Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Somebody sure loves popcorn!

Friday, January 20, 2012

How (and Why) To Use Pinterest

So I have a new hobby lately... Pinterest!

Of course I'd heard about pinning from a few people before I bothered to look into it and see what it was about. When I finally did, it was love at first pin.

Here's the scoop for those of you who are clueless! (No offense...)

Pinterest is an on-line bulletin board for everything you see around the web, that you want to keep track of.



See a recipe you want to try? Pin it to your "Recipes that will surely make me fat" pin board.

See a book you want to read? Pin it to you "Books I'll never get around to reading" pin board.

Holiday ideas?

Decorating?

Photos?

Crafts?

Stuff for your kids?!?

Pretty much anything with a photo or movie can be "pinned".

When you open your own account, it starts you out with a few popular "Boards", but they are easily changed/added to/deleted.

One of my personal favorite ways to use Pinterest is for sewing ideas.

For the last few years, whenever I saw a cool pattern or idea (I read a lot of crafty blogs) I would copy and paste or download the picture into a "sewing ideas" file. Sometimes I'd organize the photos, sometimes not. Occasionally, I'd go into that folder, print out the pictures, and put them in a binder I have with patterns, etc.

Now, if I see something I like, I pin it to "SEW Crafty" board and call it good. I can reference it from the Internet any time I want! Even from my phone! That's right - there's an app for that!

This also works well for holiday ideas, recipes, or party plans.

I've seen many a young (or not so young) girl use Pinterest to plan her wedding (either real or imagined).

A few other trends I've noticed:
-Crafts Project how-to's or step-by-illustrated-step instructions.
-Nails. For example, mani/pedi ideas and/or "how-to's" -- Also hairstyle and "smokey eye" tutorials.
-Different Font collections and/or Subway Art
-Tattoos (Filed under "If I ever have the guts!" or "Ink")
-Classroom Ideas
-Photography
-Travel Destinations
-Home Decor
-Dream Homes

Another great thing about Pinterest is that you can search other peoples boards, collaborate on boards, "follow" others, and be followed. So if one person pins something absolutely amazingly adorable like a picture of their brand new bull dog puppy, you can re-pin it to your "Like, SO cute I'm gonna DIE" board and all your followers will see it and repin it to their boards.

So now ya know!

And for those who already knew...
What are you pinning these days?
Have you found any good recipes that you've actually tried?
What's the most common "pin" you've seen lately?
Let's discuss!

HAPPY PINNING!

PS - You can follow my boards by clicking on the link over there ----->
PSS - If you need an invite - just comment below with your email address!

Y3W: Workin' For A-Livin'

Paul is laid-off now for the winter, as he is every year. It’s one of the nice things about having a seasonal job I guess. As much as I like his paycheck, I like having him home all day. He can run errands, like taking Clara to the doctor today, or taking my car in for an oil change. He straightens up the house, and usually has supper started or at the very least thawed by the time I get home.

He also does manly things, like cleaning out the chicken coop, and emptying out the litter box.

Oh, those aren’t “manly”? My bad.

I love having a husband at home. I have tried to think of ways that we can make that situation permanent. Paul doesn’t have any job prospects for Spring at the moment… so I guess in reality, he could be unemployed until July. That would be ouchie on the bank account.

When I was on maternity leave I got a taste of what it would be like to be a stay-at-home mom.

It’s not for me.

While I loved having 3 months “off” (which, by the way, is the farthest thing from the truth) I was ready to go back to work. I love being around other people. I love working on challenging problems. I love being creative. I love my work! (well, most days) But I really don’t make enough to be the sole provider.

So enjoy it while it lasts Paul… come March, you will be back to work!

Oh, and what’s for supper? :)



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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday {Instagram}

Did I mention I have discovered the Instagram app? :) A few shots from the weekend...



Published!

I am a published author! Ok... kinda... A post I wrote was published on a BIG, HUGE, READ BY A LOT MORE PEOPLE THAN THIS ONE, BLOG! Yeah!

You can check it out at the Cloth Diaper Whisperer

Very exciting! ... and I get some $$ to spend at their store too :)

If you cloth diaper and are interested in writing a post for the Cloth Diaper Whisperer, just let me know and I'll forward you the information.

Class Is In Session

How does that saying go… “you can take the teacher out of teaching, but you can’t take teaching out of the teacher?” Ok, so maybe not exactly, but that’s the way I feel most days. I moved from being a teacher to working for a non-profit 6 years ago, but I still love getting in front of a classroom! These days, my pupils are new moms and my subject is cloth diapering!

I’m not sure how I first came across the idea of cloth diapering, but after a lot of research, I knew that I wanted to do it. I was not cloth diapered as a baby, so when I told my mom about it, she told me I was crazy. So I started telling her about all the benefits and showed her the diapers I planned to use. It didn’t take long to win her over. Several of my friends who are also moms thought I was crazy as well, and I guess that is when my educating began!

