Sunday, November 30, 2008

looking into their eyes.

Many things catches your eyes, appreciate them. But few things catches your heart, pursue them.
-- Viju Chakavarthy

My eyes are an ocean in which my dreams are reflected.
-- Anna M. Uhlich

Sometimes you can't see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others.
-- Ellen DeGeneres

The face is the mirror of the mind, and eyes without speaking confess the secrets of the heart.
-- Saint Jerome (374 AD - 419 AD), Letter

It is the mind which creates the world about us, and even though we stand side by side in the same meadow, my eyes will never see what is beheld by yours, my heart will never stir to the emotions with which yours is touched.
-- George Gissing (1857 - 1903)


occasionally, in the midst of a day, i get the rare opportunity to stare into my children's eyes.

it sounds silly, doesn't it?

it's just that, generally, we are so busy doing and being that we forget to engage, fully, in each other. those chances when we can sit and drink in the ocean of blue in each other's eyes ...

it is during those moments that it seems as though the entire world stops ... for a brief second. before beginning to spin again.

i was lucky enough, yesterday, to experience the windows to both of my girly-girls. and i knew lying in bed last night, that i needed ... NEEDED ... to capture those eyes exactly as they are. right now. because there isn't going to always be a tomorrow or a next day. and i knew that i wanted to share them with you. and myself. so that i always have it on record that i love these two girly-girls with more than i ever thought possible.

that even on those days when i feel like the world is crumbling around us and i'm not sure that i should even be the mommy in the family ... that i can look back here and remember ... who they are and who i am. and feel my heart swell with love for them ... again and again.

they say that eyes are the window to a person's soul. and i realize that by looking into their eyes ... that i'm mostly doing this thing called parenting ... right.

it's my version of a mother nature kiss ... making everything better.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

the angels were really not up to singing loud that day.

i guess ...

remember when i mentioned several times ... that we would be ripping up our carpeting to uncover the potential awesomeness that is the hardwood floors lying in hiding beneath the carpet in our house?

well ... i was convinced that the angels would sing upon the reveal.


i think i was the only one singing and dancing. and that's not saying much.

(just for the record ... i can belt out a mean baby beluga and you are my sunshine. puts babies to sleep, i tell ya. and belly is incredibly fond of my do-re-mi and favorite things ... but she's more of a musical fan. and honestly ... i dance pretty good ... or at least i think so AFTER a few ... i mean, a lot of cocktails.)

onto the reveal ...

first we had a little work.

well ... i had a little work. i had to bring the girls to daycare. AND take pictures. (my workload decreased significantly when both fathers decided to show up and help! yeah dads!)

(please excuse the mess ... we are remodeling.)

here is my dad and husband doing something. and a cute cat walking across carpet padding. note: my dad is the one with grey hair.

here is my father-in-law making sure that the dog is getting attention. (and he did work ... but i didn't get a picture of that.)

here is a cat peeking into a roll of carpet. isn't he cute? (did i mention that i think this kitty is cute? 'cause honestly ... biggest pain in the ass cat you have ever met. he is a MONSTER. but totally photogenic. and cute. really cute. on paper. notsomuch in person.)

here is my dad (again ... note the grey hair) rolling up carpet or something.

now i'm realizing that these are totally NOT in order. but i'm incredibly too lazy to do something about that right now. i have a toddler begging me to play barbies (which i don't want to do ... shhhh.) and a baby waking up.

technically ... is an 18 month old a baby? who knows. remember, i don't have time for unnecessary crap!

and FINALLY - the before and after shots.
the after definition entails ... spending hours ripping up carpeting ... pulling out staples ... having lunch at my favorite greek restaurant ... going to home depot without kids! ... vacuuming ... washing floors ... shining floors ... scraping paint off of floors ... picking up kids ... making sure that everyone is wearing footwear AT ALL TIMES ... sanding in places ... washing AGAIN ... shining floors ... and putting little tiny pads - that are falling off already - on the bottom of all furniture to make sure that we take better care of the floors than anyone else before us.)

(and if you can't tell ... the after is on the right. but just pretend like you could notice so i feel like my life isn't a complete waste. thanks.)

and here is my dear coconut inspecting and dancing with joy upon completion of the results.

see ... i wasn't the only one that was dancing to the angelic music playing quietly in the background.
(i wasn't really 'raising the roof' in my dora slippers ... but who am i to judge her dance style?)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


thankful for the water main break that occurred at my school (and not my house).
and that school had to be cancelled today.

thankful for the fact that i have daycare.
and that i was able to have the girly-girls there while i took a mental health day.

thankful for the fact that i have a camera.
and that i was able to fool around a little and change my header, even though i'm not totally happy with it ... yet. (so yeah ... it was irritating me ... so i changed it back ... until i can get it to be what i want ... and i'm completely computer illiterate ... and working with an OLD photo program ... this might take awhile.) so i guess i should say that i'm thankful that i have that option, huh?

thankful for the fact that my husband is coming home tonight.
and that he will actually be home for thanksgiving.

thankful for the opportunity to rip out my carpeting tomorrow (did you hear the angels singing? did you?)
and that all of you will be crossing your fingers and toes that the hardwood is absolutely beautiful. (i already said you would ... so you will, right?)

thankful for the fact that my girly-girls will get picked up very very soon.
and that they will most likely run to me with screaming outstretched arms, completely unaware that i had abandoned them for the entire day.

yep ... i'm incredibly thankful for that.

