Tuesday, April 29, 2008
2. A healthy meal--Well, I'm glad to say that the last few days we've done much better. Both M and I know well that we shouldn't be eating like we are. M wants to get rid of some belly so he can wear his summer midrif shirts...just kidding, kind of. I need to get going in the other direction with my weight, and we just plain need to be better examples for Braska, when/if she decides she wants to eat. So we've done smaller portions, better choices (grilled chicken, veggies for snacks, and light sandwiches for lunch), and it's good. I don't know how long it will last, as I admit we've tried many times before. But for now, we're motivated, so here's hoping. I'm loving my little salmon fillets...even though M about gags when he walks in the house from the smell.
3. Surprise yummy food--I'd say artichoke hearts are one. I like them in alot of ways, and I'm still surprised. I also don't mind green olives, but only on pizza. Still hate mushrooms!!
4. Favorite food memory--A repeating occurence would have to be Thanksgiving. I just love the whole turkey, mashed taters, dressing, green bean casserole, can-shaped cranberry jelly, and yummy rolls. Oh yeah! And pumpkin pie!! Man, is it November yet?!? Another one would be that my husband, then a guy I'd only known for 7 days, made me manicotti on his first trip down. It was very impressive. Unfortunately, I haven't seen it since.... *sniff* Maybe he'll try again one day. Man, I'd do the happy dance for sure!
5. What does my kid like that surprises me? Nothing. That still surprises me. A kid of mine can not like food. More proof that her extra chromosome came directly from her father.
6. Two items hard to give up... wow. Anything sweet. That's my biggest hang-up. I love dessert of every kind. But I also love tons of Chinese, Mexican, Thai, Italian, and of course, a big old burger!! Ok, two things... I'd say carbs in general. I can't imagine life without cereal or waffles in the morning, bread for sandwiches, pasta, and potatoes. And the other one would probably be cheese... How could one possibly live without it? We have a friend (Hi MD!) who doesn't like cheese, and I'm continually amazed at how he survives!
Thursday, April 24, 2008
~Choose one or all of the questions to answer.
~Either respond with a comment to this post with your answer or put up a post on your own blog for a full response.
~Don't forget to include any funny or interesting story to illustrate your answer in action.
~Be sure to leave a comment on this post to let us know where to find your post so we can come check it out!
Round 7--FOOD!! I've had conversations with alot of people lately about eating, food, and how what we eat differs so often from what we *should* eat. It's a hot topic in our house with a kiddo that literally refuses to eat and a husband who doesn't like to eat. So share your thoughts...who knows how much it might help someone. Maybe me!
1. What does a typical evening meal look like at your house? (Be honest!)
2. What is your idea of a "healthy meal" if you were going to aim for that specifically?
3. What food(s) do you like now that you wouldn't have believed would be in that category 10 years ago?
4. Tell me about one of your best "food memories." (Maybe a date, or event, or just a great meal.)
5. If you have kids, what do your kids like that surprises you? What would they pick for their favorite meal?
6. If you had to give up two items from your personal menu, what would you miss the most?
My answers will follow soon... I didn't want to wait any longer to get this out there, but I've got to run for now!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I wanted to follow up on two things from yesterday.
1. I no longer have the Mustang convertible. It's gone. I'd come get you for a drive if I could. I'd loan it to you if I had it. You could use it for prom if it was still available to me. I owned it for only about 6 months, and most of those winter. It was a gift from my husband for my birthday, purchased in the Great Car Transfer of 2004 from Cory, coolest super-geek doctor scientist in Wisconsin. Now I drive the best family sport sedan out there, in my opinion, my cherished Altima. Love it! Need to borrow IT for prom?
2. We DID use our gym last night. Braska went to bed early on a new schedule trial run. M and I got our tennie runners on and went after the weights and treadmill. Me on tread, he on weights, then switch. We learned that we are weak and pathetic, but that's ok. We'll work up to buff and svelt, or somewhere near, or at least better than our current status. No need to get crazy or anything.
Random Questions is next.....
Monday, April 21, 2008
The weather is great today, too, which is always fun this time of year. I love my car. I say that alot. We had the sunroof wide open today letting the breeze blow us to pieces, me and B. But I found myself wistfully remembering the days of this baby. *sigh* Good times. VERY good times.
