Bloggy Q & A: The Answers, Part 2

I must tell you how much fun I have had answering your questions. Not only has it been interesting to find out what is on your mind, but working on my answers has been meaningful to me, especially sharing more of our adoption experience. Today's installment covers a few questions ranging from Weight Watchers, blogging and a bit more about adoption.

Autumn and Maria were curious about Weight Watchers (WW).
Tell me about your success with WW~like how much you lost, how long did it take, what's your favorite WW recipe, why did you turn to WWs? I am currently in my fifth month of WW and I have lost 18 pounds. I am learning to be patient with the pace of the losses and thankful for even the minuscule ones. The scale may have been slow to reflect a significant loss, but the clothes have been telling a different story. Things fit better, clothes that have been put away are back into the rotation, and a few new treats have found their way into my closet. That feels great! Yes, WW has been slow and frustrating at times, but still beneficial.

This summer I hope to reach my 10% goal (I am 1lb. away, so it will be soon I hope!) and then set my overall goal to work toward. We'll see. I want to eventually make it to maintenance and then become a Lifetime member. Honestly, I have been a slacker with tracking my points as closely as I should for the last several weeks. The shame! There have still been losses, but they might have been larger if I was more diligent with my points. What can I say? I get lazy.

I joined because I have seen the program work for friends of mine, and wanted to try it. At the time a couple of friends were talking about WW and we all decided to go for it. I'm a joiner, remember. I was hoping to lose some extra poundage and possibly improve my overall running performance.

I don't really have any favorite WW recipes. I have not experimented with too many recipes like I should have while I've been doing the program. The shame!

Gab wondered, How did you start blogging? What blogs do you enjoy reading? Why are Texas girls SOOO much cuter than the rest of us? (Hahaha Gabi. You are too sweet!)
I started blogging about a year and a half ago after a close friend of mine started her blog. She was moving to another part of the state, and blogging seemed like the perfect way to keep up with each other. I had no idea it would bloom into such a fun hobby. I love the sense of community among bloggers and the ideas and resources shared. I have not met any bloggy friends in real life--yet--but I hope to do so someday. I always check in regularly with the blogs of my FIRL. Even though we see each other and spend a great deal of time together, their blogs reveal other aspects of their lives and thoughts. I read a variety of blogs, some are mom/family blogs, some are running related, some are interesting mixes of creativity, faith and daily life. Like most of you, I enjoy reading blogs where the author is honest and real. Humor, pictures, and a balance of the ups and downs of life make it easy to relate and enjoy.

Jen had another question about our adoption. Was A's age an issue at all when you adopted her? Did you have any problems with bonding, etc? When we started the adoption process we requested a baby girl as young as possible. In other regions of Russia it is possible to adopt babies only a few months old, in the Moscow program they are typically at least a year old or older. Our agent kept reassuring us that even an older baby would still have lots of the "baby" stages left, but we would be able to see more of the child's physical and emotional development when we met. They would also have a better idea of her overall health.

Not having the opportunity of experiencing a baby-baby was difficult to accept--at first. We got over that quickly. When we met Annelise she was 13 months old , she was still teeny-tiny (compared to U.S. babies), and was just beginning to walk. We were able to see more of her physical characteristics and features along with her general development/personality because she was older. She had been well cared for and was healthy. Her growth took off in the months after we were home. The nannies at the orphanage followed a strict schedule (they shared a copy with us) and that turned out to be an enormous blessing to us as clueless new parents. We followed it as closely as we could, then gradually adjusted it once we were home for a while.

Even though she was 14 months when we became a family, she bonded with us easily. Her personality started to shine after a short while of steady attention and love. She had been used to changes in caregivers and not having a lot of one on one attention. She soaked up being our center of attention, and of our families and friends. We have been very thankful that no obvious emotional or behavioral issues have arisen, also no real developmental or speech delays.

I could not resist popping this picture in, even though there is no real relevance. Here she is, all bundled up to go in her first stroller ride. We had been warned that Russians like to see their babies bundled up properly against the bitter elements. We didn't want anyone scolding us, so we obliged. To the point she could hardly move. Sorry sweetie.

That's it for Installment #2. Thanks for asking and for reading! Jill also asked some interesting questions and I will answer them together in Installment #3, which will be coming to a computer near you soon.


