Tuesday, September 30, 2008

words...beautiful words

through another blogger (thank you!) i found a site that takes your words...any words...and transforms them into a work of art.
i was playing around with the words from my last post...and this is what i came up with. i love it.

click on the image to open it up in a larger format.
try it for yourself. http://www.wordle.net/

Monday, September 29, 2008

four and a half...and a day.

my belly.
i cannot believe that you are all of a sudden four and a half. (and a day.)
sorry about that...i meant to write this yesterday...but we were having too much fun.
you are growing into the most beautiful, wonderful little girl. and i can't believe that i have been blessed with someone as wonderful as you.

if i could stop time to remember everything about you right now. this is what i want to remember...

- you are polite to everyone you meet. always using your pleases and thank yous. (even when receiving your vaccinations).
- you love the color light pink. you like the colors yellow, blue, green, purple, dark pink, brown, black, orange, ...
- you say that you want to be a speech-athologis when you grow up and talk to kids like mommy does. (i'm thankful that you are ok with me being one...even though it keeps us away from each other sometimes)
- you love to play having babies and can often be found with babies in your shirt. you nurse your babies too. and you always find someone to babysit when you go outside to play.
- you have the most wonderful relationship with your grandparents. they adore you to pieces.
- you ask me for the mote-retrol when you want to watch channel three-nine or four-four.
- you (sometimes) write on things that you aren't supposed to. walls, floors, tables. but you always write words...mom and stella being your favorites. don't worry...i love our names too.
- you are such an amazing big sister. you can make coconut belly-laugh and giggle tremendously with your faces and actions.
- you are a true performer. you love your dance class. you turn on when a camera is in the vicinity. and you memorize songs and muscical numbers and pull them out whenever appropriate.
- you always share. even when you don't really want to.
- you are more observant of people's feelings and the surroundings than most. you absorb those feelings. you are aware. you remember the little things.
- i wish i could pinpoint a favorite book or movie of yours right now. you love so much...it's difficult for me.
- you can't say "nests"...you always say "neste-ses" and it makes us giggle.
- you love to paint and draw, cut and paste. you are always making artwork and handing it out.
- you can write.
- last weekend you learned to tie a bow.
- you are always willing to help out others. and often want to give friends and family things that they wish they had.
- you think that men without shirts on are naked.
- you always tell people on motorcycles on the road, that they should be smart and wear a helmet.
- you want, desperately, to ride your bike without training wheels.
- you are finally sleeping through the night...most nights.
- you always wake up when it's thundering and lightening.
- you love to put sprinkles in your yogurt.
- you want to paint your room (light) pink with rainbows on the ceiling. you want it to have a fairy princess rock theme.
- edited to add: on the way home i realized i forgot to write my favorite thing that you say. "can i tell you a sneak-rit?"
- you will always be my baby. i love you more each day.

Friday, September 26, 2008

not so much fun with family

so, i've had two really...hmmmm...interesting intriguing (?) conversations with my grandparents...

two conversations that i never thought i would have...or really never even wanted to...

posted for your enjoyment...or not...
at a recent family get-together of a family that rarely gets together...the hostess decided to play a get-to-know-you game.

yes...we are a family.
yes...we need a get-to-know-you game.
no...i didn't WANT a get-to-know-you game. (and neither did many of the others)

after a wonderfully catered dinner from a local mexican restaurant (plates, tablecloths and everything...EVERYTHING!) and a few offerings of pina coladas and margaritas (which i didn't accept...)

yes...i should have accepted the drinks.
yes...i realize you should always drink around family.
no...i'm not sure what i was thinking either.

she brought up the game. it goes like this. everyone sits around in a circle. she had a list of 20 or so yes/no questions. if you answered "yes" to the question...you moved to the chair next to you. mind you, your neighbor just might not have answered "yes" and therefore...you end up on their lap. everything was all fun and games until she asked the question that i wish i would never have heard. and seen the sight that was associated with it.

yes...she asked if you use viagra.
yes...my grandpa was the only one that moved a seat.
no...i cannot erase that from my brain.

