Thursday, December 29, 2011

In which I am an idiot

Also I cannot count.

Or rather, I can count, but the computer didn't count properly.

It seems that I am not QUITE at 1000 blog posts because of the 29 non publish (mostly non started) drafts that are still lurking around my blog dashboard.  So instead of 1000 being by 1000th post, it was my 970th post and I feel silly.  But I'm leaving it up there because I still agree with what it says.  The blog helped me find my voice, and my voice needs a little more finding lately.  So I'm committing to being back.

Maybe I'll post once a day for all of January to get myself back into it.  There are wonderful and exciting things in the world and I want to share again.  So laugh with me at my inability to count and I hope you come back and see what else is in store!

1000

Despite my blogging hiccups an amazing number has come to the blog.

One thousand.

As in 1000 blog entries over the last six years.  Here it is 6 years of thoughts and growth and memories out there on the interwebs, but more importantly it has been 6 years to find my voice.

Sometimes my voice is quiet, whispering secrets in the dark hoping others catch them and hold them close for me.

Sometimes my voice is ranty, angry at the company, person or world that seeks to hurt, oppress, or destroy.

Sometimes my voice is frustrated, at the goals unmet and the weight unlost.

Sometimes my voice is hopeful, with new opportunities to grow and thrive.

Sometimes my voice is one of a mother, a wife, a friend, a church worker, a geek.

Sometimes my voice falters and I go away for a while to find out where it went.

Sometimes my voice is poetic, sometimes it is raw, sometimes it is wounded, sometimes it is strong.

But it is my own and I love the voice I've found.

And I don't want to lose the power, healing, and community that this blog has given me, so I am planning my come back.  I want to embrace my voice and make sure my voice is part of the choir of voices in the world.  The choir isn't the same with out my voice.  It isn't the same without yours.

So in 2012 I am going to sing here again.

Happy 1000 posts to me, here is to another 1000!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Goat Family. 
I hope to blog more in the New Year, but either way, I'll be around here from time to time at least. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Mr. Goat's Choir

This is a clip from the choir Mr. Goat sings in - Magnum Chorum. Their Christmas concerts are this weekend and they are going to be great. If you want to bask in the holiday glow you should come. You can find more info here.
See what the buzz is all about! from Magnum Chorum on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How did we get here?

I've been saying that little goat is two and a half for nearly 5 months now. It might be time to change the words I am using. The fact of the matter is that he turned 33 months last week, or 2 and 3/4, or "ACK MY BABY IS ALMOST THREE!!"

I'm in a little bit of denial, but there is no denying how much he has learned and grown. He is a joy and a wonder and surprises me every day. So there are things I want to remember about him just as he is now:
  • He will eat raw broccoli, green beans and a host of other things, but it better not have chicken or turkey near it or we will spit it out.
  • He makes me invisible mac and cheese for breakfast - using his tool bench and circular saw as the kitchen.
  • He takes my trumpet ornament off the tree and pretends to play it.
  • He knows all of the trains in Thomas (or so it seems) and is willing to correct you in all matters train if you have it wrong.
  • He does somersaults just because he can.
  • He loves having his nails and toes painted by Aunt Mimi and showing them to the world.
  • He sings to the songs from our music class - surprisingly in tune and on beat, even if the words aren't quite right. He also plays a mean set of shaker eggs.
  • He has girls who adore him - at daycare, at church, everywhere. They range in age from 1 yr to 90 yrs. He flirts with them all! He is a ladies man!
  • He doesn't quite get that at a certain point mom wins an "debate" about what he wants, just because she is mom. But I love his tenacity not to always except the world as it is. (But listen to mom kid, ok?)
  • He loves to look at pictures of "Baby Goat" on the computer, so we spend a lot of time on facebook going through old pictures. I see them and marvel at this boy and this journey for him and me and our whole family. How did we get here? I don't seem to remember but I look at each and every picture below and know in my heart that it is my same boy, but I honestly can't fathom how we got from the first picture to the last one.



Soon it will be Christmas and then before I know it I will have a three year old. I am not sure I am ready, but this boy, he is ready for anything. And he gives me the courage to be too. I'm not sure how we got here, but I've loved the journey and look forward to the next adventures.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend According to Cell phone pictures

 Thanksgiving Meal at the ILs

Little Goat Made Pilgrim Hats

Then he took over Friday and Saturday in Pajamas

Finally we got our first tree up in the new house..on Advent 1 (earliest ever)

Now sleep.  I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving.  I am going to bed very thankful for the entire weekend and all the wonderful family and friends in my life.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A very useful engine


If you have a toddler boy chances are you know this shifty character above.  He's none other than Thomas the Tank Engine.  He and his friends have taken over our house and during the latest bout of the plague that has gone through our house he's been a source of comfort, both on the TV and in our "action figure" form.  (Seriously the diapers gone through in the last week...I just don't want to talk about it).

And 95% of me has no problem with Thomas and his train cohorts.  Oh sure, Sir Topham Hatt gives me the creeps, but mostly the lessons are about sharing, helping, caring, etc.  But there is one major issue I've discovered I have with it.

Each and every train is striving to be a really useful engine.  In fact they work on it so far that they seek to be the MOST useful engine on the island.

Now there is nothing wrong with being "useful" in a train world.  That is what trains are built for, but as we antrhopomorphize them I wonder what message we are sending our kids.  So much of my current issues with depression seem to gather around my percieved expectations as a wife, mother, employee, and citizen.  I struggled with not doing enough of what I feel I ought to be doing.  There is just too much.  And how common is it for us to feel that we are not good enough at parenthood, or work, or cleaning, or anything.  I contribute to society's message that I ought to be doing it all as a mother.  I really want to be a "useful engine."

But the reality is that I would much rather be known as a kind engine, a loved and loving engine, a gracious and grateful engine, a giving engine.  Those are much more important than being useful.

Now my son doesn't seem to pick up on this as he's too busy pointing out TUNNELS, GORDON, TRACKS, etc... but I notice it.  And I'm not sure I buy that being useful is the best way to define even a train. 

Reading too much into a cartoon?  Probaby.  But gosh darn it, I think there are more important things than being useful.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Being Found

There is something about choosing to not hide any longer that is scary.  I wrote a post yesterday and was fearful of sending it out there.  I know why - it is hard to be vulnerable in today's world.  It is hard to say, "right now, I'm not ok" and leave it out there for the world to see.  I wasn't so much worried about the grace that my friends would give me in knowing, and grace they did.  The calls, and comments, and messages I received yesterday were a powerful wave of love to get me through the difficulty of being so open and vulnerable.  I am so thankful for each and every one of you.  As my dad said last night on the phone, "You have some really great friends."

Yes, I do.