Bloggy Q & A: The Answers, Part 1

The other day I begged asked for the help of my dear bloggy friends. Y'all certainly did not disappoint! Thanks for asking me your burning questions. Not only was it nice to hear from you, they were fun to answer. This installment discusses running, adoption, and hair products. It's like a buffet, a little something for everyone. The next installment (coming soon) will answer the remaining questions.

Alison got us started with questions related to running.

Who's training schedule do you use for your half marathons? For the past two years I followed a plan from a local branch of USA Fit. Their schedules are great for beginners because they build miles up slowly. This season I am running with a different local group and following one of their plans for to get ready for the Marine Corps Marathon in October. I like Hal Higdon's plans too, though I have not used them. It's comforting to know they are out there though if I need them.

What do you typically run per mile?

Okay, this is like asking a woman her age or her weight, but ... No, seriously, I have no shame. My pace varies, but it is usually around 11:30 -12:30ish. Sometimes less (woohoo), sometimes more (whatever). In cooler weather my pace picks up. I usually follow a run/walk interval of 5:1. Jeff Galloway is my hero.

Do you lift weights and cross train like the schedules tell us to? Sorry, I just had to pick myself up off the floor after laughing myself silly. Um, no I don't. I know I should and probably could, but I don't.

Do you run better in the morning or afternoon? Definitely morning, once I get into the routine. It's so hot and humid here in TX, the wee hours of the morning are the most forgiving this time of year. I also feel better knowing I got my run in early and it's not looming over me, taunting me.

Viv asked Which marathon race are you planning for this year? I am training for the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. October 26th. I am nervous, but also excited. I will also do the Aramco Houston Half in January. I'm not registered for anything else right now, but I'd like to do a Half every month or so this spring.

Jen asked about my running routine and running with Annelise. I try to run 3-4 mornings a week, then a longer run on Saturday mornings. During the weekdays I leave for my run before Scott and A. get up, then get back by the time he leaves for work. On Saturdays I leave while the family sleeps and when I get back everyone is ready for breakfast. In cooler weather we'll go out as a family and Scott will walk with Sadie (our dog) and A. will ride her bike or scooter. If I don't run outside, I take A. with me to the YMCA. She plays in the child center and I'll hit the treadmill.

Autumn and Jen wanted to know more about my running skirts.

Hands down my favorite running skirts are from SkirtSports. The Gym Girl Ultra to be exact. They have bike shorts under the skirt. They are more of an investment $$ wise, but the shorties stay where they're supposed to, no worries. I also have worn the Champion brand from Target, which is easier on my wallet. They are nice too, but the shorties creep up my thighs. That drives me nutso and can completely bust my running groove. If I really have a running groove and all.

I like the girly aspect of a running skirt. In warmer weather the skirt feels a bit more breezy, but also gives great coverage. It's sporty, but stylish. When I am schlepping in at the end of my run, all sweaty and smelly, it makes me feel better. (Cue chorus of "I Feel Pretty, Oh So Pretty...)

Running Knitter asked What do you suggest for pre-race or pre-long run meals? What do you eat (if anything) on your long runs?
It's hard for me to eat a lot before a run. Not much sounds appetizing in the wee hours of the morning. I don't eat before weekday runs, just before the longer Saturday runs or races. I usually eat either a whole wheat English muffin or cinnamon raisin bread with almond butter, or a Kashi chewy granola bar or half of a Clif bar. If I know I have to be up really early for a race or long run, I might eat a later night carb snack. During a run I supplement with either Espresso Love Gu or Clif Shot blocks. If there are snacks along a race course, like cut oranges or bananas or pretzels I will nibble on those.

Kacey asked, How much did it cost to print your blog book?

I think it was in the neighborhood of $90. I did get a hardbound book with the image wrap, so that increased the price. Plus it was a whopping 350 pages. Considering what I might spend on scrapbook materials, photos, etc. to make a scrapbook of a year and a half I figured it wasn't too bad.

Motherhood for Dummies asked, What brought our family to Texas?

I wish I had an interesting answer for you, but I was born here is all I've got. So was my husband. We built our house on the same street I grew up on, and my dad still lives two houses away. Pretty deep roots. But who knows what the future holds, right?

Rhonda and Jen had questions about our international adoption.

Why did you choose to adopt in Russia vs. China? During the time we were dealing with fertility struggles, there was a family at our church that had adopted their daughter from Russia. They were a big support to us since they had gone through IVF and adoption. At the time, we felt like we wanted the adoption to be as seamless as possible and for the child to be able to blend in easily to an American family. That way she can choose to tell people, or not. She knows she was born in Moscow and was adopted. One of her favorite things to do is look at her baby book (she calls it her Russia book) and hear her story.

