Monday, February 28, 2011

CSN Winner

I drew for the CSN giveaway tonight.  I am pleased to announce that Katrina won.  Congratulations Katrina you win a $65 gift code from CSN. 

Thank you to everyone who has visited the blog and entered to win.  I hope you'll come back again soon!


Never boring

My life will never be boring.  Even when I long for a nice boring uneventful week to recover and recouperate myself and as a family it simply cannot be it seems.

This morning I went outside after a slow morning (because baby goat didn't have a great night of sleep being awake several extended times between 3am and 6:30am).  I hopped in my car, started it up and put it in reverse.  And there there was a loud "KaTHUNK" and the passenger rear side of my car dropped to the ground.

Damn - did I blow another tire I thought?  I wasn't sure how that would happen in a parking lot but what other explanation is there?

So I put the car in park, and got out to go investigate.  I really wish I'd taken a picture of what I saw next to show you but I didn't have my camera and my cell phone attempt didn't work out.  What I saw was that I was missing an entire wheel.  No flat tire because there was NO tire.

I stood there in the snow in disbelief as the reality sunk in.  Someone had stolen my wheel.  One single wheel.  Silly me, it never occurred to me to check that I had four wheels before trying to drive off in the morning.  Over to the side was a piece of a 2 x 4 which had apparently been used to prop the tire up.  The thief also left the lug nuts "thoughtfully" in a row on my trunk.  Apparently they didn't need those - just my WHEEL.

Oh the ridiculousness of this and the annoyance.

Right now it is 2:30 - I've been dealing with this for 6 hours already and have at least 2 more to go until my car is ready to go.  My day is shot, my work delayed.

I've spoken with the police and had a policewoman say "I've never seen THIS before."

I've spoken with AAA getting someone to come find a way to jack up the car and put on my spare.  She said, "I've never heard of THIS happening"

I've called the insurance company and the claims adjustor just agreed, "Well THIS is a first"

I talked to the service guy who got my spare on - "Wait until I tell the boss about this one"

And the dealer, "They took just one wheel?  I've never heard of that"

So some jerk is driving around with my Mazda 3 wheell and I'm out my $500 deductible to get the whole thing replaced (estimate at $800).  I'm trying to make light of it because it is ridiculous but the light-hearted view is fading to some serious grouchiness at the turn my finances and my day have taken over a jerk thief and a stupid wheel.

But the thing that really pissed me off - the Voice mail from the apartment office with the cheery lady telling me that I "can't leave my car in the parking lot that way"  Um, yes, I routinely take off my own tires just to leave my car safer.  I called them back to inform them that no I didnn't "leave" my car that way but that I had a tire stolen in their parking lot - they didn't apologize.

I am so ready to move.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

2 Good 2 Be True

Oh baby goat,

Can I call you a baby any more?  While you will always be MY baby you are really no longer a baby.  I mean really just look at you...

See?  All little boy.  A little boy who is growing by leaps and bounds.  Who the second I write about being worried about your talking seems to add a constant chatter of new words and sounds...not that I comprehend it all.  But comprehension can come with time and enunciation, and there is no question that he understands us.
We had a small family party at our apartment - the last such celebration we are likely to have there as we are moving in a few weeks.  I always get a bit choked up celebrating baby goat's birthday because of the rather traumatic premature birth that we dealt with, so it is extra special to see family surround us, the same family who was so supportive of us during those days.

Baby goat was much more into the presents this year, even more aware of them since Christmas two months before.  And he got into them with relish.  We kept things small as everything new needs to be moved again soon.  Still baby goat didn't have too few items to open - his babysitter even brought by a few presents for our boy.  (Aww)

It is so amazing to see him really look and play with toys now - to work on colors, and letters and body parts.  His constant refrain right now is both "wha'da?" and "Dat der" - What's that? and That there? which are both our cues to supply him with the word that he is looking for.  He rarely repeats them still but he files them away in that giant toddler noggin and I know that we are on the cusp of real communication.
We are also apparently closer to potty training that I would have guessed since he's asked to sit on the potty twice this weekend.  So while we aren't beginning anything yet, we went and got a potty for him so that we are prepared when he asks again.  If you have potty training advice please let me know becuase I am just guessing right now - and have particularly no clue about little boys.

