 5

A few weeks ago, Amy did a post showing how she did some exercises that she swore would eliminate or at least greatly reduce the dreaded muffin top - The Plank, The Superman Lift, and the V sit. I have been meaning to start doing these, but I kept putting it off, first because of my knee - it was hard to get up and down from the ground, excuses, excuses, blah blah blah.

Anyway, this past week I decided to try them. Looking at her demonstrations in the pictures, she makes it look quite easy. I figured it wasn't anything that I couldn't do, and so I got into position for The Plank.

Oh my word. I could barely even lift myself up. And then once I was up, my midsection was trembling violently, and I couldn't hold it for anywhere close to the 20 seconds. Feeling like a complete wimp, I tried the Superman, which was a little easier, and then the V sit.

I just about passed out.

So now you know just how out of shape I am.

The next day, my abs were burning. I could not believe it. I mean, after all, I had only done a few sets of them and had only been able to hold them for maybe 10 seconds. And here they were, burning away. Which was actually encouraging, because if I am going to go through that kind of torture, I want to at least feel like some kind of progress is being made.

That night I was talking to Ricardo. "Man, my abs are really sore. You oughta see these new exercises I'm doing. They are so. hard. I can barely lift myself into position,I shake so much when I'm doing, you wanna see?"

And I promptly got on the floor to demonstrate. And to my great wonderment, I was able to push myself up much more easily into The Plank than the day before. Although my poor muscles were still shaking, much to my hubby's amusement.

And then he decided he wanted to try it. So we sat there, both doing the V sit, him steady as a rock, me trembling like a leaf. "This?" he said. "Is this all there is to it?"

I know. I wanted hurl heavy objects at him, too. In love, of course.

Then he added, "Oh, when I was in wrestling, they told us that if we were really strong, we should be able to do this..." and he stretched his legs out in front him, and lifted himself several inches off the ground.

Whatever. I am still going to take pride in the fact that I am up to 20 seconds, 2 sets, with the V sit. And in my book, that is progress.

Ok, now on to my HFTH progress report...I lost half of a pound this week. It shouldn't have excited me as much as it did, but I was expecting maybe nothing, so this was music to my ears. I might have even done a little victory dance to celebrate. 4 pounds down.

And now looms before me one of my most favorite days of the year. Family, fun....and food. Glorious food. I love everything about the Thanksgiving dinner, except for the cranberries. And I plan on eating a little of everything, while still showing a modicum of temperance. Mashed potatoes, here I come. And stuffing. And pumpkin roll...

My posting will probably be somewhat sporadic over the next week or so, as well as my blog reading and commenting...I've got so much to do in the next few days. Hope that all of your holiday planning is going well....Happy Friday!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bloggy Business, Linky Love

*Updated* - You guys rock! Some of you are actually willing to turn your blog over to lil' ol' me. That pretty much made me hopefully I can deliver. :) For the time being, I've had enough people contact me, so I'm going to have to close my offer...otherwise, at the speed that I work at, you won't get your design until next Christmas....

There are so many thoughts scrambling for a place in my brain right now, and not enough time to think them through and put them into coherent blog posts. One of the things I'm struggling with is the time spent reading blogs, and how to balance all of that...but that's gonna have to be an entirely different post.

Jennifer at Love, Laughter, and Lyrics tagged me for this fun little she said, it's easy and requires no thought, which is exactly my speed today.

Here are the rules:
1. Choose the 4th picture folder on my computer.
2. Choose the 4th picture.
3. Explain the picture...
4. Tag 4 people to do the same.

This was taken last February...I can't get over how short her hair was and how much she looks like a baby here. Note all of the components of the perfect breakfast - Cheerios, yogurt and Pooh Bear. She is obviously in mid-bite of Cheerios - but I think she looks pretty darn cute.

So whose 4th picture in the 4th folder do I want to see? How about Jules, Jodie, Rachel, and Amanda...

I have been given some awards from some sweet people, and I'm long overdue in passing them along.