Someday I'll own another convertible. No doubt. I must. It's just plain too much fun.
Before I forget, Random Questions is returning this week. Stay tuned. I haven't forgotten, I've just been super distracted.
For those 3 of you who just wondered what I've been distracted with.... I'm having a major de-cluttering mood again, so Saturday night, it was Braska's room that got it. A total rearranging and cleaning out. (Left=before, Right=after)
The shelves of a zillion panda figurines have been cleared for use for more practical storage. I basically filled the end of the room with the dresser/changing table and crib, wall to wall. And although there's a few little things about that arrangement I don't like aesthetically, it works well to free up space in the room in front of the closet and near the door. The window is covered by a very heavy dark blanket because we've found that Braska is (surprise, surprise) like her dad once again, in that she sleeps SO much better in a very dark room. So naps are going much better with this new room-darkening plan.
Then last night it was the dining room. Well, for those of you who have been in our house recently, you know that this before pic below is not all that accurate of late. Yes, we used to have an actual dining room. But we never ate in it or used it at all. So it then became my office when that good booted out of what became the nursery. That changed when my office went into the guest room. The table and chairs has been living in the Man Lair AKA M's living room since that's where the gaming is played frequently. So lately the dining room has been more of a nothing/storage room with a treadmill in it. That's all well and good except it is the room you look right into from the front door/living room, and it sits in the middle of the house, so you can't get from one end to the other without going through it. Not really what I want to be seen from anyone and everyone.
So it's now the gym, for the whole family. The weight bench was moved in from M's room, the junk was cleared out (mostly, some to go still in the corner) and there it is. Treadmill, weights, and Braska's exersaucer. Still not a dining room, but it's neat and that works for now. (Left=before, Right=after)
We have planned to have that big bay window replaced with extra-wide sliding doors as the pool is about 6 feet beyond that window, but that project is going to have to wait for now. Let's see if we can USE the gym now. Anybody wanna place a bet?
Friday, April 18, 2008
Last night, I woke up from a good sleep (that took me a LONG time to finally get into) to some crazy shaking, and I immediatly reached out for Belle, ready to bonk her on the bum or something to get her to quit. But I found her right next to me and totally zonked out snoozing. Hmmmmm. So if she's not scratching, then why is my whole bed shaking like crazy?? I next thought of a crazy wind or something, even though it seemed stupid to think that could do it, so I stood up to head to a window. But as soon as my feet hit the floor, I knew it wasn't wind. The floor was crazy shaking too! That can't be good! Then it stopped. Just like that. In my half-asleep fogginess, I kind of shrugged, stopped by the bathroom, and went back to bed. I didn't think anything of it at all until this morning when a friend left a voice mail asking me to help her to blog about the EARTHQUAKE. Huh?? Excuse me? Is that what that was?!? Ok, that's weird, but it was in fact an earthquake. From a couple hours south of here near West Salem, IL (I remember some good times there, right Jessie?!?). Bizarre. Whoda thunk it?
Here's a news article if you'd like details. Have a shaking great day!
Monday, April 14, 2008
Sunday morning pictures are normal, we do them alot. This week, before we left for church, Carole took a few pics of my little poonchin. They didn't all turn out great, as she kept making funny faces and moving at the last second. I stole them off her camera for my collection, and when I looked at this one I just kind of stopped.
Go ahead, click on the picture. Can you see it?
Thursday, April 10, 2008
First, I did the whole floor with a corner-to-corner soapy wipe down. Then a rinse. After it dried, there was still all those dingy areas in the crevices of my super-high-end linoleum (ha!), so I just got a whim to take care of it. Out comes the scrub brush, and, after putting Braska to nap, I went after the floor again.
I'm horrible at keeping up with floors. I sweep now and then, but I hate mopping. I've tried to go with the easy stick-a-soapy-pad-on-a-flimsy-handle route--they seem so popular--but it's no good. It just pushed stuff around. So I use the string-type mop that can go in the washer, but that's a whole process too. SO...I just don't. I just pretend that sweeping is enough, until I can see from 5 feet 3 inches above the floor that there are spots. And it's a light floor....*sigh*
So why did I do it today? Well, someone has taken to a new favorite pastime. Here she is, caught in the act.