(I love this look on your face as I light the candle for another round of blowing it out - it is VERY reminiscent of his uncle Brother Goat who had a childhood affinity for fire!)

He is such a happy child.  Yes, he has his moments but most of the time he go through life with grace and good cheer.  He shares toys at daycare.  He follows instructions.  He sleeps.  We are lucky in so many regards but mostly it is simply because he is in our lives.  I think of his first two years of life and I am blown away by all the changes we see in him - yet he are the same hairy joyful fiesty guy who captured our hearts two years ago.
I wonder what this next year will bring. I know we'll have a house for him to run and play and I can't wait to see him frolicking in our back yard.  Sometimes it seems like a dream this huge gift that I have been given - to be his mother and to get to love him.  Happy birthday baby goat!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Lutheran Geek Two Truths and a Lie Blog Carnival

So the other night just before bed I was thinking of that ice breaker game - Two Truths and a Lie.  You know the one where you share three "facts" about yourself but one of them is untrue.  Then people have to guess which one is the lie.  And I thought that it had great potential for a fun blog carnival where we could hop from blog to blog guessing and meeting new people.  And so the Two Truths and a Lie Blog Carnival was born.  I invite you to play along.  You can link up below (email me and I can share the link html with you as well).

So without further ado my three "facts:"

1. I was interviewed on a radio show in Argentina.  TRUE!  I was down in Azul, Argentina on a church mission trip.  We supported a church-run daycare for low-income families down there and the pastor and I were interviewed on the local radio talking about our trip and our mission and how education differs in America from Argentina.

2. I took communion at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican even though I am not Catholic.  TRUE! Though my parents don't remember me taking communion, I couldn't pass up the opportunity.  In many Catholic services I don't partake if I am worried about offending someone but how often are you at worship in St. Peter's Basilica.  We even stayed after service to see Pope John Paul II wave from the window at noon.

3. I have been swimming in the Sea of Galilee. FALSE!  I did stick my toe in the Sea of Galilee but it was too cold as it was January.  A few folks went swimming but I didn't.  We did go swimming in the Dead Sea a week or so later!

So which one is the lie?  Take a guess in the comments.  And then play along on your own blog, link up and hop around the blogs to get to know each other better.  We will reveal the correct answers on our original posts on Monday February 28th so stop back to see if you were right!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Random Thoughts

* I hate matching socks.  I know I should pin them together to wash them but I don't and then I hate matching them.  So I often put it off and then I'm scrambling in the morning trying to find a matching pair.  Socks I hate them - is it sandal season yet?

* I'm getting a complex.  I keep reading all these blogs who have kids near baby goat's age (pregnant women seek out pregnancy blogs I guess and then the kids all grow together).  Anyway, all these, primarily girls, are turning two and the accounts of them are so verbal.  "My just two year old speaks in complete sentences, and knows the whole alphabet, and reads, and counts to 10 and does calculus in her sleep"  It is making me a bit crazed because baby goat said "Dada Ba" the other night and I was gleeful that we had a sentence!  (Ba = bath)  I know I shouldn't stress and he comprehends a lot but I get jumpy that he's somehow behind.  I don't think so deep down but seriously are all just two year olds so verbal?

* Speaking of, baby goat turns two on Saturday and I'm thrilled.  Of course he's been sick since Friday but hopefully will be back at daycare tomorrow so I can run around frantically 1. Working 2. Cleaning 3. Planning a party.  I know he won't remember his birthday party but I sort of feel like I'm half-assing it right now.

* In other news we close on our house in a month.  As soon as baby goat's birthday passes, we are in full packing mode.  I'm completely thrilled and more than a little manic about all that needs to happen in the next month but it will all be worth it in the end.

* I am ready for spring.