ugh. at least he told the truth, huh?
and yes...i did drink two pina coladas following the game. it's what i needed to forget...but haven't been able to.
and here are some snippets from a conversation that my grandma and i had recently.

yes...she was at one time married to the above mentioned grandpa.
yes...she is now divorced from him.
no...she is not romantically involved with anyone.

i was discussing a recent murder of an older woman in the apartments just across the street from my grandmother's. scary, huh? and she doesn't live in a bad area of the city. not that it would make it any less scary...

i just wanted to make sure that she was taking extra precautions...checking her door at night, not letting people in the building, etc.

she told me that she had decided that if anyone tried to get her...she would just kick him in the balls. i decided to approach the subject..."grandma...i don't think you should try to kick anyone in the balls. i've heard the best approach is to squeeze and twist the balls. it's apparently painful and you are less likely to lose your balance."

yes, grandma...you need to watch out for yourself.
yes, grandma...you should do everything in your power to protect yourself.
no, grandma...you might hurt your hip if you try to kick the balls.
do any of you have these types of conversations with grandparents?
(viagra usage, ball-kicking?)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

the funnies.

here are some really funny things that the girly-girls have said over the last week...or so.
(aka...i need to post something...and my brain is apparently not working and hasn't been for the last 5 days or so. we ALL hope it begins to work soon. believe me.)

coconut: "NO!"
(to everything...and it seems funny at the time...but in retrospect...nah-so funny.) but i had to add something that she said!

belly: "fe - fi - fo - fum ... i smell the butt of an englishman"
(apparently they were reading jack and the beanstalk at daycare? mother goose had nothing on belly! quite honestly...it makes more sense.)

same day as the above funny...we were driving behind a plumbing truck that said... "we fix cracks." and had a picture of a...hmmmm...plumber's crack...

belly thought this was absolutely hilarious...that there was a butt on the truck in front of us...

(i tried to google image it for y'all but i couldn't find it. i promise that i will go on a search to try and find that truck and take a picture of it for all of you!)

so...my dear, sweet little girl has been walking around saying, "we fix cracks..." in a low voice and laughing hysterically.


well...this morning we see a doritos truck...

belly: "look! look! a chip truck!"

mommy: "yep...it's a doritos truck."

belly: in her lowest voice, "we fix chips..."


ok...because i know you are all dying for another coconut-ism...(my blog...my word.)

when we were visiting my best(est) friend ... coconut was talking with belly on the phone.

belly: "puppy no -woof woof-. puppy -snortsnort-."

(note: friend and family have two pit bulls. that snort. a lot.) she was constantly imitating my friend's husband. down. sit. no. out. i think she left there thinking that the female's name is no. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

coffee with friends

the grocery store was out of my old stand-by coffee creamer. coconut creme. during a visit with my best(est) friend this summer, she introduced me to a new fun flavor. black cherry streusel.

when i saw that i wasn't getting any coconut creme (and believe me...i searched AND i asked.) i decided that husband (who also loves coconut creme - slightly girly...wouldn't you agree?) would just have to be willing to try black cherry streusel. and i was (a wee bit) excited to have it again. (yes, my morning coffee excites me...deal.)

i bought it. (even though it only comes in the small size and we pretty much drink coffee for the cream...therefore, typically only buy the big size). i went to bed last night, eager for my morning cup of coffee. it was the first thing i asked husband about when i got out of the shower. did you make my our coffee yet?

i opened the creamer, peeled away the foil top, (licked it...mmmm)...and poured the steamy coffee into my cup. i took a delicate sip...

i was completely disappointed...i had my eagerly anticipated cup of coffee with black cherry streusel creamer in my hand this morning and realized that it doesn't taste quite as good.
my coffee isn't as good...without my good friend holding a cup too.
i miss her, immensely.

we are both (finally! again!) at the same point in our lives. we kind of zig-zagged here and there through life for awhile. occasionally living in the same city, although most often very far apart. while i was getting married, she was dating. while she was getting married, i was having babies. when she was married and enjoying her freedom, i had two little ones to relish. now...we are both mommies.

