February 27, 2011

Weekly Winners: Macro Madness

Weekly Winners is the creation of the beautiful Lotus from i am lotus (aka Sarcastic Mom). It gives us a chance to share our favorite shots of the week every Sunday.

Other than the first two, these were all taken with my new 50mm 2.5/f macro lens that arrived this week. ALL photos were taken with my Canon Rebel EOS.

Potato, PoTAHto

IMG_1294 - Copy

The Wine that Was


New Love!




Eye See You


Window to the World


Joy Personified


For more Weekly Winners, visit i am lotus.

February 25, 2011

Friday Fragments: At Home and Around the Web

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, "Heard" items, and other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post.

Friday Fragments are the brainchild of Mrs.4444 and you can find more at Half Past Kissin' Time.

This week, I want to share some cool things I've found around the web in the last couple of weeks along with a few thoughts that are floating around in my head.

Check out this photo at Dooce. I can't stop staring at it, it's so beautiful.


How cool is this video?

Very cool!


I know some of you are watching Top Chef with me. How did you like this week's episode? Here are my thoughts...

The look on Richard's face when they brought out the fryers? It could have withered plants. But then he made FRIED MAYONNAISE. I am not even kidding. Wow.

Antonia fried some avocado. I think I want to eat that. I felt so bad she made the mistake of only one plate, because she would have won.

Tiffany must share that she is from Beaumont, TX of course. Is there really anyone who doesn't know that by now?

Why did Mike COPY something from Richard's notebook? So bizarre. Douche alert. Then he WON with it. He says in cutaway "Richard, it's not your dish, it's my dish, because I won the 5 G's." Douche.

Fabio told Richard they get along so well and that Richard reminds him of his ex-wife. Hilarious.

When Carla finds out that Mike copied Richard's dish, she says it goes against "chef law." She says there is man law, and there is chef law. And on 30 Rock, there is "sky law." I'd like to hear about all of the different weird "laws" out there. Know of any?

I was glad Richard won, he's definitely one of my favorites. Then the bottom three - I was NOT happy to see Carla there. Then Tiffany said she didn't actually cook any of the shrimp. WTH? Wasn't that the main part of the dish? I don't know, it just seems like a strange thing to delegate on when it's the main ingredient, and the point of the challenge.

I was really worried for a minute that my dreams of a Richard-Carla-Antonia finale were going to be dashed, but in the end it was Dale.

BTW, if you're a Top Chef fan, you should really be reading Amalah's hilarious recaps over at Mama Pop. She often has some of the same thoughts I do. Also, the recaps at TV Line are good too!


There have been some interesting things going on in politics, and I'd love to say I plan to write about all of them. BUT, with a fussy baby and a 4 year old, it might not happen. So, for now, here are some posts I really enjoyed this week.

Jules at Mean Girl Garage wrote about how right now, she doesn't feel like the government is speaking for her. Her post has some great links.

Katie, one of the ladies from Curvy Girl Guide, wrote about the shitty amendment removing federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

Christina at A Mommy Story wrote about Michele Obama's Let's Move campaign to help kids get/stay fit.

Vodka Mom and Mrs. 4444 (once here and once here) both wrote great posts about the situation in Wisconsin from the point of view of teachers.


Yeah, so... this happened.

Gah! We are in so much trouble right now. He had his 9 month doctor appointment on Monday and he is up 2% to the 7th percentile for weight, and shot up in height - he grew more than 2 inches in the last three months! He's tall and skinny just like his brother. The doctor agreed that we could try giving him some soy formula to see if he could tolerate it by now, so Tuesday-Friday we tried giving him 25-50% soy in his bottles with the Alimentum. It seemed to be going okay at first, but last night he was so uncomfortable and fussy, and that's the only thing we've changed. So, well have to scale it back and go a little slower. It sure would be nice to get him off the $27 cans of formula that only last a few days.


