Kate Explains Stuff to Me

“Kate, you came in our bed last night.”
“I had a bad dream.”
“Kate, you’re not supposed to come into the bed. You are supposed to get daddy and go back to your bed.”
[Yes, I *totally* threw Dan under the bus on that one.]

“I didn’t have a bad dream. I had a nightmare. A nightmare is a scary bad dream. Babies have bad dreams, and they can’t get out of them. That’s why babies cry. But I can leave a bad dream. But a nightmare I can’t leave. So I have to come to bed with you. A baby can come to bed if it’s just a bad dream. But I can only come if it’s a nightmare.”


On Sunday, Flora decided to run away. Kate decided to run away with her. Flora decided this was okay.

They ran away to the playset in the back yard.

“We took beans,” Kate pointed out. “And drinks and chips. You have to eat. And we took some toys. You have to play. And a blanket. Next time we run away to our new house, we’ll do it on a sunny day.”


Kate built a few new “creatures” with the K’Nex sets she got for Christmas last year. Each time she added or changed something, she introduced it with a flourish: “And now for my latest convention!”

She’s so awesome.

So Close

I managed to post 25 days in a row. But Saturday, I could not get myself to my computer. I didn’t feel like dealing with the massive box Dan had launched into our already extremely messy office.

So I let it go.

I’ve got a Meatless Monday, but probably not today, and Michael turns 1 this week (WHAT THE WHAT?), so I’ll be posting plenty. Michael also has a double ear infection and is super clingy and miserable, which is another reason I didn’t feel like wading into the office to do a post.

Now to turn my energy toward decorating for Christmas and shopping. Oh, and a birthday party to plan on Saturday.

Yeah, not much going on here at all!

Random Thoughts: The WHY Edition

I am not a Black Friday shopper. For me the early hours and the crowds (cons) simply outweigh the theoretical savings (pro). I heartily dislike the retailers’ marketing as well, creating fear and need, and setting earlier and earlier shopping hours. For example, HellMart opening at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving night?? People have been eating and drinking, and spending time with family, and you are going to open your doors to them? That’s just crazy.

Also, my dear Target, the Black Friday commercial you have been running with the woman “in training” for shopping? The most offensive Black Friday commercial EVER. I sincerely hope that if a woman recognizes herself in that deranged caricature, that they take a moment to reflect and end up spending the day at home with their family eating leftovers instead of laughing maniacally at supposed “deals” in your sales flyer.

If you shop today (you’re probably done by now): I hope you had fun and were safe. I don’t understand the appeal, but that’s okay. If we were all the same, life would be boring.


Reading tweets yesterday (pretty much after dinner and family time), I felt like one of the luckiest people in the world. So many people dreading or regretting the day spent with their families or in-laws — it just broke my heart.

Some people don’t get to spend family with loved ones because of death or distance. And that’s sad. But I don’t think people who don’t want to face the judgement or disapproval of their families should just suck it up.

If spending time with your family causes you and your loved ones (i.e. spouse and/or children) so much pain, I advocate for alternate plans. Find some like-minded friends, and have dinner with them. If you *have* to see your family, make it for coffee and dessert, or cocktails and appetizers. Hell, book a vacation to someplace warm! Tell your parents you couldn’t pass up the deal.

I know, it’s easy for me to say. I hit the lottery with with my in-laws (and I’m pretty blessed in my birth-family as well; truly, everyone is just awesome). As to the ILs, we may not see eye-to-eye politically, but we’ve agreed to disagree, and we just don’t talk about it. Instead, we played ’80s Trivial Pursuit. It was a blast!


Why do I love Jason Segel so? Something about his willingness to do full-frontal nudity in Forgetting Sarah Marshall (he’s not Daniel Craig, people) and his every-man schlubbiness in general, I think. (Yes, I did just totally make up that word, based on the root “schlub”.) And today, I’m going to see him in The Muppets.

I’m assuming he doesn’t do full-frontal in this one. I’m bringing the kids, so, let’s hope not.

Project Food Budget: Week 8

Food Budget Piggybank

We did okay this week. Dan picked up some extras at Costco, which he is wont to do. He’s not as bad as he is at the State Store, though!