A kid who won't take food in her mouth, but she'll lick the floor! And she isn't picky about whose floor or what's on it. So I figured it was a good time to get my act together and keep my kitchen floor clean. We'll see how good I am at being consistent about it. She just loves playing on the floor in the kitchen. It's all slidey and she can move around. I think that must be the appeal. And maybe the acoustics are good and echo-y in there too for her "kitchen talk" as I call it. (If you're interested, there's video evidence of this same kitchen talk on Braska's blog.)
Tonight, I opened the fridge to see what might be in there for fixin'.
Gee, think I need to shop?? And here's something to notice: The middle shelf, between the eggs and the applesauce, both those large things are chocolate bunnies in various stages of eaten-ness. M has a thing for chocolate bunnies, in case you missed it. Sad that they are most of what's there. Well, other than the humongo jar of pickles on the top. Gotta have those, right Rach? Needless to say, dinner was frozen "diet" entrees for each of us. Simple, low-cal, marginally nutritious, done.
In my fridge search, I found some leftover almond bark from Easter's concoctions and some strawberries that need to be used, so what else would I spend my time doing than this.
Nice and easy, dip and go. I can handle that kind of thing. We ate a few, and they were yummy, but the rest will go to work with M tomorrow so we don't cancel out the headway we made tonight with the diet dinners. Gosh, I can't hardly write that in an attempt at dry wit. It's just too ridiculous, but we can rationalize anything, I suppose. Tech group, you're welcome.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
1. I kind of think I'd like to be a photographer if I just all the sudden woke up in a different profession. Not like landscapes as much as people, families, babies...like that.
2. In 2006 from January to December I lost 60 pounds. I also was pregnant from March to November of that year. (20 lbs lost Jan-Mar, 13 lbs lost then gained back during pregnancy, and 40 lbs lost from Braska's birth on 11/21/06 to end of the year.) Amazing what stress can do.
3. In 2007 I gained 25 pounds. Amazing what stress can do.
4. I grew up a huge sports fan. Basketball especially, as my brother played and we all liked to watch high school, college, and NBA.
5. I married a man who hates basketball, especially the "shoe squeaking" that goes along with it. So now it's football in the lead!
This is how sad things are at my house generally. When I actually cook, like with ingredients that must be combined in some manner beyond dumping the box in a pan, I have to take a picture to prove it.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Got sprayed with vanilla milk.
Did a work-work batch.
Got puked on.
Saw my sister on national news.
Put up blog post about sister on national news.
Began diaper change.
Found that child was covered in poo.
Carried her by the arms to the tub.
Peeled her sleeper off her.
Literally scraped poo off her from head to po.
Ended up with a hand covered in poo.
Threw up a little in my mouth.
Did work-work batches with one hand while sitting on the bathroom floor and spraying child with other hand.
Cancelled playgroup so I could work.
Put child to nap after Signing Time.
How's your morning going?
So, I'm watching the news this morning, eating my toasted oat cereal after feeding Braska, while she plays on the floor. I hear them do a tease for an upcoming piece about "do men really prefer blondes?" and I glance up to see a familiar face. I do a shake-your-head-to-clear-your-mind thing and look again, but they've already gone to commercial. I hit record on the DVR and wait for the segment. In a few minutes, it's back.
Some of you might recognize the face of that brunette, others may only know her by her shopping habits in relation to Braska Bear...that would be my younger sister, Rachel, AKA Auntie Rachel. How weird is that?! To look up and see my little sister on a national news channel?? I dialed her up right away to tell her...she had no idea. Crazy. She does look quite different now, I mean it's been like 7 or 8 years. But it's definitely her.
The backstory is that several years ago, maybe around 2000(?) or so, Rach had a good friend who worked for Fox 2 St. Louis. Somehow, this thing came around where Rach basically walked around a mall with people watching others' reactions...she was a blonde then, most of the time. Then they went and did a hair color change, and she went back to walk the mall again as a brunette. As I remember, they were observing the treatment and quality of service she got from staff in stores and just general reactions in the common spaces. It was interesting. I could have never done it! And I think it was actually that time when she went with brunette for good, at least she's been one since. (Varying shades of such...of course.) Even though the experiment showed the blonde version of her was more well-received. She was getting ready to graduate and take on the big bad professional world...and she did!