Monday, November 24, 2008

what i'm thankful for ... spin cycle!

i typed in that title with the intention of joining in on the spin cycle fun set forth by sprite's keeper, once again ... and realized it sounds like i'm thankful for spin cycles.

and ... really??

i am.

i'm thankful for the voracious sound of the true spin cycle within my washing machine ... letting me know that the diapers are almost spinning near the end and i only have to send them through one more time before heading to bed. because there is plenty of time to dry them in the morning.

i'm thankful for the out of control spin cycle that my oldest daughter, belly, just went through ... reminding me that she is a true individual and i need to remember to hug her more often. to remind her how much she is absolutely loved ... without question. she is truly spinning the web of herself ... and i need to remember to enjoy it, rather than be fearful of it.

i'm thankful for the overwhelming spin cycle of friends that i have in real life and "friends" that i've developed within the bloggy world. reading their spins today has really reminded me what to be thankful for. all of my friends and "friends" help me to spin my own thoughts and ideas ... and help me to know and understand things better. including myself. i think i understand who i am better through writing and reading. and i'm thankful for that.

i'm thankful for the supportive spin cycle of a relationship that i have with my husband. he loves me regardless. and i'm incredibly thankful that he does. together we are making our best attempts at spinning a continuous line of love that will endure these tough times.

i'm thankful for the centered spin cycle of my family. they are my axis around which i am constantly spinning. they hold me together. even when i'm not sure i can.

i'm thankful for the artistic spin cycle of music and stories. through the spinning of a melody and tales, i can share words and the world with my children and so many other children. just introducing these things to children, can open doors that many kids never knew were there.

i'm thankful.

thanks for reminding me.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

wind ... and rainbows.

as fast as that whirligig of a crazy daughter i mentioned last thursday blew in ... the attitude glimpse of our most certain future - blew back out.

thank god (goddess) ... whichever. thank you.

you can see her sweetness evidenced in a picture below. that smile could just about melt the grinch's heart. don't you think?

belly and i spent last friday night, putting coconut to bed ... and spending some quality time making a "dish" for a party on saturday. it's a completely uncomplicated, but time consuming recipe.

but in the end ... it makes a rainbow. and what little girl doesn't love things that look like a rainbow?

thankful today for wind ... and rainbows.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

where oh where has my baby gone?

life at the coconutbelly household has been chaotic lately.

belly, my super sweet 4 and a half year old. has turned into a holy terror. she has begun this defiant, testing her boundaries, assertive, loud, 4 going on 16 personality shift.

that i don't quite know what to do with.
but at the same time i want to encourage ... because someday ... several of those are the traits that i'm going to cherish about my daughter.

my strong strong beautiful kind wonderful daughter.

for now ... all i can do is pick her up and squeeze her in a bear hug ... and ask her how much her mommy loves her. if she doesn't respond, i remind her gently that ...

mommy's love is as big as the universe. or the galaxy.
(whichever is bigger.)

she's been eating like a horse. she eats dinner and then needs another bedtime snack after having the first bedtime snack. or a growth spurt of some kind?

or the after effects of the ear infection that lasted through 2 rounds of antibiotics? and hopefully isn't preparing for a third.

i can't imagine what it would feel like to feel that out of control. to feel like your head is aching ... but at the same time the pain has become your constant friend (so you don't feel it so much anymore). to feel like your body is revving up for another 3 inches of growth in the matter of a week. to realize that you are trying so desperately to find your place in the world and determine what you can do and say about it. to understand that everyone is talking about your world and you don't always get a say in it. because we think it's sometimes easier that way.

i'm sorry baby.

i'm sorry that mommy can't always make it better. i'm sorry that i can't always kiss away your pains. i'm sorry that mommy sometimes has to enforce a rule that you don't enjoy. i'm sorry that your poor little ears can't get better (if i could have made them more efficient at minimizing ear infections ... i would have. believe me.) i'm sorry that i do things sometimes because i need to keep myself afloat. and that i don't always relish your opinion as a deciding factor. i'm sorry that sometimes i get mad at you ...

i'm learning that, more often, i need to give you hugs instead of time outs. because without saying it ... that is what you are asking for.

and that maybe ... during these times when i'm feeling that life has gotten too chaotic ... so are you. and what we really need is a few moments of uninterrupted time together. it will help us both to get our feet on the ground again.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

favoritism DOES exist. it's the spin cycle!

once again, sprite's keeper has convinced me to participate in a little somethin' she calls
the spin cycle ...

this weeks topic is:
favoritism DOES exist.

in which she challenges us to dust off (out?) our archives and find a post (or posts?) that we loved, that remarkably ... potentially ... quite honestly, no one else has ever seen.

and this is my (current) spin on it. (i had to tweak some of the colors a little, you know me.)
this was a smart-ass letter written to some crazy weirdo that confronted me in a children's clothing store ...

hey mr.
hi sir...i know that you really don't care about me or my family, but i wanted to thank you for giving me the opportunity to have a discussion with my four-year-old about racism and "naughty words".

gosh, i've been meaning to explain why some people don't like others that are just a little different from them. i've been meaning to explain and pop her little bubble of obliviousness to the color of people's skin. i've been meaning to explain that everyone is a little different...but i was silly to think that i would be able to approach that conversation in a positive manner. and now, for my "sincerest" apologies.

i'm sorry, that in the back of the CHILDREN'S store that we were all in (looking for a bargain), that i replied in a semi-sarcastic tone to your question.

you really did NEED to know how to discriminate between the girl clothes and the boy clothes.

my answer of, "i guess i just look for blue or pink," was obviously not helpful.

but then again, i'm also very sorry that i hadn't put in my application to work there a few weeks prior, been interviewed and provided with that position that was posted on the doorway and then been TRAINED in customer service techniques; so that i would be more equipped to answer your question.

i, honestly, just was there shopping for some games to put in my daughter's hand-me-down thingamajig that you can no longer buy cartridges and books for. so, therefore, i had ventured into said store to buy outdated learning materials for MY daughter. so sorry, i guess i didn't make it obvious that i wasn't an employee. i should have been breastfeeding - not just carrying - my 11 month old in a sling and i maybe should have been more obviously singing, "i'm shopping ... i'm shopping" while slinging my purse over my shoulder or maybe, possibly, i should have just said "i don't work here".