It is people who are willing to love me while broken and vulnerable, as God loves us in our brokenness, that give me the strength to admit that I'm not ok, or that I wasn't ok but am working on getting ok again.  You've given me grace that I cannot always give myself.  And yes, I want to meet for coffee and lunch and walks and chats.  I want to be out there and myself - even if I'm a little broken down right now.

Even that is a change - I WANT - to do things.  I don't want to go about the motions for appearance sake.  I want to do the things I love again.

I'm not "cured."  I'm still broken and battered but I want to build myself up again.  And I am so thankful that I can do it with all of you.

Thank you for your grace and your love and your acceptance.

And I hope that in sharing maybe someone else can realize they are hiding in plain sight too.  I was amazed by how many people shared they were familiar with what I was going through.  We shouldn't be afraid to share our struggles, there are people out there who understand and want to help.

I want to help because I need help myself.

You don't have to stay hidden.  People want to come find you, but they need to know that you are hiding.  Let yourself be found and loved.  You are not alone.

I am not alone.

And makes it a beautiful, better, albeit still broken, day.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hiding

Nearly every morning, little goat comes into our room, turns on all the lights to wake us up (we've been busy hitting snooze) and hops into our bed to hide under our covers.

"Hiding!" he calls loudly, asking in that one word for you to come find him under the blankets where he feels invisible despite the toddler size lump now in the middle of the bed.

So I look for him, gasping as I find him as he squeals in delight of surprising mommy.  Then we do it again.  And again.  Sometimes we hide together and sing songs under the covers as daddy hops in the shower.  Wheels on the Bus in a duet under a duvet.

The thing about his hiding though is that he knows he will be found.  He knows I will look for him, again and again and I will find him, tickle him and laugh along side him.  He knows.

I've been hiding a lot lately, but no one (or very few people) knew.  But instead of a visible lump under the covers my hiding was a lot more subtle.  I was hiding in plain sight.  Oh, you could see me, and talk to me and I went about the business of being mommy, and wife, and coworker and friend.  But the truth is I was suffocating under a blanket of my own creation, desperately wondering if someone would come find me.

Mostly because I could not seem to find myself.  I was hiding so deeply that I'd forgotten where I was, like hidden Halloween candy stumbled upon months later.

I was wrapped in a blanket of sadness, doubt, overwhelming guilt and expectation, of being less than.  And the more I stayed in that blanket the more I believed it and the parts of me that I treasure and cherish seemed to fall away into nothing.

The more I stayed under the blanket the less I became me and the more hidden I was from the world and from myself.

A "less than" me.

And it took months to realize that this "less than" me had a name....depression.

I didn't realize.  I wasn't unhappy after all.  Just so very tired of being "less than" and acutely aware that I didn't seem to change it.  The more "less than" I became, the less I could fight against the blanket weighing me down.

I was hiding in plain sight unable to be found.

And one day I realized that if no one knew I was hiding, no one would know to come look for me.  So I had to look for myself.

And I made some calls and did some talking and looked at some options.  And said that I was going to stop hiding.

Today I still feel some how "less than" I was, but I am "more than" the day before.  And that is a good start.  And more importantly, I'm sharing that I am hiding, so that maybe people know to look for me.

And I can continue to be found.

Not a "less than" me.

Just me. 

A lump under the covers still but knowing I will be found.

A #justwrite post today because I am tired of hiding in plain sight.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Testing

I'm testing this out.  Being back.  Diving in again.  I've missed this, this corner of the world, this spot of my own, this wardrobe to a world of my own creation.  And I've missed my friends here - you - those folks who read my words and gently carry my heart through them. 

The truth is that life has seemed hard lately.  Not hard because life is bad or the I'm surrounded by tragedy and crisis.  Just hard in my own thinking, of my own brain power and motivation and identity.  But I'm working on breaking through - with help thankfully.

I don't know how much I have to say yet, or the words that strengthen and not tear away, but I have the courage to try.  To be authentically me.  So I'm testing this out.  I'm testing me out again, rather than the not-so me I've been feeling.  Or too-much me?  I'm not sure but here I am. 

Me.

Such as it is.  Testing and Tested and Trying again.

Thanks for waiting.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

There and Back again?

Every night for over a week I go to bed and think, "Darn, I didn't blog today"  But the reality is that I'm not feeling it lately.  I feel swamped and more than overwhelmed and for the first time since I've started this blog 6 years ago the blog doesn't seem to be a relaxing solution to me.  I have blog posts waiting to be written and the desire has turned to apathy.

I really don't like apathy as an emotional response and I'm not sure why I'm there, but for now it's there.  And I just can't seem to force myself past it, and I wonder if I even should be trying to.  I do love blogging and it has given me so many gifts over the last several years, but I just don't know what or where I want to go right now.

And I don't know whether I have the time to do it either.

In short...   Blog questions abound that I don't have answers for.  I feel some loyalty to the wonderful community here but wonder if I'm a contributing voice right now.  There is so much that I am NOT doing right now - working out, eating right, blogging, cleaning, etc.  Instead I just tread water to make it through each week a second before the doors clang shut.  (Think Indiana Jones).

So I just don't know.  I'd love any input you guys have.  I suspect I'll be back soon, but right now I can't seem to bring it to the blog.  I'm sorry.

I'll be back?

Monday, October 03, 2011

Random Thoughts

It is time for some Random Thoughts - aka, I have lots to say but no time to write!  Ready?  Here goes...

* Why is it that the CIA has radio commercials recruiting for jobs right now?  I've heard them on my commute in several times in the last several weeks and they just baffle me.  I mean doesn't the job require a bit more than being able to listen to the radio?  I assume they have an extensive job hiring process but it still strikes me as odd every time.

* I co-hosted a shower for a friend expecting twins yesterday.  It was a good shower and the cake was super cute.  It read "Twice the blessing, twice the fun," although since yesterday Mr. Goat has been going around saying "Twice the blessing, twice the poop"  Which is also true but also not quite cake appropriate.

* Today I found a pair of boots that fit, with the help of @fabuliss and her #bootup event.  I'll post pictures this week, but this is the first time in an over 3 year search that I found a pair of boots I could wear.  It almost makes up for the price tag!  Still, this is huge

* I am sad thinking about a friend who will likely lose a brother soon.  It isn't necessarily a bad thing as it has been a long time coming but still a sad thing.

* I am loving the lovely 70 degree fall weather lately.  It could stay this way for a LONG time please!

* But since I am a realist, does anyone have a working snow blower they want to get rid of?

* Time to buy some chapstick though.

* Speaking of radio commercials, there is one for "shift work syndrome" that i hear sometimes driving home.  It talks about shift work workers having trouble with sleeping and sleepiness, it goes on to tell them to try this pill and then goes on to list every side effect in the world as a risk for this pill.  Seems like a tough fix for a little sleepiness.