Also, it snowed here this week. With the wind chill, it's been SO cold taking Sam down to the bus this week. At some point, it would be nice to put a little shelter at the bottom of the driveway for him to stand in while he waits for the bus. We also got our notice for parent teacher conferences, ours is March 11. I can't wait to talk to his teachers again and find out about the progress he's made.


I got my 50mm 2.5/f macro lens this week! Yay! I have not had a chance to take many photos with it yet, but am looking forward to taking it outside with me once it's not so frigidly cold. I'll have a few photos up here on Sunday for Weekly Winners too.


This weekend is pretty empty, though I am definitely planning on watching the Oscars on Sunday! I am participating in an Oscar pool for the first time this year, and it will be fun to cheer for the ones I chose! Hope everyone has a great weekend!

February 23, 2011

The Myth of the Grown-Up

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up.

As I got older, I imagined what it would like to be a grown up. Though the perks we envision morph as we grow, there are always perks imagined.


When I grow up, I won't have to eat my vegetables. I'll eat cookies for dinner!


When I grow up, I will be able to watch whatever TV shows I want to!


When I grow up, I won't have to do chores for my allowance, and will be able to buy new clothes whenever I want to.


When I grow up, I'll have my OWN car, and I'll drive wherever I want, whenever I want to.


When I'm eighteen, I'll be a grown up. I'll be in charge of myself, I'll do what I want, eat what I want, hang out with who I want.

Then eighteen comes.

For me, this meant my first place, my first real job with real pay and benefits. My first car, bought with my own money. I was growing up, but I didn't feel like a grown up, so I just waited.

Nineteen arrived, along with my first live in boyfriend.

At twenty, he became a fiance.

At twenty-one, I earned a college degree. How grown up is that? And I waited for the feeling to come, but it never seemed to.


I become a wife.


My husband and I own our first real estate - a condo that we end up making money on, and paying off debt. Grown-upapalooza, right? But I'm still not feeling it.


After two years, the child we've been longing for finally arrives. I am a mother. Shouldn't I feel more like a grown up?


The way we lived catches up with us. I am glad I'm so young when I learn the hard lessons bankruptcy brings with it. We have plenty of time to recover, to make better decisions. Grown up decisions I guess.


Our second baby is born, and he is beautiful. I find myself wondering how I have two kids when I feel like a kid myself a lot of the time.


I keep waiting for that moment when I will suddenly feel like a grown-up.

It has taken me over 12 years to realize that it's never coming.

One day, I asked my Mom about being a grown up. She is 51, with 2 kids and 3 marriages under her belt. She has dealt with her childhood, watched her children become grown, and finally found the person she is supposed to be with. She still does not feel like a grown-up.

That's when I realize, it's a total myth! The myth of the grown-up.

Where did this myth come from? Grown-ups exist, but they are always the generation above us. As children, we dream that one day we will see ourselves as grown-ups, but now I realize that this isn't true. Our children will see us as grown-ups. Maybe my 12 year old sister thinks I am a grown-up. But to myself? I don't think I'll ever feel any more grown up than I do now.

I think I will always have those moments where I am astounded that I am leading some sort of adult life - that I am a mother and a wife and live in a house and cook and clean and grow older. I will always feel like I did when I was a kid, because it's just... ME. We age, and we change, we live and we learn and adapt. But I don't think I'll ever feel like a grown-up deep inside.

What about you? Do you feel like a grown-up?

February 21, 2011

30 Days of Truth Day 9: What We Were

The prompt for Day 9 of 30 Days of Truth is "Someone you didn't want to let go, but just drifted."

We met and became instant friends. We played in the woods, making up complicated new lives and personalities that were ours alone. I admired the toe shoes that hung in your bedroom. We would eat rye toast with butter as an after school snack, there were not many sweets in your house. We picked blackberries and sung duets.

We once laughed ourselves to tears in the back of the classroom when I asked "what do they call a trombone player anyways, a tromboner?" You probably didn't know that I was in love with you. We went on a date once, at least it was to me. You probably didn't know that afterwards, I dedicated a song to you on the radio. I cried the night of high school graduation at the thought that I would probably never see you again.