The hospital where my daughter was delivered offers weekly classes and check-ins for new moms. While attending those classes with my newborn daughter, I learned about breastfeeding, how to wash her clothes, and how to use the library. That was when a light bulb went on that this was the perfect audience to share my new-found passion of cloth diapering with. After talking with some of the nurses, I was put on the schedule for the next month. I wrote up a hand-out, with pictures, descriptions, instructions, and lots of links to places where moms could get good info. I also bought a sample of each different kind of diaper so that moms could see and feel them.

My first “class” went great and I was thrilled with the reception and questions I got. I was then contacted by an Early Childhood and Family Education (ECFE) coordinator who invited me to speak monthly at her newborn class. From there, I was contacted by Community Education coordinators in several school districts, and another ECFE coordinator. I now do several classes each month with different audiences. It’s a lot of fun, and I’m so proud to share this diapering option with new moms.

I am fortunate to have a very flexible full-time job that allows me to volunteer my time in this way and get my “teaching fix”. If you are interested in sharing cloth diapers with new moms in your area, I would encourage you to reach out to mom’s group organizers, ECFE coordinators, and Community Education directors. They are usually always looking for new ideas and presenters. You don’t have to be an expert, just knowledgeable. Moms love getting advice from other moms!

Ok moms, take your seats! Class is in session!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

18-Month Check-up

Clara had her 18 month check-up last week. I can’t believe she is 18 months old already!

Height: 33.5” (95th percentile)
Weight: 27 lbs

She is a tall one, just like her daddy! She wears mostly 2T clothes. She was pretty good at the doctor’s office and loved being able to pick out a book to read. She had 1 shot, and I think she cried more over being held down than the actual shot. She picked out a sticker and all was well!



Clara is becoming pickier about what she wears on her feet. Some days she likes her tennis shoes, other days she wants her brown shoes, and yet other days she reaches for her boots. She’s not a huge fan of putting clothes on though – she fights us every morning.

She has discovered her belly button and likes to show it to you every chance she can! She still hates have her hair played with, even though it is plenty long enough for a ponytail or pigtails!

She LOVES taking “ba’s” (baths). Just say the word and she is in the bathroom stripping. Speaking of stripping, we need to keep pants on her because she has figured out how to remove her diaper!



Her vocabulary continues to grow – lately we have heard, “apple” a lot… She loves them! The girls was definitely born into the right family! She will repeat pretty much anything you say. She is also experimenting with putting words together. She puts, “oh” in front of a lot of things… oh daddy, oh baba (sippy cup). She also says, “where’s daddy?” when Paul isn’t around, which makes me feel like chopped liver.

She is a busy thing and is constantly on the go. She loves small toys or objects she can carry around. The other day she took my mom’s collection of wine corks and tucked them into all kinds of places… her pockets, her boots, a random basket she found. She likes to put things in the washing machine and microwave if the doors are open as well.



So busy, but also very mushy! She LOVES giving hugs and kisses! Last night after we tucked her in she waved at us and blew us a kiss. My heart completely melted.



So much fun at 18 months… can it get better than this? :)

2011: Reflections

I had a hard time trying to think of a way to summarize 2011, but when I found this at It’s All Happening, and thought it would work well. So here we go!

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before? Got a tattoo!

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don’t remember making any reso… umm… goals, but I did say I wanted to cook more at home. Didn’t happen.

3. Did anyone close to you have a child? Umm… yeah. I have been keeping a list of pregnant people in my life (and on facebook), A. because I love lists, and B. I love crossing things off of lists! This is my current list, that was started this fall I think after the other one got too long for the piece of paper it was on. So this it actually my second list… the other one was getting messy, so I merged them. At one point I had over 30 people on this list. I wouldn’t say all these people are “close” to me, but some are.



4. Did anyone close to you die? Yes, my Grandpa Henderson passed away in January.

5. Where did you travel? No where cool or exciting, but we went on a little family vacay to some county fairs this summer. You can read about it here.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011? Motivation. Sleep.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory? The fact that I have to think this hard about it probably means there isn’t any.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Gaining confidence as a mother. Turning 30. ETA: Graduating with my Master's Degree

9. What was your biggest failure? Not buying a house.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Not really. I had the flu for the first time in several years. Oh yeah, and the Mirena debacle!

11. What was the best thing you bought? My iphone and my Nook. I use both daily.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Don’t have an answer for this one either.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? The ladies on a chat board I frequent… some of them are snarky and just downright mean to newbies.