* The Packers are 4-0 and the Brewers are in the playoffs.  Glad I'm still a WI girl at heart in this pretty sad MN sports season.  Of course my Packers will always be team number 1 in my heart.

* Also the Lions are 4-0.  What is up with that?

* Hey look, the football game is over, that must mean it is time for bed.  Good night blogland, sweet dreams!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Big Boy Bed

So a few weeks ago we got Little goat his big boy bed after spending labor day weekend trying to make a decision. Little goat loves it and transitioned in a split-second beautifully. We now have no more trouble with bedtime than we did before. A fact that makes mama very very grateful.



The bed most often looks like this:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Just Write Again

The wagon seems to rolled off and left me in the dust. I stand in the rutted road at a perpetual fork. On the one hand a road of health...muddy, full of potholes, and snakes waiting in the weeds. On the other a road of the easy way - lined with chocolate bricks, edged by cheese mountains: a candy-colored paradise. The colors of the easy way are bright and distracting. They speak in gollum-y whispers. "Waaaaait. There is always tomorrow. Come to the dark side, we have cookies. My preciousssssss."

If, when, no if, I stop to look closely at the easy way path the colors become a little too bright - like an evil queen's apple laced with poison. The hologram of the easy way shimmers a bit as if to remind me it is only an illusion. The end of the easy way path becomes very hard after all.

Still the brightness distracts me. Who doesn't long to frolic in Willy Wonka's factory? One little detour can't hurt me...can it? Except it can, and it does. It wounds me and wraps its claws through my brain - rewiring the system while its up there.

Then time passes and the dust clears and I look up from a mess of wrappers, blinking, trying vaguely to remember what happened and how I got here, again, or if I ever really left at all. And looking up I still stand at that damn fork in the road.

I look off at the wagon tracks that have rolled into the distance, obscuring my recent hope of success. There are friends on that wagon I know. Sometimes I wish I could just get them to slow down a little in their own success so I don't feel so alone at the fork. Or do I just want them to justify a bit more poisoned apple? But I am happy for them and cheer them on from behind, hoping they still hear me way back at the horizon.

And I stand at the fork. Again. For the First Time. Again.

The road to health, following that wagon, is messy. It is icky. It is so much harder than even the last time. Every time I look away it seems to get longer, stretching on for months, years, a lifetime. I never seem to be able to look for very long.

But deep down it is the road that I want to travel: to take each step through the mud and the muck and mire and away from the illusion.

Don't look down, don't look away. Try to forget the candy colored whispers of the other path.

Take a step. One step.

Again.

For the first time.

Again.

Because Heather said to just write, and my heart needed to remind me today.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Things I love today

Things I love today:

* Pancake breakfast with my son on a Monday after our early morning dentist appointment.
* The way little goat took a spare piece of Mr. Goat's "real" model train track and prefers to run his trains along it instead of the wooden train tracks that came with it.
* That How I Met Your Mother and Big Bang Theory are back on the air.
* The Packers are 3-0.
* Really good books.
* Words with Friends (I'm Lutherliz)
* Clean sheets available when needed
* Iced nonfat hazelnut lattes
* Productive Mondays

Friday, September 23, 2011

Out of the loop

Whew.  I think I need a nap.  It goes without saying that fall is a crazy time for families and for those of us with Children's programming (school, church or other) it is just as crazy.  I've been up to my ears with evening meetings, trains, and all sorts of important things.  When I haven't been at work I've been trying to make up for the "solo parent" role that Mr. Goat has been forced to take on.  All in all I'm exhausted.

As always the first thing that goes is being online.  The blog goes silent.  So does twitter and facebook and I feel bad that I feel so out of the loop with my blogland friends lives. I want so badly to be up to date with everyone and to have lovely things to say....hopefully soon.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

1 in 45 seconds

I've got to tell you, there are tons of worthwhile causes out in the world.  Lots of people and groups who need someone with money, power and the network to really help.

I don't have the money, power or the network but in preparing for our Sunday School Mission this year I learned a startling statistic that has stuck with me for weeks and I think you should know it too:

1 child dies of Malaria every 45 seconds.

One child every 45 seconds dies of a completely treatable and preventable disease.  Most of those kids are in Africa, but can also be in Southern Asia, South America and other areas.   Typically non-wealthy countries.

I don't know what to do with this knowledge yet, or knowing that it used to be 1 child in every 30 seconds.  It's progress but it doesn't seem like enough somehow.

I'm a numbers girl, let's look at them:

43200 seconds in a day
960 children who die from Malaria EVERY DAY
or
350,400 kids who die each year from this disease.

and did I mention is is treatable and preventable?

I'm glad our Sunday School kids are doing things this year, in tandem with the ELCA Malaria Campaign, but I feel like I should do more. So I am putting it out there for you, I do have a blog to share my sadness about this with you.  I know you are asked for many many things but if this statistic disturbs you as much as it does me I hope that you have a few dollars to spare for the children.  No giveaways, no pats on the back, just the knowledge that you helped someone halfway across the world.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I made it to 50

Somehow or another I've made it to 50 books already this year, with over 3 whole months to go!  You should be impressed particularly since I've had enough trouble finding blogging time over the last several months in particular.  But I've made it so far and I'll keep the list up through the rest of the year.  I wonder where I'll end up in my totals this year?

If you want to know some of my favorites so far this year here they are: Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok, State of Wonder by Ann Patchett, Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, The Fiddler's Gun and The Fiddler's Green by A. S. Peterson.  But really there are a LOT of good books on this list!

And of course, book recommendations are always welcome!

50 Book Challenge 2011

1. The Lacuna: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver
2. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
3. The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee
4. Walking the Bible: A Photographic Journey

6. The Heroes of Olympus, Book One: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
7. The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin
8. Traveling with Pomegranates: A Mother and Daughter Journey to the Sacred Places of Greece, Turkey, and France by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor
9.  A View from the Back Pew: God, Religion & Our Personal Quest for Truth by Tim O'Donnell
10. The Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen
11. Leaping Beauty: And Other Animal Fairy Tales by Gregory Maguire
12. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua
13. The Unquiet Bones: The first chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, surgeon by Melvin Starr
14. Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
15. Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps by Dave Isay
16. A Corpse at St. Andrew's Chapel: The Second Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon by Mel Starr
17. The Heretic's Daughter: A Novel by Kathleen Kent
18. The Fiddler's Gun by A.S. Peterson
19. The Fiddler's Green by A. S. Peterson
20. Stories: All-New Tales



My Name Is Child of God...Not "Those People": A First Person Look at Poverty


The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment
The Kane Chronicles, Book Two: The Throne of Fire


Viola in Reel Life
Viola in the Spotlight









42. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
43. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin
44. Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris
45. The Shape of Mercy: A Novel by
46. Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
47. Fractured Fairy Tales by A.J. Jacobs
48. The Year of Living like Jesus: My Journey of Discovering What Jesus Would Really Do by Edward G. Dobson
49. Bossypants by Tina Fey
50.  The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Just Write

Just Write
A blank page and a blinking cursor.