we're back. (although we were never really not there.)

and my visit this summer, has made me miss her more than ever. i, now, realize what i miss when we don't live near each other.

she is that friend that i have vowed to move in with someday, somewhere warm and tropical, and spend the rest of your days together chatting and giggling like old times.

after both of us lose our husbands (we'll miss you!)
and our children no longer want us around (we'll miss you too!)

she is the friend that has not only my bff vow...but my bffaeaa vow.
she is the friend that i want to share my nursing home room with.
she is the friend that i will always share myself with completely.
she is the friend whose life i wish i was a constant part of.
she is the friend whose life i am most sad that i miss on a daily basis.

come to visit, sar-bear...i have a cup of coffee waiting for you.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

walk for autism


Did you know…
• 1 in 150 children is diagnosed with autism
• 1 in 94 boys is on the autism spectrum
• 67 children are diagnosed per day
• A new case is diagnosed almost every 20 minutes
• More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes
& cancer combined
• Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
• Autism costs the nation over $90 billion per year, a figure expected to double in
the next decade
• Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent
childhood diseases
• Boys are four times more likely than girls to have autism
• There is no medical detection or cure for autism

the girly-girls and i are doing a walk for autism this weekend...
as a speech-language pathologist, i have been given a glimpse into the lives of so many children with autism and their families. i'm using this walk, and the (hopefully) subsequent donations, to recognize them and what they have taught me.

and i would rarely send out this type of a post....i hate asking for money...but i feel this is a worthy cause.
if you are interested in making a donation to our team, please visit our site.
thanks for listening. (and helping!)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

my vagina is an ecosystem.

is that not the funniest sentence you have ever read?

i was paging through an alternative healing book that my sister forgot at my house, oh...about 3 years ago. i was kinda feeling that potential for a yeast infection coming on...and i wanted to make sure that i was doing everything possibly to avoid it's presence. yogurt...check. garlic pills...check.

eagerly waving..."hi dad!!!!! hi cousin jon!!!!!! hi boys...it's time to exit quietly!"

and i came across that introduction. apparently, a vagina has good flora and bad flora. and is therefore...an ecosystem.

which elicited uninhibited giggles from my side of the bed.

husband (after rolling his eyes, i'm sure) wanted to see what was so funny. and all i could muster was the potential discussions..."please get your junk out of my ecosystem..." or "please leave my ecosystem alone."

which led to more giggling...on my part. husband continued to roll his eyes and tried to go to sleep. but...i had just gotten started!

i decided that he needed some potential alternative healing, as well. so i went looking for an ailment that he has.

and came across flatulence.

did you know that it is "normal" to emit gasses between 6 and 21 times per day?

did you know that someone actually subjected themselves to studied that?

Monday, September 15, 2008

a dog's name...

a student just told me a story about her neighbors that have a dog named (insert - belly's actual name).

i mentioned that i have a daughter named (insert - belly's actual name).

she smiled and told me it's funny that i gave my daughter a name that sounds more like a dog's name.

is it weird that i'm offended by a seven year old's comment?

do you share your children's real names on your personal blog? any advice on this matter (pro or con)?? i could keep the title of my blog the same...it's just getting more and more difficult to remember to only write their nicknames (blame mama brain)! i LOVE their real names so much. as i'm getting to know more of you better...i wish i could share with you!

what do y'all think of the new bloggy look? it's in the works...i was feeling cramped by my old layout...