Food = Budget, $75; Actual, 73.43
Costco = Budget, $100; Actual, $128.39
Eating out = Budget, $50; Actual, $42.60

Today, I’m making cookies and a lentil loaf (recipe on Monday if it turns out good). Tomorrow, we will probably be having dinner out with children and friends in from out of town. I will spend the rest of the weekend cooking, including “Beefy” Cheesy Macaroni, slow cooker minestrone soup, and maybe baked oatmeal or muffins.

I think our big shopping run will be to the deli this week. Also, we need formula… the weaning to milk is not going well, but that’s a post for another day.

Food = $75
Eating out = $50
Formula = $25

If you are celebrating Thanksgiving today, I hope you have a safe and blessed one. And if not, I hope your day is great anyway!

Let’s see how everyone else did!

* Emily Levenson
* Dairy-Free Cooking
* Test Kitchen Tuesday
* Acquired Tastes
* Fit Flexitarian
* Warm As Pie
* Katy Rank Lev
* My Inner Healthy
* Little Blue Hen
* xox, b
* What da Health?
* Project Food Budget 2.0
* Ignition Nutrition
* A Nice Heart and a White Suit
* Because Hobbies Happen
* Primary Focus Health Coaching
* Chicken Tender
* Fresh…A New Chapter
* Whole Living Gal
* Chandeleah
* Two Eggs Over Easy


I can list all the usual suspects when it comes to being thankful in 2011: a healthy and growing family, a successful practice for my husband, a job and health benefits, good friends, and so on and so forth.

I’ve been missing some of my IRL friends, lately, the ones I don’t get to interact with on social media. It feels almost ungrateful because I’ve made great friends through Twitter, many of whom I get to hang out with occasionally IRL. But I want Hope and Michele and Nikki and Jen and Dawnan and more to join Twitter (my Social Media Platform of Choice![tm]) too. Some of them are on Facebook (as am I) and some are good about posting updates (much, much better than I am). I just like Twitter best.

I mean, I’ve been meaning to email Hope for *ages*, and I just haven’t. I feel like a bad friend. I miss her, and want to tell her we’re coming in for Christmas, and let’s go have a drink, and so on and so forth… and, yeah, I’m posting here about it instead. And don’t even get me started on N, who is my oldest friend in this world, who won’t join Facebook (why not?), but gleefully stalks others through her sister’s account. (Bad N.)

I don’t want them to start blogging or invent personal brands to promote over Twitter or anything like that.

I just want to talk to them again. And somehow, this — i.e. Twitter — has become how I talk to people now. Which, either, I’m doing something wrong or I’m a totally 21st-century woman. I haven’t decided.

Why do you do what you do in the social media realm?

Lucky Me

Last year at this time, I was massively (relatively speaking) pregnant. I had an uncooperative baby (see: transverse lie). We had a tentative plan regarding Michael’s birth. It involved a C-section.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving would be my last day of work for three months.


For some reason this year, I am thinking a lot about “this time last year”. I don’t know why. As per, the end of my pregnancy was a stressful time. Dan and I were wrecks.

And then this happened. [warning: frank talk about a hard labor ahead]

So it can’t be nostalgia.

Maybe not nostalgia so much as remembering the feelings of anticipation I had. I was facing the birth of a baby boy, I didn’t know how my family was going to adjust, I didn’t know if I was going to need to have a C-section, and so on. I wanted more than anything to meet him and start our lives with him.

I don’t have that this year, because, der, he’s here. But there was something so sweet about those anticipatory feelings. Feelings that I am almost 100% sure I will never have again (and I’m fine with that). I mean, I’m hoping God doesn’t have other plans for me and Dan in the parenthood department, but you know what we always say around here?

Want to make God laugh? Tell her your plans!

I am so, so blessed in my life. I’m reflecting instead of anticipating. Other new things will come.

But for now, I count to three.

Photo courtesy of @mattieflap, who came to see me when Michael was about a week old. She brought me cookies! Something else that is probably not going to happen this year. Maybe if I bribe her with wine…

Meatless Monday: Thanksgiving Cookies

This is one of my all-time favorite cookie recipes.