We began the process by opening up an adoption file with International Family Services in April 2004. Steady streams of paperwork followed. We received a video referral in August 2004 of a dark haired, blue eyed, 11 month old girl. They called her Nadya. Our hearts were beating out of our chests when we put the video into the VCR! This is a picture from the video:

We accepted the referral and started making the preparations to travel to Moscow to meet her. We had to wait for court dates, visas, etc. We made our first trip to meet her in late October 2004, stayed about 4 days. Two weeks later, in mid-November, we made the trip again to finalize everything and bring her home. We spent about a week there in a hotel in Moscow, but she was with us--and we were suddenly parents of a 14 month old. Highly amusing.

Pros and cons? We had a positive experience overall, which I attribute to God's hand working through everything. Thankfully we had no delays or roadblocks. The only con might be the travel overseas, twice. We didn't see it as a con though because those long airplane flights brought us to our daughter, and brought our new family of three home.

How long was the process? Again, this was a God thing completely. From the start of the paperwork, home study, oodles of official documents, getting a referral (her video) to bringing her home was 8 months.

Rhonda and Autumn were curious about the hair products I use.

Do you use mousse on your hair? I use a gel sometimes, but I am hooked on wax.

What brand shampoo, hair products do you use?

I've been using Pureology shampoo in the hopes of keeping my color and highlights from fading. I don't know if it really helps, but it smells pretty good.

This short, spiky haircut has been perfect for summer. I have not picked up my blow dryer in weeks! No flat iron! I just run some gel through it or work in some wax and I'm set. I have been experimenting with three different hair waxes, but not all together. Waxes help piece out/ chunkify your hair and they hold really well. It's important to remember though a little goes a long way, otherwise you are left with a greasy mess.

Whew! That's it for Installment #1. Let me know if I was as clear as mud on anything and I'll try to answer you better. There are still some questions left. I'll post my answers to those soon. Thank you again for playing along!

The BBBC: Book Selections for July & August

Who is ready to explore caves, creatively share the task of whitewashing a fence, raft down the Mississippi, embark on many adventures and meet dangerous and interesting characters along the way?

Doesn't that sound like a perfect summer escape? It does to me.

Without further ado, here are the book selections for July and August:

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain for July

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain for August

Raft on over to your local library or used book store and get ready for plenty of adventure and humor with Tom and Huck this summer.

Meet back here with your thoughts on Tom Sawyer by July 25th. Happy reading everyone!


Willy Nilly Wednesday

Can you sense the foreboding randomness? Brace yourself.

First of all, I am just tickled pink by all of your questions! Y'all made my day! Thanks for playing along and helping to clear out the cobwebs in my brain. If you would still like to ask a question, feel free. I will try to form cohesive thoughts and post my answers soon.

I woke this morning to the crash of a raging thunderstorm. At first I thought, "Swell, there goes my run." I had a few moments of guilt before I dozed back off. About 45 minutes later my alarm beeped. Since the storm had passed, I thought, "This morning is WW, I really need to go run."

About a mile or two into my run it started to rain. My rule is if it rains while I am running, and as long as it's not lightning, I stick it out. It might rain on race day, so you have to be prepared for those conditions, right? However, all bets are off if it's raining before the run and leaving the bed is required. The rain was delightful! Just enough to keep things less hot (I can't bring myself to say cooler). I was glad I got my 5 miles done, not only because of WW, but because last night we went to the Astros game. See?

I'll just go ahead and tell you, there were chili cheese fries involved. Yes ma'am. And a soft pretzel (shared 3 ways, but still).

A. enjoys the game as long as the food keeps rolling in steady intervals. Don't let her size fool you, she's small, but this girl can EAT. She ate a hot dog, shared a tub of popcorn with Scott, begged for cotton candy (um, no), and had some pretzel. Once the food parade stopped, she was packing her bags and tapping her foot to go.

Anyway, I'm glad I got my run done. I don't feel soooo terribly guilty. Just a smidge.

After WW, I stopped by HEB to restock on necessities like Skinny Cow. And milk. And for good measure I threw some fruit in the cart too. I must also confess, I did not have a Green shopping trip this time. I've been doing better at remembering to bring in the canvas tote bags. A.'s job is to crawl over into the back to retrieve them before we exit the car. Being small and eager has it's perks.