it really was my fault, that i wasn't obvious enough as to my status within the shop.

i know that my pink vs. blue comment really bothered you when you decided to go and complain about my professionalism to the ACTUAL employees, who were also really disgusted that one of the employees would have provided you with that comment.

and then when someone officially directed you to what you were looking for, i'm sorry that the store was closing (i should have been striving harder to become ceo of the company) and that one of my fellow employees actually mentioned that you should start making your way to the front of the store.

and super sorry that she wasn't the appropriate "race" for the job of providing you with this information.

you had every right to start swearing and making racial comments in front of the children.

if you don't teach them, who will??

i do have to say, i owned up to the pink/blue comment with my superiors...and after you left i was harshly punished.

i was fired, in fact.

i won't be working there anymore.

but then again, after you left - they mentioned hoping that you never come in there again either.

me, i don't care where you shop...i just hope that something in your life has improved since this very frustrating day that you stumbled into my career life.

(and my mom still swears that you walked out with a pair of pants)

--regretfully yours, jen

p.s. and i venture to bet that you are currently steaming about our PRESIDENT-ELECT, huh??

hasay 5 - this is crap.

move along, folks. nothing to see here.
just a big 'ol zero.

which is really funny 'cause i amped up the ellipticall-ication-ing ... now that it's back in my hands. or ... actually in my basement.

but if i carried it around in my hands, maybe it would be better?

i worked out at least 5 times last week. i didn't cheat or eat overboard or nothin'. i've been eating my fruits and veggies.

i will admit, i had two glasses of wine on friday night. maybe that's my problem?

or maybe it's the fact that several hasay-ers have inquired about a certain dove chocolate pie recipe that i just happen to have. don't worry ... i'm not naming any names, casey might be reading. just scroll on down. you're welcome.

new plan! because i didn't lose any weight ... i'm going to get all of you to fatten up with this pie so that i can look like the only real *loser* in the group. (oh wait ... i probably already do.) please make two or three. and eat the whole thing! there are oh-no calories, cough cough.

dove chocolate french silk pie
1 cup butter (unsalted), room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
21-23 dove dark chocolate promises, unwrapped, melted in a bowl over boiling water and cooled
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 prepared 8 inch deep dish pastry shell, baked and cooled

cream butter in a mixing bowl.
gradually beat in the sugar with an electric mixer until light colored and well blended.
stir in the cooled chocolate and vanilla extract.
add the eggs, one at a time, beating 5 minutes(!) on medium speed after adding each egg.
spoon the chocolate filling into a cooled, baked pie shell.
refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
top with whipped cream and shaved dove chocolates.

** notes: you MUST beat each egg for at least 5 minutes after adding it to the mixture. that is really important and should be repeated. you MUST beat each egg for at least 5 minutes after adding it to the mixture. (this is not the time to skimp on the clock ... let your children run rampant for a good 20 minutes ... cause that's how long it will take ... at least. i recommend telling/convincing your husband that you might need 2 hours of child-free time.)
** more notes: don't eat all the dove chocolates that are left. it looks really pretty when you actually save a few to shave for the topping. (or just buy an extra bag.)
** additional notes: you really should have an ELECTRIC mixer for this recipe. i know it sounds all SUPER-WOMAN and hasay-worthy to do it on your own. but ouch. just use the electric mixer ... i'm just sayin'.

and casey?? oh queen of hasay?? sorry. i'm completely aware that i get an F for the week.

oh yeah, and because i'm writing some really personal letters to people down here, saving money on postage and time on email ... lucky you! here are some more!

- after the lucky-me! post, i commented on my comments ... but i'm assuming that none of you will go back and re-read my comments to see if i re-commented . here is my comment in a post-afterthought ('cause i made myself laugh): i must say ... i'm starting to feel a little uncomfortable with all the rubbing against my website that has been occurring. that kind of shit doesn't show up on my statcounter. (see ... it made you laugh too!)

- beth?? miss you! why don't you ever comment? i thought i might get you on the buttercup one! i know you are reading ... who else would read from northdakota??

- sara?? miss you! why don't you ever comment? enjoy the chocolate pie recipe. i know you will try it. but don't wear a white shirt. your mom always got mad at you for spilling chocolate on your white shirts. can't wait to see you ... super soon!

- mom?? yes, i'll make this pie for thanksgiving.

- kelly?? did you get your package yet?

- husband?? why don't you ever comment? thank you for bringing home the elliptical machine. i promise it'll make a difference ... eventually.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

um...that's not what the package says...

i originally started this post way back in early july. why am i publishing it now, you ask?? 'cause i needed to move my bragging post on down a wee bit. i'm too modest to talk about winning 4! FOUR! four! giveaways ... for too long.
well that ... and the fact that i have nothin'. in my head. at this moment.
so here you go. better late than never. right?

husband and i purchased these (for those of you that won't follow the link - these are special green bags that keep your produce fresher for longer!) during a hellish trip to the pharmacy. i really feel that it's important that you understand the type of experience that i'm talking about. let me explain.

this is a pharmaceutical adventure:
-- where you end up walking around and around because they haven't finished your prescription yet and/or called your name over the loudspeaker in. 30. minutes. and
-- they have all that crap stuff that you just happen to NEED now because it's on sale and it's only $something(dot)95.
-- your children are begging to go down the toy aisle ONE MORE TIME and
-- your four-year-old asks you to read the stupid little book on the shelf that has one button that says the same thing over
("oh, my prince charming")
and over
("oh, my prince charming")
and over
("oh, my prince charming")
again...and it's made to look like a disney princess...but really is just an ugly representation of the real thing and

as a side note...i do not think books are fact, we have TOO many books. books make you children are not book-impaired...and hence are smarter (or at least i like to think so). i just think that some books are better left *unmade* - in general this includes books that are written made by someone that doesn't speak ANY english and also edited and produced by others that don't speak ANY english ... and are completely incorrect from any grammatical standpoint. seriously...if you can't produce a book that has somewhat correct english...just give me pictures. i can make something up...really, i can...i can make up a 4 page story to correspond with your cute little pictures. it's just better that way.

moving on...
-- the kids are hungry and crabby and it doesn't help that they need the medication to feel better or
-- mommy is hungry and crabby and needs the medication to feel better or
-- everyone is hungry and crabby and needs the medication to feel better and
-- it's taking way. too. long.