Why is it that when taking the time to write, to share, the mind goes blank.  It is far from blank at midnight when it goes a mile a minute.  Then it tumbles over itself. Frantic.  Did I?  Remember to.  What about?  Don't forget!

But given a moment in time and a chance to think and process and create...

Silence.

Yet, when you sit in silence you begin to notice that the silence isn't quite.  There are ghost notes of thoughts shimmering in your brain.

I reach, grasping for them, bringing them down to where I can hear them.  Tuning them in on my brain waves, searching in static.

Listen to the hints of melody and then just write:

This morning little goat woke up 10 minutes before my alarm would start going off.  Instead of an alarm, and a snooze (or three), I am coaxed awake by the smallest voice calling from his room.  "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy"

Relief, he calls for Dad first.  My wake up can be moments longer as I fight off the cobwebs.  There wasn't enough sleep last night, it seems there never is.  In the world of introverts the time to sit often becomes more important at night than to crawl into bed when one ought.

Still alarm or not, I hoist myself out of bed.  I'm on daycare duty today so I hop in the shower.  Those ten extra minutes become the ability to shave my legs and to breath under the water before facing the day.  But before I can face the day I look down to a face peering in on my moment.

It hits me then, my moment as not the part about being alone with my thoughts, but the moment instead when he comes to look for me.  Daddy he calls, but he knows Mama is there ready to be found.

Sometimes I look for those moments alone.  It isn't avoiding others, but finding myself again.  But in my own finding I can be hidden as well.

But he always comes to look for me.

I am found.
In a moment.
Mama once more.

Just where I wish to be.  Found within and without.  Moments intertwined into identity.

It is good to be found.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Random Thoughts and live blogging the final 2 minutes of the Packer game.

* Go Pack Go.  There are 2 minutes left in the Packer game...I'm hoping we hold it out but have been fairly pleased with the game so far.  At least our offense looks great.  I ended up in four fantasy leagues this year and in one I have Rodgers, in another Brees, in yet another Greg Jennings and another the Green Bay defense.  Luckily I always cheer for the Packers over and above all fantasy stats.

* I've had Sunday School teacher training the last two nights.  It is always hard to have back to back meeting nights and miss all of bedtime.  But, I really enjoy getting to meet and plan and pray with my Sunday School teachers too.  Still, I'm glad that the fall preparations only come around once a year!

* I go get my eyes checked tomorrow for the first time in like 5 years.  I'm really dreading the dilation part as I still have LOTS to accomplish after my appointment tomorrow.  Hoping my vision is still on point though...  with the exception of my crazy crossing eyes.

*  Eek, the Saints are going to get the ball back....

* Confession time: I ate fries in September despite it being my September health challenge.  But in my defense, I thought it was still August (not September 1st).  I have decided to confess to you all and continue on with the challenge (I've been good the rest of the month so far) and add and extra day into October to make up for my error.  It feels good to clear my conscience.

*ACK stop them!!!  One play left....whew, this is always stressful.

* I want to shout out to my sister who turned in her Ph.D. dissertation this week.  Now all she has is her defense and the reviews and she is done.  I am so proud of her!

* PASS INTERFERENCE?  Nooooooooooooooooooo!

* He didn't get in!!!  He didn't get in!  Hooray!  Go Pack Go!  Packers WIN!

* Little Goat's big boy bed should be here early next week.  Does any one have any tips for switching from the open sided crib to the bed?  Or just make the switch and go for it?

* Now it is late.  Football games are intense, but I'm so glad that the season is back.  But I think it is time to stop the randomness and head to bed.  Yay bed!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Labor Day Weekend: Family Sabbath

What a wonderful weekend.  Why was it wonderful you may ask?  For a very special reason...there was NOTHING on the calendar.

For months the Goat family has been going, and going, and going.  It's been a fun summer but not a very restful one.  I can't remember the last time we didn't have something on the docket for a weekend and the rest of September is a mess of meetings and appointments too.  But this weekend was a glorious rest from our labors.

Which isn't to say we rested, but in all we did we did it together as a family - just the three of us.

  • We shopped for and ultimately chose Little Goat's big boy bed.
  • We went to the St. Paul Farmers market and feasted off the spoils all weekend long - tonight Heritage Pork St. Louis Ribs, Fried okra, fingerling potatoes, and homemade cucumber dip.  Yum.
  • I got caught up on laundry, and throwing away junk mail.
  • We played with little goat and spent lots of time being silly.
  • We attempted to get little goat back on a sleep schedule.
  • Mr. Goat and I spent nearly 4 hours staring into a firepit after little goat's bedtime last night staying up too late talking about everything.
  • We went to church and sat together as a family for likely the last time until Christmas (the perils of having a singing husband and working for a church).
It was lovely.  A few times we attempted to invite people over for a BBQ...we had tons of food, but everyone was busy on such short notice.  Still, I think that was for the best.  Prior to this weekend little goat was showing signs of wear with us being gone more than he'd like.  It was nice to just sit and be as a family.   It doesn't happen nearly enough and I think all of us needed the break.

Tomorrow starts with a bang and we are into the church "school" year.  For about 3 weeks my head will be a pinball machine in full TILT.  But for 3 days we sat and rested and were together.  And I am grateful and blessed for that time.

I hope you all had a rest from your labors this weekend. 

Saturday, September 03, 2011

The Conversion of Mr. Goat

For as long as I've known Mr. Goat, he has thought a particular food pairing of mine to be odd.  Now mind you it isn't THAT odd.  It isn't peanut butter and hot dogs (my friend Mark) or a lot of other peculiarities that people like.  It is actually relatively common I think.  The pairing?

Maple Syrup and Pork - Maple sausage, bacon dipped in maple syrup, maple glazes...yum.

In fact, Maple can go on just about any breakfast item in my mind.  Sweet and Savory.  Yes, I've been known to put it on my eggs too, which may be a touch weirder than most.

But really maple and pork doesn't seem that strange does it?

Mr. Goat thought so.  My breakfast choices would make him cringe.  He just didn't like the combination, though he loves both seperately.  So I was resigned that I would have to have my maple/pork when were were out or when I was alone.

And I've managed for the 12 years we've been together to keep my love seperate from family meals.

But the St. Paul Farmer's Market was the scene of a shocking occurance today.

Picture a maple syrup stand with a crowd surrounding it wanting to taste the infused maple syrups (bourbon, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, etc).  I waited with little goat while Mr. Goat wandered ahead.  Finally I was at the head of the crowd and was rewarded with a little communion cup of bourbon maple syrup and one of ginger maple syrup.  I took a sip and called through the Farmer's Market for Mr. Goat to join me.

