An irreverent look at motherhood and family life in a new state of normal.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Exercising in Montana Cold

The other day I decided to head out into the cold with the BOB and just try and get some real outdoor exercise. The whole reason for buying BOB was for me to get out and walk so I didn't have to pay for a gym membership. But then there was snow and Montana got as cold as people said it would and I never believed them. So I finally got off my keister and got out there. A blast of wind took my breath away. I am sure this was only a slight breeze but with the chill factor I suddenly realized I was going to need more equipment including some kind of breathing apparatus to keep the artic air out of my burning lungs. Then my thighs went numb. Now because of my lack of exercise, my thighs are like kites, holding me back and feeling every bit of minuscule wind resistance. I thought, "Maybe I should have gotten a membership. It's going to be a small fortune to equip me to be out in this weather. I need those hockey leg guard things the goalie wears to keep my legs from freezing off." Once I finally started to pick up speed, my hands, although tucked inside my jacket, started to freeze as well. Then my torso started to warm up and after the first mile I was getting quite hot - on only one part of my body. I realized I was going to need to take off the down jacket.

Reaching home, I thought about what I need to get to make exercise in Montana comfortable. Pictue this. Me... speed walking in a scuba tank with hockey goalie leg guards, goth kid sleeves, skiing gloves, and a bikini top.
It is finally becoming easier to do the vegan thing. It took three weeks to get most of the everyday dairy out of my head. When you eat a bowl of cereal, you put milk on it. When you make a sandwich, you use cheese. All Mexican/south of the border food is slathered in cheese and sour cream. Salad has ranch dressing. Toast has butter. 

Another aspiring vegan recently said that becoming vegan is a lifestyle change and that is very true for me. It is hard to find new recipes now that I am switching over. I have been making the same dairy laden food for so long that my biggest fear in switching was that everything was going to taste like bird seed... and sometimes it does. 

A few things I have discovered are: 1. Fiber intake is up alot and things are moving along way better. 2. Fruit is expensive and I eat way more of it. Avocados are also expensive but they are my new best friend. They are a nice creamy substitute for cheese. 3. Beans are the best! But then you are farting like crazy but at least you are full. 4. I still crave dairy. That's just the truth. Sometimes I am sitting here drinking my soy latte and thinking, "This is stupid. I am not losing weight and I am not eating what I like." But then I think of when the spring comes and when I will be able to exercise and I know I am doing the right thing.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

That Tiny Little Spot

Abby is potty trained... mostly. With her going to the potty comes a whole set of problems all new to me. Most of this is dealing with her independent spirit. Today she was wearing a "princess" dress that she refused to take off. I let her do that because, well you are only two once and it becomes somewhat unacceptable to dress in renaissance wear after a certain age. I believe I remember my mother letting me wear a Tinkerbell outfit all day long and I definitely remember my brother's obsession with cowboy boots, shorts and a football helmet that he wore altogether for most of the year he was three.

So she's wearing this dress and she rushes to the potty. It's hard enough to go to the bathroom as an adult in a long dress. She almost had it. I was unavailable to wipe her at the moment she wanted me to so I watched helplessly as she slid from the potty sliming it with pee. Amazingly, her dress escaped being dunked and slimed by the toilet seat. In celebration she did a twirl that swung the once unscathed material toward the wet seat.

Almost in slow motion, I watched. As it was happening, a million things ran through my mind. Would I be able to ignore the tiny spot of pee that was inevitably going to be on the hem? Should I attempt to wrestle her out of the dress? How well would the costume hold up in the washing machine? Isn't pee sterile? Do I care if it's sterile?

Yes. I have an almost unnatural issue with bodily functions and all that comes from them. That's why I am not a nurse. Little did I know that pregnancy, childbirth and parenting would just as bad.

The dress swung onto the seat and the tiniest wet spot appeared... And Daddy walked in and I left him to deal with it. That's what daddy's are for!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod

Location:Home in Missoula Montana

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Public Library

The other day I was reading Abby her bedtime story and I realized that I had memorized all our books. I am sure there are many of us who can recite The Busy Spider or all of the Red Bible Story books after being asked to read them over and over.