(and so was most of this introduction to what i'm actually getting at...sorry.)

in summary, this was one of those super sucky trips to the pharmacy that i'm sure you've all experienced. or maybe, you are super mom and you haven't ever had this experience...don't worry...we'll all just wait for you to leave and i'll continue.

ok...where was i?
yeah ... super sucky trip to the pharmacy...bought unnecessary (but completely NEEDED) product...

we conducted our own experiment (yes we are aware that we are dorks) with our humongorama box of tomatoes ... and this is what happened.

ew. are seeing that correctly.
the tomatoes that were IN the bag - are disgustingly rotten.
the tomatoes that are OUT of the bag ... are perfectly fine.
i don't get it. we paid $something(dot)95 for those damn bags! what the hell did we do wrong?

want to look closer?
ew, again...
so, we've learned a few things today, haven't we, friends?? don't get sucked into purchases that you don't absolutely need. don't buy tomatoes at costco if you are never going to use them all. and completely irrelevant now ... but on the bright side...they were from canada so they were supposedly not contaminated at the time (and therefore were edible) AND we have a compost - so it's not like we just threw them away...

look at the back of the box. why is it that the tomatoes represented on the box had a completely opposite result of mine??

**note...after writing that post...i've realized that this is a perfect view into my brain.
things link that really shouldn't, i come to conclusions in the wierdest way and i'm a little too long-winded and talk too much in my brain. don't don't have to go back and probably never made sense in the first place.
so, you're welcome.

Monday, November 17, 2008

maybe i should go and buy a lottery ticket?

i just won my FOURTH! give-away on saturday morning...


just several days ago, i had commented that i had won two give-aways.

then friday night - yippee!
and saturday morning - double yippee!

and i realized that i've never taken the time to thank all of these bloggers for the give-aways!

(and to be absolutely completely honest ... i've truly only entered, maybe, 15 give-aways that i can think of. so i'm thinking my odds are getting better and maybe i need to go and buy my winning lottery ticket tonight.)

so i'm giving a big shout out to these lovely bloggers ...

thank you!
connie from the young and relentless
-- the story behind the win: i entered a past giveaway in july ... in which i was one of 8 to enter. my odds were decent there. her latest giveaway ... notsomuch. 121 entries!
quite honestly ... i think my win was set up ;) ... i had just hooked her up (god, that sounds like a dating service) connected her with a friend that lives near her. they had hit it off and were hanging out together (and are still) on a rather-regular basis. i think being her winner was basically her thank you for introducing her to my friend. then again ... maybe not, since she didn't elect me to win this most recent giveaway. i'll have to talk to her about that...
-- why you should visit her: she has regular installments of her personal diary ... too funny. and she's way into the countdown to christmas ... in fact, this year they are adopting a little one in the spirit of the holiday. in addition, her kids are really cute dancers ... and i'm all for cute kids (as long as they aren't quite as cute as mine.)

karen at mommy, i am home
-- the story behind the win: at the end of october, i entered her giveaway ... because i have loved maya angelou's writing and because the name of the book is "a letter to my daughters". it struck a chord. there were a total of 39 entries ... and lil' old me won! i had initially found her through allmediocre because a recent post had popped up with the title 'not where i'd rather be'. and it intrigued me.
-- why you should visit her: she plans her weekly dinner schedule ... wow. i really should start thinking in that manner again someday. maybe she'll inspire me. she's good at reminding herself of her best qualities. and her daughter is quite the shoe model. not to mention, she's recently tried, out of the kindness of her heart, to help old(er) ladies in the locker room.

kat at sunshine&lemonade
-- the story behind the win: no idea how i got to her site initially - probably intrigued by the homeschool thing. but ... she LOVES 'wicked' the musical. and i stayed tuned because she was giving away the book and soundtrack. and i was going to be seeing it in the very near future. unfortunately i didn't win that...but i entered the next drawing by going into her comments and telling her how much i had LOVED wicked. (more on that, another time. truly amazing.) out of 73 entries ... i won the grand prize! a pink cookbook, pink measuring cups, pink measuring spoons, a pink spatula and a magnet that says "save the ta-tas". i can't wait to put the magnet on my husband's truck and watch him make dinner with all pink utensils!
-- why you should visit her: because she is having weekend giveaways, still! and the most recent is something to do with 'twilight' or something ... i haven't gotten on that bandwagon. yet. but a dear friend just mentioned it to me on friday. over wine. which generally helps to sway me in the direction of something. on fridays, she does a fun question and answer session. it's fun to read everyone's responses. i also love to read about her girls and how she has chosen to homeschool one and encourages the other to go to a public school. it is a true representation of individualized education. something that i toy with in my mind as we are approaching *gasp* making kindergarten decisions for next year.

so then ... i was feeling damn lucky but didn't go get a lottery ticket ... 'cause luck only happens in 3s, right??