(Yes, I actually called for Mr. Goat too.  It is much more identifying in a crowd than his extremely common first name).

And I gave him my maple shots to try.

(Little goat got the remnants and he was trying to stick his entire face into the communion cup to get the last drops)

Folks we left with two infused maple syrups of our own and as we were driving away Mr. Goat casually remarks, "We should try that ginger maple syrup on the pork chops we've got at home"

Well, blogland, I'll admit it.  I think I may have cackled a bit.  And then whole heartedly agreed that it sounded delicious.

And wouldn't you know it...it was.  Even Mr. Goat thought so.

It only took 12 years, but this just goes to show you:  Change is ALWAYS possible.

(Do you have any weird food pairings that I should try?)

Yo Gabba Gabba Live Winner!

Well, this morning I drew for the Yo Gabba Gabba Live! winner.  I wish I could bring all of the lovely people who entered but alas I just have a single set of tickets to give away.  And that winner is.... Comment number 13!  Or Liz Skokan who wrote...
What else can I say other than... There's a party in my tummy!!! It works wonders getting picky eater to try new stuff.
Congratulations to Liz, watch your email!  And thank you for all who entered our Yo Gabba Gabba Live giveaway!  For those who didn't win tickets for Yo Gabba Gabba Live can still be purchased here for their shows on Sept 15th at the State Theatre!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Two and a half

On my birthday little goat you also happened to turn two and a half.  TWO AND A HALF?!?!?!  That blows my mind.   I feel like each 6 months of your life end up being defining in some way.  For example:

1st 6 months - learning to eat and grow - you stayed home with mommy or daddy this whole 6 months and the whole time was  seeking to catch up from your slow preemie start.

2nd 6 months - I can MOVE! - sitting up, crawling, eating, etc.

3rd 6 months - TEETH! - transitions - new teeth, new walking, etc.

4th 6 months - Go GO GO! - moving from walking to running everywhere.

5th 6 months - Language - going from a few words into a huge vocabulary with mini sentences.

and now we are at the next 6 month period.  What on earth will these 6 months bring?

I do know a few things that will be constants based on what we've learned about each other so far.

  • If you do something you do it at full speed with 110% effort.  If you try to avoid something you also do it at full speed with 110% effort.
  • You are fearless.  And from someone who has fears quite naturally this puts me in awe of you.
  • So are so social.  You love people even if you are sometimes shy.  Once you know someone they are worthy of hugs, and playing together and being included in prayers.
  • Whoa to those who have to try to make little goat do something he doesn't want to do.
  • Vacation cemented one thing in your head - "Other people have fun once you go to bed" - and now you want to stay up for the party.  Because it clearly isn't a party unless you are there.  Consquently bedtime has been a real challenge lately, but when you do finally fall asleep you seem to sleep as intensely as you live.
  • The world is a better place thanks to Barney, Elmo, Blue and the Backyardigans.
  • If it has a plane, train, truck, boat, or car on it, with it, or nearby we want it.
  • You are by no means "bad" but you are always testing boundaries.  It has hard to be consistent when you are so much more stubborn and determined than I am sometimes.  Even when you don't know what you want, you know what you DON'T want very strongly.  I'm sure that all kids go through this but it is surprises me the strength - physical and mental - that you are willing to battle against something you don't want to do.
  • And yet, I can't help but thinking that we are very lucky and blessed with you.  Your stubbornness and tenacity still are positive qualities in so many ways.

We've come so far - this little threesome family of ours.  I hope you will forgive you mom and dad when we fail you.  We always try our best.  We wouldn't be the same without you.  We might get more sleep, the house might (might) be cleaner, but our lives would be a lot more boring.

Congratulations on being two and a half little goat.  I hope the next 6 months are the best ones yet!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

32 goals for my 32nd year

Wow!  It is my birthday again!  I'm always amazed how fast time seems to fly as an adult, particularly when specific days can drag on seemingly forever!  I actually did pretty well with last year's goals, some big ones were crossed off the list which is wonderful.  Not everything was accomplished of course so there are a few repeats on this year's lists, but there are some new goals too!  If you want to see how I did on previous lists you can see 31 for 31 here and all the others on the sidebar of the blog!

I am really in a good place heading into this birthday.  It feels like there are always things to change about yourself to make yourself even more you, but as I grow older I become more comfortable with who I already am.  Any of the goals I accomplish this year is icing on the birthday cake as far as I'm concerned!


32 for 32

1.  Learn to make homemade spaghetti sauce using our garden's tomatoes.  Mr. Goat and I figured this one out!

2.  Find an amazing pair of boots that fit (a challenge with "meaty" calves). They are short boots, but beautiful.

3.  Go see the new Muppet movie in theaters.  Opening weekend no less.


4.  Continue to give up soda - no soda all year long.  10 months and counting...

5.  Host a holiday in our own home.

6.  Get a real Christmas tree for Christmas.  We couldn't do this in our apartment.  Done!

7. Figure out a mail system that I can actually keep up on.

8.  Find a place to volunteer regularly.

9.  Finish unpacking our home.

10.  Finish another 5k or two and break the 50 minute mark.

11.  Potty train baby goat so he can go to preschool next fall.

12.  Track everything I eat for one month minimum.  4 months+ and counting on tracking.

13.  Sew something I can wear.

14.  Take a class just for me.

15.  Roast a whole chicken.  I will do this someday...

16.  Attend a professional sports game - baseball, hockey, football, etc.

17.  Create a Mama's reading nook.

18.  Try weekly meal planning for 1 month.

19.  Go on a date once a month with my husband.

20.  Find one free-lance writing gig.

21.  Take a class with little goat - swimming, music, etc   Swimming and Music so far.

22.  Bake a birthday cake with little goat for Mr. Goat.

23.  Go back to the beach.

24.  Do a monthly health challenge each month - Sept: No Fries

25.  Learn to use a snow blower.

26.  Build a snowman in our yard with little goat.   There was no real snow this year... :(

27.  Workout with a trainer even if it is just once to get a plan in place.

28.  See a dietictian or nutritionist to get a plan in place.

29.  Smile more.  Laugh more.  Sleep more.

30.  Don't be embarrassed when I am being me.

31.  Keep my car clean.

32.  Daily choose grace, peace and joy over anxiety, negative-thinking and doubt.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Yo Gabba Gabba Live Giveaway!


Last year baby goat and I attended Yo Gabba Gabba Live! with my friend Missy and her children.  Despite the fact that he was just one at the time he LOVED the music and the dancing.  He had a great time, and all the other kids at the concert did too.  So when I was contacted with a chance to giveaway some tickets to one of my readers I knew I had to do it.

You do know about Yo Gabba Gabba right?


I admit, it is one of those shows that both baffles me and delights me.  It manages to pull some really fun guest stars, most with small kids of their own, so you KNOW they are doing something right.  Some of my favorite episodes have Jake Black, "Weird" Al, and the Roots.  And the music is catchy and kids LOVE it.