Sweet Squash Cookies
(adapted from new classics from the moosewood kitchen cookbook)

1 cup butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup pureed squash
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached all-purpose white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the squash, egg, and vanilla and mix until well blended. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, and add to the mixing bowl. Stir well to form a soft batter. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto a large, unoiled baking sheets, allowing a little space for the cookies to spread as they bake. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cookies just begin to brown slightly on the bottom. Use a spatula to transfer to a cooling rack or plate.

Note: To make pureed squash, you can either bake or steam squash of your choice. I use butternut squash because I get so many from my CSA. If steaming, peel and cut into chunks; steam until tender and puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor.

I Got Nothing

And that’s okay.

Baby has taken a 3 hours nap, and the girls have been running around outside with their cousins most of the day.

I have been slowly been working on purging toys. So far, so good. So much more to do.

Dan is shopping; we have decided to order out for dinner. It’s the only way to get more done.

And that’s okay too.

It’s been a nice weekend (thus far), and it’s nice to know I’ve only got three and a half days of work this week.

What’s been the best part of today for you?

Moral or Legal?

This Saturday post is brought to you by lack of fore-planning or time, and the fact that my head is awhirl (in between cleaning jags — me — and crying jags — the baby) with the following phrases:

“I didn’t do anything illegal.” “Was it illegal? No.”

I have heard those repeatedly on the news this week in slighty different forms, and in stories revolving around sexual abuse and Congressional graft. (I guess maybe graft is outright illegal. Call it Congressional insider trading.)

But what occurs to me to think is that if you have to justify your actions with semantics around what is legal, maybe you should check yourself and your *moral* compass. Because there may be plenty of things that are legal but not moral. But I’m guessing the equation doesn’t work the other way the majority of the time. The only thing that pops into my head is an exercise from ethics class concerning the morality of stealing medicine or other life-saving measures for someone in your family.

Which I’m sure is a choice faced by more and more people every day in this country. Maybe we do need to focus on what is moral more than what is legal.

I don’t know. It’s got me… thinking. But with no time to write, I turn it over to you, dear readers. What do you think?

Random Thoughts: The BlogHer Prompt Edition

Today’s writing prompt for NaBloPoMo via BlogHer is “What has been the happiest moment of your life thus far?”

I have no good way of picking.

1. I got married to the love of my life on September 1, 2001. Being in that chapel, up on the altar, looking out at our family and friends — it was hard to imagine that I would ever be happier.

2. And then I had three (live) babies. I suppose given a choice between Nov. 11, 2004; January 6, 2007; and December 1, 2010, and seriously pressed, I could possibly pick one. If you held a gun to my head, I would be sure to blurt out something.

Aside: I can totally tell you the saddest moment of my life without even pausing. You’re probably not surprised to hear that.

3. Flora: live baby number one. I mean, her actual birth is cloudy. Holding her for the first time was amazing. Duh. But the peak for me came two days later when I got to take her home. I was crying because live baby, going home! It’s not a moment that a baby lost mom takes for granted.

I was sobbing, my feet were so swollen from the fluids they pumped into me during my induction that Dan couldn’t put my shoes on my feet, and Flora was bundled up looking up at me like, “They are letting me go home with this crazy lady?” Yeah, well, welcome to the world, kiddo.

4. With Kate and Michael, I was so, so glad when they came out of my body finally. Not to put too fine a point on it, I labored so long with each of them, my peaks during their births may have come the second the epidurals kicked in. Sorry, my loves.

5. And then there is the daily spike of happiness I get from my life. It’s funny the little things that get me through a day. A text or call from Dan that says, “Thinking of you.” The little things and the big things my kids do: smiles, giggles, hugs (little); Flora declaring her love of reading (she can read!); Kate checking her backpack unprompted for her school folder before we leave the house; Michael crawling down the stairs butt first (all big). I guess they aren’t the happiest moments of my life… except they kind of are. They just happen over and over again.

I can’t pick because these things aren’t equal. I can tell you (and maybe you know) why and how I love my children the way I do, but not which one I love the best. And the love for my husband is a separate entity from the love for my kids, but of course it is necessary to this endeavor of kids and marriage.

I can pick each of these as the happiest moment of my life. They all are. And I’ve so many more happiest moments to look forward to!

Can you pinpoint your happiest moment so far?