From Mama Belle at The Bayou Belles and their Beau and also from Rachel at Musings of a Future Pastors Wife:

And from Mozi Esme:
The English translation of this gift is: "This blog invests and believes, the proximity" (meaning, that blogging makes us 'close' -being close through proxy)

Thank you, ladies! You all are awesome - you know I love ya! I'm passing the first one on to Lisa, the second/third to Kerry, and the last one to Linda. Funny how you can actually feel like you know people you have never met...these ladies are no exception.

As if this post wasn't already chock-full of links, here are a few more for you...

Sue at Confessions of a Tired Supergirl is hosting an awesome 10-day Thanksgiving giveaway. Go check it out!

Cute Blogspot Designs

I think pretty much everybody in the entire blogosphere reads 5 Minutes for Mom, but just in case you haven't heard, they are having some pretty great holiday giveaways, too.

Christmas Giveaway Gift 125x125

Alright, lastly...and I feel SO very sheepish in throwing this out there...but I would love to get some more practice doing blog designs. I am super new at this, but it is fun for me, so....if you would like me to play around with a design, I'd love to do that for you. For free, of course. Now, there is a VERY good possibility no one will take me up on this offer (sob), and that's fine. No, really, I'll live. But - on the off chance that more than one of you jumps on this, then I think I better limit it to 2 or 3. Just so I don't stress myself out. And it doesn't have to be an entirely new can switch to a 3-column template, or just a header, or a holiday design...whatever. Of course, I know a lot of you already have fabulous designs and don't need this, but if you want one, email me at Our Moments Our Memories AT gmail DOT com and I'll see what I can do for you.


Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm doing good. You?

Last week was a bust as far as the HFTH challenge was concerned. I lost zero pounds, and oh, does it ever hurt to say that. Highly discouraging, I tell you. The only bright spot was that I did not gain any. I was so bummed that I didn't even blog about it and link up like I was supposed to (sorry, girls). But alright...I'm shaking it off, it's a new week, so here we go! Nothing but fruit and veggies and protein this week. No sugar cookie-makin', no secret mugs of homemade hot chocolate, no pizza at birthday parties. I am back on the straight and narrow.

There is no decent segue that can be used in this instance, or if there is, I'm too tired to think of it. So I am going to dive right into my random question for y'all.

When someone asks you, "How are you doing?", how do you respond? Do you say, "I'm doing good", or "I'm doing well", or do you use a completely different word?

I grew up saying, I'm doing good. I realize this is improper, although after googling it, there seems to be some debate about it. I'm not really too worried about it one way or the other, except that there are a few people that I know who are sticklers for saying I'm doing well. Which is fine, because, again, that is proper. If they happen to ask me how I'm doing first, and I reply with good, and then in turn they reply with well...well, then, I am left feeling a little verbally incompetent. Even though I know the correct way. And I'm just refusing to use it.

There is this sweet little man at church, for instance, as friendly as can be, and he always approaches with the pleasantry, "How are you?" And my mind races. I know how he is going to reply when I return the question to him. And sure, I could also reply, "I'm doing well," but after years of saying "good", it just doesn't sound like me. If that makes any sense. So I usually go with I'm doing great! or Fine! which really, I don't know if that is any more proper than using good.

So I know that I have at least a couple of teacher readers who are probably cringing at this unrepentant display of bad English. I'm really sorry. Please feel free to throw in your two cents.

And you can also feel equally free to tell me that you use good, too. There's got to be a couple of you, my partners in crime, those of you who squirm inwardly when the proper well is returned after your improper good is already out there, floating in the air between you and the One Who Speaks the Good English.

So. How you doin'?


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Two hours and fifteen cookies

Look what Walmart had on sale...

...leaf and acorn-shaped cookie cutters. For $1! They were originally $5, and I simply could not leave a bargain like this sitting on the shelf.

Here is where I force Savannah to model them. This is what I got.

Take two. She's not on crack. I promise.

I give up. This is as good as it gets.

Once I got them home, I felt the need to justify my purchase and actually use them.

We're gonna make cookies! I told Savannah, in the hopes that we could create some sweet mother-daughter memories as we measured sugar and stirred eggs and vanilla together.

Well, we definitely created memories. The first one was when I turned my back and Savannah helped herself to a heaping spoonful of flour. As it turns out, flour wasn't quite the treat she was hoping it would be, and she immediately freaked out when it turned gluey in her mouth, and she started crying for help.