I went to the mall and checked out the books in the toy store and although they are cute and very nicely packaged, they are outrageously priced for those of us on a budget.

I headed over to the used book store and discovered that prices are significantly reduced. I bought 8 books for the price of one. I know you are all thinking, "Amazon, Callie." I am hopelessly bad at Internet shopping. I just buy and buy and it adds up without me even thinking about it.

My next thought was, I am about to consign a ton of baby stuff. Do I really want to buy books that are just going to end up in a garage sale? I realize that certain books are a must have for our personal library but after that, we all need a little variety in the story routine.

Today Andy took Abby to the public library. I have not been there yet and I went to check it out after they got back and I had a little time on my hands. It was downright scary. There are all sorts of crazy people in the library. I wish I could find one that is a nice neighborhood library. I also hate leaving my house with my kids, getting a card and hauling said kids and books back to the car. However, there are many fun times to be had there with your kids. There is a story time on Fridays, a couch for you to read to them on and lots of fun games on their computers. Best thing is, you can still check out real honest to goodness books like you did before Kindle and Nook and DVDs and all that. There are still books with pages (because kids love to turn the pages) and pictures (because what is The Tawny Scrawny Lion without pictures that make you want to eat carrot soup). Abby loves it. She is reading incoherently to Cate right now and I am glad we took the time to go to the library.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod

Location:Missoula, MT

Sunday, January 16, 2011


So you may be wondering why I posted everyday and then BAM! Nothing. Well, my computer is broken. We have a laptop and that's it. No desktop. No backup computer. So when the girls had finally stepped on the cord one to many times, the computers power jack said,"I HAVE HAD IT!" and crapped out on me. Seeing as power is essential, we took it in. It is going to take two weeks for us to get it fixed. It's been two days and I am dying. I love blogging. I use the Internet for recipes and human contact while cooped up in the house with the kids. I am blogging from my husbands tiny iPod right now and I have to say it feels like I am sending a massive text message.
I can't believe I am so desperate. I am, however, very happy that we have an iPod touch and my husband allows me to use it. Veganism, not going so well. I am trying everyday but I don't have will power. I am not giving up. I will soldier on. I need a way to exercise in my house. Or the weather needs to stay nice enough that all the ice melts off and I can take BOB out with the girls. Miss you all.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Allure of Dairy

Veganism is an issue tonight. I'm trying desperately to give up cheese but in order to get rid of the cheese in the house without throwing it out, I made a several macaroni and cheeses and froze them for days when I didn't feel like cooking for the family. Tonight, I had a migraine and I told Andy to take out one of the casseroles and bake it up for the kiddos and himself. He fed the kids and headed out to study leaving me alone (after putting the girls to bed) with the delightful combination of cheese and pasta sitting all hot and steamy in front of me. It just tantalized me until I took a spoonful, just to get it off my chest. It snowballed from there. You know how it is. I had to cover it and put it in the fridge but before that, I almost ate the whole dang thing. I will wallow in guilt over that later while looking at my huge thighs in the full length mirror. For now, I'm sitting here, all warm and yummy feeling while watching reruns, listening to Abby sing in her bed, and sipping a soy decaf latte. That makes me feel a little better...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Childs Capability

I was intrigued by this article stating that Western parenting has become lazy and permissive. I have to agree with the author on some points. (Let me emphasize SOME points as I disagree with many things in this theory of parenting)

We have let our children believe that they are incapable of doing things by allowing them to give up. Winston Churchill stated, "But for everyone, surely, what we have gone through in this period -- I am addressing myself to the School -- surely from this period of ten months, this is the lesson: Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never -- in nothing, great or small, large or petty -- never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy." I don't think we should apply this to only our dreams and aspirations but also to those little problems that come along like a difficult math problem or a skill that seems unattainable. We should not only think of this in terms of defeating an army of men but a defeatist attitude in ourselves that may cause us to believe that we don't have the strength, inherent smarts, or natural ability to do something. Not everyone is born with the natural "gift" of reading comprehension. But everyone is able to put in time, energy and WORK that makes us a better reader and understanding of what we read.