However, because of WW, she was at her Pappo's. I made it almost inside when I realized I didn't have the totes. In my weak defense, I did turn around and consider trudging back to the car, over the hot asphalt, in like 98 degree weather(it's not the heat so much, but the humidity... yeah, right.) But I didn't.

Sorry Mother Earth.

While I unloaded the groceries, Scott picked up A. from Pappo's. Scott works close to home, so most days he stops by the house for lunch. It's a treat. A. gets so ridiculously excited to ride in the green car, in the front seat, to travel two houses. I had to snap a picture of them.

I love how easily entertained young children can be. The simplest tasks are delightful to them. Why don't I remember that more often? A. had a blast making grape-scicles. It seriously took no effort, and hardly any supplies (grapes, skewers, freezer) and she was so happy. Note to self: remember this. Make more of an effort to do crafts with Annelise.

I guess that's enough willy nilly Wednesday randomness for now. I'm off to get busy answering your fun questions.

Do you ever feel willy nilly? What are some crafts/activities you like to do with your children? Have you ever run in the rain?

The BBBC: The Hiding Place

I did not know what to expect when I began reading The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. I knew it was her account of her experience in Holland and Germany during the Holocaust, but that was all I knew. Would this book be terribly depressing? Would I be able to read it?

Corrie begins her story relating growing up in Holland with her family and vividly describes their life in pre-war Haarlem, a small town in Holland. I was drawn in to her descriptions of the extended family members living with them in their small rooms above the families' watchmaker shop. You gradually see things begin to change in their community as Holland becomes occupied by Germany and Jewish persecution becomes stronger.

She and her family began to provide help to the Jews in and around their neighborhood by getting them ration cards, a safe place to stay for a night or so as they traveled to another city or even letting them live with them . Corrie used her wits and her connections in her community to become a leader in the Jewish underground evacuation movement. It was interesting to read about how the underground network worked, and how extensive it was. Even with the constant risk of arrest, ordinary people banded together to do their part to save many lives.

The Hiding Place refers not only to a small secret room built in Corrie's own bedroom to safely hide the Jewish people living with them in case of a raid, but the safe hiding place that Jesus offers. Corrie's faith in God remained strong throughout her experiences helping the Jews in Haarlem, while she was in prison and even in the concentration camp. She may not have always understood, but she turned to God for guidance and strength. Corrie, along with her sister Betsie, influenced so many of their fellow prisoners and even German guards with the light of Jesus that radiated through them in the darkness.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

"I know that the experiences of our lives, when we let God use them, become the mysterious and perfect preparation for the work He will give us to do."

"Our wise Father in heaven knows when we're going to need things, too. Don't run ahead of him, Corrie. When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need --just in time."

"Happiness isn't something that depends on our surroundings, Corrie. It's something we make inside ourselves."

Corrie and Betsie found much strength from this passage from I Thessalonians 5: 14-18
"And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that no one pays back wrong for wrong, but always be kind to each other and to everyone else. Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Reading The Hiding Place was very moving and inspiring. Corrie's faith, in all circumstances, was an encouragement to me.

What did you think of The Hiding Place? Link your BBBC post to Mr. Linky below and let the discussion begin.


Bloggy Q & A

I don't know if it's the lazy daisy feeling of summer or if cobwebs have taken up residence in my brain. Or a nice combination of the two. I find myself somewhat lacking in the blog fodder department.

I know!

So, I thought I would turn to you, my dear bloggy friends for some help. I've seen a few other bloggers host question and answer sessions and I thought it might be fun to do something similar.

Because of the cobwebs you know.

Here's how it works: In case you have any burning questions related to running, international adoption, books, blogging, WW, beauty and hair products (isn't that too shallow you ask...um, nope), the pros and cons between Skinny Cow flavors, whatever. Just ask your questions in the comments and I will compile them together in a future post. Easy. And a little bit cheesy. I know!

So...whaddya want to know?


Yada, Yada, Blah, Blah, Blurb

The other day I mentioned receiving my blog book from Blurb. A few of you had questions about the process, time involved, etc. Please bear with me as I try to answer them from my not so deep pit of knowledge.

I have ordered two books from Blurb. One is a 7X7, approximately 20 page record of our day trip to see the bluebonnets this spring. The other is my blog. Yes. It's a doozie. It's 8X10ish and a whopping 350ish pages (I am too lazy to go check the exact number).