* Sadly my gym going and healthy eating has been difficult for the last two weeks.  I just don't ever feel calm enough to catch my breath and acutally plan ahead.  But I got some Chobani Greek yogurt to try for breakfasts so I can start the day right.  I hope that will be a good start for the day for me.

* Still I am still on track for my No-Drive Thru Challenge for Feb.   I'm trying to figure out what my March challenge will be.  I am open to ideas?  Maybe a "Try one new recipe a week" challenge?  Or "Eat Breakfast everyday?"

* Thursday I am working on a Blog Carnival if anyone wants to jump in.  It will be a Two Truths and a Lie Blog Carnival so everyone can meet some new people and guess on each others blogs.  Let me know if you want in.  I'll be sending out an email about it tomorrow!

* Mt. Laundry calls, as does the dishes and I hope to get to bed soon.  So goodnight blogland.  Sleep tight.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

CSN Giveaway

We are counting down the days until baby goat's 2nd birthday so this seems like a perfect week to have giveaway on my blog.  I've worked with this company before and they are so wonderful about supporting people out there by letting me give away free $$.  I am talking of course about CSN Stores.

One of the wonderful things about having a new house means that I am spending a lot of time dreaming aout what we could do in our house and our yard and one of the things that I'm dreaming about...swing sets!  And just like CSN has a store for nearly everything you could imagine they also have one for swing sets!

I can lose hours browsing that site.  :)

And you can too!  This time CSN have offered one of my blog readers $65 at any one of their 200 stores.  So you could get all something for your wardrobe, your kids, your house or anything else that strikes yours your fancy.

To enter just leave a comment with one dream item you'd like to add to your house

For an extra entry you can do any of the following things.  Please leave an additional comment for every entry.

1.  Follow the Lutheran Geek on Facebook (1 entry)
2.  Follow me on Twitter (1 entry)
3.  Follow this blog on the left (1 entry)

And then good luck!
CSN will provide the winner with a gift code for $65.  I did not recieve anything for this giveaway, I just enjoy giving things away.  This giveaway runs until Monday Feb 28th at 9pm. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

20 Questions

It's time for another round of 20 questions, the New House/Moving Edition:

1. What tips do you have for making a move easy on a child?

2. What did you pack up first and what did you leave for the end?

3. What is one thing you would do differently the next time you had to move?

4. Approx how many clothes do you have in your closet each season?

5. What do you know about consignment stores?

6. Anyone know a good piano tuner?

7. What are the first things that needs to be done in the spring to start a garden? When?

8. What is your trick for keeping your move organized?

9. What is your favorite way to realize a theme in a little boys room?

10. Any one have any kid potties they like?  (Now that we have room for one and we should start talking about that process..ugh)

11. Besides a place to sleep what do you unpack first?

12. Are housewarming parties tacky or fun?

13.  Who do you have to call specifically to change your address and who can you send a postcard/email to?

14.  What should you be sure to do in your new house before you move in?

15.  How do you go from college/hand-me down "chic" to some sort of real style without spending too much money?

16. Any other packing tips?

17.  What are must haves for lawn care/house care?  Lawn mower - what else?

18. What should I get baby goat for his birthday next week?

19. Which do you prefer - Tricycle, Big Wheel, or Balance Bike?

20.  Any tips for reducing moving stress?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Resistance is Futile

Probably my all-time favorite tv show is Star Trek: The Next Generation.  It came out in my formative years beginning when I was 7 and running until I was 14.  I still remember watching the very first episode with my mom who was properly geeked out at the thought of a new Star Trek series.  Star Trek gave me my first TV crush - Wil Wheaton as Wesley Crusher - as well as my first true Sci-fi obssession.