Friday, September 12, 2008

on september 12th...

i've had this book in my office now for the three years that i have been here.
i'm not sure why it's resonating with me so much, at this point in time.
it's titled...
september 12th: we knew everything would be all right

it was written by a group of first grade students in missouri. they explain, in their words and artwork, how they knew that they were going to be ok.
it starts with the sun rising on september 12th.
my favorite line, however?..."we knew everything would be all right because we had homework. 2 + 2 still added up to 4."

i didn't write about my experience or my thoughts on yesterday, yesterday...it's still kinda raw. we were living in virginia at the time, i was working with students that lost loved ones...and my husband is an airline pilot...the factors of that day hit really close to home.

september 11th. we will never change it. we can learn from it. and maybe it is this election year...maybe that's why it's affecting me...i feel a change coming.
and this is my political stance. (all the bloggers are doing it...)

i WILL NOT vote for someone based solely upon the presence or absence of a vagina.
i WILL NOT vote for someone based solely upon the color of their skin.
i WILL NOT vote for someone based solely upon their political party associations.

i WILL vote for someone that i believe will make a positive difference for me and my children.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

apparently, my child is a giraffe with good balance

yesterday morning, i was groggily scooping coffee, eager for my caffeine induced wake-up. i heard a shout of "DANCE CLASS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (seriously...she used that many exclamation points in her shout...maybe more). belly came running into the living room with the most amazing smile on her face...
it was the day of her first dance class. g-ma and lulu had bought her a (light) pink leotard. daddy had bought her (light) pink tights. and mommy had ordered her (light) pink ballet shoes. 20 points if you can guess what her favorite color is.
she was hardly containable. the excitement was pulsing through her.
note...mommy was not a dancer. i left that up to the girly-girls. i think my mom put me in ballet for maybe a week. probably just because she thought it would be cute. then along came my sister and my mom realized that she didn't have to force me to be the "pretty" one anymore. i was finally allowed to run in the dirt and ride horses. i didn't do skirts or pink. belly is my karma.
so, we got all dolled up for dance class. (light) pink. everything. and two buns.
i have to admit, i'm starting to like pink. maybe, because i'm surrounded by it all the time. did anyone else (with girls) find that first load of baby pink dryer lint extremely weird?? i think that was the first moment that i felt like a mommy to girls. i had never had pink dryer lint before.
we arrived at the dance studio. mind you...i spent TIME researching dance studios. i didn't want her to be in dance just to be cute. i wanted her to learn fundamentals. i wanted her to not look like a hoochie. (is that how it's spelled? it's not a common word in my vocabulary...imagine.) i wanted to take her somewhere that i didn't have to shell out tons o' money to dress her up fancy and watch her walk across a stage.
this studio appears to be all that and more. these little gals are learning creative movement. (they move into the fundamentals eventually). they are working toward a performance that depicts a book that they are learning about. the instructor was teaching them to move and be free. how moving can show what music sounds like. belly was in her element. completely.
she TOWERS above the other dancers.
it is a class for 3 and 4 year olds. belly is 4 and 1/2. when we arrived, one little girl was hiding inside of a shelf cubby. no joke. maybe 1 1/2 foot squre. she had completely folded herself inside of it.
belly gets the height from daddy. 6 foot 2. not mommy. 5 foot 2.
she had the height of a giraffe. but she balanced on one foot like no other. the (smaller) girls were toppling down left and right. belly stood (light pink) flamingo proud.
mama is proud too.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

nah nah nah nah boo boo...i am the winner.

conversation overheard between belly and her boppa.

belly: let's play a game.
boppa: ok.
belly: we're gonna kick the ball up in the tree as high as we can, whoever can touch the branches is the winner. you go first.
boppa: grabs the ball. drops it onto his foot, "uh," grunted as he kicked it as high as he could. touched branches at the very top of the tree. in fact, knocked a few dead branches OFF of the tree. (who needs a tree trimmer anyways?)
belly: ok, good job. now it's my turn. but, remember, even if i don't touch the branches, i'm STILL the winner.
and on a totally random side note.

i tried to google "ball in tree" to find an image to use with this post. what can i say? i like pictures...instead, i found this.

have you ever seen one of these?
we just recently played with one at our local all-natural baby store. i heart this toy. i want several of them to go on my mantel. it was too much fun. you drop a marble on the top and it makes the most lovely musical sound on it's way down. it doesn't need batteries. it doesn't play annoying recorded music. it isn't made out of plastic.
it does require supervision. marbles + babies = heimlich manuver. or, at least, that's my assumption.
maybe just a longer wait for your turn...if baby swallows it,you have to wait for the marble to be...ummm...returned.
dear husband...
this is what i the kids want for christmas. two of them please. (a small one and a big one...)
and a horse.
15.3-16.1 hand dapple grey quarter horse with black points. 5-8 years old.
love you lots, sugar daddy.