Since I am terribly behind on my scrapbooks, it was very important to me to have a printed record of the last year and a half in my hot little hands.

The process is relatively simple. Once you set up a Blurb account, you are asked to download their BookSmart program. There is a wizard that takes you through each step once you decide what type of book you want to make. Then your photos and/or blog posts are "slurped" so you can start your book.

I did not allow myself to get too involved in making each page original or change up the layouts often. You can do this easily, but it does take time. My goal was to get it done, not get lost in the process, especially with a year and a half of blog posts.

Most of the layouts look like this. Small pictures along the edge and the post in the middle.

Some longer posts with oodles of pictures ended up like this:

In the early stage of this I fiddled with the layouts and tried different looks. Pictures at the top or bottom, etc.

I got over that quickly. Otherwise I would STILL be tweaking it. I ended up staying with the default (basic) layout for most of the posts and I told myself to be fine with that. I am.

I think I spent a few hours in the evening over a weekend and then ordered it on a Monday. I made the font larger and made sure the pictures were aligned in their boxes, that was about it. Since I kept it basic, it did not take that terribly long.

I actually spent much longer working on the smaller book. I changed each page layout and was a bit more creative with that one. Key word being bit.

I am pleased with the results of both books. Annelise has enjoyed looking through them, like a scrapbook, and that has warmed my heart (and softened my scrapbook guilt).

You can choose a softcover, hardcover with a dust jacket, or they have a new feature called image wrap. The photos and words you use for your cover are printed right onto the cover. Nifty. Since dust jackets are annoying, I went with the image wrap.

I don't know much about digital scrapbooking. Okay, I don't know anything. However, this seems like it might be similar. I think if you have a particular event, like a vacation or holiday, making a Blurb book would be a fairly easy project. If you want to print your blog, and keep it fairly basic, the process is simple and quick.

The smaller book was in the $25 range, plus shipping. The blog book was, well...more.

To me, the end result of having our memories bound and sitting on our shelf (or kitchen counter, whatEVER) is priceless. I don't want my blog or these Blurb books to replace my scrapbooks, but they certainly are a nice addition.

Have you made a photo book or printed your blog? Do you think you will? Any tips to share?


Bonehead Parent Move #368

Do not, under any circumstances, make the assumption that a 4.5 year old that was up with the birds and has been swimming for 2.5 hours can peacefully segue into a relaxing Tex-Mex lunch without the buffer of a nap.

Never, ever underestimate the necessity of The Nap.

Said exhausted 4.5 year old will come close to spontaneous combustion when told there is not a booth available. Things will continue to escalate when there are not several red chips greeting her in the chip basket, when she finds a red and a blue crayon in her kids' menu packet, when she is not given a beverage napkin with her Styrofoam cup of water, and once she reaches the conclusion that Daddy ate queso while she was in the restroom*discussing* her behavior with Mama.

Notice a theme here?

However, in the right circumstances, a taco plate IS a balm for the soul. Ole.

Exhibit A: Little Not So Miss Sunshine right before bed...

Note the red eyes from swimming and from wall-eyed fits of angst, the pouty lip and general grumpy demeanor. Goodnight Irene.

Exhibit B: After the miraculous, restorative powers of 11 hours of sleep this morning:

All was right with the world. At least our little corner of it.


My Excuse for Being Behind on Laundry

Among other things.

I seem to have a slightly addictive personality. Running. Low-calorie ice cream treats. Chips and salsa. Now this...

and this...

and finally this.

If you had told me I would be swept up in a teenage*-Victorian-Gothic-mystic realms travelling-corset wearing-magic harnessing-fantasy romp I would have said, "Pish-posh."

But I have been. It's been rather fun too.

*I have been somewhat leery of teenage/young-adult series after muddling through Stephanie Meyer's teenage vampire trilogy. I know gaggles of young and not-so-young girls are probably mad at me now. Sorry. I enjoyed Libba Bray's writing style and clever dialogue much more. No, it's not the stuff of great literature by any means, but it has been a fun escape.


Photo Story Friday: To-MAY-to, Tom-AH-to

Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Our resident Jr. Gardener, Annelise, eagerly checked on the status of our little garden the other day. Here is a play by play. (You might want to sit down and brace yourself for the ensuing excitement.)

Rats! These aren't quite ready. Let's keep looking...

These cherry tomatoes are though. Pick, pick...

Hmmm...since they smell delicious,

I bet they taste delicious too!