Yo Gabba Gabba has a lot of the highlights of the show - including all your favorite characters, and plenty of dancing.  Even if your children have never seen the show it will definitely catch their imagination, it did with my clueless 1 yr old last year and I know little goat will love it this year too!

And you can too!  I have four tickets to giveaway to one lucky reader!  The show is Thursday September 15th at the State Theatre at either 3:00pm or 6:00pm (your choice).  To enter simply share one of your favorite kids songs - from Yo Gabba Gabba or not!  Don't forget to leave your email address too so I can get in touch with you if you win.

But don't stop there!  You have THREE chances for extra entries: (Please leave an additional comment for each additional entry).

1.  Follow Random Thoughts of a Lutheran Geek on Google Friend Connect or in an RSS reader.
2.  Follow Lutherliz on twitter and tweet about the giveaway.
3.  Follow the Lutheran Geek on Facebook.

Good luck to all who enter.  The winner will be drawn on Friday September 2nd at 9:00pm.  I will choose the winner using Random.org and contact the winner by email.

* Our family was provided tickets to this concert as well but all opinions based on last year's show are my own. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A case of the "afters"

Ok folks I have a serious case of the Afters.  It is quite debilitating and has kept me from making the moves to get healthy lately.  What are the Afters you may ask?  Allow me to demonstrate...

I'll workout AFTER I get back from vacation.
I'll start tracking my food AFTER my birthday.
I'll get back on track with healthy eating AFTER the state fair.
I'll commit to a 5k AFTER the school year kicks off.

After, After, After.

After is not so much an excuse but a stall tactic, a procrastination tool.  The fact of the matter is that I am feeling fat and my clothes are ill fitting.  Vacation Bible School, a funeral, vacation, travel, work, all of those things combined in the last two months and frankly I ducked my head and tried to ride it all out.  And in that process the things that help me feel better - eating well, drinking water, working out - fell by the wayside.  I don't mean that as an excuse, it was reality for a while.

But we are back to normal, or at least as calm and normal as life ever is.  And I am dragging my feet.  I KNOW it will make me feel better than I do now - sluggish and run down.  I know I am healthier for it, but I keep going to the Afters.   But you know what, there is always another After available to you.  After the birthday and the state fair then we aren't too far from Halloween (candy is already out in stores - a rant for another day), and then Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's day, winter hibernation...

There is ALWAYS an after you can use.  But it doesn't make it any less avoiding the situation.  I have an bad case of the afters, but I don't want to have it anymore.

The ACTION PLAN:
This weekend is my birthday as well as the State Fair.  I'll be walking lots at the State Fair so that is a plus, but I know it will be full of pot holes for me.  So here is my three point action plan.

Point 1: Write down everything I eat this weekend - birthday cake, State Fair food, everything.
Point 2: Drink at least 100oz of water each day this weekend.
Point 3: Go to the gym/run outside at least once this weekend.

These may seem like small things, but necessary for me to start SOMETHING and not let the Afters win over my thinking this weekend.  Will you help hold me accountable?

Monday, August 22, 2011

On the plane

We flew to NC and back on a non-stop trip to Raleigh.  We chose this destination since 1. we had a 3 hr drive to get to our ultimate location no matter where we flew into and 2. non-stop flight with a toddler.  Need I say more.

One of the things that made our flight relatively painless was a borrowed CARES Harness.  We didn't bring our car seat on the plane but instead this FAA approved device turned little goat's seat belt into a 4 pt harness similar to his normal car seat.  This was so helpful because once he was strapped in he did little to fight the seat belt.  And let's face it, airplane seat belts aren't hard to open, so this was essential.

Also helpful to our success:  Bribery.  In this case via Barney DVDs and jellybeans.  As a parent you do what you must to survive.

It isn't to say it was entirely smooth, but it really was pretty painless all things considered.  Our flight home was better than our flight out, but he was so tired that he took a sizeable nap on the flight back.   Unfortunately the 1 yr old in the seat in front of me was not so well behaved.  I felt badly for the parents as the child was clearly overtired and yet unable to settle down.  I gave them kind looks and offered up little goat's goldfish, and played peek-a-boo over the seat when I could help.   

What was interesting was my seatmate.  The plane was two seats on each side so little goat and Mr. Goat sat on one side and I got to plane seatmate roulette.  And boy, I hit the jackpot in an elderly, sick, opinionated Indian woman.  Actually it was plenty enjoyable but I was a little taken a back.  As the child in front of us cried the woman kept interrupting the parent's attempts to calm her and demanding a chance to comfort the child herself.  I realize that she was just trying to help but it takes a lot to pester a set of parents for the chance to take their child.  Worse she kept looking to me to try to translate and help get her point across to the parents.  Um sorry, the baby can stay where she belongs lady.

All in all, it was very strange.

But we survived the planes with a toddler and it turned out just fine.  Still we aren't headed any place exciting soon.  The Goat family is grounded for now, but grateful for our time away.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Beach Baby







Clearly he didn't have any fun.  And his new favorite word certainly isn't "Beach."  He definitely does NOT go around demanding of anyone who will listen, "Beach. More. Go. Suit. Beach. Go."

A bigger recap to come but I need to pack up and get all the sand out of our clothes to get ready for our flight tomorrow.  Long story short, fun was had by all.  Sunburns by some, but to mama's credit the toddler didn't get a single sunburn!  Mom Points!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Seven Stages

So here we are on vacation.  I'm sure that all vacations with children provide endless hours of interesting vacation stories, but I'm am beginning to doubt the that anyone can have a relaxing vacation with a toddler.  For example, in our 5 days so far we have been to urgent care once, called poison control once, and watched way more Barney than suits a vacation.  And in fact most of these things are related to one central aspect of our vacation-with-toddler that has managed to hold the 8 adults here hostage:  Little goat, joy of my heart, seems to be boycotting sleep.

Now I am able write this out because I have spent the better part of an hour coaxing my little one into slumber.  And by coaxing, I mean wrestling, crying, fighting and avoiding being kicked.  It hasn't been pretty, in fact it has made me very self-conscious and anxious as a mother.  To be failing at one of the few things that kids really need in front of all my ILs, well, it is just a little hard to stomach.

There are reasons of course.  We've been in different beds.  Our meal times our messed up.  He's getting more sugar than usual, and there are all sorts of fun things to do other than sleep.  Oh yeah, and he has an ear infection. (hence urgent care).  I get it.  I really do.  He's all messed up and it is a symptom of a fun vacation.  After all little goat has really taken to the beach.  Being outside with the water and the sand is about the only thing he wants to do.  But it is taking its toll on me and the whole family's vacation and I feel somewhat responsible.