Monday, September 8, 2008


after the other day's looooooong post...i feel pressed to ask...

do you have a woulda-shoulda-coulda moment?

i don't regret much. i don't wish to change many things in my life. but i wish that:

i would have...i should have...i could have...

known that i was allowed to ask for more following my miscarriage. i wish that i would have known that i could ask to find out the sex of the baby. i should have made myself more knowledgable of my options, rather than blindly following what the doctor told me. i could have known more than the report told ("consisted of fetal tissue" or something to that extent...)

i wish i knew more about you, my almost-baby. i wish i could have given you a name.

do you have a woulda-shoulda-coulda moment?...

Friday, September 5, 2008

september 5

i have to add...i wrote this quite some time ago now...with a "to be published" on tomorrow's date.
i have revisited several times, attempting to decide if i need to cancel it. or to edit it. or to make it less. i realize that this is me at my most raw. something i don't share, with my most supportive of friends and family. i'm not sure why i'm choosing to let it post. especially to a crowd (albeit small) of those that i have never met.
then again...maybe that's why it's easier? all of you have shared things with me. i feel safe here. blogging mamas everywhere have created a community across boundaries. a shared sense of worth and heartfelt support from across the world and right next door.
another side of me is even more scared of letting those that are close to me realize how much this still affects me. don't worry about me. i'm ok. this...this writing and outpouring and shedding of tears...it was good for me. it helps to pull these emotions outward, rather than hold them in.
i'm still tentative about hitting "go" on this one. but i'm doing it for me, ultimately.
thanks in advance for holding my hand and catching my tears.

an anniversary of sorts. signifying a date to remember many things.

some of these occurrences have made me extraordinarily happy. giddy beyond measure. these happy things, should far outweigh the difficult-ness that i associate with this day.

however, the joyful things are overshadowed. they were preceded by a could-have-been. the should-have-been that still sends me reeling downward from grief. the could-have-been that creeps up and hits me with what-ifs. the should-have-been that makes me remember that life isn't smooth. the could-have-been that hits me with a dose of reality that i never thought would happen.

my almost baby.

within three months of our wedding, we were pregnant. i found out on the morning of new years day. (i knew two weeks earlier when i could smell what was for lunch in the cafeteria WAY down the hall from my room). husband was returning from a trip that day and i made him a sign hung on the front door that read "happy new years day! love, mommy, jazz, jet and baby". he awoke me from my nap with a smile that i will never forget. i relished in the fact that i was holding a life in myself.

i bought a pregnancy - week by week - book. i read about where we had been, i read about where i was currently...i read ahead to see where we were going. to see what my body was capable of doing. to understand more thoroughly what was going on inside of me. not in a scientific way...but in an astounded manner. my very good friend and i spent long hours discussing the baby's arm and leg buds. we laughed about how she would one day tell my child all about our excitement with arm buds.

i was naive. i skipped over the parts that discussed not telling anyone, in case something were to go wrong. nothing was going to happen. this was all wonder and excitement. things like that happen to far-away people. people i will never know. it's rare. so many babies are born constantly. what could go wrong?

we had a doctor's appointment at 9 weeks. we discussed genetics. we discussed our future. we listened for something. we didn't hear anything...but that's normal, we were told. we discussed due dates...a certain date that is etched in my heart. september 5th.