The other thing that was positive that I gleaned from this article was how these Chinese mother's stay with their children to deal with these issues. Although I don't in any way agree with berating your child as a means of coercion, I was quite impressed that instead of stating that a child has to do something and then walking away, they stay right next to the kid, investing their own time and energy in the learning process. This is a great tip we can take away. Don't sit your kid down in front of their math homework and then go watch TV while they wonder what they are doing. Sit there and watch them, help them and encourage them that they are perfectly capable of handling the lesson. Encourage them over and over to read the instructions and never give them the answer but allow them to find it for themselves allowing them to know that they are able to do this with the right amount of WORK! Yes, work. I said it...

These two positive attributes of "Eastern Parenting" will impart two valuable things to my child: A sense that they can do anything by putting in enough work, and that I am always going to be there to encourage, support and be that sense of stability no matter what. I want to push my kids to be the best because they are capable.

Weigh in on this discussion by leaving a comment here or on the Facebook link.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Someone asked me recently how I weened my girls.

Abby weened almost by herself. I was on a very ridged schedule with her where she ate at certain times and never in between. It was easy to cut out feedings and add in formula after her 8th month. She was also eating some solids by then. When the 10th month was up, I was tired of breastfeeding and she was down to 2 feedings a day anyway. I just decided one day that I had enough and we were done. That was her last feeding and she didn't seem to upset about it.

Cate was a little harder although I didn't nurse her as long. I did the same thing. For about 2 months, I slowed down the feedings and added in formula here and there. She was down to three feedings a day when we took a trip and I decided I was done. I don't like nursing in public. I was away from home for a month and I just stopped nursing her. She was not happy about it. There was some crying and that arching of the back. She would bury her head in my cleavage and nuzzle me. I just stuck to my guns and rocked her, held her and fed her warm bottles while holding her very close to me when she was feeling that "comfort nursing" feeling. She's still a bit clingy but I'm all done.

Always copying Mommy

Checking to make sure she has baby latched right.

The bottom line in my book is, they are your boobs and you can have them back whenever you want. You are the parent, you are the one who has to pull out a boob whenever you believe they want to nurse. The older they are, the harder it is because they can begin to ask for a nurse or they can pull up your shirt or grab at a boob.

From what I have read, breast feeding takes two people. If the baby doesn't want to do it, it's not going to happen. If the mommy doesn't want to do it, it won't happen. If you really want to ween your child, you will do what ever it takes. If you are not really ready, you will continue to give in to your babies signals. There is no hard and fast rule about when a baby should be weened. You have to go with your motherly instincts on when it is time. Just be sure you are doing whats best for your baby and not what's best for YOU.

Never Clean

I'm almost positive that cleaning is a worthless job. I spent the entire morning cleaning my kitchen Sunday. I moved everything and wiped away all dirt, dust and baby scum. I put away all the things that don't belong there but seem to accumulate there. I organized the pantry cupboard. I did all the dishes and laundry (laundry being a part of the kitchen in my house). I washed the floors and scrubbed the table and the high chair. Today, only one day later, it looks like I never touched it. I'm never going to clean again. We're just going to live in a pigsty.

Ok, I'm not going to do that. You all know better. But today, I'm going to ignore it. I'm going to stay in my PJ's and forget that I have responsibility. We are going to eat Ramon noodles and pretend there is no mess. Tomorrow, I'll get back at it but today, I refuse to deal with this issue.

Monday, January 10, 2011

This is one of my favorite picture of Andy and Cate. She's so happy and drooly. I know it's a little out of focus and Cate has red eye but it's really cute and you have to take what you can get when you are dealing with kids.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Drawing Again... FINALLY!

If you want a portrait, just let me know. Here is the photo and finished product of one of my dad's cousins grandkids. I guess that would make her my 2nd cousin once removed.

Comment under this blog for more information about getting your kids portrait done.

Chocolate Chips

We've been giving Abby chocolate chips whenever she goes on the potty as a reward. She's perfectly capable of doing it all on her own without a reward but I'm weak. She came out of her room the other day and asked where Daddy was.

"He's on the potty."

Abby - *through the bathroom door* "Daddy!? Are you poopin'?"

Daddy - "I need some privacy, Abby."

