Thursday, November 29, 2007

short but so sweet

This morning when I went in to get Ava, I picked her up out of her crib and asked, "How are you this morning?"

Her reply (no joke), "Wet. Soaked."

And she wasn't kidding.

Splurge on Soy:

I have only had soy milk maybe once or twice in my life, but I might just have to make the switch. VitaSoy has come up with Peppermint Chocolate Soy Milk. I think I'd even put it on Cheerios.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

a little bit of everything

I am so excited about this new website that I found, I'm going to keep this post short so that you can spend your time checking it out. combines two of my favorite things: books and food; and another thing that I admire but am still working to achieve: organization.

A glimpse:
  • An easy way to organize and display all of your favorite recipes (including those you're sure to find at TasteBook)
  • Personalization that makes it the perfect GIFT (timely!), the perfect CHRONICLE (legacy!), and the perfect SENTIMENT (a little bit of you!)
I prefer handmade efforts and artifacts, but this product will more than do in a pinch. It's definitely worth a look--and even if you don't buy, you'll have fun designing and delighting in all the options--taste, sight, and touch alike!


I've been meaning to post a yoga update for a bit (because I know you're just so interested in my progress): I am pretty much a proficient headstander. On demand. Give me carpet, give me a yoga mat, give me grass--I'll give you a wall-free headstand. Really. I don't know what that has to do with stretching but I can do it. I swear.

And if I can do that, then the rest of you can pretty much do anything. So pick it...whatever you want to do and with little steps and a little sweat, you'll be doing it in no time. I promise.


Splurge-not, waste-not:

Charity Navigator has posted its highest and lowest rated charities making it easy to give--and guaranteeing that others will get.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


When I was little, the Christmas season didn't begin the day after Thanksgiving--or even two days after Thanksgiving. It didn't begin 12 days before Christmas or two days before Christmas.

Christmas season began 25 days before Christmas--the very first day of December. December 1.

And to honor it, I would make a red or a green bell out of construction paper and cut 25 strips out of paper--12 red and 13 green (or maybe 13 green and 12 red) and turn them into 25 chained circles using one of the greatest inventions ever after duct tape: glue stick.

Once the chain was complete, I'd staple it to the bell and hang the custom-made Advent calendar to my wall. Every night before bed but after a prayer, I'd nearly squeal in excitement as I slowly and methodically removed the next circle. Christmas was coming, it was coming, it was coming!

I'm not sure when I stopped making it--but I can tell you when I'll start again. I have a date with my daughter on Friday, November 30th--and it involves music and cookies, red paper, green paper, a pair of scissors, and you guessed it, glue stick.


Thanks to all who participated in the Turkey survey. We had 15 votes (that's three basketball teams, yeah!)--12 voted for turkey; 2 voted for both ham and turkey; 1 voted neither; and 1 voted other.

Check out our new survey on day-after-Thanksgiving shopping! Go ahead, tell us how you REALLY feel!


I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to formalize traditions with my new family. Like if we didn't have something "meaningful" to do on Thanksgiving we'd just sit around and think about how wasteful we were being on such a thankful day. But I've started to realize that traditions fall into place naturally, the way they are meant to. It's kind of like how when Ava was a week old, I convinced myself that if I didn't turn 12 circles, hop on one foot for 2 minutes, and blink my eyes for three, then she somehow wouldn't figure out how to fall asleep on her own. (Of course, I'm being dramatic). But what I've learned (or am learning) is that with a little effort, a lot of love, and right-sized intentions, everything falls into place exactly as it's supposed to and exactly when it's supposed to--and that even though it feels like eternities are passing while you're trying to figure it out, it's only seconds--and fast seconds at that.

And besides, if her sleep habits are any indication of the meaning and memories we're going to build throughout the years, then there isn't a skyscraper tall enough to hold them all.

25 days of Splurge-ness

If I could get with the program and move beyond my comfort zone of scarves, two sweaters, and an unfinished pair of socks, I'd knit this.

But I'm not holding my breath and I wouldn't recommend any of you hold yours either.

Monday, November 26, 2007

who knew

Maybe it's just coincidence, but writing everyday has sparked creativity in other ways.