jennifer for at playgroupsarenoplaceforchildren
-- the story behind the win: yes. you read that right. the big time blogger that has bagazillions of readers. i mentioned her in a past post, something about inviting her to my pretend blogger party. (speaking of which ... none of you ever REALLY showed up. did you think i was kidding?) initially i started reading her blog, 'cause i linked through blogger because she's a speech-language pathologist! like me! i had no idea that she was also a big time blogger. silly me. anyhoo. i really really really wanted to win her giveaway for an upgrade on picnik. and didn't ... but in the process put myself in the running for these super cute placemats from olive kids. this time ... there were 74 entries!
-- why you should visit her: just because. her writing is fabulous. she gives great tips on blogging if you are looking for information. (i, obviously, don't read those...) she just moved and needs to be reminded that her temporary house in not permanent ... and she won't always be where dead floral patterns come back to haunt people. plus, today she dumped out her whole purse on the internet! (brave brave lady) and is still giving stuff away!

by the way... did you notice the number of entries in which i won, going up? i'm thinking lottery entry would be progressively next? no?

so, there ... yes, i'm knocking on wood. yes ... i know this was a brag-about post. yes ... i know that i should give another three things away to make up for all that i've won. (oh, did you miss my giveaway? sorry. better luck next time. maybe on my blog-versary?)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

creativity still exists ... but now during naptime.

belly has been quickly speeding through her clothing. shirt sleeves are too short. pants are becoming high-waters. evidence that height is eagerly passed down through my husband's family.

not mine.

nonetheless ... belly has inherited those blessed height genes.

in addition, she also is a princess of the most highest regard. and princesses don't wear pants. they wear dresses. and at the very least ... a skirt. with tights. not pants underneath.

this has resulted in numerous stressful mornings in which the "princess" is demanding dresses and skirts.

so, in order to ease some of the morning rituals and reduce the cost of buying all new stuff ... mommy decided to pull out her creativity hat and use up some extra material and ribbon laying around. she found an online tutorial. but quite honestly, she doesn't follow directions well.

this is the result.

i'm pretty pleased with it! especially considering it was a twenty minute project made from material and ribbon scraps. (aka free)

confession ... it was a 30 minute project. i lined up the ribbon funny, which resulted in 2 lines closer to the middle than was desired. to remediate ... i added another more decorative zig-zag in the middle of to make it look like i meant to do that. (which seemed easier than digging through my craft stuff to find my seam ripper.)

it's the perfect skirt for acting rather crazy in ... while mom is attempting to take a picture for the blog.
(ignore the naked bebe in the background. apparently i need to start making her some clothing as well.)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

bu-uh...tup *is* buttercup.

while visiting our friends in north dakota, the girly-girls played with a miniature horse named buttercup.
they brushed him and pulled him around the farm.
they worked to pull burrs out of his mane and tail. endlessly.
and then did it again the next day.

well ... coconut has decided that "bu-uh...tup"* is her favorite "sissy"** ever.
and when she found a stuffed animal that i had when i was a little girl, it became her most favorite toy ever.
(she also finds buttercup in stickers and books and EVERYWHERE!)

this is her and "bu-uh...tup"*. she "luhs"*** him.

she brushes him and tells him he's "pih-ty"****

and she even rides him.

while mommy blogs. and pretends that she doesn't notice all the stuff that is finding it's way around her feet.

and then, mommy takes pictures 'cause it's so darn cute and needs to be remembered.

and then, mommy posts them. which takes more time.

and now (finally) ... mommy is off to enjoy her time with her little (and not just post cute pictures of her). 'cause belly is at g-ma's. and these fleeting moments need to be cherished.

* buttercup ** horsey *** loves **** pretty

Friday, November 14, 2008

gender bias and guess who.

has anyone else ever noted the gender bias so blatently portrayed in the guess who game??

i just finished playing this game with a student ... and there were 5 women and 19 men!!!

don't judge. i play games. at work. all. day. long. (in between paperwork. shhh ... don't remind me about that.) the kind of games that you grew up playing. the kind that i bet you are wishing that you could play while you grovel in front of a computer in a cubicle. i'm not all that jealous. and, yes, i stick with the good ole stand-by board games. candyland, guess who and hi-ho!cherry-o! are some of my favorites. believe me when i say, kids hardly know how to manuver a game piece around a game board anymore. sad.
my husband has what he thinks is a funny line, when i'm complaining about my workday, "oh, the tea party didn't go well today, huh??"
and yes ... i actually make the kids DO work while we play the games. it's not ALL fun...

so anyhoo ... back to my original story. the number of girls vs. boys. what's up with that?? if you pull a girl card ... your opponent has much higher odds of figuring out who it is. so, so not fair.

so i'm off to explore. maybe you can help?? does the new(er) version have a more equal ratio of boys to girls?? 'cause i may just have to buy a new game set.

and on a side note...
as a game of categorization with my kiddos that i work with, i will print off pictures of foods or animals or the current theme of the month...and put them in the little boxes. the kids have to ask questions to eliminate or determine which vocabulary word is the right one. (e.g., is it a fruit? does it have feathers?) loads of fun over here at coconutbelly land. i tell ya.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

frankie says, relax. it's the spin cycle!

ooo...apparently all the cool kids are doing it.
it's called the spin cycle...
started by sprite's keeper. who mentioned little! me! in! a! blog! post!

and quite honestly...i was NEVER in the in-crowd in high school. so i'm uber-excited when someone likes me! mentions me. not that i need any validation for who i am. but it's kinda like seeing my name in lights. on broadway.

the rules of the game (?) as i see it are:
1. she gives us a topic of conversation that we get to write about sometime within the week. (yeah! i don't have to think! oh yeah...i do have to think...a little. i DO have to write the thing...)
2. we let her know we did it! and she says, "hooray! you did it!"
3. and we all hug and smile at each other and become the best of friends ... (ok, maybe not that part.)

so here goes.

frankie says, "relax"

i don't know who frankie is...i don't understand why he has anything to do with's try again...

blah blah blah, "relaaaaax"


when i think about relaxing as a mom ... i think, initially, that i wish i could.