We watched Remington Steele and Mission Impossible and ate egg sandwiches on our lunch break. My first job was with you. We danced under a streetlight at midnight as fluffy snowflakes piled up around us. We would ride the bus to the mall and watch movies on the weekends. I was with you when I dyed my hair for the first time.

We worked so well as a team, the highs were high and the lows were really painful. We would laugh until our mouths were frozen in silent guffaws, and more than once I'm sure I cried over fights we had. You refused to talk about what music you liked because people take their music too personally. Once you hung an awful poster with a photos of a fig that looked like genitalia because you knew I hate most Georgia O'Keefe paintings. We got drunk one night after work with our friends, and leaned on each other as we walked to the car. In the back seat, we held hands.

We used to walk to the comic book store on weekends. Once we each ate an entire tub of Ben & Jerry's while we watched the original La Femme Nikita. I tried pot for the first time with you. I was always jealous of your boyfriends, and at one point I developed a big crush on your brother.

We talked online every day for over a year, back when AOL was new and cool. You knew me better than anyone else in my life. I was either stupid or in denial not to know how much you liked me. Our friendship didn't translate to real life. I wish I'd tried harder.

For the other 29 days, click here.

February 17, 2011

13 Awesome Bad Pets

Last week I was flipping through the shows in my Netflix Streaming and came across a documentary about badgers. I like some nature programming, so Is tarted watching it. Did you know that badgers are the least known mammals in North America? Also, they are SUPER cute.

So I started thinking about how if it wasn't totally inadvisable/dangerous/wrong, I would totally have a badger as a pet and cuddle with it. Which of course got me thinking about other animals I would want to cuddle with. So, this week's Thursday Thirteen is the 13 animals I'd most want to own. You know, if it wasn't so wrong.

Golden Lion Tamarind or Pygmy Marmoset

Golden Lion Tamarin with Pygmy Marmoset baby



Red Panda

Red Panda (22,000+ Views)


Enigmatic Wombat


Cutest Koala

Cinnamon Tiger

Cinnamon Tiger at Buffalo Zoo





Snow Leopard

Indeever in motion

Tasmanian Devil

Tasmanian Devil




baby got...beak?

Tree Kangaroo

Scarlet and her little Gem (Ruby)

What inadvisable pet would you like to snuggle?

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun!

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February 16, 2011

A Case of the Blahs

I can't believe how completely unmotivated I feel to do ANYTHING right now. This week, I've just been exhausted. I had a very busy weekend, my Dad was in town from Maryland because he was attending a conference in Portland and drove up to visit. It was a really great weekend, Saturday I took the boys down to Seattle to hang out, then we had dinner down there. We ended up being at my sister's house until 10:00 and I didn't get home until midnight. Sunday I headed down to Seattle again with just Danny and went to the Ballard Farmer's Market with my Dad and sister, then to my book club and got home around 10 that night.

I haven't been sleeping that well, with 2 kids who wake in the night and sleep next to me and a fussy baby, it just hasn't been in the cards. I think that maybe Danny's teething because he's been pretty fussy the last few days.

It's more than just being tired, it's exhaustion. I have only slept through the night 2 times in the last 9 months, and sometimes it catches up with me a bit. I've also been struggling with missing my friends, which is a whole other post.

The bottom line is that I feel completely unmotivated to do anything. There is a bunch of stuff that needs to get done around the house and I care, but I just don't feel like doing any of it. Ugh. Hopefully I'll get my mojo back sometime soon...

February 11, 2011

Fabio, Stefon & Hoodie Footies

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, "Heard" items, and other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post.

Friday Fragments are the brainchild of Mrs.4444 and you can find more at Half Past Kissin' Time.


I was SO sad that Fabio got sent home on Top Chef this week! He was one of my favorites, if nothing else because he had the best quotes. He posted a great good-bye video on YouTube:

I'm totally rooting for either Carla or Blais now.