Abby - "Are you all done? Do you need a wipe? Are you ready for a chocolate chip?"

Andy comes out snickering, goes to the freezer and gets himself a chocolate chip. I think we've created a monster and it's not Abby...

Because You Asked

Someone asked me recently, "So what do you do all day now that you are a stay at home mom?"

I know! I know! All you stay at home's are like, "What the ^%$@?" But seriously, think back to when you were working or going to school and you saw people like me staying at home with kids. You were stressed back then too. It was just a different kind of stress (although I do feel like if I could just get a good nights sleep, I could conquer anything). I really remember thinking, that lady stays at home with her kids? What the heck is she doing all day? So here is a quick run down of a day with kids as a stay at home mom. I'm posting this for those of you who really wonder. If you wonder, you are not a stay at home mom so this is a warning if you are trying to get pregnant with dreams of watching soaps while you fold laundry in your perfectly pressed 50's dress.

12 am - Go to sleep
3:30 - Get up and give Cate a bottle, rock her, change her and head back to bed, on the couch because Andy is snoring and I'm not going to get back to sleep with that kind of noise.
5:00 - Move from couch to bed as Andy is now up and "on duty" for the kiddos.
8:30 - Get up, drag yourself from bed to coffee machine. Get coffee going if Andy hasn't, turn on Veggie Tales to entertain Abby while I get the kitchen cleaned and make some breakfast.
9:30 - Clean up breakfast after trying to get coffee in myself, rice cereal and formula in Cate and Cheerios in Abby. (I assume you are all aware of what a mess is made throughout each meal...)
10:30 - Maybe take a shower, usually with Abby. I never get into real clothes unless I'm going out somewhere. Get everyone dressed. Maybe do hair if we really have time.
11:00 - Fold laundry, clean up bathroom, put things away around the house all while being asked for milk, juice, help going potty and trying not to step on Cate who follows me around like a baby chicken.
12:00 - Make lunch, feed everyone, clean up lunch, put Cate down for a nap.
2:00 - Fall on the couch wishing that mommy's were required to have a nap time.
3:00 - Play with Abby, move laundry, hold Cate after she gets up from her nap as she sloshes formula all over everything while playing with/consuming a bottle.
4:00 - Start dinner, deal with snacks and juice and milk and more laundry all while trying not to burn anything.
5:00 - Feed everyone. Clean up after everyone.
6:00 - Start baths for kiddos. Brush their teeth while they try to eat the toothpaste. Get them, struggling, into their pj's. Read stories. Supply potty breaks, water and appropriate sleeping materials for each child. Most likely, Cate falls asleep here and wakes up again around 8:30 or 9.
8:00 - Watch what I want on TV for 30 minutes until Cate wakes up. Watch something that won't give her nightmares until 11pm while rocking her, feeding her and trying to get her to sleep. I'll admit that I get more calorie burn here than throughout the rest of the day as she's about 22 lbs. and she likes to be walked around. Weight training and aerobics all while watching black and white movies.
11:00 - Try and talk to Andy before I pass out.

And in between all of this, there is potty training and more laundry (I know you are thinking, "What's with all the laundry?" Kids don't make twice the laundry. They make 10 times the laundry because they are always spilling or peeing or pooping and it's just more than you care to deal with!) and cleaning up random spills and fishing things out of Cate's mouth that she has found on the floor and is attempting to choke on and holding kids who have bonked and need kisses. Not to mention that going out of the house is an ordeal in itself. You have to pack a suitcase of stuff. You can't fill a grocery cart with food if it has kids in it. You can't get through a store at all when you have to stop at the potty 3 times. It is fun but you are not your own. You are at the mercy of your children and all they may or may not be doing that day. It's a hard life but I like it.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Must Repeat

Heard this story and had to post it. Actually, she told me I had to post it. You have to read it with a Virginia accent out lout to get even part of the effect. Even then, the lady who told it had AWESOME comedic timing.

My OBGYN's son's name is Ryan. He's 5. For a Christmas present last year, he got a HUGE Nerf gun - one that has darts that are shot in rapid fire. It's as big as him. One day (right after the big snow storm that had us locked in our houses in NC for several days) he walked into the kitchen holding the giant gun between his legs. "Mama, my penis is stuck!"