One of the most famous "bad" alien races in the series were the Borg.  They had cube spaceships and operated more as a hive or a collective with their organic bodies melded to mechanic ones.  They had no individuality and operated as one.  Their mission was to seek the galaxy and take over as many planets and peoples as possible in order to enhance and increase their technology and knowledge and they weren't really friendly about it.  They took what they wanted.  Their motto: 

Resistance is Futile

They become true enemies thorughout the series, threatening earth, kidnapping Captain Picard and assimilating him (shown above) and generally causing bad guy trouble.  And of course, when threatened by the Borg the Enterprise and the Federation never stopped resisting.

The Borg insisted, and were very persuasive in trying to convince their opponents, that Resistance was indeed  futile.  And at times it seemed like that was a true statement and that the good guys were doomed.  But in the end their resistance of the Borg was never futile.  For all the loses that they suffered in the war with the Borg, they always prevailed in the end.

Lately the Borg is my head.  It is insistant that resistance is futile.  Resistance to food is futile.  Resistance to being fat is futile.  Resistance to laziness is futile.  That is my head's belief - Resistance is Futile.

But today, in the face of this refrain I remembered Star Trek TNG and realized that even in the darkest, most frustrating or scary times resistance was never futile.  Resistance to weight gain, compulsive eating, laziness, disordered thinking about food and self-image, any of it, is NEVER futile.  It may take me a year or two or twelve but so long as I refuse to give up it is not a futile attempt.

So even though this weight loss journey hasn't been going well lately today I insist that Resistance is NOT futile and that I will keep resisting.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Lost and Found

LOST: One evening of cleaning.
FOUND: A low-key Valentine's day with the family.

LOST: Piles of snow.
FOUND: Mud, dirt and the promise of spring.

LOST: One floor under toys.
FOUND: The fun of playing on the floor with your kid.

LOST: One cuddly, rolly baby
FOUND: One energetic, joyful toddler

LOST: One apartment under boxes
FOUND: One house to move into.

LOST: One wedding ring
FOUND: The knowledge that my marriage is stronger than symbols no matter how lovely.

I Choo-Choo-Choose you!

Happy Valentine's Day from the Goat Family!  May there be love in your life today and always.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Random Thoughts

* Have you been OUTSIDE today. It is so very lovely and warm. It smells like mud and springtime! Whee!

* Don't you love the quiet time after church on Sunday mornings? Particularly when your church morning was extrodinarily busy and at one point had your toddler wandering aimlessly in front of the altar? At least there were other parents and kids up there celebrating their Faith Marker in worship but still, it felt like a *HEADDESK* moment for me!

* So I realized yesterday that baby goat's second birthday is two weeks away! TWO! How exactly did this happen and that much time pass so quickly. I have to admit that I am more than a bit baffled. On occasion of his second birthday however it seems that baby goat might have grown out his baby goat moniker. So which potential nickname do you like now for him: Toddler goat, Little Goat, Goatlet, others?

* In other shocking news, we move in approximately six weeks! Many of the paperwork details are out of the way now and I'm working on our budget for the move and figuring just how we can pack up our apartment, purge excess stuff and still live and work for the next six weeks. It seems like a puzzle with a few extra hours and dollars missing right now but I know that it will be worth it in the end.

* And plus the sun has me thinking about a YARD and the possiblity of gardening, swings and wagons, and just running and playing in our own spaces. And when I start thinking about that I start to consider all the ways this house may signal new growth for our family. Growing closer together, Growing in maturity, Growing things together, Growing in equity, and maybe sometime even Growing in number (hopefully after some shrinking of size though).

* Last night the family met up with Missy (The Marketing Mama) and her kids at the Twin City Model Railroad Museum for Night Trains. Night Trains is on Saturday nights through Feb 26th and runs from 6-9pm and is extra fun because the lights are dimmed and all the trains and towns have their lights on. It is a really cool experience and baby goat loved it. Come to think of it Mr. Goat loved it to, expect for the part where he slipped and fell on the ice (carrying baby goat). They are both fine but Mr. Goat has a nasty bruised knee to show for it. Still the trains were a lot of fun.

* I think I'm going to have another 20 questions post later this week, so if anyone has some pressing questions they would like to pose to blogland let me know.