a few weeks later on february 14th, valentine's day...i got a cold. a nasty cold. i went to the doctor wondering what can i take to ease my symptoms but that are safe for my baby? my everything revolved around my baby. we discussed options, and she decided to take a listen. we still couldn't hear anything. she told me to call my husband and head over to the hospital for an ultrasound. just to make sure we were as far along as we thought we were...ultrasound techs did their thing...but they never made eye contact with me...they didn't say anything to us. it didn't feel right. i was told to wait in a waiting room full of people that i never looked at. i had become so internal at that point, i could not see anyone else. eventually, i was called to the desk to talk on the phone in the middle of that busy room. a doctor told me what i think i already knew.

my baby's heartbeat was gone.

i cried so hard, without any reservations or consideration of the pregnant women all around me. she told me to go home. rest. call in the morning. i had the strength to insist that i needed to see her. i needed to see someone. i needed to discover my options? what can i do to try and change the inevitable? she agreed to see me (even though her hours were long over)...i never thanked her for that - thank you. even though, i had no options. things were over. they had been for a little while. my almost-baby never even had arm buds...that's what i remember thinking.

my life (as i had planned it...) was spiraling out of control. i was utterly and completely broken. my everything was gone. i felt like i had nothing left. i did...i just didn't know it.

the next week was our planned move back home. i wrestled through several days of deep snowfall, waiting for a call from a doctor, two final days at my school, quiet faces that didn't want to say the wrong thing. gifts that were opened and resealed (to remove the baby items). a doctor that would perform my d&c.

i was unfeeling.

i remember that his office was full of german shepherds and motorcycles. i remember that i was by myself. i remember that he told me that it is potentially more common than not. i remember that he told me he would take care of it (not me). i remember that i had to go home and wait. i had to call my friends and family. i started crying before i could utter the words...i lost the baby.

i had to wait with my almost-baby. i had to sit around and think about what could have been. i had to think about how there was something life-less inside of me. and they made me feel that i was waiting to rid myself of it. why the hell wasn't i thinking for myself? i had lost my baby. i had lost what i assumed was my future. i had lost who i was in a single stop of a heartbeat. i thought i just had a cold.

the dilation medication made me lose so much blood and tissue. i had to watch my almost-baby leave my body in pieces. it was absolutely horrendous. eventually i had the surgery. a nurse told me that maybe the baby didn't want to move to minnesota...maybe it decided to stay in virginia. bitch. those words did not support me. many others tried to help by telling me that something was not right...that was nature's way of taking care of things. from a scientific perspective...i understand. from a personal perspective...i would have given anything or endured anything to have my baby back inside of me, with a strong heartbeat. the next day, we finished packing and drove. we moved back home. i was home. i left my baby behind. we had the most amazing of friends help with a middle minnesota winter move because i couldn't lift anything.

a good friend shared a dream that he had before he knew...he was on a boat with the pregnant me, and i was climbing the mast and hanging upside down at the top. a large wave came and i had lost the baby. he called my husband and heard the news. i'm sure he disliked knowing that he knew before he knew.

i cried nightly. i would leave our bed and go to the bathtub in the middle of the night and cry. i felt that everyone thought i should be over it...and so i kept my grief private. i met a nurse midwife as a check up following the surgery and started crying when the feelings resurfaced...she said, "why are you still crying?" i requested to never see her again. at the very least, i knew i was allowed to grieve for some time.

eventually, in early august...i found out i was expecting again. i was happy. but i could not allow myself to get excited. i had my first appointment...and spent the entire day wondering why i felt like i had something to do that day. got to the appointment and when we started discussing prior pregnancies everything resurfaced again. i had a very significant reason for feeling that way. it was september 5th. my almost-baby's due date. she couldn't find a heartbeat...but knowing my history, walked me immediately to an ultrasound machine where she compassionately found my baby and showed me her heart chambers ticking. she let me watch and cry and realize that without the loss...i wouldn't have this one. to this day...i love her for that.

we had just started trying for our second child...i decide that i feel pregnant again. you know that "feeling"? husband left on a trip. i went to target. i bought a test. i was going to wait until the morning. i couldn't. there were two lines...one lighter and one darker. but definitely two lines. i was pregnant. i immediately sent him a text with a picture of a positive pregnancy test. i wondered how i was going to tell belly. i remembered that things can change so quickly. no need to get excited yet. it was september 5th.

so...i have two reasons to cherish september 5th. i first saw belly's hearbeat and i first knew that i was pregnant with coconut. but...my almost-baby will always resurface on this date. and i thank my almost-baby from the bottom of my heart for being selfless enough to give me the opportunity to have my girly-girls. and i hope that my almost-baby knows how much s/he was and is loved.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

why, come on back...we've been waiting for you!