So these clips were just a smidge of the news story that was originally done, but how Fox News in NYC got them and decided to throw them in this particular blip...who knows. Just goes to prove, never know where you'll end up once you're committed to film or photo. Good to know.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
5 winners who have tried them before. One pair each, remember the idea is to pass them on! :o)(If you guys want to pass them on to someone who didn't win but entered here--as a couple of you have asked about--let me know and I'd be happy to ship them for you.)
Jen (of Eli, Evan, and Cal fame!)
5 winners who've never had a pair. TWO pairs, one to have and one to share, if you so choose.
Rene (of Special K's)
5 winners who lucked out because I couldn't resist giving a few more away! One pair each.
So all you winners, here's how you get your loot!!
1. Send me an email to braskasmom[at]gmail[dot]com.
2. Include your name and shipping address.
3. Let me know if you will be using/giving these for a boy or girl. Most patterns/colors in my current supply are fine for both genders, but I'll try to accomodate when possible. I'll ship them in the order of responding emails received.
Thanks to everyone who entered. I would encourage you to order a pair for yourselves or for a friend if you haven't tried them. They are SO worth it!!
Friday, April 4, 2008
Dan is a young man with DS who is living and loving life, and his younger brother Will captures much of it on video. It's priceless, in my opinion. I just love it. Check out the blog, watch some videos, tell them that you've been there. I wish this guy lived near me!
The most recent post, about Breaking Up with Christine, is funny and poignant. Here's a couple of my other favorite videos so far... I've still got more to watch!
His 7th Prom
A Basketball Date with Sarah
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Monday evening my new friend Jen called. She had a crazy idea and wanted to know if I was game...almost literally. Deal or No Deal was coming to a mall about 45 minutes from here for open auditions on Tuesday. Did I wanna come along?? I just had to giggle...this girl is crazy fun! I thought for a moment, realized I didn't have any truly pressing issues to handle between 1 and 4 pm the next day, so I thought, Sure, I'll come along and see what happens.
First there was the application, which we printed from the online link (which is now gone or I'd link ya). The questions were about lucky moments in our lives, what made us interesting, embarrassing stories, outrageous things we've done, etc. I labored over this paper most of the evening, writing it over and over so that it would be mistake-free. I learned two things: I don't do enough hand-written work anymore to keep up my skills, and I am not all that interesting or anywhere near outrageous. Eventually, I settled on answers, completed the form cleanly, and went to bed.
We met at Jen's the next morning at 10:30 am. The event itself was from 1 to 4 pm, with the doors opening at the mall that morning at 5:30 am. What??? Why were we even bothering? And we were taking three children with us! Are we nuts? Possibly so. But after packing Jen's van full of strollers, snacks, diaper bags, kids, and us, we headed out.
We found out that morning just before we left that our friend Amy from Larkin's Place was heading over too. (Here's her take on the day. Hilarious!)) She was smart enough to leave Larkin with her MIL but took her son Chase (even skipping school!) to enjoy the fun. She was ahead of us by about 30 minutes, so when she got there she gave us the low-down on the situation, so we planned accordingly.
The line was around the outside of one end of the mall, that was the first report. It was like 38 degrees, very windy, and looking like it might rain. We knew right away we couldn't just jump in line with these three kiddos. And of course, for some odd reason, we didn't dress warm enough to wait outside... or really to stand and wait at all. We looked cute in our boots and sweaters, though! We parked and went into the mall to see what the story was. The strollers were unfolded and loaded up. Sophie--8 months, Alexander--3 years, and Braska--16 months...they were strapped in and ready to charm.
Jen and I walked in at the point where the line went into the mall from outside, right next to JCPenney. It went into what I call a corral, the back-and-forth maze like you see in front of the ticket counter at the airport, except this one was HUGE. From the corral, the line went straight down the middle of the mall, all the way to the other end. (Here's a map of the mall, for you visual detail people.) At the Bergner's end, there was an even larger corral, way larger, and then at the end of the corral, groups of 10 were lined up in 8 lines that were each taken in one group at a time.