She then pulled her chair up to the sink and begin to vigorously stir a bowl full of water that was soaking there. Bate, bate, choc-o-lat-e, she sang out. (For those of you who have not seen this Dora episode, pay this no mind. Suffice it to say that pretty much everything - breakfast oatmeal, bathtub water, a bowl of cereal - is fair game for the Bate Chocolate song).

She helped me press the cookie cutters into the dough, and then returned to her sink of dirty dishwater. My patience for simultaneously making cookies and memories vanished when she slopped dirty water all over my floor, and I banished her to the living room to do puzzles with Daddy.

Because Fit Friday is looming ever closer, I only made half of a batch so that the temptation wouldn't be hanging around the house all week, imploring me to eat them. It only took me two hours to produce about 15 little cookies - I was hunched over my counter for a good part of that time, painstakingly spooning on colored frosting. Now I know why all of those fancy cookie shops charge $3.50 (or more) per cookie. So time consuming. I wish I had better tools to work with, because it was actually kind of fun. Although my back didn't think so.

I put the cookies on a plate (to take a picture for the blog, of course - there is no other reason that I would actually dirty a plate if I didn't have to) and carried them to my apparently dessert-deprived family.

Within about 5 minutes, the plate had dwindled to this.

Mostly thanks to my skinny hubby, who can afford to eat them. Better him than me, right? I finally put the remaining 6 cookies up because I figured the indulging would continue until the plate was empty.

So the leaves are going into retirement until next year - now it's time to break out the snowmen and angels and Christmas trees!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008


*Oops, it looks like I had messed up my commenting feature....thanks to all of you that emailed me to let me know it wasn't working. I think I fixed it now...*

Oh, I wish I could go back and delete that last sentence from my last post - the one where I said I was doing a Christmas craft with Savannah. Because then several of you sounded oh so excited about it, and wanted to know what it was, and then - oh my goodness - I realized that what we were doing pretty much did NOT qualify as a real craft.

But I feel obligated to show it to you anyway, so don't laugh...

Yeah - we are really very good at cutting out Christmas-y shapes that we found online, coloring them, throwing on some stickers, and then stapling them to a red ribbon. Ta-da!

This is one of my new favorite sites for kid-friendly crafts - they have some really cute ideas that I want to try out with Savannah.

Today I have been combing the internet looking for some real crafts. There are some super talented people out there. This banner for cute.

And these little trees...I think even I could make these. Except I don't have a sewing machine, which seems to be a pretty key element of this craft. Hmmm...

These cookies are gorgeous, they look like the real thing. Ah, someday... I will learn to make cookies like this.

But my absolute favorites are over at my bloggy friend Jennifer's place. She is amazing. For one thing, she is 38 weeks pregnant, has a toddler, and STILL she has the patience to do all of these incredible crafts. She gave a tutorial here on how to make some fun little signs, and here she made a really cute banner which I just love. I think she needs to open an Etsy shop.

So after browsing online all afternoon, I feel slightly more inspired to take on a real craft. And I am so open for ideas - what are some favorite things that you have done? Hopefully something easy...after all, you've seen my level of expertise.


Friday, November 07, 2008

HFTH - Week 3

Well, this week was alright, food-wise. Still not much exercise....knee is better, just stiff and I can't fully bend it, so aerobic exercise is still out. It's weird, because now that I can't exercise, I actually want to. Hmm....

So I was all excited and determined to lose 2 pounds this week....and it didn't happen. I did lose one pound, though, so I'll take it. Down 3 1/2 total. Wow, this is slow going...but I know at Christmas I'll look back and be so glad I did this.

Also - and this is something that made me want to jump up and down - this is the lowest weight I've been at since having Savannah. I am not at my pre-pregnancy weight (wow, that's terrible...she's only three) but it'll come.

So tomorrow we have a birthday party, and I know in advance that they are having pizza - my ultimate downfall - and of course cake. So my bargain with myself is that I can have a limited amount of pizza, but no cake. I'll report back and let y'all know how my willpower holds up.