Yep! To-MAY-to, To-MAH-to, I love them all.

This is our first year to have a little garden. Who knew it would be so delightful to go out in our very own yard to pick cucumbers, squash, green beans, and tomatoes (the salmonella free variety, of course)? Well, it is. And tasty.


Because Nothing Says I Love You Like a Nine Iron

Apparently our decision to run a half marathon together (13.1 miles in honor of 13 years of marriage), gave Scott another idea.

Tuesday he came home beaming from ear to ear and presented me with this:

A cute pink tote bag with strange poles peeking out from the top. Just what I wanted.*

*Though I have never embraced Scott's obsession for golf, it seems like I will be hitting the greens soon. Putt-Putt has been known to frustrate me, so this should be highly entertaining.


In Honor of 13

Since today marks 13 years of marriage, Scott and I decided to celebrate in a slightly non-traditional manner.

We registered for this.

Aren't we romantic?


Daddy Diva

What do you get when you make a secretive trip to Goodwill to find a tie and then allow a 4.5 year old girly girl to glue on doodads to her heart's content (with a little help from Mama)?

You get this:

It's like an eclipse. Don't look directly at it.

For two days A. kept her creation a surprise, though she did try to spill the beans a few times. She was bursting with excitement and could not wait to give her daddy his new tie!

First thing this morning she came downstairs and presented him with her spruced up tie before he was even up out of bed.

He was a great sport and wore it with pride. He apologizes to anyone in the front pews this morning that may have been temporarily blinded during the opening prayer. A. seems to be following in my footsteps with the belief that less in NOT more and could not resist adding one more rhinestone. And then maybe just one more.

We posed for a family self portrait before Scott retired the tie. (Though we might be able to convince him to wear it to work tomorrow. Art should be appreciated, right?)

There were others where we were all looking at the camera, but I think this one captures how one little girl feels about her daddy. She thinks he hung the moon, which of course he did, right?

Happy Father's Day Scott!!


May I Just Say...

How much I love my running skirt.

I know I have sung its praises before, but I felt the need to mention it again. Now that it is, like 800 degrees outside, running in a skirt (with thin bike-type shorties underneath) is breezy and cool. Maybe it's a mental thing, WHATever.

This skirt is from SkirtSports. I have worn a Champion version from Tar-jay, and struggled with the shorties not staying where they are supposed to. Grrr. Even though the SkirtSports version is a bit pricey, it is worth the investment. My thighs thank me each run.

I am concerned about the tomato crisis. Of course, I don't want people to get sick with salmonella. Ewwwww!

But I want my pico de gallo.

How excited am I to have received my books from Blurb? Very.

The small one is about our bluebonnet outing back in April. The ginormous one beside it is

wait for it...


I am downright gleeful to have a record of the past year and a halfish in my possession. Since I am a year and a halfish behind on my scrapbooks. At least I have this.

A. has slept all week in underwear. This constitutes a big deal. Really. Did you know that she is almost 5? Did you know that she was STILL sleeping in pull-ups? Did you know that Mama and Daddy were lazy and did not want to wake up to deal with her soaked PJs and sheets? Did you know I was concerned she might be wearing pull-ups at night time until Junior High?

As prices for gas and basically everything else have steadily risen, I could not allow myself to purchase another package of pull-ups. It was time for Mama and Daddy to get serious and deal with any possible accidents. You know, live in the real world.

She has been doing GREAT! Here is our strategy: be something of a drink Nazi in the evening and wake her up around 11:00-11:30 to go potty. It's been working all week with only one accident. I can live with those odds. She's pretty proud of herself too. See?

I guess Sadie is too. A. has also declared she wants to wear more dresses. Like on average, non-church related days.

Because they are twirly and fun. See?

I spent about three hours yesterday rearranging and rotating her closet so she can more easily fulfill this new whim. I aim to please.

Seriously though, her closet and her drawers were in dire need of attention. You know, sort through, weed out clothes that are too small, etc. It's really not that terrible of a task, and you feel like you've accomplished something when you finish. And yet. Still. If you haven't guessed, I am a classic avoider of certain things at times. I don't know why. I've avoided thinking about it.

After my skating renaissance the other day, I am contemplating my need for a pair of skates. The traditional four wheel kind of course. Do they even still sell them? Must investigate.