14. Where did most of your money go? Insurance (health, car, life…)

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? My tattoo… it was super disappointing when we had to reschedule.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011? Last Friday Night by Katy Perry – we probably heard that song 200 times on our little vacation in the car.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer? a) sadder a little, because something we have been working on hasn’t been working out, and I think I was still on the baby high last year at this time. b) fatter – post-Clara my metabolism has come to a screeching halt. C) richer overall, but poorer monthly.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Travel. I will always say travel.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Yelling at Paul

20. How did you spend Christmas? At my parent’s as usual. Love it!

21. Did you fall in love in 2011? I fall more in love with Clara everyday!

22. What was your favorite TV program? In the Funny Category: Big Bang Theory, Two Broke Girls, Mike & Molly. In the Dramatic Category: Anything CSI, and Criminal Minds. In the Reality Category: Big Brother, Teen Mom (2), and One Born Every Minute.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Hate is a strong word. I would definitely say there are people who annoy my more now than they did last year.

24. What was the best book you read? I’m working my way through the Rough Rider series by Lorelei James, and they have all been really good. Water for Elephants was also exceptional. The strangest thing about them is that there were all recommendations from my sister, who didn’t become a “reader” until about a year ago. (she could read… she just didn’t read books )

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? Francesca Battistelli

26. What did you want and get?
I got a new car. It was something I wanted, but didn’t need, so I dismissed it. Paul had other ideas!

27. What did you want and not get? 2 things – a new house being one of them.

28. What was your favorite film of this year? Water for Elephants. I think it’s about the only movie I saw in theater. Secretariat wasn’t released in 2011, but I watched it this year for the first time and it’s REALLY good!

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 30 this year and we didn’t do a darn thing. Super disappointing.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? DQ Blizzards every day. (oh wait… Get Healthy Mamie… Get Healthy!)

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011? Same old, same old. I feel like I’m in a wardrobe rut. Mostly it’s because my clothes don’t fit well anymore, but I’m tired of what’s in my closet.

32. What kept you sane? Waking up to this cute face in the morning



33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Totally don't care about celebrities anymore. Really couldn't even begin to come up with someone for this.

34. What political issue stirred you the most? All the drama in the county where I work.

35. Who did you miss? Several times this year I found myself yearning for the days of college, living in our apartment. I miss those girls and the time we shared.

36. Who was the best new person you met? This is a hard one, but I would have to say Teri Otte. We met judging FFA contests together. She has a blog too!

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011. Move on. Life is too short to stress out about the little things. Breathe.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year's Reso... umm... GOALS!

I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s Resolutions… maybe because they have such a stigma attached to them – that people will laugh at you if you actually admit you make them. So I’m going to call them New Year’s Goals… because I have always been a goal maker, and I think unless you plan out a destination, you have no idea when you get there!

I’m also a big fan of writing down my goals. This started when I was a freshman in high school attending FFA Greenhand Camp. I wrote down my goals at that conference on an index card and kept it in my FFA jacket pocket. (you know, that inside one. FFA people know what I’m talking about.) I achieved all of the goals on that card, even though some of them took more than one try. One of those goals was to be a MN FFA State Officer, and in 2001, that became a reality.



Life has changed a lot since then, but one thing that hasn’t changed is that I still like to challenge myself and strive toward goals. So here are my goals for 2012 – and beyond if needed :)

1. Get healthier. (I know, everyone does this one… but I think it’s of value)

2. Move to an all cash budget system. (I have been talking about this for awhile, but now is as good a time as ever. We have a handle on our finances, and save a lot, but I think we could do way better)

3. Be better about making meals at home. (this will probably help with goals #1 & #2)

4. Buy a house. (which may or may not include convincing Paul that living in town is OK)

5. Get back into writing thank you and birthday cards. (This has been slacking BIG TIME since Clara was born)

6. Have 1 date night a month – just Paul and I.

I’m also a fan of having your goals where you can see them. I wrote them up in publisher, and saved the document as a jpg, then uploaded it as the wallpaper on my computer. Now, every morning when I start up my computer I see them and reminded of what I am working towards this year!



What are you hoping to accomplish this year?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Day at Home with Mom

Happy New Year!

I pulled a great one and forgot my camera on Christmas Eve... which means I will have to wait to post pictures of Clara in her Christmas dress until my mom emails me some from her camera.

In the meantime, enjoy these pics taken over the last few days when Clara and I have been home alone together. I love spending time with Clara, playing and seeing all the new things she does. I could never be a stay-at-home though, and I have a new appreciation for all stay-at-home moms, and realize what a blessing our childcare providers are!



Clara loves the bathtub, and she's tall enough to climb in and out of it on her own. She decided her baby needed a "ba" (her word for bath), so she put her in there!



Not long after, Clara had her potty and 3 babies in the tub. I guess she thought the baby needed to use the potty too!



Clara got a little desk for Christmas and she sat at it for awhile coloring.



...until she decided climbing was more fun! She is definitely a monkey!