After meeting up with Amy, talking over the options, feeding the kids, and hitting the restrooms, Jen decided she was going to give the end of the line a shot, to see how fast things moved once the event actually started at 1 pm. Amy and Chase joined her outside, and I sat with the kids in the play area inside the mall. Alexander ran and played like a crazy man with the little buddies he met there. Braska played a little on the floor and watched the others. Sophie sat with me and took it all in until she got hungry after a couple hours. We all finally got in line together just before 4 pm, as they were inside and past the first corral at that point. There were some really nice people around us, some a little on the crazy side, and some that just kept to themselves. It was an interesting picture of the Midwest, with people of all shapes, sizes, intellects, ideas, and even costumes. If you want to see some of the chaos in video form, here's the page of such things at a local news website. (Link to videos)
I was surprised at how fast the line moved, relatively, once the kids and I joined the group. It was fairly consistent movement until just after we entered the final corral at about 5:15 pm, when we figured they took a break for dinner. Things stood completely still for about 30 or 45 minutes. Then it went quite quickly through the last of the corral. Amy's sister, Penny, was with us on and off through the afternoon, and she hung with us through the corral. Being the saint she is, Penny, with help from Chase, took the kids and strollers to the side as we got to the end of the corral and were herded into our lines of 10. Amy was first in our line, then Jen, then me. We waited as the other groups of 10 were called to a table, they all talked one at a time, then they left, sometimes a few stayed behind. Right as we were about to get called up, Jen turned around and said, "Let's bail! Let's just go right now!" But it was too late, Amy was already heading toward our table and we followed.
We walked up to a table with a nice young lady standing behind it. We all settled in and around so that everyone could be seen. After we set our applications on the table, the young lady told us we'd each have 20 seconds to "sell ourselves." What in the heck do I say in 20 seconds to convince anyone I should be on a game show?!? Amy started, she's a Momologist (a word she's coined), former flight attendant, plus she has that X-factor personality. The young lady showed interest immediately at Momologist. Then it was Jen, who jumped in with "I had a baby in a moving vehicle!" She also threw in her line about climbing a mountain in Russia in a bikini. And she's darn cute and perky! I'm out...can't compete...what do I say? My mind was racing. Then it was my turn. I was standing there holding Braska. (She was on the brink of overstimulation with all the people and noise at this point. I didn't think it was fair to send her with people she hadn't met while I went in.) The young lady looked at me, as if to cue me to begin, so I did. And what I said, I don't fully remember. I remember something about being a mom even though I hadn't planned to be. Having a daughter with DS. Being crazy enough to marry a guy named Muncher and name my daughter Nebraska. It was a blur. Then I paused, and the next girl started. I just stood there. What a dork I am! I am so freaking lame! I couldn't come up with anything at all.
After the rest of the people at our table did their thing, none of which I could hear in the din of the big room, the young lady pointed at Amy, Jen, and a couple others at our table to stay for further questions. The rest of us were pointed out and around and back to the mall area. I found Penny and Chase and the kids waiting and told them Amy and Jen had been kept for round 2. We waited just a bit, then Amy emerged. She told us Jen had been kept for round 3! Round 2 had consisted of another 20 seconds, basically, then a second person jumped in with the young lady and they had 10 more seconds. Then Jen was chosen to move on. She called from in there a few minutes later. They'd been sent to a little curtained area with a small corral to wait for the next "interview." She waited, as did we, for an hour. She finally came out with us at 7:55 pm, saying when she got to the front of the line, they took another group of 10 and had the 20 second thing all over again. By this time, her pep had waned and she was a little glassy-eyed from waiting and freaking out over the whole deal. They had told the group in the small corral that this was the last room...but we're a bit suspicious if that was actually true.
There were hugs and goodbyes, and we headed to the van. Jen was cracking me up because she just couldn't believe she'd gone through the whole thing and gotten so far. In the end, none of us really know anything. The show takes all the applications and goes through them to see if they want further info from a person based on that. They could very well call Amy or Jen. It would not surprise me. They won't be calling me, and that's ok. Could I use the money? Absolutely! More than you know! But I am just not cut out for that kind of thing. It makes me think back to college, when I was the life of the party and a crazy personality, and realize that life has changed me. I'm ok with that. I just won't be a contestant on Deal or No Deal.