(note...this is kinda like two posts for the price of one...L. O. N. G.)
conversation between husband and i...
him: you're gonna blog that huh??
me: of course i am. that's what we do. bloggin' mamas everywhere just wait for something funny to happen so that they can write about it.
him: before you know it, people will have blogging parties.
me: oh, they do. in fact...they even have conferences.
him: seriously? so, when do you leave?
me: i can't go. i really want to go...but i can't do it.
him: why?
me: 'cause seriously...i don't know-know-know them. i KNOW them from reading their blogs...but i don't REALLY know them. and where would i stay? argh. i don't know. where is crystal city? i do have free airline...but i would have to take a day off of work....hmmmm...
(don't worry...we didn't link in our conversation...that would have been a little over the top, dontcha think?)

which got me thinking...

several bloggers got an idea from another blogger, Barking Mad. she came up with an fun idea to have a blogging dinner party...invite 10 bloggers that you admire for some reason or another and invite them to a party...well...read it in her words...she writes better than i. please, click on that link...she has a hilarious giveaway going on. i want a new camera...but...i don't have the guts to do it!

"My point folks, is this...this is community. It is what you make of it. You can participate and get involved and learn something and let us learn from you, or not. And having said that, I hope that is what we all get from my little idea. At least I hope it doesn't totally suck and you all play along.
I debated doing this for a long time and I finally had a talk with a wise friend who said it was a "fucking awesome idea and just do it already!" I didn't want anyone to come away from this feeling like; "How come she didn't invite me? She must not like me!"
The impetus behind this was just to be able to get to know other writers/bloggers I haven't read or read very much of, and I hope that you all can do the same thing. And maybe afterward we'll all sit around and sing folk songs and braid one another's hair. Or not.
Now, having said all that, Here's the thing...
You are going to have a dinner party! Oh yes you are. Well OK, not a REAL dinner party, but hey, if you're so inclined, more power to ya. Anyhow, you're having this swell dinner party and you are going to invite ten bloggers. And if you're worried about not having enough time to plan this, never fear my luvlies, this will be running the entire month of August!"

and as you can see...i'm a couple ("A COUPLE IS TWO..." is what belly would have shouted out if she could read, or if i had read that out loud...) of days late on this. but better late than never. right?

setting the stage...
screw dinner...the majority of us have naps to deal with...so let's just have lunch with kids in tow...it's gonna be a picnic in my backyard. we just have to get it out of the way before the snow falls on minneapolis. quick, hurry up...buy your plane tickets. it's comin', i'm sure. and, by the way...bring the husbands...we can leave the kids in their capable (?) hands (when they reach the nap stage) and head on out for some wine. or we could just bust open a couple bottles and have a bonfire after everybody wakes up? or both?? it's up to you guys.