She's like, "ARE YOU KIDDING?!" It was indeed stuck in the cartridge where you load the darts. Her and her husband tried everything to get the poor kids manhood out - Vaseline, gentle prodding. Nothing was working.

"Babe, we have to take him to the ER."

"We are NOT taking my son to the hospital where I work with a Nerf gun stuck to his... thing."

"What are we going to do? We can't leave it there. It's just going to get worse."

"I know!" the husband cried. "It's colder than it's ever been outside. Take him outside!"

She looked right at me and said, "Shrinkage saved my sons penis."

When she took him back inside, she asked, "Ryan, what possesed you to put your penis in that gun?"

He calmly explained, "Well, Mama, it looked like it would fit."

"The lesson here son is don't put your penis every where it looks like it will fit."

The father, passing by added, "Most of the time."

He learned NOTHING!

Friday, January 7, 2011

On the Road Again

Well, we are trying potty training again with Abby.

It's hard. I admit, I was the problem last time. I was in a really bad situation for potty training but I thought I could do it and not let circumstances dictate our time frame. I was wrong. We started potty training in February - Abby was almost 2. March, Cate was born. April, we decided to move FOR SURE. May, we packed up and went to my parents house. June, the car broke down on the way out to Colorado, we moved into my parents apartment, and Andy finally got off to Montana. July, a hard month of waiting and wondering what was going to happen in Montana. This is when I finally gave up on potty training Abby. She was having several accidents a day. I was breastfeeding an infant and trying to keep our lives contained in a tiny little room. My dad was sick and in and out of the hospital.

One day after the second poop in her pants, I got so mad that I just lost it. I went outside and screamed and cried. What was I doing wrong? Well, how is a kid supposed to learn something like potty training when they are distracted by a new baby, cousins, and parents/grandparents who are to distracted to give attention to this life changing lesson in her life? I ask you? What was I thinking? Anyway, it was traumatic for both of us.

This time, Andy discovered he had a few extra weeks before school stated again so he said he was going to train her. I laughed. I worked on training her for 5 months before and finally gave up. What did he think he was going to do in 2 weeks? He worked with her for 3 days. She's trained.

When he got a call that he was going to have to go back to work yesterday at the hospital for the whole day (today and the weekend also) I thought I was going to cry. I can't potty train this kid. But yesterday, she did everything on her own. Today she has done it all by herself again. I guess it was timing and that good old Adams patience that did it. I'm not going to say there will never be accidents again and we still have night training to go but, I think the worst is over. Rejoice with me, people. We may never have to buy another daytime pull-up again.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Photographer in the Making


Abby loves Christmas just for the paper!



Learning to take pictures of herself (just a neck this time.)



Uncle Josh

Daddy teaching Abby to take pictures of herself.

Mommy and Cate

Sebbie and Abby figuring out the camera.

Cate... again.

Grandpa... almost.

Grammy doing her favorite thing. Sleeping.


My mother in law let us use her camera for a while. She wanted us to take pictures of the kids and upload them to Facebook so she could check them out every once in a while. I can't keep Abby away from it. She has dropped it twice and I'm just not in the market for a new camera right now so for Christmas, we bought her a VTech kids camera. It's awesome. Encased in rubber, battery life of like, a year, best purchase ever. She has been really enjoying it. Here are some of her pictures.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Ever Changing Perspective

As I have stated before, my opinion changes with each passing day. My opinion of things... all things. Children change you. Before I had kids, I was a reasonable human being who could conquer anything and could have since I was born. I didn't need my parents. I was totally self-sufficient.

I remember being in the movies and seeing a couple who had just met about to kiss. My mom always yelled out (in the theater!), "Don't do it!" She covered our eyes (even as teenagers and young adults) when there was nudity in a movie! She commented EVERY TIME that sex before marriage was stupid. I thought she was nuts.

Then I had kids and I realized that my parents were always there, influencing me, challenging me, making me a better person. I felt the heavy responsibility of doing this for another human being. When Abby was first born, I was a perfect parent. I knew exactly what I was going to do in every situation and there would be no backing down, no mind changing, no confusion. Just swift, reasonable discapline.