I had the BEST pair when I was a gangly preteen. They looked like blue tennis shoes, with fat yellow wheels. I thought I was so cool skating around with my friends, wearing my Gloria Vanderbilt (or was it Jordache?) jeans, Maybelline roll-on bubble gum lip gloss (ewww...that stuff was truly gross), and badly permed hair. And braces. Smelling faintly of Clearasil and Love's Baby Soft.

Clearly hot stuff. On giant yellow wheels.

I'll leave you with that image and wrap up this running skirt, tomato, blog book, night time underwear, closet organization, roller skating ramble. I have no idea how to cohesively tie all of those things together, but it looks like I tried anyway.

Good deed: swerved and slowed to avoid hitting squirrel in road the other day. I'm sure his family is thankful.


Sk8tr Girls

A. and I ventured out this afternoon to meet some friends at the local roller skating rink. When we left our house, to drive approximately 5 miles, it was only sprinkling. By the time we reached the rink it was a deluge. Nice. We waited in the car for a while listening to music.

After, oh, 20-30 minutes A. had enough of waiting out the rain. See?

We braved the slightly slackening elements and made it inside without melting too badly. This was going to be A.'s first roller skating experience. Needless to say she was convinced she would be able to skate immediately. She was full of grand plans and excitement.

Here we are with our skates. Can you tell which is which?

Bless her little wheel challenged heart! We made it around the rink a few times, slowly and with PLENTY of ups and downs on her sweet little wheels. She was able to skate on the carpeted areas pretty well, but not so well on the smooth wood. Just imagine skating with a noodle or an octopus on wheels. Her legs were going everywhich way. It was high comedy.

After a couple of trips around the rink I asked her if she wanted to skate or go jump in the bouncy play area.

Yeah, those skates were off fast enough to make your head spin and she was joyfully bouncing her brains loose.

What did her mama do? Skate of course! It ended up being a win-win.

We turned in our skates just in time to make it to happy hour at Sonic.

Ah, delightful!


Take a Peek at My World

At least the reality of my world this morning. Approximately 8:30ish.

I saw this show and tell meme on Christie's and Jessica's blogs the other day, and decided I needed to play along too. I am a joiner, you know.

The rules are simple, all you do is photograph the state of certain things around your house and then blog about them. The catch though is you can't change anything or clean things up before you snap the photo.

Be warned though, this stuff is scintillating, I tell you.

First let's look around our kitchen.

The Refrigerator:

Nothing too exciting there. Yogurt, fruit, milk, cheese, yada, yada. Of course I have two huge Coconut Creme CoffeeMates in the door. I also have a carton of Half & Half since I'm trying to wean myself from the partially hydrogenated drink of death, known as non-dairy creamer. I'm not being quite successful yet.

The Kitchen Sink:

Pretty calm over here. I'm somewhat of a stickler about keeping the sink clean and clear. Can you say control issues? Moving on...

The Powder Room:

This is the powder room downstairs. It's usually kept up with pretty well. Now the others...well, just use THIS one okay?

My Self Portrait:

Since we just visited the loo, I thought I'd go ahead and snap my self-portrait. Quickly and from an appropriate distance because I just got back from my run. And baby, it's HOT outside. Even at 6:30 am.

The Laundry Room:

Right now, things are quiet, but these babies are going to be whirring soon. Trust me.
Master Closet:

I'm so sorry friends. Avert your eyes if you must. Our closet needs serious attention. Like I should stop typing and go work on it RIGHT NOW. But I don't want too.Waaah!
But look...I made the bed! But I do that every day, so don't pin a rose on my nose. Apparently my control issues are selective. If you look closer you'll see...

the pile of books around my nightstand. And a glimpse of miscellany stacked on the bench at the foot of our bed. Must tackle the stuff. But I don't want too! Waaah!

The Family Room:

Our armoire arrived Friday evening (at the later end of the delivery window, of course). Pause for a happy dance because The Monstrosity is contained! I feel the undeniable urge to redo the top of it, since I haphazardly stuck some of the old things we had up there and they are bugging me. I'll keep you posted. Hobby Lobby and Marshall's may need to be involved.

So what are the other living things doing around here this morning?

Well, the cats can't be disturbed right now. They sent a memo to say they will be napping in various locations until further notice. Or until Annelise goes to bed tonight.

This is a common sight...

Sadie sitting by the back door dreaming of being outside. Except, baby, it's HOT outside. So I think she is content to dream.

What is the resident kidlet doing while her Mama is otherwise engaged documenting our riveting life?

Well, let's see...


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