here's my list of invitees...but then again...if you have made it this far...and you ever visit me on this bloggy thing...c'mon over, we'd love to have you!
1. heather from HELLOmynameisheather. my guess is that she is WAY too busy to make it...but i'm sure that she would come with some absolutely gorgeous something or other to share. this girl is so talented and crafty and ingenious and appears to be able to seamlessly combine business and family. i would love to meet her and see if she is just as fabulous in real life. plus...she was my first (blog that is...). she could totally make you feel inferior in her craftiness...but, instead...she inspires. that's cool.
2. nicci (did i spell that right?...i searched a little but couldn't find it...) from bug and (AND!!) digthischick. she's one in the same! i probably found her through heather's blog's comments. her name struck me as fun...so i tuned in...and keep finding myself checking back. she has the most amazing ideas about motherhood and she chronicles her struggles and frustrations, joys and insight in a way that makes me laugh and cry, and see little bits of myself in those early months of being a mommy. plus she mentioned something about mother nature bitch slapping you within your gardening abilities...and the vision i had was hilarious. (promise you won't look at my measly garden as you walk past...) but enjoy the tomatoes. please.
3. kellie at lifeisgood. she, too, has a little girly that is too cute. i'm sure that i found her through digthischick's comments. (do you also notice the 10 degrees of separation happening here?) i started reading along when i found out that she was pregnant, and then she commented on one of my posts about how she was reading blogs and soon to be a mommy (and she mentioned that i was funny...so i checked in with her)...and waited for little lily, with so many others. plus, she posted from the hospital...dedication, folks. she also works in a school...we need to share stories!
4. kelle from enjoyingthesmallthings. she has some amazing photography talent! i found her through, the above two. and got hooked, because her lil' one is just a few weeks younger than coconut! they always seem to be going through the same things around the same time...imagine that? she really seems to look at the bright side of things and shares her positivity with her readers. she mentioned something about a super-mommy cape one time...and i love that idea. she also commented once that if a virtual coffee shop were available...it would be fun to visit with all sorts of bloggy friends and kids. here's our chance!
5. tonyajoy...i probably found through kelle. and she is another amazing photographer. plus, she has three little girly-girls (my goal, too!). and there is something about blonde haired blue eyed little girls that makes my heart melt! i will bring my family to see her when we are ever in her area. i promise that.
6. jen at playgroupsarenoplaceforchildren. funny thing...i found her when i was playing around with blogger. (i'm sure you've all done it...or maybe i'm just weird.) i clicked on MY speech-language pathologist linky thing and up popped a bunch of other SLPs. so i clicked around and found her. thought she was a little bitty blogger like me...until i noticed that she gets upwards of 60+ commenters on average. and if she discusses something like (psst...) bedtimes... a gajillion people comment. ya, nothin' like me...but a fun read, nonetheless.
7. she is probably how i found meghan from amomtwoboys. who is the creative genius :) behind allmediocre, a website connection for bloggers - for the little guys...that has become more of a community than anything. it's a great place to find a new blog or just find a little humor for your day! there is always something new. plus...so far, the girl to boy ratio for our kiddos is 8 to 2. so we need her two boys to up the boy-side-of-things! i love to read take on raising kids and i get to see a perspective that i rarely see here in coconutbellyland. she's hilarious...she would be a fun girl to spend some time with!
8. stacey from isthereanymommyoutthere? this girl makes me laugh so hard i'm crying one minute and sends me sniffling away from my computer the next. she has an inspiring view of mommyhood and she has the most beautiful children. i couldn't imagine having a bloggy party without her.
9. insta-mom. another fun read! more boys to add to the party as well! she just recently got hit with a sucker-punch of "i'm not young and driving a yellow convertible anymore" while riding in her minivan with family in tow. we've all been there...and she always seems to have a good ending to her stories. i relate with her ability to think about life, and then come to the realization (through writing) that it's all better in the end...
10. at this point...i'm inviting christy from cakerwakers, jenn from ihatewhine!, marinka from motherhoodinnyc, connie from youngandrelentless, abunslife, stellaandthomasand(+)'smommy, alice from honeypie, phulmaya from harvardtohomemaker AND anyone that has stayed here this long. because i can't link and i can't think anymore. my backyard is pretty big. the house, though...is small. so hopefully it doesn't rain, or snow. i'll try to rent a porta-potty...and a bounce tent...because that is truly a good way to keep kids contained. they think that they are just having fun...but really...it's child-containment. (now that i cheated and added more parents and kids...i will need 2 bounce tents??) definitely worth the money...i know, we had one at our wedding reception! another story for another day.

can't wait to see all of you! did anyone bring rice krispie squares? let me know what you are planning on bringing so that i can keep track...:)