For example, if you showed up at my house for dinner on any given night a few months ago, you would have sat down to one of the following four options on rotation:
  • Egg sandwiches (that is, scrambled egg with Morningstar Farms veggie sausage patties, and a slice of reduced fat swiss cheese on toasted English muffins);
  • Turkey chili thawed out from the freezer; (which is delicious, by the way!)
  • Green Giant stir fry with tofu; or
  • Turkey burgers
Not much variety but at least it was healthy. And not take out.

But if you showed up within the last couple of weeks, you'd sit down to:
And our house! Within the last few weeks, I've been inspired with vision, vision, vision (which means my husband has been tasked with work, work, work):
  • Completely rearranged the kitchen and great room (pantry is still in holding pattern)
  • Installed new lighting in the kitchen, which in and of itself made a jaw-dropping difference to the coziness of that big room!
  • Spruced things up with new, vibrant curtains
  • Completely reorganized and refurnished my office area (for less than $350, pictures to come)
  • Put all of our clothes away (hey, we want credit for that!)
And so many other ways...which I'll save for another day.

So, my "splash" to you during this busy time...whether it's writing or singing, playing music or composing it, thinking up recipes or fleshing out an idea--find a little bit of time every day to do something creative. Even better if it's something new to you.


If you're a TV watcher then even more reason to indulge your creative side: if your show isn't already in rerun mode, it's likely heading there.

Splurges and crumpets:
I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to resist this adorable (and so crafty!) tea set. Especially since I introduced the fake tea party concept to Ava yesterday (you know, with invisible tea cups) and she caught right on. She had her daddy sipping at the same time he was seething over the Baltimore Raven's fifth straight loss!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

less is more

I think this song and these pictures communicate how we spent our day better than any words I could write:


I knew that my "basically a professional chef" friend Melissa would know what type of oven Ina Garten (aka Barefoot Contessa) uses in her house--but she also passed along a recent splurge of her own, which she rated high on the splurge-ometer: a convection oven roaster.

In case you didn't see Melissa's comment, she reports:

"...the turkey was never better! Moist, and didn't take any of my precious oven space. I cooked ribs a couple of weeks ago...and again...perfection!"

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving Leftovers

I happen to think that food tastes better when it is on someone else's plate. I should clarify, just so new friends never want to eat with me: I happen to think that food tastes better when it is on a family member's plate--like my mom's, my husband's, and now, my daughter's.

Similar to what I've learned about food in general over the years (by my own account and many others'): it just tastes better when someone else cooks it.

My pick-from-other-plates tendency annoys every one whose plate I pick. They call it rude, I call it grazing. And interested! I am interested in what they're eating! Isn't that thoughtful?

To be completely honest, most of the time I don't even realize I'm doing it. (Does that make it eat-walking? A term I prefer to "mindless eating".)

So you have to imagine my (delight?) yesterday at Thanksgiving dinner, which included my husband, my daughter, and me feasting on turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and asparagus. After just a few bites of turkey, a fistful of stuffing, and sweet potatoes that I swear were coming out of her ears, my daughter proclaimed, as she does, "All done."

I wiped her face, cleaned her hands, and helped her out of her chair. I didn't return to mine but instead cleaned up some dishes and began to put some extras away. I heard my husband laugh and when I looked to see at what, Ava had climbed up in my chair, pointed at my plate and said, "Mommy's" and proceeded to eat the rest of the turkey off of my plate.

Apparently, she thinks food tastes better when it is on someone else's plate too (though I'll make sure that the clarification I apply to myself applies to her as well).


I was very thankful for my mom and my mom-in-law who provided in-a-pinch cooking advice "from a distance" on Thanksgiving Day--especially as they were preparing their own scrumptious meals.


Finally, I'd love to know what oven Barefoot Contessa uses to cook her turkey in. She reports her stuffed 12 pound turkey to take about 2.5 hours. Fortunately, it was just the three of us for dinner because my stuffed 11 pound turkey took four (though I planned on 2.5!)


On a day when the "traffic and weather on the 5's" report in the Baltimore-Washington area has nothing to do with the highways and everything to do with the parking lots, I'm going to reduce my splurge of the day to one word: LEFTOVERS

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

The stuffing is in the turkey; the turkey is in the oven. The potatoes are next in line; the line is dwindling down.