We pulled into Jen's driveway at about 9:15 pm I think. Her husband Mark came out to get the kids. Jen got out to go inside and left the van running. That's how fried her brain was! I just had to laugh. A crazy whim of an idea at the start, and actual shot at the show by the time the day's over. Go Jen! Win the million!!
Here's some pics from the day. Jen went out to the line initially "for a while" so we waited just inside the doors by the JCPenney customer service desk. Kudos to these kids. They were angels. Alexander was SO well-behaved all day. He should get a new train or something, Jen!
This is us...Jen, Amy, and me. See the lady behind us on the left, talking on her phone. Yeah...she did alot of that, talking.
Us in line...Me and the kids, Amy and Chase together on the right.
While we were at a standstill in the corral, I took the chance to feed Braska. It drew some attention, but everyone was super great. The kids got so much positive attention from people around us all day.
I got a great email last night from my super cool contact at BL, and she was SO great. I just can't get over how generous they have been!
Don't forget to put up those posts with pics of your little ones in the BL, for those of you that already love them! Make sure that you tell us that you have the post up so we can all come oooooh and ahhhh!
Winners will be drawn this weekend, and they will be posted by Monday morning.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
BUT...this giveway has an extra dose of generosity required for the participants. Can you handle it?
BabyLegs has been so great to us, and they have surprised me once again! It all started back when the superb Tricia and Little Miss G sent Braska a pair many moons ago. We'd seen them on a few of our little blog friends, and I thought they were adorable. And the idea of keeping Braska warm while being able to access her g-tube without having to undress her was very appealing. So when we received our surprise pair from our friends out East, we were just plain giddy! I quickly ordered several more pairs to go with her wardrobe. It didn't take anytime at all for BabyLegs to become my standard gift at baby showers, and I especially loved sending them to moms that I found who had fresh little new babies with DS. They're perfect for everyday with a long-sleeved onesie, they are great under a little dress, and they are so helpful with therapy since they don't bunch up or get caught under Braska when they're working with her all over the floor. And as a company, they have been great about supporting DS charities and featuring our cuties on their newsletter and website here and there. Yay for you, BabyLegs!
I sent a note to BabyLegs a few months ago, with pictures of my little BabyLegs model, and told them how helpful they were to our particular situation, specifically with the g-tube, and telling them about how I was sending them all over the place to new moms. I got a great letter back and a very sweet offer to send a batch of BabyLegs to me in order to keep on giving! How cool is that?!? I received them (the day after a 10-pair order I'd made...it was BabyLegs heaven around here!) and have been gifting them left and right. What's better than that?!? Well, let me tell you what's better.... While I was away these last few days, I talked to M at one point and he said I had a "big box of BabyLegs" that had come. Hmmmm...I hadn't ordered any recently, so this was curious. It was a BIG box of BabyLegs, for sure. I just stared when I got home to see them. Unbelievable! That means it's time to share!
Here's the deal
~10 people will win a pair of BabyLegs. Anyone can enter!
~Five winners will come from those who have never tried a pair. Five more will be drawn from all the rest. AND 5 of those 10 winners will win a bonus pair.
~Leave a comment on this post if you want to be entered in the drawing. Entries will be accepted until Friday evening 4/4/08 at 5 pm CDT . If you leave an anonymous comment or you don't have your email visible on your profile, make sure to send me an email with your email address. My address in available in my profile. (Click on the link at the left under the small picture.)
~Make sure to mention how you've enjoyed BabyLegs or let me know if you don't have a pair for your little one. OR you can tell me about who you'd like to give a pair to...you don't have to share names. :o)
~The "extra dose of generosity" part is this... If you already have experienced BabyLegs, the pair you win is meant to be GIVEN AWAY...like you will choose someone to pass them on to.
~If you are one of the five who has never tried them before, you can, of course, keep them for your kiddo. If you win a bonus pair, then for Heaven's sake, pass them on.
~As an additional bit of fun, if you have a blog and have used BabyLegs, I challenge you to post a pic of your little one in the next week sporting their snazzy BabyLegs!
Here's my little bunch of silliness in her Strawberry Shortcake BabyLegs just this last week during OT.
Let's share the fun of BabyLegs!