In bemoaning little goat's lack of sleep however I realized something interesting:  getting a toddler to sleep is much like the seven stages of grief.  For those who don't know, the seven stages of grief were developed to describe the common responses to grieving that people feel in a loss.  They don't have an order and people can jump in and out of stages quickly or in a long time.  COmmonly the seven stages are:
- Shock or Disbelief
- Denial
- Anger
- Bargaining
- Guilt
- Depression
- Acceptance and Hope

And let me tell you, they don't only apply to grief.  They definitely apply to naptime and bedtime as well.  Allow me to demonstrate:

Shock or Disbelief
Mama: Little Goat it is time to get ready for bed
LG: WHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAA! (flailing may or may not occur here)

Denial
After he realizes I am serious he often stops flailing and attempts to continue what ever playing he was doing prior to the announcement.  He will play with toys, or try to leave the room and go outside.  

Mama:  Sorry little dude, it is time for bed.
LG: No mama, beach, water...
Mama:  Nope, bedtime, let's go get our pjs on.
LG: No mama, barney, choo-choos, book...no na-nap.

Anger
This stage is often the most difficult as it involves hitting, fighting and tantrums.  If you manage to get ready for bed before this stage this can be done safely on the mattress but otherwise limbs may be in danger (yours and the toddler's).  This stage is mostly non-verbal.

Bargaining
LG: More book mama.  (mama reads a book).
LG: More water mama. (water is retrieved).
LG: Elmo mama. (Stuffed elmo located).
etc.

Until mama decides to break the cycle...often leading back to anger, or onto guilt.

Guilt
As I am not sure that toddler's feel much guilt yet, this seems to change a bit into a guilt trip to the bedtime initiator.  Little goat is very good about insisting something is hurting "Owie Mama" or that he is cold, sad or lonely.  9 times out of ten this is a ploy to put off bed even longer.

Depression
This often takes the form of baby goat crying on his bed, finally not trying to escape it, but too upset to even put up the fight any more.  Frankly I am always glad to reach this stage.  As much as I don't like to hear little goat crying it is a sign to me that we are finally on the way to...

Acceptance
Finally the toddler will recognize that you mean business (2 minutes, 2 hours or 2 days later) and will give in to the sleep process.  Generally this is right before your last shred of patience blows away.  It may have involved 5 or 6 parental tag outs, but this is a glorious moment as the crying gives way to snoring.

It may be that I am along in this comparison, but right now finding humor in this is the only way I'm making it through.  We have a fair amount of vacation left and I'm determined to enjoy it, but little goat (while having fun) is doing his best to make life difficult for the rest of us.

Makes me wish there was an ambien for toddlers.

(Just kidding).

(Well, mostly just kidding).

Love from the beach,
Mama Goat

P.S.  Send wine.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Greetings from North Carolina!

It seems strange to say that I am FINALLY on vacation but it appears that this is now fact.  There was a time there I didn't think we'd get everything packed and ready to go but somehow it all came together.  We flew in yesterday and little goat did quite well, all things considering.  Only some minor seatbelt refusal at the beginning and some ear pain on landing.  I will take it.  We spent last night and tonight with Mr. Goat's grandmother and tomorrow we pack up and all head to the BEACH! 

It seems strange but I can't remember every really having a beach vacation before.  At least not this way.  I remember visiting my grandfather in FL once but I think we only went to the beach one day of the week.  And I've been on a cruise too but again spent only one day on primarily on the beach.  I guess I tend to be of the "doing" vacation vein.

BUT...

Tomorrow we hit the beach.  I suspect that this will be right up little goat's alley but I have to admit I have some parental anxiety.  Yes there are more eyes to watch over him, but sometimes I think more eyes makes everyone a little more lax.  And there is the cannal and the beach to worry about.  Sharks!  Undertow!  Sand germs!  Jellyfish!  Hurricanes!  (Ok, yes, I am getting a bit melodramatic, but that's what mom brain's do sometimes.)

Still I am looking forward to sitting under an umbrella with nothing on the schedule but napping, reading and playing with the boy and the extended Goat family.  And I hope to play some fun card games and even sneak off for an afternoon to go watch the Harry Potter movie (which I STILL haven't seen.  Geek fail!)

Vacations have a cost to pay and I'm sure I'll feel more than a little panicky when I return to work but for a few days I'm just going to enjoy life.  I'll try to blog some but I don't know if I'll have internet access or not so we'll just see.

But really, what is the internet when you have unlimited hush puppies and a fruity beverage at your beck and call.  (Ok, I'm just dreaming there but it would be lovely).

Hope things go well in my absence.  I promise to take a lot of pictures!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

I'm feeling sort of whiny and in the weeds at the moment.  I am at the intersection of pre-vacation panic parkway and summer cold lane after all.  But I am still excited for vacation and most of what has been keeping me crazy busy is good.  So I'm going to blog my way into a better sense of gratefulness.  So even sick and stressed I now present: 

Liz's Top Ten reasons today was Awesome!
10.  The weather was a perfect Minnesota summer day!
9.    We got to eat our first two tomatoes out of our garden!
8.    Grilled burgers with Gouda and the said tomatoes!
7.    Catching up on blogging and Design Star at the same time!
6.    My phone might have finally had its glitches fixed!
5.    I get to watch Little Goat learn to love trains as much as his Father!
4.    Little Goat got a good report from daycare for the first time in a while! (no toy throwing!)
3.    I'm not in a car for 7 hours today!
2.    I got to rescue a small frog who found his way into our basement before the cats found him!
1.    I got a free lunch at Good Earth because there was an ordering mix-up!

Vacation in two days.  I can make it!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Bittersweet

It is late.  In a hotel room.  We had a 7 hr drive today.  Tomorrow is a funeral for my step-Grandfather.  But really the step is a formality.  He was my Grandfather for 27 years.  That is not small change.
It is sad yes, but also joyous.  He was 89 and lived a good life.  He was kind and gentle and called me Lizzer.  Little goat never got to meet him because either he or Papa Fran were too sick the few times we had him in town.  I know he would have loved him.

But you know, in sad circumstances I get to see the family that is scattering to the winds.  I get to see my aunts and uncles, and little goat gets to be properly spoiled by them.  I get to see my cousins - to hear about the new baby, the upcoming wedding, the Bar exam.  I get to see my sister before she moves from Michigan (sort of far away) to DC (really far away).

Little goat gets to see who and where we come from and he fits right in, a pea in this gene pod.  He is one of us intrinsically and to see the family all together with my grandmother at the center, it makes me smile in my sadness and laugh into my beer.

Tomorrow we'll say goodbye to Papa Fran, but I remain blessed by this family of mine and I hope little goat realizes it too!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Priorities

Little goat was home today.  Daycare was closed so he was supposed to be home anyway, hanging out with Auntie Goat, but it was clear this morning that he had pinkeye.  So the doctor was called, cuddles were given and after the nearly 6 hours it took to get on the ped calendar for the day it was clear that I was staying home.