It's Thanksgiving.

And there sure is plenty of thanks to give.

Hope your day is full of good food, pleasant conversation, and the presence of loved ones--in body or in spirit.

Today's Splurge:

On Thanksgiving, what isn't a splurge?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Loud Reminders

Early this morning, I was in the kitchen getting ready for the day. To be precise, I was standing in front of the refrigerator (don't worry, dad--door was closed) trying to remember what I went over to it for in the first place.

I was distracted first by the sound of screeching tires and then almost immediately the impact of metal on metal. No horn warning.

I ran outside, looked to the dark street and saw a garbage truck's flashing lights. Then I noticed the car that had plowed into the back of it. When I got closer, I saw an unharmed but clearly shaken woman emerge from the car. The garbage collectors and she huddled on a neighbors front porch.

She said she just "wasn't paying attention." Too distracted by something other than what was immediately in front of her (in this case, a garbage truck).

Fortunately, everyone was okay. But it was a screeching reminder that we're at the start of a season when to-do lists and haven't-done lists are huge distractions--at the risk of creating a permanent will-never-do list (for ourself or for someone else). So I'm going to work really hard on staying in the moment every moment, but especially when I'm behind the wheel of my car.

Be Safe!


Today I'm blowing off some work and a little bit of Thanksgiving preparation to meet a friend and her baby at the park for a run, then, hopefully, a peppermint mocha afterwards.

Monday, November 19, 2007

La la la

I listened to my first Christmas Carol of the season today--"Oh Holy Night"--and for some reason, when Josh Groban sings it, I feel like it's Oh Holy Day, Night, Morning, whenever. It's Holy just because he's singing it. (Though I must admit, I prefer listening to him sing it rather than watching him sing it.) Some people (like my husband) aren't particularly fond of him--in fact, come to think about it, I can almost generalize and say that most men I know aren't particularly fond of him. But that's alright--I doubt Josh Groban is short on fondness.


It's a little presumptuous of me to put a survey on this blog, considering I know of only about six people who actually read it regularly...but every one of you six count and I'm counting on every one of you to participate! If you haven't noticed it already, the survey is located in the sidebar--we'll start off with something easy and see how it goes.

Today's Splurge:

Listening to Christmas Carols before Thanksgiving has passed.

I will be the first to admit that there was a time when "Christmas in July" was a fun but outlandish thought and that more an more, it's becoming an irritating but widely applied practice. We're "getting ready for Christmas" earlier than I get my one year old ready for bed (and that's pretty early).

But singing along with those Christmas Carols today made my daughter happy. For that, I'll splurge on just about anything, even if it means a hint of Christmas even though it is still November.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

taste while you waste...

Not that any of us need to waste another minute at the computer, but I've got to share my latest find. has inspiration for each of the senses. I'd like to think I'll try one of these recipes, but dreaming about them is probably as good as it will get for me.

:: Odds In End

There are many qualities I admire in my husband. But he reminded me of one this morning while at a new coffee shop we're "taste spotting." Pete knows exactly what he's doing while he's doing it. If he is drinking a cup of coffee he is drinking a cup of coffee. He isn't (often) putting dishes away or thinking about what's next on the agenda or what was already skipped over.

Slowing down is a benefit in and of itself. But there are others, too. I realized that Pete knew exactly what he was doing when he was doing it (in this case, drinking coffee) because he commented that the coffee tasted a little bitter. I, on the other hand, not only didn't notice the bitter taste of the coffee, I almost didn't hear Pete say it was bitter.

And so I stopped to think about other things I don't stop to think about. Could I EVER recall a time when coffee tasted bitter? Could I ever recall a time when it didn't? I'm not sure.

I recently wrote about how I pay attention to things...but I think I need to clarify that a little bit in light of my realization this morning. I pay attention to people--which I think is really important. But I'm not sure how often I pay attention to how or when I experience the not-so-obvious things in life, like drinking a cup of coffee. I know exactly what an obviously bright full moon in a big dark sky looks like. I could even describe what it feels like.