* Next week I am going to be giving a talk at my congregation about the importance of Family worship and having your family as a part of a community of a church. In that light I'd love to hear from you all about 1. Why/why not worship is important to your family? 2. What are the challenges you face worshipping with your family? 3. What having a church community means to you? If you feel comfortable answering those things in comments I'd love to hear your thoughts.

* I might add more random thoughts later on but for now I'm going wrap up and close my eyes for a few minutes - a sure sign that baby goat will wake up from his nap promptly.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Fun in the Snow with Auntie Em

Please ignore the too-large gloves, a certain Mama goat forgot our mittens! 
But it didn't seem to slow us down.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Small Changes

At they gym lately I have been drawn to the HGTV on the magical Treadmill and Elliptical TVs (Gosh I love those things a little too much).  It is not surprising as we are in the process of buying our first house and suddenly face the possibility of a space that we own.  Today I watched and episode and a half of Real Estate Intervention.  Basically a Realtor and stager go into a house that isn't selling, tell the owners everything they have done wrong with the look and price of the house, fix it and then the house sells.

So I'm huffing along on the elliptical watching this today and I was struck by how simple (and seemingly obvious) some of the changes that the stager did in the house were - cover the bold paint colors, put kids toys away, add or takeaway furniture to make the house flow and live more obviously.  The changes were small and when taken together they made a huge transformation to the house.  Small changes added up so quickly and eventually sold the house.

Yet, the homeowners at the beginning of the episode were clueless.  They knew something was wrong, and that their home wasn't selling but they couldn't see what could be changed in a place they knew so well and lived in so closely.  It wasn't until someone else saw what could be in the home and began the small changes that they were aware of the impact even tiny alterations could make.

Now this has parallels for me on my health journey.  I look at myself and see a huge mountain to climb.  So much weight to lose, so much to fix.  Even when I see the problems I face, I'm daunted by the immensity of the task at hand.  And that is only where I see them, there are lots that I probably don't.  But nearly a month into this latest attempt to get my act together I need to take a step away for the macro and focus on what has happened on the micro level.  I can't say that my weight has changed more than a few fluctuations but there have been changes.  And if I make myself name them, and see them, then perhaps I can add a few more along the way and they will add up to something big.

So I'm naming my small changes and my tiny successes today.  Here goes:

* I got back into the gym after a stressful and unhealthy week.

* I have found several folks willing to help hold me accountable and with whom I check in regularly.

* I am eating more veggies and enjoying them.

* I am more aware of when I am hungry and when I am full.

* I am more aware of the fact that I feel sluggish after a bad meal and energized after a good one.

* I reach out on Twitter when I need an extra push to get to the gym as planned.

* Our family has gone to the gym together several times - even on a Friday night.

* We have chosen physical activities to do with baby goat in the last month - swimming, ice skating, playing in the snow (with fort shoveling required).

* I am learning how to track my meals with Weight Watchers and holding myself accountable for the food choices I've made.

* I am starting again every morning regardless of the day before.

* My pants fit better right out of the dryer.

* I no longer get winded going up stairs.

* I am trying new foods and making healthier choices.

* I am on track for my No-Drive-Thru Challenge for February.

* I am still working out and working on it and thinking about it every day.

* And when faced with a day, like today, where I have an evening meeting, rather than work a 12 hr day, I took 3 hrs off to eat a slow healthy lunch, finish a book, go workout and write a blog post about the small changes I see so that I don't forget what they are and why I am making them.

What are some small changes you've made and can celebrate?  What are some small changes you'd like to make?

Another Title for Titletown!

Green Bay Packers WIN!  We were excited in the Goat household last night, or at least baby goat and I were, at the Packers winning the Superbowl.  (Mr. Goat grudgingly cheered for the Packers as the better option, for which I am grateful.  It may be of course, that he didn't want to sleep on the couch!)

Baby goat stayed up for the first half of the game and cheered along with Mama!  I may just have the cutest video of him cheering for a Packers Touchdown but I'll have to get that online tonight maybe.  But seriously, have you seen a cuter little Packer Backer?