Short and sweet this week...I am in the middle of doing some Christmas craft projects with Savannah. Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Works for me Wednesday - Wooden Puzzles for a great price

Last year for Christmas, amid the dolls and Little People toys and DVDs that Savannah received, we snuck in a gift of educational wooden puzzles. I wasn't sure she would like them, but I did. And I figured it's never too early to get her started on learning.

She loved them - I was thrilled. It was her absolute favorite toy and we spent hours playing with them. By the time she was 2 1/2 she knew all of her letters, numbers, and shapes. At first I thought it was just in relation to the puzzle - that she had memorized the spaces and would only know the letters if they were in the puzzle - but then she started pointing out letters to me when we would go out to run errands.

"Look, Mama....K! O! H! L! S!" (A girl after my own heart - I love shopping there).

So, I realize I am not the only mama to discover the awesomeness of the wooden puzzle, but the best part about these is the price - less than $8 for a set of 4 puzzles (plus shipping). I found this set here. And if you want the storage case, only $8 more for that. They are good quality, sturdy, and have taken much abuse over the past year and have held up well. They're not quite as nice as the Melissa and Doug puzzles (they don't have the little knobs, for instance) but for the price, you can't beat it.

I found similar ones at Target; these include one extra puzzle and a storage case, but for $40.

But $8 for educational puzzles? Works for me!

Be sure to visit Shannon for more Works for me Wednesday.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Of toothbrushes and surrender

Savannah has two Dora the Explorer toothbrushes. Before I wised up and put a stop to it, I used to let her carry around her toothbrush after my (pitiful) attempt at brushing her teeth every night, because she would insist that it was "her turn". Only problem was, she would get distracted, and the toothbrush would be cast aside at various and sundry places around the house. Which meant that we would sometimes go a few days without proper dental hygiene because of said lost toothbrush. Plus....probably not so sanitary, because my floors? They leave a little to be desired.

So after two of her toothbrushes had mysteriously disappeared, I bought another one and told her that she couldn't carry it around anymore. This announcement didn't go over so well, but she learned to deal. And then a few days later she unearthed one of the missing ones, so now we have two.

Ok, as a side note, I have something to admit. I hate brushing Savannah's teeth. Frankly, if I didn't think I would be doing permanent damage to them, I would skip it all together, or just let her chew on a toothbrush and call it close enough.

I sit her on the bathroom counter and we have a scuffle because she wants to hold the toothbrush, and then the tube of Diego toothpaste, and then my toothbrush, and then if she is feeling particularly uncooperative, she giggles and clamps her mouth around the toothbrush so that I cannot see her teeth. By the time I get a few good brushes in, my patience is gone and I comfort myself with the fact that they are just her baby teeth and if I ruin them with shoddy dental care, we'll get another shot at it in a few years with her permanent teeth.

She likes to play a game with me every time. She picks up both toothbrushes and holds them out to me. "Which one, Mama?" She knows that we only use the newer (and presumably cleaner) toothbrush, the Mermaid one. "Dora Princess? Or Mermaid?"

And I make a grab for the Mermaid. "This one!"

She giggles and pulls it away from me and tries again. "Nooooo. Which one, Mama?" This time only offering the Princess toothbrush and hiding the Mermaid behind her back. "Which one you like, Mama?"

It always makes me laugh, her childish way of getting me to pick the one that she wants me to use.

And it makes me think. Lately I've been feeling a lot like this myself. My conversations with God have been eerily similar to the ones I have with Savannah. I put the things that I don't want to give up behind my back, and then reach out my other hand to Him. "Which one do you want God? The Princess, right? Surely not this, not the Mermaid, not the thing I can't imagine surrendering. What if I give it up to you and I never get it back? What if that is Your plan for me, and I don't LIKE it?"

And much like I do with Savannah, He probably smiles down at me, wondering at my childishness, wondering why I can't just trust Him with it. I know it is only in surrender that we will find His true peace, and even if He does call me to place my precious Mermaid toothbrush, my hopes and dreams, in His hand, He will bless me a thousand times over with His perfect plan. Not mine. His. He sees the big picture, and I know that picture is gonna be beautiful. Whether it has a Mermaid toothbrush in it or not.