i remember my mom talking about how she and her friends wish that they had a shared apartment somewhere, that they could all have a key to. they could use it as a retreat. a place to get away and turn off the mommy light occasionally. (or every week.) ... (maybe every day?)

a place that they could visit and share stories and get away from the kids and husbands. i think that would be divine. at times. it would be a place to relax.

but would it?

as a mom we are always on. i don't care who you are ... i'm sure that thoughts of your children are constantly seeping into your conversation and editing themselves into your mind. we don't leave them behind. we can't.

as i sit here, eagerly awaiting my girly-girls to come home from daycare...i realize that i am most relaxed when i am with them. teaching them and learning from them. i let my guards down. i giggle and fool around. my shoulders drop and i smile. i don't have to prove anything to them. i don't have to impress them. ever. they are impressed by me ... just being me.

the most peace and relaxation i have felt in weeks was when my littlest grabbed my knees from behind and said, "i luh lu".

because, ultimately, i realized that they are turning out ok.

but...a trip to the spa and an overnight hotel room eating pizza by myself on my bed would be fine too.

and ... i just got two more spontaneous hugs as they arrived home. now that's divine.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

hasay 4 - wednesday update

hasay, you ask??
remember?? i've been updating on my progress each and every wednesday with the hasay club challenge??????? don't remember? where have you been?
well go here and here and here! then come back.
ok...are we all together now?
hasay, you ask??

hooray! for me!
i lost 4 pounds this week! did you hear me?????
4 pounds!
how did i do it??

i have no idea.

but i'll attempt to tell you because that would have been a really crappy blog-post.

so...anyhoo, here's my strategy.

1. trick or treat.
2. spend the first week after halloween eating ALL the good candy. deal with the minimal weight loss.
3. encourage your children to eat only the good stuff... " don't want nerds! you want this delicious reeses peanut butter cup...don't you?? don't you????? mommy said eat the damn peanut butter cup!" (ok, maybe i didn't say damn.)
4. refuse to buy any chocolate for your house.
5. have family come over on monday right! after! work! and spend the entire sunday with a higher than average temperature on your thermostat ... crazily cleaning your entire house. worry.

see...i was destined to lose weight this week!

in other (related) news.
all of you will just have to get used to the fact that this is now what my wednesdays are all about. deal!

food: i ate a lot of salads for lunches this week. husband brought home a massive costco sized salad. my goal is to eat more than 75% of it before it goes bad. we've eaten a little more than 1/2 of it so far. but economically speaking...significantly smaller size, same price at the local grocery store. leads me to believe that we are making a good choice. and at least we compost what we don't use!
he also brought home a bag of 6 bell peppers. yummo. and sugar snap peas. mmmmm. because of that yumminess...i resisted treats for the most part this week.
biggest change...we're down to the crappy halloween candy.
i made brownies. but i really haven't overloaded on them. we had 8 left after the party...and 2 days later, there are still 4. good, huh? and if i eat a brownie with my coffee in the morning...i'm less likely to want one later? what's that all about?

exercise: yippee! husband is picking up the elliptical machine today! i can work out on it tomorrow! (did i just say yippee! i get to work out?? what the hell is wrong with me?)
i've continued to do sit ups and bits of exercise here and there throughout my day.
shhh...don't tell anyone...but between groups of kids...i have actually gotten down on the floor in my room and done sit-ups, lunges and wall sits. and jumping jacks. i'm sure i look like a fool.

all in all...i think i'm seeing results and i'm feeling better about doing it. it's not such a chore when i have people jumping in and asking me how i'm doing...and FILLING my email inbox with loads of hasay updates. seriously people! when do you have the time???
maybe i should do 10 sit-ups for every email update i get.

or maybe not.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


so i'm sure that you are all on the edge of your seats, wondering about last night??
t'was fine.
we more than survived...we enjoyed.

it's always good to see family that you've missed, meet family you've never met...

and incredibly humbling to realize that you were just complaining about it's possibility a mere 24 hours ago.

i pulled off pasta with a choice of alfredo or tomato-based sauce (thank goodness for canned items!) ... garlic bread (thank goodness for the freezer aisle!) ... caesar salad (thank goodness for pre-packaged lettuce!) ... and brownies with peppermint ice cream (thank goodness for boxed chocolate-yums and my schwans man - that convinced me to try it last weekend!)

the kids ran around and played dress up and terrorized our new play area downstairs. they laughed and giggled and bossed each other around. they made new friends and hugged old ones.

there was only one episode of tears...when my belly splashed pop in her eye. which led to indication that boy-families and girl-families are so different...the boy-families immediately thought that she had gotten "popped" in the eye. i, on the girl-family side...remarked that i knew instantly what she meant. i'm not even sure that she knows what "popped" could mean in a semi-violent sort of way! and the infamous pop vs. soda controversy...

the cats hid for awhile and decided to join the fun later. the dog consistently placed herself in the middle of the action and demanded much attention. she gave rides to the littlest of the kids and displayed her awesome sense of child-friendly canine.

survival was definitely trumped by enjoyment.

Monday, November 10, 2008

one of THOSE nights.

yes. it was one of those nights.

you know the kind...

the night where you are trying to do multitudes of things after the kiddos go to bed, because it has been decided that you are having the visiting family over at your house tomorrow night. yeah. after work. all 12 people. well...6 adults and 6 kids...including your family.

of which you currently only have 3...because the husband is working. other are scrambling to make sure that the house looks remotely orderly. and by orderly, i be it.

mmm-hmm, that and...

you are completely embarrased of your current carpet situation...because the prior owners (don't even get me started...another post for another day) put in crappy cheap carpet...and you have 3 cats and a dog. a big dog. and you haven't given a crap about the carpet lately because you and the husband are giving each other - pulled up carpet and a reveal of the hardwood floors beneath (did you hear the angels singing there??) - for christmas. and now you have to have people that you rarely see come to observe your currently crappy carpet that you can't do anything about in a 24 hour period.