Then she said her first words ("Mommy, I want to be a princess!") and I knew I was screwed. You never know what you are going to do in a situation until it arises and then you still don't know. That's what time outs were made for. You can just send them to their room until you have come up with a better plan... maybe. Or you can just let them off with a warning. 

So the other day, Abby had a sippy cup with Disney's Ariel on it. She commented, "Mommy, this princess is naked." After a good laugh, I realized I am noticing more and more of what the media is teaching my baby. When I was a little girl, I watched those movies over and over and just now I'm realizing what they were telling me:

1. 16 is the age when you should start looking for a mate. REALLY?! 16!!! No wonder teen pregnancy is so prevalent.

2. If you've got it, flaunt it. Bikini's are normal every day attire. HA! This is totally reinforced by Hollister, Abercrombie and Fitch and a host of other mall-rat stores.

3. If you want to know if he loves you so, it's in his kiss. Really? It's not in his character or behavior or track record? No wonder divorce is so prevalent.

Now I'm not saying that every kid who watches a princess movie is going to be a single, skankily dressed teen mom. What I am saying is that I notice things now that I'm a mom and I don't know if I want my baby getting the messages I'm getting. Disney princesses are totally losing their appeal for me.

Abby loves Veggie Tales. They have princess stories too. Sweet Pea Beauty and Princess Petunia portray princesses who don't care about the outward appearance (which I will admit is easy for "her" to say as she is the prettiest vegetable I've ever seen...) but care about what's inside. When I stopped by Focus on the Family on my way back from Christmas, I saw a little girl walking from the bookstore with a Sweet Pea Beauty plush character. I went inside and found a host of princess products. I want my little girl to be able to love being a princess. I want her to play dress up and enjoy glittery things but I also want her to get the right message. You are God's princess. You are Daddy's princess. You are special and unique just the way you are and nothing on the outside will change that. It's what's inside that counts. I bought the Sweet Pea Princess and plan to get her the castle and characters that go with it. She loves it.

I hope that I can teach my babies values that make a difference in their lives. I know that I will not always be able to shield them from everything in this world, but I want to be the bigger influence. Someday I'm sure she will be watching The Little Mermaid and I'll be saying, "16! Are you kidding me?! Abby, you are NOT getting married at 16 so just forget about it!" And she'll think I'm crazy but maybe, just maybe, she will secretly think I'm great!


I found this HILARIOUS! I almost peed my pants reading it! Check it out.

11 Step Program to See if You are Ready to Handle Children. (Laura Shetley, you totally qualify as a part time parent as you put up with most of this jut being my friend.)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

It's a New Day

I heard a story once about a man who smoked. He was addicted. He asked his pastor one day, "How do I give this up? I know it's killing me but I love it."

The pastor said, "How did you start?"

"One day, I just picked up a cigarette and started smoking. It didn't take long for me to love it."

The pastor suggested, "Today, don't start." It's not about stopping. It's about not starting.

Today is a new day. What are you not going to start?

I'm going to eat healthier. I have been working on this for a while so it's not like I'm starting something totally new. I have eliminated soda (which used to be a problem). I'm slowing down on the caffine alot. I used to live on coffee but I'm down to one cup (8 oz.) a day. I have also just stopped buying things that I eat as snacks throughout the day that were helping me to pack on the lbs. like Little Debbies (yummy...) and stuff like that. If I don't buy it, I can't eat it! Well, now I'm going to see how "naturally" I can eat. How much chemical crud can I cut out? How many raw fruits, vegetables and nuts can I eat to fill me up? Can I get back to the Daniel diet? We'll see. I'll log whats good about this plan. I'll also warn about what's hard.

Don't think I believe this is going to be easy. My biggest problem is CHEESE! I love cheese but frankly, it's terrible for you. It's all fat. The fat overrides whatever good qualities it may have. And don't tell me we need fat in our diet. There is plenty of natural fat that is already perfectly balanced in things like avocados and nuts.We'll see how much this logic helps me when I have a craving for my famous macaroni and cheese. Had vegan pizza last night from Papa Murphy's and it was wonderful!