This week, Danny learned how to pull himself up. No more putting things on low tables to keep them out of his reach. I think crawling is just around the corner, and that's going to be a BIG can of worms.



epic win photos - Metal Pizza WIN
see more Hacked IRL - Truth in Sarcasm


Danny also LOVES graham crackers. He totally chows on them. They make a huge mess, but oh well. They make him totally happy.


Does anyone else still watch Saturday Night Live? I have been watching back episodes from this season that I didn't get to yet, and actually laughing a lot! There is this one character, though, that always makes me laugh so hard. His name is Stefon.

There is something about the combination of the ridiculous things he says and the way he often can't keep it together that I just love.


Tonight is date night! I can't wait to get out of the house. Confession time - I have not been out of the house since last Sunday. Well, except walking down the driveway to take Sam to the bus and pick him up. Having just one car kind of puts a damper on any plans I might have. We need to figure something out - most likely buying a used minivan of some sort for very little money.


I have my book club this weekend and I am very excited to see my friends down in Seattle. I have really been missing them lately, maybe partially because I didn't get to see them last month.


I want these SO bad you guys. Unfortunately they are $70 (wha??). And kind of crazy.

They also have them for men and children. So your whole family can match. That might just make the BEST Christmas Card ever.


That might be all for this week. I was working on a bunch of articles this week but I'm hoping I'll have a little more time for blogging next week. Have a great weekend, everyone!

February 8, 2011

Reason 6,542 I Love My Husband

We had a really rough night last night.

Sam fell asleep at his normal time. Danny fell asleep at 7:40ish. Great, right?

Until Danny woke up at 9ish. Then Sam woke up around 11. Neither of them seemed inclined to go back to sleep, and inevitably it lead to Sam having a meltdown at 1:00 am when we wouldn't let him play the computer.

Justin's already stressed out because of work - he's under a crazy deadline right now. Needless to say, two crazy kids who won't sleep? Doesn't help.

Justin took the melting down Sam upstairs. But he still wouldn't sleep. Justin came down a couple of times. He told me that Sam wasn't sleeping, every time he got close to falling asleep he'd start talking again.

I could tell he was incredibly frustrated. He was tired. He hadn't had any non-kid time since he got home from work, and he still had work on his mind. He was at the end of his rope.

Eventually I went upstairs. There were no good moods, I finally got Sam to sleep very early in the morning and Justin brought Danny up a while later. It just wasn't a good night.

When the boys and I finally made our way downstairs today at 10:30, Justin was long gone to work. As I got Danny changed, I noticed a piece of paper on top of the laptop. Sam was walking around and a minute later he brought it to me. "What does this note say?"


After all that. After not getting enough sleep. After having to wake up to his alarm much before he was ready this morning. After leaving Sam upstairs last night frustrated and at the end of his rope.

He's a good Dad. I love him.

February 4, 2011

Ice hairs! Ice hairs in the dirt!

On Monday when Justin went to leave for work, he came back into the house and exclaimed "Ice hairs! Ice hairs in the dirt!" Not surprisingly, I had no idea what the hell he was talking about until I went out a few minutes later to investigate.


I was fascinated! I took my camera out to capture them.


What were they?! I had never seen anything like them.


They looked like they had grown up out of the dirt, and did look like hairs. The clumps were made up of individual strands and were somewhat delicate.



I looked them up, and they're actually called needle ice. I think they are awesome, not just because they look cool, but because of how they form. When the temperature of the soil is above freezing and the temperature of the air is below freezing, the water underground is brought to the surface via capillary action. Capillary action "is a ability of a liquid to flow against gravity where liquid spontaneously rises in a narrow space such as a thin tube, or in porous materials such as paper..."

How COOL is that?! As the water reaches the surface, it freezes and when more water is drawn up it builds the needle, pushing it up out of the dirt.

Since Monday, I've noticed clumps of these in our fields where there's no grass (mole hills) and all along our driveway. I'm a little obsessed. I hope to get some more cool photos soon.

Have you seen these before?