oh, and...

you have to work until 4...then pick up the girly-girls...and you have no idea what to make for dinner. for the guests that will be at your house between 4:30 and 5.

but i digress...

oh yeah, the night. in which your 18 month old daughter decides that it would be a perfect night for not sleeping. at all. she will toss and turn as she lies next to you in bed. and then when your alarm goes off...after you have been checking it for the past 3 hours...and you actually see that it will be going off in 9 minutes...6 minutes...4 minutes...2 minutes...1...beep beep beep beep beep beep beep...

yeah...she wakes up with the alarm...and expects that you are going to carry her around while you get ready...cry while you shower...and constantly ask "up pease" the ENTIRE time that you attempt to finish up the last minute things that you didn't do while she was actually sleeping the night before. 'cause she really only woke up and demanded to sleep with you AFTER you had finally gone to bed.


it was one of those nights.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

peace. i've moved the number back to 12 viewers, followers...

i'm not saying that i'm against anyone reading my blog. i hope people can read it. i hope that people turn to it for a smile. i hope that people can read what i write and be hopeful that there is good out there.

in all honesty, i just am not comfortable with what someone else was putting on their own blog...
i gave her the benefit of the doubt...
i hoped that her writings were inner writings and feelings. but her most recent post made me worried that it is real.
i'm ok with her continuing to read, as she noted that she was compiling lists of blogs to look to for inspiration...

however, ultimately, i don't want anyone from here to click over there and think that i'm condoning what is written.

this is my place. i need to be comfortable with any linkage that could occur.

i wish her peace and loads of hopefulness.

i'm not much of a praying girl. but i have prayed that she finds inner peace. in my opinion, negativity only breeds negativity.

and i pray that she can break that cycle.

Friday, November 7, 2008


several bits of info??
bulleted crap that you really don't care about??
oh yeah. you have ventured into my territory blog. you are completely free to click on outta here. but if it's on my mind...i'm writing it.
-- my last post had a response..."very Cute baby and these pictures are amazing but could be much better if you use any branded digital camera"
-- what the hell is a branded digital camera?
-- and why does someone in india care??
-- and how could it make my baby look any cuter??
-- isn't it funny how every once in awhile you get what appears to be an absurd comment??
-- i love comments.
-- please leave them.
-- did you notice my little grouping of people that come back to visit?
-- over there...on the left.
-- i love watching that number go up.
-- and it's stuck at 13 right now.
-- the number 13 isn't my favorite.
-- yes, i'm weird.
-- please someone add their name to move it to on the *follow this blog*...
-- i haven't touched on the election results.
-- i should.
-- but i honestly don't feel that my words could encompass the way that i truly feel.
-- i feel happy.
-- i know my daughters feel crappy considering that one has ANOTHER ear infection
-- and the other has some weird rashy thingy.
-- please please please let me get through this year without too many sicknesses.
-- maybe i need to overhaul our diet or look into some alternative therapies.
-- anyone use chiropractic or natural remedies to boost their children's immune systems??
-- i will be boosting my immune system this evening with a glass of wine.
-- we are heading out for happy hour tonight to watch a co-workers husband on who wants to be a millionaire.
-- i'm super excited for the excuse to go out.
-- i'm not usually a super fan of game shows.
-- but i always wanted to be on the price is right when i was younger.
-- i probably wouldn't win anyways. but i've won two blogger give-aways!
-- i'll probably just stick with blogging.
-- speaking of which...lately i've been crazy with colors here.
-- does it bug you? (edited to bugged me enough that i changed some of this already!)
-- do i need to stop??
-- today was/is kinda an extreme.
-- i promise i won't do it this much...but i'm just trying to make a point.
-- and here we are back to the "bulleted points" topic.
-- full 360. i'm done.

thanks for listening. comment away.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

my camera is taunting me

i keep coming across yumminess such as this.

and this...

or this one...

do you need more proof??

maybe this??

can you say baby fever?? i know that after both babies, i swore i would never do that again. but my heart is breaking...can you hear it?...that i don't have this baby-ness surrounding me anymore.
i love babies...i may just have to convince my husband that we need another one. someday.
maybe i'll have him explore the camera.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

hasay 3 - wednesday update.


really. i think that sums it up.

halloween candy called my name. too many times.

i continued to do my minimal workouts. sit ups and stuff. but i really need my elliptical machine to come home. and she said in a pleading voice, "oh, dear husband..."

my mom was kind enough to let me use her scale. only gave me a negative 1 from where i was last at. and it's not it's kinda hard to tell for sure.

quite honestly. this is crap. i can't get there from here. so it's time to up the ante. wish me luck.

oh yeah. and come steal the halloween candy. please. either that, or give me a good SOLID reason not to eat it. and just telling me that it's to lose weight is NOT going to make a difference.

'cause i noticed that the box says that 3 packages of kit kats are a single serving. and for some reason that made 3 ok.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

a morning.

a morning of changes in thought and in hopes for the future.

no...i'm not talking about the election. although i should say...get out and VOTE!

yesterday afternoon, i arrived at daycare and was immediately notified by the children's chorus of voices indicating that coconut had just puked 15 minutes prior. (further evidenced by the fact that coconut was sitting alone on a couch, while all the other children were on a different couch.)

automatic 24 hours at home.

my husband was out of town and isn't expected back until this evening. was immediately up to me to take the day off to keep her home. belly also gets to stay home, by default. what am i saying? he is so often out of town...that this task of sick children often falls on me. on the same token...i don't complain. when babies need their mamas...i wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

i had a pretty important meeting that i needed to attend this morning, so my dad offered to come and watch the girly-girls for an hour or so until i got back home.

i awoke this morning at my regular time, and was able to work-out...get the coffee started...get showered and dressed...all while i allowed the girly-girls to sleep.

and the most amazing thing??

i felt relaxed and calm. when the girls awoke (naturally!) i was able to hug and cuddle each one for a few minutes...alone. it was after those cuddles that i called my husband and said...