Now, my desk is filled with stuff that needs doing yesterday.  I'm still cleaning up from VBS and the fall planning is in full gear.  And there are teeth fillings, funerals and vacations that are all going to take days away this week and next.  But, I stayed home.

And as I drived home from Target with eye drops I realized something...

I made the right choice.

I was able cuddle with my son today.  To put him down for his nap.  To take him to the doctor.  To vacuum the basement.  To do the little mom stuff that I often miss doing being a full time work-out-of-home mom.  After VBS and the last approx 130 work hr two weeks I was worried that I had my priorities all messed up.  VBS takes SO much attention that it is hard to focus on anything else, even the family.

But here we are.  I am busy, stressed even.  There is lots to do.  And I have a sitter in my house.  But I still made the right decision.  I choose little goat.  I will always choose him when he needs me.  And it felt good to realize that nothing will change that...even VBS.

It was an unplanned day, but it was a great one because for the first time in a long time I felt no guilt about where I was and what I was doing.  Today I made the right choice, even if it was over something so minor as pinkeye.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Bad Mommy Blogger

So here I am, featured in a local magazine about being a mommy blogger, and I have been MIA for nearly two weeks straight.  Bad mommy blogger, bad.  The truth is I've been keeping my head just above water with work and family obligations.  Because you know, YOU KNOW, that your toddler has an asthma/cold attack midweek into Vacation Bible School. 

But VBS is over, little goat is slowly on the mend, and my brain is slowing stopping the endless pong game of to-do lists and half completed thoughts.  And if it took my two days of staring at a wall to get back there, well then that is what it took.

I wish I could say that this was an anomaly but for the second year in a row July has felt like a too fast treadmill outside in 100 degree weather.  The 100 degree weather is legitimate too seeing as it has been impossibly hot and humid here.  I do like summer, but the heat and humidity is not for me.  It makes me want to hibernate in a nice A/C'ed basement somewhere, but instead it has been one thing (some good, some bad, some just busy) after another.

I suppose this is part of learning to be an adult, the keeping your feet under you when the world seems to be going at a pace you don't feel quite ready for yet.  Still I really hope that there will be a time to stop and take a deep cleansing breath soon.  We have a vacation around the corner and I am anxious about all that needs to happen to get away but longing for some time with some waves and sand and family.

But, I will try to get to all of the things that are worth sharing here because even in the crazy, busy, whirlwind of this summer there are things that I don't want to forget and stuff to share with you.  So I will be here, Random and Geeky as always, and I hope you are still here too.  The tiny spot on the internet is dear to me, as are all of you.

Monday, July 25, 2011

What I've been up too...

VBS prep 24/7.  But with the help of some wonderful volunteers, some amazing friends, and a lot of prayer and hard work it all came together and our first day was a hit so far.  Hopefully the rest of the week will go just as smoothly because all of this really took a toll on me.  But I'm on the mend too thanks to a hubby and SIL who let me rest after work.
Our Registration Table

The Preschool Entrance

The Entrance to Snack room (still a bit in progress)

There is lots more.  Stuff from VBS (including our big set) and lots of fun stuff, reviews and giveaways but some pictures is all I can manage tonight.  For those of you who helped along the way by cheering me on, or helping out. THANK YOU!

Now that I'm through the first day I am reminded how much all this work is worth it.  Not only do I love VBS, but the kids to do.  And that is the most important part!

Monday, July 18, 2011

4 weeks

Well, I've been pretty down on myself weight wise.  I'm eating lots of fruits, but also lots of yummy grilled meats and ice cream lately.  The gym, well, that is non existent these days.  It is all work and family.  The family stuff is great, just busy and filled with new furnaces and family gatherings and the occasional summer cold (of course).  And work is in full throttle right now.

Still these feel some what like excuses but they are also the truth right now.  Realistically I've never been good about maintaining a healthy lifestyle during stressful times.  (I'm not very good at it in non-stressful times too but that's easier to work on).

But, today I need to highlight a victory.  Any victory.

And I realized today that it has been exactly 4 weeks since I gave up diet coke and all soda.  Since that time I have not had ONE DROP of soda.  Not at picnics, or at work, or during stressful times.  Not for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Not with alcohol.  Not. One. Drop.

And it wasn't easy.

Sure, I've had some more coffee than normal. (learning I like iced coffee with non-fat milk and just a bit of sweetener).  I've had a metric ton of unsweetened ice tea (my caffeine source right now it seems).  I've had some sparkling water, some juice, some more milk and LOTS more water.

The cravings are lessening and are more situational than bodily right now.  I want a diet coke because I'm stressed or tired or miss the taste more than I physically crave one.  My appetite seems smaller and has moved somewhat away from the really bad for you foods.  Burgers and fries just don't taste as good as they used too.  Salads taste awesome.

I can still struggle with drinking enough, particularly if I forget my water bottle at home each day, but I am a lot more hydrated each day.  I am also having LOTs less caffeine, usually just one dose - a coffee or tea - a day.

As for the scale, I haven't been on it, but really that doesn't matter in terms of this diet coke battle.  I think it was important to do regardless of whether it helps me lose weight or not.

I won't lie, sometimes I think giving it up is just plain silly.  As vices go it seems like such a mild one.  And yet, it was something that was controlling my life.  I spent lots of money on it and it really gave me no benefits.

So 4 weeks and counting.  I think I need to get myself a little something to honor my one month mark, (technically 2 days from now), but I'm feeling poor and haven't found something awesome yet.  But my eyes are open for something fabulous.  (I'm open to suggestions).

I do miss diet coke and soda, but overall I'm so pleased to have made it this far.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Man-child realization

I took a bit of time away from VBS prep this weekend to go up to our church camp with our kids (4th-12th graders).  It was fun to be goofy and do all those fun church camp things.  I get to work with such great kids.  It was fun and great to get away from the chaos of VBS prep work but while I was up at camp I came to a startling realization.

Little goat will almost certainly be taller than me some day.

Yes, I know, this should be obvious but it wasn't something I'd really stopped to take in.  And it is more than just the height.  It is that some day my son, my little baby, will become this Man-Child like some of the kids at camp this weekend.

Someday little goat will be another one of the smelly, boisterous, tall, man-child boys of those middle school and high school years.  And I'm really not sure how I feel about it.  On the one hand, I can hardly take in the speed at which baby goat has become little goat already.  It is exciting but a little scary watching him change and grow. 

But on the other hand, I know that he can be a wonderful man-child.  I hope to help him grow into a kind, gentle, respectful man-child. 

Still, the thought of the future blows my mind.

It goes so fast... baby goat, toddler goat, boy goat, man-child goat.  I'm afraid to blink.  I don't want to miss a thing.