And from now on, I'm going to try and know exactly when I am drinking a great cup of coffee. And when I'm not.

Splurge of the weekend:

The one thing I couldn't resist this weekend was the one thing I was actually in search of: a new doormat.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Cartwheels and Candy Canes

It doesn't take a whole lot to get me excited. Surprise me with an ice-cream cone or a peppermint mocha once a year and you'll get a glimpse of Christmas morning at my house.

So you can imagine how over the moon I was when I learned about the no-call registry a few years back. My phone rarely rings anymore--and when it does, I know it's either family, a few friends, or the Red Cross. Bank of America was getting a little too comfortable for awhile, but I put an end to that.

Now that unwanted phone calls are taken care of, I've moved onto mail. This time of year, the stack of catalogs that fill up my counter space in a day could wall paper my entire house. So when I heard about this, I nearly turned a cartwheel--and I haven't done that in close to 10 years!

Seriously, Catalog Choice lets you opt out of paper catalogs that you no longer want (or ever wanted) to receive. And it's FREE. So sign up today and use the time you'd spend sorting them (or perusing them) to do something you REALLY want to do. Like turn a cartwheel!


I don't know, maybe it's the season that's being forced down my throat everywhere I turn (yes, I'm talking about Christmas). But I can't get enough of peppermint and chocolate. Together.

And whoever thought that someone could ever come up with an idea to rival Altoids dark chocolate covered peppermint and cinnamon mints.? (Not me).

Well, someone at Trader Joe's obviously did. Talk about excited--I can't go a minute without thinking about these things. And when I do, they bring one of those deep and wide grins to my face (the one that you can't get rid of and look ridiculous trying to).

So, here's the deal. If you can't get to a Trader Joe's or don't have one where you live, I will send you a box. The first five requests are on me, shipping included. There's only one catch: You have to send me a list of your choice. (I'll post it anonymously if that is your wish).

Now that's a splurge you can't resist.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

old words and new ways

The interest and intention is there to read all of the books that I've collected over the past years, months, weeks, even days. But the time is not.

I've been known to spend full days in the bookstore, pouring over each and every shelf in search of the book with all the answers. And while I've figured out that that book doesn't exist (I may just have to write it) I'm a sucker for old words placed on new pages in all different kinds of ways. I approach a new book like I approached the first day of school as a kid: a blank notepad to write down the thoughts the adventure is sure to inspire, freshly sharpened pencils topped with brightly colored erasures, and neat as a pin desktops (or clutter free couches) that protect from mental distractions.

I'm still collecting the books, I'm just not reading them. (Maybe it also has something to do with the thrill of anticipation I wrote about in little treasures).

But I am reading great children's books. And what I'm finding (or maybe remembering) is that it doesn't take big words (or many or any words at all) to feel a shift--in thinking, in doing, in stopping, in starting. In fact, these little books are changing me in big ways.

For example, right now Ava and I can't get enough of "The Gift of Nothing."

It tells the story of Mooch the cat who is desperate to find the perfect gift for his friend, Earl the dog. Of course, the perfect gift for Earl who has everything eludes Mooch. So, Mooch wraps up a great big box full of "nothing" and gives it to Earl. When Earl opens the box, he says to Mooch, "But there is nothing in here." To which Mooch replies, "I know. Nothing but you and me."

Then, there is "The Nose Book." Now, on its face (no pun intended) it's a fun rhyme about noses. Dig a little deeper and it prepares kids for all of the different kinds of noses that "they'll meet"--all shapes, sizes, and colors (maybe helps to develop a little tolerance and sensitivity?) and even encourages them to stretch their imagination and consider what would happen if we had "no nose!" (Just think of it!)

I'm not sure that any of the grown-up books that are waiting in my in-box would have shed light on two practices that I've started doing since my return to children's books (at least as succinctly or efficiently):
  1. To do nothing more often with those who already have everything and especially with those who mean everything.
  2. To wear my glasses more often because I should and because I can, thanks to my nose!
Discovering these children's books and the weight they carry feels kind of like discovering a secret that you want to share with the world--and it's not even cheating! I can't begin to count the blessings that Ava has brought into my life, but I do count getting reacquainted with the children's section of the bookstore among them.
The Splurge of Nothing:

When you're feeling the itch to buy (or are desperate for the perfect gift) instead, pull this off the shelf--to calm, to remind, or to give.