"at this exact moment in time...i would give anything to stay at home with them."

i'm not sure i've ever said that before.

i would give up internet. i would give up cable tv. i would give up target shopping trips. i would make healthy dinners. i would limit my driving. i would not spend money on unnecessary things. i would try to find things at garage sales and free, if they were deemed necessary. i would clip coupons. i would skimp and save.

if i could have the feeling that was associated with this morning, again.

i know it wouldn't be easy.

but i also know that i could go back to work...someday. i love what i do. but i'm so sick of feeling constant rush. i'm sick of feeling like i'm not giving my anything. i don't want to be upset with my kids just because i'm tired and frustrated and am bringing

we talked about it. we'll need to talk about it quite a bit more. we'll need to make some decisions.

but for right now...i have the feeling that maybe this morning was indication of changes and hopes that will affect who i am. we'll see.

what changes and sacrifices have you made to be a stay at home mama? any suggestions or ideas are highly encouraged. thanks for sharing.

Monday, November 3, 2008


a year and a half...eighteen months...five hundred and forty-seven and a half days...

is that all the time that you've been a part of our family? really?? 'cause i absolutely feel like there was never a time that i didn't know you.
in my mind...i always knew that i would be a mommy to girls. i just never knew that i would be so incredibly lucky to have you two in my life. you and your sister are my everythings.

at this moment, if i could stop time...this is what i want to remember about you.
- you are in a constant state of wonder.
- you are always asking "whas-it?" or "whos-it?" to inquire about what something is or who someone is.
- i sing "you are my sunshine" to you each night, and you hum along.
- you are a wee bit scared of new things.
- but at the very same are quite the dare devil.
- you love to be spinned and swung.
- you love to hang upside down and giggle.
- your neck is super tickle-ish. you don't even have to tickle it...just touch send you into a fit of giggles.
- you LOVE your big sister. you try to mimic everything that she says and does.
- you were all of a sudden in the "mine" stage...but it seems to be retreating...
- you call yourself "baby" in pictures and in the mirror. you never call yourself cora.
- but you insist that you are a big girl...not a baby.
- you are potty-training yourself. and you are really good at going probably 70% of the time.
- i can tell that you are tired, when you ask for your nuk-nuk and blankie.
- you love to read books. you love to have books read to you.
- you are a mover and a shaker. constantly on the move. constantly.
- you will not watch tv. (ok...i'm not complaining...but it would be nice for 10 minutes)
- you will only stop to look at it...if you see elmo, barney or if someone is singing.
- you dance to all music.
- you say "tan-too" whenever someone gives you something...without any prompts!
- the way that you say stella is my favorite. "de-llllla" with a rolled /l/ sound.
- you love playing babies with your big sister. and playing with the babies at your daycare.
- you always want to talk on the phone with daddy. or boppa. or grandma. or lulu.
- when the phone is yell..."hi ____!" over and over. as if at some moment they might hear you and respond.
- you sing "happy...happy...happy" when it is someone's birthday.
- you love to eat little chips of ice...which is no wonder, considering it was the only thing i craved while pregnant with you.
- you like spaghetti. which is weird, considering i could not eat it,while pregnant with you. and still can't.
- you will eat the fruit and vegetables on your plate long before eating anything else.
- your favorite meal over the summer was cucumbers and tomatoes from the garden, with cheese and crackers.
- you love to taste coffee and wine and beer. anything that isn't yours.
- you always have to announce what it is you are drinking after (and before) every sip.
- you say "mik" with a very glottal /k/ sound. and you always ask for pop.
- you are now really good at saying "obama mama". but sometimes say "obammy mommy".
- your little eyes are this amazing shade of ocean blue. everyone comments on them.
- you loved trick-or-treating this year. you were worried about going up to all of the houses...but would say "tri-tre" and "tan-too" each time. as long as mommy was holding your hand.
- you are quite the mama's girl. but absolutely fall in love with daddy each time he comes home.
- you love bathtime. and it contains you for a little while. so you get a lot of baths on weekends.
- you still nurse. i know it's probably habit at this point...but i so love that little bit of time that you and i get completely alone together. and it will be gone before too long. so i'm gonna cherish it while i can.

you are so loved. you make my world. not just brighter or better. you really make my world.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

damn time change.

it's pretty evident that kids just really don't listen when you explain that they need to sleep for an extra hour in the morning.

and you stay up a little later saturday night to watch snl.

and then in the morning after they woke way. too. early.
you are so incredibly busy trying to make coffee, feed them and the animals...

that you neglect to change the time on half of the clocks or at least those in the living areas of the house...

and finally...

you realize that you fed them lunch at 10 o'clock in the morning. and you are expecting them to take a nap by 11.

damn time change.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

give-away winner (s)!!!

mommy wrote the names out.

mommy put them in a bowl.

we attempted to have coconut pick a name.
she grabbed half of them and flung them around.
coconut was fired from her duties.

and belly was hired as the
official name-picker-outer.
we recounted and refolded.

belly almost got fired for upside down display...

but redeemed herself.

wait! what does that say?? sara and sophie??? my best(est) friend and her daughter?? yeah. people are gonna think we set it up! guess, we know what sophie is getting for christmas! (shhhh.) let's pick another one for good measure.

perfection. closed eyes and everything.
sloppy hair presentation...but oh well.

the (other) winner is...kelly from life is good.

thanks so much to everyone that entered. i would have absolutely loved to send each and every one of you a set of these fun diapers. head on over to chunky monkey if you want a set for yourself! they are so fun for your kids to take on and off of their baby dolls! enjoy!! me so that i can get your address and don't forget to tell me what colors you want. (i'm assuming you want girly...)