(Ignore the stockings on the wall, we've been busy around here, at least we took our tree down)

I didn't get a great face first shot because he was entralled by the game!  (That's my boy).
Baby goat went to bed at halftime, thus we were spared the Black Eyed Peas debacle that was the halftime show. The second half nearly gave me a heart attack but we pulled it out and I learned the magic ability of cheering silently at the tv.  There may or may not have been spontaneous dancing, thankfully no record exists to offer conclusive evidence.

I'm also pleased that while I was very full I didn't go crazy on food.  I had two beers yes, and a bowl and a half of Mr. Goat's wild rice soup with ham and lots of veggies.  No chips and dip, no wings, no dessert.  Not too shabby for a Superbowl.  So I will take it as a minor victory.

Also today I'll be parlaying some of this excitement into the elliptical machine!  Go Pack Go!  It has been quite a year.  I'm sad it is over but so thrilled the Pack made it all the way to the top!

And as my Viking fans friends remind me, Twins pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in 10 days.  With the way the Football season ended I'm hoping my baseball teams do as well this year.  Go Twins! Go Cubbies!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

A Too Much/Not Enough Week

Too much work.
Not enough family.

Too much running.
Not enough sleep.

Too much eating.
Not enough working out.

Too much owed.
Not enough left.

Too much whining.
Not enough baby kisses.

Too much promised.
Not enough me.

Too much mess.
Not enough clean.

Too much weight.
Not enough willpower.

Too much force.
Not enough balance.

Too much guilt.
Not enough gentleness.

And yet...

So much love.
More than enough love.

So much given.
More than enough recieved.

Grace abundant.
Grace sufficiant.
Grace to get to a new day.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Why I let baby goat take communion.

I asked folks the other day when they took first communion as a child or when their children did.  The responses ranged from parents discretion, 2nd grade (most Catholics), 5th grade (many Lutherans), and even 8th grade or later.  Most people had to take classes before their first communion ranging from one or two to a whole year of education.

Now as a Children's educator I am a big believer in Christian education.  I think we should teach our children about Communion and why it is important.  We should teach the specifics that our demonations understanding of transformating power that takes place at the Table.  It is vitally important to know something about why Communion is sacramental, to know the story of the Last Supper, and to bring a sense of reverence and awe to this community experience.

Education is one of the ways to make this happen and we should take the time to teach our children the importance of our Christian story and tradition, including Communion.

But, I still let my 23 month old take communion.

It started several months ago.  We do have a 1st Communion class offered each spring for 3rd-5th graders but our Pastors are open to children communing when parents and children seem ready and so the first time that baby goat reached for the bread I simply nodded my assent.  Truthfully I was thinking more about stopping a tantrum rather than analyzing his readiness.

Afterwards I thought about it and wondered what I did think about baby goat recieving communion (bread only, not wine).  After a lot of debate I realized several things.

1. Baby goat knew that something special was going on and he wanted to be a part of it.  I'm convinced that his interest was about more than food, especially since he'd just snacked on a big old cup of cheerios.

2. If Communion has an aspect of rememberance for us - to remember Christ and his death on the cross forgiving our sins, then having baby goat growing up remembering that he is a welcome member of the congregation is a good first step to an understanding of Communion.

3. My own understanding and education about the meaning of Communion continues to grow and focus as I get older.  I've had a Seminary education and cannot say that I understand fully all that happens at the table.  Why should I think that a one time class with 5th graders will teach them all there is to know about what Communion is and why it is important.  Can you say you grasp the mysteries there?  If it is a life-long education why not begin as early as possible and have his understanding grow with him.

And so baby goat has taken communion ever since.  That is he does when he shows interest.  We don't force it and sometimes he doesn't seem to care one way or the other.  But if he reaches for it I give a nod of assent and smile to see my son take the bread and eat it.  And I look forward to teaching him more about Communion as he gets older too.

Would you let your child commune early or do you want to stay within a specific age guide for your own congregation?