Better yet, when you're feeling the itch to buy (or are desperate for the perfect gift) instead, find someone you love and together, don't do a thing.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Odds that don't End (or shouldn't, anyway)

Here is what I love most about early early mornings:

1. Cool floors against bare feet
2. Getting big thinking out of the way while most are still in the midst of big dreaming
3. The light of my computer screen against the dark of everything else
4. The sound of an occasional car passing by...
5. And then daydreaming about where it's headed
6. The quiet wide open space early morning creates and then...
7. Thinking about how I will fill it up with the rest of the day

:: Ripple Effects

We were all excited for my family to visit this past weekend. Ava jumped her way through life each of the days they were here. We spent yesterday in Washington, DC, honoring Veteran's from a distance at a number of ceremonies and at other times, smiling at them as we passed on the street. My dad was one of those Veteran's, having served our country in Vietnam as a Medic with the 101st Airborne. Two of his closest friends that he served with also made the trip. What makes them, and most all Veteran's, so special is the gratitude, respect, and admiration they hold for one another (mostly conveyed through silent understanding rather than composed and precise words) and the humility they apply to themselves. It is a remarkable relationship to witness; a humbling example to follow.

Today's Splurge:

Nothing that costs money today. Just ten minutes tonight to file my nails, write down a few things that have been swirling around searching for a place to land, and enjoy some peppermint tea. I don't know if I'll add honey; I'm going to decide last minute (I know, a real dare devil).

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Everyday Thanks

Dedicating a day to honor soldiers and veterans is important for traditions and ceremonies and for reminding us that we should be honoring them everyday, not just one day.

Following my parents' example, I go out of my way, sometimes foolishly, to thank a uniformed man or woman for their service, for protecting my country, for protecting my family, my daughter, our freedom. The smile (and sometimes tears) that they respond with soars well above any insecurity or awkwardness I might have felt approaching them.

So today and everyday as we sip our coffee or fetch the paper, let's quietly thank the men and women who have served our country so that when we pass them on the street or stand behind them in the grocery store line, we are prepared to thank them out loud.

Splurge of Thanks

Visit this site to find a charitable organization to support. Today, Charity Navigator is highlighting top performing charities that support veterans, such as Fisher House, which offers housing at military bases around the world to families whose loved one has been injured or hospitalized; and Freedom Alliance, which awards educational scholarships to children whose parents were killed or permanently disabled in service

Thursday, November 8, 2007

A Shoulder to Sigh On

Tonight I am going to write about my favorite subject. I hope you don't mind reading about her.

Even though she's come down with a cold that would knock me off my feet, Ava hasn't stopped moving hers all day. The only thing that's different is that she's a little more cuddly. Tonight at dinner she was sitting in her high chair and she said to her daddy, "Shoulder?" (Which means, can I see yours?) So, he bent down to lend his shoulder, she laid her head on it, sighed, and after a minute said, "All done."

The only attention I've been paying to shoulders lately has to do with yoga: mostly that I can't do much at all with mine.

But Ava reminded me of how wrong I am. When it's all a one year old wants, it feels like a shoulder can do everything. I'm going to find one to rest my head on a little more often, too.

Another tid-bit:

:: We have a big stainless steel pot in one of the cupboards that Ava is allowed in. It's underneath the counter top and where we keep her CDs and a few other make-shift musical items (lids, tupper ware, old oatmeal containers). About a week or two ago, I noticed her as far into that cupboard as she could get, carrying on a conversation like she was with friends in a coffee shop.

That someone was the little reflection in the steel pot, who I'm sure appeared to be talking just as animatedly to her as she was to it (wink, wink).

She's gone in to say hello just about every night since. And before she backs herself out, I hear a little smooch and then, "bye bye." I know I'm supposed to be her "first teacher," but I swear, that little girl is my best teacher.

Thursday Splurge-day

I don't do this often, but I had to do it. Hanna Andersson was having a great sale a couple of weeks ago and I couldn't resist this adorable little outfit for Ava. She wears the "sippers" around the house and I am trying not to "save" the outfit for a special occasion because isn't everyday is a special occasion?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

little treasures

I've just always paid attention.

I could probably tell you how many people passed by wearing a hat; how many wear a collar up or wear it down. I notice if people cover their mouth when they laugh or tap their knee to not cry.

I try to pay attention everyday because I just don't want to miss a minute of it--even if the highlight consists of three dozen run-throughs of Kippy Koala or Humpty Dumpty (pronounced Hump-et-ee Dump-et-eee).

I have also always been a leading-up-to-an-event kind of person--savoring the months, weeks, days, and minutes leading up to an event as much as I do the event itself. In fact, when I was probably seven or eight, I joined the local swim team and never missed a practice; I also never made a meet.

And somehow, I think these things--attention and anticipation--are related.

Apart from anything that has ever been created because of or by my daughter, the things (to distinguish from people) I treasure most are things that come from everyday life..the little details that fill in the bigger picture. For example:
  • A poem that my husband wrote for me when we were dating.
  • Memories of a journal that my grandfather kept when he was young and courting my grandmother.
  • Letters that my dad wrote to his parents as a soldier in Vietnam.
  • A note from my mother written on a paper plate letting me know she'd gone to the store but would be back soon.
  • An old journal entry written with a broken heart about the joy that would soon come from a mended one (and it did!)
So rather than ask any of you to send a list or read another one, maybe just take a couple minutes to jot down what you noticed today--because it might become someone else's treasure tomorrow.

Splurge-worthy Wednesday:

I need to clean out my refrigerator, which is stocked full of Greek Pizza ingredients. Here's what I've got:
  • whole wheat pizza dough (of course, regular old dough will work too)
  • artichoke hearts
  • sundried tomatoes
  • kalamata olives
  • feta cheese
  • roasted red peppers
1. I let the dough sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes, so it's easier to toss (well, I don't really toss it, I roll it, but toss sounds better).

2. Preheat oven to 425°

3. Chop all of the above ingredients that can be chopped

4. Roll the dough and bake it in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes (so that it gets a little crispy before the toppings are added)

3. Spread with olive oil

4. Sprinkle everything chopped on top

5. Sprinkle the feta (if I have shredded or grated Romano or Parmesan, I might add that too)

Bake for another 8-10 minutes...

and yum. You're in the Mediterranean. How's that for a Wednesday night splurge?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Run Through the Grapevine

Yesterday I participated in a 5 mile trail run through the vineyards of a local winery. It was a typical fall day and crunching through the leaves and taking in that fresh, crisp air was one of those slap in the face reminders of why I love to run.

It also reminded me that I don't want a slap in the face reminder of why I love other parts of my life--especially people. So starting today I'm going to find a way to snap out of the take-it-for-granted routine and work on infusing a little bit of zip and gratitude into this life. You know, spice it up a little. (And let people know how much I love them in the process.)

Splurge of the day:

I was looking for some new kitchen lighting and found these instead. The last thing I need is another set of measuring cups, but I'm a sucker for anything red. And besides, I don't have rubber measuring cups!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Something Different

With my extra hour this morning and everyone still sleeping, here's what I am going to do:

1. Make some coffee.
2. Spend 15 minutes stretching with the lights still off.
3. Go down and collect the newspaper that I never read.
4. Light a candle at my kitchen island.
5. Sit down at my kitchen island, drink my coffee, and get as far along in that newspaper until my 45 minutes are up or until a certain little person wakes up.

Today's Splurge:

I'm going to steal a little bit of Pete and Ava's extra hour and make them these pancakes for breakfast.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Lost List

I found a list that I wrote over a year ago, four months after the birth of my daughter. I remember when I wrote it. She was sleeping nearby and it was one of those moments (the enduring kind that strengthen rather than fade) when the purpose I'd been searching for was so obvious and so simple, spelled out in little baby breaths.

In the journal entry that preceded the list, I had written the following:

One of my favorite times of day with her is in the early morning when
its still dark out and all you can hear are her little breaths and the
few cars who are passing by, getting an early start on the road. When
I pick her up she's so warm and cuddly and just snugg
les right into
me. She smells so good and breathes so softly. I'm often late for work
because I extend one more minute into two, into three, into four...

She loves the Beatles and especially loves it when we sing their tunes
to her. She looks at me, then Pete, then me, then Pete and she's just
so delighted with all of the attention that she doesn't know w
hat else
to do but squeal and giggle and kick her little feet.

She is, pure and simple, a treasure. She loves people, loves life, and
loves to laugh. Every day we are reminded of how simple and
adventurous life can be. I find myself paying attention to so much
more now...Ava has reminded me to listen to the birds, watch the sun
filter through the shades, and study the way water fills up a glass

and reflects the space around it.
The list was just a way to organize some of the things that had been floating around my mind for some time and that were rekindled by Ava's adventure and determination. I'm not sure it's a "life list" but they are things that I hope to accomplish or qualities I aspire to possess, some sooner rather than later. There isn't much that's exotic or worldly (maybe a little far reaching) but then it wouldn't be my "life list" it'd be my "wanna-be list."

And by the way, I think in the time it took me to color code this list, I could've knocked off at least a third of the items.


We're trying out another coffee shop tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes!


My brother took the picture (above) on a ski outing in Oregon (where he lives). You'll see that visiting him is on my list of things.


I've noticed that grocery stores are having decent (not great) sales on baking supplies (spices mostly)--but every little cent counts. And did you know that the money that you save serves as a credit for the calories that you create (and consume!)? How's that for rationalization, which, in case you haven't noticed, is probably my #1 skill.

Break in those baking supplies with these little delights. I'm having a hard time thinking of a better way to fill up the cooler (and shorter) days than with these. Yum!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Sugar and Sleep and Everything Sheep

Three things happen when I am tired: I make bad decisions, I break things, and I bruise things.

Certain things in my life remain fairly constant: I eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch every day, my head hits the pillow the same time every night (may vary by 20 minutes depending how riveting House Hunters happens to be) and I swing my legs out of bed the same time every morning.

These constants keep me consistent and current.

But on October 30th, I went to bed way too late and woke up way too early. My 7 hours of steady sleep were replaced with four hours of choppy chants (like counting sheep, which didn't work). "Go to Sleep, Russell" (a book about a sheep who can't fall asleep) is Ava's current every-second-gotta-read-it book...and I couldn't get Russell and all the sheep he counted out of my head.

Needless to say, Halloween Wednesday was a very frustrating day. A few highlights:
  • I went the wrong way (twice) to the library that my daughter and I go to every week.
  • I took off one of her shoes to change her diaper (it was an outfit thing--one leg had snaps, the other did not) in our car that was parked in Home Depot and could not for the life of me find it when I was through. I was convinced that if I looked under the car long enough, it would appear. It didn't. At that moment, I became one of the 30 percent of people who believe in ghosts. There was just no other explanation. Pete found it that night in the rear storage area, which still does not discount my ghost theory (by the way).
  • I miscalculated the same corner of a bench that has been in our bedroom for three years five times. And I have one enormous bruise made up of five large bruises to remind me.
  • I continued to eat pumpkin cookies, even though orange was still pumping proud through my veins from the night before. Deciding I should have a little variety, I crammed about three Milky Ways down my throat in just as many minutes. I NEVER eat that bad and I rarely miss my lunch. But I wasn't about to put anything else in my mouth (or my blood) after that yucksugar overload.
  • I was cleaning the shower while taking a shower and lifted the drain lid to clean it. The drain itself is about 1.5 inches in diameter (or exactly the width of the widest part of a Venus razor) and I know that because when I stood up, my elbow hit the shower caddy and jostled the Venus razor (which was resting on top of my shave gel) which proceeded to fall five feet to the ground (there might have been a ricochet, I'm not sure) in a perfect vertical line directly into the bottomless 1.5 inch diameter drain.
And those are just the highlights. And they don't include my behavior.

Bottom line: I don't know how people function on little sleep--but I do know that most don't come close to getting what they need.


Now THIS is a splurge. My friend shared it with me and I have to share it with you. It is so soothing (and pretty!) I told him he could hang me on it.